Where it all started....

Well, it started many years ago at a company called RPS. The company name changed and so did mine in 2001. From there, the road led us to the ATL and our own business. I left the road to have babies, but it sure is hard to take the trucker out of a Momma!

Friday, March 30, 2012

A week back with Diesel Exhaust and Cardboard

Monday, the husband suffered an injury that changed the face of Brown Dog Trucking, Inc. for the rest of the week.  Somehow, he tore a stomach muscle and was bad off!  We have always had our contingency plan in place and I have always made sure I kept my DOT physical current.  It was a good thing, too!  (My physical shape is a different story and we WILL NOT go there!)  I was back in the saddle again and he was home watching Talk TV, eating bonbons, and yelling at kids!!

It was good for both of us, given the bad circumstances and negativity he felt about me not giving him a choice but to heal.  He realized how crazy a 4 and 3 year old can drive one person (and he was on some good drugs when he didn't have to drive them anywhere, which was a good bit of the time)!  I realized the many issues our business faces daily in reality and gained some confidence back that I could do it if push came to shove.  Here are The Rantings for the week I experienced in no real order:

*People in the ATL drive like freaking idiots and that was just on the way from Dallas to Kennesaw at 5:30am.  Seriously...if it requires a bob, weave and cut-off like a football drill to get to work, LEAVE EARLIER so my insurance rates can go down stupid people!  I was driving the Chester Molester white van to and from FedEx each day (and it does have some identifiers saying FedEx Ground) but was shocked by others driving company labeled vehicles like complete assholes!!  Shame...Shame!

*My husband does not know how to turn off a single light.  We could not survive if we traded places for a year, because our electric bill would put us under!  I turned on the front porch lights each morning so I would not die on the way to the Chester Molester Mobile.  They were still on when I'd get home, as well as all lights on the first floor, in the basement and in at least one of the kids rooms!  Why?!?!  

*We have some great employees and I really appreciate their efforts.  A little Chick-fil-a goes a long way in showing someone you care!

*When you spend all your time with your kids, you become kind of immune to enjoying every minute.  When you are not there for every event for a week, the time you are home becomes very special.  I need to take this lesson into consideration and enjoy every minute all the time!!  It was actually tough to miss the Easter Egg Hunt they had at school today.  I have not missed an event at school yet.

*Driving a BIG truck is just like riding a bike:  Don't do it for awhile, just hop back in and it all comes back to you.  I have to admit, getting out of the building was a little rough that first morning, but it was a 6 speed truck that was not ours and did not have a back-up camera, plus it was wedged in like a sardine!  After I was rolling, it was all good!

*I need to keep my work at the gym up!!  I enjoyed being back in the mix and while I am not wanting to go back full time, I need to make sure I can do it again when needed!

*My daughter is a drama queen even if I am not home!  I thought it was just an act for me, but the truth came out for Daddy on day 2.  She wanted to wear a dress to play in the yard!  Daddy did not know how to fix hair to match a pretty dress.  Her shoes must match and even though she is to put her shoes away, it was Daddy's issue to make sure the right shoes were found so she could go out of the house.

All in all, we made it and life moves on!  Tomorrow is a new day and next week a new week.  Hope the back is better so I can sleep in soon and retrain my kiddos!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Trying to grasp this whole new learning thing

I am sure that there are people out there that are way smarter than me, your college educated trucker turned Momma.  I am sure these people have conducted endless research to come up with the new ways to learn, but the new ways leave me confused as a parent.

I watched a friend's kids in our date-night swap tonight and before the older daughter went to bed, I was informed we had to do her site words.  "OK great!  Let's do this!"  Of course, my daughter is a year younger pre-school wise and I had no real idea what site words were.  They are just what they sound like, one word on each card.  WHAT?  That isn't how I learned to read!  I learned to read by sounding shit out and learning those crazy I before E except after C sayings!  Now kids just learn words and phonics are not as big.  Humph!

So, I did what I usually do and turn to Google.  (Of course, there is way to much freaking info to be found and I am not sure if North is really North anymore!)  By far, the most informative thing I read is that both old school and the new version need to co-exist to help kids excel!  Here is the link I read:


Now, what am I going to do when I discover that I have no clue about that new crazy way they teach math?!?!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. Obama:

I would like to thank you for all of the jobs you created!  (NOT!)  Today I received a letter from the GA Department of Labor.

"As a result of record unemployment, GA's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was depleted to pay unemployment benefits to workers who lost their jobs.  Beginning in 2009, the stat of GA was required to borrow funds from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits.  The loan currently remains unpaid and GA employers are feeling the impact through an increase in the 2011 FUTA costs.  The costs for GA employers will continue to increase each year until the loam balance is repaid.

The GA Dept of Labor is focused on rebuilding the Trust Fund to protect against future insolvency and avoiding further borrowing from the federal government.  The loan balance, with accrued interest, must be paid as quickly as possible to lessen the impact on GA employers.  Immediate action must be taken to address the crisis that we now face.  It is therefore necessary to increase the adjustment to the base rate, which will affect your total state unemployment tax rate."

So, lets dig into this:

The federal government bailed out many banks and mortgage lenders with federal money as well as car companies.  Great!  Now, my little 7 employee company must shoulder our portion of the state of GA's responsibility for its bail out?  I have had 2 displaced workers in the last 2 years and both were discharged with ample cause and did not win unemployment benefits!  BUT....we will still have to pay to help reduce this debt.  I have not seen the huge show of support for small businesses.  Try to go get a small business loan these days and there is no support for growth there either.

I don't have a solution.  I am like many others, stuck here to complain about it.  I do think, if we made a fair tax, some of the issues would resolve.  You buy a new car, you pay.  You buy a McDonald's happy meal, you pay.  Illegals and legals will all be even.  People milking the system will have to pay back into it.  Reduce the length of benefits to people.  You are out of work, any job is better than no job!  It might be below you to wash dishes, but if it brings in money, DO IT!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Like a GIRL wouldn't know

I was on a mission to find a new used truck for our Ball Ground, GA route.  It is a high miles, rough road route!  Our current truck has 295,000 miles on it and does over 200 miles a day.  We have looked up and down and all around.  I know trucks!  I know way more than I care to let on!  Talked to a guy from Rhode Island.  He knew nothing about the trucks he was selling and was almost in shock when I asked him if the king pins were original or had he replaced them in the 145,000 miles he had owned the truck.  Since he was not real sure, I took it as a no and told him thank you for your time!  Talked to another guy out of S. Florida.  Asked him the same question, although his truck had fewer miles (but not by much).  His reply, "Of course, every 5K miles."  Again, thanked him for his time and thought IDIOT as I hung up!  So much for a used truck with a private sale. Onto the market place I went.  Found MAG Trucks, which is an authorized FedEx Ground vendor.  They take old leased equipment from linen companies and retrofit the trucks to FedEx Ground specs.  Sounds great!  They have limited inventory, so I put a deposit down and waited.  In the meantime, I found a local truck made some calls and was schooled on truck values.  Why these trucks are worth so much and hold or GAIN value is beyond me (except of course for the New Hampshire piece of SHIT that we own which we can't get anyone to touch for $14,000).  Finally, I got a call yesterday and they are getting a truck in and we are all over it!  2007 with 52,640 miles on it!  None of the fancy electronic bullshit that the new ones come with.  None of the CA emissions junk that makes for something else to have to worry about fixing.  Just a plain truck to deliver out of! I am one happy camper!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who knew....

I am on a mission for a new and updated kitchen.  I LOVE to cook.  I want an open feel and be able to see the kids in the other room while I am creating dinner or putzing about.  We have had some plans drawn up and have decided what we kind of like but then comes the tough part.....DECISIONS!

Who knew a cook top could go from the $500 one all the way up to over $5000!  I have had 4 ranges in my adult life.  The one in my apartment was a tiny apartment sized one.  Able to cook and create wonders!  The first house I bought came with a gem like this:

It lasted for 2 years and was also able to create many wonderful dishes!  It had options on it I never figure out how to use and had to be lighted with a lighter!  I upgraded to a GE gas range, but left it with the house when I moved to GA.

I took a range demotion in the house I bought here.  It was (and still is) the original one the house came with when it was built in 1992.  I had it repaired 5 years ago when the temp sensor in the oven went.  $72 well spent.  It has created many great dishes as well!

So.....What is this going to do that the above couldn't do?

The decisions only get more intense from here.  Counter tops, lights, vent hoods, flooring, pot filler faucet, cabinets.  Maybe I will just move a grill and my butcher block into the family room and call it good!