Saturday, December 10, 2011

Carhartt -- North Face -- Columbia Sportswear -- LL Bean

For previous posts on Carhartt, click on the Carhartt label/tag at the bottom of the blog.

The thing one notices when coming back to Boston in cool/cold weather is all the folks wearing "North Face" outer wear. If Carhartt is the uniform of the Bakken, North Face is the uniform of Boston.

As noted before, one of the first things I bought when it turned cool in the Bakken earlier this autumn was a Carhartt coat. I have had a lot of winter coats over the years having grown up in Williston, North Dakota, and then being assigned to northern tier US Air Force bases, but without question this Carhartt coat is one of the best, if not the best. This does not include the extreme cold weather parka issued by the Air Force.

I get a kick out of this. In the Bakken, the Carhartt is the uniform of the day, and it is being bought by folks that use it for work.

In Boston, the North Face is the uniform of the day, worn predominantly by urban young adults making a fashion statement.

More on this later, perhaps, if I remember.

Oh, one more thing: Carhartt headquarters in Williston is Home of Economy.

Whiting $800,000 Building Permit Southeast of Belfield -- The Bakken, North Dakota, USA

About a mile south of Belfield, North Dakota, on US-85, and then a mile east, it looks like Whiting is building something fairly substantial.

According to the second page of the November, 2011, report of building permits for the city of Dickinson, Whiting has a $784,000 commercial permit.

It may have something to do with the new natural gas plant south of Belfield

For some folks: $800,000 might seem like a lot, but it's not much in the big scheme of things. A four-semi garage/industrial shop might be built for that amount. 

The specific address:
  • 13072 38th Street Southwest, Belfield, North Dakota
The mile south and then a mile east of Belfield comes from a Google maps search. It's been my experience that Google maps is often in error when it comes to these rural addressed, although this one seems straightforward.

This is the kind of thing that I often misread or misunderstand, and I certainly don't know what $800K might buy in the Belfield area, so take this with a grain of salt, until others verify it.

A huge thank you to Don for bringing this to my attention. I am always impressed what Don finds.

North Dakota: God's Country -- Where Telephone Calls to Heaven Are "Local Calls"

Larry sent this to me; no source. If it is copyright of if the originator of the information does not want it posted, let me know and I will take it down.

This is why I love North Dakota, and why North Dakota is truly "God's country.
  • North Dakota has a budget surplus of some $800 million dollars in the bank.
  • Every time the price of gas goes up, my future property taxes are either going to drop or stay the same.
  • Every property owner in the state received a REDUCTION in the property taxes for the next 4 years, guaranteed. (The state spent some of our surplus $ on school districts - which allowed corresponding property taxes to drop).
  • The $800M surplus above is AFTER the property taxes were reduced.
  • College students that are ND residents or whose parents are, can borrow money from the state owned Bank of North Dakota can now borrow at a rate of 1.78%, variable rate, with a 10 year payback.
  • The homicide number in North Dakota for 2009 was 2 (yes, that's 2)
  • The town of Rugby is the geographical center of North America. A tall stone obelisk marks the location.
  • North Dakota was the first state to complete its interstate highway system.
  • The parking meter was invented in North Dakota
  • North Dakota is the only state in the nation to never have an earthquake.
  • Dakota Gasification Company in Beulah is the nation's only synthetic natural gas producer. (And Montana's governor bragged about it on national television!)
  • North Dakota has 60 wildlife refuges, more than any other state, and all are managed for waterfowl production.
  • North Dakota has more miles of road per capita than any other state - approximately 166 miles of road for every 1,000 people.
  • If North Dakota seceded from the Union, it would be the world's third strongest nuclear power.
  • North Dakota has the highest number of millionaires per capita than any other state.
  • Did you know that North Dakota leads the nation in the production of just about every crop is raises. The state is first in spring wheat, durum wheat, sunflowers, barley, a dry edible beans, pinto beans, canola, flaxseed, all dry edible peas, honey, lentils, and oats. [Some of these may drop off the list as farmers switch to corn for ethanol.]
  • Did you know that the highest temperature ever recorded in North Dakota was 121 degrees at Steele in July of 1936? Or that the lowest was -60 degrees at Parshall during the last ice age (kidding, but not about the temperature) in February 1936?
  • The fastest-growing city in the state is West Fargo, which has soared from 14,910 residents in 2000 to more than 21,000 last year.
  • What is the Sturnella neglecta? It's the scientific name of the state's bird. Can you name it? It's the western meadowlark, a songbird often found on fence posts or signs chirping away.
  • Fore! Did you know that North Dakota has more Golf Courses per capita than any other state?
  • Ranks #1 as the safest state to live in.
  • Is one of only eight states with a growing economy
  • Ranks 6th highest in state economic competitiveness. (Beacon Hill Institute, 12/05)
  • Had the second highest per capita income growth from 2000-2005. (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2005)
  • Has more coastline than California due to Lake Sakakawea! (
  • Fargo-Moorhead ranked as one of America's top "Business Opportunity Metros" for 2005.
  • Ranks #1 for rate of high school completion.
  • Was one of only two states to increase manufacturing jobs from 2000-2004.
  • I still leave my garage door unlocked when I am gone so that my neighbor can borrow something if he needs it, (and so does he).
  • North Dakota, despite over 50 % of the population owning guns, and despite being ranked #4 by the Brady gun-control people, is one of the safest states in which to live.

New Air Flights Considered for Williston

Billings Gazette link here.
Officials from Gulfstream International Airlines say they’ll carefully consider a pitch to add direct flights between Billings and Williston, N.D., the epicenter of a historic oil boom that has sent thousands of people flocking to western North Dakota and Eastern Montana.

During a Friday meeting in Billings, officials also asked Gulfstream to consider adding flights that would connect Billings, Missoula and Helena.
My favorite phrase in the above: "epicenter of a historic oil boom."

Epic, historic, boom. If you google those words you will find "Williston, North Dakota."

Okay, you need to add "Bakken."

Beautiful, Balmy Day in Boston -- - Rather Be in The Bakken, But ...

I am re-invigorated. I am no longer worried about the EPA banning fracking in North Dakota. Many smarter folks than I have said there is nothing to worry about. So, I am no longer depressed; I am in my manic state, so take what I blog for the next several days with a grain of salt.

Of course, my manic mood may have nothing to do with knowing my worries about the EPA are absolutely unfounded. My great mood could be the result of any number of things:
  • now that I've been in Boston for several days, I'm back into a rhythm
  • the joy of being with the grandchildren
  • getting back into my reading is absolutely invigorating
  • enjoying the Harvard Book Store (no connection with Harvard University)
But more than likely, my manic mood is probably due to the fact I am back on my medication.

The most tangible evidence of my great mood is that I've turned the comments section back on.  To protect my sanity, I will still moderate the comments, but will probably not reply to most of those that get posted.

I continue to enjoy William Least Heat-Moon's Prairie Erth. When his writing is good, it is very, very good; and when it's not so good, well, it's not so good. But overall, it's a book I heartily recommend to everyone who has lived on the prairie. Folks east of the Appalachian Mountains would not understand. I doubt folks on the West Coast read. I know it's hard to stick to my reading program when in California; the weather, the scenery, the people are just to much fun, too distracting.

If nothing else it would be nice if the folks in Dickinson would read Heat-Moon's story of the first engagement of the Civil War. This engagement occurred in Chase County, Kansas, which the Kansans called the Wakarusa War. The fortitude of the women, much slighter in build then than the women today (as were the men), would put some of the current "hearty" Dakotans to shame. Heat-Moon paints a great picture of these slight pioneer women standing up to the pro-slavery ruffians. Whether those pioneers would agree with pro-growth in modern-day North Dakota or not, I don't know. I do know two things: a) they supported states' rights over federal interlopers; and, b) they weren't afraid of bears. I don't think they would have been afraid of oil wells, whether they liked them or not. Fear was not in their vocabulary.

That's probably what invigorated me most. I was already on the cusp of moving into my manic mood, but when reading how fearless these slight Kansas women were made me think of those who are viscerally afraid of moving steel. I had to laugh. First time I laughed this hard in days.


I updated Heart Butte oil field yesterday. Someone pointed out that I forgot to mention some great Enerplus wells. I apologize for that oversight. At the time of the original post, March 2, 2010, either the ERF wells weren't in yet, or they didn't catch my attention. There is just too much activity going on in the Bakken to catch or update everything.

