Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ice-Road Truckin'

My dad likes to watch this show where the truck out supplies to oil rigs in big semi-trucks over the frozen sea-ice. I decided to try some of my own ice-road trucking this morning with disastrous results:
You see, with the overnight temperatures at something like 26 degrees, the top of the ground (which is completely saturated from recent major rains) was frozen. I figured, I could haul some round bales up to the upper pasture where the cattle are at by driving OVER the frozen ground. I hitched up to the trailer (see below) and immediately hit a snag - the trailer was totally frozen into the ground.
Those bales are somewhere around 1,200 to 1,500 pounds each(by the way, how do you like my new trailer?)
I guess it should have served as fair warning, but I rocked it back and forth for a few minutes until it popped loose and I was able to pull it all the way up to the upper pasture. As we went, I could tell trouble was coming...You see, the gate was closed, so I was going to have to stop and park to get out and open it before trying to get going again. Sure enough, after I opened the gate, I couldn't get going again. So I backed up a bit and tried again, nope. Backed up a bit more, nope. Again and again until I was really stuck with no more room to back up.I called Jessica and asked her to bring out the suburban (assuring her that it would not get stuck.) Unfortunately, the Suburban is (or should I say was?) in an extremely rare state of having just been washed. Unfortunately, the temperature was climbing and things were melting. Unfortunately, she got stuck. Long story short, I pushed her out (then stood helplessly as she showered me with a roostertail of mud as she drove off), then unhooked the trailer where it sat and spent another 30 minutes getting my truck unstuck before heading inside in cold muddy dejection, having failed miserably in my attempt to get the hay unloaded. Will someone please slap me the next time I try to buy a 2WD truck?

Frickin' frackin': Part 2

"You're not senate material. You're not even mayoral material."--WILK's Steve Corbett on Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, Friday, 1/29/2010

So three names are mentioned as possible successors to retiring state Senator Ray Musto, but only one of them gets ripped to shreds. Corbett's personal vendetta continues.

I suggest these two meet in a cage wearing boxing gloves, with no referee, no rules, and the proceeds go to a charity. A Wilkes-Barre-based charity, that is.

Yeah, the proceeds could go to a homeless shelter for aging hippie burnouts.

Since the moving vans are probably parked in front of Kayak Dude’s Web site, and since he provided the following news snippets concerning Marcellus gas drilling, I figured I’d post them here for your review.

Natural gas truck stopped on Bradford County road weighing 41.6 tons over weight limit

By Jason Whong •mailto:•jwhong@gannett.com • January 28, 2010, 10:45 pm

The driver of a natural gas industry service truck that was more than 41.6 tons over the weight limit on a Bradford County road received more than $25,000 in traffic citations Tuesday, according to state police in Towanda.

Police said Kevin Parsons, 44, of New Albany, Pa., was the driver of the truck found parked on Covered Bridge Road in Burlington Township. The road has a posted weight limit of 10 tons.
"We've had so many problems lately with blatant (weight limit) violations," said Cpl. Roger Stipcak.

"We've tried ... to educate them about this stuff, but now we're going to start taking them forthwith to the magistrate," Stipcak said.

Police said the truck is owned by Hodges Trucking Co. of Oklahoma City, Okla., which Chesapeake Energy lists as a subsidiary on its Web site.

"It's only going to get worse with all these gas companies coming in," Stipcak said.

And once those rural roads and posted bridges are trampled under tire and need to be rebuild, who pays for that? Not the drilling outfits. Not the owners of the leased properties. No, that would then become the problem of smallish, cash-strapped boroughs, and townships, most of which are sparely populated.

In addition, there’s a serious safety consideration. With trucks running that far in excess of the posted weight limits, you have to wonder about the maintenance of these vehicles, naming the air brakes.

Subject: more Compressor Station Hell videos

A young family in Eastern Ohio is suffering from intense noise and vibrations from the natural gas compressor stations 300 yards away from their home, they have to sleep in their basement most nights to be able to get a full night of sleep. Blowdowns occur over 20 times a week, sound levels reach above 95 dBA inside their home, windows vibrate. This has been going on since 2004, and has gotten incredibly bad since 2007. The company, Dominion, doesn't care, the government authorities are turning their heads and saying its not their jurisdiction, the burden of proof is on this young family.

New videos from the family here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJXj9Y-XinQ&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dUfnd1Lw3o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v9gO3Ct-28&feature=related

The EPA's noise department was shutdown in 1982, and the only remaining federal authority which can regulate noise is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commisssion (FERC), but FERC rules of an "average 55dBA" may not apply to the worst plant, East Ohio Dominion, because that natural gas transmission company only "cleans" and transports gas locally (by cleaning I mean the plant removes contaminants from raw gas, it is a mini-refinery, hence the intense air pollution at sites in DISH, TX). Health effects of noie are numerous but for adults include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, behavioral changes, irratability.

