Oh, and i actually cut down the massive Black Acacia in the front of my house which shaded the Opium Den and my room upstairs from the sun and kept the place nice and cool all summer. I was trying to appease the neighbor, who knew that if his construction damaged my tree's roots and it died, he would be responsible. But the tree *was* leaning into my house and Black Acacias don't live long. The rest of the house stays cool, with the trees i refused to cut down - and damn glad i am of THAT.
Soooo.... a couple of months ago, just when it started getting hot ( it is *sunny* down here in Palo Alto in the summer, without any fog or cloudiness whatsoever... so those of you who are snobby SF-dwellers can stop feeling superior about your City life right now) my next door neighbor on the other side, for no reason we can ascertain, completely cleared her side and back yard of all the privet hedges her daughter had planted two years before and provided an 8 foot wall of privacy for us - and a lovely shady green-ness for Ishtar's outdoor aviary. We have the hot tub right where the hedges once were, and it's exposed now to BOTH of the two storey houses on either side of us.
NOW... the house behind us to the left corner was demolished a week ago - jack-hammering what must have been the only solid foundation in 4-block radius of 1950 Fake-ler homes (fake Eichlers) and it was non-stop every day (and Saturdays) for a week and a half !) Now, joy, we get to listen to THAT noise for god knows how long ... i pray for rain every morning.
I should have released an endangered species of frog or butterfly or wild orchid or something on the property and let the planning commission know that that is the ONLY place where they exist on the Peninsula. But they were very sneaky and until the roof began getting torn off two days before the jack hammering began, I had no idea anything over there was up.