Rest Area 300m: February 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


"A naked man who got lost on a Northland beach after skinny dipping has been found safe - but covered in scratches after scrambling through gorse bushes."

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monitoring Behaviour

My monitor is doing the oddest things

It insists on popping a menu up every couple of seconds and nothing will make it go away ....

The telephone support operator speaking to me live from his yurt in Ulan Bator, or somewhere similar, lost interest once he discovered that the warranty had long expired.

At the moment a cunningly shaped matchstick jammed into a button may have solved this small crisis...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Peel Me A Drain

See that dinky bucket on the wheel digger.

It's like a giant potato peeler.

The wheel digger can scuttle along making a beautifully shaped drain as he goes.

There is only one problem, from the truck driving perspective.

You have to chase him in reverse.

Rearranging NZ backwards, can be a bit tricky.

But a good drain is a thing of great beauty to a roadworker ...

That mess in the middle of the road has been caused by water getting under the seal

So it's worth a crick in the neck ...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Seal

There is a kilometre of new seal just up the road.

One of the problem areas has been rebuilt and it's all new and squeaky clean.

The new marker pegs are going in, the line markers will do their thing anytime soon.

I'm a bit nervous.

When the speed restrictions signs are gone and it is fully open, the traffic could hurtle into the corner outside Casa Fart at a greatly increased velocity.

There is something about a fresh new road that says, "Go Faster".

On the other hand they may slow to admire the new road surface.

I'm sure they will...

Gosh, Time for my medication ...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All Optional Extras

De Luxe Sound System as fitted to Mori's grader ...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Crash!

Audio books are a truck drivers friend.

If you are driving distances, a good book will help pass the time.

Lately I have been immersed in a world of treachery and spying.

But George Smiley always comes through...

It is a bit odd sometimes to step out of the streets of cold war Prague, into a seaside rest area, but George has helped me solve a problem.

It's been puzzling me why so many cars slide off on "my corner".

No motor bikes or trucks, just cars...

George Smiley would gnaw away at a problem and suddenly the pieces would fit together.

I think I have found the culprit, by George....

It's that mobile phone mast.

The only one for miles ...

As I leaned in the door of Saturday's off roader and truck violator, he spoke into a phone...

"You won't believe it, but I've just had an accident...."

He didn't have time to ring someone, unless he speed dialled and they answered at the first ring... and it takes a few seconds to get yourself together after an accident, ... Minutes even.

He was already talking on the phone as he came around the corner...

He tried to pass me on the inside, despite indicators and bloody great "Pass With Care" signs.

Caller, your time is up ...

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Kamikaze Alley

 A couple of weeks ago a car demolished our letter box.

It's not one of your Townie things that you can't fit a box of beer in, it's a Country one that you almost live in.
The gate is also under constant attack from kamikaze drivers.
 This afternoon one lead footed gentleman attacked my truck as I was arriving home from heroically clearing the Queens Highway from rocks and debris.

He almost beat me to my couch

He lost.

I must admit that this time I was torn between administering first aid and punching his lights out.

I rang the emergency services through gritted teeth, - needless to say they knew where to go.

Now my beautiful chainsaw locker is all bent up.

I think I might start carrying a baseball bat...

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Friday, February 16, 2007

The Science Of Jam

I have spent the last couple of days on the State Highway 3 - "Congest The Traffic Scheme"

I have been carting holes around.

Well the insides of holes.

Then we fill up the original holes with the insides of other holes.

It's all terribly scientific. Road Work is...

I bet you didn't even know that a traffic jam is fungal...

"This image shows nutrient flow in a fungus. The yellow represents carbon, the red nitrogen, and the blue phosphorus. The fungus ingests nutrients from its periphery to its center and distributes the nutrients from its center to its outer parts, creating a bottleneck at the center."

Not only are they fungal, slimy, can fly, and rot your body, but they are computerized as well.

I'd explain all this, but as the man says,

" Real-world networks are too complicated to describe exactly mathematically."

So you will have to read it yourself.

But basically you can beat a traffic jam by driving around it...

Just be careful you don't skid in the slime, or get cancer.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wifely Duties

Balance is important in any relationship...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Enz of the earth ...

5 am start in the morning.

Somewhere in the wilds of Te Awamutu.

Goodnight ...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I just really like this...

Monday, February 12, 2007

I'd Like To Thank ...

"Workers have been busy fixing broken sidewalk stars and cracked terrazzo on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Kodak Theatre, where the glitzy Oscar ceremony will be held Feb. 25.

"We wanted it to look good for the Academy Awards," said Hollywood honorary mayor Johnny Grant, who leads the Hollywood Historic Trust that operates the Walk of Fame...

The Running Of The Bulls

We had a stock truck trailer fall over this afternoon.

27 bulls fled for the hills.

This was following a breakout attempt by others near the Fart residence a little earlier.

When I got home they had tromped on the water line and sabotaged the supply.

There is something going on .....

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

$24 Billion Dollar Question...

"Transport Minister Annette King has released the report of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Roading Costs (MAG) and outlined the next steps that will be taken to increase the value for taxpayer money spent on land transport." Scoop

Bloody Typical...

