Monday, February 25, 2008

Good News

I am sitting in the Petro again in Racine, WI, the snow is falling, (supposed to get somewhere between 5 & 8 inches when it's all said and done) and I am empty. All the stuff is off the truck, my back haul isn't due to be picked up until tomorrow night at 10 local and so I will sit here for about 24 hours.
Good news? Yes! Two reasons. Numero uno is that I don't have to drive in this snow. It's supposed to quit by early afternoon tomorrow and so I can just sit here and watch it fall, read a bunch, get caught up on sleep and relax. Numero twoo is that my dad called today.
"Two dates you need to put on your calendar, son", he says. He calls me son a lot.
"The first is March 16th. There's a birthday party being thrown for your grandfather (that would be my mothers dad) in Fort Worth. Since it's his 95th birthday it would be nice if you could be there." I agreed wholeheartedly. Mostly because it's Texas and not Ohio.
"The second date is March 29th. It's a Saturday and your Uncle Lloyd is getting married."
Now there's a couple things about Uncle Lloyd that you need to know. One thing is that he is 82 years old and is one of my most favorite uncles. He's the one who had horses for us to ride when we went to Texas as kids and he would take us in the back fields to the watering holes with his 30/30 and teach us how to shoot bullfrogs. then his wife, Mary Lou would cook up the legs and we'd watch them jump around in the pan. Good times. Some of the best that I remember.
His wife of I think more than 50 years passed away a few years ago and I didn't even realize that he was thinking of getting married again. Well, seems he met this little 72 year old hottie that he just fell for. He told my dad that she's real pretty and she's got the body of a teenager. Here I've been waiting around to get a call letting me know when his funeral is. Guess he's got other plans.
So I talked to my wife about going. She thinks I should take two weeks vacation, fly down by myself and hit both shin-digs, drive around and visit family and just try to relax. Life at our house has been pretty stressful as of late.
Hey! Maybe you, AM and Mark can fly down too, and we can drive out to visit Julie. That'd be cool. Shoot. Why doesn't everybody come. It'll be a hoot. (That's southern for lot of fun.)
Anyway, I checked flight costs tonight and they seem fairly decent. I think I may just do it. At least my feet will thaw out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I was...

"I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?"

This has been my mood as of late. Not sure what to do about it and right now not even feeling like trying. Oh well. Life goes on. Maybe once the weather breaks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do me a favor

I'm sitting here fiddling around on the puter, since I've already hit 40 hours for the week and I can't work overtime for now, and my oldest boy is sitting next to me working on some school work on his puter. He says, "Hey I didn't tell you but I started a weblog. Had to do one as a research project for English." I thought cool. I can go on there and see what he's really thinking. He made the comment though that nobodies reading it so far so I thought I'd put out the plea for him. Go check out his blog.

He's 19 and it'll make him feel good. Try to leave a comment that just says hi. Or you could really mess with his mind and tell him you think he's cute.

I've gotta run him into school to take a test in about 30 minutes. Have fun. Still cold as a witches thorax here but at least the sun's out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tired Truck

I, along with most of the morning commuters in St Louis on Tuesday morning, had a bit of a dilemma to deal with. Of course our problems were nowhere near as big as those of the driver of this grain truck. Seems he laid it over right in the middle of the I-70 eastbound ramp where I-70 & I-55 come together and meet with I-64/40 to cross the Mississippi River. If you were trying to get into Illinois from 55 north or 70 east, you were out of luck. Luckily I had heard about it on the radio and after some map searching figured out how to get through the neighborhoods up to 64 and cross the river from I-64/40. I ended up passing right by the truck as I headed for home. I don't know why he laid it over, one would think excessive speed is most likely, but he could had a mechanical problem at a most inopportune time. The ramps right there are pretty sharp and can surprise you if you're not slowing down pretty quick.

Came all the way home Tuesday, 513 miles, and woke up to snow again this morning. Next week is my Chicago run and it seems that the easy, light, good-paying backhaul that I have been doing has been permanently assigned to another driver since he can do it every week. So now I'm looking for a new backhaul out of Chicago or Milwaukee. We'll see.

Nothing else going on. Next I am searching for flights that take off tomorrow going anywhere south. I don't care. Just south. Maybe, if they're lucky, I'll come back Sunday. I need some sun. Meanwhile...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fifth Time is a Charm

It appears that the fifth time is a charm. And it also appears that someone, or at least someone's computer, is at work on Sundays at the IRS. I received word this afternoon that my taxes were accepted. And consequently my State taxes were accepted as well. Yes, we are getting a refund and for that we are extremely grateful. It will certainly come in handy and be put to good and, hopefully, prudent use. This is the first refund in a while for us but that's ok.

This is the new "Lonestar" out this year from International. Ain't she cool?

