Thursday, December 29, 2011

#106 - Speed Pass on Christmas

I've already covered the "to light or not to light" on Christmas decorations.  My next peeve is the speed with which some people take down their decorations.  As a Christian, I follow the Christmas season from December 25th through Epiphany, the feast of the 3 Kings. That means my decorations stay up until January 8th or beyond, depending on when the feast of Epiphany falls.  Now I realize everyone does not follow that same principle, so I do not expect all people to keep their decorations up that long.  When, however, I see a Christmas tree thrown out in a front yard at 9am on December 26th, I have fodder for my pet peeve post!  I mean, come on.  December 26th is Zweiten Weihnachten (2nd Christmas) in Germany, and Boxing Day in the UK and Canada.  The lights are still warm on my tree from having them on non-stop for days leading up to Christmas!  We haven't finished opening presents with our adult children and their families because of all the extended in-law families and the celebrations that go with them!  There are still Christmas cookies on platters in my kitchen. I haven't even sent out my Christmas cards yet!  You may have figured out by now that this is the same neighbor who puts up lights and then only lights them for 2 days.  So, I think I may send them a suggestion or two for next year.  Recycle the tree into furniture for your home or cut out some beautifully decorated pictures of homes from magazines and tape them in strategic places around your home and call it a day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#105 - End of Year Car Commercials

Why is it that every other commercial on TV at this time of year is a car commercial????? OK, so one or two in the course of an evening is one thing, but 6 during a half hour show - ridiculous!!! As if seeing those big-ram-like-a-rock trucks plowing through the snow is going to make me run right out before New Year's Day and buy one!  I guess car manufacturers think we in northern Virginia, get a truckload of snow at this time of year, and are just chomping at the bit, waiting for between Christmas & New Year's sales on 4 wheel drive vehicles.  We live in Virginia, not Vermont!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#104- Christmas Decorations: To Light or Not?

Why in the world do people go to all the trouble of putting up Christmas decorations, specifically, lights, and then NOT LIGHT THEM!!???!!! We have neighbors who do this every year.  First of all, they take 2-3 days to get the lights up, due to the fact they run out of strings of lights as they are doing them.  Call me OCD or anal, but I write little post it notes when I pack up our decorations, so in case I kick it before next Christmas, my husband will know what goes where (like he would even put anything up!!!).  Anyway, back to the neighbor's lights. So, they finally get the lights up in some semblance of wonder and awe (I stand in awe, and wonder what some people define as beauty!), and they turn them on for one or two nights, and then that's it!  The show is over!  Darkness. Nada. Nil. No lights come on for the rest of the Christmas season.  It's as if they left the country for Christmas vacation, but I know they didn't because I can see their 60" TV on at 4am when I wake up in the morning!  Maybe they only budget for 2 days of extra electric each year, but if that were my situation, then I would put a single candle in the my window and forego the lighting extravagancy that doesn't light anyway!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#103 - Unclear Web Sites

