Monday, June 29, 2009

Do I Take That as a "No"?

Another beautiful Sunday morning starts on T, L & C's schedule. Even with fans in the window and door during the night to keep the bedroom cooled off, the icemaker easily penetrated the "white noise" at 6:40 a.m. In a virtual repeat of two weeks ago, I again decided to enjoy my breakfast al fresco and as far away as possible from my neighbors' noise - icemaker rumbling and squealing through its cycles, yard radio blaring (this time on KJOY), the two little dogs yapping, and the Harpies hollering at each other across the gravel business yard.

What I didn't know was that I walked right into another drama that spilled out onto the street and across the way. Balancing the bowl of cereal with milk and the insulated cup of iced spiced cider, I set up the folding chair in the morning shade just outside the yellow gate. Moments later, Corky and a woman named Gail came out the neighboring driveway and crossed the street diagonally from 810 Fishback to 785 Fishback, which house is directly across from mine. Lynda followed them as far as the sidewalk and hollered (bellowed is too big a word for such a miniscule person) some other things at them, still trying to impose control on everyone and everything.

The subject of the front yard entertainment, which was now disturbing my hoped-for peaceful breakfast, was Cody, a dog resembling Lynda in age and in his propensity to bark at everyone and everything. Corky kept Cody in the front yard of the vacant house, vacant for more than the two-plus years I've lived across from it. Old Cody's purpose was to guard the unoccupied house, and he did a very good job of barking at every cyclist riding by, every dog out walking its master, and every group of noisy kids sauntering along this street behind the high school. He was a great watchdog, his barked warnings often taken up in chorus by the neighbors' pack of hair-trigger junkyard dogs.

Anyway, Gail was acquiring Cody. She walked him away on a leash with instructions to call Animal Control for his registration information. A couple hours later Corky and Lynda were in the yard across the street loading up the dog house and plastic pools (for water) into one of their big, shiny, black pickup trucks for delivery to Cody's new owner. My guess is that the owners of 785 Fishback decided they want to prep the old place for sale, so Cody had to go.

What a sight that was of Lynda and Corky in their summer daytime uniform - small black sports bras, khaki shorts, and boots with scrunched down socks. I considered taking a picture of them out on the public street - especially after what took place earlier - but I couldn't find my camera because I was scrubbing my corneas with sandpaper, trying to remove the image burned there. You know what I'm talking about - some women just ought not wear certain things after certain physiological changes take place (if you dare, see the cartoons of "Maxine," drawn by John Wagner, or "Granny," drawn by Robert Brown.)

Oh, yes, earlier. . . During Cody's removal, Lynda edged closer and closer toward me inside the chain link fence by the sidewalk. Of course, she wanted to be party to the happenings across the street, but my mere presence was thwarting her almost irrepressible desire to verbally interject in the proceedings. Her attention was obviously split, judging from the frequent, furtive glances my direction. She retreated southward when Gail and Cody took off northward. Within a few yards, Gail realized she dropped her cell phone somewhere in Cody's former pen during the jostling of the excited dog and the two of them returned to look for it, Lynda joining them in the search. The phone was found, cell phone war stories were exchanged, and cell phone features compared before dog and mistress again left.

Now, mind you, Lynda is the sharpest cookie in the kitchen utensil drawer. I had finished my Grape Nuts and was nursing my iced cider while contemplating the just completed tableau, when my photophobic neighbor came along the sidewalk to stand directly facing me - with her camera phone open and ready. Without my permission, she took several images of me taking my leisure over a Sunday morning breakfast on my own lawn. The exchange went like this:

Me: Good morning, Lynda.

She: (No answer, but proceeded to take several images on her camera phone.)
Me: Do you want me to smile?
She: I wish you would. (Finished taking a few pics, she turned to go.) By the way, I'm not moving the ice machine.
Me: Not yet.
She: I'm not moving it. I tried working with you. . . (Classic Lynda communication style, letting her sentences trail off as she walks away.)
She: (yelling from her driveway) You sit there, no friends, no family. No wonder you're so ugly!

Poor, desperate, black widow, Lynda S Allen, had shot her wad. I did not respond to her verbal ejaculation.

