Big Changes

Big things have happened in my life recently. For those of you who are out of the loop here is the quick catch up.

  • I’ve moved to Auckland
  • I’ve left STM
  • I’ve resurrected my own business
  • I’ve partnered with Andre (STM) and embarked on a new project.

For those of you who would like a bit more detail…

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Moved to Auckland

That’s right, I’ve moved to Auckland. After spending an overwhelming majority of my life living in Wellington, I’m now a Jafa. A pink shirt wearing, espresso sipping, Apple computing, lane swerving, Jafa, to be fair I was most of those things before the move, so I fit right in.

The main motivator for the move is my partner’s(Genevieve’s) career. Mind you, I’ve always wanted live in Auckland but the stars never aligned till now.

After a brief stay in the CBD, we have settled into a nice house in Newmarket and so far so good. Our house is in walking distance to everything you need, gym, cafe, bars, shops and the train station. There is even a little back yard for the cat.

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Left STM

After 5 years of service I’ve handed in my resignation at STM. Working for the best performance workshop  was a great opportunity, I look back at everything I’ve done and everything the STM team has achieved and I’m a little blown away. I’ll have to write a post about my time at STM at some stage.

Now I didn’t get away completely scot-free. I’ll still be heavily involved in STM’s marketing and business development for the foreseeable future, which I couldn’t be happier about.

Resurrected my old Business

Some of you may remember my business Refresh Online Media which I ran before I started work at STM. Refresh Online Media was essentially me designing websites, taking photos and running Ignition Magazine. To enable me to contract my services back to STM I’ve brought it back from the dead.

Next year sometime I’ll be looking for a few more freelance, marketing consulting clients.

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New Exciting Project

This is the piece of news that I’m most excited to shout about. Andre and I have teamed up to teach the world to tune. We are in the process of producing a series of high quality tuning lessons to be delivered as part of an online course.

Our first course is based on STM’s highly successful and wildly popular classroom EFI tuning training course, it teaches fundamental tuning principles, these are a collection of concepts that we feel are too often overlooked. The benefits of delivering the course online are numerous, international appeal, no travel costs, learn at your own pace to name a few. The online nature of the course will also allow us to provide a supportive community and follow up support to students as they start applying what they have learnt in real life situations.

This is something that both Andre and I have literally been talking about for years, I’m really happy we now have the opportunity to see it through.

So there you have it. That is what’s up.

What to get me for Christmas

I’m a pretty particular kind of guy and I’ve been told shopping for me is a bit of a pain. To make Christmas time easy for everyone in my life, here is a list of “Ben Approved” gifts. You might also find this list useful if you are trying to buy presents for someone else who shares similar tastes. All the links go to an online shop, easy as!

The Elevation iPhone Dock, in matteblack – $89USD

The JawBone handsfree mobile wireless speaker – $199 USD

Bodum Pavina Latte Glasses – $24.95 NZD

Belroy Hide and Seek Wallet, in black – $89 AUD

The KeyBird house key blank, KW1 Style,  $8.99 USD

Nike Fuel Band, in Black – $149 USD

Cafe Cocoa Shaker, in black or red – $19.95 NZD

The Plank – a iPhone and key holder – $24.99 USD

Rocket Espresso Cups, in black – $79 NZD (Set of Two)

FreeKey Keyring System –  $6.95 USD

Mortar & Pestle – $24.95

Hard Graft iPhone Wallet Plus, smoke in colour – $75 GBP

Stainless Steel Sharpie – $5.98 USD

16kg Kettle Bell – $109NZD

Benriner Turner Slicer – $73.95 USD

Secret Door My Childhood Dream

Dear fully all the way grown up, home owner me; your house MUST have a secret door. Thanks
– Partly grown up me.

Ps: you can buy a door here.

Power Moves – Phones, Headphones, Fast Cars and Snowboarding

Welcome to ‘Power Moves’ part deuce, this time I sit down with Jasper Chung and shoot the shit. I’ve known Jasper since high school, our paths first crossed while competing in a downhill mountain biking competition over the years we have continued to shared similar interests, cars, snow, hip hop, balla status shaving products, video editing, design and the like.

Note Jasper is the talent behind the STM video intro.

Without further ado here is the list of random awesome we spoke about last Saturday night over gin and tonics, Sapporo and Mac n Cheese. Oh and Genevieve and Brittney are here too, talking about boob, jobs Kim and Kanye while sipping on Villa Maria.

  • G has recently broken her beloved iPhone, she is looking to fix it with some replacement glass and a sweet golden surround.

