Entries in the “Annoyances” category

While growing up in Manhattan, I had always heard about this type of thing, but had never seen it in person. I had seen references to it in movies and on TV, and friends and acquaintances swear it’s happened to them, but I had always thought that they made it up as sort of practical joke on a city kid. I had dismissed it as a myth or an urban legend—like unicorns, alligators in the sewers, or that girl that had to go to the hospital because she got a frozen hot dog stuck somewhere.

The other day, when I got home and picked up my mail, I saw an odd looking envelope mixed in with a magazine and another envelope containing local coupons. This envelope caught my attention because it was a first-class letter sized envelope with both my address and the return address handwritten on the front. It looked like something that a friend would send me, except that I knew of no friends with the return name or at the return address. Additionally, it was addressed to “Joshua Madison”, and about the only people who use that form of my name are my parents and the I.R.S., neither of whom this envelope came from.

I was intrigued, but also weary. Visions of some long lost relative who left me a million dollars danced in my head; so did anthrax.

Continue reading ‘I’ve Finally Joined the Club’ . . .

We got about 8 inches of snow overnight and it was still coming down when I left for work this morning.  When a large snowfall occurs, I usually alter my route to work to take advantage of cleaner sidewalks, but something about Park Avenue has always bugged me.

Here in NYC, all buildings are responsible for clearing the snow from their sidewalk when it snows.  The larger the apartment building is, and the more well off the residents are, the better the snow removal is.  For example, a small 4-story walk-up building with 12 apartments is going to wait until the superintendent gets around to it, while a large block-long condo building is going to have their 24-hour maintenance staff shovel once an hour with an electric shovel.  This is why on days like today, I head to Park Avenue as quickly as possible to walk on their clean, and wide, sidewalks.

Looking West towards Park Avenue on 62nd Street

There’s only one small issue with that plan.

Continue reading ‘I Love/Hate Park Avenue When It Snows’ . . .

All I wanted was a quick glass of water.  What came out of the tap was less than appetizing.


It looked more like skim milk than water.

I know it’s just aeration due to apartment living, but it still looks ugly.  When it finally cleared up, it looked like someone hocked a luggie in it.


Looks like I’ll be stopping by Bed Bath & Beyond, again, and picking up some Brita water filter stuff.

Picture of my salmon sushi lunch

This really burns my grits!

You see that green fake-grass-looking thing? See how it’s in between a piece of salmon sushi and a piece of the salmon roll? It’s not supposed to be there.

The fake-grass thing is supposed to separate the ball of wasabi and bunch of ginger from the fish. It’s there so that one piece does not get overpowered with flavor. It’s not there purely for decoration. I thought this was common knowledge, or at least common sense.

I have tried to explain this to the sushi making guy at my lunch place, but he just nods and smiles. I assume I could tell him that his house was on fire and I would get the same nod and smile.

Since there really isn’t another sushi place in my neighborhood that’s as convenient, I guess I’ll have to put up with one piece of my salmon roll being extra wasabized.


February 10, 2009 — Compare and contrast the below sushi dinner. Notice how the chef used the soy sauce packet strategically with the green fake-grass thing to separate the sushi from the condiments.


“Bloody” as in the British expletive, not the condition of the pipe that Professor Plum used to kill Mr. Boddy in the study.

Continue reading ‘A Conversation About That Bloody Pipe’ . . .

Got two slices of pizza tonight. One broccoli and mushroom, and one pepperoni. When I was presented with the box, I was a little surprised.


As I was walking home, I began to think about what the pizza shop gets for using advertising on their boxes…most likely, free boxes. That made me think that the pizza should cost a little less since they don’t have to pay for the boxes anymore, but then I remembered that costs get passed on to the consumer, not savings. I guess it really doesn’t matter that there is advertising on the boxes, other than it’s just another example of us being bombarded by advertising.

And the worst part…Verizon FiOS isn’t even available to me.

Update: Looks like I might be able to get FiOS sooner than I thought.


Forget the fact that they changed my ZIP code and made life a little more inconvenient for me, or the time they put a Playboy postcard haphazardly in my mailbox, but now they are rearranging the very fabric of New York to mess with me.

In the photo below, you can see that there is a green mailbox right near my building’s entrance (it’s under the snow, behind the little tree). This was a very convenient placement for me, but now the U.S. Postal Service has taken it away and I can only assume it was out of spite.


December 2000


May 2008

The block that I live on has a total of seven very similar buildings, with four of them almost identical. The buildings next door to mine, in both directions, are of the identical variety, and that fact can cause issues when I’m coming home late at night, especially after I’ve had a few drinks that contain alcohol. That mailbox was a landmark that made it possible for me to enter the correct building no matter what state my vision was. Finding the right apartment was a problem a few times, but that’s for another time.

About two weeks ago I was walking home after work, completely sober, and noticed that the green mailbox was gone. There was nothing in its place, except for the bolt holes where it used to be. I wondered if it was removed to be painted or maintained in some way, but a few days later, my worst fears were confirmed. It had been moved up the block. Luckily, the USPS did not place it near one of the other identical buildings on my block.

I fully expect them to do that in the future, just to annoy me.

Look at the photo below. The peanut butter on the right weighs 16.3 oz. and sold for $3.59 about two months ago. That’s about $0.22 per ounce. The peanut butter on the left weighs 15 oz. and sold for $3.79, today. That’s about $0.25 per ounce.

I love how not only does the price goes up, but the weight goes down at the same time. I especially love how they made the weight go down by sucking in the sides.

I won’t even bring up the fact that they’re skimping on the glue for the label.

It’s still good peanut butter, though.


I get CNN Breaking News e-mails, and every now and then I can’t understand what they consider “breaking news”.  This page will keep track of some of their Breaking News Alerts that I think are a waste of electrons.

Continue reading ‘CNN Breaking News’ . . .

According to CNN, there were two important breaking news stories today. The first was the emergency interest rate cute by the Federal Reserve, and the second was Heath Ledger’s death.  I won’t get into why the second one is not important, but I just wanted to point out that CNN did not have a story on it so I went to one of my local TV station’s sites to see if there was an article on it.  There was, and I was sort of interested in one particular sentence.

Continue reading ‘Heath Ledger Was “Just” 28’ . . .