River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2012

Consistency and H2S Gas -- Fri., June 1

Cotulla, Texas:

Lissa Coffey's Coffey Talk gives me things to think about. I subscribe to her blog and receive Wisdom News emails with thoughts for the day. Here's today's thought (used with Lissa's permission):

"Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-Aldous Huxley

It is our nature to grow and to change. We evolve. We learn. Sometimes we shake things up with our new views and opinions - but that just promotes more growth. Sometimes we have to prune the dead branches from a tree in order for the new buds to have room to grow and for the tree to be healthy and thrive. We can prune away our outdated thinking, and leave room for expansion.
-Lissa Coffey
Whenever I ponder a subject, within a few days more information on that subject comes to me in various forms. It could be a quote, a website, a radio talk show, internet article, or conversation with a friend.

For example, over the past two months, I have been thinking about becoming a vegetarian and running marathons--two things I said I'd NEVER do. (Never say never, right?) I've been very consistent in my thinking about those two subjects. Things change, I change, others change.

While I am not yet ready to go completely vegetarian, I admit our diet needs to be healthier with more fresh fruits & vegetables and more fish. We have started eating quinoa (pronounced KEEN' wah) which both of us love and it's a good source of protein in grain form. We now use quinoa in place of whole wheat spaghetti when we make spaghetti. But I digress.

My point is, change is occurring in my thinking. In order to lose weight and be more healthy, change must occur in my diet and exercise. I've heard the saying, "Change or die." In the case of diet, this is literally true--especially with the increase in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke--in our society. I do not wish to die yet. (I know, I know, there are some ways to die we can't change: accidents, plane crashes, suicide bombers, yadda, yadda. BUT if I can make a difference, by golly, I'm going to.)

Marathon running: I'm not ready to take up running, but I LOVE to walk, hike, dance and bike ride. It's hard for me to understand people who run marathons or do ultra-marathons. I'm working on understanding it. (Actually I've been working on it for a while since Bob has been running marathons for five years.) Good for them. It's not for everyone.

We humans are works in progress. Go with the flow more. Keep an open mind. Have long discussions with those you love. Keep learning, reading, thinking--whatever is is you do that will help you grow and change. I do and I hope it's changing me into a healthier, more open person.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Update on gate guarding: Yesterday I talked about hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Deadly after two breaths. 

 We started gate guarding one month ago, had very little training (the people here before us showed us how to fill out the logs), and no safety training at all. Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when my friend Kit and I got to talking about H2S gas.

I said, "What is that?"

She said it's a deadly gas that's released from the wells on some sites. Kit & Jerry have been gate guarding for years. We had been told by our LOMA maintenance guy that if we smelled rotten eggs we immediately should go inside our RV and stay there. Wrong information! Kit said if there's an alarm, you should get out immediately in the opposite direction of where the wind sock is pointed. (All well sites actively drilling, coil tubing, etc., should have wind socks or long ribbons to show which way the wind is blowing.) [An aside: H2S gas is heavier than air, so it hugs the ground. If you are 50' away from the well and there is an escape of gas, if you were to strike a match and it ignited the H2S gas, the flame could travel back along the gas to the source and cause an explosion.]

Today, I had lunch with a new friend, Kathy, another LOMA gate guard. She and her husband have been gate guarding for two months. I asked her if they had training/safety training and they did not. Then I asked if she knew about H2S gas. She had never heard of it.

So, in the interest of full disclosure about the hazards of gate guarding, in case your company has never informed you or if you're thinking of working as an oil field gate guard, I offer you the information on H2S gas. Here's the link again from yesterday's blog hydrogen sulfide gas. Our oil field inner gate has a big warning sign with green, yellow, and red flag designations.

Sign at entrance to the Pad.

What makes this so relevant to us is the following: This morning the Safety Supervisor from Pad B knocked on the door of our 5er and told us they had a release of H2S gas at the well. They changed the flag from green to yellow. He told Bob the gas only made it 50' from the well and we weren't currently in any danger. The workers closest to the leak had to put on masks. We are only 500' from the well. If the flags go to red, we have to evacuate immediately. Scary!!!!!

Here is the information direct from the Safety Supervisor...if there is a leak/alarm/red flag to evacuate, look at the wind sock, go AWAY from the well perpendicular to the way the wind is blowing. That way you quickly leave the most dangerous area. Me, I'm going to run whichever way all the workers on the pad are running. They have safety meetings about this subject and MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), something LOMA never provided for us.

I don't know if other gate guarding companies omit this essential information. I am going to open a topic in MyOldRV.com Forums under the Forum: "Oil Field Gate Guard Q & A," Topic: "H2S--Hydrogen sulfide gas" to find out if other gate guard workers have been instructed about this deadly gas.

Consider this my public service announcement for gate guarders and gate guard wannabes. I think you need to understand your risks.

