Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catch up, catch up, catch up....

Ok, so I'm not as diligent with this as I should be...hopefully one of these days (weeks) my good intentions will become habit.  They say it takes 21 repetitions for something to become a habit.  Maybe I should try to post something every day, even something short for 21 days and see what happens.......................

Ok, so, catching up...

Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM
This is always a blast for us.  We just love seeing all the balloons floating over the city AND we get to see MOST of the guys we work with all in one place!

We didn't take many pictures this time around, probably because I took soooooo many last year, but here are a few:
Knights of Columbus park n ride volunteers

Air Force park n ride workers from Kirtland AFB

Snow on the mountains

cloud cover over the mountains

And that's not even ALL of them!


For the Kids
The Balloon Fiesta provides 5 park n rides throughout the city.  That's where we worked, making sure the technology worked and supported the volunteers.  The Knights of Columbus (Kiwanis at Dave's lot) were responsible for scanning tickets and selling tickets.  The Air Force volunteers from Kirtland AFB were responsible for getting the buses loaded and on their way.  I was at a parking lot at Intel and Dave was at the Sagebrush church.

The Balloon Fiesta ran from October 1st to Oct 9th.  We spent the Thursday and Friday before it started setting up our equipment and training people how to use it.

On Saturday's and Sundays the first buses left at 4:30AM, so we had to be there at 4AM.  On Thursday and Friday the first buses left at 5AM.  Last buses to leave each morning at 630AM and 7AM on Thurs and Fri.  So, that means we were up at 230AM on weekends.  Since my lot was farther away, I dropped Dave off and then headed to Intel.  When the last bus left I would hop back into the truck, pick Dave up and we would go have breakfast, head back to the house and hit the bed. That's because they also had an afternoon park n ride and we had to be back out at 3pm to start that shift.  We would get back in the evening about 630 or 7pm, fix some dinner, watch a little TV, make phone calls or whatever, then hit the bed about 9 or 930pm......then back up at 230AM to start it all over again!!

A couple of those mornings were quite cold, 38 with rain and wind, so that made us even more tired.

Fortunately we had NO park n rides Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday so we had time to catch our breath.  We probably should have done some sightseeing or drove out of the city, but Monday we just slept until we woke up and then lazed around all day....whew!  Tuesday was laundry and household chores and then Wednesday was grocery shopping and .... I don't even remember...we just relaxed I think.

Anyway, we do love working the Balloon Fiesta, but man is it ever exhausting!

In between working we met some very nice people.  Also retired Army and fulltiming in their Excel 5th wheel.  Lee and Beth Holt.  We discovered that we were heading in the same direction on the same day.  We had already decided to stop in Amarillo for a few days and since Lee and Beth were originally from Amarillo, they recommended a GREAT RV Park, Oasis RV Resort.  The staff was very friendly, onsite restaurant, lovely clubhouse, pool, hot tub, 5 bathroom/laundry buildings, but the BEST thing was if you stay two nights the 3rd was free!

We arrived there mid afternoon, but Lee and Beth didn't arrive until late evening.  We were also leaving on the same day from there, but we were headed to Ft. Worth and they were headed towards Arkansas via Oklahoma city.

While we were in Amarillo Dave called a local RV repairman to finally get our water heater looked at.  We had been having trouble with it for awhile getting heated up while on electric.  We had been just using the propane to heat it up.  Well, turns out a wire had shorted out and burned through!  Soooo lucky we didn't have a fire!  All fixed now and we are so relieved it wasn't worse.

Also while in Amarillo, we went to the Discovery Center.  Geared more towards children, in fact:

Preschool Class at the Discover Center
there was a preschool class there when we were.  Certainly made it more interesting with the kids exploring everywhere!

Had to leave in the middle of our exploring to go meet the water heater guy, but went back that afternoon to finish.  They have one of those IMAX theaters there and we wanted to see at least one film.  It just happened to be one called "Light show".  Talk about psychedelic!  Lots of lights, designs and graphically produced roller coasters!  Reminded be a little of the 70's!

From Amarillo we were heading out to Ft. Worth to take a test and do the paperwork for our winter job.  We decided to stay at Holiday Park on Benbrook Lake just outside the city.  It's a Corp of Engineers park, so was our first opportunity to use Dave's America the Beautiful pass to get 1/2 price camping.  We didn't do much while we were there...walks and explored the nearby area, went to our bank, looked at laptops at Best Buy, got my glasses adjusted and did a bunch of nothing.

It took just a couple of hours to get our testing, fingerprinting and paperwork done for our winter job and everyone associated with this company are very nice.  We will be working for LOMA Flowbacks as gate guards at a natural gas or oilfield site.  We found this work through a couple of blogs I follow and called a few of the companies that were recommended.  Doug from LOMA was the only one to call me back and what a nice guy he is!  We chatted for about 20 minutes and he asked me to send him a short resume and a picture of us and our rig and to include any questions we had.  He answered almost immediately with answers to all our questions and gave us the info on where to go in Ft. Worth to get our tests and paperwork done.

Anyway, when we leave New Orleans we will give the gate manager, Ken, a call and let him know we are heading towards Texas.  He will let us know at that time what they have for us and where we will be.  It will probably be somewhere around Catulla, TX.  This is SW of San Antonio TX.  It will most likely be out in the middle of nowhere, because most of these jobs are on ranches.  We will park our rig just inside a gate and they provide a water tank, a waste tank and a generator for us.  They will come once a week to empty the waste and fill up the water and gas for the generator. 

This is a 24/7 job that involves signing in and out everyone that comes through the gate.  We will probably split the shifts by me working at night (being the night person I am) and Dave will take the day.  Haven't decided what hours yet - 7 to 7, 8 to 8, 9 to 9?  We got a little taste of what it could be like..there was a site just over the hill from our campground that was putting in a well for something..Natural gas I think.  Anyway it was LOUD.

Here are a few pictures from Benbrook Lake campground.
The view across the lake at night from our campsite.
That's Fort Worth over there.

The view during the day.  That equipment is part of
the drilling site.  The actual site is to the left
and over the hill (not in the picture).
You can see how low the lake is from the drought.  The water should be all the way up to where we took the picture from.

In any case, stay tuned to learn all about what we are doing and what things we encounter.

When we left we headed for Shreveport Louisiana.  We are staying at Barksdale AFB FamCamp.  We arrived here last Wednesday and haven't really done much.  I went into town to do laundry and we cleaned out all our clothes we haven't used in the last year.  Took those down to the Goodwill and stopped at walmart for supplies for gate guarding.  Bug spray, snakebite kit, water filters...that kind of stuff.

Barksdale is the home of the 2d Global Air wing with B2's and A10's stationed here.  We are right under the flight path of these very loud and very big aircraft, but they are so cool to watch flying so low.  Being from Army aviation background this bothers neither of us.  Dave tried to take some pictures the other night, but none of them turned's one attempt
That's a B2 getting ready to land...can't you tell? :)
Today is cloudy with off and on rain so we are spending it watching the race in Talledaga and blogging.  We bought new laptops at Best Buy in Bossier, LA, so I am also spending the day getting all our programs, links and other stuff set up.

So now I am all caught up!  Stay tuned for my 21 days of blogging..we'll see what I can come up with.

SHOUTOUT: to Lee and Beth - It was great meeting you and swapping stories and hints for fulltiming!  Safe travels.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. My husband and I, and also his parents are trying to get jobs as gate guards. We have contacted Gate Guard Services in Corpus Christi, but cannot find out how to contact LOMA. We would so much appreciate it if you could send us some contact info for LOMA. You can send to
    Thanks in advance. And happy trails!


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