Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm 22, I'm old~~~

Crisis Mode ON:
I'm old I'm old I'm old!!! I'm effin' 22 years old already!!!! Gahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crisis Mode OFF:
Hm, no use lamenting that fact now, I've been slouching a lot and haven't achieved a lot of things I expect I'd have completed by 22. Damn. Let's hope the plans for my pre-25th birthday won't end up the same.

On-a-brighter-note Mode ON:
Since it's my birthday, Kai Ye and Kai Ma treated me, Yen & my family to dinner at Scotch! Food's good of course :)

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My cake! Sis selected it, Mom & Dad bought it for me!

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After dinner with Kai Ma & Kai Ye, I rushed home, took a bath, and set off with Yen again! We reached Sky Corner, which Ivan told me about earlier, but it turned out to be a dining place and we've all had dinner, so we went for drinks at Precious Time just behind instead. The rest arrived late, as usual, so I had to wait for them to arrive =.="

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Vamp VS Zombie!!

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Me, my dear :)

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Looky! I got a T-shirt, and a 1/32 diecast Lamborghini Gallardo!!! The T-shirt's pretty cool; the original ink & brush drawing is done by a Japanese artist, and I really love the style a lot, it's kinda similar to the black & white marker drawing styles I favour, so kewl!

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Gift presentation!!!

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Yen with the bling bling sushis she made for me, so cute! I like them a lot, I haven't seen bling bling sushis before I think, so they're quite unique :D :D Thanks dear!

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One of the last pics we took before the batteries in Wennice's camera went flat!

There wasn't any celebration this year because I really wasn't in the mood, but still, gotta thank my friends for calling me out for drinks. Thanks a lot for the wishes everybody, be it late, extremely early, while you're busy with so many things, or even those who'd wished me at least 4 times in one day, LOL! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Full Throttle Auto Show

I went to the Full Throttle Auto Show today with Yen and Sis! There weren't too many interesting cars there, but here's a few noteworthy ones!

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An R34 decked out in Super GT bodykit, nice no? Too bad the wheel fitment's a bit lame, needs more offset!

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Black R34, clean, almost perfect!

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Super GT style JZA80 Supra with a Lexus SC430 head conversion, pretty cool eh? The car's very extensive as far as mod goes, Sis likes it a lot. Me and Yen see it a lot though; the owner lives opposite Yen's home!

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At first glance this seems to be just another S15 Silvia with a Super GT kit. I didn't notice it at first, but upon closer inspection of photo back at home, it seems to be a fascia swap on what's a S13 180SX! Kewl! I've seen the Japanese do it; S14 or S15 heads on RPS13 180/240SXs to create Sileightys or Silfortys, or RPS13 heads on S13, S14, S15 Silvias to achieve the Onevia, but this is the first time I've actually seen a real car done this way! Hm, I wonder if anybody has mashed things up with the S12 Silvia or Gazelle? That should be pretty interesting! Hehe, anyway, the
Mitsuoka Le-Seyde is the most extreme as far as the S13-S15 chassis go.

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This car caught my eye good; it looks almost perfectly like a Super GT NSX, but I figured it was too good to be true, so I guessed it was really an FTO, since there was another hideous example in grey just a few feet away. Wrong! On closer inspection, this car turned out to be a SW20 MR2, so the hatch scoop really does work since it's a mid-engined car like the real deal too, how awesome! Hah, and I thought SW20s can only masquerade as Ferrari F355s! Very well done, WIN!

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Another Super GT style FTO, sans NSX fascia conversion though. This car should ring a bell with TK and Han ;)

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Very beautiful looking Alfa Romeo 156! I first saw this car back when it was still a dark green colour and just had the newer headlamps and bumper installed, it's now completed, and gorgoeus is an understatement!!! Whee, I could have been driving a car looking similar to this; Dad offered to get me a Citroen C5 or Alfa Romeo 156, with the condition that I give up on my Xantia. I was so tempted, especially after seeing this very 156 completed with body mods and new paint just a few weeks back. I even had in my mind a vision of how MY very own 156 would be like; Pearlscent white, 2.0 Selespeed, GTA bodykit, rims and headlamps with BTCC style wide fenders, small ducktail style bootlid spoiler, and maybe some OZ rims when I can afford it.... but it's too late now, I didn't take the offer, and my Xantia's getting it's engine rebuilt now. Gah!!! First MR2, then 406, and now C5 or 156, the good things I give up for that piece of French junk, I should have never laid my eyes on it!!! Hrmphh, anyway, back to this 156, it's such an amazing mix of elegance and aggression, even the newer ZTH M3 nearby looked bland in comparison (I loved it's brakes though, yummy), and except for the rims and bumper lips, this 156's exterior is pretty much stock, it just got a basic facelift!!! Giorgetto Giugiaro did a real good job redesigning the front. C-class? Hahahahahahaha, dream on lar, no chance at all, not even with Kleeman or Wald's help can it look half as alluring.

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Hahah, I think I'm slapping myself a bit here for actually posting a 5-Series since I'd always said it looked as big and clumsy as a barge, but it looks so mean with the wider fenders! I suspect the number plate's been stolen off a certain German rear-engined monster though :p The owner should have stuck with the norm and went with 525, 5351 yada yada yada :p Very nice looking car, the ass was even sweeter, but I forgot to snap a pic of it :(

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Me and Yen tried the F1 motion simulator too. One word: boring! We just sat in there and watched the action thru the virtual reality eyepiece! They were no pedals in the "car", and the steering doesn't do anything, in other words, what you do is just sit in there, hold the steering, and pretend you're driving while the whole race's been pre-programmed. I was really disappointed, and was already waiting for the whole thing to end before it even started. I felt it was so dumb, I didn't even pretend to drive by turning the steering like earlier patrons. On hindsight, it was no wonder nobody crashed in the game, nobody, it just wasn't a game at all!!! FAIL! Oh well, at least the girl was pretty pleasant to talk with, but I really wouldn't have waited for my turn if I knew earlier that it was just 3d graphics with plenty of ass shock....

Haha, well, anyway, I didn't really go to the show to look at cars. While I like cars like the R34 GT-R and RX-8 a lot, strangely, I just never had the urge to go check em up close, and mundane stuff like riced-out Wiras and Citys just do not blip in my radar. I just wanted to see TK, Boy & Felix drifting, in real life, I've seen enough videos, lol, and also, it was absolutely great to able to finally meet
Felix and Chloe.

Sorry Chloe, if you noticed me hesitating while saying your name, I didn't forget your name, I just wasn't sure if I should pronounce it klo-ee or ke-low, I guess it's klo-ee since that's how they pronounce it in TVB's Revolving Doors of Vengeance :p I suck at pronouncing english names other than simple syllable ones like Jack, Alex, Jason, please forgive me, and thanks for tapping my shoulder and saying hi!! When I said hi to Felix, he commented on how often my name's popped up but he hasn't seen my face until just now, lol, I guess it's goes both ways ;) It was really nice meeting him, and his drifting's beautiful, I love how he slid thru the last corner of every round, so awesome! Yen got a drifting taxi ride courtesy of TK and she enjoyed it a lot, too bad there wasn't enough time to let Sis try it too, maybe next time.

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Felix's KE20 and TK's KE70, too bad Boy wasn't around, would've been nice to have his TE72 in the picture too!

Here's a "lightly" touched photo:
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Try to spot some differences :p Click here for the full-sized one! I still haven't figured out how to activate link leading to full-size pic, just by clicking on the small picture after one year, I suck at this :(

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Slightly raped ass on TK's FrankenKE, but both cars look very good and should make their sponsors proud :)

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Fender mirrors, check! Fender flares, check! Longchamp XR-4s, check!! What's not to love? The only thing better than this is if it was a TE27 instead, but this is the best-looking KE20 I've ever encountered!

