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July, 2007:

Travelers Insurance is on My List

This car was as good as new when I dropped it off at Bredemann Ford.OK, so you might have read about the accident my car dealer’s service department had while road-testing my Explorer following routine service.

At any rate, these are pictures of my 2004 Explorer hours after the Friday afternoon collision. As I said, my dealer-issued loaner was a 2007 Ford Edge, metallic orange (or copper, as they officially call it). I made fun of the color, but the car itself was terrific. Rode like a dream, handled great, seemed to give aOuch! vibe of “I’ll save Detroit by myself if I have to.” It didn’t hurt that it was loaded: satellite radio, GPS navigation system, etc. It was a fun car to play with, even if my insistence on playing with all the toys drove my wife crazy.

At any rate, the facts of the crash came in, and they were as follows: Ford Explorer was traveling south on Waukegan Road in the left lane. The right lane was backed up at the stoplight at Chestnut. One car left space at a driveway for cars to turn in This is why 21-year-old women shouldn’t pull out onto Waukegan Road.and turn out. That same driver waved a 1997 Toyota Camry, driven by a 21-year-old woman from Highland Park, to turn left onto northbound Waukegan Road. The driver of the Toyota didn’t think about the left lane not being backed up and pulled out in front of my Ford Explorer.

The Toyota driver’s insurance is Travelers. Travelers agreed that they should accept 100 percent liability, so I had the car towed to  the Maaco in Wheeling on Milwaukee and Hintz.Yes, the front door won’t open! The frame better not be bent!

That’s when I had to bring back the service loaner and go to Enterprise Rent-a-Car where the car Travelers has rented for me awaited. I will be without my Explorer for three weeks. During this time, I plan to:

  • Take a trip to New Buffalo, MI
  • Pick up some lumber and other odds and ends up at Lowe’s or Home Depot with my father in law
  • Pick up a heavy and large piece of furniture in Downers Grove.
  • Take that heavy and large piece of furniture elsewhere.
  • Possibly go up to Beloit and take delivery of surplus bus parts.

All the above would work well in an Explorer or similar vehicle. Many of the above will be impossible with my rental, a Ford Focus. My desk chair with wheels might have more pickup than my Focus.

I called Travelers and suggested that they could do better than this. They suggested I upgrade with Enterprise and pay out-of-pocket for any cost of an upgrade. That’s all fine and dandy except:

I paid out of pocket for my Explorer when I bought it!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe Illinois law states the insurance company should only pay for basic transportation. But if I wanted basic transportation, maybe I would have bought a basic car. I can’t even get a medium-sized sedan for the two-to-three weeks my car is out of commission.

And let’s remember the key point:

Their client hit MY car.

According to the Travelers’ adjuster, it was my fault that I gave Bredemann permission to road test my vehicle. God, do they suck.

Needed an oil change, receiving major body work

So I drop my car off for routine maintenance at Bredemann Ford yesterday. Just the standard 30,000 mile service.  Since the work would take all morning, they issued me a loaner, a new Ford Edge (bright construction-horse orange). At any rate, I get a call around 2:00 yesterday afternoon.

It seems that when the service technician took the car out on a road test, a 1997 Toyota Camry (RIP) pulled out in front of my 2004 Explorer. No one hurt, but my car is banged up quite a bit.  Most fun of all, I have to deal with so many parties: the 21-year-old woman who pulled out in front of my car, Bredemann, both Bredemann’s and the woman’s insurance companies (I talked to her adjuster three times last night), and my insurance company.

So, it looks like I’ll be the guy in the bright orange car for the next few weeks. My (damaged) Explorer is a navy blue, so I suppose I’ll feel like a Chicago Bear, usually looking menacing and regal in his home Bears uniform:

If this isn’t the classy look of a winner, what is?

Instead looking ridiculous in the garish orange jerseys the league makes them wear once a year:


Ouch, the neckbeard and orange don't go well, Kyle...


Sigh. I suppose it’s just in time for Bourbonnais! By the way, the picture above is from, which is one of the best sources of Bears info on the net.

Where the Hell have I been?

The good looking one is on the left.

I know it’s been a long time since I last posted, but I’ve been busy doing things like attending class, watching and celebrating as my wife got her master’s degree, making  a 200% profit while attending a bachelor party, and appearing in photographs with poor lighting. Oh, and I’ve been guest-posting at the world-renowned blog, Hire Jim Essian!  In the latter assignment, I posted five  times, which might top the posting total here.  To my multitude of fans,  let me say “Thanks.”  Yes, it’s true. My wife doesn’t even check in on this site.  I doubt my mother even knows this exists.  I’m sure most of my friends are blissfully unaware of this hobby of mine. But I do have one loyal fan, CT. He’s been logging in here first thing every day to see what wit I have produced. Every day for the last couple of months, he’s gone on to other sites empty-handed. For that, I thought it would be right to issue an apology. The problem is, I’d have to actually put some thought into it, so I consulted stole from an expert:


Want to be Mayor? You need to have your head examined!

I meant to post this two weeks ago, but I got even busier and lazier than usual. My first home post-college was LaPorte, Ind., a beautiful town 10 miles south of Lake Michigan and 55 miles east of Chicago. These days, LaPorte is gearing up for a mayoral race. The independent candidate will have to run as a write-in candidate. The reason? Ultimate fighting:

Strauss, 25, said that while visiting friends in Niles, Mich., Friday night, he fainted, lost consciousness and experienced a seizure, a recurring episode that’s been taking place over the last three years. … Strauss has experienced up to nine seizures a year for the last three years, he said. … Strauss blames his health problems on a head injury he sustained in 2001 while competing in an ultimate-fighting event that he had organized with friends in a Chicago neighborhood park.

“I got mashed in the head with a cinderblock,” he said.

… Struck in the forehead with a cinderblock, Strauss still managed to win the fight, he said, but later went to Cook County Hospital where he received 53 stitches on the outside of his head and more than 100 stitches inside his head.

… Despite the thrill of victory six years ago, Strauss concluded this morning that he didn’t use good judgment in deciding to fight in such no-holds-barred events.

“It was very dumb,” he said.

A quick note: the writer of this article, Dan Przybyla, has completed his nine-year run at the Herald-Argus. He just took a position at a marketing firm in Northwest Indiana. As a former co-worker,  I promise that his new employer will find few people better than Dan.