Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

#SoFL - Two chances to help #Haiti this weekend in #HollywoodFL: Saturday April 22nd: 5K walk/run - Hollywood Runs for Haiti at Charnow Park, #HollywoodBeach; Sunday April 23rd: Hollywood Healing Haiti, ARTPARK, #HollywoodFL; Project Papillon; HollywoodCares.net

#SoFL - Two chances to help  🇭🇹 this weekend in #HollywoodFL: 

Saturday April 22nd: 5k walk/run Hollywood Runs for Haiti 7:3O-10 AM at Charnow Park, Hollywood Beach Broadwalk - 300 Garfield Street, Hollywood Beach; 

Sunday April 23rd: Hollywood Healing Haiti, 1:00-5:00 PM, ARTPARK, Downtown Hollywood.

For more information see 

https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/Hollywood/HollywoodRunsForHaiti5K and

Think of it as a good excuse for you to get out of the house and take a break from creating your final 2017 NFL Mock Draft, or, from strategizing to ensure that this year's Memorial Day barbecue picnic goes a lot better than last year's.

Please share this info w/friends and on Social Media!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Doctor's Toy Store has consistently delivered high customer satisfaction for doctors looking for new and used medical equipment at discount prices, and in 2017, they are re-focusing on the very important work done by their outstanding repair team that helps keep clients happy by keeping down time to a minimum; @drstoystore

For over 18 years Doctor's Toy Store has consistently delivered high customer satisfaction for doctors looking for new and used medical equipment at discount prices. Today, we focus on the very important work done by their outstanding repair team that helps keep clients happy by keeping down time to a minimum; Manual and Automatic Sterilizers. SPONSORED POST*

Above: Doctor's Toy Store owner and founder Rob Raymond checking his phone and text messages one last time before finally heading home.

My hard-working friend, Rob Raymond, Founder and CEO of Doctor’s Toy Store in Hallandale Beach, is a shining example of a South Florida businessman who has successfully adapted to the ever-changing technology trends in the medical equipment industry, while keeping his focus squarely where it belongs: on consistently delivering high levels of customer satisfaction that keeps clients loyal -and coming back for more

Delivering -or even receiving- consistently good customer service is that rarest of business qualities in South Florida, but Rob, ever-vigilant to what his clients want now and tomorrow in the way of medical equipment at discount prices, has parlayed that success so that over the past three years, he now boasts THE largest medical equipment showroom in Florida. Period.

As I’ve learned over the years, Rob is a creative guy who's always thinking outside-the-box to improve his business, always looking to make it easier for his team to do their job better. 
Over the years, thru dozens of conversations, Rob explained how he wanted to have a much-larger showroom than the one DTS had for so many years on Fashion Row so that he'd:
a.) be able to display a much-larger amount of medical equipment and devices than previously, and, 
b.) display those myriad products in a much-more attractive, interesting and more-intuitive fashion. And with much more space to walk around!

In short, Rob wanted to create a positive visceral experience for clients that would go straight into their long-term memories and help ensure very positive word-of-mouth among their colleagues and acquaintances because nothing beats the power of personal recommendations. 
Well, in the three-plus years now since the much-larger Doctors Toy Store showroom opened for business in their new location off of I-95, everything has proven Rob's vision correct, with lots of old and new clients constantly coming over, eager to see for themselves what’s what at the new-and-improved location.
And seeing is believing.

Rob knows from experience that an important factor for certain high-end or high-tech products is the buying experience itself. If you are physically present at the point-of-sale, have you received a positive experience that inspires confidence in your buying decision? 
But he also knows that a high degree of a client's satisfaction comes from the quality and
usability of the product itself and the degree of CONSISTENT quality customer service they receive after a purchase, including their trust in the quality of the repair work done by DTS's experienced professionals on-site.

So it’s with all this in mind that I'd like to share some of the impressive things I've observed and learned for myself recently at Doctors Toy Store

In 2017 Rob and his team want to better emphasize their ability to quickly-but-expertly perform repairs on medical equipment and devices for not just longstanding clients, but are also eager to gain more repair work from new clients and show them what they've been missing out on by using someone else.
And who wouldn't prefer better and quicker?

