Thursday, June 05, 2008

Random stuff

Remember how upset I was that Lowe's wanted to deliver my dryer to the wrong address? It all turned out well, and I just happened to be walking out to meet Mr. McP's bus as a truck came creeping down the street, the driver peering at all the house numbers, so I flagged him down, and he had my dryer, which he installed uncomplainingly in my second-story laundry room. After they left and I had put an inaugural load of laundry into it, I thought it might be smart to make sure the vent was patent, so I climbed out onto the roof behind the laundry room. I had to blindly stick my arm into a plastic thingy-do, that protects the vent opening, bend it 90 degrees and grope about in the dryer vent. I did this several times. Then I peered into the vent and saw something crawling about near the opening of the PVC pipe. It was a wasp. Not just a wasp, a wasp and a wasp's nest that I had been blindly groping with my bare hand! The shock, and the thought of what could have happened was so overwhelming I had to sit down for a few minutes and collect my thoughts. A shot of something would have been appropriate.

Lowe's is promoting a rebate you can apply toward their $65 delivery fee. Indeed, just last night on TV I saw an ad for Lowe's, promoting its “free” delivery. I filled out my own rebate form, and saw that you don't get a rebate at all. You get a $65 gift card to Lowe's. How lame is that? And yet, why would I expect anything better from the Voldemort of retailers?

Drama Queen's birthday was June 2, and we had a picnic on the Lawn to celebrate. (For non-Charlottesville readers, that's lawn with a capital L because I'm referring to the Lawn at the University of Virginia.) I used to think that I don't like picnics, but what I really don't like is preparing a ton of food and carrying it to a distant location. If someone else prepares the food, picnics are a lot of fun. We picked up sandwiches and drinks at the Mill Creek Market—they make excellent sandwiches there—and then went to the Lawn. We are so downtown oriented that to my kids, a trip to the Corner was fresh and exotic. The picnic was lovely and after we had birthday profiteroles which Drama Queen had made herself.
Jon has discovered that people have been trying to steal his motorcycle. There are definite cut marks on the locks he puts on it. When the scooter was stolen, what pissed me off most, next to the loss of the scooter, was the attitude of the 911 operator I spoke to when I reported the theft. "Was it in a garage," she asked, "Or was it just out in the open?" Clearly implying that we were at fault by not putting the scooter in a garage.
I hate that blame the victim bullshit. Our house doesn't have a garage. Many houses in Charlottesville don't have garages. Most houses in my neighborhood don't even have a driveway. We had done what we could to prevent a theft by locking the scooter to a post on the front porch, but the thieves cut through the cable. Since buying the motorcycle, Jon got two new sturdy locks that go right onto the wheel--no easy to cut cable. We hired an electrician to put more exterior lighting around our house. We bought a solar-powered motion-sensor light and attached it to a pole that sits near where the motorcycle is parked. And yet still, the little fuckers try to steal it. I *hate* that entitled attitude in which people think they can take whatever they want. Here's a suggestion. Why don't you get a job and buy your own motorcycle?


  1. you have convinced me to turn away from my life of crime and get a job to fund my motorcycle stealing habit. Sometimes I crack myself up.

    If I could show you my front lawn (and the motorcycle that is underneath a picnic shelter in it) you would agree that you dont need to have a garage not to have things stolen. I am not surprised at the response of the dispatcher, but I suspect the real problem is not the garage but the lack of accountability. If someone steals crap from your house, it is so unlikely that anything will ever get done about it. I think the petty, and not so petty criminals recognize that- and the dispatcher does too. I however would prefer to live in a community where 11 yo children dont get murdered in their own home and people dont assume it is your fault if stuff is stolen from your property. It is the same mentality in my head- friggin complacency.
    rant is over for now.

  2. We had a similar problem a couple years ago when there was a rash of crime in our neighborhood. Mostly, it was someone going into unlocked cars and taking loose change, iPods, cellphones, and laptops. However, someone walked up to our house one night and swiped some stuff from under our porch. Our house is on top of a hill, with a steep driveway, which involved a huge amount of balls to do.

    The police were absolutely worthless, even when my husband said there were fingerprints all over his bike from where someone stole some of the parts, plus we had actual suspects.

  3. Patience, fear not - I've got the Lowe's delivery rebate card and it's actually just like a credit card with a $65 balance. You can use it anywhere, not just at Lowe's.

  4. My sister bought all new plants for the front yard and had them on the front porch in Belmont before she planted them and they were all gone in the morning. I think that's a little frustrating because I would never think that someone would come to my house to steal a plant.

    Another great picnic place is King Family Vineyard on Sundays. They have polo matches and you can bring a blanket and have something fun to watch while you're hanging out. They also have snacks(bread, hummus, cheese) and wine if you don't feel like packing your own picnic.

  5. I'm still waiting for my heart palpitations to stop after reading that whole wasp's nest thing. My neighbors have birds living in their dryer vent thing. I keep seeing them come in and out on the side of their house. They know they're there, but yet they're not doing anything about it. Huh.

    Obviously, you're just asking for people to rob you if all you do is secure your property to another area of your property with a lock. What's the matter with you?