Move Over Grand Theft Auto, Pondering A Real-life Armed Robbery In Our Neighborhood

Because sometimes odd unexpected things happen…

Last week I learned that there was an armed robbery in this subdivision.  We’ve lived here over 20 years and this is a first.  I learned about it formally from the HOA [Homeowner Association] + informally from the neighborhood grapevine.

The robbery took place in the early evening and involved two men with guns stealing a new Volvo from a neighbor’s open garage.  It’s my understanding that the house security system with alarms and cameras wasn’t on at the time.

The neighbor heard noise in the garage, went to investigate, and found the robbery in process.  He was not hurt physically, although I cannot say how it affected him emotionally.  I don’t know him personally to ask him.

The police haven’t found his car and the men who stole it.  As of today this remains an open case.  My guess is it’ll never be solved, but will become part of the folklore of this large subdivision of 800+ homes.

• • •

A place to ponder. Drinking a mug of coffee while sitting on the deck on a foggy autumn morning.

• • •

It’s easy, and perhaps natural, to start thinking about why this robbery took place, to make up stories that might explain it.  I’m motivated by my need to make sense of this, to try to understand it.

It could be as straightforward as it seems.  The robbers who were driving a Volvo [and isn’t that interesting?] saw an opportunity to steal another one and took it.  It was a crime of opportunity, no advance planning.

This would be my preferred scenario.

Or it could be that the neighbor was working in league with the robbers, intending on splitting the insurance money.  After all, no one except the neighbor saw these two men, allegedly with guns, and because the security system cameras weren’t on at the time there’s no way to corroborate his story.

Or it could be that the neighbor owes money to someone, a bookie perhaps, and that someone arranged for payment in the form of his car.  Things like that happen in this world.  I watch police procedural TV shows;  I know things.

• • •

A view while pondering. Looking out from the deck into the backyard on a foggy autumn morning.

• • •

I’ve been trying to decide what I think about this robbery, discern how it makes me feel.  I’m not stressed by it.  I’m not worried about being safe. Instead I’m indifferent to it.

Is that peculiar?  Shouldn’t I be more panicked?

Of course, as Zen-Den pointed out, we always keep our garage doors closed plus no one wants to steal my 18 year old Honda.  Or his 5 year old one.  A fast risk-benefit analysis confirms his logic.  

Ain’t gonna happen.

Plus this robbery isn’t going to stop me from going for walks around this neighborhood.  If nothing else we might be safer now that more sheriffs are driving through here on a more regular basis.

From their point of view, we’re the place to be.

So that’s where I find myself this morning, hoping this is a one-off, an aberration and not the beginning of a trend.  I’m amazed that I’m writing about something so out of the ordinary that it doesn’t seem feasible, yet it happened.

And that’s all there is to it.

Comments, anyone? How would this make you feel?

Waiting For The Inauguration, I Snark + Laugh + Celebrate A Blogging Milestone

Tomorrow is THE DAY when 81,009,468 Americans finally will get to say: “Don’t let the door hit you on the butt as you leave, Donald. You’re fired.”

[Lock him up.]

I tell ‘ya, what a clusterfork these last four years have been*. I’m emotionally exhausted by the hate, intellectually tired of the stupidity, and morally outraged by the greed.

You probably are, too.

However, be that as it may, as we wait for better days ahead, here’s a smorgasbord of four images I’ve saved over the last few months, waiting for the perfect time to share them here.

Why today? Two reasons.

First this is something to do until the adults take over the government tomorrow. And secondly, yesterday was the ten year anniversary of this blog** and I wanted to quietly make note of it.

• • •

I saw this sticker on a car, an old Impala sedan. A bit of fast research and now I know that it’s a way to say “Baby on Board.” I’m unclear if this is new or old urban slang, but it caught my eye on a car out here in suburbia.

Have you seen this sticker before?

• • •

I’m seeing this saying all over the place, however I’ve no primary source for it which is a bummer because it is clever. I realize that attempting to overthrow the government is serious, but this sentiment amuses moi.

Thoughts, anyone?

• • •

When I opened an old family cookbook out fell this newspaper clipping for a drink called a Trojan Horse. One of my ancestors, probably my father, must have saved this absinthe, anisette, and gin drink that is described as: “infiltrates slowly without your knowing it and then hits you all of a sudden about an hour later.”

None for me, thanks. And you?

• • •

Moira Rose of Schitt’s Creek is one of my favorite TV characters. Thus I shall leave her immortal words here as a way of thanking the wonderful people who read this blog. You’re the best.

I’d be nowhere without my own wolf pack, now wouldn’t I?

• • • • •

* Don’t blame me, I voted for the lady with the emails.

