Tag Archives: New Orleans

ABC Wednesday – N is for …


Lots of possibilities for N’s. How about a natural gas well!! Above is my son next to a wellhead in Western Oklahoma. A Colony Wash Shale well if you must know. And yes it was fracked. And because of that all the babies in Oklahoma are now born stark naked. Just ask Logan, he was born naked and was so embarrassed. I hope that hasn’t spread to where you live now. We have to stop them  frackers!! I was talking to a guy from California a while back and he was telling me how evil hydrocarbons are and how bad pipelines are and how we need to “disinvest” from all that. I asked him if he had a car. He told me he didn’t use hydrocarbons. His car was electric he told me all proud and everything. I let it go. I learned a long time ago to never argue with idiots. (And yes, I believe in human caused climate change, and that we need to reduce carbon emissions.)

Is being near the well dangerous you ask? I tell you what is dangerous. See that grate that my son is standing on. Take the grate off and climb down into the vault to check it out. Watch out for the slithery things that rattle. Those are dangerous. Stay out of that vault and you are safe. Just don’t mess with anything. Please!!


N is for New Orleans. Always.


N is for night time running. It always takes a little getting used to. Keep your wits about you is my advice.


N is for neon. Who doesn’t love Neon lights.

I am linking with ABC Wednesday

Stories – My First Time in New Orleans Years Ago

I have a lot of stories. Just ask the people I work with and if I am around watch them slink away if there is the slightest possibility that I am going to tell another one like I am about to now.


Audubon Park

I just got back from New Orleans from a convention. My first trip was in 1977 when I was graduating with an Engineering Degree from the University of the New Mexico. (aka “Harvard on the Rio Ground” or “MIT on the Mesa” as it is known, at least to me.) You may remember 1977. Oil prices were heading out the roof and I had sixteen job offers including a blind offer from Gulf Oil Corporation. Yep, they sent me a job offer by mail with my choice of location.


MIssissippi River at New Orleans

They had locations all over the place and I sure wanted to avoid west Texas so they sent me to New Orleans for a tour there. I flew in from Albuquerque and stayed at a downtown hotel and the next morning went to their office and talked to an engineering manager and he told me what the deal was. The deal was that I would spend a year or two working out of the office in Quarantine Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. The thing was that I would live in New Orleans and drive down there in a company care with three other engineers. So I said,”….uh okay….” not that I was agreeing. So he said that I was going to go down there and tour the areas.


I was wearing my finest (and only) polyester sport coat, tie, and slacks and said “….uh okay….” and he introduced me to an engineer who had been doing this and so we went to the parking garage and off we went. Going down he was all professional and all that. I am not sure how far we drove but memory (which is very unreliable) tells me it was about 40 miles or south of New Orleans. We were driving along the main channel of the river and after a while noticed that the ships in the river were above where we were and my guide said, yep. We were below sea level.


So we went to our destination and got out of the car and onto a workboat and traveled further down the river. It was February, if memory serves me,and quite foggy and I was like really interested in the radar and all that. The Cajun crew was smirking at me in my finest polyester duds but there was nothing I could do about that. So we went down the river and through a lock off the river into Quarantine Bay and then motored over to the Gulf’s office which was basically an elevated barge run up on a mudbar in the bay.


The water was only a few feet deep and there were dozens of oil wells scattered here and about. They were just basically well casings sticking out the the water with wooden guards surrounding them. This was Gulf’s oil field in the area. So we climbed the stairs up to the office and had some coffee and talked about what was going on and then we walked down the stairs to a smaller boat and motored around to a workout rig working on one of the wells. A wire line crew was working on the rig replacing gas lift mandrels (don’t ask, doesn’t matter) and they were all Cajuns with blue jumpsuits being very polite with the guy from New Mexico with his polyester duds and tie.


This is the Dauphin field in Mobile Bay, Alabama

So we went back to the office where the crew had cooked some red beans and rice. They gave me a bunch of crap but I had worked three summers in the oilfields of the Permian Basin and had realized that the best way to handle crap is just to take it gracefully and so I took it and everything went okay and they all shook my hand when it come time to leave and I think I made an okay impression with these guys.

Street Car Street Scene

So the time came to go back to New Orleans and off we went and here was where the surprise came, or at least the first surprise. My guide and I stopped about every fifteen minutes on the way back at various beer joints. And the bartenders knew my guide, and he knew them!! So we drank a beer there at the bar and took one to go and off we went to the next joint. He said that this was part of the training program. So we stopped at at three or four places so as we drove across the big bridge into New Orleans I had a pretty good buzz on.


I was thinking we were going on to the airport but no. The second surprise was that management wanted to talk to me. Uh!!! Uh oh!!! So we went back to the office and I got to talk to the big cheese engineering manager and he talked and talked and droned on and on and then he yapped some more and I had reverted to the polite guy from New Mexico with the polyester duds and tie and then FINALLLLLLLY he asked if I had any more questions. I did! I asked if I could use the restroom.


So I made a big impression with Gulf Oil. I had worked summers though with Mobil and they agreed to let me work on the Gulf Coast instead of Permian Basin. So it all worked out. I still remember my day with the Cajuns in the bay and how exotic it was to this guy in his polyester sport coat, slacks, and tie.

Quarentine Bay Screenshot

Screen shot showing New Orleans at the top and Quarantine Bay at the bottom.

The Creative Playroom – The Timeless French Quarter

French Quarter, April 2016

I’ve been in New Orleans attending a convention this week but I am close to the French Quarter and have managed to break away a few times to check out the French Quarter. What I tried to do with this photo is give a sense of the timelessness of the area. I don’t know for sure but I like to imagine that this is a scene that hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years and won’t change in the next 100.  A restaurant with with barely seen people lingering over the food and a couple strolling by on the paved walkway with the big beautiful doors wide open to let in the light and the air.

You can see a color version of this photo by clicking on it to the right in my Instagram panel. Which do you like better?

I just love it here but I’ll be heading home to Tulsa on Wednesday.

I’m linking with with Nature Footstep’s The Creative Playroom today.


New Orleans – Audubon Park via the St. Charles Streetcar


True confessions, this isn’t the streetcar I rode out to Audubon park on.

I’m here in New Orleans at a convention but Monday morning is mainly convention business meetings so I got up and had me a parfait from Starbucks cuz I’m trying to be healthy at least for a few hours and then I walked up Poydras Street from the hotel to St. Charles and caught the streetcar from there to Audubon Park.


I have been to New Orleans several times now but have never set foot on a street car because I was unsure how one paid and where they went and so on and kind of worried about the safety of it all especially since former New Orleans Saint football player Will Smith was murdered in the Garden District just a day or so ago and Audubon Park is in the Garden District.


My first New Orleans geocache in several years. Boy did I take heat on facebook for this. Everybody is going “Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Hey, you take care of you, and I’ll take care of me! Deal.!?

I checked the world wide interwebs and it was kind of strange. People said that despite the New Orleans being the murder capital of the USA, they didn’t feel nervous about putting their garbage out late at night. Whoa, it had never occurred to me to worry about taking the garbage out anywhere I have lived. Should I startt?


Well, I was very brave. I headed out on the streetcar without a weapon, not even a knife or even pepper spray.


Well guess what, Audubon Park is pretty mellow, people walking their dogs, coeds from Loyola and Tulane jogging (how come lots more young women run than men???) old folks walking their dogs. It was a very chill scene (did I say that right? I’m an old guy and I know that I risk making a fool of myself when I pretend that I’m hip.) (Although at this point, I’m beyond caring what people think.) 


Anyways I didn’t go to the Zoo. I walked the two miles around the golf course and it was nice. Huge old oak trees.


Lots of them, and I took lots of pics of them. The trees are alive!!


This looks like a former street to me. Trees and lights on both sides. What’s up.


They have paved trails with politically correct divisions between bikers and runners and dirt trails also.


And some dinosaur looking birds which I think are cormorants but I’ve come to find out that there are a gazillion different types of cormorants as well.

So I walked a little over two miles, took a trip out and a trip back on the Streetcar and started the convention in a very chill mood which I have maintained through the whole day.

And so I was able to visit the L.A. Turbines Voodoo Chapel and get rid of some bad ju ju and reinfore good ju ju. I love a vendor owned by a Belgian, don’t you? Especially one who is generous with Belgian Beer.

Our World – New Orleans


I am in New Orleans for a convention this week. This is the third time that I have come here for this event and I love it.


I would love it even more if Heather were here but alas not to be. Last time she came with me was years ago, the spring before Katrina hit the city. We had a wonderful meal at KPauls. It was on our own dime.  The convention had a banquet featuring the Oakwood Boys. We opted out of the banquet mystery meat and spent more than we could afford. And it was worth it.


New Orleans is a beautiful city. It has a charm to it. It has all the cheesy tourist shops sure but it also has some beautiful balconies above the shops.  It is kind of mysterious. It kind of reminds me a little bit of the way Santa Fe was when I was just a little kid. The cheap tourist places but glimpses of courtyards behind wrought iron gates captivated me.


The street buskers of New Orleans are the best I have ever seen. Everybody gets in the act. The little boy above felt moved to join in. Nobody seemed to mind.


The city is always in transition. Nice areas breaking out in not so nice neighborhoods and other areas seemingly in decline.


I just love it here. It is unlike any place I have ever been. Even other places in Louisiana.


So I’ll be here until Wednesday at noon when I fly out. I’ll be trying to take in as much of the convention and the city as I can.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday