Sunday, 1 June 2014

09:31 – May turned out to be an okay month for kit sales, thanks in part to a bulk order for 30 kits. As of the end of May, YTD revenues for 2014 are about where YTD 2013 revenues were through early August, which is good. We’re also in pretty good shape on finished kits, enough to last us through June and maybe into July. So now we can spend the next six weeks getting more kits built for the rush from mid-July through mid-September.

32 thoughts on “Sunday, 1 June 2014”

  1. A beeyooteeful day so fah here; and the engines have started roaring, natch. The neighbor has said “don’t worry, winter will be here again soon enough and we’ll have our peace and quiet back…” Swell. And also three or four feet of snow and temps near zero.

  2. Don’t you have some kind of noise ordinance? Or ordnance, come to that.

  3. Would a readily-available RC flying drone be able to survive a sudden jarring, such as from detonating an explosive in a metal tube? I was thinking a drone with a camera could be steered and pointed, and then an explosive going off near a revving car or a barking dog would, um, quiet the noise.

    Just kicking ideas around here… not thinking illegal thoughts and certainly not encouraging anyone to do anything illegal… Er, I mean, I’m building kits.

  4. I am looking into noise ordinances, if any, probably based on time of day or sumthin, and seeing what the apparently high level of toleration is here in the village for this nonsense, probably based on the economic values to the gas station/store and the pub. Also the bait and tackle shop in the vicinity. “Gee, if the kidz are buyin’ cases of shitty Murkan lager every day plus ciggies, why not let them blow off steam and blast their cars and trucks a hundred times a day past the little kids with their visiting families, the fishermen, and on this street, the neighbors with toddler grandchildren and everyone with pets.”

    I thought of that RC plane and helicopter caper, too; not sure how that would work and in terms of ordnance I’m….building kits…in anticipation of the late summuh rush…yeah, that’s it…

  5. Dunno what the rules are – sometimes they’re pretty mysterious. Also depends on the police being interested in enforcement.

    Just to take a local example: We have very strict rules about noise on Sundays – no lawn mowing, no power tools outside. Heck, I once got yelled at for working on a dry stone wall, tink-tinking away with my hammer and chisel.

    There are also rules about how much noise a car engine is allowed to make.

    So: take a nice sunny Sunday afternoon and the motorcycles all apparently take off their mufflers and go roaring down whatever curvy street they can find. This is particularly annoying in the mountains, where the engine noise from a pack of these idiots echos for miles down the valleys. And nobody seems to care. Weird…

  6. Ditto here; the roar of motorcycles and apparently the mufflers are missing or have holes punched in them on the cars and trucks, too. And again, yeah, no one seems to care; the continued dumbing down and mass acquiescence to loud, obnoxious and boorish behavior. Say anything and people look at you like you’re an annoying old fogy and why don’t you just STFU and go back to yer books and radio. Well yeah, I would, except those assholes make it pretty difficult.

    Really nice day here, otherwise; re-assembling the king-size bed and boy what a hassle that has been, hours, when it should have taken minutes.

  7. Times have definitely changed. Headlights and mufflers used to fail in the ’60’s and ’70’s much more than they do now. For a good 12 years, I worked on the late news, which ended at 10:30pm in summers and 11:30 in winters (when Indiana did not change time). A couple of times, my muffler blew or a headlight went out — either on the way to work or just as I was starting up to go home — and sure enough, before I traversed the 20 minutes home, I was stopped by some cop and given a ticket. Nevermind that I told him my situation and at 11:30 at night, there was no place open for me to go to get the problem fixed.

    I had 14 days to get repairs (although you really only have 1 day, because here, they can ticket you separately for each and every time a cop may stop you), then take the receipt to court, pay the fine, and hope that the next time, the muffler did not blow going home at near midnight. If you did not bring an ‘I had it fixed’ receipt, the fine was trebled.

