The Monday Peeve — The Roundup

Paula Light’s The Monday Peeve is all about a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week.

My peeve today is about Christmas trees. No, I don’t have anything against Christmas trees, but I do have an issue with their disposal. Where I live, the refuse company sends out notices to its customers regarding the collection of Christmas trees.68CF7220-2D82-4D96-B596-EC403696B1A2Notice the bold text in the above message. It reminds people to put their trees out on the night before their scheduled compost collection and to place them next to their compost bins.

The compost in our neighborhood is collected on Wednesdays. Since this Wednesday is the first non-holiday Wednesday since Christmas, this coming Tuesday night is when people are supposed to put out their trees for pick up the next morning. And yet, since a few days after Christmas, people have been hauling their trees out to the curb and leaving them there willy-nilly.5549A472-D1E2-43E6-A0D8-5CE2D2448A58281A5249-EF32-4E91-A1C8-2D0290EC59B0What’s the big deal, you ask? We walk our dog along these streets each day (and night) and she feels compelled to stop at each and every discarded tree to sniff and often to pee on them. And because there are so many, it adds considerably to the time it takes for her to make the rounds.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t complain. Our dog is 14 and I don’t how much more time she has left. She seems to enjoy stopping, sniffing, and, yes, urinating, on all these discarded Christmas trees, so as much as it pisses me off that people don’t do what they’re supposed to do, I want our old dog to get whatever gives her pleasure for however much longer she has.


The Monday Peeve — Out-of-Order

Drawing bloodI wasn’t planning on posting a Monday peeve today, but then this happened.

In advance of my upcoming surgery at the end of the month, I have to have a series of blood tests. My doctor wants me to have a “fasting blood test,” meaning no food or liquid after midnight on the night before having my blood drawn.

I contacted my a local blood lab last week and set up an appointment for 7:00 this morning so that I could have my blood drawn first thing and then have my first cup of coffee shortly thereafter. I arrived at the lab just before 7 and had to wait a few minutes until they opened the doors.

Once inside, I went over to an automated registration machine, scanned my appointment bar code, and sat down in the waiting room waiting to be called. I was the only one there.

After a few minutes, someone else walked in, went to the desk, and was taken immediately for her blood to be drawn. About five minutes later, someone else walked in, went up to the desk, and was also taken back immediately. WTF?

I stood up, went to the desk, and said to the woman sitting there, “I had a 7:00 appointment. I was supposed to be first, but two people have gone before me. What’s the deal?”

“Did you sign in?” she asked.

“Yes,” I answered, “I used the machine right over there,” pointing to the automated registration device.

“Oh, that machine is out-of-order,” she said. “You should have come to the desk and signed in with me.”

“Seriously? It’s not working? There’s no out-of-order sign. Besides, you saw me scan my registration. It seemed to work. And then you saw me sit down. Why didn’t you say something?”

“Because,” she said, “you didn’t register with me, so I didn’t know who you were and why you were here.”

I used every ounce of self control to refrain from strangling her. “Well, can you take me now? My appointment was for 7:00. It’s now twenty past.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, “but you missed your appointment time and we’re booked solid this morning. I’ll try to fit you in as soon as I can.”

I looked around and there were only two other people in the waiting room. I sat back down and waited, my empty stomach growling at me and my head starting to ache due to caffeine depravation.

Finally, at 8:15, my blood was drawn. I’m still pissed, and that is why I am submitting this post as my response to Paula Light’s The Monday Peeve.TMP

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