People Who Order Complicated Things at Starbucks

starbucks 1Quite possibly one of my favorite places in the world to go is Starbucks.  I love the coffee, I love the pastries, I love the atmosphere…..I love it.  I love that I can grab a newspaper and sit there with my Frappuccino for 2 hours reading and nobody will bother me.  I love to watch the wannabe hipsters on their laptops that order 1 cup of regular coffee and suck down the free wifi for the rest of the day, they’re so pathetic sitting there spending “daddy’s” money so they can Skype their friend spending a year abroad in “whatever-stan.”  I don’t know why, but I love it.  Starbucks’ concept and idea has definitely taken me over and spit me out with my own travel mug and a t-shirt!

What annoys me about Starbucks is also something that I love about Starbucks….they allow you to order your coffee however you like it, so that the perfect cup of coffee is made especially for you.  This is great for me, who orders non-fat milk and 2 shots of vanilla or cinnamon syrup in his Americano, or a shot of peppermint syrup in my java chip Frappuccino (so amazing!).  This “act of kindness and good business sense” becomes incessantly annoying when you get the person in line who abuses the system.  This is the person who purposely complicates his/her order to the point where the 19 people behind him/her in the queue are wondering if he/she will even be able to tell if their order is right, and they all want to drown that person in the giant urn of coffee behind the counter.

starbucks 2These complicated orderers are the ones who order the “double iced latte with one shot of de-caf and one shot of regular with non-fat soy milk (filled only 3/4 of the way), 3 squirts of hazelnut, one squirt of caramel, extra foam and a drizzle of chocolate,” or a “venti non-fat chocolate chip crème Frappuccino with 2 squirts of cinnamon before blending, filled half-way with ice in the blender, topped with whipped cream and drizzles of caramel and chocolate.”  These people make life for the rest of us miserable.  We have to wait there behind them while the baristas listen to them order 3 or 4 times before they finally understand what the person wants.  The complicated orderer is also someone who really can’t tell the difference if one little part of their order is messed up.  Can people really tell the difference if they get a half-caffeinated or a regular coffee?!?  Do these people have nothing better to do each day than to dream up these ways to trip up the Starbucks baristas?!  To the credit of the baristas, I have never seen one get tripped up by a complicated order.  Of course, there have been complicated orderers that have turned around after their order is finished and said “this isn’t correct, please do it again.”  It’s at that point that you want to take that coffee and pour it over the head of the person who ordered it and say “get the hell out and don’t ever come back!”  But, the Starbucks employees just dump it down the sink and start over.  I don’t think I’d be able to work in food service at Starbucks….I couldn’t deal with the morons who have to make things complicated….just give me my non-fat Americano and I’ll be out of here, thanks!

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American Over-Censorship

I think Americans are way to oversensitive and worried about offending literally EVERYBODY!  Apparently we still have too much in common with the Puritans who left Europe for America because they couldn’t deal with the European way of life!  As I’m sure you’ve discovered from my last few posts, I’m currently visiting my parents in the country of my birth.  Whenever I’m in the United States, I like to listen to the radio to see what the new music is like and to follow the trends that will hit Singapore in about 6 months.  Unfortunately, these same radio stations are pathetically afraid of offending anyone that they censor out any word from any song that could possibly offend any person, anywhere.  Sometimes these words are not even bad words, they are words that might make you think something bad….so, they themselves are bad.

Witness this afternoon….on a drive home from having dinner with a friend, I heard the Bruno Mars song, The Lazy Song.  I like this song because there are many days when I don’t feel like doing anything.  In the song, he talks about how lazy he’s going to be that day.  One of the lines goes: “I’m gonna kick my feet up/Then stare at the fan/Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my pants/Nobody’s gonna tell me I can’t.”  Now, I’ve had days like this, I can identify with Bruno.  However, what I heard was “I’m gonna kick my feet up/Then stare at the fan/Turn the TV on, throw my hand in my <pregnant pause>/Nobody’s gonna tell me I can’t.”  Are they kidding me?!?!?  They censored PANTS?!?!?!  Why, because it make people THINK about masturbation??!!  Actually, when I think of this part of the song, I envision him sitting on the sofa with the TV on and his hand slightly in the top of his pants (sort of Al Bundy-like).  I don’t think at all about masturbation.  Apparently, the idiot censors thought about masturbation, so they deprived the rest of the listeners of the chance to create their own vision.  Later on, the lines go: “Tomorrow I’ll wake up, do some P90X/Meet a really nice girl, have some really nice sex/And she’s gonna scream out: ‘This is Great’.”  Interesting, at least here he talks about sex, so I’m sure the censors just nixed it completely….and they did.  Another <pregnant pause> took the place of the word sex.  How ridiculous!  Americans are so pathetic when it comes to trying to be completely politically correct!

