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Old Guy Gadgets

My reflection on the Old Girl's window

You quickly settle into a routine on this oilfield gate guard job.  You get used to the surges of traffic at 5am when all the guys that do not stay on site come in the gate.  That surge repeats in opposite fashion 12 hours later.   The guy that services our support trailer came yesterday –just like clockwork every 14 days.  He changes the oil and filters on the generator every visit.   I get a fuel fill up and the water supply is replenished —  all in about a 30 minute blur of activity. FWIW,  I try to shut down the generator  at least 5 hours per day; sometimes less, sometimes more.  The 3 cylinder perkins diesel that is running the 12kw generator is burning about 9 gallons of fuel per day best I can figure.  I still contend this is Industrial Boondocking — we are totally off the grid and dependent on our own resources.  Still pretty cushy none the less.  We have been in some pretty basic spots with the Old Girl.


Part of my now daily routine involves sitting outside a good part of the day.  It is just easier to get up and go check in one of the several vehicles per hour that pass if you are outside.  It also makes for better sleeping conditions for Miss Kathy.   Tuco the Dog is a constant companion while I am outside and early on I knew I was going to have to find something to pass the time.  I piddle around the Old Girl and the Suburban, taking care of this and that.  I check the fluids in the generator twice daily.  I take the laptop out and browse.  But it wasn’t enough to keep me engaged for a 12 hour shift.

Kindle 3G Wireless

I like to read and over the winter break I picked up a stack of paperbacks off of eBay.  Pretty soon I had paperbacks stacked about everywhere and you know that elicited some neg comments from Miss K.  I don’t blame her–we don’t have room to swing a cat inside the RV. Eventually the books made it into a box and got a ride to the storage room but I reasoned there had to be a better way.

I figured a Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device might be the way to go. I must say I was 100% right. This Kindle is an amazing little electronic gizmo. Now I gotta say, I am not a gadget whore by any stretch of the imagination. I do not have to have the latest and greatest electronic whizbangery. Hell, I still use an old grungy flip phone that doesn’t even have a keyboard (gasp). So what’s up with me buying a Kindle? Mainly because it works–and it works well.

You talk to folks who have a Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device and they are going to tell you how light it is, how small it is and how the display looks unreal. All that is true. The Kindle weighs less than a paperback at 8.7 ounces. It is something like 5″ wide and 8″ long… and the display is like

The 'must have' leather case for the Kindle

nothing you have ever seen on a computer screen. I decided to get Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device with the free 3G and Wifi. It is the more expensive of the 2 models because of the 3G. Here is the deal… Your books are delivered to the Kindle wirelessly and when you have the 3G option, it just hooks up on the AT&T network and there they are! There is no setup or putting in passwords or configurating; it just synchs up and your books appear. The Kindle also has a rudimentary web browser. The best part — the very best part is you are not charged for any bandwidth. Once you buy the Kindle, all your airtime is free- forever. Personally, I think the crowd at AT&T Wireless are nothing but a bunch of lying black-hearted bastards because they rolled over the little guy (ME) like a D8 Cat at full bore.  So they say the 3G wireless on your Kindle is free forever.  We’ll see how that one rides out I guess.

Well, the drill is you go on Amazon and get one of the Kindle books.   Some are free, some are $0.99 and most of them fall in the $3.99 to $9.99 range.  You buy ’em up and the next time you turn your Kindle on, there they are ready to read.  It really is that easy.  I have been urging my Cait to get one as well because I can ‘loan’ her a book I have purchased for up to 14 days.  This whole process just amazes me;  I guess because I am just an old fart.  Oh, before I forget,  they put some sorta proton plasma type battery in that little case that will last up to 30 days; that is what they say anyway.

Check out that nifty light!

The only other Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device accessory I got was a must have  in my situation. I got the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover to protect the little machine and try to keep the dust off. It also has a nifty little LED reading light that pops out and is powered by the Kindle battery. Now that is just cool.

I just checked. I have 14 books on the Kindle so far.  Some Jack London (free), Thomas Paine (free) Oxford Dictionary (free), a Mexican cookbook for Miss K, some Stephen Hunter and some James Lee Burke (Thanks Bob!) and some other assorted stuff.  The Kindle is estimated to hold about 3500 books and if you ever delete one,   Amazon keeps a record of all the books you have received and you can download a replacement.   I must say I am a huge fan.  I can sit outside and pass the time, the hours just seem to roll by.  Even in the bright sunlight, it is easily readable.

I hope Cait follows my lead and gets her own Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device so we can share some books. I turned her on to the Microsoft Zune almost 2 years ago and she has forsaken her iPod.  I read something this week that Microsoft was going to discontinue all  but the newer HD Zune models and I don’t really like that idea.  The HD models are all about videos and such and are limited to a max of 32gb.  My Zune 120 gig has over 60gb of music on it now so that would not work!  I am really thinking about getting a spare Zune 120 GB Video MP3 Player just to have if Old Trusty dies. I am totally addicted to the Zune platform but I am just like that. I have 3 spare Motrola Razr (near antique) flip phones sitting in reserve right now.


If you want to check out the Kindle, this link will take you right to Amazon and the same model I bought:

Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

End Note: Well there isn’t one and there hasn’t been one for quite a time now. I can’t sit listening to my Zune and hear the driveway dinger go off inside the Old Girl. When I am outside, I have to yank the earbuds out every time I go and check a vehicle in. I am going to have to work on a new plan sounds like.

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2 comments to Old Guy Gadgets

  • Bill Battle

    I read your blog regarding the items you used to clean and deodorise your holding tanks. You mentioned using RidX when you dump into a septic system. I am just wondering if one were stayin at RV parks should one use the Ridx all the time. Also I gather that you would not recommend dumping the blackwater tank if its only half full (or less) if you knew you would be at another campground whithi another day or two.

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    • admin

      I use the RidX to keep my septic system healthy. I would not use it at an RV park. The black tank stays cleaner if you only dump it when it is 3/4 full or more.

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