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A Coupla 40's

012Workin’ a six hole frac solo ain’t the easiest thing to do but it is not impossible either. You are lookin’ at the livin’ proof.   I told the landowner and the guard company I would give ’em a shout if I needed help; just leave me alone to do my job otherwise.  I came close to hollerin’ calf rope but I kept thinking 6 months from now I might be kickin’ myself for giving up those dollars to some extra help.   Looking back,   I coulda done better on a few things.    I was undeservedly short tempered and gruff at times;  I let the Palace get nasty as hell on the inside because I was a slacker. How bad?  I emptied the vacuum cleaner 5X yesterday and maybe I put a dent in the accumulated dust coating everything.  Maybe.  Ah me, it is what it is I reckon.

I was months here with light traffic before Halliburton rolled in for the frac.  I had grown complacent.  I knew it.  I didn’t care.  Two years and five months at the same location,  the  quest for $100/barrel oil seemed like it would go on forever and I was riding in the first car of the pucker brush gravy train.  I had lost sight that gate guarding was not the lifestyle.  I entered this endeavor almost 7 years ago with the goal of becoming a nomad in every sense of the word.  Pushing dirt for my Bro or sittin’ a gate are just ways to support the lifestyle.    Nada mas.    I never did put a swing ,screen porch  or yard arts out front while I’ve been sitting here though I was tempted at times.  This location is not permanent even though the nomad-adverse part of me wanted it to be so. It is our ingrained and inherent nature to want to nest up somewhere in a spot we can call home.  The time to move along may come sooner as later since the Eagle Ford is  winding down.   I told folks back last Fall that were growing ever dependent on the gate guard lifestyle that they would be best served workin’ on a Plan B now as later.  I also clued them in on how fast things could shut down when the oil prices dropped.  I wish I had not been so prophetic.  There are some folks talking on the gate guard forum that the outlook for prospective gate guards is looking up but I don’t buy it one little bit.  There is always a bump to start the New Year due to hunting season winding down and new budgets being in effect.  We are still in a critical draw down –wait and see if I ain’t right.  We need $70 oil minimum to get things back to a semblance of normal.

Messing with the propane

Messing with the propane

I have a list of stuff that needs doin’ as long as my leg.  The Big Ass Suburban is loaded with goods that need to go to storage,  the Palace needs some maintenance,  I need some maintenance, I have bowling equipment that needs to be picked up and secured elsewhere.  Most of it involves a day long or better absence off the gate and I am loathe to do that since I want to ride this ol’ mule ’til it just lays right down in the furrow.  In the meantime, I will piddle around the Palace and do what I can do.

Being a nomad is an interesting proposition.  On the one hand,  it provides me the opportunity to roam freely without ties that might hold me back.  On the other hand,  a nomad has to be adaptable, resilient and more resourceful than most other folks.  Every day, most all day, I think about ways to do things better and I like to have backups to my backups.  The better I accomplish this the more independent I become.  Plus it keeps my brain sharp so I don’t get that Old Timers disease.

Coupla 40's in place

Coupla 40’s in place

I have been full timing in an RV almost seven years now and a common failure has been the propane regulator that comes on every RV.  Being as how propane is a critical part of an RV system the failure rate deserves consideration.  I don’t care if you buy a $5000 pop up camper or a $3,000,000 luxury Prevost you can write this down:  Your crap is gonna  break.  The Palace came with a cheap Camco propane regulator  that was functioning perfectly but I figured to upgrade it with a Marshall Automatic Changeover Regulator . The old Camco regulator was carefully packed away for a backup.  While I was poking around on Amazon I ran across the Worthington 40-Pound Steel Propane Cylinder at a better price than Tractor Supply AND free shipping for Amazon Prime members.  Since more is usually better I ordered up a pair along with a new base and rod to go along with them.  DO NOT order the Manchester Tank Complete Dual Rack.  It came with a fine threaded rod that would not fit the base or the top wing nut and I had to order the correct coarse thread rod. I swear, these frickin’ 80 percenters!  While I was at it I replaced the  2  12″ Pigtail Propane Hose Connectors just so’s everything was new.  I used some Gas Line Pipe Thread Tape to seal everything up and then I did the soapy water leak test. Good to go on the first try!

