Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

FRANKIE'S IN HOLLYWOOD

RELAX, and hear who else Frank has recently seen...

To All:

Last weekend in LA, I saw two low-level stars.

One was a minor character from Seinfeld, the actor John O'Hurley:

He played the "J. Peterman" character, that being the clothing catalog boss of Elaine from the mid-90s seasons of Seinfeld. I saw him flying first class on my flight back from New York to LA, as I was returning from Eastern Europe. He was with his youngish new wife, who you can see on his web site.

Ther other more notable character-more of a star but less of an actor-was the attorney who most recently defended Michael Jackson, a Thomas Mesereau:

He is hard to miss with his long, wavy silver hair. He was eating at one of my favorite restaurants in Hollywood, Kings Road Cafe. He was in silver shirt and tie as well, which is odd for that place on a Saturday morning. I think he was meeting with a client of some sort, who left before he did.
Cheers,
--
Frank

CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE DESTRUCTOR


Does anybody remember 11/22/2003? Ole Tondar was in Spain. However, this was the last time Lloyd Carr won an important game. Since then he has lost 3 bowl games, and 2 meetings a piece with Notre Dame and Ohio State. Personally, I have been on the "Fire Lloyd Carr" bandwagon for quite sometime. However, if he finds a way to foul up this year's meeting, I would imagine that there will be plenty of room on the bandwagon.

Normally a Lloyd Carr big-game loss is a result of bad decision making down the stretch. Whether it's bad play calling like in the 2005 Rose Bowl--->







Or it could also be poor clock management. We saw this in the OSU and Minnesota games last year. Or Finally it could possibly be an old fashion hobnail boot to the neck, beat down. This happened in the 2004 Rose Bowl and against OSU later that same year.

Though I am excited about today's game. I have to admit that I feel the part of a Detroit Lions fan on this one. As I said, look for Lloyd Carr to blow it, but in the tradition of a "moral victory" game, the how has yet to be determined.

(BTW - You wouldn't think I'd go and leave all these bitter defeats on your pallet. Savor this tastey victory from 1994.
PIC OF THE DAY


Here's to the guests of Wisconaroo. Hope you're having a great time. May the Lord bless your Adventures. And hopefully next time Tres and I will join you. Posted by Picasa
JAMES ON THE MICHIGAN ECONOMY

From James...

"I mainly agree, especially with point #4, that Michigan will never become a manufacturing hub again. That chapter in history is closed. However, as Pigpen pointed out, this new round of cuts doesn't affect Michigan's plants (ironically). Still, there are going to be 10,000 white collar losses. Where are those going to be centered? Probably mostly in Michigan, but I imagine that much of it will be in other states too. I still feel that there isn't much left for the big 3 to cut in Michigan, and whatever they do cut in Michigan will be so small compared to the labor pool that it probably won't matter too much 4 years from now if GM and Ford lay off another 3,000 people in Michigan. Though the tax situation may be a problem in Michigan, it really depends on if the leadership has the strength to make the appropriate cuts in government employee levels. I believe this is one reason that Detroit is in such a rut. Instead of cutting back on city employees, the city decided to beef it up in order to stave off unemployment. Will Michigan make that same mistake?"


I would imagine that the state will make the same mistake. Given the nature of democracy, the politicians will opt for the shortcut answer to get re-elected and it will cause further strife. Of course there will eventually come an equilibrium with respect to the economy running people off though. And as James goes on to point out most of these people that have left seem to be heading for the sunbelt...

People here in Wisco are a little surprised to hear how bad things are in Michigan, but apparently in the sunbelt, everyone knows about the Michigan diaspora. When Dawn was in Jacksonville, it was common knowledge that Michigan was up against the ropes. I guess no one besides me moved from Michigan to Wisconsin for employment.
FRIDAY NIGHT LYRICS

Mission Temple Fireworks Stand
by Sawyer Brown
Written by Billy Maddox and Paul Thorn

I saw a black man with a Bible
And a sparkler in his hand
He was a-holdin’ a tent revival
And running a firework stand.
He said “The end of the world is comin’
So you’d better get on your knees
Today the bottle rockets two-for-one
But the salvation’s free”
He said “I quit my job at the big church
Where the milk and honey flow
To set cherry bombs for Jesus
In a tent beside the road
I ain’t in it for the money
Most cars they pass on by
But I pay the rent on New Year’s
And the Forth of July”
He read the

Holy Ghost (Holy Ghost)
Big Bang Theory (Big Bang Theory)
Pentecostal (Pentecostal)
Fire and brimstone (Fire and brimstone)
Mission Temple Firework Stand

