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Canada Prayer


Prayer for Canada

Let every heart and soul unite and sing
In worship of our everlasting King
Lord, you rule the earth the mountains
Bring your peace

Reign in every soul from sea to sea
Guide our nation in Your ways of love
Pouring out from us to everyone
All will see and glorify your name
Over Canada Your grace to proclaim

Oh Lord, we pray for Canada
Let every name tongue confess Your name
Oh Lord, pour over Canada a fresh annointing
We long to see You glorified, left high
Blessed be your name
Blessed be your name

Your justice and Your mercy lead the way
Your righteousness reminds us everyday
That You’ve called us to Your side to save the lost
That all would bow and kneel before Your cross

God keep our land
Glorious and free.

IT’S ENOUGH


“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Tim. 3:16-17) “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of […]

IT’S ENOUGH

Considering Spring Vehicle Maintenance


Every year there’s always 4 seasons to count on and thinking spring is probably the most anticipated season, anticipating dull dreary streetscapes transforming into lush green and brightly colored yards, gardens, parks and so on. Yet when we consider vehicle maintenance we often don’t anticipate what could come our way should some items not get some attention, nothing like that ‘unexpected’ failure to snap the joy out of the first family outing to the lake or cottage by gauging your wallet and time it took to get help, a tow to the garage and repair.

So we’ll go over some areas that you should take the time to have checked out and/or service, as well as some recommendations on how to do them. Though one of the first things on the list and really shouldn’t be just seasonal but at least now since we’re discussing the topic, is the visible inspection; you’re looking for lights that may be out including side marker lights, license plate lights, brake lights, reverse light and headlights. Are they all working? And are the headlights appearing a bit dim? Most light bulbs are DIY but you’ll need to check with the owners manual on bulb size & type, if you don’t have the paper book(s) that came with the vehicle, most OEM’s have owner information including manuals available online. If your vehicle is equipped with halogen headlights bulbs after checking the type I recommend premium performance bulbs for simple reason that they will give superior lighting than original equipment, these type of bulbs should be replaced annually has halogen bulbs dim over time and not expected to last longer than 12 months. Okay, now look around and under your vehicle for any leaks, now that the ground is dry should reveal a color as well, if you do spot a leak take note of the color then take to a service garage for appropriate repairs. While your looking lets look at the windshield, do you have any chips or cracks? You want to have them repaired before it comes to an expensive windshield replacement. Your wiper blades, run your fingers along the bottom of the blade; do you feel any bumps? Do you see haze when they are wiping? If yes this means you need to replace them, most wiper blade manufacturers recommend every 6 months for conventional blades (moving parts that allow to adjust to windshield shape) or 12 months for beam type all season blades. Nowadays majority of vehicles are equipped with beam style blades (no moving parts) and do provide superior performance over conventional. What you need to do is check with the owners manual for the size of the blades or have your service department do this for you, however they do cost more than conventional blades whereas conventional may cost $40 for a pair likewise the beam style could easily cost $80 – $120 for a pair, when you do the math changing twice in 6 months for conventional blades still works out to $80 for the year.

