Did you ever have a ham radio when you were a kid? Or see Contact? If not, this is a reminder that it's "the licensed and private use of designated radio bands, for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication." Paul Isaacs of the East Village has one, including a 30-foot radio tower that he insists was installed legally and licensed by the FCC. But neighbors who want it taken down complain that it's too tall, and the DOB recently issued a violation on the antenna.

Neighbor Greg Ramsey complained, "Whenever we have guests over, they take one look at it and say, 'Oh my God, what is that? It's like a military installation or something. It just seems extremely selfish to have this huge tower for one man to be running his ham radio from. It's obtrusive and inappropriate." Yes, how dare someone construct a tower such that it frequently crashes through your window and interrupts your dinner parties stands alone on a separate building and not directly interfere with your life? Another resident said, "The impact from an aesthetic standpoint and safety standpoint — you can see the thing is just absolutely enormous."

Isaacs says the complaints are "complete baloney," but they're not all mean! Ramsey suggested, "The neighborhood should chip in and maybe buy this guy a computer so he can get on the Internet instead of ham radio." But that runs the risk of his starting a blog about ham radios, and we all know how noisy and irritable bloggers get.