A very busy week at the office job resulted in not being able to update since last Monday so I promised myself that no matter what I would find something to rant about this weekend.
Sure there were lots of crazy neighbour-related stories that came to my attention while checking out the vast tubes of the intraweb. A few that caught my eye included indecency charges for a man who was caught having sex with his picnic table to a story about a lady who was so upset with the construction noises caused by a kitchen cabinet renovation next door that she decided to assault her neighbour with her car.
What really got me laughing and slightly worked up had nothing to do with neighbours after all. I learned on Saturday that the CBC, the government-funded television and media network here in Canada, has decided to "re-brand" two of its cable channels. I learned this because I have them as part of a 'free preview weekend' blah blah.
Now I want to state on the record that I love the CBC. I believe in the principle of a taxpayer funded network that airs programming that is reflective of our diverse country and provides an opportunity to broadcast shows that may not be commercially viable because they don't cater to the lowest common denominator type of generic sexual innuendo, mindless violence, and racist stereotyping that passes for 99% of all prime-time television.
That all being said, it ticks me off that somebody actually was paid to think about the re-branding of this network. The new channel called 'BOLD' was formally known as 'Country Canada'. At first I thought we might be getting something similar to the metamorphosis of The Nashville Network into SPIKE TV in the USA. I had visions of an endless orgy of Steven Segal movies sandwiched between shows about customizing cars and T&A based reality programming with a dash of Mixed Martial Arts on top. Those hopes were dashed. According to the CBC the new channel will offer "cutting edge programming" and a "deeper television experience".
So what was on BOLD last night? Some uncut and award winning foreign film? No such luck. Instead we were treated to the World Womens Curling Semi-Finals. The daytime linup for next week? Mostly reruns of cancelled CBC prime-time dramas like Intelligence and Da Vinci's Inquest. Now THAT is cutting edge! They are going to round out thier programming with some broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, Cirque du Soleil and one or two British drama shows that will be broadcast uncut (read: tits and foul language).
Somebody should lose their job over this marketing fiasco but it will never happen and now we have more fodder for those who would argue that we need to get rid of the CBC entirely instead of just getting rid of inept senior management.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
A very busy week at the office job resulted in not being able to update since last Monday so I promised myself that no matter what I would find something to rant about this weekend.
Posted by Ca1v1n at 11:09 AM
Monday, March 24, 2008
Lancashire, U.K. - Police took the unusual step of confiscating the stereo of a noisy neighbour in the town of Rishton after multiple complaints and a municipal noise abatement notice dating back to 2006 were ignored. It took the local council 6 months of legal wrangling to obtain a warrant of forfeiture allowing police to seize her stereo. The problem is the order only covered the stereo in her home at the time, and this noisy neighbour in question has already purchased a new stereo.
Luton County, U.K. - It all started over a 4 ft wide and 120 ft long strip of land and a sneaky neighbour. The culprit in question moved fence posts a few inches each year in an attempt to gain control over the land. The case has been getting kicked around courts since at least 2005 and the real story here is the amount of money spent attempting to either gain or maintain control over a 480 sq ft strip of land. Between the two of them the neighbours at the center of this dispute have spent over $800,000 USD.
Posted by Ca1v1n at 10:12 PM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Today we stop and pay tribute to the memory of a man who it can be argued was one of the most powerful and positive influences on a generation of young people who were raised in front of their televisions over the last 40 years. A man who possessed a unique gift that allowed him to communicate with children universal concepts of friendship, kindness, sharing, and love in a truly special way. Yet while the show was geared towards children there was never any doubt that he was talking with the parents as well. Teaching us how to communicate with our children, how to understand and see the world thru their own eyes, a gift that too many adults have lost. Today would have been Mr. Rogers 80th Birthday. Happy Birthday Fred! We miss you and will never forget the times we all shared. Lets make the most of this beautiful day, since we're together we might as well say, would you be mine, could you be mine, won't you be my neighbour?
Posted by Ca1v1n at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
A friend tuned me into this concept community being built in Oregon and it is not for the faint at heart or those who are light in the pocketbook. The Shire of Bend is a custom built and planned community based on the aesthetic that combines the look and feel of a traditional English rural cottage with a liberal dose of J.R.R. Tolkein, all constructed with modern high-tech materials (including the latest in green building technology). Prices for a 2000 sq ft 'cottage' start at just under $700,000 and range to just over $800,000. The village will consist of an eclectic mix of cottages and townhomes surrounded by common areas, green space, stone paths and streams.
Posted by Ca1v1n at 8:58 PM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
A resident of San Joaquin County in California has been charged with a felony for trimming his neighbours trees. Rudy Duhaylungsod admits he should have contacted local bylaw inforcement officers instead of taking things into his own hands, and knows that cutting the trees himself was the wrong thing to do, but does it really make sense to charge the many with a felony? His weak minded neighbour is claiming to be horribly traumatized and unable to look out her windows at the bloody (err, I mean sappy) remains of her hedge. Apparently there are no unsolved major crimes in the area that police and state prosecutors should be investigating.
A 38-year old Georgia man has been found guilty of murder after beating a 54-year old neighbour unconscious and then holding him under water until he was dead. Was he defending himself or his family from a dangerous attacker? Not at all. An argument escalated out of control when the older man confronted the younger for allowing is Labrador Retriever to swim in the condominium pool.
In local news, my wife was given a ziploc bag of something called 'Amish Friendship Bread' just over a week ago. I mocked her every day about the bag of 'Voodoo Bread' that was growing on our countertop. What can I say? The thought of dairy products being left unrefrigerated for days at a time kind of grossed me out, despite knowing full well that this is a simple and age-old bread recipe that involves live yeast. On Saturday she got around to baking two loaves and making 4 more bags that tradition says she must now pass along to friends just like a chain letter.
The bread? Glorious! More of a cake then a bread to be honest, and damn tasty. To hell with baking cookies for your neighbour. Bring on the Friendship Bread! You will not be disappointed. Technically you are supposed to be given the "starter" as a gift. Something about how to make it being an "Amish secret" but there are plenty of places online that can get you started. So get yourself in gear and hand a few starter packages out to your neighbours today.
Posted by Ca1v1n at 9:19 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Today the family and I went to visit my wife's parents. After dinner my wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law pulled out a catalog and starting figuring out what spring bulbs they were going to order via mail from some place in Nova Scotia. I was in the other room and my brother-in-law calls out to me, urging me to get back to the living room because my wife was going crazy.
"Do you realize how much they are spending?" he asks, desperately looking for support in his attempt to reduce the amount his own wife was about to spend.
"Probably around $300 between the three of them" I reply. Sure enough, I was right on the money. My brother-in-law was agast. This is a guy who watches Nascar and would not hesitate to spend money on something like a BBQ, but spending money on flowers is outside of his comfort zone. If it was up to me I would spend thousands on landscaping, as long as I don't have to spend my weekends caring for things. My wife and I have an arrangement, I take care of the lawn and she takes care of the gardens. Provided we keep to this arrangement everything is fine.
If you want to get started on your garden, check out this online Catalog of Gardening Catalogs.
In other news...
If you are like me and were a bit confused by the current subprime financial meltdown in the United States, check out The Subprime Mortgage Primer, explained by stick figures.
Posted by Ca1v1n at 8:36 PM
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Today the area where I live was hit with a major winter storm, hopefully the last one of the season. Something like 30 cm of snow was expected to fall today but looking out my window I think that estimate is at the low end of the scale. This was the kind of snowfall that you need to shovel in multiple shifts as it accumulates, otherwise come Monday morning you are not going anywhere. So praise to good neighbours because today just when I had reached the end of my front walk and (admittedly low) stamina along came a glorious sight. My neighbour and his snowblower. He completed the front and side path and then heading down the street to help finish off the sidewalk and two other neighbourhood driveways. My neighbour was fully clothed, I added this image just for a laugh. As I am typing this I notice he is working at another pass along my sidewalk. Even better some townie idiot is doing donuts on an ATV in front of my house. The snowmobiles should be coming along any minute.
A big neighbour story out of Vermont. The AP reports that the Vermont Supreme Court has awarded a man and his family $1.8 million to cover damage to trees and personal suffering caused by a neighbour dispute over the cutting down of a mature tree that was located directly on the property line. There are also some allegations the accused was not happy his new neighbours were not Christian. WWJD? Jesus sure wouldn't cut down trees, vandalize a birdfeeder, poison the family dog, and otherwise harrass a family.
In other news, an FBI Agent has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after shooting a neighbours dog. Since the arrest another story has surfaced from a neighbour further down the street, apparently he shot their dog a few years ago.
Posted by Ca1v1n at 6:33 PM
Monday, March 03, 2008
The Stupid Neighbour Blog would like to ask for our readers patience over the next couple weeks. The day job is taking up most of my time right now due to a big project launch. Regular updates should resume in a couple weeks. Until then once or twice a week at maximum.
I don't even know where to fucking start as this situation has got me so upset. My fiancee and I have been living on the top floor in a two story duplex in Philadelphia. For the first 9 months our neighbor below was actually really cool with us. Hell, before getting a job, he would even take our trash out. How he afforded to live there for so long unemployed, we don't know.
So time went on right? Then on black Friday, this past November 2007, my fiancee and I went shopping and left the apartment at around 5:30-6am. We were out most of the day and we got home around 2:00pm, maybe 3:00pm. So we enter the place and our neighbor's door is right at the main door to get in. Well when we entered his door was open and he was sitting on his couch with a jacket on, legs & amrs crossed with this look of disgust on his face. He immediately stood up and came over and said; "When you get a chance, can I talk to you for a moment?" I said; "Sure, no problem. Just give us a minute to get these bags upstairs." We're both were thinking; "Hmm...I wonder what he wants. Maybe to go out for a drink after a bad day?" Nope. So I go down and say you know, hey what's up. So he explains: "When you guys left this morning you slammed the door and my picture fell off the wall. Yeah, the glass shattered and went everywhere." I said; "Sorry man...I don't remember slamming it but, I'll take your word." So he then says; "Yeah well, this isn't the first time it has happened. I'm kinda tired of cleaning up glass." So I offered to pay for it, I even pulled money out from my pocket and pleaded to pay for it but, he denied it. He said; "Don't worry about...I actually like it better without the glass." I put my money away, and was a little weirded out by that and said; "Okay, from now on I'll make sure we'll be more cautious with the door."
