Monday, March 26, 2007

Civic RX

Come to think of it, this is the most expensive car to date that I have purchased and I do enjoy the comforts that come with it. It is also the car without any turbo that I have bought over the past few years. It all started with the Wira GSR, then it was the 180SX in Brisbane and finally the Mazda BG, which had the BP8 engine inside.

I knew when I purchased this Civic it was very much an impulse buy. I was surveying various used car lots until I saw this RX for sale. I remembered that when I was studying in Brisbane and I read that Honda Malaysia had launched 50 limited Civics called the RX. It came standard with a bodykit, eye lids, leather seats and interior, a spoiler and 16" rims which were the replicas of the ones on the Civic Type-R EP3 (which had 17"). There was only one choice of transmission, which was Automatic. This is also the only car that I have purchased that has rear drum brakes and without a manual transmission.

Adapting to this car was a little wierd at first. First thing I noticed was the comfort of the leather seats. The ride is quite and no more hard suspension settings. Yes, this was stock from the factory, though I must say Honda should have tweaked the suspension setting a little bit. You see, these are the same set of suspension as of those on the VTi-S, which has 15" rims on it. Honda Malaysia at that time could not be bothered with the suspension and just decided to make the car look good with big fat rims. The result is a harsher ride as compared to those running on the factory standard 15" rims.

Next thing I noticed was that the G-forces that I'm so used to was gone. Literally... I'm so used to being pushed back to the seat when I accelerate and that being in the Civic really is dull. The D17A VTEC engine is a far cry from that of a B16A. With the B series engines, the VTEC comes in much earlier. Compare that with a D series engine, it takes forever for the variable cams to kick in and when they do, you are touching the redline of 6,750rpm. I then ask myself, what is the real reason that Honda included the VTEC that you can barely use in normal driving?

Who drives at 5,000rpm all the time? Should it be kicking in earlier so that the engine would not feel so strained? How come it feels like the revs take forever to reach the sweet spot?

Now, the ES Civic is comfortable, but it has lost the edge that made Civics a street legend.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shell 60th Anniversary Ad

Classic F1 running through Rome, London, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rio.

Best played at high volume!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Baby Back Ribs...

It was a long day yesterday, was at one of the FedEx operation stations to learn more about what goes on inside a station. I was there on Wednesday morning for the first half of the day and then yesterday was for the second half. It was quite an eye opener and I guess being an Operations manager for the company isn't what I pictured it to be. Guess the grass always looks greener from the other side.

It was raining throughout most of the later part of the day and the outbound sort that took place in the station in Kota Damansara wasn't pleasant. It was really a lot of hardwork and I could see that the duty manager was really getting his hands dirty. A lot of couriers made it back to the station on time, but there were still some that were stuck at toll plazas and could not make it back to the station on time to meet the shuttle. Those that were left behind had to drive all the way to the airport instead.

After the day, went back home took a shower and Yen was ready to go out for dinner. She wanted to go to Euro Deli in Damansara Kim, I thought it was a good idea since it's been sometime since we've gone there. I had the day's special which was the baby back ribs with fries. Yumz, it was good. It came complimentary with soup, a slice of chocolate almond and peanut pie with ice-cream and a cup of tea. It was very filling and really value for money. All in for RM 25.00++.

Must make a mental note to go back there more often.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Porsche with a Hard-on

Here's a little cheeky ad by Porsche.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wireless Back Online

Today, the linksys is back online in my house. Merv and I have been trying to troubleshoot the darn thing and all along it was the stupid modem. Believe it or not, the stupid modem will not work with the wireless router.

Strange enough though, it's the same modem that Merv is using, the only difference is the firmware. Mine's version 6.4.8 and Merv's version 4. Looks like the revision does make a difference. It's just a damn stupid modem, it's not even smart or anything.

Thanks to Merv's extra modem, I'm able to use the linksys router once more. Ahh, the freedom of mobility in the house.

hp DV6203TX

Here's the new tool that I will be blogging from come end of March (hopefully). Depends on how fast Ming Tzern can help me process the purchase.

It's running on a Centrino Core 2 Duo processor T7200 (2.00 Ghz), 1024MB (667Mhz) DDR 2 Memory, 160GB HDD, 15.4" WXGA High Definition Brightview Widescreen Display, DVD +/- RW Double Layer Drive and best of all Windows Vista Home Premium. The sad thing is that the weight of this baby will be 3kg. Considering that I will not be lugging it around much, I guess a bigger screen would be better to watch movies on.

Merv's been telling me to get involved in WOW. I dunno, we'll see about it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Here's the pic of the car that I was using today. Damned car only had 3 numbers, how to buy 4D?

The car was fitted with Continental tyres that provided so much grip. Come to think of it, the car was holding me back from showing my true potential. The true potential of putting the car sideways through the slalom and into the curb!

BMW Fahrer-Training - Assessment Day 1

Have just completed our first day for the assessment for the driving skills. I woke up really early this morning, maybe it was because I couldn't get much sleep. I really wanted to get to Sepang as fast as I could to get into the brand new E90 325i that they have brought in for this exercise. BMW promised 10 units of the E90, when we got there, I counted 12 cars. There were supposed to be 20 of us that were shortlisted for the assessment. One last minute entry got in.

Our instructors for today were Klaus Heimerl and Ringo Chong. Both just touched down from Munich and Klaus, was red due to the heat. It wasn't his first time in Malaysia according to him as he has conducted the training in the APAC region from Thailand, HK, China and so on. Klaus has been to Pasir Gudang for other motorsport activities.

We were paired up with a partner each. My partner was Sunny, who's driving an E39 525i himself so he's fairly familiar with the Steptronic system. To be honest, I haven't gotten behind the wheels of a rear wheel drive car for a long time, ever since I came back from Brisbane. It was fun getting into the brand new E90, the fresh smell of leather and my car had 1785 kms on the clock. It's damned new alright.

We had three assessments throughout the day. The first was emergency braking, which was to control the car with the ABS full-on. A slalom course was laid out and we had to go through it at 60km/h. The markers were already laid out and if a person cheated by holding the speed below 60km/h, they'd know. Go any faster than 70 km/h and you'll miss the markers completely. We had 2 practise runs each followed by 3 assessed attempts. I think I faired pretty well, using the Steptronic. Somehow in Auto, the car just doesn't want to downshift and your car "glides", instead of coming to a controlled stop.

The second assessment was to avoid an obstacle without braking. It was the same speed, 60km/h and we had to maintain it to go through the slalom. Once we passed the marker, then we were allowed to brake, hitting the ABS hard.

The third assessment was a gymkhana exercise. I only managed a time of 23sec ++ average. When I was watching Fifth Gear and Top Gear over the past few months, I could not understand what Tiff and Jeremy were complaining about. They kept saying that the BMW's electronics were interfering with their driving. After today's session, I started to understand what they meant. The best time of the day was 22sec 15. Mine was 1 second off the pace, though not the slowest time. Now only if they had allowed me to turn off the traction control.... hmmmm... I think I would have ended up paying a hefty repair bill. The curbs in the carpark in Sepang International Circuit aren't exactly low.

You see, having owned a Nissan 180SX, I generally love oversteer. You want to take a quick 180 degree corner, you attack it hard put in some speed and chuck the car hard into the corner. As you are in the bend, you give it some throttle the car will oversteer giving you jsut enough traction to launch out of the corner. Now, imagine this, the "brain" of the E90 sense that the driver is about to do something "stupid". Give it too much gas, the car will cut the accelerator and the car will crawl out of the corner. I could see the traction control light coming on and there was a sudden loss of power. Now I knew what both Tiff and Jeremy meant.

This car has so much technology that it's too damned smart for it's own good. Sure it'll make a safe car for the executive owner, but it's not what you would call a fun car to drive. You see, we had to sign a form before the exercise and the first sentence was that we would not drive the car with the DSC switched off. Yes, DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) would be from the first generation of BMW traction control devices. In the E90, it's known as the DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), taken off their Formula 1 motorsports division.

The E90 also featured the Active Steering system. There was no need for the "dish-washing" manouver when you were making a large turn. Now that's something that I would really love. After the assessments, getting back into my car was such a let down. I had to turn more just to get the nose to point into the damned direction that I wanted to go! The Active Steering was so clever that when it senses the car is moving fast, it tightens up the turning ratio. When the car is oversteering or understeering, it makes corrections down to the nano second to avoid you from hitting the obstacle. I could not get the car to oversteer as much as I wanted to. When it senses the slightest hint of oversteer, the car cuts the throttle blips the brakes and once again, you crawl out of the corner safely.

Over all, I got to really experience what it was like driving an E90. I must say, it was sheer driving pleasure.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

These are the rules: Each player of this game starts out by giving 6 weird things about themselves. People who get tagged need to write in a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rules clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. After you do that, leave them each a comment letting them know you tagged them and to read your blog!

Gosh... Yen's going to read this! Rudy... I will kill you!

1) I wash my hair twice a day. According to Yen, this is bad for the scalp folicles and that I'd end up losing hair. I have cut it down to once in the morning.
2) I have the tendency to check if the car has been locked even though I know that I have pressed the lock before.
3) I need to have a cup of tea every night to help me take a dump the next morning. Failiing to do so will result in constipation.
4) I stock up on goods that are on sale, even though I have like 4 bottles of facial wash at home.
5) I still love fast food even though I know it's bad for my health. Yen's watching me, but I still would eat it when I have to eat dinner alone.
6) There's a folder of "adult" stuff on my pc labelled "Systems".

To the rest of you, you have been tagged! Since Wan Yee and Azuan blogs on Rudy's page, I'm gonna have to link it there

  • **iris** MSN Blog

  • Wan Yee

  • Azuan

  • Merv

  • Sarah

  • Sharon
  • Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    BMW Instructor Academy

    I have made it! After the gloomy interview and tough questions posed by the interviewers, I made it to the final. Just received confirmation that I have passed the interview and am being enrolled for the Instructor's Academy which will be held partly in the BMW HQ in Cyberjaya and Sepang International Circuit. Now, that's going to be fun!

    I will be out of office from March 8 till 18. That should give me 10 days of peace and zen away from this hell-hole! Not to mention I will be given the chance to trash a new batch of E90 325's. I have received updates that they will be bringing in a few new 325s just for this program. Will have more updates once I have attended the Academy.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Fastfood Country

    Here's the quick rundown on the acronyms that our lovely Malaysian have come up for our national favourite drinks in the mamak stalls.


    Well, have a look at this short clip and lemme know which Minister this is? His name is "dekat-dekat dengan Tsunami"...

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    SPOON Honda FIT

    Here's a nice clip of a Honda FIT/Jazz that has been modified by SPOON in Japan.

    Merv: Ahem... since Viv is thinking of getting one.. may I suggest SPOON Yellow to be the color theme?

    Tai Lou's Place

    So, plans were made to go visit Ka Seong and Sylvia's new place in Putra Heights. I have no idea where this place is located and we were just feeling our way there. So calls were made and in the end had to meet up at my place as Merv and Viv was out for dinner. Azuan, Wan Yee, Emelyn, Rudy and Khay Hoi were going to meet up at my place.

    I managed to reach home at around 6.45pm due to a slight jam coming out from Uptown. Yes, it's a nightmare and traffic has been slowly been adjusting back to it's normal pace after the CNY holidays. Once I crawled out of traffic, it was pretty smooth all the way to Bangsar.

    Wan Yee was the first to reach my place followed by Emelyn. Azuan was next and Khay Hoi followed suit. Then I gave the signal that we were ready to roll out. Just when they started the cars, Wan Yee asked where Rudy was. I had totally forgotten about our dear friend and called him immediately. He said he was reaching my house. So I walked over the Emelyn's car and told her to wait for Rudy while we go ahead to find a place to sit down. Khay Hoi who was in the car heard it and she nodded.

    I got back into Wan Yee's car and told him to drive on, Rudy will be going in Emelyn's car. Just as when Wan Yee wanted to engage Drive on his car, he said that Emelyn was making a U-turn and driving off. He then asked what did I tell her. I said that she was supposed to wait for him and when I turned around, sure enough she was moving down and parked at the side. We were unsure whether she would wait or not, so we decided to wait on for Rudy. Sigh, Emelyn never changed after secondary school.

    So after a quick dinner in Lucky Garden's Tom Yam store, we made our way to Ka Seong's place. We did not follow the directions as provided by Ka Seong. Emelyn took lead while Wan Yee followed. To be honest, I have no idea where we were and where we were going as she was driving so fast you could see "Michelle Schumacher" in her. But in the end we made it to Ka Seong's place and it was good to gather at his new place. Cosy and his dogs have a private room all to themselves.