Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali Fuel Consumption: July '09

These are my July fuel consumption stats for our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali. Sorry it's late. Click the thumbnail to see the full view.

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Dynex® - 22" Class / 720p / 60Hz / LCD HDTV Model: DX-L22-10A

It's hard to buy local when Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals continue to deceive its citizens and increase taxes with things like the proposed HST. Because of that, I will be spending my tourist dollars outside of BC.

We took an extended trip down to Oregon and took advantage of no sales tax to save a lot of money on a basic TV for our travel trailer RV. I originally bought one locally here at a Best Buy in Canada. It was a 19" Insignia (another Best Buy brand) LCD TV that was $200, which I thought was reasonable. Plus, I had some Reward Dollars saved up that would have made it cheaper to buy up north.

However, after trying it out on our next camping trip in Washington state, I discovered that it lacked a digital tuner. Having no digital tuner made it useless to me because the US switched over to digital-only broadcasts earlier this year. I checked the other products in stores in Canada and anything with a digital tuner cost significantly more. On top of that the BC government charges a recycling fee to the cost of any TV--in this case, $25. I also wasn't happy with the size because it looked as if there was space for a larger TV. The 22" Dynex was on sale for $220 USD, no sales tax and no levy made it a super killer deal.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

VW R32: Sharan antenna

One of the first things I changed on my R was the stock antenna -- it reminded me of those long metal wires sticking out the top of old trains and buses that connect to overhead electric cables. The problem with installing a different antenna, though, was that most that caught my eye ended up touching the rear spoiler when the hatch was open.

For a little more than 5 years I made do with a S2000 antenna lookalike and an angle adapter. Still, in addition to being difficult to line up properly, with time the adapter became floppy and no longer performed the purpose for which it was intended -- preventing the antenna from touching the spoiler.

See below the fold for more and pics.

Back in the day I'd considered the VW Sharan antenna, but it was always out of stock at Hillside Imports. Why not order it from a dealership? First, the Sharan isn't sold in the U.S. or Canada. Second, I believe there's some sort of modification required with the threads to make the Sharan antenna fit the antenna base of a 2004 R32.

Anywhoo, a couple weeks ago I discovered the Sharan antenna was in stock.




Monday, August 03, 2009

VW R32: VentureShield

I decided it's much cheaper to install clear sticker on the R than having to have it repainted. I had some VentureShield clear sticker installed on the front of the R. It covers the front part of the hood, the HIDs, front bumper, and part of the front fenders. So far I'm pretty happy with it. As a bonus, the sticker makes washing off bugs pretty easy.

I like how the HIDs look with sticker, removing the need for the Lexan covers; I'm still not entirely comfortable with it, though. I just have some slight difficulty wrapping my mind around the notion that a piece of flexible plastic sticking directly to the HIDs is as or even more protective than solid plastic sitting in front, not against, the HIDs.

Click below the fold for pictures.

The arrows in this first pic indicate the edges of the clear sticker.


The VentureShield is invisible a short distance away.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

VW R32: Front Repaint

A short while back the cornucopia of rock chips on the R's front reached my personal I-will-pay-good-money threshold. Being new to the area, I went with a local dealership's recommendation for a good paint shop.

My entire front bumper was like this:

This OEM spotted bumper was painted and installed at Karen Radley VW (under warranty, which was another issue) in Virginia. Actually, the dealership sent the bumper to a local shop to be painted. I still blame Karen Radley VW, though, for using a shop that produces such pitiable work.

See below the fold for the "after" pic.

I think everyone would agree it looks much better, now, after the paint job at Ontario Auto Collision CARSTAR:

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