Now we both are pretty certain that we didn't slam it but, we didn't want to look like the asshole you know? So about a month goes by, and during that time, we noticed that HE began slamming the door. Often times very hard. So we just let it go and laughed about it saying: "Oooookay. This guy is funny." So again...time went on but not much until we got the 2nd complaint. Keep in mind at this point, he still didn't work. I left for work in the morning at 6:30 and heard him moving around. SO later that day my fiancee calls me and tells me he complained to her specifically saying; "I can hear you walking around with high heels. Can you stop walking so hard?" So this pissed her off. She explained to him that she doesn't wear heels, and two, we're casually walking not stomping and she brought up that he has been slamming the door after complaining that we were doing it. He denied it of course and she ended up being late for work because she missed her bus.
With that complaint, we decided to buy padding and carpets so we wouldn't have to deal with this fucking guy and simply move on. We ended up spending almost $400 despite our place being pretty small. The night before the carpets were installed, we even wrote the neighbor a courtesy letter letting him know the carpets we're being installed the next morning. About 2 weeks after getting carpets installed, I had my cousin over on a Saturday night, we were listening to Magical Mystery Tour and had a few drinks, it was about 8pm. Guess who calls? Our landlord! He says; "Hey Mike how are you? Can you do me a favor? I'm getting complaints from the neighbor, could you turn your music down please?" I bit my tongue and said yes. I had the Beatles playing on surround but the bass was turned off and the volume was at 12, the max volume is 50. We ended up just going out becuase I was so fucking angry. This incident coincides with this neighbor's brother playing his music obsenely loud, his brother happens to live nextdoor, lucky us. They're both in their 40s too, these aren't kids. So once again time goes on, but not much.
This past Wednesday we get another complaint. This neighbor called our landlord, our landlord gave him our number and told him to ask politely about the noise. When he called us at 7pm, he asked to speak with me. So meanwhile I'm literally recovering from choking on food I was eating, so I wasn't as talkative on the phone and as defensive, I simply wanted to get off the phone. So he asks me what that noise is that rolls across our floor in the bedroom 2-3 o'clock in the morning. I tell him, "It's a chair at our computer desk. Why?" So he says; "Yeah, well when you guys are rolling across your floor everynight, it wakes me up. I work 10 hour days and I think its rude." I told him we're not doing it to be rude. I mean, I don't know how to deal with this guy. He's a nitpicking fucking asshole. We've accomodated his every complaint and yet he still complains.
We feel we're living like Anne Frank in an attic and it has even affected our relationship as we are actually fighting about this whole situation. What the hell are supposed to do? There are things that he has to deal with and vise versa. We hear him do things as well as other neighbors, but we mind our own business. We're realistic and he is obviously a fucking dickhead. His attitude is like, he's the only one that fucking works. I hate him... I fucking hate the guy
You hit the nail on the head when you said "we accomodated his every complaint and yet he still complains". You said it yourself, this guy is a nitpicking dickhead. The key to responding to a neighbours complaint is to ask yourself honestly... and this can be difficult for some folks who are unable to judge a situation as an outsider... honestly look at the situation and ask yourself... is this complaint justified? Is it realistic? Is it reasonable?
For example, if it had been 2am when you and your buddy were rocking out to the Beatles, and the bass was on and the volume was turned up enough for you to hear the music from more then a couple feet away from the outside of your hallway door... then yea, perhaps his complaint would be realistic. And as awesome as John, Paul, George and Ringo sound at 2am after a couple beers and a couple puffs of the magical mystery weed it might be a good idea to turn it down.
If you had been rolling back and forth on your office chair from the computer desk and the coffee maker on the other side of the room, stopping to spin around in circles and giggle, or otherwise pretending your chair was a roller coaster ride then yea, perhaps his complaint would be realistic. If you really are a late night writer (I know I am) then a rubber mat may be a good idea but can't stop living your life you know what I mean?
If your wife was into Irish dancing and was practicing for tryouts with Michael Flatley's Riverdance, then yea, perhaps his complaint would be realistic.
No matter what you do this guy is going to try to take you for more. The only advice I can give you is to push back. If it is 8pm and the landlord is calling, advice him that the local noise bylaw provides you the freedom to listen to your music until 11pm (as an example) and tell the landlord he is welcome to come by and judge for himself to determine if the noise complaint is reasonable. If this guy complains about noise from your stereo and you can truly say to yourself that the sound is at a reasonable level, then tell him so firmly but politely.
You get my point... good luck!
Posted by Ca1v1n at 9:10 PM