The Monday Peeve — Chomping at the Bit

Every Monday, Paula Light publishes her “The Monday Peeve” prompt in which she gives us “the chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again.”

I’m going to do a lot of blowing off today. Are you ready for my rant?

This may sound petty, but as I admitted in my provocative question post last Wednesday, I’m a peeveblogger. And one thing that peeves me off is when people use the expressing “chomping at the bit.” Why does that peeve me off? Simple. It’s not the correct idiom, which is “champing at the bit.” Yes, it’s “champing” not “chomping.”

50D55F6F-302E-43CD-A9EA-D01121F93BCFThe idiom comes from horse racing. A bit is part of the apparatus that goes in the horse’s mouth and connects to the bridle and reins so the horse can be controlled and directed by the jockey on its back. The bit fits into a toothless ridge of the horse’s mouth, so the horse never really bites the bit. But it can grind his teeth or jaw against the bit, and if it does, it means that the horse is either nervous, or really excited about racing. That’s how the phrase “champing at the bit” entered everyday communications: to indicate extreme eagerness.

Most people use the phrase today to indicate when someone is eager or anxious to do something. They are said to be champing at the bit, not chomping at the bit, nor chomping on the bit. So what am I supposed to do when someone says or writes “chomping at the bit”? Am I supposed to just sit back, swallow hard, and let whoever said or wrote it mangle and abuse the English language? Probably some, or maybe most, of you think I should.

While I’m on a roll, it also drives me crazy when people say “flush out” when what they really mean is “flesh out.” As I’m sure you know, to flesh out an idea is to give it substance, whereas to flush out something is to reveal a thing previously concealed. Flesh out and flush out are not synonymous or interchangeable.

Or how about those who say that they could care less, when what they really mean is that they couldn’t care less? “I couldn’t care less” means that it’s not possible for me to care any less about the subject at hand than I already do. On the other hand, “I could care less” literally means “I care more than I might seem to.” If you could care less, you’re saying that you care a little and it’s possible that you could care even less, which is the opposite of not caring at all.

And, finally, if you don’t know the difference between the Latin abbreviations “e.g.” and “i.e.,” don’t use them. Use, instead, “for example” or “that is.”

Okay, I’m done.TMP

The Monday Peeve — Weather Apps

iPhone weather app logoMy wife and I had just finished watching the final, season two episode of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime last night, which is a very good series if you can stream Amazon Prime shows. Anyway, it was about 9 pm and time for me to take our dog out on her final walk of the day. It had been raining on and off all day long so I got up and looked out of the window to see if it was raining. The sidewalk out front was wet, of course, but I didn’t see any sign of rain.

I opened up my iPhone’s weather app and it told me that it was currently cloudy and no more rain was expected until midnight. Then, just to double check, I opened two other weather apps I had downloaded. Accuweather told me that there would be no rain for at least the next 120 minutes. And my Weather Underground app assured me that I needn’t worry about rain until around 11:45 pm.

And so armed with three professional weather forecasts, I got my dog into her harness, attached her leash, and, leaving my umbrella behind, we set out on our walk.

We were about half way through the typical 20-25 minute walk when the downpour began. We sought shelter in an alcove in front of a small apartment building. I was hoping to wait out the deluge, but after about 10 minutes, my dog was getting antsy, so we braved the rain.

Needless to say, we were both drenched by the time we got back home. And I was pissed.

But it’s a new day and my wife and I I need to hit the grocery store today. Fortunately my weather app says no rain until 3 pm. And it’s only 12:30, so this is a good time to….

WTF!? It’s pouring out!

My Monday peeve is directed at smartphone weather apps, which are neither very smart nor very accurate.

Written for Paula Light’s The Monday Peeve prompt.TMP

TMP — Pay Attention, Dammit

7702A965-1F3A-47EA-ACB9-620D9D6C462FEvery Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve post, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

Today, I’m going to focus on people who walk their dog (or dogs) while talking, typing on, or looking at their smartphones. Focusing on a smartphone while dog walking is distracting at best and potentially dangerous at worst. And it’s also inconsiderate of others, both human and canine.

Between my wife and I, we walk our dog four to five times a day and we look at walking her as our primary responsibility. We have our phones with us in case of emergency, but we don’t walk our dog and use our smartphone at the same time. Sure, I may go to a park bench and sit down to give our dog a rest and whip out my smartphone to check my newsfeed or the latest sports scores. But that’s for a few minutes at most, and when we start walking again, my phone goes back into my jeans pocket.

