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The Dullclivity of Life

Self portrait on a window

Self portrait on a window

I have been thinking these past few days about our gate guard life.  Often I am asked ‘How’s it going?‘  and the rote reply is ‘Good!  My scenery seldom changes.’
Could we see our-lives-to-be in February of 2011 when we packed our goods and headed deep into the Barnett Shale west of Muenster? You can read 40 gate guard blogs and for the most part,  one blog could be the next one could be the one before. Granted,  things change on site.  The rock trucks building the pads and roads give way to the rig moving in which morphs into coil tubing, the frac and completion.  Big trucks loaded with expensive equipment are cool and novel the first half dozen times they come through the gate. After the new wears away it turns into a battle to turn back the same-same of every day reality.

The grind of a 12 hour shift is not dreadful to either of us because gate guarding is not an unpleasant task.  Certainly, on days when it is 103 degrees and the sheen of sweat affords a good surface for the caliche dust to adhere or the mud is ankle deep and the dog has to pee, I may think of other and more pleasant places I could be.  Fact is we can’t do a thing to change the weather; only ameliorate its’ effect.  It is what it is friends and neighbors and in three years we

Rockin' and rollin' at 0630 on a Saturday morning

Rockin’ and rollin’ at 0630 on a Saturday morning

have learned to not sweat the small stuff.  We cling to our established routines, each different, and as long as those routines are realized we can chalk up another good day.  The 3am shift change is usually completed with a half dozen words and a quick kiss.  Miss K surfaces again about noon from the sleep cave and for the next several hours we have our together time.  DISH satellite and a DVR are an absolute requirement in my way of thinking.  We both have our ‘shows’ we watch individually that wind up on the DVR to be played back with many stops and starts as the gate calls for attention.  Then we have our together shows that may be recorded while one is asleep and the other vigilant but we only watch the together shows ummmm  – together.  One of the dailys is the evening news;  ABC and NBC World News and sometimes as much as an hour of the local Channel 4 out of San Antone.  They have the best weatherman and a common request is to fast forward to the weather.   Miss K generally supplies a wicked running commentary on the news and with her and the TV yappin’ all at the same time, I often have difficulty separating the fly shit from the pepper. Thank goodness for close caption technology and the Miracle Ear.  The together TV segment of our routine usually goes something like this here:

Me: ‘Turn up the TV please!!        DAMN!’

The attractive and brilliant Miss K:  ‘PUT YOUR EAR IN!!!!’

Me: ‘Oh………M’k’

The Miracle Ear  is actually the New Ear Digital Hearing Amplifier I got off that Amazon.  It came in 4-5 months ago and I wear it daily to watch TV.  I addition to making up ground for a growing hearing loss it promotes civility in su casa.  <- Bonus!  We each have our ways to shoo away the boredom.  Besides the daily chores which are divided along the lines of her-inside and me-outside,  Miss K soaks up the cooking shows and can spend hours and sometimes even the better part of a day plotting out our next culinary escape — because that is what food has become for her.  Cooking something new and different with the challenges of living Puckerbrush Wild engages her every week most times. Me?  I got my internet interests that take up a few hours most mornings before the sun cracks the tree line to the east.  After that,  me and Tuco the Dog got our outside piddling to do.  I usually try to do one add-on task every day.  Some task that is a maybe regular maintenance or sometimes one of my off the wall projects.  The goal most days is fill the time until noon or thereabouts with limited trips inside the Princess Palace.  Thataway Miss K gets her still sleep without my clumping around like a Brahma bull and rockin’ the trailer house and Tuco the Dog gets some much needed outside activity and some quality daddy-dog time.  For you noobs and wannabe gate guards you need to think about what you are doing with some honest introspection.  This is not a hermitty deal since by definition hermiting is a solo endeavor.  Most of you that might be thinking about sailin’ off down this way have a better half and maybe a loyal dog.  Living inside a tin can and working 12 hours a day / 7 days a week will relentlessly test/torture a relationship.  You need to think about what you will do 12-15 hours a day to keep from going bat shit crazy and taking it out on your partner or kicking the dog.   Don’t be that gate guard sittin’ out in front of the RV in a soiled wife-beater T and a pair a boxers with a streak of trouser chili down the backside talkin’ to an armadillo. Maybe I am jokin’      ………..and maybe not so much.

