Category Archives: Work

Back to School and Off Work

I’m on a 9-80 schedule at my office. That means that I work 80 hours every two weeks over 9 days and get every other Friday off. I love the schedule. It gives me an extra day off every two weeks, all year long. During the summer when SuperPizzaBoy is not in school it gives us an extra day together. It is really nice though during the school year. Then I get my day off with Sweetie. I mean I love SPB but I like spending time with just me and Sweetie also.

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So Friday was my first 9-80 day since school started. Sweetie and I didn’t do much. We helped set up the lower school book fair. SPB is in the upper school but hey, we are helpful folks. Actually Sweetie is the helpful one and I was just tagging along.

#fridacation #fromwhereisit #atthemovies with Heather recliners!

Then we went to see Woody Allen’s new movie Blue Jasmine. Oh, it is a great movie but also very raw and heavy. But hey, the theater is in the midst of a renovation and they are installing these deluxe recliners in the auditoriums. I’m taking my snuggie next time! Do you have these where you live? I much recommend them.

Now this is a hot #steaming cup of #coffee

Then we went to lunch at Kosmos on Peoria in Brookside.

#doubleexposure #crepemyrtle #sun

We picked up SPB from school and brought him home. Sweetie is in making dinner and of course I’m in the yard playing with my Ipod Touch Hipstamatic App. It has a multi-exposure setting so I did the old hand in the sky covering the sun trick and then took a picture of our crepe myrtle blossoms.

#doubleexposure #knockout roses

And then a straight double exposure of the same thing at a slightly different angle. Kind of gives it a dreamy look is what I say. You’re no help in getting dinner ready  is what Sweetie says.

At #guthriegreen listening to #tulsasymphonyorchestra #tulsa #oklahoma

Then we packed up some chairs and the kid (along with his DS of course)(if you don’t know what  a DS is, count yourself as being very lucky, take my word for it!) and headed downtown to see the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra play at Guthrie Green. They played a variety of music from waltzes, to broadway tunes, to movie music. It was great. At the end they played some patriotic music and the there were fireworks!! (We love fireworks.)

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And even better it was against the Tulsa skyline.

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I’m so glad I figured out how to use the fireworks mode on my camera.
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I do feel bad though because I broke my rule against reading the manual. Manuals are for Democrats don’t you think, not hard working Republicans. (Mainly because most Republicans can’t read) (But they do have strong opinions) (I’m just joking folks. I heard rumors of a Republican in Massachusetts who can read. I mean if you choose to believe that there is a Republican in Massachusetts then I guess that it is not hard to make the leap that he or she can read.)

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After the concert and fireworks we went to Braums for a little ice cream.

And that is that!!

What did you do today?

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Pancakes, more pancakes, bike riding, getting stalked, and puppy love

A lot has been going on lately. It is hard to keep up with it all.

First up is it is United Way season. The Yogi’s are big supporters of United Way and so is my employer. Thursday they had their Pancake Breakfast. I’m always up for pancakes! Here is the lineup of this year’s cooks.

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What a fine looking crew, left to right, there is Dave (my boss) his pancakes were great, his boss Bob (his pancakes were even better), Steve (Co-worker), and Mike. The lady at the end is fellow geocacher Teresa (“Mommakiss”). $5 for all you can eat. The place was packed. I think they made a lot of money. The event was organized by another fellow geocacher Linda. Great job Linda!

I converted both Linda and Teresa to geocaching. I witnessed to them and gave my testimony and they saw the light. I walked them right up to the altar of their first geocache and they have been faithful witnesses to the Department of Defense Satellites encircling the globe emitting their steady dependable signals that enable us to find old M&M tubes hidden in the shrubbery of abandoned Wendy’s restaurants.

Friday was the start of a three day weekend. My employer has gone to an optional 9-80 work week so Sweetie and I had a big day planned. We dropped her car off to get fixed, then we dropped the kid off at school. We drove downtown to meet with our attorney. No we are not suing you, yet. Don’t make me mad though, our attorney is a mad dog.

