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

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Doc Brown Doesn't Drive A F*cking Mustang!

Marty (McFly?) and Bob Gale, writer & producer of Back To The Future.

As soon as I saw him at DCS 2008 I said to Suz, "I think that's Bob Gale!" I remember that when I said it, I felt stupid and nervous. I was nervous that somebody may have overheard me and if I were wrong, I would have felt extremely stupid.

Suz didn't know who he was. In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit, I didn't really know either. I told her that Bob Gale was either the man who wrote Back To The Future, or the man who Produced it, or possibly both.

Turns out 'both' was correct.

At my first opportunity, I approached Mr. Gale, held my Back To The Future trilogy in my outstretched hand, and practically humiliated myself with my phrasing blunder, "I'd love you if you'd sign this for me." This verbal goofage was ironically reminiscent of Marty McFly waking up in 1955 only to have an awkward conversation with his own mother.

Bob Gale signed my trilogy as well as a replica poster of the first Back To The Future movie. He explained to me that, "With a name like Marty, I just had to sign it 'Great Scott!' That's how Christopher Lloyd signs things at these meets." And Bob, if you ever read this, please accept my apology for the slight paraphrasing there. And also for that "love you" thing. Yeah.

But Bob wasn't the only celebrity attending DeLorean Car Show 2008. There was a surprise for all of us: Lee Meriwether, famous for so many things that I can't even possibly hazard a guess as to which she is most known for, also attended, looking absolutely fantastic. Lee MeriwetherLee Meriwether - who would've thought? The winner of the first televised Miss America pageant in 1954; Catwoman, in the 1966 "Batman" movie; an actress who has been on countless classic television shows such as Star Trek, Mission Impossible, The Love Boat and who currently plays a character on All My Children.

You couldn't walk around a corner without bumping into someone famous. On Friday afternoon Suz and I boarded the Gettysburg Battlefield tour bus. And who sat on the seat behind us? That's right, Lee Meriwether. Not only that, but the back of the bus was loaded with Jeff Weissman, aka George McFly from Back To The Future II and III. Yes, even celebrities enjoy a little bit of history.

And the excitement didn't stop there. Lee even joined us for the aerial group photo, where us goofball DeLorean owners stood on a grassy field, using our nerdy bodies to spell out the word 'DELOREAN'. Sandwiched between Lee and yours truly were the rest of the dorks whose duty it was to form the letter L.

On the final night of DCS 2008, the celebrities took to the stage while we rammed tasty food into our mouths. Bob Gale recounted a number of stories regarding the making of the Back To The Future movies, both the troubles, and the joys. During his speech, someone asked him to explain the shirt he was wearing - and he regaled us with the famous story (among BTTF fans anyway) which went a little bit like this.

Product placement (think Pepsi) was big in the Back To The Future movies and someone was hired to manage that aspect of the film. However, according to Mr. Gale, she didn't have a clue what she was doing and ended up subcontracting the job to a shyster. As a prime example of his shadiness, he acquired a large sum of money from Sherwin-Williams, telling them that for (approx.) $10K, he'd ensure the main character walks into a Sherwin-Williams paint store in 1955. When Bob got wind of this, he confronted the shyster and reminded him there is no such scene in the movie. The shyster explained, "I'll just tell them the paint store scene ended up on the cutting room floor."

Week after week this guy's behaviour was grating on Bob and the rest of the team. Finally, he entered Bob's office one day exclaming he had great news. Bob listened nervously while he explained that Ford promised them 50 grand if they changed the Time Machine from a DeLorean to a Mustang. Bob had had enough. The only words to escape his mouth at that meeting were, "Doc Brown Doesn't Drive A Fucking Mustang!" and the rest is well, history. So to speak.

DCS 2006

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

DeLorean Car Show 2008

Marc Levy's DeLorean - the off-road sports car. Who knew?

DCS 2008 was held in historic Gettysburg, PA and as if a hundred and fifty stainless, glistening DeLoreans (and a Back To The Future Time Machine or two) weren't enough, the Bricklin group joined us as well. Yes, Bricklin - the other gull-winged car. Even Malcolm Bricklin himself attended and judged the Concours event for the SV-1s.

As usual, there were DeLorean-related wares being sold, events to participate in, and Back To The Future movie alumnii to mingle with. With so much nerdy excitment happening in just three days, it's actually kind of surprising that a mega-nerd such as myself, and NBA (nerd by association) Suz missed out on a few of the activities. But the allure of the battlefields of Gettysburg kept us occupied for longer than we expected.

Fox sat van.However, one thing we didn't miss was the panoramic group photo with James Tolkan, famous for his roles as hard-ass Mr. Strickland in the Back To The Future trilogy, as well as Stinger in Top Gun. The scene, rows and rows of DeLoreans parked strategically on the grass and flanked by Bricklins, was so spectacular that not even Fox News missed it!

While Mr. Tolkan was being interviewed by Fox News, Suz and I wandered away to admire the amazing assortment of blinding stainless toys which included Marc Levy's twin turbo DMC-12, an original Legend Industries turbo pictured at top. The beastly turbo, estimated to deliver 230 hp, even features twin SAAB intercoolers, just to add another bit of international awesomeness to the Belfast-built machine.

Saturday night's banquet featured six Concours trophies being awarded, the usual raffle prizes, and a number of presentations including Universal Studio's Artist, Andrew Probert, showing the original and vastly different storyboard to Back To The Future.

