Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Viewing Another Direction

From my drivers seat I get to look down on some amazing sights, some that are hard to report on a family friendly blog.

Saturday the amazing views came from looking up instead of down. My Saturday run has me circling the Jacksonville Air Force Base and they were having a open house military air base show.

The airbase is the home of the C-130 cargo planes and we see them flying in formation almost every day.

For the "airshow", the Navy Blue Angels were brought in to perform. While I did not go to the show, I had a great seat for the show as they made their turns just over my truck as they made their way back to pass over the crowds at the airbase.

If you have never had a chance to see the Blue Angels, you are missing a show that will make you shutter with patriotism.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Good View

Women that drive SUV's say they like them because they sit up high and are provided a "good view of everything". I will agree because of what happened today.

A women driving a suv on the interstate today got a "nature call" and she answered the call by pulling on the shoulder and opening both right side doors and "dropping and squatting" between them.. The front and rear doors blocked the views of her torso but guess what was showing below the door, oops!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Take

If Henry Paulson called and asked my opinion (fat change since I am not a billionaire), I would say,

Hank old boy,
While I am not start enough to figure all of this out, I don't think I want my money in this deal. So if you would kindly just leave my money (and my grandchildren and great grandchildren) out of this "billionaire's bailout" maybe just maybe we can part on friendly terms.
700 billion dollars this week, a few billion in the near future for the auto companies, and lets not forget that wee bit of money spent on the war.
I keep hearing "Too big to let fail", Hank do you think that "America is to big to fail"?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower. Ike was our last president elected before television played a major role in the election process and therefore in my opinion, the last president elected solely on merit and not personality.

This post is not about politics but about "Hurricane Ike". While it reeked havoc on Texas, it was a none issue at my house. Hurricanes along the Gulf Coast always adds dollars to my pay check because of the added milk needed to serve evacuees .

Hurricane Gustov added dollars but brought with it lots of rain and therefore I had to drive my truck to work and not my gas saving motorcycle.

Hurricane Ike added dollars but I was able to ride my bike because we missed the heavy rain. I am not unsympathetic toward the victims but just realistic about the over all picture. While doing my job, I know I am helping in my own way.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It is HOT!

The temps in central Arkansas are at near record highs. Yesterday it was 105F with a heat index of 116F and with no relief in site for a few more days.

Friday coming back from Texarkana on I-30 I could see the smoke for several miles and had plenty of time to get my camera ready as I knew it had to be a wreck or vehicle fire. The traffic was moving at a nice rate of speed in my lane so I took this picture through my windshield.

It was a 18wheeler burning but it had not been in a wreck. It appeared that the fire started in the front of his trailer. The fire department had their hands full as the fire was in the woods beside the interstate.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Brotherly Love

About four this afternoon I stopped at my usual c-store for a cup of java (hey it was only in the upper 90's). While I fixed my coffee a young boy (about 12 or 13) and younger sister (about 8 or 9) came in , each holding a dollar.

The girl was looking at an orange soda but her brother talked her into a Dr. Pepper as that was what he was buying for himself. The can drinks were priced at 79 cent each and after making her selection, her brother offered to pay for it and took her dollar and the Dr. Pepper to the cashier while the girl waited by the door.

He paid for the two Dr. Peppers and walked over to her and gave her a quarter and her Dr. Pepper. She was surprised at getting a quarter back and he said something to her and patted her on her back and opened the door and they were gone.

She was getting a dose of "brotherly love", what he saw but she did not was the sign,
Dr. Pepper, 2/$1.00.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Taking Action

Trading for a more fuel efficient vehicle may say gas but it probably will not save you any money. If you need to replace your ride then by all means replace it with a smarter choice but if gas savings are needed now, then the best way is "drive slower".

I guess these people got tired of everyone honking their horns because they were not driving like a BOH on the freeway. They were actually driving 55mph in a 60mph zone thru town. They had been in the slow lane and moved over so I could get on the interstate.

I grabbed on camera and took this picture thru my windshield. As I passed I did toot my horn (the electric one, not the loud air-horn) and gave then a "thumbs up".

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

$4 gas a good thing?

Just a few stations in the pricier part of town has $4 a gallon gas (so far). Gas prices are on every ones mind and that is about all that is being discussed at work.

Everyone is talking about driving less and starting to question ALL of their buying decisions. It is amazing that gas prices have gotten people to do what they should be doing in the first place.

Driving less not only saves gas but saves money that are often not included when we think of the cost of a trip. Maintenance cost, replacement costs, accelerated depreciation and of course the biggie, convenient store snacks.

