Is it starting to feel like your car or truck’s out of alignment? (Signs include uneven tire wear, vibration, and a vehicle that pulls or drifts to one side while you’re driving on a straight-away.) Don’t wonder any longer! Print and redeem the coupon above for a FREE alignment check any of our four Butler Service Center locations. If your vehicle’s fine, you’ll be on your way with no cost. If an alignment is needed, and you decide to let us do the work, you’ll be entitled to $20.00 off the regular price. It’s a win-win! Call us to set up an appointment or just drop by. We’ll be ready for you!
A new study by the Australian Association for Motor Insurers (AAMI) finds that a significantly higher percentage of men than women rely on their GPS to get them where they need to go. The results show 64% of men leave the navigating up to their devices, as compared to only 50% of women.
The numbers don’t surprise us, and not because we believe the stereotype that says men won’t ask for directions (…even though we’ve never witnessed it. Even Reuben Aitchison, the Corporate Affairs Manager for AAMI, admits the male desire to find one’s way by one’s self is “a point of honour, sometimes known as stubborness.”) Our opinion is that men just find the technology cool. So we conducted an informal survey that confirmed our suspicions. The guys who love their GPS say they don’t need it to get around so much as they think it’s a kick to play with. And even though they were quick to point out that GPS directions are not always dependable (which may be why women are less likely to use them), we have to give guys props for attempting to make the trip as fun as possible.
How important is your GPS? Is it your primary means of navigation? Or do you have a map handy, just in case?
Butler Auto Group is proud to be one of five Jackson County businesses named to Oregon Business Magazine’s annual list of the ‘Top 150 Private Companies’. The list published in the July 2012 edition ranks Butler as 114th among companies that claim less than $50-million dollars a year in revenue. That’s ten spots higher than last year. Butler has been a regular on the ‘Top 150’ list since 2000. Thank you to everyone who helped us get – and stay – there!
Congratulations go out to the handful of other Jackson County firms that made the rankings. They include Harry and David Holdings (#20), Sherm’s Thunderbird Market (#41), Combined Transport (#68), and Cascade Wood Products (#104). Klamath County window and door manufacturer Jeld-Wen hangs on to the top spot.
Earlier this year we asked the potentially inflammatory question, “Who’s the worse driver, men or women?” (To read that blog visit http://tinyurl.com/6qtmjrw.)
Now, it seems, there’s an answer, at least as far as which gender’s parking skills reign supreme, and it comes from across the Atlantic. The mayor of Triberg, Germany is making headlines for designating parking spots according to sex. Gallus Strobel says two spots in Triberg’s new public lot are a bit tight. He adds that since men are typically better at maneuvering vehicles into such spaces, those spots are now marked by the astrological symbol for Mars: ♂. (The larger, better lit spaces assigned to women are painted with the astrological symbol for Venus: ♀).
Mayor Strobel admits the move is out of line and likely to incite some anger. And he does invite women to try parking in the smaller spaces but he says he won’t be surprised if they fail. His secretary, after all, was unsuccessful in her handful of attempts. Ultimately, though, Strobel says his tiny town – the population hovers around 5,000 – needs the publicity. And an epic battle – especially the age-old one between the sexes – always makes a good story.
Every morning on the way to work at Butler Auto I pass at least two panhandlers upon entry into Ashland. They are usually male; One a young man, the other much older, both appearing to have full physical capacity. Both dress in jeans and sweatshirt – possibly dirty, maybe just worn – and hold pieces of cardboard upon which requests for help, presumably financial, are handwritten.
As both men set up camp near the end of Interstate 5’s exit 19 off-ramp I’ve come to think of them as “greeters”. I’ve been making the drive to Ashland for a year and a half now which means both gentlemen have become a daily presence in my life. And that’s where the dilemma kicks in. By nature, I am compassionate to a fault. My philosophy has always been that it’s not my place to judge a person’s circumstances, but rather to help a fellow human being whenever possible. So, in my travels throughout the Rogue Valley I have often shared dollar bills, spare change, bagged carrots or apple slices, and even heart-shaped sugar cookies baked as Valentines for co-workers (in the winter months I carry spare pairs of stretchy knit mittens as my heart breaks at the thought of someone being cold). At least one of the Ashland “greeters” has benefited from such offerings on more than one occasion.
But, when does the giving become enough? Undoubtedly by now, the “greeters” are as familiar with my face as I am with theirs. On my part, that familiarity leads to uncomfortable feelings of guilt each time I pass by without offering some sort of help. And the same thoughts echo in my head: Am I wrong to deny them some sort of assistance? What is my responsibility? What is theirs? Do I smile and acknowledge them? What if they don’t smile back? What if they’re offended? I so want to help… but, after seeing these guys day after day for nearly 19 months I have to ponder… what’s keeping them from helping themselves? At what point in my giving, I wonder, do I become a sucker?
I don’t think I’m alone in having such conflicted emotions. I believe most people are at heart generous and compassionate, and that many of us experience the emotional tension created by the desire to respond to a genuine need for help contrasted by the very real possibility of being scammed. Nobody wants to be taken for a ride.
Ultimately, though, I don’t see a resolution to this dilemma. I imagine my brief moment of daily emotional discomfort will continue as long as my commute follows the current route. And I’ll probably give in to the urge to toss a few quarters or piece of fruit to my “greeters” every once in a while, if only to quiet my mind. There are those who would say we should deny all forms of assistance to panhandlers for to give in to their requests is only to enable them. But, I can’t help but return to my value against judging. What do I know of another’s life circumstances? Who am I to decide who’s worthy of charity? When all is said and done, the bottom line is this: If the alternative is to risk failing to help another human being in the event of true need, I’d rather be a sucker.
That alert your smart phone just sounded? It’s a message from your child’s car seat. And no, we’re not kidding. Tomy International is touting a new child safety seat complete with sensors that monitor everything from proper seat installation to whether you accidentally left your kid in the car. Download the mobile IAlert app and, should your toddler’s seatbelt, among other things, come un-buckled, The First Years convertible carseat will, you guessed it, send you a message.
Tomy maintains that the app is not meant to be used while you’re driving. Motortrend.com quotes Greg Kilrea, the President of Tomy International, as saying, “Our mission is to help parents and caregivers keep kids safe by making our quality products easy to use and install and by building in features and functions that take some of the guesswork out of using infant gear properly.” But we’re skeptical. If the alert does sound while you and your kiddo are on the road, wouldn’t you want to check it? And wouldn’t the mere act of doing so take your eyes off the road, thereby putting you and your wee one more at risk of crashing? And not just crashing but crashing while something’s wrong with the car seat that’s designed to keep your kid safe. Are we missing something here?
Maybe so. Maybe most drivers would be conscientious enough to pull off the road before glancing at their phone. Maybe most parents would find the IAlert app beneficial. But, let’s face it, if you need a car seat sensor to remind you you left your kid in the car, you’ve got bigger distraction problems. And no, there’s no app for that.
(If you’d rather do things the old-fashioned way, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office will check your child’s car seat for proper installation free of charge: