Friday, November 30, 2012

Brace 'Er Up

Dolly is required to wear a special skull brace, lest any of her remaining brain matter leaks out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Are Ya Ready?


For some Christmas spirit??? If this doesn't fire you up about Christmas, I don't know what will.

Seriously, this mashup is pretty good.


Feel like crap. Crystal ball says I'm going back to sleep.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Makes Ya Wonder

I suppose I'm a security risk for liking Lonesome Dove.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Firm Grasp of the Concept of Money

Dolly has been watching too much MSNBC and visiting the Democratic Underground.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

That Darn Cat!

Whilst filling my brain with sludge from H2 this morning - notably an episode about "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," prompted me to do some Wikiwandering. Mostly, I was interested in Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, who spirited the Papyrus of Ani out of the Middle East in his role as an Egyptologist at the British Museum.
"He was one of only two people that Mike the famous cat of the British Museum would allow to feed him.[5]"
Well, you know that caught my eye!
The house cat of the Museum taught the young Mike to stalk pigeons by pointing like a dog to the intruder. Under the kitten's guidance the house cat would proceed to corner the pigeons, daze them, then bring them to the house keeper, who would exchange the bird for a morsel of food and milk, and release them unharmed.
Abandoning Wikipedia for the World Wide Net that Google will show, I found this page.
As time went on Mike began to prefer living at the lodge, where he had free access to come and go as he pleased, day or night, and a special corner shelf, away from draughts, was made available for him to sleep on. But he continued to patrol the Museum, and in return the Keeper of the mummified cats continued to make sure he was looked after; even during the lean years of World War I he made sure that Mike did not go without. The cat led a good life, often being given milk and scraps in the evening by the refreshment-room waitresses, and being frequently entertained in the houses of some of the resident keepers. As did his predecessor, he also liked to grace the Reading Room with his presence.
Mike was famously misogynistic - and there were only a very few men he would allow to pet him or feed him - a couple of the gatekeepers over the years, and Sir Wallis. He was also death on wayward dogs.

He'd puff himself up to twice his size, and scare off the dogs
Alas, cats do not live forever, and Mike began to fail:
Sir Wallis Budge, when he himself retired, would come to visit his friend and every week would bring sixpence towards his keep. During Mike's last couple of years he became difficult to feed because his teeth were decaying, but the three gatekeepers, who 'treated him as a man and a brother', took it in turns to prepare tender meat and fish (on alternate days) for him. It was said he 'preferred sole to whiting, and whiting to haddock, and sardines to herring; while for cod he had no use whatsoever'. Eventually his health failed to the extent that he was unable to eat, and it was felt kinder to 'put him to sleep', and so this famous cat passed away on 15 January 1929 at the age of about 20 years. He was much missed by a host of friends and acquaintances who had appreciated a cat that knew 'how to keep himself to himself'. He had become one of the minor sights of London, and news of his passing saddened admirers around the world who had encountered him during their visits to the city.
And after he had passed, there was a tribute:
Died Jan. 15, 1929,
Aged Twenty Years.
All ye that learnèd hours beguile
In the Museum’s dingy pile,
And daily through its portals pass,
And marked the cat upon the grass
That sat — alas, he sits no more! —
Give ear a moment, I implore,
And mourn the fate of poor old Mike!
When shall we ever see his like?
No fate untimely snatched away
This pussy-cat Methuselah;
When Death removed him, he had near
Accomplishèd his twentieth year:
For since we are a learned crew
In the Museum — Michael knew
Of Argus, that famed hound of old
Who lived through hunger, heat and cold;
And when his lord came home at last,
When twenty years were well-nigh past,
Looked up, and wagged his tail, and died:
But Michael, stiff with feline pride,
Vowed, by a dog he’d not be beat,
And set himself to cap that feat.
He’d sit and sun himself sedately,
No Sphinx or Sekhmet1 looked more stately;
He cared not in the very least
For human being, bird or beast;
He let the pigeons eat their fill,
Nor even one was known to kill;
But scared them if they stayed too nigh
By the sole terror of his eye.
To public, and officials too,
He showed the scorn which was their due:
And if perchance some forward minx
Dared to go up and stroke the Sphinx —
Her hand shot back, all marked with scores
From the offended Michael’s claws.
And he who writes these lines, one day
Ventured a compliment to pay,
And for reply received a bite —
No doubt you’ll answer, "Serve him right!"
So out of all the human crew
He cared for none — save only two:
For these he purred, for these he played,
And let himself be stroked, and laid
Aside his anti-human grudge —
His owner — and Sir Ernest Budge!
A master of Egyptian lore,
No doubt Sir Ernest had a store
Of charms and spells decipherèd
From feline mummies long since dead,
And found a way by magic art
To win that savage feline heart.
Each morn Sir Ernest, without qualms,
Would take up Michael in his arms;
And still remained his staunchest friend,
And comforted his latter end.
Old Mike! Farewell! We all regret you,
Although you would not let us pet you;
Of cats the wisest, oldest, best cat,
This be your motto — Requiescat!

