Sunday, May 31, 2009

The best.

Robert Plant.
Jack Bruce.
Marty Balin.

Who else?

A thief or a saint?

If possible when in the USA, around 10.30 in the morning a stop is made.
To have a coffee in a Starbucks Café.
A café latté.
A lot of foamy milk and some coffee.

The coffee is good at Starbucks.
And always it is comfortable.
When the weather is nice, there are chairs and tables outside.
When the weather is wet and cool, there are comfortable tables and chairs inside.

Another advantage of Starbucks is that they sell for $ 1.50 the newspaper called “The New York Times”.
A very good newspaper.

Yesterday, in El Cajon a Starbucks was visited.
The usual order was placed.
A café latté and a newspaper.
Most of the time they ask in a Starbucks the name of the customer.
So they can call your name when the coffee is ready.

Often the tendency is noticed to say:
“My name is Beatrice”.
Or “Jacqueline”.
Reflecting this constant urge to have a laugh in life.
But these Starbucks employees, who are not allowed to be members of a labour union and who are paid not much more than $ 10 an hour, usually are not the kind of people who like jokes.
They work fast and furious within the company guidelines so they won’t take no BS from any guy imposing as a Beatrice or a Jacqueline.

A pity because it would be nice to see the Starbucks clientele watch in amazement when a manly guy walks up to the counter when “Jacqueline” is informed her café latté is ready.

In El Cajon’ Starbucks a strange situation occurred.
After the coffee was obtained it was realized that the employee had forgotten to make the customer pay for the “New York Times”.
Moving to a table the thought was spinning in the head that the situation was not fully correct.

Now, what to do?
Nobody was noticing that the newspaper was not paid for.
So, basically nothing was the matter.
A mistake and confusion when paying hence now coffee and a free newspaper.
But if life is love, isn’t this a taint on the sheet of the virgin?
Aren’t we supposed to pay for what we get?
Even if it is a $ 1.50 newspaper?

The decision was made to give Starbucks and The New York Times what they were entitled to.
Not that it would boost their profits in an important way.
But to have things clear and clean.
And that is worth a fortune.

The girl at the counter was busy.
A line of several customers waiting to place their orders.
But a Starbucks man was on the side.
The manager.
Counting the money.
He was approached and informed that a mistake had happened.
And in front of him was put $ 1.50.

He immediately responded negatively.
“No, no, I can’t accept that money!
You must go and stand in line to pay”.

So now the holy and saintly customer, wishing to purify the love in his life, be as correct as possible, not wanting to be a thief, had to go and stand in line for 5 to 10 minutes to pay for the newspaper.
While his coffee would get cold.

What would you do in this situation, fervent and loyal blog reader?
Send your answer as a comment and inform us about your inventivity or diplomacy.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rebuilding the Fuso Szulc part 4

"The limits of control"

Jim Jarmusch is a 56-year-old man from Ohio, United States.

His mother was a reviewer of film and theatre for the Akron Beacon Journal before marrying his father, a businessman who worked for the B.F. Goodrich Company.
The middle of three children, Jarmusch was an avid reader in his youth, with an interest in literature encouraged by his grandmother.
He was introduced to the world of cinema by his mother, who would leave him at a local theatre to watch matinee double features such as “Attack of the Crab Monsters” and “Creature From the Black Lagoon” while she ran errands.

Now, of course, Jim Jarmusch is a filmmaker.

Yesterday, in the movie theatre of Solana Beach, that has the worst projection in the world, the latest film by Jim Jarmusch was seen.
Titled “The limits of control”.

In case you like Hollywood films, the advice is not to go and see “The limits of control”.
You might find that film boring and not making sense.

The story is about an African man that has come to Spain.
He is a hit man.
And has the assignment to kill an important person.
This he does successfully and next he returns to his ordinary life.

A story costing 50 cents.
However, Jim Jarmusch uses this story to tell something else.
“Reality is arbitrary” says one of the characters in the film.
And this is what the 2-hour film is all about.
The perception decides what the reality is.

Another character in the film, a Mexican, says that he is more interested in the reflection than in what is reflected.

When a filmmaker goes that way, the possibilities are limitless.
There is a detachment of what we all together consider as reality and we enter a new version of it.
The Jim Jarmusch reality.

Is that an interesting one?
Most of the time not.
Because it remains all within very reasonable boundaries.
Rarely does it become, illogic, abstract or surrealistic.
This explains why the film is in a regular US movie theatre.
It is a different and strange movie but not too much to be unable to be commercial.

So, the excitement is not coming too much from the pseudo reality Jarmusch is offering us.
It comes much more to simply BE in that extra reality.
It makes the spectator feel different.
Outside of the claws of society.

