Saturday, May 3, 2014

At home packing to start 3rd leg of my Run to the Run

I made it home yesterday evening.  The flight was good, but going from +70 to +49 was to say the least a  little uncomfortable.  But I made it.

Today I spent the day with my step grandson.  Mostly goofing off. This is a picture of Jake and his buddy the Michelin Man at Wausaau Sam's Club.
Photo: One of my grandsons. Jake, giving the Michelin man a hard time at Sam's club.

We had lunch there.  Fresh fruit, steak, BBQ pork, chips and dip, lemonade, tea, hot dogs, cheese cake, pop corn, and a black bean burger.(Jake didn't even try that)  Great way to kill the hour we had to wait for tires on my jeep to get rotated.  We walked around and checked all the sample booths.  We found 12 of them.  When Jake tried to sample the Mike's hard Lemonade, the lady asked for his ID and he told her he left his wallet at home.  She told him no ID no sample.  Since I was driving I didn't sample that either, but the Italian Ice Lemonade was pretty good.
Then I went home changed Clyde's oil, set up my tent then repacked it.  It is new, I am going to donate my old one toe Goodwill.  The tent is still in great shape, but the new one fits exactly into the side bag on Clyde, and is a little bigger than the old one, but packs up smaller, go figure.

I bought some nuts, chocolate covered raisins, generic M&M's and some mini pretzels.  Mixed them all in a big bowl, and no I have three large bags of trail mix for the trip.  After much debate I think I am going to take fleece sleeping bag, instead of my heavier mummy bag.  All I have left to do is pack clothes.  Trying to decide if I am going with vacuum bags, or a waterproof duffel bag.  I will make that call tomorrow.

Thanks Stevens Transport, Angela Horowitz, Cat Ambrose, Bonnie Dorsey, Don V, John Norris.  Without you folks I wouldn't be able to do this trip.  J=R Express was also pretty good at getting me to the airport on time.  If I forgot anyone I am sorry.  a lot of folks have helped way more than I could list here.

Thanks again everyone.

Weather outlook till Thursday, warm and sunny from here to Colorado Springs.  Provided I can get there by Thursday.

To those on the list, daily check calls start Monday evening.  If you want to be on that list comment here with your email. I will post the comment, not the email.

Thanks for reading

IT IS MAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yeah

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just a quick word on comments here and why I moderate them

All comments added here will be posted in their entirety no matter what.  Bad language will be redacted (nice way of saying I will delete bad words).  During the run kids read this thing, so I moderate, it might delay your comment till I get online and post it, but that is all.  Do not hesitate to let me know if you disagree with my thoughts. 
Thanks to all who have read these musings, and thanks again to Stevens for letting me do the Run again this year.

First Leg of my Run to the Run complete....Great Day

Ask me where I work, and I will tell you, I drive truck for Stevens Transport, Dallas, TX.  Ask what I think about the Company, and the folks that run it, and 100% of the time you will get a positive response.  Even when I am having a really bad day I think I work for some pretty good folks.  I have been a Company driver, a Lease driver, a true Owner Operator (Well I was buying my own truck until someone offered me a lot of money for it) and am back to being a Lease driver again. 

The work is good, the miles are good, and the pay is great.  Do I complain, well yes sometimes I do.  I know that there are places that I might go and might make more money, but Stevens has been good to me.  Their checks always clear the bank, they always get me home when I want too be there, and they have bent over backwards to help me support my Dad when he needs me.

Last year I went to the Company, specifically Angela Horowitz, and requested help in doing Run for the Wall.  She asked what it was, and when I explained that it was a mission of POW/MIA awareness, and of healing for Veterans of all wars she said two things, and the second one floored me.  I was almost ready to call 911 and have paramedics make sure I had not died and gone to heaven.

After a quick explanation of the Run, what we do, what we stand for, and who we do it for, she said the following, and this is a direct quote  "I think that is wonderful.  What can we do to help you do this?"  Now do not take this wrong, Stevens has been supporting me for years in doing this Run.  The Alliance Fleet Management Supervisor has always supported me, but Angela is VP of Contractor Operations (May have the title wrong, but you get the drift) and she is also Steve Aarons' daughter so she has some pull at this company.
I am very grateful for all the support, and without it I would have had to pull out of the Run for the Wall last year, simply because I had not saved enough to get all the bills covered and take the time it takes to do it.

So today I completed my 4th or 5th lease, depending on how you count and whether or not you count the years that I owned my own truck as 2 or 1 lease.   I will sign another one in a heartbeat, and fair warning to the folks at Run for the Wall, I will do it till I have to ride a cage, and then if everyone is not home, I will keep doing it, because if we do not do this Congress will forget everyone the have ever sent in harms way and left behind.  That is unacceptable.

What is very acceptable is working with a Company like Stevens, that treats its drivers as members of the overall team.  Turnover when I started there was pretty high, but there are about 300 to 600 drivers that have been here for over 5 years, which in this industry is pretty good. Do people quit, all the time, but they also get rehired all the time.

Tomorrow I get my picture taken with Angela, my Driver Manager, and Don V, my financial adviser and a big honking $2661.00 lease completion check.  I worked for it, but they could hold it till I come back.  Please feel free to share this story, because it is great, and if you know some one thinking of being a truck driver, if they are good folks, send them here.  About 1 in a hundred finishes the first year, but that is higher than the industry standard.  Trucking is not easy, if it were there would be no need for trainers or recruiters, no one would ever quit.

OK enough truck stuff.  All Bike stuff for the rest of the Month.  Well there will be some truck stuff, as I am a truck whisperer on the Run, and as I talk about my tasks there I will naturally relay some of what truckers say to us and about us.

Thanks you in a Big way to the Alliance team that makes my annual participation possible.

Dave Talley
aka Bounce