Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I told the crazy German I would post up a couple of pics. Here is what things look like today. I have been making some bits for the floor, in my spare time. I think the lines are where I want 'em, so I might get moving again on everything else that needs to get done...

Black History Month

I figured it was a good excuse to post these pics.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Crazy German

Via forwarded messages, I just recieved word that my favorite German won some piles of awards and the Portland Rod & Custom show.

Edit - You can now click on the picture, to see a larger version. Check it out!


Well, it's Monaday night here. It has been raining all day here, it is also not so warm. Surely, the weather could be described as a winter rain - not a lovely spring shower.

Feeling the weather as a point of inspiration I invested myself in the making of a hearty beef ragout. Cooking for one allows the addition of items typically left out from most meals prepared while KVC is here.

I am dazed by a big pasta dinner. The rain continues to dribble on the roof.

I have included a photo of Pierre Auguste Ragout, because his photo showed up when I searched for the word "ragout". Cheers, Pierre.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Reports are that KVC has arrived safely in Thailand.

I can, also, report that everything is safe here in Cali. The cat-pack and I are maintaining a healthful status, in spite of the various cravings my stomach put forth upon KVC's departure.

One of my pal's stopped by last night, to check progress on the Model T project. He is a hot-rod magazine editor, so his opinion of project status is always welcome. In spite of my own insecurity, he seems to think that there is cool stuff going on here - in the garage. I take that to mean that my efforts, to date, are on the right track.
I did start making some floor bits, for the Model T. No real sparks flying action, but it does help satiate my desire to fight some steel.

Other than that, it's just me herding cats.

Bicycle Bicycle You Are My Bicycle

We're on two wheels baby
We're on two wheels baby

We will come to your town
Burn your house down
Turn the sky brown
All because, all because, all because

We're on two wheels baby
We're on two wheels baby

lyrics courtesy of Be Your Own Pet...
Top flight band, those Pet folks, top notch.

Uhm, right.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bachelor Life

KVC is on the road again. A bit of a trip to the other side of the world. The usual.

So, I am left here to do whatever. The bachelor life...

There must be some internal switch that flips, when a guy is in this situation. I have already had cravings for donuts, mac and cheese, gyros, pizza and a big Chicago style hotdog.

It has only been about three hours since KVC left. My gut better watch out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Oh, man, the car in this picture forces me to make engine noises. In my head, I am going "vvvrooom vrrroooom" right now.

I mentioned that I would post up some bits about my cerative process, with my car. Well, here is some. I dig this car's obvious style, in spite of of ragged edges. It is hard to say, from the picture, where the car is in it's life. Is it in the process being built? Is it showing it's decay? Has it been passed down as some old jalopy and less loved?

Somebody put some soul into that car. Some electro-magnetic energy is stored in that old tin.

No Logo

It has been a few weeks since I finished Naomi Klein's book No Logo. I picked up a copy while KVC and I were in Ohio. I had been aware of the book for some time but had put off reading it.

My reason for delay in reading the book was, I suppose, two-fold.
First off, it is the reference for every vague and poorly constructed argument against Asian manufacturing, from every half-hippy expert on global social economics.
My other delay was that I find the writers of my generation a bit too narrative in their critical writing and journalism.

As for the narrative bit, Klein does not create exception to my observations. Her whole self-immersion story telling seems pretty lame, with trips to free trade zones and quick visits to far off lands. I was never sure what I was to take from her narrative diversions, they seemed as ploys meant to distract from any real numerical research.

Anyway, No Logo is a thesis on the rise of "brand" and trans-national corporate culture. It inquires as to the birth of branding and consumer brand awareness. It observes the cultural corporate shifts into brand development and away from physical manufacturing. There are side trips to examine advertising, media and various green party initiatives. The whole bit loosely tied together with some swell personal commentaries and stories from Klein.

So, my initial thoughts, the whole book was too late. Originally published in 2001, I think, it's a great bit of clear hindsight. By 2001, every company dissected had already taken steps to improve their international standards in response to public outcry. By 2001, the countries cited had already made progress from true third world backwaters to manufacturing centers - and with that responded to international pressure to improve work conditions. Most importantly, by 2001, our own cultural shift has happened - we have turned ourselves into consumers and not manufacturers.

