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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Season's Worst Sugar Cookies

Christmas Cookie(s)

The Christmas spirit struck our insurance agent this year, and as a result Suz and I received a recipe from her in the mail. The recipe was entitled, "Season's Best Sugar Cookies" and as a huge fan of sugar cookies, I was dying to try it.

At the bottom of the professionally printed recipe card was a note that stated "This recipe is a personal family favourite of Hallmark designer Jeanee Wallace." This endorsement, coupled with the fact that Suz is an excellent baker, made me confident we were about to bake the best cookies ever in the history of the world.

Everything Suz makes is pretty much super tasty. She even baked our wedding cake, to the surprise of many guests. Because of these mad baking skills it was easy for her to mix together:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and
3 1/2 cups flour

Yes, the name of this recipe is very misleading.Together we placed the tablespoon-size rounds of dough on the greased cookie sheet. Together we used our index fingers to make the dough a nice circle. And, precisely 10 minutes later at 375 degrees, together we tasted the Season's Worst Sugar Cookies.

I, not being a Sumo Wrestler and therefore not enjoying the diet of a Sumo Wrestler, was so repulsed by the overwhelming raw egg taste I had to spit mine down the sink then rinse my mouth out with fresh juice from a skunk's stink sack.

Additonally, the cookies had a consistency more like airy corn pone, instead of compact cookie. They even expanded over double the area they were supposed to.

Suz and I agreed: we both despised the cookies. When I told her my feelings towards the vomitous treats, I figured she'd be upset, but I had no choice. If I pretended to enjoy them, I'd likely find myself being tortured by these same demon-egg-cookies next Christmas.

Yes, it was a lose-lose situation for me. And I lost. But at least I'll never have to taste Jeanee Wallace's favourite cookies ever again. Merry Christmas everyone! Consider this warning my Xmas gift to you all!

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Friday, December 19, 2008


With half the box wasted, it's like we paid double for this delicious Sugar Crisp.

As I set the carton heavily onto the table, I watched milk ripples dance through my cereal bowl, not unlike the glass of water in Jurassic Park. I had set it down far too hard. Almost dropped it.

In slow motion I watched as my yellow box of Sugar Crisp tipped over, slowly spilling its golden contents. I thrust my hand out and grabbed the falling box, mid-tumble. Using every one of my puny wrist muscles I righted the Sugar Crisp as quickly as I could.

But I miscalculated.

My overcorrection sent the super delicious golden puffed wheat bouncing off my own face, their collective momentum unstoppable. A four-letter word escaped my lips as I slammed the box onto the table, then carefully guarded it with my open hands. "Dang!"

Bodies were everywhere.The milk-quake had been disastrous. Thousands of puffed wheat food bits lay like thousands of dead bodies across my dining room floor. The chair beside me held a veritable bowlful. All of it wasted, mixed with a week's worth of dust as well as hair of the cat and human variety.

I got up from my chair to examine the aftermath. It was worse than I thought. The Sugar Crisp crushed under my feet like crunching snow full of sugar granules. It was difficult to walk without making the mess even worse. The poor cats, thinking it was food, scrambled around trying to gobble it up, much to their disappointment.

When everyone's emotions had calmed, the Department of Cereal Blunders (me) took measurements. Disaster was felt as far away as the living room. Puffed wheat carcasses reached as far as 7' 11" from the epicentre of the the milk-quake.

Ending the saddest day to ever strike cereal land, the clean-up crew spent approximately 8 minutes vaccuming, then sent the Roomba in to finish up with the sugar dust while family members consoled Sugar Bear.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sorta Scrooge, Sorta Not

Tough choice - my cane, or the Air Hogs r/c Apache helicopter?Christmas is supposed to bring out the best in people. I find that this is true on the surface, but look a little deeper and you'll find that it brings out both true and fake emotions, as jerks pretend to be nice to avoid spoiling the season, and nice people act genuine. I find myself both loving and hating Christmas for various obvious reasons.

In perfect Scrooge-fashion, I shake my cane at those drawn in to the 'crowd mentality'. Non-handicapped people, feeling that life has been unfair to them because they can't find a parking space, illegally maneouvre their cars into handicapped spaces hoping no one will notice. "I'll only be a few minutes" is what they typically tell themselves to alieve the guilt, if they even felt it in the first place.

