0

The Five W’s (and H)

(Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How for you non-journalists)

Image result for brain cartoon

This is what happens when my brain doesn’t have enough to do:

Who decides when the orange barrels go up for a construction project? Sometimes they go up weeks before the project and sometimes they magically appear the day before. My theory is that sometimes they have nowhere else to store them.

Image result for road construction barrels

Who was the person responsible for the company needing to put “for external use only” on curling irons to prevent another lawsuit?

Image result for curling iron meme

Who decided that making robocalls from various area codes would really make a difference in the number of people who pick up? Why would I answer a call from Wichita more readily than one from Washington or the local campaign office?

What is the point of a clock in an emergency room? So a person can tell the staff exactly how long they’ve been irritated?

Image result for angry clock

What happens if I don’t feel amazing when I read a blog I’m following? Do they lose one amazing follower and gain a slug?

What would happens if you took Sominex (a sleeping pill) with two cups of coffee?

Image result for too much coffee

 

Where do old soldiers fade away to? (Douglas MacArthur: “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”)

Where did the leprechauns get gold in the first place?

Where do fruit flies come from? Ours seem to appear by spontaneous generation.

When do the cows come home? I’ve always heard it as an expression meaning some time in the future, like when pigs fly. Pigs still aren’t flying, but I think cows come home somewhat frequently. Maybe there’s some kind of hierarchy among the cows, the pigs, and hell freezing over?

Image result for pigs flying

 

When do time travelers get a chance to wash their clothes and check email?

When do texters/tweeters have time to think about what they’re “saying”?

Image result for texting fails

Why do I always panic when I have to get a specimen for the doctor? It’s not like my kidneys and intestines are going to stop working for that one day.

Why do some people slow down to 60 mph on the freeway when they see a police car on the shoulder two lanes over? The trooper is not going to give you a ticket if you stay at the limit (70 mph).

Why can cats and small dogs push large dogs around?

Image result for cats and dogs

How do some of the truly reprehensible political ads get on the air? Is there someone who wants to be known as being that nasty?

How many digital pictures of someone’s child must I look at before I can claim eye fatigue?

How much time does the average shopper spend critiquing the purchases of the person ahead of them in line?

Image result for cats shopping

(pictures courtesy of Google Images)

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11

If I Had Designed Suri

I recently saw a commercial that has Suri answering questions about AT&T’s mobile plans. For those of you living in a corner of the world that Apple has not yet conquered, Suri is the iPhone’s voice-activated digital assistant. She has a calm soothing voice that would drive me crazy.

The ad reminded me of the original ads for Suri. She was shown answering all types of questions: How far is the moon? Where’s the closest Thai restaurant? Is it going to rain tomorrow?

My car can tell me where the closest Thai restaurant is. What I really need to know is whether they have ever unintentionally poisoned someone. Or if anyone returns for a second visit. Or if it’s going to cost as much as a month’s rent.

If you ask five forecasters about the weather, you will get five different answers. What I would rather know is the percentage of the drivers in my area who turn into turtles  when the pavement gets wet.

Of course there are other things that I think would be useful:

Who scheduled a concert the same night the football and hockey teams are in town and how do I contact them?

Who decided to put the male enhancement drugs next to the sleep aids in the pharmacy?

Where is one of the sixty-eight empty spots the sign outside the parking structure said were available?

When will it be safe to remove the mulch around my plants?

What time will I be able to pick someone up at the airport following the on-time flight that was actually a half hour early but held up on the tarmac for an hour and had its luggage mixed in with five other flights?

Which candidate is using more of those masked phone numbers to make calls to get my vote?

Who decided that sales calls could be blocked but political campaign ads could not?

What route are the salt trucks taking?

How long is the freeway really going to be down to one lane for construction?

What is the perfect gift for a bride and groom who obviously have no taste based on their (very expensive) registry?

What does a room freshener called Fiji smell like?

Does this dish contain black pepper? (I’m allergic)

Is the police car behind me just driving along or is it watching my driving?

Is the impossibly slow car in front of me turning off soon or should I go around?

Who is wearing half a bottle of cologne and what is it so I never get it by mistake?

Will this cold remedy actually make me feel better?

What is that horrible smell in the break room? Is it a person or food?

What niche does this blog fall into?

IMG_20150310_174337399          IMG_20141216_141551341          20141214_220950-1

2

At Sixes and Sevens

I love this phrase because it’s just obscure enough that people think they should know what it means. (To be in a state of confusion or disarray.)

This post was intended to be about things that give me pause, but while checking on the phrase’s origin, I found some things to add to the list.

I had thought that the expression referred to numbers in a game of chance that were the riskiest and therefore led the gambler to some confusion about whether or not to make the bet.

That is true, but the better story comes from the possible second origin. I am still slightly at sixes and sevens about the whole thing.

