Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hook Box

When I come home; my keys, wallet, bag, cellphone, camera, hat and jacket are all put away in different places around the apartment.

When I leave home; I collect these items from their separate locations. Sometimes I can't remember, and then I waste precious minutes looking for my glasses.

Once, I couldn't find my car keys so I couldn't go to work. (For a moment I thought Lani had hidden them so I could stay home and enjoy the day. What a nice thought).

The ceramic Hook Box hints at a solution. I'd like mine to be angular, techie, and suitable for our Arts and Crafts style apartment.

Thanks Dwell magazine

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Black Garage Doors

Mobile post from Treo 650 .

Most of the buildings in our neighbourhood were constructed in the early 1900's, without garages (Ours was built in 1914). Wherever it's possible, people convert their basement/ground floor into a garage. When it's done right it doesn't detract from the appearance of the building.

But some home owners must not like the look, so they try to make the door invisible by painting it black.

This has become a strong trend in the last few months: I wonder how many people are going to drive straight through their closed garage door?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Today I was thinking about the war dead. This was the first headstone to attract my attention when I entered the US National Cemetery on the Presidio. The headstone was polished marble and looked as new as the day Thomas Haley was buried. The engraving has him as a private in the US Army, who fought in the Spanish-American War(1898), and died in 1903.

In 1898 we had competition from other imperialists. Today, we have the world to ourself.

Try and stop us.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Remote Control

Urban Outfitters has this powerful remote control on sale for $5. It includes controls for "Listen","Talk about your feelings", "Get hint". Basically, all the things a girlfriend wants you to do... Worst of all, there's a button for "Tell the truth".


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pool Side in San Rafael

Josh and Amy moved from their beautiful hillside home in Mill Valley to a beautiful house with a back yard, a swimming pool and hot tub in San Rafael.

San Rafael is twenty miles north of San Francisco, and the weather there is much hotter than SF. So although it's 54˚ in SF, we expect to be floating in the pool, sipping cold drinks, and eating the barbecued Korean short ribs we brought with us.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Grooved Tyres in F1

In Formula One, slick tires have not been allowed since the 1998 rule changes. The tyres have four circumferential grooves. The regulations specifying that all four grooves be at least 2.5 mm deep and spaced 50mm apart.

The idea was to reduce cornering speeds and increase safety. This is how the groves reduce the grip of the tyres:

The shearing forces on the tread during hard cornering can cause tyre tread 'squirm' if the tread block is too small or too thick. The driver would feel this as a lack of grip. The grooves reduce the block size and the amount of lateral support that the rubber has. This causes the tyre tread to 'shear' more easily. The shearing forces cause the tyre to over-heat, lose grip, and wear out more quickly. To ensure the tyres integrity, harder rubber compounds had to be used, and this reduced cornering speeds.

F1 teams are given two sets of dry weather tyres to use. The tyres with the white grove are the softer set.

More information on tyres at Formula 1

Image from

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Beaker Coffee Mug

$12 and $13.50 from Advance


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New 2CV?

Auto Express has this picture of a Citroen 2CV concept car. The exterior design looks complete, but they must still be working on the interior, because the interior photo shows an original 2CV. The designers did a good job with the front of the car. I think the back should be more upright and less curved, with smaller tail-lights placed just above the bumper.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ferrari 360 Modena and F430

I understand that it is difficult to design the body of a mid-engined sports car. If "form followed function", then all mid-engined sport cars would end up looking the same.

But the front end styling of the Ferrari 360 Modena looks a bit odd to me. The two gaping holes on either side of the nose detract from an otherwise pleasant design.

The F430 continues this theme with even larger holes, and it looks worse.

I think I've found the origins of this styling theme: This 1962 v12 Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, which sold at Sotherby's for over $US9 million last weekend.

Stand close to a Testa Rossa and notice how the body is stretched over the wheels and frame. Photos don't do it justice.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Eames Aluminum Group Chair

I'd like to own the DWR Eames Aluminum desk chair. It's a beautiful design that I can appreciate. Comfortable to sit on. The Aluminium arms feel like luxury.

Manufacturer Herman Miller must be actively protecting the patent on these chairs, because the knock-offs have obvious differences from the original.

EQ3 is selling this copy for $349. It's the closest knock-off I've seen.

Personally, I like the Herman Miller version so much that I'd pay the $1000+ to buy the real thing.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ottoman Jigsaw Puzzle

SOMA Sofa at 360 9th Street has the Jumble. It's a brightly coloured ottoman that fits together with other Jumbles to make a bench, divide a room, or define a play area.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Morry Thou'

Tiff Needell is one of the presenters on the excellent British Channel Five TV programme Fifth Gear. We normally see him driving a modern car at the race track, while giving an insightful commentary on the handling. Here he drives a Morris Minor 1000. The car was designed by Alec Issigonis, who went on to design the Mini and the Austin 1100 (the car I learnt to drive on).

