Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Feeling Your Age Yet, You Old Fart?


I am old enough to remember the days when nobody had cable TV. Nevertheless, Pop broke the family bank to buy a colour TV and was one of the first guys in the neighbourhood to have one. We had three channels: CTV, CBC, and fwench CBFT. I grew up watching the astronauts ham it up for the cameras by golfing and dancing on the moon. Adults told me I would grow up and be able to do those things myself.

There was a poast on Blab where the meme was "Back in the 50's and 60's it was possible to raise a family and own a home on one income. According to the meme - all that was stolen from them. I almost wanted to chime in and correct that: it was not stolen - we (and you kids) threw it away.

In those days the average family home was around a 1000 sq. ft. or less. The high rollers might have gone 1500 ft. Often they had one car garages with dirt floors. My grandparents at the time had a respectable home for their times - about 750 sq. ft., a single car garage and a tiny garden. Grampa had the world's coolest lawnmower - a Toro that with (I think) a recoil starter. Ya wound it up, flipped a catch - and the spring unloaded and started the mower. Grampa kept that thing cleaner than I keep my motorcycle. His garage wasn't much bigger than my playhouse garden shed.

I don't think anyone in those days saw us becoming the seriously evil people we are turning into today, though. 


  1. My father was manager of a truck line, Highway Transportation, in Woodville, OH. The town had one stoplight. Mom was a housewife. They built their own home in Sylvania Township, OH, and situated it away from the neighbors which dad knew were sure to come along. So - one income. Dad always claimed he was poor and had no money, but the very few neighbors we had didn't believe it. One actually asked me how much money my father made - I didn't know, but when I posed the question to my father I was told Not enough!.

    Mom eventually went back to college to get a teaching certificate. She taught in high school, and the kids liked her. She didn't start work until after I started elementary school, but the fact was that the family needed two incomes and decent health insurance. My father was successful in business, but private industry does not offer any kind of decent health care or benefits. Dad was covered under mom's insurance, which was a good thing. Teachers didn't make the big bucks, but the benefits were well above average and they got the summer off.

    By the time they retired, they were doing very well financially. Both my parents invested their money wisely, and so lived very comfortably for the rest of their lives.

    Most of my friends had nice homes in suburbia. Flowers, well-kept green lawn, no domestic squabbles that required the police. Then I turned 14, and something got into the water system. Almost all the kids I knew had parents who were getting divorced; we're talking a divorce rate of over 75%. Two guys had wives with hot pants, two other families had money problems, and one had a wife that was acting like a 14 carat chrome plated bitch on a stick. So - they moved, one way or another.

    I never married and do not have any children (that I know of), mainly because I was never in a financial position to afford a family. Kids cost money; food, clothes, vet bills, the list is endless. These days the kids get a Back to school! Won't that be fun? list of crap they must have before starting classes. We needed paper, pencil, eraser, crayolas, and a cigar box to put everything in.

    Enough. It's 11:01 AM EST, and my laundry needs doing, my dishes need washing, and I need my morning bourbon.

    1. Not to mention, ex-wives are expensive, and child support continues until they're done with the gender studies Ph.D. at age 31.

    2. Divorces. Worst thing ever was "no fault" divorces. Marriage became disposable
      School supplies. I took a new pencil and three ring binder to first day of school. My daughter had a list 3 pages long including supplies she was "asked" to bring for the class (toilet paper, tissues etc) and supplies for "the less fortunate" in her classes.
      I'm almost at "Grandpa Simpson Level 1."

    3. "and my laundry needs doing, my dishes need washing"
      Wife out of town?

    4. Not to mention, ex-wives are expensive...
      The screwin' you get for the screwin' you got.

    5. People don't understand the difference between fault and no fault divorce. You've got the right of it in that marriage is a lot easier to get out of with a no fault divorce. I have a few friends who are attorneys, and none of them will take a divorce case, the reason being that the nicest people you'll ever meet will do the ugliest, craziest, and most hurtful things imaginable during a divorce.

