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May Day — Why Now?
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May Day

The May Day association with labor is all American, and just as controversial as everything of any consequence in history. The day is tied to a strike for the eight-hour day and the so-called “Haymarket Riot” of 1886. When it comes to “riots” and the Chicago police are involved, you are not going to find a single truth.

The dynamic duo that mucked up the Pledge of Allegiance, Dwight Eisenhower and his Republican Congress, made May 1st both Law Day and Loyalty Day so those Commie working people wouldn’t get any ideas about having rights.

Most of the rest of the world honors the efforts of the American worker in 1886 by making this Labour Day.

The real significance was that it is unlikely there was going to be another freeze and it is probably safe to start planting crops, so a fertility festival is in order. This is to ensure a good crop, not to get together and have a good time before getting to the backbreaking work of farming, really.


1 Badtux { 05.01.08 at 8:52 pm }

It really pisses me off that the U.S. has to celebrate Labor Day on some weird day in September rather than on May 1 like the rest of the world. What it means is that one day in September, I’m out of the office while my employees overseas are in their offices. And now I’m sitting here in my office while my employees overseas that I supervise are out of theirs, so I won’t know until next week whether my last suggestion to them regarding why the front-panel LCD display wasn’t displaying the desired stuff for them with their version of the driver (and *was* working for me and my version of the driver here in my office) actually worked.

Being weird was okay when the U.S. was 90% of the world’s economy. But that’s not true anymore, add China and Europe together (both places being where I have co-workers) and they are double the size of the U.S. economy. It’s time we got with the program and admit that we are no longer #1. And only barely #2. Sigh.

– Badtux the Supervising-thin-air Penguin

2 Bryan { 05.01.08 at 9:47 pm }

It would be so absurd if the choice of the day weren’t based on events in the US. It’s like the only place in the world an event is honored, except in the country it happened. We are so weird.

It would be so nice if we finally got with the program and switched to the metric system like the rest of the world. It would make selling what few things we still make in this country so much easier.

Ah well, it’s not like working on my MGB with three sets of wrenches: SAE, metric, and Whitworth.

3 hipparchia { 05.02.08 at 1:15 am }

tiny british convertibles, i love them all, but you need 3 of them: the one you’re driving, the one you’re working on, and the one you keep to cannibalize for parts.

4 Bryan { 05.02.08 at 9:14 am }

Other than messing with the two pots from the plumbers [Skinner Union of SU carburetors fame is a plumbing parts manufacturer] the “B” was fairly easy to live with, but I had a former factory racing team mechanic working on it when I was in Monterey and he removed all of the extra, worthless bits and showed me how to do things the easy way, as well as telling me what to do when, and what spare parts to have on hand. Oh, it was the GT not the convertible.

5 hipparchia { 05.02.08 at 9:43 pm }

my ex was into triumphs. they’re great pets, fun to work on if you’ve got reliable transportation [triumphs will make you look kindly on chevettes], and eye-catching. great fun to tootle around town in in top-down weather.

i admit it, i coveted my neighbor’s midget.

6 Bryan { 05.02.08 at 10:04 pm }

I would buy a Sprite [Bugeye] or a Midget if I had the spare cash and place to work on one. The were just fun to tool around in and not as much work as the “B” and TR3/4. For looks I would love an Austin Healey 3000.

7 hipparchia { 05.04.08 at 2:08 am }
8 Kryten42 { 05.04.08 at 6:07 am }

Last year, I was helping a friend of mine build a complete Lotus Elan for a client of his. 🙂 He has en engineering company and specialises in Lotus parts (he machines some of his own, others he gets 3rd party and modifies) and service. He pretty much looks after all the Lotus Cars in Aus. He has a few customers with a lot of money that want a special Lotus built. it takes about a year to do (sometime more depending on requirements, workload, etc). He swears they are much better than the original! 😉 He’s an expat Brit and worked for Lotus years ago. He’s also an IT (old skool) guy which is how we met. 🙂 Was fun working on that with him. 🙂 Later this year, I’ll be designing his new website (when the current contract expires).

I almost bought an MGB (actually, I was tossing up between an MGB and an E-type) many years ago (80’s), but I was made an offer on a Porsche 928 S4 that was too hard to resist! Then I learned about the *cost of maintenance and ownership*! Brake pads cost about $80 each (twin front calipers and a rear on big swiss-cheesed disks meant 12 pads a year), a new clutch plate cost about $4k, etc! It WAS a dream to drive though! A real road car! It hated the city. LOL I used to do a lot of long trips back then to Sydney and Canberra. Still, it was good value. When I sold it 5 years later, I made a profit. 😀 It was the safest car to drive I ever owned. Saved my life twice in fact! I hated to sell it, but I got badly sick and lost my business and had to get rid of anything I didn’t need to pay the bills. Shit happens. 🙂

9 Bryan { 05.04.08 at 2:12 pm }

Sure, Hipparchia, throw temptation out there.

We brought an Elan back from Britain in several trips one year after one of the guys bought it “factory direct”. It was in the open space at the back of the aircraft and the custom guy kept refusing to believe it was a car. A great deal if you were handy with a wrench. Of course, after he put it together it seemed like he was constantly picking up parts for it.

