Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Friday, July 29, 2005

It's Moving Day!

This was the CLEAN side of the U-haul

Last night I picked up our sexy Diesel Ford F350 U-Haul, with 230,486 kms and drove it approximately 150 feet to our house.

Around 7 p.m. friends started showing up to fill the truck with our possessions. After the Picasso and Rembrandt were safely wrapped with bubble wrap, we ran into a little snag that we were not expecting. By 10 p.m. the truck was bursting at the seams - and our house was still full of furniture.

How do two people accumulate so much stuff living in a 950 sq. ft. bungalow? It seemed like the more we packed things up, the more stuff appeared. Our house wasn't full before, so how come it's even MORE full when half our stuff is on the truck?

The answer: a black hole.

We have an extraordinary phenomenon happening right inside our house. The black hole in our living room was directly linked to another black hole at the back of the U-Hood, which I nicknamed it, after we discovered the gang graffiti all over it.
"Poo Stab"

The more boxes & furniture we piled into the truck, the more appeared in our house, via the black hole. By the time we finished loading the U-Hood, our main floor was so crammed with stuff we couldn't move. Around 9:30 p.m., with the truck full, and our house full, someone gave the order, "start moving things back into the house." Yep, that's right.

With some clever rearranging of our collection of Easter Island Heads, we were able to fit the last few pieces back in the house.

"Tomorrow's another day" I think I heard someone declare. Or maybe not. I may have imagined it while I was wearily slapping the padlock on the back door of the U-Hood. I boxed the truck into our driveway using 2 of our cars, and went to sleep, chained to the bumper, dreaming of Moving Day Part II.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Breyers Ice Cream Update

altered to protect the guilty

Yesterday I received a piece of mail from the mail-lady.

With trembling hands I opened my letter as quickly as I could. The paper was thick and white. The letterhead was very pretty, with all sorts of bright colourful logos across the top.

After my sight returned, I read the letter, which addressed my complaint about their new double-churning process. The nice folks at Good Humor-Breyers even admitted that the taste of their Cookies & Cream Ice Cream was different, "You are correct that our new Breyers Naturally Flavoured Ice Cream does taste different." This was not a standard form letter stating they were sorry I didn't like their ice cream. They actually explained things to me, as if I had a brain!

The letter, written by Ms. Dougherty, informed me that Breyers had done a research study back in 2004 and discovered that "...the majority of Canadians prefer a creamier textured ice cream."

I wish I could have been part of that ice cream study! They would ask me, "sir, how do you like this ice cream?" and I would reply, "Hmm. I'm not sure. Let me try it again." Boy, what a good day that would be.

The letter also explained that they valued my opinion, and would be passing along my comments to their marketing department, in an effort to constantly improve their products.

Attached at the bottom was a super awesome coupon emblazoned with more bright logos for all the various kinds of ice cream I was allowed to purchase, for free, up to a whopping $9.00! I've received coupons from companies before, but I was completely impressed by the very high value of this particular coupon. I will post another update once I decide which kind of ice cream to buy.

Note to the Breyers Research Team: If you need Canadians for more ice cream studies, I'm available 24/7/365.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Is SmartCar a Smart Choice?

The Smartcar Fortwo... idiots

In a word, no. But it depends. I'll let you be the judge.
Consider the following, before wasting your hard-earned money.

Firstly, the SmartCar Fortwo is a 2-seater car with almost zero luggage space according to their own website. And there's nothing wrong with that if you intend to treat the car like a motorcycle with a sidecar. But the environmentally conscientious should stop reading now, as this car is more suited towards the poseur environmentalist.

Think it's just for running errands around town, maybe a little grocery shopping? Think again. There's no space for groceries, especially if you have someone in the passenger seat. The trunk only has room for "two small shopping bags" according to the Smart Car website, and with no spare tire, a nail or construction debris blowing the tire out could leave you completely stranded.