Other than that, it's late, for me anyway, and I've gotta get up early tomorrow. Ya'll have fun and keep safe. As we say in the trucking business, "Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I spent all day today at the church announcing the Upward basketball games and while I was there I had my laptop set up so I could try to keep up with my blogger friends. But my verizon signal was so bad I was waiting minutes for pages to change. So I slowly poked around the web during quarters. I don't actually call the games. I just introduce the players, play music and talk during the breaks.

Anyway, in my perusing I found out that my e-file had been rejected again. I had pretty much assumed it would be but I was still irritated. I had the one page open that explained why it was rejected and I just kept staring at it.

Then the light bulb hit. The name didn't match the number on form 8839. So. Big deal. It said that last time as well. But SSA says they match. I went back to the personal info page of Turbo Tax and changed the last name when I first got this message figuring governmental paperwork is not going to match the speed of a family heart. His name changed at home long before the bureanuts will make it official. Form 8839 it said. Form 8839. OHHH. I see. FORM 8839. I waited patiently for pages to snail through their changes until I was able to look at Form 8839 in it's actual realness and low and behold, there it was. It appears that when I went back to the personal info section of TTax and changed his name back to what SSA is expecting TTax changed it there but not on Form 8839. So I have one kid with two different last names. I made the change.

I e-filed again. Monday I should know if a fifth time is the charm.

Sometimes I miss my pencil. Anne, I really really do.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My taxes have been e-filed with Turbo Tax 4 times as of today. Three times they have been rejected. All for the same reason. They say that the Social Security Administration does not have the same name and number for our newly adopted son. We have checked all the records that we have and I have even called the SSA and all names and numbers match. The only thing the SSA said was that the name had to be complete as in the middle name spelled out. I said cool, I can do that. I go back to Turbo Tax and find his name, go to edit, go to middle name, spell it out, look up, only middle initial is showing. Seems Turbo Tax won't let you spell out the middle name. I e-filed again anyway in some vain hope that it might go through this time. Probably not, but then who knows. If not I guess I'll print and file and mail it this year. I was hoping to get my refund quicker but oh well. Life goes on.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Men and PMS

My understanding of human anatomy is that men are incapable of suffering from PMS. Well, I mean enduring it themselves at least. This week I am wondering if that is actually true or not. I guess you could say it has been one of those weeks. My wife no longer suffers from pms so I know it's not sympathetic or anything like that. Although my daughter does, now is not her time. Believe me, I keep track.

No, the problem has been with me. I have been about as grumpy as a man can get and still stay out of jail. What's the problem you ask? (Maybe you don't but then that would mean that you really didn't care and what kind of person would you be if you really didn't care?) Seems like several things. Some I will not share here due to the personal nature of the situation, but some I seek your advice on. Once again.

My house has developed an open door policy. Neighbor kids, family, Jehovah's Witnesses, tax collectors. Nobody seems to knock anymore, they just walk right in. I sort of like the fact that kids feel comfortable in my house, but last night for example. Ben's out with his girlfriend, Hana's upstairs watching her anime, Isaac and Preston are off to the movies with a friend and Sheila and I are sitting in the living room watching old "House" reruns on DVD. Four people just walked in my house last night without knocking and even though they could see that we were watching a show together, they commenced to talk about this that or the other thing, taking up our time together.

One young girl had been sent down to our house to wait while her mother ran some errands. No call from Mom asking if she could come, she just comes walking in and it wasn't until later that we found out her mom had sent her down. Now admittedly, we have a problem saying no to people, and maybe we are suffering the results of that now. But what happened to common courtesy? I remember my folks used to have a bible study in their house at one time and a younger fellow got to showing up for the study earlier and earlier, to the point where he would be there an hour before the study was due to start. Mom and Dad are trying to get ready and he's occupying their time. Mom finally told him to wait outside one day. She said they weren't ready to have anybody come in just yet and he sat on the curb until they were ready. Not sure I could do that but sometimes I wish I could. Maybe I'll just start locking the door.

Sheila's been sick, I've been sick, work is slow so money is tight, taxes were due, or at least I wanted to get them done, and the weather has been crappy. Man,I sure sound like a grumpy old curmudgeon, don't I?

Enough of that. Life goes on, and if it doesn't, well, no more swinging door, right?

It's Saturday morning andI'm at the church building doing announcements for the Upwards Basketball program our church runs. I don't call the games but I do announce the players and play some music. Just trying to make it a fun time. I might play a devotional dvd during half-time, something a couple minutes long or so. Nothing to deep, just some thought provoking stuff. Most of the parents who come here with their kids don't go to church anywhere so this might introduce some thoguhts. It makes for a long saturdya but I enjoy it. It's only about 8 weeks through the winter and what else would I be doing, sleeping in? Yeah, right.

Well, I'll leave ya'll alone. Maybe tomorrow I'll sound like my normal self again. Until then, remember, "the odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one." ~Erma Bombeck