Archive for March, 2008

Poor loser: an introspection

This is a long rant, so I put the body of it under a cut. But there is a question at the end, and I welcome your input. So feel free to skip to the bottom to read and answer the question.

Cut for length

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Tax whining

Um. I owe a lot of money for taxes. It turns out that when I thought I was breaking even (e.g. this summer), I was hugely wrong–I was receiving money that didn’t have federal deductions taken out. This is gonna suck. I think this year I not only didn’t save, but I also lost a fair amount of money. Suckage!

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Spam subject line

“A key from her bedroom is in your pants”

Um, what? I suspect this was written by someone not fluent in English.

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Driving again

Well, I got my car back. The California Highway Patrol (CHiPs!) called me on Saturday evening, and I picked it up on Sunday morning. The thieves took everything of value: my stereo, my roof rack (the most valuable thing), my hang-gliding helmet, and even my license plates. They even scratched off my parking permit, those bastards. And I had to pay $300 to get my car back from the towing company, making the entire expense approximately $1000 and a lot of hassle.

But, there is a lighter side to the story. For one thing, they installed a stereo in my car. See, when I got a new stereo, I just left the old one in the trunk because I’m lazy. And when I got the car back, it was installed! But, it had some anti-theft feature, so it won’t work, which is presumably why they didn’t take it. Maybe they were just testing it? In any case, it’s weird to have thieves install a stereo for you.

The thieves also left a bunch of crap in my car. There were some clothes, a soft guitar case, a shovel, a hammer, some screw drivers and chisels, a swiss army knife… and a digital camera. I turned the digital camera in to the police, and a detective called me to say that it contained pictures of people smoking meth. This led him to believe it was not a stolen camera, but rather the thieves’ camera. I’m actually rather hopeful that this will lead to some arrests. It’s not that I’ll get any of my stuff back, but I’d like to see wrongdoers punished, especially when they stole from me! Besides, I always loved stupid crook stories, and it’s hilarious to find myself in the middle of one, in real life. I have never had a better use for the user icon used on this post.

On the other hand, that glee was somewhat offset by the fact that it took 40 minutes for them to take the camera, once I reached the police station. It wasn’t clear what I was waiting for–I just sat there, alone in the lobby. Perhaps there was a good reason a cop couldn’t just, say, come out and take it, but I don’t know that reason.

On the gripping hand, at least the cops were on-the-ball enough to pull me over for driving without plates. And they were also understanding enough to see that I wasn’t a criminal and that my “my car was just stolen and recovered” story was pretty plausible. And now I’ve got new plates, a parking permit, and registration, so I should be driving legally again. (I keep proof of insurance in my wallet, in addition to the car.) I hadn’t realized how nice it is to be able to drive around!

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Grand Theft Auto

No, GTA isn’t just a computer game. Sometimes, someone actually steals your car. Just for the record, that sucks. I guess I’m less inconvenienced by it than some people–it’s an old car, and I don’t need it to get to work. I’m not even sure if I’d replace it. But that doesn’t stop it from sucking. It had hundreds of dollars of extras (new stereo, roof rack, and my hang gliding helmet in the trunk). And, getting to the hang gliding hangar will be noticeably less convenient without a car.

The good news is that the police officer said they have a 90% recovery rate. Apparently a lot of people steal old Hondas, ride them around, and abandon them. It might not still have my stereo, of course, but so it goes. It might be weeks before they find it, but odds are good that they didn’t steal it for parts. I mean, old Hondas aren’t exactly that valuable. So–eh. We’ll see.

The odd news is that I don’t seem to be so distraught about this. It’s mostly entertaining, and it hasn’t been much hassle yet. If I end up buying another car, that will suck–there’s little that’s more hassle than that. But for now, I haven’t suffered much, and it’s actually been kind of exciting.

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