Sunday, October 24, 2021

Lockbox and Helicopter


This may be an all-time record for sleeping late and, hence, posting late. But that's what Sunday morning is for, right?

We've had a busy weekend around here already. I took the dog out for a couple of walks yesterday, including a short outing to the cemetery where we found some autumnal leaves. This is how well-behaved Olga is -- I told her to stay put, and she allowed me to cover her eye with a leaf for a picture. She does trust me, that dog.


I found this mysterious lockbox, set out with some rubbish on the sidewalk. I'm really trying not to bring stuff home, because enough is enough, but I couldn't resist this. I was mostly curious about whether I could get it open (and the answer is no). It doesn't have a key. The paper label says it contained a marriage certificate and an MOT certificate (which is what you get in Britain when your car is inspected). I assume it's probably empty now, but it's surprisingly heavy and I might take it to a locksmith just to see if he can get into it and maybe even give me a key for it.

Or is that insane? I haven't decided.

Anyway, after walking the dog, Dave and I met up at the cinema with our friend Chris to see "Dune." It's a visually spectacular movie and much better than the '80s version, and I think seeing it on a big screen was worth it. I wasn't entirely clear on all the plot points, but fortunately Chris had read Frank Herbert's book three times (and it's a GIGANTIC book, so that's quite an accomplishment). He filled me in afterwards on a few things I didn't understand -- for example, how do those gigantic sand worms survive on a planet that seems otherwise devoid of almost any life? What do they eat? (I won't spoil it for you.)

I tried to read "Dune" as a teenager but it didn't do it for me. I liked light science fiction of the "Star Trek" and Ray Bradbury variety, but I could never get into classic sci-fi by Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke or Robert Heinlein. Maybe it was just too complicated. I could never do Tolkien either, aside from "The Hobbit."

Anyway, after the movie, we came back here and had pizza and gossiped about work. It was a fun evening and I didn't go to bed until midnight or so, which is why I slept so late.


And I slept soundly, except between 4:30 and 5:15 in the morning, when this thing was hovering over our neighborhood. It's a police helicopter and it was loud. I have no idea what was going on, but they were clearly looking for someone.


I made possibly the worst-quality video ever so you could experience the sound. You won't be able to see much, though, because capturing a flashing object in a dark sky was beyond the capacity of my iPhone. If I ever figure out what that thing was doing up there, I'll let you know.

56 comments:

  1. Yes, those police helicopters are LOUD ! They always seem to come in the night too.
    You must definitely get that box opened.....either a locksmith or a safebreaker!
    Might have a fortune in it.

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    1. I've seen those police copters here before, usually flying around just to the west of us -- but never to the east, over Hampstead, where nothing bad ever happens. LOL!

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  2. I *love* the box and I was worried you'd left it behind for a moment there!
    I have a very similar looking box bought in Belgium - I do have the key, but it's still a lot of effort to turn & open. In fact, I've got a bit of a 'thing' for oldish locking boxes, picking them up at boot sales etc and can now guess which ones will work with the key/s I already have - they're very seldom actually unique. Perhaps you can find a similar box & key cheaply on ebay or something? Rather goes against your efforts at not bringing stuff home so much, but I usually justify it as "storage"!

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    1. I have a couple of old keys that I thought might work, but alas, they did not. Stay tuned to hear what the locksmith says!

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    2. Your comment about it having 2 latches is interesting - so has mine. I guess you've been able to peep inside just enough to be able to see that much. Mine and similar are painted red inside - is yours?

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    3. I can't tell what color it is inside, but yes, I can crack the lid just enough to see (or feel, with a knife) that it latches in two places.

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  3. That won't need an intricate key. It will only be something like a wardrobe key. Try every one you have. Take it to work and ask everyone to bring in all that they have, and I bet you'll find one. We have enough keys for about 12 attempts here. I've no idea what most of them were originally for.

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    1. The keys I have did not work, sadly. I wish I could tell how the mechanism locks -- that might help me get it open. But I can't even tell how the latches work. (There are two of them.)

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  4. The box is something I would have brought home too! I hope you get it open. We get helicopters all the time, mostly because we are quite near the A2 I think. Olga is a very good girl posing like that!

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    1. Helicopters in our area are almost always flying around over Kilburn and Edgware Road, to the west of us.

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  5. Yes. You should get that box open. The curiosity would be the end of me. Cutting torches? And then sell it for scrap.

    At the very least you'd get a blog post out of it. Remember Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone's vault? It could be like that.

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    1. That's exactly what came to my mind, Debby! Geraldo and Al Capone's vault.

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    2. Ha! I forgot about Al Capone's vault. This will no doubt be JUST like that. I'd like to get it open without destroying the box, though I don't know why I care since I'm not sure I want the box.

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    3. The box would be an interesting place to plant some small plants...primroses, maybe.

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  6. Those lights! They are like two eyes moving around in the depths of the night and one of them keeps winking. I suspect that they were searching the area for American grey squirrels. There was probably a police marksman on board.

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    1. Well, I'm glad he didn't shoot at me, standing in my dark garden with my camera!

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  7. I would have brought the box home too. Never mind a locksmith who you would have to pay. I'd like to see a video of you taking to it with a cheap pick axe. You don't have a hammer and chisel?

    I have a vague memory of a stupid film called Dune. Must have been the eighties version.

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    1. I have tools but I'd rather not ruin the box. Let me see what a locksmith says. I don't mind paying some small amount to solve the mystery.

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  8. I’ll take a rain check on Dune …I’m not a Syfy fanx

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    1. It's quite beautiful, though. Very well-made!