I have seen several older model high gas mileage cars on the interstate in the past month or so. Two were Ford Fiestas like the one in the picture and one looked like it had been sitting under a tree for years and just put back on the road. New tires, fresh tags, but not even a quick wash job. I'm sure it was pressed into being used as a work car because of the price of gas.

The price of crude oil is down $6 a barrel in the past 2 days but over all I think gas prices will be higher next year and even higher the next. We all need to find ways to save on gas and not give our retirement to the gas companies.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

An enjoyable day

I took a little ride last Thursday on my motorcycle to run an errand and stopped by to see my friend Jimmy.

I have written about Jimmy before but I decided that after 30+ years I should have a picture of us.

He is the good looking one on the right. He goes days, weeks and sometimes months without ever leaving his place.

Lonely? Hardly, I cannot ever remember visiting without someone else stopping by to do the same. Six days a week you will always find him out at his garage. On Sunday you can find him on his porch after church.

Besides his garage, his other passion is raising a garden and I was sent home with some ripe "maters".

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Sidewalks being installed seems like an everyday occurrence, but hopefully it shows a shift in governmental policy.

Our town is a "bedroom community" for the Little Rock, Arkansas area. The road you see is Arkansas State Highway 5. As our town developed along this highway there were no sidewalks installed. The town has just started to develop on this side of the interstate in the last few years.

This is the only sidewalk along the highway. There is an elementary school where the sidewalk ends at the top of picture. To the left and also behind where I am standing is all now housing developments with young families.

There is no safe way for children to walk to school and the parents drive them. In the five years I have lived here I can count on one hand the number of children I have seen walking to school.

With gas prices at $4 and only going up in the future, maybe our city government has finally wised up to the fact that some people just can no longer afford to drive their children to school and maybe we can get back to "walking to school".

The sidewalks and cross walks will provide children (and their parents if they so choose) a safe path to school. A city police car is there mornings and afternoons. Hopefully there will be sidewalks added to the other side of the road as that is the side with the most homes.

It will not be a quick and easy transition but all it takes is a few parents and kids using it to start a trend. Our country is facing challenges and we all must step up to the plate.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sense of Humor

Upon returning to work I found that management has a sense of humor. We have a new "hot-shot truck" and while I was on vacation it had decals installed.

We use this hot-shot truck to deliver up to 100 cases instead of takes a big rig and trailer.

The truck has decals to make it look like an ambulance and enlarge the picture and read what is on the back door. I took this picture thru the windshield of my truck and it makes the decals appear to be added with "photo shop" but it is real.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Thursday afternoon as I was walking around the park I heard a loudspeaker giving orders. As I rounded the corner I spotted two fire department boats. They were there for their monthly training of using the "pumper boats" to load the fire department tanker truck and use the pumper truck to pump the water back in the lake.

The smaller boat (872) has a portable engine and pump sitting on the deck. The larger boat (871) has a built in pump that is below the water line and therefor does not need the hose that 872 has draped over the side.

The pumper boat loaded the pumper truck with water and then they loaded this portable water storage tank. Normally this tank is unloaded at a fire site where there is no hydrant available and the the tanker truck will quickly dump its load into it and leave to pick up another load of water while the pumper truck uses the water it is carrying and then use water out of the tank until the tanker truck can return with another load.

This is the stream of water the pumper boat was delivering with the engine at an idle.

After the tank was filled they pumped the water back into the lake.

Not to be outdone the pumper boat got into the act.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lost Bridge Park

Lost Bridge Park is the name of the C.O.E. park we are staying at on Beaver Lake. The bridge was built in the 20's and there was no roads leading to it and the photo below appeared in the local paper and the name "lost bridge" was formed. It was five years before the roads were finished to put the bridge in use.

The lake now covers the original site of the bridge and the park is so named.

The "Coffee View" from our picnic table of the lake this morning.

The white triangle in the lower left of this photo is actually the corner of the picnic table as I am taking this from the back bench of the table.
It blows me away that we can be on the lake and have internet via our "air-card".
I am grilling burgers tonight as we bought wheat Kaiser rolls for the buns. Damn, does life get any better? Well is could if I had purchased a little livation to go with them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

At the lake

After a false start, we are finally at the lake. A couple of months ago we went to Camping World to buy a few things we have been needing. Our Dodge diesel did not have towing mirrors even though it had the factory tow package.

