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i'm trying to drink away the part of the day that i can not sleep away

'm in Omaha. Robert's off the truck and on a bus headed for North Carolina. I have completed the hoop-jumping and paperwork signing necessary to be in the owner/operator division of my company. I even have a spiffy new employee number.

The company I'm renting/purchasing the truck through doesn't have the kind I want prepped and ready to go and it could still be several days, up to a week even. It looks as if I will drive another truck temporarily for them until they can get the one I want ready. I've been trying to avoid this, because I HATE truck move-in/move-out and now I'll have to do it twice.

hen I visited with justamy on Monday, I made her take me out for some authentic Kansas City barbecue. In all the times I've visited her, we had never eaten barbecue. It was so good. Then on Tuesday, in observance of the sacred holiday I gorged myself with Never-Ending SteakTM at a Travel Centers of America truck stop in Denver. Yesterday, I had grilled pastrami and swiss with mayo on rye, courtesy of my in-truck grill'n machine. By last night, I had some serious heart burn. I felt like I was breathing fire.

For lunch, I'm making grilled havarti cheese sandwiches on rye. I wish I had some tomato. That would rock so hard.


The Return of Spinal Tap
I loved This Is Spinal Tap. Own it in fact. So I thought it'd be fun to see this pseudo-sequel, a concert movie of Spinal Tap. It's the first movie in a long, long time that I turned off before it was over because I was so bored with it. And I watch a lot of bad movies. To give you an idea of just how bored I was consider the movie I watched next.

American Pie Presents: Band Camp
I actually made it all the way through this one. Not this was any great movie, in fact it was awful, yet watchable. This is due partially to the fact that I'm a dude and there is ample T&A throughout. But there is a reason this movie went straight to video; it lacks the charm and talent of its predecessors. I don't know how Eugene Levy got roped into doing this installment of the American Pie franchise. I'm guessing he inked the contract before anyone else and no way to back-out when none of the cast returned. Maybe he just wanted the paycheck. He, and the dude that played the science-fiction geek minor character "The Sherminator" are the only links to the original film. The story, in a nutshell, revolves around junior high school student Matt Stiffler, the younger brother of the older Stiffler, eager to have the same sort of legacy as his brother. After a rather heinous public prank on the highschool band during the graduation ceremony of the senior class, The Sherminator, who is now the school guidance counselor, sentences him to spend the summer at band camp. Eugene Levy's tie to band camp is that he serves as the "conflict counselor" in the absence of his daughter in-law (the band-geek from the other films) who is pregnant by his son Jim. Hilarity, hi-jinks, and nudity ensue. In the end, young Stiffler is redeemed when he learns that good friends, regardless of their nerd-factor, are more important than being cool and a jerk. All together now: awwwwwww. The real surprise for me was Arielle Kebell who is a breath of fresh air and cute as all get out. Not worth your while, really, but if you've seen the other three, you might as well just for the completist in you.

Bubba Ho-tep
Elvis (Bruce Campbell) switched places with an impersonator in the 1970's, then the impersonator died famously in the bathroom at Graceland. The King is now laid-up in an east Texas nursing home waiting to die from a cancerous growth on his penis. Along with an elderly black man who claims he's John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis), they make an unlikely geriatric super-duo who must fight the forces of evil in the form of a 3000 year old Egyptian mummy sucking the souls from the assholes of the home's patients. Not only does the film have a great premise and is incredibly funny, but it has a lot of heart and soul about a once great man seeking a way to redeem himself in the final moments of his life. This is one movie you should not miss.

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Where did you go for barbecue in Kansas City?

Did you have burnt tips?

ates Barbecue. And yes, I had a burnt tips sandwich. YUM!

I've been to Gates a couple of times. Yum.

Ah! Thanks! I've been told by a few people that I should see Bubba Ho-tep because it's funny, I'd like it, etc, but nobody has ever said why or given any indication of what it's about. That sounds completely bizarre and right up my alley.

Hm. And thanks for making me crave barbecue again. I haven't had it since I was in Texas years ago and you can't get anything like it here. Barbecue means grilling here. Mmmmm. Proooopeeeer baaaarbeeecue. *craves*

aybe the few people thought they shouldn't spoil too much about it, but my little synopsis doesn't give anything away that isn't on the case or a Netflix summary. Given what little I know of your sense of humor, I'd venture to say it is right up your alley. :)

Technically speaking, the term barbecue refers to fire grilling here, too, however it's also become synonymous with the tangy sauce used to make BARBECUE. Y'know, you could probably buy barbecue sauce on-line and experiment with making your own. The place I ate at the other day with Amy has their own online store. :)

I'm told there are slight differences in style between states - is that right? The barbecue I had in Texas was slow cooked over a longer period of time, and really used the smoke in the cooking (I've read tons of stuff about the virtues of different woods for their smoke). Oh, I've experimented. I brought books, spices, dry rubs and sauces back with me from the States. I've got recipes galore and have made some nice sauces. What I need is a barbecue pit. Bit tricky in my little apartment. The neighbours freaked out at the smoke and called the fire brigade when I did that experiment, so I didn't do that again. True story.

es, there is a difference in style with concern to the cooking of the meat itself and to the sauce. Missouri is rather reknowned for it, as is Tennessee. According to Amy, there is a bit of a feud as to which place is its "birthplace" between the two states. Of course there's also Texas, and North Carolina has a bit of a reputation as a barbecue state, too.

