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

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bathroom Renovation Update

Wooden sticks. Kindling to some. A home to others.

To say I'm burning the candle at both ends would be an understatement. With a looming deadline for finishing the bathroom in my basement, interrupted by a vacation to Gettysburg, PA, I'm napalming the candle at both ends.

Each night for the past 3 weeks I've been up till about 1 a.m. Nineteen of those nights I've been hard at work. One of those nights we saw Indiana Jones Quatre (that means 4), and the other night we went to a CD-release party for our friend, Dave Gould, who is the most phenomenal drummer I've. Ever. Seen.


However, thanks to my long nights and early mornings, the framing for my bathroom is complete, including some heavy duty forms in the shower. I even built myself a little inset shelf that will also be tiled. And when it is, it will be more than little. It'll be so small I'll be forced to wash my hair with either Pert Plus, Head & Shoulders, or basically anything that comes in a single bottle.

I didn't really misjudge that so much as I ran out of room because of the foundation of the house. Sure, moving the shelf was a possibility, but the Smurfs came on TV and the next thing I knew I stopped caring.

My neighbour, a Master electrician, is basement-bound this week for the wirification of the illumination devices. Insulation and drywall will hopefully be completed on the weekend, giving me just enough time to have Atilla the tile dude finish the job before we head to Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Bet On Decolav

I decided to paint the walls a calming ocean blue. Then the word DRYWALL drifted through my head.Let's play a game. C'mon, it'll be fun. Okay, here we go. Guess who won't be buying anything from what company ever again. Give up?

It's me. And Decolav.

Suz and I decided that when we finish our bathroom in our basement, it will be both very nice and very modern. With that in mind we bought a very nice and modern vanity with a vessel sink and black granite top.

I began assembling the vanity so that I could determine precisely where it would fit in the bathroom, and exactly how much clearance the door had swinging past it. These are important things that needed to be addressed before I finished the framing. Plus... ah, who am I kidding? I just like to sit 'n look at stuff.

Anyhoo, while the putting together of the vanity was taking place I ran into what I like to call a problem. This came as a surprise as I wasn't expecting anything to go awry thanks to Decolav's corporately-thunk-up-and-agreed-upon mission statement which includes the phrase "consistently offering high quality products", AND their three fundamental principals, of which the first is "to deliver the highest-quality product at unprecedented prices."

But Decolav's principals and mission statement don't match their behaviour. A piece of furniture of the highest quality would not split and bulge when the consumer tightened the machined screw into the predrilled hole only three-quarters of the way, leaving the side panel both loose and... well... split.

See where I'm going with this?

And a company that abided by its mission statement to consistently offer high quality products would certainly ensure that all four predrilled side panel holes lined up with more than just three of the predrilled base holes. Wouldn't they?

I decided to write to the Decolav company, explaining my problem and my frustration in the little box right beside the must-be-high-on-shrooms-because-nobody-in-the-world-is-that-happy-picture of the President and CEO, Robert Mayer.

I'll let you know if they live up to the 2nd of their fundamental principals, and "establish and maintain unparalleled customer service." You know where my money's riding.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yeah I'm Bad, But Not Racist


I admit it. I've been bad. I've neglected my blog like the red-headed step-child. But I have a good excuse. It's the in-laws fault.

In mid-June Suz's family will be coming to stay with us when her cousin Vicki, and Ryan, get married. For that event I will require two working bathrooms to prevent raunch build-up and eliminate lengthy shower queues. So the clock is ticking to get the excrement disposal unit working in the basement.

Using my handy demolition skills, I've converted the once useable basement into a dump. A dumpster will soon fill our driveway so I can haul away the piles of debris which currently make it almost impossible to walk through the basement.

The floor was poured in two separate pours, so we had a giant gap that my dad and I filled with the-most-depressing-shade-of-grey-you've-ever-seen concrete. It will be a nice contrast to the completed floor, which will be the most exciting shade of beige carpeting you've ever seen.

Tonight we indulged in a shopping spree, acquiring large quantites of white drywall, pink insulation, yellow lumber, and white Kohler products. A nice 32" bathroom door and a 32" French door for the laundry room rounded out the load. Not bad as far as diversity goes.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

This Little Piggy Cried...

Sewing is not just for girls any more! Learn to sew stitches with Dr. Stabby.

Two weeks ago I got some important news. It's extra special news because something out of the ordinary happened. Not "out of the ordinary" like Chad Vader paying me a surprise visit - although before today I would've put my money on the visit rather than on what actually happened.

The last time I saw my neurologist, he said, as a last resort to find out what's wrong with my feet, we'd apply for a biopsy. This is strange because in Canada, he said, you can't get specific skin biopsies. They're done in the U.S. and since our government is footing the bill, it has to approve each and every biopsy.

We filled out the necessary paperwork, and as I left he told me not to get my hopes up because less than one percent of biopsies get approved.

Then two weeks ago happened.

My biopsy was approved and today I went to the hospital for the procedure. It started with me putting on a gown, followed by me laying on a bed.

My neurologist froze my right ankle and thigh. The needle burned, but within seconds I was numbed. He cut and snipped out the samples which he then placed in special containers packed with frozen water for their trip to the U.S. lab.

As he sewed up my surprisingly bloody wounds with the silk thread, I mentioned I had never had stitches before. Surprised, he asked me, "never?"

I proudly replied that I had never had stitches, nor broken any bones, which prompted him to explain the stitch-removification procedure I had to do on day five.

For the next few hours things were normal. I finished up at work, came home, ate dinner, and went upstairs to change. But it was more than just my clothes that got changed in that bedroom. The status of my skeletal structure also changed... as I smashed my foot so hard against the leg of the bed that I broke my first bone, one of the little piggies.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Beck's Back From Africa

A sample of African masks Shag & Scoob could wear to hide from rummies and rhosts.

On Monday night, a one-a.m. knock at the door ended a 4-day nightmare for Suz's sis, Beck, who was staying with us upon her return from almost a year in Africa.

Beck, a former CBC reporter, went first to a University in South Africa to teach journalism. Mission accomplished, she then ventured north to Kigali, Rwanda, to teach more journalism at the National University of Rwanda as part of the noble Rwanda Initiative.

Most of the country's journalist population was decimated in 1994, along with close to a million others, during the horrific Rwandan genocide involving the Tutsis, the Hutus.

During her time there, Beck travelled and acquired many spiffy wood carvings, which were painstakingly wrapped in newspaper, and bright artwork that was carefully rolled, and packed in her suitcases.

But when she arrived in Toronto, Beck's African souvenirs, her clothes, her shoes, and everything she had acquired during her stay in Africa, didn't.

Almost an entire year's worth of memories was gone.

After a lengthy 4-day 'fight' with mostly unsympathetic United Airlines customer service reps, Beck was told her suitcases were untraceable and she should give up hope of ever getting them back. Furious, she filed her lost luggage report and compiled her very long list of lost belongings and their respective values so that the airline could reimburse her.

Unfortunately, that's not what she wanted. The money didn't really mean anything. She wanted her year in Africa back. And then, a miracle happened.

At 1:03 a.m. I ran downstairs and opened the door to a friendly United Airlines employee standing in the dark with both of Beck's bags, bursting at the seams with African goodness. An overjoyed Beck got her Africa back.

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