Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday Thirteen 133: A Bit of Randomness

I'm feeling totally uninspired again this week, so thought I'd try a bit of randomness. Here are some observations made, things that have been on my mind or that have annoyed me over the past week.

~ While walking one day last week I happened upon a lawn crew raking leaves. Nothing out of the ordinary this time of year, but does anyone else think that smoking while raking -- especially while doing someone else's yard -- is a really bad idea? Honestly!

~ Speaking of leaves, you'd be hard-pressed to find any around here these days. The trees all dropped their colorful garments seemingly overnight, and they have all been raked and collected for composting. Only a few tenacious leaves cling to branches here and there.

~ People who don't use the shift key annoy me. It's basic grade-school grammar, folks: proper nouns should be capitalized. Always. People who use all caps also annoy me.

~ Something else that annoys me, as long-time followers know, is bad editing, and never more than during a recent read. I was anxious to read this book, intrigued by both the cover blurb and prologue, but then you couldn't go five pages without an editing gaffe slapping you upside the head and drawing you out of the story. The truly sad part is that this is a popular, top-selling author with a leading publisher. There is no excuse for this sort of sloppiness, and as a consumer I not only felt disappointed but cheated.

~ While we're on the subject of annoyances, this post at The Bumbles blog last week asked what annoys you about other peoples' blogs. I was pleased to see many share my peeve in auto-music on blogs. You know--the loud, jarring music that starts almost as soon as you click on their link. Just. Don't. Do. It. Offer a play list if you like, but please remember that people not only access web content from the comfort of their homes, but from the library, bookstore, cafe, work and many other venues. That unexpected blast of music will quickly earn your visitors the evil eye and turn them off your blog/website.

~ Two other blog annoyances: headers that take up the entire screen, forcing you to scroll down forever and ever to get to actual content -- do these people realize how long those monster headers take to load? -- and "snap" views. I cannot tell you how often those snap views prevent a clicked link from opening, or freeze a screen.

~ Things that make me smile: finding a real honest to goodness card or letter in the mailbox. I've had two so far this week. *VBG*

~ It's hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was in college, and remember it being bitter cold for early November. A friend and I had stopped in at The PIT for a late lunch. The TV, normally tuned to soaps that time of day, had been pre-empted, and we watched in awe as students on the other side of the world clambered atop the stone wall, dancing and singing and battering it with hammers and anything else they could get their hands on. Truly an amazing moment!

~ In contrast of that happy day, flags have been at half mast here as several soldiers involved in last week's shooting at Ft. Hood (three of whom were killed) were part of the Madison-based 467th Medical Detachment. There's a sad bit of irony in the fact that this unit is trained to help those deploying and returning deal with stressful (combat) experiences.

~ When placing a call and reaching voice mail or an answering machine, LEAVE A MESSAGE! Seriously. If you don't want to leave a message, hang up during the outgoing message instead of letting it play all the way through. There's nothing so annoying as the click of someone hanging up--not to mention the time wasted listening to your non-existent message.

~ What's with the Christmas music and TV programming already? The other day I discovered that a local radio station has already switched to an all-Christmas music program. Then last night while checking the TV guide I noted that ABCFAM channel is already starting the holiday movies. Can't we at least get through Thanksgiving before being inundated with Christmas fare??

~ Speaking of Christmas... I suddenly realized this week that the big day is only two months away--and I haven't finished any of my Christmas presents yet. Oops. Time to start stitching projects lined up for this year. Thankfully, most should not take too long to complete. I hope.

~ And speaking of stitched projects...don't you hate it when you misplace one? I did a small, round cross-stitch intended for a friend two years ago. Unable to find a frame that had a round opening in it, I set it aside. Wouldn't you know, now that I've actually seen a frame that might work I can't find this cross-stitch. I have looked everywhere. I've torn my project bag apart countless times and searched through supply drawers. Nada. Rien. It has completely disappeared.

Wow, who knew I would hit thirteen that fast? And I wasn't even done emptying my mind yet (Hey! No comments from the gallery!). So...anything on your mind this week?

LINKS TO OTHER THURSDAY THIRTEENS:(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)
Adelle Laudan * Alice Audrey * Tracie * Journeywoman
chubskulit * Gel * Jana * K * Shelley Munro
Jill Conyers * Ms Menozzi * Hootin' Anni * Ella Drake
Inez Kelley * Sandy * Elise Logan * Miss Anigie
A. Catherine Noon * Paige Tyler * Miriam * CM Torrens
Storyteller * Jennifer McKenzie * Janice Seagraves
Jeanne St James

You can find more Thursday Thirteen participants HERE


Adelle Laudan said...

