Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 A Stroll Down Memory Lane

I thought it would be kinda neat to go back and pick my favorite posts from each month of the year. Okay, I didn't start the blog until April, so I've cheated a little and have selected a few stories from a fellow blogger. Here goes:




January 2009
Zombie Problem In Austin Texas

I love zombie movies, yeah, I'm morbid like that.

February 2009
Getting A Good Poke In Texas, Polly The Parrot And A Heat Wave

The fine art of Face Book poking is very well explained, and you know how much I like to poke.

March 2009
Rural Texas Women Are Getting It Done

What can I say, Texas women are just plain HOTT!

April 2009
Resentment Reaps Rancid Rancor

Not a really great post, but it's when I figured out how to successfully add pictures!

May 2009
Wink Texas and Ghostly Tales

I tell a pretty good ghost story in this one!

June 2009
Roy Orbison Festival 2009 Wink, TX

The first time I attempted writing about some local news.

July 2009
Wink's Children and Their Ongoing Relationship With Scottish Rite

These kids were fabulous and I enjoyed writing about them and taking their pictures!

August 2009
Up Not So Early To Do Turner Falls

My I am woman hear me roar road trip...by myself!

September 2009
Annie Draw Inspiration From The Tandy Hills

Our first encounter with Don Young and Annie's idea to have her own prairie.

October 2009
Final Home Football Game and End of the Pre Game Meal

What West Texas is truly all about...high school football!

November 2009
Touring the Second Wink Sink and Predicting the Next

This was a really cool post. There's pictures and a private tour of the famous Wink Sink Hole!

December 2009
Fracking Zombies

What can I say? I'm a freak for zombies!





Reflecting On My Year

I began 2009 with several resolutions and an end to a 10 year marriage. The end of my marriage was fully realized during the summer of 2008. Why is it that when you know something is over, you've been preparing for it, that when it happens you're still so hurt? I spent a period of several months going through I suppose clinical depression. Yeah, I think that describes it.

When a person only moves to get food, only moves to wash dishes, only moves to wash clothes...only exists because deep down she knows there's people that depend on her. If those people weren't there...what purpose then?

I did manage with lots of reading, lots of walking, lots of listening and finally lots of talking to push through that awful time.

Back to my New Year Resolutions. Well, there were several. First, I wanted to exercise daily and lose a bit of weight along the way. That one, I accomplished...yay! I still go to the gym three to four days a week and in the warmer months was running three to five miles in the evenings.

Second, I wanted to do a bit more writing. I started this very blog. Of course, it's nothing special, but through the blog I've met some fantastic people and have learned so many things I wouldn't have known otherwise.

Third, I wanted to do a bit more traveling than I had been doing. That was also accomplished and even though it was only to places in Texas, it was still enjoyable and lots of fun.

Fourth, while I was married, I distanced myself from friends. I wanted re-establish friendships and make new friends. I've been able to do both and wow...I'm very thankful.

So, now here comes 2010 and a whole new set of resolutions to make and not to break. Some people say that the last day of the year is just like any other day of the year, and that may be well and true, but for most it's symbolic for a new beginning. A chance to make strong resolves. An opportunity to hone hearty habits and a last ditch effort to bash bad behaviors.

From out here in West Texas...Happy New Year!

Understaffed And Overworked

After reading ProPublica's latest article entitled: State Oil and Gas Regulators Are Spread Too Thin to Do Their Jobs, I decided to do a Google search and see what other sectors are plagued by this problem. I found that this same problem exists in a lot of different industries, here's a short list:



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Securities Exchange Commission
The Nursing Industry
Most Regulatory State Agencies
The Food and Drug Administration
IT Departments

So, I don't understand. I know, I know...I'm not a dumb blonde anymore, but I still don't get it. With all this work to be done, and with such an enormous problem of being understaffed...how come we gots LOTS and LOTS of unemployment?

Oh, and if you could, sign up at ProPublica and leave a comment. ProPublica is a stand alone not for profit agency that focuses on stories where the weak have been exploited by those who have the power to protect, but don't...it's in your best interest.

A Rolling Brigade To The Rescue

I believe that the idea of having lots of men and women on motorcycles riding to the rescue of Steve Doeung and the residents on Carter Ave is gaining support. Now, let's see if I can track down some of those well organized motorcyclists and pick a day for a ride to Ft Worth.


Hey, George, Dan, Shane...you up for a ride?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stopping Chesapeake From Taking Over Carter Ave


After reading Durango's most poignant post about the movie, Salt Of The Earth, I felt empowered and moved in a way that required taking action. I remember viewing that movie in my Chicano Studies course. The film covers many social issues. I viewed it with equality in mind, not just for the Hispanic American community, but for women, as well.

