Wednesday, August 5, 2009

John E. Lothian has resurfaced again, this time in Mississauga

John E Lothian
818 Crawford Mill Ave
Mississauga, ON
L5W 1B4

Jel transport and TSL AB Inc operating a company with the help of members of his family. Using former non-active carrier authorities to book freight mostly to Western Canada from Southern Ontario. Some of this information was gathered from the good folks at InsideTransport. We are currently trying to gather information to notify loadlink. If you have anything that can help please notify us.

Remember in Canada the RCMP has launched a website ( to report econic crimes. If you have been a victim of John E Lothian or you have information that can lead authorities to build a case against John E Lothian and Co. please report it, we strongly ecourage you to do so.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I know – I have been lazy about getting this written the past 3 days. We have been so busy and out of the truck, but I will backtrack to last Friday to catch everyone up. At my last posting, we were sitting in the middle of a bean field trying to find someone to unload us! Mark called every number we could find, for every company that was associated with the load, until he had everyone “stirred up”. By 11:00 that morning, after 3 hours, he had 3 people show up and they sent a "welder" from another job to unload us. Of course, we didn’t care who they sent by that point! Needless to say, we couldn’t get a load out. By the time we finally left there, it was already noon. We were going to be stuck in a small town for the whole weekend so we decided to head to Seattle. We stopped for the night about 80 miles out and drove on in to Tacoma on Saturday morning.

Tacoma is about 25 miles from downtown Seattle, but there aren’t any truck stops around Seattle. However, we didn’t let this detour us! We got on the internet and checked out the buses in the area. Someone told us there was a bus stop within few hundred feet of the truck stop, so off we went. We decided to make a trial run at it on Saturday afternoon, but ended up making it all the way to downtown Seattle. Sunday morning we got up and went to Seattle again with the intention of doing all of the touristy things!!! We went to the waterfront, Pike’s Market, (where all of the produce, flowers and fish are brought in), the Space Needle, a cruise around the harbor, (Elliott Bay and Puget Sound), Seattle Aquarium, and the Science Fiction Museum/Hall of Fame. This is probably not somewhere we would have gone, but it was included in a ticket package that we bought. Jeremy would have loved it!!! It had all of the things used in the Science Fiction movies (Star Wars, ET, and so many others that I can’t even remember), TV shows like Star Trek and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and old first edition Sc. Fiction books. Of course, we were intrigued by the Lost in Space robot from the 60’s – could be an age thing!! Ha! A Jim Henson exhibition was there from the Smithsonian so got to see his original drawings for the Muppets and the actual characters from Sesame Street that were used in the shows. It was pretty neat! I have to regress for a minute though – the flowers at the market were something to see!! They were dirt-cheap and literally thousands of every variety/species. Rosie would have loved it! I would have loved to buy some, but I am not sure what I would have done with them in a truck. Ha!!

Saturday night we ate at The Crab Pot, which I had seen on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives". It is where they put paper on your table and bring out a huge steel pot of seafood, potatoes and corn and dump it on your table. They give you wooden mallets, and boards to crack open the crab and other things. I love crab and shrimp, but do not care for mussels or oysters though. Mark doesn’t eat any seafood, except shrimp so we didn’t order it, but the halibut, clam strips, prawns and scallops that I ate were to die for ---- unbelievably fresh seafood. It was great and if I could have talked Mark into it, I would have probably eaten it again. I did have some crab dip that was fantastic on Sunday though. I was determined to get in a little more seafood before we left!!! Speaking of seafood -- the salmon are running and check out one of the fishermen with his catch. He held it up as our boat passed by Saturday. I am including a picture. Also, another really interesting thing to see on the boat was the the ice breaker boats that were docked there. They can break through ice over 6 ft. deep!! The docks where they were loading out freight was interesting to see too. They were working so we actually saw some of the great cranes loading the freighters.
Seattle was wonderful and I am glad that we got to spend weekend there. Well, actually, it turned into a little longer, but we didn’t go back to the city yesterday. We spent the entire morning online trying to find a load out of Washington!! There wasn’t anything so we took a bus to the mall for dinner and a movie last night. As we walked around last evening, we saw the most breathtaking views of Mt. Ranier -- absolutely stunning!!!

Today we got up looking for a load and again there wasn’t anything going out, so we are heading out towards Spokane. We have to be in by the weekend so we hope to find something this afternoon or in the morning along the way. I have to go to a workshop next Monday morning so my adventure is coming to an end. I am not looking forward to it after having such a wonderful summer.

Until tomorrow – oh, and before I forget – Happy Birthday to my #1 brother --- David!!! Live it up --- only one more year before the BIG one!!!

Cindy Pictures from top to bottom -- (1) sunset over Puget Sound (2) Seattle skyline from the water (3) flowers at the market (4) The Crab Pot Restaurant (5) salmon fisherman (6) ice breaker boat (6) Space Needle from the ground lit up in the evening

Taking the P*** 5/08/09

(Posted a day late, due to illness)

To some people the whole idea of driving trucks on the continent is anathema. To be away from home for extended periods, to be isolated from people who have the same culture and speak the same language can be daunting, but to be honest you can get the same effect driving from Sussex to Sunderland!

