Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter 2010. Yeah, it still gets cold.

Well, it's been quite a winter so far this year. We've had 2 major snowstorms so far and it's only early February. The first snow hung around for almost 2 weeks. This weekend the Northeast and MidAtlantic regions got hit the hardest we've been hit for almost 20 years and the snowfall in Western PA was the 4th heaviest snowfall since they started recording it. Where the hell is Al Gore currently. He should get his butt over here and shovel all this global warming that is surrounding my car. I'm still quite annoyed about how the global warming people are sticking to their guns and taking the attitude of 'you just don't get it' but still do not have any explanation for the debunking of their theories that has been going on for the past 20 years. It's the old 'if we don't pay attention to them, maybe they'll go away' tactic. If you're not on board with them, you are obviously some right wing nut job who is out to destroy the environment and probably kicks his dog when he gets home too. It's a thing called environmental cycles, Al. They happen. I've lived through a few of them now and entering into another one(depending on where you start on your cycles). I wish people would stop running after these clowns in the global warming market and begin taking a common sense approach to the environment. Quite lying and trying to scare the hell out of people about how things are going when all you are doing is trying to create this hysteria so the companies that you own can make a profit off of it. That's all this global warming scare of the past 30 years has been and most of the people of the world fell for it. I think assholes like Mr. Gore should be imprisoned for their role in this and the monies they made from these lies confiscated (gee, this could pay for some of that healthcare that people don't have). Oh, well, what the hell do I know. I'm just one of those right wing conservative nut jobs that want to ruin everything for the sake of a buck.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maybe it's just me but .....

I'm thinking many of today's mothers are really helping set kids up for failure later in life. Sure they're making sure they do their homework, shower up, brush their teeth and play well with others. The thing that I've really been noticing, particularly since it's caused some severe stress with the mother of my two boys is that they all seem to have this underlying fear of instilling a good work ethic in the kids. These past couple weeks have seen a large amount of snowfall in western PA. Now, when I was young, this was a God-send to me. My brothers and I, as well as other kids in the neighborhood, would wind up helping neighbors dig out after a good snowfall. This paid fairly well and as I also carried newspapers before school, I had regular customers for the snow shoveling. There were 3 or 4 who I had it pre-arranged to clear their walks and driveways if there was more than an inch or two of snow. This got me $6-10 each snow day. It was a good supplement to the income of $15-20 bucks a week for the newspaper business. Keep in mind, I was 11 years old at this point and it was 1976. At that point in time, my brothers and I were sort of the capitalist pricks of the hill where we lived. We had all of the paper routes that mattered. We had the mall newspaper sales. On top of that, summer grass cutting jobs usually came to us. We worked hard and we were the ones who had the extra money for things like the swimming passes at the pool, our bikes and other items we wanted. We had to budget out the money we earned for the things we wanted. This was also the time when Nike and Adidas shoes were becoming popular. We usually got the good ol' Sears Winner II shoes but my parents would say, if you want to upgrade, we had to cover that cost. Then we had to balance the 'coolness' factor vs the money spent and make our decision.
All that said, my rant today comes from the wonderful time I've had attempting to get the mother of my two boys to understand that it is now time that they learn a bit of responsibility. That means more than just doing homework and cleaning up their room. They are 10 and 12 and easily ready to do even a bit of the things that I did when I was young. They'll begin to learn something when they see what it actually takes to earn their money and have to budget it out for the things they want. I want them to also learn that sometimes there are things in life that you have to do that you might not necessarily want to do. It'd be great if you could just play baseball, wii and other games in life but that doesn't provide for the necessities in life. Unfortunately for them, enter their mother and her ideas on the subject. If it's cold out, she doesn't want them outside working. They might get sick. She has thought of every excuse to get in the way of my little lesson in life for them. Most of the other moms at baseball and neighbors are the exact same way. Let the kids be kids, they say. Well, I got to be a kid too and I did these things. I ran around the hill, played baseball, went sled riding, had bb gun battles (and came home with some nasty welts from it) and lots of other things. My friends were the same way and we grew up fairly normal and are not lacking in our ability or desire to work. We didn't expect handouts, free college or anything else. We still don't. Unfortunately, the kids (mine and others I know) are learning that they don't have to put the kind of effort out that I would like them to. To me this is akin to sending them out into a warzone with only a popgun in hand. This sort of lesson transfers over to other areas in life as they will be growing up. Unfortunately, I believe we have a whole generation that has grown up without learning this and explains why people are always looking for that handout in life. They have an expectation that the great "American Dream" is a right to be had, not a privilege to be worked for. Too many of the kids today do not know what it is to put out the kind of effort that was expected of our parents and particularly our grandparents. If suddenly, the situation demanded that we put out the kind of effort that we had to during WWII, we could not do it. Too many people would be asking 'you expect us to do what?' People freak out when communities institute a recycling program and act like it is just so much extra work and why should we be expected to do this. I find it better to learn to deal with things that might be disagreeable first and then if you don't have to actually follow through on it, that's a bonus earned. We are doing a grave injustice to the people of past generations when we act so spoiled that we can't learn to shoulder the extra burden that our ancestors had to. This injustice will come back and bite us in the ass if we don't get everything back in line and learn that everything in life is NOT free, nor should it be. I hope that my boys do learn the things I want them to and understand this as they grow up. It's a constant lesson to be taught and never forgotten. I hope I can get the other parent involved in this matter to see this at some point and help make my job a bit easier. Now that I've had my little rant, I should probably get back to work...