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

Monday, April 30, 2007

DeLorean Comes Out To Play

The DeLorean looks totally chopped compared to my sister's Taurus.

Inside my brain a rambunctious child constantly knocks on my brain's squishy "play" door. It happens in the morning, the afternoon and very, very late at night. When I ignore my inner child, he fires a shot of adrenaline through my veins. Sometimes this happens at 1:17 a.m.

Sometimes I hate him.

But, when I'm not trying sleep, I really like the little guy. He always has good ideas that involve bananas, mountain bikes, video games, or cars. For the past few weeks he's been wanting to play with the latter. In order to appease him, I pulled the DeLorean out of storage on the weekend.

First came the tire check. The driver's front dropped to 19 psi, which, combined with the sportiness of no power steering, creates issues my puny stick-arms can’t deal with.

Next came the gasoline installation. As indicated by the owner’s manual, only 91 octane will suffice, which is odd considering the low 8.8:1 compression ratio. Ten dollars later I had a sixteenth of a tank, and enough to get her running.

Once the battery was charged I cranked her over and listened to the beautiful sound of backfiring echoing in the garage. I watched for 10 minutes while the dual exhaust belched out unhealthy amounts of black, probably carcinogenic-but maybe-not-am-I-really-going-to-take-the-chance smoke.

When it cleared Suz and I jumped in and took her for a spin up to my parents for dinner. It was the first time this year that I truly felt summer was here, and it was time to play.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Loneliest Number

Scratch & Lose piece of crap card.

I found this scratch 'n win card in our recycling bin when I got home after a healthy 14.5 hour shift. I couldn't resist scratching the stupid, shiney silver dot, even though I already knew I'd won the booby prize.

Why is it that when you scratch a promotional card for any fitness gym, you always win their 'rare' grand prize of 6 months for free, or no membership fees?

Nobody wants these prizes. Why? Because nobody really joins gyms. And those exceptional few who actually do go to gyms, well, they're already happy, sweaty members of their gyms and won't need the silly free membership.

Promotional scratchies for other companies always leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Of course, scratching the dot with your teeth is not the best idea.

But even when you reveal your prize with a coin, your keys, a butter knife, or a really sharp banana, you end up with the lowest prize available – a stinking 5% off your purchase. That's like 15 cents off your 4-pack of light bulbs which will probably be banned soon because CFL's are the future. And everybody likes the future. It's full of possibilities.

But what's not possible is winning the grand prize. Because, according to the statistics on the back of Rona’s scratch 'n win card, there is only one card which holds the grand prize of a whopping 50% off your purchase.


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How To Get 70 MPG

Yes, this really is a full double garage. It’s an illusion!

With an unseasonable blast of warmth, it was the ideal weekend to take the snow tires off the Insight. I washed the car first, so that the slippery aerodynamical cleanliness combined with the super low-rolling resistance tires would get me super-mega awesome mileage.

I drove up to BPZ’s new house achieving a decent 4.5L/100 km. I crossed the 4-inch wide river of muddy doom created by his car-washing neighbour, and nestled the little hybrid into the furniture-filled garage.

In a few minutes I had the two front tires off, and we all stood around giggling and pointing at the tiny brakes. Yes, size does matter.

After we had our fun, I loaded the two snow tires into the back, causing drive-home suckage. Having six wheels, mileage wasn’t as good as it could be. Granted, the four wheels actually bolted on the car served me well, rolling appropriately down the highway and all. But the two in the back were useless. Dead weight, essentially.

When I arrived home, the Fuel Consumption Display read 4.0L/100 km (or 70.6 mpg), even after dodging through narrow neighbourhood streets to locate the fire. It wasn’t the best, but it’ll do pig, it’ll do.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 23, 2007

So Much For Earth Day

Production at the sock factory is way up. Smokestacks working overtime!

I'm not some hippie environmentalist, but I make an effort. If a program exists, I use it. If a product exists, I buy it. Energy efficient products are win-win products. They help save our environment, and save me money.

If you ask me, every day should be Earth Day. After all, we live on the earth every day of our lives, save for a few brave astronauts, and a couple of monkeys that were hurled into space.

Earth Day is supposed to be about celebrating our planet, and cleaning it up. But instead of tiny oaklings covering the land, I noticed an enormous plume of smoke covering the horizon as I drove home.

"There's a fire at the old Depends Undergarment factory!" I thought, as the grey smoke drifted sideways through the sky. If it's even possible, I carefully scrambled for my camera as I drove along the highway. Trees interrupted nearly every shot I took, but I was able to capture one half-decent view of the smoke.

I manoeuvered my little Insight as close as I could, and discovered a problem that maybe wasn't worse than a chemical-diarrhea fire, but possibly sadder.

It was the conservation area right by my house that was on fire. And surprisingly, there was no mention of it in today's newspaper.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dinner & Stupidity

Ericsson CF388 - 10 year old plastic dinner.

"We have cell phones." I said, greeting the girl behind the counter. The naïve and confused Pizza Pizza employee asked, "for… me?" in such a naïve and confused way that I almost laughed.

"No." I pointed to the sign on the counter, "for the cell phone recycling program you have. You know, cell phones in exchange for pizza?"

She looked even more confused. Was I playing on her gullibility? Perhaps she was shocked that a random customer knew more about their promotions than she did. She leaned back and moved her eyeballs over to the slick sign I was talking about. She didn’t know what to say, and ran off to get her manager. I noticed that she ran like a girl.

When the manager came around the corner he held his hand out and smiled. We handed him our cell phones and charger, and he explained to the girl that we each got a free slice of pizza.

Pizza Pizza, Ontario's #1 pizza. Ontario's #982 recycler.I felt great. Not only were we helping the environment by driving our Insight to the restauraunt but we were also recycling our old NiMh batteries and cell phones. On top of that, Pizza Pizza makes a donation to some environmental thingy. Who wouldn’t feel good about free pizza & less junk in their kitchen drawers?

We sat in the restaurant, eating our free pizza and smiling. When we finished, we stood up with our cardboard pizza trays and looked for the recycling. We looked and looked, but found nothing.

No recycling for paper, no recycling for cardboard, no recycling for bottles, no recycling for cans. Nothing.

How hard can it possibly be to recycle cardboard at a business that has cardboard as its primary garbage type? It blew our minds that Pizza Pizza can recycle cell phones, but not paper products. How backwards is that? So we folded our cardboard trays, took them home and placed them into our own BLUE BIN, which every household in our city has.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Say 'No' To Crack

Police will stop you for possession of both kinds of crack: cocaine, and windshield.

With just under 330,000 kms, it looks like it's the end of the road for the battle-weary, tire-squealing, Christmas-tree-haulin’ Yamaha-powered SHO. All because of crack. Not the illegal kind, but rather, a bad case of windshield crack. You can view a larger photo of it here.

Just before Easter, a double arch-type crack appeared in the corner of the glass. I didn't hit anything like enormous potholes, or caribou, and as far as I know nothing fell on the car. The crack simply appeared one morning. Was it Jesus' way of telling me I should pay more attention to him, or did the windshield frame simply rust away? I'll never know.

As I drove home from work that day I heard the unique "CRIT" as another crack branched off the main arch. That one really upset me, as it was the final death blow to the poor Taurus. At least the other two arches had start and end points. But cracks that start heading across horizontally will eventually make the entire journey to the other side.

That's when the windshield will fall in on the driver's lap, slicing the legs off, and leaving the vehicle's speed uncontrollable. Typically the vehicle will crash soon after this happens. Reporters may or may not take pictures, depending on the carnage and their personal ethics.

Although I've done some freelancing, I am certainly no reporter. But I am going to leave a camera running inside the car so I can catch the whole event on tape. Then I will sell the tape to one of those "World's Craziest Video's" TV shows for just enough cash to replace the windshield - and keep the SHO a little longer.

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

210 Grams

Deore DX - Shimano’s red-haired, orphaned child.

The world is bizarre, which is better than bazaar, because I don't like them, and better than Harper's Bazaar, because that's a magazine for girls and probably has ads for My Little Pony and diet eye-liner.

Recently I reconnected with my old best friend, Ryan. We used to be the most awesomest of best friends, until he moved away in high school. So we had some dinner and talked about all the things that happened after he abandoned me. This is where some of the bizarre stuff comes in.

Not only did we both get big into mountain biking (and he into racing) but we both worked at bike shops building mountain bikes for all the people across the land – from sticky kids to greasy, fat 40-year-olds with aspirations bordering on the ridiculous.

I checked out his Specialized hardtail, and we talked metals. I've been out of the mountain bike world for a long time, which is why I was so surprised when I picked up his bike. Even with a sweet Fox front suspension, the entire bike only weighed 23 lbs.

A tear rolled down my cheek as the realization hit me that my bike, once an ultralight 27-lb. piece of cutting-edge awesomeness, is now a massive pile of steaming dinosaur crap.

Which is how I got hooked on this website. Weight Weenies lists the actual weight of pretty much any bike component (including frames). And there are hundreds listed, alphabetically, and categorically.

