I didnt have a good day today and i really dont know why, i am in a fantastic part of the world, beautiful scenery and one big long straight road right down into Los Angeles, but for some reason i felt tired, lethargic and a little fed up.I think it all started with no breakfast and just went down hill from there. i managed to do 510 kms and just had to finish for the day, i think it may have been coz there is no pressure on, i dont have to be n LA till Thurs morning, im not used to having it this easy.
I have pulled in at Corning and just thought "Sod It", oh just would like to point out to my Canadian and American friends that "Sod it" doesnt mean cover it in grass, it means "bugger it" or "Screw it" or "To hell with it".
Okay i think we all get the picture, so i pulls on to the pumps, diesels her up, slipped with the nozzle and gave myself a nice dieselly face wash. Oh how i laughed...............
Anyway that completely hacked me off so i parked up and went round to the truckers lounge to wash up.
Now for my next surprise, as i walked round the corner collided with someone coming the other way. Now the thing about walking thru a truckers lounge is you dont tend to be looking down so when a 3 foot little munchkin (completely out of parental control and very hyper)comes running round the corner in the opposite direction you dont tend to notice until you get headbutted full pelt in the nuts.
The mother who was sitting watching the TV absent mindely tells the child not to get in the "Gentleman's" way.
I tell you now folks, if only i could have just got my breath back in time she would have had verbal proof that i was no gentleman, as it was, all i could manage was a weak painful smile and the typical pathetic english response of "Oh shes okay".
Well thats my day, im going to drive down to Lebec tomorrow and the following morning (crack of sparrow's) i go into El Monte Los Angeles to make my delivery, lets hope i feel a bit better after a good night's sleep.
Its a bit of a milestone and tonight when i pulled in, i have been looking through some of my old posts, jeez, did i really write all that stuff.
I know i can be a sentimental old fool sometimes but i really cant beleieve all this has happened to our family over the last 18 months.
It all started with overhearing a conversation between two of my old work friends (Jon & Nick) talking about driving trucks in Canada, then going home after the shift and telling Jan about it.
Then there was the months of scouring the internet, joining forums, asking questions (being banned from one of the forums LOL) and making loads of great friends along the way.
Then came all the people who took great relish in telling me it would never work, people who i knew personnally and people off the internet............. hmmm, wander what they are doing now or if they read this blog. i really do hate it when people say "I told you so"......................
But guess what, "I told you so"
And yes i can say that with a big grin on my everso smug face coz we did it, we made it work. A year on we are still here, still having a great time and yes, dare i say it "Still Livin' The Dream".
We are not broke, i havent been sacked, i was never tricked, lied to, brainwashed, hypnotised or anything like that.
But what has changed..........................................
Well i enjoy driving a truck more than ever, i was never really proud to tell anyone that i was a "Lorry Driver", but i can honestly say that i am proud to be part of the North American Trucking Community.
Ive seen more of America and Canada than most Canadians or Americans (and been paid to do it) from the mountains of British Columbia to the Boulevards of Hollywood.
Jan hasnt had to work for 12 months now, she may start to work in a few weeks but that will be thru choice not necessity. Luke is completely happy here, has loads of friends and is doing really well at school. Gizmo, well is just Gizmo, he has never had such a big garden to play in.
House wise, back on the rock we had a small 3 bedroomed semi in Swindon Wiltshire, mediocre garden and the occaisional bit of graffitti on the wall, and a 6 year old Citroen Zsara. Over here we have a 5 bedroomed bungalow with a huge garden in a friendly and beautiful little township and we drive a year old (almost new when we bought it) top of the range Focus Estate, okay its not a Dodge Ram Super truck heavy duty delux, but we like it.
Has it worked out ?????????
What do you think.......................................
More of the same
Seattle heading south
methinks he is compensating for something
Well thats my last few days shown in random pictures, from Waterloo i headed west, then i headed west, then i headed west some more, when i got near the Ocean i headed north into Canada, trailer swapped, grabbed 10 hours sleep then headed south again.
I crossed the border at Blaine WA and i am heading due south down the I-5 into northern Los Angeles. Im getting exceptional mileage on this trip and except for the little hiccup down in Waterloo i have been pretty much maxing out the miles with about 1000kms (600 miles) per day every day.
I am somewhere in Oregon at the moment and pulled in at a Pilot Truckstop, the countryside round here is too beautiful to drive at night so i will make a fresh start in the morning.
Okay, oh by the way did i mention im getting addicted to ABBA, theres a new ABBA channel on sirrius and i am sad enough to listen to it. Actually i am so sad i listen to it all the time.
So i would just like to say "Thank you for the music, the song Im singing........................."
