The Retarded Beluga is in Town

Posted by: on Oct 4, 2007 | 2 Comments

AIRBUS brought the world’s ugliest (and largest) plane to SFO today.

More here. Kudos to ‘Telstar Logistics’ for finding impossible angles that almost make this thing look majestic.

I work on Airport Blvd and there was a whole mess of gawkers lining the shore by the east peninsula shore to see this ungainly beast land at SFO for the first time. Singapore’s to be the first carrier to start flying these beauts next year. What sounds more fun than being enclosed in a metal tube with 580 other people for 15 hours?

AIRBUS needs to sell 450 to break even; orders currently stand at 165. Freight buys and intra-Asian traffic are obvious targets, but no US airline (the largest market) has been swooned by the superjumbo. US carriers are looking at the Boeing 787, with it’s faster cruise speed and more spacious/luxo interior. Think less passengers, more frequent flights. It’s also not ugly, despite the 70s-esque blue gradient paint job. Order commitments for the 787 stand at 396.

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Little Things

Posted by: on Aug 23, 2007 | No Comments

In a Kimpton hotel in the Boston area. A friend who works for the boutique chain in SF (where Kimpton’s based) wasn’t able to get me a cheaper rate or an upgraded room, but he knew how to make it all better:

Thanks Mason!

Up next: will I care about the rate post-Shiraz?

Also, had a most-excellent dinner at The Helmand tonight, an Afghani restaurant owned by none-other than the brother of Hamid Karzi, current PM of Afghanistan and former Unocal consultant (ahem). Turns out there’s a San Francisco location as well at 430 Broadway. Who knew. The two of us shared a variety of 3 sumptuous (really) entrees and a bottle of wine for $84. Very pleased.

You Wishing You Were Me

Posted by: on Jun 20, 2007 | One Comment

…at Boston’s Logan, 6am, sitting next to this guy snoring on volume 11 and periodically couch humping. Sexy time.


Posted by: on Jun 1, 2007 | No Comments

Finally home from Glacier-Waterton, was a blast despite Going-to-the-Sun only being open about 13 miles on each side. There were deer, elk, moose, grouse, ground squirrels, more deer, more ground squirrels, and bears, oh my! One day it snows, the next I’m in shorts. I learned US Customs closes at 6pm within the park, causing me to divert and see all those beautiful Canadian cattle in Alberta. And I learned that climbing 1000 feet per mile is a serious ass-kicker.

Pictures coming up…

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N Baby Mascot == Good Candy

Posted by: on Apr 30, 2007 | One Comment

My package of Conguitos came with a free plastic Sambo!

According to their web site:

Conguitos, roasted peanuts covered in chocolate, have been on the market for over 40 years. Their mascot, the Conguito, is a familiar and endearing character.
Due to evolution and the changing times, our mascot has also evolved and slightly changed in order to adapt to the present day.
When the “Conguito” was born in the sixties the mascot was perceived as a tiny character covered in chocolate and it has slowly evolved and been updated.

Um, okay. We’re not making fun of black people, honest! It’s a tiny character covered in chocolate. Or tar. Wait, chocolate.

This all makes much more sense after listening to their kickin’ theme song. Okay, well, perhaps not.

cc: Revs. Jackson and Sharpton

So Long Spain

Posted by: on Apr 4, 2007 | No Comments

…aside from the biblical rains the last day and my cafe con gamba (yes, somehow a whole prawn ended up in my coffee at a tapas bar), you have a mighty fine country there. (What I saw at least…)

Oh, and thanks for all the signs and menus in English.

…oh, and to the family yesterday on UA 901 who made me give up my nice window seat so your precious little family could all sit together, that was a serious dick move. You knew I’d be seen as some horrible child-hating bastard if I didn’t give up my seat, and you took advantage of it. If you want to sit together, book in advance and pick out your seats like I did, you assholes. The aisle seat I got in exchange had two old people on the inside who needed frequent restroom breaks — and all your shit was in the bin above my head which you accessed no less than 17 times. (I counted.) Just because you spawned does not give you license to run me over with your stroller, ruin my movie and dinner and especially steal my plane seat for a 12hr flight.


Posted by: on Dec 25, 2006 | No Comments

Come February or March, I think I’m going to take two weeks in southern Spain, probably not far from Barcelona. Anyone else interested? Airfare seems about $100 more than it cost me to come out to South Carolina. Nutty.

Probably somewhere around here or as close to Barcelona as I can get. My mother needs me to use up one of her condo exchanges, and who am I to turn up free lodging?

[UPDATE: Map was bugging me, so I removed it.. was the wrong location anyway. I’ve opted for a secret bunker instead.

No Dumping, Psychos, or Drunkards

Posted by: on Oct 9, 2006 | No Comments

Also: “Don’t connive at the driver’s violation of the passenger transport or traffic management regulations.”

My Ears!

Posted by: on Sep 25, 2006 | No Comments

They burn! They burn!
The honking in Shanghai, even 32 floors up with the windows closed, is absolutely maddening. I can only fathom it means “hello,” “good day,” “your hat is lovely” or something here, cuz it certainly serves no constructive purpose. Stop lights, crosswalks, painted lines in the road — they all mean nothing. Crossing the road, riding in a cab, or even walking on the sidewalk is done at your own peril.
Twice I’ve abandoned cabs as my urge to, um, not die, overtook. Apparently those cabs were meant for blind people.
The drivers who constantly spit out the window are also a nice touch. (Even though the info placard inside the cab mentions drivers are forbidden from doing so, as well as being required to use A/C should you request — they don’t.)
I think I may go ride the MagLev train tomorrow to the airport. Not because I need to go the airport, and not even because it picks one up at a convenient point, but because moving at such a rapid clip is just unfound novelty here in Shanghai.
Unrelated: I found underwear with a ruler in it in Hong Kong. That’s right — it’s “measure yourself” underwear. Other found undies include the sack scruncher, scrotal “blinds,” and the lacy staff sheath. Oh, to have so many upsetting gifts.
I also picked up a novelty penis. Throw it down and it explodes in a big rubber ball on the table, only to re-form all T2-like. What could possibly be more fun for $1?
Only one more full day, then 24 hours of travel to get home. But 3 weeks later or so, I think it’s back to Hong Kong.