Sunday, 10 February 2013

08:18 – Someone may have to have a word with the new neighbors. Well, with one of the new neighbors. There have actually been three houses sold on our block in the last couple months. The ones one house to the left of the house directly across the street from us are fine, as are the ones three houses to the right of the house across the street from us. It’s the ones two houses to the right of the house across the street that are the problem.

They moved in a couple of weeks ago. The owner is a young man, but he has three or four of his friends living there with him. That’s illegal in itself. This neighborhood is zoned R6, which means single-family dwellings. That means only close family members are allowed to live together. No one objects to modern families. For example, Steve and Heather live in the house across the street and two to the left of us. They aren’t married, and their four kids (three of his, one of hers) live with them. Fine. For all intents and purposes they’re a family. But this new guy is running what amounts to a rooming house.

And he’s really getting off on the wrong foot. If the four or five of them were just living there quietly probably no one would object. But they had a party Wednesday evening and had 20 or 30 cars parked up and down the street for most of the block. Okay, most of the neighbors probably figured they were having a moving-in/housewarming party. Again, no big deal. But then last night, three days later, they had another party with 20 or 30 cars parked up and down the block. If they keep doing that, someone is going to call the city to complain and the owner is going to find himself cited for running a rooming house.


11:29 – Barbara is home until she leaves for work tomorrow. She has dad-sitting duty MWF nights this week. Frances took their dad to visit their mom yesterday and said Sankie was doing a lot better. Of course, that was during the day and it’s usually in the evenings and at night that she has the problems. Sankie has been in the hospital for two weeks as of yesterday. It looks as if they may release her Friday, which is the last day of her antibiotic course. The doctor said she could go home any time and continue the antibiotic at home, but Barbara and Frances want to leave her in the hospital until Friday while they get some things lined up. Barbara is taking Friday off work anyway, so it’d be a good day to get Sankie home. That way, Barbara is there anyway and between her and Frances they can cover the weekend 24 hours a day if needed. I did suggest to Barbara that she and Frances remove all knives, scissors, and other sharp objects as well as club-like objects before they take their mother home to their apartment. I don’t think either Dutch or Sankie is likely to become suicidal or homicidal, but better safe than sorry.

27 thoughts on “Sunday, 10 February 2013”

  1. If they keep doing that, someone is going to call the city to complain and the owner is going to find himself cited for running a rooming house.

    But Bob, if there are four of them living there, they get to have four housewarming parties, one for each of them!

    Maybe they are a family. Is there gay polyandry?

  2. There’s no gay marriage in North Carolina. Apparently, there are either three or four guys living there, including the actual owner, and one young woman.

  3. Yeah, that house is probably gonna be a problem, Bob; was it actually sold to the guy there or is he renting it? You can probably find out. If the latter, he may be gone soon anyway.

    18 here in Retroville today with sun and blue skies; weather liars tell us to anticipate a snow and rain mix tomorrow and following with rising temps; this may put a literal damper on Mrs. OFD driving her mom to Florida those days. She’ll be down in FL next week anyway for a work assignment, lovely Orlando. Batching it again for about ten days here.

  4. Wow Bob. Your libertarianism got turned off. I’m not sure you should care who lives in that house. The parties are a disturbance and rightly something the neighborhood can object to but four people living in a house seems like their business to me.

  5. This is becoming a norm in Indianapolis in many lower income white neighborhoods. Some single person buys a house or rents it, then fills all the bedrooms with a couple people each, and parties abound, taking away legitimate street parking for families that live nearby. The person who rents or buys the house makes so much money from this deal, that in 2 instances I know about, that person does not have to work.

    Sometimes the people that fill the house are students, others are young single working people. There is great turnover in tenants, with changes almost monthly. In Indy, I don’t think there is a darned thing that can be done about it. In Bloomington, home to Indiana University, there is a limit to how many non-related family members can live in one dwelling/apartment. IIRC that number is 4, but the ordinance is often violated. In Evanston, IL, where my kids were born and Northwestern U. is located, that number is 2. And the city there vigorously enforces the ordinance if they learn of a violation. Causes a lot of problems when a boy/girlfriend moves in during the middle of a school year, causing a violation where none existed at the start of the school year.

