Titanium x Voltex

A match made in heaven. I was thinking yesterday as I was installing this that Voltex/J’s Racing should add the option of burnt titanium bolts – they’d kill it with that option. Like…

“Option: Titanium bolt replacements – $200. Weight Savings Reduction!”

Boom. Huge margin and all the fanboys would do it because it’s sick. Voltex/J’s Racing – if you’re reading this and you ever do this, I’d like at least credit for the idea if not 1% of sales lol.

Anyway – thanks to Isaac for getting these in for me. Although a small detail – a very nice detail nonetheless. You don’t really look at bolts unless they’re burnt titanium – adds a nice look. I hadn’t had titanium bolts since my J’s Racing wing on my Civic – those bolts were passed down to Jackie on his S2000 and are still there with a good home. The bolts really aren’t something that’s on the top of my mod list until I can’t think of what to buy but once I have them on, I wonder why I didn’t do them sooner. Anyway – glam shots!

In all their glory.

A few product shots before going in…

And voila. Not a pain in the ass to install, but not something I enjoy doing lol. Probably cause it’s not very exciting…

The blue pops on the carbon/black though!

One last one of the bases. Thanks again Isaac!

Now I have extreme weight savings on the wing. LOL just kidding. It’s actually just more rice points – which I totally need.

T1R Over Pipe & Front Pipe Install

*Mumbles under breath* Finally some car-related stuff…

I finally had like a free hour to go stop by Jackie’s shop and get the front pipe and over pipe installed that the guys and Diana got me for my birthday. The pipes have been sitting in my office for a long ass time and this was well overdue.

I really did only have an hour, or rather Jackie/Isaac only had an hour to install the pipes before we had to go and meet up with friends for lunch. So for Jackie and Isaac to get the car onto the lift and finish the install and then get it off again with no issues in an hour, that’s an A+ in my books. The reason I mention the lift is because it hasn’t been so magical getting on and off this thing since the kit has been on the FRS. Getting on is tricky because the front bumper typically clears, but as soon as the wheels are on, the sideskirts can fall on the angle – which they did the first time. The second time around, we watched the skirts but neglected the bumper getting off and so that got some contact. Needless to say, Isaac was petrified at the thought of doing it again… This time they found a way to get it on slowly but surely without any contact and I was on my way.

In all it’s non-existent glory.

For the most part, the car is neglected. I haven’t even washed it and it only gets driven to and from work. It doesn’t see weekends that much…

You can see a good look at the diffuser that I installed about a month or so ago. Adds a little bit of a finishing touch to the rear to compliment the wing. The underside of the car was lacking a bit before…

A shot of the stock front piping.

And a shot of the T1R power headers – still only a bronze finish since the car, nor the headers have been put through it’s paces…

Outside sat Isaac’s Amuse S2000 with a new Voltex wing to outfit the aggressive body.

And bronze TE37’s… How I still long for a set…

Jackie’s 4Runner – no stranger to most of you these days…

Punit made a guest appearance in his Japanese Ferrari – I haven’t seen this thing in well over a year I think… Of all the days he drives it, he drives it when it’s shitty out.

Still one of the best and cleanest looking USDM front Integras…

A shot of the rear of Isaac’s S2000. I love that bumper and exhaust set up. The wing suits it nicely… But I say that about anything with a legit GT wing on it.

Isaac making quick work of getting the front and over pipe in. Nice and shiny…

A somewhat unclear shot of the over pipe – it’s not really visible but it’s there.

And voila! A full T1R exhaust system is now in place on the FRS. I unfortunately didn’t get any sound clips – I should have in retrospect – but it is definitely louder than before. To be expected I suppose, but my neighbours definitely might have more to say about it.

I’ve been debating my next purchase – I think I’m going to be going with the OFT shortly here to make use of the full exhaust system and tune to stage 2 otherwise this would all be for naught. Part of me has also debated a cage but it would remove all practicality of the car – I guess it’s not meant to be practical – but in my defense, I’d like Aria to be able to sit in the back seat one day and a cage would make that impossible. I’m playing around with other options but I think to squeeze the extra 20hp out of the full system, the OFT is my next purchase. By way of the butt dyno, the car already feels a bit more responsive in the lower and mid end but that could be placebo or the louder sound that makes me believe that… Either way, a nice addition for sure.