      I've dated several divorcées in my life, and while there's two sides to every quarter, I learned to take a hard look at the woman I was hanging out with - because the quarter has just come up tails. I remember one lady pretty well. She was a lot of fun at parties and such, and then I met her ex- when he came over to pick up the kids. I expected trouble, but he turned out to be a pretty much okay sort. Shortly thereafter, I found out just what I was dating, and took out a restraining order.

      Her family (mom, brothers and such) were nice, and called me up after we split up to invite me over to hang out and drink a few beers on Saturday night like we used to do.

      She got a 'all his fault!' divorce, but he got custody of the kids and very minimal alimony. Serves her right.

      When I went to grade school, I had to have three pencils, a big, fat, eraser, a tablet of paper, a box of crayolas (12, I think), round nosed scissors so you couldn't stab anyone to death, and a cigar box to keep the whole mess in. They gave us modeling clay to eat and a folder to throw up in. But now? Kleenex to share? Bite me. As high as property taxes are, the school can suck it up and start providing.

      And, while I'm at it, if my little choir boy cuts up, he gets one warning. If he does it again, he gets a non-corporal punishment. The third time's the charm, and I want those swats delivered by someone who knows what they're doing. We had one kid get clocked in the nuts, and it took 'em three hours and a block and tackle to get him straightened out. But, you know, every boy in the school was a little angel for the next three weeks, and that included the genuine hard cases.

      If my offspring isn't learning to read, write, and cipher in grade school, I want to know what the solution is. I don't really care why he isn't learning, so much as I care about what we, parents and teachers, are going to do to fix it. Because as we all know, if you don't learn to read, you are well and truly screwed.

      As an anecdotal aside, when my little brother (10 years younger than me) started elementary school, he could read at a third grade level. When he started third grade, he couldn't read at all. No one knows what happened during that time, but my folks tightened their belts and sent him to a private school.

      Nice thread, Glen. Thanks for the hospitality.

    6. Always a pleasure WL. You seem to be too quiet these days and I am getting suspicious.

      Oh gawd. Where is Cederq???

  2. Back in Grand Dad's day, the idea of a 30 year mortgage was nowhere to be found.

  3. I am sitting back by the pond, 5 feet by 9 feet, so not huge. Watching the dogs lounge but ever on alert for a zombie squirrel. Enjoying the breeze and the songs of the birds wondering why I hear nothing else but the sound of a mower in the distance. God blesses us if we open our eyes and see. I am truly blessed, a wife, children and dogs. What more do I need?

  4. What the real estate agents don't tell their young clients is how hard it is to keep up a large house, when you are older. Some may have money to pay for house cleaning, or minor repairs, but many don't, and are faced with the daunting tasks of everyday cleaning. When the costs of paying for these tasks are beyond the retirement budget, things either deteriorate, or remain dirty.

  5. I was number 6 of 8 kids. Mom was a homemaker and Dad worked in a Pennsylvania steel mill. We burned wood or coal for heat. Water came from a well in the cellar. I remember when Dad replaced the kitchen hand pump with an electric one. Used a bucket of water to flush the toilet. Hot water was heated in a metal bucket on the stove. Everybody got a bath on Sunday night. No phone in the house. One black and white TV. We all survived.

  6. I get paid over 85$ per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I'd be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.
    Here's what I've been doing...

  7. First house I bought was an old 2 bed 1 bath built in the late 40's, maybe early 50's. The closet space was non-existent. It wouldn't hold 1/4 of the clothes I have in my current closet, and yet it was all there was for both husband and wife. There was a single phone jack in the hall with an insert in the wall with shelf to hold the phone. Kitchen was tiny. People just didn't have as much back then, and it showed.

  8. "Ya wound it up, flipped a catch - and the spring unloaded and started the mower. "

    My father had a garden rotary tiller with one of those starters back in the 60s. I've never seen one since on anything else. They made a lot of sense to me, but I seem to recall that the mainspring tended to have a short service life.