Sunday Rant – 1315


A happy healthy prosperous equinox to my children.  Only a week late…..
Hope is the sap of humanity.  (That’s a sappy pun right there…).

 Seasonal Metamorphosis
The actual calendar date of the equinox marks the end of winter / beginning of spring.  The weather is another story.  Although the arrival of Spring on the calendar was last week, REAL Spring arrived this week.  The hard edges of Winter are gone.  Time for the spring blossoms to bloom!  Joe suggested a shearing would be symbolic AND liberating.  Transition as follows –


Enough hair to knit a sweater.  Shaving is a pain in the ass.  And on the face, too.  The sun feels so much better on bare skin……

Automotive Aberration Almanac (Continued…..)
Joe has complained excessively about modern vehicles from a number of perspectives; engineering, design, maintenance, cost….. he’s bitched a fit about it with good reason on many occasions.
This time ain’t no different.
I always thought a Ford E350 Club Wagon would be a marvellous multi purpose utility vehicle.  Take the last two rows of seats out and you have room for tools, toys, and a place to sleep.  Joe said whatever, and we bought one.  Number one son delivered it from Vancouver back in 2012.  A bit unique as it is diesel powered, extended, and painted to blend in to an urban environment –
Front View - 5
That was three years ago.  Never did drive it.  Joe says this year we are cleaning all the vehicles out of the yard.  The flying pig was high on the list of expendable iron.
Joe spent an hour or so trying to start it – first time in a year.  It wouldn’t.  Joe says off with its head!
I pondered long to understand how in the world did they ever get the engine in this rig?  How could you possibly change the injectors or the glow plugs or the air conditioner core or the steering pump or ANYTHING under the hood?  What a CF……..
Joe says watch me – a few gentle slices with the Saws-all, pry out the windshield, beat the hell out of the surrounding tin, and voila! there she is the motor!
I was impressed.  Joe says ‘twernt nothin’.  He also says he’d rather slash his wrists than to do maintenance on such an unfriendly installation.  We started listing things you could do WITHOUT removing the body.  It came down to adding oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid.  Everything else, pull the body.
Finding a center of gravity for the engine-transmission unit was hit and miss.  Finally, a more or less level lift point was determined and out she come –
About 4 hours total to get the engine / transmission unit out of the frame.  Pretty close to 1200 pounds of cast iron and aluminum casings on the hook.  Time for a Who song  –
Joe took me aside at this point of the extraction to remind me who does the mechanical work in our relationship.  He said some unkind things about my impulse buying.  He said the only way to remove the propulsion unit without destroying the vehicle would be to lift the body off the frame, and he’d rather kill himself.  It would take a week of Sundays.  In no uncertain terms, with a stern and harsh voice, Joe told me what and how far certain items would be inserted into my nether orifice should I ever buy such a giant SNAFU again.  He damn near quit.  Joe is renowned for his ability to string the rudest most foul language into slanderous sentences of derision – he couldn’t swear any more – he was speechless….  Not a happy lad….
Makes you look old, Joe.
I made a bunch of promises I intend to keep.  No more impulse buying, especially old tired derelict vehicles.  I bought Joe a beer.  He got happy fast….  It doesn’t take much.
A couple of days later, Scotty and Derick made our day –
I wonder what the Chinese will make out of the carcass?  Whatever it is, it won’t be welcome around these parts….

Mewzak (Redux)
There is more to say about the subject of mewzak discussed last week.  Before reading, strap on your headphones and start listening to the music here, then read on……
I remember some very fucked up times in some old guy’s apartment in SE Calgary in the late ’60’s.  That fellow must have been 15 years older than us, but I don’t think he was “cruisin'”; I don’t think he was gay.  Just weird.  Krammer on steroids weird.  He didn’t baulk at bootlegging for us chilluns.   I and companions were learning how to drink in earnest.  His door was always open to us young adventurous and curious teens. Strange colored lights in his living room.  Nothing in the fridge.  The music he played all de doo dah day was Frank Zappa.
Maybe the weasels were ripping his flesh.
Even if they were, and even if he liked it, what makes a person choose the music they choose?  Another day’s topic.
More on the grocery store.  Or “supermarket”, which I attend but don’t feel worthy doing so….
Today a woman ahead of me was……  the most charitable description I could give is “blowsy”.  Unkempt, overweight (my favorite!), dull eyed, not very communicative (with me).  Two lively youngsters frolicking around her and her cart.  Her husband / companion / partner was large, unkempt, overweight, dull eyed.  I failed at striking up a conversation in the aisles or at the check-out with either of them.  Incidentally, I checked myself out in the mirror when I got home.  I’m large, overweight, unkempt, dull eyed, with a mean streak and a bad attitude (I’ve returned to my roots – as noted).  Probably why the lady and her man didn’t talk to me.  The kid that was old enough to talk did.  He didn’t have much to say.
Most of the items they had in the check-out line were not nutritious or food.  Most was soda and chips and other frivolous snack items.
The point I’m making is this couple seems beyond the influence of the marketing man’s wily ways…… or are they?
When I go to Safeway or some of the boutique food stores in town, I rub shoulders with the elite of Vernon.  I saw a 38DD in high heels with one inch long fingernails and a very (VERY!) complementary “outfit” just last week.  She was fondling the carrots and cucumbers in the produce area.  I had to close my eyes and lean against the mushroom bin until the moment passed….. then I bought a dozen tomatoes.
The Muzak playing was from the era of my youth.  She seemed oblivious.  Had I the perspicacity to formulate a question to ask her, I think she may have had no idea the music was playing and if she had, probably no knowledge of what the song title and artist may have been.  All speculation, of course, and without foundation.
I saw another woman dressed extremely chic (I’m not a fashion maven, but a cape AND scarf AND thigh-high boots on a good looking 30-ish female ain’t just a chick).  Looking around, lots of well dressed good looking smiling folks – male and female – perfume (not too much), aftershave (not too much), strong strides and gliding gaits.  The old folks too (my age) seemed well dressed, healthy, clear-eyed, and able.  Nobody seemed to hear the music.
Or did they?
Why is music played at swanky and not so swanky places?  Places where the people go to shop or avail themselves of a service?
I found a summary of why, especially at the supermarket, here.
The actual study was done in 2007 in France (which may or not be relevant) and includes other consumer venues than grocery shopping.  See it here.
Some interesting “findings” from the above:

