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November, 2008:

Thanksgiving: leftovers, unheated, Black Friday

Thanksgiving dinner was of course delicious. Turkey (done the dry salted way, not the brine) which was very good, squash soup, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, green beans, home made cherry pie, home made apple pie, and a bunch of other stuff.

I got calls from all my brothers, and we Skyped with Stephanie’s dad and family, which was a lot of fun– it’s amazing how cool Skype is.

Over all it was a very nice family day, although a little sad as my mom wasn’t there to share it with us. First thanksgiving without her.

We woke up this morning full and happy and cold. It turns out that our boiler decided to take the night off. Very cold. Fortunately, we have a contract, and the Oil guy came and replaced the transformer (the boiler and fan are the one part of our hvac system we haven’t replaced yet. Well, the oil tank too. Hopefully our contract will allow them to slowly replace the entire boiler as it fails one piece at a time. (although I expect that at some point we’ll have to pony up for a new boiler and fan)

Today– I’m working and everybody here will go out shopping for various things. Black Friday!

Why is it so hard to blog with a baby crying on your shoulder?

I admit that we’ve been very derelict in our blogging. I could say that’s because we are spending all of our time taking care of the baby, but that’s not 100% true. Most of the time we are staring at the baby and wondering how in the world it is possible that we made something that cute? The rest of the time we are photographing him– usually the same picture of him asleep or smiling at us.

We’ve had some good travel with him now, (down to RI a couple of times, went to Chicago on a plane!) and he’s overall like a dream baby. He does have some crankiness (usually between 4pm and 6pm, and a little bit of gastric distress (which is apparently quite normal for a baby such as himself.)

Overall we are too busy loving him to pieces to actually write about him– or our house, the fence that we haven’t put in, the dogs that continue to poop on our lawn/sidewalk/whatever, and our new large-screen tv that is mounted on the wall (right now the major problem is that you can see it when it’s on from outside (there’s a window on the stairway almost directly across) We need to put some kind of curtain on it– but the molding on the inside isn’t really designed for a curtain.

We promise that we will eventually be more punctual in our updating.

In the meantime Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy these two Halloween photos. Yes he went as a cow.



Towing Defenses

I haven't actually been towed from either of these lots, but I've been on the shady side a few times– glad to hear there's some defense for scofflaws such as myself!

Of course, when people park in my driveway (not in front of my driveway– IN MY DRIVEWAY)  I have a different tune.  The law is different in YONKERS!  (or to paraphrase the comedian Mel Brooks:  "When I stub my toe it's a tragedy.  When you fall in a manhole and die, that's comedy." )

From the Riverdale Press:

Towed from that lot? Law may be on your side

By Megan James

Throughout the summer and early fall, plenty of area residents learned the hard way not to park in the Key Food lot, on Johnson Avenue, or the Staples lot, on Broadway, unless they planned to shop exclusively in the stores in those centers.

But many are still making the mistake: running across the street to an ATM or to pick something up at another store, only to return minutes later to find their vehicles have been towed. At a recent Community Board 8 traffic and transportation committee meeting, Saul Scheinbach presented a new defense for drivers frustrated by the tow trucks’ quick hook at area lots.

“People aren’t aware that the law is on their side,” he said.

According to New York City Adminstrative Code, tow operators cannot remove vehicles without written authorization from the property owner for each vehicle towed. That authorization must include the location, make, model, color and license plate number of each vehicle the company tows.

Jay Holtz, the manager at Dyckman Realty, the company that manages the Key Food lot, could not confirm whether the owner of that property has given written permission every time Riverdale Towing & Collision removes a vehicle.

Additionally, if the owner of a car about to be towed arrives at the scene before the tow truck has taken it away, the tow company is obligated to disconnect the car and let the owner remove it from the premises, charging a service fee of no more than half the regular towing charge.

“If you see them towing your car and you call them over, they have to stop,” Mr. Scheinbach said. “I’ve seen people screaming at the tow truck driver and they just drive away.”

Property owners are required to post a sign with the name, address and telephone number of the tow operator, the hours of operation for vehicle redemption and towing and storage fees, and the tow company must call the local precinct within 30 minutes of the vehicle’s arrival at a storage facility.

According to the city Department of Consumer Affairs, if a vehicle is removed from private property in violation of this section of the code, there is no charge to the owner of the vehicle and the violator is liable for all costs of removal and storage or any damage resulting from the tow.

“While the law does not specifically say if it is the tow company or the landlord that is liable, it is the tow company that must obtain written authorization to tow the vehicle,” said the department’s spokeswoman, Beth Miller. “If the tow company does not obtain the proper written authorization, they are in violation of the law.”