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.

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