Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pyongyang ICBM distance

North Korea doesn't have the technology yet, but I've been curious recently about which American cities are closest to Pyongyang.

Anchorage: 3,737 miles
Honolulu: 4,600 miles
Seattle: 5,142 miles
Portland: 5,226 miles
San Francisco: 5,605 miles
Los Angeles: 5,952 miles
Washington, DC: 6,878 miles

Sleep tight!

Eating the Globe: Maldives

Three-day weekend, let's cook something time consuming, semi-complicated, and messy. This is mas riha, or fish curry. I used swordfish. The curry paste was fun to make with a blender. It turned out okay. With K being pregnant, I overcooked the fish out of an abundance of caution. I also went easy on the spices. I found it a bit bland; she still ended up with heartburn.

Here is the recipe.

I always get the Maldives and Mauritius confused. I thought for sure that the Maldives was closer to Africa. Nope. It's essentially a part of South Asia.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Belize, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Greatest Japanese car collection in the Western Hemishere

If you have to read just one car blog post this year, head on over to Jalopnik. This Duncan collection is the end all be all of Japanese car collections. 100 Figaros, 60 Beats, Delicas, Centuries, Japanese hearses, etc., etc. Be sure to watch both of the embedded videos from beginning to end.

And many of the cars are for sale.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Shock and awe in Hotan, Xinjiang

The Chinese government intimidated the Uyghurs of Hotan (population 320,000) yesterday with this huge show of force.

Here is the news video.

Kiss cam tear jerker

F Muslim and Christian fundamentalists.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Repair estimate for an Audi

H/t Slirt.

Any guesses?

$12,331.59 Canadian, or around $9,400 U.S.

Here is the thread.

CSI: Twitter

And within an hour, the answer was Slovenia.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hong Kong rent-a-curse grandmothers

I'm slowly making my way through Lonely Planet's The World. The Hong Kong chapter mentioned these grannies.

It's called villain hitting.

Alltrack and Allroad

I am more intent than ever on getting the i3. It's a great value, it's quirky, and it's green. So I wait.

The weird thing is, I can't find anything online about a fuel line recall.

Anyway, Edvin suggested that I look into the Alltrack. They advertised the heck out of it during the Super Bowl. What do you all think?

And here is the Audi Allroad. What's with all the lifted wagons?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No i3 today

Just as my Lyft ride was about to drop me off at the dealership, I got a text from the salesman. "Did you want the Range Extender? Because they are all recalled because of fuel line issues."

Not. Meant. To. Be.

This scooter shares the same engine as the i3 Range Extender.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

104 year old German ship used in Africa

This is incredibly inefficient. Due to a lack of infrastructure, the MV Liemba travels up and down Lake Tanganyika with cargo and passengers. Here is a story about it.

Australia gets its first aboriginal minister

Race is a complicated thing.

When I saw a photo of Ken Wyatt, I thought: He doesn't "look" like an aborigine. Wikipedia says his ancestors are aborigine, European, and Indian. Are there many mixed race aborigines in Australia? Do many "pass" as whites?

This is an issue in the United States, where Senator Elizabeth Warren, who may be 1/32 Native American, was mocked by Trump and others for claiming Indian heritage.

Female Chinese bodyguards

Recently, a Chinese billionaire holidaying in Hong Kong was kidnapped by Chinese agents and was disappeared. They say he was known to have a team of female bodyguards.

Here is a video of female and male bodyguards in training. I can't tell if it's effective or if they're just getting dirty. It's also weird to see Israeli flags on their t-shirts. Don't forget to turn on the Closed Captioning.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Abe-Trump handshake

Check out Abe's reaction at the end. Guys, this is the President of the United States of America!

We're in a robot news piece

I'm in the blue jacket at 0:52. We were on our way to Laguna Beach.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Location of Yosemite view

Remember this?

It's here!

How they filmed Star Wars intro in 1979

Soviet bus stops

H/t @Slirt.

A German photographer documented 500 bus stops all over the former USSR. And they're wonderful.

Nick (Kyrgyzstan/Russia), Tarlan (Azerbaijan), and Sanchez (Kazakhstan): Are there still any near where you live?

Article here.

Book here. I just ordered it!