#HoangersInEurope

My dudes!!!! I’m still alive – this must have been the longest MIA I’ve ever had from the blog. The last month has been spent trying to get ready for our Euro trip that we just came back from earlier this week. I haven’t had much time to do anything else – getting ready for vacation seems to need an additional vacation prior…

Anyway – thought I’d spruce this up a bit with a quick recap of the trip. The reason for the trip was actually to go to Dublin, Ireland for Diana’s best friend’s wedding. In all honesty, Dublin probably was never on our list of places to go but it was an awesome experience for sure. Add a baby to the mix and you have an overflowing handful of joy and anxiety. LOL

Since we were going to fly all the way there, we might as well make a trip of it. We spent the first 4 days in London and the last 6 days in Dublin. In hindsight, we probably should’ve switched it around as there’s a little more to do in London than there was in Dublin. Either way – a great trip altogether. On to the pics! (Sorry – only iPhone pics).

The Airbnb flat where we stayed. Pretty nice area except for the 4 flights of stairs we had to trek up and down each day… Painful with a stroller and baby LOL

About 5 minutes away was a nice park to get to the tram/Subway. The weather was awesome the whole time we were there with temperatures above 20C most of the time.

A small little cafe on the corner of some hidden street that we decided to have lunch at. Nice little hole in the wall that can be easily missed.

Inside they made fresh sandwiches with fresh cut deli meats and cheese to order. Super packed but worth it!

Little did I know that Secret Service MI6 was actually a real place until I saw it on Google maps and then we almost walked right passed it. Crazy!

Aria was off to the side sleeping cause she was pooped from the plane ride here. So just Diana and I in front of some old place. I’ll be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the landmarks – I’m not entirely interested in them – if I see it once, it’s good enough for me LOL

Big Ben. Although, as you can see it’s been blocked off due to the recent attack and I had to squeeze through a bunch of people to get a pic through the fence.

These guys just sit here all day on their horse and don’t smile. People take pics with them and stuff but man, I can’t imagine doing this everyday lol.

The London Eye. Not only was the line crazy to get on this thing but there’s no way in hell I was about to get on that. I hate heights – even looking at this picture makes my palms sweaty lol. I’ve got a good look of London right on the ground here, thank you very much.

Funny story to this picture – a piece of information for tourists – the subway doors don’t have sensors to say “oops, I closed on you, I better open up again”. No. Instead, it’s more like “you’re an idiot for trying to hop into the subway while the doors are closing, I’m just going to clamp down on your ass”.

We were just getting down the stairs to hop onto the next train and we decided to run for it – I got Aria and the stroller in, I was in-between the doors as it was shutting and it just had no mercy for me. I managed to shove myself through while the doors closed behind me, also leaving Diana on the platform stranded on her own. The funny thing is we both waved goodbye at each other while all the other riders were gasping wondering what to do. After a few seconds, the doors re-opened – probably cause they saw Diana helplessly standing there – and she hopped on. The picture above is the aftermath of the doors closing on me. You can see the mark on my shoulder and the bruise on my forearm. BRUTAL, LONDON.

We had dinner in SOHO at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant. Thought it’d be good but I’ll take a pass next time. 4/10. The beer was the only thing that was good – Aria agrees – but that’s cause Jamie didn’t make it. ZING.

Buckingham Palace. We decided to check out the change of guards that happen daily. We showed up 45 minutes early…

And basically got back of the line seating. Worst. Couldn’t see anything. You can see the gate kind of in the middle left of the picture. Behind those gates is where the change happens. As you can see from where we are – we saw butt f***-all.

However, we did get a picture in front of the fancy gates. So yay.

A selfie in front of our flat. Aria learned a new skill on this trip – every time we open the camera, she gives a smile. Neato.

As per recommendation of Brad – we went to Boxpark to take a look as well. It’s basically a bunch of shipping containers put together and stacked to make little shops that sell nick nacks and things. Cool spot. Up on the top, there’s a bubbletea shop that sells drinks with alcohol. Not great tasting, but you can’t go wrong with alcohol and bubbletea…

Skipping all the way to Dublin now – not as much to see here but Pubs and distilleries. One of the first places we went was the Guinness storehouse for the 7-floor tour. It was just myself, Aria and Mike that day. The girls were out for the Hen party (AKA bachelorette party) that day so we were the gay couple with a light-skinned baby. Typically when Diana is around, people are like “oh yeah, those are the parents. The girl looks like the mom”. Mike and I are more on the tanned side so that day, I’m sure 100% of the people thought we adopted Aria…

The good news though is that everywhere we went that day, we got pushed to the front of the line with Aria. “Oh you have a baby, please – right up the front”. “Gentlemen, please don’t stand in line – make your way to the front and we’ll let you in shortly”. I’m not complaining and I’m not sure if it was because we were the “gay couple” or because we had a kid but that shit is awesome.

Hops – part of the self-guided tour in the Guinness factory.

A view from the 3 floor of some of their tanks.

Here we saw how they put together the barrells… Blah blah blah. Where’s the beer?!

Finally – on the 7th floor, we get our cup of fresh Guinness beer. I’m not a fan of Guinness to begin with but this stuff compared to the stuff in a can back home is amazing.

Here’s the 5th floor where the tasting room is. They give you a small glass of it and show you how to properly drink the beer to taste all of the flavours that go into it. As you can see in this pic – we were first in line. Behind me – something I don’t have a picture of – is a bunch of slightly angry and judgy people irked at the fact that we budged them all. Again, either be gay or have a kid. I don’t know which it was so try to have both criteria to move to the front of the lines.

Back on the 6th floor is the brasserie and bar – eats and drinks. In the bar, they serve special iterations of Guinness beer that they don’t sell or make anywhere else. One of them was a black currant draft which was a little sweeter but good nonetheless.

Over the next few days, we spent a lot of time in different pubs. Pubs are essentially restaurants in Dublin – you can bring your kid in there and no one blinks an eye at you. As you can see, Aria is starting to enjoy the beer and pub-hopping.

And to add to that, they also make a lot of their food with Guinness beer. If you don’t drink beer, you’re bound to have some sort of meal with beer in it. This is Guinness beef stew. Pretty good!

The wedding day! A paparazzi shot I took of the girls standing outside one of the buildings while the photographer was taking pics of them. I think this shot is probably the best shot of the day including shots from the photographer. Just saying.

Aria was the flower girl for the wedding. She can’t walk yet, so I had to carry her down the aisle. So that naturally meant that I’m also part of the wedding even though the bride, groom, and Diana all didn’t think so. I’m just saying that if I walked down the aisle, I was a part of it. Aria was a hit.

Family selfie!

And we got a hold of Jen and Iain finally after they’ve been tied up with other people all night. Congrats again!

Over the next few days we found some cool spots just by wandering around. This was at bread and bone and I ordered “monster kimchi fries” for $15 euros. Before it even came out I said to myself – for $15 euros, this better be good. And it was – probably one of the better meals I had during the whole vacation. Piles of pulled pork and steak with an egg on top and garlic mayo to top. Delish.

Also found a cookie place to try out. Voted “Dublin’s best cookie” so of course we had to check. Well, if that was Dublin’s best cookie then they obviously haven’t tasted Diana’s.

I should change that to say Diana Cookie.

The Brazen Head – Ireland’s oldest pub where we had dinner one night. Not the best place for food but a good experience for sure.

On one of our off days, Diana wanted to take me to this little tea place that’s perched on the inside of some building you never would’ve even guessed was a place. The whole time she was raving about how this sandwich was so amazing and the whole time I was sulking about how we’ve come all this way to have a damn sandwich.

Turns out that sandwich was fucking amazing and I would do it again. Moral of the story – don’t underestimate a damn sandwich.

Diana and Aria in front of one of the old churches and to the right of them is a display of a homeless man sleeping under a blanket.

Most days, Aria was tuckered out. She was a trooper though as we literally moved her from this rigid schedule of wake, play, eat, nap at certain times to just turning her world upside down. She was up when she shouldn’t have been, she was jet-lagged for days, yet whenever she was up – she was smiling and happy to be out and about. I personally wouldn’t ever travel that far with an infant again – there’s just a lot of anxiety and stress that goes with it – some parents probably deal with it better than others. Diana and I just felt bad when she was just so tired but stayed up to continue having fun with the rest of us. Aria has a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) so that didn’ t help much lol. Overall a good experience for sure, but I think we’ll wait till the kid is older or we leave her behind with the parents to save her the stress and tiredness…

And if you know us – you know that we had to have one of our last meals at Nando’s – that’s where this pic was taken and it was damn delicious. Everywhere we went in London and Dublin there was a Nando’s – it was a sign. In Calgary, there’s literally 2 locations. One which is so out of our way that it pretty much doesn’t exist and another which is half out of our way but still far enough to make you say “fuck it, I’ll have McDonald’s” LOL.

Until next time – I’m going to go back and try to catch up on sleep and get rid of this jet-lag.

Dear Aria

Dear Aria,

At this time – 8:03AM – 6 months ago, you were born. Happy half-year. 6 months is both a long time and a very short amount of time in your perspective of the world that you know today. In the grand scheme of things, it’s short in the sense that we hope that you’ll grow old and happy, and find someone that treats you with the same respect that you demand of yourself. You’ve barely even scratched the surface of life – but here we are – celebrating the milestone you’ve completed. On the other hand, it’s a long time in the sense that we have been through more with you in the last 6 months than we have in the last 14 years together… Or at least it feels that way. We like to think that we’re good parents – we do everything in our power to make sure that you’re as happy and safe as can be, and at the same time, we’re also starting to believe that you like to test that.

