is the sound a large crew trailer A/C unit makes when someone accidently hooks up a 3-phase 480 volt generator to the power input instead of the single phase 120 volt unit that should have been used.

Marathon Crew Trailer

Other items that joined the fun were the water heater, water pump, microwave, LCD TV, satellite DVR, washer, dryer, refrigerator, and various and sundry light bulbs which reportedly blew up like firecrackers.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the pad here is a little smaller than normal so they put the crew trailer over behind us right outside the gate. Well, the story goes that the diesel generator that supplies power to the trailer quit and wouldn’t restart. So someone drove over to the pad and bought back another generator, apparently not noticing it was a 3-phase 480 volt unit that is used to run some of the big rig pumps. How they got it hooked up I don’t know, since the plugs are not in any way compatible, but hook it up they did.

And then they cranked it up. And then they threw the breaker.

And then guys came running out the trailer like they were under attack!  You know, the exploding light bulbs, the smoke pouring out of the TV, the bright flash of light and loud pop from the microwave, that kind of stuff.

It’s never a dull day here on the George Long Ranch and drill site.


For lunch today (Thursday) I made the 8 mile trip into beautiful downtown Charlotte (pop. 1637) to pick up some tacos from Tita’s Taco Stand for lunch. Ryan Etheridge, the Marathon Safety guy has brought us back breakfast tacos from there a couple of times, and they were really good. So we thought we would try them for lunch.

I was disappointed that they only did breakfast tacos until 11am, especially since the breakfast items are the biggest part of the menu. And I think this is the first time I’ve seen SPAM as an ingredient for tacos. But apparently it’s pretty popular since I heard several people order them while I was there.

Titas Menu

I got us two chicken fajita tacos and two beef fajita tacos, so we could have one each. They were plain and simple, and really good. Just the meat wrapped inside the tortilla with your choice of a red sauce, or a really good, really spicy green sauce. We’ll go back.

Last night when I drove over to the office to drop off the previous day’s logs, I asked Boone Williams, the night Company Man, if he would have one of the big water tankers soak down the road in front of our gate. Yesterday it was like being in a dust storm.  Vehicles would stop in front of the gate and you would have to wait for the dust cloud to settle before you could see who it was. But three times during the day we got our road watered down which took care of the problem for now.


This time next week Jan and I will be in Houston for our granddaughter Piper’s High School Graduation. We plan on leaving next Wednesday afternoon and staying two nights before coming back to our gate on Friday afternoon. Gate Guard Services is arranging for someone to cover our gate while we’re gone.

Piper’s graduation is Thursday night, but Thursday morning we’re taking Landon to the Houston Zoo. It’ll be his first trip, and the way he loves animals, it ought to be fun.


i decided to try one of these wireless solar-powered Vehicle Monitors that Amazon sells.

Driveway Monitor

Solar-Powered Vehicle Monitor

The one we have now, the old ding-ding service station type, only goes about 100 feet in one direction and 60 feet in the other, an4d I would like to have a little more lead time for approaching vehicles. And yes, this is so at 3am I can wake up before they get to the gate and find me napping. I haven’t been surprised yet, but it’s been close.

This one is suppose to work up to 1000 feet line of sight. Most of the reviews are pretty good, so I wanted to give it a try. I’ll let you know how it works.


As the days get hotter here in Texas I’m thinking about putting together a cheap Swamp Cooler, or Evaporative Cooler, to cool us down in the hottest part of the day. Swamp coolers are those doghouses you see on rooftops in Arizona. They’re really very simple, consisting of a fan, a water source, and a porous material like burlap.

Swamp coolers will only work in low humidity areas like Arizona, and not places like Houston. But where they will work, they are much cheaper to operate than conventional air conditioning.

Here’s a link for a simple Swamp Cooler you can build yourself. I’m going to see how the mister units that I’m going to pick up at Tractor Supply tomorrow work before I proceed with the swamp cooler idea.

And ironically enough, a swamp being very humid, would not be a good place to use a swamp cooler.


Thought for the Day:

I’ve been pretty thoughtless today.



7 Responses

  1. I wasn’t anywhere near the generator! really, it wasn’t me 🙂

  2. Really enjoyed this post. Normally we avoid thoe “roach coaches” as they are known. However, once, and I forget where we were, it was noon, we were hungry and one of “those” was the only thing around. Bit the bullet and had a few tacos. They were wonderful.
    Be sure to let us know how your motion sensors work.

  3. Well, I imagine the loud noise and the guys running out of the trailer provided more entertainment than what was on TV. You’ll be in our neighborhood when you come to Houston. I have a question. It looks like we’re not going to get away from this area when we thought and I’m interested in the mister units that you’ve talked about. Do they keep you cooler…especially in our humidity?

  4. Tita’s is very neat, shiny, and clean. Not like the typical ones.

    And more importantly, very, very busy. Right at lunch time, it’s hard to find a parking place.

    They also have picnic tables with canopies and umbrellas if want to eat there.

    I should have the motion sensor set up tomorrow (Saturday) and we’ll see how it goes.

  5. Vickie,

    I do remember them being used at the old Six Flags-Astroworld years ago, but they’re certainly not going to work as well in Houston’s humidity.

    We saw them used a lot at Disney World in Florida, but it’s not as humid in Orlando, being away from the coast.

    But for the $25 this one costs it might be worth a try.

  6. We’re visiting friends right now. He’s an industrial electrician. Had a great laugh over that electrician hooking up 480 volts to 120 volt lights and appliances. Everybody makes mistakes!!!
    I’ve been looking into mist cooling for quite some time now. Very effective if humidity is not too high. Can even lower temp 10-15 degrees in high-humidity area like Houston. One thing I found is that you need high pressure to atomize water to small enough droplets to evaporate quickly enough that you don’t get wet. Commercial systems use 200-1000 psi. Typical water system pressure of 50-60 psi produces cooling, but can leave area wet.
    Have a safe trip.

  7. Ovre here in west Texas we thats all we use in our mobile home and theres nothing brtter far as im concerned we do’nt enen have an air conditioner and it takes care of our home well

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