Saturday, November 29, 2014
In the humid subtropical climate bordering the Gulf, Texas grows vast fields of sugar cane.
Sugar is an integral part of Texas history. The city of Sugar Land was built on an operating sugar plantation. Its story is fascinating as an example of a massive company town.
When slavery was abolished, Texas came up with another source of constant and guaranteed labor - they built prisons on sugar plantations and used convicts as their labor force. In less than seven years after the end of the Civil War, twelve of Texas's eighteen sugar plantations utilized more than a third of the state's prisoners.
We have ancestors who left Ireland and England in the 19th century for Caribbean sugarcane plantations. I suspect that, instead of producing sugar for its own sake, their sugarcane was used to make rum.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
After four winters of hard labor, Hoss's familiar old brown hoodie was retired. Early last spring, we bought a new one for both of us at end of season sales. They were promptly zipped up in a space bag and put into storage.
When we went back to Syracuse last month for our twice annual doc appointments, we swapped our summer clothes for winter ones and the hoodies were hung on our respective hooks in a corner of the sleeper.
A week or so later, on a rather chilly night, Hoss prepared to fuel the truck. He pulled on his new green hoodie, zipped it up, and proceeded to complain that it had shrunk in the wash. I sympathized while he pulled and stretched and forced the damned thing to return to its purchased size - a ritual that was repeated 3 or 4 times in the next couple of weeks.
Today, we decided to walk to a nearby Denny's for breakfast. The weather was very damp and breezy, so I took my wonderful brand new maroon hoodie down from my hook and pulled it on. It felt ... kinda large. I've lost ten or twelve pounds recently, and my favorite capris and jeans are now too big. Hrm. Maybe I'd decided to buy it a size up so I could layer underneath it?
As we wrapped up breakfast, I gathered my things and glanced at the size tag. 3XLT. What?
"Why did we buy me a 3XLT hoodie?" I murmured aloud. Hoss momentarily froze, then grabbed his green hoodie and looked at the tag. "XLT," he said.
He now has a beautiful new maroon hoodie that fits perfectly, and I have a green hoodie that's a little stretched out and smells like diesel.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Rarely do I discuss freight with the kids. Most of the time, it's boring stuff like truck axles and paint and machine parts. Our most recent load to a Texas border town was pallets of game even I'm familiar with, so I mentioned it in a text conversation with two of them after we'd unloaded. Their responses were hilarious:
Monday, November 10, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
We even ran into a couple of landmark eateries on our way back to the truckstop, including Al's Italian Beef:
And Ed Debevic's, right across the street:
Chicago reminds me of Manhattan, but with only a fraction of the traffic and without the throngs of pissed off subway commuters. We've decided to take a few days off sometime and explore Chicago properly - via car and with a map of legendary local fooderies.
And a list of Blues Brothers movie locations.