Return to the Kitchens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Posted by jfrorelo (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 17, 05 at 7:50

Thought I should take my own suggestion and attempt to move some of the Overboard Kitchens conversation over here. I actually appreciate the different directions that thread took, however I believe the Conversations page is a better home for it.

So...the class thing. Funny how we think our country is a classless society. No pun intended! Anyway, compared to other parts of the world, I'll agree that we have more upward and downward mobility but we definitely do have classes. I look at my family, 2 generations ago on both sides of my family and my dhs family, they were working class people with small 2 br, 1100-1400 sf, 1 bathroom homes that they raised families in, built or did most of the work on themselves, and live(d) in as long as they could. They were plumbers, mechanics, etc. They had one income and one car. Their ambition for their kids was education, good secure jobs and moralilty/religion. I consider that they were middle class even though I know money got tight, they had the necessities and paid for vacations, college, etc.

My generation, on the other hand, considers the homes of my grandparents to be starter homes if they'd consider them at all. 2000 sf seems to be the norm, even small in some circles. Each kid has their own room, maybe even their own TV. Our priorities are still college and a good career for our kids, along with plenty of enriching experiences (sports, dance, music, art, etc.) Our education system is almost entirely geared towards college prep. Plumbing, manufacturing, 'blue collar' jobs are hardly on the radar screen for our kids, as far as I can tell. Too bad, plumbing seems like a more secure and more profitable line of work these days, as oppposed to, say, software engineering.

Oh crap, I've lost my point somewhere.... I guess it was that I observe that we've just about doubled the standard of living for the middle class in 2 generations. In doing so, we've made personal debt acceptable, dual income households common and 'carpe diem' a rallying cry.

This is a broad generalization. I recognize that there are strong frugal and simplicity movements (unfortunately for me, I'm not participating in them, LOL.) I also happen to think that we have industries that rely on illegal immigrants because the US society is not geared towards raising our kids to be laborers. Don't flame me for that one please, I'm sure I could have said it more tactfully if I had more time.

For all its faults, I wouldn't want to live in any other country, at any other time, than this one.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I agree with much of what you've said. I believe that a huge factor that wasn't directly mentioned is the flood of goods from overseas, particularly China. When I was a kid, there were no dollar stores or Payless Shoes or $39 velvet quilts, any size. We've come to accept and embrace the glut of low-priced, low-duration commodities that allow us to swathe our homes and ourselves in trendy outfits, decorations, bric-a-brac, etc. The cheap labor and exploitation of foreign workers has given us a more-more-more mentality that is encouraged by our government. I'm no political scientist, but I can see that there are many detrimental outcomes of this behavior. Besides the overall message this sends to our kids that acquiring "things" is not only our right but our duty, we have byproducts such as a gigantic trade deficit, a lifestyle that wastes natural resources and creates wealth for some at the expense of many, and an attitude of easy come, easy go. In general, I feel that our kids are not learning that hard work pays off because where would they see that? The hardest workers are the least rewarded in our society. When I was growing up I had many role models to show that hard work and high standards led to a better way of life, but I think we have begun to demonstrate to our children the reverse.

All of those observations are generalizations, of course.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I thought this was interesting:

Chief executive officers at 367 top U.S. corporations were paid, on average, $431 last year for every $1 paid to their companies' average production worker, according to publicly available information jointly compiled in September by Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy. In 1990, the ratio was about $100-to-$1. (If the federal minimum wage had increased since 1990 by the same rate as the multiple for CEOs' pay, it would have risen from $5.15 an hour to $23.03, but, of course, it's still $5.15.) [New York Times, 9-4-05]

Current trends in the economy disturb me greatly. It seems like we, as a society, are over-rewarding many of the wrong things, and under-rewarding so many meaningful and important jobs. My friends who are doctors work far more hours, have much more liability and more stress, yet are far less wealthy than my friends who are successful sales people. My friends who are therapists are vastly underpaid, yet the hourly charges for their services are astronomical. (So who gets that money?) Don't get me wrong -- I DO value entrepreneurship, business ownership, financial risk-taking, job-creation... But a ratio of more than 400:1? That's excessive, absurd, and to me, offensive. And the minimum wage? I do believe that two adults working full-time should be able to support themselves in a modest manner on minimum wage jobs. What's the point of minimum wage laws if not to assure subsistence-level wages?

And what has happened to Trade Schools? A college education is a wonderful thing for many people -- but not the right course for everyone. If you're not academically inclined, and not a super salesman -- just a hard worker wanting to learn a skilled trade and do good work -- what kind of living can you expect in this country? So much of the work formerly done by skilled tradesmen and craftspeople at decent wages is now done by low-cost unskilled or low-skilled immigrant labor. (I DON'T mean to imply that all immigrant labor is un- or low-skilled.) But with no training and no quality control, it's no wonder we end up with wavy walls, faulty tile installations and mis-cut granite. I'd love to see the return of apprenticeship programs, and to see trade schools get more respect and support.

My father, a very wise man, said to me more than once that our society "couldn't just sit around and cut each other's hair -- we had to produce something." I think it's gotten worse, not better...


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I agree so much with what all of you are saying - I just don't know how it's going to do anything but get worse in the years to come. It's scary, and I worry that if we have a serious economic upset, the outcome may have tragic consequences for all of us.

My carreer is in the oil/energy industry - specifically, I'm a management assistant for the general manager of a large refinery. Our refinery has been in operation for just over 100 years, and while we started out alone, we are now surrounded by a community that got it's start in the WWII era with what was called "war housing". As with many areas, the exit to the suburbs, drugs and violence in the 60's & 70's took it's toll, and although improvements have been made in recent years, the area is still somewhat depressed now.
We are committed to including the community in hiring opportunities whenever possible - but sadly, it's very difficult to find qualified people, even for our apprentiship program. We've tried to have training programs for people to get up to speed, but the results just haven't been good - it's almost impossible to cram years of basic education into a brief training program. You can teach someone how to pass a test, but the foundation just isn't there that will take them forward. I so wish there were more trade schools for people - it would give them a future, and provide a hiring resource for local industry.

