Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ray, Rodeos, Really Really Dumb People

Okay, so it's been a while since we posted last, and I apologize for that. It's been a hectic week and due to my poor planning I wasn't prepared to post earlier this week.

As Carissa mentioned a couple posts ago, I started a new job with a GREAT company called Enbridge Pipelines. They are a Canadian based company, but they own thousands and thousands of miles of pipeline. We ship all sorts of crude oil, natural gas and such in the pipelines. On top of some great benefits (our health benies are better than what we get through the hospital with Carissa's job), I also get a great schedule (Monday-Friday 730-400, which is completely unheard of up here), a free truck (no more beating the crap out of my baby on these rough dirt roads) and they pay for anything we need to do our jobs (boots, clothing and anything else), that last one might not seem like a big deal to most, but since we work in the oil industry we have to wear special clothes that are Fire Retardant or FR's as they are known. Well FR's can be REALLY REALLY expensive. For example, a shirt is $120, or a hoodie is almost $300. That gets really expensive when you start getting into big insulated Carhart coveralls, or coats for the freezing winters. Well my first day on the job, they dropped close to $4,000 on just getting me anything I wanted/needed. It was like Christmas in July. They take safety very seriously and aren't afraid to spend money to help you stay safe. Another really great thing about this job is they have pipelines in Utah, which means there is the possibility of transferring there, and that means there is great long term potential as well.

The job I will be doing entails a lot of walking and treasure hunting. I'm a locator for them, so anytime someone digs within one mile of our pipelines, I get to go out, and mark the pipeline. As I found out yesterday, it can sometimes be a real challenge. Obviously with government regulations we have now, anytime we put a new pipeline in, there is all sorts of paperwork, permits, the exact location, and mapping of where the pipeline is going, and so forth. Well in the 1940's-60's the government wasn't as concerned, so even though we don't use those old abandoned pipelines, we still have to go locate them. Needless to say, it can be a bit of a challenge, but it's pretty fun as well because there is a lot of hiking and being in some beautiful places. (Yes, there are beautiful places out here!) For those of you that are my friends on Facebook, you've seen my pic I took the other day.....

My caption on it said "North Dakota. A beautiful girl behind every tree" I heard that saying from one of my friends who used to be stationed at the Minot Air Force Base, and I've always thought it was funny. As you can tell, not many trees, and definitely not very many good looking people. :-) While it definitely isn't Utah or resemble any place back home, it definitely is very pretty when you get up on these hills and overlook miles and miles of wheat fields mixed in with untouched land. It definitely brings to mind the "amber waves of grain" line in the song America the Beautiful.

So very long story short, with all of this new change with my job, I was in Minot this past week doing training. I had told Carissa I would do a post, but then realized I didn't have any pictures on my computer, so I needed to wait until I got home. My apologies. I'm sure all of you were just dying not seeing any new posts.

Last weekend was the first one in quite sometime that Carissa had off. It was a ton of fun to spend some quality time with her. The bummer about both of our jobs is the fact I work from 730-400 and she works from 300-1100 pm. So our schedules overlap just enough that we really maximize our time spent away from each other. As I was walking out for my first day on the job I said  "Love you, see you in 3 years" because it definitely does feel like we never see each other. Well last weekend we got to spend all weekend with each other, so we went to the town of Ray for their rodeo.

Ray is a small town about 30 minutes Northeast of here. Before the oil boom they only had 600 people. They say there are over 3,000 now, so like Williston, they are busting at the seams and don't know how to handle it all. It's actually a pretty cool little farming town, and they take their livestock pretty seriously. We thought we were going to be treated to a great rodeo like Morgan UT or Hailey ID have. Our expectations were a little deflated to say the least. The saddest part was it was fairly expensive to get into. Here are a couple pics of the great action........

So the last sentence of GREAT action was a bit of sarcasm. None of the cowboys rode the Broncos, and only 1 rode the bulls out of the 15 or so that attempted it. The calf roping took forever (20+ seconds) and to be honest, we both felt a little jipped and robbed of our entry fee. Here is a pic of us standing out from teh rest of the crowd.
I say that because there were only about 100 people there, and we were the only ones who brought little camp/stadium seats. They were very comfortable and I'm glad we had them, but it definitely didn't help us blend in with the locals. Then again, like the car races, we were the only ones who didn't take in a cooler of 24 beers either, so that may have set us apart as well. Regardless it was a fun night and good bonding time with the wife. (oh, and that is the first pic of the "super sweet sexy glasses" Carissa was so excited about last week) While I don't wear them all the time, it amazes me how clear it is to read with them. I compare it to seeing an HDTV for the first time. While I can see fine without them, it really just makes the images and picture so crisp and sharp. It's kinda cool.

Oh one other thing, this past week was Simon's (our now 22 year old tenant) birthday. Carissa being the sweetheart she is, asked him what his favorite cake was and made it for him.

Birthdays are a big deal for Carissa and her family, so they always have cake and you always get breakfast in bed, and while I put my foot down on letting her take him breakfast in bed, she did make him breakfast. She's awesome.

Carissa has had a few crazy experiences in the ER lately and definitely feels she is learning a lot and has come a long way. They have had a couple med students in the ER shadowing her, and she had one of those AH HA moments and realized how much she does know. One of my favorite stories as of late was this HUGE 300 pounder that was about 6'3". He had a bunch of skin tags on his back, and apparently he had one that was so big that he kept getting his shirts caught on it, so he took it upon himself to cut it off with some scissors. Homeboy came in COVERED in blood. The Croc shoes he was wearing were full of blood from it running down his back, legs and then eventually pooling in his Crocs. There was blood everywhere, and the best part was he kept telling everyone that if they thought this was a lot of blood, they should've seen his bathroom. Carissa said it had to have looked like the goriest murder scene ever. They ended up having to cauterize his massive flesh wound to get it to stop bleeding.

There have been a couple of rollovers and a separate motorcycle accident who was coming back from Sturgis who ended up passing away in the ER this week. Carissa wasn't there when they happened, but the craziness continues. Last weekend there were a couple of separate shootings. One of which was in a man camp. They are pretty much glorified modern day concentration camps, and things get pretty lawless and ruthless in them. The man killed one and seriously injured another, over the fact, one of the guys supposedly made him look bad at work that day.

Well that's about all I have for now. I promise I'll be better about the stories and the updating. Hope everything is going well back in Utah, and we really hope the entire state doesn't burn up while we are gone.

1 comment:

  1. Unbelievable......For REAL?? People actually think they can perform their own "surgeries" WOW. Sorry Carissa, but it's people like that who pay back your student loans!!! HA.

    T-bone.....AWESOME...........Your job sounds SOOOOOO great!!!! I hope it all does work out and in a few years a transfer is a possibility. YAY. ;)

    Miss you guys!!!!