Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day of Doom Kit

For those unsure of what to get me for Christmas... I found this.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pants party

I was deleting old emails from my work email inbox when I came across this little gem...

From: Reed, Margaret
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 3:18 PM
Subject: Another maggie day.. also known as why you can laugh in my face tonite at practice

I was moving drawings today, large gigantic rolls of heavy paper drawings. And lo and behold, I was wearing one of my favorite pairs of work pants, a pair of nice broken in faded green chinos. (can we see where this is going?) They are about 2 years old and get worn to work at least once a week if not more and not just to do office work but out in the field also.
So here we are moving drawings and I bend down to pick up the last set and RRIIIIPPPPP! From the belt loops to the crotch exactly along the seam, my pants split. I am now wearing my fleece black jacket around my waist.
Thank you for listening.
Enjoy your day.
I am going to figure out how to get out the door without half my coat on without anyone noticing.

Just in case you actually thought that this bad luck thing was a recent development or was just related to costly events.

2007 was the year of the pants. Maybe I'll post the most embarassing moment to happen ever... only I don't really get embarassed...

Friday, December 12, 2008

PPA and the Philadelphia Police

I tried to keep my car break-in posts cop neutral.

But now, I have been driven to the brink. A few nights ago, I recieved a parking ticket for being parked in a No Parking zone for longer than 20 minutes. The ticket itself is not the issue, but let me provide the back story to how I ended up in a spot where I could be ticketed.

For those of you not in the 'iladelph', last week it was raining so hard that the ever resilient KM actually wanted a ride from Drexel so she wouldn't end up soaked in her suit. KM, who often rides without air conditioning in 100 degree weather in her car stuck in Philly traffic, didn't want to be that uncomfortable. That is how wet it was last week.

But I digress, after returning from said "Good Deed" of keeping others dry, there was no parking available near my house. There were parking spaces five blocks away, in fact, there was the exact parking space that I parked in last week where my car was broken into. I am currently boycotting that block. So after a legitimate 20 minutes spent loooking for parking in a five block radius and excluding the break-in block, I decided to risk parking in an no parking zone. I was not blocking the cross walk and was still a good 7 feet from the corner (in Philly it is a mandatory 15).

Because even my illegal spot was still a block and a half away, I found myself walking in draining streets because of people parked on sidewalks. I live on a one way sidestreet. When people park on the sidewalk (ILLEGAL) and on the roadside (LEGAL), many drivers find themselves smashing driver's side mirrors off in an attempt to get thru. Both BS and EB have been victim to this crime while parked LEGALLY on the very street they live. However, on the night in question, no one ticketed the illegal parkers on my street, nor the blue car blocking the fire hydrant several cars away from me.

The police chose my car and my car alone. I will pay this ticket because I due deserve it however, I believe I have become a target due to my tirade against the PPA/Parking Violations Branch.

I have been accused of receiving two tickets on the night of 11/5/08. I only received one. I paid it immediately because I was not 15' from the corner. It was a similar night on 11/5/08 as my most recent ticket however, while that ticket was $41, my most recent was $31..... Supposedly, I was also issued another seperate handwritten ticket. For anyone who lives in Philly, you know that while it is possible to get two tickets for the same violation over the course of a day, it is highly unlikely to receive two tickets for two seperate violations. They just tick off your misdeeds and you pay the fee that adds up. I called the Parking Violations branch to tell them that I had recieved an unpaid ticket letter in error, because....drumroll please.... I have no unpaid tickets. This is when I was told I was issued (AT THE SAME TIME??) another ticket. I have requested a copy of said ticket... still have not received it... no surprise there.

I was issued a court date to fight the still unreceived ticket and I think they put an APB out on my car to ticket it upon sight. Hence, the start of this post.

But my rage is for the following...

All of the tickets in this blog(HANDWRITTEN) were issued by police... less than a block from the street where there were cameras that saw the break-in.... where I can no longer park in good faith due to previously blogged break-in... the street where I sat and waited from 6:20AM to 8:34AM for a cop to show up to take my police report... where I had to be vicious to get the PPA lady to leave my car alone and not ticket it despite the fact that the back window was clearly smashed and that I was standing right there so I could show the police the damage and the location and the fact that there were cameras... where I would sit in a car and give my police report OVER THE PHONE because no officers were sent...

So this post also could have been called "Really good use of police time."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Office Food

This post is really less about bad luck than about how the generosity of others is going to cause me to not fit into my jeans.

Since the week of Thanksgiving, my office has received:
Three (3) Baskets containing the following:
-Cranberry bog frogs appx 14/box
-Guacamole Tortilla Chips, appx. 4 servings per bag (I "accidentally" ate a bag)
-Really Terrible Salsa (ok that is not the brand name but it is terrible) 1 jar
-Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites (not a chance I will eat that)
-Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies (4 can fit in my mouth at once) appx. 20/bag
-Pumpkin flavored white chocolate covered pretzels (I ate one whole bag myself)
-Bag of Cashews, appx 3 cups/bag
One tin containing the following:
-Brownies, Blondies, and Turtle Brownies each in layers of three and six layers deep in the tin, appx 54/tin (I ate three of them before lunch and we got them at 11:30)

I have no willpower.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Lyme Disease

I do not have it. Let me get this out there right away.

