We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, September 4. 2018
I had a Dunkin with our roofer boss at 7 this morning when I got back from my calisthenics class. 64 year old Irish-Italian guy from Springfield, MA who needs no exercise classes because his entire day is physical. Physical, with lots of subtle skills too. Bending copper to fix a roof cricket is not easy geometry.
I asked him how he knew how to do so many things after he told me he had put new brakes in his ageing F-150 over the weekend. I have a special admiration for practical skills because I am a bit of a klutz with most machinery other than Farmall tractors and chain saws.
An American story. High school then 4 years in the US Army. They put him in a mechanical company, repairing broken things. After that, 6 years in a Massachusetts sawmill spending a lot of time, again, fixing broken things and maintaining machinery.
Got in too many fights with the boss, so got a job in a junkyard, retrieving good parts from junked trucks and cars. After 4 years of that, was offered an auto mechanic job by somebody he knew who knew him to be a hard worker. Became a master mechanic. Always did tree work on the side, and still does. Then his brother-in-law offered him a partnership in his roofing business. He had already done his own roofs, so he jumped at a chance to be a business owner. When that guy quit the biz because it was "too hard," the business was his. He has good crews to supervise but he does all of the tricky stuff and the copper work.
He is a perfectionist. This morning on a second story roof ladder he decided to add some aluminum edging under his new copper flashing to completely protect the crown molding on our dormers. Waterproof, paintable glue to hold it in. "That crown will be good for 200 years."
His life advice: Learn how to do as many things as you can. That way, you can always be useful.
His results: Bought his first house at 25. Has 5 kids who he likes. Bought two houses on his street, both as wedding gifts for his married kids. They are very happy to be near family. Married once. Also has a shack on Cape Cod that he is renovating, and a house in Florida. Grows tomatoes and fruit trees. Claims he will never retire but admits the day might come when he'll have to just be a boss instead of doing 3-story ladder work. Not yet, for sure. Says God blessed him.
Yes, he has a Trump 2020 bumper sticker. He is deplorable.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:38 | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)
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Hey! Just because President Bush spent 420 seconds bashing DEPLORABLES on TV this weekend does not make it right to smear deplorables. I am a DEPLORABLE and proud of it. I care not what my leftist exPresident says!
He sounds like everyone I know. My brother, a retired engineer is out under his truck right now fixing a wiring problem, I fix everything at my house as do all my sons and son in law. I'm getting ready to put a new roof on my house with the help of my sons and son in law. My poor sister is married to a lawyer from Yankeeland so in their house she fixes everything. I can't imagine having to call someone to fix things.
Everyone should learn two professions that can pay the bills. Certainly learn everything you can but at least two things that you can do well enough to be hired.
Thank goodness he never fell into the clutches of the Job Corps, otherwise he wouldn't have learned a thing.
I spent five years after high school working for a public electrical utility, then a couple of years of weekends helping a friend with a home-built aircraft, then built myself a kit car. Still did the college thing, but between those experiences and buying an old fixer-upper home (where I learned plumbing, drywall, painting, bricklaying, carpentry, landscaping, tree-felling, gardening, concrete work, roof repairs, and kitchen remodeling), I turned out to be a pretty handy guy. And yes, a Trump supporter, too.
When I was in college, I did landscaping, painted houses, did drywall work, and after graduation removed and replaced wall to wall carpeting and did minor electrical (replacing sockets and light fixtures) in my uncle's apartments.
Having a variety of skills is good. I'm not a professional at any of these things, won't make it my career. But a few weeks ago I had a plumber in and I was helping him clear a pipe. He turned to me asked if I wanted to join him. Seems he has too much work and no young kids want to apprentice. I told him I may consider it when I retire.
A week later, I called him for another job and he said he no longer would be doing minor work like clearing pipes. He was strictly sticking to heavy work like replacing sump pumps, hot water heaters, new construction, etc. He had too much work to do the little stuff.
Thing is, even he said, the little stuff is high margin. He visited me for less than an hour and pulled down $80. Others in my area get that or more. I knew him, so he was cutting me a rate.
I wound up renting a snake from Home Depot and doing it myself for $45. Messy work, but I can do it.
Sounds like a couple of chaps I work with, all of us concerned who will follow us.
Deplorables are doers. The "elites" merely think about doing. And shudder at those thoughts.
To the not-flyover people, the folks described are unseen hired help. I have a file for my pitchfork and a box of kitchen matches for the torch, and I know how to use them.
He is especially deplorable if he thinks he built that business for himself without government doing the heavy lifting ok, sarcasm off now
I know a few liberals who are handy. But it seems an inordinate number of people who do their own dirty jobs are deplorables like me (and your buddy).
When we know more about the circuitry in our brains, I think we will find that people on different ends of the political spectrum literally ARE wired differently.
Isn't it ironic that if we were claiming to change our gender identity every day, the left would support us in that...assertion. But if we choose to not want open borders or abortion on demand we are told how deplorable we are for thinking outside the orthodoxy.
If you can keep an old tractor running, you can change the brakes on a car. That said, the market for textbook editors is drying up, but the market for handymen is exploding. Contractors are too busy building new houses to do odd jobs, so guys to do little jobs—at pretty much the same hourly rate as freelance editors—are even busier. Today, incidentally, I’ll be fixing a roof on an addition that a roofing company screwed up. Good exercise, and no headache from staring at a computer all day.
I don't have time to investigate thoroughly but putting copper and aluminum in direct contact may not be a good idea.
Looks to me like if an electrolyte is present, the aluminum will essentially be a a sacrificial anode and the copper will be fine. Not sure if it does any good but shouldn't do any harm.
My step son is a contractor in Oregon building custom houses. His brother-in-law was a diesel mechanic and doing some work at a winery. That is the Oregon wine country. The winery had him repair some machinery and he ended up building winery equipment as a full time job. He also collects and rebuilds 1933 Fords. He has six rebuilt or underway. His gun safe is the size one would expect in a store.