That brief dialogue (which sounded very much like a monologue) indicates that Lynda rejects my counter-offer of moving the icemaker PLUS a two-year business sunset provision. The signs were there. In the week after the counter-offer, there was not a single preparation undertaken to move the icemaker. Quite the opposite, a pile of 4x4's, 2x4's, and fenceboards appeared and, over three days, a new, taller section of fence went up. Additionally, the section rebuilt earlier, close by the icemaker, acquired a new layer of old fenceboards mounted horizontally, and every knothole, chink, and crack blocked to the height of seven feet on my side.

Talk about paranoia! What do they think? That if I can't see the commercial delivery trucks coming and going, or Corky's 3:00 a.m. Ice Bucket Shuffle, then I cannot HEAR those things - and much, much more as they broadcast their business noise over the fence night and day? The yard radio gets louder and louder in an effort to camouflage the operations, substituting their unfortunate taste in music for the hellish noise of the icemaker.

Taking Lynda's response as a "No way!" it appears we are still playing for ALL the marbles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slowly Circling Magpies and Jaybirds

Why is it that men can play, work, exercise, etc., on a solo and silent basis, and women have to shop, eat, exercise, and use the restroom in groups of two or more AND talk during the entire time with each other in person or on the phone?

I have observed the "walkers" for over two years, those folks who each morning and/or evening circle the high school block where I live [hmmm... circles and squares.] Most walk it; a few ride bikes. Most walk briskly around several times at a mile per circuit; a few just mosey around for a one-time look-see. I see individual men and women, couples, and families, but the most numerous grouping is of two, three, or four women. They come from the tracts of homes within walking distance surrounding the high school and they view this city block as their personal training station.

The younger, fit women are out for exercise. Their pace takes them around the block every sixteen minutes and gets their cardiovascular systems into high gear. Their other gear, clothes and electronic gadgets, are the variety meant for strenuous activity. Sadly, the ear buds are in and playing a preplanned routine of music, talk, affirmations, or whatever, which builds an aural bubble around them and precludes any interaction with people or nature. A lack of ear buds is immediately substituted with a constant stream of girlfriend chatter.

All the other not-so-fit-yet women subsist exclusively on verbalizing during striding. Indeed, the faster they walk (relatively speaking), the faster and louder they talk (which is counter-intuitive.) The constant stream of words must double as breathing exercises, because they never gasp for breath and, in all probability, never even inhale. Of course, trying to get a word in edgewise - such as "Hello" ("Good day" would never work because that's two words) - bounces off the linguistic force field emanating from the walkers.

There must be a cloak of invisibility over the three houses, mine being one, on the backside of the high school block because this inhabited one-sixteenth-mile suffers the same continuous, rapid-fire barrage of clucking, laughing, gossipy, female oral exposition that the other uninhabited fifteen-sixteenths of a mile receives. What! Do they think we have soundproof houses? Especially at 4:43 a.m.?

Some of the fault must be laid at the feet - or in the mouth - of my neighbor, "C", who is still up after screwing around with the recently departed truck and "T" and "L" of TLC Catering. Her morning-long (3:00 a.m. to 6:15 a.m.) banging and clattering in the back yard has been intentionally expanded to include the daily gab fests she now conducts on the sidewalk out front before the sun comes up.

Hospitals have "Quiet Zone" signs. Day sleepers often put up signs to warn off the general population. Perhaps I need a sign that says, "Night Sleeper - No Noisy Neighbors or Gabby Walkers."

Legal Finagling

Met with attorney. Here's the story, looking back after three days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Stipulated Agreement

Stipulated Agreement


Theresa A Brassey and Lynda S Allen, defendants


Richard W Behling, plaintiff


the unlawful use of 810 Fishback Street, Manteca, CA

Ms. Allen stated during the public Manteca City Council Meeting of March 3, 2009, “I only have a couple years left in my business.”

With this agreement, property owners relinquish all nonresidential uses of the property on or before two years from date of agreement. In the event any conveyance of the property, or change in control thereof, or inheritance, before two years expires, then relinquishment of all nonresidential uses becomes effective one day prior to any such event.

Within one month of agreement date.

Property owners move the icemaker, all components, to the south side of the property and enclose it in a sound containing structure. The structure is to be issued a permit by the City of Manteca, properly engineered for its special purpose, constructed by a competent, licensed contractor, and certified that its performance (sound containment) is as advertised.

Within three months of agreement date.

Property owners remove all equipment and structures within fourteen feet south of the north property line, excepting only the steel garden shed.

Within one year of agreement date.

Propety owners dispose of all former business equipment no longer actively used.

Within two years of agreement date.

Property owners discontinue all business operations on the property, including the parking of business vehicles, and dispose of all remaining business equipment and structures, including the mobile home.

For five years from agreement date.

All future structures accessory to residential use proposed for the fourteen feet south of the north property line will require a City of Manteca building permit.

No future equipment accessory to residential use stored or placed within that same fourteen feet south of the north property line will be powered or emit noise while unattended.

Mending Fences vs Walling Off

It is amazing what a lawsuit will do. Apparently that is the only means of communicating serious intent to a party who will not listen otherwise.

In a miraculous turnaround for a couple of poverty-stricken ragamuffins (whose poor-mouth stories are legion), a big pile of money has suddenly become available for a couple of sizeable projects. The week before Father's Day my neighbors announced they were moving the ice machine and enclosing it because it was noisy. (Believe me, this was a Hallelujah moment!)

Then on Father's Day, while I was gone all day, they replaced three eight-four foot sections of our boundary fence with a brand new seven-foot high wooden fence. The next day another eight-foot section was erected and the next section prepped for stringers and boards. I'm guessing they intend to redo the entire boundary fence as a seven-foot wall. Perhaps their rationale is "out of sight, out of mind." If so, they are still missing the point. The operative principle here is "OUT OF EARSHOT!"

Upon purchasing my property 28 months ago, I was aware it needed a whole lot of maintenance, some of which had been deferred for many, many years. I also quickly discovered its major defect - my neighbors had started an unpermitted business operation in 1987, which is a horrible nuisance, especially during the wee hours of the morning when normal people sleep. For over two years, leading up filing a nuisance lawsuit, I have been unable (or, motivationally paralyzed) to develop several beautification projects due to the ugly and incessant blanket of noise that radiates from their ancient commercial ice making machine just over the fence and into every corner of my house, my property (every single sq. ft./all 14,800 sq. ft.), and my conciousness.

Perhaps now, that will change. We'll see just how well "out of sight, out of earshot, out of mind" works in this situation.

Legal, But Not Just (A Game of Russian Roulette)

Did I fall asleep somewhere along the line? Because when I woke up, I was trapped in a land of fantastical mystery, shadowy dealings, and a completely different set of operating rules than ever experienced heretofore. The sands underfoot constantly shift in random patterns, and every footfall is to risk entrapment in quicksand. One begins to understand suicide among those who find themselves victimized by worldly circumstances or by evil people and come to feel they have no other way out of their unbearably oppressive situation.

How does one get to tell his story in court? There are no more Solomon's. It appears that courts, indeed the entire legal/justice process, are interested only in the major/new/different cases that come along; they have no interest in deciding the mundane/everyday disputes that inevitably occur because of lying, deceitful people who are politically connected or have money (sorry, that's redundant.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pimples on the Body Politic

Example #1 - December 2005 Manteca Bulletin story:

The Great 2005 Garage Door Protest


The article was a puff piece to show that code enforcement actually wrote someone a ticket! After being transferred from the Community Development department to the Police department, they were "making a dent" in the backlog of complaints.

I do believe this was the first - and only - action taken by the reconstituted group.

- - - - -
Example #2 - Stockton Record, May 15, 2006:

Manteca garage bands draw ire
Number of noise complaints on the rise

Can you believe it? Does noise really bother people? Then again, this was before the City of Manteca had a REAL residential noise ordinance. In November 2007, the city adopted the current, [sarcasm] more muscular ordinance, so now the police can crack down on boom boxes and garage bands.

