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

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Scaredy Cat

Scaredy Cat.

Lil Doobie likes to explore our backyard. Yes, she's a curious kitty, but curiosity hasn't "gotten" her yet. We've never really let her roam before because she's such a scaredy cat, and because we used to live near a fairly vehicularly populated road.

But our newish house is in a more secluded area near conservation lands, and is much less trafficy. We also have a non-electrified fence running the perimeter of our yard, with one main guard tower from which we watch her every move. This helps hold our kitties in, yet it doesn't kill them. It's quite neat, that old 1930's property definition technology.

During one of Doobie's recent explorations, she encountered something that triggered her auto-puff defense mechanism. The silence was eerie as Doobie began to grow larger and larger for some unknown reason. Her tail expanded and her back rose.

"What the heck is going on?" I thought.

Fence Dog.Then I looked into my neighbour's yard. Even then it took me a few moments (1 moment equals approximately 1.2 seconds) to notice the quiet black face staring through the fence. My neighbour doesn't have a dog, so it was a surprise to see this large curly-furred canine giving Bean such a fright.

I decided this would be a super radical opportunity to take a picture from each animal's perspective. Doggy saw kitty. Kitty saw doggy. Neither one said anything. They just looked at each other while the staring contest judge watched for blinking motion.

I put Doobie in the house to reduce her stress, and convinced her that coming in second place was good enough. She was content with her 'participation' ribbon and I rammed some catnip into her face to ease her mind.

Then, in typical fashion, our other cat, Stoner (aka Roner), came running into the sunroom to partake in the getting high. The kitties rolled on the carpet, forgetting all that troubled them that day.

Doobie was so sweet, she didn't even revert to her angry stoned personality. Usually she'll start a boxing match with Roner (aka Stoner) when she gets high, but not this day. This day, I think, she was just happy to be alive. Or happy to be stoned. I don't know.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Crusade For Cookie Crisp

Where's that dang Cookie Cop? And when did a wolf replace the Cookie Cop and burglar?

When people travel they often collect things. Some people can't resist a stop at the Duty Free for a couple of bottles of Jack Daniels or some sweet Southern Comfort whenever they visit the USA. Other people, who are really rotten at games like Guesstures, typically with the name Shelley or Shelleykins, collect spoons. Me? I like cereal.

I haven't seen commercials for Cookie Crisp cereal in decades, yet it graces the shelves of American grocery stores and food emporiums from coast to coast. As a self-proclaimed cereal conoisseur, I picked up two boxes of the fantastically cookielicious cereal on my trip home from Chicago last week.

I don't understand why Canada has this image of healthiness and therefore offers 92 varieties of sugarless granola, dehydrated fruit, and nut cluster style cereals and only offer three kid's cereals: Count Chocula, Scooby Doo and Lucky Charms.

And no, U.S. readers, no Berry Lucky Charms or Chocolate Lucky Charms - Just the regular original format.

I want Cookie Crisp. I want Cocoa Puffs. I want Boo Berry. I want Frankenberry. Why can't I buy these cereals? I have money. Here General Mills, here whoever else makes those cereals, take it! Take my money! Don't you want my money? I don't have cooties.

What's wrong with a company that refuses to sell their product? Are they just that rich that they can do without my cash? Wish I was that rich. Rich like Donald. Is Donald Trump a cereal fanatic? If he moved to Canada, not even his vast amount of money could buy a box of Cookie Crisp. He'd have to have it shipped, and then pay duty on it when it crossed the border. Oh Donald, you're such a sucker.

Actually, as angry as I am at Canada for not having these awsome cereals, I'm also glad. It makes my trips to the U.S. all the more exciting, and makes my mornings all the more exciting. I love the feeling of ramming all that "rare" American cereal into my tummy while some pony-tailed brat down the street is bawling her eyes out as her mom force-feeds her Honey Bunches of Oats, then kicks her size 2 ass onto the schoolbus and hands her a Tuna Salad sandwich and some Wheat Thins for lunch.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

And Insight Makes Four


The newest addition to our vehicular family came after Suz and I had nibbled on the idea for a couple of months. Finally, we had enough with the nibbling and bit the bullet. We bought a fourth car, a 2006 Honda Insight.