In defense of our (and other) CEO's - while our CEO doesn't make nearly what the article stated as an average, it's true that he is very highly compensated. But when you consider the huge responsibility that he undertakes, and the consequences that can happen if he's wrong, I believe it's money well spent. Our corporation has 50,000 employees spread literally all over the world. We produce products that have an impact on every aspect of everyday life, and if it runs short, millions will have their lives affected in some way or other. We are on the stock exchange, so there are thousands of stockholders to answer to as well. That's a lot of responsibility, and there are not many that are good enough to take it on. That's why the salaries are so high in some cases - there's a lot of competition for the brightest and best leaders with proven track records. One bad CEO can cost a company billions, cost employees their jobs and communities a source of tax income, as well as affect the product flow to millions of Americans.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

One bad CEO can cost a company billions, cost employees their jobs and communities a source of tax income, as well as affect the product flow to millions of Americans.

Can you say Enron?

If you're not academically inclined, and not a super salesman -- just a hard worker wanting to learn a skilled trade and do good work -- what kind of living can you expect in this country? So much of the work formerly done by skilled tradesmen and craftspeople at decent wages is now done by low-cost unskilled or low-skilled immigrant labor.

Actually, if you apply yourself, you can expect a pretty GOOD living. I'm just a two man operation, and I'm WELL into 4 figures a week, and that's after paying my job expenses and my son's paycheck.

As for cheap labor taking over, if you go over to John Bridge's site, there was a thread going in the pros forum about a week ago, where one of the contractors was complaining about how it's so tough to compete against these crews going around offering cheap installations, and what I told him was SELL YOUR QUALITY!! As long as people know they're going to get their money's worth, they won't mind paying a few bucks more. Yes, there's alot of cheap labor around, and some customers will always be all about the bottom line (at the end of the installation-- not down the road). But there will always be customers who are just a little smarter, and willing to spend a few bucks more for what it takes to do a quality installation. This can be applied not just to the tile industry, but all trades AND PROFESSIONS in general. And thank God for that, or we WOULD be a dying breed.

I also happen to think that we have industries that rely on illegal immigrants

That is absolutely true. Those of you who've been around here long enough, know I'm big time conservative, so it should come as no shock that I watch Bill O'Rielly on Fox News all the time. He had a segment on last week with an INS official, and the INS guy was saying that they'd been invited to some city (I believe it was in Colorado somewhere), fully funded, requesting that they clear out all illegals. They were there for about a month, and the civic leaders put the "cork" in the funding flow. What was happening, was all manufacturing was grinding to a HALT, because there wasn't anyone left to do the work! I wish I could remember what town it was!!


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"But when you consider the huge responsibility that he undertakes, and the consequences that can happen if he's wrong, I believe it's money well spent." Mesk, giving someone a big salary doesn't prevent things from going wrong. Remember Kenneth Lay. In spite of our "classless society" I think CEOs are the American equivalent of British aristocracy. Human beings naturally look to their leaders or rulers and American CEOs are the equivalent of a ruling class in this country. I believe this is the reason for their high compensation. What more work would a CEO do for $4 million that he couldn't or wouldn't do for $3 million?

Sweeby: I totally agree with you. I have a graduate degree (Art History so, admittedly, useless) but to this day I wish I had become a car mechanic. I even tried to go to mechanic school but couldn't lift 50 pounds which was a requirement. We see enough threads here to know that a good workman (workwoman) is a precious commodity. A good plumber, a good carpenter, priceless! It makes me think of the guilds in the middle ages - those artisans who built the great cathedrals and were respected for their skill and craft.

jf, one more word about illegal immigrants. I think there are Americans who would do the jobs that illegal immigrants do. The problem is that Americans won't do it for the wages that illegal immigrants get paid. Just tell someone he has to pick oranges for $4 an hour - I don't think that will play too well in Peoria! Imagine how much oranges would cost us if the growers actually had to pay someone minimum wage or more and health benefits to pick them! I think totally sealing our borders from illegal immigration might be one of those "be careful what we wish for" deals.

Seekingadvice: you have touched upon a topic that saddens me. The flood of goods from overseas (China being the most promiment) has resulted in an appalling lack of quality in the stuff that's out there to buy. Everything is disposable now - you can buy that velvet quilt knowing that you don't have to keep it for very long. Throw it away and get a new one. And although the quality is relatively low, it's high enough to be acceptable for the price that you pay for it (in other words, a bargain for the price). So I not only see economic disaster vis a vis the trade deficit, but I see it as the *end* of beautiful, well-crafted, affordable, American made artisanal items that are future family heirlooms. We simply can't compete in such a market.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

The problem is that Americans won't do it for the wages that illegal immigrants get paid.

jerzeegirl, I've got to disagree with you. Back in 1983, I came up here to Maine, and spent 6 months up here. Unfortunately I couldn't set tile because there was a jerk in town that every time he'd hear I'd gotten a project, he'd go see the owner and offer the tile for free and just request payment for the labor if the guy would go with his crew. He wanted me to come to work for him, and I'd heard too much about him and refused. So, I did whatever it took to make money, and one of the things I did was raking blueberries with the migrant workers up here. Out of about 20 people I worked with, maybe 6 or 7 were Columbian. The rest were all Yankee born and bred... and I WISH we were working for 4.00 an hour-- we got 5.00 for every 5 gallon pail we filled up. Period. You want to talk about work that's hard on your back!!


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

ok, how much an hour would you pay a journeyman carpenter who has 2 college degrees, one in design and another in engineering technology with 25 years experience? how much do think that person would be worth an hour working in design/construction? what do you think that person should make a year?


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

It depends on what he was hired for. If he was hired as a journeyman carpenter, he'd be paid the same thing any other journeyman carpenter with the same kind of experience and the same quality of workmanship would be paid. One thing I've found out-- alot of times, in the construction trades, those degrees aren't worth the paper they're printed on. I've seen MANY more "college boys" screw things up than I have journeymen whose whole experience has been OJT. One of the toughest universities out there is the School of Hard Knocks. Trust me-- I've been thru both.

As far as working in design construction, I'm sure he'd be worth alot more IF he knows what he's doing-- again the degree doesn't impress me.

As for what he should make a year, not to sound professionally cliche, but "whatever the market will bear".

If you're asking me if I think he's worth more because of the degrees, I think my answer is pretty obvious about that. In some areas, a college degree is really something to be admired and respected. And although I DO respect anyone who has the ambition to see their studies thru to a degree, professionally speaking, it's old hat-- history. What I want to see is WHATCHA GOT NOW? I don't mean degree wise-- I mean TALENT wise. Now, THAT'S something that'd impress me, and help with what I think he's worth, and as you've seen, I LIVE by that maxim.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

But wait, please. There are people, like me, who go out of their way to locate items that are made here at home, or in other locations, but NOT in China or any other of the cheap labor, child labor enforcing countries in the world. And I've lived in one of them (no, not Egypt). Surely, I can't be the only one? I read the labels, and I won't buy.

Admittedly, it's one of the reasons we're spending above the average for our remodel. But it's so worth it to me, both for the quality of what I'm buying, and for not supporting a trend I don't approve of.

Ivette


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

pirula, you shouldn't have to pay 'above the average' for good craftmanship, you should be paying a fair wage for a fair day of work. craftspersons have the homeowners by the short hairs these days. try to get an estimate, get them to show up for work or get the job done in a timely manner.
bill, i don't consider you as much of a craftsperson as i do an artest working in his medium, and custom artestry is much more precious than mere 'spread and place'tile work.
how about a college grad who then goes through the apprenticeship, because he not only wants to talk the talk, but also walk the walk. i would think that on the average that person would do better work than the average bear (sorry yogi)
some college degrees are not worth the paper they are printed on but it does show sacrifice and dedication. how many people on this chat have had a boss with less qualifications than you have or have a supervisor who doesn't know how to do YOUR job, yet they are supervising you and making more money along with it.
in this day and age (and even when i came into the work force) i think many college grads would take a very low pay scale just to get the job experience and build their resume. i think that is the difference between a job and a career.
trust me, i've been through both too and i have the most fun with architects who know how to talk the talk but don't know how to walk the walk. not that i have fun playing catch and release with them, but those guys are just setting themselves up by not having construction experience. i'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but when i have to constantly write up the big boys on violations, something is lacking in their background.and my point is, these are the guys making the big money.
so, trades without a learning background or learning without a trades background makes for big mistakes in the construction industry, from your kitchen to your kid's school. i'm off topic, what was the question?


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"Mesk, giving someone a big salary doesn't prevent things from going wrong. Remember Kenneth Lay. In spite of our "classless society" I think CEOs are the American equivalent of British aristocracy. Human beings naturally look to their leaders or rulers and American CEOs are the equivalent of a ruling class in this country. I believe this is the reason for their high compensation. What more work would a CEO do for $4 million that he couldn't or wouldn't do for $3 million?"

Jerzeegirl, I must respectfully disagree. No one is compensating our CEO's because they believe them to be some sort of ruling class in this country. There are only two things that determine their salary (or anyone else's for that matter); talent, and competition for that talent. While it's true that a high salary won't guarantee that there are no mistakes or bad judgments, a low salary will most certainly guarantee that those with a high level of talent and a great track record will not even look your way. For every bad CEO that makes the news because of bad business decisions and inapropriate business practices, there are hundreds more that are talented individuals who generate good profits for their corporations and sound business direction for the future.

If my boss told me on Monday morning that they were cutting my salary by 50% to save money, what do you think my reaction might be? I'm a management assistant, event coordinator for a 1200 person facility, and a supervisor, with 25 years of experience in my field of expertise. I'm certainly not the sharpest person on the planet, but I know that I could make a few phone calls and have a job offer on my desk from another company that would equal my current salary pretty quickly because I have talents that are widely marketable and desirable to other companies. In short, my response to my boss would be that should he elect to cut my salary, I would regretfully elect to jump ship to another company, because I'm not here out of the kindness of my heart - I'm here to make a living just like everyone else, and the same would be true for anyone else who works at my company.

Why would our CEO (or anyone else) consent to work for far less than what their talents are worth on the open job market? If you were a board member of a large corporation, and your job was to choose the next CEO, would you let a few million dollars in compensation stand in the way of getting the best person you could for the job? Why would you want to put someone at the helm who was less talented, leaving the cream of the crop available to run the companies you are competing against? That's what it's all about - if you're very talented in your field, and there's a lot of demand for your kind of talent, companies will compete to get you on board. While you may not choose the highest paying offer for one reason or another, you're not going to work for peanuts either.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

pirula, you shouldn't have to pay 'above the average' for good craftmanship, you should be paying a fair wage for a fair day of work. craftspersons have the homeowners by the short hairs these days. try to get an estimate, get them to show up for work or get the job done in a timely manner.
bill, i don't consider you as much of a craftsperson as i do an artest working in his medium, and custom artestry is much more precious than mere 'spread and place'tile work.

Momcat-- See, that's the problem. People don't think they should have to pay any more for good craftsmanship than they should for the crappy crews going around just "slapping" things together, and that's why alot of guys, who would otherwise be good craftsmen, feel they have to cut corners just to remain competitive. I can't tell you how many jobs I've walked away from because the prospective client has told me "Well, I can get Joe Schmoe down the street for this much less than you". My response is always the same-- GET HIM!! He knows what his work is worth! More than once I've had these same people call me back months later asking me to fix Joe's work. Only one time did I do it, and it ended up costing him three times what he would've hired me for in the first place. And no, it's not that that's what I thought my time was worth. Honestly speaking, I was pissed that he had the gaul to call me back and fix this jerk's work and STILL try to have a quality installation for less money, and yes, I raked him over the coals.

As for my being an artist, go to the link below. Now, THAT woman is an artist. The difference between me and others in my trade (or any other) is I love what I do, and I take great pride in my work, as ANY CRAFTSMAN SHOULD. If people were willing to pay what was required to raise the bar, you'd see alot more people like me, and you'd see that I'm nothing special. I swear, I really don't see it. I do my job, and do it to the best of my ability. Isn't that what we're ALL supposed to do?

Here is a link that might be useful: mosaic mural


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I am really aware of income disparity issues. This comes from two things - my personal history and where I live.

I'll spare you the details, but I earned a lot whilst young, husband died of cancer when I was thirty-two and I stopped being able to work for a goodly long while. I know EXACTLY what a single person living on 9k with multiple jobs is like. I can't imagine an actual family living on 10k - but that's the median income the bottom fifth of US citizens earn. The incomes for the second fifth of households tops out at 26k.

I live in Baltimore, MD. Here we have a median income of 20k per household vs. 44k for the country as a whole. Something like 50% of adults are unemployed; we have an astounding drug addiction rate. I could take you through square miles of what appears to be bombed out rowhouses. This is where the poor live.

There are no jobs for unskilled labor and particularly no jobs for kids who speak only street, who cannot read, cannot add and where the majority of the behavior they model is their drug addicted or drug dealing parent or neighbors. Kids in school carry their arrest records around so they can show their friends and gain status. About one percent of the population RETURNS from prison each year.

Blame the parents? Which one? The one in jail or the one in drug treament? The one who had their brain permanently damaged by lead paint? The one who is a dealer? The one who turned his or her kids over to a poor relative who is turn becomes emotionally swamped? How about the one who is trying to work multiple jobs to afford food and can't afford child care? Wasn't a study just published that said that a minimum wage worker had to work 115 hours a week to afford the AVERAGE one bedroom apartment.

Murder is the sixth leading cause of death here. Over nine percent of our children have lead poisoning. Our schools are unfunded (we're talking about hundreds of millions) to the point where the city won a lawsuit against the state saying that it amounts to discrimination, but it didn't change any funding levels. Most of the factories are gone and with them went the employment.

This is the United States of America, too. Is an eight year-old supposed to take responsibility for his or her neighborhood? How about a fourteen year-old abandoned by his parents, sleeping in boarded-up buildings, going to school and dealing for food money?

There is a kinda justification of pure self-indulgence and selfishness shown here somtimes.... I can't help feeling that at a certain point, it becomes immoral. The children of despair deserve to be saved before another generation goes to the dealers and to lead paint.

What sweeby said.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

say you want some basic carpentry done, nothing fancy, just very basic. you would want to hire a basic carpenter, not a carpenter who specializes in finish furniture carving. big diff in prices and expertise.
as far as what you would pay a person, from my post way back, i guess i was trying to sneak in a point. the person i was talking about was me (no momcatcat, really?) if i were to go back into the construction field and try to hire on at what i feel i was worth, up against, lets say, ANYONE (skilled or saying they are skilled) willing to take a lower pay scale, you bet your butt the lower payscale person would get the job. that's why when a consumer is taking bids (when you can get anyone to make a bid on you kitchen remodel) alot of homeowners will take the low bid, isn't that's what it's all about. ergo, venting on the chats about poor workmanship. the average homeowner doesn't have the background to weigh the differences in the bid pricing so thank goodness, there is this chat so they can visit here to help to find a clue. and bless the people there who are willing to help.
sort of like when i graduated from school and was finished with my apprenticeship. again, i thought i had alot to offer the world of kitchen design and remodeling, i during interviews, i got the idea that 'why should we hire you when bubba has been doing it just fine for 10 years'. and so, bad kitchen design, crappy workmanship, crummy materials and the many horrible "before" kitchen pics on the chats being torn out as a result.
bill, i'm giving you a complement on your beatiful work, take it and run........love, momcat
again........what was the question? ADD kicking in here.....


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"See, that's the problem. People don't think they should have to pay any more for good craftsmanship than they should for the crappy crews going around just "slapping" things together, and that's why alot of guys, who would otherwise be good craftsmen, feel they have to cut corners just to remain competitive."

I couldn't agree more, Bill. That's what I was trying to say earlier. Where we live, a lot of the work in the various construction trades is done by immigrant laborers, many of whom are undocumented; so the "market average rate" for most trades is pretty low. The folks willing to accept those rates are hard-working and honest, but they're not skilled craftsmen, and they haven't received much of any training. Essentially, it's the "Wal-Mart" theory of construction work. And too many people can't tell the difference between good craftsmanship and shoddy. Maybe that's the problem -- The average homeowner is 'too far removed' from construction to know the difference.

In a 'previous lifetime', DH was a high-tech welder. He's a very meticulous craftsman, and put a lot of time and energy into learning his trade. He spent his lunch hours and break times watching the old-timers, asking questions and learning, went to night school, and put a lot of pride into his work. Eventually, where the cost of a bad weld was extreme, DH was the man they called, because he never produced a bad weld. (The government would fly him out to weld nuclear reactor cores.) And what did they pay him for those critical welds? Union scale. (Then every Christmas, the union would lay him off early, because they could stretch out the work he would have produced to keep three slower men busy... Gotta love those unions.)

Anyway, since marrying him, he has taught me what to look for in good construction. The neat, tight welds with no pinholes or slag on metal work. Tile work with even, consistent grout joints, no hollow spaces below, level surfaces, flat edges, centered patterns and no slivers or unnecessary exposed edges. Walls with no bows or hollows and even textures, tight mitre joints and smooth, undinged surfaces in trim work. Windows that don't sweat, and doors that don't stick or swing open or shut by themselves. Things I would never have noticed before, and flaws I see all over my friends' houses. We seem to be building a nation of 'disposable houses'.

So where am I going, anyway?... Ah, well -- Bottom line, I'm keeping my eyes open for a good trade for my younger son when he grows up. One where a good attitude and work ethic will pay off, where he can apprentice and learn, and eventually, support himself. I hope by then such a thing will exist, and that a living wage will be a reasonable expectation for someone who's willing to work for it.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining this conversation! I think long and hard about income disparity in this country and know, every day, I am one of the lucky ones. Yes I am smart, and yes I work hard (modest too, huh?). But if I was born into the conditions Bmore describes, I would probably be dead by now. As some of you have read in previous posts, I'm in the real estate industry. I've had the pleasure of walking into million dollar homes and I've also walked into homes in the worst parts of the city, with bars on the windows and a view into the crackhouse next door. No one 'deserves' to live like that. Especially no child. If that makes me some kind of bleeding heart what-ever label you want liberal, that's okay. I'm a mom and I can't stand to see kids live in pain, poverty, danger.

But what is the solution?


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Bottom line, I'm keeping my eyes open for a good trade for my younger son when he grows up. One where a good attitude and work ethic will pay off, where he can apprentice and learn, and eventually, support himself. I hope by then such a thing will exist, and that a living wage will be a reasonable expectation for someone who's willing to work for it.

Sweeby-- That could be ANY trade-- SO LONG as he gets hooked up with a good CRAFTSMAN (as opposed to a tradesman-- there IS a difference) to teach him and make him appreciate the result of his labor. That was my good fortune. I was brought up through my apprenticeship by guys from the old country who took great pride in the work that they did, and if I didn't do it right, I was made to do it again until it WAS right. Once my family's company closed down and I moved to south Florida, I was blessed (and I mean that in the most literal sense) again to meet up with a guy my own age who was just as meticulous about high end residential tile, and brought my skill up to a whole new level. These people DO exist. You just have to look to find them. Just make sure your son has realistic expectaions, and doesn't expect to get a full pay scale for several years. Let him know he can consider it "tuition". :-)

momcat-- as I said before, someone wants to hire on the cheaper guy-- go for it. He knows what his work is worth. I might sit home sometimes when I could be working, but why devalue my work? When I'm doing work that's standard run of the mill, I expect to get paid standard run of the mill prices for the quality of my work. When I do something more advanced, I'll be paid appropriately for it, or I won't do it, and I would say the same thing for your carpenter.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

yes, but does the geneneral home owner know what his work is worth. i didn't even know what form work was until i had that rude awakening. i thought carpentry was finish, framing and furniture. can a finish do form, can a furniture do finish, just what is the public hiring? it's like me hiring a mechanic for my car. i am ashamed to say, i don't know much about auto mechanics, thank goodness my brothers do. for those who don't have brothers who do, you are at the mercy of the mechanic...there is a auto repair chat here isn't there?
maybe off topic, my oldest is in a 2 year 'fire science' program at vincennes university. i pointed him in this direction because of his ADD (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree) he is very trainable, but not very teachable. firefighting is very into training (think sports)but i'm hoping he develops learning skills also (thinking, left foot, right foot) which is also very important when he studies for his EMT. i sure wish programs like this were around when i was in school. the classes are geared to real life instead of theory, sort of like a trade apprenticeship.
after 2 years, i hope he has developed skills he can offer to society.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

You'd be surprised how many homeowners are aware of the difference. Especially ones who've GONE with the "bargain" price before and been burnt. Believe me when I tell you, atleast up in this area, there are enough savvy homeowners that it keeps me busy, and I PROMISE you, there are many many more installers here for basic installations that are WAY cheaper than me (some by as much as 1-1.50 a foot cheaper). Heck, even the showroom I do alot of my work for-- this guy could find subs a 1.00 a dozen that'd cost him alot less to sub his work out to. But he won't-- even when I ASKED him to last summer when I was bogged down so badly-- for the same reason-- quality of the work. Hell, when I went on vacation last July and August, rather than bring someone else in, he strapped on the kneepads himself!! Word travels fast, both good and bad. I don't care how big or small your town is. Like the old saying goes, if someone does good work for you, you're going to tell some people. If someone does a BAD job, you're going to tell EVERYONE.
I'll also guarantee you that most of those cheaper installers will be sitting home with no work LONG before I will.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"But when you consider the huge responsibility that he undertakes, and the consequences that can happen if he's wrong"

What consequences? Will he be on the hook for the money he loses for the company, or help the people who are now unemployed find new jobs? MAYBE if he did something illegal. . .but still then only maybe.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"atsmith", sweeps off cavaliers hat and bows, "thank you".


 o
RE: Overboard kitchen - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I have recently espoused the theory that because new construction is so rampant here (Atlanta - mostly in the suburbs, but even in town it is moreso than in older cities) tradespeople get away with murder. When someone is looking at a whole new house, as a buyer, they don't notice the little details that they would if they were a homeowner inspecting work on a remodel. I know I overlooked a lot of things in purchasing 2 homes than when I remodeled something - then, I notice every detail and will expect fine, thorough work.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

There is a kinda justification of pure self-indulgence and selfishness shown here somtimes.... I can't help feeling that at a certain point, it becomes immoral.

I couldn't agree more Bmore. Your post was an excellent reminder that we are lucky to have the luxury of being TKO.

jfrorelo I think the best solution is better schools in poor neighborhoods but since that won't happen the next best thing is for the lucky among us to help just one person build a better future. I can certainly do more, but I always participate in the mentoring program at work. DH's business has finally grown enough to hire a young apprentice (his DS and DD have no interest in physical labor). We were surprised to discover this 18 year old has never handled a drill or tape measure -- apparently they no longer offer shop class in inner city schools. But this sweet young man seems willing to learn and put in a hard day's work. His skill level will grow as the company grows and he'll be able to support a family here in the overpriced SF Bay Area.

Bill -- DH, like you, is amused by clients who don't want to meet his price then call him in a panic 6 months later because they can't take occupancy when the shoddy sub they hired can't pass inspection. Funny how they're willing to pay through the nose at that point! Most of his work now comes from referrals or the same few GCs. Fine with him since they know he's worth the price and it eliminates the need to *sell* himself.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

bunglogirl-- that's the nice thing about the winter up here-- my reputation precedes me. But during the summer, when the summer folks come up here building their 4000 sq. ft. lakeside "summer camps" (EXACTLY the kind of work I love doing), again, I have to show them "who's number one". By showing my album and laptop pics, as well as directing them to this and other forums to show the extent of my technical knowledge and the respect I have from the industry, I've even been able to talk several from having their tilemen from back home come up to do their work. It only takes one in a neighborhood. :-)


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"You'd be surprised how many homeowners are aware of the difference." I wholeheartedly agree with you Bill on that.

Sweeby - I too want my son to have a trade when the time
comes.

Seeking - I agree 100%. It is important to remember we are not only consumers but workers as well. There is a high price to the low cost.

We have done nothing to stop illegal immigration in this country. Our nation is being inundated. The contractors who hire these illegal immigrants are charging top dollar and are paying as little as possible with no benefits and in some cases not paying workeman's comp fees. After the hurricanes this year, the govt. tried to cancel the Davis- Bacon Act in gulf coast areas. In Florida, where two major hurricanes hit us last year, there were thousands of houses that lost their roofs. The workers for the majority of roofing contractors were non-English-speaking Mexicans who worked from sunup to sundown. I am not against the workers, as they also want to make a decent living. It is the contractors who hire unskilled labor, pay the substandard wages and lousy conditions and charge us top dollar. The labor movement is dying in this country and has probably been set back decades in the last 4 years. The walmartzation of america. My DH is third generation union journeyman electrican in NYC. He had to apprentice and go to school for 7 years. He must stay "current" (get it? hee) and still takes courses in new tech. and high voltage. I (we) are under some serious strain as he is now in the 6th week of a 26 week (yes 6 month) mandatory furlough (lay-off). Thousands are out and this is rotating the men (and woman) to get everyone working. The last time we saw this was more than 10 years ago.

Bill - I think you said something once about follow the architects and commerical construction if you wan't to see where the economy is going.

When you click the link below - click on the video for big box mart. We might as well laugh for a moment.

Here is a link that might be useful: jibjab


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

OT shout out to Bill!! I'm wondering if you know my cousin. He's done finish carpentry on lots of those 4000 sq ft homes--...I wonder if you've crossed paths---I know it's a small world up there, esp. in winter!...Steve Bragg is his name...

Nancy


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I don't know him personally, but I know who he is, and I've worked on some of the same projects. :-) You're right-- he's all OVER this area. If you talk to him about me, tell him I'm the tile guy at Floors N More. :-)


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

"What consequences? Will he be on the hook for the money he loses for the company, or help the people who are now unemployed find new jobs? MAYBE if he did something illegal. . .but still then only maybe."

Actually, I wasn't referring to the consequences to the CEO if he/she makes bad decisions - I was referring to the consequences to the employees, the community, and the shareholders. To be honest, when huge mistakes are made in business, the ramifications can be so far reaching, that whatever happens to the CEO responsible is inconsequential in comparison. The CEO will loose his/her position, perhaps even go to jail or pay fines, but what does that matter? The damage(often so extensive it's irreparable) will already be done. If there are facility closures, the employees will still have lost their jobs, pensioners might loose a portion of their retirements, the community will have lost a valuable taxbase, and the shareholders will collectively loose millions due to drops in the stock value. That's why it's important to do everything possible to obtain the best talent that you can.
I've seen companies on the brink of folding, only to be brought back to life by the right management/ceo team. It's the same employees, the same product, the same locations - nothing changed but the leadership structure, and the process changes that they made turned these companies around.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Bill--"it's a small world after all...." LOL!

I might see him this weekend (Always a crap shoot if they are coming down to MA for Christmas...) If I do I'll be sure to mention "this weird tile guy I met on the internet who says he knows of you..." ;-D

Man, the stories he tells about some of the "summer people"...I saw a pic of one mantlepiece that he did for a summer home years ago--he's 6'4" and the top of the mantle was over his head...and the ones that try to fit 5000 sq ft houses on the grandfathered 200 sq ft old cottage foundation because it is 20 ft from the lake.... :-)

sorry to interrupt the thread...back to your regularly scheduled conspicuous consumption...


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Bill & Nambafo - we have a friend who has carved out a life as a ski bum. He usually goes between winter job and summer job and takes off as much time as possible to ski, kayak, play. Last summer his job is in construction. He takes to complaining about how obscene the amount of money these people are spending on their vacation home they'll only use a few months a year. He complains he makes less than $20k a year and these people are throwing their money around.

Excuse me, I said? Those people may or may not be foolish, but their decision to build a luxury vacation home gave him and his co-workers paychecks for the summer. Paychecks they spent in town, on rent, on beer, whatever. Money that keeps their whole area afloat, as tourism is the only local economy. He doesn't make much because he chose to get off the rat track and ski as many days a year as possible.

I am definitely bothered to think that the people who pump my gas and work at the sandwich shops can't afford a home, and I am definitely bothered by CEOs and stockholder who cash in while laying off thousands of workers, but I will not complain about people spending their own money.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

jforelo--sorry if I came across as complaining about $$--not my intention--I don't care how people spend their money--as long as it doesn't hurt me or the environment...

my comment about the mantle was not to the $$$ spent, but to my cousin's skill as a craftsman...if it weren't for the "big houses" he wouldn't get to make such cool stuff... :-)

my comment about the big house on the old foundation OTOH *was* a comment about money...it happens quite a bit that people want to take a 70-80 year old summer "shack" and raze it to put up a huge house--no skin off my back, unless they are trying to get around the current environmental setback laws that are meant to protect the lake--the old cottage was grandfathered becasue it was only 20 ft from the shore...no one is saying they can't build their house--but they think they can steamroll over the local zoning just because they have money and "look at all the jobs building my house will provide..."

Bill and my cuz are both craftsman who, lets face it, wouldn't get to make the cool expensive stuff without the big houses...

just wanted to clarify my post---(and I type this as I am baking cookies in my 30" Dacor double convection ovens...)


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

jfrorello-- actually, your friend has a point, if not somwhat backhanded. Now, you're not too far from here, so I'm very sure you know exactly what I'm talking about by the following. All this building up here is great for me, personally-- ONLY because I don't own my own home, and because I'm not native to the area, and here's why I say this. I've already seen this happen in Cape Elizabeth, on the other side or Portland, and now it's happening up here in the Lakes Region. What's going on, is that summer folks are coming up here and building 4, 5, and 6000 square foot homes, like no one's business, and that's all well and good for the construction industry, as well as the tax base. But the problem is that these homes are raising home values SO much, that life long residents, whose homes have been paid off for years, can't afford to stay in those homes, because the taxes have QUADRUPLED in a very short period of time. It happened to the mom and dad of the last girl I dated before I met my wife. They built their home in Cape back in the 60's, and it's been paid off since the early 70's, being that her dad was a contractor and built it himself. He's been retired since 85, and in 97, he had no choice but to sell his home, because 90% of the homes that had been built up around him were multimillion dollar homes, which sent his property value through the roof, and being that he and his wife were on a fixed income, there was no way they could keep up with the increase in property taxes, and the house he built to die in had to be sold, and they moved up north to Skowhegan. THat same thing is happening here in Bridgton now. The kid who owns the showroom I do my work for-- his dad and brother are both GC's, and they've been building a subdivision in North Bridgton over the last year, and 1500 square foot capes and ranches (what used to be called starter homes) are now going for $250K- $275K!! Two years ago, my ex partner bought a piece of property (3 acres) here on the outskirts of town for $15K an acre. You can't find property here now, two years later, for less than $75K and acre, and specifically here in town, the tax rate has better than doubled in the same amount of time. So this mansion building is a double edged sword, to be sure.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

1500 sf for less than $600K, Bill you're making me cry.

Hey meskauskas let's move to the right coast!


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

bunglogrl, maybe you should. We just did, from LA. . .even 1500 sq ft single fAmily for 600K would be a bargain where we moved from.

