Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Untimely Demise of My New Computer

My computer has contracted a virus that has disabled Internet Explorer as well as many other options and programs that would allow me to remove the virus. It is still running at the moment so I am salvaging my files as I am not sure I will ever be able to fix this. My anti virus program no longer see's any viruses (initially it picked up over 50 intrusions) but somehow internet explorer is running invisibly and I am unable to use explorer for anything. I can't find any useful info on the internet. All I can do is wait for someone to have the same problem, come up with a solution and post it somewhere. Then I have to get to another computer, and transfer whatever software I need to mine and try to fix it. This is frustrating beyond belief. My new computer has been rendered useless and I am back to begging and borrowing again. I am trying not to be extremely angry and bitter and frustrated. I guess I'll get more reading done.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Quote-of-the-Day Challenge!


1. your name
2. a noun
3. a verb (present tense / ending in 's')
4. a plural noun
5. an adverb (ending in 'ly')
6. an adjective
7. another noun



[your name] - "A [noun] that [verb]s [plural noun] is [adverb] a [adjective] [another noun]."


Clare Whiting - "A kiss that speaks volumes is rarely a first edition."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peter Drucker - "The best way to predict the future is to create it."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ok, i wanna go home now.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

sequacious: having a sequence; following

Friday, December 05, 2008

It's The Little Things...

Today started well. Slept soundly, woke up at a good time, showered, ate, got on the road at a good time, made good time all the way to Portland...and then the little things started.

No parking at the Troutdale yard (abandoned 2 attempts), finally parked illegally in a lot that used to be legal to park in (it's a long story - let's skip it), next I went from the yard to my delivery (one of those don't be early but don't be late either drops) and upon my arrival discovered that for the last four days I had been forgetting that 22:00 hours means 10pm, not 11pm. Thus, thinking I was arriving 30 minutes early, I actually arrived 30 minutes late. Next, the dock door which was assigned to me was taken for some reason and I spent the next 15 minutes running between  the guard shack, the receiving office and my truck, as well as circling a very small crowded (with lots of big trucks rushing to and fro barely missing one another) dock area trying get into an open dock door before someone else did. Next, upon opening my trailer doors to prepare for docking, it is apparent that several pallets have fallen over in transit and a very large amount of freight is clearly damaged (meaning instead of going to the yard and dropping of an empty trailor after this, I get to make a bunch of phone calls, send a few forms, take the damaged freight back to the already over crowded Troutdale yard and hope there is some one there that can help me get it out of the trailer so I can drop an empty trailer and got to bed). I also discovered that I have been logging the wrong trailer number in my logbook for at least 4 days if not longer (this means I have to re-write all of those logs). I don't even want to look to see if it's more at this point. I'll do it later. This all happening while in the back of my mind I am remembering that  I am also in trouble for 12 over-speed (going over 65mph regardless of local speed limit) warnings that I just heard about yesterday.

My stress level is a little high at the moment, but I am trying to keep it under control. I just wasn't ready for all this at once. I am really not doing that bad. I have to remind myself of that. All of these are things that just happen sometimes. True I  could have double checked my paperwork and my ETA times to make sure, and I may now have this as a reminder to do that more thoroughly in the future. i don't know what I could've done about the damaged freight. Drive more gracefully? I dunno. I think that one is on the people who loaded the darn thing. (big sigh) I guess we'll see. Maybe I'll have some free damaged Gatoraide on my hands when this is over.

I am still looking forward to my day off in Portland but as seems to happen so often, work stuff is starting to encroach on my day off. For one thing I will probably get out of here pretty late. This place is notoriously slow. For  another, I just discovered I have a pile of paperwork to sort through, correct, and re-write, for another I have to drive my truck to a shop in town tomorrow for service and maybe pick it up tomorrow night as well. My precious hours of leisure in one of my favorite cities are slipping through my fingers like sand. Time  is like that I guess (another big sigh). Well we'll see where this all goes.

Things turned out ok. No damaged goods. I think I am just tired more than anything. Going to bed.

Marie Curie - "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

B. F. Skinner - "Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Names I Like (Updated)

Arné* (f)
Charlotte "Charlie"
Dayton* (f)
Sidney (f)
*recent additions

Combinations I Like

Apple Archer (f/m)
Apple Mae (f)
Charlotte Bleu (f)
Edwin Archer (m)
Mae Bleu (f)
River Lee (f)
Sebastian Royal (m)
Thurston Royal (m)


Monday, December 01, 2008

Fun With Mud.

