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Everything posted by calvan

  1. My story goes back to the spring of 1968. I was 14 years old and living in what was then a mainly rural backwater some 30 miles east of Vancouver. I knew about things like Lotus and Lambos from magazines but actual sightings were as rare as unicorns. American muscle was common but in those days an E-Type counted as exotica. Anyway, the school authorities decided that we young savages needed a bit of culture so a group of us were sent off on a trip to a nearby Junior High to a concert of proper, i.e. classical, music. As soon as I got off the bus I saw it – a lavender coloured Lotus Europa, presumably owned by one of the symphony musicians. I immediately decided that it was the coolest thing this side of a Miura and resolved that someday, somehow, I would get one. What I didn’t know at the time was that there was a girl attending the host school who had also seen the Europa and was similarly smitten by it. She also wanted to get one someday. Fast forward to 1977. Now in my early 20s I had met and married that girl and heard the story of the Europa we had both seen back in ‘68. I had just finished law school and was about to start my career when we saw an ad for a Europa Twin Cam for sale locally. With a bit of help from the Bank of Dad (repaid within months) we bought the Europa and still have it to this day.
  2. Paul, where in Canada are you? I will be back home in the Vancouver area next week (in London now) and if you are nearby would be happy to discuss Esprit models over a beer and show you my V8.
  3. Another one of those First World problems where if this is what makes me unhappy, then I don’t have much to complain about. But still, a bit of thinking to do in the next few weeks. As is not uncommon, I took a good tumble playing hockey this morning. The problem is that this time, try as I might, I couldn’t keep my head from bouncing off the ice. Not a severe blow but enough for me to recognize mild concussion symptoms after a couple of minutes. Not that big a deal in and of itself but this is the second time in the past two weeks and the third time in fourteen months that I’ve had my bell rung. Perhaps there really is some truth in the old saw that old men shouldn’t play young men’s games. I’m going to take a five week hiatus from playing – skip the next three games and them I’m off to the UK for three weeks anyway. Then will come the decision of whether to go back to the game or not. It might be easier if I were any bloody good at it, but I’m not. I used to comment that I skate with all the grace and beauty of a half-trained circus bear, but the bear heard it and was offended. I’m just good enough to enjoy the game with a bunch of old crocks even if I know that some of them are only going at half speed, e.g. my defense partner this morning played a year or so of professional hockey in his youth. Still, playing regularly has become a major part of my routine and I am loathe to quit even if I am a bit worried about cumulative damage to my noggin. A First World problem indeed.
  4. And don't forget the perils of returning to the slushbox. There have been a few occasions when coming to a stop in an automatic that I have absent mindedly stomped my foot down on a non-existent clutch pedal. Bad enough, but if the left foot catches the brake pedal it launches one's nose into the windshield.
  5. A sad and reflective moment this morning. Before the start of my regular Tuesday morning (ice) hockey game we all gathered at center ice for a minute of silence to think of the victims of the Humboldt Broncos disaster this past weekend. I realize that this forum is largely UK centred, so there will not have been the extent of media coverage as here in Canada and many may not know what I am referring to. In brief, the Humboldt Broncos are a Junior A hockey team based in the small town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Junior A is high level hockey for players aged 16 -20. As is the norm for this type of team, they were travelling by bus to an away game when the bus was involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer truck carrying a load of peat moss. The team bus was carrying 29 souls, of whom 15 are now dead and 14 injured, some critically. Odd as it may seem, a group of old guys (age 55+) playing hockey on the west coast feels this tragedy deeply. One of my teammates is from that part of the country. Another friend recently left the team because he moved to Saskatchewan; a family member of his was the head coach of the Broncos and lost his life in the crash. Others played Junior hockey in their youth and have spent countless hours on similar bus trips through the Canadian winter. As a hockey player, and a Canadian, this tragedy has touched me deeply.
  6. I wasn't sure where to post this item but this seems like a good thread for the random wanderings of an idle mind. I thought of this today intending to make a joke, or at least a flippant comment, on the current US policy. While I hope that is all it amounts to it does seem to be uncomfortably close to the mark, at least for the economic consequences. Some aspects of recent US policy or presidential comments may have a common thread. What I'm thinking of are: -the apparent admiration of Putin and the silence on recent Russian sabre-rattling - presidential approval of announced plans by China to make Xi Jinping president-for-life - the recent tax program that reduces taxes on the very wealthy, and - seeming insistence on imposing blanket tariffs on steel and aluminum despite economic advice to the contrary and bipartisan political opposition. The conclusion may be that Trump and his buddies would like to turn back the clock to the "good old days" of the 1930s when the rich were rich, the poor were poor, the workers were grateful and dictators were respected.
  7. The most memorable first drive as owner was in my second Lotus, an Esprit V8. Bit of a story. I was working in Calgary when I bought the car in autumn 2003. The car came from the Lotus dealer in Vancouver who did not then have a Calgary presence as they do now. The purchase was done as an Alberta transaction to avoid sales tax so the dealer had the car shipped to an agent in Calgary to complete the paperwork and do the provincial safety inspection. For some reason they sent it to a Mercedes dealership who turned out to be knuckleheads. The Esprit eventually passed inspection but by then Benz boys had managed to shatter the driver's side window. With no replacement available in Calgary I arranged to take it home await the arrival of the new window. Of course, Calgary had an early season cold snap when I could get the car. So my first real drive of the car was 4 miles home in -20 C with no side window and on summer tires. Damn near froze to death, but who says you can't drive a Lotus in winter.
  8. Happy to see that the Esprit is, deservedly, on this list. These lists pop up from time and I'm curious about the source of this one. This may mark me as a heretic in some quarters of this forum, but I consider my Europa to be a cooler car than my Esprit.
  9. Christmas too early? It's 8:30 pm on Christmas Eve in my time zone and I'm still trying to find where to send my paperwork for a two day extension on Christmas preparation. I need it this year!
  10. Ah, the joys of sports and to each his own. After sitting out three weeks on injury reserve, I was pleased to get back to my my twice weekly ice hockey yesterday. Albeit a bittersweet return as we gathered at centre ice before the game to remember one of our former players who passed away last week. Given that I am playing age bracket hockey (minimum 55, some guys into their 70s) it seems that little ceremony happens once or twice a year. Still, it did me good to get back on the ice, just spending a few hours playing like a kid and hanging out with friends.
  11. calvan

