Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year~!!!

Xing Nian Huai Le... Chinese New Year is just around the corner and I was never really into the whole spirit and excitement berdering this celebration and its auspiciousness until I found that it affects so many people in such diverse ways.

Decorations and lightings will be put up, providing a demand for products and services which aid manufacturers and laborers alike. Unlike other cultures, the Chinese occasions were all designed to keep money flowing within its country. *Do you realize that Chinese have occasions on every month of the year?*
But aside from the monetary standpoint, I've grown to respect and enjoy the Chinese New Year as its a time when the entire family gets together and share their year's endeavours. Its also a time to watch traditional lion and dragon dances which grow to its prominence around this time of year. Their costumes flashing with a gazillion sequinnes and bright colours, along with their fluid and mimmicking movements enthrall the crowds.
Streets will be packed full of shoppers and shops will have a chance to raise their offered products to festive prices or to offer bargains to rid their old stock.

Not only does this culture happen only in the Asian regions, but a worldwide rush for all things festive are going on and preparations throughout the world will kick off for the Chinese New Year.
I was especially delightfully awed when a search of mine yielded me a picture of downtown Chinatown in London where, although not as packed, festivities and deco do not lose out to the Asian countries.
After the family gets together for the traditional hot pot (steamboat) reunion dinner and as the festivities progress, the "yee sang" is a meal not to be missed. It is a dish of sweet and sour taste, a little zing to perk you up, with cabbages, cucumber, carrots, some other greens and the ever significant fish that simbolizes the bringing of good fortune for the year ahead (Nian nian you yui).
As for the children (or anyone not married, like me), nothing excites us.. er.. them (the children) more than the ang pau (red packets filled with $$$).
What's a Chinese celebration without wine and song? So see below to better understand how we get drunk and intoxicated.... It's my public service to you to *ahem* avoid getting into this situation. Drink (ir)responsibly and keep safe y'all!
On a final note, I'd like to wish all my readers and buddies out there a thoroughly enjoyable new Year's celebration and a wonderful year ahead with health without despair, wealth to share and prosperity to spare!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SLS AMG sticks!

Pic caught of the new SLS AMG doing an aero stand through a tunnel.... Does it make you want it? Tell me you want it.... Heck! I want it~!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A weekend to a wonderful week!

I had a wonderful weekend with my family last week along with all the extended family members having a couple of outings and keeping grandma entertained. First meeting was at night at the Tanjung Tokong flats food court for some excellent Hainanese coffee and toast.
The old couple that runs the stall there serves a traditional set of bread with butter and kaya (homemade of course) along with their superb blend of Hainanese coffee.
Even my little cousin was having a ball with the nocturnal delights!
We were a little adventurous that night and decided to try their eggs on toast which turned out to be superb, the little guy licked the plate clean!
Here's a picture of the homemade kaya that sells for RM3 a jar. Pricing has not went up for years. Note that its rough texture denotes it's steamed instead of cooked atop a stove.
We decided to go back to the same food court for our lunch the following afternoon as there is an excellent Malay stall there that serves good food at reasonable prices. We then proceeded further into the Tanjung Tokong village to the Tua Pek Kong temple.
This corner of the island was previously a fort and you can see the battlements in the picture above and a watchpost, covered in roots and branches, to the left on the picture below.
The sand was just too inviting and the waters cooling, all the kids, myself included, left our sandals on the shore and went in for a little tomfoolery in the water.
My cousins looking out at the barrier built after the tsunami, that hit here in '05, as a breaker just in case there's a repeat performance.
The waters were clear and the beach was really clean, and from this outing we could really see that the beach clean-up project is going smoothly and effectively.
Another family was "dredging" for shellfish and the little guy decided to join in anyways.
And for the automotive inclined readers, don't you even think that one of my weekends go by without some spotting or other, I caught this on my way home. The driver of course caught sight of me taking pictures like a buffoon and decided to gimme a demo run off the lights. Let me tell ya, the acceleration and aural bombardment was immense!
Then on Monday, we had a rojak party at the office as one of our colleagues bought us some awesome rojak sauce from her home town, homemade of course!Anxious, I'm sure!
This fella was caught sneaking a bite before preparations were complete.
And here's the cutie responsible for buying us the prawn paste concoction!

