TMP — Store Brands

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. My peeve today is about store brands.

I regularly shop at two grocery stores, Safeway and Whole Foods Market. These stores have always carried store brands, which are similar to national brand products, but less expensive. However, I prefer to buy brand name products. Maybe it’s all in my head, but that’s just how I am.

Safeway’s store brand for as long as I can remember is “Lucerne.” It recently also started offering products under the “Signature Select” brand. Whole Foods Market’s store brand is labeled “365.” Up until recently, these store brands made up about 20-25% of what was stocked on shelves, in the refrigerated compartments and in freezers.

But I’ve noticed that over the past year, at both Safeway and Whole Foods, these store brand items have been getting much more room on the shelves, the refrigerated compartments, and the freezers. Depending upon the product, in some cases, 50% or more of the products available are such store brands.

And that means that these stores stock fewer and fewer of the brand name products that I’ve been buying for years. In some instances at both Safeway and Whole Foods, if you don’t want to buy a store brand, you’re shit outta luck.

And that pisses me off.

TMP — Christmas Songs

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

My peeve today is similar to Paula’s, who complained about people assuming that she celebrates Christmas, which she doesn’t. My peeve is about people assuming that I want to hear Christmas songs, which I don’t.

Yes, I’m a bit of a scrooge, but I’m just not a fan of Christmas music, but it’s close to inescapable from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day. Hey listen, I know a lot of you who are reading this love Christmas songs. Some of you may go caroling between now and Christmas. That’s fine. Whatever floats your boat, you know? Christmas music sinks my boat.

There are a lot of radio stations that turn to all Christmas music all time time starting right after thanksgiving. Which is fine because I don’t typically listen to those stations. My preferred radio station is the SiriusXM Classic Vinyl channel. I listen to it in my car and I have it playing as background music in my home. So basically all the time.

Well, starting December 1st, SiriusXM’s Classic Vinyl started playing Christmas songs from classic rock artists about every fourth song. And everybody knows that the absolutely worst Christmas songs are those recorded by classic rock artists.

I swear, if I hear Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” one more time I’m going to break something. And then there’s Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or Bon Jovi’s “Back Door Santa.” Ugh!

I am so looking forward to December 26th, when this, too, shall pass. At least until next year at this time.

TMP — Junk Mail

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

I know that today is Tuesday and I wasn’t planning on posting a Monday peeve yesterday because I was in a fairly good mood for most of the day. Then I went to my mailbox at the end of my driveway late yesterday afternoon and my mood changed.

What I found stuffed into my mailbox had to be ten pounds worth of junk mail. Catalogs from Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, Lamps Plus, The Sharper Image, and a number of other retailers were crammed in there. Also, there were at least four different catalogs from children’s toy companies because my wife has ordered kids’ toys for our grandchildren.

And in addition to all the catalogs, there were leaflets, brochures, and fliers ranging from senior living communities to the local shopper’s guides to home improvement services to real estate agents.

These catalogs and other pieces of junk mail move, unread, directly from my mailbox to my recycling bin. As far as I’m concerned, anything in my mailbox that doesn’t contain a check gets tossed.

And I get steamed thinking about what a total waste of not only my time, but of resources (e.g., paper, ink) all of this crap consumes. How many forests were destroyed to produce all of these catalogs and junk mail? Even the hapless mail carriers get overloaded having to deal with tons of junk.

So yeah, I’m a day late with my Monday peeve, but I’m peeved nonetheless.

TMP — Wildlife

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

Since we moved from the city to suburbia in early 2020, we have been plagued by wildlife destroying our plants and yard. We’ve got deer eating the leaves off of our trees and plants, destroying many of them. We’ve had gophers and moles building tunnels and poking holes all over our lawn. And now this:

Last night a whole litter of baby raccoons crossed my driveway and invaded my front yard.

Sheesh, we should never have left the city for the burbs.

TMP — WordPress Is At It Again

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. What pisses me off today is that The WordPress iOS app is screwing with me again.

It was almost 13 month ago, shortly after Apple introduced iOS 14 for its iPhones, that WordPress launched version 16.0 of its iOS app. Suddenly the WordPress app didn’t recognized that I was logged in to WordPress, so I could neither like nor comment on posts because the app didn’t recognize me.

Last November and December, and even three or four months into this year, I spent a whole lot of time exchanging messages with the happiness engineers trying to get them to resolve these issues. Unfortunately, to this day, while it now works most of the time for most posts, there are still some situations where I am unable to like a post or to leave a comment.

But most recently, apparently with the latest update to the WordPress iOS app, if I visit a site, either from my reader or from links in my notifications, when I go to like a post, I get a message saying “You and X other bloggers like this.” But my Gravatar doesn’t show up, as it normally does after I like a post. See below.

So then I refresh the page to find that my “Like” is no longer showing up!

Then I go to the Reader and read the post there (as oposed to visiting the actual site). On the Reader I tap “Like,” and go back and visit the site again. This time, my Gravatar shows up, but it doesn’t say “You and X other bloggers like this.” But it does show that 6 bloggers, rather than 5, liked the post.

I’m really pissed that, after more than a year, WordPress can’t seem to figure out how to get its iOS app to work correctly when it comes to liking posts and leaving comments. And it requires more steps and more time for me to try and like and comment. And even then, it doesn’t work, more often than not.