Life as an oilfield worker (Part 2)

If there is one thing you need to understand about life as an oilfield worker, it’s that we are all tired…. ALL THE TIME!! I mean, there isn’t enough sleep or hot tubs  in the world to compensate for how tired you are. Imagine getting the crap kicked out of you for at least 12 hours a day, 14 days straight. No weekends, no 9-5, just ass whoopings, all day. Now I admittedly have one of the more easy jobs in the oilfield and I still feel tired all of the time. I work on a 2 weeks on, 1 week off schedule. So during your weeks on while you peruse around facebook and the like you keep seeing people making posts like “Oh it’s Thursday, I’m so ready for the weekend!! YOLO sauce TGIF #witmuhbitvhes #lolz #drunkenstupor #hashtag #ican’trememberhowtofunctionlikeanormalperson-sincefacebookandhashtagsbecameathing”and all you can think is “I still have 10 more days of work… 12 hour days. you get off at 5 every day when you only get to work at 8 AM. I’ve been at work for at least 2 hours when first wake up and I can’t leave for another hour.   If you were standing here I would transplant your liver with a rabid house cat using a rusty spork.” I see people on facebook during the winter from back in my home state post things like “It was 27 degrees today and my wipers froze to the windshield, FML.” Every time I see that I want to yell at them “I’VE BEEN LIVING IN A VAN FOR THE LAST WEEK IN -50 DEGREES!!! I STOOD ON TOP OF A CONEX FOR AN HOUR TRYING TO SOLDER A WIRE TOGETHER! I NEARLY SHIT MYSELF JUST TO FEEL SOMETHING WARM!” Some of you may know  fairly well what an “e-tech” is and does. If you ask a non-e-tech what an e-tech is, they will normally tell you that e-techs are the laziest bastards at their job and don’t do a damn thing. The beautiful thing about being an e-tech, is if you do your job during down times and while the rest of the employees are taking breaks or down for maintenance, you job gets really easy really quick. The way e-techs look at their job is this “If I’m working, it’s because your equipment is broken, and if your equipment is broken, the company isn’t making any money off of it and they do NOT like that. So if I’m not working, the bosses are overall happy”. Honestly, it’s a great gig. At any rate, lets say that the job goes hella good. Let’s say that I didn’t have a single issue to look at during my normal 24 hour shift (yes you read that right. I normally work 24 hour shifts, with paperwork on either side, so it’s really closer to 32 most of the time). By the time I get off work, I’m completely wiped out. Granted, I’m a bad@$$ motherf*#%er and can hold it together long enough to get back to mancamp, eat dinner, shower, have a chat and talk to the wife and kid before going to bed so I can wake up in a few hours to do it all over again… For 2 weeks straight.  Now after all of that, when my week off come around, I’m ready to go home and see my family. Then the tables turn. When I check facebook and see people bitching about their jobs I can’t help but think “I’ve been off work for (x) days and don’t have to go back until Monday… What saps!” That time off gives me time to go do things like camping and explore the wilderness, of my bed, and sleep like a hibernating grizzly bear (see, the wilderness thing came around). Though as difficult as it is to work 32 hour shifts for two weeks straight. I do it happily. Living in a van sucks pretty bad, but I do it happily. The worst part about working in the oilfield is not seeing my family for 2 weeks straight. Don’t get me wrong. With modern technology like, texting, cellphones, skype (mostly skype), I can still SEE them from time to time, but it’s just not anywhere the same as being able to hug your wife and kid. It doesn’t keep your heart from being ripped out every time you have to be strong and walk away from the ones you love more than anything. It makes you feel like a heartless monster. It makes you feel cold and dead inside. The comradery  and friends you make in the oilfield are great guys you’d take a bullet for (ok, probably not quite THAT good, but you get the point), they even become something of a surrogate family while you’re gone. But your heart knows they aren’t the ones you really want to be with. The ones you want to be with are all back home, living a life you wish you could live and can, for a third of your time. Like I said in my last oilfield worker post. This life is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to explain. So it may take a few tries to convey the real truth behind it all.

 

I know this is a small break from what has been my norm, but I felt like it needed to be said. I can’t be that crazy fella all the time. I feel like you all deserve for me to be real and down to earth at least  SOME times. Though don’t let this post fool you. More greatness and shenanigans are on the cusp of… the proverbial horizon. I’ll see you all again next time. Cannibal out!

This is why I’m fat (A look into my wife’s cooking)

I’m posting this topic because it was decided by the fates, and by fates I mean my wife posted a comment to the previous post that requested votes for the next topic (even though I bypassed it to talk about Kidz Bop last post). So if you don’t like this topic then you should have voted. “But Cannibal I didn’t read your amazeballs post and know about said voting scheme…”. Ain’t nobody got time for your excuses!!! Now lets start.

