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Confession Time September 30, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Family, mirth & woe, random stuff.
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I’m gonna just admit it.

I’m really not a very social person.  I mean, I’m not a hater or anything – I’m not a misanthrope.

It’s just that for the most part, if I’m interested enough to know what someone is up to, every minute of every day, it’s more than likely that I already do.

And if my fifth grade best friend and I  cared that much, well, we’d have kept track of each other, you know?


I never have had a burning need to communicate regularly (or really, at all) with every single person I have ever met.  Or people who have met people that I’ve met.

Heck, I barely keep up with my own family.  My youngest nephew was 3 months old before I even knew he’d been born.

So I guess it should be pretty obvious that I’ve resisted all these “social networking” things that are EVERYWHERE.

For a while there, it seemed like not a week went by without someone trying to convince me that it would be a good idea to join some site or other so I could “stay connected.”

Is that really necessary?  I mean, we have The Internet, don’t we?  If I really wanted to find someone, all I’d have to do is ask The Google.

The Google knows all.

And seriously.  Is it truly that important for the kids to “network”?  Can’t they ride their bikes or go to the library or something?   What about watching some good old cartoons?


That’s what kids are supposed to be doing – watching cartoons, not “social networking.”  How else are they going to learn what happens when the anvil falls on the coyote’s head?  Besides, who’s in their network, anyway?  Suzy from math class?  The kid from the bus?

It started with AOL’s Instant Messaging, and it’s just gotten worse.

Remember those annoying IM pop-ups that would pester you every time you sat down to use the computer? You know, I pay good money for software to STOP pop-ups.

But you couldn’t get online without Everyone in the World knowing you were there.  And wanting to “chat” with you.

Talk about stalkery.

Then you know what happened?

Surly Boy didn’t respond to my e-mails. I asked him about it, and he said he didn’t check his email much, but I could send him a Facebook message.



I don’t DO Facebook, dear.

Facebook is for sad lonely people with no life.  And no people skills.

Mom, even Grandma has a Facebook account.

You’re using my mother to try to exert peer pressure?  On me?   Seriously?

So I’ve gone and done it.   I’ve opened my very own Facebook account.  If it’s what it takes to know what the heck is going on with my KID in a FOREIGN STATE, then so be it.

(Peeps, however, has so far not succumbed.)

I’ve even got a couple of  “friends” – friends that the Boy doesn’t even know!  HA!  I have not “friended” every person I ever went to school with because honestly?  I didn’t much like most of them then, and I doubt I’d like them any better now.  And truly?  I’m kind of annoyed by the verb “to friend.”  A friend is a noun, darn it.

I’ve figured out how to “follow” or “like” some businesses and organizations – it’s nice to get a heads up when Green Acre starts picking a new variety of apples, or when Victoria has a new podcast.

I do NOT feel the need to play Facebook games, or take Facebook quizzes, or send Facebook hugs, or have a  little Facebook Farm.    Above all, spare me the Facebook Farm, please!

So, gentle readers, does anyone else do the social networking thing?  Why or why not?

And more importantly, wanna be friends?


Have You Checked Your Tree Lawn Lately? September 5, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Home, Politics, Rochester.
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I know, I know. W.T.F is a Tree Lawn? Is it a tree? Is it a lawn? Or is that just me? If you are wondering, according to the Town of Greece’s definition, your tree lawn is

That part of a street or highway not covered by the sidewalk or other paving lying between the property line and that portion of the street or highway usually used for vehicular traffic.

I’m sure you were wondering, weren’t you? Actually, what you’re probably wondering is why I’m even worried about it in the first place. 🙄


Peeps and I were taking Jarly for his late afternoon-slash-early evening walk, when our down-the-street neighbor joined us. She had evidently gotten a visit from some clipboard-wielding civil servant who informed her that she and her husband could no longer park in this area of their yard. The Important Town Official then went on to inform her that she should also know that “they” are going to be “patrolling” the neighborhood and ticketing cars that are “in violation.”

Now here’s the thing. This is a decent neighborhood, but it’s kind of old. It was probably built in the 1950s – driveways are small – designed to house one household car. Most of the houses don’t have parking spaces for mom and dad and each of two kids (like the family across the street from us).

So, Neighbor Chick has been making the rounds, letting everyone know not to park in the “tree lawn.” I had no idea that that area even had a name, let alone ordinances devoted to it. 😯

I guess what really frosted her, though (and I can’t say that I blame her) is that when she asked what they, two people with, literally, a one-car driveway, were to do in the winter, when they may not park on the street, the Important Town Official guy said “Not my problem.”

