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

Monday, April 28, 2008

Stag & Doe #2

With great power comes great responsibility - use the tickets wisely.

What happens when you have 21 hours of stuff to do, but there are only 24 hours in a day? You sleep for 3 hours.

Saturday was Stag & Doe #2, a money-making event for Suz's cousin Vicki, and her man Ryan, who both share a love of karaoke, alcoholic beverages and camping.

Because Vicki & Ryan are so super-great, and really spice up our spicy Halloween parties, I was feeling generous and therefore purchased a crapload of raffle tickets. I was so proud of the staggering amount of tickets I had that I wore them on my wrists all night, showing them off. Like Wonder Woman.

Suz, using her tried and true method of dispersing her tickets evenly over all the prizes, distributed her tickets equally over all the prizes. I, on the other hand, slammed 70 raffle tickets into the one item I really wanted, a tasty Jelly Belly margarita mix set, with a really nice juice jug and glasses.

After dropping ticket #70 into the overflowing container, I figured overkill was good enough. I then dropped my last fifteen tickets into the prize I knew Suz wanted - a nice lotiony Avon gift basket.

With my last few bucks, I paid a nice bouncer to put naughty Vicki in jail - and laughed heartily while her poor dad had to combine all the cash he had left with somebody else's money just to bail her out so she could enjoy her own party.

If only it were like that in real life; I'd be broke with all the people I'd throw in the slammer.

As midnight drew near, the raffle prizes were drawn. My Avon effort paid off, as one of my tickets won it for Suz. However, to my astonishment, I didn't win the Jelly Belly drink set. I could feel a temper tantrum coming on, so I sat quietly, telling Dead Baby jokes in my own head until I felt relaxed enough to behave normally.

Amazingly, I drove home from the hall with a happy wife, her happy sister, and thanks to Vicki's super-awesome mom, the Jelly Belly drink set, which we put to use the very next day despite severe sleep deprevation.

Stag & Doe #1

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Smoke Alarm Can't Save You

Defective smoke alarms can cause birth defects. Oh ya. And death or something.

This is a DMC & ME Public Service Announcement. The kind that the fire department doesn't want you to hear.

The time change, which comes around every spring, is synonymous with safety. Every spring local fire departments, perhaps even your city, remind denizens to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

With decades of mistakes to learn from, advances in fire-retardant materials, and more public awareness about smoke alarms and fire hazards, you'd think we could avoid devastating infernos that claim an average of 2,930 lives a year in the U.S. There were 524,000 building fires in 2006 alone. The numbers are huge. The stats are here.

But there's more to it than simply replacing your smoke detector's batteries every spring. Much more. And it's scary. Not scary like your phone ringing immediately after reading one of those chain letters that says your phone will ring, and the person calling you is actually hiding upstairs in your closet waiting to "get" you, whatever that means. Just what does that mean? "Get" you? Was it scary when your uncle Leonard, with outstretched arms, chased you around the house when you were six yelling, "I'm gonna get you!"? Sure it was, but you didn't really know why. That is, until about ten years later when uncle Leonard was arrested for being a pedophile.

I'm digressing. What the bulging, rippled firemen want you to know is that their calendars are on sale now. What they don't want you to know is that your smoke detector is unreliable. And it doesn't matter a darn tootin' about the condition of your battery.

Smoke detectors can fail. They can malfunction at any time, like mine did last week. But I didn't know it. Not until I tried a number of new batteries in it, only to discover none of them worked.

When things are working properly you take them for granted. But be careful. The fire department will not tell you that smoke detectors are unreliable. But they are. How will you know yours is going to work properly, and wake you if a fire starts while you're sleeping?

I hate to say it, but you won't.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Halloween Panic in April

A package from Fright Catalog really gets your butchered, disemboweled heart racing!

It's amazing how one package, a simple brown box, can cause emotional extremes between different people. One extreme contains the child-like emotions of the person who wanted the contents, who giddily looked forward to the day it arrived, and who couldn't wipe that stupid grin off his stupid face until the next stupid day. The other extreme is, well, Suz.

