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  1. Thanks for the great accounts. I think it was maybe common at one point for some people in the Richmond (Clement St), or Sunset (Irving St) to say something like "There's no real Chinese food in Chinatown, that place is only for tourists..." But that's not true. I like how you describe the smells of the East. The whole area, Chinatown, North Beach, Coit Tower, Lombard St, Union Square, it's never been only about tourists. You really bring the place to life!
  2. Good to see some more tips on adding photos, I remember sometimes I was waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the pic to load, I was obviously doing something wrong. I spent a lot of time in NYC in the 80s and 90s, definitely a lot of craziness, definitely its own unique smell of garbage and a background noise, sort of like an echo. I remember people saying if someone walks into a saloon in some tiny town out in the desert, population 100, and shoots a few people, that place will be off the charts, the murder capital, but NY with around 8 million is actually quite safe, statistically speaking. Personally I'd move back there in a heartbeat. I love it. I think it's not the kind of place most people remain indifferent towards, either love or hate, thrilled, excited, disgusted...all the emotions. A lot of other places around the world are more like, oh this place is kind of nice, sort of quaint, not too bad.
  3. Yeah, I can imagine, if I could see it in real, I'm sure I would also be impressed. And those who can fly an F18 are maybe not easily impressed by trivial things to begin with, so I'm not discounting any of this. But I can't help feeling sceptical. A large daytime sighting over a crowded freeway for example, during a traffic jam, where numerous different people get out of their cars and shoot footage. Maybe with a bit of hysteria thrown in, like when the building in Shenzhen started shaking. Something the average joe can relate to better than isolated cases observed mainly by military personnel. I can't help but wonder why something like that hasn't happened yet. Still, it's a very interesting topic for me too, and I look forward to following any developments. Maybe very advanced military drones. Or, I really hope this isn't offensive, the supernatural, angels. I grew up in an atheist household, but I've always had a yearning for the spiritual. I wouldn't entirely discount that either. I'd consider any possibility, just I'm still not convinced that there's much of anything to consider right now at this point.
  4. I don't know why, but I'm not impressed by some strange objects zipping back and forth right in front of us. A weak distant signal, gradually gaining in strength on the other hand, would have my hair standing on end.
  5. Cool! Just watched a bit right now. I know a lot of people don't like the airport, but I always enjoy flying in and out of there (and the In-N-Out there too!) A few years ago I took Xiamen Air from a weird part of the Tom Bradley terminal I had never seen before, for cheaper international flights, like a hangar. And then riding a bus way out to one of the remotest remote stands near the beach, the sea breeze and the night time views, a really great feeling.
  6. Short selling of the current private cryptocurrencies might be a good bet? Probably just as risky as buying them though. It sometimes feels like a Brave New World. In Shanghai about 2 years ago I watched a guy buying a drink from a vending machine, not even using his phone. Swiping one's phone was at the time the normal payment method for most transactions. But the vending machine went a step further, all eye and face recognition, just talk to the machine and get your drink. My uncle was recently telling me about the numerous times he's been the victim of pickpockets in Portugal and South America. He's old school, carries a big fat leather wallet in his breast pocket or his back pocket. Future thieves will have to become more sophisticated, hopefully not just dismembering their victims, eye, face, thumbrint.... I know a lot of supermarkets in the US have self checkout stands, but really there's no more need for that even. Just fill your cart with items at the grocery store, at the exit a robot will instantly scan your entire cart without having to remove each individual item, tell you the price, and if you're in agreement, off you go, maybe five seconds in total to check out. I also think the methodology for paying will become more advanced, gradually replacing physical cash, but what currency one ultimately uses, regular old dollars, euros, pounds, will anyway be some form of crypto. It won't matter so much. I personally don't see the need for private currencies. But maybe they'll be similar to frequent flyer miles, or some kind of point system you accumulate when you get gas, also of value. I could be wrong, just my two satoshis.
  7. I was wondering about all the infrastructure involved, the rail lines themselves, the overpasses etc. scarring the landscape, vs. perhaps 2x4 km perimeters for regional airports. I think the rail lines' big plus though is where you can connect several huge cities with a single line. I'll admit personally, I don't like high speed trains so much. I much prefer flying, also on regional jets/turboprops. I like inner city airports, London-City, Taipei-Songshan, Shanghai-Hongqiao etc. Beyond a certain speed I can't enjoy the scenery anymore, so I figure I may as well fly. I remember when the A380 came out and fuel prices were high, there was some idle chit chat about getting them certified to carry maybe over 1,000 passengers, perhaps with additional emergency exits and amusement park roller coaster style harnesses, where you're kind of half sitting, half standing, to use on short hauls. But in such a case, I'd also prefer taking a high speed train, nice and easy from city center to city center, no big hassles.
