Posts Tagged ‘China’

Fashion Update: How to Get $90 Lucky Brand Jeans at Costco for Just $17, Sort Of – The Miracle of “Urban Star”

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

All right, work with me here, people. Them stretchy 361 Vintage Straight jeans from Lucky Brand go for $90, right?

Or you can get them at the Lucky Outlet for like $60 or so. The outlet version has a different button but otherwise it’s the real deal.

Or you can get that very same outlet version at Costco #144 for like $36.

Now here’s the kicker. Costco also sells “Urban Star” jeans that are the same exact thing, pretty much, for just $16-something.

Look at the pockets – Lucky in the background, Urban Star in the foreground:

(Or you can get Urban Star from a reseller at Amazon for $25.)

So this means that the markup for Lucky is like 500%?

News to me.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that, just as Soylent Green is people, Urban Star is Lucky Jeans.

So-Called INTERNATIONAL ART MUSEUM OF AMERICA Now Has Free Admission for All of 2013 – When Will You Visit?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Here it is, in the Twitterloin.

All the deets.

Click to expand

Now let’s see some reviews:

Kevin C:

This was the strangest “museum” I’ve ever been to.  And really, it’s worth a visit if you go on a free day.  As other reviewers have mentioned, it should really be categorized as a gallery because most of the pieces are done by one man.  The placards are hilarious.  Instead of saying “Tiger in bamboo – Oil on canvas – 1993″, it will say something like “The Master has expertly crafted this piece and is the best work to have ever captured the grace of this animal.  His Holiness has magnificent talent….”.  It’s like a paragraph about how great he is without any mention of the materials used.  I have some suggestions to make this place better.  1) call the upper floors a gallery 2) turn the ground floor forest/fireplace area into a bar 3) let people climb in the tree house.

Rupert B:

Actual artist’s note: “The external appearance of this stone is too beautiful to be absorbed all at once … In creating this wondrous art form, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has opened an entirely new epoch in the history of art in the world.” This whole shoddy enterprise seems to be one giant vanity project by a self-styled “spiritual” guru. If you do trail around this vast collection of mediocre pastiche, then at least embrace the comedy value and read the item descriptions. But make sure you don’t get waylaid by one of the dead-eyed volunteers who will ask you to describe your experience. The whiff of the cult is strong in this one.


Barack Obama is Tigger and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping is Winnie The Pooh – Most Popular Photo in China Over the Past 24 Hours

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Good times.

It’s been censored in China already but that’s no reason not to take a look:

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Anthony Tao explicates.

Winnie the Pooh 
Winnie the Pooh 
Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff 
He's Winnie the Pooh 
Winnie the Pooh 
Willy nilly silly old bear

Comparaison du Corps Diplomatique: License Plates – China vs. Taiwan – Can You Spot the Pariah Nation?

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Up first, spotted skulking about the Western Addition, which certainly would make sense, comes the whip of the Pariah Nation, North Korea’s BFF. Check out the cutesy numbers and letters on the quasi-Fed-issued consul license plate.

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(And, ironically, the car is the flagship model of the world-famous Tahara Plant, the finest car factory in the world since the 1980′s. Thomas L. Firedman still has a total boner for it.- he took the tour and got the T-shirt. My ride was made there well, AAMOF. Actually, I passed through there just last month, you know, on bidness. That’s the country that got all invadey starting about a century ago ’til about seven decades ago. Hey, who’s invading Filipino islands these days? I’ll give you just one guess! Ooh, my ride had a cheesy SERRAMONTE license plate holder as well. But I didn’t even buy my car there, so WTF was that for, who told you to put that thing on? Not just plastic bolts, metal. I couldn’t get them off myself so they had to do it for me. But while I was down there one time, I told the extreeeeeemely cute front line sales rep that she ought to sue for harassment if what I saw and heard was routine. Guess what – she got together with her friends and took action by hiring some law firm/lawyer and ended up getting a ton of money from the dealership group. I’ll tell you about it sometime. Oh and that’s the same dealership where bay area favorite son Tom Hanks got a nice SUV, also from Tahara, also the best in the world, about a half-decade back. I’ll tell you about that sometime too. But I digress…)

Up next comes Taiwan. Poor Taiwan! See that, “FOREIGN ORGANIZATION,” like it’s not even a country.

That’s some fucked up shit right there.

Check it:

Foreign Organization Special License Plates

5006.5. (a) The department may issue, for a fee determined by the department to be sufficient to reimburse the department for actual costs incurred pursuant to this section, distinctive license plates for motor vehicles owned or leased by an officer or a designated employee of a foreign organization recognized by the United States pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 3301 et seq.) when the department is otherwise satisfied that the issuance of the license plates is in order.

(b) The distinctive license plates shall be designed by the department and shall contain the words “Foreign Organization.”

(c) The department shall establish procedures for both of the following:

(1) To verify the eligibility of an applicant for plates issued pursuant to this section.

(2) To authorize a recognized foreign organization to apply on behalf of its officers for plates issued pursuant to this section.

Added Ch. 397, Stats. 1994. Effective January 1, 1995.”

On It Goes.

(more…)

Ooh Nice One, Goldman Sachs! CODA Automotive in Bankruptcy Today – The Bay Area’s OTHER Electric Car “Factory”

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Read the news and turn the pages.

I remember seeing CODA Automotive’s first SFMTA bus stop ad back in 2010. I thought, “Man, what a turkey.” That’s the year I started the DeathWatch.

This whole CODA concept appeared to be another big fat loser from Goldman Sachs and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

Oh well.

Ah memories, memories from 2010:

Whatever You Do, DON’T Put $499 Down on the $45K, Mostly Chinese, All-Electric Coda Sedan

I’ll tell you, the Mitsubishi Carisma didn’t exactly slay the European market when it went on sale a decade and a half ago. Simply, it wasn’t popular. Then a regional car maker in China tried to take the design from Mitsu and make a version to sell to the Chinese in 2005. It wasn’t popular there neither, even at a price of just $10,000. It, as they say, “lacked quality to make a mark” in the Chinese market. O.K. then.

Well, they went and took out the gas engine and fitted it with a big heavy battery and a lightweight motor and that’s how we’re getting the 2011 Coda Automotive Sedan at a price of, wait for it, Holy Toledo, $44,900. That’s the news of the day, 45K, officially.

Should California and the feds give you tax credits to buy this thing if all Coda Automotive is going to do is raise the price sky high?

What a POS this thing is. Just look at it. In some ways better, and in some ways worse than your sister’s ’94 Honda Civic:

Now, they’re going to have a showroom in the bay area soon and they’re going to let you take a test drive starting next month. Fine, test drive the thing, I don’t care. But don’t give them a deposit, don’t encourage them.

All right, what about the all-electric Nissan LEAF, the Coda Sedan’s arch-rival? The LEAF is better and cheaper.

Here’s what an overly-excited CODA fan was saying about the LEAF last year:

“It’s an alien-looking buggy with small wheels and no nose that won’t look like a real car to American buyers”

Uh, no, that’s incorrect. Sorry.

via NissanLEAF

Hey, here’s a question:

Why is the LEAF so much cheaper than the CODA?

Yes the CODA has a big trunk that the LEAF lacks but so what. (The CODA  has small rear seat area because of that big trunk, so oh well.)

Uh oh:

“More ominously for the company, the sedan is more expensive than the Nissan Leaf, which will retail for $32,800 before incentives. Put another way, the Leaf is almost as cheap before incentives as the Coda is after incentives. And Nissan has a well-known brand name and  years of automotive experience.”

Here’s another question:

Why does the CODA cost so much more than the Chinese design it’s based upon?

Here’s another question:

How on Earth can people call the CODA an American car if the bulk of it, the glider (basically the entire car except for the battery/transmission) is made in one factory in China and the giant battery is made in another factory in China? What’s that, you wait for the boats to arrive in L.A. County Contra Costa? Solano?, Alameda? (one of them counties anyway) and then slap the battery and various whatnots inside the glider and that’s your “final assembly” in America? I cry foul.

Let’s face it, the Coda Sedan is a Chinese car, whether you like that or not.

Maybe a $45k electric sedan seemed like a good idea last year, but this thing is looking like a clunker already. That’s why people are saying that it, “may be a tough sell.”

Now, speaking of tough sells, let’s look at some of the marketing we’re getting from the CODA people. Go ahead, click and read along:

Electric agility

“The CODA might be the most agile car you’ve ever driven.”

Nope!

“Do you know the feeling of stomping the pedal and waiting for the car to build speed? Those days are over. The experience of driving a CODA is completely different.”

Well, I know what a Chevy Chevette Diesel automatic is like. It’s slow, with a o-60 time of 20 seconds plus. I know your CODA is quicker than that, but is the experience of driving the thing “completely different” from other cars? Nope.

“It’s small, energy-dense UQM PowerPhase® electric motor packs a punch, and weighs hundreds of pounds less than internal combustion engines.”

How can a motor be “energy-dense?” Shouldn’t you be talking about the energy density of the battery instead? Speaking of which, how much does the battery weigh? Isn’t that the more salient aspect?

“So whether you’re standing still or moving at a good pace, you’ll get instant torque and acceleration when you need it.”

You’re selling an electric car on this basis? Isn’t the CODA slower than the average car being sold today? Yep.

All right, caveat emptor.

All the deets, after the jump

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San Francisco’s Connection to the North Korean Crisis: Pier 80, USS Tripoli, and THAAD Ballistic Missile Defense

Wednesday, April 3rd, 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 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.

And 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. See?

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

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

Courage.

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

E komo mai. Nou ka hale, USS Tripoli

Coda DeathWatch, Day 898: Coda Automotive is Coding – Crappy, Expensive Electric Cars – Thanks, Goldman Sachs!

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is the end of the Coda Automotive DeathWatch, which started on October 14th, 2010.

But tell me if I’m wrong, tell me if the final assembly facility in Benicia starts chugging out product all of a sudden ala Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Otherwise, I’m concluding that Coda is dead. It’s not responding to stimuli, anyway.

Get the story here, just keep on clicking back in time to learn about the star-crossed Coda Sedan.

Why did we, the taxpayers, subsidize Coda when it was obvious that it couldn’t succeed?

I don’t know.

Now back in 2007, the electric car we were going to get from China was called the Javlon XS500. It was suppose to come in 2008. It didn’t. Check it:

Adieu, Coda Automotive.

Miles Automotive on the $30,000 Javlon XS500 all-electric sedan

Then, in 2008, we were promised the Miles XS500. That was going to come in 2009. It didn’t. Check it:

Miles XS500 will be a lot more expensive than planned, maybe

Then, in 2009, we were promised the Coda Automotive Sedan. That was going to come in 2010. It didn’t. Check it:

Coda Automotive Unveils New Mainstream All-Electric Sedan

And on and on.

Per Wiki:

Coda’s investors include:

  • Aeris CAPITAL – a private Swiss investment office
  • Harbinger Capital Partners - private hedge fund based in New York City, New York.
  • Riverstone Holdings - a private equity firm based in New York City, New York.
  • Piper Jaffray - a U.S. middle-market investment banking firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Angeleno Group – a Los Angeles based private equity firm
  • EDB Investments (EDBI) – an investment firm headquartered in Singapore
  • Countyline LLC – an investment entity owned by Tony Pritzker and J.B. Pritzker
  • John Bryson, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and adviser at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts[23]
  • Miles L. Rubin – Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CODA Automotive; former CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel Industries, Reliance Manufacturing, Puritan Fashions Corp. and Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear
  • Steven “Mac” Heller – Executive Chairman of CODA Automotive; former Goldman Sachs Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Worldwide and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division[23]
  • Tom Steyer – Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco private equity firm; Founder, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Farallon Capital; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University[23]
  • Klaus Tschira, founder of SAP AG[23]
  • Les Wexner – Chairman and CEO of Limited Brands
  • Henry “Hank” Paulson - former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and special representative of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue[23]
  • Mack McLarty – (Thomas “Mack” McLarty) Former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, President of McLarty Associates and McLarty Companies, a transportation business based in Little Rock, Arkansas[23]
  • Kevin Czinger – Senior Strategic Advisor, CODA Automotive; Former President and CEO at CODA Automotive, executive at Global Signal, Webvan Group, Bertelsmann AG, and Goldman Sachs

