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.

    Free Web Counters
    South Beach Diet Food