Tag Archives: Moving to Dickinson

Hope That The New Life Pentecostal Church Will Have A Buffet

Now that the New Life Pentecostal Church in Dickinson, North Dakota has taken over the upstairs of the Elks Lodge building, I hope that they will have a buffet style restaurant.

I don’t see having a sit down restaurant with a menu and waitresses being very efficient or practical, especially because the Elks Lodge restaurant just went through a period of not making money.  However, I do believe that the Pentecostal women are good cooks, and that they would very much get into the spirit of things, with having a buffet.

I miss the Bonanza restaurant buffet in Dickinson very much after it closed in approximately 2014.  I hope that the New Life Pentecostal Church buffet would be very similar to the Bonanza buffet.

There are three main elements of the buffet, that I would like to have:  Salad Bar, Side Dishes, and Meat Dishes:

Salad Bar:  The salad bar should have lettuce, spinach leaves, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, olives, celery, onions, mushrooms, grated cheese, cottage cheese, potato salad, cold pasta, croutons, and several different salad dressings.

Side Dishes:  The side dishes should be mashed potatoes, steak fries, tater tots, macaroni & cheese, white rice, fried rice, pasta noodles, casseroles, baked beans, Lima beans, butter beans, grits, egg rolls, garlic toast, and bread rolls.

Meat Dishes:  The meat dishes should include Salisbury steak, chicken fried steak, meat balls, meat loaf, roast beef, beef with Chinese vegetables, beefaroni, lasagna, fried chicken, chicken & rice, sweat & sour chicken, chicken l’orange, chicken nuggets, ham, pork chops, and roast pork.

The women would run the kitchen and the buffet, the men would have to stay out of the kitchen and be greeters, hosts, cashiers, and clear off the tables.

I could see Pastor Simons greeting the customers, and going from table to table to chat with the customers as they were dining.

Every half hour, it would be time for Pastor Simons to take the stage, and perform one song.  Pastor Simons could give a brief introduction to the song, which would give him the chance to impart some message.  It might go something like this:

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for dining with us here tonight.  Though you could have eaten at the King Buffet, we like to think of our place here, as the “King of kings buffet”.

In this song, that I am about to sing to you, feel free to join in with me and our musicians on stage.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?
One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed up on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss.
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?
Here is what this might look like:
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Economy in Dickinson, March 2016

I will try to give a brief look at the Economy in Dickinson, in March 2016, using people that I know as examples.

I was making very little money working two jobs in Dickinson this winter, so I got a third job working in Watford City.  I was very lucky to get this job, jobs are scarce.

A friend of mine in Dickinson that I have known for two years, this winter was the poorest and most financially desperate he has been in the past eight years.  I got him a job working with me in Watford City.  He was very lucky to get this job, jobs are scarce.

A friend of mine in Dickinson that I have known since 2011, who has a CDL and does construction work, he became completely broke and had to return to Wyoming in November of 2015.  He could not get another job in Dickinson.

A college educated friend of mine who has lived in Dickinson since 2008, he left Dickinson in December of 2015, due to lack of professional work prospects.

An electrician who I have known in Dickinson since 2013, he had been doing well financially in 2014 and 2015, now he is very nearly broke.  Not a lot of work prospects for him.

At the Church that I was going to, there are three truck drivers, each with a wife and kids.  One truck driver had lost his job in October and has not been able to get another one.  A second truck driver has been expecting to lose his job any day now for the past two months, the company he is working for is going out of business.  About 5% of the Church members have left the state since October due to lack of work.

A friend of mine who I have known since 2011, co-founded a trucking company in Dickinson in 2012.  His trucking company went out of business by the end of 2014.  He has been broke since the Spring of 2015.

To date, the only oil field worker that I have ever met, that I know now, who is not broke or nearly broke, is a wireline operator whose wife is a nurse.  He and his wife own moderate vehicles, and they live in an older townhouse.  He has been out of work for nine months, but his wife is still employed as a nurse.

Why I Keep Writing About Dickinson, North Dakota, Part III

In the states affected by hurricanes, there are laws against price gouging by businesses on supplies when a hurricane is approaching.  Businesses can not double the price of plywood and gasoline, among other things.  There are criminal charges, fines, and publicity in every newspaper about who took advantage of people.

North Dakota has just gone through its third oil boom.  The first one was in the 1950s, the second one was in the late 1970s, and the most recent one started in about 2007.  Note that each of these oil booms lasted about 7 years, and that each of these oil booms were about 30 years apart.  From everything that happened, I wish that the North Dakota State Legislature would enact “The North Dakota Boom Rush Law”.

“The State of North Dakota hereby enacts The North Dakota Boom Rush Law,  whereby the Governor acting alone, or by vote of 2/3 of the State Legislature, a condition of a Boom or Rush is officially recognized as occurring somewhere in the state, and the following protections are taken:

No business, or individual, may increase the price of necessities to more than double what the price was during the year prior to the declaration of the Boom or Rush condition.  Necessities include food, fuel, housing, hotel, transportation, vehicle repair, vehicle towing and recovery.  To do so is a crime, punishable by up to one year in jail, and $5,000 fine.