In fetus loud chronic noise causes birth defects. In tests of baby chicks who are subjected to loud noise the chicks do not exhibit normal peeping behavior, in young rhesus monkeys subjected to loud chronic noise the monkeys exhibit anti-social behavior. Children nor adults, nor especially pregnant women (since their child will be physically affected for their entire lives) should be living near a natural gas compressor station. For more information on health effects of noise see nonoise.org for more information on laws regarding noise and other video links regarding compressor stations please see my previous post on this topic, check out nonoise.org, or contact me (nastassja)

What?
 
A readers comment first, then the story...name deleted by MC.

Explosion or blowout? If that "tubing" that was uplifted was drilling
pipe, it is in 30' lengths and weighs 500 lbs. From the account, no
telling how many lengths were in the string that lifted, but there can
be a lot of energy released in a blowout. Blowouts can more
destructive than explosions. Assuming that Chesapeake is correct that
uplift was brief, it is possible the uplift was stopped when the
blowout preventer kicked in.

On Jan 28, 10:01 pm, Lisa Wright

http://thedailyreview.com/12-45-p-m-update-chesapeake-denies-its-well

The incident involving a Chesapeake energy natural gas well this morning in Tuscarora Township was not an explosion, a company spokesman said early this afternoon.

Brian Grove, Chesapeake's director of corporate development in Towanda, in a prepared statement, described what happened as "a brief but forceful uplift of tubing." He specifically denied that the phenomenon was an explosion.

Three employees of a contract company were transported to a hospital, he said, but none had critical injuries.

"There was no release of any materials that could be harmful to the environment and the situation presents no danger to the public. This is all the information that is available at this time," Grove said in the statement.

According to transmissions over Wyoming County 911 communications at the time of the incident, an explosion took place at the Mowry well site of Chesapeake Energy on Clapper Hill in Tuscarora Township.

One person was thrown in the air 30 feet, and suffered back pain and injuries to his wrist and another individual sustained back pain, according to preliminary reports.

Emergency crews were called out, according to the scanner transmission, but there was no visible fire. Laceyville Fire Chief Scott Fisher refused to comment at mid-morning, saying he would need to finish his report first.

Jim Vajda. Bradford County's Emergency Management Agency director was re[ported on the scene and unavailable for immediate comment.
 
This seems to be the ‘norm when there are incidents at gas drilling sites. No one seems available for comment. And no one wants to comment. The EPA usually releases a noncommittal cookie cutter comment. And the gas company involved says, ‘All is well. Have a cookie.’

This would be a nice thing to live right next to, especially when you consider that after the neighbors lease their lands away in hopes of becoming modern day Beverly Hillbillies, you would be powerless to stop it.

Photos of gas flares/ Flaring a Marcellus Gas Well

All is well. Have a cookie and a glass of tainted water.

Later

Friction, Baby - Pushing Ink


Jamming's a state of mind. And Jamming I've been. Welcome back for today's installment of "what is floating around in Mike's brain?" There's a lot of exciting jazz on the docket today so stay tuned....

I am the featured artist today in the Concord Variete. I will be showing some birds and birdhouse pieces from the Dwellings exhibit, some random bird pieces and a few new drawings that I put together yesterday and the day before. I really enjoyed making some small drawings "just for fun" as they were pertaining to no show and were really just on a whim.

They will all be framed and a cheap pick up if you can make it to Concord tonight. Here they are in no particular order.


Yup these two drawings were packed with some pink punch. As an artist, I really love pink and who knows maybe in everyday life I will one day own a pink caddy? You never know.

What do you think of this guy? I really dig this character. I was thinking Boss Tweed and Thomas Nast drawings, but way more innocent and a little more avian. I gotta get a book of Thomas Nast. He was the man.

Next we have another fine specimen of robot chasing a seemingly innocent bird. This doesn't sound familiar to you does it? I can't get enough of this stuff. But it beats blue dogs...

Next up is a little Valentine's Day action for the robot in you. This guy has a heart and a trapdoor to show it!

Last but not least....I've been thinking about fishing and baseball lately. That is what I usually am thinking about long about the end of January. Why you ask? Because I live in a New Hampshire and it is cold and snowy, and I know that once fishing and baseball seasons arrive, there is only like 2 months of winter left. Ha.


Hope you folks have a good day. I'll be back soon, and if you're in Concord tonight, stop in and say Hello.

peace
-Mike

GM receives pedal complaints on recalled Pontiac Vibe | detnews.com | The Detroit News

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau



General Motors Co. said today it has recently received complaints of sticky accelerator pedals from recalled Pontiac Vibe models.



But GM reiterated that the 2009-10 Vibe models are "safe to drive." GM said no injuries have been reported in any of the complaints.



GM hadn't received any complaints prior to the recall of 2.3 million vehicles on Jan. 21 by Toyota Motor Corp. that included 99,000 Pontiac Vibe models.