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Not really a fan of that two lamps in the grille; I thought they looked horrible when I first saw it, but I've softened towards them, especially since the repaint, I think they look ok now, maybe I'll even grow to like them later :p Fender mirrors and bolt-on fender flares; best Japanese automobile fashion from the 70s, having em on your car = bonus coolness points! I must have em on my S30Z when I do get one!

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Once again, needs *cough* more *cough* flare! I'm more used to seeing cars with wider rear track, not wider front track! LOL, anyway, awesome drifting today TK, 2nd run was absolutely perfect, awe-inspiring hoonage! And I want a ride too next time :D

Btw, those interested in checking out a bit of the action can do so here!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Uncle Seng's coffeeshop

Uncle Seng's coffeeshop opened for business yesterday!

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No signboard yet, but the name is Sin Yuan Loong (copycat, I know)!

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A lot of relatives were there to help, and business is brisk!

Apart from relatives and friends, there were also a lot of fresh customers, which is good, and they didn't stop coming even late into the evening:
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They've got Bak Kut Teh, claypot chicken rice, chicken hor hee and other varieties of food there, but my favorite is Uncle Fatt's roasted duck, roasted pork and charsiew!

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Roast chicken, notice the nice goldish colour on the skin? Uncle Fatt makes steamed chicken too!

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Delicious charsiew! I couldn't get good pics of the roasted duck and roast pork, but those are very delicious, you gotta try it!

The coffesshop is located at Dataran Kledang Timur 8, or maybe it was Laluan, hm, damn, I should have taken a pic of the road's name sign too, but my phone was out of memory!

Anyway, if you're coming from town and Jalan Lahat, go right at the traffic lights and head straight, then take the left turn after Fulim Restaurant and the next set of traffic lights. Go ahead and you'll see the shop at the end of the road!

If you're coming straight from Jalan Lahat and didn't make the right turn at the traffic lights, make a U-turn at the groundnuts roundabout, go straight heading back towards town, and take the left turn. Go along the road until you see Shell petrol station on the left, turn left after Shell and you're there!

My directions could be very vague since I my sense of direction sucks, so it's 4°34'34.94"N, 101° 2'50.43"E for GPS users. Man, Google Earth and GPS are so convenient, maybe I should buy one. Anyway, do drop by if you're in the area, and try the roasted duck, good stuff, I tell you :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I drove a Citroen BX!!!

My Xantia is having some problems with the stupid fuel pump again, so I sent it in for repairs this afternoon. Since I had to leave my car there for a while, Choi Hoong lent me a car for the afternoon, and the loaned car is.......
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WOHOOOO!!! A Citroen BX!!! I've always wanted to drive a BX!!!! People say it's weird, but I say it looks very sporty and spacy, it's like a Mitsubishi Starion 4WD with spaceship parts!!!

The Xantia's daddy and predecessor, the Citroen BX is the double chevron sibling of the roaring lion's Peugeot 405, just like what the Citroen Xantia is to the Peugeot 406, or the Citroen C5 to the Peugeot 407, or the Citroen XM to the Peugeot 605, yada yada yada, you get the idea.

What sets the Citroens apart from their Peugeot counterparts though, is the quirkier polarizing styling that does away from convention, and the application of hydropneumatic suspension.

Good looks notwithstanding (in my highly unshakable opinion, anyway, blah to those of you who disagree, C-classes, A4s and Camrys are so blah :p ), the Citroens are also endowed with superior braking (brake fluid boiling? never heard of it) and cornering capabilities (corners? need to brake one meh?), and also, the precious gift of height-adjustment and self-leveling abilities from the hydraulics makes it a bit easier for these cars to traverse minor floods, and turn heads while at it! Blah to those who disagree too, come, one fine heavy rainy day we go roll into small floods and wipe that smirk off the face of those uncles who think they're so ghetto because they think only their sissy Pajeros can do that!! Better yet, we can then lower the suspension back to normal and fly straight over the next speed bump (bump? was there any? didn't feel it) with a vague "doop" sound while the dashboard in their cars are shuddering from the impact!!! Yes, so much advantage makes the driver stupid and encourages excessive bravado, some might argue, but that's why I love it. I might be a lousy driver with no balls, but the car will cover me up so well!!