Further, it shall be unlawful for any business, individual, or government entity to interfere, impede, or delay the construction of housing, for the purpose of creating or causing a scarcity of housing, or for creating or causing high housing prices.  To do so is a crime, punishable by up to one year in jail, and $5,000 fine.

Additionally, the State of North Dakota shall be responsible for actively contacting all national news services with accurate truthful information regarding the Boom or Rush condition, and taking an active role in not allowing misrepresentations in work, working conditions, and rates of pay.

The purpose of this legislation it to prevent the hardship and suffering of both the residents in the affected areas, and the migrating workers.”

I thought that just about covers it.  Then I realized that neither the Governor nor the Legislators would allow this legislation.  The truth is, they are probably greedy also, or they are accountable to a bunch of greedy business people back home.  The real estate agents, property managers, and property investors would scream, “Are you crazy!”

Where did I ever get these ideas about treating people fairly, treating people like you would want to be treated, not taking advantage of people, not harming people, helping people?  There has got to be something wrong with me.

 

Why I Keep Writing About Dickinson, North Dakota, Part II

I believe in the necessity of Child Labor Laws, Minimum Wage Laws, Workers Compensation Laws, Occupational Safety and Health Laws.  They came about because workers were mistreated.

Some of you business people would probably like to express your opinion that there should be free markets, let the market place decide, we don’t need any regulations on business.  I would like to have you spend several weeks scrubbing out the inside of rail road tanker cars.  You don’t need to know what was in them.  You don’t need to see any MSDS sheets.  You don’t need a respirator.  You don’t need positive ventilation.  You just need to shut up, and do your job scrubbing out these tanker cars.

I believe that workers arriving in Western North Dakota should have had some protection.  Prior to 2007 in Dickinson, a one bedroom apartment rented for approximately $400 per month.  By 2011, a one bedroom apartment rented for approximately $1,500 per month.  Prior to 2007 in Dickinson, a three bedroom house rented for approximately $700 per month.  By 2011, a three bedroom house rented for approximately $3,000 per month.  The price of rent quadrupled from 2007 to 2011.

Real estate agents, property managers, and property investors liked to say, “We have no choice, our prices have gone up and up.”  No, your prices went up by %50 at the most.  If a property investor purchased a three bedroom home in Dickinson in 2001 for $40,000, their mortgage payment, property tax, and insurance was probably less than $350 per month.  The mortgage payment is fixed, the insurance may have increased slightly, and the property tax may have gone up as much as %100 by 2011.  So by 2011, the monthly payments might now be $525 per month, it went up %50.  Why were you trying to charge $3,000 per month for rent?  It is because you are greedy, you were trying to take advantage of people, and you thought that you could get away with it.

Like I said before, if investors could have figured out a way to buy up all of the food before anyone else could get any, they would sell it back to you at quadruple the price.  Not being able to buy up all the food, or have children work at factory labor, the real estate agents, property managers, and property investors in Dickinson had to stick to real estate.  So all they could do was just make sure that there was a scarcity of housing available, which they did.

Why I Keep Writing About Dickinson, North Dakota, Part I

Why do I keep writing about Dickinson, North Dakota?  I started writing about Dickinson partly because of how I felt.  I felt angry and frustrated.

One of the things that I was angry and frustrated about, was news stories on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News about how all these workers were moving to North Dakota and making over $100,000 per year.  This was not the case.  Yes, working directly on an oil drilling rig, you can make that much, by working 12 hour shifts, 14 days straight, then 7 days off.  Keep in mind, it is also going to be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for those 14 days straight.  American males between 18 years and 28 years old, I believe that less than 10% are physically and mentally strong enough to do this.  At one drilling company that I went to, there was a one-way glass window overlooking the reception area, the managers could tell with a quick glance which applications to not even consider.

What the drilling companies were looking for, was a male between 18 years and 28 years old, that looked like they did not have any physical defect, no signs of physical weakness, that looked like they were accustomed to labor.  Probably their favorite candidates were young men that grew up on a farm and had to work.  Their second favorite candidates were probably former high school football players that were linemen.

I don’t think the drilling companies wanted to hire anyone over 32 years old to work on a drill rig if they hadn’t worked on a drill rig before.  Those 12 hour shifts, for 14 days straight: any foot problem, ankle problem, knee problem, hip problem, back problem, elbow problem, shoulder problem, in muscle, joint, or tendon, would appear and just become worse and worse, hour by hour, worse and worse every day.  It was just a safer business practice to try to get people 18 years to 28 years old with no physical defects.

In Dickinson, probably more than half of the out-of-state workers that showed up looking for work were over 30 years old.  They all had the expectation that they were going to get a $23 to $30 per hour job, working 60 to 80 hours per week.  This is what they had heard.  The reality was, that at their age, not being able to work on a drill rig, the jobs available to them paid probably $14 to $23 per hour.