Board of Directors

  • Miles L. Rubin – Founder and Chairman Emeritus, CODA Automotive; former CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel Industries, Reliance Manufacturing, Puritan Fashions Corp. and Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear
  • Steven “Mac” Heller – Executive Chairman, CODA Automotive; former Goldman Sachs Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Worldwide and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division
  • Alan Chesick – Acting Legal Advisor of CODA Automotive, former general counsel of Fortress Investment Group
  • Daniel Weiss – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Angeleno Group LLC, a leading Los Angeles-based private equity firm focused on high growth investments in the energy sector
  • John Bryson - Former Chairman, CEO and President of Edison International from 1990 through 2008, a director at The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company, and the California Institute of Technology
  • Niall Davis – One of ten founding partners of Swiss aeris CAPITAL AG, a large global private equity firm
  • Philip Murtaugh – CEO, CODA Automotive; former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GM China, EVP International Operations of SAIC
  • James P. McGinnis – Managing Director, Harbinger Capital Partners
  • Lord John Browne – Managing Director and Managing Partner of Riverstone Holdings LLC, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Chair of the Tate, Member of the House of Lords

Board of Advisors

  • Mack McLarty – (Thomas “Mack” McLarty) Former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, President of McLarty Associates and McLarty Companies, a transportation business based in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Dr. Thomas Cardello – Partner of Sunrise Capital, an institutional fund manager, Advisory Director and former MD of Global Electronic Derivative Market making for Morgan Stanley
  • Dr. Michael Wang – Manager of the Systems Assessment Section of the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne Labs, serves as a senior advisor to the Chinese government on new vehicle technology and alternative energy production
  • Henry “Hank” Paulson - former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and special representative of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue
  • Thomas F. Steyer – Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco private equity firm; Founder, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Farallon Capital; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University
  • Woo C. Lee – Head of Asia for the advisory firm JL Thornton & Company, formerly a U.S. diplomat at American embassies in China, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia
  • Thomas R. McDaniel – Director of SunPower Corp., SemGroup, LP, Cypress Envirosystems, and the Senior Care Action Network and Formerly executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Edison International
  • Kevin Czinger – Senior Strategic Advisor, CODA Automotive; Former President and CEO at CODA Automotive, executive at Global Signal, Webvan Group, Bertelsmann AG, and Goldman Sachs

 

Brad Pitt Made a Cadillac TV Commercial in SF and LA for the Chinese Market? – So Very Wrong

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I don’t know, You Make The Call on how wrong this Cadillac commercial is:

Apparently, San Francisco and Los Angeles are the same place.

Apparently, Brad Pitt just looooooves grandpa cars.

Apparently, Brad Pitt is a whore and his price is $3,000,000.

Apparently.

How the Falun Gong Defeated Google – The Shen Yun 2013 “Extravaganza” Plays San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

All right, let’s say you’ve heard about the big Shen Yun 2013 show at our Orpheum Theatre and you want to find out a little about it, m’kay?

So you type into Google and this what you get:

What you won’t get is something like this:

The Falun Gong Show

Or Yelp reviews neither, like these:

The Yelp

And you certainly won’t find the official Chinese Communist Party (“Socialism, with Chinese Characteristics!”) website on Shen Yun all that easily, oh no:

Cult Studies [Uh, FYI, CCP, your agitprop website looks a little crude, like it's from your little buddy North Korea, just saying.]

So I guess the lesson to be learned is that if a small group of people want to game Google so that you’ll buy tickets to this show without knowing, in a general way, what it’s about first, then they can.

Things I now know:

SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE;

THE BOLD ITALIC IS GANNETT COMPANY, INCORPORATED; and

SHEN YUN 2013 IS FALUN GONG 

That’s something to consider when you’re getting the hard sell at San Francisco Costco #144, as seen last week on 10th  Street:

Just saying,…

OMG, They’re Here – China’s Terracotta Warriors are at Our Asian Art Museum Until May 27 – A Must See

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

This is it, this is history.

Get your tickets.

Heh:

Click to expand