A lot of people are surprised to find out that this website is run by an individual, not some corporation. That individual is me; Aaron Cake. Yes indeed, my last name is actually "cake" and it is not some sort of nickname. I'm not big on writing about myself but it may be interesting to some who is behind this website.
Starting at the basics, I'm about 5' 11" tall with a slender build. Skinny, perhaps. I try to remain active as much as possible whether that is working in my shop, riding my bike or doing other outdoor activities. My hair started life as a very light blonde (almost white), has been black, but has over the past decade or so settled to brown. I guess very shortly I'll start to be seeing gray.
I live in London, Ontario, Canada and currently don't have any plans to go anywhere else. Whether this changes in the future I can't say for certain. I would be very reluctant to leave Canada where a person can enjoy a quality of life probably not rivalled anywhere in the world, but the time may come when I need a change. If so, then I'd be heading to the other side of the world, likely to Australia. Such a large area of land with so few people appeals to me and is an extension of the under-crowding that one finds in Canada. It certainly doesn't help that I am a huge rotary engine enthusiast and Oz is a Mecca of rotary.
Since I graduated high school in 1999 I have been working for a local computer store. My job includes networking, service work, programming and nearly anything else to do with computers. It's not your typical boring computer shop, and we are not a retail store. Mostly we service small and medium businesses with some residential work thrown in for good measure. Much of my job consists of on-site service mainly in the London area with occasional trips out of town. Sometimes I am up in the Toronto area, have been as far East as Kingston and as far NE as Peterborough. I do quite enjoy my job and there are some days where I joke that I would do it for free. However like any job, there are good days and bad days. And in the computer field when it is a bad day, it is a really bad day (think 4AM database restores, Sunday afternoon server crashes and server room floods).
I had originally planned to take a year off from school after graduating high school but that didn't happen. Loathing school as much as I do, it was perhaps naive to think that I would go back after a year of freedom. My life has worked out fine so far without any post secondary education and I can't imagine going back to school now. If for no other reason then to receive a piece of paper that says I graduated, but not necessarily any more knowledge. I have been toying with the idea of getting some welding certifications just out of interests sake and for something to fall back on, should the unexpected happen.
My interests are fairly varied, but all come back to a basic technical theme. I am interested in computers whether it be building them, using them, or programming them. Programming though is not really something I do very often as I need to be in the right mood and I'm not keen on sitting behind a computer screen for hours at a time. Oddly, at home I spend very little time with computers past surfing the Net, working on this website or answering email because I work on them day in and day out at work. I'm sort of at the point in my life when I'm not looking towards computers as a hobby and just expect my home computers to work. My interest in computers started in early grade 5, which as of 2010 is just about 18 years. Starting in late elementary school and throughout highschool I was heavily involved as electronics as a hobby but have since mostly lost interest in it. My life became so saturated with electronics related things that it blew away much of my interest by sheer overload. I still do enjoy the occasional electronics project but at this point my electronics is fairly limited to automotive related topics such as wiring up EFI systems (the MegasSquirt is a good example).
Electronics gave way (and at the same time lead the way) to my current hobby, the Mazda RX-7 and other rotary engine vehicles. I currently own one RX-7, purchased when I was 19 as my first car. It is an '86 base model that at this point I have heavily modified. These modifications have touched every aspect of the car, concentrating mainly around performance. The last time I ran the car on the dyno it was putting out "only" 400 RWHP but now is just over 500 RWHP according to more boost and my calibrated butt-dyno. The RX-7 has been an ongoing project over the past 9 years and a huge part of my life. My next project is my 1976 Mazda RX-5 Cosmo which will be getting a restoration as well as some mile performance and styling mods. The Cosmo is exceedingly rare in North America, with an estimated 56 sold in 1976. Mine is a little rough, but solid overall and will make a nice casual project. In the past I have owned a number of other RX-7s; an '86 GX, a '78 GSL (my winter beater, picture to the right) and an '84 GSL-SE.
My daily driver is a 2000 Honda Insight. The Insight is the "original" gas/electric hybrid and still the mileage king (by far) of all the hybrids out there. With little effort the car returns 65-75MPG in the city, and well above 75 MPG (often tipping into the high 90s) on the highway. I have owned the car since 2003 where I purchased it from a local Honda dealer. It was their demo car with almost no mileage on it and it became mine for what I would consider a reasonable price. Driving the Insight is always an entertaining experience and it is every bit as fun as my RX-7, though for different reasons. The only thing is that you can't be shy when driving an Insight as the car attracts a lot of attention. My future plans for the car are to leave it mostly stock with the exception of a new paint job. The factory silver is just so boring. Metallic lime green? Maybe... During the summer, many Friday nights I can be found at the drag strip and whenever possible I try to get out to an autocross.
One of the random weird activities I enjoy is playing Laser Quest. It's a live action laser tag game, and actually quite enjoyable. I was even a member of the team that went to Colorado in the fall of 2001 and played in the North America Challenge. Sadly, we sucked quite impressively but it was still a lot of fun (and Colorado Springs is a great place, I need to go back again). These days I don't play as much as I used to.
All my life I have been building various projects, from mulchers, to scooters, go-karts and even hovercrafts. I just finished a 1000W 48V all aluminum electric scooter to replace my electric Razor scooter and I'll get details of that build on this website soon. My next project will probably involve a home made jet engine made from an old turbocharger. It's something I have been wanting to play around with for a few years and I have quite a few old turbos around.
