As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster. The opinions expressed here are those of the DanceNet webmaster only.
I wasn't all that excited about the event because I was going to give all my proceeds to my nephew's college fun so nothing was going in my pocket. At least one friend joined in with her stuff because where yard sales are concerned, more is better.
A yard sale is a good excuse to finally part with those items from a previous life that one has outgrown and it's a moment to bring some closure to a chapter of one's life, like when you finally grow up and realize that Garfield the Cat really isn't all that funny anymore (I sold the 22 books that I had). Some people got some great deals as they picked up some comic books for 10 percent of their street value.
There were probably three interesting things I learned during this event:
It was a mixed experience. I got rid of some junk and made some money for my nephew's educaton and I got into the mode of looking for stuff to get rid of. I got to meet a lot of nice people and might even get some into swing dancing. One person wants me to pay me to learn how to set up her business' webpage for transactions. And I also got to find out that some people go out of their way to be mean. However, I got to spend the entire day outside in great weather so I think I came out ahead.
A lot of (very) young children start walking on their toes very early in their lives and some people (particularly parents) will think that it's so cute that they're getting ready for dance lessons. Some kids start wearing high heels early on in their lives, especially if their parents get them into social dancing.
And this is really a bad thing to do.
Walking around on their toes or wearing heels programs the *shape* of their feet for dancing, but it also teaches the muscles in the legs to get accustomed to a certain compression.
At that young an age, the children's bodies are still forming and walking on their toes "teaches" their Achilles' Tendon to be comopressed. That can cause problems when the kids start doing strenuous activity like running, jumping, or after-school soccer. This teacher recommended that the kids be flat on their feet (in ballet terms, not to wear pointe shoes too early) so their legs have an opportunity to learn the right habits.
Those in the dance business should be sure to stretch out before and after a dance event where heels are worn (and this includes guys who wear the ballroom/latin shoes with the Cuban heel); otherwise, you should plan on a heel operation in your future.
A certain California friend of mine affectionately refers to Massachusetts drivers as "M*ssh*les" (well, perhaps not so affectionately).
I must admit that I see candidates for that title on occasion, but sometimes I have to wonder if these same people are merely over-agressive or if they suffer from a more simpler-to-explain ailment of general stupidity.
At my favorite location for observing typical human behavior (i.e., the parking lot of the Home Depot in Watertown), I observed a store employee rounding up all the shopping carts that had developed a case of wander-lust. This person was moving a whole train of carts (at least 15) towards the store, stopping to collect a random cart on the way.
During one of those stops, a driver decided to back out of a parking spot...right into the group of shopping carts. The store employee had halted the carts behind a line of non-moving cars to fetch yet another wandering cart and the driver didn't bother to look behind before backing out. I would imagine that some of you might defend the driver because the store employee had temporarily left those carts behind that car, but that would be a rather stupid notion since it could have easily been a two-year-old sitting in the shopping cart when the car hit it. Also, given the laws in this state, the driver of a car is required to look back for obstacles before backing up (it was required on my driving test) and cars do not have the right of way before everyone else.
I can see some good possibly coming out of today's incident. There's nothing more educating than a close call. That driver could have gotten something more serious than a scare (injuries, lawsuit, jail time, etc.) so I'm hoping that this will teach him to remember to look next time. Also, I hope he gets a first-hand appreciation for how people feel when others leave a shopping cart around in a store parking lot.
In a weird way, I'm also slightly pleased that they chose to steal *mine* (mine had covers, were newer and were cleaner).
Then my tenant told me that the garbage cans were taken *before* the garbage pickup because all the other neighbors' trash was still out there. This meant that the theives had also taken the *contents* of the garbage cans. This brought up another line of thought on the motives of the thieves: we had to consider the possibility that identity theft was the motive here.
I didn't think that this was a solid theory so I didn't file a real police report but I did send an email to the local police so that they might have a record of the incident in case there was a pattern. I did get a call back from the police to tell me that they hadn't heard of any other similar incident but that I should get a shredder for the important papers (I had one already).
While I hope that this incident was merely a case of "garbage can envy", there is still the possibility of some other nefarious intent. Take care when discarding your trash. Tear up or shred anything with more than your name and address, like credit card applications, bank statements, frequent flyer statements, et cetera...