Monday, July 25, 2005

bad news after a fun trip...

Don't you just hate it when you return after a good trip only to receive bad news! Well this just happened to me. I got home from a fun road trip with some mates only to hear not one but 2 bad news. First being my brand new car has a slight scratch on it. Being a person that loves his car more than himself at times, it tore me up. Damn. Thankfully it wasn't deep and not very noticeable as well. Sigh. I guess we all need some slight scratches right. Can't keep it in tip top condition all the time. The 2nd bad news was that the Sri Lanka tour that I had plan to go for in August got cancelled. All because a handful of the others backed out due to some fears that there might be some rebel activity soon. Can't really blame them I guess. Sigh. I was really looking forward to heading back to my roots to see the sights and see how they live. Now I gotta wait till things die down and also another tour is planned. Sigh. I'm heading to bed right now. *Yaaaawn* Will blog about the trip soon enuff. G'nite.

Friday, July 22, 2005

the pweor of a hmuan mnid...

Found this through a forum. Thought it was rather interesting. Give it a try...

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.

Did you mngaae to raed it???

Thursday, July 21, 2005

cars that i've owned (episode 3)...

Selling Zoe was easy because it had a good value on the market and the car was a great student car so living in a University town I had tonnes of prospective buyers. Before selling her I had to buy my new toy first as a good offer suddenly came up. I was offered a 1992 Nissan NX2000 for only US$3250 (sold Z0e at the end for US$3500). Now the NX2000 is a different breed of car altogether. It was a black 2 door sports car with a 5 speed stick shift, SR20DE powered (2 liters with 140hp and 130 pounds of torque), ABS, all discs and LSD equipped monster which does 0 to 100 kph a little under 8 seconds! The best part was the car was owned by this old couple who had it since it came out and never really ran it in. So the car was practically new except for its age. These cars came out for only 3 years and didn't really sell well due to its weird look (nicknamed the 'egg' by many). Overall in the 3 years I think only about 10k or so of them were ever sold. Now in US, among Japanese import lovers, the car is a rare prize. When it was out then it was considered the 8th best handling car in the world. Once I bought it, cleaned it up, installed a cd player and speakers, it was good to go. This car you could say was my only macho car so far. I called him Max after my last pet dog who was put down prematurely by stupid MPPJ (I might blog about that some day).

Max to me was a different breed than my other cars. This was a sports car which could take all the beating I can give and still have fight in em'. The amount of dumbass American cars that tried to pull a fast one and was left to smell my smoke is amazing. I'm not showing off or anything but some American petrol heads can be really dumb. They figure that having big ass engines will definately kill a Japanese import with smaller engines. C'mon. If only they knew the potential or the facts of what they are up against. Anyways it was fun, to see their face in awe being left behind by a weird looking 'egg'. I'm not saying I race most of the time but when it happens, it happens right. Max was the car that helped me move from Columbia, Missouri to Philly, Pennsylvania which took about 16 hours. I filled it up with all my belongings gathered from the 3 and half years and headed down to Philly where my girlfriend stayed in hopes of securing a job. Sadly that did not work out and before long (4 months or so) I had to head back home. That meant I had to sell Max off after only owning him for 8 months. It was a good 8 months though and I had hopes to bring the car back but it just wasn't meant to be. The conversion from left to right and the crap with Customs. Sigh. From time to time I do miss Max and wished I owned him in Malaysia instead. I would never have sold him if I did. Its a rare jewel.

Well I guess thats all for now. *Yaaaaaaaaaawn* Getting sleepy. G'nite folks!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

cars that i've owned (part deux)...

After I managed to get some money from my old man I went ahead and sold off the Corolla for almost the same price I bought it. Lost about 50 bucks but I had the car for a year, so no complaints. I replaced the Corolla with another Toyota called the Tercel. It was a 1995 dark green 1.5 liter automatic coupe. Got the car at a salvage reseller. What they do is they buy cars that went through accidents and the owners just discarded them. They take ownership of it and fix it up. Good as new. Usually the accidents do not involve the front and almost always minor stuff compared to what we fix up here in Malaysia. Good thing for me is the price of the car is almost cut into half.

Comparing to the Corolla it was one hellave ride and soon I called her Zoe. I had this car for about 2 years plus and just like the Corolla it had been everywhere. She was a real easy car to drive. Power was spot on, handling nippy and looked good. Zoe also managed to teach about 5 people how to drive, as well as pass their driving exams to get their licenses. Sadly towards the end one of them crashed Zoe soon after getting her license. And this was while I was back in Malaysia for summer. Luckily it was all body damage and could be fixed easily. By the time I got back to US she looked almost as I had left her.Over the 2 years I did alot of modifications to the car. All by myself as well. This was mainly because labor charges in US are ridiculous and I also had tonnes of free time so it was fun playing around with her. With the money I made from part time work I upgraded my sound system (which to me is the most essential modification for any car), got better brakes, changed the air intake and exhaust as well as added some suspension upgrades. After all was done, the car could really perform. I'm not saying it could beat WRXs or EVOs but it could take some cars bigger than her. The last plan I had for the car was to turbocharge it but something else caught my eye which was much cheaper.

Will blog about that next time. Sadly I don't have a picture of Zoe. Can't seem to find it anywhere. Will post if I do. Cheers.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

cars that i've owned (part 1)...