However, a resident is SOL if someone yells, "Grandfathered!" because then - without verifying a damn thing - code enforcement responds with "Allee, allee outs in free!" and - shazzam! - perps do whatever they want, even run noisy illegal businesses in neighborhoods. [/sarcasm]

- - - - -
Example #3 - June 19, 2009 Lathrop Manteca Sun Post story:

Neighbor Makes Noise

Dave Garcia of Manteca tracks his noise problem to a big manufacturing plant three miles away. He is told by both Lathrop and Manteca code enforcement officials, "There is nothing we can do."

Fortunately for Dave Garcia, he is dealing with a legal business (with permits!) that is run by rational, reasonable people (lucky guy!), who are willing to work through the nuisance to a resolution (blessed silence!)
- - - - -




How many times does this story have to be repeated before citizens and our so-called "leaders" wake up to the fact that code enforcement departments in Manteca and Lathrop are merely euphemisms for pus-filled pimples that need to be squeezed before public confidence can heal?

All that is ever heard out of these offices is the pathetic, woe-filled excuse, "There is nothing we can do," accompanied with prodigous hand-wringing.

Fine! Since they never can do anything, let's get rid of these personnel and save the payroll and benefits dollars.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Miracle On Fishback Street

A few turning points in history, large and small:

“Barbarians at the gate!” (Someone peered over the Roman city walls and cried, 'My God, the barbarians are at the gates!' Someone else heard it and decided it was a catchy phrase.)

Wolf at the door (colloquial: a life-threatening poverty)

“I stand at the door and knock.” (Bible, Rev. 3:20)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947 movie in which Kris Kringle plays himself?)
. . . . .

At 7:30 last evening, Lynda Allen stood at my gate, with two messages to deliver. (The first was that barbarians were casing local properties with intent to commit rapine, ransacking, looting, etc.) The second was that she was moving the ice machine – it was noisy and she was going to move it. In fairness, she never did state the quid pro quo (drop the lawsuit) that her homeowners insurance company did the day before; she flatly stated she was moving the machine.

According to my cycling partner, who was present, Lynda appeared calm and came across as quite neighborly. To be sure, she didn’t sound like the Lord wanting to infuse Peace, Joy and Love into my starving and shriveled heart; the announcement sounded more like a business concession. Still, she appeared in person at my gate.

Color me cynical, but manipulation rankles me because I cannot easily “read” people and their motivations. (I don’t play poker, either.) Lynda’s statement in March to the City Council, “We don’t talk,” needs amplifying to, “I have nothing more to gain by talking to him. Indeed, I would have to give up some part of what I have. So, I never talk with him.”

I cannot help but think back to her previous attempts to evade consequences, such as claiming a fictional timer on the icemaker to limit its operation, and hammering up the ineffective plywood sound box instead of having a competent professional build a bona fide sound containment structure.

Lynda did not bring up the impending deadline to file a Response to my Complaint, nor did I, except to say that I have an appointment next week to review the “offer” from her insurance company. (See the previous post, No, Thank You, To Lowball Offer.)

I have been waiting for her “to make nice” ever since I moved in over two years ago. I’m not sure she understands “nice” for its own sake, rather than using it as a tool to get what she wants, but… I will count the gesture as a miracle on Fishback Street.

- only five days remain on the lawsuit response deadline -

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No, Thank You, To Lowball Offer

The news of an offer - any offer - was fabulous news, initially. Reflection on it, however, produced these thoughts:
  • The insurance company had to try to buy their way out.

  • Allen & Brassey's insurance agent is probably a good friend who believes their cock-and-bull story about the business being legally "grandfathered."

  • The offer was no more than I requested from Allen in Sunday, March 2, 2008. She essentially told me to f-off.

  • From then, until I finished my "TLC is NOT grandfathered" research in December 2008, I suffered hell from their relentless noise and hostile disdain.

  • Upholding the insult and compounding the injury were the jackass officials of the City of Manteca. The frustration and humiliation I experienced trying to deal openly with these "uncivil" servants was intense.

  • I've come too far to give in this soon. With legal counsel, I should prevail on one or both concepts, noise nuisance and illegal use of property.

