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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

DCS 2014 - Dayton Ohio

 Doc Brown, Jennifer Parker, Mayor Goldie Wilson and Marvin Berry awaiting our special presentation BTTF musical.

So DeLorean Car Show 2014 happened, and I've been too much of a giant slacking ziphead to post about it. And now there's no point because my buddy Manson has already done a super bang-up job of that over here.

Oh, what the hell. Here's my condensed (IE more pathetic) version.

Dayton Ohio's DCS 2014 featured a record 159 DeLoreans. This was Ken Koncelik's final show, and he went out with a bang: Bob Gale, Claudia Wells, Don Fullilove, Jeffrey Weissman, Harry Waters Jr, and Christopher Lloyd all attended.

Jordan Livingston continued shooting footage for his movie, Nick Sutton signed copies of his book and that guy who designed the Hot Wheels DeLorean (in his spare time) gave a presentation. A huge hit was Fairfield High School performing an astonishing Back to the Future musical for us, after which Harry Waters Jr. (Marvin Berry) performed Earth Angel. I cried. I mean clapped. I clapped. I applauded.

 Mrs. Sharkey's pink accented DeLorean makes Barbie jealous.Under colossal tents our cars were corralled, to be judged by a thorough team of five. Prior to Saturday's judging, Chris Lloyd strolled through the tented area signing autographs, meeting old friends, and drawing on his own neck with a Sharpie. For a 3rd time he posed for a photo with me, and for a 3rd time he just stood there like a cardboard cutout.

I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm a loser.

Prototype 1 was there, for sale. It was offered to my friend Tom for $180,000, but he declined. Nobody offered it to me; I don't know why. (Incidentally, packing up my DeLorean Saturday night I overheard Jason Sharkey say it had sold, but I did not hear the name of the potential buyer. Leave me alone, I was tired.)

Out front Rich W. parked his 6-door DeLorean Limo alongside D-Rex and a kick-ass, screen-accurate Ecto-1. Some of the wonderment under the tents included an automated Tellus carrier from the DMC factory floor, Cliff Schmucker's gorgeous stainless chassis, and a mega-rare motorized DeLorean pedal car.

Despite all this awesome junk (including hover conversions!), there was a whole pile of stuff I missed. I spent far too much time cleaning and worrying about my DeLorean. It paid off for me, but I do regret not spending more time just hanging out with friends.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Godmobile

When we were kids, my sister and I played a game called Booger-in-the-Middle in this car.

Resisting the expensive (and unnecessary) urge to replace my Eagle Talon with a new car, I started reminiscing about the vehicular conveyances I grew up with. Enter the Godmobile.

The Godmobile was a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais with glass T-roof which my dad purcahsed in 1982. So loved by my friends, it was affectionately given the name 'Godmobile' - because it was "the best car ever."

In high school, in the 1990s, I alternated driving the Cutlass and my grandma's sickeningly powerful 1978 Olds Holiday 88. The Cutlass and I were generous. We gave friends rides home and just cruised around for the fun of it.

The 4.4L V8 was quiet and fuel efficient, achieving 19 mpg city and 31 mpg highway according to the owner's manual. I loved the round gauge package, the leather wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel, and the make-your-ears-bleed stereo. Power everything didn't hurt either. It was a great car, at a great time in my life.

But the Cutlass wasn't perfect. I can't tell you how many times I burned the living daylights out of my skin on the seatbelt buckles. The glass roof turned that Cutlass into a certified, face-melting sauna - and touching anything metal was as dumb as sticking your finger in the lighter. Yes, we've all done that, haven't we.

The only silver lining to 3rd degree seatbelt burns? The trauma of the memory fades, but the scars remain. And girls love scars.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1991 Renault Alpine GTA

1991 Renault Alpine GTA

I don't like to drive ordinary cars. It's hella cliche, but life IS too short to drive boring cars. So you won't see me in a Civic any time soon.

