Tag Archives: North Dakota

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:

Very Good Gun Store In Watford City, North Dakota

On July 15, 16, and 17 there is the Wounded Warrior outdoor concert at the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch, just west of Medora.  It is not far from where Codi Miller lives, so she will likely be there.  On Monday in Watford City I went to the Possum Trot Store downtown to buy Codi Miller a hat.  But when I got there, Jessie Veeder was there, who would also likely be at the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch concert as a performer.  So I left without buying Codi a hat, because for all I know, the hat that I would buy would be the one that Jessie wanted, and there would be a fight at the Buffalo Gap concert over it.

So since I was in downtown Watford City anyway, I walked over to Big Boy’s Toys Guns & Ammo on Main Street.  I had not been in this store before, and when I walked in the front door, I couldn’t see any guns.  When I asked where the guns were, they said you have to go upstairs, which I did.  Upstairs they had about five display cases of handguns and about one hundred rifles.

I spent about thirty-five minutes looking at their handguns and about ten minutes looking at their rifles.  I might have spent even longer than this, looking at what hey had, and I just about never spend this much time looking at guns.  There are three reasons why I spent so much time looking at what they had:  Every gun they had was low priced in comparison to anywhere else, you could walk up and handle every rifle, and every gun they had was a good gun, there were no stupid poor quality guns.

In the past three years I have been to about six gun shows, ten different gun stores in about four different states, and I have looked for guns on BisMan Classifieds.  Big Boy’s Toys Guns & Ammo had the lowest prices that I have seen anywhere.  They had about ten Kimber semi autos in .45 cal and 9mm that were right at or below MSRP it seemed.  I could say the same thing for the Smith & Wesson, Walther, Beretta Glock, Ruger, and Bersa semi-autos.  They had approximately four Desert Eagle .50 cal semi-auto pistols.  From the large Desert Eagles, their selection had a few more large frame semi-autos, then many duty sized semi-autos, many  smaller sized .45 .40 10mm 9mm, then many compact .38 .32 .22 semi-autos.

They had approximately twenty-five revolvers, .44 magnum down to .22, about half of them were Ruger.  The only rifles that I looked at closely were two AK-47 chambered for 7.62 mm x 39.  These two AK-47 were good quality, and not high priced.  7.62 mm is almost the same size as Winchester .308, but they are not interchangeable.  I only want to buy rifles that use Winchester .308, so that my ammo fits all of my rifles, and I already bought an AK-47 that is chambered for Winchester .308 made by Zastava in Serbia.  Otherwise I would have bought one of these 7.62 mm AK-47 because they were good and inexpensive.

Helpful Advice for Women in Dickinson, North Dakota, Part II

In this post, I want to give more advice for women in Dickinson to consider.  I hope that young school girls in Dickinson will pay attention to this advice.

Women, and young ladies, you probably see many women in Dickinson who are married and have children.  You might get the impression that this is what you should do too.  Wait, wait, just because it seems like everyone in Dickinson gets married at a young age and has children, doesn’t mean that’s what you should do.

For women, getting married at a young age, and having children right away, makes it very difficult for them to change their mind if this is not what they want.  It might feel like it is impossible to continue education or pursue a career at this point.

At a young age, or in high school, women may think that it would be cool to move in with a guy right when they turn 18.  They can have sex any time they want, as much as they want, drink as much as they want, smoke pot, and nobody can say shit.  Oops, oh shit, I’m pregnant.

The things that young women in Dickinson might be impressed with right now, like a cute guy with a big truck and an apartment, might not seem important, exciting, or anything they want when they get older.

I hope that I am not the only one telling you young women that you should continue your education after high school for at least another two years to get your associates degree.  Your math skills and English skills are good enough right out of high school for you to continue on through the basic college general education courses in math, English, biology, foreign language, western civilization, psychology, political science, etcetera.  You will be much more appealing to employers, you will have a wider variety of career options, and you will have a higher rate of pay.  Also, if you ever want to, you can go another two years and get a bachelor of science or bachelor of arts degree.

Please get your associates degree!  You will always know that you could have easily have gotten your B.S. or B.A. if you had wanted to.  Some of the college courses that you take to get your associates degree will make you see things differently than you did in high school.  Some of the college courses that you take to get your associates degree will show you the level of writing, detail, research, calculating, and presentation that would be required of you in a professional work environment.  If you do get married and have children, with an associates degree, you will be better able to earn money for your family if you ever need to.