The film is the most impressive after it is finished and the moviegoer leaves the theatre.
The film is still too strong in the existence and for a while it feels to be in that Jarmusch reality while physically in today’s world.
A temporary cocoon.
Melting by the fumes of the passing cars.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Waiting for Ferguson 2

The agreement was that the Fuso Szulc would be ready today.
An agreement between Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre and Eric Ferguson, the sub frame builder.

Ron Lucero, the manager at Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre, called in the early afternoon.
“Have you been in touch with Eric?”, he asked.
Why that question?
Eric doesn’t want a photographer around so he stays away.
Reason for Ron’s question was that all his efforts to try to get in touch with Eric Ferguson by phone had failed.
A secretary had promised him that he would be called back within half an hour.
And that never happened.

At about 4.00 PM Ron was met at Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre.
The situation was discussed when the phone rang.
Eric Ferguson on the line.
Explaining there was a problem.
That very morning he had collapsed in his workshop.
Had lost his consciousness.
Had been going to the hospital where he had spent the morning.
But now he was back.
“I don’t know if I believe this story”, Ron said.
After some more talking it was decided that Eric Ferguson will come with the Fuso Szulc to Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre on Monday morning 8.00 AM.

This means that the pioneering photographer is locked up in a hotel for another three nights.
Feeling like the tennis ball at the current French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France.
Bounced every way without any saying about it.

Meanwhile the price that has been agreed with Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre for the construction of the sub frame has entered the conversation.
It is quite some money.
$ 13.834.60
For this amount the following work will be done:
1. Remove camper from chassis, disconnect all wiring, cables and hoses
2. Measure, repair and square chassis
3. Cut off pivot mount plate and prep chassis for sand blasting
4. Sand blast chassis, prep camper , prime chassis, and spray tar guard epoxy under coating.
5. Fabricate and install new style sub frame and body mounts , reinforce mounting areas, to allow suspension to work and not use frame as a torsion spring, while also allowing the camper to have reasonable movement.
6. tar guard epoxy under coating
7. fabricate and install new torsion free mounting.
8. reinstall camper and reconnect cable wiring, and hoses.

Today Ron Lucero was asked to show the estimate of Eric Ferguson on which this $ 13.834,60 was based.
He had it in his hands.
But wouldn’t give a copy.
Without permission of the general manager of Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre.

The question now is whether Eric Ferguson, the sub contractor of Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre building the sub frame, is entitled to receive the full price of his estimate when he lacks so seriously to deliver in time?
And consequently, whether Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Centre can ask the customer to pay the agreed price.

Meanwhile the California weather is miserable and the view of the new hotel room also.

Being a tennis ball, how to spend the next two days?


Waiting for Ferguson

Today departure from the ExtendedStay Hotel in Carlsbad, California, USA.
The place where the police came to arrest drugs dealers and the fire fighters to look for a burned steak.

Yesterday Ron Lucero of Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer in San Diego went accompanied by the brave owner of the Fuso Szulc to La Jolla.
Where is the small workshop of Eric Ferguson.
Who is building the subframe for the expedition vehicle.

We all could see from the pictures published on this blog yesterday at what stage the work is.
Obviously still a lot needs to be done.
The welding of the frame is not finished.
The diesel tank and batteries of the truck have not been taking off.
The truck has not been coated.
The camperbox has not been made corrosion free and coated.
And finally, the expedition vehicle has not been assembled yet.

Nevertheless, Eric Ferguson promised that today everything would be ready.

That sounds like a miracle will have to take place.
It looks too much work to do in such a short time.

The situation is now that Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer will wait today for a phone call from Eric Ferguson.
To announce the expedition vehicle is ready.

The promise of Eric Ferguson has received a lot of scepticism.
In the end, he got the truck more than five weeks ago.
And during the first four weeks he has been doing hardly anything to it.
Just having it there, the camper box taken off and working on trucks of other customers.

When Ron Lucero of Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer went over to Eric Ferguson’s workshop one week ago, the bizarre fact became clear that hardly anything had been done.

Unfortunately, Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer had informed the pioneering photographer, when still in Europe, two weeks before, that the expedition vehicle would be ready.
That’s why the permanent pilgrim had come to the USA.
If the expedition vehicle had not been ready, this project in the Ukraine could have been performed.
To come to the USA some weeks later.

It is an uncomfortable situation for everybody.
Except for Eric Ferguson.
He takes his time and can’t care less.
In fact, he already got from Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer a new assignment to build another subframe for a Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer customer who bought a Fuso FG and has a camper box to put on it.

Today the ExtendedStay Hotel in Carlsbad needs to be left before 11.00 am
And then where to go?
Because it is simply a matter of waiting.
And to be stand-by because when Eric Ferguson calls Kearny Mesa Mitsubishi Truck Dealer, the pioneering photographer will accompany Ron Lucero to La Jolla.
To see the final result.
To check if the job has been done as was agreed.
To see if the truck is completely level.

