dreams Melbourne

The stolen car dream, and Neighbourhood Watch

The stolen car dream

I was going to visit my old uni mate Brian (who actually lives in Florida, though I saw him a few weeks ago when he recently visited Melbourne again). In the dream, he was staying at my mum’s house in Hampton. I parked in the usual spot when visiting her, and dropped something off to him, then went back to the car to find it had been stolen.

I also noticed my key remote appeared to unlock a nearby dumped white Mercedes, which had been left blocking half the driveway.

Brian then appeared, with a very heavy bag full of gym equipment. I told him about the car having gone missing, and wondered which number you ring the police on (not the emergency 000 number, I guessed).

I walked with him up the road towards the station. He said he was going to the gym — I remarked it’s the same one my mum and her partner use.

Probable influences: Brian’s recent visit; my mum joining the gym; arrival of a letter from AAMI, probably the car insurance renewal; a Neighbourhood Watch newsletter arriving the other day noting the emergency number.

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch seems to be on the decline, which is kind of a shame. While I’ve never been to a meeting (they usually clash with other things), I think they do good work.

But every so often there’ll be some clanger in their newsletter. Our local one has faithfully printed the # 9 0 urban myth, as well as claimed that a mobile phone left with an uncharged battery could somehow call emergency numbers (confused I think with the fact that a mobile phone without a SIM card can do so).

They also claimed that dialling the emergency number could get through even where there’s no signal from any carrier, as if that magically convert your phone into a super-powered satellite phone (in truth, dialling emergency will hook into any phone company’s signal, not necessarily your own).

This week it suggested that people program the emergency 000 number into their mobile phones.

Uhh… I don’t think that’s a good idea. On almost every phone I’ve seen, it takes way more keypresses to retrieve a programmed number and then dial it than to simply press 0 0 0 [dial].

It is possible on my phone to program in a single key shortcut (eg hold down 1 to get voicemail), but I don’t think that’s a good idea either; you’d be in danger of pressing it down accidentally.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “The stolen car dream, and Neighbourhood Watch”

The police here once “warned” Neighbourhood Watch type groups that Bluetooth equipped devices left in -say – cars could be detected other Bluetooth devices, **even if they were completely turned off**!

I watched an old ep of Saturday Night Live on cable last night, it was about 18 months old I guess, and it featured an amusing and tasteless song about your old mate staying at your mother’s place.

Probably should also start encouraging people who use mobile phones to switch to remembering the 112 international GSM emergency number.

Good for when overseas in a foreign country and you’re not sure what emergency number you should dial.

Neighbourhood Watch is declining partially thanks to the government for no longer providing the local crime stats, the most specific they get is a breakdown by sub-regions, which are about the size of a suburban council’s area. Now the various local sub-groups are being made to fold or merge.

The actual police regions are ginormous, mine begins at Richmond and extends all the way to the VIC/NSW border past Cann River.

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