Posts Tagged ‘groovy’

The Gayly-Colored “Hippie Express” Arrives Above San Francisco – A Swiss International Airbus A340 Over Twin Peaks

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

My first sighting of the Hippy Express, coming in direct from Zurich.

(Look at them skinny, thirsty, old-school “high” bypass engines. What a mistake the A340 was for Airbus. Oh well.)

Enjoy:

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(Five year old camera plus sub-optimal settings plus 600mm handheld plus loads of digital zoom plus quickie processing = DSLR noise. Oh well.)

Groovy New Swiss International Air Lines Jumbo Starts Non-Stop SFO-Zurich Flights

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Now, I already told you about the plans for SWISS to start “direct” non-stop flights back and forth to sister-city* Zurich six days a week, so I won’t have to remind you about the thirsty, thirsty, unlucky and unloved Airbus A340** jumbo or McKinsey and Company’s Hunter (aka Jägermeister) Strategy, the very same eggheaded strategery that finished off the predecessor of SWISS. Anyway, everything has gone as planned – that’s the news of the day.

Switzerland’s new flag carrier has followed through and put new non-stop flights on its sked as of this week. And here’s something I didn’t know – they have this San Francisco-themed livery that’s far out and groovy. Basically, this special new paint sticker job tells the story of an epic voyage from the land of dairy cows to the land of fruits and nuts, complete with a reference to the Kraken and squid-infested waters of the North Atlantic. Some are dissappointed with the Summer of Love theme but oh well.

Check it:

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*San Francisco has lots and lots of sister cities. It ain’t no big thang, actually.

**The A340 is basically an A330 twinjet that’s been stretched and that’s had another couple of engines tacked on. (The wings had to be strengthened more than once to handle the extra engines – engineers were repeatedly surprised with how wobbly things got during testing.) A340s have had more than their fair share of freak accidents and hull losses, but they haven’t killed any of their passengers, so that’s good. Now, does Airbus wish it had done a Giant Twin instead, you know, something like the wildly successful Boeing 777? Oh hell yes. An A777 would have been awesome for Airbus. Oh well. You, as a passenger, don’t have to worry about all that, you just have to kick in a bit more to help pay for the extra avgas required for the extra engines. Oh well, enjoy your stretched-out Flying Pencil.

All the deets. (The CEO’s name is Harry Hohmeister(!), for real. Means “river master” or something, surprisingly enough)

MAYOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF SWISS SFO-ZURICH SERVICE WITH NEW SPECIAL EDITION SF PLANE
San Francisco, CA— Mayor Gavin Newsom today welcomed Swiss International
Air Lines (SWISS) flight LX38, a playfully painted A340 making its debut on
the inaugural flight from Zurich to SFO. A host of San Francisco and Swiss
representatives met the new plane, which is decorated with a colorful San
Francisco 60’s-inspired mural complete with peace signs, musical notes and
guitars. The new SWISS service will operate six times per week, departing
SFO at 7:25 pm and arriving in Zurich at 3:40 pm the following day.  There
is no service on Tuesdays.
“Congratulations to SWISS on its new premium non-stop service from Zurich,”
said Mayor Newsom. “This new route will provide passengers with a superior
travel option to Europe as well as further cement the strong ties between
our two Sister Cities.”
SWISS is known for its impeccable service and on-time performance. The
airline offers dozens of nonstop services throughout Europe from its hub in
Zurich as well as Geneva and Basel.
“We are most pleased about this West Coast addition to our network, linking
two vital business and leisure destinations,” said Harry Hohmeister, SWISS
CEO. “We wish to thank our partners, colleagues and employees, and look
forward to serving the San Francisco community with professional and
efficient Swiss hospitality and outstanding air service.”
SFO – voted “Best Airport in North America” – is California’s gateway for
international travelers, with speedy custom lines and hundreds of flights
and connections throughout North America and beyond. SFO is ideally
situated in Northern California, with easy access to San Francisco, Wine
Country, and favorite local attractions Muir Woods and Alcatraz.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Swiss International Air Lines to San Francisco,”
said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “This
new service between our sister cities offers international travelers great
options for getting to the United States while at the same time, boosting
our local economies.”
About SFO
SFO (www.flysfo.com) provides nonstop service to more than 65 US cities on
21 domestic airlines and to 32 international points on 27 international
carriers. SFO offers twice as many non-stop flights to the New York area
than all other Bay Area airports combined – making SFO the Bay Area’s
Airport of Choice. SFO was voted “North America’s Best Airport” in 2008 by
passengers for its outstanding customer service and amenities.
About SWISS
Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) serves 73 destinations in 39
countries all over the world from its Zurich hub and from other Swiss
international airports in Geneva and Basel. SWISS operates an 85-aircraft
fleet. In the UK & Ireland SWISS operates 33 daily flights from London
Heathrow, London City, Birmingham International, Manchester and Dublin to
Switzerland and, via its hubs, to the world. SWISS is a member of Europe’s
biggest frequent flyer program, Miles & More, and Star Alliance.
www.swiss.com

And the city’s prenup with Zurich, after the jump  (more…)

This Volkswagen Minibus has 21 Windows, Yet Some Would Yearn For More

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

You’d think having 21 windows on your ancient, 1960′s-era VW T1 Type 2 Transporter would put you ahead in the windows race, but you’d be wrong.

As seen in wealthy Sea Cliff, the home (or former home) of Robin Williams, actress Sharon Stone, actor Cheech Marin, screenwriter Monica Cliff, real estate/casino tycoon Luke Brugnara, and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

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You need to add in two rear corner windows like this in order to get a 23 window model. Here below is the King of All VW buses. It won’t get you up the Waldo Grade in a hurry, but it will get you there, with or without green and blue bear dogs.

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via VWBuses

The Richers of Sea Cliff Missed It By That Much.

Among American enthusiasts, it is common to refer to the different models by the number of their windows. The basic Kombi or Bus is the 11-window (a.k.a. 3-window bus because of three side windows) with a split windshield, two front cabin door windows, six rear side windows, and one rear window. The deluxe model featured eight rear side windows and two rear corner windows, making it the 15-window (not available in Europe). Meanwhile, the sunroof deluxe with its additional eight small skylight windows is, accordingly, the 23-window. From the 1963 model year, with its wider rear door, the rear corner windows were discontinued, making the latter two the 13-window and 21-window respectively. The 23 and later 21 window variants are usually described as Sambas.

LED Streetlights Come to Town, Saving San Francisco a Couple Bucks a Month Each

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

See yesterday’s news conference in the “crime-riddenTenderloin / Adam’s Block area concerning Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights here with photos taken by Bill Wilson, and read all about this new technology here. The United States Department of Energy and PG&E have recently helped San Francisco conduct a beauty contest of competing brands of LED lights – read the gritty nitty here (.pdf, you might need to right click, Save File As… or whatever).

The upshot is that it’s not really worth pulling out existing street lighting to install LED lights. You can save a few bucks a month in electricity by converting a streetlight to LED and there are other benefits as well, so it appears we’ll eventually, slowly convert over with the hope that prices of these new kind of bulbs will go down. 

Take a look at the Before and After:

That’s a scene from the test in Outer Sunset. The first shot is lit with your typical High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlight. See how everything looks yellow, just like the background of all your nighttime photos taken outside? That’s due to sodium’s low color temperature, around 2000K or so. The same area lit by LED shows a more natural look, probably 4000-something Kelvin. If LED’s do nothing else, they’ll improve night photography in San Francisco.   

And here are the LEDs in action:

Hello lamppost,
What cha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your diodes glowing.

And speaking of the DoE, big ups to America’s new Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. He just recently labored as a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and he used to be the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

More deets about the new lights in San Francisco after the jump.

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