Oh yes and my hat, no one has pointed to it yet and asked me what "Lyndons Trucking Life" is yet but I live in Hope. Oops sorry i meant "hope" not Hope in British Columbia, dont worry i am still in Raymond................... hang on, when i say i am in Raymond, i mean i live in a town called Raymond not.................. sheesh, just forget it and i will bring you all up to date, and when i say date i dont mean as in a date, i mean bring you upto speed, not that i condone speeding, remember be safe out there, im not saying you would be dangerous or anything if i didnt say @be safe@...........................................
Aagh, ive changed my keyboard from british to North American and my """ keep coming out as @@@, and i cant find the pound (money) key. This is my latest effort to integrate into the @North American@ (aagh done it again)way of life.
So back to the story, I got to Waterloo and dropped my trailer, 52 hours later they managed to load it, find the paperwork and sign it. I am so glad H&R pay layover pay.
The funny thing was, after taking so long they still got it wrong, the security guard (i use that term very loosely) asked me why i was checking the paperwork, i told him to make sure it was correct, he told me they do this day in and day out so it is always correct.
I told him there was no PARS sticker on it and he replied "oh", i explained that is perhaps one of the most mportant things to which he replied "apart from that its okay though isnt it"
At this point i had to smile coz someone said "I love your Australian accent", usually i correct people when they say that but i hadnt got the heart to disapoint her so i just smiled and replied "Thanks sport" and made my way back to my truck.
I then spun round to the Flying J to fuel up......................................
Then spun round to the Road Ranger as we were using them today (oops) fuelled up and headed west.
I managed to stop off in Sioux Falls for blueberry pancakes and eventually got here to Rapid City where i have just indulged in a lovely Hook buffet and as soon as i have written this it is time push out a few zzzzzzzzzzz as i want to get as far along the road as i can tomorrow.
I already know what my next job is, am bouncing in and out of Vancouver and back down here to Utah with some delicious waffles, then hopefully back to Alberta as i really need some down time.
I was trying to think of an apt picture to go with this post but i couldnt think of one, heres an idea, choose your favorite photograph and stick it with selotape to your screen before you read it.
Hang on a minute, doesnt selotape mean something else over here, in UK it is a plasticy stuff that gets sticky..................................
Hold that thought everybody i need to do some googling....................................
Its okay i think we are safe, i remember reading some where that it was some sort of condom, actually i guess you could use it as a condom but I bet it is quicker to put on than take off.....
Actually it must be like a plaster, the faster you rip it off (notice i didnt say pull it off 8~) ) the less it hurts, not sure i would want to research that one and i certainly wouldnt film it.
Oh before i go i read this and had to laugh....................
In Wiki Answers
Question: Who invented sellotape?
Answer: I think it was Richard Drew
Haha, you freaking "THINK" what sort of answer is that, if you arnt sure then dont post anything, actually I "THINK" it was Sir Isaac Newton, he used it to stick the apple on that poor blokes head while he shot him with the cross bow or something, but i would never write it on the internet in case it was wrong.............
oh bugger, i just wrote it on the internet...........................
A complicated set of processes was needed to turn the fur into a finished hat. With the cheaper sorts of fur, an early step was to brush a solution of a mercury compound — usually mercurous nitrate — on to the fur to roughen the fibres and make them mat more easily, a process called carroting because it made the fur turn orange. Beaver fur had natural serrated edges that made this unnecessary, one reason why it was preferred, but the cost and scarcity of beaver meant that other furs had to be used.
Whatever the source of the fur, the fibres were then shaved off the skin and turned into felt; this was later immersed in a boiling acid solution to thicken and harden it. Finishing processes included steaming the hat to shape and ironing it. In all these steps, hatters working in poorly ventilated workshops would breathe in the mercury compounds and accumulate the metal in their bodies.
We now know that mercury is a cumulative poison that causes kidney and brain damage. Physical symptoms include trembling (known at the time as hatter’s shakes), loosening of teeth, loss of co-ordination, and slurred speech; mental ones include irritability, loss of memory, depression, anxiety, and other personality changes. This was called mad hatter syndrome.
It’s been a very long time since mercury was used in making hats, and now all that remains is a relic phrase that links to a nasty period in manufacturing history. But mad hatter syndrome remains as a description of the symptoms of mercury poisoning.
With that in mind i have remodelled the side bar to make it a little more user friendly and to give you more access into stuff you need. Please let me know if you think your company should be there or any links that we all might find usefull.
Please note that this isnt a free for all advertising slot where you can advertise anything from your $30 super dooper winscreen wash or your new Amway pyramid thingy. I think we'll just keep it to usefull stuff for now.........................