To begin with, I just spent the last 5-10 minutes creeping on facebook to find several pics of my wife’s delicious cooking to share with you all. As a second start, I should probably inform you a bit more about myself. “We know, you work in the oil field”. I SAID AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR YOUR… oh wait… never mind. *cough cough* ANYWAYS! I’m not a small person, lets just begin with that description. I would further aid your mental visuals by stating that I’m not “fat”. Would not go into the “I’m big boned (even though “technically” I am)”. I’m 6’2 and 320lbs. Yeah, I know that’s a lot, my knees don’t miss a chance to tell me, I don’t need to hear it from you too. Though i would still not consider myself “fat”. I would consider myself “festively plump”. More like, if I died in a terrible plane crash way up in the mountains (which I would totally survive) and there was no food around, the rest of the survivors could totally live off of my man flesh for a couple weeks (especially the long meat, if you catch my drift… NO! Not that, my thigh meat… Jeez people…. perverts, all of you). But I must add a note, I would definitely survive the  crash due to my luck (which I should post about some day) and I would not hesitate to serve up some ex-co-passenger for the next meal, purposefully saving all of the packaged and un-perishables (that’s the term for them right?) for later use. No, not because I’m a crazed madman looking for any excuse to eat people meat. I don’t know how long I would be up there trying to survive and that corpse meat aint gonna last forever. Gotta save the preserved stuff for AFTER the fresh meat is gone and we’re still not rescued yet. BAM FOOL!! logic, planning and resource management all up in your FACE!

yeah... I'll get the hell rescued out of us.

yeah… I’ll get the hell rescued out of us.

At any rate, my wife. Yes the whole reason your reading this (aside from my long flowing locks of course). She is a great cook. I understand that many of you are or know a very good cook. For that I apologize, because you/they aren’t. I say that my wife in an amazing cook, not because she’s my wife and I’m trying to suck up to ensure I got some nooky next time I go home (because that’s gonna happen anyways….. sorry, probably shouldn’t share that much so soon), but because she is. Growing up, I thought my mom was a great cook. She’s not terrible by any means, my mom is still a fairly good cook (she can THROW DOWN on some potato salad), but my mother was never able to do the things my wife can. Growing up here is a list of vegetables that I would eat, English peas (for a couple years and then stopped, black eyed peas, broccoli (on rare occasions), mushrooms/bell pepper/onions (on pizza, onions not on pizza but had to be cooked into the food and in small bits)…. that’s pretty much it. Not to say that my mother didn’t try… she tried to get me to eat tons of veggies, I just couldn’t like them. Now here is a list of veggies my wife has gotten me to eat (and like). All of the previously mentioned veggies, cabbage, tomatoes (not raw though… bleh), squash, zucchini… pretty much everything except corn. I HATE corn with a passion and it hates me back so we stay away from each other (unless it’s cooked in something in small quantities, then I can deal). I’m not saying that because I’m some self-righteous ass-clown who only eats veggies now, oh no.. My wife cooks it all.  Now I’m from the unofficial (probably official) food capital of the nation. I’m not going to tell you where but I will give you a hint. It begins with a “L” and ends with “ouisiana”, so we eat tons of food down there, not particularly “good” for you, but oooooooooh so delicious, and my wife can cook Cajun food like a BOSS. She can also cook pretty much everything like a boss.  To put it in perspective, my brother came to visit us a few months ago and brought a couple friends of his from England (yes, the country) and they were both on the edge of moving here just to be able to eat my wife’s cooking more. That’s right, she converted two brits to the amazingness of her delicious cooking. I suppose we’ve had enough bragging and your thinking “pics or it didn’t happen”. Oh dear friends….. poor poor friends… you really think I would come here and make such outlandish claims and not have picture evidence….. I scoff at your lack of faith (always trust a fat kid when it comes to food. They’re like yum Yoda’s).

 

Making a meal out of nothing: As I’m sure some of you have seen, there was an ecard that made the rounds on facebook a couple months ago that basically said “I’m at the ‘what can I make with green beans and cake mix’ point of my groceries”. I’m also sure that many of you have been at that point in your life at least a few times, either by laziness or poorness. We were in that position for a long while due to poorness. Granted, we aren’t anymore, but at one chapter in our lives together, we were. Though that didn’t stop her from making some of the most delicious (albeit odd) meals. She would take a can of Rotel, a fingernail’s scraping of hamburger meat, a pack of cheese and 7 beans and make wonderful creations that were filling and tasty (always filling. every meal she makes is always filling). I don’t know how she does it, but she can legitimately feed 8 people a meal that leaves them all stuffed and with plenty of leftovers for $10. I’m not even exaggerating.  I have personally witnessed this on multiple occasions.

Campfire cooking: As well as being a great cook, my wife is also a lover of camping, more importantly, campfire cooking. I’m not talking about hot dog wieners and smores cooking. I’m talking about legit, you would pay for this quality of food at a restaurant, grade cooking.

Why yes that is bacon wrapped chicken and other tasties

Why yes that is bacon wrapped chicken and other tasties

Granted, we do sometimes have to lug out a few unorthodox for camping cookware items but I would gladly do it every time for this kind of food. She LOVES cooking on a campfire. She also loves steak (I think you can guess where this is going). A long while back, while we were still struggling financially, she began buying beef roasts and would cut them up into steak shapes and we would have those for steaks. Some of you may harrumph and say “roast isn’t the same as steak”. To that I would agree, they technically aren’t. Though the way she cooks them, you very likely wouldn’t know if it was plated in front of you and if you did, you probably wouldn’t care.

That just happened

That just happened

If you have an issue with that meat not being “good enough”… then you have no place here, move along.

Breakfast: On top of campfire cooking, my wife cooks breakfast. I know, it’s shocking but hang with me. As a side note, when food packages list out ingredients and their quantities,, my wife seems them as friendly suggestions not to be followed exactly. Tons of people do it, it’s not a big deal. Though she goes in the “how can I make this the most mouthwatering, panty dropping dish ever!” direction. Pancakes for example, a simple and basic dish. You follow the directions on the box (or from scratch, however you wanna do it) and voila! Pancakes. My wifes sees those directions and the suggested serving size and thinks “Challenge accepted” and then proceeds to HAM as a mutha and bust out these monster beauties.

you can measure the thickness in inches and diameter in faces.

you can measure the thickness in inches and diameter in faces

She is also unreasonably well versed in the cooking of bacon, eggs, biscuits and all other forms of “breakfast foods”.

Cajun cuisine: Many people would look at this and think “what the hell do I do with all of that?

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My wife however, sees that and says “GUMBOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”. Kind of like a Hispanic soccer announcer yells “goal”. Ok, I’m lying. I yell that and she rolls her eyes. At any rate, I will admit that gumbo is one of the most unpleasant to look at foods in the nation, if you don’t know the magic that is gumbo. Imagine that you see a pot full of various meat products, what you can only assume are vegetables, enough spices to see them floating around and a couple leaves (yes leaves) all swimming in a dark brown liquid. Yeah, it sounds like roadkill tossed into swamp water…. but the taste and smell is one of the most intoxicating smells in the world. I have a buddy from Idaho that was given a pot of it to take home to his family as a gift for giving me a ride to and from work, the next state over (we work together, it was a commuting thing, not important). Now keep in mind that (as far as I know) his wife and two kids have never left the Californiaand north west region (except maybe for vacations but not to Cajun country). They had never eaten Cajun food as far as I know. His wife is also a health food type person (not a weirdo crazy one, just eats healthy). Her and the kids all were rather suspicious of the dish (from what I was told), and were all but forced to try a bite . They all LOVED it.

add some cheddar biscuits and you have a delicious coma in front of you

add some cheddar biscuits and you have a delicious coma in front of you

So if you’e ever wondering what delicious gumbo looks like… that’s it.

Mexican-ish food:

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Why yes that is a delicious enchiladas filled with chicken, green chilies, cheese, rice and love topped with 6 different cheeses. Need I say more?

Leftovers: Leftovers is one of those things some families have issues with. Do we throw them out? Do we keep eating them until they’re gone or spoiled? Do we do something else with them? Do we drive down the street and thrown them at children? Do we send them to starving countries so they receive a 2 week old Tupperware tub of rotten death? My wife has none of those thoughts. Her thought is, how many different things can I make with this that will rock people’s faces off their skulls? The answer is a LOT. Recently (like last week recent) we had steak, shrimp, potatoes, asparagus and rolls for dinner. Entirely too much food for 2 adults and a 7 year old. Tough we took on the challenge of eating it all, we were defeated. Vanquished and buried under a mound of mouth-watering goodness.  During the battle however, we were able to eradicate the potatoes, asparagus and rolls. Which left the steak and shrimp as left overs. So the next day when we wake up (around noon), she decided she’s going to make quesadillas (fun fact* WordPress does not recognize quesadillas as a word… odd). So she made steak, shrimp, mushroom, veggies, MEGA cheese quesadillas. Of course you will get to see it my little tasties, hold on.

mmmmmmmm so tasty

mmmmmmmm so tasty

There was still leftover steak and shrimp though. So the next morning when we woke up (more morning-ish the next day), she made steak, shrimp, veggie and egg breakfast burritos.

I think you're getting the point

I think you’re getting the point

Holidays: Holidays are no different for my wife’s amazing cooking super powers. In fact, she shines even brighter during these times. She LOVES Thanksgiving and Christmas, not necessarily because of the fact that they are holidays alone, but because she has a perfect excuse to make her famous trash bag turkeys. You may say “Eww! trash bag turkeys… that sounds disgusting”. In retort I say “Go back and look at those pictures.. are you seriously doubting me at this point?”. Since I don’t have any pictures of said trash bag turkeys,  I will just have to explain it to you the best I can. So here we go. The day before said feast will be taking place we begin preping our turkey (yes we, she always buys huge turkeys and it takes both of us to move/prep them). We start by stabbing the hell out of it with forks on all sides to get it good and perforated. She then mixes up a bunch of dry seasonings in one bowl and several liquid seasonings and dry seasonings in another bowl. We then pour some of the liquid over the turkey to get it good and wet. After that, we rub the dry seasoning over the turkey and set the bird in a small (13ish gallon) non-scented trash bag. Set the bag in a deep walled pan and pour the rest of the liquid over it. Then we push all the air out of the bag and seal it up and toss it in the fridge to marinade over night. The next day she puts the turkey on the cooking rack, the rack back in the deep walled pan, pours all the marinade in the bottom of the pan, makes a cute little tin foil tent over the turkey and in the oven it goes… for like 12 hours……. People…. I want to stress how amazing this turkey is. I’ve had tons of turkeys in my day. One might say that I’m a turkey connoisseur (WordPress recognizes  connoisseur but not quesadillas…. weird). I’ve even had deep fried turkey, which I thought was the best in the world…. until I had a trash bag turkey… Oh, My GAWD is this thing delicious. I can seriously not think of any words that might possibly convey how amazing that mess is. You may know that turkey is a very difficult meat to keep tender and juicy while it’s cooking. It’s incredibly easy to make eh turkey dry and gross, this is not dry. In fact, it’s so juicy that you can cut it off the bird, put it on a plate, and there will be a wet spot under it when you move the piece. It is literally still juicy the next day after being in the fridge all night. It’s THAT juicy.

Well I think I’ve said enough (possibly too much… I’m starving now) about my wife’s cooking. I think we can all agree that she’s awesome and there is no question as to why I’m festively plump. I hope you all had a good time reading the post. I plan on writing more. As always, if there’s anything you want to read about, just slap down a comment. Please please please follow the blog and tell you friends. For those of you who already have. Thanks for joining the tribe. Have a good one. Cannibal out!

