At least that’s where I saw all these people this past weekend.
This was Saturday:
Something about SOS and human organ harvesting in the People’s Republic of China, and other things as well I’m sure. Here’s Sunday on the GGB:
On It Goes…
(I didn’t take most of these particular shots.)
Anywho, what do we see here – do we see the three parked cars of the occupants of one unit of housing all carousing about license plate-free on the Streets of San Francisco?
I think so.
Are these people pulling a Steve Jobs? Are they driving registered vehicles hither and yon with one or two DMV plates in the trunk, you know, waiting to get pulled over by the popo and then it will be, what, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to put those things on my car. The dealership says I need a special bracket, or something” or something like that?
I’ll tell you, the reason why the owners of Italian exoticars drive about California without proper California registration and insurance is because of the crushing “use taxes” they would have to pay otherwise. So your expensive, impractical weekend car might cost you $10K or $20K just for CA registration for the first year and then many thousands per year for years after that. So you end up seeing people using Oregon plates or Nevada plates or Montana plates or whatever.
But OTOH, the reason why owners of German luxocars don’t have the plates what DMV sent them mounted front and rear, just speculating here, are:
4. Bridge Toll Evasion
(Hey, what if you have just the back license plate on your car – do the Golden Gate Bridge people take images of you car from the back as well? IDK.)
Anyway, the best example of this would be a German car owner who improperly asked for a handicapped placard and was improperly given one by a chiropractor and then uses that placard to park for free all day long at an SFMTA parking meter in Frisco, say someplace close to the Financh but not too close, maybe by that Safeway on Washington BUT ALSO doesn’t have license plates mounted in order to evade the $6.50 daily Golden Gate Bridge toll BUT ALSO has an insidery CHP 11-99 Foundation license plate holder so that the CHP officer who pulls you over already knows that you’ve personally given thousands of dollars to the families of CHP officers so s/he will go easy on you “this time” for speeding on the 101 without license plates BUT ALSO has been doing this for years and years.
You know, something like this:
After all, you’re special.
So very special…
It wasn’t that I didn’t try
It’s not the kind of thing, that you buy
Written in my destiny
Life is but a dream
Covered by the sky
Stop saying that you’re calling time
Look at your life before you start on mine
I’m not the kind of person that you need
I’m sick of trying
I mean that it’s over
Patiently you wait for me
You’re so blind
I thought it couldn’t be
Then changed my mind
Drowning in the endless sea
Line all those lines
The traces of your memory
Don’t belong with mine
What’s this – did Fleet Week come early yesterday?
No, it’s just Oracle’s PA-34-200T Seneca II “media plane” flying in formation with Oracle’s Extra Flugzeugbau EA300 mono wing stunt plane, presumably flown by Company Pilot Sean D. Tucker, who was carrying an unknown member of the tech press, you know, as cargo:
Here you go, book your own “media flight,” media:
“BOOK A MEDIA FLIGHT – Soar in the Skies with Sean D. Tucker. To share the passion for aviation with media audiences, Tucker and his team welcome credentialed media for a flight with his crew.”
With Cavallo Point – The Lodge at the Golden Gate in the background:
Team Red one, but they were “cowards,” so if that’s the way you want to win, Man…
Someday, I’ll play bubble soccer.
Here we go – mercy sakes alive, looks like we’ve got us a convoy, on Webster Street. Who inside? IDK, prolly a VIP from some authoritarian regime, like the Peoples Republic of somewhere or some other place where they occasionally need to roll the tanks through the capital to maintain power. Here’s the driver, with a giant black Mercedes / Chrysler Sprinter maxi-van with tinted windows:
Well, fair enough, it’s a free country over here, right? But what’s this – no license plates? Is that kosher? Could it be a violation of the California Vehicle Code Section 5200? Mmmm. Or maybe this van was bought just last week, down in the OC*?
And who’s running with flashing red and blue lights in the convoy? An escort of about eight SUVs with illegally tinted front windows and, guess what, more paper license plates:
Oh whoops, here’s an SUV with a regular plate, the only one I could see:
Anyway, I’ve never seen this kind of thing.
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:
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:
1. Here’s the news of the day:
2. Those systems are called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
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. As of 16 June 2012 she berthed at Pier 80 in San Francisco, CA.”
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