Adios California... Were You One?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DraftFlavored, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    Hello All..

    I've noticed a number of folks posting here, have indicated they moved FROM California to greener pastures of our great nation. Before I go any farther.... I say Congratulations to those people who made the move and I hope it's turned out to be all you anticipated. :)

    I'm a California native, 43 years old and no one here has to say anything to convince me of all the great reasons to move from California. Because anyone whom of which has lived in California (southern cal in my case) for any long period of time knows of the many problems we're up against here and continued decline in many areas. Sure, we have the BEST weather, no question about that. And, if you don't live here in California, but plan on vacationing here then visit San Diego. For San Diego boasts the best weather in the world! (for people who like stats ; ) But there's so much more than the weather to think about.

    For a business owner like myself, this state is anything but business friendly. But for the fact my business is over 65 years old and a "niche" business, I would have been out of here years ago. For that reason, business here, samll and large are getting off their duffs, packing up and heading out to other states.

    I plan on selling in the near future and going elsewhere. I'm interested in hearing what prompted you to leave California , what state you left for.
    Again, I hope all you SMART folks are enjoying your new lives outside of California. Pamela
     
  2. jerneeon

    jerneeon Well-Known Member

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    We moved to the northwest (Oregon) after having lived in So California off and on for a number of years (My father was in the military so we moved there a couple times). My dad wanted to be in the middle of nowhere. I was married by that time and stayed in Ca for a couple years before following the rest of the family north. I eventually ended up here.

    Of course, it doesn't have the greatest weather, but the pace is much slower, the people friendly. Traffic certainly not like driving LA I-5. Cheaper, too. I wouldn't go back to California to live for...well...maybe for a million dollars but only if I didn't have to stay there forever.
     

  3. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We left 33 years ago from Woodside California. We kept our house and rented it out, and rented our duplex and went to live in the woods.

    Best thing we ever did.

    The reason we left is because I thought I was wasting my time commuting over an hour each way every day to San Francisco and back to my engineering job in the City. I hated it.

    Even now a lot of my work is in California -- when we go there I make sure I get a hotel near where I have meetings -- and we take an extra day or two when we can on the weekend to go to Anza-Borrego Spings desert -- like we did week before last when I had to go to San Diego.

    The driving is unbelievable -- well maybe that will correct itself via Peak Oil and all that.

    We came alive when we stopped the "soul-destroying" commute and lived on our own in the woods and built our own log cabin. Time meant nothing -- we were in love with our life -- and hated in it in California -- even though it was "fine".

    Alex
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Stats, or not. I hated San Diego Weather. My brother lives there long term and in high school (many moons ago) I spent the summer comiing from the midwest.
    The morning dullness (fog) I thought was going to rain all the time, and it didn't. And then the salt air.....yuck. I like change of seasons, so if the stats keep people there in the warmth, that's fine. I'll fight it out with the elements and less threat of earthquake here.

    On the flip side, my brother came to visit and spent 7 weeks here with his wife.
    They enjoyed it for the first couple weeks, and then the novelty wore off when a country mouse got into their vehicle and DB took a rangy. SIL went bananas about the mosquitoes, and the rooster 'noise'. Even the wild catbird and killdeer kept them awak at nights. They had nightmares about getting tick borne diseases and took about 3 trips 'commuting' into town 20 miles away daily to get into the 'rat race' they were used to. Even though we don't have a rat race in the small town of 10,000 nearby, it's what they missed.
    Yeah, it's a jungle out here.
     
  5. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    We bought property in Montana 14 yrs ago and just made the move up here last June and couldn't be happier with our decision. We knew we wanted a simple life and knew Santa Barbara, CA wasn't the place to make that happen. We both had good jobs there but still couldn't afford to buy a home~ not that we wanted to buy a house in suburbia anyway...Couldn't imagine paying off a house for the rest of our lives. Sure, the climate was great~ about 70* year round but we didn't have the solitude, the wildlife, the lack of stress and the genuine people we get to spend our lives around now. There are a lot of things in life more important than $ and I think we've found them here. :)
    Steph
     
  6. betty modin

    betty modin Well-Known Member

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    I made the move to SW Oregon a little over a year ago-not because I wanted to leave the state though. I spent several years looking for what I wanted-and could afford, feel safe in and know it wouldn't become a bedroom community-in California. I left because I found what I was looking for-the quiet rural atmosphere I dreamed of. betty
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    California is a land of soaring mountains, thundering ravines, redwood cathedrals where the ceiling is 30 feet high, and pounding surf. The rain forests are lush and green, the caverns and caves endlessly intriguing. The creeks are lively and have gold and semi-precious stones for the picking up.

