Thursday, April 26, 2018

I'm going to Bonneville

I found a hotel room! Let's just hope Speed Week is not canceled because of rain.


An elderly lion in his final hours


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

5 car events to attend

As you can tell, I'm a regular listener of The Smoking Tire podcast. Matt Farah had Larry Chen of Speedhunters on recently and asked Chen for his five must-visit automotive events. He listed:

  • NHRA top fuel race
  • Pike's Peak hill climb
  • Goodwood
  • Bonneville
  • Tokyo Auto Salon (like SEMA, but weirder)
Of these, for me, going to Bonneville Speed Week is do-able. The flights are cheap but I could not find a vacant hotel room in nearby Wendover/West Wendover. 


Have you been to any of these events?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

He-Man and She-Ra intros

Talk about lazy. It's like Mad Libs or Find And Replace.


Men writing about women in music

Frankly, this could be about any industry.

Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl fame wrote a piece called:

“Not technically beautiful, she has an engaging laugh”: 35 years of being described by men


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Peking to Paris 240Z

I think Matt Farah mentioned this car in one of his recent podcasts.


Here is the car's Facebook page.

Aluminum can artist

All done by hand!

Mr and Mrs Bush


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Taking the SMART train

Public transit in America, for the most part, is subpar. Train transit even more so. The San Francisco Bay Area has a hodgepodge of trains. BART serves the East Bay and San Francisco. CalTrain serves the Peninsula. VTA serves the South Bay. The North Bay, which consists of Marin and Sonoma Counties, did not even have trains, until recently.

SMART opened last year. These new Japanese diesel trains use old existing rail tracks. I was about to have a super busy and stressful month at work so I decided to take a day off and ride the train. I dragged rchen with me.

The southern terminus is currently in downtown San Rafael. Once the line is completed, it will go all the way to the Larkspur ferry, which connects to San Francisco. The train is quiet, clean, and serves local beers and wines.


For this trip, we started in San Rafael and headed for downtown Petaluma.


Even though the route runs parallel with Highway 101 (it's less than a mile east of the busy freeway), the scenery is serene and bucolic. The recent rains made everything lush and green. It was like being on vacation.




We stopped in Petaluma and walked a few blocks to town and had Himalayan food for lunch. We then walked back to the station (really, it's just a platform) and headed back home.

In San Rafael, I spotted this random ad for calls to Somalia.


Incidentally, we took rchen's 300ZX to the train station. It was a fine example with Super HICAS steering.


On the trip, I saw two i3s on flatbeds.


The Z has T-tops!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Rolls-Royce Wraith

These are very rare cars, even in car-crazy California. But I saw one in Palm Desert on Saturday morning and when I went to pick up our dog on Sunday, I spotted a second one.

Monday, April 16, 2018

I'm back!


Just back from a little R and R in Palm Desert. Unbeknownst to me, the trip coincided with the Coachella music festival.

While there, we visited Sunnylands, also known as the Camp David of the West. It's a beautiful estate with lots of Cold War history.

Now that I'm back, I will also share the story of a short train trip I took with rchen.

Thank you for your patience and stay tuned.

Monday, April 09, 2018

American fast food in Kuwait

I am fascinated by the Arab Peninsula and would love to visit Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Evil Japanese ramen ad




Saturday, April 07, 2018

Cadillac Super Cruise

GM arguably has a better driver assistance product than Tesla's Auto Pilot with its Super Cruise. Here is an ad I saw on TV of a Cadillac passing a Tesla.


And here it is in action. The thing about this technology is that in two, three, or ten years, it will be so dated.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Former Guatemalan dictator, dead


It's always fascinating to learn that colleagues from the 70s and 80s and early 90s majored in Soviet Studies or Oriental Studies in college. I majored in Latin American Studies and focused on Cold War Guatemala. My advisor was Beatriz Manz and she was interviewed this week about the death of Efrain Rios Montt.

Bored in an F1 garage

Ukrainian soldier


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

New Subaru ad features my final resting place

Imagine my surprise when I saw this TV ad. At the 15 second mark, it shows the spot where I want my ashes spread.

Rulers of tiny countries

I can't tell if this is cool or sad.

Monday, April 02, 2018

BBC Dictatorland series

This short three-part series was recommended to me by YouTube. It looks at Belarus, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. With so much chaos and violence in "democratic" countries like the Philippines and Brazil, maybe the majority of the people in these ex-Soviet states prefer stability.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Bonn cherry blossoms


Sinclair shows our dystopian future is here

Sinclair is a pro-Trump corporation that owns many, many local news stations. It made its local new anchors read this script.

Eating the Globe: Mozambique


One hobby I need to restart is this food series. There is a Portuguese restaurant in San Francisco that serves Camarao (Shrimp) a Mocambique. But it's only open for dinner and we are never there at that time. So I cooked it at home last night. I found a recipe online. It was a bit on the bland side. I think it's because I went really easy on the paprika and hot sauce for the boy. By the way, he is going to turn one next week!

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

I'm back

It has been very difficult to blog consistently recently. Between work and the boy, I have been exhausted. I just finished a couple of big projects at work so I should have some spare time. In fact, I took last Friday off and had breakfast at Lois the Pie Queen in Oakland.

Reggie Jackson is a famous baseball player from the 70s and 80s. He played for the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees. This special plate is named after him.