Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amber Alert!

(The scene of the crime)

I was able to lie in bed this morning and watch tv off of my phone. Rachel attends some pre-dawn exercise camp, she leaves in the darkness to go sweat with strangers and friends. I only wish the coffee machine was completely automatic. Meaning: no assistance from me whatsoever. It's the only thing that got me out of bed. Necessity is the mother of mornings.

Last night, after having been asleep for a couple of hours... with my phone on "silent"... suddenly, an alarm was going off in the room, a loud and obnoxious warning, a digital screeching. I grabbed at my phone and looked, it was some sort of alert I had never seen before, an Amber Alert. I stared at it, still in a daze. I thought I recognized the name of the abducted child, Hannah, a 16 year old girl. 

I started to worry. The message had come from Sonoma. The woman who watches Rhys, her teenage daughter's name is Hannah. 

The abductor was a 40 year old white male (the worst imaginable, we know that). 

This seemed bad, terrible in fact. After waking up for a couple minutes I realized that the news didn't quite gel. I did a search, trying to find the street that she was abducted from. All of my searches turned up results south of San Diego. It turned out it was a city, not a street, a city named Boulevard. This didn't make any sense. I searched the girl's full name. 

Yep. That was it. 

A girl and her little brother had been abducted 600 miles away, near the border of Mexico. So, the state, and then my county, Sonoma, sent out an emergency Amber Alert message that ignited phones everywhere across the state at 11pm. 

It's a new feature in my phone, for my presumed convenience. There is a section in the new iPhone operating system called "Government Alerts." 

That they can cause my phone to explode in warning at their whim is distressing enough - a small reminder of their presence, power (and occasional impotence) in the face of crime, and misuse of same. But it was that these nitwits decided to alert people in the middle of the night, against their will, in a state-wide way, 600 miles away from an abduction, even further.... (I've since turned the feature off)

Be on the lookout for a blue car, with people in it.

There are 10 counties in a row separating us and them. Those are just the ones directly between, there are many more to the east. I would be amazed if Los Angeles County sent out the same alert. They're 500 miles closer, of course. 

The state stretches northwards 840 miles from the abduction. 

Yep. I've just checked, it was a state-wide alert. I'd be amazed if they didn't warn Arizona and Nevada also.

I sat on the roof most of night, just in case they drove down our little street. I wanted to be prepared. What's the point of owning several guns if you can't sit on your roof occasionally, hoping to be heroic.

(Addendum: I've just found out that the alert was sent out at 6:45 pm. It took just over 4 hours to reach Sonoma, somehow)