From The Detroit News: GM receives pedal complaints on recalled Pontiac Vibe | detnews.com | The Detroit News

Bad news for the environment and for truck drivers

IdleAire, an innovative green firm which allowed truck drivers to warm their cabs during break times without idling their diesel engines, thereby reducing fuel costs and exhaust pollution, announced that it will close today. IdleAire was a system located at selected truck stops which allowed a driver to ventilate warm air in the winter, or air-conditioned air during warm months, into the cab and sleeping cabin of a truck during the driver's break times. Without this system, or another auxiliary power unit, (APU), most drivers leave their diesel engines running in maintain a comfortable living temperature while they rest. According to the company's own website, IdleAire "contributed to saving over 50 million gallons of diesel fuel and prevented over 1.1 billion pounds of diesel idling emissions from entering the air" as well as "(reducing)the carbon footprint by preventing over 519,000 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere".

This is bad news for truck drivers, particularly those in states like New York and Pennsylvania, which prohibit drivers from idling their engines during breaks. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations mandate that over-the-road drivers take a 10-hour break after either 14 hours of work or 11 hours of driving. Since most trucking companies will not invest in APU's for their trucks, these anti-idle laws mean that drivers are unable to heat their trucks during their breaks. During summer months, the inside of cabs quickly reach a temperature 20 degrees or more higher than the outside air, making it impossible to sleep without operating an air conditioner.

The time has come for trucking companies to own up to their responsibility for their drivers' safety, and for the protection of our environment, as well as for our nation's energy independence. It is also time for our federal government to recognize the importance of our nation's trucking companies to our economy by offering substantial tax subsidies for companies that buy APU's for their trucks. Such a program would benefit the environment, help ensure that drivers are properly rested before reporting for work, and spur the industry that produces Auxiliary Power Units.

The time is now for truck drivers, as well as anyone who has ever purchased something delivered by truck (that means YOU) to contact your Representative and ask that Congress offer tax subsidies to trucking companies to companies that help the environment by buying Auxiliary Power Units for their fleets.

PHONE HAZARD

SO YESTERDAY MY PHONE BROKE, IN THE MIDDLE OF WISCONSIN BRISK AIR WITH THE TRUCK BREAKING DOWN --- GRRRR. NOT A GREAT START TO THE NEW TRUCK. WELL ---- KEEP TRYING I KEEP TELLING MYSELF. SO WE SIT ALL DAY FRIDAY BECAUSE THE PART WON'T BE IN UNTIL SATURDAY TO FIX THE TRUCK. WELL IN THE MEAN TIME WE ARE BORED, SO WE WALK ABOUT A MILE DOWN THE ROAD TO EAT SOME DINNER. THEN WE GET FINNISHED AND WE ARE HEADED BACK TO THE TRUCK AND DAN DECIDES HE'S BRINGING THE CHICKEN BACK WITH US. HE GOT THIS BRIGHT IDEA THAT HE'S GOING TO LEAVE THE CHICKEN OUTSIDE AND FREEZE IT AND THEN BRING IT IN WHEN HE'S HUNGRY TO WARM IT UP. HMMM ----- MEN WHAT AN IDEA IS ALL I CAN SAY.
SO ON THE WAY BACK I TELL HIM BECAUSE IT IS SO FRICKING COLD, THAT IF HE WILL TROTT AT LEAST TROTT, I WILL CARRY THE CHICKEN, HE SAYS NO OF COURSE, BECAUSE OF HIS KNEES. WELL I CAN'T TAKE THE COLD SO I START RUNNING. AND AT THIS POINT I'M DYING.
SO, MY CHEST IS DYING DOWN TO MY THIGHS AND WHEW---
HE GETS IN AND DOESN'T LOOK TO GOOD. SO, HE ASKS ME IF I WANT COFFEE AND I TELL HIM YEAH, BUT I LOOK AT HIM AND TELL HIM, DUDE, I TOTALLY ALMOST DIED OUT THERE. I WAS RUNNING AND I HAVE COLD SPLINTERS FROM THE COLD IN MY THIGHS AND MY CHEST. IT'S HORRIBLE -- HE JUST STARTED LAUGHING ---- NOT FUNNY AT ALL ----

Friday, January 29, 2010

01/28/2010 Spectulation gone awry

After the movie last night I had stayed up late enough that it would not be long after I awoke that work assignments would start be dispatched. I had not expected much due in most part to the large number of drivers already at the yard when I pulled in last night.

I figured it would play out much like this. I'd get a mid afternoon dispatch for a system load (read non-glass) delivering some where Friday in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, or New Jersey. After that a deadhead move to Laurinburg or another system load somewhere in the Southeast that would deliver Monday but that I could run through the house for the weekend. That would allow the company to maximize the tractor utilization and also allow me my time at home. A short time at home but time at home none the less. It would also allow me to get my mileage up for the week which stands at a record low 600 miles or so. None of that happened.

On a side note. I should have waited until Sunday to deliver the Coshokoken, PA to Newton, NC. Our week closes Saturday at midnight. That would have served to keep Uncle Sam from digging into my paycheck so deep and beefed up this weeks miles to a somewhat more respectable level. That was my error. I hadn't been tracking my miles and didn't realize that they were as high as they were.

Anyway all the expectations and figuring expressed in paragraph 2 were totally off the mark. So much for knowing what is going to happen. Kudos to the powers that be, that decided early enough to make this weekend very nice one indeed.