It is very frustrating at times when you go to a web site for info and it is incorrect.  I have a head cold.  No fever. No bronchitis. Just a head cold.  I had an appointment to give blood, which I have done many times over the years.  I go to the Red Cross web site and look under colds/flu and here is what I find:
Wait if you have a fever or a productive cough (bringing up phlegm)
Wait if you do not feel well on the day of donation.
Wait until you have completed antibiotic treatment for sinus, throat or lung infection.
I had none of the above, so I leave work @ 2:35 to get to donation place by 3pm. I waited for about 25 minutes before getting into the cubicle with a nurse and the 50 question questionnaire about my life. Have you had hepatitis? No. Have you been in contact with someone who did? No. Have you had sexual contact with someone who had sexual contact with a male? No. And then I coughed. Is that a lingering cough? Well, no, not exactly, but I do have a head cold. Oh, then we can't take your blood today.  I explain the criteria on the web site.  Well, the web site is not right. We are concerned about the donor, not your blood infecting a recipient. I am fine, I tell them.  I just have a head cold.  No, no, we cannot run the risk of you getting dehydrated from giving your blood.  Dehydrated!?!?! I drank over a quart of water at work, which I do every day!  We're sorry.  So, am I, to have wasted your time, when if the web site had just said don't come if you have any type of cold, I wouldn't have come! Oh no, we don't mind.  Please help yourself to cookies and a drink and a soup mug which we are giving out to all donors today.  Now why in the hell would I take a soup mug when I didn't donate any blood, is beyond my comprehension, so after 45 minutes, I took a bottle of water and left, to reschedule a donation at a future date when I do not have a cold!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#102 - Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Along with the decorations and cards and parties at Christmas comes the baking.  It generally goes hand in hand with the season.  I don't know why.  Maybe because we all figure that we are running around like loons, so it is a good time to stuff our faces with things we don't usually eat, and we will work it off.  Working for a church is like working at a doctor's office.  People are sick and in pain and come in looking for something to make them better.  And they form a bond with the staff.  And they bring baked goods at Christmas! LOTS AND LOTS OF BAKED GOODS.  Cookies in all shapes and sizes.  Nut breads. Banana breads.  Ginger breads. And the boxes of candies!  My peeve is not with people for baking.  Nor is it with the bonding.  What I would like to see is all of this sugar and spice spread out over the course of a year, instead of a month.  So, before you bring a baked good or sweet to the office, could you please call ahead and we'll give you a number (1-12) that will determine when you are to bring your decadent delectable. 1 being January and 12 being December! You can figure out the rest. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

#101- Sour Grapes

I am not talking about the figurative ones, but the literal "sour grapes".  I was grocery shopping last week and was going through the produce aisle at a store that normally has great fruit & vegies, when what to my wondering eye should appear in the grape section - nothing but nasty looking, sour grapes.  I mean red, seedless grapes that had mold on them.  EVERY SINGLE BOX!!!! Not just one or two, like you sometimes see.  Now why in the hell would a store put out a whole display of bad grapes???? Let's explore.
1. The produce manager was out sick that day and the manager who was subbing was the cleaning aisle manager.
2. When they put the grapes out, they looked OK, so they must have ripened and gone bad in the course of 30 minutes.
3. The produce display stacker is blind.
4. The produce display stacker is from a 3rd world country where grapes with mold would be considered an antibiotic.
5. Santa delivered presents early to the store so they had to make room in the warehouse.
6. The grapes actually came on Santa's sleigh from the North Pole and were frozen then thawed then frozen then thawed.
7. The produce manager thought someone could use the grapes to make a batch of very dry sour wine.
 8. The produce manager is blind.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

#100 - Distracted Drivers

At this time of year, there are many things that can be a distraction to the average person.  Christmas or Hanukkah lists of things to buy.  Cards to write and mail to family & friends.  Baking to be done.  Decorating to still be done.  Driving through neighborhoods to look at Christmas decorations.  And now in this new milennium, we have a new distraction as we are driving around looking at our neighbor's houses - CELL PHONES.  People are either talking on them or texting.  You can tell which one they are doing by the position of their head.  If their head is tilted slightly to the right or left, they are talking.  If their head is tilted forward and in a downward position, they are texting.  Either way, they are distracted and not driving particularly well.  Either they are crawling along at a snail's pace or they are drifting from one lane to another or they are speeding down the road and coming within inches of your bumper.  It seems to this blogger that this need to communicate while driving has gotten worse, as 4 out of 5 cars I passed the other day, had a driver doing one of the above mentioned tasks.  Why is it that we can drive in a vehicle with a live person sitting right next to us and not talk for an hour, but we cannot go for a minute without either talking or texting on our cell phones!!!????

Saturday, December 17, 2011

#99 - SUV=Shiny Under Vehicle - Not!