But I see people all the time who are walking their dogs and paying attention only to what’s on their smartphones. I’ve even seen one woman trip over her dog because she was texting with one hand when the dog on the leash stepped in front of her to smell something. She took a nasty fall and scared the shit out of her dog. I mean literally, the dog took a shit right there and then.

I’ve come across people whose dogs haven’t been properly socialized or aren’t well trained. The dog will, much to the surprise of their preoccupied owners, go after my dog. If they’d have looked up from their phone, they would have seen me and my dog coming and made sure that their own dog was under control. And then there are those who don’t even notice that their dog took a dump, much less interrupt their screen time to clean up after their dog.

So my rant today is aimed at all of those dog owners who pay more attention to their smartphones than they do to their dogs.TMP

The Monday Peeve on Tuesday

PG&E LogoPaula Light, over at Light Motifs II, has this weekly thing she calls The Monday Peeve. She says that it’s “a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again.”

Well, I know it’s Tuesday, but I have some steam I need to blow off, and it’s directed at my utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, or PG&E.

Now in the grand scheme of things, I don’t have that much to complain about. The power company officials started notifying 200,000 customer accounts across 16 counties yesterday that their power may be preemptively shut off in the middle of the week, as they monitor dangerous weather conditions (e.g., dry conditions coupled with high winds). And this is just two weeks after an unprecedented series of intentional blackouts that left 2 million people across the state without power.

But that’s not my peeve with PG&E, since I was not one of the 2 million or will be one of the 200,000.

My complaint is that I’ve been notified that my electricity will be temporarily interrupted this Thursday night from 9 pm through 6 am Friday morning in order to “safely replace an electric power pole” on my block.

So what’s the big deal, you ask? A nine hour outage mostly when I’m sleeping. Oh boo hoo. Such an inconvenience. Stop whining, Fandango. Right?

Well, here’s why I’m pissed. This “repair” was originally scheduled for mid-July. I got the notice in the mail and prepared for the outage. I froze two water-filled, 2-liter soda bottles in my freezer and put them in my refrigerator overnight so that my food wouldn’t spoil. I bought a small, battery operated lantern, some flashlights, and a bunch of candles at the hardware store, and I explained to my cat and dog what was going to happen so that they wouldn’t freak out.

But the blackout never occurred. No explanation from PG&E. Nothing. I figured that they must have repaired or replaced whatever they needed to repair or replace and the power to my house was spared. Oh happy day.

But then I received another letter from PG&E earlier this month saying that the work that didn’t happen in July was rescheduled to October 13th starting at 9 pm. Fine. I froze two more 2-liter bottles of soda and put them in the refrigerator and brought out my previously purchased lantern, flashlights, and candles. And this time, I warned my out-of-town houseguests to make sure all of their devices were fully charged before they went to bed that night.

Guess what. Nothing happened. Again. No power outage. No explanation. Until this past Saturday, when I got another letter in the mail from PG&E telling me that the work is now scheduled for this Thursday night/Friday morning. So here we go again.

Maybe the third time will be a charm.Monday Peeve

The Monday Peeve — Trash Talk

Paula Light has a new prompt. She calls it “The Monday Peeve” (aka, “TMP”), and the idea, Paula says, is to give us an opportunity to vent, to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week.

Alrighty then. I’m going to vent/blow off some steam by doing some trash talk. I’m an urban dweller and one of the prices we urban dwellers pay for the convenience of living in the middle of all the action is the high concentration of other human beings living in close proximity and the volume of trash they generate.

Most people put their trash in proper receptacles, like trash bins. But there are some people who seem to just drop their trash, well, wherever. Yesterday, while walking the our dog, we came across this:D99FE793-4375-445D-843D-B64CDC0366A1I mean what the hell, people? The city provides large trash receptacles every three or four blocks. Are you too damn lazy to carry your trash to one of them? Or to take your garbage home with you and put it in your own trash bin? Instead you just drop it anywhere on the sidewalk? WTF is wrong with you?

If I ever see anyone just drop their trash in the street, I’m going to pick it and run up to them and dump it on their heads.

Okay. I feel much better now. Thank you, Paula.