Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Case of Extreme Makeover - jaw-droppingly so...

Why buy a Ferrari when you can morph your Honda NSX into one? ... a Ferrari F50 that is. Crazy japs.

It's like getting a boob job, rear end lift, liposuction, facial reconstruction complemented with cosmetic & wardrobe makeover in a single comprehensive package.
I'd like mine the way it is - with tasteful mild but detailed aesthetic touch-ups and some performance upgrades for added pedal-to-the-metal WOW effect. Why mess with perfection?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Practically brain-dead at the end of my near 14-hour nightshift every morning. Especially all the sleep you've had the day before is a measily 2-hour nap. Always have difficulty in adjusting my biological clock at the start of shift days every week. Maybe it's part reluctance - when the whole fab is on the lows, wondering what dreaded outcome befalls us when the VSS gets finalized and goes into gear in a week's time. Ironically, I don't seem to really give a damn - i'm just plain ignorant like that.
I've gotten jaded with life, over the times working here. Just anticipating for some big changes, ANY changes to happen to inject some drama back into my still adolescent working life.
Received this heart warming mail to start yet another hibernation day:

As i walked down the busy footpath, knowing i was late for an important meeting, my eye fell upon one of those unfortunate, homeless vagabonds that are found in every city these days. Wearing what can only be described as rags, carrying every worldly possession in 2 plastic bags; my heart was touched by this person's condition. Some people turned to stare. Others quickly looked away as if the sight would somehow contaminate them. Recalling some long ago Sunday School admonition to "care for the sick, feed the hungry and cloth the naked," i was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this unfortunate person. Yes, where some people saw only rags, i saw a hidden beauty. A small voice inside my head called out:

"Reach out, reach out!"

So i did...
My court case has been set at the end of the month.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Annoying Clicking Sound
Ticking sound coming from the valvetrain is making my car sound like a typewriter on wheels. Sounds that makes you want to un-muffle the exhaust system for maximum praaap! just to deafen the audible imperfections - confirm will get pulled over at every roadblock.
Had the valves readjusted but the ticking noise did not go away. Even contemplated getting an engine top overhaul. My pocket's less stretchable these days, so got to look for a cheaper alternative.
After sourcing for info at honda-tech, it has come to my attention that i may need a new set of LMA.

LMA (Lost Motion Assemblies) - what are they & what they do?
It is like a shock absorber for the vtec lobes rocker when it is not engaged - prevents the middle rocker from "slapping up and down" when it is not connected to the outside rockers. Without it, it could damage the rockers or the lobes of the cam from the repeated hard contact. When it starts to fail,it sounds like a valve has gone out of adjustment. When VTEC engages,the center rocker is mechanically connected to the two outside rockers so they act as one running off off the much larger center lobe of the cam.

*Sourced from www.honda-tech.com
*How VTEC works

25 - 30 bucks a piece (USD). Thats x8 pieces for a DOHC 4-cyclinder. Probably got to fork out like RM700 to get them replaced. Damn LMAs are freakin' expensive. Tiuu

With mountain accomodation bookings made a couple of months well ahead on peak season, (Mt. KK) this is definitely the Mecca pilgrimage for hikers. No, you can't bring your own tent, camp up there illegally with your buddies & warm up on a few bottles of Chivas & Vodka.

No place to stay at Laban Rata, no climb.

damn. now got to figure out a plan B...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Uncertainty looms...

VSS(Voluntary-Separation-Scheme) - a threat or an opportunity?

... in response to the recent policy changes.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

changing expressions.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Time for oil change

Change long overdue, by up to 1000km - Not good, especially if yours is an high revving engine & is subjected to daily hard-driving abuse. So the summary is - lubricating an internal combustion engine is very important.
Switched to elf Competition SM semi-synthetic with viscosity of 10W40 .
Technically (in layman's terms):
(i) Semi-synthetic - a blend between mineral oil & fully synthetic (70%/30% - 80%/20%), claimed to be about 3 times better at reducing engine wear & tear compared to purely mineral oil
(ii) SM - American Petroleum Institute oil performance standard
(S): for petrol service category
(M): specifies level of technical performance within the relevant group
'SM' is the current top grade
(iii) 10W40 viscosity (multi-grade)
10W (-20C): defines ability to flow & lubricate at cold start-up - the lower the viscosity at low temp, the easier the engine start
40 (+40C): high temp viscosity rating - the more viscous, the less oil thinning when hot & the better it will hold w/o breaking down at high temperatures
Cost: RM88
Bosch replacement oil filter
Cost: RM15
Resut: A much smoother running & rev-happy engine. Should also see a slight improvement in fuel economy. Will be a good 3 months or 5000km, before i need to fork out some maintenance $. *Sigh*

You say what car?? Looks like an exotic crossbreed between a Honda CRX Del-Sol with a Mazda6 front.

This unassuming EK has got a Jackson Racing supercharger shoe-horned into the engine bay. Yeps, it's B16A powered too.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another hiking trip to look forward to at the end of my night-shitshift end of February...

What's not to love about budget airlines... (save for the occasional delays, free-seat scrambles & non-free onboard meals) - makes travelling by air for vacation every other month a much more affordable affair for the average working class folks like me.

Mt. KK here I come!

The not-so-picture perfect shot taken at Low's Peak back in Oct 2003. Have made a vow to return since - just for the heck of taking another shot. It's got to be Picture-Perfect this time round. Hoping for accomodation bookings to get thru coz it should be about peak season by March. Anyway, I got to go somewhere.... anywhere!