F. C. W. Hiley

1 A lion-headed Egyptian goddess
Mike expresses his opinion of a dog he just ran off
Rowhrrrrr!!! Gotta love it!

Pictures from here!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh, The Ironing

Found this in the ol' spam trap today:
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The ironical part is which post of mine the spammers attempted to use.

The New Disinfectant In Town.

I'd think disinfectants would be a priority if one was dealing with a Kardashian. Just sayin'........


Dad called it the "I wanna disease." It was not a complimentary term. If you did not have the money, you did not buy whatever you just had to have. He was even a Democrat back in the day.

Imagine that.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Since this is Thanksgiving, and writing what we are thankful for is de rigueur, welp, here is my meager effort.

It has been a rather tumultuous year at The Poor Farm, mostly because The Poor Farm exists only as a concept these days. As most of you are well aware, it all went up in smoke on June 26.

That incident is not one of the things for which I'm thankful. All I had left were some scattered possessions in my truck, in my pickup, and at the neighbors' place. The cat who chose to put up with me met certain death. I still have problems with that - I cannot go out there and look without remembering Rooster, and all the pain rushes back. I've said it before - I'd have given all the other stuff if he could have been spared. Nope, all of it was taken, as it were.

So, thinking in those terms, I was thankful that I still had what I did. Once I pulled off the clothing I was wearing, I had more to wear while doing laundry. I still have a few guns stored away from the place, my laptop and some winter clothing in the back seat of my pickup.

Still - negative feelings about the whole thing.

Maybe in the long run it was a good thing, because I certainly learned against my initial judgment about how generous the human heart really is.

To see the magnitude of the response of all you out there completely blew me away. Both local people, internet friends, and people that up until that point had never heard of me gave willingly. I had many large and small donors - and believe me, it all added up to me being able to start again.

I had a difficult time accepting all that. I've always been a loner as far as getting by is concerned, and to have to take that help was something for which I was completely unprepared - it wasn't my way.

I find myself living in a house that is far nicer than the one that burned. More room, more storage, more comfortable (central HVAC as opposed to a propane stove and wall A/C in the living room). No mice. No bugs. No unusual creatures on my porch.

To be honest, I do miss some features of the creatures - I miss being able to step out at night and hear or perhaps join in with the coyotes. I miss all the birds and their music. I miss the open spaces. Stepping out the front door, all I see are evergreen trees. If I look up, I can see the North Star. On the farm - the whole of the Milky Way spread gloriously across the sky.

But living in town has made me a more social creature - just having to go to the Post Office for my mail means I encounter people I enjoy seeing. I can just jump in the ol' pickemup truck and dash to the grocery store or cafe rather than make a big trip out of it. This is something my great friend Road Pig foresaw when he offered his mother's old place to me to rent. He wanted me in town. I have come to appreciate that decision more and more as time goes by.

It doesn't hurt that he offered one of his cats up as a possible pal as well. Bob has become my buddy. He does like his treats, but he also is very attached to the attention. Maybe that seems like a small thing to some, but it's damn nice to know there is some sort of creature that likes to see me come home.

