Monday, September 15, 2014

I think I'll answer the comment made on my earlier post with another post.

There are places in the world that you have one chance at things. You are given an opportunity for further education based on how well you have done in the course of study you have just completed.

If you did well, it's on to further studies. If you didn't make the cut your education ends and you're stuck in that rut for life.

It ain't that way here. We have second chances. You can go find schooling or training and pick up a skill at any age. 

The truth of the matter is that nobody is stuck in a career they don't want. You can change jobs at any time.  If you are in your mid 20s and still flipping burgers and not in some kind of schooling or training program than you are probably not very motivated. When you are unsuccessful and wind up flipping burgers for a career you have nobody to blame but yourself. The opportunity was there.

Drop out of high school? No problem. Go back to school in adult education or take a GED course. The opportunity is there.

Have good hands? Open yourself a home repair or office cleaning business. Good handymen are hard to find these days and a pickup truck, ladder and toolbox can make a guy a halfway decent living.

Get laid off from a job? It's going to be tough but you can do what the HVAC guy that installed my furnace did. He took his savings and invested in himself. He was smart enough to realize that his prior career wasn't going to come back so he went back to school for HVAC. He was hired well before he graduated but finished the course, anyway.

I entered an apprenticeship when I was 38. In less than a year I was making twice what I had started at.

Programs to get ahead are out there and easily attainable. It's really quite simple. Get yourself a skill.

Incidentally, choose wisely. The woods are full of college idiots that graduated with useless degrees and are trying to pay loans off by working at Starbucks pouring coffee. They chose poorly.

A person defending the unsuccessful by blaming the rich and or the so-called unfair distribution of the wealth is just making an excuse for those that are not motivated enough to make a life for themselves. They don't need covering for. They need motivation.

Raising the minimum wage or giving them welfare only goes to keep them down because life becomes too easy for them. It makes it PAY to be unsuccessful.








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Looks like it's time to dust

And that is likely how I will spend my day or at least part of it.

In the book 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court; Mark Twain describes how people want big wages and had no sense of buying power. Seems that things never change. Twain was right.

People want big wages.

Right now the natives are restless and want a raise in the minimum wage. I have said time and again that it will only lead to more inflation and stand to rob the responsible of their savings, yet people don't understand. They simply want big wages.

A while back I ran something past another guy and got the predictable answer. I asked him how it would be if we changed the value of money by basing it on gold. He went nuts.

"You want to work for ten bucks a day?" He asked.

"If the ten bucks was worth something, I wouldn't mind it," I replied.

"You're a nut," he said.

"So shortly after you get this raise you keep prattling on about what are you going to say when you go to the pump and have to pay six bucks a gallon?" I answered. "Howzabout if you made twenty or thirty bucks a day and paid nineteen cents a gallon?"

He looked at me like I was mad.

He wants big wages.

The truth is that raising the minimum wage is only going to drive prices up, rob the poor of their savings, make the people on fixed incomes have to tighten up even more and discourage people to save their money. 

But that's OK because people want big wages. Even if they're not able to buy what they used to. They'll feel good because they are making big wages.

As for me I wouldn't mind working for twenty bucks a day if we returned to the nickel beer and the free lunch. I'd be a lot better off.






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Sunday, September 14, 2014

0700 Sunday morning.

The next portion of this blog is brought to you by The Old Grouch's army surplus at http://www.oldgrouch.com/ sellers of fine us military surplus.

They have been good to me over the years and I'm grateful.

,...grfffffffffffffffggggggggggggggggggggzxxxxxxxxxxxx

Part 2 of today's post has been written by the cat. I saw that one coming as I got up to pour more coffee.

Over the last week ham radio has been a slug fest trying to get new entities into my log. I just got Faroe Islands and QSL is going to be interesting as I had to go through a British QSL manager electronically. I just hope the Faroe Islander gets his log downloaded to the manager in a reasonable amount of time and didn't screw up my call sign.

I reworked Benin as the first time I sent for QSL I found out I was not in his log. I clearly recall him repeating my call sign to me, too.

The Benin rework was made possible by the Italian DXpedition team and they post their logs on line in real time. I'm in it for a QSO in 15 meters and I have sent for my card electronically. We'll see how long it takes.

I have to say that the Italian DXpedition team is an EXCELLENT bunch of operators unlike a lot of the individual hams that are a pain in the neck. If you have to deal with a lousy operator it is a pretty good chance it will be Italian. Japanese and Arabs have seemed to be the better operators out there.

