Bill’s Bio – Chapter 19

We Embark On A Life Of Crime

Posted 9/9/08

Seventeen. The significance of this number cannot be overstated…

Seventeen is, when spelled out, the smallest number with nine letters in the English language…

Seventeen is the seventh Prime Number, and the third Fermat Prime number:

In mathematics, a Fermat number is a positive integer in the form: f_{n}=2Ù {2Ùn} + 1 *

where n is a nonnegative integer. The first eight Fermat numbers are

F0 = 21 + 1 = 3

F1 = 22 + 1 = 5

F2 = 24 + 1 = 17

F3 = 28 + 1 = 257

F4 = 216 + 1 = 65537

F5 = 232 + 1 = 4294967297 = 641 6700417

F6 = 264 + 1 = 18446744073709551617 = 274177 67280421310721

F7 = 2128 + 1 = 340282366920938463463374607431768211457 = 59649589127497217 5704689200685129054721

(Don’t ask me how I know that)…

Seventeen is the exact quantity of two-dimensional space (plane symmetry) groups…

And finally, and most significantly,

Seventeen the precise number of times the police were at my house at 801 Logan Ave., Ventura, CA… **

Yes, the police got to know us fairly well on the East side of Ventura, toward Saticoy. That’s because Daamen and I lived out there… And because we needed a place to practice… And because my house was the most convenient place to do it… Or, at least, the one that had the parents with the most tolerance for loud music (my dad was actually quite supportive in this regard – Translation: he worked on Saturdays)…

And because we had a neighbor who didn’t like rock music on a Saturday afternoon…

Seventeen times the same two officers showed up at our garage door and complained about the person who had complained about the “noise”. They always let us finish whatever song we were in the middle of practicing when they pulled up, and even, once or twice, requested a song before they asked us to turn it down. They liked us, and told us so. But they had a job to do and we understood…

Finally, after the 17th raid, it was decided that we needed to spread the wealth around the various homes and neighborhoods of the various members of the band. This was a big sacrifice for us all for several reasons, but one giant, outstanding reason outweighed all of the rest…

My sister had a lot of girlfriends… Many of them liked to hear live rock music… They knew they could find it at one place in the neighborhood and there was always a reasonably large group of them at my house on Saturdays, We had a built in audience and fan club. And they were all girls…

We were feeling a bit like rock stars – We were a band – We had our own light show – and, most important of all, we had our own set of female groupies. We were in hog heaven and really enjoying ourselves – until we lost our regular place of practice…

The “evil” neighbors were NOT the Fentons – they were actually glad that I had learned to play something more than just the first eight notes of “Cupid”. They even complimented me on my guitar improvement, and on the band. They even invited me to bring my guitar along when I was on the job, baby-sitting at their house.

Nay, ‘twas not the Fentons what turned us in…

And it wasn’t the Simons, either – They lived too far away to hear us, and in a direction not facing the garage door…

It wasn’t even the neighbors directly across the street, either…

It was a neighbor about a block down the street, as you looked out through the garage door, who sounded the alarm … Seventeen times.

But all was not completely lost. Our friends , officers One and Two, suggested that we talk with the neighbor and see if we could come to some sort of arrangement. We thought that was a GREAT idea, and got into a discussion on exactly how to proceed.

When the discussion was ended, I, somehow, had become the ambassador who would make the contact, invite myself over and negotiate any arrangement that I could get out of the lady…

As it happened, she was an acquaintance of my mom and I had been introduced a couple of times, and we had her phone number. I called her and requested a meeting (I have no idea how I forced myself to do that, but I got it done).

She invited me over and so I went…

I realized that I was about to get into a negotiation with the Wicked Witch Of The West, and I wasn’t any too positive about the outcome… I was scared to death, and this time it had nothing to do with methane…

Knock knock…

Door opens…

“Hi Bill,” she greeted me with a friendly smile.

“Hi Mrs. WWOTW,” (not her real name).

“Come on in,” she welcomed me.

“Thanks,” and I went in.

“Would you like a soda pop?”

“Uh… Thanks.”

We sat down and started talking. We talked for a few minutes and broke the ice …

This didn’t seem right – she was being too nice. And there were no flying monkeys…

Finally, I got up the courage to get to the reason for the visit… I don’t know what I said. I don’t know what she said. I don’t know how long we were saying whatever we were saying, but after two soda pops and a long conversation, we had a friendly agreement that we could both live with –

The band would agree not to practice exclusively at my house, I would let her know a day ahead of time when we would be there and she would have time to arrange ear plugs or a shopping trip or to take the kids to Disneyland or something.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. True, we wouldn’t be practicing at my house very often at all after that, but the few times we did, there were no police…

And there were lots of girls…

* Unfortunately, some mathematical symbols (super scripts and sub scripts) don’t translate very well (at all) – those u’s are not u’s.  And 22 + 1 does not equal 5, but 2 to the second power plus 1 does!

** 801 Logan Ave., Ventura, CA no longer exists because a subsequent owner of the house had some major construction done and now the house faces the cross street – The house is on the corner – so the address has changed.

  1. Bert Moraga Says:
    September 10, 2008 at 8:26 am   editWell, Billy…you’ve done it again!

    This chapter could have just as well been titled: “Driving Mrs. WOWCOWTOW Crazy With Loud, Abrasive Music Because We Were In Love With Ourselves And Our Music”.
    Hmmmm? How does that sound?


  2. billkammerer Says:
    September 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm   editHey Bert! That sounds about right…


  3. Patrick Says:
    September 11, 2008 at 12:52 pm   editA fun chapter. Wish I coulda met Mrs. WWOTW– always been a sucker for free soda pop. And you looking for the flying monkeys was a nice touch.
  4. Kathleen Marsh Says:
    October 27, 2008 at 11:10 am   editI had no idea the address changed on our house. Pity.


2 thoughts on “Bill’s Bio – Chapter 19”

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks for the kind comment! I just changed the layout today, so I hope you still like the show!


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