Just For Fun – Painting My Engine Rocker Cover

I’ve been doing some work on my car lately, fixing it up a bit, making it run better (that’s right, not only can I cook, sew, and dress incredibly well, I can also work on a car), and as everyone knows, red things go faster; so I decided to paint my engine.

20140424_104833 Look at it, a dull, flaking, black/gray; not very fast at all. My original plan was to take the cover off (easy enough, just four nuts and the spark plug cables removes), but that plan was ruined by the fact that it was stuck. I might have been able to pry it off (it was really stuck on there), but that would have completely ruined the gasket, and I don’t want to have to buy a new one. Enter Plan B.

 

 

 

 

20140424_121745

Plan B involved a whole lot of tape and newspaper, and means that I couldn’t get the back, and there is a cable across the top, but I could work around it. I degreased, sanded, and washed the top, and gave it a couple of coats of primer. After the primer, it was a couple of coats of red paint, and I filed back the logo to make it silver again.

 

 

 

 

20140424_143224

In addition to looking a lot better, the paint adds at least 35 Horsepower, and lowers my fuel consumption. If you do want to paint your engine, or most metal parts of the car that get hot, make sure that you use a high temperature paint.

Advertisements

5 Reasonably Priced Essentials – April 2014

No. 5 – The Winter Jacket

It’s starting to get pretty cold now, so it’s the perfect time to start looking at getting a new Winter jacket. This one by T.M. Lewin is stylish enough to actually wear with a dress shirt and trousers, and should keep you warm all Winter long.

Quilted Jacket by T.M. Lewin – $170

50860_alt1

T.M. Lewin is an all-around decent brand, and they market this as ‘a practical, all seasons, lightweight quilted jacket that sits perfectly over a suit or casual jacket’, and that sounds perfect for your everyday Winter wear. They also stock a navy version, but it is currently only available in two sizes; still, it looks just as good.

 

 

 

 

 

No. 4 – The Dress Shoes

A decent pair of black oxfords are a necessity. As far as reasonably priced and decent quality goes, my choice is Charles Tyrwhitt. I own three pairs of shoes from Charles Tyrwhitt, and for ~$200 each, they are well worth the cost; I doubt these would be an exception.

Black Oxfords by Charles Tyrwhitt – $199

CT Shoes

These shoes are made with a Goodyear Welt, and come in both regular and wide sizes, great for those with wider feet. Although the uppers are 100% leather, it is most likely corrected grain leather. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means that the leather has been painted and sanded in order to change the grain direction; this usually results in a stiffer and shinier leather. Again, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not preferable. The sole is also leather with a rubber heel for comfort, and, provided you take good care of the shoes, they should last you a long time. Overall, they are a reasonably priced and essential part of any wardrobe.

 

 

No.3 – The Sneakers

Every man should own at least one pair of all-purpose sneakers, the kind of shoes that you wear to the gym, or on a warm summer day with your shorts. As far as brands go, you can’t go past a pair of Vans.

Canvas Authentic – $45

EE332D-HERO

There’s not much I can say I can about these shoes; they have a canvas upper and a rubber sole, so in addition to being a stylish pair of shoes, they are also comfortable. I like the look of the dark blue canvas, but I’m also partial to the plain white; they come in 33 different colours, so there are plenty to choose from.

 

 

No.2 – The Blazer

Like I said up top, it’s starting to get colder, that means that you need a heavier blazer than you would during the warmer months, and for that, you can’t go past tweed.

Tweed Blazer by Uniqlo – $129

Tweed by Uniqlo

It’s a little bit shorter than I would usually recommend for most people, and it’s not 100% Wool (72% Wool, 28% Nylon), but for $129, I can compromise my values a little. It comes in three colours; dark grey, brown, and blue. I recommend the blue, but any of the options are good.

No.1 – The Pocket Square

No jacket breast pocket is complete without a pocket square; I’m all for fancy patterned silk pocket squares, but absolutely nothing beats the plain white cotton handkerchief. They go with virtually every outfit, and make you look like a hero when you selflessly offer it up to clean up a spill.

White Cotton Handkerchiefs – $6

A655757

I think $6 for a three pack of handkerchief is a pretty good deal, and I can tell you from personal experience that they are great at soaking up red wine from a wool sweater; just remember to not put the stained cloth back in your breast pocket.

 

 

 

 

 
Well, that’s my list for this month; if you have any suggestions for next month, or if you know of any products like the ones above but cheaper, let me know down in the comments below, and have a great day.

