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Howling Winds, Dry Lines, Will this be on the Test?

I don't look surly do I?

I am not much of a morning talker.  When Miss Kathy and I change shifts in the pre-dawn hours, she is wore out and ready for bed and I am not conducive to conversation to say the least.   Some shifts are tougher than others.  When you have crews changing out or equipment moving in or out,  it can make for a busy shift.  If the weather sucks,  it can be a tough 12 hours.   Nothing during this mornings shift change was unusual other than the fact one of my Mighty Mule FM231 Wireless Driveway Alarms was not working. I figured as much. One of the sand trucks for the frac job got crossways of the gate yesterday and had to back up. It looked to me like he backed down on the shoulder where the alarm was buried. I will go and check it out as soon as the sun gets up and it gets a little warmer. It is 38 degrees here this morning.

Our log sheets have a bunch of different columns to record info for the people in/out of here.  I was going over them this morning  and noticed one in the ‘license plate’ section that read ‘Free Willy’.   Hmmm, that could be a reference to the Killer Whale movie (not likely), it could be a reference to Willie Nelson, the daddy of  Texas honky tonk patrons (more likely), or it could  be a test to see if I am paying attention.   Hmmm again.   Miss Kathy is sharp of wit and stretches my brain out on a pretty regular basis.  Now I have a quandary.  Do I ignore it because she will not bring it back up again for months — until it serves as useful ammunition in some discussion.  Women file that kinda stuff  in some recess of their brain and they can recall it at will when it furthers their point – up to years later.   I can’t remember birthdays, anniversaries or what it says on my cap today.   Maybe I should ask?   That way I will defuse it and render it inert for any future use.  That is certainly walking off in there though.  I feel like I need one of those suits the bomb disposal guys wear.

It was a tough day yesterday.  Thursday we were on the very cusp of a Dry Line.

dry line: A boundary which separates warm, dry air from warm, moist air. The differences in the two air masses may be significant. The dry line is usually a boundary of instability along which thunderstorms form.

We got a bit of rain and some momentary hail and watched the thunderheads boil up as the front moved east. It eventually triggered thunderstorms and tornadoes across the Southeast. What it brought to us was howling winds for the next 18 hours. The wind blew out of the west-north west at a sustained 30mph yesterday with recorded gusts to 62mph. Everything that was not tied down around and about the Old Girl blew away. Rugs, chairs, bags of trash, my guard sign, my stop sign, the lights, 1lb propane bottles; nothing was exempt. I ended up pulling the Suburban up behind the row of lights and cowered behind it all day except for when I had to go check someone in. Miss K observed when she got up that the sheets on the clipboard were ‘all messed up.’  I agree; they looked like ass, all crinkled and tattered up. I was just happy the sheets were not in the next county east. Incredibly enough my little hummer buddy made regular visits to the feeder all day. Don’t ask me how he managed that when I had trouble standing up at times. He must be tougher than he looks.

The Suburban doubles up as a guard house

At the end of the day, just when I thought my hellish day was over, another problem cropped up. Miss K couldn’t push the door open for the wind. Now, Miss K is tough as old boot leather but she doesn’t have much lead in her ass. No matter how hard she tried it was near impossible for her to get the door on the Old Girl pushed open.   What to do? What to do?  After all, it is not like we have a big support crew here.  Just the two of us and Tuco the Dog.  I knew the Dog was not going to be much help; she had spent most of the day ensconced on the couch, watching satellite TV.  Smart dog.

Miss  K  came up with the idea of using the Suburban as a shelter.  I pulled it right up against the road, nose in to the stop sign.  She was able to sit in the driver’s seat and check people in and out  until the wind layed down about midnight.

Before I forget…..  Dust is a huge factor on just about any gate guard job.  Your RV WILL be parked on the edge of a rock road that may see several hundred vehicles a day pass by.  We have 10mph speed limit signs posted and the ‘regulars’ are usually very respectful.  I am happy with 20-25mph in most cases.  The ones that make a habit of boiling by me like their hair was on fire usually tone it down if I say something.  Miss K is very proud of the fact that ‘all of her boys are trained.’  Yeah, trained all right.  They creep by the bus when they see her on duty.  The hour hand of a clock moves faster than they do.  They honk and flash their lights at her and she will just wave and smile…..  and lord it over me something awful.  Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that she is a good looking flirty blond.  Jeez, I swear…

Just another day in the life of a pair of oil field gate guards…. enjoy!

 

 

 

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6 comments to Howling Winds, Dry Lines, Will this be on the Test?

  • My gosh, that sound like Oregon weather, except we had the ocean, not the dust! Where are you guys, again? By the way, we re-worked our home page today and added your blog link. Let me know if that’s not OK with you.

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    • admin

      Debbie,
      We are just west of Muenster,TX which is the northern edge of the Barnett Shale.

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  • Forgot to add my kudos to Miss Kathy for the Free Willy plate. Would love to hear what that was about!

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  • John Duncan

    Sounds like “one of those days” in the life of a gate guard…you guys have fun! I can’t get my hummingbird to find the flower on my feeder…maybe he’s slightly “mentally challenged” or didn’t do his homework at hummingbird flower sucking school…ha!

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  • Where did you get speed signs? Sounds superb. We’re still learning the tricks here.

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    • admin

      Heidi,

      We mentioned it to EOG , citing the safety hazard it posed at night when we were out in the road checking vehicles and they installed them shortly after.

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