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  • outrider58

    Pronouns: It, That
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    I would say that "back in the day" things happened slower.
    The "Average person" in the US has more leisure time as a % of those 100 years ago.

    Things however are not equal across the globe, there are still people living like we did here 100 years ago
    Resource rich land and freedom of the gov'ment in the US enabled that.

    The only thing that is consistent in this world is CHANGE.

    "Whitey on the Moon"


    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    The "Average person" in the US has more leisure time as a % of those 100 years ago.

    During the Golden Years of the Industrial and Atomic eras (say 1950's/60's), the middle class was wealthy and had plenty of leisure time. People were buying larger homes, 2 vehicles, campers and boats. Fiberglass reduced boat costs so drastically that the sport of sailing among the middle class absolutely exploded.

    Since then, wages have stagnated and leisure time has dried up. I am especially interested in the leisure time factor. Have we actually lost time as workers or have we allowed that time to be misappropriated in our personal lives?
    I think it's a combination. As I said, with 100% connectivity, employers have intruded into our personal time but we also misallocate many hours to internet and TV. An additional factor- kids used to go outside and simply entertain themselves. In the current era, letting kids of practically any age play unsupervised is actually a crime. As a result, parents schedule every free second of their kids' lives with enrichment activities such as music and sports, which of course, the parents must spend time providing transportation for. Among my friends who have minor children, I see that this is an enormous consumer of their non-working hours.

    Honestly, if my employer offered me a pay raise or an additional paid day off each year, I'd take the paid day off. Time is money.


    Junior Member
    Dec 15, 2012
    Colesville, MD
    With no provocation from this thread, tonight I was out moving some vehicles in preparation for dropping some trees tomorrow (last ones in striking distance of the house), I stopped and looked up at the stars, and realized I hadn't really looked at them this winter at all.

    Standing there in the cold (I'd been out a while), looking at my nice warm house while peeing in the yard, the following thought popped into my head....

    "Damn it would suck to live in a teepee"

    lol, my wife thinks I am weird cause I do this. I told her every guy that can does.......


    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    Brought him where? A major city? If so I may concede your point but there are parts of pretty much any major city that if I wandered around I would likely get mugged.

    That said, somebody from 200 years ago would stand a far greater chance of surviving today than somebody transported from the present to 1822.

    Edit: We can agree to disagree as this can/will never be resolved.

    Very true. But most of it is that over time we have gotten more and more specialized as a species in what we do. Not a lot of us are real generalists anymore. And if you look at things, we are VASTLY more productive now than we were a century ago. Or 500 years ago. A ton of that is because of industrialization and then computerization. But a lot of it too is specializing.

    One guy cranking out wagon wheels can make (I am making crap up here, so just work with me) 10 wagon wheels a day. 3120 a year if they work 6 days a week. I'd bet you anything, if the average person needs to make a wagon wheel, well they might not even have the right tools, but even if they did, well it might take them twice as much time. Or 3. Or 4. Because they might only do it once a year.

    Now for the same need for wagon wheels, let's call it 3120 it takes 3120 people 1/5th of their day, rather than the guy who that is all he does, where it takes him 1/10th of his day. And he might make better and more durable wagon wheels.

    Don't get me wrong, I am the guy who wants to make his own wagon wheels. I am just trying to get at the fact that specialization, even beyond industrialization and computerization, has allowed us to be massively more productive. Which means we all get to enjoy more stuff. Some good, of course some bad. Plenty of bad things go along with modern society.

    But industrialization, let alone computerization, flat out CANNOT work without specialization. If you try to make everyone a generalist? All our modern society stuff will be broken, rusted and gone in a generation or at most 2 or 3.

    There is just too much in society that takes intensive study and practice to be good at it. I sure know some doctors who manage to "do it all", but for the most part, most doctors I know aren't doing all their own stuff. They have to spend years and years to learn what they need to, to get good at what they do. Are they changing their own oil? Repairing their furnace when it breaks? Paving their own driveway? Building their own house? Building their own refrigerator?

