Update from the Fontana Terminal

December 15th, 2007

goofing off

Hi! It’s Brenda updating again. We visited my Dad the other night at the Fontana Terminal. It was great to see him and check out his new Kenworth. The overall consensus is that it is SMALL! But not too small for my Dad to cook himself an entire meal in! Below is photo of him showing me his meal he cooked. I don’t remember what it was but it did have salad and vegetables and stuff. My Dad is the BEST. He also knits, but you knew that already.

my dad shows me the dinner he cooked yesterday entirely in his truck

After we poked around his truck and took a bunch of photos of ourselves in the truck yard, we went out to dinner at The Olive Garden. It was CC’s birthday and I wasn’t about to miss out on that photo/blog opportunity.

the whole blurry family

The lighting in the restaurant was horrible and I hate to use my awful flash so here is a photo of CC reenacting her birthday wish. I didn’t catch the first wish since my camera was not shooting when I was pushing the button down. Don’t you hate that? I’m so glad my family doesn’t mind their lives being blogged and they will even pose for me so I can get the shot that tells the story.

cc fakes a wish

It was a fun night. After lots of hugs and Mom taking five million years to reorganize Dad’s stuff, we left him so he could get some sleep before heading to Calgary, Canada with a haz mat load. HAZ MAT!!! Actually it was just paint but still it sounds pretty scary! Heading over the border with highly flamable materials… sounds like a job for TOM the Trucker!

an update from the road…

December 1st, 2007

Hi! It’s Brenda again. My Dad called me this morning and here is his news:

1. The new truck is a Kenworth, called it a “KW”. Lovingly called an “ant eater” because the nose slopes down like an ant eater… though he’s not sure. The ant eater could be a different model. He likes the truck. It’s very quiet. The cab is super narrow.

“If mom goes with me, I can reach over and unlock the cab door.” (I thought he was going to say he could lean over and kiss her but he didn’t say that.)

2. He headed out with the truck on Monday to Reno. Then turned right around with a load back to Fontanna. Nine hundred some miles.

3. On Wednesday, he headed to denver with $500,000 worth of computer equipment. That’s half a million dollars worth of equipment! He had to drive 200 miles before he could make his first stop. This is company policy so theives don’t chase the truck. How scary! They require that you have to a full tank, a full log book and have eaten your meal.

4. From Denver he picked up a load of dog food heading to Buckeye Arizona, just west of Phoenix. From there he will head to El Paso Texas for Monday. That will make about 3200 miles for the week—which is good.

5. He found some free wifi at an Indian casino but wasn’t able to upload any pictures… something wrong with the laptop. He did check his email though.

And that’s all I have for now. Happy Trails Dad!

Caught in the Act

November 23rd, 2007

Tom the Trucker knits

(posted by Brenda)

My Dad heads out on the road today so it looks like I’ll be blogging for him until he gets a new laptop. His old one went kaput (though between you and me, it wasn’t really worth fixing).

Pictures as promised

October 31st, 2007

1/2 of 'Slippers' !

Here are the rest of the knit project pictures as promised. You can also see my old truck I sold last year and the last truck I drove before I started working at the Fontana Terminal.

A strange thing has happened since I have been on forced vacation. I am enjoying myself! I’m not making any money sitting around knitting, doing gardening, helping with the laundry and loading the dishwasher, etc. but after being on the road for 10 years, then leaving every morning at 5:00 to go the the Fontana terminal and not getting home till 7:00 pm every night, it is kind of great to just be HOME!!

I have to mention also, my wife really needs me here. I am not sure if I will ever go back on the road like I was before. I have to go back for a while for two reasons. I have to make some money to keep food on the table. Also, I am only 17,000 miles away from 1,000,000 accident free miles, which is an important milestone in anybodies driving logbook. I should be able to achieve this in only about two months of driving.

So, what can I do that will generate some income, let me be home most of the time and still let me be involved in the trucking industry?

SAJ had the answer. She said “Dad, why don’t you start an ‘Ask Tom the Trucker’ column”? What a great idea!

I Googled ‘Truck driving Info’

What I got was several web sites touting different companies and a couple of sites describing truck driving in general and providing a list of about 100 trucking companies interested in drivers. That is all well and good. I’m glad there is a place where someone can go to at least get some information.

I would like to be in there also with a place where someone can ask some questions and get an honest answer.

I would like Werner Enterprises to be a sponsor if they are interested. I have only worked for Werner, so of course I would recommend anyone to Werner. Werner has been a great company to work for. They have always been fair with me, but I would rather the blog or answer column be just an honest place to get honest answers instead of a commercial web site obviously trying to recruit drivers.

Does anyone have ideas for a name for this adventure? ‘Ask Tom the Trucker’ seems ok but maybe there is a better idea lurking out there!

If this could work, I would be able to make use of my experience as a 10 year driver with nearly 1,000,000 accident free miles, a year as a Safety Specialist at our Fontana terminal teaching the Orientation class and working everyday with drivers, along with working everyday with Management in Omaha NE, our headquarters. I think this gives me a unique qualification to help people find answers. And… I could be HOME!!

What do you think?

I am looking for some serious feedback before I start this venture.

Blogging on a regular basis…

October 30th, 2007

My daughter, most of you know her as SAJ, has challenged me to write a blog every day for the rest of my vacation/healing from hernia surgery time.  That is quite a challenge since I seem to write a post about once a year.

I understand the benefit of every day blogging.  Nobody is interested in reading your blog if it only gets changed once a year.   It isn’t really for lack of things to write about,  it seems my head is full of stuff I could certainly write about.  It’s just getting it from my head to the computer screen in a reasonably interesting blog that will be worth reading.

So, here goes…

I’m not even sure where I am going to go with this blog, I have three different subjects squirming around in my head like three siblings screaming to be in the front of the line.  We’ll see who wins out.

I suppose I should address a request that I received a few weeks ago.  Someone wanted to know what was my latest knitting project.  I have three of them,  squirming around in the knitting bag my wife made for me to keep my projects off the floor and somewhat organized.  When I look in the bag, I have to decide if I am going to work on the slippers for my wife (I have one made, but it takes two to be labeled “slippers”), the baby blanket which is almost half finished (I guess you could say the slippers are “half finished”, and I’ll have some pictures uploaded as soon as I learn how to run Flickr properly), or the other set of slippers I want to start, because my wife doesn’t really like the ‘one’ slipper and I have a new pattern in my head that I want to try.   You see, my wife’s feet are always cold,  always.  It doesn’t matter if it is 110 degrees, her feet are cold.  That is a problem.  Now, they aren’t really cold, they just feel that way to her.  So I have to knit a pair of slippers that she likes and will wear.

The blanket, though is what I am really enjoying.  I have never tried this difficult of a pattern.  I am doing it in seed stitch with alternating sections of solid purling.  It is supposed to be ‘beginners’ level and I’m sure it is, but for a truck driver who just knits because it is relaxing and doesn’t normally require serious thought processes, this has been a fun challenge.  Again, I will have some pictures uploaded asap.

I had better say something about something that I am sure is running through at least somebody’s mind out there… ‘Is this guy normal??  He knits?  He drives trucks?’  Yes I am a very normal ordinary man who loves to fish, loves to drive truck and I have found that ever since SAJ came out here one weekend and wanted to learn to knit, and I remembered what my grandmother taught me when I was six, I really enjoy sitting on the sofa and knit away.  It doesn’t matter if I am knitting a slipper or a blanket.

Oh I just remembered.  A few weeks ago I started knitting a handbag, a purse I guess it should be called.  I finished the main body of the purse, I just need to sew it together.  Somehow I haven’t gotten around to that part yet.

My wife is sitting in her recliner next the the computer as I type away.  She says, “You know, every blog doesn’t have to be a long blog, you could write short blogs…”    She doesn’t understand.  I have these three siblings squirming around in my head and I have only let the first one have out.  There are two others screaming how unfair I am, giving the knitter blog first place.

Well, you all will have to wait till tomorrow.  I will introduce the ‘Ask Tom the Trucker’ column.

October 11th, 2007

What a motley crew

Yesterday was my last day at the Fontana Werner Terminal. As a kind of going away thing, we donned Werner shirts and posed in front of one of our trucks.

I have a lot of great memories of my year at the terminal. I will surely miss everyone.

My thanks to all my friends.

Post Surgery… Thanks for the wonderful comments

October 11th, 2007

It has been about two hours since the surgery and everything went A-OK. I took a pain pill because the nurse said I had to but I’m not in any pain at all. It was only for a small umbilical hernia. I wasn’t able to pass the physical so I could go driving so I had to have it done. It looks like I’ll only be down about 2 weeks and then I can drive. I just won’t be able to lift over 15 lbs for six weeks or so

Brenda has been such a joy to us since the day she was born. She was a breach birth so she didn’t even have the cone head most babies have. As they were wheeling mom and baby across the hall from delivery to nursery, they called me over. Brenda was cooing… she had her little lips pursed and was going “Coo… Coo…” She has been a happy kid ever since. We love her very much. Never knew what a kid she would turn out to be!

One other thing… When we would go to a restaurant, Brenda would immediately turn her place mat over to the blank side and start drawing. At the end of the meal she would present her masterpiece to the waitress.

In high school and her first year at college, we tried to get her to take art classes. She said she wouldn’t have a chance, the other students were so much better than she was. So she majored in Mass Communication, which was a good field for her, but her last year she took an art class for the fun of it and found to her surprise… she loved it and she was the best in the class. (we knew it would be that way all along but how do you convince someone till they find out for themselves!!)

Never Home

April 20th, 2007

I like my job but I wish I was home more. I feel like all I do at home is sleep. I really don’t get to do much else. I’m constantly being told that they’re taking advantage of me, but what can I do. Oh well. Another day is coming and I’m tired.


April 7th, 2007

This is Dad’s blog. He probably will never have time to blog but we made him one anyway.