Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bought two more Hot Wheels

A new NSX and an Elmiraj!

Local police cars, vans, and motorcycles

A couple of weekends ago, all the local police agencies got together to show off their vehicles. For those of you outside the United States, this gives you a pretty good look at the typical police cars we see everyday. For reference, in the States, we have four levels of government. From top to bottom, we have federal, state, county, and city.

First up, we have a vehicle that's not even affiliated with law enforcement. But it was my favorite at the gathering. It's an old Ford Red Cross van.

My town has less than a dozen police cars. They are Chargers and Explorers (and a few Crown Victorias are still left). We have no motorcycles.

Our town is named after Joaquin Moraga. Moraga's grandfather built the San Francisco Presidio and founded the city of San Jose.

The town next to us has a larger vehicle fleet. They also have motorcycles and rumors are, an undercover Camry.

The county sheriff's office brought a number of vehicles. Our county is called Contra Costa because we are on the other side of the bay from San Francisco. Here is a search and rescue truck.

Hazmat truck.

Here is a Lenco BearCat(?). There is an outcry about the militarization of the civilian police force. I understand the concerns but on the other hand, the bad guys have some pretty heavy duty weapons.

Bay Watch!

Back to the SWAT van.

Local ambulance. We used to have smaller van-based ambulances. But because Americans are getting more porcine, they are being replaced with heavy-duty ambulances using heavy-duty gurneys.

BART is our area rail service.

These firefighters had to respond to a call while we were at the show.

This is probably driven by office staff, supervisors, or inspectors. Note Cooper to the left.

In the distance, motorcycle units were playing polo with a big ball.

This command center was pretty neat.

This room in the back is for the hostage negotiator.

In the hallway of the command center.

This is in the front and houses the officer-in-charge and the dispatcher.

California Highway Patrol motorcycle.

Citation books.

We still have quite a few Crown Victorias left, but the CHP has a lot of Explorers and some Chargers in our area.

This car is E85 compatible. The only reason this country has E85 (an ethanol fuel blend derived from corn) is because politically, the first presidential primary state is Iowa and Iowa grows a lot of corn.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monterey Car Week

I might go on Saturday, but rchen is already there. Follow his Instagram feed here.

A post shared by Rich Chen (@rchen) on

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Driving a BYD from Shanghai to Rotterdam

This series is both educational and fun. Two Dutchmen working in Shanghai (one in marketing, one in urban planning) quit their jobs and got BYD and other Chinese companies to sponsor their road trip home. Everything they used on the trip-- cameras, sunglasses, tents, clothing-- were Chinese-made. They obviously couldn't speak ill of Chinese products, but the products spoke for themselves. Watch the entire series here. My favorite episodes are as follows:


Xinjiang to Kazakhstan:





More Iran:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

2017 highlights (thus far)

January, tried Nicaraguan food:

February, babymoon in Laguna Beach:

March, got an i3:

April, baby boy:

May, checked out a Lexus Land Cruiser:

June, Radwood car show:

July, found out the fate of those autonomous 1990s Buicks:

August, baby touched Pacific for the first time in Mendocino:

All the land in the solar system

Maserati Ghlibli hearse

H/t to Edvin!

Weird Soviet Estonian ad

I made that "Estonian" chicken dish again, and saw this on Twitter.

Landing in Nauru

Population 10,000. You can see the entire country from the plane.

What a week in America

We went on vacation on Wednesday, thinking we were going to get nuked. We returned from our vacation, only to be greeted by Nazis.