Hope you all enjoy the new layout.................
Okay just got more information reference the
Yep thats right, H&R are coming over to Britain to give all you drivers out there a chance to experience the
This is the where's, the when's & the how's.
H&R will be interviewing at the
Now if you would like an interview and the chance of a whole new exciting career as a
or even send a *carrier pigeon (non returnable) to the following addresses, interview slots are filling up fast, so i wouldnt hang around.
Contact details to request Information Package or to book interview slots:
3601-2nd Ave. N
Phone: 403.328.2345 and ask for Stephen Whittaker
Stephen Whittaker direct at email@example.com
David Foder direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
Eugene Mekenkamp (VRV) direct at email@example.com
and remember where you got the info, a mention would be greatly appreciated
Forget the test..............
Imagine a normal day at work, the phone rings, your concentration is diverted.........
However, as is the case with all immigration programs in Canada, the issue of resource allocation continues to play an important consideration in the decisions faced by the majority of policy specialists and program managers. Quite simply, Canada as a destination attracts considerable interest which far surpasses the processing capacity of most immigration programs.
Applying for admission to Canada as a permanent resident will follow a different and generally, a far more expedited process (9-12 months in most cases) if the application is approved under a PNP. In some instances persons who are otherwise not qualified for admission under one of the Federal programs, may qualify for admission to Canada under a PNP and may even qualify for a temporary work permit in the interim, allowing for early entry to Canada for the applicant and their accompanying dependants.
Here is how the provincial programs typically work. Qualified employers nominate a prospective worker under an expedited process which, once approved by the province, enables an application for permanent residence to proceed under a processing stream that completely bypasses the lengthy federal immigration selection process. At the initial stages, qualified employer-sponsored applicants could receive temporary, renewable, work permits, processed at missions outside Canada, or in certain cases, at ports of entry, while their applications for permanent admission are processed by the provincial authorities and thereafter by the federal authorities for medical and security screening. In many instances, applicants can conclude these formalities without ever having to actually return to their former place of habitual residence.
The skilled worker based PNP’s with the exception of Quebec, generally require an employer to sponsor the application for admission to Canada. Without a government approved employer sponsorship, the application will either not be approved, or will be routinely passed over in favour of applications with an employer sponsored approval.
To qualify as a sponsoring employer, employers under most of the PNP’s must demonstrate sufficient efforts to hire local Canadians and offer competitive terms and conditions of employment that are relevant to a particular occupation. Between provinces, variations exist in the terms and conditions of employment to qualify to sponsor a foreign worker for an occupation.
To qualify as a sponsored employee under PNP, the position being filled must generally conform to a National Occupation Classification skill level of O, A, B; or alternatively, must meet the terms of a particular pilot project designed for a specific critical skill shortage identified by the province. Pilot programs within the provinces are designed for low skilled workers and are limited in scope. Most of the provinces have variations of pilot projects for low skilled occupations.
Under all of the PNP’s, it is important to first assess the advantages of either commencing the process with a work permit, or proceeding straight away under PNP. Work permits issued under the low skilled occupations are limited to 12 months duration and cannot be extended under current rules. Work permits issued for skilled workers can be extended. Discussions are ongoing between the provinces and the Federal government to allow for extensions of work permits issued under the low skilled occupations.
Although a cow has no upper front teeth, it grazes up to 8 hours a day, taking in about 45 kg (100 lb) of feed and the equivalent of a bath tub full of water. A healthy cow gives about 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.
With all its grazing and many stomachs, it is no wonder that cows are one of the main contributors to the hole in the ozone layer. Apart from CFC, the biggest culprit is hydrocarbon emissions from cars and cows. Yes, cows! Cows release some 100 million tons of hydrocarbon annually - by releasing gas. (Thats collectively, not each cow) or we really would be in trouble.
But unlike what you think, cows release hydrocarbon mostly by burping, which is a shame coz i had this brilliant idea for plugging them in.......................
The average lifespan of a cow is 7 years. The oldest cow ever recorded was Big Bertha. She reached 48 in 1993. She also holds the record for producing 39 calves.There are more than a billion cattle in the world, about 200 million in India.Twelve cows are known as a "flink."
The concept of a broad-brimmed hat with a high crown worn by a rider on horseback came primarily from the tradition of the Mexican vaquero. However, the cowboy hat as known today has many antecedents to its design, including Mexican hats such as the sombrero and galan, the various designs of wide-brimmed hat worn by farmers and stockmen in the eastern United States, as well as the design used by the United States Cavalry.
