Friday, February 27, 2015

Another Bakken Man Camp To Close -- February 27, 2015; A Shout-Out To Firestone is reporting:
Officials in Williston are standing by their previous decision and forcing a 400-bed man camp to close because of city code violations.
Black Gold Lodge petitioned the city to reverse a January 13 decision to shut down the facility Tuesday evening. City commissioners moved to take no action, allowing their previous vote to stand.
Black Gold came under city limits in 2013 through a land annexation. The city requires sprinkler systems and commissioners had given Black Gold until Dec. 31, 2014, to install one, but the company says contractor issues stalled the installation.
A Shoutout To Firestone

I prefer to take my car to Firestone for servicing. I started going to Firestone about ten years ago while living in San Antonio. I'm not sure why I started: I think the Chrysler dealer that I had been going to moved to a new location much farther away from where I lived. It seems dealers are a bit farther out of town; Firestone seems to be nearer residential areas. Maybe, maybe not. Whatever.

I always buy my tires at Firestone. The tires on our 2007 Chrysler minivan have less than 20,000 miles on them. Yesterday I noted that the rear passenger tire looked slightly low -- I thought I might be imagining things, or that it might be due to the colder weather we've been having, but I didn't need any surprises on all the soccer and swimming event trips we take four days out of seven.

I drove up to Firestone in Grapevine; they were busy, but not more than one would necessarily expect. Talk about friendly. I expected to wait about 90 minutes to be seen (they said it would be an hour to an hour and a half wait) but I saw them move the car in about 15 minutes (big surprise) and about 20 minutes later was told that yes, there was a nail in the side of the tire, which meant it had to be replaced.

I'm not even sure Chris asked; he simply told me they put on a brand new tire and the total cost would be $14.

I had forgotten I had bought "Road Hazard Insurance" when I bought the tires -- normally I don't buy this kind of insurance, but for some reason I did that time (and will do so in the future, with all the construction in the area). The new tire automatically came with road hazard insurance, although I may have misheard him because the total bill was $23 or something like that -- I wasn't quite sure what the extra $9 was for but the paperwork looked fine and for $23, a brand new tire, tire rotation, and road hazard insurance I wasn't going to ask. [I also bought "free tire rotation for life" when I bought these original times some years ago.]

I remember years ago when we were living in Turkey we had a brand new Saab 900 which we had bought while stationed with the USAF in Germany, and brought it with us to Turkey. To pass Turkish inspection (required by USAF and Turkey) we had to get a new exhaust pipe. Knowing that original parts sent in from Germany would cost $300 to $400 I gave that amount of cash to my wife and told her to take the car "downtown" to have the exhaust pipe replaced.

When she returned, she said it cost $5.00.

It turns out that the Turks (who repair stuff whenever they can just enough to pass inspections, apparently) simply patched the small hole in the exhaust pipe. My wife was told the problem was fixed (something lost in translation) and would cost $10. My wife, known to have fairly expressive facial reactions (perhaps it's a Hispanic thing; certainly not her Japanese heritage) appeared shocked, saying, "What, $10?" She expected at least $250 based on what I had told here.

The Turkish mechanic, apparently taken aback by my wife's reaction, in best English he could muster, "For you abla, $5 and we give free calendar."

My wife gave me the calendar and kept the $400 in cash I had given her.

["Abla" in Turkish: 1. older sister. 2. ma´am (a respectful term of address for a woman). poet. water.]

By the way, that exhaust pipe never needed to be replaced or repaired again in all the years we owned that car. I forget when/where we sold that Saab but I believe I sold it before we left Turkey. I didn't want all the hassle of customs, etc.

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