Finally bought a much-needed LCD monitor.
Being a 17" BenQ FP71G+, it's hardly top-of-the-line.. but rather one of the most affordable at sub-RM600. It features an Active TFT screen, 1280x1024 resolution with 16.2million colors and response time of 8ms. Just fits my baseline requirements nicely & is easily the better one in terms of color contrast & resolution compared to other models in the same price range. (It's drought season for me anyway.... else i'll be getting a 19"!)
Finally can put my computer-lag induced frustrations to rest. Got my newly acquired PC working: 2.66GHz Pentium 4 + 1G RAM it's a Ferrari F430 compared to my aging 750MGHz Celeron + 128MB RAM notebook. So out goes the rusty 1960 VW classic.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Shrink my dreams to fit my income

Period - inline with my company’s cost-cutting move to freeze OTs to ride out the rough transitional period for the year to come. Some spending habit adjustments & a little getting use to will be required to cope with this earning-capability crisis. Talk about the equivalent of taking a 40% pay-cut, isn’t exactly easy to embrace.

For a start, I’d been lucky to have landed a job that pays well comparatively, than most of my working-class counterparts… at least locally. Having a sizeable amount of disposable income in hand at the end of every month just conveniently accommodates my impulse-driven spending frenzy:

a) Hi-tech gadget must-haves – iPOD shuffle(want), PSP(want2), LCD monitor(getting one real soon), iPhone?

b) Occasional dine-outs (a.k.a expensive food indulgence - can't live without)

c) Go for vacation every other month (just back from Peninsula trip last month, be going KK in March, Bali this coming October)

d) Pimp my ride (major bank account sink-hole) – Recaro huggies, expensive Advan Neova rubbers, HKS oil change(want?), Denso Iridium spark plugs(want??)…+ brand name aftermarket parts to bling up the engine bay.

Yeaps, I’m financially unsound – my budget planning hardly makes any sense.

Now that I’ve finally got more free time (coz no more friggin’ OTs to give a damn about), I gotta go figure it out. Or I might want to start looking for greener pastures.

Monday, January 15, 2007

random posts for the past week...
intercooler turbo?

nah, just a bigger thick-core cooler for my car's ailing air-cond. Just to make sure i don't die from heat stroke getting stuck in mid-day traffic, hehe.

meet ebony

uncle Darryl's bad-a$$ ride. Have had a few exciting encounters with on the road...

okay, this one goes on my wishlist too

Now that makes a practical gift for a guy's b'day.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Turning into a Nocturnal Being
Just 2 weeks into night shift; have seen mostly hectic nights - the usual fire-fighting issues, multiple tool inhibitions coupled with process issues that seem to drag on forever... And I thought night shifts are supposed to be yawn-inducingly-peaceful. The only better part is not having bosses bugging or barking orders at you. So you call the shots, making sure the passdown & whatever sh!t it encompasses gets delivered by sunrise.. or it's gonna be a heck of a grueling morning meeting to endure, daily.
Mumble thru the passdown, get a few facts jumbled up or miss out some minute details will be yelling Hey, y'all take a shot at me! - an open invitation for an interrogation. The prospect of getting screwed in front of the whole module at morning meetings is just part of the night shift engineer's JD. Period.
So you pinch yourself hard in the butt to stay alert & get the morning passdown delivered properly & convincingly. For that twilight hour, you got to play know-it-all, & play it right. Along the way, you also learn that legitimizing procrastination is no longer just a term, but a valuable soft-skill to pick up real quick to ensure your survivability. With half the work force functioning in semi-sleep mode, it's pretty difficult to get anything done properly & on time. Delays for work-in-progress - you're accountable for that too.
Only after that you'd get to go home hoping that the fully functional larger pool of experts & manpower during the day do their job well. It can be nightmarish to come back during nightfall & have the same sh!t staring at you in the passdown.
Clock-in at 730pm, clock-out the next morning at 900am, after settling the passdown. Go home, sleep, wake up, get prepared & take a meal, come to work - repeat vicious cycle for 3 to 4 shift days a week. You'd be too damn tired to do anything else.
Now the good part is that you get to have 3 to 4 consecutive days off per week. Minus a day off that, for transition period. It still gets a little disorienting having to alternate day-night & night-day. Accustomed to working 60 hour weeks for most of the past year, now what am I going to do with so much free time? More time spent pondering on the meaning of my mundane existence, I guess…
All the ramblings & b^tching of life in the production line. Love it or hate it, I’m doing just fine.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Chillin' Out at Chilax - An outing with cousins, not-too-distant cousin & a colleague

Discovery of another uniquely chic & cozy lim teh joint with some boardgames fun. Just 5mins drive from my home, though it takes an out-of-town cousin to show me where the fun's at.
Yup, Ian's in town. Last we met was almost 2 years ago before he left for Melbourne.

Here, X'mas & Co. is staying for the year...

Some neat collections of anime figures on display, mangas too... pretty much my cup of tea.

Jon & Bel getting clueless over Cluedo

Ian trying very hard to explain the game to us Clueless 4

June, Jon, Ian, Bernard, Bel & me

Just visited a friend hospitalized for low blood pressure, beforehand. Dropped by with bucketloads of magazines & some tid-bits - hope it helps with easing up the boredom a little, & so that i wouldn't accused of being bo sim again this time =p
Hope the poor girl gets well soon.

Rainy season in cat city - thank god it's not flooding here.
weather's so cooling & nice, i could almost hibernate thru my off-shift days - 4 consecutive days, that is...