However, if any of you are like my friend KM who lists ticks as one of her top items of fear, you might want to skip this one.

My friend from good old Historical Victorian Brookville, SM, recently suffered her own special bout with Karma. In a trip to Boston to visit a friend a month or so ago, SM and said friend decided to go skydiving. It is estimated that SM may have spent as much as five whole minutes in the grass upon landing from skydiving. She then wandered over and sat on a bench for an additional potential 30-40 minutes watching others. Under the bench, there was also grass type coverage albeit much shorter than the landing area. Over the next few days, she would suffer fevers and rashes and, thinking it was a spider bite, would visit a clinic where she would later learn she is now the proud parent of lyme disease. They caught it in time in that she is not suffering mental effects from the disease but she can look forward to doctor's visits in the future.

Now, I am not a statistician by any stretch of the word but I have to point out how slim the odds are for having spent 45 minutes in a grassy area in Boston and aquiring lyme disease.

Ticks are typically found in woodsy areas. So let's assume in a given area with a typical tick population that SM could encounter at most 11% of the population during her five minutes in high grass and at most another 8% in the low grass area. So SM could have been exposed to 19% of a given tick population in an area.

Ticks have a three feeding two year life cycle. Egg, larvae, and nymph each take several days. Googling "define several" results in: more than 2 or 3 but not more than many. Doing the same for many results in: 11 or more. Therefore, each cycle above is appx. 4-10 days. So for 1.4% of the tick's life it is a nypmh. Now, 70% of all lyme disease cases are from nymphs. So for the other 690 days of a tick's life, it only has a 30% chance of giving my friend lyme disease. As many as 50% of ticks in a high lyme disease area could carry the disease....

SO... 97% chance that a tick during it's lifetime is CAPABLE of carrying lyme disease and a contact rate of 9.5% due to the fact that only 50% of ALL ticks DO carry lyme disease. Now, 9.2% of ticks that she contacted do have lyme disease. Now take the above graph and the lesser likelihood of contraction in October and November coupled with the fact that 40% of 20,000 cases (the average annual number of lyme disease cases and divide by the weighted average. So with my office mate Matt doing some math on his sprinkler calculator...

Well, the odds are that SM is a victim of knowing me and receiving some of my bad karma.

Update on the break-in

In the shower this morning, I realized that they also made off with Armor-all wipes. A requirement for the glove compartment of any car that my sister owns, Armor-all should not be confused with windex wipes. Windex cleans glass, Armor-all protects leather and vinyl. I sure hope whoever stole my stuff isn't trying to make a quick buck cleaning windshields with those....

Thanks to everyone who has shown such compassion to my current plight. I am really in quite good spirits about the whole thing now, considering I find it semi-hilarious that the thieves went through all that effort to take Armor-all wipes. Special kudos to co-blogger who has failed to post anything brought over a lovely new tote complete with goodies to try to brghten my day.

(I borrowed my office mate's camera cord. They left my books and hat...)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2 break-ins in less than two weeks

On Sunday, November 23rd at 10AM, I became the victim of a non-violent car entry. Someone in State College got into my car and tore it apart looking for items to thieve. Regretfully, having lived there allowed me to be lulled into a false feeling of security and I parked behind the placid street I called home for three years. Alas, said thieves found my Garmin, Bri's Sirius reciever, and my ipod player. I wasn't the only one. In fact, the policia who was so nice laughed at how similar his previous police report for the same street was to mine. Laughter when someone is in distress is a great and acquired skill. I feel bad for people. Maybe you get that skill when you get the badge.

On Thursday, December 4 at 6:15AM, I became the victim of a violent car entry. The picture above is indicative of the damage that I came upon as I wandered to my car carrying two bags of fruit, two pairs of shoes, a cup of cereal with a teaspoon measurer because we were out of spoons, my gym bag and keys in my mittened hands. I dropped it all in shock (except for the cereal which I never did eat) when I realized that for the second time in less than two weeks my car had been broken into. $200 later, I am now the proud owner of a newly glazed rear driver's side window. I would load an actual picture but of the damage and the great fix but I believe they may have my camera cord and battery charger. I can't remember if they were in the bag. But since these thieves apparently don't know the thieves from State College, they made off with only my trick or treat tote bag*, about seven purple pens, and my planner. My PLANNER, PEOPLE!! So if I don't come to see you when I said I would, please forgive me. I don't know where I am supposed to be.

*author's note: my bag was not cute christmas. it was dark khaki green with a jack o' lantern that said trick or treat. i cannot find one like it anywhere. even when i google it.