BREA, California – After a 40-year career with British Petroleum I retired and moved to Southern California. The impetus for the move was a lucrative consulting contract with a producer in the supergiant Wilmington Field. The secondary objective was to finally escape the hellish Houston climate. So why didn’t I move back to England? For one thing I did not wish to trade hot and humid for cold and dreary. But mostly, I wanted to avoid being on the same continent as Lady Shortspeare. The less said about that situation the better.
I sold my house in Houston for a substantial capital gain. I was somewhat aware of the ridiculous prices of Southern California real estate but it still came as a shock. I decided to purchase a townhouse so I would no longer be burdened by all the maintenance a house demands. After a period of world travel that had always been on my “bucket list,” I arrived in California in 2008 during the beginning of the Great Recession and I bided my time, waiting to take shameless advantage of a distressed property. I found a charming townhouse in a small, stable, well-run city in Orange County that met my specifications perfectly. Everything I need is within walking distance. I debated whether or not to keep my motorcar but in the end I decided it was better to have one available for the odd trip beyond pedestrian range.
As I settled into my new domicile, I hired a very competent computer expert to set up an internet connection with all manner of security. Nevertheless, I still pay my bills by mail. Horrors you may think, but I have never had my identity stolen and I have impeccable hard copy backup for all my accounts. To fill my newfound idle hours, I began a survey of websites devoted to the oil and gas industry.
This is when I stumbled across ProvedPlusProbable.com, now known as 2PNews.com. I read a number of their entries and was intrigued. It seemed that the objective was humour but that was rather lacking. “Oh for heaven’s sake,” I thought to myself, “these lads are grasping at straws, and rather flimsy ones at that!”
I began submitting ideas to Messrs. Flowman and McGuilicuddy and many were accepted. I was offered the chance to be a credited reporter. That is, I would have my own by-line. My consulting work at Wilmington had ended and I was now permanently retired, so I decided to cast my lot with 2P News and the rest is history, as you Yanks and Canucks like to say. I have remained in Southern California with an occasional foray to Calgary when the situation warranted. Of course, these days no one goes anywhere without a compelling reason.
It has been fascinating to observe incredibly wealthy people denouncing incredibly wealthy people. There are people who are literally heartbroken over how undocumented aliens are treated in the U. S. while at the same time paying their undocumented alien domestic help 25 cents per hour.