man-i-fest-o n . A public declaration of intentions or principles, especially of a political nature.
(Webster's New Riverside Desk Dictionary.)
Laws that make no sense and laws that are not enforced should be repealed.
"Go ahead" is not a call sign. (Two-way radio communications.)
The proper response to "stand by" is silence.
There is no " x " in the word "escape."
The question should be "where are you?" and not "where are you at?" The question should be "where is it?" and not "where is it at?" The statement should be "you have mail" and not "you've got mail."
Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and children should not DEMAND that the other "PICK UP THE PHONE" when calling and getting the answering machine. The word "please" goes a long way. How about, "Hi, this is Joe, please pick up the phone." Or, "Hi, Honey, it's your dear, sweet wife, I hope you're near the phone."
It costs nothing to say "I'm sorry," even if it's not your fault; but it can make someone else feel much better.
Please turn right FROM the right lane INTO the right lane. This allows opposing traffic to keep flowing.
Please turn left FROM the left lane INTO the left lane. This allows opposing traffic to keep flowing.
The correct response to "Thank you" is "You're welcome," or possibly "Thank You," depending upon the circumstances. The correct response is never, "No problem." Never.
When you're going to have to create a new "secret code number" at your bank, credit union or store, they should tell you about it in advance so you can think about it while they're filling out the rest of the paperwork. They should tell you the number of digits and whether it's numbers or letters or both. They absolutely should not wait until the last possible moment and then say "you have 10 seconds to enter your new secret code number." Grrrr!
You are not required by law to stop at "Stop" signs on PRIVATE PROPERTY in California (grocery store or shopping mall parking lot, for example). But you are still required to drive safely. Be watchful for other people that don't stop at "Stop" signs or that cut across parking lots.
Carbonated ("sparkling") beverages will foam excessively when poured into the bottom of a glass. Foaming can be minimized by pouring onto the side of the class; tilt the glass slightly from upright when pouring. This should be taught on the very first day when people start working at fast-food places.
SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT, Part One: if you are being passed on the right by other cars, you need to move to the right lane. If you are being passed ON BOTH SIDES, you should definitely MOVE TO THE RIGHT.
You can be cited by the police for parking in HANDICAPPED parking spaces on PRIVATE PROPERTY without the proper license plates or placard (in California). Please leave handicapped spaces available for those who legitimately need them. On the other hand, don't be too quick to judge whether a person is handicapped or not, just be what they look like. Many respiratory conditions are not visible.
If you see someone doing something STUPID on a California freeway, you CAN do something about it. Note the VEHICLE DESCRIPTION and the LICENSE NUMBER and call the nearest CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL business office when you get home. They can send a notice to the registered owner of the vehicle requesting compliance with the California Vehicle Code. Some people don't care, but some people will realize the error of their ways and do better next time.
When the Department of Motor Vehicles sends you TWO license plates, put one on the front and one on the back of the car. (In California, the one with the stickers goes in the back.) Don't fight it, just do it. It might help them find your car if it's stolen.
SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT, Part Two: If someone wants to pass, even if you are already driving at the speed limit, MOVE TO THE RIGHT. It is not your job to force other people to obey the speed limit unless you have red lights and siren and drive an "authorized emergency vehicle." It's not worth getting involved in a Road Rage incident; just MOVE TO THE RIGHT and let the other vehicle pass.
Rebuttal from Jeff Peters
Rebuttal to the Rebuttal from Chuck Yerkes
Action Line item (waiting for approval before posting)
If you are caught driving with a suspended license (in California), your car can be towed and stored for thirty days (at your expense!) even if someone else in the car has a license. Don't do it!
Please do not punch "911" into your friends' pagers to tell them to call you right away. An amazing number of people forget to enter the phone number and just punch "911," and an even more amazing number of people pick up the phone and dial "9-1-1" when they get such a page!
If you can't make up your own code, please use "1111" for "your convenience," "2222" for "as soon as possible" and "3333" for "the baby's coming now!"
Please don't drive in another driver's "blind spot." You know how it is: someone is behind you and to the left or behind you and to the right - the only places where your mirrors don't give you a complete view of other cars. This invites disaster. Don't Do That!
Merchandise prices should NOT be set at a few pennies less than a dollar to trick consumers. If the price of the item is twenty dollars, don't say it's $19.95 or $19.97 or $19.99, say it's $20.
The phrase "per person, double-occupancy" should be banished. If you must have two people to rent the room - cabin - etc., then the price is not "Forty dollars per person, double-occupancy," the price is "Eighty dollars for two persons." Tell the whole truth!
Please Use Turn Signals BEFORE beginning your turning movement. It's only fair that you let other drivers know what you intend to do.
When I sit down to watch the "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw" but Tom Brokaw is not there, it is NOT the "NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw." It is the "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" or whomever. When I sit down to watch "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" but Peter Jennings is not there, it is NOT "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings," it is "World News Tonight with Forrest Sawyer" or whomever. When I sit down to watch the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" but Dan Rather is not there, it is NOT the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," it's the "CBS Evening News with Bob Shieffer" or whomever. When are they going to learn? This is news, not entertainment. We don't care who reads us the news, we want it to be accurate and timely. Saying the name of someone who is NOT THERE is not accurate.
News Story: Target Stores will no longer sell tobacco products. This is a good start. We should encourage tobacco farmers to develop other uses for their crops. We should require them to phase out tobacco and phase in other crops in a few years.
A marriage that starts with cake-in-the-face at the reception is not off to a good start. Be creative and come up with your own "new tradition" that doesn't involve smearing food on your beloved's face.
When you put road flares ("fusees") on the street to warn people of an accident ahead, don't put them on the painted lines. The flares will burn the paint right off the street, making it hard for people to see where they're going later on. And watch for fuel leaking from damaged vehicles: gasoline flowing downhill towards a flare can cause the car to explode into flames.
There is no shame in being ignorant on certain topics. Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. Stupidity, on the other hand, goes all the way to the bone.
Dogs belong on the floor, not on the bed. Read more about it on my Dog Hints page.
Don't stop in the middle. (I could write an entire page about this, but I won't.) You wouldn't think of stopping your car in the fast lane on the freeway; please don't stop in the middle of the aisle in the grocery store; move to the side so that others may pass. (I would suggest moving to the right, just like on the highway). Don't stop in the middle of a walkway between buildings; move to the side so that others may pass. Don't stop in the middle of the sidewalk on Main Street at Disneyland; move to the side so that others may pass. Don't stop in the middle of the walkway in the museum, the church or synagogue, the art gallery, the school or college, the casino, the airport; move to the side so that others may pass.
When you get up in the morning, straighten the bed (covers). You don't have to MAKE THE BED, just straighten the covers. It takes about 20 seconds and makes the room look so much better. Jay Leno is wrong; his mother was right.
Do you like to put eighteen question marks? One is enough. One exclamation point is enough, too!
Airlines purposely overbook seats because some customers often book two flights and then don't show up for one of them. People who do that should be charged extra and should be the first to be "bumped" when the plane is full. People who never overbook should be given perks like upgrades and extra frequent flyer bonus miles. And they should not be "bumped" from flights.
If you get a traffic citation ("ticket") and you feel that the officer was rude after s/he pulled you over, you should complain to his or her supervisor or that department's internal affairs people. Sure, you can "tell it to the judge" (or traffic commissioner) but it will boil down to this: did you commit the violation, yes or no? You are either INNOCENT or GUILTY of the violation regardless of whether the officer was polite or rude afterwards. If you launch into a long story about the officer's rudeness, the judge will cut you off abruptly, because there is nothing s/he can do about it. Contact the police department's disciplinary people.
Just because everybody gets junk mail doesn't mean that you have to take it without a whimper. (See: Notice of Not Being Interested.) I really dislike it when they send you stuff you don't want and then when you call and ask to be taken off their list, they tell you they can't. My compliments to LensCrafters for printing the 800 number right on their bulk mail so you can call and ask to be taken off their list. Renaissance Cruises is also to be complimented for taking your name off their mailing list upon request. And STF Technologies, Inc. gives you three ways to get off their list.
Speaking as a motorcycle owner and rider, there are two kinds of motorcycle riders: "them that (have) been down and them that ain't been down yet." Actually, when I was in the ambulance business (years ago), there were two things that injured motorcycle riders would say on the way to the hospital: either "Wanna buy a motorcycle?" or "I can't wait to get back on my bike."