Guess what my post is titled? Thirteen things on my mind LOL
Great minds, I tell ya...

Heather said...

Adelle, I saw that! Looks like we were posting to each other at the same time, too, LOL!

Tracie said...

Not only is the automatically playing music loud, it also makes the page load slower....drives me crazy!!

Happy TT!

Journeywoman said...

What author and publisher did poor editing? (Hope it wasn't where I work.)

I will say why though. A lot of publishing houses have decimated their copy-editing departments and decided to freelance them out. Good editing is unappreciated.

chubskulit said...

You're probably be annoyed if you live in the Philippines because Christmas songs starts to be played as early as September.

I am sharing the new and addictive Fun Memes I just joined.

Heather said...

Tracie - An excellent point! It does tend to make pages load more slowly.

Journeywoman - I intentionally left out the author and publisher, but have thought of writing them and noting every page of errors. They can consider it my resume, so long as I don't have to relocate. *wink* I have heard copy-editing departments were taking the deepest cuts, and it is starting to show. There is something to be said for quality over quantity.

chubskulit - You're right, that would definitely annoy me, LOL.

Gel said...

Hi! I'm new to TT, but our posts could go hand in hand. I wrote about annoyances from a different perspective.

I so agree with you about that shift key and to actually leave a message on the machine! Please realize that there are many people who use all caps because they are visually impaired, not "shouting" nor lazy.

I liked reading what makes you smile. It's interesting how much we appreciate a real paper card or letter in our internet age.

Alice Audrey said...

Oh dear. I didn't realize my pop up link things on the old blog were a problem. I got compliments on them.

K. said...

The auto music is the absolute worst, I agree. And Christmas seems to start earlier every single year. Enjoyed your post!

Shelley Munro said...

I hate, hate, hate music on websites and blogs. It drives me nuts.

jillconyers said...

I had to laugh at the not leaving a voice mail but letting the message play through. Did you ever intend on leaving a message and changed your mind at the last minute? Really?

Getting an actual hold-in-your hands card never fails to make me smile.

And finally, Christmas music. I found a station that plays it 24/7 before Halloween. I love Christmas music probably more than the average person but mid-October is a bit much.

Ms Menozzi said...

Whoa. I'm totally with you on all of these! I can't tell you how much I hate the auto-music or the sloppy editing. At least here in Italy we don't have the Christmas music issue - yet...

Happy TT!
Ciao for now!

Hootin' Anni said...

The thing that annoys me most about blogs is the word verifications....not that THE IDEA is an annoyance, it's trying to read the letters sometimes ...they're so jumbled. LOL

My 13 is posted...I'm talking Turkey today. It's posted below my Thursday Thunks, so if you can find time to visit, just scroll down a bit!!

Click HERE

Ella Drake said...

Oh, I'm with you on these. And yep, I hate losing a project, though I haven't stitched in probably a decade! (ouch)

Inez Kelley said...

DESPISE auto music and will leave a site immediately.

sandy said...

loving the list but see that my weak blog annoys you hahah

Elise Logan said...

I totally agree with automusic. Argh.
Also totally agree about early Christmas stuff.

Happy Thursday

Miss Angie said...

I thought I'd try the Thursday Thirteen this week! :)

A. Catherine Noon said...

I know what you mean about the gift thing. I make gifts myself and have had that happen occasionally. I finally commandeered a drawer in one of our file cabinets. That seems to work because it's deep enough to hold odd-sized things.
Except that thing I made, now where did I put it... :P

Paige Tyler said...

Interesting TT!


My TT is at

Miriam said...

I agree 100% about auto music. I usually leave the sound on my computer off just to avoid it.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the auto-music and yeah, I think I'd start worrying if I saw a guy racking smoking leaves.

Happy T13.

Jana said...

We actually have a piece of the Berlin Wall in our collections! They took it out for an exhibit this week commemorating the fall of the wall and it's pretty neat. Very colorful. If I can remember to do so, I'll take a picture of it before it goes back into the vault.

And ugh...I so need to get started on Christmas shopping but I DON'T WANT TO!! lol

Jana said...

