SocialNotes for Blog Posts?

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Click the button below to try out this tool from PopularMedia that makes it that much easier to share articles with others. If I get positive feedback, I’ll add it to all the posts on RCG!

Ah… the joys of a shared driveway

In Seattle, many houses share a driveway with an adjacent property.  Typically, the driveway is created by an easement on each property running on either side of the common boundary.  Each property is burdened by a five foot easement that benefits the other property, thus creating a 10 foot strip of driveway.  Each property then has the legal right to use the driveway, and one neighbor cannot legally impede or impair the other neighbor’s reasonable use of the driveway.

So where’s the joy?  Well, it’s really more like “joy” — as in “Holy $#%*, what a giant pain in the ^*$!” The fact of the matter is that not every neighbor gets along well with others.  If you find yourself living next to such a person, the shared driveway can quickly become a flashpoint for conflict.  Because you each have a legal right to use the driveway, you legally must cooperate as to its use.  Such cooperation can quickly break down if there is some underlying dispute or existing friction.  You may need to resort to litigation simply to enforce your right to use your own driveway.  Litigation, of course, is neither pleasant nor cheap, and it certainly won’t help repair your relationship with your neighbor.

So how do you avoid this “joyful” arrangement?  When purchasing property, you should always include a title contingency. This allows you to review the title commitment and identify any existing easements or other restrictions on title that may not be consistent with your intended use.  If you need help in interpreting the title report, you should consult an attorney and not your real estate agent (another good reason to have both an attorney and a real estate broker on your team from the beginning).

If you see an easement for a shared driveway, remember that fences — not shared driveways — make for good neighbors. With such a contingency, you can then rescind the contract, get your earnest money back, and move on to another house that doesn’t include the seeds for a good ol’ fashioned neighborly feud.

Rain City Guide on Your Mobile Phone!

The other day someone emailed to ask me to fix Rain City Guide so that the site wouldn’t break when they tried to visit via their mobile phone. I gave a LOL and told them that RCG already works on a mobile phone!

Here is how I read Rain City Guide (and or the other 250 blogs in my feed reader) when I’m on the go.

Using your PC or Mac:

  1. Go to Google Reader on your PC (not the Pocket PC): (You will likely need to sign in using a free Google account. Let me know if you don’t have one and I’ll send you an invite)
  2. Click on the “+ Add Subscription” button
  3. Copy and paste this feed into the empty field and click “Add”:

Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the comment feed:


Now, you’ll have all the posts and comments send to your Google Reader where you can check them using the browser on just about any handheld phone (assuming you get an internet connection on your phone!).

However, note that the URL for the Mobile Google Reader is a little different. So on the browser of your phone, you’ll need to go to this address to check the blog:


I recommend typing this in once on your phone and then saving it as a bookmark! (or better yet, email it to an address you can check with your phone and then just click on the link!)

These same instructions will work with just about any blog on the planet… Just replace the RCG feed with the appropriate feed!


I just remembered that there is one other Google Reader-related item you may be interested in subscribing to and that is the list of articles that I “share” using my feed reader. The idea is that as I’m reading articles using Google Reader, I often click on a share button to share items that I think are interesting. I watch a few other people shared items and I’ve found this to be a great resource for finding new and interesting bloggers. Similar to the other feeds listed above, simply subscribe using this URL to add this item to your feed reader:

BTW, if you are also sharing or staring items in either Google Reader, or any other service and think that others might be interested, definitely leave a comment to let me know about it!