For others the idea of being a Continental trucker is what they have aimed for all their lives, and to yet others, like myself, they dread the idea, and yet when they try it they grow to love it.

Continental trucking is not, on most occasions, a structured job. You live from day to day, not knowing where you are going to go to reload, or when. You could spend weeks abroad, loading in one country, delivering in another, reloading in a third, or you could find yourself back in the UK for weeks, doing only local work. You could be flitting around the continent, carrying for different companies, or spending months, or even years on the same contract, carrying the same goods to the same destination. First, however, you actually have to gain employment...

One of the problems faced by a newly qualified HGV driver is that to get a job you need experience, and to get experience you need a job. Unless you are extremely lucky no good company is going to hire a newly qualified driver, which is why a lot of new drivers find themselves working for ‘cowboys’. Cowboys are that group of employers who believe that they are above the law and require their workforce to behave illegally purely for profit. I was no exception. I ended up working for a gentleman who will be referred to from now on as Mr Boss.

I’d worked for the company for maybe 3 months and had made it very clear that I would go anywhere, in any vehicle, and with any load, so long as I was home every night. Although I was single, I wanted to be with my parents, siblings and pets, and if I were dating, my Girlfriend du jour. Of course, I ran illegally. Mr Boss did not hold with the concept of drivers needling sleep, nor complying with tachograph rules, and weight regulations were written for people who were not him. However, he knew I wanted to be home at night, with my family and for the most part he endeavoured to make sure that I was. There were the odd occasions when I would be stuck with a night out, but most frequently he would give me warning of these, and if possible my Girlfriend du jour would come with me.

Eventually, one morning he rang me and asked if I had a passport. I informed him in the negative, that it had expired. He told me I’d better get one in a hurry, as I would be shipping out that night to Germany. I told him in no uncertain terms that this was not going to happen and he pointed out that there was any number of drivers who could do my job just as well. I buckled under the threat and got a 1-year visitor’s passport from the local post office.

The job, according to Mr Boss, was a sure-fire money-spinner. We’d load at the Ford factory in Halewood and ship to any Ford plant in Germany or Belgium. The catch was that the delivery had to be made within 24 hours of leaving Halewood. This was an ideal job for two drivers, but unfortunately Mr Boss thought that two drivers were better deployed in two trucks, so we did the whole job ourselves.

I was distinctly unhappy with the idea of going abroad. However, I needed the job, so I went. One of the other contractors doing the job was Paul Ashwell, the gentleman who found himself embroiled in the ‘Supergun’ affair [1]and imprisoned in Greece. He and I often found ourselves on the run together. He was easy to recognise, as his Leyland truck had a silhouette of a cannon on each door.

On the occasion in question he and I were parked at the Ford factory in Saarlois in Germany, waiting to get unloaded, when a bright red UK registered truck pulled in to the truck park. It parked up, and the driver leapt out of the cab, and ran over to me. I swear he would have hugged us if I hadn’t retreated. After he stopped flapping, he told me that this was his first trip abroad and he had been slightly lost, for three days in Brussels, ending up in a narrow dead-end street that had required the police to close off several roads whilst he reversed out. To say he was upset would be an understatement. He pleaded with me to allow him to run back with us, and being kind hearted, I acquiesced.

At that time German customs were very concerned about the quantities of diesel that trucks were entering the country with. The maximum you were allowed was 200 litres, and they checked every wagon. I had been told that the easiest way to circumvent the problem and indeed the fines the German officials imposed for every litre over the 200 litre allowance, was to try and arrive at the border with the tank nearly empty. It should then be possible to refuel at the services in Luxembourg on the way back and also get a meal and a cup of coffee.

We pulled in to the rather crowded truck park and all went for a meal. The new lad eschewed coffee for a couple of pints, which surprised me, given that he had told us he hadn’t eaten for two days. After the meal and drinks we sat and chatted away our 45-minute break, and he told me of the trials and tribulations of his first and, according to him, last trip abroad.

“At least now I’m with you nothing more can go wrong!” he avowed. It has been my experience in life that making claims like that is a bad idea, and so it proved…We returned to the trucks and he let out a howl of anguish. I looked, and there was a stream of liquid running from under his truck.

“I don’t believe it! The radiator must be leaking!” he said, and before I could stop him he had crouched, dipped his finger in the trickle of liquid, and tasted it. As he did so I looked along the side of his truck. There was a large gentleman urinating against the front wheel of his truck, and the stream of urine tricked inexorably under the front of my poor unlucky colleague's truck….When he realised what he had just done, the poor man broke down and cried.

We did, eventually, get him back to Calais and the ferry back to the UK. When we parked up to sort out the customs paperwork he got down on his knees, kissed the ground, and swore that he would never ever go abroad again. As he spoke I had an epiphany. Clearly he was wrong. I realised that I had loved the job. I wanted, no, craved to do it again. After all, it was so easy! I took to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road like a duck to water, and after all, that was all there was to this continental lark. What on earth could ever go wrong?

