Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gettin' by with what works...

Some decades back a "jam box" ended up under the Christmas tree with my name on it.  Another small package had some cassette tapes in it... Alabama, Bruce Springsteen, and Fleetwood Mac.  I mostly used it while plugged-in since it took a small truck load of D-cell batteries to keep it running.  Amazingly, it still works and except for a small crack in the corner and a few scratches... it has somehow survived Van Halen through Roth and Hagar, Hank Williams and Junior, and had even aged better than Mick Jagger.

The ol' "jam box" has been hanging out the last few years on the wall of the barn.  It still plays AM and FM... and there's still a box of cassette tapes laying around covering the better part of classic rock and country from the pre-MTV era, back when MTV actually showed music videos.

Some folks will ask why I still keep it around.  Well, it works... it plays music... it plays Reds games... it plays old faded Springsteen tapes.  Some say "new" isn't always better, but actually "new" isn't always needed.  If I'm working in the barn, welding, hangin' out, changing oil... it keeps me entertained... and that's all I ever expected or needed from it.  No sub-woofer, no CD, just ol' music, talk, and sports.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  ~Philippians 4:11-12 

I must admit, it's taken a lot of years for me to be happy with just gettin' by, but my gal... that terrific redhead I married who grew up in pretty humble circumstances... has been a good balance for me.  I watch a lot of folks who were livin' high on the hog, or livin' beyond that and high on someone else's hog who are now suffering pretty badly, but really... many of 'em aren't suffering that badly.  They're just experiencing the difference between their desires and needs.  Most of us wouldn't be or aren't happy livin' on just what we need.  Heck, one look in our gun safe shows that.

I've done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this whole town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start

The dogs on Main Street howl 'cause they understand
If I could reach one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land
~Bruce Springsteen

So what's the point?  Well, I think this country is still headin' for a fall... at least financially.  If it actually happens, there will be a lot of folks who are going to have to just make do... or die.  If you haven't started thinking about it yet, you should.  

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that you've done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.
~Fleetwood Mac

Maybe it's time to start... and get prepared for... Gettin' by with what works...

So what do you think?


  1. There are a number of shiny new guns I want... but I can't figure out what they would do any better in my hands than what I get out of my Glock 19. So I shoot the Glock 19.

    I also spent 8 hours yesterday cleaning up my old desk top computer. It is 6 years old, but it does what I need and with the new found space I expect it to go another 4-5 years in the new business (maybe more)

    I really did need something to store some paper work I am completing and I wanted a fancy binder... I bought a $0.20 folder and a composition notebook that was on sale for $.10 (actually I bought 3). I could have spend $9 on binder, $5 on some tabs, and whatever the paper would have cost me... but the $.50 solution worked just fine.

    Great post.

    (I did just buy some new shoes that are fancier than I needed though)

    1. @BGU... Can't go too wrong with a Glock 19... and computers aren't cycling to obsolescence quite as fast anymore, are they...

      Dann in Ohio

  2. I've also put off buying new firearms, just because I "wanted them" already having sufficient stopping power for the home.

    I've sold a house in an area rapidly going underwater with foreclosures, even if I bought sensibly, and rented a tiny, tidy home while I save to pay cash for a small place off the grid. Sure, I gave up BIG and the nice address and "ohh" and "wow" at the designer decor but I have money in the bank each month instead of "oh crap, if the heat pump goes out I'm going to have to put it on the credit card".

    Instead of fancy vacations I spend time with my WWII veteran Dad, playing cards, going for drives and keeping the "victory garden" going. I go target shooting and walk the dogs and play board games with my friends. I pay cash for everything, work in the shop and cook dinner at home with my man. I'd not trade this for the "six figure income spending every dang cent of it", lifestyle I once thought was important. I'm happier now than I ever was. Like you, I've got God, my Guy and my Guns.

    It's only going to get worse, I'm getting ready. I hope you all are.

    Excellent post my friend.

    1. @Brigid... Feels good to be free of chains of our own making, doesn't it...

      Dann in Ohio

  3. What do I think?

    I think your spot on. Almost no one here in the states really knows what true poverty and hard times are, even if they aren't currently living the high life like they used to. I've been to Africa and seen how the other half lives.

    And yes that Bible verse comes to mind often especially when I think about those folks over there across the pond.

  4. Dead on it Dann! Good enough is good enough. I don't need the latest shiny thing if what I have works.

    1. @keads... nothing a new vacuum line won't fix, right?

      Dann in Ohio

    2. LOL! You are correct Sir!

  5. Amen. I learned long ago that having that "want" was a far second place to paying bills and eating. There are a couple of needs still on our list (need some modern long-rifles, extra mags, a rather large supply of ammo, and a lot more in the BOB and SHTF stashes), and I'm slowly convincing the Mrs. that we don't really NEED to take that expensive vacation or buy this/that/the other. I was never in debt, until I got married. And I gotta admit....I don't like it.