Monday, February 23, 2009

Get your "comment's" here!

~~ Guest Post By GoBucks! ~~

I've had it! If I could afford to do it, I would take out a full-page ad in every newspaper in America telling people to STOP using an apostrophe "s" at the end of words they mean to be plural! Please! An apostrophe "s" (in this case) indicates possession, people! This is one of the stranger phenomena I've seen in our murder of the English language. Why go to the extra trouble to ADD a punctuation mark that isn't needed? It makes no sense. It isn't like other errors we see, like substituting "their" for "there," which seems to be a common slip, even though I don't quite get that one either.... In this case, it's a matter of writing the word, thinking that it must be missing something, and adding the apostrophe just to be safe (so he/she doesn't look stupid). So now he/she has not only completely changed the meaning of the word, but it was obviously meant to be something else, and now he/she looks like an even bigger idiot! Restaurant and store signs *everywhere* are displaying this ridiculous error. Have you seen the story about the guy who travels across the country correcting typos like this on signs? I can relate! If only I could get paid for it....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Support heroes!

I found this on Couldn't have said it better myself. No matter what you think of the war, the government, or anything else, please support our troops. You can send them packages or letters through, Girl Scout cookies through, and prayers through the standard means. :) Don't neglect those who are giving their all to keep us safe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Long weekends

Widget Co. gave us President's Day off work. Hooray! A three-day weekend! Celebrate!

But wait. Why are we celebrating three-day weekends as "long" weekends? Who decided that a regular weekend should only be two days? I feel I could be much more productive with a 4 day work week and a 3 day weekend. Seriously -- who decided this?? Yeah, yeah, I hear what you're saying. Work weeks used to be six days. So? It's time for another change. Lots of companies are going to 9/80s (ever other Friday off) or 4/10s (every Friday off). Why isn't that the norm? Norms need to progress, change. Otherwise, men would still be wearing tricorn hats and women would still wear long dresses with high collars, even in 95 degree heat. That would suck. Two day weekends suck.

It's time to move forward. Time to move to the three-day weekend. Four day weekends every couple of months will now be our standard "long" weekends. Stand up and say "no more." Right now. Stand up. Yes, you. Stand up and say it with me: "No More Mondays!!!"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Local News

I live in So. Cal. We get rain about 10 times a year in a good year. So why is it that the local news broadcasts, even on a sunny day like today, have "Winter Storm Watch 2009" as one of their top stories? I understand them sending out reporters to the local mountains to show us the snow, but do we really need a reporter standing out in Fountain Valley, telling us it's not raining? Duh. How about just a short report telling us the accumulation up to now, the expected accumulation, how many days it will rain, and when it will stop?

Maybe it makes sense to those born in So. Cal, but I grew up in the Midwest, and lived in Upstate NY for a few years. They'd have a short report on the weather, only going beyond a few minutes when it was exceptionally cold (below freezing) or when there was going to be significant accumulation. Here, if it's below 50, they report on the "bone-chilling cold" (actual quote from a day it was 47 degrees), and tout the expertise of their "Meteorology Team" and their "Storm Tracker 7000" or whatever. Here's a news flash for ya, Channel 7 -- rain in HD looks pretty much the same as rain in regular def.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Doesn't it seem that there are more stupid people in the world than intelligent people? And doesn't it seem like they're always being stupid around you? There's a reason for it. Stupid people breed more. Case in point: Octomom. Fourteen children and not a clue how to pay for them. Now, I'm not saying that big families always equal stupid. My Grandpa had 9 sisters, and all were productive members of society (and contributed brilliance to my family, of course). But there does seem to be a correlation between stupidity and numbers. Anyone ever seen the movie Idiocracy? WeMo recommended it to me, and, while it's meant to be a comedy, it's a rather sad social comment on the future of the world. At the beginning, it shows a married couple, in their late 20s and obviously well-educated and well off financially, discussing the pros and cons of having children. They conclude that they aren't at the point in their lives where they can give a child everything it needs, so they put it off. Contrast that to the guy and his wife living in the trailer. They can't afford much of anything, and don't put any thought into their children's welfare. They just start breeding. And breeding. And breeding. As if giving the kids life is enough. Another example, people who bought ridiculously expensive houses with interest-only loans, without ever sitting down to figure out what the payments would be once the interest-only part was over. Or people who live in trailers and drive Lexuses (Lexi?). Then they're surprised when the repo man shows up at their door. What's the point of all this? If you can't afford it, don't do it. Kids, cars, houses, etc. You're just adding to the stupidity of the universe.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Down With Hallmark Holidays!