And to test if everything has been going well.
Because yesterday it was noticed that one of the Mexican labourers of Eric Ferguson was doing welding at the camper box.
While the camper box was still connected to 110 volt to charge the batteries.
While all the 6 Trojan batteries were still connected.
While the electrical system of the camper box was not switched off.

Repeatedly Eric Ferguson was informed that welding at the camper box could only be done when all batteries were disconnected and the electrical system switched off completely.

We will have to see what is the result of this welding job.
In the past this mistake has already occurred.
It blew up the two halogen backlights.
And the solar energy controller.
Total cost of the damage due to the mistake was over $ 500.
Hopefully the ground connection that was hooked up to the camper box will have done an adequate job.

If the Fuso Szulc is ready today, it will be very late.
But the expectation is that it won’t be ready today.
That means another hotel room.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fire and panic in the hotel

The ExtendedStay hotel in Carlsbad, California, USA continues to offer exciting experiences.

Last night around 1 am the pioneering photographer was not pioneering but peacefully asleep.
Well, as much as was possible because of the intense and continuous traffic noise next to the hotel room from Highway 5 where people speed from Los Angeles to San Diego v.v.

But then, suddenly, the sweet dreams were interrupted because the smoke alarm in the room started to deeply disrupt anybody around.

It was not immediately realized what was going on.
Inside those sweet dreams the alarm and screaming sounds were believed to come from another planet where were no orgasms and those responsible for it.

Now, fervent and loyal blog readers must know that the smoke alarm is right above the bed so a sleeper may want to believe to be on another planet with his favourite fantasy princess but eventually the strong and persistent and insisting noise will bring anybody back to the realization that a fire might be close.

Once in London, in a high towered hotel, a fire has been experienced.
And do accept that this is traumatic.
Jumping from the window was not an option.
Panic all around.
The thought coming to mind to lose life in a hotel fire.
Reflected in the faces of the other hotel guests.
Grabbing their belongings to run for their lives.

All the images and the feelings of that experience in London are still present in the memory and returned when the smoke alarm screamed in the ExtendedStay Hotel in Carlsbad, California, USA.

Death knocking on the door again?
Being on the third floor?
The swimming pool outside too far away to jump into?

Somebody was knocking on the door.
Persistently and desperately.
Some clothes were put on and the door opened.
A man from the hotel.
Asking if there was a fire in the room.

Looking in the corridor it was blue of smoke.
And a strong smell of things burned.
And many people in the door openings of their hotel rooms dressed in an unorthodox way.
Looking what to do.
Collect the most precious things and run for the stairs to get out of the hotel?
Or wait for things to come?

Also the smoke alarms in the corridor were blasting there screaming sounds.
What to do?

The door was closed and impossible to go back to sleep due to the turmoil of alarm sounds, work was continued on the computer.

When new banging on the door.
But more rough than before.

The door opened, a rare view of a human being.
An American fire fighter!
Dressed in a yellow suit making him look double his actual size.
Wearing an immense helmet and equipped with all kinds of tools looking like a small-town hardware store.

“Any fire in your room, sir?”, he asked.

They couldn’t find where the fire was!
Somewhere in a room but where?

The guy from the hotel appeared with a key fitting all the rooms.
Opening the rooms that were not responding to the knocks of the fire fighters.

Returning to the work on the computer eventually the alarm sounds stopped and sleep could be found again.

Next morning the girl at the reception was asked what the heck had been going on during the night.
Her explanation was that a guest had been frying a steak in his room and this had been going out of control.

steak broiled.
Hotel turmoiled.

Rebuilding the Fuso Szulc part 3

For two days the workshop of Eric Ferguson has not been visited.
Because presence and making pictures was considered counter productive.

Today a visit was paid again to the workshop and these pictures show what progress has been made building the new subframe for the Fuso Szulc.

Callaway Cars

Long time friend Reeves Callaway has a company.
In 3 plants, in California, Connecticut and Germany, he changes Chevrolet Corvettes into sophisticated, fast and luxurious automobiles.
In spite of the economic downturn, people continue to purchase his amazing driving machines.
The production continues uninterrupted.

The plant in Riverside, California, is like a temple.
A holy-like atmosphere and everything very well organised.
It is all about perfection.

Peter Callaway, the son of Reeves Callaway.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now where?

The bed in the room of the ExtendedStay Hotel in Carlsbad, California, USA has been repaired now.
That took 4 nights of unbalanced sleeping before a mechanic showed up to fix the problem.

Two more issues pestering in the room in the ExtendedStay Hotel cannot be resolved though.

In the room is WIFI.
The option to get on the Internet.
However, ExtendedStay Hotel offers this service for a price.
A guest has to pay for it.
Rather unusual for a room that already costs about $ 80 a night without any service of cleaning, bed making and no soap and shampoo.
The most irritating though is that the provided WIFI is extremely slow.
Too slow to use SKYPE to make international phone calls and see TV from a website.

