Using The Old Book “Standard Atlas Of Hettinger County, ND 1917”

In yesterday’s blog post article, I was trying to explain how I was doing research on the railroad line that had once passed through New Leipzig, Mott, Regent, and dead-ended in New England, North Dakota. This railroad line was abandoned in about 1982, and had been operated by a company called the Milwaukee Road railroad. I was hoping that if I could locate this former railroad easement, I could ride this easement on my motorcycle, unless it had been sold or turned over to the adjacent farmers. It appeared that the steel rails had already been torn up and taken away a long time ago.

When I was trying to look information up on the internet, I found an old book titled, “Standard Atlas Of Hettinger County, ND 1917”, that had been digitally photographed and uploaded to a website called Digital Horizons. This physical book itself is held in the state of North Dakota historical archives, but the Digital Horizons website allows anyone with a computer and internet to look through each page of this book.

Here is the link to this book: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2326/

When I first stumbled upon this “Standard Atlas Of Hettinger County, ND 1917”, I had only been looking for a plat map of the towns of New England, Regent, and Mott in order to prove to the readers that these towns were actually created and laid out by the Milwaukee Road railroad company. To me, even though I had heard that old west towns sprung up wherever there was a railroad, I hadn’t known that the railroad company actually laid out the town.

Please click on these links to the plat maps of the towns of New England and Regent North Dakota: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2254 http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2255 When you click on these links and view these plat maps, you will see written across city blocks of land “Milwaukee Land Co’s Add 1”, “Milwaukee Land Co’s Add 2”, “Milwaukee Land Co’s Add 3”.

Once I began trying to use this book “Standard Atlas Of Hettinger County, ND 1917” to find out and look at more, I was a little confused at first. Please click on this link to the plat map of Hettinger County itself, showing how Hettinger County is divided up into blocks of land called “townships”: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2249

If you click on the above link to the plat map of Hettinger County, you can look and see that there is a township named “New England” and within this township there is a town named “New England”. You can look and see that there is a township named “Havelock” and within this township there is a town named “Havelock”. But if you continue looking at this plat map of Hettinger County, just because there is a township named “Kunze” doesn’t mean that there is a town named “Kunze” within this township. In other words, don’t expect the name of every township within Hettinger county to have a corresponding town inside it with the same name.

The other thing that you need to remember when looking at the plat map of Hettinger County, is that each township consists of 36 numbered sections, each section being 1 mile x 1 mile in size.

If you look at the township of New England, not the town of New England, but the township which consists of 36 numbered sections of land, back in 1917 the “Standard Atlas Of Hettinger County, ND” labeled the owners of these sections. This is astonishing information if a person was trying to look up and find exactly where their great-grandparents used to farm: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2285

To read the family names of the property owners on this plat map of the township of New England, click on the expansion icon on the computer screen near the upper right hand corner of the map image, then you should see another set of zoom icons on the upper left corner of the map image.

Lastly, this “Standard Atlas Of Hettinger County, ND 1917” has a map of the state of North Dakota, divided into two pages. This map shows the name of towns that no longer exist anymore, and the location of railroad lines that no longer exist anymore. On the left side and the right side of this map, in alphabetical order it lists the populations of the counties and towns in North Dakota: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2287 http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2288

Milwaukee Road Railroad From New England To Regent To Mott North Dakota

This Spring I have been researching little-known or forgotten towns in southwest North Dakota. Here are few examples, that most younger North Dakotans have never heard of: Daglum, Pierce, DeSart, Bessie, Havelock, Whetstone Butte. Each of these towns are not far from the town of New England.

In a previous blog post article, I explained that from time-to-time when I had been driving on back-roads in western North Dakota, I had passed a small old abandoned cemetery, small church, or schoolhouse, that made me realize there was once a town here, in what is now the middle of nowhere.

Both in my reading and in discussions with local North Dakotans, it had been pointed out to me several times that a railroad once passed through New England. I put this information in my head, but I didn’t think much more about the railroad. It was common knowledge that towns in the western United States sprung up adjacent to railroads, especially when there was a train depot with scheduled stops.

After several motorcycle rides this Spring, sightseeing through the abandoned and forgotten towns that I named at the beginning of this article, I thought that it would be fun to ride the abandoned railroad easement out of New England, and follow it to wherever it went. But when I began driving around trying to spot the old railroad easement, I couldn’t find it.

When I began looking on the internet to find out where the supposed/alleged railroad had been in New England, I was surprised at the things that I found and learned. The town of New England had been the last stop, the end of the line for what was known as the “Milwaukee Road” railroad.

Due to nostalgia and the great enthusiasm that some people have for railroads, there is an abundance of information on the “Milwaukee Road” railroad. This railroad company filed for bankruptcy in 1977, and the railroad tracks themselves were kind of abandoned by 1982. I say “kind of abandoned”, because I have not yet been able to determine if in addition to railroad tracks having obviously been torn up, if the land easements were sold off or turned over to anyone.

What I was trying to find out, was where the Milwaukee Road railroad had been, and whether or not the railroad bed/easement was something that I could ride on with my motorcycle. Had the land been turned over to local farmers since 1982?

The following internet site was one of the most useful in obtaining information about the Milwaukee Road railroad, more officially known as the “Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad”: https://www.american-rails.com/nd.html

The internet site given in the link above has information on all of the railroads that were built in North Dakota. Using some of the menu options, first selecting “Milwaukee Road”, then “System Map (1966)”, here is a 1966 map that shows the railroad line to New England, North Dakota, and that this line was was completed in 1910: https://www.american-rails.com/milw.html#Map

If you click on the link to this 1966 Milwaukee Road railroad system map, in order to see the railroad line as it travels from New England, to Regent, to Mott, you will probably have to go to the three vertical dots on the upper righthand corner of your browser, and enlarge your computer screen all the way up to 300%.

What I also found, was on the following MapQuest map, there is a light grey color line, that goes from New England, to Regent, to Mott, showing the route of the abandoned Milwaukee Road railroad line. Please click on this link, and then zoom-in using the map icon until you can see the light grey color line exiting New England heading southeast. https://www.mapquest.com/us/north-dakota/new-england-nd-282033684

When you look at this MapQuest map after having zoomed-in to New England, and if you follow the light grey color line to Regent, you will realize that New England, Regent, and Mott were laid out around the railroad line. This is important, did you know that the North Dakota towns of New England, Regent, and Mott were actually created and platted by the Milwaukee Road railroad company?

When writing this blog post article, and trying to explain/document what I learned, I accidentally found something that is much more important than this blog post article, it is an online digital scan of the “Standard Atlas, Hettinger County, ND, 1917”: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2326/

I can’t believe that I found this 1917 Standard Atlas of Hettinger County!

The reason why I am so excited, if you click on or type in the “digitial horizons online” website address for this 1917 Hettinger County Atlas, it shows EVERY forgotten town, and its PLAT!!!

From page 9 of this 1917 Hettinger County Atlas, it shows the plat of the town of New England, please look at this plat and see that all of the land is labelled “Milwaukee Land Co’s”: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/p16921coll2/id/2254

Overpriced Houses In Dickinson, North Dakota

During the past year, nearly half a dozen times I have been tempted to write this blog post article about overpriced houses for sale in Dickinson, North Dakota. I was even thinking about writing a weekly or bi-weekly article titled, “This Week’s Award For The Most Overpriced House In Dickinson”.

What got me going, was that there was a 5br/3ba house for sale in Dickinson that was listed for $600K. I thought, $600K? $600K for a house in Dickinson? Who are these people, where do they think they are, and what are they thinking? Did the real estate agent talk them into this?

Before I go any further, I need to explain to readers who live outside of this area, that Dickinson experienced the North Dakota oil boom from 2007-2015. During the first several years of this oil boom, housing prices and rents doubled. But by 2011, housing prices and rents had quadrupled.

When the price of oil went from over $100 per barrel in 2014, down to less than $50 per barrel in 2015, that killed the North Dakota oil boom. Oil companies began to shut down oil wells that were producing, and cease drilling operations because they could not make any profit on oil when the price was below $60 per barrel.

Initially in 2015-2016 there many oil field workers and even many non-oilfield workers who were let go from their employment. Many of these workers left, because these people could not see that there was any work for them in this area. This exit migration of people at the end of the North Dakota oil boom created an instant surplus of housing for sale and for rent.

Beyond 2017, it became more and more clear every day that the oil boom was not coming back to North Dakota. More people continued to move away from this area, which caused the local economy to shrink a little more.

In this area of western North Dakota, it is sparsely populated, with barren vacant grasslands where the wind sometimes exceeds 100 mph, and the temperature in Winter falls below -50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not a desirable place to live for most people. In North Dakota, there is no beach, professional sports teams, car racing, motorcycle racing, horse racing, or hardly any kind of entertainment or place to go.

With the exodus of people from the Dickinson area after the end of the oil boom, the surplus of housing, most of the high paying jobs being eliminated, no one wanting to live here or move here in the first place, how could someone try to get $600K for their 5br/3ba home, that was not even very nice?

I was going to mock and ridicule this homeowner and the real estate agent who listed this home for $600K, but I wanted to look into this situation a little more to find out what was going on. I am glad that I did look into this more closely, because what I found was that this wasn’t just a matter of these people being stupid, it was also a matter of the homeowner being desperate.

I used the address of this home for sale, to find out who the owners were. Once I found out who the owners were, I looked them up on the internet, including the North Dakota court repository. Unfortunately, when there is a divorce/child custody/child support court case that gets contested and moves through the court of appeals, many of the details get reported in the public record. This was the case here.

I was able to find out that a young, newly married husband and wife in their mid to late twenties purchased this home early in the North Dakota oil boom, around 2009-2010 I think it was. The husband had an unusually good job for someone his age, with an oil company here in Dickinson. I believe he was earning about $125K per year.

Off the top of my head, I think that this couple separated and filed for divorce in about 2014, just before the end of the oil boom, that no one knew was coming. His child support assessment was something like $30K per year. Then in 2015, due to the price collapse of oil, he lost his job, and the oil company the he had been working for filed for bankruptcy.

This ex-husband who was now in his early 30s, who had lost his job with an oil company, he was not able to find another job. He began the process of legally appealing his child support determination, because he had very little money, no income, and probably a large amount of legal fees.

I was glad that I found out who these home owners were, so that I didn’t mock and ridicule them in a blog post article. Their circumstances required them to try to get as much as possible from the sale of their home. However, still, what the fuck were they and their real estate agent thinking? Who in Dickinson has that much money? Maybe a medical doctor, but why would a medical doctor want to spend $600K on a house in Dickinson that isn’t even very nice?

What this particular real estate listing did at that time, was immediately inspire some other dumb-ass in Dickinson to list their rather ordinary unappealing older home for $600K. Some people in Dickinson thought that this was a “thing” now.

I would kind of like for homeowners and real estate agents in Dickinson to paint a picture for me of the imaginary buyer they have in their heads that is going to race from Los Angeles straight to Dickinson with $600K in cash. Why Dickinson?, in North Dakota?

Some time has passed since I became discombobulated by the $600K house “thing” in Dickinson. Until today, when I looked up a house that just went for sale around the corner from where I live. Where I live, a year ago I was able to buy a small, plain, one hundred year old house on a double lot for $50K. The larger house that I had looked at a few blocks away was $85K. A few months ago, a very nice 4br/2ba home one block away from me, the asking price was dropped to $80K. So I wanted to know, how much was the house that was just listed for sale near me?…….Over $400K! What!

Why does this matter to me? I have asked myself why this matters to me, why does this bother me, and I have realized four of five reasons. My first reason, is that I have seen this kind of thing before where everyone begins to believe that their house is worth double, which mostly just results in first-time home buyers needlessly being excluded from buying a home. It doesn’t result in everyone being able to sell their house for double, it results in very few people being able to sell their house, and first-time buyers not being able to afford any house.

Reason number two, between the 1940s to the early 1980s, single-family homes in blue-collar neighborhoods cost on average, twice the annual family income. Once real estate investors and real estate agents began to normalize grabbing up and trying to profit off of normal human beings trying to live in a home, not only did they cause the single-family home to cost on average three-four times the annual family income, mom had to begin working full-time, then by the 1990s both mom & dad had to work overtime in order to afford a single-family home.

Reason number three, real estate agents are not the smartest people in the World, they are often so greedy that they can’t even think normally or rationally. If a real estate agent really thought this situation through, where there is a nice 4br/2ba home a couple of blocks away for $80K that hasn’t sold in the past several months, several other nice 4br/2ba homes nearby at less than $150K that have not sold, and a couple of huge, 2-story, nice looking, recently updated homes at $400K that haven’t sold in over a year, why would a real estate agent think that there is a demand in this area, buyers in this area, or buyers with money in this area?

Reason four, I can’t understand why a home owner would go through the effort of listing and trying to sell their home, and create a situation where a sale is almost impossible. If the home owner wants to move away and start a new life somewhere else, needs the proceeds from this house sale to pay for a new house somewhere else, or needs to sell this house to pay off debt, why would they sabotage themselves by setting the price so high to make a sale impossible?

Lastly, I wonder what goes on in other people’s minds. What is their understanding and perception of reality? Do they know and understand that the oil boom is over? Do they know that very, very few people in this area earn over $100K per year? Can they look around and see the houses that surround them, that almost all of the houses that surround them are less than $200K houses? Even if there was a medical doctor who could afford over $400K for a house and was looking, why would this doctor purchase a house in this blue-collar neighborhood where the houses range from $50K-$200K?

Secret Lake Of The Badlands

For those of you who are not familiar with North Dakota, in the western part of the state there are mostly flat prairie grasslands with very few trees. In the distance, here and there you will see buttes which range in size from one hundred to two hundred feet tall. If you go far enough, the grasslands come to an end and you reach the “badlands”.

The badlands consist of many miles of dry, sandy, barren, steep deep ravines and sharp peaks. If you think that North Dakota is sparsely populated, the badlands are mostly vacant of people. There are more rattlesnakes in the badlands than people.

There are/were a small number of people who like living in the badlands. There is so much vacant land that it was a good place to graze cattle. Cattle ranching required horses and cowboys. So there you go, that’s the kind of people who live in the badlands, horses and cowboys, still to this day.

Since 2011, on and off I have had to work in or travel through the badlands. There are some oil wells and pump jacks in the North Dakota badlands. In the Summer of 2012 I worked in an oil field in the desert of west Texas where it was extremely hot, dry, and there were very few people. In remote west Texas you have to be very aware all the time that it is so hot and there are so few people that if you become injured or stranded you could die before anyone finds you. Similar thing in the North Dakota badlands.

The area that I am going to show pictures of in this blog post article, it is kind of dangerous because it is so hot, so barren, there are so few people, and the people in this area don’t like outsiders. For a little while, I considered writing out driving directions for how to get to this location, but I soon changed my mind because people would not fully understand how much trouble that they could get into.

The first time that I rode my motorcycle in this area, I was not sure where I was going because all of the internet maps are incorrect. As I was finding out that the maps were incorrect, the few local people became aware of me riding around, and got in their trucks to see where I was going and what I was doing, so I thought that I had better leave and try again another day.