We were hungry after all that legal stuff so Sweetie and I hoofed it over to the Blue Dome Diner. Tulsa blogger Bill Miller posted about it recently and I had to go try it. Sweetie and I each had the blueberry walnut pancakes. I ordered three, Sweetie, one. I followed Bill’s example though and ate only half and took the other half home. The pancakes are wonderful! (Sorry for the out of focus photograph.)

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We waddled back to the car, went home and changed out of lawyering clothes and into our biking clothes and drove out to the river and rode a short ride of about 12 miles or so. I only got one photograph. (Sweetie will leave me if I don’t keep up!) It is of downtown Tulsa where I work. I had to wave at my coworkers still working. Don’t worry, next week they will have Friday off and they will be waving at me from the river.

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Look at those big old fat fluffy clouds.I love them. They day was perfect. Temperature in the mid 80’s, a little breeze, and low humidity. I was in heaven! The sun was straight overhead so all the trees had perfect little round shadows underneath them. What a day off!

It came time to go to Quik Trip get something to drink and then pick up the kid from school, the car from the shop, and go home. This is where I found out I’m getting stalked.

There was this waiting for me in the mailbox at home.

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I think it is a little ominous, don’t you? Anybody have any ideas who this could be. Sweetie says it is my fellow blogger Baloney. Couldn’t be, could it?  She’s my friend. We went dancing last week! Go check her out, let me know what you think. Is she the one or not? I sent her something earlier this week. It was real nice.

Don’t laugh. It’s a poop cache. They are very rare.

Then it was time to go check on Nana. She is recovering nicely from her broken leg and will be and running around Dress Barn again in no time. We took our two mutts Ginger and Abby because they like to play with Nana’s Fiona. After the playing it was cuddling time.

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Ginger is on the right, Fiona on the left, Abby is the white blur behind Fiona. We couldn’t get all their faces in the picture. They are friends but not that good of friends.

By then I was worn out. I made the most of my day off don’t you think. And I’ve got two whole days to go this weekend!

Kansas Trip

Just got back from Kansas. I attended the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association Meeting in Wichita. My employer had a booth, I talked to customers, competitors, and all sorts of other people. I also attended some really good talks and discussions.

The short story? Natural gas prices are going to stay down, oil prices are going to stay up. What does that mean? The producers are drilling more oil wells, less gas wells. Darn it! I’m a gas guy. Oh well.

The political take. They are resigned to Obama’s changed tax laws in regard to oil and gas drilling. What does it mean? Drilling wells will be less profitable, so less drilling will occur, so look out, increased oil imports are going to happen.

What about me? I had a great time. My sister Ellen was in town on business from Colorado. She is a geocacher (“eoripolyard” is her geocaching handle.) So guess what? We went geocaching. We found seven in downtown Wichita including a webcam cache. Sweetie helped us with that by remotely operating a webcam in Wichita, Kansas from Tulsa, Oklahoma. (You want to do that?, stay tuned to the end of this broadcast!)

So, who cares about our energy concerns. The big news is that I found 19 caches over three days of my trip, Woo hoo!! Lets have a party! I’m up to 829 total caches found. Below is a partial screenshot of my logs.

Thank you my fellow American taxpayers. Your spending billions of dollars on supersecret GPS satellite technology not only helps keeps our troops, sailors, and airmen safe, it allows me to find Tupperware containers in our city parks and highway rest stops!!! Isn’t this country great or what? Who cares about Obama taking our guns? I don’t want him scrambling the GPS signals again.

For those of you who are patient. Do you want to operate a web cam? Here is the link!

You can take control of this camera mounted high atop a building in downtown Wichita and move it left and right, up and down, and zoom in. Its fun during the day to track people as they walk. You can even take still images of what you see!! You can stalk people in downtown Wichita from anywhere on the planet!

To find out about webcam geocaches. Check out this link to the webcam cache my sister and I found using the same webcam.

Millennials, a Carpenter’s Union, and the Homeless. Explained by an Old Crusty Gas Guy!

These Millennials flooding the workplace are something else. They know how to work in groups, they are technologically adept, work hard and are eager to learn. They have also had their butts kissed since birth and like it. And we Baby Boomers love them. They are our kids. Generation X’ers apparently hate them, but I’m not going to get into that!

Millennials don’t know everything, I have proof! Some things have to be explained to them. For example here in Tulsa the local Carpenter’s Union (Local 943) in conjunction with their parent organization (Arkansas Regional Council of Carpenters) is in a two year campaign to force a local contractor, Green Country Interiors (“GCI”), to convert to a union shop. They are doing this by picketing jobs that Green Country Interiors are working on now and businesses that have used GCI previously. The Union is even picketing the entrance to the neighborhood of the president of Green Country. I give this as a little bit of background.

The Union has outsourced the actual picketing to homeless people who get $10/hour and no benefits. Brilliant! I think the problem may be that actual carpenters are actually working and may not be too excited about taking off work to picket. So outsource the labor. Way to go local 943. Turn the tables! Out of box thinking.

My employer has hired a bunch of new college grads each of the last several years. One of our selling points is our extensive training program. My part of the training program is to sit them in a conference room and bore them past tears to total despair as I drone on … and on. However, I do wake them so we can go to lunch, (because I’m nice guy). As we were walking to the restaurant we passed the picketers who were marching and chanting. The Millenials asked what was going on? I summarized the above. They asked “So these homeless people want to go to work on the building?” Oh, no, I don’t think that is the plan at all, I told them. The Union wants GCI to be a union shop. That way GCI’s workers will become union employees. “What about the homeless people?” they ask. I say, “What about them?” I tell them maybe the homeless folks can take their newfound picketing and chanting skills and go to work for the iron workers or something. Or more likely they stay homeless.

These Millennials who are supposed to be so smart couldn’t figure any of this out. They don’t think it makes any sense, further they don’t think it is very fair. That is why companies will need old crusty guys like me to keep stuff like this all sorted out. Or at least that is what I tell myself.

Save Our Strippers!!!!!


Yep, the State of Oklahoma is concerned about our strippers. The oil business depends on strippers. We don’t know what we would do without them. There are only 65,504 of them in Oklahoma and they are going fast.

Here is where you can go to see the facts and perhaps see how you can help preserve a key element of the energy business. Please help save a stripper.

Dunkin Donuts Coffee, Natural Gas, Baseball, and a Music Recital

A lot has been happening lately not much of it involves being able to exercise but I’ve been eating like a horse. Plus my Health Club has closed their downtown branch facility which is depressing because I love running at noon. The main health club is wonderful but I have to use it in the morning because it is too darned far from downtown to workout if I stay up too late the night before. I’ve been checking out my options.

So, I eat, don’t work out and get fat. Big deal right? Join the crowd. At least I can get up early and drink my Dunkin Donut coffee and read blogs. I was drinking my coffee, wondering what to eat for breakfast, and clicked on one of my favorite blogs, “Jiggety Jigg,” this morning and it was about Dunkin Donut coffee as a cure for constipation. I about spilled my coffee and decided to put off breakfast for later. Google it, there is whole subculture out there! You learn something every day. I told Sweetie about it now we’re going back to Starbucks. (Just kidding.)Now for the natural gas part of this post. Don’t worry I’m talking about that that comes out of the ground. We had a team building exercise at work. We went to a daytime baseball game, the Tulsa Drillers vs the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, AA teams. We had a great time even though it was cool and overcast.

Below is the world famous geocacher Teresa. She is a lot of fun.

About an inning into the game I had to leave to go SupePizzaBoy’s school for his classes music program. Great deal. Each kid did one or two solo numbers, singing or an instrument, and then they did a few things together. The school really works hard with the kids and they did very well.

SPB played a keyboard piece. I think it was “When the Saints Come Marching Home.” and sang a funny song about Summer Vacation.

The class sang together “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”. PizzaBoy gave the family a preview last weekend at Nana’s pool. It was recorded for posterity.

Guess what I did then? I went back to the baseball game! Got there at the top of the 8th and got to see it end. I love minor league baseball, especially daytime baseball. At least once during the spring I’ll grab a customer, eat lunch, go to the park and watch the game with them and drink a malted beverage or two. Almost better than geocaching and no ticks! or snakes!

Will Work for Coffee and Beer

The Oklahoma Rig Count is dropping faster than you know what in a punchbowl. If this keeps up we are going to find an answer to the question:

Does McDonald’s still requires Masters Degrees for their Geologists?

I’m not a Geologist, I’m not sure what I am. But I can cook excellent pancakes and great fried chicken. Does anybody have any openings for chemical engineers with MBA’s who can cook?

The One Minute Engineer

Remember all the “One Minute” books way back when. The One Minute Manager, The One Minute Teacher, The One Minute Leader, The One Minute …. uh no.

Anyway, I never did see a book for the One Minute Engineer. So I decided to write one and did, it took me about a minute. Couldn’t get a publisher in the one minute I tried so I’m doing a one minute post. I have this information and I also have early onset so if I don’t get this out in one minute, its gone forever.

We are going to concentrate on Chemical Engineering! Wow, ok, ready, there are four lessons. Don’t worry, all four lessons take about a minute! This will be quick and it will change your life.

Lesson 1 – What you need to know is that any type of chemical facility, whether it is a refinery or a chemical plant consists of only two types of equipment (and of course interconnecting piping). These two types of equipment are: LRO’s and TST’s. We are done! Wow, review if you feel the need.

Lesson 2 – Notice the picture above. It is a LRO. LRO stands for Large Round Object. Got it? Need to go over that. OK! Great, you are doing wonderfully. Congratulations. These are very important for the proper functioning of any chemical facility. You are halfway done to a Chemical Engineering Education.

Lesson 3 -Now pay attention, we are stepping up here. The above equipment are TSTs. TST’s are Tall Shiny Things. Go ahead and repeat. These are also necessary for the proper and safe operation of a refinery or chemical plant or whatever else you want to build. OK, you are ready for the final lesson.

Lesson 4 – This is the wrap up, so pay attention. This is where all your hard work comes together. What you do to build a chemcal facility is arrange all your LROs and TSTs into a pleasing configuration. This is where all your design and composition skills come into play. Like above, the tension between the tall and skinny and the short and round against the cloudy sky. Cannot beat that. Oh yes, make sure that the guys and gals you hire to run the thing know how to connect the LRO’s and TST’s together.

We are not done! We have graduation. Below is your reward. Not a diploma, something better, a T shirt! Aren’t you glad you did this? I am. Thanks very much and I wish you much success in your new career.

Thanks Dave for the inspiration.

Sweetie Done Gone and Left Me – Ran Off With My Only Son

Me, Sweetie, and SuperPizzaBoy were down here in San Antonio since last Friday. Today, Sweetie and SPB done packed up their stuff and left me and headed back to Tulsa. Oh, woe is me.

I consoled myself by finding five geocaches. Two right on the riverwalk. (Another post coming up).

Then I went to the hospitality suites. You see I’m at the annual Gas Processors Convention, this year in San Antonio. They are kind of like the Grammys but for natural gas. Well kind of anyway. We don’t have quite the television ratings the Grammy’s have but may be next year.

The GPA Convention hospitality suites are fun!? Food is free and so is the drink.

I didn’t see too many people I know. I was on my own. My basic problem (I know, I have many basic problems, but this is my blog, so let me finish, pleeeease) is that I’m a business guy at a techie convention. I go to see what our competitors are up to plus get them ever important pdh certificates (“professional development hours”) needed to maintain my Professional Engineers certification.

