By Samuel Stoddard
This page works best when you participate. Send
Tuesday, April 27, 1999
As promised, my commentary on the recent surge of pet peeves sent in by my
readers: wow, we sure do get peeved easily. In fact, we not only get peeved
easily, but we get excited about it, enough to rant at the hint of an
opportunity to do so. More than one of you thanked me, after listing your
peeves, for providing the opportunity to "let it out."
I sent in the message forum that this phenomenon is probably because we haven't
had a major war in a while; our society has become too secure, and such things
as freedom and liberty have therefore become taken for granted. I think that's
part of it, but then, I also think people would have peeves like these under
any circumstances. And I'm no different. One of my pet peeves is forgetting
to remove the "New Site: Duel of the Ages" part of my mailing list letter
template before sending RinkWorks updates out on the list. Aargh!
Oh, by the way, Adrien: the toilet paper is supposed to hang from the
top to the front. That way it's easier to snatch as it
hangs down -- it hangs in mid-air rather than pressed up against the side of
the cupboard. Sheesh, get it right. :-)
Monday, April 26, 1999
The last batch of pet peeves from readers:
- From Kevin C.: "I'd a say a fairly major pet peeve of mine is
when people I don't know (usually friends of my siblings) decide
that they absolutely have to see what I'm doing on the computer.
And since I'm often at sites like this which the average person
wouldn't understand anyway, they decide to ask what I'm doing.
Happened to me not ten minutes ago."
- From RVH: "I hate it when the toilet paper roll is facing the
wrong way. You know, when ya hafta, like, move it around to find
out which way it's s'posed to go! That drives me nuts.
I hate it that Edward D. Wood Jr. NEVER won an Academy Award.
To me, that makes the whole thing a sham.
My wife won't give me a divorce, so I can join the circus. I can't
tell you how crazy that makes me. And just when I get a decent
collection of laserdiscs, along comes DVD."
- From Stephen K.: "My pet peeve is when people whine endlessly
about their stupid little problems and things that bug them. Let's
face it, if you're not Jerry Seinfeld, I don't care. They just keep
going on and on and on and on about the silliest little things."
- From Steven H.: "I really hate it when people misuse
apostrophes, especially in advertisements or any other public media.
Example: Mikes prune's were wet is incorrect.
The sentence should be Mike's prunes were wet.
Although I'm not sure what Mike was doing with wet prunes."
- From Andy: "(1) People who seem to be incapable of telling me what
they want when I ask, 'What can I do for you?' (2) Co-workers who
think it's all right to carry on a personal conversation
across three rows of cubicles while I'm on the phone with a client.
(3) Drivers who change speeds to stay directly in my blind spot when I
have my turn signal on to change into their lane. (4) Stupid people
who feel it's my fault for stopping when they rear-end me."
- From "Nymrod": "In movie theatres, they play those stupid films of
food: food being raked into bags and soft drinks being topped off in
their cups and popcorn spilling over the edge of the popcorn popper.
The admission prices are too high too. And the theatres are never
clean. And the staff don't smile often enough. Dispite all this,
I'm still going to see Phantom Menace. But I'm not eating their food.
Unless it sings and dances; then I'll eat it just to put it out of
Comments about this pet peeve deluge phenomenon will be made in the next
journal entry, thereby ending this surprisingly overdrawn thread.
Friday, April 23, 1999
And even more pet peeves:
- From Daniel S.: "The phrase, 'You talk too much.' Every time
someone says it, it makes me want to shove a long, sharp length of
metal down their throat, and then talk a little more just to
annoy them. I don't even want to get in to what I would do to
someone that says, 'You read too much,' to me. The world can be
thankful that nobody has so far."
- From Howard M.: "My number one pet peeve is TV news talk shows
where anywhere from three to five normal looking, well dressed people,
sit down to discuss something related to the news. They begin to
disagree, and then all of them talk at once, and I can't understand
what anybody is saying. Thank goodness for those little buttons
with the arrows on them. My number two pet peeve is that jerky
motion camera that works at about 4 frames per second. ESPN2 is a
major offender in this department. Why do they want to make their
program annoying? Why do they want me to grab the remote?
Pet peeves 3 and up are non-TV. Well, ok, just this one:
I see people driving with a cigarette in their left hand. They hold it
up next to the window as if to say, 'Hey, look at me! I'm smoking!'
