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

Friday, March 31, 2006

TWDD Meditation

Class photo day.

I like trying new things. New hamburger sandwiches, experimental drugs, you name it. Recently I tried a new form of meditation known as TWDD (Talismanic Wheel and Diamond Dharma) meditation.

This modern type of meditation was created by Master Hai Kong of China, specifically for our fast-paced lives. It is a modified version of meditation which originated from Tibetian Buddhists.

Our teacher, Wen, is one of only a few individuals given permission to teach this form of meditation. She has trained, personally, under Master Hai Kong.

I'll give you a second to get your mind out of the gutter.

Okay, ready? Wen taught the very first TWDD meditation class in Canada, in November 2005. The class consisted of only women. Some friends of ours found out about the class and asked us to try it. We did, but I had a difficult time doing it.

When Suz and I attended, I was the only man in the class, and only the second man ever to be taught this form of meditation in Canada. Which really means nothing, because my technique is quite rotten.

Although it is fun to chant the mantra, Om Mani Bei Mei Hung, learning to meditate is really hard work. Seriously. I had to fight the urge to take a Kit Kat break half-way through the two-hour session.

What I learned is that we must each find our own way of clearing our minds and calming down.

The easy way out would be a lobotomy. But I don't want to end up like the Kit Kat guy.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shaving - Err - Saving The World

Be careful not to nick the brain. It bleeds.

Lawyers, Accountants and Entomologists everywhere have a newfound love for shaved heads. Boys, girls and everyone in between all across the land have a newfound love for shaved heads. Even doggies, ferrets and kitties have a newfound love for shaved heads.

And it's all thanks to one "Prison Break" television program.

In light of all this shaved-head-hubbub, I have invested in my own head-shaving shop. Welcome to Mad Martini's House of Shaving. Specializing in heads. Other body parts available upon request.

My first client, Krevin, of Krev-Co Industrires Inc., had this to say: "I didn't like my haircut, so I decided to shave it."

I felt the enthralling adrenaline rush one gets from a job well done, and Krevin can bask in the glory of having a shaved head for the next 4 to 6 weeks. And not just any shaved head, but a work of shaved art that will have all the ladies swooning.

I, Mad Martini, shaved-head artist extrordinaire, charge nothing for this service. My joy is payment enough. And the hair collected off the floor goes toward insulating my house, thus, saving me money in my heating bills.

As my natural gas useage declines, the entire world benefits! Natural resources are saved for another day, and pollution such as greenhouse gas is reduced!

Do your part in saving the world. Use your head. Shave it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Signalling The End?

Bulb surgery.Happy Birthday Eagle Talon! 1991-2006. I wish you much happiness and good health in the years to come. You've been by my side through thick and thin. Thank you for all you've done. Love, Martini

My Talon just turned 15 years old, which classifies it as a "Special Interest" car. Therefore, it qualifies for a huge insurance discount with Aviva Elite Insurance - the same company I have my DeLorean insured with. However, there are some strict rules which I would not be able to adhere to, so I've got to stick with my regular insurance.

Regular insurance has been bothering me.

When my cute All-Wheel-Drive, asphalt-shredding widdle baby got its first grey hair, my regular insurance company jumped on me.

They suggested dropping collision insurance. Which basically means they think my Eagle is a pile of rusted junk not worth the $10 a month it costs for collision insurance. Should I tell them it was professionally appraised at $15,200?


When my incontinent import (it's not really an Eagle) started getting crows feet my insurance company sent me another document. They wanted the exact odometer reading, plus an estimate of how many kilometres I think I might drive the car in the next 12 months.

I obliged. Odo: 238,000 kms. Estimate: 4,000 kms a year.

Maybe they didn't like those numbers. Maybe they thought I was joking. I don't know. But a few weeks later they sent me yet another document asking for the same information. I ignored it.

The next letter was more menacing. If I didn't provide them with the information they requested, they were gonna break my thumbs! As much as I enjoy my thumbs, I wasn't going to give in to their stupid demands. I ignored that letter too.

