This 'n that
Bayou blues-Elsewhere on this page is an ``Association'' item about the pending retirement in 2003 of Norm Rhea, executive director of the Louisiana Independent Tire Dealers Association. He will be missed.
Political consultant James Carville notwithstanding, Norm is an original ``Ragin' Cajun''-and we use that appellation with fondness and honor. Warm and funny, Norm always spices up a tire dealer trade show with his wit and Southern hospitality. A fond memory: Norm wearing a crawfish ``headpiece'' at one of the many national dealer conventions he's attended over the years. Shows will be a little less fun once he's ``gone fishin'.'' Here's hoping he catches the big one.
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Hasta la vista, baby- We dredged up thoughts of the Beatles classic ``Hello Good-bye'' while on a recent visit to a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet in Akron.
Ol' Wal-Mart founder (and Sam's Club father figure) Sam Walton prided himself on providing a nice, homey atmosphere for the buying public. That's why he kind of pioneered the practice of having ``greeters'' saying ``hi'' as shoppers entered store portals.
The store we went to has come full circle. At the exits it has-what would you call them?-``good-bye'ers'' saying ``bye...thanks for shopping at Wal-Mart and have a nice day.'' All they needed were little yellow smiley-face stickers to slap on your lapel. ``You say yes, I say no....''
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Don't bother me-A Navajo proverb states: ``You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.'' Now, if they're asleep at the wheel, you'd durn-well better try.
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Daily thought-On the count of three, all you independent business persons nod in agreement as you read these inspirational words brought to you by ``Anonymous'': ``Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.''
OK, keeping that in mind consider this wry observation from Joseph Heller, author of the wickidly insane ``Catch 22'': ``Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.''
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Mum's the word-Being up close and personal with lightning certainly sharpened Ben Franklin's wit and wisdom. Our colorful founding father noted: ``Three may keep a secret-if two of them are dead.''
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Orange barrel alert-An unknown philosopher had it so right: ``The road to success is always under construction.''
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Oh yeah?-Driving home from the office one recent night we followed a blazing-red Porsche wearing the vanity license plate ``Fast 911.'' Hard to tell, though, since the driver wasn't even doing the posted speed limit. But ya think we were going to try to pass him?
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Confidential to `Just Curious'-Your letter to us asked why Tire Business did not place your dealership among our ``Top Retail Dealerships'' ranking, despite your having seven stores ``doing $13 million per year'' in a ``large metro area.'' You're right that you ``don't seem to show up'' on any of TB's lists.
Unfortunately, we have no way of contacting you for more info since you signed your letter ``Just Curious,'' listed your company as ``No Name'' and your address as ``No Number.'' So JC, please call home.
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Forgotten pleasure-A headline service on Newstream.com Digest recently provided an odd juxtaposition of unrelated stories: ``Driving with Alzheimer's Disease'' was immediately followed by ``007's new Aston Martin Vanquish.''
What a pity to take the hot new Vanquish out for a spin then not be able to remember what you're driving.
General Motors Corp. has discovered what Kermit the Frog has known all along: It ain't easy-or often profitable-being green.
With its environmentally friendly EV1 all-electric vehicle, the firm wanted to create a ``gotta-have'' car to quench the call for less-polluting rides not dependent upon good 'ol petroleum-based fuel. To some degree, it succeeded. But soon it'll be a ``can't-have'' car.
As leases expire on the approximately 600 EV1s in operation, the auto maker plans to take all the battery-powered vehicles off the road-and that has a small but vocal band of enthusiasts in California mad and sad.
Many of the Left Coast drivers truly cherish the cars and have even sent earnest money to GM to extend leases or buy their EV1s. But, Automotive News reports, GM has returned all the checks, saying it would cost too much money to keep the vehicles on the road. That's despite owners who have heaped praises on the cars for their quiet ride, styling, power and fuel economy. One went so far as to say: ``I love the car. It's going to be like having a part of myself ripped off.'' (Which part? We wonder.)
If GM were to keep the cars in circulation, one problem is providing replacement parts for 10 years. Many of the parts were made in a single run, so the car maker would have to cannibalize off-lease vehicles for parts, and the chances of that happening are probably slim to none. Plus, trained service techs are scarce and EV1 repairs are costly. Heck, just replacing the nickel-metal hydride battery in the thing costs about $30,000.
So alas, the EV1 will eventually become the EV None. And Kermit, we feel for ya.
Destined for dinner plates in homes and restaurants in Ontario, more than 9,000 red snappers on their way from Arkansas instead ended up under tires on a busy Canadian highway in September.
The truck carrying them had flipped over on Highway 401, east of London, Ontario. ``They were flopping around all over the place. It was pretty messy,'' Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Dave Rektor told the Toronto Star. And smelly. Traffic ground to a halt while the truck was towed away; the driver was slightly injured, the paper said.
Unlike times when passing motorists have scooped up cash from overturned armored trucks, the Star reported that no one seemed to be stopping to grab dinner. Can't imagine why not-nothing better than sushi with a nice aggressive tread pattern.
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk