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Messages - bobbin

I wonder if you have found someone to fill your position.  I ask because I live in your general area and know well how difficult it is to find skilled, reliable help.  I now work for myself after yrs. of "workin' for the man".  I trained numerous candidates for my employer only to watch them bail after 2-3 mos. of careful supervision. 

The skilled trades are in peril! too many newbies fail to appreciate the necessary attention to detail required; it's NOT "from the neck down" work (not by a long shot!).  In spite of need, I find entirely too many candidates unwilling to do what they must do to achieve anything close to "mastery" of basic skills.  It's discouraging for me.  NO ONE wants to do the work required to learn a trade that's reliable, increasingly in demand, and offers the luxury of self-employment!
I haven't lowered my prices in response to the pandemic.  My time is worth every penny of the 4+ decades I've spent in the needle trades.  I don't "discount" my time because time is a finite commodity. 

My biz sucked wind for 4 mos. in early 2020.  But it rebounded nicely about July '20.  I'm as busy as I wish to be now.  FWIW, I have have never "gotten in over my head" with respect to excess overhead, and in fact, I have prospered under the current pandemic.  Would more tradesmen enjoyed te same benefit!
I charge my labor by the hour.  I charge materials at a 50%MU.  Appropriate taxes on both.  I've been working in the trade for a long time now.  I know how much I want to "net".  My prices reflect the above!
End of life care.  What's wrong with that?  The way I see it, it's like an a la carte menu... you can order whatever you like.  Or not.  If you wish to talk about end of life options then do so.  If you don't wish to discuss it, then don't.  Some of us think that grim discussion is long overdue! some of us would like to see options available that return to us the thing everyone really wants... choice.  If that's a "death panel"... bring it on, it's long past time to get serious and deal frankly with the issue.  Grow up and get real.

As someone who spent just shy of 4 yrs. caring for an elderly, frail, mentally failing parent I know from whence I speak, you guys (and probably better than most of you!).  My mother made no provisions whatsoever for her last days on this planet.  She figured the will she and my father had drawn up in 1980/whatever would guarantee that their property would automatically pass to their kids.  And that all insurance stuff would be just fine, too.  I wish I had a shot of her face when she realized that it was too late to institute changes to that will and that it was too late to "isolate and protect" the very assets she wanted to see passed to her kids.  You have no idea how hard it is to work full time and care for an elderly person who can no longer care for themselves.  You have no idea how hard it is to coordinate your work schedule with that of your spouse to minimize "alone time" for the elderly person.  You have no idea how trying and difficult it is to find reliable help that shows up reliably to cover the gaps in the care you and your spouse provide.  Consider yourselves lucky... I'd be willing to bet if you'd hoed the same row I did, you'd look at the "death panel" foolishness with very different eyes. 

Single payer national health insurance.  It's time and the many hidden people who did what I did need it... "death panels" and all!
"Missed calls"? so what?  No message left on voice mail? so what?  I couldn't care less and I delete the numbers ASAP.  I'm a wicked small business; a "job creator" for my own employment, if you will.  And I have plenty of work; "lulls"? yeah, sure.  But I manage to make ends meet nicely in spite of them. 

I am looking carefully at my base labor rate now and will look carefully at the "year end" numbers when I close the books on 2015.  I have a very commendable "maintained mark up" on materials and it may well be time for "a raise" given the labor rates my "competition" now charges.  My basic monthly expenses are minimal and easily covered.
We're definitely not in Europe, but why are you so eager to buy in to the "capitalist" clap trap when you're the one getting stuck with the bill and the big boys (who write legislation) aren't?  I think European countries are leagues ahead of us in many spheres, frankly.  Health care is right up there at the top, Steve.  This household was without ANY healthcare for 5 (count 'em!) years.  And during those years I took care of my frail, elderly mother in our home... while working full time (think Ann Romney could "relate"? DOUBT IT).  And why are you so opposed to "socializing" medicine? what's so wrong with making the heretofore vaunted medical profession more "social".  Why shouldn't we make a medical education publically funded and less specialized and move toward a system that encourages a more basic focus on medical training... one that builds health rather than relies on high cost, specialized, "call in the cavalry" treatments (usually at the end of life)?  Why can't we do things the way "they do" when they're clearly doing it more effectively and efficiently than we are?

