20 December 2005

Showing the flag

Recently, I've felt the need to show the VW R32 flag, or colours, however that expression goes. I wonder why? ;o) In these pics my R32 may not be the cleanest ride around, but that just means it's being driven!

Ahh... I feel much better :o)

Subaru 2006 WRX STI

Wow. Guess what my brother drives? Pretty amazing :o) He picked it up a few days ago and let me take a test drive - Merry Christmas! The STI is very responsive and handles great. The suspension is noticeably stiffer than my R32, but it's not uncomfortable. The clutch is shorter, and the engagement point is less obvious than in my ride, which led to a minor *cough* stalling *cough* incident. I'm just relieved to have made it back to his garage none the worse for the drive. I'd heard/read that the fit and finish of the STI was poor, but I thought it was fine. Of course, not as good as the R32 (rattles, what rattles?).

An unforseen consequence: I now have the extremely strong urge to drive my R32 to Vancouver and drive/park it beside my brother's STI, followed by copious use of my digital camera :o) It can't take that long to drive to the west coast.

17 December 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

Today I watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was pretty good. I read the book way too long ago for me to remember very much, but seeing the movie has definitely given me the yen to re-read it. The only thing I worry about is if the book would provide an overlong desire to smack Edmund around. By virtue of the movie being only 2-hours, the duration and intensity of my Edmund-smacking desires were strictly limited. I'm not sure how well I would handle having to endure Edmund's early actions for most of a novel.

I wish there was more time for character development of Peter, Susan, and Lucy - their development in the movie was quick and compressed. I enjoyed the climactic battle scenes... it made me want to go back to my Lord of the Ring DVDs and take another look at those.

4 out of stars.

13 December 2005

Customer service, what's that?

Northwest Airlines - cheers for giving me a good price, jeers for not informing me that they changed my itinerary. I purchased my e-ticket months ago, and NWA clearly states that flight confirmation is unnecessary. Less than a week to my departure, and being a paranoid sort of fellow, I go online and discover that NWA had changed both my flight and departure time. What the heck!?! Okay, no biggie, it just would have meant I had to unexpectedly spend more time at the airport - I wouldn't have missed my flight, this time.

A few years ago, I had a ticket with a different airline. Less than 24-h to departure, as the airline recommended, I phone to confirm my seat and to my horror discover that my flight was cancelled, and that they changed my ticket to a flight leaving four hours earlier.

Ignoring the hassle and stress of trying to get to the airport at the dead of night, what really upsets me is that in neither case did the airline feel it necessary to inform me of changes to my itinerary. How difficult could it be to send an automated e-mail to customers when changes are made?

Sure, you should always confirm your flight, but I purchased a service, and I think it's only common courtesy that the service provider take the initiative to inform a customer when that service is altered as soon as reasonably possible. You don't wait for the customer to find out all on his own, if ever.

Oh yeah, and why is a round-trip ticket cheaper than a one-way ticket? This can only contribute to over-booking: airlines must realize that passengers only traveling one-way buy round-trip tickets to save money - so airlines/agents book excess passengers to fill up the seats. Only, they have no idea exactly how many no-shows there will be... hence, over-booking.

12 December 2005

Depressing start

This past weekend, a patient climbed over an 8-ft barrier and jumped into the central atrium where I work. Seven floors. The patient was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Deepest condolences to family and friends.

What a depressing, tragic way to start the week :o(

09 December 2005

More snow

Well, last night the Washington DC area had even more snow. Federal agencies were open under a 2-hour delayed arrival policy. Schools were pretty much closed. I personally witnessed the aftermath of one accident, and the local news had information on a lot of others. I would have enjoyed the commute more if it hadn't been for all the other people on the road :o) I'm glad I don't need to take the beltway or interstates to commute, but that's going to change next year. Ugh.

06 December 2005

Stupid salt

Aaargh. Today we had the first significant snowfall. I think it's a little early, too. Usually it snows in January and February. The metro DC area uses way too much salt. My car is caked with salt and it's too cold to rinse it off.

Anywhoo, here are some pics from last winter--today's snow wasn't as much as this, but take a gander :o)

01 December 2005

Flat tire

Last weekend I had a flat tire :o( I was rinsing the salt off my car when I noticed that my front passenger side looked low. Sure enough, it was at 20 psi instead of 42 psi. Luckily, I had an air pump handy so I was able to inflate it and drive it to a local place to get it fixed. On the one hand, I was happy they could work with 18" wheels, but on the other hand 18" tires took longer and cost more to repair. Ugh. Turns out I had a nail dead center. There's construction going on at the place where I work, so I'm assuming that's where it's from.

Harry Potter

A few days ago I saw Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Overall I thought it was worth the money I paid, but I felt some parts definitely dragged. Perhaps if I was more of a Potter fan I'd appreciate those bits. There were quite a few young children watching--too young in my opinion. At one point a young girl, sounding weepy, repeatedly asked her mother why something was occuring in the movie.

What annoyed me the most, though, was the previews--it must have been 15-20 minutes before the movie itself started. Ugh. I wish they would state the actual movie start time instead of the start time of the previews. Oh yeah, and people who put their feet up on the chair in front of them--inconsiderate and impolite.

3.5/5 stars

What to say?

Hmm, my brother recommended I set up a blog... so here I am. I'm hoping this will be easier to update than my old website. More soon (knock on wood)!

Oh yeah, here's a pic of my dub. Basic stats at purchase: 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32, 3.2L VR6, 240 hp, 236 ft-lbs, 4-Motion AWD, 6-spd manual transmission.