Category: Gripes

Sep 11, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Gypsy Curse

A month ago, I blogged about my horrible, no good, very bad week. Since then, my run of bad luck has continued, unabated. I strongly suspect a gypsy curse… To refresh your memory, my air-conditioning went out ($300), I got sick, Toodles had to go the vet twice ($600), and to top it all off, a pizza delivery driver pushed my garage door into the back end of my car and then drove off without saying anything about it. My car was trapped in the garage for three days. I had to get a new garage door ($732) and paid another $150 to find out the rear bumper had not been damaged. I got a copy of the police report …

Aug 14, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

A week ago last Saturday (August 5), my air-conditioning quit working a few minutes after six in the evening. In Georgia. In August. I called the folks I have a service agreement with, but it was too late for emergency service that day. I decided to  tough it out until an already-scheduled service call Monday afternoon. I wussed out Sunday morning when I woke up and the house was eighty degrees. The service call cost me $300. Perhaps from sleeping with the windows open and a fan blowing on me, I picked up a bug. It started with a scratchy throat and a cough, but by Sunday night, had acquired various other symptoms that left me feeling like shit. I …

Aug 15, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Stop the Pirates

Once upon a time, books were only available as hard copies. Digital formats didn’t yet exist. The  pricey hardback edition came out first, and if it did well, a paperback edition followed. Readers could buy the book, borrow a copy from the library or a friend, or shoplift a copy from a retailer. Stealing from bookstores is a bigger problem than I would have thought. I just expected readers as a group to have more integrity. Talk about naive… All readers aren’t criminals, of course, but stealing is against the law. Anyone who shoplifts knows it’s a crime. I’m not sure readers understand that sending ebooks to friends or downloading from a pirate site is stealing too. What happens after a …

Jul 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Out-Crotchetied by Whippersnapper

In our little subdivision, I’m the resident crotchety old man. Pity the fool who provokes me. I run kids out of my yard, fuss at anyone who fails to pick up after their dogs, and call the police to report illegally parked cars. A guy I’d guess to be in his early thirties recently moved into the neighborhood. He bought a house that had previously been rented by an army of drunken college students. The percentage of rentals in our ‘hood has gone up since I moved in. We homeowner were happy to see him. Within days, dog walkers warned me to stay clear of his house. On several occasions, he’d come running out of his house to tell them dogs were …

May 23, 2016
By Michael Rupured

This Bathroom Business

The push for transgender rights is much in the news these days. The guidance issued to schools by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education provoked a flurry of fear-mongering commentary from opposition groups. You’d think the world was coming to an end. Science has established that gender, sexual preference, and gender identity are three completely different animals. The switches are set one way or the other in the womb. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes they line up the same way, and sometimes they don’t. Shortly after North Carolina’s governor signed the transgender bathroom bill into law, I posted a comment on Facebook saying I was unwilling to patronize a state or business that discriminates. I was commenting …

May 02, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Finding My Prince

I am a life-long serial monogamist. At the tender age of pushing sixty, I’m currently without my Mr. Right. This is the longest stretch (going on four years) without a significant other since grade school. Single life agrees with me more than I care to admit or thought possible. Still, I don’t see my bachelor lifestyle as a forever thing. One day he’ll come along… I’d like to meet a nice, gorgeous, and likable guy with a car, his own place, and full retirement benefits who takes good care of himself, thinks I’m amazing, and can’t keep his hands off of me. Is that too much to ask? Life is too short for bad relationships. I’ve reached the age where individual body parts have …

Apr 18, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Renewing My Gym Membership

A few weeks ago I renewed my gym membership again. The sales staff has been after me to re-up for months with phone calls and email messages offering “today only!” special deals. I fell for the “today only” thing the first time I renewed. Four years later, I know better. They’ve had the same specials since I joined. Pushy sales people annoy the hell out of me. For years, the high pressure tactics employed by gyms kept me from checking into memberships. I’m especially skeptical when the cost of the item/service being sold is not public information. Keeping pricing plans secret tells me one thing: the range is wide open. I know a little something about invisible pricing. A long time ago, I was …

Feb 29, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Total Assimilation

Attitudes about homosexuality have changed much faster than I ever expected. In the 1950s and 1960s, mothers worried about protecting their children from homosexual pedophiles. Today, they’re card carrying members of P-FLAG. Sixty years ago, homosexuality was illegal in every state but Illinois. Until 1974, the American Psychiatric Association considered homosexuality to be a mental illness. In 1975, the federal government lifted a ban on the hiring of homosexuals. Fast forward to 2015 when the Supreme Court decided gays and lesbians have the right to Equal rights and widespread public acceptance of LGBT folks are good things. Kids come out as gay, lesbian, and transgender at younger and younger ages. Understanding is growing that gender, gender identity, and sexual preference are …

Jan 11, 2016
By Michael Rupured

Uncertainty

Nobody knows what the future holds. Anything could happen, if not tomorrow, then the day after. Or next week. Or maybe not at all. Uncertainty is inescapable. Making decisions would be easy if you knew ahead of time how things turn out. The future is a vast minefield of possibilities, likelihoods, and probabilities. Predicting what will happen with any accuracy is next to impossible. Some people handle uncertainty better than others. My mother spends a significant fraction of her time worrying about stuff that never comes to pass. After I called her on it, she clarified that when she says worrying about, she means thinking about. Same difference if you ask me. Faith doesn’t eliminate uncertainty, but it does offer an explanation.  Everything happens for a …

Dec 14, 2015
By Michael Rupured

Writing Pet Peeves: Point of View Issues

Point of View is the perspective from which a story is told. A writer may choose to tell a story in first person (I was born) or in third person (he/she was born). I suppose second person (you were born) is possible, but is more appropriate for personal letters than works of fiction. Whatever the perspective, the narrator can only comment (or think about) things he or she can see, feel, touch, taste, or hear themselves. If Bill is the narrator, he can’t say “Mark knew what Bill meant,” unless, of course, Bill is psychic and can read Mark’s mind. Unless Bill’s looking in a mirror, he can’t say his face turned red, either. Instead, he’d probably say his face …

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