Today’s title is shamelessly stolen/borrowed/appropriated/misappropriated/whatever from the opening credits of one of the law and order series we watch on TV…Lone Star Law. It’s a show featuring the Texas game wardens and as they say they like to protect wildlife and…well, you know…title.
I thought I had reported this before…at least the initial incident but don’t see it in the blog so apparently not. Back a few weeks ago our Elks Lodge got broken in early one morning. The doors are unlocked at 0600 for the building tenants and at about 0611 the building security system recorded a person with a hoodie, ball cap, and sunglasses coming in the back door. He left again at 0628. Figuring it took him 2 minutes each way on the elevator and out of that 17 minutes he was on our floor for about 13 minutes. In that time he…(a) broke the glass on our door and entered…(b) crowbarred the office door open, carefully removed the screws holding the case on the security camera computer in the office and removed the hard drive…(c) crowbarred open the liquor room which also had the safe in it bolted to a wood framework screwed to the wall…(c) crowbarred…again…the wood off the wall and the safe off the wood…(e) stole one of our wheeled trash cans to hide the safe in and exited the building.
The good news is that he was a courteous burglar. There are two wheeled trash cans, one next to the bar that had a plastic bag in it and another by the liquor room that did not have a bag but did have some box trash. He carefully stole only the one with the bag in it and courteously tied the bag shut before leaving it next to the bar. He also didn’t bother stealing any of the booze…even the good stuff…and left the quarters in the trust fund cylinder display on the wall.
Having stolen the safe with the week’s revenue in it and the camera hard drive with the close up of his face…although with his disguise he wasn’t recognizable or face recognition worthy according to the detective…it didn’t look like anything really would happen.
The cops came out and then the detective and took statements, pictures, and all that…but with no obvious DNA or fingerprints (he had gloves as well) everybody figured that it was gone permanently and that the case would go cold.
This week the detective came back and reinterviewed everybody involved on our end but apparently there was still no progress…at least he didn’t indicate there was but…and the plot thickens here…apparently there was some progress behind the scenes.
Neil recommended that after our upcoming move to new digs in September we do two things…first pay for a security system and second bolt the new safe to the floor as most safes have the ability to bolt through into the concrete from the inside of the safe… both of those things are happening he was told.
Based on the limited time he was in the building and the fact that he knew exactly where to go for the camera drive and safe…it was pretty obvious that it was some sort of inside information caper…and although the cops obviously would have interviewed building management and did review their security footage nobody recognized the bad guy…or maybe as it turns out they did but the detective wasn’t saying until the investigation was complete.
So Friday night it was announced that an arrest had been made…and it was the building maintenance guy…hence the idea that perhaps they did have a clue after all.
After his arrest…and I presume that he is so fired by now…he admitted in an interview with the police (Pro Tip…if you’re ever arrested by the police you should never, ever, ever talk to them…ask for a lawyer and shut up)…anyways he admitted that he knew what portions of the parking lot our building security cameras covered and carefully parked his getaway van where it wouldn’t be seen and then backed away from the building when he was making his getaway so that his license tag wasn’t visible. Unfortunately for him…he neglected to remember or think that perhaps the other buildings might have outside security cameras and…lo and behold (they did)…they identified the tag number, traced the van, brought him in for questioning, and he folded like a cheap tent I guess.
Good news…bad guy in jail…or at least he was until he made bail a few hours later but he’s got a court date in September. Bad news…no money or safe was apparently recovered, I’m sure the money is long gone on drugs or booze or whatever and the safe got dumped in a canal someplace to hide the evidence. But…small victories I guess
Speaking of our upcoming move…the building the lodge is in has been sold and will be demolished for construction of some more of those luxury high rise condos…which means we have to move. Management has been searching most of the year. Haven’t had much success but there’s an open air mall sort of place a couple miles south of the lodge that’s been purchased for eventual redevelopment into one of those ‘mixed use’ things…that means there will be some boutique businesses, some high priced rental or purchase condos, and perhaps a few lower cost units for the little people. There are leases that haven’t expired for other tenants in this pretty huge complex and it will be 18 months or more before all of those are terminated and moved out, permits approved, and any actual redevelopment started. In the meantime…the owner of the property is also a lodge member and was pitched by another local politician/lawyer type who’s also a member that perhaps we could move in there. That all came together and we are getting a real good deal on rent until the development starts plus he’s footing the bill for turning the going on twice as large former mortgage or title company office into a lodge with bar, office, storage, and liquor room…according to the owner and lawyer/politician type it “gives us a time period to hunt for more permanent quarters”. Yeah…I’ll believe that when it happens since human nature says nothing will happen until it’s a crisis. And there’s still no kitchen since some in management don’t want to deal with the hassle…despite the fact that most Elks lodge have some cooking facilities and offer at least bar food but typically at least one dinner a week to draw in the crowd and members and increase bar sales which is where the real money is made in the hospitality biz.
Lessee…what else is happening.
Neil’s still trying to figger out how a 3 day trip to Daytona Beach for an Elks thing next month turned into a somewhat roundabout trip…by the road less traveled by…to VA to see he human kids/grandkid and NJ for Connie’s 50th high school reunion. Neil passed up his earlier this summer but for some reason she wants to go…and Daytona turned into Daytona Plus I guess. We’re retired though…so it really don’ matter a bit that we might be gone for a bit.
We’re also working on some plans for next summer to see Scotland and Wales…her Mastersingers choral group is going to London for a week for a couple of concerts and he is going to tag along anyway…so we’re working on spending some extra time there seeing the parts of Great Britain that we haven’t seen yet. GB is the island that contains England and Scotland and together with Northern Ireland which is on the island of Ireland compose the UK…and then there’s the Commonwealth and numerous other convoluted groupings of various countries independent and otherwise around the world that at one time were a part of what was known as the British Empire. It’s somewhat complicated figuring out all the relationships governmental, royalty, and otherwise but if you’re interested it’s all available on the interwebs for your research…I’ll leave that as an “exercise for the student” as they used to say in school. There will be castles involved…but only real castles, not like most of the buildings erroneously called castles we saw in Ireland. Everybody knows that a real castle has a moat and a moat has water in it…and while not all of the castles in England and Scotland are actually castles the proportion is a lot higher than it was in Ireland. We’re only looking at seeing a couple of the famous ones with tours and mostly interested in the ruins sort because those are the ones that meet Neil’s definition of a castle…and since he’s the photographer his is the only opinion that counts. We’re also going to a bunch of the areas that she’s enamored with due to watching various and assorted BBC drama series…but if we only went to parks and castles to make Neil happy she would be unhappy so he’s glad to do stuff she likes as well…’tis that whole partner/spouse thing.
We got Bingo at the lodge this afternoon so we went to Mass yesterday…well, Connie was the cantor and she did that again at the 0800 Mass today so he went yesterday and then got ready to make her a gourmet breakfast out of Friday Date Nite’s leftovers…we had gone to this new to us Mexican place on the way to the lodge…he had tacos (one each carnitas, beef, and chicken) and she had tacos al carbon (beef with guacamole in crispy corn tortillas)…she only ate 2 of her 3 while his were gone but as anybody knows a leftover taco makes a perfect frittata (that’s essentially an omelet you bake in the oven instead of making it in a pan). Chop up the taco, warm it up in a bit of oil, pour over gently the beaten eggs after carefully distributing the goodie taco bits around the pan, top with some grated cheese and put under the broiler until egg is set, cheese is melted, and it’s golden brown and delicious. Quite yummy.
Oh yeah…did ya see how we sent the new head of Al Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri off to wherever his soul is now with the super duper Hellfire missile without killing anybody else including his family who were in the same building. Instead of using the explosive version of the missile apparently the variant used was the R9X which has no explosives at all. Just before impact it pops out six blades perpendicular to the body of the missile and it starts spinning…it’s colloquial name is the “Flying Ginsu Knife”…and it essentially chops the target into itty bitty pieces. He was known via intelligence to hang out every morning on his balcony by himself…and the DoD specifically didn’t want to kill anybody else. It still takes careful positioning of the launch platform and guiding of the missile though…it’s about 100 pounds, 5 feet long and flies at mach 1.3 or about 1,000 miles an hour…so rather than fly it straight into the balcony with the building behind you have to bring it in from the side I guess and pick the side so that the missile after it gets the target doesn’t hit the building so it collapses. Same thing we got the Iraqi guy with a year or two back…and probably used in other carefully targeted takeouts of people “that needed killing anyway” as the Texans would say. I saw a thing on the web from a guy that used to work for a charitable organization years back and that same villa was at the time used to house a bunch of their employees…he said that he liked standing on that balcony enjoying the view of the snow capped mountains so he could see how al-Zawahiri would have wanted to do the same and that it was surprising to see it on the news. Connie and Neil had a very similar occurrence when we saw whichever Star Wars movie came out in the past 6 years or so…the one that at the end shows the Millenium Falcon flying over the ocean towards a couple of islands and then eventually Luke Skywalker turns around for his cameo appearance in the movie. They had previously visited those islands…Skellig Michael…off the SW coast of Ireland back in 2014 and hiked up to the top. When the scene came on showing the Falcon flying in…they turned to each other and said “been there”. Then when the camera started closing in on Luke’s back up at the top…they again said “been there”…and then Neil said “yeah, exactly right there, we’ve stood at that very spot on the top of Great Skellig (the larger of the two islands and the only one that was ever populated). There was a monastery on top of Greater Skellig that was in use from about 600-1040 AD…the islands are about 8 miles off the coast and you have to take a ferry trip on a limited number of available daily tour boats…there are only a few companies allowed to go there and there are a maximum of about 50 or 60 seats on the daily tours…and about half the time the seas are too rough to land once you get there despite the dock being on the inward facing side of the island…the islands are in pretty deep water and even at the dock it is 50 or 60 feet deep. When we went in 2014 we got tickets about 3 months ahead of time but after the Star Wars appearance the groupies really all want to go visit and the last time he looked you had to make a reservation a year out to get a seat…so they’re glad they went when the did…back then it was a lesser known thing to do but it is now almost a Disney like tourist thing.
I looked on the web but couldn’t find the actual scene from the movie “The Last Jedi”…but there are a bunch of videos on YouTube showing the various parts of the island that were in the move (albeit without any actual copyrighted movie scenes in them)…but this is one of Neil’s shots from the island back in 2014. This view is looking north and as best as he can remember without seeing the actual scene again the scene was filmed in front of the wall just to the right of these huts. That wall is pretty much like the one you can see on the left but the view to seaward has much less island in it so that looked at from movie camera height all you see is him and the wall from our memory of the scene. Kinda cool to have been to the same place as the scene was filmed but we’re glad we went before it got crazy famous.
Sorry…no images of wildlife today…Neil did spot a couple of rabbits out back the other day and got some shots but they haven’t been processed yet…but we do have a trip to Corkscrew on Aug 23 so we’ll have some then…and perhaps before then if he gets off his lazy butt and processes what he has.
Interesting things found on the net.
One pretty cool geological fun fact is that the Scottish Highlands, the Appalachians, and the Atlas are the same mountain range, once connected as the Central Pangean Mountains.
Details are here. We knew about the Appalachians and the ones in Newfoundland being the same but Greenland, the UK, Norway, and Africa we did not. Pangea was a super continent in the Carboniferous, late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras fro about 385 million to 200 million years back…it formed from earlier continental units of Gondwana, Euramerica and Siberia during the Carboniferous. It then broke up and drifted apart over time as the current continents made it to their present positions.
And finally…this one’s pretty cool but you really need to go watch the
whole video here …it’s the coolest art thing we’ve seen in quite awhile. Anywhere…there’s this ancient Japanese painting technique named Ippitsuryu…which is essentially painting with a single brush stroke.