Not Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”.

Joe has been playing a World Series of Poker game on his phone for several years.

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He has been saying, all these years, “I want to play poker in a casino”. His practice of the game has taught him to be patient during play. It has also taught him when to toss the cards and fold on a hand even if it has an Ace.

Too bad the $124 billion he has amassed in his game playing is not real money.

It has, however, made him toy with the prospect of being a professional poker player. Time to take a chance and find out. The Rio Casino had a poker tournament starting at 10:00 in the morning.

So, in keeping with being a supportive wife, I videoed his play for about 10 minutes before I ran out of storage on my phone. The intent was to see his “Tells”.

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He did pretty good at not fidgeting or telegraphing his thoughts to everyone.

I left him to this new experience, the cost was $50, to see what it is really like to play poker with actual people instead of computer generated players. I went to a scrapbook store to entertain myself.

Two hours later Joe was still playing in the game. Pretty good I thought. Then I hear “All in”. He pushed his chips out on the table and waited for the hand to finish. He lost the hand and his $50 stake in the game.

What surprised me was what he said after leaving the table!

“I’m glad you are back. I’ve had enough. This was really boring!”

What?!

Well, I guess that was a big dream buster. I won’t be the wife of a professional poker player anytime soon. Guess I should be glad he is not susceptible to being lost in the clutches of a gambling addiction.

Dang. $124 billion in the bank would have been nice. I’ll keep my Joe just as he is. Not a professional poker player, just an awesome man in everyday life.

Have a fabulous Wednesday.

Leslie


In Las Vegas, Nevada for some much needed rest. Yippy Skippy!

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My last post, “Putting Lipstick on a Pig” may have left you scratching your head.

July of 2012 Joe and I moved three trucks from Justin, Texas to Oakland, California. A trip that normally takes almost five days ended up a 17 day trip with trouble at every turn. Those trucks were reported to be the “Best Ever”. You can read about that “Trip from HELL” by clicking the link below.

Clunkers in the trucking industry.

Thankfully, this massive truck and trailer move had been, virtually, uneventful. Beginning on May 13th, and ending yesterday, June 9th, we started the move of 45 trucks and 6 trailers by first deadheading 1,500 miles from home.

The original move order was for 29 trucks. The trailers were to be moved by others. As is normal….things change. And they did. Upon our arrival to Tracy, California there were 46 trucks and 6 trailers all going to the Taylor/Martin auction in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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This is the largest move Joe and I have done in Drive-Away. The last large move was 29 trucks in 2011. Learning from that mess we made adjustments in this mess.

Unlike the last big move with a 250 mile drive to deliver and the same miles deadheading back we had almost 600 miles for both delivery and deadhead. We also had to factor in the 100 degree temperatures we would be driving and working in.

Jim had expressed his concern for the lag time in a hotel after we picked up the trucks in Tracy before delivering them to Las Vegas. Didn’t take him long to learn that our plan was the best all around. Keeping the motoring public safe as well as ourselves from fatigue and/or inviting disaster by going – excuse the crude language – “Balls to the wall”.

This trek from Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada and back to Tracy for the nine trips is a mind boggling 9,558 miles. That doesn’t include the initial 1,500 deadhead miles. The decision to spend an extra night before delivery was prudent.

Getting an early start to our days was necessary. The two hour time difference was an advantage for the hooking up part. Doing the work in the cooler morning air, it was still pretty warm, kept us from starting out dehydrated. Driving the 54 miles back to the hotel seemed ludicrous. What was ridiculous was trying to get to sleep by 8:00 (our time) in the evening while it was actually 6:00 and supper time in California. Sunlight through the tops of curtains, around the edges of the air conditioning unit, and around the door made the darkened room not so very dark.

Waking at 4:00 in the morning with the chilly air, knowing it was only just a couple hours past midnight in California, was nice. Driving in the dark for three hours was kind of refreshing. Until the sun rose and the day became hotter as we neared Las Vegas.

We had decided on a three day turn around. We would have the 29 trucks delivered a couple days earlier than the June 1st deadline.

