Leakage to the Food Bank

This morning, I went out to the garage to get rid of some trash and noticed water on the floor. Fortunately, I’d had my coffee already and realized that Something Had Gone Wrong. And, after just a few seconds of weighing the possibilities, the answer came to me: the water heater had sprung a leak. A slow leak, to be sure, but nonetheless, a leak.

So I followed the instructions on the side telling me how to shut it off, and then called the company which had provided the instructions (and, for that matter, the water heater) to get a new water heater delivered and installed. The old one had lasted just short of 15 years, which isn’t bad, so I was willing to be a repeat customer.

And eventually, the installer showed up, installed a water heater, made all sorts of changes needed to bring it up to code (such as double-strapping it to the wall versus single-strapping 15 years ago), took my credit card number, and went away.

But while I was waiting for the water heater guy, I was forced to work at home instead of going to work (needless to say, he came a bit later than they’d originally told me), and while I was at home, I took a good look at our plum tree. Last year, the tree had given us about six plums, and we were afraid that it was on its last legs, but this year, the crop has been bountiful, and we were beginning to see plums falling down and rotting — not a good thing. So while I was waiting, I picked as many plums as I could reach and bagged them — a dozen produce bags in all (and there were still plenty of plums too high for me to reach).

We like plums, but a dozen bags is far too many for us to use — so I called the Second Harvest Food Bank and asked if they’d be interested in the excess. They said that they were always happy to get fresh fruit, whether from stores, restaurants, or backyard growers, and so I brought the plums to them, and I hope they get put to good use.

We’ve made money donations to Second Harvest for many years, and have donated canned and boxed food via our temple and other food drives, but this was the first time I’ve brought them something in person — not to mention that it was something we’d grown ourselves (even if we do mostly provide benign neglect to the tree). I felt like I’d made a small difference today — it felt good!

Unclear on the concept

While I was on vacation, I checked my answering machine and found a message from my credit card company asking me to call their Fraud Detection department because they had detected unusual usage patterns on my card. Unlike last year, when someone appeared to be trying to use my card at home at the same time I was using it on the road, leading to my getting a new card number, which I haven’t yet memorized, there was no problem, and after a brief chat, I hung up, happy that my bank was ever-vigilant and interested in keeping my credit card number safe.

Today, I got a letter from the credit card company asking me to fill in a brief questionnaire about how well satisfied I was with their service during my recent phone call. No problem — until I looked carefully at the cover letter before tossing it out, and realized that they’d put my full card number on the letter, making it a dangerous item and one that I needed to shred. I answered the questionnaire anyway, but made sure to mention that putting the whole card number on the letter was stupid, especially considering the reason for the call.


Dangerous Web Wanderings

If my writing style in the previous passages seems a bit more convoluted than usual, blame the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest; I’ve just spent the past half-hour reading this year’s winners, runners-up, and dishonorable mentions — and even worse, I followed a pointer from the contest page and, just a few clicks later, found myself reading filksongs; if Jeffrey weren’t in bed, I’d be trying to sing them, but I don’t want to wake him (or scare the neighbors — it’s a dark and coolish night and the windows are open, both at our place and theirs).