I don't mean this to apply to you at all because I don't take your joke to be a serious complaint, but when I hear people who live in Manhattan, for example, complain about the price of real estate in Manhattan, I want to remind them that this is a big country, not to mention world, and if you don't like where you are enough to be happy with the price you pay to live there, then move.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

bunglogirl-- I could REALLY make you cry-- in 1983, my exbrother in law, bought 7 1/2 acres for $15K, that included 400 feet of shore frontage on the atlantic shoreline. Of course, that doesn't include the 25,000 he spent building his own 1000 sq. ft. home on it. About 5 years ago, some guy from Mass came up and offered him 750K for the two acres that included the shore frontage, and he turned it down.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Turned it DOWN Bill? Hand me another box of tissue...

I didn't mean to annoy you atsmith - one of my dearest girlfriends moved from here to Decatur 3 years ago and never looked back (except to keep begging DH and me to follow her to hotlanta). Cousins in Michigan keep urging me to move back home (Christmas is the only time I miss the snow). We're the typical Bay Area weather wimps. But, we won't hesitate to sell this raggedy bungalow and head east in 20 years at retirement time if it becomes necessary. I hope someone will like the huge sink and marble *patina* in my overboard kitchen!

That last sentence was my lame attempt get back to jfrorelo's topic ;-)


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Bunglogrl,that sounds like fun, but no..I'd better not. DH and I are California born and bred and we are fortunate enough to own our home so here we'll stay. Besides, I'd miss the family too much, and I just haven't got a clue how to live in snow!
It's truly awful for folks in other states that don't have property tax controls on their homes - it's very sad to hear of someone selling their dream home because taxes got too high - that hurts my heart. We had to make changes here many years ago because our own housing market was booming. Sounds like they need to do that in other states as well. I heard on the news recently that Idaho and Utah both experienced a 30%+ appreciation in their housing markets last year. If property taxes went up for everyone every time a home in our development was sold at a higher value, my property taxes would be about $12,000 a year - almost 3 times what they are now..and I don't even want to think about 20 years from now. Good grief, where will it all end? I get this vision of years from now, and hundreds of huge houses sitting vacant with overgrown plants and cobwebbs...like faded mansions in some old halloween movie, abandoned by people who couldn't unload them on an overburdened market and had to just cut their losses and walk away.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I agree that overdevelopment and McMansions do harm as well as good, I just was commenting on the moral superiority that my friend took when comparing his lifestyle to those of the vacation home builders.

Bill, what I want to know is why did the property taxes go up so much? In NH, supposedly the total spending budget, as approved by the town, is divided by the total real estate valuation, as determined by the assessor. If the real estate shot up dramatically but the town didn't spend more money, then tax rates would actually go DOWN. And if it is second homes, then the town hardly needs to add schools, which is the most expensive of town services, do they? Did the new residents demand more services? I know I see that all the time. We had no underground utilities, no trash pickup, small town halls, small firehouses, etc. Seems that once the population picks up those things aren't good enough anymore.

I heard an interesting news story on the radio a week or so ago. Epping, NH has a new Lowes and a new WalMart. They want to charge WalMart the cost of an extra policeman, on top of the taxes WalMart pays. Why? Because the get hundreds of calls to the WalMart a year - for shoplifting, for domestic incidents, for fender benders, etc. Now I don't think the town legally can charge them above and beyond their taxes, but I do think it shows some of the unintended consequences of growth. I'm still pissed my town voted out the proposed Target store. Maybe they were right, maybe not...


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Bunglogrl,that sounds like fun, but no..I'd better not. DH and I are California born and bred and we are fortunate enough to own our home so here we'll stay. Besides, I'd miss the family too much, and I just haven't got a clue how to live in snow!
It's truly awful for folks in other states that don't have property tax controls on their homes - it's very sad to hear of someone selling their dream home because taxes got too high - that hurts my heart. We had to make changes here many years ago because our own housing market was booming. Sounds like they need to do that in other states as well. I heard on the news recently that Idaho and Utah both experienced a 30%+ appreciation in their housing markets last year. If property taxes went up for everyone every time a home in our development was sold at a higher value, my property taxes would be about $12,000 a year - almost 3 times what they are now..and I don't even want to think about 20 years from now. Good grief, where will it all end? I get this vision of years from now, and hundreds of huge houses sitting vacant with overgrown plants and cobwebbs...like faded mansions in some old halloween movie, abandoned by people who couldn't unload them on an overburdened market and had to just cut their losses and walk away.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

jfrorelo-- The MILL rate might go down, to account for the wider tax base, but if you start out with a piece of property that was originally worth maybe 20K, and all of the sudden, over the course of a couple of years, its value goes up over 3000% because of the homes going up around you, no matter HOW far the mill rate goes down, for someone on a fixed income, it'll STILL be impossible to keep up with the taxes.

bunglogirl-- He turned it down, because that property will be his sons' inheritance. This is prime shorefront real estate in Downeast Maine about halfway between Deer Isle and Ellsworth, whose value will do nothing but go up, and it'll ALWAYS be in demand, so it's money in the bank.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Don't know whether or not this thread is still kicking, but I had this funny dream last night. I've been really sick with the flu (including delirium!) but am beginning to feel better. Last night I dreamed I was in my mom's kitchen in my parents' first house and I was 4-5 again. I was riding on the floor buffer just like I used to do. I had forgotten about that, but it was so clear in my dream. We had asbestos tile floors - not the height of fashion - but my mom babied those floors as if they were the finest material. She regularly waxed and buffed them so they always shone, and she used to let me ride on the buffer for a while when polishing the floor.

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but it was a moment of nostalgia I thought I'd share. It also may be that those kitchens of yesteryear (that would have been ~1960) were not as low maintenance as you might think. I know my mom wasn't the only one who waxed and buffed her floors. We had no carpet, either - it was asbestos tile throughout the house, though she did have this funky sisal rug-type thing on the living room floor. Now that's a handy thing - a scratchy straw mat that allows all the dirt to sift down through the holes to the floor below, requiring you to not only fold up the mat (it sort of folded into squares) and take it out to be beaten, but then clean the floor beneath it. My floors (hardwood) are lucky to see a broom or vacuum once in a while.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

You know, I was thinking (but never posted) on the other thread that anyone that speaks of "our mothers" as not obsessing over their kitchens or counters, but just warmly enjoying their worn homes never knew my mother! She came from a whole generation of women that I knew to be extremely particular about their homes, and she was constantly laboring to keep it perfect. I think she would have a much easier time of it now, with the advances in home technologies. . .but she'd still find a way to sweat over it. I mentioned in another thread that her reaction to our more minimalist style was that she needs "something more to dust" - and while she was joking, she wasn't, if you know what I mean.

oh, and bunglogrl, you didn't annoy me with that - I meant it when I said I did not mean it to apply to you because I know you were not complaining. . .but the conversation just reminded me . . .