    And, with the exception of the Government -owned parks and forests, it is all being developed fairly quickly, now. It is mostly one big city, and it takes hours to go to the California that I love.

    I left because my DH wanted to, because I could not stand living in the middle of a city and there was no other place there for me, and because for aggies like me the Midwest was the land of opportunity.

    Besides, I could not stand to watch everything I loved about California get paved over.

    And, yes, I pretty much DID find what I was looking for in the Midwest.
     
  8. MichelleB

    MichelleB Well-Known Member

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    I feel the way Terri does. I grew up in the South Bay, and lived in San Francisco until I saw how rising cost of living, rent, etcetera was pushing out the true creatives. When it would take me an extra half hour each year to get to the wilderness due to traffic and urban sprawl. When all the police, teachers and the rest of the folks were forced to commute an hour or two to their jobs in the city, because rent was too outrageous to live in the communities in which they served.

    I still have friends and family down there, but it kills me to see all the rolling hills I used to explore being leveled for high-density developments and strip malls. On the plus side, people are placing a higher value on the old homes in downtown areas, rather than tearing them down; but once again, this means that the blue-collar folks are being pushed out to the fringes.

    When life experience tempered my rabid liberalsim, I also began to resent the restrictive legislation that's been adding up over the years.
     
  9. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Born and grew up there, in the Valley in Southern CA. I left right after high school, for Colorado. It was great growing up there, in the days of 'Wonderful World of Disney' on Sunday nites. Oh and Bonanza. We went everywhere a family could go, see & do. We visited all the missions, Knotts Berry farm, Hollywood, Horseracing, Capistrano, National Parks, Lake Tahao, The Ponderosa, of couse Disneyland a gazillion times. The air was clean, and there were horses, dairys & orange groves everywhere. And The Beach Boys & Baskin Robbins.

    Then in the 70's it got ugly, and the smog was so thick you couldn't even see the mountains 5 miles away. Hurt your lungs to breath. In High School we couldn't have PE half of the year because of the smog. I remember when they built that huge freeway exchange 5 stories high out by Cal Poly. Before, out by Cal Poly was all ranches. The gangs got really bad then too. When we came in from the high desert on the San Bernadino side, you could see the black smog rolling out of the pass, into the desert, and we had to go down into it to get home. It just all went downhill fast. The only nice days to breath were the Santa Ana winds days or down at the beach. My friends and I left the valley every chance we got back then, down south, up north, anywhere but there.

    We (my friends & I) went to Colorado I guess because of John Denver, and it was beautiful, still wild west, so to speak, and a mile high and clean. Got stuck in the snow in Aspen on our way there, blew out all the freeze plugs in the truck pouring hot water on it....and the start to some great adventures. :)
     
  10. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Several families in my area have moved here from California, Arizona and Texas. Nice families fleeing the problems of those areas.

    I have a couple of relatives in Texas and SoCal that are leaving there for the rural Midwest and Idaho respectively. They are fed up. Too much crime (one had his house broken into 3 times in 2 months), too many gangs and no one speaks English anymore.
     
  11. blazingguns

    blazingguns Well-Known Member

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    I was borned and raised in Southern Calif. Moved to Missouri back in the 90s, moved back to Calif, lived in the High Desert for years, then moved to Colorado back in 2000, Moved from there back to Missouri in 2002, as we got tired in two years of living in almost 8 months of snow and cold in Colorado. The reasons are many moving away from Calif, mostly the way its getting so overcrowded, and the housing prices are way out of hand, unless you move to the high desert, where prices are very affordable, also in Calif, you pay a fortune for having any type of acreage. So here in MO, we have 40 acres, half the price of what just a one acre place in CA would be. I was also getting tired of all the crime, gangs, smog and you name it out in CA.
     
