25 April 2011

Major Service and Tune

I took the DeLorean to Garden Grove two weeks ago to have the brakes and fuel consumption looked at after I (ok, Brendon) lowered the front.  Along with an alignment and getting it smogged, it was time for a major service and tune.  It just passed the 30,000 mile mark, so it is time to have things looked at.  So, here is the list of things that was done: 

-Change oil, filter, and lube front end fittings
-Change transmission oil and filter if needed
-Lube speedometer angle drive unit
-Re-torque main body bolts
-Check tires & pressure and spare tire pressure
-Replace Lambda sensor and reset light
-Replace spark plugs, distributor cap, rotor and wires
-Adjust valves and replace gaskets
-Lube door key cylinder and hinges
-Flush cooling system and check hoses, radiator, and pump
-Reset timing and fuel mixture
-Replace drive belts
-Check lights, horns, wipers, and windshield
-Check brake fluid
-Check clutch fluid
-Check battery and charging system
-Check brake pads

Check for DeLorean Updates:

-Front end recall kit
-Relay update
-Ball joint update
-De-ice Kit
-Engine cooling pipe

All that, along with replacing the master cylinder came out to $1663.  Not too bad, I was expecting a little more.  I drove it home and it felt great.  Everything just seemed a little better.  I can tell right away that the brakes were working properly.  I had been driving around for a year with crappy brakes.  Seems like the fuel consumption is better.  Only had about a quarter tank when I dropped it off.  Usually at that mark, I need to refuel.  Made it all the way home and the fuel warning light only came on when I was at an incline.  Will get gas in the morning the next time I take it out.

Oh, and i finally get to renew my registration.  So, I almost spent $2000, today. 

18 April 2011

Urban Dictionary

Because of my previous post, I think there is an opportunity to have an entry in Urban Dictionary.  This is my submission for the term "Click Loophole".

Based on the movie Click.  The event occurs when one is willing to believe that there is exsist a remote control that can be used to manipulate real life as one would with a television or playback device (This includes stopping/pausing time, fast forward, rewind, etc.), yet unwilling to believe that Adam Sandler can get with Kate Beackinsale.
While one detail is quite possible (Sandler with Beckinsale) and the other pretty much impossible (magical remote control), one is willing to believe the latter.
In Tron: Legacy, the "Click Loophole" moment is when there is a roasted pig at the dinner table.  Everything up until that point makes total sense, including Flynn being trapped in the grid for over twenty years. 

Waiting to see if it gets in.

17 April 2011

My Complaints On Tron: Legacy

Helps to have a hot chick in your marketing campaign

I think I am going to start a series of movie reviews...it maybe a series of one.  There will be spoilers, but if I have seen a movie...pretty muck everyone in the world has seen it.  First up is Tron:  Legacy.  Disney pumped a lot of money into the marketing of this movie.  They created a huge hype that started at Comic-Con 18 months before the release.  In a marketing standpoint, Disney did a text book job.  Of course, it helps that Disney has money to do this kind of thing.

As a movie, this is about as good as the first one.  The film makers created a word for the audience to get lost in.  The special effects, costumes, sets...all the visual stuff was stunning, just like the 1982 release of the original.  Bottom line, this movie just looks cool.

Screen cap from movie, or video game?
 But...it has its flaws.  Clu, looks computer generated.  Yeah, I know he is suppose to be a program.  If everyone else in the system looked like him, then that would be fine.  He just looks like really good video game graphics...great for PS3, not so good for a movie where most characters are human.  This is why the Navi in Avatar look great., they all look the same.  Granted their CG is way better than Clu.

Psst, he has a Ducati
Product placement is way too obvious.  There is a Ducati featured in the movie.  They constantly show the logo on the gas tank during the bike scenes.  While in his man-cave, Sam parks his bike behind the couch.  So, when he sits on said couch...we see the Ducati logo behind his head.  Oh, he also has Ducati stickers on his fridge.  You must think, "gee how many times did you see this movie?"  Just once, and that was how distracting it was.  Sam and Kevin also exchange a  product placement conversation about the Ducati.  Spoiler alert:  Our hero Sam rides the bike...a Ducati, by the way...off into the sunrise (instead of sunset) at the end of the film.

Cool refresh of original light cycle
 Speaking of bikes, the light cycle scene was really cool.  It totally copied paid homage to the original.  That car Quorra drives is awesome, makes me want to install EL panels in my car.  Hey, maybe I should do that.  I will keep you posted.  Anyway, they show Flynn's light cycle (again, really cool looking) and Quorra states that it is the "fastest thing on the grid".  With a line like that, you would think that we are going to see a kick-ass chase seen involving Flynn's light cycle.  No, Sam just 'borrows' it and rides into town...barely breaking the speed limit.

They have books in the grid...and roasted pig
How does a human, uh "user", stay alive in the grid?  I am willing to believe that there is some sort of electron ray gun that can zap you into the grid.  But how does he survive for twenty years in there? And, that is twenty years our time...it is way longer in the grid.  The scene at the dinner table answers the question of how/what he eats to stay alive.  But, there is a roasted pig on the table.  A ROASTED PIG!!!  Where did that pig come from?  Wait, so among all the cool video games that Flynn created...he also created Farmville?  This is what I call "The Click Loophole", based on the movie click.  I am willing to believe that there is a remote control that can allow one to stop time, even travel through time...but no way can I believe that Adam Sandler can get together with Kate Beckinsale, no way.  I wonder if Flynn's toilet glows.

Talk about suspension of disbelief
Tron:  Legacy was nominated for one Academy Award, Best Achievement in Sound Editing.  Rightfully, it did not win.  It should not even have been nominated.  The sound editing in this film was one of the worst I have heard.  Hold on, tangent rant:

Daft Punk totally jacked rifts from this single
As much as I dislike Daft Punk, I think the soundtrack was amazing.  Why do I hate them, you ask.  Just listen to Daft Punk's Around the World.  Tell me it does not sound like Depeche Mode's Never Let Me Down Again.  Total rip off if you ask me, or anyone with at least one working ear.   Not sure about their newer stuff, but when Daft Punk first came on the scene, a lot of their stuff sounded like Depeche Mode, yet they were praised for having a new sound.  Yeah, new as in every DM remix on a loop.  By the way, Depeche Mode:  Remixes 2 is out 6 June.  Now, back to my movie rant.

I did not see this in the theaters.  I watched it on the next best thing, Blu-Ray.  So, the sound should be pretty damn close to what I would have experience in the theater.  I found myself constantly adjusting the volume just to not blow my speakers/ears out with music and action scenes versus the dialogue scenes.  What tells a story?  Right, the narrative.  Which means dialogue is very important, especially when you create a world with your own rules.  You as a filmmaker, you need to inform the audience through dialogue, narration, visual ques, etc., as to what is going on.  Well, that is hard when the music and action scenes are loud as fuck and the dialogue is inaudible.  Heck, I had to turn on the subtitles just so I can read the dialogue that the sound editors should have cranked up to better match the rest of the movie.

Four disc set.  The 3D means 3 discs that are useless
A quick review of the Blu-Ray set.  It comes with four discs...but really one disc that you will actually use.  Again, great Disney marketing at work.  "Oh, I get four discs?  Wow, that is a lot of content!  Tron viewing party at my place".  Wrong, you get one average Blu-Ray disc, with minimal content.

Disc 1 - Blu-Ray 3D:  Unless you have a 3D TV and a 3D Blu-Ray player, this disc is useless
Disc 2 - Blu-Ray:  This is the only useful disc in the set.  Standard movie and minimal special features.  I was hoping to see more behind the scenes content on production design.  Also, no director commentary.
Disc 3 - DVD:  Manufactures have been including a DVD with their Blu-Ray releases.  The main reason is to have the Blu-Ray at home and the DVD in the portable player on the go for kids.  Good marketing, but pretty much a waste of plastic.  I would rather have more special features.
Disc 4 - Digital Copy:  Again, great marketing but a waste of plastic and money better spent on more behind the scenes content.  Anyone can with a computer can rip a DVD or Blu-Ray to a digital copy.  That same computer can 'acquire' a digital copy...even before the movie comes out.

