Dec 31, 2006
Okay, so I mentioned we had our final gathering this weekend and because I had made the journey the previous weekend, I had no more gifts to give out..Which also means I had no more gifts to receive. Or so I thought.....
My niece and nephew seem to be coming down with a little bug over the weekend. A bunch of coughing and congestion it seemed... I did not pay too much attention to it because I am usually extremely healthy throughout the year....
Sooooo, the Bri-Baby gave me lots of Eskimo Kisses ( in which she attempts to break my nose). But kisses are kisses, RIGHT?? And she is so precious, so I could not refuse.. And J..... Well, J coughed all over my nachos!!! Okay, not really. But he was close by when he was coughing, so I had to throw some blame his way...
Now, a day later, I am sitting at home coughing and sneezing.. Yippee for Me!! Oh, did I mention I can not breathe.
I don't believe I mentioned it on the last post, but the reason I was making such good time for the most part of my journey was because 50% of the traffic was doing well to maintain 75-80 mph. The other 50 % were averaging 90+.
So, I am happy to report that on my return trip home, traffic was flowing just as well. But get this, NO ACCIDENTS.
I started noticing a few particular cars that grouped together for at least a hundred miles. They all took turns leading the pack and no one missed a beat re-accelerating after a minor slow down.. It was almost choreographed, the way they would yield to each other when changing lanes and maneuvering through the slower traffic...
So, I begin to check out the tags on these vehicles and noticed they were all Georgia Tags.. Seven counties represented in all....
Funny thing, is the previous day there was also another group of vehicles traveling rapidly down the interstate and 5 out of 7 of those were also GA Tags..
Now who say folks cant drive in Atlanta. Just because they cant go in circles, like say around the Watermelon 500 ( also known as the Perimeter, or 285) doesn't mean they cant drive in a straight line.... Git R Done....
Well this weekend was the final gathering of family for the Holidays. We all got together at Dads.. I was really dreading the drive this time as I have not spent much time at home this month. But with a little twisting of the arm, my brothers convinced me to head out.
I was making pretty good time when all of the sudden traffic came to screeching halt about 30 minutes from my destination... It seems that I am doomed to suffer from other peoples mistakes. At least after far as traveling is concerned...
This time it was a pretty serious collision and I do hope the pick-up driver made it out okay...If you look closely at the second photo, you can just make out the Truck.
Side note: On the way home a day later, there were tomatoes scattered on the opposite side of the freeway as well. Must have been a pretty hard hit, but the 18 Wheeler showed no signs of damage..
So, here is my promise to you.. I promise that I will fuss about traffic congestion any more this year.... Which really should not be too hard to manage, after all tomorrow is a brand new year..
Dec 30, 2006
Well, it seems that everyone must have enjoyed their Christmas Gatherings last week. Enjoyed them so much that they did not feel the need to pay attention to what was traveling down the interstates beside them.
This was another one of those excruciating weeks for travelers.. More so, for us who were actually having to work that week.. I did however make it out of Georgia before encountering my first delay. I was determined to not sit idly by and go with the program..Instead, I chose an alternate route through the country side. (This is not always such a good idea for those in large vehicles) The route turned out to be easily manageable once you got through the first town. The total time for this alternate route was about 1.5 hours. Thirty minutes of that were spent maneuvering through the little town of Aiken South Carolina.
I assume that this little community must not be Truck Friendly simply because the highway signs did not include 4 simple little words. Major Information. I did not see a single sign that included the directional information required to guide folks safely out of town. NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST..... So, after crossing the same intersections and retrying the same roads in the opposite direction I finally made my escape..
There were several of us making this little trek into the unknown. They say there is safety in numbers.. But the whole lot of us left that town convinced that we had just left the Bermuda Triangle of alternate routes.. While a bit frustrating for us, I am sure it was quite amusing for the town folk. Imagine FIVE BIG TRUCKS doing doughnuts all over town...
Okay, that was a bit longer than I had anticipated, so I will paraphrase the rest
My first delivery was in NC. My second accident site was also in North Carolina. Boy was it a mess. Two big trucks, got together and the first one ended up in the center median buried up to the axles. The second truck ended up side swiping a bridge support and completely tearing open the entire right side of his tractor and trailer. Boxes were scattered for 300 yards. Interstate SHUT DOWN!!
Next was Virginia and Maryland. From the 130 mile post in VA to the 24 mile post in MD, there was a total of 22 accidents....That is approximately 70 miles...
Delaware was not bad, only 1 accident site, but there is only an 8 mile stretch of interstate across DE.
