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Vamos, Vamos Argentina

That reminds me of a story. I just got back to Houston after a particularly arduous 60-day long 28-day hitch out in Siberia. I was done in. Finito. Fuckered. Flamed-out. I've been going on jobs back-to-back-to-back for about 14 months and I decided to say: ‘fuck this’. The phone's going off the hook and I'm taking some downtime for the next…whatever. The kids are in school, they’re doing well; the prime marital unit barely recognizes me and I feel like I've spent more time in airport bars and hospitality centers than at home of late.
Which was far too true.
Stumbling through the door after a heart-skippingly amusing and expensive ride from the airport, I inform my wife that “Daddy’s home!” I also tell her “Yes, I know I owe you big-time for your patience and riding-herd alone on the house, the kids, etc.” She’s pleased with these facts and also relieved. Relieved she's not going to be done over for spousal homicide.
The Alexandrite earrings and pendant set I’d had fashioned for her at Diadema in St. Petersburg didn’t hurt, either. I inform her it’s road trip time; who doesn’t love an extemporaneous road trip?
So, without as much as a ‘by your leave’, I impulsively throw some of our clothes in a suitcase, toss a case or two of Spotted Cow (plus a couple of jugs of Wild Turkey Rye) in a cooler, and we take off in the Rover. We just point it west and let it take us where it will.
We spent a brilliant couple of carefree weeks in the wilds of New Mexico. We own a spread out in the Sangre de Christo range where I have some far-out latter-day hippie friends living in and taking care of the property and the fish until such time I ever decide to retire.
We drift over to Taos to check out the Navajo turquoise jewelry scene, then out ‘round Albuquerque-way to visit some present-day friends. Once sobered up, we head out to Vernal, UT to visit some Jurassic friends. While we were in the neighborhood, I take us up on Cripple Creek to check a couple of my grubstakes; then down, around, and over, to the Hill Country of Texas.
We were taking in the local county fairs (bloody hell, Hummels ain’t cheap…), scenery, beer, and cuisine of the region. Remember, this was the period before GSMs and cell phones, so I was essentially incommunicado because I refuse to carry a fax machine around with me and pagers-beepers were just too silly to give much thought.
Unfortunately, I did have Telex and fax machines back home on the Kingwood estate; and it looked like they’ve been left on interstellar overdrive. There’s also several sternly official-looking business-delivery “Where the fuck was you?” notes plastered around various entrances admonishing me for not being home to receive the incredibly important packages and messages they’re currently holding for me.
Retrieving all these missives, messages and memos; I sort them thusly: Junk, junk and, hey, more junk.
No, I do not want to invest in North Korean pork-belly futures.
No, I don’t want a chance at winning $US6.02x1023 by subscribing to ‘Better Gnomes and Gardens’.
No, I really don’t want to look into furthering my education at the local community college by training in something called ‘programming languages’. Yeah, like that’s going to ever be a thing…
There were, however, a couple of parcels that actually grabbed my interest.
There was this peculiarly official-looking package from South America, from a very “silvery” country down there.
It was from the offices of “Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales” sent off by a Major General Jorge de Altamesa de Aye Carumba de Padwajuan Marían Steverino López de Santa Anita in the Fifth y Pérez de Lebrón, Junior; the “Ministro de Energía y Minería de la República Argentina.”
“Ah! Must be fan mail. How nice.”
Upon opening the packages, I thought it might be another of those just becoming popular Nigerian-royalty scams to invest in some oil deals with a possible potential of prodigious probabilities. Upon closer examination, it wasn’t. It was a personal invitation for me to visit Argentina, specifically Buenos Aries, to discuss the prospect of my doing a little consulting work for the national oil company.
After closer inspection, I see it wasn’t for just a little consulting work; they basically wanted me to relocate with my family (i.e., go the old Expat route again) to Buenos Aires (BA) to take over and lead to glory the exploration activities of the national company which, truth be told, was just emerging from a rather rocky epoch. Across South America, there was a precipitous decline in oil production and an increase in imports which continued throughout the 70s and 80s. These were difficult decades, particularly for Argentina, in political and economic terms, with intermittent military governments and frequent economic crises.
