Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Pierre and Stan Have Blessed Our Lives

Well, after some arm twisting, Deb has finally motivated me enough to write a few thoughts about our trucking travels. Of course, it helps that we finally have a working laptop and internet connection in the truck! Purchasing these two items is a huge milestone for us, a work of delayed gratification of almost nine months, so both Deb and I are both overjoyed to have finally approved the purchase of these two items. However, the “new” laptop and internet are not the only purchases that we have made lately. As Deb has already mentioned, we decided to invest a little money and add Al, Stan, and Pierre to our collection, and boy!, are they welcome co-workers. And it is to how they are helping us out financially that will be the topic of my first blog post.

For those of you who don't know me, I have a myriad assortment of interests, ranging from philosophical studies and discussions, to football conversations, to home remodeling and engine repair, and to, last but not least, number crunching, financial analysis, and business interests. And it is to these latter interests that I will be turning. In the trucking industry, there are some bare “necessities” which cannot be overlooked or done without, and are often associated with the romantic vision of a trucker and life out on the road. The prime two would be the coffee thermos and the trucker's coffee mug. These are indispensable items, and it would almost be an injustice to imagine a trucker in his seat, with his one hand on the steering wheel and with his other hand left empty, left without a coffee mug nearby. In fact, some of my most favorable moments out on the road so far have been when I'm cruising down the interstate early in the morning, with the sun just beginning to rise, casting its glow and shadow on the face of the earth, with my favorite cup of coffee or tea in my mug in hand, sipping away as I go. These moments are truly glorious and quite difficult to convey in a few simple words.

With that said however, coffee and tea, especially on the road, are really expensive! I mean, really expensive. The average 16oz cup of joe (or tea for that matter) will run a guy or gal a buck fifty or more for every fill up, and with several fill ups ideally a day, we're talking some serious money, at least $60 to $90 a month, and that's with some lean drinking. Well, that's an expense that Deb and I were just unwilling to pay and so I got to thinking about ways to get around this money monster. The most obvious solution would be to make our own coffee or tea, but we didn't like the idea of the hassle associated with taking care of the coffee maker, not to mention the space that it would take up, as well as its proneness to falling over (riding in a truck is a bumpy ride), as well as the coffee filters we would need and the water...you get the point. Having our own coffee maker was not much of a solution.

But—some solution was needed. Making your own cup of coffee is vastly cheaper than purchasing one retail, especially if all you're using is the coffee grounds/ tea leaves, and are mooching the rest (namely the hot water) off of the truck stops. One can make a 16oz cup of coffee or tea for as little as 10 cents (10 cents!) using the generic Folgers coffee (or Townshend's tea leaves), and for only 25 cents for the higher quality, premium Starbucks or Millstone coffee found in most grocery stores. The incentive for making our own is simply too great to overlook. And so, in a moment of creative ingenuity, I thought it best to purchase a large thermos (Stan) and a 16 oz coffee press (Pierre) for our coffee making purposes.

Stan holds about a half gallon of hot water and since he stays hot for over 24 hrs, we only have to refill him once every day or two. Thus, with him in our company, we have some hot water always accessible to make some hot beverage. Add Pierre to the mix, and we have coffee or tea whenever we want it. This becomes especially advantageous when you consider that we don't always have to park at a truck stop to get some coffee or tea or to take a break. Rest areas become a real alternative and considering how enjoyable it is to stop at a rest area (not as much traffic, easy off and on the highway access, more enjoyable settings), this is a definite improvement. Additionally, Stan also allows us to make oatmeal in the truck and he has proven to be especially useful for cleaning up any spills that we might have (hot water goes a long ways for cleaning). Adding to that how useful both Stan and Pierre should continue to be after our trucking days are over, one can easily see why we have welcomed them into our company with open arms and hope that they will continue to bless us with their presence for years to come. (If you haven't noticed, Deb and I are turning into Tom Hanks on “Castaway.”) :)

P.S. There is some even better, “great news” to come from me, but I wanted to write about this first to “break me in” on the blog post writing, and thus the other news will come in the near future.

P.P.S. Unfortunately, the great news is not that Deb is pregnant. I know, we can hear the sighs of disappointment from here, but hopefully, that will be a blog post in a year or two. :)

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