- From "Faux Pas": "My pet peeve? Gosh, I've got a whole section of
my web site devoted to pet peeves. A sample: Morning radio shows
without music. Having to walk through a crowd of smokers to enter a
building. That not using serial commas is considered ok. ('Red,
white and blue' as opposed to 'red, white, and blue.') How every
political scandal ends in "-gate." Random "usage" of quotation marks
and improper usage of apostrophes'. Not knowing the name of a really
neat piece of classical music because they're all called something
like Symphony for the Flute no. 141 in D Minor instead of something
memorable like 'Return to Innocence.' Anyway. If you really want
There's one more batch to go, after which I'll supply my own comments.
Thursday, April 22, 1999
Another batch of pet peeves, and there's still more to come:
- From Paul A.: "'I can't stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations.
Terrible places, full of lost luggage and lost souls. And then there's
unrequited love. And tyranny. And cruelty.' -- Marc Platt.
My own personal peeves include: (1) Intelligent people who can't be
bothered getting their spelling, grammar, and punctuation right in
emails and in newsletters (in twelfth grade, I sent an anonymous
letter to the yearbook committee, tallying up the errors in the
previous year's yearbook and warning of nasty consequences if matters
didn't improve). (2) Error messages that don't actually tell you
anything ('This application has closed down due to an error of type
two'). (3) The way people always think I'm serious when I attempt
- From "Extirpator": "People who forget the parenthesis on the
right should be shot."
- From "dwymore": "(1) I used to work in a video rental store,
and this guy once said that if I didn't have the video he wanted
he was gonna kill himself. (2) Why is it that the hamburgers in the
pictures are never like the ones you actually get?"
- From Adrien A.: "I have so many, oh so many. I dislike grammatical
errors and misspelling (my own is naturally exempt), especially when
it's something published or public (menus, magazines, signs, etc).
I loathe the misuse of quotation marks. Example: "Fresh
Fish" on sale! Twisty ties vanish from the finger tips of
my boyfriend, and he thinks twirling the plastic bag around itself
is an adequate substitution. He's wrong. Toilet paper must hang under.
Litter and die. Note to Hollywood: regarding movie adaptations of
great books: stop. Unless you can do it right, don't bother. If you
own bongos, move to the country. Your neighbors don't think you are
talented; they hate you. Magazine inserts be damned to hell.
Don't misspell my name. Don't "Rocky" me. I was maybe four years old
when the first Rocky movie came out. You are not clever. It's old.
Drive over the speed limit or get out of my way. See that little
stick thing on the side of your steering wheel? It's called a turn
signal: use it. Pedestrians have the right of way. Please stop trying
to run over me when I walk. When I asked for paper bags, I really
meant it. Please don't bag my extraneous items in extra plastic bags.
Oh, and stop slotting my eggs in sideways. I'm suddenly very tense.
I think I will stop now."
Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Apparently you folks have a lot that irks you. The response to last Friday's
journal entry, regarding pet peeves, has been prolific. Here are some of the
- From "Darien":
"Most of my pet peeves also have to do with grammar. Added to that are the
following: people on television or on stage singing off-key (see several
recent commercials), people who misquote Shakespeare (sorry Howard),
synthesized instruments, Liv Tyler, people who refuse to believe me, people
who try to argue with something I've said and want me to defend my point
before they've made any attacks, people who refuse to tell me things that
concern me, fourteen-year-old high school students trying to tell me all about
life, roommates who do nothing but complain, people who think they
know all about computers, needless bureaucracy, unrequited love, people who
want me to explain my poems, Windows 95, chain letters.... Ok, so maybe
it's inaccurate to say that most of my pet peeves have to
do with grammar. But quite a few of them do!"
- From "Shai'tan": "I hate it when you forget to shake the
ketchup bottle, and when you go to get some, that watery-ketchup hybrid leaks
out, soaking your meal. YUM!"
- From Lynette: "I live in DC, and my pet peeve is people who, when I
say I live in DC, ask if I live in Arlington or Silver Spring or Bethesda
(all Maryland and Virginia suburbs) and then get scared when I say I REALLY
live in DC. Those people and the ones who ask if I know the President."
- From "Dragonnest": "First,I greatly dislike people who abruptly end a
line of conversation. It's even worse if they do this during dinner, since the
only thing I hear is the sound of them chewing. I can't enjoy the rest
of my meal because now my ears are tuned into the sound of their teeth
mashing food, and it's really annoying. Secondly, I HATE people with
hyper-sensitive hearing. There's a kid who sits in front of me in math class
with this odd trait. He turns around whenever I click my pen (not incessantly!
just once so I can use it!), tap my foot against his chair accidentally, or
clear my throat. The worst part is that he has an extremely high pitched voice
(as he is getting older, his seems to be going through reverse
puberty), and he always says, 'Could you please be quiet! I'm TRYING to
More of your responses are forthcoming.
Sunday, April 18, 1999
Yesterday Darleen and I went to the New England Breyer Brunch in Danvers,
Massachusetts. Darleen entered the Model Horse Show and did fantastically
well. The awards culminated in a Reserve Champion ribbon in Performance,
Original Finish, and a Grand Champion ribbon in Performance, Custom-Made.
The performance divisions are the ones where you can get quite creative with
the tack (saddles, bridles, etc) and props and so forth. Pictures of her
latest work, plus other set-ups at the show, will be appearing on
EquiWorks sometime soon.
The responses from Friday's journal entry are pouring in; this is your last
chance to contribute yours. Tell me about your pet peeves.
Friday, April 16, 1999
Got any pet peeves? I have a bunch, most having to do with incorrect grammar.
I hate shirts being inside out. And idiots. Tell me all about your pet
peeves, the stranger the better. Email
Thursday, April 15, 1999
The Enchanted Forest high score list now has a "top 100" option,
as of this morning. Now that there are nearly 7000 scores, it was a bit of
a pain to have to look at all of them or only ten of them.
Tuesday, April 13, 1999
You'd think they were dirty jokes rather than just bad jokes the way he talks,
but here's what David S. had to say about the new feature, Really Bad
- "These are really nasty jokes. After reading them in the morning
they just kind of give me this sick, scummy feeling. I'm not going
to read them any more."
That reaction sounds about right. Heh heh heh heh.
Monday, April 12, 1999
Last Friday, besides Really Bad Jokes being released, Computer
Stupidities surpassed 1000 anecdotes. We've got a ways to go before
Book-A-Minute surpasses 1000 condensations.
Answers to the recent reader question, "If you could be any type of animal,
what would you be, and why?" follow:
- From Daniel S.: "I, personally, would like to be a tick (preferably
a very small, unassuming one, for survival's sake). Think about it.
You just sit there all day, drinking blood, not moving a muscle,
just letting your thoughts wander."
- From Stephen K.: "I think if I could be any sort of animal, I'd be
a shark riding on an elephant, just rampaging and smashing and eating
everything in sight."
- From Terza M.: "I would be a cat. Mine lies around all day and does
nothing. When he's had enough, he [beats us up]. That's the kind
of animal I'd like to be."
- From "Darien": "I'd definitely be a moose. Unless, of course, I was
an aardvark. Actually, I should compromise: Aardmoose, baby,
- From Andy J.: "I'd want to be a rat. Not a sewer rat, mind you.
More like the rats you can buy in a pet store for two bucks. I think
it'd be cool to run around the house at that size. Just imagine how
different the living room would be if the couch was 20 feet
- From Eddy H.: "I'd like to be a guinea pig. Then I could be on the
winning side in the long dragged out war currently in progress in
Friday, April 9, 1999
Second call on the reader question, given in the journal entry below this
Really Bad Jokes was released today. This is
about the fastest RinkWorks site I've ever developed. Although I
conceived of it months ago, I only started actual work on it, beyond the
casual collecting of jokes when the opportunities presented themselves, two
days ago. I have scripts to help me update the site; I hope readers will be
inspired -- by revenge or otherwise -- to contribute.
The "school paper" joke, on the first page, is a joke I made up when I was
a kid, so it has sentimental value. A couple of the jokes came from the
RinkWorks Message Forum -- thanks Howard!
Tuesday, April 6, 1999
Today's reader question: "If you could be any type of animal, what would
you be, and why?" Send me your
Sunday, April 4, 1999
Happy Easter, everyone. Did you remember to turn your clocks ahead?
Friday, April 2, 1999
For those you didn't realize, I had a little fun yesterday for April Fools
Day. First, the prices in the Site Market game were all jacked up
774 points beyond what they would have been; oddly, this inserted an intriguing
element of strategy that unfortunately burned a few people who sold all their
stock and got left with thousands of dollars and nothing to do with it. (The
current game is a "losing" game where the object is to lose, rather than win,
the most money.)
My other little joke was in the reader reviews section of It's a Bad, Bad,
Bad, Bad Movie.
Speaking of April Fools jokes, I know at least one web site owner dialectized
his web site for yesterday only, without telling his readers. Heh.
Back to the current Site Journal page.
Back to the RinkWorks home page.