The fan that will kill me

So I got a co-worker to install two fans in my house for the sum of $54. The fan in the first room is wonderful. The fan in my room, which I knew would be trouble, is still troubling. The problem with old houses is that you have old house hardware and quirks. The hardware the light, which was on the verge of killing me in my sleep, hung from what could have been an old gas lamp pipe. Heavens only knows.

The light was hanging loosely from the old fixture. I pulled the string to turn it off and on, the thing would wobble. It had a glass, a heavy glass piece that I took off once the whole piece started looking dodgy. Upon further inspection the lamp was hanging from some screws that had a minimal hold on the drywall in the ceiling.

I knew there would be trouble when the ceiling fan would replace the whole contraption. After 2 or so hours Mr. Grumpy Sunshine got it installed. He wasn’t too happy with the wobbling. He said the hardware up in the ceiling was loose.

The one big problem is the only way for me to turn the light on and off is to pull the cord. Which in turn pulls the fan, which pulls whatever loose hardware there is in the ceiling.

I’m now thinking, remote controlled fan. Thats the only way. The only was without doing some heavy recontruction.

Until then, I’m in danger of a 30lb fan hitting my bed in my sleep.

Neighbors

Neighbors
So I’m outside staining my fence. I tried using the pressure sprayer, but I think I ruined it since the stain protectorant is too thick. I had to use the old cup and brush method.

The whole time I’m out there doing 2 panels worth, from 5:30 till after dark, the house across the alley is nothing but screaming. She’s screaming at her, someone screaming at the kids, loudness, agruing and being very vocal for about 2 hours straight. I hear threats “What you going to throw at at me?”. I hear commands. I hear declarations. I hear cursing. The whole gamut. If there was a murder and the cops were to ask me, what were they fighting about? I would have no clue. About a guy someone was dating? Getting the kids to eat? There was no singular topic.

It’s not really worth noting except I was out there for the whole time. Normally I hear the yelling and screaming. But I don’t stick around long and I’m back in my own environs with the window shut and the sound of the neighbor’s spirited discussion muted.

Hey the Cops Sometimes Come

Yesterday I notice a man hanging out in front of the overpriced house for sale. He’s there for a good 30 minutes. At first I thought he was a workman, doing some finishing touches on the outside. But no. He was a strange one. So after about 1/2 an hour I call 311 and I don’t know how long I had to wait to get a person on the other end but by the time I get an operator, he starts moseying up the street.

About 5-10 later the cops drive by, and slow down at the address given. I’m standing in the doorway chatting w/ Brett and wave to the officers, who warily wave back. They turn around and come back to the spot get out and say, “Well I don’t think either of you called it in..” Oh, I fess up that I did it and describe the ‘weird’ behavior.

Well they did show up within a resonable amount of time, they get points for that.

Welcome to home ownership

My neighbor is annoyed. He was venting yesterday and he’s still venting. He’s angry at General Contractors and deliverymen. Understandable because he still believes they actually say what they mean when they say they will be at so-in-so at such&such time. They all lie, they are men. It’s like “I’ll call you.” They never call.

Of course I warned him. I recommended one contractor, but told him to stick with the outside stuff, nothing inside. Did he heed my word NOOOOOOO! Not only is he having said contractor do outside work, he’s having him do inside work as well. Now he’s angry that said contractor did not show up when he said he would because he (neighbor) took off work to be there.

Isabel

Government of the District of Columbia

Executive Office of the Mayor

Office of Communications

Tony Bullock, Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2003 – 8 am Update

Contacts:Tony Bullock

202-727-6846

Jo’Ellen Countee (EMA)

202-727-2985, X1137

DC Government Media Information Center for Hurricane Isabel

202-673-2101, x1158

District of Columbia Government

Hurricane Isabel Status Report

General Information: Mayor Williams strongly encourages everyone to use public transportation today as DC is expecting serious traffic problems due to inoperable traffic signals and some blocked lanes on our roads. Concerns remain for flooding over the next several days along the Potomac River and its tributaries. Widespread power outages, downed wires and downed trees have caused severe damage to streets and sidewalks throughout the city. Food distribution centers will be operating throughout the District and will open at 12 noon for lunch and 5 pm for dinner.

Local and Federal Declaration of Emergency: The District’s Declaration of Emergency remains in effect. On Saturday, September 20, President Bush authorized the use of federal disaster funds and emergency resources for the District to help families and business recover from the effects of Isabel.

The declaration covers damage to private property from Isabel beginning on September 18. Affected residents and business owners in the District may begin the disaster application process by calling (800) 621-FEMA or (800) 462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free numbers will be available beginning Sunday, September 21 from 7 a.m. – midnight seven days a week until further notice.

Government Status: On Monday, the District Government will be open with liberal leave.

School Status: DCPS has announced that schools in DC will not open today, Monday, September 22.