'Till next time, ciao!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dreaded Damping Deficiency

After querying myself in my previous post on my automotive year that was 2009, it seems my dampers will again need to be revised in order for me to improve and advance. Why do I mention this? Well, allow me to elaborate...

Of late, I keep feeling a loss of traction when powering out of corners and initially, I thought that a better set of tires would be a good upgrade to keep traction in check. However, as I am now running a set of Eagle RS on loan from Fer, I'm still experienceing traction loss when powering out. I had to delve deeper into the recesses of my driving style and instead found that my entry speed is too slow resulting in me powering out of corners well before the apex.

I enter late into corners and at speeds much less than I can afford. This sort of driving is safe for the street as entering late allows me to see much more of the road ahead and lower entry speeds means much more room for error if any were to arise. I guess my driving is a result of self-cultivation in keeping a broad safety margins that are well within my limitations. Why risk anything during touge right? After all, I am supposed to be enjoying myself.

That having been said and resolved as an issue with my driving style, another pending issue that needs to be dealt with is that my suspension is bottoming out at certain corners. Now bottoming out is not a good thing as it promotes massive loss of control over vehicular dynamics. I've delved into this topic a couple of times myself and every answer I come up with requires me to uprate my suspension damping rates.
However, I feel adamant at increasing damping rates as my car is a daily driver and I'm quite comfortable as it is now. But on the other hand, one cannot improve unless changes are made, and I for one understands that changes are imminent, just a matter of "when"? With this future increment in damping, braking will also be improved as energy is not lost to vehicle dive. Not to mention that with this increase in damping rate, I'll also save up on revising the anti roll bar upgrade and bushings replacement I was having planned this year. So I'll be killing two birds with one stone innit?

Having said a whole lot in this post, I will still be touge-ing with this setup as it feels like these dampers are still going strong (congrats on the good job Fer) with plenty of life left in them and are still plenty adequate for the fun drives up touge!

p.s. All pics are for illustration only. Dun try this at home kids :P

Monday, January 4, 2010

Times and Trends

What is the most influential automotive trend for you?
I love big rims and even bigger tires. Though I also love the slammed look, but my ride has to be functional, so its a no-no for me.
What was your most significant mod?
I'm a real softy, so I'd have to say my suspension was my most significant mod. It's damped nicely for touge and still comfortable enough to live with every day of the week. However, its approaching its limits and I might see another revise this year. *hint*hint*Chris (Fer)*
What's your highlight of 2009?
The definitive highlight for me would definitely be organizing the Northern Touge Race Day for Penangites to go have a blast. I'd like to thank our members from as far as KL for all your support and hope you had fun!
Which would be your car of the year 2009?
This may be hard to swallow, but for me, it would come from the Korean stables of Hyundai. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe just does it for me as the car of the year 2009. Looks awesome, and it runs a 4B11T longitudinally for some rear wheel induced euphoria!
Which would be your concept car of the year 2009?
I risk the sound of being cliche, but I love the Toyota FT86 concept. Just the thought of running a Toyota tuned performance chassis with a boxer under the hood turning the rear wheels just sends goosebumps up my back.

Do drop me your comments on these five questions. It's definitely something to discuss over TT ;)

Inaugural TT & T session

Northern Touge had our first Teh Tarik and Touge session on the 1st of January 2010~!!! We all met up at Goodall cafe opposite for some good fare.
I arrived albeit a little tardy and they'd all makan'd liao...
Everyone was having a good time chatting over drinks and burning time.
As the touge session grew closer, more kakis joined in and we had both tables filled up with another group already at the meeting point.
We pushed off and had a nice cruise around to check things out and eventually headed up the touge for some thrills and spills. I had such a good time I'd forgot to even take pics of the cars!
A good start to a new year I'd say.
Cheers all!