Archive for December, 2010

Life lesson or gouging by a capitalist father?

December 27, 2010 Leave a comment

My son collects drink cans for their deposit money and he saves up a large truckload for a run into town. He nearly has another load ready and it made me think about how I deal with it:

He knows that as a parent I’ll happily drive the cans into town for free but that my truck needs to be paid. I figure that through doing this he’s learning the true cost of doing things, planning, as well as how to utilize or leverage relationships and situations.

I will be a very proud man the day he tells me he’s found someone who’ll haul his cans for less…if he uses that to try and get me to lower my price, I might just weep!

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What a day!

December 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Made it….Happy originally Christian with pagan overtones but now essentially secular mid-winter state-imposed holiday!

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Another Christmas season for The Whinging Welder

December 21, 2010 2 comments

Today I bumped into my favourite fish behaviorist in a Costco parking lot.

He said that he wasn’t joining his wife for the shopping and that he still wasn’t used to the bustle of Christmas in North American; the funny thing is he’s been here for over 50 years now. I told him about the offer my wife made last year where I could skip the shopping if I went to Midnight Mass.

I’m a fundamentalist backslider so she never expected me to take her up on that offer. It was interrupted last year because of a medical emergency and the offer wasn’t made this year.

Kees’s excuse might be getting old but since I’ve been raised with it, my arguments aren’t taken seriously.

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Wholesome actions from unwholesome motives.

December 21, 2010 2 comments

I was recently talking with my wife about honesty and she gave me a hard time about being a bad liar. I can lie, but usually not without either blushing, stammering, or having a giggling fit; my strategy has always been to tell the truth with a sarcastic tone.

The conversation made me think about my motives, besides my apparent lack of skill, for not lying. I’d like to say that conscience and virtue are my prime motivators but I think that my main reason for being honest is all about egotism; I don’t want to be thought of as a liar.

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True motives.

December 21, 2010 2 comments

I recently took my wife with me on a trip to look at a welder about 200 km away.

I was really looking at a welder but I was also hoping to get a new truck too. My wife hadn’t been in my work truck for a couple years and I was hoping that 400 km on the highway would garner a little sympathy. Between the lack of upholstery and door seals, the ride is pretty loud and windy. When you add to this some gearing that requires the engine to scream at highway speeds, it makes for difficult conversation; I’m afraid the drive didn’t bother her too much.

Would you believe that I’ve always been on the lookout for an aviation intercom system so I can comfortably talk with my passengers?

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Some kind of bias.

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I was recently looking at purchasing some second hand equipment and one seller became offended by what he perceived to be a low-ball offer on my part. When he pointed out that my offer was less than 10% of the new value and while his equipment was used, it did all the things the new machines did.

I thought of my 1980 one ton GMC pickup truck….

I wonder if I could use the same rationale as this seller. I could sell my 30 year old, clapped-out pickup truck and expect top dollar because it does the same things that this years model does.

It’s amazing what value people will place on things that have no apparent basis in reality. I think that it’s either and attempt to build themselves up by placing an arbitrary high value on their possessions the high value is a manifestation of the owner’s egotism. That’s my professional opinion; my profession being welding.

I ran into this syndrome with an old landlord of mine who was storing some large fir timbers he pulled out of an old factory he owned. He asked if I wanted to buy them and what I thought a fair price was. I said they were improperly stored and were too weathered and rotten in spots to be used for anything structural. He suggest I resaw them but I told him my honest opinion: The checks in them were so deep and numerous that their main value was as fuel. I said that I might mill them but with the small amount of usable lumber I anticipated getting, he’d need to give it to me for free in order to be worth my while. He declined and said I’d be sorry when somebody else bought them and made some fast money; last time I checked, those timbers are still rotting behind his warehouse.

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Professional pride and development.

December 16, 2010 1 comment

I went down to Victoria with my wife to look at a welder I was thinking of buying. The young man selling it seemed like a nice enough fellow and is a welder himself but I found a few gaps in his knowledge alarming. When I asked him about it, and mentioned this stuff is all in the level C text books, he said that he was just concerned with getting out of school and making money.

I see this syndrome all too often and I’m afraid to say that it’s a big part of what’s wrong with the trade. To to any welding students who might read this I would say pride in one’s work and professional development go hand-in-hand and since you’re at school you might as well read the damn books.

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