The following draft reply declines the insufficient offer and gives the insurance company two options - 1) cut and run, or 2) do the whole job and do it right.

June 17, 2009

Dear [name of insurance company],

Your policyholder, Lynda Allen, has misrepresented to you the legal status of the business operation she is conducting on her residential parcel. The absence of valid land use permits renders voidable all legal assistance benefits regarding any of these catering business affairs. We advise you to stop your losses by canceling such coverage and to remove your company from participating in this matter.

Should your company choose to continue participating, please join the lawsuit by filing a Response; and, amend your offer to include relocation costs for all business structures, assets and operations, presently and formerly used, to a properly zoned commercial property.



- only six days remain on the lawsuit response deadline -

A Trial Balloon Goes Up

This afternoon my attorney’s assistant called to relay the message that Lynda Allen’s insurance company had called to make an offer as inducement for me to drop the lawsuit. The offer is for the insurance company to move the icemaker (condenser, compressor, and bin/dispenser) to the south side of 810 Fishback and to enclose the machine.

Pro: Assuming properly engineered and constructed sound containment, no more icemaker noise.

Con: This is a very weak private offer, outside the purview of the court system, and unenforceable except for another lawsuit.

Con: No financial cost to Allen. This move would have the insurance company pay some relatively small construction costs and avoid paying for Allen’s attorney fees and other expenses to defend against the suit.

Con: All other business operations continue on the property, with lights, doors, Ice Bucket Brigade, trips to refrigerators and freezers, and commercial deliveries and services at all hours. Unpermitted sheds and mobile home, and abandoned vehicles and equipment all remain undisturbed.

An appointment for me to consult with my attorney has been set for next Monday, 6/22/09.

- only seven days remain on the lawsuit response deadline -

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Beautiful Day or Two

Monday was great. After a few cycles, the Scotsman icemaker choked in some fashion and produced nothing but QUIET the rest of my morning - a most pleasing non-sound.

When Allen & Brassey returned in the afternoon, they must have placed a service call for the expert services of Bill with AAA Refrigeration, 988-2773, to come and coax the ancient machine's components back to loud, lusty, noisy operation.

But Bill is no ordinary commercial service vendor. Ms. Allen introduced him as one of her entourage at City Council meeting last March 3rd: "I have my refrigeration man that can tell you about the ice machine that's not really a problem because it doesn't run all night." Much like The O. Rex, who jumps to TLC's aid when summoned, Bill was there in record time for a small-time outfit responding to an even smaller outlaw outfit. In the one hour and twenty minutes site visit, he took the machinery through a twenty-one minute cycle at the beginning and another cycle at the end. The other three-quarters of an hour in between must have been spent socializing, or strategizing, or telling tales of the road over lunch. The back-up beepers on his company truck announced his departure.

Ice must have been acquired elsewhere for the evening, with some left over for the 3:00 a.m. ice-down Tuesday morning. It wasn't until 4:00 a.m. that Corky started chipping away inside the Follett bin with her ice scoop.

Just how well the machine was repaired remains to be seen. After the 6:15 a.m. startup this morning, the machine cycled off within a half-hour, and again delivered blessed silence until I left for work.

Of course, at 8:15 Corky and yappy-dog open the squeaky-hinge door and crunch their way across the gravel in order to punch the icemaker's ON button. (Ah, well... one step at a time.) She appears on the soundscape again at 11:30 when Mega 100 (radio station) is fired up. Perhaps A, B, and C felt it wise for C to take time off to prepare their defense and file their response with the San Joaquin County Superior Court by next Wednesday.


- only seven days remain on the lawsuit response deadline -

Monday, June 15, 2009

House Arrest - Damned Inside, Damned Outside

Sunday morning started way too early. At 5:47 to be precise.

That's when Corky released her yappy-dog from the house and it immediately started a ruckus with the chicken. Yapping and clucking (not always from the animals) have a way of disturbing anyone's sleep. The dog/chicken altercations continued intermittently for over an hour, occasionally - and ineffectively - refereed by Corky the Umpire barking orders at yappy-dog. Finally, she punched the icemaker's ON button at 7:08 a.m.