So, anyway, without Sweetie, I had to negotiate the hospitality suites on my own. They all have these big expensive billboards out front that scare me half to death, like the following:

Do you know what they are talking about? Let me know, because I don’t. I’m just looking for something to eat and drink.

What about the following:

Jeez, power my engineering calculations? How about a decent red wine so I can think about it! Also, you know something. 1970’s disco sucked back then and has only gotten worse. Do something different. Cut back on the dj budget and increase the food budget! Yea, now we are talking!

But, around the corner, in the “less choice spot, I saw this sign. Belgian Beer.! Wow! Check it out.

Three types of Belgian Beer. No Chimay Triple Bec but I had a wonderful Hoegaarden. Fragrance of peaches, apple, and caramel. Had to listen to a presentation by the the beer rep before I got the beer. Yep, I know that Belgian beers each have their own glass so that is why I can’t leave the room with the glass. You don’t understand. I’m staying here until you throw me out. I’m sold, Give me the beer, please! Finally. (Note to people who want to get into sales, when the customer says OK, then what you should do is SHUT UP! Got it, he or she is already sold, QUIT TALKING! and start making them glad that they went with you.

I’ll tell you, next time you are looking at overhauling or replacing your turboexpander I recommend you call L.A. Turbine. I don’t know if they are any good or not but they serve good beer.

Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Nick’s Law and What Else?

I had a whirlwind day last Thursday.

First I drove from Tulsa down to Oklahoma City for a meeting of Natural Gas and Energy Association of Oklahoma. They had the meeting at the Oklahoma History Center near the State Capital.

You could really tell that the price of natural gas is down. Not many people showed up. March prices for Oklahoma gas could be down in the $2.70 per million btu range. That is about 1/3 of last summer’s prices, and its winter. Doesn’t look good for the rest of the year. Also, the speaker was going to talk about Nuclear Energy in Oklahoma. To a bunch of gas folks?

Some people have told me that energy companies rig the prices. I tell them that the energy companies are pretty piss poor at it.

The Speaker was State Represenative Scott Martin of Norman. He is sponsoring a bill to facilitate nuclear power plants in Oklahoma. I think it is a good idea. That is for another post.

I kept thinking Scott Martin, Scott Martin . . . Seemed like he was involved in the Nick’s Law controversy going on in Oklahoma. He is a Republican . . . Some Republicans’ have suggested that Oklahoman’s with autism and their families maybe need to move to some other state. That kind of bothers me. Maybe the politicians need to move instead.

Anyway I got home and googled Rep Martin and was very pleasantly surprised. According to this Rep Martin was one of only four Republicans who stood up to their leadership to try and bring Nick’s law to the floor last year. So, I think that he is a good guy. I wished I had talked to him, but he had to go to a hearing, busy, buys, busy.

Speaking as a Republican, I have been wondering for some time now what they bring to the table, I mean, if you are not a big contributor looking for special favors in return for contributions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to turn Democrat on anybody. But still I’m wondering.

I had other things to do so I didn’t go through the Oklahoma History Center. I have done it before and I really recommend seeing it if you hadn’t before.

I did go through the grounds though. Lots of oil and gas stuff there.

Drilling rigs of various vintages. Look at the sky, you wonder why I didn’t want to stay inside?

A pumpjack, an older model. For pumping oil.

There was a geocache on the grounds. I’m sorry to report that I didn’t find it.

Now, a boring blast from the past. I used to live close to the Capital in my pre-Sweetie days in an old neighborhood. So I went over there to take a look.

I loved this house. I signed a 1 year lease and left before the lease was up. Everything that wasn’t nailed down was disappearing. I even caught a fine young coed from that great Methodist school, Oklahoma City University, stealing bricks from the back yard. She said she didn’t realize that they belonged to anybody. She offered to put them back where she got them. Boy, that was nice of her.

I then left the city and headed west, to western Oklahoma. To check on some projects I helped put together commercially. In particular a couple of compressor stations.

Here is what one looks like. Isn’t it a beauty? Ok, time to quit.