When I am trying to get an Asian station and am calling 'CQ Asia' an Italian will often answer my call. When they do this I generally ask them if they know where they live. 

My guess is the Japanese hams are polite and patient by nature and the Arabs for the most part are very educated men but I digress.

My goal was to have 200 confirmed entities by the end of the year and it does not look like it is going to even come close. Once I hit about 170 or so things slowed right down to a trickle.

I suppose that's because I have gotten just about all of the entities that have any reasonable number of hams living there. 

An example of this is the Solomon Islands where activity is practically nil. Some entities are just plain uninhabited and are only  on the air when someone goes there for a DXpedition.

Anyway, I hope I can hit 200 eventually.

Today's post sucks but I have to get things done today.






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Saturday, September 13, 2014

One of the things I do for the boat I work on is grub shop and it's getting harder and harder.

I get a grub allowance and buy grub with it.

It wasn't all that long ago I'd have a surplus and we'd use the leftover funds to buy something we could use out there such as some halfway decent raingear.

The surplus is there no longer as inflation has eaten at the value of money for all of us. Things are going up and that's simply the way it is.

I suppose that sometime the company will raise our grub allowance but that is not the point.

It looks now like Americans are not going to live as well as they used to unless their employers raise their pay. Employers are not going to be able to raise employees pay unless they raise their prices.

It is a round robin effect that will only serve to make life a little more miserable for everyone. Add the prospect of the minimum wage going up and things will only get worse.

If you are retired and on a fixed income you are pretty much screwed. Over time the retirement you planned that included three trips a week to the golf course and steak and lobster a couple nights a week will likely be reduced to no more golf and cat food three nights a week.

Of course, Uncle Sam will promise to fix the situation as always but the truth is that Uncle Sam caused it to begin with.



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Friday, September 12, 2014

I just read where the army says there are not enough blacks in combat leadership

roles.

That's a complete and total crock.

A woman I correspond with has this to say: If there is one sector in American society that absolutely should be a meritocracy, it's in the leadership of combat troops. When you're accepting checks from people written as "Payable to America on demand for any amount up to and including my life and limb", there is a moral imperitive to expend those "funds" as effectively as is humanly possible. 

.We're not talking about a check that can be paid off with worthless currency distributed by the Fed. We're talking about lives here.

Our troops deserve the best, period.

There is no excuse spending these lives just to satisfy some idiot that wants to perform a social experiment.

The fact that you would put people in leadership positions that are not the best people for the jobs shows that one is willing to accept second best. Personally I'm not willing to accept anything but the best.

There's a reason that the officer corps doesn't get a whole lot of minorities and it's simple. They get recruited by the private sector upon graduation for a lot more than the services offer so the private sector can play the game.

I don't think that the services should do anything but put the best and brightest they have in leadership roles no matter what race or color they are. 

Back in my day I was glad to have good officers, most of who were white. Truth is, I was than and still am colorblind. I didn't care what color my leadership was. I wouldn't care now.

There were a handful of incompetent officers back then, too. Most of whom were white. I do, however remember two black officers. One was reasonably competent the other was on the minority bandwagon. He sucked.

The real problems we had back then during the Vietnam wind down were in the NCO corps. The war was unpopular and a lot of people fund ways to get out of military service. A lot of people that shouldn't have been were promoted to ranks beyond their abilities.

I remember three staff sergeants that fit this bill, two blacks and a white. They were basically Alabama sharecropper types, uneducated and unmotivated. They were just awaiting retirement.

I wouldn't follow them in combat. I don't know many others that would have, either. I had a platoon sergeant that was an alcoholic for a while and so was one of the First Sergeants I served under. Thank God both of these two retired shortly after I arrived. Incidentally, both of these people were white.

Incidentally the best First Sergeant I served under was a black man. What he lacked in formal education he more than made up for with an immense amount of native wisdom.

A lot of these promotions were the result of the racial policies of the time. It was a bad time to be in the service.

In fact the situation was so bad that I would up being promoted to E-5 in under 2 years. Normally it should have taken at least 5 years but I guess they were desperate for NCOs.

The truth is that the services should be based on merit and merit only and they ought to junk any social experiments. There's too much at stake here.

Back in the day we craved good leadership and as far as I was concerned race, color etc had nothing to do with it. I would have been pleased to serve under a competent officer or NCO no matter what color. Most of us felt the same way.

