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Thread: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

  1. #26

    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Right now all employers are screaming no one wants to work, Hell no not $10hr. You cannot come close to living on that. Tent cities all over America right now. We are in some interesting times.....


    But who is paying $10 ?

    Even In N Out Burger starts you at $15 these days.

    The problem more is the rents,, that side of the equation.

  2. #27
    Pinolero De Cepa!! FisherCigarman's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    But who is paying $10 ?

    Even In N Out Burger starts you at $15 these days.

    The problem more is the rents,, that side of the equation.
    how about, La Florida?
    Florida's minimum wage stands at $8.56 an hr.
    EVERYONE in the fast food chains and then some WILL NOT pay you 1 penny above the minimum wage,why would they?
    but... the MAIN reason for folks refusing to go back to finding or even applying for a job,due to the pandemic,were the BIG unemployment checks they were getting,in most instances they were 1.5 times their normal wage.

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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Lots found side gigs, uber, grocery deliveries, etc. The ones that got that unemployment certainly got spoiled, making double or more than Minimum wage, no way they will go back to work for $10hr.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Rents are the issue for someone who does want to work, I have scoured the States for a place with decent rents, and not sure it exist. People are living in tents.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  5. #30
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Rents are the issue for someone who does want to work, I have scoured the States for a place with decent rents, and not sure it exist. People are living in tents.
    Deep South Texas, rural Mississippi, parts of Alabama and North Florida.

    You can still rent a very nice apartment or small home in some quasi resort areas in deep South Texas for between $700 to $1200 a month. 1/1's down the street from, on a waterfront canal, go for $500 to $600 a month with some bills paid.

    If someone can get a job for say $9.50 an hour and get 40 hrs per week, that translates into about $1,480 after taxes per month. Splitting a modest 2/2, with bills included, shouldn't run more than about $500 per month (obviously in not LA, Miami, NY, or the like), that leaves almost a grand to make it for the rest of the month. Without a doubt I can feed myself pretty well in the US for about $50 a week, that leaves about $175 a week to spend on other things like gas, clothing and such. The problem isn't the income stream in the US near as much is it is all the "expected" expenses such as cell phones, expensive clothes, entertainment, etc. That will eat up a budget quick.

    I do pretty well and at times have made a pretty darn good salary. About once every 2 years will I buy some new clothes, mainly underwear and tshirts (and only on sale) but occasionally I will buy some linen shirts if I find the ones like, otherwise all my clothes, and shoes come from the thrift stores or I get from buddies in the industry. I have name brand nothing, unless I made it and got it free or it was given to me. Eating out is a huge expense in the US, look at the proliferation of fast food places. My wife and daughter think absolutely nothing of dropping $20 a Chick-fil A or whatever it is. I will eat out decently on occasion, but my fast food is limited to the $3.99 big mac special on wednesdays in the local area. I get 2 lunch plates a week in Mex for between $2 to $2.25 depending on the exchange rates.

    I can go on and on, the problem in the US isn't a wage problem, it is a "demanded or expected" expense problem. Get sick in the US and forget about it, you are done. I could go on and on, but we all have pretty much the same views and ideas on a lot of things, with basically some diverging points.

  6. #31
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Problem is no public transportation, gotta have a car in all those places, you buy a shitty car and all your disposable income goes into fixing it.
    Last edited by cookshow; 07-14-2021 at 12:42 PM.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    The only clothes I usually buy new are shorts. I am short, most are 7" inseam so look like pants on me. Bass Pro has a 5" inseam they are $25 or so, bought at $19, I try to watch for their sales. I had all the 2nd hand shops in Bluefields knew what I liked, walk in and they start showing me Columbia, Izod, Polo, etc. Hit a thrift shop other day and see a great shirt, brand new $1.50 was half off a brand new Izod, then saw a hat with tag still on it for 50 cents.

    I think you can live cheaper in USA than Nica.


    Have not had any fast food or eaten out in over a year. I love a Big Mac, been a long time, almost did it other day.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  8. #33
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    In 2014ish time scale my Dad was aghast that the minimum wage was to jump to $15/hr. He could not figure out how he could absorb a 20% hit in labour hours overnight.

