It's been three months. An update seems to be in order, eh?

Carothers Dormitory, 2501 Whitis Ave.
Theft: A UT contractor discovered a security camera he had set down was missing. Prior to discovering the camera missing, the contractor had observed a painting contractor walking around the building aimlessly. During the investigation, the officers located the painting contractors and searched their work area. The officers were unable to locate the missing camera. After leaving, the officers received a telephone call from the one of the painting contractors, they had located the missing camera. The contractor informed the officer that when things are lost at her house, she and her family all pitch in to look for the missing item. The security company declined to file charges. Recovered value: $250.00. Occurred on: 8-08-12 at 11:53 AM.

I actually laughed out loud when I got to the "she and her family all pitch in" part. Another case of truth being stranger than fiction.

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Ummm...

Blanton Museum of Art, 1900 Speedway
Suspicious Activity: Several UT staff and students observed a non-UT subject being knocked from a tree onto the ground. Witnesses reported a second non-UT subject was also knocked out of the same tree by the suspect. As the first victim lay stunned on the ground, the suspect circled the victim, then grabbed and took the victim to another tree. Within minutes of the arrival of the police officers, the suspect returned and grabbed the second victim and flew off with him. The suspect was described as: Brown and white plumage, dark piercing eyes, curved beak, with talons. Occurred on: 3-02-12, at 11:34 AM.

Really? People called police to the scene when a bird of prey was doing what birds of prey do? Really? They called the police???? Sigh.

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A couple of recent installments prompted me to revisit this old standby.

2100 block Speedway
Theft: The UT Police Department received information a mountain bicycle had been removed from the bike racks located on the north side of PCL. During the investigation, the officers located the subject with the bicycle. The subject was identified as a current UT student. The student informed the officers he had taken the bicycle because he had his bicycle stolen. The student was taken into custody for Theft and transported to Central Booking. Recovered value: $1,350.00. Occurred on: 1-11-12, at 5:46 PM.

I can't help but wonder (a) if the story is true, was his bike really stolen?...and if so, why did he think it was okay to steal somoene else's bike? and (b) assuming the thief's story was true, was the bike stolen from him as valuable as the bike he chose to steal? Things I cannot help but wonder.

Entry #2...

100 block East 21st Street
Suspicious Activity: A UT Police Officer responded to a report of a subject singing from the top of a tree. During the investigation the officers located the subject and confirmed he was in-fact singing. The subject came down out of the tree and explained to the officers he found it entertaining to sing from a tree. Occurred on: 1-26-12, at 3:02 PM.

Just sittin' in a tree S-I-N-G-I-N-G instead of K-I-S-S-I-N-G. And who can blame the singing "subject"? Not I. Nope. Not I.

(Also, I like the "was in-fact singing" instead of "was, in fact, singing" thing. That hyphenated "in-fact" is kinda cute, doncha think?)

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I clicked on one of those ads on Amazon (this one was talking about new boots) and clicked my way down to Women's -> Outdoor -> Hiking and came upon something that gave me one of those "Which one of these is not like the others?" moments. Looky here:

And, no...I don't need any hiking boots. I was just looking. But that is not the point. No, the point is: look! That $1,135.95 boot is most definitely not an outdoor hiking boot! Can you imagine if you actually tried to go hiking in those things? Yikes. Sometimes, you just gotta shake your head and move along. Or, stop and write a blog post 'cause you just can't believe your lyin' eyes.

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My TiVo died a couple of days ago. If this had happened a few years ago it would've been a disaster of epic proportions. Now? Eh. I just don't seem to care about TV much these days. It all started with my declining interest in the soaps. It got to the point that I was using the FF button a lot when watching "my" shows. They'd stopped being entertaining to me. Instead, they were annoying me. The "heroes" in the shows were all a bunch of obnoxious pigs. The "heroines" were simpering fools. The writing, frankly, just plain began to suck. All they knew how to do anymore was glamorize the bad guys. The comings and goings of fan-favorite actors were driving story lines way too much. I finally gave up and walked away from the land of soaps. And, you know what? I didn't (and still don't) miss them.

As for prime time, I have no "appointment" shows anymore. If I don't see a show the night it airs...no biggie. If someone "spoils" something...again, no biggie. I frequently have 10 or 15 episodes of my favorite shows sitting un-watched on the TiVo.

Actually, I think this started with my declining interest in movies. I used to go to movies a lot. A lot. About 15 years ago, when it came time for the Oscars, I'd have seen most of the movies. These days? If it's not a Pixar movie, chances are incredibly slim that I've seen any of the nominated movies.

Mind you, I still like TV. A lot. But, if I miss something, I find that it's really not that big of a deal. So, I've ordered a replacement drive for my TiVo. But if I miss anything over the next few days, I don't think I'll really care. As for the shows that were on the drive? Well...too bad. They're not there anymore. And, I seem to be okay with that. Crisis averted.

The worst thing about not having Mr. TiVo is the inability to pause or rewind and catch something I missed the first time. Or FF through a commercial. In that respect, it's the Dark Ages all over again.

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I am so angry right now. I haven't posted here about the fact that my parents lost their house in the Bastrop fire. It's heartbreaking. They've been out of state all summer. The fire raged through their neighborhood on September 4th and 5th. We're not sure when it actually burned down but I don't think that really matters. We got unofficial word on September 7th that the house was gone. It showed up on the county's official list of destroyed structures the next day. We couldn't get in to see it for ourselves for another week. My parents weren't planning on coming back to town for another month or so but they changed their plans and started making their way back to Texas. Yesterday (the 15th) was the first day residents of the neighborhood were allowed back into the area. Jennie and I were in line before the gates opened and drove straight to the house. Here's what the house looks like:

Heartbreaking. Like I said. The outpouring of love and offers of help from family, friends, and even strangers, has been overwhelming. You cannot believe how much I've appreciated every gesture.

Jennie and I walked around the house, peering through the ashes, trying to catch sight of things that could be salvaged. Out by the well shed, I found this:

What is it? Melted aluminum from the riding lawnmower engine?...or something else in the shed? No idea really. But, it melted, trickled out of the shed and down a bit of slope until it resolidified. So pretty. I came close to picking it up and putting it in the back of the car. But, then I decided to wait. My parents were due in today and I thought they'd like to see it in its natural habitat.

They got to town about 3 this afternoon. I met them on the west side of town and we drove out to their property. We walked around and looked at a few things. I led them out to the shed to see the accidental art piece.

And...

Nothing. It was gone.

Some miserable excuse for a human being went out the house after Jennie and I left yesterday (or maybe this morning before neighbors came back to continue trying to pick up the pieces of their lives) and took it. I just can't get over it. I'm so very, very angry at this faceless person. There's so little left at the house. And, what will they get for it at a scrap yard? That's likely where it's bound, right?

Ugh. I'm just so angry.

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I was sitting on the couch, turned toward the TV watching something. Grandma came up, sat down behind me and sort of half-hugged me. She asked how I was. I cuddled into her and said I was okay. I asked how she was. "Good."

Then I woke up and had a bit of a cry.

Turned on my iPod to listen to some music. Beehtoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 came up on shuffle. Nice. Perfect, in fact. And, the next song? "Bang Bang" by David Sandborn. Also perfect. In a completely different way.

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Earlier this afternoon I was on the elevator at work going up to the fourth floor. It stopped on the third floor to let someone off. A student in a smart-phone fog (he was staring intently at the screen of his smart phone and was not paying attention to what was going on around him) got on and absently pushed the button for the ground floor.

I smirked but said nothing. I started to but then decided not to say anything when it looked like he'd seen the "4" light on.

The elevator went on up and stopped at the fourth floor. I got off.

But then...so did the student.

As the elevator door closed, he looked around...confused to find himself on fourth floor.

Sigh...

I'm very proud of myself for managing to not burst out into laughter. I did grin, though. And, he saw me being amused at his predicament. Oh well.

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I went to a house concert tonight. Since it was a house concert, it was completely acoustic...fantastic treat for those of us in attendance.

Jenny Reynolds (accompanied by Stuart Adamson of The Flyin' A's) opened for Warren Hood (who was accompanied by Marshall Hood and Andrew Nofziger).

All of the performers did a fantastic job (no surprise there). I loved the music and had a great time.

Warren said he encourages people to record his live performances and share the recordings. I took him at his word and recorded 4 of his songs on my iPhone. I think they came out fairly well.

Enjoy!

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