Saturday, December 30, 2006

Surfs up

The holidays ( did I mention I HATE all holidays ) reek havoc on my schedule.

The boss called Friday morning ( I usually leave about noon) and said my run to Texarkana had been cancelled and told me just to "hang loose" and keep my cell phone near.

I was setting here "surfing" when he called about 1 pm and asked me to "hurry" in and run to Hot Springs by way of Malvern Wal-Mart. About 110 miles in all and not over 2 1/2 hours.

I didn't wait to "catch another wave", I just told Frankie and Fabian that I had to go "earn some bread", kissed Annette on the cheek, tossed my board in the woodie and split.

Upon arriving at work I find out my load will not be ready for 30 minutes. While I wait several more "hot shot" runs come in and I ended up not going to Hot Springs.

I finally left the dairy at 4 pm going to Malvern, Camden and El Dorado. A little over 250 miles and I came dragging in a little before midnight.

Those under 30 will probably not understand this post and the older ones will just think it "lame".

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Victory Garden

I love PBS and one of their best is the longest running gardening show on tv, "The Victory Garden". I'm sure everyone has seen it at some time.

Did you know "the victory garden" evolved from "the war garden" that was an actual government sponsored campaign during the first world war? At the time nearly all the worlds food was grown on small farms. With nearly all the able bodied men suddenly called to war, the world population was on the verge of starving.

Everyone was encouraged to grow what little food they could, no matter how small of a garden. Country folks had always had gardens to feed their families but city folks knew very little about gardens.

National War Garden Commission was formed and it sat out to educate everyone, publishing timely pamphlets as each phase of the season deemed it prudent.

Daylight Saving Time was enacted to add the time for people to tend their garden after work.

You can read all about it here.
  • The War Garden

  • Even if you are not interested in gardening, this is something I think everyone should read. It shows that our country used to have people that found a way " to get the job done".

    For several generations the parents wanted better for their children than they had it. We have "bettered" our selves into a country that most have little knowledge of how to take care our own families.

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    Posting comments?

    I am having problems posting "comments" to most of the blogs I read. Is it because I am using the "old blogger" and not "beta blogger"? If you can't "comment" on my blog, please e-mail me

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Field Trip

    OK class, gather around and follow me down this 350 yard raised walkway. There will be placards to read as you walk.

    No Annie, you can't take your camera. I will not have you handing out "cheat sheets" for the test at the end of the hike.

    I will allow "click to enlarge".

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    New Ride

    This is my new work truck. We have 2 identical trucks and this one is assigned to me. I don't know if it is because I go the farthest from the dairy or my nose is the brownest. Doesn't matter to me. I am just very proud of it.

    It is a 2007 International 9200i Day Cab tractor. "Day Cab" means it does not have a sleeper. It is equipped with the new generation low emissions Cummins engine. 600 cubic inch engine and rated at 450 horsepower. The 600 c.i. is a little small but the horsepower is up there with the larger older engines. It is supposed to be cleaner burning and more fuel efficient.

    This is a lot nicer truck than we currently operate.

    It has electric adjustable mirrors on both sides and an electric passenger side window.

    Step inside and have a seat. You will notice it has a "tilt and telescoping" steering wheel. It also has cruise control.

    The woodgrain dash is well laid out with the usual gauges.

    The switches,radio, and heater/ac controls are within easy reach. You can also see the control for the "Jake Brake".

    Did I mention it has a 10 speed transmission?

    As you entered you saw these buttons on the side of the seat. Please click to enlarge. The red button raises and lowers the air-ride seat. It has about 12 inches of up and down travel. The seat back has 3 air bladders and the grey buttons control those bladders. The seat can also oscillate front to rear. This 2 inches of travel really smooth out the ride or you can lock it in place.

    I drove it on my second run today and know that I will enjoy driving it until my retirement. It is governed to run only 68mph but pulls strong until then. The cruise control will only set at 62mph or below. This is to achieve maximum fuel mileage.

    It is nice to finally be owned by a company that knows how to spec out trucks.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Safety Meeting

    Saturday we had our end of the year safety meeting for "the transportation department". We drive the big trucks as opposed to the "wholesale department" that drives the small milk trucks you see delivering to stores. These are 2 different departments entirely.

    Our department has about 13 trucks and 17 drivers (some trucks are used by 2 different drivers). We do not drive the large number of miles that OTR drivers (over the road) drive but we still drive a large number of miles.

    We had "zero" accidents this year while collectively driving between 600,000 and 700,00- miles. When most people think of accidents they think of "fender-benders" or worse. These are the most common for OTR drivers but in our case that is a small part of the "at risk" we find ourselves in every day. OTR drivers mostly travel interstate and major highways. We do the same plus city streets and in parking lots with lots of cars. We also "backup" (the most "at risk" driving one can do) more in a month than OTR drivers do in a year.

    Contact with a building, parked car, pole, dumpster or any other object is considered an "accident". So "zero" accidents in a year is quite an accomplishment.

