Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: living life

Random Thoughts May 6 2013

Over the past few days I have been thinking about a lot of stuff. A lot of small stuff, to small to make their own post about. So I thought I would combine a lot of small topics into a random thoughts post.Kevin Felts, Blogger and Survivalist

I promised a buddy of mine that I would tone the political stuff down. Rather than posting political topics here, I will keep them on PBJ News. So here goes.

Video Gaming -I guess it is a matter of me getting older, but fewer and fewer games have that “wow” factor. Back in the 1980s and 1990s some of my buddies and I could play Atari and Super Nintendo for hours at a time.

Now, its takes a lot of keep me interested in a game. Borderlands 2 got boring within 2 hours and Skyrim lost it after maybe 2 – 3 hours. The only game that has been able to keep my interest over the past 3 years had been Left 4 Dead 1 & 2. Since Diablo III has the always on internet requirement I did not even bother buying it.

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.

Surprised By The Gun Haters

Kevin Felts political commentator

One thing that has surprised me after the Sandy Hook shooting is all of the hatred towards guns. This is not your typical “we need to ban guns” type of hatred that we see after a shooting, this is unbridled hatred.

This is the nazi and the jews type of hatred, pit bull attacks a baby type of hatred,,,,. If those people could, they would take every gun away, and that is absolutely crazy. Crazy that logical people have a knee jerk reaction to a tragic event.

Instead of placing the blame on the root cause of the gun violence issue, gun haters blame the tool. That is like blaming Snap-on for someone drinking and driving.

If the people are not united, can we survive as a nation?

Dividing Resources In Your Long Term Survival Plans

Like a lot of people my wife and I have limited resources. We are just everyday middle class people trying to get by. Just like everyone else we pay our taxes, pay the electric bill, internet, health insurance,,,,. Once everything is paid we try to decide how to save money.

The issue we are running into, my wife and I are looking at moving away from Jasper Texas to a rural area. Jasper is already rural, but we want to get further away from town.

We need to put a water well on the land, sewer system, build a chicken yard,,, and a few ether odds and ends to get our new life started.

Then came the Adam Lanza incident and renewed calls for an assault rifle ban.

I am finding myself pulled into some of the panic buying. There was a short period of time between the shooting and Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control and prices going through the roof. During that short time period I picked up another AR-15 for less then $1,000.

A gun store has some AR-15s for $1,300 each. As I consider buying another AR while I still can, I keep thinking about what that $1,300 could pay for at the homestead. We could probably put down a septic system for between $1,500 and $2,000.

Why Are Some People Full Of Rage

Dealing with the ex-wife again, this time its over a gun she claimed came up missing during the divorce.

What really happened, some people lack a single decent level of respect for other people.

Its simply amazing how someone can warp reality to believe what they want.

This world would be a better place if people would respect others. Is a little respect too much to ask? For some people, yea, asking for respect is a little too much to ask for.

The question I ask, why do people have to act that way? Is it a mental disease, too much lead in the water, genetics, mom do too many drugs while she was pregnant,,,, or something else?

What causes certain people to have a lack (or no) empathy for those around them?

Maybe its a survival thing left over from our primal existence? To survive the ice ages, maybe some people stole from others, instead of working as a team for the betterment of the community.

Does selfishness reach no end?

During the housing collapse of 2008 I think we say a good example of selfishness and a lack of empathy. To the money lenders, people were a loan number and nothing more.

Some people take their actions past empathy, and into a field of hatred.

What makes someone so angry that they lash out at everyone around them? There is no talking, there is nothing but screaming and pure rage.

How can someone live in a constant state of rage?

Most people get mad, then calm down a little while later. But there are some people who never seem to clam down, its as if their life is ruled by rage and screaming fits. How can people live like that?

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.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Its difficult to believe the end of November is almost here, and the end of 2012 is drawing near. Where did 2012 go? It seems that the older I get, the faster time flies by.

For Thanksgiving dinner, my wife, my daughter and I are going to my mom and dads house in Bridge City. My uncle might be there, my brother has to work, but he might drop by.

We will probably have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, dressing, ham, pie,,,, along with all of the fixings.

The end of November is a great time for Thanksgiving. The year is drawing to an end, its time to look bad, reflect, and give thanks for what we have. In todays economy, a lot of people are lucky to have a roof over their head and food on the table. Some people are not so lucky or blessed.

After eating with mom and dad, my wife, daughter and I will probably head back to Jasper to get ready for Black Friday.

The Walmart in Jasper Texas has certain items that will go on sale at certain times, and at certain locations in the store. There is a map on the walmart website that can be printed out to show where the items will be at.

Instead of there being a mad rush for the items, its first come first serve. If you want the item, get the map, go to the marked location in the store. There will usually be some tape on the floor designating where the line for the item starts.

Random Thoughts November 16 2012

Time for another random thoughts post.

The Amazing Spider-man

Bought The Amazing Spider-man for the grandkids to watch. The grandkids are between the ages of 3 and 5 and were not interested in Spider-man. But they can watch The Avengers all day long.

Why did Sony have to go back to Spider-man having an artificial web?

I thought The Amazing Spider-man was a rather bland. I like how they got away from the Green Goblin and introduced The Lizard. The original Spider-man movies seem to stuck on the Green Goblin.

