Sunday, January 29, 2006

Home Alone

It's rather surprising it took this long. In our building, the basement has been under renovation for the full two years we've lived here. The landladies want to turn it into an apartment like the other floors, and then to sell the building as a whole. (The potential buyer we met would continue to rent out the apartments.)

The basement though has many windows, not all with functional locks, not very secure at all. And there's a stairway coming up to our apartment. You see where this is going... The top opening of the stairway has been shut over with drywall.

So today at about 9:40 p.m., I am watching Grey's Anatomy. I was looking forward to the show; I like it. (Nem says nurses take issue with it...) Then I hear some rather large pounding noises, and what sounds like tape ripping. I think NJ is doing something stupid, so I get up to yell at him. As I walk into the hall, by the stairway, I see two unknown arms peering out of the drywall. The arms are uncovered of a medium complexion. As I approach, they recede back into the dark stairwell. It would seem a young man climbed through an open window in the basement, climbed the stairs, and punched through our drywall. One must assume an opportunistic burglary would've ensued had the TV not been quite so loud. :)

I get NJ out in the hall, and he calls the UC police. They say to also call the CPD, so he does. Then he calls the landladies. The UC police show up first, and fast. There are three of them, one in plain clothes. One officer said he was at 55th and Cottage Grove, so it only took 5 minutes or so. The plain-clothed detective heard the report of "arms coming through the wall" and decided he just had to see this. All are very cheery. They go down to the basement and look around, with flashlights and guns drawn. (I must say it's a little bit scary to be 3 feet behind a guy holding a gun at his side, poised for whatever. I was going to tell them where the stairway is, but I decide to go back upstairs.) They are very helpful, and tell us we should hound the landlords, and tell us how to shore up the hole for the short term. They seem to believe that the intruder is a crack addict. After we all share some banter and amazement, all but one leaves. He fills out the report, with my help. He tells us a summary of the report will be available on Wednesday. He again is very nice and cheery. In the middle of this process, two of the landladies come, and they bring the contractors who are rehabilitating the basement. They nail windows shut, and generally secure the basement. This seems to be a weird occurrence to everyone. The officer tells us this may be the weirdest attempted burglary he's seen.

The UC officer tells us upon leaving that we should call CPD again. Apparently both departments really do need reports. An hour or so later, the CPD officer shows up. He is unaided, and seems green. He writes his report rather laconically, but warms up after a bit. He finishes after some time, and tells us that an evidence technician may come take photographs of the hole. The CPD report will be available in about 6 weeks.

It seems the evidence technician will not come. The contractors will fix the hole in the drywall tomorrow. Everyone's acting a bit crazy though. I would've been the one to greet the fellow had he not second-guessed his brilliant idea. It seems reasonable enough. But I guess I've had enough things stolen in my lifetime. I also used to have dreams where I walked around late at night, and saw a burglar out on the roof. (I lived on the second floor over the garage, and I could see the roof over most of the first floor out the window.) Quite scary dreams actually... But really now.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

post Dinner

That dinner was actually pretty fun. I get to play a certain rĂ´le for the second time this August.

I had a friend whose birthday was August 26... I haven't talked to her in a few years now. I had this really stupid way to remember her birthday. Shortly after she mentioned it once, I was opening a new checking account. The bank officer asked me to choose my PIN for my check card. So I used her birthday for half of it. You aren't supposed to use birthdays or addresses or such for PINs, but there's no way anyone would've figured it out. To do so, they'd have to make a list of all my close friends and try all their birthdays... Easy to remember (the PIN and the birthday!) and secure. Besides, I used another scheme for the other half of the PIN.

I still have the account, but the PIN has long since been changed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I'm invited to dinner. Just me. It all seems a little artificial.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Whereabouts unknown

I'm in the usual place. Some people freak out a little bit too easily. (And Rob, I was no more than a foot away from you at 7 p.m. I don't think you noticed.)

Sunday, January 8, 2006


I've tried this Google sitemaps thing now for a few months. At the very least, it hasn't hurt. I do wish more statistics were available.

One thing I can't figure out: why does Googlebot see my site as US-ASCII?

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Christmas post mortem

Where are the snowdens of yesteryear? Or for that matter, the good movies? The ones with ensemble casts, or at least developed supporting characters; the ones that brashly surpass the 170 minute running time, and that despite following so many others are based on some World War II story; the ones where almost all of the lead characters die? I just watched The Great Escape.

My sister's car was recovered Thursday after a high speed chase. they used it to steal from construction sites, dented in the top of the car with heavy stuff, probably totalled

Friday morning marked my return. I absolutely love flying in the morning. My flight departed at 7 a.m., so I was up two hours earlier. Unsurprisingly, the plane was only about half full. I had an empty seat beside me. The cabin lights were off the entire flight. Everyone was silent but for one oblivious infant in the back. It felt surreal.

It was 30 or so when I got here. Rather than 70 or so in Texas.

La la la

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Public TV

I just saw Priya on a WTTW 11 commercial.