Happy First Birthday to Round Face Kid

To Round Face Kid,

A year has come and gone and it seems like just yesterday that we were waiting anxiously for you to arrive in the hospital. Up until that day, we thought our lives were perfect and every puzzle had been put together. The truth of the matter is that you were actually the last piece of the puzzle we didn’t know that we were missing.

The beginning was hard. It was scary and challenging and exciting. Before you, we would never – in a million years – imagine how difficult being a parent would be. It’s something everyone tells you about but it’s also something you would never understand until you have lived it. Most new parents are truly naive – not through anyone’s fault – but through the lack of experience. Over time, your Mom and I learned how to hold you, rock you, burp you a certain way, and every little thing that no one else can do quite the same. Over time, you developed a personality – sassy and stubborn – tracing back to your Mom and I, respectively…

Sassy. My favourite definition of this is that you possess an ungodly amount of cool (or at least you think you do). You are so like your Mom that it makes my head spin. If I’m not receiving sass from you, it’s from Mom. If it’s not from Mom, it’s from you. And if I’m not receiving sass, the both of you are sleeping. Thank you for being a mini-Mom – it reminds me of the love I’ve had for her since I was 14; childish and playful. You make us feel like kids again, and I think that’s what we love most about you. You’ve revived our imaginations – a skill that often gets lost as you grow up. Please don’t ever stop imagining.

You’re stubborn. My God, you are stubborn. Now I know why Mom has a hard time dealing with me. You knew how to put your foot down before you could even sit. I like that. I like that you know what you want and will say no when you just don’t feel like it. That will help with dealing with boys when you’re older (please don’t get older). I like to think that your stubbornness helps you discover the pieces of who you are; it creates a solid foundation of personality in you that becomes hard to break. That’s what we want you to be – unbreakable – because you’ll find that the world and some people you meet will try to break you. Keep that foot down and you won’t crumble, kid.

Thank you for letting us be your parents. Thank you for running us through our paces and allowing us to make mistakes with you and at the same time, have the best success of our lives with you. Thank you for teaching us things that we never knew we cared to learn. Watching you take everything in and understanding little things we have learned to overlook is the best experience we could ask for. One of my favourite things to do is watch your gaze when you see something new and trying to imagine what you’re thinking and to make sure how silent I need to be because that moment might be one of the most exciting and amazing things in your life. Being present in the moment with you is far more important than trying to handle too many things at once because we would hate to miss all of your first experiences. Thank you for choosing our hands to reach out to and trusting in us to give you more. That feeling never dies.

Today, you’re one. ONE. 365 days old and this was the fastest year of our lives. I hope the next goes by slower – at least a little bit so that I can take some time to reflect some more at all you’ve done. If someone asked me – what I am sad about the most, it would be that there were nights where we wished you were able to put yourself to sleep without us carrying you all night. Now, there is no more carrying and rocking because you don’t need us as much anymore. I’m sad that I have to come to terms with not doing that ever again. That we might have carried and put you down to sleep for the last time and that there are going to be more moments like this. I’m happy you’re a big girl now but you’re always going to be our baby girl. Even if it’s just carrying you like a baby for fun, it will always be special for me.

With that, we wish you a happy first birthday. We wish that you stay curious and question everything you don’t understand. We wish that you remain eager and continue to smile at everything you enjoy and that happiness is what makes up most of all your days. We – selfishly – wish that you stay forever small and cuddle in our arms when you’re tired and that your chubby little fingers continue to grab on when you don’t want to go. You’re going to grow up to change the world one day – and even if it isn’t everyone’s world, you’ve at least changed ours. Happy Birthday, Aria!

Love,

Mom & Dad

illmotion Sunday School Show & Shine 2017 – Part 2/2

Part 2!

Just to reflect on my comments on the first post – I was talking with JC on Sunday about the lull in the community – and it for sure isn’t a bad thing. When I say lull, I mean that a majority of the cars in attendance have primarily stayed the same from the previous year, more or less… Including mine. I think we’ve hit the pinnacle of widebodies, GT wings, and stance. We’ve successfully phased out most of the Rotas and Varrsucks or however you spell it. People – for the most part – understand quality and how much better well-made parts outshine every other sub-standard part. Car trends come and go and we’re at the point right now where people have done almost everything to meet that trend and we’re just coasting now. Coasting is not a bad thing, in fact it’s a good thing. I’ll tell you why – because if you’re coasting with the trends, that means we’re not degrading the quality of builds. We’re just sitting there waiting until something else happens and everyone will jump on the next bandwagon.

