Friday, September 30, 2005

Puttin' the "little" in "Little Deuce Coupe"

...and taking out the "Deuce Coupe" and replacing it with "Model A Tudor." Check out this bitchin' half scale hot rod on Ebay. 100% handmade metal body, Chevy V6 running gear, pure awesomeness. I'm in awe of the kind of skill and dedication it takes to handcraft an entire car body like this, even in half-scale. The red pickup isn't for sale, but I think I like it even better.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Yet another of the many reasons Meat Loaf was wrong

Seriously, think about it. "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad?" Consider the following:

  • Sanford, Son & Holy Ghost
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Ernest Goes to Mordor
  • Lights! Camera! Ennui!
  • The Two Wise Men and Some Schlub They Picked Up Hitchhiking
  • Larry, Moe and Chomsky[*]
Also, I can comfortably speak from experience when I say two out of three pieces of a three-piece cotter-type bicycle crank ain't, in fact, good. Fortunately, good ol' Sheldon makes the repair procedure sound almost fun:
Try to picture your hammer coming down into the cotter and going right through, breaking off the end of the spindle in the process. It won't, but this fantasy may help you to use the strength of your arm fully. By the way, you don't need particularly strong arms to hammer out a cotter. Many civilized people have trouble releasing the full amount of energy in a hammer blow that they are physically capable of; to do it right calls for deadly accuracy and a certain amount of barbaric abandon.
[*] Sample script:

Larry: Oh, a wise guy... whyioughtta...

Chomsky: It may prove illuminating to study the semiotics of the capital-content relationship in late hypercapitalist media, vis. CNN, Fox, etc., in light of Derrida's reappraisal of--

Moe: (slaps Chomsky, Larry) Nyuknyuknyuk!

Chomsky: Neo-imperialist!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Go fast, earn karma

So there's this show on the Speed channel called "Pinks", in which two guys drag race and the winner gets to keep both cars. (Or at least that's the idea--the episodes I've seen seem to feature more rules arguments than actual racing, but that's beside the point.) Anyway, a bunch of VW drag racers from the Cal-Look Forums came up with a brilliant plan: Build a racecar out of donated parts, race on "Pinks", and if they win, auction both cars and donate the proceeds to Hurricane Katrina relief. Sounds like something to keep my eyes on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Everything they do is funky like Lee Dorsey

Check out Aurgasm's history of New Orleans music, complete with mp3s. If I have to tell you why, you probably won't understand anyway.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Movin' on up to the east side

I got my first comment spam today. I made it, ma! Top of the world!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Remember... is not the time for finger-pointing. Now is not the time to play the blame game. Now is the time to play Katrina: The Gathering. [via mefi]

Monday, September 12, 2005

Is it time to play the blame game yet?

Newsweek on how Bush fscked up the Katrina rescue effort. There have been reports before about how the Bush White House's philosophy is "We create our own reality"--that's the sort of new age bullshit that only stoned hippie burnouts and infomercial-hypnotized Tony Robbins groupies ought to believe. So how did it become the dominant mindstate of the Leader of the Free World?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Kustom Kar history

Vintage magazine photos of Duane Steck's legendary '54 Chevy custom, Moonglow.

Found on The H.A.M.B.

So long, Gatemouth

"Goodbye I hate to leave you now, goodbye
I pray that I return to you someday
You pray that it shall be just that way
So long for now."
-- Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, 1924-2005. Rest in peace.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Well I stand right next to a mountain, chop it down with the edge of my hand

One thought that's been at the back of my mind throughout the whole Gulf Coast hurricane crisis is how far above its weight New Orleans punches, culturally speaking. Ninety percent of the music I love wouldn't exist without the Crescent City. Michael Ventura's essay, "Hear That Long Snake Moan", takes the long way 'round to explaining why, passing through African spiritual traditions, Haitian voodoo, the regrettable history of slavery (American and otherwise) and the etymologies of "funky", "jazz" and "rock n' roll" on the way. Well worth the read.

[via mefi]

Friday, September 9, 2005

What time is it? Hot rod time!

Some hot rod/kustom-related pics for you to drool over:

The Calgary-based, North of 49 Racing's Bonneville Speed Week pics

The Kreepers' (of Edmonton) Hot Rod Rumble

I've been trying to throw some paint on the chopper bike the last couple days. Got as far as 1-1/2 coats of the semi-gloss black, noticed it had more runs than Hank Aaron and worse yet, the last little bit was starting to crackle. If the rain ever lets up *grumble*, I'm gonna have to sand it smooth and shoot some more. Pretty much sucks, I was hoping to get it the base coat done at least by today and hopefully get the chance to pinstripe it. Now it's gonna have to wait.

Funny, though, I've felt a little odd about the fat-ish 26*1.95 tire on the front. Looking at the 2006 model Schwinn Stingrays, though, it appears the factory custom gods have declared fat front tires are the new black. Or the new monkeys, or zombies, or whatever the standard is these days. Don't ask me, I realised I'd burned my hipster card when I bought a CD at Safeway.

