Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thank You, Neighbor, For Helping Johnny Northside Dot Com! (Weed Wacker)

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

Since I publicly thanked the neighbor who fixed my van, I thought I better publicly thank ANOTHER neighbor who fixed my weed wacker a couple days ago and even told me I could get more weed wacker string any time I wanted, since he has a supply big enough to last half a decade.

True confession: I actually bought that weed wacker off a guy on the sidewalk for $20.

Consider this: if I had called the police on that "sidewalk appliance salesman," he would have been gone by the time a squad car rolled up--no criticism of the police, that's just reality--a "guy on the sidewalk selling a weed wacker" call is going to get a long response time, longer than the ability of the guy to amble several blocks away by the time the police arrive. So I figured it was best to just keep the weed wacker in NoMi (where it was probably stolen in the first place) for the low, low price of $20. I'll have to pay back any bad karma by wacking some weeds at a vacant, neglected house and doing more than $20 worth of labor.

If the weed wacker has any kind of serial number and the police want to run it, they can be my guest. If it turns out the weed wacker is positively hot and can be linked to some specific theft, I will gladly hand it over. If not, well, maybe the guy who sold it really did own it. (Rolling eyes)

But as long as I'm thanking neighbors, I should thank the guy who fixed my van AGAIN, because he also put a screw in the weed wacker so it wouldn't just fall apart. (See photo, above) The truth is that if I thanked everybody on this blog who lends me a hand now and then, that's all I'd ever write about. I love you all, NoMi neighbors.

(Do not click "Read More")


Patrick said...


You're obviously a huge asset to NoMi or any other community you reside in, but please don't fence stolen property.

There are a lot of us in NoMi that are victims of thievery. I realize the MPD doesn't care much at all about property crimes, but please don't make things worse.

I know you want to somehow balance out your karma, but if you know what you're doing is wrong you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Kite Head said...

I agree. This blog is funny. On one hand it rails against victimless crimes like personal use of drugs or prostitution. On another hand it proudly displays petty crime like buying stolen property, likley enabling a drunk to take a drink etc. I can't figure out where your moral compass is pointing from day to day.

Johnny Northside said...

It is pointing toward our neighborhood getting safer, cleaner, more prosperous, more beautiful.

Again, if the police (who read this blog all the time) want to run the serial number of the weed wacker, they can be my guest.

Anonymous said...

Another head impostor,another unoriginal shitbag.Prostitution and drug use are victimless crimes and you are the president of Harvard Business School.Kitehead has no tail and flys in the face of common sense which is okay because he has no direction anyhow.The hairless troll paTRICK says if you know what you are doing is wrong then you shouldn't be doing it.... to that i say follow your own advice and stop trying to make us believe your bullshit. P.S. BOAT IS THE HEAD HEAD and all other heads are officially decapitated... good day!

Tony said...

A couple years ago a friend called to see if I could let him stay with me a few days as he was going through a nasty divorce. After being with me a couple days I came home one evening and discovered my TV was missing. So was my friend.
I further discovered that he had broken into my shed and missing was my mower, weed whacker, power washer, and camping generator. He was caught a week later in a drug sting.
Turns out he had a drug habit, had spent all their money on drugs, hence the divorce.
The Golden Valley police recovered my power washer, generator, and mower because he had pawned them. But he had sold my TV and weed whacker out of the trunk of his car in north Minneapolis ($50.00 for the TV, someone got a hell of a deal).

The moral here is that when YOU buy something from a guy off the street you encourage and support crime. You continue the victimization process.
The fact that you rationalize your inappropriate & unlawful behavior, and offer to provide a community service by clearing weeds from a vacant house DOES NOT change the fact that buying/receiving stolen property is a crime.
I truly good citizen would have called the police, without excuses, and reported the suspect.
Why would you call 911 on a hooker on a street corner, but readily buy suspected stolen property when it meets your needs?
You really need to rethink your values.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet that the owner didn't know the serial number when they made the theft report. How many people reading this blog have the serial number of their power tools or yard machines written down somewhere? How about your bicycle?
So I doubt it would come up as listed stolen. But that's what people that buy stolen property hope for. An untraceable purchase.
I'm writing down all my serial numbers first thing tomorrow.

