Daily Archives: August 28, 2020

Bad Data and More Gates . . .


Doubting the accuracy of State of Texas Covid-19 numbers, Collin Co., Texas, dropped its active case numbers from over 4600 to under 100 overnight after an audit.

Earlier this month, Collin Co.’s ‘Covid-19 Dashboard’ claimed over 4600 active cases in the county based on data provided by the Texas Dept. of State Health Services, prompting county officials to question the accuracy of the data because, presumably, the county’s hospitals weren’t overloaded.

“Collin County is providing COVID-19 numbers and data as a convenience to our residents, however, Department of State Health Services (DSHS) officials have acknowledged that the active case count for Collin County is significantly overstated,” reads a disclaimer on the county’s web site. “We advise residents that Collin County lacks confidence in the data currently being provided to us.”

“DSHS officials have agreed to immediately redirect resources to correct the issue, but have not provided a timeline on when their reports will be corrected.”

But trust the numbers, they say.


Today in 2009 was our first day in Canada for this year.

August 28, 2009

Canada, Oh, Canada!

Well, we had an uneventful trip from Houlton, ME 185 miles away to Moncton, NB (New Brunswick), Canada.

But first we had to have breakfast one last time at the Big Stop Diner.  Jan’s hooked on their blueberry pancakes and I think they make a mean omelet.

After breakfast I gassed up the truck and we headed back to the rig to get ready to roll.

We headed out about 10:45 am, but first stopped back at the truck stop to top off the coach with diesel.  And I’m glad we did.

Gas and Diesel are about $1.00 a gallon more here in Canada than in the US.

Hopefully we can get back to the US before we have to fill up with diesel again.

About 3 miles after we left the truck stop we pulled up to Canadian Customs.  This is the fifth time we’ve gone thru Canadian Customs with no problems.

But I’m always worry because of the stories we’ve read about RV’ers going thru Customs and being selected for one of their random searches where you have to completely unload your coach so they can look at EVERYTHING!

But we were in and out in about 5 minutes.   WHEW!!!

About 4 hours later we pulled into Camper’s City RV Park in Moncton and got set up.  Actually it was 5 hours later, since when we entered Canada,  we switched to Atlantic Standard Time, so we are now 2 hours ahead of Houston

Campers City RV Moncton CA

Which means Prime Time TV runs from 9 pm to 12 mn.  And even worse, when we travel to Newfoundland, they’re on Newfoundland Standard Time which is a HALF HOUR ahead of Atlantic Standard Time.

Go figure!

About 5 pm we headed out to one our favorite places to eat – Boston’s Pizza.

And strangely enough, there are no Boston’s Pizza in Boston, MA.  We know, we checked.

So you would think, maybe it was started in Boston, Canada.  But you would be wrong.  There is no city named Boston in Canada.

Boston’s Pizza was started in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1964.  Who knew?

Anyway, we always get a large pizza so we have plenty of leftovers to bring home.

Tomorrow we’re going to take a drive along the coast and see the sights.

Then Sunday we’re going to drive over to Prince Edward Island for a couple of days.

More tomorrow…


The next 4 blog reposts, 2013-2016, are all Gate Guard related, since August through November was our normal period for this.

August 28, 2013

Not Much . . .

new happened today. We’re settling into the routine of a new gate, starting to learn names and faces of the regulars, and who’s who’s in the pecking order.

My night shifts from 11pm to 7am are pretty quiet. I usually don’t have any traffic between midnight and 6am. Then it picks up pretty quickly.

Today was a bit slower than yesterday’s 141, We only had about 95 vehicles come through. But that may change. Jan was told today that once they start fracking we’ll have about 100 sand trucks coming through every day, in addition to the regular traffic. Oh Boy!

But she was also told that all this might go through December, which means we would stay here until we leave for Houston right before Thanksgiving. Hope that works out, as we’d hoped to not move as much this year as we did last year, 4 times in 4 months.

Really glad we didn’t get the gate down the road that guards the railroad crossing. Even up here, about a mile away, the trains are loud coming through. I can imagine being parked about 30 feet from the tracks. The gate guards there just act as crossing guards for the tracks, helping the vehicles to cross safely, but some people just don’t listen.

The guard had one big truck stopped, and another truck came up behind him. The second guy apparently thought the first truck was just talking, so he pulled around and crossed the tracks, missing the oncoming train that he couldn’t see, by just inches.

So far this site has been pretty critterless. A lot of bugs, but nothing bigger. I did however hear some coyotes yipping late this evening, so there’s something around somewhere.

I got the misting system set up today, and it helped cool things down, although it was only about 95. It was 102 back in Webster, near where our home is, so every bit helps.

Thought for the Day:

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.” — William S. Burroughs


August 28, 2014

Our Temporary Home . . .

for now.

At least until we get a gate.

I called Jamie at Gate Guard Services about 9am for a last minute check to see if he had had anything come available in the last couple of days, but he said ‘Maybe next week’, with emphasis on the ‘Maybe’.

Oh well, heading west, it is.

Jan and I pulled out of our site at the Colorado River Thousand Trails about 9:30, got hitched up at the top of hill, and headed two miles down the road to the Citgo station.

Not wanting to give Hugo Chavez any more money than I had to (Yes, I know he’s dead. It’s the principal.) I took my card inside and asked for $200 worth. This would give me a total of about 70 gallons to make the 180 mile trip to Whitsett while running the generator for the AC’s.

The diesel pump was an old one and didn’t even have a credit card reader on it. And it didn’t have much of a readout display either. Most of the digits didn’t work, and the few that did pretty much seemed to be displaying random numbers.

