November 19, 2008

Horse 934 - Colorado Rodeo to D-Max!

“Hi, I’m Joe Isuzu and I used my new Isuzu pickup truck to carry a 2,000 pound cheeseburger.”

What you are looking at was up until late 2008 sold as the Holden Rodeo. This strange tale of mirth and woe extends out in all directions so a brief history lesson is in order.

In 1918 the Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co and Wolseley Motor Company started to build motor cars. In 1934 this entity changed its name to Isuzu after a nearby river. In 1971 when BMC was comprehensively shooting itself in the head, it on sold Isuzu to GM. For the last 37 years, Isuzu has been progressively buying itself back and then on selling to Toyota and Mistubishi. Now in 2008, General Motors has shot itself in the head and has divested itself of Isuzu to Toyota and Mitsubishi.

Holden who was sourcing the Rodeo from Isuzu, found that Isuzu who owned the name, immediately withdrew the rights over it. Holden in the interim have rescuplted the from of the car and have rebadged it with the name from a similar sized truck in the US, called the Colorado. Isuzu for their part have set up their own dealer network in Australia and are selling their own car under the name D-Max. Presumably Holden will just continue the stock that they have run out of them.

After the latest acquisition by Toyota of 5.9% of Isuzu, they took over the factory in Thailand and it is expected that a diesel-electric light truck powertrain Will be made available in next-generation versions of both Toyota’s HiLux and Isuzu’s D-Max beyond 2010.

Finally, once this year’s Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max are retired, the GM-Isuzu divorce will be all but complete save for a few leftovers in New Zealand and maybe some other agreements in places like Brazil, Korea and elsewhere in Brazil.

I don't suspect that Holden are too worried though. It could just mean that their existing Ute may have to go from being pitched to a sporty market back to a working one. It is just possible that we may even see a diesel Ute and as a result a diesel Commodore. And don't think that a diesel car will be a new thing for Holden, they already sell a diesel Astra and all the way back in 1975 sold a diesel Gemini and that was made by... wait for it... Isuzu.

November 18, 2008

Horse 933 - $300m Buys Votes But Not Trains

Part A

I read in today's Australian that the PM intends to hand $300m to local government in the hope of stimulating the economy.,25197,24669340-601,00.html
In the same article the PM is quoted as saying:
"The nation is crying out for infrastructure development. The nation is tired of our excuses for not acting."

Please excuse my ignorance here, but isn't this the same PM Rudd who told the NSW State Government to get stuffed with regards a $12bn project... wouldn't $12bn have got the economy stimulated?
THE Federal Government has told NSW not to bother asking for funds for the $12 billion North West Metro project because there are no federal Labor votes in it.
The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, told a meeting in February involving the former premier, Morris Iemma, and senior state bureaucrats that they were not interested in the rail project because Labor had no marginal seats in the area it would service, senior NSW sources said.

Is that what this is about Mr Rudd? Are you intending to buy votes for $300m when the state government was "crying out for infrastructure development. The nation is tired of our excuses for not acting."? Is NSW not part of the nation? You all seem to happy to rip most of the GST that's collected Federally and give it to the other states, but in times of crisis you are perfectly happy to tell us to get stuffed.

What's it to be Mr Rudd? So far you haven't bought my vote. Call me cynical maybe but if you give $300m to local councils, then a lot of roundabouts will start appearing and little white tents full of council workers having cups of tea. Perhaps a little bit of testicular fortitude is in order. Have a think about Sir George Warburton Fuller KCMG, whilst people may not remember his name, his legacy still stands today... a Sydney Suburban Rail Network and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and this was completed during a far worse financial crisis than the current one... something called the Great Depression?

Part B

The train on Platform 2 goes to Rouse Hill. First stop Martin Place, then Wynyard, Pyrmont, Rozelle, and all stations to Rouse Hill. Change at Epping for Hornsby, Northern Line and Macquarie Line Services.
...and so the speakers at St James would have announced before an OSCAR (short form for Outer Suburban CARs) departed from one of the centre platforms. Sadly, this plan has been scrapped twice since its inception and I don't see the NSW Government doing anything more about it. Premier Nathan Rees formally announced the dumping of the $12bn plan citing the state's existing financial woes.

I now present the following picture from the North West Metro website now defunct and a photo.

I wonder if this is a case of plagiarism. I mean clearly the "proposed" Castle Hill Railway Station and the current Macquarie Park Railway Station are for all intents identical. It does make some degree of sense when you consider that at one stage poissibly within the the past 5 years that they could conceivably been part of the same project, though I tend to think that there might be a little bit of laziness on the part of the website designer. Admittedly they had to show something so why not render a picture of a railway station that's not yet been opened, the public are too stupid to know the difference... except that some of us are fanatics.

I will admit that I like the idea that several stations on the same line should have a distinct "feel" about them. Museum and St James were built as a pair, the Eastern Suburbs Railway Line has 1.5" tiles that are colour-coded for every station and even the airport line albeit a little sterile has a breezy look about it. Something about Castle Hill Station being a total rip-off though left me a little flat though. Where's the imagination of the designers? Then again if you're just going to reneg on $12bn you can't expect imagination anymore can you? Designers also like to be fed too.

November 14, 2008

Horse 932 - I Hate "You"

Let it be known that I hate "You". Not you as a person but the word "you".

You is the second person, singular or plural, nominative or objective. If you think that that sounds overly loaded as a word then you'd be correct. The OED notes that although archaic, the singular should be thou (which is pronounced exactly as written with the diphthong th not a y as in you). Likewise ye should be the collective plural. The problem with this is that because both thou and ye have fallen out of favour, English has had to invent collective plurals, resulting in you guys, y'all or possibly youse - all of which sound uncultured.

Because you should be a plural, the acceptable infinitives for existance become you were and you are. This is patently silly when applied to the singular, for it was and it is are quite logically the acceptable infinitives for existance in this case. But what happens to you in the singular? You was and you is again sound quite silly however, Dickens, Defoe, Shelley, and even Shakespeare seemed to have no trouble with it at all. Indeed up until the completion of OED 1 in 1933 it was perfectly acceptable. By the time of completion of OED 2 in 1997 it had entirely disappered. Certainly by the completion of OED 3 in 2037 (est.) it will be most frowned upon.

This all brings me to a rather moot question. Why does the English Language happen to settle on illogical things like this for? Why is the sentence "I'm hurrying, are I not?" appear so stupid and yet "I'm hurrying, aren't I?" be correct when apart from a wee reordering of words and the addition of a contraction, it's still pretty much exactly the same? The reason I suspect because English is such a stupid and barbarian language that steals from other languages, plays with virtually no rules, and then tries to hopelessly fit into Latin (which itself has been dead as a spoken language for well over 1400 years), is the rather arbitrary reason that someone didn't like it. That in itself is really quite pathetic, but when you consider that style manuals and even the OED itself are written by grammar nazis who themselves are only acting on they previously have been taught because other people didn't like it, then it explains but doesn't excuse it.

You is understand why I hate you now? I mean if scholars don't like something and get it changed then why can't I? You is stupid.

November 11, 2008

Horse 931 - Jack of Hearts

Why is it that whenever you draw Tintin, you can never ever draw him again?

I have been given a new computer and a new scanner at work while the boss up and gallivants down in Melbourne. So, with my new scanner, I've decided to go and scribble up some drawings for it. Never before have I had colour in such clarity or come to the screen in such a quick amount of time.

Tintin is clad in a Heart of Midlothian FC shirt as you'd expect the Jack of Hearts to be wearing, it is after all Hearts FC and not a Hibernian in sight.

Harley Quinn makes for quite an adequate Queen of Forks.

November 04, 2008

Horse 930 - Presidential Tipping

I found this handy dandy little widget gidget on the Washington Post's website:

... basically it's a little thing where you can have a go and paint red and blue all over America to pick who's going to be the next president. I had a go and came up with this:

That would have the results listed as:
322 Obama
216 McCain

Mind you, I think that whoever has the job will find it incerdibly difficult; also Iran has come out and stated in two independent statements that if McCain were to be president then a state of hostility would be likely to exist between them and America, and that if Obama were to be president then a state of hostility would also be likely to exist between them and America. Either way it's a bad result.

I think that it's technically possible to win with either 12 or 11 states bur for that to actually happen you need to get California, Texas, Florida, New York, Ohio and Illinois to agree with each other. Whilst that's possible in theory, in practice it's as likely as a camel passing through the eye of a needle and as pleasant as a needle passing through the eye of a camel.

The last president who was neither a Republican nor a Democrat was Millard Fillmore who was Whig and was president from 1850-1853.