Pennsylvania had to get in on the action also. While there were no fender benders on the Turnpike, they did indeed decide that the roadway needed a little clean up action. Result, 9 miles of congestion. They had decided to put the street sweepers on the interstate where 4 lanes merge into two. Of course, that means only one lane was available to the traffic.
Only one more notable delay to mention.... I-77 Southbound in VA... 27 mile back-up with the interstate being closed down near the scene....
And how were your Holiday Travels????
Dec 26, 2006
Dec 25, 2006
The first leg of my Holiday travels began at my oldest Brothers home. This is always a pleasant experience. I have two wonderful nephews and a terrific Sister-n-Law.. We went to an early movie and then had dinner. Due to my concerns over my diet, I decided to share entrees with my nephews. This worked out to my advantage.. because we had indulged ourselves with popcorn and candy at the theater.
The Boys are definitely growing up and developing wonderful personalities.. As always I tried to pull a prank on them.. The first one received his Christmas Cash in the form of one dollar bills. I had attempted to trick the other into thinking that I had forgotten to include his money in the gift. For one split second he had a tiny look of disappointment on his face, before he noticed the cash stashed behind a piece of cardboard... Next year, I will have to do better.!!
After the visit with my oldest brothers family, I made a pit stop at my Fathers... (Naturally, I want to visit with everyone during the Holidays) So, I stopped by for a few hours to catch up on all the gossip.
I was pleased to see the progress my StepMother has made on her weightloss journey. I am very excited for her..
After chatting for sometime, I headed off to my next destination.. Right on schedule
Holidays are meant to be spent with those you love.. So for several years, I have journeyed over to my oldest Brothers home for the Christmas Festivities. I was always invited to his In-Laws Family Gatherings, which was very nice. (He could not have found a more wonderful woman to pick as his wife, they are a perfect fit!!) And her family welcomed me into the fold with no hesitation.
Well, in the past few years, schedules have changed and plans have been altered. (I do give my brother quit a bit of grief over the year his schedule overwhelmed him and my visit was postponed) (This is meant in jest)
Well needless to say, The other Brother and his family picked up the slack very quickly. I have spent the passed 2 years at his home for Christmas. And once again, the In-Laws have welcomed me into the group with no hesitation. I am also convinced that he, too has picked a wonderful woman to share his life with...
I am very grateful for my immediate and extended families!! ( What can I say, had to throw in a little bit of EMO)
Normally during my visits to my Brothers home, we have a ritual of indulgences. This weekend was no exception. Miatas, Mexican Food and Margaritas.
We bundled up for a quick spin in the Miata, top down of course!! But not without hoodies, toboggans and gloves!! We ventured over to the Mexican Restaurant and enjoyed some delicious fish and the Devils Shrimp... I know what you are thinking FISH at a Mexican restaurant???? My thoughts exactly!!! Turns out it was absolutely delicious... The shrimp were good, and not as hot as expected.. Which was a good thing, because the Margaritas did not last.
They never last long when shared with my brothers!!!
During the course of the holiday gatherings, a small intimate game of sabotage has been brewing. I initiated it, of course!!
On the first family gathering I presented my Sister-n-Law with a lovely bag of Peanut M&Ms. My intention was of course to tempt her to stray from her diet. Alas, I was not fully prepared. She like PLAIN M&Ms.
Well, I am pleased to say that our relationship has developed to the point where retaliation was her only option... I would have hoped for nothing less.
On Saturday, when everyone returned to the house, I was quickly informed that I had a special treat waiting for me...
Just so you know, I was tempted, but remained solid in my resolution!! None for me thanks!! However, my niece enjoyed a sip and even her Grandmother..
NICE TRY G
Upon arriving at my Brothers, I noted that everyone had a stocking with the exception of myself. We proceeded to find a spare and labeled it "Seeester". After hanging it on the mantel, we went for dinner. When everyone returned home, G and S noticed what we had done and exclaimed that we had disturbed their original intentions.
Well, G grabs the stocking off the mantel and proceeds to make some alterations.. She cross-stitched my name and a lovely little reindeer across the top. Sorry no pics, but it was very cute. I was touched by the gesture!!
So Christmas morning we all sat down to check out the final phase of gift giving.. Even my stocking was stuffed!!! Lots of little goodies and last but not least a large stash of Chocolates.....
Hmmmmm, Eggnog flavored chocolates!!!! Along with Peppermint Bark!!!! It seems G took the M & Ms personally and has set out on a quest to get even....