The other thing that happened this morning while I was sleeping (I don't know how I missed it), Bob said there was a big boom and the ground shook. The Safety Supervisor from earlier told Bob it wasn't Pad B, then the Safety Supervisor drove down to Pad A. It wasn't Pad A either. Not on this property. Makes me wonder where it did happen and what it was. I hope everyone around it is all right!

Flame pipe burns off H2S gas. (Some gas can still escape and be deadly, though.)

The Safety Supervisor told me this evening that no workers with beards are allowed on the Pad. Reason: If there is a deadly release of gas, the oxygen mask would not get a tight seal over a beard.

This job sounds more dangerous every day. My eyes are wide open (bugged out, really).

Bug-eyed Travel Bug out.


  1. Ah Yes.H2S gas. I remember those days from the 80's. Only difference is we were told if you smell rotten egg, you may not be able to out run it. No for me running is not one of my strengths plus I do sport a beard. For these reasons, I do not work gates. I'll work Amazon first.
    Stay safe and ask lots of questions.

    1. Safe is good.

      We liked working at Amazon.com. Hard work but indoors, the opportunity to make many friends in the RV community and days off at the same time!

  2. So are you putting together a safety manual? Our first security gig was a 2-month relief spot while the regular couple went on vacation. She had a detailed packet prepared for us not only about the duties and the property but local resources complete with Google Maps of laundromat, vet, stores, etc. I put together a safety manual here with general info plus items related to this site, including info like your H2S gas - things that could be hazards at this site. Sure would be a big help to the next folks coming in. So when you have nothing else to do . . . ;)

    1. That's a really nice idea. It would be much appreciated, I'm sure.

      When we were at RV-Dreams Rally in Kerrville, Doris of Dave & Doris's Excellent Adventure blog, made a map of Cotulla with laundromats, post office, Ace Hardware, grocery store, etc. It was a big help because Cotulla is hard to find things in.

      Thanks for the suggestion! Too bad our gate guard services company doesn't do that for us. (Dream on, right?)

      I guess gate guarders can create their own Welcome Wagons. (Do you remember Welcome Wagons?)

  3. "Whenever I ponder a subject, within a few days more information on that subject comes to me in various forms. It could be a quote, a website, a radio talk show, internet article, or conversation with a friend.

    For example, over the past two months, I have been thinking about becoming a vegetarian and running marathons--two things I said I'd NEVER do. (Never say never, right?) I've been very consistent in my thinking about those two subjects. Things change, I change, others change."

    Funny thing you say that... In point of fact I have two book recommendations for you (as they relate both to vegetarianism AND running!), which I was going to give you anyway, so call it synchronicity, I guess:

    #1: Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Run-Unlikely-Ultramarathon-Greatness/dp/0547569653/
    #2: Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Ultra-Rejecting-Becoming-Discovering/dp/0307952193/

    I recently read and enjoyed both of these, the former more so than the latter, if only because it focuses on the action and leaves out some of the less interesting autobiographical stuff about childhood and young adult failures (though Roll includes it mainly as a half-book preface for the transformation of his life in the latter half of the book, hinted at in the prologue).

    Both are good books and both Jurek & Roll are vegan pro / endurance athletes.

    Hopefully you guys still have Esselstyn's book / cookbook I think I gave you guys a copy of a while back? It's a good read. You might also check out Richard Johnson's "The Sugar Fix" too (I'd recommend David Gillespie's "Sweet Poison" too but for the fact it may only be available from him directly as it's printed in Australia and seems not to have cracked the American market yet & I'm not quite sold on his position on saturated fats being 'a-ok,' as Esselstyn puts forward a pretty compelling case for low-fat [under 15% fat as a percentage of calories], plant-based nutrition).

    For plant-based protein, Roll recommends things like quinoa, lentils, beans, chickpeas [garbanzo beans], spinach (also good for Iron & some other stuff), among other things.

    For Omega 3, things like chia seeds (something of a superfood, if you can find it cheaply; currently seems to be going for upward of $7/lbs; thought I had a source for more like $5/lbs, but they canceled my bulk order, grr!), ground flax seed (had to be ground or body can't get past bran to digest the seeds), hemp seeds, walnuts / almonds (in moderation; nuts are fatty), cauliflower, Brussels sprouts & dark leafy greens.

    Anyway, you can kill a couple birds with a couple stones with the two books by Jurek / Roll. I'm guessing Bob will like them too. I'd considered sending you guys my copies once I was done with them, but I think the Amaon Vine program technically says I have to hold on to them for like 6 mos. Plus, I just, umm, kinda' like 'em. Git yer own! :)

    1. Alrighty then! We'll get our own. Thank you for the info.

  4. Hello Bob,we worked for Loma also last year and there's alot they don't tell you.My husband worked thegas patch so he knew alot,thankful for that.I think they don't tell some of the dangers because alot of people won't hire on,this needs to be changed for safety of everyone involved.I heard there begging for folks as we have friends up near Ft. Worth.Some of the biggest rattlers ever were there 6to 7ft.Well I enjoyed your blog and hearing the life of a gate guard,stay well and alert.


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