[1] In the early 1990s, Matrix Churchill, a Coventry firm, exported some tubes to Iraq. The tubes turned out to be the barrel of a ‘supergun.’ The person contracted to deliver the load was Paul Ashwell. He was arrested and imprisoned in Greece, and there was considerable effort made to have him freed. The scandal that followed was widely publicised, and brought about the collapse of the Coventry firm, the arrest of its Directors, and considerable dissembling from the Government at the time, as investigation produced evidence of Government sanctioned spying, and a cover-up operation.

Paul made an effort to get his life and business back on track, which was where he was when I met him. Where he is now I have no idea, but I hope that he reads this and remembers me, and I wish him well in the future.

Here's what I look for in regards to insurance

Hey all.
Many of our customers rely on us to give them advice on which coverages they need, which deductibles to choose, and even which insurance company to go with. Here are some basics when making those choices.

1. Agent relationship is #1. Has this agent written alot of trucking insurance? It's a specialized field, and you don't want any surprises especially at time of loss. Also, has the agency itself been in business for many years? How do you connect personally with that agent? The right agent will have multiple insurance companies to choose from, be well-versed in trucking coverage and a professional, honest and level-headed.

2. Make sure you describe your operation in it's entirety to your agent; he needs this information to advise you which coverages are necessary, and which ones are desirable.

3. If you have more than one quote from different insurance companies, ask your agent which one works best with claims and service. Believe me, he will know. Price needs to be competitive, but I will gladly pay a little more for a company that will be there when I call. Trucking insurance is expensive, and even more expensive when you get lousy service for all your hard-earned money.

4. What deductible level is right? Physical damage insurance and cargo insurance normally have deductibles attached (how much you owe of each claim). If the deductible is higher, then the rate charged will be lower. At the inception (start) of the policy, that is an attractive feature; however, I ALWAYS advise my clients to choose the lowest deductible possible. Why? At time of loss, there can be injuries, irate customers, property damaged and a serious deficit in your ability to service your customer; having to deal with a large cash payout during these very stressful times will make you wish you had chosen to pay a little more.

If you have any questions about this post, or I can answer any of your questions, feel free to contact me.

Drive safe out there

Man Fatally Injured After Crashing Truck

August 4, 2009 (by Horatio Algren) A truck crash near the Pleasant Hill Bart Station fatally injured a 60 year old man.

According to the California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Maguire, the accident occurred at approximately 4:50 p.m. in the vicinity of Jones Road traveling toward Treat Boulevard, when the 1997 Chevrolet 1500 pickup he was driving swerved. The pickup truck then crashed through a construction fence striking a pile of wooden pallets.

The man that was fatally injured according to the California Highway Patrol officer was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was unconscious, with his foot pressing the gas pedal when the authorities and emergency responders arrived at the scene of the crash.

The 60 year old man was transported to John Muir Medical Center where he later died, it has been reported that the injuries sustained in the truck accident might not have been fatal, and that his death was most likely caused by another reason. Truck accident attorneys will be watching this story closely.

News from:

Ehline Law | Injury Lawyer PC

Injury Lawyer, P.C. Address: 633 West Fifth Street, 28th Floor, Los Angeles, CA, 90071; ; 6700 East Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 275, Long Beach, CA 90803; 14007 Palawan Way Marina del Rey, CA, 90292; 201 Wilshire Blvd, Second Floor, Santa Monica, CA, 90401; 620 Newport Center Drive, Suite 1100 Newport Beach, CA, 92660. Phone: 888-400-9721; 213.596.9642.

newspersonal injury attorney los angeles

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not So Much Trucking!

Well the last few days have been very hard on myself and my family. Have you ever lost something that left a Void in your life? Well I have just encounter that ever so painful heart ache. It makes it seem like life holds no point, No Purpose. I can describe this feeling fairy simple "Much Like a Man would feel with out his Arms and Legs. With No Legs nor Arms you would ask your self WHY? Why do I need to go thur this. In my christian beliefs I believe For every valley we seem to fall in we can always find a mountain top. But this time I'm afraid there is no mountain top. No Rocks to pull my self up on, No Ledges to help me get close to the top. As the pain runs thur my heart my vains rage tears. As my heart beats it seems to only pump tears to my eyes. I am not a weak person by no means, I can usually hold back any tears that may want to flow down my cheeks. For today was the end of the Greatest thing in my Life, MY FAMILY! The one who gave me courage to face the day. The ones who stood fast in my mind when I needed to work a little hard to provide a little better. The ones in my life who could bring a warm feeling in my heart in the worse of times. When me and my wife separated today I left with out 3 yr old son. A Short time ago I placed him down for a night of rest. I set at the top of the bed and rubbed his little head watching the thin brown hairs
fall back into place, as the years of my family ran thur my head. I noticed a tear crawl down my cheek and slowly fall to the bed beside his head. As I wiped away the next tear I noticed a tear roll from his eye down his little cheek. Lord this hurts. I only Pray for a little relief of this pain!