After my Talon got kablooied at a red light, I searched for a replacement. Diamond-encrusted-24K-gold-bar-shitting-unicorns are easier to find than unmolested AWD Talons - so I searched for alternatives.

One of the more exciting cars I found was this 1991 Renault Alpine GTA.

What's so great about this Alpine? Being rear-engined ups the cool factor immediately, but there's something better. It is powered by a PRV V-6. Yes, another car I could call cousin to my DeLorean. But wait there's more!

This is no ordinary PRV V-6. This sucker's TURBO-CHARGED! It's the Talon and the DeLorean all smooshed into one! Imagine the raspy rattle of the unusual 90 degree odd-fire V-6 combined with that sweet, high-pitched turbo surge! AMAZE to the aural delight!

What I don't like is the bar-fight interior. Ok, it's not that bad, but it's not great. Even in showroom condition it just doesn't have the 90s style of the Talon. And while I like that it's rear wheel drive, in my heart of hearts I know I can't live without my all-wheel-drive. Summer would be love, but every winter I'd feel like the summer fling has ended. Like a part of me was missing.

As with the Citroen XM, I couldn't afford the asking price. $17,900 is high, at least for me. But someone is going to get one heck of a cool 200-hp car.

Auto Trader screenshot.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 06, 2014

1994 Citroen XM

 photo citroenxm1_zps78f9e0cb.jpg

What are your top five cars? I mean, if you had to make a list of realistic, affordable everyday drivers, what would be on your list? When Insurance notified me that my 23-year old Talon would be written off, I had to start looking.

Immediately I began looking for unmolested, turbo-charged, all-wheel-drive Talons. I am specifically attracted to the 1st gen cars with pop-up headlights. Manual trans, leather, ABS brakes and a/c were mandatory. As you can imagine, results were incredibly dismal.

I expanded my searches, primarily looking at 1990s cars, and started finding some very cool stuff. Stuff like this 1994 Citroen XM wagon. What I like about the XM is the entire unusual package. The extreme styling, that kick in the beltline, and the fully adjustable (and functioning) hydropneumatic suspension.

Even if it were an automatic, it would still be a standout daily driver. But hang on to your hats! This is a 5-speed manual hooked up to a turbo diesel! The owner doesn't state whether it's the 2.1 or the 2.5, but since both are equally slow, it wouldn't really matter.

Doing some research led me to an even more intriguing discovery. The XM was available with a 200 hp, 3.0 litre PRV V-6! While parts would not be interchangeable with the 2.8L PRV in back of my DeLorean, it would still be exciting having twins. And Josh at DeLorean Performance Industries could hook me up with any engine part I'd ever need.

The seller says it's a very rare example in North America. Indeed! That's got to be part of the reason for his $15,000 asking price. Too steep for me, however, if these XMs had been AWD I would've certainly checked it out in person. And if I fell in love? Well, I'd cross that bridge if I came to it.

Auto Trader Screenshot.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Kicking Me When I'm Down

 photo Talonsmashsm_zps8d3bf130.jpg

Thanks to social media, blogs the world over have suffered, and while I'm guilty of that it's not the primary reason I'd stopped writing. 2013 was a very bad year for me. Here, in the past, I seem to have written some controversial posts and, as a result, gained a lot of haters. I have since tried to eliminate anything negative, even when factual. So, rejoice everyone who despised me! Your collective negativity toward me has, perhaps, rewarded you.

I began suffering health problems in the late part of 2012 and my condition declined into 2013. My blog became difficult to write as I grew more and more confused. At first it was just the odd word, but around May it became impossible for me to hold a conversation. At the same time I began to lose my hearing. People 12 inches from my face were sometimes impossible to hear, while people 40 feet away sounded as if they were shouting in my ear. It worsened to the point that every noise above a whisper became painful.

During this time I was also unable to sleep. In fact, I thought this was the root of my problems. I was exhausted all the time. Countless friends told me, "You don't have kids! You have no idea what tired is!" And I believed them, when instead I should've been telling my doctor.

