This marks the continuation of my micro-posting entitled My Pet Peeves. My intent is to publish one Peeve every Wednesday for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully you will find these to be true, recognizable, amusing, and idenifiable. The Pet Peeves listed here are my opinion and my opinion only.

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And now Ladies and Gentlemen ... My Pet Peeve of the week:

4/8/2020: MUSIC. Okay okay. This is not really a Pet Peeve. Itís more a bit of an observation and an explanation to all to whom, through the years, I have proclaimed that I do not like music. This is only a partial truth. It is a total truth as it pertains to some of what I hear today which I consider however, not to be music, but rather noise. But if I hearken back to my younger times, Teresa Brewer, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, The Big Bopper Ö that music I enjoyed as did many of my peers. My favorite of that era was Johnny Cash. Number two was Teresa Brewer. All the rest followed. Except for one. And that one was the leader of the pack for having introduced me, though a tad obliquely, to classical music. So hereís the question. How many of you who enjoyed the same era of music as I did, also enjoyed immersing themselves into classical music as I did? My answer for all of you, skeptics and mockers alike, is that you all enjoyed classical music, perhaps unbeknownst even to yourselves. Well, hereís a tidbit or two which some of you may know. Shall we start with Beethoven? A quick digression. I was a ham radio operator in my youth. I had to know Morse-code. The sound, as verbalized in code, for the letter V is: di-di-di-dah. The opening notes for Beethovenís Fifth Symphony are: di-di-di-dah. Interesting, eh wot. But Iíve got a better one. How many of you remember Neil Diamond? How many of you remember a song of his entitled ďSong Sung Blue?Ē Let us now segue to Mozart. How many of you remember hearing the second movement of Mozartís Piano Concerto #21? For those of you who do not know the Mozart piece but do know the Neil Diamond piece, I would urge you to listen to the Concerto. One is derivative of the other. The concerto is eerily similar to Song Sung Blue. It is, in fact, so eerily similar that you would have to begin to think that the possibility exists that Neil Diamond took Song Sung Blue from Mozartís Concerto #21. For those of you who think that, you are right for even Neil admits that that is the source of his song. So all of you who loved and love the music of the 50ís and 60ís and even early 70ís, and especially those of you who loved Neil Diamond, to you I say you were classical music aficionados, whether you knew it or not. And so voila!



4/1/2020:THE BIGGEST SELLING COMMODITY IN AMERICA. So hereís the question. What do you think is or was the biggest selling commodity in this country? Keep in mind that the answer is always in flux. In my humble opinion, it used to be fear. Are you afraid? Buy this pill, says the man dressed in a white coat. Are you afraid? Research has it that one pill a day will prevent your ass from falling off. Are you afraid? Rub this on your skin, says the pretty lady with ruby red lips, and all blemishes will disappear. Want your hair to grow back, eat this. Want to stop those nasty headaches, drink that. Want to regain the memory abilities of your youth, rub this into your ear, which our scientists have proven, is the direct path to your brain. Want to leap buildings in a single bound? Want to be able to read minds? Want to run faster than a speeding locomotive while wearing a big S on your chest? Want to eradicate this? Want to conquer that? Want all your worries to disappear? What to achieve financial security? Want to attract beautiful women? Want to attract handsome men? Want your bad breath to disappear? Want your feet to smell like perfume? Want your friends to stop making fun of you over your abysmal ignorance? Want to get a medical diploma and get your doctorate while youíre sleeping? Yes yes, folks. All this is possible. Just buy Doctor Benjaminís magic elixir and all your fears will be gone forever. Alas dear readers, fear is no longer the leader of the pack. Itís something else. Something far more nefarious. It is the trick used by this side to unite its followers in their efforts to conquer the other side. Many have used it, history has shown, quite successfully. How do you conquer the enemy, whether that enemy is right or wrong? What commodity do you use to turn the otherwise peaceful and lackadaisical into your allies who will join you in your mighty efforts? Easy peasy my friends. Use the most influential commodity ever sold to humans since the beginning of time. Use Hate.