I hear what you're saying.... "Waitaminit - There must be something special about the car. The engine? The amount of pollution it creates?" Sorry, wrong again. If you thought it was created by an environmentally proactive company with an electric or hybrid engine, the wool has been pulled over your eyes. The engine is nothing more than a 3-cylinder diesel. That's right, a common diesel engine. That point alone should make you sit up and say "Wha?!?" or even "Zha?!?"

41 hp / 60 mpg

The 2005 Honda Insight, a gasoline/electric hybrid, is still the most fuel efficent car in North America, despite what the SmartCar website says. For the same price as the 'Passion' SmartCar, you get better mileage, more luggage space, and a better warranty, not to mention 26 more ponies.
In a bare-knuckled match, the Insight reigns supreme.
67 hp / 66 mpg (manual)

What's fun about the SmartCar is that the plastic body panels can be popped off, and replaced with another colour. It's a very customizable car which totally appeals to me. Mercedes claims that 80% of the Smartcar is made from recyclable materials. This seems like the company's saving grace. But, like all other cars, it is still made from steel, plastic and rubber, which are all recyclable.

I used to think the SmartCar was the most innovative car design in the last 50 years, until I learned the facts. Once my eyes were opened to the truth about this European car, I've done a complete about-face on my opinion of its non-electric self. Hopefully I've opened your eyes too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Try Our 12-Inch Italian

RUB, open midnight to 4 a.m.

A few short blocks from my house, this restaurant sign has been burned out for about 5 days now.

If I were the owner of this family restaurant, I know I'd be a little upset that my sign had burned out, in just the right way, casting a bright red "R UB" across one of the busiest main streets in our city. Combine that along with the summer-long construction going on right out front, and the owner is getting a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic, with teenaged passengers wondering, "what's going on in there?" and mothers covering the innocent eyes of their pre-school-aged children. Perhaps the burned out & flickering letters were a ploy to draw attention to the restaurant. Jack Astor's seems to have success with the same tactic.

In a city sometimes referred to as the armpit of Ontario, you might expect to come across a place like this. In fact, there have been a few questionable places with less obvious names shut down by our dedicated local police force.

I hope they don't mistake this MR. SUB for an illegal bath house!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Rear-Ended by Jimmy Dillnuts

Don't put your kids in the trunk

It was Civic vs. Civic in this Municipal Demolition Derby on Saturday. It amazes me the amount of damage that can be done in a 50 km/h zone.

I snapped this picture on the weekend, driving past the accident scene, as Suz and I were on our way back from the grocery store. There were two other cars by the Civic, and a police cruiser on my right side. I don't know why, but for as long as I can remember I've loved taking pictures of accidents. Suz thinks I'm nuts. She really didn't want me to take the picture, saying, "the police are right there! Don't! They're going to see you!" But what are the police going to do? I'm not breaking the law.

Speaking of breaking the law, I think, generally, the police are too lenient on bad drivers. I remember the first time I really realized that. I was sitting at a red light, with a police cruiser waiting at the same red light, on the opposite side of the intersection. When our light went green, we both started through the intersection. Suddenly, a car zoomed between us, running the red light. To my shock and surprise, the officer did not pursue.

But wait! There has to be a good reason he didn't go after the red-light-runner, right? Maybe he didn't see the car because it was going SO fast. Maybe he blinked, or was looking down at his radio. Maybe he didn't care. Maybe he was en route to something more important.

I realize there are far more important things than stopping every bad driver, but these drivers endanger lives. Part of the problem is that people don't care about getting a ticket. What's a $115 fine to Jimmy Dillnuts when he is running late? It's pocket change compared to the $62,000 SUV hybrid he is driving. What he should be worried about is killing someone.

The more people think they can get away with breaking the rules of the road, the more they'll do it. That's when cute little old ladies in Honda Civics get rear-ended by hormonal teenagers in Honda Civics. Or, that's when cautious newly-licenced teenagers get rear-ended by slow-reacting half-blind little old ladies.