England has something called an order of precedence for their livery companies. A livery company is a trade association and does not have anything to do with horses (which confused me very much the first time I read through the description of the dispute.)

The livery of Merchant Taylors (tailors) and the livery of Skinners were both chartered in 1327. They became the sixth and seventh trade associations in England. There is no surviving record of which was chartered first, but they started fighting about it almost immediately. Wouldn’t they have had to be chartered at the same place? Did someone bribe the clerk to change a date? The English were pretty fussy about their hierarchies.

It got so bad that in 1484 the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Robert Billesden, decided that at the Feast of Corpus Christi (how many know when that is?) the associations would swap places and feast in each other’s halls. It seems to be that skinners and tailors would attract a completely different type of crowd. Perhaps leg of boar one year and pheasant the next? Whiskey and mead? I love the mayor’s title.

The associations still swap places every year. They are still known as liveries. Both are part of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies (the top 12 in the listing). Sadly, the armor makers did not make the cut. English hierarchy remains alive and well in 21st century Britain.

One last note: the liveries maintain the word “worshipful” in their title (e.g., Worshipful Company of Fishmongers – #4). It’s not clear who they were worshipping, God or King. I think it was basically the same at the time. I would guess neither today. We just don’t have that kind of tradition here in the U.S.

Why do medieval English feasts always make me think of a bunch of people sitting around in the semi-dark eating greasy joints of some animal? Somebody there had to be eating the rest of it.

Moving on:

Was there anyone else whose first reaction to last week’s mega-storm on the east coast was to make sure it wasn’t going to hit them before it got to its destination? And be happy that it was going somewhere else?

Do politicians running for President get as tired of listening to themselves as the rest of us do? I think it should be like Family Feud: two candidates go head to head to see who can guess what Americans really want. Then they’ll know what they should promise (well aware that they won’t be able to do it.)

Why would someone come into a mega-store and ask whether we carry Amazon Fire Sticks? Do they not understand the concept behind Amazon?

Also unclear on the concept: the lady who returned her slow cooker saying that it cooked too slowly. (Yes, it did work correctly.)

If an airline can claim that they have arrived on-time even though they have to sit in queue for an hour and a half, why doesn’t that principle apply for arriving for the meeting they scheduled around your flight?

It’s ironic that they originally built Washington, D.C. on a swamp. I think some of the original residents may still be wandering the government halls.

I did not realize that there are Lego sets now that need to be locked down because they cost more than $100.

I think I need to buy one of the tablets they make for toddlers. They look totally indestructible.

How many kids appreciate (or can even see) the color gradations in a 156-color box of Crayons?

Why can you buy (really) inferior brands of chocolate at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter that are not available the rest of the year? Is it just a sideline for a wax company?

Is your beloved cheap, broke, or chocolate-blind if he/she buys you one of those atrocities? Is it worse to be cheap or chocolate-blind?

Why can’t I find any cards to send for Groundhog Day?

3

Love/Hate

Suburban Hobo (http://suburbanhobo.com/) tagged me for the Love/Hate challenge. The rules are below.

  1. List 10 things you love.
  2. List 10 things you hate.
  3. Tag other people to take the challenge.

Love ❤

  1. Cool summer nights so I don’t wake up in the morning tired and sticky (no AC).
  2. Watching fireflies. We’ve had quite a few this year.
  3. Lying in the grass watching the clouds.
  4. Having the cats come up and nuzzle me.
  5. Watching the hedgehog eat worms. He’s amazingly fast. It’s a little scary seeing how quickly he scarfs, chews and licks his lips. (Do hedgehogs have lips?)
  6. Customers who appreciate my help.
  7. Thrift stores – never know what I might find there.
  8. My “dumb” phone. All it does is call and send/receive texts. I have no ability to stay connected 24/7, and I am really happy about it.
  9. Doctors who actually listen to what I say. I’ve started to see two holistic mental health professionals, and they are wonderful!
  10. Clear nights where I can see the stars and moon. Even if I see them when I get up for work.

Hate (more intensely dislike, except #10)

  1. Not being able to go into a bookstore and browse the shelves. I didn’t like it when Border’s and friends forced the small booksellers to close. I really don’t like that even those behemoths are being forced out by Amazon, et al.
  2. Getting the worms out for the hedgehog. My husband usually does it but he’s out of town. They come in wood chips that are about the same color. I can only tell that I have a worm because it’s cooler than the wood.
  3. People who are constantly connected to technology and still don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the world.
  4. The amount of roadkill I see on the local roads.
  5. Road construction on every major road around here.
  6. People who say they will do something and then don’t do it with no explanation.
  7. People who let their children run amok in public.
  8. Cleaning the litterboxes. The cats supervise and immediately test out the clean litter.
  9. Customers who get nasty because we are out of some product. It’s nothing personal, really.
  10. The Internet being so tone-deaf. I don’t like always needing to use smiley faces to show that I’m trying to funny, not being a jerk. L

