Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day job, part 2

I spotted this truck driving down I-40 in North Carolina one day. Single?, Really???

Day job

This photo's been floating around the Internet for a while now but I thought I'd share it in case you missed it.

I imagine a staff meeting where the patriarch of this family is discussing the fact that racing cars and motorcycles on the wall of death just isn't dangerous enough. "OK, how about we piss off a Lion too?" musta won out over doing it blindfolded while juggling chainsaws.

Still wasn't exciting enough for the woman on the right.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aw, to hell with non political posts. As I don’t think I mentioned before, I work in an electric motor factory in Ju├írez Mexico (no, I didn’t make that up for effect, its true!).

Sometimes I wonder about how this transpired. I mean, it’s not part of anybodies life plan to go work in what amounts to a war zone (more on that later). Never the less, it’s been interesting and when I think about how I ended up here I have to find someone to blame. That’s the American way after all. We don’t want to accept responsibility for what happens to us, must have been someone else’s doing.

My two favorite groups to blame are boardroom Republican types and unions. I could write a book about the first group but am far too lazy for that so I’ll stick with the latter.

Unions did a fine job for many years and once that job was completed they set out to fuck their members out of a job. No future for anyone in this country really other than those who sell ideas for a living (or porn).

I present to you what should be made into posters to be hung in all union halls across America. I took this photo while waiting in line to cross back into the US after work one day.

Here we have some teamster’s old truck serving its new master in Juarez. I find the juxtaposition of the pro union bumper stickers serving as bookends to the Mexican license plate to be far to appropriate.

If the driver actually understood the meaning and implications of the stickers on the back of his newly acquired vehicle no doubt he’d agree with the cause. After all, US unions have helped to ensure many a Mexican has a good job with ample benefits.

The Truck

The inspiration for building a “traditional hot rod” came from eBay actually. I had always thought of hot rodders as the sort of guys who sit around and light their own farts for amusement. I grew up in the 80s when hot rod got morphed into “street rod”. This was a style of car that was intended to be used to cruise around at 15 miles an hour when operating and spend most of the time parked with it’s owner sitting a folding chair nearby to answer questions about his purchase – if he could.

It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I was into driving fast, mostly around curves in tiny Fiats that handled like go carts. Proving my manhood by driving a Pepto Bismol pink and blue automatic pavement pounding pig was not the least interesting to me “Drag racing” indeed.

One day while searching the “other makes” section of eBay, I ran across a fellow selling this strange beast. Looking part Mad Max and part hound of hell, it lit a fire in me. I loved it. There’s just something raw and perhaps a bit evil going on here. Something that society at large would probably frown on. I was just the ticket for how I felt at the moment and the thought has not faded yet.

Faced with the fact that I don’t have a nice fat checking account, it was sold to some guy in Reno NV. Not before I had the chance to call up the guy who built it first though. Yep, “I’ll build my own” I thought. After months of searching, I found one close enough for me to drag home. So, I took $710 and threw it out the window and became the proud owner of what could best be described as a lot of scrap steel.

When I showed up to retrieve it, it was so heavy that I thought the tires on my trailer were going to burst. I took a blowtorch and cut the back half of it off (I really don’t need a giant 3,000 lb differential from the 1930s anyway). I made it home without killing any innocent bystanders.

Stay tuned…

The start...

OK, so why a blog? To be honest, I keep asking myself the same question. Not really sure other than I feel like I have something to say and am under the possibly misguided perception that someone wants to listen.

So what’s it going to be about you ask? Well, there seem to be plenty of political pundits out there with blogs so I’ll try to avoid that (no guarantee though, politicians usually make me have something to say).

Mostly this will be about stuff I find interesting, comments on life and a chronicle of my attempt to build a hot rod. When I say “build a hot rod” I don’t mean order parts from a catalog and bolt them onto a Mustang that I bought from an auction. I’m talking about taking a derelict vehicle and sheets of metal and making the damn thing from scratch. I this case, I’ll start with a 1934 International 2 ton grain truck. This truck has sat since the mid 1950s in the desert north of Phoenix.

50 years sitting outside takes a toll on anything so there’s not much left of it. All I’ll be using from the truck is the cab (whatever can be saved) and the grille. That’s it. All of the rest will be either hand built from scratch or modified from other vehicle parts.

No, I really don’t know what I’m doing and have never attempted anything like this but I figure if I can move to another country and learn the language and work there, this is in the doable column. Besides, what else can a guy who had driven a red sports car his whole life do for a mid life crisis?

Anyway, back to this blog. This is where I get a chance to say what I want, no matter how rude or offensive it may be so you might want to add this to the blocked websites on your kid’s net nanny list. There you have it, you’ve been warned. I accept no responsibility for your kids growing up warped or other unfortunate events that may befall them such as their kids being born naked or ugly.

If you’re still onboard after that then sit back and prepare to be amused, disgusted or just plain glad you’ve turned out a bit more normal.

I’ll add periodic updates as I feel like it, not a moment sooner.