Sunday, March 10, 2024

Dave's 2024 Oscar Picks

My Oscar savant friend predicts:

Best Picture - Oppenheimer 
Best Director - Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer 
Best Actor - Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer 
Best Actress - Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon 
Best Supporting Actor - Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer 
Best Supporting Actress - Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers 
Best Original Screenplay - Anatomy of a Fall
Best Adapted Screenplay - American Fiction
Best Cinematography - Oppenheimer 
Best Editing - Oppenheimer 
Best Costume Design - Barbie 
Best Production Design - Barbie 
Best Makeup - Poor Things 
Best Animated Feature - Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse 
Best Animated Short Film - War is Over!
Best Live Action Short - The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar 
Best Documentary Short - The Last Repair Shop
Best Documentary Feature - 20 Days in Mariupol
Best Foreign Language Film - The Zone of Interest 
Best Original Score - Oppenheimer 
Best Original Song - “What Was I Made For,” Barbie 
Best Sound - Oppenheimer 
Best Visual Effects - Godzilla Minus One 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

My French Guiana Adventure: Day 8

The trip back home from French Guiana was wild.

I always like to arrive at the airport super early. There are maybe six other passengers in the entire airport when I get there. I walk around the lobby to look at model rockets.

French Guiana is an international airport, but not a busy one. Today, there are just two flights out. The Island Hopper to Miami, and the direct flight to Orly. I want to reiterate that 60% of the cocaine in Mainland France transits through this airport. You do the math. They check my body and my luggage for cocaine residue.

I board the plane. Uneventful.

It is empty. Then, all of a sudden, a bunch of people get on all at once. Too many, in fact. 23 passengers on board do not have boarding passes and are not authorized to fly. It takes two hours to figure out who needs to be kicked off the plane. The crew is professional and memorable. I'm sure this has happened before. The male flight attendant reminds me of NBC News anchor Lester Holt. He is very serious, except I can see a seashell bracelet on his wrist. The female flight attendant is very rigid and very French. Her eyeglass frame is very artsy. One side is a rectangle, the other side is an oval. There is a third person. He is sitting at the front of coach. Blonde guy with wrap around shades that American cops wear. He is definitely law enforcement. During the two hour headcount fiasco, he is standing in the aisle looking towards the back of the plane, ready to throw down.

We are late for our connection on one of the islands. I do not get a chance to partake in another large shot of rum. All administrative hurdles are knocked down as everyone going to Miami is allowed to bypass security to get on the next plane. We run across the tiny airport. The catch is, we all have to stay together. But a French Karen insists that she leave us to smoke a cigarette. We say she can't. She walks away and smokes anyway. The entire second plane waits for her to finish smoking.

On the final leg, I decide to load up on the complimentary wine. We hit some serious turbulence, and this is the result.

Home sweet home.

As I land in Oakland, I get this text from my wife. The kids are at the drug store getting their passport photos taken. I hope with all my heart that they get to experience travel adventures like mine.


The most common ethnicity of white Americans in every county


Monday, August 14, 2023

Radwood San Francisco 2023 photo dump

The boy and I went to the show. To be frank, the magic is gone. Too corporate. There were a lot of cool cars, but the soul of the earlier shows was MIA. Too bad.

We parked across the street from Pier 30/32, next to this old E-Class.

Let's get started!

These Mondials are just so rad. I think even mainstream car enthusiasts like them now.

I swear I thought this 550 was much newer than it actually was.

Ever since I saw Derek Tam-Scott's yellow Miura at Berkeley Cars & Coffee, I have been listening to the Carmudgeon podcast. The Rover and Citroen have been discussed in detail on the show.

This Maserati made the trip worth it. I've seen every Quattroporte generation except the fourth. And here's the QP IV!

I spotted this Alpina a few days before the show near the Caldecott Tunnel and tweeted about it. Turned out, one of my followers was riding in the Alpina at the time!

Rchen was kind enough to let J sit in the back of his taxi. On the armrest was a Tomica version of the same taxi.

I had not seen an Excel in over twenty years. This was a Boyz N the Hood tribute.

Previa with swiveling captain's chairs.

This 1993 Wrangler was identical to mine, other than the engine size.

J has been obsessed with Humvees lately. Look how excited he was.

And finally, this X90 in the parking lot should have been in the show!

New POV BART video

I've been riding BART since 1992 but this perspective-- a GoPro suctioned onto the front train car-- is amazing.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Oo ee song from Instagram and Tiktok

If you've been watching short videos on social media, you've heard of this catchy tune. The artist is French and was raised in Dubai and Congo-Brazzaville. The song came out eight years ago!

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Saturday, July 01, 2023

I got a brand new car!

Behold! A 2023 BMW M550i xDrive. I got the mother of all deals on it yesterday. It had been sitting on the dealer lot for 137 days.

It is a lot of car. I've only driven it back home and to pick up dry cleaning so far. The car is big. It's six inches longer than my wagon and the proportions take time to get used to. There are so many gizmos and gadgets, it's ridiculous. I have to lock the doors even when I'm in the garage, or else the various gadgets will drain the battery. Some random features include:

  • head-up display that shows speed limit, my speed, and distance to closest speed camera;
  • auto start-stop that will restart your engine not when you take your foot off the brake pedal, but when it notices the vehicle immediately in front of you has started moving away from you;
  • interior ambient lighting comes in ten different colors.
Once I get used to it, I will have more fun driving it.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Highlights from last 14 months

It's been a while. Obviously, the highlights are mostly kids-centered. But with the end of the pandemic, I've also done some serious revenge traveling.

May 2022: Drove down to San Luis Obispo along PCH.

June 2022: Road trip to Seattle. Attended a Mariners game.

July 2022: Basketball camp.

August 2022: I took the boy to Monterey to see a bunch of old cars.

Also August 2022: I flew to Tacoma for Radwood and met the PNW contingent of Weird Car Twitter.

Also August 2022: I took a day trip down to San Diego and caught a Padres game.

September 2022: Portuguese dinner followed by opera.

October 2022: Pumpkin patch.

November 2022: Cuba!

December 2022: Got stuck in Kansas City thanks to Southwest and we had to drive 2,200 miles back home.

January 2023: Checked out a Carvana store.

February 2023: Bowling. (It was a slow month.)

March 2023: Got to check out a Hummer H2 up close.

April 2023: Legoland for the boy's birthday.

May 2023: French Guiana!

June 2023: A good friend got sworn in to be a judge and I made a side trip to a Channel Island.