Then we were informed we would be responsible for ALL of the trucks and trailers to be moved. There would not be anyone coming to help. Joe took on the “Big Dog” role and flatly informed everyone involved the June 1st deadline was not going to happen. We would deliver what we could before the auction date. Leaving some time for the crew to get the trucks ready for the sale.

We succeeded in our job. All 45 trucks and 6 trailers were delivered with a few days extra for the prep time. There would be one truck left behind of the 46 that we would not move and someone else moved that one.

Joe and Jim have their plans for today. We have rented a car here in Las Vegas so we don’t have to wag the trailer around. They will be going to businesses, such as FleetPride and Truck Pro, which cater to the trucking industry to acquire items that Jim will need when he goes out on his own doing singles.

The guys will be dropping me off at a scrapbook store near the airport. I have been looking forward to this shopping trip for several weeks. Last Thursday I saw on the website for the Mega Scrapbook Store they are closing. Total bummer. They are having a sale with many items 75% off. I have budgeted myself $150. We’ll see how that goes.

Today I’m going to just rest and relax. Hope your Tuesday is going well.

Leslie


Putting lipstick on a pig.

We are nearly finished with this mess of trucks going to auction. Today we picked up five trucks and Sunday we will be getting the final five. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is NOT an oncoming train. Thank God.

The auction is June 12th in Las Vegas, Nevada for Taylor/Martin. We have, pretty much, had the sale lot to ourselves these past several weeks. The “Detail” crew has arrived and they have a lot of work to do.

Each of the trucks we have brought down from Tracy, California is being washed, trash cleaned out of the cab, and the interiors will be cleaned and spiffed up with a product that will make the insides look like new.

Hence, “Putting lipstick on a pig”.

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Most of the trucks we have moved will be good work trucks for a while longer. The majority of them have a half million miles on them. These trucks will probably sell from $8,000 to $10,000 each. Some buyers will buy two or more. One to work and one for spare parts.

When the sale is over these trucks will take another journey. From the sale lot to the new owner’s location.

By the time we get the final five trucks moved the lot will be full of all kinds of trucks and trailers. I had to share the entry gate with some other driver dropping his load.

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The three of us are just about whooped. Joe is napping on the hotel bed now. Jim has bloodshot eyes and he looks as exhausted as I feel. I’m so tired right now my already short fuse of a temper has gone off. I tripped over Joe’s trash bag Tuesday afternoon and kicked that thing. Although it made me feel slightly better for a moment I had to round up all the trash that exploded out of the bag. The bag was no where to be found. Joe found it on the roof of our pickup.

I am alternating between helpless fits of giggles and a strong desire to burst into tears. Kicking bags of trash sort of help stem the tears but only worsens the fit of giggles. Especially when I remember the look on Jim’s face at my angry outburst and his fast shuffle to put distance between him and I. He hot footed it to the far side of Joe’s trailer and waited until it was safe to come back near me to continue working.

Yes, folks. The three year old is making more appearances.

Joe has reserved a room for us in Las Vegas, Monday, for a couple days so we can sleep without getting up at 4:00 in the morning. That is the carrot and the stick to keep me working a little longer.

I hope your day is going well and you are not prone to fits of temper.

Leslie.


Making the connection. Tractor trailer connection, that is.

In a previous post – You’re going to run out of blinker fluid – I mentioned a future post topic to be about hooking up to a trailer.

Folks, today is your lucky day. I will put some information in your head that you may not want there for eternity.

All of these trucks, at the Love’s Travel Center in Santa Nella, California, hook up the same way I will be showing you. The only difference is I have a “Flatbed”.

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Once I locate the trailer I will be taking to the auction in Las Vegas I will back up to it. This is not something I do everyday so I have to “GOAL” – Get Out And Look – instead of trusting my faulty depth perception.

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From the inside of my daycab I can watch my progress backing through the rear window. I have to line up the frame rails of the truck with the center King Pin Plate on the trailer. Dirty windows help lots :/

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Working my way back under the trailer I have to stop, once again, to check on my alignment and the trailer height to the 5th Wheel.