** First post is here.

A Simple Hello: Ms. Bean Goes For A Car Ride AND Returns To Blogging

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A few days before Christmas Day I realized I hadn’t driven my car in over a month. How very 2020 is that, I ask you?

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To remedy this situation I decided that we, that being Zen-Den and I, would go for a car ride to make sure that my sweet old car, now 18 years old, was still working.  She was.

~ ~

Inspired by the beautiful clear December day, we went to a city park where instead of walking, we drove around to see what we could see.  A different way for us to enjoy a park, but considering everything about 2020 was unique, it seemed fitting.

~ ~

A few people were outside walking, but for the most part we were by ourselves. I, of course, snapped a few photos to share here because what’s the point of having a camera in your cell phone if’n you don’t use it? I mean, really?

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Thus with this little vignette of a day in the life of Ms. Bean, I’m back here in the blogosphere with a renewed sense of vigor and, I hope you’ll agree, a snazzy new template for The Spectacled Bean. It was time for a change here.

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Also, for those readers who care about such things, I’ve decided on my word of the year. *drum roll please* In deference to my good intentions gone awry by things outside my control in 2020, I’ve decided to reuse my 2020 word of the year.  Yes, my #OneWord365 is going to be SIMPLIFY.  Again. 

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Photos From A Car Ride On Saturday Afternoon, Just Because

Spoiler alert: pretty photos do not necessarily make for an exciting blog post;  however I work with what I’ve got, adding some attitude with my words.

THE BEGINNING

Saturday the weather was unusually clear and sunny and cool.  It was a perfect day to do something, if there’d have been something social to do, which there wasn’t.  So instead of having a nutty at home, we went for a car ride.  Like old people.  

Here is a park bench with no one sitting on it.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this particular bench without someone sitting on it.  It kind of unnerved me, but ’tis a different world now, hey what?  

This is a photo of a charming gazebo that suggests a refined gracious lifestyle and the patience to, or the bank account for hiring other people to, maintain such a folly in your yard.  Cute, huh?

Here is a field as seen from the car window.  To me, a non-farmer, it looks about the same as it usual does.  I include it here because it is something I saw and the sky was a snazzy shade of blue, don’t you know?  Pretty.

This is a photo of a horse doing her best to ignore me.  I wanted to get a picture of her face, but she was having none of that.  Not that I blame her, I don’t like having my picture taken either.  Too personal.

Here is a soccer field without one person on it, near it, around it on a Saturday afternoon in the suburbs.  If the first photo is one of amazement, this photo is a one of disbelief.  In over 20 years of living around here I’ve never seen this field empty like this at this time of year.  Just weird.

THE END

Bugged In The Burbs: 3 Things Of Note + My Astute Conclusions About Each

A garden rose with a bug on one petal. The perfect image to go with a post about small irritating things that have bugged me. N’est-ce pas?

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THE FIRST NOTABLE THING

I GOT A TEXT MESSAGE FROM SOMEONE UNKOWN to me.  The message said:

“Hi Jim

Now that the mortar has had time to cure we would like to finish the cleaning of the brick on Monday

Roger”

Being a conscientious person I replied:

“Not Jim here. Good luck with your project”

Roger, who knows how to write clearly as evidenced by his [what I assume to be] erroneous text message to me, has not responded to my succinct polite response.  Not even a one-word three-letter *thx* has Roger typed my way.

CONCLUSION? I do not like Roger who is a poopy head. He deserves dirty bricks.

THE SECOND NOTABLE THING

WHILE DRIVING DOWN OUR STREET TO HOME I realized that directly above me, hovering over my open car sunroof, was a medium-sized drone.

I quickly checked my rearview mirrors to see if I could figure who was controlling the drone.  I could not, so I did what I thought was best.  I looked up briefly, smiled, and waved hello to the drone operator.

I did not give the drone operator the finger, nor did I shut the sunroof.  I played along like a kind neighbor, in on the joke, whatever it was.

CONCLUSION? I am a good pre-old person who deserves more praise for such.

THE THIRD NOTABLE THING

AS I WAS WATCHING THE YOUNG CASHIER GUY ring up my order at Kroger, I noticed that he’d made a mistake.  He had charged me for .65 lbs of rutabagas instead .65 lbs of zucchinis.

[I don’t know how anyone could confuse zucchini for rutabaga, but he did.]

Now considering the last time I got into a conversation with a young cashier guy about produce and how my pear purchase peeved him [READ FULL STORY HERE], I chose not to say a word about the rutabaga/zucchini mistake.

You understand.

However I realize that rutabagas were $.99/ lb while zucchini were $1.49/ lb meaning that I may owe Kroger $.33 for the zucchini that were more expensive than the rutabagas.

CONCLUSION? I will not lose sleep over this, but wonder how often I get charged the wrong amount for something?