Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:
Time to make a stand?! The answer is no. I will not be committing civil disobedience over my latest degradation at the hands of Oak Park's parking ticket thieves. I thought about it. I thought about not paying the $10 fine on the completely annoying $30 ticket that seemingly I had not paid just quickly enough to satisfy my village overlords.
When I opened the envelope I swore up and down?#34;after I swore up and down?#34;that I'd never pay the extra $10. That they could take me to court, which they had already efficiently scheduled, double the fine, triple the fine. I'd never pay.
After all, blah, blah, blah (this is the part where I rant about the initial ticket which came after a snowfall, has something to do with an odd-even parking system that I'd never heard of, but which is, actually, listed on the sign on my block which I never read, which infuriates me because my part of the block wasn't plowed in the first place because there are permit parkers who are allowed to park in front of my house overnight even in the middle of snowstorms, while I get $30 tickets for pulling in front of my unplowed house because, now, at 4:30 in the afternoon the village finally wants to plow it.) Like I said, blah, blah, blah.
So, I put the damned ticket in my bill drawer and when I paid my bills, as I do about twice a month, I paid the $30 ticket through gritted teeth. And, Lord, that hurts.
But it turns out that was two days too late for village hall. My mortgage holder is more forgiving than village hall. The juice operators holding my Visa card are more forgiving than village hall. I received a letter that was actually typed up to look like a lawsuit. The Village of Oak Park is the "petitioner." I am the "respondent." I'd like to be looked at as the guy who pays $8,000 a year in property taxes, who mows the grass and plants flowers on the village's parkway, who helps organize the block party. But, no, I am the "respondent."
Did these morons ever hear of a grace period? Weren't they, on some level, grateful and satisfied they'd weaseled another $30 out of me? No, they weren't. So, under extreme protest, I will send them another $10. Now, probably, if I read all the small print, I'd find that my late fee is going to be late. God only knows what the penalty for that is.
Speaking of streets: It has been, by my measure, a pretty easy winter. Not a lot of snow. Not a lot of freezing temps. But some combination of circumstances has sure rotted the streets in town. Potholes on parade.
Quickly: At the risk of sounding completely like a crotchety old guy, how can it happen that on two occasions in two weeks that the Wendy's on Madison is "out of baked potatoes?" They come in 50-pound bags. They don't spoil. You stick them in the oven and an hour later you've made baked potatoes. ... Listen, I could be writing about George Bush. ... I like the plan for Downtown Oak Park. But what's with the names being touted for two of the more major infrastructure upgrades? There's Station Street and there's Founders Square. Station Street is dull but descriptive. And when it comes to Founders Square, I believe Oak Park has an ordinance against naming things for European white men. How about Swenson Street and Trapani Square?
Oh, I forgot, we're naming the Whiteco building Trapani Tower.