The CIPA brand tow mirrors that I wanted only showed the application up to a 2005 Dodge 2500. I felt they would fit my 2006 and while at Camping World, they let me try one and it fit. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon late and I get around to putting the tow mirrors on (I will only have them on when I need them). I grab the passenger side mirror (the one I had already tried) and put it on and when I opened the other box (marked as drivers side), it was also a passenger side mirror that had been boxed wrong. So we were sitting in front of the store when they opened this morning to exchange the mirror.

We still pulled out about 10 am and after stopping for lunch, we arrived at the lake (about 240 miles) a little before 4pm. The Dodge diesel did a great job towing the 14,000lb. trailer.

We are settled in with satellite tv and internet service.

Our spot is not "lakefront" but across the road from the lake. We have a view of the lake from our living room window and the picnic table. The lake is about a hundred feet from our door.

We are backed in a nice tree shaded spot. Although it might look like we are still hooked to the Dodge, we are not. The camper you see over the hood of the truck is on the lake front.

If you enlarge this picture you can you can see the lake between the pickup and camper.

What the old saying, "If the wife ain't happy, ain't no one happy!".

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My first time

NO, not that "first time". At my age I am lucky to remember my last time for that.

I am talking about pulling our home (camper) for the first time. We have lived in it for over a year but have not moved it in that time. Next week we are pulling it to the mountains of northern Arkansas for vacation. We will be staying on Beaver Lake, close to Eureka Springs.

We traveled in our motorhome several times but this will be a new experience. In the motorhome you are right with all your stuff and if something is not riding properly you just stop and correct it. With the travel trailer I will not know until after the fact. After the first trip we will have a better idea of how things will "ride".

Cell phone coverage can be spotty in the mountains but hopefully there will be a "signal" for our "air-card" and we will have internet access on the lake.
Of course I will set up our Dish network satellite so we hill have tv at night. Really the only thing that will change is our view out the windows and of course we will not have out "deck". Life is good.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Skipped Generation

The older I get the more like my dad I become. While my dad died when I was barely 11 years old, I have many memories of him and of course my mom talked to me about him all the time.

My personality is very "old school" because for all intents and purposes I did not have a dad like most males my age. No I am not talking about losing my dad when I was very young.

You see, my dad was born in 1902, the age of most of my friend's grandfathers. My dad was 46 when I was born and gone by 57 years old. My mom and I spent my formative years visiting her sisters and their husbands. All of the same "older" generation.

They knew "The Great Depression" first hand as young parents just trying to keep the family from starving. The next generation (the generation that was skipped on me) knew better times and formed a softer outlook on life.

I can be hard as nails and I contribute that to the "turn of the century" people that helped form my character. These people believed in hard work, taking care of your own, don't expect the world to owe you anything, and hard work. I know I said that twice but that is what they knew.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My motorbike

I have ridden my motorbike to work everyday and it is averaging over 75mpg. Hard to call a 200cc a motorcycle even though it is . I had forgotten how one notices the smells and the temperature changes while on a cycle.

I changed the oil yesterday in anticipation of taking a little ride on Thursday but the boss called and asked if I wanted to work. You may recall the I will be working just every other Thursday for the summer. This was purely voluntary on my part as the runs that were cut for the summer was being run by one person and he would not have enough work.

Swapping with him every other Thursday (my shortest day) helped him but does not effect my paycheck greatly. Also I live less than 15 miles from work and he lives 60 miles, so if (like tomorrow) anything comes up the boss will throw it my way. When you help someone it usually pays dividends.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Milk tankers

Have you ever wondered how the milk stays cold in the "milk tankers" you see on the highway? What, you never thought about it!

There is no visible refrigeration on milk tanks.

You can clearly see "reefer" units on the trailer that we haul the finished milk products on.

The truth of the matter is, the milk tankers have no way of cooling the milk. Not to worry. The dairy farmer cools the milk after he milks the cows and it is cold when it is loaded into the tankers. The milk has to be a certain temperature before the tanker truck can accept it.

Then the tanker is really just a large "thermos bottle", keeping the milk cold until it reaches the dairy processing plant. When the tanker arrives, the temperature of the milk is checked and if it is cool enough to be accepted then milk samples are taken to our lab to be checked for bacteria and acidity. After all requirements are met, then it will be unloaded. The health department has strict guidelines that must be followed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Got Milk?

At a dairy the answer should always be "yes". We receive our raw milk by the semi truck tanker load and sometimes we process milk faster than we can receive it.

