Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ozone, funding disputes and a new truck

The county I moved to is loaded with money.  Pinedale's population is just barely 2,000 yet there is a 20 million dollar aquatic center and just about everywhere you go is extravagant.

Unfortunately, most of these awesome facilities are funding with oil money because there's tons of drilling going on in this area.  What makes this really suck is the ground level ozone that occurs in the late winter/early spring when it's sunny and warm but there's still a super reflective layer of snow on the ground which ultimately traps and bakes the chemicals in the air...or something like that.

Anyway, we have ozone advisory days that say young, old and sick people should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.  I'm neither young, old or sick...but I am a notorious running addict, so I ignore this and go running anyway. 

Then my nose bleeds and I get light headed, which completely ruins my Nike+ running stats.  (Don't judge me, you try running with a face full of your own blood...it's not easy!)

Suffice it to say, I have conflicting feelings about the oil drilling.  I love what it does for the community, but hate what it does to the environment.

  
There are so many of these oil rigs on the horizon that at night it looks like an alien invasion.

Another unusual side effect of these oil companies drilling in the area is that Pinedale gets more funding than Big Piney, these are the two school districts in the county so it's a pretty big deal.

By national standards, neither school district is hurting...but national standards for school funding are a joke. 

Pinedale (SCSD#1) has some pretty amazing stuff for their kids, trips are funded, the new elementary school is the nicest I've ever seen, and the list goes on.  Big Piney (SCSD#9) isn't as well funded as Pinedale, but it's still a lot better than any school I saw in Iowa despite it's even smaller size than Pinedale. 

So what happens when one school district gets a bigger piece of the oil-pie due to district lines from the 1970's?  A feude worthy of a Clint Eastwood western movie ensues!  ...minus the gun-slinging.


Both are in better shape than the rest of the world, yet arguing still ensues.  SCSD#1 uses their excess funds for recreational purposes, not educational, so they are free to do as they please with it...and fortunately for me, this means having a multi-million dollar recreational center across the street from my house.  (Indoor waterslide and a rock climbing wall is the shit!)

These things are available for anyone, but it's a 40 mile drive for Big Piney...so getting upset is kind of understandable.  However, taxes are higher in Pinedale to make up for this.

These have been the big things to report on lately, so I'm never in short supply of articles to write.  (And that means job security for me.)

One thing that was a threat to my job though was my piece of shit truck that Wolf Dodge sold to me a couple months ago.  Roughly $2,000 in repairs for a $7,000 truck in less than 6 weeks of owning it is bullcrap.  My extended warranty covered none of the repairs that were needed either...total moose-crap!

I sent out e-mails to every car dealer in western Wyoming and eastern Idaho telling them what I wanted and asking them to find something that fit all my criteria.

First Choice Ford in Rock Springs found a 2007 Chevy Colorado within a week of this, and now Uma is no more.  (snaps for First Choice Ford)


I'm not the type to go cruising, but this is the first vehicle I've ever owned that is from the 21st century and isn't constantly threatening to kill me.  I haven't named her yet, but mudding is definitely going to happen...and at 24 mpg, why not?

The scooter that I drove in college got 110 mpg, but the yellow POS truck got 11 mpg, so I'm pretty stoked even though I sometimes kind of miss only using pocket change for gas money.

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Matt
I got my English degree and mountain of student loan debt from the University of Iowa. I like boo berry cereal, martial arts, running and cats.
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