The Opposite of Anonymous

“What’s the matter with you car,” he asked? How the hell did he know?

After 24 years in the market and nearly 20 years in our home, I’m pretty recognizable locally. I would be the wrong guy to send for porn or a package of Zig-Zags.

“Hey, aren’t you the weatherman,” the clerk would ask while pushing my copy of “Butts Galore” across the counter.

This afternoon on my way to work I started hearing wind noise from my driver’s side window. Maybe I hadn’t closed the car door correctly. I slowed down, but while still in motion opened and closed the door. The noise was still there.

I pulled to the side of the highway and stopped to assess the situation. The window had stopped working. It wasn’t moving and it wasn’t properly positioned. The noise was going to stay.

I came to work and called Helaine to tell her what had transpired. We weren’t on the phone more than a few minutes when call waiting chirped. It was Steve, my friend who has taken care of my car for all the time we’ve lived in Hamden.

“What’s the matter with you car,” he asked? How the hell did he know?

As it turns out, his wife was riding down the same highway and saw me off on the side. She called Steve. Then he called me as Helaine and I were talking about him!

I suppose being an anonymous face-in-the-crowd has its advantages. Just not today and not for me.

My Car Is Sad

A few weeks ago, I opened my car door and heard something fall. Unfortunately whatever it was was inside the door panel. The door start opening with a bad sound.

A little while after that the driver’s window stopped retracting about halfway down. I didn’t connect the two right away. I do now.

The car is going for service next week, and my friend Steve (who is in charge of all things mechanical) said he would fix it.

End of story… except I opened the door today and it wouldn’t close! Whatever is broken inside is now wedged in such a way that it stops any motion.

Think about it for a second. Of all the mechanical things that can go wrong, this one is among the most serious. After all, the car no longer fits through the garage door! Even if it did, you can’t exactly drive with your door open.

I turned off the map light. I’m hoping there’s nothing else pulling current while the car sits idle in its parking spot.

Helaine, Steffie and I did a car swap this afternoon. Since Steffie and I are both working tonight, Helaine is homebound with strong thunderstorms moving through the area.

Top Down Weather

I called for mostly clouds – it was mostly sunshine. I said yesterday that should this happen&#185, we’d get into the 70s. That part came true.

When the time came to head to work, Helaine followed me. I opened the car door and as I was about to slide in she said, “Put the top down.”

Again, she is the insightful one in the family.

I hadn’t even thought about it. It’s been at least five months, maybe six, since the top went down. For the last six years my main car has been this little convertible. A car that, for all practical purposes, is impractical in the Northeast.

I put my suit coat in the trunk, engaged the trunk’s safety switch and flipped a red switch between the driver and passenger’s seats. As motors started to whir, the trunk lid opened up, the cars roof folded and slid into the abyss. Then the lid closed.

The ‘carmometer’ read 56&#176 as I pulled out of the garage, By the time I was on the hill, racing down to the main road, it had equalized with the outside air and was in the mid-60s.

I turned the radio on and turned it up loud. It was perfect – Don Henley’s Boys of Summer was playing.

Your choice of radio programming, as my daughter has told me, is much more critical when you’re driving with the top down. You don’t want to be listening to something that’s unhip, or something that’s too hip for me. There is a musical sweet spot to find.

Forget about talk radio or all news. It’s a top down no no.

The high point, temperaturewise, of the trip was on I-91 in North Haven when it briefly hit 70&#176 before retreating to the mid 60s in New Haven.

OK – I’ll admit it. These temperatures are actually too cold for the top down! Remember the wind chill. Though the windshield blocks most of the breeze, there’s some and so you’re cooler than the thermometer would imply.

There is a way around this. It’s the secret of every convertible owner. You turn the heat all the way up and blast it. My car also has heated seats. Those go on full.

Convertible compatible days are much too infrequent here in Connecticut. You’ve got to take advantage of every one.

&#185 – As a rule I don’t say what will happen if my forecast is wrong, but this particular one had a decent probability in busting as far as clouds were concerned. Not every forecast has an equal degree of difficulty.

Happy New Year Dick Clark

It’s a family tradition that we don’t go out on New Year’s Eve. There are a few really simple reasons for this. First, I usually work. Second, we don’t drink.

Years ago, the last time we really went out for New Year’s, a drunk guy started making a pass at my wife. In fact (though we laugh about it now) we almost broke up on our first pre-marriage New Year’s Eve together.

This year, we stayed home with Steffie and watched some of the goings on in Times Square. Helaine said she wasn’t, but I was very worried that some masterstroke terrorist act would take place in Times Square while the World watched.

Though we moved back and forth between Fox, MTV and ABC, we mostly stayed with ABC. Sure, I work for an affiliate, but there is also a tradition with Dick Clark. Again this year, for at least the second year in a row, Dick was inside a warm studio above Times Square. I’m sorry. He needs to be outside. And last night, the weather wasn’t all that bad.

I was also upset at the use of Steve Doocey – who represents Fox News Channel’s morning show – as ‘talent.’ This is not to say Steve isn’t good… he is. But, this is another case of cutting your nose to spite your face. Why would ABC want to shine such a bright spotlight on someone who is trying to eat their lunch? Doesn’t anyone in the company realize that using talent from other networks is the equivalent of dumping the Disneyland live shots for Six Flags or Universal?

There was a pretty tough article on Dick Clark in Newsday recently. I’ve attached it to this link.

Maybe because I knew most of this before, or maybe just because it’s becoming more obvious now, I have trouble finding Dick warm and likable. His interaction with others, especially on ‘tosses’ from live shots, or look live taped pieces, is forced and a little too staged.

On the other hand, I’m not ready to cede New Year’s Eve to Ryan Seacrest or the stable of hosts on MTV (none of whom stick out in my mind).

Happy 2004

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