  • Recently Jasper got himself a Subaru STi Forester, he attributes the purchase to the video below.
  • Following along the broad transport theme Brittany, is involved in designing the interior of the new Auckland EMU Train project. Go her!
  • Genevieve is getting a pimple.
  • We got talking about the old HP commercials and how some design institute in New Zealand poorly imitated the concept.
  • Jasper bought up the Holden Captiva commercial and how it’s a blatant shot for shot copy of the Forza Motorsport Autovista.  Even the sounds are the same.
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  • We then got to talking about some really fast cars, check out the Venom from Hennessey Performance which thrashes a Bugatti to 200MPH. Venom 0 – 200 mph in 15.9 sec. (Bugatti Veyron = 24.2 sec.).
  • On another note, doesn’t Steven Taylor look like a chick? Check the photo below from the Venom GT site and you decide!

  •  We spoke for a while on how low you can go and still maintain without your car becoming a pain in the arse. It was the classic form vs function debate.
  • Jasper gave props to my Friend Taryn’s MX5 and the photos I did for Hella Flush. Thanks 🙂
  • G and I have recently purchased a Toyota bB, which is sold in the States as a Scion xB. Scion have a really interesting marketing strategy called “Scion Tuner Challenge” It’s a cool concept.  Anyway when G and I visited Sema last year one of the entries was the Pit Boss Cartel i2, imagine having this at the track, boss indeed.  Jasper described this as a dude magnet.

  • Right back on to the supercar buzz, we spoke about AMS and their Alpha packages for the Nissan R35 GTR. Side note: The guys at AMS were nice enough to take us out to dinner at Tau when were in Vegas, cheers guys!  The Alpha 10 package starts at $63k USD not including labour which seems like a bunch of money, but when you consider you can pick up a stock R35 GTR for about $85kNZD and add the Alpha 10 Package for less than $100k NZD you would be blowing the doors off Bugatti Veyrons all day for under $200k NZD
  • On the same page, this photo blows me away every time I look at it.  Underground Racing have 1000hp+ upgrade packages for all sorts of exotic super cars

  • Speaking of awesome garages, Joe’s Garage down on Tory Street is awesome, I’ve gone there the last couple of weekends had a great coffee and stole their wifi. My favorite drink at the moment is a chocolate coffee milkshake, it’s killer.
  • Jasper spends his days creating great videos and films, so he knows whats “hawt”. He loves the sweet edits in these drag racing videos from Drag Times Info.
  • When you are working on a video for up to 70hours a week you need a good set of headphones. When in the market for new gadget Jasper is one of those guys who spends hours of reading reviews and scouring the internet for the best option. On his search he found a crazy amount of headphones endorsed by rappers. Got any more to add to the list?
    1. Luda – http://soulelectronics.com/en/
    2. 50 Cent – http://www.smsby50.com/
    3. Dr Dre – http://beatsbydre.com/
    4. Rza –  http://wesc.com/stuff/wesc-x-rza-chambers-by-rza-3
  • After relentless searching he scored himself a pair of Audio Technica M50s which have no rapper endorsement. They provide great studio quality monitoring and unlike my Beats by Dre provide absolutely no sound leakage.
  • I got sick of skin irritation after shaving, while I was in the States last year found a shop that sells products dedicated to better shave. Shave like a boss with the awesome range products from ‘Art of Shaving‘.

  • We spoke about Kick Starter, for those of you who don’t know its a social funding platform. Jasper and I first heard  about it after finding Cineskates. More recently there was a very popular iPhone dock project. The company aimed to raise $75k but ended up with $1.5m. How is that for the power of community? Now the “investors” are complaining about late delivery, I’m of the opinion they need to pipe down or help out, Kickstarter is an investment tool not a store front.
  • Japser just bought his awesome cat Ruby a cat bed, I wish these came in human size, how comfortable does that look!

  • Until I got my Casio G-Shock I wasn’t a ‘watch guy’ at all. Since then though I’ve been really into watches, there are some amazing timepieces out there. Check out this HYT Fluid Luxury Watch.

  • As some of you will know I plan to snowboard for at least 10 days this year. Jasper will be my boarding buddy for at least a few of those. We both decided we need helmets although both for different reasons neither because we are hardcore. Jasper doesn’t like beanies and I reckon I’ll bail attempting to dismount the chair.
Has anyone got any recommendations? We have been looking at the following:
  • Speaking of hitting the snow, check out Jon Olsson’s blog, the guy is an awesome Skier. (He is the guy that drifts his Audi & Lambo in the snow). I’m really impressed with his sponsor list too; Audi, Redbull, Douche Bag to name a few. He has recently posted up a bunch of Gumball 3000 shots that are worth a look.
  • Final point. One of Jaspers work mates edited, produced and stared in the following Wellington skate video. Check it out.

That’s all folks. Until next time.

5 things I’m really excited about right now!

5 things I’m really excited about right now!

  1. Driving my new Toyota bB (more info to come)
  2. My first official ski season as a Snowboarder
  3. My new business venture (more info to come)
  4. Throwing a sound system and some wheels on the bB (more info to come)
  5. Moving to Auckland (more info to come)

What’s exciting you at the moment?