Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It Came From Before I Was Actually Born

AOHell's got the new Dylan CD set in one of those streaming Flash thingies. CD1 is the folky acoustic stuff, CD2 is outtakes from Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited, and lemme tell ya, there are scads of artists out there who'd kill to be able to throw away records this good[*], even if a lot of the changes made to the official versions of these songs improved him. If only their player had better support for track names, etc.

Anyway, I had "Down In The Flood" running through my head earlier today, it seemed apropriate given the New Orleans disaster. Even though "Down In The Flood" is pretty much a bitch-done-me-wrong song and the flood's pretty much metaphorical:

There's rain on the levee, the water's gonna grow
Water will rise and no boat's gonna row

Well it's sugar for sugar
And it's salt for salt
If you go down in the flood it's gonna be your fault
But oh, mama, you gonna miss your best friend now
You gonna have to find yourself another best friend somehow

[*] Except "Desolation Row", that version's amazingly even more of a drag than the official version.

Where am I going with this? Well, unless you're down in the Delta with a boat and a mess of extra food, there's probably fuck all you can do for N'Awlins. Except, that is, for donate to the Red Cross.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Finally got the seat buttoned down all nice on Molly Hatchet. Took 'er out for a beer run/shakedown cruise, now to ride to work tomorrow and see what breaks.

Still, it's a wicked feeling--wind in the hair, speed beautiful speed. Oh, and in the space of a five minute ride, one and a half compliments--some 12 year old kid going "Cool bike!" as I rode by, and the liquor store dude asking me where I buy parts from.

Still to do: Sort out some better tires--I dunno if anybody makes fat tires to fit 26*1-3/8 rims like I've got on the back, there's a 26*1.5 that oughtta fit the front. Paint--still wanna go suede black with pinstripes. Oh yeah, and a backrest.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Timed over a measured mile

Don's Hot Rod Page has a whack of photos up from Bonneville Speed Week '05. I'm digging the stance on that Model A pickup--something about the unchopped roof with the serious front end drop, slight channel and Z'd rear frame just looks right somehow... The blown flattie up front doesn't exactly hurt either.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Your tax dollars at work

Mark this one down on the calendar--the feds actually came up with a good idea for once! The Off Ramp program is designed to teach Vancouver schoolkids the benefits of human powered transportation by, among other things, teaching 'em to build chopper bikes. Yeah.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

So apparently, back in the Great Depression, this was the hot setup for rural mailmen to ensure neither rain nor sleet nor a row of clapped-out '81 Caprices would delay them from their appointed rounds: a '28-'29 Model A Tudor on a truck chassis with tractor tires.

(By the way, the photo was taken in 1940--around the time of the first Jeeps, 35 years before Bigfoot. First monster truck, my ass.) [via the H.A.M.B.]

Monday, August 22, 2005

The great space age bachelor pad in the sky

God is a Moog.

Moog is with God. Bob Moog, synth pioneer and inventor, 1934-2005. Rest in peace.

Friday, August 19, 2005

This is not your old man's Prius.

Let's see, here:

300hp -- Check.
Looks like a baby Lambo -- Check.
Zero to sixty in under four seconds -- Check.
50mpg VW hybrid turbodiesel drivetrain -- Check.
Built by high school (and university) kids? Yeah! If they'd had something like this in my school, I might have actually taken shop class...
[via mefi]

Friday, August 12, 2005

What would Billy Kropotkin do?

Just so you know, Dr. Atomic, the A-Bomb themed opera, apparently has nothing to do with Dr. Atomic, the '70s underground comic, Dr. Atomic's World Famous Medicine Show, Doc Atomic the Chicago-based outsider artist, or Dr. Atomic's politically-charged psychedelic electronica. (Or for that matter, my old buddy Doc Atomic who needs to get himself a web page so's I can link him. C'mon dude, it's the 21st century already...)