"Time to get up!" demanded the Scotsman Icemaker From Hell. For over two years now, I have not been able to sleep in my bedroom while the icemaker runs, and this morning was no exception. I got up and did a couple small chores while the neighbors carried on more noisily than usual, banging bowls, hollering at dogs, chickens and each other. An Ice Bucket Brigade started up at 7:38.

Just before 8:00, I poured a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats, splashed milk on it, picked up my folding chair, and picked a spot in my front yard to escape the clambor next door. It was a very pleasant Sunday morning, sunny with a soft breeze, light traffic, a few walkers. Most importantly, it is the only spot on my property where the house almost blocks the incessant thrumming of the icemaker. Removed as far from the noise of machines, idiots and animals as I could get, I sat and relaxed and began my breakfast.

Halfway through my cereal, the next six minutes got really, REALLY freaky.

The neighboring driveway gate clanks, a car pulls out and, at 8:09 a.m., Corky turns onto the street. Her accelaration cuts suddenly when she spots me. Quickly sensing the inevitability of my already spotting her, the engine picks up and off she goes, with her yappy lap dog standing in her lap and sticking its nose out the driver's window. I must confess, however, that I am really impressed with Corky's ability to drive a car, handle a loose dog in the car (stupid), and make a cell phone call (illegal), all at the same time.

I know she called the Alpha Female back home because two minutes later, at 8:11, movement in the corner of my eye caused me to turn and I see Lynda Allen quickly pull back behind the huge Italian cypress tree between me and her front porch. I can understand that my crunching on Frosted Mini Wheats is a sight not to be missed.

Two minutes after that - four minutes after leaving - Corky drives up quickly into her driveway (the dog with its nose still out the window), beeping insistently for someone to open the gate and let her in. 8:09 to 8:13 is way too short to complete any conceivable errand, even in a car. I cannot imagine any scenario where she had time for anything except to drive down the street, make a cell phone call, turn around and drive back.

The freakiest final two minutes. Another movement, a long, early morning shadow on the embankment beyond the neighbors' driveway, caught my eye at 8:15. A few seconds later, I heard voices and turned to see shy, sly Lynda talking with James Mason, her neighbor on the other side, both of them regarding me across two yards. I wonder what's so all-fired important that she needed to go call someone else to witness me eating breakfast on my front lawn?

After the 5:47 a.m. wake up this morning, I was truly trying to ESCAPE the noise for a few minutes. But I already know how Allen is going to spin this. "Mommy! Mommy! Billy is looking at me AGAIN... (and I have a witness to prove it.) Make him stop!"

This is an extraordinary situation. I feel like I'm under house arrest.

  • They do not want me to get any sleep, but they also don't want me to do or say anything about it.

  • They want me to stay in my house or back yard, but they fill my house and back yard with incessant, unbearable noise pollution.

  • They are the ones who build their fences higher and plug up every hole in the boards so I can't *spy* on them, yet they complain *loudly* when I report the activities they *broadcast* across the fence night and day.

  • They want me to go away, but they are the ones with the illegally operating business on their property.

[A note about *spying*: My ONLY INTEREST in over-the-fence items and activities is regarding TLC Catering equipment (present & abandoned), noisy business processes, and hours of operation not appropriate for a residential neighborhood. Because they run TLCC as an (unpermitted) home-based business, certain aspects of "home life" slop over into "business", such as squeaky hinges on porch doors, verbal interactions with dogs and chickens, and the radio played into the yard while wee-hour food preparations are being made. Anyone who has seen these three "wicked witch[es to] the South" must trust me when I say I have absolutely NO INTEREST in observing their "familial," or non-business, activities. To see one working in their front yard wearing a sports bra and shorts is to risk blindness or a sudden, uncontrollable urge to run screaming madly down the street.]

