This week has been pretty busy with several rather amusing happenings. Earlier this month was Kristen’s birthday so we decided to get new licence plates. I got blogg3r (as blogger was unavailable) but I wasn’t unable to remove the old plates from the car as the screws had rusted in tight. Whilst waiting for the new plates to arrive I was driving around with the temporary tag in the back window. I borrowed an extractor tool from one of the guys at work and tried to remove the plates from the car but no joy but by drilling the screw and some brute force I was able to get the old plates off. However, I had to get some proper fasteners to hold the new plates in. After one trip to the hardware store, the fasteners didn’t fit and so I planned to get some new ones the following day but and as I was driving home from work a cop pulled up right behind me. There were two sets of lights that he followed extremely close, I could see him talking on the radio in my mirror and then eventually the lights started flashing. I pulled over and he gave me a warning for not having the temporary tags displayed properly as it was lying flat on the parcel shelf rather than sticking up for everyone to see. That night the duct tape came out and the following night I drove to the hardware store to get some more fasteners and I eventually managed to get the plates put up whilst in the car park. This was the first time EVER I had got pulled over by a policeman.
Friday night we helped load up a moving van for friends from church and then this morning I headed off to the Ohio Linuxfest. There was a long break over lunch until the next talk (and the previous Ubuntu one had been disappointing and irrelevant) so I decided to skip the final talk and go take some photos in downtown Columbus.
I wandered around the streets taking various photos that I’ve uploaded to Zooomr for my 20070929 set including the shot below.
I continued taking various photos of the Columbus skyline and buildings (the rest of the photos in the set) and spent quite a bit of time taking various photos of the green paint “accident” and then took this photo.
Just after I had finished taking the photo, a siren blipped right behind me and a cop in his car called me over – this was the second time in a week! Allegedly someone had called the cops as I was looking suspicious taking photos of the buildings. He asked if I had been near a particular building, but the name wasn’t familiar to me and then said I had been taking pictures of a garage door (which I hadn’t – the only thing I can think of is the hydrant shot). He also asked if I was a photography student – (does this mean anyone who claims to be a photography student could not be a terrorist??) I said that I wasn’t but tried to explain Flickr to him. He then asked how long I had been in the country, where I lived, whether I had driven there and where I had parked my car – to that answer I waved vaguely in the general direction as I had no idea the name of the street I had parked on. He also asked for ID – it was a good job I had it on me!
I pushed him for more details on the alleged call but I got the “people are suspicious since 9/11” but I’m not convinced as when I asked where I should stay away from he said “I can’t really say”. I wouldn’t be surprised if they saw me on CCTV and then came to see what I was up to.
The good news is that at no time did he say I should not take photos of any of the buildings so I was almost tempted to retrace my steps and take photos again – but I wasn’t feeling *that* brave.
I continued to take some more photos which have been uploaded to Zooomr and then came home.
It really is a sad state of affairs when you can’t take pictures of picturesque buildings in a city without being accused (indirectly) of being a terrorist.