So, as far as the losing the house and finding out how generous people can be situation is concerned, why, yes, I am particularly thankful. I have been changed - not much, but my worldview has been altered, and my reactions to people as well. As I have said before, I have so many of you to thank for all that.

Thank you.

And looking in other areas, my health is constant - kinda poor, but regular. Not getting worse, at any rate. I've not managed to lose weight or regain my old stamina, but I do manage to report to work most of the time. I enjoy what I do, too. So, I'm thankful for my job. Many are not so fortunate, as we see in the news every day.

I am thankful to live in the United States of America. I have multiple freedoms that most citizens of the world do not enjoy. I can still speak my mind, vote for whom I wish, worship how I want, buy what I want and can afford, drive where and in what I want when I want, enjoy the world's best and cheapest food supply chain, obtain quality medical care (even out here in flyover country), own and use personal weapons denied so many other world citizens, and so many more freedoms we take for granted. Perhaps these things are slowly going away, but this year, I enjoy them and am thankful for it.

Mostly, and let me reiterate here, I am thankful for my friends. I have some very good friends. Very good friends. I have always been fortunate in having such people at my back, but this year taught me how much they cover my six, as it were.

My friends have to be the thing I am most thankful for, out of all the freedoms and choices out there. I love you all, and once again, Thank You!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In the Hall of the Shade Tree Mechanic


What's not to love? I really get a charge outta the spare parts at the end.


Apparently getting caught behind the Good Sam Brigade has been common even in the past. Who knew???

Sunday, November 18, 2012

From the Road

York, NE's extra cool water tower in the background over the Super 8 motel.

I know I'd never seen one before - but this is a 1955 Studebaker Speedster, part of their President series of models. Considering there were only 22215 Speedsters made that year, it's no wonder I've never run across one. Not like it's a '69 Camaro or a 'Stang. Don't ever let anyone tell you they only made stuffy looking business coupes - this puppy looked like it was fast in the day. Whether it was or not - the car came with a 100mph speedometer and an 8,000rpm tach. The engine, sourced from Packard, was a Passmaster 259-cubic-inch V-8 with 185 horsepower. 

President script above Speedster script

The original fish mouth grill, way ahead of the Taurus

It was 1955 when tail fins were just starting to grow. Thank God - still tasteful IMHO!!!
This was one of the few times I could even try to "stage" a picture - guess I was too lazy to think about my real camera in the truck. I've always wanted to catch a pic of the water tower as well, so I killed two birds with one stone here!

This is a sculpture in front of the Bank of Western Oklahoma's Woodward branch called "Binding Contract" by Bradford J. Williams. Two cowboys on horseback, shaking on a deal over the fence between them. Not much symbolism here, eh?!? More honor in that little scenario than all of Washington, DC as far as I'm concerned.

One of our 12'x35' FRP tanks in mid air in the process of being placed in it's new home.

Close enough that it took two tries to get the whole thing.

Welp, until I gather some more pics, that's it for now!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vivian Had Moxie

Vivian Fae Bridgwater, 75, died November 11, 2012 at her Oklahoma City home. Vivian was born October 14, 1937 to Rufus Milton and Ruby Eleanor (Friedlund) Woods in Kalvesta, KS. She was raised in the Kalvesta area where she attended grade school and graduated from Cimarron, KS High School in 1955. She received her Associates degree from Bethany Nazarene University. She married Donald Bridgwater in 1958 and to that union were born two children: Jeffrey and Shelly. She worked in the Accounting and Payroll fields for many years in Cimarron, KS, Austin, TX and Oklahoma City, OK. 
Vivian's life was filled to overflowing with family, friends and co-workers. She was absolutely devoted to her children and grandchildren. Whatever they were about, she was about. She also loved a good joke or prank -- even when at her expense. Her servant heart meant that no task was too big or too small -- at work, at church or at home. 
Of course, that is only part of the story.

Vivian was the mother of one of my best friends. I was the best man at his wedding. Somehow, over the years, we have remained tight. Even my sister is a friend of the family, which also includes my buddy's sister. Our lives are intertwined, and Vivian's passing hurt.

What this obituary does not say is how she supported her husband while he finished his schooling - he was a zoologist who ran the OKC zoo for some years, if memory serves me. However, when he was finished with his education, he left Vivian and her two young charges on their own.

