Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I pieced together a few clips (with music) from my cottage at Horseneck beach, for a nice homage to Westport .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Life's granted

The older I get, the more I reflect and really appreciate the life I have. By no means would I say that my life has been perfect, if anything it's been anything but that. I've made more mistakes than the Three Stooges. I know history repeats itself and I try to learn from the past in order to enlighten the future.

The most precious things to me are love/friendship and time. Love lasts forever, but time is finite. We only have so much time on earth and I try to make the most of time, while I have it. It's a balance act because I love to smell the roses. I don't like to waste anything, especially time- although some would argue that point, it doesn't bother me.

I'm just a left-handed dreamer with aspirations of changing the world for the better. Even though I haven't the slightest clue how I'm going to do it. I just keep on keeping on- as the saying goes. I guess my quest for knowledge and love for people are what my drivers, etched into my subconscious.

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” -Oscar Wilde

Friday, April 4, 2008

Stitch Together (part 7)

The Minnow Sewing Machine Company is comprised of three departments. I chose the flavors of Neapolitan ice cream because it's a colorful way to distinguish between them. The sales and marketing department, of which i was part of was located on the south side, in the pink section. Machine production was in the middle of the shop on the ground floor. On the north side of the building was purchasing, shipping and the parts department. In reality, there was nothing sweet about Minnow, it was more akin to rancid, curdling milk- make you wanna vomit.

Now as I was saying in part 6, the thin facade (or chocolate shell, since we're on an ice cream metaphor) was melting away fast, once Josh (the fashion designer) started working. Josh was a great guy, very humble, sincere, and funny. He fetched a ride in with Rick and Lolly (who all lived in Providence). Josh was working three days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) and wasn't even making enough to pay his bills.

By this time it was around Thanksgiving and we were all looking forward to a long weekend to get away from the chaos that we called work. On the Wednesday before the holiday, Josh, who wasn't doing anything anyways (because Todd didn't have anything for him to do) decided not to come in and rejoined us, on the Monday after turkey day. We all came back to work, rejuvenated after our holiday and ready to deal with another week of madness at 8:00 am. Geoff and I were the first in the pink section (besides Todd) and we were settling in when Rick, Lolly and Josh arrived a few minutes later.

Josh's dark room "design studio" was attached to our office space through a door, that was in direct line with Todd's office. As soon as Josh walked through the door, Todd caught a glimpse of him and charged after him, like a man possessed. I knew it was going to be drama, by the look in his eyes and the fervor with which he stomped in there, slamming the door behind him. We actually nicknamed Todd: Stompy, because he acted like an enraged rhinoceros, stomping around the office, displaying his (pseudo) prowess like some wild animal.

About five minutes later, Todd came out of the dark room and seated himself in his office not saying a word. Then, about half an hour later, Josh comes through the outside door with his girlfriend, who works in Providence!!! I'm thinking: "what the hell is going on here?" I later found out that Todd cornered Josh and demanded to know where he was the prior Wednesday. Todd stated, he didn't come in because he didn't have anything to do. This infuriated Todd and he blew a gasket and fired Josh on the spot. Showing his true colors, Todd told him to leave through the side door, so as not to let us know what had just transpired. But it came back to bite Stompy, because Josh had to collect all his belongings and get a ride home (because he carpooled). So, when Josh walked through the door with his girlfriend, the cat was out of the bag and we all knew what happened. Todd's plan for a clean break was up in smoke.

Now we, on the pink side were a tight knit bunch, who looked out for each other. After seeing what happened to Josh, I almost blew a gasket myself and gave Todd a piece of my mind. I was ready to quit on the spot to vindicate my friend Josh, but I couldn't- because I needed the money and I didn't have any other job offers. So, I bit my tongue and bid Josh a happy farewell. But as the proverb states: "he who laughs last, laughs loudest" and I knew I would have the last laugh in the end...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cleaner, greener, cheaper?

Driving a diesel powered car or light truck in the USA is like being left handed: it's an anomaly. Diesel has a bad rap in the United states among mainstream consumers. Visions of big-rigs billowing thick, black smoke and the sound of loud, knocking engines is what comes to mind when most people think of diesel power.
Companies like Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes and others have been able show diesel engines in a new light: As fuel sipping, race winning, dependable, clean and quiet. I have always been impressed getting the most bang for your buck, so when I found out that Ford, an American auto maker, was making a 2.5 liter turbo-diesel Ranger-type pickup in South Africa, I wrote to Ford, suggesting it made these trucks for the American market.

I wasn't born when the US went through the 1973 oil crisis, but having grown up in the 80's, I remember all the little, mostly foreign cars built for economy. During this time, Honda imported a little hatchback that boasted over 50 miles per gallon- highway. Not even the coveted Toyota Prius can say that.
For years I have inquired why cars in the USA weren't more efficient. I guess the Japanese have always been providing a stable of small cars getting in excess of 30 mpg, but the size and power of these vehicles has been increasing over time. To me, Europe, with it's $2.00/liter petrol (3.78 liters in a gallon), have traditionally had the most options in motoring. One in three autos in Europe is diesel, available in everything from luxurious Audi A8 to the compact Toyota pickup. Not to mention, they have always had the best compact cars, with a host of small displacement gas or diesel options.

I read an article this morning about American truckers boycotting against the lost wages due to the fuel prices. Diesel is over $4.00 a gallon nationwide and truckers say they're not being compensated. http://www.fdlreporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080403/FON0101/804030422/1289/FONnews

Gasoline prices are high too, but they are more than 50 cents less than diesel. How can it be that diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline? I mean it's just glorified vegetable oil. Gasoline (petrol) must be refined in a process called platforming, the higher the octane, the more refinement. Diesel fuel oil is distilled in a much simpler process, akin to home heating oil or kerosene. Diesel takes less energy to distill than petrol and yields more power per volume. Plus there is are renewable reserves of diesel fuel growing in across our farmlands every year.

Cleaner and greener? Yes, I think.
Cheaper? Not yet...