Prepare to enter a world of both shadow and substance

Take a journey of body, mind and spirit where you'll encounter things you won't find anywhere else.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Don't Tread On Me

I just wanted to post this so you could get a good look at it. If you remember your high school history lessons, you'll know it is the Gadsden Flag, made famous in our Revolutionary War. The one where we fought for that little thing called "freedom." You may remember it well!
You're probably going to be seeing a lot more of this particular symbol in the coming days and weeks because the federal government of the United States has now decided that it stands for domestic terrorism! Exactly why are we paying these guys and gals!? To try and get us to fall for propaganda such as this?
You haven't heard the last of this story.


I just had to comment on this amusing little exchange.
A user over on the Joepedia wiki made this little comment on his user page:
"I get around - mostly minor edits, so the only reason I have a username is that nobody respects a string of numbers."
I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I made a reply to this statement. When you realize the user name he chose for himself is "ButtButt," you'll see why I had no choice but to say:
"Good point about people not respecting strings of numbers. Now, a name like ButtButt is something they certainly will respect!"

Do people actually use that thing between their ears anymore?

Meet George Jetson

Baby Boomers like myself probably remember The Jetsons better than anybody else. It was a cartoon set way into the future and depicted a society where humanity didn't have to work much anymore and when they did, they simply had to push buttons and computers did all the work. The only problem with that vision is that the reality is much different. Now we have computers that can "push the button," so to speak, without the need for human involvement. A good point to illustrate this is this:
I was "promoted" to being an administrator over on the great Wikipedia project, in one of the little side-wikis known as the Hot Wheels Wiki. The first task I was told to always be sure and do was to greet new users when they first appeared. It was imperative that this be done, so as to make sure users would stick around to do more work, editing the wiki and uploading new pictures. Well, I agreed to take on this charge and loved the responsibility of doing this important task. It was nice to be able to greet each new user personally, and with helpful suggestions that would get them up and running on something that can be complicated. If I had only had some of the hints that I'm aware of now when I joined, there could have been a lot less trouble.
But now, the great staff of Wikipedia has been upgrading everything and adding new features. One of them is, you guessed it, automatic software that greets every new user within 1 minute - 60 seconds - of when they first join. Now, this might be a good thing, but I enjoyed doing that task myself and making each greeting a personal thing, from a real person and not a "'bot." What is a person to do when progress keeps making people obsolete? I'm practically not needed anymore over on the wiki, thanks to all the new features.
What was the purpose of humanity again? Are you now or have you ever been?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Diecast Copies

Did you know that there are diecast companies that copy other companies' designs? Sad, but true. Rather than go to the expense of creating their own original designs, they'll just copy somebody else's that has already been released. Personally, I can't conceive how a person or company in a creative field such as this could ever even think about copying somebody else's work. Where's the joy of creation? Anyway, it does happen more often than you'd think, so it will probably continue to happen for just as long as diecast cars and trucks are made. Here are a few notable examples.

Above you will see a fine Porsche 911 Turbo cast in 1:64 scale, made by Tomica. Below, you will a pretty good copy of the same exotic car, only this one was made by Welly.

Here's an ambulance model made by Hot Wheels, called an "American Ambulance." Below you will see an almost identical copy, even down to the tampo design, made by Maisto. You tell me, was this intentional or not?

This is the Deora, made by Mattel in 1968. Below you can see a copy of it from Argentina. It was made by a company called Muky, and as far as I can tell, they named it "Furgon."

Pretty similar, eh? If you like copies, some of them are quite well made and sport features sometimes not found on the original versions. So, keep your eyes open as they "send in the clones."