Sunday, May 31, 2009
Just as I was pulling into my spot, I saw a guy walking along, carrying a skateboard. He was middle aged, if that has any relevance to the story. Just as I spotted him, he spotted a bicycle. This bicycle was leaning up against a wooden back yard fence, next to two trashcans. I would describe it as an alley between the parking lot and the back yard.
I was fairly certain it wasn't his bike because when he spotted it, his body language was very similar to Craig's when he was playing the robber in my production of "Hero Dogs" and he saw the cash on the way. Then he (back to my story, and no longer talking about Craig) strolled over to the bike and glanced around. In his casual glancing he spotted (enough spots in this story for 101 Dalmatians) me watching him. His response was to coolly stroll away.
But then he came back, eyeballed the bike again, got on while holding his skateboard and rode away. So, the question is, did he steal the bike, and if so, should I have done anything about it?
No one deserves to have things stolen from them. I've had my purse, my car radio and my entire CD collection stolen, as well as money in the form of a hit and run when I became responsible for the insurance detectable. I know the feeling of anger and the feelings of injustice and "why should someone take something that belongs to me?" So if this guy was steeling the bike, it was not cool. BUT, leaving your bicycle unsecured in an alley in Oxnard is not very smart. And leaving it next to trashcans is even less intelligent, because it gives the impression that you no longer want it and are throwing it away. For all I know, the previous owner WAS throwing it away.
Therefore, the first doubt was, "Is the bike up for grabs since it was out in the trash, or had its owner just parked it there for some reason?"
The second doubt is, "How do I know this guy isn't the owner?" Obviously I did not think he was, but if I had said, "Hey- is that your bike?" he would have said "yes" and then what? And even if he had said "No, I'm liberating it from its abusive owner" then what would my options have been?
Maybe I should have just called 911. "Yes, hello 911? I'd like to report a possible theft in progress. Of a bicycle parked next to some trash cans in an alley. In Oxnard. The guy riding away on the bike might not be the legal owner." If the police thought my concerns were valid, the suspect would have been long gone, pedaled away into oblivion by the time they arrived.
And my final concern was if I did say anything to the suspicious individual, or even appear to be watching him too closely, he might decide to abandon the bicycle AND skateboard (I wonder if that was stolen too?) and trade up for a 2006 Buick Rendenvous. I know there is a poignant quote about the only thing evil needing to flourish is good men (ie- people) doing nothing... but I am sorry to say I did not feel safe confronting him, and while stopping evil is not about keeping yourself safe, I guess I decided the possible theft of a (possible?) bicycle wasn't worth a possible confrontation leading to possible violence. Plus, no matter the outcome of the confortation, it might have made me late getting back from lunch.
I'm not sure that was the best decision, but getting back to my original concerns, I don't even know for sure he was stealing the bicycle.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Then, after this happens, depending on the severity of the injury, I hobble around for the next few days. I think the longest was approaching two weeks. I think there is something extra wrong with limping along at work when you work for the military. Like maybe just limping so noticeably is putting your entire career in jeopardy.
I did agility this weekend, but I couldn't run. At least by the time the weekend rolled around I could walk. Pie and Fancy both know "go" and "out" so I was able to hobble along in their wake and tell them what to take while steering from behind. Kind of like the second fireman on the huge fire truck who steers the back half of the truck. I'm hoping by next weekend (Memorial Day) I'm back to 100% since I have four (yes, four) days of agility in a row. Right now walking I'm at maybe 75% but only 45% running. I can't bend the knee more than 90 degrees. I prop the leg up using my other leg while sleeping. Except last night I used a dog toy to keep the knee bent. I knew there was a reason I keep the dogs around.
Besides the fact that I'm injured and I hope it doesn't decrease my stamina by the time I'm able to run again, this really messed up my plans for next week. I was given a special four day pass for doing well during the inspection, and I was planning all kinds of fun activities. Such as hiking. I suppose now I will have to change my plans. Maybe I'll see a movie instead. I'd rather be hiking.
Some dogs have luxating patellas. However, it never seems to bother them nearly as much. I suspect that is because when one knee goes bad they have three others to choose from. Lucky dogs.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Whole Gang- thanks to Uncle Ed's TriPod
I haven't seen that side of the family in a few years, so it was very nice to catch up with everyone. Of course, I wish it could have been under happier circumstances... Thank you to Uncle Ed and the rest of the family who organized the service and the family time. I think it was all very nice and fitting.
The next day Dad, Claire, Laura, Pete and Aunt Anne and I all went to Pittsburgh. First we stopped at "The Bluffs," which is the best scenic overlook I've ever been to. Then we went downtown to the Soldier's and Sailor's Museum where we looked at historic artifacts and found Dad's great-great uncle, who volunteered for the Civil War. Well, the Uncle wasn't there, but his name was. After that we went to the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. I've never been before. I was quite impressed. We went up to the top, then came back down and toured the free Nationality Rooms. Turns out they actually have classes in there. Very interesting.
Laura Running at The Overlook.