    If one has an accident in the previous 12 months (ending in October every year), then he is not given an award for that year. All years worked without an accident are added together for your total.

    The first accident free year you receive a jacket, five years and ten years you receive a plaque. Every year you receive a "safety hat-pin". A small monetary award is also given. Wal-Mart gift cards, starting at $10 and increases $5 a year until a maximum of $60 is reached.

    We have our meeting at different restaurants where a nice meal is provided by the company.
    This year is my 11th year with the company and this is a picture ( sorry for the quality) of my pin.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006


    Today I took a load of cream to Fayetteville. We use plastic "totes" similar to the one pictured . The ones we use are insulated and made of plastic. The cream is placed in a large "bladder" inside.

    Like this but only on a much larger scale. The totes are
    reusable and the bladders are not. Each tote is about 3ft. X 4ft. and 4ft. tall. They will hold about 2000 pds. of cream.

    I leave the full totes and pick up the empty ones so we will have them to fill when they want more.

    The young man the was running the forklift was "handicapped". His right arm was a little smaller than his left, plus his forearm had no wrist or hand. Just a large smooth knot (almost like a smooth fist) with 2 deformed fingers. He handles the forklift very well as he seems to have complete control over his arm and elbow.

    I admire him for working but I also admire PINNACLE FOODS for hiring him and finding a job that he can do. It is a great job for him with benefits and retirement plus the company has a loyal and productive worker.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    One year = 54 weeks

    You say as you are shaking your head side to side, "HOLD IT, HOLD IT ! Squire, seems your math skills are not any better than your spelling and communication skills."

    Well I get paid every other week. 26 paychecks = 52 weeks.

    We also get paid for the usual 6 holidays but only get Thanksgiving and Christmas off (most of the time). We have to work extra on those weeks to make up for being off. The other four holidays are regular work days unless they fall on your usual day off. Either way, you receive your normal pay plus the holiday pay. These 4 days plus the extra work amount to at least a weeks pay. Although it is payed out over the year. We will call this "Holiday Week Pay".

    52 regular weeks + holiday week = 53 weeks in a year.

    Now the next part is really interesting. We are given 5 "sick days" that we can take with pay in a year. If you take any of these days you will only receive 75% pay ( it may not seem fair but a lot of people don't even get that). For any "sick days" you have left November 30 (on December 1 you receive 5 new ones for the next 12 months), you will receive 100% pay in a check we like to think of as "Christmas money". Don't take off sick and you get a weeks pay the first week of December.

    52 regular weeks
    1 holiday week
    1 sick day week
    54 weeks in a year.

    While moving on to an intelligent blog, you roll your eyes into the back of your head and say, "Unbelievable, this guy is a moron".

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Hamburg, Arkansas

    I love small town America.

    To me "Small town America" should have a "town square". Some town squares are occupied by a courthouse while others had schoolhouses and the list could go on and on.

    Hamburg, Ar. located in the timber region of southeast Arkansas has an open "square". I don't know if a building was even located on it but my guess is there once was one.

    This picture was taken from the southwest corner of the square.

    This was from the southeast corner. The square has businesses on all four sides.

    This lovely gazebo is in the center of the square. It is decorated with a Christmas tree and the usual trimmings.

    This 4-sided clock is on the main drag side of the square. I think it gives the right look.

    Naturally, small town America always has its share of wonderful old churches and this one is about a block from the square.

    Every small town has at least one famous or infamous (or both) son and Hamburg, Arkansas lays claim to Scotty Pippen, of the Chicago Bulls Basketball star. He along with Michael Jordon won several world championships with the Bulls.

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    The Joy of it all

    We all read blogs to be entertained. A good laugh picks up our spirits and a good cry is good for the soul.

    I read one blog that does both. I laugh until I cry. Anyone that can laugh at ones self is special in my book.

  • The Joys
  • is written by a young mom that has been on a roll lately. From boobs to chicken to poop and back to boobs. Please take a look at the last week of November and the first part of December and as one commenter stated, "don't do it with a full bladder".

    I am sure it will become one of you favorites.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    December book review

    "Three Weeks with My Brother", by Nicholas Sparks

    OK, you have probably already read this one. Nicholas and his brother Micah take a three week trip around the world together. That part of the book was "alright", but what the book is really about is telling his life story in between the story about the trip. This is a very good book "by and about" one of America's favorite authors.

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    It is not right!

    Over the weekend most of the parents traveling with children had movies playing in the car to keep the kids busy.

    That is "not right". Parents should have to suffer with "Are we there yet?", as we older parents did.

    Winter driving in a "big truck" can be a challenge with rainy, icy, and snowy roads,

    but the real reason I am not fond of driving in the winter is the fact that the landscape is almost naked

    and the women aren't.

    For those interested I wrote in my "Life story" blog today. My nieces have asked for more.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Full Moon?

    Because we will not work Thanksgiving, the normal "run" schedule does not apply this week.