I could save my bike from extinction by replacing my components with lighter ones. I've already figured out how to shave 210 grams. That's like, four chocolate bars. Sweet.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 09, 2007

Retirement Fun

Stare! Stare my pretties! Turn your brains to mush! (so I can suck them out through a straw. My blender's broken.)

My parents have decided to retire, and with so many friends and family members living in the U.S., they really needed email to stay in touch. So, just before Easter a package arrived.

Inside the box was a new 2.0 Ghz Dell Dimension computer and big-ass printer. I spent about 10 minutes hooking it all up so the cable guy could install their high-speed modem the next morning. Without it, emails to their friends would have to be printed off, folded, put in an envelope and mailed.

Although my dad has had email at work, he's never had internet access until now, so he's had much fun learning to put pictures of BMW M3s as his desktop wallpaper.

My mom is a conundrum. Terrified of technology, and wires specifically, but with a smile that reminds me of the animated Reach Toothbrush "flip top head" guy, she laughs like a little girl when she views .mov files of her grandsons taken with her own camera.

It is all very amusing to watch how this computer is changing their lives. But somehow I just can't imagine Dell's advertising campaign had any influence on this purchase.

It would be interesting to see the actual demographic vs. the targeted demographic of the "Dude, you’re gettin' a Dell!" campaign. Colossal advertising blunder? Or ingenious marketing ploy? "Yo, old dudes, only cool young dudes buy Dell’s! BOOYA!"

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 05, 2007

PC Bowl Splittage

Unwanted cracks: lunch bowls, fault lines and plumbers.

Tired of a month's worth of plastic retardation, I decided to do something about it. I dusted off my letter-writing skills and, in the guise of a question, complained to President's Choice. My carefully-worded note was sneakily implanted with a genuine concern, and after waiting a solid 2 weeks, I finally received a reply to this:

Dear PC,
Is there a problem with the plastic bowls that the Beef Chili comes in? In the past month I've had 4 bowls split apart in the microwave. It doesn't matter if I lift one corner of the film or 3. The steam warps the plastic and splits the bowl apart, making it extremely difficult to pick up or carry. On one particular bowl, the crack went down so low that the chili was spilling out of it. Is the bowl design flawed? Or is there something I should be doing to avoid this? Thanks for your time, Martini

Their reply was corporate-standard, inconcise stupidity, and did not answer either of the three questions I posed. I can understand their desire not to admit to anything, as it might spawn some kind of class-action lawsuit. I was shocked to see how they attempted to buy me, because what they offered me was not a typical coupon for purchase replacement.

Dear Mr Martini,

Thank you for contacting us about our PC Chilli Bowl container. It was kind of you to take the time to email and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Your comments regarding the product have been forwarded to our Quality Assurance Department for their review. This is very important to us as we want to provide you with products of the highest standard.

Mr Martini, your feedback is very valuable. Could you please return to the original store of purchase with the product packaging and purchase receipt for an exchange or refund to be provided. In the event that you no longer have your receipt, please return the product packaging - as proof of purchase - to the store, quoting file number 713613 for a replacement by something else "of the same value" . The sample will be forwarded to the Head Office for further follow-up. Be assured that we are dedicated to upholding your trust in President's Choice and No Name products

Customer Relations
President's Choice

So that is precisely what I'm going to do. I'm going to bring my grocery store a dirty, crusty, bacteria-infested plastic bowl with a giant crack in it. It's going to be awesome.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pirates Are Mean

Blind as a… fish?

On the open sea pirates attack party boats and cargo ships carrying desirable crowns and bejewelled necklaces. Once their plundering is complete, they might have a nice glass of wine or XXX, patch up their wounds and be on their merry way. And usually it's those pirates who have one eye.

But not the case here.

My poor Rasbora is the one with a blank socket. I don't remember if pirates poked her eye out before or after I brought her home, but I believe it was before, because I don't know how pirates could have sneaked into my house without me knowing.

Either way, it’s pretty sad. This is what she looks like, compared to her cousin, Jeffery.

Although she is not allowed to drive anymore, she still has fun. Of course, the other fish have more fun, sneaking up on her left side, hiding in her blind spot (no pun intended) and following her all over the aquarium.

It really turned out great for her surprise party a couple of weeks ago. The others totally caught her by surprise when they jumped out with the cake. She really didn’t see it coming (no pun intended).

So, at 10 years old, she's probably nearing the end of her natural, captivity-type life. Doctors are pleased she has kept up her active lifestyle and the number-crunchers at FISH CHIP (Fish Cataract Health Insurance Plan) are pleased that her cataract surgery is half price.

Labels: , ,


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