General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com
Friday, December 12, 2003
My last two weeks have been like a Possumblog weekend with more excitement than a person can endure. On the Friday before Thanksgiving, I received a notice that a government agency was looking for some short-term support in the area my company works in. I put together a short response including the resumes for myself and an employee who was available. We submitted the proposal on Tuesday. Wednesday, I got up early and headed off to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with my son and his wife. I was driving as I had several pieces of furniture from his grandmother to deliver. Mid-afternoon, I received a phone call from my business partner saying he had good news and bad news. I asked if the good news was the government wanted us for the task. He said the good news was they wanted me. “So the bad news is they don’t want you.” Well, sort of. They don’t want me and they want you in Arlington, Virginia Monday at eight AM.
At the time I was in Corsicana, Texas headed to Round Rock. By the time we got all the information we needed, I was at my son’s house and it was seven PM. I checked for flights out of Huntsville to DC and there were no seats available. If we wanted the work, and it was in an area we have been pursuing for several months, then I would have to drive back to Alabama on Saturday and then to DC on Sunday. Remember this is Thanksgiving weekend, the heaviest traveled day of the year.
Cutting my visit short, I left early Saturday morning and made the 900 miles home in 13 hours. Sunday, I got up early and packed for my trip. Packing involved doing laundry first, taking care of some business that had to be done before I could leave for two or three weeks, getting someone to check on the house as my wife was still in Florida and the usual assortment of things you have to do before leaving on an extended business trip.
I finally got on the road around eleven (12 EST) and everything went well until just south of Roanoke, Virginia when I-81 became a parking lot. The traffic had been the heaviest I had ever seen on 81 from where it begins east of Knoxville, but at Roanoke, it stopped. I had plenty of reading material but the light in the truck was not bright enough to read by. Long story short, I arrived in the DC area at 12:30 AM. By the time I found the hotel, checked in and got to my room, it was 2:00 AM. I got up at seven and met the gentleman I would be working with in the hotel restaurant. The sign on the door listed some prices which appeared reasonable so I got the buffet. $16.00 for a biscuit, two eggs, sausage and a cup of coffee. That sort of set the tone for the day.
We still did not have a contract for the work but off we went to the government office where we were presented with several hundred pages of documents to review and help rewrite. Another long story short; 93 hours in 8 days and I drove back home to face a month of work in two weeks since I plan on taking some vacation at Christmas. Oh, I can’t make it that short. The trip home was 500 miles in heavy rain and 200 hundred on drying roads after dark dodging semis doing 85.
The 93 Mazda B2200 Supertruck performed flawlessly as I drove it 3500 miles in two weeks. It now has 184,000 miles. 24 MPG to and from Texas pushing 75 MPH most of the time, 27 MPG to DC doing the same and 21 on the return trip. Wet roads certainly soak up a lot energy or else it was down hill all the way from Alabama to DC. I know it is, but didn’t realize it was in the physical world also.
By the way, 3500 miles in a small pickup will make you think seriously about spending some money on something larger and quieter.
I’m back home now trying to catch upon my regular work and all the blogs I missed over the last two weeks.