Don't you just hate it when you get unsolicited e-mail messages? And don't you just hate it when they don't give you a way to get crossed off their mailing list? And don't you just hate it when the lying b*st*rds tell you to "reply" to their message with "remove" and then, 5 days later, you get a message saying that they are not there any more? People like this should be locked up in prisons with the sound of a doorbell piped into their cell block, around the clock, on a random basis, no less frequently than once per hour.
Law Enforcement officers (your local police or sheriff) are not there to scare people. They are not there to provide counseling services. They are there to keep the peace, to enforce the laws, to take reports and to take people to jail when they have done wrong. Please don't call your local police and ask them to come and "scare" your neighbor's kids into behaving properly. Please don't call your local police and ask them to come out and mediate your neighborhood disputes. Many cities and counties offer neighborhood mediation services. In Santa Clara County, call the Human Relations Commission at 408-299-2206 for a brochure on the services that are available.
If you run a company, be sure that the people who answer the telephone have the information they need to answer callers' questions. There are few things in life as frustrating as finally getting through to some company or government agency only to have the person who answers the phone be ignorant of the topic at hand and unable to help the caller.
Your elders have told you for years: do not steal signs. Three people died and three people were convicted of taking down a STOP sign in Hillsborough County, Florida (near Tampa). Any questions?
When you get into your car in a parking lot and are preparing to back out of the parking space, roll your window down, if only a little, so that you can hear someone warning you of possible hazards behind you; for example: someone may yell "watch out" if they see a child or shopping cart that you cannot see.
And you might even consider making a quick check around your car before you get in; making sure that your tires are okay, that there are no new scratches, that the license plates are intact and that there is nobody hiding in the back seat.
When referring to cities in the United States, U.S. press reports usually refer to the city and the state, e.g.: Kansas City, Kansas or Peoria, Arizona. Part of the reason for indicating the state name is that we have a number of cities in different states with the same name. (You were probably expecting me to refer to Kansas City, Missouri and Peoria, Illinois.) However, when it comes to Canadian cities, U.S. press reports usually refer to the city and the country, skipping the province, e.g.: "Toronto, Canada." The press should be consistent: it should be "Toronto, Ontario, Canada" or "Toronto, Ontario." One of the (side) reasons is the general ignorance of the American people when it comes to our neighbors: just as kids should know that Reno is in Nevada and Tulsa is in Oklahoma, they should know that Montreal is in Quebec and Calgary is in Alberta. (Don't get me started on the proper pronunciation of Quebec.)
"You've got mail" is not only grammatically incorrect, it does not match the printed words "you have mail."
I don't buy dogs from breeders; I get them from "rescue" organizations. There are too many unwanted animals in this country. I try to do my part by not encouraging the "production" of excess dogs that will have to be euthanized, and by neutering as soon as possible.
Don't put anything on the roof of the car except water. If you must put something down for a moment, like packages or the baby, put it on the hood of the car, not the roof. This way you will see and remember whatever it is before you drive away.
Lock your house. Lock your car. Don't give criminals the opportunity to victimize you.
You don't have to believe me and you don't have to agree with me, but the world would be a better place if there were no such thing as tobacco. And I feel almost the same about liquor. When was the last time you heard of someone who crashed head-on into innocent people while driving under the influence of Seven-Up?
When you pull into a parking place and get out of your car, take a moment to see if you parked properly in the space. Are you fully inside the lines, properly spaced? Will the next person have to squeeze to get into or out of his/her car? Will your passengers have to squeeze to get in or out of your car? If necessary, re-park the car to make it easier for others. Exceptions: (a) hospital maternity ward and (b) sanitary landfill.
Keep your seat belt buckled whenever you are in your seat in an airliner. Sudden turbulence can throw unbuckled people around without any warning. Not to speak of your dinner.
The world does not need the principal owner of a computer software company advertising golf clubs on television!
Please don't park your car across the sidewalk. Either park in the garage or carport, in the driveway or at the curb. Many people have difficulty getting around cars parked blocking the sidewalk: people with children in strollers, people in wheelchairs, blind people, etc. Even able-bodied people sometimes have difficulty getting around, depending upon the landscaping and traffic flow. Park courteously.
