MAHVIN the Mini

In 2008 I purchased a 1980 Morris Mini LE. It is still my dream car, and I love that I own one.

Since owning it, I have replaced just about everything on it with something newer and more reliable. That was the plan anyway.

In 2013, my brother and I put in a 1275 engine.

However, we never got it running right, and it still leaked oil like a sieve.


In 2018, I purchased a donor car with a Honda b16a VTEC engine. We set about dismantling the entire car, keeping what we needed for the transplant and ditching the rest.

We have begun work on the subframe, something that is key to get right in order to get the VTEC and the Mini working in unison.

In 2019, I finally figured out the name for my Mini. Starting off as Gherkin for it’s Spanish Olive Green paint job, I had it painted Gun Metal Silver in 2010, meaning the name didn’t stick. We tossed around a few names: Remmington, HiHo, The Silver Bullet; but none really stuck.

Now with the intention of installing the VTEC in it ourselves – a new name was needed. “Marvin the Mini” had a good ring to it, and I wanted to make it a bit more linked to the car than just that. I began thinking of different acronyms that could spell out MARVIN – given the V could be for VTEC. Being that we are a couple of amateurs when it comes to fabrication and mechanics, the name became “MAHVIN”, each letter standing for “Mini And Honda VTEC Integrated by Novices”.



Good Friday Cross, 2019

This year, we headed away with family and friends up to Ohakune. This made for a bit of a panic as I didn’t have my usual Good Friday day to create this year’s cross.

I was going to use a GPS tracker and an intersection to create a cross by walking, but ran out of time. That’s when I spotted some flax at the holiday home we were staying at. A quick Google search later and I had made my Good Friday Cross for 2019.


Howie Mandel Pushes for Mental Health Reform

We saw this video on Ellen today, in reaction to the recent Las Vegas shooting tragedy.

Howie makes several great points in this short interview, and provides a fresh perspective on events like this, but also for mental health and how it is treated. He expressed strongly his favoring in a change to nevada marijuana laws in the treatment of mental illness.
The most poignant part of the whole segment though is when the audience begins to chuckle, thinking he had made an off-the-cuff joke, and he stops them and puts them in their place. This highlights the issue; that so often mental health is a source for humour that the stigma will almost always be there, where its difficult to get people to take it seriously.


Nelson Holiday Trip 2017


Awake. 0645am. Drive. Ferry. 0900. Snooze. Sneeze. Block ear.

Picton. 1230 Lunch. Sea Breeze Cafe. Chicken Panini. Inclusion of capsicum gets thumbs up. Good chips. Walk around Picton. Overcast.

Drive. Nelson. Nodded off (not drastically) Whoops. 15min pitstop for kip. Arrive Nelson. 1600. Check in to apartment. Nice. Supermarket for Snacks etc.

Dinner. BK. Up to standard. Frozen Coke brain freeze. Sleep.




1030 Leave for Takaka Hill. Hawke Lookout. Wow. Reasonable drive up. Tried to find Lord of the Rings site. Unmarked so unknown; but we think we got it.

Drive down Takaka Hill. By far one of the top driving roads I have driven.

Farewell Spit 1320. Lunch. Pizza. Didn’t finish.

Drive back. Rabbit Island. Good beach. Few snaps. Back to apartment 1600.

Sunset shots. Good enough. You make your own luck.

Dinner. Settled for Lone Star. Late. Great Chicken though. Moist and succulent. Movie 2035. Wonder Woman. Average to Good. Sleep.



1100 start. Shopping. Lunch. Yello Cafe. Chicken panini. No capsicum. Not as good. Continue walk through town. Buy Lord of the Rings rings. Matching set. Outer engraving of elvish poem on wifey’s with lines 1 and 2. Inner engraving on mine with lines 3 and 4. Hopefully they fit together. Hear news of weather. Possible ferry cancellations until Friday (when we plan to return). Might be a full ferry I suspect.

Walk up Hill from Botanical Garden. 1500. “Centre” ofNew Zealand. Great view. Back to apartment. Rest. Snooze. Nap. 1830 Dinner. Speights Ale House. Great wait staff. Chicken Burger. Lovely. Dessert. Good. Back to apartment 2043. TV. Sleep.


1040 Supermarket lunch. Drive to St Arnaud. First time back since NLDC 2001 Stage 2 (Solo). Surprised at how much the drive to the lake hit me. Memories. Faces. Happenings. Failures. Even at the lake, it was powerful, and the nostalgia that set in. Quite glad I didn’t have to go out on the lake today. Very windy. Had lunch and reminisced on the very impactful part that this place had on me and my life 16 years ago. Found some spots from memory. Took photos. Went on a walk. Took more photos.

Checked into motel 1400.Enforced nap due to intermittent TV connection and high winds. Booked dinner at Alpine Lodge 1600. Visited general store and book borrowing box. No luck. Dinner 1830. Pizza. Filled a hole. Nice atmosphere. Motel. Sleep.

