26 June 2006

Shiny pipes

A while ago I decided I should really clean my exhaust tips--they were getting pretty black. You can check here for more details. I also made some minor updates to my dedicated R32 site on the weekend.

24 June 2006

Luongo is a Canuck!

Wowee! This news was a complete and utter surprise for me. Today Nonis acquired Luongo, Krajicek, and a 6th round pick with Bertuzzi, Allen and Auld going to the Florida Panthers. I'd been assuming the Canucks were going to stick with Cloutier for better and for worse, but this makes me a happy camper. This brings a question immediately to mind: are we going to keep both Luongo and Cloutier for a strong 1-2 (or 2-1, depending on how you feel about Cloutier) in net, or will Cloutier be going?

I'm also glad Bertuzzi is gone. He has too much baggage in Vancouver and deserves a fresh start somewhere else.

You can read more details, here.

You snooze, you lose

For the past eighteen months or so I've been enjoying the peace of mind that comes with being able to park, every day, in my favourite parking spot at work. The width is acceptable, it's in a corner so that by angling the R the chances of getting dinged by even the biggest of trucks is severely limited, and it's covered--providing some degree of protection versus the elements and inconsiderate avians. I've been a daily occupant due to the relatively early nature of my arrival--at that time there are normally only 2-3 other vehicles parked on that level, and they're parked much closer to the elevators/stairs.

Recently, however, another car--a Kia, no less--has been occupying *my* spot. Of all the brazen nerve! Shame! Unforgiveable! :op At least I've been able to beat the Kia to that spot about half of the time. It's a matter of when I start my commute and how bad traffic is on any particular day--but honestly, there's a limit even for me as to to how much I'm willing to sacrifice sleep for my R.

Seriously, though, this has reminded me that the world is much bigger than a world soley made of dubluv. I was aware of enthusiasts of other makes, in no particular order, like Audi, BMW, Honda, Subaru et cetera. The list goes on and on. But truthfully I never thought Kia?!

Anywhoo, I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was, and the Kia driver might not be a "Kia enthusiast", but someone who simply takes care of their ride--irrespective of what they drive--which is a sentiment I certainly share and respect. It looks stock, and it's looks clean whenever I see it.

I did a quick google (and when exactly did that become a verb?) and came up with this Kia forum.

Oh well. I guess I'm back to deciding how much sleep I really need....

22 June 2006

Before and After

For my own amusement :o)


...and after....

21 June 2006

It's official: 2008 VW Golf V R32 (U.S.)

According to an Autoweek article published 19 June 2006:
Now that Volkswagen’s GTI is here and the return of the Rabbit (formerly known as Golf) is imminent, VW is confirming the next piece of the product picture: R32, the performance variant of the Golf that went on sale in Europe last fall (News, Aug. 15, 2005) will arrive in the States in June 2007 as a 2008 model.

I made a previous post on this subject if you're interested in further details.

17 June 2006

Personal fuel consumption data

With the rise in gasoline prices it gets kind of depressing whenever I update my R32 fuel consumption information. A couple years ago I could fill up my tank for about $26, now it's more than $40. Oh well. If I had been looking to save money on gasoline I wouldn't have bought a R32 ;o)

My personal R32 fuel consumption data: Year 2006

Data for previous years, click here.

Time for a change

I decided it was past time I gave my R32 Gallery a new look. It actually took less time than I feared to update all the pages. I also finally figured out how to solve a tables-with-borders problem I'd been dealing with. Originally I wanted to keep my website simple--nothing fancy that would slow down loading times--but that ended up making it look pretty amateurish, and soon it began to annoy me. Anywhoo, I prefer the new look, at least for now, and hopefully I'll be satisfied with it for longer than the previous design... though I'm still trying to decide if there's too much purple.

10 June 2006

Stop means stop

This morning I witnessed someone completely blow through a four-way stop, probably going more than 20 mph over the limit :o( I don't know whether the driver didn't see me, didn't see the stop sign, or did see but just didn't care. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the latter because this was actually on the NIH campus in Bethesda. With the security and it being a weekend, it's a good chance she works there. That four-way has been there for at least four years.

It took me a few seconds to recover from my disbelief when I saw the driver zoom through the four-way. I'm not sure why this particular incident shocked me so much, though. It's not as if I haven't seen other dangerous drivers doing even more dangerous things. Maybe it's because I was already at a full stop and had time to ponder. Maybe because it happened on the NIH campus. Maybe it's because it was just so blatant. I looked left, right, and started to look left to turn and suddenly the car was there, blowing through the intersection. Ugh.

05 June 2006

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on OLN

Today was game one of OLN's coverage of this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. I think OLN has done for the most part a fairly good job since the playoffs began, but tonight one of the commentators (I think it was John Davidson) made what I thought was such an *inane* comment that I just had to share :o)

Davidson and a fellow commentator were at ice-level, after the pre-game analyses and before the anthems, and talking about the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes. To paraphrase, Davidson said something like, "Edmonton is the last Canadian team, so Carolina will be facing off not just against the Oilers, but all of Canada". Eh? Now, I realize that commentators need to fill in the time sometimes with senseless chatter--it's their job, afterall--but I thought this comment was particularly silly. It gave the impression that Carolina had the tougher opponent, having to go up against an entire country of hockey-crazed citizens. Davidson could just have easily said, "Carolina is the last U.S. team, so Edmonton will be facing off not just against the Hurricanes, but all of the U.S."

