New Year 2009 – 2010

Hi everyone,

Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy New Year as we step into a new decade and especially the following; (in no particular order).

Alex and the Family Elwood

Michelle Dawson

Wilky aka The Bass Player

IRH

J. Black and Family

KMA and family

The Family ‘Goodlad’

My Family including Judy, Philip, Matt (where’s my landy), Eddy, Jes, Tim and Rachel

The Family Hing

Ruth in Ausse

Dave Roetman aka BigDog

Dave Bones

Annie1978 and family

Charlie

JK

DarkheartD

Sarah aka SEC

The Family Llewellyn

Jane Chapman-Hurst

Stephen and Victoria Milliken

Howlatthemoon

The Family Richey aka el Posse Loraine

The Family Pagdin

Gina Gillie

Ginge

The Thorne family

Cozmic

Fenny

The Family Meyrick

Mark Thompson aka Tomo

My Brother (sometimes)

The Family Salmons

Ruthlett

The Family Curren

Gabriele and James

The Family Winn

Ms, T Martindale

The Family Hewlett

Dave & Annie

All The Very Best Everyone

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Published in: on 31 December, 2009 at 15:58  Comments (10)  
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New Years…..

Ok, from something bad comes something good-ish…
You know what some of you did to me on Christmas Day at the instigation of our rowdy commentor JK?
Well here is my take on this…
At the stroke of midnight on New Years eve (this includes me), take out your phone or camera and either get someone to take a pic of you and your better halves, or simply turn the cam on yourself and take a pic of your drunken face.
Then send them to me and I’ll post them!
If you want anonimity, then I’ll black out some part of your head…
The worse for wear you are – the better!

Now whats betting I don’t get a single photo.

twb-button

Published in: on 30 December, 2009 at 17:01  Comments (9)  

Connection Speeds

I pay for, but can’t get a 20mb Broadband connection. Apparently I can only get up to 8mb’s on my given telephone exchanged.
So, using several internet based tests I have determined that at any given time, I do NOT get more than 3.7mb!!
The maximum download speed attained was a mere 6mb!
I look forward to living where I get what I pay for!

Published in: on 30 December, 2009 at 13:49  Comments (4)  

Hello :-)

Today I got up at a nice time of 6am and a short time later a knock at the door revealed a package containing my new software (because I bought the wrong thing last week!!)
Half and hour later I sat down to play with my all new video editing suite and a few minutes later staggered to the kitchen towards the kettle while profoundly scratching my head!!
A phone call broke the silence as I hadn’t sent in one of my time sheets for last week, so I had to go and look for a scrap of paper inside the cesspit better known as the TWB Car of Character.
After sorting out and email time sheets off, I sat down once again to have play with the new editing suite.
20 mins later and I’m back to reading my book ‘Sovereign’ by C.J.Sanson (the 3rd in his series around the Shardlake mysteries).

This brings me to another thing – I’ve been looking at cars again!
I’m thinking 4×4’s now. The trouble is, which and what  in regards to age vs price!
Now I’ve owned a Range Rover and a Land Rover 110 County Station Wagon (CSW). I had a Landcrusier once too.
But I’m airing toward either an old Discovery 3.9 V8 or another 110 CSW – but I can make my mind up!!
If I have a 110, I will gear it up, with front and rear winches, up-rated suspension, front and rear towing gear and increased chassis strength. Two sets of wheels (road and off road) – but here is the problem…. I have nowhere to work on it..
So after all my search and thought, my hands are once again tied (grumble)

JK has been yet again – wanting me to post a picture that she sent me on Christmas day… I guess we’ll see and I will see what size I can actually reduce it too with Photoshop!!

I need to do so much over the coming weeks; sort out and build a new PC, get a couple of good sized monitors, change this laptop’s hard drive for a solid state one, get a new car and or course….find a dentist as I’ve been without one for almost a year!!

So today is about, well, setting a few basic goals and getting on with it (that means I’ll be starting tomorrow rather than straight away – as you must remember that I’m a guy)

twb-button

Published in: on 29 December, 2009 at 16:39  Comments (3)  

Status Quo – Hardest working UK band 2009

Status Quo are the hardest-working band in British music, according to a list compiled by the Performing Rights Society (PRS).

