Month: May 2017

Distracted while driving? Yes, there’s an app to avoid that too

I have been known to, a time or two, snag my husband’s phone out of his hand if he attempts to check a text or email while behind the wheel. Rude, I know, and he really hates it. But distracted driving is real and the effects of distracted driving are devastating. For the record, I used to be, perhaps, one of the worst offenders of texting/emailing and driving. I actually thought time on the road was synonymous with office time. What better time to get caught up on all those emails I never had a chance to return while at my desk? Boy, was I wrong. In recent years, I have learned the error of my ways and now make a conscious effort to put my phone away while behind the wheel. Admittedly, I am a work in progress. I still occasionally find myself reaching for my phone – especially if I’m alone in the car or if I’m stopped at a red light. Recently, I’ve been looking at safe-driver apps in an effort to work harder at reminding myself to not pick up my phone while behind the wheel. There is some sort of irony built in to this task. I am searching for and loading apps on the exact device that I am attempting to not utilize in … Read More

A brief history of Memorial Day

In the late 1860s, communities across the U.S. began holding tributes to the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. But it is Waterloo, New York, that is accredited as the birthplace of what we refer to today as Memorial Day. The first celebration in Waterloo was on May 5, 1866. Two years to the day later, General John A. Logan proclaimed May 30, 1868, would be a national day of remembrance, dubbing it Decoration Day. Over the years, Decoration Day gradually became more widely known as Memorial Day. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by Congress in 1968 changed the observance of Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of May. This, however, did not go into effect until 1971, when Memorial Day was officially declared a federal holiday. You can read more about the history of Memorial Day at For now, please simply join us in honoring those who have served. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

How are you kicking off your summer?

Many consider this weekend the “official unofficial” kickoff to summer. While I hope everyone will take time out to remember and honor those who have died for our country, it is also a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. If you’re having a get together, but aren’t sure what to do while everyone is over, try some of these ideas on for size. Play. Laugh. Have fun. Who wants to sit around all day? BORING! Instead get everyone up and moving with either a scavenger or treasure hunt. If you either don’t have the time or don’t think you’re creative enough to come up with clues on your own, has three different downloadable ideas that will have your guests (adults and kids alike) having a grand old time. Don’t forget your camera for this one. You’ll definitely want to record some of the hunt’s best (and funniest) moments. Get your move on Does your family play sports? How about a hike? Whether you divide up for a friendly game of soccer or baseball or head off to a nearby trail that you’ve been meaning to hike for years, get up and enjoy the outdoors together. Is Mother Nature raining on your parade? Okay. Put on an impromptu talent show in the living room and discover everyone’s … Read More

The best FCA US vehicles for some summer fun in the sun

Summer is just around the corner and that means road trips to the beach, the lake or wherever you find yourself surrounded by good friends and laughter. And getting there is half the fun. Getting there in the right car is important. Whether you’re in charge of the food, the friends or the festivities, ensuring your vehicle can get the job done is essential. Check out these FCA US vehicles that are sure to carry the load. FIAT® 124 Spider Is there room for a lot of friends in this two-seater convertible? No. But it is loaded with fun. Offer to bring the food, and if you have to make an extra trip or two to the store, you are guaranteed to have plenty of volunteers to ride shotgun. Dodge Challenger or Charger Take your pick. Either of these two muscle cars are cool, comfortable and will fit whatever you need to carry for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Ram 1500 Rebel In my opinion, there just isn’t anything cooler than a truck. I chose the Rebel mostly for its name, but you can choose any of the Ram lineup of pickup trucks for some tailgating good times. Opt for the super-versatile RamBoxes and you can load them up with some ice to keep things cool in the … Read More

Firestone’s newest Destination M/T2 is anything but boring

Round. Black. Rubber. Tires are BORING. I used to look at tires as those four circular things that cost me a bunch of money every 25,000 miles or so. Nonetheless, they were (and are) essential for keeping me safely on the road, so I would occasionally stop by the shop to have “my guys” take a look and make sure things were rotated and balanced and all that other stuff you’re supposed to do. That’s why I had my guys. They took care of that stuff so I didn’t have to. Then, I got my truck. My truck is cool. My truck has black wheels with huge, rugged tires. Tires are not boring anymore. Tires are awesome. It’s called perspective. (For the record, though, I still have guys that take care of that stuff for me.) So, when a press release about the new Firestone Destination M/T2 tires crossed my desk recently, I may have paid a bit more attention than I would have a couple years ago. I’m just sayin’. What makes these new tires so great? “The Firestone Destination M/T2 tire is the ultimate tire for adventure-seekers looking to get the most performance out of their truck or Jeep®,” said Erik Seidel, president, consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Overlanders and weekend warriors expect their … Read More

No time for a weekend road trip? Say it ain’t so!

Tell me if this sounds familiar. It’s Monday morning and you ask a co-worker about his or her weekend. You receive the standard, “Not long enough, man. Weekends just seem to go by way too fast.” You nod and move on to start your day. If this is act one of what seems to be a never-ending play, it’s likely because more often, the work week is invading weekend time, according to recent survey results released by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “We went into the survey anticipating that work would creep into a weekend every now and then. However, this data opened our eyes to the fact that, for many of us, the work week doesn’t really end at the weekend, but spills right into it,” said Steve Short, vice president at Enterprise. “Realizing this, it’s no wonder that 85 percent of survey respondents said they want to get more out of their weekends and 83 percent described their weekends as ‘never long enough.’” But don’t fear. All is not lost. At least not according to New York psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert who says it’s about making the most of the time you do have. “Above all else, it’s important for people to remember that the weekends are their time to recharge and take a break,” said Alpert. “Spend time with family or … Read More

Is there a difference between driverless and autonomous vehicles?

According to, the term “science fiction” is a noun that means “fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes …” Or, what we not so long ago, called driverless cars. These days, advancements in technology have driven vehicles that require little or no human interaction to operate them to the forefront of reality. But many confuse driverless vehicles with autonomous vehicles. I know this, in part, because I am one of those people. I mean, really, what’s the difference? Quite a lot, as it turns out. During a brief, on-the-run interview with NPR’s Sonari Glinton, Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst and director of pricing and industry analysis at, broke down the difference in easy-to-understand, relatable terms. “A driverless car is when the car literally does all of the work for you,” Caldwell explained. “I think that’s the dream most people have – they sit in the car and it’s literally as if someone’s driving for them. They don’t need to sit in the driver’s seat. They don’t need to watch the traffic. They don’t need to make sure no one’s going to rear-end them. It’s a place where you can just relax.” Hmm. That does sound like heaven, doesn’t it? Can you imagine how calming rush hour could become? Instead of honking … Read More

It’s time to have THAT talk with your teen – summer driving safety reminders

Do you remember your first speeding ticket? I do. I was 16 and it was April 1. That’s right. April Fools’ Day. But the only fool that day was me. I was definitely speeding and I was busted. The worst part was telling my dad. I got home later that night and told my mom. She was the easy one, and I was praying she was going to tell Dad for me. But I didn’t get so lucky. Instead, she walked me down to Dad’s office and waited while I fumbled with the words that didn’t want to come out of my mouth. When they finally stumbled out, Dad laughed. He laughed. Loudly. He didn’t get red in the face. He didn’t get mad. He didn’t yell. He laughed. I don’t remember much about what happened next. I’m pretty sure I was in shock. I think Dad said something about me coming by it naturally (he had gotten a few speeding tickets in his day), followed up with the fact that I would be paying for it myself, out of my own money. Then he asked the particulars – how fast, where we were, who the officer was, etc. (To add insult to injury, not only did I get my first speeding ticket on April Fools’ Day, the officer turned … Read More

Happy Mother’s Day from Chrysler Capital

As I prepared to write my Mother’s Day message, I found myself having a difficult time doing so. Why? Because every Mom is different and every mother-child relationship uniquely special. How do you celebrate that with one, all-encompassing message? So, I began looking for inspiration. I thought about by own relationships with both my mom and my daughter. What was the one thing about both of them that was also true about every other mother-child relationship in the world? And then, I found it. Purely by accident, while I was searching Pinterest for something new and different to make for dinner, there was my answer. The one, universal truth about Mom. Nothing is ever actually lost, until Mom can’t find it. To all the moms around the world, may your Mother’s Day be as special as you are every day the whole year through. Happy Mother’s Day.

An ode to the odometer

In celebration of National Odometer Day (yes, it’s actually a “day”), a history of our distance-measuring friend seems appropriate. Attempting to go back and determine the actual origin of the odometer may make your head spin faster than a radar gun could clock it. Was it born in Ancient Greece? Or was it the Romans? What about China? It seems there was record of it somewhere in Germany … In an effort to stay a bit closer to home, I’ve chosen a few items from American history to highlight instead. Of the many things Benjamin Franklin is known for, his use of the odometer is likely one of the lesser known. He did, however, as the country’s first Postmaster General use an odometer to develop the postal system for the Colonies. And during the summer of 1763 he utilized an odometer during a five-month, 1,600-mile carriage tour during which he surveyed road and post offices from Virginia throughout New England. On September 14, 1839, Smith Beers was granted patent number 1,325 for an odometer he created. As you might expect, Beers’ invention attached to the axle and measured rotations. A bit of a surprise, however – it rang a bell for every mile recorded. Could you imagine if this were the version still used today? According to the Smithsonian Institution … Read More