Bountiful Standard Optical

What a sad excuse for customer service…

Standard Optical Poor Customer Service

Based on this experience, you should avoid the Bountiful, Utah, Standard Optical, or Standard Optical in general. Or at least check to make sure Jill is not planning any vacations before you make your appointment.

Welcome Back, VW

These days, everyone is miles-per-gallon-conscious. Sam recently purchased a CNG-powered Honda Civic and has been very happy with it.

I’ve been researching the possibilities of a new vehicle to replace my tiring ’95 Jetta (my fifth beloved oil burner). Sadly, the fuel economy of the latest VWs have been less-than-impressive. I’m not sure why the TDI Jetta was discontinued after the 2006 model. I had given up on VW.

This has steered my focus towards the Prius and Sam’s Civic. I’ve never really been a fan of the toy-like handling of Hondas and the Prius is just too pricey. (Anything over $20k is too high.) I’m also interested in a vehicle with more cargo room for trips to the (un-named) hardware stores, IKEA, etc. Dad’s Corvette has more trunk space than Sam’s new Civic. To make matters worse, this winter has heightened my awareness of the virtues of 4-wheel drive (something I’ve never had).

As far as fuel efficiency, I’ve set my targets on 40+ mpg. I’d also like to be able to fuel up in remote areas which aren’t equipped with CNG fueling stations.

Gather all of those requirements, and it is nearly impossible to find a vehicle on the market that fits my needs…until now…

VW Sportwagen frontIt hasn’t hit the market yet, but the new Jetta Sportwagen TDI certainly looks promising. The turbo-charged fuel injected diesel engine touts about 55 mpg on the freeway (most of my driving). The sporty tiptronic transmission and 4-motion traction system takes care of winter driving concerns (climbing out of a snow-packed ravine at Bear Lake). It has more cargo room than our Honda Odyssey and Sam’s old Pathfinder. It even has a nice rack.

Fueling up the sportwagen won’t be an issue, either. Diesel is readily available just about everywhere. (Previous TDI models have also been known to perform well on bio-diesel fuel should the need arise.)

I’m interested to see if it can tow a (very) small trailer with a snowmobile on it without too much extra effort. No, I don’t have one, but I think I need one.

I would also need to retrofit a reverse-facing seat in the way-back. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a stationwagon–right? Plus, then I could convince Laura that she needs one so she can dump her gas-guzzling Tahoe.

Some claim the tail end of the car is less visually appealing than the rest of the car. I’ll have to agree on that one. Maybe a really tall wing on back would spice it up.

The VW site does not have any information on pricing or availability, but rumors put it under $20k and the TDI version should hit the market towards the end of 2008 (as a 2009 model).

I need one.

Why am I blogging?

I tried to start blogging a while ago, but I wasn’t great at updating it often. I think part of the problem was the format I chose. I was hosting it myself using TikiWiki. I don’t really like TikiWiki. Too many features. Way too many.

I’ve been reading 37Signal’s book “Getting Real“. One of the main points of the book is the notion of removing features. I’m hoping this new format has only the features I need.

Other reason’s I’m choosing WordPress? Sam is using it. (Hosted on one of our servers.) I figured I’d try the hosted version because I plan to write a lot about the projects I’ll be working on. Hopefully, this will help get the word out.