Monday, November 29, 2010


Drilling for the next three days in Sacramento. Then drilling in Fremont next week. And drilling in Santa Clara the week after that, and possibly into the week of Christmas.

The good news is that my new laptop is finally in transit from the factory in China. It should arrive Thursday.

Then the final hopes will be that the sergeant has made his case successfully enough that we'll get our jewelry back very soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So my replacement computer is delayed.

It was supposed to ship the Friday after Veteran's Day, and I found out last Monday that it's delayed. HP won't say exactly why it's delayed, but from some of the things they've said over my many calls, some of the parts are mot making people happy, and they're having to wait for replacements.

So hopefully, it will ship next Monday, and I'll get it by the end of that week. At least they'll be refunding my expedited shipping cost, and an additional $50 once it ships.

I also got a 15% off coupon for a further purchase from HP. I'm leaning towards a new printer. Something that will network, which is the only problem with our little HP 4 LaserJet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well Now...

And so the week ends.

I've spent that past three days in Oakland, on block off of Sn Pablo Avenue supervising direct push boring's and grabbing groundwater samples.

Today we played in the rain a little, but managed to finish our work before the significant precipitation began.

It was sure nice to get a hot shower afterwards.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Pretty Amazing News

Jennifer and I went in today to identify some further items at the Martinez Police Department that had been collected on a second search warrant at the home of the fence.

Or so we thought.

When we arrived, the sergeant walked us through to a (to us) new area, and into the evidence room. He then had us start identifying real items and matching them up with the pictures we had already looked at. In the middle of this, he comes in and says, "Now a lot of stuff was just dumped into a backpack. Some of it we took pictures of, but some was all tangled up so I'll have you look at it now."

As he came back into the room, I said,. "Well, that's my backpack," and we all kind of chuckled over them using that. We hadn't even noticed it missing. We went through the envelopes that were in the backpack, most of which we had already identified, and then we dumped out the unphotographed envelope. And there was most of the rest of our jewelry.

So as far as we have been able to identify, all of the jewelry will be coming back except for Jennifer's birthday butterfly necklace, a moonstone necklace that her grandmother gave her, and my diamond earring that my parent's gave me from dad's cuff link.

Also while we were talking, the sergeant asked us again when the robbery had happened. He mentioned that when they went in, most of the items were in the backpack or in a woman's purse. Some were one the suspects, and some were spread out on the table being appraised by the fence. I told him again that the burglary was the morning of Thursday, October 28. He then said that their raid was that evening.

We pieced it together that while I was walking through my home with the county sheriff, the sergeant and his people were already recovering most of my stolen property. If the raid had happened on any other day, we likely would never have seen this stuff again.

We didn't end up looking at pictures as the only things they found in the second search of the premises were watches.

As we were finishing up, we asked how long until we would be able to get our property back. He said they are making the case, and are hoping for four convictions: the fence and the three suspects who are believed to have performed the break-in themselves. He thinks it will be another two weeks before he presents the case to the district attorney. At that point, he can ask if the photographs of the evidence will be sufficient, or if the actual items will need to be present for a possible trial. So I'm holding out hope for a return by Christmas.

I also asked if we might be subpoenaed for the trial, and he said that he could testify for us at any hearing having been present at the raid. In the event of a trial, then there would be the possibility of a subpoena.

So, almost everything is nice and safe in Martinez, and locked up. But soon, we'll have almost all of it back.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Duck and Cover

Last night while I was driving home from work I saw some menacing plumes of black smoke coming from the refinery area of Martinez. I switched to the news station, and heard about a shelter in place because of excessive flaring at the Tesoro refinery.

When I got home, Jennifer was turning off the heater, and we made sure that the cat was in.

Here is an article on what happened.

And here is another with some amazing pictures.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Striding Uphill

Yesterday I spoke with the sergeant at Martinez PD again. He asked for a description of items that had not been recovered. He said they were compiling a list to get an additional search warrant.

When they had gone into the fence's house originally, they had picked up only things that looked out of place. This time they would go in and do a more thorough search, especially looking for locations where things might be hidden.

Today, I got an email saying they had gone in and found some more jewelry. So next Monday, Jennifer and I will be going back in for more looking at pictures.

It's pretty exciting to see things like this work out. Jennifer and I are trying to determine a way to thank the Martinez PD. We can't even say it's our tax dollars since we don't live in that city. I'm planning on asking if we can bring food to them or something.

That said, a burglary seems to be good for dieting, especially with appetite suppression. I'm down more than 5 pounds since 10/28.

Monday, November 08, 2010

So Much Good News

We just got out of the police department from looking at pictures of stolen property.

As the detective was pulling up the first picture Jennifer broke into tears seeing a silver bracelet with a large piece of amber set in it. Probably half of the items that were photographed were ours.

Her diamond ring. My ruby ring. My wedding ring. My TeNo. My Bico. My great grandfather's pocket watch. Her Valentine's Day jewelry. Her diamond earrings.

Not everything was there, but the officer said only what had looked put of place was collected.

The diamond earring. My Superman earrings. My ankhs.

Still hope remains.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

High Anxiety

All I can think about today us going to the Martinez PD tomorrow and looking at photos of recovered property, and hoping they have found more than just Jennifer's class ring.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Hope Grows

Yesterday I got a call from the Martinez Police Department. He was returning my call, and while confirming what had been stolen and getting the Contra Costa County Sheriff's case number, he asked if I knew Jennifer.

I said that yes, she's my wife.

He said that they had found her high school class ring. It of course had the year she graduated, but also had her initials on it. He had then gone to Ygnacio and looked at the yearbook for our senior year, and he said there were only two people with those initials in our graduating class.

I am so excited. I know it's no guarantee of anything, but it is at least one item that has been recovered. Plus it will be a piece of evidence towards conviction of the fence and maybe a lead toward apprehending the thieves.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Binders of Photos

Asa further follow-up, I got an e-mail yesterday that said there will be photographs of the stolen items recovered from the fence that will be available for viewing next week.

Jennifer and I continue to hope.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope

Yesterday on my way back to work from eating lunch at home, my neightbor flagged me down.

She asked if I got the newspaper. I said, no, and she said there had been bust in Martinez of a believed fence's clearinghouse.

Here's the article.

And now, it wasn't my laptop with the GPS chip. But I did call the number inthe article, and also sent an e-mail.

My evening did go better last night, but I still didn't sleep very well.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Let's Be Blunt

Last week was shitty.

I worked 60 hours last week. It was a good project, but each night I was pretty tired.

Thursday evening was absolutely fucking horrible.

Jennifer was working late, and I got home about 6:45. I loved on Pom and saw the little stray we've been feeding waiting outside on the patio. When I put his food out, I heard some scrabbling on the redwood outside and saw two raccoons watching me. I thought it'd be cool to get some pictures of them, so I went out to the car, got my camera, and went to the front door.

Where I saw: broken wood, candles askew on the foyer table, and Jennifer's dream sign on its face.

I walked kind of stunned to the door and saw that it had been kicked in breaking the frame.

I ran to the office and saw that my laptop was missing. Then with a sinking feeling I went to the bedroom, and saw a nightmare. Our jewelry boxes were empty with the drawers on the floors, and all of the top drawers of our dressers were open.

All of our jewelry is gone except fro what we were wearing that day.

My wedding ring is gone. My ruby and diamond ring my parents gave me for my 21st birthday and modified for graduating college is gone. The diamond earring made from a cuff link of my Dad's is gone. All the special jewelry I've accumulated over 40 years is gone.

Fortunately Jennifer was wearing her white sapphire engagement ring, and her gold wedding band. But the jewelry I'd bought her for Valentine's Day this years is gone. Her gold cat charm necklace is gone. Her new diamond ring we bought from the Sorrells is gone.

Now we're stuck in the grieving process. Lights stay on all the time; all through the night. Jennifer wakes up every hour even with ear plugs. I stay up reading until I'm exhausted and can do nothing but sleep.

Going off of the five stages of grief, we both got through Denial pretty quickly. Anger washed over me for a while, and I still hold on to that if I were to ever find the people who did this. I've thought about Bargaining, but that seemed pretty futile. Now Jennifer and I are stuck in Depression with a healthy dose of fear. We've bounced into acceptance once and a while, but it doesn't last.

Last night was my turn to break down. I just feel powerless.

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