I was planning to pick up a cheap sound bar for my 42" Sony TV in the garage, but I ended up walking out of Visions with a mid-range Yamaha model. I chose the Yamaha YAS-105 with dual built in subwoofers, just to give the garage sounds a boost. It was a quick and easy install and I am very pleased with the improved acoustics. I had a few jobs going on at the same time, so there was a mild amount of chaos, but things are all back to normal now. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.
Spring has sprung, so it was time to take off the winter wheels and install my shoulder season setup. Here's some photos of the event. I am still putting the finishing touches on the winters before I sock them away. If you haven't had the chance to see what is involved with detailing my winter wheels prior to storage, you can see the process here. I have to go now. I have a lot of rocks to pick out of the treads.
I wouldn't call it a full detail, but the SQ5 got a pretty decent wash this afternoon. I really got under the car with my new Kobalt pressure washer as well as the wheel wells. The driveway was awash with dirt afterwards. Once the dirt was off, I backed her up into the theatre to have at her. Here's a finish shot.
I had big dreams of picking up a Kranzle K1122TST pressure washer, but I wasn't comfortable spending well north of $1000, so I picked a much more reasonably priced one at Lowes. It' s the KPW2000 2000 PSI 1.4 GPM Cold Water Electric model by Kobalt, but it is manufactured by AR, which is a pretty decent manufacturer of pressure washers from what I can gather.
I had an opportunity to assemble and test it out this morning, and it is far and away superior to the Kärcher it replaces. While it may not compare in build quality to a Kranzle, it did a fantastic job of spraying off the SQ5 and driveway.
The moisture takes a heavy toll on my garage door rails during the winter months. By Spring, the rails are corroded pretty bad, so I took an hour or so sprucing them up. I used sandpaper and my dremel to remove the corrosion, and applied a coat of my darkest grey paint. Here's a quick before and after shot.
My son recently eclipsed the 40-lb mark so we could move up to a booster seat. Not having to clip and tighten that harness each and every time he hops in the seat is awesome. We went with the "Monterey" by Diono which we have heard really good things about. I also bought their seat protector pad to safeguard the leather. Here are a few photos to demonstrate what it looks like in the back of the SQ5. So far, my son is absolutely loving it.
The Auto & Truck show hit town last weekend, so I made my annual pilgrimage down there to see what was new in the world of automobiles. Despite a few head-scratchers, I thought there was a fantastic number of great cars and trucks at this year's show. Allow me to share some of my impressions on the various exhibitors in attendance.
Kia is killing it. I have seen nothing but steady improvement from them in all regards. From the Macan-inspired projector head lights on the Sportage, to the opulence of the $80K+ K900, Kia is emerging as a tour de force.
I was kind of feeling the vibe at Volkswagen. Things don't seem to dramatically change at VW, but I was extremely impressed with the Golf R. That thing is awesome, but I'm not sure I'd part with $50k for one.
The Hyundai line up didn't excite me much. They had the sporty version of the Sonata on display, but it didn't do much to inspire my boy racer side. That said, I do appreciate the bang for buck offered by the Genesis coupe and the understated luxury of the flagship Genesis sedan.
Mitsubishi is the new Suzuki. Many of their vehicles are homely, and I learned that the company is pulling the plug on the ever-popular Lancer, along with its performance-oriented EVO cousin. I give them a year.
Chrysler is a mixed bag for me. They have some legit muscle cars, so why would they churn out a "MOPAR" performance version of the pedestrian 200? It had a cheesy decal running the length of the body along with some other desperate accessories including a tinted bug deflector. Nothing says performance like a bug deflector. The Pacifica minivan was an unexpected breath of fresh air, but the rest of the lineup is showing its age.
Ram is in desperate need of an update. The design seems at least 20 years old.
I wasn't thrilled with the Toyota line up. My friend is a huge Tacoma fan, and even he expressed his disappointment in the current Tundra compared to the other big trucks. The company insists on marketing the Camry as some sort of performance vehicle, I think Toyota needs to fire its entire design team and start from scratch.
Buick baffles me. What is a Buick these days? They had a superior looking concept car, but even if it made it to production, who would buy it? If I want an American luxury car, wouldn't I buy a Cadillac? It doesn't help that their advertising continuously drives home the point that they have a lame reputation.