Maybe that's when they sent a hitman after my Talon. The dark figure slinked out of the crusty shadows and gave the front turn signal a hearty bash, then ran, faster and faster, until he vanished into the night.

That's not what really happened, but the signal bulb did burn out. So I drove to Canadian Tire and bought ALL the turn signal bulbs, worried that my aging car would soon be taken out of their Parts Books.

After all, my Talon is almost old enough to drive.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It's BBQ Season

I am building it. Will anybody come?Three years ago, in 2003, Ron Lancaster was going through some changes in his life. As he became the General Manager of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he celebrated - possibly by getting a new BBQ.

The 1998 CFL Coach of the Year threw his old Fiesta to the curb, where it was snatched up by my close friends who live directly across the street from him. It made a temporary home in their garage, until, a few weeks later, they acquired a bigger, better used BBQ.

With the installation of a new burner for a meager $30, Ron's BBQ was passed to me and Suz. I treasured that Fiesta and the tasty food it provided. What stories did this BBQ hold? How many juicy steaks or beefy burgers were charbroiled, with the Ti-cats stomachs as their destination?

Just like the Ti-Cats, it had seen better days and I needed to bring it back to its former glory.

Sandpaper smoothed out the weathered wooden side shelves. New stain brightened them. A fresh coat of black paint made the tired frame shine, and a simple screw fixed the broken handle.

For 3 seasons Ron's BBQ served us well. But in 2005 both us and Mr. Lancaster went through some more changes. As he became the Senior Director of Football Operations, we prepared to move.

The $30 burner gave up the ghost, allowing the propane to burn unrestricted. That tank wheezed the last of its contents in July, two weeks before our move date.

We followed in Ron's footsteps and sent the BBQ packing. It called the curb home for approximately 6 hours. Then it was gone.

With the purchase of our new Centro BBQ this weekend, my stainless steel collection has expanded. This newest addition is in great company. And if the warm weather keeps up, the DeLorean might be making its 2006 debut earlier than anticipated.

The Ti-Cats won't be. Their first scheduled preseason game is Friday, June 2, no matter what the weather is like.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Going To Court!

Suz fakes a smile for the camera.

Jimmy Dillnuts, arch-enemy of law-abiding drivers everywhere, has been charged! And Suz has to go to court in April, as a material witness to his devastating driving habits which left three vehicles crumpled, broken and smashed, and a young girl with a broken collarbone.

Oh happy day!

Suz will make a statement, describing the destruction caused by Jimmy's careless driving. I'd like to call it wreckless driving, but that's not what he was charged with.

The police have charged Jimmy Dillnuts with Careless Driving and Failure To Surrender Licence.

Failure to Surrender Licence means that either Jimmy didn't have it on him, or he actually refused to hand it over to the officer requesting it. Jimmy claims that the light was yellow, and that all of the pedestrians and vehicles in the intersection should not have been there.

Her true reaction to the summons.Suz, stopped at the red light that Jimmy ran, estimated his velocity at double the posted limit of 50 kph. But he claims he wasn't speeding. His screeching tires, and the annihiliation of the three vehicles say otherwise.

Sorry Jim, your story has more holes than swiss cheese.

If I were a police officer, I would have charged Jimmy with Jackass Driving, and Being Stupid and Ugly. Then I would track down the idiot who passed him on his driving test and charge him with Taking Bribes, because there's no possible way someone on the straight and narrow would issue a driver's licence to an idiot like Mr. Dillnuts.

In all seriousness though, people who are convicted of traffic offenses should have their licences suspended. I am a strong believer that some people will never learn, and, depending on the seriousness of the accident, I think there are people who don't deserve a second chance.

Especially liars.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

House (Not) For Sale

Image hosting by PhotobucketThere is a house in my neighbourhood with a 'for sale' sign on the lawn. It is a Royal LePage realty sign. It is white, and it's in plain view, right out front. But don't bother calling to inquire about this house. The agent will think you're crazy.


Because, this house is not for sale.

This is one of those rare nomadic 'for sale' signs that can't find a permanent home. It travels from house to house, sneaking across lawns in the middle of the night. Each morning I drive to work I discover this sign planted in front of a different house. There have been 4, to date.

