Dependable Erection

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Quiz time

Note: I'm pushing this to the top of the page for the rest of the day and into tomorrow.

Can you spot the code violation(s) in the above photos?

Is it:
A) Piles of aluminum cans around porch?
B) Piles of pallet wood and particle board around fence?
C) Dogs tied up on 3 foot leads with no water?
D) Busted fence allowing dogs to escape regularly?
E) All of the above
F) None of the above

Bonus question:
In an essay of 250 words or less, explain why Durham City or County officials don't feel it's necessary to respond to citizen complaints about this property?

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  • E) All of the above

    In an essay of 250 words or less, explain why Durham City or County officials don't feel it's necessary to respond to citizen complaints about this property?

    You're not Gary Hock; you don't have a swimming pool full of money to throw around; they don't give a rats ass about 'plebeians' and their bothersome caterwauling about 'enforcing this' and 'there's a law against that.' There's also: "you write a what? on the interweb? Huh?"

    48 words. Where's my extra credit?

    By Anonymous Dan S., at 2:15 PM  

  • When i open my Cafe Press store - you'll get a discount coupon.

    Stay tuned. I'm shooting for the holiday season.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 2:20 PM  

  • Honestly (and I'm too lazy/busy/ashamed to say this in my own blog), but as I cast my ballot in Early Voting a short time ago, I felt little to no civic pride, since I have little to no confidence that my selections have the power, will, and/or ability to do anything about a whole host of issues, some quite similar to what you've illuminated.

    Not that I would discourage people from voting...there's feeling discouraged because you can't imagine things getting better, and then there's feeling outraged because things have the potential to be a whole lot worse (which is why I'll never forgive Nader voters).

    By Blogger toastie, at 2:22 PM  

  • If you don't stop sneaking in my back yard, I'm going to sic my constantly barking dogs on you. ;)

    I'd really like to know how the concept of civic pride is supposed to work. I know it happens, but I'm not so sure what the best way to engender it is.

    By Blogger Joe, at 3:44 PM  

  • I only wish i had to sneak into the back yard to see this stuff.

    unfortunately, theis backyard is acutally a front yard on my block, and it's quite visible to the rest of the world.

    i don't even think civic pride should be a factor. how about personal pride? i mean, i'm not exactly Mr. Neat in my personal life, but when the pile of aluminum cans gets big enough to hide a dog in, i try to get rid of it. Know what i'm saying?

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 4:49 PM  

  • I find it ironic that this blog wants the same old do-nothing leadership elected.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:24 PM  

  • Irony is in such short supply these days. We're just doing our part to help out.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 6:36 PM  

  • I find it ironic that this blog wants the same old do-nothing leadership elected.

    I find it ironic that a blog can be sentient.

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 8:41 PM  

  • i think a sentient blog would be more paradoxical than ironic, no?

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 10:10 PM  

  • I find it puzzling that anyone would believe that the least productive member of the city council, by all objective measures, will suddenly find his groove by moving over two seats.

    Suppose you think they're all a bunch of clowns, and they're driving a clown car, nicknamed "The City of Durham". The sanest, calmest, most reasonable of the clowns has the wheel, and he's driving through some horrendous shit, but he's slowly, deliberately getting the car out of this deluge of shit. Half the clowns are inpatient and screaming, "Hurry up! Go faster! Steer harder!" One especially obnoxious clown has offered up zero helpful suggestions to get out of the shit, but he desperately wants to drive a nicer car someday, so he tries to strong-arm his way to the driver's seat yelling, "Let me drive, let me drive!"

    So, in this absurd, imbecilic analogy, you need to decide, "Which clown do I want driving the clown car?"

    Don't be a Bozo! Vote for Bell!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 PM  

  • I find it ironic that you find what I find ironic to be paradoxical.

    Hey, this is fun!

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 10:19 PM  

  • I find it ironic that the author of this blog wants the same old do-nothing leadership elected.

    Everyone happy now?

    As far as BR being sentient, opinions differ.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:11 AM  

  • i'm really gonna have to cut out that anonymous comment feature.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 9:17 AM  

  • Ah, that makes it much clearer now. I really had no idea what that anonymous poster was trying to say and now I do!

    Oh, the clarity! It's blinding!

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 10:37 AM  

  • I clearly think it's time to replace Bell with Stith.

    On a similar note, I've been missing huge chunks of time at my job, showing up late, telling my coworkers to shove off, and sloughing work off on them. It's all part of my plan to get promoted to manager.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 3:19 PM  

  • It worked in Office Space.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 3:31 PM  

  • Only 4 days until we are all friends again and united in our distaste for dilapidated campaign signs.

    By Anonymous Mr. Happy, at 3:46 PM  

  • I declare this comment to be meta-sarcastic.

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 3:52 PM  

  • I declare that meta-sarcasm is merely a post-modernist metaphor for narcissism, the need to reflect everything back on yourself, and redundancy.

    Also, I occasionally find Barry to be sentient, mostly when he's paying attention.

    By Anonymous Maura, at 5:40 PM  

  • I declare some more things, interestingly enough.

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 6:06 PM  

  • Considering the anonymous comment got you 21 comments, so far, and your usual blog entry gets one or two, go right ahead and disable anonymous comments.

    And because "durhamfood", "toastie", "Maura", and "Mr. Happy" are soooo much more revealing of the authors' identities.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:07 AM  

  • And because "durhamfood", "toastie", "Maura", and "Mr. Happy" are soooo much more revealing of the authors' identities.

    How much more do you want from me? That's my real name. Most of the people here know who I am.