Here is a photo on my way to the secret badlands lake. The nearest gas station or convenience store is at least fifty miles away:

Here is a photo of an old house on the way to the lake. If the landowner would have seen me taking this photo, he probably would have tried to shoot me:

There is a one-track road that splits off the main road, and winds around for about a mile before you first see the secret badlands lake:

The badlands are so sandy, dry, hot, and barren, with so little water, that is seems like a miracle when you get a look at this lake in-person:

When I arrived at this lake on a mid-afternoon week day, I was hoping to find one or two young naked cowgirls who were in a good mood from cleaning off and cooling off in the water, and were leisurely drying themselves and tanning themselves in the sun.  But I don’t know where they were:

Besides me not wanting to tell people where this is, so that they don’t get lost or stranded and die, I kind of wanted to keep this to myself so that I can go swimming here alone and enjoy the peace and quiet. But I can’t really go swimming here by myself like I want, because the local people here would shoot me like a turtle.

Beach And Golf Resort In Western North Dakota

During the Winter of 2020-2021 I had thought about videoing my motorcycle rides through the abandoned towns of western North Dakota when it warmed up in May. I was inspired to do this from watching the “Adventure Rides” on YouTube that were made primarily by BMW motorcycle riders.

You can either scroll back through my blog post articles or use the search bar on my website to read about some of the old abandoned towns that I had looked up and done some research on.

Due to the Coronavirus travel restrictions, and some other problems, I had not been back to my home in a small Idaho town from approximately August of 2019 until March of 2021. I had no idea, but during the 1-1/2 years that I was gone, about 100-200 people from California had moved in. This may not seem like enough people to affect anything, but it completely changed the character of this small Idaho town.

I am not going to dwell on this in this blog post, but to give an example, across the street from my house in Idaho, the 80-acre farm field was recently developed into 1/2-acre lots with new $500K houses. Nobody in this town can afford a $500K house, they are all for the Californians.

Because of what I just experienced in Idaho, I completely changed my plans to video my “Adventure Rides” through western North Dakota, because I do not want Californians and developers to get the idea that this would be the next place to try to ruin. I know that I can count on the local people here in western North Dakota to continue to be mean, nasty, hostile, unfriendly, and uncooperative to discourage anyone from moving here.

Instead of videoing my motorcycle rides, explaining and showing where I am, I might from time-to-time just show a few pictures, and not tell where they were taken. I am surprised at some of the things that I see, once I travel a few miles away from paved roads and highways.

On Memorial Day, I came across a few abandoned homes on my motorcycle ride, but one of these old farms had its own small lake, with what appeared to be White Sand Beaches. White Sand Beaches, in North Dakota? I stopped and looked at this, not only did this lake have white sand beaches, it had a few white sand bars in the middle. I pictured young women and housewives sunning themselves wearing Bikinis, children playing in the water, and a couple of Sunfish Sailboats meandering along:

Tropical White Sand Beaches in North Dakota (click to enlarge image)

I rode another mile or two, and just as I came over a hill, I saw what appeared to be almost a Golf-Course-like greenbelt strip. I stopped and took a photo, but when I rode past this greenbelt strip, it did not lead to a house, this strip was trees and grass only, that extended about 1/2 mile. This could be its own Golf Course, out in the middle of nowhere:

Golf Course in the middle of nowhere North Dakota (click to enlarge image)

A few miles further, there was quite a long lake, with some old tree growth, which was very surprising to see in western North Dakota:

Farm Lake with some old trees (click to enlarge image)

I will just throw in one last photo that shows an old house that is no longer being lived in. This is a fairly large house, probably 100 years old. You can’t see it in this photo, but on the back side of this house, there is a very large upstairs outside porch deck. This upstairs outside porch deck is about 20ft x 30ft, large enough for the entire family and some of their friends. You don’t often see this kind of frivolous recreational amenity in old North Dakota houses:

Old North Dakota Farm House with upstairs outdoor deck (click to enlarge image)

I like to stop and think about what it must have been like to sit out on the upstairs deck on warm Summer nights, far far from anywhere, with total darkness for miles that would enable you to see thousands of stars in the sky. Or what it must be like to have your own private forest and lake on your farm, with no neighbors for miles.

Even though this looks appealing, I need to give people who aren’t from here, the warning that it gets down to -50 degrees Fahrenheit in the Winter here, and during some months the wind gusts exceed 100 mph across this prairie grassland.

Whenever you see one of these abandoned farm houses, it’s not unusual for people to no longer live in these houses because the electrical, plumbing, heating, and water-well are far outdated, with no insulation whatsoever in these houses. But the acreage is still being farmed, so no, these houses can’t be bought cheap, these houses can’t be bought at all because the farmers won’t sell them.

Looking Up And Spying On Old Girlfriends

Through a strange course of events, I ended up spending the last ten years of my life in western North Dakota. This has been a very unpleasant and difficult time in my life, very nearly the same as if I had spent this time in prison, for a crime that I did not commit.

But I guess you learn a lot about life and about yourself while being locked up in prison, that you might otherwise have never been forced to consider.

President Theodore Roosevelt spent several years of his life in western North Dakota, which he later reflected on, “I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.” Most people don’t know that this is one of those double-meaning comments, almost a backhanded compliment. But after living here, I know exactly what he is talking about. It’s very trying living here, it’s something that you endure.

During the North Dakota oil boom 2007-2015 the ratio of men to women in Dickinson was 3:1. Magically, to this day, it’s still about 3:1. The women who are here are very rough, and that’s putting it mildly, that’s an understatement.

No matter where I had lived previously, I always had at least several romantic prospects: a woman who worked at the grocery store; a woman who worked at the Radio Shack store; a girl who worked at the Mexican restaurant; a girl who worked at the gym; a woman who worked at the other gym; a waitress; the two women who bothered me when I went fishing:

When I was fishing on a floating dock on the Snake River in Idaho, a women who was about 36, and her daughter who was about 16, would come and sit about eight feet from me, with their legs hanging in the water. They would chat for a few minutes, and then unbutton their very short cut-off jean shorts. Then, unzip their very short cut-off jean shorts, revealing their underwear, and lean back on their arms, so that I could look and see.

You can imagine what I was thinking, when next they completely removed their very short cut-off jean shorts. It took me about ten seconds to realize that they were wearing Bikini bottoms.  I started laughing, what!, awww!, and they laughed too.  From then on, they stopped, and did something like this, whenever I was fishing on the floating dock, until I had to leave Idaho to go work in North Dakota.

The romantic prospects that I was referring to, it was a very enjoyable part of life to visit women who made you feel lust, desire, excitement, to look them over, and feel something, and for them to respond with irritation or tolerance, encouragement or discouragement, friendliness or unfriendliness, and to sometimes surprise you with what they said or did next.  But there are almost no women like this in western North Dakota, it’s more like being in prison, in just about every way.

I have learned that for someone like myself, in western North Dakota, it is better to just stay home than try to go anywhere or do anything.  The Police here are like guards in a prison, they feel like they have to stop, hassle, question, and try to put charges on everyone, even if they are just coming home from Walmart with groceries.  Any public place, with a mostly male, below blue-collar level population, with no women, being treated like prison inmates, there is mostly anger.

I spend perhaps too much time on the internet, but it’s better than leaving home, considering where I live, and what’s out there, the Police prison guards, angry men, and jack-o-lantern women.   The internet is my way of travelling some other place.

A couple of weeks ago, I looked up a woman who I dated in my final years of college in Florida.  I will refer to her as “M”.  When I was in high school, “M” was an art teacher at my high school, she was ten years older than me.  She went back to college to get her Master degree, when I was completing my engineering degree.

“M” was very attractive.  She was about 5′-7″, 125 lb, blond hair, pale flawless skin, thin, large-breasted.  At that time, she was the most free in having sex with me, of any woman I had ever met.  I would have sex with her, until I couldn’t move.  That semester, was the best grades that I ever made in engineering college, I was happy, and could always have sex.

“M” brought up the subject of marriage, to see if I was interested, not pressuring me at all, very casual.  I was not ready to get married, “M” was not everything that I wanted, I thought that I would find someone better, someone that I would be in love with.  “M” graduated before I did, and she did not keep in touch.

As the years have gone by, especially now, I have begun to realize more and more what an agreeable and pleasant person that “M” was, in addition to her physical beauty, and her appetite for sex.  If I could ever be stuck in a marriage, that would be an excellent marriage to be stuck in.  “M” didn’t fight, she didn’t complain, she wasn’t judgmental, and she wasn’t demanding.

Part of the reason why “M” was so pleasant and easy-going, was because her parents were very, very wealthy.  They owned about four very nice homes, where they vacationed at different times of the year.  Her parents were very calm and gentle with her, didn’t expect or require anything of her, allowed her to do what she wanted.

When I looked “M” up a couple of weeks ago, I found that she was living on Massachusetts Bay, about ten miles from the city of Boston.  I didn’t know that not far from Boston, that there are small islands and peninsulas that are a couple hundred feet wide, with houses on them.  “M”s two-story house was right on the water, with a very large swimming pool overlooking the bay outside of Boston.

I never wanted to live in a city like Boston, but Boston has some of the oldest architecture, oldest Pubs, renowned restaurants, brightest and most educated people, incredible night-life.  But to live on an almost private island, with only a couple hundred people, ten miles from Boston, sign me up for this.

I looked up another girlfriend of mine from Florida, who I went to high school with, and some of college with, “D”.  “D” got her Master’s degree in Archeology at about the same time that I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering.  I didn’t know that it took her another 6 years, until she was 31 years old, to get her PhD.  But now she is the head of the Archeology Department at a large university.

I looked up “V” who I went to college with, at a small private college in Virginia.  “V” got her Master’s degree in Political Science a little before I graduated from engineering college.  But I didn’t know that it took her another 7-8 years to get her PhD in Political Science when she was 31 years old.  She has been a professor at a small college in Pennsylvania for the past 20 years.

Lastly on this list today, I will mention “C”, who I went to high school with.  “C” went to a very famous and prestigious women’s college to obtain her Bachelor’s in English, then another prestigious college to obtain her Master’s degree.  She first became a well-known and acclaimed author before becoming an English professor at a small Ivy-League college.

“C” got married later in life, and had two children.  I thought that “C” would probably never marry, because she was very opinionated, argumentative, high-strung, and uncompromising.

“V” looks very good in her photograph.  Over the years when I looked up “V”, she has always maintained her good looks.  I thought that she had gotten married when she was in her late twenties or early thirties, but there is no mention of her husband now.

“D” looks very good in her photograph.  I think that she looks better now than she did in her teens and twenties.  I thought that “D” got married in her early thirties, but it would not surprise me at all if her husband was done and gone.  “D” is probably very attractive to her male students, which I doubt she discourages the slightest bit.

“M” it appears never got married, and I am very happy for her.  “M” had been very in-love with a teacher at our high school, when she was an art teacher there.  When this teacher proposed to “M” when she was about 24 years old, she didn’t want to be married, because he wanted to finish his career at this high school.  When “M” told him “no”, he began dating and soon married another teacher.  “M” was heartbroken, and she realized that she had made the mistake of her life.  She left this high school, and went back to college to get her Master’s degree in Art, mostly because of him dating and proposing to her, and marrying another teacher at this school, she couldn’t bear it.

Do I want to have anything to do with these aforementioned women now?  No, not really, definitely not.  I feel like they would be too inquisitive, too suspicious, as if they had to determine what my status is, what my worth is.  Their scrutiny of me would be automatic.

I might possibly be able to give an accurate accounting of myself, but why would I?  Why would I go through the trouble of trying to explain myself, when I have nothing to gain from it?  Most likely it would be frustrating and upsetting trying to explain why I have done what I have done, and why I am the way that I am, in a way that would meet with their approval, ( “M” and “D”, the Art teacher and the Archeology professor, would be only slightly less judgmental. )

What I think is funny, is that in their life, having the “right house”,  in the “right neighborhood”, with the “right friends” is probably very important to them, whereas I see this as a kind of short-sighted vanity.  Or, demonstrating that I had a great deal of money would lead to a kind of almost instant acceptance.  What I value and enjoy, they would have difficulty seeing these things as I do.

I think that I am better off not saying anything to them.  Although I am tempted to prank them, just to be mean.

Parents, Watch Out For The “Sustainable Living” Scam From Your Children

Parents, watch out for the “Sustainable Living” scam from your children.

Up until approximately the year 2010, most parents looked forward to their children graduating from high school, and going out into the world to attend college, community college, trade school, a work apprenticeship, joining the military, or begin working. Some parents might have had a daughter who was planning on moving out and getting married to her fiancee right after high school.

When the U.S. economy is bad overall, or just bad in some areas, it is not unusual for adult children to be unable to afford to rent a place of their own, or rent a place together with several of their friends after high school. Some young adults may not be mature enough, confident enough, experienced, or knowledgeable enough to obtain a job that pays more than minimum wage. These circumstances are not a scam, many of these young adults would probably move out and live on their own if they were financially able to do so.

However, there is a scam that has been going on, that has become more prevalent since 2010 due to it being shown on the internet website “YouTube”. Young women who were plenty mature enough to leave their parents’ home after high school and begin working as a waitress, dog groomer, shacking up with their boyfriend, or go off to college with no intention of putting in any effort, have discovered through “YouTube” and word-of-mouth from marijuana users and drug addicts, the “Sustainable Living” scam.

The “Sustainable Living” scam overall, is a ploy or ruse, where young women try to disguise their laziness and unwillingness to work, by trying to pass off their behavior as virtuous, by using catch phrases such as “Sustainable Living”, “Living Off-Grid”, “Tiny-House”, “Eco-Friendly”, “Low Carbon Foot-Print”, while attempting to not work and have their parents and other people pay for everything for them.

How this scheme usually unfolds, is an adult daughter will begin talking to her parents about “Sustainable Living”, saving the planet, protecting the environment, returning to nature, and “Living Off-Grid”. At about this same time, the daughter will have made plans to quit her job, quit going to college, and move back home with her parents.

Next, after the daughter has moved back home with her parents, she will begin talking about the low-cost, environmentally-friendly, “Tiny-House” that she wants to build on either her parents’ property or some other property. And how she wants to begin growing her own food, and try “Sustainable Living”.

If either or both of this young woman’s parents stop and consider what their daughter actually has in mind, it consists of the father going to Home Depot or Lowes, purchasing about $12K in lumber, plywood, roofing shingles, electrical, plumbing, cabinets, appliances, and building a 10’x12′ living quarters, without a building permit, hidden behind an existing house in order to plug into its water, electric, and sewer.

What the daughter has in mind, is that once Dad has built her private living quarters on her parents’ property, she will not have to pay for rent, water, sewer, electric, gas, garbage pickup, property taxes, or insurance. And she has access to her parents clothes washer & dryer, or whatever else they have that she might need.

Once her father has bought all the material, hardware, fixtures, cabinets, appliances, built the tiny-house, hooked up all the water, sewer, electric, and gas to his existing utilities, to create this living quarters for his daughter, everyone will say how “independent”, “resourceful”, and “self-sufficient” his daughter is.

With her own separate, private living quarters on her parents’ property, her parents can’t kick her out of their house, scrutinize who she is inviting over, learn what kinds of drugs she is using, getting high, who she is having sex with.

