Daily Archives: September 1, 2020

A Real Mess . . .

I went outside this afternoon, and after first taking care of some other rig chores, I took another look at the rig’s wiring harness in the engine compartment. And boy, is it a real mess.

RV Wiring Mess

And right now I’m not yet sure what goes where.

All of this was tie-wrapped into a big bundle and tucked back under the frame member out of sight. So I cut it loose and tried to make sense of it.

I have two bundles enclosed in wire loom that look to have been pulled loose from somewhere, but it’s not obvious from where. And the the wires don’t match each other.

Our rig had two owners before us and it looks like both of them make their own changes, mostly to add wiring for the towed vehicle lighting hookup.

So I’ll be back on the phone with Spartan tomorrow trying to figure out where this bundle connects up with rig’s lights.

Gate Guarding

September 1, 2013

Chili, Four Ways + . . .

The last couple of days have been a little busy as the sand trucks start coming in, prepositioning sand for when fracking starts on Tuesday. Originally it was set to go on Monday, but it got delayed.

When we got a new generator the other day our just-filled 500 gallon water tank went with the old one.  And the new one was pretty empty. Our service guy said he’d get someone out here to fill it, but I think that got lost in the changeover. We were told that morning that from now on all the gate guards here would get our water and diesel from the rig suppliers. But there was some confusion as to who we call to get service.

So late yesterday afternoon, we ran out of water. Of course the immediate solution was to just turn on our pump and use the water from our RV tank. No problem with that since I made sure we came over here with a full tank. But we quickly realized the REAL problem was that now our misting system on the fan didn’t work since it comes from the external tank. BUMMER!

As they say you never miss something until it’s gone. And boy did we miss the mister. There’s a lot of difference between a fan blowing 100 degree air and one blowing 75 degree air with the mister.

We did finally track down who to call later in the afternoon and were told they would have someone out about 5:30 tomorrow morning, which was fine. But they actually showed up about 10pm this evening, which was better. So, hot today, mister tomorrow.

I mentioned the other day about fracking using water, sand, and a little detergent. The water pressure fractures the rock, the sand holds the fractures open, and the detergent kind of lubricates things. And since most fracking takes place at 10 to 12,000 feet down, and the water table is usually just a couple of hundred feet down, it’s always funny to see some of the anti-fracking propaganda about all the problems fracking causes with the water supply.

One of the most visual ones has been shown on TV and in the movies where people light the water coming out of their tap, thus ‘proving’ that fracking is evil, and puts methane in the water supply.

But a recently uncovered State of Michigan pamphlet blows it all out of the water, so to speak. Published in 1965, it details the problems and dangers due to naturally-occurring methane found in water supplies in Michigan. This about 20 years before any fracking was done in the area. So there.

Brandi and Lowell are in New Orleans this weekend, along with her BFF Shawna and husband Jason. They’re celebrating Brandi’s 40th birthday a couple of weeks early, so while they’re gone, Aunt Sherry is Landon-sitting and it looks like they’re having a good time.

I think this was taken at one of the lakes in their new subdivision. What I want to know is what Aunt Sherry did to get him to hold still for this picture, and are drugs involved?

Landon with Aunt Sherry

Most of the pictures I take of him, he’s just a blur.

For dinner tonight, Jan fixed Chili, Four Ways +. We found that we can buy Cincinnati’s famous Skyline Chili in cans at many Wal-Marts, so we stock up when we can.

Chili, Four Ways, Cincinnati style is spaghetti, with Skyline Chili, Cheese, and Beans on top. The + comes from the fact that she added some Habanero Rotel Tomatoes to the mix for a little extra kick.

It would have been Chili, Five Ways if we had added diced onions, but in deference to Nick, we left it off. (Actually we didn’t have any). But even Four Ways, it was really good. A quick, easy, delicious meal. And we’ve got leftovers for tomorrow.

Thought for the Day:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Gate Guarding

September 1, 2015

Week Two . . .

Well, after thinking things might be slowing to a halt, today was actually busier than yesterday. A lot of new companies came in to do their thing, I guess getting ready for the frack crew to come in. Of course that time frame keeps changing.

