Friday, June 10, 2005

Five Little Things That Irk Me

What’s a blog good for if you can’t whine about petty things on it? Here are five little things that irk me.

1. Movie DVDs that come only in the “director’s cut” version. Sure, sometimes it’s cool to see the director’s original vision; Bladerunner is an excellent example. But often, there’s a good reason the producers demanded another cut – e.g., the director’s cut was incomprehensible or too damn long. The Last of the Mohicans (1992) was one of my favorite movies, and then I saw the director’s cut... awful. But you can’t find the theatrical cut of Mohicans on DVD. Even if the director’s cut of a movie is better, I’d like to have the option. (The same goes for the extra-naughty “unrated” versions.)

2. CDs that come in non-standard packaging, like a little book or perfectly square recyclable box, instead of the usual gem case. These artists think they’re being cute or original or earth-friendly. In reality, they’re just mucking up the uniformity of your shelving. Sometimes you even have to adjust your shelf height to accommodate these pesky non-conformists, or else segregate them from the rest of your collection.

3. Books, CDs, and DVDs with words on the spine that go bottom-to-top, instead of top-to-bottom. You have two choices with these buggers: (a) shelve them right-side-up, so their spinal writing is inverted relative to the other items on the shelf, or (b) shelve them upside-down to align their spinal writing with the rest.

4. All-night cold remedies that only last 6 hours. Don’t get me wrong – Nyquil is a wonderful product, and I’ll keep buying it despite my complaint. But when I have a cold, I want to sleep 8+ hours without the post-nasal drip kicking in. Why can’t they just tweak the formula to last an extra 2-3 hours?

5. Hotel shower knobs that compress water temperature and water volume into a single dimension. Want a cold shower? Only in a dribble. Want a hot shower? Only in a blasting torrent. At first I thought these knobs were designed to save money or water, but then I realized that doesn’t make sense. Most people (I suspect) want hot showers, and they’ll put up with the high volume to get one, so these knobs encourage overuse of hot water. Maybe there’s some economic justification for them I can’t see, but even if someone lets me in on the secret, I’ll still find them annoying.

Hey, maybe this will become another blog-meme. But I’ll refrain from trying to rope other people into it.


Anonymous said...

6. DVDs that form a set (like movie sequels or seasons of a TV show) that don't match when placed together on a shelf.

Neal said...

DVDs that don't go immediately to the main menu when you play them, instead showing previews, piracy warnings, and needlessly long pre-menu animations. Even worse, DVDs that don't go to the main menu and won't let you jump forward to it either. ("Operation currently prohibited.")

mike said...

8. DVDs that have animations whenever you click on anything that are vaguely cute the first time, but annoying thereafter, and TV-series DVDs that require you to go to a sub-menu for each episode, and only there select play (with annoying animations at each click). Yes, I'm looking at you, Simpsons.

lizriz said...

9. The Mere Existence of full-screen DVDs. Get over it people. Watch the movie as it was shot to be watched.

Anonymous said...

An even more annoying footnote to gripe #4: a handful of 12 and 24 hour cold/flu remedies USED TO actually provide effective relief of the dreaded post-nasal drip for the advertised time period. But in 1999, the chemical that made this long-term time release possible was determined to be too addictive. (Perhaps a chemist/pharmacist can help me out with the name of this compound. . ?) In the wake of the late-90s surge in liability complaints filed against big pharma over painkiller addictions (thanks Brett Favre), the FDA mandated all products containing this chemical had to be removed from store shelves. All this despite the absence of a single public complaint alleging that a single consumer was addicted to, say, Sudafed 24 Hour Cold capsules, much less any proof that such an addiction is bad for you. So just know, Dr. Whitman, the next time you wake up coughing in the middle of the night, that it is for your own good; the FDA is protecting you from yourself.

Amit said...

Nyquil can't alter the formula to last another 2-3 hours because of people like me. It knocks me out for 12+ hours and keeps me groggy (unable to drive) for 30+ hours. Sorry Glen!

- Amit

Amy Phillips said...

I used to have a 13 inch TV. You'd better believe I wanted to watch my movies in full screen, or else I couldn't see them at all. What I don't understand is why so many movies are released in two separate editions instead of putting both full screen and wide screen copies on the same disc and letting the consumer choose.

Norma said...

Some idiot previous owner installed one of those one control shower faucets in my bathroom. I can't change it without ripping out marble tile. I hate it. Thanks for the rant.