Categories:Cars Movies

Friday, May 18, 2007

EQ3 Sample Sale Actually 33% Off

I took a look at the sale today. There's a pretty good selection of contemporary couches, and they're all in good condition. Another nice thing is that you can take the couch home that day rather than wait 8 weeks for it to be built.

But the discounts were only about a third off the full retail price. The cheaper items, like candle sticks, were 80% off.

The sale ends Sunday May 20th. EQ3 is at 540 9th Street, SF.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

1969 MGB GT

I saw this MGB GT today in SOMA. The car is in nice unrestored condition. Actually, for an MG, it was in excellent condition. The body has no obvious rust, and the chrome was good. Pity about the colour. Black.

Alarm Dance Number 3

Thanks Daniel Eatock

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MINI Gauges

The MINI is supposed to evoke the Austin/Morris Mini that I knew and loved. But when I sit in my MINI there are some things that are not quite right: The steering wheel is on the wrong side. Milk bottles won't fit in the door pockets. The engine always starts. And the speedo' is the wrong colour.

I've gotten used to the first three things, but now the correct gauge face is available, and it looks just as I remember! $150 at Moss Motors.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Internet Anywhere

I'm keen on the idea of 3G wireless broadband built-in to an Apple laptop. I've seen it on high end Windows laptops, and I've been waiting for Apple to make it.

Now the AppleInsider has evidence that such a machine might be in the works, and might use the Cingular/ATT/international HSDPA standard.

I've been a Cingular customer since I bought my first phone; the Visor phone. Lately I've been thinking of changing carriers to get a Palm OS Treo with EVDO, but I'm waiting until June to see how good the Apple iPhone is. Now I might have to wait a bit longer to see the HSDPA MacBook Pro.

Thanks Engadget

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ting and Magritte

Lani's cousin Kit will be on vacation in San Francisco this week, so Lani brought out the photo album. This is Kit's sister Ting in 1974. I like this posed school photo. It made me think of "The Son of Man" by René Magritte, 1964.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nelson Bench Safety Warning

The George Nelson bench (1946) is very nice looking. It can also be used as a coffee/display table.

I would suggest that it only be used as a coffee/display table. Sit on edge of the bench, and it will tip up. This warning was on the bench in a building at Franklin Square.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Rolex Watches

Retro Thing has the history on this Rolex watch (some POW's had an easy time of it!):

"During the second world war captured Allied soldiers found themselves in POW camps. The owner of the above watch was a soldier called Clive Nutting, imprisoned at Stalag Luft III...

"Along with other imprisoned soldiers, Nutting did work for the Germans, earned a wage, and had a unique opportunity to buy Rolex watches like the one above. During the war, Swiss Rolex found themselves cut off from their primary markets by the Axis presence on all sides. Yet Rolex was able to find willing customers among the Allied POW's that could afford their precision timepieces."

Todays Rolex watches are more like jewellery than timepieces. I'd like to see them reintroduce their older, less ornamental watches. Or come up with new clean designs.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tyre Tread Jewellery

Car, motorcycle or mountain bike.
Available in Silver, Gold, Platinum or Palladium.
About $100 at BBD.

Thanks Uncrate

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Steal this Idea

Make the blackboard larger, so that there's more room to write notes without the clock hands getting in the way. Now you have the perfect way to plan your day!

Thanks Gizmodo

Monday, May 07, 2007

Art Truck Evolution

The shell truck took Mike Garibaldi 400 hours to complete, and the shells add 400lb to the weight of the truck. It was parked near Potrero and 16th.

The photo below is from Evolvearts. Click on the link for more photos.

Categories:Cars Art

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Google Search using Images Instead of Words?

I have no information on this image. And I have no way of finding the artist's name.

This made me think: Wouldn't it be useful if we could enter an image in Google, and get search results back? Imagine using a camera phone to snap a picture of an unknown object, then do a Google Image search to find out more about it!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Quiet Streets

The street near my garage were wonderfully quiet on Wednesday. The police closed off 7th Avenue and Hugo to clear this car accident. I wish it was this quiet all the time.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Radial Engined Motorcyles

Some time ago, a coworker quizzed me about the existence of a radial engined motorcycle. I mentioned this 1922 German 640cc Megola from the Guggenheim "The Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit. The engine is inside the rim of the front wheel, and rotates with the wheel (technically, that would make it a rotary engine).

Now this week I've seen two new radial engined motorcycles on the web. Both use the same Australian made 2800cc 110 horsepower seven cylinder Rotec engine.

The first radial bike is credited to Jessie James. The bike does not appear to be ridable. There is no coherent design. And it's misshapen.

The second bike by JTL Cycles is more noteworthy. The engine is integrated into the design. The bike flows over and around the engine. Choppers are not my cup of tea, but this is beautiful. Read about it here.