Saturday, September 02, 2017

The investment banker and the fisherman fable


An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked, “How long does it take to catch them?”

The Mexican replied: “Only a little while”.

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions.. Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

Headlight bulb change procedure

One of the headlights on our scooter burned out today. No big deal, you think, how hard can it be to replace an H4 light bulb? Not as easy as it seems. The headlight housing is not very accessible on the scooter since it's surrounded by a lot of tupperware, so I decided to consult the Yamaha Service Manual just to make sure I don't break something or do any more work than necessary. Well, it says "remove the front cowling" first! Now that's a huge PITA - I'd rather do the adjustment of all 16 valves on my Bandit than mess with those ill-fitting plastics that somehow always end up assembled in the wrong order, with extra screws and possible broken tabs. I knew chances to avoid all that work are slim (after all, it's the factory manual) but I had to take my chance. Long story short, with manual skills that would make a gynecologist proud (I'm not one, but I can take a look :)) I managed to wiggle the plug, rubber cover, wire clip and the bulb out. It was tight as a (insert your favorite association here), but it got out and the new bulb went back in without much trouble.



Yamaha says you have to remove all the plastics surrounding that headlight, from both sides. That's at least four panels held by a dozen screws and as many tight-fitting tabs.



The alternative is to try to reach the headlight from the inside and below, navigating through the tight space above the front wheel and very deep into the fairing. The green, yellow and black wire seen up there lead to the bulb connector. Above it is the bulb, surrounded by the black rubber dust cover and secured in place with a wire spring. All of that has to come out and back in through the space barely wide enough to stick a couple of fingers in...

The moral of the story is that service manuals and other official maintenance documents should not be taken as gospel (not that I take The Gospel as gospel either :)). Although they contain valuable and necessary information, they are sometimes influenced by lawyers instead of mechanics. As another example, both Suzuki and Haynes manuals for the Bandit say that you have to remove the tank in order to remove the valve cover. Did it several times with the tank on and it wasn't in the way at all. I guess they are afraid of someone suing them when they scrape a finger on a part that could have been removed prior to servicing.

The island.


Island on a lake.
On an island.
On a lake.

https://goo.gl/maps/5Gzzt1nNtrz


Treasure Island on Lake Mindemoya on Manitulin Island on Lake Huron.


BTW, Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world. It's 350Km North of Toronto, plus a two hour ride on MS Chi-Cheemaun (The Big Canoe) - the largest ferry on the Great Lakes.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Vaccines, who needs them?

I recently had to spend time and discuss both serious and not so serious themes with a seemingly well educated and rational man who traveled the world quite a bit. I fully expected that we won't agree on a lot of things, but was looking forward to a healthy exchange of viewpoints. However, it was obvious that's not going to happen as soon as I realized that this person doesn't believe man landed on the moon, believes that vaccines cause Autism and thinks Donald Trump is going to "drain the swamp".

Conspiracy theorists, armchair philosophers and paranoids are a dime a dozen, but this fellow didn't quite fit the bill of your average crackpot. He seemed like a man who knows how to follow logic and rules of rational thinking, yet when it comes to those themes (and I'm sure many more) his thinking was so twisted and full of logical fallacies that it made me wonder how he managed to survive to his middle age. I read somewhere that a typical believer/practitioner of "alternative medicine" is a well educated, middle aged, upper middle class, professional woman. Go figure.

Survive or not, you say, what's it to you? Well, many people don't realize that there is serious direct as well as collateral damage from this kind of non-thinking, and it's both immediate and long term. It doesn't restrict itself to non-thinkers, but it devastates their children, families and society as a whole. John Oliver explained it on the example of "vaccine deniers" much better and more entertaining than I ever could:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VG_s2PCH_c

It all boils down to child abuse and public health endangerment. Do what all rational people do or go live on a deserted island (leave your kids behind, you are not worthy of them anyway).