Oozing with oddness, you may be aware that we enjoy doing things the hard way. By hard way I mean importing an Insight from the U.S. instead of buying one in Canada. Don't worry, I'll tell you why

You might remember that Suz and I test-drove a Canadian spec Insight a little while ago. It was a five-speed Insight, as all Canadian models are. After some practicing, Suz realized she would not be able to drive standard, so we were faced with only one other choice: Order an automatic Honda Insight from the United States.

We spoke with Honda dealerships in New York and Michigan, but since they border Ontario they were not permitted to sell us a car. But Ohio's naughty hand doesn't touch us, so three cheers for the Buckeye State!

Returning from DeLorean Car Show 2006, Suz and I made a pit-stop in Sandusky Ohio. Instead of Cedar Point's amazing roller coasters, we found our thrills at Victory Honda, in the form of an aluminum and magnesium car known as the Honda Insight.

Kinda reminds you of Jackie Chan's car in Cannonball Run, huh?We bought the car, and faxed all the paperwork to U.S. Customs, giving them the appropriate 72 hours notice before we brought the car over the border. The following week we drove back to Victory Honda, ate free hot dogs, switched the digital display to Km/h, and took our car into Canada.

With a number of differences, our Insight is most likely a one-of-a-kind car in Canada. We quite possibly have the only CVT Insight in Canada. The dash displays the position of the shifter instead of "shift up" and "shift down" arrows. Digital gauges show various things, such as how much blendered, liquified dinosaurs remain in the fuel tank. The CVT Insight comes equipped with two paddles on the steering wheel for normal driving and sporty driving. Clicking the 'S' paddle locks the continuously variable transmission into a higher rpm range for quicker consumption of rotted, liquid Stegasaurus.

As well, we were rather chipper to discover our Insight has a totally U.S. spec tan interior to boot! No dull, depressing black & grey Canadian fabric for us.

On our trip home, travelling 125 kph for about 6 hours, the Insight averaged 61 mpg (we're talking Canadian Imperial gallons, folks) while my Talon averaged 33 mpg, about half the mileage of the Insight. (However, there are not many 400 hp all-wheel-drive cars that can claim that kind of mileage.)

After five and a half hours on the highway and 30 minutes of "oh-man-we're-totally-lost" action in Detroit, we arrived home. My Talon with 3 litres of fuel left in the tank, and the Insight with half a tank, 20 litres.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More Celebs At DCS 2006

Jeffrey Weissman: George McFly & Marty (McFly?)

How observant are you? Even if you look closely, you might not recognize the final celebrity I met at the 25th Anniversary of the DeLorean celebration in Chicago last week. With his adorable curls, I was totally surprised to learn that this was Jeffrey Weissman, who played Marty McFly's father, George McFly, in Back To The Future II and Back To The Future III.

George McFly, in the first Back To The Future movie, was played by Crispin Glover with his straight, greasified hair. This slick hairstyle was duplicated on top of Jeffrey Weissman's cranium in the sequels to avoid continuity flaws.

You might not have noticed the style of his hair so much in the second movie, as he spent pretty much all of it suspended upside down in some futuristic 2015 spinal therapy unit-type thingy, while Lorraine hydrated a pizza for dinner. In other scenes, recycled footage of Crispin Glover (who wasn't really given a chance to reprise his role) was used. He sued. He won.

Suz and I had a chance to talk to Jeff Weissman while we hung out next to Video Bob's BTTF booth. Mr. Weissman, dressed in an outstanding blue suit with matching pantaloons, told us of his grand adventures in Canada. When I asked him what he thought of Toronto, he gave the standard "it's a very clean city" response. A huge smile crossed his face when he told us how he was attending a game at the newly opened Skydome during the yes-that's-two-way-glass public sex incident. And as if his trips to Canada weren't interesting enough with that, he was also filming in Quebec back in the '90s when the snooty PQ were rallying and threatening to secede. We continued to talk for a very long time. It was enjoyable.

A few hours later, the final big event of DCS 2006 took place on stage. It was an auction of DeLorean and Back To The Future memorabilia, with none other than the comical Mr. Weissman performing the duties of head auctioneer. His hilarious antics and improv lit up the room and possibly helped bring in some extra cash for some slow-moving items.