  8. Maybe if I change my name to Crosstownshorthaul and just do really short flights like JFK-LGA, I might get this habit under control. Then again maybe not.
  9. For example right now I'm going ZLLL to LFPO, using my method going past Moscow, but I'm quite sure a proper routing would have gone a bit further north, weaker headwinds.
  10. Hi, sorry if I'm reviving an old thread, but I've just been having exactly these types of problems on long-haul flights. I've found a makeshift casual simmer fix that works for me in line with the above quote. On some obscure long flights like Lanzhou China to Paris Orly, with no real world counterparts, SimBrief isn't giving me any route, except direct departure to destination. Trying Charles de Gaulle as the destination or entering a bunch of fixes into the route finder didn't help either. I simultaneously open three separate browser tabs with SimBrief, and enter Lanzhou to Moscow Shermetyevo as a single flight in one, then Shermetyevo to Orly in a second one, and it actually quickly finds routes for those individual flights, and then I just paste the bulk of the enroute segments of those two flights into the route window on a third tab, and it works. Simply using the Route Finder and telling it to include UUEE as a fix however doesn't work. So a quick fix on obscure long-haul flights for me is to find one, or a few airports that seem plausible enough as enroute waypoints looking at the upper level winds, turbulence, t-storms etc., and then just insert those into SimBrief as multiple individual flights on multiple browser tabs, to finally paste them into a single workable flight.
  11. Right now with a kind of low end laptop and FSX Steam, I'm still quite happy with the view from way up at 35,000 feet doing 747, 777 longhaul flights. But on approaches I can tell my scenery, while not exactly horrible, certainly isn't the best. But as the scenery packages keep getting better and better, more and more realistic, and if I ever get some really decent hardware, I would be very tempted to try a really long, low and slow flight like the OP describes. Personally I'd maybe even want to try it in an ultralight and throw away the GPS, just pilotage and dead reckoning. Plop down in fields, riverbanks, beaches etc. Camp out, get fuel and provisions from some local tribal leader way out in the tundra. It might never be as great as the real thing, but no mosquitoes, no bribing local police and customs officials, procuring visas and overflight permits etc.
  12. Ha! Good point! Although a virtual dairy farmer in Marin County glancing up at my virtual 747 might consider 8 to already be well past mid morning (9 during dst), and for a slacker college student that would still be ungodly early. I think too near the Equator, a challenge such as this, like if one tried Singapore-Lagos-Quito and back, one can't make it all in daylight with a standard subsonic jet. Choosing segments too far north of course becomes boring during the summer.
  13. Very very cool that! Would be an amazing feat. As the daylight hours get longer in the Northern Hemisphere, I sometimes like to try a one long day all in daylight westbound circumnavigation in the northern mid-latitudes. Using a 747-400. For example depart London around 5:30 am at dawn. Touchdown in San Francisco around mid morning for about an hour. Then continue to Shanghai, getting there the next day in the afternoon because of the dateline, but as far as continuous daylight is concerned, for me it's still the same day. Then a late afternoon, early evening flight across Asia back into London. Landing around dusk, before it gets dark. Maybe around 36 hours flying time, and 38 hours in total for the trip. I'll save the flights and do that over something like 3 days, but what you propose, basically following the outlines of the continents, would be amazing indeed.
  14. Having grown up in the SF Sunset with a connection to Colma and Daly City, I did enjoy Colma: The Musical. Although I'm not really a fan of musicals in general. Funny, I never considered The Blues Brothers to be a musical, but I guess it is. I really love that movie. I also loved Oklahoma when I saw it, so maybe I do like musicals. I'll gladly try out some of the classics mentioned on here.
  15. That really is sad. I think it was a Fry's I went to in El Segundo near LAX about 10 years ago. They had all these fake Easter Island statues and tiki lamps, and it was really dark in there. A very bizarre atmosphere, but friendly in my opinion. It's sad because even if it felt dingy, it was also sort of unique. Maybe one of the few memorable electronics shopping experiences. I wonder if there's something like a worldwide Big Mac index for places that sell computers and electronics. With so many variables, maybe it's too hard to compare. I'm definitely not good at bargaining. Akihabara in Tokyo could be fun, but not that much for me. In Kaohsiung, Taiwan near the train station, there's an electronics district, where a few of the shops looked quite dingy and some of the salespeople seemed thuggish: "If you buy this right now I can get you a really good deal, so are you buying or not? If not quit wasting my time!..." Maybe good if you know exactly what you want and are really good at bargaining.
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