The feeling of wanting to gather people together and stop Chesapeake from putting a sixteen inch odorless gas line under Carter Ave, remained strong. I thought, "Surely, with all the residents of Ft Worth, Dallas and the surrounding areas that thousands upon thousands could be counted on to rally support for the residents on Carter Ave, Steve Doeung in particular.

Then sadly I read Don Young's comment:

"It depicts the kind of resistance that I've been urging in FW for the past 5 years to no avail. When I announced a protest in 2008 to stop the gas well on Scott Avenue I was the only one who showed up. At another in 2006 I was one of 4 people. The CREDO group drew a pretty large crowd in 2008 but the group later fizzled. It may take a few body bags to wake people up. Problem is, gas drilling is a slow killer.
"

Then I remembered Durango's post about the Toy Run. I'm not knocking Christmas presents for kiddos, what I found amazing is the amount of people lined up just to see a horde of motorcyclists delivering presents. I know a local motorcycle group. They're always looking for a good reason to ride. I'm thinking about asking them to do a Move The Pipeline Run.

HCG And My New Workout Partner

I discovered the HCG Diet in April of this year, or was it earlier? I don't quite remember. My 2009 New Year's Resolution was to make daily exercise, whether it be in a gym, the track, my bedroom...a habit. Not only did I succeed in keeping that Resolution, but I think the habit may have infected others.




I started the year alone in the gym. Over the course of the year, I've picked up several workout mates. It's been encouraging and fun watching the progress. My little baby mamma has eradicated almost up to thirty pounds and has set a goal of twenty more to eradicate. Jesse set a goal of nineteen inch biceps and another twenty pounds eradicated. My friend Kristi, just wants to get her groove back on! As for me, well...the improvements are never ending! There's a rumor that if Jesse reaches his nineteen inch bicep goal, that we're all going to get tattoos.


There's someone else that's decided she wants to join our workout club. And although she seems physically fit, she has a long ways to go. I took her through some of the routines last night. This new recruit is going to take a great deal of training and patience!






Even after all the hands on instructions, guidance, one on one tutoring, my new recruit just could not get the hang of the pike ball. All I can do, is pick her up, brush her off and try, try again.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Round Of The HCG Diet

I started the HCG Diet on Christmas Day. Some of you, of course only those of you who don't know, would ask, "WHY CHRISTMAS!?!". The reason being is that the first TWO days of the HCG Diet require you to EXCESSIVELY eat! I'm not kidding, it says so right in the instructions. This was the first absolute guilt free Christmas I've ever had! Honest.

I had butterscotch pie, praline cheesecake, ribeyes, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, fried mushrooms, spring rolls, fried cod and an assortment of cheeses...oh my...how I adore cheese. I've been giving this a lot of thought and ...I think thirty days of the HCG Diet will always be my Christmas present to myself!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Aruba Petroleum's New Theme Song..."Tinkle, Tinkle"

"Tinkle, Tinkle, little man. I wonder what you're doing? Up behind that building in the dark. Tinkle, Tinkle, little man. Like a drunken street crawler, you peed in the dark, thinking you'd never be caught. But with that (flash light) cigarette in your mouth, and your hands at your groin, Oh...little man, we did see you tinkle."



ARUBA PETROLEUM DISCHARGING FLUIDS ILLEGALLY!!!






Thank you to an ARUBA PETROLEUM employee for providing the inspiration for this little ditty. He was caught on video peeing on Tim and Christine's property. View the video on full screen to catch ARUBA in the act of public urination. Toxins aren't the only thing they're releasing into the atmosphere...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Confirmed: The "Memorial" Service for Chris Barfield will be Wednesday at 6pm at the First Baptist Church in Long Beach. All are welcome.

"It's not what I have been through that defines me, it's how I got through it. Now for trying to sneak out of this hospital room!!!! LOL!!!"

Chris Barfield

I knew Chris from high school and twenty years later met Chris again through Face Book. When I signed up, I believe that Chris was one of the first to friend me. We messaged each other back and forth, poked one another, sent each other hearts and flowers and all sorts of gifts. He made me feel right at home amongst the strangeness and newness of this social web network.




He'd asked me how long it been since I'd been on the Coast, years I told him. He encouraged me to make a visit, soon I said. One day Chris wanted to hear my voice, so we spoke to each other on the phone. He had a very sweet voice, pleasant and I enjoyed conversing with him. Over time, I came to know Chris even more. He posted countless music videos, supported causes, such as breast cancer and our military. He was a HUGE saints fan, and I'm sure he enjoyed this season. I came to learn that Chris had a wonderful sense of humor and could be counted on to brighten up your day.



