Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: growing up

My Childhood Playground

When I was a kid growing up in Bridge City, Texas, my buddies and I would hang out in a section of woods that borders a marsh. We would build trails through the woods, tree houses, go camping, just do what kids did.

As my buddies and I got older, we stopped hanging out in the woods and started socializing more. After we stopped maintaining the trails, they were slowly reclaimed by nature. Within just a few years the trails were almost impassible.

Two decades later, Hurricane Rita pushed through the area and uprooted a lot of the old oak trees.

While visiting with my mom and dad for Thanksgiving, I took a camera and headed off into the old trails.

Turning 45 Years Old

Today is my birthday, I turned 45 years old. Depending on how you look at it, turning 45 is either not too bad, or it sucks.

Retirement – One thing that bothers me is I am nowhere near being ready for retirement. I partially blame myself, but I also blame every 401k management firm I have used. Since 1994 just about every 401k management firm has lost money, except for the one I am using now. How am I supposed to save for retirement when the people managing my 401k lose 20% of my money every year?Kevin Felts blogger and survivalist

Something I worry about is if social security is going to be around when I retire? I know people who have never worked a day in their life and they are drawing social security disability. I work and pay into the system for some lazy bum to draw benefits?

Working Hard – When I was growing up, kids were told to “grow up, get a job and work hard.” Because we “worked hard” our efforts would be recognized and we would be rewarded. I know now that is a lie. Working hard is a wage slave mentality. No company is going to reward your efforts unless they have to.

Does The Internet Change Like A Community

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistAs I was looking through some older sites, I started thinking about what the heritage of the internet would be without those sites?

For example, for you PC gamers that like to read about gaming history, or like to think about the “good ole days”, what would the internet be without sites like Doomworld.com or planetromero.com.

Quakeworld was wiped clean several years ago. All that remains is a “QuakeWorld.com.. stay tuned” message. Back in the late 1990s Quakeworld.com was one of the more popular pages on the net.

Back in the 1990s fans sites opened right and left. The main free hosting provider back in those days was GeoCities. But GeoCities closed a few years ago. All of those fan sites gone in a split second as the servers were unplugged.

Turning Points in My Life

As I was reading through an article on Toms Hardware about the greatest video cards of all time, I caught myself looking at the dates on the video cards, and then comparing those dates to things that were happening in my life.

Between 1996 – late 1999 were a great time in my life. My third son had been born in 1994, my daughter had been born in 1996, I had a steady job with good benefits, a little overtime here and there.

Then there were the video games such as Diablo, Quake, Red Alert, and the camping trips into Orangefield Texas in the mid 1990s.

The early Quakecons were a blast. Driving to Dallas, staying with my buddy “Acid Breath” and his wife for the weekend, those were good times.

Around August 1999 all of that fell apart when I was laid off from Allied Fabrication in Rose City. The company had recently lost a lot of money, I had missed time due to my drinking. When it came time to reduce cost, I and a couple of other people were let go.

In all honesty, I loved working at Allied Fabrication. They were a great group of people that I really liked working for.

Regardless of how much I liked the job, all good things must come to an end.

The 1980s seem so long ago

Why do the 1980s seem so long ago? But then again, it seems like only a few weeks ago I was finishing high school and entering the workforce.

In all honesty I miss the 1980s. I do not miss how Reganomics destroyed the ship building industry in southeast Texas, particularly in Beaumont and Orange Texas.

I miss the music,
I miss skinny women,
I miss talking to people face-to-face,
I miss how people had real interaction with each other, interaction that has been replaced by the internet,
I miss cheap gas,
I miss the friendships I had in school,
Did I mention the music?

The 80s had some great music, great clothes, we knew had to have fun without drugs.

Have I mentioned the music,

What did you want to be when you grew up

While I was growing up adults and teachers asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. What I really wanted to do was Anthropology, the study of ancient civilizations.

My other choices were to do something with the outdoors, or to create something, such as a scientist.

When I finished high school I took a job at a welding shop, which was not even something I had considered.

In the 1990s I looked into opening some kind of outdoor gear review magazine. But the magazine was cost prohibitive. The companies that would print the magazines wanted a couple of hundred thousand dollars up front, and that was even before I found anyone that would carry the magazines.

From the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, I was waiting for something to come along on the internet that would help me build a website. There was basic HTML sites, but I wanted something that was dynamic and able to handle steady updates.

In early 2006 I opened the forum. Later that same year I opened the blog but in a different format then what we see today.

Between the forum and the blog, I have achieved something I have wanted to do since I was a kid. I get to go play in the woods, then write about it.

Creating content on youtube, the forum and the blog is like a scientist creating something. I do my research, do my observations, then write about my opinion on the research and observations.

The internet has given me the ability to express myself like a real-life job would never have.

Reaching middle age

At 44 years old, chances are I have more years behind me then in front of me. I feel no different then I did when I was in my 20s, except that I need more sleep and my weight is getting more difficult to control.

When I was 17, 18, 19,, years old I could eat just about anything I wanted. Now I eat that kind of stuff and my stomach hurts. Eat some greasy chicken nuggets and my stomach gets tore up.

Instead of thinking about what I wanted to do when I grow up, I am thinking about my retirement in 20 years. Its simply amazing how the years creep by unnoticed.

When I look back, I realize how I was totally unprepared to enter the workforce in the mid-1980s. Besides reading, writing and math, the public school system taught no real life skills. Mom and dad were at work, so the time they had to teach life skills was limited.

In my late teens and early 20s I thought the thing to do was to get married and have kids. So do you have kids when you are financially stable, or when you are young and healthy? I picked to have kids when I was young and healthy. Some of the people I went to school with have kids in jr. high, while all but one of mine have finished high school.

I wish society had not lied to me about the value of hard work. Society says if you work hard, that work will be recognized and rewarded. Rewarded with what, a life of poverty?

What is it with kids smoking these days

Is it just me, or are more kids smoking these days as compared to the 1980s?

1980s – kids that smoked were frowned upon. Your smoking? Why?

Today – kids that smoke are no big deal. It seems like one of the first thing kids do when they 18 is start smoking. I have to ask the reason why?

Why start something that will cause so many health issues later in life? Smoking does not make anyone look cool. If anything, smoking makes people look stupid. Because you have to be stupid to contribute to your risk of lung, throat and mouth cancer.

When my third son turned 18 he let it be known that he had started smoking. He asked me something like “I dont guess you approve of me smoking”. I told him “I will never approve of you killing yourself”.

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