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October 10, 2008

Hmmmm....

I was going to write about this, but instead I believe I'll turn it into a Friday discussion question (which may be an exercise in frustration, since my brain seems to be diseased, but let's give it a try anyway). What do these two stories have in common?

Peter Cook wouldn't be considered such a "scumbag pervert" if ex-wife Christie Brinkley had said "thank you" more often, the notorious teen-skirt-chaser said.

In an unbelievable chat with Barbara Walters set to air Friday on ABC's "20/20," Cook says he cheated on Brinkley because the supermodel didn't give him the emotional support he needed at home.

"I was seeking a connection I could not find in my own marriage," Cook said.

"I wanted a little acknowl edgement, a little attention, a little thank-you every now and then for my efforts, for the amount of time I took to care for her and my family, for the wealth I was building. Just the tremendous amount of work I was putting into my family."

And story #2:

Burke Jensen moved to Kennewick about a year ago, bought a nice house in the country south of the city and began to settle into a new job at Energy Northwest.

Then came the call five months ago to serve his country in Kuwait.

So Jensen, who says he is an involuntarily mobilized reservist, headed off, leaving behind a pregnant wife, a young son and a 2.5-acre lot with not a spot of landscaping.

Now, Lt. Jensen is being told to get an irrigation system and landscaping on his property as soon as possible or face legal action from the Oak Hill Country Estates Homeowners' Association.

"I really don't give a [expletive] where he is or what his problem is," said Chick Edwards, owner and developer of the 47-lot subdivision at the south end of Oak Street in Kennewick.

"It doesn't matter to me," said Edwards, who insists Jensen has violated terms of the homeowners-association covenants requiring that landscaping be completed within one year after an occupancy permit is issued for a home.

"[Jensen] doesn't have the right to walk away from his obligation," said Edwards, who as the developer is the only member of the homeowners association. "I have most of the property still, so I am the homeowners association," he said.

Jensen's situation is complicated by the fact his wife chose to return with her son to stay with family on the East Coast for the duration of her pregnancy, leaving the home unoccupied.

Jensen's attorney, Tony DeAlicante of Redmond, Ore., said Jensen had paid a landscaper thousands of dollars to design and install an irrigation system and hydroseed the large lot this summer.

But DeAlicante said it appears the landscaper may have abandoned the job with the irrigation system only partially completed and no seeding done.

DeAlicante said Jensen also would like to find a renter for his home, but Edwards said that would be a commercial use not allowed by the homeowners association.

"He's not going to rent it," said Edwards. He said an attorney who has reviewed the covenants agrees.

A stuffed marmoset by parcel post to the perceptive reader who can spot the hidden connection between these two stories (MikeD, you are disqualified! :)

Posted by Cassandra at October 10, 2008 03:35 PM

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Comments

The hidden connection would be the clue bat I'd like to take to both Mssrs. Cook and Edwards. Or the headache that both stories are giving me.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at October 10, 2008 04:20 PM

[Ooh - total hot button... I'm de-lurking!] Just that our priorities are completely reversed? ;-) We demonize people for not planting enough shrubs (according to "covenant"), but find ways to let them out of a marriage covenant; making it SO obvious that neighborhood "shrub covenants" are that much more important than marriage covenants in our society... or am I looking for the too-obvious? ;-)

(I used to live in a new sub with CCRs, and I'll spare you the litany of agonizing idiocies...)

Posted by: kannie at October 10, 2008 04:23 PM

I'm more with HF6 on this one: Cook & Edwards are selfish a$$holes...

In regard to Cook, some of what is in my Words of Wisdom post from a couple weeks back would apply:

The first thing that grabbed me today was something I think would be very much at home on some of the threads over at Cassandra's place:

A marriage is like a tree; sometimes it is in bud; sometimes in blossom; sometimes in leaf, sometimes in fruit, and then; sometimes the leaves will all fall off and it will look dead, but if you keep on cultivating the roots, always cultivating the roots, it will come alive again. (p. 261)

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 10, 2008 04:29 PM

Did someone mention....a shrubbery??

Posted by: The Knights who say...Ni! at October 10, 2008 04:40 PM

Heh.

I suspect that I will end up writing about this one anyway.

kannie is close, although really on a tangent.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 04:52 PM

I really do not think my mind works the same way as most peoples :D

It fascinates me. But I also enjoy seeing what other people see in this, because it's not necessarily a case of "I'm right, you're wrong."

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 04:53 PM

Let’s see.
Cook: I was seeking, I could not find, I wanted a little, I took, I was building. I was putting.

Chick: I really don't, doesn't matter to me, I have most. I am the.

Peter Cook wins the I/ME contest 6-4. Peter Cook’s the bigger ass.

