Thursday, April 29

midnight Ding Dong

Someone rang my doorbell after midnight last night. Beta The Wonder Dog (BTWD) immediately barked, and probably caused the perp to head for the car (on the street, with parking lights on). I flipped on the porch light, but the car turned on its headlights and sped away. I called our neighborhood patrol, and then watched the same car speed by going in the opposite direction. When the patrol arrived (maybe a minute later) he asked why my house had been targeted (for this non-crime) and I had to scratch my head. Usually crooks look for low-hanging fruit, and my well-lit house is not a prime candidate. Alas, there was no "letter under the doormat" or other non-nefarious indicator, so I can only thank BTWD and my porch light for foiling a robbery attempt. Or was it? Beta will get an extra chewbone today, for a job well done.

When I told this tale to a few of my neighbors, several responded with their own tales of mysterious cars parking at their curb, or even in their driveway, near midnight. One report specifically mentioned a Chevrolet El Camino: well, that leaves out anyone I know!

I don't get a lot of phone solicitation at home (ever since I signed up for the Texas No-Call List, superseded by the National No-Call List) and I am always leery of anyone soliciting money on behalf of phony law enforcement charities (notorious scams), so I was surprised to see TSTA on my CallerID, followed by a prepared schpiel delivered on behalf of something called the Texas State Troopers Association. A few hours later, I decided to search for "scam" and TSTA when to my amazement, I found that the TSTA is real (although a reverse phone lookup showed them to be a pool service). In addition, this line on their website gives me pause: "Donations to TSTA are not tax deductible as charitable contributions". Hmm .. why not? I tried to find out what percentage of donations becomes usable by the troopers, but that wasn't published. I then Google'd for "Texas charities" and found the Texas Attorney General's page on Charities and Non-Profits.

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