Today's Question

Why is it even news that Toyota is expected to overtake General Motors as the world’s top automaker?
I don’t think anybody can dispute that Toyota makes better cars, or that they are the healthier company.
The market wins out, right? Besides, GM has been shooting itself in the foot so persistently for so long, they might as well switch over to shoemaking.

On the left side, on the right side

This story helps illustrate the importance of accurate documentation and redundant checking, which I have a hard time explaining to people sometimes.
The link above reminds me of a story I heard about a DC-10 accident when I was a a kid. The right engine caught on fire, so the pilot hit the kill switch, but the left and right engine switches were cross-wired…

As My Elephant Softly Weeps

Note: Sorry if I’m boring the hell out of you with wedding stuff, but I only intend to get married once, and I want to document the entire process. Plus, it’ll be all over in a couple months.
Yesterday, spurred by my incessant urging, Nam called the pachyderm rental company. The closest one is apparently located in Surin province, an hour or so from Nam’s house in Mahasarakham. A while ago, I wrote that it only costs thirty bucks or so to rent an elephant for a day, so I had intended to rent several of the peanut-sniffing louts – Small, Medium, and Large, at least. Indeed this would have been possible as recently as a few years ago. Now, it is going to cost around ten times that much! What happened, you ask. Progress happened, my friends!
I am extremely happy to report that the sudden rise in price can be attributed to a single factor, one for which I am more than willing to pay. The elephant gets a ride to our house on a truck, instead of having to walk the entire distance on the side of the highway! This is something that I hadn’t even thought about before. I had just assumed that there were rent-a-elephant franchises a lot closer to Nam’s house. Apparently there is legislation forbidding the passage of walking elephants on the highways, or perhaps the people who own the beasts really care about them – either way, I’m happy! Plus, there’s an added bonus! The people who own the elephant said they would wash the elephant all nice and clean (this is not to be taken for granted in any SE Asian country), and pimp it out with a riding harness and ph-ph-ph-ph-phat threads! Awesome!
But the best is yet to come. Nam told the owners that we wanted to use the elly in our wedding parade, and asked if it would get spooked by all the people surrounding it, plus the drums, etc., that mark a traditional Cosmic Buddha gathering. Guess what? The elephant likes music. It dances when it hears drums. In other words, to start out our wedding day, I will be RIDING ON A PIMPED-OUT, DANCING ELEPHANT. Fuck a Cadillac, yo. Pachyderm is the new pimp. This is going to be the greatest day of my life.

Do suru, Aiful?

Who would have thought that in the land of Nintendogs, airport pet hotels, and 20,000 dollar chihuahuas that:
A. There’s apparently a sizeable market for dog meat (but not heads – an indication it isn’t going into pho dac biet), and
B. Importing dogs for eating into Japan apparently isn’t illegal
This is definitely something to think about during your next visit to all-you-can-eat yakiniku.
aiful.jpg
Update: The poster above really has nothing to do with the dog remains found dumped in the Tokyo moat. It’s a poster protesting the largest Japanese consumer finance (read: high-rate, collateral-secured loans) company, Aiful… I used the tagline for their commercials as the title for this post because the CM features Qoo-chan, probably the most famous dog in Japan besides Hachiko… Qoo-chan is a chihuahua, and (although it may not be true) people say they were bred by the Aztecs for eating, so…
Yes, today is free-association day.