Posted by: george at October 10, 2008 05:07 PM

I am not going to set up camp @ my mailbox in wait of a stuffed marmoset [but whaddabout a stuffed cannolli ], but a hotbutton/hairtrigger for me is at least a distant cousin of Kannies comment:
I caught the faint stench of entitlement, which I tend to looooaaathe. (The stench and its "source".)

Priorities easily get jacked up with ungratefulness.

OH WAIT! I get it. Chick (Edwards) of Kennewick rhymes with "Dick" (Peter Cook). Both are. And both work for ACORN (nuts), both got beat up, and need someone to call them a whaaaambulance....? Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney should take both hunting.

Maybe I'm overthinking it...?? heh!

Posted by: Simplistic Elementary Elm Minty Catnip at October 10, 2008 06:03 PM

"Yeah, it's a mess, but it's not *my* fault..."

Posted by: BillT at October 10, 2008 06:08 PM

Can I have BillT's marmoset? Just fax it or attach to an e-mail.

Although I'm piggybacking off of is comment, I'd say "it's not my problem".

Either way, Chick and 'the Dick (Peter) need to go hunting with Cheney & Palin.

Posted by: That Cat Who Used That Goofy Catnip Name earlier at October 10, 2008 06:23 PM

That (BillT and Cat) is about as close as you can get without being inside my head. The entitlement one works too, I think - it's just not exact.

What I thought, though, was that both stories involve people who made promises/commitments, and then when they got "hard", all of a sudden it's kind of "Waaaaahhhhhh!!!!!".

But promises are that way. That's why we need to think them through - they involve bilateral responsibilities, and you don't just get to whine that it got "hard" and then bail. You still have a responsibility to fulfill your half of the bargain.

But as I said, I think I will end up writing about this. It really is the culture of victimization and entitlement.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 06:34 PM

I was thinking thoughts about gnats and camels, motes and planks.

Posted by: Joel at October 10, 2008 06:35 PM

> since my brain seems to be diseased

We knew that Cass, on several counts:

1) You're one a them disgusting conservative types
2) You're a warmongler
3) You put up with us.

That's all that comes to the tip of my tongue, but my brain is diseased, too, so it's probably not all-inclusive

:^P
.

Posted by: OBloodyhell at October 10, 2008 06:36 PM

Edwards isn't a sympathetic character here. But he has a point.

If you buy a property that has restrictive covenants, you are taking on a responsibility to your neighbors. You could have bought elsewhere with no such duties, but you bought in that neighborhood because YOU wanted the assurance that your neighbors would keep up their property.

But this guy - an officer - gets deployed, his wife ups and decides (is pregnancy suddenly a disability???) to leave their property VACANT and let weeds grow on all 2.5 acres.

The landscaper doesn't fulfill his part of the bargain. Well, that sucks. Where the hell is the wife?

SHE ISN'T IN KUWAIT.

I hear they have these cool things call "planes". You can buy a ticket on one and fly home to your "house", solve the problem, and fly back. Or you can let your husband's co-workers mow your freaking lawn for you because you have chosen to play the victim.

*cough*

This guy is getting extra pay for serving in Kuwait. I have zero sympathy. Zero.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 06:40 PM

But promises are that way. That's why we need to think them through - they involve bilateral responsibilities, and you don't just get to whine that it got "hard" and then bail. You still have a responsibility to fulfill your half of the bargain.

That seems a little harsh in the soldier's case. Yes, there's an obligation he's not able to follow through on, but he seems to be willing enough to. The developer is perfectly capable of working with him so that he can fulfill the commitment. He just (wah!) doesn't wanna!

Posted by: Joel at October 10, 2008 06:44 PM

If I may observe:
1) Cook's complaint, in itself, may be legitimate, even if his coping method is inarguably inappropriate. Everyone seems to be focussing on the latter while ignoring the former.
2) Edwards, on the other hand, is a tin-pot dictator with delusions of Godhood. He should be "erased from the universe by some kind of moral sanitary authority", to appropriate the Wells. Someone please give me the button that operates the trap door. One problem with home ownership for me would be finding a place with no local two-bit dictator's committee.

Posted by: OBloodyhell at October 10, 2008 06:45 PM

Has his wife made arrangements to mow the property?

Has she found another landscaper to finish the irrigation work?

No. Then he is not willing to follow through on his legal obligation.

The bottom line here is that this guy signed a contract. Even if he rented, that would not solve the problem of him agreeing to:

1. landscape the property
2. irrigate it

She needs to deal with this.

I can guarantee you that this man is getting paid LOTS of extra money (plus very likely his civilian salary) while he is in Iraq. And she is living with her parents. So where is this money going?

Also, they have legal recourse against the landscaper who defaulted on his obligation, but if she just skips town and doesn't try to fix the problem, it's kind of hard to get him to follow through, now isn't it?

No, he did not really try to fulfill his obligation. Only one of this couple is deployed. She is not a child. Why isn't she there taking care of this?

