Suds tax tanks
Apparently the liquor lobby in Chi-Town is more potent than the tire lobby.
A proposed penny-a-six-pack hike in the tax on beer has been yanked from a list of new revenues in Chicago's budget for next year, the Chicago Tribune reported, and an alderman described as ``influential'' told the paper that tax increases on wine and hard liquor also may be withdrawn. In their stead, Alderman William Beavers said a $1 levy will be imposed on the sale of new tires.
But hold on...Mayor Richard Daley said he hadn't signed off on rescinding the beer tax hike and claimed ``it's still on the table.'' In reply, Mr. Beavers told the Trib not to worry-``it's a done deal.''
The Windy City alderman's rationale behind canning the beer tax: ``We're not making that much money off Joe Sixpack,'' he said. ``Why kill Joe Sixpack when we have another way to raise the revenue?''
Wait a minute. Doesn't Mr. Sixpack also buy tires (hopefully, once he's sobered up and is road worthy)? That hand you feel on your wallet is often at the end of the long arm of a legislature. Makes the wisdom of The Old Farmer's Almanac all the more succinct when it said: ``If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.''
Not just treading water
Most tires proudly wear their name on the sidewall. But nope, not the new Dunlop SP Sport Maxx.
Goodyear's latest addition to the big-red-D line has its moniker running down the center of the directional tread face. The Akron tire maker said the name is pure style, noting it's ``reminiscent of tire names that appeared on early tire treads for functional and aesthetic reasons.''
Chris Raglin, Dunlop tire engineer, said ``style can be just as important as performance, since design grabs your attention and sets the tire apart from all others.''
Kind of like those ``Treadhead'' haircuts with Dunlop tread patterns Goodyear was buzzing into the scalps of some brave souls at the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas.
Actually, there were a number of showgoers wearing stylish tire haircuts-but some were modeled after racing slicks.
This 'n that
Get your tickets early-Country music star Brad Paisley is getting ready to head out on the road for his 2005 ``Mud & Suds'' tour, which will feature fellow country acts Sara Evans and Andy Griggs.
The liveDaily Web site says the tour's name comes from the combined titles of Brad's current single and album, ``Mud On the Tires'' and Ms. Evans' recent hit ``Suds In the Bucket.'' By spring we're guessing Brad'll be ready for a tire rotation.
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Boot-scootin' along-You may have missed it in the news, but in response to rising gas prices, three riders from Cobra Powersports rode three TGB Delivery 150 scooters from New York City to Los Angeles in November.
The trio left the Big Apple's Central Park Nov. 3 and arrived in LaLa Land on the 13th, completing the 2,800 mile challenge in only 11 days with no mechanical failures. The company-a distributor of motorized scooters, ATVs and off-road go-karts-said the riders averaged more than 250 miles per day, undertaking the stunt ``to prove the efficiency and reliability of this alternate form of transportation.''
Our advice: better travel light.
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Proofreader wanted-We recently received a promotional e-mail from a Medina, Ohio, Goodyear Gemini outlet offering valuable coupons and special offers on its Web site.
The headline on the ad beckoned: ``Save now at your local Goodyear Gemini loaction.''
We'd prefer a high-action location.
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And he oughta know-Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates observed: ``Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.''
A case of laryngitis
So inquiring minds want to know: ``What ever happened to the Voice of Retreading?''
The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) recently sent out an e-mail asking-and answering-that timely question after acknowledging many in the industry have asked why the organization's newsletter has been silent for many months. TRIB Managing Director Harvey Brodsky explained that he and the staff have been so very busy with a variety of activities, including regular weekly 30-minute segments on ``The Open Road Cafe'' radio program for truckers on Sirius Satellite Radio and regular guest appearances on The Midnight Trucking Radio Network.
TRIB also mails ``well over 100 packets of information weekly to truckers, media people and government agencies,'' he said, as well as tons of promotional materials furnished by members.
``There is an old saying, `Be careful what you wish for,''' he continued. TRIB has been ``absolutely swamped with work.'' However, the Voice will return, albeit in quicker updates in a new format to be called ``TRIB Voice of Retreading Fast Read.''
There may have been a time when Harvey was like the lonely Maytag repairman, but apparently those days are long gone. And we're guessing one of the retreading industry's hardest-working guys is probably glad.
Bowling for dollars
The bowl season in college football ``has become like Little League, where everyone gets a trophy for showing up.''
Based on that sentiment, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Michael Hunt recently wrote that it's time to limit the bowl games-and even tires came in for a bit of a drubbing.
He noted: ``There are bowls named after hair-care products (too oily), tires (too slick), restaurants (too greasy) and credit cards (too slippery.) There are bowls named after cell phones (too annoying) and dot-coms (too '90s). There are bowls named after an auto-parts chain (too Bubba), a shipping company (too binding) and a computer (too byting).
``There are too many bowls, period.''
Ah, but as we all know, slashing bowls would cut the financial gravy dripping to participating schools. So why not instead add a few more? Anyway, we've always wondered why the makers of Tidy Bowl never sponsor a ``Toilet Bowl.''
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk