Fear Complex

she said my obsessions would lead me to hell

rediscovering

or driving music, part II

Holy crap. I’d forgotten how intensely awesome this album (and band) was. Thanks to the OS bogans thread for rekindling the spark.

Cult of LunaSomewhere Along the Highway

quote of the week

On being ‘vertically challenged’:

 

It’s not the size of the pencil, it’s how big you write your name.

 
– Ronnie James Dio

gather the wind, though the wind won’t help you fly at all…

RIP Ronnie James Dio, legendary heavy metal vocalist. (1942 – 2010)

I was lucky enough to catch Dio-Sabbath when they played here in ‘07 as Heaven & Hell, and that gig ranks as one of the best ever shows I’ve been to. Dio’s stage presence was second to none (sorry, Mike Patton, not even you).

quote of the week

Best idea ever? I love Russian optimism!

 

The Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities, and it only didn’t work once.

 
– in relation to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, which Russian sources say could be stemmed by detonating controlled underground nuclear blasts at the source. (Komsomoloskaya Pravda via Slashdot)

operative word: Controlled.

“WordPress update successful!”

Well that was considerably less painful than I thought, other than the fact I kept getting caught out by the back-end disk quota limits while trying to upload the new software.

A quick bump to 50MB soon solved that, but sometimes I wish FTP error messages weren’t so damned archaic – an ironic quip, perhaps, coming from someone whose daily grind consists of decyphering archaic/nonsensical error messages…

But anyway. You can read this, so that means I can start posting useless crap to my little corner of the world once again.

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Rally NZ pics now on flickr. Doing everything shoestring this year, which means attending only the free events. Hey don’t complain, you get to choose between arty dusk shots or blurry ISO800 voyeurism!

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the last three months in summary

camera collection: embiggened by the acquisition of a bulk lot of vintage rangefinders – see here. However I’m now overwhelmed by the number of test rolls I need to shoot.

car collection: 4WD TX3 finally signed off and finished. Banana almost road legal (after emptying my wallet like a ravenous beast). Squid back in Auckland. Coupe continues to be a pain in the backside as far as keeping it on the road is concerned – stuff tends to break down after 27 years if it’s never actually been replaced.

other: werk is steady, training a new backup to keep the cogs grinding in the instance that I end up having that next meltdown. Relocating all of my accumulated shit back from Hamilton to Auckland went smoother than I thought. My facebook account got hacked, deactivated, reactivated, hacked, deactivated, and finally reactivated again, but I’m pretty much over it now; twitter seems to do the job just fine for daily ruminations.

to all the would-be shippers, no I still haven’t said anything to her yet. “Coward!” i hear you mutter, but the gist of the situation is that I never get a chance to sit down with her and actually lay the cards on the table, in private.

But then again if you look up “avoidant personality”, there’s a picture of me.

Right, now that I feel like I’ve accomplished something today, time to go find something else to break!

Driving music

Inspired by a recent post on a forum I lurk on: what are your favourite driving songs?

I’d personally be hard pressed to name mine as there are so many, but if there was one album I seem to find myself listening to over and over again, it would be Damnation by Opeth. This merry little record has kept me company on many late-night missions back to Auckland from places like Hamilton and further afield.

And it’s not even particularly ‘pulse-pumping’ music. Instead it’s ultra chilled out, melancholy prog-rock dripping with gothic influences. Take this track for instance, which happens to be my favourite off the album:

heck, it’s not even a particularly cheerful song if you pay attention to the lyrics, but the music and overall ambience seems just perfect for when you’re travelling lonely stretches of state highway in the dead of night.

pirst fost of ‘10

Merry 2010.

A couple of weekends ago I got to drive a JZX100 Chaser to Wellington. must say I was quite impressed with the car overall, and I’m currently in the middle of writing a little “review” of its merits, but in the meantime here’s the complete album of photos I took of the car on Sunday: flickr album

I’m quite pleased with the results from the venerable old OM-Zuiko 100mm, given that I was shooting in gale-force winds, manually focused of course, and the lighting/weather was a bit questionable. I guess that’s Welly for ya…

Chaser - silly HDR/overdone fx experiment (by decypher the code)

As for the car, I don’t think it’s quite convinced me to go modern, but as the story goes I’m a bitter, nostalgic bastard who can ignore certain shall we say quirks of older technology if it means the bigger picture is still acceptable.

Selective bias, if you will.

practicality 101

MR2? Impractical? NEVER!

practicality 101 (by decypher the code)

I hope it doesn’t rain.

I heart february

Other than it being the month of my birthday, there’s always at least one decent band playing. Observe:

17th Feb 2010 – Clutch, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

18th Feb 2010 – Faith No More, Vector Arena, Auckland

can’t wait!

Forza Motorsport 3

It’s been a long time since I properly enjoyed a driving game.  Those calling themselves simulations bugged me the most.

You see, I was a huge fan of the original Need For Speed, Gran Turismo, and especially Gran Turismo 3.  But some time after GT3, I started attending track days at Taupo Motorsport Park.  It turns out that actually driving a car on a track is more realistic.

After that I couldn’t take serious racing games… er… seriously.

Read the rest of this entry »

random musings, 27/10/09

from the desk of ed…

- started writing for another blog this week. Battle to the max, baby…

- Red Cliff and Moon are out at the movies. Missed them both during the limited-time film festival run earlier this year, so must go see them while I can. Red Cliff, especially so.

