We've Arrived in Japan! Day 1

Sunday, April 7. 2013
Hi From Japan!

I finally find myself with a few moments to sit down, relax, and type out an update. The view overlooking the sakura of Yoshino from the window out of our ryukan is a-mazing. We were up at 6am this morning to go watch the monks do their morning prayers. It was a nice change of pace because we were the only people on the streets. Compare that to yesterday where the streets were bursting with elderly Japanese retirees looking to take part in the Zaodo festival. The rain just moved into the area and for some reason this is just a touch more peaceful then the grey of Vancouver ;-)

Ok but let's start from the beginning.

Packing for the trip was essentially the same as any other work trip so I was done in 6.4 minutes exactly. Lianne however was getting all flustered, walking around in circles trying to stuff everything into a carry on bag. I decided early on we were going to pack light which seemed to have surprised lil Mrs. I came home to gluten free soy packets she had found at the grocery store. Oh bless her cuteness and caring heart! hahah we don't need to pack our own soy sauce though! Ah well, yadda yadda and we're off to the airport. 30 minutes late. on the sky train. "where are our passports" I ask?…Ok and we're off to the airport again. 45 minutes later ;-) Well we're in Japan now so all worked out ok!

The flight over was unremarkable as you'd expect. The only amazing thing were the in flight entertainment units. You could play MULTIPLAYER games against anybody on the flight. We decided to try some reversi, "Skip" hosted the game and I was able to join the lobby from my console. Talk about bdInflightLobbyService!

...eep time to go catch a train!...

Spring has Sprung...and We're off to Japan!

Saturday, April 6. 2013
We leave tomorrow! And our house was sooo nice to blossom some departing cherry flowers :-)

Jungles of Costa Rica

Monday, July 6. 2009
What a journey we´ve had so far! (Exuse the typing, this is a Spanish keyboard).

After our relaxing 5 days in Tamarindo and an all inclusive resort, we took our little Suzuki Jimny 4x4 all the way down the Nacoya Peninsula to Tambor beach. We did some serious driving through the mountains, dropped it into 4wheel and ripped it around. Such a blast! Paved roads in Costa Rica are a rare treat and most little surf towns are not paved.

After arriving to Playa Tambor we got a bit lost trying to find the beach house we rented ... drove a few times around all over the place, the directions the lady gave us were pretty bad (go past the thinghy, and old sign, go to the beach, east of east blablabla). Finally found the spot and were greated by this old spanish dude who was quite jolly! Gave us the key to this 3 bedroom, 2 story beach front house all to ourselves :-)

We´d attach some pictures but the internet here is suuuper slow. So it was quite the jump from a resort to some little beach hut and skip was a bit freaked out by the bugs! HEH, adorable ;-) We picked up some food from a local grocery store, a nice bottle of Chilean vino and I made Lianne some dinner.

While enjoying our pasta we heard this clack sound upstairs...oh well, no big deal.Then 2 minutes later CRACK this ´´thing´´ fell down the stairs. It was a crab! HAH. After turning on all the lights and hunting each corner I killed as many bugs/crustachions as I could ;-)

The next day we headed further south to Montezuma - a sweeet little beach/surf/hippie town that has so far been our favourite spot of the trip. Had a quick little local lunch then drove a bit further to a hike. Hiked up a river for 30ish minutes and came across this HUGE waterfall with a swimming hole. I had to jump in (of course the hike had me sweating like mad with the 100% humidity and 35degree heat). COnvinced Lianne to take a dip as well :-)

Today we took off a bit early then to a ferry to cross the inlet. Drove from Tambor beach house to Monteverde and did a bit more 4x4íng. The place we´re staying at (Rustic Lodge) has quite possibly the nicest staff and cleanest rooms we´ve seen so far.

Well, that´s a brief little overview of what we´ve done so far. We´´re just about to head on a night hike in the jungle to see some touristy stuff.

Ciao4now!
-The Muellers

Hai, We're Married and in Costa Rica

Wednesday, July 1. 2009
<3

Loving Tamarindo right now and the gorgeous beaches! Not much else to say other than Lianne is freezing in this intertron cafe and I'm feelin' great ;-)


How are thing? Things are fine.

Tuesday, July 17. 2007
Not a whole lot new has happened recently. No, that's a lie. Tons of crap!

Let's start it off with last month sometime, white rice decided to blow up on me. Which I was expecting, but still wasn't too stoked about it. The worst part about it though, is I just got my new coilovers in. So the idea of going back and fixing my head gasket wasn't all to appealing. Then here comes " aby supra"! A fellow supra nerd from Vancouver had this old tired Tercel that he wasn't interested in anymore. So for fifty bucks, I picked that beast up and limped it home via traffic, highways and ferry. Keep in mind it was running on 3 cylinders, brakes were practically useless from rusted out rotors, and the rad fan didn't work. Add on top of that the fact that it was 30 degrees out with the heater blasting (need a rad fan some how!), and you get a good picture of how I felt during the drive back.

But! " aby" is a dream! (notice the space in aby, because it used to say baby :-P)

Eric rebuilt the top end of the motor (new/lapped valves), I put on new brakes, flushed out all the old crappy fluids and this thing is a champ. I'm into it for about trefitty, and now have a reliable winter commuter WITH fenders this year.

So that's all cool and exciting, I wish school was. This semester has totally killed my learning drive. All I want to do now is play WoW and read books ... random signals is killing me :-( I wrote a midterm last friday and got rocked, worst mark I've had since 3A! PLEH! Oh well, only 2 projects and 2 finals to go and I can be done with this crap.

Last but not least, I just got a bill from Fedex yesterday. <3 $140 in taxes/fees for shipments from the states. argh!

A whole month without updates

Wednesday, May 30. 2007
Maybe nothing import has been going on...or, I forgot ;-)

Point form

-Started new semester
-taking the two most boring classes in existence
-TA'ing my first class
-bought another tercel
-quit WoW (/tear)
-<3 MITACS

That's it in a nutshell.

Food poisoning...or something

Friday, April 27. 2007
Apparently all it takes is either an undercooked burger or a glass of toilet water to ruin an entire week. Yup, let's start from the beginning.

It's Sunday evening and after a hard day of twistin' wrenches it is time to hit the pub for some burgers and beer. Alex, Ryan and I are out in Sooke and decide to go to some rando pub. I wasn't too interested in beer at that moment as I was planning on driving home right afterwards. So a glass of water and a bbq mushroom burger was all I ordered. The burger was pretty sloppy and wasn't all that good, and the water was ... wet. Now fast forward to Monday morning at about 2am where I wake up from my sleep because of a BRUTAL stomach ache. I knew something bad was up and was thoroughly uninterested in spewing. Anybody who knows me knows that when Chris power vomits, blood vessels in my face/eyes burst!

Ok, so well it happened and I went to bed feeling somewhat better. The next morning I wake up to Sargent Grumbles in my stomach and he decides everybody MUST go out my posterior...

Repeat this for the whole week :-( So 5 days later and 11lbs lighter I'm just starting to feel better.

So if you're ever wondering how awesome E Coli is, just go up to Sooke and get yourself a sketch ball burger from the local greasy spoon.

Late Night Vandals

Friday, April 20. 2007
Well, I was up late on the computer playin some good ol video games when I heard this rrriiiiiip sound. Thought to myself...wtf? I look out my window and don't see anything. Sit back down, then like 5 seconds later SMASH@!

I jump up real quick now, and see a whole bunch of shit in the middle of the road and two drunk punks reeling away. Naturally I run downstairs without my phone, keys or wallet and see the punks heading down the street. That's when I noticed that the crap in the middle of the road is actually the remains of my side view mirror. They had ripped it off and smashed it on the street!

