29 July 2006

R32 = Rabbit?

I walked out of Borders this morning to discover someone waiting beside my R. He wanted to know if my car was a Rabbit (fyi, the Rabbit is VW’s latest reincarnation of the Golf on a MkV platform). I explained that no, that they're actually different, that the R32 has AWD, a bigger engine, different transmission and is based on an older platform than the MkV Rabbit. I had the the impression, however, that what I was saying wasn't quite getting through—he seemed fairly stuck on Rabbits and how much my car looked liked one, but it still isn't a Rabbit?

Even though I wanted to, I didn't disagree with him outright because strictly speaking he wasn't wrong about the similarites in appearance. The R32 is a representative of the Golf MkIV platform but nonetheless I think they look significantly different. But I suspect I'm a little biased so I'll leave it to you to make up your own mind:

Hmm... I guess they do kind of look alike, don't they? :P

He also wanted to know if I’d imported my R or purchased it domestically. Unfortunately, in the U.S. only used R32s are currently available.

Anywhoo, it's always nice when someone admires the R so this was a pleasant way to punctuate a week.

FYI, here are the standard and technical specifications for the 2006 VW Rabbit. Follow these links for the R32 standard and technical specs. They are all pdf files, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

27 July 2006

Landis, elevated T:E

Wow. Today's confirmation that Landis' A sample tested positive for elevated testosterone:epitestosterone (T:E) caught me by surprise. I was impressed with how Landis came back in stage 17 of this year's Tour de France--ultimately winning the GC--but now the inevitable questions arise.

I hope the B sample turns out negative, but according to this article Landis himself is not optimistic despite his denial of performance enhancing drug use. One option appears to be using an endocrine test to show that Landis just has a naturally high T:E. I'm not sure how that works, though--if this is the case, wouldn't a high T:E have shown up previously? This can't be the first time Landis has been tested.

21 July 2006


Recently I've noticed that my computer has been slower than I remember, especially during start-up. To remedy this I used msconfig to limit the number of non-essential programs/processes initiated at start-up. I had to google some program names because my tech-unsavvy self had no idea what some of them were. Processes of particular note included tgcmd.exe and its brethren from SupportSoft. Most likely it was installed by my ISP (Comcast) and is used when providing customer support--but according to what I've read it can also be used to track my actions while surfing the internet. What the heck?! This sucker is gone!

Unfortunately, although everything seemed okay at first, I came back a couple hours later only to discover that I'd lost my internet connection. After I tried the usual suspects, I gave up and phoned customer support. Eventually they arranged an appointment for a technician to come to my place to look at it. Ugh. Anywhoo, with great trepidation I decided to see what would happen if I let tgcmd.exe run at start-up. Guess what? My internet connection came back :o(

So, let's see... tgcmd.exe is a process used by Comcast for customer support, but I didn't need customer support until I stopped tgcmd.exe from running... so how is this oh-so-useful process helping me other than being a drain on memory useage?

If you run a search for tgcmd.exe a lot of information comes up--here's just one of the links I followed. The information on there seemed fairly consistant with the other links I read.

19 July 2006

Sunglass holder

Last weekend I replaced the driver's side ceiling grab handle with a VW OEM sunglass holder (Part No. 1J0 857 465 Y20). Unfortunately, VW only offers the holders in beige or grey. The R's headliner is black so I was forced to paint it black myself.

Part No. 1J0 857 465 Y20:

My weapon of choice (actually, I would have preferred flat-black, but I'd been to six different stores with no luck):

For the results and details, you can click here.

Green top coolant temperature sensor

As a preventative measure I replaced the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor on the R. The old black top ECT sensor has a high failure rate, possibly resulting in negative effects on gas mileage and performance at cold starts. The updated ECT sensors have green tops (Part No. 059 919 501 A).

You can follow this link for further details.

Out with the old...

...and in with the new:

Coming down with the MIL

MIL: Malfunction indicator light, also known as the dreaded check engine light.

Ugh. This past Saturday under hard acceleration I heard/felt the engine "click" but didn't think anything of it. Moments later, though, I noticed the MIL had come on. In retrospect I wonder if it was my imagination, something completely unrelated, a mere coincidence, or not. ::sigh::

The MIL persisted until yesterday evening when without notice it disappeared. As I had already made an appointment at Pro-Imports, I still wanted to see what codes might have come up. They found four codes, all of them dealing with inconsiderate cylinders 1, 2 and 3. Those darn misfiring misfits! Anywhoo, Pro-Imports checked things out, cleared the codes, and recommended I drive the R for a week and then bring it back in to see if any new codes appear.

Schadenfreude in France

Landis cracked! It will be a very tough climb for him, now, to win the GC. Check out le Tour de France 2006 for more details. Truthfully, as you might guess from the title of this post, hearing this news did not displease me. Quite the opposite, in fact :p

08 July 2006

2004 VW Golf R32 on Monk

Yesterday, on the season premiere of one of my favourite television shows, Monk, a 2004 Reflex silver R32 had a significant cameo :op . The episode is called Mr. Monk and the Actor. If you missed it the first time, USA Network is playing the premiere again in about five minutes, at 5:30pm EST. The R32 doesn't show up until the last 10-15 minutes of the episode. Additional show-times can be found at the official Monk website. Quick, set your VCR!

I should mention that the Monk wallpaper is old--new episodes first air Fridays at 9pm EST, *not* 10pm EST, as stated on the picture.

02 July 2006

Site visitors in June 2006

The top five visitors to my site, listed by country, are:

1) USA
2) Canada
3) European Union (hey, I know this isn't a single country!)
4) Australia
5) Germany

To see the full list you can click here: Visitors in June 2006.

Visitors in previous months: March 2006; April 2006; May 2006.

Thanks for visiting!

01 July 2006

NBC & Wimbledon: a match made in hell

This post is dedicated to the oh-so-wonderful people at NBC ::bigthumbsdown:: who in their vast wisdom decided that they don't need to show *live* matches in their Wimbledon coverage. People actually *prefer* watching sports events after knowing how they end--knowing the outcome of a match before actually watching it is *much* more exciting and entertaining.

Earlier today I was watching *ahem* live coverage of Wimbledon on ESPN when the announcers stated that they would not be able to finish airing the current match because at 12 noon (EST) Wimbledon coverage would switch to NBC (Boooooooo!). Okay, no big, I thought, and switched channels. To my supreme disgust I discovered that NBC (double boooos!) was airing a *completed* match rather than a live match. Wangos! Wangos wangos wangos!

Sure, this was Agassiz's (mucho kudos, btw) last match at Wimbledon--but see, I knew it was Agassiz's last match because I *already* knew that Agassiz lost. Just how did I know? Am I psychic? Can I forsee the future? Nothing so X-File. I knew because Agassiz's match was done long before 12 noon (EST) and before NBC (Boos to infinity and beyond!) finally toddled in to the room. Show highlights, match point, Agassiz's speech and final bow, but not the match in its entirety when there are still live matches playing.

Ugh. Just thinking about it is starting to annoy me again. NBC (Boos to infinity and beyond times two!!) doesn't deserve to have Wimbledon coverage. Imagine how much more annoyed I'd be if they did something like this during the NHL playoffs!?