The former owners of my property must have been either, A) deaf or hard of hearing, or B) intimidated and scared witless by these over-the-fence Medusae. A big, emphatic, "THANKS FOR NOTHING!" goes to the Manteca City Council, City Attorney, and Planning and Police departments for allowing, protecting, even encouraging, this criminal activity to go on for such an unconscionable length of time - and for their spectacularly craven show of impotence and bald cowardice for not correcting this mistake last March 3rd when handed evidence on a silver platter. To put it bluntly, Allen, Brassey, and Corky STOLE the right to quiet enjoyment of property from Roger and Flora Stewart in 1987, while flatulent** City officials abetted them. This common law right must be recovered and restored to me. (Both Roger and Flora died in 2005 from noise pollution and sleep deprivation.)


- 10 days remaining on the noise nuisance lawsuit response deadline -

** flat·u·lent (adjective)

1. causing gas in digestive system -
causing excessive gas (flatus) to be created in the stomach and intestines

2. full of digestive gas -
having excessive gas (flatus) in the digestive system

3. pompous or self-important -
having or showing excessive self-importance

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vendor Delivery Changeups


Crystal Dairy did not make its 3:00 a.m. appearance this morning. The likeliest possibility is that TLC's sales are sluggish, so no more product was needed (roach coach? fresh product?) , and TLC called off the delivery. I did notice a while back that TLC's departure time slipped to 4:30 a.m. - and noticed a week ago that the first stop/customer on their route from last summer was out of business. Perhaps other stops/customers have felt the economic pinch?

I would put a bigger {smilie} on the hope that their suopplier, Crystal Dairy, now owned by Foster Farms, got word of a noise nuisance lawsuit in which they could become involved as a co-defendant. Regardless, the big, refrigerated, diesel delivery truck with squealing brakes didn't stop by to add its commercial noise pollution to the residential midnight air.


The Oroweat truck showed up this morning at 6:50 a.m., thirty minutes after Corky started the icemaker and hightailed it off the property. Before this the delivery was usually on a schedule of Monday around 12:00 noon.

In another big change, observed once before, Oroweat has double-teamed this unattended delivery. A woman used to make this delivery, but now a bald-headed man drove the big bread truck with back up beepers. The woman, if she is the same one, drove a Suburban-like van and parked on the street, yakking on a handheld cell phone, while waiting for the delivery man to pull out of the yard. At 7:05 a.m. the woman, in an amazingly dexterous display, pulled a one-handed T-turn while still yakking on the phone in the other hand and both vehicles drove off to the south.

Again, a big {smilie face} goes to the hope that Oroweat is feeling the heat generated against their illegally operating customer - and is trying to protect their corporate buns from being toasted.


Where's The Love?!

{palm strike to the forehead} Hell's bells... why am I so slow?

TLC stands for The Love Connection! ...and they missed me! That explains perfectly Lady McCorky's tragic, plaintive, words and gesture on the Fishback stage this morning.

Playbill for this season (and the past two seasons): My neighbors' display true thoughtlessness (oops... thoughtfulness) by waking me up daily at 3:00 a.m. to take in their perfomance of the hour-long Ice Bucket Brigade. Also, Monday's performances usually include the special 15-minute guest appearance of the Crystal Dairy Diesel. The wind-up scene, ninety-five minutes into this farce, is when T, L, and C part ways for the day: Curious Corky doing her 20-yard Dog Dish Dash, while Limping Lynda and Tight-Lipped Theresa try to steer their lumbering roach coach in a straight line down the road to greet the sunrise.

For the past several weeks, I acknowledged their kindness by turning on all the lights in my house and sitting on my porch under the porch light to witness their climax.

Sadly, for them, no lights were on this morning. At the pivotal moment of craning their necks to scan their audience, they saw only darkness. In the headlight beams of the rumbling monster kitchen, Lady McCorky, diva of the street stage, raised her hands heavenward and in a heart-wrenching expression of soul-anguish, exclaimed "Where's the love?!" Her cooped-up culinery companions clapped their hands in enthusiastic accompaniment.

I nearly leapt from my chair on the darkened porch to call out her answer, "Your love is here! Your love is here!"

Fickle women.

These three thespians take every opportunity in their corporate yard to flip me the bird (figuratively... and literal chicken), yet wail aloud on the public concourse when I do not show up to french kiss them good-bye each morning.


(Oh, wait... were they being sarcastic?)


