Archive for November, 2008
This photo was taken in 1945 by Margaret Bourke-White in Buchenwald, Germany post WWII. It’s a piece of tanned, tattooed human skin that was taken off of the skin of prisoner who was likely killed for it. Supposedly, the prisoner inspectors wife came up with a great idea of making purses and lampshades out of decorative skin.
That’s some twisted shit– particularly that somebody was murdered for their tattoos to make a Nazi wife purse. That said, remove the twisted and Nazi part, and I’d be cool if someone i loved skinned my tattoos when i passed away (from old age, preferably,) tanned them nicely for preservation and turned me into a nice lampshade or something…. maybe a nice wallet– Something that could handed down through the generations and something somebody would be stoked to find a thousand years later.
My daughter is sitting here telling me that i’m gross and doesn’t ever want a lampshade of her dad. Oh well, it was an idea.
That said…… my wife has a beautiful back piece, that would make a great leather jacket. mmuuuahhhhahahahahaha!
November 27th, 2008
Being from Michigan and raised my whole life around a family of people passionate about cars, i’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the US auto industry and the “bail outs” (or loans, whatever you wanna call it) that the big 3 are begging the government (that would be us, the people) for. After some thought, i’ve formed my opinion:
I’ve decided that it’s time for Detroit to submit and admit– they’ve failed. It’s time for change. It’s time to file chapter 11 bankruptcy, realize & dump legacy problems and write & execute on a new business plan for a new era of excellence.
Now, if you’re interested in pounding your UAW war drum at me– then let me ask you something…. Do you genuinely believe that UAW union employees working at GM are happier than the non-union employees building Toyota’s in the US? Do you really think you are better? For what i can tell– workers are pretty fucking miserable.
Let’s do a quick comparison of vehicles built in the USA, a GM plant in Michigan versus a Toyota plant in Kentucky– union versus non-union:
1) First of all, in Michigan the Big 3 must support the retirement costs of 4 retirees for every 1 active employee. Who pays for that? well, the Big 3 do in profits and we pay for it in a higher price vehicle and we likely pay for it in quality.
2) It’s been measured that the non-union Toyota plant is 30% more effective than a typical union shop up at Chrysler. It takes 20 hours to build a Camry– the best GM plant takes 32 hours for a similar vehicle. All the data suggests that the Toyota off the line better (over 95% perfect off the line,) and performs longer and more reliably over the long run. Who pays for that? well, the Big 3 do in profits and we pay for it in a higher price vehicle and we likely pay for it in quality.
3) Better utilization– GM’s best plant had 57% utilization versus 97% on Toyota.
4) So, you’d expect that the union employees would make significantly more money? Well, at GM the avg hourly rate for a union non-skilled assembly line worker was $31/hr. At Toyota, non-union workers with the same job are averaging about $27/hr– about a 10% difference, but remember– the Toyota worker isn’t paying union dues. Through satisfaction surveys, it’s been shown the the non-union worker is also more content (happy) than the union employee.
Sure, i know that for years UAW workers have gotten 90% of their hourly pay whenever they are laid off. Well, the goal is to not get laid off and not leach the companies into bankruptcy. These distractions hurt quality, focus and development, which hurt sales, which result in layoffs, which result in failure.
The big 3 aren’t playing on the same competitive field– and thus aren’t competing.
The bottom line is that I think the US auto industry is a 20th century company trying to compete in a 21st century world.
The big 3 loses money on every car it produces and has no business plan to show how it will fix it’s problem. Any person with common sense wouldn’t give money to allow that to continue without clear solution to fix.
No bail outs. File Chapter 11. Work your asses off building an improved business with a new business plan.
By the way, I buy American cars, because im one of those loyal suckers who loves to support my country– while at the same time getting less than what i’d expect from the Big 3. I’ve got your back and will continue to support you through your long needed reorganization.
You’ve lost the battle. Tap and submit so that you can fight another day– and win the war. It’s gone too far. Let’s get back to greatness.
November 22nd, 2008
Back when i was a kid, every year we’d go to the Detroit Auto Show at Cobo Arena. It was huge and grand looking to me, even in the late 70s, but grandpa used to tell me stories of how much *more* thrilling the auto shows were back in his own earlier years. According to him, everybody flocked to the auto shows, one of the most grand spectacles, to see the latest great cars and what Detroit had in mind for all of our futures. Looking at the above picture (1950 Paris Auto Show,) I completely understand that thrill.
