Monthly Archives: September 2011

A little rambling with photos

It has been cold, in the mid to upper 50’s, and rainy up here. Here are a bunch of photos I’ve taken recently of everything and nothing.









See, everything and nothing. Enjoy your weekend.



A bit of technical junk


The trucks we have today are Freightliners and are “Mid Roof” in style.  Which means the driver is able to stand up in the sleeper section and move about, take their clothes off without banging their head.  This is sometimes referred to  as “Stand Up Sleeper” because a person can actually stand up.


Our trucks yesterday were Kenworths and the style is known as “Condo” because it has bunk beds in the sleeper area.  A top bunk and a bottom bunk.  Condos are more spacious in design to accommodate more than two people in the truck at one time.  Although cramped quarters with two people….well the size of Joe and I anyway…there is still a lot of room in a Condo.  The Mid Roof style has only one bunk and very tight quarters for two people.


These are dual tires on a flat bed trailer.  I’m using it as an example of what the trucks we normally drive have for tires.  There are four sets of duals on each truck.  They are on the rear axles.


These are known as “Super Singles” and are a single tire on each side of the axles.  These are for heavy hauling, weights that exceed the normal 80,000 combined weight of tractor and fully loaded trailer.  These are on the trucks we are taking out of Gary, Indiana this trip going to Houston, Texas.

Joe just corrected me on what I had just stated on the Super Singles.  He says they are for better fuel economy because of reduced rolling friction that happens with the duel wheels on trucks.  I stand corrected.


This nasty piece of business is the gear shifting “Paddle” for the automatic transmission.  A  little yellow button slides up and down on the outside of the paddle to engage the gears from Reverse to Drive.  Unlike your car with a “Park” gear or “P” these trucks have to be put in Neutral – “N” – and the air brake handles pulled to put the truck in park.

Automatic transmissions…..I HATE them.  Unlike your vehicle when pulled into the gear you select, either Drive or Reverse, you are able to step on the gas pedal and go slow or fast depending on the amount of pressure you put on the foot feed.  The automatic transmission in trucks is a flipping beast to work, totally computer controlled.  Put it in gear then apply some gas to get the truck moving….nothing happens.  Then the blasted thing decides to kick into gear and you are OFF and RUNNING faster than you want to go.  Slam on the brakes to stop the fast momentum and then you get to go through the whole exercise again.  Going nowhere, easing into motion, then immediately going faster than you intended to go.

Backing into a parking spot, or under a trailer can be quite a chore with these automatic transmissions.  Joe and I have been able to know, just by looking at the condition of the rear of the cab, if the vehicle is an automatic transmission.

As for fuel economy they are the best thing out there.  For anything else, like city driving with traffic lights and/or stop signs, these transmissions are the worst.

As you travel around in your daily life, if you are beside a truck or behind one, watch to see how the truck moves.  If it is jerky and bouncy more than one time after starting from a full stop chances are good the driver has an automatic transmission in his truck.

FOR YOUR SAFETY, I beg you please….pretty please with a cherry on top.  When stopped behind a big truck at a traffic light, leave enough room between you and the rear of the trailer so you can see the tires on the pavement.  The rear tires of the trailer or the rear duals on the bobtail.  Automatic transmissions in trucks are notorious for not catching immediately and the truck will roll backward before it finally goes forward.  ESPECIALLY ON AN INCLINE!!!!!

You could find yourself pinned underneath the “DOT Bumper”, the hangy down thing at the back of trailers if you stop real close to the back of a truck and trailer combination.  You could also get the nose of your car bashed in by the rear frame of a bobtail.  More and more trucking companies are going to automatic transmissions because of the fuel economy savings in their bottom line.  So please be careful out there.


A deer story from my Dear

To set this event up for you I will give you a few visuals to set in your mind.

First are the “Wildlife Sensors” placed along the highway on Indiana’s Turnpike or I-80 as it is also known. They look like this.



There is a “radio” link from one station to the next. Some have an amber light at the top of the pole near the solar panel. When an animal is present in one of the open fields the amber light will be turned on to let the traveling public know to pay close attention.

Problem here is the Wildlife Sensors don’t stretch the entire length of I-80 in Indiana. Joe had no warning what was about to happen.

A Highway Patrol officer was at this intersection on I-80 with a “customer” when we passed him. Joe with a boomed set of daycabs was following behind me with a bobtail while pulling our old pickup behind.

This is Exit 97 on I-80.


Joe will take the event up at this point.

