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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Saying Goodbye to Adam

a blue kickboard
Adam died last night.

It has been a few years since I last saw him. It's been even longer since our adventures in the Aquatic Centre. I have such good memories of those summer days. Hours of fun for only $2.

My best memory of those days will always be Adam. It wasn't just the joke, but the way he said it - Blue Awmpit Haiw. And it wasn't just the way he said it, but the way he flapped the blue kickboard under his arm. I laughed so hard I was in tears. And it was even funnier when he got a hold of two kickboards.

That was almost 20 years ago. Suddenly I feel sad turning 30 this year. Adam didn't even get the chance.

I never forgot the blue armpit hair. I wonder if Adam still laughed about it every time he saw a kickboard. Now that he is gone, I don't know if I will.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Toshiba vs. Sony

Once upon a time Sony & Toshiba agreed on things

Have you heard? Toshiba and Sony are battling it out over the future of DVDs.

Both companies are very well-known for their totally radical electronics. Both hold headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. And both think their own technology is the best. And that is why the talks have stopped.

Sony, along with other big-name companies like Mitsubishi and Panasonic, developed the DVD technology known as Blu-Ray. The laser is actually blue instead of red, and is therefore ultra-lucky-happy-super-number one and can cram more information onto a disc via brute force. Blu-Ray DVDs can hold approximately 25 GB, while a dual-layer disc can hold about 50 GB. It supports multi-layer discs (up to 200 GB) as well, which means one day your Blu-Ray won't be sitting on the curb.

The downside is the price. It costs more to produce a disc like this. Also, the laser draws so much energy, the lights in your neighbourhood will dim while you are recording shows onto a disc.

Toshiba's DVD technology is known as HD. It can hold 15 GB of information, which doesn't seem like much, but that's where Toshiba's strategy lies: HD discs are cheaper to produce. A prototype tri-layered disc will hold a maximum of 45 GB.

Unfortunately there is no middle ground here. HD and Blu-Ray discs and players are not compatible. Somebody has to give and neither side is budging. What does that mean for you? Three DVD players: your old one to play your current collection, a Blu-Ray to play Sony movies, and an HD unit to play Toshiba's stuff.

I was looking forward to Santa bringing me a DVD-recorder, but I faxed him earlier this week to put a hold on my order until this mess is sorted out. The fat guy jumped the gun in 1980, and brought us a Betamax.

If we have learned one thing from the Beta, it's that Sony is stubborn. If we have learned two things from the Beta, it is one word: Wait. Somebody's gotta give, but who?

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Copper Elephants and 1/4 Pounders

Granny's Quilt Factory makes way for Pete's Porn Palace.

There was a large appliance-making factory near my house for many years. After some financial difficulties, it could no longer stay in business. Luckily, this year, the local University purchased the property for a whopping $13 million. Their plans are to turn it into a research facility. The neighbourhood is very happy about this.

Demolition has started on the appliance factory, and has been going on for a few weeks now. It is sad to see this mammoth building being torn down. Piles of concrete and metal cover the ground and fill one of their old parking lots.

I was thinking about the rising costs of metal and scrap metal, and I began to wonder how much scrap metal was in this building, which was made from metal.

An average single family home uses 439 pounds of copper*. 195 lbs. for wiring, and 151 lbs. for plumbing (plus misc. copper). Being conservative, I estimate this section of the appliance factory to be the equivalent of about 75 average single family homes. That means it probably contained 32,925 pounds of copper inside it. That's the same as 3 full-grown African Elephants, or 131,700 Quarter Pounders with Cheese, no fries.

The current price being offered by scrap dealers is $1.7695 U.S. per pound of copper. That means the University could recoup $58,260 just by selling the copper wire and plumbing from inside the building. That's 0.44% of their purchase price. Wow! Imagine if they could sell the other metal the building was constructed from. Perhaps they even could have stayed in business if they had invested their profits in something lucrative, like the scrap metal industry.

But how do these numbers apply to the individual? Well, remember that hideous life-sized copper elephant your aunt gave you as a wedding present? A scrap dealer would give you $23,003 for it. Imagine how many Quarter Pounders with Cheese that could buy!
*Statistics from this copper website.
The Statue of Liberty contains 179,000 pounds of copper.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Jimmy Dillnuts Has a Daughter

'Yes officer, my collection of 60-inch Plasma TV's was in the trunk'

I've discovered that it's not just Jimmy who keeps smashing into people on our streets, roads, lanes, avenues, boulevards, and highways. He has a daughter named Jill.