Wonder what he's been up to? Was he really in an episode of Saved By The Bell?Check it out!

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Friday, June 23, 2006

A Sight For Sore Eyes

Claudia Wells and me. 'Jennifer' and Marty. Hyuk!

Although I saw her many times during the DCS 2006 weekend, it wasn't until the last night that I actually met Claudia Wells, who co-starred as Marty McFly's girlfriend, Jennifer Parker, in the first Back To The Future movie.

In her sparkling gold dress, accompanied by her son who is addicted to 3M plastic picture hooks, she sat down for dinner at the table beside us. With mild butterfly-induced stomach-churnage, I clutched my copy of the Back To The Future trilogy and approached her.

"Hi Claudia. Sorry to bother you just before dinner," I said, "but I would love it if you could sign this for me." She very happily agreed to my request and prepared to sign the DVD case with a nifty black Sharpie. I giddily stood there, not expecting her first question: "And what's your name?"

I kind of laughed when I told her. "Marty" I said. Claudia Wells, aka Jennifer, did a double-take. "Really?" She asked. "Isn't that funny!"

"I know!" I laughed again.

And she signed my Back To The Future trilogy, underneath the english title, just to the left of the damn French title that, by law, has to appear on all Canadian DVDs.

End scene of Back To The Future 1Claudia Wells was cast in the first Back To The Future movie as Marty's awesome girlfriend. She's the one who warned Marty that Strickland was looking for him. She watched Marty's band get turned down in the auditorium, and she didn't get jealous when Marty got distracted by two aerobically-dressed girls in the parking lot. Here she is, sitting in the Mr. Fusion DeLorean at the end of the 1st movie.

Opening scene of Back To The Future 2When Back To The Future II came out, Claudia Wells was replaced by Elisabeth Shue. According to imdb.com, this was due to health problems. The opening scene of BTTF II was entirely reshot with Elisabeth Shue dressed in the same clothes, and uttering the same lines. Claudia's lines! When I was a kid, all I could think of was 'Booooooo!'

However, now that I've matured (barely), it doesn't bother me. Besides, it's not like Elisabeth Shue is hard to look at.

But during the weekend not one person mentioned Elisabeth Shue. I heard a few comments from guys such as "Who DIDN'T have a crush on Jennifer?" and other various "Claudia's hot" type remarks. Looking back at the movie, when she wrote her number for Marty, 555-4823, I wonder how many of those impressionable guys actually tried to call her. I didn't. But I asked my dad why they would show her number in the movie. "Everybody's going to be calling her!" I said.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Famous, Fab DeLoreans

This is the closest I've ever been to Johnny Carson. Or his ghost.
The DeLorean car show in Chicago this past weekend was a stainless steelicious sight to behold. Not only was the Pheasant Run resort crawling with DeLorean fans, owners and Back To The Future stars, but with very special DeLoreans as well. And I don't mean "special" in the rides the short bus kind of way.

One of the most famous DeLoreans of all time, known as the $500,000 DeLorean, was on display for all to see, touch and smudge their greasy fingers all over the stainless body. The car belonged to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson. After donating half a million dollars to John DeLorean to help start his automotive company, Mr. Johnny Carson was given this DeLorean as thanks. In February of 1982, while driving under the influence (of alcohol I presume), Mr. Carson was pulled over and arrested. The incident made headlines nation-wide. Johnny Carson died January 23, 2005, followed 2 months later by John DeLorean.

DeLorean VIN #1Among other incredible D's such as the various Time Machines, quietly sat this pristine example of a DeLorean. This particular model appears no different than most 1981 models, until you read the VIN number.

Editor's Note: the following info was supplied by the owner of the car, and is false/incorrect. Apologies to the DeLorean community. According to the owner, after the first 500 series cars were given to the friends and managers of the DeLorean Motor Company, this car was stamped VIN#1 (actually 1001) and was the first ever available to the public.

The car was RUSH shipped from Ireland to the car collector and DeLorean Company investor who purchased it and added it to his extensive collection of other VIN#1 cars. This automatic DeLorean was the same car shown to the United States press for the purpose of news articles, TV appearances and fund-raising events.

