Here’s to the Night

Life in the oilfield is a whirlwind. The last three weeks has been something like this:

Prepare a job. Brief the job. Send equipment. Wait. Job gets cancelled. Prepare a job. Brief the job. Send equipment. Send people to heliport. Job gets cancelled. Prepare a job. Brief the job. Send equipment. Send more equipment. More equipment gets cancelled. Job gets delayed. Wait. Job gets cancelled. Prepare a job. Brief the job. Wait. Job gets delayed……..

And so I wait patiently at the office. Sometimes I do work, sometimes I leave early. My job aspect of my life has been slightly boring, however, my life aspect of my life has been eventful and awesome.

“I have paturtle instincts”- DWShorty

“Don’t ever put your arm pits on the burgers!” -Skip

We got new engineers in Houma….. I now have the pleasure of introducing:

Spike Panda.


Noel on Left, Gertrude on Right

as can be seen in these photos, we took Spike and Noel to the shooting range with us to shoot some clays. We introduced them to all things Houma.

A few weekends ago, amid the job delays and dullness of life, I escaped to Houston for some family fun. Packing up Jerome in his travel tank, I drove us to see some family. We went to Zorro’s 2nd birthday party. My Uncle took an interest in trying to feed Jerome. This was his solution:



Attention Dear Readers: It is hurricane season in the Gulf. This has many different implications. At work, we discussed the different stages of hurricane alerts and eventual evacuation. My co workers and I have playfully dubbed this situation as a “hurrication”. Presently, all personnel offshore have been brought back to shore. This is a minor hurrication, as everyone is on shore. Jobs have been delayed, and there is minimal work to be done. While everyone was in town this weekend, we had an eventful time, as you may see from the photos above. Some of Beverly’s memorable toasts:

“To the company we’ll never love, to the company we’ll never leave…”

“Here’s to Houma!”

“To some of the greats people and worst engineers!”  

For a full-fledged “hurrication”, we will be evacuated from Houma. My hurricaiton plans are to take the whole gang to Dallas.

Battle of the Gas Stations

Last week, I prepared a job for Chevron. The job was cancelled. This week, I prepared a job for Shell. My trusty crew and I left for the heliport at 2 am to arrive to check in for our 6 o’clock flight. After watching the safety video and dawning our life jackets, we lined up to go outside and board the chopper. I have not been offshore in almost a month. The crusty smell of many times worn by many strangers but never washed life vest sent a rush of familiarity through my head. A familiar woman entered the room. She had checked us in at the front counter not an hour earlier. She addressed the room, “Take off will be delayed. All the Whataberger hands need to go to the counter. Leave your life vests in here.” I tried not to be too excited and jinx what was coming, while PokerFace undoubtedly stated, “We’re cancelled.” This week, I prepared a job for Shell. It was also cancelled. Harry1 hugged me at the counter when we received the news.

“I’m not staying at the shop when we get back. I’m going home!”-Harry1 on our car ride back from the heliport.

“Well, aren’t you sick? You look like you’re coming down with something.”-Our driver, trying to humor Harry1

“Yes. I am getting ready to have the sh!ts.”-Harry1.

One of the new operators, PlainCreamCheese, was talking to me on our ride home from the heliport. He explained that his cousin was once on Jerry Springer. He and his wife went on the show for their honeymoon. She “beat the crap out of him” and they had a great time. From this story, I learned that everything on that show is not only totally fabricated, but the guests on the show make up their own f*$%ed up stories. Needless to say, this shattered my perception of reality.

“You’re proactive.”-Pfergie (another operator) says to Harry1 about opening the gate and standing outside the car waiting.

“I’m antisocial.”-Harry1

“I live my life one quarter mile at a time.”-DWShorty, while driving like a maniac.

“Forgive me father, for I know not where I have sneezed.” -DWShorty’s ongoing joke. It never gets old.

“Hairs?? I don’t even think plural can cover it.”-Beverly, talking about my hairs.

