A Visit to Family Land

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Old school cool! As soon as I saw the shopfront I giggled with excitement. I also noted; hilarious that at some point someone probably got a bit nasty and forced these guys to add the “RC Hobby Creations” to their signage.

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The owner Van Huynh has been in the game for a long time, and his enthusiasm shines as soon as he opens his mouth! I can see why Ved’s been a loyal customer for 10 years!

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Van runs the shop right. Unlike a lot of new shops, he still stocks all the little bits for all the years. It’s all on show too, which makes for a packed out little shop, giving it that new old stock overseas hobby shop vibe.

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Oh snap!

Today I tagged along with Ved from Selectnine, who was after a replacement servo for his Kyosho MP9-TKi2 RC car. I knew I was in for a treat as soon as Ved said it was a bit of a way out, that’s SO Ved! I instantly assumed it was going to be a rad old school hobby shop so I was 100% in. Fuck yeah! Adventure time!

I brought my camera along and took a few shots. Hope you get a kick out of the shop visit as much as I did. If you’re interested in checking out the full feature, visit: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2016/02/a-visit-to-family-land/

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Di Blasi update

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We’ve made slow progress on our little Di Blasi, but we’re cool with that! The bike is in bits. From here we’ll clean everything up, the engine, the wheels, we’ll strip the frame back and prep for paint, which should all be in the next update!

More pics on Zen: http://www.zengarage.com.au/2016/02/zen-deathtrap-v3-update-2/

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A personal assessment of how I’m feeling about Sydney right now

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I’ve been threatening/dreaming/meaning to move to Melbourne for so long, that coupled with all this sad Sydney shit going on, I’m thinking about moving more than ever.

I figure I’ll be living in a great city that supports creative culture, and visiting Sydney would be AMAZING. It would feel like the same old Sydney I love, almost. I could just enjoy Sydney without the politics, then fly back “home” to Melbourne and do what I do.

I’d still have an issue with potentially getting a criminal record (which could make flying overseas difficult) for traces of the weekend in my saliva whilst driving, that started in Melbourne right? Not sure how I’m going to get around that one without leaving the country.

Right now I just feel like I’m backed into a corner, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re trying to do to Sydney; Kick people like me out and make it a safe pleasant “vibrant” place for people from overseas to visit. Me being someone who was born here and loves this city so much. Me being someone who is so grateful for all the amazing (now illegal) experiences I’ve had, all of which have shaped me to the person I really like being today.

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Olixar Leather iPhone 6S Wallet Case

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I’ve had my iPhone 6S since Christmas and I love everything about it except the shape. I really miss the more masculine feeling and looking sharp edges of the 5, and damn this thing is so slippery I’ve already dropped it twice!

I thought about a wooden case, and also just a simple rubber case, but then I thought I’d give this a go in an attempt to not carry a wallet around anymore.

We’ll see how I go! I’ll be sure to report back soon.  PS: I got it from here.

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Be in competition with yourself, not others.

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I’m a man with many pursuits but I’m a designer by trade, more specifically, a web designer. I was around during the dot com boom and have been building custom sites since the 90’s. At some point WordPress took over and web budgets came down as ‘off the shelf’ products just made building web sites so much easier.

When we launched Zen in 2011 I used WordPress to build our site as we had no time before launch to build something custom, we had to hit the ground running so a WordPress site was put into place, we bought a theme that did all the things we needed it to do and voila, we were running. Thing is I hated the site and have hated it ever since! At some stage tuned. also installed the same theme as us, this gave me the motivation I needed to tweak our theme to make it “our own”, but even then I still wasn’t happy with it.

I’ve always been meaning to re-design the site to have much bigger impact images and a much cleaner design and tighter layout, 4 years in I’ve finally made the move to re-design the site by starting with a new theme. I had my developer James Linney install the theme for us and I didn’t sleep much for a week playing with it until it all started to look and feel right, then Sydney based Photographer Sam Law (a BOTFC and Zen blog contributor) messaged me to say that we’re using the same theme as BOTC

Oh shit!