WHAT'S CRACKIN' HOMEY? Not THIS dashboard.Afterwards, VIN#1 was stored in a climate-controlled museum until 1994. When the owner sold his car collection he decided to keep two cars in his carpeted office. A Jaguar XK-E and this DeLorean. This DeLorean is now for sale for an undisclosed price. If you've got a couple of piggy banks full to the brim, and a mattress stuffed with your life savings and you want to spend it on a piece of automotive history, feel free to contact Jay Steinberg via email: dmchistory [at] aol.com

If you're wondering about DeLorean prices, they are all over the map. On the low end, beat-up abused D's can be purchased for as little as about $8,000 U.S. A very nice model will fetch between $20,000 and $30,000 while show cars can get upwards of $50,000 or $60,000. With John DeLorean's death, the price of these collectible cars has started to rise. Get yours now, before it's too late!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Eat Lead Slackers!

Me and James Tolkan

James Tolkan , famous for his role as the nasty principal Strickland in the Back To The Future movies, joined the happy DeLorean owners for DCS 2006 in Chicago. Hilarious as can be, he started off the celebration by climbing up on stage and telling us that he saw a bunch of slackers driving Corvettes outside. The crowd erupted in cheers and applause.

Afterwards I ran over to his table so that I could meet this awesome guy and have my picture taken with him. When we learned he was about to celebrate his 75th birthday on June 20th, I realized just how long it has been since Mr. Strickland made that first impression on me back in 1985. Wow, what a mean dude.

The famous scene from Back To The FutureYou might remember how mean Mr. Strickland was, yelling at Marty "You've got a real attitude problem McFly, you're a SLACKER!" With Marty's sarcastic reply, the nasty Mr. Strickland leaned in closer. "...No McFly ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley!"

This made such a strong impression on me as a 10-year-old kid named Marty. Strickland was so mean, and so great! The anger was so real you could taste it. What is it about the mean dudes that we just love?

But it has to be the second instalment of the Back To The Future franchise in which James uttered his best, and possibly most memorable line. In the alternate future 1985, Hill Valley is ruined and overrun by greasy punks. Strapped with ammo, the Ramboesque Strickland returns fire on his machine-gun toting assailants in style, shouting "EAT LEAD SLACKERS!"

Yay! Strickland calling ME a slacker!I've always felt a strange connection to the Back To The Future movies, and therefore the actors involved too. I was dying to ask Mr. Tolkan to poke me in the chest and call me a slacker. With the name Marty, it just seemed so right. But I couldn't build up the courage to do it, even when, during dinner, he came by our table, patted me on the back and asked how I was doing.

When Suz and I told James we were from frosty old Canada, he seemed a bit surprised, as nearly everyone present was American. He told us about all the Canadian cities he has filmed in, and how much he liked our country. What a nice thing to say, for a nasty, evil principal!

He has also had roles in many other famous movies like Top Gun and The Amityville Horror, as well as 'Commander Cyrus Quinn' in one of my most favourite, most underrated, short-lived TV series ever: Nowhere Man. If you think James Tolkan rules, check out his long career. I put an easy link there for all you slackers who can't be bothered to look stuff up on your own.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

DeLorean Car Show 2006

Delorean car show 2006

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the DeLorean, and Suz and I joined the unforgettable festivities this past weekend at the Pheasant Run Resort in Chicago. The event was the largest DeLorean gathering in history, with 156 DMC-12s making the journey, most under their own power and a few being trailered in.

Trailer Queens included 7 Concours worthy DeLoreans, and, I suspect, at least one of the Time Machines. Yes, that's right, Time Machines. There were multiple Back To The Future time machines present, each one unique, spectacular, and oozing with glorious nerdiness.

Suz practising to replace Vanna White.As if they couldn't make Pheasant Run more exciting, DCS 2006 was merged with the Bloomington Gold Corvette show at the same resort, which saw six thousand Corvettes joining the DeLoreans. It was a spectacular sight to see, if you could keep your eyes open against the sun's atomic rays blasting off the polished stainless bodies.