But I figured ‘Hey, it’ll stop at $200’, right?

Citgo Display


She didn’t set the pump for $200 like I asked. She just turned it on.

So $285 later, I had a full tank . . . that I didn’t want. Damn!

Getting back on the road a little after 10, our next stop at the Luling exit Buc-ee’s to stock up on Cranberry Nut Muffins and Kolaches to tide us over for our gate guarding start. We love Buc-ee’s.

We pulled into the Whitsett Gate Guard Services yard a little after 2pm and checked in with Mark, the supervisor at the office. I noticed there was an empty RV site available so we would have full-hookups while we wait for a gate. Nice.

Whitsett Yard 2014

Mark said the guy in the 5’er to our right is going out tomorrow, and we should have a gate in a couple of days, maybe even tomorrow. We’ll see.

Whitsett Yard 2- 2014

Whitsett Yard 3- 2014

The yard looks pretty much the same as last year, except less equipment trailers parked around. Which is probably due to the fact that things are so much busier down here this year.

About 6 Jan and I headed up to Pleasanton to have dinner at Chili’s. The place has been remodeled since last year and really looked nice. And the service was much better too. Maybe a new manager?

So tomorrow we’ll sit and wait. Hopefully not too long.


Thought for the Day:

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Sir Winston Churchill


August 28, 2015

I Could Get Used To This . . .

Well, so much for ‘the gate will reopen at 8am’. Luckily Jan was already up and dressed when she heard the first truck rumble up about 6:55am, so she was outside in time. We were hoping for another ‘shutdown’ tonight, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

We again had only 38 trucks through the gate today, and Jan had only one truck in between 6pm and 11pm tonight. And it tonight is like previous nights, I won’t have anyone until about 6am this morning.

I could get used to this.

But I’m sure things will speed up as soon as the actual fracking gets started. Which now could be a week or so, apparently. You just never know.

About 10:30 this morning I drove into Carthage for groceries and lunch. This is the first time we been this close to a town, or to a Wal-Mart anyway. With Carthage only 8 miles away, it makes a big difference in how long it takes to get done and get back.

For lunch I brought us back Whataburger, and also made a trash drop-off while I was there. Since they still don’t have trash trailer here at the site, I just took the the bag with me and asked the Whataburger manager if it would be OK to use their dumpster, and she said no problem.

I had their new Sweet & Spicy Bacon Burger which I really liked, especially once I ramped up the ‘Spicy’ part with some Moruga Scorpion chili powder. Jan had a double meat cheeseburger with Grilled Onions and really liked hers too. And I guess Whataburger is a favorite of the workers here too, since I’ve only seen them come back with Whataburger bags and not McDonald’s. And McDonalds is actually closer.

Jamie, our Gate Guard Services supervisor came by this afternoon to drop off our sewer trailer. We’ve just been using our rig tanks, but Jan will be happy now that she can do more laundry.

Jamie also dropped off a couple of pallets to span the small ditch in front of our canopy.


That’ll give us a walkway over the water in the ditch when it rains, and also makes it less steep for Jan when she’s going out to talk to the drivers.

But the big news today is that our canopy is now air conditioned. And it works great.

Canopy AC

I saw the window unit in our son Chris’ garage not being used and ask if I could take it with us. Since I knew we could end up gate guarding in south Texas where it is a lot hotter, I had planned to install it in the coach driver’s window to help with the heat. But up here, with our temps staying the low 90’s, and our new larger 15K AC unit in the rig, it isn’t needed. In fact the AC’s are even cycling on and off, and not running all day.

So this afternoon I decided to try it out just sitting on the table, and it works great. I’m getting 72° air out the vent, and I’ve not had any trouble with the hot air exhaust interfering with the operation.

Of course it’s not going to cool down the whole canopy area, but it’s really nice to have that cold air blowing right on you.

More tales from the gate tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.”  – Thomas Paine 1792


August 28, 2016

Drilling and Chilling . . .

Well, we’re off and running, or drilling, anyway. They finally spudded in (started actually drilling) sometime after midnight this morning and so far things seem to be going OK.

When I got up at 11 this morning, and after we had our coffee, I headed over to Bryan/College Station to pick up a few things, mainly the plywood squares to cover up the gaps in our pad timbers. Otherwise  one of us is going to step off in one and break an ankle and they’ll have to shoot us.

Plywood Squares

I also picked up a new tarp for our canopy, and I’m really glad I did. A late afternoon rainstorm showed that our old one, left over from last year, leaks like sieve. So I’ll just put the new one on top of the old one and tie it down.

On my way back from B/CS I stopped off at a Whataburger to pick up a late lunch. I got our usual burger/fries/drink combo, but probably not again. Or at least no fries.

They don’t handle the 30 plus minute trip back to the site very well, and just end up cold and chewy.

Next time I’ll try to find a convenient Chicken Express to bring back for lunch, and see how well their Fried Okra travels.

Jamie, our GGS supervisor is supposed to be here tomorrow (Monday) to bring us more water, and me a hardhat, We didn’t start out with a full 500 gallons, only 350, so we’ll need more soon.

And I need a hardhat so I can take our trash onto the pad to put it into the trash bin.

Tomorrow begins our 2nd week on the gate, and so far it’s been pretty nice. We only had 43 vehicles come through the gate today, as opposed to yesterday’s 74. But a lot of that was big trucks hauling off the equipment used to build the rig. So I would expect 40 to 50 vehicles a day will be the norm.

Hope so.

Thought for the Day:

Why do some people think that disarming the sheep makes them safer from the wolves?

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