GOT Tacoma?

Mad props to this guy… Dickon mos def.

As a side note, these retro color scheme (yellow on black) license plates in CA are super popular, but seem strange to me when put on new cars.

PCH Glory

What I wouldn’t do to bring the Crown here someday… My brother in law bought a cherry ’64 GTO convertible with a nice crate V8, perfect inside and out, and all I could think was… I miss my Crown.

America Has Fish Sauce

But there are so many basic types and specific variants, as well as imported and domestically produced brands, it’s mind-boggling. Referring to any specific type as just “fish sauce” could be quite disastrous, depending on the context (who put pla dak in the nam pla?).

Bonus shot: Ultra dope station wagon in the Costco parking lot.

Auto-parking Slipper Resort in Japan

Alternate usages:

  • Segways for cats (light load bearing)
  • Go Go Gadget Rollerslips (heavy load bearing)
  • Tech-enabled procreation aid for rapidly aging population (G Parking)
  • Ad-hoc conveyor sushi party set

I wish Nissan would quit spending resources on clickbait and just make better cars… My RB-20 cries itself to sleep every night knowing that its great grandkids are (under) powering ugly hybrid bimbo boxes with whiny CVTs and ridiculous start/stop features.

The Defiant Ones

Took me a while to get around to it, but this is the best documentary, ever. So, so many memories that basically defined my entire youth. In the whole series, there is exactly one album I don’t own, and I’ve used every hip hop album and artist mentioned in a mixtape or live set at some point (oh the time I had before we had kids lol).

I kept buying CDs long after Napster and Audiogalaxy, mostly because of the huge difference in sound quality those days, but I’ve only averaged about one or two per year in the past 10 years.

And I still load the Chronic in between Kendrick and Gucci every once in a while, because it will always be the king of car beats.

Kujira Weather

The weather has cooled considerably, which means cruising with the windows down.

I gotta say, it was a good day.

Sunday Hoops

A three day weekend is something special, but especially so when you’re a little kid. Mommy was off at graduation practice for her uni, so the kids and I got in the Crown and cruised around lazy Sunday style, picked up some fries at Mickey D’s, and went to some shaded outdoor courts across from their school for a picnic and some basketball.

These days, Max is trying out all kinds of sports to see what he likes. He was into football only for a couple years, but has gotten into ping pong more recently. He’s expressed interested interest in starting up muay thai again, so we will start on that at Nam’s uni next week if we can. Just the past couple of days he’s been dribbling around a basketball, so today was the day to find out if he could get the ball up to the basket yet:

A photo of Max in his pre-basket days.
Max in his full post-basket glory. Be proud son, not everyone has a snapshot of such an important moment.

This was his very first unassisted basket, and there was much celebration. All in all, he got in three baskets today and wore the hell out of his arms. As I remember, this is an important growth marker for kids – playing until you’re worn out, then playing some more on top of that. So I pushed him some more for good measure.

As we were leaving, some high school girls came around to play in their green team uniforms and we watched them start practicing. Max asked if I could dunk, and I said no, but he should ask the girls if they could.

He asked why, and I told him it might be a good pick up line. He asked what a pick up line was, and when I explained, he got pretty annoyed with me and asked why I wanted him to have such an old (!) girlfriend. I told him it would make all the little girls in his class jealous, after which Max got angry and stopped talking to me for a while. But we listened to trap on the way home, and even Gucci agreed with me.

Triumph Motorcycles Production in Thailand

Triumph is alive and thriving in Thailand (300 units/week):

OK, but why did they ever go to Thailand in the first place?

“It was primarily for us to be able to do certain processes that we wouldn’t be able to do in the UK… So, every company has had to make a choice, in terms of where it’s going to source its components from globally. And some companies are comfortable with saying, “OK, I’m going to go and work with a supplier in China, or – I’m going to buy my complete engines (in some cases) from a different company”. That’s never been Triumph’s way of doing business. John Bloor has always taken a viewpoint that we want to be in control of the things that we believe are important, in order to get the quality of the product right, and to be in charge of the supply chain.

I’ve never been to a motorcycle factory here, but I’ve been to automotive component factories on industrial estates in Chonburi and the production lines managed by major Japanese companies are almost on the same level as ones in Japan.

Thai workers can be trained to do work every bit as well as their Japanese counterparts, this I have seen. I’ve spoken with factory managers, floor supervisors, and line leaders as well, and the consensus is that clear instructions and objectives are what determines good product build specifically here in Thailand. Whereas Japanese workers might take it upon themselves to point out problems or suggestions as part of their constant improvement process, a Thai worker is more likely to express pride in their work by doing exactly what they’re told.

Unsurprisingly, this probably mirrors the evolution of the Japanese line worker as well. Not all Japanese production lines or systems are created equal, and I’ve seen employees discouraged from adding any input during production meetings, and simply told to shut up when being vocal about bad parts or processes. The thing is, this used to be the norm… Now, it’s probably the mark of a company that isn’t going to make it. Every takeover I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a few) has involved a shakeup of production systems, because everyone wants to force their own culture on the new fish in the pond. The thing is, going through every one of those instances in my mind now, I’ve never seen the production line workers being told to communicate line problems less, only more.

The other thing is, I’ve often been told by Japanese supervisors sent overseas (overwhelmingly in Asia) that the local workers act like Japanese workers used to act decades ago – with no voice and just doing what they’re told (which inept supervisors liked and smart supervisors realized was not sustainable).