Nine O'clock or so the QC beeps. New work assignment. Pick up glass load 1/27-30/2010 17:00- 23:59. That means the load could be ready anytime between yesterday 01/27/2010 at 5pm to 01/30/2010 at midnight. The load delivers Monday so this is my get me through the house load. Ok so no more miles this week. No problem the boss/wife has already been warned about this possibility. The window on them getting this load ready is pretty large. It is now time to see how lucky I am. So I call the shipping desk to see when the load might be ready. BINGO!!!. It is ready now. By the time I cinch down the load and drive to the house it will only be mid-afternoon Thursday. SWEET. Perhaps I can surprise my wife. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at home that will certainly balance out the pain from a extremely small check next Friday. Got to find the Silver linings where ever they present themselves.

I'm at home now. I don't have to leave until Sunday morning. And Monday morning I'll be in Jackson, MS with 1100 miles on the books. From there they usually send me further west to Texas. But to speculate further than that is a waste as I have shown here today.

You have a nice weekend. I know I will

Bookerz out


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72 to 11 in Three Days

Switched back to insulated Carhartt bib overalls, double socks and an extra sweatshirt. The temperature was 72°F when we left Central Florida Tuesday; it's 11°F where we're parked in East-Central Illinois this morning.

Left Southaven, Mississippi at Midnight Thursday and ran straight into the leading edge of a ice/snow storm headed eastbound out of Texas and Oklahoma. Drove on accumulating ice for sixty miles along I-55-N in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. Came upon a two-car accident on top of an overpass and a single-car slide-off past another overpass.

Continuing north to Green Bay, Wisconsin at 10:00 PM tonight. Hopeful to make safe delivery at Procter & Gamble around 4:30 AM CST Saturday morning.

BLATANT VIOLATIONS + THAW = ROAD DAMAGE

Natural gas truck stopped on Bradford County road weighing 41.6 tons over weight limit
By Jason Whong •jwhong@gannett.com
pressconnects.com
January 28, 2010, 10:45 pm

The driver of a natural gas industry service truck that was more than 41.6 tons over the weight limit on a Bradford County road received more than $25,000 in traffic citations Tuesday, according to state police in Towanda.

Police said Kevin Parsons, 44, of New Albany, Pa., was the driver of the truck found parked on Covered Bridge Road in Burlington Township. The road has a posted weight limit of 10 tons.

"We've had so many problems lately with blatant (weight limit) violations," said Cpl. Roger Stipcak.
"We've tried ... to educate them about this stuff, but now we're going to start taking them forthwith to the magistrate," Stipcak said.

Police said the truck is owned by Hodges Trucking Co. of Oklahoma City, Okla., which Chesapeake Energy lists as a subsidiary on its Web site.

"It's only going to get worse with all these gas companies coming in," Stipcak said.

Police said they investigated the truck, which they said was parked illegally, at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and learned the truck's oversize load was being transported with an invalid permit.

Police then weighed the truck and saw it exceeded the road's 10-ton weight restriction by 83,208 pounds, or 41.6 tons, without a permit.

Police said they also learned of "numerous other permit violations" in the investigation. They did not provide a detailed list of the violations or the exact amount of the fines.

Parsons was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Timothy Clark, who impounded the truck and its load. Parsons pleaded guilty to the violations, police said.

Heavy trucks can damage roads that weren't built for heavy loads, Stipcak said.

"Take a look at some of the roads that these trucks are running on. They're clumping and breaking up," Stipcak said.

"With this last thaw we had, the roads are really starting to fall apart."
LINK

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!

Cleaning Out…Everything!!!

It’s funny how every once in a while all of the stars in the universe will align and point right at whatever it is God wants us to be focusing on. For me, right now, I’m feeling called to be more organized. I’m one of those weird people (forgive me, if you’re in the same boat, but people think we’re weird) who craves…no, NEEDS, organization and order in my life. When it’s lacking, I don’t function well. It’s like, no matter what’s going on, I can’t truly focus because there are so many things left UNDONE in the background of my mind. Ever felt like that?



Life has been in fast-forward around here for the past couple of years, for various reasons. It seems like one day I woke up and looked around and realized…I’m not living in survival mode any more. I can slow down and FOCUS on what needs to be done and then—you guessed it—get it done! So that’s where I’ve been for the past month or so. We started the day after Christmas in our office/playroom, and once we got that done, it felt so good, we made a master list and kept on trucking. I’ve posted on my blog about a couple of different projects, but there’s one I’ve been hiding. Because I’m embarrassed. And maybe a little ashamed.



If you’ve visited my blog before, you know that we live in a small house. A very, very small house. But we moved here from a larger house, with more rooms. Where, you ask, did that furniture go? Ah, good question. You see, we have…gasp!...a storage unit. Like all things, it started out as a positive, as we were able to move things a few boxes at a time over the year it took us to finish remodeling our house, sell it, find a house here, and move. It was great to be able to move for real on the big day in just one big truck…and we didn’t dare stop to count how many truckloads and trailers we’d already hauled to storage. You see where this is going, right? Over the past few years, we’ve inherited some things that we want to keep but don’t have room for. So we put them in storage. We had a second child, so we had to move things around a bit. Where’d we put the extra stuff? Say it with me: in storage! We’ve added to our keepsakes, our Christmas decorations…heck, sometimes when we find something and don’t know what it is we just haul it off to storage to deal with it later.



