Sick of shopping 'til they drop Recuperated yet from the Christmas shopping blues?
Did you know ``International Buy Nothing Day'' came and went last Nov. 29 (and you didn't even get us a present)? An Internet site dedicated to getting people to fight the urge toward over-consumption, notes: ``The fact that 25 percent of the Earth's population consumes 80 percent of the world's resources needs to be changed.''
It suggested planning a variety of actions to prod public attention, including creating shopping-free zones in busy shopping areas, complete with sofas, tables and people sitting around with slippers on their feet, doing nothing. Or, in a similar vein, setting up a ``marked off area'' where participants could loaf, play chess, read books, paint, chat—anything that isn't shopping.
Most definitely sounds like a socialistic plot to rob us of our right to stand in interminably long lines, come to fisticuffs over the last ``Furby'' on the shelf and deal with surly clerks who wouldn't know the meaning of the words ``customer service.''
This 'n that
Give it a virtual thump—If you're looking for info on new- and used-car reviews and comparisons, check out the aptly named Web site, www.tirekick.com. It's produced by TireKicking Today, a 5-year-old newsletter offering ``news and views on the world of automobiles.'' Do new-car buyers still kick tires? And why?
Ugly Americans—Last summer, tourists driving a pickup truck with California plates camped out in a Peruvian historical landmark site in the desert 250 miles south of Lima, according to ``News of the Weird.''
They defaced thin, 1,000-year-old Indian etchings, called Nazca Lines, with their tire marks, and left a bunch of garbage. Though not well-guarded, the area is ringed with concrete markers.
Sounds like a case for forensic tire sleuth Pete McDonald, the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. tire design engineer who lends his tire-track expertise to law enforcement agencies.
Like father like...—A cute cartoon by Dick Guindon that ran last year in the Detroit Free Press aptly illustrated the heartache many parents must deal with. It showed Michelin's Bibendum taking a bite of pastry as a smiling Pillsbury Doughboy stood by eagerly awaiting affirmation.
``This is your best coffee cake yet, son!'' remarked Bib, while a caption noted: ``It wasn't always easy to hide his disappointment that his son showed no interest in auto racing.''
Kind of a double whammy for poor Bib, since eldest son Sta-Puff also ended up being an overweight, product posterboy.
Hello, I must be going—The Dec. 1 Wall Street Journal ran a correction explaining that B.F. Goodrich (the present-day chemical company), not Goodyear, left the tire business in the 1980s. A story in some editions had it the other way around. We'd bet some of Big Blue's competitors wish that was the case.
Come to mama—Speaking of typos... An eagle-eyed proofreader caught an error before it appeared in the Dec. 7 issue of Tire Business. An item had TB's Web site listed as www.tirebusiness.mom. A slice of apple pie is optional.
The gospel of tires—Christian pop singing star Michael W. Smith, interviewed by the Akron Beacon Journal, partly credited the tire industry for his latest inspirational album, ``Christmastime.''
He associates some songs on the release with the Akron area. ``Ever since I was 8 years old, we would get all these Christmas albums from the Goodyear and Firestone tire stores, who each put out an annual Christmas record for a buck,'' he recalled. ``Those were always our favorite records.''
Let's see, there was, ``O hole-y tire,'' and...
Nowhere to go but up
An Automotive News story, wrapping up the history of Chrysler Corp. as it prepared to be swallowed by German automaker Daimler-Benz AG, quoted a longtime Chrysler dealer who provided a perspective on how far the American company has come.
Irv Roth, owner of Hamilton Chrysler-Plymouth in Hamilton Square, N.J., said that back in the 1970s the car maker's products were of such poor quality that often times a customer picking up a Volare would get a car that said ``Aspen'' on the front and ``Volare'' on the back. (Couldn't tell whether it was coming or going.)
Some cars sat in storage for months at the Michigan Fairgrounds. Often, Cordobas delivered to the dealership would have to be washed three times ``just to see what they looked like,'' Mr. Roth said.
``Our dealership here is on the corner,'' he explained. ``When you would sell a car, you hoped the guy would make it through the light, because if it stalled out at the light, he would never get it started again.''