Kidz Bop (The Leviathan of awful )

Well as you may have guessed (and well done might I add) that another installment of Kidz Bop is on the way out the door. Now keep in mind that I have a son. Granted, he’s a pretty awesome kid, but that’s beside the point. The point is, to this day (he’s 7 now) I don’t think he’s ever heard a Kidz Bop album. If he has, it’s been due to some other person who obviously does not see it for the evil I do. Many of you may not know this about me yet, but I’m not the typical “OOOOh no!! I must shield my child from all the dangers of the world! His fragile ears are too sensitive for anything but kind words of affirmation.” Nay…… Nay I say. When My kid messes up, I tell him, When he’s in trouble, he knows it. He hears curse words, he sees gory zombie movies, stuff like that (not nudity, we do shield him from nudity and excessive and/or vulgar language, and probably a few other things Who knows). The point is, I’m not an over protective helicopter parent (and neither is my wife) and we still don’t let our child listen to that crap . And as is the custom in these blog-o-sphere-type-scribbilizations, I will expound thusly.

Kidz Bop is a series of Albums of popular music that has been redone for kids. “Uh, duh Cannibal, we’re not retards.” Some of you might be, I don’t know and I don’t discriminate against them you retard hater you. Shame on you for hating people based on the inabilities of their brain…… *tisk tisk* ANYWAYS!!! As I was saying. They take popular songs and redo them for kids. Now many of you know that Kidz Bop is kind enough to change up the obviously vulgar lyrics to other things. If not here’s a few examples  *BAM*(http://theimpersonals.com/2013/08/14/how-the-latest-kidz-bop-changes-popular-song-lyrics/). Did you read them? No? Well go read that crap. What’s wrong with you? I put a lot of work copy and pasti….. I mean…… making that web page… oh who am I kidding, I copy pasted that. Back on topic. Most of you may say “Well Cannibal, that’s a good thing. The kidz (see what I did there…?) don’t need to hear that kind of filth/garbage/profanity/sexuality.” I totally agree. They don’t need to hear that. The problem is (among other things) It drastically changes the meaning of the song to….. not making a damn bit of sense. Now some of you may be saying “Well that doesn’t really matter. The point is, it’s a catchy song that kids can sing along to and enjoy.” Then I say stop being an idiot. Just because they are kids, doesn’t give them a free pass on having a thought process. ESPECIALLY at young ages kids should be thinking and learning reasoning skills. Shoving this, now random conglomeration of words (not like it was much better to begin with), into their skulls and having their parents give them that “it’s fine, don’t pay attention to the words because this is fun… trust me” crap just tells them “don’t bother thinking because it will just hurt your brain anyways.

This will be your children in a few years

This will be your children in a few years

The other major issue that many people seem to over look is that… they aren’t the right words, and that child will most likely hear the right ones before you know it (if they haven’t already). But let’s say that you are a vigilant parent/care taker/kidnapper and you don’t let them hear the real version on your watch. Ok… cool, you aren’t always there and children are worse that mischief pixies at going behind you back and seeing/saying/hearing/doing things and you have NO idea of it. In fact, I would venture to say that mischief pixies were modeled after children (poorly might I add, mischief pixies aren’t nearly as mischievous as kids are). The point is, your kid will eventually hear the right version and that will explode their brains. First off, mom and dad bought me a disk of LIES!!! They bamboozled me and led me astray. They fed me dishonesty and wore a smile the entire time. Now they’re that kid that when the songs comes on they say “Oh I love this song!” Then it gets to the “adjusted” parts and then they just stand there like they just walked in on their parents having sex but are too frozen to go gouge their eyes out with bald eagle talons. (I hear it’s rather effective at removing mental images). You may doubt me, but I’ve seen it happen more than once. I’ve seen it multiple times with the same kid and with multiple kids too. So I’m pretty much an expert on this stuff, trust me…. I’m the Cannibal. When it first happened for me, I was in high school myself and to watch the kid just have their world crushed…. was pretty funny. So it became our life’s mission to ruin every wholesome lie they had been fed.

yeah... pretty much just like that.

yeah… pretty much just like that.

Also, keep in mind that as time progresses, rules get more and more lax in the media and censoring bureaus. So eventually you’re going to get one of these, once wholesome) Cd’s pop it in your disk player of choice for the kids all bouncing impatiently, ready for their new dose of lies and then BAM!!! No censorship, no lyrics changes… nothing. They just has a bunch of kids sing you a song about drugs, murder and setting the land speed record for impregnation.

That will most certainly be you.

That will most certainly be you.

So, in closing, if you don’t want your kidz (snuck another one in there) to be listening to that kind of music (the real lyrics) then don’t get them the Kidz Bop albums either. If the song is good and wholesome and you don’t mind them hearing the original……. let them listen to the original… easy. Also, a side note for anybody who works on the Kidz  Bop projects…. Just because a song is popular in the general society, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for children.

The lie of Disney (and pretty much every other video media)

Well I’m back from my week off and I gotta tell ya… I feel pretty good. Well, not EXACTLY good, I am back in the oilfield for 2 weeks of not seeing my family and eating mancamp food (mancamp food….  gives you the eeby jeebies sometimes). At any rate, While I was gone I had a few ideas of what to talk about upon my glorious return (and it shall be glorious, for it is written). After shuffling through some thoughts and trying to figure out which idea I was going to write about…. it hit me. NONE of the topics would be discussed! That’s right, I’m sticking to my style (is it too early to call it a style?) and winging it due to something that grabs my attention. Now keep in mind, that I’ve had this thought for a few years now, but every time I see it in practice it enrages me all over again. So without further ado, let us begin.

