Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Starbuck and Starbuck at Starbucks


Monday, January 15, 2018

Visiting Iqaluit

I've been meaning to post this for a while. Last month, while on Maui, I had lunch with Pete D of CarEnvy and now ContraVex fame. Pete has had some adventures, including visiting this out-of-the-way settlement. Enjoy.

RIP Dolores O'Riordan

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I leave in five days!

Now, I'm researching bus companies for my Cali to Medellin leg and Medellin to Turbo leg.

Chinese genealogy research service

For Chinese people, especially those who live outside of China, researching one's ancestors is an almost impossible task. But I read about this service in The Economist. I might try them out.

Incredibly intricate paper airplane

H/t to Ramon.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

14,741 miles by bus

I leave for Lima next week. I started this quest from the Oakland Greyhound station in 2007. I will be done by the end of January 2018.

JFK and Jackie O in 1953

Friday, January 12, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Monday, January 08, 2018

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Honda Clarity

What do you all think of the Clarity? The fuel cell process is very out there. It's ugly, but it's less ugly than the Toyota Mirai. They are installing a hydrogen pump next to my office, and I am seriously thinking about getting one of these. It comes with $15,000(!) worth of free hydrogen!

Europeans who cannot afford to keep their homes adequately warm

Towing an illegally parked cart in Moldova

Friday, January 05, 2018

Me, waiting on the side of the road, in the Banana Zone

These poor travelers are stuck because of the blockade and only have the shade of the bus to protect them. How do they go to the restroom?

Bad news in the Banana Zone

The Lima Devil's Curve dilemma is no more. As you may recall, my bus trip was going to take me to a dangerous section of the Pan-American Highway north of Lima. A northbound truck crossed into the southbound lane, struck a bus, and the bus fell 260 feet down a cliff into the Pacific.

Well, there was an uproar in Peru and the president just banned all buses from using that stretch of the highway. So by the time I get there in a couple of weeks, we will be taking an inland (and hopefully safer) route.

But something else happened this week. The Uraba region of Colombia is in turmoil. Uraba is a poor region abutting the Darien Gap. It contains the final few dozen kilometers of my Pan-American journey to Turbo. Apparently the government installed three toll booths along the highway and the locals are pissed. The police have not been able to control the situation and all flights in and out of the area have been canceled.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Romanian Ford van train conversion

H/t to rchen. Check out how the old man turns the van around starting at the 2:20 mark.

Here is my Romania story. I knew a nice Romanian guy who got his graduate degree in forest management from Berkeley. He went back to Romania, got married, had a kid, and got a job living on and managing a huge tract of public forest. The mafia approached him one day, and told him he better let them chop down the trees for profit or he and his family were going to be in danger. He quit his job immediately thereafter.

Mercedes Iron Schoeckl

Is this a traveling show? Will it ever be in Northern California?

Where others are left standing, the G-Classmarches onward confidently, inspiring a great deal of respect. The Mercedes-Benz team have thought up a special task for the G-Class and its occupants: the steel construction is called “Iron Schöckl”; a name derived from a mountain just outside Graz in Styria. This iron mountain is used by Mercedes-Benz for test drives. The drive begins with a moderate 80 percent gradient. No problem for the eight-cylinder engine of the G 500. It even takes the 100-percent gradient smoothly, before stopping briefly at the highest point of the iron mountain, eight meters up in the air. As you look high up into the sky, this is how it must feel in the Space Shuttle just before take-off. There is another challenge on the way down: stopping on a 100-percent gradient and reversing back up the slope.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Peruvian bus crash along Pan-American Highway


Monday, January 01, 2018

Camaro ZL1 1LE

Junior and I saw one of these parked in Oakland today. I thought all the aero was aftermarket. I had no idea this was all stock. I was expecting lots of noise at start-up, but it wasn't too loud at all. It's quite a monster on the track.

First 747 to land at Medellin airport (1976)

Assembling a 787 jet engine

The far side of the moon...

...all lit up, taken by a satellite 1,000,000 miles away.

First post of 2018

Happy New Year, everyone!

2017 was a mixed bag. Personally and professionally, it was the best year of my life. But nationally and internationally, not so much.

I'll start 2018 with some good news. I was able to buy a bus ticket out of Lima on the day of the Pope's visit. I was stressed about it for a week, but it seems to have all worked out. We shall see.