Thursday, August 9, 2007


Here's everyone waving goodbye on July 4th, last time I left the house.

So I last left you on Wednesday, July 25th. My truck stayed broken, and I stayed terribly bored... I tried to work on some old projects, but I could not concentrate on them. I got a little (very little) accomplished on those, otherwise I just read my John C. Wright Chaos books, and played Icewind Dale II.

For those of you wondering, I don't really play poker anymore. I could have done that to stay unbored, but I've decided that to be really good at poker you need to concentrate on it a lot more than I was willing to... and being almost very good at poker seemed like a good way to stay disappointed a lot. I can still probably play in the top 20% of players nationwide (all players, not pros!)... but tourneys only pay about the top 10%.

This picture is from last time I was home. I took it because those signs say "5 Minute Parking Only". Has anyone reading this ever gotten a Subway sandwich in less than 5 minutes???

So, I waited there in Springfield Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday... then drove up to Olathe, KS (by Kansas City) to pick up a load for Everett, WA. Waiting for that long and paying the truck expenses, hotels, food, etc... that's rough on the pocketbook. The freight situation is looking a little scary at the moment as well, so I'm not sure how well we're going to recover. It won't take much luck to end up doing well... but it won't take much bad luck to put us in a *very* bad situation. I've made some very poor decisions in the last six months, and they're catching up with me. Oh well, we'll just keep plugging away. I'm at home now for a day or two, and it all looks better from here!

So I delivered that load in Everett, WA on Thursday morning, and after a very exhausting day of searching for freight, trying to make very tough decisions between bad and a different bad, we ended up booking a load from Portland, OR to North Carolina. I headed down south to be closer to Portland so I could be there to pick up in the morning. Of course, in the morning, I had a message from my dispatcher that the load wasn't going to ship until Monday, so I was left in the cold for another lousy day of freight searching, only with more pressure because it's Friday. We finally found and booked a 49,000 pound load (would be legal with my setup... but I'd have to be careful how much fuel I put in the tanks) going to Denver, CO. Other flatbedders know that Denver is not a good place to find freight. You can count on leaving there at a loss. Then just as we booked that with the broker, one of our customers came through with a load going to Grand Ledge, MI, which is a strong place to find freight, not to mention near home. Well, we jumped on that even though it didn't pay well, and I ended up bringing it home Monday night, because when we called to get a delivery appointment for Tuesday morning, they said they were booked up until Wednesday afternoon!

I wasn't going to sit in my truck and wait for a day or two when I could be at home, so here I am! I took Austin and JJ with me to run down to Grand Ledge (Tuesday night) and deliver (Wednesday morning... well, we were there in the morning, but didn't get unloaded until two...), then came back home because my next load doesn't pick up until tomorrow.

Kesia and I are leaving tonight, August 9th. This doesn't count as time at home because for me to count it I need to have at least one day where I wake up at home, spend all day at home (or at least not at work) and then go to sleep at home. I was here from Monday night (1:30 am Tuesday), to Thursday night, but didn't get one full day. That's my excuse to come home again as soon as we can afford it!

This is from the beginning of July. It's a gypsum strip mine just south of Chicago, that has two pits, on on each side of I-294. This is the one on the North side... and that is *not* the bottom.

I don't know why street names like this catch my attention...

Most guys who haul that stuff would not label it quite so clearly. This guy has guts.