Keep in mind that this was the sixties, and divorced single women with kids going it alone was absolutely unheard of. This did not stop her - she proceeded to raise her children by herself. Not entirely by herself; she was born into a big family that helped her out considerably over the years, but by and large she raised two children quite well. Both her children are successful, responsible and loving adults I am proud to call friends.

The family that raised her and looked after her (of course, she did some lookin' out for her own as well) could be considered a clan. When her parents moved off the farm and into town, the house they built had a completely open basement that ran the full width and  breadth of the foundations so that there was one huge meeting/family/dining/play room for all the kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren to romp. It was always a madhouse of screaming, playing children, adults with Solo cups filled with tea and paper plates with fried chicken and other assorted covered dishes, and a lot of camaraderie and love. So, there was an extensive support system, but it also required input as well as receiving help.

We always thought she was pretty cool. Jeff and Shelly don't see it that way, of course, because she was their mother and that was just the way she was. She certainly was a disciplinarian, but she never got excited or dramatic about much of anything. Always seemed to know what, how and why we were thinking, or why we did something. Disappointing Vivian was a crushing blow - you just did not want to do that.

Plus, she was always attractive, dressed well, and had very restrained tastes in clothing, furnishings and so on. Pictures filled the house.

Music and religion filled her life as well - she was always involved in her local church - on the board of directors, in the choir (she played the piano as well), involved in all the various activities with youth, serving the elderly, or whatever. She did love her music, and even as a child the family sang together - the old hymns with everyone joining in was right up her alley.

And, she was one of the few people I know that I consider to be the epitome of a Christian lady. Gossip never crossed her lips, nor did talking behind someone's back, or running someone down. Truly, she followed the maxim of "If you cannot speak well of a person, do not speak at all." And it was never obvious that she was avoiding saying whatever negative thoughts she really had - she just never even brought it up. I never once heard her bad mouth the father of her children - the details came from others. She never put him down around the children, either. I gotta say she had way more intestinal fortitude than I - my mouth is weak in that regard. Hers was not.

Of course she was a wonderful grandmother - there are five grandkids who worship the ground she walked on. Jeff's kids gave eulogies at the funeral (Shelly's are a tad young for that), and that was the hardest part of the whole affair - to hear what they had to say. She was never a pushover - she surely did discipline them as well! There were tales of washing mouths out with soap for thing said that should not have been uttered. Any events they were involved in? Grandma was there, supporting them.

For me, growing up Catholic meant never hearing a ton of hymns that others consider de rigueur. One of Vivian's favorites was played at her funeral just as she preferred - by family members on guitars, banjo and singing - and the Woods family has some very talented pickers and grinners. I'd never even heard this one before, but it was one of her beloved hymns. You'll just have to hear Johnny Cash and pals on this one:


Vivian, you are in a better place, but we're going to miss you anyways.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This Is As Valid

a viewpoint as any other, I guess:

Who cares who pays? As long as it ain't us!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Heart (of little kids)

Jeffy's carefully constructed mask of a melon headed genial dimbulb falls for a moment. PJ had better watch out, or he'll be puttin' on the lotion.

Veteran's Day

I generally rerun something I wrote back in 2007 for today. I guess I'm lazy?!?! At any rate, I think I said pretty much all I had to say back then. However, others speak volumes with their short posts, and are quite eloquent in how they do so.
The shape of the dog tag would change somewhat over the years, but its purpose has remained the same: to identify the fallen when they can no longer identify themselves. In other words, it’s a preparation for something you’d rather not think about.
There are times when I think the whole nation would rather not think about things like that; there is much talk of peace, comparatively little about the idea that maybe you have to fight once in a while to obtain it. They forget that during most of human history, peace was the exception, not the rule; and they believe that ultimately, mankind will happily lay down its arms. Anyone who’s ever had any of those arms pointed at him knows better. But there are fewer and fewer of them — of us — to serve as a reminder, and so we forget, lulled into a false sense of security by those who prefer butter to guns, or would if butter didn’t have so much darned saturated fat.