In the summer my exhaustion became so terrible that I decided to take a Friday off work. I spent 3 straight days in bed, tossing and turning. The entire weekend's reward was about 3 hours of sleep. I couldn't lift my feet anymore, regardless of how hard I pushed myself. That's when I began falling down. But the worst part was how my body felt. My heart hurt, and my whole body felt... wrong. I knew something terrible was happening but I didn't know what.

One day, at the hospital, a specialist gave me my answer. What he found was simple, but severe. What I had was a serious vitamin B12 deficiency. Normal B12 levels (supposedly) range between 250 and 900 pg/ml. Some respected doctors even feel that damage to your body begins when your levels drop below 350. And what was mine? Mine was 130.

My specialist phoned my doctor immediately and told him I urgently needed B12 shots. My heart was in danger. The next day I started a 6-week regimen of weekly shots followed by a 6 week regimen of bi-weekly shots. I am now up to monthly shots.

Around Christmas I had considerable improvement, sleeping about 4 hours a night. I started to feel better, and that's when I really got hit hard.

By a car that is.

In the first week of January I was rear-ended at a red light. A young girl, distracted by her phone, drove her SUV straight into me at 65 kph. My glasses flew off my face and cracked against the windshield. The impact sent me 15 feet into the car in front of me - a mother, her 8-year old and her 1-year old. With tears streaming down my face, I nervously wiggled my toes and reached under my coat to feel my searing spine. I was ok, sort of. Paramedics put me on a backboard and rushed me to hospital.

My seatbelt had torn all the muscles in my left shoulder, a tendon in my left shoulder, and caused nerve damage to the ulnar and radial nerves in my left arm. I lost all the strength in my left arm; it flopped around like a towel hanging from my neck. I was terrified, frustrated and angry.

For three weeks I couldn't move my head due to the pain. But after a month of Naproxyn, Tylenol 3s and muscle relaxants, I started physiotherapy. Today I'm back at work, but the fingers in my left hand are still numb. I'm crossing my fingers that my seven remaining weeks of physio will get me back to who I used to be.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Candy Oscars 2013 - Part 1

 photo hco2013ausome_zpsab176eeb.jpg

It's that time of year again! I'm rolling out the blood-soaked red carpet for a whole new batch of candy for this year's installment of the Halloween Candy Oscars. Halloween's popularity cycles and 2013 has been shaping up to be a dull year. Halloween candy choices haven't been good this year as dim-wittted candy companies continue to change their packaging instead of actual product.

One company, however, has finally introduced some actual Halloween-themed goodies to Canada for 2013! I have never seen these products in Canada before now. Thanks to Target, the Au'some products are widely available.

 photo hco2013klik_zps7f2056cb.jpgThe first is something called Klik. There are three different characters: a jack-o-lantern, a skull and a mummy. Sliding the spring-loaded chamber open allows you to fill the body with a roll of hard candies, very similar to a PEZ dispenser. Unsimilar to PEZ however, the Au'some candies taste like 3 tons of crap. The biggest difference between the two is that the Klik dispensers don't open to offer you candy. Instead, you pull back on a lever and FIRE one out! While the dispenser wisely states "Warning! Do not aim at eyes or face" I found this to be the best part of Klik. In the name of science I shot myself in the face multiple times, point blank. I did not go blind, cry or die; the candies were merely annoying.

 photo hco20133dees_zps8d7eb300.jpgThe second is a gummy candy called 3-Dees. The 3-Dees live in a ghastly gravestone shaped box, with a blood-spattered mummy on one side, and blood-spattered Frankenstein on the other. The evil gummies inside (Dracula, a bat, and a jack-o-lantern) are highly detailed all the way around and come in 3 flavours. I am not fond of strawberry flavoured candy, but these were not bad. The orange ones were my favourite. Sadly, the watermelon flavour (typically my fav) did not taste anything even remotely close to watermelon. In fact, I can't even begin to guess at what flavour they taste like. I'm sure you could tell people it's "mouldy-pizza-crust-with-buttered-popcorn-and-Snooki's-tanning-lotion flavour" and they'd believe you.

 photo hco2013cauldron_zps88d3bf38.jpgThird up is something a bit different. The Candy Cauldron! Each package contains a black cauldron filled with fizzy powdered candy as well as a broom made of hard candy, like a sucker. Pretty neat right? Lick the broom (mine was apple), dip it in the powder, and suck it. Cool.