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  9. I barely dragged myself through Dune. The book. How was Jason Momoma? He is the only reason I'd go see that movie. To be honest, I never got through all of Lord of the Rings, either. But I think I read everything Heinlein ever wrote.
    I would have brought the lockbox home too. I am thinking that the box itself may be the most valuable and interesting thing about the whole situation. I bet a locksmith could get into easily.

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    1. Momoa was good, but the movie doesn't delve too deeply into the psyches of the characters -- so the acting is more of the "action" variety than the "emoting" variety. In fact, if I have a criticism, that's it. We don't get much exploration of the characters' inner lives.

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  10. OMG ... I read Dune and loved it! The spice eating worms scared me ... even in print! LOL It seems like there were a couple of other Dune-related books that I read, as well!
    Never cared to see the movie and won't see this current one either!
    Why wouldn't Olga trust you? ... You're her Dad!

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    1. The worms are definitely the image everyone remembers about "Dune"!

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  11. one of the many reasons I was happy to leave the city...helicopters frequently flying over and circling around the house/area.

    I read Dune decades ago but never read any of the sequels because I thought the original was complete and the sequels were just about cashing in on its success. I hated the 80s movie. And this one is only half the book so it's a two movie deal.

    That is a cool lock box. I think you should take it to a locksmith. Like you said, it's probably empty but if you got a key it could be useful.

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    1. Everyone seems to agree that the "Dune" sequels all fall short.

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  12. That is a beautiful box!
    Dune isn't for a teenager, I think. Hopefully the film stays true to the books.

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    1. My stepbrother read it as a teenager and loved it, as did some of my friends. I just didn't have the patience at that age.

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  13. I'm not a sci-fi fan, but Roger is so I'll tell him about this movie. He may stream it someday in the future.
    We hear a lot of helicopters here during fire season. They are very loud.
    Good luck with that box. I'd love to know what's inside.

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    1. Streaming it would still be interesting, I'm sure, but seeing it on the big screen definitely made a bigger impact. It's visually stunning.

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  14. Olga looks so patient in that photo. I'm not sure what to tell you about that box.

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    1. I know! Part of me thinks, "It could contain a gun! Or drugs! Or child pornography!" I mean, seriously, who knows?! Hopefully I can explain my way out of it if something nefarious turns up in there.

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  15. Just read about the new Dune. Will maybe give it a try. Couldn’t get into the book and didn’t like the ´80s film. I also read about a police helicopter search in your neighborhood. Apparently, they’re investigating the theft of a lock box.

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    1. Yes, give the new movie a try. I'm telling you, the visuals are amazing. And the story hangs together, which is quite an accomplishment for so mammoth a work.

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  16. That's a great photo you got of the helicopter with the lights. Maybe they were looking for escaped criminals? Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. No, they were looking for the box.

      U

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    2. Ha! I thought about that too. The box was already in my house by that time, but I suppose they might still have been looking. LOL

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  17. I try not to bring anything home unless I have a specific use for it. I loved "Dune" and was very into the classic sci-fi writers when I was younger. Now I gravitate toward mysteries. Frank Herbert was from my area and I go often to Dune Park at Point Ruston to walk on nice days.

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    1. I had to look up Dune Park and Point Ruston -- I never knew Herbert was from Tacoma!

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  18. I read some sci-fi/fantasy when I was young, but have read far much more of it over the past ten years or so. I just finished an audio version of Bradbury's The Illustrated Man this week. I really enjoyed it! I never read Dune or watched the film.

    I vote for taking the box to a locksmith. Sometimes they have skeleton keys that work on things like that!

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    1. I remember reading "The Illustrated Man" in high school and loving it!

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  19. We watched Dune on Friday night, too. I thought Timonty Chalamet headlined the blockbuster epic admirably.

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  20. I liked the original Dune movie, also liked the book. The follow on books were not so good, I gave up on them.
    In Tucson we got the helicopters a lot, with the Night Sun lights, looking for people. They're pretty creepy. Given what it costs to run something a helicopter per hour, I always wondered how bad the crime was that justified their use.

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    1. Yeah, I heard the sequels were pretty miserable. And yeah, I wonder that too -- how severe was the crime, given the cost of flying around a helicopter for an hour?

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  21. I dislike police helicopters, orange helicopters actually. They're so noisy.

    I think I'll try and reread Dune before watching the movie. It's been years since I read it.

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    1. Ours are black, I think. (Hard to tell at night!)

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  22. I love a mystery so I do want to see what is in the box!

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    1. I will definitely let you know if I get it open!

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  23. You have huge curiosity. Take your hammer and open it the quick way.

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  24. Oh yes, you HAVE to get the box open! All of your blog readers demand it!

    I read the first four Dune books about 30 years ago, but Mike used to be OBSESSED with them. He & Dave could probably spend hours talking Dune. He's planning to wait until the second movie comes out, but maybe we should go see this one in the theater. He read a review that it was beautifully made, but not cerebral enough (because the books are VERY cerebral). I would probably like it fine.

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    1. You read the first FOUR?! OK, I'm impressed. That's a lot of "Dune." I would agree that the movie isn't particularly deep, and I did find myself wondering about the characters' motivations and inner lives. We don't get much sense of that, even in Paul, the main character.

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  25. I never read the book but I'm fairly certain I watched the old version of the movie at one point. It must not have made much of an impression on me since I don't remember many details of the plot. I probably will see the new version but I just hate going to theaters anymore so will wait for the DVD to watch at home. (I don't like all the cellphone screens and candy wrapper noises.)

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