Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fighting Industrial Ignorance Since April 2010

That's really what I'm doing, fighting industrial ignorance. And I have an unexcelled track record, having done it repeatedly, with no breaks, since April 2010.

No one seemed to know how bad things were with the major industrial powers. It's this kind of ignorance that I popped. I started off not knowing I'd become such a crusader, such a voice. I certainly didn't know I would become the philosophical father of an entire movement, the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM). It's really more than I imagined. But that's the way it's been, now with a track record that goes way back. What none of us imagined has happened!

Has it been nothing but smooth sailing all this time? Unfortunately, no. I've suffered many things, the various attacks of those same major industrial powers being the biggest thing. They wanted me to give up and give in. And it sure looked like the thing to do for a while, especially when I was confined to the house in a virtual house arrest. They had a lot to lose. But things loosened up -- a history I don't need to repeat yet once more; it's the stuff of folk songs now.

And I've kept at it, even though the responses I've gotten haven't always been the more supportive. I'm going to just lay it on the line and hope you won't hold my honesty against me. What I've really seen has been a terrible ignorance of the things of industry -- from the general public and even from my most regular readers. So a lot of the time, it's like I'm yelling into a black hole...

I hate to mention this stuff, because I don't want to lose anyone. But I've had plenty of times I've been discouraged and haven't said anything. I guess I may as well say something now ... and see it if helps. You haven't all gotten me, like if I've expressed something of the troubles of the RIM and what we should do about it.

Quite frankly, some of my readers have been so ignorant they've needed to be led by the hand every inch of the way. I've been willing to do that, for a time, but I can't be responsible for every nursing baby. Even I run dry after a while.

I had one guy, he was such an infant, he was checking in five times a day to see if I'd written anything new. And there was no indication he had profited from the information already posted. He was always clamoring for more, but I could tell he was just looking at everything in a naive way. I knew he was coming around all the time, and for a time I felt like I shouldn't let him down. But you can probably guess what happened. Suddenly he was logging on six, seven, eight times, and it became obvious to me that he was regressing. I had to work him back to seven, six, then five times -- and all this was hard to do because his infantilism was a very stubborn case. Finally, I laid it on the line for him and told him he needed to go cold turkey for a while. The information would still be here in my archives when he felt he could handle it in a more responsible way.

A lot of the others -- I wouldn't call it complete infantilism, I would call them just stunted in many ways. They've wandered, they've been neglected, they've sought something usually in vain. And they found what they were looking for here. But because they'd been denied for so long, they were stunted. They had the responsibility, if you want to call it that, to forgo too many trips to the well, but it was more likely just dullness that kept them away. They're here and they're happy for anything I give them. But I really have to work with them because they'll deny themselves too much, then they might indulge too much. It's a tough balancing act.

There's a few who are more or less responsible and independent. They've been bruised in the past by some who seemed to have the information they craved but then pulled it back before the full nourishment could be enjoyed. But they've kept it going and they should be credited for that. They just need to be handled very carefully, keeping up their needs without my overdoing it. For them, I recommend checking in a couple times a day only. They should get what they can handle without becoming dependent on it.

Then there's three or four -- out of the entire world -- whom I'd consider my equals, on my plain. They're completely nourished -- nourishment isn't a problem with them. They exercise their mind. They live by time-tested principles. They've got the pieces together in one coherent picture. They're able to sit up and clearly enunciate their own name. They can say the first few letters of the alphabet forward and backward. In short, they're peers. I can bounce ideas off them and expect several clear words in response. They're the ones who make it all worthwhile, because it's a meeting of minds that's also beneficial to me. As long as they have the gift of speech and self-possession sufficient to rub two thoughts together, that's something I can really cherish.

The ones who just grunt or scratch at the wall ... I honestly do appreciate them, more than I can say. At least they perform the good function of being curious about the Google Ads, and we don't want to bite the hand that feeds us.

I want to be an encouragement to all those who come here. You need the information and I'm happy to provide it. And I definitely don't want anything I've said to be a discouragement to you. If you feel like checking in a few times a day, please do. I do appreciate it!

Really, if there's anyone who peeves me, and yet draws from me a great measure of sorrow, it's those poor souls who, knowing their need of information, don't come here at all. They are the ones who are completely ignorant, with an ignorance that exceeds itself in this one sense, that they don't recognize it! Perhaps they haven't heard of my blog. That's not really an excuse, since it's within a few keystrokes on anyone's computer.

Lastly, my greatest disappointment has to be reserved for those who know the source of necessary information, yet are too ignorant or obstinate to avail themselves of it. Most of these are drunks on Skidrow downtown. Given the choice between the industrial information to be gathered here or a trivia game or a sports program there, it's no mystery which they'll pick. Of course that's stupidity to the severest degree.

I will continue on! This is my vow! Not just for what I can provide to the world for the cause of the Residential Industrial Movement. But for the ways I can combat ignorance in the lives of those who read my blog.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Tire Industry Rolls On

My tire industry rolls on, my little part in the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM).

I do make tires, good ones, if I do say so myself. With big, huge tread, sometimes 10 inches thick, depending on how it sets up.

My tires are works of art, each as individual as the spirit allows me to make them. There's really no two exactly alike, so they're good for lots of things. Putting on your truck, keeping as a spare, or just to have around the house as a keepsake, souvenir, or conversation piece. If enough people buy one, I'll be rich, depending on how much I make per.

I learned the craft of making tires the easy way, by dissecting existing ones, then charting it out on graph paper exactly as to what the various components were. Tread, of course. The walls. The steel belts inside. And so forth.

In making one, I carefully pour the rubber into a mold. That sets up one side. Then I flip the mold and carefully pour the other side. The two sides will come together later at the fusion stage.

Now it's time to make the inside, which is poured as well and buckled down with the steel belting. It's all carefully hammered down into thin strips and melted in with a blast of heat. While it's still pliable, I give it a twist and center it in through the hole. Another blast of heat followed by a dousing of scalding water and we're getting very close.

The two sides then are fused together. We're getting to the end. On the outside, then, I put on a thick layer of metal scales, affixed by brazing and a blast of ice cold water. These really dig in to grip the road. In fact, it's hard to get your truck moving again if you sit in one place for very long. But rocking it back and forth for a few minutes usually manages to break the hold. Then it's up to the city to patch the road, so don't worry about it.

Lastly, I apply another blast of heat and cold, alternating as long as the current holds out, and the tire sets till it's room temperature, when I measure it to see what size it turned out to be. Then into the warehouse it goes. I've found that rolling it is easier than carrying it, if I can keep it moving and the scales don't get hooked on something.

(I left out a few of the important steps. It's all so abstract, it's hard to state it in words. There's an ionization process, which I'm not technically astute enough to describe. This is the part you really need to keep your eye on. I should say, if you ever try it, keep your hands out of the mix or they'll come up looking like hamburger.)

The process as described is craftsmanship in action. Every step of the way I insist on quality, and I usually get it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Industrialism -- Automation Vs. Craftsmanship

The only automation I presently like is what must be done, but nothing else. What I'm saying is, if it's not necessary then I would rather you didn't do it. Thank you. Industry, in order to have craftsmanship, needs men to do the work.

To me, it's a sad thing to see a factory where you have machines with their big, ugly metallic arms poking and prodding pieces on things, welding them with a spritz, and moving them down the line. No! Manufacturing is for men, a whole hands-on thing that's good for men's spirits and souls ... as long as it's done in a humane way, that is apart from the major industrial powers' abusive practices. The Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) has made manufacturing humane again! Every man can flourish!

Now, some of the things that I'd consider necessary, those times when I would see automation as necessary, would include the obvious: heavy lifting, stacking in high places, and shuffling cards during lunch breaks. Some things you just can't trust men with.

But for all the rest, I prefer the hands-on approach, not just because men need to make a living, but for the craftsmanship that we expect. A machine isn't a craftsman; it does the same thing over and over by rote, always the same way. An actual man, assuming he's not drunk, not too tired, not too distracted, not mad at the company, and has taken his meds, has the pride it takes for genuine craftsmanship.

Of course I've been in factories. And I know that men can fail and often do. If you get a company that allows women to work there, as I've seen, you get fights on the line. Someone's jealous. This really gets bad if there's a husband in one part of the plant and a wife elsewhere. Invariably, she'll be flirting, pulling up her blouse for a "peek" and all the rest, and the man will go ballistic and bash in someone's head with an 80 pound pipe-wrench. Or one guy will owe someone else money and they'll get in a fight about it. Or someone will show up drunk and start spilling the beans on someone. Or someone will sneak out early. Or someone will be sleeping up in the top of the stacks of parts. Or a leadman will be pulling rank against a peon, making him lose face in front of his peers. Or he'll be quick to cite you for "insubordination" for the slightest thing. Or someone will make a racial crack. Or misunderstand something you said, since the factory's a loud place, and you're written up. It's endless what can happen with men.

