Don't Try This At Home

Toyota's Spin

By Bob on April 26, 2010 6:00 AM

Toyota Recall.jpg

Toyota's been having a HELL of a time with this recall business.


First, it's a floor mat that needs adjusting, and then a gas pedal, pretty soon you've got engineers from NASA involved. The next thing you know Congress is calling up Mr. freakin' Toyoda (don't ask me why he spells his name with a "D" and not a "T" like his car - maybe it's a cultural thing) to testify before Congress.


Give a guy a break.


So Boomers, you knew it was only a matter of time before a recall notice would find its way to Colleyville.  Yep, we got one.


The envelope looked official, but since it wasn't from the IRS I let it marinate on the desk in the laundry room for a couple of days before I opened it. Sure enough, it was a letter from Toyota telling Charlotte to bring in the Lexus for the complimentary repair.


"Right, the CAMPAIGN," he says sotto voce, like we're the only two in on this recall secret.


We hadn't noticed anything wrong with the car. No runaway vehicles or rapidly accelerating anything since we owned the Lexus.


Since Charlotte's the primary driver, I can tell you that it hasn't been driven much over 55mph since we bought it. I don't think she could go much faster even if the gas pedal was trapped under the mat. Not her thing.


I booked the recall appointment with Park Place Lexus in Grapevine and took the car in for the complimentary "repair". When I pulled into the service drive, the spin began the moment I stopped.




Park Place Lexus Guy glancing at his nifty tablet computer: "Good morning Mr. Hill. I see you're here for the campaign. Is there anything else we can help you with today?"


Dazed Bob still working on his first cup of coffee: "Campaign? I'm here for the RECALL."


Park Place Lexus Guy looks at me like I just stepped in dog s***. He's a combination of concerned and confused.


Park Place Lexus Guy: "Right, the CAMPAIGN," he says sotto voce, like we're the only two in on this recall secret.


Dazed Bob: "Yeah, the campaign," I say, sounding more than a little like Jon Lovitz when he does his Tommy Flanagan character. "The CAMPAIGN, yeah, that's the ticket!"


...and scene


The next thing I know I'm comfortably seated in an overstuffed chair in the Park Place Lexus waiting area drinking their French Roast and checking my email. Couple of hours later, Park Place Lexus Guy tells me I'm ready to roll.


I refill my coffee. Go to the cashier (it really was NC) and head out the door. Inside Charlotte's just-washed Lexus are two complimentary shortbread cookies with a "Thank You" sticker on the package.


I hit HWY 121 heading back to the office, when the campaign works its magic.


I'm a happy camper and better yet, a happy Lexus owner. Charlotte and I are biracial when it comes to vehicles. She drives a Lexus. Me, I'm increasing my DFW carbon footprint with a big-honking GMC Yukon.


Would I buy another Lexus? Yep. No question about it.


In spite of the recall?


What recall? I went in for the campaign.


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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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