We got about two hours worth of heavy rain last night, courtesy of a thunderstorm that moved through the area beginning around yesterday afternoon. The rain was welcome and needed. There was one little side-effect of that storm that ruined my whole evening, however. I lost my internet connection about ten minutes into the storm and didn’t get it back for nearly 14 hours. I suppose it’s a sad, sad statement about my so-called “life,” but I was absolutely, positively lost without my ‘net connection last evening. I did get somewhat caught up on my other reading, though. That stack of unread NatGeos went down considerably last night.
Miscellaneous Moans, Groans, Bitches, and Complaints Dept: It’s time to resurrect the Grumpy Old Man persona after two days of sweetness and light aimed at the eight-year-old demographic. Here, in no particular order of precedence, are three carbuncles on the surface of my world:
- I don’t know how to express my irritation about this without coming off like a complete bigot, but I’ll give it a shot. We all know radio and TV announcers have a sort of “universal” voice. Even here in the Southwest, where nearly everyone has either (a) a regional twang and slower pace of diction or (b) a Hispanic accent, all the TV personalities seem to have had their regional accents bred out of them. There seems to be one teeny-tiny exception, and that exception irritates the Hades out of me. Carla Aragón (note the accented “ó”) is the evening news anchor at KOB-TV in
and as such is a qualified and competent individual. However, whenever her name is mentioned, say on a promo for the evening news, the announcers use a highly exaggerated Hispanic pronunciation that comes off as affected, if not outright freakin’ stupid. Ms. Aragón uses this affected pronunciation herself when she introduces herself every evening. No announcer uses an affected pronunciation for other ethnic groups, such as a false brogue for someone named O'Callaghan or a Yakov Smirnov caricature of Russian diction whenever Vladimir Putin is mentioned. And to make matters worse, Ms. Aragón’s delivery and elocution when reading the news is straight middle-American bland (which is to say: no accent at all), except where Hispanic surnames are concerned, and then it’s that same exaggerated accent…every freakin’ time. I have no issue at all with accents in general (regional or otherwise) and wish we didn’t have “voice and diction” classes that breed accents out of our TV personalities. I do have issues with affectation. Stop it, Carla. Albuquerque
- Information Technology (IT) guys (and gals) aren’t all irritating, know-it-all idiots but that seems to be the stereotype. And these disagreeable commercials for IT supplier CDW reinforce the stereotype, in spades. The ads aren’t cute and they ain’t funny. They’re obnoxious. I’ll be glad when CDW changes their ad campaign, but it looks like it may be a while. I mean, they seem to be proud enough of the ads that they have a separate web page devoted to them. Perhaps the stereotype rings a bell with people (“Yes! Our IT guy is just like that!!”), but not with me. But then again, I was an IT guy…
- The Geico gecko, in his new incarnation. I liked him a lot better when he was mute, that is, before he began speaking in that ersatz Aussie accent. That “free pie and chips” bit makes me climb the walls. Geico’s other ads, like the “Caveman” and “Spelling Bee” ads, are generally creative and funny (examples here), but the (talking) gecko? Irritating. Scream-at-the-TV kind of irritating.
Sorry for the bitchy tone, but it happens... yanno?