The Real Halloween

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Three pictures.  That’s all that I have to remember of Halloween 2017.  We went to a party as Freddy vs. Jason.  Freddy ended up staying at the Halloween party right up until the end, unlike Jason (myself) who just has to make out with some girl on the dance floor, get in a cab with her, and end up on the complete opposite end of the city at a small house party until 3:30am.  We listened to Cancer Bats, talked about dreadlocks vs. mohawks, and crushed a 26 of Wisers.  Somewhere in this whole mess, I managed to lose my mask, gloves, and machete. I did, however, manage to keep my shirt/jacket and this Coors hat I caught in the air.  Oh, and Freddy forgot his spare glove in my car.  Worst driving glove ever.

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Pre-Halloween Halloween. I didn’t get the memo.

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A Northsider, a North Quarter guy, a Sinner and a Hooligan walk into a bar.  It wasn’t early, it wasn’t planned, and we weren’t even all together, but sometimes it just happens.  It all started happening at about 4:00pm in preparation for a pub crawl that I didn’t know was Halloween themed.  It’s a week early… Come on!

It started at Bobby’s Place, a nice little Irish pub on Dewdney.  Too bad it wasn’t staying there, as according to the poster above the urinal, Dangerous Cheese were playing, a local 80’s cover band.  Oh well, they weren’t going on stage for a while, there was time to get back.  Maybe.

From there, the bus went to the Pump Roadhouse, a country bar.  Jell-O shots were a buck each on the bus, $5.oo minimum, and everyone seemed to be going for the deal.  The Pump was initially dead, as it was only 6:00pm, but the two busloads of people livened it up pretty fast.  There was a nursing student dressed as a Priest who had a problem.  His costume was heavy, and he happened to be overheating from too many shots.  He needed some tape to tie his pants up.  Well, we didn’t have any tape handy, but we did have condoms! Problem solvers, MacGyver style.

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Next stop was Gabbo’s.  Different scene again, as this is a night club.  They were handing out free shots at the door, and beads, which I eventually exchanged for boobs.  Gotta follow the rules, right?  I think the highlight of the night club was this heavy-ass old door.  It’s located in the men’s room, and it’s definitely been pissed on more than a few times over the years, just look at the patina around waist height.  You can’t faux that!

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Third stop was Habano’s, another night club.  Highlight of this place?  I won best male costume, as I was the only male on the dance floor for the judging.  I told them I was dressed as a roadie.  Drunk, torn jeans, patched-up hoody, Mohawk, and sneakers.  Nailed it!  They gave me a $50.00 gift certificate that I promptly turned into shots.  On to the next bar!

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Eldorado’s, another country bar.  I got separated from the group there, so I bailed and legged it to Bobby’s Place to catch the end of Dangerous Cheese.  I was able to catch the last five songs of their set, order a drink, snap a picture, and then leg it back to Eldorado’s to meet up with everyone once again.  Honestly, nothing cool happened from that moment until I got in the cab and left for good.  I did, however, end up with leopard panties around my neck from a stagette, and the usual wrist band and stamp from a good night of paying cover charges.  About average.  Wonder what real Halloween will have in store for us next weekend.  Don’t worry, you’ll hear about it.

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Because you have a car, a toolbox, and a fridge…

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I’ve got stickers!  Better yet, you’ve got stickers the next time I see you.  I started with 200 of them, and can order more at any time.  This will not be the only style, however, as once these are gone I’ll be designing round two (or hiring someone with actual talent to do it, much like these).  Stick them around, spread the word, tell your friends, and keep reading.

 

Mental and physical well-being. Or maybe I’m just mental?

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Disclaimer:  This might end up reading weird.  I’ve written totally sober before.  I’ve also written totally intoxicated.  Tonight, however, I’m writing totally…  I don’t know what.  I’ve been a vegetarian for almost a decade now, and I thought I had it nailed down.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I’ve been getting plenty of protein, but I missed the boat on a bunch of things I can’t pronounce.  Long story short, I bought a ton of supplements so I can play catch-up, and I’m doing this weird “load” this week.  Load is an understatement, as all this garbage causes and incredible cotton-mouth, and I’m on my seventh litre of water today.  It feels like I got high on LSD, then took a bunch of cocaine so I could stay up later, and do more LSD.  Luckily, this load ends the day before a pub crawl, so I get to celebrate good health the hard way, followed by 4:00am pizza at Delila’s, of course.