Our group was privileged to watch the debut screening of Looking Back At The Future, a documentary which essentially looks at the reasons why the movie franchise Back To The Future was so successful, and why it remains so popular even 20 years later. The documentary interviewed the producers, directors, and nearly all the key actors except Michael J. Fox, who continues to focus his energies on his foundation for fighting Parkinson's Disease.

We met Kathryn Delorean and her mean streak... I mean, red streak (of hair).Vendors such as Rob Grady of New York's P.J. Grady's and Video Bob of bttfstuff.com set up displays and processed credit cars all day long while some of the actors from the Back To The Future movies mingled with the guests, including me. John DeLorean's daughter, Kathryn, seemed only too happy to meet new people like myself, and with old friends she had met at previous events.

The Concours cars were judged during the weekend celebration. The judges spent 3 hours on each car entered into the Concours and, using their judging skills and super powers, determined 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Awards were presented to the luckiest of DeLorean owners during Saturday night's dinner.

But everyone present was lucky, even if they didn't win a thing, as the most precious DeLorean ever was revealed to us Friday night. Prototype 1, hidden since 1984, was purchased for approximately $100,000 U.S. in January 2004, restored, and unveiled to us in spectacular fashion. It is a moment I will never forget. In fact, the entire weekend is one I will never forget.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The New 7-Up

Fido's back, and he's as white as ever.

There's a new 7-Up. Have you heard? It's all-natural, but I have some news. It's not new. Those Pepsi-co folk'll try and tell you it's brand new, and therefore you should buy it. Because everyone likes new stuff, right?

What those Pepsi-co dudes didn't reveal in their marketing plan is that this radical new 7-Up has been around for months, possibly even years. I know this because I have a few bottles of it from our Dominican trip back in February and March.

At first, when we drank our fancy Dominican drinks, I thought the unusual taste was just their islandy version of the popular clear sody pop. Since forgotten Fido Dido graced the tropical labelling, it even crossed my mind that the Dominicans had stumbled upon a crate full of 17 year old 7-Ups floating somewhere just off the eastern coast. But we drank our drinks, and enjoyed them regardless.

On our last day I decided to clear out the mini bar. Now, that's not something I'd normally do, but the trip was all-inclusive, and that means all the contents of the mini-bar are included, minus the light bulb. I had to take the 7-Up. Who would believe me that cool dudely guy Fido Dido still exists? I had to show his pasty white legs to everybody at home, so I packed two bottles of 7-UP in our swelling suitcase.

Upon reading the Spanish ingredients at home, I discovered that this was, in fact, the new all-natural mixture that had been touted on TV as the healthy alternative to the old-style chemical-infused 7-Up.

There are only five ingredients in this 'new' 7-Up. I forget what they are. I think it goes like this: water, sugar, lemons, limes, and MSG.

It takes a bit to get used to the different, wholesome taste. But if it doesn't catch on, it'll be history, just like their old spokesdude, Fido Dido. And with that, I'm history too, as I'm off on a short, but extraordinarily exciting vacation in Chicago.

Stay tuned for amazing DMC-related Chicagadventures.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wild Thailand Toothpaste

Colgate's Thailand-style toothpaste
This is a tube of toothpaste. It's from Thailand. It's Thai-Colgate. It's the same standard size tube we would find in any store here in Canada or the U.S. It features a picture of a young Asian couple, smiling vibrantly, proudly showing off their sparkling white teeth, thanks to those super folks at Colgate.

My sisinlaw, Beck, just got back from approximately 6 months travelling around Asia, where she had grand adventures and bought various cool things, including this tube of toothpaste. I wonder how many different tubes she looked at before deciding upon this one. And why, ultimately, did she choose this brand? Perhaps it was the only familiar name. I should have asked her. But I didn't.

Pirates beware! This toothpaste results in less gold teeth.What fascinates me about this toothpaste is how different it is to our own, despite the similar tube-style packaging. The only english on the toothpaste tube indicates that it's chock full of Vitaminy goodness. Vitamin C in particular. The Vitamin C appears to be coming from fresh lemons.

We need to eat Vitamin C to avoid things like scurvy, multiple sclerosis and general mocking, but I do not understand how the Vitamin C in the toothpaste is supposed to get inside our bodies. We were taught, at a very young age, that swallowing toothpaste is very bad for us. I do not know exactly how this Vitamin C gets into our cells, unless this is the world's first edible toothpaste, undergoing a trial run on the other side of the world.

