Dec 11, 2008

'Tis the Season

I have been somewhat lacking in my enthusiasm for the holiday season this year. I have so much going on and so many changes taking place that I have not relished all that is to behold during the holidays.

Until Tuesday Night. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, if only for a moment.

During the course of this weeks deliveries, I was bestowed with several Christmas presents from some of my regular customers. I begin to feel an inclination to head home and start making gift bags to hand out myself next week. Typically I love the holidays, the best part being finding that perfect gift for everyone on my list. Sadly, this year, cash will have to be the perfect gift.

sigh.....Who knows, I might get it in gear.....

But back to my Christmas Tale.

On my way home, I stopped in a rest area for the night. This particular one was maintained by a gentleman whom lived in a camper a few miles down the road. He was very quiet and kept to himself to stay out of the patrons way. While I was searching the snack machines for a treat, I noticed him humbly waiting in the corner to continue with his duties as the restrooms emptied. No one would look his way, much less greet him or even acknowledge him for that matter.

No one, except myself. He seemed pleasantly surprised as I engaged him in cheerful, witty banter. He shared a portion of his life story with me, including his dream to reach ALASKA for the adventure of a lifetime. I cheered him on with words of encourage and awe as his told his tale.

His eyes were sparkling as I made my way back to the truck for some rest.

Then it dawned on me....(I am a little slow, sometimes) This man was not used to having people treat him with respect and friendship...My heart began to fill emotion. I then proceeded to rummage through my bounty, and selected one of the gifts that had been given to me.

Feeling a little bit awkward, because I did not want to offend him by assuming anything about his lifestyle, as so many others were seeming to do, I made my way back inside the building. I immediately was discouraged because he was no where to be found. But as I left, I noticed him collecting the trash along the sidewalk. Beaming from ear to ear, I quietly approached him. I asked him if he had family in the area, and how he would spend his Christmas. I then offered him a Christmas present. His eyes welled with tears as he smiled. He let out a jolly laugh and expressed his gratitude. He told me that he could sense what a wonderful person I was from our previous conversation, and that had been enough of a gift to him already. I insisted he take the present, anyways.....To which he did not hesitate.

In return, he asked for one thing.... To give me a Hug! He said it was all he had to offer me, and I gladly accepted it. I made my way back to the truck with a bounce in my step, a smile on my face and all the joy that the holidays contain abounding in my heart.

I do not need for any of you to tell me what impression this story might make on you. I am not looking for your approval. I got what I needed from the smile in his eyes, as I walked away.

I would just like to remind each and every one of you, that there are people less fortunate who could use an extra smile, a moment of conversation, or even a hug!! My wish this Christmas , is that we all take a moment to spread the Christmas Cheer to those who are less fortunate!!

Happy Holidays!!

South Carolina

One of my friends requested I make a video showing all the wonderful qualities of South Carolina.

Because I have passed through twice a week for the past 7 years, I should have been able to accommodate her request.

Alas, I could not!

No Surprise Here

Oh joy of joys!!!!!

The only reason I am continuing to write about my eternal dilemmas concerning my trucking woes is, because.......

I could not make this crap up! I mean, Yeah Sure, a truck driver is known to be very creative with his/her storytelling. But lets face it, this has long since past the definition of outrageous.

I encountered yet another such event this week....

A few weeks ago, when my alternator quit working, I had noticed that my power inverter had given up the ghost as well. Upon returning to the shop, I gracefully ( with absolutely no animosity whatsoever I SWEAR) asked the head mechanic to check my battery posts to make sure that everything was hooked up properly. I have four batteries and umpteen dozen cables.

After a few minutes of inspecting the inverter and glancing at the battery box, he assures me the problem is with the inverter itself and will order me a new one. I use the inverter to charge my phone, power my laptop, run the microwave, so it is an item I would be fond of continuing to use.

This week, while cruising around New England, I noticed that my headlights would mysteriously darken themselves. I did not notice any ritual to this occurrence, just that they would occasionally all but vanish. I had cleaned the lenses the day before, because dirty headlights will also lead to a lack of illumination. After an evening of wondering "WTH", trouble finally ensued in the form of......

Every single warning light and buzzer would come to life, instructing me to immediately pull over and shut off the truck.

At first, this scared me!! Scared the daylights out of me!!! The first warnings indicated that I had just released my fifth wheel...meaning that my trailer was no longer attached to my tractor. You better believe this scared the snot out of me. I warned the fellow behind me to duck and roll, because I was sure that my trailer was about to go careening into the unknown and my truck was going to self destruct in T minus 30.

I also received warnings that I had locked in my "four wheel drive", not something you should ever do while traveling at high way speed. In fact , you should only use this function when stopped and ER stuck!! Or to prevent getting stuck in a boggy situation, just like four wheeling.

Next...I supposedly had discharged my air tanks, had a major loss of coolant, low battery power and the list goes on and on....

Then just as abruptly, the truck decided all was good and the bells and whistles went silent.


After going through this routine several more times with even longer intervals of blaring buzzers, I came to the conclusion that the truck was indeed panicking unnecessarily..Yes, I did pull over and check it out.

So, after relating my symptoms over the CB airwaves and quieting my own anxiety, a friendly voice told me that he had experienced the same problems and I should check my battery cable ends to make sure all was connected and not grounding itself out. Otherwise the truck might freak out and refuse to move.

Do you think I was surprised to find that one very large positive cable was not attached to anything, but rather gently nestled up to the battery post and during the course of my journey would obviously lose contact causing the truck computer to react. At first glance, the cable appeared to be in the proper location, but remember I have a dozen cables connected to those posts. So, after a quick tug test and corrosion check, I found the problem.

Funny thing is, after it was reconnected and the truck no longer had issues, I also noticed that my power inverter was working like a dream!!!

Thanks Boys, for continuing to remind me that you are a bunch of freaking idiots!!

I would have been totally embarrassed had I gone to a large commercial shop and been charged several hundred buck s just to have a cable attached to the battery. But, like the boss said, at least then the Head Mechanic would have to face the music.

I preferred to keep this to myself, because the less those guys touch my truck... the safer I feel. So, I never even mentioned it. I am sure it will get back to them at some point... People just love to gossip!!

Dec 5, 2008

That's What She Said

Earlier in the week, I received a phone call form my New England com padre AA. He asked if I had possibly swapped trucks with him at some point during the course of the weekend. He was teasing of course.

It seems he is now being affected by the same circumstances that have manifested in my Big Rig. Feels like he is riding on 18 square tires. Suspension gauge is fluctuating.

I hate to be so happy about his misfortune, but if he can get his predicament diagnosed and repaired, then there is hope for my truck, too! Seems no one has ever heard of my problem, but with him being a male, maybe they will pay more attention to him.

Hmmmm....Now that I think about it, could the New England pot holes possible be playing a role in our malfunctioning suspensions? We are the only drivers who frequent the rough terrain of New Jersey.... Could Be...

Anyways, keep your fingers crossed!


The most horrible part of having a head cold?

You can't taste your food!! I am full..... but I want to eat because I have not tasted anything in three days.... I need some flavor!!!!!!

Day Three..........

Normally, I do not get sick. At all!! I may have one cold per year, and it does not normally last very long. Well, I almost sneaked through this year with no ailments......