On the ground at the gas station yesterday I found a perfect-condition
slap stapler and this equally new pliers-type tool which I later learned
to be a Malco J-channel cutter. I, of course, know what a slap stapler
can be used for, but I wasn't familiar with the J-channel cutter:
(I got the blue one.)
With sheet metal as the material, it makes two parallel cuts 13/16"
(despite the fact that the page says it's a 5/8" one) apart, making a
tab. If you press harder, it cuts the tab out, making a notch. The depth
of the tab or notch can be a max of an inch, but is adjustable with a
It's a well-made tool. I've been playing with it, making lots of paper
and cardboard notches here in the office. And I know specialty tools are
expensive. But I don't do siding. Is there anything I can use this tool
About a month ago I found a perfectly good American Express card on the
ground at the gas station. I called AmEx and gave them the number, they
canceled the card and I destroyed it. Good thing it wasn't you that found
that guys card!
I'd be glad to return them to the owner, and I really feel sorry for the
poor guy. But you don't understand. Despite being a block and a half
away from a police station and being right downtown, this is a very bad
gas station; it's the BP at 900 N 5th in Kansas City, Kansas. When and
if you go there you get swamped with aggressive panhandlers and people
proposing to sell you crack. Actually, I don't get gas there. I was
walking when I saw these tools and they were over a small wall from the
gas station in a spot of grass before an adjacent parking lot. I perhaps
was misleading when I said "on the ground at the gas station".
I don't think these were *lost* items. I imagine someone stole these
tools. Then the thief decided they were unsellable and dumped them.
I have strong ethics regarding stolen goods. I never buy anything nor
have any dealings whatsoever with anything I think might have been
And I know I'm asking for the racist flame when I report this, but the
station is all black.
No, you are asking for a reality check. "I have strong ethics..." but
apparently have no problem at all with -possesion of stolen property-.
At this point you are a thief whether or not the items were stolen to
begin with. You picked up and kept stuff that doens't belong to you.
You stole them from where they were found. Proper action is to turn
them into the police. They probably were stolen and the police may
have a list showing them to be part of a burglary.
In alt.home.repair on Sun, 27 Jul 2003 10:57:06 -0500 "Nehmo
As I said, admittedly after the paragraph following, not this one, but
it applied here too, I might have been making a weak point or a strong
point. However you could probably stop by when you had nothing in the
back of the truck, park next to the door and not as far as the pump.
And you did end up calling them and if you had had their tools, you
would not have to deliver them. You could arrange to meet them
somewhere, including at the police department. If these things are
not big, and you explain, you might even have bee
I always believed that.
Because I have been in the situation of finding something, and I did
wonder who was watching. And in a couple cases, unrelated to finding
something, I know people have been watching, not with any malice but
watching nonetheless. Boring stories to illustrate my point. A) When
I was 23 I was hitchhiking though Mexico and Central America. I met a
tall blonde Belgian, not my type, but we agreed to meet at the zoo in
Mexico City at the entrance. I got there a little early and when she
wasn't there, I went to the other entrance. She got there a few
minutes later, and some guy told her "He went to the other side". I'm
not blond but we were obviously tourists. B) Later, in San Jose, Costa
Rica, I went with my Chicago roommate's fiancee to the doctor, and
while she was in with him, I went across the street to some store.
When she came out, some guy told her, "He's in there". C) I think
there have been other occasions in the US.
The start of your letter bothered me but the middle was nice. I
thought of going back to weaken the tone of my reply to the first
part, but didn't. I wonder if I had if it would have changed the tone
of your whole reply.
I don't think that should be the limit, but that's why I looked up the
phone number for you. It took under 5 minutes with
www.switchboard.com. If I just say Kansas City KS they start at the
center of the city and 900 N. 5th street doesn't seem to far from
there. (Actually some of the street addresses seemed to be farther
away, or they don't think the center is at 000 N. 1st. The entry gave
a distance of 2.39 miles, from something, and it was on the second
page, maybe the 20th entry.
I suspect they don't like most of the crowds either, certainly not
that they harass people. It probably costs them business, for one
I feared the lack of the number would make it too much effort to call
I don't think there are/were many Amocos around here, and if there was
one that I saw and it changed to BP I wouldn't think anything of it.
To make it easier for you to find when you looked it up. Switchboard
called it an Amoco, so the phone book might too.
You're afraid of black people? Black panhandlers and crack dealers
are worse than other panhandlers and crack dealers?
But you've been there, on foot no less. You could have had that guy
drop you off somewhere else and taken a bus into town, or a taxi. You
could have rushed through instead of stopping to look at things. You
only mention above that you're afraid they'll take something from your
truck, but iiuc the same valuable thing isn't always in the truck,
which probably means nothing valuable is in the back of the truck
B) Blacks themselves don't say that the owners, managers of gas
stations or their mechanics are dangerous.
They'll even meet you.