Johnny Northside said...

I think writing down all the serial numbers on your stuff is a very good idea and, again, I've made it clear the police can run the serial number of my weed wacker any time they like. If I take a $20 hit on the weed wacker because it turns up stolen, so be it.

In my experience, calling cops on somebody selling stuff on the sidewalk is a very low priority call. This guy was walking at an energetic pace. By the time the cops showed up, he would have been long gone.

I have put this story out there and I've been glad for just this kind of discussion. As for the guy who brought up my bike...

I got my bike the same way. I bought it off a guy on the sidewalk. And I actually had the police run the number of the bike. It did not come back stolen. I had, let's see, THREE bikes stolen at U of M. I used to author opinion columns in the Minnesota Daily, and I wrote about the stolen bike issues on campus more than once.

There's a particular brand of bike which--every time I walk by one of those bikes--I check for some distinctive feature on the bike, something I once had fixed which made my particular bike appear different than the other bikes of that same model--checking to see if it's my bike stolen in September 2005 (approx) and I was VERY VERY FOND of that bike.

But here's the thing: I kind of hope a decent person is using my stolen bike, saving the environment, etc. I actually hope the bike is in good hands.

But if I spot that bike, and I could dig up the old police report (I probably could) then I would want MY BIKE BACK, and the person in possession of the stolen property is just out of luck.

Somebody told me once that in some particular Asian country that theft is illegal, but selling stolen goods is NOT, and there is something called the "Theives Market." Not sure if that's true.

But, well, I've picked my course and there it is: I have the weed wacker, the police can check the serial number whenever they like, and I'm going to work off the bad karma by helping the neighborhood. And I'm going to keep calling 911 on hookers. You know why? Hookers tend to loiter in one spot and they're CONSTANTLY on Penn Ave. N.

If people selling stolen goods were CONSTANTLY on the particular street where I bought that weed wacker, I'd call in about them all the time, too, particularly if they weren't MOVING so fast.

Discussion Fodder said...

Ok you post this:

"In my experience, calling cops on somebody selling stuff on the sidewalk is a very low priority call. This guy was walking at an energetic pace. By the time the cops showed up, he would have been long gone. "

And this is how you justify what is likley stolen property? Do you teach ethics like this to your son? As was earlier posted. It's odd you rail against one type of crime but give a total pass on others. Isn't crime crime?

Tony said...

Let me repeat what I previously wrote because either you didn't understand, or you don't care.
You are rationalizing your inappropriate behavior.

This is the way the criminal mind works. It's OK for you to buy a possibly stolen bike from a guy off the street because you had three bikes stolen. You ran the serial number and it wasn't reported stolen, so that makes you feel better. What about the victim who lost the bike? Ya, I know. They should have bought a better lock.
Rod Blagojevich, Bernie Madoff, Tom Petters, and Denny Hecker all rationalized their illegal behaviors.
Each of these individuals has concocted a "story" that allows them to rationalize and justify their immoral or unethical behavior - a story each uses to absolve themselves of blame or guilt so that they can create their own so-called truth and not own their inappropriate behavior. Thus, their "I did nothing illegal" story or some flavor of it is simply a ploy to evade self-responsibility.
Integrity is not a cloak you can put on and take off when convenient. On - only when I accuse others; off - when I need to cut myself a little "integrity slack" in order to justify why I lie, cheat or buy stolen property. Integrity is like being pregnant. Either one is or one isn't. There's no such thing as being "a little bit pregnant", or "a bit less in integrity."

No single snowflake ever wants to be responsible for the avalanche. People like you are the snowflakes that contribute to the avalanche of crimes that plague our community. It's not just the Blagos and Bernies who lack inner moral compasses and choose the low road. It's people who use your method of rationalization to justify their unethical behaviors.

As long as criminals know they can fence their wares in north Minneapolis to people like you, crime will continue to destroy your neighborhood.
You are part of the problem as much as you fight to be part of the solution.
You state, "I've picked my course and there it is".
Yes you have, and we now know where you stand; It's with Rod, Bernie, Tom and Denny.

Patrick said...

John you should probably remove this posting as it is tainting the good work that you've done on this blog. We're not all perfect but this blog is. Every time someone see's what you've done in this posting it diminishes your other actions in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Is there some reason that you manipulated the "Recent Comment" column to show older comments? Are you trying to cover up what people are writing about you buying stolen property?
Your behavior is like a toddler hiding their soiled underwear. Mommy and daddy will find it eventually because it stinks.

Another example of your shameless behavior.

Anonymous said...

good grief. JNS detractors are seriously idiotic. John is manipulating the google blogspot comments function to hide criticism. Yeah sure right. And he is also working with the Queen of England to manipulate the local elections.

Everyone get your panties unbunched about the weed wacker. Let's say it IS for sure stolen. It's already stolen. The bad deed has been done. John needs/wants a weed wacker to work on his property as well as friends' properties. And perhaps some vacant and abandoned properties. He takes the guy up on the offer to buy the hot weed wacker at a low price. He puts a freaking picture of it on the internet and says if anyone has the police report with serial number he will gladly give it to the owner and take the $20 loss. Meanwhile he works on making his property and properties around him look neater and tidier for everyone, perhaps in turn sending a message to no accounts that this is a clean decent place so take your crap somewhere else. And perhaps just by that little effort he actually prevents someone elses weed wacker/lawn mower/bike/laptop/snow blower from being stolen because crooks went somewhere that didn't look so well maintained.

Yeah. That Johnny Northside. He sure is a bad character. How dare he do so much good for such a little price.

Johnny Northside! said...

The recent comments function was coughing up old comments this morning, who knows why? It is a freaking internet mystery. But, you know, spin all the conspiracy theories you like. It must give you some degree of mental comfort while your panties are painfully bunched up.

Anonymous said...

It's only happening on your blog.

Are you serious? said...

Patrick - You're saying that because John does good via this blog it's acceptable for him to support criminals by buying stolen merchandise from guys in the street.
Why don't you show up at he next big community crime meeting in NoMi and see if the Police and community share that view. I'm sure the crime prevention specialist won't be too concerned.

Anon @4:07 - You think it's no big deal; what's-done-is-done and since he uses it for some community good, we should just be thankful.
Great, why don't you give me your address so I can swing by and steal your BBQ Grill. We need another one for our National Night Out party next week. You won't feel victimized because it will be used for a good community cause. Later, you can go to Home Depot or Target, I bet they have grills on sale right now so it won't cost YOU as much to replace the one I stole.
And don't bother reporting the crime to the police, because obviously it's nothing to get your panties in a bunch about.

Anonymous said...

If the dude walked up to John and said "Would you like to purchase this stolen weedwacker?" I could see a reason to criticize, but it sure doesn't sound like he did, so whose to say it wasn't his own property to legally sell?

Anonymous said...

And if someone came up to me on the street and asked me if I wanted to buy a used weed whacker, bicycle, camera, stereo or anything, the first question I'd ask is if it's stolen. Because anyone who peddles merchandise on the street in Minneapolis MUST HAVE A PERMIT!!
So if they don't have a permit we can assume they are selling merchandise illegally, and it might be stolen property.
And while you don't need a permit to sell your own property from your yard, you do on the street.
But anyway, get real. If you read the post there is clearly an insinuation that the item was most likely stolen.
So Anon@2:06 your just making another excuse to promote crime in a crime plagued neighborhood. The cops should have been called on the guy. "We Watch, We Call", no excuses!

