Winter Hibernation – AKA Worst Day of the Year

It’s that time again… To put our cars away before the white stuff falls. It’s actually not so bad anymore but it’s still depressing having to see your car tucked away in a corner everyday as you come and go for work.

It’s a little easier for me knowing that it’s almost aesthetically complete – just a few more additions here and there but nothing mind shattering. It’s in a state where I just love to drive it now and with a few more toys here and there, it’ll just be more exciting to drive.

Anyway, just some super simple shots just to fill the blog a little bit… Hopefully I’ll have some time to gather some parts over winter and update you all. I’m sure there’s plenty of other things I can post too🙂 Happy parking!


Before I put it away, I wanted to get a shot of Aria in the Recaro. It’d be nice to see what a difference it will be when summer time comes next year, and I take the same shot. She wasn’t too pleased about the whole idea, but I’m sure time will change her mind🙂


After a sudsy bath… Doing this in -2C is not fun. A lot of people ask me why I put it away so early… I agree, it’s a bit early considering the roads are pretty dry, there hasn’t been any snow, and there still isn’t any gravel on the roads. A big reason I put it away earlier is because it’s much easier to clean and dry and make sure all is good in warmer weather than it is in cold, snowy weather. Even in -2C, it was a bitch to dry the car properly.


The last booty shot of the year.


All clean finally. The next piece is to tuck it away tightly in the corner, hook up the trickle charger and let ‘er sleep for the next few months. I have a feeling these winter months will go by quick since I’m spending less time thinking about when I can drive it next, and more time with Aria. Not a bad thing, I suppose!


And one last shot of the cockpit… Until next year!

Being a Dad

It’s been 5 – almost 6 weeks – since Aria has joined the family and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much our lives have changed in such a short amount of time. It’s not a bad thing – it’s an amazing thing. I try and spend most of my time with Aria when I get home from work and when I wake up on the weekends. If I’m not at home, I spend most of my time thinking about her or looking at her pictures over and over again in-between work and breaks. She consumes me in a way that I want to ask for so much more than that which is physically and emotionally impossible – that’s the kind of love you learn and crave – different than the love you have for your girlfriend, wife, parents, or siblings.

Being a Dad is still weird to say for me. I’m sure it’s weird for everyone to go through this stage because you know your past, your faults, and your flaws – you know everything you have done wrong and all the time you’ve spent trying to find redemption in things. At the end of the day, you also know everything you’ve done right, all the successes that have brought you here and all the good intentions you have.

Being a Dad means letting down all your emotional barriers. It’s becoming stronger than your past self and standing strong for everything that she faces. She might not know it yet – hell, you might not even know it yet – but you’re her superhero and dawning that cape is the best job you’ll ever have. You’re going to fight the monsters that scare her and hold her hand through any fire she will come across.

For the last 9 months of Diana being pregnant, the only things we’d hear people say is to “enjoy your sleep while you can!”, or “you better sell that car of yours and get a minivan!”, and “no more hanging out with the guys after this!”.

Those were my favourite. They were my favourite because I had to stop myself from asking “Is that why people have kids?” – to get rid of the things they enjoy? To put a halt to their hobbies? Because they decided they don’t want to sleep anymore? It’s true though – you get no mercy during some nights and when you know you have to get up at 6AM to go to work, the only thing you want is 20 minutes of extra sleep. I’ll tell you one thing though – I would sacrifice my sleep over and over again just to watch her get her own sleep. If there is one thing I could wish for, it’s to be able to stay awake forever to watch her because for every second I’m not watching her, she’s growing up and I’m missing it.

While my car is no longer my priority, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop tinkering with it. Parents can have fun too, can’t they? For every parent that feels like they have to give up something they once poured their heart into – I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you had to give a piece of yourself up. I’m sorry that I don’t want to, I’m sorry that my wife doesn’t want me to, and I’m sorry that I can’t wait to share my love for cars with my daughter. I don’t necessarily want her to love cars the same way I do, but I do want her to know what it’s like to love some thing. I want her to know passion and commitment, and care, and every thing she loves can show her.

Life is a balancing act and my daughter certainly tips the scales in her favour 10 times out of 10, but there will be times where she will let you tip the scale your way and you have to take it. You have to feel like you can take a little after giving so much – not just to keep yourself sane but to show her that you need to take too – and when she finally understands that life is about giving and taking, you hope that selflessness begins to grow in her.

Hanging out with the “guys” is not a thing of the past. It’s just infrequent and I’m OK with that. The “guys” are OK with that. I want her to grow up knowing what friendships are, I want her meet the guys and play with them. I want her to know that there are people other than “Mom” and “Dad” that can provide great experiences too

I want her to spend her years piecing together what love is – to define it herself and to find it and not settle. A Dad wants her daughter to feel like a princess and to never be treated less than that. I want her to find her prince and know that there is such a thing as a knight in shining armour and that there is such a thing as clowns in disguise. That there are far more clowns than actual knights, and that there is a someone out there that will appreciate every bit of her. Nobody is perfect, but she will have a definition of perfect and that’s what we want her to find. Being a Dad means showing her that fairy tales do exist. I want her to know that Mommy and Daddy lived one, and when she finally finds it, to never let go – there are such things as happily ever afters.

Experience allows children to grow because it is tough and merciless. It is nurturing and meaningful. It is allowed to be wrong and right, and it can decide whether it wants to teach you now or 100 tries later. Isn’t this what it means to be a parent? To provide experience the opportunity to run my daughter through her paces and get those scratched up knees and make those tears turn into hard-earned smiles? To show her that success is forged from sweat and tears and a little blood, and no matter what the experience is like – it always teaches respect.

The first few weeks of being a parent can really show you what you’re made of. It can show you what you and your wife are made of as a whole, it can and will test every ounce of patience, love, and teamwork your body and mind can muster… And if that’s not enough, it will show you how hard it is to imagine how much you can love something so small. How many times can your heart explode into a million pieces each time she smiles or how many times it can break when she cries.

The best thing about it all is you start to find a different kind of love in your wife that you have never seen before. You’d think after over 14+ years of knowing someone, you’d know everything… Being a Dad teaches you more about your other half than you could ever imagine. You start to delight in things you never thought you cared about before, like when you hear her endlessly sing words that don’t make sense and wonder how she comes up with those fire lyrics. How referring to her as Mommy is a lot cuter than you thought it’d be and you’ll never call her by her real name again. When she takes the bull by the horns and accepts that changing poopy diapers is a better job for her than you.

You wonder how a woman that you’ve been through thick and thin with can still do the amazing things she does day in and day out for our daughter. Things I couldn’t do. Things I can’t imagine doing.  When she’s up every 2 hours feeding a hungry baby, half asleep in the chair while I’m still asleep. When she is stuck upstairs at a party tending to her while I’m downstairs having fun. You realize very quickly that when you think you’re super Dad… Super Mom is actually more impressive and that cape you dawn is really hers – she just chooses not to wear it.

And while it doesn’t matter who wears that cape, at the end of the day your daughter doesn’t care either. She just wants you to be there to hold her hand through the dark and scary world, to let her fall sometimes, and show her how to forge her tears into smiles. That’s what being a Dad is like.

And when you go through all of that, you deserve to take selfies once in a while – even if she doesn’t like it.

Lost Royalty Season End Meet

Well, it was a lazy Sunday for us – we had brunch with some friends and I decided to sneak out for one last hang out while Aria was sleeping. I actually haven’t taken any pics in a long ass time and it was a beautiful day… And on one of the nicest days, I forget my polarizer. *sigh*.

Ah well, it was a good time out to just drive while the weather is still nice. I think the car will be parked in a few weeks time. We’re getting super lucky with the nice weather lately and most years, I’ve parked the car by October 1st and I always regret it. Not this year!

Anyway – I took a few pics – obviously not as thorough since cars kept coming and going and I wasn’t about to run back and forth to get a bunch of pics. I apologize in advance, I wasn’t too motivated for pics after I realized I forgot my polarizer… So this is all you get😦


Wiped down my car quick before coming here. Hasn’t been washed in forever!


Terence’s Civic looking great! Man, I haven’t seen this thing around ever.


Corey’s S2000


JC’s ct200h. Liking those TRD sideskirts.


Arif’s EK also looking great with the BYS bumper and tracklife composites fender cutouts.


Josh’s EG – so mint. That nighthawk black pearl looks fantastic with bronze TE’s


Somehow photobombing my pics seemed appropriate.


