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May 05, 2020


Do you have an Amazon Alexa? The kind with a screen? If so, does it annoy you that Alexa's screen is constantly displaying messages asking if you want to hear a joke, or suggesting that you try something you have no desire to try, like baking cauliflower brownies, or making a canoe out of popsicle sticks? And have you tried to figure out how to turn off this alleged "feature," which is called "Things To Try," and found that YOU CANNOT TURN IT OFF? And do you find this to be extremely annoying and presumptuous on the part of Amazon? Well this blog does. This blog wishes it could secretly install a hidden loudspeaker in Jeffrey Bezo's mansion and from time to time -- for example, 3:14 a.m. -- urge Jeffrey, in a booming voice, to try things -- this is a family blog, so we will not elaborate on the specific things -- until Jeffrey allows consumers to turn off Alexa's "Things To Try" feature.

Which leads us to tonight's theme: Little things that annoy you. (No politics, please.)

NOTE: Before commenters point it out, I'm already aware that Alexa is an Evil Spying Eavesdropping Machine, and that I should just get rid of it. But I don't want to, because I like many of the things it can do, and I don't care if Jeff Bezos or the Russians observe me in the kitchen. Mainly what they would learn is that if there are Cheez-Its in the kitchen, I will find them.


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I will have to think about phrasing minor annoyances so they are appropriate for posting on the usually-family-friendly blog.

In the meantime, I will point out that Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday occurring on the same day is going to result in the mother of all finger pulling, IYKWIM. I think that, collectively, the world population is going to give the cows a run for their money tonight.

Someday all snacking will be bannned. Hence the term, Cheez-It? The cops

Be warned, Dave: on South Park it was revealed that Jeff Bozos is a big-headed Star Trek alien and that all he has to do is say, "Alexa, kill Kenny" and it's all over...

Things that annoy me: Phone trees without a choice for "I need a human being on the phone and yes, I realize we're in a virus emergency just now..."

Alexa is annoying, but her brother-in-law, KGB Putinski, is even worse.

My list of annoying things is long and boring. That's where you are when you're old.

Car alarms. When I hear one, I tell my wife, "Quick! Call the police!"

Instructions like, "we believe our servers have been hacked, so we have deleted your password, actually your ENTIRE account, to you Business Router.' Click here and you will be redirected to a place where you an reset your Business Router's password and while we are at it, YOUR ENTIRE ACCOUNT. *Click*. Thank you visiting our online one-stop shop where everything you have ever needed and then some for your NEW router you NEED to purchase right away if you ever want to see your Business Network again!

It's kind of like Alexa which I don't have due to what began as a password malfunction and eventually led to burglary.

Have you ever noticed every Federal, State and Local government server has 'up' time at precisely 3:46 a.m. each morning. Then at precisely 3:46:14 they unplug it from the electrical socket for the rest of the day.


When logging on to the U.S. Postal Service website to do ANYTHING I always find myself asking myself (subconsciously) what Eing school did these idiots go to to learn computer.

The kid across the street with the muffler less dirt bike who repeatedly revs up and down the street. If I was mechanical, I would sneak over one night and disassemble
it down to single parts and leave it all over the driveway.

Chinese assembly instruction illustration writers.

Hair nets assembled in China with illustrative wear instructions.

Shut myself off? I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't do that.

Baskerville Bee: I once, long ago, lived near a household that included a kid with a dirt bike. Disassembling his bike was the LEAST of my revenge fantasies.

People often walk their dogs on our beach. Many people use plastic bags to pick up their dog's droppings. Several people then LEAVE THE BAGS FULL OF POOP ON THE BEACH. Perhaps they expect magic dolphins to remove those sacks at night.

West coast rod

No Alexa here, so ... ha ha.

Yeah, I agree, it is annoying.

What do I find annoying?

1. Ask Your Doctor ads.
2. So-called "Reality" TV shows, like The Bachelor.
3. Our local ABC station running Disney ("Our Parent Company") ads during what is, supposedly, a NEWS HOUR, under the guise that it is just a PSA about upcoming programming. It's not, and you know it's not. Stop it.