I have been complaining about this for several years.  This has been a problem in the United States since well before I left to live overseas.  A few years before I moved I had the pleasure of hearing a song on the radio that reminded me of my childhood.  The song O.P.P. came on the radio, by Naughty By Nature.  I love this song because it reminds me of high school and the fun I had there.  I know all the words, and I began to sing a long.  At some points in the song, I noticed that I was the only one singing.  “That can’t be,” I thought to myself, “I know all these words FROM THE RADIO when I was a teenager!”  So, I stopped singing and listened to the song.  Sure enough, they censored out parts of the song that might make a person THINK about sex…there are no explicit lyrics in this song, they say nothing specifically, but they do allude to sex, so that had to go.  What’s funny is that the song was allowed to play in it’s entirety in 1990, but today it’s too risqué!?!?  Have we become bigger prudes than we were in 1990?  Why are things more puritanical now than they were then.  Aren’t things supposed to become more LAX as the years go on?  Didn’t Lucy and Ricky sleep in separate beds in the 1950s, but the Bradys shared their bed in the 1970s?  This has become a lesson in idiocy!  Just for those who are curious (and know the song), the lyrics that were nixed are: “O is for Other, P is for People scratchin’ temple/The last P…well…that’s not that simple/It’s sorta like another way to call a cat a kitten/It’s five little letters that are missin’ here.”  The word kitten and the entire line after it were <pregnant pause>.  The following was also tampered with: “As for the ladies, OPP means something gifted/The first two letters are the same but the last is something different/It’s the longest, loveliest, lean- I call it the leanest/It’s another five letter word rhymin’ with cleanest and meanest.”  The entire last two lines were removed here.  Has it gotten so bad that we don’t want people to THINK about the words pussy and penis?!?!  So, censors are now censoring peoples’ minds?!?!  This is like pre-thought censorship (if we don’t let them think it, then maybe they won’t do it).

I miss Europe.  In Europe, anything goes.  Fuck You, by Ceelo Greene is Fuck You, not that bastardized version, Forget You that was allowed to play on American radio.  Songs like Never Say Never, by Romeo Void and Fuck You Betta, by Neon Hitch play unedited and with everyone listening.  There would never be censorship of this type in Europe, let alone censoring peoples’ THOUGHTS!!!  I find this obsession in the United States to “shield the children” and not offend anyone absolutely ridiculous.  Every radio station has turned into a Ned Flanders or Reverend Lovejoy.  I blame that damn Tipper Gore!!  It’s actually backfiring….do you think those kids that hear the censored versions aren’t running home and Youtubing the original version??  It’s actually causing them to do it more than if you had just left the damn song alone in the first place!

helen

 

“Codeshare” Flights that Aren’t Explicitly Announced

I recently traveled from Singapore to New York on Etihad Airlines.  I chose Etihad for 3 reasons: 1. the price was right, 2. it is considered an excellent airline and has won many awards in recent years and, 3. there was only 1 short stopover between 2 fairly long flights.  When I got to the airport in Singapore, I was impressed with the Etihad staff during check-in and I was further impressed at the gate and during boarding.  The Etihad personnel were very quick and knowledgeable, and they made me feel “special.”  That is one of the traits, and most lauded things, about this airline, and a main reason I chose to travel with them.  When I arrived in Abu Dhabi, to change flights, I was disappointed with the airport, but I was excited to go on another Etihad flight.  The first one had been very comfortable and the flight attendants were….well….attentive.  They were comforting and doting, to say the least.  It was a very nice flight.  I expected the same from my second, much longer, flight.  When I got to the gate (after an endless security checkpoint queue) I learned that the flight to New York was actually on Jet Airways, one of Etihad’s “partner” airlines.  Etihad apparently owns a large percentage of Jet Airways, and uses them to fly some of their routes.  Now, I was never informed that the flight would not be on Etihad, nor was I familiar with Jet Airways, so I had no idea what to expect.