As you can see here…



Giuseppe’s car was next in line for some vandalism as Lexie watches…


But his car is looking fantastic as always!


Nice R32 colour combo


Chaser on Weds


Nick’s old J’s S2000 – sorry, I don’t know who the new owner is. Running red TE’s sans rear over fenders. Looked a bit weird.




Jeev’s Porsche x BBS



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I feel I would enjoy this a lot more if the SSR’s were a bit bigger. Big bodies need at least 19″ IMO and this makes them look like 15’s.


Nice to see this LS out again. God damn, I love those headlights.


Gerard’s RB RC on TE37’s. Looks wild.



Kay’s R32


Rob’s LS-swapped 240. Missing his rear wheels…






Romel’s Celica still with fresher paint than your 2017.



The crew. Merlin is HUGE now.


On our way back from quick eats, we spotted Errol in his race car. Doesn’t even clean his wheels.


I liked this shot of Giuseppe’s Skyline from the rear quarter. So good.








This lowered Q5 on Vossen’s was sick


This is why people don’t get pictures. lol #justsaying



I managed to squeeze in and get some quick shots. Steven’s Varis widebody STI.


Randy’s RallyBacker FRS


Jason’s matte blue wrapped BRZ


One more shot of the line up. Sorry bad angle… it ends up being just of my car lol


Corey rolling out…


As Bill rolls in. His ST swap sounds great! Looks good too!


And one last group shot before I went back home to a poopy baby.🙂

Office Addition: Recaro RS-GS

After months of searching for the seat and countless hours of scouring Yahoo Japan auctions, classifieds, distributors, and everything else in-between, I was finally able to score the seat I’ve been looking for.

I’ve been following Genius Street Race Shop on Instagram for a while and they were selling some awesome products but to be honest, I just wasn’t sure if it was legit. Especially when they’re selling exclusively on Instagram. There’s no review sites, there’s no way of telling if they’re real but they did post when a customer received their products. Finally, I decided to message him to just ask if he had a black RS-GS in stock. With the way things were going, I was fully expecting him to tell me “nope, sorry”. But within minutes, he replied back and said he had it in, sent me a bunch of pics whenever I asked for them and even offered alternatives if I wanted them. The one thing that’s hard to tell in pictures is the condition. He assured me that it was 9.5/10 but how often is a seat like this in 9.5/10 condition?

I ended up biting the bullet after asking Alex about his experiences with them and about 3 weeks later, here it is. I’ll tell you all right now that the seat is literally 9.8/10. The 0.2 is just so minimal that this seat could probably pass as new. The fact that they’re selling at such an incredible price with free shipping (no duties, brokerage, taxes either), it’s hard to say no.

Anyway, as soon as I placed the order, I also spoke with Jimmy over at VEX for a Bride rail to get the seat in as soon as it landed. Within a day, Jimmy had the rail in and it was ready and waiting.


Sorry for the shitty pics. I was too excited to get this seat in as soon as I got home from work. I don’t think I’ve ever checked a tracking number that many times in a day before.


Some of you will think that it looks worn by looking at the pics. It truly isn’t. It’s the way that the Kamui fabric looks when you rub it a certain way. You know how when you rub suede one way it looks darker and when you swipe it the other way, it gets light again? Same thing.


After a small hiccup with the dumb bolt that holds the stock rail in place and the help of Jackie at Balance Auto Garage, I was able to get the bolt out and get the new seat in. The Kamui fabric is pretty much a hardier version of Alcantara. It feels nice and not like cheap cloth like I had in my Bride Zeta in my STI. The foam is nice and firm and is comfy enough to sit in for extended periods of time.


This will keep me happy for a little while longer with the interior. I would still like to eventually get a cage in and some harness and maybe a different seat for the passenger side. But for now, this is perfect. The RS-GS sits perfectly in the car and super low thanks to the Bride rail. Honestly, of all the seats I’ve sat in, this one probably feels the best. It’s solid and there’s a great amount of lumbar support as well as good cushioning under the leg and around your shoulders/lats.

I mean, I think a big part of why it fits me so well is because I’m not a huge guy and the seat was made specifically for the Japanese market according to Recaro – in other words – for small Asian people. LOL


Anyway… Another awesome addition to make me want to get up in the morning and get to work for another few weeks… It’s almost parking time! I need to get out one more time and cruise or do photos!