We are replacing two smaller milk silos with two of these 106 ft. tall, 60,000 gallon, stainless steel silos. Each silo will hold about ten tanker loads of milk. We have to have at least two silos because milk can only be stored for so long in each silo and it must be emptied and sanitized before it can to filled again. Hence, production can continue from one silo while the other is being washed.

We moved two smaller silos that will be placed beside the short white silo that is visible in the right of this picture. These smaller silos will now be used to help with our production capacity of not raw milk products.

BTW, the non- reefer trailers you see in this photo are backed to the warehouse dock and are used for milk jug storage and other non temperature sensitive loads.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It has happened again

I don't really see the big deal about having birthdays. Just still be breathing and they will come. SIXTY is a milestone and today "I is".

When I was a teenager, I thought sixty was "OLD", probably the only time as a teenager when I was right!

I wanted to take the day off but my wife said, "Get your lazy ass out the door and make me some money".

A little ironic as starting next week I will be cut back to working every other Thursday as school will be out and some of our runs are being eliminated for the summer. We have plenty of work (even need to hire a driver) but I don't want to run WAL-MART stores. So I will work 4 days every other week and be available should they need me on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

13 years is too long

13 years is the longest time in my life that I have not owned a motor scooter or motorcycle, enough is enough.

Shortly after selling my Honda Goldwing in 1995, I broke my tailbone at work. I thought my riding days were over as my tailbone bothered me for years.

For my 60th birthday (on the 22nd of May), I bought a small light weight motorcycle. They used to be called enduro bikes or street and trail but are now referred to as dual-purpose. I wanted something that was light weight so I can carry it on the back of our camper but still be fast enough for the highway.

It is a Lifan 200GY-5, make in China. It has a 200cc engine and will run about 75mph and get about 65-75mpg on gas. I plan on commuting to work on it (weather permitting).

Monday, May 05, 2008

Back at work

Today was my first day back to work after playing hookey last week. I had a very short day and made it fine.

No shortage of breath and had plenty of energy. I'm off tomorrow and then have a long day Wednesday. I'm well rested and we will see how I handle four long days in a row. I really feel great and think I was more nervous about my health than any major problem I was having.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May book review

"The Summons",
by John Grisham

Judge Atlee, a powerful and beloved judge from Clanton, Mississippi was on his death bed when he sent a typed "summons" to his two sons to appear before him to work out the details of his estate. The summons gave the date and time just as the judge has always tried to rule their lives.

Ray Atlee, the eldest son is a professor of law at the University of Virginia and Forrest was a drug addict. The judge appears to have died just before Jay arrives and Forrest shows up an hour later. In the mean time Ray has found 13 boxes of $100 bills (over 3 million dollars) and don't know how the "honest old judge" could have saved that that much money.

It was a quick read at under 400 pages and can't say it was up the "Grisham Standard" one has come to except but it was still worth reading.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All is well (almost anyway)

My angiogram showed I have one small vein with 90% blockage but they can't put a stint in it as it might compromise the two veins beside it that are free flowing.

One other is 30% to 40% blocked (they only stint if 70% or higher), so I will be on medicine to try to rectify the situation. All in all a very good report.

I will take the rest of the week off work as I am not suppose to lift anything over 10 lbs. for five days.

We have had a phone line based DLS for some time and for some reason our phone line stopped accepting phone calls over a year ago. No big deal as we always give our cell phone numbers for contact information. The problem was we were paying a phone line bill and a DSL bill.

This weekend we switched to an "air card" for our internet. We bought the USB port "air card" because it will work on our desk top computer and lap top. The "air card" will work anywhere we have AT&T cell phone coverage. The higher the number of "bars", the faster the internet connection.

The "air card" is a separate phone number and in no way has any bearing on our cell phone service. They just use the same cell towers. We are pleased with the speed of the internet connection and look forward to having internet with our laptop when we are traveling.

One added benefit is the $30 monthly savings. Mobile coverage and a small monthly saving, works for me.

$30, heck that will buy nearly 8 gallons of gas (if it didn't go up overnight).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still Kicking!

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted but I have been under the weather and have been resting on the couch instead of sitting at the computer.

I thought I had pneumonia because I was so short of breath, but after going to the doctor ( that shows how sick I have felt), my lungs were clear and I finally saw a cardiologist yesterday.

My family has a history of heart disease and I was a little apprehensive but my heart and valves checked out very strong. With my family history the doctor decided to forgo the stress test and is scheduling an angiogram.