The other thing that the out-of-state workers that showed up in Dickinson did not understand, was that if you were an idiot where you came from, you were still going to be an idiot when you arrived in Dickinson.  If you hadn’t ever been able to do any type of work competently, you were not going to be able to obtain or keep a job in Dickinson either.

There should have been a great big American Red Cross tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot for all of the dazed out-of-state workers who suddenly found that there weren’t any $100,000 per year jobs.

Many, many people had heard false information about work in the oil field in North Dakota and traveled across the United States to get here.  They did not know or understand what it would be like in North Dakota.  It would have been better for everyone involved if more accurate, truthful information would have been provided to all the national networks, stations, news services, and publications.  Better for everyone if it had been done, except for the real estate agents, property managers, and property investors.

Note To Farmers In Dickinson About Getting Raped

I hereby grant permission to the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, to reprint the following information contained in “Note To Farmers In Dickinson About Getting Raped”.

Farmers in Dickinson:  You are no more likely to get raped by having given permission for someone to park trucks and trailers on your property, than if you had not given permission.  Let’s look at the facts.

There are many people in Dickinson who live in apartments, and perhaps twenty people pass within ten feet of their front door each day. Twenty People!, Ten Feet!, that sounds like pretty slim odds, but the apartment dwellers are not raped.  Let’s take another look.

In Dickinson, there are people who live on City blocks.  At the opposite corner of the block, people park and get in and out of their cars, day and night.  Day and Night!, Day and Night!, yes day and night.  And they don’t rape people.

Consider this, if your house is 200 feet from a public road, there are probably people that you don’t know, who drive down that road every day.  If you grant permission for someone to park their truck or trailer 500 feet from your house, they are no more likely to rape you than the people who drive 200 feet from your house every day on the public  road.

The fact that you give someone permission to park a truck or trailer on your property does not increase your chances of being raped.  People that want to rape you, will try to rape you whether they have permission to be on your property or not.

As a farmer, you are much more likely to be raped coming out of a bar in Watford City, than you are on your own farm.  Here are a few tips:  Don’t wear tight jeans.  Don’t let people buy you drinks and get you drunk at the bar.  Always check you tractor cab before you get in.

Also coming soon for farmers in Dickinson, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Animal Husbandry”, and “Don’t Stick Your Finger In That Socket!”

Is Dickinson A Good Place To Live?

Is Dickinson a good place to live?  Almost, Dickinson is almost a good place to live.

Dickinson is a town that has most of the things that people want and need.  It is easy to drive around town, the town is not ugly, it is not overdeveloped, it is not underdeveloped, it is surrounded by thousands of acres of attractive farm land, and there is not a lot of crime.

Dickinson has a new $75 million hospital, with ER, critical care unit, maternity unit, surgery unit, and outpatient treatment offices.  Medical helicopter stationed 100 feet from ER.  Very large approx. $15 million Sanford Health facility across the street from hospital.

Dickinson has a nice commercial airport.  A fifty passenger jet will take you to Denver or Minneapolis, to take a larger plane to anywhere you want.  It is a very safe airport, not a lot of air traffic, nothing for planes to hit, no big problem landing too short or too long, maybe hit a wire fence and a cow.

For shopping, the Prairie Hills Mall is O.K., Menards, Runnings, and WalMart.  Hardware stores Macs and Ace Hardware.  Enough tire stores.  Good Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet, and Toyota dealerships in Dickinson.

In the Winter, you can go to one of the best indoor recreation centers in the U.S.:  hockey rink, competition pool, leisure pool, basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, racquetball courts, weight room, cardio equipment, climb wall, and track.  In the summer you can swim, fish, canoe, ski, cook out at Patterson Lake.  Small University in Dickinson.

The only problem, is the people.  The people in Dickinson are not friendly, not cooperative, not helpful, and not hospitable.  They do not like people from out of state, and they do not even like each other.

I think that I have finally figured out why the people in Dickinson are so hostile:  For one hundred years Dickinson had been very poor, education was not valued because there was nothing to do with it, and no way to get ahead.  All of the great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents of the people living in Dickinson now, felt that they were never going to be anything or get ahead, they weren’t going to, but in order to feel O.K. about their position in life, they were going to make sure that nobody else got ahead either, and the only way that they were going to “get ahead”, was to let other people fail.  Therefore, if anyone needed any help in Dickinson, the way to “get ahead” was to let other people fail.

I never could understand why the people in Dickinson were so unhelpful, until I realized that the only way these people here had to feel successful, was when somebody here failed.  One of the many things that led me to this belief, was that I saw people in Dickinson did not celebrate financial success by building a nice large home, or buying a Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, or Porsche, they appeared to not be interested in having anything nice for themselves, but instead were intensely interested in what the lower middle class and low class people were doing.  Some of the successful people in Dickinson appear to delight in the paycheck-to-paycheck existence of many people on Dickinson.  The successful, the middle class, the lower middle class, and the low class in Dickinson, for the most part all agree about not having a homeless shelter in Dickinson, because somebody has got to be failing in order for them to feel good about themselves.