With BlizzCon Opening Week and BlizzCon 2018 coming up, I’m back in California to do press and media coverage of the convention. I drove from Las Vegas to Southern California a little bit earlier than originally anticipated because I had some tasks to take care of, but that extra time in California meant I got to do some other stuff as well. One of my aunts and uncles from my dad’s side of the family live in Southern California up in the mountains. I’m usually not a huge fan of driving to their home there because there are a lot of winding unpaved roads on the climb up, but since I got a pick-up truck a few months ago, I decided to try out the drive again. In the past, my drives up and down were moderately intimidating because I was in tiny, short rental vehicles with poor engine power, but the drive up this time felt like a breeze.
Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157674963463678
The Tempest Awards, part of this year’s Esports Business Summit, conveniently took place at Esports Arena Las Vegas, just barely over 10 miles away from where I live. Robert Del Papa, Chief Business Development Officer of Tempo Storm, was nominated to receive an award at the ceremony, so I accompanied him to capture some photos of the event.
Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157671923743667
The drive through the Mojave Desert between Southern California and Las Vegas is surprisingly taxing… to the exterior of my truck. My truck has actually managed to stay pretty clean in general, but one trip to and from California usually results in massive amounts of dirt and mud sprayed and caked onto the side near the wheel wells. Because these trips have been for work purposes, I have been getting reimbursed for mileage, and the mileage reimbursement is technically supposed to cover all different aspects of operating the vehicle – fuel, depreciation, maintenance, insurance, and more. Although maintenance usually refers to repairing issues that may arise with the vehicle, I figured that maintenance could also mean maintaining the exterior appearance of the vehicle. So, I took my truck to get its first full foam bath and auto detail today. And of course, like how a proud parent would film their baby’s very first bath, I filmed my truck’s very first bath as well (courtesy of On the Spot Mobile Detail): The detailing session was finished up with some tire polish and interior cleaning: It’s obviously far more cost-effective to get my own little portable vacuum and a stack of microfiber rags to do the interior cleaning portion of this myself (which I will definitely be doing from now on), but seeing as this was my truck’s first bath, I decided to spoil it a little bit.
After wrapping up everything I needed to get done in California, I began making my way back home to Las Vegas. I looked up the path on Google Maps to ensure that I had a clear route home, and the live traffic info showed no issues. Then as I approached Victorville, Google Maps suddenly showed a 52-minute slowdown.
… California why
In my endless string of travels, not too long after returning to Las Vegas from my visit to the Chicagoland suburbs, I made my way over to Southern California again for a bit more Tempo Storm related work. While in the area, I drove over to visit one of my co-workers and had a photo shoot with his cat, Waffles.
Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157698161219422
Before I left to take a quick trip to Illinois, I was working on getting various modifications done to my new 2018 GMC Canyon pick-up truck. Now that I’m back, I scheduled an appointment to get my next modification installed – the Dee Zee DZ502775 grille guard. Although I was able to install my own bed liner and tonneau cover, this grille guard wasn’t really a quick project that I could do at home, as it involved disassembling the entire front of the vehicle, cutting portions of the front where the recovery winch hook receivers would have been, and using various power tools to attach an incredibly heavy metal object to the frame of the truck. Luckily, this process was pretty easy for the experts, and the installation turned out great. However, there is one thing to be cautious about if you also own a GMC Canyon and you want to get a grille guard. Because the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are essentially twin trucks, parts that fit for one model will generally fit for the other model. However, the two trucks are two different makes and models for a reason – there are indeed some differences between the two, and the main differences are in the exterior appearance. If you look at the GMC Canyon, the front fascia is a lot more “blocky” and has a more traditional truck look. On the other hand, the Chevrolet Colorado is more on the sleeker, angular side with fewer straight lines and much narrower headlights. So, for example, if you order something like these Husky Liners mud flaps, they’re interchangeable between the two models, but if you order something specifically designed for the front fascia of the truck, they’re not so interchangeable. So, with that being said, here is a head-on view and a slightly angled view of the grille guard installed on my GMC Canyon: From those angles, it’s a little bit difficult to tell that this grille guard was the “wrong part” for the GMC Canyon, apart from the fact that the upper vertical half of the grille guard slants outwards (though that could potentially just be interpreted as an intentional design choice). However, when looking directly from the side, the misalignment with the headlights is substantially more obvious: This discrepancy happens because the Dee Zee DZ502775 grille guard I purchased, even though it’s marked as compatible with both the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, is actually only molded to fit the Chevrolet Colorado. If you’re familiar with the Chevy version of the truck, you know that the sides of the front grille slant outwards, and the headlights are narrow and taper off towards the end. I’m not too disappointed about this because the grille guard still serves its purpose, even though it’s not a perfectly-styled fit. It’s still going to protect the front of my vehicle from low-speed hits by transferring the force of the impact to the frame of the vehicle, and it’s still going to prevent the front crumple zone of my vehicle from taking any damage in a situation where I may need to push something out of the way. But, if you’re familiar with how detail-oriented I am, you may be wondering how I let this “mistake” slip through. The answer here is… that I didn’t. The reason I went with this grille guard originally designed for the Chevrolet Colorado is because there actually weren’t really any other options of the “brush guard” variant available for the GMC Canyon. There were other listings that claimed that the grille guard was intended for the GMC Canyon, but when looking at the specific part number, it was clear that the angled design was so it would fit the Chevy counterpart, and it was just cross-listed with the GMC Canyon by default. All other grille guards that were available were either steel front bumpers or bull bars, neither of which I was interested in getting. As a small word of warning, the guy who installed my grille guard on for me let me know that he had to do a bit of extra cutting beyond what appeared to be needed for a “normal” installation, and he had to dig through his screw and bolt collection to find some that ended up fitting better with the GMC Canyon, but as you can see from the photos above, he was ultimately able to figure it out and attach it securely to the frame of my truck.