New Ties, Hair Product, and a Dive Watch

A second review of products from The Tie Bar, a review of Pete & Pedro Hair Cream, and my new Invicta Dive Watch (the one from my reasonably priced essentials list).

The Tie Bar

Navy – Double Striped  – $15

Navy Double StripeMy major concern with my last batch of ties from The Tie Bar was that it was a bit flimsy and lacked weight; this time, I purposefully chose a tie with a thicker weave, and all my complaints have vanished. The thicker weave adds weight and body to the tie, making it feel more substantial; it also doesn’t have the same scratchy coating that my last tie had (which was either from a stain-resistant coating, or from some form of screen printing). Overall, this tie is an incredible improvement over the last one (which was already good value for the money).

 

 

 

 

Solid Red – $15

Solid Red Weave

There is nothing that I can say about this tie that I haven’t already said about the one above. It is a great solid red tie, and one that should be in every wardrobe.

Danbury Plaid – Green Teal

Plaid Green Bow Tie

Diamond tipped bow ties are my favorite type of bow ties (they compliment my face shape the best), and this one was kind of an impulse buy. Still, I’m happy with this tie; it’s very thin, and the silk is a bit stiff, but it ties well, and looks great. The silk feels similar to the first tie I bought, in that it feels like it may be coated in something. Overall, I still definitely recommend the bow ties from The Tie Bar.

Overall

I probably said this in my last review, but The Tie Bar has an incredibly range of colours and patterns, and stocks neckties, bow ties, pocket squares, and a large range of accessories. All of it’s products are extremely reasonably priced for the quality, and it is an incredible resource for the gentleman looking to save money and still look great.

 

Pete & Pedro

Pete & Pedro Hair Cream

A while ago I did a review of Pete & Pedro Pomade, favourably comparing it to American Crew Pomade; this time, I’m covering something that I bought by mistake: the P&P Cream.

PPCream

The Hold: It says light hold on the tub, which was the reason I initially decided not to get it; I thought that it would be too light for my thick hair, but it turns out that it works well. It’s definitely lighter than the high hold pomade, but it still does a great job for day to day wear.

The Shine: It’s marketed as medium shine, and it does a decent job of it when applied to damp hair. If your hair is too dry then the shine is very minimal.

The Smell: Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe the way this smells. Pete & Pedro themselves came the closest to describing the scent:

Have you ever smelled a unicorn? Well, we have and the experience has inspired the creation of a scent that can only be described as the mystical marriage of essence of unicorn, the mild cleanness of your favorite body wash, and splash of “lem-o-nut” (If a lemon went out to a bar and picked up a coconut and the two made sweet, sexy love… the resulting aroma is known as “lem-o-nut”.)

Honestly, the scent alone is enough for me to use this cream on a daily basis.

Overall: The Pete & Pedro Cream is an excellent product, it works best on less structured hairstyles, but still does a decent job on more structures styles and thicker hair. Overall, it’s a great everyday product, and another fine example of the excellent work done by Pete & Pedro.

.

Invicta

Invicta 9204 – $54

Invicta 9204The watch is definitely inspired by the Rolex Submariner; the face and body are practically the same, with the only major difference being in the scalloped bezel, which was definitely inspired by the Omega Seamaster. The body is made from stainless steel, the crystal is mineral, it has a Japanese quartz movement, and it water resistant to 200 metres. The materials and mechanics are nothing special, but still come together to make a mid-range watch that is well worth the price.

From front on the watch looks incredible, the blue face and bezel are darker than they look in the picture, and are almost black in low light. The hands, hour indicators, and the dot on the bezel all glow in the dark, but don’t really last a significant amount of time. The crystal also has a date magnifier, and the date actually fills most of the window, unlike on lesser quality watches. The back side of the watch has “INVICTA” engraved on it, which is a bit ostentatious, bit it isn’t too bothersome.

Ultimately, it’s a stylish and functional piece that can be worn anywhere from the office to the ocean. Is it a top-of-the-line watch? No. It is, however, a great watch for the price, and one that I can definitely recommend.

Some Pictures

20140413_164656

Rubber Invicta tag with barcode on back.

20140413_164645

Inside the box. The packet in the top has instructions and warranty info.

20140413_164624

Bright yellow Invicta box

20140413_164308

Invicta logo on the back and links

20140413_164254

Invicta logo on the clasp

20140413_164146

Invicta logo on the side