The great equalizer
This item is simply provided as a reaffirmation of how important fleet maintenance is-because you never know what's going to turn up inside your tires.
Narcotics officers in Albuquerque, N.M., received a tip that a truck headed to Oklahoma had broken down in their fair city. When they stopped by to check it out, they ended up making a massive drug bust.
News reports said that while searching the vehicle, the cops made a surprising discovery: Someone had manufactured some specialized metal containers to fit inside the tires. Inside them investigators found between 75 and 100 pounds of marijuana worth several thousand dollars and what they said was about 10 pounds of high-grade methamphetamine worth big bucks. It apparently took the officers more than five hours to break it all down to get the drugs out. Several disappointed people were taken into custody.
Maybe the perps will claim the stuff was just in there to keep the tires balanced.
This 'n that
Word lesson of the day - Class...today's vocab word is ``antanaclasis,'' brought to you courtesy of one of our favorite e-mail services, ``A Word A Day.''
It means a play on words in which a key word is repeated in a different, often contrary sense. Some examples: Ol' Ben Franklin said, ``Your argument is sound, nothing but sound.''
>From Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi: ``If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.'' (Put that one in your employee handbook.)
And ``anonymous'' noted: ``Learn some craft when young, that when old you may live without craft.''
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Well, except for that one time-Speaking before the recent German Formula 1 Grand Prix race, Pierre Dupasquier, Group Michelin motorsport director, said: ``Since the beginning of the season, our tires have been competitive whatever the weather, warm or cool. This weekend, we hope our partner teams will once again have tires ideally suited to the conditions.''
Perhaps he'd forgotten about the fiasco at the U.S. Grand Prix Formula 1 race June 19 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis when, because of safety concerns, Michelin advised all seven two-car teams running on its tires to withdraw, leaving only six teams with Bridgestone tires to compete.
You know what they say...aside from the tires, the memory's usually the first thing to go.
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First commandment: Know thy own drivers-At the press launch for the 2006 Ford Fusion road and race cars, Phil Martens, Ford Motor Co. group vice president, introduced driver and 2003 NASCAR champ Matt Kenseth as ``Mike Kenneth.'' (See previous item about short-term memory loss.)
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Second commandment: Know thy Bible-Back in the 1920s, as she barred the teaching of foreign languages in her state, Texas Gov. Miriam ``Ma'' Ferguson picked up a Bible and famously declared: ``If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for Texas.''
Apparently nobody had clued Ma in that she was holding a translation.
Find a better car? Sure
To paraphrase that old line from the ``Poltergeist'' movies, ``He's back.''
No one can ever accuse former Chrysler Corp. head honcho Lee Iacocca of shunning the limelight. You've probably seen the DaimlerChrysler A.G. commercials featuring '80s icon Lee playing himself and actor Jason Alexander-``George Costanza'' on the ``Seinfeld'' TV series-kind of playing George again.
The commercial's dialogue is reminiscent of those bizarre scenes in the sitcom when Georgie Boy would be standing in front of his New York Yankees boss George Steinbrenner having a stream-of-unconsciousness conversation.
In his review of the commercial in Advertising Age, a sister pub of Tire Business, columnist Bob Garfield bluntly noted: ``Sure, the casting will generate some attention, and the discounts will generate some sales. Yada yada yada. But this sorry episode will do nothing for Chrysler's image in the consumer's mind-unless possibly to remind them of Iacocca's vaunted K Car. Which was-like this commercial-a total piece of crap.''
Now tell us how you really feel, Bob.
The latest hip fashion accessory just might be something you've got piling up around your dealership.
Passchal, a 1-year-old handbag company in Richmond, Va., has created what it's dubbing environmentally conscious handbags. They're made from recycled truck and tractor tires ``converted into chic and fashionable styles for every age.''
The tubes are collected from tire centers, cleaned and created by hand, with each bearing whatever markings the inner tube maker used. They're billed as a ``unique alternative to leather.'' Ken Kobrick, their creator, said ``every single one of them is different. They're like fingerprints.''
And the beauty of it, at least for Passchal, is that the bags sell at a much higher profit margin than an old patched inner tube-we're talking between $150 and $175. More info on the venture is available at the firm's Web site, www.passchal.com.
We've got our eye on the ``Man Bag'' (above left). But for madame, perhaps the ``Dax'' (above right) featuring red handles and piping. Haute couture indeed.
Edited by Sigmund J. Mikolajczyk