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…

Charlesglen Toyota: Steel Dreamz 1st Annual Car Show

Wowowowow I made it out to a car show.

JC asked me mid last week if I wanted to join him at the Steel Dreamz car show on the weekend. Admittedly, I’d never heard of any car show called “Steel Dreamz” and I haven’t seen anything about it anywhere. Turns out Charlesglen Toyota was holding their first annual show and I guess there wasn’t much publicity on it other than word of mouth. I decided to tag along – I didn’t have any plans and I thought it’d be a good idea to dust the camera off and take some pictures. Honestly, I don’t even remember the last time I took pictures of cars!

Anyway, the day ended up being pretty decent and had a good mix of cars that came out – classic, domestic, import… It doesn’t really matter what type of cars come out really, it’s just nice to see these types of shows happening. It just becomes another outlet for people to go and hang and talk cars with other people and see things you don’t see everyday.

Anyway – I snapped pics of what I could when the show started. More cars came throughout the day but I ended up getting lazy so if I missed your car, it was not intentional (unless of course you were standing in front of it :)). Enjoy!

JC and I met at Top Gear car wash. I’ve been hearing a lot of rave reviews about it but never made it out since we Airdronians have a pretty sweet gig in Airdrie already. Turned out that Top Gear was pretty decent too with lots of options to clean your car. I liked the pink foam – it actually cleans the car rather than just sit on your paint looking cool.

At the show, we were some of the first ones there so not many cars were around. These first few IS’s were in the front of the line.

I like this blue. I told myself my next car will be an actual colour – no more white or black! We’ll see if I follow through with it haha

Clean RC-F

Parked beside this FR-S with an Edelbrock Supercharger installed. One of the only ones I’ve seen which was bad ass.

A very clean looking kit compared to HKS/Kraftwerks/Vortech.

The race car.

JC’s CT200h. I dig the new red lugs and red WORK centercaps.

Line up of classic imports… This Celica was one of my faves. More to come of it below…

Clean RHD Supra with a wiiiiiide rear. Looked good – I want one in my life.

This CRX was quite the gem of the show as well – easy to overlook if you didn’t pay attention. Decked out in Mugen goodies and a bunch of other little details like the glass roof.

The Mugen wheels have seen better days but it’s a complete set with the centercaps and all.

A pretty clean and somewhat unmolested Supra.

Group shotttttt

This Celica is absolutely perfect. Molded fenders, and a custom molded rear brake vents.

An up close of the vents and the molded over fenders.

Just beautiful.

A shot of the engine bay.

MR2

GR STI on XD9’s

AE86

Unfortunately the turbo blew on the 86 on the way to the show…

Romel’s Celica – with the same fenders but bolted on giving it a more aggressive look. I am still in love with the TRD front aero jacket. So good.

An up close – of the TRD jacket

Brandon’s Evo X

An interesting BRZ. I think this is the same one I’ve seen last year and the year before and it’s gone through many phases. Now it’s got a chameleon-coloured wrap with carbon fenders and a fully replaced carbon engine bay trim. I believe he’s also sporting a Varis GT wing now and is on air.

Andrew’s IS-F on Leon Hardiritt Jagers in a custom finished two-toned gold/silver. My absolute favourite VIP wheel set up right now and it’s so different and unique that it’s just that much better. The contrast on black is amazing.

An up close shot of the wheels. The colours are absolutely gorgeous – reminds me of a very nice champagne gold with matching centercaps to match.

I remember last year when Andrew was debating wheels and he was going back and forth with which wheels to get. Trying to decide wheels for a VIP/VIP-sport build is actually harder than you think. Most times, people end up with the same old, same old – AME big faces, big lipped WORK wheels, SSR’s, or anything that comes with dish and a large diameter. I always remembered wanting a set of Leon Hardiritt wheels for my VIP build after getting my set of SSR Merisias because they were just so good. Leon Hardiritt is just a sub-section of WEDS wheels so they weren’t some off-brand company – they specialize in the VIP wheel selection and their designs are just so unique. When I threw the suggestion of the Jagers to Andrew, admittedly I did it selfishly to try and see if Andrew would like the idea so I could live vicariously through him. When he told me he didn’t only bite the bullet, but he opted for the custom colour option – I was ecstatic and it’s not even my car. It’s not often I get excited for someone else’s car but my oh my was this going to be a beautiful pairing.

This was actually the first time I got to see it in person since he’s had them mounted and boy, it didn’t disappoint. It’s truly refreshing when you see a wheel no one has ever had. I now wonder how these would look on the FRS… Too bad our bolt patterns are different :S

The LFA and LC500 side by side. Although the LC is next gen, I still much prefer the LFA.