  12. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    California
    I'm enjoying reading about everyone's experiences and thoughts.

    Certainly there good points about the state as there is with any state.

    It takes someone who has lived here most of their life to fully grasp and reflect on the changes this state has gone thru and continues to.
    (some not so subtle!!) Those of you who have resided in California all your lives or for a better part of your lives, see this. You identify more clearly.

    From an employer standpoint, while I have been mighty fortunate in business here and weathered thru the ups and downs in years gone by, many in recent years have not been so fortunate. Well managed operations and reputable companies have in deed turned elsewhere as a result of out of sight workers compensation premiums, rising insurance rates/costs and regulations so nick picked to death, often times, one's hands are literally tied in a knot. Not all sectors are effected quite in the same manner. However, any business owner who knows what's going on here all share the same sentiment. If you employ people, you know.

    My pop started his business back in 1943....
    I began learning this business, precision metal stamping and engineering at the age of about 10. As a kid, summers were spent sweeping floors, carefully brushing metal turnings off lathe beds (not easy to hold a big old wide paint brush with those tiny hands!) and cleaning tools and returning them to their homes. As kids, we worked and were expected to work. Fun time came afterwards. I remember as I grew older and the responsibilities increased, I had the opportunity to visit and explore other shops with my father. That was a real treat and I know I saw things that most will never. Intriguing. A great experience. Some of OLD machine houses located on "Truck Blvd" aka Alameda Avenue in Vernon were home to some of the oldest machine tool businesses in the area. As we all know, we can't stick around forever. But those folks were from the old school, the school I was taught by. A dying breed for sure. God Bless em. Slowly thru the years, as changes occur, the bigger picture unfolds. You work with it, you work within it, you change with it. In the past 20 years and as recent as last year, I have lost alot of good business friends. I've heard all the stories of struggle .... Things didn't have to be this way. This having most to do with state imposition on business, not the lack of willingness and understanding by the employer to change the way he does business.. Of course folks get older and they retire.
    I cannot begin to count the hundreds of great companies and people who either formed and molded this industry here in California and maintained it's luster and sponteneity, who sadly left for places offering more incentive to provide good metal products and services and to employ more people.... to grow. These stories can occur anywhere certainly and not that California is an exception, but again, many of the reasons for what is occuring, doesn't have to be happening. Arizona has a smart worker's comp system in place, atleast they did a few years ago. Fair for both employee and employer. I've heard alot of praise about this very subject that's a huge sticking point in California's rear end. But why California doesn't adopt Arizona's methods, I don't know. If you know something works, do it. This state could greatly benefit from other ways and proven methods. But it always manages to stay on it's dismal path.
    As for business conditions, they HAVE been good for us here, but then, we have
    "Proprietary" methods of our own and have a razor sharp advantage. We do things no one else does.
    Recently up in the Bay area, I attended an auction (i receive between 10-15 industrial auction notices per week) in the Union City Area. I was quite surprised by all the industrial vacancies, one after the other. And what a beautiful area to boot. I guess that area still isn't doing too hot.
    Yes, gangs continue to plague us here, like most cities and of course our laws continue in many ways to just keep slapping their hands. Traffic, well, needs no explanation.... it's among the worst. But those huge craters in the roads are growing daily. The worst roads I have seen anywhere of late, and I get around.
    Hey, I know we all have to live with imperfection!!! Despite the cities efforts to beg people to place trash in it's place, the city is still a big huge trash can.
    Frankly, I'd take a road crater over trash... I can drive around the big hole until it's filled.... but the amount of trash and filth in some places really messes with my mental sanity! I hate trash with a passion and I will go out of my way to pick up some poor slobs' crap.
    I especially remember that unbearable smog in the 1970's as one poster explained. Boy, that was some nasty severe stuff. That brought back alot of memories!
    To sum it all up..... It's a shame to witness all these years what this otherwise great state has become, to reflect back on how superb it once was.

