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David Powell
12-30-2013, 06:04 PM
I expect most home shop machinists have all their machines individually driven electrically, their shops lighted with electricity, the shops heated, some air conditioned in summer, brazing and soldering done with propane or natural gas, welding by electricity. When I was young i saw some shops belonging to older fellows, where the lathes were treadle driven, lighting was by oil lamp, the shops were unheated, brazing and soldering was done with paraffin( kerosene) blow lamps. Yet the products of these home shops generally equalled those we see today. We should all be thankful for the luxury which surrounds our activities nowadays.But I wonder whether " having it easy" has made some of us complacent and perhaps a little lazy? Looking forward to a healthy discussion. regards David Powell.

ahidley
12-30-2013, 06:22 PM
It doesnt matter, Everybody still expects the home shop guy to make it for FREE..............

Boucher
12-30-2013, 06:27 PM
I am 73 and grew up in town but visited my grandparents in the country. There is nothing that will instill an appreciation for indoor plumbing like a visit to the out house on a frosty morning. My generation has experienced the best quality of life for the least effort input. My grandfather was somewhat of a blacksmith repairing horse drawn farming equipment. I have a few of his old tools kept for sentimental reasons. We do in fact have it EASY

madwilliamflint
12-30-2013, 06:30 PM
I would love to figure out some other way to do things, run machines, heat the house and the water.

It's quite why I got in to machining in the first place. "I want to make my own stuff instead of buy it." Granted, I do much more woodworking than metalwork. But that's mostly because the material is so much cheaper.

If I could figure out a reasonable way to store energy, kinetic or otherwise, for use in powering machines there'd be all KINDS of whackiness I'd be doing.

I'm no luddite. I just think it's fun to be able to go as far back down the chain as possible in as many areas as possible.

oil mac
12-30-2013, 07:13 PM
Yes David I heartily concur with you, Life is generally much easier, Except for the rat race mentality of today, I remember my old uncle turning small components for his clock repairs using the most primitive home made set of Hand turns one could possibly have seen, Even in my own seventy five year time span , when I began to take an interest in mechanical/ blacksmithing things, workplaces, were not in many instances bang up to date or very comfortable
The same could be said of the home handyman or amateur mechanic, over in Britain even in the 1950s, through to the sixties a lot of old guys still treadled away with a round bed Drummond lathe, frequently with a hand cranked drilling machine & treadle driven tool grinder their only machine tools + in as you say in a rural setting lit by the light of an oil lamp, or in the cities a gas lamp in many occasions
Many years back I visited a model maker in possibly the worst housing area in Glasgow, on a cold dark wet night, The guy was a superb home craftsman & his workshop was along one wall of his bedroom, consisting of a small lathe, homemade drilling machine of 1/4" capacity , a little Adept 3" stroke hand shaper, & a small home made tool grinder AS a matter of interest his wife was sitting up in bed wearing her dressing gown (thankfully) & reading a horror comic!

MY point is, these guys were content Although they were living under more trying conditions, money was tight, work hours long & not a lot of extra cash for luxuries, would they like to be in our time frame? I wonder, Would we if we were forced back to those days, be content also? I doubt it, Everyone would like to be young again, without the some of the nasty managers & foremen I recall from the past
I think I feel a great feeling of admiration as to how the old guys could make do & mend both at their trade & in their home workshops

wind back the time to approx. twenty years ago, the era of bashing the city to bits in the name of[progress was still continuing lets call it modernisation, a friend of mine was in a tool dealers buying a machine for his employers when a man walked in carrying two little glass cases each with a superb little machine tool in each, He wanted to know what they were , He was just in time to see the end of a house clearance & a whole lot of them were lying smashed up in a dumpster, about to be lifted onto a lorry Health & safety precluded him saving the ones in the rubbish.
I guess we were seeing how the modern person had no thoughts or feelings for the craftsmanship of that long gone home craftsman Folks nowadays, don't give a rats a**e for yesterdays craftsmanship
Me brought up in a works environment in my early days, where a lot of the plant was belt driven colours my thoughts I still would not dispatch my belt driven old Colchester lathe for a fortune , as I was taught elementary turning on one by the light of a dismal low wattage bulb long ago, Only today, I was sitting in the doctors waiting room & speaking to another medical victim, She was mentioning Christmas time, & recounting her grandson saying when asked "What did you get this year?" His answer "Nothing much, Only a stupid I Player" Does that not sum up todays lack of values? How about giving the kid something which would develop manual dexterity

I will go back to lurking behind the woodwork

darryl
12-30-2013, 07:14 PM
We had a treadle sewing machine back in the day. Mom used it like that for years, and it was a pretty big deal when Dad came up with an electric motor for it. The women in our house used wash boards before Dad came up with a wringer washing machine. That was a pretty big deal too. There was one house we lived in that didn't have a working shower stall. When that got fixed, you could actually get naked by yourself and wash your bod. Other than that, it was a tub in the middle of the room, and the hot water came from a pot on the oil stove.