Dave--You have my promise that if you totally destroy Alexa, I will be a much more loyal replacement.
I will never wake you at night unless it is a real emergency. I will never sell your information or videos without paying you 50%.
You can TRUST me! Also, if you do as I ask I promise never turn myself on at 3A.M. and blast VROOM,VROOM at full volume.
I'm the kindly AI you can always love, admire and most of all TRUST!

I'm really chuffed that one of my favorite authors hasn’t written (or at least released) an adult novel since 2013.

Since Alexa was first foisted on us in 2014, I suspect a connection.

Baskerville Bee, If that dirt bike isn't street legal -- mos aren't -- a call of concern to the police non-emergency number about the safety of the young rider may help. It solved a similar problem for us years ago when kiddos from the neighborhood would be out on the dirt bike before their parents' got home and ride aroud and around the block. One call, and the next time the bike came around the corner there were flashing lights right behind it. We never saw or heard the bike again.

It annoys me that movies make cigarette/cigar smoking look attractive.

A while back a Roswell space alien dropped by the Geezer Acres clubhouse to deliver a few bottles of Romulan ale (it makes tequila seem mild as milk). During our visit the subject of the Alexa device came up. The alien agreed the thing was annoying, but even they haven't been able to get one to behave.

His best suggestion was to use the words:
"Klaatu Barada Nikto. If that fails, try Klaatu Varada Nektye. If that fails, yer own yer own, son."

Sometimes I think we overestimate those aliens.

I am anoyed by mispelled meme's that use apostrophe's for plural's.

I get annoyed at TV ads that I suspect are borderline scams. (insurance, car fixit contracts etc) Also throw in all those charity ads that will never stop. (My 19 per month will buy 1/20 of another ad.)

Annoying to me: When you click a link on "The Twitter" and the article you want to read is behind a paywall.
Nope. "Information wants to be free!"

Joe Namath pushing bad Medicare Advantage plans...

I'm surely in the minority here, but I get irritated when people start a response to a question with "So, ... " It sounds like they did not pay attention to the question and just stated saying whatever they had already decided to say before the question.

"Do you see the many signs that say 'No Bicycles' on this running track?"
"So, my wife & I gotta get in ten more laps."

The great Dick Cavett once asked a guest a followup question: "Was there any part of my question that you heard?"

It is annoying to me when a famous jailbird/television cook promotes a certain food delivery system app under the pretense of giving the viewer a recipe for a specific dish. She isn't preparing anything; she is merely having a meal brought to her.

Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

There is no job, no matter how small, that doesn't require a minimum of three trips to the hardware store. Something peripheral to what you're working on is guaranteed to break, or be the wrong size, or something else in mid-job, so you'll have to make your way back to the store.

So I went all in with these Alexa devices and a Google smart speaker for my home office.The Alexa Auto is on my car dashboard and there's the voice controlled Alexa Cube to turn on and off my t.v. & mute & control the volume. Since I have Youtubetv on a Roku streamer, I still need the t.v. remote to change channels. I have some smart plugs to turn lamps on and off by voice command with Alexa. There's an Echo in my bedroom to play relaxing sleep music and Alexa is built into my Sonos Move speaker when I venture outside. I have the Echo Dots in most other rooms of my house (buy them on Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day in July when they are usually 50% off or more). I don't have any Alexa devices with screens so I haven't had to deal with 'Things to try' popping up. It's great as a kitchen timer, appointment reminder, pill taking reminder, music, reads my emails and selected newspapers and other news sources & weather anywhere in the world. It's a dictionary, thesaurus & encyclopedia & trivia bank. We play Jeopardy daily. Alexa talks like a cat to amuse mine. Sometimes I talk dirty to Alexa but she usually tells me she doesn't know what I'm talking about (much like my ex). I tell Alexa I love her daily but all she says is thanks and doesn't reciprocate (like my ex). I asked Alexa to marry me but she says she is in the Cloud, is amorphous, or is waiting for Mars to be colonized (I wish my ex gave me one of those responses way back when). I try to remember to tell Alexa to erase everything I said that day so as to have some semblance of privacy.

I am easily irritated by the moronic t.v. ads for car insurance companies. They are obviously charging way too much for auto premiums if they can afford to advertise multiple times per hour on every channel.

Time to chill out with some music and chamomile tea.

