Guess who's back, Shannon's back… Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back…

So we're back in Toronto right now in the palace of stink. The plan for today/tomorrow is to clear out EVERYTHING (mostly garbage) from this apartment, call 1-800-GOT-JUNK, and then spray this place down with a firehose so it doesn't smell like the mythical lost city of the mouse people.

Leeta and I did the drive back (she's really nice car company), and Rachel dealt with the surveyer's and such and then flew — the timing was perfect as I basically arrived, rested for a moment, and then met her at the airport. The drive is actually not to hard — it's about 1400 km, so it took me ten hours (don't ask me how I managed to average 140 the whole way).

Had a couple incidents — first, getting gas on the east coast in the TT isn't great, because only about a third of the gas stations have high octane (just 91, nothing unusual) gas… Oh, they all have the pumps, but since no one buys the “super” gas, they sit empty… (“We haven't had that spirit here since 1969.”)

Anyway, as I'm entering Grand Falls (western New Brunswick, on the border to Quebec), I shred and blow off my rear right tire (it was a long time coming, it had crack in the inner sidewall from day one, it's my own fault for not returning it). Luckily I'm practically in front of a tire shop when this happens. So, I walk in and point at my car, and say, “I just blew the rear tire off my TT, do you have anything that will fit it?”

“What's a TT?”

Not only had they never heard of a TT, but they'd never seen an Audi before (“What kind of car is that? Audi you say? I don't think we have those up around here!”). The TT (“How do you spell that? Thomas-thomas you say? Huh!”) has 17″ wheels — not a single tire place in town (there were at least five) had low profile tires, so we had to see what we could rig up. No one had even 16″ wheels and tires, so we had to jerry-rig something.

We ended up squeezing on a 15″ rim and tire, but it rubbed on the brake caliper. So then we put a whole bunch of washers in between the wheel and the hub to push the rim out so it wasn't rubbing. It seemed solid. The tire was rated at 170 (the slowest rated tire I've owned in a long time!), so that determined my top speed on the rest of the drive.

I will definitely be sending a thank you note to the head offices of that tire shop — everyone there was incredibly nice and really saved my day. Driving back on an 80kph-rated spare would have driven me insaner.

Anyway, ten hours. I'm quite proud of that!

And in the interests of national unity, I won't even get into what I think of driving in Montreal. Suffice it to say that I've driven across America three times, once to Canada's west coast, and I think five or six times to the East coast, and Montreal is literally the only city I've ever been in that I got lost out of my mind every time I pass through.

Oh, I know what else I have to do — make a slick shirt for the July 1st Toronto BBQ. And this time there's enough notice to do jackets! If you want one (a jacket; they'll be about $40 CDN probably), maybe sign the petition below with the size you'd like so I have a rough idea. If you've already signed, just unsign and resign.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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