Friday, November 30, 2012

Mercedes C111

If you want to totally waste this weekend, click here.

Supercharged MR2 v. V6 Fiero

Winter driving school

Being a Californian who has driven in the snow just thrice, I am terrified of driving in cold weather.  So this course seems interesting, and informative.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

List of countries that voted against or abstained from allowing Palestine to become a non-member state in the UN

  • Canada, 
  • Czech Republic, 
  • Israel, 
  • Marshall Islands, 
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), 
  • Nauru, 
  • Palau, 
  • Panama, and 
  • United States of America
  • Albania, 
  • Andorra, 
  • Australia, 
  • Bahamas, 
  • Barbados, 
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
  • Bulgaria, 
  • Cameroon, 
  • Colombia, 
  • Croatia,
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, 
  • Estonia, 
  • Fiji, 
  • Germany, 
  • Guatemala, 
  • Haiti, 
  • Hungary, 
  • Latvia, 
  • Lithuania, 
  • Malawi, 
  • Monaco, 
  • Mongolia, 
  • Montenegro, 
  • Netherlands, 
  • Papua New Guinea, 
  • Paraguay, 
  • Poland, 
  • Republic of Korea, 
  • Republic of Moldova, 
  • Romania, 
  • Rwanda, 
  • Samoa, 
  • San Marino, 
  • Singapore, 
  • Slovakia, 
  • Slovenia, 
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
  • Togo, 
  • Tonga, 
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and 
  • Vanuatu

Carspotting: 2 Mark 1 LS400s

Saw this on the way to the ATM this morning.  Only car guys like us would notice this.

UN in Goma

How 1,000 rebels in rubber boots took over a city of 1 million.

By the way, are those trucks Tatas?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Taking apart a Phaeton W12

Geez, no wonder it weighs nearly three tons.

Brazil GP report and photos from F1Outsider

F1Outsider sent the following dispatch.  His qualifying photos can be viewed here and his race photos can be viewed here.

"The weekend was great. The race was phenomenal. 

The circuit is the least fan friendly I've ever been to. You're not allowed to walk around and watch from different parts of the race-track. The grandstands are physically blocked from one another and each has its own separate entrance. That was a big disappointment for me. They also don't open the track after the race, so we couldn't make it over to see the podium ceremonies.

Our seats were decent. The grandstands in the front straight are incredibly close to the track and our seats were on the 2nd row from the bottom so the cars went by less than 20 feet from where we sat. We were seated just before the entrance to the first corner at the 50 meter marker. It's an on-camber then off-camber downhill left. Everyone gets it wrong at some point. We had a great view of the Hulkenberg x Hamilton incident and also of the beautiful Schumacher x Kimi side-by-side battle.

From our seats we looked to our right to see the corner with a clear view since we were in the line of sight where there's an opening for ambulance access, so no fence to block our view of the corner."

Carspotting: Daihatsu Terios

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hashima, the abandoned island in Skyfall

Mitsubishi had a nearby coal field and built up the island for its workers.  It was promptly abandoned in the 1970s when it ran out of coal.  It was once the most crowded place on Earth.

More info here.

DKW motorhome

Via Flavio Gomes.

I'm home

I don't think I've ever flown as much as I have this month.  Seattle, Minneapolis (via Denver), San Antonio (via Phoenix), and Las Vegas.  These are all the peanuts and snacks I've kept from the flights.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Carspotting: Lancia Delta in Istanbul

Dig This! in Las Vegas

I played with this bulldozer for an hour yesterday.  I'm going to do a write-up about it on Hooniverse for Truck Thursday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Carspotting: Another Tofas wagon

Here is the other one featured here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey (Istanbul) on Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Americans.  And happy random Thursday, fellow Australians, Canadians, Finns, Hungarians, Azeris, Chileans, South Africans,....

This Volvo was spotted by my wife, who is in Istanbul this week on a food tour.  She just had offal soup and chicken pudding.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 F1 USGP weekend photos

I am BACK!  I had an unbelievable time.  A full debrief will be posted on Hooniverse tomorrow (hopefully, as I am pretty tired right now).  But here are my photos and some quick thoughts.

On Saturday night, Austin shut down its Sixth Street district for Fanfest.  Lots of food, booze, live music, and F1 team exhibits.  David Coulthard and I passed each other on the sidewalk!

We arrived at the racetrack early Sunday morning in anticipation of the dreaded traffic.  Our seats were at the very end/top of Turn 1.  The elevation change from the start/finish to the top of the hill was brilliant.

Security courtesy the Texas National Guard.

Just before the start.

The first turn on the first lap.  The weather was perfect.

Here is Alonso, the guy I was rooting for, finishing third.

Here is American TV star Matt LeBlanc.  My friend had more balls and asked for a picture.  LeBlanc, who looked tired after the race, was a good sport and acquiesced.  The photo turned out great.

I gained 2.5 pounds eating BBQ and free breakfast hotel food over the weekend.  For lunch today, I was in San Antonio and ate two enchiladas, a tamale, a hard shelled taco, rice, beans, chips, salsa, and a gallon of iced tea.

At first, I thought today's national paper did not mention the F1 race at all.  In fact, it was in the second sports section of the paper, on the last page.

This was the coolest car I had spotted all weekend.  Bentley Turbo RT Mulliner.  Bad.  Ass.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Off to Austin

Since we're picking up the tickets in Austin on Sunday morning (and my friend got them for us), I have no idea where in the main grandstand our seats are.  If these are our seats, I can die a happy man.