Is Montreal the new Waterloo ?

Left Montreal with a relatively easy run back across to Edmonton. Nearly every day now it has rained in Ontario; and I mean proper rain not a bit of drizzle. Only a day or to into the trip a preplan was received which is pretty unusual as I normally receive them the day 'after' a trip. It came as quite a surprise as Montreal was mentioned and some pretty tight delivery dates were involved. Once again it looked as if Paul and I had to endure Hwy 11 and 17 once more. A few suggestions were made such as dropping the trailer we had in Calgary as that would save us a lot of time since the next trailer was coming out of High River but they were quickly revoked so we had to rely on a trailer being made available for us to run with from Edmonton to Calgary then Calgary to High River. The trailer swaps went pretty smoothly and even the paperwork was ready in the meat plant so after hitching up, weighing off and getting sealed we set off back East. Initially I had calculated that unless Paul and I ran team (one sleeps while the other drives) we couldn’t make the delivery on time. I am not a fan of running team and have no interest in doing so My main reason is that I have had to quit really good jobs in the UK as I just couldn’t get into the hang of working nights so for me its a safety issue especially when you are tying yourself to deadlines.
This was mentioned to Dispatch who said that they would have us switch along the route so after pushing pretty hard for the last 2 days in order to give the new driver(s) a fighting chance of getting the load there Paul and I find that we are to deliver the load ourselves!!!
So tonight we will be in Hearst Ontario then Wednesday morning delivering in Anjou Quebec at 02.00am which is not too awesome.
That’s about all for now, there will be a post coming pretty soon regarding pay cuts within the company, some of them pretty substantial as well and I bet you don’t need 3 guesses as to which employees are on the receiving end !!.

Trucking along

We are trucking along. Anna Kate is growing and kicking and grooving! We have 9 weeks left, although I am crossing my fingers for it to be a little more like 7 weeks. I know I've said it 500 times a day sometimes, but its just really HOT. It was a very BAD idea to have a september/ocotber baby. Course it wasn't really a plan, it was more of a "it happens when it happens" kind of thing. If there are more Head babies in the future, I will definitley be planning this a little better.

I had a major pregnancy brain fart moment this weekend. Cherri was gone this weekend to be with tiffany after she had her baby on saturday. Parker Elizabeth is very sweet and I can't wait for Anna Kate to meet her. I was Pastor Cherri and in charge of the nurseries for the weekend services. I knew that Sunday morning after church that i would be really tired and not feel like cooking lunch. Instead of planning to eat out, on saturday evening I cut up carrots and potatoes, got deer roast out of the freezer and put it all in the crock pot bowl and put it in the fridge. Sunday morning just before I walked out the door, I put the bowl in the heater and turned it to high. So easy!!! I invitied my brother adam to come eat with us. When we got home, I was expecting to have the smell of roast hit me when I opened the door. I didn't smell anything. While I had turned the crock pot on, I had failed to plug it into the wall. I was very frustrated to say the least. I sent Thomas to get Pizza, not quite as good, but it worked. we had roast for dinner.

This last week my mom, sister Jamee, and friend Tiffany came and cleaned out Anna Kate's room. They cleaned the floors, vacuumed behind the furniture, hung pictures, did a cool wall rubbing, helped me sort all the clothes my size, and washed all the laundry. I am so thankful for them! I'm not sure i would have been able to get it done on my own. I feel almost completely ready to bring her home. Actually, we couldn't bring her home right now, because we don't have a carseat. I had been planning on using the same one I had with Noah. We got it out of the closet, and Tiffany was washing and wiping it off for me. The rubber grip on the handle was really sticky. The more we rubbed on it, the stickier it got. I tried some oops off on it, and the rubber just started peeling off. I was so disappointed! My sister said her seat did the same thing. Apparently, the rubber just starts breaking down from the oil and dirt on our hands. Once we have a new seat, I plan to try and remember to clean it off regularly with a clorox wipe.

We also went to Super Siblings class at the hospital on Saturday. The boys were so sweet. They were very excited to see where their new baby sister was going to be born. They asked lots of questions and acted so grown up. Some of the other siblings were not quite so well behaved, although most of them were around 2 years old, there was more than one hissy fit on the floor of Labor and Delivery. The tour made it all very real for me. I was fighting tears in my eyes most of the time.

Saturday was a very busy day. We also signed the boys up to play soccer. This will be the start of Nathan 6th season. He has loved playing soccer so much. Noah finally gets to play this year. He has given his due to his brother over the years enduring many soccer practices and games. He was a real trooper through it all. Now, he's finally going to get his turn to play too. We got all signed up, and were headed back to the car when Noah started crying. He thought he was going to get to have a soccer practice and that we were leaving without letting him play. Poor thing, he's just so excitied. He asked me 3 times today how many more days until he gets to go to practice. It will make for a busy couple of months with 3 practices during the week and 2 games on Saturday. Not to mention, baby is coming sometime mid-season. Im just praying there will not be any overlap on practices or games.

