Does my wife want to become a snowbird? She says she does. For a month, anyway. Will she change her mind? I doubt it. How do I feel about that? Fine. I guess. I like Florida. This is the start of the research for the trip.
In Town Suites: An extended stay hotel chain. Locations in many states.
Let’s face it – sometimes people get in slumps. Some people slump for a lifetime and others slump every-so-often for 5 minutes or so. I don’t think I’ve been in a slump but I have been ever-so-comfortable with my life. Then again, why shouldn’t I? I like my life. I’m happy with it.
Unfortunately, for me, that tends to led me to believe that I’ve lost some motivation to do some of the things that I said I wanted to do. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m allowed to say that I’ve accomplished more than I ever imagined I would. I’ve never been a goal-oriented madman. Yes, I’ve had some aspirations but I don’t think that life is all about achieving goals. But, I do think that life is all about experiences, both good ones and bad ones with good ones outnumbering bad ones by a significant margin. The more significantly, the better with an understanding that bad experiences are necessary to underscore the importance of good experiences.
So, to kind-of get myself back on track mentally I asked myself what I could motivate me a bit to step up my enthusiasm for life and be a little less comfortable with my existence? The answer was, of course, to pursue some travel plans. That always motivates me. It always get me juiced.
Where to I wondered? Somewhere scenic was the answer. When I went to Google and searched for “world’s most scenic” I found lots of articles. One in particular, The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World 2017, caught my attention. To track the potential sites for future travels I created an aptly-named map, Bucket List, to log the sites I found inviting. My goal was to find the next 100 places I wanted to visit. I started with the above article. The first location that I found that I needed to visit can be seen in the above picture.
They start off small. Very small. They start off as thoughts. Often, they’re thoughts about previous road trips. They don’t last a long time. But, they grow. They happen more often. Pretty soon, you’re conscious of them. That’s when you know. A road trip is in the making. It’s just a matter of time. I reach a point where I start thinking about planning because that’s what I do. That’s who I am.
When I was a young man, I road-tripped often. As I got older, the road trips became less frequent until there was a time when I never left home without my wife or some of my children. Then, as the nest emptied, I started to wander a little more. And more. And more. Today, I take several months a year, on average, and I go somewhere. Sometimes it’s in the United States. Sometimes it’s in Europe or Asia or Africa or South America. Next year, in 2018, I think that it will be in the United States in the Spring and in Europe later in the year. This post is the first one for getting my material in order for the trip.
The image that you see on the right is from a Google Map. It’s located here. Actually, there is a whole websited dedicated to the subject. I originally thought it was created by the people who publish The Next Exit, but now I believe it’s put out by Roundabout Publications, a group which publishes material for people who live the RV lifestyle and like to move around a lot.
Medical: All commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) are required to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate) (sic – no punctuation.) Medical Examiner’s Certificate – If the medical examiner finds that the person he/she examined is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), the medical examiner will complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate and give the original to the person who was examined. The medical examiner will keep a copy of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate on file for at least 3 years. If a driver wishes the Certificate to be in card form, he/she may:
Purchase a separate “medical card” from an industry supplier of motor carrier forms (e.g., State trucking association) before the physical exam and ask the medical examiner to complete and sign it, in addition to the Medical Examination Report form; or
Print the Certificate on cardstock paper. It is permissible to reduce the size of the Certificate.
You need an FMCSA # if you weigh more than 10K pounds and haul hazmat or passengers or non-exempt freight. I’m not really clear at this point what non-exempt freight is. You only need a CDL if your total weight is over 26K pounds. Up to 26K pounds you do not need a CDL but you may need an FMCSA #. I would think an FMCSA # is a good thing and would help you get loads. It seems that there really is a viable market for people with small trucks hauling freight.