Now that we’ve done a basic inspection lets move to next level of basic care, starting with the oil change. First and foremost I will tell you that it’s easy to read on how often it should be done or what to use etc. but there are some misleading advice being offered these days. Lets start with what type of oil is recommended, there are two basic types of engine oil offered: conventional motor oil and synthetic motor oil, the synthetic is the better choice but that’s not where it ends as not all synthetic oil is treated equally. What I mean by that is you have synthetic oil which is quality made and will aid to the longevity of your vehicle, then there’s performance grade synthetic motor oil which will earn you a number of additional rewards such as improved starting capabilities in extreme temperatures, superior cooling capabilities, significantly less friction reducing additives which will help with your fuel efficiency. Just to give you an example: Quaker State synthetic motor oil will give you quality lubrication, Pennzoil Platinum will give you the additional performance qualities I mention of above and considering the cost of synthetic I believe you get the better value out of performance synthetic oil working all the time. But before you go out and buy the oil you need to know the OEM recommended viscosity ie. 5W30 0r 5W20 for example and you’ll need to see of any special requirements of the motor oil, example here would be GM vehicles require it to be DEXOS certified so in this case you’ll need to check the oil Co.’s website to see that your recommended viscosity meets your OEM’s oil standard of the viscosity recommended, I say this because in some cases that specific standard’s label may possibly not be on the oil container’s labeling for the simple reason that not all viscosities meet that standard but does for what your vehicle needs. I started with the oil for a reason because the next step after deciding on the oil is deciding where to get it done, for the most part I recommend for domestic brands to be serviced at the dealership. Something I practice is buying/supplying my own oil and have the dealership service department do the oil change using my oil, if you wonder why it is for this reason; dealerships have major brands provide both conventional and synthetic oils of popular brands, except the oil is intended for large volumes sold at wholesale cost and doesn’t match what you can access as a consumer in addition to you may end up paying more. The other reason to have it done at the dealership is to insure you get the OEM oil filter, it’s come to a point these days that the best oil filter for your vehicle is the OEM version. Not only will be the best fit but the filter these days can also be made of other materials that are key to their performance, while some other brands may claim to be as good and offer for less money, often the case is the material used inside them is sub par to OEM and may cause you to spend big money down the road. As to how often you change your oil it’s recommended for conventional oil every 5,000 Km or 3 months (which ever is first as this oil will degrade over time) for synthetic oil about every 6,000 Km or 6 months, now this later some will argue but what I have found even with oil life monitor suggesting I have 40% life left, it’s about this point I’ve observed a slight drop in fuel efficiency and continues to drop as oil life monitor drops, so your pay off for using synthetic becomes less and it’s been observed those who wait longer have higher amounts of carbon built up in the combustion chamber.

While we’re under the hood something you should consider approximately once every 3 years maybe 2 if you put on higher mileage quicker, that is a fuel injection flush. You ask “What is a fuel injection flush?” In short what happens here is that the technician connects your fuel injection system up to machine that is pressurized with a chemical cleaner that will  purge clean particles in your injectors as well as remove nasty carbon build up in the combustion chamber, which also leads to poorer performance and fuel  economy left unattended to, it then pushes all the contaminants through a hose and out of your engine. The technician also is equipped with a camera to watch what they are doing and see the final results and record it. Some might suggest an additive you can buy from an automotive store and add to fuel tank, costs much less. Well here’s the thing, most newer vehicles these days have warning in their user manuals warning to NOT USE ADDITIVES and there’s reason for it. For starters using an additive may cause debris loosed by the additive chemical to pass through the exhaust system including the catalytic converter and become logged into the ceramic filtering inside, which causes a type of failure that prompts the ‘CHECK ENGINE’ light and if it does your warranty including both powertrain and emissions are considered void. In addition I’ve had the privilege to see the difference in results between both ways, let me tell that additive is not seeming to be very smart as there was a black & white difference in the results.

Okay so now we’ve got all the lights working, no cracks or chips in the windshield, the wiper blades replaced, the oil is changed and the fuel injection system has been serviced so you’re thinking we’re about done now, but no we are not.  Consider that the seasons we are entering involve heat and that leads us to the next avenue to follow up on: The Battery. Heat is the number one enemy of any battery as many of you may be aware through your smartphone battery also includes the car battery. In today’s vehicles it’s entirely possible for a battery to test ‘good’ based on charge reading and actually suddenly fail on you. Here are some symptoms you may want to pay attention to that’s an indicator your battery is nearing end of life; Slow loading infotainment screen, dimming of headlights when accessories turned on, unresponsive horn  (works but is taking more effort to honk), slower/lower HVAC fan performance, intermittently unresponsive key fob are just some examples, also consider how old is the battery. Typically battery will go for about 3 years before needing attention, some will go longer to about 5 years but that is more characteristic of a premium battery. So if it’s time for a battery replacement I would recommend going to the parts department for domestic brands or a premium battery OEM retail supplier for import brands, what you want to do is first look on the top of your vehicle battery for AMPS (You can also find this information in your owners manual) and here will give a base to work with, next when you go to shop you want to ask for highest cold starting AMP battery that will fit in your vehicle, you want to reference RC (reserve cold starting amps) when comparing as higher is better, you also want a battery to be guaranteed perform at least 42 months, this will usually be among the best or if you choose OEM replacement typically will give you 32 month guarantee, however from personal experience have found going with highest cold starting amps and a 42 month performance guarantee have managed 5+ years from it.

