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Questions about your Subdivision

Country-sides are now well dotted with housing subdivisions, subdivisions, and more subdivisions. And still more are coming up like mushrooms in the morning following a rainy, lightning-filled night.

What used to be rice fields, vegetable gardens, and fruit orchards are now crowded with houses, condominiums, and apartments for rent. This means to say that we are now producing more people than we do rice, corn, mongo, sugarcane, coconuts, watermelons, and other crops.

If you are living in a subdivision now - or you intend to live in one in the future - here are a few candid questions which demand equally candid answers if you are to improve your place of residence.

Security

Is your subdivision enclosed with a perimeter fence which is high enough to serve effectively as a deterrent to would-be intruders?

I live in a fourth or even a fifth-rate subdivision, although the payments are very close to first class. Needless to say, our good developers considered a fence a useless luxury which in their opinion we may very well do without. And in addition to the entrance guard house, our homeowners' association constructed two more with a cubicle in the center of the road, complete with overarching beams at the top. Delivery trucks, fire engines, ten wheelers, cranes, and other big vehicles can barely squeeze through our Lilliputian gates. If you come in your car, I advise you to drive a beetle, or better yet, a tricycle, and be sure you are a sharpshooter. My point is, what good can all the beautiful gates in the world do if there is no fence surrounding the property? It is like installing an intricately carved wooden door – but without a house!

Now, do you have security guards at your subdivision entrance who know how to give clear directions to strangers and are civil enough to welcome your visitors with a smile?

Can your guards at times go a second mile by lending a hand in carrying the heavy luggages of your bewildered guests to your door? Or are they the swaggering type simply because they are in uniform and are sporting revolvers on their hips? Do they bark discourteous orders to both residents and their guests and give the impression that your subdivision is a military camp under perpetual martial law?

Are your guards trained to help during an emergency, say, putting a fire under control before the conflagration gulfs your entire area in a roaring inferno? Or are they like some firemen who will never train their hoses to your burning house in spite of all your pleas unless you first hand them a thick roll of money?

When your wife, or sister, or daughter have to start for work or school during the wee hours of the morning to avoid the worsening traffic condition, or when they arrive late at night, do you feel secure that they are safe as soon as they enter your subdivision gate? Or are you apprehensive because your guards are the potential rapists and hold-uppers of your womenfolk?

When you leave your house, can you entrust it to your guards? Or, in spite of bolts, locks, chains, burglar alarms, and dogs, do you have to pretend that you are still there by letting your lights and radio on because your guards are pretending to be good and are experts in robbery? Or, even if they do not themselves break into your home, do they act as accomplices with the burglars in a perfect inside job? If your guards are giving you massive problems, it might be the better part of wisdom to dismiss them now and institute an alternate system of security.

Utilities

Do you have running water from your tap 24 hours a day, or at least three times a day during cooking time? Is this released on schedule or does the coming of water depend upon the whim and caprice of the caretaker?

Has a sample of your subdivision's water been submitted to your local health center, or better yet, to a health center for laboratory analysis? Do you have a periodic chlorination system or any other plan of water-purifying process to insure that you are protected from amebiasis or any other kind of water-borne diseases?

Do you inspect your lead or PBC pipes to be sure that the slough does not infect your water?

If you are using a manually operated artesian well or even a motorized water pump, did you drill your well away from your own or your neighbors' septic tank?

Do you have a back-up pump in the event that your water system bogs down? Does your subdivision have a ready fund for the immediate repair of your pump? Or do you have to wait for months, meanwhile washing your face every morning with beer? Come to think of it, that probably is a better use of it than drinking it!

Are your electrical installations periodically inspected by a duly licensed electrical engineer? Or do you simply pay for his signature so the electric company can connect you to the mainline?

Are your wires safely insulated inside PBC tubes to prevent rats from gnawing at them? Remember that your past, present, and future can go up in smoke in no time at all unless extra care is exercised by all concerned along this line.

Are your streets well-lighted at night? This is a great help in reducing the high criminality rate in your subdivision.

How about garbage disposal? Have you taught your fellow residents to classify their garbage and even turn their trash into cash? They can sell their empty bottles and old newspapers to the junk shop and bury their biodegradable matter in a compost pit for fertilizers. This is much better than turning every vacant lot into a veritable garbage mountain.

And does your good mayor still send a dump truck to your place for regular garbage collection even after the elections are over? If he does, bless his heart!

Other Concerns

What is the level of noise pollution in your subdivision? Do your fellow residents turn their radios, TVs, or karaokes full blast in order to let everyone know that they have these appliances?

Do your young people invite their friends for an all-night session of carousing using a most powerful microphone, oblivious of the fact that you have to report for work the following morning? Remember that those who adopt the drug culture usually develop a split personality. In the morning they pray, And in the evening they say, “Disco, Disco.”

How about smells in your area? Is there a poultry – or worse yet, a piggery – in or near your subdivision? If here is, let us hope that a restaurant will be interested in buying all the chickens from the owner. If not, probably the best thing for you to do is to move out of that subdivision – unless a foot-and-mouth disease kills off all the pigs.

Do you have a beautification project? Unfortunately many of these very laudable programs start with a bang and end with a yawn. They even go as far as ordering seedlings from an agriculture nursery in, but we have seen many of these spasmodic projects die a natural death even before they are born. How about dogs? It is said that they are man's best friend. I wholeheartedly agree. But they can be his worst enemy too. Can you walk or jog in the morning or evening in your subdivision roads without losing a pound of flesh from your legs? Many otherwise good subdivisions go to the dogs unless their owners know how to keep them inside their yards. If owners can pen their pets, this will also prevent the dogs from generously fertilizing your cement roads.

Since we are talking of roads now, are yours in good repair? Has some enterprising mechanic made a workshop out of a portion of your road, thus effectively closing it to traffic for his private use?

Do you have a set of homeowners' association officers whose interest goes beyond the local subdivision politics? Are they vitally interested in improving living conditions in your place?

Finally, are there churches with a moral uplift program especially for your young people? If none, do you simply permit the producers of TV violence and the printers of lurid sex, crime stories in the daily tabloids to influence your young people to a life of criminality?

If the suggestions we have mentioned can be implemented, these will perhaps go a long way in making life in your subdivision a little more tolerable. You need not live in an exclusive subdivision to enjoy life. I live in a poor subdivision but I think there is hope of improving even this subdivision.

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