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YZF

October 28th, 2008 by admin

YAMAHA

We have had a new addition to the office fleet, and I just took it around the block.
Not much more I can say at the moment, I am still coming down from it.

R1

Yeah, it’s fast.

Temporary

October 26th, 2008 by admin

With the destruction of my Ultimate Ears canal phones, I had to pick something up to get me by on the few flights I have left this year. So at some airport on a recent trip, I checked out what was on offer at the newsagency.
Skullcandy

These Skullcandy Smokin Buds were the impulse buy for that trip. They were $40, had a range of silicon tips for various sized ear canals and some funky packaging. I’ll be honest, after what I spent on the UEs and Etymotics previously, I wasn’t expecting much performance at that price. Especially after reading the spec sheet on the box. They proved me wrong. They sound surprisingly good! After a few tweaks to the EQ on my media player, they were 90% as good as the UEs, at 10% of the price. The bass performance was particularly huge, something ear phones usually struggle with.

Wallpaper

October 22nd, 2008 by admin

R32 GT-R

I contribute to a wallpaper website called wallpapergarage. But here is what I have been running as my wallpaper on the work mac for the best part of the year. It’s a small shot of Justin Fox’s awesome R32 GT-R, one of my favourite cars. Click the image for the 1600×1067 version.

Canon 5D, 1/80th f3.2, ISO50, EF24-70 f/2.8 L at 70mm.

Archive Image

October 21st, 2008 by admin

With everything back to normality for a while (no trips are planned at the moment, but I know that can quickly change), I will be posting a few old images. Starting with this:

Industrie Auto Salon 200SX

This was taken at a private test day with the Industrie Auto Salon Racing 200SX. That car has been a pretty large part of my working life for the past 2 and half years. From its conception, to its creation, to the various highs and lows of its competition, it has been a worthwhile experience for all of us involved with it. Seeing it in action like this, totally tearing up the track, with its creators watching by, was quite satisfying.

Dragon?

October 20th, 2008 by admin

Graffiti

I’m not an expert on Graffiti, but also in Brisbane I noticed this fresh work on the toilet wall at The Fox. It had a bit of a viral marketing feel to it and apparently the police arrived to question the suspected culprits.

I like dessert.

October 20th, 2008 by admin

Witches Hat

I don’t just have a sweet tooth, all of my teeth are sweet. If they weren’t so unhealthy, I would eat desserts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Last weekend while staying at our regular Brisbane resort for the Brisbane round of the Auto Salon show series, I had what was called a Witches Hat. It’s a local version of a more traditional Chinese dish, fried ice cream. It’s either a Drumstick or Cornetto, deep fried in a coconut batter. Absolutely Delicious. If anyone knows of a place in Sydney that does it, drop me a comment.

SAC?

October 20th, 2008 by admin

X6 not a coupe

I saw my first BMW X6 on the street today. Not a bad looking thing, it is becoming quite popular for some weird reason. One thing which really irks me about this car however, is the fact that BMW are calling it a “Sports Activity Coupe’”. I have always believed that a coupe is a two door vehicle. How is a 2.1 tonne, 4.8 metre, four wheel drive, four door truck a coupe? Yes I know that in some cases a 4 door sedan can be called a coupe if it is lacking a B-pillar. But in the X6′s case, it has one. Sure it’s black, but it’s still there. Maybe the cramped rear seating qualifies it as coupe? It’s similar to calling a Golf GTi a sports car and a Federal 595RS a semi-slick. This kind of marketing is annoying.

Canary.

October 20th, 2008 by admin

As I mentioned in my post about bikes, I’ve been having a few issues with my car. The main cause of this was a recent trip to Bathurst. Bathurst is around 3 hours from Sydney, and the drive does take in a few nice corners, namely coming down the Blue Mountains at Victoria Pass. I decided to drive my car, rather than my wife’s much more comfortable Honda Accord Euro, and it is now a decision I regret. I have been driving my car as it is all around Sydney and its outskirts, as far as Newcastle in the north, and Canberra south and never had any issues. This time however, one particular Police officer, had several issues.

