Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Squirrel's Nut Cache - 8/26/2010

The Nut Cache - a collection of recent things I found interesting, or amusing, or nutworthy.

I've always been a fan of creative parenting. There's nothing like a little imagination to get a point to sink in. For example, I have a friend who, when her son locked himself in his bedroom and would not let her in, took the doorknob off of his bedroom door. Classic. Now, out of Texas comes a story of a Dad fed up with his 16-year-old daughter's failing to respect the curfew set for her. His creative punishment? Taking out a full-paged ad in the newspaper offering his daughter's babysitting services free of charge. 30 hours of "community service" babysitting is the punishment her dad has "sentenced" her to. On the one hand, I do like Dad's creativity, on the other hand, as one friend said to me, "Nothing says 'quality child care' like 'reluctant teenager.'" Well, there is that, too...

The Scriptures say "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15,) and so, of course, I in no way endorse theft of any kind. But we all understand it, don't we? Things are valuable because people want them, right? If nobody wanted big flat-panel televisions, they wouldn't cost hundreds of dollars each. Therefore, thieves steal valuable things that people want. That's why this theft makes perfect sense to me.. I mean, who wouldn't want to steal a huge truckload of peanuts? (It's a squirrel thing...)

From one thief story to another: security cameras and such have always been, since their invention, an obstacle for thieves. When a professional thief “cases” a “job,” one of the first things he does is look for all the cameras, because you know there are gonna be cameras. The petty thieves, it seems, are not really professionals; they’re just opportunists. They work the crowds and wait and watch until somebody said something down and turns away, then they pounce. But that didn’t work out so well for a thief in Madison, Wisconsin. It seems a family had stopped to take some photographs, and the father had set the family’s tote bag down next to the steps. Seeing an opportunity, a thief snagged the bag and fled the scene. The family turned around after taking their picture to find that the bag was gone. Just a few years ago, they would’ve had to wait days until the film was developed, but not in this digital age! Note to thieves: when stealing from a family of photographers, it is a good idea to make sure you are not in the shot!

Well, we just have to do one more stupid thief story. You would think the restore full of police officers would be pretty safe from shoplifters… You would think that, wouldn’t you? Yeah, me to. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the employees of a Portland Fred Meyer store were not really expecting shoplifters during the annual "Shop With a Cop" back-to-school event, where cops help children shop for their back-to-school supplies. But, let’s face it, thieves do not tend to be the brightest bulbs on the tree. Sure enough, two “enterprising” young hooligans thought it would be a great time to help themselves to some “free” merchandise. They were wrong… (You know, cops have to love guys like these! Dumb thieves have got to make work that much easier.)

A few weeks ago I wrote about the story of the little girl whose lemonade stand was shut down by the Oregon department of health for failing to have the proper restaurant licenses, here’s a story from the other coast that also details how government intrusion is hurting business. It seems the New York State has a tax on prepared foods but not on groceries. If you buy a bagel from a bakery it is considered groceries… except if they cut it for you. If they cut it for you, it is now a “prepared food” and subject to an 8% sales tax. One bagel shop, Bruegger’s, just got stuck for fines and back taxes because employees did not realize that a sliced plain bagel was a prepared food, and subject to the tax, while an unsliced plain bagel was untaxed groceries. It is simple economics, folks. Taxes kill economies!

It is a Nutty world, might as well laugh...

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