As you may have guessed from the title, I’m unhappy with Disney and pretty much every other form of video media in this country (this country being America of course). “Why is that Cannibal?” You may ask. The answer, in short, is quit simple. Because they portray adults (particularly men) as blundering idiots. Now I’m not saying that men are mentally superior or the greatest thing since sliced bread (little factoid, Betty White IS older than sliced bread). I’m just saying that (according to census information) men are the main breadwinners in 60% of US households. Now factoring in the single people (being fair at 50/50 men women) that means that men provide for 80% of all homes in the US, and somehow, according to Disney, we’re all bafoons.

Like this typical Disney family from the show "Dog with a Blog"

Like this typical Disney family from the show “Dog with a Blog”

In episode after episode (movie after movie) children are out-smarting their parents, pulling the wool over their parents eyes without the slightest of effort. Somehow sneak an elephant out of the zoo in broad daylight past all those cameras and security guards? No problem!! Just calmly walk it through town with a towel over it’s head, no one will be the wiser. Then cram it up 20 flights of stairs right past a few more cameras and another numb skull security guard into your 5 bedroom apartment/loft/multi-million dollar evil genius lab your folks don’t know they paid for. Oh darn! You’re parents just showed up, what do you do? Just toss a towel over it’s head and when it blows it’s trumpet face just pretend you yawned REALLY hard… BAM! Problem solved.

No one suspects a thing!

No one suspects a thing!

Of course a few seconds later your parents will be called away because they left their pants in the coffee maker at the office, TOTAL VICTORY!!!! Now you just have to sell it to the unscrupulous looking fellow down the way for a set of tickets to the Five Bieber Directions boy band concert because you saw senior sexy-brows’ face in your WACKY uber-cheese burgereeto you made this morning for breakfast and just HAAAAAAAAAAAAD to go.

Those are tickets not sex toys pervert

Those are tickets not sex toys pervert

Although I will concede that in some cases, the parents will show up at the end of the episode with a few words of wisdom like “Selling elephants to guys standing outside a canned meat factory is a bad idea.” Accompanied by one of those “but I’m not going to do squat about it” kind of smirks. The kid usually agrees half-hardheartedly and then falls asleep without a care in the world, just to do something else dumb the next day.  Although, nowadays those moments are becoming less and less. The lessons are being taught by talking animals or another brilliant 13 year old who has the world totally figured out. I’d love to see a show that has the kid ask for something, the parent tell them no, then the kid try to go ahead and do it anyway. But the parents have already out-smarted the foolish children (ya know… because they did similar dumb stuff in their childhood and remembered it). The parents lay in wait and just when the kids are about to do the deed, the parents bust em, whoop their ass and literally throw them into the car and drive home where the beatings would continue.

What was that? Mr. Craftsman couldn't hear you.

What was that? Mr. Craftsman couldn’t hear you.

Well I believe I’ve said enough on that subject (for now…..). I still have a few other ideas I can post about. How about we do this? I’ll put a few possible post topics up and you all just leave a comment/reply/whatever as to what you’d like to read about next. Here they are.

This is why I’m fat: a delve into my wife’s cooking

tips vs service: and their implications

cold stone hair eatery

Like I said, just leave a comment or reply letting me know which topic you’d like me to post about next (otherwise who knows what will be next). As always, thanks for reading. Smack that follow button and join the tribe!

Life as an oilfield worker (Part I)

Before we begin I’d like to say that this is an incomplete account of life as an oilfield worker. Some of you may be saying “Well then WTF Cannibal? Why would you even make a post if it’s incomplete?” I make this post, not as an exposé to reveal every detail of oilfield life, but as a testament to how vast and varied the different people and jobs in the oilfield are. So with out further ado, let’s begin.

I work in the Bakken oil field in the US, for those of you who don’t know where that is, let me show you.

Booyah

Booyah

I don’t know if you know… but it’s kind of a big deal. Also, if you’ve ever wondered what it looks like from space, here you go.

it's like day time ALL THE TIME, not really

it’s like day time ALL THE TIME, not really

There are literally hundreds of different jobs to be done in the oilfield. From drilling, to fracing, to work over rigs, to tool pushing, to water hauling, to sand hauling, to port-a-potty service to…. anything. Imagine that the entire downtown/industrial sector of your town/city has been ripped off of it’s foundations, slapped on about a million trailers and is constantly being moved from one place to another. Also, for as many jobs as there are to be done, there are just as many companies providing those services. I’ll be honest, trying to explain the Bakken oilfield to normal people is quite possibly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to explain. 

At any rate, I work for a specific oilfield service company, in the interest of anonymity and copyright laws (sounds legit right?) we’ll just call this company…. Squaleegerton. Now more specifically, I’m an electronics technician for Squaleegerton. You may ask “What does an electronics technician (we’ll just call it etech from now on k?) do for squaleegerton?” Allow me to dazzle you with the mysterious wonders of eteching. We fix cables….. yep. Well, not SOULY fix cables, we also deal with the proprietary software to operate the equipment, troubleshoot sensors and all sorts of wire related things like that. Granted, I can’t go too far into any specifics (patents, laws and the like…. you understand.) concerning the job, so I won’t. This post wasn’t about what I do for a living, it’s about life as an oilfield worker. Now with so many different jobs going on all around at the same time, Keep in mind that I work on frac (hydraulic fracturing) sites. Some fo you may disagree with what I do for a living. Some of you may think that I’m some mother earth raping barbarian, and you’re completely within your rights to think that. In fact, I’m not going to sit here and go into the myriad of ways oil is used in everyday life (a post for another day). I’ll just let you hold on to that little nugget of hate and move on.