A give-away or tell, that shows what a scam and schemer the daughter is, when planting her so called “off-grid”, “eco-friendly”, “self-sustaining farm”, she plants a hundred garlic onion bulbs, and that’s it.

Keep in mind, that since the daughter is living off-grid, sustainable-living, eco-friendly, she won’t have a job, and won’t have money to pay for car repairs, car insurance, medical care, health insurance, so somebody else is going to have to pay for that. But she’s very independent, and self-sufficient, according to other women.

Near Drowning At Dickinson Dike And A Warning About Kayaks In North Dakota

Today I read a Dickinson Press newspaper article titled “Three DPD officers rescue man from near-drowning kayak incident”. I was very angry and upset to see this article and read what had happened.

This newspaper article didn’t say it, but I could tell that the first two Dickinson Police Officers who responded to the 911 call, arrived at the Dickinson Dike, and swam out to the drowning man who was completely overcome with exhaustion, cramping, and hypothermia, these two Police Officers almost drowned too.

It’s probably true without a doubt that if Police Officers Alex Schroeder and Aaron Bates had not immediately swum out to the drowning man, he would have died. He was already drowning when the 911 call was made, and when Police Officers arrived he was repeatedly sinking beneath the water.

However, the same conditions that overcame this young man in his mid-twenties, being 150 feet from shore in 50 degree Fahrenheit water, physically unable to swim to shore, Police Officers Schroeder and Bates had to not only swim the 150 feet that the young man had been unable to make, struggle to get him into a life jacket, but SWIM BACK the 150 feet without drowning themselves. I think that they probably barely, barely made it on the way back.

This same exact thing, same exact situation happened to me on Patterson Lake in Dickinson, North Dakota several years ago. I was very angry about what happened then, and I am still very angry about it to this day.

Please, Please Read This Re-Print Of The Warning That I Gave About Kayaking In North Dakota.  If You Can’t Take The Time To Read It, At Least Watch The Short Video:

In November of 2014, there was a sale at Menards in Dickinson, where the 11 ft. kayak canoes were only $160.  I bought two of them, one for me, and one for a friend to use.  I call them kayak canoes, because they are half kayak, and half canoe.  They are more enclosed than a canoe, but not completely enclosed like a kayak.

From the waterproof rubber hatch on both the bow, and the rear, I thought that there was a water tight sealed compartment in both the bow and the rear, but there wasn’t.  The interior of the kayak canoe had no sealed compartments, and no flotation foam installed anywhere.

I knew that because there was no flotation foam installed, and no sealed compartments, that if you got enough water in these kayak canoes, they would sink.  I think that I would advise and warn everyone, to not ever try to paddle one of these cheap kayak canoes across Lake Sakakaweja, because if something happens, like you get tipped over, or hit by a power boat, these kayak canoes can sink.

I have been rowing boats and paddling canoes by myself since I was 8 years old.  I have never tipped a canoe over, because I was scared, of both drowning and getting hypothermia in the water.  I knew many times while crossing wide, deep rivers, with fast currents, alligators, water moccasins, and sharks when I was a small kid, that if I tipped over, I would probably die from drowning, hypothermia, or something getting me.

This was kind of the same thing for trappers and outdoorsmen in Alaska.  The only means of transportation in some very remote areas of Alaska was by canoe.  A person might have all of their gear and supplies packed in their canoe in the Alaska wilderness, and due to their distance from the shore, the coldness of the water, and being alone, they knew that if they tipped over, they were dead.

When I first tried out my $160 kayak canoe on Patterson Lake in the Spring of 2015, I stayed within 100 ft of shore to see how stable or how tippy this kayak canoe was.  It was O.K., but on the first day, I just paddled along the shoreline around the lake, I didn’t try to cross in the middle of the lake, which is about 1/2 mile wide.

In the Spring of 2016, a person that I know from the Coeur D’Alene area of Idaho came to stay at the house where I was living in Dickinson, his name was Mike.  I had met Mike in Dickinson in the Spring of 2013, and he was an acquaintance of mine in Dickinson in 2014 and 2015.

After Mike had been staying at the house where I was living in Dickinson for a couple of weeks, I asked him if he wanted to go kayaking with me.  I asked Mike if he could swim, and he said that he had been going to a recreation center in Idaho where he had been swimming a mile in the pool, a couple of time each week.  I said to him, you can swim a mile, and he said that yes he could.

I then warned Mike about the water in Patterson Lake being cold, that he did not want to tip over.  Mike told me that he had been swimming in Patterson Lake last weekend.  When we got to Patterson Lake, I told Mike that he should not go too far from shore, until he got used to the kayak canoe.

The very first thing that Mike did when he got in the kayak canoe, was start paddling directly across Patterson Lake.  I didn’t like this, I was worried about this, so I followed several hundred feet behind him, in case something happened.  He did O.K.

When we both arrived on the other side of Patterson Lake, near the south side boat ramp, I heard a very large splash behind me.  I couldn’t believe it, Mike had tipped his kayak canoe over.  At first, I thought that he must have been kidding around, but he wasn’t.

I asked him what had happened, and he said that his hat had blown off, and he tried to grab his hat.  I waited to make sure that he could get back in his kayak canoe.  He wasn’t swimming very well, the water was cold, and I think that he was in shock.

Mike grabbed the rear tip of the kayak canoe, and he pulled himself up onto the rear of the kayak canoe, which was good, this was a good way to get back in.  But when he got to the cockpit, he tipped over again.  This caused more water to go inside of the kayak canoe.

Mike was getting tired, and he was in shock.  He very erratically tried to enter the kayak canoe from the side, which only caused more water to enter the kayak canoe, and for him to become more tired.

I was upset, angry, and frightened, I believed that he only had enough strength for one more attempt.  I told him to wait, I paddled up beside his kayak canoe, and I held onto it very tightly.  I told him to get in while I held it.  I had to balance a lot of weight in different directions, while he was crawling in, like 50 lbs to 75 lbs, while I was sitting in a tippy kayak canoe myself.

When he sat down in the cockpit, he was way off balance, exhausted, and in shock.  I had to yell at him, again and again, Mike sit up!, Mike sit up!, and I was having to hold onto his kayak canoe very hard in order to keep him from tipping over.

I couldn’t believe it.  I was so angry.  I wanted to knock the shit out of Mike.  If this had happened out in the middle of Patterson Lake, he could have died.  He was so tired, so much in shock, so not thinking, that if he would have not made it back into the kayak canoe on the third attempt, he probably would have drowned by trying to swim to shore.

I also realized that Mike could have caused me to drown too.  If Mike would have tipped over my kayak canoe out in the middle of Patterson Lake, I probably could have dragged myself back into my kayak canoe once or twice, but with a drowning person trying desperately to get into my kayak canoe, I could have gotten tipped over again, and drowned by trying to swim to shore.

I was disgusted with Mike, and I am disgusted with Mike to this day.  What kind of idiot puts their life in danger by trying to grab for a $10 hat?  I now see Mike as an idiot and a fool.  Mike had not been doing well financially for the several years that I knew him, and I attributed this to him having bad luck, and bad circumstances.  Now, I just think of Mike as an idiot.

The point that I want to make is this, I had asked Mike if he could swim, and he said that he had been swimming a mile in the pool a couple of times each week.  I warned Mike about the cold water, and he said that last week he had been swimming in Patterson Lake.  I warned Mike to just stay near shore until he got used to the kayak canoe, but Mike headed straight across the 1/2 mile wide section of the Lake.  Mike tipped over by doing something really stupid, he was unable to get back into the kayak canoe by himself, he was in shock, he became disoriented, and he became exhausted.  Not only did Mike nearly drown, he could have caused me to drown too, by trying to help him, when he was in shock and irrational.

There was a drowning on Patterson Lake in April of 2014, when a man and his two children were in a canoe that tipped over.  The water was very cold, a boater picked up the two young children, but the father did not make it.

There was a drowning on a lake up near Williston in 2015 or 2016.  The man’s body was found first, and a short time later his kayak canoe was found.

What is happening, and what happened to me, is that people go to Menards, WalMart, Runnings, or Tractor Supply and they buy these inexpensive kayak canoes on a whim or the spur of the moment, just for something to do.  It is very easy for people to put one of these kayak canoes in the back of their truck and head to a lake and launch it.  The very first thing they do is start paddling across the middle of the lake, and they have no understanding of how cold the water is, that they will be in shock if they tip over, and that it will be very difficult or nearly impossible for them to get back in their kayak canoe if they are weak, out of shape, or inexperienced.

After what happened to me, I spent several hours watching videos of people tipping over in kayak canoes, and the difficulty that most people had in getting back into their kayak canoes.  Many people were only good for two or three tries, and after that, they were just too weak.

Please, please watch this video, because it shows how cold, weak, and disoriented this kayaker becomes after only two minutes in the water.

In this video, this kayaker is about the same age as my friend Mike.  Notice that in two instances this kayaker is able to get back into the cockpit and sit, but he immediately tips over because he is leaning so far to the right.  This is exactly what my friend Mike kept doing, and I had to hold onto the kayak canoe very hard, yelling at him again and again to sit up.

This kayaker was unable to get back into his kayak, and he had to call to the person standing on the dock to come get him.  Note that if this kayaker had been thinking rationally, he could have lain on the kayak on his belly, and just paddled like he was laying on a surfboard.

Please, I really need to emphasize this, if this man had been in the middle of even a small lake in North Dakota in any month other than June, July, or August, he would have likely died if someone didn’t rescue him within less than ten minutes.  He quickly became so weak, disoriented, irrational, that he couldn’t even drape his body across the kayak to save his life.

 

Gasoline Panic In The Southeast Should Be A Lesson For Everyone

Near the end of last week I read some breaking news stories about a gasoline supply company having their computer system hacked. I didn’t care very much at the time, it seems like every week a bank, hospital, school district, or government agency has a failure in their computer system security.

It wasn’t until several days later, Tuesday May 11, when I saw photographs of vehicles lined up in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina outside of gas stations with panicked people in a frenzy to buy fuel, that I realized the magnitude of what had happened.

Colonial Pipeline Company supplies 45% of all fuel consumed in the Southeast United States. The attack on their computer system caused Colonial Pipeline to completely shut down its pipeline carrying fuel from Texas to the East Coast on Friday May 7. Within a day or two, residents of the Southeast U.S. began filling up their vehicles and gas cans over fear that there would be a shortage, which soon caused roughly 5%-7% of gas stations to run out of fuel.

In my opinion, maybe because I live in North Dakota, far away from the East Coast, the Main Stream Media did not hype or over emphasize this news story. I think that the MSM might have even downplayed what had happened. I get the impression that it was the citizens themselves which came to their own conclusion that they had better hurry up and go fill up their vehicles and gas cans. Realizing what could happen, thinking ahead, this was probably a smart thing for people to do, I don’t blame them.

What I do want to fault people for, is not realizing overall, that the more people and government protest and interfere with oil and gas pipelines, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Enbridge Pipeline, the more that they are guaranteeing there will be fuel shortages in the future.

I hope that everyone will watch what happens because of the Colonial Pipeline shut down, see how it affects people, and imagine what it would be like to not have enough fuel to make it to your job, drop your children off at school, drive a family member to their doctor’s appointment.

Why can’t people understand that blocking pipelines under construction and shutting down pipelines already in operation will lead to fuel shortages, and what the consequences will be?

Stop Phone Scams In An Hour With The Visa Or Mastercard Red Tag Card

It seems like twice per day I get a telephone scam call from area code “208”. Usually it’s an automated message saying, “The warranty on your vehicle is about to expire…” I don’t have a warranty on any of my vehicles, they are too old to be covered by any kind of warranty.

The second most common scam call that I get is an automated message saying, “This is the Social Security Administration, your Social Security Card has been stolen and will be cancelled…”

The vehicle warranty scam is probably an attempt to get people to purchase an automobile warranty. The Social Security scam is probably what is known as “phishing”, trying to obtain enough personal information from someone in order to steal their identity, full name, date of birth, address, Social Security number.

Yesterday I received a phone call from area code “208”, the caller ID display on my phone read Nampa, Idaho. This call was an automated message saying, “This is the utility company, your electric service is scheduled to be disconnected in 30-40 minutes due to non-payment, to speak to a representative, press 1.”

I live in North Dakota, but I own a house in Idaho, and I have been late paying my electric bill in the past because I forgot to pay it. It wouldn’t surprise me to get a telephone call from the utility company saying that they were about to disconnect my electric service. Fortunately, a day or two before I received this scam call, I received an email confirmation from my utility company in Idaho notifying me that my payment had been received.

Had I fallen for this scam, and given the fake utility company representative my credit card number, expiration date, and security code in order for them to bill my credit card to prevent my electric service from being disconnected, there is no telling now much money they would have electronically transferred. One of my credit cards has a little over $20,000 available on it, would my credit card company electronically transfer this much money? Would I be liable to pay up to $20,000 in fraudulent credit card charges?

In the past, I have called my credit card issuers to try to find out from them under what circumstances is a card holder liable for fraudulent charges. In summary, what I found out is that you had better notify the credit card company immediately if you think that you were involved in any type of scam that could result in fraudulent charges to your credit card, hopefully before any funds have been electronically and irretrievable transferred.

Calling a credit card company to report a possible fraudulent transaction on your credit card, and actually admitting to them on this recorded phone conversation that you personally gave a scammer your credit card information, could in their minds be taken as a breach of their “card holder agreement” that you keep your credit card and credit card information secure. ( I am giving this warning, because I have had both banks and credit card company representatives try to tell me that they are not responsible for fraudulent transactions, contrary to what U.S. Law states. Sometimes I think that these low-level representatives believe that they are going to be a hero in the eyes of their company for refusing to reimburse customers for fraudulent transactions, thus saving their company money.)

From time-to-time, local newspapers, television stations, radio stations, and utility companies will make public service announcements advising people to be on the alert for possible phone call scams in their area, from people claiming to represent a utility company. I telephoned both the Idaho County Sheriffs Office and Idaho Power Company to tell them about the scam phone call that I had received, and I asked them if they could possibly make a public service announcement warning people.

Both the Sheriffs Office and Idaho Power Company knew that the phone number that was displayed on my caller ID from this scammer means nothing, the scammers have a way to change the caller ID to any number they want. At the moment, there was really no way for myself, the Sheriffs Office, or Idaho Power Company to determine where and from who this scam phone call originated.

Eventually, probably within a week or two, credit card companies will have received enough complaints about credit card charges being paid to a particular merchant enrolled in an electronic funds transfer service, that further credit card charges from this merchant will be denied. However, this particular fraud scam merchant can create additional phony businesses with new electronic funds transfer services, and keep right on going unless the Police have been able to physically grab hold of him.

I would like to be able to stop this kind of phone scam right away, especially because the poor and the elderly are the most vulnerable to being tricked into believing that their electric service is about to be disconnected. But what can a person do, there is no way to even determine where these phone calls are coming from?

I highly recommend NOT using your own credit card to play along with this scam in order for them to process your credit card using their merchant electronic funds transfer service, so that you can then call your credit card company to report this charge as fraudulent and a scam. The credit card company representative that you speak to may not have any interest whatsoever in the attempted good dead that you tried to do, and won’t take any action other than processing your request to “dispute” these charges.