I stopped seeing the usual posts from Chris and began to wonder what had happened. I noticed that he got engaged and thought that the relationship was keeping him busy. Then I noticed a few people posting get well wishes for Chris, and then I knew something was terribly wrong. I logged in today, to find that this lovely man has died, today at 3PM. He left us with this final song. Thank you, Chris.



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Penguins On Parade At Wink Elementary

And what do my eyes perceive? But squirming smiling penguins in front of a most excellent igloo! How does one find penguins and an igloo out in Wink, Texas? By visiting Ms. Diana Henderson's and Mrs. Barbara Jones' first grade elementary class. The first grade students were happy to share their learning experiences with me and did not mind a bit posing for an impromptu photo!

"The first grade students of Wink Elementary have had a lot of fun studying a cross-curricular unit about Antarctica," explained Ms. Henderson. Their studies included learning about the seventeen species of penguins in their Antarctica habitat as well as the sub Antarctic regions of the southern hemisphere, about their predators and the effects of global warming.


The students and teachers of Wink Elementary are extremely fortunate to have Smart Boards and document cameras in every regular classroom. This equipment enhanced the presentation and research by allowing access to Discovery Streaming, The Antarctic Connection and Starfall.

Link to Winkler County Post.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peace Transpires In A Most Unlikely Place

A most endearing story and one that I enjoy revisiting happened ninety six years ago in a foreign land. I remember the time I'd learned of this miraculous event, I sat reading alone in my dorm room at Houston Baptist University. The book, Silent Night by Weintrab, laid across my pillow and captured every strand of my attention and wound it into a taut ball of anticipation. Weintrab's words performed their miracle, of allowing me to experience the Christmas Truce of 1914 right there sprawled out on my little twin bed in Houston, Texas.

The British and German soldiers along the front in Belgium could see each other easily. They observed the other preparing to celebrate the same tradition...Christmas. In each others' trenches, candles, sprigs, and songs poured like honey...a song of a shining star on a silent night reached the ears of all on that now silent night. The soldiers slept that night knowing in their hearts a truce had been called.

Christmas morning, signs went up in crude English, "We no fight, you no fight," and then the most dangerous death filled place of the war, No Man's Land, became All Man's Land, where the two sides bared arms, arms full of beer, cakes, chocolate, sausages and tobacco.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 is the happy part of the story. The words that I read later tore me apart and even today when I think about the events that unfolded ninety six years ago my heart still aches and tears still cascade my cheeks. Because you see, the soldiers were done. They wanted a real truce. They learned that night that despite the differences of where they lived, the languages they spoke, that ultimately we are all human and have the desire to live.

Scores of soldiers on both sides refused to shoot at each other again. Some men did obey the order to fire, but only into the air. They had to be transferred to other parts of the war. They were put into different units, placed upon the front in areas where the Christmas Truce had not been observed...they were forced to continue the war.

Some celebrate Christmas and some do not. Whether you do or don't, you can not deny the awesome power of the Christmas Spirit. A belief of peace, a moment of mercy, a period of hope...this same spirit that halted a war ninety six years ago lives in me and could live in you as well, all you have to do is BELIEVE. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Hiatus

With school finally out for my kiddos, and the ex hubby coming in Christmas Eve, and with me still needing to get food supplies to make Pennsylvania Dutch Butterscotch Pie, I'm thinking that this will be the last blog for a few days. It's not that I don't love each and every one of you, because you know I do. It's just that well, this is a very special time of the year for me and the kids and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Santa has got some nice surprises which I can't wait to share with you when I get back. Also, I did manage in all the hectic running around to get over to Dr. Anna's and get another round of the HCG Diet. I'll be starting that on Christmas Day. I'm gonna do a better job of detailing and profiling my success on the diet and share my tricks & truths.

Just a few days ago, Annie and I were riding over to Kermit via the Kermit HWY. Well, the oil/gas smell was really bad that day, and I mentioned it and then Annie said, "I grew up here, so I don't even notice it." I replied, "That's what worries me baby girl. That you've become desensitized and you won't even know that it's harmful until it's too late." Then she said, "Well, thank goodness I have you, mom. You're like an underground hero." I asked her what she meant by that and she went on to explain that I'm doing things to protect her and other people, but they don't even know it. I'll have to say, she made me feel really good.