By the time I got outside they had already walked half a block up the street, and even though I'm a big guy it's clearly smarter to phone the police. No sense in getting into a fight over a mirror, with two completely drunk goons, who are probably not in their most reasonable state of mind.

I call the police, hand over all my info and they show up about 5-10 minutes later. The whole time I'm standing outside I hear these two assholes breaking stuff on their way up the street.

Well, 3 police roamed my area, found them and took them into custody. So, that's awesome! Hopefully I'll get a call tomorrow and get this sorted out.

argh!

Winner!

Sunday, April 8. 2007
Well, it only took 53 Tim Hortons coffees but I finally won! This is especially big news because I was planning on quitting Timmy's coffee if I didn't win during this rollup the rim shenanigans ... well played Timmy ... well played.

FREE DONUT!

Mozilla Quality Feedback ... err Crashing Agent

Thursday, April 5. 2007
So there have been a few times when this Quality Feedback agent pops up on me in the midst of my web surfing. And every single time this happens, Firefox crashes. You know, because I'd love it if you'd take the time to gather information about my computer and crash the web browser in the process.

Poop on Firefox!

What can you do with two sets of rear coilovers? Nothing!

Tuesday, April 3. 2007
Ahh yes, another trying day. I got up bright and early, skipped school and went to town installing my coilovers. All was going very smoothly, did the rears first because i wanted to flush/bleed the brake lines with new fluid. Got the entire rear interior out no probs, dropped the suspension and put the Cuscos in. Dropped the car down...man 2" drop! Definitely going to have to raise that by at least .5"...but that's cool, on to the front.

The front came off easier than the rears...no interior clips to deal with =) Pretty straight forward, and the upper control arm is a 1 bolt wonder. Everything was on their pretty damn good - 20 year old stock suspensions ftl!

So, my good friend had to go to work at this point which was AOK, I can handle re-assembly. This is where the fun started....

Trying to put the strut tower bolts through the 3 holes, I ran into problems...they didn't quite fit. No problem, nothing a dremel can't fix. Problem #2, the bolts are a different thread than the stockers...no problem I can use the TEMS cover bolts for the front. Then....

I lowered the car.

CRRAAAACK! Instant panic, wtf is wrong? why are my wheels bottomed out? What was that sound?! So it appears I have two sets of rear coilovers. Note to self, installing rears suspension up front does not work!

Now to hunt down some front suspension.

Roll up the "'please play again'

Friday, March 23. 2007
Tim Hortons and its roll up the rim campaign is a crock of shit. Let me explain...

So as many of you may know, I am a loyal Timmy's customer. Every day of the week, I religiously line up for my morning coffee. Of course, you'd think somebody like me would be winning some of these roll up the rim cups...you know, based on sheer volume alone. But this is the problem, I don't win. In previous years, I was an exclusive XL drinker, and didn't have that much luck winning. I heard during last years campaign that the XL was less likely to win, but the prizes were better. So I switched to L and relished in the fruits of my finger rollings.

This year is quite different.

I have spread my efforts over all coffee sizes, from big to small, but to no avail! It is now March 23 and I have had a Tim Horton's coffee M/L/XL every SINGLE day this month (sometimes two) and have not won a single thing. Are people actually winning anything? Or are those daily winning counts above the donut display all a ruse?

I better win something in the next 7 days or feisty comes out. I may do something drastic...like go to Starbucks or something. Oh who am I kidding, I'm addicted =D

Wednesday, March 14. 2007
So I’ve decided to take on the repair and resurfacing job for my coilovers. The front pair I have are TEIN HA which have long been discontinued in Japan and eventually became the TEIN FLEX. Well, that’s OK I think to myself, getting parts for these should be no problem. The only parts are really need are some dust boots. Basically, the dust boot on a shock absorber is the rubber cover that goes over the piston. That’s it…nothing fancy, no special materials required.

