Monday, May 22, 2017

Changes

The month of May will be a month of changes for Missy and I. After about ten years together we decided to marry. Besides loving and respecting each other we have also become good friends. We also have started and run a business plus supplement our income as independent contractors. It has not always been easy, but after many years of not holding a "regular" job we believe we've got the hang of it. Many of those years have been spent working as gate guards in the South Texas oil fields; eventually "burning out" from the seemingly endless routine. Well, we have gotten by fairly well for about six months; but a serious income upgrade would be a great help. So it's back to gate guarding for a short (hopefully) spell. Our ultimate goal would be to have a steady, seasonal job about half the year and to gate guard some of the rest. I found a place to roost at a RV park near San Antonio which gave us a place to park and a little money to boot. Unfortunately, there is no opening for Missy here and she has struggled to find employment nearby. She also has the weight of the business on her shoulders which eats up a lot of her time. It also appears that my efforts at the RV park have shown them the need for a full time person to fill the part time position I will be vacating. I like it here, but hate working EVERY weekend and the pay is abysmal. Not to go off on a tangent, but this RV park exemplifies what ails the world of workamping. It's a great place to work, but the work hours required to cover your rent leaves little change in your pocket. Not to beat a dead horse; but I stand behind my belief that you should give a workamper a site with utilities and pay for all hours worked. Anyway, we will continue to search for a job to carry us through the months away from the patch, plus prepare for either the inevitable next slowdown or the end of gate guarding as we know it. Plus, we can't do this forever. Who knows? Our business may finally blossom into enough of a income generator to forgo us working at all. We both love working on and selling drones, plus enjoy the interaction with our customers. So; big changes are in the cards for us, but that's one of the reasons we have a house with wheels.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Holiday?

Easter and the annual Spring renewal have arrived. I can't help but think this is a holiday heavily modified by Christians, as are most muddled by the fog of time. The  resurrection and the events that surround it fittingly coincide with the vernal equinox, a renewal itself. I am not one of those bible thumping sorts, but I think I follow Christian values in my life. (For the sake of full disclosure it wasn't always that way) It would be interesting to see how Jesus and his disciples would look upon the traditions that have aligned themselves with the resurrection. The Hispanic and Tex Mex cultures like to make it a family event and camp out for the holiday weekend. I don't know a lot about it, but it has evolved into sort of an early Memorial day for them. Fiesta also coincides with the Easter holiday, yet another Hispanic and Tex Mex event. How odd that, for some, Fiesta has evolved into an event heavily laced with alcohol and partying. As a lot of you know I embrace the Hispanic culture, so feel free to correct my observations. Just remember I meant no malice or disrespect, so enlighten us. For my family and I Easter was a celebration of the resurrection, but we kept things mostly separate. The holiday (for some reason I don't like characterizing Easter as a holiday) also centered around Good Friday and Easter itself, not a multi day or weeks long event. On Easter Sunday we would go to church; sometimes in new clothes, but always in our Sunday best. Then we would gather at one of the family residences and have a big dinner. That was the time that we conducted Easter egg hunts and other traditions that have evolved over the years.

Whatever your beliefs, Spring has arrived and nature is on full display. Take time to be grateful that another Winter is behind us and go out and enjoy the all too short "window weather". Celebrate your beliefs, whatever they may be, and be glad that we are in a country where we can do that. Happy Easter everyone!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Busy Routine

As a lot of my dear readers know I have cut back on my publishing; simply because I do not wish to bore you. We have settled into a semi routine existence with Missy working at Six Flags Fiesta and me working in maintenance at a local RV resort. Since I work weekends Missy has also taken on the responsibility of keeping our drone business up and running. Missy is still suffering from the burn out that can come from working 24-7 for years on an oil field gate. I kind of liked the routine (and the money), but will allow Missy to return when she sees fit.

The drone business is slowly growing and we celebrated a year in business in February. That's a milestone for a lot of reasons; as I understand a great percentage of businesses fail to last a year. We had several celebratory events with camera drones for $30 being the most popular. We now have at least two wholesalers we can depend upon and recently established a relationship with a large company near Dallas. They have accounts with truckstops, Amazon and Walmart, to name a few. They cannot keep up with their tech support so we have assumed that responsibility in exchange for drones. That has added yet another dimension to our business as the tech support line has resulted in us sending drone parts all over the USA. Finally, we have established and published a web page which you can visit at www.thedronedoctor.net.