The rockers performed to more than 250,000 fans at 27 arenas in 2009 – more than any other band.

twb-button

Published in: on 28 December, 2009 at 12:41  Comments (4)  

Where the snow falls, friends live…

Dave, aka BigDog has sent me some photos from his home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota of the variable yet constant snow they’ve been getting over the last few weeks.
It’s been bad enough to prevent this years Christmas family get together, but just looking at them does give me the shivers.
BigDog tells me that it’s been snowing almost constantly and he’s been having to relay the snow shovelling with his faithful dog Brisco. Basically he’ll shovel the snow for an hour, take a little time off then go and shovel for another hour.
My only thought about this was ‘Dude, move to Miami!!’

Published in: on 28 December, 2009 at 11:57  Comments (10)  
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So what now…

Well Christmas is over and it’s time to start gearing up for 2010.
Today I was up at 6am and looking forward to start clearing my place up, being merciless with throwing out the things I simply do not need, want or use.
I also need to do a little patching up and prepping my place so that if something comes up in the work dept, I can up sticks and move quickly.

I have been having a gander about the tech world and see a court has upheld the banning of the sale of Microsoft Word after existing copies have either been sold – so a headache for Steve Bulmer and the Microsoft crew.

I’m also expecting several things to arrive in the post tomorrow, these are mainly to do with video editing and production as I’d like to do a couple of vids before I hang up the driving.

As I prepare to leave 2010 behind and look back and many of the things that I listed in my Christmas post, I do so with a real hint of sadness – my goodness, am I getting soft?
You see, it’s that I had so many plans for this year and achieved pretty much none of them. But, that just means I do need to do twice as much in 2010…
The greatest result as I have already mentioned is people, whether I’ve affected their lives, challenged them, what they do or whatever, 2009 I will always remember for the people I met.

Now on the subject of resolutions, nope, I don’t do them. The only things I covert is not smoking and getting my teeth fixed. As for my grumpy and arrogant attitude, well I’m please to inform you that there will be no change there and it’ll be business as usual.

So, now I’ll jump in the shower, and head out to do some shopping before returning to sort this place out (well, in an hour or so)

Published in: on 28 December, 2009 at 11:32  Comments (14)  

Of Ice and Snow getting a job Done!!

I have been holding back this post somewhat, basically to gather more information from other sources.

During this last week, the South West of the UK has been gripped in a ‘freeze’. Even when the air temps reach 11C (51F) the ground temperature rarely got above -5C (23F). As such from what started as a bit of snow 7 days ago, the overall situation just got worse.

I have already mentioned in an earlier post about it raining on ice creating an oiling effect. Every single operating base we use has now written off trucks and nearly every single Ex-Farm Bulker has been off the road and stuck in ditches, fields and in some cases water – not once, but several times.

The cost in vehicles alone and not to mention recovery costs will have by now exceeded around half a million £!

Then came Christmas Day morning… the air temp had finally risen and at 4am, what looked like normal safe ground became something I have never witnesses – it was ALL Ice, you simply could not stand up on any surface that you’d normally assume to be safe!!!

I found this out at 56mpg on the south bound M5 just south of Wellington, while moving to the 2nd lane to give more room to the emergency services to recover several cars from the hard shoulder – as I passed I lost control of my truck, the trailer went one way and the tractor unit went another. I do have a lot of Ice and Snow experience, but not that much on black ice in an articulated vehicle! While I have experienced black ice, I’d never experienced this total loss of control – and this video was pretty much watch saved me!

I regained control and continued – experiencing a further 5 instances of coming close to not only losing the truck, but also putting others at serious risk for their lives…

Now, I’m not gonna sit here and whinge, nor am I gonna claim to be any kind of a good driver. But it was fairly obvious to everyone that the conditions were totally unsuitable for the safe movement of just about everything!!

Yet, work continued, people were expected to carry on. Whether it is a Bull S*it pride thing with drivers of the complete and utter stupidity of managers (probably both) the work continued.

On my way home I wrote a text to WKD to tell her NOT to come in, but the thing was that I knew her phone would be off and even if it wasn’t – she had a house full of Christmas guests.

For whatever reason it was I did not send the text – and I should have done!!

You see, I have this very weird skill, at gut instinct you could say. But whatever it is – it IS 100% accurate and some of you reading this will already know what I’m talking about. So If I ever call any of you and say something like you need down time now! Or in this case – don’t go to work because it’s too treacherous – Don’t f’k about, do what I tell you, because what ever it is you do – it isn’t worth dying for!!

How accurate am I? Accurate enough for it to have earned me money!!