Somebody came up with the "brand" and we bought into it.

One of the most interesting observations that Klein makes is in the timing. The whole concept of "brand" didn't really mean much until the 80's. At the same time that we were caught up in the PC wars, focused on names and rights of every possible sub-genre of sex/race/handicap/nationality - corporations were changing the way fundamental way business was conducted. The folks most likely to make the observations, at the time, were busy fighting another fight, fighting amongst themselves.

While we were in college, protesting to have a gay-black-womyn's studies program added to the curriculum - industry was off-shoring jobs and downsizing the jobs our parents had.
As we fought the good fight for rights, corporations shifted the global economy.

Followed by the anti-PC backlash. I am left thinking that a near static outcome is all that the PC fights accomplished. The protests against the WTO, NAFTA, et al have been equally ineffectual.

The most highly educated generation produced, was too busy squabling about semantics to notice that the very fabric of culture had been altered.
The same sort bickering that happens today between liberals and conservatives almost seems a move of distraction. Watching the meaningless banter keeps us from noticing our decline into a service sector economy.

They keep selling it. We keep buying it...

The UnDead, Cont'd

KVC and I were at the bookstore, yesterday. With my current zombie obsession, I couldn't help but notice this book.

I didn't pick up a copy. I think it needs to get into the hands of the masses, before mine. I am reasonably ready to whup up some zombie, I think.
I did give the book a quick look, however. Lots of good info on what to do to prepare for - and deal with the attack of the UnDead.

Recommended reading...

As it stands, nobody has opined on the zombie vs. vampire issue. I am still dwelling on the double UnDead question.

Do mummies count as zombies?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lookin' Out

Off the AP newswire, a really depressing story:

HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. - The partially mummified body of a man dead for more than a year has been found in a chair in front of his television, which was still on, authorities said.

Vincenzo Ricardo, 70, apparently died of natural causes, said Dr. Stuart Dawson, Suffolk County’s deputy chief medical examiner.

Police found Ricardo’s body this week when they investigated a report of burst pipes.

The home’s dry air had preserved his features, morgue assistant Jeff Bacchus said.

“You could see his face. He still had hair on his head,” Bacchus said.

“He hasn’t been heard from in over a year. That’s the part that baffles me,” he said. “Nobody sounded the alarm.”

“We never thought to check on him,” said neighbor Diane Devon.

I have got some stuff going on here. I am a bit distracted, though.
I'll report later...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It is Valentine's day.

It has been hard to forget that. There has been a huge diplay of heart shaped candy boxes and pink bear things at the grocery store for more than a month.

Here is a picture of a bear with hearts. I don't know anything about it.

So, anyway, be mine?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

T Blogging

T Blogging. Right, huh? What is this about?

Well, some of you may have noticed the pics of that car project. It is still ongoing, that little project. That project that has stretched to the the years calender.

It is taking a long time, that Model T project. Much longer than I had expected...

It is taking so long because, well, really because I would like it to not suck.

Anyway, I have all kinds of time wrapped up into the thing. I am pretty sure there are all manner of hours still awaiting my hands, until there is some sort of completion. I have, largely, abstained from other creative projects in an effort to pump creative vision into the old Model T.

I am sure it ties directly to the previous post on manliness.
My focus is fairly specific, with this project. I have a vision, if you know what I mean. I have a dream, which I am trying to make real.

I am trying to make something that might not be the end dream, but the gateway to a larger one. The Model T modified is a gateway drug, if you will. It is a place to try some ideas, to learn, to gain some skills.

My thoughts, with a T Blogging series, are to pass along the process I have gone through. I hung out with my pal John, today. John asked if I was doing some such thing. I had thought about it, previously, but held back.

I'll post up some pics of what I have gone through/done so far. I will also provide some background on my thoughts on why I have made the decisions I have. I will also post lots of photos of a car, which may not mean anything to anyone.

So, look for some T Blogs...

Sunday afternoon...

I am pretty sure that the perfect Sunday afternoon would look something like this snapshot. The afternoon would also include taking those track roadsters around a dirt circle for a few laps, hanging the rear end out to throw some mud at the guys following behind.

