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Archive for August 12th, 2007

We drove down to Springfield yesterday for a dance lesson.   It was a hot afternoon, and we had done quite a bit of work before we left home, so it was a fairly quiet drive.  At least it was quiet until my sweet husband heaved a great sigh.   Sighing is usually my department, so I immediately asked him what was up.   Or actually, I said “That was a pretty big sigh.”

“Yeah,” he said.   “It was.”

I had to ask.  “So what brought it out?”

After a while, he sighed again, and said,  “I made a mistake last night.  It is probably going to cost us money.”  I asked him what had happened, and he told me about his Friday night.  (You can read the bare bones about it here if you like.)   What the article does not tell you is that there are only about 14 or 15 places where you can even buy alcohol in this town.   The fact that the minors the police used were able to suck in Walmart and Brown Derby tells you something about the quality of the scam  (oh, I mean sting) that was being  run by the police.

Of course, Jim has worked at Jefferson Package for about 5 years now, and this is the first time a minor that was being operated by the police has managed to get him to sell him liquor.  Generally, Jim has the rule that if he doesn’t know you, and if you don’t look like you are way over 30, he will card you.   But on Friday night, it was 100 degrees F in Lebanon, so the store was really busy.   It was our wedding anniversary, and Jim was working instead of spending time with me, which was definitely a distraction.   Plus they have a new clerk working at the store, whom Jim is trying to train.  He was tired.

Oh yes, all great excuses, which the Lebanon Police really doesn’t give a rats ass about.   The other thing the article doesn’t tell you is that the establishment that they find selling liquor to minors is not responsible for paying the fine (or serving the jail time should the judge decide to impose some).   The clerk is.  It is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days to 6 months in jail and or a fine of up to $500.   So, it is all up to the judge now; the court date is in September.

Well, I have to admit that when Jim told me this had happened, I was pretty upset.   Not at him,  I know he is careful.  I was just upset because it is a potential extra expense which we don’t really need right now.   I sat in the car as we tooled down I-44 towards Springfield, and I really, really, wanted to smack my fist on the dashboard of the car.  However, I also knew that the last time I did something like that the car I was riding in stopped running within minutes and the owner ended up having to buy a new alternator and distributor cap.  (Coincidence?  Probably.   Do I want to risk it again?  No.)   Anyway, I contented myself with a choice expletive coupled with a gentle rap on the car door.   

“I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have broken my rule,” Jim said in response to my venting.

“Well, it’s too late.  It has happened,  stuff like this happens.   It’s not your fault, Jim.  We’ll be okay.”

Now is when our penchant for interacting positively with the city administration will help us out.   I’m sure the City Administrator, the Public Works Director, the Mayor, and the guy on the Planning and Zoning Commission who happens to be my client are not the only people who know who we are.  I have no doubt when Jim comes up before our municipal judge he will be scolded, told to be more careful in the future and we’ll have to pay the court costs.     At least that is what I am visualizing happening.  I’d really like to know the statistic of how many times he has NOT been caught; the police run this sting on a regular basis.

But I was sorely in need of a river fix after all that, and the blog stuff that happened earlier with my relative threatening to sue me for defamation and libel.   So this morning I went off and floated with Jeri and Heather (her daughter).   It was going to be pretty hot today, so we planned to hit the river early.  I got out there by 8 a.m., but we didn’t actually get on the water until 9.   It was beautiful, not a breath of wind.  We had plenty of shade along the banks, the river is down but still has a lot of water in it.   Of course, we stopped a lot, and spent quite a goodly amount of time soaking and floating.   There was one gravel bar that was covered with wild hardy hibiscus in full bloom.   Amazing.   Of course I didn’t have my camera with me.

When I got home, as I was driving in the driveway I noticed that it seemed like there was qutie a a lot of water running down the drive.   “Hmm,” I thought to myself.  “Someone has been watering.”  Jim came out of the house and pointed out the phenomenon, which was when I realized that rather than being spillover from the hose, this was water oozing up from under the driveway and out through the cracks in the asphalt.   I immediately hoped that it was the condensation from the air conditioner seeping out (it leaks down into the soil through cracks in the concrete of the carport floor).  

It isn’t, the little indicator on the water meter is spinning round and round and round.   The line from our meter to the house is broken somewhere, so we are calling a plumber in the morning.  

The existing line runs from the meter up to about where the white dragon’s garden is, and splits there into the water line that runs back to the barn, vineyard and garden and the line that serves the house.  The house line runs under the driveway, under my front flower bed (including the redbud tree), under the sidewalk to the front door, turns under the outside flower bed, runs under the juniper bush right by the front door.  At that point it goes through the foundation  and into the crawl space.   Rather than try to find where that line is broken, we are just going to have them run a new line from the meter to the house, avoiding the majority of the gardens.   It will still have to go under the driveway, though, and they will still have to find where the junction is where the lines head off to the barn so they can connect into the system there.   This is also going to cost us money.

Ah, the joys of home ownership.   Sometimes you just can’t get ahead.

On a brighter note, tonight we are setting our alarm clock for 2 a.m. so we can get up and watch the Perseid meteor shower.

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