Why Are You Here?, Part Uno

The Grump is a participant of social media groups for social interaction and entertainment.  They can range from serious and political to irreverently humorous to specific topics such as tv shows, etc., and there’s always some schmuck wanting to ruin everyone else’s fun.  You have to ask, “Why are you here?”

For example:  The Grump belongs to a Andy Griffith Show Facebook fan page.  People discuss the show, ask questions, and generally interact, all light-hearted and fun… well, mostly.  Some of the questions are simply “what if” type scenarios.  One “what if” scenario might go like this…

George will ask: “Why didn’t Andy fire Barney for always being incompetent?”

Time-out:  Ok, we all know it wouldn’t have been funny if Andy had fired Barney and everything were totally serious.  We all know it is a farcical situation comedy that relies on the absurd to succeed and entertain viewers.  To continue, time-in…

In pops John:  “Because that’s not the way the show was written.”

😐

Really, John?  That’s your contribution, Caption Obvious?  Pretty sure everyone knows this.  You are not helping or even lebitimately contributing to the spirit of the conversation in any meaningful way.

John, dude, why are you even here?  Why did you join a discussion group if you want to discourage discussion?

5 Things I Will Never Understand

We don’t need no pre-amble, let’s just get to it.  The title is self-explanatory.

1. Why my printer cannot scan when it is out of ink/toner. I totally get why it cannot print or make copies, but why can’t it scan?  Why can’t fax?  The conspiracy theorist in me says it’s for no other reason than to force you to get out and buy more ink/toner.  That’s the big money-maker for them, anyway.

2. Typing states in forms.  When filling out a form you literally fill out every line… except the state.  You get a pull-down, instead.  You’re on a roll typing then have to come to a screeching stop and pick an option.  Eh, I guess they figure most people don’t know their state’s two-letter abbreviation.

3. Why there needs to be a “cancel” button on a toaster.  What the deuce?  Back in the day… when I walked to school in the snow uphill both ways… you simply pushed the lever up.  And it worked just fine.  Why wouldn’t that still work?

4. Why “the little people” donate to political campaigns.  After the election you are no longer important to them.  Plus, “neck-and-neck” races end up being 10 point blow-outs, anyway.

5. Why people thank Facebook group administrators for approving their membership in the group.  Is there a skeleton in your closet as to why they might not?

So there ya go.  A handful of life’s mysteries.

…and Go!

Stop it.  Just stop it.

Where you see this is primarily on social media, someone asking for a recommendation, i.e.: “Who is the best toenail clipper in Metropolis… and Go!”

Excuse me?

Fuck you.

I’m not your little personal assistant.  Asking for ideas and recommendations is cool.  Adding this tag at the end that treats everybody in the world as their personal concierge service is rude and tacky.  Just stop it.  You’re not that special to expect everyone to jump at your whim.

Even if you’re not appreciative, you should still show some couth and act like you are.

I can say truthfully when I see “…and go!” I will pro-actively NOT “go”, but I also know it’s something of an empty stubbornness on my part because you will invariably get 45 different people offering 45 different “bests”, which makes me wonder what people get out of it anyway… but that’s another topic for another post.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Concert Etiquette

Attending a loud rock concert is supposed to be a fun event. Oh, it has its drawbacks, i.e. tight crowds, price gouging for souvenirs and refreshments, herding around with the random masses, partial hearing loss for a day and a half, etc., but we’re willing to forge ahead for the entertainment. Right?

One would think. Yet some don’t seem to know this. There is a definite lack of consideration for others. People’s attitudes in everything anymore seems to be, “I got mine, fuck you!”, so why should a concert be any different?

It’s time we be reminded of some “guidelines” for concert attending. Some of these also apply to movies, sporting events, and other places where large crowds gather and attention to the event is desired.

1. Arrive early enough to get your souvenirs, get your refreshments, use the potty, and be in your seat when the lights go down and the music starts. A band often starts their set with a popular song, and here you are climbing over people and/or making them get up and move around awkwardly because you can’t manage your time. Sorry, not sorry, that’s rude.

2. Relating to one item in #1, potty before you sit down. Potty during intermission. Potty after the show is over.

3. Why are you attending a concert if getting up every 15 minutes to go get another beer is your #1 priority?

4. Hate to break it to you, but that audio/video footage from your phone is going to be crap. Too many people have no idea other people behind them actually want to see the show and will hold their phone up to record entire songs. Newsflash: I don’t want to see the show through your phone screen. Live in the moment, if you have to raise your phone above your own eyes, just… don’t.