This is from Charles G. Hill, my blogging guru for whom I have a great deal of respect.

Go and read the whole thing.

Friday, November 09, 2012

While We're Talkin' Nightmares


Yeah. Max legal height for a truck is 13'6" - which means bridges that expect semis to fit underneath them must be at least slightly higher. Lots of bridges and overpasses, however, were designed many many moons ago when trucks were far smaller - like this one - and are still in service.

Supposedly, if the clearance is under sixteen feet, it's supposed to be posted. Not always the case. I know you are shocked.

But what really starts my motor (and my compadres) is the fact that we are routinely considerably higher than 13'6". When we're using our triple axles to haul 12' diameter tanks, we are right at 14'2" or slightly higher. When we use our single drop flatbeds, we're right at 15'2" or so. If we obtain permits that route us a certain way, supposedly they have ran us over a route where we have no interference.

Good luck with that thought.

I guarantee you when I'm in unfamiliar territory, I've got a weather eye out for low underpasses. There is nothing quite like rounding a blind curve and coming up upon an underpass where the load ain't gonna fit. I even look 'em over when I'm empty, just to remember some of the short ones in case I've ever gotta go there again. And if I see a low one, it makes me nervous even though I know I"ll clear without a tank on.

I've got leather seats in the Mighty Binder, and luckily they don't take to showing rings like cloth ones would from sucking up the seats, so to speak.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

One Of My Enduring Nightmares


This is why I do not care for winter driving on mountain passes.

And for that matter, mountain passes even in great weather.

H/T Ant Gail

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Woke up in the middle of the night and found out the news, and was unable to sleep for a while. When I got up, the idea that I was in Iowa, where the Obama won, had me looking sideways at all the people I encountered. Of course, since I mostly ran into ag related folk, that was unfair, because they didn't vote thataway.

I really don't know what is in our future. Any chance our country might not go down the road to European socialism went right out the window last night, I'm thinking. It was probably preordained already - Romney and his ilk would have taken longer. We'll just keep fading away, giving away our defenses, our leadership roles in the world, our world standing, our economy, our rights, our money and ad infinitum.

The coverup of the Benghazi attack won't be prosecuted. Fast and Furious will go away. Obama will give our defenses away to the Russians, since that was something he promised them he'd do if he won last nite. That would be one promise of his I'd bet he'll keep. He'll keep bypassing Congress violating the Constitution with more executive orders, more czars and more bureaucracy. There will be no budget - why would he want to be restrained by such a simple concept when he's borrowing and printing money as fast as he can?

Yes, we'll all be spending our way to prosperity, with free health care until some board decides they've spent enough on us, or you can walk with crutches rather than get that knee operation. We'll have more and more people on the dole, because they just don't want to work, or just can't find jobs, or get tired of giving all to the government anyway. Anyone with any money will be classified and rich, and if they want to keep some of it, will have to move or hide it in some way - and they'll have the loopholes for the chosen few. The rest of us? Not so much. No businesses are going to invest in a future as bleak as the one coming - they're already backing off now - except for those who get government largess.

Good bye, United States of America, Land of the Free. Nice knowing you.

 The American Republic will endure until the day
Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the
public's money. 
Alexis de Tocqueville

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hoo Boy

I'm firmly ensconced in a motel room in Clear Lake, IA tonight - we got here early, because we aren't scheduled to unload until tomorrow morning at a nearby berg. I swore I didn't think I could stand watching the poll results and swore that I wouldn't.

So much for not picking that scab.

Got Fox News on, and I rarely watch that channel.

Hang on, folks.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Oedipus Jeffy

This may have been Jeffy's tipping point into the madness of an axe murderer.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

We Live In Interesting Times

Yes, we are all going to breathe a sigh of relief after Tuesday. We're certainly hoping from relief from the incessant hatred in the ads on tv, the papers full of vitriol, and even the exasperation of dealing with stupid friends who just aren't as politically smart as we so obviously are. Yes, it will all be over, Thank God, and we can get back to our lives and be left alone.

Not so fast, buffalo breath - as Johnny was wont to say to Ed back in the day.


