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Things That Make Me Go “Hmmm”

When you see this on your telephone read-out, don't answer! Chances are good they won't bother to leave a message either!

Those who complain about telemarketers: Everyone these days has an answering machine. Invest a few dollars a month in Call Display. If the call comes through as “unknown name” or “unknown number,” smile at the phone as it rings and don’t answer it. If it’s important, they will leave a message. No one is obligated to answer a phone, just because it rings.

Appointments: Of what possible use is a fixed time for an appointment? I mean, they tell you 3:05 p.m. and you finally are called into the office at 5:00 p.m. My wife had a 10:15 a.m. appointment in Kingston. Her name was finally called at 2:10 p.m. How does any doctor get four hours behind so early in the morning? Let’s go back to the old days when a doctor would step out of his office and holler, “NEXT!”

Newscasters: Where do they get their training? The lady on the Weather Channel, twice commented on a hurricane that “wrecked” havoc. And when are newscasters going to stop pronouncing Alzheimers as “Alltimers”?

Political Correctness: I refuse to subscribe to the notion that it is possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Batteries: Where can I get a large one? I mean, a REALLY big battery. One large enough to power one of those huge floodlights like they have at Niagara Falls. I want to put one in the back window of my car so I can turn it on whenever the next tailgater approaches me.

Dangerous Driving: Where are the police on Highway 62 when you need them? A fair haired woman passed me last week in a black car at Mountain View, well in excess of the 60 km/h speed limit, in a construction zone with workers present beside the highway, and – you guessed it. We both arrived together at the traffic signal at Dundas Street, but she didn’t see me behind her as she was jabbering away on her cell phone and twirling her hair.

Cashews: I love nuts, but refuse to touch cashews. I will not eat anything that looks like the toenails of a German Shepherd.

Election Signs: I am glad they have finally been gathered up. They are a waste of money and a source of eye pollution in its extreme. They do nothing to alter a person’s decision. Voters should have their minds already made up through exposure in the media and all candidates meetings.

Sandbanks: How do people get lost on the sand dunes? I didn’t think that was possible. I mean, West Lake is on one side, and just a stone’s throw away is Lake Ontario. And they’re both pretty easy to identify. If you can’t see the far shore, chances are pretty good that it’s Lake Ontario, and Lake Ontario the last time I checked was on the south side of the dunes.

Dogs: I have a dog that refuses to eat when I am away. She follows me from room to room in the house and sleeps at night wrapped around my neck on my pillow, her breath vibrating my ear lobe. How can people abuse animals that are so loyal?

Dog Friendly stores: Why am I not permitted to take my small dog into some stores? She’s cleaner and smells a whole lot better than some people I see in stores. Kudos to Picton Home Hardware for welcoming both me and my dog into their store, and while I am at it, also Home Depot in Belleville.

Handicapped cards: How do people get those things? I have yet to see an occupant of a car who has parked in a handicapped zone who was actually “handicapped.” Most of them walk better than I do. I think they should rename them “Lazy cards”. Meanwhile truly handicapped people have nowhere to park. It’s wrong.

My telephone bill: Why do I pay extra for touch-tone service? Doesn’t everyone these days have touch-tone? It’s like buying a television and paying extra for colour. Or, maybe we already do.

Money grab fees. I love those little extras that are tacked onto bills. Hydro One has a delivery fee, Superior Propane has a Transportation Fee and a Hazmat fee (hazardous material). Bell ExpressVu has a Digital Service fee. Can I charge an administration fee and a delivery fee when I bill clients for guided hikes and indoor presentations?

Filed Under: Uncategorized


About the Author: Terry Sprague became interested in nature at an early age. "Growing up on the family farm at Big Island, 12 miles north of Picton, on the shore of the beautiful Bay of Quinte, I was always interested in the natural world around me. During my elementary school days at the small one-room school I attended on Big Island, I received considerable encouragement from the late Marie Foster, my teacher in Grades 6 through 8. Her home was a short distance from where I lived and through the years she was responsible for developing my interest in birds. The late Phil Dodds, a former editor with the Picton Gazette, also a great nature enthusiast, suggested I undertake a nature column - a column I have submitted weekly since 1965. The column has since expanded to the Napanee Beaver and the Tweed News. Life has been good, and through the years I have enjoyed working with such nature related agencies as Glenora Fisheries Research as a resource technician, Sandbanks Provincial Park as a park interpreter and Quinte Conservation as a naturalist and outdoor events coordinator. As a nature interpreter, currently working from my home office, I now create and lead numerous interpretive events in the area and offer indoor audio/visual presentations to interested groups. Could one who is interested in nature have enjoyed a more exhilarating period in the work force?" Terry's website is

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  1. the former County Fergusons says:

    Terry, we did have a good laugh reading your latest “rant” and it did make good sense.

  2. Jenny Goodall says:

    Hi Terry!
    I was delighted to read your blog. Problem is I agree with absolutely everything you say (except the cashews – I just don’t like the taste) Do you think this is an age thing? My dog is a cat but the problem is the same. I refuse to go away anywhere without him and this is somewhat constricting. He almost always comes to town with me if the weather is bright (his choice), certainly smells and looks better than many of the people in the stores since he gets bathed in Pert shampoo every other week. Since he travels on a harness and leash I may give him a try at Home Hardware, one of my frequent shopping places. To date he has only done, Teasels, Berry’s and the old Sears outlet when Linda ran it.
    Anyway looking forward to future blogs.
    Have you, or your wife, noticed that most of your respondents are female?

  3. Louisa says:

    …and signage that is well past its prime. You’re sitting down on a balmy spring afternoon to partake of your Easter dinner, and there’s a sign across the street touting a dozen roses for your sweetheart.

    Bell Canada: We’ve been in our new place over 2 months and haven’t received a phone bill. We’ve called them 3 times. They can’t get it into their heads that our lot number is not our mailing address and keep saying our bill is ‘undeliverable’. Whatever.

    Cashews: It’s the little tag on them that really gets me. The shape is more like a fetus than anything else to me. It’s just weird, ha ha!

    Thank goodness I can take my dog into the hospital to visit our grandmother…I’m actually surprised at this. And thankful.

    Tip: A flashlight aimed backwards as you drive keeps tailgaters at bay. At least at night.


  4. Lizanne says:

    Hi Terry,
    I’m delighted to know what’s on your mind you when off the trails. You shared some great insights – things we all may have thought about once or twice.

    What about carrying your own bill-of-rights and charging your doctor for waiting time?

    I’ll gladly pay a delivery fee for your next walk or talk. You don’t keep clients waiting and you provide great service. Cheers,

  5. Doris says:

    Gee Terry thanks to the reference to cashews looking like dog toe nails–they are my favourite nuts but maybe not anymore

    Terry I think those appointments in Kingston are all clinics and they book everyone at the same time. My last notice said to be prepared to wait for 2-4 hours.

  6. Borys Holowacz says:

    Gee Terry, hope you are feeling better.

    I am since I read your post.

    Earlier today a big truck following too closely tried unsuccessfully to run into my car.

    Why is it that we cannot charge doctors by the quarter hour if they are late?

    …… I am stopping now, so as not to raise my blood pressure.

  7. liz joffe says:

    I could never get enough of Andy Rooney. Here in the county we have Terry Sprague and he knows a lot more about birds than Andy Rooney I’d bet!. We love you Terry!

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