When I woke up later on Christmas day, I got a couple of phone calls giving me what could only be described as nothing short of an encyclopaedia of disaster before returning myself to work for 4:30pm – based in the knowledge that much of the main ice had thawed…

At this point and when talking to WKD, I had no knowledge of what had happened to her during the day (I mentioned this interaction in the hohoho post below).

Anyway, WKD IS probably the best driver we have, she can do things so naturally with a truck it begs belief – I don’t think she realises how good she is, but she is very well respected.

So when she loses traction and goes sailing backwards at speed straight through what would ordinarily be a very busy road junction and not coming to a halt for quite some distance (saved by the fact there was little traffic due to it being Christmas Day) then you know that we should no longer be on the road AT ALL!!!

Airing this incident to managers on her return to base – she went out again…

Now, this is not just about WKD, but this is where I draw a line, and this line has consequences the likes of which I don’t wish to put into writing and you really don’t want to read – But, here goes…

I have listened to, too many stories this week of people being told to go out in trucks onto roads and lanes you wouldn’t even try to crawl down on your hands and knees! Yes, they say “If you’re not sure then don’t do it” but in reality they say “well someone’s got to go” or the best one is “well give it a try”… (These drivers spend years hauling these trucks around some shockingly tight roads and lanes, they have skills behind the wheel I can’t even conceive of, so when they say it’s a no go – then you can bank on it!!)

This is tantamount to asking someone to run at armed police with a loaded gun. It is outside of and does not even come close to a Duty of Care and I will not have it.

If you are pressured in any way and especially by insinuation to go out or try to get into a place where you have expressed any doubt or fear of doing so, the person or persons are putting your your life and putting members of the general public lives at risk.

If they put you in fear of your life – then welcome to my world!!  Because I have no qualms in returning this favour – no matter what the cost. If anyone puts a colleague or team member in fear of their personal safety outside of a combat zone, in doing so breaking just about every law you can imagine… there is no law in this land that will protect you from what I most certainly will do and have a high level of proven proficiency in – to you.

Now there used to be a adverse weather system in place whereby a farmer would put his milk in a tank and tow it down to a good road with his tractor and meet the Bulker – but apparently this is now against EU regulations.

Well stuff the EU regs if it puts people at risk of injury or death!!

Now just to back up a little here, we’re not talking snow, heck it we were – a set of 8 chains would solve this problem straight away!! Ice on the other hand needs studded tires – isn’t quite true. You see studded tire technology is a 1960’s system and since then tire compounds have changed greatly. Infact they called them ‘Stud-less Ice Tires’ now and are basically a standard tyre made of a very special compound.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES ARE THESE:

Your personal safety – you go to work to make your life better, not lose it for trying to earn money to put food on your table!!

Managers etc – your FIRST job is the care, safety and wellbeing of your staff, team and employees!!  The job comes last!! It is a CRIMINAL offence not to do so and it will invoke a guaranteed insurmountable and slow destruction of every aspect of your life by me if you do the contrary to people I deem my colleagues and possibly friends.

Make sure you have the right PPE (personal protective equipment) this includes ice grips for your boots!!

However…

There is something we can ALL do in the UK and this to simply call RIDDOR… It’s part of the HSE and a place you can report anything and everything. While they will take your details, they will not give these details to your employer. What they will do is investigate and basically make employers get their respective asses together.

There contact info is below and while there is a legal requirement for you to report stuff to them as of the 1st January I’ll be making a lot of inroads in their direction.

You can contact RIDDOR on 0845 300 99 23

Or visit their website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/riddor.htm

Ho Ho Ho

IT’s Christmas Day and the original onslaught of threatened photos from the lady commentors of this here blog is thankfully only running at two so far. As such I’m feeling far more relaxed than I might have been.

Now, while this has left me in a slightly up beat mood (because I was fearing switching on the Laptop) I will crack my favourite joke…

Two women are on holiday in Spain. With only a few days left they decide to go shopping!
While walking through the towns main shopping area they come across a store for exotic pets and decide to go and have a look.
After a few minutes one of the girls says she’s gonna buy a snake! Her friend looks at her and asks why and how on earth is she gonna get it back through Customs.
The girl says “ Well I just always wanted a snake, and I can wrap it around my waist and pretend it’s a belt”.
Her friend, thinking this is a brilliant idea say “right then, I’m gonna buy a pet too – I’m gonna buy a Skunk”
Her friend looks at her stunned!!
How the hell the hell are you gonna get that through Customs?!
“Oh, she said, That’s easy, I’ll put it down my panties and pretend I’m pregnant”
Her friend looked at her and said “But what about the smell?!”
“well,  if it dies – it dies!!” she replies

Have a great day everyone

Published in: on 25 December, 2009 at 15:20  Comments (10)  

That Christmas post thing…

I could write a lot about loss this year – if not a few close calls. For some reason it’s been a heady year for all of it.
I could also write about work and the recession, or even the worst parts of the last 12 months – But I won’t.

But what a year!! What a great bunch of people I’ve met, albeit one of them I had purposefully avoided for years.
Heck, I don’t do ‘sociable’ yet on the odd occasion I may almost have actually felt that I wanted to be.
This in itself causes a problem, you see I’m so used to being, well, not so sociable.

People have surprised me this year in so much as varying from the predictable, to out right inspiring! You see, whether you believe in Christmas or not, ‘people’ is what it’s all about, indeed the essence of life itself is based on exactly that. We do not exist or live to work, we work  so we can live, socialise and interact with others.

Yes, there has been the loss of a few friends, too often in a manner that has left me astounded. Not upset or angry, but people who I’ve been almost shocked at the ways they have let themselves down and it’s not a pretty thing.
Then there are the people I have simply not been able to keep up with and have had little time to do so, for which I’m shamefully sorry – because for the most part, some of them are amazing folks.

Yes it’s been a busy year where people are concerned and then there has been this old blog! Oh and the fact I sometimes the need to go to work.

But this year and more accurately, the last two months I have finally come to realise and see various things that are all good.

As for my blog, well, it’s has veered off track a lot and I’m not so happy about that. I had a plan for the blog and though other things have been keeping me from maintaining the plan discipline. But then my readership has quadrupled and that of course leads me to question the initial plan.

The ladies who comment here, for reasons I do not know or understand – taken to giving me a lot of sarcasm and stick in a humorous way and for the most part it has kept me on my toes and been welcome – albeit they do seem to be able to twist girders of written text and throw the result back at me.

So what of the next year?
You know what?! I fear 2010! Seriously, I really do. I want so much to do so many things, improve on everything that I do, start many new bits and pieces, go to many, many places… But I’m ill equipped for much of it at present – and that also means my interaction with others!

There are those who will no longer be making Christmas and you will be missed, whether it’s a few pints at the bar or just friendship – but to:

Rockposer, Alex, WKD, Gabby, Terry, Cozmic, Fenny, SEC, Lorraine, Annie1978, Ruth, Howlatthemoon, Ruthlett, San, Joe, DarkheartD, BigDog, Dave Bones, Dom, RachelH, K&J, Dave & Annie, K&D Hewlett, The Bass Player and of course JK.
 
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this year wouldn’t have anywhere near as good without all of you, your gossip, charm, sarcasm, humour and in the odd case – counsel and for all of this I’m truly in awe and thank you. So to all of you and those I have not mentioned both from here and Twitter because there are so many of you out there, I wish you a heart felt Merry Christmas. And 2010? Lets see when we get there ;)

And DONT forget to track Santa via the NORAD and Google Earth link HERE. Just click on the little play arrows to watch the vids

Published in: on 24 December, 2009 at 11:19  Comments (7)  

I could have said…

A lot really, you see I was gonna sit here and blog about the last two days work doing a thing I kinda dislike – delivering pallets! Yep up and down the viciously icy country lanes and hills of Devon. I seem to have been on more farms n the last two days than I’ve ever been to in my life.
Not unlike many places, the UK has had a bit of a freeze going on and I swear I could kiss the inventor of the Diff-Lock!!

However, no matter how hard I try to write it, when I finished work today I sidled of to the Milk yard for a nice hot chocolate and a sit down before getting behind yet another steering wheel and driving home (something I do a lot).
But I noticed earlier the WKD’s car was there, but by 5pm only two bulkers had returned!! Another was being dragged across the yard in pieces after being hit by a tree coming in the opposite direction. While this was going on another wrecker was coming in pulling a whole artic (semi) also with what appeared like further tree-like copulation signs
Now I know how much trouble I’ve had the last couple of days and this simply pales into insignificance compared to what the Farm Collection drivers face everyday.
In fact, yesterday I text WKD and simply asked – how do you do your job?
3 hrs later and I rang the Office to see how bad things were and was told –they’re bad! Then I asked if all the bulkers were back and was told the last one had just pulled in.

In the north they’ve had a lot of snow, but down here, it’s mainly been freezing and then out of no where today – it rained!! It melted a few bits of ice but in reality it simply had an ‘oiling’ effect.
Since returning home, about every 20 minutes or so I hear police sirens, so as night draws the days last breaths, the temps are going down and now everything is freezing.
Now WKD is no faint hearted bird, but she is oddly – human! So after all she has done and put up with today, she has to drive home – which is at the top of a fairly steep hill. Now, for some reason (which is completely beyond my understanding), I have ventured into feeling some concern – this is unacceptable, it’s not something I do! But never the less, she is part of the team/crew, and if you’re in one of them – you simply watch out for each other.

So while I did text her to see if she was ok etc, I have heard nothing but a blank text in reply – but then like me, she often spends hours with the phone switched off.

Published in: on 23 December, 2009 at 23:06  Comments (4)  

So there’s this girl…

I came across this on YouTube, it’s an audio of a little girl in Ireland doing a crank call.

Published in: on 21 December, 2009 at 22:57  Comments (12)  

Want Ice with that?

I get to work at 4:30pm yesterday and notice WKD’s  red missile in the car park. I was gobsmacked, I thought she had finished for Christmas (well until a couple of hours on Christmas and Boxing Day).
Strangely as I walked across the road I couldn’t help but wonder where on earth ALL the Ex-Farm bulkers were. There was only one!
As soon as I stepped into the yard, another agency guy came sidling up wanting information and I talked to him as I made my to the office, only to be sidetracked by WKD, the only Ex-Farm driver to actually make it back to base – why? Because they were all stuck on icy desolate farm tracks!!
This is the trouble with living in a very hilly rural area, yes all the main ‘A’ roads and bus routes are salted, but the rest – no… One guy had been stuck since 8am actually on the lane running up to a farm, but as it was a typical Devon farm lane, it was so tight, he couldn’t even open the cab doors!
I got my job; a run to Westbury followed by an Axminster to Bridgwater dairy.

Heading up the motorway (the long but flat way around to Westbury) I couldn’t help but think that it was interesting that WKD was the only driver to have completed her entire route and returned to the yard on time…
Going past Weston-super-mare we got hit by a powder snow shower that cover over everything amazingly quickly and in no time had laid over an inch of the stuff. Reducing speed quickly as the unit and trailer started to try and go in seperate directions, I started thinking that this too would be a long shift.
The rest of the journey was straight forward until I actually got the industrial estate in Westbury where I was great by a completely white road. This didn’t look like anything until I realised it was a light snow over sheet ice!!

I spent hours at Westbury, a couple of other guys came in, both I knew and one was telling me there was some trouble at Honiton reload site, the very same place it took me half an hour to get moving from yesterday.
We decided on routes back and I was gonna head toward Frome and Shepton Mallet, this as it turned out was not a very good idea as I ended up driving a 10mph and using all my former Land Rover skills to keep going. Oh I so wish I still did the off road driving instruction for Land Rover, by far – the best job in the world!

Finally the on the other side of Shepton Mallet the snow and ice disappeared and while the temp had risen to minus 2 oC  it was a welcome drive – only to be flagged down by another trucker who was concerned about a low bridge ahead. He asked if there was another way around, so I asked how tall his truck was (looking like a 13’6” to me) and the reply was….. I don’t know!!!
I told him the bridge height ahead, gave him the low down of what to do and where to go and told him to check his trailer as the height has to be written on it by law (and common sense).

I was then asked to divert of to Honiton and take a look at how bad the situation was there… Well, it wasn’t good! Just the road to it looked like diamonds and shattered glass with the ice and at -5 oC I brought myself to an ABS induced stop at the entrance to the field – with my main consideration being to position myself to be able to pull away again.
The problem was two fold… firstly the tank already there was completely in the wrong place and on the wrong side of the track. The other problem as that the truck driver going in to pick up the tank after leaving an empty one, hadn’t stopped and walked up first to check the state of the ice etc.
If he had, he would have tried to reverse in and probably made it comfortably.
If the tank that was already there was parked where it should have been, he probably would have made it too. But no, in the event, all were abandoned and while I was told that he’d left his truck quite close to the existing tank and dare not move it any further in case they touched, well… gravity and ice can do things with 15 tons and they were now touching so nicely – it made me feel all warm inside (not)

Photos taken I’m back in my truck and……….no go!!
Getting the old Land Rover head on, I reversed back (unwinding the diff) then applied the diff lock and using the left to right sawing motion on the steering wheel, ‘walked’ the truck forward to gain traction and momentum. This works perfectly and almost everytime in a car too (unless trying to go uphill on ice), but in a car you have to go from lock to lock.

I told them that while normal recovery trucks wouldn’t go in to the site, two 8000lb winch equiped Land Rovers with ground anchors could easily recover the whole lot!
I pulled away and the rest is consigned to history as I got my next run done. But it must be said here, that nothing of what I do compares in the slightest to what the Ex-Farm folks do.

Now I will say that yesterday I tried some of these heavy duty rubber ice things on my work boots and was amazed that you can walk completely normally across sheet ice without slipping at all!! I can’t recommend them enough and or all the people to tell me about them – it was my sister, how is known for her polar and mountaineering skill by, well, nothing that ever own a heartbeat!! i.e. NOT.
If I had known how good these were 2 weeks ago, I would have bought the heavy duty work versions for everyone I know!!

Tomorrow – well you remember that really bad day I had in that little rollerskate they called a truck?! They want me to do that again – I’m now hoping and praying that something urgent comes up tonight on the milk…

Published in: on 21 December, 2009 at 21:08  Comments (6)  

Hmmmm, some days eh?

So here was the job:
Honiton to Evercreech, then shoot over to Stamplemead at Frome and trake two tanks of skimmed milk into Westbury..
Start time was 4am, so I’m looking to finish between 1 and 2pm.
First up, I live in Honiton, so I drive straight to the site and pick up the paperwork on the way into work. I get into the office and right it all up and the night manager and I have a good chat before I go and get my truck and an empty trailer.
Every tank trailer has a ‘wash book’ as the tanks are C.I.P’d (washed) after every use and must be washed within 24hrs of them being used again. So, seeing that the wash book said the empty tank had been washed two hours previously, there was no need to check it – but something made me double question it and I checked anyway! Well thank goodness I did because the tank hadn’t been cleaned at all!! And with no spare tanks available, we had to clean this one before I went anywhere.
Putting boiling water through a tank when the outside temp was minus 6 oC is an interesting thing to do – very, how should I say? Musical? In a lively metal pounding way…   Back over to Honiton, drop and swap the trailers and….. no go!!  I could not for the life of me pull away!!  The wheels  just turned on the frozen mud… 30 minutes later and I started to gain some forward momentum and kept it going.
While icy, the roads where not too bad as I hauled 44tons up and over the Blackdown Hills. The A303 was good, Podimoor roundabout was good, the road toward Shepton Mallet was good, then I turned right on to the road to Castle Cary and was straight into Black Ice hell!!!
Seriously, I have no idea how the hell I got to the other end of it with the unit kicking around all over the place – not helped by a trailer full of liquid wanting to push me in directions I really didn’t want to go.
Arriving an hour late at Evercreech to find they were fully frozen up with the temp now being -7 oC and falling. I was there for hours waiting and waiting to get pumped off.
Finally, 3 and half hours after I arrived, I pulled away heading for Frome.
Now it’s been a little while since I’d been to the Staplemead dairy and since then a Fr**ch company had bought it and where doing ‘a little work’ on the place… Really, a little work???? I did not recognise one bit of the place!! It was as if this lot were re-landscaping the bloody Somme!!
Another hour and now 3 hrs behind, I arrive at Westbury – only to be told that the Skim I was delivering wasn’t to their liking, in fact after taking and testing 3 samples, they had a 45minute conference on it. Finally I started to tip the stuff  and had begun texting with WKD. This was the only light hearted part of the day as she said that she’d probably see me later for a chat – to which I said “Oi, no snogging or hanky-panky!!” knowing full well this would have her looking for ways to dispatch herself silently into the next world.  Time moved on slowly and then the CIP failed while cleaning my tank. For the second time in the last few days I came into direct contact with Caustic Soda and was glad I had eye protection and gloves on – as gallons of the stuff poured from the trailer.
Back to Frome and fast swap on to the next tank – and back to Westbury! Where…. They went through the same complete BS they had done before… As the sun started setting, I text WKD and gave her the relief that I would not be back in time to see her as while I was not washing this tank as time was short, she’d be at home at least an hour before I returned and for anyone to hang around for that long just to talk to me would nothing short of insanity.
Hitting the road, WKD let me know that all the truck wash systems were now frozen up and she was going home.
Finally I clocked off at 7pm, 15 hrs after I started…
I went and bought myself a Battenberg cake and went home…
It was just one of those days, but it was over.
I won’t see WKD for a while now, and sent her an email wishing her all the best for Christmas.