9/11.  I've never more stunned and appalled than I was that day.  And I knew, as I watched the towers crumble that my country would blunder into the ant trap set up by Osama Bin Laden and his cronies.  And everyone would react viscerally and we'd have to "kick ass".  Get real, the FBI and the CIA have been in a budgetary range war for decades... but each were equally complicit because neither was willing to share important information that could have stopped those clowns from murdering nearly 3000 people.  No one talks about that dirty side of the whole horrible affair, nor do they reference the very clear warnings that were overlooked repeatedly by the White House. 

Nothing that happened on that awful day threatened "our freedom" in any credible way, Steve.  Did it frighten us? certainly it did.  But was Al Qaida capable of really threatening the USA? no, not in my opinion or the opinion of many really smart, involved people.  The only thing those clowns had in their favor was that they managed to stymie the FBI  and the CIA... they embarrassed the USA and our fat, dumb, and happy sense of "security".  And 3000 people paid with their lives.  And, true to form we sent out the jets and bombs, shock and awe/etc., and look where it's gotten us. 

"another day older and deeper it debt".  I don't think the way you do.  I don't think reacting viscerally is smart if you take the long view.  And nearly 13 yrs. on, with the entire cost of the "war" considered I think people who took the long view were right.  I think the citizenry of our wonderful country needs to start, "thinkin' with the big head".    Spend my tax dollars here, in my country, and let's start making lives better here.  If we're going to rebuild infrastructure let's do it here... not in Iraq... where our bungled attempt at "nation building" unleashed a civil war that virtually destroyed what had been the most secular of the Middle East countries and stuck people like you and me with the bill. 
I do work that requires I move between 46 and 138 weight thread.  I have two bobbin cases for my Juki 1541.  One handles 46-69 and the other one handles 92 and 138.  Over time I've found that the adjustment between 46 and 69 is a lot easier than between 46 and 138.  I marked the bobbin cases with nail polish and used the same polish to identify the cases containing the bobbins. 

I routinely run stitch samples on the bias to check for good adjustment.  And I routinely use air to blow out and clean the bobbin cases the areas under the feed dogs and throat plates.  Routine maintenance... do it when work is slow(er) and you're not under pressure to finish something. 
I had to laugh when I read this thread.  It seems I'm either buried or freaked out that I'll never work again!  In spite of the fact that I tend toward the "nervous Nellie" side of business ownership, more work always seems to arrive when it's most needed (mercifully).  Better yet, the lulls seem to be of shorter duration.  And even when I'm in a lull, I have steadfastly refused to drop my price on requested estimates.  I know what I have to make and I don't want to be known as a "professional" who will negotiate price. 

I'm a lot more accepting of the ups and downs with respect to work load than I was when I first dropped my "straight job", but I still sweat more when there isn't much work in the pipeline.  To that end, I tend to be very conservative about income, always with an eye to quarterlies and the (usually) lean winter months.  My key to riding out the inevitable lulls in business? plan for necessary and required bills when I'm "flush" with money and never look at a fat bank account without an eye to the "lean months". 

Very interesting thread, you guys.  I don't get into upholstery personally, but I'm always on the prowl for interesting pcs. set out for trash collection!  I've found some real plums, too!

I look for nice "lines", something that pleases my eye from an aesthetic standpoint.  If I like it enough I'll stop the car, get out and give the pc. a good strong "jiggle".  Wobbly doesn't necessarily frighten me off... but I'll definitely rip off the cambric and do a cursory "exploratory". 

I understand that manufacturers have to find ways to cut material costs while still maintaining their preferred level of quality, so it's good to know that plywood doesn't necessarily mean, "cheap" or "crap".  I think the nugget here is that the pcs. were dowelled/screwed... not stapled. 
I'm sorry, you guys.  I don't really have a problem with a movement toward a more "sot" government.  I think the USA could learn a lot from Germany, Switzerland, and the rest of the European models with respect to health care.  They have better overall health and maybe the "cost" is higher but their citizens don't lose everything when they're faced with a catastrophic health crisis.  What are the "hidden" costs when families in the USA go bankrupt as a result of medical care.  Eliminate the profit motive in health care.  Big pharma and the rest of the medical "pig" need to go on a diet. 