Not a word about my promised new shovel handle...

Friday, February 09, 2007


Things always happen on Friday afternoons.

Just as the couch or the pub beckons, some truck will fall over, or get jammed in a tunnel.

This afternoon it was a tailgate opening and a thick spread of metal outside the local garage.

By hijacking the passing Sealing Crew's broom tractor all was soon fixed.

Sometimes it's not that easy.

Years ago I was big in the Pea Trade.
Well the harvesting thereof...

One night a truck heading toward the factory, spread a swathe of shelled fresh peas through a residential street in a small North Island Town.

A 3 inch layer of fresh peas has a slipperiness factor right up there with bubblebath liquid and barely set jelly.

The panicking driver showing great initiative, but little brain, got the factory to send out an air compressor to blow the peas off the road.

His mate rang the fire brigade, figuring that water would be the answer.

So, 3 am, a dirty great unmuffled broomwade compressor roars into life.
Followed a split second later by the howl of the town fire siren.

The town lights up.

Soon every police car in the lower North Island is screaming toward the din.
Plus, of course, the fire engine.

It was about this time I left the scene, having a pressing engagement elsewhere.

In fact I was never there....

I did pass a lot of Noise Control Officers, Council PooBa's and various Officials heading scenewards
I later heard that the truck driver too managed to slink away into the night.

In fact the more drama, the easier it is to slip away.

Not much drama today...

Mr Pennington, one of your drivers owes us at least one box of beer...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hefty fuel price increases yesterday have disappointed the Automobile Association (AA).

A Night Out

In the very early hours of this morning, a truck dumped 300 litres of diesel on this corner.

I arrived very soon after it happened.

Another truck from the same company had stationed himself at the top of the hill and was warning truckies on his CB radio.

They were picking their way rather gingerly down the hill.

The truck had hit a piece of broken spring, which had flicked up and ruptured his fuel and hydraulic tanks.

The result was a skating rink.

We use a white granular powder, "mineral sponge", to soak up the worst, after putting out warning signs.

We have spread sand on the road, and put up a speed restriction.

The sand will give grip and help absorb the diesel.

It was a long night.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pickn' an a Grinnin'


The blackberrys are getting ripe and ready.

Sloth & Lethargy

A lot of my get up and go, seems to have have got up and left...

It's hot out on the road at the moment, I just seem to feel like a nap most of the time.

But potholes don't sleep.

They need to be fed.

It's a good thing I'm a fighter

Even if it is to stay awake ....

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Blowing one's Own Trumpet

These would be just the thing for busy office workers at lunchtime.

But I want some of those fancy trumpet chrome air horns for my truck

Then I too could go around terrorising people. (video)

The one I have now sounds like a constipated goose.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I have been on a bit of a jaunt.

Down to Wellington and back.

This gives me a chance to get all excited when I see a foreign "road works" sign, and leer at diggers and things.

I had a look at the Tangiwai road bridge.

It is only a matter of time before we have another Lahar, that caused the Tangiwai Disaster back in 1953.

I was a mere stripling then, but I remember the horror of it all vividly.

I was impressed at the preparations that have been made.

Those bridge piers have been massively reinforced.

I also notice that there is earth moving machinery kept handy.

There are all manner of warning signs, and remotely controlled gates.

"In 2003, the Eastern Ruapehu Lahar Alarm and Warning System (Erlaws) was installed, consisting of three separate sensors at the Crater Lake, the NZ Alpine Hut and near the Tukino Skifield.

Erlaws will automatically warn road users of the lahar. Flashing lights and signs will activate on SH1 and SH49 and barrier arms will close the road bridge at Tangiwai.

Data from this system will also trigger an automatic alarm via a paging system. Messages will be sent to police, district and regional council staff, Transit, Toll Rail and scientists."

Looks Good...

Hope It Works ...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Helpful Tip

Friday, February 02, 2007

Belting Up

I never liked using a seat belt when truck driving.

It seem a lot of others feel the same.

"Many truck drivers seem to think they are better off being thrown out of a truck than being restrained within it during a crash. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, you're four times more likely to die if thrown from a vehicle," says Debbie Stearns, Programme Manager for ACC.

The 2006 survey by Research NZ, involving nearly 1,500 heavy goods vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, found truck driver seatbelt wearing rates of only 50 per cent (slightly higher in inner city driving and slightly lower on inter-city trips).

"That result is of real concern. And frankly it's not just about the truck drivers. Them not wearing seatbelts puts the rest of us at greater risk when they have an accident. They are more likely to lose control of the vehicle and crash into someone else."

I've been to a lot of truck crashes, some fatal, and I wear mine all the time now.

I can only think of one where a belt would have made no difference, and that was a head on into a bank, nothing would have saved the driver.


Thursday, February 01, 2007


In Russia, wheels are an optional extra ...

This guy is even in the fast lane ...

Money Making Scheme 1447

Somehow this makes me think of my financial planning prowess ...

Male. Lives in New Zealand/North Island/The Road, speaks English. Eye color is blue.
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