“Hey, sign me up!” I re-joined sarcastically to the wife.
We discuss the matter and decide that since spring break was coming up, that if nothing else, we should all trek down to BA. It would be fun and educational for the kids; though I’ve worked in Argentina before, my wife and children have never been there. I was already looking forward to lunch at Cabaña Las Lilas and the re-awakening of my inner carnivore. Take it from a native, though displaced, Cheesehead; these characters really know how to cow down there…
Since they were enjoying an uptick in the Argentinian economy, the company sends one of their spiffy-new corporate jets to Houston Intergalactic to wing my family and me southward. This is the only way to fly. Forget Business Class, forget First Class, this is “Holy Fuck! We have an entire plane to ourselves Tony Stark class”.
An expertly efficient, friendly and obviously well-informed (they had laid in a supply of Bitter Lemon (plus adjuncts) just for me) flight crew made the ten-hour flight just, ahem, fly by. We were all fresh and relaxed as we deplaned into Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini, where we were whisked through visa, customs, and all that passport control trumpery. Even our luggage followed us there without incident, which was truly refreshing.
In a company car, we were transported briskly, though not so hurriedly as to preclude any quick sightseeing, to our Executive-suite in the Palacio Duhau Hotel. This joint was your typical bog-standard 5-star luxury sort of byzantine brick-pile (I am being excessively facetious here; it was extraordinarily posh, especially to this old Oil Patch denizen) as the wife and kids instantly fell in love with all there was to see and do; particularly since it was on the company’s nickel.
Before we flew over, the folks at the oil company with whom I was being interviewed, surreptitiously (or so they thought) kept asking about the wife and kids: what were their interests, what did they like to do in their free time, where did they like to go…? Of course, I mentioned how my eldest was rather an accomplished English dressage rider (we owned several riding horses scattered around the American Southwest…here’s a note for all you aspiring horse owners: “Never own something that can eat while you sleep”).
Also, I stated that my youngest was a fledgling aspiring artist and held a genuine interest in all forms of art; particularly those that were dark. Finally, I remarked that my wife held several advanced degrees in cooking and a black belt in both clothes and shoe shopping.
I was informed that in no way was I to be concerned that my family would either get bored or be tired of the itinerary the company had set up for them while I was doing business at their offices. While thrashing out not only my contract with them but venturing my initial impressions of how to get the hometown oil company back on track and in the black, they put their covert plan into action.
My family was scheduled to go boating, swimming, shopping, horseback riding, shopping, visit local art museums and galleries, go shopping and basically play tourist while I, once again, had my honker honed on the proverbial grindstone.
It was especially dirty pool when they had a pair of custom-leather riding boots crafted for Daughter #1, set up tutoring and talk-time with some local artists for Daughter #2. They also prepared maps and transport that would have not looked out of place at any military infantry invasion for my wife’s shopping forays.
Damn, these characters were either really desperate or really devious; probably both.
After a load of legal and interpersonal wrangling, we finally shake hands on a 3-year, open-ended consulting agreement. I was to assume the title of Senior Exploration Manager (Domestic) and my Force Majeure, Take-or-pay, it-is-what-it-is occasionally-extortionate contract was signed and sealed by all.
Happy campers all around, we celebrated at one of the local carnecerías where Bos taurus could have been placed on the endangered species list. As I noted previously, these guys really know how to cow down here.
Since this would require an unusually long period of Expat-ness for us, we decided to put most of our Texas personal effects into storage and farm out the ol’ Houston homestead to some Estate Agents who would rent out our digs in our absence. They would be taking care of both tenancy and repairs, if needed, and only taking a paltry 23.5% cut of monthly rent in return for their services. At least they could have provided a little Astro-Glide for the initial ‘service’ they provided…
My wife and I decided that the kids should finish out their school year (only a couple more months until summer break) in the US since it was paid for already. We, however, would scoot down to BA to find a place to live and my wife could bring into force her not inconsiderable shopping skillset and set-up housekeeping. We had several places pre-scouted for us by my company so less than two weeks later, we’re touring the town, and inspecting those places that might pass muster where we would be comfortable in calling home.
