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2004: The Year In Photos - Part II
i'm ready for my close up mr demille
This is a continuation of my review of the year 2004 in pictures... enjoy!

2004: The Year In Photos, Part II July-December


So, after finally healing that leg of mine, I got to go back to work and frankly, I was ready for it.  What I didn't expect, though, was to be put into a Peterbilt.  I had always driven Freightliner trucks during my brief career thus far, so it was a new experience in of itself.  On top of that, it was a beautiful glossy black.  I'm driving a red Pete now, and while it's essentially the same truck, it's not nearly as pretty as that truck was.

But, I was finally back on the road.  The corn fields of Illinois, still being planted when I went on my leave of absence, were now oceans of green along-side the highway.

It was during this time that I decided to share with you something I had known about for some time, but hadn't taken the time to take pictures of it until now.  The Used Amish Buggy Lot!

But that would be the extent of my adventures for July.  I wanted to make sure that my leg was fully healed before I got into full-time cabinet slinging again on the back of those trailers.  My dispatcher was accomodating and had me make local supply runs between Arthur and Hungtingburg for the month.


August would bring another New York adventure my way.  My good friend justamy planned a week there to see the city and visit with some friends of hers in new Jersey.  I managed to get myself a day up there with her.  Sadly, with the deterioating quaity of photos the craptacular camera, many of those photos didn't turn out very well.  I managed to get one decent one in Times Square one night while waiting for my bus depart.

The end of the month was spent preparing for a trip to the West Coast.  My new friend Cara had offered to buy me a ticket to the Beastie Boys concert in San Diego on September 11th if I could get myself there.  Hellz yeah!  But it would require me leaving the midwest toward the end of August.  And so I did.  It was one this trip that I lost my black truck for the red one due to some serious mechanical problems that needed to be resolved on the black Pete.  It also would prove to be disastrous for other machinery as well.


My trip to the west coast first took me to Oregon.  Being labor day weekend, I found out that my next load was going to be delayed by thee days when it wasn't ready on Friday.  The total amount of time I spent sitting in Oregon was SIX DAYS.  But that's ok.  My dispatchers are pretty cool so, I bobtailed out to the coast and spent a couple of days in a casino there.  After losing entirely too much money, I opted for dirivng back out to I-5 and holing up at a truckstop there that had some pretty bitchin' WiFi speeds goin' on.  But on my second day of that, my computer bit the dust.  Completely. Utterly.  Gone.  THIS WAS NOT GOOD!  Me without a computer is like.... like... unthinkable!  I had an old Playstation in the truck, so I got it up and running, soa tleast I had something for entertainment.... but I felt so cut-off from the world.  No e-mail.  No Livejournal. 

Eventually I did get my load down the coast and I met up with the lovely Cara in San Diego.

Yeah, our eyes glowed.  She completely raped my mp3 collection while I was there.  Every time I talk to her on the phone since my trip she keeps reminding me how gratefully she is for the 30gigs of music I left on her hard drive.  I had a lot of fun in San Diego.  Sadly, El Camera de Craptacular didn't afford me many decent picutres.  I did manage to take this nice one downtown outside the Golden West Hotel.

As it turns out, my cousin David who's in the Navy (yeah, I'm sure he's heard all the Billy Joel references to him before) was waiting in San Diego to head-out to see for 6 months and went to the concert as well.  I got to spend a little time with him that night after the concert.  Cara gave him and his friend a ride back to the base on Coronado Island after the show. 


I really couldn't tell you what all I did this month.  Between a camera that was no longer taking any useable pictures and no computer in my truck to write about my exploits on Livejournal, it's like a big blank.  I do know that I began training this month.  My first student Paul was a breeze.  I also know that I got my laptop this month and made my triumphant return to the land of LJ.  Outside of that, I couldn't tell ya anthing else about the month.  Sorry.


With the additional income afforded me by my training duties, I made an investment into a laptop and got myself connected with cyberland once again.  I also made an investment into the love of my life, my Fujifilm camera.  10x optical zoom, video with sound...

... love, love, love.  November was when I got my second student, the much loathed Roger Rose.

But that wasn't going to stop me from having my adventures!  While in Rose Hill, NC for instance...  I saw this!

mandy_moon has suggested I should start a collection of "World's Largest" photos.  Consider this the first.  I also was able to go to the town in North Carolina that bears my surname.

How cool is that?  It also is the location of the family cemetry where my great and great-great paternal grandparents are buried.

With the new camera, I was beginning to become more pretentious with my photography.  Now able to produce digital photos with much more clairty, I was beginning to develop more of an eye for things like reflections, as evidenced by the photo of Roger above.  And while most of the stuff I attempt ends up looking like utter garbage and you never get to see it, some of it it was worthy of showing.  Like this one from Chillicothe, MO.


December would prove to be an exciting month, full of new people and new experiences.  After finally ridding myself of Roger I got Mike, a young guy who didn't talk quite so much and was a cinch to train.  It was a month of beautiful sunsets mostly though.  In Utah...

...in Indiana...

...and in New York.

December would also be a month of meeting LJ friends.  I got to spend an evening with democritus and psycat90 in Santa Rosa one evening. I didn't take any pictures though. :(  I also got to meet mandy_moonEasily the high point of my month.  My time visitng with her and Buddy was brief and while I was a bit bashful about taking pictures of my companions I did take a picture of my dinner... you can kinda see mandy_moon's hand in the background.

It also would be the month I would finally photograph something I had known about ever since my first trip across U.S. 50 in Nevada way back in February.  The mighty and awesome Nevada Shoe Tree.