airline 2First, let me say that Etihad invested in Jet Airways because the airline was not doing very well and needed money.  Second, Etihad has a large percentage of the airline, so they are putting their name on something that they don’t have complete control over (and the airplane actually had the Etihad name in small letters under the Jet Airways logo).  Furthermore, let me tell you that the plane was much older than the Etihad jet I had taken from Singapore.  The upholstery was slightly tattered and the carpeting in the aisle was worn.  The overhead compartments had large scratches and streaks on them.  This was nothing like the brand new plane I had taken from Singapore!  The flight attendants were friendly, but it was obvious that they had not been trained as the Etihad flight attendants had.  They were a little “askew” in that they had slight wrinkles in their uniforms and they were not as upright and cordial as the Etihad attendants had been.

airline 3Apparently, when Etihad bought interest in Jet Airways, they doubled their Abu Dhabi – New York flights to 2 a day; using Jet Airways for the second flight.  I took the second, later, flight, so I got stuck on Jet Airways.  This airline is completely below Etihad in every way.  It is a subpar airline that I’m surprised to see Etihad involved with.  Etihad has build its reputation as a great airline, with awards to boot, yet they have hitched to this second-rate, old, unprofessional airline.  The flight to New York was one of the worst flights I had been on in a long time.  It is definitely up there in the top 5 worst flights of all time!  I was stymied by the decision of Etihad to allow this lowbrow carrier to handle one of its longest and most prestigious routes.  I guess that’s why they spring it on people at the gate….so they can’t run and change their tickets, they’re forced to subject themselves to the disgusting spectacle that is Jet Airways.

This is not the first time I’ve been the victim of the bait and switch.  When I lived in Spain, I would do all I could to avoid flying with Iberia Airlines.  Iberia has a reputation for being consistently late….late with departures, late with arrivals, late with baggage deliveries, just LATE.  I guess it’s very similar to the Spaniards in that way (I have never been at a party or affair where a Spaniard has arrived on time).  So, when I was traveling to the United States from Madrid one time, I booked flights on British Airways.  British Airways had always had a good record of comfort and reliability, so I was happy with my decision to fly with them.

airline 1Much to my dismay, when I got to the gate at Barajas, I was informed that the route between Madrid and London (where I had a stopover) was being operated by Iberia (this was before that ridiculous Iberia-British Airways merger) and that the plane would be DELAYED!  Really!?!?  Delayed!?!?  You don’t say!!  It was Iberia, of course it was delayed!!  We had a saying when I lived in Madrid…”if it’s not late, it’s not Iberia.”  So, I was delayed almost 2 hours, missed my connection in Heathrow, got stuck there for 7 hours, finally made standby on the last flight out of Heathrow that evening, arrived at JFK without my bags (they had not made it on the flight), and went to Christmas with the family with no gifts.  My bags arrived 3 days later.  The same would happen to me 4 years later when I visited Madrid from Shanghai and booked passage on British Airways.  The direct flight to London was wonderfully operated by British Airways, then I had a delayed flight from London to Madrid because it was operated by Iberia (again, I was not informed).

airline 4My question is this: why would British Airways, a rather well-respected airline, merge with Iberia, an airline known for delayed flights and bad service?  I know the board of British Airways couldn’t see past the Euro signs at the bigger picture, but they prostituted themselves for extra money and more routes to an airline that was going nowhere and had a bad name (and rightfully so).  The board at British Airways made a big mistake when they merged with Iberia, but that’s all behind them.  I don’t think I’ll ever book on British Airways again if I go back to Spain, I know it will be operated by Iberia and I just don’t want that hassle.

I don’t like when the airlines do not share their codeshare agreements with the passengers.  I once flew on USAirways to the US from Madrid.  The flight was operated by Aer Lingus, and it said so right on my ticket!  I expected Aer Lingus (and actually got a better flight than if it had been USAirways).  A few years ago I flew to Cambodia from Singapore, I had to go through Bangkok.  The route from Bangkok to Siem Reap was operated by Bangkok Airways, it said so on my ticket and I expected it.  I guess it’s only when the codeshare partner is so grievously different than the proper airline that they “forget” to tell the passengers that their flights will be operated by that subpar carrier.  It happened in Madrid and it happened recently with Etihad.  British Airways and Etihad are good airlines with good reputations, but they’re tarnishing those reputations by allowing these crap carriers to do their routes for them.  There is a reason people choose to travel on Etihad and BA, and NOT on Jet Airways and Iberia.  They need to stop pulling this bait and switch before people start to switch…to other carriers!

The Abu Dhabi International Airport

abu 3

Recently, I had the “pleasure” of transferring flights at the Abu Dhabi International airport.  I flew from Singapore to New York on Etihad Airways (actually, a pretty good airline) and, as all Etihad flights do, I had to transfer through Abu Dhabi.  Etihad is the national airline of the UAE, and has won all sorts of awards in recent years, so I was a little excited about going to the airport in the ultra-modern city of Abu Dhabi, considering the level of service and modernity on the airline.

abu 1

Terminal 1

Boy was I disappointed!  First, there are 3 terminals in the Abu Dhabi airport.  Terminals 2 and 3 are much newer than Terminal 1, but they’re normal, cookie-cutter terminals that could be in any airport in the world.  There are plans to totally overhaul the entire airport and build a brand new one, and I couldn’t agree with those sentiments more!  My flight arrived in Terminal 3.  It was like most airport terminals in that it was a long corridor with departure gates on either side.  We walked through the upstairs, “sequestered” area because most people from my flight from Singapore were only in Abu Dhabi to transfer to other flights elsewhere in the world.  I had heard that the United States Customs Service had opened an actual outpost in the Abu Dhabi International airport in Terminal 3, so I was excited to go through customs there and not have to wait in the ginormous queue when I arrived at JFK.  This was the first disappointment….my flight to New York was leaving from Terminal 1, and I would not have the possibility of partaking of the customs services in Terminal 3.  Ok…so what…I expected to go through a long queue at customs in JFK anyway, so nothing different.

Then I found out that to get to Terminal 1 from where I was took a “15 minutes walk,” as the sign said.  I have a bad back, and walking on hard linoleum after having sat for 7 hours straight is not conducive to healing.  Granted, part of the way was covered by moving walkways, but I would say that covered about 1/3 of the total distance.  So, I started out….slowly.  It took me almost 30 minutes to reach Terminal 1 (the oldest terminal).  Terminal 1 was built more than 30 years ago, and it shows.  It has that sad, trying to look modern, feel that so many 1980s buildings have.  It’s a “common room” terminal in that it is one large circular room with all the waiting chairs and a few shops, with departure gates veering off every 20-30 meters or so.  The large room was overcrowded, and people were standing all over the place.  It reminded me of those scenes of refugees that I watched on CNN recently after that militant group in Iraq started taking over towns.  People were strewn about (and this was at 12:30AM).  Most of the shops were closed, however a coffee shop and a smoke shop (of course, this is the UAE) were still open.  The floor was dirty and covered with trash that people had just thrown wherever they wanted and there was a musty, almost sweaty smell about the whole terminal.  It was disgusting, really.  Just about the only good thing about the terminal is that there was free wifi, but you have to be close to one of the wifi hubs, otherwise you lose it (fairly quickly).

Inside Terminal 1

Inside Terminal 1

In the middle of the terminal is a giant tile ceiling that cones down into the downstairs area.  I can tell that it must have been spectacular in its day, but now it was stained, sad and missing a few tiles.  It also took up valuable space that could have contained more chairs on which I could have been sitting, instead of leaning on a hard metal rail with the bad back that I just aggravated by having to walk 200 kilometers from Terminal 3!!  I found my gate (Gate 9) and noticed there was a long queue there.  It was about 12:40AM, and my flight wasn’t due to board until 1:20AM.  At first I thought, “they must be like the Spanish people I used to see in Madrid who would queue in line for a flight even though they had assigned seats (those Spanish love to queue),” but then I noticed the line was moving, slightly, but it was moving.  So I investigated more…apparently, I needed to go through a security check again before getting on the flight, and the security check was at the end of the long hallway that led to the gate.  So…I reluctantly got in the queue.  “How bad can it be,” I wondered, “at least there may be seats at the gate where I can sit down.”