Friday, July 22, 2005


scavenger hunt item #19

To a guy who loves Hallowe'en as much as I do, it was a fantasy come true. Not so much for the Haacke family.

Shortly after we moved into our first house, we began cleaning up the mess left behind by the students. Because of the enormous trees in the backyard, it received no sunlight, and therefore no grass would grow. It was a giant mudhole. My uncle J came over and cut down 4 of the "weed trees" with his chainsaw, and I trimmed the 100+ ft. Maple trees which towered over our roof.

The back corner was overgrown with saplings, small bushes and weeds. Once my dad and I cleared the area, we discovered what can only be described as a residential garbage dump. The contents included:
  • automobile brake pads
  • hundreds of plastic grocery bags
  • chip bags
  • beer bottles
  • broken plastic
  • pieces of poured concrete
  • copper plumbing
  • bricks

We disposed of this trash and started turning the soil over to prepare it for sod. To our surprise we discovered even more buried plastic bags and car parts.

We live in the city. The city has regular scheduled garbage pick-up for things such as plastic bags. And now, plasic bags are even recyclable in our city. So why would students go to the extra trouble of burying them in the yard? They sure didn't go to that much trouble to bury what we found next.... gravestones.

My dad and I were both shocked when we flipped over the first block of granite and discovered the inscription. We searched a little more, and uncovered another - part of the base of a very large, old gravestone. When my friends found out, the jokes started rolling in. The most commonly asked question was: are you going to display them at Halloween? Those who knew me REALLY well asked: where are you going to display them on Halloween?

It was exciting to think of the possibilities. Imagine displaying real gravestones at Halloween! No cheap plastic ones, no home made styrofoam ones, real ones! But I had more respect than that. Suz contacted the local paper, which loved the story, and chronicled the events and our theories as to how the stones arrived in our backyard, hundreds of miles away from the cemetery where Mrs. Haacke rested.

The writer tracked down the family, and we learned that after this first stone was stolen from a local blasting compound, a second identical stone was made for Norma. The stone we have was therefore not needed by the family, and they have never contacted me to pick it up.

And so it will come with us to our new home. That way I, as well as the Haacke family, can be sure it will be safe from the hands of university students on the prowl for something to do.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Goodbye Mr. Bumble

Mr. Bumble

We're moving next week.

I'm really going to miss our house and our little backyard friends; Mr. Bumble, Squirrel-a-mo, Squirrel-a-mo Jr., Sir Coonington, and Crookerpuss.

Suz and I bought our classic 40's bungalow in a 'student-friendly' area four years ago. Ours happened to be one of those particularly infamous student rentals, showing decades of neglect. We worked hard on it, turning it into a home. The 40's kitchen/laundry room became a real kitchen. The deathtrap sunroom became a relaxing deck. And we transformed a dark, muddy, garbage-strewn backyard into a beautiful bright garden, where we met our friends.

Now we're leaving those friends behind, but we're taking the gravestones with us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Here's To Sixty More

picture perfect

Yesterday my dad turned 60. SIXTY. Only one day earlier he was in his 50s, but now he is officially retirement age. It's amazing the difference one day can make. I spent the evening running around taking pictures of him with his grandchildren, and I wish I had spent more time talking with him.

My wife, Suz, read yesterday's post and said that I was a giant nerd. I don't deny it. I have nerd qualities. But it's thanks to my dad that I know what I know about cars, and about life.

Thanks dad, and Happy 60th Birthday!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cute Little Cars

The best chocolate GM has to offer

While most in our group appreciated the desserts offered by the Coach Insignia Restaurant last weekend, I appreciated the name, and its position atop the GM World Headquarters. I was kind of surprised at the number of people in our group who commented things like "oh, look at all the cute little cars on the chocolate!"

Cars? Well, the first problem there is that it's not a car - it's a stagecoach. The "Coach" insignia. Get it?