Inside malls, crowds of people block aisles with their shopping carts, not giving two flying shits about the shoppers around them. Courteous people beware: There is shoving, rudeness and line-cutting. It's enough to make you want to skip Christmas altogether.

The feeling is a little different this year. Bad news is blasted across newspaper headlines every single day. Thinking about the number of jobs lost and companies closing their doors, it's a wonder to see that people aren't acting even more assholish.

I put my Scrooge aside when Suz and I went shopping for a family we sponsored this season. And we had a lot of fun doing it. I still feel like a kid myself, so spending an hour in Toys R Us felt like nothing. We picked up great toys for the 13-year old boy, and nice lotions and gift cards for the mom, took them home and wrapped them all.

Suz and I are okay for now but no one's future is guaranteed. I hope that if we find ourselves in a bad situation one day, someone will return the kindness.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Subjective Sound

HKS Hi-Power exhaust on 1991 Eagle Talon AWD.

So, there I was driving along and minding my own business on the last day of November when my rearview lit up like the 4th of July with a Regional Police Officer right on my tail, destroying my lifelong record of never being pulled over.

I couldn't believe it. I hadn't done anything wrong and almost started to panic, trying to think of all the paperwork I needed to show him.

Was my insurance up to date? Yes. Was my licence in my wallet? Yes. Uh-oh. Where was my ownership? My brain was working overtime trying to figure out where everything was while at the same time what this officer could possibly be stopping me for.

$110 ticket.My window came down and I sat patiently but nervously. The officer approached my door, glanced inside to make sure I didn't have a great big pile of cocaine on my lap, and gave me the answer. In a very professional but abrupt manner he declared that he was giving me a ticket for having an illegal exhaust, then walked away.

When he returned he asked for my licence, insurance and ownership. My brain had not failed me and I provided all three to him without a problem.

I asked him what exactly made my exhaust illegal. His answer made sense, but did not apply to my exhaust. He claimed that my aftermarket muffler was designed specifically to create excessive noise. He claimed he heard me coming when I "sparked up" my exhaust.

This made me very upset. Firstly, my exhaust is quiet and it's extremely improbable that he heard it. It is more likely that he saw the highly visible polished muffler with the well-known HKS logo etched into the side and assumed I was a street-racing teenager with a bad attitude.

The reality is quite the contrary. I have full respect for the law and have often aided the police in their appeal to the public for information on aggressive drivers. I have both a cousin and a best friend who are officers in the line of duty and a female cousin who is a retired Detroit officer.

That's right. I said Detroit.

Secondly, why was he using drug terminology to describe me? What exactly is my muffler? Some kind of giant joint? I don't even know what sparking an exhaust means, and I was fairly certain that when one is driving calmly in a long line of traffic at exactly 52 kph, one's exhaust wouldn't spark.

This is where you shove the pineapple.The most important thing here is the fact that my exhaust is quiet. I showed the officer my old exhaust sitting in the back seat. I explained how I had just replaced it, specifically with a quieter one, because my old exhaust of nine (9) years was too loud even for me. Quietness was of great importance when I replaced my exhaust and this beautifully polished stainless steel HKS Hi-Power unit came with the recommendation of my mechanic.

Searching for more knowledge to help me avoid getting pulled over again I asked the officer what the decibel level had to be in order for my exhaust to be considered legal.

His answer was surprisingly illogical. Tugging his earlobe he angrily stated that he did not have have a decibel meter in his ear. He claimed that if something drew his attention, it was illegal.

That's right. By his definition of what is illegal, the paint colour of some cars could violate the law. So could a pretty girl. What an absurd thing to say. And, he had dodged answering my question.

Because of this incident, I don't feel safe anymore. If the police, who are supposed to be protecting taxpayers from the dangers of criminal behavour are now wasting everyone's money and time by pulling over those very same law-abiding citizens for preposterous reasons, then who is stopping the criminals?

The issue of volume is what's in question here and I'll admit my exhaust is louder than my hybrid. But it is far from excessive, unless the officer had a hangover. The sound is on par with a V8 Mustang, and is certainly quieter than any Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper, truck, or city bus out there.

I am fighting the $110 ticket and, whether good or bad, will post an update with the results.

The results: Hypocricy of Ontario's Policing System

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