Monthly Archives: May 2013

Find joy where you can, I guess.

It is official. Joe has lost his mind 😉

We had to replace our over worn suitcase used for at least eight years recently. The old suitcase had a plastic buckle affair that clicked together to contain our clothes and personal items. The straps keep the contents from shifting around and causing everything to settle at the bottom.

This new suitcase has elastic straps with a buckle featuring a push button to release the straps. Joe has been, and continues to be, wholly fascinated with the quick release of the straps when the button is pushed.

He called out to me “Watch. Come here and watch this.” I’ve seen this trick of his every night for three months now. I threatened to take photos and post them on this blog. He challenged me to make a video of it.

Don’t challenge me to a bit of self mockery. I’m up for that challenge.

So here it is. Two minutes of your time gone in an instant by clicking on the link. I love this crazy guy of mine.



Viewing the tornado damage on our way out of town.

We had to drive through a bit of Moore, Oklahoma on our way out of town today.

This is what I saw.







I am totally awe struck by the hordes of volunteers that have come from Europe and all over the US to help with the clean up and sifting through the debris to recover salvageable personal items of the homeowners.

Church parking lots are jam packed with volunteer’s cars and pickups. There are more good people in this world than bad. It is a shame that the news media only spends token amounts of time on the good happening here.


Hood inspection for Drive-Away.

There is only one DOT Regulation regarding the engine hood on trucks.  This regulation is in reference to the “latching” system.  This is the device used to keep the hood from opening while the truck is being driven.  In our case it is with both the driven and the towed truck.

Most trucks have a latching mechanism on the outside connecting the hood to the cab body.  Here are two examples of hood latches.  The first photo is of a “Partially” hidden hood latch.  The second is a “Fully Exposed” hood latch.  There are two latches.  One on each side of the hood.

Partially hidden hood latch

Fully exposed hood latchSome trucks, Volvo and newer model Kenworth trucks have a hood latching system that has a different kind of latching device.  I may be able to get a photo of one of those types later.  All you need to know when inspecting a truck(s) is that the latching device is fully functional and in good working order on both sides of the hood.

The “hood” encompasses the entire front of the truck.  The components of the hood include the Left Fender, Right Fender, Grill, and the Hood itself.

The truck hood

Check for visible damage to the LEFT FENDER.

Left fender

Check for damage to the RIGHT FENDER.

Right fenderCheck for paint damage as well as dents, dings, and other problems with the paint surface or the body piece itself.

Paint damage

Take a close look at the hood near the grill.  If there is one place that cracks will be evident it will be at this point of stress on the hood.  Here are two different trucks with cracks on the hood near the grill area.

Right hood at the grill



Left hood at the grill





Left hood at the grill



Left hood at the grill

One thing you might be wondering…..why all the fuss over cracks on a hood.  Currently there is a dispute with a buyer over the damage that Joe did to one of their trucks during the delivery of it (the towed truck).  Joe turned into a hotel parking lot with a narrow driveway.  A tree was at the edge of the driveway.  This tree came in contact with the fender mirror and drove one of the support legs into the fender.  Creating quite a mess.  The buyer has submitted a repair estimate on this truck to the tune of $54,000.

Damage to left fender

I have no idea how this issue is being resolved.  Correspondence between Joe, our Drive-Away company, and myself has been lengthy and has included photos of that particular trip from start to finish.  Literally.  I have photos up the wazoo of that trip.

The GRILL on the hood protects the radiator.  The grill allows air to move through the radiator keeping the engine temperature in the optimum operating range.

Grill of truck

You will be looking for dents, dings, tears, cracks, broken areas, paint damage where the chrome finish is damaged.

Dented grill

Broken grill


And then, of course, you will get the occasional opportunity to inspect a truck with no hood in sight!

Truck without a hood

The next post I will deal with what to look for Under the hood in your inspections.  Suffice it to say, there are times that you get a little surprise by nature and her little creatures that find a home out of the weather.

A nest under the hood

Thus ends the lecture on a truck hood in your inspection rounds.

Be sure to check out my other blog – – to become a part of the book club going on now.  For a little more information regarding the book club you can also check out my previous post.  Become a member through the Facebook Group or at the Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club site.

Time to get away from the computer.  My time at home has ended and we are working our way out the door to head for Olympia, Washington.  Deadheading…..groan and whining has already started.  Cover your ears.


Book Club news and update.