Gloves and Stuff

Today, I wrote a funny incident report:

When going to an offshore rig as a service company, it is common to give away Whataberger paraphernalia to the people who work on the rig. This lets everyone know what a great company we are… Common items to give away could be any of the following, stamped with a Whataberger logo:




Tally Books

Key Chains

My office cheap and does not like to give away stuff to people offshore. Most crews resort to other methods to make people like us. Our PPE includes high visibility gloves

Every crew box is stocked with bags of these gloves, so we may wear them when working. They are neon and much brighter than the picture shows. Rough necks on rigs go crazy for these gloves. Many times, our crew will give away bags of gloves and watch as roustabouts fight over them.

The other day, my sister sent me this photo of her cat.

I showed it to my co workers. “Is that a skunk?…. Or a lemur of some sort?” -Canada

“I had a crap-ton of carrots.”-Canada

“Did he just say “I crapped on some carrots?””-DWShorty

“No, I ate a crap- ton. A crap ton is a metric sh!t load.”-Canada

Failing, Like a Big Shot

The lack of posting lately will be attributed to me hating my job and being angry at the whole world.

The last few weeks have been brilliant and sad and great and fun and frustrating, all exploding from their package and onto my face. This has caused me some emotional distress and confusion. This is my desk:


I did not pass my “breakout job” despite my fellow engineer’s opinions and encouragements. I was told that I should do a smaller scale job that is not deepwater and not so high profile so that I may handle things independently. This news came as a small blow, but I was expecting it. I was also told that I deserve some days off. I went to Florida and swam with dolphins. I basked in the sun and forgot all about my stupid job.




Wild dolphins are scary and have weird things growing on them. Because they dolphins were much bigger than I imagined, I was afraid of them at first and hid behind DWShorty. Eventually, I touched a dolphin.

Upon returning from a brief vacation, I was told I would go on another breakout job. Deepwater, high profile, most important client, one of the most expensive drillships in the gulf. I spent the last three days preparing for this job solo. I am getting the hauntingly familiar feeling of going on a job I prepared for by myself and failing at it. It is not a nice feeling. Everyone around me has nothing but great and supportive things to say about my work and my performance, but inside, I feel shitty. I remember my dad telling me, “You should hate to lose, but never be afraid to lose.” Right now, I’m afraid.

Outside of work, life is f*#$ing grand. It’s warm and fuzzy and peachy. I have plans to see my family, I have plans to see my friends. I joined a coed soccer team and have started playing on weekends. Jerome shed his skin for the first time and he is a glowing scaly beautiful animal. I wake up early and I love the hot sticky weather. I ride my bike after work and am getting pretty good at shooting my shot gun.

Quotes and stories!!

Last Thanksgiving, DWShorty and Cookies introduced Selina and Eyegore (Venezuelan and Russian) to the TurDuckEn. This is a Turkey stuffed with Duck stuffed with Chicken. They convinced Eyegore that this was not a food, but a swamp bird.

When DWShorty told his mother of the Turkey stuffed with Duck stuffed with Chicken, she thought he said “Turkey stuffed with f*$%ing Chicken”. Now sometimes when someone asks what you’re eating, it is customary to reply “Turkey stuffed with f*$%ing Chicken!!”

DWShorty and Cookies also convinced Eyegore that duct tape was really a special tape for creating a net with which to hunt ducks- duck tape.

“Thanks for introducing me to Tim Horton’s”-Cookies to Canada

“What’s Tim Horton’s”-Selina

“The Canadian Starbucks.”-Me

“It’s not a Canadian Starbucks. More like Canadian Awesome Coffee-bucks!”-Canada

“I used to cook and all my food was disgusting. But I discovered a secret. I have a recipe book. I just follow the recipie!!”-Selina

Driving home from Florida, DWShorty raced a 15 year old on the highway. “If we get pulled over, we’re going to jail tonight. That would be so embarrassing. He would have to call his mom……And I would have to call my boss….”