• December 2, 2004

The Block Club Meeting

Want to find out what is really going on in your neighborhood? Go to the Block Club meetings.

Restoration Diary

In an effort for Heather and I to be more involved in our community, we have started attending the local block club meetings. The most interesting thing I found out tonight was after the meeting.

The mild mannered older gentleman who heads up the meetings is an ex-marine Vietnam veteran who owns two pit bulls, one for inside the house, the other to gaurd the yard, a border collie, a .44 and a shotgun. Our next door neighbor, a small elderly lady in her 70′s, says she sleeps with a .38 under her pillow.

Welcome to the ‘hood.

We also just realized that someone is jumping over our chain link fence (we keep the front gate pad locked) and stealing tools, a small stepladder, a drywall stand and anything else that isn’t nailed down, locked down with a thick chain and pad lock or locked in the garage.

We saw a homeless man jump over our 4ft. high fence to pick up cans and rummage through our recyclables. This was while we were sitting at the dining room table eating dinner. David rushed outside and asked the man to get out of our yard. The man became belligerent but did leave.

Our neighbor said she saw someone jump over our fence. Too bad she didn’t call us and waited to tell us after the fact.

The creepy thing about all this is that we are being robbed while we are home. Either David or I have been in the house at all times for the past 4 months – between the time we removed the security bars and getting the house painted before we could install alarm screens on our windows. I am the one who is usually home.

Roses. I am going to plant climbing, thorny roses all along our fence line.

Comments { 4 }
  1. Cathy

    You don’t know me but I have been visiting your blog for the last couple of months and am so impressed with all your work. I live in a modest craftsmen bungalow in San Jose and your blog has really helped me to see it for what it is worth.
    By the way where exactly is your ‘hood?
    One other thing — it seems to me that you have changed your site because I remember finding links to David’s other life (standup and acting) what happened to those? I wanted to pass on the information to a family member who lives in LA and might be interested in going to a show.

  2. jm

    Been there. Your hood sounds tougher but I will NEVER get over the “leave it out and it’s gone” drill in the neighborhood. I actually had someone walk up to the BACK DOOR while I was working in the window behind a curtain and start to walk off with a vintage URN! (Um hello? WTH?) On another day, someone else tried to steal the new A/C unit…it weighs a real ton…WHILE I WAS HOME WITH THE WORKERS.

    Chutzpah. Cajones. Whatever it is, they have it.

    Tools are tempting because they can be easily resold and are difficult to trace. Keep all locked up even when contractors are around. Don’t repeat my mistakes.

  3. RPF

    HGF, no security problems in Veale Township at this time. I can make you a good deal on it. Please advise. Love RPF

  4. k

    Tools are a problem. I love Oakland, and I love my ‘hood, but if you don’t lock your crawlspace homeless folks will store their belongings there. I also get to know the local pawnshops so the guys there know me if and when any of my stuff walks off. A friend suggests spraypainting or engraving “Property of the State of CA/Parks Department/Your city here” on your tools, maybe even with a fake looking ID number. That makes them look less fenceable, if the thieves are coming during the day.

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