Today, well I’m back at it at 4:30pm

I just have to add here, that while I avoid various items of information – the top of this list now being the shopping habits of women… Imagine to my horror when finally sitting my carcus down in a comfortable armchair with a nice big coffee and my cake when Gabby, who is always up for a little retribution and P*ss taking for the grief I give her – twitters me desperate to send photos of the result of a days shopping!!! Just when yer think you’re home, warm and safe from the perils of the day…. I swear, my life is pergatory – I went to bed..

Published in: on 20 December, 2009 at 13:06  Comments (17)  

The private movie that made $30million

Yes, so here it is, the full version of Fede Alvarez’s short film “Ataque de Panico!” (Panic Attack!) featuring giant robots invading and destroying Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.
After uploading this less than five minute vid to YouTube – it went viral!
In no time producers in Hollywood were watching and reaching for the phone.  It is 4 mins 48 seconds long and was made on a budget of $300 (£186).
He has now been offered a $30m (£18.6m) contract to make a Hollywood film. The movie will be sponsored by director Sam Raimi, whose credits include the Spiderman and Evil Dead films.

Published in: on 18 December, 2009 at 03:27  Comments (3)  

So, in another part of the world – Little Trucker!

With previous talk of winter and snow falling across London today – and a heavy fall forecast for Friday/Saturday, I just had to post these pictures that our Terry aka Little Trucker took on her travels today…
So with a chill now running down my spine, I’m running into Exeter for a Christmas tree from Tesco… lol

Published in: on 16 December, 2009 at 22:13  Comments (29)  

The day cannot end without a little Boeing something

Since I’ve been up I’ve been scouring the Boeing website and was hoping for live footage of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner First Flight.

Yes, today, finally after years of hard work, design, build – rebuild, redesign – the 787 took to the air infront of thousands of Boeing staff, engineers, general public, well wishers and half the worlds media.

The 787 is now officially a reality – well done and congrats to Boeing and good luck to all those who’ll be building this aircraft at the all new Charlston factory.

Maybe, just maybe… Boeing should have been the designers of the A400M – or at least a whole new concept!!

Published in: on 15 December, 2009 at 23:46  Comments (6)  
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Old man winter..

 Well it’s fair to say that we’re all feeling a drawn longing and remembrance of the summer months.
Last night while in Westbury dairy we were sitting around talking about last winter, with roads getting closed due to snow and sheet ice and of course why the hell did the person in charge of buying our tractor units neglect to buy them with diff-locks and steering tag-axles.
Bulkers, these are what we call the ‘Ex-Farm’ rigids, that 4 axle trucks like WKD drives. They come with all this stuff as standard and with being able to just about offer steering and drive to any wheel that touches the ground, they fare much better – but then they have to actually go where most of our trucks can’t.
All this doesn’t even take into account a moving liquid load in tanks that have no baffles.
We laughed a lot, we grumbled a whole lot more and we decided that this winter would be a harder one than the last.
I simply don’t know a driver who does not enjoy the challenge, yeah, we wish they would give us chains for bad weather, have a greater support system and so on, but we love that challenge.
Yet you only have to go and see what North60Star drives in to realise that what we do is little more than a joke.
But never the less, living in a part of the UK that never gets snow, I’ll always remember the panicked voice on the phone from the night supervisor with the words “THEY’RE PLOUGHING THE M5!!!!”
Then there are our friends left of the pond, who are already getting the snow. The lady truckers of this and their own blogs- and of course BigDog who lives with snow for a good part of the year. He’s been putting down some serious mileage himself these last few weeks after the very sad loss of his sister. But Dave (BigDog) is the type of guy who’ll always step up to the plate no matter what the situation, so while these are not the best times just after (some weird ritual called) thanksgiving and the run up to Christmas, I worry little about him because he always knows what to do, and will always do the right thing – and ladies, he’s single!

Now…. as a little treat for our US friends, they’ll be pleased to know that if they’re anywhere near NYC, there is an event for which they’ll be most welcome; I was thinking of going myself, but it’s little short notice. 

 
 

Yeah, baby, yeah. It’s international talk with a fake British accent day…


On Thursday 17th December
7pm kick-off upstairs at Slatterys Midtown Pub,
36th Street btwn 5th & Madison.

Facebook Event

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Come and try out a different accent for the evening and have some fun for the festive season! 

Come dressed in Red, White and Blue, something British or even in costume for your British character for some extra fun. Additional raffle tickets will be given out for all who play. 