As long as my engine is strong they can replace some hoses if need be. The angiogram is an outpatient procedure but if they find anything they want to correct it right then. That means when they put me under I will not know the outcome until I wake up.

On a lighter note, I sold Flintstone (my Fiero) this week. I had not driven it but once in over a year and decided it was time to get it out of my driveway. I enjoyed working on it more than driving it and don't regret the purchase or the sale.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

April book review

"The Grapes of Wrath"
by John Steinbeck.

It has been decades since the last time I saw the movie "The Grapes of Wrath". A 1940 black and white movie starring Henry Honda. I had never read the book but as always the book is the better of the two (that is saying something since the movie was so great).

This is the most POWERFUL book I have ever read, period! Yes, sometimes the Pulitzer Prize committee gets it right. Partly because my family were the "Joads" only a few years later with only slightly improved conditions and partly by the magnificent way it is written.

Steinbeck's novel is based on articles he had written in San Francisco. The book is about "the Joad" family, one of many thousand (or hundreds of thousands) of Oklahoma "Okies" that were driven from their sharecropper homes because of the great depression and the dust bowl.

Just hard working "salt of the earth" people that just wanted to be able to feed their family at the end of the day.

If you think "money hunger companies" are some thing new, then you need to read this book. How about the whole family picking oranges all day and just making enough money to feed the family one meal.

Not only is it a novel but a great history lesson as well. While fictionalized, it is based on the facts of the era.

If you only read one book this year, PLEASE read this one.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Doing what has to be done

Yesterday I spotted this rig.

This rig is an accident waiting to happen. Besides having a trailer to heavy for the mini-van, the mini-van is front wheel drive, and this rig was being pulled by an old lady (looked to be 80) that could barely walk. She was trying to keep the safety chains from dragging when I first spotted her.

I didn't get to see plates on the mini-van, so I have no idea how far she had already traveled but she entered I-30 heading west. The hitch was near the ground just sitting still. It has to hit the ground when bouncing down the interstate.

We all "do what we have to do", but I hope the u-haul people at least informed her that this would be very unsafe.

Hopefully she makes it without incident.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Reluctant Patriarch

I am the youngest of my family of 7 siblings. I had three brothers and three sisters (one died before I was born).

Today I sadly became the patriarch of my family as I lost my last remaining sibling yesterday. Vivian was 17 years old when I was born and had the same number of children as my mom (7 with one passing ).

Viv was a lot of help to mom and I after dad passed away and even though she lived 90 miles away, she came to see us on a regular basis and would often take us to her house for a week at a time. She would come pick us up and would pay for our bus trip home if she could not take us back.

Her children are just a little younger than I and we were more like brothers and sisters than uncle and nieces and nephew.

After my mom died and we didn't spend Christmas together, we drifted apart raising our own families but were always there for each other when needed .

This picture of her and family was taken after the funeral (in 1994) of her husband.

R.I.P., I love you sis.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Texas drivers

Maybe it's the wide open spaces of Texas, but from my observation Texans drive very fast. Even when they are in Arkansas (why would any out of state driver break the law).

They drive fast but they know how to merge in traffic. Most will speed up to get in front of my truck if there is room or slow to merge behind me. Arkansas drivers (for the most part) will wait until they are on the merge lane to look and decide what to do. I have few choices, I can move over (if I could I would have already done so), or slam on my brakes as I can't speed up in a hurry, or keep my speed and hope they don't dart out in front of me doing 50mph. Then they give me "that look" like it is my fault.

The safe way to merge is to look while you are on the "on ramp" and pick an opening in the traffic that suits you best. Either speed up or slow down to blend in.

I used to drive at speeds that would put a Texan to shame but for years I have found traveling at or slightly below the speed limit (I rarely drive 70mph in my personal vehicle and my big truck is governed to 67mph and the cruise control limit is 62mph) is my preferred style.

One of the best articles on driving slower is here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Smart Car

I have always had a fascination with small cars and I was aware of the Smart Car before I went to France last year and knew they were all over Europe and especially the large cities.

Mirco Cars appears in Europe after WWII but proved not to be practical enough for every day use and the small cars replaced them.

Everyone remembers the Volkswagen "Bug", but there were other very popular makes in the late 50's and early 60's. In California the most popular ones included Hillman, Vauxhall, Simca, Renault, Morris Minor, and Austin American. Used models could be bought for $25-$100.

Most wore out long before they should because Americans drove them 60mph or faster, when they were designed more for speeds of 45mph. They would run fast but they just would not hold up.