If we're calling dibs, I get that 386 car. It is the ginchiest...

Friday, February 9, 2007


Remember this guy? Man, the Creeper is one of my favorite villians.

I was never quite sure why he was a villian at all. He didn't really seem to do anything evil, really. Just lots of chasing.
He just kind of ran around yelling "CREEPER" like some hunched over down-syndrome dude in a poorly tailored suit.

Note that he was rocking the suit and t-shirt look years before it was embraced by either Crockett or Tubbs. Though the Creeper did have the sense to avoid Easter egg pastels, probably because he knew they would clash with his skin tone.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Sometimes, you see things that are "right". Even from a distance, everything about them just resonates with "rightness". Do you see it, right there? I do...

Often times, when I am confronted with such things, I am left to dwell on my own inept hackery.
I like to think that my vague association with genius will in some small way elevate my own efforts.

Check out more, here-

If'n my appropriation of imagery is in some manner of violation, let me know...


Watching the tube last night, after thinking about life and other man things in the garage, I happened to see an interview with Charlie LeDuff. It seems Monsiuer LeDuff has just written a thesis on the decline of manliness in American culture, "US Guys" is the title.

This is a subject that I have bandied about with my peers on more than one occasion. I suppose, in the back of my head, I have considered a similar literary review - but writing about manliness seemed much too sissyfied as compared to talking about it over a beer, in some smokey bar, while playing pool.

Charlie touched on the fact that a lot of guys, today, are products of divorce. Guys without male role models. Absent fathers. Blah blah blah...
I suppose there is some merit to that talk.
I am not sure I can buy into that line of thought completely, though. I have been thinking about it some, you see.

Sure, there are a generation of dudes raised by their moms. I know more of them than their counterpoints. I am one of them.

At the same time, I can't help but think that my mother's generation were born from Rosie - you know, the women who built Victory ships and drove rivets into B17's. Those were some pretty manly women, if you think about it.
Christ, my grandmother still tells stories about being kicked by cows. I don't know many men who can say that.

I think it might have something more to do with the cultural rise of consumerism. My generation is much more likely to talk about doing things, or go out and buy the things that allow them to do. Not many folks are actually doing things, making things.
Now, I'm not talking about doing things like playing video games or extreme sports or whatever form of escapism you care to insert here. I mean doing things.

I am not quite sure I am accurately expressing my thoughts here.

There are some hints of a generation of men who did things in old magazines. There are plans and diagrams for the construction of all manner of contraptions in old magazines.

This issue of Popular Science, for example, has plans on making your own scuba gear out of the parts bins of the local hardware store.

Who does that? Make your own rebreathing system? Crazy talk.

I have seen the plans for a disc sander, to make yourself. They involved an electric motor, an old belt, some plywood, nuts, bolts and a coffee can. The plans actually included an old coffee can. You can buy a disc sander at Home Depot for a couple of bills, these days.

Guys did things - and they made the things that got them to their dreams.

Men didn't just buy a boat. They didn't buy their dream vacation, scuba diving off of some reef somewhere. It wasn't an option for most men.
Perhaps it was the making and the doing that made them manly.

Men made their own boats, in the backyard. Some guy figured out how to make scuba gear, probably in his basement. A couple of guys would get together some bits from a junkyard, bolt 'em together in the garage and go set a land speed record.

Men made their dreams...

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


The latest footage from the San Fernando valley soap box racer dudes-

Luckily, I live no where near the San Fernando valley and I don't know anybody here dumb enough to start an East Bay federation. I can't stop thinking about what a good idea this is, though...

I mean I could throw a chassis together with scraps in the garage.


Monday, February 5, 2007

trade show, follow up

My fondness for the trade show has been expressed, previously. I had forgotten the most gee-wiz-neato thing about trade shows, though, people with colds. Those folks who feel just a bit under the weather, but just can't miss out on the free pens and catalogs.

Yeah, I have a cold. Nothing makes me bitter like a job-induced illness. I think I am on number three for the season, if you count the possible food poisoning.

Perhaps it is the industry I am in. There did seem to be a bunch of pasty, pale pencil necks trudgung through that convention center. Perhaps I am going through the change, becoming one of them...