Now fireworks are dangerous,
They can blow up in your face
You better read the instructions,
Light the fuse and get away
Now these things are made in China
So it’s easy to see
Why the man who worships Buddha
Ain’t got no guarantee
He read the

Holy Ghost (Holy Ghost)
Big Bang Theory (Big Bang Theory)
Pentecostal (Pentecostal)
Fire and brimstone (Fire and brimstone)
Mission Temple Firework Stand


Now everything I’m selling
Is going up in smoke
It’s like taking $20 y’all
And watching it explode
When the trumpet sounds and the Lord comes back
I promise you one thing
I’ll be a human bottle rocket,
And I’ll go out with a bang
I’ll leave this...


Is there anything better in this temporal sphere than bringing the Southern Baptist Preacher into a fireworks stronghold like Tennessee? Looks like I might have to start drinking the cheap stuff so that I can dump more of my money into fireworks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

SPRINGER QUOTES OF THE DAY

"That was that night. We was drinkin."

"You can't even take care of yourself, how you gonna take care of my kids?"


I'm not sure why, but this "my (bastard) kids" line of reasoning has become quite prevalent amongst the baby factory mammas. For some reason they think these men will choose to be responsible for children they did not father. The women will reason with their lost love and say things like "My kids call you Daddy." or "How you gonna explain this to my kids." Not that it is surprising, but it is certainly interesting that these women attempt to create a false sense of responsibility, just to maintain their unhealthy and disrespectful relationships.

Until next time, take care of yourself and each other.
PIGPEN ON THE MICHIGAN ECONOMY II

According to Pigpen the current Ford cuts are not "woe is Michigan" news...

"After seeing the press conference, of the 30K blue collars that are being cut, none of them are in MI (this round). Of the 14K white collar, I'd tend to think that most of those will be office personel from the shuttered plants in:

Norfolk, Va
Maumee, Oh
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mn
Essex, On

So, it's still bleak, but this round can't be woe is Michigan.

I mentioned that none of them are in Mi, but Wixom Assy had been announced a few months ago. That one made sense though b/c it only makes Lincolns and they are discontinuing the Town Car since it's the ONLY rear wheel drive car in the fleet. The Thunderbird isn't taking off. The LS platform is the LS and thunderbird chassis and like I said the Thunderbird isn't taking off, and the LS isn't selling well at all because of the target consumer (BMW/Mercedes). The last remaining vehicle at Wixom is the Lincoln Continental which is also being built at the Ford/Mercury Crown Vic/Grand Marquee [civil service and fleet mainly] at a different Assy Plant (I think Chicago Assy). They'll just move that badge over to the "other line".

As I stated in the previous email - they are getting back to normal water mark so to speak."
PIGPEN ON THE MICHIGAN ECONOMY

From Pigpen...

What is most overlooked in all of these Big 3 downsizes is that it's over a period of years (I think in this case 2yrs) and it's not limited to Michigan, it's company/nation (and in some cases world) wide. I beleive that in this situation there is going to be closure of plants in either IN or OH. The white collar jobs are mostly comming from Mi, but that's a different story in and of itself. It is also over looked or perhaps neglected that this is a higher profile case of what happened in West Michigan about 6 or 7 years ago with the office furniture industry.

The tech boom of the 90's saw an explosion in physical locations of all of these new and budding tech companies. This in turn shot office furniture sales to an unprecidented high. Herman Miller made a truck load of money off that Aeron chair (which is a good sit), thus added LOTS of white collar jobs as well as added shifts to the production facilities. This is great for everyone, lots of blue collar jobs to be had at great wages (because we NEED employees) and it also provided guaranteed jobs for engineering grads (and others) such as myself along with many different types of big bonuses (this really jaded the MTU class of F01 and S/F02 (me) because the jobs and bonuses dried up to almost nothing). I don't think it is news to anybody that the economy was great, all industries were benefitting from the Tech boom (including auto).

What happened was when the bottom fell out of the market for whatever reason (there are many speculations) the demand for products decreased and now what you have at Steelcase and Herman Miller is a shift full of production employees that you don't need (no longer running 2 or 3 shifts) and you also end up with 3 people doing the job that one person can do with the orders comming in or the R&D associated with market futures. No longer did you hear "I need more engineers, don't know specifically for what, but we need more" - that was a big part of the huge drop in employment. I experienced this first hand during the time I spent at Hart & Cooley, it translated itself all the way to the housing market (we made air handling product for residential construction).