Along come the "Bug" and it really didn't have enough power to tear itself apart. The valve train was designed so it could not be over rev'd and therefor became the standard for small cars.

The Smart Car is almost a Micro car. While I am sure you have seen news on the car, I thought I would show to one in traffic on the Champs Elysees
in Paris that I took last spring.

Click on the picture to get a true perspective on its size. Almost all the Smart Cars in Paris (as most cars) were diesel.

I could see myself driving one,

but I seriously lust for one of these little diesel panel trucks.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring fever

My favorite flower is the daffodil. When I see them growing in the wild, they mark "springtime" for me.

Every spring I develop a case of wanderlust. Not just a passing fancy but a severe case that really hits hard and I have trouble not quitting my job and pulling up stakes and traveling. I'm not talking about a trip but a whole new address.

This year the urge is stronger because I know I could actually do it. Maybe that is also the reason that makes it more bearable. The unattainable always has more attraction.

Well, it will pass in a couple of weeks as it does every year. I have taken hitchhiking trips, bus trips, car trips, camping trips, motorcycle trips, moved to the coast or back, and even a trip to France to help with the wanderlust. I think traveling is in my DNA., my dad had it and my brothers suffered from it.

I long for the days of traveling Route 66 when it was "The Mother Road". Boy do I remember the sites, sounds and smells of that grand old highway. My family traveled it so often my dad said we could stop and borrow coffee because they knew we would be back through within a few months. A 1941 Reo flatbed truck started our trips to California.

Guess I will drag out my copy of "The Grapes of Wrath" and do a little reading.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Sunday Drive

The Sunday Drive is a term often given for any drive that is just for pleasure. It is one of life's simple pleasures. In the spring and fall, there is nothing that can compare to driving around slowly with the windows down and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells (also one of the main reasons for owning a motorcycle) of the countryside.

Back in the day (before I had a/c in my cars), finding a tree shaded road just before sunset was sheer joy.

With gas prices almost assured of reaching $4 a gallon and diesel almost there, my "Sunday Drives" no longer seem a viable option. We try to drive as little as possible to keep our fuel costs down. We still take an occasional short drive but always incorporate it with a trip to the store.

If I fuel both my trucks the price tag now exceeds $150. While I live about 13 miles from work, we have several drivers that live over 50 miles and one young man with small children that drives over 70 miles, ouch!

If there is one thing that can put us in a depression (we are already in a recession), it is fuel prices. The price of fuel drives up the price of every thing we buy. Diesel prices really compound this as trucks deliver all our goods.

So the next time someone driving too slow (like driving the speed limit) for you, just remember they might be doing so to save a little gas and you might want to consider doing the same.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow = money

When we receive snow (or it is even mentioned) in Arkansas, people go crazy. They buy all the "milk and bread" in the stores (it is a known fact that in Arkansas people can't survive 2 days without milk and bread).

Most of the state received snow this week with some getting up to 18 inches but here in Little Rock we received about 2 to 4 inches.

My brother-in-law (about an hour away) sent pictures of their 10 inches of snow. This was taken on their patio by the pool.

Snow means extra work in the milk business. From just extra milk on my loads, to extra drops from my trailer, to extra loads.

Extra milk on the trailer doesn't pay extra, extra drops pay a small amount, and extra loads play very well. This week I had extra drops, extra small runs and working on my off days.

Thank you "Mr. Snow Man"

The B-I-L (the one that looks like crap)
The Snow Man (the cute one)
The niece ( "a real honey" [must take after her mother] and 18 today)

Friday, March 07, 2008


From the seat of my truck I have a nice view inside the vehicles that pass. Though the years I have watched the "little movies" (only recorded in my mind) that appear in my drivers door window.

These little clips can last a few seconds to just a quick blink, depending on how fast the vehicle is passed by. City stop and go traffic can produce longer versions of these little movies. Just like the movies at the theater, mine can be rated as G, PG13, R, X, and even XXX.

After dark when I see a vehicle with the interior light on, I usually see someone eating, reading, or selecting a compact disc.

All this looking is just not voyeurism but also a safety issue, as a car passes the air disturbance caused by my large truck can suck the passing car toward my truck ( that's my story and I am sticking to it).

Wednesday night as I was driving from from Texarkana, I noticed a car approaching and as it reached my side window, the interior light came on. The car contained two college aged girls and the the passenger put on a little show for me, I was obligated to look (can you imagine the years of therapy she would have to endure if she couldn't get an old trucker to look) and after a few seconds they both waved and off they went after turning off their interior light.