The key to making money is getting loads. I made money as a trucker not because I was a great driver. I made money because I had a computer next to me that I programmed to poll the load board I used every 15 seconds and processed what was on the board and then screamed at me if there was a load on the board that looked good. This enabled me to get a better shot at getting the load. All I had to do was to drive and wait for the computer to scream and then glance down at the number I needed to call. It would be even easier to do today. Plus today, I know how to send out emails and text messages from my PC to every broker I can get a phone number from.
Go here: https://www.uship.com/carriers/hot-shot-freight/ – this is a load board for people doing freight with small trucks. I got a login id and logged in. There were 73 loads going out within 100 miles of my house. 25 of them were “Cars & Light Trucks” that needed hauled. Some of them paid upwards of $2 a mile. 8 of them were in the “Horses” category and were local delivery. There were 499 loads going out within 200 miles of my house.
Go to: https://www.123loadboard.com/find-loads/oklahoma/all-cities/all-loads and click on hot-shot loads. Apparently, all load boards, and there are a bunch, have a hot-shot section as well as have loads that are less than 10K pounds.
Read: Small truck, big service;
$300 Reward for Recovery
THIS BICYCLE WAS STOLEN IN NORMAN, OK
This is a picture of a bicycle that is the same color and model of the bicycle that was stolen from my home on Thursday September 14, 2017 between 2-3 PM. I really like the bike. I prefer it to my carbon fiber road bike when I ride around town. If you can also drop off the person who stole it tied- up and unconscious with a sack over their head along with the bicycle there can be substantially more money involved.
Yes, it is a real lion and yes, I am taking it on an afternoon walk. It’s not a very common photo and I’m hoping that seeing a bike like the one above will trigger your memory into remembering this picture and thinking about my stolen bike. Memories and sights are like that. One triggers another.
There are inexpensive flights out of the Houston, TX IAH airport to lots of places around the world. Since I live in OKC I need a way to get to IAH and it needs to be cost effective. I know that I can take Megabus from Dallas to Houston for $1 if I plan far enough ahead. The question then becomes how I get to IAH from downtown Houston. The following explains how I can do it.
The Houston Megabus location at 815 Pierce Street is approximately one block from the downtown METRO Transit Center. There appear to be 8 buses a day currently going from Dallas to Houston. They start early in the morning (7:15 AM) and the last bus arrives in Houston at 10:20 PM in the evening. The trip takes 4 hours. You can reverse it with about the same details to get back to Dallas.
According to the IAH website: METRO Bus 102 serves the airport and surrounding vicinity with multiple stops and continues to the METRO station downtown. The fare is $1.25 (cash only; the driver does not make change). Transit time to downtown can run 1.5 hours. Riders may stow luggage in the baggage compartment accessed from the outside of the bus (drivers do not assist with luggage). Pick up and drop off is at the METRO Bus Stop on Baggage Claim Level, south side of Terminal C. It appears that the METRO station downtown is at 1900 Main St. Houston, TX 77002.
Bus route 102 leaves every 20 minutes and takes about one hour to make the trip. It looks like the bus starts at 5:00 AM and stops at 12:00 AM. For more information call Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County at (713) 635-4000.
TZ Costa Rica
Groupon Prague & Budapest
I’m working on a new website. I will need photos for the website. Steps to getting a great screen shot image is as follows. I was able to do a prt+sc and get an image that I could save with Paint. Next step was to crop the image with lunapic. Next, I could compress with toolur to about 30% without loosing what seemed to be any of the quality of the image and without loosing any size in the width or height at all. Once I did those steps I had a nice looking picture with a very small size.
Wikimedia Commons - the Grandaddy of Public Domain pics.
flickr – Great repository.
Pixabay – All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
Pexels – The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So, attribution is not required.
StockSnap.io – No attribution required.
Unsplash – No attribution required, but appreciated.
Burst – No attribution required, but appreciated.
Not Free Images
iStock – Expensive.
Getty Images – very, very epensive.
Shutterstock – costs are discussed here.
Fotolia – costs are discussed here.
Dreamstime – costs are discussed here.
123RF – costs are discussed here.
Bigstock – costs are discussed here.
Depositphotos – costs are discussed here.