Well anyway, I was quite occupied today, and didn't have time to snap more photos of the BX, but I'm absolutely thrilled to drive it!! What I noticed when I first got in the car is the seating position; the stock seats were low, the butt is placed lower than the thighs in the seat, and the sides of the lower cushion are high and firm, providing lots of lateral support, very sporty, me likes!! The 6 spoke steering is slightly smaller than the Xantia's and is slightly dished, I like too!

Although visually dated, the BX's interior layout is almost exactly the same as the Xantia, there's almost an instant sense of familarity here, but there's also where the similarities end. Once I turn the key, a world of similarity and difference came to me instantly. Whereas I have to wait for the Xantia's front to dip a bit when I start the car, the BX does quite the opposite and the rear starts to rise instead. The steering is heavier, and it locks earlier, at about only 2.5 turns.

The accelerator pedal is harder to push too, and unfortunately this BX I'm driving is an auto, so my hard work stepping on the pedal isn't rewarded with any grunty acceleration. Well yea the grunt's there, but the pick up isn't :p

Primitive hydraulic suspension cars use regular brake fluid for all their hydropneumatic needs, but regular brake fluid is viscous and absorbs air easily, resulting in excessive compression and sometimes enabling boiling, making it not so ideal for the application in cars where all steering, braking, and suspension needs depend on it, thus the mineral LHM oil was invented. With it's extremely low viscosity, LHM absorbs very little, if any, air or water, and hence the compressibility of the fluid is consistently very low. The BX runs on an older hydropneumatic suspension system, utilizing a red mineral fluid as opposed to the Hydractive system in the Xantia that feeds on green mineral fluid (very nice colour, btw, it almost looks yummy). C5, the Xantia's successor, and all current hydraulics-equipped models are running on Hydractive 3 with orange hydraulic fluid for blood. Anyway, the BX's suspension is precise and does well to resist body roll, but the bump-absorbing capability is noticably lower, so the ride's harsher compared to Xantias.

Now comes the biggest difference, and similarity; the brakes! Like the Xantia, the brake pedals in the BX have hardly any travel, although the BX's pedal has almost no noticable travel! It's all in the polish; while brakes on both cars work about equally well in city drives, the Xantia's brake calipers bite into the discs progressively and gently, bringing the car to a swift, but smooth stop, such finesse!! Step on the BX's pedals a bit too much, however, and the car will hit back at you by screeching to an almost instant neck-snapping halt! The BX demands respect from the driver :D

Hm, overall, the BX proved to be a very interesting car, the steering, brakes, accel pedals, suspension and everything is harsher, so there's more rawness in the driving experience. I didn't have a chance to let the car charge into corners, but I've no doubt it'd have been very fun and satisfying :)

Cool, I enjoyed the BX drive a lot. Hm, now, if only there's an XM I can drive ^^ Oh man, I love these Citroens, when they don't break down, of course!!!

Btw, while what I had in mind when I started this "short post" was a pic of the car with some teeny little driving impressions, I had no idea how it became the half-cooked review, comparison and brief history all-in-one it is now. I just do not know. I just get carried off when it comes to cars :D

Rain, rain, go away! NOT!!!!

Saturday evening, about 1811, I was supposed to leave for Menglembu, but I ended up going a whole hour late because of a heavy downpour. Not just any downpour, I've lived in the neighbourhood for 13 years and have experienced rain with very strong winds, but this is the scariest downpour I ever encountered, it was so scary that for the first time ever, I didn't even dare step out of my home.

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Here's how things looked like outside during a milder phase of the downpour. I was talking with Yen earlier over the phone, looking outside, when a Hyundai Elantra passed by opposite and sparks flew by it, another Wira passed by, stopped, hazard lights on, then sped away again. Then I saw the power cable swing down, causing a blackout.

