Monthly Archives: October 2005

Expanding on yesterday's comments

I've lived in some of the biggest cities in the world and I've lived in small farming regions as well. From that, it has been my experience that “freaks” are far more likely to be truly accepted in a rural or small-town setting. Sure, in a big city you can have little pockets where you're “safe”; where you're “allowed to be”, but if you stray outside those regions don't think that other pockets of city fashion will appreciate you being there. While fashion in the city moves faster and is more progressive, it's much more codified and restrictive. Fashion being “ten years behind” in the sticks is a good thing.

Ever watch those TV shows on odd-ball inventors, people with crazy looking houses, and so on? Did you notice that almost all of them live in the country? This is because rural environments tolerate eccentricity far more so than the city. The country responds to people who “don't fit in” by getting to know them and integrating them into a diverse culture (after all, the only other option is “kill them”, which I'm happy to say is very rare). The city responds to people who “don't fit in” by forcing them into ghettos, a virtual concentration camp for that eccentricity. While freaks are safe inside their own ghetto, they are rarely a part of the whole like they can become in the country.

And ultimately if you just want to be left alone so you can do your own thing, that's not really an option in the city. If you want to be free, buy yourself ten acres or more with some nice farmland, a good woodlot, and a spring or otherwise decent fresh water. Oh, and learn how to weld.


Can I just say that minus the part about getting busted at the end, Jeffrey Holley just lived out one of my fantasies. Click my truck (driven by Martini in this photo by the way) to read the story.

The Mounties were investigating the parked truck in Pictou County on early Saturday morning when it suddenly took off and refused to pull over.

"This particular truck was basically designed for off-road - it wasn't meant to be on a highway," said Const. Josh Burcham. "It had very large tires on it and it was quite high off the ground."

Burcham said two cruisers chased the truck through some back roads near Hopewell. Eventually, the truck rolled over the front of the cruiser and landed in a ditch.

Anyway, speaking of cars… as you may remember, I was supposed to race rally in the Gumball 3000 a few years ago but it got voided largely by a contractual dispute. Rachel and I are thinking about entering another race in 2006; maybe the Player's Run… or we can get Canuk and enter the Targa. I'd enter my Manta but I think Rachel wants to run something much swanker… I told her we should ask to enter Jim Michaud's totally insane looking Stalker (mostly because it's so weird looking).

Anyway, I love going on road trips with her so this would be kind of like that, only a whole lot more dangerous, expensive, and glamourous. Or something like that.

"You only get mugged if you go down town"

So I was watching the Care Bears Big Wish movie with Nefarious and they're eating heart shaped sliced-bread sandwhiches (everything is heart shaped in Care Bear land). It's easy to find heart shaped cake and bread pans, but the ones I've seen all look kind of like this:

Now, that's right for a cake, but if you want bread where every slice is a nice heart shaped piece with the crust forming a heart shaped border, it isn't going to do it. It probably already exists (although I couldn't find it online at first search), but I was thinking that a better way might be a V-shaped pan, with a pressure bar on top (to form the top of the heart as the bread rises and rounds it out) that's made of an inverse teardrop-shaped cylinder of no-stick plastic or metal.

Unless I'm missing something this should give you bread where every slice forms a heart. One day I'll have more time on my hands and I can actually make these things instead of just drawing them. It's funny; Phil has freed up I'd say about 30 hours of my week, and instantly that time has become flooded with other work. Maybe I have too many things I want to do, but I guess it's better than having too few.
Update: Mekare just let me know that there are products that do this called “bread tubes” (see eBay for example).

Speaking of movies, last night Rachel and I watched The Devil's Rejects again. I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie's movies, they're sort of a mix of music video, B-movie horror, and a big dose of classic Americana rebel movie a la Easy Rider as well. I actually think that in time movies like this will be seen as really capturing something honest about the American character and culture that was missed in most mainstream film productions.

I've said this a few times before, but more and more as time goes by I really believe that the future of America lies in hillbilly and redneck culture fully coming of age. I think perhaps the average city person who feels superior to country folk not only doesn't understand the significant contributions that backwoods America (and Canada to a lesser extent) have made culturally, but also doesn't understand just how fucked the cities are going to be in thirty years.

And worse yet, they don't understand how fucked those who have lived their lives in the city, never having learned a real skill, are going to be in thirty years.

Need More Money

BMEshop, as you know, is a Canadian business. It'll come as no surprise as well that Americans are the site's biggest market; at least when I was last involved in that aspect of it, a majority of the customers shopped from the US. Because of that and the general internationality of the currency, it also sells in US dollars. So to be clear, Ryan buys or produces in Canadian dollars and sells in US dollars.