Wages Today

A few days ago I was thinking about how much money I was making in the welding shops. In 1987 the top pay of the welding shop I was working at was $11.13 an hour. Minimum wage was $3.35 an hour.

11.13 divided by 3.35 = 3.3223.

In other words, top pay in the welding shop was 3.3223 times minimum wage in 1987.

In 2004 I checked back at that same welding shop, top pay was only around $14 an hour, which was less then 3X minimum wage at the time of $5.15. In other words, wages have not kept up with inflation or minimum wage.

In 1990 I made around $35,000 with overtime. I thought that was pretty good for 22 years old. Minimum wage in 1990 was $3.80 an hour. Other words, I made 9,210 times minimum wage in a single year. But then again, I worked a lot of overtime to reach that $35,000 dollar mark.

To keep up with the standard of living I had in 1990, I would have to be making $66,772 a year. Take my word for it, I make a lot less then $66,772 a year.

How much money are you making today as compared to minimum wage? Have your wages kept up with inflation and minimum wage?

For those of you over 40 years old, how much where you making 20 years ago as compared to today?

What I want for Christmas

As the year draws to an end thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and Christmas. It will not be long until Black Friday is here and the Christmas season kicks off.

In the next few weeks my mom and my wife will be asking me what I want for Christmas.

So what do I want for Christmas?

I want peace on earth and goodwill to all.

I want to be able to let my chickens out and not have to worry about the neighbors.

I want to sit on my deck and listen to the birds.

When I walk outside, all I want to hear is the wind.

I want a garden.

I want to live in peace with nature.

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,

How Life Choices Bite You In The Butt

Kevin Felts political commentator

When I decided to write this article I was having problems picking a title. Lately I have been doing some thinking. What promoted this was a comment posted on one of my post. The comment was in reference to some of my post sounding bitter.

I want to be honest with my readers, my poor life choices have led me on the path of bitterness.

Who is to blame for my life choices? I am.

Working In The Welding Field

In 1986 when I graduated high school I decided to enter the workforce instead of going to college. My wifes grandfather helped get me a job at a local welding shop. I should have known something was wrong when the company did not offer and kind of benefits, such as health insurance, or retirement.

In 1987 I got a job at another welding shop, but this job had lots of overtime and some benefits.

Workplace Inequality

In the recent debates between tweedle dee and tweedle dum there was a question about workplace inequality. I did not watch the debates, the talking heads will say anything to get elected. The after debate articles is where I saw something about gender inequality in the workplace.

I am going to guess its the same ole question asking about the pay differences between men and women, and the how women hit a glass ceiling with promotions and benefits.

Its the same womens activist, womens liberation, trash talk over and over and over.

Here are the facts, women should never be allowed to make the same money, or earn the same benefits as men.

Call it payback for the thousands of years that men have sacrificed their lives in the name of women and children.

Who stormed the beached of Normandy? Men.

When the titanic was sinking, who got on the lifeboats first? Women and children.

Who is expected to lay down their lives for women? Men.

Who is expected to sacrifice their life to save a child? Men.

During world War I, who were getting slaughtered by the thousands every day? Men.

When there is a dirty, nasty, dangerous, repulsive job that needs to be done, who gets called? Men.

Until women are willing to be mowed down by the thousands under machine gun fire, until women are willing to make the same sacrifices that men do, women should not make the same wages, or earn the same benefits that men do.

Disagree? Post your opinion and debate me.

Why I Left The Welding Field

My name is Kevin Felts and I have 15 years experience in the welding field. In June 1986 I took a job in a welding shop.

From 1986 – 1999 I worked in various welding shops between southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.

Around August 1999 I was laid off from a welding shop. When I was laid off from that welding shop, I decided to go into the computer field.

Between 2003 – 2004 I went back into the welding field for 12 months.

This past weekend my wife and I were passing through the Beaumont Texas area. While we were around Beaumont, I showed her some of the welding shops I used to work at.

Seeing those welding shops brought back bad memories. I realized that all of the shops we looked at had common traits. Some of those common traits were poorly trained supervisors and poor quality pay.

Company A

One welding shop I worked at in in the Beaumont Texas area, my supervisor (lets call him dumbass) and I had worked together at another welding shop a few years earlier. At this other shop, my wifes grandfather was the foreman. When work got low, the workforce had to be reduced, so a few people were laid off. Dumbass happened to be one of the people laid off. This was in 1987.

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?

My battle with alcohol

My mom visits my blog from time to time, so I want to apologize to her and my dad. My battle is nothing they did wrong as parents. I blame this battle with alcohol on myself for being weak.

Unlike a lot of people, I did not drink in my teenage years. I drank a couple of times, did not like the taste or the effects, so I almost never drank in my teenage years. I hope mom and dad are glad to know that.

If I made it past my teenage years without drinking, why did I start drinking? I think it was out of boredom.

The first time I bought alcohol I was maybe 23 or 24 years old. I went to the Texaco gas station in Bridge City Texas and bought 2 bottles of Boones Farm wine.

My first few drinks of wine upset my stomach something terrible; I should have taken the hint. I honestly wish I would have never taken another drink after that Boones Farm. Some people can drink Boones Farm just fine. But there is something with my stomach that I can not drink any kind of sweet wine. Wine coolers upset my stomach the same way Boones farm did.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018