Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Eating the Globe: Cuba

The Bay Area has a handful of Cuban restaurants, and they are all sub-par. I went to one yesterday and I was disappointed. It's a Cuban-Mexican joint in San Jose. This "thing" cost $11!

I figured with yesterday's sandwich and my Russified Cuban from St. Paul, Minnesota, I can cross Cuba off the list. Barely.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa
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, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Belize, Canada, Cuba, 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

Immersive alcoholic bar

Does anyone have a GoPro dog mount?

Am thinking of getting one for Cooper.

See you at Radwood on Saturday!

I'll be there. Rchen will be there. Stephan will be there. Who else is going?!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2002 Heidfeld-Sato crash

I read about this on Sato's Wiki page.

Need your help, watch nerds!

I have not worn a wristwatch in over a decade. I am ready to get a nice one now. What is the watch equivalent of a 450SLC? My only parameter is that I have an unusually thin/skinny wrist.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

LX570 and Land Cruiser reviews

The LX570 review by Jonny Lieberman is pretty entertaining and informative. The Land Cruiser review is outright cruel.

Modified Land Cruiser is the world's fastest SUV

Kuwaiti telecom Ramadan suicide bomber commercial

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Raphael Orlove interviews Alonso

My favorite Jalopnik writer (and regular reader of this blog) Raphael Orlove interviewed Alonso today. So jealous. What was it like to meet your/our hero, Raphael?

Checking out Lexus SUVs

My wife and I had lunch a block away from the Lexus dealership today so I convinced her to check out a couple of cars. We had the baby with us and we didn't want to disturb his sleep so we just sat in them. We did not drive them.

But first, I saw my first LC500 in person. It was really nondescript and bland, especially from this angle. Here is Junior next to it. This is Matt Farah test driving one. Apparently, Lexus is only selling 400 of these a month. This dealer sold five within the last week. This is the only one left in its inventory. Maybe white is not a desirable color.

The car stickers for $102,000. In order to make more money out of this rare car, the dealer added Cliajet (paint protection), Dentpro (dent repair?), and Forever Start (battery insurance?) for almost $10,000 extra. Ripoff!

First up is the GX. My wife saw one recently and liked the looks of it. It's nice.

But the LX was really nice. But at $98,000, it was way too much. Sitting in it did feel like sitting in a comfy living room. The salesman said that 80% of these are leased. My wife doesn't like the grill and all the unnecessary gadgets, like the back seat TV screens. She was surprised that it wasn't as big as she thought it was going to be.

We concluded that the best compromise would be a slightly used Land Cruiser. Depreciation has taken a hit already. We're going to keep it forever. And it has a lot less bling. But then I saw this tweet:

Two blue hatches

The similarities are uncanny. They both even have black hatch doors.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Huge California mudslide

Detailing cars

I had a bad bout of insomnia last night and ended up watching this very detail-oriented detailer detail cars.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summer trip with Jr to Two Harbors, Minnesota

The in-laws are getting together in Two Harbors, Minnesota, along the shore of Lake Superior, this summer. It appears to be a sleepy little village that was once home to the mighty 3M corporation.

Sir Roger Moore

This tribute to Moore by A.O. Scott perfectly encapsulates my feelings about Connery versus Moore versus Craig.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cool car dealer display in Singapore

Namibian students interview German tourists

Oddly fascinating.

Chris Cornell, dead

Another talented and troubled artist, gone.

Video of Erdogan ordering attack on protestors in Washington

At 0:13, you can see the person in the backseat telling the guy with a radio to attack. Later, you will see Erdogan step out of the car.

Monday, May 15, 2017

993 with Tiptronic transmission

There's a clean one for sale locally. How are they? The only thing I could find was that they are robust.

Does anyone know where this track is?

Turkish girl carrying new mother goat, dog carrying newborn baby goat

Where is North Korea, according to Americans

Aren't you glad these people don't comment on this blog? Source.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Travel Wish List (Updated)

Above you will find my wish list from 2008. I've accomplished some of the items and priorities have changed. I've done most of 1. I've completed 2. 3 is not a priority anymore. 4, 7, and 8 stay on the list. 5, 6, and 9 not so much. And 10 has been done as well.

So as of now, my list includes:
1. Lima to Turbo (Colombia) by bus to complete my Pan-American quest
2. Northern Italy: Museums and factories of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati
3. Trans-Siberian Railroad from Vladivostok to Irkutsk
4. Magadan to Yakutsk via Kolyma Highway
5. Belgian Grand Prix at Spa
6. All the Central Asian -Stans
7. New York City for two weeks to eat at all the foreign restaurants
8. San Sebastian in the Basque region
9. Singapore-Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur food tour
10. Paraguay

F1 2-seater

I would do this, especially with Petrov driving!

East Timor tourism video

There's an article in The Economist about how the country's oil and gas fields will soon be exhausted and that it needs to boost its almost non-existent tourism industry. Are Australians keen on visiting?

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pink Mercedes W116 limousine

Did anyone else watch Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as a kid?