    I ran Monticello and Hamburg yesterday. Had to make unscheduled stops in Pine Bluff and Star City to drop off Buttermilk that we had run out of then those trailers were loaded and delivered. Buttermilk takes several hours to make, so when you are out, you will be out for awhile. No big deal, just get the job done.

    Everything was going fine until I left Monticello. The speed limit is 45 mph thru town and after leaving city limits the road is uphill. I'm doing about 50 mph when a car at a stop sign on my right pulls out in front on me headed back to town. The driver was a young woman with kids in the car. She simply failed to see a "big 60' long truck". I had to brake sharply and she looked and I could see the terror in her eyes. It unnerved me as I thought about what could have happened.

    About 2 miles down the road, a big truck blew out a left front tire and ended up across the road on my shoulder. I was never in any danger as it happened about a mile in front of me, but I could see it all as it happened.

    5 miles further down the road, a deer hunter in a pickup with a 4 wheeler on a trailer ran a stop sign and was half way out in the road when I passed.

    Some days just seem more dangerous than others.

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Working stiff

    One of the bloggers I read said, "I think I will take the day off." There was no reason, they just wanted the day off.

    I'm just a working stiff and would never think about taking a day off , "just because". I have my faults (did I really say that), but being a slacker has never been one of them.

    My take on employment goes like this; I was hired because they needed an employee to work. If they wanted a "part-time employee", I would have been hired as one.
    I expect to be allowed to work when I am scheduled to work. So why should my employer not expect me to show for work when I am supposed to. I never turn down extra work because I would not be asked if I were not needed.

    If you do not want to work, then do not take a job, period!

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006


    I want a small light weight "point and shoot" camera for my upcoming trip. We have a nice camera but it is just too big and heavy to have on your person all the time. After researching my options, I finally decided on the model I wanted.

    Buying online is something that I am comfortable with, so I placed an order before their store opened. Basic camera, basic order, just ship it to me! Now is when the problem begins.

    They call and want to sell their "camera accessory pack". I was not home and my wife would not authorize the addition and told them I would call them back.

    I get the most over baring salesman I have ever encountered. I tell him I just want the "camera" and nothing else. He will not take NO for an answer. I then tell him to cancel my order. He says he will not do that until he tries to help me. Now I am getting more angry by the second. After I tell him I have 2 battery chargers and 16 rechargeable batteries and do not need his, he proceeds to tell me the camera has a cheap plastic case (it is metal!) and I need to upgrade to the metal case. Rather than call him the bold faced liar that he is, I just say that I ready don't care about it being plastic.

    The whole time I have said "please cancel my order" several times. He changes his tactics by telling me the camera is imported (HELL, they are all imported) and the instructions are not in English and he can upgrade the software for only $25.

    Now my blood is really boiling. If I could have reached through the phone this lying #*&%+ would be minus his teeth if not his life. We proceed to exchange pleasantries as we are now both angry. I finally call him just what he is and tell him he will cancel my order and I will dispute any charges to my credit card and hang up.

    I call my credit card and tell them what is going on and when I go back to the camera store's website I see that my order has indeed been canceled. I printed it out for future reference.

    All this to save $30. Sometimes it just does not pay to be a tightwad.

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Grocery tax

    Our governor-elect wants to eliminate the sales tax on groceries. Everyone pays the tax and poor people pay a disproportionate amount of their income on this tax, so it would seem a win-win for everyone.

    Not so in my opinion. We know that the tax money will be made up from some other tax (even though our state has a large tax surplus). At least the grocery tax is charged to every one no matter their income.

    The hotshots (did I misspell that by one letter) have various ways of not paying taxes, but not this one. Sure they can eat out often on their "expense accounts", but the groceries their wives buy for the house gets taxed.

    Of course a 'fair' tax system isn't going to happen (ending corporate welfare/pork/political nepotism). That being said. Will the tax be eliminated or just the STATE portion of the tax? City and county taxes eat away at our income also.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006


    Well, we survived another political season. Now we well see how the more important issue is handled. How soon do they take down all the signs?

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Class of 66

    It doesn't matter what year you graduated high school. Mine just happened to be 1966. Yes, 40 years ago. The Statler Brothers song of Class of 57 fits my class and your class.

