Before and After – A Marketing Disaster

As an admission, I am officially behind schedule on the blog but we need to delegate blame to a guilt trip a certain person placed on me.  Apparently queuing up a few posts is second on the evil meter only to kicking an elderly woman down the stairs because she is impeding your timeline to rob a convenience store.  Being haunted by the stigma this would bring to my parents, I was forced to immediately stop using the post buffer to compensate for busy times of the month.  Of course, now I am left foregoing all charity work and our annual prairie dog mission of peace to free up enough time to bring you this month’s quota.  When those dogs take up arms and start ravaging our countryside that person is going to have some apologizing to do!

I’m to close to completing my 4th year of blogging to blow my quota now, so it’s time to get to it.  Today’s post comes to us courtesy (and by that, I mean lack of courtesy) of Bridgestone.

As a little level setting, Linda and I finally gave up dealing with all the annoying problems we were having with our Dodge Durango.  The car was actually fun to drive when it was actually working but it was plagued with electrical problems.  This was similar to problems we had with our Grand Cherokees.  During our hunt for a new car we were ignored by a dealership while trying to buy an Explorer (shocking at the time because they were in the middle of the economy crisis and cash for junkers was in full swing).  After a few other failed dealerships we broke down and checked again at Dodge – guess what, they decided to get out of the large SUV business with what appeared to be a failed attempt with the Aspen.  Frustrated, we stopped into Toyota, had a wonderful experience and promptly came home with a brand new SUV (built in San Antonio so hold the complaints).  This vehicle has been mechanically free of errors since we bought it with the exception of the special deer magnet (link here).  BMW could learn a few things from this automaker (link here).

Now is good time for the BEFORE shot:

hit the jump to read “The rest of the story”.

Continue reading Before and After – A Marketing Disaster

2′ Away from Freedom

Might as well get this out of the way now.  It’s time to put the Um with the Yang and bring this day to a close.  The celebration of 160 was put to the side this evening due to an unfortunate situation my wife experienced earlier tonight while on her way back from the dog show.  She was likely having a similar good day thanks to a couple of good runs from the little ones.  Unfortunately, those same dogs found themselves looking up from the  floor mats on their way home thanks to this:

Before anyone panics, everyone is fine. Well, everyone but the SUV and the dumbass deer that decided to play Frogger. In the deer’s defense, this is the first weekend of shotgun season so they are all probably running for their lives and throwing caution out the door. I just wish they were smart enough to stay in the woods out of sight being that it was after sundown and the hunters should have already called it quits for the day. As it turns out, Linda was driving by the Jubilee College entrance which is about halfway between Kickapoo and Brimfield IL. This is essentially big buck region and this particular corridor is deer alley. Most of the time they stay to the sides and tend to heed the roadways to the faster and heavier vehicles. You can always tell those not from the area because those are the ones who unknowingly have a death wish by speeding through these parts. Apparently this particular deer decided to test fate on a dead run and almost made it. By my estimates, it was probably less than 2 feet from freedom when it was clipped by the SUV bumper. Luckily, that particular area had a reduced speed due to a small subdivision. Linda said she locked them up but wasn’t able to avoid the impact. Guessing this sudden deceleration is what sent the boys for a thrill ride. It was a pretty big deer and fur ended up flying from the impact, but those deer are tough. I totaled a Daytona on one and it was still alive afterwards (broken legs, but still alive). I took a walk in the dark, but couldn’t find any remains so guessing it is nursing a pretty sore hind at the moment.

Catch a couple more shots after the jump

Continue reading 2′ Away from Freedom

A Plea for NO Help

Sorry everyone, you are going to have to wait at least another post for birds.  I know you are all upset, but I wanted to get this observation out before I forgot it.  This one happened a few weeks back while driving home late one night.  For some reason I can’t remember exactly why Linda and I were out that particular night, but since this occurred on I474 near Bartonville, I am guessing it was ..wait.. wait..brain making gyrations… binary tree search through long memory initiated… preempted with an aggressively pruned quicksort and now for a reverse recursive validation loop… Ding – oh yeah, we were heading back from a Dog Show just outside of Forsyth.  We were in our big Toyota cruising down the highway in an unstoppable deathtrap.  At the mercy of the car gods we could make it home without the evil carbot taking over control and sending us on a horrifying journey straight into the nearest wall… although I guess I could just pop it in neutral and coast to the side of the road but that won’t get the journalist to come a running now will it!

Oops, back to the post.  On  our way up the Bartonville hill towards Peoria I was passed by a dark blue (or black, it was night) Toyota Prius.  Chuckling to myself on how tired his legs must be from peddling that hard, I watched the car drift by and merge back into my lane.  As I usually do while on the road or walking through a parking lot, I took note of the license plate to see what clever saying or number they care to display to the world.  If you are curious, the next thing I look for is a Jesus Fish because I find them absolutely annoying and like to point this fact out to my wife – although not nearly as annoying as the little family silhouettes that are so vogue these days – TRUST ME, NO ONE CARES how big your family is or whether you have a dog or a cat.  Then I look for the Obama sticker and thank the driver for putting the US in double digit unemployment and unrecoverable debt.  Unfortunately, I did not get to these secondary items because I was fascinated by the license plate.  On the plate were the letters SUE EM 2.  So apparently this particular driver wants the world to know they have an affinity to take people to court or I guess a slight chance they are named after a chocolate covered peanut candy (get that? hehehe).  After much brain things inside my head, I decided it was the former and pondered on why anyone would want this particular plate.  All I could think of were downsides.  For example, if this person were to have trouble on the road, would you be willing to pull over and try to help them?  Would a service vehicle be willing to provide assistance… or is the thought of being sued by the owner if it doesn’t happen to turn out completely in the car owner’s favor too big of a risk to even bother?  As much as I hate people who abuse the legal system – think Lindsay L’s lawsuit against E-Trade just because they used her name and she thinks she is the only one in world that has rights to it (if she wins this, every Lindsay in the will have a defamation suit against her for ruining it in the tabloids) – I am likely to at a minimum hesitate before providing any immediate assistance.  Couple that with the potential for their Prius carbot to awaken and they have definitely put themselves in a risky situation.  Imagine what the cop would think as he was yelling in his bullhorn to put the car in neutral?

Oh well, I thought it was odd and figured I would share.  I bet the next time you see a Jesus Fish or a family sticker in a car you will think of this post 8^)