If you can tolerate the "Academy Award Nominated Sound Editing", I recommend checking out Tron:  Legacy.  The visuals alone are worth watching.

15 April 2011


Who grows up wanting to be a telemarketer?  Where does one go to school, or what would one major in to start a path to annoy people via telephone?  Your parents must be so proud of you.

4 April 2011
   478-442-4002  GA, USA  This was another text message that cost me twenty cents.  There is a number to call, so feel free crank call them...or report them to Homeland Security as a possible terrorist threat to the United States.  877-225-2304

6 April 2011
   425-587-1005  Kirkland, WA  Something about credit cards.  Hmm, Kirkland...I wonder if that is where they may all the Costco stuff.

7 April 2011
   203-242-6898  Huntington, CT  Another text message, another twenty cents the terrorists owe me.  Seriously, why invade other countries when there are terrorist cells right here in our backyard.  Not only am I paying more at the pump, I have to pay each time these terrorists text me.

14 April 2011
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND  Wow, a full week without a call.  I was just thinking to myself, "hey, it has been a while since I have been harassed by terrorists".

15 April 2011
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND  Yep, again.  I want to see how many times they call from this number.  The record is eight from a number...until I answered it.

21 April 2011
   269-537-2029  Niles, MI  Darn, missed call.

26 April 2011
    480-719-7434  AZ, USA  Missed this call, too.

14 April 2011

Chicks Dig Scars

Six months after surgery
After six months, I think this is as good as the scar is going to heal.  It is hard to believe that six months ago I was in the most pain I have ever been.  Hopefully, the last time I feel that kind of pain.  Although, if it means getting some more titanium screwed to me...it might be worth it.  Oh, and losing the 15 pounds was kinda cool.  I should be starting hockey next month, gonna try to make it through the season without getting injured.

06 April 2011

Six Months Since the Accident

Six months later, with Snoopy blanket
I lost count of how many weeks, but it has been six months.  You would think it is six times four...24 weeks.  But really...hold on, I need to do some math.  Okay, I am back.  It is actually 26 weeks, makes sense, since there is 52 weeks in a year.  That is 182 days since my injury on 6 October 2010.

I have taken a picture every week since my injury and uploaded them HERE

Hockey season starts up in about a month.  I have skated a few times and the wrist is feeling good.  Actually, I was amazed that I still have a decent wrist shot and slap shot...not that they were any god before the accident.  Cannot wait to play again.

03 April 2011

Lowering Front of DeLorean

I spent the morning and early afternoon at a buddy's house to work on the DeLorean.  About a year ago, I purchased a set of lowering springs from DeLorean Cars.  I also got a front sway bar bushing kit from DeLorean Parts Northwest a few months ago...and a set of lower control arm support brackets from DeLorean Car Show.  Yeah, that is about $635 worth of stuff just sitting around waiting to be installed.  Now that the weather is finally cooperating with me, I think it is about time that I had them installed.

Measurement before:  25.25 inches from ground to wheel well lip
At stock height, the front of the car was actually sitting about a quarter inch higher in the front (when measured at the rocker using a level).  We measured the gap before everything, and there was about a 3.5 inch gap between the tire and lip of the wheel well.

Jacking up the front end.  Kinda looks like it is flying.
First thing to do is jack up the front end and remove the wheels.  This was really exciting for me because, I finally got to use the jack and jack stands I got about six months ago.  It is also kinda neat to see the underside of the car.  Next, we removed the front sway bar and set it aside.  We will get to that later.