How about a bonus by product of this upgrade?

Coupla 30's on the DTB

Coupla 30’s on the DTB

I took the old dual rack and the 2 30lb propane bottles that used to live on the snout of the NO Princess Palace and popped ’em on the front of the DTB.  Easy Peasy!  Now I have the 2 30’s in reserve and they are up out of the way and easily transportable.

*********************

 

Holy cats!  I got my fill in gal coming out tomorrow so I can go to the Post Office in Cotulla,  Ace Hardware across the street for propane,  fill my jerry cans with gasoline at Flyin’ J  and make a supply run to HEB in Pearsall.   Seems I have a problem though.  Who would think a man could fill up that Big Ass Suburban to the point there isn’t hardly any room left to make a supply run?

Big Ass Suburban full up

Big Ass Suburban full up

That seems to be exactly the case for me right now!  Most of y’all know I do that Amazon Subscribe and Save deal.  A small portion of those monthly goods stay here in The Palace; most end up in the temp control storage up in San Marcos.  During the cool months, I store the extra goods in the Big Ass Suburban until I can get up to San Marcos and I had a run scheduled up there for January.   The Ranch schedule showed ’em coming into frac that six hole pad in February so I figured a storage run in January would work out just dandy. Well sir, that all went to hell when Halliburton showed up to start the frac on December 23rd.

I can’t stack the goods out on the ground seeing as how they are saying rain (again) for tomorrow.  I reckon about all I can do is try and make some room in the DTB to store the overflow.   Hell, I shoudn’t oughta be complaining!  I am fortunate to just be able to lay back some goods for those rainy days that are comin’.

Never mind.  🙂

 

End Note:  Feelin’ Good Again by Robert Earl Keen from The Walking Distance cd (1988).

Like slippin’ on a pair of perfectly broke in boots.

 

 

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4 comments to A Coupla 40’s

  • Ken

    Andy, ‘member back when we had the last oil bust? The naysayers were touting the evil oil empire and their windfall profits. Also you miight remember the bank in Midland that offered one of the prize for opening a 10,000.00 savings account? Either a farm tractor, a drilling rig or a 4 slice toaster. Sadly, they had to order toasters 3 times. And the best way to summon a petroleum engineer was to snap your fingers and say WAITER!!. In Houston the best way to find one was to say CAB!!
    the ones that still their rosecolored glasses can hold out hope, but those of us that lived in it took ’em off when oil dropped to 80.00 (and is now in the upper 40 range). The fat lady has yet to sing on this one.

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    • Andy

      Ken,

      People just don’t grasp the complexity and far-reaching consequences of this bust.

      The oil company I am contracted to is hedged at $89 for ALL of 2015. Even so, they are drawing things back in close and the reason why is the investment money is GONE!

      Who, in their right mind, is going to loan an oil company money right now? So all those jobs are going to go away from the Tool Pusher making $120k a year to the housekeeper down at the latest motel out on the interstate that just opened up to house the workers.

      I am thinking $70/ barrel is the magic number to get things revved back up to some slight degree.

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      • Joel

        Well, there’s absolutely no doubt that oil prices will be back up over $80/bbl and in within a few years. We’ve already seen peak oil, and India and China aren’t just gonna stop growing.

        I’m certainly not concerned about the financials of those who gambled in the oil patch. Real investors know the difference between gambling and investing. Same with real estate.

        This latest dip in prices is political. Now there’s a new Saudi prince. If Putin buckles, this all could turn on a dime.

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  • Rob

    We left to full time (as nomads) over 2 years ago but I find it hard to call myself a nomad when I park some place for 6 months at a time (working), even if I do spend those 1/2 year chunks some distance apart.

    The other thing I have learned is about ‘stuff’. When I’m paying good money to store the stuff I don’t need with my new lifestyle something is not right.

    If you’re looking for a bright side to the oil price business at least you are not guarding a gate in North Dakota in February & watching the oil prices slide down!

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