If you go to college, you will have a chance to meet people from different areas of the country.  You might find that you like different things that you didn’t even know about.  Give yourself the chance to see what the world is like before you get married and have children.

I want to talk a little bit now about not getting pregnant.  You should not get pregnant until you are absolutely sure that you want to get pregnant.  I don’t want you to be scared of having sex, I want you to be knowledgeable about sex.  Please read several women’s health articles on the internet that explain clearly, scientifically, the whole process of an egg going down the fallopian tube, when it reaches the uterus, and when it is able to be fertilized by sperm, and where you are at in your menstrual cycle.  Don’t rely on where you are at on your calendar to not get pregnant, but be aware of where you are at.

Women, you should carry several good, not out-of-date condoms in a concealed area of your purse.  Yes, you.  It is not the guy that is going to get pregnant.  You are the one that is going to let him do it, he might not know.  I say several, because one can get damaged just getting it out of the wrapper, now you’re down to two.  I recommend getting Trojan condoms that have the spermicide lubricant.  Yes, you need the lubricated ones, they break a lot easier if they aren’t lubricated.  Keep them in a concealed area of your purse or handbag so that they don’t get damaged, so that your little brother doesn’t find them, and so guys don’t see them and think “they are in”.  You need to have them with you, sometimes you might want to do it so bad that you don’t even care, so you need to have them with you.

When I just started having sex in my late teens, I used a condom that was not lubricated, and it tore, and I didn’t stop, I might have only had one.  In my twenties, I wanted some women so bad in the moment and I trusted that they knew what they were doing so I didn’t use a condom, I didn’t know they were going to let me have sex so I didn’t have any.  In my thirties, I had some women on top, and that position causes condoms to pull off, at the worst possible time.  Each of these instances was a mistake.  Each of these instances caused me a lot of worry.  At least once, a girlfriend chose to take the morning-after-pill, so that she would not become pregnant.

Helpful Advice for Women in Dickinson, North Dakota, Part I

In this post, I would like to give some helpful, useful advice for women in Dickinson.  It is not too late for you.  You young school girls in Dickinson, you need to read this too.  I would like to give you some advice to better your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Please start exercising.  It may be difficult to get started, but try to do just a little at first.  The West River Community Center is a very warm, safe, pleasant environment to not only exercise, but to socialize with other women.  Take the time each day to get out of your house, away from your work, away from your children, away from your husband, and take time for yourself.  Try walking the track on the upper level, try stretching and doing floor exercises upstairs.  Later, you may want to join the group stationary cycling class, or the aerobics class.

Start with making a small amount of daily exercise, a daily habit, and a lifelong habit.  When I worked in healthcare, I often saw elderly women naked.  Some women in their eighties, who did water aerobics daily, had smoother, tighter bodies than women in their 20s!  The women nurses even complained, “Shit, you’ve got better legs than me!”  The women in their eighties just laughed, and said they did water aerobics every day.

When you begin exercising, and taking care of yourself, your self-esteem increases, and your positive mental attitude increases.  Within a couple of weeks of beginning a daily exercise routine, your flexibility, strength, and endurance will improve.  You are better able to engage in life activities, whether it is playing with your kids, going on outings, working, or having sex.

Please, please try to take care of your physical health.  Your children, your husband, your boyfriend, your parents, or your employer probably already depend on you.  Be physically able and strong to help take care of your family and your responsibilities.  Being in good physical shape and exercising daily will help you cope with stress.

For selfish reasons, please also take care of yourself.  If you can afford it, go to a beauty salon, get your nails done, get your toe nails done.  Please read fashion magazines like “Cosmopolitan” and “Vogue”, so that you can get ideas on how you might do your hair, your makeup, your nails, your clothes.  It is obvious in these magazines that the models are beautiful, glamorous, and greatly desired.  Don’t you want to be beautiful, glamorous, and desired too?  It is O.K. to admire shoes, dresses, coats, handbags, and jewelry.  There are events in Dickinson where you can get dressed up, such as the events at the Astoria Hotel ballroom, and the Grand Dakota Lodge.

Even if your husband, boyfriend, and family are from Dickinson, and have never encouraged women getting dressed up, that doesn’t mean they know everything and are always right.  Although it might be too much of a shock to them if you changed completely overnight, I bet they might be happy and impressed if you got a hair cut that really looked good on you, or an outfit that really looked good on you.

