Posts Tagged ‘2008’

Pier 80 is Now Known for Being a Homeless Shelter, But 5 Years Ago, It Was Home to This SCUD Launcher – THAAD, North Korea and Us

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

This was the view we had of Dogpatch / Pier 80 a few years back:

Basically, that’s an old Marine Corps junior aircraft carrier that would get towed annually to Kauai, Hawaii to launch SCUD-like missiles for testing of Lockheed Martin’s now-famous THAAD missile defense system.

And here’s the news of the day, in early 2016:

China warns South Korea that deploying THAAD missile system would trigger a Cold War-like arms race

Yeah, maybe. Is THAAD a good idea for the Korean Peninsula? I have no idea. But, this is recent Bay Area military history, which there’s not too much of these days.

I’d wondered about this vessel since I first noticed it back in aught-seven. Read all about it:

From 2013:

1. Here’s the news of the day:

Anti-missile systems sent to Guam to counter North Korean threat

2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

3. THAAD was developed using the former USS Tripoli (LPH-10), an Iwo Jima-class amphibious assault ship that’s basically a mini aircraft carrier.

4. The USS Tripoli was based at Pier 80 in Dogpatch as recently as last year and it’s still there right now, for all I know.

That’s the connection.

That’s San Francisco’s contribution to the war effort.

(And, just saying, THAAD could come in handy when dealing with NK’s big buddy China…)

All the deets:

“She was decommissioned in 1995 and as of 2004, she was on loan to the Army, but remained laid up at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In December 2006, the ship was towed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where it now has a high-tech role as a launch platform with the nation’s developing ballistic missile defense program. Three times the ship was towed some 100 miles off shore and used to launch small ballistic missiles, which are then intercepted by Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Missiles, test-fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The last test in the series was performed 26 October, when the ship fired a “Scud-like” missile, which was successfully intercepted. The ship will be towed back to the San Francisco Bay Area for the winter. Kaua’i lacks a suitable land-based launch site, and the costs of building one would far exceed the approximately $600,000 per year it costs to use the old warship, so the vessel returned to Pearl Harbor for a second series of tests in late spring 2008.[1] As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”


From 2010:

Now I could tell you all about the supr sekrt USS Tripoli (LPH-10 (Landing Platform, Helicopter)) but that would be MUY PRO HI BI DA DO (I say that in Spanish because that’s how not allowed it would be).

Suffice to say the old girl has been chilling in the Dogpatch lately, right next to ridiculously hilly Potrero Hill.

Where, oh where, will it get towed to next?

What, oh what, will it next launch into the Heav’ns Above?


The Trip as seen off of Kauai in the 808 State (or somewhere else in the wide Pacific) during the sum, sum, summertime. Whoosh:

And from 2008:

Well, look what just got towed in from Hawaii. Fresh from testing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, San Francisco’s favorite former helicopter carrier, the former U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10), had its ups and downs in the Aloha State.

Read all about the post-retirement adventures of the USS Tripoli at Telstar Logistics.

Under the Golden Gate Bridge:

Who knows what the future will be for this old ship. Probably more missile launching.

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli

FLASHBACK: Recalling When Hipsters of the Lower Haight Tried to Own and Operate an AMC Pacer for a Laugh or Two

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

This was the scene on Haight Street back in the aughts (and back when CWNevius still lived in the East Bay, where he belongs and where he’d be happier) – four urban youts inside of one AMC Pacer:

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This thing was advertised as the “first wide small car,” and maybe it was. (Back in the day, certainly, it was wide enough for the Sandwich King.)

(Perhaps Google should have used these cars to carry their Street View sensors around? Compared to brand-new, bright red hybrid Priuseses, a fleet of old Pacers would have attracted less attention from John Law.)

But look, Gentle Reader, they loved Pacers in France, for some reason:


All right, let’s say au revoir to les hipsters de Haight, seen after they’d navigated through the already failed Octavia Boulevard “urbanist”/urbonaut experiment/ongoing fiasco:

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(Headrests are for squares of course.)

Stay safe in your overweight, underpowered, low-MPG, two-ton fishbowl!

Heh: “DRAFTGORE.COM!” – Sadly, This Website is Now Out Of Commission

Friday, August 21st, 2015

The True Believers of Aught-Seven:

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Still, one never knows What The Future Will Bring

“Undergrounding” – Once Again, the Rich and Connected Want to Impose Their Aesthetic Values and Have the Little People Pay For It

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

The problem with London Breed attending house parties to raise money for herself is that it warps her perspective. On the subject of 9th Avenue:

“It’s one of the major gateways to Golden Gate Park and it just looks so horrible”

And which part looks horrible? The infrastructure, supposedly.

To me, it looks beautiful:


Isn’t it funny how real estate interests out there deny how bad the fog is, and the wind, always with the swirling wind, but, somehow, it’s your internet and the N Judah overhead wires what’s really holding them back?

Anyway, to the rich people who want to impose their aesthetics on the rest of us, why don’t you raise the money to pay for “undergrounding” yourselves and then pay into a fund to cover the future additional costs of “undergrounding?”

Just asking.

Look Who Else was Doing Chalk Ads on the Sidewalks of San Francisco: Paramount Pictures – “What is CLOVERFIELD? 1-18-08”

Monday, February 9th, 2015

This one flew under the radar, AFAIK:

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Seven years later, here in 2015, you can’t get away this kind of thing anymore…

President Barack Obama Replaced by Elderly White Man on Rec and Park’s Official Holiday Train

Friday, December 12th, 2014

When President Barack Obama was a more popular,* he made the grade in Golden Gate Park:

It was a thing.

But now, he’s been replaced. As seen in December 2014:

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Oh well.

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Actually, I was surprised to see both Obama and Father Christmas on official gov’mint display in Golden Gate Park.

Who will be honored next year…?

*I remember this at Civic Center. The “Hillary People” had some unkind things to say, but it was a real big deal, a memorable event

Haven’t Seen a San Francisco Phone Book in a Good Long Time – Perhaps the Industry is Giving Up on the 415?

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Seems like we saw a lot more phone books around town a half-decade ago – they were all over the place, whether you wanted them or not.

These days, they’re a lot smaller:

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Anyway, it looks like the phone book industry has pretty much given up on delivering their useless products to us.


Remembering the Aughts: When San Francisco Hippies Wore Crocs Shoes, Srsly

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

As seen in Civic Center back in the aughts:

How will we remember The Aughts? IDK.

This is how I’ll remember the aughts, a time when you (well, not you yourself, but some people, well, maybe just one person, for some reason) could easily recover from big, big mistakes like this

Confession: I still have a pair of Crocs (pink, size XXL, thank you very much) from that time Costco sold a few container ships worth, back in the aughts. Of course they weren’t counterfeit, but they were less than $15 and that pissed off the Crocs people oh well.

Goldsworthy, Spire, Presidio, Timeless

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

It‘s still really quite striking, even after all these years

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UCSF Architecture Update: One of These Things is Not Like the Other – Spot the “CIRM Worm”

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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All the deets.