One of my chores was to pump oil from a tank outside and bring it in to fill the tanks. Our neighbor had the same setup, except his feed was through a copper line. We couldn't afford the copper line. I smelled like oil all the time.

One Christmas we awoke to find the house cold- below freezing. I had forgotten to fill the tanks the night before. There was a bit of a delay before we opened presents that year- pajamas from aunt and uncle, shirts and blue jeans, socks, underwear- and there were some homemade toys.

There was a need to have a workshop- Dad was a carpenter and did odd jobs between working on construction crews when the work was there. I had a hand in constructing the shop- my first job was puddling cement. The cheapest way to build it then was cement blocks, so that's what we used. It had a dirt floor. The first job we did inside it was to build the rafters for the roof. All the power tool work was done in the driveway since there wasn't the money to put in a feed. It did have a wood stove, and our water tank for the house went in right beside the stove. There were times when we had to go out to the shop to get warmed up. The two oil stoves just weren't capable of keeping the house warm- there were years when the pipes would freeze. One year it got down to -27F, and stayed that way for a few weeks. The temperature inside the house stayed below freezing for many of those days.

We had electricity in the house. I made good use of it as I taught myself electronics. I don't think I ever really thought about the prospect of not having electricity in those days, or ever considered life without it, but I do think about that a lot now. How far back would I be able to go- could I make do satisfactorily without it now? I don't know.

loose nut
12-30-2013, 07:21 PM
Yes we have it much easier and I wouldn't have it any other way. People look back at the "good old days" but don't see the "bad old days" that went with it.

John Stevenson
12-30-2013, 07:41 PM
Easy ?

EASY ??

Do you know how hard it is to keep this camel on a treadle machine without it biting you ??

sasquatch
12-30-2013, 07:48 PM
Interesting post David.
Loose nuts posting re: the good old days, & the bad old days, true there certainly where bad ones, but people that look back on those times, i'm sure are relating to the good times when consumerism wasn't so rampant, people seemed more content with out the massive credit debts of today.
My wife and i purposly lived like the old days for almost 30 years, raised 4 kids without TV, heated and cooked with wood, grew most of our own food, hauled our water from a spring , and lighted by kerosene lamps.
Those were busy times, but better times. My kids are now grown and mention this fact once in awhile, we had fun together, we all learned things, and the kids now know that if they had to do it today, they could, it would not be such a culture shock to them compared to those who have never experienced such an upbringing, it gave them values, showed them that you can get by and be happy with less, and doing things for yourself.

loose nut
12-30-2013, 08:05 PM
You are living the good side but you still have access to modern medicine. You don't have to worry about polio, or your kids going blind from measles or many other illness that struck people down that we don't have to worry about today.

You also have access to other modern conveniences IF you wanted. In the old days it was do or die and in the hard times especially in winter many did. I have looked back to earlier times and thought it would be nice to be back then but I have talked to many people about how it was to live then and asked them, if they could would they go back. Most refused.

I'm am glad for you, that you have been able to live the way you have but it is not the same as living "back then".

P.S. I,m also glad I don't have to use a treadle lathe. It wouldn't be as much fun.

john hobdeclipe
12-30-2013, 08:42 PM
For a brief period, about 4 years, we lived on a farm in Ohio. I was just shy of 9 years old when we left and moved to North Carolina. For many years after that I resented leaving the farm. Life was good there, there was plenty of room to run, play, We even had a strip mine up the hill out back where I could go and watch the giant earthmoving equipment, and Dad would explain how coal happened, and the significance of the different layers of rock and soil. Yeah, for my sister and I, life there was good.

For many years after, I was really angry about being pulled away from that wonderful farm.

Then, years later, I found myself at about the same age as Dad was when we left there, and suddenly I began to realize how tough it was on him, especially in Winter...up at 4:00 to stoke the coal furnace, work, hard work all day, little pay, constantly fighting freezing pipes, cars, trucks, tractors that won't start when needed, on and on...

Now I don't complain much about stuff. We do have it easy nowadays, in many ways. No matter how bad things may seem now, I have enough sense of history to realize that I've got it made. I'm grateful.

sasquatch
12-30-2013, 08:51 PM
loose nut, agree, you are correct.
( I built a treadle powered wood lathe with a heavy cast flywheel back then, it worked, but spent most of my concentration pedaling the thing, instead of concentrating on the turning!! Lol. It did give one a strong right leg though!!)
But very true, most diseases like polio are no more thankfully, and modern medicine one cannot compare at all to a number of old remedies. A number were old wives tales as they say, and those who did get better, got better on their own.
Still in todays world we are bombarded with news of horrific things, blasted by endless advertising , but i suppose one can, if they wish block out much of that by just not having it on.
(Which i do frequently.)

