Hitting the 1,000 Mark, Retirement Stuff, and "Two Toes"

Here are some more "odds and ends" for your consideration, including some retirement perspectives. 

1,000 Posts

I know that most YouTubers anxiously await their 1,000th viewer subscription so my hat is off to our own Gary T. at Muskrat Outdoors who now has over 1,400 subscribers. I too have finally hit the magic mark with 1,000 posts (as mini-articles are known in the blogosphere) at Bedrock Dreams. I started this blog back in 2008 and despite a couple of near misses where I came close to pulling the plug, I've managed to stay with it. So now I've reached the 1,000 mark. In other words, this site contains a grand total of 1,000 posts for you to read should you care to do so by accessing the Archives section in the left sidebar of Bedrock Dreams. That's a lot of accessing and reading, so I don't expect anyone out there to actually accomplish that feat. But if you do, well pard...my hat is off to you as well! As always, a big "Thank You!" to my hard-core cadre of supporters and donors who have steered me away from pulling the plug on this deal.


Bedrock Dreams reader Tom V. was interested in knowing your perspectives about retirement, providing you actually are retiring or are retired. So Tom, here are what "sniper" and Reily. S. have to say:


I would be kinda embarrassed to tell him how I go about things. In some ways I was happier when I was doing masonry work and tiling swimming pools. At least I had money!

I miss my hawk and my trowel and my plaster straight edges. Sometimes I dream about working. 
For a good 45 years I was a mason. The first time I got my hands in some mortar I fell in love with it. And I still love it just as much today. I can sorta say that I am one (one of several) of the world's best masons (I'm being humble) but I am horrible about self discipline.

Masonry work is a lot of times an art form and you know how artists are a little bit like beatniks. We come and go as we please, and we really don't put up too much with people telling us what to do. Within reason of course. The customer may occasionally complain about how long things were taking but they never ever complained about the finished product. That's true, but I bet a lot of them thought I was a royal pain in the ass.

Well to achieve that not only takes some ability (the more that is God given the better) but you also have to be willing to spend the time. And I don't care about time..lol. I've got all the time in the world to make this job perfect and by golly that's what the customer is going to end up with when I get done!

Except that I realized years down the road that most customers don't know the difference and don't really give a crap. Swimming pools generally pay more and they can be very challenging, some of them and give you a chance to show off some talent. And every one of us masons think that we are the world's best you know. Oh yeah we do and some of us are.

I never took my hat off to nobody. But I can give compliments where compliments are due and I have had the pleasure to meet some pretty good fellow masons over the years. Darn good ones and smart about managing time. Very successful.

My problem was always how much time I had in it. By the time the job is about over I'm about out of money on the job. That's what happens when you keep your own hours. BUT back in my younger days I could really put in some hours too. And it wasn't a problem either. That seems so strange now.

I must be getting old. YIKES!

Reily S.

I've retired twice and probably have the third time coming up. I think if you spent your life in a dull job and managed to keep your health and sanity, retirement, as we think of it, might be okay for those people with two civil service retirement incomes.

I've been self-employed most of my life (Land Surveyor) and enjoy being active and jumping into new things. Mining has been a great recreational pursuit, but I realized right away that it was good exercise and fun "looking" but I never expected to get real lucky (I've never been lucky...only found a little success with hard work). At any rate, the first time I sold a little surveying practice (this was in the 80s before Reagan's tax cuts took hold) because of the hassles of government and dealing with employees/clients. I spent 5 years reading good books I never had time for, prospecting, and then got into trading commodities. Well, the commodity "fun" wiped out a portion of my assets.  

I always enjoyed surveying (just not the government, etc.) so I decided to just work by myself or with a casual helper when needed. Bounced around quite a bit and spent 10 years in Brookings working with my son and developed a nice little practice. The fishing and hunting was great and there was even a little dredging and prospecting on the Rogue and Sixes River.  

In 2003, I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and retired again (I had quit smoking about 7 years before).  Ended up back in my hometown to get the wife settled and I expected to die in six months to a year as the first oncologist said. Long story, but I beat it. After spending another 10 years in Bakersfield doing a lot of prospecting in the deserts and mountains east of Bakersfield (plus a few trips to the Motherlode country to look around) my wife suggested we move back to Brookings, OR. Well, Brookings is nicer than Bakersfield.

My experience (and others) has been, after a year of retirement you wonder how you ever worked because you are so busy. But then, after a few more years you start getting bored and start doing something. Right now, as an example, I have a retired civil engineer/surveyor and a retired school teacher/firefighter who are doing Public Land Survey Corner re-establishment for the County each working for $14 an hour, three days a week. These guys like hiking and staying in shape. I think they just need an excuse to get out of the house and work a few days each week!  

I hope this helps you with your retirement decision.

My Experience Thus Far

I've found the best thing about being retired to be the fact you're on your own schedule and not someone else's. It's a real boon not to have to commute an hour in the wee hours of the morn in all types of weather and then back again. But I will say the first six months of retirement was quite an adjustment for me.

There were a lot of double and even triple "dippers" where I used to work (Los Alamos National Laboratory) who would retire after 20-25 or 30 years or more and then come back as contract workers. Some of these folks had also retired from the state or the military prior to working at the Lab. I never fully understood this...why retire and then come back to another job or the same job at the same place??? Meaning no disrespect to anyone, I always thought that this was a bit crazy or an act of greediness (but for some folks it may have been out of necessity...who knows? To each his or her own...). Me? I have no desire to return to my former work and over two years later that isn't in the offing for me. And it won't be.