At first we were told the frack would start in four or five days from last Tuesday, when we got here. Then yesterday we heard two to three weeks. But this afternoon, a guy who had just come from the frack site over in Louisiana said they should be finished up next week and then come over here. He also said that it could take two months to frack the three holes here.

Which brings up another thing. We were originally told there were two holes being fracked at this pad, but the guy said three. And when I drove down to the pad this afternoon after everyone left, there are three wells, so who knows

Site Carthage

I also saw several pieces of equipment still on the pad, so that bodes well too.

If they do go two months or so here, that’ll be great, because the next frack after this one is scheduled for right up the road about 1/4 mile from here. If so, those next three wells should easily take us to the end of November when we’ll head back to Houston for the winter

Jan has kind of been worried about how busy this frack will be, mainly because of the ‘killer’ pace last year where we had almost 500 vehicles a day coming in through the gate each day, and of course, leaving later. That meant we had almost 1000 login/logouts in a 24 hour period. That’s about one every two minutes.

And then in 2013 we were on a frack gate for the entire three months, and were doing 250 to 350 vehicles a day coming in. But I reminded her that we’ve actually never been on a ‘single’ frack gate.

In 2013, besides the frack, they were hauling water out from our frack pond to another site, running two workover rigs, one drill rig, and building a pipeline. It wasn’t just a frack.

And last year, at its peak, we sometimes had two fracks, two workover rigs, and two drill rigs going at the same time. Of course we were making more than the standard $150 a day, sometimes over $450 a day, but still . . .

I finally got a chance to check the water pressure at the well and only found about 20psi, which explains the weak showers we were getting. So I guess I’ll just use the well water to keep the tanks filled and not tried to run directly off it.

When I drove down to the pad this afternoon I also checked out one of the three frack ponds they have here.

Frack Pond Carthage

Really big, bigger than others I’ve seen. In fact, this photo only shows about half of the pond anyway.

Jan’s decided to put off her hair cut trip into Carthage tomorrow, hoping we might get a day off later this week so we can go together and have dinner.

Of course she’s also afraid that the hair salons in a small town like Carthage won’t have her hair cut records anyway.


Thought for the Day:

Your shadow is a confirmation that light has traveled from the sun nearly 93 million miles unobstructed, only to be deprived of reaching the ground in the final few feet, thanks to you.

Gate Guarding

September 1, 2016

So’s an Oven . . .

So far the weather is holding pretty steady, and not too bad at all. The temps are staying in the high 80’s/low 90’s with low 70’s at night. Very nice overall, especially compared to our first two years gate guarding down in south Texas.

Back then we regularly saw temps in the hundred teens, but of course as everyone says, “It’s a dry heat.”

113 Thermometer

Yeah, so is an oven.

And yes, that’s in the shade.

And as far as rain goes, that’s been pretty nice also, We’ve had a couple of 10-15 minute showers, but nothing sustained or heavy. And we’re not supposed to have the possibility of any more rain until Monday or Tuesday.

Here’s hoping.

A couple of times the sky has gotten really dark and I thought we were in for it, but according to the Rainy Days weather radar app, the storms just skirted around us. Sometimes even splitting apart as it past over over us, leaving us nice and dry.


The problem with our DirecTV receiver not getting guide info has not come back, so tonight I’ll probably swap domes again to see if the problem reappears with the new dome.

Jamie, our supervisor/service guy is supposed to be here tomorrow morning to bring us some more water, since we didn’t a full 500 gallons when we got here, only about 350 gallons,

I can tell we’re getting low since the output of the pump is pulsing slightly, but we’ve got a full rig water tank, so we can just switch over to it for a while if we need to. He’s also supposed to bring me a hardhat for going on the pad. That way I can drop our garbage off at the trash trailer.

I don’t know if he will do our two week generator service (oil and filter change) while he’s here since it’s a few days early, so we’ll see.

I put in orders to Amazon and Jet.com today so we’ll see how the ‘address’ thing works. I tried to be a little descriptive when I entered the address, but unlike Jet.com, Amazon was a little uptight about what I want to enter as an address.

I put the street address that Tony, the landowner, had given me in Address 1, and then in Address 2, I put “RV at Drill Site”. Well, Amazon kept telling me there was a problem with the entry in Address 1, so I tried a number of different versions and spellings with no luck. It wouldn’t let me proceed past that point.

Finally I removed the “RV at Drill Site’’, in Address 2, and suddenly it was fine with Address 1 now. So I tried putting “RV at Drill Site” down in the space for “Gate Codes, Security Codes” and it took it. So we’ll see how it works.

On the other hand, Jet.com had no problem with “RV at Drill Site” in Address 2, so that’s what I used there.

I wish they’d let you be a little descriptive in your directions, you know like, “Quarter Mile SW from Blue Moon BBQ”. The local delivery guy would know exactly where that is.

Or maybe let you enter latitude/longitude coordinates. That would work.

Still don’t know what they do about the Labor Day holiday here. In the past some of our rigs have shut down, and some keep working. Guess we’ll find out Monday.

It would be nice to have a night off for dinner in BCS, though.

Thought for the Day:

“Politicians are not born. They’re excreted.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero.

September 1, 2017

Leave Well Enough Alone . . .

Been wanting to open carry your foil or épée on the way home from fencing practice?

Or think you’d feel safer bar-hopping on Saturday night carrying your Texas Toothpick on your belt?

Bowie Knife

A Texas Toothpick. Also known as a Bowie Knife.

Well, as of today, September 1st, It’s now legal here in Texas to carry knives longer than 5.5 inches, the previously-legal length.

Don’t mess with Texas.

About 12:30 I drove out to the Ranger Station to re-up until next Wednesday, the 6th . . . when we’re supposed to be back here from Colorado River.

Yes, we’re actually supposed to be there, but they got flooded out and probably won’t be open until the middle of September. So we just stayed here, and since the park offices were all closed, there was no one to talk to. But we heard that corporate said it was OK, so we went with that.

So now we’re ‘legal’ here until the 6th, when we’ll check right back in here for another two weeks.

If we don’t go gate guarding.

With that straighten out I drove over into Willis to pick up a few things at Kroger’s. It was interesting to see that although their gas station was pretty busy, with two or three cars lined up at every pump, the price was still $1.99

The store was better stocked than our last  visit, but there were still some odd shortages. For instance, they were completely out of any type of Meow Mix cat foods (Karma’s favorite brand) both wet and dry. And they were fully stocked with Coffeemate Coffee Creamers, but were completely out of any International Delight flavors.

Leaving, I decided to take the back way out, which took me past the Whataburger . . . and found it now open. In fact they had just opened for the first time at 10:30 this morning, and were only serving a limited menu, drive through only  –

Burgers, Fries, and Drinks.

Well, what else do you need?

So I got a couple of #6’s to bring home for lunch. Nice!

Last June, our Sharp microwave malfunctioned and would not let the door open. So when I finally got it open I found that one of the interlocking door latches had broken, so I went online and ordered a new one.

Here’s that blog.

So for $6.80 I was able to fix it. For a while at least.

A few months later it started acting up again, but with a different problem. When you started it up, the timer would count down, but sometimes the light would go off, and when that happened it would stop heating, but keep counting.

But if we pushed in on the control panel, the light would come back on and it would start heating again. It seemed to be heat-related somehow. It might work for the first 5 minutes cooking something. But if we then tried to cook something else, it would act up.

So yesterday I decided to take it all apart again and see what I could find. I used some silicone lube on the latch moving parts, and exercised the several microswitches.

And when I put it back together, it worked. But now the interior light, which should be on only when the door is open or you’re heating something, now stays on all the time. But it now cooks with no problem.

So I guess I could take it all apart again, but then something else might go wrong, so, since it’s only a light bulb staying on, I think I’ll leave well enough alone this time.

Thought for the Day:

There are two kinds of people: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

September 1, 2018

Happy Almost Birthday, Miss Piper!

Jan and I headed out about 10:30, traveling up the Clear Lake area to meet our granddaughter, Miss Piper, at The Egg and I for breakfast.

We were spending the day together to celebrate her almost birthday. The reason for this pre-celebration celebration because her actual birthday is next Friday, but we’ll be celebrated Landon’s post birthday birthday celebration.

His birthday was actually August 20, but since that was kind of in the middle of the whole closing on the new house/moving in thing, Brandi scheduled his big party for this coming Saturday.

Hopefully you got all that.

Piper Egg and I

Piper is working in Medical Administration at M. D. Anderson Cancer Hospital up in Houston, which is also where Jan worked back in the 80’s. So it was interesting to hear them comparing parking lots, buildings, and benefits.

Piper not really happy with the long drive in to Houston five days a week, but since she works from 7am to 3p, she misses some of the traffic problems. Even better, M. D. Anderson is opening a facility down in this area so she hopes to be able to transfer when the time comes.

Piper said she’ll have her BS in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Psychology in less than a year, and then she starts on her Masters.

Jan and I are really proud of her.

I had my usual Two Egg Breakfast, while Jan had her Onion, Mushroom, Tomato Omelet with a side salad,

Egg and I Jan Omelet 2

while Miss Piper went with this.

Egg and I Piper

You can eat like this when you’re skinny.

After breakfast we split up, with Jan and Piper heading out for Mani-Pedi’s and shopping, while I headed over, first to WalMart to pick up a USB printer cable and a pair of windshield wipers.

The printer cable was for Miss Piper’s birthday present, a HP 6952 printer. The new printer didn’t come with one, but I figured I would just use the one with her old printer. But it turns out she didn’t have an ‘old’ printer, which is why she needed a printer for her birthday.

And since Piper mentioned that one of the wipers on her Mazda Miata was coming apart, I picked up a pair of those too.

Still needing to kill time, I decided spend it at the Baybrook Mall Starbucks having a Salted Caramel Latte, Venti, of course. And on the way I drove by our old house to see if they’d made any changes, but nothing noticeable yet.

As I was leaving the Starbucks, I saw this car and didn’t recognize the trident emblem on the front.

Maserati 1

But after checking the rear, I knew why. You don’t see them very often.

Maserati 2

It’s a Maserati sedan. A Levante that starts at about $75,000.

We all met up at Piper’s apartment a little after 3pm so I could set up her new printer and get it configured. Then when we left about a hour later I installed the new wiper blades on the way.

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading up to Brandi and Lowell’s for an inaugural pool party.

Brandi New House Pool Area

Even Baxter likes the pool.

Baxter at the pool

Really looking forward to it.

Thought for the Day:

Human beings may not be best at much, but we’re second-best at an impressive range of things. – Andrew Smith

September 1, 2019

Cake and King Food . . .

Yesterday afternoon Jan and I got together at King Food with our long-time friend’s Bob and Maria Sutton.

Bob snd Maria Sutton at IHOP

We’ve known them since the mid-80’s when we met over Commodore Amigas at a local computer store. Jan and I went with KF’s Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce,

King Food Chick with Hot Garlic

and the Broccoli and Hot Garlic Sauce.

King Food Broccoli with Hot Garlic Sauce

And of course, a bowl of their Hot and Sour Soup

King Food Big Hot & Sour

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten together, and we need to do it more often.

This morning I went outside and added a 2nd magnet to the top outside passenger side solar screen on the rig. For some reason that’s the only one that seems to come loose occasionally during wind and rain. So this should take care of it.

This afternoon Jan and I headed out about 1pm to have lunch once again at our new favorite Black Bear Diner. And we both had our new favorite meals, Jan’s Big Burger with Avocado, no bun. And a Dinner Salad for the side.

I had my same New York Steak and Eggs, also with a Dinner Salad instead of the Fruit and English Muffin.

Unfortunately I left my phone at home, so no photos.

After we got home our daughter Brandi sent over a couple of photos for me to play with.

Landon and Sophie Birthday 0

Sophie Birthday Dakota 0

The first one is of Landon, his best friend Sophie, and Landon’s dog, Baxter. The second one is of Sophie’s dog, Dakota. Unfortunately Dakota was ill and had to be put down recently.

Landon and Sophie are having a birthday party together this coming Saturday, so Brandi wanted me to combine the two photos to put on their birthday cake.

So this was the first pass.

Landon and Sophie Birthday a

Then I cropped the result down a little tighter.

Landon and Sophie Birthday4a

Finally I eliminated the background leaving just this part.

Landon and Sophie Birthday5a

Normally I would have spent a little more time blending in the dog with kids in the background, but I figured it won’t make any difference after being sprayed on icing.

But I’ll be looking forward to seeing how it looks on the cake.

Thought For The Day:

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”