I may not truly be an underground hero, but I know a few folks that surely are. For instance, how about Durango? He has asked the FEDS to do something about Mayor Moncrief. His exact words are:


"THE MAYOR OF FORT WORTH, MIKE MONCRIEF, IS TAKING $600,000 A YEAR FROM NATURAL GAS DRILLERS WHO ARE ABUSING EMINENT DOMAIN TO TAKE FORT WORTH CITIZEN'S PROPERTY & POLLUTING THEIR AIR WITH DANGEROUS CHEMICALS WHILE STEALING WATER FROM THE TRINITY RIVER."

Then there's TXSharon. Wow, she champions the causes of all the people suffering from exploitation of the Oil & Gas Industry. How many times has she challenged the EPA to intervene in Texas and do it's job?

"Dear EPA, I know you are watching us in Texas.

We need federal intervention.
"

Finally, there's Don Young. He's my daughter's favorite underground hero. His unwavering Protection of the Tandy Hills has now been Annie's inspiration to plant her own Tall Grass Prairie. Here are Don Young's words:

"What makes Tandy Hills so special is the preservation of native wildflowers and grasses. Biologists say that this little slice of land is still very much as it was in presettlement times. I find that to be something of a miracle! A report by the Fort Worth Nature Center notes that the the quality of the prairie grasses covering these hills in an undisturbed state, are the best in Tarrant County, even better than the Nature Center. Another miracle! Tandy Hills and other city parks are by definition NOT places to drill for gas. City leaders need to be protecting the few places we have left, not allowing them to be burdened by shortsighted greed. To paraphrase an official with the Nature Center,"You don't play soccer in the Kimbell Art Museum and you don't drill for gas in a nature preserve."

A big thank you from Annie to all her Underground Heroes! You Rock!


Cornyn Disagrees With The EPA

It's no wonder dangerous emissions in Texas are being ignored. What with our own Senator John John Denial Cornyn completely disagreeing with the EPA's statement. On December 7th, the EPA announced:

Greenhouse Gases “threaten the public health and welfare of the American people”



Here's John John Denial's response word for word:

“Carbon dioxide is necessary for human life and regulating it as if it was a pollutant would be a job-killer, potentially even worse than the proposed national energy tax which could eliminate up to 313,000 Texas jobs by 2020, result in higher energy bills and increase the cost of household goods by $1100 per family,” Sen. Cornyn said.


Oh, John John...didn't ya notice the "s" on the end of gas? We're not just talking about CO2 darlin'...there's other gases involved:

methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride

And, John...I was just wondering...do you know what happens when there's an EXCESS of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? I learned in Organic Chemistry that when one substance is present in excess and as a result threatens the well being of an ecosystem, it becomes toxic, and could be considered to be a pollutant, despite the fact that it is required in small quantities.

No wonder John John Denial and his Oil & Gas cronies are getting a little worried, because this is what the current administration thinks about the EPA's announcement:

"President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress’ efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants."

Run John John Denial, Run Big Oil & Gas...Run to the hills! Do you want to know exactly who John John works for? Just Click Here. Your days of going unchecked are over. Your days of being protected by Cheney and Bush are over. Your days are numbered.



Friday, December 18, 2009

It's Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas...At The Trujillo Family Home


The kids and I love to decorate for Christmas.
Red ribbons, lustrous lights, green garland



About three years ago I found the Hallmark
Store at Christmas time. I never miss venturing
in. I always buy the three cards and get the
special Christmas animated snow people.


It's a lot of FUN doing things with Annie!
She's a hilarious hoot, here she's pretending
to wake up on Christmas morning trying to
find the presents. I just love her!

Annie was born in 2000, she'll always be
as old as the year she's in. This is her
last single digit year, my baby is growing up.

I never know exactly what's running through
Annie's mind at times, I just go with it.
She's never seen Happy Days, but it sure
looks like she's pretending to be the Fonz.

Each year I get a special ornament for the kids.
Justin's have revolved around the military, and
Annie's? Well, whatever catches her fancy
for the year!

Who's The Most Negligent Poll?

I thought it would be fun to do a survey. This survey would have you choosing who's the most negligent?
Chesapeake or Aruba.
Below are just a few facts that I rounded up so that you could be more informed before making this very difficult choice. Enjoy!



Chesapeake
*Drilling induced earthquakes in Oklahoma
*Flares Gas Wells which release harmful toxins
*Fracked ground water in New York
*Fined for a hydrochloric spill in Pennsylvania
*Scammed, intimidated & harassed residents of Carter Ave
*Bribed the clergy
*Poisoned and polluted DISH, Texas
*Chesapeake's Gas Well Explodes and Kills
*Committing eminent domain in the name of MONEY

Now here's Aruba
*Causing Vibroacoustic Disease...Noise Pollution
*Gas Well leaks in the grass lands
*Ruined the Ruggiero's Property
*Aruba refuses to use emission control devices
*Delay in reporting spills
*Disregard of safety

I'm finding it hard to choose, how about you?