The Coach Insignia is exactly that - the insignia of a coach. The Fisher Body Company began by building stagecoaches and eventually started supplying car bodies (primarily Cadillacs) to GM in the early 1900's. The insignia indicated that these were the very best General Motors offered.

I still remember our 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais, with its "Body by Fisher" Coach Insignia on the door sills, indicating it was one of GM's best.

Fisher didn't really make these little chocolate desserts, but if you ask my wife Suz, she'll say the chocolate was the best!

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Tallest Building in Michigan

Ahhh, peaceful, sleeping Detroit

Last weekend my wife & I went to Windsor to visit her sister, who works at the Windsor CBC. Even if you're Canadian, you are probably not familiar with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Shame on you.

On Saturday night we ventured through the Detroit/Windsor tunnel, awarded Michigan's 3rd Greatest Engineering feat of the 20th century. In less than 5 minutes, we arrived at the GM World Headquarters, located in Detroit's Renaissance Center. At 726 ft. the main building dominates the Detroit skyline, yet is less than half the height of the C.N. Tower (1,815 ft, 5 inches).

Floor 72 was our destination, which was easy to get to since the elevator that runs up the outside of the tower only had two buttons: the main floor, and 72. And the price was less than half the cost to ride the C.N. Tower elevator - it was free!

At the very top was the Coach Insignia Restaurant, where a group of nine of us went for drinks & dessert. From this vantage point, we could see the entire city of Detroit, including Comerica Park Stadium, which was still preparing for the 76th All-Star game, even at 12:30 a.m.

To give you an idea of just how elegant the Coach Insignia is, I enjoyed a twelve dollar gin & tonic. I guess they gotta pay for that elevator ride somehow!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Churning and Churning and Churning....

Breyers - The NEW butter!

New! Double Churned Breyers ice cream!

Breyers has started double-churning their fantastically delicious ice cream for an even creamier taste. Ice cream fans rejoice! Scratch that. Ice cream fans revolt!

The first time I tasted this new version of Breyers Cookies & Cream, I noticed something wasn't right. "This doesn't taste like ice cream!" I thought. It, in fact, tasted like butter. A great big mouthful of silky butter. If anyone is unfamiliar with making butter, basically, you churn cream.

I am so utterly sad that Breyers has altered their process and destroyed their ice cream. The once-most-delicious-ice-cream-on-the-planet is now better spread on my morning toast.

Just thinking about it makes my stomach churn.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Start Me Up

greatest car ever!

Welcome to DMC & ME.

You're probably reading this because you already know me. You may even know that I grew up in a car-crazy family. There's a small chance you even knew my grandpa was a mechanic, and that my dad drag-raced through the sixties, and that I grew up with fistfuls of Matchbox, Hot Wheels and even those crappy Majorette cars.

But did you know I friggin' hated those Majorette cars once I was old enough to appreciate my toys? Damn you Majorette! Why does a 1984 Renault have the exact same wheels as a 1975 Corvette? HUH?

Anyway..... in 1985, just like every other 10-year-old kid, I saw the movie 'Back to the Future.' At 1:15 a.m. at the Twin Pines Mall, the rear door of Doc Brown's van dropped - and my life changed. My dad, sitting beside me, said "Here it comes! This is the cool car I was telling you about!"

Nineteen years later, in April 2004, my friends gave me a new nickname. "McFly." Why? My name is Marty, and I own a DeLorean.

Chances are you already knew that, and you already know me, and that is the reason why you're here. Come back often and I'll regale you with DeLorean tales, Ikea fiascos, and anything that I feel like writing about that day. Today I feel like writing about my DMC-12.

  • 1981 DeLorean DMC-12
  • 2.85 litre PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) V6, 2 overhead cams
  • 130 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • 162 lb-ft. torque @ 2750 rpm
  • 2840 lbs.
  • Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection
  • 5 speed manual
  • black leather interior
  • fuel door in the hood
  • 110,000 miles (177,000 kms)

Labels: ,


This many people accidentally stumbled upon my site
...while searching for porn.