Jill Dillnuts is only 18. Like most 18-year-old girls, Jill loves skrunchies, vodka, Clive Owen, and talking. She was talking, and not watching the road when she rear-ended my co-worker earlier this week. Ah, the Dillnuts' trademark - sneak up from behind, and rear-end unsuspecting motorists.

When I was 18 Jimmy's grandma rear-ended me while I sat behind a school bus that was dropping off little kids. Grandma Dillsack was her name. I felt kinda bad for her, even though it was me who had the hearing damage. My ears were ringing from the sound of the accident. The last sound I remembered hearing was an explosion of shattering glass as my head was forced back into the headrest. But it was her car that took all the damage. Her grille was cracked, pieces of metal and plastic were falling from beneath her car, but nobody had a broken window. The 1981 Olds Cutlass I was driving suffered no damage to the chrome bumper. And the mystery of the broken glass was never solved.

I surveyed the damage while Grandma Dillsack explained to me that her brakes were brand new, and she didn't understand why they didn't work. I pointed to her 20-foot skidmarks and said "good thing you were wearing Depends."

But nobody was hurt, so I told her not to worry about it, and I drove home. I can only assume that Grandma Dillsack also drove home, raised her son Jimmy, and taught him the fine art of rear-ending, and getting off the hook.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dinner With Dave

An easy shot for even an inexperienced sniper

Last night Suz and I had dinner with an old friend of hers. His name is Dave Gould, and he is a musician with a unique Canadian sound.

He spent a number of years in Prince Edward Island, living the East Coast life, and putting together a PEI-inspired album, The Passion of Bobby Bedeque (his alter-ego). You don't have to be from PEI to enjoy his folk music. Even CFA's will click with the sound. Not familiar with PEI term, CFA? Spend some time with Bobby Bedeque. He will open your eyes.

Since he has returned to Ontario, he has been trying to sell his 7-litre Bluebird bus. "That bus has been worth a few songs" he said after he performed last night. I really enjoy his bus songs. Maybe because I'm a car-guy. Maybe because they're really good. Ah, buses. And a seven litre diesel no less! Since the winter I've watched him perform at such places as The Staircase Theatre, which has unfortunately closed its doors, and The Pepper Jack Cafe.

Last night, at Pepper Jack's, we sat outside on the stone patio, with century-old buildings towering over us. As dusk settled, we finished our meals and waited for Dave's scheduled time on stage. The stage was inside, but giant-sized windows were swung open to allow the breeze, and the music, to flow unobstructed. Dave perfomed a trio of new songs: Tea Dance, Smoke Blows Down, and an untitled song about his bus.

Dave is also quite adept at holding children's attention as well as adults: not an easy feat! He told us about his recent Yacht trip, performing a children's show for the kids aboard: The Cranberries' kids. It's great to see musicians supporting musicians. While Triumph partied with The Cranberries elsewhere on the yacht, Dave spent 4 hours playing songs and games with their offspring.

If Dave Gould can entertain The Cranberries' kids for four hours, there's no denying his talent. His latest CD is available on cdbaby.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Fido Bites. Do I Need Rabies Shots?

I love dogs. I hate Fido One of the main reasons I don't stop to help when I see a vehicular accident is that I don't have a cell phone. I would not want to get involved, except to offer to call the police, who are experts at sorting these things out. No cell? I am of little use.

The reason I don't own a cell phone is due to a well-known company named Fido (aka Microcell Solutions). This is my Fido Fiasco.

A couple of years ago I did own a cell phone. It was fantastic for its time. It was black, and had all the buttons a regular phone has, plus a few more. But considering the incredible and sometimes ridiculous phone features these days, my Ericsson T18z was pretty bare bones. It did have a free "Fido" exclusive text message feature where I could recieve jokes or weather reports. When I signed up for this service, the reports never came. It wasn't a big deal, so I didn't care.

Fast Forward one year.

I started getting my weather reports, and it was an exciting day. Then I noticed my bill. This "Free" feature was costing me 10 cents every time I received a text message. I immediately cancelled this feature, not because I was cheap, but because I didn't like how Fido was cheating me out of a few extra cents.

But the text messages didn't stop. In fact, Fido started sending me some sort of promotional "Fido" text messages, and of course, charged me 10 cents for each one they sent me!