I walked into the drugstore near the end of January and was nearly blinded by all the pink and red. It was as though a mass of innards had exploded all over everything. It was utterly disgusting. After a moment of contemplating the mess, I realized it wasn't guts, but rather a bunch of Valentine's Day crap. It was no less disgusting. This is yet another ploy by marketers, retailers, and greeting card companies to force us to either buy stuff or feel guilty. Or, worse yet, make us feel all alone and unloved.

In the last week, I can't even count how many times I've heard commercials from jewelry stores saying crap like "show her you really love her -- get her some ridiculously expensive bauble." Yeah, like you can't show her you love her by shoveling the snow and warming up her car in the morning. Or by treating her to a romantic getaway without the kids. Or by sticking a sweet note in her lunch bag. (Ok, I kinda gagged myself on that last one.) The only way to show her you love her is to spend money. Lots of money. On something showy that will make her co-workers jealous. Blech! (It reminds me of the equally obnoxious car commercials saying this or that dealer will get you "the Mercedes you deserve." You know what? You don't deserve a Mercedes. You might want one. You might enjoy one. But there's no "deserve" about it. But now you feel bad if you don't have one.) Enough already!

Fight back. Take down the pink and red and join me in NOT celebrating Black Saturday. Refuse to buy into the hype, or, worse yet, BUY the hype. Don't buy any little teddy bears holding hearts, or heart shaped candy boxes, or even pink-frosted cookies. Resist, resist, resist.

Then go show the people you love that you truly love them. Spend time, not money.

(Thanks to for the poster!)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Go Bug Yourself

You know what else bugs me? Poor grammar. I suspect this will be the first in a long series of "bad grammar" posts that GB and I post.

It seems to have become fashionable lately to talk about "myself." Inappropriately. Now I don't expect everyone to use perfect grammar all the time, especially not when speaking informally, but this is a problem I hear seemingly everywhere, including formal business contexts. What do I mean? Here's an example I hear all the time: "If you have any questions, call myself or John." What??

"Myself" is a reflexive pronoun. That means it can only be used when the noun to which it refers precedes it in the sentence. Here are some examples: "I see myself in the mirror." "He feeds himself." "I dress myself." "She pats herself on the back." Get it? So what's wrong with the initial example? Only "I" can call "myself." I can scratch myself, wash myself, and scare myself. While I cannot physically tickle myself, grammatically I can. "You" can do nothing to "myself." I assume people use "myself" because they mistakenly think it sounds more educated. It doesn't. Trust me.

So if, for some bizarre reason, you ask people to "call myself" with questions, STOP IT!! You're bugging me!! They can "call me" with questions. They can "call John" with questions. They can "call me or John" (or, more politely, "call John or me") with questions. If you continue to use reflexive pronouns where non-reflexives are call for, I will be forced to pound yourself.

"Professional" Spam

I'm a lawyer. I work in an office that happens to be in the legal department of a large company in a specific industry (we'll call it the "widget" industry). The few hours I'm actually not in a meeting, and am able to get some work done, I sit at a desk, in front of a computer. I like to be able to focus, but I can't bring myself to turn off the notification that tells me I have a new email. In fact, I even set my email program to check for new emails every 1 minute. Yes, every single minute. Maybe I'm just lonely, and hope my friends will email me. Maybe I am just not terribly excited about being a widget lawyer. Whatever the cause, that's the result. Whenever I hear that little beep, I feel a tiny tingle of excitement. Is it my family? A good friend with great news? A guy I'm interested in asking me out? A group of coworkers inviting me to lunch? Sometimes, yes. That makes me happy, and after reading the note, I go back to my work with a smile on my face. But what about those other beeps? The ones that signify a less important email. If only there were a way to have a less cheerful sounding beep for those.