    It's nice to remember back when. :eek:
    Apologies for my long-windedness. Glad it's just cloudy and not smoggy sigh!!!
     
  13. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I left CA 8 years ago. The main reason was that I wanted a better place to raise my kids, away from the gangs, violence, etc.

    I moved to Terre Haute, IN (I wouldn't recommend that to anyone) then moved to a small town in IL four years ago.

    Moving wasn't easy. Major culture shock at first....

    If you say "Gee, it's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"...they all look at you like you have three eyes. They don't get Disneyland jokes....

    The Mexican food is awful.

    They expect you to take care of yourself out here. In CA, they would put up cones, flashing lights, signs and warning for two miles ahead of any road work. Out here, They'll leave a 20 foot deep hole in the middle of the street with a lone cone guarding it. If you fall in, it's your own darn fault. Country roads often have these 90 degree turns (for no good reason). Those turns are not marked in any way. There are no street lights. If you miss the turn, you go in a field, or a ditch. Then they laugh at you. However...if you are in a ditch, every single person who passes will stop to see if you need help or a phone to call someone. Remember to return the favor and if you have a tractor, offer to pull them out.

    Some think "dude" is an insult. That has gotten me in trouble more than once :)

    There are people here who have never been more than 100 miles away from home....and they never plan to go any further. That really bugs me. No motivation to explore the world, even it's only through learning about it. I don't remember meeting folks like that in CA, though I'm sure they are out there.

    It's too darn green (I came from the high desert).

    There's no State Disability to fall back on if you are injured or ill. If you are off work for something that's not covered by workers comp, you are on your own financially. I really think CA's Disability is a good idea and wish more states had it.

    Ya gotta learn how to play euchre.

    Customer service is bad out here...in a way. Depends on how you look at it. It is not uncommon to be ready to check out or something and have to wait while the clerks finish their personal conversation about what they did that weekend....or they ignore you...or you call to get someone out to bid a job and they show up in a month (maybe). If someone is doing work for you, it will take them three times longer to get it done. On the other hand, I never have to show ID to cash a check, most everywhere will take a check and most places will bill me later for what I got today (feed store, vet, tires, repairs, etc).

    They pay to go tanning. That is plain weird to me.

    They have weird language things. 20 gallons is 20 gallon. 5 miles is 5 mile. No plurals on units of measurement, but then "how come" becomes "Hows come". They say "of an evening" as "we were sitting on a porch, of an evening". I guess that really makes more sense than "in the evening"...right?

    There's lots of bugs. Big, nasty, alien looking bugs that make ALOT of noise, but there are no potato bugs (for which I am eternally grateful).

    There is very little diversity in the population. I hate that.

    Business operates different out here. It is not what you have or what you know, but WHO you know is very important. If you hook up with the "wrong" crowd, you are labeled as one of "them". If you want to operate in a different crowd, it's hard to break in as they already associate you with "them". You never get right down to business. Gotta shoot the bull awhile, then come at what you want sideways or you'll be viewed as rude or pushy.

    I could go on and on...this is kind of fun.

    Jena
     
  14. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    I have seen those abandoned steel mills you're speaking of Dave and others around the country and it is indeed an eye opener. I recall one of the last trips I took specifically to view a few of those steel mills in PA, were while riding the Amtrak train (main line) thru the Northeast. The feeling as we plodded along at restricted speeds, really allowed you to see and feel what was once an incredible operation of enormous magnitude.

    You're absolutely right, it's not only California and the severity in other states is of greater porportion. I used California as an example, because I have lived here all my life and am in a position to speak more specifically about the issues that plague us all here.

    With regard to issues in particular ie, worker's comp, insurance etc. You state
    "Atleast they are trying to address them".