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In the last 6 months, you’ve tested our patience, our love, our mental and physical capacity to function on as little sleep as possible, our strength as a family, our stress, and just about every other emotion we know – you’ve tested it all. One of the most important things you’ve shown us is how strong Mom and I can be together – and that is significant. It’s significant because it has the power to make us question how strong one half can be without the other, and it can break us down very quickly if we let it. Thank you for showing us the importance of togetherness and the work it takes to be a good parent and partner. You’ve shown us how much weight we can hold when the string is thinning. There have been nights where we’ve both collapsed on the bed after you’ve fallen asleep and muttered “we did it” while preparing for the next round of whatever you decide to throw at us. Thank you for making the experience rewarding and worth working for.

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Thank you for showing us how great it is to dance together again. We sometimes find ourselves in the endless circle of ‘you clean the toilets, I’ll clean the sinks. You cook dinner, I’ll wash the dishes. You rub my back, I’ll rub yours.” I won’t be the one to always change your diapers, and Mom won’t be the one to always rock you to sleep. At the end of the day, you will always find Mom and I there to support you together, for everything. We will always be willing to dance with you – no matter the dance, no matter the time.

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We’re more than ecstatic that you’re a part of our lives, but more importantly – we’re actually just a part of yours. Thank you for teaching us discovery again – an ideal that we’ve carelessly left behind in our youth. We will help guide you and help craft your imagination. We’ll delve into your world and play in it the way you want to. We want to turn your intangible sounds into physical feedback and emotion. The tools and weapons required to walk through the dark and dangerous dungeons – we will equip you with and meet you at the end. We are the sole providers of your experience and we swear to fight anything and anyone that tries to hold us back from giving that to you. You are as much a part of our lives as we are yours and when you giggle in your sleep, we can’t help but wonder what kind of dream you’re having, but we know everything that we’ve done up until this point has been right.

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We hope that the next 6 months is as amazing for you as the last 6 months have been for us. We hope that you become a strong, independent, and respectful person – no matter how small you are. Thank you for being one of the best things that has ever happened to us and for filling the gap we never knew we had. You are the reason we try to better ourselves each day and the only person we want to make proud. You’ll get kisses from us at 6 months whether you like it or not, and you’ll get kisses from us at 18 whether you like it or not.

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And thank you Diana. Thank you for being Aria’s mom and thank you for being our superhero. Any husband that denies that they are also another child to their wife is a liar. The amount of strength it takes to care for a grown man and a needy baby is beyond Superman’s. When I need to know where my lucky teal underwear is, I need to know now and when Aria needs to eat, she needs to eat now. We both want it now and somehow, you can do both. Now. Thank you for shouldering the both of us and for having the energy each day to smile. Thank you for having an overdrive button that never runs out whenever I’m struggling to fix mine. Thank you for letting me join you on this journey – I’ll be right beside you with my lucky underwear the rest of the way. Here’s to more milestones and adventures with Aria. We love you!

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FS: 2015 Toyota Corolla S

Might as well post this up here to get traction too. We’re putting the Corolla up for sale since we barely use it. It was originally just a replacement for Diana’s Fit at the time since we were getting a killer deal on the trade value. Since then, it kind of just sits there and we drive it once in a while but not enough to make it worth it… So why not make it worth it for someone else!

The car today has 23,703km on it – one of the lowest I’ve seen on the market over the last few weeks. If you know me, you know this car has been kept in mint condition. No accidents, no dents or dings, it gets driven like a grandma, and the interior is pretty much perfect. Really, the only seat that’s ever used is the drivers seat. I think the backseat has a total of 1 hour of seat time since we’ve brought it home.

It’s the S trim package A. It has dual front heated seats, auto windows and mirrors, USB/bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel controls, cruise control, touchscreen HU, heated side mirrors, back-up camera, and foglights – basically everything you need in either a daily driver or a more-than-reliable winter car. I’ll include the Compustar 2-way remote starter, a set of all-season tires with 90% tread and another set of winter tires with about 85% tread. The car has always had rubber floormats inside so the carpet is in very good condition, trunk has never been used, and it has free oil changes at Toyota until 2020. Maintenance has been kept up to date with all receipts and records available from Country Hills Toyota. All in all, a great car – just little use from us so I’d rather not have it go to waste.

Asking price: $19,500 OBO. Open to reasonable offers.

If you or a friend are interested – email me!

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