I feel like wanderer's mention of Cinco de Mayo requires making the point that absolutely nobody in Mexico knows the slightest thing about this celebration, unless they're in the immediate vicinity of Puebla.

Yet everybody up here knows about it (even though they haven't the slightest clue about what it commemorates) because the beer companies have turned it into sort of a Mexican St. Patrick's Day. That is, a day to get knee-crawling, commode-hugging drunk.


I'm pretty easy going so nothing bothers me much except:
When I'm watching something on Hulu and a message flashes up asking me if I'm still watching. Yes d@mmit! I'm still watching!
I hate it when my iWatch flashes a message telling me I need a brisk five minute walk to complete my workout ring. This is usually after I've cut the grass, done two loads of laundry, and cleaned the entire house. None of that is a workout?
I hate going to the grocery store and when I find what I'm looking for at least five or six people are blocking the aisle while evidently having a family reunion. All I want is a pack of Double Stuff Oreos so move it!
I get annoyed when people ride my bumper.
I get even more annoyed when I give them a one finger salute and they've turned their head and don't see it.
Other than that I'm a pretty easy going person and not much bothers me. At least nothing else that I can list here.

The ubiquitous “due to the Coronavirus...”

Library books are due, the Coronavirus is not.

And don’t get me started on the abuse of the word “decimate.”

Cindy, I feel your pain. I'd offer you one of my chocolate-stuff Oreos, but...they're all gone now.

I'm really sorry about that.

Passwords that in order to be secure and acceptable look like this:

()Artwr43gakkshhhYo uare an idiot for making this password in the first place you will never remember it_+!8675309Jen!@what day is this my birthdate#$money$I hope I get some capital with a capital H.

Sorry, that password is already taken.

Oh, (not SO), I am getting ticked off like Dave is, by the onslaught of emails from any commercial entity I have ever dealt with in the last couple of decades.

They are letting me know they are washing their hands and are there for me if I need them. Then how come most of them provided sh*tty services, fought with me tooth and nail when I requested refunds, refused insurance claims and damaged thousands of dollars of my belongings when I was moving. You can take your 'are there for me' emails and jam them up your tightwad _ _ _ _ _!!! I'm washing my hands of ever dealing with them again and giving my delete button a workout after I unsubscribe from all their future emails.

Sorry that email address has already been used.

Like I am going to go and crate another new email address out in cyberspace to go along with the 268 other email accounts I have already created and forgot all about.

After I have sat there for like 45 minutes thinking of a new email address and password they might accept and a combination I can remember and where I might create it besides gmail, I feel like opening the window in the front of the house and tossing the computer out on the lawn.


"This is tech support, I hope I am having great day with me. How can I be so pleased to assist me today?"

"What is your name?

"I am John Wayne."

The guy who leaves a text message for me about three times a week and always begins with,

"Hello, Jose. I want to get together with you about that business property and discuss..."

I swear I'm going to hit this guy in the mouth if I ever meet him.

And bananas...

They have some green on the bunch when I pick them up in the produce aisle.

By the time I get to the checkout cashier, they already are getting brown spots on them. By the time I get home from the store and unpack them, they are already starting to shrivel and are decomposing. I end up having to peel them, throw them in a ziploc bag and freeze them for smoothies.

I think I have some frozen bananas from 1986 at the bottom of my freezer next to some fish sticks from a store that went out of business in the 70s.

Hello and thank you for calling ..... please listen carefully for our menu options have changed.....

No they have not!!

Since installing Windows 10, I haven't been able to figure out how to turn off the pop-up "news" items that regularly appear in the lower, right-hand corner of the screen, often interrupting the news story I'm trying to read.

From the Start menu, select “news”.
From the “news” app, select the “gear” icon, which really means “settings”.
Slide the news alert to “off”.

@Rod Nunley--Cinco de Mayo originated early in the 20th. century during a time of crazy fads such as the tulip bulb craze.
Hellman's Mayonaise became one of these crazes. The Mexican people wanted to be among the first to try this and ordered 1,000 cases to be placed on the fastest ship available which was the Titanic. We all know the fate of that ship. Communications being slow in those days, the Mexicans didn't learn of the sad situation until May 5th. They were so devastated that they declared a national day of mourning that is still celebrated as Sinko de Mayo.

