The Pumpkinmobile

To get my “new” 1973 Saab Sonett III certified, I had to do some really minor repairs — taking a rat’s nest out of the defrost blower motor and replacing the windshield sprayer pump, and adjusting the rear brakes. Nothing much. The little Swedish car’s odometer says 3,500 km, but that can’t possibly be correct… Either way, it’s here at it’s new home now, and I got it just in time to grab it before school ended. Insurance had a little hiccup because the car is rare enough not to be in my insurance company’s standard database of cars they cover!



It’s such a cute little car… I’m so happy with it. In part I got it as a present for Caitlin because she likes little cars like this, but for me, the only driver until she finishes her license, I sure do enjoy driving small cars with small engines (this has a 55HP V4). The last thing I drove like this was the dune buggy in Mexico, and before that, my Aztec 7 kitcar, which was my first car (bought with BME’s very first “real” profits back in the nineties) and thus remembered very fondly. The engine has a really fun bumblebee hum, and it’s so tiny and low that you feel like you’re in a go-kart. The last cars I bought for Caitlin, or with Caitlin in mind, were my two Corvettes (also cars from the seventies that romantically reminded me of her — and since she badly burned and scarred her leg on the sidepipes of the first, they are forever linked), which while they share the fact of being relatively small two-seater sportscars, respectively they had a 450hp V8 and a 650hp supercharged V8, both on sidepipes, so I they made a distinctly different vibration when you gave them gas that my little pumpkin-coloured cutie!



It’s parked outside right now but I’ll move it indoors when the weather changes for the worse. I probably won’t drive it during the winter, as much as I’d like to. I don’t really enjoy driving an underpowered manual (it’s a four-speed, with nice gearing that should give it long legs at speed) in city traffic, but I can’t wait to have a chance to take it out for a drive on the highway with Caitlin for some road-trip date.

Other than that, yesterday I had — after many, many delays — a pain clinic appointment in my ongoing battle with bureaucracy. The problem is that I am — or was — stuck in this crack where I had surgery but then no follow-up, so they basically cut me up for nothing. There’s no point in having a muscle biopsy done if no one is going to interpret the results…! So my pain clinic doctor is helping with that since my potential “hobby practice” family doctor doesn’t seem to be, as well as trying to get me into a new painkiller study that’ll mean, among other things, that I get the medication for free, which is always good because these things do add up and I don’t have insurance (prescriptions aren’t covered under Ontario healthcare). That said, my goal, assuming the muscle problem can be solved, is to get off medication altogether and I am optimistic that this goal is getting closer all the time.

Nefarious was home from school the day of the appointment so she came along with me (playing her DS in the waiting room), so instead of taking the first parking spot that I found we drove all the way up and parked on the roof so she could have that small thrill.


I’d like to note that medication is far from my only path. Especially because I do not trust doctors to solve my problems, I am doing what I can to have good nutrition and stay as generally healthy and happy as possible. Yesterday Nefarious and I were lazy and ate cannelloni and watched Old Yeller, but the day before she helped me (that’s her little hand cutting broccoli with my Kershaw spring-assisted folder)* cook a mouth-watering meal of rice with chick peas and broccoli along with large teriyaki salmon fillets. Soooooo delicious. Not sure what I’m going to cook today. I suppose it ought to be something healthy to off-set the mountain of candy that she’ll reap with tomorrow’s Halloween door-to-door pillaging.



Oh, and I watched Orphan today, which I enjoyed a lot. Great twist. In theory it was on in the background as I did some work for the Dallas Police Department on a project they asked me to assist with (software for tracking stolen property, not bodmod related), but it ended up taking up my attention and I got only the most minimal work done.

* BTW, some people think that kids and knives should be kept far apart, but I’m of the opposite opinion. I think being able to use a “dangerously” sharp knife — especially as a part of the equally important skill of preparing food — and not some dumbed-down dull baby butter knife is an important — nay, essential — skill. Nefarious has a small hobby knife (a F.A.S.T. Gerber Presto), and takes the responsibility very seriously and it’s better taken care of than any other possession she has — so it’s not just being dexterously comfortable with a knife, it’s also accepting responsibility, which is a big part of growing up. I also think shooting is an important skill, and an important part of Canadian heritage that’s being lost very quickly. That’s why Nefarious has been shooting guns since she was three years old — and having gun safety drilled into her over and over and over, even when it’s just a BB gun. On all these things, safety is paramount!


  1. Elizabeth wrote:

    I have missed your cooking/nutrition posts so much.
    My kids have had their own knives since they were about 7. Swiss Army with all the accoutrements.

    More cooking show! I’m driving everyone crazy with “throw everything in” stir frys lately. Great way to hide things they arent fond of.

    Friday, October 30, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink
  2. Elizabeth wrote:

    Oh and congrats to Caitlin on the cutest car!!!

    Friday, October 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  3. Caitlin wrote:

    I don’t have my license and I can’t even drive automatic, let alone stick. It’s my car in theory only.

    But it is a cutey!

    Friday, October 30, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  4. Phil Moore wrote:

    Now you need to find a TVR used to be the fastest car 0-60 :)

    Friday, October 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  5. estrojenn wrote:

    the shape reminds me a bit of my 71 karmann ghia.

    if you haven’t got insurance yet, try lant & co. they do insurance for rare cars, and its really reasonable. i have both of my classic cars insured with them.

    Friday, October 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  6. Elizabeth wrote:

    Mostly I dont care about cars but a 71 karmann ghia…. *love*. In the 10th grade I went on a few dates with a guy, just to ride in that car. Tsk, tsk.

    Friday, October 30, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink
  7. Stephanie wrote:

    The car is adorable! I must say that regardless of whom its for, great collection piece!

    Shannon I also have to commend you for showing your daughter the skills of using a knife properly for one thing and being brought up in a household of a hunters, I to have learned to shoot since I was strong enough to hold up my first gun and have also had gun safety drilled into my head since birth.
    After all guns don’t kill people, people kill people! I wish more people had the same approach to those things in regards to guns and knifes as my parents and yourself do.
    Yes they *are* dangerous, but with the proper skills and education they can be used safely. Its sheer ignorance that lacks proper preparation skills when it comes to safety. Ignoring it, doesn’t make it go away. Just my .50 on the subject :)

    Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  8. Rachel C wrote:

    That is great about the knives and gun but where do you take Ari shooting in the city? I thought all the public ranges were closed in Toronto but I could be mistaken.

    Cute car!

    Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  9. Shannon wrote:

    We shoot high quality airguns. We used to just do it in our garage, shooting cans and such. We have more space here with proper targets for an indoor “range”.

    And yeah, the Karmann Ghia is a really pretty car, and has an overlapping spirit. I think it’s a bit bigger though — this car is just TINY.

    Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  10. dresden wrote:

    Sweet ride, man.

    Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  11. Twwly wrote:

    You guys are more than welcome to come out here and shoot stuff any time you like.

    Also, the pumpkin coloured vehicle is awesome.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink
  12. HJP wrote:

    Responsibilty with guns and knives has simply been replaced with the stupidity that if you take the ‘weapon’ away then you eliminate all the risk to begin with and ‘save lives’. this so called ‘saving lives’ just means that good citizens not are unarmed and unprepared against those who illegal get or use legal weapons to harm others because those people generally do not care what law is or isn’t to begin with.

    Also, a sharp knife used while cooking especially is MUCH better than a dull one, and possibly safer since less effort is needed and less slippage may occur.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  13. peteD3 wrote:

    good idea with the knives, ive long wondered how i would approach it if i had kids. when i was a kid i was banned from all kinds of weapon, which made then that much more desirable, which led to me secretly hording dozens of them.
    as an adult, the glamor has worn off. LOL.

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
  14. Jocelyn wrote:

    At my current age of 24, a person very close to me gave me a gift of a lovely little discontinued Kershaw model. It’s one of the most useful things I own and I rather treasure it… so reading that you have one too made my day. :D

    I don’t plan on having kids, but man, your parenting is everything I want to do and more. You’re a great role model for this sort of thing, even if you might not think so!

    Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 6:27 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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