May 4, 2017 at 1:14 pm #10958
My name is Mike, and I’m a 26-year-old living in Ontario, Canada…about an hour outside of Toronto. I have been working in the real estate industry since 2008, slowly progressing and moving up in my company. I have reached the highest point this “career” can take me…so naturally, I have a lot of decisions to make very soon…but that’s a whole other topic.
My dad has always been a big influence on me. He grew up through the muscle car era. Modifying, racing, etc. was a big part of his life, and of course, that has been passed down to me. Race tracks, and drag strips, countless hours in the garage, was mostly how I spent my childhood. My dad has always been stubborn…there was only ONE WAY to do things…and that was his way. There was no point doing anything unless it was done his way. I don’t fault him for this because usually, his way was the right way. There were never any shortcuts, no easy way out, everything had its own place, everything was organized and clean and in order…everything revolved around the way that he worked. “Measure twice, cut once”. Although in his case…it was mostly “measure 5 times, cut once”. My grandpa was a master carpenter…so naturally, these words stuck with my dad, and has certainly been passed onto me.
I always wanted to be out in the garage working with my dad. The house I grew up in was custom built by my parents. We had a 2 story triple car garage, 10-foot doors, etc. Every square foot was designed to his specifications. My dad worked in commercial heating and air conditioning…so of course, he built a heating system in the garage so he could work year round in comfort. This garage is one of the major reasons my parents divorced when I was 16…my dad would rather spend time in the garage than with my mom…and that meant if I wanted to spend time with my dad, it was usually in the garage or outside maintaining our property.
I don’t mean to make it sound like my dad is miserable…because that’s far from the truth. He has always been everything a great dad should be…being hard on me was his way of passing his knowledge and expertise down to me. My mom has always worked in business, and I decided that this was the path I was going to follow…real estate specifically.
With that being said…my car progression has been relatively boring, and strongly influence by my parents. My dad always needed a vehicle capable of towing. Growing up, we had a Ford Bronco, and my mom working in business has always driven a Mercedes, now tesla. The first car I ever had was my grandma’s old Pontiac Grand Am…it was horrible. It was this ugly, forest green color, equipped with velour upholstery that was typical of the time. I didn’t care though because it was wheels. It was my freedom…I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I then moved up into a truck. I purchased a 2002 Dodge Dakota, quad cab. This gave me the ability to tow, which meant dirt bikes and boats and cottage trips. At the time, I was commuting almost 4 hours a day…so the gas was killing me. I decided to buy a Volkswagen Golf. This was substantially better on fuel…although, I wasn’t THRILLED with it. I didn’t have the money to buy a GTI…and I didn’t see the point of modifying it because it was pretty standard. This lead me to another obsession that I actually share with Matt Moreman.
Cycling. To those that are unfamiliar with road bikes, building a bike is an extremely expensive, and obsessed thing all on its own. It’s common to spend in excess of 10 thousand dollars on a good ride. I bought my first bike…a Trek. At the time I thought it was great…it was super lightweight aluminum, carbon forks, carbon cages, Shimano ultegra groupset etc. I began riding and finding my legs…with the motivation that one day, I’d be good enough to ride in the Tour de France…which I think all cyclists secretly aspire to do.
This, of course, was a crock of shit because I have never really been “fit”…but cycling was an outlet for me to be obsessed with. I started riding more and began to ride with others which lead me to realize that my bike was no longer cutting it. My lack of fitness had nothing to do with it…it was the bike. SO I went to one of the best fitters in the area and began the process of building my dream bike. I thought if the bike is built to my specs, I will be good enough for the TOUR, and then who knows what.
I was laser measured, fitted, tested and ended up with this ridiculous hand laid carbon fiber frame from Italy, custom cranks, wheels, etc. There was no doubt that this bike was fantastic…but in about a year…I gave it up and sold it because Golf became my new passion. I still was driving my boring Volkswagen Golf…so Golfing became my new addiction.
Again, I like nerding out with customizing, and the hours spent researching, so I had a set custom built for me. This meant hours of fitting, testing, tinkering etc. This stroked my need to obsess over things, and I devoted my life to the game of golf. Again thinking maybe one day, I’d be good enough to win a club championship…there was only one problem. I wasn’t that good. I maintained a 10 handicap…which is certainly not bad, but it wasn’t good enough for me. Again, I thought it was the clubs, not my ability…so I spent more money, and more money, and again…even more money.
I then met a girl…now my wife, and things changed drastically. My life and my goals changed. I wanted to focus on my career, set the groundwork for building a family etc. We moved into a 1200 square foot condo…where I had no garage…just underground parking, which drove me insane because my car would always be covered in concrete dust and crap floating around in the air.
As time went by, we got a cat, and then a dog…and then the dog became my new obsession. We decided on a black lab. If I was going to have a dog, it was going to be the best dog the world had ever seen. So, I found one of the best trainers in the area and set to work. Researching behaviorism, training techniques, equipment, and all the books and knowledge I could get my hands on. We began competing in obedience, and rally. This was great, but it wasn’t enough. All this work and time spent with the dog strengthened our bond, and it gave me a purpose. We decided to start training for search and rescue. My trainer worked with the local police, so she was able to give us all the training methods they use.
This became my new obsession. My brain imagined me rappelling down from helicopters with my dog strapped to my chest. Finding missing people, and saving the world. By the end of our training, he was certainly capable of this, but again things changed.
The time had come for us to buy a house. We moved about 30 minutes away to a home we are living in now. This now became the new obsession. We decided to gut the entire thing before moving in. We redid the whole main level, and upstairs. New bathrooms, new kitchen etc. This, of course, left me striving for something more that I could be obsessed with. My mom bought a new Mercedes and offered to sell her previous one to me, so I sold my Volkswagen, and bought it. It was a 2004 Mercedes E320 4matic. I thought it was a good fit for me, and business, so I rolled with it. It had original AMG wheels, and I kept it looking clean.
Now that I had my own house, and garage, detailing became more important to me again. My home has a single car garage. It’s almost two stories tall, and about 20 ft deep…but it’s narrow so I have never been able to put a car inside comfortably. I also haven’t really done anything to it since moving in…I have all my tools and detailing supplies and things in it, but it still isn’t a place I’m happy with. Even though everything has its own place, it’s just not finished, and this causes me to be stressed whenever I’m working in it.
I asked my girlfriend to marry me, and this lead to the next year being devoted to planning a wedding. Thanks to my fiance, I didn’t really need to do a lot…this became her obsession.
Time went on, renovations continued, and I decided that I no longer wanted the Mercedes. I ended up selling it because I decided I needed another truck. I decided to purchase a 2016 Dodge Ram Ecodiesel. The diesel in this thing lets me commute to the office for next to nothing, and it’s been fantastically useful not only to me…but to everyone else that asks me to use it. I can tow the boat, and I can load it up for trips up north. It’s a great road trip machine.
Fast forward to today…my wife and I just finished updating our roof two weeks ago. All new shingles, fascia, soffits, troughs, and siding. My garage plans are on hold again, as this cost us a small fortune, and we have been talking about finishing the basement, so I’m not sure when the garage will be done. We want to start a family, and we want to keep improving our home.
If you’ve made it this far, I hope you can relate to my story. Obsessed Garage is a pretty cool thing…sure it’s about detailing, cars, and obsessing over things…but it also has this much deeper meaning.
May 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm #10959
- 18 Total Posts
May 4, 2017
Great write up! Hope to see some photos soon! Used to own a mk4 tdi golf before I purchased my 135i it was great while it lasted and I must admit I miss the hatchback. May end up buying a mk6 gti down the road.
May 4, 2017 at 4:43 pm #10982
- 1 Total Posts
May 4, 2017
Where about are you from? I am 4 hours north of Toronto (Bonus points if you can think of the city…ps WE MINE NICKEL)
May 4, 2017 at 4:47 pm #10985
- 18 Total Posts
May 4, 2017
I’m not the OP but I’m from southern Ontario too, Grimsby area originally now i live in North York,, but sudbury I’m guessing!
May 4, 2017 at 7:57 pm #11010
Cool story! Where about are you from? I am 4 hours north of Toronto (Bonus points if you can think of the city…ps WE MINE NICKEL)
Originally, I grew up in Grimsby. At 16, I moved to Oakville, then to St. Catharines, Burlington, and now I live in Stoney Creek.
May 4, 2017 at 8:05 pm #11012
oops I forgot to say Milton. I lived in milton before moving to Stoney Creek!
