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Temperatures don’t matter if it’s too noisy to sleep: Ed O’Connor

Posted 9/6/17

From all that I have seen and read, central Pennsylvania is enjoying a decent summer, except for an overabundance of July rain.

I saw videos and photos of flood damage in the area. It sure …

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Temperatures don’t matter if it’s too noisy to sleep: Ed O’Connor

Getty Images/Flickr RF

From all that I have seen and read, central Pennsylvania is enjoying a decent summer, except for an overabundance of July rain.

I saw videos and photos of flood damage in the area. It sure brought back memories of 2011 when we lost everything in the Labor Day weekend flood.

Of the five winters we have spent here, this has been the coolest. Temperatures dipped into the low 40s in the city and lower in the mountains to the west where there was up to a foot of snow. Icy roads caused a spate of vehicular accidents in the higher elevations. There is no heat in our apartment, but a sweater and some vodka were all that was required to stay warm.

People here must feel temperatures differently. When the thermometer was in the 40s and 50s, I saw more folks dressed in short-sleeved shirts and blouses than ever before. And when it is in the 60s and I am wearing summer shirts, they are wearing fur lined parkas, gloves, wool hats and scarves and complaining about how “cold” it is in Cuenca. They look like extras going to a “Nanook Of The North” movie set.

We reluctantly moved to a different apartment in January, due to the level of noise we were experiencing. When we first moved into the local/commercial neighborhood in 2013, our apartment was relatively quiet except for traffic noise. Little by little the noise increased.

An apartment was built beside our building using our main wall as one wall of the new apartment building — with no type of sound insulation. Construction began in December 2015.

We were told it would last three months. Then four. Then six.

Pounding, hammering, drilling and other types of construction noises plus music started at 7 a.m. daily and lasted until 5 p.m.

Ten months later we started looking for a new place to live. In the interim to add to the noise level, the child above us turned 2 years old and discovered ride toys — and was still riding as late as 2 a.m. Then, a couple moved in across the hall with a 6-year-old girl. When she didn’t get her own way, she wouldn’t cry – she would howl. That was usually two or three times a day.

I could almost set my watch by when the baying would occur. I got so annoyed by her howling, I would open our door and do my best Wolfman Jack impression or I would get a wolf howling video on YouTube and turn up the volume. I knew I was losing it when one time I opened the door and screamed, “Shut the (you fill in the word) up”, as loudly as I could.

Then a dance studio was opened next door complete with sound system. That would last until 1 a.m. many nights. Then, at another adjacent building, they started deconstructing — so we had construction noise in stereo all day long. Oh, the adjoining new apartment was completed at the end of December 2016 – 12 months.

Our new apartment is in a residential neighborhood on a quiet street and for the first time in a year we could finally sleep. What a relief … for two months. Then, one building from us, an outdoor bar was opened at the corner. Here the bars can stay open until 3 a.m. Now we experience loud music, laughing, yelling and screaming into the wee hours.

Of course, that is not late enough for some who continue partying at their cars as late as 4:30 a.m. On one corner across from the bar, the house has a 5-foot-high stone wall, topped by a 3-foot-high heavy iron fence with bramble bushes that a toothpick could not penetrate, topped by a 2-foot-high electric fence. But is that enough security? Nooooo. They also have two dogs that bark all night.

The house on the other corner across from the bar has an 11-foot-high stone and brick wall topped with barbed wire. But is that enough security? Nooooo. They have some huge flea bag that joins in with the other two mutts in barking all night. No exaggeration — they start barking around 11 p.m. nightly and have gone as long as 11 a.m.

There are nights when we do not sleep at all. In one, seven-day (night), stretch I got a total of 20 hours sleep. What do we do? Move again?

How these homeowners can have this continuous noise on their properties all night is a mystery to me. The only time I hear more useless noise is when Nutty Nancy Pelosi, Mad Maxine Waters, Pocahontas Warren or Chucky Poo Schumer are on C-SPAN. Of course, I shouldn’t knock libtards — I almost became one, but I was afraid of having a frontal lobotomy. I know, I am probably too hard on those wonderful, kind, sensitive, compassionate, and, most of all, tolerant people. If it wouldn’t be for double standards they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

So, what is new in the common(take your)wealth of Pennsylvania? How do you like the yearly budget tango? I see to balance the budget, Harrisburg wants to raise taxes on your gas, phone and electric. Can’t they find anything else to tax? I guess gasoline isn’t on the table since that tax is already the highest in the country.

Here’s an idea for the politicians: How about a yearly car tax based on the value of your vehicle(s)?

Now the union-controlled, state-controlled liquor monopoly wants to raise prices. You soon won’t even be able to afford to get drunk — and it’s the state that drives one to drink!

More accolades: Pennsylvania is No. 7 in the country having the most 18- to 34-year-olds still living at home with mommy and daddy, and is No. 11 of states having the most foreclosed homes.

Keep the faith — and your hand on your wallet.

Until later from beautiful Cuenca ... Eddy the Expat

Ed O’Connor, a former resident of Middletown and Lower Swatara Township, is an expatriate living in Cuenca, Ecuador.