Saturday, December 29, 2007

Brian Regan at The Little River Casino

Well, tonight JJ and I went to see Brian Regan perform at the Little River Casino in Manistee, MI. Bad weather lowered the turnout by at least one: the comedian who was going to be Brian's opening act. Since nothing in the advertisements or on the tickets mentioned an opening act, we didn't know there was going to be one, and it's hard to feel a sense of loss over something you didn't know you had. I still did feel that sense of loss, but it was hard.

Brian did mention that his buddy had flown from New York to Chicago, apparently for no reason, and was now looking for a space on the floor to curl up and sleep through the rest of the holidays, so at least we got to laugh at the poor guy. I would tell you who he was, but his name was never mentioned, so I have no idea. If you were at O'Hare airport on Friday, December 28th, and slept on the floor next to a very bitter looking guy that seemed especially disgusted, and yet was funny anyway, that was probably him. If you got his name, let me know.

Just to set the tone for this "review," let me say that our expectations for this show were incredibly high, so Brian Regan had no chance to live up to them. He still did.

He started out with some banter about the weather, and some local jokes. Something like: I got a comment online that somebody was coming *down* to see my show. *DOWN*? To Manistee??? Who is this, Santa Claus?

It was interesting to notice the change when he slipped into his more "prepared" act. Not more or less funny, just different.

One disappointment with the evening was that I had seen most of the bits already on YouTube. I wouldn't have watched them, but I had no idea we'd ever get an opportunity to see Brian, as at the time of finding out about this performance there was no possibility that I would be able to get the time off work. Since I figured he wouldn't do another show in the area for quite a while, I thought I'd be safe to enjoy a bit of his humor online. Wrong. Of course, he's much, much funnier in person, but a lot of the time I knew what he was going to say.

The other was the big screen on either side of the stage. We sat pretty far back ($45 for these seats, and we were in the front row of that section) I think it was like $90 to sit down front. Anyway, from where we were we could see his face pretty well, but of course the screens showed it better, so during the punchlines I always found myself looking at the screens. I kept thinking, I could be sitting at home watching him on TV, I want to look at the actual dude!

But, for all those little details, and the incredibly slow drive there and back - it was snowing very hard, but come on, if you're going to drive 20 mph on a two lane, pull off every once in awhile and let the people who know how to drive go by - it was an incredible show, and as I left I noticed I had tears at the corners of my eyes from laughing so hard.

All but a couple of the bits I hadn't heard were unbelievably funny, and the ones I knew were still worth a second listen. Brian must have come equipped with some extra face muscles that we don't all come with, he can stretch and make faces that would make an on-duty D.O.T. cop laugh. And one time, he made his eyeballs completely disappear while his eyes were all the way open! Unbelievable!

As we walked through the snow to the car, JJ said, "This was the best Christmas present ever." Wow. She got a computer last year. This year she got a T-shirt that says "When I grow up I want to be a dumbass, just like Daddy" (get yours at OnlyIdiots.TV.) And this show was still better.

So Mr. Brian Regan, you are definitely the funniest man I've ever seen, and my daughter thinks you're the best Christmas present ever.

I would have a couple more things to say, but my truck is in the driveway and somebody just called and said they need some logs. So, just one quick Pop-Tart and I'm outta here.

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

P.S. Get your piece of Brian Regan, the best Christmas present ever:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shorts and Sandals

I wear shorts and sandals almost all of the time, even in winter. I prefer them whenever it's warm, and even in the winter I spend nearly all of my time in a warm environment. When I have to work outside, or be outside for any length of time, I put on warmer clothes. But I don't change just to run into a truck stop.

Last year about this time, I stopped at the T/A truckstop in Fort Bridger, WY because it looked like the weather was going to get very bad very fast, and I thought I should find out what I was going to be driving into before I did it. Turns out it was a very fortunate decision because about a half-hour later they closed the road due to a severe crash, and it was closed for a long time, like half a day or more. Because I stopped when I did, I didn't have to spend that time in my truck on the side of the road, with no facilities. Instead, I was able to spend it parked near a restaurant and bathroom! Yeah!

There was no snow when I pulled into the truck stop, but by the time I got parked and was ready to go inside, there were a couple inches on the ground (it was snowing pretty hard). But I was parked fairly close to the building, and I didn't see any reason to change for a quick walk. When I got near the door a driver going in held the door for me and waited. As I passed by I said, "Thank you."