It hangs around one lawn for a few days, until it becomes bored. Then It invites a few teenaged friends over at night, and they all settle down with some tasty alcoholic beverages.

I don't really know why, or how this sign is making the rounds. I can only assume that rowdy University students with a really lame sense of humour are the ones behind this little game. A game that resulted in a tragedy.

Horace Ng awoke one morning to find that his house had been sold during the night, without his knowledge. Since he was fast asleep, he didn't even get to counteroffer the original offer of 50 cents. "Now what am I going to do?" cried the stale Horace. "I don't have enough money to buy pretzels!"

Pretzel vendors everywhere were furious, but were unavailable for comment.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

R.I.P. John DeLorean

March 19, 2005.

Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of John DeLorean's death, which caught me by surprise, and really darkened my day.

From the literature I've absorbed over the years I have learned that he was the kind of guy that people either loved or hated. And that is fine. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and I can accept that some people simply did not like him.

I won't argue. I hate Billy Crystal, who is loved by the rest of the world, for a reason that escapes me.

But what is really boiling my blood is how, since his death, professional journalists and non-journalists alike have jumped on the John DeLorean bandwagon, and are eagerly writing his life's story, providing the public with quite a lot of incorrect information.

Rumours and personal opinions are being stated as facts, and the people who disliked DeLorean either as a person, or a businessman, are saying some absurd, untrue and unfair things.

It would be nice to remember John for his accomplishments and his contributions toward the automotive industry. But he did not belong to the automotive world alone. He had a family - one that had to endure the strains of his court battle.

And that is the most important thing - to know that John Zachary DeLorean was acquitted of all charges brought against him. That he served no time in jail. He was found innocent. In a court of law.

The verdict? Entrapment. By the U.S. government.

Do the research yourself. You'll find it was the United States government who approached DeLorean with the cocaine. You'll find a lot more than that, too.

Don't remember John for the lies and the rumours. Remember him for the good stuff, like the GTO and the DMC-12.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

English As A Second Language

When Beaner landed, we had to replace 2 floor tiles.

Doobie, our 15-lb. rag-bag kitty, might look like she has a learning disability, but she would surprise you.

Besides shocking us with the occasional bit of raunch launched from her haunches, she has also surprised us by learning.

Doobie knows English!

I have taught Doob the word "Brush". It was actually pretty easy to do, since the brush is her most favourite thing in all the land, besides her kitty-weed.

It started when Suz and I noticed that every time the brush was sitting out, Doobie would become super-duper happy, bite it, and unsuccessfully rub her face on it. We would then pick it up and brush her with it. Her excitement escalated every time this happened, even if she accidentally rammed her eyeballs into the sharp bristles.

One day, after the blood and pus stopped oozing from her eyes, I announced that I was going to teach Doobie the world "Brush". I would start by asking her, "Brush? Brush? Bruuuush?" She didn't understand.

I pulled the brush out of the drawer and continued asking, "Brush? Bruuuush?" This is when her tiny brain started to clue in. For the next 2 weeks I would brush Doobie's greasy fur, all the while saying "Brush! Brush! Bruuuuush!"

It didn't take long for our little kitty -- okay, big kitty -- to make the connection.

Now, whenever I say that word, Doobie goes nuts, just like when you say "Cookie" to a Lab and "walk" to a Retriever. Or "kill" to a Doberman.

Exciting Stats:
The word brush (and variations of it) appears 15 times in the above post, which is also the weight, in lbs., of our sweet Doob.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Baby Signs

The youngest person ever to join the WWE!

I'm convinced that Seebie's on steroids. My little 20-month-old nephew eats more than you, and can probably beat you in an arm-wrestling contest.

Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little bit there, but he's still an impressive little guy.

At about 10 months old, he ate the same portion of lasagna that the rest of us were eating for dinner. Then, he screamed for more. Screamed his little guts out. Screamed so long and loud he nearly passed out.

I'm not kidding.

We got scared.

The only thing that stopped him from screaming more was cramming more food in his mouth.