On my way home, I received a phone call from my Father . He likes to check in on me.. After exchanging pleasantries and gossip, he inquired as to how my trip home turned out. I remarked that everyone seemed to be as anxious as myself in reaching their destinations... I believe the average speed was for the majority of the travelers I encountered was approximately 80 mph. He then commented on the fact I had yet to run up on the "Sunday Driver" with the inappropriate turn signal cruising 10 mph below the speed limit.
Well, as soon as I hung up the phone and made my final exit. There he was... Now ,on the only two-lane stretch of highway I travel on this particular journey. 43 mph, with the left turn signal flashing. After a very long 7 miles, he made that right turn.... Thanks Dad!!
Dec 16, 2006
Now that I am over being exhausted from my previous weeks excursion, I thought I would share it with you.
I am running a somewhat alternate schedule than what I have become accustomed to. My new game plan involves me leaving out on Monday morning for a quick trip across the border. (Alabama, that is) Upon returning, I begin my normal route up to the Great NorthEast. A little Philly and a little Jersey. Because of the time frame, I cannot actually begin to deliver until Wednesday morning. Normally I cant complete the task at hand in one day and venture back to the homefront, arriving midday Thursday. This particular set up pays a little more than the previous load assignment because there is a crane mounted inside the trailer and I have to physically unload every last piece, by myself. Usually about 100 bundles total. SWEET.
This week, however was not soooo sweet. First thing, the freight was loaded improperly which added an additional 3 hours of labor straight out of the gate. That 3 hour delay was the sole reason I was unable to finish up in one day. If you will, notice how the palletized material is placed on top of the bundles of aluminum. Well that means a forklift can NOT drive into the trailer . Too many obstacles in the way. Therefore, I had to remove 6 bundles of aluminum in order for the lift driver to retrieve one pallet. There were five pallets total. Lets do the math.... That's 30 bundles removed and 30 bundles reloaded. Even then it was still a bit difficult for the lift driver to maneuver inside the trailer.. Oh, by the way, you should also note that the pallets are stacked too high for the crane to be of any use at this point.
Looks like fun !!
Yes, a few of them hit the floor!!
So, I finally finished up around noon on Thursday (after a few more unscheduled delays). But not before the phone calls started coming in. "Can you go pick this up" "Can you go pick that up"
A seemingly harmless trip had been turned into delivery nightmare. With an additional 5 pick-ups scheduled, my week was dragging on quite nicely.
Now to wind this up, I will only tell you about the final pitfall in my journey...
Pick Up #5. Reels of cable to be delivered to Georgia Power. Now, these reels have to be loaded a certain way. Standing up, which means the are very mobile if not secured. Normally they are secured with 2x4s nailed into the flooring, to prevent the reels from rolling. My trailer had metal floors... HMMMMMM. They assured me the reels would be secure when I pulled out...They nailed a few 2x4s into the reels themselves to act as a prop.. WHATEVER...Anyone knows that a 10 penney nail doesn't stand a chance against 800 lbs of roundness. What am I getting at??? Well, within 16 miles of loading the reels, the little nails decided to surrender. For the next 750 miles my special little 800lb reels rolled from one side of the trailer to the other. With 9 of them total, that's 7200 pounds of mobile freight.. I had several people ask me if I was okay. I guess they thought I was drunk, especially since my trailer kept a swaying all the way home. Talk about a white knuckle adventure!!! Hope your week was a good one.
I have been with my current employer for over three years. We are required to wear uniforms. Some of the other employees have complained that I am not always in uniform.
My boss has "called me into his office" several times concerning this situation. My excuse is to blame it on the uniform company. Naturally, everyone thinks I am just making up an excuse because I simply dont like the uniforms... They are partially correct. I do despise the uniforms!
Recently we were allowed to send in our old clothes in exchange for some new ones. They had decided to update the dress code and the old uniforms did not meet the criteria for approval. Needless to say, the uniforms still suck!! Bright RED is not my color.
Our new replacements arrived and the Boss sends me a message telling me to check the order and sign off on it if it was correct. I get to the shop and ask the assistant for my clothes. She hands me a torn bag with stuff hanging out. We pulled out the items to have a look-see.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW
The pants were stained and the shirts were torn. It looked like someone had run over the bag. There were actual skid marks on it!! This time, instead of returning them myself, I left the bag with the assistant. The Boss can have a little look-see for himself. I told you I was not making excuses!!!!!