What makes you think there aren't legions of lawyers all lined up in critical districts, ready to contest election results if they don't go the way they want? Just for a minute, think on how preparations have been made to find sympathetic judges, crooked clerks and whatever kind of advantages a party might want or need to further their agenda?

Because no one ever loses in this country anymore - we're all winners, don't you know.

Water, Water Everywhere

And not a drop to drink.

Mitt Romney has been roundly criticized for his statement regarding funding for FEMA.
“FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we're learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?” 
Romney’s response: “Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better
“Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut – we should ask ourselves the opposite question,” Romney continued. “What should we keep? We should take all of what we're doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do? And those things we've got to stop doing, because we're borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we're taking in. We cannot ...”
Romney replied: “We cannot – we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. It makes no sense at all.”
Of course, liberal pundits immediately turned this into "Romney will eliminate FEMA!!!!!11!!! It's the end of the world as we know it! Heartless, cruel Rethuglicans!" The NYT put out an editorial A Big Storm Requires Big Government.

Hmmm, maybe it's just me, but cutting some funding doesn't automatically mean the death of said program. But, I'm a simple guy, with a simple mind, who sees things in a cartoon fashion. These are some of the editorial cartoons from the liberal side of things.

Yep, us Neanderthal conservatives are all a bunch of hypocrites. Because FEMA is such a find government agency that has a stellar record for disaster relief in the past. Oh, wait.....

And they're doing so well at helping out with Sandy as well:

FEMA's vaunted "lean forward" strategy that called for advanced staging of supplies for emergency distribution failed to live up to its billing in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

In fact, the agency appears to have been completely unprepared to distribute bottled water to Hurricane Sandy victims when the storm hit this Monday. In contrast to its stated policy, FEMA failed to have any meaningful supplies of bottled water -- or any other supplies, for that matter -- stored in nearby facilities as it had proclaimed it would on its website. This was the case despite several days advance warning of the impending storm.
FEMA only began to solicit bids for vendors to provide bottled water for distribution to Hurricane Sandy victims on Friday, sending out a solicitation request for 2.3 million gallons of bottled water at the website. Bidding closed at 4:30 pm eastern.
Breitbart News spoke with contracting officer Annette Wright, who said that the winning vendor would be required to deliver the 2.3 million gallons of bottled water to an East Farmingdale, New York distribution center that was listed in the solicitation request by Monday, November 5th. Ms. Wright was unable to say when or how the water would be delivered from the distribution center to needy Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey, Staten Island, Long Island, and other boroughs of New York City. Vendors "are currently being evaluated," she said, and when the vendors are announced, they will provide information on how local distribution will occur.
Yep, that's a perfect example of the rapid response needed in times of disaster, and the ability of a large government bureaucracy to fulfil the immediate needs of citizens.

Of course, taking federal control of disasters away from the Feds and giving it to local authority is not without risk as well - just look at Nagan and Blanco's refusal of FEMA and federal aid during the first days after Katrina hit (which Bush was blamed for - go figure*). You can't fix stupid bypassing the Feds and relying on state and local officials. Even in this crisis, NYC mayor Bloomberg refused aid from the National Guard in Brooklyn because - wait for it - they carry guns.

News flash - the National Guard does more than carry - they also have large things that make things go bang in a big way, not just personal weapons. Since day One of their existence, even.

But, you realize that those nasty guns will cause crime to rise, dogs and cats will live together, and they are a symbol of personal freedom that this bigoted a$$hole cannot stomach. But hey - the local populace elected him, he's their guy, so they're getting exactly what they wanted. Not my problem.

I sure don't have all the answers, but it does seem to me that local control is a better option, mostly because local people know their area, as opposed to someone thousands of miles away that has no clue. Plus, the money - if the money isn't filtered through about twenty seven more hands on it's trip through the federal bureaucracy, there tends to be more of it available for use, no matter the program. If you aren't sending so much money to the feds in the first place, it is a tad more affordable to sent it to the state capital instead.

And another thing - the disasters are called that because they are disasters. No one can accurately predict what will happen, and thus be prepared. Throwing more money into a federal sinkhole isn't the solution if the federal sinkhole apparently isn't capable of foresight and quick response. More money = more layers of bureaucracy, In My Humble Opinion - not better service.

