Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Trucker!

We are sitting in the truck in a WalMart parking lot in Mechanicsburg, PA, with both windows open and the sun beating in. I am in a sleeveless top and the thermometer on the truck says 70 degrees (in the sun) when across the wire (cellphone) comes these pictures from Sassy in Minneapolis, taken this morning...

This one's just to sneak in a little cuteness

Minneapolis, November 13, 2010

My prediction: It's heading this way...!!!
I guess we had better enjoy this balmy weather while we can.

Everyday, this job surprises me in some way. Yesterday morning, we started out with a Land O Lakes load that had two (delivery) stops. The first was in East Brunswick, New Jersey, to the East Brunswick Public Schools. You never know, the first time you deliver to a particular stop, what you're gonna find there. In this case, the address we were given took us to an elementary school for a 6:30 a.m. delivery. We got there at 6:15 a.m. to elementary school. No loading dock, no sign of any kind of life whatsoever. Now mind you, we're used to going to places where we back the big rig up to a loading dock of some sort, they drop a dock plate in place and scoot on and off our trailer with a forklift, either loading or unloading pallets of product. So we were a little confused and concerned. The phone number we had didn't help much either, cuz it was for a school district, and guess what? They don't open till 8:00 a.m. I walked across the street to a building that looked like school district offices because I could see school buses starting up and a few signs of life, but there were no overhead doors or loading docks there either. Then Mr. Trucker texted me to come back across the street. The loading party had apparently arrived. It consisted of three men with two regular sized vans. One of the men, the one clearly in charge, I'll call Mr. Cynical.  He seemed to think that Mr. Trucker was going to offload their five pallets of stuff for them. Fortunately, he had two other guys with him, one of whom he kept telling NOT to get up into the truck. The other unfortunate young man, the one with all the piercings, got the dubious distinction of going up in the truck, breaking down the pallets and trucking the cases of cheese to the open doorway on a hand truck (dolly), where Mr. Cynical, Mr. Trucker and the other guy carried these 77 cases of cheese sauce and 50 cases of string cheese by hand to the backs of the waiting vans. By the time they had finished, the parents were starting to drop off kids for school, so after a quick trip inside the school to use the bathroom, we got out of the parking lot to make room. Mr. Trucker spotted this sign in the gymnasium, and couldn't resist snapping a photo

Why Latex? Why not other allergy-producing
products, like peanuts, or soy?
Hopefully they're not referring to another common latex product, in which case they'd be wise to ban it from their elementary school.

We left East Brunswick (which appears to be a really cute little town, although when I mentioned this to Mr. Cynical, he shrugged and said "is it?") and headed for our second stop in Jersey City. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I believe New Jersey should be called The Graffiti State (rather than The Garden State). Here are a few lovely examples

I think Mr. Cynical had a hand in these
Some of the silliest sounding cities are in New Jersey

I love the way "Piscataway" sounds

Seriously? The Oranges?

Who would name a city Mahwah?
And although I couldn't get a photo, I saw the town Parsippany!

When we go to Jersey City, we are right down at the docks. This is where all the stuff comes in on ships or goes out on ships and it's really quite interesting

There are scores of these huge crane-like things for loading
and unloading big shipping containers

Here's a ship to be loaded or unloaded

And here are stacks and stacks of shipping containers
Once again, we were just across the river from New York City

NYC skyline

The place we were at to get loaded was, literally, chaos. It is a very busy wholesaler and the parking lot looked as if someone took a handful of toy trucks and just dropped them. There was no order to anything, trucks kept coming into the lot even though there wasn't room, so no one could move to get to a dock or out of a dock, and local day cab drivers kept zipping in and out around everyone, cobbing up the made for some very short tempers, I'll tell you. We were there for over four hours and I did some heavy duty praying that things would go smoothly, cuz you could clearly see that nothing was going smoothly. God answered my prayer because Mr. Trucker actually got some pretty decent breaks getting to his dock and back out again, although not without some headaches. He was feeling so lucky when we stopped for the night that he decided to buy a lottery ticket. The cashier at the truckstop told him they didn't have a lottery, but this morning when we went in for our coffee, we found out that she had not told us the truth. We found this out because we saw someone buying a Powerball ticket and when Mr. Trucker asked this morning's cashier if they had a New Jersey lottery, he told us in very sarcastic tones "This IS New Jersey, so yeah, it's a New Jersey Lottery". Apparently they don't think Customer Service is Job One at the Pilot truckstop in Bloomsbury, NJ. But cross your fingers on that Lottery ticket, and if we win, we'll share it with ya!

This morning we headed for the border (couldn't get out of New Jersey soon enough for me) into Pennsylvania and some more spectacular scenery and fine weather.


Some sort of orchard
We decided to make a stop at Pat Garrett's Sheepskin Shop, at exit 19 off I-78 in Strausstown, PA.

Pat Garrett's Sheepskin Shop
Apparently this Pat Garrett is a Country musician of some renown, judging by the photographs and articles papering the walls. Pat himself actually walked through with a cup of coffee, prompting me to call my brother, Steve, who is a musician himself. When I asked him if he knew who Pat Garrett was, he responded "Yeah, he killed Billy the Kid". Which turns out to be true, but that was ANOTHER Pat Garrett. Anyway, here's the link to his website

Mr. Trucker was enticed by a Sheepskin Bomber Jacket, which looked very fetching on him, and which Pat Garrett told him was "made for him"

"It IS my birthday, after all..."
But his innate tightwadness frugality prevailed and he did NOT yield to temptation. It was actually a very good buy at $300, but right now $300 is a lot of money to us. 

Well, I'll sign off for today with two final notes:

1) I'd like to get my hands on the sadistic bastard who invented the world's thinnest toilet paper, that tears after you've only gotten two or three squares and then immediately retracts so far up into the casing that you can't get any more to come out...

2) Hey Lil Deb and Katie: Would you believe I'm actually starting to get USED to only brushing my teeth once a day?

Today's (VERY) Silly Sounding Place Name:  Aquashicola, PA.


  1. No snow (yet) in Wisconsin. Watched a lot of movies yesterday with my foot elevated. Love all the countryside photos and the neat houses.

  2. Bro Paul said...
    No snow yet in MI either. Mr. T you look real nice in that sheepskin lined bomber jacket.