I will post again on this blog on Monday afternoon/evening.  I'll be Tweeting and Instagramming up a storm here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My 2013 adventure

Sorry for the sporadic postings.  Just got back from Minnesota, there's work, getting ready for Austin, and we have seven guests from Seattle and Tel Aviv visiting.

But here is a piragua boat in Panama.  The motor has about 30 hp.  I will be taking it for two days straight each way from Yaviza to Boca de Cupe.  Boca is the southernmost Panamanian village in the Darien Gap with a police station.

Jill Kelley watching Petraeus on Fox News

This story gets weirder by the hour.  The latest: South Korea just admitted that Jill Kelley is one of its honorary consuls.  Here is a flowchart to help you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finnish Bistro in St. Paul

Here is another great meal I had in the Twin Cities.  Finnish Bistro's traditional Finnish breakfast.  Lox with capers, pickled herring, salami, cheese, tomato, cucumber, scrambled eggs, rye bread.

Photo via Yelp.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hmong Village in St. Paul, Minnesota

The Hmong people live all over Southeast Asia.  Those living in Laos helped the Americans during the Vietnam War.  When we lost, many Hmong fled to America.  The Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis are home to 40,000 Hmong refugees and their children.

Hmong Village is in a large non-descript warehouse outside of downtown St. Paul.  Dozens of stores in small modular units sell bootleg DVDs, fabrics, and traditional medicines.  A long market sells fresh and exotic produce.  Along two walls in the market are murals of rural, but prosperous, Hmong life in Laos.   War is ever-present, as there are attack helicopters and fighter jets depicted in the murals as well.

Last night, I dragged my wife and mother-in-law there.  A pushy but friendly guy was trying to get me to sign a petition to Congress to have a Hmong war hero buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where American soldiers are buried.

I had the sausage and rice (see 0:35 mark, below).  The spicy dipping sauce/paste that came with it was very smokey and delicious.  I had a few bites of a bamboo salad as well.  There was a little red bean in the salad and I ate it because it looked like a sweet Jelly Belly.  It turned out to be the hottest pepper I have ever eaten.  It hurt.

Best BBQ in Austin

This list comes from a very reliable Austin-based source.  I will try to hit some of these up this weekend.

Austin proper:
Lambert's: Best for Sunday brunch.  Don't let the fact that they use gas fired smokers deter you.
Iron Works: Beef ribs.  Great building.
The County Line: White tablecloth eatery.  Along with The Salt Lick, the most recommended BBQ in town.

The best BBQs are actually in small towns surrounding Austin.

Lockhart, Texas (40 minutes south of Austin):
Kreuz Market
Smitty's Market
The owners of these two places are siblings who parted ways.  Both have great sausage, pork chops, beef shoulder, and brisket.

Taylor, Texas (50 minutes northeast of Austin):
Louie Mueller's BBQ: Good sausage, brisket, and great beef ribs in a cool old building.

Spicewood, Texas (50 minutes northwest of Austin):
Opie's BBQ

Driftwood, Texas (35 minutes southwest of Austin):
The Salt Lick: The most well-known.  Unique sauce, known for chicken, Sunday prime rib.  BYOB.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Tatra T87 design

I'm off to Minneapolis.  Hopefully, I'll get a chance to check this Tatra out.  No posts until next week.  I'll be tweeting.

World War Z trailer!

ZOMG!  Zombies!

7.4 magnitude earthquake in Guatemala

Timber barge unloading by tilting

Skip to 0:30.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Microcar museum in Georgia closing!

Okay, no more election posts!*

More on the auction.

*One last thing.  Nate Silver at 538, using hard data, correctly predicted all 50 states in the presidential election.  I'm reading his book now and am thoroughly enjoying it, although it's a bit math-heavy for this liberal arts major.

Monday, November 05, 2012


Fiat 500 Turbo

We test drove the Turbo and the base Pop model yesterday.  Both had manual transmissions.  I'll write more about the differences soon.  Suffice it to say, the Pop drove like an average compact car.  The Turbo was fun.  The Turbo will probably replace the Civic early next year.

P.S. If you are over 5'10", don't bother getting a sunroof.  There is zero headroom with a sunroof.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

2012 California propositions voter guide

This is the liberal version.  For the conservative version, just vote the opposite way.

My two cents: The proposition system in California is asinine.  Ostensibly, it's meant to be more democratic-- giving voters a direct say in laws.  But that's what the legislature is for, no matter how imperfect it is.  Under the proposition system, a special interest group (or a wealthy benefactor) collects the requisite signatures to get the measure on the ballot, and floods the airwaves with ads containing half-truths.  Well-meaning voters often end up voting against their own interests.  Let's get a proposition on the ballot banning propositions.  (End of rant.)

30: Taxes.  Raises taxes for those earning over $250k and 1/4 cent sales tax increase.  YES

31: State Budget.  Too many issues to list.  Bad idea overall.  NO

32: Political Contributions by Unions.  Prohibits unions from automatically deducting paychecks for political purposes.  Guess who likes this idea?  NO

33: Auto Insurance Rates.  Sponsored by car insurance companies.  NO

34: End Death Penalty.  YES

35: Human Trafficking.  Complicated.  Helps victims, but also gives ammunition to overzealous DAs.  NO ENDORSEMENT

36: 3-Strikes Law.  Life sentence for third strike only if third strike is serious and violent.  YES

37: Genetically Engineered Foods.  Requires labeling of genetically modified foods.  YES

38: Tax to Fund Education.  Raises taxes on the poor.  NO

39: Multistate Business Tax: Requires businesses to pay California income tax.  YES

40: Redistricting.  Republicans don't like the districts already drawn, so they brought forth this proposition.  NO

11,000 mile Alfa 164 for sale

O.  M.  G.

Via ebay.