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DCook

Help with a grumpy neighbor

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This is my first year using computerized lighting. I have 80 channels of LOR and maybe 20,000 lights up this year. I have been collecting and putting my display plans in place for over 3 years and I finally was able to put up my first display this year.

I have had a great response, very very, positive from all that have come to see it. I even had a front page article in the paper and won a city lighting contest for most creative.

Now I have a grumpy neighbor that is really putting a downer on the whole thing. He has complained to other neighbors trying to recruit people to pressure me to shut down the display and didn't get anyone else's support in the neighborhood. (Happy dance!) Christmas eve I even put orange cones in front of his drive and stoodtheir for hours directing traffic away (Of course giving candy canes to everyone I talked with helped). After I walked away he even chucked the orange cones I put in front of his drive in the dirt.

With all of the time and money I have put into my display I really don't want to shut it down next year. I also have expansion plans for equipment and lights that would go to waste if I can't run my display, not that I wouldn't already be out thousands of dollars.

Has anyone had these kind of issues with neighbors that couldn't be resolved?

I would like to work things out but it is looking like he wants to be grumpy just to be grumpy.

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Everybody has atleast one of those.. just ask Tim Fischer. Just put a Grinch looking straight at his house. lol kidding of course. Tim can probably give you some good advise though.

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You may want to try to talk to him and find out what specific objections he has and try to reach a compromise, such as when you'll start and stop the display each night.

If he won't talk it over with you, well, at least you tried.

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Keith wrote:

You may want to try to talk to him and find out what specific objections he has and try to reach a compromise, such as when you'll start and stop the display each night.

If he won't talk it over with you, well, at least you tried.

If your "grump" is like mine, they don't want ANYTHING short of shutting you down.

Our city referred us to a voluntary moderator who helped us hammer down a compromise. I felt we got the short end of the deal (we made some pretty tough concessions, like no lights on Christmas Eve) but as of yet we haven't heard any more complaints since last January. That said, I also haven't spoken to the neighbor more than a "Hi" since last January either.

In my case, cars virtually never blocked driveways, and the normal level of traffic was 2-4 cars sitting at the side of our road (which is pretty wide) watching our lights. Right around Christmas it was more like 8-10 cars, but in no case did we ever have the "lines of cars" waiting to even get close that I hear in other people's posts here (and indeed have seen at other displays in the Twin Cities).

I offered to do cones, etc. I told them I'd make them signs and provide a light and timer if they'd plug it in (they're across from me so I can't provide power). They said "we shouldn't NEED to put signs or cones on our property". <sigh>

They also tried to canvas the neighborhood to garner support, but didn't have good results since the vast majority of people love our display.

-Tim

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DCook, is there a friendly neighbor that you would be comfortable enlisting to talk to the grumpy neighbor in an attempt to at least identify whether there are any specific issues that can be addressed ... like hours of operation, audio level (if you have speakers), etc.? Just thought there might be a "go between" who would be willing to do that, and who you feel is capable of doing this without being sucked over into the dark side.

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Guest Scot Meyers

The guy needs some christmas cheer. send him a gift basket. I hear fruit cake works well!! Better yet. give him some lights and challenge him to a lighting competition. Im sure the male ego to beat you will get the best of him. Before you know it you will have the most awesome displays in the whole city!

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Scot Meyers wrote:

The guy needs some christmas cheer. send him a gift basket. I hear fruit cake works well!! Better yet. give him some lights and challenge him to a lighting competition. Im sure the male ego to beat you will get the best of him. Before you know it you will have the most awesome displays in the whole city!

Sorry but I have experience in dealing with the neighborhood grump. We tried the gift basket thing. How was the favor returned? By her telling the city that we were trying to "buy her off". If I had offered her some lights I have no doubt that they'd be now permanantly lodged in my nether regions.

I know not every"bad" neighbor is like mine, but I don't think some people here understand how petty and un-Christmassy (Scrooge-like?) people can actually be.

-Tim

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Keith wrote:

You may want to try to talk to him and find out what specific objections he has and try to reach a compromise, such as when you'll start and stop the display each night.

If he won't talk it over with you, well, at least you tried.

My wife saw him standing out side staring at our house on night last week and walked over to ask him if everything was o.k. He just started walking away when he saw her approach. She called out his name and asked if everything was o.k. and he said "no". He said that the whole thing was to much, so mywife asked if it was the traffic and he said "no". She asked if it was to noisy and again he said "no". He said it is like a Las Vegas light show and he just likes a couple of lights. It became clear to me after that happened that he just seems to not have a very good reason to be grumpy. My wife even asked him if he would like us to shut it down to which he again said "no'. I think with the number of people enjoying the music and lights I don't think he wants to be theperson everyone points the finger at when the lights go dark.

