Douglas Coupland

 

Douglas Coupland 

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Revised: 03-October-99

Douglas Coupland, born December 30, 1961 in West Germany, is the author of several books: Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, Microserfs, and most recently, Postcards from the Dead.

Coupland’s work is the voice of a generation. His views and ideas represent those being felt by the kids of the ‘lost’ generation – Generation X. His books are at once disturbing, funny, shocking, and astoundingly insightful. When considering his works, one is reminded of the prose that will sneak up on you and ring clear and true like a bell.

From Shampoo Planet:

I will mention at this point, though, an incident that happened at the dinner table the night Grandma and Grandpa came over. Just before he left, Grandpa started coughing — real tubercular lungbusters — and we could only sit politely waiting for the coughing bout to end. When we thought he was finished, we were standing up, leaving the table and heading for the door, when suddenly Grandpa made one final last 1,000 kiloton looger, right into the sandalwood candelabra Jasmine bought at the Snohomish craft fair, extinguishing all three candles. We then proceeded to the front door and said our good-byes to him and Grandma. Then, while Jasmine, Grandma, and Grandpa were walking down to the soon-to-be-repossessed Lincoln Continental, Daisy, Mark, and I walked back to the dining room table and looked at the candelabra in silence. While Daisy and Mark stood by the candles, I fetched a box of decorative matches from the fireplace, returned to the table, and relit the candles. Once these candles were all burning fully, the three of us move in on them, and without speaking, we blew them out together,
just as Jasmine was walking back in the door.

“What are you kids doing?” she asked us, but we never replied, and she walked into the kitchen.

The moment was not one that could be talked about. The moment was entirely ours. As brothers and sister we knew instinctively that if we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.

Want to know more about Coupland? Check here.

From Drew Ford

Date: Thu, 02 Sep 1999 13:50:14 -0400

(note: Just got this from another mailing list I am on for another band. Sound familiar?)

Thursday, September 2, 1999

Hello again,

I know it’s been a while since we’ve spoken, and in some way it is my fault. But it is mostly YOUR fault. I’ve been carrying the Secret Grape Wagon from city to city, waiting for you. I’m writing today because I just realized that I need some money. Send me some money.

How have you been? Even though we may have met once or twice in person, I don’t really remember you. Nor would I acknowledge you if we ran into one another on some dusty downtown street. I’d probably cross to the other side of the street. Send me some money.

This is Drew Ford writing from Cincinnati, Ohio, on a day that is so nice that it makes any other days that have been nice look not-so-nice in comparison which isn’t really fair because each day is its own creation and shouldn’t be compaired to any other no matter what but I did it anyway. I am fond of this city. Send me some money.

The other night, I was performing with Hillbilly Junkfood the other night (buy their stuff!). We were in Detroit. Detroit is an unusually stunning town in its own right — the crack whores on the gritty sidewalks, the drug-dealers under the bell towers. Send me some money.

I’ve been recording some stuff lately, too… Mostly it’s just sounds of Drew Ford — me sleeping, me brushing my teeth, me taking a shower, talking to the mailman. It’s so self-indulgent that it’ll make your heart stop beating and blood come out your eyes. Send me some money.

A few weeks ago, when I was in Nashville recording, I spent part of a lazy, golden Sunday afternoon with the Koshockton Tribune and a cup of Mocha Java in a coffehouse called Coffeehouse in the neighborhood of Black Lung. I read in the Tribune that Tommy Tune would be playing at the Civic Theatre the very next night. So I scraped up what little money I have (send), found a payphone (me), and dialed with a fury not often seen in these old fingers (some) until I was able to get through and get tickets to see Tommy Tune (money)! Send me some money.

It is exactly this sort of depraved lunacy that made me want to stand on two glossy metal folding chairs in the middle of a bus station and play gypsy xylaphone for whomever cared enough to drop some shiny coins into my empty French Vanilla coffee can. That French Vanilla is so good on a lazy, golden day. Maybe a Sunday. Probably Sunday. Certainly NOT on a Wednesday. Sunday it is then. Send me some money.