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 06:51 PM

If I sound tough on this, think of it this way:

In communities with lots of military, there is a very real prejudice against military people. Many businesses and realtors don't like renting to or hiring military families because the moment the service member deploys, the wife just ups and runs home to Momma.

As one of my close friends and Marine wives likes to say privately to me, "b**ch, please". You can do that if you want. There is nothing wrong with an adult women going home to live with her parents. But before you do that, if you left your employer in the lurch or if you reneged on a rental contract, please be aware that you have caused problems for other military wives. This is the kind of thing that cripples local economies.

It's real. I encountered this in more than one duty station when I made friends with the civilian community. They were surprised that I was a Marine wife. They said, "but you're so *responsible*.

Their attitude was that they didn't let their kids hang around with military and they though military were scum. This attitude is real in military towns all over America, and part of it is due to some bad behavior on the part of military people. Not all of us. But some of us.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 06:57 PM

I know that some of what I am saying is not going to be popular.

But my husband counsels his Marines that they need to honor their promises, both personal, business, and professional. Honor and personal integrity are important concepts. They need to extend to everything you do. And when you take on a responsibility, you need to carry it out.

Abraham Lincoln worked long years to pay off the business debts of his partner because they were incurred under their joint name. They weren't his fault, but he still did the right thing so that the innocent third parties who were owed a legitimate debt did not suffer.

That kind of integrity is virtually unknown today because all we think of is the individual. There is no duty to anything larger. Nothing - not even our promises - binds us.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 07:02 PM

As to Brinkley's husband, yes, perhaps his complaint was legitimate.

But that crack about her putting makeup on all day.

Did he ever think how an aging women feels when her husband spends thousands of dollars on porn and has an affair with an 18 year old? Because you know she knew something was wrong.

When you marry, you don't get to get your nose out of joint and just give up. You have to try to fix your problems, not jump some 18 year old's bones and spend all your time on the Internet on porn. That's not "trying".

No sale.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 07:04 PM

I don't necessarily blame him, OBH.

I can't know what transpired in their marriage. What I am saying is that he can't possibly excuse what he did by saying he ego was bruised.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 07:06 PM

I blame Bush!!!11!!!11

Posted by: unkawill at October 10, 2008 07:36 PM

Contracts and riders and deeds, OH MY!

Used to be your word and a handshake was good. Garsh seems almost sci-fi to imagine that now.
Now the contracts, riders, etc., just have more pages added to them as there seems to be more effort and energy expended in how to get OUT of a commitment than there is---and may even be necessary---just to keep it.

The late conscientious and wise Mama A (some o' my best buds mom and my Pastors wife from my college days) said this: "You're only as good as your word. If your word's no good, than you're no good.".

Sure...a strong way to put it....strong NOW in this era because of straight shooting verbiage being shot down by political correctness & cushy, cotton padding of everyones' "fragile" *self worth*...? *sigh* S

Something that very well that has contributed to the weakened "genetics" or diluting of the very principles and concepts of honor & integrity.

You 'bragging' on your spousal unit like that, Cass, cranks up the volume on my OWN respect-o-meter for him! (~;) And I doubt that it was intended as any "bragging", per se'. "You're just saying...."

Do you think we could get Dick Cheney to take the Barack O'-Biden duo to go hunting with him and whiney Hiney Weenie Cook?

Posted by: Same (not 'Sane') Silly Cat... at October 10, 2008 07:43 PM

So, is there some mechanism by which Jensen could deed his legal recourse v. the landscaper to Edwards, who plainly has an attorney on call? Seems to me that would solve the problem: Edwards could vent his frustration on making the landscaper do what he was paid to do, and Jensen could get on with his part in fighting the war.

Posted by: Grim at October 10, 2008 10:41 PM

Cass~

Your angle reminds me of how German breeders stopped selling dogs to Americans. When my father was first stationed in German, in the mid/late 60s, he bought my mother a pure-bred dachshund for their first wedding anniversary. When we were there again when I was in elementary school about a decade later, an American would be hard pressed to do the same: Americans had gained a reputation of abandoning their dogs when it was time to PCS back to the states... I hate people like that: a pet becomes an inconvenience, so instead of finding someone to take it in, they just set it loose and leave it to its own devices. Happens a lot in college towns, too. That's how I got one of the cats I had in Arkansas - it had been abandoned at the end of the semester... Sasha, a beautiful Russian Blue, bless his sweet little heart, died just a couple of days before I moved back to Texas..

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 11, 2008 12:33 AM

You can buy a ticket on one and fly home to your "house", solve the problem, and fly back.

First, you have to get out of Kuwait. That involves processing through Ali al Salem AFB even if you're catching a bus to the airport and flying out commercially. Processing your exit takes a minimum of 12 hours and can take as long as 18 if you do it during Ramadan (that's why I got stuck for two days before I got out).