Fright Catalog, selling Halloween wares online longer than almost any other site, is a Halloweener's dream. Thousands of Halloween items fill their web pages selling from a buck, up to about 30 grand. Their one and only downfall is their high prices, which can be combatted by purchasing during the off-season.

Like April for example.

During the off-season there are promotions a-plenty, such as the 50% invite I received a little while ago. Immediately I began scouring the familiar pages for severed heads and the like.

Unfortunately, blood-soaked items which were not in stock could not be purchased at the super awesome low prices. But I was still able to find some deliciously creeptacular elements with which to spice up the house in October.

Mere days after I placed my order, Mr. DHL showed up with my big brown box resulting in my stupid stubborn smile; a happiness rivalled only by single-digitly aged children at 7 a.m. on December 25th. In order to compare my freaky new toys to my older freaky toys, I spent the night unpacking my 4x5 ft. Halloween closet, an event that takes hours to complete.

And that spectacularly messy "event" is exactly what causes the extreme on the other end of the emotional spectrum, namely, Suz's panic attack.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lighter Roulette

The inventor of the lighter had to wait another 100 years for caveman's discovery of fire.

My eyes instinctively shut and I jerked backwards as I was overwhelmed by the repugnant & revolting stench of burned human hair choking me.

Momentarily stunned, it took me a second to retrace all the events that led up to this horrific moment, starting with my discovery of two mud-covered tea lights laying in my garden. They were backup tealights, placed inside my Jack-o-lanterns on Halloween.

They were quite unpleasant to look at, so I figured I'd see if they still worked. If they did, I'd light them and get them out of the way. "Besides," I thought, "I like candles."

I picked up my dollar store BBQ lighter, identical to the kind you can buy at Canadian Tire or Home Depot for three times what I paid. It was yellow.

The first pull of the trigger was much like the 10th, and the 15th... and the 20th. I aimed the BBQ lighter at the tea lights and pulled the trigger over and over again. Each time I was greeted with the same empty 'click'.

I figured something had to be wrong with the lighter. I shook it, I pointed up in the air, I tried everything. Nothing. I looked for the tiny window that indicated how much butane remained. The level was low, but it still should have lit.

I shook the lighter again and again, and continued pulling the trigger, each time getting more and more frustrated. Click. Click. Click. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

The next moment reminded me exactly of the morons you read about in the Darwin Awards, and of Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, or any of the less intelligent Looney Tunes characters who looked down the barrel of their gun to see what was wrong with it.

That moment, which my brain was finally able to piece together from all the fragmented memory bits, was when I tried to smell whether or not gas was actually coming out of the lighter.... as I shoved it up my right nostril, and clicked the trigger.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stag & Doe #1

Two Martini thumbs up to food in baskets.

Ah, spring. The rainy season. April showers not only bring May flowers and flooded basements, but an abundance of weddings and wedding related events. Events such as the ever popular Stag & Doe.

Stag & Doe parties are designed to raise funds for the poor, struggling bride and groom who've not a penny to their name and have no hopes of paying for their extravagant wedding unless they can squeeze a few bucks out of every friend, distant relative or acquaintance. In fact, if a blood-soaked stranger grinning from ear to ear and mumbling about his 'sweet revenge' walked in off the street with cash in hand he probably wouldn't be turned away.

Suz and I spent Saturday night at a Stag & Doe for our co-worker James whom I first met in the parking lot at work when he challenged me to a race. The race was immediately called off upon James' discovery that the ol' Talon was putting out nearly triple the horsepower of his Toyota Celica.

The Stag & Doe was a well-organized blast, with cheap drinks, great food and even greater prizes to be won. Suz and I bought twenty raffle tickets and distributed them among the prizes we'd hoped to win.

Suz, abiding by the rule of "don't put all your eggs in one basket" applied her tickets towards various prizes, hoping to win just one of them. I, on the other hand, decided to put statistics into my favour, and plopped all of my tickets into the one prize I wanted the most.