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Mental well-being… Oh yeah!  I tried to clean the shop up tonight, as I have a quarter panel to replace and I don’t technically have the space to do it.  I got sidetracked about as many times as a man can get sidetracked in a familiar environment, as I had to move stuff I forgot I owned into corners I haven’t seen in years.  Some people might use the word “hoarder”, but I prefer to use the word “décor”.  Sure, everything is filthy, unpleasant to the touch, and carries with it an odour, but I didn’t find one dead cat!  Have you ever walked into a garage that has shiny white walls, matching upper and lower cabinets all around, a nice stainless steel counter top, and that fancy epoxy paint on the floor?  I feel like I should leave the beer in the truck and ask for the wine list.  Those new signs with the faux patina that are made to look like old signs?  Even I have a couple of them, and folks that don’t know shit about shit can pick them out from the real deal from twenty feet away.

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Working in a crooked, drafty, dirty old building surrounded by old accumulated crap has given me a real appreciation for… Well… Old accumulated crap.  As I moved newer, more useful crap out of my way, I kept getting sidetracked looking at all my old, much less useful crap.  It was like a garage tour that I helped plan, and then forgot that I’d been there before.  I never did get that quarter panel on tonight, but I did get back in the zone.  Tomorrow night…  What’s with the pictures on the cork board?  That’s the wall of shame…  Can’t you tell?  And the parking meter?  It was an award.  I was going to install it on the bedside table, but I’d hate for anyone to feel like there was a time limit.

 

The Sexiest Form of Suicide.

I built a truck.  Twice.  Two and a half times if you count that 4×4 V8 S-Series Jimmy winter beater, but really, that’s hardly a truck.  First, there was Fast Orange, a ’72 C10 long box that was rusted right from asshole to breakfast.  Every time I turned a knob, slid a lever, or flipped a switch, the fuse box would catch fire.  Everything under the dash was done in white wire, so when there was a problem I just had to replace whichever one had turned brown.  Under the hood, everything was done in yellow wire, and nothing under there ever caused problems, oddly enough.  Why did I call it Fast Orange?  Simple math, really.  It had fat tires, glasspacks,  a huge shift kit, and an open 12-bolt with 4.11 gears.  It had about one-hundred horsepower, but that didn’t matter, it barked that passenger rear tire into third.  Why did I take it off the road and actually fix it?  I guess I got attached to the stupid thing, and one day I hit the train tracks a little fast, rupturing the passenger side rocker panel and causing the passenger door to open.  Oops.

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Next, there’s the truck I’m talking about.  A 1964 Chevy C10 SWB fleetside.  The Tornado.  The Natural Disaster.  My Sexy Suicide.  Call it what you want, it’s literally the most painful thing that I’ve ever had to put on the road.  First thing’s first, a little history:  A fellow club member once had a trike.  It was one of those long, wide, Roth-like show trikes with the big block and transaxle out of an Olds Toronado mounted in it.  I guess it was hard to ride, and equally hard to insure (as it had to be plated as a Toronado) so he took it apart, bought a pro-street 1964 C10, and made one out of two.  A rear-engine pickup, a pickup that can’t actually pick up.  Unfortunately, it didn’t drive well, it didn’t handle well, and it didn’t sell well.  Even after a couple price reductions, no one bought it, so it was laid to rest in his carport for a few years.  That’s where I came in.

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It didn’t run, it had a couple flat tires, the bed was right full of leaves, and it was filthy.  Sold!  He agreed to deliver it to me, and I agreed to do something with it, though at the time I had no idea what (I just really wanted a low 60-66 C10).

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Fast-forward a week, and I’d cleaned it out, checked it over, and determined that it was ready for the street.  Yep.  A solid week.  It didn’t come with keys, so I drilled out the Ford Aerostar steering column, and cranked it over with a screwdriver.  It cranked great, all the lights worked, but it wasn’t getting fuel.  I took the fuel line off, and nothing ran out.  The tank was full of crud. Luckily I’d only poured a gallon of fuel in, so I strained that gallon back into the gas can, tossed a chain into the tank, and shook it around for a few minutes to loosen all the debris.  Time for round two!

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This time, the fuel ran out the bottom nipple just fine, but the fuel pump wasn’t pumping…  Of course not, why would it?  I picked up a fuel pump and a glass filter at the parts store the next day, assembled it all, and had success!  The fuel pumped right up to the dirty old Quadrajet, filled the bowls, and sat there, as the old carb was gummed right up.  A quick swap with the greasy stocker off of Fast Orange, and yet another twist of the screwdriver, and that big block rumbled to life.  Test drive time! At night no less!

