Blue Collar Roundup – Fall Grilling Edition

As promised, I’m keeping the roundups to only 5 posts that I thought were radically tubular each week or so. And this week, I’m saluting grilling in the fall. I salute you, fall grillers!

Fall Grilling

Behold, an old school grill

Blonde on a Budget wins this roundup’s best post! She talks about getting sober at 27. It’s always hard to come clean with readers about our pasts, but I came clean about my felony history and I appreciate her coming clean about alcoholism. You’re an awesome chick!

As a blue collar worker, my income is not always so great. The work and income can be erratic and if the economy tanks, workers like me get laid off. So how’s a dude with a small income supposed to save for retirement? Modest Money has 7 tips for how to save for retirement on a small income.

Don’t worry about being a good dad, Financial Samurai. Lots of years ago when I got a girl pregnant, I wasn’t stoked. We weren’t married, I still wanted to party, and I didn’t have a job. People thought I would suck at being a dad. But then my baby girl was born and everything changed. You don’t have to know jack about women to be a good dad to a daughter. You just gotta be there for them and listen and stuff. And boy, my now-junior-high-aged daughter can talk. And I listen. Easy as that.

What are the chances of a straw getting the better of you? What about a 34 year old dude being a virgin? Fearless Men have the answers you need.

I’m a fan of regular car maintenance – just take care of your car, dudes! Debt Roundup covers some things that are common causes of roadside breakdowns.

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How to: Fix a Slow Garage Door

Hello Blue Collar Workman readers! I’m starting a new series where I answer questions about home/car repair and other blue collar stuff that you guys submit! If you have a question you want answered (how much should a contractor for XYZ cost? do I really need to get my tires rotated? why does road construction take so long to finish?), leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or email me (bluecollarworkman1(at) and I’ll answer it honestly for you!

painted garage door

Awesome painted garage door

The question for today comes from a reader with an ever-slowing garage door.

Question: Hey TB! My garage door is starting to act a little funny lately…opening really slow. I’m wondering if the tracks need to be lubricated or something?  I bought a spray that was supposed to be for garage openers a long time ago, but it was awful and I ended up tossing because it came out bright red and was leaving stains.  I can’t remember if I did anything after that or not.

Any advice or products you recommend for the tracks? I used to use WD40 for everything until I heard it is a de-greaser and not a lubricant. So now I’m confused on when to use WD40.

Answer: Try using white lithium grease to grease the track…grease the chain as well.

white lithium grease

white lithium grease

WD40 is a good temporary lubricant (and a good de-greaser — I don’t get the chemistry on that one, but it’s true), but you want something that is better than temporary.

If that doesn’t work, you might need a new garage door opener motor. The motor in the electric door opener may be beginning to fail. They should go for about $100, give or take. I’m sure you can find somebody to install it for around $100. Heck, if you were local to me, I’d install a new one for $100.

Another thing could be that you need your door spring tightened. The spring is usually located up above the garage door (or along the rails, if it’s old). Definitely hire a professional for that, it can be dangerous.

Photo credits: flickr users “otzberg” and “commondream

Eating Good is Hard

I always was the kind of guy who would say, “I’ll eat what I want and enjoy life! It’s too short anyway! I’d rather die younger and have enjoyed life than die old but have been miserable.”

Workmans Lunch

My regular lunch

So I ate bacon and eggs and McDonalds. French fries, potato chips, and Mountain Dew. Nachos with everything on them, burgers with everything on them, and pizza with everything on it. And hey, I do physical labor for my job, so I’ve never gotten chubby from it all.

But then I had my daughters. And suddenly I wanted to live long enough to watch them graduate college and walk down the aisle (either or both, whatever makes them happy).

I try to eat better, but man, it’s hard. I love when my wife cooks for our family, it’s great and I know it’s better for me than McDonalds. But for lunch during the day? Or the times when she’s at school so can’t cook? I always turn to fast food. I don’t know how to cook and Burger King is so damn good!

Now that I’m not working night shifts anymore, it’s a little easier to eat better. But it’s still hard. I used to make fun of overweight people when I was younger, but I just can’t anymore. It’s hard to eat good, especially when you work full time (and when grownups make fun of people, it’s sh**ty).

Any other blue collar dudes or chicks out there got any ideas on how to eat better?