And it finally caught up with us. Last winter, we went to storage and found a very large rattlesnake skin. Yikes! Thank goodness we didn’t find the snake, but we didn’t dare dig around in there very much. Then came warm weather, but life got in the way…and then it was Christmas time again and when my husband went to get our Christmas tubs he came home just…disgusted. It was time to face it. So we blocked off a couple of Saturday mornings, called in a babysitter, loaded up the truck with trash bags and labels and brooms and hand sanitizer, and we went in. Unfortunately, I don’t have a before picture. But I can tell you—this place was stacked to the CEILING with junk. We couldn’t walk in—we had to pile stuff out to even get in a few feet. Forget getting to anything in the back! That first Saturday, we hauled off a truckload of stuff to recycle or donate or trash. So that’s one. And we were here…look, I can see the walls and ceiling!





A week later, we hauled off another entire load to donate and ANOTHER entire load to recycle (old boxes…were you wondering? We needed to get stuff out of cardboard boxes, so we moved a lot to plastic tubs and reorganized as we went.)



And then, this past weekend, we went back to finish. It’s funny—things I thought I couldn’t live without were so easy to part with. A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to let some things go. Heck, a year ago I wasn’t even almost interested in getting my storage ducks in a row. But this was hanging over our heads for too long…every time James and I would talk about starting a home project, it would always come back to, but we shouldn’t start anything until we take care of storage. It was embarrassing to know that we had so much STUFF cluttering up our storage and our lives. Not that all of the stuff was/is bad…but we weren’t honoring that stuff or being good stewards by leaving it there in old cardboard boxes to be damaged or age too quickly. And then there’s the whole, you know, stacks and stacks of stuff we didn’t want to deal with so we—literally—threw it into the storage unit. Ugh. It’s hard to think about, hard to admit. But we did it, we slogged through it all and pretty much finished. We still have 2 boxes to go through, but all in all, I’m still in shock that we could go out there now and have a picnic on the floor. It’s a major improvement to even see the floor, sadly! Another truck load of stuff hauled away later, and here it is…



It’s not completely finished—the stuff in the middle still needs to come home and be sorted out here and some of it will find a new home, but look at the difference! I’m proud of what we accomplished. It wasn’t all that hard, and it wasn’t horribly time consuming. We just had to set our minds and hearts to do what God was telling us to do all along. I can’t tell you how much better I feel having this huge item crossed off my perpetual to-do list—I feel like, finally, that part of my mind is freed up to focus on other things! Like, hmm, life with my kids!



Here’s the thing, for me: on the surface, I seem pretty organized. Of course I don’t have it all together, but I try really hard. But for every cabinet that I am embarrassed to open in front of a girlfriend and every closet I won’t open when family comes to visit…those things cause shame and they take away my joy. Shame is a pretty strong word, I know, but anything that separates me from my God or my loved ones is shameful. Every day as I work toward my goal of getting my life—seen and unseen—in line with where God wants me to be, I count each straight drawer and every organized cabinet and every clean closet as a victory. Like the plaque on my back door says, “it’s the little things in life that make living so grand!”



Thanks to our friend Kristi from Adventures of MommyGirl is guest posting again! Be sure to pop over to her site and say hi!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Headed to Frozen Tundra (AKA Green Bay)

Drove over 400 miles during the early morning hours - from Richland, Georgia to Memphis, Tennessee - to drop and hook a load of wooden pallets from Alachua, Florida at IFCO Systems (photo above) this morning around 9:00 AM CST. Awaiting live loading now of wooden pallets in Southaven, Mississippi at CHEP (photo below); this load is due at a Procter & Gamble facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin Saturday morning. There's a possibility of freezing rain in the Memphis area and north sometime Friday morning. I already miss Florida.

SITTING AND WAITING ---

THIS IS THE PART THAT IS JUST TO MUCH --
WE GET TO WISCONSIN AND WE WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT, -----WE GET OUT OTHER TRUCK - THROW OUR STUFF IN IT AND GET TOLD WE HAVE TO GET TO ANOTHER PLACE TO GET IT FIXED. OH JOY I'M THINKING. SOME DAYS --- GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! SO WE HEAD OFF -- IN THE MEAN TIME DAN SAYS HE FORGOT HIS EYEGLASSES, IN WHICH HE CAN'T DRIVE WITHOUGHT. WELL, HERE WE GO.
SO WE GET TO THE MAINTENANCE PLACE AND THEY TRY TO FIX IT AND THEY FIND THAT IT IS MORE THAN JUST AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM. THEY NEED TO ORDER A PART THAT WON'T BE HERE UNTIL TOMOROW. OH AND ALSO THERE IS ANOTHER PART THAT NEEDS TO BE ORDERED THAT CAN'T BE DONE UNTIL LATER, WHICH WON'T GET US OUT OF HERE UNTIL SATURDAY.
IN THE MEANTIME I AM LOOKING AT THE CRAP ON THE TRUCK -- OVERWHELMED-- BECAUSE BETWEEN THE 2 OF US THERE IS SO MUCH STUFF STITTING ON THE BEDS THAT I JUST DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START. I JUST FEEL LIKE IGNORING IT ALTOGETHER. I MEAN AT THIS POINT COULD IT GET ANY WORSE. WHAT ELSE COULD YOU POSSIBLY ENDURE OUT HERE.
SO SLOWLY I START TO PUT IT ALTOGETHER AND IT TAKES A TOTAL OF 2 DAYS. ALL I CAN SAY IS FUN FUN FUN. ---