Shamika said...

I buy stuff off the streets all the time. I get a lot of good DVDs that way. I disagree with John on plenty of things, but I have no problem with this.

Anonymous said...

We Watch/ We Call

If Its Stolen...Buy It ALL! (But keep it in NOMI)

Anonymous said...

Wanna hear something funny? So I saw three kids on bikes, one bike I recognized to be my daughters. So I snuk up on them and yelled "Hey thats my daughters bike!" They all dropoped the bikes they were ridding and ran, I got two new bikes plus the old one back!
Cpt Jack

boathead said...

Methinks naysayers and dudley do-rights should redirect their jaywalking type mentalities and find more juvenile avenues to express their self righteous do no wrong accidentally or purposely views.Spitting on the sidewalk is breaking the law; anyone did that lately? Stared at something you deemed attractive over eight seconds? You just ogled and broke the law my friend.All bikers follow the rules of the road too.Did you ever try to jump off a fence with an umbrella open because you thought you were fucking Mary Poppins? A toast to all of you who might have broken the laws of sensibility because i have once or twice in my time.Boat senses that alot of these folks have two and sit on their best one,FACE it!

Anonymous said...

This strikes me as being similar (not identical, just similar) to Obama being criticized for going to Maine for vacation (instead of the gulf coast area).

It's easy to put the lives and behaviors of popular individuals under a microscope without putting our own lives under that same microscope.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should stop requiring pawn shops and recycling centers from taking identification and reporting serial numbers etc. I mean if the police want they can just come down and run all the numbers themselves. Why should recycling centers be burdoned with obtaining identification or asking "where'd you get all that copper"? I'm sure if the bank now missing it's pipes is interested they'll stop by to make a claim right?

Anonymous said...

I read about you on a WCCO. I hope the cops bust your sorry ass and dump you in a cell full of roaches.

Hans said...

Anon 9:22 said...
"I read about you on a WCCO."

I can't find a story about John anywhere on WCCO... google was little help either.

Post a link... I want to read about him "on a WCCO" too.

Anonymous said...

I think it's related to a stolen property story.

Typical of where weedwackers being sold on the street come from.

Better Things To Do said...

I think everyone is missing the point. You all know the amount of work John does for the neighborhood, cleaning up, calling 311, busting L3SO's. John's not perfect but like he said. He uses the trimmer to whack off in the vacant lots which keeps the neighborhood looking that much better. You don't even know that the weed whacker is stolen so cut this NOMI hero slack, don't you losers have anything better to do?

Ariadne said...

LOL @ Hans

Hans said...

anon 3:39

could you post a link to a story about John?

I thought that was your claim at least... something about hoping the cops bust his ass and roaches.

Anonymous said...

Leave John alone about the weed wacker. We all know when it comes to neighborhood reform he has the knacker. Me BOATHEAD says Johnny Northside ain't no cracker.

Do The Right Thing said...

Hey John,

If anyone comes to your door trying to sell you something or take orders for future delivery, make sure they have a Minneapolis Solicitors License. When you open the door, the first words you should say are, “Let me see your Minneapolis Solicitors License.” The LAST thing you should do is buy anything as it is likley stolen and just furthers crime in NOMI.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine you posting a picture of someone buying stolen property on your blog, in the same manner that you post pictures of prostitutes and drug dealers.

I wish there was some other crusading neighborhood blogger who had posted a shady long-distance shot of you handing over a 20 for a weed wacker.

But when you do it, there's a back story that makes it OK, right? You're just doing it to help the community, in the long run. But not when women are prostitutes, there could not possibly be a story that you don't know about their lives that explains their criminal actions. Or drug users, either--there's no context to their lives that's important for you to know.

But you expect us to accept your criminal act in the context of your life.

Perhaps you should try applying this principle to the people you exploit on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Hope the cops know a thief is serving them turkey.