about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another year, another trackday



To kick off the year right, I signed up for the 2nd Pitworkz/Hongly Trackday, once again held at Subic International Raceway. I had Mav and her brother Paolo along once again for the ride.

Unlike the December 5 event where just 10 of us shared the track on an extended, timed practice session, this trackday was a sold-out blockbuster affair with well over 40 participants. The majority of the runners were EG, EK and ES Civics, but this time there were trios of Subaru Imprezas and BMWs in the fray too. Also notable is the participation of a lot of track virgins, such as my friend Clifford Ang and his GE8 Jazz 1.5.

Bracketing was also implemented in the style of run-what-you-brung (RWYB) competitions. Basically all the drivers and cars were given a chance to set two hot laps, and this determines in which one of four time brackets the drivers will participate in. I slotted into Bracket C, where I eventually would win second place with a new record time of 58.4 seconds.

I had broken my previous record, but somehow it wasn't as satisfying as the last trackday. Key to this was the lack of consistency. After I had set that 58.4-second "magic lap" where my line was virtually perfect and I had no mistakes from start to end, I started to over-analyze things and began to obsess about getting the Turn 3 entry/exit correctly. That led to understeering at Turns 1 and 2, scrubbing my front tires and worsening my subsequent lap times. I never again managed another lap faster than 59 seconds after lunch time.

Fastest time of the day went to Doc Luis Buencamino and his GDB Subaru Impreza STi, with monster StopTech brakes and festooned with three GoPro sport camcorders. The blue-and-black Scooby ripped through Subic at an astonishing pace, bagging a 47.67-second lap time in the early afternoon.

Mav finally got to ride shotgun with me in Aibo while the track was open to free practice in the morning, and she took it well. I was amazed at how calm she was in the co-pilot's seat and how well she took video of my practice lap with my Mavica while I was attacking the corners and trying to forge my way past the less-experienced drivers. Paolo also rode shotgun and took an eight-minute-long video clip with his cellphone.

After a green beginning that was less than pleasant, Cliff eventually found his groove and saw his time tumble to a personal best of 1:04. Mel meanwhile got to within a whisker of his aim of breaking the one-minute mark with a 1:00.08.

The Bracket C win gifted me with a trophy and a four-liter can of FK/Massimo Super SS-X mineral engine oil. Although the deal would have been sweeter had I won fully synthetic oil, I'm not complaining about a free oil change - all I have to pay for are a crush washer, oil filter and perhaps labor.

It looks like my goal of breaking the 57-second barrier with Aibo still in stock condition will have to wait.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The calm before the trip...

As I write this post I'm in Mav's bedroom. I'm sleeping here tonight because of the long-awaited Bohol trip tomorrow, and we have to leave for the airport by 3 am.

The funny thing about this is it still feels like the trip is weeks away and not tomorrow morning. Perhaps that's because Mav and I have been planning this for quite a long while now - about five months ago to be exact. I'm not psyched up about it. Rather I feel strangely calm.

We'll see if I'll be singing to a different tune when I get back on Saturday afternoon. Hahaha!

Until then, guys.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Beginning 2010 in a drunken stupor

People who know me well know that I don't drink much, especially the hard stuff. I'm more of a red wine kind of guy.

So you can imagine what happened to me when Uncle Butch sent in 750mL of Patron's finest "Silver" agave tequila for the consumption of me, my dad, Uncle Gerry, Uncle Joey and my cousin-in-law Miguel on Bianca's birthday.

In hindsight, I took it pretty well, I guess. I paced myself as best as I could. I can definitely say that tequila is not something to drink the same way one would drink wine or whiskey. You don't smell it, you don't check its "legs" (as they say in whiskey tasting), you don't let the flavor linger in your mouth. None of that gubbins. You take the shot glass and chug it down as quickly as you can, then hurriedly reach for a lemon or lime slice and lick some salt. You don't drink tequila to enjoy its taste - you drink it because you want to get drunk as quickly as you can!

And drunk did I get. I am perpetually afraid of reaching that humiliating point where I can no longer control myself, nor can I remember the events that transpired in any part of my life when I should really be fully conscious. All that happened was that I nursed a heavy cold weight in my head for a pretty long while, and my loud-by-default voice got even louder. Heck, I could even park Aibo in reverse back into our garage from the church parking lot across the street - inch-perfect.

At least that's all that happened while the party was still happening at my house. When all the guests left, I finally took to the sanctuary of my bed...and felt dizzy and ill. Fortunately for me it lasted only as long as the first piss I took in the toilet, which was about an hour later.

At least I now know my limit in the safest possible environs because I got drunk in my house, not somewhere I should be driving back home from.

Happy new year. *hic*