Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oil Drilling Rig Museum

The other day we drove to Morgan City to tour the Rig Museum, called “Mr. Charlie”.  Built in 1957, Mr. Charlie was the first transportable, submersible oil drilling rig and began the offshore drilling industry.

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Still attached to a submersed barge but by the shore, Mr. Charlie is now a training facility for the oil drilling industry.  Men and women wanting to work on an oil drill train and live on Mr. Charlie to see if they can hack the living and working conditions. They go to class and then actually do the work on the rig.

Living conditions were tight in this 1957 oil rig, being home to 48 people with four to the room in bunk beds.  Four meals a day were available, as there were two, twelve hour shifts a day.  Nowadays, workers have two people per room with private baths.

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Currently the industry offer shifts of 7, 14 or 28 days offshore on the rig with corresponding 7, 14 or 28 days off on land.  With a 28 day shift you could work off the coast of Atlanta and easily fly home even to Seattle for 28 days off and then back to Atlanta to go back to work.  Not a bad way to live IMHO.

Both men and women work on today’s oil rigs and every conceivable job opportunity is available from housekeeping and cooks to computer techs and accountants.  Yes, they have housekeepers to make beds and clean the toilets and I bet they make more than minimum wage living out on an oil rig.  Unfortunately, with the BP spill and the shut down of the oil drill off our coasts, all the offshore drilling moved overseas, especially to Australia waters.

Early oil rigs
Current designed rigs
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Our guide with 42 years experience; very good.
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Drilling bits

After the oil rig tour we went to Rita Mae’s Kitchen for lunch.  This place was recommended to us and we are sure glad we found this little gem in Morgan City.  It is located inside an older house where each room was made into a dining area, very quaint.

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Large great crab cake sandwich
Green grass and palms
across the street

We had a great day and learned a lot.  Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reconnect with Friends

Yesterday was a special day for Jim and I as we drove up to Lafayette to visit dear friends who were driving through the area, The Two Lindas!!!

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We met the Two Lindas when we all worked at in Coffeyville in 2008 and have stayed in touch with them ever since. Both the Lindas are such talented and interesting women that we enjoy being with so much.  It was so exciting to see them again!

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at their rig…Jim’s first vegan meal…as we caught up with each other’s activities.

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Then the Two Lindas drove down to Abbeville to see our rig, which they hadn’t seen yet.  Soon it was happy hour which they enjoyed.

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Jim and Three Lindas
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Saying goodbye, so sad
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With “Bertha” going home

Happy hour continued and got a “little crazy” when we decided to hang a huuuge pair of panties and a big bra on Jean-Pierre’s rig…..why?  who knows…one of those impromptu things that happens at Betty’s RV Park!!!
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Afterwards Jim and I had a quiet “date night” at the Riverfront Grill for their Tuesday’s steak dinner special.  It was a very nice day and very enjoyable!

Remember, you are loved!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Newspaper

There is a story about Betty’s RV Park in the Abbeville Meridional, the local newspaper.  The article is about George and Cece Donaldson, one of the couples here who decided to get off the road and buy a house here in Abbeville.

Here is one of the photographs in the Abbeville Meridional article. The Donaldson’s are in the front row on the right.

Betty's Group

We continue to enjoy our stay here at Betty’s RV Park and all the activities she has planned for us to enjoy.

One of the couples here shared some homemade sausage he found at the Southside Market on the south end of Lafayette. It was wonderful, so yesterday we drove up there with them to buy some for ourselves. We bought 4 pounds and look forward to having it later on the road. 

Well, off to have more fun!  Remember, you are loved.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Touchet’s Bar Jam Session

When you see that a bar’s motto is “helping ugly people get laid since 1986” and their bumper sticker states, “Adult Day Care Center”, you know you are in for a good time. And, boy, a good time is what we had at Touchet’s Bar in Maurice, LA!!! Oh, it is pronounced Two Checks.

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Every two weeks the local musicians come to Touchet’s to have a jam session.  They sign up for a session which changes about every 20 minutes.  From 2 to 5 p.m. there is Cajun music playing.  Oh joy, oh joy.  Ever since the Mossman’s played us a Zydeco/Cajun CD last year, both Jim and I fell in love with the music.  And to be able to hear it played live yesterday….well, we were beyond happy. This was Cajun music with all the songs sung in French. Instruments were accordion, fiddle, guitars, base and electric, and washboard with some quick-step and some waltz tempo songs.  Zydeco music would have the addition of brass, horns and mostly upbeat jazz influenced songs.

The patrons were mostly the older crowd, and it was a joy to see everyone dancing even folks in their 70s and older. One couple was celebrating their 63th anniversary.

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One of our group, Jean-Pierre, got into the action playing the triangle with the band.  What a hoot!!!

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Session 5 brought up a young boy, only 15 years old, named Barrett

Navarre who played the accordion that just blew us away…he was awesome.  He’s only been playing a couple of years, but he brought the house down with his musical talent.  His grandfather bought him his accordion and he is extremely proud of his grandson! He was such a nice young man, going around the tables and saying hello to all the older patrons, whom he all knew. He’s very polite and mannerly, just a very nice young man…nice to see.

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On stage
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with his grand dad

The music was so good and we all enjoyed ourselves.

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We started off looking like this…..
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and ended up looking like this

Jean-Pierre has a collection of hats and he brought a couple with him yesterday. One hat got passed around as it looked good on everybody.
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I even had to try it on

For Jim and I this was the highlight of our time here.  Being able to hear Cajun music live was such a treat.  We can’t wait till next week to go to Museum Cafe in Erath, LA, for the alternate Saturday jam session there. We need to get some CDs somewhere to take with us on the road.
Sunday Betty put on a flea market under the patio where she sold a whole bunch of her “stash”.  She said she buys things on sale all year long and has a separate room to hold it all.  She brought out hats, purses, home decorations, snack plates, etc.  Some of the campers sold their wares also with jewelry, knit scarves, tile coasters, etc. being displayed. 

Being Sunday Jim M. made Bloody Mary’s for Terri and I.  That was followed by basking in the sun in front of the rigs in a circle of chairs with folks dropping in and out as they walked by.  It was so nice to be at such an open, friendly RV park.  We all have become one big happy family, doing things together,and sharing food and cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails, Wendell made up a couple batches of Olympic Cocktails. It is equal parts of brandy, triple sec and orange juice.  Try it…it’s quite good.

We had our happy hour under the patio and then our gang grilled burgers.  Betty did organized a Hen Party Game for us to participate in that brought about hilarious laughter.  The object of the game was to get a plunger stick, held between your legs, stuck into a roll of toilet paper being held by your partner…too funny.

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My kids should have such a good time during their retirement!!!

Remember, you are loved.