To nutshell it for you, replace the lightning striking the clock tower with a desert A-Bomb test and you've got one hell of an expensive special effect that they couldn't afford. But if you want to imagine it, swap in the nuclear explosion from Indiana Jones 4 and you've got a pretty good idea of what they wanted to do. Makes you want to watch Back To The Future all over again, doesn't it? (The correct answer is Yes)

DCS 2006

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Meme From Ms. Creek

The Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about you in your blog post.

4. Tag six people in your post.

5. Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Here comes the Randomness:

My baby sitting in my baby.1. I own a rare piece of automotive history; a 1981 DeLorean.

Only released in Japan.2. I collect Back To The Future paraphernalia.

Just gotta stalk, er, track down Michael J. Fox for his autograph...3. Bob Gale, writer and producer of the Back To The Future trilogy, and Claudia Wells who played Jennifer Parker in BTTF #1, have both autographed my Back To The Future trilogy.

The key to my heart?4. I have the original key to my DeLorean, which is a bit unusual.

Almost famous.5. I've had a few photographs published in DeLorean World Magazine, including this one, of my Suz, at the 25th Anniversary of the DeLorean in Chicago.

Oh baby!6. I like the feeling of cleaning my ears with a Q-tip.

I'm now going to tag six people to do the same thing: Michael Jackson (because he's awesome), Michael J. Fox (because he's awesomer), Michael Meyers (because he's super creepy), Michael Myers (because I LOVE the movie Halloween), Michael Collins (because Astronauts are radical) and finally, the guy who invented Puffalumps.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Murphy's Law At Its Best

Floors are under x2 - Underfoot and underappreciated.

Murphy is an asshole. And his law just plain sucks.

When I began my basement renovation I did what Batman does. I "be prepared." I have to admit something - I hate looking like the court jester. I hate making a mistake and having someone else arrogantly claim, "Oh, I knew that would happen."

So, when I demo'd my basement a year and a half ago, I prepared by watching the walls. With each thunderstorm, April shower or minor drizzle I monitored the walls for dampness. Every time there was a spring thaw, I slapped on my Sherlock-style cap and vigilantly poked and prodded, looking for a sign of water.

The wettest months, March and April 2007 passed without a hint of moisture. March and April 2008 were virtual carbon copies. Based on three years of dry basement life, I was confident the north-facing wall was safe. But that wasn't enough for me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Overkill is cool.

Considering our house was built in 1939 with spongecrete er, concrete block foundation, I decided to waterproof the walls for that sleep-soundly-at-night-knowing-my-sugar-collection-won't-be-ruined confident feeling.

It only took me a day to waterproof the wall with Blue Seal, an environmentally friendly, no VOC polymer. During the month it took to cure, it survived 3 major thunderstorms. I confidently erected (tee hee) the framing, insulated, and began the tile work.

Having remarkable trouble with our tile installer (imagine a professional who says it's impossible to tile around a floor drain, who tells me he "hates this bullshit job", looks at our tile and says "you gotta be kidding me! I can't tile the floor with these!" then suddenly changes his mind, who randomly mixes up the order things need to be completed in, breaks my marble, milks my goat and does something even worse to my donkey, just to name a few of the problems) I didn't think things could get worse.

But they did.

Today the tile installer finally started. Today he laid most of the floor and even brought a friend to assist him. It was the first day I didn't have an arguement with him about something. It was the first day I felt good about the whole tile situation.

And today, of all the days in all the years anybody's ever lived here, for the first time ever and in spite of the waterproofing, a 10 minute thunderstorm unloaded half an inch of water into the bathroom, over the freshly laid tile, through the new framing, and right into my neatly propped up drywall.

This mini-flood invoked both curses and an unfathomable amount of anger which revealed my superhero powers - strength - as I valiantly moved the washer and dryer which, the day before, required my dad's help; as I brutally hoisted three full sheets of drywall up and quickly jammed a towel under the bottom edge; and as I punched a hole through Murphy's (of Murphy's Law fame) head.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Becel Ride For Heart 2008

The CN Tower: embarrassingly small.

Renovations have kept me from updating regularly but I thought it was important to squeeze some time in for the Becel Ride For Heart 2008, since the 12,000 riders, including myself, helped raise $3 million for Heart & Stroke research.

For the second year in a row I rode on the Gardiner and the DVP, amongst the largest group of squeaking, creaking, neglected bikes I've ever seen. Within seconds I knew there was something special about 2008, as an erratically weaving child skillfully wiped out 3 other riders including an adult who was paying attention to the whole disaster unfolding before him - but, like a nightmare, could do nothing to avoid it.

It wasn't long after that incident that two arrogant participants on road bikes nearly caused another such wipeout as they came within an inch of knocking me down attempting to slip between myself and another rider.

My exclamation, "Be Careful!" went ignored and I continued pedalling into the cold June wind, occassionally pulling up beside groups of riders and listening in on their conversations about life, spam and excrement. Which is really all the same thing.

I was starting to feel a little sad riding by myself, but soon something cheered me up. As I approached a tunnel before the half-way point, I heard a rider ding their bell. A few seconds later a higher pitched bell dinged. I didn't realize what was happening until I was inside the tunnel, suddenly enveloped with the melodious sound of 20 different bells reverberating off the tunnel walls. We exited the other side, and as abruptly as it started, everything was quiet and the only sound heard was the rhythmic roar of tires on asphalt.

Due to a strong headwind on the way back, and the fact that I didn't train this year, the ride took me half an hour longer than it did last year. I rode a total of 34 miles, or 54 kilometres. I kept my eyes open, but I never did see the dude with the bright orange Trek.

Becel Ride For Heart 2007



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