I was following Leslie about a half mile behind.  We passed the HP Officer with a customer around the 97 exit.  About 5 miles later I saw a buck in the median and started to slow down.  The buck started a run for the north side of the highway and I was in the way.  He was going to run across the highway right in front of me and at the last moment he decided to plant his feet and jump as he wasn’t going to make it.  He rose into the air and his rack nicked the mirror bracket on the drivers side of the truck.  I felt a thump and knew that he had hit me.  I figured he was lying on the deck plate of the rear truck.  I called Leslie on the CB and told her to stop. I had a deer hit me.  She pulled over and I parked on the shoulder of the road behind her.  I had just got out of the front truck when a Indiana HP Officer turned on his lights and stopped behind me.  I walked back to see the damage and he came forward to see why I had stopped on the shoulder of the highway.  I told him a deer had hit me.  We looked at the back truck and stood there in amazement.  The deer had gone through the back window of the cab, broke the seat back and destroyed the driver’s seat, destroyed the steering wheel, destroyed the dash, removed both left and right hand front windshields, and the center divider.  The officer was amazed at the damage.  He said, “I just saw you go past about 5 miles back when I had stopped a motorist for speeding.  After I left that spot I noticed a deer lying on the side of the road and I stopped to see if it was dead.  The only thing noticeable was a nose bleed, one leg broken, and the rack was gone.  Two men in a pickup stopped behind me and asked how long the deer had been there and could they take it.  I told them to take it and went on down the road and saw you parked with your flashers on and I stopped to see what was wrong.  I was surprised to hear from you that you had hit a deer.”

The officer took my statement and we left and continued on the trip.  The rear truck was totaled by the deer strike.  There was over $12,0oo damage to the truck.

After reviewing the event in my mind, it left me feeling very lucky.  If that deer had been a 10th of a second faster he would have been in my face, right through the windshield, and would have taken me out the back window of my truck with him.  It would have, most likely, killed both of us.  Sometimes you know that God is looking out for you.  No other explanation.  He certainly was that day.  I was just along for the ride.


Leaving Akron, Ohio this morning, after delivering the Stevens Transport trucks to their new home, we once again passed the Lockheed Martin Facility that once was the original home of the Goodyear Blimp.


Built in 1920 in an attempt to produce a better version of the Hindenburg, the black building was the largest Open Space building in the world. It would hold nine (9) blimps. Three abreast and three deep.



The buildings in the front are all for the assembly of the blimp bladders. Sewing, gluing patchwork over the seams, and construction of the engine, cockpit, and passenger sections of the body of the blimp.


The blimp manufacturing site has been moved about 15 miles away and still creates blimps in the new facility.

Traveling on I-80 on the Ohio Turnpike is made a lot easier with the Service Plazas that are about every 25 to 30 miles. Gas, diesel fuel, food, and restrooms are at each service plaza.


For my personal comfort they have a Starbucks in most of the plazas.


Ohio and points north

The Stevens Transport trucks will be delivered today.


We went through Indianapolis, Indiana yesterday.


Fall is here, according to the crops. Corn fields, once green and lush, are now yellowed and dried up. Crispy noises can be heard as breezes waft through the fields making the dry stalks rub against each other.


Soybean fields are beginning to turn yellow in places, signaling the time is near for harvest.


Stopping in Effingham, Illinois at one of our favorite restaurants, Niemergs Steakhouse . Lining their walls are framed art work created by high school students in the area. Here is one such drawing created by a 9th grade student.


Indiana was the next state we went through.


Leaves on the trees are beginning to change color. October these trees will be brightly colored in reds, yellows, and oranges.



We are back, once again, in “barn country”. I love the faces on barns. This one is peeking over the hill.



A light rain caught up to us crossing from Indiana to Ohio.


Last night we didn’t make it to Seville as planned. Instead we stopped in Mansfield, Ohio for the night.

This morning, upon leaving the hotel, I saw this business across the street. It was dark when we arrived last night.

Can anyone tell me why Adults are being sold?


Yes, I know what kind of store it is. I just think they need a better name 🙂

Have a great Wednesday – “Hump Day” – everyone.


Cash or Credit

In today’s world of commerce there are not many establishments that are cash only. Nearly every business takes debit cards, credit cards, or cash but do not accept checks.

Lambert’s Cafe is the exception. They will gladly take your check with ID or cash. No debit or credit cards are accepted.

You can read about Lambert’s Cafe HERE.

Food fare is “down home” style and nearly everything is battered and fried. Large portions if chicken fried steak, chicken gizzards and fingers or tenders. The menu includes ribs and steaks but does not include any vegan or vegetarian items on the menu except for the plentiful side items on the menu or as “pass arounds”.