But what about machines? They have their problems too. Of course there's no jealousy, no sexual shenanigans, no violence, no fights over money, no drinking, no leaving early, no sleeping on the job, no testosterone-fueled turf battles, no bending of the rules for personal gain, no racism, and they never have anything to say, nor do they ever get in trouble. But they do break occasionally. Then the whole line has to stop, usually for a minute or so while the part is quickly replaced. Then everything is back up and running in a flash. It's everything you'd ever want in a factory ... except the craftsmanship.

I could almost love automation. I mean, who doesn't like time-saving conveniences and efficiency? I wouldn't mind sitting in my house like a lump with machines serving me all day. As it is, I have it much easier than Grandma had when she was a girl. Back then, they washed clothes with a washboard. They walked to school. They had a car they had to crank. Their toilet was an outhouse. There wasn't any such thing as an electric guitar; they only had manually operated ones. Thank goodness those days are gone for good!

But I can't love automation when it comes to industry. Yes, yes, it does its business in a nice, clean, and neat way. It helps keep prices dirt cheap because you're not paying a large workforce. And, as stated above, there aren't all the terrible things that men do with and to each other in a factory, including, I might add, taking out their grudges after hours in the parking lot when the shift's over. I personally know some of these men and women have hooked up after hours, then they're spotted in a bar over at Skidrow, then she goes home and tells a lie to her husband, who goes storming over to the other guy's place yet that night ... or the next day ... It's a terrible mess!

Automation has its place, there's no denying that. But the biggest reason I can't love it, again, is in the whole issue of craftsmanship. Craftsmanship demands a man to get the job done.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our Residential Tire Industry's Glorious Flag

That's the tire talking, not the snake. The snake doesn't want anyone to tread on him, especially a car with tires. Because he'd be roadkill. But a tire seeks tread and needs tread to be a proper tire. Otherwise they might make a swing out of it. Or it'd fill up with water and be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

I used to buy used tires when I was a youngster with my first car. I'd drive on it for a hundred miles, then it'd blow out. So I'd have to buy a new used one. But those were poorly constructed tires -- usually made by automation -- from the major industrial powers.

It's kind of funny, they don't hide it! You ever watch the car races on TV? They have to change tires about every 10 laps, so something's definitely wrong with them. They haven't changed since I was a kid!

After a while, probably with lawsuits, at least where I lived, you didn't see used tires anymore. I'd go to one of the tire stores and the guy would look both ways, like he was trying to see if the coast was clear, then say they didn't sell used tires. I always thought that was funny.

But we make tires, good tires, the kind of tires that you can use forever and pass on to your children as a family heirloom. If you get the 'extra tread' model, you're riding on a full 10 inches of nothing but tread, and only then do you come to the steel belting and other space-age polymers that give the tire its fundamental strength. 10 inches! It's like a birthday cake!

All Aboard The Industrial Express!

I've noticed a curious thing happening since I started writing about industrial affairs on this blog. That is, it suddenly seems like everyone's getting aboard the Industrial Express in response.

I'm flattered, of course, in one sense. But it also makes the bristles on my back stand up, because it ticks me off a little. Because this is my thing, this is my arena, and it bugs me that everyone else is trying to horn in on my territory. I just have to keep it positive, though, and be flattered, I guess, if I want to keep up my good attitude. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," we've all heard that.

The thing is, I keep seeing things that are like take-offs of my blog, and I don't entirely know what to make of it. They might be mocking me in some way. Or maybe I've inspired them to be sincerely interested in the subject. Or it could be, like it was with me, they had a latent interest in industrialism which they didn't really know about until they read my blog, then they suddenly realized it.

The examples I can think of right now -- among the thousands I've encountered -- are, first, a book I saw in the bookstore the other day, called "The Industrial Revolutionaries." This is true. Some guy -- I'm assuming it was written by a man -- wrote up a whole history of some of the key individuals in the Industrial Revolution. Something of a history buff, he must be.

I came close to buying the book, except, as I've probably mentioned before, I prefer getting my books at Goodwill or garage sales, where they're under a buck apiece. The downside to that is they hardly ever have what you're looking for, or they're bestsellers from 20 years ago, or you have to look through a roomful of crap to find one good one.

I glanced at it at the full priced bookstore, then put it back. Because, frankly, I was a little perturbed to see it. This is a guy who must've had an agent already and just steamrolled it into print probably so fast it wasn't even fact-checked. Like the 9/11 books that were in the store the next week. And I think there was a steamy bio on Sammy Sosa put out fast the month he was popular.

I still might go and get it, if for no other reason than to see if he quotes me in it. I'm actually thinking he might not have quoted me, because he wouldn't want to show how beholden he was to any one source. It's just like we used to do when we wrote term papers in school. They'd say we needed 10 sources, so we'd write up the note cards and then use 10% of our quotes from each card. Even though, obviously, we could've written it more easily and quicker by just paraphrasing one author.

Another take-off of my blog I saw, and this was just last night, was at another popular blog, where one of the writers is writing about, of all things, "the end of the Industrial Age, the beginning of the Information Age, and why we shouldn't delude ourselves that we've made the transition." I quote his topic in toto because of the brash overstating of the case. We haven't come to the end of the Industrial Age!

If this guy likes "the Information Age," try this information on for size, this is just the beginning, bozo, clown, moron. Jeez!* I started a tire factory around two months ago and you're trying to tell me industry is no more? I have neighbors making disposable diapers, vats, straitjackets, and wheels for hospital beds -- and they're able to retool in one day to make air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses -- neighbors of mine -- and you expect me to believe the Industrial Age is finished? The guy's deluded!

And the other thing I've suddenly noticed -- everyone climbing aboard the Industrial Express -- is the "Science Channel" on TV, suddenly showing factories making things. Anything you can think of. They have a lot of whizzbang automation lurching around, bolting things, spinning, accomplishing more work in a minute than a whole family can do in a day. It's disgusting on many levels. One for sure is, it tells our younger generation, "We could replace you with a machine in a heartbeat, so eat a donut and get obese, for all we care!"

They hardly ever show actual workers. And when they do, they're going about their task silently, almost like machines themselves. There's no talking, no looking up at the camera. They're drugged or something; they're in a daze, posing a danger to themselves and the other machines around them. I'm watching for signs of stumbling and staggering, listening when the camera's aimed the other way for a scream as they fall into the gears. Because even if you are drugged into silent submission, you still scream simply out of instinct when you fall and get crunched in the mechanism. But the TV people aren't dumb ... they've edited out the screams, or covered them with music.

I think there might be a couple of reasons for these shows suddenly appearing:

1) They're trying to dispirit the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM). Because we're relative newcomers to the industrial scene, starting new factories in our backyards. If we watch these shows with all their fancy machines doing everything, while the family's offstage, maybe in daycare, it might make us question our resolve to go on.

2) It could be propaganda from the major industrial powers, trying their level best to convince us that "all is well" in their world, that they're not the least bothered by competition. But if you watch the show very carefully, you'll notice the film's been edited. In my opinion, they probably filmed for 10 hours to get two minutes of footage, meaning all their failures are on the cutting-room floor. If you have a machine that skips its sprocket 99 out of 100 times, of course you're only going to show that one successful hit.

And so ... the Industrial Express rolls on. At this blog and around the world! But just remember, whatever it is, you'll get it here ... first!

*Sorry about the apparent invective. It's just internet-speak for "I respectfully disagree."

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Laws Of Industrialism

I'm really in awe of existence at this particular moment, hence the rare second posting of the day. I just came from my dentist's visit, and all the weird sensations in my mouth, coupled with trying to ascend into a special, rare place of consciousness, plus a still fattened lip, make me mellow enough to do it.

One of the things I was thinking of -- in addition to zeroing in on glimpses of God -- was the laws of industrialism. I sat there in the chair, being pushed, pulled, drilled, sprayed, and suctioned, biting down on a rubber mouth opener, my eyes closed, considering some of these laws.

I didn't have a paper to write them down. And the dentist and assistant occasionally engaged me in the important business of opening and closing my mouth on the hose, or breathing through my nose, so that was a distraction. But at those most special moments, the laws of industrialism were definitely on my mind.

Some of it I needed to fight back. Like if I felt any kind of discouragement. The thought kept coming to me that I might have the theories of supply and demand all wrong. Like I've said many times, I believe in keeping supply extremely high so we can keep prices dirt cheap. But the thought kept coming to me that we'll all eventually go bankrupt with that theory. So I fought back as much as I could, trying to make it into some kind of inviolable law that a high supply and mediocre demand are good.

For the most part -- and it seems like an amazing coincidence -- the laws appear to jibe with what I thought already. You might think that's indicative of wishful thinking, or slanting the facts to match a prejudice, or being entrenched in ideology. I actually prefer to think of it like this, that I myself am subject to and the result of certain laws of existence, so wouldn't it be natural that my mind would have an intuitive grasp on the laws as they really are? I know the argument against this: In that case how could anyone be wrong about anything? The answer against that would be: It's easy for people to be wrong because they're not zeroing in on that place; they don't have the focus. But I'm nagged with this potential reality: That my own thoughts could be skewed from truth to the extent that I too lose my focus. Like when the dental assistant puts a needle in and I can really feel it. Or when I'm choking on water. It's almost too much.

Other than the supply/demand correlation and what the actual law would be, I can give a couple other laws of industrialism:

1) The more producers, the higher the supply. This sounds deceptively simple. And I suppose it is.