So we’ve already established that there are thousands upon thousands of people here working here, trying to make a living. The town that I’m based out of… isn’t built for this many people…. at ALL! Granted, the local population has been immeasurably kind and accommodating to all of us workers. that being said, nerves get strained all too often dealing with so many people being here. Wanna go to Walmart? nope, parking lot looks like a playground for student drivers, blind people and a large truck stop all in one. Then sprinkle in that people lose their damn mind when they’re in large numbers and BAM! deathtrap. Granted, I brave the hordes of Walmart on occasion to get supplies and other treats (like snack cakes…. mmmmmm snack cakes.) but I do so with grace and not this look on my face the entire time.

I can buy things here?

I can buy things here?

I, like so many others, live in a mancamp. Imagine living in a college dorm, made of mobile homes, in a mostly frozen tundra, full of dudes. Granted, TECHNICALLY there are a FEW women, but they are extremely few and far between. Mostly… dudes, big, dirty, socially inappropriate, dudes. Notice I didn’t say all. I say that because there are a few jobs (etech, engineer, lab techs) that’s aren’t generally filled with the “typical” oilfield worker. My room in said mancamp contains a bed (queen sized because I’m a VIP fancy pants), tiny work desk, minuscule closet (most likely purchased from IKEA), carpet, a mini fridge (again, because I’m a fancy pants VIP), microwave (VIP) and 24 inch tv bolted WAY up on the wall across the room. I also have my own attached bathroom (VIP) with a toilet, sink, laughably small medicine cabinet, and small corner shower stall… That’s it. My entire life is contained in a 12×12 box and 4×6 bathroom. You may have noticed that I put a “VIP” by a few things. That’s because I am fortunate enough to have a VIP room. When I first got here I didn’t have a VIP room, the normal rooms have a twin bed, tiny desk (like 1.5×2.5 foot tabletop bolted to the wall), tv and sink. Now granted, each room has it’s own A/C/heat unit, but let’s move on. If you don’t have a VIP room, you have to share a bathroom with another person because they are all Lack and Jill style In said bathroom is a toilet and small shower, that’s it. And you can forget about setting up show in a shared shower with a complete stranger. Most people never really meet their bathroom buddy, so you have to keep all your shower bits in your bedroom as not to have horrible and unmentionable things happen to it all (I assume). Now I am also fortunate enough to be in a mancamp that is all indoors. That’s right, many mancamps are separate buildings all squished close by. But seeing as how we’re in North Dakota, the winters here SUCK!!! Like -20’s in the norm suck. So imagine you have to get all dressed up in warm gear just to go eat, or do laundry, or go to the game room (that’s always suspiciously empty) or anything except sit in your room and stare at the wall. They do provide cable tv and internet, but the internet is always slow since most of the lonely guys here are on the web……. buying candles. 

yeeeeees.... candles

yeeeeees…. candles

Going back to my indoor mancamp, it’s nice because the facility provides tons of washers and dryers for you to do your laundry for free, they have a workout room, sauna, a massive mess hall and a small convenience store. I’d have to say that I’m probably in the best mancamp in town… I got VERY lucky working for Squaleegerton. So as I mentioned before, imagine living in a college dorm made of mobile homes in the middle of nowhere. 

There is tons more about living and working in the oilfield that I plan on writing about (unless you hate it, if so, let me know). I also apologize if this post seems a bit scattered and crap, I’m about to go on days off and I’m just ready to leave this place for a week (another perk of oilfied work, work 2 weeks straight, get a full week off). I hope to cover other oilfield topics such as driving, working, the people, the crazy stuff you see and many others. If you have any suggestions or want to know about something specific, drop me a line and I’ll try to get to it. 

 

On another note, if you guys and gals like what I write, feel free to comment. If you don’t like what I write, comment too. If you would like me to cover a topic or discussion, let me know. I’d appreciate you sharing my blog posts to your friends and loved ones (except grandma… she must never know……). I write because I like expressing my thoughts and I’d love to know your thoughts too. So smack that follow button (wherever it is) and join the tribe.

Why holding sucks

Can we all agree that being on hold sucks worse than having lemon juice squirted in your eye? “But Cannibal , having lemon juice squirted in your eye is like… totes terribleez!” Yeah…. I know, and it’s still not as bad as being put on hold. “but like…. Cannibal, lemon juice for realz is the cray cray painful.” Yes it is, but again… not as bad as being put on hold. “(Someone else) Cannibal, I think you’re just going to have to explain it to us man, cause I’m pretty sure nobody is on board with this.” Oh really? “Yes really.” Fine, I will.

let's begin

let’s begin

Earlier today I was set to the task of calling my bank. Never you mind what it was for, just rest assured that some serious, medieval-type stuff was gonna go down if I was not satisfied. “pff, whatever, you wouldn’t have done anything….” That’s not the point other person in this blog (we’ll seriously have to address an occupant limit some day). The point is, I called the bank to get something straightened out. Now obviously I’m not the only person who would call this particular bank at that particular moment, so somebody is going to have to wait. This time I just so happened to draw the proverbial short straw, so I got put on hold. At this point many of you are saying “yeah, and? millions of people get put on hold every minute of the day, it’s a part of everyday life.” To which I say true, but we don’t have to. We have a telescope that can see into other galaxies, we have cars that can drive themselves, we have micro sd cards that can hold 2TB of memory (yeah, that’s a thing, check it out http://www.micro-sdxc.com/2TB-microSDXC.htm ) and not to mention that we can talk to our phones like it’s a person for Pete’s sake (and who is this Pete fellow anyways?). So why in the world can we not have some sort of system that will talk to us like people and get us the help we need? Not the crap we already have that just takes up your time trying to “direct your call” by having you push buttons for the particular department you want before you just give up and start smashing the 0 key until it transfers you to a person. A system which, in my humble opinion, is actually an obstacle course to slow down people and help give the operators time to get through other calls, like some sort of pre-hold hold.

why you no have smart system?

why you no have smart system?