(C'mon, don't look at me like that, it was Ike and Tina Turner.)

Thursday, September 8, 2005


The Ashcroft Flyer is a modernised take on the '50s bobber style motorcycle, built to be a canvas for Mitch Kim's unreal pinstriping skills. Usually bobbers are a low-buck, simple and fast proposition. This one has loads of one-off billet parts that are only low buck if you own a CNC rig, but the whole thing was designed to look like something outta the '50s, as opposed to a modern, ultra-stretched high-dollar billet barge.

It's the pinstriping I'm digging, though. Check out how well that design on the tank flows--it's as intricate as you please, but all the negative space enhances the fancy bits. Bloody stunning. [via pinstriperspage]

"The water's all up 'round my windows, backin' up in my door.
I've got to leave my home. Said, I can't stay here no more.

The want me to work on the levee, they're coming to take me down.
I'm scared the levee may break, ah...and I might drown.

The police run me out from Cairo, all through Arkansas.
And they threw in jail, behind these cold iron bars."
Lonnie Johnson, "Broken Levee Blues"

"Niggers starvin' and dyin' of thirst
But he had to check on them refineries first
Makin' a killin off the price of gas
He woulda been up in Connecticut twice as fast
After all that we been through nothin's changed
You can call the Red Cross but the fact remains
George Bush ain't a gold digger
But he ain't fuckin' with no broke niggers"
-- The Legendary K.O., "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People"

I dunno how much French the average Louisiana dude actually knows, but I bet they understand the hell outta "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose."

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Stuck inside of New Orleans with the hurricane blues again

Via Making Light, two hurricane survivor stories that come off as a microcosm of all that is purely, hideously fucked in American society. First, Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky, two paramedics visiting New Orleans for a conference:

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their city. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

And secondly, Charmaine Neville, musician, New Orleans resident and hero. (video interview)

It's stories like this that have me wondering how much of the hurricane relief fuckup is the result of mere widespread organizational failure, and how much is actually deliberate malice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Bike update

Been a while since I've updated the status on my chopper bike, so I thought I'd give it a rundown.

  • Bought some baby apehangers and a bullet-style headlight. The light's sitting a little higher than I wanted it, but I think it still looks good. I've gotta finish installing the new brake levers, then I can throw on the red metalflake grips I bought, too
  • Tore it down for paint today. Is there some kind of law that the paint (or in this case primer) you've got is only gonna do 90% of the job? Anyway, I'm off to Home Depot tomorrow for more. I figure the full-price Rustoleum probably contains more per can than their cheaper Painter's Touch line, so that's what I'm gonna try. Need to grab more flat black, too.
  • Also, a quick hit from the Well of Unintended Learning: When taking apart some small assembly to see how it's held together--say, a cheapo Chinese shifter--organize it as you go so you know how it goes back together. Or, you know, learn it the hard way. Again and again.

Monday, September 5, 2005

You are like a hurricane, there's calm in your eyes

If, like I am, you've overdosed on shrill blog-politics from left and right alike, and can no longer be bothered which level of the US government to be furious at for the scope of the disaster, it might be helpful to gain a little human perspective on the event. Michael Homan, a teacher at Xavier University, has a story to tell.

But these guys said that had changed, and so I put my computer and a few papers in my backpack, loaded the dogs, let the birds go, and put Oot the sugar glider with food and water in Kalypso's room to await my return, much like Napoleon leaving for Elba I suppose. We drove in the boat all over the city looking for people. It was so surreal with the helicopters and all the boats up and down Canal Street amidst all the devastation. Towards dusk on Friday I arrived at I-10 and Banks Street, not far from my house. There they packed all of us pet owners from Mid City into a cargo truck and drove us away. They promised they would take us to Baton Rouge, and from there it would be relatively easy for me to get a cab or bus and meet the family in Jackson.

But then everything went to hell. They instead locked up the truck and drove us to the refugee camp on I-10 and Causeway and dropped us off. Many refused to get out of the van but they were forced. The van drove away as quickly as it could, as the drivers appeared to be terrified, and we were suddenly in the middle of 20,000 people. I would estimate that 98% of them were African Americans and the most impoverished people in the state. It was like something out of a Kafka novel.

Gripping stuff. And there's more on this MeFi thread.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

There are no words... explain this level of stupidity:

On tonight's news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. [emphasis mine] So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.

What. The. Fuck. America? You're seriously telling me that Indonesia, a veritable basket case of a country troubled by internal terrorism and the aftereffects of Jean Chretien's good buddy Suharto, can get its shit together to accept international assistance when it's needed, but the USA can't? There are people starving in New Orleans and Biloxi, huddled in whatever buildings they can find above the waterline, and if somebody or some agency wants to help them, the question oughtta be are they willing and able--NOT what flag they fly.