130717: THURSDAY


Checkout 1000. Visited visitor centre. one last trip to the lake for photos. Ice still covering the jetty. Left St Arnaud 1035. Went to see Bow. Not keen. Arrived Nelson 1145. Lunch at Styx across from apartment. Fish burger. Full. Put me off dinner. 1400 met with Vicky’s friend Lynaire. Good catch-up. 1600 received text that rings were ready. Collected rings shortly after. Back to apartment. TV. Dinner. TV. Sleep.

140417: FRIDAY


Pack up apartment. Left 1015. McDonalds Brunch because we would be on the road at traditional lunch time. Said goodbye to Nelson. Happy to have v3n, but not somewhere I’d recommend to anyone else to go visit. on road 1050. Arrive Picton 1215 with only one close call when overtaking. Boarded Ferry 1335. Departed 1438. 4m swells but largely unaffected. Delay at Wellington dock. Disembarked at 1935. Drove home, with a quick stop at Nando s for dinner. Home sweet home with awaiting furbabies 2008.


Google Map of our Travels


Keep Left Alright?



The amount of knobheads I’m seeing just coasting in the right hand lane of a two and even three lane motorway is staggering. The number of issues it causes goes to show the level to which society has become so self driven.

Drivers in the left lane, hereby referred to as the slow lane, come up to a meandering vehicle of various descriptions; old-lady, lorry, trailor tower, and look to overtake. However, knobhead in the right lane, hereby referred to as the fast lane, completely oblivious to the world around him has ensured little to no gap in the fast lane for said slow-laner to overtake.

Meanwhile from behind, legal driver in the slow lane, has caught up and has room to move into the fast lane behind said knobhead. He waits patiently as they pass the meandering vehicle, and sees the look of disgust on the person following it who has been denied the opportunity to move into the fast lane by said knobhead and continue on his journey.

This is but one example of this frustration causing driving. Today one person pulled into the right hand lane in front of me as I prepared to o we take a group of cars. I assumed this was to get over to the right turning lane ahead, as he certainly hadn’t gotten up to speed enough to overtake. I had to change lanes back in order to avoid his slow speed. But as I looked, he wasn’t turning right. He simply wanted to be in the right hand lane. The next right hand turn off was 4km down the road, which he took, but the traffic was hardly suggestive that he could have made that lane change at a later point.

The ones that get me are the ones who have moved into the fast lane for whatever reason, and have passed that one car, or have gone past the turn off, and continue driving in that lane. There’s no one around them. No one in front. No on in the slow lane. No one behind. But on they go, careening along in their own little one-lane-world.

Who cares Al? Who are they affecting? You said it yourself, no one is around, so what does it matter?

Well. It’s the law. It’s the rules. There’s many reasons for it so it’s not even an unreasonable rule.

The New Zealand Transport Agency states in the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 in Part 2.1 that

” (1)  A driver, when driving, must at all times drive as near as practicable to the left side of the roadway unless this rule otherwise provides.

(2)  If a driver’s speed, when driving, is such as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, that driver must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, move the vehicle as far as practi- cable to the left side of the roadway when this is necessary to allow following traffic to pass.

(3)  A driver may drive in the right lane in the direction of travel when driving on a multi-lane road

  • (a) the driver is turning right, or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, and is giving the prescribed signal of that driver’s intention to turn right; or
  • (b)  the driver is passing; or
  • (c)  the left lane is unavailable to the driver; or
  • (d)  the driver is required by any provision of this rule to drive in the right lane; or
  • (e)  a variable lane control downward-facing arrow sign indicates that the driver must drive in the right lane; or
  • (f)  the driver is avoiding an obstruction; or
  • (g)  the traffic in all other lanes is congested; or
  • (h)  the traffic in every lane is congested.

In the help section it says that “The emphasis is now on keeping left unless you have a good reason, eg you are turning right, passing another or the left lane is blocked. Previously, the regulations focused on not impeding other road users.”

This is makes driving in the fast lane when it is not necessary illegal, as is the likes of breaking the speed limit.

Yet while millions is poured into speed radars, speed cameras and vans to catch speeders, very little is done for those that clog up the fast lane.  I can tell you now though, I don’t need any high-tech camera or radar to tell me if someone is in the fast lane unnecessarily. Policing this is as easy as driving the motorways and opening your eyes. Of course, getting the infringers to actually pull over may be another challenge in itself!

I’m not for a second suggesting that driving in the fast lane is a high cause of fatalities that the likes of speed is responsible for, but I can say that it raises frustration levels, causes people to make quick decisions, perform manoeuvres they shouldn’t have to make such as undertaking, or squeezing into gaps that are far too small because of the inconsiderate choice of others, and otherwise causing the potential of accident occurrences to increase.

I know change is hard for some people. But seriously. Change lanes.

Keep left unless you are overtaking.

You don’t lose man points for driving in the slow lane.
It also doesn’t mean you’re slow, just like tt doesn’t make you macho if you drive in the fast lane.
It doesn’t make you better in anyway.
Move over.