The main point of me writing this particular blog post article, is to get as many people as possible interested in my solution to this problem which I explain below. This would benefit everyone, Law Enforcement, and especially the credit card companies.

If current credit card holders with good credit, who have had their Visa or Mastercard for five years or more, could be offered or could request, a “Red Tag Visa or Mastercard” that was to be used only for the purpose “Flagging” phone call scammers as soon as possible, the phone call scammers would be shut down in about an hour, and they could not continue. I will explain why, and how this would work.

The “Red Tag Visa or Mastercard” would be white or neon in color, something that could not be accidentally confused with a normal credit card. It would have a standard credit card number, expiration date, and security code, but the credit card issuer would have this card identified as a “Red Tag Card” able to be processed, acting like funds will be transferred, but ultimately never release funds, only document the scam merchant’s electronic funds transfer service, and block this scam merchant after one or two of these “Red Tag Card” processing attempts.

A “Voice Broadcast Dialer” a.k.a. “Robo Dialer” in combination with a multi-line phone system can make thousands of calls per hour. If 1 out of 1,000 adults requested or accepted one of these “Red Tag Visa or Mastercard” credit cards, within one hour at least one of these “Red Tag Card” holders would be a recipient of one of these scam calls. By a voluntary “Red Tag Card” holder taking a few minutes to allow their card to be processed, that particular scam merchant’s electronic funds transfer service would become “flagged” and blocked by the credit card company within an hour.

There are several reasons why this “Red Tag Card” program would be beneficial to everyone, Law Enforcement, and credit card companies: 1) Alert adults would identify this phone call scam immediately, allow their “Red Tag Card” to be processed, and this scam merchant would be “flagged” and blocked by the credit card companies within an hour. 2) Law Enforcement would not have to receive complaints for days and days from elderly or confused people after being swindled, the “Red Tag Card” people would have stopped the whole thing within an hour. 3) The credit card companies would not have to deal with complaints from elderly or confused people for days, attempting to dispute charges, because the “Red Tag Card” holders would have stopped the thing within an hour. 4) The credit card companies would experience fewer financial losses if the “Red Tag Card” holders “flagged” phone call scammers within an hour.

(Note: The credit card companies would have to formally issue the “Red Tag Card” only to known, long-time, good credit rating existing card-holders, for them to safe-guard the same as their normal credit card. This would have to be the methodology in order for “Red Tag Card” holders to understand, as they already do, that using a “Red Tag Card” to pay for legitimate goods or services received would constitute the crimes of theft and fraud, and would be legally prosecutable. If a mistake was made, and a “Red Tag Card” holder could show that they used their card in “good faith”, criminal prosecution would be less likely. In other words, “Red Tag Card” holders could be criminally and civilly liable for damages if they deliberately used this card for theft or malice.

Also, it would be more likely for existing card-holders to request or accept a “Red Tag Card” if the card-holder name on this card was fictitious. But please keep in mind, this “Red Tag Card” is formally issued to a specific, known, existing card-holder, to accept and abide by their “card holder agreement” in order to prevent its use in theft or malice. Example, using your “Red Tag Card” to order Pizza from Dominoes and getting their credit card processor blocked, you would be criminally and civilly liable for damages. )

These ideas and suggestions presented in this blog post article I hope and encourage anyone to use them, I do not claim any of these ideas or suggestions as belonging to me.

An alternate method, would be to allow known, existing, long-term credit card holders with good credit, the use of a “flagging security code”. Each normal credit card has a three or four digit security code on the either the front or the back side of the credit card, which is necessary for over-the-phone or over-the-internet transactions to be completed. Instead of using the normal three or four digit security code, using the “flagging security code” would alert the credit card company that this was a scam merchant transaction, to obtain the merchant’s electronic funds transfer service information, but not allow the release of funds.

I Understand More Now The Hostility And Why People Are Not Wanted In Dickinson North Dakota

Because I have written about many different subjects which caused readers to find my website for different reasons, some new followers of my blog post articles may not know why I am writing about Dickinson, North Dakota.

I had lived in Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Arizona, and Idaho before I travelled to North Dakota when I was in my early 40s to work here during the 2007-2015 oil boom. For people who were not here, they may have no idea what this oil boom was like.

Prior to 2007, the two largest towns in western North Dakota, Dickinson and Williston, each had a population of about 15,000 people. By 2011 both Dickinson and Williston had each added about 10,000 male workers from out-of-state. Rent and housing prices doubled, then quadrupled. Housing was at over 100% capacity, people were paying rent to sleep in tents in people’s backyards.

I had never been around people who were so hostile, unfriendly, uncooperative, not helpful, nasty, un-Christian and usurious as the local people in Dickinson, North Dakota, especially the women. Initially, and continuing for years afterward I have tried to understand why the people in Dickinson were like this.

Some of my early understanding of the people in Dickinson was valid: The local people in Dickinson were descendants of German and Ukrainian immigrant homesteaders who were historically not friendly people; These Catholic immigrants had been indoctrinated by the Catholic Church principles such as the supremacy of the Pope, the importance of Mass and Communion, but not Christian principles such as treating other people with kindness; Due to the very harsh and barren conditions in North Dakota, charity and hospitality was something that the local people could historically not afford to offer.

I probably need to explain to readers who have never been to North Dakota, that the landscape is primarily empty grassland prairie with very few trees, or badlands filled with almost barren sandstone hills. The immigrant homesteaders who arrived in the 1890s and early 1900s had to build their small houses out of stacked grass sod, and burn dried buffalo dung for heating and cooking. Survival was so difficult, food and supplies were so short, that the practice of charity and hospitality was not possible, and not passed down to this day.

Very soon after arriving in Dickinson in 2011, I realized that there were very few attractive women here. During the next several years I began to understand that attractive women had not made the trip to western North Dakota during the homesteading immigration years of the 1890s through early 1900s. Attractive women were able to escape this fate by employing their charms either back in Germany and Ukraine, at the port of entry cities on the east coast, or somewhere else along the way like Minnesota prior to reaching North Dakota.

Still to this day, attractive women will not come to western North Dakota. If an attractive female is born in western North Dakota, they leave this area after high school, because larger cities are more appealing to them and offer them much more opportunities for higher education, employment, dating, socializing, entertainment, and shopping.

After living in Dickinson for more than several years, I began to realize that its makeup was about 10% white-collar, 30% blue-collar, 40% semi-skilled labor, and 20% naer-do-wells. About 25% of the people in Dickinson have had a history of Meth use, and about 25% of the people in Dickinson have been arrested before. With more than half of its population below the blue-collar level, the Police in Dickinson treat everyone within Dickinson like inmates in a prison work camp, subject to being stopped and questioned at any time.

During the oil boom when out-of-state workers were lured here by false claims that everyone was making $100K per year in the oil field, most of these individuals did not stay for more than a year because it was so difficult and unpleasant living here. Housing was very difficult to obtain and it was very expensive, the climate was extremely cold and windy, the local people were unfriendly and hostile, co-workers were uncooperative and undermining, there were no attractive women, there was nothing to do except go drink in a bar, and the Police circled the bars and restaurants waiting for people to leave in order to give them a DUI.

When the oil boom ended in 2015 due to the price of U.S. oil dropping below $60 per barrel, most of the out-of-state workers left western North Dakota. I thought that North Dakotans were very stupid for blowing the chance to have permanent long-term growth and a larger improved economy. Why would you treat people so shitty, that no one would want to live here? If North Dakotans hadn’t tried to rip these people off so bad with quadrupled housing prices, many of these people would have tried to become permanent residents.

In 2018 I began seeing in the news, more and more articles about people leaving California in large numbers in order to relocate to places like Arizona, Texas, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. The people in California were trying to get away from severe traffic congestion and long commutes to work, high housing prices, high property taxes, high state income taxes, crime, drugs, a large homeless population, excessive government over-regulation, and an abandonment of traditional Christian family values. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to leave California, it’s turning into a disaster.

In 2019 I was a little surprised to see more and more articles about the quickly rising housing prices and housing shortage in Boise, Idaho due to Californians moving in. At first, Californians were paying cash for the asking price of houses for sale in Boise, but by 2020 Californians were in bidding wars with each other, making competing offers above the asking price for houses in Boise. Local people in Boise could not afford to buy a house anymore, they were outbid by Californians.

Boise is not a spectacular city, the things that it offered were low crime, low cost of living, no serious traffic congestion, no pollution, and normalcy with traditional Christian family values and civility in the people who lived there.

I thought to myself, if only the people in Dickinson had not tried to rip-off the out-of-state workers so bad, been so hostile and unfriendly, arrested them for DUI, practically tried to run them out of town, Dickinson could have had growth like Boise and Bozeman. What a shame.

A couple of months ago I had to return to my home in Idaho after having been gone for a year and a half. The reason why I had to leave Idaho in the first place was because there had been a slow-down in the economy in Idaho following the 2008 housing-crises/mortgage-default nationwide downturn cycle. The economy in the small town where I lived and the larger town close by offered few employment opportunities and very low wages, but the quality of life was very good. It was peaceful, laid-back, with low crime, and simple outdoor activities and recreation.

When I was travelling on the interstate highway to get home in March, there was very little traffic in Idaho, the least amount of traffic that I had ever seen. However, when I entered the rural county where I lived in mid-morning, this was the most traffic that I had ever seen on this rural county highway. There was new development everywhere, I was shocked.

When I got to my house, I saw that the 80-acre farm field directly across the street from me had been developed into 1/2-acre lots with large $500K houses. In this small town, there were hardly any people who could afford houses like this, these houses were for Californians.

For the next several days, when I drove into town to handle business at the county office complex, get things at the hardware store, buy groceries, pick up take-out food, I noticed that everyone was in a hurry, pushy, aggressive, driving fast, equal to how people in Phoenix and Salt Lake City behave where there are over a million people, but this town has less than 5,000 people.

I could read the writing on the wall, this rural small town was changing, it didn’t take much, just a hundred Californians moving in. The area where my house was situated in the county, my neighbors to the west, north, and east had lived on their 5-acre or larger properties for twenty years or more. These were rednecks who were truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, building contractors, and mechanics. In my yard and in their yards were work trucks, hobby cars, equipment, travel trailers, truck campers, even horses, cows, and drag-line cranes. How long would it be before the $500K house Californians to the south of us began complaining to the county that we needed to get rid of everything on our property?

I began to feel that it was pointless for me to plan on returning to my home in Idaho to live, it was quickly changing into something that I never wanted it to be, or expected to happen in my lifetime. Even as fucked up and unpleasant as western North Dakota is, I felt that at least there isn’t any traffic, development, or change happening.

It began to dawn on me, that even though I hardly ever gave North Dakotans any credit for being intelligent, I mostly saw them as backward, ignorant, uneducated, short-sighted, and not seeing the big-picture, maybe North Dakotans had the right idea to treat people like shit and try to run them off.

About five months ago, there was a local man named Schmidt in his 90s who left a couple of mean nasty comments explaining to me that many North Dakotans did not want out-of-state people here, that they were going to mess things up, and that in the long-term the local economy could not sustain very many new people here due to the nature of it being primarily rural and agricultural. That the oil boom brought people here, who could not do well here after the oil boom went away.

I will acknowledge now, that even though people in western North Dakota are not very educated, and they didn’t explain themselves very well, somehow they knew that they had to try to discourage the out-of-state workers from thinking that they were going to move here permanently, because once the oil boom went away and there were too many people living here, it would be impossible for all of these people to survive in a simple small-town rural agricultural economy.

The other thing, that the not very educated, not very articulate North Dakotans didn’t explain very well, but knew, is that they didn’t want their way of life to change. By being mean, usurious, unfriendly, hostile, unhospitable, uncooperative, not helpful, and having ugly women, they kept people from staying here or wanting to come here. No new development here, don’t come here.

I used to write that by me pointing out what was wrong with Dickinson, by writing the truth about Dickinson, that if I could get people to see this, that this would be a step towards change for the better. I have begun to accept the reality that I do not like people, I don’t want to be around people, the fewer people that I have to deal with the better. By the people in Dickinson being so mean, hostile, and unfriendly etcetera, this has caused people to leave this area and not want to come to this area. Previously I thought that this was a mistake, but now I don’t think so anymore.

I Am Angry And Disgusted With Steve Isdahl And His HowToHunt YouTube Channel

I am 52 years old now. Since I was nine years old I have been reading about and learning about Bigfoot. In the 1970s as a child, the information that was available to most people regarding Bigfoot was just a handful of books in local libraries, a few television shows, a few movies, and an occasional newspaper article or news report. Back then about half of the televisions shows, movies, and news reports on this subject were handled in a joking manner because the producers did not want to be ridiculed for treating Bigfoot as if it were real.

In the late 1990s with the growth and accessibility of the internet, most people who used personal computers began looking up their favorite subjects online. People who had had a difficult time finding very much information on paranormal subjects such as Bigfoot, UFOs, alien encounters, alien abductions, ghosts, cryptids, reincarnation, life-after-death, clairvoyance, telepathy, and other subjects began to find a great deal of information online, which was a big help to them and very much appreciated, as printed material in local libraries was very limited.

In 1995 the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization was founded. The BFRO was a nationwide organization that allowed anyone who had a Bigfoot sighting to report their sighting, it would be followed up on by an experienced investigator, and if credible the report would added to the publicly viewable BFRO database. The online BFRO database listed every credible Bigfoot sighting and organized it by State and County. The BFRO began receiving a steady stream of Bigfoot reports from almost every state since the BFRO database was created. People became convinced that this was the correct thing to do because of the legitimate and scientific approach of the BFRO.

In the following first fifteen years after the BFRO was created, there were some complaints from Bigfoot witnesses that had tried to make a report with the BFRO, that the BFRO investigators did not want to accept their report if it was particularly out-of-the-ordinary, especially if the witness was attributing very, very human-like behavior to the Bigfoot that were witnessed. It kind of came to appear to some people that the BFRO had an agenda to collect Bigfoot evidence that would lead to the eventual discovery and acknowledgement of a North American Great Ape, and disregard evidence that pointed to Bigfoot being more closely related to humans.

The second and more upsetting suspicion about the BFRO, was that in a way it began serving as an “Animal Control Complaint Center”. It came to be believed that when reports began to pour into the BFRO from the same exact location, describing Bigfoot in people’s yards, looking in people’s windows, taking livestock or family pets, chasing people, apparently having lost their fear of humans, that special U.S. Department of Agriculture predator eradication teams were dispatched to that area to get rid of nuisance Bigfoot. You can look up and read these stories for yourself. It makes one stop and think if reporting a Bigfoot sighting to the BFRO is the right thing to do, if overly friendly behavior by Bigfoot towards humans is going to get them killed for losing their fear of humans.

On the internet, especially YouTube, there were a number of Bigfoot researchers who came to have a great deal of credibility because of their many years of research, success of their research, how they presented their methods and results, and how they conducted themselves in public as logical, responsible, competent people. One of these researchers was an engineer from Alabama named Tim “Coonbo” Baker who had worked in the aerospace industry and NASA for most of his professional career. Tim “Coonbo” Baker presented his detailed evidence for a least four distinct types of Bigfoot in North America, acknowledging the separate type of Bigfoot known as “Dogman” which has a very canine appearance in many ways, but often walks completely upright on two legs.

A couple of years ago, a big-game professional hunting guide in Canada named Steve Isdahl began to emerge as possibly the best hope for final definitive evidence of Bigfoot, through either irrefutable video evidence or an actual body.

Steve Isdahl was about 50 years old, and had been hunting throughout Canada since his teens. He had worked assisting established big-game hunting guides in Canada for many years, before he became a professional hunting guide himself. In his profession, throughout the year, for many, many years Steve had tracked the whereabouts and movements of Elk, Moose, Big Horn Sheep, Bear, Wolves, and Deer. During these many years, Steve accidently came across Bigfoot several times.

In the past couple of years, Steve Isdahl began to talk about his Bigfoot sightings on his YouTube channel HowToHunt. Due to a great deal of interest in the Bigfoot subject, Steve began to read on his HowToHunt channel, letters from viewers about their Bigfoot encounters. The number of letters about Bigfoot sightings became so numerous, that Steve had to split his YouTube channel into two channels, “HowToHunt” and “The Facts by HowToHunt”.

From the very beginning of his talks on the Bigfoot subject that he posted on his HowToHunt channel, Steve spoke about being honest, no bullshit, no misinformation.

One of the things that spiked viewers’ interest in Steve Isdahl’s HowToHunt YouTube channel, was that Steve often spoke about every one of us being sick and tired of the lies and bullshit. Steve often said, “Why can’t the government and the powers-that-be just be honest with us? What are they hiding? What are they trying to hide from us? Why can’t they just give us the truth?”

Steve Isdahl swore and promised in many of his YouTube videos that he would never be silenced by the government, or anyone, that he was just going to speak the truth no matter what.

During the past year, there were some things that Steve Isdahl did that made me begin to question his seriousness sometimes, such as him going a little too far, too often proclaiming that “he had everyone’s back” and that “no one was going to silence him”, which appeared to me like grandstanding and playing on people’s emotions.

Where Steve really started to lose credibility with me, and show me that he was doing a great amount of harm to the Bigfoot subject, was approximately one month ago when Steve read a very long letter from a viewer expressing and explaining that Bigfoot was the Nephilim, the fallen angels and the offspring of fallen angels, demons that needed to be rebuked in the name of Jesus.

For stupid, ignorant people who have not spent very much time learning about Bigfoot, this Nephilim theory may seem very insightful, even epic. The person who wrote this many-page letter to Steve Isdahl, which he read, admitted that he hadn’t known anything at all about the Bigfoot subject until 2017. Thousands of commentors to this letter that Steve read on his YouTube channel agreed, that yes, Bigfoot is a demon that must be rebuked in the name of Jesus.

Since Steve Isdahl read this letter as if it was a viable explanation of Bigfoot, and so many commentors agreed with this letter that Bigfoot was Nephilim and demons, now when actual Bigfoot whether an undiscovered primate or more closely related to man, is trying to survive in the forests, it is more likely to cause stupid, ignorant people to try to shoot them, harm them, run them off, chase them like an angry mob. Thank you for this, Asshole Steve Isdahl.

The next thing that Steve Isdahl did to lose all credibility with me, and for me to believe that he is doing a great deal of harm to Bigfoot and Bigfoot research, is a couple of days ago Steve read a long email letter from a mentally-ill person where this person tried to explain their close, intimate relationship with Forest Beings.

This person began their letter by stating that there was a history of schizophrenia in their family, their older brother was schizophrenic, and he had to be treated, therefore when Bigfoot and Dogman used to chase after his car on the way to school everyday (which apparently only he could see) he didn’t talk about it. This person claimed to have had years and years of special intimate close contact with Bigfoot, because of his special abilities, that he had all kinds of evidence, and here are the pictures. (The included pictures showed absolutely nothing.)

Steve Isdahl’s YouTube viewers mostly just gushed with enthusiasm for the chance to hear more about this person’s special intimate relationship with Forest Beings covering many years, but Steve should have known better than to read this stupid, made-up bullshit.

From the vast amount of research and evidence that has been gathered on Bigfoot, they are most likely either an undiscovered primate or related to human beings. There are sometimes some reports of glowing, floating orbs or UFOs seen in connection with Bigfoot, but most of the time Bigfoot is seen hunting, fishing, gathering food, trying to drink water, playing in water, looking in people’s windows, crossing roads in front of motorists, taking livestock, stealing feed from corrals or barns, or being curious about people,…….doing the same things that all animals do.

There are some very legitimate, well-documented, and well-studied reports with many witnesses of Bigfoot taking, harming, or killing people going back more than one hundred years. Steve Isdahl knows about the many reports of Bigfoot taking, harming, or killing people, plus he has been a big-game hunting guide for many years, and he knows that a person should not walk up to any large wild animal trying to make friends and pet it, so why would he read the email letter from the mentally-ill person claiming to have a close intimate relationship with Bigfoot?

Once I saw that most of Steve Isdahl’s viewers of his “The Facts by HowToHunt” YouTube channel were so eager to believe the one email letter that Steve read explaining that Bigfoot were Nephilim demons, and the other email letter about a mentally-ill person’s close intimate relationship with Forest Beings, I realized that Steve Isdahl is doing way more harm than good, making a circus of Bigfoot, muddying the waters, and ruining the progress that has been made on learning about this subject.

I Was Looking Forward To Videoing My Motorcycle Rides Through Rural North Dakota But Now I’m Not Going To

I have been living in rural western North Dakota for over nine years. I have spent a great deal of time trying to analyze, study, and learn about western North Dakota in order to understand why it is the way that it is. Writing about North Dakota and trying to explain it clearly to other people, has caused me to search more thoroughly into its history, culture, politics, people, and businesses.

I don’t really like North Dakotans. They are very different from the southern rednecks that I grew up with in small town Florida. In the small town that I grew up in, my enemies were more friendly, cooperative, and likable than most of the people in Dickinson, North Dakota.

But in order to understand the reason for this, you would have to know that the ancestors of the people in Dickinson were Land-Grant Homesteaders, poor Catholic immigrants from Germany and Ukraine. They were hard-headed and stubborn people who came from very harsh cold conditions growing wheat on windy barren grasslands, to the same thing here, with probably even fewer trees and fewer resources.

The German and Ukrainian settlers who came to western North Dakota had to build very small 10’x12′ houses constructed out of stacked grass sod because there were hardly any trees. They burned dried buffalo dung for heating and cooking. It was a very hard and difficult life. In the winter during blizzards, it was not unusual for people, especially children to become lost and die after attempting to use the out-house.

The very hard life of the ancestors of the people in Dickinson is one of the reasons why the people here have a culture that is not very friendly or hospitable. Another reason why the people here are not friendly and cooperative, is because they have a memory of feeling used, taken advantage of, and being discarded after the 1950s oil boom, the late 1970s oil boom, and the most recent oil boom 2007-2015.

One of the few things that I enjoy about western North Dakota, is its barrenness. In a way, it’s kind of like being on the ocean. The grasslands roll up and down like waves, stretching to the horizon. Over the past nine years of living here, with very long drives of an hour or more to get to my work locations, it has dawned on me that I prefer this barrenness to anything else.

Probably due to my increasing old age, bad health, and irritability I can’t see myself ever being able to cope with civilization again. When I returned to my home in rural eastern Idaho a little over a month ago, I was shocked to see that the 80-acre farm field across the street from my house had recently been developed into large new $400,000 houses on 1/2-acre lots for California buyers. This was happening all across this rural, agricultural county in Idaho.

When I went into the county services building to handle the business that I had returned to Idaho for, the attitude of the administrators had changed to where they were acting more like California people, instead of small-town people like it used to be. When I telephoned one of the older, established, wealthy business people in town to ask him what had happened, he laughed and laughed, and said that he agreed with my disgust, he and his wife were moving soon after having lived here for most of their lives. Look on the bright side he said, at least we can get a good price for our houses.

I couldn’t believe it, as much as I hate North Dakota, I don’t know where else I could live now, even rural eastern Idaho is being overrun by the Californians. I can only handle miles and miles of vacant land, with only an occasional passing vehicle, more people than this is uncomfortable for me now.

I was looking forward to riding my motorcycle through rural, vacant North Dakota this Spring and Summer, stopping at the abandoned towns that used to exist in western North Dakota. You can find these towns by spotting old churches, school houses, and grain elevators in the distance as you drive on highways, or you can look them up on the internet.

I had already begun researching, visiting, and writing about some of these towns, but I had not begun photographing them or videoing them until this past weekend. This past weekend I had also ridden around trying to find access roads that would allow me to ride up to the top of some local buttes, but I was unsuccessful.

DeSart

I began this blog post article by explaining that western North Dakotans are unfriendly, and I gave some reasons for this. Just about every farm field that I rode beside was posted “No Trespassing”, as was every access way to get to the top of the local buttes. The reasons for this, are that the farmers are tired of people tearing up their property, leaving ruts, leaving garbage, getting stuck and needing to be pulled out, and having legal liability if someone gets hurt. Plus they are tired of people hunting on their land without permission.

The point of me videoing the miles and miles of vacant grassland prairie, the abandoned towns, and the views from the buttes, was to show people elsewhere how peaceful it was, how undeveloped the land was. I was going to video this as an adventure motorcycle ride, probably using a Go-Pro helmet mounted camera.

I started to consider that I would possibly be giving people from elsewhere the wrong idea, that what I was showing was “open range”, that a person could drive or ride anywhere in any direction. This is definitely not the case, every foot of every pasture, even the buttes themselves are owned by someone. I could try and try to warn readers and viewers that you can’t just ride up the side of a butte or set up camp on top of a butte, that this is all private property, but they would probably do it anyway thinking that they wouldn’t get caught.

And then I began to realize, what if a wealthy real estate developer from California or New York sees one of my videos taken in the Spring or Summer, where everything looks vacant, green, and easy? They could get the impression that there is so much acreage that it must be cheap, easy to obtain, not difficult to develop, sub-divide, and sell off as hundreds of 1/4-acre home lots for $20K.

With my very recent experience of feeling like I’m being driven out of my home in eastern Idaho by the Californians, and the only place that I know where there isn’t a lot of people is here, why would I risk ruining my local area of western North Dakota by making adventure videos for people around the World to see?

Finally, I realized something that I never had before, something that North Dakotans themselves were not able to verbalize or explain clearly: They are not friendly, hospitable, or cooperative because they do not want people here, they do not want people here because it will ruin everything. More people and development would forever ruin the way of life here, there would be no way of undoing it or ever getting it back once it’s gone.

Should Representative Luke Simons Have Hired A 1%er Motorcycle Gang Instead Of An Attorney

Should North Dakota Representative Luke Simons have hired a 1%er motorcycle gang instead of an attorney?

In 2012 I went to work in the oil field of west Texas for a short while. When I got off of work in the evenings I went to a restaurant bar in Crystal City called Miguelitos. Several nights a week I would see and talk to a couple of older men who were friends, one was a heavy equipment operator who had just come back from Kuwait, and the other was a Sergeant-At-Arms for a 1%er motorcycle gang.

For those of you who don’t know, the 1%er motorcycle gangs are the Hells Angels, Outlaws, and the Bandidos. The internet lists a few additional 1%er motorcycle gangs. Why some of these are listed now as “clubs”, I don’t know.

Back in 2010-2013 after the real estate market crash, the “housing bubble” bust, there were many newspaper stories about strangers moving into people’s vacant houses, and refusing to leave. Very often, when the Police were called to get these uninvited occupants out of other people’s houses, they would claim to either have a rental agreement or a purchase agreement with someone, which would cause the Police to throw up their hands saying, “There is nothing we can do, this is a civil matter, you are going to have to take them to court.”

Since I had to leave my house in Idaho in 2011 to work in North Dakota, and then go to work in Texas in 2012, I was worried that some “squatters” were going to move into my house back in Idaho, and I wouldn’t be able to get them out. Once the Police make the mistake of not handling these cases like a straight up “breaking & entering” and “trespassing”, and instead say “This is a civil matter”, the homeowner then has to hire an attorney, wait for court dates and proceedings, because the squatters are being treated like tenants with legal rights.

I was discussing these types of legal cases with my two older friends one night while eating at Miguelitos, and the Sergeant-At-Arms told me a story. There was an acquaintance of his that had inherited a large house, that was divided into several rental units. The tenants were a bunch of trash who wouldn’t pay the rent, and they wouldn’t leave. The owner had hired an attorney, paid him several thousand dollars, gone to court, but they couldn’t get these people out of this house.

As a favor, the 1%er motorcycle gang offered to get these people to leave, if the owner wanted. When they showed up, he said, “Man, there was people jumping out the windows to get away.” Literally, there were people jumping out of the windows to get away. It was no longer a matter of asking anyone to leave, they were trying to get away.

I thought about this, and I remembered this. If you ever want something to get done, and the Police won’t do anything, a lawyer can’t do anything, and the courts don’t work, see if a 1%er motorcycle gang can help. Why not just go to a 1%er gang in the first place?

If North Dakota Representative Luke Simons would have gone to a 1%er motorcycle gang for help, here is what might have happened:

ND House Of Representatives Majority Leader Chet Pollert’s wife Corine would have driven down to Luke’s house and apologized to him profusely for any misunderstanding.  She would be saying that Chet would have come himself, except for he was in the hospital after the chain came off his bicycle….

Inforum Communications reporter Rob Port would have switched to becoming a Sports Writer, choosing to not ever write about anything other than Sports, ever.

Inforum Communications would have published a nice, complimentary, in-depth article on Representative Luke Simons, explaining how unfortunate it was that Luke was so misunderstood.

Attorney Lynn Boughey would have uncovered a billing error and given Luke back a large amount of money.

Lastly, try to picture the look of surprise on Luke’s face, when Rep Emily O’Brien walked up to Luke, stood there, and said in a quiet voice, “Luke, I’m sorry for what happened.  From now on, I’ll wear whatever you tell me to wear.”

$900 Dickinson Auto Repair Done For $165 Elsewhere

In April of 2020, almost one year ago, I wrote a blog post article about an independent auto repair shop in Dickinson, North Dakota that I could no longer use anymore because of a truck  repair estimate that they messed up.

I have owned this particular 1/2-ton 4×4 pickup truck for the past eleven years.  In 2016, this pickup truck was stolen by a well-known truck thief in Dickinson who intended on keeping this truck, and while he had it he replaced the front axle half-shafts with used ones from a salvage vehicle.  When he installed the passenger-side half-shaft, he damaged the axle-seal which caused it to leak gear oil from the center differential.

(Note:  On 4×4 pickup trucks, the front axle universal joints, also known as CV-joints, constant velocity joints, these wear out every 50K miles or so.  The bearings in the universal joints wear out, break apart, and fall out, which causes the front wheels to make a clank-clank-clank sound while driving at low speeds.  You can look at and feel the universal joints to determine if the bearings are bad.  Both front universal joints were very bad on my 1/2-ton pickup truck before it was stolen, the front wheel clanking noise was loud.  Replacing the entire half-shaft assembly is less costly in time and labor than trying to replace just the worn-out universal joint.)

When I got this stolen truck back, I wanted to just get its front axle leak fixed at first, because I didn’t know if there was any other damage.  If it turned out that in order to get at this front axle seal on the passenger side, its half-shaft had to be taken out, I wanted the half-shaft assembly to be replaced too because it looked old and worn-out, it came off a salvage vehicle.