    This was the track it took..


    • October 1, 2020: $14.25
    • October 1, 2018: $14.00
    • October 1, 2017: $11.60
    • October 1, 2016: $11.40
    • October 1, 2015: $11.25


    • June 1, 2014: $11.00
    • March 31, 2010: $10.25
    • March 31, 2009: $9.50
    • March 31, 2008: $8.75
    • February 1, 2007: $8.00


    There is another pop Oct 1 - I think another quarter.

    What he found in 2018 and 2019 was that sales outstripped out his labour increase. Direct or indirect he is not sure.

    2020 and 2021 have been silly busy with him wondering if he would even be in business May 2020 to doing double 2019 in 2020 and 4x 2019 in 2021..

    We do have labour shortages up here as well and you could argue that _some_ is due to the Covid help plans - but as they will soon snap to work as those plans dry up end August.
    ==================================================
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  9. #34
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    I have been on both sides of the coin, reason I left small biz was I hated dealing with labor, easier for me to be a pain in someone else's ass.

    Someone that can deal with labor I see lot of opportunity in States, I just cannot do it.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  10. #35
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Americans live too high on the hog. When I was making good money I was not above buying my shirts at thrift stores, and still do occasionally. I was talking to my brother a while ago who is much younger than I am. I told him growing up in my grandmothers house I remember going to a sit down restaurant 2 times in my first 9 years. That's all folks. We had a car for just a little while when my uncle bought one but then lost it to a wreck. Buses got us around, as did leather personnel carriers. Remember the old 2 wheel wire carts the old ladies used to pull behind them? I do, me and grandma made it to the market a zillion times pulling one of these. Would be more difficult now that the route has been converted into a wino camp on public property.

    A couple of generations of Americans now have never ridden on a bus and eat out multiple times per day and whine they are poor. When the big ciber attack comes they will find out what poor means.

    As far as labor goes, a coworker explained to me that as an employee you cover up for your mistakes. As a supervisor you cover up for your employee's mistakes. He forgot to mention when you throw your employees under the bus.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  11. #36
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    My mother had 11 siblings, so I had a gazillion cousins.....One of the annual events was on Thanksgiving when many got together at Grandparents farm.
    The event was a cousin clothing swap where we all exchanged clothes that had become outgrown. I grew up mostly in my cousin (2 years older) Steve's old clothes. My cousin Johnny got mine.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  12. #37

    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post
    Americans live too high on the hog. When I was making good money I was not above buying my shirts at thrift stores, and still do occasionally. I was talking to my brother a while ago who is much younger than I am. I told him growing up in my grandmothers house I remember going to a sit down restaurant 2 times in my first 9 years. That's all folks. We had a car for just a little while when my uncle bought one but then lost it to a wreck. Buses got us around, as did leather personnel carriers. Remember the old 2 wheel wire carts the old ladies used to pull behind them? I do, me and grandma made it to the market a zillion times pulling one of these. Would be more difficult now that the route has been converted into a wino camp on public property.

    A couple of generations of Americans now have never ridden on a bus and eat out multiple times per day and whine they are poor. When the big ciber attack comes they will find out what poor means.

    As far as labor goes, a coworker explained to me that as an employee you cover up for your mistakes. As a supervisor you cover up for your employee's mistakes. He forgot to mention when you throw your employees under the bus.

    I still buy 90% of my clothing at GoodWill or the Deseret Thrift Store. You can always tell when some wealthy Mormon dies,, a lot of nice clothes shows up.

    T Shirts for $3, most like new,, Levi's for $5.

    I buy socks and underwear on Amazon, it's just easier, faster.
    Sometimes I'll get boot socks at Costco, the odd jacket.
    Krisnia really liked their pajamas.

    Shopping here is a bit of a mixed bag. We used to see a lot of really nice stuff in Honduras, El Paraiso had a couple of small but very nice clothing shops. There used to be a "boutique" used shop in Estelí, on the bank street,, really nice women's stuff,, but they are no longer there.