Yeah it's bad that all of these layoffs and job cuts are happening, but what is being seen is a return to the appropriate level employees as opposed to the glut that Michigan grew accustomed to 10-15 years ago.

It's also worth noting that..."Boo Hoo, all the mfg jobs are going to Mexico" - That maybe so, but in most cases the workers brought it on themselves (Electrolux made crappy expensive union products in Greenville, Anderson SC made quality less expensive non-union products), Anderson is still open while Greenville is long gone. But as with the US, Mexico is now experiencing job loss to China. China is now the new low cost manufacuturing location, and after China SE Asia will be next, or perhaps South America. Many people don't know this either, that it's against the law to move production over to China, only to import the goods into the US. Dems will cry foul all day about US companies investing in China, but China is the "new" market. Investment in China is for the most part for the Asian market. There are 3 notable Chinese automakers that are poised to hit the US market very shortly, some speculate as soon as MY08. They need suppliers, so they are courting US and EU based suppliers (my former company is tooling up in Shanghai now, my current company has been in operation there since 03). We've been quoting alot of business from that location lately, but nothing that will be sold domestically. Thats where the misunderstanding comes into play, or neglected. Those companies (and they are numerous) are not out to take US jobs, they are to create local supply bases to the local customers.

Sorry for being predictably rambling, but it's such a fallacy that the evil [insert capitalist entity] is purposely twisting the knife on the MI/US worker. Most floor personel have no clue what going on up in the office. No company I ever worked for did.


Well I didn't mean to come across as attacking the "Evil Capitalists." It is just that being a member of the Michigan Diaspora, I am intrigued by the circumstances that have brought me to this point, and furthermore, I wonder what is on the horizon. If Pigpen is correct about the 1990's being a unique time, we should probably not look for that to happen ever again. This is especially true considering that globalization has made it cheaper to manufacture products in Mexico, China, and Honduras.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

YOUTUBE OF THE WEEK

This is how the Easter Bunny rolls the other 364 days a year. (Also be sure to check out the happy DVD extras)
ANOTHER GIFT FOR MICHIGAN

From the AP...

DETROIT (AP) - One day before Ford Motor Co. was to announce another huge restructuring plan, a key component became clear - buyout and early retirement offers to the company's entire U.S. hourly work force of 75,000.

The move, designed to drastically chop Ford's labor costs amid slumping sales, was announced Thursday afternoon by the United Auto Workers union. Ford hasn't said how many workers it hopes will take the offers, but it has previously announced plans to cut up to 30,000 hourly jobs by 2012.


This is just what the state needed to add to its to its workforce, more unemployed people. James and I have speculated what is to become of the Great Lakes State. While James sees a quick rebound, I see this decline continuing well into the future.

To answer James' 4 points...

1. Today's news proves there is still more juice in that auto industry turnip to squeeze.

2. I'd agree that the diaspora will continue, and in fact will accelerate since there is no economic base to support any kind of high paying service industry. (This relies upon the assumption that if there's not money flowing to the auto industry employees, they are not spending money on doctors, lawyers, real estate, groceries, retail, or anything else.)

3. I think the tax situation will actually become an even bigger problem for Michigan. As people leave, they take the tax base with them. Now that Frank, Tres, Tondar, James, Drake and thousands more just like us are no longer contributing, government services will probably be forced to cut back and further receed since there will be less money to go around (This is bad news for Democrats).

4. I agree that UofM and MSU will continue to be quality institutions. And in fact, this will be the one thing that saves the state as they will help create a technology driven economy in places like Grand Rapids. Unfortunately, much of this seems to still be in the development stage. And furthermore, the population must continue to shrink for this to create a viable service industry to thrive in its wake. However, I doubt this will be enough to replace the 20th Century boom that was the auto industry. That was a one time in history dynamo.

So where will it end? Personally, I see a parallel in Michigan's current decline with the decline of the mining industry in the Upper Peninsula about one hundred years ago. If you have ever been near the campus of Michigan Tech, you find some amazing cities in Houghton, Hancock, and Calumet that were once booming when the iron ore was plentiful. After it dried up the Upper Peninsula has basically become a sportsman's paradise with nothing besides nature to offer the rest of the world. Certainly the auto industry lasted longer, but I think the rest of the state will be doomed to the same fate of becoming a recreational and agricultural wonderland.
THE KIDS LIKE LISTS

If you're looking to avoid a butt gut, MSN has provided The 6 Greatest Abs Exercises EVER. I probably wouldn't have read this article but since they had it in a list form, I just HAD to see which ones made the cut.
SPRINGER QUOTES OF THE DAY

"I can't hear ya, I don't speak 'trailer park."