Nowadays, it seems like cars have evolved into bland, commodity tools— and since a socket looks like a socket, people don’t get so excited about them anymore. New cars aren’t bold. Aren’t fresh every year. Detroit grew up. Detroit’s grown old. Like BB King said, “The thrill is Gone.”
Is rescue money really going to solve the problem? Perhaps the auto industry folks need to study these pictures (early 50′s auto show pics from LA, Chicago, Detroit, NY and Paris) so that they can remember what they were and recall how they used to lead the swim instead of crying for the lifeguard.
Load the family in and see how everyone fits! (Los Angeles Auto Show)
Transparant power (LA Auto Show)
Back before people got offended about having Indians in logos (LA)
Free family pictures in the new shoebox convertible
You can check out all my old auto show pics on my flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notebooms/sets/72157609479613963/
November 19th, 2008
Can I get a Hallelujah!
As a guy who questions anything and is generally paranoid against brainwashing, I figured I’d be the last person in the world to accept a religion. That being said, i was generally uneducated over the whole thing because i never studied religion. As a matter of fact, every time i opened up the Bible I’d quickly get frustrated by reading scriptures that seemed more like barely comprehensible stories– fictional ones to me. I just didn’t get it, and didn’t care to either. It was bullshit to me.
While i admit that I didn’t get it, I believe that the majority of so called religious people don’t really get it either. I also believe that most people who are religious practice what i call “pretend religion.” When i say pretend religion, I mean that they are into it because it was a rhythm programmed into them through the years, beginning at childhood. Go to church. Listen to whatever the religious leader tells you, socialize with the rest of the sheep who are members, show up on Sunday, drop some cash, sing songs you don’t even pay attention to the lyrics over and live life. In essence, I feel there is a big difference between believing in something by deeply exploring, learning and understanding it something versus believing in something because it’s been programmed into you by another person who is influential.
That said, for years I was proud of the fact that by being anti-establishment, I also felt quite strongly about being anti-religion. I wanted to believe in what I knew to be true and what i discovered myself. I always tried to not cave in to the masses and be corrupted by organized religion that many times seemed to historically have ulterior motives. After all, the Christians used the “Lord” as an excuse to conquer the world and slaughter anyone who wouldn’t accept the “beliefs” that were forced down their throat. Look at how many leaders committed evil acts using God as an excuse…
Over the past months, i’ve really made an effort to begin studying religion deeper and have begun to read the Bible. In doing so, i’ve been hit by something…… Jesus Christ was absolutely the most anti-establishment guy. He stood for what he knew and believed in. He stood against the masses, against what was organized and shoved down peoples throats, and no matter how much the herders tried to get him to submit into being just another sheep– he stood his ground. The more i read about him, the Bible and other religions, the more my beliefs evolve.
Instead of rambling on forever via paragraphs, I’ll summarize some recent thoughts i’ve been thinking during my studies:
1) I still do not trust *organized* religion. The more i study, the more i realize that religion is a personal experience that takes time to learn and shape beliefs over. People may decipher differently, but i think that’s healthy. I don’t need somebody to tell me what to believe in, I think it’s an essential part of life to explore and learn that yourself. The people who lead the sheep usually are the same people who slaughter them when the time is right….
2) Due to the fact that the Bible, Torah, Qu’ran, etc all share common characters (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and more,) and they all came from different people and different times, strongly suggests to me that there’s got to be validity here. In addition, history supports a decent amount of what was in the books. Being a history buff, this is very interesting to me.
3) Books like the Bible were written over hundreds of years, thousands of years ago. That said, it makes perfect sense to me that the book can be hard to decipher, some of the stories may have “evolved” over time as they were passed from one guy to another over the years, and because it’s a tough to understand, people may get different messages from the same words. Therefore, i don’t believe that every word in the books needs to be taken so strictly.
For example: The book says that Adam was 130 years old when he had his first child, Seth, and then he lived for another 800 years before he died. Hmmmm.. 930 years old back then? Previously i would have read this and discounted it as nonsense– but today i believe that things get lost in translation…. Maybe he had Seth when he was 30 years old and lived until he was 93? Time and many translations of the book between many languages can do that. This isn’t science and shouldn’t be taken word for word– especially when words can mean different things to different people.
All this said, i’m continuing on with my studies. While i’m not sure i’m ready to declare Jesus Christ as my savior and all that– I at least acknowledge now that I believe he existed, that he seemed to have a very strong divine connection, and he put his heart and life into what he believed in and taught. Hell, all books between conflicting religions say he was, at minimum, a prophet of God. I’m believing that….. and i’m also not so concerned about worrying how to translate between “Son” of God and “Prophet” of God. I’m ok with thinking he was God’s A#1.
