Farewell to Mark Balelo

I am shocked and saddened to discover that Storage Wars‘ Mark Balelo, 40,  has taken his own life.  Following a drug-related run-in with the law, Balelo’s body was found in his car–he died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

When Mark Balelo appeared on the show, you were guaranteed an interesting episode.  Armed with his murse, a pair of blue patent leather shoes, and a massive wad of cash, he was often the  target of on-screen ribbing by the show’s regulars.  But he seemed to take it all in stride, remaining unruffled by the laughter.

Surfing the net for photos afforded me a small glimpse of the off-screen man–a funny guy with a sense of humour that can be seen laughing with cast mates, hugging his fiancee, and even hosting a Halloween auction donning a Superman suit.

Barry & BaleloI’m sure that Storage Wars’ fans everywhere have been looking at these photos too.  My favourite is this great shot with Barry who, of course, had just given him a pair of  freaky-looking glasses.

Mark Balelo died far too young and will be sorely missed.  I offer my sincerest condolences to his loved ones.

Barry Weiss, his house with many rooms, and the perfect guest

It’s like minus gazillion outside today–and that’s without the windchill.  We Canadians are the toughest people alive, but I’m tired of being tough.  I want to schlep my pasty white, vitamin D deficient carcass to the golden California sunshine and thaw out my perpetually frosty toes (which would be greatly helped if I put on socks.  But I hate socks.  I’m a barefoot kind of gal).  Did I tell you that we have about two feet of snow out there?

Barry Weiss proudly states that he is a born and raised Californian.  He has likely never endured weather-induced hardship.  Or had to drive in freezing rain.  Or put snow tires on his Cowboy Cadillac.  I wish he’d invite me to swim in his outdoor pool–which by the way, Canadians only get to enjoy for 5 or 6 months of the year.  I’m on a well.  It would look like I was swimming in apple juice–or a giant urine sample.  Ack.

I’m not fussy though.  A stay in any Beverly Hills mansion would be divine–not quite as divine as one that comes with Barry, but divine just the same.  It would appear that Barry feels the same way as evidenced by this clip:


According to Hollywood spies  Paparazzi, Barry actually lives in a 1928 Spanish Revival Home on a street named after Cecil B. DeMille in L.A.’s posh Laughlin Park neighbourhood–kitty corner to Natalie Portman.  Here are some shots:

Where does Barry Weiss Live? In Laughlin Park gated community in Los Angeles

Barry Weiss house satellite photo

Pretty sweet digs.  Surely, he must have a guestroom that a winter-weary Canadian can borrow.  I’ll even polish his cars.

Barry Weiss’s Failed Attempt At Walking

I recently wrote a blog at  The Embiggens Project about a Kansas town called Spasticville.  As a complete and utter klutz, I was relieved to know that, finally, there was somewhere that I would fit in.  

I have fallen in a hole at Walmart and broken my arm; dropped an old-school metal typewriter on my foot and broken it (the foot, not the typewriter.  Nothing could break that thing); spilled boiling noodle water on my belly button; fried my arm and wondered what the funny burning smell was; fell off my high school stage and landed in the splits (doing some major ligament damage); and managed to become airborne after a Honda Accord collided with my butt.  I am spastic.

I am quite pleased, however, to discover that Barry Weiss is a fellow klutz.  Not only have stray storage locker items tried to render him unconscious, but, as the following video shows–sometimes walking and talking should never be attempted at the same time.

Perhaps, he and I can limp traipse off into the sunset and  suffer sunstroke live happily ever after in the unfortunate happy town of Spasticville, Kansas.

Captain Barry Weiss and the SS DecoLiner

I love strange-looking cars.  Um, perhaps not “Gremlin-strange”–that was just an all-round bad look.  The Aztec was strange, but deplorable.  Perhaps, “strange” isn’t the word I am going for.    How about “quirky?”  That’s a good word.  Strange, but in a fun way.  The HHR is strange (and ugly), but not quirky.  It gives me the hives.

The Citroen DS, for example, is …um…quirky.  Strange in a good way.  I love it.  The Barracuda’s bubble back window=cool.  The Datsun Fairlady is strange and cute, which equates to quirky.  My grandfather had a fastback Dodge Charger when I was a kid–in a copper penny colour.  Loved that car.  Again, quirky.

I actually drove around in the back seat of this thing without throwing up.  Fond memories.

I actually drove around in the back seat of this thing without throwing up. Fond memories.

Barry Weiss’s DecoLiner is a prime example of “strange” in a good way.  It’s shiny, bulbous (round always seems to be a good look for a car–unless you’re a Pacer), and really makes the driver feel like “King of the Road.”  Plus, you get the thrill of grazing the top of your scalp on highway underpasses.

Here is an interview with the man who created this automotive wonder…

And, here is Captain Barry Weiss and Brandi Passante eating burritos in his new beast…

Barry Weiss enjoys being “over the hill”…literally.

I get car sick.  It’s no secret.  You want to relive the Exorcist’s vomit scene, simply throw me in the backseat and stop hard at a few red lights.  Or drive in reverse.  If you want me to wretch from the tip of my toes, add a bit too much heat.  I’m nauseated thinking about it.