Perhaps it's just me, but I'd almost wish they continued with a commercial break rather than having to listen to this kind of stuff while waiting for the puck to drop. At least I know it's safe to ignore commercials, while with commentary I'm stuck paying attention to meaningless talk on the off-chance they say something interesting.

Still, with the commercials-commentary-commercials cycling over and over, I had the impression OLN was caught out with a delay in the start of the game and was forced to say something to fill in the time.

04 June 2006

Dumbest U.S. drivers

According to the 2006 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test one in eleven drivers would fail their state licensing exam (Northeast still has dumbest drivers). I was disappointed, but not surprised to learn that drivers in Washington D.C., and Maryland ranked among the worst five (State driver test rankings). I've noticed that most drivers here apparently believe everyone is telepathic--that's why they don't need to use their turn signals. It's just too much work to have to move that little lever up or down.

03 June 2006

The Da Vinci Code

I watched The Da Vinci Code last night. I thought it was a good movie, and the roughly 140 minute run-time didn't feel like a long movie--I never looked at my watch. This is a plus because for long, lesser movies looking at my watch is a bad thing--it means I'm hoping it will end soon.

I haven't read and had no intention of reading Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code, mostly because I was afraid it was being over-hyped, and I'd read that though commercially successful it was badly written. This meant I had no plans on seeing the movie version until it was broadcast on a television network. But last night some of us wanted to see it, and I had no strong objections, especially as I'm a fan of Tom Hanks.

I enjoyed it. I don't think it's a great movie, i.e., I won't buy the DVD unless it's on an incredibly good sale, but The Da Vinci Code wasn't a waste of money. <minor spoilers may follow> I admit the premise regarding Mary Magdalen strongly appealed to me. I liked how the quest for the Holy Grail took center stage in the movie, and not the villains opposing the protagonists. One indication of this was that the quest continued for a significant amount of time even after the antagonists had been disposed of. Both Tom Hanks and Ian McKellen were good, with a definite nod to the latter.

I'm still not going to buy the book, but if I happen to see it in the library I just might flip through it and see if it interests me.

--3.5 out of 5 stars--

Site visitors in May 2006

The top five visitors to this site and my VW R32 website, listed by country, in May 2006 were:

1) United States
2) Canada
3) Australia
4) Mexico
5) Netherlands

For the full list you can click here.

Previous months' visitors: April 2006; March 2006.

02 June 2006

Volkswagen Golf V R32 news

It looks like the U.S., and probably Canada, will be getting the new Volkswagen Golf V R32: 250hp 3.2L VR6, 3-doors, with DSG. Expect to see this in July 2007. You can check here for details--at least, what details are currently available. VWvortex news (from the staff, that is!) is pretty reliable, so unless VW changes its mind I'm taking this update as true.

This is good news for those who weren't able to pick up a Golf IV R32, but I don't think an increase in 10hp is that significant especially given that the stock Golf IV R32 probably has closer to 250hp instead of the official 240hp. I say this because of stuff I've read on vwvortex--North American stock Golf IV R32s being described as faster than stock European R32s, and the suggested desire of VW to underrate the R32 to help distinguish it from the pricier 250hp Audi TT.

Anyway, there will be other differences between the Golf IV and V R32s besides horsepower, so it's all good. One of these days I should really try to see if I can try out a car with DSG.

01 June 2006

Say it ain't so!

I was reading an article on CNN regarding NHL teams that haven't won the Stanley Cup, yet, or haven't won for a while. I was curious as to how the Vancouver Canucks compared to other NHL franchises. I have mixed feelings about the Canucks' Stanley Cup runs in 1982 and 1994--I was happy we made it to the finals, but I can't be happy that we lost. Despite him being a Canadian, a great player, and an ex-Canuck, to this day I dislike Mark Messier. I dislike him so much, in fact, that I'm not even going to provide a link ;p

Anywhoo, what shocked me was that according to this article the Vancouver Canucks, ignoring 1982 and 1994, have only won four playoff series in 36 years. What's up with that!? Alright, I remember that in the beginning the Canucks weren't exactly stellar, but only four?! This actually dismays me so much that it deserves at least a few more of these: ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Oh well, at least this year the Edmonton Oilers made it to the finals. I'm hoping Edmonton will face off (and beat!) the Buffalo Sabres, this year. I prefer the Sabres over the Hurricanes tonight because I think Buffalo deserves a chance at the Cup more than Carolina.

I don't know why these older Canucks logos aren't loading up like the other pictures, but hopefully it will work if you click the following links:
Canucks 1981-1997, and Canucks 1971-1980.