For your sake, and for the sake of your kids, please try to read to become knowledgeable about different things outside of Dickinson.  Just think, do you want your kids to be able to experience more things in life, or not know about opportunities they have in life?  Just as an example, every now and then, buy a magazine like “Architectural Digest”, “Yachting”, “Sailing”.  These magazines show how wealthy and successful people live, their homes, their furnishings, their jewelry, their cars, their boats, where they travel, the things they get to do.  In a big way or a small way, when people or kids see some of these things, it inspires them to want to be successful, to finish school, to think about what type of career they may want to have, to think about marrying a person that will help them to be successful.

If you are of the opinion that it is not a good idea to see expensive clothes, jewelry, furniture, houses, cars, boats, planes, vacation destinations, beautiful glamorous women, when these things are not relevant to you or your children, I think you are wrong.  Any progress that we have made as human beings has come through education and becoming more and more aware.  It is harmful, limiting, and dangerous to not know what is going on in the world.

School Assignment, Dickinson, North Dakota

Hello, and thank you for reading my blog.  The purpose of this blog is to tell people from out-of-state, what Dickinson, North Dakota is like.  Additionally, I hope that people from Dickinson read this blog.  The people here in Dickinson should be ashamed of how badly they treated everyone during the oil boom.  The people here in Dickinson were hostile, unfriendly, uncooperative, and they took advantage of people.

I want people to know the truth about Dickinson.  I don’t want people to get misinformation about Dickinson from the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Dickinson, or Dickinson State University.  Because I have written approximately forty-five blog posts about Dickinson, this site usually comes up on the first page of search engine results for “living in Dickinson”, “working in Dickinson”, “moving to Dickinson”, “relocating to Dickinson”, “women in Dickinson”, “corruption in Dickinson”, “nightlife in Dickinson”, and “the Dickinson mafia”.

Even though this site comes up on the first page of search engine results, there should be more views every day, from school kids doing their homework assignments for instance.  There should be more school kids looking at this site, but that doesn’t surprise me too much, North Dakota ranks first in some categories of illiteracy.

I want to write this blog for the school kids in Dickinson, to give them some useful information for their school assignments and reports on Dickinson, and to give them some useful life information.

The ratio of men to women in Dickinson is probably about 3:1, which is not normal.  Because there are way more men in Dickinson than women, there is a shortage of women for men to date, and marry in Dickinson.  There should be a strip bar, where men can go and talk to women and see them naked, but the City of Dickinson will not allow that.  There should be prostitution in Dickinson to provide women for men to date, but the City of Dickinson will not allow that.  Thank God there aren’t any rapes!  Because there is a shortage of women in Dickinson, most of the women in Dickinson do not try to stay in-shape, dress nicely, look nice, or be pleasant.  Most of the women in Dickinson are overweight and unfriendly.

There is not a lot to do in Dickinson.  It is cold from about the beginning of October through the end of April, that’s seven months.  It would be nice to go out to bars at night to have some drinks, but the City of Dickinson has instructed its police officers to be very aggressive in arresting people for Driving Under the Influence.  In fact, the Dickinson police arrest people and take them to jail, even before giving them a breathalyzer test, if they are under the legal limit at the police station where the breathalyzer test is given, they are still under arrest, are processed into jail, later post bail, and pay $3,000 up-front to an attorney.  Don’t let mom and dad go out to bars in Dickinson, they might get a DUI, lose their job, and then you’ll be out on the street!

Going out to restaurants in Dickinson is not that great either, the service is usually very bad.  The servers in Dickinson restaurants have been led to believe that all of the oilfield workers in Dickinson make over $100,000 per year, that’s what the television news says.  The servers have had the expectation that every oil field worker would spend $100 every meal and leave them a $20 tip.  The servers are angry that they aren’t making $300 per day at Applebees, Perkins, Country Kitchen, and Players Club.

There are not a lot of restaurants in Dickinson.  Prior to 2008, people in Dickinson did not go out to eat because they did not have much money, they were paid very low wages.  The local companies in Dickinson paid very low wages in order to control their workers.  The workers could not get ahead, they lived paycheck-to-paycheck, they could not afford to lose their job, they had no savings, they were completely dependent on their employer, they had to keep their job even if they were mistreated.

Because wages were low in Dickinson prior to 2008, home rents were low.  A one-bedroom apartment was probably $300 per month, a three-bedroom house was probably $700 per month. Due to the oil boom, by 2011, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment went up to $1,500 per month, a three-bedroom house went up to $3,500 per month.  This huge cost increase in housing not only hurt the oil field workers, it hurt the local people too.  This is why some people say that people in Dickinson were very greedy and took advantage of people.