A Social Site for Truckers

Well, here it is. I have started this site to give truckers their own "full service" social web site.
Trucks - Truckers - Trucking is the center point of this site where all of us can communicate through blogs, notes and comments. But, here is also where any driver can start any group that they want. For instance, I will be starting a group called Western Flyer Express, the company I work for. I will try to turn this group into a newsletter for my company. But, there is no limit to the kind or number (Well, I guess we should have a rule for no "extreme" nakedidity. And, nothing threatening or of a violent nature.) Just use some common sense.

The only way this site will grow is if you join and post to it, and if you tell friends to join and post to it. This will have to be a self sustaining site. I have several other sites that I work on, and I truck. Therefore, I have little time to devote to posting on here. I will do my best for this site. I hope you will too.

I will take the time to get some stuff posted on this site next week. I will then try to advertise to let people know about it. Otherwise, I need your help. Please join and let's get this site going.

Ooops!!! Time to go to work. Do you see what I mean about the time element? Please help me!

We Lived To Tell About It...

So, I realize that I never posted my follow up recipes on the pork roasts...I have the pictures of some really delicious pulled pork sandwiches to post later. And the other roast, sadly, got lost in the shuffle and we threw it out on Saturday.

We moved this weekend. Do you remember this little find from "Google Street View"? Oh, this is a gem. This is where we live now....of course this is the before picture. The "cousin Eddy" motorhome is long gone, broken down old trucks are outta here, the dead Christmas wreath (that we pulled off in August)(mind you, this street view picture was taken at least 2 years prior to us taking possession, so that wreath could have been there for YEARS)...GONE, Christmas lights (that we pulled off in August)...GONE, and 40+ tons of junk (literally, in case you don't remember) GONE!!!
This is a post that I wrote last summer on our progress, and sometime soon I plan on doing a post with the final "after" pictures.
Ryan was working over here ever spare minute he had to build me a laundry room. The laundry is downstairs in an unfinished basement (where the prior tenents grew their marajuana) and I refuse to do laundry in a cold unfinished basement that smells like dirt. BUT, that meant that he wasn't at home to help me pack up the house. I've never moved with a rugrat before. A busy little rugrat at that. I had a few people offer to help me come pack up boxes, but moving from a big house to one that is less than half it's size...I needed to sort, purge, figure out what I wanted in storage and what I wanted to keep out. So, while I greatly appreciated the offers to help me pack up, I just felt that it was really only something that Ryan or I could do. I did, however, accept lots of help with Wyatt. My mom was over 2 full days last week (not leaving till at least 10pm) and also took him home with her on Friday which was one of our moving days. Ryan's mom was over after work to watch him and also took him home with her one night so I could do some work at "the little house". And then, Ryan's cousin Lynnann watched him on Saturday. Phew, so I had alot of help. (sidenote: if you want a good laugh, please click on that link to Lynnann's blog, it won't dissappoint)
Towards mid-week last week it was becoming apparent that we weren't going to have enough help for the move. People were dropping like flies. My brother Jeff tore his calf muscle and he was one of our "musclemanfurnituremovers" that we had lined up. My cousin and her hubby, Christine & Kevin, own a trucking company and offered to send us a box truck (w/ lift gate) and 2 guys to help us move on Friday. Wow, what a gift. So, we went to the title company that morning, signed our house away, and came back to the moving truck...I'm not kidding, it took them just a little over an hour. They had our washer and dryer, all of our furniture, and all of the boxes that I had packed up loaded and ready. What a blessing. I can't imagine how it would have gone without that truck and those guys. *shiver* I dont want to imagine.
Saturday, we had a crew of family out there again. Remember I was pretty much packing up by myself. So, while there was alot accomplished on Friday, there was still alot to do on Saturday. We buttoned things up and turned over the keys yesterday afternoon.
So, we left our spacious house of 1900+sq ft 3bd, 2ba w/ bonus room and A/C. In the middle of a heat wave, we wedged ourselves into this 720sq ft 2 bd, 1 ba with no A/C. The first night here was positively miserable, I need to be cool, and even though I took a cold shower right before bed and we had a fan blowing on us, full was miserable. Last night was much better, the house was cooled down considerably, and I was able to get some good sleep.
So, I'm sitting here at my new secretary desk from Ikea (I love this freaking thing)

The cabinet is an add-on to the desk so it sits right on top...When I unpack my camera, I'll have to take a picture of cute.
Anyway, so I'm sitting here at my new desk looking around at an almost unpacked kitchen, lots of boxes, pictures leaning against the wall, we live here now.
We are going to be putting it back on the market in less than a month. With baby on the way, this place is just too small for us. But there are some things to do before that, and a much needed vacation inbetween. Ah vacation...less than 2 weeks away.

Someday I'll get around to posting those pictures of my pulled pork sandwiches. They were tasty. And speaking of homemade food...I can't wait to assess my food situation and start making dinner here...if you are what you eat, then I'm a giant subway sandwich.