Drum Roll Please!! Welcome Aria Hoang

It’s been quite a few days and I’ve been more detached from social media than I am used to, but for good reason. The last 9 months have been of me posting about when this baby is coming or why I’m too busy to do anything because baby has been on my mind. I honestly thought this day was never going to come – 9 months is a hell of a long wait but at the end of that 9 months, you realize very quickly that it’s worth all the time and money and preparation and everything else you do to bring a life into this world.

Skip the jargon if you just care about pictures. I’m getting into story-telling mode.

Her story begins on Friday, September 2nd at 8PM. Diana’s contractions had been starting almost a week ago, but she never felt they were strong enough to warrant going to the hospital. There were a few times we almost packed up and went but held off a little longer. This time, they were stronger than they’ve been all week and as they say – if you can’t talk or walk through them, it’s time – and it was that time. Fast forward to 9PM and we’re in triage waiting monitoring her contractions and baby’s heart beat. 9:45 comes and the contractions get slightly weaker, and the time between them starts to get longer. “We’re going to get sent home”, we thought to ourselves. It’s kind of disappointing because you want this kid to come so bad and we came all the way here only to get sent back and monitor at home.

10:15PM comes and *pop*. The next half hour goes by quick – her water breaks and we’re quickly put into the labour room where it’s only a matter of time before baby makes her grand entrance…


Within a matter of minutes, Diana is laid in bed, tubes poking in her and monitors strapped to the belly to make sure everything is OK. A nurse stays with us the whole time only ever leaving to get something. It was a nice experience knowing that someone is there to make sure Diana and the baby are OK until the time comes.


You can’t tell here, but Diana’s contractions are hitting 12 out of 12 on the graph. What I witnessed that day is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I don’t know, but labour pain is probably the most torture you willingly put your body through. It’s hard not to respect every Mom that has gone through this because it is truly something amazing.

Of course, in order for baby to make her grand entrance, she’s going to make us wait and she made damn sure that Diana was going to work for it too. Well, 6.5 hours of labour brought us to the last stretch. 2.5 hours after that, Aria decided to finally come and say hi.


And just like that – all the pain, all the waiting, all the tiredness we have felt in the last 12 hours suddenly goes away. You get a second wind, and every emotion decides to surface. If there’s one thing I’ve never felt before, it’s tears of joy and happiness. Until she came, I thought the love Diana and I had for each other was unconditional love – the best and purest I have ever known for the last 14 years. Nothing got between Diana and I and this baby was going to be a +1.

Boy, was I wrong. The second I saw her come out, a new kind of love just overwhelmed me. You get this flash of the past, present and future – how we got here, how great this moment is, and how every second of this baby’s future will be as perfect as I can possibly make it. I’ve got a selfish personality – everyone that knows me well knows this. Suddenly, I’m willing to give every ounce of my world and energy to this little person that doesn’t even know me.


Hopefully not too NSFW, but those words are expressed here when Diana got to hold Aria for the first time.


They quickly took her back just to make sure everything was good to go.


She came in at 6lbs 8.5oz. A lot bigger than we were originally expecting since she was measuring small even at 37 weeks in the womb.


And those 9 hours that Diana grudgingly fought through just melted away. Nothing matters at this moment.


The cutest alien-being I’ve ever laid my eyes on.


A few hours later, we got admitted to post-partum and we relaxed for the next 24 hours. I use the term “relaxed” very loosely – it was one of the most painful 24 hours we’ve ever endured. A hospital room can make you go crazy – the air, the environment, the smell… We needed air to feel like we weren’t in an insane asylum. Added on top of that, we were going on about 50 hours of no sleep. Adrenaline ran out, energy levels were at the lowest I’ve ever experienced but you look at your baby and you know you’ll go till you die.



She started to get colour back in her skin and she was chubbing it up.


Finally at home and we’re loving every second of it.



I would like to introduce everyone to her ‘milk coma’ face. Without fail, she gets so tired that she can barely hold bottom lip closed. It’s the best lol.


And so it ends there… Whether I’m having the worst day or I’m just feeling blue – this face keeps me going. It’s what makes me get up at every squeak and cry, it gets me moving, and you know how people have things that make them want to be a better person? This is my thing.