  6. Wow Bob. Your libertarianism got turned off. I’m not sure you should care who lives in that house. The parties are a disturbance and rightly something the neighborhood can object to but four people living in a house seems like their business to me.

    Eh? I don’t even believe in having zoning laws.

    I didn’t say *I* was going to have a word with them. But someone needs to, or sure as hell someone is going to complain and the new owner is going to find himself in a world of hassle with the city authorities.

    I don’t care who lives there, or how many there are, as long as they don’t interfere with my peaceful enjoyment of my own property.

  7. There it is; I figure sooner or later you will see some kind of action taken; regular families don’t wanna put up with that crap; it’s a perennial issue in the ‘hoods around Groovy UV up here, with drunken parties, bars emptying out in the wee hours, people screaming and throwing stuff around, etc., etc. Years ago I lived in a not-so-great ‘hood in Woostuh, MA, and a couple of summer nights of the usual ass-hats making noise below our windows pissed me off. Did I call the useless cops? Nope.

    I placed a boombox on a windowsill and cranked up the pipes and drums of the Black Watch as loud as it would go. Inside of five minutes there was dead silence out there. And no trouble since. It was wicked pissah.

  8. Without admitting to any illegal act or even any knowledge of any act which may or may not have been legal, illegal, or otherwise under the common or statutory law, I will note that there was a series of large houses occupied by college students, mixed in with family dwellings. (I think the student buildings were frat houses but maybe they were just off-campus housing.) As should surprise no one, there were many loud parties which used all parking for a hundred yards in all directions, often on successive nights. And as should also surprise no one, the city government was less than helpful in getting them to shut up because the three (I think) colleges in town were a major source of revenue. So it finally transpired that all of the student buildings suffered a power outage resulting from damage which took several days to repair and re-certify the buildings for occupancy. In winter, with most houses in the area being heated by natural gas but requiring electricity for the furnaces. And it was even said that someone spray painted “Second warning” on some of the buildings.

  9. Hey, OFD, I’ve got a shirt in the Black Watch tartan, and another in Buchanan – none of which are my name.

    Up in LA they had a four dead shooting recently by a parolee with an illegal handgun at an unapproved rooming house in a single family zoned neighborhood. Plenty of complaints to the authorities by the single family occupied residences that went nowhere due to political campaign contributions by the rooming house entrepeneurs.

  10. So it finally transpired that all of the student buildings suffered a power outage resulting from damage which took several days to repair and re-certify the buildings for occupancy. In winter, with most houses in the area being heated by natural gas but requiring electricity for the furnaces. And it was even said that someone spray painted “Second warning” on some of the buildings.

    No broken water pipes due to freezing of the buildings?

  11. I’ve always thought tartan looks good, especially on sheilas. Very especially at the Edinburg Millitary Tattoo.

  12. No broken water pipes due to freezing of the buildings?

    Not that I heard of. If, that is, the event took place, which of course it didn’t.

    Several possibilities come to mind. First, I don’t recall how cold it was at the time of the event-which-didn’t-happen. Even up in the Northeast in February, the temperatures aren’t always that far below freezing, so maybe the pipes would have been ok for a few days. Second, kerosene heaters could keep the houses, and especially the basements, warm enough even in a cold snap. They’re illegal for residential use in many cities around here, but the houses’ owners or managers could have gotten waivers or ignored the laws (as many residents do). Third, the building managers could have drained the pipes: shut off water at the main or where it enters the cellar, open all the upstairs taps, and open a drain in the basement. The water heaters should be ok, as they’re usually gas with a mechanical thermostat.

  13. Another vote here for Slim’s favorite MP3 tagging program MP3Tag. I do something that probably no one else has a need to do. We get comedy records coming into the radio station and these days, most have to have their mouths washed out, because the FCC is a bit behind the times in not requiring censoring live performances with dirty language (if they don’t go to jail for violating local community standards and we play it on the radio in the same community, where’s the problem FCC?). Over the years, George Carlin’s list of bad words has been trimmed only by a few.

    So I rip the CD to .wav and .mp3 files using EAC, then copy that whole directory—less the MP3 files—to another one, marking it “[Radio Edit]” at the end of the directory title. Then I go to work in Audacity, cleaning up the bad words—usually by just reversing the word itself, which makes it unintelligible without changing the pacing of the performance. I also put in a quick fade-in at the beginning, and a fade-out at the end of each track, so when a selection is played, applause will not cut in or out abruptly. After all is done, I batch encode all the .wav files to .mp3, again using EAC and LAME. Only problem now, is that,—because I did not do that MP3 creation while ripping the .wav files in EAC (impossible because I modified them),—there are no ID3 tags.

    No problem with MP3Tag, as I add both the original directory and the edited directory to MP3Tag’s scan. It shows ID3 tags in the original directory, but none on files in the edited directory. I select each track in turn from the original, press Ctrl-C, then select the correct edited track with no ID3 tag, hit Ctrl-V and a confirmation dialog asks me if I really want to replace the ID3 tag, hit Yes, rinse and repeat for all the files. It may be possible to do that by selecting multiple files for batch processing, but having spent an entire day editing a record and being near the end, I did not want to destroy any of today’s work accidentally.

    As far as I know, MP3Tag is the only free program that will copy tags into existing files. Most others copy the whole file, but obviously, that is not what I want.

    BTW, Carlin’s CD’s require the most editing of any stand-up comic I have ever done. The guy who recorded audio of most of Carlin’s live performances is a personal friend, and he says Carlin’s genius makes him a special case that deserves exemption from my wrath at having to do this work.

  14. RBT said:

    “I didn’t say *I* was going to have a word with them.”

    Well, I think that most of us assumed that you were going to have a polite word with them, a la SteveF. If that didn’t work you were going to do something impolite, a la SteveF.

  15. “”I don’t care who lives there, or how many there are, as long as they don’t interfere with my peaceful enjoyment of my own property.”

    Well, I hope you folks in SC aren’t like the passive-aggressive sissies here in Seattle who depend on Someone to do Something.

    If they give you grief, fergodsake, go over and talk to them! Work something out! You don’t really want your tax dollars going to enforce a bureauracracy which common courtesy can provide, do you?

    “Hey dudes, fine with me if you party, but please keep the noise down and don’t take up all the neighborhood’s parking spaces”

    It’s either that initiative on your part, or laws and zoning ordinances and noise regulations and the overhead which goes with it.

    Common coutesy; or tax dollars and bureaucracy and regulation. It’s your choice. Social regulation by social censure, or social regulation by laws, rules, ordinances, regulations and taxes.

    Unless I’m mistaken, I’m quite sure Bob has the cojones to do the the former.

  16. Miles_Teg: Hey! I already said I didn’t do it and I wasn’t even in town when it happened and anyway it didn’t even happen in the first place. So there!

    jim`: Here’s a funny anecdote, for some definition of “funny”: Fifteen or twenty years ago my neighbors — rather, the young tenants who lived above the doctor’s office next to my house — had a loud, drunken, marijuana-smoke-billowing party late into the night. I went over and asked them to keep it down. Politely, believe it or not. They swore and spat at me, then called the police and reported that I’d threatened them. The stupid pigs arrested me for “harrassment”* and one told me that I should never try to confront people myself. Just call the police instead. That’s what they’re there for.

    * This was the second, and last, time I have allowed stupid pigs to arrest me. I have a good history of beating the crap out of stupid pigs who try to arrest me on bogus charges, but I won’t take any chance of random bullets when my children are anywhere near.

  17. Oh bull! I have signed witness statements, photographs, DNA evidence and confessions signed by both you and OFD that you did it.

  18. BTW, Carlin’s CD’s require the most editing of any stand-up comic I have ever done. The guy who recorded audio of most of Carlin’s live performances is a personal friend, and he says Carlin’s genius makes him a special case that deserves exemption from my wrath at having to do this work.

