Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Shootings and "Occupy"

 Well Sweet Things, although it’s been a while since I’ve last posted things have been extremely busy for me, so busy that it has been hard to even make the time to post.

But last week I had a hard time getting to sleep.

I received a phone call very early in the evening; usually I’m not home before 6 p.m. unless I go into work early and I had one of those days, when I got home there was a message on my answering machine.  

A friend of mine, Liz who lives several blocks away asked if she could spend the night at my place, she was frightened by an event that happened and couldn’t talk clearly on the phone.  I called her back right away and asked her what happened and she told me that there had been a shooting just a few doors away from her home.

A Shooting??  In my quiet little Town???!!!  In a way that explained Joe’s earlier message on my cell to call him ASAP, I had assured him that I was fine and he said that a situation had happened not too far from my place and he wanted to be sure I was O.K.

I drove to Liz’s home but could not get close to her place, the area had been cordoned off, I even had to show my I.D. and explain why I was there.

Liz had packed a bag with what she would need, and locked her home, in the fading light I saw as we walked back to my car the apartment building that had bullet holes in the wall.  

I put an order in for dinner to be delivered and calmed her down with a cup of chamomile tea as she told me what had happened.

She had put in a half day of work taking the afternoon off for a dental appointment, and came directly home, she doesn’t do dentists very well, at about 5 p.m. she heard a car screech up and someone yell out a name of a person, then after a moment a series of shots rang out, and the sound of car tires squealing away.  She looked out her window and people were coming out of their homes, she came out and eventually found out that someone in a car had targeted someone in the 2nd floor apartment building, had called their name and that person came to the window, the next thing is about 10 or so shots rang out all aimed at the person but no one was hurt.  The car with the shooter then sped away. 

I said with 10 rounds, a clear target and still they could barely hit the side of the building and miss???  I guess the way I said it struck her as funny as she began to laugh, we were making jokes like ‘I guess the guy is not going to get his security and cleaning deposit’ and other things.  Although a very serious situation, laughter helped relieved the stress of fear that she was experiencing, but still it was not something to take lightly.

The sad thing is when I’ve gone to visit Liz, I’ve always seen Asian family members at that building, so I was concerned with the idea of Asian gang violence coming over from our near by city.   Someone was obviously targeted.  It was a miracle that no one was hurt or very poor shooting.   The police were all over the place and a helicopter had been circling over head, Liz gave her statement to the police but she felt nervous and alone, her room mate was out of town for a sisters wedding and Liz didn’t want to be alone.

So with a hot dinner, watching Season 2 of “Castle” followed by rocky road ice cream, Liz relaxed and fell asleep on the couch, I called Joe, left him a message on his phone and told him of our overnight visitor.

It was only briefly mentioned on the radio and nothing on Television although I was sorry to see that Lloyd LaQuesta from our local T.V. station was retiring but I’d have to say after 36 years of hard news reporting, he has more than earned his retirement.

Liz took the next day off from work and Joe took her home, I’ve called her to see how she’s doing and she felt better, except for the holes that she has seen in the stucco in the walls of the apartment building, but she’s feeling that this was an exception not the rule in our town, things like this happen, but happen rarely.  Joe was going to listen for any “buzz” on this, but our feeling is that there will be few clues on this, especially if the potential victim doesn’t want to give up any information.

But we shall see Sweet Things, we shall see.  Although I love my little town certain elements have been creeping in like an insidious cancer, tagging for one thing is cropping up, and there are more break in’s.  A change in attitude by the public both as pedestrians and as drivers is creating a more dangerous living situation, both walking and driving, its like people don’t care anymore; this does have me concerned, so much so that I’ve been changing my driving and shopping habits to avoid as much of this “anger” as possible, it’s like seeing mice in an overcrowded condition that is so bad that they start to kill and eat each other.  That is what I’m feeling at this point. 

On another front, Occupy Oakland and Occupy San Francisco plan to disrupt things again tomorrow May 1, the minute I heard about it on Sunday, I called my assistant, talked to her and her grandparents and advised that she pack a bag for 3 days and we’ll stay at a hotel that I know near our building, she and I will share a room, then on Wednesday we can go home after work.  Her grandparents felt better that she would be safe with me and not lose any work time.   The hotel has a nice little spa so I told her we’d have a little treat and it’s on my dime.  The dear thing is looking forward to it and I want to brain-storm with her about things at work. 

Frankly the “Occupy” groups are more of a nuisance than a benefit, they plan to block the bridges and that is a federal offence, frankly if they do, I’d like to see the book thrown at them.  If you want to change things do it the right way, there are channels.   To me they are like little children throwing temper tantrums for not getting their own way, rules are there to prevent chaos, but if you don’t like the rules see if there is a legal way to make it better, don’t harm the 99% that have to get to work to pay the bills, the mortgage, put food on the table, shoes on the children’s feet, because that is what you are doing…you are not hurting the 1 % because you are not tackling the problem correctly.

If anything the “Occupy” groups are adding to the problem, look at the increased expenses that the S.F. and Oakland groups have caused and who is paying for that??? The what are they doing?  NOTHING.

A friend of mine said that because their home is underwater and because they don’t meet all  the rules for re-financing they have asked the bank to go ahead and sell their house, to go ahead and foreclose on it, even if it means damage to their credit rating.  They’ve looked at their income and the situation they are facing and in the end it was the only result, they and several other friends of mine have found it to be a relief and have been able to start fresh, and a lot wiser.

Another who managed to pay her home mortgage on time all the time, but knew her credit rating was not very good was approached by her bank that holds the mortgage on her home about refinancing, she said she wasn’t sure if she would meet the requirements, her bank said all she had to do was answer a number of questions and they would know if qualified or not, the worse that would happen is that she would stay at the same rate and nothing would change.  So she thought she had nothing to lose, she qualified and was able to lower her monthly payment drastically, the entire process was done within 3 weeks, all by e-mail, fed-ex, a couple of phone calls and her lawyer’s notary.  And no fee, 30 year, fix rate.

But what about the others who are being foreclosed, we don’t know the full story, many claim the bank is unreasonable, when in truth they didn’t qualify for one reason or another or didn’t fill out the paper work correctly.  Then there are others who were victims by scams, who didn’t understand the process.   I’ve always said go to a legitimate financial institution such as those banks that everyone says are the guilty parties like Wells Fargo which seems to be helping a lot of people in need; B of A I would not trust if my life depended upon it, if need be go to a credit union and see what they can offer, find a real-estate lawyer who comes highly recommended they maybe able to stop the whole process and get you on the right path.

But does the “Occupy” groups offer that?  I certainly have not seen that happening with them.  In some cases they have made the situation worse, have criminalized their situation, the protestors can walk away, but not the former owner of the home and they maybe worse off than before.

Any solutions?  All I know is that I have to plan my commute very carefully if I want to get to work and cover my responsibilities that I need to maintain.

“Occupy” be damned!

Until later Sweet Things.  Kisses.

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