Coming back in is easier, because you can purchase the visa at the airport (a 10-minute process), but you still have to pass through Ali al Salem to get transportation to your unit. On the inbound trip, I spent five days waiting for transportation.

Add in the wait-time at Kuwait International for your flight (which may be the only one to your destination on any given day), figure in the flight time to-and-from, and then a two-week mid-tour leave rapidly becomes a three-day pass...

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 12:43 AM

...and this time, it really *isn't* your fault!

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 12:44 AM

I'll donate the stuffed marmoset (I had one for lunch yesterday -- *urp*) to the first person who twigs to the logical fallacy in my example.

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 01:03 AM

Two. The marmoset goes to the person who twigs to both of the logical fallacies.

Ummmm -- and the fallacious assumption. *Three* fallacies...

[cue dramatic minor chord]

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 01:08 AM

And just to throw an additional piece of confusion factor into the mix, when I passed through Ali on the way *out*, I bunked in the same tent as a contractor who had been there for three weeks, awaiting transportation to his job site, because DoD changed the Letter of Authorization (required for travel on a military aircraft in-theater) format while he was already enroute to Kuwait.

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 01:19 AM

BillT~

I think what Cass meant was that the WIFE could buy a ticket to go back to the property to take care of things. I don't think that is an unreasonable thing, unless she is unable to travel for medical reasons, being pregnant and all (and I admit to not having read the linked article). My mom never went home when Daddy went TDY somewhere. Granted, the only time Daddy had an unaccompanied tour anyplace was when he thought he wasn't going to re-enlist, so Mother, my older brother and I went to live with my mom's parents in Austin until such time as Daddy changed his mind and DID, in fact, re-enlist. I was about 2 years old at the time, so that was a while ago. Anyhow, when he did re-enlist, my mom traveled to Germany alone with two small children. My brother wasn't even in kindergarten yet, so he was probably 4 years old, close to turning 5.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 11, 2008 02:22 AM

In my excitement to be the first to post on this topic (doesn't happen often), I forgot to add Mrs. Jensen to the list of receivers of the Clue Bat christening.

Like your Marine wife friend says, "b**ch, please"...find some big girl panties, suck it up, and take care of your house. For goodness sake, it's not hard to coordinate irrigation and landscaping via the phone or (if you're like me and hate doing business over the phone) internet. Hell, if LT Jensen was really motivated, he could do so from Kuwait too.

You're right - there's no excuse. Though I still say that Edwards is a pr!ck and needs to be smacked. Preferably with a 2x4.


I really need to deal with my violent tendencies...

Posted by: HomefrontSix at October 11, 2008 04:34 AM

Score the fallacious assumption for Miss L!

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 08:20 AM

Score one of the logical fallacies for HF6!

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 08:20 AM

Jensen may have been ripped off by a vanished landscaper but that is not Edwards fault. DeAlicante's lawyerspeak to the contrary.

An HOA with only one voting member seems a bit much. But states have varying laws about HOAs and maybe Edwards can rule the place.

Any HOA agreement would let Edwards landscape the lot and send the bill to Jensen. So Edwards simply isn't wearing his HOA hat.

Edwards sounds like a jerk but maybe he has been jerked around on this matter and is now just angry.

Jensen has a lawyer. He should have the lawyer engage a landscaping firm to bring the lot up to the minimum standard. Doh!

Yep, mowing and planting isn't what you retain a lawyer for. But how tough would it be to solve this w/o making it a legal matter?

Phones work from Kuwait to Washington state. And from where ever the wife is. Phone the lawyer, tell him to stop thinking like a lawyer and call up a landscaper.

I think Jensen needs a new lawyer. His present one seems to have no clue that the problem is the damn lot not the law.


Posted by: K at October 11, 2008 08:27 AM

I did mean the wife.

As I said, only ONE of that married couple (and when was the last time you saw a married couple buy a house and only ONE of their names was on the deed?) was deployed to Kuwait?

She left voluntarily. Everyone seems to be eliding right past that inconveeeeeenient detail.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 11, 2008 08:49 AM

It's not unusual for the developer to have veto power over the Association until a certain percentage of the property is built up and sold, at which point the Association passes fully into the hands of the homeowners.


A smart developer writes this into the covenant, simply because he/she has the majority interest in property values early in the project.


My Association is exactly like this. Some of the homeowners grumble that they have to get the developer to approve plans for a deck, for example. Well, they simply didn't read the covenant before they sat down at the closing and voluntarily signed the mortgage.

This developer may have hundreds of other properties who want a one-time exception to some rule or other. If he grants this one, he'll be flooded with others. Has nobody ever been a parent of multiple children, or a supervisor of multiple employees? Every decision sets a precedent for everyone.


I'd hope I'd find a better way to say it, but I would let them off the hook, either. The wife is an adult.


Owning the consequence is all that separates the adult from the infant.