If LOR truly does come out with a wireless controller this year I will buy one for him and the neighbor across the street to link their house lights withmy musicalsequences. Maybe if I can get him involved he will learn to love it like everyone here. I know my neighbor across the street would be tickled pink to get in on the computerized lights. Wouldn't that be a trip, three houses animated to the same song.

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Allen wrote:

How about 30 bottles of whiskey with a note to take one daily at 5 PM?

I like that one.

Tim, after reading what you have gone through, there is no doubt I can handle just about anything this guy throws my way.

Light off on Christmas eve? You are a good person.

- Darrell

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Guest Scot Meyers

Tim,

I donot think they make a happy place for your neighbor. Im sorry you have had to dealwith her. sned her fruit cake and tell her to have a meery christmas any way.

Darrell,

sound like your nighbor needs a shot of holiday cheer. get all your neighbors together and get a bull horn goto the neighbors front yard and start yelling FREE FROSTY FREE FROSTY FREE FROSTY!!

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tfischer wrote:

I know not every"bad" neighbor is like mine, but I don't think some people here understand how petty and un-Christmassy (Scrooge-like?) people can actually be.

-Tim

True, my "bad" neighbor is a little different than yours.

I have lived in my house for 28 years...the neighbor next door has been here longer. There are even others who have been here longer than us.

The city offers a special for teachers and police officershelping them get into housing to stabilize neighborhoods.

About 2 years ago we had a teacher move in across the street.1st thing she did was put notes on everyones carsaying someone was living in that house and not to park in front of it. Now we are pretty good about others parking places but sometimes you have company, like the old lady on the one side of her has a friend whowould park there. It is a public street. So right away shestarted off on the wrong side of the neighbors. Wehave been here all these years and she thinks she is going to start giving directions.Who was the 1st one to park in others places...her friends when she had a party. Evenblockedour car in ourparking pad.

She is really loud and you can hear everything she says...outside working in my garden...and her on the cell...that is how I found out she teaches...in her words..."Maff because I doesn't like to be teachingmenoEnglish."...well I wonder why? Don't think about it too long or your head will explode.

When Halloween came up that yearshe informed theneighbor on theother side of her...the only one who does talk to her...that she won't be home for Halloween because shehas to put up with the little (can't say what she called the childrenbut it wasn't nice) all day and she wasn't having anything todo withthemwhen she was off.

Nowshe has different male friends in from time to time...ok not a problem...live and let live. She had one though that was there for about 2 months. One day beginning of summerI heard all this yelling...and I look out and she is chasing him around the yard with a butcher knife. I grab the phone...called 911...so didsome of the other neighbors. He jumps in his truck and gets out of there never to come back. Leaving behind his little dog. By the time the police arrive, shehas left for the rest of theday.This is in the summer, it is hot, school is out. For the whole next week she didn't feed or give water tothedog.The one neighbor is outside, startssmelling something badand discovers the dog, dead...calls the police. She doesn't answer the door when they knock.The police leave and next thing we know she throws some things into the car, and tells the one neighbor that she won't be back for a while, she is going to stay with some family.I imagine she was in trouble forletting the dog die and I guess she knew it so decided to get out of the city for a while.Maybe to put the blame on the old boyfriend. Never did hearhow that ended up.

She is gone most of the summer and comes back right before school starts.

So the neighbor on my one side has a snowman theme going this year. White Lights. Snow globe. Acrylic Snowmen. She is outsidetalking to the neighbor whodoes talk to her andstarts to put downmy neighbors display...all those white lights...so my neighbor is out in his yard and overhears this. So he did the only thing he could do...went out and got more whitelights.

I heard her tell someone that she is going to move next year (good riddance)and rent the house out...illegal as the city says they have to live in the house for 5 years to get the break. I will be only to glad tocall and report her. Ok maybe that is petty of me.Right now I don't even look at her... that dog murderer. To think she is teaching children.

If she would have said anything about my lights I swear I would have draggedeverything I could outside and lit it up.

I understand a little about your Scrooge...I had a grandfather just like that. Never liked anything. Never got along with any of his neighbors.

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I got a one just like that right accross the street. He has told everybody that he hates my lights. On Dec 2nd I saw Carson's Video on the internet and I got hooked. I got my first LOR machine (16 channel) and I modify my display to look as much as Carson's Display as I could-granted, I only had 16 channels and not many lights. I could not belive the reaction, the locals loved it, the grumpy guy had a meltdown and almost went balistic:devil: on me before the cops took him away for a few hours and chilled him out. He seems to be accepting the light now.... I'll watch my back anyway. People are just stupid. I'll post a video of my light so you guys can see what I did wwith just the 16 channels and the music. (by the way, you can only hear my music standing right in front of my yard and my display only runs from 5PM (it gets dark really early in Eugene, Oregon) to 8PM then from 8PM until 10:30 I had some nice mellow program with no music.)