He replied, "You're welcome. The way you're dressed I wasn't sure if you'd know how to work a door"

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Carpool Lane

I do quite a bit of driving, which means I have time to think, and often while thinking I see road signs.

Road cops have such an awful job that it doesn't take them long to turn into very nasty people. In their defense, they *have* to be pretty nasty people to do that job, so it's likely that a lot of them started out that way. :-)

Anyway, I like to try to think of ways to mess with them that would get them back for being jerks to me all those times when they were (and sometimes, they were incredibly unbelievably bad, although in truth I've gotten tickets from some good guys over the years).

So, this thought has been running around my head for a couple years, and it seems like the perfect "crime". Please, if anyone can think of a reason this wouldn't work, click that comment button right down there \|/.

You get a friend to lie down on the floor of the backseat in a jurisdiction where back-seat passengers are not required to be belted, then go drive in the carpool lane. You could do one better by having a blow-up doll or mannequin or something in the front seat.

It seems to me that you're perfectly legal, while looking illegal. I think it would be wise to make sure your car, insurance, and registration are all *COMPLETELY* up to snuff, 'cause if I'm right this guy is gonna *WANT* to write you for *SOMETHING*.

If you try it, let me know, and if it works, you'll get hero status from me!

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

P.S. I've also considered displaying a ton of license plates from all over on the back of your vehicle, with only one of them being the correct one, and that one *not* in the middle. My guess is they've probably got a rule about this one, but I don't know of one.

Paradigm Shifter

I've been having some troubles seeing things from other people's points of view. Thinking I could use a little help, I superglued a couple of dimes to my gearshift so now everytime I go from zero to sixty I've used my pair-a-dime shifter about 12 times. YMMV.

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

Treasure Hunt

The post below that says it's "Just for Danielle," is part of our Christmas treasure hunt. One of her clues sent her to my blog to find her next clue, which by now you may have guessed was found in a book entitled "Into the Wild," at Chapter 13.

She eventually found her present, a Fur-Real Friend Kitty Cat named Sorrelltail.

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

Mom's New House

Mom recently moved to Owasco, NY to take up her post as Pastor at Owasco Reformed Church. She lives in the parsonage next door, and although almost everyone who cares has seen the house, I thought I'd post a couple pictures anyway. It's a *very* nice house, with lots of interesting details and history. The pictures don't really show that, but they do show that it's a nice place.

In this photo, the church is just to the left of the camera, about 30 feet from the house. Although a lot of a pastor's work is done away from the church building, Mom's going to have a hard time calling in and saying the weather's too bad to go to work.

Those are some snapshots of her house, Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Master Bedroom, and Sewing Room. I hope I'm able to visit quite often. Even the people are nice there in Owasco.

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

It's Been a While

It's been very busy these last few months. The few times I've had time to get to the blog to tell the two of you about things that were going on, I haven't felt like it. So, it looks as if you're going to get caught up in a hurry, with a bunch of posts. The neat thing is: the way this blog works, you'll probably already have read all the catching up by the time you get to this post. Neat, huh?

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

Monday, December 24, 2007

This post is just for Danielle

"Into the Wild", I won't go there. Maybe you could, Chapter 13, that's where!

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

P.S. credit goes to JJ for authoring this post.

P.P.S. If you're not Danielle, and you're reading this, it's not likely to make a lot of sense. So in other words, it's like the rest of my blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Goodbye Fred

Fred Gibbons, My Stepfather

This man brought an entirely new outlook into my life.

He made my Mother happy.

He made the world bigger.

The trials of life are easier to take because I knew Fred.

He was famous for his gruffness, but because he was honest, no one would call him rude. It might have been hard to make him smile, but when he did, you knew he meant it.

I have wondered for two weeks why it was so hard to understand that Fred is gone. Now I understand that Fred will never be gone, because his uniqueness is branded into everyone who knew him.

I'll miss you Fred, and I'll always be a better person because I knew you.

- Trev.

On Monday, November 26th, at Owasco Reformed Church in Owasco, NY, friends and family gathered for a Memorial Service for Fred. Fred's Stepdaughter, and my sister, Katy, sang Amazing Grace from the balcony. Just her voice, it was the most powerful music I've ever heard. Ever.

There were many people in attendance, I didn't think to count. I'm sure at least a dozen people stood to speak of Fred, his life, his exploits, and the people he touched.

To end the service, we stood and sang "Joy to the World." Well, most people did. Every time I tried to add my voice I got choked up, so mostly I just stood there and felt the moment.