RBT

After being pulled over for a random breath test, (who would be drinking at 9am on a Friday morning) the officer asked me if my seat was engineered. I replied that it was ADR approved, and said that it still had to be engineered. Fair enough, he also asked if my harness was engineered, along with my BrownDavis Roll bar, Cusco side braces, Buddyclub cat back exhaust, to which I replied, no, not yet. He also asked me to turn my wheels full lock right, so that he could inspect my tyres. Now I run pretty aggressive camber on my car, about -3 degrees, and I have been noting my tyre wear. However, they are well above the treadwear indicators, and therefore I thought, legal. The officer said they are bald on the inside, and I was not about to argue for fear of further defects. He then asked for my licence, and went to his car to start filling out the forms. Around 15 minutes later he emerged from his SS Commodore, asked me to open my passenger door, and stuck this on my windscreen:

Defect Notice

That is a defect notice, and allowed me to drive my car home, and to then to the nearest AUVIS or Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Station, for a full inspection within 21 days. After a full inspection my car could then have the defect notice cleared and be legal to drive again. The main points I would have loved to tell the officer are:

Have you ever seen a standard MX-5 in a roll over crash? They turn into pancakes. The windscreen can easily collapse, potentially flattening the occupants. The BrownDavis roll bar, is CAMS approved. Meaning it is allowed in racing. Racing safety standards are usually stricter than road car standards. Also, the bar does not interfere with anything forward of the seats, it’s simply a roll bar behind my seat. They are one of the most popular bars on the market for good reason.

The seat and harness are also on the same point. Without my 4-point, single click 2-inch harness, I have hit the hardtop with my head on some roads. Harness on, no such problems.
The seat I run is a Sparco Sprint, steel frame, FIA approved. Again, significantly safer than the standard seat. The officer also mentioned that if the “Ambos” or Ambulance crew, have to cut you out of the car its easier if you have a standard car. An MX-5 is a convertible. It’s not terribly difficult to pull to roof of. The harness is also 2-inch, meaning it’s the same width as a standard seat belt, which they would simply cut in seconds in either case.

My tyres are Bridgestone Potenza RE001 Adrenalin’s, one of the best performing tyres on the market in both wet and dry conditions. With plenty of tread left. I have 2 sets of new tyres sitting in storage, waiting for this set to wear out.

He also noted that I have no carpet inside on the defect form. When was that a requirement? A Lotus Exige has no carpet.

Basically almost all of the modifications I have on the car, make it safer. It handles better, it brakes better, it would be much safer in a crash. Not things people should be penalised for. So now the process is to remove these modifications, have the car inspected, and if I wish to have these items fitted to my car, I need to have them engineered. Which basically means someone who has done a few Tafe courses signs a piece of paper saying they are legal. Because companies like BrownDavis, Sparco, and Willans make products which are so dubious in quality.

PCDs

October 16th, 2008 by admin

Recently I was asked to shoot a function at the Sydney Opera House. Sure it sounds innocent enough, but when I found out it was a private concert featuring the Pussycat Dolls, I was suddenly a little more interested.

PCDs

The red (or in this case green) carpet is always interesting, and the girls had their time calculated to the second. 4 minutes with about 40 photographers, and 23 minutes with the various TV programs and channels who were present.

Media pit

Shortly after the PCD’s hit the stage and performed for the competition winners and VIPs invited to this private event. The 40 photographers were trimmed down to 4 or 5, who were permitted to be at the foot of the stage. I was lucky enough to be there and although our time was limited, I did managed to snap off a few decent shots. I think my camera’s buffer had its biggest workout ever.

PCDs on stage

PCDs performing

It’s always interesting to see a celebrity for the first time in real life, and the girls were all immaculately presented, looking just like they do in their videos.

Sydney Opera House

The SOH is an amazing location to hold an event like this, with the major reason for it being to launch Xbox Sounds, a series of events over the 08-09 Summer.

4 Wheels Bad?

October 13th, 2008 by admin

CBR600 dash
I rode the odd bike when I was a kid. There was always someone I knew who had one and always a time and place to have a go. I’ve always liked bikes but have deliberately stayed away, as I have know too many people who have been seriously injured or worse still killed on motor bikes. That didn’t stop me taking a colleagues CBR600 around our car park.

Dont do this at home
Don’t do this at home.

Now I have ridden a couple of 250s, and 125s around the place, and they did little to convince me. But this was different. This felt nice. This felt natural and easy. I’m not about to go get one, but it did get me thinking. And with the drama’s I’ve been having with my car of late (more on that later), they do make some sense.

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