My advice, sometimes you can't change people so IGNORE THEM :cool:and let them rot inside. Life is just too short and Christmas is just once a year.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year you all.:tree:

Alexander Ponce-Bonano:)

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Mary Jane, I am humbled.

I can only hope that my situation never gets as bad as some of the stories I have read.

Alexander,

Good Luck!

Tim,

I know it's not funny but every time I read about the "treaty" you entered into I just chuckle. You definitely need to reopen negotiations or declare your yard a sovereign land or something. <shoulder shrug>

Darrell

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Steven Singleton Jr. wrote:

What about declaring all our homes and property EMBASSYS of PlanetChristmas. Think that would help?? lol

Will it get us theright tobuy lights wholesale?

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Scot Meyers wrote:

I hear fruit cake works well!!

That's the best plan yet! Fruitcakes for all difficult neighbors both grinch and scrooge! This would be a good use for the ones that are inevitably received from time to time. (It makes no difference at all if they are 5 years old. You can't harm a fruitcake. Besides, the neighbor is not going to actually eat it.)

TED

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I am a firm beleive in "if you don't like it don't look"...

I guess I am lucky. My neighbors all like the display and more and more light up each year (our first year we were the only ones, now 4 years later there are about 8 or 9 houses that light at least a little bit)...

Although I do have one neighbor that hasn't said anything to me since we moved in. Heck I was unloading my truck in the driveway the day we closed on the house, the neightbors came home so I waved. they looked the other way and it hasn't gotten any better (or any worse for that matter).

In the situation where a neighbor was complaing and I legitimately cared about the complaint I would probably make some signs asking people to avaid doing whatever is annoying that neighbor. Now on the other hand you could aim a couple of flashing spotlights at his house... :laughing:

Chris

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Most of my neighbors seem to have resigned themselves to my display. I'm not sure what would hapen if I went LOR :shock:, but i know the woman directly across the street would complain to anyone who would possibly listen ... she's just the type who is NEVER happy ... no matter what, someone is 'out to get her' or make her life more miserable. That seems to be a sorry way to go thru life!

Several of them claim to have given up on lights because "I put up enough for all of them" Oh well ... that's a compliment ... I think:laughing:.

One neighbor, who incidentaly has a DJ job during the day, seems to take great pride in calling me unflattering names on the air ... "...my freak neighbor ...", "... the wierdo in my neighborhood...", you know the comments. It hurts to be labeled on the airwaves but in a perverse way, it brings more people by my display, so he doesn't really accomplish anything. He does NOT wave or otherwise acknowledge my presence in the neighborhood though ... no great loss in my view. Again, how sad .......

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I am very lucky not to have one of those. My neighboors are very happy with the display. The monday before Christmas, they got together and presented me with a plack, to say how much they liked it. However I do not want the display to get any more popular sothat I do create one of those...15 People per show is enough (5 cars) Since I live at a 3-way intersection, there is a lot more curb space so no problems....Yet.......

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My story is pretty much the opposite (thank heavens) from the unhappy neighbor stories... We moved into our house 3 years ago, and I learned what a real display looks like. Larry (my neighbor) has been doing this for 30 years, and he always changes things up, and adds new stuff. I learned from one of the best. Unfortunately he suffers from bad back problems, and this year spent too much time helping his other neighbor, and wasn't even able to get all his stuff up even with my help. Next year will be different.... I get the feeling I will be on at leastthree roofs other than my own next year.... :P My biggest problem is living with that person that thinks it's "not practical" or "too much" or "a waste of time" "really honey, I would be much happier with just a couple strands of icicle lights..." :DWhat can I say, I love her anyway.... I just like to remind her that it's all her fault.... she was pregnant, we had moved into our house in Oct. It was our first Christmas in our own house.... and we went to Walmart for some wrapping paper and to look for a few christmas lights... She suggested the icicles, and some multis.... I looked in awe at the lit candy canes, the nativity's, the blowmolds, and wireframes.... anda seed was planted.... ::snif:: makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside....:laughing:

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Seth, where are you from? (That's my subtle Moderator hint to go to MY ACCOUNT and update your country, state and city). Members can make better recommendations if the know your area's weather and regional stores ... and you may encounter other lighting enthusiasts who are nearby and can offer assistance.

Welcome ... sounds like a fun year ahead. Keep us posted on your projects (for all the houses).

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My immediate neighbors like what happens at my place. So does the police department. I only have trouble with the idiot at the other end of the block. But I have trouble with him and his three sons that like having drunken brawls and drive like idiots all year.

My main problem is vandalism. I've caught and settled out of court three times but mostly they get away with it. My neighbor and I used to have friendy competitions in the early days when our displays were under 10K lights. One night about 9:30PM some idiot ran a Camaro right through his yard, (luckily missing mine). He had to unplug the feeder cords to keep his breakers from popping. He hasn't put up lights since.:X

Why would someone vandalize a Christmas display? The answer eludes me.

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