Thursday, November 27, 2008

Careful. . .you might get what you ask for

Last night, Ellen and I drove across the desert in a noisy, but otherwise, smooth running vehicle.

A couple of years ago, I purchased new tires for the car. I was delighted because they had an excellent treadwear rating. It has now been 55,000 miles and the tires still have additional tread left on the tires. Given the current state of my personal economy, I would be happy to not be required to purchase new tires for at least several more months. That is the good part of the story associated with these tires.

Now the bad. . . These tires are very noisy. As we drive down the freeway, or even down quiet rural roads, the tires are reminding us how strong and firm they are against the wear and tear of the road. They do not give up precious millimeters of rubber to the road without a fight. And this is a noisy fight. They make a constant drone, the volume of which corresponds to the speed being traveled. Recently, we had a friend in the car and he exclaimed, "I have never been in such a noisy car". I lamely told him of our noisy tires. I think he assumed it was a cheap car. I am not sure my excuse convinced him otherwise. In order to listen to the radio or a book on CD, the volume needs to be turned way up. If we could block out all other noise, we would laugh at how loudly we are talking in order to be heard over the battle taking place on the road beneath us.

Now, back to our ride across the desert, Ellen was sure that the third row concert level volume would deafen her. We arrived without incident. Rogers and Katherine only had to tell us a couple of times that we did not need to talk so loudly. Fortunately, after a good night's sleep, our hearing seemed to return to its previous level.

Learning: Tires with long treadwear may save money in the pocket book, but may also have other unanticipated side effects. Check the tread. Proceed with caution. In retrospect, would this cheapskate have made another decision? I am to much of a penny pincher to say yes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Without our kids around we had a delightful time with Katherine and Rogers and his friendly family. Looking forward to the safe return of our kids in the next month.