Unfortunately, the powder inside the cauldron just didn't do much for me. The fizzyness was minimal. So was the flavour. Despite that, it was still lots of fun, and instantly ups the cool-factor of any desk it sits on by at least 5 warts.

 photo hco2013mummy_zps57fcd3c9.jpgFinally I offer you the Gummy Mummy! The Gummy Mummy is a single, large gummy (40 grams). Mine was orange, but they're available in strawberry and mouldy-pizza-crust-with-buttered-popcorn-and-Snooki's-tanning-lotion flavour as well. The eyes are a little reminiscent of Darth Vader and the bandage/wrap detail is excellent, but does not extend around the back like the 3-Dees. It's kind of like a work of art. Obviously a beef jerky mummy would be more realistic but it's still pretty great. Want to sit alone on the subway? While you are chewing it scream, "I AM EATING TUTANKHAMUN!" and watch your elbow room increase dramatically.

Unless you're a rich (fair warning, swear word approaching quickly) asshole, these are probably not meant to hand out on October 31st. At around $1.29 each, they were awkwardly priced for trick-or-treaters. Each one seems to have both pros and cons but they're still tons of fun, especially if you're caught up in the spirit of things, no pun intended.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Original Goodyear NCT Tires

Original Goodyear NCT tire! The high road. The low road. The road not taken. Where we're going, we don't need roads. Ah so many road quotes... but how about the risky road?

Today was Christmas. Well, for a totally spazzed out nerd like me anyway. You see, today I scored myself a set of Goodyear NCT HR60 tires. They're old, they haven't been available in 30 years, and they're probably dangerous. YA!

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time as my buddy Ken packs up his house for a move. And, since it's easier to give things away than to move them, I ended up with a nice looking set of NCTs.

When I got them home I inspected them and cleaned them. What I found was kind of surprising. Decent tread, and virtually no crack to be found anywhere! Nope, these tires were no Mayor Rob Ford.

 photo nctclosesm_zpsbaa12d1e.jpgI've read many opinions regarding the NCTs. And they are generally not good. Strapping a bunch of hot dogs to your rims get better reviews than NCTs. After all, even Goodyear discontinued them after a short time due to poor design. No, people don't particularly like the NCTs and most think driving on a 30 year old tire is dangerous.

I don't see the big deal. I currently drive on 26 year old tires. And, no, I'm not a Sunday driver - I push them pretty hard. However, I check them carefully every time I drive. And with the NCTs, I plan to be extremely careful. In fact, with a second set of wheels, I plan to mount the NCTs only for DCS 2014 in Ohio.

That's plan A anyway. But if I decide I don't like them, I will resort to plan B. Plan B is to drive to Ohio on 26 year old tires. Ya, I guess I'm taking the risky road either way.


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Evan Williams green label makes other bourbons green with envy!Eight dollars. That is about the price of a Big Mac combo at McDonalds. That is also the price of a bottle of Evan Williams Bourbon. Not a mini bottle. A completely regular 750 mL size bottle.

In Florida, I visited the mind-boggling Lueken's Liquors. Their selection is huge. Their prices are tiny. I headed straight to the bourbon, no pun intended. I picked out a nice green, no age statement bottle for $7.99

What does the price say about Evan Williams?

I opened the bottle with a clear mind, trying to be as objective as possible. Alcohol, sweet, medicinal. It was really hard to judge from the nose.

