Archives for 2011

Free Stock Photography of Cars and Travel Related Themes

No Parking SignAre you looking for a picture of a tire or a parked car? Maybe you need a photo of a stop sign or a street scene? The TireZoo has a Flickr site dedicated to common vehicle and travel related photographs to use under Creative Commons licensing. We’re happy to share these photos and make your day a little easier!  Here is more information on how to use photographs from Flickr and adhere to Creative Commons license. Never simply use any photograph from Google Images, as they are likely copyrighted.

If you have a blog or other online presence where you need photographs, this article explains rights and regulations of stock photography, “Images 101- Copyrights and Creative Commons”.

If you use one of our photos, please don’t hesitate to post a link in our comments section and tell us about your article. We’d love to hear from you. We’ve actually heard from quite a few people around the world using our photographs, and it’s really fun to see the creativity in action!

TireZoo 2011 Holiday Hours in Anoka and Bloomington, MN Locations

Tires at the TireZoo holiday hours for 2011Need tires? Now is the time to stop in. We’re looking forward to helping you stay safe on the roads this holiday season.

The TireZoo Holiday Hours are as follows:

  • Friday, December 23, 2011; Regular business hours at both locations
  • Saturday, December 24, 2011; Open 9am to 1pm at both locations
  • Sunday, December 25, 2011; Closed – Merry Christmas!
  • Monday, December 26, 2011; Closed – Merry Christmas!
  • Saturday, December 31, 2011; Open 9am to 3pm at both locations
  • Sunday, January 1, 2012; Closed – Happy New Year!
  • Monday, January 2, 2012; Closed – Happy New Year!

Along with our contact information and directions, our regular office hours are always up-to-date on our website; Anoka Location and Bloomington Location

Perfect Travel Snack: Homemade Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

homemade cinnamon roasted almonds

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jackfrost nipping at your nose”. But, almonds are just as good!

Are you a fan of cinnamon roasted almonds? They are a simple travel snack that is easy to eat, but doesn’t make a mess in the vehicle.

However, you don’t have to hunt down a gift shop to buy them. Why not make them at home for a fraction of the cost. When you make homemade cinnamon roasted almonds, you control the ingredients and flavor as well as the cost! Don’t forget to divide them up into small containers so each person can have their own in the car, and avoid losing them all to the dirty carpet if you hit a bump!

Recipe: Homemade Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

3 Cups Salted Whole Almonds
2 Tbls Vegetable Oil
3 Tbls Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions: Heat oil in large fry pan, then add almonds. Toast for a couple minutes stirring constantly. Slowly and evenly shake sugar over almonds, then cinnamon. Keep stirring until sugar melts and adheres to the almonds; about 1 minute. (Note: there may be extra sugar in the pan, and that’s ok) Lay almonds in a single layer on parchment paper to cool.  Enjoy!

If you liked this travel snack recipe, you may enjoy “Great Snack Mix Recipes for Traveling”.

Donating a Vehicle to Charity is a Good Thing

You’ve maybe heard of people donating a vehicle to charity, but many people who might consider this gesture are still left with questions about the logistics of doing so. I know this, because I used to be one of these people until an opportunity presented itself and I dug in to see how I could make this happen.

A few years ago, my husband and I owned a car that we loved. It was our first “new” car purchase together, and it was dependable. It was in great condition, and we had it paid off. Unfortunately, we needed something bigger to accommodate our growing family, and we already had another vehicle. Keeping three vehicles wasn’t practical, so we decided to sell our beloved car or trade it in. Unfortunately, we knew the car was worth more on paper (such as Blue Book) and certainly worth more to a person. We weren’t interested in selling it privately and all that entailed. We discussed what it would take to donate the car to charity, but neither of us really knew much about it. I volunteered to check into it and see where that led us.donating a vehicle to charity in Minnesota, TireZoo