BMW E38 740iL/750iL

Two stories:

1. When I was in law school in the late 90s, I clerked in the summers for a very successful and esteemed law firm. The partners had a row of reserved parking spaces on the first floor of the parking garage right next to the entrance to the office building. They all got black cars and in order of seniority, they drove:

  • a black Jaguar XJR
  • a black BMW 740iL
  • a black Lexus GS400
  • a black Saab 9-5
  • a black Land Rover Discovery
One day, for some reason, I had to retrieve the BMW from some random place 30 miles away. That drive back to the office was spectacular.

2. We have a Kramer-like curmudgeon living on our block. For years, he drove a 1970s Ranchero. Then, he upgraded to a 1990s second gen Taurus. He NEVER washed his cars. I'm sure people on his end of the block are pissed at him. Well, he just picked up a V12 750iL. It's dark green and other than faded paint on the roof, it still looks strong.

Phaeton art almost ready

As you may remember, I asked Tom to recreate my old Isuzu Impulse and Phaeton. He already has prior artwork for the Impulse, so he's just changing the exterior color and wheels. As for the Phaeton, he has to do it from the ground up. I assume he has to create multiple versions of the same car to make the art easier to sell.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eating the Globe update

Filling this map out relaxes me...

And here are the local places I plan to eat at:

Austrian https://www.yelp.com/biz/leopolds-san-francisco-2

Cameroonian https://www.yelp.com/biz/a-taste-of-africa-oakland

Senegalese https://www.yelp.com/biz/bissap-baobab-oakland-oakland

Icelandic https://www.yelp.com/biz/katys-kreek-walnut-creek

Romanian https://www.yelp.com/biz/sauls-restaurant-and-delicatessen-berkeley

Tunisian https://www.yelp.com/biz/sauls-restaurant-and-delicatessen-berkeley

United Arab Emirates https://www.yelp.com/biz/just-falafel-fremont-2

Sri Lankan https://www.yelp.com/biz/anulas-cafe-oakland

Syrian https://www.yelp.com/biz/palmyra-san-francisco

1974 Ford Falcon XB sedan for sale in California

I stopped by a classic car dealer and saw this strange contraption. Is there anything special about this specimen, Brendan and Australian readers? I can't believe it's worth $36,900.

There's a sticker on the back window for this Australian export company.

And here is a random video I found of an XB sedan at a drag strip.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Sunday, May 07, 2017

My first GoPro video

I just got a GoPro5 Black. I know it's all supposed to be super simple but I am having a hard time up/downloading and editing with iMovie. Here is my first attempt.

This is a video of my commute to the freeway if I want to go west (Oakland/San Francisco). 95+% of the cars I see on this road are fairly mundane. But there are always a few special cars. At 0:55, you can see a Polaris Slingshot.

If you are suffering from insomnia or intense boredom, feel free to watch the entire video and see if you can spot any other cool cars.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Chinese lady in 1940s Miami

Ruth Lee, a hostess at a Chinese restaurant in Miami, flies a Chinese flag so she wouldn't be mistaken for Japanese right after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Obama endorses Macron

Does Le Pen even have a chance to win on Sunday?

What to bring to Radwood

The June 3rd car show for 80s and 90s cars is getting a lot of buzz. I am thinking about renting an old car and driving it to the show, but what?

I tried Turo, which is like AirBNB for cars. There was a nice 420SEL for rent, and I actually booked it. But the owner canceled after realizing he was going to be out of town that weekend. Bummer.

Then I found this. But at $250/day, it's too expensive.

I then called an area Bentley repair shop to see if they knew of anyone who rented Bentley Turbo Rs. I got a resounding no. Unless something else pops up, I'm just going to go there in the i3 or TSX.

The lengths we go to for freedom and happiness

We took the baby out for dinner last night. It was our first meal out together since the baby was born almost a month ago. We chose a local sushi joint because it's family friendly and the food is reliable. I just noticed it's the only restaurant I've been to lately where the older waitresses still wear kimonos. Old school!

Our waitress, who was sporting a polo shirt, was very gracious and practically hand fed my wife while she was nursing the baby at our booth. We learned that she is Chinese, but from Tokyo. But the route she and her family took?

Her parents are originally from Shangdong, China. When the Communists took over, they fled to northern Korea. During the Korean War, they fled to southern Korea. She was raised in Seoul and moved to Taiwan at age 19. Taiwan at this point of the Cold War was welcoming the Chinese diaspora with college scholarships and other incentives. She did not like the humidity so she left Taiwan after just a year. She then moved to Okinawa, and finally settled and started a family in Tokyo. And eventually, she moved to California. That's a lot of moves!

Bill Burr tours San Jose

The comic drives around San Jose and makes observations. Many people, including Bay Area residents, do not realize that San Jose (1 million) has more people than San Francisco (850,000). San Jose doesn't get much attention because it has no distinct skyline and no landmarks of interest. It's just sprawl.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Corvette doesn't have a gas cap

I saw this on one of those How It's Made shows.

McLaren at Indy

I, for one, am going to watch this race. Just hope Alonso doesn't get another DNF.