Tuesday, August 17, 2010

RTT: FIRST WORD--ON VIDEO (didn't bury the lede that time), Kafkaesque bureaucracy-butting, Asian market fun


Read below.  Click above.  Random it up.  Thanks Keely, who is, as I have mentioned previously, the best.

It seems like it was just last Tuesday that I was saying how I shouldn't be playing blog because I was getting ready for the building inspector to come by for the final inspection on my addition.  Well, he came by.  And gave me an arm-long list of items to address.  I took care of all the issues, except for the one that I have been fighting ever since: my air-conditioner condenser (the big machine that sits outside of the house and makes a lot of noise when the a.c. comes on) is too close to the property line, per article blah blah point blah in the 2008 Mechanical Building Code of the state of California. 

Here is the condensed (pun alert) version of the conversations I have had with the three inspectors since then [my inner monologue in brackets]:

Tuesday 8/10 and Thursday 8/12

Inspector 1: De problem is dat your condenser is too close to de property line.

Me: But...but two inspectors have already signed off on all my mechanical and electrical...how was I supposed to know?

Insp 1: Your contractor should have known...

Me:  Well, my buddy is an HVAC guy and he helped me install it...[did my buddy say something about property lines?  I can't remember]...

Insp 1: You have to move it...your neighbor can sue de city for de noise...

Me:  But there's nowhere to move it to...your guys said it was okay...I'm just an ignorant homeowner-builder [don't mention your contractor's license, bigmouth]...there's a twenty-foot wide driveway and a six-foot high block wall between the unit and the neighbor's house...my neighbor? complain about noise?--are you kidding me?--we have fire trucks and ghetto birds and dogs and rock bands and traffic on this street 24/7...we don't have any money to move this thing even if there was a spot for it...we need to get this final inspection so we can refinance so we can pay off our construction loan...WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN DID YOU NOT SEE THE CHILDREN GRANDMA BRING OUT THE CHILDREN AGAIN!!!

Insp:  *robot heart begins to soften* I will talk to my supervisor, but he will enforce de code.  Dat's just de way he is.

Insp and Me: chit chat blah blah..

Insp: Nice neighborhood, how long have you been here?

Me: Blah blah where do you live, oh, nice neighborhood...where did you live before that?  Oh--Eritrea?  Blah blah never been to Africa, blah blah civil war blah Ethiopia blah blah Somalia,

Insp 1: Only honest politician in Africa is Mandela...

Me: Indeed

Insp 1:  I don't know if you read the Bible...

Me: *

Insp 1:  The only true kingdom is the Kingdom of Heaven...

Me:  Word to the Little Baby Jesus.

Thurs 8/12-Tues 8/17 (on phone)

Me: So the nice inspector tells me you can't make an exception for my a.c. condenser even though it's over twenty feet from my neighbor's house, separated by a block wall, and you guys signed off on it during two previous inspections...

Supervisor: That is correct.  We talked about it in our meeting and my supervisor said we must enforce the code.  We can get sued, you know...

Me:  Can I have your supervisor's number?

Supervisor: Sure.  He won't make an exception though.

Me: What's that number?

Supervisor: He's a very busy man...

Me: Number, please...

Supervisor:  It'll be a waste of your time...

Me: Phone number.  Give.  Now.

One hour ago

Me: *recounts entire story, including birth of twins, their first steps, etc.*

Superdupervisor: Yeah...that sounds familiar.  Someone brought it up in the meeting yesterday.  So there's a six-foot wall between the unit and the neighbor?

Me: Yup.

Superdupervisor: And a driveway?

Me: Roger that...

Superdupervisor: Hmm...can you send me an email with photos and information about the decibel level of the unit?

Me: 10-4, good buddy.

So that's what I should be working on right now.  But before I go, some cute video.

Butterbean's First Word!

Well, her first common noun, anyway.  Both of the girls have been saying mamamadadadaddada for a long time.

You may remember from last Tuesday my discussing the twins' footwear fetish.  It is not surprising, then, what Butterbean's first word would be.  (Listen very carefully)

Fun at the Asian Market


Cobra in the jackfruit

 That's a really good price for pork bung

Random cute video:

I put this on YouTube a couple weeks ago just so I could send it to some friends, and now a bunch of people have found it and watched it.  Maybe it will go bacterial or whatever.  Anyway, it's the twins laughing their fool heads off at an episode of "Hyperbole and a Half, " with which of course you are familiar.  If you're not, you have been denying yourself one of life's great pleasures.


  1. I could have sworn from your well-developed character portrait that the inspector was Jamaican.

    Video in Asian market very cute. Video of Hyperbole made dog bark loudly.


  2. Allie, the Hyperbole and a Half girl, might be moving to Bend. Just sayin'...

  3. @Michelle--Duh. If he were Jamaican, he would have said "mon" and "spliff" and "ganja" all the time. You are so parochial. (Truthfully, it took me forever to figure out where he was from. I thought he was South Asian until he told me he was from Eritrea.

    @Gina--I know! I gave her your address and phone number.

  4. I'm thinking you should have sucked up to Jesus more. We live in a Historical Preservation Zone, and I can't seem to find anybody to suck up to to get anything approved. And I'm generally pretty good at the whole sucking up thing. Okay, that didn't really come out like I meant it to. Oh what the hell.

  5. You can't tell an Indian from an Eritrean? I guess I've worked at international organizations too long...

  6. 1) Sorry to hear about all that a.c. nonsense. I hate it when people with power are lame. Hope it all works out ok.

    2) I was impressed with Butterbean's first word, and even more impressed with superhero strength pushing Cobra in that cart. Was she bitten by a radioactive spider when she was first born, perhaps?

    3) When I read Hyperbole and a Half, I sound very similar to the babies. There's a lot ofgleeful pointing and high-pitched giggling.

  7. I need a pork bung recipe. Stat.

  8. Jackfruit is pointy and smells bad. Also, tastes like gasoline.

    Good thing there was a lot of cute to make up for it.

  9. Sounds like the air conditioner thing might end up going your way, despite having to engage the inspector in Jesus talk. I think we've all been there, in one way or another...

    Also, the idea of your video going "bacterial" made me laugh.

  10. @Gretchen--I sucked up to Jesus enough in my adult catechism classes. I'm done with that mess.

    @Paul--I'm usually pretty good at figuring out where people are from, but this guy wore a hat and sunglasses all the time, and his English was perfect but heavily accented. There are a lot of Eritreans around here, but he was atypical-looking.

    @DiPi--Both of the girls actually have superpowers. Makes it hard to change their diapers sometimes.

    @Elly Lou--Check foodnetwork.com. I think I saw a recipe for pork bung in a goat phlegm reduction.

    @Keely--You must be getting your jackfruit from some back-alley pusher. The legit stuff is pointy--yes--but delicious.

    @Piecemeal--I sure hope the a.c. thing goes my way. Still waiting to here back from superdupervisor.


Don't hold back.


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