Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I had planned to depart Williston today, but I've been enjoying being with Dad, so I've decided to stay at least a day longer, which will probably end up being an additional day. Of course, that brings us to the weekend, which is the toughest part of the week for day -- the weekends are just too long for him, so maybe I will stay through the weekend, and, then, of course, we are well into February, and I might as well stay until March, and, then, of course, that's the end of the first quarter and I might as well see what the spring brings. And, of course, then summer's just around the corner ....


I would love to write what specifically changed my mind, but it would sound corny, so I will leave readers in suspense. It had to do with the books I am reading. I'll get back to those later, now that I have more time in Williston.

I can't sleep past 4:30 a.m. and so I read (there is no television or internet where I am staying, by choice). I have three books that I am reading but this morning, after making the decision to stay longer, I decided to see if a coffee shop with wi-fi was open, so I could write my wife, daughter, and others that I would not be departing today. To my pleasant surprise, the Daily Addiction was open, opening at 6:00 a.m.

It was wonderful to be able to be served immediately. During the boom, it would have been a significant wait. But now, much more normal. It will be a small but constant stream of people coming through. Had there been no boom, there would be no coffee shop like on Main Street.

Of course, it was still dark. It was quite incredible to look to the east across the Little Muddy from the top of University Avenue to see all the lights. There is another whole town over there, it seems.

I was told  yesterday that the living quarters over at Halliburton east of Williston were now empty. For some reason that did not bother me. Williston is experiencing a new "normal." I think old-timers feel good about this for the most part. It is now clear that the Bakken is not going to go away, and perhaps with a bit of luck, the boom and bust cycle will flatten out a bit.

For the second time in a row -- either second enrollment period, or second year -- Williston State College has set a new enrollment record. I had forgotten: Williston State College is free for Williams County residents. Bernie Sanders should visit Williston for a photo op during the national campaign once he gets the Democratic nomination for President. Presidential nominees usually make one North Dakota stop -- Fargo -- but seldom Williston. Seldom. LOL.

Harry S Truman stopped in Williston back in 1952. He was taking the same route that Liam and Sam would take almost a century later on I-98 but doing it by train.

District 8 -- a rural school district in the Williston area voted down a $39 million bond measure for a new "K-8" school due to increasing enrollment, but not because it was not needed. Rightly, the voters said that is as a state responsibility to ensure adequate facilities for public education. We'll see if the Bernie Sanders supporters in Bismarck and Fargo agree. I have my hunches. No child left behind. By the way, this was a "new public school district" driven by the boom. It will be interesting to revisit this school district a year from now.

On the other hand, another school district in the Bakken voted to pass a similar bond issue for remodeling its schools. That bond issue was for $!0 million. I "missed" the district but I believe it was north of Williston. Oh, yes, here it is: Divide County, north of here. Crosby. Awesome. Something tells me this bond issue would not have passed if things looked desperate in the Bakken or western North Dakota. Good for them, up in Crosby. No child left behind.

Speaking of presidential nominees visiting North Dakota: Bernie Sanders can do a photo op in front of Williston State College where tuition is free and "Donald Thump or Mark Robio or Jeff Bush" as my dad refers to the GOP roster of candidates, could and should visit the Bakken.

It's possible North Dakota could be the swing state this fall. LOL.

In a few minutes, I will be walking around the corner to buy a dozen or so donuts from the Donut Shop on Broadway, to take them to Dad's former agency where he still reports to work if someone drives him. He doesn't offer as much business advice as he did when he was 90 years old. He says if the folks at the office haven't figured things out by now -- he's been offering them advice for over 30 years without being paid a consultant's fee -- they will never figures things out.

That comment about the consultant fee is not entirely correct. During his 80's, he was paid about $100/month as a retainer fee of some sort, so that he wouldn't jump to the competition.

It's going to be another incredibly beautiful day in the Bakken. I'm still trying to find the downside of global warming. 

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