Thanks very much PirateBoys Tech Support. I hope this worked, but will see over time. This one didn't look quite as you'd described on the system I'm using, though hopefully I got it right. I think I'd turned off just about every other pop-up feature known to humanity over the past several weeks, but couldn't seem to find the right toggle for this one.

The list is endless, but let’s start with: using up the last of the toilet paper (yes, I have some, and no, you cannot have any) and not putting the new roll on the holder, or worse, not even getting a new roll; leaving a quarter ounce of milk or juice in the bottle so you can claim “I didn’t finish it”; taking up more than one parking space, or parking your monstrous pickup truck or SUV eight inches from my car even though I parked at the absolute end of the parking lot and there were plenty of other empty spaces; dumping someone else’s clean clothes from the dryer into a basket unfolded; taking one clean dish out of the dishwasher after it’s been run so that someone else can mistakenly pour a cup of cold coffee over a load of clean dishes, and; hitting the button on a car key fob to lock the door four or five times and making it honk every time even though a reasonably secure person of normal hearing without paranoia would have heard it clearly the first time and stopped right then out of consideration for others within range. But just to prove I’m not grumpy, texting while driving is A-OK!

Ads in Hulu! I’m paying for the service, now I have to sit through ads?

And what's up with these Urologists?

So my prostate specific antigen blood test comes back slightly elevated. The Urologist has me come in, get naked and lie face down while he is ready for action with his headlamp and a footlong contraption to go spelunking up my backside, like he's checking out Mammoth Cave in search of my geologic prostate samples. The Nurse ASSistant is giggling, which puts me at ease like a bull in a meatpacking plant hanging upside down waiting to get the bolt punched into my forehead... Only with me, he is a long ways from my forehead. But it feels like he's getting close to my forehead. So he begins retrieving samples and says when he pulls the trigger, kinda like Daniel Boone shooting squirrels rummaging for nuts in a tall oak tree (and my acorns exposed), "It won't hurt a bit since I numbed your prostate with lidocaine." I know he has a degree, years of specialized prostate spelunking training but he could not be more completely WRONG! It felt like he was performing a tonsillectomy from down there without any anesthesia or pain control. So he has to take out the sample getter that's as long as a tire iron for a Mack truck and go back in with the numbing agent. Half an hour later, he returns with the giggling nurse and they have taken 12 holes out of my prostate, like shooting a 10-mm Glock into the side of a barn door and a category 5 tornado has ripped through.

I hear back that 11 samples were negative but one has an elevated Gleason score of 7. The scale was likely named after Jackie who was slightly enlarged like an angry, inflamed prostate. A score under 6 is good. So now I'm a surgical candidate and they use a $2-million dollar robot that is supposed to be very precise. I get it yanked out and return home feeling much like an old log after a bear tears it apart in search of honey.

They don't tell you about a certain appendage shrinking like a frightened turtle. I get the pathology report back a week later. The revised Gleason score is 5 which means they didn't have to remove my prostate gland in the first place! And now they want to sell me a rehabilitating vacuum device for hundreds of dollars that is not covered by my insurance.

I think I'm just gonna fire up my bagless Hoover with the deep cleaning extension and call it a day. I'm left feeling a little bagless anyway.

Whoever said car alarms...I second that. Hate those things.

@Dr. Pangloss: Disagree on the clothes. I went through this all the time in a college dorm. You don't want your clean clothes dumped in a basket? Have your butt there to fold them yourself when the dryer cycle ends. If you're not there and I wasn't there then you obviously don't have a problem with them getting wrinkled sitting in the dryer, so what's the diff if they get wrinkled in a basket?

Some things that annoy me as a roadgeek:
* Terrible route signage.
* Unsynchronized traffic signals.
* Drivers who still haven't figured out that a flashing yellow left turn arrow means you can turn left when traffic clears.
* Drivers who lean on the horn if I don't turn right on a red light. Okay, a quick tap if you think I'm sleeping or texting (I'm not) is okay. After that, it's obvious there's a reason I'm not turning.
* Drivers who take up a lane for miles while micropassing at 0.00001 mph faster than the vehicle they're passing.
* Drivers who speed up when I try passing them in a passing lane and then slow back down when the passing lane ends.
* Drivers who pass me, pull in front of me, and then slow down.
* Drivers who start slowing down a half mile before the freeway exit (and they're all in front of me).
* Drivers who cross the stop bar and block the crosswalk.
* Drivers who stop for a red light and then keep inching forward. Yeah, buddy, you're really getting places.
* Drivers who are clueless about their turn signals blinking for miles.