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I didn’t die.  Neither did my passenger.  That’s all I can say.  When I floored the accelerator, the truck pulled hard to the left, fighting it’s way into oncoming traffic.  When I slightly touched the brakes, they basically locked up, sending me towards the ditch.  But it drove!  I cannot stress enough how determined I was to make this work in its current state.  Unfortunately, determination ends up costing several thousand dollars,  takes several hundred hours, and causes a guy like me to carry a suicide note around in case I took too many stay-awake drugs, or died on test drive version 2.0…

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Today, this truck has probably 15,000 miles on it or something like that? It’s been painted five times, tanked the original engine, worn one set of rear tires out, and actually been a lot of fun.  It’s loud, expensive, somewhat shocking, and works really quite well.  The only problem with it?  It needs paint and bodywork again, the bed still wears the tires out, and I’ve never been happy with the grille/front bumper combo, much less the color.  Time for a re-do.  I’m going to need a lot of stay-awake junk…

 

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll: The Instrumental

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Sorry, no sex or drugs this time.  All you’re going to get here is a few pit photos, some stories, and this busted-ass urinel sporting a soggy sign that didn’t get the point across.  This was my Wednesday night, folks, and what a great time it was.

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It was storming like you wouldn’t believe, we’re talking wind and snow showers of biblical proportions.  The doors opened at 8:30, there were two bands, and I live two hours away.  If all went according to plan, I would’ve been home by approximately 2:00am.  I got home only fifteen minutes shy of my goal, so not bad considering the ice, snow, and lack of visibility.  Why did I drive a total of four hours during the first blizzard of the year on a work night?  Savage Henry and the Infamous One Pounders opening for the Brains, that’s why.

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What does music have to do with hot rodding?  Everything.  Music has literally everything to do with literally everything.  Tim Armstrong of Rancid said it best when he said “When I’ve got the music, I’ve got a place to go”.  No matter how shitty life gets, you can always pull out that scratched-up old jewel case (or record sleeve or whatever), and take yourself back to a better time.  For me, that jewel case contains Rancid’s third album, …And Out Come The Wolves.  It takes me back to when I was about eleven, and every day, when I get out of bed, I make sure that I’m making eleven-year-old me proud.  An old truck in the driveway, punk rock on the stereo, and a Mohawk?  Nailed it!

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I got sidetracked. Hot rodding and music…  Finkle and Einhorn… Rye and coke… Titties and beer…  Cigarettes and dope and mustard and bologna and liquor and whores… I’ve gotta focus here…  Here’s another picture while I sedate myself with some Fireball.

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And we’re back!  Although I can’t drive anymore tonight due to the whole Fireball thing, driving is the key to hot rods and music.  When you’re in a confined place where you need to pay attention to both the task at hand and your surroundings, you might as well be entertained by music.  Maybe it’s late out, and you want to stay awake?  What better way than rocking out to your favorite album?  With music, a road trip can almost become a rock opera.  In 2011, while pulling in to Sandpoint, Idaho, my flash drive switched songs to “Welcome to Paradise” by Green Day.  How fitting.  Now, whenever I hear that song, I instantly go back to that time and place.  The Three Days Grace album One X dominated the summer of 2006 for me, and although I’ve listened to it since, I can’t recall anything memorable past that summer.  Long story short, you won’t catch me with radio delete in anything I build, however, you may catch me, literally, crowd surfing though a mosh pit somewhere.

 

 

 

Hey, it’s looked worse and so have I.

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“So, you looking after my car good?”  I was asked that exact question today.  Nope, not about something old and cool, just my daily driver Chrysler 300.  I bought it off the local dealer about five years ago, and the fella who traded it off has regretted it ever since.  He bought a Dodge Journey, and apparently it sucks.  I’ve put on as many kilometers on the 300 as he did, and can honestly say I’ve had no problems with it that weren’t due to abuse or just regular maintenance.  It’s comfortable, it’s incognito, and with all-wheel drive, it’s great in the winter.  Unfortunately, it virtually gets truck gas mileage, but lacks the utility of a bed out back.  Past that one minor negative, it’s alright, and will work for the half of the year that I can’t drive anything else due to ice, snow, and salt.  The picture?  Fresh today.  It was a rough Saturday night…  Won’t be the last one, I promise.