Why I Love: Ice Road Truckers

By Sunday afternoon at my house, I begin to get a little giddy.  Why?  Because Sunday night's bring Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel!  I have come to absolutely love this show!!!  Those who know me would be surprised by my  total fascination for this show, still in the few weeks it's been on this season, I've become completely addicted to it!

I love it because, first of all, I love random facts and useless knowledge, and I have learned more about trucking, hauling, the Alaskan wilderness and weather than I can even begin to tell you.  I'm fascinated by the way they have to load the truck to keep the weight dispersed appropriately or how shifting gears can be so tricky when there's 10 of them to deal with, or what the rules are when it comes to how many hours you can drive before you have to take a mandatory rest, etc.

Second of all, this season, they have a female trucker on the show, Lisa, and I totally love that women are being represented in such a predominantly male profession!!  Besides that, she's actually a really good driver, and I have nothing but total admiration for her being able to haul massive loads, some even oversized, through the craziest weather conditions known to truckers. 

Also, I've always been a little fascinated by Alaska.  It's part of the United States, but not really (kind of like Hawaii), and throughout the show you're given little factoids of info about Alaska.  I've also learned a ton about the nature of the weather there.  It's obviously a huge factor for the truckers.  It can be really suspenseful when they're driving through a white out and they can't see anything!   Oh, and the road they drive, the Dalton, has some crazy mix of inclines, declines, turns, drop offs and anything else you can think of!!!  Last but not least, the scenery you see in each shot is stunningly breathtaking!  Considering I live in Hawaii, it's a nice change to see all that snow!!!

So if you're looking for something both entertaining and informational to watch on Sunday's give it a try, and let me know what you think.

The Nocturnal Beagle

Critters of the night: Owls, rats, opossums (um, gross), foxes, flying squirrels...beagles. Who knew? But it's true. Lately, our beagle Teddy is akin to a baby who has his days and nights mixed up and it's really encroaching on our beauty sleep.

We adopted Teddy (aka T-Bear, the T, T-Bones, or my personal favorite: Bones) when he was almost four years old. He'd been a laboratory dog, sadly. Although we choose to look at it like he was doing his duty for his country and his dog cohorts the world over because he was in the Auburn University laboratory as a test subject for a now popular and effective flea and tick treatment--the kind you put on the back of the neck and is absorbed into the skin. Once Teddy's patience understandably wore out for the repeated surgeries he endured to have his skin biopsied, they gave him an honorable discharge into the capable hands of a Beagle rescue who worked to re-socialize him and turn him back into the adorable, affable, lovable, spoiled guy who's lived with us for the past nearly five years.

Since we've had him, he's spent the overnight snoozing hours in his crate in his very own "bedroom" (my hubby's office). Why? Couple reasons: one, the dog snores like a freight train. I'm not even exaggerating. He could wake the dead, snoring so loudly that I swear the walls bow in with every intake of breath. And two, he is absurdly co-dependent on my light-sleeper husband and needs to be as close as humanly possible to him at all times. Like a second skin. So for John to get any sleep at all, we have to make it so the T cannot sleep with us. Thus, he is removed to his crate in another room completely.

Before you get all "I can't believe you cage that sweet pup up" on me, know that Teddy was raised in a crate and he loves it. It's "his space." When the crate was in our downstairs family room, he would go in there voluntarily for naps. He hides bones in there, toys in there, etc. It's not a negative place to him at all so this system worked well. For many years did I say we've had him? About five? Then this system worked well for about four years and 11 months. It all took a turn for the worse when Teddy decided that he didn't want to sleep in his crate at night. Not for more than an hour or so, anyway. Instead, he wants to make frequent trips to the back yard throughout the night, a few stops at the watering hole, and oh yeah, while he's always preferred to sleep in our room with us, he's decided to become adamant about it. And there's no ignoring all this because he barks from the crate when he's ready for an out-of-crate excursion. And he barks as loudly as he snores.

At first, we determined he had a bladder infection, which explained the frequent back yard needs and slugging down more water than the winner of a peanut-eating contest. Once that was cleared up, we thought we'd ease right back to the routine. Not so much. I think the T has decided he likes that barking in the middle of the night fetches one of us to spring him from the crate. And he's enjoying his control much too much.

So last night was one of the worst nights--filled with four out-of-crate-experiences between midnight and 3 a.m. and more expletives uttered from my husband, at increasing volume with each bark, than I've heard since the last Ga Tech loss to UGA.

So we're dragging a$$ this fine Monday morning, needless to say. And trying to figure out how to remedy this little situation. Thank God the T can catch up on his beauty sleep today just behind my husband's office chair. Lord knows he's got to get good and rested for tonight's round-the-clock soiree.

