Dependable Erection

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Because the current system doesn't encourage enough people to dump their shit on the street, that's why

From the Herald-Sun:
Solid Waste Management Director Donald Long is telling elected officials he thinks it's "imperative" for Durham to emulate other North Carolina cities and begin charging residents a monthly collection fee for garbage and recycling.

Long said the move would enable his department to reduce its annual demand for property tax revenues, which in fiscal 2011-12 will cover $12.5 million of a $21.3 million budget.

One listserv correspondent wrote:
My initial response to this proposal is: What a terrible idea. We see how badly this fee-for-service system works with yard waste. When it became fee based, people opted out. To make garbage & recycling fee-for-service based in a community such as ours, with a 50% rental housing rate, is a recipe for disaster. What happens if residents don't pay the fee? Their garbage isn't picked up? Whose responsibility is it to see the fee is paid: the residents? The property owner? The property manager? If a resident moves, does their trash fee move with them or would they have to pay again at a new property? Who will insure that fees are paid and trash is collected for each household? What happens if a property manager or rental owner goes belly-up and these fees aren't paid? How will the current legislation pending that would prohibit rental registries and limit inspections impact problems with trash pick-up, non-payment of fees? What happens if owners decide not to pay? Who will clean up after the inevitable surge of illegal dumping? Handle complaints from businesses who find other people's garbage in their commercial bins? Will animal control increase their responses to rat and pest infestations?

Oh, you mean like this rental property at 110 E. Markham Ave?

Yeah, Durham really needs to give its shitty landlords more of an incentive to be fuckups.

(And out of curiosity, i'm not going to report this to One-Call. It's on the Roxboro side of the building, and i imagine that there are at least a couple of dozen city employees, and at least one or two council members, who drive past this pile of shit daily on their way home from work. Let's see how long it takes for one of them to report this.)

UPDATE 6/2: So the trash was gone when i checked at 8 pm last night. No idea if the landlords will be picking up the tipping fees (and penalties for mixing yard waste, electronics, and recyclables in with the busted up furniture and used paint containers), or if that privilege will be passed on to the schlubs who pay their taxes and sort their trash because it's the right thing to do.

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Continue reading Because the current system doesn't encourage enough people to dump their shit on the street, that's why

Saturday, May 28, 2011


This getting old thing sucks. Won't be any of my heroes left before too long.

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Continue reading GSH

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

God bless the grass

The street where i live.


Continue reading God bless the grass

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Uncle Bob

Hands off his medicare!

Oh, and Time Magazine?

Still clueless.


Continue reading Happy Birthday, Uncle Bob

Monday, May 23, 2011


An 1898 USDA bulletin contains a pretty thorough history of the periodical cicada in the US.

Brood XI, which is a 17 year cicada, is documented in 1893 in Wake County, for example, but it's not likely that this year's brood is one of those. More likely is that the cicadas which have been pretty prevalent in north Durham County are members of Brood XVIII, which is a 13 year cicada first recorded, nearer to the Mississippi, as far back as 1803, or 16 cycles ago.

How this guy got to my back yard remains unknown. He, or she, only has a week or two left to find a mate in the vicinity and get to work on making the next generation, to surprise whoever is living in my house in 2024.


Continue reading Lost

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harmon Killebrew 1936-2011

My first favorite ballplayer. I got to shake his hand in Cooperstown 11 summers ago.

Rest in peace.

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Continue reading Harmon Killebrew 1936-2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Did not see that coming

Four months after the Federal Communications Commission approved a hotly contested merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, one of the commissioners who voted for the deal said on Wednesday that she would soon join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office.

Meredith Attwell Baker, a former Commerce Department official who worked on telecommunications issues in George W. Bush’s administration, announced that she would leave the F.C.C. when her term expires at the end of June. At Comcast, she will serve as senior vice president for government affairs for NBC Universal, which Comcast acquired in January.

Pretty sweet, huh? Bet she doesn't see a damn thing wrong with this, either.

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Continue reading Did not see that coming

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Eyes and ears

This could, and perhaps sometime soon will, be a much longer explication of my relationship with this town. But for now, there's this.

Seems every time i meet with someone who works for the city, i get some variation of this speech. "Durham doesn't have enough (insert job description here) to stay on top of (insert urban problem here.) Because of this, we need you to be our eyes and ears on the street. Let us know what the problems are, so that we can devote our resources to solving them."

But after 10 years at my current address, letting you folks know what it is that i'm seeing and hearing pretty much every freakin' day that makes my surroundings ugly and unsafe, i've come to the conclusion that you're really not interested in making things better, and you'd be a lot happier if i weren't your eyes and ears.

And i'm all about making you happy.


Continue reading Eyes and ears

Monday, May 02, 2011

Conspicuous by its absence


The Qaeda leader’s body was flown to Afghanistan, the country where he made his fame fighting and killing Soviet troops during the 1980s.

On whose behalf?


Continue reading Conspicuous by its absence

Spring garden

Among the things i've been occupying my time with the past month or two.

Lettuces, spinach, peas, kale, and some other green leafy thing my daughter gave me 3 year old seeds for. Beans, cukes, and sunflowers from seed are up for the summer garden. Tomatoes, eggplants, & peppers from Stone Bros., farmer's market, and Durham Garden Center. Squash seeds will go in the ground in another 3 weeks or so.


Continue reading Spring garden

Check one two

Is this thing on?


Continue reading Check one two