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  • treesmith's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    I haven't dumped my 1-ton since the last load of shingles I dumped in 2011, but I think mine has a similar setup. IIRC, the black knob is the valve control, and is sleeved, like a lawn mower throttle cable. Mine got real stiff due to rust once (under the truck). I think spraying the offending area with a liberal amount of WD40 helped. If that is the case with yours, the seizure may be restricting the valve lever travel. In other words, you perceive it having a hard time, when the issue is the valve is only partially open. May be totally irrelevant to your situation. Just thought I'd mention it. (Straightening any errant kinks in the cable will make it operate smoother as well.)
    35 replies | 599 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread Good Morning! in Odds and Ends
    Snowing here. My wife and I are recuperating from the flu. I'm nearly back to normal. Enjoying the wood stove and keeping an eye on the greenfield. I fully expect to see some deer any minute now. I dread having to dress one in this cold, but if the right buck steps out, I'll deal with it somehow....
    4616 replies | 231399 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    Call it error if you will, but I know my mother's bill was settled for less than 10%. (And I've heard other similar stories, though I can't testify to their validity) I found this.......http://truecostofhealthcare.org/hospitalization/.....which reflects similar figures. In that pie graph, it shows a 70.1% slice....."HOSPITAL MARKUP, LATER DISCOUNTED FOR INSURERS"..... Now I wonder how far that would fly in the private sector. I go price a job at $19,275, then add that if they have insurance, it will magically drop to less than $2k. No insurance? YIPPEE for me! You get to pay the full price, SUCKA! Somehow that is reminiscent of price-gouging....
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    I guess what was actually expressed was that the whole reason we had the job was that we worked cheaper than their own union workers. If we went union, and our wages went up, they'd simply hire their own.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    I guess it's just me missing something. I'm trying....just can't grasp it yet. I see where they were needed back in the old days...coal mines, RRs, etc. I see how their collective voice brought better pay/benefits/workplace safety to the table. But in my lifetime, and limited experience with them (my dad was a union member), I haven't seen much benefit. I remember him telling stories of a guy who was always falling asleep on the job. He was fired, but the union represented him at arbitration, and so he got to stay on. How is that beneficial? A scab, sleeping on the job (repeatedly), can't be fired because the union has his back. In that case, the union is a negative, in my book. And the strike stories didn't endear me to them either.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    The company we were contracted to. The whole point of hiring Asplundh was that, as non-union, we worked cheaper than union folk. That's my point. Three guys can buy a ladder and a truck and start a painting outfit. They can call themselves a union. But they can't go into a town and force folks to pay whatever wage they demand. Folks will just hire someone else. (Frivolous example, but feasible.)
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    I climbed for Asplundh for 5 years and ran a crew for 2-1/2. There was talk of unionizing then. We knew we'd lose our jobs if we went union. I fail to see how having a union card would put food on the table. I don't see how, outside violence/force, a union magically fixes America's ills. No one forced me to climb for $5.05 an hour. I was happy to do so. Even in those days, we saw the fallacy of Asplundh. GFs and up got retirement and benefits. Crew foremen and climbers only got hourly pay and a week of vacation. To have required Asplundh to do more would only have resulted in job-cutting.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    Alabama started in 2013 requiring liability auto insurance. If you had a wreck prior to that, you'd be in trouble for not having it, but no law was enforced requiring you to have it. Of course, the insurance companies were behind the push for making it mandatory. In my opinion, a far better solution would be to drop "liability" insurance from vehicles entirely, and place it where it belongs...on the DRIVER. For example, my wife and I should be able to walk into our insurance office, lay our driver licenses on the agent's desk, and say "WE" need liability insurance on US. And I have a 2015 F250 and a 2015 Honda Accord, for which I'd like to purchase optional collision insurance for. Problem solved. Wouldn't matter which of my vehicles I was driving, or if I were driving my cousin's neighbor's father's truck, I would have liability insurance. But no....the companies saw past that. They know that many people have multiple vehicles, and they can only drive one at at time, so they want to charge for ALL of them, thereby netting a much larger profit at a much lower risk. I look at health insurance the same way. They saw the only way to get ahead was to "require" those who don't use doctors to carry the insurance anyway, thereby offsetting the cost of those who worship doctors. I know folks who have it who run to the doctor every month or so. If I had it, I'd still avoid doctors like the plague. Therefore, I would be all profit and no loss to them...which is why I opt to not have it. At some point in the future I may decide it's worth it to me to get it, but that point has not arrived yet.
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    Kyle, I am asking this as nicely as I know how...please explain to me how a union's existence somehow makes a given occupation pay more?
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    I'm not trying to be argumentative about it...I'm honestly curious as to how it's a justifiable practice. I have heard quite a few similar stories over the years, but don't know enough details to cite them.