The taste was an eight-dollar surprise. Sweet and slightly spicy, a touch of honey, maybe a hint of that goo. You know, the stuff in the middle of butter tarts, but not quite as sweet. Yes alcohol was present but it was, um, well, smooth. The mouthfeel was thin, but not bad. Actually, it was really nice. Eight dollars nice? No. Nicer.

The finish was another eight-dollar shocker. Spicy (rye maybe?) and sweet. Quite short though. I was impressed. Eight-dollars impressed. No, that doesn't sound right.

Evan Williams isn't complex, that's obvious. But it's definitely eight-dollars complex. This is a bargain. Eight bucks? Seriously? For eight dollars most people would exepect their whisky to be mixer quality. And even then some wouldn't tolerate it in a mixed drink. But not only is this drinkable neat, it's GOOD.

Evan Williams is a barn-find DeLorean. Everything is covered in 3 decades worth of stinky barn dust. The leather is dried up. The tires are cracked. But surprise! Everything works. A steal for the price.

Lueken's Liquors: $8
750 mL
40% (80 proof)

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Maple Leaf Charcoal

Maple Leaf charcoal from Quebec. Thankfully my last meal wasn't as far back in the past as my last charcoal review. I know there are thousands of you out there dying for my reviews each week and I want to personally thank you for your patience. Rest assured that I have been trying many different charcoals.

At the start of the grilling season I spotted another kind of charcoal I'd never seen before. I picked it up immediately as it was only $8 for this 8.8 lb. (4 kg) bag. One-dollar-per-pound is a rough benchmark for me. Once it rises above that I start to question buying it, although that hasn't always stopped me.

I was happy to see that this was a Canadian product, originating in the tres petite town of Ste. Christine, Quebec. Town? Wait, sorry. Village. Shit. A village has over 1,000 people. A hamlet. Yes, that's what I meant, the tres petite hamlet of Ste. Christine, Quebec.

It is now the end of July and my bag of Maple Leaf Charcoal is long gone.

I used the entire bag making regular hot dogs (read: lots of hoofs and beaks), Kosher hot dogs (54% of your daily intake of fat, anyone?), super juicy Johnsonville sausages, veggie dogs, and of course hamburgers (because I can't survive on tube-shaped meat alone!)

There was no scrap in the bag. It consisted of mostly good size pieces of wood which looked like this, and it smelled fantastic. However, the smell did not transfer fully to the food like some of the other charcoals I've tried. Although this was quality wood with no sparking, the smokey taste was almost too mild. Some of you might say it's perfect, but I think I would prefer it a bit stronger.

Still, when you consider price per pound, Maple Leaf is less expensive than the Royal Oak Star Grill charcoal and in my opinion, far superior. Would I buy it again? I think the answer is an obvious yes. However, if you're still not sure - the answer is Oui.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A DeLorean-Powered Fridge

Using one bit of stainless to power another!This past weekend a tremendous storm caused a colossal power failure in my city. We were without power for almost 3 full days as two transformers exploded and electrical lines caught fire just a street away.

But I was prepared for the zombie apocalypse with my 2000 watt inverter.

Our hydro company, a bunch of douchebags, refused to even acknowledge that our neighbourhood was powerless. A day passed and still no trucks and no information available. Not knowing when power would return, furious neighbours stormed the grocery stores with pitchforks and bought up all the ice supplies.

As they returned home some of the curious ones asked me why my garage was open, and why my DeLorean was running. The answer?

I splurged on a garage door opener with a battery backup - and my 32 year old DeLorean was powering my fridge. Pretty ironic if you know the original BTTF Time Machine was supposed to be a fridge.

Le extension cord. It's tres long.Most people use inverters for... well... I really don't know. Comfort camping? Doing karaoke on the way to work? Building birdhouses with power tools inside minivans in remote areas? Anyway, the inverter allowed me to plug in my fridge for quite some time. I simply ran the extension cord through the garage door, into the house and around the corner to the fridge.