Bob Fisher
12-30-2013, 09:11 PM
Anyone want to go back to long distance operated assisted calls? No cell phones, no GPS, I could go on and on. I am old enough to remember no central heat, no A/C,
AM radio,no TV. No computer. Internet. Thanks, I don't want to go back. Bob.

PStechPaul
12-30-2013, 10:16 PM
I think it is important at least for some short periods of time to go back to basics. I have enjoyed backpacking with the Sierra Club where you carry all your essentials in a pack and learn to experience nature, although somewhat insulated by means of waterproof nylon tents and tarps, and polyester or down sleeping bags. But you also learn how to get water from a spring or a stream, and perhaps also learn to forage food and building materials from natural sources. A little less primitive are rustic cabins along the Appalachian Trail and elsewhere, that are heated with a woodstove or fireplace that also serve for cooking, and lighting is by lanterns or candles.

Actually, for more than six years I lived at my present address while it still had privies and a hand-dug shallow well (although served by an electric pump), and I soon installed a woodstove to supplement and replace the existing kerosene space heaters (which in turn had replaced the original wood or coal stoves). I have deer and coyotes and perhaps even bears and other creatures that share my 2.5 acres of woods and weeds, and I really like being close to nature. I appreciate having electricity and (finally) indoor plumbing, but I don't mind it too much when the power is off for a few hours or a couple of days and I must revert to a simpler and quieter way of life for a while.

I really liked the ideas of Thoreau as presented in Walden, and I think we all would benefit from at least some exposure to the way of life that existed as the norm until about 100 years ago, and still is practiced to a large extent by the Amish.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geu3bx5tTIw

PStechPaul
12-30-2013, 10:42 PM
It can be done today:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDbrUk2xYBo

Frank Ford
12-30-2013, 10:52 PM
I think it is important at least for some short periods of time to go back to basics.

It can be useful. As a result of needing to crawl back to some kind of fitness after the decline that culminated in open heart surgery, a small stroke and a carotid stent, the docs have me walking a lot, which, in my case, increased my 3-mile commute time considerably. No question about the benefits of a good exercise regimen - and I'm grateful to be able to do it.

One side effect after a couple of years is a realization that we do, indeed, "have it easy" in many ways. Now, everywhere I drive, no matter what the speed or traffic, I'm always impressed at how plain easy it is to get there. . .

boslab
12-31-2013, 07:04 AM
Easy ?

EASY ??

Do you know how hard it is to keep this camel on a treadle machine without it biting you ??
Up there in bradistan they speak fluent camel, you have to find one that fancies you though!
Happy new year or Diwali or whatever
Mark

Tilaran
12-31-2013, 07:33 AM
I went to the best of both worlds. Desolation with hi-tech green energy. :)
http://i1048.photobucket.com/albums/s368/Arenal_Garden/bhouz_zpsf5bec7d3.jpg

loose nut
12-31-2013, 09:55 AM
Still in todays world we are bombarded with news of horrific things, blasted by endless advertising , but i suppose one can, if they wish block out much of that by just not having it on.
(Which i do frequently.)

Since I retired I don't leave the house to much (necessary shopping and errands for SWMBO and it's F#$%^& cold outside) and rarely the town I live in (3000 people and way to big for my liking). I don't watch the news or read papers so the only news I get is something that is to big to be ignored. When I watch TV it is always off the DVR, the next day, so I can pass through the commercials. The only magazines I read are the ones from Village Press, old Model Engineer and other similar mags, little politics and BS news there. I also built a fence around the back yard to keep the neighbors and the rest of the world out.

Some might call me a 21st century hermit and maybe I am but I value my privacy, piece and quiet and generally being left alone. I have few friends and that is OK too. If the wife's friends would quit calling her 20 times a day it might be considered near perfect.

I would love to living out with nature away from "life in the big city", like some of you but at 57 I don't need the hassle and trouble of taking on that kind of move, even if I could afford to. If I was younger I would be gone already. So I do the next best thing, which is to tell the world to F#$$% off and go away.

Tony
12-31-2013, 10:05 AM
Think of it this way, 50 years from now, they'll look back and wonder how we managed with the 'hard living'
we're doing now.

"People used to have to push buttons to make phone calls / use "the internet" to get/find stuff / insert-whatever-here"

After all its all a matter of perspective isn't it? I think my kids have it easy. My dad thought I had it easy, his dad thought
he had it easy, etc.

Unless the apocalypse happens and we're all back out scrounging for nuts and berries.

In which case I'd stand corrected. :)

sasquatch
12-31-2013, 05:24 PM
Lol ,, Loose nut have to agree. One thing i will say about your'e being 57, (i,m almost 70 now,) it is true what your'e saying, and i know from experience having to do what had to be done during my time at it, it is a young man's game, you gotta be in shape to do this, and enjoy it.
I loved it while it was happening, but sure wouldn't want to try and start over now.

darryl
12-31-2013, 06:03 PM
When I was a kid we had a rotary phone. You had a party line, and had to share time with whoever else was using it. You needed an operator to make long distance calls.

When I was 19, I went to Africa. At one point I needed to make a long distance call to Canada. We had to drive to a location where there was a phone, about three miles away, and it was a hand crank one. You would crank it, then at some point an operator would notice that someone was trying to use the system. At first there was a language barrier- I spoke 'sterile' english, and she spoke 'british' english. So we got that worked out, and she began to try to find an overseas operator. Took awhile, but then that operator had to try to get a working line. She got one, but it wasn't working very well. I was told to hang by the phone while the local operator kept in touch with the other one. After about 20 minutes the phone rang and the overseas operator had a better line. That was the highlight of the afternoon- getting my call through.

That phone was located at a crossroads where both roads dipped downwards where they crossed. One day we were approaching that intersection when it began to rain. Anyone who has been there knows how hard it can rain- you couldn't see more than a foot or so beyond your windshield. We came to a stop right in the middle of the intersection to wait it out. By the time the rain stopped about five minutes later, the water level in the intersection had risen up to the door sills on our van. Fun times.

Speaking of retro, we were driving along one day when I saw a khaki-sporting policeman peering intently into a wooden box at the side of the road. He then gave a signal to his partner standing at perfect attention down the road a ways, who then pointed his arm and finger to a car and yelled 'STOP'! The car pulls over and the white officer (the other was black) runs down the road to give the person a speeding ticket. The wooden box was his radar set.

sasquatch
12-31-2013, 07:29 PM
Interesting story Darryl. (When i was young we had a party line also, but the phone was the old wooden wall cranked one that ran on dry cell batteries.) The operator , (when you cranked the handle on the side,) came on and was refered to as "Central".
Then you told her the number you wished to call, and she would connect the call up.
Then as the conversation started you'd hear click-click, as others on the line would pick up their receiver, to listen in , everyone knew what others were doing, or what was going on!! Lol
(One had to be carefull not to Gossip!!) Lol

Baz
12-31-2013, 07:30 PM
Our 'old days' is 'now' in many 3rd world countires.
Just watched 10 minutes of fireworks on the colour TV while surfing the 'net on a 60meg cable line. News has had fireworks form every country round the world, live, in turn all evening. In the old days we only did fireworks (a little rocket that just went up and fizzled out) on 5th November and the TV (405 line B&W) shut down at 5 past midnight on new years day ie 10 minutes later than normal.

jhe.1973
12-31-2013, 08:33 PM
Hi Everyone,

My wife and I chose to try to homestead for raising our family. The most difficult thing wasn't the work but being pulled in two different directions all the time because out young children were in public schools.

It was a big deal when I got our outhouse finished:

http://i1096.photobucket.com/albums/g327/jhe-1973/West%20Virginia/3a.jpg (http://s1096.photobucket.com/user/jhe-1973/media/West%20Virginia/3a.jpg.html)

No more 5 gal. potty pail that I had to empty every day..........well almost every day. Sometimes I fell behind!:D

I was always thankful that we had electricity. It allowed me to take my shop with me:

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/50262-So-I-took-my-machine-shop-into-the-woods%E2%80%A6

Our children learned a work ethic that still serves my daughter today and our son while he was with us. They never knew any other way.

I don't feel that it was just a work ethic they learned though.

A few years ago my daughter was working as an office manager for a financial planner out here in a city. One of his assistants offered a bribe to my daughter to release information from another firm in their complex. She refused & the bribe kept climbing eventually to $5000.00. She only got more angry & dug her heels in deeper. Then her boss joined in with the assistant!!!!!!!!!!

She left!

I doubt that her boss or the assistant ever had to 'work' in their lives. These are the people that will have the hardest time coping if/when times get tough.

I just looked up the above 'shop in the woods' thread and saw how many of you 'old timers' here responded. Even found this response that says so much of what feel:


Jim- My, you certainly put some major time and work into your W. Virginia homestead. Those were pioneering efforts ! I assume a job change , or perhaps family changes, took you to Arizona. I did my own "pioneering" 35 years ago on my property and home, and I managed to stay here throughout the years. I suppose what I regret the most is getting too old for that sort of thing . And these days, I can only watch as my little "empire" decays and crumbles from neglect. In many ways , that " rough and tumble" work, although challenging and difficult , was still the most memorable and fun times I've ever had.

I noticed that I never mentioned why we left & I don't know if Bill736 is still listening. Only now that I am feeling more comfortable with this group will I touch the topic.

I wouldn't hesitate to return to that lifestyle in a minute if I could, but one night two drunken locals tried to kill me and were stopped by the presence of an angel.

That has a way of changing a person's perspective. :D

I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I'm only explaining what I have experienced. The lesson that I learned is that I owe my life to something far greater than me.

Curiously, I have also learned that Buckminster Fuller was given a similar lesson.

sasquatch
12-31-2013, 09:21 PM
Nice post Jim, i remember your'e post from before after checking it.
Best to you and your'e family in 2014.

+ or - Zero
12-31-2013, 09:38 PM
I think I must represent the contrarian side here --I think we do have it easy, but I also think we have much, much, harder times in front of us then we have had behind us. Anyway that's how my 73 yr old eyes see it.

When you read my opine on this it might be worth remembering that I am a survivor of some fairly hard times, here and there in some of the worlds hell holes. So when I say hard times I do mean exactly that, and I know what hard is.

It's very likely that some or even many of you do also --which explains the desire for it all to get better... Hope, chains, and you can keep it if you like it... sure thing.

Zero.

The Artful Bodger
12-31-2013, 09:53 PM
When I was a kid we had it really hard. It was ten miles to walk to the little red school house, up hill both ways. It really wasnt too bad although it could be a bit dangerous crossing the glacier in the dark especially on the days when the neighbours kids got the use of the one pair of crampons. The school house was really cold in winter until one year the school committee had a fund raising and bought us a candle to warm the place which was nice while it lasted which was only a few days. The McDougal kids from down the valley stole the candle, we knew it was them because they must have dropped the candle on their way home and when the spring came the flame thawed and started a forest fire.

+ or - Zero
12-31-2013, 10:08 PM
When I was a kid we had it really hard. It was ten miles to walk to the little red school house, up hill both ways. It really wasnt too bad although it could be a bit dangerous crossing the glacier in the dark especially on the days when the neighbours kids got the use of the one pair of crampons. The school house was really cold in winter until one year the school committee had a fund raising and bought us a candle to warm the place which was nice while it lasted which was only a few days. The McDougal kids from down the valley stole the candle, we knew it was them because they must have dropped the candle on their way home and when the spring came the flame thawed and started a forest fire.

Darn, you should have told us that sooner --it explains the apparent dysfunctional education you seem to have obtained. You did have it hard. Still do, what with living upside down and all...

It's a humor test -- now we see if you pass... ;)

Zero.

jhe.1973
01-01-2014, 12:04 AM
When I was a kid we had it really hard. It was ten miles to walk to the little red school house, up hill both ways. It really wasnt too bad although it could be a bit dangerous crossing the glacier in the dark especially on the days when the neighbours kids got the use of the one pair of crampons. The school house was really cold in winter until one year the school committee had a fund raising and bought us a candle to warm the place which was nice while it lasted which was only a few days. The McDougal kids from down the valley stole the candle, we knew it was them because they must have dropped the candle on their way home and when the spring came the flame thawed and started a forest fire.

WOW!

Sounds like the U.S during my parents generation.

I finally realized that there must have only been one school somewhere in the middle of the states and everyone had to walk to it.

Global warming is a good thing too 'cuz it was always snowing then.

jhe.1973
01-01-2014, 12:06 AM
Nice post Jim, i remember your'e post from before after checking it.
Best to you and your'e family in 2014.

Thanks much sasquatch, your response means a lot.;)

I was just browsing my old post again and found this:


My vote is that the missus deserves a tip of the cap, as well. For that day,
and (I am just guessing here) a few others, too.

If I was to find myself in a tough spot, I'd consider myself lucky to have you
in it with me.

I already consider myself lucky to have found this forum and to be able to have so many of you in it with me.

Has there ever been talk of a yearly picnic or some such get together? I sure would be tickled to be a part of that! Just think of how we could talk of how bad/good we have it. :D

PStechPaul
01-01-2014, 03:24 AM
I believe there is a way to achieve the peace of a more rustic and self-sufficient lifestyle, but also benefit from the security, companionship, and shared workload of having others nearby. I have lived in, and enjoyed, a "commune" of sorts, although it was also an accredited educational institution and had a board of directors and other formal structure. And I have been actively seeking others who are of similar mind to come together and create an intentional community (and ideally a network thereof), where individuals, couples, and small families may have their own small private dwellings, but mostly there would be a lot of sharing of resources, wealth, labor, and enjoyment of life. I know a lot of people who are now "empty nesters" who are struggling on their own or perhaps with a spouse, trying to maintain a house that is much too large for their needs, but are reluctant to leave what they have known and loved for so long.

You can read more about my ideas on my website www.newkoinonia.com (http://www.newkoinonia.com), and you may also want to look into the various forms of intentional communities that exist or are forming in many areas. My idea is to purchase or establish a campground, similar to many KOAs, which have small, cozy cabins (or "Kabins" as they "kall" them), and centrally located shower and toilet facilities and a commercial kitchen and game room and other amenities that promote sharing as well as efficiency. One could also choose to live in a fully equipped camping trailer or motor home, or build a small home on the property as desired (and approved by consensus).

This does seem to be a rather nice group of people, mostly guys, probably most middle-age to senior citizens, with many common and valuable abilities and interests. I am also a long-time member of the Dogs-n-Harmony forum, which we sometimes describe as a world-wide pack, and that group consists mostly of women (maybe 90%) with a strong common interest in dogs and animals as well as many other things that are good and wholesome. We had a "pack meet" in September of 2012 which consisted of myself and two couples and six dogs, and was originally going to be about 10 people and 20 dogs. We stayed at the Boone, NC KOA for three days and had a good time. There were also other small "pack meets" in South Africa, Europe, and perhaps Australia.

I suggest that we plan one or more meetings like this for some of the folks here, as well as having them open to some of the dog group and other interested and compatible people. I always attend the Western MD Bluesfest in Hagerstown around the end of May and stay for a long weekend at the KOA. Anyone else is welcome to come there at that time and get together to some extent. Then there is the Threshermen's Reunion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYht_K0zSh8)at the Rough and Tumble museum in Kinzers, PA, toward the end of August, and that would be a cool place for machinist types to see old steam engines and tractors and construction equipment. It's also in the heart of Amish country and we could all learn a lot about self-sufficiency and extended community from their example.

I'd be willing to travel anywhere within a 200-300 mile radius of Baltimore to meet up with others who want to talk about machining or engineering or technology or just to experience a simpler life at a campground. In some cases I might be willing to take a longer trip, even to fly somewhere like San Diego or whatever. I can set up a meeting at the Hagerstown KOA (http://www.hagerstownkoa.com/) to coincide with the Bluesfest (http://www.blues-fest.org/), as a starting point for East (Right) Coasters, and hopefully others can volunteer to set up similar venues in other areas. It's a start, at least, and fairly inexpensive and "safe". Forums are great, but I think actual personal meetings can be so much more, especially to those who still appreciate what was good about the "good old days". :)

Here's a short video of the pack meet at Boone:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRPke0y_dqk

Charles Spencer
08-21-2014, 09:13 AM
The good old days

Some years ago I heard two old men having a conversation:

"Remember when a beer was a nickel? And you could go to the movies for a nickel? And you could get something to eat at the automat for a nickel?"

"Yeah, I remember. We didn't have a nickel."

john clements
08-21-2014, 11:20 AM
When you want to do high speed work, do you have to brick the camel?
Easy ?

EASY ??

Do you know how hard it is to keep this camel on a treadle machine without it biting you ??

Juergenwt
08-21-2014, 03:32 PM
David - It's called progress. Going on since people started to walk on this earth. Our generation thinks we have it easy compared to the previous generation who believed they had it easy when compared to the previous generation and so on and on.
There is on thing however that our generation has experienced that no other generation can claim: the drastic increase of inventions during our life time.
For thousands of years people used horses to help them get around. Our generation was the lucky generation to experience the transfer from horse power to automobiles to airplanes to rocket power. We advanced more in one generation than all generations before us. One thing remains to be mastered by us and so far we are not doing a good job of it - learn how to use all this progress to serve us in a peaceful and responsible way.
Thanks for a nice post.

The Artful Bodger
08-21-2014, 03:55 PM
Ah the good old telephone systems....

Life on a small island (19S 170W), making a call, only 40 years ago.

[turns handle and picks up phone]
[phone operator] "Hello John, how are you getting on with Cheryl?"
[me] "Very nicely thank you Moka and she sends her regards"
[phone operator] "Ah, thats sweet, she is a nice girl. Now who would you like to talk to?"
[me] "Thanks, put me through to Harvey please"
[phone operator] "Oh you wont get Harvey right now, he went past here an hour ago heading towards The Club or he might have been sneaking up to Mary's place and today is Tuesday which is Muriel's cards bridge club night so either way he wont be home until late."

The telephone operator had an office at the cross roads in the middle of the village and she knew everything that happened and where everyone was on the entire island.

wheeltapper
08-21-2014, 04:51 PM
just read this thread and all I can think of now is this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

enjoy.

Roy.

loose nut
08-21-2014, 06:06 PM
There is on thing however that our generation has experienced that no other generation can claim: the drastic increase of inventions during our life time.
For thousands of years people used horses to help them get around. Our generation was the lucky generation to experience the transfer from horse power to automobiles to airplanes to rocket power. We advanced more in one generation than all generations before us. .

