I Went, I Saw, I Clunked!

     I  made it just under the wire!

     In the closing minutes of the government’s Cash For Clunkers program, I Clunked!


     It made perfect sense for me to Clunk, Afterall, behind my back ( and sometimes right up front) my best friends and family whisper things like “geesh, Tim has a lot of Clunkers“, and “has Tim bought a car that was built in this century?”, and ” I sure hope Tim has Triple A” !

     So, after procrastinating until the very last second, I pulled the trigger. It was hard to decide which Clunker I could part with from my fleet of Clunkers, but I did the eeny,meeny,miny,moe thing and it was done!

     Here is our car salesman “Rusty” ,  (he introduced himself as “Rusty, like a nail”), tagging my old Ford Ranger with it’s death sentence – “Cash for Clunker”, do not resuscitate!


     The deal was not to be believed. The MSRP for our new Nissan was close to $17,000. We were ready to leave the dealership, as due to our frugal nature we had decided to spend about $10,000, after the Clunking. The Clunk only brought us down to $12,500, but Rusty wanted a deal. We settled on $10,400!

We’re now down one Clunker, with this in it’s place:


                               So, gracious thanks to whoever made this possible:  the Taxpayers, the Congress, the White House?

                                                           We promise to hang on to this until it becomes a Clunker!

Random Summer Thoughts and Health Care Reform

     I couldn’t start a blog entitled “Random Summer Thoughts” without this comment – damn it’s been a hot summer in Fort Lauderdale. Is it global warming, a cyclical occurrence, or am I just getting old and cranky? The wife votes #3!

     There’s not too much local news to report. The Fort Lauderdale City Commission is on vacation, and most Fort Lauderdalians are either holed up in their air conditioned home, office, and car – keeping a low profile, or are off to some exotic cool locale themselves (can we say hello Rodstroms!).
                                                        hello Rodstroms!

     But the most fevered part of this summer hasn’t included meteorology at all. It’s the steamy Health Care / Health Insurance Reform controversy.  Like many of you, I’ve been glued to the screen, captive of the car radio, reading all the papers I can find. I am fascinated. Here are some of the more common comments we’ve witnessed:

we’re losing our liberty
the country is going communist/socialist
no government control of health insurance/ keep your hands off my Medicare!
               …………   Obama  doesn’t care about you, only about control
…………   They want to pull the plug on Grandma!
     But I think much of the opposition to reform is rooted in a deeper psychological place than those superficial sound bites would portray. Here’s what I mean:

 The bulk of the people yelling at the town hall meetings look quite alike – kinda like me – older,  quite white, and basically crabby!

                                                                older mad white guy

     Yes, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the angst and consternation we are witnessing is because the country is changing it’s flavor, it’s complexion, it’s make-up, and there might lie the rub.
      As I was growing up pure WASP, it was pretty clear to me that I would have a leg up when I reached my current ripe old age of 53 years-old. I would be in charge, on the top, competition restricted.

     After all, woman weren’t equal to us guys just a decade or two ago. Hell, back in the day, woman stayed home, had babies, cooked dinner! Now they are running corporations, demanding equal pay!

     And  blacks, hispanics, asians, foreign borners, homosexuals, even the disabled knew their place.

     Soon, if I live long enough, I’ll be the minority!  And yes, there just might lie the rub.     


Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Resigns

     The Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief, James Eddy, has resigned.

    Though no official word has yet come from City Hall, insiders report that Eddy offered his letter of resignation to City Manger George Gretsas, and is expected to leave officially in October.

                                       Update… the City has confirmed Eddy’s departure !

  Chief Eddy

Eddy has been on the job for only three and a half years, and much of that has been mired in controversy. 

     From the start, critics pointed to his lack big city Fire Chief experience ( he had last been a Fire Chief in 1990, in a considerably smaller city than Fort Lauderdale). Also, detractors bemoaned the fact that Eddy had been running a business identifying causes of fires for the last 15 years.

     After arriving in Fort Lauderdale, Eddy was thrust into overseeing the City’s plans for ten new fire stations, paid for with a voter approved bond referendum of $40 million dollars. The plans turned out to be faulty, cost estimates for construction were way low, and major adjustments have had to be made. 

     Conjecture about Eddy’s replacement has already begun.

     Will Gretsas try and hire from within and escape the criticism he received when he hired Eddy? Recently retired Assistant Fire Chief Steve McInerny was a top contender for the job when Eddy was picked, but has recently become the Fire Chief in Naples.

    Naples Fire Chief McInerny

     Current Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Justinak, once head of the Fort Lauderdale Fire Fighters Union, is surely a possible candidate.

       Assistant Chief Justinak

     Stayed Tuned !  ………….Tim

My Friend Pete

     My friend Peter Feldman is dead at the young age of 54 years old –  far too young to die, especially for someone like Pete.

     I’m sad, but for some odd reason,  pleasantly reflective.
     I’ve been  thinking about PT Boy all day (that’s what my wife Cindy and I , and our son Timmy affectionately called him) .

     He had been a good friend of our family for  20 and some years.  I had met him through our mutual interest in a rough part of Fort Lauderdale called Flagler Heights. Flagler Heights is a neighborhood  just north of Downtown, but far enough north, and far enough west,  to not to really matter, or so everyone thought!

     But it mattered to Peter Feldman.. .. and that turned out to be enough! 

     Peter put his head down and forged ahead. He bought house after house, slum after slum. The years passed, the decades passed,. It looked like it may be a false dream…  the kind you just wake up from….
     But miraculously,  Peter prevailed. Just this past year, in the middle of the worst economic tsunami in decades, Peter’s dream happened.   

     ….Flagler Village, all eight stories and block after block of redevelopment splendor came alive. In the worst economic downturn in nearly a century, only Peter Feldman was building. His developer buddies were finally envious of Petey. He deserved that moment.

     ….. I’ll remember you fondly Peter, and Cindy and Timmy say hi, … you were a bright spot in our lives, and we hope to see you on the other side…… Tim