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    I wouldn't know, as I am not a hospital accountant, but if they "can't" function at those costs, how do they justify it? I know it happened (my mother had a heart attack and a stint...not heart surgery). And Carl cited his example...$116k nettled for $4600-ish. And I know my example of our miscarry...$6000+, settled for instant payment of $925 (Medicaid rate). So you're telling me hospitals sell their services for pennies on the dollar to Medicaid patients and insurance companies, hoping to make up the difference....WHERE?
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    Imagine a guy selling $50 gift cards for $25. Sounds like a deal until you find out he buys them for $5 apiece. Are you still getting a "bargain"? That's up to you. But in light of the facts, he's scamming folks. (You're actually paying $20 to save $25) I've always thought it odd that if a couple of guys buy a reefer and stock it with ice, for which they paid $1/bag, then drive to the coast after a hurricane and try to sell it for $8/bag, they wind up arrested for price-gouging. How is that any different from a hospital "selling" their service to one (self-pay) patient at $100k, then sell the same service to the next (insured) patient for $10k? At least in the case of the ice, folks don't HAVE to buy it....
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    EGGZACTLY!!!!!
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    I think he meant $4600...I remember it being a ridiculously low number. My mother had a heart attack back in 2000 I think it was, and the bill was over $112k. They settled for $10k-ish. Five to ten percent settlement (read 90%-95% discount) seem common for insurance companies. That's why I say they are a scam.
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    Funny you should mention carpenters, Jim. I roofed for 17 years, along with my tree work. Back in the 90s, Alabama got on the bandwagon with everyone else about "contractor licensing". In order to be a bonafide contractor, you had to have a "license". I roofed for quite a few contractors, as well as for the public. One guy I knew had quit his job at a plant to go full-time in building, after a number of years building part-time. He was able to "grandfather" in on the contractor license, due to how long he had been "in the field". And while he was a likable guy, there is no way I would hire him to build for me. I am rather a perfectionist when it comes to building, and so I am painfully slow, but I believe what I leave behind will reflect who I am. Does Builder "X" purchasing a license, passing an exam, paying his dues/fees, guarantee that he will turn out good work? Absolutely not. Would forcing a master craftsman to be part of your "club" make him any better at his craft? Absolutely not. At one point I was booked for over a year. Not a one of those customers hired me because of my certs, as I had none. What I DID have, however, was a track record of quality work. I popped lines on two-story houses where no one would ever see whether the shingles were straight or not. I wish I had a dollar for every shingle I tore off where they didn't pop lines...
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    I understand completely, but I maintain that it has just as much (if not more) to do with individual integrity than union/non-union situation. There was talk of unionizing back in the 80s here. Alabama Power wouldn't hear of it. I can understand that. They previously had their own tree crews, which were part of their union. Later, they began contracting out to non-union folks...Asplundh, Southern, Davey, etc...as they could get the same product for less money. I can understand that choice. I can remember Alabama Power pickups running around reading meters. Then Asplundh got that job too. Now, our meters are radio-transmitting, so no one reads them any more. I just don't see where a union's existence somehow "fixes" issues. I'm trying to grasp it, but I haven't yet seen it. I see it more in factory type settings, and in the old days...coal mines, railroad, etc. But having been in line clearance for 7-1/2 years, I don't see where being a part of a union would have helped me at all.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    That was one of the two incidents I was citing...heck, that's less than a 5% settlement... My point was, faced with a bill for $116k, you basically set up payments. If they openly said, on the other hand, if paid TODAY, it's $4600, I'd wager Carl would figure out how to make it happen!:D
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    I think y'all are looking at it from two very different perspectives. I grew up in the country...dirt road...likely closer to Jim's world. (Nowhere near as much open country here!) I figure my view to be more like Jim's...if you don't like it, quit and find something else. From what I understand, things aren't always that easy in big cities. Therefore a different mindset. Kevin you keep coming back to line clearance and its low pay (not sure why)...back in 1985, I hired on with Asplundh at $5.05/hour. Seemed fabulous after sacking groceries for $3.40/hour. In '86, I topped out at $7.63. I thought I had the world by the tail. We worked hard and turned out good ROWs. Nowadays, the current outfits run Garraffs, and their product is pathetic. When they trimmed down our road, the jerks were so lazy they wouldn't even flip the brush that landed in the road out of the road. I believe a GOOD WORKER will turn out GOOD WORK, whether he's making big bucks or just getting by. I believe a dog will be a dog, regardless of how much you pay him. It has more to do with who he is, than what he's paid, IMO.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    I knew rates would increase and benefits decrease when O opened his piehole with his "plan". It was idiocy from the get-go. How can you force a company to insure those with known risks, and expect them to keep low rates? It would be economically impossible. I have no health insurance. I consider it a scam. Not to say it doesn't work, mind you, but it is a scam. I know of TWO incidents personally, where medical costs were over $100k, yet settlements were agreed upon for around 10%. If you can settle with an insurance company for 10% of the bill, why can't you do that for an individual? I know if I'm getting storm trees off of two houses, one with insurance, and one self-pay, if I give a break, it AIN'T gonna be to the company. Another example...we lost a baby back in 2007. I carried my wife to the hospital and she spent one night there. Discharged the next day (Sunday). Business office was closed. I called Monday to discuss paying the bill. The lady said it wasn't even in the system yet, call back tomorrow. Called back Tuesday, preliminary billing was there, but not final. She said if I'd pay in full right then, she'd let me have the Medicaid rate. Credit card payment over the phone for $925. She said to disregard any bill that may come in the mail. A week later, we got a bill for over $6000. Now, if they can provide such care for Medicaid patients for $925, (roughly 15% of total), and they can provide care for insurance customers at roughly 10% of total.....why the heck can't they provide the same care for folks who pay their own way? Barring cancer/organ transplant/bypass surgery/etc....(read "common medical issues")....most folks could manage 10%-15% of their bill, many paying via credit card on the spot.