Monday, August 3, 2009

July 22

We left for the shipper which is located on Mcduff St. outside of downtown Jacksonville at 0600 and arrived at 0715. I went to check in at the shipping desk and was told they would call me when a dock became available. We had an 1100 appointment but we were hoping that by arriving early we could get loaded early. No such luck, the shipping office called me at 1100 and gave me the dock number for us to back into. The shipping office called me after I backed into the dock and told me I needed to go inside to count the product that was to be loaded. They had me count the product by writing down the number the warehouse worker gave to me as the count of each pallet, what a joke. They finished loading us a 1330 and we left for Ft. Worth, Tx. We stopped in Robertsdale, AL for the night.

Many Firsts !!!

Final note on the WindCreek Casino. Very nice, just opened July 4th. The pool and surrounding area are also very nice. We thoroughly enjoyed our morning there.

Delivered in the basement at the Kimberly Clark toilet papermill. We delivered some sort of "starch" there. So you ask what would a what in the world do they use starch for. They use it to make a glue to seal the end of each roll of toilet paper. You know, the end you hate to have to fool with when you really need it.

Our next w/a had us run up to Pennington, AL for a pickup at 2100. We typically have good luck and are able to pick up early. NOT THIS ONE... We arrived about 1500 and sat there till after the 2100 p/u time. Then went to bed. I got up at 0500 and hooked up and hit the road. This was a Georgia Pacific plant - a load of toilet paper. Of course I love those loads- 15,000 pounds !!! Headed for Stuarts Draft, VA. No problem we delivered at 1100 on Saturday.

Our next w/a had us all set up to get home from VA; Down to Danville, VA for a pickup then relay in Indianapolis on Monday, then pick up a different relay there and head for Emporia, KS for a Tuesday morning delivery.

When we got down to Danville (140) miles turns out they close at 1200 on Saturday. We arrived at 1500. Schneider dispatch thought they were open 24/7. Schneider took both loads off of us, darn.

About an hour later we got a new w/a. Head up to Covington, VA to pick up a load of cardboard headed for Tuscaloosa, AL. By 1900 we were out of gas - physically. We overnighted in Roanoke, VA. Ran up to Covington than on through Beckley and down through Knoxville and Chatanooga. We're about 30 south of Chatanooga in Rising Fawn, GA on I59.

Beautiful countryside. We took a nice long walk through the country. We were almost back to the truck stop when a couple of big dogs came out to greet us. They "seemed" friendly, I figured the best thing might be to ignore them. Wrong idea ! The big one sort of circle around us and as we continued past he bit me in the BUTT. Not just a nibble, actually broke the skin without even going through my shorts. I've got a fang scrape about 5 inches long on my left butt cheek. Teresa wants a picture... so far I've been able to avoid it.

And yes I had a tetanus shot a few years back after the motorcycle accident. Think I'm OK.

Tomorrow we deliver at 1200, then we're hoping to head more westerly. Got to get to the Rodeo on Thursday...

On the move again

Made my pickup in Granite City, Il this afternoon. A drop and hook, which is a trucker's dream. No sitting in dock doors, just take your empty trailer in, drop it off and hook up to one that is already loaded. Makes for a much better day!

I am currently in Cambridge City, In. A relatively easy 369 mile day. Will leave out in the morning and head for Woodland, Pa. There is a truck stop less than 5 miles from my delivery location. That will be home tomorrow night.

Guess I will listen to the Nascar race tomorrow, since they were rained out today in Pocono. It is supposed to be nice there tomorrow.

Time to go and get some sleep. Made up a lot of it last night. I woke up this morning after about 10 hours. That felt great.

July 28

Left this morning at 0500 and drove to the receiver in Brockton, MA arriving at 0730. They began unloading us right away and finished at 0815. We still have not received our next load assignment. We asked the receiver where we could park and he told us about a K-Mart shopping center that has a diner. We left the receiver and went to the K-mart to park and have breakfast at the diner. We received our load assignment while eating breakfast. We are supposed to pick up a load of candles from their factory in South Deerfield, MA and take them to Charlotte, NC. by tomorrow. When we arrived at the candle factory, there was a pre-loaded trailer waiting for us, so all we had to do was drop out empty trailer and hook up to the loaded trailer. We hooked up to the new trailer and left for Charlotte at 1100. Our route took us up and down hills on I-84 through PA. and NY. I use the cruise control as much as possible, and we started noticing the engine running rough as we climbed a hill. This noise continued for a while until I lost power in 10th gear. I dropped my speed to 55 MPH and dropped to 9th gear and the engine ran fine. My co-driver called our breakdown department to find out where we could take the truck to have it looked at. The gave us a Freightliner location in Scranton, PA. So I kept moving along in 9th gear for about 75 miles. When we reached our exit for Freightliner, that's when we noticed we had major problems. I could not down shift into any other gear, luckly, I use 4th gear to start from a stop and we still had that gear only because 4th and 9th gear are located in the same slot. I was able to get the truck into 4th gear at the end of the exit ramp and creep along until we reached the Freightliner location. The Freightliner location knew we were coming, however they told us they could not look at the truck until after 1300 tomorrow. They told us to drop our trailer in one location and park the truck in another location. This is when we found out we did not have reverse. We dropped the trailer in an out of the way location and parked the truck. Another LCT driver will come tonight or tomorrow and pick up our loaded trailer and take it to Charlotte. We spent the night in a nearby hotel.