    CLASS OF '57 (Don & Harold Reid) The Statler Brothers - 1972

    Tommy's sellin' used cars, Nancy's fixin' hair
    Harvey runs a grocery store and Margaret doesn't care
    Jerry drives a truck for Sears and Charlotte's on the make
    And Paul sells life insurance and part time real estate
    Helen is a hostess, Frank works at the mill
    Jeanette teaches grade school and prob'ly always will
    Bob works for the city and Jack's in lab research
    And Peggy plays organ at the Presbiterian Church
    And the class of '57 has dreams
    We all thought we'd change the world with our great works and deeds
    Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs
    The class of '57 has dreams
    Betty runs a trailer park, Jan sells Tupperware
    Randy's on an insane ward and Mary's on welfare
    Charlie took a job with Ford and Joe took Freddie's wife
    Charlotte took a millionaire and Freddie took his life
    John is big in cattle, Ray is deep in debt
    Where Mavis finally wound up is anybody's bet
    Linda married Sonny, Brenda married me
    And the class of all of us is just part of history
    And the class of '57 has dreams
    But livin' life day to day is never like it seems
    Things get complicated when you get past eighteen
    But the class of '57 has dreams
    Ah, the class of '57 has dreams

    "We all thought we'd change the world with our great works and deeds. Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs." These are truly powerful word and I must say I have fallen down on my part. What about you?

    Thursday, November 02, 2006


    Why do we let them be manufactured and sold, when the only the only reason to own one is to circumvent the law. They have been outlawed in "big trucks" for years (and rightly so), outlawed in some states, but for the life of me, I can't see why they are not forbidden all together.

    I guess so idiots like the one that passed me last night doing what I estimate to have been at least 90mph can get away with it. Yes, there on his rear view mirror was the little tale-tale light of a radar detector.

    If you are caught doing 20mph over the speed limit, I think you should have your vehicle impounded, you license taken away for a year, and spend at least 48 hours in jail.

    If you are driving a big rig then your CDL should be pulled for 5 years. I have no tolerance for speeders ( my old classmates will get a kick out of that).

    SPEED KILLS!!!!!

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    November Book Review

    John Steinbeck is most remembered by my generation for two of his novels that were made into movies. The Grapes of Wrath, starring Henry Fonda and East of Eden, starring James Dean.

    In 1962 Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for his account of Travels with Charley.

    In 1960, after suffering a small stroke, Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, set out to see America in a pickup truck with a camper on back. It depicks life in the '60's.

    He did not keep notes and wrote the book after the trip. It was actually written in Barbados and finished in New York. It became the largest commercial success of his career.

    Tuesday, October 31, 2006


    Seems these are what come to mind when we think of "outhouses".

    In yesterdays post I failed to mention the cute decor of the bathroom at the restaurant in Calico Rock. It was a very old building with high ceilings, rough painted walls and the original wood floors.

    The walls of the men's restroom were covered with framed 8x10 photos of old outhouses and a caption with the state where it is located. Very original, I thought.

    Sunday, October 29, 2006

    Fall Colors

    We made a drive thru the Ozark National Forest today to take in the beautiful fall colors. We drove to Mountain View, Ar. and up hwy 5 to Calico Rock.

    Since my photos will not do justice to the foliage, I thought I would show you the quaint hamlet of Calico Rock.

    Just around this curve is the bridge that crosses the White River and Calico Rock.

    This was taken from the bridge and shows some of the building on the bluff of White River.

    These two were taken from the end of the bridge.
    What you see is about all the old town there is. Just over the hill the road forks and there is a little newer town but not much.

    We had lunch at Don Quixote's Restaurant. Their menu is written on a black board and today they had a choice of six items if you count "cheeseburger".
    The other five choices were gourmet quality meals.

    We had Grilled Ham and Cheddar Sandwich and Pasta Fagoli Soup. The bread was homemade multi-grain wheat that was about 8 inch square with about 1/2 inch of thin sliced country ham and a large thick slice of quality Cheddar. It made for a VERY large sandwich. The Fagoli soup was made with homemade pasta. All this for $5.95. We were stuffed so had the homemade Apple Strudel to go.

    Saturday, October 28, 2006


    Even tho I spend long hours in my truck, I seldom listen to the radio. Music is just not a big part of my life. That said, I would like to tell you about "Flintstone" (my car toy). Flintstone had no radio when I bought it and I finally bought a stock radio to fill the hole in the console.

    I didn't need a gadzillion watt radio as I am not into that "jungle bunny noise" being passed off as music. I like classic rock and if a rear seat speaker was all I needed back in the day, then a modern factory radio will more than surffice.

    Yesterday was the first day to drive Flintstone to work with "tunes". For a old gear head, it doesn't get much better than this. Just like yester year.

    Roll the window down, crank the music up, power shift thru the 4-speed, listen to the barely legal exhaust tone, and hear that 4-barrel moan. Hot dang, that is therapeutic.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Step 1

    I applied for my passport today. I plan to visit my son in Le Mans, France in the spring.

    If you know me then you know this is a big step for me. I am looking forward to the trip but don't mind telling that I am a little apprehensive about it.


    I seem to be stuck in the dulldrums after coming out of a period of anger and depression. I swing into these moods from time to time and am glad when I recover.

    I was paid a "compliment" at work this week. I was told that I am "opinionated". Not stubborn or bullheaded but opinionated. I would hate to be so shallow that I didn't have an opinion. One should stand up for their opinion even if it is not the popular one.

    If at work there is a statement made that everyone is afraid to say. No one has to ask who made it because they know it came from me. I have always thought if something needs said then it should be said.

