I like to talk and I like to write; so I'm no stranger to writers block. Honestly, I'd rather not write anything at all if my heart just isn't in it. For the first time in my life; especially my publishing life, current events have served to diminish my zeal for writing. Obviously I have had events occur in my life that affected how and what I wrote, but it rarely, if ever, kept me from the task. The crash of the price of a barrel of oil has done just that. As I've said previously, being so close to the well head provides a glaring view of the unfolding tragedy. And, make no mistake about it, this is a tragedy. All businesses suffer from some sort of contraction at some point; but it is rare to have a collapse such as we've seen in the oil market. We're talking layoffs of thousands of folks; not a dozen or so. As a on the scene witness it is hard to digest and accept. One drilling company we provided security for initially sent out layoff notices to everyone with three years employment or less. I think oil was semi holding at around $40 a barrel then. As we all know oil prices continued to fall and the ax fell on employees with five, and then six years of service. It was breathtaking and painful to watch. Morale has hit new lows on most job sites. An unfortunate cottage industry has sprung up from the ashes; gate guards are now being utilized as security over stacked equipment and bank repossessions. It almost seems unfair and selfish to be held in such good stead by the security company we contract out to. That last sentence didn't sound right after I wrote it, but it correctly reflects how we feel. I don't chat that much with the rest of the gate guard community and now even less so. So many guards are out of work and so many are looking that we are guarded about what we say and share. Ever hear the saying, "There's no joy in Mudville?" I am fairly certain that we have at least a year of semi steady employment left; hopefully, by then the price of oil will have at least leveled out. It's impossible to cover this subject and not touch on politics, because strong leadership is sorely lacking; and not just when it comes to oil. As long as fossil fuels are regarded with disdain by the powers to be, the suffering of those in the industry will little matter. Ups and downs are an unfortunate part of the energy business. That doesn't mean I have to like being a part of it.