Now that we’re powered up we move to the area where the wheels are connected, starting with a wheel alignment. Nowadays most new vehicles have moved from a hydraulic power steering system to an electric power steering system which leads to something additional when it comes to alignment which involves the re-setting of what is called a ‘positioning sensor’ and costs extra when you go to align them, it is a vital component and without it can lead your vehicle to continue to ‘wander’ when driving straight down the road, or that constant correcting if you want. Surprisingly many tire shops do not do this as a standard practice when doing an alignment, some even argue its not needed yet in service documents and bulletins the OEM’s write its essential component to an alignment, so be weary if your tire dealer offers you wheel alignments for less because this will be the key reason why the can do for less. I’d recommend having the alignment done at least yearly if not bi-annually, spring and fall.

It’s always fun to get somewhere quickly but when you need to STOP and you have difficulty doing, probably will turn that fun into a big scare. Let’s talk brakes the part that makes STOP possible, start by assessing their performance; does it take more pedal effort to stop? Is there any squealing noises coming from them? If so what kind? Small squeal at low speeds such as parking? Big squeal when braking at speed? grinding noises? They don’t make noises but they always seem to want to crawl when at lights. My pedal seems to travel longer when applying the brakes. Unfortunately most brakes don’t get serviced until noises start or that one big moment you felt could have hit something, but we can avoid some of the issues that come with brakes by having them serviced which includes having them inspected, cleaned of brake dust and debris (culprit of many noises), lubricate parking brake cable as well as re-set their position. This is the least expensive way to keep your brakes in top form and cost about 30 minutes of labor for each axle. However if it’s time to replace the brake linings I will encourage and recommend going OEM from your dealership, you see there many ways other shops may offer ‘lead in’ pricing including offering brakes for less guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle but do note that’s only for parts and rarely is labor included, some offer for less by offering a brake pad with less material on them which leads you to having them replaced sooner, some offer ceramic brake pads and claims of shorter stopping distance however because your rotors where not designed for ceramic it will cause the pads to substantially shorten the life of rotors, this is a much larger bill when rotors have to be replaced.

Finally something you can do yourself and that check on the cabin air filter and the vehicle air intake filter, though may prompt couple nicks on your fingers and some colorful language. Cabin air filters should be checked according to most OEM’s every 2 years, however around here in Alberta being very windy and dusty its best to make that an annual thing. Your owners manual will have tips on how to do as well as many YouTube videos available as well, usually they are located via the glove box but some are found below the cowl covering at the base of the windshield and the later will require a screwdriver and former no tools. The engine air intake is typically located in a black box either next to right fender or next to left fender, most cases it’s the right and your owners manual will also have an illustration of where it’s located and requires one (+) screwdriver, replacing about every once in 30,000 Km.

With these steps completed you’re now on your way to trouble free driving as far as maintenance goes and saving yourself money for long road. You probably noticed the frequency of recommending OEM dealership and/or OEM parts, that in part is due to the fact that recent history has shown in these areas mentioned above OEM is best part to use especially filters and I’m finding increasingly independent mechanic shop owners are experiencing the same and encourage their clientele to use OEM parts, most franchise shops do not allow for use of OEM parts only the franchise brand, even sometimes claim exclusively available here but their exclusivity doesn’t say anything about their actual performance or cost for you. The point of quality parts is to have at least a limited amount of knowledge of what to expect, guarantees of performance, the quality part reduces need of spending money unnecessarily in the future and to get optimized performance from your vehicle including fuel efficiency.

What’s in a Name? 


Chris Anthony Delaney

What is a name?
A name is a grouping of letters arranged in a way that identifies you.

What’s in a name some might ask?

The answer is; everything.

A name could mean one thing in one language and a completely different thing in another.

A name is what your lover calls you as they hold you to them.

A name is what your mother whispers as she comforts your sobbing form.

A name is what your father calls as you cross the finish line.

A name, sets you apart from others in a crowded place.

It identifies you among friends and family.

A name is not just a name.

It’s part of who you are.

What’s in a name?

Why, absolutely everything.

Poem by Broken Porcelain

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Do Regional Gas Prices Tell A Story?


Do regional gas prices tell a story? The answer is “Yes!” Here’s from a personal observation angle, what it tells us and more.
Currently gas prices in eastern Canada, in particular Quebec and BC’s lower mainland gas price are leading the nation as amongst the highest in the country. With number like todays rate of $1.33c per litre in Montreal and $1.37c per litre in lower mainland BC (Which just came down from more than a month long rate of $1.40c L). While prarie provinces riding with some of the lowest in the nation. There is a common denominator that reflects why those prices are what they are. That denominator is the average size of vehical the majority drives in these regions.
Now first I should share the “most” popular class of vehical sold in Canada is the “Compact” class while in the US it is the “Mid-size” car class. Now this is relevant for one key reason; the size of the engine. The compact class typically uses 4 cylinder powerplants averaging in a displacment size of 2.0L putting out approximately 130HP, while the mid-size class typically features a V6 powerplants with an average displacement of 3.5L putting out approximately 250HP ( note worthy, this segement has the widest displacemnt variations than any other segment). Getting to why this information is relevant, you see in eastern Canada and in paticular Quebec the vast majority of cars sold in that area is “small” cars and do note I did not mention trucks, as trucks are a very small part of the equasion in Quebec. Ontario also prevelant to small cars, but does have an “above average” market for premium sedans as well. Now when you get into the prarie provinces the market completely changes. In the praries the top selling segments are Full-sized trucks and Mid-sized sedans. these choices typically are powered by V8 engines (Gas & Diesel) and V6 engines. Just to illustrate a point, the Full-sized truck segment sells 66% of it’s entire North American truck volumne in Alberta alone (in some months Alberta truck sales out perform the state of Texas, which is typically recognized as the “King of the truck market”) this is one reason why when GM decided where to luanch it’s new 2011 HD series of trucks, they chose Calgary. When you get into British Columbia, you get a bit of a mixed bag. However, since the highest density of the population is trough-out the lower mainland, then this is where you’ll find the small car reigns again, only with a twist. This is where manufacturers sell the most hybirds in the nation, in fact more than 90% of hybird sales in Canada are in BC. A little more history also shows that through out eastern Canada, the average age of a vehical on the road is 7 years old. While on the praries they like to keep thier cars a longer time, averaging 10 years and over. In fact, statiscs also show owners in the praries spend more time and money on good maintenance practices.
Now you have a bit of a reflection on what people are driving versus what the average gas price is. Why is this important to know? Gas prices have very significant weight on the region economies. If you take out the cost of housing; the state of the economies, cost of living factors change quite variably in all these regions and statistics in Canada showing since 2008 gas prices are the single most dominant factor to inflation spikes, with maybe BC as the exception since it’s simply recognized as the most expensive place to live in Canada.
Most of us have an understanding that a smaller 4 cylinder engine generally delivers better fuel consumption numbers than say a V8, and generally that’s true to a point. In some cases a V6 in a well tuned state and driven gingerly can actually deliver the same or better fuel consumption numbers than a 4 cylinder. I actually did a comparison with a neighbor over a 2 month period. He drives a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu with a 2.4L 4 cylinder engine and my car is a 1999 Oldsmobile with a 3.8L V6. During that comparison, we noted that each of us spent very close to the same (less than $10 difference) over-all on total gas consumed. However, I use premium fuel which has no ethanol content and is .15c per litre more expensive, he used regular fuel with as much as 10% ethanol content. While we drove all city driving in the same areas, in similar times of the day our KM count was very similar, but when we caluculated actual MPG (yes old school method), my average MPG was 1.8 Mpg was higher than his newer 4 cylinder.
Okay you ask, what does this have in relation to gas prices in various regions of our nation? First you should be aware, the supply chain is different in east versus west. The supply in the east is shipped via tanker from mostly South American regions, such as Brazil. Where as in western Canada they are feed through a pipline between Canada and the US this does not change the rule of supply and demand though. Also realize that the oil companies have an understanding that most vehicals have similar fuel range from one to the next with a few exceptions and that manufacurers will increase the fuel tank capacity just to achieve those similar numbers. As well, statistics have been revealing even with the latest technology, manufacturer average fleet milage has only risen by about 10% to about 22Mpg over the last decade.
