March 31, 2009

A Typical Weekend

As I mentioned in my "virgin" post, the main purpose of this blog is to keep a record and to share my "50th birthday tour" with everyone/anyone who is interested. In addition, it's a way to let everyone know that I've made my daily destination without the need for me to "call anyone when I get there" This last weekend of activities gives me a perfect opportunity to practice my future blogging.
This past weekend followed a somewhat short work week. Although I worked 5 days, I only worked 49 hours. My normal work week is around 53-60 hours a week. Work is a little slow because of the economy.
Friday started out by picking up  at the Ace Station in Tracy. From the station, we drove up to Stockton (about 25 minutes for those who don't know the area) for an emergency "stewards" meeting at "The Hall"
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Saturday started out with the usual crutches ( A gallon of "Peet's" coffee for and an 8 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper for me)
DSC_0003in the saddle bag of the bike.
Now we're off to meet some friends for a motorcycle ride. The destinations are multiple and not too far apart.
First stop is Perko's for a light breakfast and meet up with the group (notice I don't use the term "gang").

Second stop is meeting up with "Manual" and "Duke" in Farmington which is a small farming community.

After a beautiful ride through the rolling foothills of farmland in central California, we arrive Knights Ferry for a re-enactment of a Civil War battle along with one of the oldest covered bridges west of the Mississippi River.
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Next stop......The Chili Cook off. All proceeds went to charity and my Bro (biker talk) Tod and his wife entered the contest. There was chili from around 25 chefs along with a live band and an assortment of other entertainment.
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As the rest of the group (we are not a gang) head back to Stockton,  andI headed up the famous highway 49 thru Jackson, stopped for dinner in Sutter Creek, then road to Rancho Cordova to stay the night at mom and dad's.
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Sunday was a.m. coffee at Peet's and a visit with Michael Henry on our way to a Teamster informational leaflet. For those in Nor Cal, please don't shop at FoodsCo. This company has violated a labor agreement that allows drivers to follow work when that work is awarded to a new sub contractor. A un named company (no..not wal mart) has won that work and has fired all of the union drivers and has hired non union drivers. We did some friendly informational leafleting asking people to shop elsewhere.
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After lunch and Nascar in Elk Grove, we rode back to Tracy for rest and relaxation before another work week starts. Total seat miles for the weekend was a hair under 300 miles.
This is an example of what some of my posts will be. I'd appreciate any input/advise from anyone on whether the format is easy to read.....whether it's easier to read all the text then look at pics....etc...

March 26, 2009

Busy on Wednesdays

As I posted earlier, I have this desire/need to stay busy. In that spirit  of business and with my need to practice the many aspects of blogging before my trip (inserting pictures, video, and hyperlinks)  I will hopefully be somewhat efficient  by the time I'm blogging the ride.

I have a few hobbies that I enjoy.  I also feel the need to help others.  I also believe that God works in mysterious ways.   A few months ago, God dropped an opportunity  right on my doorstep.  There is a bi-weekly newspaper  (Wednesday and Saturday) in Tracy, California which is free for delivery if you call and ask for it.  Now the house where I live had never received a copy from the time I moved in May of 2006 until early November of 2008.  On that particular Wednesday, a copy of the paper was on my driveway when I was leaving for work at 4 in the morning.  Since we don't usually receive it (and haven't gotten another one since), I took it to work and read it during my day.  This article was in that particular issue  click here.  Since that fateful morning, this has become my Wednesday gig.  Starting directly after work around 3, we don't finish until everyone is served and the hall is cleaned up around 7.  It's really a makeshift crew of workers.  The church isn't one of the wealthiest on town; none of the pots and pans match; the knobs on the stove are mostly broke off and we use pliers to turn it on and off; and all of food is donated except for the salad ingredients.  Paul has a real talent of mixing spices in an incredible way.  Every week we marvel in his talents of making even the simplest ingredients into one of the best flavors we ever had.  He's an old "Hell's Angel" who loves the Lord with all his heart and loves his ministry.  His stories are interesting and his testimony is inspiring.  Plus he still rides.

God has aided me in my quest/need/desire to stay busy and I'm counting on him to drop more opportunities in my lap/life.

March 25, 2009

To Be or Not to Be (busy that is)


For as long as I can remember, I've usually kept myself busy (I try not to use the terms "always" and "never"). Now grant it my memory isn't as good as it once was.  One thing readers should know is I'm somewhat of an extremist.  I oscillate from one side to the other pretty violently. 

So here's my story and I'm sticking to it..........

In 1990, I  won custody of my two young sons (ages 6 and 8)  as their mother and I divorced.  I worked a night shift to enable myself time for field trips, to represent parents on the school site council and coach little league.  In addition to this, I worked 50-55 hours a week and commuted 75 miles each way. Raising two young sons by myself was challenging....  Life was busy.....and life was good. 

In 1996 I remarried.  Now my commute is 78 miles each way, still work 50-60 hours a week.  I work early morning (4 am) to allow myself to attend high school baseball games, recreation league soccer matches, take a few junior college classes, and help maintain a household with a wife and 3 teenage sons.  Life was busy.....and life was good. 

In 2000, we moved to the country.  A house on 3 acres.  Still work 50-60 hours a week, commute is 53 miles (a lot shorter), kids are pretty much grown up, now have farm chores to "keep me busy". Rabbits, goats, chickens, cats, and dogs.   Mowing, mending, weed-eating, roundup spraying, planting garden, pruning trees, pruning grapes, get the picture. In addition, add the normal hobbies of golf, camping, traveling, family obligations, guessed was busy....and life was good....

Things changed  in 2006.  Another divorce and many decisions.  Fortunately the "farm" was sold near the top of the market.  I needed to decide where to live and whether to buy or rent.  I had lived in or around Sacramento California most of my life and worked in Tracy California for 20 year .  I decided to not buy and to live in Tracy. I live in a house with a roommate (the homeowner)  and have absolutely  zero household responsibilities besides cleaning up after myself.   This created  a problem for someone  (me) who had been "busy" for the better part of 25 years.  Although I still work 50-55 hours a week, my commute is now 5 miles.   I work a 4:30 am shift and even when I work 11 hours a day, I'm off work before 4 p.m.  During the spring, fall and summer, that leaves between 3 and 5 hours of daylight.  What to do with that much available time was a definite problem with someone of my personality. 

So I took some time and  tried to reflect on interests that I've had in my past that I haven't had time to enjoy.  Racquetball, Cycling, Motorcycle Riding, College classes, Volunteerism, Hiking, Taking Pictures, Dance Classes (which was a new one), Travel and of course......Golf. 

I've sometimes been criticized for being so busy.  Some of my co-workers and customers  ask me on Thursdays of each week what was on my schedule for the upcoming weekend.  It would either be a motorcycle ride, a 50 mile bicycle ride along with a 10 mile hike followed by golf on Sunday afternoon; or possibly work an extra day on Saturday followed by racquetball in the afternoon and movie and a bike ride on Sunday. 

I don't know why I have the desire/need to stay busy/active.  All I know is if I'm not busy/active, I tend to get depressed.  So being active/busy is good for my health (both physical and mental)

March 22, 2009

Is it really Yellow?

me in my truck

In this day and age of constant movement of workforce, I am somewhat of a dinosaur.  I've been working for Yellow Freight (now known as YRC) for a little over 20 years.  It's a job I truly enjoy.  The pay is decent, the benefits are excellent and I service businesses in which the workers are more like friends then customers.

I've found a video by Maria Aldemann of "what I do".  The video is  a little long.  If you have a little time and a lot of patience, it's a perfect example of my normal work day. 

Now realize a part of my early posts is learning and practicing posting with pictures and videos. 

March 20, 2009

The Virgin Teamster

The idea of this blog was originated as a way to keep family and friends updated on my daily safety. By safety we need to back up one step. As the title shows, The Teamster is turning fifty in April (don't worry, the entire blog won't be in "bob dole" tense) and I am going on a journey.

As part of my 50th birthday tour, I am planning my first long distance motorcycle ride. The first week of the ride will be a "loner" journey to "find myself". I don't want to have to check in with anyone nor do I want to be limited to an itinerary or schedule. However being on the motorcycle roaming the southwest, I felt it's only fair to let those who care about me know that I've made a destination each day so there is little-to-no worry for my safety.

The more I've thought about blogging, the more I became interested in sharing reflections of my past and posting of my journey forward. I have many interests and goals and blogging seems to be a useful tool of sharing with family and friends of progress. I have a great family, good friends, and wonderful girlfriend.

I'm planning on spending this next 6 weeks periodically posting, getting to know the blog world. Today I took the day off from work and rode the motorcycle up to daffodil hill near Sutter Creek Ca. Some of these pictures are form today (I need the practice)

I name this post "The Virgin Teamster" only because I'm a virgin blogster.