Monthly Archives: January 2009

Understanding the mentality of a thief…

Life has a way of dealing an intersting hand of cards at times. It’s amazing how various events can spawn other events to occur. And my oh my did that happen to me. Last weekend Jennifer told me she thought the water heater wasn’t working, as our hot water was more luke warm. A couple of years ago we had the same problem with this four year old Whirlpool.

The pilot wouldn’t stay on and it needed a part replaced called a thermocouple. Don’t ask me what it is….all I know is that it has something to do with the pilot (it’s a gas water heater) and keeping the burner lit when heating the water. When it fails, the gas shuts down and thus, no fire, thus, no hot water. I was able to replace the thermocouple in ’07 and all was well….until last weekend.

Since it was around 8:30 Sunday night, I had no chance of getting another thermocouple to replace the apparent faulty one. Needing her hot water, Jennifer booked us a room through priceline for the night until I could get to Lowe’s and get a new thermocouple after work Monday. As has been our “luck” with priceline lately, we got a room at one of those extended stay hotels. This one was about 10 minutes away near the Indianapolis International Airport. All went well that night and a good night’s sleep was had. Monday morning I thought I’d leave early since I was going to take a different route into work and didn’t know what the traffic pattern might be for the morning rush. I gave Jennifer a kiss goodbye (we both drove) and out to my car I went. Then I saw it.

Sometime during our stay at the hotel, some kind soul tried to gain entry into my Civic to rummage through the empty Coke cups, window washer fluid, maps, Corvair club t-shirt and other assorted junk that I had in the back seat. It’s the same stuff everyone accumulates in their back seats this time of year when it’s too cold to clean out your car. Well, I don’t know if they got spooked or realized none of the items were worth going after or just couldn’t get in. However, the door was still in the locked position, so I know they never got in. That lock never did work right anyway. I always had to lock it with the key, as the interior lock wouldn’t work. I have my suspicions they were going after the thermometer that I have on my dashboard. It’s just about the same size & shape as a GPS unit, so maybe they realized at sometime during the attempted entry that the device was going to tell them the temperature and not directions.

I informed the front desk folks what happened and they called IMPD for me while I went back to the room and told Jennifer the bad news. Her car was fine, as she parked right next to the front entrance of the hotel. Upon leaving, I spoke with IMPD and made my report. It’s seldom they’ll send an officer for something like this…it’s usually all done over the phone these days. After the front desk guy came out to fill out his report for their corporate office…reminding me they’re not responsible for damages…I climbed in through the passenger side to leave, as the driver’s door would not open from the inside or outside. Uggh! Getting this butt over a console in a Civic is not the easiest of tasks, but I managed and off to work I went. After getting in touch with my insurance company, I then got in touch with Ben Hughes, the manager at Speedway Body Shop. We dealt with them last summer after Jennifer had her accident. The work they do is second to none. Her Corolla went from this…

to this….

The guys there at Speedway do a fantastic job. My oldest brother suggested them last summer after he had taken a couple of his cars there over the years. We weren’t disappointed. Due to the 12″ of snow we received Tuesday and Wednesday, I wasn’t able to get my Civic in until Friday morning. Ben called Friday afternoon, and this “little” job has an estimate of $774.17. Fortunately, it’s covered under my $0 deductible comprehensive, so I won’t have to fork over any of my own money. I’ll get a new coat of paint on the door as well as a handle, lock, etc, etc. They pried on it pretty hard around the handle and there’s a chance they might even have to replace the outer door skin if they aren’t able to get the handle to fit right.

So there it is…a product of poor scouting by a thief. Heck, I’d have been happy if they’d just have smashed the window to get what they wanted. I can’t think it was the car itself. Even though Hondas rank high on the theft list, I can’t believe anyone would want a ’98 with 183,000 miles on the odometer.  Then again, trying to figure out what a thief thinks is an exercise in futility anyway.

Oh yeah, and yes the water heater got fixed. I found out they no longer make thermocouples for that unit and due to a class action lawsuit, Whirlpool has to give out replacement kits to make them work right. So after contacting 9 different Lowe’s in the area, I finally found one that had the kit. It was installed Tuesday by one of my brothers who “plumbs” for a living and we’ve got hot water once again.

All of this just so I could get a new door lock for my car. 🙂

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Some days it just isn’t worth it…

Everyone has their limits. Mine is about 8″. Having a 17 mile drive to work can be a challenge even during the summer, but when Ma Nature drops 9″-plus of snow on those 17 miles, well, that’s where I draw the line. I have a tendency to get agitated rather quickly during certain situations, and driving in snow is one of them. And it typically involves other people around me who are the source of the agitation, not the snow itself. For example, last night we had about 4″ of snow on the ground for my drive home. I’ve got a “snow route” that I take when the weather gets bad that avoids the interstates and takes the side streets through town. I took great strides in finding a route where there was minimal human presence and succeeded. I had no problem at all with the snow covered roads…it was rather easy, given the conditions.

However, when we get dumped with nearly 11″ as we did from yesterday through this morning, not even a good route to work is worth it. I really thought the forecasters would miss this one like they usually do. They said 4-8″…..we got a tick under 11″ here at the house. They still missed the mark.

After waking up to this, I realized….Nah. It would’ve taken a half hour just to unearth the car and get it out of the driveway….into the court that wasn’t plowed. Fortunately I scheduled today off work “just in case” they got the forecast right…or worse.

But all is not lost. This Sunday it’s February and we’ll likely have one or two of those “teaser” days where it gets up in the 50’s or 60’s….just warm enough to remind us that Spring is just around the corner. And with that will come those evenings out on the patio for a cookout or sit by the fire pit or just gaze at the flowers Jennifer’s planted. When those days come, this will be long forgotten….

….and this won’t.

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