Putting minorities in leadership positions just to appease liberal do-gooders is nothing more than a recipe for disaster.

Dear Mrs. Smith. 

Sorry about Jimmy. He was a great guy. I hope you can find solace knowing that he died because we put an incompetent lieutenant in charge of his platoon to appease the race baiters. You don't have to feel like the Lone Ranger, though because Lieutenant Smith managed to get 12 other guys killed in the same fight.

Captain Jones

They ought to throw the entire RR/EO package out the window and promote on merit and merit alone.








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Thursday, September 11, 2014

I make periodic references to strippers which is a joke.

because with the exception of a dopey bachelor's party I went to some time back I haven't been in one for about three decades.

I really don't like the places very much because I briefly worked in one back in the day and saw through it in about ten minutes.

Over the past few years a few people have asked me to write a couple of stripper stories and maybe one day I will. Some readers might laugh like hell over them, but the truth is they're pretty sad.

Still, it remains that I am a stripper magnet and I didn't know why until some intelligent woman explained to me that I seem to have a fatherly air about me and most strippers have father issues.

Actually is sucks. It is a pain in the ass having every airhead with daddy issues attracted to you.

Actually it is not just restricted to strippers. I also draw airhead women with daddy issues. I said it to my sister at a wedding once.

"You watch," I said. "Before this wedding is over some little bimbo hottie half my age will be all over me like white on rice."

She laughed and said that if I did draw someone like that then she would buy my drinks for the rest of the wedding.

Bam! Five minutes later the little predicted hottie popped up out of nowhere and started talking to me about this, that, and the other and how her meds made her feel weird and so on. I drank for free at that wedding.

Still, back on track, the stereotype of the single mom or college student working her way through med school as a pole dancer isn't really the norm. When I worked at the club I met only two or three that fit into the stereotype. The one I liked the most was a married woman pushing 40 that was trying to pay off a mortgage so she could go on to other things. She had a plan and was working on it.

She was successful and managed to pay the house off and as a result she could now live in a rural area with her husband and not have to bust their asses somewhere away from home to keep the house.

For what it's worth, her husband went crab fishing and put his ass on the line to make the dream come true. Incidentally, I can't say I am in total approval of the way she made her money but I will give her this. She did it with a little class and didn't get on the cocaine highway like most of the strippers I met back when did.

Most of what I did in the club was maintenance work and maybe I will tell a story or two of maintaining not only the club but the two apartments the club had for the dancers to live in.

Maintaining the apartment was about as much work as the club was. 

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

This is post 1900 out of a series of who the hell knows how many. Be the first kid on your block to read them all!









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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It is Wednesday

One of the things I figured out at a very early age is that we are all going to wind up in the same place.

When I got out of the army and headed for tall timber I knew it. I realized that this life was little more than a contest of who gets the biggest headstone. It struck me that busting my ass for a big headstone was a waste of the time I have in life.

I had no desire to become an investment banker or big shot attorney and cheat widows out of pensions or rob honest people out of their savings under some self righteous guise of an indignant lawsuit.

Back in '76 some of my classmates that I ran into 7 years after high school warned me that I had better get on the stick and buckle down or else I'd wind up behind the 8-ball.

"What's the difference," I shot back. "We're all going to end up in the same place, anyway."

To a couple of them that were rude about it I added, "See you in Hell."

Apparently I am not the Lone Ranger in my attitude to start life after school by doing the things I wanted to do before I started a career.

I met a guy that told me his son has decided to put his career on hold. The kid got a pretty marketable degree and was offered a  job starting at about $75K a year.

Instead he has decided to put his career on hold and be a sailboat bum for a few years. 

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. 

I got $50 that says he'll be just fine.




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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I almost forgot to post this morning.

Yesterday I went to the range and tried a few things out.

I shimmed the rear sight of my service rifle to keep it from moving and shot a group a little over a minute of angle which means I don't need a new barrel yet. I DO need a pin job on my rear sight.

I also took out someone else's rifle to try it out for him and found out that it simply won't shoot and that he's not crazy. I had a hard time keeping my rounds on a pie plate at 50 years. Something is wrong with the rifle.

Then I found out that my long range rifle doesn't like the USGI sniper round recipe very well and I may have to return to shooting Palmas. I'll try another couple recipes for 175 Sierras before I make up my mind, though.

Not a bad day. 




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