I called up Microcell Solutions and asked that they stop sending me text messages. I also asked that they credit me for the last few they sent. They obliged. I was happy, and thought my problem was over. I was wrong. The next month I was STILL receiving text messages. I phoned again, and had the text charges dropped for a 2nd time.

Month 3: More text messages, more 10-cent charges on my bill. Another phone call, and they promised me they would block my phone from receiving text messages. They dropped the text charges for a 3rd time.

Month 4: More text messages, more 10-cent charges. Phone call #4 was a bad one. I was angry. This time I asked for a supervisor. None were available. I asked for a manager. They were also unavailable. I was getting really fed up, so I said to the girl "fine, please cancel my phone service." She replied "I'm sorry I can't do that." I said "Yes you can. Cancel it right now." She became very angry and yelled at me, and told me to call a different phone number in order to cancel my service.

- the deal -

What is fdio?
I called the number. The Fido representative was extremely sorry to hear of all my trouble with my bill, and with 'Heather'. He knew Heather, and he knew she was a hot-head. I told him I understood it was not his fault, but I wanted my service cancelled immediately because I refused to call their office again to correct my bills. He tried very hard to keep me as a customer, and offered me 3 months of free phone service. Three months? Hey, that's about $100! I accepted. I accepted, on the condition that I never receive any more text messages, as previously promised, and never get billed for them again.

Two months went by and each bill showed $0.00 as promised. I stopped receiving text messages as well.

When the bill came on the third month, I gave birth to a 17-pound cow. My bill stated $0.00 for phone serivce, plus a 15-cent penalty for not paying for my text messages.

Phone call, Paraphrased.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes on hold:
Fido: "Bonjour Microsell Solutions, how can I help you?"
Me: "Cancel my phone service immediately."
Fido: "I'm sorry, but can you tell me the reason you'd like to cancel?"
Me: "No. Cancel my phone service."
Fido: "But what reason are you cancelling for?"
Me: "Read my file, then cancel my phone service."
Fido: "Sir, can you please tell me why you are cancelling? I need to know a reason."
Me: "I'm sick of explaining the problem. I'm sure there are notes on my account."
Fido: "I see you preferred to receive no text messages."
Me: "Yes. Cancel my phone service."
Fido: "But sir..."
Me: "Cancel my phone service and get a manager on the phone."
Fido: "Hold on sir."
Manager: "Hello, I understand you're having a problem with your bill?"
Me: "I've been having a problem with my bill for 8 months. I'm sick of phoning every single month to have my bill corrected. Please cancel my phone service."
Manager: "I assure you we can resolve your problem."
Me: "No, you can't resolve the problem. You already tried and failed. Cancel my phone service."
Manager: "Sir, we don't want to lose a customer who has been with us as long as yo..."
Me: "Mmm-hmm. Cancel my phone service"
Manager: "Sir, if you'll..."
Manager: "Yes, sir, I can take care of that for you."

A few minutes later, my account was cancelled. Then the manager asked me if I could send the phone back to them. Huh? I paid $75 for that phone! It was mine. And I told him that.

So, if you ever see me drive past you while you're trying to change four flat tires in the dark, you can blame it all on Fido.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What's My Time Worth?

Early glass frisbees proved to be very fragile.

On Sunday, a local museum was holding a fund-raiser. For $5 you could have an antique appraised by a number of experts who were divided into their respective fields of knowledge.

Overall it was a fairly exciting experience, despite the lack of TV cameras, a la 'Antiques Roadshow'. But similarly to Antiques Roadshow, Suz and I saw treasures valued at anywhere from worthless to $10,000.

We sat in white plastic chairs waiting for our number to be called. We had number nine. As we watched numbers 3 through 8 go before us, I slowly became more and more nervous. Then, our number was called. Yay!

I presented my mom's 1875 'Westward Ho' glass plate. My great-grandfather was the chief inspector at Dominion Glass, and one day he brought this plate home. It has been passed down through our family ever since. After approximately 2 minutes, our appraisal was finished and we were sent on our way with a small slip of paper.

Wait a minute!

We waited an hour for two minutes of their time? I wouldn't have minded so much, except that I had just spent an hour watching them appraise garbage from the 1970s. I suppose the experts felt really awful when they saw morons show up with "antiques" from 30 years ago. I suppose they didn't want to laugh in the faces of these poor ignorant women, or point out that their jewellery box still had the little gold sticker on the bottom that we are all so familiar with - "Made in Taiwan". And so, to save the women from embarrassment, the appraisers spent 20 minutes looking at this worthless box, and the worthless coins inside it. Total value? About 3 dollars.