2) The more buyers, the higher the demand. But demand can't be limitless, because there'd be no room on earth for limitless storage. The obvious exception is vats, which depend on empty space for half their mass. If you keep halving your mass, eventually you reach the vanishing point.

3) If every man had his own factory, no factory could be profitable. This one pains me, and I'm not sure I agree with it, since it's foundational to the Residential Industrial Movement that every man can have his own factory. But it popped in my head when the dentist told me, "Give me five more minutes," and I started thinking of finite quantities. If that's a law, I'd like to nudge it a bit. You could still have profitable factories if every man had his own in these two ways: a) If the man had a lot of children to work in it and a burly wife; 2) If the man had friends who neglected their own factories to work in his. And especially if they also brought burly wives.

As I was leaving the dentist's office, there was a supplier there who was saying he'd match the "sundries" price of another supplier "dollar for dollar." It tied in perfectly with my meditations on the laws of industrialism. Supply and demand. Driving the other supplier out of business by matching him, etc. All very shortsighted and selfish. I listened to him and wished I had the mouth hose back.

Reading The Industrial Cues

Life's a stage and each must play his part. I stand in the wings until it's my moment to shine, then I step forth, utter my profundities, and wait for my curtain call. I have big thoughts about my prowess at knowing my cues and reading them.

In the theater, of course your cues are all set. You're spitting out someone else's lines; you may as well be a robot. But in real life, it's a matter of doing it yourself, reading the cues, those moments as they come. My biggest concern personally has to do with industry, how to run factories, manufacture things, and keep it all profitable. But I'm also concerned with the other opportunities of my life.

If you think about it, just about everything we do is a matter of reading the cues, verbal, auditory, sensual, etc. You're sniffing the air like a camel, sniffing for musk, pheromones. You see dogs sniffing each other, checking the cues. You're looking for a barely perceptible nod of ascent from a pawnbroker. Is he going up or down? It's all important. If you're late to the show, you may as well go home. And if you're early, the set-up isn't good and you look like an idiot.

When I was reading the cues -- or the signs of the time -- in the early days, leading up to the establishment of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM), I confess I wasn't reading them with any thoroughness. Actually, I was just trying to get by, to elude the major industrialists, and it was more or less an unconscious inspiration, my earliest question: If they can have a factory, why can't every man? But the time happened to be right, the moment propitious for that cue, and as it turned out, I read it in a thrilling way. Judge it by the outcome!

There are certain cues I haven't read in their time. Such as the cues that would've led to romance. That's been my biggest disappointment in my life. Love, marriage, baby carriage. To see some woman decked out in velvet, laying across the divan, let's say, maybe throw in a leopardskin patterned negligee, very sexy, a skimpy bra barely concealing her impressive cleavage, eating a popsicle ... that's a great fantasy. It seems like the days for that are passed, since most of the women my age now are grandmothers with living wills, but who knows, I might find someone in the RIM who makes cheap divans and just the right girl.

I comfort myself knowing I'm still a very successful guy. I have my own tire plant. I generate my own electricity. I've got my own runoff ditch next to the road. And my success is indeed a matter of reading the cues, knowing the upticks of demand and the downticks of supply. I'm the guy who likes to overwhelm demand with a massive supply, keeping our warehouses full at all times.

I hope everyone in the RIM will always be working on his ability to read the industrial cues. These are things to keep track of, all the interpersonal stuff as well as the opportunities for success that residential industrialism provide. If we're watching and waiting, listening for our cues, it'll always be our moment to shine!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zip Your Industrial Lip

"Loose lips sink ships," Grandpa always told me. He picked up that expression in the war, along with some other great vocabulary. Grandpa was well known for his F-bombs around us guys, as I've mentioned before.

Our lips can get us in a whole lotta trouble, whether we're kissing someone else's wife in a dark corner or we're chatting up a storm about things on our mind that shouldn't be discussed. Personally, my personal policy is to keep my own lip zipped, and everything else too. If there's something on my mind, I keep it to myself. And everything else too.

I'm actually very strict on these things. You see I write about industrial issues as well as the other issues of life, extensively, but I'm just scratching the bare surface of what I could be writing. Because my mind is a steel trap. When I hear any kind of scuttlebutt, I've got it filed away. Or I'm digging, probing, seeking out whatever details and additional nuance there might be, in order to understand the situation, and, to put a positive spin on my motives, to be in a position to give advice if it's sought.

The key thing is: I keep it to myself. And it's a good thing I do, because I could literally curl your hair with some of the dirt I've got on people, many of them my closest neighbors. It just goes without saying that I have enough dirt on my own family to plant potatoes. And I mean the deep-rooted ones. I know which cousin's slept with the other one, who lied about where they were the night of the Christmas party, and who's getting drunk every night in a certain corner Skidrow bar. Drive by about 2 a.m. The car's over by the fence.

There's just certain things that aren't anyone's business except the ones doing the deed. Whatever the deed might be, and there's some salacious ones. There's things going on at the end of the road that you have to see to believe. And thanks to a good bargain I got on an Iraqi war era night scope, I'm seeing but I'm still not believing! But that doesn't mean anyone else needs to know. Because it's private stuff, meant just to be observed and the relevant details to be filed away, just in case ... someone needs advice. Or for insurance. And of course, should I be subpoenaed to testify at a paternity hearing, I'd have no choice but to tell the whole truth. So keep Maury far from me.

Now, when it comes to industrialism, we also have secrets, secrets we need to guard. And what I'm hearing (and seeing) with my night scope and sidelines 'big ear' is enough for me to know that certain ones are letting down their guard. You know these guys who show up in their big black sedans and they're wearing slick $2,000 suits? Here's a clue for you: They're not our friends! OK? They're with the major industrial powers! They're out to take us down! You give away enough secrets, formulas, schedules, supply records, etc., and there won't be any Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) any more!

Each man is independent, I know... But the movement is more than individuals; it's all of us counting on one another to keep things going. You talk, you're cutting everyone's throat. We can't trust the majors. They're wheedling you for information. Any kind of dealing with them is foolhardy. Any kind of cozying up to them, any accepting their offers of fast money, cars, and women is only for short-term pleasure. I know, I know, their cleavage makes a powerful presentation...

You think it doesn't make any difference. You think they're your friends. I'd love to say it right to your face: You're not paid to think! You're paid to keep your lip zipped and your mouth shut! Instead, you're running around with your mouth agape and wide open.

Let's try to do better, friends. If you have some dirt, some scut... If you've got the real deal, the lowdown on someone's affairs, that's private. That's something to hold in trust, to hold in confidence. That's something to keep to yourself. An insurance policy. Especially if it has something to do with our business, the business of the RIM. Keep it to yourself, and we'll all be better off.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

That's Some Serious Industrialism

My neighborhood is full of factories, factories as far as the eye can see. That's some serious industrialism. And it's not just my neighborhood, but it's the whole town, the whole county, the whole state, and the whole country! Really, that's some serious industrialism!

I went out for a walk last night before bed. The heat spell and flooding we had a couple weeks ago are all over, and now it's pleasant. But that was some serious weather, so thank goodness we're back to normal. While walking, I was looking over the whole scene of the block. That's some serious commitment on the part of my neighbors, to man their stations, to keep their factories going, to give their lives over to hard work.

And it's not just the commitment they have to do the work for their self-interest alone. It's the commitment they had -- that we all had together -- in the worst of the weather a couple weeks ago. Remember, most of our factories completely retooled, and instead of making whatever it is we normally make, we were putting out air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses. Or, with the floods, we were putting out sump pumps, water vacs, and drainage pipes. That was some serious response when the chips were down.

I was thinking as I walked, that's some serious ability to improvise. You can't picture the major industrialists doing that. They're so heavily into their own self-interest, I can't imagine them lifting their finger to help their own Grandma. That's some serious selfishness. We're nice, Ann Landers types. They're mean, Ayn Randers. And that's some serious indictment, because she was a pitbull. There she is now! That's some serious artwork! You see a pitbull like that coming, you burn its books!

How do I know about Ayn Rand? Well, I am the philosophical father of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM), so I should know something about philosophy. And I know that this lady had her own philosophy too. Which was basically 'dog eat dog' is a good way to live. That's some serious crap! You might say I've turned Rand on her head, possibly a pleasant sight, since I doubt all that many guys went there, and have become something of the anti-Rand. That's some serious distinction! And, hey, I'm actually smarter than Rand, because I've read her books but she's never read my blog. Got her there! So who knows most about whom? That's some serious observation!

I'm the opposite, or the anti-Rand, because my thing is not that the major industrial powers should have the playing field all to themselves, with the rest of us peons out there floundering helplessly without them. That's some serious predicament. Instead, I've got the peons taking the field, and turning Rand and the major industrialists on their heads, possibly a pleasant sight, since I doubt all that many ladies went there, in the case of the men, and we've already established that Rand was probably sewn shut. That's some serious pain!

