Scummy neighbors

Jaime and I have a new set of scummy neighbors.

See, there is this house that is across the street and two doors down. We’re not sure what the deal is with this house, but in the last year, it has had at least 3 different tenants.

The first was evicted by the management company, even though the tenant had the same last name as the owner. They seemed like potheads or methheads. Lots of caughing coming from their house at all hours of the night, and a couple of grateful dead CDs (now in my collection) that were dumped on the curb when they were evicted.

The next group had a skanky-looking daughter who couldn’t have been older than 15, and walked around like she had just spent an hour with a football team. She would walk this nasty dog who was similarly as nasty as the mother, who was heard being called a “crackwhore” by the father. They had workers in white vans stop by at all hours of the day or night. They were selling something. Who knows what happened to them.

The next set was a fat man and a fat lady. He drove a cadillac, mostly onto the lawn and back. They destroyed the lawn by jacking up the car for its perpetual repair. The only part that seemingly worked well was the stereo, which played loudly, even at 1AM. The moved, I guess. Nobody ever knows when the people from that house move– they never have moving trucks it seems.

So, now we apparently have a new set of neighbors, ready to wreck the neigborhood.

In the last week, we have been noticing this dog running around. It has a collar, so it is somebody’s dog. Every time I see it, I chase it off. We’ve got neighbors with kids and miscellaneous stray or outdoor cats, and they’re being chased off by this dog. It stands in the street and barks and barks and barks.

On Friday at about 3:00 or so, I watched as a girl swatted back the dog with a folder as it followed her on her walk home from school. I stepped outside and the dog– now scared of me– tucked his tail between his legs and cowered back to the neighbor’s house.

Today, Jaime yelled to me that the dog was back. I went outside and shooed it off, and this time I realized it was actually and undoubtedly going to the trash house. I walked up their drive and the dog was in their fenced backyard, gate wide open. I closed the gate, and started to walk back home.

But then I noticed:

These neighbors have chickens. In a cage. In the city.

Alright, so we have neighbors who don’t control their dog, and own chickens in the city. These folks won’t take nicely to me telling them to keep their dog under control so I don’t have to call animal control.

I knock on the door, hard like the police. Some girl, about 20 years old, comes to the door like she was sleeping (it was after 2PM). I tell her that her dog has running around the neighborhood for a week– and chasing kids on their way home from school– and that they need to keep it locked up or I was calling animal control. I also said that you are not allowed to keep livestock in the city limits, which should be obvious to anyone.

I got back home, explained what happened to Jaime, and sat down to watch the rest of the Pittsburg/Indianapolis game. I look out the window, and the girl and some guy are knocking on my neighbor’s door. I know what’s happening next– he’s heading to my house.

Knock on the door. I grab my phone and camera and head downstairs. Open the door to the guy and the girl. The guy asks if I knocked on his door. I said that of course I did. Their dog has been running down the street for a week, and was going to hurt someone.

He seems reasonably reasonable, but the girl isn’t. He indicates that he’ll do what he wants, but the girl is just bitchy. The girl consistantly says, “Take the dog– we don’t want it.” Now why would I want your dog? If I wanted a dog, I would get a dog. I don’t want your dog. All I want is to be able to go outside without being bothered by your dog while on my own property.

He turns it into a property issue, telling me not to come on his property, and I inform him that his options are for me to either knock and tell him to put away his dog, or for me to call the cops. I tell him that he needs to get rid of the chickens because you can’t keep livestock in the city. He say, and I am not making this up– “They aren’t chickens, they’re wild game.” That is the level of the people I am dealing with here.

I explain that wild game is even better, and even more disallowed. I state again that all he has to do is keep his dog on his property and we have no problem. He says that if I ever come on his property he’ll call the police. I say fine. I tell him that if his dog comes on my property, it is fair game. I’m going to tie it up in my back yard and wait for animal control to come haul him off. He says he’d call the police.