We have semi-eclectic tastes: we’re American, big in stature and voice, and require a fair amount of room. Our request for a 5 or 6-bedroom villa with pool and hot tub was reacted to by collective gasps and looks of astonishment (mostly regarding their commissions) from the leasing agents.
Surprisingly, after turning down the first half-dozen villas shown by the agents, they remark: “Senor, there’s this one villa out in Casa 1890 San Telmo…it’s a bit costly and no one we’ve ever shown before has even considered it…”
I glance over at the wife, “Well, let’s go have a look.”
“Senor y Senora…it is kind of pricey…”
“I’m just here to set up my family and my company is paying for accommodation…OK?”
Magic code words indeed. We were briskly whisked there and shown a most comfortable looking, cozy little 5-bedroom villa in a rather cosmopolitan part of town that just so happened to be within walking distance (yeah, as if it would ever come to that…) of the office.
Three-floors thick, with a huge well-appointed kitchen. A natty three-car attached garage. Walk-in closets in every bedroom, lots of marble and real wood accents, a nice third floor-space for my office, gated with a forward-looking security building, big rooms for the kids, manicured lawn and garden, a hot tub and pool…this place had it all.
“We’ll take it”, I told them after a half-hour’s worth of walkthrough.
“It’s is not inexpensive.”
“Yep, and I’m OK with that.”
“Gas, water, electricity and sewer are going to add a monthly additional…”
“OK, no problem. We’ll take it.”
“Security is also going to cost…”
“Not a problem, that’s already covered by my company as per my contract...”
“Ah! Anything else?”
“Yeah, for the first couple of months, we’re going to need a car and driver (for the family, mine was taken care of by the company), a housemaid or two for laundry and general house cleaning, and someone to go to the markets weekly for food and the like…”
With visions of neatly-wrapped piles of banknotes Tangoing in their heads, “Ummm…certainly, sir. Anything else? “
“Yeah. I need maps to the nearest off-license and cigar shop.” Y’ know, the essentials…
Our container arrived from Texas late the next month and our children followed shortly after. They would be going to school in 3 months hence at the International American School of Buenos Aires (“Lincoln School”). However, in the interim, my eldest had desires to go visit one of her horse riding buddies in Sweden for the summer. Not to be outdone, my in-laws desired to take our youngest to Germany to visit family she’s never met and better learn the language.
This means, that, gasp, we’d be all alone for three months. What should we do?
My wife and I wave “Adios!” to our children as they jet off to Houston, join the in-laws, then onto points European.
Well, time progressed as is its wont. My wife had an absolute blast shopping and outfitting our new place ostensibly to get it “ordnunked” for when the children returned. With virtually zero-ticks in the culture-shock department, we took to living in BA like an old geologist takes to a new perpetual-Happy Hour gin mill. We found some of the finest housemaids BA had to offer and a driver that promised to avoid driving like Joie Chitwood, and he also spoke great English. Things looked like they’re to be going just swell…
Then, the Argentine economy once again stubbed its collective toes and very-fluid excrement began to impact that rapidly rotating air-moving device.
Of course, as a national oil company, the first thing you do in a situation like this is freak the fuck out. After that subsides, you panic. If still conscious, you give into anxiety, look everywhere for both scapegoats to blame this mess on and ways to cut spending of any and all monies.
“Ummm…Mr. Rocknocker. We need to talk…” one of the more dickheaded Directors squeaks as he warily wanders into my office.
“Given the current economic climate, what is happening in the Middle East (it’s always the Middle East…) and with other oil exporting countries, we’ve been experiencing a bit of…an economic downturn. I’m afraid that we’re going to have to re-evaluate the company’s direction and our projects currently slated for this and subsequent fiscal years…”
“Yeah, that’s the dribbling shits, ain’t it? Well, let me know how that goes.”
