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Things That Annoy, Frustrate, or Baffle Me

This page is a constant work-in-progress and will be added to as I think of new things that get on my nerves! Its purpose is to provide a little laughter for you and to relieve the tension that these things produce within me—after all, they are all comparatively minor things, and not really worth that much stress.

For reference, there is no ranking associated with the numbering of these items. The numbers simply represent the order in which the frustrations occurred to me.

  1. Mendacious Beneficence: I have no use for celebrity or corporate charity fundraisers in which they put up low-value stuff that they own for auction, suckers bid on it, it sells for outrageous amounts of money, and the celebrity or organization then gets to claim that it is making a "charitable donation" from the proceeds. If they were really interested in being charitable, they would have made large donations from their own substantial coffers rather than auctioning off comparatively worthless belongings and donating large sums of money that other people gave them for the eBay-reject junk! They get to claim they were vastly charitable without it costing them much of anything. This sort of "charity" is nothing but a publicity stunt, and I refuse to ever support it.
  2. Well, that was pretty hostile. There's a bit more amusement behind the rest of these.

  3. Literacy Is Your Friend:
    1. There is no such word as "vorticey." The singular form of the word "vortices" is "vortex." If that's just too difficult to understand, then forget trying to talk fancy with the Latin plural and just say "vortex/vortexes."
    2. The word "predominate" is uncommonly used—at least in the correct way—and it is not an adjective. The word you are searching for is "predominant." Again, this isn't hard. "Dominate" is a verb; "dominant" is an adjective.
    3. If you could care less, then what you are saying is that you care. I think you mean that you couldn't care less.
    4. "Disinterested" does not mean "not interested." It means, roughly, "no personal stake or motive." "Uninterested" is the word you're looking for!
    5. If you are trying to say that something is certain, the word you want is "definitely." If you are trying to say that something is rebellious, the word you want is "defiantly." Please do not confuse the two. —And "definately" is not a word at all.
  4. "Reality-based Community": The use of this phrase by left-leaning blogs has ceased to be funny. Originally a moniker taken on in defiance of a Bush Administration official who used it disparagingly, it has now lost its punch. As the health care debate proved, the liberal blogs are no more in touch with reality than their counterpart Tea Party-aligned blogs. These days, the best quote I can think of to describe the relationship of reality and politics belongs to Obi-Wan Kenobi. "Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." It makes you wonder if that Bush official may have been in the right all along.
  5. So Is It Thoughtlessness or Malice?: It infuriates me when somebody pulls out right in front of me, forcing me to hit my brakes quickly (and probably shorten their lifespan), and then drives half the speed limit for no valid reason. In town, this means 20 mph. WHY? If you aren't going to go anything close to the speed limit, you're obviously not in a big hurry, so why not wait for the other driver to pass by instead of pulling directly in front of them? Short on cash and trying to get an insurance settlement from a personal injury lawyer?
  6. I Love Irony: In my current state of residence, there is a custom license plate that can come with the message "Choose Life." There are a couple of cartoon kids' faces on the plate. I've noticed, and this is not just my imagination, that the people with these are often among the worst drivers out there in terms of safety, not to mention obnoxious behavior. I'd like a plate saying "Choose Life: Don't Drive 85 on the Highway."
  7. Laws Apply to All: While we're on the subject of drivers, I would like to make a public service announcement. The right of way is not determined by any of the following:
    • Size of the vehicle,
    • Custom modifications or "cool" detailing/paint jobs of the vehicle,
    • Number of passengers inside the vehicle, except in cases of designated carpool lanes,
    • Gender of the driver in the vehicle (oh yes, this happens a LOT in the southeast),
    • Age of the vehicle,
    • How fast the vehicle was going before it reached the stop, unless it really did reach it first.
    Thank you!
  8. Government Inaction: The small town I live in has city-provided pickup of tree limbs and other natural debris if the owner of the property places it in the ditch. The crews come by with large trucks and pull partially off the road to get at the material, because the shoulders are not nearly wide enough for the trucks to move completely out of the flow of traffic. They have to have some of the crew in the road to halt traffic in alternating lanes while pickup is going on, and the roads hereabouts are all two-laned. With this in mind, does it make ANY sense that the usual time for debris removal is 7:50-7:55 a.m. on random (unpredictable) weekdays? It's a level of tone-deafness that puts Washington, DC politicians to shame.
  9. My Ph. D. is in Blogs, Googling, and Wikipedia: The Internet was supposed to usher in a new era of knowledge and information, and it has, but it is no substitute for intensive study. Worse, it has given certain types of people the idea that reading a few articles on the Internet makes them near-experts about a topic. A lot of people out there have decided that they are qualified to debate highly advanced concepts with true experts, and on the experts' own blogs. (For many, the Internet has also given them the idea that they have somehow "bucked the establishment" by learning over the Internet rather than through "the Man." These people have convinced themselves that when the real experts disagree with them, it's always out of jealousy, closed-mindedness to new technology, or a desire to protect the establishment.) For my part, I am not opposed to discussing subjects I'm not an expert on with other non-experts, but I get extremely offended if some blogger dilettante ignores my stated credentials and points me to Wiki articles about things I have studied for years, and I would not presume to do it to someone else. The flip side of this, of course, is that it's truly entertaining to watch the real experts smack them down.
  10. Stop It, This Is Not Helping: I suppose people think they are making life easier for library staff when they gather up books that they looked at but didn't check out and stick them back on a shelf somewhere. Certainly, if they take the time to do it right—which, granted, sometimes means knowing the basics of the Dewey Decimal System, but often just requires knowledge of the alphabet—then it does save staff a little work. But when this is done wrong—when books are haphazardly shoved back on the shelf, perhaps backwards, upside down, or out of order—not only does it create more work for the staff, but it makes it difficult for other people to even locate the books! Libraries do not go through every shelf at the end of every day and make sure the books are in order. It can't be done. Just, for once, I wish people would not attempt to clean up after themselves.
  11. Bah Humbug: Who actually likes Christmas-themed feature films? I cannot think of a single one—short of adaptations of A Christmas Carol—that is not either saccharine enough to induce Type II diabetes or a sad attempt to be "funny" in that idiotic, toilet-humor, slapstick way.