Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good Neighbors

The neighbor-guest down the hill who's been playing music very loud in the mornings finally got me at a weak spot.  A work morning when I could be sleeping.  The music woke me up this morning at 5.  Seeing red, I threw on some sweatpants and roared down the hill to find a guy with a beer in his hand doing an  imitation of Leonardo Di Caprio, "I'm the king of the world!" on some rocks.  The music was playing from his work van.

I had to yell a few times to get his attention (the music was really loud), but he apologized a thousand times and tried to beer-ily explain his situation.  One of his reasons was that he likes to get away on the mountain for the quiet.  (Um, yeah.  Me too.)  When he started to put his arm around me and suggested that that he'll bring some steaks up or I should come down to dinner, I backed off and got out of there.  I really hope I didn't replace one problem (loud music some mornings) with another problem (amorous, unwelcome neighbor).

I made feta cheese last night with 2 gallons of raw milk.  It drained in the sink overnight, and this morning I cut it up and put it in some brine I made up last night.  I hope the taste of this cheese improves with brining. This might be the first cheese I've made that I don't think is edible.

Here's the young, small orchard.  First, two apricot trees.  Then two pear, and finally, one apple tree over by the dogs.  It seems like I wouldn't need another apple tree, but Esopus Spitzenberg apple was recommended by a few people and I wanted to try it.  I have to get another pear tree next year because according to the nursery, the Seckel needs to be pollinated by two other types of pear and I only have one other.  I need to clean up all the small rocks before I can mow the grass over here, and I should re-seed.  The grass I planted hasn't really come up. Some sort of protection for the little tree trunks would probably be a good idea, too.

[Edit: I went outside an hour+ later (7 am) and the music was on again, louder than before, and he was yelling. This is thorny. The phone number I have for the lady who owns the house doesn't work, although I have some options for getting her phone number. The next time her dogs come over I can read their collar tags, or I can stop by a bar I know she frequents and ask the bartender. Next step is to call and talk to her about this guy. If that doesn't work, would I really have to call the police? That seems a bit extreme. It really annoys me that someone else is rude enough to play excessively loud music at 5 in the morning and I'm the one trying not to piss anyone off. Is it possible that I'm being unreasonable wanting peace and quiet at my place in the woods, and I should just go ahead and let him play his crappy music??]


  1. It sounds fishy to me that he turned it up and started yelling. Major red flags going up. Could be he wanted to see you again and was using the lure that had worked the first time? Not to be an alarmist! But...I wouldn't go near this guy again.

    Personally, I would pursue the lead you have and if that doesn't work, call the cops.

  2. Yeah, Jody - that thought occurred to me, too. Sigh.

  3. Call the cops. He's been warned and then there is a record on him and this behavior. Perhaps you are not the only one complaining. DON"T go back!! I may also find the landlord lady's info, but the police would be at a sort of lull at 5am, with the bars closed. Is he still up and partied loudly all night, or just gets going early?? He may get into a bit more trouble if he's driving around like that, or the work van...not good.

  4. Call the police. And don't even vacillate about it.

    There are rules about how loud a person can be, like "Between the hours of X and Y, if the noise can be heard on the neighboring property. Between the hours of A and B, if the noise can be heard X thousand feet away." etc. They are fair rules.

    When we lived in DC, there was a loud house a couple houses away. I called the police and explained that I didn't really want to be a meanie about it, but I didn't want to live with the noise either. She explained that the point of calling the police is not for you to be a meanie but to protect you from what could be an unsafe situation or become an unsafe situation over time. The police don't tell the person who called (although, of course, they could often guess). The situation you have is pretty clear, and you are only vacillating not because of some objective social criteria that would rate you as a 'meanie' but because of your own internal hangups (and I have them too)! When faced with a situation that can and should be evaluated in the framework of 'safe' or 'unsafe' then your judgment becomes much more clear.

    I took to keeping the police # for noise complaints sitting next to the phone so I could call when I was half-asleep.

    (Remember when we called the police on Mr. Martin?)

  5. I DO remember Mr Martin. I wonder if his drunken ranting and raving is how I got my pet peeve about noise.

  6. Isn't our "be nice" training annoying? Keeps us from standing up for ourselves. Keeps us from working to make our communities more pleasant to live in.

    I'm with the rest of your commenters. Make your own noise. Call the police. You don't have to live with this.

    As someone who fell asleep at the wheel (and crashed), I can tell you that a good night's sleep is definitely a safety issue.

  7. I would call the police. You already talked to the guy...and he's still doing it. Every one needs good sleep, 5am is to early!

  8. Yep, call the police and keep calling until he is quiet or goes back to wherever he came from.

  9. I'm not worried about being a meanie as much as I'm worried about frontier justice. Out here in the woods, sometimes whoever is meaner wins regardless of who is right.

  10. I've been known to march over to a house or two when the damn dogs would be barking for hours. When the dog owners wouldn't answer the door I call the town Dog Warden - she took care of that for me. I say call the police.

  11. Regarding protecting the tree trunks, don't put it off. We lost over 10 newly planted trees this past winter to voles girdling the trunks and deer browsing the branches. To solve this problem, we've put trunk protectors on and surrounded the trees with 10ft lengths of wire fencing. I hope you have better luck than we did.