“Ah. Well, ummm, we were discussing your current 20-well exploratory drilling program. We are going to have to evaluate the project, existing monetization, your team, and all contracts currently in force.”
Ok, I see where this is going.
“Wait one. I’ll save us all a lot of time, money and frustration. If you carefully re-read my contract, its bullet-proof. As in iron-clad; cast-iron clad. I’ve been down this road before. These are my projects, which have already been approved by the board, and they are under my total purview. That includes the scope of the project, the people whom I’ve recruited and specifically brought into my teams to make this project ensues. The only way you can get around this is to realize that my staff and I all have exclusive ‘Take-or-pay’ contracts. You alter one jot-or-tittle, we all walk and you are on the hook, by Argentine Labor Law, for repatriation of all Expats as well as the full costs of said contracts, which have to be paid in full before any one of us heads north. Try anything extra-contractual, you’ll be out both the money and the people.”
“What? We would never agree to…”
I go to my desk and pull out a signed, sealed and notarized copy of my contract.
“Care for a little light reading? Page 36; paragraphs 7 through 35…”
“We’ll see about this!” as he turned and stomped out of my office.
Charming fellow. I hope he gets run over by an elevator full of hungry ducks…
Days progressed into weeks then into months. The kids came back from Europe and loved their new school. I was a bit concerned, but if the other shoe hadn’t already dropped, it probably wouldn’t at all. I did, however, notice certain little niggling things around the office, which I really couldn’t quite put my remaining fingers on…
It was…quieter. Not nearly as frantic as when I moved in. Coffee was getting steadily worse and donuts on Thursday just became extinct. Not all at once, but it was a slowly-rolling expanding ball of micro-events much like a dung beetle builds, this time only corporately.
One bleary Monday, I call out to my secretary to ask her to retrieve a file for the drillers I was attempting to recruit.
“Ms. Tessmacher…Hello?”
“Bzzzt...” replied the intercom.
I go out to the ante-office and see Ms. Tessmacher is not only not there, but all of her pictures, coffee cups, and personal paraphernalia was gone from her desk.
I wander over to my favorite Director’s office and ask if he’s heard anything about our wayward secretary.
“Oh, um, yes. Ms. Tessmacher was only an adjunct assigned to you and not part of your ‘hired’ team, so she was let go.”
“Ah. Well, thanks large for telling me. What am I supposed to do for clerical support?”
“What clerical support? It told you times are tough and sacrifices have to be made.”
OK, gotcha. I see where this is going.
“One thing, just the common courtesy of a heads-up if you’re going to pull another stupid stunt like that. Please be so sodding kind as to let me know. If you’d do that, yeah, that’d be just fucking great.”
“I’m afraid I don’t much care for your attitude…”
“I’m afraid that’s just too fucking bad, Scooter. The board didn’t hire me for my scintillating good looks or my sparkling personality (not by a long shot). They hired me because I’ve been sniffing out and developing giant gas and oilfields for decades all over this planet. You know, that gooey-green glop we put in barrels or VLCCs to exchange for hard currency so we can pay your inflated salary?”
“I don’t have to stand here and take this…”
“No, you can sit the fuck down, shut up and listen. Take note very carefully: you fuck with my team, however obliquely, or fuck with my support personnel and you won’t be able to fund a Black and Decker hand drill much less the five 3,500 HP top-drive rigs I need for my exploration project. This project is the only exploration project still happening here because I had the foresight to prepare for just such an emergency. You queer this project down the toilet, and you’ve just eaten your seed-corn. My team and I waltz out of here with more money than Croesus and you’ll have nothing to sell. Zip. Zero. Zilch. No reserves, no reserve replacement, no exploration staff, and your bond rating drops like a paralyzed falcon. You diggin’ me, Beaumont?”
I suppose his turning ashen-white indicated he did receive the message both loudly and clearly.
I immediately called Ms. Tessmacher at her home and got her side of the story. She was made redundant for no reason other than to take a jab at me and my team. She was disconsolate. I told her to buck up and I’d ring her back.
After calling my kid’s school, I again spoke to Ms. Tessmacher and told her that the school was looking for a native German speaker. Since you were one, had prior teaching experience, and since I had given you an already glowing review, they’d most certainly wish to speak with you.
The next job was to call my team together and warn them of Senor Dipshit Director and how my ass was in his gun sights.
“Don’t cross this asshole, just point him in my direction. I already physically unnerve him enough to take the starch out of this little prick. He’s just a gasbag with a mission. Ignore him, concentrate on your jobs, and this is all going to work out.”
Or so I fervently hoped.
There were more redundancies at the company and except for a slide in the quality of catered lunches, my team and I were left more or less alone.
But the little, niggling things that just piss a person off continued to happen. Pens and pencils disappeared and were never replaced in the company office-supply closet. Next, field note- and chart books disappeared. Then, PPEs became scarce. That was the camel-breaking straw…off to see Senor Dipshit for a showdown.
Knock, slam, knock!
“Director Dipshit? We need to talk.”
“Oh, about what?”
“Oh, don’t play coy. These little cost-cutting charades of yours are having an adverse effect on my team. Pens and paper are one thing, but Nomex coveralls, safety boots, and hardhats are quite another. You may not think so, but you’re fucking with my team, however circuitously. You’re not from the North, but I am, and I can tell you-you're skating on very thin ice.”
“I’ve done nothing…”
Never open with a straight line like that to me.
“You’ve done less than nothing. You’re watching the toilet swirl and you are too damned stupid to realize that you’re one of the primary turds that’s about to be slurped.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“If speaking the truth is a threat, then make of it as you will. You’ve spent your goofy little corporate life nestled snug and secure in your cute little corner office. You’ve never been out on a rig, ran logs, or pulled core much less weathered a downturn or actually done any real work.”
I made sure to prod him lightly in the chest with the keloid-covered remains of my hand.
Aghast: “Well, there’s nothing left for me to do.”
There was the understatement of the year.
He continued: “But, know full well, that you’re spending far too much on international telephone calls.”
God damn, you’re a tiringly interfering little fuckhole.
“I have to tell you that you must reduce your phone bill by 75%. You have no choice.”
“75%? Just how the fuck am I supposed to arrange a globally-attended exploratory drilling campaign if I can’t speak with my vendors?”
“Well, Mr. Oilman…”
“That’s DOCTOR Oilman to you, Scooter.”
“Well, Doctor Oilman, can just use your infinite store of resources and make the project happen as per your contract.” .
Precipitously, a metaphorical light bulb lights off.
“Hmmm… As per my contract... OK, fine. That an official order?”
“Yes. Of course. Now, get out!”
I slowly walk out of his office and lightly close the door, letting him think he’s finally got the best of this old Rocknocker.
The seed of an idea had been planted. With the application later that night of several healthy draughts of 101-proof Old Thought Provoker, I had a fully germinated plan; all sprouted, grown and set for execution.
I spend about a week using my home phone to call many of my old colleagues. I let them know of my plan and that I’m calling in some favors. I asked them to get the word out to their sub-contractors and service companies. I had already ginned up an exhausting itinerary and I’m going to need full cooperation to make this all happen. Luckily, I have a huge number of cohorts, cronies, and comrades collectively in the Oil Patch so the word goes out and my plan slips into high gear.
I go to the company’s travel section and hand them my flight requisition. Now, in my contract, there are several shrewd and sneaky codicils that award me more or less carte blanche in times of exploratory emergency. However, I am also allowed to define the term “emergency”, so what I am doing is…legal.
Yes, by definition: legal.
Moral? Nah.
Decent? Nyet.
Ethical? Oh, fuck no.
But as legal as the right to have egg in your beer.