Posted by: Tim at October 11, 2008 08:49 AM

I think Edwards has a legitimate complaint.

He is trying to sell more lots. the Jensen lot has become an eyesore, and that is detracting from the remaining property values. Having a vacant property that visibly doesn't conform to the conditions of the properties you are trying to sell lowers the value of your business, not to mention the values of the adjoining properties.

Yes, maybe he isn't being all that "nice" about it, but honestly - why should he even have to? As I said, he is dealing with TWO adults, only one of whom is acting like an adult.

Even if Mrs. Jensen has some horrible disability, is her dialy finger broken? Business can be conducted over the phone. At the point that you just throw up your hands and you have neighbors and co-workers stepping in and doing for you what you ought to be doing for yourself, I think it's kind of obvious that something has broken down.

When my husband was a 2nd lt. we bought a house in NC. The developer was supposed to deliver us a "fully landscaped" yard.

Well, not quite.

What we got was a half landscaped yard. Half-way into my back yard, they left the original trees (which I loved) but also the original bamboo (which I couldn't control and couldn't dig out) and the original construction debris (which they had plowed under, and which started to rise to the surface like something in an old Indian burial ground in Poltergeist when it rained - I actually used this metaphor in talking with the construction foreman).

After several go-rounds with the foreman, I finally told him that I may not have much money and couldn't afford a lawyer, but I did have enough money to take photos of my "fully landscaped back yard" and that I was perfectly willing to take out a full page ad in the local paper and juxtapose the photos with their latest ads, and let local buyers decide how well the two married up...

I had a fleet of bulldozers on my property within 48 hours :p

My yard got fixed.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 11, 2008 09:00 AM

Heh.

What Tim said! Our development has more restrictive covenants than you can shake a stick at.

We just completed about 15K worth of outside improvements to our lot. We can't do ANYTHING - even painting our front door! - without getting it approved by the homeowners' association first. We had to file an application in order to have a trash enclosure (which I'm actually REQUIRED BY COVENANT) built on my lot!

But the reason is to ensure that I have it built to code, and that it matches my house. So I followed the rules.

No one likes rules, but if you don't want to live somewhere like that, don't buy in a neighborhood with restrictive covenants. We bought here b/c we like trees and don't want to live somewhere where they clear-cut the lots. So we put up with the rules.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 11, 2008 09:05 AM

Cassie shares Miss L's stuffed marmoset!

Gonna divvy it along longitudinal or latitudinal lines?

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 09:06 AM

_Processing your exit takes a minimum of 12 hours and can take as long as 18 if you do it during Ramadan (that's why I got stuck for two days before I got out)._

It took me four days. On emergency leave.

Posted by: Grim at October 11, 2008 10:55 AM

> If I sound tough on this, think of it this way:

Cass, I could never be tough on this, I have no feel for it.

You, on the other hand, have lived either in that situation or close enough to it, that I'd never think *YOU* were being too tough. You know what can reasonably be expected of people in that situation in a manner than some, if not many, can't.

But I *still* won't ever own any place with a home-owners' organization around it. Such organizations just tend to collect the worst sort of petty tyrants human DNA can produce.

Yes, this opens me up to the possibility of a Neighbor from Hell, but I can live with that as a possiblity, in the face of the absolute certainty of a petty tin-pot dictator.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 11, 2008 12:03 PM

BTW, I recommend anyone who needs a laugh to check out that Neighbor from Hell link. It's fairly old, so, even if you've seen it before, it's been long enough that it's likely to make you laugh at it again.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 11, 2008 12:11 PM

Actually OBH, I don't find it that way at all.

I am a "good fences make good neighbors" person. Everyone knows the rules. No one forces you to live there. If you don't want to abide by the rules, don't live there - it's that simple. I never complain about my neighbors and they stay out of my business, but I also rely on the neighborhood assoc. to enforce the rules so I don't have to be an a**hole :p

Posted by: Cassandra at October 11, 2008 12:14 PM

IOW, human nature doesn't change.

It's just a question of whether there is a clear set of expectations, or not. If someone is going to be an arse about it, they will whether you have a neighborhood assn or not. The only difference is this: do you have a clear set of rules (whatever they may be?) and a group that you can go to to resolve it? Or are you on your own?

To me, it is more reasonable to find a place where I know this is explicitly stated because I am busy.

If I had a huge lot though, I would prefer it the other way 'round. But I don't. Proximity makes me desire the HOA.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 11, 2008 12:17 PM

I don't have to worry about the neighbors over here -- my hootch is right next to the graveyard.

*No* loud parties after dark...

