Thursday, January 20, 2011


The call finally came in for #1 Son's car (actually, my car, but he drives it to school and work). They decided to call it a total loss. Surprise, surprise. note the sarcasm.

So it was off to the body shop to get his stuff out of it, and grab that license plate, we don't want to lose that one for certain. It's a personalized tag that will go on the next car, and has been in the family since personalized tags were allowed over 30 years ago.

Armed with my trusty pink tool kit and a couple of bags, i went and hunted up the guy who runs the body shop. As i was about to ask him where it was, i spotted it, much to my horror, in the field behind the shop. Horror because it had rained hard the day before, and i knew it was in mud and water.

Yes, it was. I balanced as much out of the water as i could and opened the passenger door, as the driver side door won't open far any more, got a bag ready, and almost passed out. The stink! The trash! The stink! Later, the body shop guy said his first thought was that this was a college student car. How right he was.

The bag of garbage, stuff that was mostly paper and a few cans and plastic bottles that might have been recyclable, was almost full before i got the passenger side of the car done. By the time the back seat was finished, it was full.

I unearthed, amongst the rubble, one of my good plates from the kitchen, and a fork (yea! another one!), cups, his other pair of driving glasses, earphones the kids have been searching the house for in the past few weeks, CDs, and one shoe. By this time, my feet were wet and cold and i decided not to grab the shoe, after all, it wasn't one of #1 Son's friends and the friend had probably already given it up for lost in that heap and tossed the other and what are you going to do with one shoe, anyway?

I moved the umbrellas, loaded the stuff i had found in the cabin of the car into my van, and went back to open the trunk, which was empty the last time i looked. Not any more. A t-shirt, looking much worse for the wear, peeked at me out from under the ripped up old books that he no longer needed for classes. Side note: the way they do it now is to sell you a book you can only use for one semester, that you can't resell or reuse in any way, because it only works if you have a brand new disk with it that is one per person. So he had stuffed the old ones back there and was simply letting them deteriorate in the trunk.

His scientific calculator i grabbed, and called him to ask if he needed anything else. He assured me he didn't, and i perched in the mud, tools in hand, to try to get that plate. We had trouble attaching it in the first place, i had similar trouble getting it off.

By this time, so help me, i was whooped. I asked the nice body shop guy if it would matter if i didn't clear out the trash. He said i could leave anything in there i wanted to, as long as i had everything out that i needed. I stuffed the garbage bag in the trunk rather than try to lug it over that mud, shut the trunk and the doors, gave him the keys, and got out.

Oh, and the stink? Apparently #1 Son had gotten a fresh lunch, still in the fast food bag it came in, the day he had his wreck. In the shock of the wreck he had forgotten it. It wasn't fresh any more.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Mali

Camcorder Day

Celtic Tree Month Beth (Birch) ends

Heroes Day -- Cape Verde; Guinea-Bissau

International Life Day

La Tamborrada de San Sebastian -- San Sebastian, Spain (celebrating their patron saint with 24 hours of drumming)

Martyrs Day -- Azerbaijan

National Buttercrunch Day

National Disc Jockey Day

Penguin Awareness Day

Rio de Janeiro Foundation Day -- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

St. Sebastian's Day (Patron saint of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, archers, athletes, and soldiers, and is appealed to for protection against plagues.)

Take a Walk Outdoors Day

Tenmangu Kowakamai -- Setaka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (festival of old style Japanese dances)

Tu B'shvat - Jewish

Birthdays Today:

Rainn Wilson, 1966
Bill Maher, 1956
David Lynch, 1946
Dorothy Provine, 1937
Arte Johnson, 1934
Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, 1930
Patricia Neal, 1926
Federico Fellini, 1920
DeForest Kelley, 1920
George Burns, 1896
Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, 1889
Carolus Linnaeus, 1778
André-Marie Ampère, 1775

Today in History:

The first elected English Parliament called into session by the 6th Earl of Leicester, and meets in the Palace of Westminster (a/k/a Houses of Parliament), 1265
The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored, 1502
The Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) is founded in Spain to deal with American affairs, 1503
The cornerstone of Amsterdam town hall laid, 1648
The third and main part of First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decides that Botany Bay is unsuitable for the location of a penal colony, and decides to move to Port Jackson, 1788
China cedes Hong Kong to British, 1841
L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster, 1885
The first full length talking motion picture filmed outdoors is released, "In Old Arizona", 1929
Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin deciding on "final solution" calling for extermination of Europe's Jews, 1942
The first atomic submarine, USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut, 1955
Witnesses report sightings of a Bottlenose whale swimming in the River Thames, the first time the species had been seen in the River Thames since records began in 1913, 2006
A three-man team, using only skis and kites, completes a 1,093-mile (1,759 km) trek to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility for the first time since 1958 and for the first time ever without mechanical assistance, 2007


  1. Yuck indeed. It sounds like he eats while driving.. not a good idea. Your plate in the car? I'd throttle him! ;)

  2. Hilary, i would, too, but he usually brings stuff back in and washes his own dishes, which the other kids are supposed to do but don't always. So he can have this one.


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