Here was another disappointment.  I entered the line and waited.  And waited and waited and waited.  It took almost 1 hour before I finally arrived at the scanners.  There was only 1 scanner working for a fully booked flight of over 300 people.  There were 2 scanners, but one was laying there idle because it was broken.  So….why keep the plane at this gate?!?!?!  If the damn scanner is broken and you know it’s going to take a millennium to scan and check all the people, why not move the plane to a gate where there are 2 working scanners?!?!?  This does not take a genius!!  Or, if you can’t move the plane, get someone there to fix the damn scanner!!  There has to be someone on staff who can come down and check that thing out!  No, there was one scanner sitting there, with nobody working on it or even looking at it, and 2 security lines randomly converging into 1 at the 1 working security scanner.  To top it off, whenever someone set the scanner off, they didn’t have a cool little hand wand to check the person out, they made the person empty their pockets, take of their belt, etc. and sent them through again.  The guy in front of me had to go through 4 times before they realized that the security card he uses for work (which was inside his wallet) was setting off the scanner.  This was all while about 150 people were waiting behind him to walk through the 1 working scanner.  I could only imagine how many others had been forced to do the “metal walk” before him, holding up the rest of us behind him/her.

abu 4When I finally got through the security checkpoint, the flight was already boarding.  I knew at that moment that were not leaving on time.  The number of passengers that were still behind me in the queue was massive, and I knew I’d be waiting on that plane for a long time.  At least I would be sitting and not standing in a crowded, stinking, cattle-call terminal.  The flight, which was supposed to leave at 2:20AM, pushed back from the terminal at 3:15.  I fully blame that enormous security line and the ineptitude of the Abu Dhabi International airport staff at getting people through and onto their plane on time.  Luckily, the Etihad pilots are good at what they do, so we arrived on time.

For a city that wants to be seen as a leading center for industry and business, Abu Dhabi needs to do some very needed upgrading to its airport.  Apparently, it’s in the plans, but it hasn’t begun yet.  The facilities will be nicely upgraded (I went online and looked at some of the renderings), but they also need to upgrade their staff.  There was no need for 6 security officers to be crowded around 1 security scanner, ushering people slowly through, when some of them could have been trying to fix the other scanner.  There is no need to continually send people back and forth through the scanner instead of getting a security hand wand and scanning them manually.  Remember, these are all people who have ALREADY gone through a security check at their original airport!  This was only a secondary, precautionary check!  It was a ridiculous array of ineptitude and stupidity.  I like Etihad, but if I have to fly through Abu Dhabi every time I use them, I will think twice about it next time.  I do NOT look forward to the flight back to Singapore!

 

“Hallmark” Holidays

holiday 7The term “Hallmark holiday” refers to any holiday that is created for commercial gain, or a holiday that has become a mainly commercial holiday.  The term “Hallmark” refers to the Hallmark Greeting Card company in the United States that benefits greatly from selling cards that can be given out on these made-up holidays, as well as small gifts and treats.  However, these holidays were not created by Hallmark, even though it gets rich from them.

holiday 1These non-holidays were created by governments and organizations to celebrate certain people/occasions that citizens might have forgotten.  In 1978, the United States government created “Grandparents’ Day,” a holiday for children to celebrate their grandparents.  This holiday has since expanded to countries all around the world and increases revenues by the millions for greeting card and gift companies and florists all over the world.  If a child doesn’t remember their grandparents on Grandparents’ Day, shame on that child….and buy some expensive merchandise to show them how much you love them!  I admit, grandparents are wonderful, and I sincerely loved my grandparents, but they don’t need a special day….every day should be Grandparents’ Day!

holiday 3If family members weren’t enough, “Boss’ Day” and “Secretary’s Day” (I’m sorry…Administrative Professional’s Day) were created to make the workplace a little more light-hearted and congenial.  Now bosses can feel better about themselves by buying a small gift or flowers for the people they push around all year, and the employees can kiss up to the boss by signing a collective greeting card and chipping in for a bottle of wine.  Woo-hoo, so congenial and light-hearted.  These holidays have become mandatory now, and people who forget about Secretary’s Day or Boss’ Day are put in the doghouse at work and not considered “team players!”  It’s become a new form of bullying in the workplace.

holiday 2And, let’s not forget the triumvirate of increased profit margins and FTD and 1800Flowers.com‘s reason for existence: “Mother’s Day,” “Father’s Day” and “Valentine’s Day.”  These holidays existed before the greeting card boom, but they have become much more commercial and “mandatory” in recent years.  If you don’t plan something absolutely special for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, I pity you later when she/he finds out.  If you forget to send flowers to mom on Mother’s Day or call your dad on Father’s Day, the whole world lets out a collective gasp at how inconsiderate and selfish you are.  These holidays ARE MADE UP!  They have no major significance!