The day after that we flew home. The trip home was much better. We got good seats on the plane, didn't have to pay to check our luggage due to being military, and out gates were close and not at opposite ends of the airport. Our luggage even came out first. Nice.
Laura Guards Granddad's Bag.
Overall it was a very good, if short, trip.
All of the photos can be seen here. None have been cropped so if you want to do that, feel free. http://s262.photobucket.com/albums/ii106/fancygirlud/PA%20May%202009/ Be sure to view all 10 pages!
Living on opposite sides of the county from each other, Grandpap and I didn't spend very much time together. But he did come on several vacations with us, and he did come to visit us in CA occasionally, and when I took a Hop to Pittsburgh a few years back, I got to visit him then. We corresponded the old fashioned way- by letters. I know G/P liked my little drawings, because he always told me he did. Other than saying that, I think I will keep the rest of my feeling private.
PS- Thanks to Aunt Monica and Uncle Brian for allowing me to stay in their house, and especially to Deborah for giving up her bed to me! That was very kind of you.
PSS-The pictures I posted got a little distorted when I resized them, so if they look funny, that is why.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I have a gardener because I rent and it is included in the rent. I had the front door open with the screen closed. I came out of another room which I had been in a while to find Pie standing guard at the front door. As the gardener pushed the obnoxious machine closer then pulled it back then pushed it closer, Pie held her ground, to make sure the strange man and noisy contraption did not gain unauthorized entry into our home. She didn't threaten him or act tough, she just stood her ground. But it was not normal, happy, waggy Pie. Her posture was stiff, her ears were back, and the most notable for Pie, her tail was hanging straight down, not moving a bit, with out her natural gentle curve. She was obviously most unhappy.
When I made my presence known to her, she gave up her post and came towards me wagging, as if she felt since I was around I could be in charge of repelling the possible intruder. I think her behavior in this situation is extremely appropriate. She didn't like it, but she did her job, and did it well.
Now, if the gardener had attempted to break in and use the running lawnmower as a shield, I'm not sure what Pie's response to that would have been. But I am sure no one has ever tried to break into a home using a running lawn mover. At least not around here.
Pie and Fancy kept me company laying about in the front yard.
I have yet to find out if the washing was a success. If I don't get better gas mileage like Dad says, I'll never wash it again.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Sheba got lost once or twice. Once when she ran away while off leash. She came back at two in the morning covered in burrs, barking to get let into the yard. Another time she ran out of the front yard, but we chased her down that time. The Duster really came through for us.
Bloom got lost one of the first days in my new apartment. One of the guys I work with was helping me out by bringing my new 'fridge from Lowes in his pickup and I went to meet him outside. Who should I see sniffing a tree but Bloomie. Apparently he could squeeze between the bars on the fence. I put up chicken wire the next day.
Fancy cruised the neighborhood a few times. She was turned into the shelter for escaping. No surprise she could easily jump out of my patio with its four foot brick wall. She was only out there to go potty, but once at night I put her out and fell asleep. I woke up to only one dog in the "yard." I ran around at one am looking for her and found her at the end of the street. The close end. She jumped out of the yard only a few times and never went far, and then became very bonded and had no desire to leave. Unless we are at my parent's house and Mom and Molly go on a walk without her. Then she scales the brick wall taller than I am, or squeezes through the bars that are about 6 inches apart and catches up. You can see a video of that here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dO_xF6zV34 It is the first half.
Which brings me to the real point about Lost Dogs. My dogs get lost in my own home.
Bloom got stuck under the bed once and because he is deaf, couldn't hear me calling. I'm lucky I ever found him. Another time he followed me into the shed, but didn't follow me back out, and I closed him in there.
Fancy ALWAYS follows me into the bathroom, but when I leave, sometimes she is asleep. The door swings closed behind me and now Fancy is stuck in the bathroom.
Bosco actually fit into this pattern quite well because he would nose his way into the bathroom, the door would swing shut behind him, and then he would be stuck in there. I'd call for him, but he wasn't a very noisy dog, so he would quietly wait for me to figure it out and come rescue him.
When this happens to Pie, I usually hear her banging around. In fact, Pie has never been lost. She has no desire to run like Sheba. She isn't an escape artist like Fancy, and she is way too big to follow me somewhere and not be noticed like Bloom.
Unless someone steals her, you will never see Pie on a Lost Dog poster. And if someone did steal her, they would probably name her Red Chief, and I'd get her back right quick.
Friday, May 1, 2009
I've driven the 5 between LA and San Francisco before, so I've seen this fence. It is very odd to me because it is very tall. You can see where it has been made taller. Two things make the fence odd. 1) The top of the fence (which you can't really see in this picture) points inward. As if it is trying to keep something very large IN. And 2) The fence goes for a while, then it just ends. It hasn't fallen down, it doesn't curve inward, it just stops. Very strange. Anyone with better problem solving skills than me want to take a guess?
This is the view you get if you pose your dogs in front of the Capitol doors and it is really hot. The ground/ floor was granite or some other polished smooth stone and Pie left sweaty paw prints. Yep, Pie left her mark on the Capitol.
This post was actually posted at 11:29. The 8 o'clock time must be when I accidentally hit "publish."