That's one of the reasons I turned "the comments back on," so that folks could remind me easily of things I've missed.

I just checked the NDIC site: I can't be blamed too much for missing the ERF wells in Heart Butte field. ERF has only five wells in that field:
  • 17299, 829,  ERF, Fredericks 5-11H, HB, Bakken; s7/08; t9/08; 96K cum 10/11; orig op: Peak
  • 17634, 465, ERF, Fredericks 6-31H, HB, Bakken; s12/08; t3/09; 67K cum 10/11; orig op: Peak
  • 18809, 753, ERF, Baker 20-34H, HB, Bakken; s10/10; t8/11; 60K cum 10/11; orig op: Peak ND
  • 18810, 589, ERF, Biron 20-24H, HB, Bakken; s9/10; t9/11; cum 55K 10/11; orig op: Peak ND; 26 stages; 2.6 mil lbs sand
  • 19769, 523, ERF, Baker 29-31H, HB, Bakken; s5/11; t8/11; cum 44K 10/11; orig op: Peak ND
To the best of my knowledge, these five wells are in the same general area in Heart Butte. Notice how the production improved with the later wells; I assume it had to do with the fracking but I did not check the well files; maybe later.

Also note the time between spudding wells and completing them over the years. In 2008, they were drilled to depth and fracked almost "overnight." The wells spud in 2010 were not completed until a year later.

But look at the most recent well, spudded 5/11 and completed 8/11: something very, very rare in 2011.  I assume it's an anomaly. Also note that all these wells were originally drilled by Peak ND LLC, and then transferred en bloc to Enerplus.


En bloc reminds me of en passant. The grandchildren, ages 5 and 8 are learning chess. The 8-y/o almost beat me last evening. I can say I was not paying attention, but in fact, I was taking her for granted, and before I knew it, one of her knights was decimating my enclave of pawns and one bishop.  I finally got my act together, and removed that pesky knight, along with quite a few protecting pawns, with my queen.  The 5-y/o knows where the pieces go, and how they move. She has me help her get started, but after awhile she moves on to other projects, letting me finish the game with the older one.

The older one is learning the concept of en passant but it is confusing. I always had trouble understanding the reasoning behind it, but like the rest of chess, it makes excellent sense. I am amazed how well thought-out this game was, based on observations of how foot-soldiers fought, how those on horses fought, and how bishops were close to their king and queen. It makes me think of Shakespeare, especially Hamlet. 

Later last evening it dawned on me there must be some free chess games for the iPad and indeed there are. My older granddaughter and I now have something to do on the bus when we ride into Boston later this afternoon for the Christmas Bazaar. She has her heart set on honey from Vermont, which we got for the first time last year. She says that is now a tradition for the two of us, buying honey at the Christmas Bazaar.


Enough for now. Maybe more later.

What, Me Worry?

I don't think Dickinsonians have a thing to worry about with regard to oil wells and salt-water disposal wells in and around Dickinson. They've been drilling wells in North Dakota since 1951 and I am unaware of significant risks to the general public; if there were, The Dickinson Press would have had a three-part series by now, perhaps even a special supplement.

Perhaps the editorial staff should take a drive up to Tioga and Stanley to see how many wells are in and around those towns, or up to Williston to see the new wells inside city limits. Some of the Madison wells were put in during the last boom -- let's see, when was that? Oh, yes, back in the 80s, and some of those wells have been producing for 20 years or more, near where folks live. 

Farmers routinely work around these wells; countless numbers of "looky-Lou's" have driven out to the wells to look at them, trespassing on the oil well pads, and then making U-turns on the pads, even those pads that have warning signs for poisonous gas. In fact, I'll bet the editors and staff of many newspapers have trespassed on oil well pads. But probably just once.

But this is the bigger story: in California there are pumpers less than fifty feet from homes in urban neighborhoods. Some are located within a toddler's stone throw of Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target. I assume it's the same in other urban states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, but I don't know. But in California it is such an accepted sight -- wells in neighborhoods -- that no one even thinks about them any more.

It is expected that blogs and relatives of such should take a particular stand on a particular issue, but it amazes me that a city newspaper is unable to ever publish positive news about the oil industry.