Not long after this, I read something in our church bulletin about donating a vehicle to someone in need. As it turns out, our local Alliance for Victims of Domestic Violence had a young family in need of a car to get to work and take kids to daycare. I made a call inquiring about donating our car and was met with enthusiasm, encouragement, and a helping hand to make it happen. A local agency was interested in helping facilitate the donation. I needed to provide an estimated value of the vehicle as provided by online services like Blue Book. While I don’t think they required me to, I volunteered to have the oil checked, tires checked, and a tune up. I also filled the gas tank as a good gesture, and then let the agency know it was ready. While other vehicle donation programs might operate slightly different, all I needed to do was meet the person at the DMV to sign over the Title Card/Vehicle Registration from my name to hers. That’s all there was to it. I gave up the keys, and received a donation letter for tax purposes in the mail from the facilitating agency. I made sure to discuss the donation and documents with our tax preparer at our next visit.

I’m so glad I was able to donate our car to someone who could use it. The process was simple, and it placed much more practical value on our vehicle than a trade-in scenario would have. I hope this holiday season, or anytime throughout the year that more people will consider this option given the right circumstances. For more information on donating a vehicle in Minnesota, contact your favorite local charity to see if they have an established program and policy. Otherwise, Goodwill of Minnesota has a car donation program, as does Make-A-Wish Minnesota Chapter and Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.

 

Do Tires Make A Good Christmas Gift?

buy tires for gifts at anoka or bloomington, mn locationsGone are the days when you need to feel as though you must conform to strict gift-giving guidelines. Gift cards and technology have really paved the way for people to give new, creative, and often practical holiday gifts. How often have you received a gift that you immediately knew you’d never wear or use, yet it was (hopefully) given with the best intentions. If someone bought you a set of tires for a gift, chances are you’d love it. No doubt they’d get used!

new set of tires make great christmas gift ideasIf a loved one in your life needs tires, what better way to say “I love you, and I care you are safe” than a new set of tires? Go ahead and give a set of tires for Christmas or any upcoming gift-giving occasion. We’re open Monday through Saturday in Anoka and Bloomington, and we’ll help you select a gift that is both practical and appreciated! Our technicians are wonderful personal shoppers when you or someone you love needs tires.

No Seriously, Get Ready for Winter

winter weather in minnesota weather line, road conditions, mobile appIf you enjoyed our “tongue-in-cheek” “to do” list of items to prepare yourself for winter, we’re glad. However, you really do need to prepare for the long, cold months ahead. The following is information to help you be prepared for cold, snowy weather.

The Minnesota Travel Line: Dial 511 by phone.

Click here for the Minnesota Department of Transportation Road Conditions map and alerts.

If you are looking to install an Weather app on your mobile phone, we asked some of our readers:

“I use WeatherBug on my Android phone. Love it.”

“I like Weather Watcher.”

If you are worried about your tires or need help, the TireZoo is only a click away on our Mobile site. Simply pull up our website TireZoo.com anytime, from any mobile device and you’ll be automatically directed to our easy-to-use mobile website for either the Anoka or Bloomington, MN locations.

Prepare for Winter Now, and put blankets and a Winter Survival kit in your vehicle now.

If you’ve heard about snow tires, also known as winter tires, but aren’t sure if you need them, all you have to do is give us a call or stop by. We’re ready to help!

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

turkey leftover recipesIf you have a ton of leftover turkey, here are a couple of simple recipes to keep things simple the next day.

Hot Buffalo Turkey Dip

2 Cups Chopped Turkey
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Ranch Salad Dressing
1 Cup Buffalo Sauce (I like Franks)

Directions: Mix ingredients together and put into baking dish. Heat at 350 for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with crackers, chips, or celery sticks.

Hot Turkey Crockpot Sandwiches

4-6 Cups Shredded Turkey
1 Can Cream of Soup (Mushroom, Chicken or Celery)
8 oz Sour Cream
8 oz Velvetta Cheese, cubed
1/2 of Milk or Chicken Broth

Directions: Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and set to warm or low. All ingredients are cooked, so you only need to heat and blend the flavors. Add more milk/broth if it it doesn’t seem moist enough. Serve on leftover dinner rolls, buns, or bread.

Thanksgiving Word Find for Traveling Minnesotans

If you have a long drive over the Thanksgiving holiday or aren’t into watching hours of football programming on television, you can print off our newest word find puzzle featuring phrases from Thanksgiving in Minnesota.

Minnesota Thanksgiving Word Find

Happy Thanksgiving!

How Do I Read My Tire Size?

read size of tiresHow Do Measure What Size Tire I Need?

It’s a common question, but you don’t measure your tires; you figure out what size tires you need.

Many people don’t know off the top of their heads what size tires they have. When it comes time to shopping for a new tire, it is necessary to figure this out. Obviously the team at the TireZoo will determine this for you, if you stop by.

If you want to determine the size of your tires, look on the sidewall of your tire. You will see a number like:  (P265/50/R20). This number will give you the information you need.  The first, P265, refers to Tread Width. The second, 50, refers to Sidewall Height. The last one, R20 refers to Rim Diameter.

We have a great visual diagram how to read your tire size here.

Do you have a question we can answer for you? Leave a comment below or visit us on Facebook!

A Kind-Of Funny, But Not Too Funny Winter To-Do List for Minnesota

to do list to prepare for winter in minnesota, funnyWhether you need to buy some items to prepare for winter, or simply gather some things from around your house, this progressive “to do” list will help any Midwesterner get ready for the winter weather on its way.

While this list is meant to be funny, you really do need to make sure your vehicle and tires are in good condition.

What to do first…

Locate a Shovel for when the snow starts to fly. Shoveling seems easy at first; maybe even fun. Eventually shoveling will seem insurmountable and lose its appeal completely.

Get A Snow Blower Tune-Up for when the shovel no longer cuts it.

Buy Heat Additive and/or Block Heaters for those poor vehicles that sit outside and may need a little early morning help.

Find the Bags of Salt to melt snow and ice from sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways thereby hopefully reducing what we’ll call “incidents”.

Window Plastic might not be a bad idea if you have leaky windows, and we get the winter that’s being predicted. You’ll want to seal out old man winter if you can.

Put Out Mouse Traps so that furry friends don’t make it into your boat, camper, or house after they discover such places are warmer than the elements outside.

Snow Tires; Never a bad idea for many people’s vehicles. Call us if you’re wondering if snow tires, aka winter tires, are right for your vehicle.

Tire Chains are necessary for those who pull heavy snow duty, and you know who you are.

Flags for the end of your driveway or edge of your sidewalk so you don’t drive where you shouldn’t once everything is monochromatic.

Buy a New Pair of Gloves, as you’ll only find one from last year. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Pick up Some Hand Warmers, as these work great if you can find a pair of anything to place them in.

Sleds are a must to entertain the kids and get them out of the house on those inevitable snow days off of school. The buses won’t get them to school, but you’ll still have to go to work.

You’ll Need a Windshield Scraper to chisle the snow and ice off your windshield if you had to park outside of the garage due to a pile of sleds and snow gear left in your parking stall. Let’s face it. The less-desirable credit card you’re using to scrape ice really isn’t sufficient if you just admit it.

Assemble a Winter Survival Kit when things don’t go as planned and you need supplies until your ride arrives.

Get a Snow Rake! Do you not remember last winter? Keep snow off your roof and hopefully avoid ice dams.

Find Your Ski Mask so you can simultaneously stay warm, scare the neighbors, and scrape ice dams off your roof.

Put Extra Blankets in Your Vehicle, but don’t buy these. Well, you can if you want, but who doesn’t have a pile in a closet somewhere waiting to be put to good use?  Saving a life in the frigid weather seems to be the best destiny possible for these blankets.

What’s on your list? What would you add to this?