With most of us understanding a smaller car is more efficient than a larger vehical (or so we thought), and manufacturers being forced and yes I mean “forced” by the Obama administration to offer and sell smaller cars which consume less fuel and yes this does affect Canadians, since those same cars sold in the US will be or are sold here too, this is what in effect is what is happening in the highest density of Canada’s population through the transformation of these newer cars entering into the masses. With vehicals consuming less, means oil companies must meet the demand accordingly and pricing is reflected otherwise, that being higher prices. In actuality, it is eastern Canadians trading in/selling off older under tuned cars for newer cars (Please don’t get me wrong and think I’m suggesting eastern Canadians do not tune their cars, it’s just statistics suggest they spend less maintaining their cars and keep them shorter periods of time on average).
I do understand in part why western Canadians like to stick to thier mid-sized V6 powered cars or “have no choice in” Full-sized V8 truck. First of all, domestically manufactured cars & trucks in these classes have an excellent reliability history ( J.D. Powers & Associates rated the full-size Buick Lucerne the most reliable car 9 years straight, which uses a 3.9L V6) compared to domestics 4 cylinder engines, they are also less expensive to maintain in part becuase of this.
Since auto manufacturers are being “forced” to produce an average vehical fleet milage of 35Mpg by the year 2016, thus are also forcing out some of the most reliable powerplants on the market in order to make room for these newer ‘fuel efficient’ powerplants to reach this rather lofty goal. Before you say “Well what a about more hybirds?” Manufacturers will be releasing more hybird technology, however even if they transformed their fleets to 50% hybirds they still will not have reached an average of 35Mpg. As well there are some limitations to hybirds, such as resale values after 8 years are still an issue (that’s the avgerage life expectancy of the hybird battery), range expectancy, if the battery fails the combustion engine DOES NOT TAKE OVER, with the exception of the Chevrolet Volt just to list a few, but that misses some of the point being made here. “That doesn’t seem so bad to me” you may say! In order to reach this goal, it is going to require a lot of innovation that not only doesn’t exist, and also some challenges that have been plaguing manufacurers for decades, now “have to” be solved.
Should we reach this goal, it will mean car prices will drastically increase, it will also mean that gas prices “will” rise to levels that would make most of us panic on just at the sight of those numbers. For example, europeans are paying some of the highest fuel prices in the world. Why? When fuel prices started rising 15-20 years ago to umbearable numbers, some courtesy taxation. People began trying to beat costs by going to either a smaller car (which by our standards, where already small) or a more fuel efficient choice, which usually meant deisel. As more penetration of better fuel efficiency, meant the “supply and demand” rule had to altered accordinly. If people are filling less frequently, well then the price has to go up, and that also meant the government’s portion had to as well (more taxes). Otherwise, no matter what you did to come on top and be winner in the situation through changing the so to speak “automotive enviroment”, the average citizen and businessmen is still left spending lofty amounts on transportation including public transportation. With more people with less money to circulate in other areas of the economy, this in turn created a drag on their system. This is revelant to us as Canadians and that is if we ‘cave’ and follow course by choosing these smaller packages, we will head in the that same direction in due time. Now don’t get me wrong, in thinking that I am opposed to good fuel efficiency or change etc. My concern is in how fast or easily we choose some of these choices, but in some instances it will be government intrevention that may also lead us in this direction. If you were one of those who were really ‘ticked’ at goverments bailing out auto manufacturers, be prepared for us to be heading in that same direction. Only difference will be what choices governments will leave you with this time, one thing I can tell you is our government (that is all political stripes) would prefer we all take public transportation, bike or walk where ever we go. This is just not pratical by any means. So it appears for now, those “gas guzzling” SUV’s, trucks and clunckers through out the praries are actually doing westerners a favor by containing to a point, the average gas price in the prarie region and in return are benefiting from “better than” average economies.

Surprise Parade Viewing..of a Sort!


I knew the 98th CFL Grey Cup Parade was this weekend, but I didn’t consider it would be today. But I should of, they Grey Cup game is tomorrow. Instead I was at my jobsite doing my thing, that is until now……I hear the sounds of a marching band “ what is that all about?” Oh Yeah! The Grey Cup parade! So I stopped doing my thing to observe from a vantage point the other spectators couldn’t, that was indoors from a second story view. All I had was my hone camera and had to take the shots through a window, but I really wanted to share this with other folks who couldn’t or didn’t get to see the spectacle of an event. With that said, I do apologize for the quality of the photo’s…but for all it’s worth enjoy the view.