    I would wear more shorts, but there ARE some insects here, biting ants, and ticks.
    I like something I can tuck into my boots.

    Farm attire is generally levi's and a t-shirt, a sweat shirt in the morning if it's chilly. It often is.
    With a washer and dryer it's easy to keep ahead , and the clothes are always really dry.


    But, Kevin's point is well taken,, dealing with employees is endlessly stressful.
    Even here.

    I'm getting to the point where I think that I will simply buy things like, corn. It grows well here,, I have enough planted to net me 60 quintales. But, I can buy corn, granos, for 500 cords the quintal. Paying someone to plant, weed, fertilize, fumigate, harvest, and get the kernels off the cobs and into sacks, will probably cost me more than just buying the corn.

    Would I do better with cattle or coffee ?
    Probably,, if the coffee is not stolen. And I could just turn the cattle loose in the corn field when the ears were ripe.

  13. #38
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    My mother had 11 siblings, so I had a gazillion cousins.....One of the annual events was on Thanksgiving when many got together at Grandparents farm.
    The event was a cousin clothing swap where we all exchanged clothes that had become outgrown. I grew up mostly in my cousin (2 years older) Steve's old clothes. My cousin Johnny got mine.

    Thanksgiving is the 1 Holiday I try to celebrate, My grandmother had 9 siblings and we to all went to the Farm, My Great Grandparents, it was some kind of special, would be 100 people, ate in shifts. Often 5 generations there.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post

    But, Kevin's point is well taken,, dealing with employees is endlessly stressful.
    Even here.
    I was in running a marina outside of Dallas in my early 20's, the owner was brilliant guy had several marinas and other biz, but he was tough to work for, the marina was running 24hrs at 1 time, I lost about 30 pounds, thankfully no cell phones then, my house phone never stopped ringing. Was good money but labor ate me alive, the owner was always doing odd shit with the help, that created even worse issues.I knew then I needed a new profession.

    Went into his office 1 day and told him he better get looking a replacement. I had been making him a pile, he was building new slips as fast as I could rent them, Think I was getting $100 bonus for each 1 I rented and I was renting them left and right. His jaw dropped, I had all your shit I need. He had forced my best employee (75 yr old man) to quit.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    I still buy 90% of my clothing at GoodWill or the Deseret Thrift Store. You can always tell when some wealthy Mormon dies,, a lot of nice clothes shows up.

    T Shirts for $3, most like new,, Levi's for $5.

    I buy socks and underwear on Amazon, it's just easier, faster.
    Sometimes I'll get boot socks at Costco, the odd jacket.
    Krisnia really liked their pajamas.

    Shopping here is a bit of a mixed bag. We used to see a lot of really nice stuff in Honduras, El Paraiso had a couple of small but very nice clothing shops. There used to be a "boutique" used shop in Estelí, on the bank street,, really nice women's stuff,, but they are no longer there.

    I would wear more shorts, but there ARE some insects here, biting ants, and ticks.
    I like something I can tuck into my boots.

    Farm attire is generally levi's and a t-shirt, a sweat shirt in the morning if it's chilly. It often is.
    With a washer and dryer it's easy to keep ahead , and the clothes are always really dry.


    But, Kevin's point is well taken,, dealing with employees is endlessly stressful.
    Even here.

    I'm getting to the point where I think that I will simply buy things like, corn. It grows well here,, I have enough planted to net me 60 quintales. But, I can buy corn, granos, for 500 cords the quintal. Paying someone to plant, weed, fertilize, fumigate, harvest, and get the kernels off the cobs and into sacks, will probably cost me more than just buying the corn.

    Would I do better with cattle or coffee ?
    Probably,, if the coffee is not stolen. And I could just turn the cattle loose in the corn field when the ears were ripe.

    I been around cows much of my life, if you don't know cows, would avoid. I know them and I avoid them. Buy 1 or 2 to screw around with. More labor shit, who milks it daily? I let neighbor's graze on my place and got milk daily, I don't drink milk so most was given away, but I took the cream to make ice cream.