While I did think the LC was great in pictures, in person it’s much less jaw-dropping for some reason. I dunno what it is…

I don’t know what this is so don’t ask. I can only appreciate the perfection and state that it is in.

Arif’s Civic

Josh’s EG – a perfect – and I mean PERFECT example of attention to detail, simplicity, and a perfect pairing of quality parts.

K20 swap with shaved bay.

Retrofitted headlights.

Bronze TE37’s in a slight concave.

Spoon wiper blades.

Just immaculate. Bravo, Josh.

This was new to me – JC pointed it out – a Toyota Celica Supra. Kind of a bastard child and mixed features of both cars…

Check out all that orange interior though! So mint.

Silvia on VS-XX’s. Note – JC’s VS-XX’s used to be this colour too at one point. Crazy amirite? I’ll wait for you to scroll back up to see what colour his are now.

Turbo FRS from AutoDream

A mint FJ that went on to win best Toyota.

Barry’s widebody Varis FRS.  First time seeing it in person – he came all the way from Edmonton for the show. It is an aggressive ass kit but executed nicely with the battleship grey wrap.

Turbo’d

Aria and Diana came to visit and hang out mid afternoon. Aria drinking some water to cool down

She likes the cars fo sho.

More water for this princess.

All 3 of my girls – the car included LOL. Aria is teething right now so she gnaws on everything…

Finally got her off the stroller tray and looking normal LOL

F20 swapped AE86

RB FRS

This one is for you Ricky. STI on TE37’s

I really liked this Genesis and I think it was because of the colour. I’m really digging red lately and this was a wicked shade. Very ruby-like.

Evo X on TE37RT’s

S15 on CR-Kais

G37

2JZ swapped IS

R34 on Nismo wheels

R34 sedan? I can’t remember if it was just front-face swapped or if it was real…

The RC-F way back at the beginning of the post opened their hood to show a titanium intake arm by Lems.

In case you didn’t scroll up to see JC’s wheels, here they are again. Rose gold custom made by sun fade.

Kay’s GTR slammed down

Another shot of Barry’s Varis FRS

I didn’t get a shot of this Mitsubishi 3000GT cause the owner was kinda standing near it all day but I did get the engine bay. Lots of work and money put into it – and it may not be everyone’s cup of tea – but I can appreciate it. Peep the glass piping for the coolant. It’s even got green LED’s in it.

Sapporo handle…

And just one last shot to end it off…

TiBurnt x Craft Square

Well I finally got around to replacing the bolts on my Craft Square mirrors. I knew right when I got them, I didn’t like the bolts they came with – plain black and could probably use a little more jazz. I procrastinated for over a year – mainly because I didn’t know what size they were and no one around could tell me either.

Finally, I decided to reach out to Al over at TiBurnt and I slipped into his DM’s and sent him pics of the bolts with measurements. After a bit of back and forth and verifying, he was able to confirm the sizes and within 2.5 weeks, I had the bolts in my hands (yesterday). TiBurnt has the best burnt-look titanium hardware in the business hands down. You just cannot find them like this anywhere else – the places that sell them in huge batches have this fake, shitty looking burn that looks more like neochrome than an actual burn and it just looks tacky IMO. I’d rather have plain Ti than the Neochrome looking ones any day… But I digress.

The bolts by TiBurnt are incredibly high quality – high shine, perfect burn pattern and it’s just so pretty to look at. Anyway, snapped some quick pics of them all replaced. Now I’m looking at other bolts to replace with Ti… I’ll get to all of them in due time…

The stock black ones. Started to show signs of rust and oxidation. Yuck.

The top stainless steel one. Meh.

Another shot of the drivers side. You can see the rust/oxidation a little better here. I gag every time I look at them.

And voila! Beauty. I actually regret not getting the countersunk washers too but this helps keep some contrast between the carbon.

My favourites are these ones. It’s too bad you can only really see the top of the head on them. The bolts themselves are beautiful – I know. It’s weird to say that about bolts but they are. On black, the colour really pops.

And one more close up of the bolt on top of the mirror.

Thanks again to TiBurnt for all the help!

Raw Denim – Unbranded 21oz Goodness

Disclaimer: this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – especially if you don’t care about jeans or more specifically – you hate unwashed jeans – but it is most certainly my big cup of tea and I just wanted to share! So if this isn’t your thing, scroll on…

I’ve been into raw denim for almost 10 years now but I was never a really diehard fan that knew everything about every brand and Japanese mill that ever existed – I didn’t really care for that back then. I was really all in for the hype – if you call it that – it’s as much an adventure as it is hype and if you had the patience to wear the jeans day in, and day out to get them to the grail state of fades, then it was worth it. I must have gone through at least 10 pairs over the last 10 years – none of them ever really getting to where I wanted it to be. I either got tired of the fit or they didn’t fit anymore at all – I would last a few months and move on. that’s the unfortunate part of raw denim – until you find a pair you’re willing to stick it out with for as long as possible – that end state is far in the distance.