Heart disease death rate

Lots of fatty foods in the South. Lots of exercise freaks in Colorado.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I wasted a day on an i3

Are you ready for a frustrating story?

I was finally ready to lease a new BMW i3 today.

I wanted a rare i3. I wanted the Range Extender scooter engine. I wanted full leather (Tera package). I wanted navigation. And it couldn't be white. There was only one car that fit this description in the entire Bay Area. (Actually, this car has the basic Business navigation, which comes with a smaller screen and the navigation only shows arrows. The better Professional navigation has a bigger screen and has a 3D map. I knew I couldn't have the perfect i3, so I settled for the smaller and more basic nav screen.)

Back to the story. My dream i3 was at Stevens Creek BMW in Santa Clara, 55 miles away. The following BMW dealers are closer to me:

  • Concord (13 miles)
  • Berkeley (15 miles)
  • San Francisco (21 miles)
  • Pleasanton (27 miles)
  • San Rafael (29 miles)
  • Fremont (42 miles)
Obviously, I really wanted this particular i3. After all, I took a bus, BART, and Lyft to get to the dealership. It took two hours in the rain. My socks were wet. I might get pneumonia. 

I had my checkbook, credit score print-out, and insurance policy number. I was ready.

But before I left home, I called the dealership and confirmed the car was there. Yes, it was. Here is the internet ad, showing that it's a new 2017 model.

After two hours, I arrived. The car was not at the dealership. It's in the body shop because of a minor dent that happened on the lot. There was no apology. Not even a hint of it. I was pissed and left.

On the way home, the salesman emailed me. The car was actually a demonstrator used for the Extended Test Drive program. It was involved in a four-car collision.

I am exhausted and really hope I don't get sick from being in wet socks/shoes all day.

I think it's time to revisit the J100 Land Cruiser.

It won't stop raining

I have never experienced so much rain in California. From January 1, 2017, to 5pm today (just 5-1/2 weeks), it has rained 27.01" (686 mm). That is incredible.

For comparison:
Entire 2016: 10.44"
2015: 5.86"
2014: 19.63"
2013: 4.90"
2012: 22.92"
2011: 15.88"
2010: 22.84"
2009: 14.65"
2008: 12.83"
2007: 12.52"

Monday, February 06, 2017

I can't finish 6 books

Ack. The pile keeps getting higher.

The Daily Show: An Oral History: I got this for Christmas. It's an insider's look at the evolution of Stewart's show. I'm about 20% done.

Where the Suckers Moon: Someone on this blog recommended it. It's about the advertising campaign of the Subaru SVX. It's 496 pages long and the print is tiny!

Coup D'Etat: A Practical Handbook: I bought this after the Turkish coup attempt. Remember that? It was originally published in 1968 so it's a bit dated.

Lonely Planet: The World: Easy to read but every country has two to eight pages of coverage. There are a lot of countries. I'm up to the C-countries.

Around the World In 50 Years: I bought this over the weekend, hoping it would inspire me to write more.

The Fruit Palace: This has been sitting on my nightstand the longest. It's a 1980s tale of a guy looking for a story about Pablo Escobar. The first half was entertaining. The second half is a snoozefest.

Chechen president's nephew's wedding motorcade

H/t Ramon.

Babymoon a success!

We spent a relaxing weekend in Laguna Beach. I grew up 15 miles from there, and never considered it a vacation destination. But it was wonderful.

I did my best not to take pictures of cars. This was supposed to be a romantic weekend. But that lifeguard truck, by the way, is a Toyota.

We also had perfect meals, which defied the universal axiom that restaurants with great views serve mediocre food.

For breakfast, I recommend the Beachcomber Cafe in Crystal Cove. It's steps from the beach and accessible by a shuttle bus about a half mile away. It is set in an abandoned Bohemian community of shacks.

For lunch, I recommend the Driftwood Kitchen. We had a swordfish sandwich and a salmon sandwich and both were superb.

And for dinner, I recommend Nick's. The wait was very long (75 minutes) but totally worth it. Their signature appetizer is the deviled egg. They lightly fry the egg white with panko batter.

And for dessert, around the corner from Nick's, down a narrow alley, is a gelato joint.

On the way back home, our plane took the unusual northern approach and we got to see the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

Porsche diaper changing station

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Brave Chilean helps firefighters

Will be on a babymoon. Will post again next week.