holiday 6Valentine’s Day is a saint’s day, named after St. Valentine.  St. Valentine is a second-rate saint in the Catholic church, who’s “martyrdom” is usually celebrated on February 14, but the Catholic church says that churches can celebrate any of the saints that were martyred on that day on February 14th.  There are also other Saint Valentines who are celebrated in the Lutheran and Anglican churches that have no significance with February 14th.  There’s even another Catholic saint called Valentine who is celebrated on July 30th.  How did this holiday come to mean love and affection?  Nobody knows.  There isn’t too much known about Saint Valentine that can link him to this disgusting spectacle of love and materialism, yet, it’s in his honor and lonely is the fool who doesn’t have a date for Valentine’s Day!

holiday 5I don’t have a problem with celebrating the people in our lives.  They are some of the most important people to us, and we should celebrate them.  But, isn’t that what a birthday celebration is for, or why you purchase Christmas gifts?  Can’t we celebrate these people in our own time, without greeting card companies and special television commercials telling us when it’s time to do so.  I know that when I’m back in New York this summer, I will go shopping with my mother and fishing with my father.  These are the ways in which I celebrate the important people in my life.  I have fallen to the Valentine’s Day hype and made sure that I did something nice with my “significant other,” but in years when I had nobody, it was known to me as a “black” holiday.  Why are people made to feel this way?  These holidays make no sense except to the companies that get rich off them.  They are there to guilt people into buying cards, gifts, flowers, gift-cards, chocolate, etc.  People should celebrate each other how they want and when they want.  They should not adhere to any calendar no matter which greeting card company printed it!

holiday 4

“Sweetest Day”!?!?!?!?

 

 

 

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

scandi 3This post is not a post putting down authors like Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell, it’s a post about how every Tom, Dick and Sven born in a Scandinavian country now gets a book deal immediately because of where they’re from and what they write about.  I enjoyed books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and Faceless Killers and Firewall, but I’m tired of seeing Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and even Icelandic wannabes putting out crap fiction and people buying it because it’s “Scandi Crime,” or “Nordic Noir!”

All of them have a series that focuses on some detective or another and how they solve their crimes.  The books are very matter-of-fact, and written in plain language (which is good), and mainly devoid of metaphor and hidden meaning (which you know I absolutely hate).  But the writing is, for the most part, dry and unexciting.  Many of them are easy to figure out, and the plot points aren’t too amazing.  Larsson, Mankell and Jo Nesbo aside, these Scandi Crime writers are just….well….too Nordic.   They’re a little boring, not too elaborate and write about the same crap over and over again.

scandi 1scandi 2It’s a shame that Larsson is dead, and Mankell is getting up there in years because the new crop of Scandinavian crime writers just doesn’t match up.  Authors like Arnaldur Indrioasan (Iceland) and Gunnar Staalesen (Norway) just can’t cut it.  People need to stop buying novels because of where they are from, and begin to buy them because  of what they are about.  Then, and only then, will the mediocre Scandinavian writers get the hint, and we’ll see the cream rise to the top!

 

 

Having to Wait for the Advertisements to Load in on Websites

This one’s going to be short, because I have to prepare my suitcase for my trip to the United States to see my family.

Lately, I have been frequenting an awesome website called “I Fucking Love Science” (www.iflscience.com).  It is very cool, and, as many of you who know me on Facebook know, I love sharing some of their stuff.  I also like to read “The Huffington Post” online (www.huffingtonpost.com) and (much more lately) the FIFA website to check on the World Cup madness (www.fifa.com).  These are a few of my “go-to” websites when I’m bored and want to surf the web.  More often than not, lately, I have gotten stuck where the page loaded in and I wanted to scroll down to see the story, but I have to wait for the annoying advertisements to load in.  So I’m stuck there for about a minute, staring at a headline that seems interesting, yet unreadable, while the annoying ads roll in.  Sometimes these ads are videos, and I have to wait even longer while they stream and buffer on the side of the screen.  This keeps me from reading the articles I want, or from watching the videos I want to see.  Often I’ll be watching a video on a website, and an advertisement video begins and the sound from one masks the sound from the other.  It’s gotten ridiculous, really.

I know that advertisements are how the websites I like are able to remain free.  I get that premise, but I don’t have to like it!  Also, websites should be more controlling of the advertisements that appear on them so as to not make the website load in more slowly, or disappoint their readers.  It will make life so much easier for those of us who are there for the content and not the annoying ads!