Well up until last year, I had some time on my hands and I started to look more into raw denim. It turns out, raw denim is literally a sub-culture of the denim world and there are people that are much more than raw denim enthusiasts – they live and breathe by them and anything you could ever want or know about it, they could tell you. I started learning more about the different mills that produce jeans, the different levels of jeans, which cotton produces the best fades, which dye method produce the best indigo, selvedge and the beauty of the inner seam that no one ever seems to care about, the weight of the denim (DENIM HAS WEIGHT?!). Every little piece of the raw denim industry has a story and if you care about the story, the jeans have that much more significance.

Anyway, the point of the post is just to share my lack of knowledge over the last 10 years and how I wish I knew what I know now. Also to share my latest pick up that I’m pretty stoked about… My previous jeans have always landed in the 10-12oz range – so fairly lightweight and not much to them. They faded well for the most part but they were just generic Nudies or Naked & Famous jeans and some other off brands that never really made it anywhere. I got a pair of N&F Indigo Power Stretch when Aria was born – I said that it would be cool to have a pair that was the same age as Aria and have it essentially be the same age as her. Perhaps a little corny – but cool to me. They have been the best pair that I’ve had in a long time but again, nothing really special about them – no selvedge, they were stretch which kind of goes against the grain of wearing raw denim, and just a basic 12oz cotton. Still a great pair nonetheless.

After a few weeks of learning and reading, I suddenly had an urge to jump straight into super heavyweight denim but I wanted to make sure I got the right pair. (ie., fit, denim, brand, etc). I had looked at a bunch of brands – Momotaro, Japan Blue, Iron Heart, Unbranded, N&F, and the list goes on. One of my biggest issues was always the fit – if it didn’t fit right, then the jeans were a waste. Since my current N&F fit so well, I took the measurements of them and went off to find a pair that matched it as closely as possible. The problem is that all the brands I wanted were not sold even remotely close to me to try on. Comparison after comparison – none of the brands I wanted fit the bill for my measurements and an inch here and there was a big difference in how the jeans would fit. Finally I had come across Unbranded – an entry level brand that is essentially a sister company of N&F. The fits were almost identical in measurements (naturally) and luckily for me, they’re based out of Montreal – so I saved myself some $$$. I picked up their UB121’s which is a skinny fit 21oz denim – a perfect segway for me into the world of super heavyweights… And so lets go onto pictures finally…

I wanted to start with my N&F jeans to show the progress. I’m quite happy with where they’re at right now at almost 9 months. I’ve only done one soak with them so far and the indigo is start to show nice whisker fading and it’s turning into an electric blue.

The crotch/lap whiskers coming in nicely.

Knee fades starting to lose a lot of indigo as well.

When I got these, I didn’t end up hemming them so that they could stack. At first I regretted it but as the stacking fades start to show, I’m starting to love them.

The butt fades with the wallet showing through as well.

Back of the knee fades – much lighter than the rest of the fades mainly cause I’m sitting most of the time if I wear them so there isn’t much action going on back there.

We move onto the UB121’s. You can see the drastic difference in them and I wish those of you that have never felt or seen a super heavyweight denim before could get the sense in pictures. Unfortunately you can’t, so you’ll have to take my word for it that these are stiff and rigid and heavy mother f*ckers.

The back – plain and simple like the N&F jeans.

The difference between my previous pairs and this one is that these have selvedge stitching on the inside. A nicer quality and feature that I wish I knew about sooner. Looks nice when cuffed.

Tag…

I’ve begun marking the date on the inside pockets so I know exactly when I started wearing them. Helps to keep track of how old they are – it’s more helpful 6, 9, or 12 months from now when you want to know…

And as the brand states – everything is unbranded. Nothing is labeled to keep prices down which I think is totally cool. I don’t really care for the branding anymore so this fit the bill. Although, I wouldn’t complain if there was some pocket stitching design…

The buttons are pretty sturdy as well. Right now it takes me a good 15 seconds to button and unbotton that top one because of how thick and hard the denim is. Hurts the fingers…

And because even the leather patch is unbranded, I decided to add my own personal touch to it. I added the date on the back as well just to add some small details and then I also had some branding leaf stamps that I added to the top corner just cause as well. I didn’t want to overdo it otherwise in a year from now, it might look corny… But that’s all folks! We’ll see how these come along in the next 6 months!