It’s September, folks, and we’re nearing one of my hands-out (err… hands DOWN) favorite times of the year here in Ohio. We’re counting the days on our outstretched fingers until Coney Island, then we’ll be busy counting our money. And what can you expect? Send me some money.

I hear onstage stilted tomfoolery, reminding you that even though you paid money to see me play, I am only up there for my own enjoyment. You’ll wonder at the color of my eyes, because I never look at you. Only at the keyboard and my lovely, lovely hands stroking the keys like they were the spine of some long-forgotten lover. Rose?

If enough people send me some money, I may not speak at all during the show. If I don’t get enough money, I’m planning on sharing, in great detail, my thoughts about such topics as: me, my take on me, my take on other’s take on me, and more about me. I may not shut up at all, if you don’t send me some money.

There may be some others playing with me. Or maybe not. Or I may tell you that specific people will be there, but then they won’t be. That’s it. You’re out of the band. Wait. You’ve got money? No. You’re back in. Come give me a hug. Give me some of that money.

Down by the river we’ll dream awhile. Bring your wallet.

Tada!

Miata Cold Air Induction

 

 

CRAZY RED ITALIAN’S
RACING BEAT COLD AIR INTAKE SYSTEM

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Last updated: 05-August-98
WHAT IS THIS THING?
The Racing Beat Cold Air Intake (CAI) system as offered by Crazy Red Italian is an affordable performance modification for the Mazda Miata. The package comes in two versions, one for 1.6liter ’90-’93 Miatas, and one for 1.8 liter ’94-’97 models. It works with cruise control but is incompatible with strut tower braces. The CAI replaces the stock air filter and airbox — the large
black plastic box behind the driver’s side headlight — and the air intake snorkel which comes off of the airbox.

The Racing Beat Cold Air Intake (CAI) system as offered by is an affordable performance modification for the Mazda Miata. The package comes in two versions, one for 1.6liter ’90-’93 Miatas, and one for 1.8 liter ’94-’97 models. It works with cruise control but is incompatible with strut tower braces. The CAI replaces the stock air filter and airbox — the largeblack plastic box behind the driver’s side headlight — and the air intake snorkel which comes off of the airbox.This system, which is delivered as a kit, comes with the excellent K&N Filtercharger lifetime cone air filter (with roughly 10 times the intake area of the stock unit), a cast aluminum ‘elbow’, a vaccuum tube, bracing, hardware to hold it all together, and an excellent set of instructions.

The Racing Beat Cold Air Intake (CAI) system as offered by is an affordable performance modification for the Mazda Miata. The package comes in two versions, one for 1.6liter ’90-’93 Miatas, and one for 1.8 liter ’94-’97 models. It works with cruise control but is incompatible with strut tower braces. The CAI replaces the stock air filter and airbox — the largeblack plastic box behind the driver’s side headlight — and the air intake snorkel which comes off of the airbox.This system, which is delivered as a kit, comes with the excellent K&N Filtercharger lifetime cone air filter (with roughly 10 times the intake area of the stock unit), a cast aluminum ‘elbow’, a vaccuum tube, bracing, hardware to hold it all together, and an excellent set of instructions.WHY SHOULD I CARE?
There are several reasons to get a CAI system for your car. When your car is running, it needs three things to make it “GO”: Air, Fuel, and Fire. The CAI system improves oxygen-rich cool airflow to the engine thereby making the ‘breathing’ better, and the whole combustion process more efficient.

The result? Better performance. This performance increase manifests itself in more low-end torque, more power for passing & downshifts, and a nice swooshing sound that comes from under the hood during acceleration.

The package is inexpensive (under $200) and gives lots of ‘bang for the buck’. Installation is fairly easy, requires no permanant modification to your car, and can be completed with basic tools. Besides all that, it looks great in your car.

