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Occam's Razor

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”


Just been mighty weary the last few days with new restrictions that must be followed under threat of dismissal.   The Message Forums that were just toddling toward a first anniversary were really starting to develop some old school character.  A spirit of true benevolent volunteerism,  a pervading attitude of step up and pay it forward whenever possible and overall unselfish nature were pleasing to my mind.  Took ten months of fairly intense activity on mine and Miss Kathy’s end to get it up and running before it was murdered by  yet another smothering layer of bureaucracy.   It was not an easy decision to pull the plug on such a promising and rewarding  project.  Pleas were made to just make some adjustments and continue the Forum.

I thought about it.   I thought about the mechanics of ‘cleansing’ almost 5000 prior posts to the point they were acceptable,  I thought of the formidable task of making sure every post going forward was not going to get somebody’s balls in a wringer and result in a job loss.  I thought about good members who had posted in the past and now were concerned their posts would point a damning finger at them and it was too late to take it back.  I thought about the actual value to the readership of an emasculated forum;  What is the point, really, of Oilfield Gate Guard Forums Lite.

I thought  ‘Christ, the non disclosure agreement just added another level of disagreeable bureaucracy to my life and I am considering furtherance and expansion of that bureaucracy by applying it to the Forums as well?’  To do so would  imply tacit approval on my part, would it not? I will NOT advance that agenda.   Not happening; hence the removal of the Forums from life support.  It has been an interesting study in human nature to watch the corpse of the Forum being picked over, the pockets of the dead being turned out as others rush in to fill the vacuum.   Blogs exist for many different reasons  — some are done to garner attention,  some are penned to scratch the inner urge of expression, some are done to satisfy ego, some are done unselfishly for pure humanitarian benefit and some are,  well — just done.   For whatever reasons or motivations,  I wish those that are trying to salvage the corpse the best of luck.

Miss K was against doing away with the Forums at first.  She enjoyed hobnobbing  and whooping it up over there more than most.    Eventually, she came around to my way of seeing things.  Then she asked ‘What about the blog???’   Well, I do know my reading list of  gate guarding blogs has been seriously reduced in content as of this morning. Looks like most folks chose the route of quiet compliance which is all well and good.  No disrespect intended but some of those blogs were much, much too revealing.  You just don’t go talking other people’s business as a general rule.  You damned sure don’t go around talking everything you know out here in the Oil Patch.   A few of the other blogs were started just to chronicle the writer’s gate guard experiences;   it seemed to be the the popular rage starting about this time last year.  If you remove the all-too specific gate guard content there really isn’t much meat left.

So what are you gonna do about this blog dude?  Hmmmmph,  good question.  I have always been a slightly unsociable and intensely private person. As the years add on,  my curmudgeon factor is ever increasing.  This blog was started long, long before I knew there was even such an animal as an oilfield gate guard.   Hellfire,  even when I worked for My Bro I was damned tight lipped about specifics details of the job.   That is jut the respectful and correct way to do business in old school fashion.   If the other man, the man that owns the job, wants to talk about it, he can get after it all HE wants.  Just isn’t my place or nature.  Same-same when it comes to the oil field gate guarding job.  I went back and reviewed dozens of my prior posts and an increasingly small portion of them had anything to do with a gate guard job.  Those that did were sufficiently glib and harmless in content in my book.  I believe they satisfy the spirit of the NDA  if not the rather arcane and unenforceable strictness.

I was still fretting the blogs  future course this morning; back and forth.   Just seems to me here lately that giving up the things we should be loving the most of all is getting to  be the accepted norm and rationalized too easily.  Re-reading those older posts this morning I realized it had become a chronicle of an old man’s life as he lived the decline of a Great Nation.  My Chronicle.  My Life.   Important to me.   You know folks, you cannot buy dignity and integrity and you cannot  lose them unless you choose to give them away.

Karma, spiritual nudges in the right direction, things happen for a reason.  You know I believe in all that.   Somewhere along about daylight I was shown the path to follow and my heart rests easy with that recent decision as I write this.   In this Great Nation, we are free to make choices.  I can have one kid or five, I can listen to what music I want to or read romance  novels or one espousing the virtues of Stalin, I can do all that.  I can be a heathen or go to church,  I can drive a car or ride a bike or take the train; it don’t matter to anybody but me what I choose.  I can choose to work and where to work and what kind of work I do.  I can express myself with a freedom that is generally unequaled any where else in the world.

My Daughter - My Hero - My Patriot

The revelation this morning  that afforded me crystal clear insight?

Three US Troops killed by man in Afghan army uniform

Some time this weekend, my Daughter – My Hero will be on the tarmac at Dover AFB to receive the Transfer Cases that contain their remains.   Their sacrifice is the reason I can live the life of a Free Man and express myself as I see fit.   I will not sell their sacrifice short.

The last ten years in America have seen the Middle Class Lifestyle erode degree by inexorable degree.   A goodly number of us will wake up some morning and realize there is not much left to give up.  We have let our way of life slip away,  a little noticed grain at a time  until there is scant left remaining.  Call that the tipping point, the realization that you cannot and will not be pushed further or give up more.

The non disclosure agreement may have been poorly timed and heavy handed but it was not a life changing event from a company that has been good to us and a company I remain loyal towards.   The NDA was the final nudge that pushed me to my tipping point. The closing of the  Forums  due to the NDA was  my pound of flesh to Shylock and I will give no more.

End Note:  Bang My Head by Cross Canadian Ragweed from the Highway 377 cd.  Yep. “Let me tell you something cucumber.”

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5 comments to Occam’s Razor

  • Andy,

    Reading this part of your post today.

    “The last ten years in America have seen the Middle Class Lifestyle erode degree by inexorable degree. A goodly number of us will wake up some morning and realize there is not much left to give up. We have let our way of life slip away, a little noticed grain at a time until there is scant left remaining.”

    Brought this quote to mind:

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy”-
    James Madison

    And this quote as well:

    “When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”-
    Sinclair Lewis

    Seems we have reached a time where these two quotes are coming to past. I only hope that we as Americans wake up and realize what is going on, and retake control of our country. However, sad as it is, I dont either major political party, or any of their candidates are capable of leading this country back to greatness.

    Where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him?

    On another note, glad to see you reposted the pic of your daughter as it shows the best of our country along with the worst. She represents the best of our country. The transfer cases the worst. There is no way Americans should still be dieing in Afghanistan eleven years after 911. Especially, after being sent their by a President who stated that the USA should never be involved in nation building.

    Still holding out hope for America.

    Paul Stough

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  • Mark Bass

    I thought of the Elton John song “Funeral for a Friend” while reading Andy’s blog this a.m. It is the poignant tale of someone wrestling with so much more than the recent events (read NDA) that have swept over our little gate guard community. And that’s kind of what I want to speak about in this missive. Hopefully I am not the only one saddened and alarmed about the erosion of our rights, privileges-hell the whole ball of wax that is (or was) the middle class. People like Andy should not be burdened with legalities just because they chose to provide a platform for others to communicate through. As I have said many times it is a shame that the average working man cannot afford the legal defense promised by our founders. My family passed on a lot of things; but “Find a need and fill it if you wish to succeed” is one of my favorite mantras. Andy did that and the corporate giant said that it was not good. As others have pointed out, we did not do ourselves any favors considering some of the subject matter. The whole world is wrestling with that same demon with the explosion of the internet and the advent of social media. I don’t know the answer here, just that it seems almost Mafioso like to “wack” the forum. I’m glad I’m not in Andy’s shoes and find all this very troubling. At least we still have e-mail and I don’t mind that being passed to fellow gate guards.

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  • Mike

    Glad you are keeping your blog open. Will look forward to all the future non GG posts.

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  • tewall


    I have enjoyed your blog from long before the GG jobs. There is plenty to write about without GG stuff. Please continue to make me reflect and ponder.


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  • Naner, naner… We win

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