"Why did you leave your wife for doo doo on a stick?"
PHOTODUMP


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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SPRINGER QUOTES OF THE DAY

"I climb trees. I'm a lumberjack!"

"You're short and you know that short people come up short in other places."

"Oh, he's gonna love me back. He has no choice!"
SETH'S BREAKING FAKE NEWS

From Seth...
Archaeologists: God May Have Hated Cleveland Since Bronze Age

Scientists have discovered several American Indian remains in Northeastern Ohio that suggest God's hatred for Cleveland may have existed long before European settlement of the Americas. Archaelogists uncovered a large number of human activity sites in Cuyahoga County that the scientists believe to show evidence of several natural disasters centered around the ancient Cleveland Metropolitain Area.

"We've said for a long time that God Hates the Cleveland Indians, but we long figured it meant the Indians who traded Rocky Calavito, not the Indians who traded beaver pelts." said Case Western University Prof. Michael Sellers.

Sellers' team discovered several successive historical "Mistakes by the Lake," as he called them, with failed settlements at the site dating possibly as far back as 3,500 years before the founding of the current city. Each settlement had evidence of some massive natural disaster which devastated the local population.

"The history of these settlements shows a much, much higher incidence of natural disasters -- from tornadoes to floods, deadly frosts and plague -- than we can really explain without some sort of divine intervention," said Case Western Associate Prof. Ellen Woodyard. "When you look at the victims, you really can't explain it any other way; God really hated this place, and hated it long before we were responsible for Drew Carey."

God could not be reached for comment, but a spokesperson for the supreme deity said that if God is angry, then Cleveland can't be completely innocent. "The big guy is vengeful, I'll give you that," said the angel Metatron, "but he's not malicious. If he really caused all those floods and Tim Couch and stuff -- then I assure you, it was probably deserved."
THE REAL KAZAKHSTAN

If you're not familiar with the work of Borat, then you should check out his upcoming film. Borat is a reporter from Kazakhstan that has been sent to study Western Culture. His appearances on HBO have been so successful, they have even given him his own film. Unfortunately, the Kazakh government is not appreciating the free publicity so in addition to threatening law suits, they have launched a counter publicity campaign of their own. But of course government cannot keep pace with the comedy and in the tradition of Central Asia, Borat has released his own video response. Ahhh good times.
QUADROPHENIA PROJECT

Is It In My Head






I see a man without a problem
I see a country always starved,
I hear the music of a heartbeat,
I walk, and people turn and laugh.













Is it in
my head
Is it in
my head
Is in my
head here
at the start?
Is it in
my head
Is it in
my head
Is it in
my head, or
in my heart?
























I pick up phones and hear my history.
I dream of all the calls I miss.
I try to number those who love me,
And find exactly what the trouble is.


















Is it in
my head
Is it in
my head
Is in my
head here
at the start?
Is it in
my head
Is it in
my head
Is it in
my head,
or in my heart?





















I feel I'm being followed,
My head is empty
Yet every word I say turns out a sentence.
Statements to a stranger
Just asking for directions
Turn from being help to being questions.






















I see a man without a problem.
A LITTLE FYI


Frank upon his return from the "Asian Chasin-Baby Makin' Tour of Eastern Europe"...

"Tondar:

Did I mention to you that there are casinos throughout the cities of Prague and Budapest? Little ones to be sure, but gambling goes on there nonetheless...

There are two hotels in the heart of downtown Budapest that deserve mention: 1. "The Tropicana" and the "Las Vegas Casino". I took pics of their modest facades and went inside. They are quite small, but they have strict security; they enter your info and take a picture of you for a database of some sort. The casinos are quite small-nothing on the scale of Vegas. But still amusing nevertheless.

I wish my work would schedule a conference at "The Tropicana" of Budapest. I have my magnetic gambling card all ready to go!

--
Frank"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SPRINGER QUOTE OF THE DAY

Flaming audience member to crossdresser: "You so nasty! You make me wanna turn straight."
PHOTODUMP

Life keeps on keepin' on...

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5 YEARS LATER

It's funny the way life goes on. Today the media told me that I should be marking this day of rememberance in sorrow. So what did I do? I looked for a job, made sure to catch the Price is Right and Springer, cooked a frozen pizza (Tondar style), played video games, and worked out.