- Still working through the itinerary for December’s TX3 summer shakedown roadtrip. retro-classics has the low-down on what’s up here. Basically it involves a shitload of driving, and catching up with people I haven’t seen in ages. Of course this all hinges on whether I can get the time off work to do so.

- bought Fallout 3 GotY edition and resurrected Little Miss Lysergia for another trip around the capital wasteland. I’d almost forgotten how sweet this game was!

- NFS: Shift is actually a decent game; refreshing given the wiggerized garbage the franchise has been spawning for the last umpteen years. there’s no chance in hell of me ever buying an Xbox 360 just to play Forza 3, and GT5 ain’t due until March next year, so this will do the trick for now.

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Am I seeing things or is my twatter working again? Dare I try logging in, in fear of having it crap out in the middle of loading?

**edit** nope, still broken… but my tweets seem to be working again?

Born Again getting, uh, born again

…according to Tony Iommi, who guested on Bruce D’s radio show on BBC6 this Friday just been. And if you read between the lines of what was discussed during the interview, it’s highly likely that the remixing/remastering process will eventually extend to include Seventh Star and the whole Tony Martin era.

I approve of this and so will GaR, I’m guessing.

‘course, half the appeal of Born Again was the sludgy, muddy mix – and Ian Gillan’s awful screeching vocals, in a curious So Bad It’s Good kinda way, that it seems almost sacrilegious to tamper with it. I mean, just listen to the glorious doomy affair that is the title track.

oh, and the album art.

One day I’ll have a print of this hanging on a wall in my house.

twatter, fecebook, windows 7

neither of my accounts are currently working, so I haven’t been able to log in and do any of that social networking stuff for at least a week now.

It’s a sign, I tells you. good excuse to start updating this blog-thing a bit more.

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now I remember why I never got around to upgrading to ubutnu 9.04 earlier… the bloody fglrx drivers got removed post-intrepid, and installing the linux ATI Catalyst drivers was always a right pain in the arse. Gonna have to figure that out tomorrow.

Windows 7 on the other hand, seems to make amends for the downright rottenness that was Fister. Been using it as my main OS for a few days now, and I can pretty much last a whole session without swearing profusely at it. There are still a few irksome things about it (the new ‘improved’ windows firewall for example) – but overall, it’s not the huge bloated pit of fail its predecessor was.

october

where has the year gone? September went by in a flash, about the only thing I remember doing with the site was getting ye olde coffee forum back up and running again (and paying another hosting bill, natch)

I may have procrastinated about a great many things this year, but I’m happy to admit that finding the slowest lift in the CBD isn’t one of them. It took a few months but I think I’ve found THE one – all that remains is to find an opportunity to head back there and take some photos without looking all suspicious-like.

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amazing how things go round in circles. 15 years ago, FM and LA synths rocked my world, then towards the end of the ’90s I discovered the joys of sample-based synthesis and abandoned FM completely… now, 10 years on, I’m finding myself in want of a Yamaha DX7, which is about as profoundly FM as you can get.

wherefore art thou, shades?

from the day I bought my latest AW11 MR2 I’ve been slightly annoyed by its lack of interior t-top shades, which makes driving in direct sunlight a bit of a drain at times (the sunvisors are of limited use).

So ever the completist/OCDist (depending on who you talk to) I set about tracking down a decent pair of the blasted things. Now most AW11 owners will tell you the t-top shades along with the facelift front lip valance are the two most incredibly difficult items to obtain replacements of. Turns out they were only partially right, as within a day I had tracked down a brand new front lip valance (ex Toyota Japan, no less; those people I see whinging on MR2 forums ought to do their homework better!) but the shades proved to be far more elusive, and what I hadn’t prepared myself for was the pricing: a whopping $925 per side provided Toyota still had new old stock lying around… screw that idea.

But then upon some random incredible stroke of luck I came across a wrecked AW11 at Pick-a-Part one day not long after, which happened to have both t-top shades… except they were lying in a puddle, and looked like they had been for some time. After extracting them from said puddle and spending the next three days drying them out (and a further week getting rid of the saturated-cardboard-in-oily-puddle smell), the passenger side one turned out saggy and completely useless, but the driver’s side returned to a somewhat usable state. Incidentally, the total cost was only $12.00!

However OCD kicked in, and I couldn’t bring myself to use one t-top shade: it was both or nothing. The search thus continued. After being offered a pair of t-top shades by some random gouging bastard (who shall remain nameless), on some forum (which shall also remain nameless) for the exorbitant price of $300/pair, I turned to that last gleaming bastion of hope: Yahoo Auctions Japan.

I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t do that to begin with, instead of shitting around for weeks trying to deal with Toyota, Pick-a-Part, and AW11 owners with overinflated self-worth… because after typing in the search parameters this is what greeted me:

a quick email to the proprietor of hayatonka (an auction middleman service) secured my interest, and this morning I received a reply stating that we’d won the auction… for the measly sum of 2000 yen.

Yep, that’s right, $30 + shipping and commission. More expensive than what I paid for the Pick-a-Part pair, but complete and in better overall condition.

and the best thing? I ain’t have to pay some greedy gouging NZ fucker $300.

Great Success!

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currently listening: GWAR – Lust in Space / Various – Galaxy News Radio Soundtrack (Fallout 3)