That’s enough for now, your brains are probably jumping like a toad!  Please, please feel free to write comments and ask me questions.  I’ll go ahead with what will probably be a FAQ, Frequently Asked Question:

Question:  You seem to hate Dickinson, why don’t you just leave?

Answer:  I stay here because currently I can make more money here than elsewhere.  I have a home in a different state that I would like to go back to, but unemployment is high in that state.  While I am here, I would like to get the truth out about Dickinson, so that people from out-of-state will know what it is like, and maybe not come at this time.  I hope that I can change some things in Dickinson by exposing them.

 

 

Dickinson mayor Dennis Johnson resigning at the end of October 2015

I have written about forty-two blog posts trying to explain what Dickinson, North Dakota is like.  Maybe some of the people who have read my blog don’t believe me.  Please, please read the Dickinson Press newspaper article dated October 6, 2015 titled, “Dickinson mayor Dennis Johnson resigning at the end of October.”

Dennis Johnson became mayor of Dickinson in year 2000.  According to my research, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of MDU in 2001.  MDU, Montana Dakota Utilities is a a large utility company that provides electric and gas service in North Dakota.  MDU also owns a construction company called Knife River Construction.

I would have thought back in 2001, that being mayor of Dickinson, and being on the board of directors of MDU, would probably lead to conflict of interest accusations and suspicion.

In about 2013, MDU began constructing a refinery in Dickinson, called the Dakota Prairie Refinery.  Again, I would have thought people in North Dakota would have thought that Dennis Johnson as mayor, was not able to be neutral, objective, and unbiased concerning MDU’s activities in Dickinson.

In approximately 2014, Knife River Construction was awarded a large road construction project on State Avenue in Dickinson.  There are several civil construction companies in Dickinson: Northern Improvement, Martin Construction, Tooz Construction, Baranko Brothers.  Did a citizen, a city council member, or a construction company owner finally say, or make the accusation that there was something corrupt going on?

In the Dickinson Press newspaper article, Dennis Johnson said that he was resigning as mayor of Dickinson because MDU stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and the New York Stock Exchange has a rule that you can’t be a government official and be on the board of directors of a company that does more than 2% of that government entity’s business.

My personal opinion is that Dennis Johnson’s increased status as mayor of Dickinson in 2000, probably increased his potential for being appointed to the board of directors of MDU in 2001.  Being on the board of directors of MDU probably helped Dennis Johnson be re-elected mayor several times.  Being mayor of Dickinson and being on the board of directors of MDU probably also helped Dennis Johnson’s company, TMI cabinets, a manufacturer of cabinetry for institutions and facilities like schools and hospitals.

There are some other things that I would like to say, that I was told by people who are in a position to know, that I believe are true, that Dennis Johnson is a large stockholder in MDU.  How can you be mayor of Dickinson, where MDU is building a refinery, and Knife River Construction is awarded a large road improvement project, and appear that you are not personally benefiting every time an employee of the City of Dickinson makes a decision favorable to MDU or Knife River Construction?  Did City of Dickinson employees, city council members, and business owners feel pressure to give MDU and Knife River construction preferential treatment in order to not get on the bad side of the mayor, or win favor with the mayor?

I encourage readers to go look up other news articles about the City of Dickinson, in particular articles related to the arrest of the Trinity High School principal and his coerced confession, and also news articles about illegal practices at Dickinson State University.  You will get a much better understanding of Dickinson.

I Want To Beat The Chamber of Commerce In Dickinson, North Dakota

I want to beat the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I want to get to you, before they do.  I want to tell you the truth, rather than have you listen to lies and bullshit.

The individuals in the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce may not be bad people, but they have a job to do, and that job is to lie to you about Dickinson.

When I first wrote this blog post in November of 2015, the housing prices in Dickinson were very, very high.  Extremely high.  This was the result of greed, lack of human decency, and stupidity.  There was this lie going around that everybody in the oil field was making $100,000 per year.  In the five years that I have lived in Dickinson, I have only ever met three people who made over $100,000 per year in the oil field.

The Oil Boom was over in western North Dakota by the end of 2015, due to the price of oil falling from over $100 per barrel down to $40 per barrel.  Many oil field jobs went away, and many out of state workers returned to the states where they came from.  Once the apartments, manufactured home parks, and trailer parks in Dickinson became less than half occupied, the rents throughout Dickinson dropped greatly.

During the Oil Boom, the people in Dickinson were not friendly, not helpful, and not cooperative.  Now that the Oil Boom is over, the people in Dickinson are even meaner, in part due to increased competition for fewer jobs, and also because they want people to leave Dickinson.

The people in Dickinson dislike people who are from someplace else, and they also dislike each other.  Anything you say to people in Dickinson, will probably make them dislike you more.  If you arrive in Dickinson now, you are better off staying away from people.  Remain in your hotel, or your home, there isn’t anything to do or anywhere to go anyway, and you will likely be followed and stopped by the Dickinson Police.

There is a shortage of women in Dickinson, and a lack of attractive women.  The ratio of men to women in Dickinson is probably 3:1.  The Dickinson Police Department try as hard as they can to not allow prostitution in Dickinson, though it is needed.  The Dickinson Police create fake advertisement for women wanting to have sex, and then arrest people when they show up.

You can not safely go out to bars or restaurants in Dickinson at night, because the Dickinson Police try as hard as they can to arrest people for DUI.  In Dickinson, the Police are so eager to arrest people for DUI or other charges, that they will follow you and stop you for any reason that they can think of.  The Police try to encourage people to leave Dickinson.

In Dickinson, all of the restaurants have employees and servers that don’t like their jobs.  All of the restaurant employees think that everyone else is making over $100,000 per year, and they aren’t, and they are mad about it.  The servers are disappointed and can’t understand why people don’t spend $50 per meal and leave them a $20 tip, like they all heard about.  How are they ever going to make $300 a night at Applebees like they planned?

There is not a lot to do in Dickinson.  It is cold and grey from about October through April, at least seven months of cold weather.

The oil field work has been reduced by about 80% over the past several years.  Most of the oil field workers who lost their jobs went back to the states where they came from because housing prices were so high here, the people are unfriendly, there is a shortage of women, you can’t go out to bars or restaurants at night, the restaurants have terrible service, there is not a lot to do, the Police encourage people to leave Dickinson, and it is cold for at least seven months of the year.

The people in Dickinson, and the employers in Dickinson, hate people with an education.  The employers in Dickinson would much rather hire someone with several felony convictions, than someone with a college degree.  In Dickinson, your supervisors and co-workers will be people convicted of robbery, theft, assault, and drug charges.  Perform a Google search and look up your company owners, managers, and personnel on www.ndcourts.gov/publicsearch/default.html before you accept a job with a company in Dickinson.

What do I want?  I want the truth to be known.  I had thought that Dickinson could change, but once the Oil Boom was over, the local people in Dickinson became ever meaner.  I had not realized that the local people in Dickinson were on their best behavior during the Oil Boom.  All I can do now is warn people what Dickinson is like.

Trying To Get By In Dickinson, North Dakota, Part II

In my very first post to this blog, I explained why I was writing this blog.  I said that I wanted to describe what it was like living in Dickinson, North Dakota.  I wanted people to have the truth.  If you have read at least several of my posts, you will probably have thought to yourself the following three things:  that I am pessimistic, that I am negative, and that I am exaggerating.  The last point, that I am exaggerating, no, you will find out sooner or later if you come here, that I am not exaggerating.  That I am pessimistic and negative, yes, but this is necessary for survival here.

As  far as people who have come to Dickinson, I have fared a little bit better than average.  I have been able to make enough money to pay my bills, to keep my home in a different state, to buy an additional vehicle, to buy more tools, clothes, guns, etcetera.  I have not been arrested and taken to jail, although I have come close about five times.  I have not gotten any women pregnant or gotten any venereal diseases.  I got injured badly enough to where I couldn’t work for five months, no workers compensation from North Dakota, but I have recovered about 90% after a couple of years.  Currently I have an O.K. place to live here in Dickinson.  So all in all, I feel like I am doing a little bit better than average.

Why, you might ask, do I think that I am doing a little bit better than average?  Well, I will tell you.  Among the people who I know that have come to Dickinson in the last seven years, who I will refer to as: “ES”, “MR”, and “SA”, these three people have been arrested and taken to jail in Dickinson a combined total of five times.  “ES” and “MR” have college degrees.  Among the people who I know who are from Dickinson, who I will refer to as: “MK”, “CL”, and “DS”, these three people have been arrested and taken to jail in Dickinson at least once each.  “MK” and “CL” have college degrees.