We seem to have a roller coaster ride of trends – sometimes good, sometimes bad. Whatever it is kind of determines the next level of builds that come about. The OG’s kinda stick around and dip their feet in the waters to see what it’s all about, the new guys may embrace it and make it great or abuse it and make it bad. One example I keep coming back to is the GT wing hype. I remember way back, Jackie Law – the original GT wing hype man was the one that persuaded me to get a J’s wing for my Civic at the time. I can’t count how many times people made comments on pictures of both our cars to “get rid of the wing”, or “park benches belong in parks not on cars”. Today, though? Don’t get me started on today… But I’ll start anyway – let’s find the biggest carbon wing – doesn’t matter who it’s made by as long as it’s carbon fiber – let’s make the tallest aluminum stands, cut shapes out on the stands for weight savings and JDM scene points and then mount it somewhere on the chassis because that’s the only way it’ll hold my cargo box weight. I mean, I kind of exaggerate but I’m kind of not at the same time. The point is that it’s gone from “GT wing” to “BIGGEST, TALLEST, CARBON, CHASSIS-MOUNTED GT WING I CAN FIND AND USE”. There’s a mild difference. I’m not hating either, I’m just stating the extremes of one trend that tends not to stand the test of time.

Either way – simple or not, our car scene has grown an incredible amount and in a very positive way. The more it grows, the more it inspires others to build better quality cars. Some people do not-so-great shit so that other people know not to. Other people build good shit so that other people build upon it. Good vibes, everyone!

Last note – illmotion killed it again this year with another great show and smooth roll-in and roll-out. Thank you for always putting on a great event with a great cause. I always love roaming around the show taking pics, stopping to chat with people and finally putting faces to usernames from Instagram, like “dude, I like your pics” and you return with a “dude, I like your pics too”. It’s like a mini social media gathering for awkward car guys like us. Either way – whether you’re in the show or not, whether you win or not, it’s always great to get together and just shoot the shit. That’s pretty much what all of this comes down to – building something that you can share with other people and inspiring each other. I always tell Diana – I could be spending my money on other things like drugs and hanging out somewhere sketch with shady ass dudes. Instead, I’m either on my computer looking at car parts, or in the garage putting the car parts I ordered on my car. Win.

As I mentioned in my first post – this is why it’s hard to get photos of every car. It’s really no one’s fault – perhaps just a perfect combination of bad timing on my part for being there at the time and a herd of people standing there when I was ready for a shot. The show is busy, there’s only so much room to stand, so this happens.

Classic look on BBS’s

Andy – owner of Dreamworks Garage owns this ’76 Lancer with an Evo IV engine swap. I remember a few years ago it was sitting on the side of his shop with the interior all gutted and messed, the panels all stripped of paint. Let’s just say it had seen better days… Now look at it shine!

Rad MR2

AE86. Right in the feels. The only car that can rock the two tone and still look good.

One of my favourite styles of the Impreza is the GC8 chassis. Add some flares and meaty fitment and you have a mean looking Subie.

Benny’s F20 swapped AE86. Hasn’t changed much since I shot it years ago but still minty. Maybe he hasn’t driven it since I shot it years ago? lol

’81 Celica with overfenders and a 1JZ swap. I love how certain oldschool Jap cars have a certain “muscle car” look to it. Bad ass.

Ford Focus RS. This thing looks so cool in person – BBK, aggressive front bumper. I dig.

This brings me back. An R18 Civic fitted with SSR MS3’s and a Varis wing out back. Interesting that he chose Varis over Voltex/J’s model-specific fits. This was boosted too which was cool to see. There weren’t many options at the time my Civic was in show condition and the ones that were available either weren’t reliable or made by an off-company.

Sunnie’s boosted BRZ

Clean Supra. I still want one of these…

Romel’s Celica – still fresh as always. I will never get sick of this thing.

Bagged STI

Andrew’s IS-F on those Leon Hardiritt money wheeeeels. Still the best colour combo wheel I’ve seen. That champagne gold though. There needs to be more Leon Hardiritt around here and less any other VIP wheel everyone is rocking.

The frankenstein FRS – a mashup of Levi’s old RB V2 kit and Meisters mismatched with a white FRS. Panda theme perhaps? I think this was just kind of all put together recently so probably didn’t have enough time to get it all matched up.

Mugen RR inspired CSX. Not terrible execution but could do without the baby levers on the lip and simpler headlights. Otherwise not bad.

Jason’s Varis x Aimgain BRZ on TE37 SL’s. A different combination of parts here but it works surprisingly well in the Tiffany blue/black combo.

Alex’s type R. Also for sale – $15,000!

Nick’s GT3 fresh on TE37’s and a Voltex wing.

911 Turbo on TE37’s

Justin’s S2000. Funny story – Alex made me move this into another position. Took me about 4 tries before I realized reverse is not all the way left and down in a Honda. Also, sorry Justin – I forgot to adjust the seat back cause my short ass legs couldn’t reach the clutch.

Aldo’s S2000 in track mode. lol

Isaac’s 820 Amuse S2000

Eric’s S15 slammed down low with flared wells. Too bad the hood was up at the time, he had painted it the night before and it actually looked really good.

Errol’s Type R on bronze TE37’s. The dude comes in with bugs all over his front bumper and doesn’t wipe it off the entire show. He might as well have left his keys in the car with the ignition running, amirite?

Punit’s Integra – haven’t seen this in a minute. This guy. Sometimes he takes his van and leaves both the Integra and GS at home. Wat.

Brandon’s RSX on permanently dirty white TE37’s from the brake dust. LOL jk,

Brad’s S/C’d K20 EM1.

One of many of Alex’s cars – K20 swapped, mugen, volk, project mu…The list goes on.

Tommy’s new project (or just new to me cause I’m out of the damn car scene lately) – clean Civic hatch on bronze CE28’s.

Josh’s K20 EG. Should be no stranger to those of you now…

Jackie’s race car – the amount of stuff going on with his car is insane. It’s a beast – with a hood exit, fully stripped interior, canards that could cut your shins… Too bad ass.

Kyle’s new Type R. It was great to actually see this in person finally. I’m not sure how I feel about it – I think that was the general consensus I got from everyone I talked to about it. It’s nice but not nice enough for me to buy. But I guess I’d have to drive it first…

The interior up front is very nice – the dash is intuitive and clever. Then everything behind that was just “meh” by Honda. The seats are fairly flat and unsupportive, there isn’t much bolster to hold your passengers in. The trunk is roomy (enough for a stroller, Diana *cough*) and that’s about it. There are a few other details pointed out to me here and there that seem silly but perhaps there are reasons unbeknownst to me. Ie., Derrick pointed out the passenger side lower grill is cut out for the horn while the right side lower grill is left all covered up. Whaaaa?

Alex’s other car (oh yes there are more) – seems to be forgotten about lately. His turbo’d GSR – one of the only cars where I’ve seen attention to detail from literally every angle, inside and out with no corner left unturned. This is kind of what I alluded to in my first post about things being put together just to be “put together”.

Everyone will eventually reach the point where they say “there’s nothing left to do”. There’s always something to do – it’s just a matter of asking yourself how bad you want to put effort into something that people “might” not see. Almost every single one of Alex’s bolts are Mugen – even in crevices that you can’t see unless someone told you. That’s where you need to make the effort to say “yup, that bolt is worth changing to a $20 bolt”. And eventually when you make those changes, those changes that people don’t all know about – that’s when your car is truly “put together”. Not many of us have that type of mindset – hell, I don’t have that mindset –  but it’s the mindset we should start getting into. If you think about a lot of the iconic builds you know, they’re iconic because of how much detail they put in. Not because they have Volks and KW V3’s with some nice LED lights and it doesn’t happen overnight… Think about it for the next show 😉

Another type R in the line up. I think 2017 is the year of Type R…

Alex’s (yes the same god damn Alex) other other car he put in the show. This one is a different type of car though. This was an ITR shell that he purchased in relatively good condition. Alex and friends all basically stripped the car down to the shell to get it resprayed in the Phoenix Yellow to be perfect again. Right after that, everything went back in with new OEM parts. Everything from carpets, to rubber seals to everything you could possibly replace that was available – Alex replaced it all.

