Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Right or Wrong?

The family behind me consists of a mother and several children, the youngest of whom is a boy about 13 or 14 years old. I'm not sure how many of the kids currently live with the mom, but this boy seems to be pretty full-time right now.

The kid picked up a new hobby this year. It's axe-throwing. I don't know why he's doing it, but he is. He throws the axe at a large fir tree in their backyard. By large, think over 2 feet in diameter, and correspondingly tall, much like the tree in my backyard. Our yards are about 7500 square feet, btw. At first Axel was not that good at axe-throwing, so the axe tended to bounce off the tree. With months of practice, he's improved a lot, and the tree is showing visible wear and tear to its bark. I can see some of the damage from my backdoor, about 100 feet from the tree, and I can't see the side he most often uses as a target. I think it's probably in worse shape. Mom seems oblivious to Axel's throwing.

Today Axel was in his yard with a couple of buddies. He was goofing around with the axe, doing amusing (?) things like chopping hard at the (much smaller) tree supporting the hammock where his friends were lying. He also jokingly (?) threatened his friends with his axe. Mom is still oblivious.

I'm a non-confrontational chickenshit, but with 2 car accidents in one year, I'm getting a little paranoid about irritating my insurance company. I think they would be annoyed if that stupid tree fell in my direction, even though it (like my car accidents) was not my fault. I, too, would be annoyed. A fall in my direction would do many nasty things including taking out electricity, phone, and cable lines for everyone north of us. The tree would probably hit my house and damage it. It also could hit MY big fir which would fall on at least my garage and car (parked in front of the garage, while the fir is behind the garage) and probably would also hit the Good Neighbors' house and/or their big firs setting off another round of fir tree crashes onto houses. Like I said, I'm a paranoid, non-confrontational chickenshit. And I'm one who doesn't want to find out how the insurance companies would allot blame for this, because I'm certain there will be more blame than money. I can't afford to be out of my house for months while the damage is fixed, either. My nearest sibling is 2000 miles away, so commuting from there is not reasonable, either.

In my passive-aggressive way, I looked up the owner of the property behind me, using the county property records (sidenote: it's kind of creepy how much info they display about one's house there) on the internet. As I thought, Axel's mom rents. So I called the real property owner and told them that the kid was using an axe on the tree and damaging it.

Right thing to do? Wrong? I think it would've been nicer or fairer or something to talk to Axel's mom directly, but I was loathe to do that. She's often home when he's axe-throwing, so how could she not know about it? If she knows about it and doesn't stop it, to me that implies she sees nothing wrong with the behavior. Do I have the right to tell her the behavior is wrong and she needs to stop it? It's a value judgment I'm not comfortable saying to her face, although I'll tell the world via blog that I think it's wrong and she needs to stop it. What's up with this? It's not like we've been close friends ever since I moved in. We rarely speak and those instances have usually been dog-related like the time her kids were teasing my dogs through the fence. I did confront directly over that one to stop it immediately.

How does one become less of a paranoid, conflict-avoidant, trying-to-appear-nonjudgmental-when-I-really-am chickenshit? Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Getting Better All the Time

Whew. The good news is that I'm not severely damaged. The dogs' chiropractor let me walk them over to his house for a check (since they can't go in the no-pets rental car), and they're basically okay. I had a precautionary X-ray today of my neck so we can compare it to last year's views. I also had an absolutely fabulous Watsu session yesterday, which really helped me relax and process some of this stuff out of my body. I do love Watsu. Warm, warm water, salt water pool, relaxing music and touch -- pretty close to heaven for me.

The bad news is that Bozo's erstwhile insurance company called today to say they only heard about the accident from MY insurance company, and they are investigating to see if he's even covered by them (I did notice that the insurance card had a 2006 expiration date -- why did I not say anything at the time????). This guy was old enough (looked to be in his late 50s) to know better, which now means I wonder if he should've had his blood alcohol level checked. The only thing they'd've found in my breath or blood would've been a boatload of adrenaline -- I hadn't even had coffee. The collision center called to say the damage to my car will run about $5800 as it is substantially out of square in the rear.

Breathing, I repeat: I am in pretty good shape. The dogs are in pretty good shape. Honda did a good job of designing the car to protect the occupants. Thank you, Honda engineers!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Times when it really sucks to be single:

When you are in your second car accident in 10 months (to the day). Nobody's shoulder to cry on, nobody to coddle you.

The bad news: no witnesses who can say that the fireplacing moron ran a red light at the speed limit to hit me while I was trying to make a left turn on the green light. My dogs were in the car.

The good news: the dogs don't appear to be hurt, although they'll be seeing their chiropractor to make sure. The car accelerated when I asked, so the other driver hit behind the left rear wheel instead of in my door. The other good news is that I refrained from hitting or otherwise hurting the other driver and didn't even say too much nasty stuff to him. Not good to hit my car when my dogs are in it as I get pissed off. The ambulance techs were impressed that my blood pressure was good (124/palpable) when I was so angry

The question: at what point does one's insurance company decide to stop repairing the same car?