Top Five Neighbour Complaints

We happen to have great neighbours these days, but we haven’t always been so lucky.

This is my contribution to Darren Rowse’s latest Problogger Group Writing Project. Darren’s is one of the few “blogging-about-blogging” blogs that I read with any regularity these days, partly because he’s insightful and informative, but also because he comes across as a regular guy.

So here we go. It’s an unscientific list of the top five complaints that neighbours have about their neighbours, in no particular order:

1. Noise – Of course. Nobody likes to be disturbed while they’re at home trying to relax, and the worst thing a neighbour can do is wake you up from a sound sleep. Our old neighbours were very nice people but they had a lot of parties. One night I woke up at 1:30 am to the sound of a saxophone that was loud enough to bleed through our outside wall and enter my ears through the baby monitor. When I went outside to check things out, I found a drunk neighbour slumped over in his chair, exhaling through the mouthpiece of the saxophone he hadn’t played since high school.

If noise is a problem for you, check out the UK-based Noise Abatement Society, an organization that “seeks to eradicate unnecessary noise in all its forms to improve the quality of life for all.” I fear I may have been typing a little too loudly for these folks.

2. Junk – This can be a touchy subject, especially if you live next to an artist or a mechanic. Junk is subjective, but I know it when I see it. Leon County, Florida, defines junk as “any garbage, rubbish or litter, any junked or abandoned motor vehicle or parts thereof, and any personal property or other article having only nominal salvage value, which has been left unprotected from the elements”.

Nominal salvage value, unprotected from the elements? That’d describe the last vehicle we drove before we got our van.

Let’s leave it at this: If your yard looks like the parking lot of Savers in Boulder, Colorado after exams, you should probably take your neighbours’ complaints seriously.

3. Pets – This is another controversial one, potentially. If you have a dog and it hangs out in the backyard, chances are someone has complained about it. If your neighbour has a dog (and you don’t), chances are you’ve wanted to complain yourself. At our old house, the neighbours on one side of us had a Black Lab. The neighbour on the other side had four of them.

4. Trees (and other horticulture-related items)A recent UK study found that garden maintenance (lack thereof, more likely) was the third most common complaint among neighbours. I’d venture a guess that trees growing over property lines, blocking views, shedding leaves on other neighbour’s lawns, threatening to fall over onto vehicles and children, and just generally annoying people are the most likely culprits. Overgrown gardens and perennially uncut lawns are probably right up there.

5. Riff-raff – If there’s a steady stream of people visiting your place for five minutes at a time at all hours of the day and night, your neighbours will notice. And they’ll complain. One former neighbour, three houses down from us, had a regular visitor, likely an entrepreneur of some variety, who parked in front of our house a couple of nights a week, even when the rest of the street was empty.

Included in this category are grow-ops, an increasingly common occurrence no matter what neighbourhood you live in.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, we happen to have great neighbours. I just hope our current neighbours think the same about us.

I try to play the drums as quietly as I can. Honestly.

‘Studio 60′ DVD release date announced, finally

Finally, some news on a DVD release date for ‘Studio 60′. Warner Bros. announced that ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – The Complete Series’ will be available on October 16th.

The set will include a new behind-the-scenes featurette and some commentary from Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, but probably not much else in the way of bonus features.

While this isn’t the best case scenario for ‘Studio 60′ fans, it’s the next best thing. NBC bought a full season of the show, and they ended up airing every episode. Now they’ve given the show an extended life by releasing it on DVD. The fact that it’s tagged “The Complete Series” is a little bittersweet – when a complete series can fit onto six discs, someone’s bound to be unhappy.

I’ve missed every one of the most recent episodes and so I obviously can’t watch the series finale tonight. I’ll just have to try and avoid reading any episode recaps until after October 16th.

Hat tip: TV Squad

Lady Liberty donut the work of Simpsons movie marketers?

I was going to write something about the latest Simpsons movie trailer, but while using Google Blog Search to see what other people were saying about it, I came across a posting on that pointed out the YouTube video clip below. It’s a 9-second home movie-style shot of the Statue of Liberty – basically an awkward zoom that ends on Lady Liberty’s torch.

LAsicko, the user who uploaded the clip, only joined YouTube on June 27th. There’s a Paris Hilton theme going on in LAsicko’s user profile page that has a bit of an incongruous “Hey! Look at that guy over there doing stuff! Zoom, I’m outta here!” feel to it. If the video is part of a 20th Century Fox marketing plan, the execution leaves something to be desired.

Using a “secret” video clip to build buzz about a product is not a new technique for marketers, but I’m curious as to why there would even need to be a viral marketing campaign for a movie about ‘The Simpsons’?

While I’m at it, here’s the link to that brand new Simpsons trailer.

Features galore on “The Office” Season 2 DVD set

Season Three of ‘The Office’ will be released on DVD on September 4th, and the 4-disc set will be as full of extra features as the show’s official website on

In addition to the requisite deleted scenes, blooper reels (those will probably be hilarious, given the amount of improvisation that happens during filming), and audio commentary, we’ll get some other cool stuff:

  • The Dwight Schrute Music Video – this was on NBC’s brand channel on YouTube but now it’s not.
  • Kevin Cooks Stuff in The Office – I have no idea what this means, but Kevin is a funny character, in small doses.
  • Toby Wraparounds – apparently these are from when Toby hosted the HR Nightmares marathon back in March.
  • Some of the videos from “The Office: Make Your Own Promo” contest on YouTube – I saw a few of the submissions early in the contest and they weren’t phenomenal, but I just looked at a few more and the newer ones aren’t actually that bad.
  • The Lazy Scranton video – say no more. Scranton has built/will build a pretty decent level of tourism traffic around the fact that the fictional Dunder-Mifflin branch portrayed in ‘The Office’ is located there.

Sounds like fun.