March 25, 2009


It has been quite a while since the last time I wrote something here.
My work is keeping me rather busy. Last week was my 1st anniversary with GE. Nothing special of course, but it did give me some things to reflect on.
One of those things is that I'm still not used to the way people communicate where I work now. It seems less straight forward, so regularly I need top have lengthy discussions, and even arguments before we find out that actually we are on the same page. Having been there for a year now, it seems that is still happening.

On the good side, we actually got a bonus this year! That's quite something since I haven't had any form of bonus for 5 years, despite exemplary performance prior to GE. I decided to use it to o somewhere far away again ^_^.
Actually, I also was planning to buy a new lens. Unfortunately car issues prevented me from doing so. My Nissan had a rubbing brake, and the garage established that the piston almost fell out of the caliper! Having damaged the brake disc, this meant replacing discs and pads on the front as well, on top of the brake caliper that needed to be replaced, totaling a bill of 330 GBP (I decided to do an oil change as well while I was at it, but at over 40GBP I won't be doing that again!).
Then I decided to start using my Celica again. Having been too lazy in selling it (and thank god for that because with my luck with cars I need at least one if not more backup cars!!!). In any case, it had been standing still for 5 months or so, so had to jump start it. Then I wanted to do the brakes on that one, but decided to first check the coolant. And as expected the garage in Sneyd park that I used to use, had not replaced the coolant like I asked them at the time! The coolant was rust brown and muddy, so I spend a whole day flushing the whole engine, cooling system, and cabin heat system! Then, after spending 12 hours on the internet trying to find out if Halfords' advanced coolant (red) was compatible with Toyota's 4 life coolant (also red) I managed to restore the cooling system to normal operation. As a side note, the engine never over heated on me (touch wood). Then I followed with an oil change which turned out to be quite necessary!
The weekend after I decided to change the brakes myself. I got some parts from ebay to find that the front pads did not fit. I thought this was a fault of the seller. But not so. turns out the celica can have another set of pads (I;m talking non-GT4 Celicas here, which would otherwise make 3 different sets). So after a trip to halfords, I tried the new pads, and guess what: no fit! So what the hell is going on???
I did some research (again 12 hours minimum behind a crappy pc) and found the right brake pads. They're not celica's though... Turns out my Celica has twin pot calipers like an MR2, and MR2 pads would fit perfectly!
I've ordered new pads on ebay and am waiting for those to come in. Hopefully this weekend I can complete the work on my Celica. Then I get it in for an MOT check before the current one runs out. If it passes without too many issues (Im still expecting 100-200 GBP to get it road worthy, which hopefully I can do myself.).
If it does pass, I will start modding it slightly. Nothing too flashy. A standard Celica spoiler (they're small and subtle), and some light changes internally (again nothing flashy, just brightening things up). And maybe this summer I will have the dent in the back repaired! It does need a grill n front of the radiator. Originally it doesn't have anything there, but I think it is wise to put some aluminium mesh in front of it. It'll look good too!

hold on... I ran out of beer. be right back...


Last weekend I finally received new print paper. It took a long time to get, as I ordered it at the beginning of January, but last week it finally arrived. The paper is at 330gsm extremely thick, and at 30 meters rather long! Needless to say it does not fit the spindles on my printers. However, a stanley knife can easily cut off A3+ pieces. The paper is very bright and glossy and seems to partner very well with my Lyson Daylight Darkroom ink set. I printed out this picture of a bald head eagle (which I took in Holland last x-mas). And wow! simply stunning! the print I have in a warm tint, and is slightly darker than the pic you see here, but boy, am I blown away! You know, sometimes I'm even amazing myself!

Hopefully soon I can make some time to post more of my images of last winter...

Something sad now. Today I received an email from one of my respected ex-colleagues Martin, from Airbus. he was so kind to inform me of something very sad. One of our mutual colleagues, Leigh, has passed away over the weekend. Apparently Leigh had a severe asthma attack from which he did not recover. Leigh has been a great colleague. Always eager to help, and a social friend. He also tried to help me get a position with Airbus China in Tianjin. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and I wish them lots of strength in these tough times. Rest easy my friend.