It was a hot day, and the DeLorean idling in the garage quickly raised the temperature to 32C - but my Toby fans ran strong. Everything was looking good, and envious neighbours said "Wow" a lot.

In the end however, the inverter gave out. Apparently a 520 watt fridge is too much for a self-proclaimed "Heavy Duty" 2000 watt inverter to handle. Thanks, Motomaster!

But soon hydro was restored. I suppose in an alternate 1985 we would've had to throw out the entire contents of the fridge. But as it turns out we only lost some frozen bread, shrimp, corn and bananas. And I don't mind. Because I certainly wasn't about to make a shrimp/corn/banana sandwich.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mario's Not Interested in my Lawn Mushrooms

Stupid, ultra-boring white mushroom in my backyard, does not make me grow big.When a bright red one caught my attention about 2 weeks ago, I suddenly and inexplicably became interested in mushrooms. Mushrooms are generally kind of terrible. I have never liked them. I've also never understood people's fascination with them, despite growing up (no pun intended) on Super Mario Bros.

Within a few days of spotting the red 'shroom I discovered a fairly medium-sized cluster of glossy brown mushrooms growing beneath my crabapple tree. Unfortunately, they were trampled by my nephews before I thought to take a photo.

However, that led to mushroom research which, upon discovering how delicate some of them are, led to obsessive early morning mushroom hunts in my backyard. How delicate are mushrooms? By noon the shrivelled 'shroom corpses are collapsing all over themselves. By the end of the day there's often no evidence left at all.

I know nothing about mushrooms. I don't know why they grow straight out of grass, how long they take to grow or which ones are edible. But I do know that they are part of a good ecosystem. When you have mushrooms, you have a good party. I mean a healthy lawn.

Tiny shrooms, sun was just coming up.In the past I'd noticed a couple here and there, but never this many. Every morning I find a new crop of them. Most are the ubiquitous white things that if you said to a child, "draw me a mushroom" they would replicate perfectly and boringly. Others are mega-tiny, with flat brown tops.

Never before had I been curious about mushrooms, and I admit this interest is probably going to be fleeting. Especially if all I can find are these boring white coneheads! I want my poisonous spotty mushrooms!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DPI Does Canada

A messy line of stainless cars. Neat-o.

Under threat of thunderstorms I drove the DeLorean to a shop in Oakville where Josh Bengston, owner of DeLorean Performance Industries, was paying our club a visit. It was a long time in the making, but we were finally able to reap the benefits of Josh's expertise.

Approximately 17 DeLoreans showed up for Tech Day 2013 in the Great White North. Josh, a champion of high performance parts for our 30 year old cars, inspected each one and made a list of necessary repairs. The worst was not unexpected; a pair of rotted out frames; Holes, bendy metal, the whole 9 yards.

After a couple of hours of enjoying everyone's company and unusual drinking habits, it was my turn for one of the hoists. I turned the key. My reward? A loud POP! After 20 minutes of complete frustration we pushed my car into the bay. Disheartened by the chance that I'd be towed home, the investigation began.

Under Josh's direction I removed the air cleaner and immediately discovered the problem. And it was pretty shocking. Care to wager a guess? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Injector #2 had blown right out of the engine! Josh had a quick look, bent the clip back and reinserted the irksome injector. The car started instantly. Problem solved!

Up in the air, Josh quickly replaced my torn ball joint boot, leaving me loads of time to clean my frame. It seems stupid, but I'm proud of that part of my car which no one can see. With 115,000 miles, it should be a mess. Instead, well, have a look for yourself. Here. And here. And also here.

At the end of the day, the only thing we wanted more than a shower was dinner. The tradition continued as we treated Josh to some good ol' fashioned poutine. Aside from the usual crowds around our cars (and, strangely, around our table) it was nothing but good times.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whisky - the Movie

Whisky could have been titled 'Little Red Riding Hood' for all it had to do with whisky.
"One of the best films of the year... Brilliant!"

