A Scorpion in My Pants . . .

Verizon is apparently messing with things again. My phone says I have 1x, and not 3G. But even the 1x doesn’t work right now. Hopefully if will be up and running when it’s time to post this blog.

As far as the scorpion goes, I thought so, anyhow. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was just sitting here minding my own business (not that there’s anyone else’s to mind around here) and all of a sudden something bit me or stung me on my left calf.


And my first thought WAS that a scorpion had gotten into my pants. So I was dancing around, swatting at my leg, and yelling. But all this seem to accomplish was to make whatever it was climb higher. Whoops! Not exactly what I had in mind.

But, as I was frantically trying to drop trow, hop on one foot, yell, and slap at my leg, I realized that I was being stung by a lot of things, not just one stinger. So that meant it had to be . . .


By this time I had my pants down around my ankles, jumping up and down, slapping at my pants, just knowing that at any minute a truck full of cute young salesgirls was going drive up. But at least my luck held as far as this went.

Then suddenly I get bit again, this time on the back of my bare leg, just above the knee. It felt like I was on the wrong side of a pin cushion. Reaching around my leg and grabbing at whatever it was (not the smartest thing, I know) I came up with a handful of large brown grasshopper/locust/katydid whateveryoucallit.

And then he bit me again. Son of a . . .  !

But now I could see he wasn’t biting me or stinging me at all. His feet apparently had very sharp little grippers on them, and so the more I danced around, the tighter he held on for dear life.

Deciding it was time for the two of us to part company, I flung him as hard as I could. He of course, just dug in his gripper thingies a little deeper and held on tight.

Realizing this wasn’t going to work, I grabbed a nearby water spray bottle and gave him a good squirt. At first he seemed like it, but after three or four more, he got the message and leaped away.

Well, at least I have another topic for my upcoming “Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit” seminar at Nick’s next Rally,


In the meantime Jan had her own excitement Tuesday evening when a sudden windstorm blew through our area, apparently spawned by all the thunderstorms roaming around. Although it never rained here, the wind came out of nowhere, turning over the fan, loosening some of the canopy guy ropes, and generally wreaking havoc on our gate site. Finally she went inside and rode it out there.

Nothing was really damaged, but it did take me a while to get everything set back up and stowed away when I came on at 11pm. I thought my new windshield solar screen had been blown away at first, but all that happened was that it got flipped back up and onto the roof.

Several people had ask for a photo of my outside solar screen setup, so here it is.

Solar Screen

Nothing fancy. Just a cord strung between the awning brackets on each side, and then the solar screen material is hung from the cord like clothes on a clothesline (remember those?) and fastened with binder clips.

It works great, and it was cheap. My kind of project.

Tuesday was also Chile Rellenos day at Galindo’s again so I picked up lunch for us on my way home from Pleasanton. Just as delicious as last time, and they have great chips and salsa, too. Especially the salsa. They sell it by the jar and I may get some next time.

The reason I was in Pleasanton was to get my oil changed at Wal-Mart. I just had it done in January before we left the Houston area, but it was time again. It’s amazing how many miles we put on our truck just driving around.

We bought it in late 2007 just before we got our American Eagle coach, and in that time we’ve put about 50,000 miles on the coach, and about 75,000 miles on the truck. And that 75,000 doesn’t include the 50,000. It’s in addition, since the truck odometer doesn’t register when it’s in tow mode. So that means we’ve driven about 125,000 miles in the last 5 years. Hard to imagine.

But along with my oil change, Wal-Mart also gave me 3 flat tires. Well, one flat and two almost flat. What happened was that as part of their oil change service, they check your tire pressures. And whoever did it, didn’t tighten my Tire Traker tire pressure sensors back on the valve stems, letting them slowly leak down.

So late Tuesday afternoon a passing truck driver told me I had a flat.

BUMMER! Not realized at the time what the problem was, I decided to wait until I came back on duty at 11pm to change it when it would be cooler. Well, a little cooler, anyway.

Getting the spare put on and flat tire up in the truck, I stuck my head in the cab to get something and heard my tire pressure monitor going off. Checking it, I found it showing I had two more almost flat tires, both under 20 pounds.

What the . . . 

