A couple of days ago, the Galaxy Trucker app for the iPad came out, so I promptly spent the required $4.99 to pick it up. We have enjoyed the physical boardgame for a number of years (although my brain doesn’t seem to work as fast as the kids, and the speed/dexterity limitations encountered usually meant that I ended up with inferior pieces and usually launched my ship last). Last night, Brock, Davison and I had a pass-n-play game of it. We went three rounds which took quite a long time. The ship building mechanism is turn based so mental laggards such as myself have a chance to compete.
Brock enjoys building ships with the physical game, but struggled a bit more with this one where you had limited pieces initially available and had to visualize a little further out on what you wanted your ship to look like.
Anyhow, here’s some screenshots after we finished round two of the game. Brock had lost about half of his ship to asteroids and pirates. I think Davison (“Dude” in the screenshots) had lost a handful of components on the right hand (would that be “starboard”) side of his ship, and mine made it through intact. The iPad implementation of the game is very good.




Tomorrow night I’ll probably be sleeping at our new house. But the last few days, I’ve been staying with a co-worker and his wife who took pity on me staying in a flea-bag hotel. They were planning on being out of town, so offered me the opportunity to stay at their apartment (which coincidentally is on the penthouse level of an apartment building near to work). It’s actually on the 13th floor, but it’s probably less superstitious to call it the penthouse level, and the suites on this level are pretty spacious.

A couple of nights ago, there was a couple of hours of thunderstorm activity, which was pretty spectacular from my bedroom window.

Picture of lightning strike over Houston
Lightning, clouds, landscape

I’ve also enjoyed some of the amenities, this one in particular being the small swimming pool next door on the 13th floor.

Picture of swimming pool
The rooftop pool

Newberg, Oregon has a couple of really fun playgrounds. Following is a sequence of pictures that Lori took at one of them.

Picture of Heidi relaxing at the playground
Heidi Relaxes

Picture of Mikaela at the playground
Mikaela Contorts

Picture of Mikaela and Daelynn
Daelynn joins

Picture of kids on a park bench
Brock Tries

Picture of four kids on a park bench
Davison cheats

First off, here are some pictures that Lori took in Oregon (most of them at the beach). Lori and the kids left the beach after a week today (Sunday, August 3rd) and headed back inland to Newberg. They have three or four days there before embarking for Calgary.

Picture of kids in a hotel swimming pool
Swimming at the Travelodge Pool in Newberg

Picture of people on Oregon beach at sunset
On the beach at sunset

Picture of Davison on the beach
Davison on the beach

Picture of kids on beach at sunset
Fun on the beach at sunset

Picture of stones found on the beach
Heidi’s beach treasures

Picture of lovely lady taking a picture of a beach sunset
Danaya enjoying the beach sunset

Along with the pictures, I wanted to recount an interesting talk that I had with one of my co-employees on the field trip covered in the last post. I was talking to a young Oriental gal who had just started work at Seitel within the past couple of years. She grew up as the only child in her family. When she found out that we had six kids (sorry Danaya, you’ve probably outgrown that moniker), she paused for a few seconds and then said something to the effect of “Wow, in your house every day is a party”.

Ben’s note: This has been reposted from my blog at work, so it might not make loads of sense, but gives an idea of the industry that I work in.

Ferguson Shoot field trip, 30-July-2014
​This is a quick blog entry about the visit of the “Yellow team” to the Ferguson survey shoot on 30-July-2014. Our driver, tour guide and fount of all seismic-related wisdom was Doug Reagle, who did an excellent job of showing and explaining.

Here’s 4 of the 8 team members

picture of coworkers at a seismic camp
At the seismic shoot “base camp”

Inside the data shed, Dawson Geophysical demonstrated how they managed data coming off the GSRs, how data copies were handled and what measures were in place to ensure data collection was happening correctly.

In this case we are being shown the line testing tool, which line testing technicians (12 in total) use in the field to test the GSRs in location to make sure that they are functioning properly. There is no direct connection to the recording devices (as there is in a cable system), so doing QC checking on the devices (which each can hold up to a months worth of data) is absolutely critical.

Picture of safe work environment
Dawson Geophysical tech demonstrates line testing tool

In the base camp area, there was another trailer dedicated to safety, where a team checked in with all of the individuals in the field every 30 (or 60) minutes. No pictures of that one, but it was pretty boring (computer, radio gear IIRC).

Then it was off to the next site (I’m calling it “Shooting Central” where all of the seismic shooting activity was coordinated. This is moved periodically to keep within optimal range of the field units creating the seismic data. The trailer on the right with the antenna was quite amazingly tall.

Picture of seismic doghouse and radio
Mobile Shooting Central camp

The next trailer to tour was the one where the current shooting is going on. I probably didn’t understand all that was going on (as it sounded like it was in Spanish), but the amount of information that the tech was keeping track of was fairly impressive. I am aware that there were at least 5 teams out in the field (dynamite, the mini-vibes, and three teams of the large vibe units).
The guy coordinating all of the shooting/recording
The guy coordinating all of the shooting/recording

After a tramp through the woods, we saw (or rather felt) three dynamite shot points being set off. No pictures, because we had to have cellphones off at that point, and secondly we were at least 100 feet away through the woods so there wasn’t a whole lot to see.

Doug took us by a site where they were doing some experimental testing with a new possible energy source. Things weren’t moving quickly (nor apparently had they the day before) so after hanging around for a while in the heat, we headed for lunch.

Test site and equipment
Test site and equipment

After lunch we managed to capture the set of mini-vibes (I’m pretty sure this isn’t the right terminology) going through town (and creating data on the way) with a police escort. These look like stuff that I used to build out of Lego.
Picture of small seismic vibrator trucks
Mini-vibe trucks

Following that it was on to see the big vibrator units working out in the fields around town.
Picture of seismic vibrator trucks
Large vibrator trucks leaving a field

There were a few things that I found interesting. One, that they worked in sets of three. Secondly, although you cannot see it, under the cab on these units were hung a lot of weights. I’m guessing that the front and back need to be similar in weight to provide proper downward pressure on the ground while vibrating. Thirdly, the vibration starts at a low frequency (8 Hz) and works up to 96 Hz. This makes it easier for the processors to filter out noise at different levels. Here are the units heading through a field to their next set of shot points.
Picture of seismic vibrator truck in field
Big vibrator unit heading into a field; cows moving out of way

After that it was back into the van and back to Houston. An informative and adventurous day was had by all.

Oh, and here’s my picture (at the gas station on the way home).

Picture of Ben Huber
Ben Huber, field worker for a day

Following are some of the pictures that we took during the trip to the Grand Canyon.

The family at Mather Point
Davison and Brock, climbers
Heidi, cheerful adventurer
Brock at the Grand Canyon
Ben at the Grand Canyon
Lori at the Grand Canyon


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my philosophy of picture taking before, and I don’t know if you are wondering why there are no really good pictures of the Grand Canyon here.  The way that I see it is that there are a lot of photographers with better gear, skills and opportunities who have taken pictures of the Grand Canyon that you are better off looking for their much better work.  I have noticed that these uber-photographers don’t take pictures of our family (without wanting to be paid a lot).  So that’s why I take and post pictures with us in them.

Today was our day trip to the Grand Canyon national park.  Lori, Layne and I saw it briefly on our way to Phoenix in 1991, but don’t really remember it all that well.

It was pretty nice weather wise, with some cloud cover and the temperature in the mid 80s.  We saw the sites, rode the shuttle buses, visited the geological museum, purchased trinkets at the gift shop.  In general the day went well.

Daelynn, Mikaela and Danaya at Yaki Point

We’re currently on day three of our summer long road trip.  We woke up this morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico and are ending up in Williams, Arizona.  Williams is just south of the Grand Canyon and a ways west of Flagstaff.


So, yes, this is us at Mcdonald’s…

It’s been quite a long time since I posted anything on hubcrate.com.  We’re currently on a bit of a road trip (we’ll try and post some pics and posts on that), and I ran out of room on the camera SD card.  In moving them off to one of the computers on the trip, I ran across some fun pictures that I thought that I would post.

So, here are a picture of Davison and of Brock taken by one of my children with my camera.  Enjoy!  It was a fun surprise to run across them.

Picture of Davison
Davison in black
picture of Brock
Brock the man