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This trailer is a little higher than my 5th Wheel so I have to lower it until it just rests on the 5th Wheel plate.

This will be accomplished by using the “Jack Handle”. This crooked handle cranks clockwise to lower the “Landing Gear” and counter clockwise to raise it.

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This is the “Landing Gear”. Some people call this the “Stand Off”.

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Watching carefully, I raise the landing gear to lower the trailer to rest on the 5th wheel plate. First I have to be positioned under the trailer to do this. If I do this part first I could lower the trailer too far and not be able to get under it. I’m lazy. I don’t want to be getting up and down, in and out, of the truck any more than I have to. I mean, I really don’t want to get too much exercise out here. (It would do me good to do more of it though)

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When I have the trailer resting on the 5th wheel I will back up to seat the King Pin in the 5th Wheel clamping device.

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After I hear the metallic clank denoting the pin is clamped in I put the truck in a forward gear and give the pin a little tug. Just to make sure.

Get out of the truck once again, after I have set the brakes (I have heard stories of drivers who have forgotten to set their brakes and have had to sprint like an Olympian to catch the run away truck). Once out I will raise the landing gear completely and set the crank back into its holding bracket.

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Last thing to do is connect the air lines and electric cord from the truck to the trailer.

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Then off I go. I have to keep in mind I have a long tail behind me.

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The countdown has begun. Two more trips to Tracy, California. The end is near. Yippee Skippy!

Hope you all enjoy your Monday.

Leslie


GrannyCon alert level Orange!

My youngest daughter, Carissa, and her husband, Jaime, are having twins. She is due the end of June, first couple weeks of July at the latest.

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Their story has been a hard one for this mom’s heart. Carissa has struggled with PCOS – PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome – most of her life.

Carissa and Jaime have been married for 7 years. These two have had to deal with family members and our comments that seem to twist the knife through their guts.

When are you two having kids? What are you waiting for? When will I be a grandma or grandpa? Have you thought of adopting? Your sister and sister-in-law are having babies, when are you going to start catching up?

In my attempt to help I did research into PCOS to see what I could do to get things happening. All I accomplished was sending my daughter into a torrent of tears and anguish. In one tearful phone conversation, both of us bawling, my daughter told me about her feelings of being inadequate and not a full woman. She also told me of her fears of Jaime not wanting her any longer because she could not have a baby.

That conversation nearly destroyed me. The last thing I ever wanted or meant to do was hurt her. I promised her I would never bring the subject up again and I did not.

This truck driving job has one perk. Hours and hours of being alone. No one to talk to. I use the miles and time in prayer. Often distracted by traffic, road construction, stops for fuel and food, route exits and entrances, and occasional interruptions from Joe over the radio. The interruptions make me forget where I was in my thoughts.

For Carissa I asked that she know she is perfect as a woman, wife, and daughter even if she never has a child. For her to be assured in Jaime’s love for her was not going to change if they have children or not. I asked for counsel on my tongue when I talked with Carissa. I kept my promise to not ask about babies.

A couple years ago Carissa called me with exciting news. She was pregnant. Her excitement was contagious and could not be contained. I celebrated with her. Then came another tearful call on the day of her miscarriage.

Once again I went to prayer for Carissa as I drove. Last December she called to tell me she was pregnant again. This time her excitement was tempered by memories of the last time. Her voice trembled as she spoke in a near whisper. Almost as if she would jinx it all by speaking aloud. The news was then openly shared with family at Christmas. Everyone was happy for this special couple.

In January, during one of my check in calls, Carissa told me they were having TWINS. She was ecstatic and I can’t say that I blame her for being over joyed.

She has been blessed with an easy pregnancy. Right now she is being monitored for the early signs of Preeclampsia. An extremely serious complication that can have fatal results. Back to prayer.