- City Pages (Minneapolis)

2004 wasn't a particularly fantastic year for film, but it wasn't bad. LOTR: The Return of the King won Best Picture and Lost in Translation, chock full of exciting whisky visuals, was nominated for a handful of Academy Awards. Good stuff.

On the other hand, from Uruguay, came the film "Whisky." Admittedly, Sue and I chose it for its cover. Besides the alluring title, it was thoroughly showered with prizes. And yet, it was a poor choice.

The first half of the movie was interesting, despite the minimal and painful dialogue. The director makes mundane seem captivating as regular people encounter everyday problems not typically explored in film. At times the repetitiveness of these problems provided mild amusement while other times I found myself yelling, "We get it! Move on!"

"Profound, deadpan comedy" - The New York Times. Deadpan? Maybe. The actors conversations were so flat I believed they were amateurs pulled directly off the street. But that's okay, because I knew I'd be excited when they got into the whisky.

"Exhilarating!" - Miami Herald. Aside from the fact I found the intricacies of the machinery (a sock factory) exciting, I would say the correct word to describe this movie is boring. But that's okay, because I was excited, readying my mind to see how many whiskies I could recognize.

"Masterfully understated comic performances." - BBC (UK). There were a few somewhat funny moments where I smiled, but nothing sly, witty or masterful. The performances were so utterly devoid of emotion it could have been acted by cardboard boxes. But that's okay, because I couldn't wait to see what kinds of whisky they were going to drink!

Who was the competition? Mrs. Shoemaker's grade 1 class?Approximately three quarters of the way through the film, I came to the realization I'd been duped. There was no climax to the (in)activities of the protagonists and there was no whisky. None whatsoever.

The misleading title wasn't the only source of my frustration. The key element of the plot (when his brother comes to visit, Jacobo asks one of his employees to pretend to be his wife) was never explained and stories that started to develop from it were never explored. It was almost an interesting film, but every aspect of it was far, far too restrained.

How it won the grand prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival, or first prize at the Havana Film Festival are so beyond my comprehension that I've come up with one logical answer: no other films competed against it.

If Whisky has taught me anything it's proof that your grade school teachers were right - never judge anything by its cover, even if the cover is full of accolades.

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Honda Acty, The Best Truck Ever

Honda Acty microtruck is even smaller than my Honda Insight!

The Honda Acty is the best truck ever built. Why? Because it's dangerous. And danger means excitement!

A friend of our family imported a fleet of Honda Actys for his business, which requires drivers to sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle. My dad brought the fleet back for him, this one with the cutest baby crane you ever saw! Unfortunately, none of the fleet were Acty Dumps (quite possibly the best name for a truck ever).

In North America the Acty is out of place. It's a Kei class truck, built to meet the requirements of the Japanese government as they combat their crowded roadways and polluted air. In Tokyo (and probably other cities) you must have a registered parking space before you're allowed to own a vehicle. However, the Kei class vehicles let you around that rule because of their tininess.

Right hand drive is boring for postal workers, but exciting for regular shmoes like me.Kei class vehicles are built to specific, itsy-bitsy dimensions with a maximum engine size of 660 cc. This 3-cylinder engine has a top speed of 110 kph, which means it's legal on Ontario's 400 series highways. However, after bouncing around on city streets at breakneck speeds of 60 kph, that idea utterly frightens me.

With a mere 1 inch of metal separating me from the world, the Acty was like driving a skateboard. Manoeuvrability is astonishing, but concentration is important. Almost everything is reversed from what we are used to. At first I used the wipers to signal my turns and grabbed the door when I wanted to shift. Strange how the brain works.

If you want some excitement in your life but skydiving, blind dates and volunteering for medical experiments scare you a bit too much, find a Japanese micro truck and take it around the block. If you're not smiling as you fumble around with the shifter and signals, go back inside. You are destined for a boring life.

Labels: ,


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