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And The Adventure Continues, Part Ocho 

So Monday the contractor returned, closed the hole in the downstairs ceiling, and replaced the upstairs bathroom floor (they had taken a divot earlier to test for asbestos – none found!)

He returned yesterday morning to give the ceiling a second coat.

Everything looks GREAT!  FINALLY!

paint still drying…

previously

(the leak began in MAY!)

I’m still dealing with my enlarged calf, visiting my regular doctor again today. And the vascular guy again next Monday.

At least the shower is no longer leaking. 

But, the adventure does continue. The one working vehicle (J’s 2006 Honda Element) has a battery which is dying. It still starts the car, but could be gone any day now.

$100-250 at most auto parts places.

And I don’t get paid until mid week next week.

It’s always something… 

Sigh.

Yep, It Happens Everywhere!

There’s a popular meme regarding firearms possession and safety:

Do you have your gun; it’s a bad neighborhood!?

As though crime doesn’t occur in ‘good’ neighborhoods…

(from my dear friend Brigid)

Stay in the Boat

True Blue Sam the blogger is someone perhaps just a few of you know as a long time friend and commenter here.  He’s also something more special. He’s my father in law. He and my mother in law, both firearm owners and skilled and proficient shooters, had a home invasion on Thursday night. The person involved may have been high on drugs (I’m guessing meth) – he DID ransack one of the freezers in the garage, taking a ham hock, a tub of lard and some ocra.  Just saying.

No one was hurt, but there are lessons to be learned.  Not just the fact that the perp been detained earlier for a event, had a psyche eval (by Skype no less) and was released to continue his night of mayhem. But rapid response when this sort of thing happens. (Semi Auto is your friend).

We always worried that  being in the city that something like this would happen here, and in addition to our stickers shouting alarm system! we added extra bolts, top to frame  and bottom braced against a floor joist, for the walk out basement doors, in addition to cutting back shrubbery and adding extra lighting.

But this happened in a very quiet rural area, where the nearest “city” is houses, a barber shop and a church, just as they were heading to bed, and not thinking of defense.

Just some things to think about folks and we’re just thankful they are safe, though a vehicle was stolen and totaled (after getting some serious air time during a chase through the woods) and there was a lot of damage to the home as the perp used firewood outside to break out several windows in an attempt to get into the main house before hitting the garage.

First of all, thank God everyone is safe and well!
And ‘safe neighborhoods’?  No such thing!
It’s not paranoia if a threat really exists!

November 24, Seven Years Ago

(a follow-up to the November 8 post I Sometimes HATE Novembers, as promised…)

So, here I was, in my insurance-paid-for-rented-condo, about a mile North of my home, while contractors rebuilt it, after the drunk driver had hit it two weeks prior.  That’s what I get for buying a corner lot, off a street that zig-zags.  Drunks never caught that nuance, head straight for the alley, see the power pole, and crash into my back yard.

It had happened before.  Last time it was just the fence that was destroyed.

Good times…

I, of course, still had to go to work, pay bills, and check the mail at the house, all while surveying the excruciatingly-slow process of rebuilding the rear of my home and replacing the fence.

Thankfully (?) I was beginning to have more health issues (joy, joy) which meant I was missing more work. Which gave me the excuse to stop by and check the mail and the progress of the reconstruction more often.

And, it had been a couple of days since I had last checked the mail, and it was my birthday(!), so I thought I’d check the mail again.  Hell, there might be a birthday check from someone in the mail? 🙂

I pull into the driveway.  No contractors present.  This always bothered me, as this process was taking forever. Of course, mine wasn’t their only project.

(This had been a little over two weeks!)

AND THE SIDE DOOR WAS STANDING OPEN ABOUT TWO INCHES!

This alarmed me, as no one was around.  The door had been always locked and the extra key placed in one of those Realtor-access combination locks around the door knob.  Which was now nowhere to be seen!

I exited the car and drew my 1911 pistol.  (Yeah, I know.  All my training (which I had trained others to do many times before) was to leave the area to a relatively safe location and call the police to respond. After all, there may have been multiple armed intruders inside burgling my home!)

BUT, this was MY HOME!  And the training went out the window.  Sigh.

I slowly entered the kitchen, listening intently for any activity inside, pistol at-the-ready.  Then into the living room, bath and two bedrooms.  This was relatively quick, as it was a 740 square-foot house.

It was obvious someone else had been inside.  Someone NOT a contractor.  A home computer, portable television, stereo, some faux Samurai swords and a number of other items were missing.  Movers had taken many of the larger furniture items to put into storage prior to the reconstruction.  But I was told they were unable to take the gun safe, as they were prohibited from storing firearms.