The shape of a cowboy hat once depended very much on the region from which it originated. At one time a person could tell where a working cowboy was from simply looking at the crease in his hat. John B. Stetson is credited with designing and marketing the first "cowboy" hat in the USA, which he called the "Boss of the Plains."
In the early days, the cowboy hat was valued for being functional, with the wide brim protecting working cowboys from the sun and rain. It could be used to signal others, fan a campfire, or pull water out of a stream. Today, while the hats can still serve these purposes, most people wear them for aesthetic value as a part of Western lifestyle. A cowboy hat even appears on the flag of Calgary, Alberta, where "white hat ceremonies" are held by the civic government to welcome visiting dignitaries - the traditional gift from the city's mayor to foreign guests is a white cowboy hat.
Today, classic designs are available in muted colors such as black and various shades of beige, brown and gray, notably a warm light gray known as "silver belly". Styles for men and women are virtually identical, though women's cowboy hats are available in a much wider variety of colors, including bright, vivid shades.
"Ten gallon" hat
Certain styles of cowboy hat have been called a "ten gallon" hat, and it is a common belief that the term arose because a hat could, in theory, be used to carry water. However, the expression does not actually refer to use of the hat as a container. A "ten-gallon" hat in fact holds less than a gallon of water. There are competing theories for the origin of the term, but it is possibly a corruption of the Spanish term tan galan meaning "so gallant", a reference to the headwear of the upper classes (as opposed to the more common sombrero), or a corruption of "galón", or galloon, a type of narrow braided trimming around the crown, possibly a style adapted by the vaqueros.
When Texas cowboys misunderstood the word "galón" for "gallon", the popular, though incorrect, legend was born. Ten gallon actually refers to the practice in the vaquero tradition of the galón, a narrow braid, being awarded based on the expertise of the vaquero. Ten galóns were the highest recognition of vaquero proficiency. These bands were wrapped around the crown of the hat, one on top of the other. If a vaquero, therefore, wore a ten galón hat, he was a top expert at his work. South Texas cowboys knew that wearing a ten galón hat showed cowboy prowess and bragged of wearing the ten "gallon" hat. Others hearing this misunderstood and the misinterpretations grew over time.
Stetson hats or Stetsons, sometimes known simply as cowboy hats, refers to a brand name and not a type of hat. The John B. Stetson Company of St. Joseph, Missouri, founded by John B. Stetson (1830-1906, USA), is the manufacturer of one of the more famous variants of the cowboy hat: a felt hat with a tall crown and very wide brim. It functions to protect its wearer's eyes from the sun, and can also double as a water bowl.
There are two versions of the history associated with the Stetson hat. The first is the most widely held belief. This version states that in the 1860s Stetson created a rugged hat for himself made from thick beaver fur felt while panning for gold in Colorado. According to legend, Stetson invented the hat while on a hunting trip while showing his companions how he could make cloth out of fur without weaving. Stetson made an unusually large hat from fur-felt he made from hides collected on the trip, and wore the hat for the remainder of the expedition. Although initially worn as a joke, Stetson soon grew fond of the hat for its ability to protect its wearer from the elements. It had a wide brim for protection from the elements, a high crown to keep an insulating pocket of air on the head, and a waterproof lining so the hat could be used to carry water.
Christy's Hat Factory in Frampton Cotterell, England where it is thought the 'Stetson' hat was created. It is now a private house. Studies have shown however that in fact, there is evidence to show that the 'Stetson' hat was actually originally designed by Christy's Hats from Frampton Cotterell, Bristol, England.
Bristol University lecturer John Moore, said: "Few people know that the ten gallon hat was invented in Frampton Cotterell but it's well documented in the records of the hat makers who built and owned the factory last century J. B. Stetson fought a long patent case with Christy's - and lost. The result was that he had to pay a license fee to market the famous Stetson hat."
Stetson might have lost, but he won in the long term. That style of hat is known universally as a Stetson, and Christy's role is nearly forgotten.
Christy's famous hat factory in Park Lane, which once employed a quarter of Frampton Cotterell residents, is now a listed building and a spacious house. Christy's built their factory in 1812 in an area where hatting was already a major cottage industry The main business was trading with the West Indies, making large brimmed felt hats for slaves harvesting sugar cane in the rainy season.
The hat was however more popular in the U.S. The hat was first sold in Central City, Colorado in 1865 in a style called the "Boss of the Plains,".
In 1869 Stetson returned to Philadelphia to found his hat company, which produced high quality hats for outdoor use.
By 1886 Stetson's hat company was the largest in the world, and had mechanized the hat-making industry.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Red Serge dress uniform includes a Stetson with a flat brim. The Stetson was first used unofficially by the North West Mounted Police, in place of the traditional white pith helmet. The color for the RCMP Stetson is sometimes referred to as "Belgian Belly", it is a reddish buff, pastel like color of the under fur of the Belgian Hare. It is also a very little used "second name" for the Stetson. Although called a Stetson, the hat type should be considered as a campaign hat.
In the Second Boer War, the flat brimmed Stetson became the standard issue of the second Canadian Contingent, becoming recognized throughout the British Empire as a symbol of Canada. The Stetson hat became a part of the uniform of the Royal North West Mounted Police, which later became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Legion of Frontiersmen created in 1905 in England also wore the Stetson. The South African Constabulary organized by Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell in 1901 wore the Stetson.
Stetson University and Stetson University College of Law in Florida were named after John B. Stetson in 1899 for his contributions to the school.
In some versions of the famous American folk ballad "Stack A Lee" Billy Lyons is killed by Stack A Lee over a Stetson hat.
This place was right in the middle of a housing estate but surprisingly there was plenty of time to manoever. I had to wait about 2 hours to get unloaded as there wasnt enough space in the warehouse for the 20 boxes of cow pieces that i had bought. No internet either so there was only one thing for it, snooze time........................
Woke up, got tipped, took some photos, got my paper work then buggered off down to the local truck stop. I hadnt recieved a backload yet so i parked up and contemplated eggs, bacon, shredded potato, texas toast and coffee. Then the computer went beep and told me to go to Waterloo for a collection.
Now here is the dilema, the pickup wasnt till tomorrow so should i go and stuff my face or should i press on to Waterloo, drop my trailer then go and feed in the J. I decided on the latter as that meant i could have a lie in tomorrow.
On the way down i had to get the trailer washed out, it looked as though Sweeney Todd had been in there, there was blood everywhere. I pulled into the Iowa 80 which is the largest truck stop in the world, its in one of those places where i have never had time or inclination to stop so this was an ideal excuse. The site itself is huge with a Travel centers Of America and 2 Pilots. The main shop is so big it also houses 3 trucks, i took pics of them justy in case someone doesnt believe me.
Heres the blurb from the official website:
Over recent years, the Iowa 80 TA Truckstop has underwent significant expansion projects to widen the gap as the largest truckstop in the world. The truckstop boasts the Iowa 80 Kitchen, a 300-seat restaurant, Truckers Warehouse, Barber, Dentist and a food court featuring Wendy's and Dairy Queen. Iowa 80's most recent venture is in the mail order business. In 1997, the Iowa 80 Catalog was born. Drivers can now order everything they want from the Iowa 80 Truckstop even if their schedule or route doesn't take them to Walcott.
When trucking was just a gleam in some of today's drivers' eyes and Interstate 80 was not yet completed, the Iowa 80 Truckstop was founded. In 1964, Standard Oil built and opened the truck stop, and in September 1965, Bill Moon took over management of the truckstop for Amoco. Like many of the truckstops in existence at the time, Iowa 80 was a small facility that only took up a fraction of what it does today.
Under Mr. Moon's keen management, the truckstop began to grow and in 1984 Bill Moon purchased the truckstop from Amoco, that like the industry itself, has been a flurry of activity and expansion ever since. Even though Mr. Moon passed away in 1992, his family still operates the truckstop with the focus on the customer, and the continuous expansions prove it.
Mr. Moon's focus on the customer is what sparked the beginning of the Walcott Truckers Jamboree in 1979. This huge driver appreciation event has evolved over the years. Today, the celebration includes a cook-out, Super Truck Beauty Contest, exhibits, Live Entertainment, and Truck Displays.
and the website is:
They also embrioder (shit how do you spell that word) they sew words into the hat, its dirt cheap and you only have to order one, ha ha jobe done..................
I met up with a driver a couple of days ago who I had only spoken to on the internet. We arrived at the meat inspection at the same time and I think he recognised 2148.
Simon originally hails from Winsford in Cheshire and came over to Canada to work for a company called Bridge Band who are based in Calgary and deliver foods to restaurants including A&W and Tim Hortons.
After working for them for a while he decided he wanted a real trucking job which gave PNP prospects so Simon joined the Big Red Team. He reckons he's seen more in the last 7 weeks than he ever did in the previous four and a half months.
Highlights for Simon so far has been trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon. Its nice to see that Simon sees the move to H&R as an opportunity to join a company that is going to give him good long term prospects.
I bumped into Simon again in Fargo, originally he was travelling down with another driver but got dropped off in Fargo to pick up another truck there.
Looks like we got another ex-squaddie coming into the fold, welcome aboard Simon.