At any rate, you’re there and the other operators are busy, so you get put on hold. We all know the typical hold process. Either some non-descript music plays OR it’s a recording of someone talking to you about all the gee golly great services they provide you with, over some non-descript music. So you settle in for the long haul because apparently every single other person being helped is in the middle of Armageddon and can’t get their PIN to work… or whatever it is the business you called does. You know your conversation with the operator should only last about 3 minutes, but you’re going to wait for 46 minutes just to get around to hearing a human voice (and you only have a 30 minute lunch). Mainly because I’m convinced that the operators only take calls roughly 42% of the time.

This is how many F***s I give about your problem

This is how many F***s I give about your problem

Well you’re there waiting to be spoken to like some sad animal shelter puppy when all of a sudden, the music cuts out. You’re ears perk up and you sit a little straighter in your seat (or stand a little taller or even stop walking around for a second, don’t lie to me…. We all do it) and get ready to talk to a real person. A person who can help you with your issue. You ever so slightly clear your throat in preparation of speaking to this kind soul. You adjust the phone against your face to make sure you can hear them well (we all know that you were listening on speaker phone so you take it off and put the phone to your ear). You mentally go through what you’re going to say (sort of) so that you can convey your problem clearly and in a way that will result in prompt service (or maybe you just ramble on like a fool… who knows?). Then a sweet nectar enters your ear in the form of a cheerful, ready to help voice. A voice that says “Thank you for holding, your call will be answered by the next available operator.”…………..

we feel your pain

we feel your pain

Then the music starts back up again. You feel betrayed, you feel lied to, you feel……dirty. Like they got you all dressed up nice just to take you out  back and beat you with a rubber hose and kicked you down into the mud. In fact, they did lie to you. They led you on, they made you think that the wait was over. There was no reason to take you off hold, just to remind you that you’re on hold and put you right back on hold. That’s cruel! “But Cannibal, they don’t mean to be cruel. They just want you to know that they appreciate your patience and that they haven’t forgotten you.” That is lies from the DEVIL!!! They know damn good and well that you’re on hold and quite honestly, would rather wait until you hang up so they don’t have to deal with you. The main reason I speak so horribly of this practice is because they don’t just do it every now and then. Like it’s on some 8 minute timer, no…. They taunt you with it. Every 20 seconds they cut the music, get your hopes up and bitch slap you back down again. It’s only after the 9th or 10th time that you truly give up hope and sit there… defeated.

one day.... one day

They know I’m here…. right?

The only other option you have is to get that weird eye twitch going where everybody around you is trying to figure out if you’re about to snap your phone in half or try to eat it. That kind of anger that scratches at your last threads of sanity. You don’t want to explode, you work very hard to not be that kind of person. You know it’s not the operator’s fault for torturing you. They’re just doing their job and trying diligently to get to your issue…. right? I mean, if you’re angry when you talk to them then it just slows everything down and hurts your chances of getting the issue resolved. Or is that just what they want you to think? Those sneaky bastards know exactly what they’re doing…. They’re trying to MAKE you crazy man…. they’re running secret experiments on you to see how long you can take it before you crack. They aren’t going to get me man…. I’m gonna… “thank you for holding. Your call will be answered…..”

say that again. SAY THAT AGAIN!! I DARE YA, I DOUBLE DARE YA

say that again. SAY THAT AGAIN!! I DARE YA, I DOUBLE DARE YA

 

They sit there and toy with you like this until they think you’ve either given up, or your brain has melted through your nostrils. So as a recap, we have the technology to not have to put up with this anymore, the current automated system is just a maze to slow people down from getting to real help, nobody cares about your problem anyways, and you’re going to be subjected to terrible music and mental water boarding.  I’d also like to add another thing. Has anyone ever seen anybody go through all of that, talk to a person, get the situation resolved and been happy about it? I mean, have you ever seen someone hang up and smile? Have they ever mentioned how good of a chat they had? I’ve seen some people get off the phone and say that the person that they were talking to was helpful and they’re glad to get it straightened out but I have NEVER seen someone get off the phone with any sort of customer service type person and been happy about it. They all hang up the same way. Next time you see someone get off the phone with a customer service rep watch them. They will always sigh as soon as they hang up and look a little dead inside (if not completely dead).

Yeah, like that

Yeah, like that

To be completely honest I’d rather get lemon juice squirted in my eye and immediately talk to someone. I say that because getting lemon juice squirted in your eye, while terribly painful, will be over soon. The pain washed over you and then, after a moment, recedes like a wave upon the sand. You remember it hurting but it doesn’t scar your soul like being on hold does. Not only will you always remember the horror of being on hold but that horror will creep up inside you and scratch at you every time you think about it. Being on hold changes you as a human being. You never get off hold the same person as when you started. Lemon juice hurts…. but hold turns men into monsters.