    Why should we be afraid of stating our opinions? Changes only come about when enough people stand up for what they believe in.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006


    Yesterday while unloading 1/2 pints of school milk, I noticed the side of the carton asking kids to nominate their teacher for "Teacher of the Year".

    As a student of six different (seven it you count going to one 2 different times) schools, I have had my share of teachers. Most were OK, several had no business in the profession, and 3 were outstanding.

    Mr. Stark,
    As a young boy who had lost his father this teacher was special to me. He lived on the back side of my block across the open field we all used as our playground. Mr. Stark was elderly and several times he asked if I join he and his wife for dinner. Sometimes I would go over and just talk with him. I can't recall anything we ever talked about and that wasn't really important. Just the fact he was there to listen.

    Mrs. Roach,
    She and her husband were both teachers. He taught History and she taught English. They were in the twilight of long teaching careers and were childless. She made me realize that my poor grades had little to do with my intelligence. She was the one that administered the standardized tests and I always scored a lot better than my grades indicated that I should.

    Mrs. Slayton,
    My senior year and in a new school. I was a very scared and angry teenager. I was trying to act tough and not let everyone see my real feelings. Six years after my dad had died, my mom married his younger brother. To make matters worse, I was plunged in a house without a bathroom and a first cousin/step-brother my same age. He was honor student and a nerd. I had always been the quiet (cowed-down) type but at a new school, I could appear to be anything of my choosing. Mrs. Slayton saw thro to the real me and helped me fit in.

    These three teachers might or might not have been great classroom (but I think they were) teachers but they possessed the greatest characteristic a teacher can have. They believed in me when I did not believe in myself. That is huge!

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Terrible Weather !

    The weather here the last couple of days have been horrible. Temps in the 70's with a light breeze. God, I hate it. I deplore having to work under these conditions.

    I like to work when I need to get in the truck to get warm, cool down, or dry out. These gorgeous days make it hard to be cooped up in a truck. It is bad this time of year but the spring is the worst.

    Every fall and spring it all I can do not to quit and just enjoy the weather by spending all day outside.

    Hope you are also having this "terrible weather".

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Roadtrek 190

    As I approached the restroom at the roadside park south of Gurdon, Ar. on I-30, I spotted a Roadtrek 190 B-class motorhome like the one in the picture. Being a big fan of B-class motorhomes and the Roadtrek in particular, I decided to investigate.

    As I walked past the front, the Dashound in the front seat let out with a "Mom, someone is here" bark, followed by a "would you pet me" look.

    The lady in the kitchen looked up as I said hello and asked her about the camper. She said they had been to the east coast for the summer and were on their way back to Beaumont, Tx. When I asked about the gas mileage, she turned to the rear of the coach and asked "Sue" about it.

    Turns out it was two older ladies traveling together. They said this was the third year for them to head for cooler temps for the summer. About 200 miles was a long day for them. They were not in any hurry to get back home. They were staying in campgrounds about twice a week and boondocking the rest of the time when the weather cooperated.

    It was about 4pm when I talked to them as they were having dinner . The camper was parked under a big shade tree with the windows open and they said they were there for the night. A beautiful night for camping, about 55 degrees and a gentle breeze.

    Really nice to see two independent older ladies out enjoying themselves.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006


    As a long time reader of
  • Countryside magazine
  • , I have been hearing about the book, Five Acres and Independence, for a long time. It is not an easy book to find, but I finally obtained a copy last week. I am SO disappointed in it. I thought the copyright was in the 70's but that was when it was re-released. The copyright is 1934. The book is full of common sense ideas but for the most part it is just too outdated to be a "good read".

    Sunday, October 01, 2006

    October Book Review

    Seeing "the walker" a few days ago reminded me of this book.

    "A Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins.
    Peter sets out with a backpack and his dog in the 1970's and walks from the northeast to New Orleans, finds the love of his life and he and his wife walk to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way his dog is accidentally killed, he lives with a black family for several months while working at a sawmill in North Carolina, meets a mountain hermit and he and his wife are befriended by an old rancher in Colorado.

    I think you will find this a very interesting book.

    Saturday, September 30, 2006

    Deer Camp

    For my 100th post I will tell you the "deer camp" story. While I neither own a gun nor hunt, I have been to my friends deer camp a couple times.

    The deer camp is pretty typical of what you will find in south Arkansas. Timber land leased from a timber company that gives the deer camp the "right" to hunt and camp on the land in exchange for a signed contract that includes paying the timber company rent, furnishing insurance, and abiding by the rules the company set forth.

    My friends deer camp has a clearing that contains a gas pipeline running thru it. The leased land is not fenced but all log roads and the pipeline clearing have gates across them. After you exit a gravel road onto the pipeline you travel about 300 yards and the deer camp is an acre or so clearing on the side of the pipeline clearing. Hidden from the country gravel road and no one knows you are even up there. Everyone has his own spot to park his camper.

    I have been invited to their "work day" outing that take place before deer season. They are good stewards of the land and wildlife. On these work days food plots are planted (part of the contract ) for the deer and fallen trees are cleared to prevent forrest fires. Since it is not hunting season, beer is allowed and a cookout follows the day of work. Free food and free beer, that is a combination I seldom turn down.

    The members of the deer camp can use it for camping year-round and my friend will go down 3 or 4 times a year just to get away and ride his ATV. He has an old recliner that he leaves down there under a tarp and likes to get a nap in it under the awning of his camper.

    A couple years ago he and his wife (a few years older than me) had bought a new camper and went down one weekend to try it out. They rode the ATV and then come back to the camper for lunch. After lunch Bob left Sue (the names have been changed to protect the guilty) at the camper and went to look at one of his food plots. Sue gets a shower while he is gone and being that the day was so pretty, just slips out of the shower and lays in the recliner.

    Upon returning and finding her outside in the nude, he questioned her about it even though there way no way anyone could have seen her. The answer she gave would have made a great tv commercial.

    Deer Camp Dues = $200

    Camper = $10,000

    Giving the right answer, "If they hadn't seen one before then they would not know to look and if they had seen one then they would not want to look at this one." = Priceless

    Friday, September 29, 2006

    Fall has arrived!

    Yesterday I made a nice little 600 mile trip from Little Rock to Fayetteville to Joplin,Mo. to Springfield, Mo. and back to Little Rock.

    It was a very enjoyable trip and I was able to look over a couple of the dairies that are owned by our parent company. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful.

    I needed to go to Springfield to pick up a truck. I was originally supposed to make the Fayetteville run but this came up. I rode with a new driver to Fayetteville and explained the drop at Pinnicle Foods. He then took us over to the Hiland Dairy at Fayetteville where I caught a ride with a driver from Joplin that was making a delivery. We had to switch trailers in Joplin before heading to Springfield.

    After picking up my truck in Springfield, I headed back to Little Rock via US65. Branson, Mo., Harrison, Marshall, Clinton, and finally Comway, Ar. Right thru the heart of the Ozarks.

    I have not had long pants on for about 3 months (great to be able to work in shorts and a company polo). It was in the 40's when I came thru Marshall and I had to turn the heater on. Just made me think how much I love to open a window, grab the covers, and sleep like a baby. I can't remember when I have had a pleasant and restful night of sleep.

    It was not quite that cool when I arrived home (after a very long day), but with the vents of the motorhome open and a small fan, I still needed to pull on the covers.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    The walker

    Our "yard" that I deliver to in Texas is about 15 miles west of Texarkana on US82. We are just east of Lone Star Ammunition Plant. As I was finishing my duties yesterday about 6pm, I saw this man walking down the road.

    I could tell by the things he was carrying that he was not a local out for an afternoon stroll. He was walking west on the opposite side of the road in the shade.

    I grabbed my camera and went over to talk to him. I asked if he would come over to my side of the road where the sun would be better. The sun washed the photos a little .

    He said he was walking across America to bring awareness to
  • the Minuteman Project
  • . I had heard about it but I had to wait until I could GOOGLE it to know just what he was talking about.

    He showed me a very worn Minute Man registration card with his name and address. He was from Battle Creek, Mi. and his name was FRIEND WILKINS. He assured me that was his real name.

    In the spring he had started in Nashville, Tn. and had walked to Texarkana, then went home for the summer. He had just arrived back in Texarkana to continue his trip to Gallup. It was his first day back on the road and was a little overwhelmed by all the traffic on US82. The Lone Star plant lets out at 4:30 and most people live in Texarkana, so he was greeted with wall to wall cars.

    We talked a while and when it was time for him to go. I shook his hand and said, "Good luck, Friend". I know, I know, that was lame.

    I update my "Sam's Fiero" link if anyone is interested.

    Sunday, September 24, 2006


    Three years ago this December I failed my DOT physical because of sugar in my urine. I was sent to the doctor only to find out I had type 2 diabetes . I was given a 3 month DOT physical card to see if I could get my diabetes under control. My sugar was just a little high and could still drive.

    Naturally at 248 lbs, the doctor said I needed to lose weight as well as eating healthier. Since I had to be retested at the end of 3 months, I knew I had no choice but do what ever I had to do go get my sugar under control.

    A diabetic diet really is easy to follow but just not the amount of food I was used to eating. I have oatmeal (the first time in my life to eat the stuff) for breakfast and my other two meals were about the size of tv dinners, 4 oz of baked chicken a 1/4 cup of two veggies and a small salad. I would have an apple for an afternoon smack.

    I also started riding a bicycle. The weight came flying off. In about 10 weeks I was down to 174 lbs. I was now riding my bike for 20 miles (about an hour and half) at least three days a week and was riding 30 to 45 minutes every chance I could.

    My doctor decides my blood pressure of 120 on the high side was perfect for healthy people but she ( yes, I have a female doctor) wanted it lower because of my diabetes. She puts me on avandia, crestor and avapro.

    The avapro is for my blood pressure and she starts me off with 1/2 the regular dose for a week and then on to the full dose. My appointments are scheduled two weeks apart. I started feeling light headed and would about pass out ( I did on 2 occasions) every time I raised up too fast.

    I checked my blood pressure at Wal-Mart and it seemed low so I checked with the pharmacist and she said I might want to see my doctor about it. I go over to the clinic and ask that my blood pressure be checked. Well after hurrying across the parking lot and being checked as soon as I asked, it was over 100 an told not to worry about it.

    On my next appointment (of course I get to set in the office for while), they have a young assistant take my BP. She didn't write anything on my chart and promptly left the room. In a minute she returns with the head nurse. After taking my BP she tells the assistant that she did nothing wrong and I didn't have any BP (72/46). The doctor comes in and tells me that she is putting me in the hospital. If you know me then you know "that ain't gonna happen".

    I tell her I have worked 12 to 14 hours the day before and I can "get some rest" at home. After agreeing to go to the hospital (had to go in a wheel chair, she would not let me walk) for a heart valve check, she said if it came back ok then I could go home rest and come back after the weekend.

    The test came back fine but showed I was 2 pints low on blood. What do you expect, you are starving me to death. She stops all my medication and they can find my reason for my lack of blood. Since I never take medicine, she surmises my body can not tolerate 3 medicines at once.

    My sugar is under control but she is worried about my cholesterol. She is very young and can only think like the "book" says.

    Fast forward, I kept my weight off for about 2 years but once I started cheating on my diet I couldn't stop. At 174 lbs I was so thin that when I lay down you could feel my backbone thro my abdomen. About 185 is about right but I am now close to 220, and eating pretty much what ever I want. Though my sugar is under control, I am having some other problems so I think I need to get back on the program. I haven't ridden any distance on the bike in over 18 months.

    My problem is my "auto-pilot" is not working anymore. I now have to think about everything I do. Even then I find myself "lost". I have to go back and go thro the sequence of events to get up to speed as to where I can while performing my everyday tasks.

    We all have from time to time been so busy thinking about other things that we momentarily get lost, but I now seem to be having this problem on an almost daily basis. My job is not "rocket science" but if you break down each task I perform then it can become overwhelming at times. Add to that the fact my mind seems to be constantly churning with ideas and it is easy to loose my way.

    I went to Monticello and Hamburg yesterday and had to set my mind at ease several times that I was even going the right way. No, they are not long spells of being "lost", but just brief moments that I have to "think" about things that should come as second nature to me.

    It may be "old age" but I am hoping it is just not eating right. I want my "auto-pilot" back. No one and I repeat no one hates to make a mistake that is my fault more than I.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    A road less traveled

    Yesterday after exchanging a trailer at Camden, I headed across the state to Dumas to swap out their truck. It has been years since I traveled this road and I caught myself looking around the yards for the old cars and trucks that used to be on this road.

    I wasn't even thinking about any one vehicle in particular but as I passed house after house my mind would visualize what used to be in those yards. After close to 15 years since traveling these roads there was 2 cars and 1 truck still sitting where I remember them. Needless to say, I guess they are not for sale.

    When I visited my friend Jimmy last week, he told of a friend that had bought a old pickup that many had tried to buy over the years. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

    We all have tried to buy things that just was "not for sale", only to find out later that it was given away or just trashed. is a great way to find people that want and NEED things you no longer have a need for. I urge you to sign up for a group in you area and start recycling things instead of filling up our landfills. Truly, "one man's trash is another man's treasure".

    Gosh, I start writing about one thing and it just leads to another. I wonder if it is because my mind has so many "roads" in it for my thoughts to travel on. Nah, probably it's because there is so much empty space that my thoughts have no direction to head.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    I need to "get a life"

    As I work six days a week and never seem to meet anyone interesting, I start to wonder what I can do to "get a life". My run to Texas is not conducive to meeting people. The rest area on I-30 if more of a "take a leak and go" type place and I haven't found a good place to pull in for coffee.

    Part of this has to do with leaving about noon (sure like that is happening) and being to warm to want coffee. The other part has to do with pulling "doubles" (7/06/06 post).You have to circle around with them as you "don't" back the pair, making a spot to pull in hard to find. I don't care for large truck stops in that all you see are truckers.

    I know, you think I am a "trucker", no I am not, "I drive a truck". There is a big difference.

    On a different note: How many blogs do you visit on a regular basic?

    Sunday, September 17, 2006


    Last week I made a run to Fayetteville with cream to a plant that makes Swanson tv dinners. They use the cream for batter and to make gravy.

    It was good to be on the road that I used to drive. I stopped at my usual
  • c-store
  • for coffee but as with most c-stores there wasn't anyone working there that I recognized.

    At the
  • rest area
  • there wasn't much activity. I guess I just hit it at the wrong time of day.