Below are the blogs I tagged. I was a little confused about this part. I’ve seen people list from zero to ten people. If you choose to accept the challenge, feel free to distribute your largesse in any way you choose. If you do not choose to accept the challenge, please ignore the previous sentence. J

Purr and Roar (http://purrandroar.com/)

A Dog Called Storm (https://dogcalledstorm.wordpress.com/)

Creekview Carol (http://creekviewcarol.com/)

Mother Hen Diaries (http://motherhendiaries.com/)

PrairieChat (http://prairiechat.com/)

Robynchristi (https://robynchristi.wordpress.com/)

The Divine Peach (https://thedivinepeach.wordpress.com/)

The Weekly Cheese (https://theweeklycheeseblog.wordpress.com/)

 

 

7

My Inquiring Mind

Questions that have been roaming my brain recently:

Why are we being invaded by June bugs in May?

Why do some people get allergies as kids and outgrow them and some get them as adults? Do the kids just shed them onto some random adult? Can I find some obnoxious child to pass mine to?

Why do those drug ads on TV tell us to talk to our doctors about their products? Do they think the doctors don’t already know about them? Besides, why would I want to talk to my doctor about ED drugs?

How did women survive the heat back when they had to wear full-length dresses and all those other layers? No A/C and most of them couldn’t just lay around and fan themselves all day.

What was the driver thinking when he passed 3 cars on a blind curve? I know what I was thinking coming the other direction. It’s weird how long it seems to take the brain to realize there is a car coming toward you and there’s nowhere to go.

Why is the Store Director yelling (yes, really) at my Team Leader for not having enough people in the deli when she now has to live with the computer telling her who can work which hours?

Why do I open my Xfinity newsfeed to see yet another story on one of the Real Housewives of Wherever and open my MSN newsfeed to see that 1400 Indians have died from the heat? Maybe because I was able to choose mostly foreign news sources on MSN?

Why are they still heating our Receiving area? It’s in the eighties and humid; and all we do back there is unload boxes. Seems they could save some money there.

Speaking of boxes – why do they tape them shut, then label them not to be cut open. Isn’t that what box-cutters are designed to do?

We don’t have A/C. The house stays cool in the summer until the first really humid day. So why did we have to get high humidity before high heat this year? (Of course, it’s supposed to drop 25 degrees in a couple of days.)

Why is the bedroom in the northwest corner of the house 10 degrees colder in the winter and 10 degrees hotter in the summer?

Why did the county put up a sign on a local road saying, “Road construction coming soon”? Like a movie trailer. Of course, one day the road was at a standstill while they paved it because no one knew “soon” had come.

If airbags are for safety, why is the only injury I’ve ever gotten in an accident was when the airbag pushed my teeth through my lip? (Including the times I rolled a car and was broadsided by a tow truck towing a car.)

Why do some cats see shorts as an invitation to get on your lap? (Oooh look – bare skin! It needs fur!)

Totally unrelated observation: There was a man in the store today who looked just like the pictures I’ve seen of Rasputin – right down to the spooky eyes (my guy had less beard).

(BBC Archive)

12

I Want to Meet the Person Who…

Came up with the Starbuck’s drink that uses chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, and milk. Oh yeah, and coffee. I read somewhere that the large size has around 1200 calories. Do people really want to use up two-thirds of their recommended daily calorie allotment before they even look at food? I guess you could ask for low fat milk.

Decided that Christmas should start the day after Halloween. Do stores really want to advertise that the chocolate Santas will be two months old before they make it into someone’s stocking?

Designed women’s suede boots to be worn outside. How chic is it to arrive at a party and have to immediately excuse yourself to clean your boots before the salt permanently stains them? Or walk around with stained boots?

Thought up carrying a small dog as an accessory. I’m not convinced the dog really enjoys the crowds and the noise. And I have never seen one allowed to pick out his own food or toys. Not even a Halloween costume.

Decided that women weren’t injuring their feet and calves enough in 3” heels and introduced 4” and 5” shoes. And then thought up the ad campaigns to get young women to wear them.

Introduced the idea of “No Poo.” (Which, thankfully, has fallen out of favor.) And convinced a lot of women that not washing their hair for six weeks would be good for it. Hair is dead. Not shampooing every day to allow the natural oils to do their work? Good. Looking like a refugee from a ‘60s commune? Not so good.

Has convinced some people that a giant inflatable Santa looks good next to a Nativity scene on their front lawn. Two different concepts of Christmas. At least separate them by a sidewalk. Santa blowing over onto Jesus is not festive.

Decided not to commercialize Thanksgiving. You’ve missed untold opportunities for people to hang turkey ornaments on their outside trees, buy chocolate turkeys, and exchange tacky cards. Would you please talk to whoever is in charge of Christmas and Easter?

