Friday, February 29, 2008

Excitement! Cops in my house!

Ok, it was only one cop. And she was very short. It was my fault. I called them. I live in a "Quad" condo - there's one short unit, 2 "up and down" units, and then another short unit over the garages.

I came home from work last night and swung around the corner of the small street that my house lives on, and saw something odd at the end of the street (I live near a "T" intersection). There were 2 boys on the roof of the short unit house opposite mine. Yoofs - maybe 15 to 17 yrs old? One in a bright turquoise track suit, the other in jeans and a dark hoodie.

As I came around the corner, the one in the track suit jumped off the roof into the back yard of the house. This house seems to be empty - there's been a "For Sale" sign in the window, and there is a window into the next unit in the middle of the wall that rises up from their roof. (Confused yet? Sorry.)

The kid in the dark hoodie started to run for the back yard, but then dropped to his belly and rolled into the part of the roof that was next to the wall with the window - out of my sight. I stopped my car and just sat there to watch what happened - this was very strange behavior.

The kid then popped his head up for a couple seconds, saw me sitting there, and popped his head down again.

Ok - I'm suspicious now. In our subdivision, there are NEVER people on the roof unless they have tool belts and vans and hammers and things. And they don't hide - they stomp around in plain sight. Now, this could be just kids being silly or looking for a lost frisbee - but something sent up serious warning lights in my head - so I drove into my parking space, went in and called the cops.

The dispacher was - seriously - nuts. She didn't get what I was saying, she kept saying she couldn't picture it from what I said (Sorry, dear, but ALL the units look the same!!) and was generally a rather unpleasant person - but she did send some officers - THREE cop cars!!!

There was a knock at my back door - the petite lady cop came in and I took her up to MY window overlooking the roof (from which you could see the house opposite quite clearly) and showed her where I saw the Yoofs and explained what happened - then she left and the cops stomped around outside for a while, stopped a kid in a grey sweats outfit with a hoodie and talked to him for a while (patted down his legs?) - then drove off.

Ok - maybe I overreacted - but "neighborhood watch" and all that - and it was just too suspicious looking. I'd rather be wrong and look foolish than to have someone in the neighborhood get robbed or vandalized because I wasn't alert.

And maybe the cops will do a few extra runs thru the neighborhood during the day/night.

Damn kids....

325 days

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Warning: Politically Themed Post

For those who don't like listening to me rant on about the evils of the Bush Regime, why not just skip down 2 posts and go read about my Dad's wallet - it's a cute story.

"CBS News covers the world at 8:00"

That's the way the radio announcer segues into the headline news on my way in to work every morning. Gotta love WBBM AM.

This morning's top story was about the mortgage forclosure crisis. I gasped. The newsman said that this was the WORST mortgage forclosure crisis since THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

Thank you, George W. Bush. Just as President Clinton told your daddy - "IT"S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!!!!!!!" Another clueless rich boy in the white house and even Dana (I'm sooooo blonde) Perino admits that this didn't happen overnite - Bush has been killing the economy for YEARS!!!!!

So the country heads for another great depression a "Recession", Bush takes a meeting - and then does squat, no doubt, still convinced that Voodoo Reaganomics can work.

Ralph Nader announced he's going to run for President again. You seen a photo of this guy lately? He looks even more like an ambulatory corpse than Keith Richards. Seriously, do we really need another old guy without a clue trying to be a "spoiler" in the election?

On to other (non-political) things:

I fixed my camera. The problem was with the battery door. It wouldn't stay shut, so as soon as I would move my hand to "taking a photo" position instead of "holding the battery door shut" position, the door would fall open and the batteries would fall out.

Seems one of the hinges was just a scootle bit broken - superglue to the rescue, it's all mended now and works fine. YAY

326 days

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trash cans

Not really a can, per se. It is, in fact, plastic - and I think cans have to be metal.


How in the 9 hells does one get rid of a trash can? I have this plastic trash receptical, about 3' tall and 18" diameter. It used to have handles, but they broke off long ago. It used to have wheels, but they disappeared. I've been dragging it by the lip to the curb for trash pickup for several years, and now it has a big hole in the bottom and is, generally, useless. I tried putting it out empty, but the trash guys just ignored it.


327 days

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Dad's Wallet

Part I

Fall, 1994

For the first time in his life, my father lost his wallet. He was certain someone had stolen it. We tried the whole walk-thru-where-you-were-last trick, including calling the hotel where he had attended a luncheon function for his men's club, all to no avail. Dad was certain that "those so-and-so's" had stolen his wallet.

We looked in every spot we could imagine, and Dad stormed back and forth in the livingroom, swearing and yelling about the thieves.

Eventually he became resigned to the fact it was gone (THERE WAS MONEY IN IT!!!), and bought a new wallet, cancelled his credit cards, got a new driver's license, &etc. Eventually sanity returned and we all forgot about it.

Winter, Early 1995

I hadn't owned my house for very long, but my parents had retired, and turned into "Snowbirds" - dragging their 32 1/2 ft. travel trailer behind their Suburban all around Florida for 3 or 4 months out of the year during the winter.

At this time, I lived fairly close to the auld homestead, (still do, although they moved) and so I was appointed Keeper of the Keys and Mailer of the Mail. In other words, every day I'd stop at their house, go pick up the newspaper out of the yard, check to make sure everything was OK, bring in and sort the mail and once a week send them their (important) mail to "General Delivery" in the town they would be headed for, so they could pay their bills and stuff.

One morning during the early spring thaw (Usually happens during late January or early February), I went out to the house before work to take care of the newspaper and mail. Parked my car out back, went thru the house and out the front door to get the newspaper.

As I turned around, I kind of stopped for a moment and looked at the house - you know how sometimes you just look at the house? Something was off. On the lower roof (It was a bi-level), directly above the livingroom, was some small square object, like a little box or package. I ventured closer. It was brown and wet looking, about 4" square and an inch or so thick. My mind whirled... Could it be?

Yeah, I was already late for work, but you bet your bunions I went back to the garage and got a stepladder and a rake. I raked the package toward me and plucked it from the roof. I didn't have to open it. It was, in fact, the wallet. **

Of course I opened it - you nutz or something? There it was, his driver's license, voter registration, credit cards and all $7.23 - nothing stolen.

In all my life I never heard my Mom laugh to the point of being unable to speak until that day, 2 days later, when she called to check on things. I told her the story over the phone. About the time I got to the part about "you know how sometimes you just look at the house"? She was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. When I got finished, she managed to gasp out "Is there something you'd like to tell your Father?"

His quizzical tone when he took the phone told me Mom was still giggling. I told him the story too. He was not quite as amused. Ever since, if Dad says he has lost something - the first thing I say to him is "Have you checked on the roof?"

**Dad had been on the roof, cleaning leaves out of the gutters a few days before he noticed that his wallet was missing. We surmise that he had been up there and didn't notice that his wallet tried to make a break for it and jumped out of his pocket.

Part II

This last Sunday afternoon during our semi-regular phone call, Dad told me he had again lost his wallet. Naturally I asked him if he had checked on the roof and he gave me the long-distance verbal equivalent of a dirty look... Then he told me that he had found one of the credit cards a day after he had cancelled it. Figures, no?

Yesterday morning I got this e-mail from him:
"You really need to call more often. After you hung up, I found my wallet."

I love you, Daddy!!

Controlled Demolition

I've decided to move some things around in my livingroom. Furniture things. A few years ago, my then-next-door-neighbor, Ray, found me this very nice bookshelf unit at a garage sale for $2. It needs a bit of paint touch-up, but I have white spray paint, and the unit is white, and so that is all good.

The thing sat in my garage for a couple years, as I wasn't sure where I wanted to put it, although I was sure I wanted it, as I tend to outgrow my bookshelves with fair regularity.

I finally have decided on the perfect spot for it, and now I just needed to move a few things and re-position some cords (and replace the too-short phone cord, see January 31 ) and then I'd be all set to vacuum and paint the shelf and move it to it's new house.

The thing is, the few things I needed to move necessitated moving yet a few more things, and then a few more things and... well... end result is that I've got a completely fardleschnockered© livingroom disaster area - and no way to get the bookshelf to its new home through the chaos.

I am thinking this is going to be a much harder thing than it should have been.

328 days