    Pigs are the only good money I seen in Nica, but you have to sell every piece, not give it away. Need the chicharonnes, lard, feet, head.

    Chickens you cannot compete with Cargyle & Walmart, good to have around, but you cannot sell cheaper than them, well you can, your friend was, just throwing money away & getting Nica rich......
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  16. #41

    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    I been around cows much of my life, if you don't know cows, would avoid. I know them and I avoid them. Buy 1 or 2 to screw around with. More labor shit, who milks it daily? I let neighbor's graze on my place and got milk daily, I don't drink milk so most was given away, but I took the cream to make ice cream.

    Pigs are the only good money I seen in Nica, but you have to sell every piece, not give it away. Need the chicharonnes, lard, feet, head.

    My last pig plan was to simply sell feeders. I have a boar,, few do.
    I take really good care of my pigs. They stay clean and healthy, and they are well fed.

    But, the demand for feeders is not constant. People buy a pig and fatten it for New Years.
    It always surprises me how little meat the campo people eat.
    And that brings home the problem, or a couple of them: You have to have a market for your product; and there are those who will steal what you grow if given the chance.

    The pig is a truly amazing animal. Fast pregnancy, numerous piglets, excellent conversion of feed to meat, intelligent, and will eat anything. Good mothers,, most of them.
    They will get a lot of what they need from pasture, but prefer what we eat.

    I had some luck with cows in the past, just let them graze and gain weight, and then walked them down to the slaughterhouse in Condega.
    Long walk,, but all downhill. They didn't seem to mind.

    Demand for coffee is projected to rise, long term,, pricing can vary year to year, depending on climate and harvest success by major producers.

    The problem is,, it's a long term investment. You can't eat it. We buy a quintal of oro every year, roast out own.

    There is no easy lunch anywhere,, except maybe a government job.

  17. #42
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    I still buy 90% of my clothing at GoodWill or the Deseret Thrift Store. You can always tell when some wealthy Mormon dies,, a lot of nice clothes shows up.
    We still use Value Village (Thought it might not translate to the US but it looks like they are US based and have a large foot print in the US as well with that name) and a similar up here called Thalize.

    I can not for the life of me understand why people pay more than $20 for jeans.
    ==================================================
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  18. #43
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    Every year on my AZ visit I hit all my favorite pawn shops and thrift stores. My favorite is St Vincent De Pauls in my old barrio, the White Ghetto of Arizona, although I note it is slowly going Mexican. Town over all is slowly going Yuppie and Boomer, at least in the new area of 1/4 million dollar Mcmansions on the hill in neighborhoods I have never been to. Shoes I get online, I am picky and have a strange size. $100 for a new pair of light weight hikers gets me thru another year of urban boonies of Esteli. Every couple years a pair of leather slides for the house. A pack of whitie tighties at Chairman Mao's. Many years I pick up a shirt or pants of Insect Shield on ebay. Got hit with ticks just before my last trip. Good rainwear I have stocked up on. Crap rainwear available locally.

    Every year I have less interest in "stuff", especially living in the land of dust, mold, and rats and aduanas. Collectibles no longer interest me, not going to live forever, not possible or practical to bring them down here, and my heirs couldn't give 2 shits for art, culture, or history. A new (used) camera lens might excite me and I bought a used knife on ebay for my birthday, but mostly I have come to the end of consumerism. You might think that Nic would be a good place to cold turkey on consumerism, but just day to day wants and needs are tough. They sell crap here and as a free incentive you get killer traffic, bad parking, high prices, and often dysfunctional sales staff.

    At last I finally found a suicide shower at one of the smaller fereterrias.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  19. #44
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: In Praise of Harbor Freight Alarms

    I had made good friends with a few PACA store owners in Bluefields. Roger owned 1 that was mostly cookware. I had amassed an impressive amount of cast iron from him, no one there wants it. I would pass him weekly and he would call to me, ask me what this, that, or the other was, silly gadgets like cookie scoops, he had no idea what they were for.


    My Clothes lady had dialed in on what I wanted, I was well dressed, all high end stuff at a few bucks a pc.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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