Last week, while waiting in line at a convenience store, I was browsing through a small display of Christmas music. I tend to love music with lots of horns and drums. Makes me feel alive!! So, I stumbled upon the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's release of the NutCracker. Only $3.99. What the hey, So I purchased it.
At first I was just a little entranced with the lovely music. Then I realized, I was quite familiar with several of the musical pieces. No, I have never seen the Nutcracker (such a pity). But it would have been almost impossible not to recall where I had heard the music previously. Ever watch "Bugs Bunny" You know, the old classic Looney Tunes?? The GOOD STUFF. I had forgotten all the symphonies that Mel Blanc and Warner Brothers had used in those classic cartoons.
Well , needless to say that my love of music has rekindled its flame with symphonies and Orchestras. I will certainly be looking for Bach and Beethoven. But if anyone has a suggestion to offer on some other composers I should check out, please leave a comment!!
Good News. I really did not think I would have any progress to share this week. I have been following my diet very strictly ( at least I think so) ever since the Egg Nog Fiasco. I did have the December gathering at my Mothers last weekend, and while not eating the proper foods, I did limit my portions.But, I have felt so extremely stuffed over the passed few weeks, that I was just sure it was not working.
Anyways, 8.8 lbs total loss to date. Not too bad for one month. I am told that it is a very healthy average loss per week.
Dec 9, 2006
Friday evening, some family members got together to eat out and then attend the local Christmas Parade...
After 30 minutes of hunting a parking spot we finally settled in at Rosies Cantina for some food and drinks. Because we had a parking spot (on the parade route) we decided to stall as long as possible to remain for the festivities.
We managed to get a spot at the beginning of the route which proved to be great for being bombarded with the best candies. (My sister-in-law actually got pegged in the head a few times by 8 year olds throwing the candy off the floats). After filling the pockets of all the children standing around us, we decided to fill our own.
The parade was nice. All the basics. Firetrucks, sirens, mounted police, classic cars, 3 marching bands (which is always my favorite). It was actually quite a long procession. I enjoyed every minute of it.. However, it was quite frigid out that evening. In the 20s I believe. Props to Rosie's for handing out free Hot Chocolate. We also got to see Leo III and Una, the lions who reside at UNA.
However, my favorite part were the Mascots that were wreaking havoc thru the city streets. UNA's Leo and the Tennessee Titans' T Rac. Seems they were waging a little war right in front of us. After T-Rac's scooter was stolen by Leo, the giant raccoon turned to engage the crowd. First victim- Little Ole Me. I got a Titan size huge and a few kisses. (I actually think he was groping me). He then moved on to maul my Sister in Law.
After all the excitment passed a fellow pedestrian informed us that we had just had a brush with fame. It seems that T-Rac (or the person in the costume), used to be Leo, UNAs Mascot. He has also been rewarded the NFLs Best Mascot Award. And T-Rac is a 5 time Pro Bowl Mascot......So there goes my 15 seconds of fame!
I really have to be more careful with what I say in front of my youngest nephew. He is quite the intellectual.
I am sure you are now interested as to how he corrected me this time.
Well, on the way to my Mothers house, I kind of got off the beaten path. I had my 2 older nephews with me and they also were unfamiliar with the new terrain. So we just did a little sightseeing. I finally recognized a familiar street sign, but was still unsure as to which direction we needed to head, so we took a wild guess, assuming we were probably wrong, and pushed forward. Surprise, we were right where we needed to be.
Upon telling this story to the rest of the family, everyone was in agreement that it was extremely difficult to get lost in this particular city, including the brainchild whom is only 8 years old. I mentioned the name of the "Familiar Street Sign" which guided us safely back to our predetermined course. It was Sixth Street.
Now let me just say this. The reason that this particular sign was so familiar to me is because, I HAVE GOT LOST in this city before.
Before I could even finish the story, J quietly interrupts me and states " Dont you mean 6th Avenue???"
Why, yes I do.... Touche'
This weekend was the first of my three trips to Alabama during the month of December.
It went quite well, I might add. Everyone was present which really was very nice. I did not notice any unusual tension or stress, always a plus!!
We had a nice lunch, a little socializing and some gifts for the kiddies. So, until next year....
I should not even be posting this this week, but I feel it is now my obligation to be truthful with you folks about this....
So week three did not go quite as well. NO loss, but no gain either....
Last week , while reading my Sis-n-laws blog I read the words EGG NOG. I am not blaming this on her whatsoever but the seed was planted. So, when I did my weakly shopping , naturally the seed grew into a full fledge liter of the wonderous concoction. I did stop to read the nutritional info (after I got home).. 4 oz = 200 calories. Just a slight deterent for me at this point. I did manage to pace myself... But naturallly, in the course of the week, I did manage to consume every last delectable drop.
We will see how next week goes now that I have gotten the egg nog craving out of my system.
Dec 7, 2006
I am posting this as a response to my Sis-in-law!!
GET TO KNOW YA CHRISTMAS STYLE
1. Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? EGG NOG!!!!
2.Does Santa wrap the presents or just put them under the tree? Who?
3.White lights or colored on the tree? White
4.Do you hang mistletoe? If I had mistletoe, do you think I would still be single?
5.When do you put up the decorations? As soon as Thanksgiving leftovers are gone
6.What is your favorite Holiday dish (excluding dessert)? TURKEY
7.What is your favorite Holiday memory as a child? Sneaking to partially unwrap presents with my brothers about a week before Christmas. We never got caught!
8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I dont remember the Santa days. My parents were divorced, so we knew where our gifts came from.
9.Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Depends on whom I am with
10.How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Red and Gold. Elegant decorations
11.SNOW Love it, or dread it? Cant get enough of it!
12.Can you ice skate? I think so.
13.Do you remember your favorite gift? The Fox And The Hound Record with pictures printed on the vinyl
14.What is the most important thing about the Holidays for you? That people as a whole suddenly remember how to be nice. I guess that would be considered "Good Will Toward Man"
15.What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? My mothers fudge
16.What is your favorite Holiday Tradition? Watching childrens faces light up when they open their gifts
17.What tops your tree? Red and Gold bow that drapes over the entire tree
18.What do you prefer, giving or receiving? GIVING
19.What is your favorite Christmas Song? Jingle Bell Rock, anything classical with lots of horns
20.Candy Canes, Yuck or Yum? YUM
21.Favorite Christmas movie? Its A Wonderful Life
22.What do you leave out for Santa? Who?
23.When do you complete your Christmas shopping? Planned purchases are done about 2 weeks before Christmas, but impromptu purchases can continue right up until Christmas Eve
24(I added this one) When do you take down the Tree? New Years Day
I am sure we have all heard about the scandalous misadventures of Michael Richards (aka Kramer from Seineld)
Well, last week, another comedian, Andy Dick, also dropped the N***** word at a stand up show in Los Angeles. Another press release stating his apologies for being inconsiderate. BLAH BLAH BLAH.
But did you know that Damon Wayans also dropped the N word at his stand up show.... No one was offended. No press releases, no apologies, no media attention.....Must be another one of those double standards.
As a matter of fact, he said it 16 times during his routine... And yet NO ONE was offended. HMMM.....
The Comedy Club made a stand and stated that this type of behavior would not be tolerated..They fined him a whole $320. Thats $20.00 for each time he used the word. Boy, that will teach him a lesson. Where will he ever come up with that kind of money?? Its not like he is a billionaire, he only has millions.
Dec 2, 2006
I was recently informed that if I did not actually use my vacation days (at work), that I would not be compensated for them. In other words, no bonus Christmas check for being a good employee and working all year long. So, I quickly tried to make arrangements for cashing in those 5 days. However, because of seniority I am unable to take off the week between the 25th and the 1st. Seven other have already chosen this week, and with only 10 of us left, no one else is able to request off during this time. I really dont want to take a full five days off in a row, because my check would be less than a normal work week.
I think I have found a way around this. I have requested that I be paid a vacation day for each of the next several Fridays and maybe a Thursday or two. My boss (being the [okay, I will be nice] somewhat known for not using his intelligence) stated that I am already off on those days anyway. I quickly pointed out that Thursday and Fridays are normal work days and I am just privileged that I dont have to work on those days. Therefore, I should be able to use them as paid vacation days. With a dumfounded look, he stared at me for a few moments and then agreed to turn in my request.
What kind of losers are running this show?? I have never been employed by anyone that wouldnt let you cash in your vacation time for an additional paycheck. This might be common practice, but it is the first time for me.. ( The previous years, I actually used the vacation time).
Results- 6.4 lbs lost total.
Actually I followed the program with a little more sincerity this week. Didnt seem to pay off as well. But 6.4 isnt bad at all for 14 days. And when I say "more sincerity", I must tell you that means I actually ate more the second week. The first week, I left out a few servings of this and that... Deciding to do exactly what was listed proved to be a bit too much... I was absolutely stuffed all week...
I have noticed that if I dont grab a bite to eat every 3 hours, I start to feel hungry. Does this mean my metabolism is starting to kick in??? Lets hope so.