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Showing posts from October, 2006

Halloween 2006

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Well another Halloween is done. It seems like events around here become bigger and bigger spectacles every year, and Halloween is not immune. Tonight had to have been one of the busiest we've ever had. We planned for 130 trick or treaters and got an extra box of candy just in case. We went through all the candy and had to start rationing and recycling some of what my girls collected to make it through the 2 hours starting from 6pm until 8pm when I shut off our lights and blew out all the candles. My wife estimated that there were at least 200 kids of various sizes begging for candy.

Actually, "begging" isn't too far off considering some of the older kids who show up at the door. Maybe you're familiar with them? The ones who don't bother wearing a costume or show any indication that they actually put some effort into getting free handouts? Some didn't even bother carrying a bag or a pillow case to collect their goodies. Some just carried an open backpack--…

Pumpkins 2006

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Pumpkins 2006
Originally uploaded by istargazer. We (I) carved our pumpkins tonight. I usually let my daughters draw something on the pumpkins and I try my best to follow it. The one in the center is a face my 6-year-old picked out from a picture. The one on the left was drawn by my 8-year-old, and the one on the right (hearts with "Boo" and exclamation marks) was drawn by the 4-year-old.

2006 Honda Odyssey - Break-in Period Complete

I was able to finish the 1000km break-in period on our 2006 Honda Odyssey this past week and I have a few observations:
1. It's nice having a large fuel tank because I'm able to go further bewteen fill-ups.
2. Although I don't normally have problems parallel parking, the rear camera and backup sensors make the whole process, very, very easy.
3. The Odyssey handles like a large, heavy vehicle. It's not bad. A lot of magazines say it's one of the best handling minivan--but you still can't deny physics. Stepping into our Subaru STI after this feels like stepping into to a purpose-built race car.

2006 Honda Odyssey - 726 km - Tow Package Installed

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I dropped off the Odyssey earlier this week to get the tow package installed. I put it to good use right away :0).

Star Trek Cloaking Device?!

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Cloaking device works, sort of, scientists say
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and British scientists said on Thursday they had found a way to hide an object from microwave radiation in a first step toward making a what they hope will be an invisibility cloak.

From fiction to fact? Ultra cool... I love it!

Hydro dam with reflections

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Hydro dam with reflections
Originally uploaded by istargazer. I took this picture along side a fun local road that I affectionately call the "Ring"--after the famous Nürburgring in Germany.

2006 Honda Odyssey - 706km: Philips Crystal Vision Extreme

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I picked up a pair of new low beam headlight bulbs from Costco yesterday. This is what the blurb on Philips website says about the Crystal Vision bulbs:
With a color temperature of up to 4,000ºK, no upgrade bulb is closer to the bright blue/white look of HID. CrystalVision delivers the whitest light available from a halogen bulb. Plus, CrystalVision gives you significantly increased light output for much better visibility of road signs and hazards.These bulbs are made in Germany so I was more inclined to buy them. At about $38 CAD for the pair, the price was reasonable. It was very easy to swap the bulbs and although the colour change is subtle, I definitely appreciate it over the OEM Sylvania bulbs.

The picture below shows the OEM Sylvania low beam bulb on one side and the Philips Crystal Vision Extreme on the other:


This picture shows the Philips Crystal Vision Extreme bulbs on the Honda Odyssey next to the OEM HID headlights on our 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The colour is pretty cl…

2006 Honda Odyssey: Cargo Organizer

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Honda makes an accessory for the Odyssey called the "Cargo Board" that allows you to have an extra "shelf" to load things in the back. You can see very clear pictures of how it looks and how to install it on this page. It also lists for a MSRP price of $298 USD! Once I saw those pictures (and that price), I began to think that I liked the cargo organizer I bought for our 2002 Mazda MPV much better. It only cost me $200 USD list and had been sitting untouched in my garage for the last 3 years--ever since we traded the MPV for the Toyota Sequoia. Because the MPV was smaller than the Odyssey, I started to wonder if the cargo organzier would fit. As you can see from the picture above, it actually fits quite well.

Rather than having the (intrusive) metal legs like Honda's version, these covers are supported by a form-fitting plastic tub. It doesn't give you the versitility of being able to have part of the 3rd row folded down, but it's convenient to take in a…

2006 Honda Odyssey: Traction Control

The rain that we've had this past week has allowed me to try another feature of our new 2006 Honda Odyssey: traction control. Or maybe I should say: the lack of traction control?! Of course, my tongue is firmly planted in cheek, because it's a "feature" that I was pleasantly surprised to discover. I guess the 240 ft. lbs. of torque are plenty enough to get the wheels spinning--especially on a slick surface with all-season treads.

My first experience with spinning tires on the Odyssey was at a 4-way stop. I was going uphill so I thought the force of gravity assisted with the pleasant sound of going nowhere. Actually, it startled me at first so my reaction was to release the gas pedal. I don't think the traction control ever activated. The next couple of times were on level roads. It seems very easy to make the tires chirp when the roads are damp. To avoid drawing unwanted attention, I actually had to control myself and consciously feather the throttle very gently--…

Here Comes the Rain Again: 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring Windshield Wipers

It's been a really dry fall this year and yesterday was the first time I had a chance to drive our new 2006 Honda Odyssey in the rain. Here are a couple of observations from yesterday:
The speed sensitive wipers worked well. After going through two other vehicles with just regular intermittant wipers, it was nice having this feature since I could just turn on the wipers and not worry about having to constantly adjust the speed. They worked probably better than the rain sensor wipers I had on our 1999 VW Passat GLX.An interesting "feature" of the wipers on the Odyssey is that when you have the front wipers on and shift into Reverse gear, the wiper on the rear window will also turn on--even when the rear wiper switch is off. It's a good idea because the rear window collects water very easily. Also, the rear view camera can be hard to see through because of water droplets on the lens. This clears the window for you and you don't have to worry about taking the extra s…

Mountain View Cemetery

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Headstones among the trees
Originally uploaded by istargazer. I was very flattered a few weeks ago when the manager at Mountain View Cemetary where this picture was taken contacted me and asked if he could print out two of my images to use in his office. I emailed him the high-resolution versions and he sent me copies of the enlargements.

I guess it's time for me to buy some frames!


Missing hand
Originally uploaded by istargazer. Mountain View Cemetery began operations in 1887 and is one of Vancouver's oldest. They began renovation projects including restoring headstones in 2004. They just recently had a dedication ceremony for their new infant area.

U.S.S. Odyssey

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I washed and detailed the van yesterday and took pictures this morning. You can see them in this thread I posted at Odyclub.

Subaru STI road construction « CAR [directory] 車

The picture of my STI was posted to this blog: Subaru STI road construction « CAR [directory] 車

2006 Honda Odyssey: Mod Number Two

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One of the first things I did when I brought our new 2006 Honda Odyssey home was remove the dealership sticker on the rear hatch and replace the dealership license plate frames on the car. Today I debadged the hatch and added this sticker to show my Subaru love :0).

2006 Honda Odyssey: Make it so!

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Whoo, hoo! I was able to hack the Honda navigation system and install my own splash screen! Detailed steps to follow.

UPDATE: I posted the steps I did to hack the screen on this page. Additional info is on this thread at the OdyClub.

My kids are growing up too fast

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We tested out the wireless headphones for the rear entertainment system (RES) in our Honda Odyssey on Sunday night. The kids couldn't unanimously decide which DVD they wanted to see, so I put in one they hadn't seen in a long time: Blue's Clues. Sid, our oldest, wasn't too impressed, but once it started to play I could hear her getting into it and singing along and following the search for clues.

On our way home, my youngest started to explain to me that, "First it was Joe. Then it was Steve." I explained to her that actually, Steve was first and then Joe came afterwards, but no, she refused to accept it and was adamant that it was Joe who came first. My wife and I both smiled at each other. I guess in her world, Joe did come first.

But I started to think about it some more. Was this a sign of things to come? Did I just get a glimpse of the future? A future where 4-year-old Ken would be in her teens--her rebellious teens--a self-professed know-it-all, who wou…

A New Addition: 2006 Honda Odyssey

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We first shopped for a minivan back in 2002 when we were expecting our third child. We looked at several different models, but chose a black Mazda MPV with a body kit mostly because of the way it handled and because of the way it looked. Also, at the time, the Honda dealers were very reluctant to move off of MSRP. The MPV seemed to have most of the same features of the Honda Odyssey in a compact size for a better price. Of course, I underestimated the depth of my shallowness and soon discovered that I couldn't get over the fact that it was a minivan and we traded-in the MPV soon afterwards.

Things have changed a lot in four years. The Sequoia that I had so much fun in is gone. Mazda MPVs have suffered poor reliability. The minivan market seems to be oversaturated and sales are slowing. The Honda Odyssey is now in it's 3rd generation with a 244 hp engine and has the reputation of being the best handling minivan. Honda Canada is offering big incentives like 1.9% financing and $23…