5. Shades of point #1, the show is about 3 minutes from being over… the band is rocking and concluding with an over-the-top finish… and here you are climbing over people and/or making them stand up and move awkwardly around, missing the show’s climax… all because you want to “beat the traffic” on the way out. Really? Seriously? This is, by far, the most selfish and inconsiderate thing you can do at a concert.

6. …and I will catch crap for this, but… SIT DOWN!!! Especially if you’re in the balcony or far enough away from the stage the performers will never see you standing anyway. If you want to dance around and stuff, more power to ya, but go to the back and do it there so others can enjoy the show in their own way as much as you want to enjoy it.

Was There a Game?

Last week there was a reasonably important football game on television.  Whole days and drunken get-togethers are wrapped around this event, so for poops and cackles I will give a run-down how my day went.

First off, I normally do not watch football anymore.  I have a few favorite teams, but know few players, so there’s that.

The ridiculously long pre-game show I did not watch.  Nothing but repetitive crap, and I mean crap.  Mundane empty interviews.  Pedantic player profiles,  You get the idea.

The “start time” for the game was something like 5:30 pm, local time.  But that’s just the television start time.  The game itself, after the pomp and circumstances, overly-dramatic singing of the National Anthem, absurdly drama-ish flipping of the coin, long drawn-out player introductions, the meeting of a foot on the ball is usually 30 to 45 minutes after that.  I skipped that, too.

I tuned in roughly 6:20 pm, the 1st quarter was roughly half over.  One team was up 7-0, but I really hadn’t missed anything.  I no longer give a crap about the commercials, either.  Look, can we be serious?  The commercials have long been over-hyped for at least 30 years.  I’m sorry, but they’re no longer the big deal so many people still think they are.

Ok, so half-time is coming up, just about zero time, so I change the channel.  I have no interest in the ridiculously long performances, either.  I heard it was good.  Don’t care.  I had to give sufficient time so I didn’t tune back in until half way into the 3rd quarter.

Oh, last play, zero countdown… switch the channel, I’m gone.  Don’t need or want mind-numbing shallow post-game interviews, either.

Long story short, why isn’t it about the GAME anymore?  Does anyone really like all that superfluous crap?  And don’t even get me start on the insipid highlighting of celebrities throughout the entire game.  Does anyone really care?  Anyone?

25 People I Hate

“Hate” is such a strong word.  It is often hyperbole, and in the interest of honesty and fairness, I don’t actually hate these people… well, mostly… but they are damned annoying and need to be told so.  So, without further ado, I hate…

  1. People who hate lists like this.  You go do your happy-happy-joy-joy fantasy world elsewhere and leave me to my grumpiness.
  2. Iowa drivers (a common theme here), whether they’re driving a car on the road or a cart in the grocery store.  They’ll hog the left lane under the speed limit, or they’ll leave their cart in the middle of the aisle and wander off.  They have no clue there is someone behind them who wants to get somewhere.
  3. People who see a question on Facebook or in Amazon and respond with, “I don’t know.”  😐  Then the question wasn’t for you, was it, Slick?
  4. People who say “perfect” to every response.  I once had a receptionist in the doctors office ask me my phone number.  After I told her she said, “Perfect.”  😐  Of course it’s ‘perfect’, it’s my phone number and I know it.
  5. People who complain about ‘reply all’.  I’m sorry, but ‘reply all’ is a ‘cover my ass’ feature and has it’s place.  (Just don’t use it willy nilly.)
  6. People who say, “I hate Mondays.”, and, “Thank God it’s Friday.”
  7. Servers who abandon me and don’t check to see if I want a drink refill.
  8. Anything labeled “for your protection”.  It’s almost always for their protection, not mine.
  9. Non-fans at baseball games.  Baseball was so much better when only baseball fans went to games.  Now it’s all about entertainment and dot racing.
  10. People who don’t understand sarcasm.
  11. People who feel the need to “one up” everything someone else does.  (On a serious note, I think it’s a sign of insecurity.)
  12. 60 year old people still trying to look 20 yrs old.
  13. People afraid of the number 13.
  14. People who say, “Thanks for the add.” when approved to join Facebook groups.  Did you really think you’d be declined?
  15. People who won’t commit to something when invited.  You know the person, the one who says, “Sure, unless something better comes up.”
  16. Men who have “Man Caves”.
  17. Women who like Hello Kitty.
  18. People who show up to buy an item you’re selling for $50 then say, “I only have $40 on me.”  Sorry, Skippy, I can direct you to an ATM.  You knew damn well what the asking price is, and we didn’t make a prior agreement, so this is simply you being dishonest.
  19. People who look for a reason to be offended.
  20. People who, in social conversation, always swing the conversation back to themself.
  21. People who forget the “good old days” had their sucky parts, too.
  22. People driving huge vehicles and you watch them and it’s clear they really don’t know how to drive it.
  23. Men who walk in public around shirtless.  I’m sorry, that’s tacky.  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  24. People who don’t know how to park.
  25. People like me.  Seriously.  I get along better with people who are not like me.  People like me annoy the hell out of me.