The independent repair shop in Dickinson that I took this truck to for an estimate, they told me that in order to replace this passenger-side axle-seal, they would need to take apart the center-differential, so I might as well get both sides done.  Since both axle half-shafts would have to come out, I said that I wanted both of these half-shafts replaced.

The independent repair shop worked up an estimate to replace the front axle-seals on both sides, for $900.  Keep in mind that the axle-seals only cost about $10 each, the cost of this repair is mostly labor to disassemble and re-assemble everything, that is why I wanted the half-shafts replaced too, because they looked worn-out.  I noticed in this estimate that the cost of the half-shafts was not included.  The service writer said to me, “What, you wanted the half-shafts replaced too?”  This would have added at least another $200 to this $900 estimate.

Here is why I was so angry:

  1. At a dealership service department in Dickinson, I had already been given an estimate in the past to replace both front universal joints and seals on this particular 1/2-ton pickup truck for a total of $750.   I could have gotten this whole job completed at the dealer for $750, with new universal joints.
  2. For this repair, most of the cost is labor, taking everything apart.  If I am going to have to pay over $500 in labor just to replace two $10 axle seals, and the axle half-shafts are now out of the vehicle and look old, now is the time to replace them, instead of spending $500 in labor all over again to take everything apart a year or two from now to replace the half-shafts or universal joints.
  3. This estimate got up to $900 to replace two $10 seals, and even though I said at least twice that I wanted the old, salvage-vehicle half-shafts replaced, they left this out of the estimate and weren’t going to do this.

The point of this long story, this week I got the passenger side front axle seal replaced on this 1/2-ton pickup truck for a total of $165.  $165!!!

Since this long story happened a year ago, and because of my experiences with dealership service departments in Dickinson, North Dakota giving me high-price repair estimates for work that I didn’t ask for and didn’t want to have done, I began looking to buy vehicles and have vehicle repair work done far away from Dickinson.

At this time, I am not going to give out the name of this repair place that is inexpensive because I have a lot more work that I need to get done on other vehicles and I don’t want them to become flooded. I suggest that the readers try to begin looking and asking for repair estimates far away from Dickinson.

The Sporting Man’s Pick Of Prairie Business Magazine’s Top 25 Women In Business 2021

Each year Prairie Business Magazine selects 25 women in the North Dakota region for recognition in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, community service, and professional success.  When these women are presented, I look through the biographies of each of them until I am generally satisfied with their credentials, and hopefully find nothing that sticks in my craw, as has happened before.

Then, I go back and decide which of these women has a striking appearance, which one holds promise, which one has potential, which one could be entertaining, interesting, spirited, passionate.  God knows I’m not looking for a wife.  In short, I find the Sporting Man’s pick of these Top 25 Women In Business.

Beginning at the start of the Prairie Business Magazine article and proceeding to its end, here are my picks:

Amanda Torok, Senior Vice President of Culture, Gate City Bank, Fargo, N.D.

“Amanda Torok has been shining a light on Gate City Bank’s culture for the past six years… As the SVP of Culture, her department oversees the bank’s
social media, internal communication, training, philanthropic giving
and more….Having a passion for dance since a young age, Torok has been
teaching classes at Red River Dance, a non-profit dance studio, for
more than 14 years…She is also an avid supporter of organizations within her community such as Giving Hearts Day, Emergency Food Pantry and YWCA Cass Clay.”

Yes, Amanda is a nice, healthy, strong looking young lady with beautiful long blond hair.  I am very pleased that she has been teaching dancing for the past 14 years, Good Heavens, I’m sure she’s fit!

Brenda Moore, Controller, TSP, Inc. Sioux Falls, S.D.

“….Her leadership helped the 90-year-old architectural and engineering firm emerge
from 2020 strongly positioned for growth…Moore graduated from Augustana University with bachelor’s degrees in economics, professional accountancy, and business administration. She joined TSP, Inc. in 2007 as an accountant and was promoted to controller in April 2013…The mother of two children, Moore seeks out volunteer activities where she can make a difference in the lives of other youngsters. As a mentor with Junior Achievement of South Dakota, she works with kindergarten students and middle-schoolers. She also volunteers with the Sioux Empire United
Way, her church, and other community nonprofits such as The Banquet
feeding ministry and the BackPack program for low-income school children.”

Brenda is a pleasant looking young woman, with a seemingly easy-going disposition.  I doubt you’ll get much arguing and complaining from her.

Cathrine Grimsrud, Managing Director of Mineral and Land Services, VP for Wealth Management, First International Bank & Trust, Bismarck, ND

“Cathrine Grimsrud joined First International Bank & Trust in late 2019
following a decade in the oil and gas industry…Grimsrud holds law degrees from both the University of Oslo-Faculty of Law and the University of North Dakota School of Law. She has held several different positions including land manager and legal counsel for private and public oil companies, and recently served as senior attorney for a large Houston-based exploration and production corporation…She is originally from Norway and loves horses, skiing, travelling, and hiking – especially in the Norwegian mountains. She resides in Bismarck with her two children.”

Hold It!  Stop!  Wait!  I Can’t Go On!

I was trying to write an article that was fun, funny, and entertaining, showcasing the attractive women of Prairie Business Magazine’s Top 25 Women In Business, but I can’t.  As I am going down the list of these women in the article, reading their biographies, and trying to come up with why they are attractive, desirable, fun to be with, exciting, and arousing, I can’t do it.

It seemed to me as I was reading through the biographies of these Top 25 Women, that about 1/3 of the attractive women were single with no children, and 1/3 of the attractive women were unmarried with children.  Wait, what?  I would have thought that almost all of these attractive and successful women would be married, why wouldn’t they be married?

I thought and wondered, “These single attractive women with no children, with both an education and successful career, why aren’t they married?  Why don’t they have a husband?  Are their standards so high, are they so disagreeable, are they so demanding that men won’t stick around?”  I can’t continue to write about how they are desirable, exciting, fun to be with, and arousing, when they probably definitely are not.

Even more off-putting to me, were the very successful women with children, who no longer had a husband.  Very successful, with kids, without a husband?  To me, this would be the same as “A very successful poor person” or “A very successful homeless person” or “A very highly educated 8th grader”, it doesn’t make sense, it’s a contradiction.

How can a very educated and intelligent woman, make a solemn vow before God, “Do you take this man, to be your lawful wedded husband…for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, till death do you part?”  To make perhaps the most important decision of her life in choosing a husband, to take a vow before God, to enter into a legal marriage contract, to begin having his children, only to later change her mind?  Is this insanity?  I don’t even want to think of the mental unraveling it takes to try to get out of, and go back on your word in this ultimate, highest commitment you can make in this lifetime.

I can’t even joke or kid about being with any of these women.  I recommend that men stay far, far away from these women.

The Holy Bible, Ecclesiastes 7:26:

I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.

The Holy Bible, Proverbs 21:9:

It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

The Holy Bible, Proverbs 5:

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Who Is North Dakota Representative Emily O’Brien, Why Is She Attacking Luke Simons, And Is She Really A Republican

During the last week of February 2021, it seemed like Forum Communications reporter Rob Port was writing an article attacking North Dakota District 36 Representative Luke Simons every single day. Here it is March 2, and Rob Port has already written two more articles trying to harm Luke Simons. I am very suspicious why the Forum Communications company is allowing one of their reporters to go on a crusade like this, unless they are actually behind this.

This attack appears to be planned, coordinated, and strategic with an organization or network backing it, for a number of reasons. For one thing, not only do most of the people coming forward to make a complaint against Luke Simons come from the Fargo area of eastern North Dakota where the Forum Communications company is headquartered, there are all kinds of Fargo community activists that are acting wild with hatred for Luke Simons, when his District 36 is almost 300 miles to the west.

This is kind of a blunder of operational security for whoever is orchestrating this attack on Representative Luke Simons, not camouflaging that 95% of the calls for his resignation are coming from the Fargo area, making it not that hard to figure out.

Trying to get to the bottom of this, one of the first things that I wanted to know, was who is North Dakota Representative Emily O’Brien, why is she attacking Luke Simons, and is she really a Republican? Why would a Republican Representative try to damage a fellow North Dakota Republican Representative? This doesn’t make any sense.

In order for readers to understand that this is not a pointless thing to do, to look into the background of a ND Representative accusing a fellow ND Representative of misconduct, I found that two years ago in 2018, ND Rep Emily O’Brien formally accused both the President and Provost of the University of North Dakota of misconduct, which was investigated an determined to be without merit.

From a November 6, 2018 Grand Forks Herald newspaper article:

“State Rep. Emily O’Brien of Grand Forks claimed in June in a letter to the State Board of Higher Education that UND leadership, specifically Provost Thomas DiLorenzo and President Mark Kennedy, had displayed “unprofessional leadership” and had created a “hostile” work environment. O’Brien asked the board not to renew Kennedy’s contract.”

“The investigation did not find support for Ms. O’Brien’s allegations of harassment or a hostile work environment,” the report stated. “In sum, the investigation did not discover any harassment of Ms. O’Brien based on her political affiliation and, further, it did not reveal any evidence of a hostile work environment as alleged by Ms. O’Brien.”

I believe that this is relevant and important to know that two years ago ND Rep Emily O’Brien made a complaint of misconduct against the UND Provost and UND President, calling for his removal as President, but her claims were investigated and determined to be unfounded.

I continued to look up information on ND Rep Emily O’Brien, and I read that she was from and went to high school in Lakeville, Minnesota, which is a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, one of the most liberal areas in the U.S.   This is where U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Muslim was elected, and the Minneapolis City Council consists of 12 Democrats, two of them Transgenders.

From ND Rep Emily O’Brien’s Linkedin resume, I saw that most of her experience was academic.  Although she listed many jobs, most of these jobs were academic.  From her Linkedin resume, I am going to list some things, not in the exact same order that she listed them, but see if you can detect something, look closely:

  • UND Master’s Degree Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 2015 – 2018
  • UND Bachelor’s Degree Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 2010 – 2015
  • UND Bachelor’s Degree Bus. Administration and Management, General 2010 – 2014
  • ND State Representative Dec 2016 – Present
  • Chief Operating Officer BioScience Association Jul 2019 – Present
  • Fellow, University Innovation Fellow Stanford CA Dec 2015 – Present
  • UND, President Emeritus Dakota Venture Group Jan 2017 – Jan 2018
  • UND, President Dakota Venture Group Aug 2015 – Jan 2017
  • UND, Center For Innovation, SBIR/STTR Director Nov 2016 – Jan 2018
  • UND, Center For Innovation, Entrepreneur Specialist Jun 2015 – Dec 2016
  • UND, Center For Innovation, Entrepreneur Coach Dec 2013 – Jun 2015
  • Pink Door Boutique, Manager, Buyer, and Sales Associate Jun 2008 – Jan 2018
  • Bioscience Association of ND, Director of Marketing Jan 2016 – Dec 2016
  • Sublime Aesthetic Professionals, General Manager Aug 2014 – Dec 2016
  • UND, Dakota Venture Group, Managing Associate Feb 2013 – Present
  • UND, Dakota Venture Group, Managing Director of Marketing Oct 2013 – Present
  • UND, Dakota Venture Group, President Jul 2015 – Present
  • Lakeville South High School, High School Degree 2006 – 2010

I did not make any of the above material up, nor double/repeat list it, I just copied each item from ND Rep Emily O’Brien’s Linkedin resume.  To begin with, according to her she graduated from high school in 2010, and from 2010-2018 she attended UND.  From the ages of approximately 18-26 she attended UND.

ND Rep Emily O’Brien didn’t layout her Linkedin resume the way I listed it above, I wanted to point out that about eight of her job listings were for employment at two different UND student “Entrepreneur” organizations.  WTF is entrepreneurial about being a college student for eight years?  What entrepreneurial expertise do you gain while being a college student for eight years surrounded by other college students on a college campus?

If you look at this list of what ND Rep Emily O’Brien claimed to be employed/involved in 2010-2018, while she was attending UND as an 18-26 year old, and look at the dates given by her, with multiple jobs coinciding at the same time, does this make you think, “What is this?  What did these positions consist of that she could be doing all of this at the same time, while a being college student?  How much work and responsibility was involved if you are doing this while attending classes, doing classwork assignments, and studying for tests?”

The way that ND Rep Emily O’Brien posted her Linkedin resume, the format, order, and content that she presented, it looked like she had held many different positions requiring expertise, competency, knowledge, understanding, and substantial work, but I am not buying this once I realized that these were primarily in two different UND student “Entrepreneurial” organizations.  The following makes me believe that she was behaving more like a college student:

According to an August 8, 2016 Grand Forks Herald newspaper article, while ND Rep Emily O’Brien was a college student at UND, she was convicted of petty misdemeanor underage drinking in Minnesota in 2011.  She pleaded guilty to minor in possession/consumption of alcohol in 2012.  And in Grand Forks in 2016 she was stopped by Police for suspicion of DUI where a breath test showed her blood alcohol concentration was .147 percent, almost twice the legal limit, according to a copy of her citation.

Wrapping up what I have found out so far, I wonder why back in 2017 the North Dakota Legislature put this 26 year old female college student with a history of making misconduct complaints against men, right next to ND District 36 Representative Luke Simons?

At this point, I feel sorry for ND Rep Luke Simons, the way he was set up.  Luke Simons didn’t go to college, he began roofing at his father’s business before he was even a teenager.  He worked roofing all through high school and after he graduated from high school.  He married his wife Aleisha, started his own roofing business, had four daughters and one son, began raising cattle, until he almost died from guillain-barré syndrome in 2015, which left him permanently disabled.  Then he started his barber shop business.

It makes me angry that Luke has worked at hard labor since he was a kid, raised five children, supported his wife and children through his work, running a roofing business and ranching, opened a barber shop after he became disabled in order to continue to support himself and his family, and some young lady who had been a college student for the past eight years ever since she got out of high school, is going to try to destroy Luke, his family, and his reputation by making accusations against him. 

Why did the people in Grand Forks elect a young lady college student like this, from the extremely liberal Minneapolis-St. Paul area, to the very important job of representing North Dakotans in government?  How did this happen?  What were they thinking?

Getting Pushed Out Of Small Town Idaho By Californians

People who have been reading my blog post articles for a year or two will probably remember me writing that North Dakota is not my home, I am not from here. I first came to North Dakota in 2011 to find work during the oil boom.

My purpose in coming to North Dakota was to make enough money to pay off all of my bills, save at least $10K in emergency money, then return to Idaho and try to find a normal job. Most jobs in Idaho do not pay very much money, but at least I would be living in my own home on five acres back in Idaho.

I didn’t make very good financial progress in North Dakota during the eight-nine years that I lived here. In 2012-2013 I tried living and working in Texas, which for me was much worse than living in North Dakota.

The main reasons why I didn’t earn enough or save enough in order to be able to return to my home in Idaho are as follows: Short duration of some employment due to bad employers/conditions/environment; Working for good employers, sometimes a shortage of work; High living expenses, especially housing, and the high cost of food and fuel working 60-100 miles out-of-town; 2014-2019 I bought five additional vehicles.