Smoker deployed

Smoker deployed

The diversion to maintain my sanity this past week was to head up to the Pilot Truckstop at Von Ormy and get shut of a surplus bowling ball.  On the return I stopped in at the Super HEB at Lytle.   Picked up a 15lb pork shoulder and a new coffee pot.  Lest you think we have some sorta coffee pot fetish going on let me explain.  It is true we have the Cowboy Coffee Pot – the Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator, Miss K’s Keurig® Platinum and the Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffee Maker for my home roasted prepper coffee.  Still, we haven’t gone off the deep end on the coffee.  Miss K’s Keurig gave up the ghost you see.  I don’t know if it was hardening of the arteries from lime scale or a heart attack from the pump giving out but it is no more.  Right before we throwed it in Mr. Dumpster, it was taking 4-5 tries and a good 20 minutes to get even a smidge of coffee.  Being as how I have to cipher Ohm’s Law and turn off all electrical devices in the Palace when that Keurig fires up,  no AC for 20 minutes when it is 103 degrees in the shade is NO BUENO.  I have been quite pleased with that Hamilton Beach Scoop and I had finally convinced Miss K to audition the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew which looks like the cousin to my Scoop but does the K Cups as well as ground coffee.

It has been a few days now and the audition could be goin’ better.   I was disappointed in the lack of heft to the Flexbrew.  The Scoop has some good stainless steel going for it.  The brew basket is stainless and will take a good thump when you whack it on the side of the garbage can to cut loose of the spent grounds. It feels and looks substantial and I dig it.  The Flexbrew is the weaker city cousin.  Plastic in place of stainless.  I tried me a cup and I was underwhelmed.  Not that I got a great palate mind you.  I can’t tell if the coffee has vanilla undertones or a hint of Brazil nut but I can make up my mind just fine as to what tastes good.  My prepper coffee from the Flexbrew seemed weak with a pronounced undertone of bathwater.  Miss K is still tryin’ out the Flexbrew mainly because there ain’t nothing else in the Palace that will conjure up a cup of coffee out of one of those K Cups. She says it is getting better each cup in itty-bitty fashion.  If the Flexbrew fails the audition and another Keurig comes to live in our house,  the Flexbrew will get boxed up and taken up to storage.  Don’t hurt to have a spare.  Two is one and one is none ya know.

Oh hey, ‘fore I forget.  I truly appreciate you folks who are clickin’ the Amazon links and buying some goods.  Muchas gracias!

End Note: On the Road Again by Canned Heat from The Best of Canned Heat.  WAY back in the day young ‘uns.  1968 or so if I am remeberin’ right.  Canned Heat played Woodstock — the first one.

The youtube is from Montreux ’73

 

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8 comments to The Dullclivity of Life

  • David

    Happy Father’s Day Andy!

    Also, we pick up 40 lbs of Zaycon chiken thighs on Tuesday.

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    • Andrew

      My freezer is FULL. We may have to get a pressure cooker and start canning.

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  • David

    Debbie said you will love it once you get it, it’s so worth it!

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  • After the Boston massacre, I wonder if you need a federal permit to buy a pressure cooker?

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    • Andrew

      I think you are GTG unless you conceal it in a backpack.

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  • Andy,

    My husband and I opted for the old fashion drip coffee maker. Boil the water pour it in and walla great coffee every time.
    Purchased mine years ago at Wally world but I have seen them on E-bay. It truly is never fail.

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  • Joel

    Glad you could sell a bowling ball. Gold prices ain’t lookin’ so good now or for the foreseeable future.

    Happy father’s day, etc

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    • Andrew

      Good to hear from you Joel. I am buying more silver this week.

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