The right side was worked on first.  We removed the upper control arm...and when I say 'we', I really mean Brendon.  He did most of the work, since he knows cars...I mean he KNOWS cars.  He is currently restoring a Pontiac Firebird.  That thing is in pieces right now, it looks like a model kit or some kind of car from Ikea.  Me, I just helped hold things and loosen/tighten things...oh, and I handled the jack.  In the process, I did learn a lot about the front end.  So anyways, we (Brendon) removed the upper control arm so we (actually we this time) could fit the spring compressors in to, well, compress the springs.

Spring compressor on one side of spring
With the spring compressors on either side of the spring, we tightened the bolt to squeeze the spring.  Once we got it 'short' enough, we could remove the spring. We also removed the shock which would be reinstalled later.  I did not get new shocks, yet.  Perhaps next time.

Lower control arm support bracket
The lower control arm support brackets go on next.  This bracket will help with handling while strengthening the lower control arm.  Side note:  See that wire just dangling over the frame, just left of the bracket?  There was a wire dangling in the front, too.  Turns out it is the same wire.  There was bout three feet of extra wire, just beautifully draped around the frame.  Brendon was curious as to what it was and where it went.  So he followed one end and found that it was a ground.  Since there was excess length, he was going to cut it and remount it to the ground.  Well, he removed one end from the ground, I pulled on the wire to see where to cut it...and turns out, the wire was connected to...NOTHING!  Yeah, the whole wire just came out.  One end was connected to the frame for ground, then other end connected to nothing, just hanging out there for...who knows...thirty years?

New lowering spring (left) and stock spring (right)
The new spring was compressed and put in.  Notice the difference in length in the two springs.  The shock put back in, the nuts and bolts are tightened to correct torque settings as listed in the workshop manual and instructions of the bracket kit.

New spring and bracket installed
One side done, one to go.  Basically, the same process goes on the other side.  Should be easier, now that we conquered one side and know where the problem areas are...like I said, 'should be easier.  There was some minor issues but we (Brendon) worked around it, and it all went pretty smooth.

Front sway bar
 Both sides done, time to reinstall the front sway bar.  This one was tough.  The bushing set included four polyurethane 'donuts' that need to be pressed into the lower control arm (two each arm) and two D-shaped polyurethane bushings that are held in the front with brackets.  Getting the donuts in was quire a task.  They were slightly larger than the hole it was suppose to fit in.  We had to use a C-clamp to ghetto press the donuts in.  Hey, what ever works.

These bracket were a bitch to get on

With the donuts in, we loosely installed the sway bar.  Now, actually the toughest part of the process, getting the front end of the sway bar to line up and bolt in the front brackets.  This took a lot of muscle and clever thinking, mostly on the part of Brendon.  You can see in the above picture that Brendon is using all his might to push up on the sway bar and tighten the final nut...while I was using my finger to easily snap that photo.

Measurement after:  23.5 inches, a drop of 1.75 inches
Front sway bar is in, everything in is torqued up, and the tires go back on.  I got to play with the torque wrench and put the wheels back on, yay me.  The moment of truth, time to lower the car back down.  The front end is considerably lower, even with only a 1.75 inch drop.  The car looks faster and meaner just sitting there.

We took it for a test drive around the area.  There was a noticeable difference in handling, everything felt tighter and more responsive.  I also noticed that I could see better out the windshield since I am now at a better angle to the glass.  Then Brendon took the wheel, he is the first person to drive it (other than myself), since I got the car over a year ago.  He did some swerving to test the handling, everything is a-okay.

After about four hours, we finished the job.  Special thanks to Brendon for doing most of the work and letting me use his workshop and tools to do all this.  I really could not have done this without him.  Like I said, Brendon knows cars.  He is also a fellow Hot Wheels Designer.  I got to work on most of the cars that he designed, now he got to work on my real car.  Saved me a lot of money by not doing this 'simple' update in a shop.  Thanks again, Brendon.

Next up:  Taking the car to DMC-California for a tune up. It needs work on the brakes, perhaps transmission.  Will also need an alignment and smog check, so I will see if they can do all that and what ever else it needs.  Oh, more money to spend.