Metro: On Monday, Metrorail will operate on a regular schedule and Metrobus is utilizing snow emergency routes in areas where trees are down. Visit www.wmata.com.

PEPCO: As of 6:00 am, Monday, 56,149 customers were without power in the District and crews remain working. Residents are encouraged to report downed electric wires and power outages at the following numbers:

Number to call for downed wires: (202) 872-3432

Number to call for power outages: (877) PEPCO-62

Mayor Williams is urging residents to take extreme caution when encountering downed power wires. District government work crews are working with PEPCO to make the streets passable and to restore power. It will likely take several days to bring all PEPCO customers back on line.

Utilities: The DC Water and Sewer Authority reports that the pumping station at Nannie Helen Burroughs and Minnesota Avenue, NE is operating but not at full capacity.

Food Distribution: The following facilities will be food distribution sites:

. Drew Elementary School, 5600 Eads St., NE

. Spingarn High School, 2500 Benning Rd., NE

. H.D. Cooke Elementary School, 2525 17th Street, NW

. Brightwood Elementary School, 1300 Nicholson St., NW

. Birney Elementary School, 2501 MLK Ave., SE

. Ron Brown Middle School, 4800 Meade St., SE

. Douglas Junior High School, 2600 Douglas Pl. SE

. Hart Middle School, 601 Mississippi Ave., SE

. Green Elementary School 1500 Mississippi Ave., SE

. Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St., NE

. Sousa Middle School, 3650 Ely Pl., SE

. Nalle Elementary School, 219 50th St., SE

Food distribution will begin at two times, 12 noon for lunch and 5 pm for dinner. Note: If you are picking up certificates or meals for an elderly or homebound neighbor, please bring that resident’s identification with you to the distribution site.

Ice: Beginning again at 9 am, Monday, bulk ice will be available at four locations while supplies last. Residents should bring coolers to:

. DC General, 19th St. and Massachusetts Ave., SE (doctor’s parking lot)

. Backus Junior High School, 5171 South Dakota Ave., NE

. Turner Elementary School, 3264 Stanton Rd., SE

. Murch Elementary School, 4810 36th St., NW

The ice is packaged in 5-pound bags for ease of transport. Residents will be limited to one bag of ice per person. If you are picking up ice for an elderly or homebound neighbor, please bring that resident’s identification with you to the distribution site. More than 466,000 lbs of liquid ice has been distributed to residents.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD): Residents are encouraged to reserve 911 for life threatening or other extremely serious emergencies. Please do not call 911 for non-emergencies.

District Department of Transportation (DDOT): Most major highways, primary and secondary roads have been cleared for traffic. Many roads or portions of roads remain impassable at this time due to downed trees. Residents should call (202) 727-1000 to report road damage.

Approximately 168 traffic lights are reported down. MPD is directing traffic at 47 major intersections and temporary STOP signs have been installed at two dozen other intersections. Residents must use extreme caution at intersections. All intersections with disabled traffic lights should be treated as four-way stops.

Department of Public Works (DPW):

Normal parking enforcement has resumed, including rush hour and metered parking restrictions. Emergency parking restrictions have been lifted.

Trash collection will resume Monday, pending access to the area of collection. Street sweeping will resume pending access to streets. If power lines or trees block a street or alley, trucks will not be able to get to those areas. Bulk collections are suspended. Customers will be contacted to reschedule appointments. Nighttime littercan collection is on schedule. Citizens should call (202) 727-1000 if their cars have been towed.

Residents are asked to rake small debris, like leaves and twigs, and set them out at the regular point of collection. Flood debris and larger limbs and branches should be carried to the curb for collection. Large debris resulting from major tree removal done by District work crews will be picked up as soon as possible.

Food safety is a critical issue for residents who have been without power since the storm, many refrigerated and frozen foods should now be discarded. Food from refrigerators should be emptied into heavy garbage bags, tied and put into trash containers with tight-fitting lids.

Shelters: Johnson Junior High School is open and operating as a shelter.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): All DMV facilities will be open except the Penn Branch Service Center (no power) and C Street (normally closed on Mondays). Penalties resulting from failure to transact business on days that DMV offices close due to weather will be waived. Previously scheduled hearings and road test appointments will be rescheduled. Booted and towed vehicles not retrieved already can be retrieved on Monday, September 22. Vehicles due for inspection or registration renewal will be granted a three-day extension and will not be liable for tickets issued for failure to report for inspection and/or failure to display current license plates during the closure or extension period.

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA): DCRA encourages residents to ensure that contractors performing work at or around their homes are properly licensed in DC. On Monday, call (202) 442-4311.

Department of Mental Health (DMH): Residents needing mental health services to help cope with the effects of the storm can call (888) 7-WE-HELP.

Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR): Free-standing recreation centers in communities with power will operate from 11:30 am – 8 pm.