I recently had a chance to spend part of an afternoon in the Repair Dept. at Doctor's Toy Store, where I spoke with and had plenty of questions for Wellington, a friendly and very experienced repair technician who's been with DTS for the past two years.
Wellington is someone who's very important to the overall team effort because among his many talents in analyzing, diagnosing and fixing equipment problems for clients is his expertise with Manual and Automatic Sterilizers, one of the backbones of any medical practice or office.

I started off by asking what the nature of the typical repair work was at DTS in an average month, and Wellington broke it down for me as follows:

40%  Autoclaves
30%  EKG equipment
10% Tables and Chairs
10%  Lasers or Ultra Sounds 
5%    Facial Monitors
5%    OR Tables 

He went on to explain that the main reason that the Autoclave takes the most time to diagnose and repair is because for most models, each warming cycle to reach the required 272 degrees Fahrenheit necessary to sterilize equipment, tools and glassware is about 40 minutes. 
So in trying to determine the problem, you also have to factor in enough time for the machine to cool down back to zero before trying again so you can see whether it works throughout the cycle.
That's key because in doing the repair, you must do it in a way that mirrors precisely how the equipment is designed to be used by clients in an office or hospital setting. 
You can't cheat simply to fix the problem!

That cooling-off period can sometimes be as long as 30-40 minutes, so you can appreciate how frustrating that can be when you are eager to diagnose and fix the problem as quickly as possible.
But you can't rush the equipment, you have to practice patience and sweat the details. 
And that's what Wellington does until everything is just the way clients want it to be.

Wellington said that in his time doing repairs at DTS, the most frequently seen Sterilizers were also necessarily the ones that are the most popular, Tuttnauer and Pelton & Crane, with both Automatic and Manual models, and Midmark, with their popular M7, M9 and M11 models.
Examples of some of these can be seen in the photos below in various stages of diagnosis and repair.


Wellington also educated me by showing me examples of some of the most-common problems associated with sterilizers and how he goes about diagnosing each item brought in for repair so that when they are returned, there's no new problem waiting to pop up.

1. Leaking gaskets
2. Clogged valves 
3. Faulty temperature sensors
4. Inaccurate pressure sensors.

Other problems: Relays, gauges and sensors not being properly calibrated. 
To do their job properly and safely, sterilizers should be about 15-27 psi.
The right temperature is roughly 252 to 272 degrees Fahrenheit.

Used properly, the Autoclave should use about one and three-quarters gallons of distilled water per week, and not be changed more often, but sometimes, for whatever reason, people using them think they are smarter than the manufacturers and... that's when problems occur.

One thing that I learned from Wellington really resonated with me because it so closely resembled a behavior that I'd seen myself many times while working at well-known law firms in Washington, D.C. Many lawyers came to become computer literate and no longer depend upon staff for typing up drafts and correspondence from learning and then using Windows 97. But once they found their comfort zone, they never wanted to migrate to Windows updates. Under any circumstances!

I'd see this all the time when documents would be written by an attorney in Windows 97 and then need to be modified and updated for final review in a newer, richer format that the rest of the office was using. 

Wellington told me that, similarly, many older doctors he'd met told him they'd gone to medical school or did their residency program while learning how to personally use Manual Sterilizers, and came to look upon that personal knowledge as a real advantage because of their familiarity.
Something that would not be true when it comes to Automatic Sterilizers, despite the fact that they have more features -including being able to detect problems

While Manual Sterilizers do require a bit more attention to detail, there was something about not having used them a lot until after they graduated, as well as their ease of use, that these doctors found and continue to find comforting. 
Which is why they continue to use them.
And why they continue to bring them to DTS when they need repairs.

Approaching the north entrance to Doctor's Toy Store on S.W. 30th Avenue via Pembroke Road. You can't miss the giant American flag! When you see it, drive towards it!

What you will see as you approach the southern gated entrance to Doctor's Toy Store on S.W. 30th Avenue, via Hallandale Beach Blvd. And the flag was still there...