Anyway, she's dead by now, and probably cremated, since that's the disposal method of choice for atheist prudes. There's no God to burn them alive, and she wouldn't want a peon undertaker undertaking something no man was able to do in her actual life. That's some serious perversion! And since I don't do blue material, I should leave well enough alone, and let the old virginal prune rest in peace. But you have to think, she'd gladly shut out the RIM, without any sense of remorse or human sympathy, so why should I offer sympathy? I know, that's some serious obstinacy. But she started it.

My walk continued. I saw some children out playing in their dad's runoff ditches. It reminded me of what we used to do, which was to find a pond and play in it. Those were the days. Grandma would tell us boys to "Stay out of that stagnant pond!" But we'd ignore her and go swimming anyway. Playing was serious business back then, and for us that was some serious business! It wasn't a matter of sitting in front of a video game all day for us. We saw each other naked more times than I care to count. And that's some serious eye-opening experience, to see some of them are as big as your wrist. A regular fountainhead.

All in all, I'm very proud of my upbringing -- and whatever it was -- moxie or whatever -- that they instilled in me that's brought me thus far and undoubtedly will take me farther in the days to come. That's some serious moxie!

I continued reflecting as I walked on, then I started to turn in. I looked up at the sky and saw that it had to be close to "Grain Belt," my pet name for 9:40. That's some serious passage of time. And that's some serious pet name.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Break The Grip Of Industrial Pain

Break the grip of pain! The phrase sounds very familiar to me, like it used to be the motto of an over the counter medicine 40 years ago, Ben Gay or Compound W, Castor Oil, Selsun Blue, red dope, cough drops, something.

Just to take the phrase literally -- Break the grip of pain -- is to find some kind of pill, cream, or salve to rub on my aching muscles while I'm energetically engaged in the heavy work of industrialism. Then I'd spread it on the offending muscle and relax while the throbbing lightning bolts diminished to the point of being soothing blue cool waves. How much repetitious heaving can my poor muscles take? These tires are heavy, unless I roll them, which is easier...

But there's another grip of pain that many residential industrialists want to have broken, and that's the doubts that we have thanks to the various forces arrayed against us. Chief among these, of course, are the major industrial powers, whose scheming seems like it never comes to an end. I've been on their bad side more times than I can count, so I'm always expecting them to pounce when they're least expected.

In the early days -- actually before the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) got started -- when it was just me, the major industrial powers were all over me. Those were lonely, tough days and nights, which, if you'll look back in my archives you'll see were tough. They had me confined to my home for a pretty good stretch of time, and only when I dressed in Grandma's old clothes and sneaked out of the house was I able to elude them. They were literally shooting fiery arrows over my roof trying to smoke me out.

Since then, and some of this I'd almost forgotten, I had a few unlikely allies, and they themselves probably didn't know much about it. Paul Krugman was one of them, when he commented something about industrialism. That was a big relief! That got the majors off my case for a while. Krugman knows how to break the grip of pain. He's a well known advocate. But it wasn't until the movement itself (the RIM) got underway that I was able to enjoy safety in numbers. If virtually every man has his own factory, that spreads out the offense far and wide, and the major industrialists were pulled off my scent.

But still, they're out there, roaming our towns and neighborhoods, physically causing pain for some, and by their threats, mentally causing pain for many others. It's the string-pulling behind the scenes that really gets you! In some towns, the majors still hold a powerful sway. They're on the corrupt city councils, in charge of the school system, or pulling the purse-strings at the biggest mega-churches. And so the start-up guy, the guy who's only trying to make a buck in honest residential industrialism, suffers, because they're able to squeeze him in the grip of pain.

Last night I had some of this mental pain, and that's why I'm writing about it this morning, to alert everyone to some of the things happening below the surface, below the radar. Through the night, I dreamt that my own factory (a tire factory) and my own electrical generating plant were no more. This was a dream that was so vivid that even now I'm putting a wet cloth to my forehead just to make sure I'm truly awake. In the place of my facilities, Grandpa's half-acre was transformed pretty much back to its old pre-industrial form, except there were big holes all over the place, with muddy slopes and crawl spaces down below, and I was down there trying to figure out what to do about it. That's trauma!

Just to wake up helped me break the grip of pain was far as the dream itself was concerned. Because the first thing I did today -- even before going to the bathroom -- was to look out the south window. I could see, instead of holes, everything as it's supposed to be. I have some lights strung up on the smokestacks, so both facilities, as well as my warehouse, were there glowing in the dark. What a relief!

It's my biggest fear -- call it irrational -- that I'm going to wake up someday and all of this will have been a dream. But no dream can last this long. Or, about as bad, that the major industrial powers will truly do me in, as I hear they've done others. I keep telling myself not to think so negatively, but, hey, I'm also very realistic. If it's happened to others, it could happen to me. And, really, why wouldn't the majors try to get the fountainhead, to pay him back?

There's no salve, cream, or rub, unfortunately, for this grip of pain. But if there were, I'd love to find the guy who made it. He might be a neighbor of mine! I know he'd be very successful just selling it within the movement. I'd take a whole case all by myself!

Just need to get back to work ... and be brave.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Fog And Mist Of Industrialism

There's something very satisfying about industrialism.

Of course there's all the rugged aspects of it, the sharp edges of metal trim, the blunt ends of things, and how dirty everything gets. It's like playing in a sandbox all day as far as dirt goes. As for the other stuff, there's extreme cold -- the feel of metal -- and extreme hot, if you happen to get close to the sparks of a welder.

I like how everything seems to run together. You're working at it, like making tires, and your mind just drifts off in the work, and it's hard to keep things distinct. It's like you're working by instinct, not by conscious decisions. One tire looks very much like another. There's no distinguishing marks. It's a very hypnotic job. When I do it, I have this constant disoriented feeling that's always interesting.

A couple weeks ago I was writing about the parallels between industrialism and spirituality, or, if not parallels, at least the spiritual connections that industrialism presents. I know that guys who do a lot of welding or brazing say they can really see the inner light. They're busy hitting that single, bright point. It's such a complete focus, to see that bright light even through their visors. Then in the day -- any kind of recall of their meditations, such as if they catch a glimpse of the sun, it puts them prostrate on the ground.

Being an industrialist is a deeply comforting thing. You can count on it. There's always one more thing coming down the line. The repetition, like I said above about the tires, makes for a numbing sensation, so you can think deeply about other things to the point of being consciously lost. It's like being lost in the fog or the mist. If you haven't got your own factory yet, you should check into working with a neighbor.

It's those times when I'm lost in the work of manufacturing that I'm the happiest. For those shifts, I can forget the terrible competition that rages between the major industrial powers and the members of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM). Those issues become a blur. And, when I'm really mellow, I see them as complementary in certain ways, like they're part of a cyclical interplay, like the yin and the yang, which is perhaps the sexiest symbol this side of the Playboy rabbit.

There's comfort, I said that. But there's also what your body physically goes through. Your muscles ache and creak. There's titanic forces at work in your body as you wield tools, tend to parts, and avoid the danger of swinging panels that could hit you with a ton of force. But, again, if you let your instincts take over, you'll be just fine. You're usually safe if you're not thinking about it too diligently. I've known guys -- and this is true in driving as well -- as soon as they become aware of the great danger they're in, something pops up and whacks them.

But what a blithe existence when you just let it happen and submit to the fog and mist. To hear -- to deeply hear -- the clanking, the whirring, and to feel the tactile sensations of the cables dropped down and the parts dangling in front of you, it's almost indescribable. I could grab on to them like the girl in the circus -- and if I had good teeth, I might be up there spinning from the ceiling. But my teeth aren't that great, even though the dentist assures me I'm never going to need full dentures if I keep coming in for regular checkups and get a few cavities taken care of.

In industrialism, the romance continues. Even small things are fascinating and beautiful. As to my lunchbox, to mention a very small thing, it's got several days' worth of dirt on the handle, and that's a good thing. I might never clean it, since all the germs are mine.

A lunchbox is just setting there, though, so that's what I'm stroking while taking a break. Then it's back to the job. The line lurches back into action. How lovely. Then, depending on what I'm working with, I might pull down a big power tool. How great it is, to get the thing going. I love the zero to 90 mph speed of the power tools! You're screwing and cinching with the full force of a mighty tool and getting it done barely before you've started. Those puppies can get it done! They hit home with a quick full twist!

At the end of a workday -- with the fog and mist swirling in my tired mind -- I go out and look up at the dying embers of another day's sun. Some enormous force kicks dirt on it and again it's night.

I may walk into the fog and mist and never come back. Why should I? Why would anyone want to?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Residential Industrialists Seek Awards

One way to tell that a company is really making strides is in the honors it receives. And that's the way it is for the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) at this present time, as our members enter contests in the hopes of winning. So far, though, it's been a bust.

The industrialists -- the major industrial powers -- have had their honors programs all these years. You've probably seen the awards advertised on TV: Car & Driver's Car of the Year award, J.D. Powell's award for something, both of which are very prestigious.

But what we haven't been told is the kind of "in" the major industrial powers have had with the awards process. It's been carefully rigged to make sure the same dozen or so car manufacturers always win, the same dozen or so washing machine makers, and so forth. I don't know for sure, of course, how it works, since all this is probably done in a hush-hush way.

It's a lot like the way they accredit colleges. You have a team of accreditors going place to place, accepting lavish payouts, season tickets to lacrosse events and women's basketball games. And with a system like that, they wink and the college is accredited for the next year. Everything is very inside baseball, driven and sustained by corruption.

To level the playing field, of course, would be a good thing. But they make it very hard to break in. Doors are closed in our face. They'd sooner spit on the RIM as look at us. Yes, we will eventually bring them down. Then not only will it be said of the execs of the major industrial powers, but it will be said of the people behind these other schemes, that they will be showing up at RIM companies looking for any easy pencil pushing jobs we might have, but they will be vigorously turned away.

I personally know several companies that have been submitting samples of their wares for these prizes but they haven't been given much chance of winning. And to top it off -- take Spooner's vats, for example -- the board asked Ted to submit the vats "in triplicate," which is completely unreasonable. It takes him a week to make one, if he's lucky. All they want to do is get extra vats to sell on the black market and make a little more corrupt money.

My idea, like everything else, is if the prize-granting authorities are corrupt, we must simply make our own, RIM prize-granting authorities, with more fair rules. Then we give the award for the best vat ... we've all seen Ted's vats, we know they're great. Or we give the award for the best disposable diaper, or straitjacket ... we know the folks who make them, and we've all used them, so of course they're winners. The key thing is not the trophies we can give, but the publicity that goes with it, opening the eyes of the public to the quality of our goods.

And if they want to give us a free sample or two, that's their business. I'm personally open to receiving a few samples. I'm sure it wouldn't sway my vote one way or the other. I already know the products are top notch, but it might help soften me up.

Blog Receives Prestigious Award

Coincidentally, speaking of awards, I have great news to share with all my faithful readers. This blog has been awarded The Gorton Fisherman Award for Excellence in Writing for 2010.

Not only did I win the beautiful trophy pictured to the left, but a month's supply of fish sticks. Now if I can just develop an appetite for the nasty little things...

I'm happy to have beaten out a lot of other worthy competitors, none of whom are especially good.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Industrialists' Work Ethic

Yesterday, I was decrying (or gentle scolding) those industrialists of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) who are getting a little ahead of some of the smaller guys. That was my post on "Stiff Competition," and I'm hoping my words will encourage them to tone it down a bit, so we can maintain the harmony of our movement. I think that's best done by looking out for one another. After all, we had something else in mind for the RIM than what we've seen with the major industrialists, who are strictly dog eat dog.

But I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm discouraging a diligent work ethic. I want our hard work to continue apace and perhaps even increase. Remember, I'm the one who's calling for full warehouses! Two things about that: 1) It's good to keep prices dirt cheap; 2) By our diligence, we can more readily put the major industrialists out of business. The sooner we have the field to ourselves, the happier we'll all be. Then each of us can see, what many have already seen, major industrialist management figures out of work and coming to our residential factories, looking for the easy pencil pusher jobs they've had all these years. Jobs, by the way, they'll never see!

The important thing to stress is that we do want stiff competition, but not against ourselves but against them. If we're eating our own, it'll just cause animosity. And split the movement, perhaps to the point where the little guy would have to redouble his efforts, together, to bring down the larger, more predatory members of the RIM. Because in this worst case scenario, there would have to be a whole new RIM, which we want to avoid if we can. Just look out a ways and realize, a little short term sacrifice, the big guy slowing down a bit now, will result in long term gain for all, because then we won't be forced to take the big guy out.

I hate to paint such a dire picture -- and of course it's all imaginary and a cautionary note at this point. It's definitely not set in stone that it has to be this way. We can choose our own future and make of it whatever we want it to be. To keep a strong work ethic and to keep an eye out for our movement are complementary, mutually reinforcing values.

On the other hand, if we can bring down the major industrialists, with rapacity, like fevered piranha on their fat legs, it'll be good if we work like the devil, day and night. We need the work ethic of demons! Because what we have for them -- is hatred too strong a word? The sooner we destroy their fortunes, the better! And the sooner we see them groveling at our feet, universally loathed, begging in vain for any easy pencil pusher job, and clawing the wall in disappointment as they exit our facilities, the happier we'll be. I'd also like to see them stricken with boils, if somehow nature can pitch in...

When I look at it in that light, I can't wait to get back to work, and I know all of you feel the same way. I might just have to stay up an hour later and get up an hour earlier, to have my tire factory churning out more tires, that I can hasten that day. Any little thing you do, you can hasten that day. Keep your work ethic strong. Dig in, gear up, kick it in gear, put the pedal to the metal, redouble your efforts, scream like a banshee, work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, attack it like a dervish, go for all the gusto! Keep your kids home from school so they can work! And if you can find a piece of meat, bite into it -- like a turkey leg -- tear into it! That's the piranha stuff I mentioned.

We can keep this movement going strong, especially if we work together! Let's keep in mind, brothers, who the enemy is.


After my 900th post yesterday I got some questions from a few of you. I thought I'd put in a minute or so to answer a couple of these, especially since it seems like younger bloggers are really interested in refining their craft.

Q - What's the secret of your longevity?

A - There's no secret actually. It's like I was just saying, if you have a strong work ethic, you can get a lot accomplished. I'll tell you what I always tell young bloggers: Set your sights high, then follow through and see what you can accomplish. You'll surprise yourself. I have that work ethic and it's never failed me. Another word for it would be persistence. Or discipline. Or an old word I like: stick-to-it-tiveness. In other words, you don't give up easily.

Q - Where do you find the time? I mean, 900 posts, that's awesome!

A - I don't really worry about the numbers. Numbers are good, you know, to look back on. Really, it just sneaks up on you, how many you get. Especially if that isn't your emphasis. Finding the time is not as hard as it sounds. Again, it's the work ethic and persistence. You believe in something and you put forth the effort. If you have a passion for something, that's what it takes. I started off -- and there weren't that many people who believed in me. So I had to believe in myself, and my cause. Next thing I knew, I'd gone past 100, then 200, and so forth, all the way up to this most recent mark, 901 today! But, again, numbers aren't my aim. It's the passion I have, and what I can accomplish for the greater good. Try it sometime! :)

Q - Do you have any advice for a young blogger?

A - Yes, I do. Find something you love and something you believe in and give it your all. It won't take long and you'll look back and see you've aged quite a bit!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Industrialists Face Stiff Competition

Up till now the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) has had a very happy time of it as it relates to intra-movement relations. And I'm hoping that if we maintain our perspective, and see that there's room enough for all, that we can continue to prosper and grow in harmony.

The RIM of course came as a reaction against the overall nastiness of the major industrial powers' hegemony in the industrial field, not to mention their sense of entitlement. They had taken over vast tracts of land, making "industrial sections" in our towns and cities. And while they were geographically secluded, all of us were made to suffer their terrible appearance and pollution. More than that, all of us were made to suffer their influence, as they used their sway to demand political favors. They also kept supply low and prices high, so much so that, in my opinion, it was a royal mess.

A little bit of thought about this situation led me to question the whole situation, and my question boiled down to this: "Why should they have an industrial section? Why shouldn't every man have his own factory?" Definitely that'd make things a lot more fair. Then we wouldn't be waiting forever for supplies of industrial goods to reach the market. The market itself would be churning stuff out. And we would have some say over price, probably a great deal of say. That was the basic philosophy, making me the philosophical father of the whole shebang, and that's the way it's worked out.

But now, with a little bit of time having passed, and I suppose some of this would've been predictable, there are bigger residential industrial concerns and smaller. And the bigger are reportedly trying to throw around some of their weight and squeezing the little guy. If they can control supply lines, take increased advantage, etc., then the rest of us might be sitting here at their mercy. They're looking to increase their competitive edge, I fear to the point that they might endanger the whole movement. Is that their goal?!

This is just a heads-up today, calling the smaller guys to band together, or at least open your eyes and see what's going on, so we can keep our own position. Let's not let the increased competition, from within (!), pull down what we've achieved. If that happens -- and remember, your philosophical father knows best -- we will have just substituted new major industrialists for the old. And as our own residential factories start to fall, I fear it will dispirit us for generations, meaning the Dark Ages for residential industrialism at best, and complete annihilation at worst. I'm sure all of you will get this: It's very tough to bounce back quickly from complete annihilation.

The RIM has brought a new balance to the supply and demand ratio. With every man making products, of course there's an enormous glut of products, keeping prices dirt cheap. This is good, even if some industrialists are reporting a hard time supporting themselves. I'm calling you not to give up hope. The more we make, the more we have to sell. The more we sell, the more money we bring in, even if prices continue to fall. Let's keep our warehouses full ... as well as our optimism.

BLOGGING LANDMARK -- Today marks my 900th post. That's putting me up in Methuselah territory, meaning I'm getting very old and long in the tooth. I'm often asked what I credit my longevity to, and the answer's always the same, the passing of time and persistence. The more time passes, the more opportunity I have. And the more persistent I am, being a creature of habit, the higher my numbers go.

To have 900, that's a huge number! If I am literally 900 years old, think about it, I have exceeded the normal lifespan by over 800 years! Clearly there's something about my genes that are ram tough!

