Thursday, December 16, 2010

Muffinism can strike at any moment!

Muffinism - that moment when your brain acts independently of common sense, or any kind of sense come to that!

Take today, driving south in Alberta, minding my own and being pleasant, or at least not hacking people off deliberately! Shania was on the radio, the snow had held off and even the wildlife had legged it directly out of the way when I blew the twin air horns. ( The sign on the US Presidents desk may read "The Buck Stops Here!" - In my world it's the radiator grill where that happens!)

A sexy female voice interrupted Shania, "Turn Left In 1.3 kilometers" uttered the GPS, not for me the map spread out on the wheel at 70 mph!~  I eased over when traffic allowed and prepared to enter the left turn lane ahead.  Traffic ahead set off as the signal turned green, I entered the left turn lane.

Something shot by the passenger door, for a moment I thought it was some suicide car bomber who had inadvertently started the countdown and being unable to reset it was making a determined dash for the intended point of bang!  It turned out to be some Canadian heading for home - so hard to detect the difference. As the car shaped rocket tore up the outside lane, Muffinism struck! In the shape of a pick-up driver tired of tootling behind the rest of the slow lane pack, he turned out, without bothering to extend his digit the inch required to operate the turn signal or bother with the rear view mirror, directly into  the path of the speeding rocket!

I braked, gently on the packed snow as 94,000lbs takes a bit of stopping, although at a push the wreckage of a rocket and pick up will do nicely - eventually! The rocket veered into my lane - he hit the brakes as the opposing side of the junction was approaching fast - well, faster for him rather than me admittedly! Braking was clearly a failure, well it locked the wheels but that just meant he went faster. Turning right, back into his lane, was out, because the pick-up was dithering about there, and turning left was just a dream at that speed on that surface!

No, all that was left was to hang on and duck as the rocket smashed into a 3 ft high wall of snow left there by some snowplough driver for just this eventuality.

There was a colossal explosion of snow! - There was a colossal explosion of light as the headlights illuminated the exploding snow from the inside! - The was a colossal darkness as the car stopped, the snow fell back down - and the car disappeared from view!

I stopped, something the pick-up driver though unnecessary, and watched as a door in the snow opened, a small avalanche disappeared inside the car to warm up and a driver emerged, he looked at the car - stuck! - he looked at the distant rear end of the pick-up and shook his fist at it! As he indicated he was well, I moved on, too dangerous to risk dragging him out.

As I drove off it occurred to me that this was the first occasion I had witnessed a fist shaking through the windshield - up till now it's always been in the rear view mirrors!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Skiing for truckers - beginners course!

Arrived in the snow covered town of Mackenzie, BC. Whose claims to fame include tourism, logging and home to the largest tree crusher in Canada, well there’s nice! As the local fleshpots were buried under several tons of the white stuff, went to bed. I was awakened to the thundering scrape of tons of snow being scraped off the roadway at 0400hrs, where I might add it was no harm to anyone, and thrust under my truck, where it did. Some little time later, he came back and did it again! I arose from the arms of Morpheus, and the dream where Shania had just agreed to some of the more weird stuff,so curtailing this seriously hacked me off. I exited the cab and fell head first into a small ski jumping hill now located around the drivers side of my rig - I lay there, face down in the snow, which is a very effect way of feeling wretched by the way, and considered my options with regard to the Plough driver:-
1) Using mind control only, cause him to spontaneously ignite - Rejected on the grounds of not knowing his location and face and besides, it’s not a trick I’ve mastered -yet!

2) Summon a level 9 Ice Dragon and chill the nuts off him - Rejected, It would mean entering and learning some Dungeon & Dragons realm, having to become a Magus and I failed basic chemistry, so Potions and Poisons is probably gonna let me down.

3) Invoke an ancient curse. - Rejected, I don’t know any - but I did send a few more modern ones casting doubts on his paternity and his parents failure to present themselves for sterilization!

Picking myself up I trooped off to the delivery point where I obtained coffee - the days brightening already! Trudged back and in attempting to negotiate aforementioned ski slope, fell over and dropped coffee! This time I had a witness, the driver of the truck behind me, who exited his cab and hurried towards me. I was expecting a chorus of “Are you alright’s?” Ha, what I got was some fat sniggering jerk extolling things like ; “Lying down on the job again?” - “Didn’t you get enough sleep last night then?” - “Would you like me to fetch a blanket?” all accompanied by the jackass type braying as he considered this the highest wit and repartee since time immemorial. I lay in the coffee stained snow, (least it isn’t yellow!), an regarded the giggling imbecile!

Options :-

1) Clamber to feet, brush off loose snow and grin and bear it. - Rejected, he was just too much of a jerk to resist!

2) Clamber to feet, pick up snow shovel and hit him with it! - Rejected, the shovel was mostly plastic and might break. Besides, they say “Where there’s no sense, there’s no feeling!” in which case this man was invincible!

3) Attempt to get inside his mind and explain the dangers of throwing oneself face down on the planet. - Rejected, whilst there was plenty of room to get inside his mind, because there was very little else in there, any word of more than two syllables was unlikely to find a shelf big enough to rest on.