A Pirate Tries To Kidnap Santa Clause

Annie's Christmas play performance occurred last night at the Wink High School Auditorium. With a full house in attendance, the children sang and danced their hearts out. Most of the performers dressed in pirate garb which would have been accurate because the play was about a pirate and his crew searching for the most treasured treasure ever. When the pirate found the treasure chest he couldn't get the darn thing opened! He then tricked Santa into coming to the tropical island, kidnapped Santa and forced him to open the chest. Well, you'll just have to see the play to find out how it ends.


video



Well, I had that play in my mind when I read some of my favorite blogs today. Seems that most of my favorite blogs all blogged about the same subject today. Well, if they were all blogging about this subject, then it must have been really important, that's the conclusion I came to. After reading all of it, I just had the weirdest vision of Chesapeake kidnapping Santa Clause and ruining Christmas forever!

Sounds Like Aruba Needs To Hire Kevin Forbes

I got the most impressive look at Oil & Gas Safety man, Kevin Forbes. He's been in the business for a very long time, and has had lots of training. Here's a short list of his expertise:





  • Pipelines - On and Offshore
  • Drilling Rigs - On and Offshore
  • Production Platforms
  • FPSO's
  • Diving Vessels
  • Pipe Laying Vessel's
  • Construction and Upgrade works
  • Ship Yard
  • New Build Gas Plant
  • Onshore support overseeing high profile projects
  • Shut Downs
  • Civils Works
And here are the companies that he's worked for:
  • BP - Subsea pipeline project
  • SHELL - 2 separate occasions - New gas plant & Desert drilling operations
  • EXXON MOBIL - Offshore production platform
  • BLUEWATER - 2 separate occasions on FPSO's
  • WOODGROUP - 2 separate occasions - project Support then new build FPSO
  • KCA - 2 separate occasions - Drilling rig upgrade / shutdown work
  • SBM - Office Position
  • TOTAL - 2 separate occasions covering desert drilling operations
  • ALLSEAS - 2 Separate occasions Solitaire & Lorelay Pipelay Vessels
Quite an impressive resume, huh? I was thinking that Aruba should hire Kevin. They really need a professional to help them fix this sound problem of theirs.






Update From Kevin Forbes And The Oil And Gas People

A while back I told all of you that Kevin Forbes and the Oil and Gas People were following me. Imagine my delighted surprise to find that Kevin left me a most superb comment on that post today! So, I've updated a bit of information about Kevin and made a few corrections. I just LOVE British men, have I mentioned that before?

Kevin Forbes and the Oil and Gas People are Following me!

Here's His most superb comment:



Hi There. I am Kevin Forbes and I am not a recruiter :) I am a contractor who works in the oil and gas industry. I got frustrated with recruitment companies and other oil and gas job sites in how little they do for candidates. Oil and Gas People is an oil and gas job site following a totally new and unique model. For more information on the site and how we work click here http://www.oilandgaspeople.com/contact.asp

Also if you want to know more about me then my online CV can be viewed here www.safetymancv.co.uk This very basic page is what lead to Oil and Gas People. Any candidate on the site receives a free online CV that they can link to.

We also have a community site which is where you found the oil and gas news tab. This site allows people in the industry to network and share information.

Kevin

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Campfire Horror Story

The whispering winds blew the day's candle out leaving us stretched around like rubber bands tensely infront of the evening's campfire. We waited in anticipation for the telling of horrific stories. A middle aged weathered worn man drew close to the fire illuminating his tired features and he began filling the night air with a most spine tingling tail.



There once was a happy family that bought a nice pleasant parcel of land in the country. On this land they had a quaint little house and barn, but their most prized possession were the horses. The little girl of the family dreamed of having her own horse, riding and taking care of them and loving them with all her heart. Her dream came true.

One day when this family returned home after being at school and work, they'd found their fence tore down and their horses were gone! Unknown trucks and pipes and machinery of all kinds were on the property puffing big clouds of vicious black smoke. What was this monster? None only than Aruba Petroleum. Think I'm kidding? Check this out!

Will You Please Manipulate The Numbers

"It's my land and I should be able to do anything I want with it," was the response to an article that appeared in the Altoona Mirror. The article reports on the new regulation for the dissolving of solids called for by the state of Pennsylvania in the Marcellus Shale. Concerns were raised when a study of the Monongahela River yielded high concentrations of dissolved solids. "Dilution can no longer be considered an adequate treatment," DEP Secretary John Hanger wrote.

I continued to read the article and what it boils down to is this...money. According to the industry, it would cost them something like $49,000 per gallon per minute if they followed the new regulations. So, I wonder what it costs them now to just dump the waste into the water way? This article just leaves too many questions unanswered. The figure of $49,000 was provided by an industry environmental manager...can we say...an employee hired to say what we want them to say? It's like the commercials you see for cigarettes...


Humble Pie

A few days ago when my daughter asked me to grill hamburgers, I replied with, "Wait till Thursday." My innocent reply brought a stream of tears to my precious one's eyes, causing her to think we were poorer than dirt. I was admonished by some at my lack of handling my finances correctly, starving my poor child and pretty much just being an awful hack. So, to restore the good faith of all in my abilities to be a proper mother and provider of nutrition....voila...hamburgers, chips and bottled Dr. Pepper for Princess Annie.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TYC, Aruba Petroleum...Special Aren't They

Where do I start today? Oh, I guess from the beginning. I've been targeted once again at work. While I was at lunch, some TYC echelon searched my room. Seems they have a problem with the student journals and how they're decorated. I had magazines donated by various people. The magazines given to the school to use were Sports Illustrated, JC Penny Catalogue and Home & Garden. The boys removed pictures from the pages and then decorated their journals. The gestapo in charge wanted to know if I was aware of their policy that limited the boys' exposure to "skin"?

As I pondered this statement, it made me wonder how it is that if they found a few women in swimsuits on the students' journals unacceptable that they find it acceptable for the boys to be watching let's see...Rock of Love, Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew...and many other wonderful family programs brought to the boys in the TYC controlled dorm via cable.

Also, the teachers are under fire because the boys have recently amassed lots of new prison tattoos. Oh, it's our fault because apparently the boys are stealing the pens and staples from our classrooms. So, I asked, "How long does it take to give a standard prison tattoo?" The response, "At least 30 minutes to an hour, it's a tedious process." So, wouldn't the issue be...where is the STAFF that's supposed to be watching the boys during these 30 minutes to an hour? Hmmm....does make one wonder.

Well, I'm not surprised, it's the pass the buck mentality that most big wigs in Texas have. And not only that, but if they can point out your mistakes then you won't notice their mistakes all that much, right? Isn't that what Aruba has done to the Ruggieros?

Aruba lied to the Ruggieros. Aruba took up to 5 of their 10 acres. Aruba took their acreage without any notice. Aruba cut an enormous hole in their $15,000 pipe fence. Aruba threatened and intimidated the Ruggieros. Aruba spilled toxic waste on the Ruggiero property and then tried to hide it. But all this is forgiven because Aruba gave the Ruggieros $30,000. Oh, isn't that special.

Oil And Gas News Brought To You Via The Gathering Line


Gathering Line
- a special pipeline that transports gas from the field to the main pipeline.

The Gathering Line is a round-up of oil & gas drilling news brought to you by National Alliance for Drilling Reform (NA4DR), a broad alliance of grassroots activists from states across the nation that are affected with drilling development.

TXsharon @ Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS helps you follow the money to see why Governor Perry and others want Texans to keep breathing toxic air.

Some think cold weather caused this pipeline to become weak and brittleTruth be known, it's just old as the dirt it's been buried in! Read it at Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths.

Flower Mound receives applications for 18 new gas wells and a compressor station in the last 30 days. These wells will be in the same 5 mile radius area where 5 children have been diagnosed with Leukemia in the past few years. Read about it at www.stopthedrilling.blogspot.com.

How can towns protect their roads and bridges once gas drilling begins?
Given the thousands of truck trips expected to develop one well site, upstate NY highway supervisors are struggling to protect taxpayer investment in infrastructure. Read about it at Marcellus Effect

Hydraulic Fracturing contaminates groundwater. Environmentalist say government slow to monitor and not looking hard enough for contamination. Citizens for Environmental Clean-Up

Monday, December 14, 2009

Finding Out That I'm On The Naughty List

I have just a few minutes before I head to the gym for a workout. I've come to enjoy the two hour time in the gym, others prefer a less structured environment some variety to what they see or observe. I previously blogged about getting an invitation to do some dancing. I also mentioned that I was sure the dancing would involve some two stepping, which I also made mention that I don't do. I made this assumption based on some details my friend gave me. First, wear your boots. It's a common fact that two stepping cowboys and cowgirls wear boots for dancing. Secondly, he said he had something for my head. It's also another common fact that cowboys and cowgirls wear cowboy hats when they go two stepping. I think it enhances the two stepping movements.

