Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Work Work Work Work Work
Tuesday went pretty good. I worked thirteen hours and drove 625 miles logging 9.5 driving hours. They didn't have anything for me today, and I had plans of coming in to work and cleaning the old truck up. However, when the alarm went off this morning, I suddenly changed my plans. I was pretty sore and tired. I decided to go later in the day, but it is a ninety mile round trip. I'm not going to go in for just enough gross to cover my gas to get there. So, tomorrow I go out again with some 16' tanks. There will be two of us, and two escorts since we are so wide. Personally, if I never hauled any more 16 wides again it would be too soon. When this kind of load is on a narrow two lane road, the tanks hang over into the other lane if there is no shoulder past the fog line (the white line to the right). We can't drive in the ditches. Bridges are generally too narrow to even think about not hogging the whole road, so we have to time those. Reflectors are usually in the way as well.
So, we're headed to Evans CO. Some of the tanks may go on site. We also have to come back through Denver to pick up some custom bent iron and some catwalks and landings we had galvanized. We use both companies frequently, and I've been there, done that plenty of times. It will mean an overnight stay somewhere, depending on how much time it takes to unload. There are several places I could end up at that I like, so this little trip will be like "old home week."
And, even thought I'm sore and tired, I just couldn't sit inside any more. This time last year, I'd have just sat inside, but I do seem to have more energy after the plumbing job. So, I spent some quality time with my riding mower. It's main feature is a 20 horsepower V-twin Briggs. If you are a gearhead, you gotta love a V-twin, even if it isn't made by Harley Davidson. My hands are sporting some decent blisters now. Seems like five months sitting on my can softened up the ol' claws. I wore gym shorts, a t-shirt, cap and wrap around sunglasses to shield the ol' eyeballs from the debris a tad. I'm betting my white legs were blinding any spy satellites passing by. "What is that, on that farm right there?" "Aayyyeeeee, my eyes!" My neighbors drove by once, waving at me like mad. Amazing how they don't care about my fashion faux pas. The worst thing about mowing for the first time in the season is destroying all the little flowers growing in the "lawn." The tiny purple flowers are wild onions. The bulbs are about the same size as green onions, but the stalks are a lot smaller. They taste a bit like really mild radishes, and are best eaten after the dirt is brushed off. Once, I got the bright idea to pull a bunch to put in spaghetti sauce. One dull pocketknife, sore knees and back later, I had about a half cup of bulbs. They were more or less lost in my marinara. I expect a person living off the land would burn way more calories than they'd get from these things.
The temperature broke ninety degrees today for the first time this year. It's been in the low eighties fairly often, but now it's jumping up faster. It won't be long and it will be over one hundred on a regular basis. But, ya never know, it could snow, have freezing rain, or just be cold, period. It's Kansas, after all.
Oh, and one more thing - the truck I'm in runs pretty good and it is fast as well. I haven't tested it out because I'm kinda partial to having a clean driver's license, but it is supposed to be a triple digit truck. I believe it. At 65, it's only turning 1400 rpm in the top gear. It's got a 550hp Caterpillar C15 that pulls better than most. I got into a bit of a drag race with a guy Tuesday. He and his running buddy were pulling lowboys loaded with pipe. I was hauling two 20'x12' tanks and some walkways. I was lighter, but I had a LOT more wind resistance, and it was pretty windy. That load on the custom dropdecks we use puts me in the neighborhood of 15'2" give or take an inch or two. Anyways, these two passed me some miles earlier just west of Limon on I70. There are some pretty good pulls going uphill, and just leaving my cruise set I caught them around Byers. So, I blew by the one in the rear on a long pull, and set in beside the lead truck as the ground leveled out. I had my cruse control set at 77mph.They had been running a bit slower than me even on the flats, so as I stopped pulling ahead, I realized he didn't want me to pass him and he was in fact "gouging on it." So, I did too, and blew his doors off. I was just on the other side of 85 when victory was mine, right about the time I met a county deputy. Some quick braking and his general indifference probably saved me. Heh. So, I'll have to resist temptation with this hot rod.
At any rate, it's good to be alive, out and about, and working up a sweat. Even if it does make me sore. It's a "good" sore.