Some of you people who are reading this are thinking, “So what about being arrested.”  So what?  Do you know how much harder it is to get a job after you have been arrested for something?  You can either tell the truth, and not be hired, or you can lie, get hired, and then get fired when your background check gets completed.  I worked for the government once, and was questioned for five hours by an investigator during the background check, and I didn’t have any arrests, I never would have been hired if I had.  It sucks to get arrested, and have that on your record.  In the past six months in Dickinson, I have been stopped by the police three times, and been asked for my I.D. and current address.

Regarding being stopped by the police three times in the past six months, do you think this leads to a negative and pessimistic outlook?  Yes, it does.  The Dickinson Police are just hoping that you have an outstanding warrant, an expired driver’s license, expired insurance, that you have been drinking, that they can spot drugs, or a weapon in your vehicle.  That way, you can get arrested, be taken to jail, miss work, lose your job, be unable to make your car payments, your apartment/house payments, and lose everything you own.  You see, this is Dickinson, and everything was nice here, before you got here.  As far as Dickinson is concerned, you are a piece of shit, oil field trash, out of state worker.  As I wrote in a previous post, if you want to know what living in Dickinson will be like, you need to watch the movies “Deliverance”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, and “Planet of the Apes”.

To get back on track with the theme of this post, “Trying To Get By In Dickinson, North Dakota, Part II”, and to stick by my assertion that you need to be pessimistic and negative to survive in Dickinson, I will elaborate with an example.  Every  time I get in my vehicle, before I leave the driveway, I remind myself that this is Dickinson, and be prepared for some f___ed up shit.  This past Sunday morning I was driving to work at 7 a.m., I get to the intersection of State Avenue and 21st Street, which used to be a three way stop up until about a week ago, the north bound lane did not have to stop.  About a week ago they installed a stop sign for the north bound lane, and now all four stop signs have a sign that says “all way”.  I was going west, and came to a complete stop at the stop sign, here comes a new four door, four wheel drive, black dodge truck going north,  I said to myself, “No way am I going”, sure enough, the illiterate, ignorant piece of shit went through the intersection going 30 miles per hour.  The oil field truck behind it, came to a complete stop at the stop sign and waved for me to go ahead, the two guys in the front seat were laughing, they saw what happened.  About two months ago, the same thing happened to me at the intersection of 23rd Avenue and Fairway, Fairway has no stop sign, 23rd Ave has a stop sign that says “cross street does not stop”, but a lady on 23rd Avenue pulled out right in front of me.  I was ready, because I know how stupid, ignorant, and illiterate the people in Dickinson are, they can’t figure out “STOP” and “cross street does not stop”.  By the way, if I had gotten into an accident when that lady at the stop sign pulled out in front of me, do you know who would have gotten cited for the accident when the Dickinson Police arrived?  That’s right, me, because I am a worthless piece of shit out of state worker, and Dickinson was nice before I got here.

Before you get here, and once you are here, you need to plan on things going bad.  As I mentioned in a previous post, you need to be prepared for not getting served in a restaurant, (try looking at the restaurant review site “Yelp”, for restaurant reviews in Dickinson, and you will see that I am not making this up.)  If you need to make a bunch of copies on a Friday, and SBM closes at 5:00 p.m., don’t be surprised when both locations are closed at 4:00 p.m., (the only other place to get copies is the UPS store.)  If you need to park your car at the Dickinson airport, you may need four wheel drive to get out, (a fifty seater airline aircraft got stuck in the mud at the Dickinson airport in the spring of 2014.)  You may not be able to get a hotel room, or your hotel room reservations may not be found, (I know business owners and construction crews that have had to sleep in their vehicles at oil field locations and construction sites.)  If you get injured working or get laid off, expect not to get workers compensation or unemployment from North Dakota, ( Happened to me, happened to three people I know: “CL” ,”JK”, “CC”.)  Do not drink even one beer, and then drive in Dickinson, you will likely get a DUI.  If you have company provided housing, or any housing for that matter, you need to have a back up plan “B”, and a back up plan “C”, (I have seen many, many people, including me, get up shit creek in Dickinson when they lost their housing, it is not easy to find a place, and housing is extremely expensive.  For instance, if you get injured and can’t work, you will lose your company housing.)  I have met several people who came to Dickinson, could not find a place stay, ran out of money, and then begged the police to take them to jail so that they could have a warm place to stay and something to eat, there is no homeless shelter in Dickinson.