    These people in Sacramento have known for a long long time the s*#t was going to hit the fan here.... It's a lack of foresight which is inherent in government these days, along with all the morons that are more interested in passing laws outlawing the declawing of cats and eliminating the word "God" in our seal. They've been around for too darn long and many of which have never accomplished much of anything but continue b.s'ng much of the public and securing their seat for another term. I do give some credit to Arnold and I think his head is in the right place. I like the guy.He's got one hell of an undertaking to deal with. With respect to worker's comp reform, Arnold managed to for now, freeze the current rates employers pay. BUT, he has NOT reformed worker's comp whatsoever. That means that those 150-200% increased rates employers are now paying just won't go up anytime soon. Additionally, the opposing side
    (those are the folks who love jobs and hate businesses) are, continue to and will do all they possibly can to push thru more of what we call the "job killers" here in the state. Inasmuch as Arnold is an improvement over Joe Davis, I fear Arnold will be faced with many roadblocks, thus nixing the fixing for the embetterment of California. It's like a root canal: Until the rot is removed from the core, much of what is performed externally, with good intentions and addressing the problems, won't fix the problems. Arnold has his work cut out for him, that's for certain. :yeeha:

    I'm sure others don't feel the same as I do... maybe they're happy as sliced raisinbread with fortitude of California's governing council! :eek: Maybe they are just semi happy.

    But, I tend to doubt it :rolleyes:

    So many of the comments here really hit home!
     
  15. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    Jena:


    I enjoyed your post. You are most descriptive. I feel as though I'm right there taking it all in.

    The squeeky wheels do get the grease and if folks want change, talking and griping to the right ears are sometimes effective. Sometimes.

    :)
     
  16. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Like DraftFlavored, I'm a 42 year native of California and I have to agree with what he says. There isn't any reason I can see to stay here. That's why we're leaving this summer for the pacific nw. DH is spending over 2 hours one way on the freeway, only going from Riverside to Orange County. The the cost of insurence (both medical and vehicle) is outragious, vehicle licensing alone is rediculous, then you have to consider the extra taxes and fees if you happen to drive something bigger then a honda. Then there are the gangs, dirty air, traffic, bad roads, congestion, lack of law enforcement (cause they dont' want to be bothered with the paper work) and lousy schools... There's not a single reason I can see why anybody who just wants to raise a little family, and have a simple life, would stay here. The cost of land, or even just a house on a tea cup size lot is more then most people can afford. Then, there's the extra assessments added on to your tax bill that almost matches what you pay in principal & interest. They are assessing everything... from water, to the dog park that somebody decided "fido" needs that's 5 miles down the road.. as a homeowner your paying for it, even if you don't own a dog!

    My dad was with the Southern Pacific Railroad and I grew up in the low desert, have lived in Anza, also lived for a short while in San Diego/Carlsbad area, and now I'm in the Inland Empire (SW Riverside County) I remember when most of So. Ca. was covered in citrus groves, dairys, alfalfa fields, and you could go anywhere you wanted and nobody would bother you. Those days are long gone, and will never come back. I know all areas and states have problems, there isn't any place that is "pefect". But, when we were given the choice of living in a place where the air is clean, the traffic is managable, and the people were friendly...it didn't take us long to decide that enough is enough.

    I really feel for the young families that are just starting out. My SIL puts in over 58 hours a week at his regular job, then works on Sundays doing landscaping for his land lady for another 8-10 hours so he can pay rent on a little 2 bedroom apartment for himself, my DD and 3 grandchildren. They would love to move into a house, or at least a 3 bedroom apartment, but for a 3 bedroom anything they would have to come up with over $1,400. a month! That's just rent... not counting electric, gas, food, water, or anything else that they need. And this area is considered "low to middle" income in comparison to San Diego, or even Orange County's. My step son is paying over $1,000. a month for his little 2 bedroom place and they felt lucky when they got accepted to live in it.

    I can go on & on..... but I won't. I will say though that those of you that left :worship: "Way to Go"!. Let somebody else have it! My house is currently for sale, and I'm going to be gone too in a few months... and I can't wait.
     
  17. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We left and built this log cabin on a Quarter (160 acres) in northern BC and love it.

    [​IMG]
    Last Year With Decks - can you smell the sweet clover and see the wild flowers? Much better than commuting, wasting your time, smog, and "lives of quiet desperation."

    [​IMG]
    Back Deck in Summer, Garden and Barley Fields in background

    [​IMG]
    April Snow Two Years Ago -- what could be better?