INTERNET QUIZZES

If you’re new to the Internet, welcome! If you’ve been doodling around the webs for a while, then you probably already know what I’m talking about. Quizzes are EVERYWHERE! Not like a “Huh… look a quiz to test my knowledge on a particular subject. I would like to challenge my mind on said topic.” No no no no no… Not those types of quizzes. Those types of quizzes would be interesting and quite possibly helpful to society. No these quizzes are the most ridiculous, worthless, easy to beat quizzes ever. In fact, I’m pretty sure Hodor could blast through one of these in mere seconds.

Damn straight I'm Posh Spice!

Damn straight I’m Posh Spice!

The types or Quizzes I’m referring to specifically are the types you usually see on social media sites like Facebook… So so many terrible quizzes on facebook.

38 notifications and they're all requests to take a damn quiz!!!

38 notifications and they’re all requests to take a damn quiz!!!

As I said moments ago (unless you took a bit longer admiring the photographicals) quizzes that helped further knowledge or truly test your wits would be great. Though as I also said, those aren’t the types of quizzes that make the rounds. If you’re still confused as to the particular types of quizzes I’m referring to, lets begin.

 

“Your honor! I would like to submit into evidence on the case of internet over-stupidity vs the world, quizzes that always have the title (what type of ______ are you?).” Yes, these types of quizzes. Now don’t fall into the trap of missing the forest for the one squiggly and inappropriate tree. These types of quizzes have a myriad of names.

“what _____ your soul?”

“How many ______’s can you fit in your eye socket?” (I might take that one….)

“Which ______ are you?”

“How ________ are you?”

I think You’re beginning to see where I’m going with this (if not, then we have no room for bowls of potato salad in this entry so you may move along). Now don’t get me wrong. I fall into the trap of taking these quizzes ALL THE TIME! The problem I have is that I keep hoping against hope that one day, one will be made that truly delves into the psyche and dredges up your true, inner _____. Though every time I dive into an internet quiz, I’m met with the same transparent, shambling cat lady version of a real quiz.

Wanna see what garbage pail kid you are?

Wanna see what garbage pail kid you are?

To go a step further (we like steps here right?) I’ll go through the entire process (although somewhat abridged) of taking an internet quiz.

 

This tale begins with you (or anyone really) spending some down time on the webs, because we all agree that NOOOOBODY wastes time on the internet while on the clock (*wink wink*). So you’re perusing Facebook watching funny cat videos, reading up on the latest drama from that chick who “is SO tired of drama and is totally done with it and won’t even say anything about it because I’m done with it… You hear me you skank Brittany!! I know you cheated on Kermit with Grouch!! You’re so ratchet!!!”, creeping on the rest of your friends pics and then suddenly you see a post that tugs at your attention. “What x-men are you?” It says (I picked this particular quiz title because I’ve taken several of them and always get the one I want…. BOOYAH!) and you’re intrigued. “Why of course I’d like to know which x-men I am because I’ve always assumed my powers were just laying dormant and if I only took this quiz and got the character I wanted then they would burst forth from my soul and I would be the world saving hero I was destined to be!!!” (no…? That’s not normal….? Oh well, moving on, nothing to see here…). Now of course this quiz is free, because nobody is going to pay to take a ridiculous quiz and therefore it must be plastered with advertisements. So much so that the actual quiz can be difficult to begin due to the fact that nearly every square millimeter of said quiz’s title page will take you to a completely unrelated site if incorrectly clicked.

GOTTA  LOVE WEIRD TRICKS FROM THE INTERNET. AM I RIGHT?

GOTTA LOVE WEIRD TRICKS FROM THE INTERNET. AM I RIGHT?

 

Once you’ve battled your way through ads and BS, you can finally begin the arduous battle of carefully taking the quiz. Weighing each answer dutifully against one another to reach the true hue of the deepest part of your being….. Or, you can just look at the possibilities, see where each one is going and hopscotch your way to the answer you want. Inevitably each answer will be so obvious as to which overall outcome it leads to that it’s insulting. Now don’t get me wrong, many quizzes go so far as to have, say, 8 possible outcomes and 4 answers to each of the 10 questions, so as to allow you to have a fraction of diversity in outcomes, but seriously… not difficult.

hmmmm. what to chose, what to chose...

hmmmm. what to chose, what to chose…

A quick side question. Why are there only 10 questions to these things anyways? I mean, I understand that we don’t have all day to take a quiz but seriously? Don’t you think that’s a bit short? I mean, there were about 117 different mutants in the x-men group in total over the years and you expect me to believe that we’ve covered ALL of them in ten 4 choice questions…… really? At any rate, now that you’ve deciphered the uncrackable code that is the internet quiz, you wade through the embarrassingly ridiculous possibilities until you get the answer you knew you were going to get from the beginning. Does it make you feel like you’ve accomplished something? No… It makes you want to scour your page for something else that is hilarious in hopes that it will make you feel like you didn’t just die a little inside.

wooooo..... so excited....

wooooo….. so excited….

Though you may have noticed, that there are so many quizzes, that they run round like gangs. You can’t just deal with one quiz… oooooooh no, they gotta bring all their quiz friends along for the ride too. At the end of every quiz there are about a thousand other quizzes you can take that are just as mundane and petty as the one you just finished.

Can the internet agree to stop with the ridiculous quizzes now? We all know it’s a lame horse that needs to be put down. You aren’t fooling anybody internet, we see through your lies… cut it out… seriously…. stop it.