Volunteers: DC is looking for volunteers to help elderly and homebound residents cope with the storm, and assist in medical transports, etc. If you would like to volunteer, please visit www.dc.gov or call (202) 727-1000.

Additional Information: Additional information can be obtained at www.dc.gov

Clean Up

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Did you seen the Green Team cleaning up 14th & U Streets this past weekend?

This past Friday marked the beginning of a 45 day, seven day a week, demonstration project to clean, maintain and enhance the 14th & U Commercial

District. The program is a partnership between:

> 14th & U Main Street Initiative (14th & U MSI)

> Coalition For the Homeless (CFH)

> University of the District of Columbia-Extension Program (UDC-EP)

The demonstration project will provide 5 full time and 5 part time positions through the end of October. The demonstration project will be managed by the Coalition for the Homeless, located and 13th & Massachusetts, and is

being financed by UDC-EP and by PN Hoffman, which has pledged a five-year annual $10,000 contribution as part of a PUD application before the city for their project on 14th Street between V Street and W Street.

The demonstration project will spend this week focused upon trash and weeds.

Many sidewalks, gutters, alleys and tree boxes along the corridor have not seen any maintenance this year. We are in need of a volunteer or

volunteers to provide support for the team as it works upon clearing the overgrown tree boxes. Many of the tree boxes have been landscaped with

flowers and other plants that should be retained and we could use help in identifying the desired plants and in identifying the removable weeds,

particularly for the lower 14th Street areas. Please contact Scott Pomeroy at 202.550.0769 if you are available. The following week they will begin to focus on removing graffiti and posters from the corridor, working in conjunction with the city to make a visible impact all along the corridor.

The program is designed to supplement existing efforts by DPW, merchants, property owners and residents not to replace those efforts. Merchants and commercial property owners are still legally responsible for the maintenance of the area in front of their businesses from the store front to 18² into the curb. The goal of the demonstration project is to raise awareness for the need of the services being provided and to raise funds to enable the program to expand to a year round program that would hire 24 full-time

workers and would be able to expand services into other neighborhood commercial districts. The expanded program will also include a two-day

hospitality, heritage and ambassador training program conducted by Cultural Tourism DC, a landscaping training program by UDC, and an school-based landscaping and heritage training program.

Learn more about this program and other projects and goals of the 14th & U Main Street Initiative at our 1st Annual Membership Meeting that will occur

on Monday, September 29th at the True Reformer Building at 1200 U Street, NW from 6:00 ­8:30.

PSA 312 Meeting

Sadly only 2 residents showed up. Basically Sgt. Evans went over the crime stats and we 2 citizens mentioned crime hot spots, which if there are any hot spot past 4th St, they weren’t reported because there weren’t any east of 4th St residents there.

The community of PSA 312 has not shown up for meetings in the past quarter in any great number. Sometimes this is the fault of the police who have sometimes failed to send a representative. A lot of time the residents can be faulted for their failure to come to the meetings in numbers greater than 3.

This was a good weekend for the block.

Brian was cleaning the sidewalk and streets.

My new neighbors were tearing apart/rehabbing the house, meeting other neighbors, and playing with the neigborhood kids.

The sun was shining.

Kelly showed me a bullet they had pulled out of the floor as they have been rehabbing the house and liked the info I had on the 1930 version of the neighborhood.

All the neighbors (okay not all we still have the anti-social types) were out talking to each other, exchanging information, it was beautiful.

Gettin’ in touch with my inner Republican

I wonder if some neighborhoods are better because residents take on some problems themselves with out waiting for the city government to take a lead?

This weekend I tackled the problem of illegal dumping in backyards. Well one backyard in particular. The owners, who do not live there, had cleaned out the yard that was filled with wet cardboard boxes, bags of garbage and discarded furniture. Well that lasted a good month before someone dumped a couch and a bedspring in the yard. The problem I saw, was that the yard was open and exposed to anyone coming through the alley and ripe for dumpers as well as prositutes and crack-heads.

What business of is it of mine? Well when I look out my window I see it, and it is ugly. It attracts rats and I don’t want rats getting too comfy close to my house. Same goes for crackheads.

One way is to complain to DCRA. But that may take weeks or months and nothing may happen.

I decided to close up the hole. I took about $17 worth of materials and used what was in the alley to fill the 6 ft wide hole in the fence. So far so good. It is still up. I don’t see trash. I can’t see into the yard.

My inner Republican claims credit. It says that you shouldn’t believe that government can solve your problems. That if you want something done you’ll have to make it a DIY project. Trash, clean it up yourself & hire a guy to take it away. Noise, ask the violator nicely if that doesn’t work, sue them. When I noticed crackheads wandering into neighbors fenced yards I informed them. When that didn’t seem to stop the problem I offered to put locks on the gates. Yes, there are somethings you can’t do yourself but let’s just work on the stuff you can.

DC City Services Form

http://dc.gov/citizen/request.shtm

When it is not a rush, as a reply may come 5 days later.