Donner Party Kitchen Staff -- Cookin' up something different...
GPS and APRS Tweaks 
Saturday, May 26, 2007, 21:01 - News
Posted by Administrator
That custom adaptor cable I MacGyver'ed the other day is showing some more benefits. 8) Now that I have a laptop that can handle the load, I've set up APRSPoint software to automatically update my position via the internet connection every 60 seconds. This will work any time I have a useable cellular data connection. I'm setting my Kenwood TM-D700A ham radio to transmit my position every 5 minutes now. Between the two, I should be in range of something most of the time.

I'm going to wipe out the hard drive on my (slightly) old laptop and reinstall Windows. Maybe that will take care of the instability in the camera software. :? As you can probably tell, it still sometimes just 'forgets' that it is supposed to keep uploading images until it's told to stop. :roll:

For all you Ham Radio Operators out there, I found a source for Anderson Powerpoles that offers them in all colors & flavors at the lowest prices I've found. :mrgreen: Check out Connex Electronics.
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Where the heck am I? 
Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 3:35 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
The 'Find me' button on the camera page hasn't worked since I got in this loaner truck. It works now. :mrgreen: MacGyver would be proud of me! 8) All it takes is getting laid over a little while near a Fry's Electronics, my little spare MFJ antenna, a soldering iron, some solder, a headphone extension cable, a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor, a serial cable, wire strippers, a multimeter, some heat shrink tubing & a little butane torch to shrink it. Ummm... should I admit that of all that stuff the only thing I had to buy today was the cables? :shock:

Note to anyone considering Windows Vista: You must have at least 2 Gigabytes memory. My new hot rod Duo-Core Toshiba Satellite A205-S4577 laptop was getting really flaky. I upgraded from 1 GB to 2 GB today and it's acting like it should (FAST!!) :mrgreen::mrgreen: now.
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I know you love your truck, but...... 
Tuesday, May 22, 2007, 13:54 - Funny
Posted by Administrator
Somewhere in Ohio. This is part of the display in front of a company that makes headstones. Yes, it really is life size! :D

Wisconsin Cheese 
Friday, May 18, 2007, 7:40 - Funny
Posted by Administrator
Just spent $90.00 in tolls to run a hot load from the Minneapolis area down to near Pittsburgh.

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Cute With Attitude 
Monday, May 14, 2007, 3:00 - Rebekah
Posted by Administrator
My niece Rebekah is 10 months old with 4 teeth now. Apparently she's as stubborn as the rest of the family, too. :P :wink:
Cute, huh?

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A Heavy Subject 
Sunday, May 13, 2007, 12:45 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
When truck drivers talk about their loads, especially in mountainous parts of the country, they are usually talking about how many thousands of pounds of cargo they have on board. It goes something like this:

Jethro: Whatcha' got?
Gomer: 5
Jethro: Sweet!
Gomer: 20
Jethro: Not bad
Gomer: 46 and a half
Jethro: Sucks to be you!

With full fuel, two drivers and an empty trailer this truck weighs 33,060 Lbs. That means I can carry up to 46,940 Lbs legally, if it is perfectly loaded so as not to exceed allowable axle weights. A single axle can weigh up to 20,000 Lbs, a set of tandems (two axles spaced less than 48" center-to-center apart) can weigh up to 34,000 Lbs.
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Taking a walk 
Wednesday, May 09, 2007, 9:46 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
The wife of one of my best friends was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. It's been a rough road for them, but they're doing ok. Jim is going to do the Breast Cancer 3 day walk. If you are so inclined, this is Jim's Donation Page
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Late Storm 
Wednesday, May 09, 2007, 9:08 - Misc
Posted by Administrator
I ran into a little snow in Wyoming the other day.

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Acceptance or Denial 
Saturday, May 05, 2007, 17:03 - Complaint Dept, Stuff
Posted by Administrator
Part of long-haul trucking is living in a truck. Some drivers try to deny this fact by living out of a duffle bag or two, pretending that they are only going to be out for a few days, not several weeks. :roll: Others, like me, accept the fact that we spend much more time living in the truck than we do at home. We try to make the truck a nice place to live, installing stuff like good lighting, ham radios :mrgreen: , TVs, DVD players, microwave ovens, inverters & bringing along books, videos & other gadgets. 8) I couldn't really transfer everything over to this loaner truck for just a few weeks, so I'm living like the guys in denial, just the basics. What a boring life! :shock: No wonder there is such a shortage of OTR (Over The Road) drivers!

I want my truck back!
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No pictures this time 
Friday, May 04, 2007, 17:02 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
Just passed an accident on OK I-40W MM 78. I keep my digital camera handy to take pictures of interesting things I see on the road. When I saw the outline under the white sheet next to the car I put the camera back down. Some things you just don't take pictures of. Say a prayer for the family that will be getting that knock on the door tonight.
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Hard time with software 
Thursday, May 03, 2007, 20:04 - Junk
Posted by Administrator
You've probably noticed that the webcam software has been giving me fits the last few days. It just forgets to upload the images. I downloaded the latest version and I'll install it when I have some time.
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Under Pressure 
Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 6:40 - Complaint Dept
Posted by Administrator
For whatever reason Freightliner didn't put air vents in the back of the cab of my loaner truck (5716). I figured it out when my ears would pop when a window or door was opened while the A/C was on high. I just measured the difference with the altimeter on my watch.(every well-dressed techno-geek has one):P Window up: 480' Window open: 560'

Kind of like jumping to the roof of an 8 story building in 100 milliseconds! :shock:
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Another year 
Sunday, April 29, 2007, 14:12 - Misc
Posted by Administrator
Well, it's a gloomy, drizzly day here in New Jersey. Not much different then 8 years ago today, April 29th, 1999, the day my wife passed away. Jennifer was 26.

Doing OK today, just waiting for a load out.

This is one of my favorite pictures of us:

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Loaner Truck 
Saturday, April 28, 2007, 13:47 - Wrecks
Posted by Administrator

The damage to my truck wasn't nearly as bad as they made it sound on the phone. :) A new windshield & mirror and we were rolling. My dispatcher & I were hoping to put off sending the truck to the body shop till our next hometime. We were overuled. :? So, on our way to New Jersey we docked at the mother ship in Cedar Rapids, IA and moved some of our stuff into truck 5716. They're estimating 2-3 weeks for the repairs.

As you can see, I transferred the truck cam. I pulled out my rather expensive ham radio but left the wiring in place. So the 'Find Me' button won't be working.
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Now what... 
Wednesday, April 25, 2007, 2:31 - News
Posted by Administrator
My laptop was choking under the combined load of the webcam and it's GPS/Navigation duties. :shock: The CPU utilization was a constant 60-75% It was just too much, it crashed several times a day. I just bought a Toshiba Satellite A205-S4577 with a Duo Core processor to help matters out. I think I have all the issues worked out to make the truck cam work. The Toshiba will take over as the Primary Navigation Computer, the Acer will handle the truck cam & Internet connectivity issues. I wish I could brag that this was all being done wirelessly without a hitch. Sitting here in my dad's garage I just can't seem to work out all the bugs. So a (Cat-5 network crossover) cable will have to connect the two laptops. Not a problem, just an ego hit for a techno-geek like me. :roll: :P
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