Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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I turn 79 tomorrow (made it again!) but am no smarter than I was last year at this time and still have more questions than answers. Here are some of them:

--When did saying “that’s a good question” to a news-media query become a substitute for a good answer?

--When did motorists stop signaling their turns and lane changes, or is that only in Arizona?

--Why do waitresses always say “there you go” when bringing your food, instead of “here you are”? Do they teach that in waitress school?

--How come “further” has replaced “farther” when the usage clearly is one of distance, not rhetoric?

--Why does anyone still use an airline credit card when the miles are almost impossible to redeem for flight tickets?

--Is it possible to slice a bagel or English muffin in two without getting one fat piece and one skinny one?

--Do the people who want to deport all the Latin American “illegals” know that would shut down just about every hotel, restaurant and construction site in the Southwest?

--Why are people always shocked over the frequent mass and accidental shootings in this land? It’s the inevitable result of mixing 300 million people with as many firearms.

--When did hospital billing lose all contact with reality?

--Is there a worse, balkier website on the internet than the Chicago Tribune’s? I can’t check into it without seeing the “recover webpage” box at least a couple of times, suffering through interminable ad downloads, popups and “long-running script” delays (whatever they are), and getting bounced when trying to shift from a story to the home page.  The darned thing doesn’t even scroll well.

--Why does my printer have to crank out four or five pages of extraneous matter every time I want a copy of a simple email receipt?

--Whatever happened to “restless leg syndrome”? Was a magical cure found?

--How will the auto companies sell driverless cars to an American public that, pretty much, likes to drive? How will the two types of vehicles co-exist on the roads? Will driverless cars have horns? Will your insurance premiums go up when your driverless car is involved in an accident? Who will a driver have to curse out when he hits or is hit by a driverless car?
               --Did anyone else notice that an ISIS application form made public contained a check box asking if the applicant wanted to be a suicide bomber?
              --What did people do for entertainment before Netflix?

--Why do computers keep getting less reliable? I used to be able to keep one for three or four years but now two’s the max. If cars were like computers the highways would be littered with derelict vehicles.
            --Relatedly, what’s up with the way Microsoft seizes our computers so it can install “updates” that bring no observable improvements?  If it must do those things, why can’t it do them at night when they would cause a minimum of bother?

-- Have there ever been uglier sports-team uniforms than the all-dark-grays the Arizona Diamondbacks wore on the road last season? They looked like sewer workers on break.

-- When will the NFL realize that the viewership slump for its games has paralleled the rise in video reviews of officials’ calls?  Is there anything more boring than hearing TV commentators debate when a runner’s knee touched the ground?

-Must her roof fall on her head before the Oklahoma governor admits that fracking causes earthquakes?

--Have you noticed that the prices of lots of things have gone up recently, after a very long period of stability?

--So why do so many people still preface every statement with the word “so”?
            --Did Tim Tebow really believe he could launch a baseball career at age 29 after not having played since high school? Did the Mets sign him for any reason other than jersey sales?
             --Why do my brilliant (but infrequent) Facebook posts disappear instantly while ones I find annoying hang around for days?
              --Why do American institutions and companies always seem to be the victims in large-scale computer hacks? Are other countries’ nerds that much smarter than ours?
              --How will Donald Trump’s fans in Appalachia and the Midwest react when they discover that their old mine or factory jobs won’t be returning?  How will they like the higher prices at Walmart when his promised tariffs on Chinese- or Mexican-made goods kick in? Do they believe his millionaire and billionaire cabinet appointees will act in their interests?  Will they be jubilant when the ACA is replaced by the opportunity to open health-care savings accounts?

             --Relatedly, when did subscribing to the New York Times start to feel like a patriotic virtue?


Unknown said...
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Seth Kaplan said...

Many great points, Fred, and truth be told few of them have anything to do with the fact that you are turning 79. I'm, 45 and have the same ones (well, not so many about computers).
Thanks for continuing to write!

Mike Levy said...

I've got an idea for a new quiz reality show. It'll be called "grumpy old men." You and John McCain will be the first contestants. The alternative title will be, "Hey kid, get off my lawn."

David Wise said...

--Why does my printer have to crank out four or five pages of extraneous matter every time I want a copy of a simple email receipt?
Fred, you don't need to copy everything. After you hit the print key go to where it says pages. It has a place to click all or certain pages. All is the default so click on pages. Then just put the page number of the one you want to print. That's the only one you will get.