I would, however, risk my stomach contents for a ride through the hills with Barry Weiss in his hot rod.  For one thing, I’d get to sit in the front.  For another, I LOVE the feel of wind whipping me in the face.  I’m being serious.  And, best of all, it’s Barry.

And I’d probably be calmer and cooler than the dude from the Web Show.

Barry Weiss meets the “Face Taser”

I am not a huge fan of chiropractic medicine.  Don’t get me wrong.  As a knuckle-cracker, I must admit that having my back “snapped” is a huge turn-on.  But cracking my knuckles in no way “realigns” my fingers–it simply feels nice and makes cool noises.  Why, then, would anyone think that “cracking” your spine is beneficial?  And, I seriously question any neck procedure that involves the signing of waivers and the mention of strokes and death.  Just how many patients have these guys killed?

My least favourite of the chiropractic treatments has to be the use of those little electrodes that deliver extremely uncomfortable currents to your unsuspecting muscles and nerves.  Not only does it do nothing to soothe my “crack” addiction (Barry Weiss loves puns), but it is the tactile equivalent of nails on a blackboard.  It quite literally makes my skin crawl.

It turns out that Barry is not a fan of being shocked (at least in this way) also.  Here is his experience with what he refers to as “the face taser”…

A Whole New Look for Barry Weiss

I think I may have discovered why no one has spotted Barry Weiss sneaking around this blog.  He has been operating incognito.  No, I am not referring to the “old man with bad teeth and a portable iron lung” disguise that he has donned on Storage Wars.  Nor am I referring to the Man From Glad-like Captain’s suit that he sported to navigate the Deco Liner.  I am actually suggesting that Barry has been lurking about at this site sans spectacles.  

Pictures of Mr. Weiss without his trademark specs are really hard to find–or as Barry would say, “like looking for a needle in a crapstack.”  But, alas, my hunt has paid off and I have finally found one:

Barry sans glasses

I found this gem at a Facebook page for the Barry Weiss Fan Club.  Apparently, the guy on the left enjoyed a night of drinking with The Collector and managed to get him to pose for this shot.  Between the rimless eyes and the ball cap, I barely recognized Mr. Weiss.  So, if you see anyone resembling this photo lurking around this blog, please notify me immediately.

Barry finds “A Needle in a Crapstack”

Okay, so I currently have a raging headache and my eye has fallen.  No, not out.  It is still firmly lodged in my eye socket.  My eyebrow, however, has relocated itself.  It is now currently lined up with the bottom of my other eye.  If Quasimodo had trouble with his eyebrows (maybe he did, but this imperfection was overshadowed by the hunchback), I imagine they would look like this.  I have managed to mystify every eye specialist I have encountered.  Thankfully, my eyebrow will have returned to its assigned place further up my forehead by morning.

Despite the war being waged in my cranium, I am determined to make some progress on my social media experiment extraordinaire.  Still no word from Barry Weiss, but my blog is slowly inching its way up the Google Search Results.  Things are looking up.  It is, surely, only a matter of time before Barry comes across this homage and declares that it is, without a doubt, the BEST Barry Weiss website ever.  My headache appears to be making me delusional.

Here’s a little gem in which The Collector teaches us an original catchphrase…

Barry Weiss talks about farts and burns some rubber

Day 8 and no one has spotted Barry Weiss at this blog yet.  Either my experiment is failing or he has been donning one of his favourite disguises.

He may be dressed like this:

Keep an eye out for anyone wearing a toque, several layers of uncoordinated clothing, and in need of dental work

Keep an eye out for anyone wearing a toque, several layers of uncoordinated clothing, or anyone appears to be desperately in need of dental work.

I wonder who Victor is.  And, how in the hell did he get his hands on an oxygen tank?  That is an oxygen tank, isn’t it?

Perhaps, Barry would like to reminisce about the time he burned rubber and almost asphyxiated himself.  

By the way, I have to thank Barry for introducing me to the Lotus Europa.  This is one cool car.  And, for also teaching me about the etiquette of flatulence.  According to the ever suave Mr. Weiss, it is okay to fart anytime after the third date–which makes me wonder what kind of gas-laden women he has been spending time with.

Another item to add to my Cars to See Bucket List

Another item to add to my Cars to See Bucket List

Barry Weiss–Gigolo Extraordinaire?

Holy crap!  I have officially been running this experiment for a whole week.  Yes, a New Year’s Resolution that stuck.  We won’t even discuss the ones that haven’t.  For one thing, we have way too much snow to jog in–which, by the way, is a sentence that only a Canadian could string together.  Athletes around the world complain of knee and/or foot trouble due to excessive pounding on pavement.  We suffer injuries related to running on ice.  Like broken necks.  Or we get hit by cars because our sidewalks are buried under three feet of white stuff and we have to run on the road.  Have you ever tried to run on snow?  It’s like quicksand.

Not that I know a lot about running.  It was just one of my failed resolutions for 2013.

I’ll stick with this resolution instead.  As long as the snow doesn’t take out my wireless, I’m good.

So what gold nugget can I use to draw Barry Weiss to my blog today?  How about this little gem from Anderson Live: 

Barry, trust me.  You can “escort” this girl any time.  But first, you have to find my blog.