And some people aren't responsible enough to be alive - how many stories have we heard of people running out of fuel for their generators, or placing their generators in an area that flooded, or people in walkup apartments with no food or water? How much time do you need to fill a bathtub with water, or buy extra fuel, or stock up on canned food and some camping cooking equipment? That sort of thing is de rigueur out here in the sticks - we know that no one is coming to bail our dumb asses out. But when you're used to Sugar Daddy Big Government taking care of all your needs, then you expect them to save you in a time of distress. Look how well that thinking works.

*and do you think this thin skinned President would stand for him being criticized for something he had nothing to do with? He doesn't take credit for errors he has made, much less keep his mouth shut and stay classy about something like that.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

End Dump

I guess I'm just about a weekend blogger here lately - seems with all the election crap going on I'm suffering from burnout. If you are one of my pals on Facebook, you've probably noticed the lack of political crap there from me, too. Nothing I can say will sway someone who thinks our current President is the bee's knees, so enough already. I guess we can all live in food stamp paradise, living our allotted years until we become a liability for the health care program so y'all can feel great about "doing stuff" with other people's money.

Yeah, I said enough already, but I can't help getting a dig in.

At any rate, what we have here I'm sure you've all seen - an end dump rig getting ready to dump. Several of us were waiting to unload (notice the man basket directly in the way), and this guy pulled in.

It's really a pretty sharp KW - nice color and lots of shiny stuff. Most haulers like this truck are usually beat up and rough, never mind the shiny stuff, so this rig caught my eye. Clearly it was fairly new, but some efforts had been made to keep it up. This guy was going for a clean look - no striping or fancy letters on his pretty blue paint. Notice how all his necessary info is on his step. He had already gotten out and released the catch on the rear so the door would swing as he unloaded.

If you look at the front of the trailer, you can see a single ram lifting the dump body. There is a substantial frame underneath with the suspension mounted to the frame, and the dump body hinged at the rear of the frame. This is the strongest variant, but some have a sort of subframe that contains the kingpin (the thing the fifth wheel on the truck attaches to) and the ram, with a set of stringers going back to the rear to keep everything in line, and with the suspension mounted to the dump body. When those guys dump, the front axle gets lifted off the ground and dangles. It's a lighter setup, giving them a better payload. The spread axle rigs really put that front axle in the air. It's not as stable unloading on rough ground as the rig shown here - lots fall over, especially the manure haulers. They unload on soft farm ground, and the load can hang up with one side letting go and the other not, unbalancing the whole apple cart.

He let the rock pile up a bit then pulled forward, because the rock will pile up and prevent more from sliding out.

Really let go here.

Pulling away to let the final dribs and drabs fall out.

Letting it down (it is slow), and latching the rear door closed.

That might not seem like a lot of rock there, but I can assure you it is around 24 or 25 tons - which makes it a legal load for this guy. 50k lbs plus his rig at about 30k lbs equals 80k lbs. If he wants to haul more, he has to lighten up or put more axles underneath.

But I'm sure he's figured all this out, this is a shorter trailer, so it's pretty maneuverable compared to longer rigs. His tractor is fairly short too - he does have a single bunk, but this is obviously a local hauler. He's not going coast to coast with this puppy - I'm sure he does quite well with the local jobs he undertakes.

In most states I'm aware of, "rock" haulers are exempt from the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Law (or the bridge law to a trucker). This law is intended to keep heavily loaded axles a certain distance apart so that there isn't too much weight loading in one spot, overcoming a bridge's ability to hold said load. These guys are exempt as long as they are hauling rock, gravel, refuse, building debris, whatever - as long as it's considered exempt. Grain or feed products are not, so when they load those commodities, legally this rig can in no way approach 80k lbs gross - he's way too short. Doesn't mean a bunch of them don't try it anyhow, but they're not supposed to. If the one of the various alphabet trucking regulatory agencies catch 'em, it's an overweight fine, and perhaps mandatory unloading of part of the commodity until they are legal.

So, this is a little peek into another facet of trucking you might not really know much about.