Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Th!nk City spotting and review

I spotted this East Bay Regional Park District Th!nk City last week in their corporation yard in Alameda. It doesn't look like it has been used in months. Sad!

Then I found this wonderfully refreshing review.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Ferrari recreates Rendezvous...


Ferrari's version:

The original:

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Teddy bears from Acura

My toddler and I have a project. We write to one car company a day, asking for a sticker. So far, we've written to VW, Toyota, Chrysler, Acura, Ford, Chevy, and Jeep. Only Acura has responded. They didn't have stickers, so they overnighted(!) a teddy bear.

I tweeted it and Derek K, former editor of TTAC, sent me a photo of the Acura teddy bear his dad got him 25 years ago.

Putin carrying his boss's briefcase


Saturday, June 27, 2020

World Leaders Cars (23)

I'm done!

196. Andorra: Renault Espace. 2008 car: Audi A8.

197. Marshall Islands: GMC Acadia. 2008 car: Cadillac DTS.

Mercedes S-Class: 47
Toyota/Lexus Land Cruiser: 40
BMW 7-Series: 16
Lexus LS: 11
Audi A8: 10
Toyota/Lexus Land Cruiser Prado: 10
Chevy Suburban/GMC Yukon: 8
Mercedes Gelandewagen: 8
Audi A6: 2
BMW X5: 2
Jaguar: 2
Land Rover Discovery: 2
Mercedes-Maybach: 2
Range Rover: 2
Toyota Sequoia: 2
Audi Q5: 1Aurus Senat: 1
Cadillac: 1
Chevy: 1
Citroen DS7 Crossback: 1
GMC Acadia: 1Hongqi: 1
Honda Accord: 1
Humber Super Snipe Pullman: 1Hyundai Equus: 1
Hyundai Genesis: 1
Hyundai Santa Fe: 1
Isuzu MU-X: 1
Lancia Thema: 1
Land Rover Freelander: 1
Lincoln Navigator: 1
Lincoln Town Car: 1
Mercedes E-Class (old): 1
Mercedes E-Class convertible: 1
Mercedes GL: 1
Mercedes ML/GLE: 1
Nissan Note: 1
Nissan Teana: 1
Nissan X-Trail: 1
Proton: 1
Renault Espace: 1Rolls-Royce: 2
Skoda: 2
Toyota 4Runner: 1
Toyota RAV4: 1
VW Touareg: 1
VW Transporter: 1

Friday, June 26, 2020

I visited all 58 California counties!

I had just one county left: Alpine County. It's a tiny place just south of Lake Tahoe, with a population of less than 1,200. But with two little kids and a pandemic, when would I get a chance to go?

Well, yesterday. During the pandemic, we learned that a loved one has a serious medical issue. It has been extremely stressful and distressing. At some point, I needed to take an entire day off from work and the family and just drive. That was yesterday.

The drive there was uneventful. I've driven to Lake Tahoe via Highway 50 dozens of times. Alpine County is on Highway 89 just a few miles south of 50. It got its name because it resembled the Alps, but I thought it looked more like the forests of southern British Columbia.

The county seat is Markleeville. It is barely two blocks long. I went in the courthouse to check it out. It has one courtroom. One!

The area has a hot spring, but it's closed. So I went to a park, sat next to a creek, ate a turkey sandwich, and read an issue of Road & Track.

The trip definitely helped me decompress. I did not reach any epiphanies, but I came back more grounded. The drive back was beautiful and tense. I took Highway 4. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Highway 4 is a traffic clogged suburban freeway. But in Alpine County, Highway 4 is tough! There's a 9,000 foot pass. The highway was 1-1/2 lanes wide. None of it was marked with a stripe down the middle. Parts of it didn't even have stripes on the edges. And the edges-- sheer cliffs with no guardrails.

So now what? I am done with the California counties. It looks like the rest of the world is not welcoming American tourists. 

On my To Do list:
  • Yakutsk to Magadan by van
  • All five -Stans of Central Asia
  • Trans-Siberian Railroad
  • Mongolia
  • Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao food trip
  • Sardinia and Corsica
  • Portugal
  • San Sebastian
  • North Korea
  • The Lost Coast of Northern California
  • Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana
  • Circumnavigate the world by container ship

My Daily Driver: Jure's 3 Citroens

Jure is a long-time Slovenian reader of this blog. He has three daily drivers:
- Citroen GS Pallas (1978)
- Citroen GS 1.3 Super (1979)
- Citroen CX 25 Prestige  (1985) 

1. How did you come to the decision of buying these cars?

My parents bought their first Citroen GS in 1972, and then another one in 1979. As a little kid, I thought they were fantastic cars! I remember many lovely family road trips across Europe. Every summer, we towed a camping caravan to the seaside and spent long summer vacations there. 

Being driven around in hydro-pneumatically suspended Citroens since my early childhood, I went down the same path when I got my driver's license. I bought my first Citroen GS in 1994. Two more GSes followed in 2001 and 2002. In 2013, I bought my oldest Citroen GS, made in 1971. I bought my Citroen CX Prestige in 2000. 

2. What has your ownership experience been like?

Fantastic! I found the Citroen GSes to be very reliable & durable. I have driven them all over Europe, from Arctic regions in the far north of Norway to the Mediterranean beaches. 

I don't use my CX for such long trips, the farthest I drove it was Vienna (300 km away). But I enjoy pleasant trips around my country with it. 

Driving these cars is very enjoyable, the ride is smooth & pleasant. They really shine on long road trips. These cars have given me no serious issues whatsoever, and I want to keep on driving them forever. 

3. What is your fondest memory with these cars?

My favourite aspect of owning old cars are the long family road trips around Europe. Some of our trips have been longer than 10,000 km. Doing such trips with an old car means a lot more interaction with local people, as they often approach and start talking and asking questions about the car. Also, I have been able to meet the owners of old Citroens in many countries in Europe and North America. 

If I had to single out one particular trip, it would be our trip in 2017, which took us from Slovenia to Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and then back to Austria & Slovenia. 

4. Why do you love cars?

As a kid & teenager, I wasn't into cars like most other kids. I have never dreamt of flashy fast cars. Then, when I started to drive, I got involved with the Citroen 2CV scene, and soon after also with old hydro-pneumatically suspended Citroens. The family connection (two GSes in the family) did help. A large part is probably nostalgia - beautiful childhood memories of family road trips & vacations. So I'm doing the same now, 40 years later, still with the same type of cars. I guess an important reason is also the fact that I haven't had any bad experiences or serious issues with my old Citroens, just pure joy. 

Here are some of Jure's road trip videos:

Driving the CX Prestige at home:

Jure's Instagram and Flickr.

If you would like to participate, just answer the above four questions and submit one to three photos of your daily driver to milhousevanh at geemail. Thanks and have fun!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Australian mandatory quarantine breakfast

An acquaintance flew into Melbourne and is holed up at a hotel for a government-mandated quarantine. This is what they get for breakfast.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Monday, June 08, 2020

Topology of nations' borders

Unbelievable photos from last week

The protests just keep going...

This was Walnut Creek on Friday afternoon. I take this street every weekday to drive home from work. It's not a very diverse town. I was pleasantly surprised to see all these young people out there.

And here's what the mayor of Washington, DC allowed to be painted on the street in front of the White House:

Finally, Mitt Romney marching with BLM. Once you've lost the presidency, you really DGAF.