Besides, the fine ladies running the company travel section were all friends of Ms. Tessmacher and word had spread how I had helped her. They also were fearing for their jobs and could not stand Director Dipshit of the Finance Department. They helped me plan my itinerary so I’d leave right at the top of a billing cycle and be back before anyone was much the wiser. I was just taking some time and writing the whole thing off as “Business Expenses”.
It was a calculated risk and was going to take some doing to make happen; but since providence provides for fools and drunkards, I was doubly blessed.
My plan was to fly from BA to Houston, Houston to OK City, to Calgary, to London, to Stavanger, to Moscow, to Krasnoyarsk, to Vladivostok, to Tokyo, to Beijing, to Hong Kong, to Ho Chi Minh City, to Kuala Lumpur, to Perth, to Bangkok, to Muscat, to Dubai, and back to Buenos Aires.
All Business Class, with premium hotels. All in 60 days or less.
All for one hell of a lot more than some international phone calls. But, hey, I was just “following orders”.
I arrive back in BA, exhausted, with several hundred thousand more frequent flier miles and several billion heavily exercised liver cells. However, Augean as the task had been, it looked like it was going to come together. In fact, several boat and planeloads of drilling kit had already arrived that were being trucked out to location. The travel department was going insane with logistics as company after company showed up, as per plan, and necessary drilling personnel were being bivouacked as per my orders.
I went back to the office like nothing had happened and waited for the inevitable.
The inevitable happened when Director Dipshit burst into my office, vein-poppingly furious, screaming “Where the hell have you been and what have you done”?
“I’m afraid I don’t much care for your attitude…” I calmly replied as I sipped my morning coffee.
Apoplectically, he turns this most incredible shade of purple that’s usually not found in nature and screams: “You just spent near $1,950,000 on a junket…”
“Yep. I kept it under two million, just for you…”
“How could you do this?! It’ll be the ruin...”
“Of your career if this goes south. I was simply following your orders and honoring my contract. I had to talk to my field people and secure their contracts. If I couldn’t call them, well, it was obvious that I’d just have to go visit them in person. You gave me ‘no other choice’.”
“You son of a bitch. I’m going to…”
He really shouldn’t have lit that fuse. I stood up and went toe to toe with this self-important little shit-stain.
“You’re going to what? Tell the board you’re a self-important little sawed-off Caesar and were so blinded by your hatred for me and your insane officiousness that you petulantly cut off my phone so I had no other choice than spend a big chunk of the company’s funds on travel and services? Do you really believe that’s going to be a good course of action; particularly since my team leaders and I are going to be sitting in the Peanut Gallery tossing verbal fragmentation grenades and waiting on our flight tickets during your career’s vivisection?”
“Well, umm…”
“The way I see it is you can ally yourself with my cunning plan and hope like hell it works out. Or you can explain to the board how you’re a bureaucratic little dickhead that just lost the entire Exploration Department. Your call.”
“You wouldn’t!”
“Wouldn’t I? You actually stupid enough to be willing to take that chance?”
“Jesus fuck, you’re a first-class bastard…”
“Count on it. Coming from you, I’m taking that as the highest compliment.”
I figured I’d get called into the board meeting later that day, so I made sure to take my wife out for a fine beefy lunch and a couple of bottles of Trapiche Alaris Malbec. If you will pardon me, I have no intention of facing this crowd stone cold.
At 1430 hours, I’m summoned before the board. I figured it would be the Argentinian version of the Spanish Inquisition, but the overall mood was rather reserved and quite subdued.
“Ah, yes, Doctor Rocknocker. Could you please explain your activities over the last two months, particularly your recent trips and expenses near the two-million dollar mark?”
I launched into a Carl Sagan-inspired tale of how extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. I reminded them that in this industry, it takes money to make money and how the faint of heart never fucks the upstairs maid. I noted the race may not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that is the best way to bet. I told them of my struggle with risk-analysis, weighing the pros and cons of bold, decisive action versus sitting on one’s ass hoping everything turns out for the best. If one is in for a dime, they’re in for a dollar.
I laid it on with a trowel backhoe.
I recounted how Mr. Finance Director actually spurred me into action (well, that part wasn’t a lie now, was it?) catalyzing the entire project so I simply had no other alternative and was willing to roll the dice and take the chance. It’s how oilmen make decisions in the business. I noted that I thought that this situation absolutely required a really futile and apparently stupid gesture be done on somebody's part, and my exploration team and I were just the guys to do it.
Moreover, I recounted the substantial discounts I had secured since the little Oil Patch slowdown wasn’t just affecting Argentina, but the whole world oil industry. I wove a glittering tapestry of the positive press in the interviews I gave to media and our contractors; who were relieved and appreciative to be getting work. Also how the forward-thinking and courageous directors whom I was currently addressing were willing to make difficult decisions and supreme sacrifices to ensure the viability of the company and the oil and gas needs of their country at large.
“And I heartily thank you for allowing me to be a part of this outstanding opportunity, ladies and gentlemen of the board.”
With that, I strolled back to my seat and took several really deep breaths.
I leaned over to my Sr. Geophysicist and whispered: “Think they bought it?”
“I’m going with…yes. Never bullshit a master bullshitter…”
They conferred a bit and actually thanked me for a clear, concise, and colorful, explanation. They were on-board 100% and pleased how things were working out.
“However, Doctor; next time, please do let the board in on your plans before you head out of the country.”
The project went forward and I have to admit, we did drill a couple of dusters. Shit, it happens. However, we did discover several trillion cubic meters of condensate rich-gas and a few billion recoverable barrels of nice, light sweet crude. By the time production facilities, pipelines and customers had been lined up, the global slump in oil prices had abated and the company actually stood to make some serious capital. All because of what had been naïvely precipitated by some self-important little prick and his penchant for officiousness.
A short time later, Senor Dickweed of Finance decided that the oil industry was no longer really to his liking. I think he’s now working night-tour on a turkey farm somewhere south of Mar del Plata.
TL; DR: Off to Argentina this time to do some rank exploration for oil and gas. Had some minor run-ins with an intrusive and meddling company director that forced a Hail Mary play, through his being a shortsighted fuck-nosed little penny-pincher, which had all the earmarks of a world-class disaster. Worked out, but not his way. I like to think that in some small manner, I had hastened Senor Dickweed Director’s early retirement.
Edit 1: Did it! Less than 6,000 words. Huzzah and a Tiger for me.
Edit 2: Yes, I know it’s still long. No need to remind me.
Edit 3. Might just be headed back as their unconventionals are revving up. Great, more clay mineralogy…
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A tougher one to call despite the betting, though if Mike De Kock’s Mubtaahij is three quarters ready then he is the one they all have to beat. He finished runner up in the Dubai World Cup last season when three and three quarter lengths behind California Chrome but hasn’t won a race of any kind since March 2015 here over and can’t be The 2018 female turf champion Sistercharlie will kick off her 2020 campaign in Saturday's $200,000 Ballston Spa Stakes (G2T) at Saratoga Race Course . The start is coming later than she is used to, but according to trainer Chad Brown, he is looking forward to the $3.6 million earner running in the stakes at the age of six. He had helpers haul in laptops, a 50-pound printer, and stacks of blank betting slips. On Saturday morning—race day—they checked the internet connection and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on woman,in,hat,betting,slip,slips,betting slip,betting slips,Royal Ascot, horse, race, dh Happy Valley racecourse CAUSEWAY BAY HONG KONG Hong Kong racing ticket betting slip night horse races CHIPPENHAM, UK, 12th June, 2014. A betting coupon from the bookmaker Ladbrokes is photographed on the day that the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament starts I always make a point of looking at the prices early, usually overnight; any regular visitor will have noticed I often put bets up the night before the race. These days the old satchel swingers price up a huge number of races the night before and every now and then one of the firms slips up and goes half a point or so larger than the rest.

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