It is inappropriate to use the phrase "do you know who I am?" to mean "I should get special privileges" or "you should respect me more than other people." Celebrities should not throw their weight around; they are just as good as, but no better than, anybody else.
If you go into a CSAA (California State Automobile Association) office looking for vacation planning advice, just remember that in their world, "Touring" means "driving" and "Travel" means "boats, trains, planes, and other types of transportation." They will be unhappy if you sit down with their "Travel" people to make hotel or motel reservations and then find out you're going to drive. One might ask how one is supposed to know this. Good question. Their posted signs don't say.
Ju'st becau'se a word contain's an "s" doe'sn't mean there mu'st be an apo'strophe. If you have difficulty using apostrophes correctly, go to On-line English Grammar or ask someone to double check your work. Examples: One pizza, two pizzas; the boy's bicycle, the boys' bicycles.
I do not read messages (e-mail or news groups) titled "Read This" or "You Must Read This" (or similar). I will decide what I want to read. If you want me to read it, it's up to you to write a title that piques my interest. Message titles which command me to read them will be ignored.
Every so often you should check the lights on your car, truck or motorcycle for proper operation. If you don't have anybody to help you, find a shopping center with lots of windows and check them yourself (in the reflections). Low beam and high beam headlights, left turn and right turn signals front and rear, tail lights, brake lights (they're different, you know) and four-way flashers. Make sure that (1) your vehicle is properly illuminated so that you can be seen by others, (2) you can see others with clean, properly-aimed headlights, (3) nobody will crash into you because they don't know you're stopping and (4) there is no "probable cause" for the police to stop your vehicle for having something burned out.
I agree with Andy Rooney (CBS 60 Minutes, February 21, 1999) and his suggestions to the airlines on ways to cut down on "air rage," (angry passengers): "(1) Tell us what's happening and tell us the truth. (2) Make sense out of ticket prices. (3) Forget food. (4) Find a way to get bags out of the airplane and into the terminal quicker. (5) Stop doing more business than you can handle. (6) Hire more ticket agents. (7) Separate the seats so that if the guy in the seat ahead of me leans back, he doesn't end up in my lap. And widen the aisles so that so I can get past the cart to the bathroom. (8) Have a gate available when a plane lands. And don't say the plane was on time just because it landed on time. The plane hasn't arrived until we can get off. (9) Tell your flight attendants to stop saying 'If there's anything we can do to make your flight more comfortable, don't hesitate to ask.' We're not comfortable and flight attendants are too busy to do anything for anybody. (10) Stop thanking us for flying your airline when it's the only airline that goes where we want to get to. (11) Stop making us mad by thanking us for our patience when you're late. We are not patient. We are mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more."
If you are a pedestrian crossing the street, do not stop partway across and "wave traffic on." When you're in the crosswalk (painted or not!) you have the right-of-way (in California) until you get to the other side. When cars stop for you and you wave them to "go ahead," you're likely to get stuck in the middle of the street. Instead, keep walking; it would be nice if you smiled and waved to thank them for stopping, especially if you're a little slower than they want you to be.
Your assignment, if you travel by air: go to the Unclaimed Baggage Center web site and look around. Then, immediately get six or seven of your business cards (or write your name and phone number on several three-by-five cards) and tape them all over the inside of your suitcases. You might even consider stenciling your last name or initials on the outside of your bags, so that nobody else will take them. Give the airlines a better chance of finding your lost bags by making them easy to identify. Otherwise, your luggage goes on vacation to Alabama and you'll never see your "stuff" again - except on that web-site!
One of the things that people should know in life is this: when you come to a signalized intersection and see the "Walk" and "Don't Walk" signs, whether they be in words or symbols, "Walk" means "start walking across the intersection now." "Don't Walk" means "don't start walking across the intersection now." You are not expected to get all the way across while the sign says "Walk." And you don't have to stop just because it says "Don't Walk." As long as you have started when it says "Walk," the signals are timed so as to give you sufficient time to cross before the lights change. If it changes to "Don't Walk," keep walking until you get to the other side.
One of the cardinal rules of driving is this: you are NOT the only person out there.
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Created on April 13, 1996. Last updated on December 28, 2003.
David W. Schultheis, San Josť, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, California, USA