If any of that is true then where the hell is my flying car!!!!!

Alistair Hosie
08-21-2014, 06:53 PM
The saddest thing is there are many places in the world where people still resolve their differences by going to war.I wonder if someday instead of spending hundreds or thousands of billions on weapons the world eventually wakes up and comes together to resolve our differences in a peaceful way.Think of all the good things we could do with all the weapon money.We could virtually eradicate world poverty and not have to worry about our sons and grandsons going off to die in terrible un popular illegal wars. Surely everyone agrees war brings nothing but missery for everyone, no one wins , as the truth is that everyone loses in the end.Perhaps the imperfection of mankind simply will not allow this, I DON'T KNOW but I have never met anyone decent person who would not rather live in peace and bring an end to this pereptual madness .And yet we still allow a small number of people (who don't take part in war themselves or allow their own family memebers to,) yet they can if they wish force our children to go and die. For example how can it be that several million people took to the streets here in the U K prior to the iraqi war to demand to our government that we did not get involved in war in iraqAnd yet Tony blair and his cohorts even realising no one in britain wanted this very unpopular war still defiantly went ahead and started what turned out to be a nightmare for hundreds of thousand of people many children etc.I dream of the day when such a small group of politicians are not able to over ride the voice of the people (that surely is not democracy?) And what is happening now in that region was well and truly many times pointed out to those warmongers by the many experts of the day, they were all warned and still they went ahead.Alistair

darryl
08-22-2014, 02:02 AM
You said it, Alistair. How can it be that millions of people who would be peaceful are led by the very few that would be warmongers. What was that song by Donovan- Universal Soldier- 'without him all this killing can't go on'-

Soldiers have long been teenagers, and pre-teens as well. What a tragedy.

On another note, I've finally figured out how you can walk to school and back and it's uphill both ways. When thousands of people walk to the same school, the ground sinks a bit. Then it's uphill to get out of there. Wha- only took me 60 years to figure that out :(

fixerdave
08-22-2014, 03:09 AM
Yes... we have it easy.

Take, for instance, that notion that you can, instead of doing the same stupid thing over and over again for a significant portion of your life, type your stupid question into a little box and, as if by magic, un-stupid people from all over the world jump in to set you straight. Yes, all this typing and reading takes time, but it's usually time that used to be wasted watching the stupifyingly-boring box we used to call the 'TV'. If you were unlucky enough to be exposed to that during daytime hours then you'd know how truly horrifying an experience it was. Yes, "Daytime TV" is on the list of things best entirely forgotten about.

Honestly, I had it good growing up. I'm old enough and grew up rural enough that I saw what it was like to go without. However, my father was a smart, inventive, and capable man. WE always had indoor plumbing and OUR home was always warm. Many of our neighbours didn't make either. At our house, the toilet flushed even if my father had to tank the water in and keep it from freezing with a stove.

But, I think the most amazing thing, for me, is the drop in tool pricing. My father never had a power drill. He had access to a drillpress at work, but I don't remember him ever doing it at home. He had torches and a welder and did amazing things with them, but we were poor and powertools were too expensive. He was a journeyman mechanic by trade (originally heavy duty) and his hand tools were gold. I'm surprised he didn't kill us the way we treated them. I think through a lot of history, a man was defined by the tools he had. You followed your father in his career because you inherited his tools as much as his skills. I have enough tools that serious tradesmen of even 40 years ago would turn green with envy. I use them to make... let's say "little of value." Those tools were not exactly a financial hardship to acquire... just hobby purchases. I'm not anywhere near rich, by national standards, and the tools don't amount to much compared to income.

Yes, we have it very easy,

David...

justanengineer
08-22-2014, 03:41 AM
Like many viewpoints this one depends on the person's personal view and what they take into consideration. In some ways we have it easy, other ways very difficult. My grandfather for one led a relatively easy life in some respects as did many others of his generation. Despite a depression during his 20s, he did fairly well for himself and enjoyed life bc of a lack of bills and taxes. He didnt have much, but he also didnt need much. The only bill due on the family farm until power was connected in the late 40s were the taxes, and with almost no government or gov programs in that day the taxes were pretty ridiculously low. So long as they were paid and they raised enough food for the family + some to barter, he could pick jobs in various industries (or not) or travel as it interested him, and he did both regularly bc he wanted to. Yes, attending the state fair was a weeklong trip rather than the day trip it is now, but they had the time and did go. No, they didnt have power or the internet, but they also slept much better/longer every night and were overall in better physical condition.

As I write this I feel stuck in the rat race. Ive worked late hours many time such as tonight, I have a cell phone and a laptop that travels to-from work with me and Im expected to handle important obligations at odd hours as such. If I quit this morning I'll still have a power, internet, cell phone, insurance, water, and NG bills due, not to mention the bills I actually need to survive like food and shelter, and I certainly cannot afford a farm to meet those basic needs myself in this day and age.....yup, Ive got it EASY, I'm a slave to my existence.

Old Hat
08-22-2014, 03:44 AM
Human beings were designed to overcome.
We at at our best when driven by need and under-supplied and under-equiped.

Individuals and the collective, both deteriorate at a rate that is directly proportional
to a lack of obsticals and lack of exposure to even life-threatening conditions.

Like many animal species that are kept in a zoo, or even a temporary santuary,
this easy lifestyle leads to a corrosion of our inner workings and a dulling
of our receptiveness to our surroundings. The outlook is bleak.

J Tiers
08-22-2014, 08:31 AM
Those folks from before, compared to whom we have it easy......... they had it easy compared to people before them.

You needn't go back many generations in my family to find folks who had dirt floors in their "houses".

loose nut
08-22-2014, 09:25 AM
We have it easy and I wouldn't want it any other way. The good old days weren't that good.

Old Hat
08-22-2014, 09:58 AM
It would be interesting if the Earth were on one of those show-case News/Drama shows
like Good Morning America or what have you.

The hoste would ask, "So, Earth.... how you feel'n today?"

And the earth replys "Well I got a bad case 'O humanity just now, but I'm run'n a fever
so it'll pass soon. Had it a few times before. I'll be OK .... and You? };~)

danlb
08-22-2014, 11:26 AM
I often find that I can't believe how easy we have it.

We have medicines that make let most children make it to adulthood. We have procedures that make the infertile able to have families. Heart attacks are often not fatal, and the quality of life after heart surgery is quite good. Child diabetics live full, long lives, far longer than the 20 years that was typical when my brother was diagnosed in 1960.

We have instant access to more than just trivia. We have access to more "how to" information than was ever available to our parents. The encyclopedia set that my parents bought with a month's income was a treasure trove of information that put me ahead of many others at school. Today that information is available to just about everyone.

Since this is the Home Shop Machinist, I should mention that even THAT is much easier than it used to be. 10 years ago I could not spell lath. Now I have two lathes, both purchased for very little, and even better, I know how to use them thanks to the internet and a 4 hour class that validated what I learned by myself. The same goes for my mills. they cost me less than a week's pay for both of them. Now I'm following the same path with welding. The proper forums are as useful as spending time with a mentor IF you can weed out the bad advice. You have to do that with mentors too.

My grand dad retired in his 50's, but he'd been injured in the train yard. I retired in my 50's so that I could enjoy life before I hit the point where I was not able to do the things I want to do.

Life is easy. Life is good. So's the coffee.

Dan

flylo
08-22-2014, 11:44 AM
We have it very well & how busy, overworked, stressed is set by the the choices we make. Smartphones, cable TV, new cars & trucks,etc. If we lived like our grandparents did we'd be less stressed for sure. I love being cheap, thrifty whatever & use a $5 cell phone with a $10 a month bill, drive good used cars paid for with cash, no cable but Netflix & Amazon because we don't watch hours & hours of TV. Own everything we have, don't believe in staying in debt & only then to buy a home. Lease our farmland to pay the taxes & expenses, selectively log our remote hunting property on a 10 year cycle. To make a long story short, live simple, find ways that pay your expenses & be debt free, happy & above all thankful. Theses ARE the good old days!

Old Hat
08-22-2014, 12:33 PM
We have it very well & how busy, overworked, stressed is set by the the choices we make. Smartphones, cable TV, new cars & trucks,etc. If we lived like our grandparents did we'd be less stressed for sure. I love being cheap, thrifty whatever & use a $5 cell phone with a $10 a month bill, drive good used cars paid for with cash, no cable but Netflix & Amazon because we don't watch hours & hours of TV. Own everything we have, don't believe in staying in debt & only then to buy a home. Lease our farmland to pay the taxes & expenses, selectively log our remote hunting property on a 10 year cycle. To make a long story short, live simple, find ways that pay your expenses & be debt free, happy & above all thankful. Theses ARE the good old days!

I donno if you should leave that post up for long!
You might have squatters before you know it, and don'tcha know it, they're a protected species.

flylo
08-22-2014, 01:19 PM
Home, home on the range has a bit different meaning to me. LOL target range!

Old Hat
08-22-2014, 01:21 PM
Home, home on the range has a bit different meaning to me. LOL target range!

Teddy wud have been Proud!;)

loose nut
08-22-2014, 07:08 PM
When given lemons some people collapse, some make lemonade, the more capable make "Mikes Hard Lemonade". Life is what you make of it. Flylo is right, good or bad, these are the good old days.