Zzzoooof! Bzzzzzooooooo! Lasers!More Images on the reverse side of the tube indicate that after using this Colgate product, ones breath becomes green, and 4 lasers will shoot out of the user's mouth, firing off in various directions. The lasers are most likely for destroying evil mechs that are always attacking large Asian cities and metropolises (Metropoli?)

Inside the tube, the bizarre transparent neon green lemon-lime coloured toothpaste draws you in with its nuclear glow. Closer, and closer still, until you can resist no longer. YOU MUST CONSUME!

In Canada only small children experience the joy of brushing their teeth with oddly-coloured pink and blue toothpaste with sparkles and such. But in Asia, young smiling couples, grandparents, bus drivers and small-business owners alike enjoy the awesomeness of the strange toothpaste.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why Toyota Will De-Throne GM

'Brand new' strut mount, according to a GM mechanic.This is a picture of a 3-year-old upper strut mount in our 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. I know this. But General Motors doesn't.

When we pick up our car from you, GM, don't lie to us and tell us that you replaced the upper strut mount when you clearly didn't. Rusty, dirt-covered, salt-encrusted strut mounts are not brand new. And they don't creak just like the old ones, either.

Thanks for the slap in the face, General Motors. It's not enough that your mechanics don't know how to fix the stupid little problems with our Crapalier, but then you lie to our faces about the work you did to our car? Not cool GM, not cool at all. Your mechanics might be nice people, who live in my neighbourhood, shop at the same grocery store as me, get horrific diarrhea, and have families to raise and love. But they suck donkey balls. Speaking of balls... have the balls to tell me when you've done something wrong and I will respect you. Right now, all I want to do is drop firey napalm on your sorry, lopsided, hemmorhoiddy asses and roast tasty marshmallows for 7 and a half hours.

Maybe this one is old and worn out?This is a picture of a brand new upper strut mount in our 2003 Cavalier. GM mechanics take notice. I know you've been trained by GM, but the brainwashing must end!

When I ask you why you didn't replace the upper strut mount in the first place, don't lie to me. Don't tell me you did - that it's impossible to see the upper strut mount from the engine bay. Don't lie to me and tell me that it's hidden down inside the strut tower. If you are going to lie to someone, choose wisely who you lie to. Do not lie to the person who knows about cars.

Now that you've actually replaced the upper strut mount on the passenger side, you will not be able to lie anymore. What are you going to do, dear GM mechanic? Who will you lie to now? The 87-year-old grandmother who is sure to croak next week and hassle you no longer? The ditz waitress who thinks her 710 cap is on upside down? Maybe you'll get away with it, and maybe not. That grandmother has a lawyer for a son. That waitress is actually a reporter in diguise.

And one day Toyota will surpass you as the world's #1 automaker, not because their mechanics are more truthful, but because their vehicles don't need upper strut mounts replaced after 30,000 kms.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blue Bearded Iris

Iris is a pretty flower. Yay.
In our garden we have some monster irises. Our bearded irises are a blue, a standard iris colour, and they are tall. Taller than you.

Apparently the Siberian variety is easier to grow than the bearded kind, but, even though my experience with them is limited, I'd have to disagree. Our Bearded irises are growing out of control. We can't stop them, and if their steroid-fuelled growth continues, we'll soon be homeless.

With one bloom on the stalk, our irises have been standing strong, but that single bloom soon had some company. Two more blooms joined that original bloom as the weather became hotter. With a crazed, drunken bloom party taking place on our front lawn, the stalks could no longer support the weight, making many of our irises fall flat on the ground just like drunken college kids. Or me at Halloween.

Watch out C.N. Tower...Literature states that irises grow as short as 4 inches, with some varieties reaching up to around 28 inches. The tallest iris will grow to an amazing height of just over 1 meter. One meter is 39 inches.

If that is true, our irises are flowering freaks of nature, with a whopping 53-and-a-half inches average height. That's over a foot taller than the tallest irises, according to experts. That's like, three juice boxes, a stack of around 20 Oreo cookies, or four Big Macs! Like, whoa! Damn crazy irises.

I pledge my allegiance to our new world leaders. Please don't eat me, blue bearded iris.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Discontinued Breyers Ice Cream?

My 3-day ice cream supply.
The question posed: Has Breyers discontinued their mega-creamy Cookies and Cream ice cream, along with a number of other 'Naturally Flavoured' ice cream products?

Let's look at the evidence. Local Barn Markets across the land have posted professional-looking signs stating Breyer's Cookies 'n Cream ice cream has been discontinued. The Barn, famous for high prices, even lowered the price of the discontinued ice cream by $2.00, allowing panic-stricken ice cream lovers to pick up the remaining cartons for $5.19.

And that is precisely what Suz did when she saw the 'discontinued' sign on my favourite ice cream.

"Wait a second," you're asking. "Did you just say that was your favourite ice cream? I thought you hated it! You even wrote a letter!"

It's almost true. Although I was extremely disappointed, almost to the point of horrification, at Breyer's recipe-change, I could not find another ice cream that I loved. Loved so dearly. So completely. So deeply. So, like a person raised on 1% milk eventually gets used to 2% if they drink it long enough, I became accustomed to the creamy new recipe.

Upset, I decided to go straight to the horse's mouth, and ask Breyers why they discontinued their Cookies and Cream ice cream. Here is the response that 'Eeeped' into my inbox:

June 1, 2006

Dear Mr. Martini
Thank you very much for contacting us regarding the availability of Breyers® Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.

The product you are inquiring about has not been discontinued. Every grocery store nationwide is presented our entire portfolio of products. Unfortunately, not all of the stores take all of our products. Usually the decision is left up to the category buyer of that particular account. The more people that request a particular product, the more likely the store will stock their shelves with it. So you may want to ask your store to carry this product or special order it for you. The UPC or order number is 58779-77659. You can also check the store locater on our web site for information on where the product is available in your area.

Thank you


That's right. The Barn has been lying to its customers! And to make things even worse, this week, their shelves are overflowing with the very same ice cream they claimed existed no longer. And the 'Discontinued' signs have all been removed.

So what kind of game are they playing? Is this some sort of wacky ice cream conspiracy? There is only one logical answer to this illogical behaviour: The Barn has been overtaken by the government of Canada.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Me vs. The Raccoons

The remnants of a once-delicous strawberry.
I have a strawberry bush. It supplies me with sweet berries... If only I had a chance to eat them.

Out of the last 8 straweberries that have ripened to full juiciness I have only tasted one damn berry because of a group of repugnant Raccoons who've been climbing onto my patio set at night and feasting upon the fruits of my labours.

When the first red strawberry went missing, I thought maybe some squirrel brothers had eaten it. But upon further investigating, I found that the strawberry went missing during the night, when the squirrels were dozing in their Nutco® Squirrel Bunkbeds.

I decided not to get upset. After all, there were 7 more strawberries on the verge of full, sweet ripeness, ready to devour. Plus, squirrels are super cute. So how could I get mad at them?

Coons like 'em, people like 'em. Strawberries is perfect.The next night my strawberry bush was under full seige while I slept, unaware of the devastation happening in my own backyard. It wasn't until the next morning that I saw the carnage to my poor fruit-bearing bush.

But they were sloppy this time. They left clues. Along with the SEVEN FREAKING ripe strawberries they ate, they plastered their muddy paw prints all over our table, and the side of our garbage can. It was confirmed - Raccoons! And they had brought reinforcements to finish off the sweet, sweet fruit. Those tender berries didn't stand a chance against those tiny 'coon paws.

They only swallowed the most rounder-est, ripest strawberries, which seems to go against the common perception that raccoons will eat anything, including repulsive rotting refuse. Proof of this was the green one with a single small test bite.

With nothing but green berries left, I decided the best thing to do was put the plastic pot inside our sunroom at night, then place it back on the patio during the day. My plans for planting it in the garden went out the window.

I have only eaten one strawberry since first purchasing the plant for about $8. That is one darn expensive strawberry.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Bricklin

Cars go vroooom!

