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Roy Jerden's Blog

About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.


Most Recent Blog Post

Texas Oil Patch Talk
Blog Posted:5/15/2013 8:49:00 AM


Here's a primer on some Texas oil drilling terminology you might not be familiar with if you have read some of my poetry:

"Keep it turnin' to the right" is a phrase used to mean "be efficient and don't stop the drilling if not necessary". Time is money. Oil rigs drill continuously 24X7 until they either have to add more pipe to the drillstring (the bit and the 30' joints of pipe), change bits, or have a problem. 

"Oilfield Trash" is the term that oilfield workers and their families use for themselves. It is not a perjorative term, although it likely started out as one, but like many such, reversed itself into a proud badge of recognition.

A "tour", pronounced like "tower", is a shift on the oil rig. Back in the old days, there were only two twelve-hour shifts, morning tour and evening tour, seven days a week until the job was done, which was either when you hit oil or the hole was no good, known as a "duster".

"Caliche" is a sedimentary rock, a hardened deposit of calcium carbonate. Caliche is also known as hardpan. It forms a significant portion of the surface in West Texas.

"Forty-two" also known as Texas 42, is a trick-taking game like bridge, but played with a standard set of double six dominoes. 42 is often referred to as the "national game of Texas", and continues to be very popular in much of the state. It was invented to get around the Southern Baptist prohibition of card playing.

A "norther" or "blue norther" refers to a swift-moving cold front marked by a dark, blue-black sky with strong wintery winds from the northwest or north and temperatures that may drop 20°F to 30°F in a few minutes.

"Devil's brew"  is slang for the smelly hot sulphur water sometimes hit when drilling a hole. It also refers to alcohol, at least for Southern Baptists.

If you're not a Southern Baptist, Lone Star beer is the national beer of Texas. Drinking any other beer is treason, although they'll close an eye for Shiner Bock, of course.

Dr. Pepper (AKA Texas holy water) is the Texas national soft drink.

Frito pie is a dish made with chili, cheese, and corn chips. Sometimes it is baked as a casserole, but the classic Texas version is served in the Fritos bag. To make it 100 % authentic, you need Wolf Brand chili (no beans), Austex Ranch Style beans, shredded cheese, and chopped onions. Heat up the chili and beans, open the bag and pour them on top of the chips, add the onions and cheese, mix and eat. I have seen all these ingredients (except the onions) at the Dollar Tree stores at one time or another, which speaks well for their nutritional quality.

Wash it down with a Dr. Pepper (or Lone Star), and wait 30 minutes for the fireworks to start. For a Texas Trifecta Perfecta, have a fried pie (a real one, not Hostess) for dessert. Wait 30 more minutes and call 911.
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  1. Date: 5/15/2013 4:53:00 PM
    Fried Pie - not the same as Frito pie, although it translates the same from Spanish. It's a mostly Southern thing, but West Texas makes the best. You can make them from scratch, but a bought pie crust shaped into a square and then quartered will do. About 2 tbsp of thick fruit preserves (apricot is my favorite) in the middle. Fold over into a triangle and crimp the edges with a fork. Fry until golden in a tasteless oil. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Enjoy one. Then get someone to handcuff your wrists behind your back.

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  1. Date: 5/15/2013 4:41:00 PM
    Frito pie - There is some controversy about its invention with both Texas (where Fritos were invented) and Santa Fe, NM both having a paternity claim. It goes by the name of a "walking taco" in the Midwest. I think you know where my allegiance lies.

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  1. Date: 5/15/2013 4:31:00 PM
    PS.........tell us more about the fried pie! (we had one of those recipes too!)

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  1. Date: 5/15/2013 4:30:00 PM
    I may not be familiar to all the oil drilling lingo.....but I am definitely familiar with Frito pie !! Somehow I thought maybe my own family invented this gooey, easy, and completely unhealthy but yummy meal. Campers that we were, it was a staple we could throw together after a long day's hike in the mountains...warming those beans up on a camp stove or fire..adding onions/cheese...pouring over corn kids loved it! Me too! My mom used to make something similar adding canned tamales.....baked in the oven with corn chips on top. Maybe sounds terrible.......but it was delicious!!! (healthy?? ..........NOT!!!)

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  1. Date: 5/15/2013 2:11:00 PM
    well, I scanned this and decided to read about the frito pie. I think I have heard of it before. sounds like something I would sure like to try!! I think I saw you were big winner of the pub challenge. Congrats!!

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    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith Date: 5/16/2013 6:08:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    never had frito pie?...Its good. my wife makes it sometimes.
  1. Date: 5/15/2013 1:49:00 PM
    Ha...enjoyed seeing these oilfield terms...I'm gonna refer to Dr. Pepper as Texas Holy Water until the day I die!