Posted by: BillT at October 11, 2008 02:39 PM

There was a time in America, before lawyers and burdensome Statism took control, when a neighbor would have come over and mowed that lawn without being asked. I remember reading of an American family (caucasian) who maintained the house and farm of a neighboring American family (asian), who were held for years by the U.S. Government during WWII. The American family of Japanese decent returned to find their home as they had left it. What has happened to the common decency and neighborliness that once was the hallmark of Americanism? It has been replaced by a bitter meanness that reminds me of Michelle Obama. Don't think of how to help, see how badly the guy can be hurt for not giving you a rose garden. Ungratefulness all around.

Posted by: twolaneflash at October 11, 2008 03:22 PM

Two self centered bastards whithout an ounce of humanity. QED

Posted by: Terrapod at October 11, 2008 05:25 PM

But promises are that way. That's why we need to think them through - they involve bilateral responsibilities, and you don't just get to whine that it got "hard" and then bail. You still have a responsibility to fulfill your half of the bargain.

But as I said, I think I will end up writing about this. It really is the culture of victimization and entitlement.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 10, 2008 06:34 PM

it's hard to take promises seriously because most people see honor as an anachronistic value, Cass. They see it as too limiting and inflexible. The idea that you shouldn't make promises you can't keep, thus avoiding having to break those promises, is a foreign idea to many.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 11, 2008 07:45 PM

So I get half of a stuffed marmoset? I'll take my delivery in person. Either Bil or Cass...either will make me happy.


So who is it?

Posted by: HomefrontSix at October 12, 2008 12:48 AM

I'll take my delivery in person. Either Bil or Cass...

Gonna use me as a horrible example to encourage McG to eat his vegetables or to demonstrate the proper wear of the one-piece flight suit?

Posted by: BillT at October 12, 2008 03:17 AM

Or perhaps modelling that electric blue thong....
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at October 12, 2008 03:34 AM

That involves the proper wear of the flight suit.

Posted by: BillT at October 12, 2008 05:09 AM

Heh. I'll take either one of you any way I can get you.


Sly's welcome to deliver as well.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at October 12, 2008 01:33 PM

Keep giving her straight lines like that and she'll deliver, all right.

Posted by: BillT at October 12, 2008 01:45 PM

In communities with lots of military, there is a very real prejudice against military people. Many businesses and realtors don't like renting to or hiring military families because the moment the service member deploys, the wife just ups and runs home to Momma.

As it happens, I live near Kennewick, and I can tell you that it's not a military town at all. (Richland, next door, was military during my grandfather's day, because it was where the Hanford workers lived during the war.) However, in this corner of Washington, servicemen are usually very highly regarded. Anyone who treats them like Edwards is, even if he is technically entitled, is apt to find business growing scarce. One of the side effects of a free market is that people are free not to buy from someone they disapprove of, and once this hit the paper, I'll bet Edwards just got as popular as a skunk at a picnic.

Posted by: Joel at October 12, 2008 03:02 PM

Or something like this is apt to happen, come to think of it. Doesn't surprise me in the least.

Posted by: Joel at October 12, 2008 03:04 PM

No, the effect is very different if there isn't a huge concentration of military folks, Joel.

I grew up in Newport, RI, where there was real resentment against the Navy. There was talk for years that the Navy would pull out of town and let me tell you, the civilians (many, many of them) could not wait for that to happen... until it began to look as though it actually might :p

Man oh man. You should have heard the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that commenced when these folks began to realize the impact on their bottom line (their businesses)! It would have been funny if it were not so sad.

Military people are no different than any other group of people on this earth.

We are human. We have our good apples and our bad, but we have to obey a different set of rules. Still, there are definitely a subset of people who can give us a bad name at times. And a subset of people whose heroism sometimes give us a reputation that can also be (I think) a bit overblown.

We are good people. But people, nonetheless. I think our culture encourages virtue rather than vice.

I'm not sure there is much more to it than that.

And that is huge.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 12, 2008 03:34 PM

There was talk for years that the Navy would pull out of town and let me tell you, the civilians (many, many of them) could not wait for that to happen... until it began to look as though it actually might :p

Like the attitude of the Germans and everybody else that benefits from the economic investment that US military bases bring to the local community?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 12, 2008 09:38 PM

My father used to tell of a time early in his military career when the town around his base complained about all the trouble the GI's were causing, and they would be better off without them. The base commander, in an attempt to show the local merchants just how much business the military brought to the local stores, paid everyone their entire paycheck in $2 bills. And while that made a point, it still didn't have the impact he wanted. So he ordered all base personnel confined to base for a holiday weekend -- all personnel, married or not, all weekend. Suffice it to say, the local merchants quickly changed their tune.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 13, 2008 01:28 AM

When Ft. Dix was a BCT post, Wrightstown and Cookstown -- aka, "The Impact Areas" -- had three streets lined with businesses (mostly restaurants, bars, dry cleaners/laundries, a strip mall and auto supply stores, but the locals *worked* in them).

Ft. Dix got BRAC'ed and 75% of the establishments folded. Today, there's a bigger federal presence on Ft. Dix than there was when it was strictly Army, but there are still boarded-up buildings along Main Street, and Cookstown is just a bedroom community with a firehouse and a VFW Post.

Posted by: BillT at October 13, 2008 02:39 AM

Maybe there isn't a whole lotta dough for the flight. Next, tracking down scumbag contractors who do not fulfil their obligations is more trouble than it is worth. Unless they are licensed, bonded and insured, good luck.

Maybe she should have said thank you?

I am not a whole lot of sympathetic either, but owning a house in a another state, I hired a real estate agent to manage the property. She never got back with me, and I finally had to hire a friend to take care of it. I pay her via PayPal and she sends me pics of the place. We haven't been able to get there for a while because of surgeries, etc.

Fortunately for me, our house is not in a covenant neighborhood.

Posted by: Cricket at October 13, 2008 08:34 AM

Personally, I would tell people it is a government conspiracy to leave yards in covenant neighborhoods a mess.

Or, you can do this.

Posted by: Cricket at October 13, 2008 08:49 AM

I'd feign outrage at being disqualified, but I knew this was coming. But do you want to know a secret Ms. Cass? Even knowing your stance on the Kennewick situation, I honestly couldn't piece together the connection with the Peter Cook thing.

I mean, the solution to feeling underappreciated in marriage is NOT to violate the vows. I don't care how hurt you feel. If you don't tell your wife you feel unappreciated, then that's YOUR fault. Not hers, because unless you tell her, there's no reasonable way you can expect her to know. Number two, if you tell her and she does nothing, it's time to move on to counseling. That doesn't work, get a divorce. But in all of that, you DON'T just up and decide "well hell, I guess my word's worthless since I don't FEEL appreciated... guess I'll go get me some strange." That's revolting.

Posted by: MikeD at October 13, 2008 11:48 AM

Cricket, did you see the comments on that story? Gives you an idea of how people hereabouts feel about military.

Posted by: Joel at October 13, 2008 11:27 PM

Even knowing your stance on the Kennewick situation, I honestly couldn't piece together the connection with the Peter Cook thing.

Well, don't feel bad (not that I think you did!)

My husband has known me since just before my 18th birthday and he's still trying to figure me out :p Like I said, I'm a bit of an odd duck.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 14, 2008 09:59 AM

> I am a "good fences make good neighbors" person. Everyone knows the rules. No one forces you to live there. If you don't want to abide by the rules, don't live there - it's that simple. I never complain about my neighbors and they stay out of my business, but I also rely on the neighborhood assoc. to enforce the rules so I don't have to be an a**hole :p

All too often in my experience, though, Homeowners' associations collect the most dimwitted PoS excuses for tin-pot dictators.

1) Sorry, don't accept the idea that they should be able to tell me what kind of car I can own and park in my yard
2) Don't agree that they should be able to tell me what color to paint my house, nor what plants I can plant, nor if I can have a shed or deck in my back yard, nor detail that I can have "vertical blinds or curtains, but not horizontal blinds".

In general, the end purpose of a Homeowners' Association is to allow a small percentage of people to dictate to all the others what degree of conformity the neighborhood would have.

And frankly, that's flat-out Unamerican.

Conformity, while common for humans, is Unamerican if it's not entirely voluntary. If peer pressure and/or internal agreement doesn't encourage you to conform to the norms, then "Hey, come over and sit here beside me so we can gossip about the lack of imagination in the surrounding idiots".

;oP

I'll deal with the occasional neighbor from hell if need be. The idea that a neighborhood should be even vaguely uniform is preposterous and disgusting. A real American neighborhood has an Arabic-turretted adobe square right next to a FLW Prarie home next to a Williamsburg townhome.

We are a polyglot culture, and we should revel in that -- because it is our greatest strength.

Our culture, alone in the world, has mongrel vigor.

So, to Homeowners' associations everywhere, I say: Go To Hell. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200... and take your asbestos cat with you!

:->

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 15, 2008 09:01 AM

> The idea that you shouldn't make promises you can't keep, thus avoiding having to break those promises, is a foreign idea to many.

Matthew 5 (emphasis mine):
33 "Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

.

Your word is your word. "I promise" adds nothing.
;-)

.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 15, 2008 09:07 AM

> Like the attitude of the Germans and everybody else that benefits from the economic investment that US military bases bring to the local community?

Heh. More recently, with South Korea -- where there were all these massive public anti-American marches and stuff.

So the US started to make noises about leaving and reducing their presence there.

Suddenly it was:
"What? What? You thought we were serious? No, No, No!!! Is Joke! Can't you Americans take a joke? Stay, please, by all means. Sit down. Put your feet up. Would you like some lemonade? Here, have a knish..."

Posted by: Obloodyhell at October 15, 2008 09:12 AM

This is why I'll try hard never to live in a development with covenants and a fascism-capable HOA.



If I want to make a change to my house - I'll make it. Right now my side yard and part of the back yard is torn up because I'm putting in a sidewalk. To the ramp on the deck that I had built. And nobody has the right to say spit to me about it - or how long I take at it. Other than my wife, who really wishes I'd get it finished.



I think the only covenant/endorsement on my deed is the one saying I won't take a bulldozer to my neighbors house because, apparently through a surveying error sometime in the past, her house is 2 feet or so on my property.



That said, it doesn't eliminate the responsibility of the buyer in this situation, regardless where he is deployed to - if he wasn't bright enough to get his wife a GPA (General Power of Attorney) he doesn't deserve to be an officer - this is something we stuff down private's throats during deployments. Mrs. Jensen needs to get on the ball - and her parents and in-laws could prove themselves useful by helping, since this sounds like a young couple who might not have a heck of a lot of experience at this sort of thing.

Posted by: SSG Jeff (USAR) at October 17, 2008 06:37 PM

My husband always gets me a very robust POA before he leaves, but if her name is on the deed (and I'll be shocked if it isn't) she shouldn't need one.

HOA can be a pain - I agree :) Ours is actually quite reasonable - they were as nice as can be when I took my application in. They almost approved it on the spot - they were so happy that I'd called ahead to find out what documentation I needed. My app was 13 pages long and had diagrams and photos of everything - materials, a site plan, the works. I tried to think of every question they might ask and supply the answers so they wouldn't come after me, and made sure they had everything at their fingertips. And I summarized everything in bullet form on page one so they didn't have to dig for the salient points, then told them where to drill down for the details.

Usually if you work with people from the get go, they don't hassle you.

Posted by: Cass at October 17, 2008 06:44 PM

My neighbors are happy as clams at high tide whenever I do something new to the yard. Means interesting stuff to look at during the barbecues and I'll tell 'em what mistakes to avoid and which materials to use if they like the results and want to try it themselves.

And dragooning their teenagers as slave labor passes my skills to the next generation *and* keeps them in shape for school sports...

Posted by: BillT at October 18, 2008 01:16 AM

BTW, the Luddite Wife has an unbelievably inclusive PoA -- and it gets updated every time I decide to go OCONUS and take a break from raking leaves...

Posted by: BillT at October 18, 2008 01:19 AM

Walkin' Boss has a durable PoA including my living will plus her name on everything anywho.


Now I've owned and lived in a couple of properties that were governed by HOA's.

All in all, my experiences with HOA's cause my opinion of same to fall in line with OBH's opinion on HOA's. Understanding the pluses and minuses, I would never buy into a property governed by an HOA again.

Now I'm happily located in out where the crowing of the rooster greets the dawn. Where neighbors take pride in their homes, just because.

Just this morning I loaned my pressure washer to the music director for our church. While I checked the maintenance items on the PW, we traded tips on replacing and/or framing in new windows. Putting in an in-ground sprinkler system and deck design and construction. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we might start on his house next spring all sans an HOA may I?.

Now for some morning corn, Thank God I'm a country boy.

Posted by: bthun at October 18, 2008 11:25 AM

Whoops. While trying to avoid a particularly unsavory honeydew it occurred to me that in the first comment I meant to concur with the Peter Cook is a scumbag assessment, but thinking of my experiences with HOA's made my temples throb. Yeah, yeah, that's it.

The HOA situation is a bit over the top with regard to the actions of both parties IMHO. Granted, the husband & wife could have, should have worked harder to meet their obligations if for no other reason than they signed the dotted line. Sorta like giving your word on something. But the issue of mom returning to her folks makes me wonder if this was a whim, or maybe a decision made based on health concerns. Again, personal experiences shade perceptions, but Walkin' Boss was virtually incapacitated when she carried both of our children. Heck after the first trimester, she was... Suffice it to say that it was very difficult for her physically and in turn emotionally. So again, I can't be too judgmental.

Oh wait! Yes I can. Even thought my assumptions are based upon the available information, limited though it may be, I think I can say that the developer is a righteous jackass. Now I’m making the assumption that he could have offered some assistance in the form of recommending dependable contractors who could and would get the outstanding tasks done, on time, and at a fair price, but did not. Developers know of and hold a good deal of sway with local construction outfits, tradesmen/women and suppliers of same. Plus granting an exception for a temporary lease worked through a property management company might have helped both the family and the developer. Especially since (again I will assume based upon percentages of military to general population) there would not be a large volume of home owners in the development being called up. The developer could have worked with the homeowners to make this a win-win for all including good press for his development company and his personal character. Then again, the homeowners could have approached the developer to ask for cooperation in finding a solution too.

Beyond that I can't say a whole lot. =8^}

My 2 cents... or less and no stuffed minki. Story of my life.

Posted by: bthun at October 18, 2008 12:35 PM

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