The 928 was a beautiful car. My brother bought a 944 from the factory after a big payday for a job overseas. and I was looking at the 914 when I was stationed at Rhein-Main, but now he drives a new VW Beetle and I drive a Honda Civic.

I sold the ‘B’ to buy a VW convertible. That was a car that held it’s value.

You have to have the wide open highways to make a touring car reasonable…OK, semi-reasonable…OK, to sort of justify one in any way.

10 hipparchia { 05.04.08 at 6:58 pm }

i’ve had that page bookmarked for ages. it’s practically the cute overload of cars.

ur justuficashun process, ir familyar with it. 🙂

there are two kinds of people who buy such cars: the people who won’t let anyone near their new baby, and the people whose enjoyment is compounded by sharing. back when i was a newly-licensed teenager, one of the latter types showed up with his new lotus at a horse show [or some related horsey event] that i was participating in, and let several complete strangers [including me!] take turns taking it for a spin. there was’t any place available to really try it out at the time, but it was fun to drive anyway. that was probably the genesis of my love affair with small, sporty [and in some cases, speedy], british convertibles.

11 Bryan { 05.04.08 at 7:56 pm }

I had a chance to pick up a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, but I just couldn’t do it. I knew that if I bought the car I would be obsessed with it and afraid to drive it. I needed to be able to get back and forth to work, and it would be incredibly stupid to own a car that you wouldn’t leave in the parking lot for fear something would happen to it. It was the classic silver with a black leather interior and was in the estate of a doctor. It was a beautiful thing, but an object for a collector, not a driver…and my insurance agent swore he would shoot me if I bought it.

12 Kryten42 { 05.06.08 at 1:52 am }

LOL My insurance agent yelled at me when I said I was getting the Porsche! LOL The annual premium was about the cost of a Ford or Holden (GM to you). 😀 But… My accountant was threatening to have me committed if I didn’t spend some money because the Tax men were circling like drooling vultures! I owed no money and the bank account was getting fat. 😀 Ahhh… the good ol’ days! 😀 So, I did the sensible thing, told my accountant to talk to the insurance rep and explain things. 🙂

When I sold the Porsche and made a profit, my accountant almost had a stroke! LOL But then things went downhill rapidly (I was too sick to run the business, and my business partner was busy hiding from his wife after she found out about his two girlfriends). Being a Woman born and raised in Hong Kong… running far and long was the only safe option. That or the *Honerable way!* 😉

My Grandfather always warned me “Easy come, easy go!” I finally discovered what he meant. 🙂

But yes, It was a wonderful car to drive! And you had to drive it. It *HATED* doing anything less than 110km/h, and that was it’s most economical speed. Was the only V8 GT Porsche ever made, and was a dream.

I once stayed in a new Hotel in Canberra. It was Summer and dry. So the 928 was quite dusty (it was the pure white Porsche had. NIce to look at, a pain to maintain!) So, the garage attendant decided to show how good the Hotel sevice was and had the car washed while I was at a meeting all day. Nice idea. He used one of the automated, drive-through car washes. It has an automatic areal when you turn on the ignition. replacement cost (parts & labor) was about $400. New popup headlights, $2k. New paint job (at a Porsche authorised body shop) almost $10k! I took one look at the car, and went to the desk and asked for the manager. When he arrived, I showed him the car and gave him the number of the Porsche agent to arrange repairs, or else! Porsche did loan me a nice little Carrera for the week. 🙂

Some people! LOL

13 Kryten42 { 05.06.08 at 2:07 am }

Err… areal = aerial (or antenna) 😉 LOL

14 Bryan { 05.06.08 at 5:04 pm }

That is so sad.

I had a bulletin in when I was in law enforcement from Ford about not trying to run their police package through an automated car wash. When the “scrubber” knocks the light bar off, the vehicle fills with water through the holes in the roof. Normally the water destroys the radios and the rest of the interior, which voids the warranty [the real reason for the bulletin].

With the quartz, rather than silicon, sand we have down here, if you don’t rinse off the car first, you might as well use a grinder on the paint, because the effect is the same, even hand washing.

I wouldn’t have been nearly as reasonable.

15 Kryten42 { 05.06.08 at 6:58 pm }

Ohh… Don’t you worry m8! I was anything but reasonable! I think I blistered the paint off the Hotel. And the local Porsche agent was there and he was doing his nut too! But this is a family blog. LOL I think the Hotel Manager had early retirement. Was a new Hotel Chain here… Golden something… Golden Square, or Chain… something like that. They gave me a free accommodation for the rest of the year. Saved me a few $k, and discounted rates after that. 🙂

Still… I was rather… peeved fore some time and ensured everyone I knew, knew what happened! I’m sure they lost a few high-profile customers.

16 Bryan { 05.06.08 at 7:29 pm }

Automated car washes are for taxis. I wouldn’t have used an automated car wash for my ’54 Opel that cost me $50 when I bought it from my grandfather in 1964, because the dealer wouldn’t let him trade it in.