Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Of late... Months past!

So what have I been up to? Definitely updating this spot in cyberspace :P
Anyhooo, here are the updates so far... Caught this lazy bug fixing up cars at Kiong Lee...
Got to gettin' some burger action at Uncle Burger situated opposite the Esso station on Pearl Hill.
Got to hookin' up my home with a new lux couch... I can really lounge in this bad boy.. and I'm no midget!
Cleaned out my fridge and found a bottle of Wheat Germ from way back.... Price tag told me it was from Super Komtar (now defunct)...
Check out the expiry date... This bottle was from WAAAAAAY back~!!!
Remember the tuning that I keep grumbling about previously? Got Fer to finally do me a tune up and the petrol consumption was excellent! I was doing 8.5km/l (which equates to around 21cents per km) with a little mechanical tune up and electronics wizardry. Acceleration was much better too... I think one final round of refining the mapping and I'm set.
I was hooked watching Hell's Kitchen (my domesticated half is settling in) and got to cooking me some salmon. Not half bad if I do say so myself... And I do!
What? Your car can drift? Mine can make ME walk sideways... Here's how!
Now add some ice to the equation.. and Voila!
I woke up at 6.30a.m. last Sunday and decided to pay my old weekend haunt for b'fast. I used to come here every Sunday morning with my dad for makan-ing. Right at the corner of Jones road.
'Till next time then buddies. Ciao!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chinese 7th Month

The Chinese seventh month is a very significant duration on the Lunar calendar where Chinese believe the gates of Hades are open for a month for the dearly departed to return to their homes to receive necessities and food of all else. It is also this month that many believe straying after dark is strongly discouraged. Naturally, touge had ground to a stop for me and so here's what I've been up to in this auspicious month.
Visited a buddy in the hospital...
Had some cherry alcohol from Europe that my bro brought back from his travels...
Checked out a friend's new tire shop at Paya Terubong...
Found out that Gurmit Singh is actually the head of neurosurgery in Penang General Hospital :P
Swapped out my dying RE 070s (awesome tires!) for a new set of sponsored Federal 595 Evos...
Found a nice coffee spot on Steward Lane and made friends with the manager. Kopi Cine serves damn good coffee, either that, or the fact that the floor manager gave me extra espresso shots!
Met up with a old friends on Upper Penang Road by accident... Serendipity!
Checked out a Beach Babes & Hunks show at Gurney with Chong and TH.
My gf on the left & Yi Lai (second wife) on the right visiting from KL at Tai Thong. A nice and rustic place in town where food is actually better than all the commercialized crap elsewhere.
I got to visit the Christian cemetery along Farquhar street for the first time in all my years living in Penang.
Went and checked out the Peranakan Museum on Church Street with my bro and Yi Lai.
So it wasn't all that bad a month for me... What were you fellas up to during the Chinese 7th Month?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Petrol price hike

The government says subsidies cuts are necessary to maintain the livelihood, the continuity of our economy, and to improve the standard of living in Malaysia. They also say that Malaysians are paying the cheapest petrol prices in our region and targeted fuel subsidy to receive the cut! But what "they" fail to mention is that we Malaysians are also paying for the most expensive car prices in the world! What we pay in car price taxes can pay for our petrol subsidies for the lifetime of our rides.... WTF?!?!?!

Subsidies to IPPs (Independant Power Producers) should be the ones receiving the cut since their reported to profit from RM 100mil to RM1bil every year, as mentioned by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua. Why the heck should they be receiving subsidies is beyond my understanding.

WTF are "they" doing and why is the rakyat (the people) made to pay for all the misconstrued budgets and funding, and "payments" to privatised corporations? Why are we made to "subsidise" all the funding that have gone down the drain due to over budgeted projects and mismanaged funds?

Furthermore, there are ones that imply that we, the rakyat, should look into taking public transportation to ease congestion and to reduce fuel consumption. The people's main utilisation of trasportation is to and fro work but our public transport, here in Penang, does not travel to the industrial area where the factories are located. So how are workers supposed to utilise public transportation in this scenario? Not to mention our busses are never on time and no one even knows the public bus schedule! How is the price hike justified when the people are not provided the infrastructure to cope?

p.s. I hear rumours that Penang bridge toll will also be raised, which we were promised would only be paid until the cost of the bridge construction was paid off. However, just as that date was approaching a few years back, the bridge toll was privatised and we're still paying toll to date.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Northern Touge Road Trip - Cameron Highlands

Pre flight checks are a pre-requisite before any road trip to ensure your vehicle will get you there and back in one piece. So I popped over to Hyper Racing to check my engine and miscellanuous lubricants and radiator water displacement to ensure all's well. I got my wipers swapped out since my old ones were crap and I got these new model kinky blue ones from Fer! Nice!
We were blessed with a cooling morning sun and cloudy skies for a beautiful drive up to Simpang Pulai.
It was an awesome drive amongst smooth flowing traffic and everything was just in place.
We eventually reached the Simpang Pulai exit and turned off for some Kuey Teow Soup and lemon juice (to wake our minds) before blasting up the hills to our destination in Brinchang. We drove past some of the best roads I've ever had a chance to drive on, sweeping corners and smooth lanes. Met with Dennis from TKA, on a photography trip with his cam buddies, halfway up the highlands... Until we hit Kg. Raja, where there was a super massive jam, and Soon and Fer were stuck behind me.
We got past that with stinky clutches and worn left feet and arrived at Raju's Strawberry Farm (right opposite Equatorial Hotel) where we were pampered with freshly picked strawberries in cream and honey.. Sweet! I managed to meet with a former colleague of mine here.
We then retired to our pre-booked apartment style accomodation in Brinchang to cool off and refresh ourselves. We managed to squeeze three adjacent parking lots amongst the super filled parking bay.
And here's Soon doing some calisthenics to warm up and stretch out... Tom's Stickers Pg was kind enough to wrap my spoiler in 3M carbon look sticker for my trip and it looks awesome!
The crew and I were famished after such a long drive, we decided to have a simple lunch at the nearby cafe and adjourn to the star at Cameron Highlands, the strawberries... And Strawberry Moment serves up some of the best concoctions of this flavorsome fruit.
As we had our fill of desserts and could fill no more, the team decided to retire to the hotel room for a good rest before dinner. On the way to get our cars, Soon picked up something out of the corner of his eye. It was a pristine example of an AE86 front conversion on a TE72. Having driven one before, I have nothing but love for this car!
I finally got to taking a pic from our balcony and the view looks superb! Our room was overlooking the entire Brinchang area along with the pasar malam and all the food outlets. We rested well that afternoon, lounging about in the cool highlands breeze.
We then went for an awesome and fulfillingly hot steamboat (hot pot) dinner with free refill veggies (good for me, I'm quite the vegan) and mind you, these were hydroponic organic vegs! The night view from our room is just as nice, Soon and Charlton brought back a couple of beers for the cteam to enjoy and we just kicked back to some movies.
We woke up bright and early, got prepped and checked out from our hotel to catch the drive down in minimum traffic, but we were hungry and we had to fill our tummies first. Nothing feels better in the morning than the familiar, so we went over to the eatery next door serving wan tan mee and kuey teow soup where I spotted this beautiful Perdana finished in flat black.
I loved this eatery as they served up loads of chillies prepped in diff styles, and since the place was full, we ordered some hot Milo to keep us warm whilst they prepped our meals.
A little friend also visited me after my filing breakfast, this fella was huge but missing one leg. I would love to see the beetle that did that to it.
We left after our beetle charming breakfast and made way to Simpang Pulai in good pace. But not before refilling at the local petrol kiosk where I met Boy from Balik Pulau (this is turning to be an interesting trip meeting so many fellows along the way). As we descended, I managed to capture this Garrett bus! Imagine if it was actually powered by that... Hmm...
What visit of Cameron would be complete without a tour of its many tea plantations? Our team stopped by to check out what all the fuss was about our local black teas and it was a scene new to us all. Terraced earth and plantations as far as the eye could see.
We were once again keeping the touge spirit alive and as we progressed downhill, Soon's turbo was right on my butt with his wastegate screaming (I could only distance him with some daft LFB). As we passed a beautiful left sweeper, I spotted this wonderful area for a pic to remind us of the awesome trip thus far.
Soon's temperature rose suspiciously and found he'd got a burst water pipe, so Fer immediately swapped in a replicate hose to sustain until we got to Ipoh where Soon got it swapped out for a replacement. See my el-cheapo gloves? Those helped keep my hands dry in the heat, and warm in the cold during our highlands run.
The Northern Touge crew were blessed as we once again drove in cover from the sun on our return trip, someone up there must LOVE us!
We stopped by Soon's home town in Taiping but Silver decided to run away and keep in supercars' company... But we pried it away from the intoxicating bunch!
After Silver's ordeal, we drove around Taiping to take in the sights and its lake was a wonderful sight of man meeting nature... And to catch a glimpse of my kinky blue wipers :P
The trees here have been carefully nurtured and each creates an arch for drivers to pass under whilst taking in the views of the wonderful lake.
Soon then led us to the Bukit Merah Laketown Park, where he worked as a part timer in his younger, non-grinder wielding days, for a guided tour and shakedown of the area. I managed to ty my hand (no pun intended) at a panning shot with my handphone cam through a wonderful touge strip somewhere in Taiping.
We eventually arrived in the Bukit Merah Lake area and the park seems like a nice place to plan the next Northern Touge road trip! Soon will of course be the guide then as well :)
We went about the park and took in a few rides before closing time. Beated and bushed, the lot of us decided it was time to head home to a hot bath and some well deserved rest. En route, I saw another TE72 at the Jawi toll plaza and I just wondered... Could this be a sign of things to come? Stay tuned...
I got home with half my right arm sunburnt, which was pretty unusual in my book...
And a 568km trip that cost me RM110 of petrol, including touge-ing up and down Cameron. I love my fuel consumption on highway drives :)
Phew... That was a lot to digest... See you readers next time, check back for more road trips in the future.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Apprehensible anxiety and amiable angst

I'm hyped for the coming road trip tomorrow... It's always exciting going out in groups and visiting hometowns of the company we keep and getting to know their local fare. Awesome... This time we, the Northern Touge group, will be visiting Cameron Highlands (first time for me) and having a weekend vacation there. We hope to visit members' hometowns and to check out the roads along the way.

This'll be the first time Silver would be up to such a high altitude.

I'm feeling so anxious and pumped or this trip... Can't wait to start taking pics of the trip :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The weekend started with Friday night spent at Upper Penang Road for my first world cup experience (I'm not much of a football fan) with Tiger FC and their super huge screen.
Let me tell you from a non-fan perspective, even I was pulled into the moment as you can literally feel the tension and excitement of all the attendees there. The crowd was awesome as was the Tiger FC crew whom entertained us with a short dance during half time.
After a night of fun and a good nights' sleep, it was Saturday morning when I found this HUGE bee wandering about my room right as I was hanging up my towel from my morning bath.
I took it out with my specialist equipment... See below for pic of insect mass murder weapon! Did loads of errands, then cooked dinner (yes I cook.. I know...), then took in a swim and some gym time, and spent a wonderful evening at home with my girlfriend (cost saving for me and lovey-dovey time for her).
I returned to my parents' home to spend some quality family time with them and coaxed dad into having an Indian lunch with me. Wasn't hard work since dad is also a banana leaf kaki! We live in Tanjung Bungah so naturally, being a lazy Sunday afternoon, we visited Ananda Bahwan for lunch. Food was authentic and awesome! It's been a long time since I last had banana leaf and eating without utensils.

I visited Hyper Racing after work since I'd not been there in quite a bit and yesterday I aced the ISO audit for my company, so I got to leave early :) I was just talking to Soon at the back alley and thought to myself, "kinda reminds me of horsepower road (Sunway) backalley", sans supercars. Anyway, Silver needs a check-up and tune-up... Need to service rear brakes too. Haih... The pains of car ownership... But nothing feels as rewarding as driving a well maintained car for a long weekend out, which coincidentally Northern Touge will be having this weekend! Yay!
I came home for some swimming and met this little friend just by my door. A wonderful specimen of a moth complete with fern-like antennae and camouflage. Nice!
Have a great week ahead readers and check back next week for our road trip write up!