Anyway, a good cold is reason to watch dumb movies on the television. You know, not really watch, but sit in a miserable ball near a television with some old movie playing. I usually go for westerns or war movies while chugging cough syrup, but they seemed in short supply.

The movie Groundhog Day was on all day, Saturday. That made for a very interactive experience - I could dose off, rejoin the movie upon waking and then have a very similar experience to the film's main character. Recommended sick day movie...

I watched CaddyShack, again. The unedited version is so much more compelling in it's narrative, don't you think?

There was also some movie where the main characters were secretly bug people. They were trying to fit in, in a small town in Indiana. You can imagine, if you haven't seen this film, wackiness was in order. There was some bug-human mating, kidnappings, pot smoking and pod people action to round out the plot. Oh, there was a bug army invasion set to nuke us all, narrowly averted. Really good cinema. I have no idea what the movie was called.

If anybody has seen the bug movie, let me know. It may have been the medication that made it so entertaining. It may have been the medication that produced it, now that I think about it...

Friday, February 2, 2007

Special Bonus Feature

SuperSpecialSuicidal Update

Earlier this week, KVC's boss sent these two albums home with her - for me.

I, of course, already was in possession of both albums, though in a cassette audio tape format.

I believe the cassette audio tape format adds to the listening experience with this era's musical vernacular. The magic of the slightly streched, over used and roughly handled cassette audio tape media imparts a layering of truthful nostalgia to the listening experience, I believe.

The gifting of these albums could be taken wrongly as a sinister move on the part of KVC's supervisor. Worry not, he is moving on, to another position and country. His decision to leave behind two such important works, makes one questions his judgement. The gesture, however, is appreciated.

I am sure, with multiple listenings, I will in fact smile today and (perhaps) laugh tomorrow.


In other news...

Boston Officials Display Lunacy

The above pictured device, and others like it were placed around the country over the past few weeks. They are a part of a marketing effort to promote on of my favorites television programs, Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

The character portrayed on the above device is a Mooninite. The Mooninites are a race of smarmy, poorly animated characters from the moon. The Mooninites believe that they are a highly intelligent race, in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Boston officials, this week, displayed (what could be seen as) some relation to the Mooninites. Their near hysteric efforts to address the above device, and others like it, as a possible terrorist device/bomb seems the definition of lunacy.

"It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme," Mayor Thomas Menino said. "I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred."
I appreciate the 9/11 reference - and the threatening search for restitution associated with the city's removal efforts in, Menino's statement.
Reports are that in addition to city and state officials, the FBI and Coast Guard were involved in the efforts to suppress the blinking of lights.

Citizens of Boston, may I recommend moving any electrical devices, batteries, blinking lights, holiday lights, futuristic lamps, lava lamps or televisions out of the view of others. In this post 9/11 world, any such device could be perceived as a threat to the security of the city, and subject to removal or destruction.

We are on Ultra-High Alert.

trade show

Trade shows suck.
I would like to put it differently, but I don't have the chat left. All of my vapid conversation gas is used up from two days of annoying conversation.

Some points of observation:
Most people would rather not talk without reason.
Those people that are happy to converse without cause will happily go on for much longer than I thought possible.
Trade shows suck.

There is not a single person at a trade show that does not expect something from the other folks at a trade show. Most people at trade shows don't say, directly, what it is that they want. It is inappropriate trade show behavior to be direct.
There is some requisite of; glad handing, lunch buying, weather talking, up catching, card passing, bull shitting.
There are plywood tables with skirts to hide; tired shipping boxes, road cases, garbage, knotted wires and cables.
There are the marks collecting; catalogs, cut sheets, cards, pens, bags, candy, cheap promo crap, and very rarely information on something they might actually purchase.

I am left thinking that the real reason trade shows exist, at this point, is to give sales people something to do.
It is a place for the old guard to gather and compare notes on; how/why the numbers are down, who went to what new company, who was hospitalized/divorced/put to pasture, where to have some per diem dinner, the details of the last/next trade show.

So, that was the past few days for me. Good times. There was some entertainment to dull some of my edge.
I will round out my week with some school work and phone interviews.

I really want to hammer/grind/cut/burn/weld something...