3/25/2020: OH WE MUST. WE JUST MUST. First: A paraphrase from my mother. We escaped from Belgium shortly before Hitler invaded and occupied the country. We traveled into France, after having borrowed some money, in a covered wagon, and then, via circuitous routes, made to America. After that my mother used to say there are only two ways you can tell who your true friends are. During a war, and when in need of money. I now proceed. We have all experienced this, I am sure. You meet someone as they meet you. Polite conversation ensues. It is eminently apparent to any onlooker that this meeting was not made in heaven. And yet you both smile, seemingly delighted that fortune has favored each of you with this meeting. And when itís over, you both fall over yourselves saying we must get together one day soon. Yes yes. We must. I for one cannot wait. Which, as everyone knows, is all a pile of camel droppings. Till one fine day, COVID-19 pops into our existence, and America is at war. Bad for humanity perhaps, a boon for the media. We must all be kind to each other, says this one. We must help the elderly, says that one. All this while Amazon allows its vendors to charge $600.00 for a bottle of Purell. Altruism has taken hold. Humanity among humans is making a resurgence. Is it not? You are one day taking a stroll down the street. The angels burst forth. Oh hello. How are you? If you need help, please please call me right away. And then theyíre gone. No number exchanges. No further conversation. You will be required to use telepathy if you need assistance.You stroll on. You meet another altruist. They abound. Call me if you need help. Give me your cell number and I will text you as soon as I get home in order to give you my cell number in order that you may be able to reach me if you need me. I do, however, have neighbors who text me with their numbers. I do have neighbors who tell me when they were going out shopping to see if I needed anything. They are the rare ones? You must call if you need us. Good guys to the end. Some humans, thanks to COVID-19, indeed do have a modicum of humanity imbued into their souls. Who woulda thunk it? And yet, at night, when I walk Brinkley, I carry a lead plumbing pipe swathed in black tape for invisibility Ö just in case. Altruism you see, is only diurnal. Not to worry though. Daylight is only a few hours away. And humans will always be there. Call them if you need them. Tell them we must get together. As soon as possible would be good. But not now. Later perhaps.

DOES CRIME PAY? This is not so much a peeve as it is an observation to a question that once came up. As most of you, if not all of you know, I was once in the jewelry business. Retired now in order to pursue that which does not pay my rent, but rather that which soothes my soul. Itís a heady endeavor. What I suspect many of you do not know is that there a quite a few more than just a few who were once policemen, now retired and doing work in the jewelry business. Policemen are ideal for jewelers. Not only do they have carry-licenses which allows them to keep their handguns on them, but they also have the training and know-how as to how to use them should the need arise. They are in demand in our industry as guards and delivery people and overseers. When jewelry has to be taken from here to there, there is no better qualified person to take it to its destination than a retired policeman. I have met quite a few of them when I was still working. They were all nice guys with a good sense of humor. And so it came to pass that one day, more as a spoof than anything else, that I asked one of them, ďHey Joe. Does crime pay?Ē Before I give you his answer, Iíll dash off some approximate statistics of those that get away with it. Murder = 40%. Aggravated assault = 50%. Rape = 65%. Robbery = 70%. Larceny = 80%. Automobile theft = 86%. Burglary = 86%. And so Joe, with a slight shrug of his shoulders while looking at me as though I were something of a demented imbecile, said: ďOf course it pays. Why do you think so many people are doing it?Ē And he then plopped his package on my desk, sat himself down in order that he and I might have a bit of a chit-chat before he went on his merry way. His name wasnít Joe, but he and I remained buds for a while. Joe was a font of information.

ADVICE FROM ONLINE STOCK MARKETERS: This article precludes personal advisors, some of whom are quite good. That said: Anybody out there like playing Russian Roulette? Itís a little like playing regular Roulette only you use a gun with bullets in all the chambers but one instead of spinning a wheel while all the while hoping the little white ball will land on your number. Which brings me to advice given online, at often not so nominal a cost, at times followed by ad bombardment, to would be investors as they hope those guys, who know more than they do, will help them amass a fortune. My feeling is this: If those guys knew how to amass a fortune, why would they spend their time trying to help you amass one? Altruism, like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and Mickey Mouse and all the rest of the gang, are, in my mind at least, figments of the imagination that gained popularity because they appeal to dreams. In reality, you chase after that gazelle and gnaw at its throat till it dies and then eat its gizzards out till youíre sated. So how are these guys able to show you stocks they say they picked and show you the amazing growth they had? Easy peasy. I conjecture that they work backwards. They put one of the workers on it. Tell him to pick one or two hundred well performing stocks and print out their history and get that report on my desk in one hour or your ass is grass and Iím the lawnmower. And then, presto gasatz, the report is there. And you can pick the one stock for this weekís issue, RTZ&Q, that started ten years at one dollar per share and is now five hundred and sixty two dollars per share. Thatís over five hundred percent folks. If you had bought one thousand shares, as did one of our clients, they say, youíd be able to retire today. Our man started at the age of nine and retired at nineteen years of age and now lives on a South Seas island being fanned by half naked women while sipping on a Pina Colada. If you want success in life, sign up for our newsletter. Sign up now. We know what you donít know. We know that we donít know, and that is what you donít know.

FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE: Hopefully, for those who are not yet there, you are all going to get old. It happens. When you were young you always said, ďCan I have one please?Ē That phrase changed when you got older. And now you always say, ďI can remember when.Ē And thatís how it is for me today. I can remember when: I used to go into a store and all the prices were clearly labeled. I can remember when: I turned on the telly and when the ads came on all the prices were clear for all to see. Today itís a tad different. I admit I never tried this out. But I can extrapolate, can I not? The ad comes on. A pretty young thing holds up a Gizmotrite. It will drive your car, flush your toilet, wipe your ass, sweep your floors, cook dinner, and give you all the sex you could ever want. The price, if you buy within the next 30 seconds Ö only $19.99, shipping included. But for you, especially for you, because we like you so much, because we revere the very ground upon which you walk, for you we will give you a second one for free. Yessiree Babaloo. Absolutely free! No extra charge. Not another red cent. Not a farthing or a franc or a pfennig more. Just pay a separate fee. Hunh? A separate fee, you say? How much is that extra fee? You donít mention it. Oh, I have to call to find out how much it is? Surely you jest, you dimwitted troll. Anybody out there remember Diogenes? He was a Greek philosopher best known for holding a lantern up to the faces of the citizens of Athens claiming he was looking for an honest man. Ya think he ever found one? Ya think if he lived today, heíd ever find one? Methinks not me lads and lassies. But hereís the thing. Iím going to be selling lanterns soon. Buy one, get the next one free. Only a teeny weenie extra charge for handling. Step right up folks. Get yer lanterns from Honest Benjamin. Step right up. itís free. And the moon, of course, is made of green cheese.

WHEN THE PAST IS THE PRESENT: Okay folks. Play along. Imagine if you will, that Alex has not yet been born but in spite of that, texting is rampant among the colonies. Your fingers, though a bit worn at the nubs, are lightening fast. Hey Carole. Donít forget to bring home some potatoes. Your fingers fly. Yo Jimbo. Thereís a good flic at the Zoombah movie house. John Smythe is the star. And now you wait for an interminable answer. What if their texting gadgets are not turned on? And so you wait for the invention of the century to do its thing. What would the world do without texting? And then, as if often happens, a child is born. His name is Alex. Heís a tinkerer first class. At six months old heís solving 100 piece jigsaw puzzles. By the time heís one year old, he can do 1000 piece puzzles in less than an hour. Heís a genius. And he grows up. Heís no longer called Alex. He now calls himself Alexander. He rarely comes out of his basement. Till one day a scream emanates from deep within the caverns of his house. Eureka, he yells out to the world. And they all come running in droves. What did that Alexander Graham Bell invent this time? Oh my god. Itís a telephone. We donít have to text anymore. We can call and get immediate answers. Ah. If only it had been that way. Texting would be out the window. I wouldnít have to wait for my lady to tell me if she still loves me. I could call her and speak to her live. Alas Ö too often the order of things come out inverted. And so we text ad infinitum because we always had the telephone.

2/12/2020: SEARCHES: Ah Ö the Internet. Ya gotta love it. They have the answers to everything. Anyone our there remember a radio show called The Answer Man. He was like the Web, only in human form, and more direct. What color is that planet, you asked The Answer Man. He told you it was purple. Go to the web and ask the same question and what you get is insanity. Here are some answers they give you: The planet is actually about as bright as Uranus is on a clear day in August because it is about 800 million miles away from Pluto. Click this link to read more. It is primarily the color of the frozen lava at midnight because thatís what itís mostly made up of. Click this link to read more. Perceivably, the planet has no visible seas and most of the land areas are dark green. Click this link to read more. It has overall a light terrain that mimics chalk. Click this link to read more. Take a photo of the planet with a good camera lens and then boost the saturation till you bring out the true colors. Click this link to read more. I sigh with sadness. Ask a simple question, they give you everything but that which you want to know. All the above are good. But only after weíre told that the color of the planet is blue. Simplicity and directness, it would appear, has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Helpppp!