I never wanted to sell my home back in Idaho. For one reason, it was my “home”. I always felt a sense of precariousness living as a renter, the landlord could always raise the rent, not renew a lease, sell the building, rent to neighbors who were bad people, complain about my vehicles, and so forth. As a renter, you don’t have any guarantee that you can continue living where you are, it is up to other people to decide, and I couldn’t stand being at the mercy of other people concerning something so important as having a place to live.

I explained several times in my past blog post articles that I grew up in what was once a very beautiful small town on the east coast of Florida, which became ruined and overpriced as northerners continuously moved there because of the beach and warm weather. I also wrote about living in Flagstaff, Arizona in the early 2000s, which also became ruined and overpriced as Phoenicians and Californians moved there because of the mountains and National Forest.

I realized that the only place that I could afford to buy a home, was someplace that was not spectacularly beautiful or highly desirable because of its proximity to an ocean, a lake, river, mountain, or National Forest. In 2007 as I left Flagstaff and drove into Idaho where I planned to start over, I was very disappointed with the ordinary flat grassland of Idaho, but this was someplace that I could afford to buy property.

After living in Idaho for several months, I learned that the relatively low cost of housing compared to places like Florida and Arizona, was due to and coupled with a very, very low wage rate in Idaho. Houses did not cost very much in Idaho, because people were not paid very much.

Back in 2007-2010 in rural Idaho, $12/hr ($25K/yr) was considered to be a “good job”. Therefore, it seemed like, the average small older house price in rural Idaho of about $80K-$120K was just out of reach of the average worker, but not by much. A husband and wife who had saved for five-ten years and were both steadily employed could afford one of these smaller older houses.

At that time a small number of Californians were cashing out of their homes and moving to this ordinary area of Idaho, but the 2008-2010 housing bubble burst brought an end to this, which is one of the reasons why I had to leave Idaho to look for work in North Dakota in 2011.

In the following years while I was working in North Dakota, I had to return to my home in Idaho to “winterize” my house in the Fall, and mow the grass in the Spring and Summer. 2011-2019, I didn’t notice very much change in the town where my house was located, and I felt that I wasn’t missing anything. I did want to return to live there, because life was slower, there was less crime, the people were friendlier, and the women were nicer.

Due to the Coronavirus, travel restrictions, and quarantine requirements for travelers, I had not been back to my home in Idaho since the Summer of 2019. Last week I had to return to Idaho for business reasons, and to check on my house. When I entered the rural county where my home is located, I was shocked, I could not believe the number of new housing developments, and the number of new houses being built in these housing subdivisions.

Where there had been farm fields planted with crops the last time that I was at my house in Idaho, there are now housing developments. Across the street from my house there is an 80-acre parcel of land that was being harvested the last time that I was home, but now it is a housing development with $300K-$400K houses on 1/2 acre lots.

I was not prepared to see this. For the past year I had been reading newspaper and magazine articles about people from California flooding into Boise and Bozeman, but I thought that it was just certain areas because of what they had to offer. Boise is a city, and the capital of Idaho, whereas Bozeman is surrounded by mountains and forests.

I had seen on the real estate sites Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com where it showed that according to them, my house price had more than doubled since I bought it in 2010, but I thought that this was because of demand from local people, people already living in this area who were seeking housing. I had received a couple of unsolicited inquiries from individuals and real estate investors asking me if I wanted to sell my property, but I had thought that this was just normal. I didn’t know that there was an explosion of new housing being built for California buyers, and I didn’t like it.

Besides the 80-acre parcel of land across the street from my house that had been used for farming, most of my other neighbors have about five acres each. On my neighbors’ properties, they have a few horses, a few cattle, farm tractors, horse trailers, old pickup trucks, tractor trucks with commercial trailers, dump trucks, loaders, backhoes, forklifts, cranes, travel trailers, truck-bed campers, storage sheds, barns, corrals, horse stalls, and water pump houses.

Up until now, there were none or very lax restrictions on what types of things a property owner in the county could have on their property. But I know this is very likely, almost certainly going to change, now that the Californians have moved into $400K houses across the street. The Californians like to make laws, regulate, and prohibit everything, just like they did back in California where they came from. Plus, they don’t want to look at all the “junk” we have.

To explain this a little better, my neighbor Craig is a commercial truck driver, Fritz is a heavy equipment operator for the county, Andy is a heavy equipment operator/contractor, Larry is a steel building contractor. Each of my neighbors are local people who bought their property more than twenty years ago for less than $100K, back when this county was less populated, and the average pay for local people was about $30K per year. The equipment on their property, is what they have used to earn a living for the past twenty years.

My neighbors don’t understand this yet, but the reason why the county will jump on the bandwagon with these newcomers from California complaining about all the “junk” that they see on our property, is because county government would rather see ten new $400K houses on each of our five-acre parcels of land, that’s $4 million in new property tax valuation, versus our measely $200K property valuation on each of our five-acre parcels.

Whatever the county can do to begin encouraging or forcing us to leave our property and sell out, that’s what they will begin doing. Up until now, there hasn’t been any snooping and nit-picking by the county on what property owners are doing in the county, but I believe that it is going to start. I am not looking forward to getting county notices left in my door, my mail box, or Post Office box about my grass not being mowed, travel trailer being parked in my yard, unregistered vehicle being parked in my yard, etcetera, who knows what they will come up with.

I feel like I struggled for the past ten years to be able to keep my home back in Idaho by working in North Dakota and living in my truck bed camper, renting a room in someone’s house, or living in a downtown high-crime low-rent apartment, only to end up being pushed out of this small Idaho town by Californians, recently rich form their $700K-$1.2 million 3br/2ba home sale.

Here is an Idaho news article from today that describes this https://www.krem.com/article/news/local/out-of-state-homebuyers-drive-demand-north-idaho-real-estate-market/293-e5382709-fe32-4c4a-9f37-03e1401a4c87

The Wonder Of Western North Dakota

I want to write about one of my impressions of western North Dakota, which I will describe as wonder. I do not want to romanticize western North Dakota, or give anyone the idea that it is quaint, picturesque, amazing, incredible, or awe inspiring. To me, it is frightening and tragic.

A few days ago, a person who read my blog post article about UFOs being seen in the New England area of North Dakota in the 1970s, to such an extent that the Air Force came to town, told the witnesses to shut up about it, and set up a base outside of town, this reader left a comment saying that this Air Force station was in “Havelock”.

I looked up Havelock, and to my surprise, this place was just a few miles southeast of New England, I had never heard of it before. Here is some information from Wikipedia:

In April 1907, the first Moravian settlers arrived to this area in the vicinity of New England, North Dakota. They were visited by Moravian Bishop Karl A. Müller for the first time in the summer of 1908, and four years later, on October 17, 1912, a congregation was organized.  At this time, there were only 12 communicants and 2 children living in the community. This congregation operated and constituted the bulk of the small community’s membership until September 4, 1921.  A post office called Havelock was established in 1910, and remained in operation until 1948.

I have lived in this area of North Dakota for the past eight or nine years, and I had never heard of Havelock.  Looking this up on Google Earth maps and satellite view, there is no longer any town or any buildings in Havelock, just a few farms.  Census data gave the town’s population in 2018 as 20 people.

The settlers in Havelock were from Moravia.  I had only ever heard of Moravia three or four times in my life, I had to look it up.  Moravia is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia.  Moravia was a part of Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918.

Prior to moving to Dickinson, North Dakota in 2011, I had very seldom heard of Bohemia either, but a few miles north of Dickinson, there was a group of Bohemian immigrants that had settled “New Hradec” in 1887.

One of my older friends in Dickinson had grown up in New Hradec and had gone to elementary school there, and he told me about the school children being scolded for continuing to speak Bohemian, and that some of their parents did not speak English.  When looking up U.S. Census data for New Hradec, it was noted that “the U.S. Census was never conducted in New Hradec”, what???  There were as many as several hundred people living in New Hradec from 1900-1960, which is a normal sized North Dakota town.

Getting back to the subject of the town of Havelock, settled by Moravians, not Bohemians like New Hradec where they continued to speak Bohemian and were avoided by the U.S. Census, the town of Havelock published a newspaper titled, “The American German”, with some columns written in German.  This newspaper was in publication from 1915-1918.  Jeez, that was during WWI with Germany.

Havelock and New Hradec sound pretty mysterious, don’t they?  What happened to them?  To put this into perspective, the more successful neighboring towns are Lefor population 80, Regent population 130, and New England population 600.

To some readers, the tone of this blog post article may seem that I am making fun of the towns of Havelock, New Hradec, Lefor, Regent, and New England, but I am not.  I have a sense of wonder about all of this, but not in a fairy-tale way, but in a frightening and tragic way.

I didn’t say this yet, but the town of New Hradec was the only documented immigration of Bohemians from the Crimea to have settled in America.  And, the town of Lefor has the highest percentage of residents of Hungarian origin of any zip code in the United States.  (Remember, Moravia and Bohemia were part of Austria-Hungary.)

What is even more telling, is that there are many more towns in this area that no longer exist, towns that I had never heard of before, towns that once had a church, school, post office, and stores.  Sometimes the only thing that still remains, is the town cemetery.

Here are some examples:

Town of DeSart southwest of New England:  Ora and Anna DeSart homesteaded in the area in 1905. They had nine children.  The DeSarts had come from Iowa.  Ora DeSart established a Post Office  in 1906.  About 75 people lived in DeSart at its peak in 1920.  The town had a store, bank, and dance hall.  By 1960, only six people lived in DeSart.  What remains of DeSart today is its cemetery.

Town of Daglum northwest of New England:  Settled in 1900 and named for John Daglum, who erected the first store in which he established the Post Office in 1906. Many of the Daglum settlers were Norwegians, who had first settled in Beresford, South Dakota, before coming here.  Daglum had its own school from 1907 to 1961, when it became part of the New England School District.  What remains of Daglum today is its Lutheran Church and its cemetery.

Town of Bessie near Amidon:  Can’t find hardly any information other than it existed.

Town of Chenoweth near Amidon:  Can’t find any information other than a newspaper was published in Chenoweth from 1910-1924, called “Slope County News”.

Whetstone Township north of Reeder:  I found the Whetsone Butte Cemetery while driving.  The only information I could find was, “Whetstone Butte Cemetery is located in Whetstone Township, section 27. No church was built here, people met for church services in the school house, one mile to the north.”  I did find the large old school house, it is still there.

Pierce, unincorporated southeast of Amidon:  Pierce is an unincorporated community in Slope County.  Pierce is 15 miles southeast of Amidon. The community was initially named Reno after Marcus Reno a Civil War officer, but was later renamed for local residents, the Pierce brothers.  The only thing there now is a church. 

So what happened to everyone, where did everyone go?  Why don’t these towns exist anymore?  These immigrants came from Moravia, Bohemia, and Scandinavia to settle here and farm, did they fail, did they die?

In 1785 Congress passed a law called the Land Ordinance, and later in 1787 this law was added to by the Northwest Ordinance, which among other things, required that new U.S. territories be surveyed and divided into townships that were six miles square.  Each township was to be divided into 36 sections, each one mile square.  One mile square is equal to 640 acres.

The Homestead Act of 1862 granted parcels of land to homesteaders that were 160 acres in size, which is one quarter of a 640 acre section.  What this means if you can picture this in your mind, or look at a Google Earth satellite map, is all of those one mile square sections of land that you see, each homesteader family was granted a corner piece, 1/4 of that one mile square piece of land.

Theoretically, if a township consists of 36 sections, and each section could have four homesteader families on it, you could have 144 homesteader families in a township.  These homesteader families typically had about five persons, so that’s a population of 720 people.  The North Dakota townships didn’t get completely filled with homesteaders, but a peak population of 300 people in the early 1900s was not uncommon.

The homesteader families having large numbers of children,  a school being built, a church being built, a Post Office being established, a general store being opened, all were catalysts for early growth of these townships.  Just talk or plans for a railroad line to be built near town would cause the town to grow.

Some of these towns reached their peak population in the first half of the 1900s.  When WWI broke out in 1914, and the Selective Service Act of 1917 conscripted adult males to go fight in Europe, many of these farmers or sons of farmers were killed and never returned to their North Dakota homesteads.

When WWI ended in 1919, ten years later came the Great Depression.  Even in remote North Dakota, community Banks failed, Bank depositors lost all of their money, farms went into foreclosure and farmers were kicked off their property, community general stores went out of business because people didn’t pay their bills that were owed or have money to buy anything.  Crop prices dropped.  Just about every North Dakota small town had people leave during the Great Depression and their populations dropped.

When the U.S. got into WWII in the early 1940s, all males between the ages of 18-45 were subject to compulsory military service.  The War took North Dakota farmers to their death in Africa, Europe, the Far East, and the South Pacific.  After WWII, most of the small North Dakota towns saw a steady decrease in population.

Due to modernization in the U.S. leading up to and following WWII, the attitudes, values, beliefs, outlook, and habits of American people changed.  As shown and advertised on television, radio, movies, newspapers, and magazines, “advances” in science, technology, farming, and industry made hard physical labor “a thing of the past”.  Americans could now enjoy a life of ease with many modern conveniences, where machines did all of the work.

If you think about it, in 1900 before the automobile, towns like New Hradec, New England, Lefor, Regent, Havelock, DeSart, children walked or rode horse wagons to their local school, parents worked on their own farm, families walked or rode horse wagons to the local Bank or local store, and on Sunday everyone went to the local Church.  You couldn’t just get up and go to Dickinson for something, a horse wagon ride would take at least a couple of hours one-way.

When automobiles became more widely available to North Dakotans in the 1920s, families could travel to larger towns like Dickinson to do their banking, shopping, seek medical treatment, personal services, dining, and entertainment.  The small North Dakota towns didn’t have to be completely self-reliant anymore, for better or for worse.

With the larger, more capable, more powerful, more efficient farm equipment that came into use after WWII, North Dakota farm families did not need to have as many children to perform farm labor, or require adult children to remain on the farm in order to accomplish all of the work.  North Dakota farm families shrank in size as they had fewer children, and allowed adult children to move away to pursue an easier and more comfortable lifestyle.

In order for readers to get a very good picture of what life was like in these small western North Dakota towns, I would have liked to have included some newspaper articles from the newspaper “Slope County News” dated 1911-1915, but the woman who retrieved them from micro-film archives and transcribed them, says that they can not be copied.

By clicking on the following link, you can read very interesting news stories of events, marriages, births, accidents, fights, and bizarre deaths in New England, DeSart, Amidon, Chenoweth, Bessie, and Bowman 1911-1915:  http://files.usgwarchives.net/nd/slope/newspapr/slconews/1911-15c.txt

Ways North Dakotans Can Survive The Coming Great Depression

In my previous blog post article about another Great Depression coming to western North Dakota, I explained the causes of the Great Depression that began in 1929 due to the Stock Market Crash, Bank failures, high unemployment, foreclosures, and a severe drought in the
Great Plains. In my previous article I listed eight current factors that will lead to another Great Depression in western North Dakota.

I do not like North Dakotans very much, mostly because of how they treated out-of-state workers during the oil boom, because they resist listening to advice or reason, and they either can’t or won’t take a look at themselves and make corrections.