And if that wasn't the biggest waste of time, it was a close second to the woman who spent nearly 20 minutes arguing with the appraisers that her Japanese urn was actually from the 1600's. In three appraisers' expert opinions, the urn was from 1910. They weren't just guessing at a century - they had it nailed down to an exact year! And still the woman refused to believe them. I don't know why. They weren't wearing clown noses or "Official Tan Line Inspector" t-shirts.

Then it was "Westward Ho, nice glass, worth about $300. Thanks, see ya." And with a nod, two burly bouncers hoisted us out of our plastic chairs, stuffed us into our car, and pushed us out into traffic. Two minutes later we were home, with heads spinning.

Next year maybe I'll have a little fun. Maybe I'll pick something up at Wal-mart 10 minutes before the event, and see if I can't waste some time.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Jimmy Dillnuts Strikes Again

How to ruin a trip to your proctologist

I have a knack for happening upon accidents while driving.

The last accident I photographed happened under the exact same circumstances: on my way home from grocery shopping, on a Sunday afternoon. Here's the scene I squeezed past yesterday on a major highway.

I think this accident must have happened less than 30 seconds before we saw it, as the vehicle occupants were just stepping out as we approached, and confronting each other as we passed. Broken glass and pieces of plastic crunched and popped under our tires as we rolled by.

From what Suz and I could hear in the brief moment it took us to drive past the scene, we ascertained this: Girl very upset. Jimmy very sorry.

I am really quite surprised at the minimal amount of damage done to the Buick Rendezvous and the Mazda3 involved in this accident, considering that the average speed on this section of highway is about 120 kph. What you can't see in the picture is the Mazda3 also had damage to the front bumper, similar to the rear bumper damage.

We watched two different cars pull onto the median just beyond the accident. I wonder what kind of good samartians were driving those cars. Would you stop on a busy highway to help? I didn't. I drove home, happy that we were not the ones on the side of the highway screaming at Jimmy.


Oops! It seems that I forgot to post the results from last weeks' Bed Poll: To see the results click here.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Pulling Pranks

Spoiler Warning! It's Anakin

Deep down inside I'm a prankster.

But even deeper down inside I'm afraid of retaliation. I think that's why I've never tried to pull anything big. But ask my friends what big is and they'll come up with all kinds of wacky things I've done.

Here's an example of a mild prank. One night, lets say a Friday night, back when we were teenagers, we were hanging out in someone's backyard. This was one of those rare nights where Driane was with us. Ah, good ol' Driane. What ever happened to her anyway?

Anyhow, somebody at some point decided they were thirsty and indicated that to the rest of the group. Oh, that's right - It was me. I told the group I was going inside for a drink. Driane, quick to follow suit, also declared that she would like a drink. I asked her what she would like to drink and her reply was something along the lines of "oh, anything."

I think it was Tiff who spoke up first, followed by most everyone else. They all knew "oh, anything" was the wrong response to give me. They pleaded with her to change her answer to something specific. She didn't. "How about a glass of urine?" I suggested. Laughter from everyone, screams of "Nooooooo!" from Driane.

nutritionists say drink 8 glasses of pee a day Too late. After a few minutes inside, I emerged with a nice fresh glass of pee. Driane screamed again when I handed her the warm glass. She was so repulsed, she shoved it back into my hands. Driane was screaming, everbody else was laughing. This couldn't get any better.

Or could it?

I drank the pee. Laughter erupted from everyone, including Driane. When I began spitting it out, she covered her face and screamed in hilarious disgust. But the reason I was spitting it out was not because it was horrible. I, myself, couldn't contain my own laughter. I was so proud that I had fooled everyone but Tiff, with some apple juice and a microwave.

Pranks at work are an entirely different creature. When my co-worker friend is not around, I like to change things at his desk. My favourite thing is his "I Love Daddy" picture frame. It has seen the likes of his adorable daughters, Britney Spears, and now, for the past 2 months, Darth Vader.

Very fitting if you know his work nickname is Jedi.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Thank God For Meat

Please, don't let us choke...

I do not come from a very religious family. Although my mom's parents were very Christian, my mom didn't pass it down to me, or my sister.

Suz, on the other hand, comes from a very religious family. What is very religious? Missionary work in 3rd world countries? Converting heathens Bible Blaster-style? (Simpsons Season 11, Episode BABF10) Not exactly. They pray. A LOT. No, you don't understand. I don't mean they pray before every meal and read from the Bible after dinner, because those things are completely normal. What I mean is: a prayer before a birthday dinner at, say, a crowded East Side Mario's, or just lunch at McDonalds. Yes, before every greasy Big Mac we bow our heads and say thanks for the... uh... meat.

This was hard to get used to even though Suz warned me that, because of my background, I might find these things kind of odd. I believe she said something like, "now, don't be scared." But why does it seem odd to pray in a fast-food restaurant? If you give thanks before every home-cooked meal, why wouldn't you do it in a restaurant? Embarrassment? Not 100% devoted to God? I don't know the answer, but the more I think about it, the more odd it seems that I don't see families praying in Taco Bell.

I am open-minded and I've accepted this change in my life. Yet, every time I hear God's name, I can't help but think of Bart Simpson's immortal words, "God Shmod. I want my monkey-man!" and wonder how the McCorporation could best put this new meat to use.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Government is Listening

Does this remind you of Doogie Howser?

Remember my One-Tonne Challenge rant from last week? I revealed to the government my displeasure about their vague and incorrect Greenhouse Gas Calculator. They asked for comments and suggestions, and I certainly gave them a few, much along the same lines as my blog.

At the very end of my fairly long email, I mentioned to them that if they wanted Canadians to take the Challenge seriously, then they themselves should be serious about it too, by creating an accurate GHG calculator.

Yesterday they replied.

The email contained such sentences as, "Thank you for your message" and words like "Indeed". The email stated, "...the first version of the calculator was meant to give a rough estimate of the GHG emissions produced by individuals at home and on the road and does not enable users to insert more detailed information as the one described in your message."

It continued, "... we found through thorough research that Canadians would like to see a more complex calculator that will take into consideration most of the activities related to GHG emissions." They even go on to say "We acknowledge that and are presently working on a second version trying to implement as many of the comments and suggestions received as possible..."

Research? They didn't do any research. All they did was allow an email option, where people like me bitched about the calculator. Research Schmesearch.
Thanks for the Lip Service!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Price of Gas

If you can't afford gasoline, maybe you shouldn't be driving.

I just paid $1.16 a litre for gas.

Since gas prices have been on the rise, Randy McDingus has been complaining a lot. "Oh dear!" exclaimed Randy, "It is not fair that I should pay 89 cents per litre of fuel!" Screw you Mr. McDingus. Now you know what it's like to own a sports car.

The engine in my Eagle Talon (aka Mitsubishi Eclipse) employs a wicked turbocharger to force more air into the combustion chambers. Without that forced induction, the engine is 7.8 to 1 compression. By using a turbo, the compression ratio increases.

Higher compression engines require higher octane gasoline to control the explosion more accurately. Therefore, on a stock 1991 Eagle Talon turbo, the manufacturer recommends minimum 91 octane gasoline.

That means I have to buy the most expensive gas, always.

300% more Zoom Zoom than a MazdaBut my Talon isn't stock. Not even close. One of the modifications I've done over the years is to replace the factory pistons with higher, 8.5 to 1 compression pistons. Using an online compression calculator, based on 17 psi of boost (which is what I run), I should be using 113 octane fuel. Well, since that's not readily available, I have to use Sunoco's 94 octane, which does me just fine.

I was paying 89 cents a litre for gas three years ago, before the price of oil started rocketing towards the moon. I'm used to it and I'm not complaining. Randy McDingus, you should get used to it too. And "Getting used to it'' does not mean becoming a criminal and driving away without paying.

Technology has made an incredible jump in the past 5 years. We have, by far, the most fuel efficient vehicles we've ever had. If you really can't stand paying $1.02 a litre, buy a Honda Insight and triple your mileage! It's almost like paying 33 cents a litre! Insight too small? Try Toyota Prius! Need an SUV? Lexus has the RX400h!

Don't take your vehicle for granted. It is a privilege to drive, not a right.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Bed Poll

This is a bar graph.

Today, I offer something different.

Due to some interesting comments on my last entry, I decided to create a poll about mattresses and boxsprings, and I will post the results later this week. So go ahead, click the link. The poll will open in a new window.

Polls are fun to take. Have you ever taken one? Here's how it works: I ask you a question, then you click a button to indicate your answer. It's great. Really great. I know you will enjoy it. But if you decided that you don't like it, too bad. You could leave a comment, but that's about it. Okay I'm not going to tell you what you could or could not do - you are more aware of your own capabilities than I am.

A famous name in the poll universe is Gallup. George Gallup was a radical dude, but he didn't invent the public opinion poll. But in 1935 he did something. He was attempting to get newspapers to subscribe to his weekly polls, so, in dramatic fashion, he declared he would predict the winner of the 1936 presidential election. And he promised that if he was wrong, he'd refund all the newspapers the money they'd paid him for his polls.

I can't offer a money-back guarantee. Even Pauly Shore could only offer a $1 refund on his new TV show, to a maximum of 250,000 people. And he's sorta famous (in a really lame kinda way). So just take my poll. You know you waaaaant to.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Boxspring Update

I wonder if we've voided our warranty?

One week has gone by with our Boxspring leaning against our dining room wall - precariously I might add.

You may remember that we were unable to coax our Queen-size mattress support up our stairs to the second floor, which created our annoying Boxspring dilemma. Suzanne completed the preliminary task of taking the fabric off the frame, and my dad came over with his DeWalt Reciprocating Saw to finish the job. We decided if we couldn't have this boxspring, nobody would.

Then something strange happened. My heart grew three sizes that day, and I felt goodwill towards all boxsprings.

We cut the wooden part of the frame up the middle and bent the metal part of the frame backwards, creating a sort of hot dog bun out of the boxspring. Because of this ingenious folding, it was narrow enough to get upstairs. Huzzah!

We placed it on the floor of the bedroom upside down. We cut 7 super-lucky lengths of wood, and I began screwing the broken frame together again. Once Suzanne reattaches the fabric, all I need is a powerful jolt of electricity, and our Frankenbed will COME ALIVE! Muhuhahahaaa!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Price of Cracks

Close-up of the passenger seat
Cracks are something that the owner of any leather seat dreads. On Tuesday night, the cracks in the passenger seat of my DeLorean finally split. That moment is burned into my memory forever, as I crouched before the thick and luxurious black leather and shouted, "Nooooooooo!"

Leather cracks when it dries out. And leather that is 24 years old is bound to get a little dry. I tried my best, as did the previous owner, to keep the seats soft and flexible with excellent lotions such as Eagle One Leather Conditioner. But, the leather has been in the car far longer than it was on the cow. Cracks were inevitable.

It might sound like I'm complaining. Far from it. The rest of the seat is in fantastic condition, and the driver's seat looks almost new. Very impressive for over two decades of use. But what about those people who are restoring a neglected DeLorean? What about the D that has 200,000 miles of wear & tear on its seats? What can the owners do to salvage them? Duct tape? I've seen it done, but No! There's a better solution. Seat covers.

I'm not talking about those fake fluffy cow-spotted covers everybody has in their Jeep. There are 'authentic' leather covers available from a couple of places in the U.S. Back in 1991, DeLorean World magazine vol. 8 had an advertisement for Sheepskin covers for $436.68 per pair. Not bad, but that was 14 years ago.

In the Winter 2005 issue of DW magazine, the DeLorean Motor Co., in Texas, offered leather seat covers for $699 per pair. These covers simply slip overtop of your existing cracked seat, hiding the offending butt-cushion from view. Only you will know that your seat truly sucks.

Here you'll get an idea of the size
Since original seats are no longer available, the seat cover is a good option. But if you've got the extra dough, you can go one step better. The DeLorean Motor Company also offers leather seat covers pre-fitted to brand new seats for $1199 each. That's $2398 for two "new" seats! Translate that to Canadian funds, and a pair will run over $3000 (plus shipping and taxes). $3000 just to fix this crack on the right?

You can't shop around for a deal in the DeLorean world, but there are a lot of skilled upholsterers out there who could probably recover your cracked seats for less than the cost of slip-on seat covers. Another less-favourable option is to replace your seats with the bucket seats out of a Chevy S-10 pickup or Hyundai Pony. You can probably find a really great deal in your local junkyard. But if you take good care of your seats, you'll never have to consider these options.

And if leather is not your thing, you're in luck, because cloth seats are even cheaper to repair or re-upholster. But for the gotta-have-that-luxury-die hard, nothing can hold a candle to the slippery feeling of a thick leather.

Kudos to John DeLorean for choosing such a high quality, long-lasting material.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Serious Student is Driven to Succeed

studious young man

I find that I come across the most interesting things when I'm driving, and don't have my camera handy. So I've decided to take my trusty Sony Cybershot with me everywhere I go now.

