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07/02/2005 Archived Entry: "got skill?"

got skill?

Raving reporter Thunder here. 'Doing the gulch thang' requires skills. And lots of them. Sequestering yourself off in the hinterlands away from civilization is the ideal way to live for many of us Outlaw types, but with that lack of throngs of people (and hopefully, government) comes a lack of skilled laborers and craftsmen available for you to hire to do all kinds of things that you need to have done. As I mentioned in my previous entry, you won't have the labor force and capital to have a community power plant providing an endless supply of electricity, so you have to make your own. You might not have a grocery store nearby, so you'll have to grow your own fruit and vegetables. You might not have a mechanic nearby, so you'll have to learn how to fix your car yourself. The hurdles are seemingly endless, sometimes. So, what's an Outlaw to do?

Lifestyle give ya lemons? Make lemonade. Learn some different skills. If you are in a gulch community, the more varied skills that you have amongst you, the less you'll need outside help, which could be quite expensive depending on what is needed.

There's all kinds of skills out there that one could learn: carpentry, welding, farming, sewing, knitting.... The list literally goes on and on. Here's 2 skills that I'm starting to look into learning:

Edge sharpening. Almost everything we touch that is processed by man was, at some point, cut with an edged instrument. Metal parts are milled, food is cut, paper we write on was cut by a chainsaw while it was still a tree, wool yarn was shorn from a sheep with scissors, wood furniture was cut, shaped, and planed smooth...

Somebody has to keep those cutting edges sharp.....

I recently purchased a book to learn just how to sharpen things the correct way. The book, RAZOR EDGE BOOK OF SHARPENING describes in detail how to sharpen many different kinds of edges and clears up a lot of myths surrounding sharpening. Already, I've learned what I was doing wrong when it came to sharpening my knives. Once I've had the opportunity to perfect my skills at sharpening knives and tools, I can branch out and start to charge for my sharpening services, supplementing that gulch income. Name one woodworker out there that wouldn't want a block plane or a chisel sharp enough that he could shave his beard with it?

Wildlife Rescue I have an opportunity to assist in some wildlife rescue operations. While this will obviously be a rewarding adventure on a personal level, I look at this as learning a valuable skill as well. If your gulching neighbor's dog gets hurt or horse becomes ill, the skills I learn saving injured wildlife could be the difference between life or death for your neighbor's pet. Even if all I do is help them along during the ride to an experienced veterinarian, the skills and techniques I learned from saving those wild animals will have paid off once again.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to learning a new skill. You'll be amazed at how useful that knowledge and skill actually can be. And you'll have the right to be proud when you say that you did it yourself.

Posted by Thunder @ 06:21 PM CST

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