Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gorat's Steak House in Omaha

Warren Buffet's favorite meal.  A t-bone steak, double hash browns, and a Cherry Coke.

How to tie a bow tie

I am considering picking up a few bow ties, but I don't know how to tie one.  Anyone out there sport these?  My concerns:

1. I don't want to be known as that "bow tie guy".
2. My bulbous head will stick out even more without the balance of the traditional, long tie.
3. I'm a messy lunch eater and I will be prone to more stains on my dress shirts due to lack of coverage by my long tie/pseudo-napkin.

Simon Reeve's Indian Ocean

I have begun watching this series, where Reeve, one of my favorite TV travel personalities, visits the countries that touch the Indian Ocean.  This is part one:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Motoring con Brio E28 road trip video

The fine team at MCB, with a lot of help from Automobiliac, made this film of MCB flying to the South, buying a champagne E28, and driving it home.  Mazel, guys!  And will you film my next road trip?

Two similar air suspension systems

Fighting in Aleppo

The Syrian civil war is now concentrated in its largest city, Aleppo.  The only way the rebels can win this battle is with a NATO-backed no-fly zone.  But this is an impossibility.  We shall see what happens.

And is that a Mitsubishi?

Two books for guys

With an illustration like that, I had to read the book review.  Joel Stein (a popular culture pundit) and James May have each written a book for guys.  Stein's is called Man Made.  In the book, he does a bunch of manly things, like work with firefighters, hunt, and fight an MMA pro.  May's book is called How to Land an A330 Airbus.  It gives you detailed tips on tasks such as invading the Isle of Wight and digging an escape tunnel.

Both books look like fun toilet reads.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

North Korean ladies play Rocky theme song

This new guy they have over there is FASCINATING.

Citroens, Citroens, Citroens

Tim, our DS-owning pal, is working on the first of many posts for this blog on the restoration of his DS.  In the meantime, here is a 1971 DS21 that is for sale.  It belongs to an employee at Hanzel's in Oakland, so it's probably solid.

Tim recently visited a man with three DS sedans, two DS wagons, and a lot of DS parts in a warehouse.  Two out of the five cars are save-able.

The man also owns this SM.  Tim got a ride in it.  It may be for sale soon...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom review

Not great, but definitely charming.

1988 Seoul Olympics pigeon BBQ

Jump to 3:45:

Hat tip to my mom!

Long motorcycle police convoy

Early this morning, I responded to a request for photos and memories of my friend Dan, who lost his life along with three fellow Oakland police officers in 2009.  In searching for online material, I came upon this video.

Tens of thousands of mourners packed the Oracle Arena.  Thousands of them were cops.  A Chicago police car even made it to the memorial.  It was all quite extraordinary.

More pictures here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Carspotting: Oldsmobile Toronado

The rear 3/4 shot is my favorite angle for this car.  It's sort of a mesh between a Fiero and a Lagonda, no?

The straight side view is bad.  Everything in front of the B-pillar looks like a squarish, boxy car.  Everything aft of it looks like a different, more rounded car.  Reminds me of a Chrysler LHS.

The tiny car with a V6 and hidden headlamps was a sales flop.  Cheap gasoline meant people opted for barges with V8s instead.  I still have a fondness for this car and its GM brethren though.

Olympic Spotlight: Japan

This suggestion was made by Rchen.  The Japanese women's soccer/football team is a powerhouse and is expected to win gold at the Olympics.  But it flew to London in economy class, while its less skilled and more testosterone-y counterpart, the Japanese men's team, flew business class.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Obama Olympics ad

I'm not too crazy about this ad.  Democrats, for the most part, have been just as supportive of free trade as the Republicans.  For example, it was Clinton who passed NAFTA, not a Bush.

Tomica DeTomaso Pantera

Working on a quick post for Hooniverse right now.


Source: Me.

Autozam AZ-1 owner interview

Alan has an incredible interview on his blog.  Check it out!

Olympic Spotlight: Azerbaijan

Tarlan, our Soviet-era carspotter, offered this, the Azerbaijan wrestling team:

Please send more suggestions, readers around the world!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Carspotting: 1993 Lexus SC400

Most SC400s in California now ride on 20+ inch rims and are painted Mountain Dew green or Sunkist orange.  This unmolested specimen is a rare find.

China builds city in South China Sea

This is a pretty effective way of asserting control over the disputed area.  And in that region, only the Chinese have the resources and chutzpah to actually see it through.

The shiniest dead pedal on a Phaeton

Would you believe that after owning the Phaeton for more than eight months, I just realized that the factory-applied protective sticker was still on the dead pedal?

I set out to remove it last weekend.  My concern was the adhesive residue that might remain on the pedal.  The sticker was on the pedal for seven years, after all.  If it was sticky, then it would get very dirty, very quickly.  You can see the residue on the edges of the pedal in the photo below.

I still had a new bottle of Goof Off, which I intended to use on that never ending garage project.

After a few wipes with Goof Off and a clean tube sock, the dead pedal is perfect.  Just look how shiny it is compared to the other pedals.

Olympic Spotlight: Australia

Our diecast fanatic Ozmac suggested Steve Hooker, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault.  According to Ozmac, Hooker:

has the worst-ever case of the 'yips' in sporting history. It seems like 8 out of 10 tries he just can't do it anymore and pulls out of the attempt about 10 feet from the launch pad. Poor guy, a mental basket case. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the viral video of the week, starring Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke and her heart-warming pre-race dance.  And to keep it academic, my friend who is a track coach analyzed the video and points out-- She was too close to the hurdles and she eased up just before she reached the finish line.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Disaster averted*

Before the plumber arrived, I was picturing bulldozers tearing up our tiny front yard.  Financial ruin of Phaeton-ic proportions filled my mind.  But 10 minutes, $140, and this strange contraception remedied everything.  Look for new material tomorrow.

*Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Taking a break...

An already hectic/brutal week is now topped with a major plumbing disaster.  I probably won't be posting for a bit.  Please check back later.  Thanks for your understanding.

Toilet vent pipe

Has anyone out there dealt with this issue?  When I flush one toilet at home, the other toilet gurgles.  After a little googling, the culprit might be a clogged toilet vent.  Is this like a chimney that runs to the roof?  How do I unclog it myself?  Could the gurgling be caused by something else?  What happens if I just ignore the gurgling?  Thanks in advance.

Lunch in Monterey

Yesterday morning, we spontaneously decided to drive 2 1/2 hours down to Monterey for lunch.

As far as carspotting goes, there wasn't much on the way down, other than this Corvette and a lime green Datsun 510.

It was foggy and cold (66 degrees) in Monterey.

Most of the better restaurants were closed for lunch on Sunday, so we went to Sea Harvest Fish Market & Restaurant.  It's just a block away from Cannery Row.  The prices were lower than the tourist traps and the food was markedly better.  I had a grilled squid sandwich.  She had the fish and chips.  The house wine was just $4.95 a glass.

It's always a good sign to see a boat trailer behind the seafood market/restaurant.

We walked down Cannery Row.  This is Doc Ricketts' lab, as immortalized in Steinbeck's book.

And across the street is Wing Chong Market.  In the book, the bums would collect biological specimen from the sea, sell it to Doc, and walk across the street and use the money to buy booze at Wing Chong's.

Olympic Spotlight: Hungary

Misi, the genius behind Stipistop, came up with the next suggestion-- the Hungarian water polo team.  The team has won 15 Olympic medals, including golds in 2000, 2004, and 2008.  Here is Hungary beating the U.S. in Beijing:

A bit of Cold War history.  The 1956 Olympics took place just after the Soviets invaded Hungary.  They fought each other again in a water polo match.  It was bloody.

Keep the suggestions coming, everyone!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kalash culture threatened in Pakistan

The Kalash are a small tribe of polytheists in Pakistan.  They are descendants of Alexander the Great's army.  Muslims are now trying to convert the Kalash.

Here is a piece about the Kalash from Michael Palin's Himalayas series.  Skip to 31:00:

Common problems for VW Phaetons

I swear, reading the VW Vortex Phaeton forum will cause ulcers and hair loss.  I don't know why I started reading it again last night.  Here is a pie chart that was posted there.  It's from a British extended warranty company and it breaks down the types of claims made by Phaeton owners.

Olympic Spotlight: Chile

Our series begins with reader Viva Chile's suggestion-- his compatriot, archer Denisse van Lamoen.  She was voted Chile's Athlete of the Year in 2011 after winning the World Archery Championships.  She will be Chile's flag bearer at the opening ceremonies next week.

Here is van Lamoen in a Directv spot.  What a badass!

Keep the suggestions coming.  I'm looking at you, readers in Indonesia, Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Poland, Canada, the Czech Republic,....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Changing a tire on a Honda Civic

Although I love cars, I am not mechanically inclined at all.  My total "wrenching" experience includes changing tires, changing the oil, changing the battery, changing the air filter, and topping fluids.  This is the first time in our Honda's 80,000 mile life that it has suffered a flat tire.

First, the lower height reminded me of that Citroen XM when it was in the garage.  

The second thought is the plastic hub cap.  I thought I had to pry it off first, but apparently, it comes off when the lug nuts come off.  The lug nuts were tight and it took a pair of gardening gloves and a cup of coffee to loosen them.  I tried using the longer lug wrench out of the Phaeton but the Phaeton's lugs are smaller than the Honda's.

I was not prepared to read Arabic while changing the tire.

Few things piss me off more than asshats who drive 75 mph on the highway with these donut tires.  I'm driving straight to the tire shop.  All this manly work has inspired me to do a bit of cosmetic work on the Phaeton...

The first technical of Syria

Well, the final chapter of the Arab Spring is about to close.  And because, like Libya, there is an actual civil war in Syria, the rebels have to have guns mounted on automobiles.  This is the first technical to show up in news photos.

Flat tire!

On this fine Saturday morning, I get to find out the answer to the question: Does our Honda Civic have a donut tire or a full-sized spare?

Friday, July 20, 2012

NRA's tweet after the Batman mass shooting

Last night, a lone gunman killed 12 and wounded 50 people watching the new Batman movie.  This is what the National Rifle Association, America's zealous gun lobby, tweeted this morning:

U2 with Pontiac GTO chase car

I'm trying to visit a real life SR-71 Blackbird.  The closest one on display is at Beale Air Force Base.  I found this picture on Beale's website.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Assad's wife just fled to Russia

Her husband has moved to his hometown of Latakia and is rumored to be injured (abdomen and legs).

Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar S-Type crash

This is tangentially related to the Olympics, trust me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Olympics are coming!

I'm trying to start a series on athletes from the countries of our readers.  I have already emailed some of you.  If there is a particularly interesting athlete from your country who will be competing, please let me know in the comments section below or email me at milhousevanh at gmail dot com.  And even if there is no one interesting from your country, just send me a name anyway.  It will be fun.  Thanks!

Syrian defense minister killed in bombing

This is huge.  In the same attack, the interior minister and the head of national security were wounded were also killed.  I predicted yesterday that Assad has three months left.  I might have been too generous.