900 is also a very messianic number. I'm not saying I'm the Messiah or divine or any of that, of course. I'll just put it out there and let you draw your own conclusions. But remember a few years ago when Pastor Oral Roberts saw a 900-foot Jesus outside his house? Right there you have it! He didn't say 899, but 900 specifically.

I've looked into this subject. There's even a rapper and experimental musician out there somewhere who goes by the name MC 900 Ft. Jesus. Isn't that wild? And one other thing, in the apocryphal 'Gospel of Peter,' portraying the resurrection of Jesus, we see three males coming out of the sepulcher. The heads of two of them reach into heaven, but the third's head goes beyond the heavens! That's obviously very tall, in my opinion exactly 900 feet. He'd need Christo the artist to make him an orange robe. Christo?

So that's what's going on in the blogging realm. I'm 900 years old and 900 feet tall today, and I'm letting everyone draw their own conclusions as to what this means for anyone's potential divinity.

Today's post was also about competition. And they have that in the blogging realm as well. I'm proud to say that I still don't have any serious competition on the entire internet. No one -- and I mean no one -- has come close to me in terms of quality or the quantity of raw output.

See you in the next 900!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Industrialism And The Napoleonic Complex

This is one of those issues that presented itself last night. It came out of the blue. I was thinking over some of the issues of industrialism and the term "Napoleonic complex" popped in my head. That's quite an issue and obviously important to address. Never let a brainfart go to waste!

I immediately started thinking, "What is a Napoleonic complex?" I wasn't sure. I'm sitting here thinking it has something to do with the famous Napoleon from years ago. And if I'm thinking about it, it must be something I know. I've heard a few things about Napoleon, but what would his complex be? It seems like it'd be like art or porn, I'd know it when I saw it. Which still may be true. I haven't given up yet!

I've never read much about Napoleon. I decided a long time ago, the past is too big to master, it pays to specialize. So as far as history goes, I've specialized in family history and rock trivia. Oh sure, I've picked up a few scraps of everything else along the way, like everyone.

What I know about Napoleon: He was usually scratching his chest when they took his picture. Some kind of allergy to paint. Photography was at a very rudimentary stage back then. You had to stand three hours while it developed and the only thing they had to work with was paint. Also, he was French, or at least ruled in France. But France was too small a territory for his tastes, so he sought the world. His biggest quote was, "My kingdom for something more than France." He also eventually faced his Waterloo.

Other than that, I don't know much. Although I do know he was defeated by Wellington and exiled, I think to a prison island called Elba, where he was served bread and water and Elba macaroni. That's when he escaped and tried to regain power, vowing "Never again!" Then he was again defeated, this time for the last time. They put him in a highchair, a frilly bib, stuck a feather in his cap and served him macaroni all day long, a tiny flaccid noodle. He died whimpering something about his sudden lack of self esteem.

I looked it up on the internet, what a Napoleonic complex is, and it does have something to do with self esteem. It seems you have some short guy. It has a lot to do with shortness or some other lack, real or perceived, and you end up compensating for it with a lot of bluster and grandiose ideas and schemes. If you sit in your room and that's it, people mostly leave you alone, especially women. But if you train a huge horse to acquiesce in carrying your sorry carcass around the world, all the time while you're brandishing a sword and conquering, they sit up and take notice. Women come after you for various reasons, of course, those who don't know about the complex.

There's a lot of cautionary tales that could be told from that definition. If you're short, in any area of your life, try to live within your physical means. Anytime you feel compelled to do anything beyond that, be it sword fighting, baking French bread, selling foot-long hot dogs, or erecting enormous smokestacks as part of your company, be aware there's definite issues of phallic compensation taking place. If you're a short woman and you're doing this ... well, that's a whole different issue. Women shouldn't even eat a hot dog in mixed company, let along sell them ... Bananas either.

In my whole emphasis on the lives of industrialists, I can see a lot of these Napoleonic complexes at work. Like, how did the major industrialists achieve their grand success in the first place? It'd be all those issues they had, starting when they were taking showers after gym class. Then they went off to lunch and everyone's hot dog was the same size. That was their first moment of compensation. Of course eventually that's going to result in smokestacks, big painted ones, maybe with their logo or name on it.

Now, how have they responded to the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM)? Well, a lot of their response has been behind closed doors, but you can see the failing of their compensation publicly. I'd say the RIM has affected their self esteem something like a chemical or physical castration might. Their smokestacks are suddenly coming down because of the competition. There's not as much smoke coming out. Women execs have fled their companies for bigger facilities. And so they're left, very much alone, in their plant dining room with a plate of macaroni. All macaroni is is the cut up remains of a much larger piece of macaroni somewhere. The ideal macaroni, a teaching of Plato.

At first, when I was getting into these issues back in April, it didn't occur to me that I was engaging myself in destroying some men's Napoleonic complex and making the way for others to come out!

UPDATE: You tell me why Roy Rogers rode a horse and everyone else drove jeeps.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Cavalcade Of Residential Industrialists

Something I'd love to see is a cavalcade of residential industrialists. I have some very old fashioned feelings on the old time cavalcades you used to see. I'd love to bring them back. I think they'd be something to impress the younger generation in a positive way.

But I might just be blowing smoke here, because what if you don't know what a cavalcade is? There was a story in the paper, I think it was just this morning, that said something about the younger generation growing up without a lot of the things we older folks knew. It's a list put out by Beloit College. It covers what the Class of 2014 knows and doesn't know about.

The list I have has 75 things. Number 1 is "Few in the class know how to write in cursive." This is a weird one for me. Because when I came home from school telling my mom we had to write in cursive, and this has been around 50 years ago, neither she or my dad knew what I was talking about. I'm still not sure why they said that, or maybe acted like they didn't know about cursive. Maybe it was just the word itself, because my mom had beautiful cursive penmanship and my dad sloppy. Number 2 is "E-mail is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail." E-mail is too slow? It's there in a second! Unless they mean it takes more time to get to than just a text message.

I'm not going to review the whole list. I'll just scan it here, and ... no, I don't see anything about cavalcades. But I kind of like Number 69: "The Post Office has always been going broke." How true that is! Pair that one with the fact that they seldom use snail mail and you can see the post office is doomed. They need to clean up the post office, in my opinion. You go there and you're immediately confronted with dusty, cobwebbed skeletons of people still in line from years ago. It's very discouraging. Why they ever wasted money on the three unused cash registers when they only needed one is something I'll never know. The only thing worse is Wal-Mart, where you have $200 worth of groceries heaped in a cart and they only have one lane open. I look up and think I see 35 other cash registers, although it might be a trick they do with mirrors.

Anyway, there's nothing in the list about cavalcades. Seriously, I think cavalcades were out even when I was a kid. But we used to have a lot of old time magazines that Grandma kept, and that's where I saw pictures of cavalcades. And I definitely remember seeing them on newsreels. Because that's how they inspired people back in the '40s (I saw the films later) to participate faithfully in the war effort. They'd put a butcher, a banker, a doctor, a lawyer, a factory drudge, a nurse, an ingenue, and a salty sea captain in a triangular formation, a phalanx I'd call it, and they'd be marching in place. To me, that's thrilling. Because it shows how "on the same page" everyone is, whether they live over on the West Side of town ... or over here on the East with the rest of the drudges. I technically (on Grandpa's half acre) live on the Southeast side of town, and we love it, because historically our taxes have been very very low.

I think of those marching folks from the '40s, a cavalcade of occupations, and I'm immediately inspired. Then over the years, as a kid and now as an adult, I've dreamed of other possible cavalcades. I remember back in the '70s I sketched out a whole "Cavalcade of Races." I had all the major races represented: Your whites, of whom I am a proud member, having been born that way, right in the center front, your blacks, and the other colors, yellows, reds, darker whites, off whites, extreme blacks (Somalis), pale yellows, browns, albinos, the Irish, Semites and anti-Semites, interracial contortionists, Japs, and, as they said in World War I, the Huns. Grandpa was in World War I and that's why our family still won't drive a Volkswagen: "I won't drive no Hun car!"

But I myself have always been enlightened on the racial question. I see them on TV and I'm great. I'm just real careful in the city, where you never know who you might run into! That's just being smart. But it doesn't mean I don't want people coming together. I do. In a marching cavalcade, showing the unity we have, the brotherhood of man.

And the same is what I envision for the Residential Industrial Movement. It'd be a lot like the occupations cavalcade, but it'd be the different manufacturers who make up our movement: Tire manufacturers, and those who make everything else, vats, disposable diapers, straitjackets, wheels for hospital beds, knobs, buttons, and switches. As it turns out, it takes someone to make every little thing. And when he does ... he wants to know he's not alone, but that someone else is out there with something it might fit. And a good movie or film about the Cavalcade of Residential Industrialists would go a long way to showing our unity.

I'm an old fashioned optimist, that's my problem! If I would've thought of it way back in Kindergarten, we would've been marching in a triangular phalanx right up to the school, showing the older kids we were there to stay. How do you like that? But I think Kindergarten was a Hun idea.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Industrial Salesman On Baggage

I was pumped up last night already, since it was going to be the premiere episode of the second season of Baggage on GSN. But imagine how much more thrilled I was when they introduced the first contestant. He might be one of ours!