My friend arrived around 9PM to gather me and take us to our destination. This friend also told me he had a shirt for me to wear. I tell ya, I was extremely curious to see this shirt. In his truck, he turned on the dome light and handed me a blue tee shirt with hot pink glitter writing on it. Not very cowgirlish I thought. The writing on the shirt said this: "I'm on the naughty list". The tee shirt had a matching hot pink head band with this on it: "X Rated".

I don't recall having been put on the Naughty List and I certainly don't recall being X rated, well, maybe once or twice while in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but surely not since living in West Texas. So, what does a girl do? Does she become what this gentleman apparently thinks of her for some odd reason? I went ahead and went on the date, but Sunday...I didn't answer my phone, check my cell phone or return emails.

Today at lunch, my friend Lynn and I were discussing bizarre bad dates. The two of us laughed and reminisced over some of the worst dates we ever had. She decided that we should write a book detailing every tragic moment. I think we should.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Sorta Thing Occasionally Happens

Me and my big mouth. Okay, I took the kids on a mini family vacation, birthday getaway back in October. APPARENTLY, I've mismanaged my account and am still trying to recover from the blunders I've made. How does this relate into me and my big mouth? Well, it's common knowledge that I live from pay check to pay check...most of us do. I've been playing catch up since the first of November and I think with the next employer installment into my checking account, I should have things back to normal.

Today, my darling Annie asked that I grill her some burgers since the weather was so nice. I responded, "You're going to have to wait until Thursday when I get paid. I grilled chicken yesterday and that's what we're going to have today." A little later, I noticed she was rather quiet and when I looked at her face, she had streams of tears silently cascading down her pink cheeks.

"What's wrong?" She blurted, "We're poor! We don't even have enough money to buy stuff from the grocery store to make hamburgers!" Oh my...sometimes, I guess I'm too forthcoming with my children and I don't shield them enough from the "real" world. I explained that we were far from being poor. I mean really, how many poor people have three televisions, two XBOX 360s, a portable gaming system, a rather fantavulous tree house, and not to mention took TWO vacations in one year?

The problem seemed more to do with instant gratification. These days we're not willing to delay gratification, prolong the experience, but we want everything NOW! Kinda like the oil and gas industry...cutting corners, poorly training, disregarding safety regulations just to get a job done.

I've got some friends that live in Commerce City, CO. Commerce City isn't the prettiest place in Colorado, it's the industrial hub of the North Denver area. My friends that live there were upset about a natural gas pipeline accident; just between you and me...Commerce City already smells terrible. The accident was frightening, but I suppose what caused them alarm was the nonchalant attitude of the company spokesman.

"The company says the men were doing what they were supposed to be doing and this sort of thing occasionally happens."

This sorta thing occasionally happens when safety regulations aren't followed, when training is poor, when companies aren't responsible, when people are reckless...what do you think would have been the response if the pipeline had been ignited by their carelessness and people died? Would it go something like this:

This sorta thing occasionally happens, gas lines rupture, gas lines explode and people die.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Brittle Pipeline Syndrome

Seems that a once healthy, viable, well cared for pipeline has tragically developed none other than...dum, dum, dum...BRITTLE PIPELINE SYNDROME!

Taylor ISD bus crew saw some bubbling brew and contacted the Taylor fire department. They said, "HEY! Don't move a muscle, don't even hustle...that there's a gas leak!" Atmos gas provider was called to the scene, started digging and digging until it was discovered that that old gas line was older than dirt, all brittle you see, and had to be replaced. Do you think this syndrome could spread?

Rise Above The Little Things

Saturday, did I tell you what I had planned for Saturday? Well, nothing and I like it that way. I stayed up really late watching a movie Friday night, that I've been wanting to see, Julie & Julia, two true stories rolled into one big movie. I found the movie rather long, but enjoyable, especially if you're a big fan of Julia Child, like I am. I've never been able to cook all that well, I suppose if I put my mind to it, then I could, but I haven't had the notion of putting my mind to it. I'm a more of the gardening type, you know, growing the herbs you might put into a great dish, I'll let somebody else do the cooking.

I rolled out of bed rather late, around 8AM and then lounged around until 9:30AM drinking coffee and reading. Annie and I went out in the back yard and did some raking and scooping. It was a most gorgeous day, about 73 degrees, sun shining, just a beautiful Spring like day. It felt like Spring in several ways...the Augustine grass is still green, a woodpecker was pecking pecans way up in the top of the pecan tree, and it felt good to be outside in a sleeveless shirt.