For the past year, a friend and I have leased a small shop where we now have space to play with our cars and other projects in a much more suitable environment then a driveway. It's quite a nice way to get away from everything else. I'd say we are fairly well equipped with basic fabrication tools including the essentials like a metal cutting band saw, MIG and TIG welders and a wide selection of hand/power tools.
The above being my major hobbies, over the years I've been interested in quite a few things. I enjoyed skiing in my early teens but kind of got out of it as frankly there aren't a lot of places to really ski around London. I've been shooting archery since I was in elementary school, which lead to rifle sometime around grade 10. While I don't do either as much anymore due to other hobbies I will certainly take up both once again when I have the time and can justify making the investment in new equipment.
My current favourite television shows include The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Chopper, Daily Planet, Chuck, Dollhouse and various other shows along those lines. As what seems to happen to every television show eventually, most of my all-time favourite shows have been cancelled. These include Forever Knight, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Secret Life Of Machines. Those latter three shows (perhaps with the exception of Forever Knight) ran their course, but am I the only one getting fed up with the current trend of introducing compelling shows only to cancel them after one or two seasons? Case in point: Blade The Series, jPod, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse (on the chopping block right now) and Reaper. Yeah, several of those are casualties of Fox which after Dollhouse ends will no longer have my viewership because I am sick of liking a show only to find it dumped a year later. In general I don't normally go for the mindless crap on TV so I make good use of my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 PVR to customize my viewing experience and avoid the commercials.
As for music, my tastes vary widely but I'm very specific when I find something I like. Generally that means I'm open to anything with the exception of Rap/Hip-hop, Country and Pop. Normally I listen to specific tracks instead of whole albums. I'm pretty selective in the music I listen to. If anyone asks me what my favourite band is, my usual answer is Rammstein. I seem to have more of their music than any other. Heavy industrial and/or goth metal is just perhaps my favourite, and also happens to be perfect driving music.
I've had a few pets over the years, including various fish, a gerbil, some snakes, a whole lot of mice and random insects. My favourite animal is the mouse. My least favourite animal is the human. In the great animal debate I choose dogs over cats though I don't have any sort of problem with cats. Dogs are just more my style and far easier to form a kinship with (after all, it is nearly genetic that people seek out dogs and vice versa). There is an ongoing joke between my friends and family that I have some mystical power with dogs because every dog in the world with the exception of two (you know who you are) seems to love me. As more and customers are bringing their animals to work, I find myself almost always covered in dog hair and my face is often thoroughly licked. Ironically, I don't think I could have a dog myself simply because I don't have the time necessary to take care of one.
One can say that I'm antisocial and in many ways that is quite true. I am very selective in the people I hang out with, and thus, I have a small yet important group of friends. Around those I know, I am charismatic, funny and a great friend (if I may say so myself). Around strangers and the typical "normal" person I may appear awkward because in many cases, there is little common ground for an understanding to form as there is with my friends. Many are put off by my heavy sarcasm and dark sense of humor including the ability to make a joke out of anything. Anything. When I go out I prefer it to be with a single friend or small group as it is not really about what you are doing, but who you are with. Is that not the point of a friendship? I've been single for a while and will be for the foreseeable future. Relationships in the past have been fun but right now I'm not really interested in doing that again unless something very special happens.
In the past I may have described myself as mean, but I don't necessarily think that is accurate. What is a better description of me is "direct". In that sense I am brutally honest, an approach which most people are not comfortable around. My basic philosophy of life is "people are stupid", which seems to be proved again and again by the events of the world. Not a day goes by when human ignorance does not seem to make a major negative impact upon the world, yet strangely few people even really realize the problem. It is entirely too depressing for words and best not dwelt upon. While this may seem to be an arrogant attitude, and indeed, I may seem like an arrogant jackass, it's only because I pride myself on knowing the facts on what I'm talking about. Long ago I acquired the habit of keeping my mouth shut unless I actually know what I'm saying and can speak authoritatively on the subject. This makes me seem like a know-it-all, but I wish more people would take this approach.
I believe that reporters should be fined when they make mistakes and present misinformation.
I'm not a huge food junkie in the sense that I have a fairly selective diet. But this is only because I have tried other foods and have always been disappointed. I'm a big fan of pasta which makes up most of what I eat. Spaghetti, Rigatoni, La Sagna, Raviolla, etc. are the staples of my diet. In the past I ate a fair amount of fast food but these days only have it when necessary or convenient. While I look like a skinny guy, I eat quite well, trying to have a big lunch and even bigger dinner every day. I'm a meat eater without a doubt; hamburgers, pork chops, steak, ribs, etc. are my typical choices. My favourite restaurant is a small Italian place in London called Tony's Famous Italian restaurant. Without question, this is the best Italian restaurant in London and indeed, probably in Ontario. My favourite fast food restaurant is the evil empire; McDonalds. I also tend to frequent East Side Marios, Montanna's and Swisss Chalet. Sticking to the larger corporate chains is safer when out of town because I know I'll always get a meal I like.
My most favourite movie is Contact. Other favourites include the Back To The Future Trilogy, Fight Club (I like Marla), The Terminator series and The Matrix.
And that's me in a nuthsell.
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