Three flats? Getting my tire gauge out to confirm the pressure I found the tire pressure sensor very loose on the valve stem. Suddenly remembering how loose the one was on the flat tire when I took it off to move it to the spare, I checked the second almost flat tire and found it also very loose. And the sensor on the last remaining good tire was tight.

Sensing a pattern here, (hey, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck LAST night!) I got out my air compressor and aired up all three tires, and tightened down the sensors when i was done. Two hours later, all three tires were still fine.

I had just changed a tire for nothing. Darn you, Wal-Mart!

So, tomorrow (Thursday) I’m going back to the Wal-Mart and let them take my spare off and put my other tire back on. Let them fix it.

And this is the reason I wanted to wait till after midnight to change the tire. And it was still 89 degrees then.

108 Temp
This is the official temperature. Our thermometer here at the rig said 116 degrees, but I think it’s picking up a lot of heat off the side of the rig, and thru the white translucent canopy. But our water misting system really keeps us comfortable.

It’s only when we have to walk out in the sun and actually work, that it gets hot.

Jan had a Girl’s Day Out this afternoon (Wednesday), going into Pleasanton, getting her hair down, doing some shopping, etc. Then on her way home she picked up Sonic Chili Dogs for supper. Humm, humm, good.

As it stands now, it looks like we’ll be moving to a new site in the next 7 to 10 days. I’ve got the location and tomorrow (Thursday) I’m going to drive over and check it out. It’s back on the east side of I-37, about 20 miles from where our last site was, and only about 5 miles from the Gate Guard Services offices near Whitsett. So less travel to pick up our paychecks.

Lastly, Jan wanted me to pass on a cleaning tip. We have a problem with the mist from the cooling mister combining with the ever-present dust, and put a film on our glasses that makes it hard to see, and very hard to get off. We’d tried a number to cleaners and nothing worked very well.

But a tip from a passing-though truck driver did the trick.

Dawn dish soap. Leave your glasses soaking over night in a bowl of Dawn and water, and the next morning they’re spotless.



Thought for the Day:

Always be thoughtful. Or thoughtless. Whatever works for you.



10 Responses

  1. That nest of scorpions comment was ruining any thoughts I might have for gate guarding!!

  2. A memorable blog. Wish I could have seen you removing the attacking scorpions.

  3. That Dawn is really great stuff for all kinds of things! We use it to clean our grey tank while driving down the road. Some of that plus a bunch of water and Calgon water softener after dumping our tanks. Supposed to help clean the valves and all the “gunk” out as it sloshes around. Sorry to hear of your tire troubles. I had one of those “fast” oil change places do my car oil one time and the young kid “forgot” to tighten the filter…I pull out of their driveway and the entire oil change leaked out onto the cement! Argggghhh!

  4. I had to laugh at the visual of you trying to get the “Scorpions” out of your pants…We’re in Houston right now and headed to the Corpus Christi office of Gate Guard Services on Monday to do all of our paperwork. Sounds like they will send us directly to a Gate afterwards…This is going to be an interesting experience for us…Mac had worked in the Natural Gas Industry for 31 years and as an Environmental Inspector…so this will be very different for us.

  5. Kind of gives new meaning to the term “crotch crickets.”

  6. Mercy, glad to hear that was not really a scorpion!! Did it leave some kind of irritation like a bite would, after the fact though??

    You got off fairly easy with Wal-mart!! Here in our area, they ruined the entire engine with their negligence in an oil change for one of my daughter’s girlfriends!! It took some time, but they were given the privledge of buying her a new engine for her car!! Meanwhile, it was a long wait till it was all over. Are you SURE you want to let them touch your rig?? Maybe just go get your money returned for such a bad job!! It is very nasty to treat customers that way, esp. in such extreme weather…you could have been left stranded!!

  7. Janna,


    Cuts down on the competition for gate jobs. LOL

  8. Lynette,

    Good luck on your new gate.

    Remember my gate guarding motto: It’s not easy, but it’s not hard.

  9. Elizabeth,

    No. Didn’t have any problems after the attack.

    The oil change was for our Dodge Dakota pickup, not our rig.

    I have a place called RV Mobile Lube come out to our site in Houston and they do all the servicing right there.

  10. Loved your blog, especially about the “scorpions.” Check out my blog from May re: bugs http://travelbug-susan.blogspot.com/2012/05/schuhplattler-polka-sat-mar-26.html

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