Imagine trying to walk in a field several inches deep in runny peanut butter. Not the chunky kind either. We're talkin' extra creamy oily runny peanut butter. Got the picture? Ok now imagine trying to drive in said peanut butter. Now imagine (if you can) trying to drive a 15 ton 18 wheeler in said peanut butter. You may even imagine that such a vehicle might get stuck in such a substance. Of coarse once stuck, the only alternatives are either putting tire chains on (meaning that you will now not only be walking, but also kneeling, and perhaps even laying in this substance), or asking your company to pay for a very expensive "wench-out" from a local heavy-duty towing service. Having done the later a couple times in my early days here at Interstate, I opted for putting chains on. I figured, what the heck; playing in mud was fun as a kid - why not now?

Yep. You guessed it. This is not just a hypothetical situation. The peanut butter to which I referred is none other than good ol' Indianapolis, Indiana mud. Never mind how I got myself into it to begin with, let's pick up at the part where I am getting out of my truck to play in the mud (I really like calling it runny peanut butter; "mud" just doesn't do justice to the actual consistency of the stuff, so where ever I type "mud" just think "runny peanut butter").  As I took the first step into the mud it became apparent that if I did not fasten my shoes on more tightly I would very soon lose them. The mud sucked at my feet making a funny "sclop! sclop!" sound as I...walked? Trudged? No...ah, what the heck - as I "sclopped" to my chain rack to retrieve my tire chains. The mud caked to my shoes as well so my feet looked like giant clods. As I tried to work the chains around the tires, my knees sinking in the oozing sludge, it became apparent that the tires had sunk too far for the chains to fit around the tires. The textbook answer to this scenario is to dig space around the tired so the tire chains can fit tightly around the tire. Right. Dig. No problem. Just like digging melting ice-cream. Or hot fudge. That's a good one; try digging a hole in a bowl of hot fudge sometime. See how far you get. Well, needless to say this stuff wasn't hot (in fact it was beginning to snow at this point) and my chains weren't exactly putting themselves on so I improvised and managed to find a way to temporarily fasten the chains. Then I climbed back into my truck and tried out my solution.

Two feet. Not bad. Only 68 feet to go. Of coarse now, having climbed back into my truck caked in mud, my driving area (seat, floor, brake pedal, throttle pedal, door) was (and still is) pretty much caked in mud as well. Well, I'll worry about that later. I went to check on my chains, noticing very quickly that my temporary fix turned out more temporary than I had intended and my chains had now not only slipped off of my tires but had wrapped themselves around the axle like some  gigantic poorly made chocolate pretzel (another food metaphor? I must be hungry...) I believe it was at this point, while I was trying to extricate my slimy mud-caked tire chains, that some concerned citizen passing by pointed out to me that once I got out of the mud I would undoubtedly be tracking mud all over this otherwise clean street and that I had better clean it up or the neighboring property owners would have something to say about it. To which I - as politely as I could  - smiled and nodded and continued with my work. I kept wondering after that if the person had just failed to notice that I was covered nearly head to toe in mud, or didn't care, or perhaps assumed I was enjoying myself (at the expense of their, until now, clean and tidy street).

After getting my chains free I had to step back and re-assess the situation. I decided I needed a new strategy, but what? I sclopped around my truck a bit examining the situation from different angles, guessing at whether or not a second attempt at putting chains on would be a.) effective and b.) worth the effort. I eventually concluded that it would be neither and got on the phone to my fleet manager to request a wench-out, but as I sat in my driver seat talking on the phone I gently rocked the truck back in the forth (as I had done earlier) to see if I could sort of wiggle the truck out.

At the first slight attempt the truck immediately moved another four feet and then stuck again. I told my phone contact I'd call them back. Here was a solution that I had written off too soon. It took another 15 minutes or more of additional wiggling as well as wedging various things under the tires for better traction (I looked for the concerned citizen but he was unavailable and probably would have made poor traction anyway) but after some time and effort I managed free myself from the mire and park the truck on the street.

Deciding it best to make at least an effort at PR on the behalf of Interstate, I took my fleet managers card and gave it to the property manager of the closest property and then went of my merry muddy way.

The moral to this story? Mud can be fun, provided there are no other stressful elements introduced into the equation, such as physical discomfort, hunger, fatigue, poor health, extreme weather, an eminent deadline, or mortal peril. When all is said and done, I have a bit of a muddy mess in my truck now, but it is confined mostly to my driving area  and should be relatively easy to clean up once it dries. This hasn't ruined my day or even my night and I am thankful for that. Well, I better run along. Happy trails, until I write again!