What do you end up with? A basically brand new Type R sans a brand new engine… Which is not all that bad considering you’ve just restored one of Honda’s masterpieces back to showroom condition.

Alex brought the new NSX from his dealership to showcase as well. Quiet a machine… Didn’t get a chance to take a close look at it even though it was right beside the tent but mannnn that red…

Not sure what was going on here. Brandon stimulating Arif in some way… Arif stimulating Brandon in some way…

A very clean and perfect example of a Type R/RSX representation. Everything from the Brembos, to the seats…

And a RHD Type R Civic. Also very clean and well-maintained. Those Craft Square mirrors are perfect… But I’m biased.

RB S15 – I believe this used to be purple before? Now it’s orange and still bad ass. I like this colour much more. *EDIT* I stand corrected – this is not Coopers’ S15 that I was thinking of. This is a completely different one but with a 2JZ swap. Very niceeee

Track-prepped Miata in a matte black finish. I believe this was red before as well if I’m not mistaken. I dig the black better too.

Noel’s S14 in a brand new colourway with new DriftSquad livery. This colour was perfect in person. I’m digging all these red and blue cars lately!

Some tight fitment on this S14 with classic Meisters and gold accents/hardware. More Craft Square!!!

This was a wild bug eye wagon from Legit Society. It had a chassis mounted GT wing out back which was kind of weird to me but it still looked dece.

Dare I say… How muscle cars should be sitting? Nice and low… I need one of these too.

Paul’s Accord wagon – not something you see everyday but I’m glad when I do see it, it makes me happy. So clean!

Root Beer S14

Jesse’s Supra

A fairly stock looking STi but that’s where you’re wrong. JC filled me in on this today – it’s got a lot of things going on that’s easy to overlook. Apparently some rumblings were happening about him winning but let’s just wash those rumblings away.

This is a pretty rare S204 STI that’s got a fully built Tomei engine. Carbon roof, air suspension and overall pretty simple at first glance. The term “sleeper” works well here – a term you don’t hear all too often with all the wild styles going on nowadays. Well done, sir.

This STI probably had the most unique but simple colour in the whole show. It was a very light grey but it worked SO well for this build. It’s hard to capture and appreciate in a photo but it was very well done.

Another Root Beer wrapped 350z on a gold/bronze Work wheel combo.

This reminds me of simpler times – 240SX with no aero on XD9’s in bronze and some meaty fitment. Flashback to the mid 2000’s

Jake’s Subie sans the GT wing. Kind of feels nekked now…

And one of the last shots I took of the day. A very clean static GS on Work Equips with Endless BBK behind them.

I’m actually not sure why I stopped – I must have gotten distracted or something and then put my camera away. I walked up and down aisles for what seemed like hours… Again, if I didn’t get a snap of your whip – sorry – maybe next year. But overall – great show… Another one for the books.

illmotion Sunday School Show & Shine 2017 – Part 1/2

The show we arguably all wait for each year has come and gone again. It stuns me how big this show has gotten… From the first year being in the tiny lot just around the corner to filling up the larger lot below and selling out within 10 minutes each year. Like every year, the show brings the best of the best out and even those that are just getting started in the scene – lots of variety, lots of styles, lots of everything for everyone pretty much and it’s great!

I don’t know if I’m just getting old and complacent lately but I did notice this year was fairly unchanged in terms of the builds that came out. It feels somewhat like a lull in our local car scene because everyone just built things so fast. Just a few years ago, I was saying that everyone was on Rota’s and suspension… Today, everyone has aero, widebodies, GT wings… The works. You barely hear the word Rota anymore and we’ve made such a huge shift in the quality of builds. That huge shift happened so fast though that it almost seems like things are just put together for the sake of having something “put together”. There is a certain lack of attention to detail that often gets overlooked and ultimately undermines certain builds that otherwise deserve more praise. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing the legit shit – it excites me, it inspires me to keep building my own car and seeing friends build theirs. Things like how an overfender was put on – was it put on properly with proper hardware and care? Or just rattlecanned, home depot-bolted in, and some black rubber lining to hide the gap? Other things I saw lots of was yellow, cloudy headlights – really? We have products now that you just wipe on and wipe off to fix that. And one of the most basic things – swirls in paint. My god, the swirls in paint. You spent $1000+ on your coils, $3000 on wheels, and whatever other sum of money on your car but not on the paint care. At least a quarter of the cars in attendance on Sunday could have used a simple polish to really shine. I don’t know – am I being petty? Maybe. Am I being too judgemental? Probably. But if no one complains about it, no one knows right? So I guess that’s what I’m here for – just to offer some thoughts – attention to detail. You guys spend the money on expensive things – take care of them.

Anyway – rant over. Lets get onto the pics! I split this into two parts to make it easy and I know every one wants a pic of their car. If you don’t see a pic of your car, I probably didn’t get a pic of it. I’ll explain at the beginning of my second post as to why I didn’t capture a handful of cars… But onward!

Barb’s Lexus RC-F on bronze TE37’s. That blue though…

Corey’s S2000

JC’s CT200h. Those wheels are becoming more and more Rose Gold every time I take a picture of his car. Custommmmmmm

Punit’s Lexus GS450h. It doesn’t get old, folks.

Steve’s GTR on TE37’s

The dad mobile. Meh.

Ryan’s EP3 on ZE40’s

Aldrich’s Element. I dig the retrofit.

Arif’s EK on CE28’s with a ProjectMu BBK. Also outfitted with the new carbon splitter that Adrian created for him. Looks great!

Devon’s new pick up – replacing his EG. This shell is mint! A big reason he made the switch was because of how immaculate the paint was with no rust.

Inside Arif’s cockpit.

Added a steering wheel hook. Clever…

Chaser on Works

Jon’s bagged B7 Avant

No bystanders were hurt on Sunday… This ‘stang laid low…

R32 on Wedsports

I got a chuckle out of this one. This dude always has the wildest things going on with his car. One year, he had his pet pig chilling around it. Now it’s fitted with yellow wrap and a “Fake Taxi” decal lol. Most guys would probably know what it is… Especially if you know what Casting Couch is. The LOLz…

Hands down my favourite of the show. I didn’t even know such a thing existed anywhere nearby. Varis fitted R35 GTR on TE37’s. Just incredible. I drove down Deerfoot all the way home with him behind me and this car is goals. I don’t ever say that, but I want this so bad. Kudos to you man – whoever this guy is – tell him I’m his fan.

One more…

Here’s a good reason I didn’t take pics of many cars… But I took this one to show you why it annoys me.

Widebody Genesis – still love that colour!

Carlo’s Varis WRX on CE28’s. Very clean.

STI on TE37’s

Berry’s Varis Widebody FRS.

Li’s freshly finished FRS from Edmonton. One of the first KM4SH kits I’ve seen locally. There haven’t been many around since they did the collaboration but it’s a fairly simple kit that adds a little flare to the FRS. Also fitted with an Amuse exhaust as well – I wish I could’ve heard it more in person, but this was definitely a very clean build. Well done.

Daniel’s newly acquired Q60. I love BLUE.

STI laying low.

Voltex Evo on CE28’s

Lester’s K20 swapped Mini… HOW COOL IS THIS?!

2JZ no shi…. Look at the piping on that thing. Holy.

2JZ swapped FC RX7. So clean. Also hitting myself for not adjusting polarizer on this shot. Sorry for the headlight and windshield glare…

Kasem’s newly acquired Porsche 911 GT3

Ryan’s F355 laying super low on Meister S1R’s.

M&M widebody Civic. Punit filled me on the backstory behind part of this build… The owner had almost the exact same looking build prior to this sans the M&M widebody kit. I guess it got hit with some bad hail and messed up the whole shell. They acquired a new shell and began basically bringing everything over from the old one to the new one – no easy task but it was done on time for the show. The new shell has a wrap I believe, where as the previous shell was fully painted the battleship grey (?). Nonetheless – a very clean and awesome look.

Ryan’s other red beast machine is this MR2 on TE37’s. Likely no stranger to anyone who has been in the car scene over the last decade but still a very fresh build. Ryan’s MR2 is one of the more iconic cars of our scene and continues to be as the years go on.

Michael’s RX7 still looking great – outfitted with numerous carbon fiber custom goodies and titanium pieces inside and out.

GGGGGGG

Root beer, anyone?