We have 150 people already confirmed and it’s sure to be a comedy value evening. A great mixture of nationalities and other Brits who are going to give a different accent a go for the night. We will have some fun phrases for all to try out, outstanding British tunes and the dance floor warming up for later on in the evening.

If you are also game for “two minutes of fame” we will also be recording some funnies which will be broadcast on our new online TV channel BigAppleBrits.TV and on Big Apple Brits Radio. 
$5 entry will get you:
  • Extended happy hour until 10pm
  • Cake
  • Free shot with your first drink
  • Sherlock Holmes Merch! t-shirts, cups, keyrings and other goodies.
  • 5 raffle tickets for your chance to win a pair of pre-screening passes to see the fantastic new  “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law.  Check out the Trailer Here!
  • Mingle opportunities with some fabulous people and have a right old laugh!

Check out the facebook event page Here!

Published in: on 15 December, 2009 at 19:47  Comments (6)  
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Home again…

So day five is down, just another day to do tomorrow and then I’m gonna relax. This translates to; by the time you read this – I’m working today, my 6th straight day this week. The shortest was 11 3/4 hours, but most have been 13 and 14 hours. The only damage past the usual bruises and scrapes has been the wrenching of a shoulder muscle, so all in all – so far so good.

I have contemplated a Christmas tree this year – well, I guess that was the first bit of willing in a very long time at least, you never know, I might even get one before I find some daisies to push up.

The next few days, I’ll be tidying properly and might, just might find a paint brush in my hand (I’m shuddering at the thought).
I have some chasing up of other stuff in the UK and overseas, so all in all – the days off will busy too.

Well that’s my little update, I hope to have more for you later but as it’s 5:30 in the morning, I’d better get some sleep, then go to the supermarket, then wallow in the shower. Actually, when I move soon (-ish), I must make sure the place I’m going has a huge bath tub – I miss a good wallow (in a beached whale kinda way).
Work this evening will be taking Whey to TVC starting at 18:30, followed by a run to Westbury again

Published in: on 15 December, 2009 at 06:33  Comments (4)  

Ooo, what a day?!

Well it started with being roused from my sleep by the phone to be told/asked to get to work an hour early… thinking that something had changed about the days planning, I returned a few hours after I had left to find that nothing had changed as such, but there was an added job – valeting!!

A little stunned, the said vehicle that is now on it’s way to Europe was in a hell of a state. So it was with this I trekked off to North Tawton to clean this beast – oh, and pick up a tank of milk as well.
Returning a few hours later with a very clean truck (on the outside) I was then on my way to Bishops Nympton to pick up another.
Gabby, who was stalking me on Google Latitude, twittered me to tell me I was in a field – hmmm, “No, S**t”… That is, after all, where we go LOL.
I spent time at Bishops Nympton, taking my break and trying to remember the day I spent there in summer sitting on top of the tank watching the sun go down – instead of freezing my proverbial butt off.
I sent a few emails and commented on my previous article before heading back to base with the milk.
Now when I got back, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of standing tanks full of milk and after further enquiry I found that the dairy at Crediton had had a problem with cleaning out it’s pipes and silos and had to re-do the entire process. The thing is, the dairy industry in the UK runs on a knife edge and when things go just slightly wrong – the knock on effect is massive! Especially when you consider that the milk never stops coming…
Anyway, back on the road and back to North Tawton to pick up my last tank – only to find it was the only tank there, so I have no idea how they faired in the end.
While there we (a few drivers) got into a conversation about just how bad at driving we can actually be. This was a hilarious conversation with some outstanding admissions. But then came the question of who was a truly outstanding driver and everyone said the same.
Personally I can’t think of who it might be – but apparently she reads and comments on this blog under a 3 letter acronym (b*gger!!) LOL. Sometimes you have to ask about the injustice of it all, even if uninformed (that’s ignorant by the way) passers-by do feel the need to stop and ask her if she has her diff lock on – especially while reversing back up a 1 in 4 gradient, single track road with four/six wheel drive, traction-control, auto load ballancing, three axle steering and a moving liquid load of 18000 ltrs of milk on the back… if she didn’t know what she was doing she wouldn’t be behind the wheel, after all she was hardly wearing a hoody shouting “yo,yo,yo look at my ride – I iz gonna pimp this sucker”

And with that I will leave you with this very short vid that makes me laugh outragiously every time I think about it, it’s dedicated to the ladies who read and comment on this blog Loraine, Fenny, Gabby, WKD, Terry, and JK

Published in: on 14 December, 2009 at 12:54  Comments (15)  
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