Tag Archives: Boots

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

As stated in my last post, I have purchased a new set of work boots in hopes the quality will last me a few years. These Red Wing shoes were styled after those used for working in the mines of the Mesabi Iron Range in Minnesota. Does that mean much to a guy in Ohio? No, not really. I liked the design. Had the Farmer’s boot come without white soles, I would have bought those. Go figure.

It seems the Mesabi Range has had a bit of a troubled past. It’s the largest iron ore deposit in the world, yet mostly filled with taconite. This is the lesser quality ore that only rose to prominence because the better ore (hematite) was exhausted. Even at that, the demand for ore had declined in the mid-20th century. It seems Chinese buyers have taken a recent interest in the mineral, but the region should know by now not to hang their hopes upon one hook in the closet.

Many miners were laid off in the mid to late 1900s. They stewed in unemployed and drank like a fish. I know those feels. Regional native Bob Dylan mentioned the problem in “North Country Blues” off of The Times They Are A-Changin’ album.

So the mining gates locked and the red iron rotted

And the room smelled heavy from drinking

When the sad, silent song made the hour twice as long

As I waited for the sun to go sinking

If it wasn’t the lack of job opportunities, it was the conduct of the miners that gave the area headaches. Generally speaking, Lois E. Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. was a class-action lawsuit against EVTAC (a mining company) for not preventing the sexual harassment of sixteen female employees. The case bounced around the court system in the 80s and 90s until it was settled for $3.5 million. Flat out, it’s not surprising. Know-it-all government officials and disingenuous human resource departments will throw out the “training” card as a solution. Mea culpas and whatnot.

Coming from a guy that has been in a blue-collar environment before, guys who do that know what they’re doing. There is no ignorance that would be miraculously erased through a training video. No. They know their life’s at the bottom of the societal totem pole. Throwing them in jail or fining them money they don’t have isn’t going to frighten them.

Power is a very dangerous concept. I’m willing to liken it to precious metals or stones. There are many people out there who would do very underhanded things for power as they would wealth. For the American stooge, pushing around a woman is a cheap attempt to fill that emptiness inside, that lack of importance.

On the other hand, I’ve seen workplace seduction that ended up in a lasting marriage. This world is mad.

 

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Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I’ve done well, I think, in the past week by providing more material to read. This is decidedly because I’ve worked on Reddit writing prompts for eight days now. Do I always end up with something that fits the prompt? No. Yesterday’s story went far off into left field, but so what? So what if I use prompts in general? An art class can look at the same still life and come up with no two pictures exactly alike. I’ve been there.

I’ll have you know I scared off two groups of three people at a bar while writing that last piece. It was so much fun to get into the flow, I get all sorts of “weird” and make “odd” faces. There’s nothing more than that, but others don’t want to be around people like me let alone say anything. I’m sure this is one reason I haven’t met anyone yet. Maybe it’s the population around here? Maybe it’s just better I stay single and die young? I’ll be sure to buy a part from James Dean’s car.

Regardless, what is important in all of this is that I haven’t stopped. The engines have not been cut and I haven’t drifted for too long. The longer one drifts, the easier it is to give up. I don’t want to give up. When I find a second job, I don’t want to give up. After battling depression, I don’t want to give up. Why? Because it’s something to hold on to. Right now, it’s the only thing I’m holding on to.

On a different note, there’s nothing inside of me that desires a “Freshly Pressed” logo on my blog. I’ve determined this as my phone decided to thrust the front page in my face Sunday. Why? That’s not an easy questions to answer, but it can be done. An easy take is that I’m not looking to compete with others. That makes life in America a tad more difficult as there’s always the Ayn Rand jerk off that thinks they’re allowed to step on you. No, you’re not. Not now; not ever.

Other reasons aren’t so clear cut. In a way, I’ve despised trophies in the past. Maybe it’s because acceptance speeches aren’t my gig, but there seems something else to it. That’s not my reward. My reward isn’t that tangible. Notoriety is one thing, but I’m not looking for a gold star to show off to others. Would a best-selling publication be awesome? Sure! However, I’ve lived life long enough to know there’s a plethora of interference between me and that success.

Accessibility seems to be part of that problem from time to time. Often do I get the whole “I don’t get it” routine from the public. That’s not saying everyone doesn’t get it, or that sometimes I don’t get others but people do miss the more subtle things I put into my writing. Maybe I’m wrong and they just don’t care, but that’s not what I’m picking up from of them.

Speaking of stepping, I’ve decided to acquire some new work boots as my Sketchers decided to fall apart after a year. These boots were expensive, but if I polish and oil them they should last a long time. That’s what I’m counting on, at least. Boy will I be upset if they get ruined.

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