Don’t be a knobhead.


Guitar Templates PSD – Photoshop




TEMPLATE – Stratocaster – BODY ONLY


TEMPLATE – Stratocaster – FULL










  • These Photoshop files have been made by importing 1:1 scale drawings from PDF into Photoshop full size and then copying out the parts to each layer. There are NO guarantees that these will be exact; but they should be pretty accurate for your design needs.
  • Each PSD file was made using Photoshop CS5.1. Maximise compatibility is turned on for each file. There are no guarantees that the PSD document will open in your particular version of Photoshop. There is no harm in trying.
  • No support is given for these files.


Please comment below if you notice and problems with the designs, or if you have any suggestions for improvements or features you want to see in future versions of these files.


Pixel Measure – Photoshop Script

Over the last couple of days I’ve been developing a few templates on Photoshop to help assist with the guitar designing process. One of the factors I needed to have was the ability to quickly add dimension labels to the drawings. Whilst Photoshop CS5.1 has a great measurement tool, it doesn’t display labels on the design.

Pixel Measure

So, through a variety of Google searches, I found Pixel Measure; a little script that can be added to Photoshop to create dimension labels.

Luckily, someone had already ported it to GitHub Gist, and so I made a copy to develop it a little more.

View the modified Pixel Measure


The original script outputs the dimension in pixels using the foreground colour.

What I wanted to be able to do is to define what the dimension measurement should be. By default, the script outputs the dimension in pixels.

But what if I need to show the dimensions in inches, or millimeters? Surely this could be set by using the unit set on the rulers in Photoshop.

Within the first few lines of code is the description of my addition.


// by @alingham
// Adding Measurement options into the script. Still produces the dimension line in pixels, but changes the label to be in 
// Inches or Millimeters or Pixels (default) depending on the original unit of measurement set on the ruler in Photoshop. 

The Code

The code below is what makes the magic. Essentially it runs a little bit of maths using the document resolution. We take the width or height of the selected area in pixels, and divide it by the resolution of the document (usually 72, but does vary, so preferable to use the value set by the document). The resolution is given as DPI, or Dots Per Inch. The dots (or pixels) of the length we want measured is then divided as per the DPI, giving us the number of inches. We round that value to 2 decimal places.

To work out Millimeters, we just need to multiply this value by 25.4; the number of millimeters in an inch.

Line 124 onwards shows the added code:

//Get Measurement from Ruler, and Resolution from Document
    if (document === undefined) {
            var document = app.activeDocument;

        var resolution = document.resolution;
	if (originalUnit == "Units.INCHES") {
		var dimensionwidth = width/resolution;
		var dimensionheight = height/resolution;
		var unit = "in";
	else if (originalUnit == "Units.MM") {
		var dimensionwidth = (width/resolution)*25.4;
		var dimensionheight = (height/resolution)*25.4;
		var unit = "mm";
	else if (originalUnit == "Units.CM") {
		var dimensionwidth = (width/resolution)*2.54;
		var dimensionheight = (height/resolution)*2.54;
		var unit = "cm";
	else {
		//default pixels (PX)
	    var dimensionwidth = width;
	    var dimensionheight = height;
	    var unit = "px";
		textItemRef.contents = dimensionwidth.toFixed(2) + " " + unit;
		textItemRef.justification = Justification.CENTER;
		textItemRef.position = Array(Math.floor(x1 + (width/2)),y1+21);
		textItemRef.contents = dimensionheight.toFixed(2) + " " + unit;
		textItemRef.position = Array(x1+15,Math.floor(y1 + 4 + (height/2)));

Go to Gist on GitHub now to see the script.


Good Friday Cross 2016

Each year I make a cross on Good Friday. I have done since sitting on the shores of Lake Rotowiti in 2000 while on ‘Solo’ with Boys’ Brigade National Leadership Development Course.

This year, I decided I would make the cross using only code. Ultimately this wasn’t that hard, but telling the story within the code took a little longer.

It is Finished.

Good Friday Cross 2016

<!--See from his hands, his-->
<meta name="keywords" content="his feet"/>
<title>Sorrow and Love</title>
<!-- Flow mingled dowm-->
<meta name="description" content="Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?"/>
/*His */body {
/*stretched out wide*/ width:100%; /*from fingertip to fingertip*/
<!--And on his-->
<!-- A crown of thorns
This is my-->
<body class="broken for you">
<div class="blood poured out">
<span class="for the sins of all">
<!-- on the cross -->
/*red sky turned a*/ 
border:1px solid black;
display:block;margin:0 auto;
/* forgiven */
width:70px /*times seven*/;
/*Lights*/ .out, /* covered */ .all, .the /* earth */{
/* temple curtain torn from */
/* to */ bottom:0;
/*He breathed*/ .for .the /*last time*/ {
content: "It is Finished";
width:0px;height:120px;display:block;margin:0 auto;border:1px solid #000;margin-top:-37px;