I was in the workplace for around 50 years total, minus seven years in undergraduate and graduate school getting myself "eddycated." This includes time spent in the military, academia, private industry, and working as a Department of Energy contractor. So far I'm doing OK from a retirement financial standpoint...at least I haven't had to dip into my retirement savings to pay the bills because I receive a small pension from my years at the Lab. But the Feds have forced me to start withdrawing money from my retirement accounts so they can get their tax bite. They'll do this to you too when you hit 70.5 years of age. So much for saving for your retirement years, right? (Yes, I'm being sarcastic here.)

 (Retirement can be a tax shock.)

The main thing about going into retirement is your health. If you are in good health overall you are "golden." I'm fortunate in this regard since my only issue is arthritis in my lower back, feet, and neck. My arthritis may be painful at times but it isn't anywhere close to debilitating (knock on wood). I am still able to prospect and mine, metal detect, and work outside. Your health is everything. You could retire tomorrow but if your health is down the toilet the quality of your retirement will follow that path as well methinks. No matter what you do in retirement it's all good though. Every moment is precious because those of us in retirement are living out the "winter" of our years. Life itself is precious. I learned this as a very young man when death was always lurking around the corner. So treasure your moments...even the not-so-good ones.

If your current job is slowly sapping your spirit or physically "killing" you, well...it ain't worth it. Get out of there and start living on your own time and in your own space. Don't let fear guide you. Fear is debilitating. I saw a lot of folks where I used to work express various levels of fear about retirement so instead of retiring they stayed on year after year getting older and older. The fear and desperation they expressed about retirement was startling, if not disturbing. So don't become one of those driven-by-fear types.

I guess that's about it...

Best to all and thanks to "sniper" and Reily S. for their perspectives and willingness to speak personally about retirement.

"Two Toes"

This old timer's YouTube channel is the best I've come across for small-scale gold prospectors and miners. He's obviously old school and has been around the mining block for a while. Plus, he just takes things head on without any stupid antics or the typical "look at me, me, me" crap. Even I, the hard case of hard cases, subscribe to this gent's YouTube channel. He's my kind of small-scale guy and can do it all. Sniping above and below the water, swinging a detector over crevices, highbanking, sluicing, and I suspect he was a good dredger until the environmental nuts in California put a stop to suction dredging. My rating? Five stars and a big thumbs up. 

 ("Two Toes.")

(c) Jim Rocha 2019

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. Thank you JR! 1,000 posts...….Wow! That is a lot! No wonder you get frustrated now and then. It has got to drive you crazy thinking about what to write about! I am glad you keep on going though! There are other gold mining sites on the computer, but none compare to Bedrock Dreams. Most are either too simple and useless, or too technical and useless. Yours has good advice, and much needed tips of what to look for and why. Except for a few of the bigger words, you write it so I can understand it too! I liked your treasure hunting one as well, but the trouble with it was that none were close enough to me! Some I would love to give a try at finding, but I'd have to be retired, and that doesn't look any more likely than winning the lottery. I am really hoping to get a chance at more prospecting this summer. The last few have been too busy to go much at all.
    Back to the You Tube thing....the reason I decided to try it ,was to try to make a little money. (The key word here is "little" money) It took just under a year to finally hit that 1,000 mark and have the needed 4,000 watch hours. Each ad that plays, you get a few cents. Not much, but it adds up. I've only had ads for about a month, but it's made $37......when it gets to $100 they supposedly send you a check. Not much for a years worth of time and effort, but I'm hopeful by next year it will be better...time will tell.
    One guy I saw on there said "I don't make as much as most people doing this, only about $300 a month". Well, I'd be happy with that! Maybe someday....
    Thanks again for all your help!

    Oh, and Two Toes will have a new subscriber here too.

    1. You'll hit that 4,000 mark Gary...just wait and see. Thanks for all the good words and support over the years!

    2. Oh My Goodness..I really didn't think you would post that conversation Jim.
      Geezuz..I woulda cleaned it up a little and not talked about myself so much.

      Reilly S. made a heck of a contribution though and my hat goes off to him!
      That was very interesting Reilly and if you ever care to tell us how you beat stage 4 lung cancer 16 years ago I would love to read it.
      You know anybody in Brookings named McDoniels? Just curious.

      Muskrat just wanted to let you know that I subscribed about a month ago, after Jims recommendation and I hate those stinking ads, but on your channel I let them run because I know you make a little money off of them.

      And Jim is exactly correct about Two Toes. I have been watching his stuff about 1 1/2 years. That guy is awesome!
      And he's accessible. He has answered several of my questions. I also bought a set of his crevice tools off of his ebay store. He makes all of them by hand and even has videos demonstrating how he does it.
      He is right up there next to Jim Rocha.

      Jim a question for you:
      How many views do you average on each post?
      Any way to tell how many regulars?

    3. It's all good Don. No worries.

    4. Sniper, thank you very much for the help!
      Personally, I'm glad JR posted your comment. It's right on the money! People should have pride in their work! Dad always said "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. " If you don't care enough to do something right, then don't do it at all. True craftmanship has gone by the wayside in the USA and it's a shame. It doesn't matter what it is, folks should try to do the best they can. I'm glad there are still a few out there that view a job as more than just a paycheck. Thank you.

    5. Right on Gary...Vert few folks take true p[ride in what they do.


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