  • High tempo music (93 and over beats per minute) resulted in lower traffic but increased sales volume (in supermarkets)
  • Low temp music (73 and under beats per minute) resulted in longer stays but increased spending on food and drink (in restaurants)
  • Classical music increased spending AND quality of product selected in a variety of venues when compared to popular, rock, or no music
  • People’s perception of time passing is more accurate with music background than no music

Wait a minute.  Is it that easy to increase your sales volume by the sound environment?  No is the short answer.
Which begs all the other questions related to the other senses.  Add to that the general malaise or specific euphoria generated by being a person, it gets very complex to predict behavior.
When I started Googling the effect (and affect) of the five senses in the consumer / purveyor relationship, literally 10’s of millions of web pages were listed.
The bottom line?
You can’t beat the marketing mans every time.  Diminish your risk and minimize your losses by not shopping whenever you can!


Joe and I are capitalists.  No exclamation marks required.  The free market is the ONLY way to go.  No exclamation marks required.  Joe and I would put these two concepts up against any other economic / social system ever imagined, especially when considering human nature.  What then causes the fluctuations in the financial ether which destroy lives, communities, cities, countries?  Well, it’s the good old human nature combined with the concept of politics, wealth, and intelligence.  John Stossel is a libertarian with an excellent TV show that exposes many well known and accepted “de jeur” concepts to the light of reason.  Here is his expose of crony capitalism, aka “crapitalism”:


Captain Capitalism shoots an arrow and hits the bulls-eye with this opinion piece on sanity.  Joe says it’s mostly true, mostly obvious, and mostly understandable.  And mostly ignored by people all around you including self.




Quebec lost its bid to retain the portion of the long gun registry that pertains to the citizens of Quebec.  A seemingly close 5 to 4 supreme court decision is overshadowed by majority agreement that “The principle of cooperative federalism does not constrain federal legislative competence in this case, Quebec has no legal right to the data,,”.  Read the article here.
The decision seems entirely logical.  Why 4 votes to be illogical?
Joe spotted the answer.  3 of the Supremes hail from la Belle Provence.  This doesn’t seem representative because our le-la-les brethren represent 23% of the population.  There is more.  3 of the Supremes must be from Ontario by law, yet the population is 39% of Canada.  2 of the Supremes represent “the West” (31%), and 1 represents “down East”  (the Maritimes – 7%).  On first blush, I pointed out this is not representative by population – Quebec is over represented as is the Maritimes, Ontario and the Western provinces are under-represented, and the north not at all (0.3% of our population).  Joe says not so fast.  When the Supremes were established in 1875 the numbers were different, as again in 1927 and 1949 when the court was changed.  Source of information here, and here.
So, outside of Quebec, which Supreme sided with the fantasy of Quebec following its own “Federal” program?  Alas, the identity of the 4th objecting judge is as of Friday, unknown via the Internet searches I have done.  Joe says stick with it until you find out.  I shall.



Does Hillarious Rodent Clitone have appeal as ANYTHING noble, admirable, worthwhile, valid, honest, dependable, sensible to anyone?  If so, there are ways to bring facts to bear.
One critic is Bill Whittle.  He doesn’t have much but facts to support his argument.  Here is his presentation of the criminal arrogance of Hillary Clinton:

Not convinced?  Joe has been ranting for years about the evil and dark nature of the former first lady, especially her complicity in the Benghazi aberration.  Joe has allies.  There exists a movie titled “Hillary:The Movie” which was prohibited from showing before the 2008 election by Hillarious and Co.  They tied the film release dates to court action which delayed the release until the Supreme Court struck down the earlier lower court prohibition.  Read here.  The movie was finally released AFTER the election.  Take the time to watch what this woman has done to herself, her family, her constituents, and her country in her quest for power:

If the above isn’t enough, and you are of the stripe that “all politicians are crooked, so at this point, what difference does it make?”, read this article by Betsy McCaughey.



Bar Humor

Sometimes Winter overwhelms me.  Then I see a picture like this one taken on the first day of Spring in Boston and I feel much better.  Who says schadenfreude ain’t Kosher?
Boston 1st Day of Spring 2015

Ever Feel Dumb

Guess Who

It's Not Socialism

Lord of the Lies

Mideast Math

Mugabe the wanna be – sad and true
Mugabe Swiss Bank Account

Neo Marxist Obambi

Obambi's Budget

Who Pays Income Tax



Gun Training



Islam Is Not a Religion



Grab a favourite libation, find a comfortable perch, and listen intently as Walter E. Williams Suffers No Fools:

This man makes excellent observations about the pit and prat falls of the welfare state.



Holy moly Spring has sprung!  Rain, cloud, wind this week.  And hours and hours of sunshine!  My friends the daffodildos tell all –

Nothing more to say about the Spring weather in my home town.


Joe (Wrench) Mekanic
p.s.  Ramirez is perpetual Spring – from Investor’s Business Daily



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