Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis? V2

Wondering how this crisis happened?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Evolving into Rust and Dust. New Super Cub Fails

(click on picture to enlarge)

Note the rusty screws. Note the rust and deposit on tailpipe under cover. One can only imagine the condition under there. It looks like, oil may be leaking from the spindle seal and dripping and cooking on the hot exhaust pipe. That's just a guess. 

Note the scrapes on the gloss black engine cover revealing the silver underneath. I'd guess in less than 1000kms, that's going to look hideous, partially black, partially silver, and appearing even more worn than it is.

Ok, as I 'splained' in a comment, I dislike the new Honda Global ad immensely. Does that make sense?

No, it doesn't Let me say that again in plain English.

I hate it. It sucks.

Here's what I said
(some repetition here with this post):

Ok, I just went to the site.

I Just watched the Ad. I'm not sure I like it. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure I don't like it.

I see the irony they are trying to present, the sarcasm that there is nothing better, but the overall message I get is, 'if we do our job well, better than we're doing now, the Super Cub is finished. It will be replaced.'

That's not exactly what I call a brilliant idea for an ad campaign. And I'd wager Soichiro wouldn't care for it either.

If they want to try harder, how about making a better Super Cub, not replacing it. Better as in, not shoddy. As in, stainless steel screws on the Yamaha copied exhaust on the new model. I took some pics of a new '08 model on the way to work. The screws are already rusty. My cub sits outside. Always. In any weather, except extreme wind and rain from typhoons. I want to get on it and go. I do. It's not rusted. It has almost 17,000kms on it. Hard kms, too. No rust. 2004 model. No rust. 2008 model, less than 500kms, less than 6 months old, rust.

Honda, make a better Super Cub, and a better ad while you're at it.

(second post)

And another thing. (he growled), why doesn't the special site ad start on the first kick? What's with that? Mine always does.

The point of the Super Cub, which whoever did this campaign seems to not understand, is the Cub is dependable. It shouldn't be seen as not starting on the first kick, when in reality it usually does. And what is this whole 'continues to evolve' nonsense? The beauty and the popularity of the bike is its non evolution for cripes sake. Otherwise, get a Wave.

Hmmm. (scratching my head) I'm convinced Honda is suffering from being stuck on stupid. Their management team, at least on the Global side, is interested in profits over quality. Not understanding that quality ensures profits. Oh, well. Just means our bikes are that much more rare.

(End of ranting and raving posts.)

But before I even watched that ad, I took these two pics of two different Super Cubs on the way to work the other day. Both cubs sit outside on the same street not even one block apart. Needless to say, they get the same weather treatment. But one has been getting it for much, much longer. 

One Cub is brand new '08 model, the other is quite old, a mid 90s Super Cub. (well, not old compared to Passports in the U.S. of course. But old for Tokyo)

Take a look at the brand new bike, with rust already on the screws and showing up on the kickstart spindle. Is that evolution? Is that what you call, 'evolving', Honda? No, that's what I call garbage. It's what I call shoddy workmanship, and poor quality materials.

And that's not even getting into the design which is a direct copy of, guess what, a YAMAHA Mate, if you can believe it!

So, Honda has this winning design, breaks all kinds of records, beloved the world over. Yamaha copies it, as does Suzuki.
Now, with newer management at Honda, Soichiro dead and buried and apparently a good portion of The Dream with him, the New Honda decides 'let's copy Yamaha's copy of our Super Cub. Yeah, that's a good idea. But we'll save even more money, because we'll use cheap screws that rust in less than 500km outside. Basically, one rainy season, and bang, rust. And they'll have to buy new ones! Yeah, that's the ticket."

Good grief. And note the already discolored leg guard inserts on the '08 model compared with the still matching white versions on the old cub.

And my own Cub, which sits outside 24/7, in all kinds of weather, rain, sleet, snow, you name it, actually gets more wear and tear on it than the postal cubs here (and they're stored inside!)
Yup, and mine is rust free. I don't baby it. I get on it and go. I cover it only during typhoons, and often times not even then.

I wanted an everyday bike, not a show bike. Yet, it looks like a show bike to many. Because I keep it clean and running well.
It pays me back with great love.