Fred only got 66 years, but he lived every minute. And enjoyed most of them :-).

And Heaven and Nature Sing.

- Trevor.
Barstow, CA

Springfield, MO

Please visit

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Place Holder

Hi everyone (with emphasis on the *one*, since that's how many of you there are :-) ).

I will post here soon.

This is a placeholder post.

If you want to catch up on news before I post about it, please check out this wonderful post by my sister, over at the "SeaSaw MaMa by the Seashore" blog: Hello, Goodbye

- Trevor
Springfield, MO

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cute Smiles, Snow, and Upside Down Trucks

Yep, that says, "Emergency Assistance Illinois State Police 309-752-4911 CALL COLLECT.

I feel safe.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm biased about certain things. I mean, I know I'm biased about everything, but it seems to me that I can see the bias when I actually think about it and make an attempt to recognize it. I recognize quite a bit of bias in a lot of things I think. I just wonder how much bias there is that I don't recognize. Anyway... that is one cute kid!

And that is two cute kids!

This is what winter looks like. Remember winter? We're going to hope that this winter I keep my truck "Between the ditches, shiny side up and rubber side down." (Sorry about that, except for the usual foul language, I hardly ever break into Truck Driver Talk... but in some situations it just seems natural.)

You don't need winter weather to mess up. This was a big one. I was in stop and go traffic for two hours coming up to this. There were many vehicles involved that I didn't get pictures of, and lots and lots of skid marks. I didn't see much more than what's in the pictures, because I was concentrating on getting through there as fast as safely possible so the people behind me that had been waiting two hours could get where they needed to go as well. I just held up the camera and hoped I got some good shots. The reason the quality is so low is because to get pictures that look decent from shots you took without looking, you have to crop quite a bit away. ;-)

- Trevor
Denton, TX
(Here's a first - I had to open my GPS to find out where I am... didn't realize I didn't know until I went to type it!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Find a Penny, Pick it Up

Ok, everyone knows the old poem:

Find a penny, pick it up
All the day you'll have good luck!

BUT... what happens if you find more than one penny in a day??? I mean, do you get extra good luck? Does it cancel out? Do you have to put the first one where the second one was found? Do you get extra good luck if you leave it there for someone else to find? If so, do you get even more if you walk past it and "find" it a few more times before someone picks it up?

I'm looking for answers, people!

- Trevor.
Bessemer, AL

Quick Note

Next time you have a problem with what a truck driver is wearing while walking into the truck stop, reconsider, and think about what you wear on your way from the bedroom to the shower.

- Trevor
Bessemer, AL

P.S. I know the socks look goofy with the sandals, but I don't want to touch them until I'm close to the shower.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Respect for Truck Drivers

Here's a little story to give you an idea of how much respect truck drivers have earned. You'll notice that this story is a touch out of date, since it's main point hovers on it being hot in a factory in Delaware.

There's a shipping office in a steel company in Delaware. It's around the back and kind of difficult to get to. Once you get there, and you go inside, you'll notice that it's air conditioned. Well, at least the part the office workers are in is air conditioned, not the part the drivers wait in.

There's a sliding window between the driver's hallway and the office itself. This allows a driver to see the clerk, and hand paperwork back and forth. Next to that window, on the wall, is a window unit air conditioner. With the back side facing the driver. Yes, that's right... the hot air from the office is pumped out... not outside, but into the area the drivers wait in!

- Trevor.
Branch, MI

Some Truck Stops Have More Services Than Others

When I left my shower room at the Flying J in Hope Hull, Alabama the other day I saw the janitor's cart sitting in the hallway. This is normal. I also saw a large squeeze bottle full of a blue liquid. Its spot on the cart was labelled, very clearly and in nice handwriting, BOWEL CLEANER.

- Trevor
Branch, MI

Trip In Review (I'm Finally Home!!!)

Wow. I'm finally here! I intended to tell you all the places I went and all that - But I think I'll just sum up: I went East as far as Boston, South as far as Miami, North as far as Seattle, and West as far as, well, Seattle. And I did it a lot of times.

So, here are some pictures and stuff. It's been a while, so there are a lot.

This is kind of an addition to the private showers post. Here is one of those showers I mentioned. It's a small one, most are bigger now. This one is a Flying J shower.

Well, it made me laugh. It's on the floor of a stall in a rest area... and it's an Immodium wrapper.

