Saturday, November 28, 2020

My Daily Driver: @jcreech3's Subaru Forester


1. How did you come to the decision of buying this car?

When it was time to get a new car I had some hyper specific criteria due to my short garage.  It had to be under 185 inches in length, fit two rear-facing car seats, and not cost an arm and a leg to lease along with some other nice to haves.  After a day of lugging a car seat up and down auto row I learned the hard way those are difficult criteria to meet and this was the best option of the bunch.  

2. What has your ownership experience been like?

Overall very good.  I haven't had to open the hood except for oil changes (knock on wood), it has all of the nice bits you expect in a new car like push button start, apple car play, automatic emergency braking, etc, etc.  It turns like a pig and is underpowered but it doesn't make any sporty pretenses. I like to pretend it is just a reliable 1990's Land Rover which keeps expectations in check.  I have had daily drivers in the past where every time I start it up I am competing in the Targa Florio and that leads to frustration when I am sitting in traffic. 

3. What is your fondest memory with this car?

I took it on an extended road trip from San Francisco to Chicago and back via Montana and I-90 on the way there and various bits of state routes south of I-70 through Utah, Colorado and Nevada going back.  It was a great car for taking the road less traveled because I didn't have to worry about ice, dirt, or crummy roads.  It isn't a fast car by any means but it does just fine at the far upper end of its capabilities.  

4. Why do you love cars?

My dad.  It was something we got to do together when I was a teenager.  We went on a lot of adventures together and the cars gave us a reason to go and spend time together.  As time goes by I am incredibly thankful for all of those memories and shared experiences.  To me cars are a physical manifestation of escapism as well as a representation of our best selves.  Day to day life might not be glamorous (especially with kids) but once in a while you can put the top down and spend a few hours driving down the coast.  

---
If you would like to participate, just answer the above four questions and submit one to three photos of your daily driver to milhousevanh at geemail. Thanks and have fun!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Eating the Globe: Ivory Coast


With two little kids and a pandemic, I haven't done a new country for this series in almost a year. Today, I tried Ivory Coast! Here is the review that encouraged me to go.

I had the lamb chop which was very smokey and cooked in a tandoori oven. For sides, we got the fermented cassava couscous (starchier than regular couscous) and plantains. The brown sauce on top of the plantains was spicy and sour and very tasty. For an appetizer, we got a deep fried fonio (a West African grain) ball with cheese.

Countries tried so far:

Africa: Algeria, Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Vatican City
North America: Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga

New Land Rover and Lexus TV ads

I like the Defender ad because it shows a Defender pulling a third world tractor trailer:


I like the Lexus ad because it shows the LC500 convertible:

Monday, November 23, 2020

New York Times cover story on the Road of Bones

Story here.

Riding the Amtrak Capitol Corridor

The Capitol Corridor is a train service that connects the San Francisco Bay Area with California's capital, Sacramento. Over the weekend, I took the boy to the Martinez station to look at trains. Due to signal problems, we saw just one train in over an hour.

I did not realize it stretched from San Jose all the way to the Sierra Foothills town of Auburn. Once the pandemic ends, I want to go from end to end.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Acting like you like the BMW iX

The new BMW has been controversial, not only because of its looks, but because BMW's social media manager has been insulting its customers.

Don't forget to turn on the cc/subtitles.


H/t to Stephan.

I made it on Jeopardy!

 H/t to @slirt.




Saturday, November 14, 2020

Riding a Royal Enfield along Tajik-Afghan border

I read this Economist article about how well Royal Enfield is doing. The article mentioned this Dutch woman who documented her ride on an Enfield through Eurasia. A second lockdown is inevitable here in California, and I think I'll be watching all of her videos.

Barilla pasta factory

I admit it. I eat Barilla because I like the design of the blue box. I usually get the Rotini.

Azerbaijan just won a direct route to Nakhchivan

For decades, in order to travel between mainland Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhchivan, one had to travel via Iran. But as a part of Azerbaijan's recent victory against Armenia, a Russian-patrolled corridor inside Armenia will allow land travel between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan. Note also that Nakhchivan has a five mile-long border with Turkey.