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09/16/2010

Flying mattress

My plans for a relaxing evening working out at the YMCA were abruptly cancelled by a mattress flying off a truck two cars ahead of me. The traffic light at the intersection of Washington Center and Coldwater had just turned green. Everybody was close behind each other and accelerating when a queen size mattress fell off the back of this truck. The driver ahead of me barely managed to stop right before the mattress. I slammed on my breaks as hard as I could, but still bumped into the back of that red Dodge. The SUV behind me didn't stop quite as quickly and rear-ended my van hard.

Nobody was seriously injured. Just my back now hurts a lot due to the blow from behind. The car in front of me got a small ding in the back fender and some paint scraped off where my front hit it. The plastic part of my front fender is cracked. The back door of my van is bent so much that it doesn't open anymore, and the back fender will have to be replaced too. The car behind me was leaking coolant and had the entire front badly smashed. He needed towing. 20100916_0001.JPG

The person who lost their mattress never even bothered to stop.

05/28/2010

Nancy passed away

My mother-in-law lost her final battle against cancer today at 3:53 p.m.
When her time came to say good-bye she did so gracefully, in peace, and with dignity. She had a smile on her face and was sitting in her favorite recliner at home, surrounded by her family.

03/19/2010

Thief at Work

I'm still not sure whether to feel traumatized or extremely lucky. Today while I was enjoying the perfect sunshine outside, walking for my lunch-break, somebody entered the office, opened my desk drawer, took the wallet out of my purse, and went to buy a whole bunch of stuff with the two credit cards in it.

I found out about four hours later, when I got ready to go home, and got my glasses out of the purse. There I noticed the wallet was missing. Just the wallet, nothing else. That wallet contained only two credit cards, my health insurance card, the library card, a few stamps, and about $20 cash. There are other things in my purse that I consider more valuable, but those things are still with me - which is why I'll probably end up feeling extremely lucky.

When I got home and called the credit card companies, I found out that one of the cards had already been reported to the bank as found, about half an hour after being stolen, by some lady not too far away from Indiana Tech. Later on I went to meet with that woman. She told me how and when and where she had found my card and gave it back to me.

From now on I will have to keep my desk drawer locked at work.
That's sad. 

update 4/5/2010
the truth is partially out

I reported the incident to the police. During the investigation I found out more details, and I realized that my initial assessment was not completely correct.

My wallet had been stolen between 9:40 a.m. and 9:57 a.m. already, not during my lunch walk. The person who did this had done the same thing last year at other businesses downtown. My stolen credit cards had been used by two different people, who must have gotten them from the thief. One of the people using my cards didn't even spell my name right when forging my signature.

There's a good chance that the two users of my cards will go to jail.
Hopefully the thief will go down too, sooner or later.

update 4/22/2010
it happened again!

Today, around 8:15 a.m., the same thief walked into another building on campus and stole a colleague's wallet out of her purse, out of her closed overhead bin, out of her office. She found out quicker than I had, before the thief even had a chance to use any of her stolen cards.
Too bad, that knowing what the thief looks like doesn't help you to catch him. You would have to see him actually stealing something. Just suspicious behaviour, documented on surveillance video, doesn't count in court.

01/29/2010

Gain from a Lost Week

From the 'work' point of view this week was pretty much lost. Two unrelated incidents resulted in greatly reduced productivity for me personally, and for the team as a whole: on Monday my computer's harddrive crashed, and an important colleague didn't show up for work.LostWeek.JPG

The way those two incidents unfolded, and were dealt with, over the course of five work days resulted in valuable gain, though.
I learned a lot about Windows 7, and I learned a lot about people.

When our comfortable routine gets disrupted by unexpected events, we forget about the carefully orchestrated masquerade that we keep up to protect our true self. People's unkempt faces show, and you recognize the leaders, the followers, the bystanders, and the saboteurs.

Of course, all that matters is the end result: I now have Windows 7 running on my computer, with most of my tools working again, and our colleague will hopefully be back to work on Monday. 

01/20/2009

Going out of business

I know, we are in a world-wide recession, everybody is affected. Individuals, families, groups, small businesses, large businesses, nobody is truly safe. You see the signs all over town *space available*, where you remember seing some store just last week. 

Until now (knock on wood) I have been very lucky, as far as my personal finances are concerned. But I get a feeling, things are going downhill fast all around me. The number of really big companies going completely out of business, or closing many unprofitable stores, is scary!

In the recent case of World-Market announcing the imminent closure of their Fort Wayne location, it also hurts me personally. goingoutofbusiness.JPG I will have to drive to Carmel now for some of my basic necessities, like Katjes Lakritz, N├╝rnberger Lebkuchen, Marzipan, Christstollen, Adventskalender or just some ordinary household items that aren't made in China.