Largely staffed by college students who are there to greet, serve, pass around, and clean up behind you. There are a few of the staff that has worked at Lambert’s for 15 years or more.

Everyone gets in on the “throwed rolls” frenzy. Joe took this photo of a little girl signaling for all she was worth to have a roll tossed to her.


Yesterday’s roll thrower is this young man.


Followed closely behind by this young woman proffering sorghum molasses to sweeten your dinner roll.


And this is the dinner roll you are thrown. So tasty and delicious.


The “pass arounds” have been underway before you arrive. While you hear the call out of “Hot rolls” you will hear “Fried Okra” and this young man appeared at our table bearing a serving spoon and big pot of his offering.


The fried okra you can get before ordering your food. Paper towels are on your table for this purpose.

Next you will hear the call “Black-eyed peas” from this young man. He will serve them to you gladly after you have your food plate on the table.


The next pass around proffered, and shared when you have a plate, is the call of “Fried potatoes” delivered by this young man.


Last of all, or maybe first to you depending on where this person is, comes the call for “Macaroni” offered up by this young man.


Joe gladly accepted the proffered macaroni.


Lambert’s Cafe is a place to stop if you find yourself in need of food and are near one of their cafes. The decor is a mix of license plate covered walls, antiques, and heritage photos of the owners and their family members that continue to run the business.

After a brief stop for food we continued east on I-44 to Lebanon, Missouri and our next haunt – Shepherd Hills – where I picked up a couple more picture frames and momento holders. We called it a day in Sullivan, Missouri where we stopped for the night.

Today we are continuing eastward in our journey.


We will be south of Shelly quite a bit so I won’t be seeing her on this trip


We went through St. Louis, Missouri this morning and crossed into Illinois going over the Mississippi River that splits Missouri and Illinois.



A stop in an hour or two at Effingham, Illinois for food then continue on to Seville, Ohio for the night.

Hope your Tuesday is a productive one.


City Scapes

Being a passenger can be a boring proposition. Having access to a camera and a blog does help pass the time.

Another thing to do is be a Bossy Knickers, better known as a “Back seat driver”. Joe is as much of a Bossy Knickers as I am. Put this calm and collected man in the passenger seat and he comes uncorked. We both have a tendency to think the other is going to eventually kill us. Control freaks we are.

So in an effort to control my anxiety of not being the one in charge of the vehicle I will be submitting photos of the major cities we go through. Starting with Oklahoma City.


I-44 is a turnpike that connects Oklahoma City to Tulsa and the Missouri state line. There are two service plazas for the traveling public for gas, diesel, and food.


Quite a number of truck drivers bring their pets along. Isn’t this little guy c-u-t-e!!


Toll booths, as with the service plazas, are located on the Oklahoma City side and the Tulsa side.


217 miles of this leg of our journey today from Oklahoma City, OK to Joplin, MO


Lots of trees and grass interrupted briefly by interchanges to small towns along the way.


Tulsa has three areas with tall buildings. I was only able to get the one area closest to the highway.


Oklahoma City is the white collar area of the sister cities, while Tulsa is the blue collar area. OKC has the state Capitol with all their “Foolishness and Mayhem” while Tulsa has the largest industrial sector in the state.

Tulsa has the Catoosa River that once had lots of barge traffic on the river. They still do but not like Mississippi and other southern states closer to the ocean have.

Entering the last tollbooth in Oklahoma on I-44.


The last service plaza in Oklahoma houses a small museum dedicated to Will Rogers. You can learn about this lariat wielding comedic satirist who had plenty to say about our US government and the elected officials by clicking HERE.


We are now in Missouri.


We will be stopping in Lebanon, Missouri at the Shepherd Hills Discount Center. I’ll be shopping for more picture frames and momento holders.

To follow along with us today on our journey


through Missouri you can track our progress through my Twitter bits located on the right side of this blog.

Hope you all have an excellent Monday.


A message to my friends

My daughter-in-law sends me emails she gets from her friends and family.  This one she forwarded to me is one I feel necessary to pass on.  So for all my friends out there in Internet-land, this is for you.

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men….

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in….

They stand up for injustice.

They don’t take “No” for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they

think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

They’ll drive, fly, walk, run, or e-mail you

to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what

makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope, and love.

They have compassion and ideas.

They give moral support to their

family and friends.

Women have vital things to say

and everything to give.



Each and every one of my dear friends I have across the globe, this speaks to each and every one of you.  Including myself 🙂

Just passing on a bit of love to you and to let you know that I think you women and totally AWESOME!!