I actually think he ended up eating more than I did that night. And I eat a lot. A Big Mac is a snack for me, just to tide me over until dinner, which would consist of two Big Macs and a large fries. And for dessert? Nothing. Ha.

I bet you were expecting me to say 'Big Mac' weren't you?

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, Seebie eats a lot of food. And he likes to flex his muscles. He's freakin' adorable.

After the ear-piercing screams became too much to handle, my sister taught him sign-language. It seems to be a popular trend among babies these days, as they do not have the verbal skills to express themselves.

Seebie could express himself, but everybody around him was suffering hearing loss, so sign-language was the right way to go.

Now, how do I sign "Rip your shirt off Hulk-Hogan style?"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

'5-Second Rule' Doesn't Apply

As Homer would say, 'Mmm, table-sauce!'

Dinner at my parents has changed drastically in the past couple of years. My sister and her husband have two boys. Boys who like to make messes.

In the past there have been a number of messes made. Messes consist of food. Food is distributed along the floor or table in a chaotic manner. Food always ends up where it shouldn't be.

The carpet gets the brunt of the assault, but some very expensive table linens have been attacked as well. My mom has learned some new math since she entered her 50s.

K+F=H, or Kids + Food = High dry cleaning bills.

Anticipating more food "mishaps", my parents put down a plastic table cloth this weekend, just before the Swiss Chalet dinners arrived. Only a few greasy minutes of peace slipped past before it was put to the test. But this time, it didn't start with the kids.

It was my forty-something brother-in-law who dumped an entire cup of Swiss Chalet sauce all over the table. I guess that's where his kids get it from. But this time, nobody was concerned about the mess. We were more concerned with making sure that tasty Chalet sauce didn't go to waste.

So for the next 45 minutes, we all dipped our fries and chicken in the communal sauce puddle in the middle of the table.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Good Drivers

Licence to drive is not always a licence to kill.

I always complain about bad drivers. If I did a poll, how many would select "bad driver" as their biggest pet peeve? A lot, probably.

During my daily 2 kilometre drive to work, more often than not, half the cars I encounter are being driven by people who should not possess a license. Sometimes these people do such stupid things, it's impressive that they're even alive.

But the other day, driving home from my physiotherapy appt., I was astonished at the number of good drivers who surrounded me.

And when I say surrounded, I mean surrounded.

It was a rainy day in Pizzaville, and it was also raining in my town. Heading down the mountain, the two lanes of traffic on the highway were moving well, but slowly.

Suddenly dozens of red brake lights filled my windshield. Everyone was braking hard.

Smart person #1 pulled his Infinity G35 coupe to the left, onto the shoulder. I, being smart person #2, pulled slighty to the right of him, yet stayed in my lane. Smart person #3 was the dude beside me who awesomely moved his Camry over a few inches.... just in case.

In my rearview I watched, white-knuckled, as smart person #4 pulled her minivan to the shoulder on the left of my car. Finally, smart person #5 came to a wonderful stop behind me.

After 8 seconds of heart-pounding avoidance, there were four rows of cars, side-by-side in two lanes of traffic.

Less than 5 seconds later I found myself cautiously driving through all the assorted debris that occurs when three cars smash into each other at 100 kph. I glanced to my left, inspected the vehicle's occupants and decided nobody was terribly injured.

Thank you to all the Smart drivers out there! Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Stayin' Alive

My sister named him Fox Mulder. I prefer Malorx, and Maloogy.

Fox (Mulder) is alive.

Meet Fox (Mulder). "Fox" for short. We used to be housemates, but his incessant alien-mouse-babbling and conspiracy-catnip-theory rants finally drove me to the brink. I moved out a few years ago.

But Fox still lives at my parents house. And, yes, he's still alive.

His evil twin used to roam the neighbourhood, often beating Fox up. But Fox can relax now, because his evil twin was killed on the weekend.

Everybody in the neighbourhood sadly waited at my parents front door to tell them the horrible story of how he perished, and how they'll never see his adorable "heart-paw" again.