So there ya go.  Maybe there will be a part two, I don’t know yet.

Rant: Stadium Naming

How much importance do you place in stadium names? How much effort do you put into keeping up?

For example, Yankee Stadium is Yankee Stadium. Say “Yankee Stadium” and everyone knows what you’re talking about. Same with Dodger Stadium. Even Wrigley Field is named after people and/or corporation, and Fenway Park is named after the neighborhood it is in, but they still have long-standing history and and tradition and are immediately recognizable.

But what about the more recent trend of stadium names changing every few years based on nothing more than who is willing to pay the most money? Guaranteed Rate Field, anyone? Third name for the same place, btw. I still call it Comiskey Park. If you were to walk up to me and mention a game in Truist Park I’d have to ask you which team or city. No lie. “Truist Park” means nothing to me.

I still call Oracle Park “Pac Bell Park”… it never had a legit name so I go with the first brain dead iteration. Oracle is what, the 4th or 5th iteration? I am a long-time Oakland A’s fan, yet as far as I am concerned they still play in the Oakland Coliseum (I know, originally Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, I’m not doing tongue-twisters, either), and always will. O.co, my ass.

Basically, stadiums names have become absurd and for the most part meaningless. When the name right’s holder sends me a check I will comply. Until then I feel zero obligation… Braves Field it is.

Rant: Everything’s a Chore… ATMs, Passwords, and Bears, Oh My!

Everything’s a chore

Computers and technology were supposed to make life easier.  Computers and technology were supposed to give us more free time.  Granted, most of us aren’t churning our own butter anymore, so there are certainly benefits to our modem lifestyle in the information age, but it’s not all a cakewalk, either.  Now, the following examples aren’t life threatening, they aren’t going to bring you to your knees, and they most certainly aren’t the most important thing you will deal with.  But they are annoying, frustrating, high blood pressure inducing… and they are most certainly unnecessary time stealers, and they’re all a byproduct of computers and technology.  Here’s just a few of them…

Getting a new debit card

I am the Treasurer for a local Toastmasters club.  The old debit card had expired and I got a new card in the mail.  Called and activated it and set the PIN.  So far, so good.  Then kept getting declined when I went to pay people’s dues, so I called the bank. Turns out I have to use it at an ATM as a second step, then it would work fine. *sigh*  Ok, thank you, I cheerily said.

So, I had to get in the car, drive to a bank, check my balance, and drive back home. Then it worked fine. *smh*

“For your protection…”

Last Saturday I had a photo shoot and on my way out of town stopped at a convenience store for some drinks for the ride.  My debit card (from a small local credit union) got declined.  Hmmm, that’s weird, I know there’s plenty of money in the account.  I try four times, declined every time, so I pull out a credit card and pay.

I then go to the ATM at said credit union which happened to be right next door.  The ATM looks suspicious like when I computer has been reset.  Had to go to the photo shoot, so I can’t call the credit union until Monday… which is another pet peeve of mine… you want people to abandon big banks and go local, then have someone to answer phones and deal with people during off hours.  But I digress.

Monday morning and I try the card again.  No go.  Good thing I had cash on me, which I normally don’t anymore.  I decide to visit said credit union branch in person.

To cut to the chase, through three visits to their ATM, and two visits inside to talk to a person, it turns out there was a “scheduled maintenance” (skeptical, there is no email evidence of such in my email) of the system on Saturday morning and my card usage was bad timing.  Then, because I tried four times, which is one more than the maximum of three allowed, my card was locked.

I’m sorry, but if it’s YOUR down time, then shouldn’t YOU be aware enough to make sure these things don’t happen?  Plus, back to the big bank vs credit union thing, big banks don’t have down times for “scheduled maintenance”, yet small banks and credit unions do.  It’s the 21st century, get with the program.

Passwords

How do you do your passwords for internet sites?  Do you have one for everything?  Do you mix them up?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what you want to do, you can’t do that.

You can’t have a single password for everything (which they say is a bad idea).  All require letters, but some require at least one capital letter, some require at least one number, some require at least one “special character” (i.e.: !@#$%, etc., and not all allow the same special characters), and none all have the same requirements, it’s a mix-and-match, so even if you wanted to have one password you can’t.

So, you have many different passwords.  Ok.  How do you remember them all?  Do you write them down on a piece of paper or a computer file?  They say you’re not supposed to do that either, btw.

How about one of those password organization sites?  I would think the chances of that getting hacked is greater than little ol’ me getting hacked.

There is no perfect answer.  And don’t even get me started on requirements to change my password every so often.

Money and ATMs

One of the great things where small banks and credit unions shine over the big banks is doing the small things to make life easier for the customer.  (That’s you and me, btw.)  One of these things is allowing ATM withdrawals in $5 increments.  This is so handy.  Sometimes I just need $5 or $10 for something small, and there is no need to force me to drain my account more than necessary.

Within the last year two of my credit unions have changed their policy and now only allow $20 increments.  This does not serve me well, and removes one of the key points for being with a credit union.  If I’m going to be treated like I’m at a big bank I might as well do business with a big bank and gain the added benefits, like the ability to call on a Saturday evening and talk to someone and get my issues solved.  (See what I did there?)

Conclusion

This turned out wordy.  😛

Servers: Respect is a two-way street

We’ve all been there.  Sit down for a meal at a restaurant, giving our order to the server, and the server asks, “Would you like to add <insert special feature here>?”

You think that sounds good, so you say, “Yes, please.”

Fast forward about half an hour and you’re presented with the bill and there’s an unexpected charge included.  😐  What the deuce?

Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about adding a skewer of shrimp.  Of course that’s going to cost more and is usually listed on the menu.  We’re talking about adding a side of BBQ sauce, or some onions, things that are small and insignificant and not listed on the menu.  (Steak houses are really bad about charging $2 for 2c worth of onion.)

There’s a place we frequent that has everything ala carte.  In other words, if you want fries with your burger you have to order fries separate.  At this place I ask if I could substitute a croissant for the bun on a chicken sandwich.  The server said, “Sure.”  The whole way it went down told me it would be an even exchange.  Nope, it was an extra $2.  (This place also does not list prices for it’s specials.)

Bottom line, it’s dishonest in a lying-by-omission way, not to mention rude, to take an order that includes a charge and not warn the customer they will be upcharged.  Stop it.  Just stop it.

One more thing…

Servers… know your job.  And I mean prices.  For example, almost no menu anyplace includes prices for soft drinks… so I ask.  (I have an arbitrary limit I’m willing to pay.)  The most common answers I get are, “I think it’s <whatever>.”, or simply, “I don’t know.”, followed by them just standing there like a statue.  Ummm, could you go check?

I will say yesterday we had a wonderful server who knew the price and quoted it confidently.  Unfortunately, sodas were $3, which is way too much, so we had ice water… which is better for us anyway.  That being said…

I make them go check because I’ve been burned several times when I accepted the, “I think…”, answer and it turned out to be more.  Servers, know your job, that includes prices.

Summer is here, and why that’s not necessarily a good thing

Yesterday was the first day of Summer, and The Grump© is not happy about it.  Don’t get The Grump© wrong, The Grump© likes long sunny days just as much as the next (third-)person… and that’s why The Grump© is not happy about it.  Hear The Grump© out.

When The Grump© lived in California Spring started in mid-February, even in the northern part of the state where The Grump© lived.  That was nice.  Gave everyone plenty of time to enjoy it.

In Iowa, Spring might start in early March or it might start in mid-May, like this year.  Iowa has had almost exactly one month of Spring… and now the days are going to get shorter and shorter for the next six months.  The Grump© feels cheated.

😐

The Grump© loves Iowa, only a few things that suck… this is one of them.