He was introduced as "an industrial salesman from Los Angeles." Isn't that something? It's definitely something right up my alley, "an industrial salesman"! His name was Eric.

Immediately I started thinking if I might know him, since we industrialists stick together. So I'm thinking, "Eric, Eric, Eric ... do I know any Erics?" Then the thought came to me that maybe he's not a salesman for a company in the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM), but is a salesman for one of the major industrial powers. That wouldn't be quite as good, of course.

He looked a lot like one of the guys who grew up around here. Some of these guys have had one too many accidents with a shovel to the head. I've known quite a few of them. They're usually unhappy and drink on the job. Then the line starts up a little too fast for their slowed reflexes and the next thing you know you've got a dent on an expensive appliance panel. Not to mention a serious head injury. When we see their low aptitude for manual labor, we usually transfer them to sales. I was trying to place him, but it wasn't coming to me.

Spoiler Alert: If you've seen the show, you know the contestants are vying for the affection of a man or a woman. Today's episode was a little iffy on that count, as I will explain later.

But getting back to Eric ... Since I don't think he did a good job, I'm kind of hoping he's not with the RIM. On the other hand, if I knew he was from one of the major industrial powers, I would've probably changed the channel.

In the show, the contestants open a small piece of baggage, a medium piece, and a large. These correspond to the relative seriousness of a personal secret or something quirky about them. This gives the dater some information to go on, to see if one of the contestants is worth going out with. This was Eric's baggage:

Small -- "I have 24 snakes in my home."
Medium -- "I used my girlfriend's toothbrush to clean the toilet."
Large -- "I will literally sleep with any woman."

Maybe you'd think that someone with that much terrible baggage would never win. But guess what, he was the guy the girl (Helen) picked! The other guys' baggage was also very charming stuff.

At the end, then, the person picked gets to veto the date if he (in this case) doesn't like the baggage of the dater. And Helen's baggage turned out to be a whopper: "I was born a boy." Plus, as it turned out, she hasn't had the major surgery yet. This was not something Eric was willing to accept. She was extremely cute, beautiful even, but it wasn't meant to be! Which made me start wondering about Eric's "Large" baggage...

All that was very interesting. But the thing I found the most interesting was that Eric was an industrial salesman! I wonder who he works for, a major industrialist or a RIM family?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Industrialism's Cornered Dog Syndrome

I call it the cornered dog syndrome, the feelings and reactions exhibited by the major industrial powers in response to the successes of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM).

Why do I call it that? Because that's the way I see it! I'm sorry if it offends anyone!

One thing I'm not here to do is try to smooth away the rough edges of life so that no one's offended. Naturally I have creature feelings like anyone else. I don't like to see unnecessary suffering and pain. I'm able to see things from other men's point of view and put myself in their shoes, as it were. My tendency is always to alleviate as much pain and discomfort as I can, just in the normal course of life and the options it presents me.

But there are certain instances -- and this is one of them -- where I would say a man has made his bed, let him lie in it! This is one of those times, as I respond to the complaints and cavilings of the major industrial powers. They had their day -- and as I recall they didn't have any feelings for anyone else at the time. When they had the power, and of course they haven't been entirely quashed yet, they weren't reluctant to use it and capitalize on their advantage, the rest of us be d---ed!

Now, with the successes of the RIM, they've been sidelined, in many cases. And with various companies being shuttered, or bought out by RIM members, so many of these once proud executives -- the upper crust -- have found themselves quite at loose ends, unable to make heads or tails of their situation, alone and forlorn, beset with worries and grief, buffeted and battered by the strong winds of sore misfortune, kicked to the curb, and unemployed. It doesn't make for a pretty picture, at least from their point of view.

So, naturally, they're in a position, hopefully not to accomplish that much, but to lash out feverishly with whatever they've got to try to reverse their standing. They're pulling out all the stops, a typical tactic of the desperate. They're decrying their sad lot, blaming their misfortunes on others, and, I would guess, going behind our backs quite a bit, trying to reverse things behind the scenes. It's probably no secret that they'd love to spring a trap on us and find themselves suddenly once again on the top looking down. They'd love to regain their position, then add additional safeguards to make sure they kept their standing.

Anyway, I call it the cornered dog syndrome. Whether you've seen a dog literally cornered or you've just heard of it, you know the picture. A dog -- maybe he was the head of the pack -- is present. Thanks to his nature, the dog has a lot of wolf blood coursing through his veins. I'm looking down at Underbrush right now. She's lying there, very sweet, but her look is deceptive. If it came down to her survival, like if I turned out to be an abusive pet owner, which I won't, she wouldn't hesitate to take out my jugular vein if I threatened her mortally. And, to be honest, I'd also probably bite her head off if it meant the last piece of meat either of us would see for a month.

A cornered dog, then, is slightly different. But it's easy to see a dog might be cornered in a corner or by circumstances. Circumstances can vary widely, but corners are corners, so let's limit ourselves for the sake of this explanation to actual corners. The dog is in a corner. You're standing there threateningly, limiting his ability to escape. You're looming large. Perhaps your shadow is as menacing as your body. You've got your hands up like Nosferatu. There's some kind of unsavory blood/saliva mix dripping from your mouth. The dog can see your eyes aflame. Put it all together, as far as the dog knows you might be a Republican. Of course he's going to feel threatened.

How does a cornered dog react? By barking, snarling, clawing, showing his own teeth, and, eventually, he will make his move to leave the corner ... by any means!

Fellow RIM members, let's keep an eye on the major industrialists! Let us not simply luxuriate lazily in our own successes and prosperity. Let us know there are those who would still take it all away from us, and that there are those who have an evil eye out for us. These cornered dogs ... they're still very dangerous, until, at long last, we finally put them ... to sleep.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Paying Your Industrial Dues

This last week we've all been working together -- feverishly, in the case of those who really went all out -- to help people with the extreme heat, then the high flood waters.

We've got the means of production now, thanks to the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM), so there's no excuse not to do our best. Before, we could always wait on the kindness of strangers -- nameless, faceless corporate fat cats hiding behind a smokestack somewhere, doing their best to avoid the riffraff. I don't know about you, but I never liked that system, especially if you knew they'd just as soon kick you when you're down as look at you.

But now, how great it is! When the word goes out that people are dropping like flies from the extreme high heat, someone can do something about it. Air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses. Or when we hear that the rising flood waters are scouting the area and are about to make an assault -- including many boldfaced incursions in broad daylight -- we can fight back. You can't spray it, swat it, or kill it. But you can fight against it if you have something to work with. Hip waders, boats, mold repellent, sump pumps, and scuba gear.

I don't mind saying, we're gettin' it done! We're beatin' back the heat! We're evaporatin' the flood waters, or channelin' it away, settin' it on a downstream trajectory to somewhere else. We're kickin' some hot booty, we're kickin' some liquid booty.

And it wasn't the feckless "major" industrial powers who did it. They're still hiding behind whatever smokestacks they've got left. I've personally heard of several air conditioner companies, the old majors, who've had to shutter their factories. And they're saying it's the same glad story for the fan companies, the sprinkler hose people, the sump pump companies, the ones who make hip waders, mold repellent, and scuba gear. Except, depending on where you live, like if it's near an ocean, the scuba people are still able to find a few customers for their shoddy wares.

Where's this leave them? Their employees are starting up their own residential factories, of course. But many of the company officials, who've spent most of their lives in the executive break room and couldn't actually manufacture their way out of a paper bag, have been seen applying for the easier jobs at our factories, reportedly preferring any work in pencil pushing we might have available.

So I'm proud of you all. It's becoming one big RIM world out there! We're able to get things done. Like with the air conditioners, we've got so many factories making so many things, it's great. We're able to keep the supply side so high there's a permanent glut of goods, thus keeping the price dirt cheap. And that means there's very little out of pocket expense on the part of the consumer, so, really, anything's possible!

We've been paying our dues, and now we see the fruits of it, a happy nation, a happy world, many happy people. For those who aren't paying your dues, don't blame us, if, say, you suddenly find yourself hiding behind a smokestack, then when you're finally smoked out, we just don't happen to have any pencil pushing jobs available and you're forced to fend for yourself, alone or perhaps on the run, isolated somewhere, maybe wearing a very cheap straitjacket on a desert island.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wonderful, Incredible, Thick Industrialism

The Mysticism of Industrialism

This is a thing about the thickness of industrialism, as perceived intuitively and internally. It's a beautiful thing.

But like most things involving mysticism or spirituality in general, to communicate the experience in a meaningful way for others is difficult. What I will do, then, is not worry so much whether I'm communicating anything in particular, as I would intend, but just hope that the spirit of the thing might be something that might do you some good as well.

Even now I'm excited by the feeling of sitting in a spacious factory after hours, listening intently for the various sounds that happen. Of course I have my own tire factory in my back yard, and a warehouse, and an electrical generating plant, so I have some great places to engage in the exhilarating work of the spirit. In addition, I have very good neighbors, who allow me to visit their factories anytime I want. As I have some of these deeper experiences, I will try to convey something of that, as a matter of blessing, I hope for one and all.