Oh really? Being me, I had to do some research. :mrgreen: First off, to find out if, in fact, a municipality could actually dictate where, in one’s own yard, one may park.

Turns out they can.

(1) Outdoor parking or storage. The outdoor storage or the parking of motor vehicles or recreational vehicles shall not:

(a) Be located in any tree lawn area, except when the Winter Parking Ordinance of the Town of Greece Editor’s Note: See Ch. 146, Parking. is in effect.

Are you kidding me? The TOWN where we pay Property Taxes says we can’t park our cars in our OWN YARDS???

But hold up. It says “except when Winter Parking Ordinance” is in effect. Now, unless “Winter Parking Ordinance” is “not my problem” – we may have something here. Perhaps a loophole? Hmmm. . .

§146-8. Winter parking.
The Town Board of the Town of Greece finds that the leaving of vehicles on Town streets during periods of snowfall has hindered and obstructed the Commissioner of Public Works in snow removal operations. The Town Board additionally finds that the leaving of vehicles on streets within the Town during snowstorms causes hazards to persons using the streets. Therefore, the parking of vehicles is hereby prohibited on all Town and county streets within the Town of Greece between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m. and between the dates of November 1 and April 15.

OK. So. Let’s be perfectly clear here. 🙄

I MAY NOT park in my own yard, the yard that the Town graciously permits me to maintain and pay taxes on. If I’m not parking in the driveway, I must park on the street.

However, between November 1 and April 1, the not-parking-in-the-yard rule is suspended. And I MAY NOT park in the street. And I probably could park in MY YARD if it weren’t being used as a road-snow depository. 🙄

And that, of course, isn’t accounting for the whole list of fine-able parking offenses which can occur right there in your yard, or the street adjacent thereto, including stuff like: blocking or parking on sidewalk, more than 12 inches from curb, less than 20 feet from crosswalk or intersection, blocking driveway (I wonder if blocking your OWN driveway counts? Probably, huh?), within 30 feet of traffic control device. . . and who knows what else.


Someone please hand me the duct tape; my head’s about to explode. 🙄

So, where was I again? Can’t park in the yard in the summer – must park in the street.

Can’t park in the street in winter – hope to be able to park in the yard.

Yeah. But wait. There’s more. 😯

Yeah. The “tree” in “tree yard.”

§ 193-6. Planting by property owners.
Owners of property adjoining Town highways may locate and plant trees in the tree lawn at their own expense, with the approval of the Commissioner of Public Works. Approval shall be granted if the planting proposed is in accordance with the Arboricultural Specifications and Standards of Practice included in the Town Forestry Plan and if trees to be planted are selected from the Master Tree List included in the Town Forestry Plan. The Town Commissioner of Public Works shall authorize approved planting by an order, in writing, and shall approve a map or diagram showing the location of tree planting. Any tree so installed shall become a Town/public tree and added to the Town’s Street Tree Inventory.

Dude. There is so much there that’s so laughable that I don’t even know where to start, other than to start with “property owners.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – Am I supposed to actually believe, at this point, that I OWN this property? The only thing you haven’t told me (yet) is when, between what hours and during what season, I may use the bathroom. 😯

OK, so the gist of this is that I, at my own expense, MAY plant a tree in MY yard – but only with the approval of the Commissioner of Public Works. Who is obviously related to Clipboard Boy. 😦

Of course, MY tree, to be planted in MY yard and at MY expense must be “in accordance with” a bunch of blah blah blah stuff.

And, of course, we mustn’t forget – it must be selected from the Master Tree List. And, for what it’s worth, there’s not a single tree with any personality on that list. 😦

So, we get hold of the Master Tree List, and we select one of their non-offensive trees, and THEN we have to submit a MAP showing exactly WHERE, in my stinking little 4-foot tiny strip of real estate, MY tree is going to be <ahem> installed.

And the Really Official Town Guy actually gives me written permission to, uh, conduct the tree installation. 😯

Do we break a bottle of champagne on the trunk when we’re done? 😆

Oh but wait! Yes, there’s one more thing – actually two more things.

First – once I have, at my own expense, chosen a lame-ass tree and installed it in MY yard, now it’s a public tree. 😯

Does that mean that just any old dog can come along and pee on it? 😯

And it gets added to the Town’s Street Tree Inventory?


What else are they keeping track of?

You know what? I just want to to let my neighbors park their cars in their yard and not worry about it. They’re not hurting me – they’re not hurting anyone.

And if they (the Town) wants to screw with me, well, maybe I won’t plant a tree in MY tree yard – maybe I’ll transplant a couple of trumpet vines. I see nothing about vines in the tree yard. How will they like that, do you suppose?