This is not meant to steal thunder from Maureen Mathis, the genius that she is, and her awesome creation on Facebook for the Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club.

It has been brought to my attention that not everyone is fond of Facebook and their privacy issues of late.  Several people I know have left Facebook with no intentions of returning.

While home today, amidst my duties to get ready to leave once again, I have created another blog.  This one is strictly for use with the Book Club that has been created.  I’m hoping that those that wanted to take part but have declined will reconsider and connect with us through this blog that I have made.

You can find this new blog at “” .  Since I was the instigator of this endeavor I have chosen the book that will be read.  Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik.  Why this book, you might ask?  Well, the one suggested by my friend, Lynn from England, is one I cannot get my hands on right now.  Summer’s Storm by Denise Domning.  It will be a minimum of two weeks before it will arrive at my home, and I will be in Washington state or somewhere else when it arrives.  The second book suggested by Maureen Mathis on the Facebook Group page – The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas – is in the same predicament as Summer’s Storm.  Not available at my local bookseller (Barnes and Noble) and will be two weeks before delivery.  So it became a process of elimination in finding a book that I could get my  hands on right now.

If you wish to be a part of this book club you have two access routes.  The Facebook Group titled Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club or my other blog – Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club (

This will be the last post – on this blog – dealing with the book club.  This blog will return to the usual programming.  Groan, I know.  You are just on pins and needles to know what I do for a living 🙂  So set your bookmarks, or whatever you do, to either the Facebook Group or the book club blog.


Drive-Away Inspection – Windshield and Wipers

The DOT Regulations on windshields and wipers on trucks is a bit ambiguous to the lay person (me). This regulation is left open for interpretation by the officials in a weigh station or cruising a highway section.

What is NOT mentioned in the regulations are cracks, rock chips, and “sand pitting”.

Cracks in the glass are not to be within the driver’s view area. I’ve heard of, and seen citations, given to drivers of trucks where a crack was on the right side of the windshield within the passenger’s view field. Makes me wonder what else went on between the driver and the officer to have incurred the ticket for obstruction of view on the passenger side.

The problem with cracked windshields is not only within the realm of the DOT. The buyer of the truck can raise alarm over the crack(s) and charge the Drive-Away company for the windshield replacement.

Cover your butt. If the windshield is cracked note it on the inspection sheet.

Look at the full windshield, both sides.


Rock pits are a nuisance that have the potential to be a problem later. One spot on the chip can reach out from the center to begin the cracking.


Note the rock pits on your form. This is another favorite area of contention with the buyer. If the pit is there when you pick up the truck note it. If you don’t you will get a call several months later from the Safety Department of your Drive-Away company asking how YOU cracked the windshield or got the rock pit.

If you are anything like me….yesterday is more than 5 minutes ago and I’m lucky to remember my own name let alone what highway or road I was on 2 months ago when a rock from the road was hurled at the windshield causing the damage.

Sand pitting of the windshield is a very common thing with used trucks. Sand pitting is when tiny pin pricks of chips cover the viewing area of the windshield. They are so small but can be the source of big trouble. Especially driving after dark.

I have difficulty driving at night. My already questionable depth perception is worsened at night. Add to that the halo effect of oncoming headlights in the windshield makes night driving a real terror for me.

After several years of *itching, moaning, and wailing at Joe we no longer drive after dark.

Driving east into the rising sun, or west into the setting sun are problematic with sand pitted windshields. It is similar to looking at an out of focus photo and trying to see the picture.

Now on to wipers. The wipers need to work well. Not always excellent but well will do. Sweeping away rain, snow, and bug guts – with the aid of washer fluid – is necessary to have an unobstructed view of the road and traffic surrounding you.

Most, no I amend that, ALL places we pick up these trucks look at us as though we have sprouted three horns on our heads when we ask to have the blades replaced. This is an expense that is reimbursable and can be done at a truck stop that is set up to make repairs.



Something else to be aware of is the rubber strips around the windshield glass. These strips act as weather striping to keep air and moisture out and to support the glass.

You will only notice a problem with the rubber if it is hanging loose. That requires fixing immediately. Nothing more distracting than having a snake whipping away before your eyes as you drive 65 miles an hour.

The loose rubber is not always within sight. I drove a truck once that made one heck of a racket as the air turbulence worked its way under the rubber. It sounded like a bird frantically flapping to get away from whatever held it down.