Bill’s ST-swapped SE Focus. Lots of stuff going on with Bill’s car lately – it’s like it never stops. Certainly not where I imagined it would go – Bill has gone to great lengths with this one for sure. Great job.

Marios’ Fiesta ST. The little brother to the Focus.

I dig the copper wheels on this Focus ST. In some lights, it almost passed as a dark rose gold too.

Ford Lightning.

Sue’s minty S13 vert.

Gabriel’s boosted integra. Still looking great.

Classic car crew line up. These were pristine.

Datsun dreams.

Nissan Cema Y33

Ruckus in Tiffany/Mint Blue

This was an excellent S4 build. Simple, clean and straight to the point. I think he’s a local around my hood – I seen’t him before.

Check that hypebeast tank though. Supreme X LV. Excellent.

FunkyGarage JZX.

Oh mannnnn… I love this car every time I see it! The last time I saw this, I believe it was still on coilovers. Now he’s bagged and it’s perfect! Those headlights are too awesome. I need an LS430 in my life…

Gerick’s RB RC350 on TE37’s. This also looks fantastic in person.

Steven’s Varis widebody STI on TE37’s

Ending this post with the Liberty Walk G37. God damn I never thought a G37 could look so good.

We’ll be back tomorrow!

I’m Not Dead

Just realized my last post was in early June and to be honest – nothing exciting has happened since then. I think that’s also the last time I probably washed the car too. I haven’t had much time for the car all year other than driving it to and from work. I’m happy with where it is now and I just want to enjoy it – so no big updates for me to post. I’ve been enjoying Overwatch lately and been nerding out on video cards and a new mouse and now I want a mechanical keyboard. Why do I get addicted to expensive hobbies? It’s great. Diana watches her TV shows, I play Overwatch – it’s a great time.

I will say though that it’s mind-boggling that it’s been almost a year since Aria has been born – she’s almost 11 months – which is crazy because I remember sitting in this exact same spot I am now and writing about how great it was that she was just born. Time flies! This also means that Diana is off maternity leave soon and going back to work – it’s bittersweet, really – mainly because I think Diana is torn between leaving Aria after being with her 24/7 everyday for a year and finally going out and doing adult things. I get it, but at the same time I don’t – I’ve been going to work everyday since she’s been born so I know what it’s like to have to leave Aria, but leaving her with someone else is the stressful part after the year mark. Will she be OK? Will she eat properly? Will she nap properly? Will she miss me? At the end of the day, she’s really just staying with Diana’s mom so it’s not terrible by any means – but no matter how good the caregiver, you can’t help but wonder these things.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to get at with this post is that Diana is back to work and that means I have my sugar momma back which means it’s time to start shopping for car parts LOL! Let’s be honest – maternity leave is a great thing and it’s something we take for granted in Canada – but the money is not. It’s not terrible, but it’s not going to have you laughing at the bank for a year, that’s for sure.

I have some small plans for the car over the rest of the year and probably into winter – so hopefully those go into motion soon. Until then, I will be a hermit and I’ll be playing Overwatch for quite some time. I’m not dead – I just have no updates. Don’t count me out yet – it’ll just be realllllllll slow around here for a bit.

TiBurnt x Craft Square – Part 2

Just a small update…

Al over at TiBurnt recently added a new part to his collection – titanium countersunk washers – to go with the bolts for the Craft Square mirrors and sent them to me to finish off the set. In first post about the titanium bolts, I said I was initially OK with just have the black stock washer but now that they’ve been replaced with these, I’m not looking back. It’s the small details that I love changing because it’s something that can be easily missed but if you happen to see it, it’s awesome.

The stuff coming from TiBurnt is some of the best stuff in the business right now and for them to have sent these to complete the set for me is huge. I’m a firm believer in supporting those who support you – and while it may be a small gesture to them, it’s big to your customers. I’m not saying every company needs to give out products but trust that if you can find a way to hook your customers in whatever way you think of, they’ll never think about supporting another dude again. Once again – big thanks to TiBurnt – keep making cool shit!

A few shots of the sides of the washer showing the colour gradient

Anotha one…

A shot from the inside. No side is left untouched.

And on! Just a perfect match of carbon and titanium gradient.

From a little lower. Apologize for the dirt around the washer – I didn’t clean it before the shot. Also excuse the chipped Craft Square sticker… I’ll replace that someday soon…