Thursday, July 30, 2015

Car carrying ship

I spotted this ship in Richmond yesterday. It carries thousands of cars. At the dock parking lots, there were mostly new Subarus, Teslas, and a few Hondas. There is also a bunch of Ford Econoline vans for shuttling drivers between the ship and the parking lots. It's intense to watch.

Here is a cool video of a ship being loaded.

Mitla Cafe, the inspiration for Taco Bell

I currently subscribe to five podcasts*, and one of them is Latino USA. It's a weekly NPR show hosted by Maria Hinojosa. On a recent episode, I learned that this old Mexican restaurant in San Bernardino along Route 66 was the inspiration for the Taco Bell chain.

*The other four are WTF, Car Talk, Fresh Air, and BBC Chequered Flag F1.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My only Reunion blog reader, to the white courtesy phone

Please email me at milhousevanh at gmail. Merci.

Coke/Walmart ad

Jesus, that's a lot of soda.

Sand from different parts of the Sahara

Via Reddit.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Turbo, Colombia, does not look appealing

I'm deep into researching my South America trip. The end of the journey, and road, is Turbo, Colombia. It marks the northern terminus of the South American portion of the Pan-American Highway.

Here is the end of the road. The airport is past the barriers.

Here is the only hotel that Lonely Planet recommends.

Here is a typical room in said hotel.

And this is a favorite Turbo pastime, machete fighting.

This will be...interesting. I am currently using Google Street View to find a Chinese restaurant. This town looks sketchier than any other place I've been to so far.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 New Zealand Nissan line-up

The Holden line-up got some insightful comments, so let's try New Zealand's Nissans. I have put in parenthesis what the U.S. version is called.

Micra (We don't have it):

Leaf (Leaf (By the way, used Leafs have cratered in value for some reason in California)):

Pulsar Sedan and Hatch (They're sort of related to the Versa, right, Charlie?):

Altima (Same):

370Z (Same):

GT-R (Same):

Juke (Same):

Qashqai (Rogue?):

X-Trail (Wait, is this the Rogue?):

Pathfinder (Pathfinder):

Patrol (Infiniti QX56):

MP300 Navarra (Not quite a Frontier):

Next car: Jeep Renegade?

Shockingly, the Mrs is getting tired of driving a base 2004 Civic with crank windows. It has run without a hiccup since new and I have only had it serviced at the dealer (I know, what a dope).

Anyway, she mentioned the Jeep Renegade today. First, I knew it was based on the big Fiat, but I didn't realize it was made in Italy. Second, despite living in the Bay Area since 1992, I don't know where my local Jeep dealer is.

The Search for General Tso trailer

This is a great little documentary. It has history, culture, food, travel, intrigue. I have a much better appreciation for Americanized Chinese food now.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

2015 Holden line-up

Can you tell that I have the day off and am reclaiming my old role as a couch potato? Here is the current line-up with explanations as to what the heck the models are (in American English).

Barina Spark (Chevy Spark):

Barina (Chevy Aveo):

Cruze (Chevy Cruze, although the Australians not only have the sedan, but also a hatchback and a wagon):

Astra (Nothing like it here in the States, but I think it should be a Cavalier/Cobalt):

Malibu (Chevy Malibu):

Cascada (There's a Buick Cascada?!):

Insignia (Buick Regal):

Commodore (Chevy SS):

Caprice (Chevy Caprice): 

Trax (Crossover based on Aveo/Sonic):

Captiva 5 (Chevy Captiva Sport, a discontinued rental car):

Captiva 7 (Nothing like it here):

Colorado 7 (Nothing like it here, with suggestions that this would be a Chevy TrailBlazer):

Ute (Nothing like it here):

Colorado (GMC Canyon):

Any and all corrections/amendments/provisos are welcome.

Tiff Needell checks out the 964 Turbo

Here is a bonus review by Motorweek:

Tanner Foust's Porsche 912 and trick garage

Photos of Cheney on 9/11

1. What a badass.
2. Do you ever feel that the administration did not deserve smart, talented people like Powell (and maybe even Rice)?
3. Why were Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Cheney allowed in on the top secret meetings?
4. Ah, Scooter Libby. What a winner!

Complete photo set here.

Bussing up the Peruvian coast

Right now, there's a 55% chance that I'll bus from Peru to Colombia in November. This video shows the coastal route just north of Lima in a double decker bus. I should definitely sit on the left for the view. Although, I'm not too crazy about passing around a blind corner.

One-owner VehiCross for sale


Friday, July 24, 2015

Thoughts on escalating Porsche 964/993 prices

From Pete's blog Contra Vex.

China's investments around the world

Be sure to click here and scroll down for the interactive article.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Czar Bomb

Largest nuke ever detonated. Ten times more powerful than all of the bombs dropped in World War II, combined.

Infiniti National Lampoon's Vacation ad with Christie Brinkley

Kudos to her plastic surgeon.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Jules Bianchi P9 in Monaco


German comedians mock German stance on Greece

How are other Europeans viewing this mess?

Dru Down's Mack of the Year

1. A couple of days ago, I was scanning for radio stations in my car when I came upon this song on an old school R&B station (I think they followed this with a Bell Biv Devoe song).

2. They played this song all the time in the mid-90s. I really liked it. I don't remember hearing it once since.

3. I was having quite the week, so I thought the song applied to me.

4. I did not realize the official title was "Pimp of the Year".

5. I did not realize Dru Down was an Oaklander.

6. The song is better than the video.

Bozi's piece about Saab part availability

Bozi aka Hoonable wrote an informative piece about the relative risks involved in buying an orphan car. It's worth a read. Long story short, 9-3 okay, 9-4 stay away.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Suzuka lap on a motorcycle

Car storage options advice needed

I hope that by the end of this calendar year, I will have purchased an extra car for fun (and it's not a 993). We have a two-car garage but parking a third car, any car, on the street is not a good idea due to a recent spate of car burglaries in our neighborhood.

My criteria: It has to be very secure (gated, cameras, no access by anyone else but me). Ideally, it would have room for two cars plus a bunch of bankers boxes (for files). I'm not going to work on the car, but a little extra room to move around inside would be nice. And finally, lighting and ventilation would be appreciated.

Below are my options. What do you all think?

1. Someone's garage. My concern with this is that other people in adjoining rooms/buildings may have access to my stuff. If I am keeping files, it needs to be secure and inaccessible.

2. Proper storage room. This might be the best bet.

3. Warehouse. This would obviously be for storing the car only. I'd have to store my files elsewhere.

4. Shipping container. This is relatively inexpensive, but how water/moisture proof are these things? I don't want a moldy car or soaked documents.

Have I missed something? Are there other pros and cons I'm not thinking of?

Weirdo Japanese mascot

On Monday, I posted this picture of a TV shot of our family eatery in Japan.

I just thought the yellow thing was some random character.

Francisco thought it was a lemon.

Rchen, however, correctly identified it as Funassyi, a pear. Apparently, it is a big deal. Check this out:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

My cousin on TV

Inspired by rchen's comment yesterday about the family restaurant, I did a little digging on the internet and found these two gems. I guess my cousin is some kind of marketing genius because I found a bunch of screen grabs. The picture on top is from a TV show that aired recently. I don't know what the deal is with that yellow mascot in the bottom picture.