Hoo-fucking-ray! I’m a Sci-Fi movie fan and Inception was the best film I’ve seen since The Matrix. Initially I thought DiCaprio was going to ruin the entire film for me (I’m just not a fan) but he played a fucked up guy so that worked out pretty well. Great concepts, a little cheesy, unbelievable and slow at times but I was left thinking and talking about it for hours (always the sign of a good film!).
Yesterday I gave in to opportunity (lol). I dropped in to V-Sport out at Arndell Park (next door to Eastern Creek raceway) to fit up Tendy’s “spare” set of Brembo brakes.
I’ve heard a bit about V-Sport through the Golf forums (all good things) and the guys were friendly and the workshop was super clean and full of EVO’s (boss drives an X and the rest were 6’s).
Crazy rally evo driven by “Samantha”.
Tendy (his car is sporting a new black roof) came along to introduce me right and to keep me company during the install (what a champ!).
They had a really nice display room chock full of race toys.
Drool. AP Racing pedals.
The boys got working on my car right away.
Old brakes weighed twice as much as the new set-up (despite the new set-up being larger!).
I also picked up these goodies. A decent tyre pressure gauge for track days and some aerocatch bonnet pins which I’ll get fitted up soon.
The brakes are amazing. Where the stock brake pedal had a lot of travel and felt like mush these Brembos feel the exact opposite. If anything the brakes feel exactly the same as my GT-R set-up. I’ve got a track day at Eastern Creek next Monday so I’ll put the brakes to the test then!
Initially my 6ft tank was a freshwater set-up and in 2007 Christina (who wanted nemo’s!) and I started over and set it up as a marine tank. It was in it’s prime by the end of 2007. I was obsessed with aquaria (even hanging out on fish forums) and I was changing 10-20% of the tank water weekly with natural salt water which I collected at the boat ramp in Botany (heavy and depending on the tide, sometimes dangerous work!).
2008 and a lot of the hard corals had died off.
At some point I failed to keep up the tank maintenance and all of the more fragile corals started dying off one by one (pretty sad as most if not all of it had been plucked from the ocean). I only just realised today that it’s been 8 months since I’ve changed any water (!) and I hadn’t serviced the equipment nor did I change the light bulbs (pretty important in a marine tank as many corals feed off light).
2009 and the anemones are shrinking (read: dying).
I spent today taking everything apart. Before I did anything I took a photo of my current set-up:
Amazingly all my fish are fine. I put it down to the system I spent a lot of time designing when I was super into it in 07/08. On the left is a small canister filter which runs filter media which reduces phosphates. The white bucket on the left is filled with highly filtered tap water and when the tank volume drops (due to evaporisation) a sensor triggers the pump inside this bucket to fill up the sump. Next is my remote deep sand bed which is designed to reduce nitrates, next to that is a protein skimmer which is hanging off a sump which gets water via an overflow box on the back of the main tank and a pump in the sump redirects water back into the main tank.
Whilst it’s a largely automated system, it turns out my protein skimmer was completely non-functional (blocked up) and 2 out of 4 bulbs had blown. I used to have a light and a lot of green seaweed growing in the sump which produced a whole lot of micro organisms which in turn fed the fish and critters in the tank but that all died off ages ago. The media in the small canister would be long expired and as you can see there’s a lot of salt creep all over the sump and skimmer.
I’ve cleaned everything up and ordered new filter media for the canister, new bulbs too. I’ve serviced the skimmer and it’s now working as well as the first day I bought it. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get the tank into such great shape again but I’m at least going to attempt to keep a monthly routine which will include servicing the skimmer and preforming a 20% water change. More updates as they come!
My Recaro Pole Positions which I sourced through Ian at Rennenhaus have landed. Unfortunately the side mounts which I need in order to get these babies installed are on back order and will take another 3 weeks to come so I’m going to have to sit tight. I’ve bought a pair but here’s a couple of shots of one of them:
The seats weigh a weenie 6.94kg each (excluding seat hardware which I will weigh up once it’s all here).
For a good part of last year (6 months+) I was working on a business plan for opening a bike shop in the city. Fortunately it’s going to happen but unfortunately I’m not going to be a part of it. The situation is a little bitter sweet but I’m happy it’s going ahead and I learnt a lot through writing the business plan (something I’ve never done in depth before).
My sister has been pretty keen to start a family business of sorts for some time now and a few months ago we all went to a huge China trade fair in search for “something” which we could possibly import and sell. Unfortunately we didn’t find anything great (filling up a 20ft container with products that you’re not confident will sell is a pretty scary gamble!) so we put everything on ice for a while until recently.
For the past few months we’ve been talking about selling modern pet goods and slowly but surely our new business venture is shaping up. We’ve started work on an identity (see above logo symbol and logotype) and we’ve also developed this little blurb:
At modern pet shop we stock select items to satisfy many a pampered pet from a range of edgy, well-designed accessories, ranging from hand-stitched leather collars and leads, to wooden feeding bowls and organic treats.
Pampered pets never had it so good!
Legalities have been sorted and it’s full steam ahead. Yes there’s going to be some gambling involved (definitely not something I’m great at) and yes we’re bracing ourselves for potentially tense times, especially that family is involved but I’m feeling pretty positive about it all. More updates as they come!
EDIT: On a (very) related note this just came in the mail today from the USA:
Christina spotted this on the internet and had to have one. It’s a cat carrier which doubles up as a bed. It’s even got an in-built electric blanket! It’s very well made and the Apple like packaging was pretty impressive too. Very much in line with the kind of stuff we’d love to sell on the shop.
Have to admit I got hooked and have pretty much watched all of it. Pretty happy that Adam won it but I’m definitely going to miss contestant Kate’s completely in the zone, in-time to the music jig on the MasterChef intro.
My new anthias which have added a lot more movement and colour to my tank.
My blue chromis have finally picked each other off and there’s only one guy left (there were 4 of them initially) so today Christina and I dropped into Kims in Ashfield in search for some schooling fish to add to the tank.
Schooling fish tend to be quite dumb and not afraid of people walking up to the tank, this helps the more intelligent and sometimes jumpy fish to calm down (my yellow and blue tangs tend to bolt for cover when I near the tank).
We spotted these beautiful Anthias. They school, they’re hardy and they’re placid too. The males and pink and females are orange but they can change sex too (and thus change colours). Pretty interesting huh? We bought 5 of them and we also got a whole lotta morphs too (Kim looked after us with a nice discount as well).
A while back I mentioned that I’ve been invited to be a mentor in a 2 day Sydney Design 2010 project called See-Saw. Yesterday I got to meet the 4 students I’ll be mentoring at Gaffa Gallery where we’ll be participating in the project (as well as where the project will end up being displayed). Each one of them is from a different design school (COFA, UTS, Billy Blue and Enmore) and all of them have been specially selected by their respective schools to represent.
I’m pretty excited about the project and I think I’ve got a pretty cool crew. It’s hard not to be competitive (there are a few groups and disciplines, each with a different mentor) and luckily for me I have the brief before it all begins on the 4th of next month.
The 4 students I’ll be mentoring (excluding the big guy who was taking pics of us).
The brief the students will be getting on the 1st day of the project.
Last night we had Jon and Kay over for dinner (they did the cooking!). Always great company these two. I rattled off a few shots and as I thought, the Lumix GF-1 struggled in low light in auto mode. Most of the shots came out too blurry to bother with:
Not sure how the Becks ended up in my fridge downstairs but it’s a crispy beer so I’m not complaining! A while back I went to a wine show and had a taste of the James Squire Golden Ale and loved it pretty much right away. It’s fruity and reminds me of a German mango beer.
Suga – Shooting inside under house lights is a lot better than any other camera I’ve owned.
Jon – Shooting outside though was a different story (every shot was pretty much blurry and noisy).
My old pocket camera definitely couldn’t take shots like this! Yes I could have framed these shots a little better but hey, the Lumix GF-1 takes a quick snappy shot in full auto and I’m treating it like it’s a tiny point and shoot. I’ve got some subjects coming over later tonight. Low light, good wine and a bit of Wii action! I’ll see how the new camera copes with that!