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The American Welding Society's weekly newsletter had a nice little write up on apprenticeship programs in South Carolina. Several German companies have set up shop there and they've brought their apprenticeship programs with them. Other companies are now following their lead and starting their own programs as well. A young man or woman can start in the program when a Junior in high school and start receiving checks right away. You can read all the particulars here.
I got the backing plate for the Sportster painted - shiny like a mirror. Now I need to fix the threads on the swingarm where the chainguard bolts on, do a little clean and lube on the brake parts, and then I can put things back together. I should really take a look at the rear brake drum/sprocket assembly and figure out how to get some fresh paint on that as well.
Ricky Noot has an interesting post up about reading obituaries and then judging how the people have spent their lives. I rarely read the obits, other than the ones in Time magazine, but I do tend to judge people on how they spent their time on this earth. He uses the "shot from a cannon" or "squeezed from a tube" scale based on a quote from Evel Kneivel. Interesting perspective. My own personal philosophy is, given the opportunity to reflect on my life while on my death bed, I'd like to have all of my regrets for things I did do in my life, rather than those I didn't. That being said, I think I'm much closer to the shot out of the cannon end of the spectrum than the squeezed from a tube end. However, I learned last week within an hour of each other of the unfortunate passing of two of my former students. Both nice young men, both right around the age of thirty, and both of them, unfortunately, never able to be shot from the cannon. About an hour after I heard of their passing, the Missus informed me of a another former student who had managed to get himself arrested. While that lifestyle may get him classified as shot from the cannon some day, I would think there's an unstated but understood idea that you will be for the most part judged on the positive accomplishments, unless you go all in that is. Bonnie and Clyde? Definitely shot from the cannon. Being a common crook? Just one in a million.
Hearing of the passing of the two young men certainly put a damper on my day, but nothing, nothing at all like what their families and friends have to deal with. Life is just so precious. Damn shame to be cut down in your prime. Rest in peace, boys.
We only get one chance at this life. There are no practice runs or do-overs. Make yours a life well lived.