    They still are not finished with
  • the lake
  • but the thing that really seemed strange was at Fayetteville for the first time in 10 years I did not think about trying to call my son or meet him for lunch. Time marches on I guess.

    It was an unevenful day but it sure was nice to be on the road that has provided me with many great memories.

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    Can openers

    For the past several years finding a can opener that will actually open a can has been a "crap shoot' at best. I am left-handed. No, I am not ambidextrous, I am left-handed, left-handed, left-handed. Heck, I can't even wave with my right hand without slapping myself. Every can opener I find is designed by and for right-handed people. Add that to the fact that the lids of cans are not uniform, plus the quality of can openers leave a lot to be desired.

    I have tried several styles of electric models from the cabinet type to the portable type and never found one that I can use very easily. My right hand just will not cooperate. It's like shooting a rifle off your right shoulder but aiming with your left eye.

    The old fashion hand operated can openers work best for me. Until now I haven't found one of the quality that my mom used.

    Enter Lehman's. They are located in Ohio and are a major supplier of goods to the Amish. I purchased this can-opener from them.

    It may look like a Wally-World special but it is far from that. It appears to be made of tempered metal and the twist handle is welded to the gear instead of pressed on. The twist handle is "oversized" and the cutter is gear drive. It is an absolute pleasure to use. It clamps and cuts a can like no other can opener I have ever used.

    By the time you get you electric can opener lined up, I will already have my can opened. I could not get the URL to pre-load so if you want to see the page you will have to "copy and paste". If you have never seen their catalog, it is worth checking out.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006


    Ask me who my best friend is and I will say without hesitation that it is "Jimmy". I stopped by his place today and had a three hour visit. Truly an enjoyable afternoon.

    Jimmy had been my best friend for over 30 years, so we go back a ways. We have overhauled our share of engines together and shared many happy hours working in his home shop. You see, Jimmy is a "car guy" and 7 years older ( I should look so good). He is one of a dying breed of shade-tree mechanics, and I use that term with the utmost respect.

    With all the computers on automobiles today, there are no mechanics just technetions. Plug in the computer and it will tell you what is wrong and all you have to do is replace the faulty part. No one repairs anything anymore, just replace it.

    Our visit was to short as always. One would tell a story and then the other. We talked about cars we have had, cars we have worked on together, and cars we always wanted but never could afford. The past is never better than when it is shared between friends. It amazes me that true friends can get together after months or years and just carry on conversation like they saw each other yesterday.

    Jimmy is the most liked person I have ever known. Not once have I ever heard anyone say anything against him. That is saying a lot when he has lived all his live in a town with less than 200 people. He is my best friend and I feel privileged that he calls me one of this friends.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    Losing it

    I was in a "funk" all last week and really couldn't think of anything positive to post. It all started last Monday (on my shorter day). I called to check on the status of my load and was told it would be ready about noon. It takes at least an hour to do the necessary paper work and get my trailer hooked up and be ready to go.

    I get to the dairy about 10:45 am and was told they still owed my load some milk that hadn't been run . We bottle different labels of milk for various stores and naturally they do not have the same UPC (that little label they scan at the register). Sometimes you can substitute another label if they happen to carry COLEMAN brand milk as well as their store brand. This store did not,so I "had " to wait on the right milk. No big deal as it happens on a regular basis.

    When they finally get around to bottling the milk ( I say "bottling and not producing" because it is the same milk just labeled differently) I am waiting for, I drive out of the dairy about 6:10 pm. Plus I have extra milk on the trailer that must be put on a different truck. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I arrived back at the dairy after 3am and after finishing fueling and doing paper work it was 4 am when I made it home.

    The week just went down hill from there. Every day it was something until Friday when I really lost it and told everyone what I thought about the whole situation. Most of the time I try to "grin and bare it". On Friday I told them I was going to "grin and bare it" and when I did they could kiss what I was baring. They took it all in stride because they knew I had every right to be upset.

    We are 2 drivers short and I knew this wasn't the best time to ask for a vacation because of that fact. Well one of our drivers is on vacation for 2 weeks. When I said something about it, I as given this explanation. "He does the kind of run we can put anyone on, even a new hire." The answer did not sit well with me.

    We hire ON-SITE MOBILE WASHING to wash our truck and trailers on Saturdays. They do a terrible job at best. After they "washed" my truck, this is how it looked.
    The passenger side mirror was not touched (never is). The frame was not washed. If is wasn't painted white, it did not get washed.
    A clean truck is more than an image issue. It is also a maintenance issue. If you look at the last photo, you will see what looks like a small mushroom. That is the "vent " for one of the rearends. When the gears turn inside the rearend it builds up pressure and that pressure is released thru the vent . When it get stopped up from road grime the pressure has to go somewhere so it blows an axle seal. That's $$$'s plus down time.

    OK, enough of this. Would someone help me down, I'm getting dizzy up here.

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