Over the last five years, the Canadian dollar has climbed against the US dollar by a large margin (I think in the realm of 25%). Thus, Ryan's cost on many products has risen 25% in relation to his gross profit. So he has three choices. He can eat the loss, hugely reducing his profit margins (so customers spend the same, he makes less). Or he can fluidly pass on the costs to the customer, and raise the prices to match his loss (so customers spend more, he makes the same). Finally, he can choose to make a lot of noise about the loss so everyone knows, and then not only pass the costs on to the customer, but raise the prices even more (so customers spend much more, and he makes more).

Now, Ryan isn't an asshole, so on the whole he's kept prices where they were, so he's taking a loss to keep the prices the same, or at most matched the price to the currency fluctuation. Anyway, check out this much more successful corporate CEO:

Exxon Mobile posted a $9.9 billion profit last quarter, which is not only a record for them — up 75% from last quarter — but the largest profit in US history. So anyway, Exxon didn't choose the same option as Ryan did — they went with option three. (And then Bush handed them billions in tax breaks, but that's another story).

Along also profitable lines, billions of dollars in US taxpayer cash have literally disappeared and are unaccounted for in Iraq, buying false democracy with useless bribes and being stolen by profiteering contractors as a small town worth of underpaid amputees (more) come back from a failed business plan. And as they come back, they come back without their equipment — $1.2 billion in trucks and radios and gear have been “lost” while outside the country, leaving the National Guard with only “one-third the equipment they need”.

Ah, profit.

Of course, in part it's people's own fault. It's not as if you have to buy a Hummer that gets 9 mpg. Hell, most people don't even cook pasta efficiently.

I suppose it could be worse. I could be in Iran (who Russia is quietly pushing into nuclear capability), who just banned all things from the West, er, I mean, the Great Satan. I may agree with the feminism issues on the recent Suicide Girls flap, but I think Sean is getting a bit of a bum rap being called a racist… I'm not sure that saying that running a culture by Muslim law is “deeply sick” is a wrong — are we that politically correct that we have to say it's “OK” for another culture to abuse its women, simply because they're a different race? That's only a small step away from saying it's acceptable to have slaves because they're a different race… Human rights transcend borders. I'd definitely rather see SG sexploitation than women's magazine publishers in prison under Islamic law.

Anyway… Speaking of equal rights, did you know that it's only a hundred years ago that the West started accepting, at least academically, the female orgasm? Hell, these days you can get sued if you can't get your partner off, and if you come visit me here in Mexico, you'd better be careful where you stay because the hotel might not warn you that they're a swinger resort.

Oh, and of course as you know they're indicting Libby today. And Libby's source was Cheney. There's buzz that Fitzgerald is going to be looking at the lies that brought America into the war, and finally asking questions like who forged the documents — with all fingers pointing at Mr. Top Secret, Dick Cheney, right now. Others are suggesting that Rove is looking to flip on Bush, taking the whole empire down to avoid prison himself (which I doubt personally)…

Finally, you know how I mentioned that Exxon made record profits at the start of this entry? Well, the number two slot is held by the international bank corporation Citigroup at $7.2 billion… as we slide deeper into being debtors, banking profits will continue to climb until that day on which they collapse destructively. Speaking of debt, the US is now $8 trillion in debt (good to know that $3 billion is being spent to buy digital television sets for poor people).

Have I mentioned the option of moving to an Island of Vegans?

Manta Montage project update

So as you may remember, I've had some problems getting my Manta on the road (previously) due to the shift linkage being a mess. I originally ordered the piece from CB Performance which ended up being a nightmare. When I ordered it, they told me it would go out by courier in the next day or two. Turns out that they didn't actually have it in stock and then gave me the runaround for a month (“just a few more days”) — and still charged my credit card (illegally)!

Eventually that order got cancelled and I went and ordered it from Dan's Performance Parts who I used way back on my old Aztec 7 project. I had it a couple days later, no hassle at all… Should have gone to Dan at the start, I would have had this two months ago.

Anyway, it's going to take some machining to get the piece to fit just right because I'm running a Porsche transmission, but I think I've found someone who can handle the job (the first guy had no idea), and he speaks English so he's easy for me to communicate with… if he can pull this off and the car is done well, I could probably make a nice side-business bringing old exotics like this down for restoration. Anyone want to buy a sportscar? I've been thinking I want to tackle a Kamala: