View Full Version : Gettin old...

Phillip Allen
07-21-2005, 06:28 AM
The weather is hot now and humidity is in the high nineties. More and more I find myself reluctant to climb up or down from scaffolding (no matter how much I may need to pee). Turning to pick up a block (about 25 pounds), I find myself stopping momentarily to dread the process (just 200 more to go on any day). Yesterday I went home after half a day...sick with the heat but mostly just sick of the work. I'll be fifty-seven this fall...if I don't fall to my death first. All this wonderful education I've gotten for myself, this wonderfully high I.Q. and it's never gotten me out of the trenches..."fetch wood and carry water"...I'm tired dammit! Sometimes the pay-off pales against the investment.

(signed) "Too tired to hoist up the (John B's) sails"

Okay...now I'll meekly submit to another day in the trenches...

07-21-2005, 08:30 AM
Dang Phil, you and my Father are almost the same age (he's 58). :D 30 years of bouncing around the truck are starting to tell on him too. Now days he's not quite so quick to get back on the road agian.

07-21-2005, 07:59 PM
I'll be 55 this September. I feel old too. somehow it's hard wired in me that if I'm not physically working, I'm not working. Get a little reprieve in the Summer, teaching sailing, hope to get back in the boat delivery business in the fall---still hard, but better that truck driving.

07-21-2005, 08:04 PM
Keep drinking lots of water (like you need to be told...) and if you need to, rig a very small tarp as a privacy screen on the scaffold where you can pee in a bottle (or over the rail) without climbing up and down. Do you have shade rigged? An easily movable umbrella clamped to the scaffold? If anyone asks, tell them these are little tricks to improve your productivity.


07-21-2005, 08:17 PM
Mr. Allan, I have often suspected that some people are too smart to join the ratrace, even though they'd excel if they did. Of course, I am just making excuses for my own career trajectory when I think that, partly, maybe.

I work with words now, and paper, mounds of paper. But I was a framing carpenter once, and I know every building I worked on when I drive by them.

Do you sleep well? That makes up for some body aches.

I work with bureaucracy and loopholes and clever argumentation, usually lacking in wisdom and truth, but very very clever nonetheless.

Almost everyone here prefers the craftmanship of building or maintaining a wooden boat to their real jobs, they actually spend money to engage in manual labor.

I think that if our society valued honest labor and craftmanship as much as it does clever scheming, and rewarded labor and craftmanship equally, many people would choose a different road.

Ellis Rowe
07-21-2005, 08:22 PM
In my two man shop both of us are 58. We turned down some work last winter just because we're tired of the 60 hour weeks in the winter. We're thinking of building smaller boats. As Rick is fond of saying, "getting old ain't for sissies".

Peter Malcolm Jardine
07-21-2005, 09:33 PM
I'm almost 47 and I can still work hard, but this heat has been brutal. It's very hard to stay hydrated, and the strength seems to get sucked out of you by just after midday. I have been shimming up a floor and sheathing it and sanding mud in a kitchen in a stone building. It's damn hot. I have been trying to complete my 12X12 Garden shed when I get home. Ugh. I sympathize with you Philip. Your work is physically very demanding in any weather.

07-21-2005, 09:35 PM
Try having to a drive test over dirt roads, with the windows up, and the AC off. The truck was one big rolling oven.

Chris Coose
07-21-2005, 10:06 PM
I was mixing up my past wood house renovation career with this counseling work up until last summer when I took on a fairly large kitchen renovation. It was my swan song and I knew it. I had come to hate the dust and the mess.

I finished the job and next day I sat down to plan the next steps to become full time at counseling. Course I had to take August off to have a long sail. I'll be 54 in September.

Now I'm getting a bit of a gut and when I do work hard I suffer some but I'm grateful I had an option that I liked and pays good.

07-21-2005, 11:19 PM
What someone said about getting enough sleep is dead on. One thing that's bothering me the most right now is what's about to be diagnosed as Sleep Apnia. Among other things, it's caused by the aging of the cartiledge that holds the esophegous and trachia open. One ends up choking and gasping for breath - not quite enough to wake you up, but more than enough to break your sleep pattern (REM cycle) and reduce the quality of your sleep. This condition can be exacerbated if you have a habbit of sleeping on your back. A partial solution is to get into the habbit of sleeping on your side.

In my case, the thyroidectomy and subsequent trachiotomy are probably the culprits.

In my case, not only do I have little energy, but I also can fall asleep with almost no provocation and in positions (sitting up!) that I've never been able to fall asleep in unless totally exhausted. I can get up after what I thought was a full night's sleep and fall asleep an hour later sitting in front of the computer. It totally sux.

I'm going in for an overnight sleep study on 11 August and after that, I expect to be fitted with a pressurized air sleeping mask. The pressure keeps the trachia open and also the nasal passage. It also completely inhibits snoring (another possible cause of Apnia if you're a loud snorer).

07-21-2005, 11:22 PM
the thyroidectomy and subsequent trachiotomy are probably the culprits. I hear that the orchidectomy will make you feel like a younger woman :D

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
07-21-2005, 11:24 PM
Been there and done that Meer. :(
Once you get the CPAP machine, you'll sleep and feel much better. ;)
High blood pressue usually goes with sleep apnia, so be sure to check yours, if you haven't already.
Hang in there, it gets better. smile.gif

Paul Girouard
07-21-2005, 11:28 PM
Phil I hear ya I've still got a heat headache going and it was only like 80 here today . Framing and making shade , none yet , still laying out . Going to bring the big water cooler tomorrow , ran out at 2PM , hence the head ache. Got the hot tub down to 98 so I can soak . I did talk this AM to a buddy who was /till could be a carpet layer , as grumbing about not seeing what a great day it was / is outside . He took a job at Home Depot and it's different shifts no day light etc. So my man your still building , doing it . Drink plenty of water , piss off the staging , they might move you inside doing ordering or some other task . Being a brickie got you this far . Suck it up man , your not just some other wussie on this site your a builder , not a wanta be lawer or fat cat who sucks the life out of everyone,man your a builder , build . HTBH ;) PEG Whoo-ah PS I'll be 50 Dec 6 . WHOO-AH

[ 07-22-2005, 12:29 AM: Message edited by: Paul Girouard ]

Phillip Allen
07-22-2005, 05:27 AM
Well thanks folks...I was just griping and didn't expect such support.

I ended up layong off another day to let my body catch up...gonna be 100 degrees today and tomorrow...

07-22-2005, 10:41 AM
I am not as old (43) but I can tell what I am going to feel like at your age. I did sheetrock for better part of 20 yrs but atleast it was in shade.I have been welding on/off for the last 14 yrs with sheetrock jobs in between.So now I work in a metal building welding aluminum. The material is light but damn the heat. The humidity makes it to where you cant get away from it. Block mason at that age has to be a pretty durable person.Thats actually amazing. Get a foreman position and leave the hard stuff to the young bucks.I can't believe they would even have you out there in that. Hat's off to ya. Down here in FL., I see the guys with one of those super little metal high velocity fans right up on the scaffold with them.