Friday, March 5, 2010
All You'd Ever Want to Know about Oil!
The time change finally caught up with us and it was 8 am before I woke up in Odessa. Rather amazing considering the railroad track was just across the road from the motel and a crossing was just up the road. There must have been a freight every half hour and the combination of short and long, fast and slow whistles was quite loud--to say nothing of the rumbling of the cars. I love those sounds so it wasn't a problem but I wasn't sure I was going to be able to sleep---not to worry--slept like a log until that 8 am freight--then it was all over. Organized the car, once more and did who knows what else but it was after 11 by the time we hit the road. I had forgotten to turn the phone off the night before so it was deader than a doornail. Had to unpack the old computer and make reservations on-line for a motel in San Angelo, our next stop. Never having tried a Rodeway and wanting to use points rather than funds for the room, I booked our usual non-smoking, two queens for 10,000 points--considering we have over 90.000, that seemed fine. All the mundane chores completed we headed up the road about 10 miles to Midland, a town closely associated with both Messers Bush. But that wasn't why we went there--I had discovered that the Petroleum Museum is located there and I wanted to know more about the various structures we'd been seeing associated with the oil pumps scattered all through the landscape of this portion of Texas. Amazingly, the museum really was three museums in one of really disparate subjects. The bulk of the structure IS dedicated to all aspects of oil: geological formation,exploration, location, pumping or capping, distribution and economics. Structures and their uses and the history and development of oil drilling technology. In addition, a whole two room gallery was dedicated to fabulous oils by Tom Lovell. All the preliminary sketches for several of his oils were on display as well as the finished works. Although I enjoyed the petroleum section, appealing as it did to my interest in science, I must say this would be the area I would return to see and would have loved to have spent more time looking at and absorbing his art. Lastly, since he is a Midland boy and he developed his race cars here, there is a gallery dedicated to Jim Hall and his Chapparal race cars. The aerodynamics appealed and the sleek, plasticy looking cars were fun but since I'm not a big race fan, much of the impact was lost on me. In fairness, it was also the last gallery we explored after two hours so we were somewhat museumed out. It was great fun to see Bill attempt sliding into the model built for that purpose--his size 13 feet and long legs just wouldn't fit even with removing the steering wheel. I would never have been able to even bend my right leg to get over the side much less shoehorn my zoftic self into that low slung beast! LOL By 2 pm we were finally on the road to San Angelo. Passed out of oil country into real scrub land that didn't seem to be used for much except some random bovines amongst the rough looking growth. As we approached San Angelo we entered what Texans call the rangeland country. When we checked in I asked if an upgrade were available---a two room suite--the best we've had so far!!!! And FREE!!!!!! After unpacking we went to the Little River Club on the grounds and met our perky blonde barmaid, Lacey. Very male oriented in her short shorts and well endowed scoop necked top which she leaned provocatively over the bar as she took the fellows order--poor Bill didn't get much of a look since she stood primly upright when serving us! LOL A sweet girl--it is just so amusing to watch the interactions. An old fella came in and ordered a beer and said loudly to her" Whal, hi girl, when'd cha get out of jail?" She turned purple and we all laughed --I've never been in jail, she said--to further laughter. As she moved down the bar, he said to the rest of us--you think she blushed then, wait til I ask her to marry me! Which he did--he also commented on her tatoos and asked if we were going to get to see them--we did but if she had any in indiscrete places she kept them discretely hidden. Chatted a bit with Bonnie and Keith from someplace else in Texas--talked about the differences between Northern and Southern borders--they aren't terribly thrilled by the Mexican incursion that extends many miles into Texas. Although, they vacation in Mexico. They fly in, never drive across the border and don't visit close to the border because of the terrible drug related crime on both sides of the line. After a few beers and with the arrival of the regulars for poker night we moved next door to Nacho's for delicious Mexican food. The manager's second grade son had been assigned lines--I will not talk in class--and, though his large family was gathered at a large table for dinner, he was sent to a booth to do them. He came to the table several times for Dad to check his work--and he was sent back to do them correctly. We adults chatted about the fact that he is really a good kid but has to learn proper classroom behavior and also. that once assigned such a chore, his best bet is to take the time and care to do it right the first time. OH, how I remember those days--being sent back to do it over and over--I was never successful at getting Betsy to do it. I was able to get my students to do their work, most of the time, but Betsy was a whole new ball of wax! After chomping down on what I thought was a really good looking piece of green bell pepper and finding it was a really HOT JALAPENO, I skipped the other pieces but still woke up several times with horrendous heart burn and nothing but water to squelch it. I think I finally fell asleep around 2 and woke at 7. Just a little tired tonight!!