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On a Sunday Morning........

The welcome mat

Here we are on the best morning of the week. The pre-dawn hours of a Sunday morning are always such a pleasure.  The coolness belies the intense heat that will be harsh reality in just a few hours.  Additional interest  is provided this morning by an advancing line of storms to the north.  A little rain would be nice for a change.

. . . . . . . . .

An impressive young man from the Border Patrol stopped by for a chat the other morning.  He said he was just cruising the area and talking to all the gate guards.  He had some familiarity with gate guard habits as he asked me if my wife was asleep.   When I said she was, he said he had come up with a couple of suggestions for the females that worked at night beyond the normal cautions.   He said to keep the remote handy for your car if it had a security system as most newer cars do.   He suggested hitting the ‘Panic’ or ‘Emergency’ button on the remote if they had  an uncomfortable situation with some illegals developing.   The flashing lights and blaring horn would be a good deterrent.  His second suggestion was to get the ladies one of those red boat air horns that run off the little can of compressed gas.  He said they will not only scare the illegals off but wake up snoozing hubby as well.   I thought both suggestions had good merit.

. . . . . . . . .

The new gate is really not all that new to us.  We were  at a double gate previously with a different ranch and different oil company just across the high fence. When we left Gate Guard Services,   we just hopped the fence and went to work on the adjacent ranch.   Shortest move in history for us  — all of 60 feet.   Works out nice.  Still got our Resident Roadrunner – that cheeky bastard- and the little ground squirrels that live under the cattle guard.  We had the opportunity to watch the goings on next door (now known as here while the old place is now next door) for over 4 months and Miss K and I often commented on how unruly it was over here.   Well,  I guess sometimes you just get bit in the ass because now that unruly crowd is our responsibility.

We have been playing good cop / bad cop all week, with me being the scowling curmudgeon in the large hat and Miss K playing the lithesome flirt.  It is working well and we have not even had to fire a batch of brownies their way—- yet.

. . . . . . . . .

 

“If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”  –  Mark Twain.

Just sayin’……..

. . . . . . . . .

The Kindle with scrambled eggs for brains.

File this one under ‘Dumbass things NOT to do again‘ :  Do not knock your open Kindle off the outside table  into the caliche gravels.  Just like a piece of toast with jam,  it will always end up face down in the pointy gravels.  That crystal clear screen that the Kindle is so famous for took a licking, huh?  My Kindle was as handy as hip pockets on a hog so I had to replace it this week.  Got this one:
Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers

Same-same as the old one except it has the sponsored ad dealios which are really not obtrusive — and it saved me $50.   Miss Kathy and I discussed replacing it with a Kindle Fire but I have that  iPhone impairment and all and well, umm,  yeah OK ………(mumbles incoherently and walks off. )

. . . . . . . . .

No whining / No Sniveling —- It has taken the better part of a week for Miss Kathy and I to get things squared up properly in the new place.  It was haphazard and half-assed to say the least at the onset.  Miss Kathy has managed to pick up, straighten up to the point it no longer looks like a toxic waste dump.

80%  may be good enough for most folks but it don’t fly at our house.   I have to pump fuel out of 50 gallon barrels every few days into the 15kw generator which I don’t mind.   The bungs on the barrels were all laying to the sides as was the fuel cap on the generator.  The pickup tube on the transfer pump was 18″ too long which meant you just sorta stuck it into the barrel and it set there at a crazy angle.  They had stuffed a garbage bag around the opening trying to keep the dust and bugs out.  Christ on a cracker!  Why bother if you were going to leave the filler cap off on the generator itself?  Ah well, keep paying the big money and we will take up the slack.

. . . . . . . . .

Industrial Boondocking

The final check from Gate Guard Services was correct down to the last nickel owed and right on time as always.   Since I spend so much time over on the Oil Field Gate Guard Forums  I can say I have seen a definite shift in the attitudes of the gate guards over the last few months.  We spent 20 months with Gate Guard Services and felt some loyalty toward them.  We always thought if we did the BEST we could, we would be rewarded with the best assignments.  That was true to a degree;  we always had work when others sat on the yard and some of the assignments were wonderful.  At the same time, we heard “I need a favor” quite often as well which basically meant bend over.

The shift I am seeing in general gate guard attitude is moving away from the loyalty factor and more toward the money.  You gate guard companies still paying low end of scale best take heed.  There are plenty of couples like Miss Kathy and myself who take care of business and need little in the way of support.   We are NOT going to work cheap ever again. If you want us, it is going to cost top dollar.   Each assignment or contract is going to stand on its’ own merit.  When we get released, if you do not have as good or better gate to go to we are going to move on down the road to somebody that does.  Tuco the Dog likes that Premium meaty dog food and Miss K has a Desert Refuge to build.

If that is too radical, just brand us as the Outlaw Gate Guards;  I could give a damn.  You * THE COMPANY* always say you have to do thus and so because of the money and the company requirements etc etc  — there is always an excuse why you can’t pay us more and in the meantime, the corporate bank account gets fatter but the Bad Guy is always somebody else.   I know my gate guard supervisor is going to bitch and moan and say we are all about the money  — and they will be exactly right.  I also know when they have a tough gate or difficult land owners or a location 80 miles on the backside of BFE, Texas, they are going to think of us as the solution FIRST.

. . . . . . . . .

End Note:  It’s the Whiskey that Eases the Pain by Darrell Scott from the Live in NC cd.  A  little mellow, intelligent Darrell Scott is a joy on a laid back Sunday morning.

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2 comments to On a Sunday Morning……..

  • Sailbad

    Andy you got it right. The Corporate loyalty is nothing but an illusion. In reality your services are looked at just like any other piece of equipment.
    If the company man can buy a gate guard for $150 a day as opposed to $200 per day, he’ll do it. That’s $50 a day that will earn him an “atta boy” and someone up the chain a bigger bonus.
    The way to make it pay is to be the problem solver. The cream comes to the top in a hurry.

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  • Richard

    “and in the meantime, the corporate bank account gets fatter but the Bad Guy is always somebody else.”

    Bravo Miss K and Andy, bravo. A fair days pay for a fair days work. The Man (and women) in the Grey Flannel Suit y’all ain’t.

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