    Seriously, even if you're just using a screen name, it gives you an identity and credibility, makes you more accountable for what you say, and (forgive me for sounding like a damn girl), allows you to build a relationship with everyone else here.

    Before I say something here, I have to consider how I'll come across, because I actually know some of the posters here. I have to face them. Even if I don't know someone, I'd hate to think that,upon seeing my name, anyone would roll his/her eyes and mumble "Crap. Here she goes again." But someone posting anonymously can say anything without repercussions. I know this is just the internets, and God knows they're serious bizness, but I think everyone should be accountable for what they say.

    By Anonymous Maura, at 10:57 AM  

  • And because "durhamfood", "toastie", "Maura", and "Mr. Happy" are soooo much more revealing of the authors' identities.

    If those who don't use their real names started using them, then most people would have no idea who they were.

    If someone uses "anonymous", on the other hand, it's pretty safe to assume that they're an idiot until proven otherwise.

    By Blogger Lenore, at 3:09 PM  

  • i can't say as all of my anonymous commenters are idiots.

    i happen to know who a few of them are, and understand the reasons for anonymity, even if i don't agree with them.

    i am glad to say that at least a few of them have occasionally been spotted using identifiable names.

    there is a certain subset of folks, though, who seem to think that deconstructing posts on DE scores points in some interweb left-right contest.

    i can't imagine where that comes from. i mean, seriously, this is a fourth tier blog at best. nobody gives a shit what i have to say, and even less what anonymous trashers of Durham have to say.

    you'd all be better off starting your own blogs.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 3:30 PM  

  • I stay anonymous because I take enough shit as it is standing up for what I believe in real life and, really, there is a limit as to the bullshit one can take.

    And I like to feel as one with all the other anonymous posters of the world.

    Having said that: I would vote for anyone and anything over Bill Bell EXCEPT FOR THOMAS STITH!! I find it ironic that he, of all people, is all we have to choose from. My god, this is not a Republican rightwing conspiracy at all, it is a clever double-blind of Bell and or the upper income black class of this town seeking to make even more bucks on the backs of their lower class brethren. Bell's people somehow infiltrated the republican ranks and led them to choose the one person in this entire town more lame as than Bell, this giving bell a better shot at re-election.

    I hate them both. Someone give me the name of the write-in candidate again.

    But I will not be voting for Stith. Stith is inert. He has never done a damn thing as City Councilman. He is a pawn and a tool. He is a whiny little right-wing bitch who has allowed himself to be used by rich, right-wing tools. I have nothing but contempt for him.

    I will be holding my nose and voting for Bell, but Bell is still better than Stith, hands down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:58 PM  

  • Perhaps this is off the meandering subject, since I'm actually commenting on the original post, but I thought I'd point out a lovely feature of that backyard that does not appear in the photo, because it literally rotted into dust.

    A couple of years ago, a rabbit got its head caught in the fence. It died there, hanging by it's neck. The residents never moved it. Every day I would walk past with the dog, and watch the bunny carcass slooooowly decay, until there was nothing left for a long time but a spine hanging from the fence.

    How lazy can you be not to remove a dead, rotting animal carcass from your yard?

    By Anonymous cd, at 8:13 AM  

  • Did anyone in the neighborhood try, say, knocking on the door and talking to the residents about it?

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 9:13 AM  

  • assuming you're talking about the rabbit, yes.

    as well as all of the other ongoing issues at this and other poorly maintained nuisance properties in the neighborhood.

    believe me, putting this stuff up on the blog and getting the city/county involved is final resort, not a first step.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 9:26 AM  

  • What was their response? I'm sure the effort was made, I'm trying to understand the process.

    By Anonymous durhamfood, at 9:48 AM  

  • It's been a few years since the rabbit episode, but as i recall, the conversation went something like "Are you guys ever going to take that dead rabbit out of the fence?" "What dead rabbit?" "That one over there." Points finger. "Never noticed it. What do you think i should do with it?" "Dig a hole in the ground and bury it or throw it in the trash." "I might could do that."

    Previous piles of trash in the yard have been dealt with by neighbors stacking things up out of sight until our annual neighborhood spring clean. One year we hauled about 8 or 9 old school computer monitors to the hazardous waste site from the backyard. The piles of pallet wood and/or particle board have also been a recurring problem. That wood is not suitable for burning, especially in an urban environment.

    Other folks have responded to gentle requests to keep their dogs from barking through the night with "What do expect me to do with him? If i bring him in the house he just shits all over everything."

    I will confess that when the guy up the hill on Avondale was burning his trash in the backyard, including a mattress, i didn't even try to discuss it with him. My first step was to call 911. But that's been the exception.

    After so many years of this, though, i've come to understand that the person whose behavior needs to change is not so much the resident, but the landlord. (Five of the six houses that have generated 98% of the problems in my neighborhood are rentals.) And changing landlord's behavior will take a multi-faceted approach, one aspect of which requires the city government to realize that dealing with problem landlords costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and that passing those costs back onto the ones creating them is a necessary step.

    This is not to say that "all landlords are bad." When i talk about my neighborhood, i'm specifically thinking of the 150 or so homes between Roxboro and Avondale, and between I85 and the railroad tracks. Of these, about 40-45% are rentals. The vast majority of these are maintained to acceptable neighborly standards and rented to responsible tenants.

    There are other things that need to be done as well. I'm doing my best to work on those also. But i don't necessarily write about them here.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 9:27 PM  

  • Given that the landlord we're talking about here (IIRC) is Rick Soles, I'm starting to think the only way to "change landlord behavior" in this case might be "boot to the head."

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 11:39 AM  

  • Actually, Rick is not the property manager of the house picuted above, as far as i can tell.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 11:47 AM  

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