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Weird, but I swear the lights went off about 2 seconds after the cable fell, not before... Anyway, as the water on the road in front of my house is about 4 inches high, and Yew was coming over anytime soon, I frantically called to make sure he didn't come, there was a great risk of electrocution out there.

Me, Bro & Sis waited another half an hour when the rain momentarily turned into a drizzle before making our way to the car.
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Things weren't much better on the way out, the street I live at has totally been blocked by fallen trees and is impassable, and even the alternate road has been partially blocked. The scene was kinda surreal, trees fallen everywhere, blocking roads, leaves and debris everywhere, suddenly, I couldn't really recognize my neighbourhood anymore. I got home at about 12am and the street was dark as the row of houses where I live in have been left with no electricity. The other houses with electricity, well, they don't turn on their lights much. Fortunately, the clouds above cleared soon enough and the moonlight was unusually bright that night, so all is well :)

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At about 1am Sunday, some personnel from TNB arrived and started clearing the trees to facilitate repairs.

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2am, and finally they're starting to reattach the power cable.

Reattaching the cable was a lot of work, and it took a long time, even the sky has lightened up a bit:
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The cable, already up there, but still not quite close enough to the terminal. It was too heavy for the 6 men to pull, so they hooked it to a thinner cable, which was in turn attached to the truck's front hook, and they reversed the truck to haul the power cable up. Lots of trouble this job; the men had to cut more tree branches and retry a few times before getting the cable clear up there.

I got sleepy, so I went back to sleep on the living room couch, while Dad has been snoring loudly on a mattress in there for ages :p I woke up when I heard Bro, Sis & Yew coming back after watching Wall-E.

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3am, and we were out there watching the men work, eating strawberry-flavoured Rocky sticks. Bro's playing with his phone while Sis is examining the watch she got for free with her purchase of popcorn.

It got boring again soon enough and I went back to sleep in my room; the men had left to fix the cable at another end. At about 4:04 am, I was awoken by the sound of fans, lights and aircon coming back on, woohoooo, the power is back!!! Well, not that it really mattered then, cuz the weather was cool and everybody's sleeping, so fans and lights weren't that necessary. Still, gotta give credit to the TNB men for their help, 3 hours in the dark, damp and cold just to reattach one cable, earning a living's really not easy. I'd intended to give the men some drinks for their hard work, but they were already gone when I went out again, oh well, I was too blur to remember things like that at 3 in the morning :p And ever since they fixed that cable, ALL the streetlights have stopped working. Zilch, nada, zero, all not working, it's dark, it's cold, it's wet outside now, every night, I like it!

Well anyway, the sky brightened soon enough, so when Yen came over, we went for a drive around the neighbourhood too see the damage:
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Fallen trees...

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...more fallen trees...

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...fallen signboards. Yep, the wind was damn strong.

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Somebody has actually cleaned up the road; it was partially blocked by branches the previous evening.

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More fallen trees!

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The neighbourhood's multi-purpose hall. Not so multi-purpose anymore now that it's roof has been blown off.

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Yep, fallen trees again, this is a new record, by far!!! I guess we were lucky the trees didn't fall on anybody, their homes, cars, dogs, cats, or chickens. The DBI cleaners won't be too happy at this sight though. Speaking of DBI cleaners, today is Wednesday, it's been like 4 days since, and still none of them have showed up to clean the mess, even the garbage hasn't been collected, wonder what are those guys up to.

Anyway, it's been raining every day since, and I like the cool weather. Also, ironically, while the row of houses where I live was the only row in the Saturday blackout, I came home today only to realize that the rows of houses to the front, back, left, and right have been cut-off from the power supply, leaving us the only row with electricity. The world's kinda fair sometimes, unnecessarily fair :p

It's too dark and it's raining so I can't see clearly, but there's a truck opposite my home now as I'm typing this entry, and the men are cutting down and clearing trees now, I think they're here to reattach more cables. They're better equipped this time round though :D

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An unfortunate Citroen XM, poor thing :(

Went to have the front brake pads on my car changed yesterday morning, I could already hear metal on metal, no wonder braking response had been slow in the past week :p

I went early (first customer of the day again!), and a full-bed tow-truck was already there. The truck driver proceeded to unload the "patient" from his truck.