    Even outside of the time a person is working, they have finite time. Most people have sufficient bandwidth they could learn to do, and actually do, a lot of stuff outside what their job is. But that DOES take away from any "spare time" they might have. And people only have so many hours.

    I do a LOT of stuff myself. Most stuff. But I still buy things. I don't build my own car. I actually know how. And I don't just mean assembling parts, I know exactly how and engine and transmission work and with a good machine shop and RAW materials, I am 100% positive I could make a working car. Probably not a good one. Probably wouldn't be much better than a model T, but I know I could machine and assemble an internal combustion engine from scratch. Now, it might take me 6 months of 40-60hr weeks working on it to get it down and a lot of tweaking and maybe some scrapping what I was working on and machining something new. I literally don't have the time in my life to try to build a working car for myself and do my paying job AND do all of the other things in my life like being a parent, maintaining my house, etc.

    I can't sit there and make my own solar panel. I mean, I know how they are made. I could probably figure out how to run the foundry that makes silicon panels. I am realistic and egotistical enough to know I am extremely smart and pick things up very easily. But I don't actually KNOW how to run now. And I certainly can't afford to buy a foundry. Or build one from scratch. All on my own, I doubt I could build a foundry from nothing in 10 lifetimes.

    I guess I am ranting now, but I do get a bit tired of hearing about how modern society is degenerate and worthless because so many people don't know how to do all the things. Well, newsflash, the guys who claim they can do all the things, can't. Not remotely. Sure, plenty of people could SURVIVE off grid, even with NO modern tools or conveniences. I am somewhat cocky enough to be pretty sure I could.

    But if you dropped me in the wilderness without even the clothes on my back, even in a temperate area? I doubt I'd give myself a 50/50 chance of making it. Give me a pile of hand tools and some cloths, I'd give myself at least even odds. Give me some modern technology like a gun and ammunition, and seeds to start with, and maybe a few modern power tools, yeah I know I'd be fine.

    But in MODERN society, how much good is it to know how to hunt, grow your own food, build a cabin, get clean water and make basic clothing out of the land? For survival? Not much, because 99.999% of people in modern society will never need to actually survive like that unless society completely collapses. Is that possible? Sure it is possible.

    How often has that happened that things have collapsed so far someone has needed to do that? Occasionally, some places. Not most places in most of the world. So do you spend all of that time and effort, because it isn't something you learn in a weekend.

    I do because I ENJOY it. It is recreation and I happen to get tangible things out of it that tend to save me money in the long run, which I can invest back into other things. I also have control issues. So I'd rather do things for myself if it is at all possible or reasonable for me to do it. I know many people can do X better than I can do X, but only I am responsible for how X turns out, so I can't be pissed at someone that X didn't turn out the way I wanted and pissed at myself for letting someone else do X.

    If they'd let me pilot the plane, I would. Even if the pilot has 8000hrs in the air and I've got 60hrs on MS flight simulator. Maybe only a slight exaggeration. I have control issues.

    But am I ever going to NEED to know how to hunt, build a cabin, residential plumbing and electrical, plant and raise a garden, rebuild (or build!) an engine and transmission, weld, pour a foundation, cut down a tree, pave a driveway, craft a long bow, etc. to SURVIVE?

    Probably a very, very, very small chance I'll ever need to do any of those to survive. So even if it might threaten my life to not know how, how much time and energy to I put in to learning how to do something that there might be a .001% chance of ever needing to make it through life? If I live to 80, there is a .06% chance I will die in a car accident (supposing cars don't get even safer). I don't invest thousands of hours in to reducing that risk of death substantially.

    I've certainly saved myself an enormous amount of money/made money off learning all of those talents. I made a fair amount of money on my last house and partly because I put an addition on it. An addition I did almost all of the work (except pouring the foundation) on myself (well, myself and my wife). Sure, spent a lot on materials, but we did all of the work. We did get some quotes. But I put in probably 1000hrs of work over about 16 months (95% of that, as well as satisfying the permits was within 6 months, but of course some of the final finish work and one or two small projects as part of it didn't get done till months later). My wife probably invested 400hrs of work. The difference between the best quote we got and our actual cost was around $60,000. Not a bad investment for our time for sure.

    I can't say for sure exactly how much extra money we got out of having done the work on the house, but seeing vaguely similar houses selling in my neighborhood that didn't have the work done we had, we probably would have gotten 10-20% more money back over and above the cost of doing the addition if we had contracted it out. Since we did the work ourselves, that is a VERY tidy profit.

    But it also of course took hundreds and hundreds of hours (maybe thousands) invested in earlier projects, practice, trial and error, apprenticing on jobs with friends and family, etc. to learn how to do all of that.

    But I also traded all of that time I could have been watching the Ravens play football. Or a movie. Or napped. Or got drunk. Or played board games with my kids. or WHATEVER. I enjoy it and making money or saving money is a huge benefit. But if I hated it, nope.

    For instance, I don't pump my own septic even if owned a septic truck. I don't clean my own oil boiler (even though I do clean my wood boiler), because I looked at it and, well, I'd need to invest in about $200-300 of tools for a flu O2 meter and exhaust gas temperature probe so I can tune the burner properly, it is is a kind of dirty, shitty job. So, if I need to invest $200-300 into it to do it properly, plus occasionally a new oil jet and perhaps half an hour or an hour of my time to do all of that every single year. Hell, I would rather just pay my oil company the $150 (I forget exactly what it is) every year to do that job, plus they'll cover anything that breaks during that year. Which, sure I can fix it too*, but they are covering parts and labor at that point and the parts aren't free for me.

    *I mean, I've installed indirect water heaters, I can solder pipes, run PEX, etc. I converted baseboard heat in much of my last house to monoflow radiators PROPERLY balanced. In this house there was no basement heat, so I added a new zone to my boiler and ran monoflow radiators to heat the basement when I finished the entire basement. I am replacing the circulators with new DC motor circulators this spring because I did the math and realized I'd save the cost on my electric bill for replacing both circulators (one of the wood boiler, one for the oil boiler) in about 3-4 years.

    Alea Jacta Est

    Extinguished member
    MDS Supporter
    I pee in my yard. Helped the new pup when she was new to get the drill. Helps notify the bobcats they ain’t alone and I’ll pee where I want.

    Mostly, I enjoy a morning relief off the deck whilst having my morning coffee. Something about pissing over the rail that’s reminiscent.

    Used to do it underway too. Learn fast to pee to leeward…

    Mixed gender crews likely cured that. Never served I mine so cannot be sure.

    Simple is good. Easy is too. Not much of either left unless you’re in the woods or at sea. Funny how proximity works to ruin freedom, eh??

    Bob A

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Nov 11, 2009
    #1 rule of buying a home.

    Never, EVER, buy a house you can't piss off the front porch of.

    Depends on the time of day, for me. I regularly pee off my deck or porch, but I don't care to be observed. On the other hand, the frosty nip of winter breezes is quite enjoyable. Exercise your freedoms where and when you can, and don't frighten the horses, or the Karens.

    Funny how proximity works to ruin freedom, eh??

    Civilisation has its costs, as well as its benefits. I'm all for fresh vegetables year-round; if I have to limit my micturating to times when I won't bother the locals, I can live with some trade-offs.

    Of course, I envy you your decks, at land and sea.


    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    May 15, 2007
    So funny. How this thread evolved into pissing in your yard.

    Yea, I do it too. There's something satisfying about taking a leak outdoors, with a cool wind blowing. Primal feeling. We were made to experience that.


    Pronouns: It, That
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 29, 2014
    So funny. How this thread evolved into pissing in your yard.

    Yea, I do it too. There's something satisfying about taking a leak outdoors, with a cool wind blowing. Primal feeling. We were made to experience that.


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