Fine. Don’t call my bluff, dude. I’ve got pictures of your dog off your property, and any idiot can recognize wild game when they see it.

I called the police.

They came over, and Jaime and I explain that the dog is running lose, chasing people, and trespassing, and that they have wild game in their yard. They call for backup and head over there, backyard first.

Jaime and I start talking to one of our other neighbors (we know and are friends or friendly with *all* of our neighbors). The cops come back and explain the situation.

The couple is from Screvens county, way out in the country. Nothing wrong with that– we have friends in the country and they are some of our best friends and some of the nicest people you could know. The officer explains that they can’t get the dog to stay in the yard. OK, fine, that is an excuse I can handle. But when a neighbor comes over to explain that your dog has chased kids, you need to take control of the situation and provide assurances that the animal will be locked up in the future.

The officer explains that he didn’t know he wasn’t able to keep livestock in the city– OK, fine again. They weren’t even the issue. But if you’re threatening to call the cops on me because I asked you not to jeopardize the safety of the neighborhood, expect me to play hard ball. He is a renter. I am a homeowner. I am friendly with at least 5 families who live on property that touches mine or is across the street. He has zero friendly neighbors. I have lived here for 3 years. He has lived here for a few days. I think we know who has more pull in the neighborhood.

The officers tell me that he’s getting rid of the livestock and the dog, and I tell him that that is too bad. I don’t want them to have to get rid of their pet, I just don’t want to have to continually check my back for his dog when I’m out working in the yard or heading to my car.

The officers stated that he expressed interest in me not coming on his property in the future, and I said, of course, that I wouldn’t, and had no intentions upon going on their property from the beginning.

So that’s where it is. These folks hate us, which is fine. They’ll be gone in 6 months tops, judging by the previous 3 tenants.

I’m considering registering a domain– something like trashhouse.com or mytrashyneighbors.com– and setting up a webcam. We can all watch as they deal drugs (2/3 of the last tenants), fight (2/3 of the last tenants), or get evicted (1/3 of the last tenants). It could be the next “I like watching strangers” fad that begins with a “V”. I won’t type the word because, as Jaime learned, merely including that word in a blog entry gets all sorts of attention from perverts looking for “V” sites. ;)

Mike

Edit September 23, 2006: Too much spam, must disable comments.

Huh?

President Bush, Thursday, January 12, 2006:

We’ve learned some lessons about Katrina, and we’re going to analyze every lesson learned.

Huh?

People analyze events to learn lessons. If you have not analyzed a series of events, it is impossible that you have learned a lesson.

Once you have already learned a lesson, it is not necessary to analyze it further– either you have learned the lesson, or you have not.

You couldn’t have learned the lesson without analyzing the events that caused you to the learn the lesson in the first place.

And this is the guy who we are supposed to blindly trust is faithfully executing the constitution?

That sure seems like a leap of faith, considering he (or his should-be-fired speechwrites) don’t understand the cause and effect relationship that is the core of learning one’s lesson.

Taking both sides of every issue

Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, July 11, 2005.
In reference to the leaking of the name of CIA agent

…This question is coming up in the context of this ongoing investigation, and that’s why I said that our policy continues to be that we’re not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium.

Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, January 3, 2006
In reference to Jack Abramoff’s plea deal for buying political influence, which is still part of an ongoing criminal investigation:

…If he broke laws, he needs to be held to account and he needs to be punished.

That’s our executive branch for you, straddling both sides of every issue.

Idiots.

A Heavily Armed New Year

Ahhh, new years in Savannah. What a unique experience.

People never seem to believe me when I tell them that we experience very heavy gunfire in Savannah, so I decided to document it this year. I setup two high-quality microphones upstairs in my extra bedroom, facing out the window. The left channel is facing east, and the right channel is facing south.

The year actually turns from 2005 to 2006 somewhere between :30 and :60, and the audio is 15:00 long.

Enjoy– and please let me know what you think!