"Mismanagement" is the problem with respect to "armed conflicts"? are you on drugs?  I was opposed to the first move on Afghanistan, but I was vocal and absolutely opposed to the "mission creep" into Iraq... completely unfunded and that was going to take 14 mos. according to Mr. Rumsfeld... LOL (did you really believe that? were you alive during Viet Nam? did you learn nothing from that debacle?).  How many deferments did the who Dubya crew receive? (prolly 3 less than Dick Cheney?).  Spare me.  Nearly 13 yrs. on, no end in sight.  And where has the real cost of all that foolishness been placed in the "accounting"? onto the National Debt... because, heaven forbid... we might have to... (drum roll) raise taxes.  I say, raise 'em! every stooge in this country of ours needs to feel the pain of war.  How about we put a 100% tax on Nascar tickets, or Skoal chewing tobacco, Confederate flag sales? jeez how about GASOLINE?  Or... wow! how about a tax on every single stock trade made on Wall Street?  Oh, that's right... "no new taxes"!  And the same people who refuse to accept responsibility and "pony up" are the very same people who grouse endlessly about how overtaxed they are.  Give me a break.  Hey, whatever happened to looking at taxes as your patriotic responsibility? the country that allowed you to become wealthy now needs your help... pony up and quit complaining.  The tab's due, time to grow up and pay up.
Single payer national health insurance.  The rest of the "evolved", first world countries do it; time to study up and copy them, I say! Time for the good ol' USA to smarten up and get on board.  Enough grousing about how "much it costs".  And start looking at how much health insurance companies and big pharma. mean on the stock market...

Spare me the right wing clap trap about "marketplace economies".  Baloney! it hasn't worked for over 30 yrs.. time to move on, kids.  The only thing "wrong" with Obamacare is that it didn't go nearly far enough! Ted Kennedy had it figured out in the early '70s.  We need to spend less on interminable "armed conflicts" (let's not call them wars because if we did we could/should fund them with taxes) and direct the monies to things that will directly benefit those of us who actually pay full freight in taxes.   My regards to Mitt Romney and his wife who's never worked a day in her life!

'nough said.

General Discussion / Re: Job applicants
July 05, 2015, 10:51:09 am
Doubt that, Sofa.!
My shop is at our home.  We take full advantage of all available "deductions".  One half of this team works "for the man" (I did it for many years) and that's how we handle "health/death care". 

Book keeping and assiduous attention to detail is crucial! and it's what allows us to make it work. 

But for too many? the present tax system is grossly unfair and stacked in absolute opposition.  And yet, too many "tradesmen" still vote against their own best interests.  Umm... duh...? take the long view guys. 
General Discussion / Re: Job applicants
July 05, 2015, 09:51:41 am
I was in 3rd. grade when I took the test Darren mentioned.  I was totally freaked out that I was the only kid "doing nothing"... I fumbled, looked nervously around until I met the teacher's eyes.  She smiled, blinked slowly and I nervously settled down. 

I was one of maybe 2 other kids who did nothing except get freaked out.  I've never forgotten the experience.  Nor have I ever forgotten the importance of "reading the directions"!!!

"LISTEN"  or, "READ".  Or follow the herd... possibly over the cliff.  You have a choice. 

General Discussion / Re: Deck Enclosure
July 03, 2015, 11:09:44 am
This more "window treatment" than porch "enclosure".  Why? because the panels need to accordion fold "out of the way" when privacy is not required. 

You can use awning weight Sunbrella successfully but it's critically important to properly space the carriers that will move the fabric smoothly along the track and allow it to "stack" neatly in the fully retracted position.  This the basis of success when planning pinch pleated drapery treatments, esp. when using a traverse rod. 

Whenever you want an "accordion fold" you have to accept that the fully "folded/retracted" treatment has to end up somehwhere.  And you have to plan for it beforehand!  You either "lose vision field" or you figure out how to "STACK" the retracted treatment beyond the open window space. 

The basic rule of thumb is that a pinch pleated window treatment requires 1/3 the width of the window/space in question to fully retract from the vision space.    I hope this helps.