At the end of the night, both our tactics worked as Suz won a 'Fancy Cut n' Hairstylin' Certificate and I won the 'Gourmet Gift Basket.' The basket's awesome international contents are as follows:

  • President's Choice White Chocolate Chunk & Raspberry cookies

  • Bahlsen Truffet Meringue/cocoa/chocolate biscuits

  • Vicenzi Grisbi Classic Lemon & Ginseng biscuits

  • Lindt Lindor milk chocolate bar

  • Lindt Lindor milk chocolate balls

  • Werther's Original caramels

  • St. Dalfour Wild Blueberry Deluxe Spread, or 'Jam' to us reg'lar people

  • Carr's Poppy & Sesame Thin Savoury Crackers

  • Starbuck's Latin America Medium House Blend coffee, and finally...

  • a box of 8 massive Mrs. Fields Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip cookies

I suspect a tummy ache of Snuffalupagus proportions is right around the corner.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cat-lateral Damage

Excellent revenge: dump an entire 7 kg box of kitty litter onto your jerkass neighbour's hardwood floors. Virtually guaranteed to create scratches and gouges.

I don't know how people do it. I don't know how crazy old cat ladies can have dozens of insanity-inducing cats, except maybe for the fact that they're, well, insane.

To have multiple cats is expensive and exhausting. We learned this with our recent experience with three quarters of a half dozen cats. That's four cats for the mathmatically challenged. (That's "4" for the alphabetically challenged.) Our two girls, plus my parents two boys.

Every few days our house began to smell. The smell was like cats. Their food, their pee, their crap, their little pink buttholes, their litter. So every few days we had to clean out two litter boxes; one for the upstairs cats, and one for the downstairs cats.

The winter seemed to fly by as we spent every spare minute cleaning. If it weren't for Roomba, our house would be condemned right now due to inhabitable conditions as a result of an unacceptable build-up of unsanitary elements that would pose a health risk to anyone walking within 30 feet of our home.

But even Roomba couldn't fully compete with our kitties. Their fur wasn't the problem. It was the litter that got out of hand. Digging-litterbox action fired the tiny clumping granules all over the floor. And despite our best efforts, we couldn't stop it from getting underfoot.

Kitty litter plus hardwood - and gravitational forces pulling body weight down onto said litter/hardwood combination - do not go well together.

The damage is done. The granulated bentonite clay particles, which are normally used for absorbing our cats' excrement, have devalued our home by 0.1% as they've scraped our hardwood floors with their crunchy, sand-flavoured edges. Dang. Maybe I should've titled this post 'Collitteral Damage.'

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sign Of Spring: Construction

One thumb up for not losing your other thumb in a freak drilling accident.

The signs of spring are here. And depending on your personality, they are either good or bad, because a sign of spring is also a sign of things to come. Namely, work.

As spring rolls around, things start needing to be done. On the upside, BBQs, decks and patio furniture all need building. On the downside, silly little girly flowers need to be planted. Planted everywhere. Planted in obvious places, where your neighbours can see them and then make fun of you.

I, for one, am glad it's still a little too cold for gardening right now. That means I can spend my time indoors getting better acquainted with my drill.

Upon completing the renovation of our sunroom, Suz and I decided it would be nice to be able to actually use it the way it was meant, rather than the catch-all it's currently, and inappropriately, designated as.

So, in hopes of spring weather filling our sunroom with sun and happiness, I spent the night building our new La-Z-Boy faux wicker furniture from the ooh-la-de-da Jameson collection that will fill this room and allow us to relax with or without a tasty alcoholic beverage in our hand.... but mostly with.

Two relaxed Martini feet up for La-Z-Boy's line of spiffy waterproof outdoor furniture that doesn't feel like it was manufactured with good ol' fashioned monkey power in some oppressive facility run by greasy teenagers who don't give a sh*t about anything except weather or not that boil on their neck is getting pussier. Or hairier. Or both.

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