Trucking – Good Shop And Bad Shop

If you just need a PM service you’re pretty safe to pull in to a Petro Lube or a Speedco when you’re on the road. But if you need repairs, pulling into the shop at a truck stop can be a little stressful. You’re hoping to find a good mechanic, but your choices are limited. You’re not from the area so you don’t know any independent shops. You pull up to the shop entrance and as you’re walking in to the service counter, you hear one of the mechanics telling the other one how he had to prime that last truck’s fuel filter with gas. You shake your head. You know you’re taking your chances now.

Not to mention, the prices truck stops and many dealerships charge. You might pay anywhere from $80 to $120 per hour. At those rates, you deserve top notch work to be done. It’s been our experience, however, that any time you go into a shop for a repair you should expect to have to go back for the same problem at least one or two more times. So you may end up paying another outrageous fee to have another shop fix the repair the last one didn’t fix right. Top pay just doesn’t equal top quality these days.

You can find truck repair shops at most of the major truck stop chains- Petro Truck Stops, Travelcenter of America (TA), and some Flying J truck stops. Don’t expect to find one at a Pilot truck stop, though a few do have shops, or a Loves Travel Center. We’ve found that you are far better off to develop a list of independent repair shops and services or quality truck dealerships for yourself rather than relying on the truck stop chains.

We’ve gathered together a listing of good truck shops and trucking service providers. If you know of any others, feel free to add a comment and let others know where they can expect to get good quality work for their money.

Good shops:

Aber’s Truck Center

Ashland, Ohio

Volvo, Cummins, Detroit (no warranty offered), Caterpillar (medium duty only), A/C, brakes, clutches, Body Work, General Repairs


Direct Hydraulics

Las Vegas, Nevada
Welding, Hydraulics, Cylinder Repair, Service Calls Made, Overnight Guarantee on most work, 7 days a week


Keith’s Truck and Trailer

Russia, Ohio (route 47 between Greenville and Sidney)

Truck/Trailer Repairs and Service- all kinds


Laser Line

Filer, Idaho (Twin Falls/Jerome area)

Truck/Trailer Alignments, 3-Axle Alignments, Spin Balancing, King Pin Replacement, Bearings, Mobile Service (they will come to you), Appointments Appreciated, 7 days a week


Paso Robles Truck Center

Paso Robles, California

Volvo, Cummins, Caterpillar, Brakes, Tires, Suspension, Body Work, General Repairs


Living Cheaply and Well – Make it a Lifestyle Starting Now

The thought of living cheaply means sacrifice and depriving yourself to most people. We have lived cheaply for so long it is second nature, but without sacrifice and we certainly do not feel deprived.

Our friends do not think of us as hippies, stingy, or Spartan. They also know we will not waste money either.

We have been retired for 14 years, since I was 49, by living cheaply and well. We have experienced living aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean, living in an RV and living overseas. All are much cheaper ways to live compared to a house and “traditional living”. After all, what is considered “traditional” anymore after the erosion of assets in the last two years?

If these times of uncertainty have not made us all open to living cheaply, you wonder what it will take.

Before retirement my wife and led the life of DINK’s…dual income no kids. We earned in the low 6 figures. We had nice cars, a comfortable lifestyle without waste. We resisted the urge to buy bigger and bigger houses and lived in our first house for 21 years.

We can say there was no sacrifice because we took regular vacations. For example, we took cruises and paid for the cheapest cabin. We ate the same food; saw the same shows; went to the same ports as the folks in suites paying 3 times what we paid. We went to Las Vegas, stayed off the Strip, didn’t gamble and became fond of buffets. We didn’t notice many smiles in the casinos…we were happy, we were living cheaply.

We used and use credit cards as a way to use other peoples money free for a month and accumulate free airline tickets…never to “reward ourselves” and buy something we couldn’t afford. We pay off our credit cards every month; we have never paid a dime of interest. So should you.

Even then we thought living cheaply was the way to go. Goodwill meant something then and now besides being words in a Christmas carol. Before the internet made comparison shopping easy, we did our research before buying anything.

Coupons, outlet malls and buying in bulk were part of everyday life then and now. If you try living cheaply you will soon find it second nature… and fun as well.

You too will hear from the checkout lady…”Everything you bought was on sale or you had a coupon”…Duh!

Living cheaply is easily doable and allowed us to retire early and stay retired. If you make it a lifestyle you can do the same. Enjoy.

Diamonds – The Gift From Nature

Diamonds have always fascinated women. A diamond is known to be the most beautiful gift given by nature to human beings. It is such a simple gemstone yet so captivating! The right purchase of diamonds can be done by knowing a few basic facts about them. The literature provided along with the diamonds mostly indicates the standards of the diamond but we should have knowledge of those standards in order to judge it. In this article we get to know the basic grading standards useful to make the right purchase of diamonds

Colour: Colour grading for diamonds ranges from grade d to z. Grade d to h depict dazzling white diamonds but k onwards the colour starts becoming slight yellowish. A good colour should be judged by exposing the diamond to an ultraviolet light. If the diamonds give out a soft glow or fluorescence that means they will look slight brownish when worn in sunlight hence the glitter would be reduced. But the same thing for grades from k onwards reverses and if it does show fluorescence means the dull colour will look better in the sun. To summarise the above information we can say that

(1) The d-f range of coloured diamonds are the finest for the discriminating people who have loads of money

(2) The g-h ranged ones are also very bright and also nearly colourless diamonds and when mounted on jewellery they are hard to be differentiated with higher grade ones

(3) The j range ones are not so bright and have a slight tint whereas the k and m ranged diamonds have a tint which is noticeable with the naked eye.

Cut: The ‘culet’ is the tiny point at the bottom of the diamond. This should be of very negligible diameter, or else the light will go out from the bottom which decreases light being reflected from the diamond. In short we can say that the culet or the tapering end of the diamond should be as negligible as possible. The narrower the ‘culet’ the higher grade is the diamond.

Carat: Carat weight is the measurement for the mass of the diamond. Larger diamonds are rare and hence more desirable for use as gemstones. Total Carat Weight (t.c.w.) is the term used to indicate the total mass of diamonds or other gemstone present in a piece of jewellery. Hence the certificate for jewellery may contain the term t.c.s. which indicates the mass of diamonds in the particular piece.

Clarity: Clarity is measured in grades as per the inclusions present in the diamond. Its range varies from flawless to I. The clarity of diamonds can be categorised as follows

(1)Flawless- It is said to be a perfect stone without any inclusions. (2) Internally flawless – The outer side of the diamond may have flaws but the interior is flawless. (3) vvs1, vvs2 – These diamonds have minute inclusions. (4) si1, si2, si3: These have small inclusions (5) i1, i2, i3 – These diamonds have inclusions visible to the eye

How to examine a diamond: Judging a diamond with the naked eye requires a lot of experience. But a layman can judge the diamonds keeping in mind some aspects like

(i)microscope/loop: the inclusions present in the diamonds can be seen with a microscope or a jeweller’s loop which is a 10 x magnifying glass. Most of the jewellers have it and would allow the buyers to use it.

(ii)Diamond tester: a diamond tester usually verifies that the stone you are examining is really a diamond. It uses light as a medium. The quality of the diamond cannot be guaranteed through this just the stone can be known.

(iii)Certification: A certified diamond purchase is always the best and especially if we are not sure about the quality. The certificates issued by Gemological Institute of America or European Gemological laboratory) are the most reliable of all the certificates.

Taking care of your precious stones: Diamonds are always thought to be unbreakable or the hardest in stones. But still they need care to be maintained properly. We can take care of them by not wearing them while doing rough work as they will crack or may sometimes chip too. Moreover they should be stored carefully wrapped in cotton or thin cloth. This prevents them from rubbing with each other or scratching other jewellery. Diamonds should generally be cleaned with a polishing cloth. Dipping in soda for some time and then washing the diamonds may give a sparkle to them. Most of the jeweller’s clean diamonds for free and that is the safest and best way.

Diamond jewellery has gained a lot of popularity among all forms of jewellery. This article helps the buyer to make the right purchase of diamonds which suits their budget as well as personal style too.

Tips For Brides – What to Do With Your Curly Hair on Your Wedding Day

If you are a bride and have that bride curly hair look, you are either happy about it, or very frustrated. Maybe you wanted your hair to have a totally different look on your wedding day and not look so curly. Following are some tips on how to create a wonderful hairstyle regardless of your hair type.

First you should remember that you can only do so much with your hair. If it is naturally curly, you might be able to tease it a certain way or even straighten it. Keep in mind though, if you have never changed your hair drastically, would you really want your wedding day to be your first attempt at this?

It might be better to find a hairstylist that can tame your curly hair and make it look soft, gorgeous, and compliment your face and your wedding dress. If this is the case, you want to start looking for a good stylist months before your wedding. They might suggest you either cut your hair shorter, or let it grow a bit longer before being styled.

Those brides that have curly hair wish it were straight and those with straight hair wish they had the curls. We are all born with a particular hairstyle, so you should probably just learn to make the best of the hair that you have. Curly hair can be softened with the use of a good styling brush, being pulled into a ringlet effect with very tight curls. If your hair is a longer length, then it could be straightened to a certain degree. It really is best to experiment with several ideas way before the big day.

Other suggestions in combating bride curly hair is to add some hair accessories such as a hair comb with pearls or beads, a tiara, or even a flower popped behind the ear. If your curly hair doesn’t suit your dress, try wearing a veil for the day.

Remember that your curls are part of who you are, and that it is probably something that your soon to be husband fell in love with, so you will look beautiful to him regardless of how your hairstyle makes you feel.

Curly long hair can be easily worn up to produce a wonderful feminine and romantic look that would compliment many styles of wedding gowns, especially a gown with thin straps or no straps at all.

It is also possible to put your bride curly hair into rollers on the morning of your wedding day to achieve a more tailored and controlled curl look. Again, a good hairstylist can advise you on the best way to go about this.

By looking at several alternative ways to deal with your curly hair, you can come up with a great look that will suit you and compliment your wedding gown. Trial and error months ahead of your wedding will result in achieving that perfect wedding look for you and your bride curly hair.