The other irresolvable issue is the bread toaster.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the kitchenette is equipped with a bread toaster.

But it is a primitive one that toasts bread only on one side.
It means that a slice of bread is put in.
It toasts on one side.
It comes out.
And next it has to be put back to toast the other side of the slice of bread.

Now maybe we may ask if these issues described are of any relevance and importance?
Of course in a posting every little detail of life can be extensively described, but does that really matter?
Who cares that a bread toaster in an American hotel room is of outdated technology?

Whether it matters is a very good question.
Presumably not many people have any interest whatsoever in a primitive bread toaster somewhere in a hotel room in California, USA.

This describes quite accurately the current situation.
The usual position is to be in the centre of life and to expansively operate from there.
But now the creative and exploring photographer finds himself with a technically challenged bread toaster in a miserable hotel with turtle speed WIFI.
A situation miles away from the centre.
Pushed there by others.

Now in nowhere.
Where is somewhere?

Photo: Roland Krumm ©

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rebuilding the Fuso Szulc part 3

Gruelling Gore

Every day a visit was made to the workshop where the Fuso Szulc is getting a new sub frame.
And pictures were taken of the different stages of the building process.
To publish on this blog for all those enthusiasts concerned with expedition vehicles.

But yesterday the owner of the workshop, who is also the person who is building the sub frame, announced that the presence was “counter-productive”.

Therefore no more pictures.

Meanwhile a special friend from Mexico has been sending around an e-mail scrutinizing Al Gore.

Saying that he has a 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas.
Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guesthouse, all heated by gas.
In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year.
The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400 per month.
In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home..

These facts are known for quite a while.
They have been repeatedly going around.
And one may ask why.
What sense does it make to repeat over and over again the information about the way Al Gore is living privately?

Isn’t the purpose to blur the message he is giving us?
To take away attention of his message?
Not to have to feel guilty for what he is saying?
To avoid to have to accept consequences in the own life.
Isn’t this killing the messenger because the news he brings is too hard to take?

Osho was telling people to lose their ego.
To become unattached.
Meanwhile he had a collection of Rolls Royce’s: his aim was to have one for every day of the year.
365 Rolls Royce’s.
This way of dealing with life had two kinds of responses.
One group of people were screaming and protesting.
How could a Guru preaching losing ego be so egocentric as wanting 365 Rolls Royce’s?
How could a Guru exploit his disciples so blatantly to use their money for excessive materialism?

The other group of people saw it in a complete different way.
Seeing Osho celebrate life.
Enjoying himself tremendously.
Having pure pleasure.
And not being a hypocrite.

This cannot be said of Al Gore.
When you inform people so effectively what is going on with the environment and you tell them to drastically change things for us to survive on this planet, you would expect the messenger to show an example.
This Al Gore does not.
His message is essential, vital and most important.
But what he shows as a role model for how to deal personally with the environment is condemnable.
And hypocritical.

Al Gore is like preachers in the church.
They instruct their flock to be faithful to their wives.
To their husbands.
While the married preacher himself fucks part time the conductress of the choir.


Monday, May 25, 2009

He might be depressed

All the ingredients are present in the bag of life to make it miserable and depressed.
Contrary to the promises made before, the Fuso Szulc expedition vehicle is not ready.
And nobody knows when it will be ready.
New promises that it will be Friday cannot be taken serious after the recent experiences.

Hence, very stuck.
Locked in a horrible hotel next to the busy Highway 5.
Nothing special to do except to go every day to the workplace where the Fuso Szulc is being rebuild.
Just hanging around there and making some pictures.
To see how slow and without any urgency the work is going.
Why would they care when the truck is ready?

To go to El Cajon, where the workshop is, from Carlsbad, where the hotel is, every day the American traffic jam is experienced.
Sitting there surrounded by thousands of cars wondering what life is in fact about.
Moving slowly.
Moving slowly.
Not only the traffic jam but current life as well.
That usually moves like a speedboat on a beautiful lake.

So, all the ingredients present to become really depressed.
Unable to start the new photo project that is planned.
Unable to live in the own hull of the camper.
While the fantasy irritates with images of travelling to the Ukraine with the most exceptional friend.

There are clear signs of being depressed by the current situation.
The hotel has a fairly sized swimming pool.
Usually, when possible, every day a long swim is performed but not this time.
The swimming pool is ignored with negative thoughts.

Same for the daily running that could be possible.
Lack of motivation due to the circumstances stops these physical activities.

When cooking in the Fuso Szulc, delicious and healthy food is prepared.
But now it is frozen food from Albertson’s heated up in the microwave of the hotel room.

Is the conclusion therefore that the pioneering photographer has slipped into a devastating depression?


Rebuilding the Fuso Szulc part 2