Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happenings in Tucson

It seems like months since I last wrote in this blog.  Christmas as passed, the year ended,  a New Year has come.  Patricia and I am on the road again and my wife is home in the cold with animals to feed.  Before you feel sorry for her remember she is retired and she gets to ride any time she wants to brave the cold temperature.  Come to think about it this is a good thing.  I left wind chills of -47⁰ for daytime temperatures in the 70’s.  I have a bunch to be happy about even if Patricia is upset about the heat.    I am not sure why but she gets upset when it is over 70⁰.  Sometimes I wonder where she comes from.  Oh yea, I married her mother. Great lady.  Good choice!  She is 68 ½ years young, rides Hunter Jumper several times a week.

When Patricia and I leave we are always very careful about checking things so as little as possible can go wrong on a trip.  So it was my responsibility to check over the truck and trailer.  Which I did!  Everything was working we had trailer lights, a full gas tank and everything was loaded except for a new product that we were supposed to pick up the first morning on the road.  And of course the new product coming in from France that was supposed to arrive on Thursday and is stuck in Customs and we have spent two days in correspondence with France and Customs first of all is the glue stick toxic and what kind of wood is the box made of.  You would have thought we had cut down every exotic species of tree in the whole rain forest.  And to top it off they have our FEIN wrong.  Now how could that be?  I have never imported anything before.  They have the FEIN of another company I registered.  It does not import either.  Don’t you just love our government and their computers?

Everything is going fine.  We meet Robert and Paula of Built By Briick and get our new exclusive product.  They have designed a wood ruler rack and wall unit that exactly fit our gridded rulers.  You will be able to buy them at Road.  So our plan is working until we are about 200 miles from home and I realize my computer case is still sitting on a chair at home.  Ok so about now I receive a text message that the French shipment has arrived and it is being broken down to be shipped to Tucson and it will arrive on the first day of the show.  Ok, so I call my wife and tell her to take my computer to the office and they will ship it with the Bohin France shipment.  For a person who hated technology (computers and telephones included) I have become addicted, and find life without my connections difficult.  Addiction is now complete!  Technology properly used can make up for stupid mistakes.  My computer is on the way, we have all our product on its way and life is good.

First day on the road is always long, but we finally get to Kansas City and are headed west on the turnpike towards Topeka.  I think we can make Wichita before we quit.   It is starting to get darker and I turned on the lights.  But the trailer lights are still dark.   We pull over as soon as possible to check the plug because they were working when I checked them this morning.  Sure enough I have a broken wire.  I only have tape to secure the wires.  So here goes.  I strip the two wires and twist them together and break 4 more.  I can see a disaster in the making.  Now I can handle one broken wire but 4 at the same time is beyond me.  But the good thing is my flashers are still working and the Oasis is just a couple of miles up the road.  So off we go, flash flash….flash, oh please keep the highway patrol busy miles away.  

Now you would think that an Oasis with diesel fuel would at least have a couple of bulletin boards with names of people who would come and help for an outrageous amount of money.  Wrong.  They just handed me a telephone book.  Everyone is closed.  It is now decision time.  Flash, flash…flash Lawrence, Kansas is only 10 miles.  Oh, I owe you one already, now please keep that highway patrol officer busy somewhere else.  We got to Lawrence and find a hotel and settle in for the night, Wichita a passing figment of my imagination.

Next morning I get up call the local Firestone dealer and get told, they can’t help but he did tell me where to go.  I call, no answer, so I decide to just go and be on their doorstep when they arrive.  I am an optimist.  But to make a long story short three hours later and only $45 lighter we are on our way and just 400 miles from where I want to be at this time of day.  But that is why I had planned an extra day into the trip.  Now the shortest way to Tucson is Hwy 54.  I had planned to take it from Wichita to I40 at Tucumcari, NM.  We ended up driving all the way to Alamogordo, NM on 54..  The kindest way to say this is never again unless you want an expensive way to make butter or goat cheese.  Take the long way and drive an extra 50 miles.

Finally, the hotel in Tucson, first night, about 4:30am and the smoke detector start chipping.  You know that annoying noise it makes to tell you the battery is about to go dead.  Now, am I going to make a fuss, after all, I have had a good night’s sleep and this will keep me from being the bad guy and telling Patricia it is time to get up.  I did not fuss, besides they can fix it while we are setting up the booth.

Last night we come back to the hotel after dinner and our key won’t work.  Only this time the light flashes green like we should be able to open the door, only it won’t.  So try the other key same thing.  Stupidity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  So I will not tell you how many times I attempted the same stupid thing. Okay this is getting distressing because I have had a couple of beers and need to be inside my room.  Down to the front desk to get the shift manager and she confidently reaches for her master card key sure that we are just slightly dumb country bumpkins.  Her key will not work, so she runs downstairs and gets the real master key, pops the plastic cover and it won’t work.  All of our clothes and toilet articles are on the other side of a locked door.  We end up waiting almost an hour for a maintenance worker.  They will replace the lock today and we had a free room last night.  I am still not fussing.

We did arrive on time, my computer and my Nook are back with me, and we are fully stocked.  The show in Tucson is not as good as we were told, nor as good as we expected.  More on that later!  The Tucson Guild is composed of a delightful group of ladies and they put on a good show.

Now, we are on the Road to California.