USA - A ban on "texting" by truckers and bus drivers

[reuters] The U.S. government on Tuesday banned hand-held "texting" by drivers of large commercial trucks and buses to avoid the danger of distracted driving.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement the prohibition takes effect immediately. It follows a similar ban in December for drivers of federal government vehicles.

"We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe," LaHood said. "This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving."

The new ban carries fines of up to $2,750.

Research by trucking regulators show that drivers take their eyes off the road for much of the time that they send and receive text messages, and they are significantly more at risk of getting into an accident than someone who is not texting.

U.S. bans "texting" by truckers, bus drivers

Truck Driver iPhone users new iPhone Application 'iBOL'

PCS Software, Inc. is doing their best to help out in the trucking industry. Last week they released a new iPhone application called 'iLoadFinder' its for truck drivers to find loads from various "load boards" offering loads for them to haul. Now this week, PCS Software, Inc. has released another iPhone application for truck drivers called 'iBOL'..
More at Examiner.Com
http://www.examiner.com/x-15044-Truck-Industry-Examiner~y2010m1d27-Truck-Driver-iPhone-users-new-iPhone-Application-iBOL

Goodbye Guinea Fowl, Hello Truck Stop

This week I learned that the land I grew up on will be a truck stop as of mid-February 2010. Each day after that up to 32 trucks with trailers, those eighteen wheelers that terrify motorists as they race along the N3, will drive over the land where once stood our horse stables, pigsties, and my grandfather's cow shed. Soon I will wonder if it is true that I once played barefoot here and watched the penny stinker grasshoppers leap, the shongalolos curl into spirals, and the snake swallow the frog. Alas, these memories, taken for granted back then, have not been passed on....



This time next month the unique veld grass that only grows on this plateau, in this part of the Valley of a Thousand Hills, in this section of KwaZulu Natal, will be replaced by tar and macadam and encircled by a high brick wall. The thorn- and corral trees will be gone, chopped down, roots dug up, and hauled to a waste dump to rot slowly among discarded papers and toys, food scraps, and plastic bottles.

I worry about the weaver and Hoopoe birds and the flock of four adult guinea fowl with two new chicks that live in the scrub and bush among the razor wire under the electric fence that, until this week, separated Thor Chemical from our land.

It is not as if this was a pristine environment. For decades, Assmang – called Ferralloys during my youth – belched smoke most days and flared most nights on the western horizon. Despite the black dust that cakes our buildings that facility is as familiar and as annoying as an old relative puffing a pipe on the back porch.

It was a shock when Thor Chemical arose on what was also once my grandfather's land...and a further shock when it contaminated the region with toxic waste. Then, three years ago and despite “the process” required when a new facility is built – the EIAs, meetings to gather input from Interested and Affected Parties, and local residents' outcry against the facility – Chlor Chem chlorine manufacturing plant went up across the road where my grandfather grazed and dipped his small herd of Jerseys.



Melvin, a nice enough man who owns the truck stop, represents the much vaunted South African entrepreneur. He must be relieved that, somehow, his trucking business was not subject to “the process.” And, if it was, it flew so low under the radar that we – right next door living lives that eschew the entrepreneurial spirit that digs into, dumps upon, fills, burns, and sucks dry the land – knew nothing about his truck stop's imminent arrival. Melvin dreams, not of shongalolos, penny stinkers, and guinea fowl but of his 32 trucks speeding along the nation's roads. He worries, not about flora and fauna, but that his cargo – perhaps plastic bottles filled with syrupy liquid, or reams of paper from many pulp and paper mills, or kids' toys imported from China – arrive on time and on budget at Makro, Super Spar, Click's and Game.

Truth is, my grandfather could have been Melvin. He, too, was an entrepreneur, out to make a buck, feed his family, and leave something by which to remember him. He believed in owning land and he bought as much as he could afford from someone who'd bought and sold it from someone else, all the way back to the English king's land grant to George Cato. Back then wild creatures abounded: Duiker and other buck, leopard, civets, lynx, snakes, chameleons, fowl, frogs, thousands of species of birds, beetles, mantis, grass hoppers, spiders, ants.... My grandfather dug up a portion of the land, conveyed it into a rock crusher, graded it according to the formula of his day, and sold it to spec housing developers.

Indeed, entrepreneurs like my grandfather and Melvin – decades apart in how they conduct business – are the global norm and follow the multi-generational mindset to dig, build, trade, promote, and bequeath plots of land despite the loss of indigenous flora and fauna.



It just so happened that King Shaka's tactics in this region had left the area underpopulated at the time the English king's land grant displaced indigenous communities. Nevertheless, as I walk around to photograph the last of the thorn and corral trees, stroke the veldt grasses, and warn the guinea fowl to find safer ground, my heavy heart reminds me that I share these feelings of loss, and anger, and impotence, and sadness, and fear – with millions of others who have seen their histories disappear under the mindset that admires tar and macadam, brick and block, smoke and smog. I haven't seen a wild Duiker for years while chameleon and mantis, sensitive to environmental pollution, disappeared long ago.

This is how people the world over lose that which few of us recognize as the only human heritage worth working to maintain: our natural environment. As they say, lives ends not with a bang but a whimper.

RECYCLE: Joy Division 01 An Ideal For Living

The Power of Independent Trucking is proud to link up with the folks at the Recycle blog (well, £50 Note at least) to present the Joy Division chapter of RECYCLE - £50 Note's yeoman effort at doing the box set that should have happened all along.

The mind behind the PoIT curtain - your own Analog Loyalist - is overseeing and handling the mastering work of the raw audio tracks. £50 Note is managing the general presentation and the artwork. Occasionally I will host over here differences, or oddities, I've come across while restoring the audio.



Today we feature the premier release of the nascent Joy Division, the EP recorded in December 1977 that became the highly-sought-after An Ideal For Living 7"/12". While the tracks themselves ultimately saw wide release on 1988's Substance, and then 1997's box set Heart and Soul, the quality of both issues was just so-so. Furthermore, the box set versions sounded *worse* than the 1988 release! Why, I have no idea. It's almost as if the box set used a cassette dub of the tracks as its source, while 1988's Substance went back to the masters.

Anyhow, oddly enough, the original vinyl pressings themselves, and all subsequent digital reissues (which I have confirmed by comparing to raw transfers from the actual original 7" and 12" releases) were mastered a bit fast, perhaps to be more punk? I don't know, and all I do know is that the recordings were not in concert pitch. It could simply have been a mastering error, or perhaps the band themselves didn't own any tuning equipment.

So of course I corrected it, for this post at least. £50 Note is posting the pitch-accurate-to-original-release version, as he should. If you want the pitch-accurate-to-a-tuning-fork, however, you're at the right place.

Lossless FLAC, remastered from the original Japanese CD pressing of Substance - the best digital source I've been able to locate. Grab them here!

JOY DIVISION
RECYCLE 01: An Ideal For Living
7" debut release, Enigma PSS139 (June 1978)
12" reissue, Anonymous ANON1 (October 1978)

01 Warsaw
02 No Love Lost
03 Leaders Of Men
04 Failures
05 At A Later Date (bonus, from the Virgin CD issue of Short Circuit)

See the post over at the Recycle blog for more details, and my original mastering notes.

Enjoy!

Trucking Along

I'm continuing to work on the Cathedral window quilt, in between 7th birthday party preparations. I have completed 8 blocks of 4. I haven't stitched them together yet because I want to have the bulk of them done first so I can play with the layout. I cheated a bit and stitched the bottom centermost blocks together though. I wanted to stitch a couple of the empty windows to see how the diamond layout looked when finished properly. My game plan is to prepare and then sew rows of 4 blocks of 4 at a time.
Here is the next row ready to go. I best get started! Nap time is almost over.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Private Pilot - The Joy of Flying

There is nothing like the feeling of sliding into a Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee 180 and heading off into the sky. The sense of freedom is enormous, and whatever worries or problems you may be facing, just fade away. It is an incredible feeling!

Nearing my 22nd year of professional truck driving, nothing can clear my mind or ease my spirit as much as flying. The sound of the engine, lowering the flaps, full rich mixture and power and the aircraft shooting down the runway and then . . . lift off! Now this is cool. This is more than cool . . . it is totally awesome!

After CDL training, the stress of trucking can wear you down sooner or later. Trucking will take over your life until you have no life . . . if you let it. After a hard three or four-week run, all a driver wants to do when they make it home, is rest. In a few days they will have to head out, and start it all over again. It is imperative that someone who lives the life of a trucker, has hobbies that they can enjoy when they are home. It is very important to be able to do those things for relaxation to mend the mind and body, before having to jump in the truck again.

Many will enjoy a movie out with their families . . . a fishing trip . . . time out on the boat . . . a motorcycle ride . . . whatever it is, a driver should set aside that time at home for rest and enjoyment. Life is too short to spend it always in a truck. Most trucking companies don’t understand this. The only thing that exists in life is the freight. Forget about the freight for a while . . . and enjoy life when you can before it’s gone.

I look forward to riding my Harley every chance I get. What a rush! But, flying . . . now there is freedom and peace. Have you ever thought about becoming a pilot? It’s not hard at all, and is not too expensive . . . and the joy it brings is immeasurable. Only if it is two or three hours a week or several hours a month . . . the rewards are great.