David DeNuzzo (“Crazy Red”) and Frank DeNuzzo (“Crazy Pa”) worked very hard with me to try and get the kit to me before I went on vacation. While it didn’t arrive in time, their help was greatly appreciated. I’ve ordered several things from Crazy Red, and each time have been impressed with their willingness to go the extra mile for me.

INSTALLING
This is a fairly simple installation if you do not have cruise control (I don’t have cruise control). If you have cruise control, it adds a couple of steps and some more time to the install, but it is still quite managable. It is a completely ‘reversable’ installation — there is no drilling, cutting, or other permanant modification of any part of the
vehicle. The entire installtion process took me about an hour, and that included stopping several times to double-check the instructions and clean up a little bit. If I had to do it again, I could probably do it in about 30-40 minutes.

The first thing to do is to read the instructions that are included — read them twice. Nothing in there is very difficult, but it’s good to read and have some idea of what you’re doing before you approach the car.

Next collect your tools. You will not need anything special; just 10 & 12mm sockets, a socket wrench, small flat-head screwdriver, phillips-head screwdriver, a couple of towels for cleaning the engine compartment and setting parts on, 10 & 12mm closed-end wrenches, and (probably most important) extenders for your socket set. Extenders of 4″ and 8″ are almost mandatory for the install.

Gather the kit, your tools, some towels, and an empty box (for the parts you remove) and head out to the car.

Broadly speaking, the installation process is this:

  • Familiarize yourself with the engine compartment (5 minutes)
  • Remove wires that cross over the airbox. (5 minutes)
  • Remove the airbox and airflow meter assembly from the car (20 minutes)
  • Remove the airbox from the airflow meter (5 minutes)
  • Install the CAI onto the airflow meter (5 minutes)
  • Install CAI into the car (15 minutes)
  • Reattach necessary wires (5 minutes)

The instructions suggest disconnecting the battery, but I decided to live dangerously and leave it connected. No problem there as long as you’re careful.

First, open the hood of the car and take a peek into the engine. The area where the work will be done is just behind the driver’s side headlight. I suggest following the diagram in the instructions and locating and inspecting all the mentioned parts.

You begin by removing the wiring that is around the stock airbox (airbag wiring, airflow meter cabling, etc.). The stock air intake snorkel is loosened, the air tube removed from the other side of the airbox, and the airbox/airflow meter assembly is unbolted from the car.

Once it has been unbolted and examined (to make sure it will come out cleanly), the airbox/airflow meter/snorkel assembly can be removed. This is a slightly tricky part — you’ve got to use both hands and it’s somewhat awkward.

Examine the gaping hole left in the engine compartment, and clean up a few loose bolts, plates, and other remnants from the previous air system before proceeding.

You can then go sit down for the next step. Remove the airbox from the airflow meter and attach the airflow meter to the aluminum elbow. The K&N Filter is attached, the braces configured and attached, and then it’s back to the car to install the new assembly into the car. There is one step in the process when you’re installing nuts onto two bolts that you cannot see. This is the trickiest part of the installation, but it’s not bad even if you drop the nuts (like I did).

Wiring is replaced, everything is checked and tightened down, and then the hood can be carefully lowered. Reattach the battery (if you disconnected it) and you’re ready to go.

POST-INSTALLATION
Take a look at the engine — notice how nice the unit looks in the compartment. Now fire it up. Be a little disappointed because you won’t hear anything different while the engine idles in your garage.

However, take the car out for a drive and you’ll immediately see that the car exhibits a noticeable increase in power between 3,000 RPM and redline. The engine seems to move more evenly between the gears. Intake growl is present beyond 3,500 RPM and the exhaust note is a bit louder
and deeper too, however I don’t mind one bit. The sound gets you on every shift — the car sounds more aggressive and sporty. It makes me smile every time I press down on the pedal! Throttle response is improved, and some people report a 7-8 HP gain and that torque is noticably improved. I have not yet filled up my car to check the impact (if any) on milage.

OVERALL
This is a nice-looking, inexpensive, easily-installed performance modification for the Miata. I would recommend it highly for those Miata owners who want to beef up the performance of their car for a reasonable price.