Finishing up in the yard allowed me the opportunity to do a workout at the gym today. Two hours of almost all inner and outer thigh work...I'm determined to wear a swimsuit this coming swim wear season. I've added five new exercises that's sure to tone and tighten up those thigh bulges...yuck...did I just mention bulges?

I think I probably need to do a bit more tonight to work the thighs. Last weekend I went dancing at a Quinceanera. Well, one of my friends thought I had so much fun dancing that he's insisted on taking me dancing tonight. I have a funny suspicion that it involves the two step. How do I know? He said to wear my boots, jeans and that he has something for my head...hmff. I can two step, it's just that I choose not to.

My attitude is just like the attitude in an article I read earlier today about a Geothermal Project over in California. AltaRock decided that it could continue to drill if it wanted to, but chose not to, because of damaging earthquakes. But as I continued to read, it seems that AltaRock was doing the drilling with federal money, and that AltaRock had not been "forthcoming" about earthquakes from another geothermal project.


This type of work requires fracturing the bedrock...what? Have you heard that word before? After fracturing, then water is circulated through the crack to create steam. The article further states, "By its nature, fracturing creates earthquakes, though most of them are small." Many geothermal drilling procedures don't require the deep drilling and fracturing of the bedrock, so the feds believe that geothermal energy is still viable.

Hmmm...seems that when the federal government is involved there are tighter regulations, more inquiry, accountability, personal responsibility, safety reviews...so, it doesn't surprise me when I read that AltaRock may restart the project with private money instead.





Friday, December 11, 2009

Grendel And A Most Relaxing Weekend Planned

The boys and I finished reading Beowulf today. It was a most excellent afternoon. I love to finish the reading with an additional reading of a chapter from Gardner's poem, Grendel. It's the epic of Beowulf, but told from Grendel's perspective.

The chapter I selected starts from the night that Grendel attacks Herot Hall and finds Beowulf and a most miserable end. I get all crazy and insane, changing my voice to imitate that of the "my precious" ghoul from The Hobbit. I enthrall the boys with my rendition.

During one of the morning classes, a boy fell asleep towards the end of the reading of Beowulf. I began my reading of Grendel. When I approached the part of the story that has Grendel getting his arm ripped off and howling, "MAMA!" I howl it as well. Well, my howling woke sleeping charming up, he being dazed and confused ran from the room! I had scared him senseless! He didn't know what to think. We all got a good laugh out of that one.

The weekend promises a relaxing time which I'll use gladly to relax, think and ponder my plans for Christmas. Selecting the baked goods, presents for the kiddos and getting my cards and annual letters mailed off seems a most enjoyable way to begin the holiday season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I would love to be attending this little get together tonight! I hope those of you in the area will! Like Mr. Young said, "We Won! Now Celebrate!"


Join us
in a grassroots celebration of
Dr. Al Armendariz' appointment
to EPA Regional Administrator
after only his 2nd week
on the job

Dr. Armendariz

Thursday, December 10th
7:30 pm to 9 pm

Remarks by Dr. Armendariz at 8:15 pm
(Arriving back in DFW directly from his first meeting
with the Commissioners and the Executive Director of the
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in Austin.
So you know he'll need our support)

The Private Room at
J. Gilligan's Bar and Grill

400 E. Abram

Arlington
817-274-8561

Cash bar and Snacks

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fracking Zombies!

The kids and I LOVE zombie movies. In fact, we're such big fans of the zombies that we've prepared for the ultimate zombie invasion which we are certain will take place in 2012. So, you can imagine how excited we are about the upcoming movie..."Frac Attack: Dawn of the Watershed".

The movie is about a bunch of residents who drink water contaminated by hydraulic fracturing. These residents then turn into ZOMBIES! It's a great way to get those who couldn't care less to show some interest in the subject.

Of course, there are some people who aren't happy about the new movie, such as Diffendorf, group leader of the Kirkwood landowners. She thinks the movie is just weird and full of misinformation. But I'm thinking showing the REAL effects of drinking hydraulic fracturing fluid would be too awful to see.

Jackie Root, a lease specialist gave a big thumbs down for the movie, stating that she thought Ithacans had too much time on their hands. You want to know what this lease specialist suggested we should frack the wells with instead of water? Milk. Yep, she calls it, "lacto-frack." Hey Jackie...how does using milk instead of water keep the ground water from being contaminated? I give your "lacto-frack" a BIG THUMBS DOWN.