Monday, August 8, 2005

More Das Volks pics

I figured there were enough folks with digicams at the show, some better pics than mine would turn up. Sure enough, Neil Dorin's got over 300 of 'em. I don't know if he managed to shoot every single car there, but there's gobs of detail shots, great representation of all classes including the water pumpers, and shots of the winners and non-car activities. Basically, all the stuff I missed, he didn't. Check 'em out.

The Heroin Club for Men: I like it so much, I bought the company!

(CBS 5) It was the ultimate bad hair day for a would-be drug smuggler.

Investigators say a bad toupe tipped them off to more than $100,000 worth of heroin hidden underneath -- superglued to the man's head.

[via boing boing]

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Das Volks '05

Das Volks '05

More pics from Das Volks on my Flickr account.

Also, in Volkswagen-related news, here's an interview with Australian avante-garde music dude Lucas Avela. I say "music dude" rather than "musician" because not only does he record as A Kombi, he considers his former Kombi--VW van to non-German/Australians--to be the actual musician. Hell, just read it, I can't explain it better than he can. (Warning, photo of naked men and passionate defense of Yoko Ono's artistic integrity, click with care.) [Lucas Avela interview via mefi]

Saturday, August 6, 2005

The tortoise and the chopper

Very, very little progress to report on the bike. Well, that's not strictly true, it's more of a "one step forward, two steps back" type thing. I got as far as throwing a coat of flat black on the seat frame, mounting the crossbars & springs on it and setting it down on the cargo rack before I realised that it was far enough away from straight that it stood no chance of ever looking right. So, onto the scrap pile it went. Lucky I've got lotsa conduit, because I just reached into the pile and bent up another one. The trick is, y'see, to grab a flexible, sewing-type tape measure, start in the center and measure out the centerpoints of each bend, then line 'em up with the mark on the bending dye. Also, a beer bottle makes a great block to elevate one side to nail an angle. Should look ace when I get it mounted properly, but I need some longer bolts, I need to remake the crossbars as the seat frame is a little wider at the back, make some lower mounts, hook 'er up and ride it like I stole it. Should be a good day's work, but it's not gonna get done tommorrow, as I want to try to get to Das Volks.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

We hate the computers, the computers that go BOOOOOM

Or hell, even SHHTPPPTHthtppppp.

Because that, my friends, is as far as I can tell the sound of an Antec Solution Series 300W power supply deciding that the supplying of power is no longer something it deigns to do. It's the power supply equivalent of "O cruel world, how I long to leave thy suffering for the sweet embrace of the grave. Oh, and I want to take the rest of this computer with me. That OK?"

Now, thankfully I'm the tiniest bit of a packrat, so I'm not completely PC-less. I am, however, writing this running KNOPPIX on a circa-1997 machine with no functioning hard disks. Any older, and I'd be mailing this into Blogger scratched on the back of a clay tablet. I mean, I don't ask for much--well, okay, I do--but howzabout a computer on which all the parts work, and which was born in this century? I almost offered a dude on the street in a wheelchair cash on the spot for the lame-lookin' lime green clamshell iBook he was carrying, just so's I could have something t'get my Interweb fix on. Then I realised it probably wouldn't run OSX and do I really wanna get to know the previous epoch of MacOS all that well?

Anyway, I'm making progress on the chopper bike. Still no pics--among other things, this ancient box ain't got no USB--but I've got the kustom seat frame bent into shape, most of the holes drilled to mount the crossbars & seat springs, and the seat wearing a drippy-but-I'm-gonna-sand-it coat of gray primer. Next step, more drilling, some rattlecan flat black, mount it and HELLO! WHEELIE MACHINE!

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Another groovy mystery

Finally, somebody owned up to putting the "bomp" in the "bomp-a-lomp-a-lomp". Find out from WFMU's Answer Song roundup. (Where's "Sweet Home Alabama", though?)

Rain, rain, go away

I'd really like to finish the seat frame/mount/sissy bar for the bike today. Unfortunately for me, Mother Nature has other plans. I mean, even I'm not dumb enough to go dragging a bunch of 10 foot metal rods around in a thunderstorm...