    Nowadays, ANY Harley is far, FAR louder than the broken muffler on my Olds Cutlass that had been built with a Chevy 327 (unbeknownst to me at the time of purchase) made in Ontario that was very problematic and had to have the valves replaced every 15,000. Who gets pulled over for loud mufflers today? Nobody in my neighborhood. One of the workers for the construction honcho behind me, drives a Subaru without a muffler, to the morning gang call when they all depart together for the job, and has not had that fixed since I moved into Tiny House 4 years ago. My second cousin once-removed, who lives 2 doors down, bought a used Chevy pickup 2 years ago with no muffler, and does not ever seem to have been stopped.

    This is why I want to live in an earth sheltered house. It is very quiet in a basement, as one basement apartment proved to me.

    As Brad noted, noise is a very big deal in German-speaking regions. In fact, most motorcycles were (not sure all still are) so quiet that they could sneak up on you totally unawares. Chain-driven bikes you could hear; shaft-driven ones, like BMW’s, were dead silent. Harleys were just appearing on the scene when I left Berlin. Not sure how that has washed out.

    Same deal as with Brad: no construction noise or lawn mowing before 08:00 or after 17:30, and no noise between 12:30 and 14:00 (that one was often violated) and absolutely no noise of any kind on Sundays all day. Mechanical noise is a bane to the German psyche — dishwashers and washing machines are dead silent (people do not believe me when I say you have to put your head down next to the dishwasher door to hear if it is running); vacuum cleaners are so silent that marketing studies show Americans will not believe they actually work without lots of noise; and power tools produce less than half the noise of American equivalents. The Stihl chain saw we bought for stepson to cut wood for the wood-burning stoves was unbelievably quiet, compared to what I hear around me now.

  8. I may move to Germany.

    If for nothing else, some peace and quiet on Sundays again.

    I remember when I was a kid in a small Massachusetts town that on Sundays you might hear a small plane overhead once in a while and occasionally somebody’s reel mower.

    Now it’s just like any other day of the week only worse. Thank God we got rid of all those horrible, terrible, nasty and oppressive Puritan “blue laws.”

  9. Thank God we got rid of all those horrible, terrible, nasty and oppressive Puritan “blue laws.”

    Well, we can agree on that.

  10. Me, too.

    I never have figured out why cars cannot be sold on Sunday, but lawn mowers from the hardware store can be. Buying a new car is a pretty quiet process, but knowing that lawn mower is going to be grinding away loudly in somebody’s neighborhood in mere minutes is a strange contradiction.

    I don’t really know, because I don’t buy liquor out-of-state, but I am told that Indiana is the last state in the union that still bans alcohol sales on Sunday. Of course, it could be an alcoholic telling me that.

  11. I had a post here earlier about our struggles back in the day to buy beer on Sundays in Ye Olden Commonwealth of Maffachufetts, but it hath disappeared entirely and just now had error messages trying to load this site, something about a new network config or something.

  12. I do not enjoy beer, and that is probably a good thing, because I have enough Lakota blood in me that the firewater would likely consume me if I learned to like it, as it has some of my relatives in the Lakota lineage. I do enjoy decent wine, however, and agree with Jeff Duntemann that good wine must taste like fruit from which it is made, or it just is not a pleasant experience. It was hard to get bad wine in Europe, but it sure ain’t here. A relative introduced me to a Brussels-made Lambic wine (well, I guess it is technically a beer, but it tastes like wine) that probably is about 4€ a bottle there, but more than 3 times that here. Again, probably a little too enjoyable for the Lakota blood. I could easily have had the whole expensive bottle.

  13. Chuck, you would probably like the winery I visited this past Saturday:

    All the wine is made from other fruit rather than grape, and clearly tastes exactly like the fruit it’s made from. The GF wasn’t fussy about it, preferring an Argentine Malbec, but the Raspberry and Black Currant were simply delicious. I plan of using the bottle of Black Currant I purchased over ice cream. The website needs to update their product list as they now have 16 types.

    I drink enough wine to state that there are great, passable and downright terrible wines available from every wine producing country. I think most wineries in North America are simply too young to produce the quality that is plentiful in the Olde World.

  14. Since Bill mentioned a winery, I just thought I’d mention this list of Indiana Wineries. It seems Indiana is chock full of wineries. There aren’t any in Smallville or Tiny Town, but there are wineries very close to both.

  15. Been to a couple. Much more expensive than I want to pay, though. In Europe, wine is for washing down food, because water was historically not potable. The Europeans I was around would never pay more than a few euro for a bottle of wine — and it was good. Not here in the US. Acceptable wine starts at $5/bottle and goes waaay up. I can’t like that. Fortunately, we have had pure water here in America almost since the beginning, so I don’t really need wine. It is just party stuff.

  16. I have to disagree about wine prices. It can be fine for Eur5, but that is on the low end. Most wine that we drink is twice or three times that. We are too old for crappy wine – better to drink it less often, and then get something worth paying attention to.

  17. Prices may be higher in Swissland, and they may have increased in Deutschland since I left, for all I know, but the family had wine with every meal, and would never think of paying more than €5/bottle (usually 3 or 4), and it was decent wine. In Germany, it has always been a contest over which is cheaper — beer or water. When I left, beer was 55 cents a bottle and water was 65 cents. My understanding is that prices of everything were more expensive in southern Germany than in the North, but when I got back to the US and saw Aldi selling some of the same wine we bought in Berlin for nearly three times what we paid in Germany, I quit buying it.

    I do agree with you that getting older means fewer willing compromises in many aspects of life, not only wine. I am taking a lot of heat from friends over buying a new car. My friends are nosy enough to tell me I should never buy anything but used. I have told them that I have only had one new car in my entire life (my first) and I definitely intend to have another before I check out.

  18. I agree about new cars: that’s all I’ve ever bought, and they have lasted. Bought my first car in 1980, replaced in 1993, replaced in 2012. All new – I’m not keen on buying someone else’s problems.

  19. We have a city ordinance in our town of 4,900 that states after 8PM you cannot make any noise on your property that can be heard inside of someone else’s home (if their doors/windows are closed). Mostly it’s ignored as plenty of people are still finishing mowing their yards after 8PM in the long days of June and July. They usually only enforce it for obnoxious parties and the like.

    I don’t like how every white collar douchebag has run out and bought a Harley-Davidson they only drive on the weekends. The exhaust noise on Saturdays and Sundays is horrendous. I seriously don’t know how the mufflers on those motorcycles are street legal. Harley-Davidsons have become the new mid-life crisis vehicle for men in search of their long lost youth. No longer is it the convertible sports car.

    I’m a bit of a noise hater. 🙂

  20. Me, too, and fully agreed on the Peter Pan Syndrome writ large in our society for middle-aged douchebag male cretins. That and the big whoop over classic cars, which they like to scrub out with every summuh down in Woostuh when they have their big weekend on Main Street there. Quoted often as really digging the clouds of black smoke in the air they generate.

    Now all the morons are buying up AR rifles and loading them with all kinds of gimcracks and geegaws; I’d like to see one of them trying to bail out of his vehicle in a hurry some day with one of those. And the pistols are all semi-autos and it’s great the sound makes when you rack a shell in the pump shotgun, makes the perps pee their pants, etc., etc. Uh, you don’t wanna be racking a shell at that point of the encounter, cupcake.

    Better take cover now; the wife, MIL and daughter pod is now several hours past late in their return from Montreal and are going crazy in the car (just got the phone call) trying to beat traffic tie-ups, due to road and bridge repairs, and trying to find the DMV here because at the very last minute this morning daughter decides she needs to renew her operator’s permit. Then they’ll get here and there will be tons of angst and melodrama and bullshit, although I see the bags are packed, so maybe this will work out. But MIL will be steaming in the car and her darlings will be lollygagging and messing around, seen it all before, gonna go hide in the bushes now…later…

  21. OFD, if the mother-in-law is steaming, it’s only courteous to cool her down. If only you had a large quantity of cold water she could be dunked in…

    Chad and OFD, you need to look to history for guidance. If mounted enemies were harassing the non-mounted locals, the thing to do was get pole-arms, dismount the mounted enemies, and then finish defeating them once they were on the ground.

    For quick-and-easy pole arms in this day and age, you’d probably do fine with a 10′ length of half-inch iron pipe, available from most hardware stores. Set the pipe on the street next to the curb, wait for middle-aged douchebags to start going up and down the street and … get to work building kits.

    (For what it’s worth, I had a 10′ iron pipe that I picked up as a tool (not a part) for a home repair project, then used for martial arts training. Wing Chun uses long poles, held on end as a thrusting weapon, rather like a pole arm without the blade. After practicing with that 10′ iron pipe, a 10′ wooden pole felt like a toothpick.)

  22. The MIL was right to be steamed; daughter once again commandeered the entire day and ran them ragged, all unnecessary bullshit to make a long story short. Then once the wife is really steaming our lovely daughter likes to ask her: “Why are you so mad?” “Why are you so upset?” “Why are you so stressed?” “Calm down!” “Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.”

    If you essay the proposition that perhaps SHE is the prime cause and mover of all the stress and anger, she’ll argue with you then until the cows come home and never stop. Been going on for at least seventeen years now and counting. Wife is about fed up with it and at least now admits that’s what’s going on, which she wouldn’t before.

    I just stay the hell out of it; if I had been running the day today it all would have been successfully completed by noon at the latest and if any one or all of them could not deal with that, then tough shit. They know that and so never have me running their day, much better to have all the angst and melodrama and suffering, I guess, more fun or sumthin. Here it is now after seven; this should have all been done by four at the absolute latest, and they just left here an hour ago and the crap is still going on down at MIL’s, who has probably collapsed and gone to bed. The other two have to be up at 04:00 for a flight out to Kalifornia; one or the other will still be rushing around while the cab sits outside, guaranteed.

    Just had the usual “rush hour” of loud engines, scrubbing out, people yelling; this all seems to shut down mostly by 9 PM on weeknights, so I guess I can’t bitch too much.

    Still, the Wing Chun idea looks like more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

    And now back to chores, errands, housework, job search…and building kits….

  23. [snip] it’s great the sound makes when you rack a shell in the pump shotgun, [snip]

    Around here, that sound is preceded by a very loud BOOM! Or it least it would be, if all the find people hadn’t mysteriously lost their scatterguns.

    And as far as I know, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina all still prohibit alcohol sales, at least of the package variety, on The Lord’s Day.

  24. OFD wrote:

    ‘Then once the wife is really steaming our lovely daughter likes to ask her: “Why are you so mad?” “Why are you so upset?” “Why are you so stressed?” “Calm down!” “Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out.” ‘

    Very sorry Dave, looks like my younger niece has been giving lessons to Princess. Those are practically Emily’s lines, word for word.

  25. Chad wrote:

    “Harley-Davidsons have become the new mid-life crisis vehicle for men in search of their long lost youth. No longer is it the convertible sports car. ”

    Man, where have you been? HDs have been the cure for male mid life crisis for over 20 years.

    I’m tempted to get my first motor bike *and* a sports car, when I put together a bit more dough.

  26. My dad bought a motorcycle midlife, just after my brother and I finished high school. He had one before he was married, however — so I never considered it midlife “crisis” motivated. Timed it just right. He bought a BMW for around $5k, and sold it less than 10 years later for $9k. Due to appreciation of the Deutschmark (or devaluation of the US$, however you want to look at it). He wasn’t into midlife noise, though. That thing was as quiet as all BMW’s.

    Once saw a guy with a Harley get one of those harmonic motion things going, right in front of me on an Interstate. Started slow and gained momentum faster than he could come to a stop. He lost it and ended up in the hospital. He could not even lay the bike down. Actually, he was a cycle-assigned Sheriff’s deputy, but was riding his own Harley. He quit riding bikes after that little episode.

  27. I never have figured out why cars cannot be sold on Sunday,

    For the same reason you can’t buy cars direct from the manufacturer. Car dealers want it that way. And car dealers are a very strong lobby.

  28. What’s the deal with Harley -Davidsons and noise? Are they intentionally louder than they need to be?

  29. What’s the deal with Harley -Davidsons and noise? Are they intentionally louder than they need to be?

    Yes. “Loud pipes save lives” is the motto.

  30. Yes. “Loud pipes save lives” is the motto.

    So do four wheels instead of two. 🙂

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