And that concludes the month-by-month section of pictures.  I have some other pictures I wan to share from the year that really didn't fit into the monthly format.  We'll start off with a cornucopia of kitty cuteness courtesy of one Miss Fubu.

I also saw some funny things on trailers this year.

Finally, three completely random pictures....

My pal LARM from EfNet staged this picture for me.

And lastly, one of me getting ready to take shower after a hard day of workin' for the man.

If you actually made it through both installments of this little exercise in self-love, thank you.  I hope you found it as interesting as I did.  It will be forever saved in my memories for easy reference in the future... a great way for me to go back and find a highlight from the year.  I hope you all have a great 2005.. I look forward to reading about it.

If you missed it, please check out Part I of this entry.

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i love the picture of you and roger in the truck. its super way cool.

so, you coming my way anytime this week?

mmmm, it's doubtful... but you never know... just kinda depends on where they send me coming back from the west coast... typically though, i go to northern illinois, which takes me back a whole other way... too far north :(

Can I ask some truck questions?

Are truck drivers tribal in terms of what brand of truck they drive? If so, what are the prestige brands and what are the sad brands?

How come you don't see bullbars on trucks that much anymore?

Is the cabover-type truck a thing of the past, or do some people still operate them?

What's the proper name for the horseshoe shaped thing on the back?

What do those mirrors mounted near the grille show you that the others don't?

Thanks. I have more but I don't want to bog you down with stupid truck questions. :)

The Peterbilt truck is pretty much considered the best all-around truck. Freightliner trucks are nearly as numerous, especially as fleet-owned vehicles.

I'm not sure what you mean by bull bars. Like, cattle clearing bumpers or something? If so, I would guess it's because there are few open ranges left in this country, at least, few open ranges with highways running through them open to truck traffic.

I don't think I've seen a new-ish cab-over ever. Most of the ones I've seen are older models. Conventional trucks with hoods are pretty much the standard.

The proper name for the "horseshoe thing" is the "fifth-wheel".

The fender mirrors don't show much more than your spot mirrors mounted on the doors with one very big exception: the fender mirror on the "passenger side" shows you what is alongside your truck. It is quite possible to check both mirros mounted on your door and think your blind-side is clear and there is a car right beside your fender that you can't even see. It's not in the reflection of your door-mounted mirrors and the truck sits to high; you look right over it. On the sight-side (the driver's side) you can look right out your window, but you can't do that on the other side. Occasionally, you will see trucks that only have one fender mirror; on the blind-side.

Feel free to ask away :)

OK. Some people hate talking about their jobs, is all. :)

This might be a regional thing, but I've not seen Peterbilts around here. Are there still Macks, Volvos, Fords, Western Stars, etc...?

Yeah, by bullbar I meant the steel structure fixed onto the front of a truck, usually with lights mounted on it. They're on a vast majority of trucks that I see, and are frightening in their own way.

Why "fifth wheel"... does it actually turn? Or is it simply a collar?

Is that big silver thing in front of the driver's door the air cleaner? And what's the purpose of those big steel cylinder parts of the stacks? They look like they'd get hot and burn you nicely.

Is that a toolbox on the drivers door step?

And what about Duel, does it occasionally appeal to you as a concept? :)

Mack and Ford trucks are used primarily in short-distance hauling... I seldom see them as conventional OTR trucks with sleepers... there are a good deal of Volvos on the road as well as Western Stars... but by and large, when you're talking about OTR trucks with sleepers, i'd hazard to guess that well over 60% of the trucks are Freightliner and Peterbilt...

The fifth wheel is just a collar. The term comes from passenger vehicle terminology actually. Anything towed by a passenger vehicle (which only has 4 wheels) is soemtimes referred to a fifth-wheel. Recreational campers are most commonly called this in the passenger vehicle world. I guess the terminology just naturally transferred to the trucking industry many years ago, even though the typical road tractor has a minimum of 6 wheels on the road :).

You are very perceptive, that is the air cleaner. The steel cylinders encasing the smoke-stacks actually KEEP you from getting burned. It is a mesh-steel that is mounted about 3 inches from the actual surface of the exhaust pipe. The heat dissipates through it, making it cool to the touch.

The step on the drive side houses the four batteris. The step on the other side, which you cannot see in this photo, is indeed a tool box.

Oh and..

Duel? as in Dual/Team driving? I srota do that since I train new drivers... I typically have someone with me all the time.

If you really meant "Duel", then I have no idea what you're talkinga bout :)

Sorry, I was referring to the 1971-ish Spielberg movie Duel where Dennis Hopper was being terrified by a truck for a lengthy period of time. I was on the side of the truck driver in that movie; I couldn't help myself.

I've been seeing an awful lot of Kenworths around here, too. Of course, they and Peterbilt are owned by the same company...

Is it just me, soopa, or does International seem to have kind of fallen by the wayside?

Also, I always felt the big advantage of fender mirrors was being able to see the spot mirror areas, but only moving my eyes, not turning my head...

yeah... don't see a whole lot of internationals... my borther still swear by them though... he drove for 7 years...

i like that about the fender mirrors, too... but i find i don't use them for that very often simply because they are further away from me... and with the convex reflection, i can't see in them nearly as well as i can in the spots...

I love the kitty pictures :) I wish I would've had a cat with me.. I'd probably still be on the road..


I'd only made more money
I'd had a cat with me on the road
I didn't enjoy flying so much
I could find pick-up hockey games in the parking lots

I think you have a longing for the road.....

yes.. yes I do.. *sigh*

I do miss the picking up guys in the parking lots.. not just pickup hockey games..

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