23 October 2007

Maybe it's time

My 82 year-old aunt just bought a Prius. A silver one. She goes to pick it up today. My husband and I, along with just about everyone else, told her not to buy it. She's not a Greenie or anything, just one of those people who likes to be different, staying out ahead of the power curve, always doing something new and novel. It think it's what's kept her going all these years.

On the other hand, I'm a contrarian. I've denied it for years, but have now decided to embrace it since there is so much to be contrary to.

Except maybe cell phones.

Since I quit working almost five years ago to stay home with my kids, I have really checked out of the world of technology. I don't own a cell phone, iPOD or big screen TV. We cancelled cable about the time I got pregnant. Our cabin has no TV or phone.

The only technological thing I have is my TI 48GX calculator that served me well for many years of school and work. It uses "reverse polish logic" which I sometimes forget nowadays and then it beeps at me in disgust. Back when I was using it, I couldn't think mathmatically in any other way, but now I have to mentally "switch gears" just to use my calculator.

But, I am getting so close to changing my mind on the cell phone. The other night I was sound asleep when a dream made me wake up. Since I was hot, I got up and put on something lighter. Out of habit, I looked out the bedroom window when I saw the dome light in my car turn on. My car was parked in front of our house. It was 2:30am. I threw the window open and yelled out, "HEY!!!!!!!!" The gentleman who was prowling my car ran.

This isn't the first time I've caught a car prowler. Shortly after we first moved in I caught a group of kids prowling cars. There were four of them acting like it was Halloween with their pillow cases full of their loot. We actually caught these punks. Turns out they lived a few blocks over. When we turned the one we caught into the cops, the cops said something to the effect that, "Oh, they come from a good home." Good home, my hiney. There is much more to this story, but let's just say I put the fear of God into the punk.

Not long after that our neighbor caught a kid car prowling in the alley. To be apprehended by this neighbor would be especially scarey. My neighbor is an ex-felon, missing some fingers as a result of getting on someone's bad side, taking methadone for his (past) heroin addiction, covered in tattoos, manic-depressive and a quick, hot temper. That kid was lucky my neighbor didn't hurt him. Seriously. (Those neighbors have moved away).

Earlier this summer, I was sleeping with the windows open upstairs in our bedroom. I was just getting to sleep when I thought I heard a car handle (my husband thinks this is remarkable since I have hearing loss and tinnitus!). I looked outside and didn't see anything. Got back in bed, when I had a feeling I should look outside again. Sure enough, another car prowler. Woke hubby and we went outside. The kid was just down the street still prowling cars. We followed him for awhile, all the way to his house. Turns out this kid just lives on the other side of the alley down on the other end of the block. Cops couldn't do anything since we didn't see him take anything. Rummaging through cars isn't enough probable cause or something stupid like that.

And, then the other night when I woke up and saw the most recent car prowler. Hubby and I went outside again to survey our domain. Of course, the punky perp was long gone. I went around back to the alley while hubby stayed out front. Just as I was coming back around the house, I hear my husband talking to someone. Here's another car prowler! I don't know if they were together or if there were just two guys out prowling cars within a half a block of each other. Punks.

This idiot was prowling cars and didn't see my husband standing there. My husband asked him what he thought he was doing and the idiot said that he went to a party over on Grand Avenue with a buddy and they couldn't remember where they parked their car. Yeah, right.

With all the meth problems lately and now that I'm a mom, I'm reluctant to "apprehend" these guys like the first car prowler we caught. So, I went inside to get my keys so I could follow the guy in my car while my husband called the cops.

I couldn't find the guy, but hubby talked to the cops and they said that a car a few blocks down had had its window broken. The cops were taking this very seriously this time. They had two squads cruising the neighborhood. Don't know if they ever found the prowlers.

If we weren't so technologically challenged and had a cell phone, one of us could've followed the jerk and let the cops know where he was. Then we could've found out that he was from another "good home" just a block away, stealing from cars to either support his habit or to get enough money to buy the technological goodies that his negligent parents hadn't already indulged him in.

7 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

I finally broke down and bought one. Or actually a friend got me one for Christmas. It is a virgin/mobile flip phone., the oystr model I have is a small flip phone and costs all of 20 bucks. Basic connect is 6.99 a month with so many minutes for ten cents a minute. If I want, I can go online (or call from phone) and top up. SO handy for quick phone call and it's useful should you be somewhere and get a flat and need roadside assistance or get in an emergency situtation like the ones you describe. It doesn;t do pictures, but it can do text messages, has voicemail and a few features like stopwatch and calculator. It also has some primative internet connection - but I don't use it for that, 'cuz you could run minutes in no time flat. It also is nice for contact list. If you get one, don't forget to program in the regular police line.

And really after 9/11 it's not a bad thing to have.

Vincenzo said...

"Since I quit working almost five years ago to stay home with my kids, I have really checked out of the world of technology."

Here's a compromise. (You can appear technologically challenged and avoid the radiation blast).

swissmiss said...

Do you know where I can get one of those and can I plug it in to my computer? :) (You are too crafty!)

Vincenzo said...

"Do you know where I can get one of those and can I plug it in to my computer? :) (You are too crafty!)"

I don't know if there are any for computers, but here is where I found it (yes, it's real):

click here

I also see one at Amazon
that's cheaper.

LOL I just saw this pic of "Looter Guy" on a discussion forum:

http://i24.tinypic.com/2jebuk2.gif

"This isn't the first time I've caught a car prowler. Shortly after we first moved in I caught a group of kids prowling cars. There were four of them acting like it was Halloween with their pillow cases full of their loot. We actually caught these punks. Turns out they lived a few blocks over. When we turned the one we caught into the cops, the cops said something to the effect that, "Oh, they come from a good home." Good home, my hiney. There is much more to this story, but let's just say I put the fear of God into the punk."

My wheels and tires were looted once :(

swissmiss said...

The kid we caught was a complete ding bat. He was a chunky kid and when his friends ran, well, he was left holding the bag since he couldn't run faster than someone with a broken leg! While he was standing outside of our house as we were waiting for the cops to come, he asked if he could use our bathroom!! Like I would let the kid in my house after he just was stealing things out of my car! What a goober. Maybe we'll see him someday on America's Stupidest Criminals.

tara said...

I'm still resisting getting a cell phone--I do not want to be that accessible to everyone. But, if I had young kids, I would break down and get one--for safety reasons--especially with all the car prowlers around you. But, watch out as soon as you have one--it becomes mandatory--and you will never be able to do without one again. I like my husband having one, I can call him whenever I want.

swissmiss said...

Tara:
I've resisted getting a cell phone and all the other things for years. People think we are nuts, but I don't want to be accessible to everyone either. I didn't want one when I was working because I didn't want to be "on call" all the time. Resisted pagers (although they were mandatory back when I worked at Intel). Didn't use a laptop for work, except on occasion. I'm big on what's work time and personal time. I have always resisted working over time. I'm a loyal employee, but keep your hands off my personal time! Maybe I need to add a cheap cell phone to my Christmas list.