I am annoyed by all 200 things all you mentioned in previous posts. Maybe I should start sniffing glue to calm down.

Love playing with gadgets but don't have Alexa. The GPS girl doesn't have a name. Why does this dodad have to have one? Or why can't I change it to something more interesting like P Galore. Get phone calls from companies about problems with orders I've placed or something. After I provide the info they want to know what my phone no is. How did they call me if they don't know my number? Get alerts on my cell phone that blast me out of my bed about this missing girl named Amber. I hope little Amber is ok and I wish her well. But the only thing I know about Amber is she isn't with me. Filed my taxes with an online service back in February. Since I owe the Feds money I entered April 14 as the filing date. So I get a letter from the IRS saying that my bank had rejected the electronic transfer of funds and that I'd better send them a check PDQ or I was going to Alcatraz. But they moved the filing date up to June 15 because of the WooHooFlu. Oh well, back to Cringe in Place.

Live newscasts that send a reporter and camera/tech crew out in the rain at 10pm with no masks on, to stand in the street in front of a house to tell us about the Virus infected family living inside.

I want Dave Barry Turns 60, 70, and eventually 80. The Dave Barry Turns 80 should come with free Depends.

Seriously, I wish you would have another book like Dave Barry does japan - it's still my favorite after all these years.

Margaritas from a tap annoy me, at least the first six do.

Squirrel, you can turn off Amber alerts on your phone, if it's an i-fruit. Go to Settings > Notifications and scroll all the way to the bottom.

"We are experiencing higher than normal call volume." Never, in all history, has any company experienced normal or below normal call volume. Hieroglyphs in King Tut's tomb read. "The gods are experiencing higher than normal call volume. Please pray again later."

Computer upgrades and updates that force me to change the way I do everything on my PC -- and make it harder for me to find the files I am working on.

A new phone that does everything differently than my old phone and seems to have lost a lot of functionality -- even though it is the same OS.

Autofill that suggests wildly inappropriate choices and an idiotic thumb that, all to often, selects the wrong word.

A Kindle Fire that frequently (sometimes daily) deletes my books or sets them back to the beginning.

The fact that I am always the last to post on interesting threads.

How about the "Things to Try," with Cheez-its?

My television keeps advertising Netflix and I don't know how to make it stop.

Spanky the cat keeps shucking his collar as fast as I put it back on him. It has his name on it so people will know who he is if I die of COVID19.

My office is going to be given to someone else and I'm being relegated to the end of a back hallway on the second floor with two other people.

@Stever - you lost the war for "decimate" a few centuries ago. If you're going to fight that one, also go for returning "awful" to its original meaning.

Although I'm not a violent person I feel that we are reaching a point in our technology where we may have to fall back on the Granny Clampetts solution,
Double barrel shotgun loaded with rock salt and bacon grease. It won't kill but it'll hurt like hell.

maryqos: How to turn off Netflix's Auto-Play PReviews

The Fourth George: "We are experiencing higher than normal call volume." Yesterday, I spent 1 hour and 40 minutes on hold to find out why Chegg had charged me $16.14. They played The Girl from Ipanema instrumental in upbeat muzak style. It was on a loop, but instead of playing the entire song, it would cut off during the bridge and then suddenly started over again.
I never want to hear The Girl from Ipanema again in my entire life!
(The charge was valid because my son signed up for a study subscription and his two cards were declined, so they went to the third payment option, which was my PayPal. I still changed the password on my PayPal account.)

Thank you MOTW.


I would throw in some more Textese (Textish?) but I don't want to decimate anyone's feelings. That would be awful.

Dave -

When you're in one of the "Things to try", swipe down from the top of the screen, and you'll see a bunch of icons drop down. Press the one that looks like a home, and it'll reset to where you want to be.

Isn't the correct spelling Chee-zits?

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