It looks as if the RV park where I work will be slowing down as the winter Texans head north. It remains to be seen if my health will allow me to perform the more strenuous activities they'll expect of me as traffic ramps down. I may shorten my work week and perform some gate guarding or just gate guard part time. Having the security license opens up a lot of opportunities. As I have said in the past, if you feel "trapped" gate guarding because of the income (or other reasons), you can wean yourself away from it. It has not been easy, but we now know we don't have to be dependent on it.

I will continue to update as warranted. Spring has arrived and the annual renewal with it. Time to spiff things up, get organized and enjoy life. Happy Trails!!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wake Up America!

You cannot run a country forever with deficit spending, porous borders, and; especially, a polarized government. That's only mentioning a few of the things ailing our great country. I consider myself part of the grass roots movement that swept Trump into office. My support and faith never wavered even to the point of sending financial contributions.

I find it almost humorous that the entrenched politicos and others potentially affected by Trump's stated policy changes are "running for the exits". All you "nasty women" (her words, not mine), enviro wackos and fem Nazis; to name just a few, your day of reckoning is upon you. We have pandered to the minority and ultra sensitive for way too long.

I'm against federalizing our police forces, but have tried for a long time to highlight the slaughter and semi anarchy in the streets of Chicago.

I feel for the anchor babies and others that have innocently been dragged into the immigration controversy. However, we cannot allow sanctuary cities and illegals to run the streets and rob our nation of its identity and resources.

I feel we cannot be the worlds police force and support a mobile, quick reaction military whose strength is second to none. We seem to have forgotten the painful lessons of Vietnam and continue to find ourselves mired in untenable situations.

I find myself extremely disappointed that our countries infrastructure has eroded around us while little seems to get done.

I am supportive of proven alternative energy sources. but feel proven fossil fuel sources should remain as a first choice.

I feel we are at war with China and Russia who continue to rob our country in innumerable ways; including, but not limited to technology.

For too long we have been a rudderless nation with the three branches of government seemingly unable to function as the founders intended. It is the Executive branch's responsibility to set an agenda and lead the government. We have lacked an effective manager and leader for this country for a long time. Hopefully, those that have lived off of the largesse of our corrupted government fear the impending day of reckoning. Instead of fighting change, perhaps we should embrace it and see where a well led, fiduciarily responsible country can go and what great heights it can achieve.          

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lifestyle Changes

Just about every one of the past six years has found us on a gate as fulltime gate guards. This year, six plus years in the pucker brush finally wore us down. Eventually everyone grows tired of answering the bell or just says "no mas" and moves on. We are suffering from "gate guard burnout" and need to recharge our batteries. I have suffered through the yearly assault of mountain cedar, pneumonia, every type of bronchial infection you can imagine from the dust and a heart attack. Except for the heart attack, we managed to soldier on while remaining on the gate. Add to that, I "officially" became a senior citizen by tapping into my social security account, which also restricts the amount of income I can earn. We remain on the books at J&G, although their response has been tepid, at best. Our plan has been to work day gates and relief, but our phone has not rung much. We worked very hard as contractors and our reputation in the oil field was second to none. We also, for the most part, enjoy(ed) working for J&G. Missy and I are somewhat surprised because we expected that J&G would be more supportive of our lifestyle changes. As my friend says, "There is no sniffling in the oil patch", and the patch remains notorious for the ebb and flow of work, so hopefully things will eventually pick up for us.

The drop in income has caused some belt tightening around here. Along with being more cautious with our spending, we have also cut what bills we can. I have taken a part time job at the RV park where we are staying which pays the lot rent and puts a little jingle in my pocket. Missy not only works the flea market, she also has started working in the home health care business again. The drone business is growing and we derive income from that. We recently received our biggest shipment yet (150-160) drones and have been very busy inventorying and repairing them. Those of you hesitant to break away from the income stream that gate guarding provides should know that it can be done. You might even realize that you enjoy taking a break now and then.

We are both looking forward to 2017, especially with my health issues, which makes me value every day that I am given. We consider ourselves members of the conservative movement and supported Trump in his campaign to get elected. No matter the outcome we remain resolute that changes had to be made. It is telling that the Democrats continue to stall at every turn; even though they soon will be the minority party. Apparently eight plus years of infighting, along with a polarized Congress, has failed to make an impression on a lot of politicians. How ironic that just the threat of running our government in a fiscally responsible way has a lot of folks running for cover. For those of you with a different perspective, there is always impeachment, or you can take solace in knowing it can only last eight years. After all, we suffered through eight years of ineptitude...