2/12/2020:ANSWERING MACHINES: Itís time to call tech support. You dial the number. Good morning. Thank you so much for calling. We really appreciate your call. At the end of this message you will be invited to participate in a short survey. Press one if you want to participate. Press two if you donít want to participate. Press three if weíre annoying the crap out of you. Press four if you want to speak to tech support. And so you press four. Good morning. Thank you so much for calling. We canít tell you how much we appreciate your interest. Press one if youíre a home user. Press two if youíre a business. Press three if weíre annoying the crap out of you. And so you press one. Good morning. Thank you so much for calling. And so you yell out, give me a representative. And someone finally gets on the phone. Gooot moornink. Tank yow so mooch for callinkeh. You canít understand the accent. You barely understand the words. Give me an American, you say. Yes sir. One moment please. Click. Dial tone. And now you have to start over. Remember when we were young and an operator got on the phone and simply said may I help you sir?

2/5/2020:NO CHECKS: You want something. You want to subscribe perhaps. Checks you ask? Oh no. No no no. No checks accepted. No no. That wonít do. Credit cards only. We canít rip you off with checks, you see. But you can cancel anytime with your credit card. You have but to try it. And good luck to ya. Stonehearted? Ruthless? Us? Oh please. Benevolence is our middle name. Oh yes. Itís true. Of course. We would never make canceling difficult for you. Gift cards you say? So sorry. Also no. Well sometimes maybe. When our people are off guard perhaps. I extrapolate here folks as Iíve never paid for subscriptions with a credit card though I have, upon occasion, paid with gift cards. Safer that way. When it comes to renewables, only checks for me you see. This way I can renew whenever I want. Whether they like it or not. As to the credit card only companies? One small word of advice when you see one. Run. Run for your lives before they snag you.

1/29/2020:CORPORATE HONESTY: You ever call to complain? You ordered a this, and they sent you a that which they renamed with the same name as the this. But I bought a that, you say. This is a that, they say. But itís not a that. You start to raise your voice. And he or she goes into his or her spiel. Within his or her first five words you try to interrupt. He or she is not addressing your issue. But you canít. Itís clear. He or she is reading from a script. You have no chance to speak your piece. He or she has no interest in what you have or want to say. I have a real life example. LUMINA. Eye drops from Bausch and Lomb. Comes in two sizes. 2.5 ml and 7.5 ml. I know. I use the stuff. Boxes look exactly the same, except for small print at the bottom. How am I supposed to read that, you ask the operator who is expressing her deep distress over your dilemma while all the while you know she couldnít give a ratís ass if you lived or died. How am I supposed to know how much is in there? Thereís a picture on the carton telling you how much liquid is in the bottle, she tells you. But the bottle is opaque, you tell her. How do I know youíre telling the truth. Oh please sir. We always tell the truth. We, corporate America, never practice deception. Never you hear. Never! Never! Never!

1/22/2020:BOOKS FOR DUMMIES: I bought one the other day because I was unable to find--at the moment that I needed it-- a different publisher on the topic I wanted. I did find one later. There's much to be said about the perils of impatience. That aside, perhaps it would have been better if they called it Books For First Class Schmucks. I have trouble imagining a world that identifies itself with those titles. Yeah yeah. Gimme one. I'm an idiot. Here. Certification from the state avowing to my stupidity. Ta rah rah boom dee yay, I'm just a putz today . . .

1/15/2020:MICROSOFT: Microsoft, it has been said, is going to place a notice on all computers using windows 7, on Janaury 15, whether you want it or not, reminding, urging, even threatening one and all to upgrade to windows 10 or buy a new computer that uses windows 10, the hell with whether or not you either want or can afford to do so. Never mind the fact that about 42% of users are still using windows 7 and some are still using XP. What a financial landfall for Microsoft. Of course, there is no easy remedy. I, for one, would NEVER, EVER, urge one and all, numbering I presume to be the millions, to inundate Microsoft with emails and texts and chats protesting their invasive actions, for that would be barging into their space much as they barge into yours. So be told. Do NOT text. Do NOT email. Do NOT inundate their chats. Do NOT give them back what they gave you. That would not be fair. Would it? Or would it?

1/08/2020: INITIALS. The world, in my mind, has gone mad. Are they conserving on using letters of the alphabet to spell out whole words? Are they worried that eventually the allotted usage of letters will run out and they will then no long be able to write another sentence? They tell you nothing. They know, so they expect you to know too. The LMN of the QRS is lying dormant upon a TUV as the WTH writes his script on an XYZ form. Are they kidding? I need an Initial Dictionary to figure out what the hell those idiots are saying!