They had removed the Dillon XL 650 reloading press from it’s mount, preparatory to the rebuild.  But had not put it into storage. (I guess it was gun-related).  It was gone.

And the 800 pound, Fort Knox gun safe was missing.  And this was on the floor…

20151106_165708 (1)

Someone obviously had pried off the combination dial and locking lever to open the safe.  And when that failed, THEY TOOK THE ENTIRE 800 POUND SAFE! 

Credit cards, spare checks, school transcripts, cameras, my birth certificate and over fifty firearms! Gone.

First, I called the insurance company, to see if they had perhaps authorized storage of the safe and it’s contents, and had inadvertently broken the locking mechanism somehow in transit.  Then, I called the mover and the police.

And was scolded by the 911 operator, as it was for emergencies only.   How was fifty+ firearms possibly out on the street was not an emergency?

Ultimately, the contractor, the storage guy, my insurance man and the police arrived on the scene.  I recounted my actions upon arriving multiple times for each of them.  And I was livid.  To keep me occupied (and busy and out of the way) the police advised me to make a list of what was in the safe, including all the firearms and serial numbers.

I knew most of their descriptions by heart, but the list (with Polaroids and serial numbers) was not around.  It was probably in the materials previously packed and moved to storage.

Fortunately, I still had many of the receipts and gun boxes, which were labeled on the edge with the numbers.

And set about making the list on a legal pad.

All parties were questioned.  The contractor’s employees all had cellular telephones they were required to keep with them at all times (for GPS tracking purposes).  And all passed the location test.

As if someone couldn’t have left the phone at home off-hours to do a burglary?  Or they told someone else?  Come on!  I never broadcast about the safe in my home, suddenly, after many strangers had seen it, it went missing.

After six months, the house was reconstructed, painted, re-floored (safe drag marks) cleaned (even clothes in the closet dry cleaned!) and restocked with the stored items.  I had called in to stop all my credit cards the same day.

I received a check for the maximum available from my policy.  (Note-to-self:  Make certain all valuables are covered, and if there is a cap it covers all firearms.  I was insured for a maximum of 5K on the firearms, eventually paid just over 7K total.  Firearm valuation of the missing?  Over 21K! in 2009 gun values)

Fortunately, I had taken my favorite 1911 and .38 snub with me to the condo!

And none of the identity items, credit cards or firearms have ever surfaced.

I’m thinking Mexico, and thank God that Fort Knox makes a quality piece of security equipment!  I suspect it’s abandoned in the desert somewhere, still unopened.  (Let this be a lesson – if you’ve not done so already, bolt your safe to the foundation and wall studs – even if it weighs 800 pounds!)

And among the missing are my electroless nickel Colt Gold Cup, 1969 Browning High Power, 4 AR-15s, my Ithaca Deerslayer Police Special 12 gauge, my pre-model 27 Smith & Wesson 5″,  my Sig-Sauer P220 – marked made in W. Germany(!) and my 1942 Springfield Garand!!

I had to use the insurance money for other things, and never was able to replace any of the missing firearms.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

FTC – Fort Knox safes gave me nothing.  I bought it at a gun show.  Leave me alone!

 

ROACH WARS

Chapter 3 –  The Adventure Continues (you needn’t search, there are no chapters 1 or 2…this is like Star Wars!)

roachesI did post previously regarding my neighbors to the South (we live in a common-wall townhouse) who were evicted after it was discovered they have lived in filth for two years, were hoarders and were running a puppy mill, illegally!  And, after they vacated, so did their German roaches.

To OUR place!

The owner/landlady of the neighboring roach nest promised us she’d pay for ALL necessary extermination, etc.  She has spend thousands having hundreds of bags of trash, dog feces, and even the built-in appliances removed from her rental.  One of the bug guys told me when he moved the washer and dryer, there were dead and dying roaches TWO INCHES DEEP underneath!

YUM!

They came and sprayed our place twice.  The first time very thoroughly, including the front outside and our small back yard.  The second time was kind-of a perfunctory, yeah yeah, we gotta spray again thing.  We did tell them they couldn’t dust inside the walls due to my roommates asthma.  Apparently, they took this as some kind of insult.

The incursion has lessened since they finished next door – after TWELVE (12) VISITS!  But, the roaches have obviously established a beachhead here, and we needed to take further action.

As instructed, we contacted the exterminator to discuss our options.  They said they would need to speak with the landlady for additional authorization, which was fine.  But, they were very rude, as if they no longer wanted the money!?

