Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Casareep and pepper pot

I went to a Jamaican market on Sunday, looking for West Indies food. The only non-Jamaican item I found was a bottle of cassareep from Guyana. It's super concentrated cassava and it's used to make a Christmas dish called pepper pot. I'm going to try to make it this weekend.



This is how they make cassareep. Jump to 2:35.

Adnan Khashoggi on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Did everyone enjoy watching the Royal Wedding? I was on Wikipedia and it appears Dodi Fayed's uncle was Adnan Khashoggi! Small world.

Monday, May 21, 2018

50-lane traffic jam in China

Who designed this?!

Florence, Italy, travel advice needed

We are thinking of visiting Florence next January. Has anyone been there? Too cold? Child friendly? Any and all advice appreciated.

Welcome to 2018 America



Friday, May 18, 2018

Top Gear at Bonneville

I'm really looking forward to my trip in August. Now I'm looking for a fun rental car.

Turbo cologne

San Francisco bar pilots video

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we see huge container ships all the time and take them for granted. This video shows just how nerve wracking it is to skillfully guide them into the Bay.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Long weekend in Sedona, Arizona

My wife's very outdoorsy younger sister married an even more outdoorsy guy last weekend. We went to Sedona for the wedding.

We flew in to the Phoenix airport and had to drive another 2.5 hours north to Sedona. This Bondurant driving school car was on display at the baggage claim area.



Our quarters were very rustic. My 13 month old son really likes to mimic. Here he is, pretending he has allergies like me.


No key, not even a doorknob.



We stayed on the property nearly the entire time. I went to town to pick up some allergy medication and bottled water at a CVS drug store. These motorcycles (a BMW and a Suzuki) with British plates were parked next to me. That YJ Wrangler in the background was pretty sweet.


The food on-site was fantastic. This was one of my breakfasts. Fried trout (from a lake next door) with corn fritters.


Spending Mother's Day morning on the front porch of our cabin.


Wedding day.


The property is a working farm. We had cider that was made with 13 different varieties of apples grown there.


On our way back to Phoenix after the wedding, we stopped at Montezuma's Castle. It's a five-story residential complex from the 13th century. It had nothing to do with Montezuma or the Aztecs.


And in Phoenix, we spent a little bit of time with my wife's parents at a Japanese garden. It was a very relaxing trip.


Putin drives truck over new bridge connecting Crimea

Sixt rental cars

I generally rent from Alamo and Thrifty because I am a cheap bastard. I am seeing these orange Sixt kiosks at American airports more and more often. I saw another one while in Phoenix. I asked for a brochure and they even rent Gelandewagens. Unfortunately, Sixt is not available at the Salt Lake City airport, or anywhere else in Utah for my Bonneville trip.

Friday, May 11, 2018

By the Time I Get to Arizona

A Public Enemy classic.

How do you feel about John McCain's legacy?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

American energy use in one diagram

I'm not convinced that my i3 gets its energy from solar.

Source.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Porsche 919 Hybrid in Spa

For the record, Vettel did a 1:46.577 at Spa last year.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A world of languages

Source.

Nico Rosberg drives his 1955 Gullwing in Monaco

It sounds like he has a French accent now.

Eating the Globe: Latvia

I was supposed to go to a Senegalese restaurant last week, but work got in the way. So yesterday, I went to a local Eastern European market to see what I could find.

Whenever I read old travelogues about the Soviet Union, people raved about Moldovan wine. The store had four different kinds. They all cost $10.99 per bottle, so I bought the one that came with a free cross. It was pretty strong and tasted of raisins.


I figured with canned foods, I could figure out what country the food was from. I bought this jar of Latvian smoked sprats. It only had three ingredients: sprats, canola oil, and salt.


I was too exhausted to cook anything elaborate, so I went online to look for simple Latvian sprats recipes. One just had you mush up the sprats with a fork and mix them with cooked pasta. I can do that.


The meal was okay. The fish was definitely smokey but it was not oily or salty at all. In fact, it was bland. I had to put some black pepper on top.


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, Latvia, 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

Antarctica


Thursday, May 03, 2018

Doug DeMuro reviews the BMW i3


And here is the reaction to my tweet (click on the blue bird):



Tuesday, May 01, 2018

My carbon footprint for a year

I was curious to see how the electric i3 compared with my flights. This is via Terrapass.


Tearing into a Model 3

The synopsis: The electronics and battery are fantastic. Everything else is shoddy and head-scratching.


Russian firefighter saves a cat


Monday, April 30, 2018

White House Correspondents Association-- The Collaborators

Over the weekend, comedian Michelle Wolf performed in front of the annual WHCA dinner. She did a great job criticizing the White House and the media. The media, who profited immensely from the 2016 election and the Trump presidency, was offended(!) by the remarks and quickly rose to defend the White House(!). Now that's rich.

Here is Wolf's complete routine.

Mr and Mrs Louis Armstrong, 1961


Avicii's Volvo ad

I am so old. Until Avicii's passing, I had not even heard of him. But he's huge, apparently. And to this day, I just know he was a DJ. Was he that great? The Economist even did an obituary on him. Young/hip people, feel free to chime in and educate me.

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. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Costume and lighting changes

F1 halo

I'm so happy for Alonso that his McLaren is better and more reliable this year.

I'm trying to find stickers online to affix to the boy's orange McLaren push car. Any ideas other than eBay?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Densest island on earth


It's here.

The story behind Milli Vanilli

I am obsessed with the Omnibus Project podcast. Nerds John Roderick (musician) and Ken Jennings (Jeopardy champion) talk about random things in depth. The last episode covered Milli Vanilli.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Man and his backyard train

I was looking up public transit to one of my favorite places, Mendocino, and found this intriguing video.