Sunday, December 23, 2012

Four Carot Diamond Ring

I am sure everybody has heard the olde cliche's about "Love at first sight", and people going gaga, falling in Love over the holidays.  Well, maybe I'm not as unique as I thought I was.  Or, maybe I am. 

I gave my Lady a Four Carot Diamond Ring for Hannakah. 

Ok, call me crazy.  Just don't call me late for dinner! 

The cute little pooch is a Skye Terrier.  He LOVES playing rope!  He also approves of the ring! 

That's all for now.  Too busy to blog, but got this out! 

Merry Chirstmas and Happy New Year to y'all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I like to think of myself as open minded and not a bigot, although there have been moments...

I have a Lady friend that is Jewish; for the sake of this blog I'll call her Gretchen.  Very intelligent woman, educated, accomplished, and I think, cute! 

I also had an Egyptian friend who is Muslim; for the sake of this blog I'll call him Hansel. 
One day Gretchen came to Greeley and we decided to go out to dinner at a soup place I like called Pho Duy on 23rd Avenue in Greeley.  Earlier in the day I had talked to Hansel about the possibility of us having dinner together.  He really likes Pho Duy and stated that he might be able to meet us there. 

Well, Gretchen and I got to the restaurant, ordered, had our meal, and Hansel showed up with his wife and her daughter.  Since the table we were sitting at was small, we decided to get a bigger round corner table to accommodate all of us.  I made introductions and we moved to the bigger table. 

We sat there making small talk, with the little darling being a pain in the arse, but that's another story.  This was shortly after the Egyptian elections with the Muslim Brotherhood taking control. 

Gretchen asked Hansel about the turmoil in his homeland.  His answer was almost mechanical, "I don't know what's going on over there.  All I want to do is work, make a living and take care of my family."  As soon as I heard that, warning bells started going off in my head.  Gretchen continued to try to engage Hansel in friendly discussion, and whenever she asked a politically weighted question, he would answer, almost word-for-word, "I don't know what's going on over there.  All I want to do is work, make a living and take care of my family."

Gretchen also tried to ask Hansel a question in Arabic (?).  When she did, he looked at her like she had sprouted a couple of heads with horns on them!  Gretchen was married at one time to a man from the Middle East, who was Muslim, and had learned a fair share of the language.  At his lack of response, Gretchen got up from the table to use the restroom.  I could tell she was getting agitated with Hansel. 

While she was gone, Hansel turned to me and asked me, "What the F*** are you doing dating a Jew?"  I didn't think I heard him right, since he was somewhat whispering, and my brain didn't want to accept the question, so I asked him, "What?"  He repeated himself, and I "got it". 

When Gretchen got back to the table, I had had enough.  I turned to Hansel and told him in so many words, that I couldn't believe that he didn't have an opinion about what was going on in his home country, since we had talked about such things, even the previous week.  I didn't appreciate him lying to Gretchen and I, and acting like such a dumbass!  With that I turned to Gretchen and suggested we "partake of our abscence", meaning, leave. 

I waited until we were out in the car and had left the parking lot when I told her what Hansel had said when she was in the bathroom.  She was livid, and rightfully so.  I was too, but controlled myself. 

Now a few points to make. 

When we were talking and Hansel answered with his stock answer, I "heard warning bells going off in my head" because of some of the E-mails I had gotten about the "Muslim Threat" and Sharia Law.  I TRY to take all the E-mails I get with a very big grain of salt, meaning that I don't necessarily buy in to whatever they are promoting.  Some of them had been about the "Muslim Threat" and Sharia Law being forced into our laws, with one stating that radical Muslims, if threatened or "cornered", will say, "I don't know...  All I want to do is work, make a living and take care of my family."  It is a stock line that they are told to use to disarm their opponents.  Word for word, this is the answer Hansel had given us.  So now I wonder if he's a radical Muslim. 

The next point is: No matter what you think of a man's girlfriend, you don't say anything about her!  I could be dating a hairy circus midget covered in tattoos, but you don't diss on my woman!  Hansel broke that rule big time. 

Finally, I wonder: What was Hansel thinking?  He knew I was dating a Jewish woman.  If he was so bigoted, then why did he agree to meet us for dinner, albeit late?  If he has so much hatred towards Jews, why did he show up? 

I haven't talked to Hansel since that day.  I told my boss about what happened, and he said that he never did trust Hansel.  He also stated that if he sees Hansel again, he'll give him a piece of his mind, and he's not welcomed down at our shop; he'll call the police! 

I know a couple of Muslim Fuel Haulers, and they're very nice, hard working men.  I also know a few Muslim store owners who wouldn't give me the time of day. 

