India Separates Weak from Worthy

India Separates Weak from Worthy

Vancouver, BC

The Indian visa application was a test. We passed, barely.

We can thank almost seven years experience of stick handling -- Canadian hockey expression used when maneuvering through an obstacle-strewn pathway -- the highly regulated environment that is the North American trucking industry.

Known around the world for its British-designed, stultifying bureaucracy, the visa process was riddled with inconsistencies, incongruences, mis- and dis-information. That it was a test and we have been deemed worthy...

We're Back!

We're launching a new look.

I'm hoping this format will make it easier for us to post more regularly. The big advantage in this new format is that it will be easier to read the blog on tablets and smart phones with bigger photos and hopefully other goodies to come.

We're on our way to the airport.

It's Winter Break! And we're looking forward to passing on some great adventures.

 

 

 

What Hazard Lurks In That Number?

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Famous for his fanatical attention to detail, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan jolted us from our sleeper berth by an egregious error.

How do I know this? Because I have an almost-expired Hazardous Materials endorsement on my Commercial Drivers License.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico, cafe that appeared in Season 2 of Breaking Bad as drug overlord Tuco's office.We were held hostage in Florida by DAVID, the state-wide computer, used by the Sheriff's Department among other government agencies. DAVID is pivotal to renewing our Hazardous Materials endorsement.

We cannot pull a HazMat load without this endorsement. And we cannot get this endorsement without...

Laughing, and Crying, All the Way to the Bank

Woods Hole, Mass.

Our freight-cation began in Washington state.

While we were without cashflow for four weeks after my mother died, it was the return to our routine that we needed. MacGyver quickly landed a coast-to-coast team run. A four-day, 3,300 mile passage across 13 states.

The second night of our freight-cation, and the night before we picked up Jason in Newport, Ore., we stopped at Boiler Bay and enjoyed Salena's Roasted Pork Loin.Because of the decision we made 20 years ago, a few months before my father died, we had no money stress during this emotional time. Back then we were a few months into our new lifestyle, based on the FUF principle -- Fuck You Funds -- and madly paying down more than $25,000 in debt before we could start saving. Half way to our goal, we had started accumulating some savings, enough to handle last minute expenses and help my mother, without going into our credit cards. Fast forward to this summer, the peace-of-mind that we "bought" with our savings...

Memory Lane: Delightful, Tearful Surprises

My mother never said I love you. She was a doer.

Who stays up around-the-clock, four days, applying hot compresses laced with olive oil to conquer a sports injury? Who scours the heat registers for pennies to buy lentils and beans for dinner since she used the last of the paycheque to pay for a ballet tutu or piano, flute and guitar lessons or sports equipment for four children? Who makes you pay back a loan, used to cover my rent after a car crash, and sends the demand letter certified mail to teach me to save money? My mother who loved us.
The original 1929 tickets that brought my mother, Anna Betnaza, from Poland to Southhampton, England to Canada. My grandmother traveled with three children. The cost in today's dollars is a little more than $4,000.
Mothers save everything. It was her last gift...

Anna Has Left The Building

Tiny and tough, my mother was feisty and fiercely independent.

She used to say, “no one gets out of this world alive”. She didn’t either. She died in July. A fall in her beloved garden -- her foot got caught in the tomato cages -- unleashed a cascade of complications. She was 87.
My mother's life was bookended by two incredible extremes. She walked barefoot to a one-room schoolhouse until she was 12. During her last 15 years, like every hipster, her life revolved around the Internet.
Born in a time when women were seen as a weaker, softer farm hand, my mother, Anna Betnaza, embraced challenge. She chose a life’s path of learning and enlightenment. And she encouraged me to be bold.

Her family left the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Poland arriving in Quebec City on the SS Montrose on October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed.

Her entire life, she was decades ahead of the times...

A Wheel Story About Wheel Men and Women

New Orleans, Louisiana

Twenty-six floors below me, the freighters winding along the Mississippi river through New Orleans, dodging the paddle wheelers teaming with tourists, seemed touchable.

Riders at the 22nd annual AmeriVespa rally in New Orleans line up to witness a scooter wedding. California scooteress Cynthia marries Philly scooter guy Christian.Several hundred Vespa owners converged at the Hilton Riverside for the 22nd annual AmeriVespa rally in mid-June. Scooters, ranging from grandfather vintage to tricked-out with rocket launcher signal-lights, or in nautical attire and, of course, our modern classic, cruised the Big Easy.

This rally, which included...

Almost Ready

Sebring, Florida

I am obsessed. With a Facebook page. Two actually.

Road Talk and Trucker's Weather Updates and Road Conditions.

So complete is my obsession that MacGyver is waking every morning to his coffee, served in his red Ferrari mug, and my crash report.
This was a routine winter drive on US87 enroute to Great Falls, Montana in January 2013. But winter conditions this year seem anything but routine. Two Facebook pages which report weather and road conditions for big truck drivers, including multi-vehicle pileups has become my staycation obsession.
“I need to unfriend them,” I tell him almost every day. “It's freaking me out.”

It’s, like, an addiction....

2013: New Sights New Heights

Tucson, Arizona

It likely comes as no surprise that I am a goal-oriented person. And the end of the year is my finish line.

I believe in aiming high. When I aim high, I come out farther ahead than when I’ve aimed more realistically. I have learned that writing my goals down on paper, specific goals with numbers and details attached and putting them in my wallet, keeps me on target. And most importantly MacGyver has learned that my goals are his goals. ("Get on board or get left behind," is his translation.)

Dancing on the Louisiana bayou, not far from Henderson, at Whiskey Creek. Where the oldsters out manoeuvred the youngsters, dancing up a storm to the Zydeco Bands.Since my birthday is at the end of the year, my favorite present is my yearly review. How did we do?

WE Inc. is celebrating.