I ate my wafer...


I just spent a very hot, sweaty and long day, trying to save a storm damaged apple tree at my grandmother’s house. Although the tree itself may or not make it, that’s pretty much irrelevant; was time well spent with my Dad continuing our ever expanding Neanderthal joke (Whenever one of us screws up: Grunt…Thor use come-a-long to tear tree branch in half, Thor need bigger Craftsman® pipe to break wrench with, etc). I also learned more than I ever wanted to know about starting tree cuttings, thanks to Hillsdale’s wonderful Dr. Cooper. Hopefully either the tree, or some of the 40 cuttings I started will survive, it really had quite unique apples.

Be warned, I’m going to brag for a minute about lockpicking. You can read it, or continue perusing the rest of your blog reading list, I don’t really care.

So, I let Ilene into her brand new Dodge Neon last Sunday by picking the door lock, which went almost effortlessly. This was a particularly big deal as the newer Chrysler locks happen to be considered pretty hard, if not practically impossible to pick consistently. Although I have opened a couple other similar locks this way recently (Gunar’s 2000 Cherokee and a 1995 Wrangler at Galloway), Ilene’s lock was too new to have any wear whatsoever, especially as she has keyless entry, so theoretically it should have been quite difficult.

As if that wasn't good enough, the next lock to come my way was a recently rekeyed Schlage 6-pin commercial cylinder at the Montpelier Public Library, after one of my Mom’s friend’s (I always let people who do stupid stuff remain nameless…well at least I will here) left her stuff in the public meeting room. Since my Mom is on the board of trustees, her friend called us, but since the lock had just been rekeyed that week, my Mom didn’t have the correct key…enter Bob. So we drove over there, and it just practically fell open for me…we’re talking about less than 30 seconds. I also had to pick the lock in the opposite direction before leaving, and that was equally effortless. So, I’m standing there, and my mom’s forgetful friend is utterly in shock, she had “never dreamed that a door could be opened like that.” Since the woman is a family friend, and utterly trustworthy, I looked at her and laughed, then explained briefly how I came have such skills. Finally, I pointed to her brand new, 2003 GM, van and told her that I could certainly open the door to it in less than 5 minutes, and most probably drive away with it shortly thereafter without leaving a trace. After that stunning display of arrogance on my part, the woman gave me the stunned look for a minute, then smiled and said “well, the fact that you can do it really doesn’t mean much does it…its must be too complicated, and time-consuming for random criminals to learn, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered to figure out how to do it.” Backhanded complement perhaps, but it made my day, especially in the context of Ilene’s car. Of course, I’ll probably choke on the next lock I have to pick publicly, but it is still a nice feeling.

(Done bragging)

I’m reading The Whisper of the River , and I highly recommend it. Ferrol Sams is relatively unknown, at least to me, but my grandparents (the lawyer hating, doctor side) love his stuff, and recommended it to read many years ago. Read it sometime on a plane, its light reading, but the college hell-raising parts cut close to home, at least for me.