Farewell, sweet chariot
We've taken a breather from watching those hip new Led Zepellin-serenaded Caddy ads to bid adieu to a longtime nameplate.
General Motors Corp. produced the final Cadillac Eldorado April 22 at its Lansing Craft Centre in Lansing Mich. GM began building the Eldorado in 1953 and produced almost 1.3 million during that run. The most prolific year was 1984, according to Automotive News, when 77,806 cars rolled off the assembly line. The final 1,695 were badged 2002 Collector Series Eldorados.
To paraphrase the TV commercials, or rather, the Zep's Robert Plant: It's been a long time since the 1984 Eldorado (above)-featuring that classic boxish Caddy look-rock-and-rolled. But they'll surely be missed by some.
This 'n that
This is a recording-OK, so they call your business and what happens? Put into on-hold hell? Or some interminable loop of numbers to hit for whatever person, department, product, service...ahhhh (that was a scream, in case you couldn't tell).
Customer complaints have increased threefold in the last five years, according to the Council of the Better Business Bureaus, the Federal Communications Commission and Business Week magazine. Many complaints are apparently phone-related, with the most gripes covering the following ground:
* 41 percent-about inaccurate information.
* 16 percent-unresponsiveness.
* 8 percent-rudeness.
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Oops, ouch-Did we tell you about the ambidextrous driver we recently followed (we almost said ``ran into'')? She was talking on a cell phone with one hand and holding a burger box and eating with the other hand. Must have had highly skilled knees, especially when she maneuvered around a turn without missing a beat, despite all those distractions.
A recent study by Hagerty Classic Insurance of Michigan, as noted in Sam Geist's Quick Bites newsletter, said most food-related traffic accidents occur in the morning and involve spilling rather than actually eating. Here's a list of the 10-worst foods to consume while driving, ranked in order of dangerousness: coffee; hot soup; tacos; chili-covered food; juicy hamburgers; barbecue; fried chicken; jelly or cream-filled donuts; soft drinks; and chocolate.
Tell your customers...puleez don't eat while driving. The life they lose could be someone else's.
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Pricey Prowler-After a relatively short but popular run down the road, DaimlerChrysler A.G. has pulled the ignition wire on its unique Prowler street rod.
When it announced it would donate the last one for a charity auction at Christie's Auction House in New York, wags expected the car to fetch $40,000 to $60,000. But a blue Prowler with a tag-along Mopar luggage trailer went for $175,000 to retired Houston businessman Michael Krehel, a Prowler enthusiast who owns 14 others, including the last one produced with the Plymouth badge.
``I've got one in every color,'' said Mr. Krehel, who plans to display the vehicle privately. Auction proceeds benefited the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Base price of a 2002 Prowler, including destination fee, is $45,400.
As hip as you wanna be
JVC Mobile Entertainment, a division of JVC Co. of America, is heralding the firm's shipping to retail stores nationwide what it billed as the ``first-ever line of CD car receivers specifically created for women.''
The so-called ``Urban Decay 700 Series'' CD car receivers-being co-marketed by Urban Decay Cosmetics-are designed to ``meet the interests and desires of the female market, offering them style, portability and functionality.''
Funny, aren't those some of the same qualities women look for in men?
Now call us old fashioned, but whassup with the name of that cosmetics company? We're having a hard time getting around the decay part. Imagine this conversation: ``Girlfriend, your face looks like an abandoned tire warehouse.'' And she replies: ``Oh thanks, it's my `Urban Decay' eyeliner.''
Bow-wow means `I wuv you'
We've got truck tires-supposedly inanimate objects-that ``talk back'' via computer chips imbedded in them. So why, given the opportunity, shouldn't animals be able to chatter away at us? Well now, thanks to a gadget unveiled by Japanese toy maker Takara Co. Ltd., Fido can talk back. Sort of.
Called ``Bowlingual,'' the device is said to help dog owners better understand their pets by scrutinizing then translating a dog's bark into expressions such as, ``I've had enough'' or ``I'm a little bored, let's play.'' The gizmo was tested on a dog at the recent Tokyo Toy show, which showcases electronic games, collectibles and dolls from across the world, according to the Web site www.intelligentx.com's newsletter.
Consisting of a wireless microphone attached to the dog's collar, the device includes a terminal that analyzes and matches each ``woof'' with a set of pre-programmed phrases. Takara said it can detect feelings-such as happiness, frustration and sadness-and display the associated expressions on the terminal's screen. It also can record emotional data from the dog throughout the day, for those owners who were away from home and perhaps want to know whether Rover was ticked off about being alone.
Pony up...make that doggy up about a hundred U.S. bucks, and you might be able to get a Bowlingual-if the company decides to make it commercially available. No word on whether it's also working on a ``Meowlingual.''
But what a great idea for those so-called ``smart tires''-give 'em a thump and they bleat, ``I'm hot,'' or ``Why don't you ever put air in me?'' or, worse yet: ``If you don't stop abusing me, I'm going to report you to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.''
To the max
MaxxDaddy-he da man at Maxxis International-USA, at least in the bicycle tire division.
Created by the company's bicycle marketing department in Suwanne, Ga., to boost brand recognition for Maxxis bicycle tires, this hip dude sports shades and a goatee, reflecting the BMX bicycle-racing attitude of coolness and rebellion, a Maxxis spokesman said.
Overseas, MaxxDaddy is used in promotions at various bike-racing events, including mountain bike, downhill and BMX.
Stateside, he's often found at BMX races, although he also made for a nice table centerpiece at the recent dedication of Maxxis' headquarters and distribution center expansion in Suwanee.
You oughta hear the little guy when he pulls an Al Jolson and starts singing, ``Suwanee, how I luv ya, how I luv ya....''
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk