This has been a week where the little things have been piling up. Nothing worth pulling hair out (especially since I have little hair left to pull), but just things that shouldn’t be.

1. My Dell Latitude Z laptop – Overall I’m happy with it, but the trackpad seems to just fade out every now and then, as does the keyboard. I’ll type a word and two or three letters in a row will be missing. For a $2500 laptop, this is inexcusable.

2. My LG EnV3 phone – It’s supposed to be compatible with the BMW bluetooth system. It’s listed on both Verizon’s site and on BMW’s site as an approved BMW bluetooth phone. It does send and receive calls as it should, but the phonebook won’t upload. LG’s Contact app has non-standard contacts like “In Case of Emergency” and “My Name Card” (whatever that is) that cannot be deleted. I believe it is these entries which are screwing things up. Bluetooth has been around long enough for all BT devices to conform to standards. LG needs to get with the program.

3. BMW’s Voice Recognition – This feature is supposed to enable you to speak a few commands to the car and have it do simple things like dial a number or name or change the scale of the Navigation map. But every now and then it seems to fixate on a name. For instance, to make up for not having my contacts uploaded into the system’s phonebook via bluetooth, I attempted to load them in manually via the voice recognition program. It worked fine until I entered my friend Dana’s name and number. After that, any name I attempted to enter was “recognized” as Dana, which prompted a warning that the name had already been entered. I lost my cool and told the system to go to hell, only to have it say “Dana” and “That name already exists” back to me. I guess in the “Ultimate Driving Machine,” little things like voice recognition working properly are overlooked.

4. ABC – I don’t watch much TV, but I do like to catch the evening news and I like (or did like) ABC Evening News the best. But tonight they had a completely gratuitous “news” item on Tiger Woods. Ok, I can see reporting that his mother-in-law got taken to the hospital. Personally, I don’t think it qualifies as news, but I can see how ABC would think it is. But then they went on to discuss his current loss of respect among his fans and even showed quotes from Twitter and other blogs or websites. They actually showed one where a kid supposedly told his mother that Tiger now “makes me sick.” Is this really news? Is it at all acceptable to broadcast the nasty things people have to say about someone just because that person is a celebrity? The “reporter” said at one point that the same thing that catapulted Woods to the top of his profession is now causing his downfall. I would have thought it was his golfing talent which put him at the top of his profession. That is certainly not what is causing his current problems.

After the news ABC showed A Charlie Brown Christmas. Yes, this show has been around for decades, but I still like to watch it every year. I consider the show a classic and as such it should be sacred and protected from the bean counters who chop shows apart to squeak out a few extra minutes of advertising. Sadly, ABC has decided that several scenes from the show could be scrapped in order to cut the run time and add more commercials. Making it even more frustrating, the sound was poorly sync’d, which is a common issue with ABC. It could be a cable issue, but it only happens with ABC, and a Google search shows there seems to be many, many people with the same problem on their particular cable system. ABC is quickly losing my respect.

5. MS Office 2007 – I sat down at a PC with Word 2007 for the first time and it took me 5 minutes to figure out how to access a print menu. There is no intuitive way to print from Word, which is the primary thing people do after they’ve created or edited a document. Trying to figure out how to Save As is just as frustrating. This is a clear example of change for the sake of change.  It actually makes the application more difficult to use, which is the very essence of failure in programming.