I’ve also had to listen, for hours, to a whistling moan that set my teeth on edge and my hackles up.

Used trucks can be interesting, to say the least. I’m just thankful two to four days is all the longer I’m subjected to these problems. The driver before me that had the truck month after month had it far worse.

This ends windshields and washers.


Update on the Book Club.

I have news about the Book Club glitch. My friend, Maureen, has come to my rescue and has done so in her usual superb way. This girl, I tell you, is a genius!

Okay, okay. I’ll get to the point here. Maureen has started a Facebook Group entitled “Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club”.

If you already have a Facebook account you can find the Book Club by searching “Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club” under groups. Once there request to join and that is it. You will be notified of your acceptance – sorry that sounds so “Clickish”.

If you have questions about the Book Club you will find that Maureen has started getting everything ready. She will be able to answer any questions you might have.

I do have a Facebook account and mainly use it to spy on my kids and grandkids. See what they are up to and checking they are behaving themselves 😉

As for answers to any “How To” questions asked of me you could end up going away wondering which rock I just crawled out from under. 😱

So go check out the Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club Group on Facebook and ask the guru there.

You want to know what a dolt I am about Facebook? Okay, I’ll tell you.

Maureen sent me a message saying she had the Group thing already to go and she added me to the Group.

Did you see that? She already added me to the group. Remember that little bit there.

I go and check out what she had done. Fantastic! AWESOME! I was so excited and thrilled with the entire thing and left her a very appreciative comment. I also asked Maureen “So, how do I join the Group?”


Maureen left a very sweet comment informing me that I was already signed up.

Ask me questions about truck driving, laundry, or cooking. Don’t ask me questions about Facebook. You could be the next one saying “DUH – What’s up with her?!”

So go check out the Foolishness and Mayhem Book Club Group on Facebook. Maureen created it just for all of us.


A small glitch in Shelly’s Book Club.

Here’s the deal. The “Page” idea I had for this Book Club is not going to do what I thought it would. It is only a single page that allows comments but no updates can be added. I can not even put up the selected book cover photo or a synopsis of what the book is about. I will not be able to have a post with the chapter selections to read and include a place for your comments and thoughts on what has been read.

The next little problem I have is figuring our what, exactly, type of book to start off with.

Lynn, all the way over in Jolly Old England, has suggested a “historical Medieval romance” novel which looks to be quite good. I’ve Googled “Summer’s Storm” by Denise Domning and find it quite tempting. There is one book before this in Ms. Domning’s series.

We will be delivering in Charlotte, North Carolina tomorrow, Saturday, and will be heading home for a couple days before leaving for the west coast and Washington once again. We should be home on Monday and stay for a couple days.

See, this is what happens when I make a snap decision without doing any research. Not to worry though.

I think a new blog, a separate blog, will be the answer to the glitch. I can start it from my phone (I think) and tweak it when I get home to my computer. This only means a slight delay.

While I’m working out the new place for Shelly’s Book Club to live I would like to take a poll, of sorts, to find out what genre of books you guys all find enjoyable.

I’m not much up for shoot’em up and gore – I get enough of that listening to books with Joe as we travel. Murder mysteries and police procedural books have been listened to for the past year. Suspense and dangerous situations took their toll on me.

I paid him back though. He had to listen to a Nora Roberts book – The Witness – which was actually good. Funny to watch him squirm during the erotic bits. That was hilarious! Poor guy 😜. Thankfully, for him, there was more good story than erotic bits LOL.

Since I’ve never been part of a book club I don’t know how a book gets selected. I’m positive there is a leader whom the decision falls to and everyone else follows.

If there are no other book suggestions from you guys then we will begin with Summer’s Storm. This time delay will allow us all to get the book.

Check with your local library to see if they have it or can get it for you. If you choose to do an “ebooks” I saw this book available at Amazon, Booksamillion, and on Kindle. It is NOT, however, available through iBooks. You can also purchase it from your local bookseller or online from Barnes and Noble.

Here is a link to the book Summer’s Storm”

Last, and most important, I am both amazed and thrilled with the amount of interest and support this “Project to help Shelly” has garnered. It is my wish that everyone benefits from this venture and we all feel part of something even though we are from all over the place.

A side benefit is we can carry on a discussion of the books in our jammies at no particular time. No one will have to break their neck cleaning the house and baking cookies for the gathering 😎

Okay, time to hit the road.