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I knew these trucks could lift themselves up, but not this high!! First time I've seen this. I'm so kampung, I know :p Well, in any case, it couldn't be helped as it's payload was a Citroen XM, a super-low spaceship on wheels :D

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LOL, questions, anyone? I don't get it either. Apparently, the owner hit a tree, but the front fascia looks pretty intact eventhough the hood had transformed into an artistic ornament. Dad reckoned the tree must have been a sleeping one, I imagine the car was flying, one side up, when it hit a perfectly vertical tree. Hey, it's a spaceship!!!

I reckon finding replacement lamp lenses for this car would take some effort. Choi Hoong likened these cars to dinosaurs, so old and rare, lol! Her shiny blue 2.0i Xantia is in the background!

Dad missed the chance to acquire a very immaculate example of the XM a few months back. The older and larger sibling of the slightly more modern Xantia, I've always been awed by the XM's styling; I remember the first time I saw a red one at the Jalan Tokong / Jalan Leong Boon Swee intersection stoplights, I was new to driving then and didn't know much about cars, so it stunned me that there was a car shaped just like a Xantia, except it's longer, wider, lower, sleeker, has a spaceship butt, looks more elegant, and is many times more badass! I just stood rooted and gaped in awe until the lights went green and the car floated out of sight, such a beauty! One day, I'll roll around in one of these!!

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I like the wheels on this XM. There's a small catch towards the edge, so I guess it's one of those rims with huge central covers on it, very typical of Citroens and Peugeots from the 80s, definitely fitting for the vision of a futuristic and space-age concept, in the 80s!

...maybe Santa will drop me one if I'm being a good boy this year, maybe, here's hoping :D

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My work, featured in a dA article!

RAUH-Welt Porsche 911

Remember this vexel? WOOHOOO!! I woke up this morning to find out that it's been included in a deviantART user group, vexelove's feature of artwork they think are noteworthy.

Link to article is here: http://news.deviantart.com/article/54394/
Link to artwork is here: http://aesthari.deviantart.com/art/RAUH-Welt-Porsche-911-90710994

Wooohooo, I'm flattered, this gives me the motivation to do better!! I'm gonna work harder, I'll make sure this isn't my first and very last featured work, or at least, I'm gonna try real hard to make sure it won't be my last one :p

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New gear shift knob, continued, again :(

OK, so what I did last with my car's gear knob and gaiter didn't work well. It looked great, but there was one problem; shift into Reverse, then the gaiter will run out of material and get pulled out by the shift knob. Even if the gaiter didn't get pulled out, it'll get stretched a bit at the side where 1st gear is, so eventually the wear will eat a hole into the gaiter, just like what happened to the original gaiter (this one is actually a second one I had someone make for me).

Obviously, this is caused by the new knob being significantly shorter than the old one:
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Anyway, to make a long story short, I sawed the old one off..
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...and after some sanding to rid those unsightly saw ripples, I used some double-sided tape, and fixed the sawed-off bottom to the shift stick and gaiter. So there, the neck of the gaiter is contantly positioned about an inch lower than before, about the same as it'd always been with the old shift knob.

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Slapped the new knob back on. The shifter is in Reverse and there is noticably a lot more slack towards the direction of 1st gear, just like how it used to be. The whole thing looks a bit weird though. I tried covering the aluminium ring in some textured black sticker, but the end result wasn't very pretty, so I got rid of it. I think I should just get another shift knob and be done with it.

Phew, so much trouble just for a stupid shift knob. I know I should ignore it. It's insignificant. A lot of other cars have a gap that leaves the shift stick visible. I know that. A lot of other cars have shift knobs that do not match too. I know that too. But I effin couldn't ignore it. I think I'm OCD :(

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