Sold people on the idea that they need a separate set of dishes for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Not serving dishes or candy dishes. Full soup-to-nuts sets. (Does anyone know that phrase anymore?) I know there are people with enough room to store all that stuff. Do they really shop at Walmart?

Designed some parking lots so all the handicapped spots are down one lane rather than across two or three lanes in front of the store. Are you hoping to catch scammers that way? Or do you hate your mother and decided it would be a better outlet than becoming a serial killer? (Too many episodes of Criminal Minds?)

Decided to put “ethnic” vegetables in stores in “non-ethnic” neighborhoods without educating us. I wouldn’t mind trying the yellow, oblong, spiky thing or the green thing that looks like a mace with the long handle and round ball at the end. But there are no pictures (or there are 12 pictures, none of which look like what I have in my hand) and no description of its taste or use. Google is not helpful when you type in “yellow spiky vegetable.” And I don’t want to buy something that is going to make my chicken taste like dirty socks because it’s supposed to be eaten raw.

Designed my car radio with six buttons, but forces me to have two FM, one AM, and three Sirius stations. I don’t have Sirius; I don’t drive enough to justify the cost. With my husband, my son, and me driving the car, it’s easier for me to just listen to whatever is on. I never know whether I’m going to get Tom Petty or The Congos when I turn the key. At least I know I won’t get opera or bluegrass.

Designed the website for our Secretary of State. It wouldn’t let me use the location finder because I wouldn’t let its tracker know where I was. But when I backed up the screen, it gave me the closest office.

3

Have You Ever Woken Up Crabby?

I am generally a consistent Type B personality. I notice a lot of things, but very few of them actually have any impact. But every once in a while, I feel like the Incredible Hulk after he turns green. Things that are insignificant before and after annoy the heck out of me:

They play “Escape” (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes a lot at work. Have you ever noticed that both the man and the woman are using the personal ads because they are bored with each other? He gets all excited because he finds out they actually have a lot in common. What have they been doing all this time – staying in and watching TV since their first date?

A woman comes in with two little boys. She asks the one little boy if he is looking for his drink. When he does, she tells him he doesn’t have it because he was too busy playing his “technology games”. Why did she bring up the topic? Why does she keep calling them technology games?

A couple is standing in front of the cheese slices. She asks him what kind of cheese he likes. He tells her cheddar, provolone, pepper jack, etc. She gets all excited and says, “So do I!” Of course you do – he’s listed pretty much everything except limburger. Are they on their first date at the grocery store?

The road I work on has a speed limit of 50 mph. They are (very slowly) doing work on a part of it and lowered the limit to 40 mph. I almost never run into traffic on my way to work at 3:30a. But if I do, they always seem to feel the need to slow down in the zone. Nobody stays at 40 mph during the day (it’s hard to stay motivated when you can’t find the workers). Why do they feel the need to obey when we’re the only ones on the road?

We have to punch in no more than 2 minutes before start time and no more than 1 minute after. I see no reason to get there more than a few minutes early. I pretty much know what time I will arrive by what time I leave the driveway. But if I’m and minute or two behind my “preferred” time, I will stress all the way there over the possibility of being late. When I know I won’t be.

Of course, the day that I’m late is also the day someone has left a cart in the spot I want to pull into. Getting there early lets us pull through one spot into the one in front of it to avoid backing out later. Unless there is a hidden cart which prevents it once you have pulled into the back spot.

I use an intersection with two lanes turning left on a light. The trade-off is that the left-turn light is very short. At most five cars in each lane can turn. Unless the front person isn’t paying attention. Then the first couple of cars turn and the rest of us get irrationally irritated by the extra 90 seconds or so we have to wait.

I go past an extremely convenient gas station. It even has the type of gas that doesn’t guck up the works and cost me a couple of miles per gallon. But it won’t take any card that has the ability to be a debit card. Only the ones that are strictly credit. Almost no one carries enough cash to pay for a tank of gas anymore. Are they in some sort of collusion with the credit card companies?

I love using the self-check at the grocery store. I have used them since they were first introduced. Some people really need to have a cashier help. Like the ones with a basket of produce that all needs to be weighed. Or the ones who can’t seem to find the UPC to scan on each of their items. Or the ones who don’t seem to realize that they need to press the “Pay” button before the machine will take their money.

I don’t really like hamburgers, but my husband and son do. When I pick up the supplies, I like to get decent buns. Onion rolls are my favorite, but anything with real bread will do. I generally shop at the end of my shift, about 1p. Why do I ever run into the situation where all I can find are the icky store-brand little cheap buns? I keep roaming between the bakery bread aisles like I can magically make what I want appear.

Oddly enough, relating all of this has not irritated me. One the other hand, it has reminded me that people can be really annoying.