At 3500 feet or 8500 feet, all the stress and worries of daily life seem to disappear. It makes you realize that we are very small creatures inhabiting this planet! It brings your perspective of things back to a normal realization. If you are one who’s entire life is bound by trucking, like so many drivers are, (I know, I’ve been there), and you are considering a “hobby” of some sort, consider attaining your Private Pilot Certificate. Discover the joy of general aviation. You won’t regret it.

I am planning my first flight to Freeport in the Bahamas and will be flying a Piper Cherokee 180. I received my Private Pilot License in March 1985 and still have the same enthusiasm today as I had on my first flight. I have about 15 hours to go in attaining my commercial/instrument rating . . . always learning and always discovering new things. Although it is only about 246.5 nautical miles and will take roughly two hours and forty minutes to make it to Freeport, with approximately thirty-eight minutes of “ocean” flying . . . it’s going to be the best two hours and forty minutes of my life!

Don’t let trucking control your life. Whatever it takes . . . whatever hobby you choose . . . make it work for you. If you’ve never thought about flying, consider it now. Trust me . . . you’ll be glad you did.

01/23/2010

01/23/2010



I got lazy. In fact extremely lazy for me. The alarm scream it's murderous cry at 3am just as I had instructed it to do. Sat up in my very cold truck, shut the alarm off and asked myself why. Why get up so damned early? It was Saturday after all and the traffic in Baltimore and Washington while heavy won't be as bad as it is in the touristy months. Having failed to get a satisfactory answer. I fired up the truck to generate some warmth left the alarm off and went back to sleep. That is the nice thing about weekend runs there is generally extra time to sleep in later. I slept in till 7:30am when my bio-clock (not sure that is a word) woke me up and said that was enough laziness.



I fired up the coffee maker. I really don't know how truckers that are addicted, as I am, to coffee survive without a coffee maker in their truck. Yea there are truck stops in lots of places, but you never know what kinda of cup of coffee you'll end up with. Some make it so strong it is a wonder that the Styrofoam cup doesn't break down much less your stomach lining. Others buy the cheapest crap they can get there hands on and call it coffee. Beside the quality you have to consider the time involved in stopping to get a cup that is at least 15 min for each cup. Yea you can buy them 2 at a time, but by the time you get to the second cup it is to cold to be truly good and that is assuming the first cup was of halfway descent quality. I don't know about you but 1 Cup of coffee does not start the day properly. One pot yes, but one cup no way. Alright I will get off my coffee soapbox.



After a pretrip on the truck and combing my hair it was time to roll. Last time I left here I zigged instead of zagging and ended up playing fifty rounds of "How the hell do I get out of here". Today not so much. Some intensive studying of Streets and Trips prior to departure and zip I was out of there. It was early enough on a Saturday morning in the Philly area that even the shoppers were not even out yet. A quick stop in Perryville. MD to top off the fuel tanks. I grabbed some morning fuel for the belly as well a quart of chocolate milk and two Bon Apetit danishes and I was on my way.



Two or three hours into the run today I get a message from extended services (our weekend/ night connection to the back office) " Harvey if you got the hours. The consignee will be receiving from 11pm tonight till 3pm Sunday afternoon.". Kool . I was originally going to pull up and hour or so short and run the rest Monday morning. Now this is a very nice place to deliver. The people are very nice and the facility is good as well. A truly rare combination. But if you pile 12-16 trucks into there all at once it would be a nightmare. So in order to avoid that I decided to run all the way in and get unloaded tonight. I figured there would still be 4-6 trucks an amount that this place can handle. I rolled in there at 6pm the lone truck. Pulled the tarp and chains and still had a couple of hours to wait. A few minutes before 11 another truck pulled in. Forty-five minutes later I was sending in my empty call and still no additional trucks.



I hadn't been keeping track of my miles. If I had I probably would have waited until Sunday to deliver. It seems that if you get above a 3000 miles Uncle Sam takes an undue interest in how much I make and decides to tax the additional miles to the point of why bother doing them. At any rate I finished the week with 3450 miles and about $100 in ancillary pay. Not to shabby a week considering last year at this time I was struggling to get 1500 miles.



A preplan would have been optimum at least I could have headed the way I need to go for Monday. I will get a 34 hour reset in so no worries about hours next week. I found a place to park and there is what looks like a mom and pop pizza joint here so that will be Sunday's dinner. Now All I have to do is get motivated and clean the interior of the truck. I'll work on that (getting motivated that is)



You have a good day


Bookerz out

Trucking - January 2010 (UK)


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Trucking - January 2010 (UK)
English | 132 pages | PDF | 58.10 Mb
Trucking is Britain best-selling road-transport magazine. Appealing to all levels of the industry it offers a unique mix of news, features, commentary and truck road tests. Many of Trucking writers and photographers are professional truck drivers. Reader involvement is high, with a free legal advice service, competitions (we have given away everything from hot drink flasks to a 44-tonne truck) and a popular letters page. There humour, nostalgia and the classified advertisements are the UK's biggest haulier market place.


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