Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh yea - I forgot . . .  go check out MOCHEEF - I have to say I'm biased, but  I think it is good.  What do you think?

Going to Canada

We are making our second trip into Canada.  Snuck the first one by ya . . . huh?  Actually, we went in for the first time just a week or so ago.  That time, we went in from Seattle and made a delivery in Vancouver, BC.  The streets were more narrow than we are used to and Tony had a very difficult dock to maneuver into for the unload.  (I was really really glad it was his shift - that place was NOT made for our large truck!).  We were back out that afternoon and on our merry way.

This time, we will be going into Canada from Detroit and making a delivery 250'ish miles away in a suburb of Toronto.  When we make that delivery, we will go on the board there in Canada and could end up coming back out through Detroit or going the shorter route out through Buffalo, New York.  I'm hoping for Buffalo, no real reason, just like that part of the world.  I'd love to stop and see Niagara Falls, but have no idea whether we'll have the time or not.

The leaves are changing as we drive around the country.  What a beautiful sight.  I have a wonderful picture of the perfectly colored autumn tree, but the camera is in the truck and Tony is sleeping.  I'll post it next time.

We did get the chains out and sorted and re-bagged for the coming Winter.  I, of course, was busy doing other things and totally forgot to take pictures.  It is pretty cool to see them all laid out.  If you are lucky (and we are not), I'll take some photos the first time we have to put them on the truck.

I am spending some time in the Taylor, Michigan terminal.  Here is a list of the things I can do while loitering in a terminal:
shower (as opposed to my normal hit/miss in public bathrooms)
laundry (even washed Leo's bed, carseat cover and harness)
downloaded some podcasts (we have become fans of a number of audio and video podcasts)
re-synched our iPods with the above podcasts
cleaned out several months of e-mail inbox clutter
caught up on all the Brad/Angelina gossip as well as weird plastic surgery pictures
mapped out our route to the border and on into Ontario (I DO actually work sometimes!)
re-arranged my playlists on iTunes.  Currently I have Jana's Groove Mix and Jana's Drive Mix on my iPod.  I'm waiting until the middle of November before succumbing to my All Christmas All the Time playlist

I also walk around the lot - it is wonderfully brisk tonight and I'll make several more turns around it on my way back to the truck.

So, there it life at the moment

Sunday, October 19, 2008

OMG. . . winter is coming!

We passed snow on the roadside yesterday in Wyoming and it is getting COLD at night.  The weather is wonderful though and we are practicing some things for our winter driving.  Our total allowable weight (Gross Vehicle Weight) is 80,000 pounds.  We are currently weighing out at 79,020 pounds!  This is the heaviest we have ever been - we actually had to think about how much fuel to put in and decided on 120 gallons which weighed in at 1,000 pounds.  I did get to pull this weight up Cabbage Hill (my nemesis from last winter) and did great.  Getting to pull that much weight up the hill in clear sunny weather was a breeze compared to slogging up it in the snow and ice last year.   The weather in Oregon, Idaho and Utah can change in the blink of an eye and it is good to start thinking about these things early.  I say early, but read that a Con-Way driver has already had to chain up this year...ICK.

We are headed into Joplin for some winterizing on the truck and ourselves.  One of the most important things we will do is take all the chains out of the chainbox and lay them out and inspect them.  Then we will practice putting them on again (just to remind us of how bad we hate doing it!).  I'll take pictures and post them.

We are winterizing ourselves as well.  Taking most of the summer clothes off the truck and brining the warm woolies on.  I have ordered snow boots for Tony and I and we will pick those up as well.  Leo already has snow boots, but refused to wear them last year - we will work on that this year again!
Break time is over - got to get back on the road!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A better look. . .

After I posted the last piece and put the picture over to the right in our profile, it was obvious that you couldn't really see Leo.  Here is a better shot:

Don't we look nice?

We needed to take a day off to pick up mail, have the truck serviced, drink a glass of wine and just generally loaf for a day, so we headed into Joplin last week.   While we were there, we also had our name of choice "Fandango Travelers" put on the door of the truck.  As you can see at the right, it came out pretty good.  Leo seems to like it!

We also got the special pleasure of having a dispatch that took us through Neoso, Mo where we went to school to learn how to do this wonderful job.  The school is at Crowder College there in Neosho.  When we rolled in, they were having a cookout in the work bay there at the truck school.  I think it was graduation day for the current class.  It was good to see our two instructors, Lonnie and John and they really liked seeing the truck.  Our truck is actually a new one that they had not been inside of and so we were thrilled to show off our home.  The woman who was so helpful to me, Janice, was out and I missed getting to tell her how important she had been to me.  It was really gratifying to let Lonnie and John know that I had learned my lessons well and have become a pretty proficient driver.  I am sure that they could tell how happy Tony and I are with our new life.

Another plus of that day is that we were able to get a trailer that matched and had the time to stop and take a picture.  Aren't we beautiful?  I don't think this trailer makes my butt look big at all, do you?

We are on the turn-around part of a great set of dispatches.  We were on the West Coast - actually in San Francisco, and ended up with a dispatch taking us all the way to the East Coast where we dropped in Pennsylvania.  Now we have picked up another load in Pennsylvania and are cruising back through the MidWest headed for Sacramento.  This will be a nice fat paycheck!