So much for "I have strong ethics regarding stolen goods. I never buy
anything nor have any dealings whatsoever with anything I think might
have been stolen."
And you're going to match them in impoliteness. They've dragged you
down and you have them to blame for it. No need to get back up again,
when you have them to blame. I guarantee you there is not the level of
dishonesty in Kansas City you think there is or there would be far
more crime. Once in NYC they arrested one guy for purse snatchings in
the subway, and while he was in jail the rate of purse snatchings and
similar things in subways went down by 30%, counting the whole city.
It only takes a few people to commit a lot of crimes. And most of the
people are doing their best
I do but I lived in a n'hood about 40% black in Chicago for 2 years,
and 12 years in Brooklyn near downtown in a n'hood that was 75 or 80%
black, mixed income, including public housing, and I road my bike
whereever I wanted. Sometimes I walked downtown, through an even
In Baltimore, I go all over downtown and everywhere with my top down 7
or 8 months out of the year, and I've never had a problem, not even an
unkind word. There have been three times I was concerned, and I list
Other than insurance, there is little point in filling out a report.
The thief himself won't turn in those items. You remind me that I did
once find a radio on the curb. It was very basic, AM only I think and
I assumed the owner changed radios and just left it on the curb
because he was lazy and for someone else to have (People in NY make a
point to put the good trash on top so that people can take it. They
don't have much storage space so if even a small 12 inch tv breaks
(even 30 years ago when they were more expensive) they fix it right
away or put it on top of or beside the trash. Often they make a point
to put it out early, so people have 3 days to take it before the trash
guy comes. Once riding home from the beach, I saw a 9 inch tv on top
of the trash, on a Sunday. I was trying to figure out how to attach
it to the little luggage rack on the back of my 10-speed, when the
housewife came out with some rope so that I could tie it on. She told
me it was probably just one tube or a fuse that was bad, and she was
Until you mentioned the radio story, I was sure the owner put in on
the curb. Now I'm thinking it might have been a thief who took it out
and decided he didnt' want it. No, he would look first rather than
get caught taking out something he doesn't want. But even if I'm
wrong, I thought it was thrown away, when you actually think yours was
Is your standard of what to do, dependent on what someone, someone
else even, has done to you? If you were beaten up in a mugging, you
could beat someone else up?
What does the vast unlikelihood of getting back your car radio and
battery have to do with property not your own that is before your
eyes? There is a legal procedure for that, totally within your power
to implement. That someone stole your stereo and battery is an
excuse. In Brooklyn, someone stole my radiator! And things were
stolen from my car before I learned better. And in some areas, people
don't replace their radio, use a portable, and put signs in their
window "No Radio!" Should we become thieves because others are
thieves? If so, where will thievery end?** **Based on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s statement about hate.
You must be mad at me. I did. The law is the same everywhere in the
US, with minor differences, mostly in the amount at which it applies.
I gave the law. I also told you to call the police and find out what
the law is. They'll know any details.
Then don't go and if no one claims them, they will be auctioned. It's
a rationalization to say "I seriously doubt." Loads of people report
thefts, because they are angry, because they hope to get their stuff
back, and because they want the insurance to pay. Specialized tools
are a lot easier to identify than car batteries and even radios.
If they are auctioned, someone who wants them enough to bid will get
them. I've never been to Kansas City but I"ve been to bicycle
auctions in Chicago several times. Looked for mine the first time
(stolen when I left it locked with something at a public place for 4
days when I went home for Thanksgiving). Bought a replacement that
day, and had so much fun bought 3 more at other ones, to sell to
incoming college students.
I gave it because I wanted to point out the sort of amendment that
might be present in other jurisdictions (states?).
Don't you feel better now? One down and one to go.
I don't know why you gave the story of how you got the stuff if....yes
maybe I do. If everyone were silent, you might figure we endorsed
your rules. Like our endorsement matters.
*** a) going to the cash machine late at night, because the cash
machine is an obvious place for someone looking to steal money to hang
out. b) once I was downtown and my car showed 0 miles left in my gas
tank and I couldn't remember where the nearest gas station was. I
first came to a 7-11 and the guy getting into his car that I asked was
I think unfriendly, and unhelpful when I asked. The second guy told
me where the gas station was, a half mile away, total 1 mile from
where it said zero. c) when my car was towed and I had to walk from
the subway 3 long blocks the the towaway place. Again, I figured
anyone who realized everyone going to this place had 200 dollars in
cash would consider my route a good place to rob someone. I asked
about this at the cashier, and she I was the first guy to come by
foot. Everyone else got a ride. Either they have more friends than I
do, or they don't notice their car is towed until they get home from
work and their friends are home too, I don't know. So if I was the
only one, I guess my route was not a target route. Not only would
being robbed cost me the money, but I wouldn't be able to get another
200 dollars from a cash machine on the same day. And if they took my
card and id, that would slow me down too, and I'd have to come back a
second day and be without my car another day
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or not you are posting the same letter.
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