I don't know about other countries but this is very typical of the U.S. - regional pride in their culinary legacies. Is there a similar phenomenon in Australia?

I don't think so. We're a lot more homogeneous across the nation than you lot. And you have areas of the U.S. that have quite distinct and unique histories that set them apart from the rest of the country, and culinary traditions are bound to be part of that, (especially in parts of the South where there's that French influence, for example.) We were settled all over by people who were very similar and miss out on that sort of culinary diversity because of it. Says I. Food didn't start getting interesting in this country until we had an influx of migrants from all over the place, and that's only a comparatively recent thing.

Did you watch the commentary track of Bubba Ho-Tep, where Bruce Campbell does the commentary in character?

o! I'm glad you told me because I so seldom listen to the commentary tracks. Good thing I haven't stuck it in the mail yet. I'll be sure to give it a listen. Bruce is the man.

Aw, that sucks about the latest Spinal Tap movie as I adored the first one, but many thanks for the Bubba Ho-tep synopsis. Bruce Campbell has always been an idol and the premise of this movie is why -- he isn't afraid to do off-the-wall.

Man, now I want barbeque. Just some good ol' artery clogging, cholesterol uppin', hometown grillin' soul food. With beer!

love Bruce, too. I nearly squeed like a little schoolgirl when he appeared on-screen in a cameo in Spiderman 2

Don't forget he was also in the first Spiderman as the announcer during the cage wrestling scene.

h wow, I must've missed that, or at the very least forgot about it.

Okay, so you told us about the steak part...

nfortunately I was relatively alone in Denver with only my truck mate. He wasn't very, uhhh, receptive to the idea and all those damn vertebrae comprising my spinal column necessitated me only observing half of The Sacred Holiday.

Re: Sacred Holiday

I haven't quite mastered my teleportation device that sends me state to state yet. :^P I'm workin' on it!

Return of Spinal Tap? Really?

With the original guys?

Nevermind. I'm a dork. I just looked it up.

THANK YOU. I've been wanting to see Bubba Ho_tep, but since the last few sci-fi channel movies Bruce has done sucked sooooo badly, I gave up on it. But now my faith is re-affirmed.

(Deleted comment)
am not nearly that organized. Plus, I basically live out of my truck, so I don't necessarily have "travel" set that only goes with me on the road. Basically I have a set of stuff in storage that I don't take with me on the truck. :)

I carry a variety of things. I have a tool box with basic tools like sockets, hammer (which doubles as my tire thumper), screwdriver, pliers, etc. Flash light, tire guage, spare fuses and light bulbs. I have a briefcase that I keep basic paperwork, spare pens, notebooks, etc. I have the termo-electric cooler and a variety of dried, canned, and cold foods. Under the bunk, I keep two plastic bins with lids for general sortage of things I don't access every day: one is for things like CD's, computer games, wires, etc. The other has books, magazines, and paperwork. I have my portable DVD player and naturally I have a slew of DVD's on board at any given time, but they're constantly rotated out for fresh entertainment. I also have a duffel bag for transporting my clothing and toiletries to and from wherever I shower. Bed sheets, the camera.... uhhh.... that's most of the major stuff. There are other odds and ends things, but they're peculiar to me I guess and not worth mentioning.

Yes I smoke in my truck. I'm not really going to be worried about resale value. The truck I'm likely going to buy will already be 4-5 years old with over a half-million miles on it. I plan to run it to death. If I ever do sell it, it probably wouldn't be worth a whole hell of a lot by that time anyway.

I talked to a Werner owner/operator last week on the phone and I mentioned that you were switching to being an owner/operator from company driver. His only comment was to suggest not to lease/purchase the truck from Werner itself because, according to him, it's a bad deal. He was raving about Landstar and how much one of his buddies makes, I think he said that guy is making $1.41 a mile but I could be off on the amount. Congrats on getting the lease going on your own truck!

o, I'm not purchasing the truck through Werner. I've heard that from people, too. What I'm actually doing is going to work for another company called McMullen who does contract operator work for Werner and other companies. For the first few weeks, I will technically be an employee of theirs driving one of their trucks pulling Werner trailers at a mileage rate equal to my current rate as a Werner company driver. Then I will start making payments on the truck at which time I'll be on my own. My settlement hecks will still go to McMullen where they will deduct their truck payment then send me the rest.

I've heard more than a few people say Landmark is a lucrative company to work for as an O/O. It's something I have in the back of my mind if I ever decide I've had it with training and just wanna run solo, but they can't compare with what I make having someone else to drive half the time and giving me their O/O mileage rate every week.

Plus I'm lazy and like the electronic logs. :)

Yea, I think the guy he knows is a husband and wife team that sometimes drive upwards of 6k a week. So it's probably only lucrative if you have someone else to drive with 1/2 the time to keep the equipment on the move and generating revenue.

eah, I figure I have it pretty sweet - constant flow of "partners" who essentially give me all the pay for their miles. ;-)

Don't you know that the only reason to have a girlfriend is to make her do things like bake cookies and cook steak and give blowjobs and move you in to your new truck?

f only she were here. *sigh*

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