Fortunately, this one incident hasn't made me Muslim-phobic. 

It has, however, made me very aware. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Killed Bullwinkles Wife

I really didn't mean to.
She just, kinda, came out of nowhere. 

I was heading west on I-70 in the mountain town of Vail, going to our store in Avon to make a delivery.

My truck was fully loaded with 8,000 gallons of highly flammable liquid, specifically, if memory serves, 6,500 gallons of Unleaded gasoline, and 1,500 gallons of #2 Diesel.  Gross weight of truck: 80,000#

It was a bit drizzly, but visibility was good.  Just then, in front of me, appeared a large animal going from my right to the left.  It had just about cleared the path in front of me, to the left, so I wiggled the steering wheel a bit to the right to avoid the animal.  At that same instant another animal was there, in front of me, to my right.  I again teased the steering wheel back to the left to avoid this animal, and was almost successful.

In a fuel tanker you can't jerk the steering wheel to avoid a collision as you might in an automobile.  The liquid basically stays in one place when the vehicle is moved suddenly, and sloshes back to the other side of the tank when you correct, thereby possibly causing a roll-over.  So any movement has to be quick and limiting, or just smooth and graceful.  The front of the tractor can be wiggled from side-to-side without affecting the trailer, and that is what I was trying to accomplish.

Just about as I was passing it, through the windshield, I saw the animal rear up on its hind legs, looking like it was trying to avoid hitting my truck.  I didn't hit it, it hit me.  Just behind the passenger door, missing the hood, fender, air cleaner, windshield, mirror assembly, and passsenger door.  Instead it hit the exhaust stack, denting the stack cover, which is stainless steel, the aluminum step handle, and the bottom of the exhaust stack.  It then hit the fuel tank, denting it.  It also took the cap off of the marker light, sparing the bulb!  The animal spun around and hit the trailer fender over the drive axles, mangling it. 

I saw the animal, after it had hit the drive axles, spin away off to the shoulder.  I immediately hit the brakes and brought the truck to a not-too-casual stop.  Looking in my rear-view mirror, I could see the animal laying along the side of the highway, not moving. 

I immediately called the police, reported that I had hit an elk, then went out to inspect the truck for damage. 

The last elk that I had hit came out of the woods and ran in front of me in full daylight.  I was empty, just having made a delivery in Fairplay.  I tried to miss it, but didn't have enough room on the shoulder without going over the edge.  That accident caused $15,000 worth of damage to the truck.  The elk paid dearly with its life. 

The Vail Police showed up almost immediately, back behind me where the animal lay.  And there they sat.  I was getting impatient waiting for them, when they finally came up to my truck. 

The Officers I dealt with were very polite, courteous, almost to the point of being friendly.  Yes, I know, "Police" and "friendly" in the same sentence is almost an oxy-moron.  But I've dealt with many of the Law Emforcement Personnel in that area over the years, and have to admit that they are some of the nicest people around! 

As I found out, it was a small female moose that I had hit.  Somebody guessed it to be about 800#.  I got lucky; not so much the moose.  The impact had broken all four of her legs, and the delay of the Police to get up to my truck was because they had to euthanize her.  Bummer. 

So, that's how I Killed Bullwinkles Wife. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Writing and my books

Where does the time go? 

I was on my vacation the first part of June to Florida.  It was Great!  Having just gotten back from vacation, I didn't take my usual day off.  Then it seemed as though, no sooner had I gotten back, it was time for my son, Terence, to get married.  That weekend was used up with the festivities, et al.  The Boss made a deal with me: If he covered for me to spend time with the family during that week(end), then I was to cover for him while he took a "vacation" and went camping.  That worked for me. 

Now I used the term "vacation" because even though the Boss was gone, he was still having to dispatch the loads.  So even though he was miles away, or so I believe, he still had to put up with me every day and tell me where to go.  Busy week. 

But this week I have Monday and Tuesday nights off.  This is basically only because our day driver is quitting the end of the month (7/31) and then it will only be the Boss and I, again.  So I'm taking advantage of still having another driver to help cover the loads. 

You can't blame him for leaving, what with all the fires we've had in the High Country up by where he lives, and he does have a construction company.  So he's going to go work for himself helping to rebuild that area. 

So I get to do some blogging tonite, and work on my books.

Trucker's Tales, Semi Non-Fiction is now an E-book available on for Kindle, or your computer.  It has been and will continue to be available in paperback and audio CD.

The latest book, Pyro-Vortex (Fire Tornado) is an E-book available on for Kindle, or your computer.  I intend on getting the paperback version done these two days off.  It's a daunting task, in that I really don't know what I am doing, but having an IQ greater than that of a small soap dish does help get things done.  So by the Grace of God and a little bit of luck, I'll get it done. 

