Wed. Dec. 2, 2020 – both the Advent calendar and the Elf on the Shelf are back

Cool and damp, windy and cool, but no more freezes this week.

Froze here for about 8 hours Monday night though.  I really hope my citrus made it through.  I didn’t remember the warning and was busy so I didn’t cover anything.  I think the lowest it got was 28F and it was there for about 4 hours.  I am really unhappy about that and I’m kicking myself in the nethers for the oversight.

I spent the day yesterday doing auction stuff.  Didn’t get much else done.  Had a moment of weirdness when I noticed a guy standing around in my ‘troubling’ neighbor’s yard.  He looked like a contractor, and was acting like a contractor waiting for a meeting about the house, but the neighbor’s elementary age kids were just coming home from school, and had forgotten their door key.  So they couldn’t just walk past the guy and enter, they had to walk past him twice.  I was in the front yard watching because it caught my attention.  The kids went around to the back, and the guy got a ladder and got up on the roof.  I went to look into the back yard and make sure the kids got in, while keeping an eye on the guy.   He finished on the roof and left.  If it weren’t for the timing, I might not have noticed, but then again, something caught my attention.

The mom and dad came home shortly after, because the kids called about a strange guy in the yard and on the roof.  (They rent, so it could be legit, just something the owner didn’t mention.)  The parents were freaked and came to talk to us about what I saw or didn’t see.  We had a good talk for about half an hour about security issues and calling the Constable’s deputies if anything weird is going on.  She related that on more than one occasion a truck was parked in front of her house watching or waiting, and that one time the truck followed her out of the subdivision.   I gave them the Constable’s number and suggested that that would be an EXCELLENT time to call for a driveby….   I’ve mentioned before that something is going on with these two.  They were super keyed in on my cameras, they had the very tense custody exchange shortly after moving in, and he did the whole ‘get up in your face and see if you back down’ with me the first time we met.  I don’t usually back down.  My normal reaction is to step into it, and mention some of my experiences with cops or crims, depending on which I think will de-escalate the best.  Some things I just ignore* while noting them.  In any case, he cooled off that time.  (Did I mention, both have tats with probable gang history, although nothing as obvious as signs or facial markings.  To be fair, a lot of early middle-aged people in this area have some evidence of past indiscretion on their bodies, so it didn’t concern me but I did note it.)

I think I’ll move my new camera install back to the top of the list, pointed to cover the area in front of their house.  I have good video of the guy’s truck, but nothing great of the guy.  He’s probably just a roofing contractor who was supposed to meet the owner, and the owner didn’t show for some reason.  Probably.  But he didn’t have a front plate on his truck, and he disappeared around the back, up the driveway for a few minutes while I was watching.  Momma said he looked in her car (she didn’t waste any time putting cameras up to cover their vehicles after they moved in, and she knows her way around the system if she checked the video that quickly.)  Hopefully the landlord will shed some light, otherwise we notch up the security level.

Looking at the video took me a bit longer than I expected.  Linux has different tools for playback than I am used to, but I got good recordings of the incident.  I’ve got the motion sensitivity turned too far down for the onboard recording at the camera, as I didn’t get his truck driving away in native resolution on the cam.  I have to take another look at that.  It’s been my experience that no matter what the system, or how you’ve configured and tested it, until you go looking for video of an actual incident you don’t REALLY know what it’s recording or not, and if it’s what you need.

I’m home today with the student, so I’ll continue the auction and ebay preps, and maybe get up on the roof with a new camera.  (Both my plumber and my auction drop off got canceled yesterday, leaving me at loose ends.)  Thursday filled up, so I need to be productive today.  It’s always something.

Oh, and I went through the shelves of food I just stacked in March.  I moved some to my ‘working’ shelves, and I think I’ll move the rest back to my secondary location.  That will free up some space here, and give me some redundancy.  Turns out, I don’t need those 8 gallons of bleach to be so close to hand.  And some buckets of bulk can be shifted too.

On the other hand, I’ve got 7 cu ft of freezer to fill.

Keep your eyes and ears open.  Keep stacking.



*once I was chatting with my local work crew in LA.  Quite a few of them had the signs of previously mis-spent youth.  I mentioned that I grew up on the South Side of Chicago (south suburbs to be exact, but South Side has a richer connotation.)  They had previously asked me “where you stay at” which is a dialectical way of asking ‘where do you live right now’.  That particular phrase indicates a subculture I’m familiar with, so when they asked me “who I was with” or “who I ‘claimed'” they were asking me about MY past gang affiliation.  Since I had none, and that would have been all in the past anyway, I ignored the questions like I didn’t hear them and kept on chatting.  Eventually though, they kept poking at it (good-naturedly) and I ended up saying “I know what you’re asking and I am not hearing you ask it, cuz I ain’t gonna answer it” which got a laugh,  and then I made some jokes about throwing signs and tags that got some more laughs.  That worked out ok because they were technically working for me, were mostly guys I’d worked with on other shows, and it was friendly and in a ‘lets see what this white boy really knows’ kinda way…   In another time or place I would have let those questions blow right by me like I didn’t even recognize what they were asking.  Sometimes it’s better to be a player, or to have BEEN a player (even better as you don’t have to keep up the same level of face) and sometimes it’s better to be a ‘civilian’ and off limits and out of play…and sometimes if you are 200 pounds with a grey crew cut, and drive a white Expedition with a push bar it’s better to let them make other assumptions about who you  might work for.