Below: Rare moments of rest for the Doctor's Toy Store vans, which are seen everywhere throughout South Florida. If you spend even thirty minutes a day driving on any major highway between Palm Beach and Homestead and don't see one of these 12-plus vans on the road, you just aren't looking hard enough, because they're all around you.

Rob's business is noteworthy for many things, one of those being the longstanding success he's had developing and maintaining longstanding positive relationships with doctors and medical groups not just in South Florida, but also outside of Florida and the U.S.  
Because of his personal reputation for being someone who can consistently deliver what doctors need at a reasonable price and getting it to them when THEY want it, Rob and his friendly and experienced staff constantly have people coming by the showroom who are just in from Ohio or Brazil, Argentina or New Jersey. 

Or up from Coral Gables...

Busy medical professionals who are either longtime clients of Doctor's Toy Store, or, new clients who were told by doctors they know and trust that Rob was the man to see and trust.

Those sorts of relationships don't last without a serious commitment to make them work, and Rob and his dedicated staff do just that. One of the things that maintains that trust is their confidence that Doctor's Toy Store is constantly trying to have cutting-edge technology available for them.

Below: Rob and co-CEO "Doc" at the end of another long day of keeping South Florida's hard-charging and demanding medical community satisfied, inside their huge new showroom, right next to I-95.
A warehouse chock-full of every medical tool and device a doctor or practice group could possibly ever think of -and then some.

Rob's friendly outgoing personality, quick sense of humor and near-encyclopedic knowledge of medical equipment, old and new, is amazing. 
That personality and ability of his goes a long way towards explaining how over a period of just 18 years, he's TRIPLED the size of his old showroom, and is continuing to satisfy his clients demand for medical equipment at discount prices with conscientious, top-quality customer service. 
His clients know that they are his number-one priority.

Doctor's Toy Store

2512 S.W. 30th Avenue, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
(954) 457-0075 
1(877) DRS-TOYS  FAX: (954) 454-3916

Twitter: @drstoystore https://twitter.com/drstoystore

YouTube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/user/doctorstoystore

*DTS sells and repairs probes

*DTS has leasing and financing programs available
*Weekend and evening hours available by appointment


Friday, April 7, 2017

Today's terror attack in Stockholm at Åhlens Dept. Store - observations and reflections; #openstockholm #STHLM

Today's terror attack in Stockholm at Åhlens Dept. Store - thoughts, observations and reflections; #openstockholm 

The Åhlens Dept. Store on Drottninggatan in Stockholm is easily one of the largest and busiest retail 
stores in Sweden -and northern Europe- and is located in what they call their Åhlens City location. It's a two city blocks-long store on the city's most famous street for consumer retail shopping that is, literally, a city in itself. Not unlike the nearby and perhaps better-known internationallyretail magnet for upscale consumers, Nordiska Kompanaiet (NK) Department Store..

This store's size and its popularity with both locals and tourists alike is in large part because there are so many large downtown office buildings nearby -large for Stockholm that is- as well as its proximity to many of the city's huge and very busy main train station, 
And, because it's just one block west of the always-busy multi-use Sergels Torg plaza and govt. buildings that are so beloved by residents and tourists, especially me. It's an area where there is constant activity, no matter the time of day.

Above, ground level, looking northeast towards the Sergels Torg obelisk and Sergelfontänen, the fountain, which in the winter becomes the scene of large lighted reindeer, sans red noses. Behind that, across the street 
on Sveavägen, is the large SEB building, HQ for Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, the bank I frequently used for my 2013 trip, inc. their branch at Arlanda upon arrival and departure. 
Very friendly and professional people, unlike most banks in South Florida. 

Inline image 1

Above, looking east towards that same scene but from farther west on the plaza. In the far right, you can see the iconic revolving 22-foot neon, circular Nordiska Kompanaiet (NK) 

Department Store sign not too far away over on Hamngatan, which is green on one side and red on the other at night, with a clock.
It's not only an iconic symbol in the area, but a beacon for those for whom the chic and fashionable life that exists in Stockholm is the only way to go. 

