Day: May 13, 2016

1,000 swans + 55 lbs. of salmon + 1 rocket-powered skateboard = Taco’s newest TV commercial

Now airing, it’s for the much-anticipated return of Taco Bell’s Beefy Crunch and Cheesy Double Beef burritos. The Yum division stopped selling the limited-time menu items three years ago. But fans wouldn’t have it, inspiring this LOL ad.

Related: How customers organized the Beefy Crunch Movement to win back the burritos, including a Facebook fan page that drew 40,000 likes and a Change.org petition. Taco Bell finally raised a white flag March 30, returning the $1 spicy Fritos-stuffed burritos to menus three weeks ago. Plus, more videos on Taco Bell’s YouTube page.

Road rage! Two identical Louisville jobs. Which one pays three times more than the other?

Time clockBoulevard reports extensively on executive pay at big local employers. But we also look at what folks are making down in the trenches — in this example, along the streets.

Both major ride-sharing services — the 21st-century taxi companies — are advertising for Louisville drivers in Craigslist’s etcetera job listings.

Uber’s pitch: Meet your financial goals. Signing up takes less than 4 minutes, earnings area deposited directly into your bank account weekly; set your own driving schedule. To qualify, you need a four-door vehicle; valid driver’s license, be at least 21, own a smartphone, and have car registration and insurance. What it pays: $512 a week.

Lyft’s pitch: Drivers choose their own hours, drive their own car, and cash out whenever you want to, with payment directly deposited into your bank account weekly. As with Uber, to qualify you must have a four-door car, but from year 2004 or newer, be at least 21, own an iPhone or Android, and have a clean driving record and personal auto insurance. What it pays: a lot more, up to $1,500 a week.

Photo, top: The 1958–82 Checker A series cabs are the most famous taxi vehicles in the U.S.

Report: Brown-Forman considers Finlandia sale, and Ford says 6,500 applied to buy new supercar

A news summary focused on big employers; updated 11:28 a.m.

GT
The new Ford GT costs $400,000.

92721BROWN-FORMAN is reportedly considering a sale of Finlandia vodka amid a broader effort to focus on its whiskey business; the company spent $200 million to assemble the vodka business from 2000 to 2004. Brown-Forman declined to comment on the report (Bloomberg). Last month, the company said it would spend $413 million to buy Scottish single-malt distiller BenRiach Distillery Co.

FORD said 6,506 people applied worldwide to buy the new EcoBoost-powered, carbon-fiber GT supercar; hundreds included videos to bolster their chances to buy the first 500. The $400,000 car will be available the end of the year (press release). Also, total vehicle sales in Ford’s 20 traditional European markets last month were the best since April 2009, with passenger car sales at their highest level since 2010 (press release).

KFC: A barrel of Montana oil fell so low this winter, it was cheaper than a big bucket of KFC: $22.16 for the oil vs. $24.99 for a 16-piece meal (Billings Gazette).

HUMANA: Aetna has spent at least $119 million for lawyers, investment advisors and other services in connection with its planned $37-billion purchase of Humana (Modern Healthcare).

GE: Negotiators for GE Appliances and a local union are trying to improve warehouse efficiency to prevent 217 jobs from being outsourced (Insider Louisville).

In other news, Al J. Schneider heirs have settled a feud that would allow for the sale of the Galt House and the late real estate moguls other holdings (Courier-Journal). The Bernard A. Dahlem family has donated $500,000 to the Catholic Education Foundation so more students can attend Archdiocese of Louisville schools (Courier-Journal). The new owners plan to demolish a Highlands house possibly dating to the 1830s to make way for a new, custom-built home; they paid $605,000 for the property last fall (Courier-Journal).

Ghost-hunting Gatsby’s Daisy

200px-Seelbach_circa_1905
The Seelbach, 1905

F. Scott Fitzgerald set the Daisy Fay Buchanan wedding reception in 1917 at Otto Seelbach’s luxe downtown hotel, in a century-ago Jazz Age veering toward financial ruin. But today, only the Gatsby’s on Fourth restaurant echoes the literary past. Just past noon, background music is playing softly: Fletcher Henderson’s “Sugar Foot Stomp,” recorded in 1931. The cavernous lobby is paved in green granite, dark and cool, a pleasant contrast to the scorcher outside on noisy Fourth Street.

A middle-aged businessman — a guest? — slumps in the corner of a blue damask settee, barking into his cellphone about taxes, his voice reverberating across the lobby. A few feet away, four young women behind the reception desk whisper to each other, as one peers at a computer screen that bathes her face in white light.

Finally, a burst of life: A stout woman in khaki camp shorts and a busy floral-print shirt rushes in from Fourth, her white sneakers squeaking as she bee-lines for reception. A brief conversation, a quick exit, and the lobby is still again.

Photo: Wikipedia