The weather has been so fantabulous lately that the streets are overflowing with slippery collector cars blinding me with their wax-jobs. And I was lucky enough to snap a couple of pictures of this awesome Bricklin SV-1 the other day. But why is the Bricklin so awesome? Partially because it's Canadian-built, and partially because it's kinda like the DeLorean's long-lost twin.

In fact, the similarities between Malcolm Bricklin's creation and the DeLorean are undeniably bizarre.

You think I'm on crack? Well, I'll tell you who's on crack - Those crackheads who regularly mistake my DeLorean for a Bricklin simply because they share the same exotic gull-wing door feature.

But that's not even the half of it. Both the Bricklin SV-1 and the DeLorean DMC-12 were designed primarily as "safety vehicles" with impressive, ahead-of-their-time life-saving devices.

The 'SV' in Bricklin's SV-1 actually stands for Safety Vehicle, and the DMC-12 was originally named the DeLorean DSV, or DeLorean Safety Vehicle. Sadly, some of the DeLorean's safety features, like airbags, did not materialize on production cars. But others, such as side-impact bulkheads that protect passenger's hips and lower torso have been recently adopted by Volvo.

The Bricklin's ass is sweet.The similarities continue with the fact that both cars were 2-seater rear-wheel-drive sports cars that came with amazing, ground-breaking standard features such as a see-through windshield, tires, a wheel for changing directions, and the reverse gear, which came in handy when trapped inside a garage or horse trailer.

The final similarity is how both companies failed - Bricklin after producing approximately 2,857 nifty vehicles, Delorean after producing around 8,700. Which makes Mercedes-Benz the only mainstream company to still exist, that once offered a factory-built gull-wing door car.

People seem to either love or hate the Bricklin. The one I saw here had ill-fitting doors, but otherwise looked immaculate. Although the exterior is deadly, I've never really been a huge fan. Upon viewing the vomit-coloured interior option borne of the 70s, (which is totally cool in a bizarrely retro way) some fans become non-fans. Still, the Bricklin is a totally awesome car, at least on the exterior, and a super-radical collector car due to its low production run.

But people are all entitled to their opinions (even if they're crazy).

I've been told by uninformed people that my car is an interesting part of Canadian history. I've been told that I had been ripped off because my DeLorean didn't have the original 351 Ford V-8 or the AMC 360. I've even been corrected, and told that my car was built in New Brunswick, not Ireland. And I've been told that the Staypuff Marshmallow man and Bib, the Michelin Man, are the same guy.

It's quite strange what people tell me.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Home Made Cotton Candy

ST3 is the cotton candy guy AND the freakshow!

My buddy, ST3 celebrated his birthday by moving into his new house, tearing down trees and overgrown bushes, and making treats for me and Suz.

ST3 loves his toys. And currently, all his toys are of the carnival food nature. Okay, that statement is sort of an oxymoron. It's actually non-food, as nothing you eat at a carnival constitutes nourishment.

One of his greatest carnival food toys is his Cotton Candy machine. And yes, it makes REAL cotton candy, or candy floss, if you prefer.

The thing that surprised me most is how many flavours of Cotton Candy there are. I bet you always thought there were two: Pink and Blue. But there are actually 11 different flavours including coconut, watermelon, banana, and lime.

ST3 was able to acquire most of these flavours, and we happily tested their yum-factor on his birthday. There were no clowns squirting water in people's faces, or any wack-a-mole games offering dollar-store prizes. But the cotton candy cartons themselves offered a great amount of amusement.

I'll bet you never thought you'd be eating Silly-Nilly Cotton Candy. But perhaps you know it better by the name "Pink Vanilla". Or maybe not. The names aren't advertised anywhere. Maybe because they're so goofball. Consider "Grape" flavoured cotton candy, also known as Spookie-Fruiti to Carnies. Yes, Grape is Spooky.

And don't forget these Helpful hints for profitable floss operation:

  • Do not add sugar when motor is running.
  • Decrease heat whenever you smell sugar burning.
  • Keep Floss Display Racks full at all times.
  • Recommend multiple take-home sales.

Recommend multiple take-home sales? I don't think the Cotton Candy industry needs high pressure salespeople learning tips and tactics off the side of the carton. Do they really need to convince kids to take home multiple bags of its glorious sugaryness? Ummm, no.


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