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Words From Wiser: Wit, Whining and Wonderment

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From Chuck Wiser, 8/12/21

Today’s topic consists of an amalgamation of various thoughts that were recalled or came to mind as I ventured to Rochester the other day. Some are whimsical, some “ironic” and some have previously been mentioned. First one is triggered by my word use in that first sentence.

•  I have been asked why I use big words or old words or terms. 1) because I can, and 2) perhaps as an incentive to encourage others to expand their vocabulary. When I encounter a word in my reading for which I don’t know the meaning, I look it up, thus learning something new.

•  We throw away or re-cycle plastic prescription bottles by the ton. Why can’t they be turned back in, sterilized and reused? Recycling is fine, but not necessary.

•  Driving through Olean again yesterday reminded me of how convenient, and safety promoting, the flashing “neon yellow” cross walk lights are. Pedestrians are often hesitant and/or difficult to see, which encourages Non-Stoppage of inconsiderate or unalert drivers.

•   I understand the reasoning (I guess) but what frustrates me driving, is making a right turn from a green light, which turns red, and then green again with a right turn arrow. Same thing occurs with a left turn but at least I can see the logic in that even though frustrating.

•  Spin off from the first bulleted comment. I used the word “rue” the other day. Look it up.

•  Back River Road in Scio is a drag strip especially 10 minutes before time to start work 15 minutes away. Finally got the town to put up a 35 MPH speed zone sign North bound but it doesn’t help. My rationalization was that it would give law enforcement more justification to ticket violators as they couldn’t proclaim “no signs”. When, as seldom they do, the area is patrolled it is always watching County Rte. 31 instead of the Back River Road. I have been told anecdotally that it is due to lobbying power of Allegany County employees traversing to work.

•  At the risk of being socially or culturally insensitive, I am tired of calling “customer support”, getting a message to “press one for English” and finally getting to talk to a representative from overseas that I can’t understand despite their speaking English. I have gotten so I apologize and then say “I need to speak to a “US Service representative”. I do that having been instructed to do so by a representative who politely apologized for my not being able to understand her.

•  When driving in our area going from small town to small town having to slow to 30 or 40 MPH and then back up to open road speed limit every couple of miles or so, cruise control either gets turned off by braking, or not used at all. Why can’t they have a “two speed” cruise setting like they have variable “Low Gear” speed options? Have one setting for open road, press a button and it switches to slower speed setting. Press again and it goes back to full speed.

•  I recently got “sucked in” by one of those “too good to be true” Facebook offers for a cheap Sam’s Club membership. That’s ok, it’s my fault. What irks me is that I now have to file a “resolution dispute”, with the seller, who does not exist, before PayPal, who paid the seller immediately, will help get my money back, or get the scammer reported.

It seems to me that PayPal is duplicitous in this scheme. At one time PayPal would not release funds to the seller until the item shipped (or service rendered). Only way to delay payment now is to use PayPal Credit.

•  Robo Calls will never go away because Politicians themselves use them, especially as an election approaches. I got tired of getting calls that started out: “Hi, This is Tom Reed calling.” (to maintain an apolitical aspect…insert your own name of caller).

•  I still use a computer, albeit a laptop, for the bulk of my electronic communication. Nothing is more disconcerting than having 2/3 of your screen covered by, and interrupted by, ads, announcements, and warnings that your virus protection (which you just completed running) is due to expire. NO! I do not want a damned cookie!

•  Sometimes good sometimes bad. Bakery or Deli odors piped through the store to make you hungry or to entice you to buy more food, can sometimes be enjoyable. Sometimes they are not. My wife and I shopped a local grocery market the other day and were literally made ill by the “burned food smell, odor” that was circulating.

•  Watching the summer splendor of fledgling birds, especially Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Orioles, is thoroughly enjoyable. I have to chuckle when we see one that is characteristically “gender specifically” colored and we proclaim: “That’s going to be a male.” It already is!

•  Several years ago, the “Six S” golf course, oft’ proclaimed as Southwestern New York’s best public golf course, ran into financial difficulty, though by no means due to lack of use or popularity. It was sold, purchased by a group of overly ambitious or myopic investors, that proceeded to run it into the ground and in short time it went “belly up”. When it went on the market, I tried to drum up interest with local politicians and even some people that I thought might have the interest or “where with all” to make it into the gem it once was. With the State, and specifically Allegany County, flaunting the desire to make us “tourist friendly or inviting”, It seems to me that this would have been great investment if it was turned into a “State Park”, similar to Pinnacle in Addison. It had all the amenities of that facility except in my view was even more accessible travel wise. Geographically it was located just off State Rte. 19, a few short miles off I86. It could very well have been developed as a camping area, as well as an attraction to those already in the area. Now it is doomed to be farmland and/or a solar farm.

•  This thought came to me recently while traveling a local interstate highway. I was technically driving illegally in the “passing lane”. Why? I was tired of having my guts jarred out by the deplorable condition of the driving lane. When I do so I am very conscientious about my speed. In doing so, I was also doing so illegally, by driving within the generally accepted “margin” of 5 MPH over the posted speed limit. Actually, anecdotally, 10 MPH is accepted, but I’m not in that much of a rush. So is this a moral dilemma? Is this a “socially acceptable” breaking of the law? Is this worse than driving in the passing lane 5 MPH slower than the posted speed limit?

•  I would like to end by thanking the many people that have reached out to me to comment on the articles, and topics. I don’t look for full agreement of anything I say or write. All I ask, is, if it is a controversial issue, that you think about it, and talk about it… Open, respectful, discourse.

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