So, how did I rate the show? Differently a "D" and quite possibly "DD's", hehe.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

March Book Review

"Pretty Boy Floyd", by Larry McMurty (of "Lonesome Dove" fame) and Diana Ossana.

The true facts of any famous person will always be disputed and the life and times of Charley "Pretty Boy" Floyd has many that can not to proven and this novel is written with the known facts, innuendos, and a certain amount of artistic license.

One fact is certain, times were hard in depression era Oklahoma. The novel conjours up the "Joad" family in "Grapes of Wrath". Charley helps enough poor people with food and tore up land mortgages at banks that his was often refereed as the "Robin Hood Bandit".

Pretty Boy Floyd had a wife and a son, a steady girl friend, plus an older woman (lover and mentor in his criminal live), and George Birdwell (his partner in crime).

Charley and George robbed so many banks in Oklahoma that the bank insurance rated doubled in a year.

This a not a book for the prudish but I found it a very intriguing read. After reading the book, I checked out some of the other facts and legends of Floyd online as I knew very little about him before I read the book.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Not much happening

I know it has been a nearly a month since my last update but not much is happening to write about.

My weight is steady at 222lbs.

My schedule has changed and I am no longer driving to Texarkana on Mondays (I still go on Wednesdays and Fridays) and my Mondays are filled with "what-ever" they need me to run.

I have read several entertaining books with month ( have you ever seen TV as crappy as it is right now?).

If you have cable or satellite tv, are you watching "Mad Money" hosted by Jim Cramer? I highly recommend it. It is on CNBC or channel 208 if you have "Dish Network". He pulls no punches when talking about the stock market and his picks are great. I like the "lightning round" where people call in and ask about a stock they are interested in. You can also check him out on the internet.

Watching any financial business show will keep you thinking about your financial future and as with anything, "the more it is on your mind the more you want to follow through on those thoughts".

I will be back over the weekend with my monthly book report about a colorful and infamous man of the 1930's. No, not Al Capone.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Poor Baby

222 lbs.

I have caught the "crud" from getting wet Thursday (or DW gave it to me). I wish I had the day off but Saturday is one of my longer days.
The weather here has really been crazy, winter one day and spring like the next. Hell, I might as well get of the computer. When you start talking about the weather, you know you have nothing to say.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sir Alex

Several years ago we lived on a short dead gravel road by a small AG&F lake. Our neighbor owned "free range" chickens and one of his roosters would wake us up in the morning by crowing.

It was rather funny, if we were already up when he came over, he would just walk around the yard. If we were not up he would crow until we started moving around and making noise or just yell at him.

We named him "LUTHER" and made a game out of him coming over to wake us.

We how have a new "fowl friend", he is a Guinea and I have named him "Sir Alex". He stands by the tires on the Dodge truck all day and he "fusses" when we drive it. Nice to have him around as he will eat any ticks in the neighborhood, now if I could get him to eat ants. Could there be an Aardvark in my future?

Saturday, January 26, 2008


One pound gain for the week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The El Dorado Promise

Hearing grumbling about $3 a gallon gasoline. That is not the case with the El Dorado, Arkansas school students. El Dorado is the home of Murphy Oil Corp. so naturally it provides a large number of high paying jobs in the area, but that is not what has the students excited.

The El Dorado Promise is sponsored by Murphy Oil and it guaranties that every graduating senior ( read the story for the facts) at El Dorado High School that wants to attend a college or university will have their tuition and fees paid in full.

The tuition money is capped by the highest tuition charged in Arkansas but can be used at any school in any state up to the Arkansas cap.

The best students usually receive scholarships at most schools but this program covers any student that gets admitted to a college or university.

A student from a poor family will now know he or she CAN attend a college or university. Students will try harder through their school years because they know there will be a big payoff for them.

If this story doesn't make you feel good about America, I don't know what will.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

See ya down the road

I met another backpacker this week but he was not what I would consider your usual (if there is such a thing) vagabond.

He had his backpack off and taking a break near our yard on hwy82 west of Texarkana, Tx. He asked that I not take any pictures and we had a short chat.

He was eager to talk but was hesitant to give real details. He appeared to be in his late 40's or early 50's. When I asked where he was from he just answered "all over" and then his destination was "just heading down the road".

His clothes were clean and he was clean shaven and his back pack looked fairly new.

His setup was similar to the one above and he was carrying a tent and ground pad. He appeared to be equipped for backpack traveling.