As I stare at my new baby, I can't help but reminisce on all the past cars that I've owned and the adventures that I've had with them. All in all I have had 5 cars total (which includes the new baby) whereby 3 of them were owned while studying in US. I even named all of them except the first car and the recent one (due to it being new, need to run it in and find its character first). I still miss those days in US as cars were relatively cheap and I could sell one off and get another without even having to look for extra money. Over here we would need to beg, borrow or steal just to get another car.

It all started with a dull red 1988 Toyota Corolla. Stick shift of course with. Bought it real cheap at around US$1k to get around town and travel whenever possible. It used to be the only car within our circle of friends and boy did it get thrashed. The AC rarely worked and that was solved by just having the windows wound down most of the time. Thankfully the heater always worked although the insulation was poor, so it would take ages for the car to warm up during winter. Surprisingly for its age and condition, it never did break down. Only problem I ever faced was the muffler rusting away and dropped off. LOL. Still remember that day while driving down Broadway Street when I suddenly heard a scraping metal sound plus my exhaust became noisy as hell. As I looked through my rear view mirror I saw the sparks the muffler was creating scraping on the road and before I could even stop to inspect, it just fell off. Thankfully no one was behind me at that time. I didn't really change much of the Corolla then as I didn't have the money but the car did run up alot of miles. We travelled to and fro from Columbia to Kansas City (3 hours) and also from Columbia to St. Louis (2 hours) almost every weekend. Almost always to grab some nice chinese food or cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. Sigh. It was actually the only period where I didn't worry much about my car. I could take it out and not be bothered if someone hits it or scratches it. I could park it anywhere and be sure it'll still be there when I get back. Sometimes I feel its good to just get a older cheaper car. You tend to worry less.

Thats all for now. Attached on the side is a pic of the car I managed to find.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

another year gone by...

Time surely flies. Yesterday was my 26th birthday and I could have sworn I celebrated my 25th birthday not too long ago. I had the pleasure of spending it with my work mates in a 3 bedroom apartment in Malacca. There were 12 of us and we headed up on Saturday for a one nighter. I must say it was a lovely birthday celebration. We had lovely food throughout the weekend and around midnite celebrated my birth with a lovely blueberry cheesecake made by my friend's sister. Much better than Secret Recipe I must add. I guess nothing can beat the taste of home made goodies. To top it off one of my buds got me a bottle of Chivas Regal which is my all time favourite drink. Liquid gold I tell ya! Together we spent the night drinking and chatting away. Ended roughly around 5am whereby we headed out for some lovely Dim Sum. After that we headed back and crashed before checkout time at noon.

Overall the trip was practically a food fest. From chicken rice balls for lunch to munchies like muachi, popiah and nyonya kuehs for tea to satay celup for dinner. After reading about it for months I finally got my hands on satay celup and it was pretty all right I guess. A bit overrated but good enuff. In my opinion the price would be the only thing worth the effort as I've tasted better peanut sauce in Pee Jay itself. I guess if we went to a better restaurant it would have been better but our tour guide was caught up with something and couldn't take us there. We ended up somewhere where one of my mates tried before and looking at the queue of ppl waiting to have a go, I would say they were pretty popular.

All and all it was a great birthday weekend. Spent it at a great place with even greater people. Thankfully this time I did not get wasted and had no hangover to deal with when I woke up. That itself is a blessing. Now I gotta wait another 364 days before I get to celebrate my birthday again. By then god only knows how much I would have changed and where I would be.

Some pictures to enjoy.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

new baby in town...

Finally after a long wait I was able to pick up the new gal in my life. Got a call from my sales agent with the good news that she was ready. Headed over immediately to the dealership and there she was. All spick and span. She looked very much better than I had expected. Did a quick run through to make sure she wasn't scared or damaged in any way. Thanked my sales agent for her good and efficient work and headed straight to Klang. Guess why? For some new rims and tyres of cause. If I delayed that I wouldn't get a good offer on my original rims and tyres so I decided to do it immediately. Didn't really have time this weekend as well coz I had plans to head over to Malacca.

Now my baby is sitting pretty at home with new 16 inchers and slick tyres. Sadly I won't be able to drive her around this weekend but we have loads of time to get to know one another. I'm just happy that I finally got her after waiting for so freaking long. I'll post up some pics when I get good shots of her. Damn batteries have run dry. =(

Friday, July 01, 2005

bye bye betty...

It is a sad day today. At 1.05pm I handed over the keys to Betty to her new owner. I am not sure but I don't think I will be seeing her again. It has been a wonderful 2 years and 68 days. We have shared so much together and travelled to some interesting places. Since May this year I had to slowly tear Betty apart and sell off what made her to various people. It was a tough decision but time had come for me to upgrade and I couldn't afford keeping Betty as well.

Never expected it but I was sad when I had to finally hand over Betty. Didn't think it would affect me but it did. Its like a little part of me is gone forever. The process of selling off parts of Betty did not strike me but when finally surrendered the car to the new owner, that is when it hit me. Especially after driving away and knowing I would never see her again. I guess we all move on after awhile. I always had the impression that I would keep Betty and if I upgraded she would still be with me. Sadly that wasn't possible financially.

I wish the new owner all sorts of happy memories with Betty. I doubt she would be called that anymore or even given a name but you never know. The new owner looked responsible enough and was grateful to be owning a car. I hope she will be able to take care of her as how I did. So long dear and hope you live a long life. Till we meet again. Toodles.