    59 replies | 1176 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    This country will be reeling from the Kenyan's fiasco for years to come, I fear. I don't know that we will ever fully recover. This isn't a football game where you can bumble along through the first half, then recover and come back to win in the last quarter. We're talking about a nation, along with its future generations, who will pay the price for a fool being at the helm, without being given a choice. Only time will tell whether or not Trump will make America great again.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    While I cannot dispute what you say, I refuse to believe that a union's existence is, of itself, proof of its benevolence or integrity. There are licensed workers in every field known to man that are corner-cutters and cheats, out to serve themselves and no other. That said, I remember back in my Asplundh days, there was talk of unionizing. Alabama Power had made it clear that they wouldn't stand for us going union. I personally didn't see any advantages of a union in our situation, as the only reason we had jobs was that APCo WAS union, and Asplundh, as NON-union could work cheaper. Now I'm self-employed, and while I empathize with anyone in a bad work situation, I can't seem to grasp the idea of a union fixing the problem(s).
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    So what if management has come to the conclusion that, given current circumstances, the demanded raise (or whatever) is not feasible from an economic standpoint? The workers have the option to keep their jobs at the current wage...or go stand in the unemployment line. Every man's situation is different. A single man with no bills may go for striking. A married father of six, with bills running out his ears, may see it quite differently. But neither should be bullied/harassed into taking the union's side.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    So you'd have no qualms with someone tacking your driveway to prevent you from working, due to someone else deciding you shouldn't? And that's mild. There are plenty of stories of union-sponsored violence toward those who dared rock the boat. I know unions had a usefulness years ago. But time has a way of fixing things on its own. Would you climb on a compromised climb line if a union rep told you it was safe? What if your job was non-union, and you were hard-up and needed the job...would you climb on it then? Sometimes there is no substitute for standing up for yourself. To clarify....it's one thing for a union to pursue safer work practices...better wages/benefits/etc....it's another thing entirely for them to attempt to dictate what INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS can or cannot do, based on what a handful think is in"everyone's" best interest. Tack your drive so you can't go to work? Bust windows out of your house? Physically assault you? Nope....I don't think ANY of those are acceptable measures.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    So how does a bureaucratic brainchild "fix" that? I think unions were a good idea years go, but they have outlived their usefulness. I think unions are, for the most part, just like the politicians running this country. The right to work, as I understand it, deals with unions and their iron-fisted way of running over folks. The plant my parents both retired from (General Tire), struck some years back. A handful of salary workers and a few temps kept the plant running while the union tried to negotiate whatever it was "it" wanted. I was doing a job for a guy who happened to be one of those salary workers who continued to work. When I arrived at his home, he had a sign out announcing that the driveway had been tacked. Some lowlife trash got his panties in a bunch over this guy continuing to work, so he went to the trouble to tack the guy's driveway. I don't know how things are done elsewhere, but if I see someone tacking my driveway, I won't be invoking a bureaucratic brainchild to make him stop. I figure the business end of a Remington Tac-14 would be a bit more persuasive.
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    treesmith replied to a thread In The News... in Odds and Ends
    Ought to be "right to keep what you earn"....
    5041 replies | 167125 view(s)
  • treesmith's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    I couldn't afford to shoot at all if I didn't reload!
    370 replies | 15272 view(s)
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  1. I'm about 40 miles northwest of Tuscaloosa. Between Reform and Millport.
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    Where at in Alabama are u from? I'm in Birmingham...But bout to move back to the coast here in 3weeks...
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September 27, 1967 (50)
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