Have you ever given a really close focus to something? Most people have, I know. But there is a focus beyond just the eyes or just a conscious picture of a particular thing. If you think of someone staring at a candle, that's the same as having a conscious picture of a particular thing. There is a focus you can glimpse beyond that, if (and this is a big if) you are content to see it for a second or less. For me, any kind of trying to cling to it breaks the spell and leads to frustration. But if I'm willing to focus on it for a split second, then see it beyond, not as staring at it, but as realizing it in the background, as though I'm behind it and not encroaching on it, it is "seen" for a little while longer. Consciousness is both your friend and your enemy, your enemy if you try to consciously picture it, but your friend if you see it in this indirect way.

Sitting in my own factory -- how beautiful, my own factory -- I can hear the drip, drip, drip of a pipe. I know that's my sink. Maybe you didn't know this, but there's a certain amount of water needed to make tires. You need to cool the tread after giving it its final layer of rubber. That settles it and makes it tougher. Or something like that. What I actually know about the science of making tires is very little. I just follow a recipe I got somewhere in an old tire manual. The point I'm trying to make is, with water you get some interesting drip, drip, drip noises. I really like it when that happens. It speaks to me of going beyond, since its job is finished as it relates to the tire, but its continuance nonetheless has a useful function spiritually for me, a coincidence that may have a more dynamic intent behind it.

The focus then gives way to going beyond the focus. Something very "lugubrious" happens. Is that the right word? What I mean is something very "heavy" happens, possibly starting in the legs and working its way up, or, alternatively, starting in the forehead area and working its way down. This heaviness is fascinating but also not without its frustrating element. Much as I said above, the whole thing of being conscious of experiences can be a detriment. But as for myself, I have a tough time getting past that. So, again, as said above, I'm finding some contentment in those stray seconds of insight -- like maybe you don't really need much more than that.

These drips lead to a lot of thought. I was at the park one day and something about this really hit me. Have you ever really examined one of these picnic tables at the park, the ones like this: they're metallic with a plastic overlay and they have thousands of holes in them? They're not like the old fashioned picnic tables that have a solid surface. If you know what I'm talking about, look underneath one the next time you see it. What you'll see is thousands of drips of plastic stuff caught in mid-drip. It's an interesting thing! In the factory where they were made, they obviously dipped it in something liquid, then it all hardened in mid-drip. That's a beautiful picture of something very spiritual, that I would recommend you aim for!

I hope these picnic tables are made by someone in the Residential Industrial Movement. If not, I hope they're made by someone who doesn't entirely adhere to the standards of the major industrialists. Because they're on to something, they must have a very humane approach. I'd like to sit in one of their factories after dark, just to see how righteous they are. Can you imagine what it must be like to hear that plastic drip, drip, dripping ... then suddenly to hear it quit dripping? Question: What if it continued to drip in your mind? Would that excite you?

Thank you for joining me in this mental/spiritual exercise. I'm sorry if it doesn't make much sense. I probably will allow these posts infrequently, lest I lose your support on a daily basis. Thank you for thinking of me. You must know I'm thinking of you.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Residential Industrialists Feted In Appreciation Parade

Someone yesterday -- someone with great organizational skills, I'd have to say -- organized a community appreciation event to honor the residential industrialists of our city, for our humanitarian initiatives of the last few days.

It was a great sight -- and a great reminder of the spirit of a people when they can come together in common cause. In this case, we've been facing an enemy that none of us care for when it turns evil, and that's the weather.

Mark Twain famously said on his blog, 'No one does anything about it," referring to the weather, but, thanks to modern conveniences, the great humorist at this late date turns out to be wrong. In the face of bitterly hot temps, we step forth with air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses. And in the face of pounding rains and unprecedented floods, we step forth with hip waders, boats, sandbags, and the like.

Who did all of this? Clue: It wasn't the major industrial powers! The "usual suspects," those who've been screwing us for years with "mainstream" manufacturing, stood on the sidelines, and more or less said, "You haven't got an air conditioner in this sweltering heat? Get a second job and maybe you can afford one!" They said, more or less, "Floods getting you down? We have a few boats and sandbags we can sell you, if you take out a second mortgage on your home to pay for it, which, incidentally, happens to be floating by even now as we speak!" We've heard of a homeowner being "under water," but this is ridiculous!

That's one of the ways the majors have been screwing us for years, by manufacturing just enough stuff to keep the prices high and the supply low. So you end up with a situation where there's one air conditioner for every third person who wants one. The way it is with fans is a little better, but fans aren't quite as good. You never hear of a house for sale where they tout they have "centralized fan." It's always air conditioners. And it's been forever since I heard anyone get that excited about a sprinkler hose!

No, it was those of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM), who proved to be the neighbors we could count on. And, look, there's a built in advantage the RIM has: We have millions of factories in most of the neighborhoods of the country, doing nothing but turning out products for the consumer market. We can't tell one man what to make in his factory. It's completely up to him. So, let's say we have 40 men in town who have an idea to make paper plates, that's their business. Before, maybe you never ever heard of a paper plate manufacturer in your town; it was rare. Now, if we have 40, that's great! One, everyone has quick access to what they're making. And, two, there's such a glut, the prices are extremely low, dirt cheap. And that's what we like!

So they organized an appreciation march yesterday, which is what I'd guess you'd call it. They put the word out for RIM members to bring a sample of their air conditioners, fans, sprinkler hoses, hip waders, boats, sandbags, etc., everything we've been making the last few days to battle the terrible heat and crazy rain and flooding. And they came! Some with trucks, some with cars, some with carts or wagons! One guy, who normally makes supplies for horses, brought a horse drawn carriage literally loaded with both air conditioners and boats his plant has been making. Talk about "beasts of burden!" These horses are going to feel it in the morning!

Of course there were shouts of acclamation. Very wild stuff. It's the first parade I've seen where the crowds lining the street were spontaneously (without any planning or prompting, but simply out of great appreciation) throwing candy to the folks in the parade. And, I believe I'm saying this accurately, they don't even do that in North Korea (known for their unusual parades). Because we're good neighbors fighting a common enemy, weather that needs to get its act together, getting together in a full-throated way.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Residential Industrialists Battle The Elements

What a day! A terrible day, but there were some rewarding moments. I'm trying to keep it real, so I know there's more rewarding things going on out there. It's just that I have my own limited perspective, so I have to believe it's better than it seemed.

Of course the call went out in the last couple of days for the industrial community -- those of the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) -- to retool and switch over from whatever they were manufacturing to make air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses. We've been battling the heat, with every day being a scorcher.

But we barely got that going when the rains came down and the floods came up. Numerous houses and businesses and public facilities have had a hard time enduring the floods, apparently having been built on the sand, and unfortunately they've gone splat.

So through the day everything shifted quickly. There's lots more voices than mine, of course. Thank God, I say that from my perspective. The time I have in a day isn't time enough to get much done. It takes me a half hour to take Underbrush out for her business in the morning! Although to be fair, part of that is also taken up with feeding and watering the cat. Then I'm writing these reports -- searching for just the right words -- and I put in maybe another half hour on this.

There's nothing centralized here on me, which would be ridiculous. But being the philosophical father of the movement, of course there is some deference. However -- and, again, I'm thankful it's this way -- human nature out there takes its own course; every man is an expert in his own mind, and some want to do it one way and some another. As far as man's greed, there's a lot of that. And there's all the basic troubles with logistics, supply lines, troubles with design and functionality, etc. The short story is, if it takes a half hour to take a dog out to do her business, it takes a little while to retool and start manufacturing air conditioners, fans, and even sprinkler hoses.

Add to that the fact that Mother Nature has her other elements to unleash on us -- PMS in high places -- so we're also battling her crazy downpours and subsequent floods. I was downtown (this is true) and I was examining a cement incline between some of the buildings. I didn't have a pitcher of water with me but I was trying to visualize what would happen if I could pour one on that incline. My sense was that it would rush down the hill rather than staying in place at my feet at the top. If there's a principle there, I feel it would be the same principle operating to create this havoc from too much water that so many have been reporting.

Again, I can't handle it all, and because of human nature (O felix culpa) I didn't have to! The ink on the pledge cards wasn't even dry before folks were experiencing the problems with manufacturing entirely different appliances. And add to that all the troubles with the floods and the quick sense that we needed to be also manufacturing hip waders, sandbags, jinx spray, boats, rafts, sump pumps, scuba gear, umbrellas, mold scrapers, and downspouts. Others much more knowledgeable than I were all over this thing, and by the end of the day I heard reports of trucks leaving some of our bigger industrial plants loaded with some supplies. What, exactly? I don't know, but I hope there was at least a few air conditioners, fans, and sprinkler hoses, in addition to whatever folks need to battle the waters. Maybe we don't need sprinkler hoses at this point; I'll just throw that out there.

As for myself, what can I do? The dog and cat are taken care of, the blog is written, so I guess I'll go out to the shop and do what I can toward making a working air conditioner. It's harder than it looks ... and very frustrating if you don't have the slightest clue where to start...