    Highly recommended. As they say good for the soul. And you know we only live so long.

    Alex
     
  18. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    Draftflavored, small world, my father was a machinist, a good one, all his life, after he got out of the service. I do remember him going around from shop to shop teaching guys how to do that. I visited the shop where he worked quite a few times, up by Foothill blvd. The machines filled with oil put the threads on screws for aircraft, you could look in the window and see them. All the guys were in Bowling Leagues, and we would hang at the bowling alley allot. After my dad retired he worked at the bowling alley.

    I remember I could ride my ten speed (before my licience) all the way across the valley, whenever I wanted. Everyone had ten speeds. We would ride up there, close to my dads shop, with backpacks on, and push our bikes way up that trail, the canyon, leave our bikes at a house 1/2 way up, hike the rest of the way up and go camp at the top where the cool waterfalls were. You could slide down those waterfalls.
     
  19. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    One of the main reasons we left California were the illegal alien issues. Being a reserve CHP showed what a joke the system is. There is nothing less rewarding than hooking the same illegal 3 times in a 48 hr period in El Centro. All 3 arrests were in a stolen vehicle heading west on I-8 and all 3 times the person was turned over to Border Patrol/INS. Talk about a revolving door!!

    Sure we have them (illegals) in South Dakota but here when they get discovered the INS loads them up and hauls them to MN almost the same day. And no rancher I know wants to take a chance hiring them because they risk loosing their freebee cash (subsidy) if convicted.
     
  20. DraftFlavored

    DraftFlavored Well-Known Member

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    Good Day To All


    Alex: Beautiful scenery. In the one snow photo, the cabin stands out proudly around that bend.. almost to say "Here I am"! Very nice.

    Cindy: You have me thinking about that machine shop and the company name as it's likely we did business or certainly knew of each other. Manual machining is a dying art.... sadly. All of the CNC and automation prevelant today has caused the machining schools to shut down. I attended an auction for the City of Los Angeles 2 years ago and all of the student's lathes were being auctioned off and the entire school closed up. To my knowledge, there isn't one single school around this area. Computers have all replaced those lathes.
    This is a cryin shame!! As your father and my father (the masters) will attest today, it's imperative our young people KNOW and understand manual machining principles from the ground up. This is because there will forever be machines that require repair by manual application. The CNC's will never fully replace the manual ones. Thus, there is a huge shortage, here anyway, of manual machinists. If someone with some talent and mechanical appitude wants a career in machining..... find a school taught by a good hand in manual processes, go to school and you'll likely have jobs from which to chose.
    I have a three young people here as part of our machine shop family I took in, found they had talent and they're doing incredible work and learning a lost art.
    This isn't something you can learn from a book, but by doing. And no place better to learn than in a good shop. I have alot of respect for your father and my father (now deceased). They made our art, what it is and our fathers' true insight and understanding of the craft can never be duplicated.
    Thanks for sharing that Cindy.

    Lt. Wombat: You and I, Sir, we share the same gripe, that's for darn sure.
    I AM fortunate to have a number of the LAPD as friends here and they have been an immense help with the illegal problems on a local level.
    Most of the problems we have here locally in our area are kept in check (better than nothing!) but we really have to work together. A few months ago, I noticed an old motorhome stopped at the curb with a long hose running to the ground. It was parked parallel with a storm drain. We investigated and found out there were 20 illegals crammed into this motorhome and the driver was dumping his black water into the ocean... (those folks were feeling right at home obviously) SICK!! I called our senior lead officer, advised him. By this time the driver was shakin in his britches and left. We followed him and Officer Ruben intercepted these idiots up at a corner gas station.
    BUSTED. Plain and simple. And luckily, somehow, all the 20 folks inside were taken in and ultimately met a very timely trip back to their native countries.
    Those stories don't happen often, but when they do, you've gotta
    smile!! :yeeha:

    One final note: A few folks PM'd me about my name wondering if I was the Draft police or something (jokingly) :no: ....My name has to do with my Percheron Horse belonging to the Draft class.

    You all have a great day........ Pamela