Monday, April 19, 2021

Migrants are crossing the Darien Gap again

On the Colombian side:


On the Panama side:

Mercedes 600SL review

I spotted this one-owner 600SL over the weekend (sorry for the blurry shot) and found this MotorWeek review. What an incredible car for 1993!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

1955 Mack fire truck San Francisco tour

We celebrated the boy's fourth birthday with a fire truck tour!

It was a gorgeous day and everyone-- kids and adults-- had a great time. The truck was retired from service in the 1980s. It used to carry 500 gallons of water. I sat in the very back and the ride was very bouncy.

The 90-minute tour included the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Baker, and the Marin Headlands. Riding it made me miss my Wrangler with the top off.



I learned that all San Francisco fire trucks have wooden ladders because of the low hanging electric wires for the trolleys. 


The tour guide also mentioned all the movies shot in San Francisco, including Dirty Harry. So I watched it for the first time. It's pretty entertaining.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

My boy's fourth birthday

For privacy, time management, and mental health reasons, I am trying to quit Instagram. So you're stuck looking at my family photos on my blog! Today, we celebrated my son's birthday by visiting the Bay Area Discovery Museum, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We got there early, so the boy suggested we drive around and climb a hill.


In my 26 years in the Bay Area, I had never been to this spot. This is the best view of the bay!


At the museum parking lot, there was this seemingly abandoned and non-running Jaguar. But when we came back to our van in the afternoon, the Jag was gone!


There was a new exhibit about how things worked. There was a transparent (and working) toilet and this half-Mini Cooper. Our girl hogged the steering wheel and when I took her outside so that other kids could play with the car, she had a massive meltdown/tantrum.



The boy is crazy about fire trucks and asked my wife to make a fire-themed cake. Can you tell he's excited?



Mind calming Japanese restaurant videos

I've been watching these for relaxation. Dude goes to traditional, divey, restaurants in Japan and just records the cooking and eating process. There's no talking. Like this:

Monday, April 05, 2021

The Man with the Golden Gun movie review

Roger Moore's second movie:


Dave's review: The Man with the Golden Gun is a film that gets better with each viewing. There is a lot of tongue in cheek humor but if you can ignore that, there is also a quite compelling story which delivers a powerful payoff at the end. Christopher Lee is in the top tier of Bond villains and he plays his part with the requisite dose of sinister charm. Maud Adams is fantastic in her warm-up for the title role of Octopussy many films later. Yes Herve Villacheuve is distracting but the series has always been about weird as well as menacing. As mentioned before, the ending is really extremely clever and suspenseful and makes up for some earlier flaws in the film. Moore has now made 007 his own and the best is yet to come. 

TT's review: This movie gets maligned by Bond fans because of the juvenile corkscrew car jump. I didn't like this movie in the past because it was so 70s. But this time around, I quite enjoyed it. My favorite scene is the one in which Bond visited the gunmaker Lazar. It involved real acting and was fun to watch. I also enjoyed the quaintness of early 1970s Macao, with its old school casinos. However, my grade does not take into account what I am about to say.

I think these old Connery and Bond flicks are simply too cringeworthy. I would not watch them with my kids, even when they're older. I understand they were a product of their era, but I'll stick to the more modern movies from now on. This may be the last time I watch these old ones.

Dave's response: Not sure what exactly is so cringeworthy about the Connery/Moore films. They are just movies. Bond is a somewhat sexist character. You don't have to like him, that's just how he is. People don't have to look at these movies for role models or life values, just entertainment :) 

TT's response: You're right. It is just entertainment!

Dave's score: B-

TT's score: B+


Sunday, April 04, 2021

I'm going to the Lost Coast!

Depending on when my second vaccine shot is scheduled, I will be going to the Lost Coast in late April for three days and two nights. I'll be staying in Shelter Cove. I'm not an outdoorsy type but I will do a part of the Lost Coast Trail, which is 21 miles of pristine wilderness. Once I get back, I'll share a little bit about why this place has been on my mind for almost 30 years.

I'm going to start at the mouth of the Mattole River near Petrolia and walk three to four miles south to the Punta Gorda Lighthouse. So basically 0:00 to 2:00 in the incredible video below.

Monday, March 29, 2021

189 US ambassadors


I just read that there are 189 US ambassadorships. But there are 193 UN member states. So what are the differences?

US ambassadorships but not UN member states

  • African Union
  • ASEAN
  • EU
  • Vatican City
  • ICAO (International Civil Aviation Org)
  • Kosovo
  • NATO
  • OAS
  • OECD
  • OPCW (Org for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)
  • OSCE (Org for Security and Cooperation in Europe)
  • UN
  • UN Conference on Disarmament
  • UN Deputy Representative
  • UN Economic & Social Council
  • UN Geneva
  • UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Management & Reform
  • UN Political Affairs
  • UN Rome
  • UN Vienna
  • UNESCO

UN member states but no US ambassadors

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bhutan
  • North Korea
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Iran
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

US ambassadors for multiple states

  • Fiji/Kiribati/Nauru/Tonga/Tuvalu
  • France/Monaco
  • Gabon/Sao Tome & Principe
  • Italy/San Marino
  • Madagascar/Comoros
  • Mauritius/Seychelles
  • New Zealand/Samoa
  • Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands/Vanuatu
  • Senegal/Guinea-Bissau
  • Spain/Andorra
  • Sri Lanka/Maldives
  • Switzerland/Liechtenstein

Dorilocos

I went to a Mexican ice cream parlor on Saturday and it had a sign that said they sell Dorilocos on Wednesdays. What is it?

Friday, March 26, 2021

How to take car photos with your iPhone

Our Twitter friend Kevin M. (@kmccauley) has some excellent tips!