Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Every time I think human beings cannot act more depraved or disgusting, someone comes along doing something I’ve never heard. A couple was recently arraigned for using cats and dogs in some bizarre sex act that involved torturing the animals-primarily by crushing them. Apparently this is some sort of recognized sexual fetish? Even further disgusting, they filmed these acts and sold them to other depraved perverts out there. The charges were so graphic and disgusting that the judge stopped them from being read in court. I write this only to inform-I’m sure my dear readers will find it as disgusting as I did. Do you think they can lock these people up in kennel size cages and feed them pet food and water for life? I can’t make this up people!
While a lot of us were concerned about the Republican delegates (who are gathering in Tampa, FL) being affected by a hurricane, their handlers apparently weren’t. The powers to be are scurrying around trying to figure out how to shorten the convention to three days and not offend those who will be scratched from the speaking schedule. Apparently there is also a logistical nightmare in the works because umbrellas are not allowed inside the convention center. Got to have those priorities folks!
Moving onto the RV repair-we have tried every method of persuasion that we know of to get the mechanic motivated to no avail. I am so stressed out that my health (and Missy’s) is being affected. The dogs and cats are tired of living in a shoe box, too. If I had a pot of gold I could have had the engine changed in about a week. I just couldn’t afford to pay Freightliner or Cummins that much money. The transmission has been serviced and the old engine has been removed. The replacement engine needed some things swapped over and adapted to it. I sincerely hope they are installing the replacement engine this week.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

There's Gold in Them Thar' Hills

I truly believe that some business folks have not taken a hard look at South Texas. Let me say that I’m always the dreamer; the guy that’s always concocting schemes and ideas. I am not very good at transforming them into reality. I have had folks tell me that it’s an infrastructure thing and companies are concerned about recouping their investment. If you ever have the opportunity to walk into Wheeler’s Mercantile (especially in the morning) in Tilden, Texas, you would immediately see what I mean. Two gals and a facilitator (in case anything slows the process) working the registers. Mostly oil field hands in their FRC’s lined up twenty deep in three lines. And they’re gladly paying up to a 100% mark up when compared to your average Walmart pricing. That goes on from “oh dark thirty” to about nine a.m. every morning. Lunch repeats the process with plate lunches and sandwiches. And traffic continues to flow into the parking lot long after they lock up at nine every night. I bet folks who bought acres of this “worthless” sand and scrub brush are smiling now. $1500-2500 and acre is a thing of the past in the oil patch-more like $10,000 and up now. And you can forget about getting any mineral rights with it. I still think there is money to be made in the rental trailer business or catering. And I don’t mean oil field catering-a lot of folks are in that business. I think a lunch truck could kick some major a** here and someone refurbishing and renting older trailers could get a business going. A lady in the North Dakota oil patch did just that (and made millions) after seeing people sleeping in tents, cars, trucks, etc. If I was Papa Johns, Burger King or Taco Bell, for instance, I’d have a portable kitchen set up somewhere out here. And how come you can’t get a USA Today out here anywhere? And don’t even get me going about RV repair. You could make a fortune just repairing “gate guard” RV’s out here. Did you ever notice there are no tire shops for big trucks out here? Forget about tires-how about diesel repair? We regularly have tire shops send out repair trucks from over 60 miles away. I cringe at the thought of having to pay that bill. And after over eight hours on the side of the road waiting for a tow, I can tell you there is no heavy wrecker service in the oil patch.  Finally; I am surprised that there are not more watering holes out there. Not that I have looked for them; I rarely get time off of the gate. These hands are finding time to drink somehow because $10 six packs fly off of the shelf at the few stores that stock it. In fact, for such a boomtown atmosphere, you’d think vices would be more readily apparent. Evidently I’m not only getting old-I must be losing my vision.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Warnings and Suggestions

I warn anyone that thinks they can make an easy buck doing gate guarding to rethink their plans. This is not a day at the beach or a walk in the park. No offense meant to the snowbirds; but you really have to spend a summer in south Texas to understand what I mean. Summer brings not only the heat but winter dust amplified times ten. Yesterday I had to get the company man to water us down because the dust was so overwhelming. We have a new rig moving in, our old rig winding down and getting ready to move and a casing crew getting started. We’re still not doing the 12 pages a day some of you have written about and we get to experience air conditioning occasionally. Still, this is a hot, dusty and oft times busy vocation. Some things to remember (and I am only trying to inform you). Purchasing and stocking necessities normally is a challenge. Only once has a grocery store been less than 20 miles away from all the gates we have worked. Which reminds me to remind those of you contemplating this job-your social life will be difficult at best. Having an established network of friends and acquaintances is invaluable. If socializing is not a big thing with you, at least involve yourself with the cyber gate guard community. A lot of us out here only know one another from sites like My Old RV and Forum, Woodalls and others. It is a rich resource and can be invaluable in a time of need.
Speaking of the social networks; some of our fellow guards have been asked to sign NDA’s (non disclosure agreements). It has caused panic on the part of some that blog and otherwise use the social networks as a sort of diary of their adventures. Some even communicate that way. Blogs and forums are being shut down and people are overreacting, in my opinion. PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT A LAWYER. NDA’s have been a part of the corporate world for a very long time. They are not very common in the blue collar community, but corporate folks have routinely been forbidden from disclosing proprietary and corporate info (recipes, methods of operation, schedules, etc.) by the use of NDA’s. Those of you that disclosed well names, locations, drilling and exploration company name(s), drilling activity, etc. should have known better. We were made aware of it when we first began this gig. It may make you feel better; but airing your grievances in cyber space and including the company’s name while doing it, is also not very smart. You can discuss a wealth of things without disclosing proprietary info. I understand you don’t want to lose your job or get sued. However, don’t let anyone cower you into not communicating at all. One of my pet peeves about our judicial system is that the common working man can rarely afford to take on anyone legally. Use common sense and think before you react or overreact. Freedom of speech is a privilege we can ill afford to lose. Learn to respect others in your communications, but don’t stop communicating. The slope is far too slippery.