Oh, and I'd play Christmas music year round if I thought it wouldn't make me a weirdo. Christmas music is some of the best music there is. lol

I used to start playing it at the beginning of October but got ridiculed so badly for it that now I break out into hives if I reach for it prior to Thanksgiving. *shudders*

Heather said...

Gel - Oh, I do know some people have vision problems, but screens come in jumbo size these days, and font can be adjust to super large as well, but there are actually a LOT of people who type in all caps out of laziness or to constantly call attention to themselves. I can't read posts that are in all caps. It gives me a headache just trying, lol. Thanks for visiting!

Alice - Ah, I didn't mean to make you feel bad. *wink* I think it does make a difference what kind of pop-up view is used, but the "snap" views on wordpress blogs tend to get in the way of links and take forever to load (even on DSL). There's one blog in meme-land I really like that uses them, and it gets to be a hassle sometimes.

K - Yes, sadly Christmas does seem to start earlier every year. Almost makes you wonder why merchants even bother changing out the seasonal displays at end of December, LOL. Thanks for visiting!

Shelley - Thank you, it's comforting knowing so many others share this peeve.

Heather said...

Jill - Isn't it a great feeling when you receive those cards in the mail? And Christmas music before Halloween is too much. Ugh! lol

Ms M - Oh, you are so lucky Christmas doesn't start before Halloween in Italy!

Anni - I agree, it can be difficult to read the letters on some word verifications. I'd gladly turn off that function were it not for the fact I'd be spammed within hours of doing so.

Ella - Ah, someone who can commisserate on lost projects, lol. With any luck it will resurface in time for friend's (summer) birthday.

Heather said...

Inez - I will often leave a blog with auto-music, too, especially if I'm at work.

Sandy - Thanks, and thank you for visiting. Will have to visit your blog to see what annoyance you fall under, lol.

Elise - So good to know friends share in general music annoyances, lol.

Miss Angie - Welcome to the T13 loop, and thanks for visiting!

Heather said...

A. Catherine - I am usually much better at keeping track of my projects, it's only the one that has gone astray. Unfortunately, a lot of my life has been packed up in storage the past year, including some of the craft supplies. I know it has to be around here somewhere, though. I also had a Thanksgiving stamp go missing. Murphey's Law says I'll find that one right after Christmas. ;)

Paige - Why, thank you! *preens*

Miriam - I've tried working without sound, but then I get irritated when I don't hear/notice emails or IMs without the notification sound, LOL.

Chris - I know if I'd been that homeowner and came home to find a worker smoking while raking a forest full of leaves I'd have been ticked. Some people just don't use the brains they were born with. *Shakes head*

Jana - Oh, you have to take a picture of that wall before they return it to storage. That would be so cool. And why am I NOT surprised that you are a Christmas freak? LOL I mean, I love Christmas music and have a huge collection, but I can't listen to it until end of November at earliest. I can't help turning it on while wrapping presents. *G*

storyteller at Small Reflections said...

Amazing list for being uninspired ;-)
Finding things to generate smiles in the face of frustation is a worthwhile habit to cultivate!
Hugs and blessings,

Heather said...

Thanks, Storyteller! *VBG*

Patricia McLinn said...

Heather! I tried to e-mail you, but apparently your (wise) system thinks I'm a dangerous person (eg).

Will you e-mail me, please, via my website?

Patricia McLinn

P.S. Love your autumn leaves pic

Heather said...

PATRICIA! OMG, how long has it been? I can't believe my system thought you were dangerous. Okay, maybe I can. *WEG* Will email you right away! ;)

J. Lynne said...

I hate those auto-music sites. As soon as I come across one, I block it. It could have the most valuable info in the world there, but I'll never know.

Happy TT!

Janice said...

I agree with the music, and I never intent to put music on any of my blogs or websites ever.

Its too early for Christmas music, what are these people thinking?

Happy TT.

colleen said...

I can't read and listen to music at the same time. These kind of random catching up lists is what the original founder of the TT intended and are the ones I like best.

I saw a show on PBS recently about how the Beatles played into the Berlin Wall coming down. The kids were changed by their music and the government couldn't control it even thought the music was banned.

Heather said...

J. Lynne - It seems many of us feel the same way about sites with auto-music. Thanks for visiting!

Janice - Bless you, for vowing never to put music on your blog. *g*

Colleen - I can read with music, but it depends on the type and volume of music being played. This sort of random list was hard for me, but I will certainly try it again.