That's a 2004 bike with almost 17,000 kms on it.

Here's two more old cubs (not the two I described above. These are just more evidence of the quality of the older bikes over the '08 model, which is a drastic departure from all previous models in more ways than even Honda seems to admit.

These Cubs below have been outside for years. Compare them with the '08 model's already deteriorating condition. Note engine case, exhaust, leg guard covers.

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Ken Adam The Man Who Drew Too Much

Ken Adam. If you like the look of scenes and mechanisms and vehicles and places in films like Dr. Strangelove, Goldfinger, Thunderball, and most of the other great Bond films, you'll know Ken Adam's work.

The Telegraph interviewed this magnificent artist, immigrant, war hero, raconteur.

(It's ironic that the cameraman and/or director of the interview has an annoying style of cutting off Ken's mouth for cheap inserts, as well as having both men's legs taking up more of the screen space than anything else. You'd think that interviewing such a visionary, they'd have hired someone who can at least see. And they show the interviewer's name, Chris Frayling, who is selling the book, far more than Ken's! Unbelievable. With that said, at least they interviewed the man while he's still with us. So many greats pass away, like Stan Winston, and no one says a word about them.

It's also amusing how the film critic here has to inform Ken about his influences. As if this guy knows. Granted Ken's work inspires connections to Bauhaus, German Expressionism, etc. But to force the link, to the point where Ken has to say, I've never thought of that before, makes you cringe at these so-called intellectuals who see more links than a sausage factory. 

Sure, the writer has a background in film, and art. But Ken has a background in life. 

Make me think of the great John Ford when asked about some nuance of film theory in The Searchers replied to the Harvard educated writer and fan, "I don't know what the hell you are talking about, son."

I love it.

But once again, we should be happy that someone is writing the book. So, Chris, you get some credit for that, as well as the profits, of course.

But truly, thank goodness to Vincent Korda, of the famous Kordas, who visited Ken's family and urged him to study architecture so many, many years ago.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Team Players

Not sure what to make of this gentleman. I see him almost every morning "on patrol".
He seems to be a fan of J League soccer, but the helmet with streamer, forearm gloves, optional leg warmers, and his style of walking, which is more like marching, makes for quite a standout among the herd.

Needless to say, in Japan no one takes notice of him. Or, more accurately, they pretend not to.  
Once I took the pic, of course, EVERYONE noticed him. 
So, in that sense, this guy's uniqueness and refusal to be a herd member of the common variety of cookie cutter people, with their ubiquitous gadgetry and heads bowed down into their electronic gods, is quite refreshing, indeed. Regardless of how nuts he may be.  However, it's possible, very possible,  he's the most sane one on the train. 

More power to him, I say. 

Go Team! 

The 4 Dollar Donut

By the way, that's for one! And this place is called New York Donuts. 
Imagine charging 4 dollars plus for a donut in NYC? 

Celebrity This!

Taking some time out from serious editing...

...for a little acting fun and political involvement.

Celebrity This! 


Riding the Trains


I've been keeping an eye out for Amateur radio antennas and have noticed quite a few in the neighborhood and environs. 
This particular fellow is keeping out the suns rays but embracing those of the radio variety. 
I also can't help but wonder what the folks in that new hi-rise condo are going to think when they see that monster pointed toward them. 

If he's running a Tokyo Hi-Power 500watt linear amp, it should be interesting. They'll be hearing his transmissions booming out of their electric toothbrushes. 

We're talking big towers here, holding some serious Yagis. 

Speaking of antennas, here's a couple of interesting 'mobiles'. 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Behind Bars

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Green Meany

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They're Givin' 'em Away!

This ad for driving lessons from Koyama Driving School, known for their 'campaigns' to attract customers, says they are giving away a free new Super Cub in one of their campaigns! Actually it's a Little Cub. Judging by the photo they have, it's not an Anniversay Super (Little) Cub, but a mere '08 model. Aw shucks.  

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

RIP Don LaFontaine

Voice legend Don LaFontaine passed away today. 

This is a voice you know. From doing Dr. Stranglove radio spots in a basement in NYC to being named VP of Paramount Studio and then on to that famous Geico commercial,  Don LaFontaine put the voice in voice over. 

R.I.P. Don.