For instance, because it costs $40,000 per year to keep someone in prison in North Dakota, and $1,400 per year to put someone on probation, the Courts and Criminal Justice System in North Dakota persists in letting prolific repeat criminals run loose on “probation” because it’s “cheaper”, when in fact each of these criminals running loose infect at least ten more of their family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers with drugs and drug crime every year that they are not in prison. As a result in places like Dickinson, about 20% of the population is involved in drug crime, and this number keeps growing.

I believe that because of the nature of people in North Dakota, most of them would not care to read my blog post article about the coming Great Depression, even though they really need to know this, it is very important that they understand what is going to happen. Therefore, I expect that even less of them would want to read my suggestions for how to survive this Great Depression. But I am going to write this anyway, I hope that it will help someone.

As I described previously and gave the reasons, there will be very high unemployment in western North Dakota. Probably something like at least 20% unemployment. Obviously there will be a lack of “jobs” and almost no companies will be hiring. Some people will not be eligible to receive unemployment compensation, and some people will exhaust their unemployment compensation. The first thing that I need to try to explain, is what can people do to make money.

The first thing that North Dakotans need to do, is begin thinking about work, employment, jobs, and making money, in a different way. Maybe some already know this, but mostly I see that many people do not, especially because of the way people behave when I try to hire them to work with me or do work for me:

There was a very popular book from the 1990s titled, “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People”, that was based on the author’s study of many very successful people.  His first “habit” or piece of advice was “Begin with the end in mind”.  What this means is, to understand clearly what your end goal is, and base all of your actions and behavior on this.

So, if there is a Great Depression with very high unemployment and no jobs, what is your end goal?  Some examples might be, “to survive”, “to feed my family”, “to not lose my home”, “to have money”, “to make money”, “to find a way to make money”.

Beginning with an end goal of “to survive” or “to make money”, a person needs to base all of their behavior and actions on this.  A person needs to look at work, a job, employment as a means to their end goal, “to survive” or “to make money”, the job or the work itself is not the end goal.

The reason why I said a few paragraphs previously that North Dakotans need to begin thinking about work, employment, jobs, and making money, in a different way, is because they do not “begin with the end in mind”, they think and act like the job is the end goal, it isn’t, especially when the end goal is “to survive”.

Why do I say this?  Some examples.  Several times, I have tried to get North Dakotans hired to work with me, who were currently unemployed, without any job prospects.  At first, they were grateful to get hired, and looked forward to their paychecks.  Sometimes within a few days, sometimes within a few months, I began to hear from them, “That’s not part of my job”,  “I should get paid to do this”, “I should get paid for my gas to drive to work”, “I don’t like driving this far to work”, “I should be paid more money”, “I shouldn’t have to work on holidays”, and they start to complain and become so uncooperative that they lose this job.  And then, they are out of work again with no income.

In these true examples of me getting North Dakotans hired to work with me, these people have been in a very, very bad financial situation, they get hired, they get back on their feet, they lose their job by their own actions, and then within a few weeks or a few months they are right back in the same desperate financial situation with no job.

If your end goal is “to survive” or “to make money”, you can not look at your job as something that is supposed to provide you with entertainment, enjoyment, a chance to meet people, an opportunity to socialize, a place to make friends, a source of fun, a boost to your self-esteem, build your ego, express your views, or coincide with how you see yourself.

Another fault that I mentioned about North Dakotans up above, was that they either can’t or won’t take a look at themselves and make corrections.  So beginning with the end in mind, “to survive” or “to make money”,  they need to begin looking at themselves FROM THE EMPLOYER’S POINT OF VIEW.

FROM THE EMPLOYER’S POINT OF VIEW, he mostly just wants to continue making money, this is his end goal.  If an employee is going to show up to work on time, not miss work, do what they are supposed to do, not cause conflict with the customer, not cause trouble with co-workers, this is what the EMPLOYER WANTS.  The EMPLOYER does not care if you are entertained at work, if this work is what you see yourself doing, if this work gives you a chance to express your opinions, if this work gives you the chance to make friends, if this work is a long drive for you, if you have to spend a lot of money on gas.  If you don’t want this job, the EMPLOYER doesn’t want you, you are getting in the way of his end goal to make money.

It is very, very important for North Dakotans to begin with the end in mind, “to survive” or “to make money”, to base their actions and their behavior on this end goal, to look at themselves through the eyes of an employer, and his end goal to make money.  The job itself is not the end goal, nor is being entertained, nor is doing what you want, nor is doing what you like, or voicing your opinion or beliefs at work, and none of these things is the end goal of the EMPLOYER.

In the coming Great Depression in western North Dakota, with unemployment at around 20% and very few job openings, North Dakotans will have to take whatever job they can get.  It won’t matter if they don’t like this job or anything about this job, they will have to take whatever job that they can get, if their end goal is to survive.

Many jobs will have reduced hours, or not be full-time.  These jobs will not have health benefits or 401K.  Everyone who wants to survive, needs to understand that they may have to seek multiple part-time jobs, temporary jobs, day-labor jobs, and plan on doing self-employed side-jobs.

I am not going to go through a list of existing employers in western North Dakota, and try to explain which ones will close, which ones will have reduced work hours, which ones will have layoffs, you should expect that they all will.  It would probably be a good idea to begin learning about and understanding the who, what, and where of all businesses and employers in this area on your own.

The two temporary staffing companies in Dickinson that I am aware of, both located downtown, are the “Command Center” and “UCP Personnel Services”.  In my opinion, the Command Center hires more physical-labor construction type people, and UCP Personnel Services hires more skilled or semi-skilled temporary workers for companies that are both construction and non-construction related.

In the past I have worked through UCP Personnel Services to perform traffic flagging on road construction projects, where I was paid about $17 per hour for 12-hour work days, and I was later offered full-time employment by the road construction company for being reliable.  Friends of mine have worked for Command Center where they also did traffic flagging, shoveling snow for homeowners, and moving furniture for homeowners.

My friends who have worked for temporary labor companies and people who I have worked with at temporary labor companies have been welders, electricians, truck drivers, carpenters, college students, and people with masters degrees.  They are not all so called “rent-a-drunk” people, but some of these workers do have problems.

Another thing that happens at temporary labor companies, is certain employers or citizens come to the labor company seeking work that the labor company can not place workers in, due to it being outside what is allowed by their workers compensation insurance, where the labor company says to the workers, go do this on your own if you want, it’s between you and them.

What I am going to cover last, is probably the most important information, what readers probably wanted to hear in the first place, how to make money on your own.

For the past 15 years, since I was about 36 years old, I have done self-employed work, sometimes as my only source of income, and sometimes as side-work in addition to my full-time job working for someone else.  Looking back on this, I enjoyed both my self-employed work and my full-time job the most, when I did both of these things at the same time.

When I had both a full-time job and self-employed side-work, I had a sense of security, if one job didn’t work out, I had the other to fall back on.  Clients seemed to have more respect, confidence, and belief in my pricing, because I was working full-time at a regular job like a normal person, and just doing side-jobs to make a little extra money.

When the Great Depression hits western North Dakota, if you want to survive, you will want to hang on to your regular job as hard as you can, because it will be so difficult to find a replacement job.  If your regular job begins to have reduced hours, you may have to seek an additional part-time job.  Eventually you may have multiple part-time jobs.  Or, you may have to begin doing self-employed side-jobs.

I partly do not like explaining this, because there are so many drug-addict criminals and naer-do-wells in Dickinson, that this information is going to cause problems.  Probably very soon after I write this, the Police, Sheriffs, City Commissioners, and County Commissioners will have to come up with and enforce what are known as “Green River Laws”.

“A Green River Ordinance is a common United States city ordinance prohibiting door-to-door solicitation. Under such an ordinance, it is illegal for any business to sell their items door-to-door without express prior permission from the household.  Green River was the first city to enact this law in 1931.”

I want to begin by saying that if you are a drug-addict criminal, this is not going to work for you in western North Dakota.  Within about 20-30 minutes of you trying this, the Police are going to be called on you, the same as if you were trying to break into a house, that is what you are going to be accused of if you show up at someone’s house that you do not know.

For the people that are interested in doing self-employed side-jobs, the following is an explanation, guidelines, rules, and suggestions.

There are many types of work that you can do for other people, that they will gladly pay for, that they wanted done.  In a way, it’s just a matter of reminding them, be willing to do it for them, for the right price.

You can think of anything, but I am going to give a few examples that are easy for me to explain.  These types of jobs have many similarities: painting, window cleaning, mowing, snow removal, gutter cleaning, leaf raking, tree trimming, junk haul away.

The telephone book and the internet has all kinds of listings and advertisements for painters, window cleaners, lawn care, and tree trimming.  But people are lazy, they procrastinate, and they don’t like to spend money, so they put things off.

People do not like telemarketers, sales calls, spam emails, solicitors, or strangers showing up at their house.  But there is a way around this, which people do not mind.  And this is, leaving a short, clear, estimate/offer in their door for a specific job, like this:

My name is Wiggly Anderson.  I do side-work outside of my regular job at the Family Dollar.  I saw that you have a front yard full of leaves.  I can rake up and bag the leaves in your front yard for $125, I think that it would take me about 4-6 hours.  Please give me a call if you want me to do this at 701-111-2222.  Thank you.  References available.

The reason why people do not get mad at this type of estimate/offer being left in their door, and finding it when they get home, is because it is an offer to do something for them which they already knew had to be done.  They didn’t know if and when they would have the time to rake their leaves, but now they know about how long it would take, and about how much it would cost.  They aren’t mad that you were offering to do this for $125, even if they think they could get someone to do it for $80, it’s just an offer, it’s not a trick or a scam.

In this first example, this was an offer to do something simple, that didn’t require much skill, equipment, expertise, risk anything being damaged, or anyone being injured.  Also, this was a task that is not difficult to be accomplished or completed.  Please note that Wiggly Anderson was careful to define the extent of leaf raking and bagging to the “front yard” for $125, and Wiggly didn’t say anything about hauling it to the dump, which he probably should mention beforehand just to be clear.

Another example:

My name is Wiggly Anderson.  I do side-work outside of my regular job at the Family Dollar.  I saw that you might have leaves stuck in your roof gutters.  I can bring a ladder, and scoop out your roof gutters into a bucket as I work my way around the sides of your house.

I think that it would take me about 5-7 hours to scoop out your gutters.  I can do this work for $150.  Please give me a call if you want me to do this at 701-111-2222.  Thank you.  References available.

Again, if a homeowner came home and found this estimate/offer in their door, they most likely would not be angry, as they probably already knew that they had leaves in their roof gutters.  Wiggly Anderson is offering to do a specific job, for a set price, which the homeowner can accept, ignore, or save for later.  It doesn’t appear to be a trick or a scam.

In this roof gutter example, there is a risk that Wiggly Anderson could fall off a ladder and get hurt, and the homeowner does not want to be sued for Wiggly getting injured, so they might ask if Wiggly Anderson has insurance.  On the internet, you can look up and copy liability/injury waivers that are documents people sign to not hold others liable for their injuries. 

Last example, Window Cleaning:

My name is Wiggly Anderson.  I do window cleaning outside of my regular job at the Family Dollar. 

I saw that you have many large custom windows that had tree pollen blown onto them.

I can wash all of your windows on the outside using your garden hose and spray nozzle with the screens on, then remove all the screens, then clean the exterior of all the windows with Windex and a squeegee, then put back all the screens for a total of $350.

Please give me a call if you want me to do this at 701-111-2222.  Thank you.  References available.

In this last example, as in the other two examples, the homeowner is likely not going to be angry that this estimate/offer was left in their door.  They probably already know that their windows are dirty, and would like for their windows to be cleaned.  They will probably use Wiggly Anderson’s estimate as a comparison for what they have been charged before by other window cleaners, or seek out estimates from other window cleaners listed in the phone book.

Please note five very important things in window cleaning: there is the risk that Wiggly could fall off a ladder and become injured;  there is the risk that Wiggly could break a very expensive window; there is the risk that the homeowner will not be satisfied with the clarity of the windows; the homeowner could mistakenly think that Wiggly was supposed to come inside the house and clean all the windows on the inside too; if Wiggly did go inside the house he could be accused of property theft or property damage, such as breaking a $500 vase and end up owing more money than he was supposed to be paid for the entire job.  (This is why I personally would not do window cleaning, especially the risk of property damage and people being unhappy about windows not being spotless.)

In all of these types of side-jobs, painting, window cleaning, mowing, snow removal, gutter cleaning, leaf raking, tree trimming, junk haul away, it is not uncommon for the homeowner or the business owner customer to ask if you are willing to do other types of work.

In all of these side-jobs, it is not unusual for the homeowner or the business owner customer to ask you if you want a piece of equipment, furniture, or other items that they no longer want.  In my side-jobs, I have gotten good deals on two trucks, one Jeep, and two motorcycles that the homeowner did not want.  You get the chance to see vehicles, motorcycles, boats, trailers, and equipment in customers’ backyards that they do not want anymore, that no one else knew they had.

I will conclude with some rules that you should  follow in doing self-employed work and side-work.  If you are an established, licensed, and insured contractor with an official place of business that you operate out of, it is probably justifiable to have a contract for large jobs where a portion of the job cost is paid up-front when the job is started.  Or, for some types of work, it may be justifiable to have the customer pay for the job materials separate from the work that is to be performed.

However, because so many drug-addict criminals and gypsy scam artists persuade customers to pay for material costs or the job cost ahead of time, and then never show up to start the work, I never asked customers to pay me until the job was completed.  The customers did not have very much stress or reason to complain as the work was being performed, because they hadn’t paid for anything yet.

The customer’s home or place of business is not your home or your property.  They allow you on their property solely for you to complete your work, hopefully as quickly as possible.  Do not bring your wife, kid, girlfriend, dog, friend, or questionable workers onto other people’s property.  Do not bring your problems, arguments, loud phone calls, loud mouth, bad habits, or personality onto other people’s property.

Perform your self-employed work or side-work like this is your company.  Do what you said you would do, or even a little more than what was agreed.  Keep your work area clean and clean up all your debris, tools, and equipment at the end of every day, even if you will be back the following day.  Work the hours and the days that you said you were going to work. 

Do not become too familiar, too personal, too comfortable, or too relaxed with your customer.  If you maintain professionalism, do what you said you would or a little extra, abide by your price estimate, be careful and competent, keep your work area clean, in return you will often receive extra pay, requests for additional work, work referrals to customer’s friends, offers of free equipment and items no longer wanted, offers of good deals on backyard vehicles, motorcycles, boats, RVs, trailers, and equipment.

One last thing, in my three estimate/offer examples given above, the first job was $125, the second job was $150, and the third job was $350.  If you think you are going to turn your nose up at this type of work, if you don’t get this thinking out of your head very soon, you are going to end up having your vehicle repossessed and getting evicted from your home because you didn’t figure out reality quick enough.  

My friends and the people I met working at the day-labor places in Dickinson, the welder, the electrician, truck driver, carpenter, and person with a masters degree, at one time they were paid $20-$40 per hour, they used to make that much.  Because they had this idea stuck in their head about how much they were worth or how much they should be paid, they sat around too long waiting and ended up losing their home and their vehicle.  This would not have happened if they would have taken part-time jobs, day-labor, and side-jobs right away.

Part-time jobs, day-labor, and side-jobs keep you afloat and lead to other things.