Earn Your Dirt

Hey kids. I know it’s been a minute since I’ve been on here to say anything, but buying a new house, wife pregnant wife our first child, and work requiring more from me I had to figure out how to squeeze some sleep in there so this got put on the back burner. However, before I fade back into the shadows I need to put some people on blast for a second.

In case your not aware Nordstrom’s has decided they well be selling “work” worn jeans. Ranging somewhere from mud caked to paint splattered. Now, at first I thought this was just going to be another stone washed or sand worn fad kind of thing. Then I saw them and at first laughed and then became angry.

To me mucked up and dirty jeans and clothes in general are something that happens through hard work. Now, I know the purchaser for Nordstrom’s saw this and knew that they would be able to make a killing off the idiots that will part with ridiculous amounts of money for the “in” item or the thing the helps them look more socially acceptable among their underlings, but lets be honest, no one is going to respect the poser. In fact I would probably chase off a supervisor if I saw them walk on a job site in a pair. (I worked construction for a time in my life and still do as a side gig.)

If there is anyone out there that willingly buys these jeans and tries to pass themselves off as an individual that has earned their dirt by working a trade and I catch you……run….run as fast as you can. Tradesmen work way too hard to have to deal with shmucks like you and I just wont tolerate it.

Actually you know what. If you really want them that bad I’ve got a couple of retired pairs I’ll part with. Let’s start the bidding at $200 and let’s see where this goes.

The Gift of Free Labor

Having recently acquired a new home I had to put some elbow grease into it to make it livable from myself, my wife, and our first child when it arrives. It isn’t quiet finished yet, but progress is being made on an almost daily basis. Although I have the good fortune having been taught a lot of different trade skills via my father and other tradesmen I have grown up with I have not mastered everything and still require some help.

I have the good fortune of having some relatives whose job is in a specialty trade. My best example would be my uncle who deals mostly HVAC, but is also a skilled plumber. He bestowed upon me as a housewarming gift of free labor fixing the small handful of things I needed done to get my heating up to snuff. The only thing I had to pay for was a couple of small valves that had to be replaced.

If you own a home or have owned one you should know how much money I just saved there. Without getting into detail it could have easily turned into a $300 dollar service bill before parts consideration.

You may be wondering what the hell I am pontificating about at this point. Well, if the title didn’t at least foreshadow it for you let me spell it out. If you happen to possesses a certain set of skills don’t be afraid to offer them as a gift to friends and loved ones. A day or weekends worth of free labor is sometime worth more than your weight in gold for someone because it doesn’t require them to hire a professional and pay a large sum of money to someone who may not be a true “professional”.

My jack of most trades carpentry skills/ standard issue grunt strength has accounted for some birthday/ house warming gifts in the past and have always been well received.

 

Dial 411

Incase anyone forgot 411 is the number one would dial in the US at least to call for information. In my opinion this is a defunct and archaic service, but I am sure there is some federal mandate that requires it to still be an option. In light of that information I also find that calling one businesses location to ask for the phone number of another’s location a waste of time.

It may not be a waste of time for the person seeking the information, but it is wasting the time of the employee who may know it off the top of their head, but most likely will have to look it up. This may only take a minute of the persons time, but for my money there about a dozen other things that can be accomplished that are of more importance.

I did not intend for this to turn into a giant complaint, but correct me if I am wrong, but it is 2017 right? We live in a day and age, where the vast majority of the population has immediate access to the internet via computer or more commonly a smart phone. If you have neither that’s on you as an individual, which more or less answers why 411 still exists. Let’s get it together people.

How Low Can You Go?

While watching one of my favorite vloggers  , Phlip Defranco , he said something that struck a cord with me. To paraphrase, ” Maybe its because I expect so little from people.” My brain stalled for a second when he said that and then I realized that I have that same mindset. I  promptly decided that was bullshit and I should be able to expect more from people.

It was a long time ago that I understood that for the most part I shouldn’t expect much from people in general. This unfortunately includes some family members and previous co-workers. However, I still think that is complete bullshit. I shouldn’t have my expectations bar set so low that anyone and their cousin Leroy could trip over.

Yes, there should always be a minimum expectation that is relevant to the task at hand, but I have always tried to expect a little more from people. The only reason I believe I can expect a little more form people is because I always expect that little bit more from myself. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here to expect at least the minimum.

 

Learn Something New Everyday

I forget where I heard those words long ago, but it struck a cord in me and I have done just that. I make it one of my personal daily goals to learn some new tid bit of information. I don’t go so far as to go digging up some factoid and then committing it to memory. There’s to much information out in the either for that and I normally only hang onto things that are significant or important to me.

When instructing one of my students or scouts I make that the minimum barrier. I may not be able to convey the entire concept or skill, but so help me the student/scout(s) before me will have learned at least one thing before they leave me for the day.

The point I am trying to make is that everyone should be striving to learn something new everyday. I’m not saying run out and sign up for a college course or sign up for basket weaving classes, but take a second and read the paper, have a more meaningful conversation with a friend or co-worker, go for a walk in your neighborhood and be more observant. You never know what might be gleaned that could improve your life even just a little.

Fake News

If you are reading this it’s because I most likely click bated you by using Donald Trumps famous sound bite for describing how he feels about most of our national media outlets. For once I am on the same page as President Trump. Please don’t mistake this as me finally supporting him, but along the lines of even a broken clock is right twice a day.

In an effort to cut back on the daily negativity I have drastically cut back my amount of news consumption over the years. I try and limit myself to one helping of the daily news broadcast and maybe a couple of other news articles throughout the day. Unfortunately, I can’t live under a rock because being completely ignorant of my local, national, and world goings on doesn’t jive well with my scouting background. I figure if I can keep to the amount of “bad” news I am exposed to limited to that which I am legally obligated or feel ethically compelled to deal with then all the better.

Another reason I look to minimize the amount of daily news intake is because I don’t have the time to fact check everything. All to often reporters are in a race to get their story pushed out to the masses without having their story straight. Can’t  tell you how many times I read or watch something from some news outlet only to found out sometimes hours later that they were only kind of right or completely off target. I equate this to one of my students rushing to get their paper turned into me first so they can get the special prize I may be offering, but forgets that the work also needs to be correct as well.

Let me put a button on this. More often than not I am turning to YouTube channels to get most of my national and global news any more and then I follow it up with the national “main stream” media sources. I do view this as more of a sign of the changing times, but there is also a healthy dose of not being able to trust the main stream sources as well.

A Series of First’s

Since June 4th I have been on a roller coaster ride of first’s and some lasts as well. Incase you missed it I got married back on June 4th. This is my first marriage and as far as I am concerned my last as well. To quote Luke Dane, “The 0nly way out now is in a body bag.”

Fast forwarding to a couple of weeks ago we purchased our first home. Short of a major promotion this will be our only home that we purchase as well. Full disclosure it was not our first attempt at purchasing our first home. That saga is a story for another time.

For the final first we have to rewind back to the tail end of January when my wife and I found out that we will be having our first child in September. This will not be our only child. Plans are to expand the clan out by at least 2 younglings.

When experiencing each of these first’s it was always a mixed feeling of sheer terror and boundless joy. Imagine Homer Simpson’s patented scream and “woo hoo” back to back if you will. I’m sure everyone that was or will be in my position can sympathize. Still trying to figure out how to “adult”, but soon will also have to figure out how to parent as well.