I hunt down on TEIN’s website the cost for these dust boots is only $5. Heck yeah, I think to myself, that’s a great deal! Unfortunately after contacting TEIN directly, they say I must buy the boots from an official reseller. Sure, that’s also no problem. In town there is Zensport and AutoFX. I email them both last week sometime, and hear no response for a few days. AutoFX did respond and said that since the HA was discontinued, they would look into a suitable replacement part. I responded with the part # for the boots that TEIN suggested and mentioned that they were $5 cost. Of course I expect there to be shipping and handling fees, but nothing would have prepared me for this response from AutoFX:

“We can order the boots on thier own for you but wth all the shipping and handling fees you would be looking at about $100-$125CAD+tax. “

gasp

Are they joking? That is ridiculous. I could understand $15 for shipping, and maybe another $15 for handling? But honestly, 100+ for them to make a call and order a part for me is outrageous. They probably don’t get it that if they get me INTO their store, I will most likely walk out with more than just those stupid dust boots.

Well screw’em, I’ll find some generic ones at Lordco for 10 bucks.

The number between 299 and 301

Monday, March 12. 2007
Oh I'm so witty ..ZANG!

First things first, I was really excited to see 300. I'm not sure exactly why, other than it being super totally awesome looking. Yup, that's description at its best.

So the story goes like this: Three hundred Spartans go fight Xerxes' army of millions. That's it :-) There were of course a few more plot lines woven in, but the theme of this flick was that of violence and rocking faces.

The movie starts off with a back-story of how the current king earned his namesake, and why he rocks so much. Apparently Spartans train their boys like the Unsullied (yea George RR Marin ref) except that they are not eunuchs. Fast forward to king training his son, Xerxes' messenger comes to tell Sparta to bend a knee...proud king says screw dis ... well he actually spat out "DIS IS SPARTA!" like in the preview. From that point on, it's fighting.

The only problem I had with the movie was that some of the creatures were quite over the top and exaggerated. But then again, it IS based off of a graphic novel.

Final line is I give this a nerd rating of 7.5/10. Generally, I only see movies in theaters if IMDB has rated it over 7, so there you have it. Go see 300, but don't expect to be blown away like you were with Gladiator.

ICBC Cracking Down on Aggressive Drivers

Thursday, March 8. 2007
Well for starters, read the article. Now, it's time to comment.

I originally found this article on revscene, which is full of overly aggressive drivers...so naturally a majority of the JDM tite yo civic drivers with cat back exhausts weren't too pleased at this announcement. Most of the arguments on that board were all against the terrible elderly drivers that Victoria is plagued with. Sure, that's true, but drivers going 45km/h tend to do significantly less damage than people flying down McKenzie at 80 in the rain. Do the math idiots...argh!

I for one am glad that the BC government and ICBC are getting together to enforce driving safety and penalizing those people who think that excessive speeding is the cool thing to do. The main reason that these new regulations are great for people like me, is that I'm in such a poor driving demographic. I'm 23 years old and drive a sports car with lots of power. Does this mean I should pay a higher premium than everybody else? No! But I do, and it sucks. Guilty until proven innocent for 8 years of safe driving.

What this new system would allow is to reward those with good driving history. I still have yet to get any speeding tickets and am responsible for only 1 fender bender in first year Uni . I let my foot off the brake in my old automatic car and hit some dude's truck. I wasn't interested in losing my discount so I just paid the $600 repair bill out of pocket. So six years later, I still am not at full discount and it costs me $1300/yr to insure my supra.

And the only reason why I'm paying so much, is because of young males ages 16-25 who think that they are better drivers than everybody else and speed excessively. Then of course, they get into numerous accidents, can't afford to pay the repairs out of their own pocket and let ICBC cover their costs at the expensive that their premiums go up. Get enough people to do this, and everybody's premiums go up! There certainly isn't a shortage of aggressive drivers out there.

Now if this new scheme would take into account how many "infractions" you have on your driving record in order to calculate your yearly rate, I say AMEN! Bring on the savings.