Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Imagine one winter morning you look out the back window to find footsteps in the snow, footsteps that appear to indicate someone has been peeping into your teenage daughters window and ground floor bathroom. Fearing for your safety you install a night-vision camera a few days later.

Within 24 hours you have video evidence that shocks you. Your next door neighbour is caught on tape masturbating while watching your daughter through the window. So you call the police, provide them the tapes, and your neighbour is arrested and immediately confesses to the crime.

Several months later, as the case winds through the court system, all charges are dropped without any notification to yourself. The Attorney General indicates this was done because the chance of conviction was unlikely. Then you receive a letter in the mail from a lawyer retained by the neighbour who advises you that your cameras violate the privacy rights of your neighbour. Clearly a well researched letter drafted by a top-notch legal mind, since the camera points at your own house.

A few weeks ago you notice your neighbour has now installed night-vision cameras, one that points directly into your daughters bedroom window and another that points into your living room window. Finally you learn that the neighbour was caught by his former employer for a similar 'peeping & pleasuring' incident roughly 6 months previous.

It isn't the lead up to a cheesy Halloween horror movie. This is real life, in St. Catharines Ontario.

The Cast:

Peeping Tom - James William Cedar of St. Catharines, Ontario
The 'Honest' Lawyer - Margaret Hoy of Niagara Falls
Attorney General - Chris Bentley, Liberal and MPP for London West

Friday, October 23, 2009


A man in Virginia was arrested recently. His crime? That depends on who you ask. Eric Williamson claims he was arrested for being naked in his own home and his rights have been violated. Eric's story is he had just stumbled out of bed and was simply making coffee in his kitchen. Eric, who for the record looks nothing like the hottie pictured at left, claims he had not bothered to dress as his roommates had all left the house for the day. I mean, who doesn't enjoy walking around naked in your own home from time to time? The wife and I know a couple that have a designated 'naked day' once a month.

According to the unknown complaintant, who was walking her 7-year old child to school (and just so happens to be married to a local Cop) a man stood at a window and exposed himself to her and her child, then did it again at the front window as she continued along the street.

So picture in your mind. Image #1, a naked half-asleep guy with uncombed hair stumbling past a window with a coffee cup. Image #2, a naked guy with his hands behind his head, gyrating his hips and swinging his junk around while leering out the window at a random passerby.

The Police are looking for any other witnesses, hoping they can show this wasn't an isolated incident and add some weight behind the mystery complaint, and justify the arrest before they get sued. No word on if the woman will be arrested on 'Peeping Tom' charges.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Marina Del Ray, California - A dead 75-year old man sat on his balcony for 3 days in full view and didn't raise any eyebrows among the neighbours. Turns out folks thought the bloody corpse was just another Halloween display. No official word on the cause of death, but suspicions are it was self-inflicted.

New York, NY - The downstairs neighbour of well-past-the-best-before-date superstar Madonna is suing after claiming he has been tortured by daily noise from rehersals, banging, vibrations and late-night dancing sessions. No word if the any of the banging noises are coming from Alex Rodriguez.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Not the first, and definately not the last story we will share about a treehouse gone wrong, turning otherwise friendly neighbours into mortal enemies. With 4 stories, 50 ft high, and taking several months to complete this is one of the most awesome treehouses I have ever seen this side of Swiss Family Robinson. Crazy part is the builder doesn't even have children.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Living in the so-called "student ghettos" that surround universities and other institutions of higher learning definately has both pros and cons. You don't have to look far for stories about neighbours having their lifestyle impacted by absentee landlords, garbage, loud parties, petty theft and vandalism.

A new survey in the USA has ranked the nations Top-25 Neighbour Universities on the basis of their positive impact to their immediate neighbourhood, using such criteria as cultural and economic impacts and urban renewal and revitalization. Tied for 1st place were the University of Southern California and University of Pittsburgh.

The complete list is available at http://www.wsc.ma.edu/top25saviors


Completely off topic but today is the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada and everything is closed. I had to stop by the local Mac's (a convenience store chain) to pick up cat food and milk and found this yummy bread on the shelf. Best before date says Oct 07.

Monday, October 05, 2009


I spent last Sunday in my yard, running the mower for what will likely be the last time of the season and generally tidying up the flower beds and garden. So far not many leaves have fallen, but it won't be long now, and I have a rather large yard with quite a few large trees so pretty soon my lawn will be a covered in leaves.

When I lived in Toronto there was a local bylaw that as a property owner you were responsible for raking and bagging (in craft paper bags) leaves that fell on your yard. Bags were to be disposed of by leaving them on the curb to be picked up by a special truck on a schedule similar to garbage pickup. Raking your leaves out into the street could result in a fine. Similar bylaws exist in many communities as municipalities attempt to cut back on budgets and have decided that fall leaf cleanup should be 100% property owner cost. Thankfully where I currently live is not one of those places and there are no laws about raking and bagging your leaves. You are actually encouraged to simply sweep the leaves out into the street the day before the "giant leaf-sucking truck" (a tractor with a huge trailer mounted vacuum) makes the rounds.

Clearly they don't have a cool tractor like that in the city of Boston, where a man has been charged with attempted murder after he shot his neighbour over an argument over leaf disposal.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Cool article on The Torontoist about a new advertising campaign that encourages people to support their local neighbourhood businesses by shopping locally.


Neighbour disputes run the gambit, from minor annoyances to major inconveniences that impact our standard of living and safety. First we examine the childish...

Two years and over $100,000 in legal fees later a judge has ruled that a fence that separates two rural properties encroached the properly line by "between 2 and 28 centimeters". He also described the dispute as childish. I've posted stories about fence disputes before, and my father in law lived thru one, but they normally involve disputes that add up to hundreds of square feet and risk impacting property values. Two centimeters? That is not even one inch. The width of the fence itself is more then two centimeters.

Next we examine the serious...

After five years and three separate attempts at prosecution it seems that finally something is being done about a suburban backyard that was turned into a junkyard, complete with at least three cars and several tons of rotting waste. Neighbours have been complaining the smell is making them sick, and the weight of the garbage piling up is causing the fences that separate the yards to collapse. Check out the image...