I simply favored him with my total warfare frown and he left. I scrambled to my feet and retrieving the empty cup, walked back to fill it. Returning to the truck, and remaining vertical, I studied the situation. The snow plough had managed to effectively “snow me in” by shoving prodigious amounts of the stuff under the wheels. I attempted to move said truck, which simply sat there and spun it’s wheels with the engine making a noise that sounded suspiciously like, “Are you kidding?” In my professional world this failure to move with as many wheels driving as possible, is called “Stuck”! Sometimes with words in front such as “The fornicating person of unmarried parents and with an engine that’s nothing more than a heap of horse effluent is stuck!” It doesn’t really matter how you talk to it, it ain’t moving!
Clambered out, carefully, and retrieved the snow shovel. So started shifting the stuff, dug out the front wheels , then the drives. Took a rest and leaned on the shovel, which slipped on the packed snow and I fell over -again! (I’m getting really tired of this!) I shot to my feet and glared at the following driver, who seemed to find something interesting to look at over his right shoulder, was he laughing? Probably not, he wouldn’t dare! Shoveled out the trailer wheels, then cleared a path under the trailer for them to run on, instead of trying to drag em through the stuff!
We do actually carry tire chains for this sort of thing, but putting em on is a right pain, there may be more uncooperative things in the universe but they have yet to be discovered! In my view we should have prisoners stationed at the top and bottom of every hill to affix these things for us! There’d be a lot less in jail as a result, standing around and trying to fit these things would make some miscreant think twice before snatching granny’s purse and legging it! Besides, we could afford to lose a few to frostbite and it would teach the survivors a trade!

Returned to the cab and engaged all the stuff one’s supposed to, released brake and the damn thing took off like someone lit the afterburner! Frantically I steered to a gap in the wall of snow intending to exit to the road, just as I reached it, the snowplough came around the corner! Nothing was gonna stop me now so I just steered straight at him! He took one look and turned into a handy factory forecourt (Maybe he’s a Level 5 Magus?!) and stopped, I didn’t - Ha! Revenge !!! At peace with the world and myself, I entered the yard to unload!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For Charlie ...

I don't know Charlie, I'm too new at this, and now it seems I've missed the boat. All I know is that when I posted my first blog he complimented it. So in that respect, he touched my life. Reading his last blog it seems he has regrets about some aspects of his life, yet he bought joy to his partner the day he married her and despite all life's ups and downs, they remain committed - I'd say that was one for the success side Charlie!

I'm an atheist Charlie, but if there is something beyond this, then I should like to think of it like this:-

One day you'll be together again, when your Lady's trail through the forest that we call life ends in the clearing, as it must for us all, then she will walk aloft soft grass. Through the trees the sunlight will dapple, warm breezes will carry the chatter and laughter of the assembled. All those friends and relatives who have gone before ,no pain or defect now mars them. As she crosses to join them, some will reach out and smile, others will kiss her cheek and smile warmly, then grin and nod deeper into the throng. In the center of the group she will catch a glimpse of a familiar face, seated upon a bench, close to the BBQ and beer, no weight or addiction problems here! You will look up and see her, she sees the smile and steps forward into you're arms - "Hello you old fart!" she says grinning - "Hello you old bitch!" say you grinning back! Together you seat yourselves and watch as the assembled talk and laugh ... for a very, very long time!

I don't know if there is a heaven Charlie, but if there is - this might just be it .... LHB

I can't get onto Charlies blog for some reason, so if anyone knows how to let him know this is here for him, or get it to him. Please help ... LHB

Monday, November 29, 2010

Housemoving -

Left somewhere near Atlanta for somewhere not, Green Cove Springs, Florida if you wanna be exact. A small community set on the edge of a Walmart where there was quite a lot of Green,no discernible cove and a complete absence of Spring! - at least as far as I could see.
Edged the truck beneath low trees with even lower Spanish Moss, so when I finally stopped the resulting moss gave it a very nice textured look! (If only I had a camera!) Unloaded and got chatting to the Owner of Noah's last crane, seems this thing was originally a 1970 concrete mixer that got tipped over and by the time anyone sensible had noticed, the stuff had set! So it was consigned to the outer reaches of a concrete plant where my guy found it. He paid the tipper-over-er $1 and took it away!
So now he has a truck that pulls 150 ton houses around and all for a $1!
I asked the obvious question about why the poor thing had been exiled to Vancouver,BC.

It all started about a year ago when my guy got the contract to move an $8 million building from Savannah, GA to the docks. This involved splitting the thing into 8 sections and trundling them onto a barge - hmm, huge barge! Once aboard the company attempted to find some crew in Vancouver who knew how to read the flat-pack assembly instructions to put the thing back together, you know the kinda thing, "Locate hole B, align with Screw A - Insert washer X at point C4;Y6;R9;D1;F6;C10 and tighten in sequence as described in appendix Page 200054" I mean, who hasn't done this? Well apparently, no-one in Vancouver so they piles all the building shifting equipment onto the barge as well! Next some helpful passing tug-boat Captain offers to tow the thing from Savannah, GA down the coast, across the Gulf of BP and through the Panama canal. Next it's right, on up the west coast and head north until the butter sets, 11000 miles in all!
So somewhere in Vancouver, or a bit further north, there are 8 sections of something sitting on the beach waiting for the Lake to freeze so they can trundle the whole thing across the ice to it's new home!

Green Hand Gang! I was about 6 yrs old I think, ran into the gang culture in the small rural village that really wasn't prepared for us. There was me, Gord and Mick, we chose the name Green Hand Gang due to a lack of imagination, handkerchiefs and almost perpetual colds! If someone upset us, we'd give him the sign!
(Wipe back of hand across dripping nose, sniff and present for inspection - Strong men have been known to faint!)

The local Butcher shop was famed for it's Steak & Kidney Pies, we could only look and drool! The sight of three ragamuffins dripping and drooling at his display window was more then he could stand and he chased us off!

We plotted our revenge!

The next Friday, when all the women of the village filled the shop buying joints of meat for the traditional Sunday roast, we struck! At it's busiest, we entered the shop, plonked a dead dog on the counter and shouted, "That's the last one today, we'll bring some more tomorrow!" and fled!!!!
OK, we didn't get away with it - but that moment and the look on his face? it was soooo sweet!