Sixteen days remaining on the 30-day response...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Loose Chicken Shit(s)

There is an absolutely universal sibling scenario that goes like this:

  • Billy looks in his sister's direction.
  • Susie wails, "Mommeee! Billy is looking at me. Make him stop!
  • Momma reacts with, "Billy, leave your sister alone! Go do something else," while continuing with her own things.
  • As Billy leaves, Susie checks that Mom isn't looking, wrinkles up her face and sticks her tongue out at her brother.

Some people NEVER grow up and they continually operate at this developmentally stunted emotional maturity level.

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Chicken Soup for My Soul

A couple days after being served the noise nuisance lawsuit I filed against them and their equally ancient icemaker, Allen, Brassey and Corky (ABC of TLC) acquired a chicken. (We'll skip the whole other discussion about going over the three dog or cat / six animal limit.) Instead of keeping it in an enclosure 20 feet from any dwelling (Municipal Code, Sec. 6.12.050), these "country" girls allowed it - perhaps encouraged it? - or assisted it? - to check out my property for whatever chickens eat.

(Of course, there is also that whole other discussion about how incredibly, disgustingly, messy chickens are... especially when a County-inspected property is supposed to maintain a clean, sanitary environment for a food vending operation. We should be grateful dogs can't fly up and poop in all the places chickens can. Who am I trying to kid? A, B, and C of TLC pay no attention to laws, rules, courtesies, inspectors, or anything of the kind, unless there is a possibility of being fined or shut down if caught.)

Anyway, I was attempting to go BACK to sleep at 5:00 a.m., after TLC's morning klaxony, when I first became aware of the brainless bird clucking while strutting about beneath my bedroom window. I chased it into a corner until it flew up and back across the fence (flight feathers not clipped.) The next morning it was in my yard again at dawn, and again I chased back across the fence - and with a little more emphasis! ;-) It hasn't been back yet. (That chicken is smarter than certain people.) Another city law makes it "unlawful for any person... owning or having possession of any... chickens... to permit the same to run or go upon the premises of any other person... within the city. (Sec. 6.12.070.)

(I'm convinced that if my neighbors moved the icemaker, they would move it CLOSER to my house.)

Get Down, Get Down / Get Down, Get Down / Get Down, Get Down / . . .

"Damn! How else can I stick my tongue out at him?" thought little Susie for a few days.

(As a quick aside, and example of the fluidity of A's mind, recall Ms. Allen publicly stated at City Council meeting, "I go to bed at seven, shut it [the ice machine] off..." However, since March 3rd, and as temperatures have warmed, that 7:00 o'clock bedtime has slipped to generally 8:00 o'clock.)

So, last Wednesday night, the ice machine was shut off at 8:00 - as was the yard radio, on which they listen to the most unfortunate choice of elevator music, Radio ...something... 100, which plays crap like "Jungle Boogie" (... and TV is supposed to rot our brains?)

Six hours later, in the stillness of 2:20 a.m. on Thursday morning, I'm jarred awake by a female singer exercising her vocal chords in the screeching high frequency ranges. Twelve midnight to 3:00 a.m. is Ms. Brassey's time to dodge around the property and slice, dice and cook in the catering truck. I will let the reader guess the reason why Ms. B had the yard radio on at that hour.

Ms. C joins the fray at 3:00 a.m. every morning and personally conducts the day's first Ice Bucket Brigade. (I.B.B. - a half-dozen back-and-forths, loudly scooping ice from the ice machine into plastic pails and hauling up to four filled pails with a wheelbarrow to the catering truck.) On that acoustical and musical Thursday morning, the "woman formerly known as 'Corky'" left the yard radio on during the hour-long I.B.B.

Both B and C take orders from A, the Alpha female. The radio was off at the regular departure time of 4:35 a.m., when A and B drove off in their catering truck, leaving C to mind the farm until 6:15 a.m., when C turned the icemaker ON again.

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Too bad Susie can't whine to her Manteca Mommas. Too bad Susie can't demand the familial protection provided so freely this past year by the downtown P.O.D.S. (I have my acronym - make up your own!) All Susie can do is come up with yet another juvenile way to stick out her tongue.

Nineteen days remaining on the 30-day response...