Speaking of God. I do believe in God– something created us. I also believe that there are many things we may and may not understand about all that. After all, do ants understand anything about our existence? Sometimes it’s not possible to fully understand beings that are at a much higher level. I believe in God, but submit to the fact that i cant understand everything about it.
In conclusion– i’m enjoying learning and forming my beliefs. I also am ok submitting to the fact that i may not understand everything. I also am quite sure that i don’t need another person to tell me what to belief—- i really doubt you’ll see me joining an organized religion. Seems like it should be a personal journey for me.
Religion is powerful. So much so that I believe religion is both the most enlightening and most evil experience on earth. It saves people, yet it destoys just as many. I still believe that battles between religions is what will end human existence. It’s a power that deserves to be handled with the utmost care…
Amen. You may be seated.
November 11th, 2008
OK, first of all….. i voted for Obama. As a fellow black man, i’m excited that we’ve begun to get beyond the “fo’ hundred years” of opression, low self esteem and all that sick shit that racism has done to this country. In addition, I believe Obama is the best choice. I’m behind him 100%.
That said, look at the two pictures above. You can clearly see that Obama *does not* look like Jesus Christ, so im not sure why so many people are reacting like this guy is the second coming of Christ. Stop doing the Cabbage Patch dance thinking everything is instantly saved and realize that this country is in a fucked spot and Obama can’t use magical healing powers cure it. Unless you see his ass walking on water across Lake Michigan to cure Detroit or walking across the muddy Mississippi to get to the West, I really wouldn’t count on the fact that he’s got J.C. related powers.
If our country, led by Obama, is to cure itself from our sickness– then expect pain. Taxes. Higher prices. Lower consumerism. Etc. Fixing our country will be painful– like being nailed to the cross. Thus, if you need to see Jesus, just turn off CNN and look at yourself in the mirror. Obama is no more Jesus Christ than you are.
Oh, and Oprah Winfrey—- you are fucking annoying. Shut up.
Up until now, Obama’s talk of change has largely been based on hope. You do realize that hope doesn’t pay the bills though, right ? Put down the hype and begin to focus on supporting the President (not worshiping him) and hold President Obama accountable for coming through with his promises to us. He wrote some big change checks that he needs to cash for us.
Congrats President Obama. I’ve got your back. Now let’s all realize that we’re in for tough times and get to work.
November 7th, 2008
The other weekend when i was down in LA, not only did i visit the Roller Derby, but i also picked up this strange looking mirror from the Compton Swap Meet (also known as the trunk of an ’83 Buick in the parking lot of AM/PM* on South Alameda.)
Anyway, i looked into this mirror and it told me that it’s my friend Gene’s birthday. Gene is a lifelong friend, as well as a TMR brother from back in the day.
Happy Birthday Homie. Your ass may be getting closer to 40, but you still look fine…. sweet cakes.
* Here’s a good birthday memory for you: Speaking of AM/PM and Compton– I know Gene remembers the “Free AM/PM” in Compton. We used to roll down to that neck of the woods for the street races, in our younger years. During the middle of the night, we used to see the local hoodlums rob AM/PM blind– while some declared “FREE AM/PM!” as they stole everything their hands could shoplift. The guy working the nightshift was too damn scared to do anything…… obviously he wasn’t Korean. AM/PM lost their ass. We we’re cheaply entertained.
November 6th, 2008
This beast we invented almost does more for the world than Michael Jackson did singing “We are the World”….. or something.
Saves 99,000 watts of continuous power per mw of servers we deploy, compared to how things were done before. Being that we deploy so many mw of servers, we can save enough to power over 100,000 homes– every single month.
Being that i’m “offsetting so much carbon” (that’s white guy ghetto lingo) by developing this kinda technology, I surely think I deserve the right to drive highly polluting hot rods forever.
So, to the Prius driving hippies who have to approach me asking “how bad of mileage does that ‘thing’ get?”– go smoke some hippy lettuce, stop worrying about much carbon my cars emit and go make love & not war with yourself.
Getting patents like this makes me feel proud that you don’t even have to graduate from high school (shout out to my peeps from La Puente Adult School, lol) to be a complete dumb ass after all… Goes to prove– if you’re not a mechanical engineer and wish you were — just work hard, don’t get intimidated by a piece of paper, make yourself what you need to be and go make shit happen.
November 5th, 2008
November 4th, 2008