I’m excellent at putting myself in other people’s shoes. When you’ve experienced as much stuff as I have (I’m 40 and I’ve been at it for some time now!) you tend to get good at taking a step back and seeing things from a bigger perspective. I knew, instantly, that the BOTFC guys would be upset that Zen, a brand bigger than theirs, could be stealing their web site design. I note that BOTFC is a grass roots thing, much like all the stuff I run, it’s run on passion and mostly “just for the fun of it”. That obviously makes BOTFC precious to whoever owns and runs it. I knew I was going to cop heat, but I sincerely never saw that BOTFC were using the same WordPress theme, which mind you is publicly available for purchase by anyone out there.

I made the call to go ahead and continue with the theme knowing that the BOTFC guys would be upset, and also that at any time anyone else can purchase the same theme and have their site look and work just like ours. I have all intentions to lean on my design experience though and with James’ help I’m positive we can really heavily tweak this theme to make it our own over the next few months.

One can choose to fight in public, or one can take it to private messaging where you have a much better chance at reaching resolutions. I ended up having a chat with BOTFC founder Nicholas Cole over Facebook Messenger, and once we got through the site design issues I think we both realised that there was no point in fighting, especially since we’re both just doing the same thing, and that’s creating content, for the fun of it, in an aim to inspire others.

Be in competition with yourself, and not others.

Nicholas went a step further and asked if I’d like to contribute a piece for BOTFC. That’s a champ move which I couldn’t refuse! A sincere thanks to Nicholas and the team here at BOTFC for taking the higher road. Much respect! I’m looking forward to sharing more BOTFC content on my network, who knows, maybe a BOTFC x ZEN collab of some sort will eventuate at some point too!

Originally written for BOTFC (click here for the feature). Visit: http://botfc.com

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O’le

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Ved introduced me to O’le a few years ago and we’ve gone back a few times since. Ole’s a small Portuguese style restaurant that does super fresh and clean chicken burgers that don’t leave you feeling like you’re gonna die from bloat post feed. I recommend!

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Top One Auto

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888!

Design week continues! I have 2 mechanics. Indy at IS Motor Racing for my GT-R, and Dedy at Top One Auto for everything else, especially general servicing and log book stamping of my daily drivers.

I highly recommend Dedy at Top One, he’s honest and takes so much care which I truly respect and appreciate.
Their site got hacked a little while back so I’ve just quickly designed and implemented a simple one page web site for them using fantastic customer car photos by Jason Hanif of THE-LOWDOWN.com.

Visit: https://www.toponeautomotive.com.au

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Midweek Moët

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Posted in OUTTAKES.

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ZEN x Heasman Steering

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Must be Design Week or something?! Here’s some progress on a collab T-Shirt design between Heasman Steering and Zen Garage. I’m having fun with this one!!!

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Fish Tank update

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Long time no update! Tank is doing well, but lighting is starting to become an issue. The light is so off centre/towards the back that a lot of corals are living in shade now. Now quite sure what to do about it, might just let things be.

I had a MASSIVE issue. I packed the filter in the Edge with too much media, and over the span of a day the edge leaked, and it sits on MDF board, so the entire tank almost fell through the air-conditioning chute it sits on!!! I’ve moved the tank to the kitchen bench for now and will repair the bench ASAP.

The Nuvo is doing well too. A month or so ago I noticed my 6-Line was missing. Turns out he jumped over the back wall and into the rear sump compartment of the Nuvo! Took me a while to catch him out of there! A few days later he jumped into the back section again! Smart fella?! I caught him out again, only to have him jump AGAIN so I gave in and just took off one of the spinning nuvo pump thingies, leaving a hole for hi to freely swim fro the front section of the tank to the sump (very cool!). He loved this for the past few weeks as he gets beaten up by the Dottyback, and this has relieved the issue, but 2 days ago I noticed he wasn’t coming to the front for feeding time, today I had a good look and it turns out he’s jumped out of the tank completely, fallen on the floor, then even worse fallen into the air conditioning grate under the tank (I can’t get his dried up dead corpse!).

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