*Blog Author's Note: No entry for 2 days because of  bad head cold!
To continue the SUV theme.  What the heck is up with people getting SUVs and then putting really fancy, shiny wheels on them that make them look like a luxury car?  It just doesn't look right.  It's like wearing spike heels with overalls.  Or getting your nails done when you are a landscaper.  Or wearing a designer suit with a pair of sneakers.  If you want shiny, fancy wheels, then get a Cadillac or a Lexus.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#98 - Speed Bumps & SUVs

Sport Utility Vehicle - SUV - has become one of the most populat vehicles on the road today. And what does the name of the vehicle suggest to you?  Rugged. Climbing. Bouncing. Can take quite a bit of bumpiness in the road, right???? Well, it irks me to no end to be behind a humongous SUV and when it comes to a speed bump, it slows down to the point that it almost stops!  And then goes over the bump at .2 mph!  Are you freakin' kidding me??!!?!?  Did these drivers never see the Chevy "Like a Rock" commercial sung by Bob Seger!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#97 - Doctor Knows Best

As if the last week with our mail order drug place has not been annoying enough, they have started another battle of the emails over a generic vs. formulary drug.  Mind you, Bob hast tried the generic of this particular drug for his high blood pressure before and it causes his asthma to flare up, so whatever is in the generic is obviously not in the formulary.  Does the mail order place look back at their records.  Obviously not.  Because they send out this long winded email about costs and how you need prior authorization for new medications or meds you have not taken in the past 120 days.  WTF????!!! Bob has not stopped taking this med at all.  He has been on it for at least 5 years!!!!! It is a bit scary that we have been reduced in our health system to some doctors being questioned on simple things and having to take time out of their schedules to answer why they are prescribing something relatively harmless (not addictive), and other doctors prescribing drugs for patients that can cause their death and are literally getting away with murder.  I realize I should be thankful for having the coverage we have, but how about you quit pulling the blanket off of me onto your side!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

#96 - Let's make a drug deal???!!!!

The fiasco of the prescription shipment continues, almost a week later. Let me bring you up to date, if you have been following this story.
1. Sodium chloride solution for flushing sinuses shipped to St. Louis, MO. (my guess is they forgot to put a shipping label on box and it went right back to shipper, as they are located in St. Louis).
2. I send email to shipper (presecription drug place) explaining what had happened (proof of this was detailed in UPS tracking).
3. Shipper replies to my email, saying the item was shipped on 11/25 and according to their records, the delivery address is our address.
4. I reply to shipper's reply.  I know it was shipped and arrived, but we do not live in MO.  We live in VA.
5. Shipper replies to my reply to their reply.  Sorry for any inconvenience and since 12 days has passed since it was shipped, please contact us at the toll free # below and we can then begin the process of initiating a replacement for you. If we send a replacement, you will be charged another copay and a refill.
6. I send tracking info back to shipper once again, stating, see DELIVERED TO details and do not charge me a 2nd copay.  Take it up with UPS.
7. I get reply. We sincerely apologize for the delay on your order. We have confirmed that your order shipped to an incorrect address. Please call us at this 800 # and a patient care advocate (who is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) will gladly look into replacing your order.
8. I call the 800#. I do not get a patient care advocate.  I get an automated messaging system. I email shipper with this info.
9.  I get reply.  I sincerely apologize for the trouble and the delay caused by our error.  The # you were given was a generic # and not client specific. If you will please call the # listed below, a patient care advocate will be happy to assist you.
Many of the above statements were proven wrong.  However, I can tell you the very last staement is an absolute fallacy, as whatever patient care advocate I get will certainly not be happy by the time I get through with him/her.  And this is all for a sodium chloride irrigation liquid!!! You would think we were renewing a narcotic or some other controlled substance! I miss the personal service of Helfands' Corner Drug Store!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#95 - Hot Air: For Balloons Only

I have this thing about Christmas decorations.  I enjoy looking at decorations in daylight.  So, those houses that are decorated nicely, are those that look really nice during the day - garland, wreaths, bows - and become even more enchanting at night, when the twinkling of lights adds to the festive look.  What doesn't look nice (in my opinion) is a house in the daytime, that looks like a freaking hurricane or tornado ripped through their front yard, leaving a mass of rubber rubble in its wake.  You know what I'm talking about - those HUGE, not big but HUGE - blow up figures of Frosty & Santa & reindeer & snow globes, that are only displayable when the electric is pumping air into them.  So, when the lights are shut off, down goes the displays into a pile. I say save the hot air for romantic balloon rides, and stick to greenery and lights for your Christmas displays.

Friday, December 9, 2011

#94 - I don't think so, Tim!

We have an insurance plan that requires we use a mail order pharmacy for maintenance drug presecriptions, as opposed to the local pharmacy. I  think many insurance companies have gone to this method, as it is more cost effective. So, Bob has allergy related items among other things, that are ordered online through the mail order pharmacy. One item is a sodium chloride solution to irrigate his sinuses and keep them opened.  Makes me laugh that it would be more cost effective to ship these liter plastic bottles (free shipping, mind you) rather than make us go to the local pharmacy and pick them up. The box that a 3 month supply arrives in is fairly heavy.  In any event, the last shipment was sent at the end of November and never arrived at our house in VA.  The tracking from UPS says it was shipped to St. Louis. MO, and the location was a dock and was signed for by Hune.  WTF??? Who the hell is Hune? Bob must have used an assumed name to sign for the package and made a trip to MO to do it!!!! And we must have a dock in our backyard. And in case they aren't good with geography, MO is not MD, and does not border VA.  OK, OK, so things can happen.  That is not my peeve.  My peeve is that I get an email this morning after I alerted the mail order place to this, stating they shipped the order and it arrived on the 30th, but that if they need to ship another order, we will have to pay for a 2nd presecription. I DON'T THINK SO, TIM!! (You have to know the show Home Improvement & Tim the Tool Man Taylor & Al, to understand that statement).  Take it up with UPS, goobers, not me!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

#93 - Obscene Salaries

The ammunition I receive on a daily basis that continues my theme peeves is amazing to me. Yesterday's theme of greediness was fueled by a radio report I heard today, about a St. Louis Cardinals baseball player signing a deal with the Los Angeles Angels for $254 million over 10 years.  That's a quarter of a BILLION DOLLARS.  I don't care how good the player is (and I was a big Nolan Ryan fan when he played for the Mets). $254 million - to play baseball.  Baseball, that once-upon-a- time All-American sport that ALL AMERICANS could go and watch at a stadium and not have to mortgage their house or sell their first-born child to do. To take a family of four to a major league baseball game costs a small fortune today. A mezzanine level seat at Nats Stadium is $25.00.  Nosebleed seats are $15.00.  So, just for so-so tickets for your fam of four, you would shell out $60-100.  Add transportation and /or parking, one drink each and a hot dog, and forget it - you will be eating P & J sandwiches at every meal for the next week to replenish your checking account!  What the heck has happened to our society where a major league baseball player makes $25m a year, and starting salaries for some teachers are $25k???!!!!????

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#92 - Greediness & Grinchiness

Christmas- the season of peace and love and hope.  The spirit of Christmas can bring out the best in human beings, which I believe, is what our Lord hoped for when he was born over 2,000 years ago.  But like a story, human beings have two sides.  What also surfaces at this time of year (perhaps not as much as the rest of the year) is greed.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the epitome of greed.  To want and take everything that someones else has. It seems to me (and this is just my opinion) that people in today's world want more and more.  Bigger is better mentality.  And if I don't have the biggest and the fastest and the newest, then I will be discontent with my station in life.  There are many discontented people out there.  Two weeks ago I watched a segment on 60 Minutes about homeless kids living in their family's cars & trucks.  This one young lady (about 14 years old) should be the spokesperson for all humanity!  She and her younger brother lost their mother at a young age and live with their father (an out of work carpenter) in their truck in FL.  They go to school. They go to the library in the evening to do their homework. They joined a free community theater so they have something to do in the evenings.  And not once did you hear this kid complain!!! She tries to give back to the community.  She makes the most of their situation and has great compassion for those less fortunate.  LESS FORTUNATE???!! Less fortunate than she and her family living in a truck!!??? Boy do the rest of us need to take a page out of this girl's book on generosity of heart and little Cindy Lou Hoo in Hooville!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#91 - Tacky Christmas Decorations

Fact: everyone has different tastes in homes styles, furniture, clothes, and Christmas decorations.  Opinion: some Christmas decorations are just plain tacky!  Some people like the Victorian era look in decorations - swags of garland hanging from porches and over doorways, dotted with twinkling little white lights. Very Williamsburg. Very nice. Some people prefer colored lights to the Williamsburg look.  Also can be very nice when done right.  And by right, I mean neatly arranged around windows and doors or wrapped around bushes.  Not thrown from the ground up, into a 25 foot tree, resulting in a strand here and a strand there, looking like you haven't quite finished decorating yet. Or the houses that are trimmed in lights only halfway, meaning they literally ran out of lights and were too lazy to get another set.  Or how about those houses that the inhabitants must not have ever seen Currier & Ives or Thomas Kincade depictions of Christmas scenes, and have LED palm trees and a blow up of Santa in a bathing suit & sun glasses in their front yard. Different strokes for different folks, but perhaps you can keep the different Christmas decorations inside next year!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

#90 - Christmas Decorations

Do you know how many people I have heard in the past week say that they are so far behind in their Christmas decorating?  How far behind is far behind, I wonder?  Is there a law that says you have to put up Christmas decorations by a certain date?  I don't think so.  Is there some rule that says you have to do your Christmas cards before St. Nicholas Day? Not to my knowledge. Did someone back in history mandate that Christmas baking needed to be done by December 15th or else it didn't count?  People need to relax and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the season.  Advent for Christians is a time of reflection and waiting.  So, how about we do a bit more of that and quit agonizing over made up missed deadlines!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

#89 - Absentee Boss

I realize in this day and age of telecommuting and conference calling, there is not as much demand for a person to be in his/her physical office space or as my friend, Emil, would say, "at their work stations".  However, when the boss is hardly EVER in the office, it does not make for a smooth running office.  Well, I guess depending on the type of boss, maybe that statement is not entirely true.  If your boss is unorganized and out of control, then being in the office may be worse!  I am not easily influenced by chaos around me, as a general rule.  But when everyone around me seems out of control, then it begins to effect me, and I get cranky and irritable and the feeling of peace that is usually within me, disappears!  So, perhaps the solution is this:  anyone who takes a supervisory role in their workplace has 90 days to pass certain milestones.  If they do, great.  They continue as the boss/manager/supervisor/pastor.  If not, they have 24 hours to clear out their office and find another job that better suits their talents and gifts, and restore peace to the chaos they have created!

Friday, December 2, 2011

#88 - Generic Holiday Names

Why is it that we can have specific names for secular holidays - Martin Luther King Jr Day, Columbus Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day?  And when it comes to religious holidays like Christmas & Hanukkah, we suddenly have to group them together and simply say, "Happy Holidays" because it may offend someone to say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah.  OK, so I get that you may not know if I am a Christian or a Jew, so you wouldn't know which greeting to give.  So to remedy this situation, here are a few suggestions:
1. All those who are Christian and celebrate the birth of our Lord should wear a cross.
2. All those who celebrate the arrival of Santa should wrap a string of lights around their heads.
3. All those who are Jewish and celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, should have a menorrah sticking out of the top of their head.
4. All those who are Jewish and celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, should wear a Star of David.
5. All those who do not celebrate either of the above simply wear a sign that says "Seasons Greetings Only Here" so you do not feel left out.