May 8, 2017 at 8:24 pm #11240
I decided this weekend that I would purchase one of the Ikea Raskog utility carts that have been so popular amongst the Obsessed Garagers. Let me start out by saying I love the cart…it holds a surprising amount of supplies, and wheels easily wherever I go. If you don’t have one…buy one.
Here is a photo of mine as it stands…it’s a little bit messy, but I just built the cart and threw everything on it
I’m hoping to mount that yellow power bar (on the bottom rack) on the opposite side of the cart so that I have easy power wherever I bring the cart in order to plug in my vacuum, polishers, or my lights.
You also might question my bottle set up…I have played with a few different setups. I am currently using all Tolco acid resistant sprayers which I really like. I enjoy using Tolco sprayers mainly because of the way they feel in my hand. I like the feel of them, I like the spray pattern etc. They just work well all the time and give me that fizz.
For bottles, I am currently using 32 ounce EcoChoice round bottles. I like these because they are an HDPE bottle, and they have been holding up well for me. They also use the 28/400 neck which fits seamlessly with the Tolco sprayers I’m using. When I first began experimenting with bottles and sprayers, I began using the typical PET style of bottles which unfortunately just don’t hold up well to some chemicals.
I like the simplicity and uniformity of having all the same bottles for chemicals. I know that it’s personal preference, but I like when everything matches…if I had nice shelves and a wider product selection, I would for sure enjoy seeing the products displayed like Matt has in the wash bay…but for now, I enjoy my simple modest setup.
If you are interested in anything I’ve talked about, here are the links (all available from US Plastic
EcoChoice Round Bottles: https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=82188&catid=556
Acid Resistance Tolco Sprayer: https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=98042&catid=556
I have been toying with the idea of changing my “bottle system”. I’ve been thinking about switching to 24-ounce bottles. Sometimes, I find the 32-ounce bottles to be a little big and heavy at times. I dislike 16-ounce bottles generally, but I think 24-ounces might be a good amount. I would also pair the 24 ounce bottles with the Contour Trigger Sprayers.
I know that a lot of people really like these sprayers. They are available in red, green, blue, orange, grey, white, black.
I’d love to read some feedback if anyone has experience using these bottles or sprayers!
Embrace the crazy right?
May 9, 2017 at 11:50 am #11266
- 2 Total Posts
May 4, 2017
Nice story. I lolled at Golf obsession. That is one of mine although I have never came close to a 10 handicap. Nice work there.
May 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm #11271
Nice story. I lolled at Golf obsession. That is one of mine although I have never came close to a 10 handicap. Nice work there.
Thanks! Golf is a great game. I still play, and I still love it, but I don’t let it consume me. It’s fun to be able to just go out and have fun without taking it SUPER seriously like I used to. It’s more of a social outing for me now!
May 9, 2017 at 7:50 pm #11311
- 5 Total Posts
- The Villages, FL Member Since: May 4, 2017
This is fantastic Mike! Although this forum is full of bugs and is running slow as molasses, your write-up is exactly what I envisioned this could become. An outlet for us all.
One thing I’ve learned recently that has made a huge impact on me. These obsessions come and go. To this point in my life, I’ve beaten myself up every time I’ve gotten bored with something. I have always felt to “all or nothing” need to be all in or completely out. Dismissal of the past obsession seemed like the only way. I now treat each project or focus point as a simple stepping stone to becoming whatever it is I’m to become. Why can’t I have a bunch of businesses or cool stuff or whatever I want. Who is going to stop me? People like us are going to get bored and that’s okay. Just redirect your energy and don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean we have to completely quit that past obsession. It just means we do something else. Shoot, me at 50% is better than almost anyone else’s 100%.
This is the mindset I’ve adopted about enjoying the ride and not focusing on the destination.
May 10, 2017 at 10:24 am #11340
This is fantastic Mike! Although this forum is full of bugs and is running slow as molasses, your write-up is exactly what I envisioned this could become. An outlet for us all. One thing I’ve learned recently that has made a huge impact on me. These obsessions come and go. To this point in my life, I’ve beaten myself up every time I’ve gotten bored with something. I have always felt to “all or nothing” need to be all in or completely out. Dismissal of the past obsession seemed like the only way. I now treat each project or focus point as a simple stepping stone to becoming whatever it is I’m to become. Why can’t I have a bunch of businesses or cool stuff or whatever I want. Who is going to stop me? People like us are going to get bored and that’s okay. Just redirect your energy and don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean we have to completely quit that past obsession. It just means we do something else. Shoot, me at 50% is better than almost anyone else’s 100%. This is the mindset I’ve adopted about enjoying the ride and not focusing on the destination.
Matt, for years and years I couldn’t understand why my brain works the way that it does. I thought that it wasn’t normal to research products and ideas for hours. Striving for more knowledge, always looking for something else to fill the void. Then I found this guy on youtube from Florida that I could understand. I found similarities in thought processes, ideas, and knowledge.
Obsessed Garage has really opened my eyes and connected me with a community of other like-minded thinkers. Like I said in my original post, it’s not just about the cars, and detailing. While that is a large component, there is also a much deeper meaning that separates the “Obsessed” from the “Un-obsessed”.
The Obsessed Garage as a brand is a pretty awesome thing, and I think the possibilities are only limited by the imagination.
If only I could find a career that I could be as obsessed over.
May 25, 2017 at 8:31 pm #11464
- 1 Total Posts
- Ontario, Canada Member Since: May 4, 2017
What a great story! I actually live close to Toronto as well, in Brampton.
June 7, 2017 at 10:14 am #11496
June 7, 2017 at 10:31 am #11497
Is there a need for the forum?
In short, YES!!!
I haven’t really been posting much on here because of the possible changes that face this forum. I wish that the OG forum could use software like vbulletin…but I am also sympathetic to the issues Matt faces with doing so.
I still love the use of forums for lots of reasons. They allow for meaningful content to be read, noticed, and discussed. They allow for easy journaling, high-quality photos, and a potentially unlimited amount of storage for things that you wish to document and discuss. Topics don’t just disappear like they do on the Facebook group. While I still read the Facebook group daily, it leaves me longing for a proper forum.
There is always going to be an argument that forums are dated, and that there isn’t any need for them. I agree that the forum layout is dated, but I love using forums. People that post on forums take the time to write and post meaningful content because it requires more effort than Facebook. In the Facebook group, someone can quickly snap a crappy cell phone picture and say “WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS”…while I agree that this is a great tool to have…it just lacks meaningful content and discussion.
Threads in forums can become pinned to the top for all to see on the regular…things like Matt’s current line up and regimen of products etc. In my opinion, I think there would be fewer posts like “What’s the best car soap”, and “What kind of polishers are good”. Facebook tends to bury important posts that people have taken the time to think about and write about…some people won’t even see it in their feed. That just doesn’t happen on a forum.
I don’t think that the forum should REPLACE the facebook group…I think that it should work in addition to. Product reviews, showing off of work, garage builds, organizational ideas, all can live on the forum. Quick questions, advice etc. should be obtained on the Facebook group.
I think that there will be a lot of people that refuse to use a forum…I just hope that the forum can exist (in a better format than current) for people that want to make the effort to use it.
June 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm #11521
- 9 Total Posts
May 4, 2017
I agree! I’m a forums guy and would much rather read about others’ progress with their cars than random posts on the FB page. The FB page can be great source of info at times, but I still think forum is the best method to deliver good/solid content.
My only qualm about this forum is how slow it is and how your post gets deleted every time you edit 🙁
June 16, 2017 at 10:09 am #11522
I agree! I’m a forums guy and would much rather read about others’ progress with their cars than random posts on the FB page. The FB page can be great source of info at times, but I still think forum is the best method to deliver good/solid content. My only qualm about this forum is how slow it is and how your post gets deleted every time you edit
Thanks DKim – yes, I wrote a post about our home, and renovations we’ve done since we purchased. I had added a bunch of photos of the exterior as we just redid all of our shingles, fascia, troughs, siding, etc. I tried to edit it, and it was gone…that turned me off a bit. I really wish that this forum could be using software like VBulletin as I like that software for forums…
I agree that I’m not crazy about this forum the way it stands now, however, if it was using different software…I think that there would be a core group of people that would make it AWESOME. I enjoyed the facebook group a lot more when there were a lot less people because I felt like the posts were more meaningful. I feel like the forum could bring that back!!!
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