The plaza is only one of my favorite places in all of Sweden and anywhere actually. I literally spent HOURS standing and walking around it and the adjoining areas in January's cold, marveling at it all -the perfect public square
A nexus of high-minded culture, social policy, pop culture, amazing retail shopping, very serious people-watching and the ease of well-located public transportation hubs that make everything seem more intimate and possible. 
Wish we had something like this in South Florida.

My Sergels Torg fountain and plaza in Winter photos are from my blog post of December 25, 2013, from my 2013 trip to Stockholm:

That beehive of activity I spoke of, on a beautiful busy Friday afternoon in Stockholm, is clearly what the terrorists were counting on when they hijacked a beer truck earlier this morning, with the expressed intent of killing as many innocent people in Stockholm as possible. 

Forget whatever numbers you have heard so far via U.S. media about the number of people killed, which is at least 4, 14 injured, because the police have now indicated they will NOT state a number because they know that the people behind the attack will use this for propaganda purposes.

The police and the Security people at Säkerhetspolisen, i.e. SAPO, are still looking for the people behind today's attacks in Stockholm and anyone who aided them.

Below, the words of one of my Twitter Followers who's a pilot for SAS

The Stockholm City Council is offering places to stay for the TENS OF THOUSANDS of people unable to get home tonight because the authorities stopped running commuter trains thru Centralstationen. .

Med anledning av händelse i centrala Stockholm

The city has been joined in this effort by everyday Stockholm residents upset at what has happened and offering to let people crash at their place until things are "normal."
There's your real story!.

In December of 2010, on one day, that busy area of Stockholm was also the scene of two terror attacks, one of which included suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab whose plans was to kill as many people as possible.
Trust me, most of the people who live and work nearby have not forgotten that fact.

Mattias Pehrsson (@masse ): "When the police are scared then you get scared for real

Sanna Rayman, above, never disappoints!

Soon enough, the cynicismThe phones ping and vibrate. "Are you okay?" "Are you?" "But on the job." Hearts, hearts, hearts. Soreness bubbling up, manifesting as fluid in the eye and emotikons on screens, offers a ride and overnight.
 What we love each other, anyway. Soon enough we arrive at the cynicism, quarrels, accusations. Against the media, the police, the politicians. Sometimes legitimate argument, so often exaggerated or exploited. In all this hideous, hide these feelings in the heart, and let them remain as a keynote. Forget them. Even the one you are angry tomorrow, are you prepared to offer sleeping and help today. We stuck together, everyone. Let's try to remember that even when disagreements come. Ok? <3 nbsp="" strong="">

If you want to see the latest news regarding today's attack, here are the best places to do that:

Aftonbladet newspaper:  http://www.aftonbladet.se/
This is exactly what a newspaper is supposed to look like in a moment like this!

Svensk Hjärta
Stockholm i våra hjärtan. (Stockholm in our hearts.)


#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King, Sept. 1962. #MLK I was a young kid living in #Memphis with my family that April night in 1968 when we returned home from a trip to #McDonalds and like so many nights before, I raced to the TV set in the living room to beat my two younger sisters to be the one who turned on the TV. As my parents walked in and settled down on the family couch, to see what was on TV, literally, within one minute, came the Breaking News that Dr. King had been shot elsewhere in the city. And the news only got worse as the night went on as news soon confirmed that Dr. King had died as a result of the assassination attempt, and soon there was widespread looting and violence in Memphis, the very things he had adamantly opposed. Eventually came the news that the city was under curfew, and sometime before midnight, because my family lived in a new-ish apt. complex that was on the same road as the nearby Armory, my parents and I and many of our neighbors watched in silence from the sidewalk/curb as tanks driven by members of the mobilized National Guard drove towards downtown Memphis, because the city's powers-that-be had decided that this would show the people who was boss. As my mother tells the story, one of my neighbors remarked on the irony of U.S. Army tanks being used to try to stop violence by Americans who were upset about the murder of a great man who had won the #NobelPeacePrize. It was the first time I remember ever hearing this strange word: #irony.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!