Please check out and purchase my books, and spread the word! 

I have a list of things that need to be done before I go back to work on Wednesday.  I'm going to be busy! 

Keep the rubber side down and I'll catch you next time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mom is gone

June 9, 1926 to May 16, 2012
We were expecting it, but that doesn't make it any easier.
It amazes me the memories that flood one's mind when "the news" is broken. 

We did not have a funeral for Mom, because she did not want one.  Mom was creamated and my sister, Connie, got me a Silver Cross that was/is made specifically to put a dab of ashes into, and then sealed.   We were hoping to go out into the Gulf on a friend's boat and scatter part of Mom's ashes, and that would probably have been the memorial.  But due to the weather, that idea has been postponed.

I have a canister that I took on the plane with me that has the other half of Mom's ashes.  Some are to be placed on my Dad's grave, and part scattered in the Colorado mountains. 

I am fortunate that I did have 40 more years to get to know my Mother than my Dad.  Having had time to get to know my Mom is very fortunate, indeed. 

Even after this time, and knowing what was to come, it doesn't lessen the heart ache and sense of loss. 
It does give me more of a sense of Family. 

Tell your family (and friends) you Love them the next chance you get.  You never know; it may be the last chance you get! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Florida Vacation 2012, Part 2, Monday

Connie took the week off, but because of her work, still had things that needed to be done at times.  Monday was open.  Neil had to work, but Marisol was off, so we three decided to go visit my Aunt Audrey, my Mother's sister, over by Daytona.

We took the long way out, going SR-40.  It went through one of the various forests.  Pretty drive. 

When we got to Audrey's we were greeted by Barb, her daughter, and Barb's husband Lou.  It was good to see them again! 

Connie had planned on us going to "Over Under Sideways Down" for lunch, but due to circumstances and time decided to go to "Pickles".  "Over Under Sideways Down" is what Connie called the place, since I don't think she can actually remember the name of it.  Pickles was cool.  They have a salad bar with quite a variety of pickles.  The meal was excellent, and the portions were HUGE!  Great place to eat. 

Audrey had asked Connie for something of Mom's that she held near and dear to herself.  Connie and I wracked our brains trying to figure out what to take to Audrey.  A sweater?  No, Connie had told the nursing home to dispose of all of Mom's stuff.  A book?  The Scrabble game?  We had even considered jewelry, but Mom wasn't one to wear much, if any.  There was nothing we could think of.  So at lunch Audrey asked Connie again if she had brought something of Mom's, and Connie told her "Us"!  What else is there?  Audrey looked forlorn, but I piped up and told her that Connie had intended on leaving me there with her.  That broke the mood, at least for the moment. 

Barb and Lou had to leave, and we did shortly thereafter.  We drove out to the beach in Daytona, and I went wading in the Atlantic.  I wanted to go swimming, but we didn't have time.  We then went back to Audrey's and visited for a while, looking at olde pictures of her and her sisters. The older sister, Flo, died a number of years ago.  Now Mom.  Audrey is the last one. 

Audrey has a cat, Tootsie, that she dotes over.  "I brush her every day", she proudly told us!  Cute and soft, a real companion to her.

We had to go as it was getting late, and Connie took us back via I-4.  Lots of rain along the way.

The visit was nice, and we fulfilled our family obligation, so to speak, but bitter sweet.  I couldn't help but notice how lonely and sad Audrey looked as we drove away.

Florida Vacation, June 2012, Part 1

I had scheduled my vacation WAaaayyyy back in February, to be in Florida for Mom's Birthday June 9th.  And of course while there visit my Sister Connie, Nephew Neil, and his wife Marisol.  When Mom passed away on May 16th, since she didn't want a funeral or memorial, we decided not to change the plans. 

I got into Florida Saturday afternoon and was met at the Sarosota/Bradenton Airport by Connie and Marisol.  From there we went to Neil's and Marisol's new place, where we had a barbeque and chatted about family and what we were going to do Sunday.

Sunday we got started somewhat early, and head down towards the Everglades.  Along the way we detoured to a back road that led us into the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.  From what I understand, it is the longest and widest Cypress forest in the United States.  Neil and Marisol had been on a hiking path that led way back into the olde forest and persuaded us to take a hike.  It was Beautiful!  Lots of animal life and heavy growth.  The path at a couple of points had boards laid over cinderblocks to traverse marshy areas, which made for a fun obstacle course.  We used a full container of OFF mosquito repellent! 

From there we went down to the Everglades where we went on an airboat ride at Wooten's Everglades Airboat Tours.  What a kick!  Captain Scott is obviously somebody who really enjoys his job!  It was only half an hour, and I say "only" because it went too fast.  Pun intended.  Next time I'll opt for the hour tour.  We had gotten a package deal that also included a (?) swamp buggy tour of the Cypress swamp.  It was interesting, in that our guide knew his stuff, but slow.  I wouldn't recommend it.  Maybe it was a let down after the excitement of the airboat ride? 

While waiting for the airboat ride, a very LARGE alligator came up to the airboat docks side, and just laid there in the water glaring at us.  I was thinking about tossing Marisol in to see who could swim faster, but she was being nice to me so I didn't.  On the other side of the ticket office was another inlet where we were feeding some fish.  Some of the fish were over three feet long!  Big Fish!  All of a sudden an alligator came splashing up out of the water towards us!  Scared us!  Then he just sat there glaring at us.  We were told that since we were feeding the fish, he wanted fed also.  Just so you know, it's 'legal' to feed the fish, since they have a dispenser there where you can buy fish food (cat food) to throw to them.  It's like a candy machine at a grocery store, where you put in 50 cents, turn the knob, and the food falls out.  It was fun.

From there we went to the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk.  It is what the name implies: a boardwalk into the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.  There were signs along the way explaining some of the various things that you can see.  From one end to the other it's 3/4 of a mile long!  Nice walk.  Big Trees! 

After we got back to the car, my sister had to wait for another tourist to move his car out of our way.  She then said, "Look Scotty, an alligator!"  I looked out on the road thinking it was a Colorado 'gator', that being a tire tread from a truck.  I didn't see anything.  She then mentioned that it was behind us.  Duh me!  I was wondering why there was a tire tread behind us!  Then she told Neil and I to get out and take a look.  I noticed she didn't invite Marisol to go...!  So Neil and I got out, and Lo and Behold, ther WAS an alligator about ten feet behind the car!  He was about eight feet long.  Too big for me to want to go and wrastle with, but Michael might...  After a couple of minutes the gator moved up and slowly worked his way into the water alongside the road. 

I cannot figure out the fascination about alligators.  Is it because they're living dinosaurs?  They're deadly nature?  They make great boots and handbags? 

We then head back towards home, found a Chinese buffet, got stuffed, and waddled our way home.  After a shower to get the bug spray and sunscreen off, I slept good.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ramblings, 02/29/2012

Happy Leap Year!
My Daughter, Tanya, was married on Leap Year 2008, so today is her anniversary. Yay! Her FIRST anniversary. She did that so that What's-His-Name could remember, and would only have to buy her one gift (instead of 4). Isn't that wonderful! Lol Robbie is a Great guy, and I am proud that he is a part of the family.

Moving: ugh! I moved from a studio apartment into a two-bedroom mansion! Well, it's still an apartment, but it's SO much bigger than the other place. Had to move; the owner was making life unbearable, with bugs, safety issues, over charging, etc.

Thank God for friends! My boss and friend, Brad, helped me move, as well as my son Michael. I did hire movers to move the big stuff, since I'm no longer a spring chicken, and I didn't want my new queen sized bed to get dirty on the floor of the other place. The movers did a great job, too.

I've let my hair grow out since September of last year. It started as an experiment to help me stay warm in the cold Colorado winter. But I've gotten so many positive comments about it, I've decided to let it grow. I am thinking about going back to Ohio this summer, and letting my daughter cut and color my hair. Whatcha think of that idea? I had forgotten how much fun long hair was. I now have to deal with hair in the sink, shower drain, floor, etc. My blue tooth doesn't fit well if my hair gets too long.

In my journeys up to our gas station in Avon, I have gotten caught in two blizzards so far this year. Yes, I said "So far". I do expect more. I had a panic attack a few weeks ago about driving a fuel tanker in the snow, but by the Grace of God I've gotten through that and can deal with it now.

Brad and Troy helped me yesterday to move my crate out of storage and up to the new apartment. "Helped" is a misnomer; they did almost all of the work! Thanks again guys. The crate contains three cut and polished pieces of rare marble that's pinkish in color, with white and black through it. I got that marble 30 years ago, and am only now able to have a place to set up my coffee and end tables. So if anybody tells me I don't have patience....

I got my newest book cover prototype back yesterday. Charity did an EXCELLENT job of photoshopping! I have the manuscript done (?) and will be getting it in E-book format soon. After that, then the printed book. Hopefully by June.

Terence is still in the Army, doing well. Can't say much about him due to security issues.

And, oh yeah, almost forgot: I finally hit the speed limit for trucks in Ohio, as of 2/11/2012. I don't feel any different now than I did a month ago, but my kids seem to think I'm getting olde. What do they know anyway?

Keep the rubber side down and the bugs off your windshield.