Maybe it's because it's the beginning of the year, but it seems like everyone has me on their email list. The State Bar Association is sponsoring this or that program. Sorry Bar, Widgets Inc provides all the Continuing Legal Education credits I need. Stop bugging me. Worse than the lawyer spam, though, is the widget spam. The area of law I deal with at Widgets Inc is very limited and highly specialized - federal regulation of widgets. I have no need to know about your upcoming "Building Widgets from A-Z" program or your "Going Green with Widgets" program. Depressed because it's another widget spam email, I dutifully go to the bottom of the email and hit "unsubscribe." Often, I get a response saying "We're sorry to see you go. It may take several days to complete your request." Why? It's just "delete" dude. Invariably, in the next 36 hours, I get more widget spam than I ever thought possible, as if they're using up a year's supply before they have to delete me. Grrrrr.....

I suppose it could be worse. I could be a gynecologist. Vagina spam would be much worse than widget spam, after all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Celebrating wrongdoing

~~ Guest Post By GoBucks! ~~

I have another bone to pick with the media, especially so-called "journalists." I am so sick of the Larry Kings of the world celebrating people like Ted Haggard and former Gov. Blagojevich. (I could write an entire novel about why I can't stand his show, but that's for another day.) They continue to feature them in interviews, advertising them over and over again, and giving them a platform to explain and/or defend their misdeeds. Why? Is this some kind of public therapy (particularly in Haggard's case)? Why has he been permitted to thrust himself into the limelight again, after he had finally gone away amidst a sex scandal? And who is so concerned that Gov. Blagojevich presents his "case" to the country, when he wouldn't participate in his trial and properly defend himself to the people of his state? Do the rest of us even care? He didn't even answer any of the charges, as far as I could tell. He gets the complete weirdo award so far this year, IMHO.

There are so many "real" issues that need to be addressed and that the public needs to be informed about; I wish the news organizations would leave this crap to the National Enquirer.

Phone Spam

As soon as the "Do Not Call" list came out, I signed up. "Finally," I thought. "I can enjoy a quiet evening without someone I don't know bugging me." Wrong. I forgot to read the fine print. Political groups and charities can still call. And they call. And call. And call. I have a short list of charities I support: the VFW, some medical charities, my schools, and about 3 others. That's it. I don't expect calls from them, since they get my money. But they're evil -- all of them! They sold my name to other "similar" organizations in exchange (presumably) for more names. Apparently, my name is in every database related to veterans, education, medicine, and the police. Yes, the police. A few years ago, I was in a charitable mood and when the Fraternal Order of Police called, I gave them some money. Big mistake. In the past month, every single day I've come home to a huge number of "missed calls" from "Unknown Number." About every two days, in the evening, while I'm relaxing, "Unknown Number" will catch me at home. I pick up, put on a neutral voice, and say "Hello." Nothing. They've used their stupid auto dialer to call me, and then no one is available to talk. Ugh. I'm being rejected by people I don't want to talk to anyway!! Every few calls, I'll actually get a live person on the line, who invariably addresses me as "Misses." I'm a "Miss." Or even a "Miz" if you prefer. Like I need a stranger to taunt me with my single status.... But I digress. So Mr. "Unknown Number" gets on the line and introduces himself, and tells me he's with some police-related organization. Not the Fraternal Order of Police (they did reach me once, and I made them take me off their list), but some other organization I've never heard of, but which has "Police" or "Law Enforcement" in the name. Grrrr. I've started keeping a list, because some of them aren't honoring their agreement to take me off their call list. I wonder what happens if you sue the police for harassment? So far, I'm up to eight different organizations, none of which I have ever supported (nor will I ever, because they're bugging me). I know times are hard because of the recession, and fewer people are giving to charities. I know the guy on the other end of the line is just doing his job. But I'm not interested. In fact, I'm so not interested, that I'm no longer going to give to ANY charities that don't have an up-front opt-out policy for name sharing. Unless, of course, they're offering a me a "Get Out of Speeding Ticket Free" card.