Road Trip: Going to Galveston a family tradition
It has become a tradition. Every year, I take my kids to Galveston for an end-of-summer weekend. The beach city is about a five-hour road trip from where we live, so when you’re short on vacation time and money, it’s a quick, affordable getaway. Now, while I normally dread the idea of driving my 8-, 6- and 4-year-old anywhere that takes longer than 30 minutes, this road trip doesn’t give me indigestion. Besides the bucket load of electronics I have to keep them busy, there are a few stops along the road… Read More

Ford not conceding in ‘heavy-metal’ battle of pickups
Chevrolet Silverado and Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup trucks may be the top choices of Consumer Reports (see yesterday’s blog post), but Ford, led by the F-series of trucks,  still is the sales champion, reports Automotive News. “The autumn pickup wars have been joined, with Ford aggressively defending its segment leadership against redesigned rivals from General Motors and Chrysler Group's Ram brand,” wrote the News’ Bradford Wernie. Toyota and Nissan round out the top five truck makers. Ford’s market share remained at 39.4 percent for the first eight months of the year compared to 2012, but both General Motors, with the… Read More

Consumer Reports: Chevy Silverado vs. Ram 1500 in ‘heavy-metal duel’
In the argument over which pickup truck is better – the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 – each has its fans. But Consumer Reports picked sides. Two sides to be exact. “In a heavy-metal duel between two top pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500's ‘Excellent’ road-test score makes it Consumer Reports' top-rated truck,” the product-testing organization said of its two top-rated trucks. But CR testers said the second-place Ram 1500 “may be a better daily driver.” Consumer Reports previously tested the Ford F-150 XLT, which was outscored by Ram and Silverado. "The… Read More

Road trip: From Dallas to Durango and back – Part 2
Our road trip to Durango, CO, planned for a full week, took an unexpected left-hand turn north on I-25 when we learned our son would be playing in a college soccer tournament in Colorado Springs over Labor Day weekend. Colorado Springs had been our original destination, but that seemed to change when he was injured at practice and was doubtful that he would make the trip from Dallas. Durango – just this once – had been our backup road trip destination. It wasn’t the last time our plans changed. If… Read More

Children’s car seats still pose problem for parents, caregivers, says AAA
It has been 30 years since the first child safety seat law was passed (in Illinois), but 75 percent of car seats continue to be improperly used or installed, according to AAA. “The dedicated work of safety advocates [is] saving thousands of children's lives,” said AAA during National Child Passenger Safety Week, which ran Aug. 15-21. “Still today, installing a car seat correctly remains a difficult task for parents and caregivers.” The organization identified mistakes most frequently made when installing or using car seats. Here are 10 of the most frequent mistakes: Moving out of a booster seat too soon… Read More

Honda ‘Project Drive-In’ seeks to save threatened theaters
The drive-in theater in Graham, TX, is one of at least nine survivors of 20th Century American car culture that will get a second lease on life thanks to a donation from Japanese automaker Honda. A new digital projector was donated to the theater by the Honda Motor Co. Inc. as part of its Project Drive-In, a “national effort to save as many of America’s remaining drive-ins as possible” despite the expected discontinuation of 35-mm film distribution later this year. “Through Project Drive-In, awareness is being raised across the country, offering communities simple ways to get involved and helping this… Read More

Road trip: Dallas to Durango and back – Part 1
Durango road trip. The heart-palpitating anticipation built just thinking about the Southwest Colorado town. We had been there before. Twice. The last time with our son in tow. This time, however, he had started classes at University of Texas at Dallas when we went on our end-of-summer road trip. Our trip covered North Texas, the northeast corner of New Mexico and southern Colorado to Durango in two days. If you’ve ever taken a road trip on that route, which includes the Texas Panhandle, you are familiar with its grand vistas and unique sights.… Read More names 17 best cars on the market – Part 2
The best five-passenger SUV on the market is the 2013 Honda CR-V. The best large pickup truck is this year’s Ram 1500. And the best hybrid is the Toyota Prius. But these are just three of the vehicles on’s list of “The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy – The Vehicles We’d Buy for Ourselves” written by James Riswick, automotive editor. “We crafted this list of the ‘Best Cars You Can Buy,’ with an emphasis on the word ‘best,’" wrote Riswick in the article posted recently at “This isn't ‘the cars that… Read More names 17 best cars on the market – Part 1
The best subcompact car on the market is the 2013 Mini Cooper. The best midsize sedan, this year’s Nissan Altima. And the best sports car is the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. But these are just three of the vehicles on’s list of “The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy – The Vehicles We’d Buy for Ourselves” written by James Riswick, automotive editor. "This list answers a question we get all the time,” said Riswick. “If you could pick any car in a given segment, and money wasn't an issue, what car would you choose? Sure, many on this list… Read More

Road Trip: On a mission to West Bend, Iowa
It’s roughly 850 miles from where I live now, just south of Dallas, to where I grew up, in West Bend, IA, and where I was heading on my road trip to a family reunion. My trip is the same every time, and this one started out no differently – make extra coffee because even Starbucks isn’t open yet, find the cat and have the traditional pet carrier battle of wills, load her and the dog up in the car (luckily I loaded everything else the night before),… Read More