    I find Carlin’s seven dirty words skit to be hilarious. However, I have a fine appreciation for those comedians like Bill Cosby who can be funny without using the foul language. Now that my wife and I have a walking, talking voice recorder, my appreciation for Bill Cosby’s work has grown. I’m not saying the work of Mr. Carlin should be censored, because it shouldn’t. I’m just saying I certainly won’t be listening to it while my daughter is awake.

  19. Don’t worry. If you listen to it on our station, Carlin will be clean as a whistle. Unfortunately, unless you have an outside antenna, our station fades out just outside of Smallville.

  20. My experience has been similar to SteveF’s. Approach neighbors about a problem like the one Bob is confronted with, and it never goes well. The people who would disturb the neighborhood like that in the first place, are not nice accommodating people in the second place.

    In fact, one of the situations I noted earlier is right next door to my lifelong best friend. Not only did his requests of them fall on deaf ears, they actually taunted him by always doing exactly what he asked them not to do (parking). What finally worked is that they had a Doberman/Rottweiler mix, who growled his head off anytime anyone stepped outside my friend’s house. My friend’s granddaughter plays outside in good weather, and the threats from the dog were finally too much, as there was only a low picket fence around the property that the dog could easily have jumped. Cops and animal control people told the folks that if the dog was ever reported as approaching the fence on my friend’s side of their house, the dog would be taken and put down.

    Not only did that solve the dog problem, they also started obeying my friend’s requests about parking. Three months later, they moved out and a whole new group moved in and it started all over again, only without a dog this time. The neighbors (plural) closest to them have made requests about parking, but it falls on totally deaf ears. Every time I visit him, there are 6 to 8 cars associated with that house, parked up and down the street.

  21. A former boss of mine was from Melbourne and his father lived in a house with a church bordering his back fence. That didn’t bother him, but some of the church activities made a lot of noise that he found disturbing. Attempts to discuss this with the church people were ignored. So next Sunday morning he took his lawn mower down to the back fence and left it running right through the service. The church people soon became very reasonable.

  22. It’s a sad truism that most of the folks who encroach on the good will and peace of others need more than a polite request. I have so far not had to escalate beyond recorded pipes and drums at high volume. Although one time I did yell out the window to two drunks fighting below that if they didn’t sod off forthwith I’d blow their fucking heads off. It was like three in the morning and I was really teed off. They apologized immediately and left the area.

    “Hey, OFD, I’ve got a shirt in the Black Watch tartan, and another in Buchanan – none of which are my name.”

    Tartan shirts, pants, ties, etc. are all over the map of Scottish names and regiments. The whole deal is mainly a made-up thing from the 19th-C, IIRC, although the so-called “weathered” tartan patterns are probably a lot like the actual colors worn by highland clans centuries ago. I’ve seen a number of pipes-and-drums events over the decades and they’re pretty cool; also been to highland games events, usually a lotta fun, if you don’t mind that it’s almost always 100% northwest European Caucasian. But the history of Scotland for the past thousand or so years is one of extreme violence, treachery, cruelty, famine, plague, and much suffering, mostly for the ordinary people. Betrayed repeatedly by their own leaders. It gets to be depressing reading after a while, and then of course the English pile on repeatedly, my not-so-lovely cousins.

  23. After many years, we now have a neighbor problem. The current tenants next door have children that get in the parents’ car and play with horn and/or alarm when they feel they’re not getting enough attention. We both work at home and are naturally annoyed by this. Guess I have to wait for the day when they learn to put it in gear and cause an accident rolling the car out of the driveway, huh?

    What parent leaves their car keys where young children can get at it? As far as I’m concerned, vehicles are as lethal as firearms in untrained hands. Feh.

    .mg

  24. @Mike G.: Now that one, I’d try a polite word with the “parents;” that failing, I’d next notify the local constabulary first, as this is a clear and present danger to the children and to others passing by. Next, the local or state child protective services office; I personally loathe having to resort to the last two options but what choice in that situation?

    Another option, probably thought of instantly on this board by at least one other person and myself is to disable that vehicle so it can’t roll out into the roadway.

  25. Any car that isn’t locked allows sounding the horn, no key needed. And with my wife’s car at least anyone who can get in can set the alarm and then trip it, no key required. But without the key it isn’t going anywhere.

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