I want to mention what a more pleasant tone this thread has over here than on the main board. Not one person has repeatedly posted about their $1-1.5 million dollar new home or DH's 200K+ salary.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens -sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Just to be clear - I did post on the other thread, just not about that thought. Not trying to be holier than thou. . .cause I sure ain't!


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

That's a wonderful dream image - riding on a floor buffer. I wish I had gotten to go.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I still want to hear about the Tailgator Bill mentioned like the one in that Bogosian play, is there a link to it? We tailgate at the Patriots games. It's alot of fun in the fall but in freezing temps, the thrill wears off, LOL! I wanted to rent a camper and put it in the driveway while we remodeled the kitchen. Alas, budget constraints didn't permit such a luxury.

Back sort-of on topic in this off topic thread: Ironically both my grandmother and my dh's grandmother had their kitchens redone when they were in their 70s. These are those same houses they raised their kids in. They both were so pleased to do it, because they spent so much time in the kitchen, it was their Domain. Now I'm a little embarrassed to talk to my grandmother about my kitchen remodel, as we are definitely going overboard by her standards. A little guilt never hurt anyone, right? Especially in New England!


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Sorry-- I didn't save the link. It was one of those things where someone sent me the link in a forward, I checked it out, thought to myself Hmmmmm, that's interesting, but not in THIS lifetime, and then deleted it.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Seeking advice--remember that the wax had to be stripped from those floors too! What a miserable job! My mom obsessed about her kitchen and house--it was perfect. It always reminded me of the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy is trying to join a women's club and one of the admission requirements is a surprise inpsection of Lucy's home with the inspection team performing the "white glove" test. My mom's house was always ready for the white glove test! And my Mom had stainless steel appliances that were always spotless and shiny--I don't ever remember her having a finger print problem even with 3 kids, which is why I'm getting them now. But in retrospect they probably were a lot of work and she probably polished them every day.

jfroelo--There are still a lot of people like your grandparents' generation out there, you just don't know them because in our society the classes tend to be divided by education as well as income. I'm from a rural area where these divisions do not exist as much and where small, unpretentious homes are still the norm and where the auto mechanic is as likely to live next to a doctor as he/she is to live next door to a sanitation worker. It's hard to tell who is rich and who is poor in my home town, although the bigger homes (not huge or KO like you read about on this forum) are starting to creep in. I'm a professional, but my first job when I was 10 or 11 was picking cucumbers for a farmer--no migrants or minorities in our rural area, just local kids and adults making extra money--also you don't get paid by the hour for doing that kind of work, you get paid by what you pick (i.e., per bushel, per pound, per pound for specific grades of a vegetable, etc.--so the harder you work, the more make). I also picked apples and strawberries for money as well as cleaned houses and did lots of other menial things which, in many rural areas, are done by whites at the same low rates that would be paid to illegal aliens and migrant workers in areas that have them. My brothers, who are both now professionals too, worked on farms from the time they were 12 and also did all sorts of menial jobs on the side like catching chickens that were ready to be processed, hoeing tobacco, etc. Personally I don't think it's the pay as much as I think there is a real snobbery on the part of people in some parts of the country today not wanting themselves or their kids to do jobs that migrants and illegal aliens will do. In my hometown, doing farm work, etc., and other physical labor jobs like the ones I listed were what motivated many kids to do well in school so that they could go to college, etc.,--they didn't want to work that hard for a living. And in my hometown, just about everyone has done that kind of work at some point in their lives so they don't look down on the people who are doing it now.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

lowmaintenance - I'm sure you are right, I just keep thinking the ambitions of this generation are that their kids are going to go to college and have white collar jobs. Could be my zip code, of course, but it seems all the emphasis in the public schools is on college prep and trade schools or similar programs are fewer and fewer. My mechanic and my plumber both probably make more $$ than my doctor, so it seems perception is not entirely based on reality.

On another note, I can't remember the title but there was a book published a few years back that advocated physical labor for mental health. The theory, if I recall, was that typical talk-therapy methods were not as effective as just being useful and doing useful, purposeful things. This made a lot of sense to me, though I will admit to being a couch potato! I recall the author wasn't against introspection, but that energy levels and confidence were boosted by activity. And they didn't describe chain gain type activity, but things like building, cleaning, cooking, basic labor that gave results and satisfaction.

seeking advice: Now, about riding a floor buffer in your dreams, what would Freud make of that if you were on the therapy couch? LOL!

to namabafo and all, I've not taken offense at anything posted here, just enjoying the opportunity to ruminate a bit. Another interesting angle is the nouveau riche vs. old money. Going into other people's homes has taught me something and that is that old money doesn't spend theirs. If that avocado green kitchen is still functioning, it's not going anywhere! I've seen trash pickers who have trust funds. Sure, it's a cliche but there seems to be some truth in it.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I haven't participated in any of these threads on "over-board kitchens" prior to this, but I guess I'm bored tonight and I've been on hold with techs at a %^&*%^ computer software company tonight who are far less than helpful.

To play devil's advocate to all the posts about increased property value I just have one question....

Would you sell your home/property for the tax valuation?

I have a plain and simple answer...no frickin' way!!!! For tax purposes my home is valued about $40 -$50K less than I'd get on the open market. The same is true for our family's cabin and for the homes of all my friends (we've had this discussion). Not that it changes painful property tax payments, but I sure wouldn't sell for that price!

~ EB


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

Good Point! Heck if it weren't for home prices I'd be in the poorhouse. My 401K certainly hasn't turned into much of a nest egg...


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

For once I am going to do the right thing and stay out of this one.


 o
RE: Overboard kitchens - sociopolitical, nostaglia, funnies

I think one of the measures of your life is what you have to complain about. I'm not at the level where I complain about the Yacht tax and I'm not at the level where I complain about the cost of a can of tuna, so all-in-all that's a good thing. The point is, there's always something.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Kitchens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here