I just wondered if he was "running away" and had not made it far enough from home to give any personal information. Maybe he was just wanting to leave for awhile or perhaps attempting to make a fresh start down the road. Maybe he was just off for a weekend (it was Friday afternoon) hike, but it was one of you coldest (in the low 30's) days this year.

He was very intriguing but I just could not get him to open up. I would like to meet him a month or two down the road and hear his story.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Same-o same-o

221 lbs. and holding.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

"Robbing Peter to pay Paul" is generally referring to taking money from one bill to pay another.

My "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" has to do with my job and my health. The harder my job (loading trucks, not the driving part) the more my heart rate rises and therefor the stronger my heart becomes and that in turns lowers my blood pressure, but the harder I work the more damage I do to my knees.

For years I have used a hook to just drag the stacks of milk. We stack milk crates five or six high and the stacks can vary greatly in the overall weight. I will use gallons of milk as an example: 4 gallons to the case, 8.5 lbs. per gallon= to approx 35 lbs. when you add in the weight of the case. Now a 5 high stack is about 175 lbs. or 6 high is 210 lbs. While your body is not carrying the 200 lbs., the weight is transferred to your knees.

The average stack is dragged about 50 feet multiplied by the number of stacks in the load (70 stacks in a really small load to over 200 stacks in a large one) and one starts to see that it can be quite a workout. A milkman's knees really take a beating but his heart is better for it.

Dragging the milk is faster than rolling the stacks on a two wheel dolly.

With a hook, you just hook the bottom case (while using the other hand to grab the top case to steady the stack), drag the stack (walking backward) and when you get it where you want it just sling it in place.

With the dolly, you have to pull the stack forward enough to tilt it backward so the dolly will go under it, then you have to turn the stack and dolly around and push it where it needs to be (you could walk backwards with it but you have to turn around when you get to the destination anyway), when the stack is where you want it you have to lean the stack forward to pull the dolly out, now you have to push the stack forward into its place tight against the rest of the stacks.

Walking with the stack on a dolly or dragging the stack takes about the same time as "walking is walking", but the extra steps with the dolly adds up. The real difference is the amount of energy between the two. One uses less energy but takes longer.

My knees are not what they used to be so I have been using a dolly for several months ( I am paid by the run so time is not a factor to the dairy). While helping my knees, my heart is not getting the workout several times a week that it needs.

My blood pressure has always been about 117/ 70 . By not exercising my heart my blood pressure is all the way to 147/83 on the high side and 142/76 on other days.

I think a trip to the doctor is close at hand.

Friday, January 11, 2008

221 lbs

One half pound is not much but at least I'm headed in the right direction again. I was a little surprised I hadn't gained this week ( I will let it go at that).

My blood sugar is fine @106, but my blood pressure is still a little high @ 136/76. I need to get back on by bicycle but I just can't seem to get motivated.

My disposition is much improved and I am starting to enjoy my job again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Actually that is the brand name of the vent fans in the ceiling of our rv. Fan-Tastic fans are the standard by which all other fans are judged.

For my non rv readers I will explain their use. They work the way "attic fans" work in an ordinary home. All rvs have a vent fan in the bathroom to pull the steam from the shower.

Most are just a small single speed fan in the 14"x14" opening the will not do a great job. The vent is cranked open and the fan automatically starts turning.

Our Fan-Tastic vent fan in the bathroom is full size to the opening and has 3 speeds plus "off". Select any of the 3 speeds and open the vent and the fan starts or you can place the switch to off and open it without the fan running (more on that later).

All controls are manual. I can reach them but the short one of the family has to use a pair of kitchen tongs to open it by placing the tongs on the black star shaped knob and turning it.

We ordered an automatic fan for the kitchen vent (the stove also has a vent-a-hood). It has a "rain sensor" that will automatically close it if it rains and it will reopen when the sensor dries.

This fan is controlled thermostatically by this wall unit (it can also be manually operated). In "auto" mode you can set the desired "temp and humidity" and the fan will open and run on high until it is reached. In "manual" mode the fan opens and runs on low until you choose to turn it off.

When using the kitchen fan, you can open a window or a door to receive a nice breeze. When the awning is out you can draw in the cool breeze it creates. Also you can just open the bathroom vent with the fan turned off to receive a breeze if you want to keep the doors and windows closed.

These are 12volt fans so they can be used (rvs have 12 batteries attached) even when you are not hooked to regular 120 volt power.

These fans are very powerful and really move a lot of air inside a rv. Roughing it in an rv with the comforts of a attic fan.

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