A couple at Carissa and Jaime’s church have a photography business. To document this twin blessing a photo shoot was set up. If you live in the Phoenix Metro area and would like to have your own photo shoot check out – FuturePhotoGroup – on Facebook. They have taken some totally awesome photos.

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We have one more week of moving trucks from Tracy, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. If all stays normal I won’t be making a mad dash to Phoenix before the week is done. When the last delivery is made, and after some much needed sleep, I’m going to find the mega scrapbook store in Las Vegas. I’m going to see if they have something I can’t live without :D

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Leslie


You are going to run out of blinker fluid!

My husband, Joe, is a very patient man. Especially when he has to deal with me and my Bossy Knicker self.

When I’m not driving and in control of the vehicle…..I guess I have to be in control of something. Come to think of it I still can’t help myself even when I am driving.

Here is a list of things I say.

Number 1 – Turn your blinker off.
When passing a vehicle Joe does use his turn signals. To indicate his changing lanes to begin the pass and also for the return after passing. He seems unable to hear the continuous ticking noise once the passing maneuver is completed. Maybe he just waits to see how long it will be before I blurt out “Turn your blinker off”.

As I follow along, behind Joe, in our Drive-Away job his lightbar is what I see.

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These trucks don’t have self canceling turn signals. What that means is the signal doesn’t go off by itself as we complete a turn.

One of these two outside lights will continue to blink after a turn, or after entering or exiting a highway.

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I have three standard smart a$$ remarks.

1-It is getting slick back here. You are losing blinker fluid.

2-Are you really going into the ditch (or the median)?

3-Do we have enough money for more blinker fluid?

Hey – if he didn’t want me to drive him crazy from behind he should not have given me a hand held radio to talk to him. Am I right? :D

Number 2 – Take this exit. Crap it was the next exit.
I don’t think this one requires further edification. I can, and do, get us lost from time to time.

Number 3 – Will you slow down?
There are times he has a lead foot. He will be in front of me for about 10 miles at an average speed of 62. Then he is no longer there. I see him about a mile and a half way up in front.

Number 4 – The pedal is on the right! Gas on it!
I know when Joe is on the cell phone. He will going along at about 62 mph and I’m watching traffic or looking at the landscape. Thinking about photos for my next blog post. I notice Joe is getting closer and closer. I have to slow down. Our speed has dropped to 50 mph. At some point Joe has disengaged the cruise control and has forgotten to turn it back on during his yak fest.

I have two smart a$$ remarks for this instance.

1-Beep. Beep.

2-The pedal is on the right. Use it.

Jim has been forced to listen to me as he is trapped in our pickup during the deadhead back up to Tracy. I wonder if he thinks such things as “Boy, will I be glad to get in a truck by myself where I don’t have to hear her”.

The end is in sight. 16 of the 44 trucks remain and we are hoping to be finished a week from this coming Sunday.

I have a topic for a future blog post – if I remember to bring my phone. It will deal with hooking up to a trailer and that process. I thought those of you not familiar with the trucking industry might like to know how a truck and trailer get connected.

Here’s hoping you all enjoy the upcoming weekend. The weather is great for swimming pools, beaches, backyard cookouts, or hiking in the wilderness. However you spend your weekend I hope you enjoy it.

Leslie


California’s Third Lane law for semi truck traffic.

To my knowledge, California is the only state that enforces the law of no tractor trailer vehicles being in the far left lane of a multi lane highway.

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Most truck traffic is in the far right lane except for passing. There are signs hung from overhead structures indicating an additional lane for truck traffic.

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These signs are posted before a confluence of other highway interchanges. Where a driver can exit from one highway then merge onto a different one to continue the designated route.

In the greater Los Angeles area the highways can have as many as eight travel lanes in each direction. Exits to streets, state roads, and interstate highways are well marked. Generally, the three far left lanes are for thru traffic not exiting. The third lane law is still in effect, even on the roads with way too many lanes to keep track of.

Okay, this has been my attempt at keeping this blog entertaining and informative. I need a nap…..or two.

I can’t believe it is already Thursday. Have a wonderful day today, dear readers.

Leslie


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