Take this fellow for example. I was totally impressed that this young guy, possibly coming back from a weekend in the Muskokas, would try and squeeze in some summer studying on the 401.

I never studied in high school. I am surprised I did as well as I did. Now I look back at those years and I think I should've been like this guy, studying when I had the opportunity. But, instead of reading, my sister and I would spend day-long car trips eating candy non-stop. My parents didn't mind because it kept us quiet. Ah, at least I have good memories of eating Runts, Dweebs, Punky's, and wiping boogers on my sister.

I think if I had friends like this guy, I probably would've studied more. Maybe my 79 would have turned into an 89 that I could be proud of. Although 79 isn't so bad, 89 is a higher number, and therefore better.

The family in this vehicle must be religious, judging by the crucifix hanging on the rear-view mirror. It baffles me that someone could have time for church, family, school, studying AND playing. Everyone plays right? Right? Okay, so maybe church is SO flippin' fun for this guy that he doesn't need to play with his friends.

Well, I'm glad to see he is a religious guy. I think that shows he has good intentions towards others, and that when he dies, he and his family will be happy that he's going to a better place.

But what about the people he kills?!

Kinda like Christina Applegate's 'Eyesys Closeys' game

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Stupid Canadian Roads

On the weekend Suz and I went up to the Ottawa area to visit her family. The 5-hour drive up was slightly more exciting than normal this time, which made the whole weekend more fun.

Every time we go up, we come across this section of the 401. If you've driven up to Ottawa, you may be familiar with this section of highway. A sign warns about the test-road-paint lines, but even still, the first time I encountered them I panicked.

The painted lines vary greatly, yet remain consistently useless, other than their distraction factor. Some are yellow, and some are white. Some are solid, and some are dashed. Some are horizontal, and some are vertical.

like, uh, duhhhh Here is another picture of the lines and the van driving over them. That's me in the mirror. The driver of this van didn't seem to get distracted. I even tried getting his attention by pointing down at the road furiously, while screaming "look out! You're going off the road!" but he didn't seem to notice. I guess he has seen the lines before.

Monday, August 08, 2005

One Tonne Challenge

Pretty green bar borrowed from www.climatechange.gc.ca

Rick Mercer is the government's spokesperson for the One-Tonne Challenge. A good choice: He's a really hilarious guy and I like him a lot. The challenege is to voluntarily reduce your Greenhouse Gas Emissions in an effort to reduce worldwide pollution levels.

Congratulations if you've taken on the challenge!

But this challenge has me a little miffed. I went to the website and started using the GHG calculator which would tell me how much Greenhouse Gas Emissions I am responsible for. Because I am so environmentally conscientious, I knew my number would be very low.

I was wrong. According to the calculator, my emissions are way above the national average! But the calculator is vague, incorrect, incomplete and just plain stupid. It's a government website. Surprise. The biggest problem was that, since my house was built before 1946, I had to select that my house was "pre-1946". This is where the trouble starts. The genius who designed this website programmed the calculator to ASSUME that if you select "pre-1946", then everything in your house from your furnace to your fridge, to your showerheads, is pre-1946.

I am not kidding.

At the end, you are able to select the options you'd be willing to take to reduce your GHG emissions, such as installing low-flow aerator faucets and showerheads. This is where I fixed everything. The website suggested I upgrade my old furnace to a modern, high-efficiency one. When I clicked that button, it reduced my GHG number - by a lot! Since I already have a brand new modern forced air high efficiency gas furnace, this button just brought me to where I should have been in the first place.

The calculator thinks I produce 6.13 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. The national average is 5.5 tonnes. I was totally insulted to think Jimmy Dillnuts in his SUV creates less greenhouse gas than I do by biking to work! So I checked off all the boxes that are the steps I'm supposedly taking to reduce my emissions. I clicked buttons for my Energy-Star appliances, insulation values, windows, etc., etc., etc. which gave me my new Greenhouse Gas Emission number. Instead of achieving this number, it is actually my current greenhouse gas emissions: 3.88 tonnes. A much better number.

So how do I reduce my number to 2.88? Now that I can't press any buttons to see how to reduce my emissions even more, where do I go from here?

On a related note, how do I reduce my anger by one tonne, since the government has pushed all my buttons?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The D is Home

My garage is 19' x 9'3''

Last night I had a dream that I was a muffler. I woke up exhausted. *Pause for laughter*

After a long vacation in my parents double garage, the D has arrived home. It sparkles knowingly, parked in its very own garage. The concrete walls are jealous. Only the floor gets to touch...
It looks content.

This DeLorean has had a strange life, and I think it longs to return to California, where it was first purchased. Back on the west coast, it was happily driven to exciting locations, including a summer home in Arizona.

On its 10th Birthday, some hooligans stole its wheels. The owner purchased a brand new set of wheels for it and everything was right again. Around that time, a friend of the original owner committed suicide in his DeLorean. He left a widow, who sold the car, and gave the spare tire to the original owner of my DeLorean. Two years later it was sold to a Canuck and began its journey north, to a new life in British Columbia. For a dozen years it was a mainstay in local parades, but only accumulated 5,000 miles. For 12 years, it basically sat in a garage.

And now, after a train trip across the country, on the other side of Canada, it peacefully sits in my garage. I'm going to drive it tonight.

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Only 89 Days Till Halloween!

Death to Snowball.... borrowed from somewhere

Every year I host a big Halloween party, and this year will mark the 14th anniversary.

I am an absolute Halloween fanatic, and for the past 4 or 5 years I've been trying to come up with something grand to make the party different and more exciting. I think this is it!

Thanks to Kev over at The Archies, I am planning my own Self-Perpetuating Zombie Party.

I am not entirely sure how the San Fran party was pulled off, but I don't want to be play-fighting with strangers, or potential law-breaking University students. Therefore, I am planning this Zombie walk straight down King Street - with friends. It will be completely staged, and our destination, much like the event in S.F., will be The Snooty Fox, a local pub.

After a few drinks and a few laughs, we will head back to my place to continue the party until the wee hours of the morning.

I know there are a few of my friends who will feel uncomfortable with this, so to those scaredy-cats I propose this: Please be the camera-men and camera-women. We need to preserve this moment with excellent photographs and filming.

Who is up for it? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Boxspring Blues

Kids in Kabukistan get 4 cents for every bed they build

Remember that old brain-teaser question from grade school about the transport truck that gets wedged under a bridge? All the driver has to do is let some air out of the tires, and he can pull through.

Too bad I can't let air out of our boxspring.

The gap between our stairs and our ceiling is one inch smaller than the width of our boxspring. After a few futile attempts to "ram it through", we decided on a simpler solution.

We have an Ikea bed. The great thing about Ikea beds is that they sort of have a boxspring built right in. So our friends built the base inside the frame about 6 inches higher, imitating a boxspring. Problem solved.

But we have a spare bed for when ours is in the shop. It's also good for when the in-laws come to stay. We only charge half the price of the nearest hotel, so it's a good deal. Although the price is low, we still try to offer them a decent bed to sleep on, and unfortunately, the other bed frame we have is the old-fashioned kind where only a queen sized boxspring will fit.

So begins Suz's quest to dismantle, then reassemble the boxspring once it is upstairs.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

In Appreciation of Packaging

centre channel & surround speakers
Moving Day is over.

Although there were a number of unfortunate incidents, nobody was taken to the hospital (Krevin), so I would have to say Moving Day was a moderate success.

Friday morning we emptied the remaining house contents onto our awesome neighbour's front lawn. I guess we don't own very nice things, because passersby started helping themselves, assuming we were just tossing it all. Toni had to knock a few heads to protect my old Jeep grille. It's a chrome grille, so the blood and teeth wiped off easily.

We got the key just after lunch, and had the 1st U-Haul load in the house by 2:00. The truck was loaded up for a second time, then unloaded, then loaded a third time, and unloaded again. Like a demon-possessed, the U-Haul veered left and right despite any corrective steering action.

Anything that didn't fit in the truck went into six cars and an SUV which deserve an applause; Thank you Mazda 323. Thank you Eagle Talon. Thank you Acura Integra. Thanks very much Chevy Cavalier. Thank you Honda Civic. Thanks a bunch Mazda Protege. Thanks for your help Ford Explorer.

Total length of 3 trips: 5 kms.

As darkness settled and our friends said "adios suckers", Suz and I started unpacking boxes. I love boxes. Boxes protect. Boxes look good. Unpacking things from their original boxes feels like Christmas. I love sliding my speakers out of their thick corrugated tuxedos, encased in styrofoam shells, molded perfectly to their design. Once you've experienced the quality and beauty of a perfect box design that protects its contents without compromise, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Appreciate boxes and packaging. Go home and hug a box today.


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