Set your target to Target

Target Store

Target Store

I’ve been waiting patiently for a Target store to open near me and finally, the wait is over. The Target at Westhills opened its doors this week and I had the chance to check it out. A lot of Target locations in Calgary had opened weeks and months ago but for some reason, this location took forever. Interesting enough, I was just at a Target store in Palm Desert, CA a few days ago and so I had a lot to compare with.

First of, everything looks good. All the shelves are stocked full of goods and there are plenty of Target employees around in case you’re looking for something and can’t find it. Second, I think the prices are pretty good and comparable to our neighbours in the south.

Here’s some comparisons:

  • Nitro golf balls – case in CA sold for $6.99, here it’s slightly more at $7.99
  • Polysporin – tube sold for $8.99, here it’s the same.
  • Aveeno body wash – bottle in CA sold for $5.94, here it’s the same.
  • Basa fillets – bag sold at Superstore for $9.99, here it’s the same.

Third, the Target stores are packed with people in CA which does not compare with us. There were less than 10 of us in the store all morning. Perhaps everyone in the surrounding area were unaware of the opening and I think by the weekend, there will be more people checking it out. I hope you do.

Best Muffler Service

Calgary Mufflers

Calgary Muffler

If you need an honest opinion about something underneath your car or truck, head over to Calgary Muffler at 58th Ave and Macleod Trail. Like a medical clinic, you don’t need an appointment. You simply show up with your vehicle and they will jack it up and assess your situation. 

These guys are honest and are AMA approved. Before dropping by, I called Canadian Tire and asked them about replacing my muffler. They couldn’t help me. They said they were not familiar with a Land Rover and if they could find the part, it would be well over $500. I sure didn’t feel assured.

I called Calgary Muffler next and asked the same questions. They said they would replace it for about $250 but they had to see the vehicle. With a loose muffler, I took care in driving down to Chinook where Calgary Muffler is. 

Once they had an empty slot, they motioned me and I drove into the bay. They hoisted my Land Rover up in the air and they went underneath it. They pointed out that my muffler was completely rusted and it was about to fall off. They said they would put a brand new tailpipe in for under $258.

I told them to go ahead. After an hour, my truck was ready to go. These guys rock!

TRS for Land Rovers

If you are like the Queen of England and own a fleet of Land Rover vehicles then you probably pay exuberant prices for parts and service for your Land Rover Discovery, LR3, Defender, Freelander, Series I, II and III or the new Evoque. An oil change at the only authorized Land Rover dealership in Calgary will run you about $250. For that, you get to wait in their comfortable sales centre on Glendeer Circle among all the new Land Rover vehicles. At your leisure, you can walk around and see what the new ones cost and how slick they look when they are new. If the car wash boy is available and doing nothing, he will wash your car but that’s not a guarantee.  They say it’s weather permitting but many times, they opt out doing it because of some lame reason such as it’s too late or they can’t find the sponge.

If you have a nagging problem with your Land Rover, don’t sign up for a ‘search and rescue’ appointment with them unless you have deep pockets. They charge a whopping $139 per hour for service and charge you a minimum of one hour for a road test before peeking underneath the hood. And there is no guarantee that they will find it. Remember that they would have to find the problem first before they can assess the damage. The time clock will continue to wind down until they ring up the register. A simple hourly fix can easily turn into a half day charge. An oil charge service with a 10-point inspection is easily a $350 bill.

In Calgary, we are lucky to have TRS or The Rover Shop. Owned and operated by Vern, their bread and butter totally involves repairing Land Rovers and nothing else. They are not authorized by Land Rover Canada but Vern uses Land Rover authorized parts and he knows a lot about Land Rovers. For starters, he charges roughly $120 for an oil change and you will get an inspection of the vehicle as part of the service. His shop opens at 8am and if you drop off your vehicle overnight or first thing in the morning, he can get you out of there in half an hour. If you want him to find your nagging problem, you’re only paying $100 per hour and he will probably find it.

Hopefully the Queen of England sees this post. With the amount of Land Rovers she owns, she can save a royal mint on car maintenance.


Hyatt Mercedes Service – Kudos to Cody

Hyatt Mercedes Service Center

Hyatt Mercedes Service Center

First impressions count but I usually give multiple chances before writing anyone off. With just two Mercedes-Benz dealers in Calgary, I had to call one of them about installing a block heater cord (I know I had plenty of time before winter but in Calgary, you can never be safe. And I rather be safe than sorry.)

Both service departments answered my questions about the cord, lying to me that it only costs $40. I was ready to buy one and send it back to Kelowna for refund because I had paid $107 for it.

I asked whether someone like me could install it. Lone Star said it was easy. Hyatt Mercedes said it was a little tricky and if I dropped by, they would help me with it. I took them up on this after asking for directions to their new service centre. They said it was under the Crowchild bridge and they were right. To get there, drive west on 10th Avenue on the rightmost lane. Go past the two turnoffs, one to Bow Trail and the other to Crowchild Trail. Stay right and when you see Mercedes-Benz, go down the road to your right and you’re there.

Cody greeted me at the Hyatt Mercedes-Benz service bay, took my car to the back as I waited in the waiting area for about 15 minutes. When my car appeared, Cody popped my hood and showed me where it was installed and told me they installed it free of charge. For that, I am rating Hyatt Mercedes – AWESOME. Kudos to Cody for AWESOME customer service.


2012 Ferrari Seen Around Town

Tail lights of a Ferrari

Tail lights of a Ferrari

Someone in the city is making too much money and he is driving around in a brand new 2012 Ferrari. I’ve seen him twice in the same week. He was driving up 8th Avenue towards 8th Street and today, he was going up Bow Trail towards Sarcee Trail. I came up alongside with my VW Passat and peeked in. He had a passenger with him and he wasn’t that old. He was probably in his mid 40’s and well dressed.

Once the light changed, he reved up his engine but he had nowhere to go. There were too much cars in front of him but he could have changed lanes and gave some of us a show. It would have been worth a ticket to rev up those engines and tear up Bow Trail.

The 2012 Ferrari starts at $257,000. The Ferrari FF model sells for $295,000. Who drives one of these around Calgary? Where does one buy a Ferrari in Calgary? I decided to look around on the internet and found that Kijiji has a listing of a few Ferrari’s ranging from $19,999.00 to $259,900.00. Ok, so I found private sellers of the vehicle. Next, I need to mortgage my house in order to afford one of these babies.

Next life, maybe.

OK Tires is better than OK

OK Tires on Richmond Road

OK Tires on Richmond Road

They say the safest time to change your winter tires over to your summers is after the long weekend in May. Well, I’m a late bloomer so I just had it done yesterday. I called Fountain Tire near Westbrook Mall and they couldn’t fit me in. Maybe everyone is a late bloomer like me.

The problem with Fountain Tire is that they don’t make appointments. It is first-come-first-serve but they are happy if you can drop your vehicle off with them so they could get to it when they have time. This may work well with you if you work nearby or can take the bus to downtown and pick up your vehicle later. But for me, I can’t wonder for 8 hours around Westbrook Mall without a car.

I called OK Tire on Richmond Road near 29th Street SW. They charge the same as Fountain Tire but three things (2 positives, 1 negative): (a) they will book an appointment for you, (b) you can wait for the work to be done and (c) don’t give air miles.

I rolled in at 10am and rolled out at 10:45am. It was fast, affordable and with great service. I couldn’t recommend them enough so if you need tires changed over, ask for Mike or Stephen. They don’t give Air Miles like Fountain Tire do but they gave me a nice little pouch for my tire lock. Be sure to ask for yours and if you don’t have a tire lock, use it as your change purse.