So J. made an executive decision (after all, we’re living in her place).  We went to a do-it-yourself bug place, instead.

Since Thursday last, we have been following instructions, removing all items from the kitchen cabinets in preparation of cleaning, spraying, drilling holes in the kickplates for special chemicals, and finally washing and replacing everything, and leaving bait.  And we’re ALMOST done.

What A MESS!

BUT, this is certainly more thorough than the ‘professional’, and promises to give us more relief.

Or kill us…

 

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Yeah, it’s a song title, above.

Sometimes, I get down on myself, because I once had a wife, a daughter, a home, a ‘career’.

And now?

No wife, no daughter, no ‘career’ (I’m disabled).  I DO have share a home, though.

And that’s my point.

Living Freedom recently had a posting entitled

Poverty vs poverty: Seven traits of the successful poor

It mentioned traits of folks down-on-their-luck who, if they are not thriving, do more than just survive.

I could have been worse off than I am.  I lost my home as my income decreased, and a good friend took me in.

But, that’s not my point.

MY POINT IS I’M GRATEFUL FOR HER HAVING DONE SO!

Certainly, I wish things could be different.  It would be nice to have a wife, to have my daughter back.  To have my house back.  To have the income I once had.

But, not being a child, I know wishing doesn’t make it so.

So (most days) I choose GRATITUDE!

Home Invasion

Brigid poses a very common-sense post regarding how to protect oneself and family from home invasion.  They are becoming more common Nationwide.  While most violent crime is dropping.

Between gangs thinking you have something of value, and law enforcement making address mistakes, it’s wise to be prepared.  Just as with a mugging, a cell phone just won’t cut it.

I used to work with a TV field cameraman for Channel * here locally, and he responded to a home invasion in the Valley wherein the criminals obviously were looking for drugs and money.  They had a wrong address.  The miscreants were fully outfitted as Mexican Army Nationals.  The police pulled his camera tape of the crime scene and the post-invasion interviews, because they didn’t want the public to think the United States was being invaded by a foreign power.

We were.

These events are not just a couple of teens kicking in a door, looking for thrills and spare change.  These are serious people.

Be Prepared.

h/t Home On The Range

The New Digs

I used to live in Central Phoenix – I lived in Central Phoenix for 31 years.  Most of my childhood however, was spent in a ‘suburb’ of Phoenix to the S.E., the location of Arizona State University, Tempe.

I lived there from when my dad married my stepmom, until I got married and we found a house.

So the prodigal resident returns.  Tempe is surrounded by Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale and Mesa, so it’s land locked.  No more outward growth.  It used to be a college/farm town.  Now it’s just college.  But the population has more than doubled in the past 31 years.  And building has grown taller to take the growth.

Coincidentally, my new digs were built in 1981, an expanse of the the town to the South, when it was all previously either cotton or alfalfa.  This newer part of town is largely foreign to me, so it’s like moving to a new city, kinda.

I’m now sharing a townhouse.  No outside maintenance, but with a communal swimming pool, and community mailbox.  So, it’s a mixed bag.

Hopefully, we’ll save some money, though.

One Tired Dog, continued…

Tomorrow, as they say, is another day.

We made two trips back to ‘the house’ yesterday, picked up a few odds-and-ends and bugged out.

For good.

Today @ 1000 is the auction.

This whole experience has been, and is continuing to be an emotional time for me.  I’ve broken down a number of times (I’m a famous crier, anyway), and my perfectionism character defect is in overdrive, because I left stuff behind and didn’t leave the house sanitized (for your protection).

As if it was that way when we moved in.

And, I still have about twenty boxes to unpack and find places for.  So the adventure continues.

This morning, I had an early breakfast and plan on taking a mid-morning nap before my roomie arises.  She’s a late-night, sleep-in, start-work-later-in-the-day kind of person.

Then, let further unpacking commence!

Thanks for all your good wishes and support!

One Tired Dog

Well, the move went well (especially with thanks to Tomi, her husband Kevin, and her brother Murray).  They managed to take the contents of a 740 square foot house, and put it into a large bedroom some 17 miles away!  Up a flight of stairs, no less.

There is still much left to do, boxes to unpack , ‘stuff’ to organize and situate, and the plan is to go back to the house this afternoon for stuff that was overlooked (by me) in the process.

But I AM moved.  And now have essentially a studio apartment (renting a room in friend Judy’s home – Thank You!)

And I’m hoping to be able to focus more on my blog writing.  This whole process has been distracting me for the past three months.

In spite of the fact my friends did 90%+ of the work, I’m one tired dog.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…