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  1. Date: 5/15/2013 10:47:00 AM
    MY MY! now that's the Texan way. Dr. Pepper LOL the Texas holy water. :-) a big grinner on that. mostly hotter than sauce - when chili time's around the corner. ~SKAT~

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    A  Avatar SKAT A Date: 5/15/2013 10:49:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I'm from Houston Texas. 3 hours away from my sissy pd :-)
  1. Date: 5/15/2013 9:29:00 AM
    You're a riot! Love local stuff!

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My Past Blog Posts

Age Test
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 8:44:00 PM
A couple of not so burning questions
Date Posted: 3/23/2014 12:23:00 PM
Some Contest Ideas - Feedback Requested
Date Posted: 3/15/2014 7:05:00 PM
Images for my Spring sonnet
Date Posted: 3/10/2014 7:56:00 PM
Bridge Over Troubled Water Contest Results
Date Posted: 3/9/2014 5:24:00 PM
And that's when the fight started...
Date Posted: 2/21/2014 9:34:00 AM
All my other hobbies seem to be about food
Date Posted: 2/20/2014 2:50:00 PM
The Hipster Reading List
Date Posted: 2/15/2014 5:05:00 PM
Incredible List of 100 Books to Read in Your Lifetime
Date Posted: 2/15/2014 9:11:00 AM
Bridge Over Troubled Water Contest
Date Posted: 2/9/2014 8:52:00 AM
Requirements, Requirements, Requirements
Date Posted: 2/6/2014 6:35:00 PM
"Yesterday's Acrostic" - Contest Results
Date Posted: 2/6/2014 1:16:00 PM
My Hunting Hobby
Date Posted: 2/4/2014 1:47:00 PM
Cyborg Poetry?
Date Posted: 1/20/2014 5:04:00 PM
New Contest - Yesterday's Acrostic
Date Posted: 1/18/2014 6:23:00 AM
Kintsukuroi Contest Judged
Date Posted: 1/17/2014 6:44:00 PM
Criteria for judging a poetry contest
Date Posted: 1/16/2014 3:21:00 PM
A peek under the kimono
Date Posted: 1/13/2014 7:33:00 PM
When Wordplay Approaches Jabberwocky
Date Posted: 1/12/2014 8:26:00 AM
Have you ever, truly, finished a poem?
Date Posted: 1/11/2014 6:23:00 PM
For Frank - A priceless Amazon customer review
Date Posted: 1/10/2014 6:57:00 AM
Too iconoclastic, too lowbrow or just too disturbing?
Date Posted: 1/4/2014 9:53:00 PM
Date Posted: 1/2/2014 9:12:00 AM
Happy New Year To All
Date Posted: 12/31/2013 6:15:00 PM
Merry Christmas to All
Date Posted: 12/25/2013 7:28:00 AM

My Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
4/1/2014My Thunderous Wonderous Electric Toy TrainRhymechristmas,nostalgia,
3/19/2014One Happy Ending With Green GiantLimerickholiday,humorous,
3/18/2014Ignominious ExitRhymehumorous,
3/16/2014Well-sliced WillieFree versepoetry,
3/12/2014Life is what you make it - Act 5, Scene VIIILimerickdeath,
3/11/2014Premature ExonerationLimerickholiday,humor,
2/28/2014Going GiggingRhymefishing,
2/10/2014A Series of Unfortunate Darwin AwardsLimerickdeath,humorous,silly,
2/7/2014What Can I DoSonnetabsence,death,fear,
2/4/2014A Stone In The Cold 5Sonnetnature,
1/29/2014The Earth AbidesQuatrainnatural disasters,nature,
1/23/2014Siren's DanceSonnetlove,
1/21/2014Happy HourIambic Pentameterdrink,relationship,satire
1/9/2014I Never Said LoveSenryuhumorous,
1/7/2014San Saba SpringtimeSonnetnature,spring,
12/28/2013The WhittlersCowboygrowing up,nostalgia,
12/20/2013Cretaceous FarewellHaikuanimal,
12/19/2013Redneck SantaRhymechristmas,
12/17/2013The Tale of the China PoblanaBalladhistory,
6/13/2013Ode on a Japanese CommodeRhymehumorous,
5/24/2013The Fruits of their LaborsDidacticpolitical,
5/23/2013Damaged GoodsQuatrainabuse,
5/21/2013White Trash NostalgiaQuatraingrowing up,
5/15/2013The Conceit of PoetryCoupletphilosophy,
4/26/2013Ad AstraQuatrainnature,night,stars,

My Photos

Fav Poems

Poem TitleFormCategories
AmazementFree verseplaces,voice,life,voice,
Pearl DivingQuatrainlove,
Slow Movin TightsBalladwomen,me,me,red,
That Night We KissedRondeauromanceheart,night,heart,
A Voice In The WindRhymeimagination,nature,
Within a StormSonnetinspirational,
Sailing the Seas In A Pecan TreeRhymeadventure,old,
Soul of the PoetQuatrainfarewell,poems,poetess,
MuseFree versewords,writing,

Fav Poets

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