In summary, and I am not joking, I mean it, you have a better chance of surviving in Dickinson if you plan on things not going well.  If you come from the south like I do, don’t expect people to be nice to you, you can’t expect that, you had better expect them to be mean to you, because they will be.  Don’t you be friendly either, anything you say will be used against you, the people here are just looking for some specific things to dislike you for, they already don’t like you in general.  The longer you keep your mouth shut, the longer you can keep your job.  Even telling your landlord or neighbor where you are starting work, will result in your landlord or neighbor immediately telling their aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandkids, that, “They’re hiring at the college!, they’re hiring at the college!, get down there!”, even though you might have a master’s degree or doctorate, and their relatives didn’t graduate from high school.

What does that leave?  Well, you pretty much have to keep your mouth shut, do your job, keep a close eye on your coworkers trying to get you injured or in trouble, don’t go to bars, be extra careful driving, go straight home, and quickly come up with a back up plan “B”, and plan “C” for a different place to live, and a different place to work.

Culture Shock In Dickinson, North Dakota

I am originally from a small town in a southern state.  One of the elements of culture where I am from is hospitality.  I believe that two reasons why hospitality was important and apparent in the south, was due to the protestant religions such as Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian, and due to readily available resources.  I will try to explain this.

The protestant religions teach foremost the belief in Jesus, God, and doing what Jesus and God have instructed.  Jesus taught about giving and kindness to others.  As a brief example, Jesus was with his apostles and they witnessed church goers as they made offerings,  one man gave a substantial amount, one woman gave only a penny or two.  Jesus asked the apostles who gave the most, they answered that a particular man had given a substantial amount.  Jesus said, no, the woman who gave the few pennies gave the most, because she gave all that she had.  As another example, Jesus was invited to the home of a wealthy man, and upon everyone being seated, the household was embarrassed when a harlot showed up, and began to wash Jesus’ feet, and I believe I remember she dried his feet with her hair.  The house guests thought that this woman was trash and that Jesus should not have had anything to do with her, however Jesus pointed out that no one else had offered him the courtesy of washing his feet when he had entered this home, the woman was showing him reverence and kindness.  So, in the South, where they believe in the Bible, they try to incorporate what the Bible says into their day to day lives.  I will give an example.

I had a friend named Joseph who was from Georgia.  Joseph was 35 years old, he had a wife and a daughter.  He was a self employed tree trimmer, and he was poor.  In the winter of 2009 when the economy started to go bad, he had to go to the food bank, because he did not have enough money to buy food.  In the spring and summer, he got by O.K., but just barely.  I stopped by his house at about 5 p.m. one evening when he had just gotten home from doing a tree job, he had stopped at Dominoes Pizza and bought a large pizza.  He asked me if I would like some pizza,  I said no, thank you, I had already eaten, but the real reason was that I knew that that pizza was just enough for him, his wife, and daughter.  Just then, two young Mormon missionaries stopped at his house, Joseph and I both knew them, and talked to them from time to time.  Joseph said, “Hey you guys are just in time for some pizza, would you like some pizza?”  They said, “Oh yeah, great, thanks.” and they ate half his pizza.  There was just enough left for his wife and daughter after the missionaries left.  The rented house that Joseph lived in was very small and bare.  I had already passed through the kitchen and saw that there was not any food in the house, just maybe an almost empty bag of old bread, maybe a can of beans.  I said to Joseph, “Well, it looks like they ate all your pizza.”  Joseph said, “Oh, it don’t matter, I’ll find something else to eat.”

The second reason why people in the South have hospitality, is that they have been accustomed to having resources available.  In the South, trees are plentiful, so it is not difficult to get wood for furniture, firewood, or housing.  Domestic animals like chickens, cattle, pigs, and goats are not difficult to keep.  Wild animals like rabbits, possums, squirrels, turkeys, alligators, and fish are not that difficult to come by.  So, it was not that difficult to survive, you could afford to be hospitable, even if you were poor, it was not like you were going to die.

In North Dakota, things were different.  I have been to North Dakota pioneer museums, and have read and seen the exhibits.  I have talked to older North Dakotans about how things were growing up around Dickinson.  The pioneers that came to North Dakota in the late 1800s and early 1900s lived in small grass sod houses, the walls were constructed entirely of grass sod.  The houses were small partly because there was not a lot of things to burn to heat them, dried animal dung was collected to burn for heating and cooking.  I have been inside some of these houses on old farms outside of Dickinson, they were very small, very primitive, maybe a 10’x12′ room adjoined to another 10’x12′ room, and whole families lived in them.  I have talked to people who said that even growing up in Dickinson in the 1950s, that many people still had out houses.  It was common for the mom to keep the roll of toilet paper, that children were not given toilet paper, if you wanted toilet paper, you had to go and ask, and that you might be given three sheets.  Apparently life was brutally hard in North Dakota until recently, there had been a scarcity of basic necessities.  If you talk to people about it, you will begin to understand that hospitality was something that was not done, it was so hard for a family to survive, there wasn’t hospitality.

In the eight months that I lived in Dickinson in 2011, and the sixteen months that I have been living in Dickinson currently, it was not until I understood how hard life had been in North Dakota, that I realized this is one of the reasons why the residents in North Dakota are not hospitable and friendly, and why they don’t even know that they are not hospitable and friendly.

Start of Blog Dickinson58601.com

I first came to Dickinson, North Dakota, in 2011.  I had a home and a business in another state, but business was bad in that state.  I wanted, and needed, to make more money.  I lived in Dickinson for eight months.  I returned to Dickinson in 2013, and have now been here for sixteen months.

I wanted to express some of my thoughts about Dickinson.  If you are from out of state and living in Dickinson, many of you will know exactly what I am talking about, when you read them. If you are from Dickinson and have lived here most of your life, some of the things that I say might not have been apparent to you.

If you are living in a different state and are considering moving to North Dakota, I would like to caution you.  Several times in my life, I have moved to another state to start over.  The things that you go through, such as finding a place to live, finding a job, getting your driver’s license changed, getting your vehicle registration changed, meeting new people, finding things to do, it is not the same in North Dakota.

Unfortunately, the information that you get from an official city website does not really describe what living in that city is like, and the Chamber of Commerce website will also try to present a city in a completely positive manner.  In the past, I have been cursing mad, when I have come to find out that an area I had moved to had something that “I wished somebody had told me about.”

To start this blog off, I will list some positive things about Dickinson, North Dakota, and some negative things.

The positive:

  • Dickinson has a nice recreation center, called the West River Community Center.  It has an indoor pool, indoor tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, a weight area, rock climbing wall, and a few more things.  It is open to everyone for a moderate daily fee, or a fairly low priced membership.
  • Right in Dickinson, there is a lake, called Patterson Lake, that is nice to visit.  Approximately seventy percent of the perimeter of the lake is undeveloped and is available for walking or cooking out.  It is open to everyone, and in the summer there is a small daily fee.
  • There are more jobs openings in Dickinson right now than you will find in other cities.

The negative:

  • The cost of housing in Dickinson is so high, that even if you are well paid, the cost of housing could easily take fifty percent or more of your take home pay.
  • Your opportunity for recreation and socializing is extremely limited.  Dickinson is cold for about seven months out of the year, during these cold months, you will not want to spend a lot of time outdoors.  You might want to enjoy having some drinks at a bar or restaurant, meeting people, talking to people, but it is not safe to do this in Dickinson, because you will soon get a DUI.  I am in my 40s, and never in my life have I seen normal adult socializing crushed more than the DUI process in Dickinson, arrest first, test blood alcohol level later, post bail, $3,000 to attorney, probably dismissal if your BAC was below .08 to begin with.  This has never happened to me, but it has happened to so many people that I know, and I have seen the police doing this, that it is too dangerous to go to bars in Dickinson.
  • There are way more men in Dickinson than women.  There is a shortage of women in Dickinson.  There is such a shortage of women in Dickinson, that the good looking house wives in Dickinson have to hide, and try to get their shopping and errands done between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. before the men get off work.  I lived in Dickinson for over a year thinking that there were only ugly women in Dickinson, until one day, I went to the grocery store at 4:30 p.m., and there they were! very good looking women!  I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t figure out what was happening, they had been hiding all along!

The most important thing that I can say to those of you who are living in a different state, is that if you are thinking about coming here, the cheapest one bedroom apartment that you can find will probably be about $1,500 per month, a two bedroom apartment will be about $2,000 to $3,000 per month.  Most of the job openings in Dickinson will pay about $15 per hour.  Most of the people in Dickinson that I have met, worked with, lived with, have made between $12 to $22 per hour. Some of the highest paid people that I have met, a union electrician who worked a lot one year made $90,000, and a drill rig boss that I met probably made a little over $100,000.  I have personally met at least five truck drivers working here that were broke, due to not being paid at all or being poorly paid.