The truth is I didn't want to be reminded of 9/11/01. There's nothing I can do about it. I can't undo the tragedy nor hault the war. It may possibly be the war weariness that has permeated our culture thanks to 5 years of low level combat in Central Asia. But beyond that, there are just too many other daily reminders of this current clash of civilzations that the aniversary of the barbarian attack on our capital is not as significant to me as it should be.

Like every other American, life has gone on in the Tondar-sphere. It went on and I still completed my semester in Florence. I have graduated from Big Blue. Jobs have come and gone, and about twice as many girls. I have moved several times. And today, instead of contemplating death and terror. I am more fascinated by the slow march of time for the living. I think of clown hairs and brunettes. I wonder how James became a Sconi. How did Tres escape his singulary? Will Sackett ever graduate? How did Brado and Pigpen ever get married? When did Frank become a West Coast playa'? How did I go from Ann Arbor to Hendersonville? Has it all really been 5 years?

I am still saddened by the tragedy, but somebody should tell the media that there are 364 other days a year that 9/11 has affected our lives. And more importantly, life has gone on for the rest of us.
FROM THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE

I'm not going to declare this Youtube of the week. However, I found it to be enough of a curious oddity. I heard this Sarah McLachlan song on French radio and I wanted to see if there was a video as haunting as the lyrics. When I looked on Youtube, I found this video featuring soap opera characters Sonny and Alexis.

This is either one of two things. First, it could be a promotional video that ABC made for their own website that has somehow made it to Youtube. Secondly, it could be a fan tribute similar to this Sophie B. Hawkins piece (featuring one of my favorite songs). What is odd about the soap video being a fan creation is that fan art is normally created by science fiction, anime, or rock & roll fans with time to kill. But if you are pissing away your hours watching your "stories" where do you find the time to make tribute videos to Sarah McLachlan ballads? Who ARE these people?!

I'm sure that I have lost some of my Don LeDouche Man Cards for this post. But, it certainly makes me wonder, so I decided to throw it out there anyway.

Monday, September 11, 2006

BAD NEWS

From Frank...

Tondar:

I will not be going to Vegas for a week-long work conference in November; it has been postponed until February or March.
I will keep you posted as things develop.

--
Frank


How disappointing! I was looking forward to another Vegas adventure with Frank. In fact, I can almost hear him right now calling me a ho-bag and telling me what he did to my mom in exchange for Foodstamps.

On second thought, maybe it's for the best. I would have just pulled the Tres and thrown him around like the Asian chasin' Raggedy Anne doll that he is.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

PIC OF THE DAY


Good news! I just got a role of film developed featuring all new photos of the Greatest Adventure Ever from 7/4/05 Posted by Picasa
SPAIN BANS THE SPANISH BODY

Spanish girls have a unique and beautifully shaped body. Basically, it curves at the breasts and then seems to go straight down with little curvage elsewhere. Miss Allison had this body, but she claimed to be descended from the Spanish that populated and controlled Sicily for most of the last 500 years. Nevertheless, in a further effort to alienate Tondar, Spain has adopted a weight limit for their models...
"for fear they could send the wrong message to young Spanish girls, local media reported."

Thus...
The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organization to come up with a minimum body mass -- a height-weight ratio -- of 18 for the models.


Yes! Thank you Spain! I was worried about the lack of girls that looked like American or Basque Trolls. Thanks for getting government involved to let people know that this is now acceptable behavior.
7.1 YARDS AND A CLOUD OF DUST

From James...

"I missed the michigan game today, it wasn't televised in badgerland. Yahoo seemed to make out michigan as playing rusty, even though we beat the spread."


Though it wasn't a classic, I didn't see it here either in Nashvegas. I figured I'd save my money since it was only Central being unemployed and all. However, I have heard the same complaint. Of course, Seth called and in an effort to save time he gave his observation and declared his satisfaction all in one word, which I was too stupid to know. But honestly, I'm not sure what the knock against UM was today. Though ESPN.com described it as follows...

Michigan had a fourth down on each of its first three drives and rarely was sharp in its passing game against the Chippewas (0-2). The Wolverines gave up some big plays on defense and a couple of long kickoff returns. Both sides of the ball combined to commit nine penalties for 73 yards.

"In every phase, we can certainly get better," coach Lloyd Carr said. "But, I like where we are."


Honestly, I'm not sure what the problem was, CMU returned after the first HALFTIME to score a touchdown on a 38 yard break-away. And then they also scored a touchdown with about 8 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Given that there were 2 halftimes in this game and only gave up one adjustment touchdown, I'm not sure at all what the problem is. But a win is a win and that's all that counts in today'$ college football.