Showing posts from October, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 2008, originally uploaded by istargazer.


Red Eye Skull Denali - closeup, originally uploaded by istargazer. By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes:
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

~ Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I


Denali-HDR1, originally uploaded by istargazer. Round about the cauldron go:
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

~ Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I


Denali-HDR2, originally uploaded by istargazer. Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

~ Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I

GMC Yukon XL Denali - 12995 km: Custom Front Splash Guards

Originally uploaded by istargazer. Yesterday I took the family and the Yukon XL Denali out on some gravel roads to test the way it handled during full-on ABS braking and how the 20" rims felt over potholes. ABS was loud and noisy and the dubs weren't that uncomfortable.

You can tell from the picture that the Denali was in great need of splash guards, particularly so in the front because kick-up from the tires hits directly on to the sheet metal of the fender and front doors. Today I took some truck splash guards I purchased from Canadian Tire last year(really they were just large rectangular pieces of black plastic) and installed it. No pictures, yet--I have to get used to the look but hopefully they'll do the job and protect the paint.

Spoke too Soon

Whew. False alarm. There was a time where I religiously checked the Canadian U.S. vehicle admission list, but I stopped in 2005.

Luckily. Fortunately. Thank the stars -- my brother checked the list and told me the R32 is now admissible in Canada. When did they make the change regarding importing R32?

I don't care!

More beneath the fold.

It was a close call, too. This weekend I was going to look at a couple cars. I might have actually pulled the trigger.

So... good news. But earlier today I also had a funny/odd/irritating experience at Rockville Audi. The salesman wouldn't give me a quote. He would only give me MSRP (which, by the way, I'd already looked up online). Eh? I couldn't quite believe what he was saying.

To paraphrase, "I can't give you a quote because quotes are based on individual cars, and unless you actually decide to buy an Audi I'm not going to bother looking to see if a car with your options is available...." Eh!? Same thing h…

Car Quest

Now that I'm looking for a new car I'm getting a little excited despite the upcoming loss of my R. My absolute requirements are navigation and HIDs. Navigation from manufacturers are often massively over-priced, but with my R I've realized the exorbitant prices might be worth it.

More beneath the fold....

There was no nav option with my R, so I've been making do with a portable GPS. Except I don't carry it with me all the time, and I don't leave it in the R. A few occasions I found myself wishing I had brought my GPS with me -- only a few occasions but nonetheless highly aggravating ones.

Anywhoo, I liked the navigation system on my dad's G35 so that's what I looked at first. The dealer has an excellent deal ($7-8k < MSRP) on a 2008 G35 sport 6MT they need to get rid of to make way for the 2009s. Great, but not practical -- I've read that the rear seats don't even fold down. I'd like more space than that.

I looked at the 1- and 3-serie…

VW R32: My Inconvenient Truth

I have to sell my R.

I accepted a job in Canada so I have to sell my R.

I thought it might happen. I considered the possibility it might happen but I didn't think it actually would happen. It looks like it is in fact happening. It looks like Volkswagen's decision to not have the 2004 VW Golf R32 comply with Canadian regulations is soon to bite me in my posterior.

Why? Because it's not just a matter of changing a bumper. The 2004 R32 is completely inadmissable in Canada until 2019. I can drive my R in Canada with U.S. insurance, but I can't insure the R in Canada.


A Visit to the GM Dealer... What a total waste of time! Three and half hours of wasted time!!!

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - First Service Visit (12866 km)

When we picked up our Denali from the dealership back on August 21, 2008, I noticed right away that the Seat Belt Comfort Holder on the 2nd row passenger seat was broken. It was no big deal. It just meant that my oldest daughter would have to sit on the driver's side because the belt didn't sit properly on her shoulder without it. Our salesperson ordered the part right away. With subsequent follow-up calls, we were told that the part was back-ordered.

A few weeks ago, we got a call from our salesperson telling us that the part had finally come in and that someone from the service department would give us a call to arrange an appointment. That appointment was today and I was told that it would be quick, that it would be done in about an hour. However, when I checked back in an hour they had said it was not finished yet. Despite me seeing our Denali in the service area with no one around working on it, we waited for ANOTHER…

GMC Yukon XL Denali 12788 km: Dead Battery

We were at Lion's Park today to take advantage of the sunny autumn afternoon. It was warmer today than it had been all week. We ate a little picnic lunch in the Denali and then the older kids went outside to play. Aston was napping so I sat in the Denali listening to the XM Radio. We had canceled our Sirius subscription last week, and I was using this time to get familiar with the new XM channel line-up. When Aston woke up from her nap we took her out to join the other girls in the playground. What I didn't realize was that Aston had napped for almost two hours.

After playing at the park for another 45 min, we got the family buckled and strapped into the Denali to go home and discovered that the battery was dead. Well, it wasn't completely dead--the lights, radio, windows, memory seats, power mirrors all worked. There just wasn't enough power to start the engine. Luckily enough, the first people to walk by had jumper cables and they were kind enough to help us get on ou…

Aston and The Denali

Aston and The Denali
Originally uploaded by istargazer. Our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali is definitely earning its keep.

Last weekend, in addition to our busy schedule of birthday parties and grocery shopping, I loaded up the family to take the set of wheels from our Subaru Impreza WRX STI to get the tires dismounted. It was no problem at all fitting the four 17" rims and tires in the cargo area behind the 3rd row. But after removing the tires, the space required to carry them almost doubled. Not a problem. I folded down one side of the 3rd row and Calista sat up in the 2nd row with Sydney and Aston. Four separate tires and four separate rims along with 2 adults and four kids, 2 booster seats, and 1 child-seat--all swallowed up by The Beast.

Chrome: How much is too much?

I know that our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali started off with a lot of chrome from the factory. But because we first started shopping for an Escalade, when I look at the Denali now I only see the chrome that is missing :LOL: It's a long, long way from my European/Japanese sport sedan sensibilities, but maybe it goes back to my Dukes of Hazzard childhood :biggrin:

Today, in between storm systems, I washed the rear hatch and added another piece of chrome trim. I had been looking for this piece from Putco on ebay for the last couple of weeks but noticed that it was a two-piece set. I only wanted the top piece. On a whim, I searched and to my surprise found that they carried the exact same piece at a lower price with free shipping! Because the price was lower than anything I had seen on ebay, I assumed that it was just for the top piece. Even the picture they showed focused on only the top piece. When I picked up the part in Point Roberts on Friday, I discovered it was actually …

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - Hardwired V1 Radar Detector

I've had our Valentine1 Radar Detector for a long time now, ever since we bought Dixie, our 1999 Volkswagen Passat. The V1 has saved me numerous times from an expensive ticket. In fact, driving without its warning arrows makes me feel like I'm driving blind. I really appreciate using the hardwire kit to tap into the fuse box because moving it from vehicle to vehicle has been very easy. Almost 10 years later, the V1 recently moved into our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali. The picture at the top shows the lights all lit up, but normally, the main unit stays dark and all information is relayed to the hidden display.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a switched source in the Denali's driver-side fuse box. (It's a weird GMC thing that all accessories and outlets are powered even when the key is out.) I was too lazy to go looking for another source so I just kept it like that. I just have to remember to turn on the V1 when I'm going to do some spirited driving and off when I ge…

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - 11541 km: DRL disabled

Originally uploaded by istargazer. The debate over daytime running lights is on-going with very passionate people on both sides. That being said, I'm an advocate for freedom of choice and the control as well as the responsibility over one's own actions.

I take pride in myself for driving defensively and being aware of my surroundings at all times. Being a driving enthusiast, I focus on my own driving and on those people driving around me. Riding my Burgman around town, I know how much other people on the road can be pre-occupied with everything else but driving.

I also understand that to take a particular skill to a higher level you need control. Being hampered by electronic nannies that cater to the lowest common denominator does not maximize your safety. One of the biggest problems with DRLs is at night where some people drive around with them on, not realizing that their headlights are not on, their tail lights are not on, and the road in front of them…