Monday, November 17, 2008


Saturday was a busy day. I woke up early and played the GT4 while waiting for Bro and Sis to get ready to go out for breakfast. Anybody ever tried playing in B-spec mode in Gran Turismo 4? It's that mode where you become team race chief and direct a virtual driver to go steady, fast, when to overtake or pit in a race etc etc. Doing this enables you to win those annoying 25 laps of 8-minute runs around the Nurbugring or 300 miles around Laguna Seca races while you read a comic or trim your toe nails. Oh, and you can also speed races up to 3x that way, so a 3 hour race will only waste 1 hour of your life. But you know what? It's farking lame. Please, B-spec driver, I installed nitrous in the car, USE IT! When I said overtake, overtake, don't bump into the car ass nearest to you and slide off into the closest chicane! 3 laps of Tsukuba and not even one move up the positions? And I seriously don't understand how the computer has to screw up at an exact spot, everytime, like the Cizeta Moroder spinning out before the long straight in Sarthe (fortunately, it was the opponent everytime, I'm never ever gonna bring a Moroder to Sarthe, or El Capitan, or Laguna Seca, thanks for the heads up. Moroder + Sand = Death), or those stupid Triumph Spitfires fishtail in Motegi (you think you're in Ebisu with your Silvias ar?), Lupos are lame, they like to choku-dori away the first 3 minutes and build sand mounds in the chicanes for the next 3 minutes in Nurbugring. OK, so that was just a game, but it helped me feel a bit cranky, in readiness of what shall come next.

Went for curry mee hoon breakfast at Cindy's, it was great. Just when I was feeling happier, I started the car and felt.. no aircon, no power-steering, and, NO BRAKES! Opened the hood, saw the broken distributor belt, yanked it out, and drove back to the office to drop everyone off. I then picked up some new rims and drove straight to the car hospital again :( I'm glad I dropped everyone off at the office, having 5 people in your car when your only means of stopping is a handbrake that hardly bites is very scary. Uncle Kim Kooi picked up Mom, Dad, Bro & Sis in his GTV (suffer khau khau in the miniscule backseats :D ) and sent them to the market for groceries, they then took the bus home.

I spent the morning busybodying around the workshop and being a nuisance, peeking inside old Peugeots, Citroens, Jaguars, Fiats (I love this place) and there was even a Honda City Cabriolet that day, was loud as hell for it's small size. Jaguar V8 engines are huge, and they're tall, it's a wonder they fit into the low-slung hood at all. The Xantia.. it was at the workshop Monday, then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then Saturday too, I think it misses its' brethen at the workshop a bit too much.

Fitting the new rims on the Multipla was a bit exasperating; the offset was off and the wheels sit further into the wheel wells now, the rear tyres are only about 5-6mm away from the wells, and the front absorber is within 13-14mm of peril from the front tyres. The brake calipers, damn kan cheong, 2mm, maybe less, if ever there was super tight fitment, this would be pretty close. We checked for rubbing when steering the front wheels, and nothing has rubbed, yet, we loaded the car with parts and let Mun Hoe drive the Multipla out to get the exhaust pipe fixed. Maybe the darn diesel engine's too loud to start with, it didn't sound any noisier without the pipes :p

After the Xantia's gotten a new belt, I went off for some errands at our workshop grounds. Uncle Kim Kooi was at Uncle Cheong's place, checking out the progress on his newly-acquired Charade. I think he should drop a Kelisa engine in there; one more camshaft and bits of modern engineering should do wonders for the light and nimble Charade, I have a lot of respect for Charades :) Uncle Weng Kar & Uncle Wai came back from lunch soon enough so I asked, and got the Walzflex too! It's in worst condition that I thought it was; some buttons and dials are crooked, but I should be able to make it good, leather's all dead though. Had lunch with Uncle Kim Kooi, Uncle Cheong and Aunt Ying, their grandchildren are freakin adorable, hadn't got time to play with them lately as they're always asleep whenever I visit lately, but both wanted me to carry them when I asked who wants a lift! So cute! Lunch was great, the braised rice and eggs were very good, I'm going back for more soon!

And yes, the Multipla's finally back, with new rims!Photobucket
Looks real good from this angle because you can't see the weaksauce offset.

I thought these 3-spoke designs only work on K-cars. I'm wrong. I think the rims go really well with the Multipla, maybe because it's shaped like a K-car too, but Honda center-hubs, how lame no? If Dad decides to keep this car and fix it up, I'll fix that stupid offset and center-hubs if it's the last thing I ever do for this car. I felt so sorry whenever I see the Multipla sitting in a corner, all dusty and greasy in the workshop, the bodywork's been damaged a bit by the stupid tow-truck driver, I was so saddened by it's condition that at times I couldn't bear to look at all and turned my back to it at the workshop, but seeing it at least clean and shaded at home now makes me a bit happier. Need to stop anthropomorphizing cars so much.

Btw, been sleeping and napping here on Saturday and Sunday, fun!! It's raining everyday, and I have a sleeping bag, blanket, and 4 pillows in there, super cozy, I think I'll do this more often too! Camping in the garden can take mundane off weekends :D

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