Yep, that says "God Hates Graffiti"

The sign says "This register is only for Drive-Thru orders." I guess not at this one, but at most McDonald's, the drive thru is actually outside.

Yeah, but how much for just, like, a regular one?

My favorite picture of the entire trip.

Mostly they did, but there was still writing on the walls.

This sign, in case you can't make it out, says, "Restroom Temporarily Closed. Lobby Open." I probably shouldn't tell this story, but I will. Thank you to the state of Pennsylvania for causing me unbelievable distress. There were no signs coming up to this rest area, or in it, to indicate that my time would be better spent finding another restroom. I had to park almost a half-mile away from this building, and hobble all the way to it. And then, I had to hobble back and look elsewhere. Thanks for the 45 minute hellish interlude into the middle of my night you low-life jerks. Since then, I've realized that maybe the "Lobby Open" part of the sign meant that I should have left my deposit there... I mean, that would make as much sense as the rest of the situation.

Me too.

I like inventions. Especially seatbelts.

I swung through the house one day, left the next and delivered my load about 150 miles away, then returned and left again the next day. Austin (and JJ) came with me on the delivery trip. I guess JJ wasn't being cute, 'cause I don't have any pictures of her. :-)

Most of you reading this blog know that I think government is worthless and that we would all be better off if it went away. I think that applies as much, if not more, to highway safety as to economics and other areas. But here, they're doing something right, and I think if I'm going to rail against all the stupid things they do I should give kudos where appropriate. So, thanks, Ohio D.O.T., I appreciate the new signs. Oh, I should mention that I first saw signs like this in Washington. And for those of you who think I'm going soft, I am aware that if highways were completely privatized, the signs would not only probably not be needed, but if needed they would cost a small fraction of what they cost now and would be paid for by people who want them, not by people who would rather spend their money on other things - like popsicles, for instance.

Sometimes this is the view from a truck driver's windshield. Still think it's a good idea to dart in front to try to save fifteen seconds?!? :-).

I'm thinking this must be the Santa Claus lane from the song... dontcha think?

This is Kesia, and that is the Pacific Ocean.

That's Kesia on a rock.

That smashed up black truck over there is the subject. He flew by me and right up to the back of the person in front of him, darted into the right lane, sped up to get right on the tail of the person in the right lane, stayed there until the guy on the left was past him, then darted back behind him, stayed there until there was room (almost) to squeeze around that guy on the right and continue speeding off. About twenty minutes later I took this picture. You never know what "woulda" happened, but I'm guessing he "woulda" got there faster (like, ever) if he'd relaxed a little bit. It's not driving fast that (usually) causes things like this. It's driving like an idiot. Here's exhibit A to support my position.

Did you see any green, bug-eyed monsters on your trip? Ummm... no, not any green ones.
Kesia on Cabbage (Cabbage is the name of the mountain, at least, that's what the drivers call it), with a load of onions (not pictured), and Pendleton, Oregon way off in the background. Wildhorse casino is over there too. Too bad we didn't have time to stop, they have a cool child play area. Danielle and JJ each got to go there, but Kesia didn't get an opportunity yet (we had to average 850 miles a day for 3 days to make delivery of this load on time. That doesn't leave a lot of time for dilly-dally).

These two trucks parked about four spaces over from each other right in front of me one day. I think I need a Tonka truck on my trailer.

In'n't she cute?

Do you ever get held up in a big traffic jam and think you are the one having a bad day?

I don't know what happened, but this guy in my mirror was right across the road from that other truck. I think even he could say, "Well, yeah, this is bad, but I really just feel bad for that guy over there."

Ok, a new feature: "Quiz Show". This is how it works: you guess what that is in the picture.

I'll wait.

Ok. You guessed? If you said, "Well, Trevor, I believe that's a Ziploc bag full of urine in a rest area parking lot." Then you win.

This guuy crashed, and went so far off the road that it's easier to drag him into the adjacent parking lot than back onto the highway. Cool, huh?

I hollered for Kesia to come up and look at this power plant. She said, "Cool! it makes clouds!"

I went to sleep one night, and when I woke up, there were these two trucks in front of me. The one on the left is Austin's Trucking, and the one on the right just says "Austin" in big letters on the trailer. Weird, huh?

Did I just drove by the Cozy Cone????!!!??? This place is in Holbrook, Arizona, on old Route 66. And I thought those Pixar folks were just clever. :-)


The End.

- Trevor.
Branch, MI