    Royal Wed

    Another royal wedding? I'm sorry, but you must have mistaken me for someone who cares. Beyond, of course, the general good wishes as would be extended to any young couple I've not met.
  12. Looks like it's been sold. I wonder how many truck loads of cash had to be dropped off for that transaction.
  13. Congrats on that, albeit a somewhat delayed response
  14. Agreed. One of the many benefits of retirement is that I don't have to get onto a plane unless I want to. And I generally don't.
  15. To continue the Countach thread, this is the 5000 QV I had a ride in, but didn't drive, a few years back. In deepest, darkest Lanarkshire.
  16. Yeah, it looks Countach-y to me. I've only had a ride in a Countach once but that dash looks familiar.
  17. Bit of a time lag in posting this up, in part because I was away on a road trip to Oregon, but here is a direct comparison of Europa and El Camino:
  18. Alas, he wasn't sent to sample that fine cuisine. The comment was made by a spectator at a car show and as I was in public and polite company, I had to temper my response. I don't recall my exact response, but it was intended to convey the notion that in calling him a wit I am in fact doubling my estimation of his faculties.
  19. I've had my Europa compared to an El Camino a couple of times, including one wit who asked if it "shrunk in the wash"
  20. Now that you mention it, I recall that technique but don't dare try it. The cavernous echoing of my head would likely produce a beam that would trigger SETI, and then all hell would break loose.
  21. I'm curious if anyone else on the West Coast has run into an odd but very local problem. Quite simply, I have found that if I park my Elise on or near Granville Island the key fob won't work to unlock the car or release the immobilizer. It first happened last year - the key fob shorted out and I had to get a tech from Weissach (the local Lotus dealer) to come down and reset the system. I ventured back a few months later and it took a couple of minutes of determined button pushing before the car responded to the fob and unlocked. Today I parked at 1st and Fir and it happened again. I eventually got the car to unlock by intentionally triggering the alarm and hoping it would unlock when cancelled - it worked on about the fourth push of the button. And before anybody asks, it has a fresh battery and since the roof was off I reached into the car with the fob. Once I got back to sunny, albeit smokey, White Rock it worked normally. Has anyone else encountered this? And more to the point, what could be causing It? Is some level of government trying a nefarious experiment of broadcasting thought-control from the underside of the Granville Bridge? Are our friends at Weissach, or more likely one of their nearby competitors, blanketing the area with a Lotus death-ray beam? Whatever it is, my poor Elise is now exiled from Granville Island.
  22. Pleased with a recovery from my own carelessness. I must have forgotten to check pockets before putting laundry in to wash a few days ago because when I went to remove items from the washing machine there was an Elise key fob that had gone through the wash as well. I removed the battery and let it sit to dry for 48 hours before putting it back together - it works perfectly. And now I have the cleanest key fob around.
  23. I agree - look at a wet system for that area. We have in-floor hot water heat for our entire house. Very comfortable heating system, even if you do have a bit more ongoing maintenance with zone valves, etc wearing out. The main drawback is that you can't make quick adjustments. If the house is left to go cold, e.g. if you go away for a winter holiday, it can take a few hours to get it comfortable again.
  24. In July of last year I posted a shot taken from my deck showing the Canada-US boundary marker poking up out of the water. Well, I was out there at midday today and noticed it was low tide with the marker no longer in the water (Semiahmoo Bay is quite shallow at that point). Same antiquated i.e., 10 yr. old DSLR with a 55 mm lens, but here is the low tide comparison:
  25. Any correlation between those sightings and you and your mates going out for a pint?
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