Luckily they were wrong. Fox was safe in the house when his look-alike was killed. We were very happy, but sad and angry at the same time. The evil twin did not die a good death.

The ignorant, colossally assholish owners of a German Shepherd allowed their dog to run free in the neighbouring park, ignoring all posted By-Laws stating dogs MUST be kept on a leash at all times.

The German Shepherd instinctively chased after Fox's evil twin, who bolted for his life. Sadly, he made the unfortunate mistake of bolting across the road, directly in the path of a minivan.

Witnesses to this horror verbally attacked the owners of the German Shepherd, and with good reason. Their ignorance of the law caused 4 things:
1. A cat to die,
2. The owners of the cat to feel terrible grief,
3. The driver of the minivan to feel the same grief,
4. Every onlooker to this event to feel sick to the stomach.

One witness, in tears, grabbed the orange kitty from the road and drove it to a nearby vet, where his life slipped away, in the hands of two complete strangers.

Laws exist for our protection.
It's good to remember that.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Roadless Punta Cana

This little Kia was on a beer-run at the Ocean Blue.

Welcome to Day Five of "Complaining Week" at DMC & ME.

I'm not complaining today, but I'll tell you who's a complainer. Those whiners on the Titanic. The Atlantic isn't cold. It's darn warm - even warmer than the pool at our resort.

Consider just how close the salty sea is to the roads of Punta Cana, and you might be surprised to see how un-rusted their vehicles are.

Roads in Punta Cana are practically non-existant and are so rough they'd make a Jeep blush. On our long trip from the airport to the Ocean Blue Golf Resort, we encountered one paved road. The other roads were some sort of compacted gravelly dirt stuff.

Essentially, we went off-roading in order to reach our resort. Our Marcopolo bus was proudly made in Brazil, and was a sort of road-warrior.

The windows and sheetmetal crashed around us as we weaved our way through traffic. There aren't any rules on the road. The largest vehicles have the right of way, so giant tour buses get to do what they want. A honk or a flash of headlights means "get outta the way, or I'm ramming you off the road!"

Sadly, the smaller vehicles don't have much choice. If they don't pull over, the road will tear them apart as they try to outrun the trucks and buses.

I spotted one speed limit sign (37 kph). But generally, speed was limited to how much abuse the car could take.

Heavy duty Daihatsu trucks and massive Mercedes Benz buses with superior suspension absorbed potholes along with the best of the off-roading world. The smaller Kias and Mitsubishis were constantly dodging our speeding bus.

At the bottom of the vehicular pyramid were the thousands of dirtbikes that simply couldn't handle the ruts and holes. But when traffic slowed, they used their agility to slip through the lines of trucks to get ahead of us once again.

Seeing helmetless riders wearing only shorts was the norm. And seeing an undented truck was like seeing a Unicorn.

Even the little Daihatsus and Kia Towners that drove around our resort were banged up really badly.

For $90 per person, our resort offered a tour of the local Daihatsu factory where they pre-dented all the trucks. It's a feature we haven't come around to yet in North America, but you can bet it's on its way.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Old Fart's Fort

Rum? Gin? No, these old guys prefer Gin Rummy

During vacation time, one's mind starts to forget the troubles of everyday living. We don't have to think about electricity bills, washing our clothes, or making dinner.

As our worries slip away, so do our inhibitions.

Okay, maybe that's the unlimited alcohol. Either way, our minds turn to mush as we soak up the sun.

In a way, we all become kids again, with the resort employees as our parents. But they're nicer than our parents. They make lots of hot dogs for us, and never force us to finish our brussel sprouts before we're allowed to have some kickass pineapple for dessert.

For most of us on a resort, we'll never see the people around us again. So we don't care what they think.

Geezers never care what others think. Their time is running out, so they do as they please while they've still got the chance.

And if they want to build a fort on the beach out of lounge chairs, so be it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Postcard Image of Paradise

Where's the Rum????

Suz thinks I complain too much. Sheyuh. Like, whatever.

Here's proof.

The rest of the Ocean Blue Golf Resort was 122% more amazing and 85% neater than our room, making for a grand total of 207% increase in enjoyableness.

The pool was in 99% working order. Only one set of triple-sprinkle-fountains didn't work, which was actually a good thing since they attract tons of little yelling, splashing, shoving, peeing, bleeding kids.

I don't know if any of the kids bled in the pool, but I know they're capable of it.

The pool was totally fantabulous, and was actually two pools. Each pool was a winding, curved, twisted masterpiece with islands of palm trees sprinkled throughout. Each pool also had its own secluded circular seating area for peaceful relaxation.

At one shallow end there were four ceramic lounge chairs built in to the bottom, allowing you to have a nap in the pool without drowning. This was one of my most favourite features, tied with the main swim-up bar, and beating out the 12-foot circular hot tub by 6.5%

Our section of beach was enormous, especially compared to small things, like hamsters. Incidentally, the sand was so soft that it actually felt like we were walking on thousands of cuddly dead hamsters.

We walked down the beach in both directions and found that most of the other resorts had a section of beach about 75% smaller than ours. Their hamsters were not as fresh as ours, either.

Although I didn't try it, we had an impressive rock-climbing wall in the sand between our pool and the beach. Next to it was the beach volleyball court where I played with a great big pile of French people one afternoon. There was never a clear winner, as everyone was constantly distracted by the toplessness of many girls passing by.

Can't really complain about that, now can I?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ocean Blue Resort

Indiana Jones & the Bathroom of Doom.You can't always believe what you read. I learned it the hard way.

Suz carefully read hundreds of reviews on the best resorts in the Dominican Republic, and the Ocean Blue was clearly, hands down, the winner. The praise this 4-and-a-half star resort received was almost unbelievable.

What happened to us seems pretty unbelievable too.

If our room was any indication of the quality of construction of the 1-year-old Ocean Blue/Sand Resort, Punta Cana is going to have one less resort to offer next year.

Upon entering our room, 2110, everything seemed normal. The bathroom was exceptionally fancy with the granite/marble floors, walls and counter top. Beauty is one thing, but if it really comes down to car-maker Saab's philosophy, I choose function over form.

Our bathroom, essentially, did not work.

The first thing I noticed was the broken drain stopper in one of our two sinks. Being a pretty handy guy, I crawled underneath the sink and reconnected the plunger bar to the drain lever. All fixed.

Problem 2 occured when, after a nice whirlpool bath, we found it impossible to drain the giant tub. The mechanical drain stopper (circled in red) was broken. For this, I had to call the emergency "Fix-It" extension. While we were out for dinner that night, an employee fixed the stopper. But this turned out to be a recurring problem.

Not wanting to deal with it, we decided showers were a better idea. Oh boy, were we wrong.

The non-adjustable shower head was affixed so that the showeree received a full-force blast of water directly in the face. Luckily the shower head was removable. Unluckily, the bar that held it to the wall was broken, and fell apart at the slightest movement. After each shower I had to Macgyver it back into place.

And if those problems weren't enough, our plastic bathroom ceiling, pregnant with water, rained on us all week. Although I complained about this problem 3 times, it was never fixed.

When the resort lost all water/plumbing for about half a day, I optimistically thought they were fixing our leak. I will never learn.

At night, exhausted, I was happy to crash into bed for a great sleep, but it was not to be.

Even when it was turned off, the epileptic light in the middle of our room flashed erratically, making sleep impossible. I imagine that the electric short was caused by the leaking water above us. Water and electricity are a bad combination. At least there was a fire alarm in our room.

Oh wait, no there wasn't.

Surprisingly, even though we had a non-functional, constantly breaking bathroom, I didn't yell. I wanted to. But Suz stopped me by shoving a ripe tropical papaya in my mouth. It took 4 days to get it out. By then we were back home.

Monday, March 06, 2006

National Lampoon's Dominican Vacation?

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I'm back from the Dominican Republic!

I am tired, and kinda poopy, so I won't write much today.

Stay tuned to find out how our beautiful one-week vacation was one tarantula shy of becoming a nightmare...

It's so surreal, who else could it happen to but your blogger pal Martini?

See you tomorrow.


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