Shmuel had a bad car accident involving a large truck

After the accident Weeks later in court, the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning Shmuel.

"Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine,'?" asked the lawyer.

Shmuel responded, "Vell, I'll tell you vat happened. I just put my dog Moishele, into the..."

"I didn't ask for any details", the lawyer interrupted. " Just answer the question." Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?"

Shmuel said, "Vell, I just got Moishele into the car and vas driving down the road...."

"The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Shmuel's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his dog Moishele."

Shmuel thanked the Judge and proceeded. "Vell, like I vas saying, I just loaded Moishele, my lovely hundteleh (dog), into the car and vas driving him down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I vas thrown into one ditch and Moishele vas thrown into the other. I vas hurting, real bad and didn't want to move. However, I heard Moishele moaning and groaning. I knew he vas in terrible shape just by his groans.

Den a Highway Patrolman came along. He could hear Moishele moaning and groaning so he vent over to him. After he looked at him, and saw vat terrible condition Moishele was in, he took out his gun and shoots him between the eyes. Den the Patrolman comes across the road, gun still in hand, looks at me and says, "How you feeling?"

"Nu, Judge, vat vould you say?"


I had a series of events regarding my blog/website over the past 24 hours which rendered my blog un-viewable by pretty much anyone but me. Sorry for that.

I had been trying to detach my blog from my domain name so I could actually start building a website and it proved to be a huge pain in the rear. But after a few irritated clicks and a chat session with a friend for possible solutions, some how or another, it was all fixed!

I'll still be blogging here on blogger but you will have to either click on a button on my website (if you have bookmarked) or type in to get to me from here on out. Nothing major, just back to the way it was before I bought my domain and attached it to my blog.

I have no freakin' clue what I am gonna do with my website yet. I'd like to do something trucking related, maybe post a little creative writing about some of my experiences or something like that. If anyone has any ideas for a website that would appeal to my readers and others that they would like to pitch, I'm all ears. I love new ideas!

Anywho... I'm off to sleepy dream land. I gotta get up hella early to make my delivery in Mass in the a.m. and I seriously need some sleep.

New Order: Part 2 of a series, 1985-1989

Last week we gave ourselves a good hit of early New Order, finding the band transitioning from the shadows of Joy Division to electro-indie- rock trendsetters.

This week, Part II of the PoIT's New Order MegaSubstance MegaSpectacular, we become megastars.

Bernard Sumner realized he didn't have to be so dramatic and Peter Hook started getting even more creative and melodic on bass. Steve Morris became the human drum machine and Gillian Gilbert brought even more electro flourishes to the mix.

They also didn't forget their roots as a guitar band.

We start the proceedings with a song that probably should have gone in last week's batch (a stunning "Skullcrusher" live from Barcelona, Spain in July 1984) but for two reasons it's here in this batch: 1) I forgot to put it in last week, and 2) the song did end up seeing release as an instrumental track in 1987.

Many of the following have either never been released officially on CD or have found themselves bastardized in order to fit on existing compilations (hello "The Perfect Kiss" and shouts to "Shellshock"). Other tracks ("Let's Go") have NEVER been heard in this form except on bootleg, and yet others ("The Happy One") exist in snippet-form only.

So onward we proceed from 1985 through 1989, the last year New Order could safely call themselves a true indie band.

NEW ORDER "I'm not grown up and I'm not a boy..." 1985-1989, anthologized

01 Skullcrusher (with lyrics, 7 Jul 1984 Studio 54, Barcelona, Spain)
02 Let's Go (unreleased original 1985 vocal)
03 The Perfect Kiss (12 inch complete version)
04 Love Vigilantes
05 This Time Of Night
06 Sunrise
07 Elegia
08 Sooner Than You Think
09 Shellshock (12 inch complete version)
10 Weirdo
11 As It Is When It Was
12 Broken Promise
13 Way Of Life
14 Bizarre Love Triangle
15 All Day Long
16 Every Little Counts
17 True Faith (The Morning Sun extended remix)
18 1963
19 Paradise (remix) ***** see below!
19 Temptation '87
20 Salvation Theme
21 Touched By The Hand Of God (early version)
22 Sputnik
23 Don't Do It
24 Fine Time
25 All The Way
26 Love Less
27 Guilty Partner
28 Run
29 Vanishing Point
30 Dream Attack
31 Round & Round (7 inch mix)
32 Run² (unreleased instrumental mix)
33 MTO
34 MTO minus mix
35 The Happy One (full version re-assembly)

Four RAR files this time, as usual, you must download each one!

Part I / Part II / Part III / Part IV

***** I forgot to include 19 Paradise (remix) in the fileset so please grab it here. It should still sort correctly but yes, there will be two Track 19's. I think everyone will be OK with this ;)

(note - if having trouble extracting "Temptation '87", download that track only here .... and if you're having problems with "Guilty Partner" that can be downloaded here.)