Sunday, April 11, 2010
Welcome to Working Man week here at OPOD. We intend to feature great pictures of men doing real work. Today's picture was taken in 1942, and shows a construction worker helping to build TVA's Douglas dam on the French Broad River in Tennessee. As we discussed last week, it seems like no one does real work anymore, and we don't build anything. It is particularly striking to me when I talk to students about their career plans. I hear that want to do things like get a degree in percussion (drumming?) or they want to be a pastry chef or personal fitness trainer. It is hard to make them see that just because a school offers a degree in something, it does not mean you can find a job with that degree. I have been advising students that I think the next great jobs will be jobs where you build things, or work with your hands. I think that it will turn out that being a plumber, electrician, or in the energy business will be careers where you will be able to get a job. I feel we are entering a time where people will have to make hard choices, and you want to work in an industry where you are offering something people HAVE to have, not WANT to have. If people have to choose between a personal trainer and having a plumber come and fix the toilet, people will choose a flushing toilet. For more gifted students, I think Engineering and the medical field will remain good careers. I am not trying to be Mr. negative, but I feel we still have some very tough years ahead of us, and it is going to be very difficult for young people hitting the job market.
Domestic Update: Springtime in Chickie Town
It is official; Spring has Sprung in Chickie Town, and the place is literally covered in lovely bluebonnets. I find it interesting that the chickies eat everything BUT the bluebonnets. The picture shows Miss Honey out scratching around for bugs in the bluebonnet patch. She really is a lovely bird.
The picture above shows Miss Honey and some of the other chickens. The chickies are very sociable and appear to like to do everything together.
Miss Ivy June is shown above chasing after a bug. She is one of our best egg layers.
Chickie town has turned out to be the smartest thing I have ever done. At first, Mrs. PJM was against the idea. She was concerned that I would get some big deal going, lose interest, and then she would be left to take care of the chickens. I convinced her I would take care of them, so she agreed to let me get the operation going. As it turns out, chickens are very easy to take care of, and in fact way less work than a dog. In the morning, I just have to open the door of their coop, and throw out a few cups of feed. Then all day they go around scratching and finding bugs and other things to eat. At dusk, they march themselves right back into the coop, and I close the door. Collecting the eggs is the most fun part. We are getting 9-10 eggs per day.
Project chickie town has greatly endeared me to Mrs. PJM. It has been a success on many fronts. First, Mrs. PJM loves fresh country eggs, and now she has plenty of eggs to cook with and plenty to have for breakfast. I have further improved my domestic standing by getting up every morning and cooking her breakfast of scrambled eggs and Canadian bacon.
The combination of the plentiful supply of fresh eggs and the custom made breakfasts have resulted in me achieving very high points around the house, and have helped to bring me ever closer to becoming a gentleman farmer. Just the other day, I overheard Mrs. PJM talking to some guests at our house, and I heard her describe me as a "Peach of a Husband". Yes, I achieved the highly coveted "Peach" status. Few men in history have ever achieved this status. Most men are happy to ever even get to "He is not as repulsive as he used to be", or "Not as lazy as most men", or perhaps, "Does not sweat much for a fat man." But no, I have become the "Peach".
Chickie Town also appeals to Mrs. PJM for other reasons as well. First, she loves little animals, and when she drives up, all the little chickies run up to greet her and make little chickie noises at her. This warms her heart. Also, Mrs. PJM likes to share, and since we get so many eggs, she can share eggs with all her friends. I bought these little clear 6 egg cartons, and made little stickers. When Mrs. PJM gives eggs to people, they have fancy little labels with the person's name on them.
I feel with the success of Chickie Town, a tractor is almost a sure thing at this point. I have even noticed Mrs. PJM saying things like, "With that little tractor, you could move this rock over there". Or, "If you had a little tractor, we could make a little trail over here". While I feel a tractor is almost a sure thing, rather than suggest it at this point, I would like to parley the success of Chickie Town into an even bigger success so perhaps I could get the tractor and all needed attachments this summer. So, I will play it cool for now, as I continue to build more points.
I feel I am closer than ever to becoming a true "Gentleman Farmer". I will keep you posted as the project continues.