Saturday, August 22, 2009

time flys

Feels like just yesterday I was writing here and it turns out to be almost a week.
I do have a good excuse, summer has finally arrived, nice and hot all week.
Early July weather in late August, which translates into 100 degrees plus weather.
My kind of weather, spent almost the whole week out of doors every opportunity I got.
I drank about 2 gallons of water each day, and my sweat was sweating, I love this kind of weather.
I was able to leave the shop door open late into the evening it was so warm. Mosquito count was very low since the summer has been so cold to this point, very few hatched, a good thing.
Daily monsoon even help off for a week or so, this has to be good for the local trails, give them time to dry out a bit. Ottawa Valley clay can be very nasty when wet, and this year it is saturated. Walking the walk, not possible to tread lightly, so off road isn't happening for me.
I am not getting much done writing here, so I am back to the truck, I did find the problems with the electrical; isolator voltage drop was too high making full charge a thing that didn't happen, and the anti-corrosion compound I used on one of the ground points failed. No point naming who made the stuff since it is only available to electrical utilities for use in switch gear. This type of equipment is normally indoors out of the weather, under hood is hardly out of the weather, lesson learned.

have a great time until we meet again, be safe.

Friday, August 14, 2009

car shows

Been a while...
Went to the 35th annual Southeastern Ontario Street Meet last weekend, held in Emilasburg Ontario, south of Bellville on the island.
This is one fantastic show, and amazingly well organized and executed by a small group of people. Three days of nothing but cool cars and trucks for the pittance of $60.00 ($50.00 pre-registration) which includes camping, entertainment of some sort every evening, and a meal on Saturday night. Cheap food, no way, local grown vegetables and roast beef and desert, normally seconds are available if you can fit it in, good luck with that, portions are huge. The site is immaculate, no trash since there are trash containers everywhere, and they get emptied daily. Port-a-pottys aplenty, cleaned daily. Like I said amazingly well organized.
Cars from every decade from the 20's to the 80's with special interest vehicle as well, something for everyone who is into cars, or just want to look. Total car count was 286 weekenders, with day runners as well, no idea how many.
There had to be near a thousand people camping, with another thousand attending the event each day.
Don't get me wrong, the cars were great eye-candy, but my favorite part is the evenings around the campfire. I camp with a group who I knew from by street rod days and their kids and grand kids. Nothing like a camp fire on a warm evening with friend laughing and joking about.
Funny thing, for years my daughter and her girl friends never wanted to be around the camp site at night, wanted to be out prowling for the young boys. This year, now 18, seems the prowling has lost some of it's attraction, they wanted to be with the silly folk around the camp fire.

10:56 & 451F
Glowing orange with pitch striping, Dancing wisps swaying in the southerly baby's breath. Slowly, ever so slowly changing to a brushed Pewter dust. Ferry like sparks jump towards the sky, as another joins the warm embrace, only to disappear mere feet above their former warm bed.
Stay-puffs in sticks transforming from white to brown the ever so slightly black, sequels of delight from the young, and then another held out towards the furnace heat.

Nothing like a camp fire.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Small World

When I look back I am astounded by how small the world has become. I was watching the replay of the footage of the moon landing on CNN, memories flooded back of the event as it unfolded. Yes, on a black and white T.V., and the memory was as clear as if it had happened yesterday.
Fast forward to the 500 channel universe, flat screen high definition, and the internet, nothing happens anywhere without the world knowing almost as it happens.
Back in the B&W days someone visiting from Toronto ( 4 hour drive away) was a big thing. Today, talking to someone on the other side of the planet is a daily occurrence.
Times have changed, and the opportunities are immense. Not just for commerce, more importantly to learn about other people and their societies. Funny thing is they are not as different as one would expect.
Already this morning I have read e-mail from 4 US states, as well as e-mail from three countries overseas.
Good old days? Are you crazy, can't wait to see what technology is just around the corner to make our ball of dirt even smaller.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Automotive sales raise

Car guys in charge of an auto manufacturer seems to be the key.
Ford once again has proved it, July sales raised on a Year over Year basis.
The Case for clunkers program was obviously part of the formula, but not the whole story. As mush as everyone loves to hate Ford, they do build a good product. They also seem to have figured out what to build; that would be what people want. Add to that an aggressive marketing program and, as the old saying goes, Bob's your uncle.

Too bad GM hasn't got an uncle Bob. Out of Chapter 11 and what do they put the push on? A Cadillac SUV, yah right that will sell well. GM has Lutz, and this guy has been around at GM for what seems for ever, you would think he would know better!
Why on earth would they take this approach? Seems the accountants are still in charge, you see it takes about the same amount of time, more or less, to build a luxury SUV as it does to build a lower end vehicle. Guess what, profit margin is much higher on the SUV.
Some more insight into their thinking; I spoke to a GM rep at a trade show years ago. Back when the Cadillac badged pickup was released. I asked him why on earth a pickup with this badge. The answer reveals a lot about how this company thinks, his answer; 'Cadillac buyers are a really dumb bunch, they will buy anything with a Cadillac badge on it. We could package shit and call it a Cadillac and call it automotive air freshener and those fools would buy it.' Not a direct quote, it has been a few years. OK, OK the same rule applies, higher profit margin, but that is one hell of a way to think of your customers.
This guy was a booth minder, sitting on a very low rung of the ladder, however he got that attitude from those above him, that is the way of company culture.
GM changing culture? Sure they are, listening to the people, of course, that it guys, keep flogging that dead horse.

next up? Cash for clunkers, but not today...