Thursday, December 14, 2017

Northern California Chinese Supercar Club meet

This took place in Atherton, one of the toniest towns in all of the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley. I had thought this ostentatious show of wealth was relegated to Southern California. I was mistaken.

Bus trip: Good news and bad news

First, the good news. Colombia's biggest criminal gang, the Gulf Clan, has just declared a unilateral ceasefire. This is the gang that was busted recently for the biggest haul of cocaine ever seized in the universe. The leader is turning himself in and his lieutenants have all been neutralized.

Now, the bad news. My plan had been to take a Cruz del Sur bus on a Sunday from Lima, ride non-stop for 2.5 days, cross two borders, and arrive in Cali, Colombia. For some reason, the Sunday bus service has been canceled. And I cannot take the other Cruz del Sur service, which leaves on a Wednesday. I think I can take an Ormeno Sunday bus, but I cannot buy or reserve a ticket online. I have to show up in person. Let's hope it's not sold out when I get to Lima on a Saturday.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cost of grocery items in Barrow, Alaska

H/t to Peter S.

Barrow is not accessible by road. Everything is shipped by sea or air. Hence the high prices.

2017 highlights

Best year ever. Thanks for following along!

January: Tried Nicaraguan food.

February: Babymoon in Laguna Beach.

March: Got an i3.

April: Got a baby boy.

May: Checked out a Lexus Land Cruiser.

June: The first Radwood.

July: Reconnected with autonomous cars I saw in the 1990s.

August: Baby sees Pacific in Mendocino.

September: Trip to Lake Superior.

October: Drove a Century in Virginia.

November (technically December 2): Met up with friends at Radwood 2 in SoCal.

December: Baby meets Santa on Maui.

Alabama in 2016 (left) versus 2017 (right)

What a difference a year makes. And a creepy gun-toting candidate.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Gone whale watching

I will be blogging again on December 12. In the meantime, I'll be tweeting and posting on Instagram.

Radwood 2 debrief

Radwood is more than a car show. It is a social phenomenon.

Yesterday's show in Southern California was Radwood's second. It was exponentially larger than the first. There were more cars, more people, more of everything. It was at an expansive German beer garden, so there were plenty of picnic tables for people to enjoy beers and brats throughout the day. There was a DJ playing 80s music and there was even a BMX bike demonstration. It's not yet commercialized, as the only corporate presence consisted of Bring A Trailer and a car restoration company that brought a couple of very 80s modified Benzes.

So let's start from the beginning. This was going to be a day trip, so I woke up at 4:30am, picked up rchen, and headed to the airport. Rchen dressed up for the show and brought old cell phones and other props. Going through airport security with him was "exciting", shall we say.

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Because we didn't have a rental car, slirt was kind enough to pick us up at LAX in his beautiful and peppy cabriolet. The weather was in the mid-70s so it was perfect as we crisscrossed the concrete jungle.

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Once there, we saw quite a few amazing cars. But as we nerdishly went over all the 80s and 90s cars that were missing-- Merkurs, Dustbuster minivans, etc.-- I realized that just hanging with obsessively knowledgable car freaks on a sunny Southern California day in a relaxed atmosphere full of kitsch was what made Radwood so nostalgically perfect.

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A lot of people I have connected with over the years online were there, and they got to meet each other. People in the "industry", like the new Wheeler Dealer team, Matt Farah aka The Smoking Tire (with all four of his cars, including the Million Mile Lexus), and the Hooniverse duo of Jeff Glucker and Blake Z. Rong, were all in attendance. The show had everything. The owner of three MotoCompos were even letting random people ride them.

If Radwood comes to your state or even time zone, make sure you go.

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Gifts from Radwood trip

First up, a couple of gifts from rchen from his trip to the Tokyo Auto Show.

A Tomica Lotus Europa! I'm going to open it with Junior when he's old enough.

If I remember correctly, this is a CD of Isuzu truck music. I'll have to find a computer that will play this.

I got this Honda CRX from slirt. A great find from an LA-area Target.

Thanks for the loot, gentlemen!