Monday Morning Open Thread

We hope that your holiday weekend was delightful. While we roast and carve a batch of delicious new posts, what’s on your mind this morning?

(Photo: ianjacobs)

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  1. 只要给我一分钟 says:

    Christmas creep started in Japan at around Halloween. Not just selling Christmas stuff.. Like blasting Christmas music in malls and playing it at the local Starbucks. They have it worse than we do.

  2. tawnie says:

    Christmas creep started here in July at wal mart. It was annoying. Now we are at cyber monday but there really are no deals.

  3. DanFromDetroit says:

    I’m currently in Sweden for business until spring & today at lunch I heard Jingle Bells in Swedish… It’s surprisingly less annoying than English.

  4. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Well, surprisingly, I am not feeling remorse for NOT buying the $89 monitor from Staples. I am still waiting to see if the $69 1 TB external will finally ship from Staples since I was too lazy to drive to more than two Staples to see if they had it.

    Also, will Open Threads be on Mondays now?

  5. Teknojunkie says:

    The Christmas Train is barreling down the track, and I’m trying to stay on board. Black Friday was a bust, but the batteries have been recharged. Ready for Monday! Now, if I could actually find some work to do….

  6. hypnotik_jello says:

    I didn’t buy any shit on Black Monday, so that’s good. I’m not a very consumer, I know.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I bought everything online on Black Friday… somehow, I doubt that I’ll be getting even better deals on Cyber Monday since the Black Friday deals were pretty good. I got Hellboy II on blu-ray for $9.99.

      I’m browsing Cyber Monday deals now, and I’m getting a lot of coupon codes for 20% off and 25% off, which is pretty awesome.

  7. Winter White says:

    Pretty disappointed with cyber monday deals. A pocket camcorder I had wanted that had been sitting at $159 for three weeks or so, is now UP in price on cyber monday instead of dropping as I expected it to. Further, it’s backordered everywhere now :(

    I’m having a lot of trouble buying gifts this year. Everyone I’m buying for has more money than I do and doesn’t need any of this stuff…but I know if I don’t get a gift I’m going to be the horrid ungrateful child who never does anything nice, etc…

  8. FriskyDingo says:

    I am hibernating until January 2, 2010, Bah Humbuggery.

    • katstermonster says:

      +1000 internets for your username. My friend just recently introduced me to that show, I’m halfway through the second season. I’m so pissed that it got cancelled before I even knew it existed!

  9. jacromer says:

    I’ve had a Best Buy credit card (not the Mastercard) for about 15-months now with only $500 credit line. I’ve used it here and there to purchase a laptop, a few video games, printer, etc. Each and every time I’ve either paid off the item in full by the next statement cycle, or had the balance paid in full within any 0% promo timeframe – in essence, never paid a penny on finance charges. I handle all of my credit cards in this manner.

    However, my limit still remains at $500. Requested a credit line increase via their website, but it’s declined.

    I have stellar credit (according to annualcreditreport.com, all of my other credit cards have been increasing on credit lines without me even asking).

    But my question is, how and what occurrences would a Best Buy department store card increase the limit? Or is $500 the max?

    I’m really interested in buying a flat screen TV this holiday season and don’t want to miss out on a deal when it happens. I’d rather finance the purchase for the 18-months and the Best Buy card is the only card that I own that would has this type of offer.

    Thanks.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      I worked for a retailer that offered a credit card and what I found as an associate is if you requested a credit line increase in store in order to make a specific purchase they increased the limit pretty much every time. They would also approve applications in store that were previously declined when the customer submitted it online or through their personal phone at home. The retailer owned their bank, so they had a bit more wiggle room but I assume a guaranteed large purchase from someone with good history would be a motivator for any retailer. I don’t know if Best Buy has a customer service area that handles credit issues, but it could be worth investigating. We had a customer service department and we also had phone numbers for the bank specifically for in-store use.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Have you asked for an increase?

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I don’t have any advice for you but I can tell you that 500 dollars is not the max, because I have a $1000 limit on the same card.

  10. jpropaganda says:

    After accidentally watching a few seconds of “A Dog Named Christmas” last night, I’m just not looking forward to this month of christmas craziness.

    • mk says:

      we kept joking about how we were going to watch this and last night had a couple of seconds of “what else is on other than football” and almost clicked over just for a joke. But we managed to stay away. Hope you recover soon.

  11. Bohemian says:

    I am a bit puzzled why Japan has bought into all of this. I never assumed the country to be heavily Christian in any sense. As for deals on Friday or today, both get a big meh. Nothing that was that great of a deal or worth fighting crowds for.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s because it’s being associated with America. It’s not necessarily just Christmas they’re embracing, it’s American Christmas.

    • Major Annoyance says:

      They may not be a Christian nation as such but they are run by the same new kind kind of capitalists that are running this country.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Hey, they like Annual Gift Man as much as the next culture. Even if he does live on the moon.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      japan is pretty big on cute stuff – kawaii.
      commercial christmas is a holiday with flying reindeer, one of whom has a red lightbulb for a nose. and the tv specials are claymation and include charlie brown and a dog that walks upright.
      how could that not appeal to that section of the japanese market?

  12. idip says:

    Oh my… that cup of coffee/cocoa looks so good. It’s 42 degress here today! Chilly!

    I’m not doing any shopping today… but that doesn’t mean i’m not interested in what deals are out there today!

  13. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Does anyone have any gift ideas for two sets of parents in their late 40s/early 50s who pretty much have everything they could possibly need? I keep getting, “no, we just want to be with family,” when they just don’t realize that we like gift giving, and we aren’t about to receive gifts without giving them. It’s not about materialism, it’s that we really like watching each other tear into wrapping paper. And I love wrapping gifts – they can’t take that from me!

    Any ideas, anyone? Neither set of parents are huge into sports – I’ve exhausted the merchandise store for my dad’s favorite team. There’s literally, nothing left in the ‘things I would buy’ department. He doesn’t need a bobblehead. I think my mom needs a new can opener, but I can’t just give her one and be done. I mean, that would be really bad of me. Neither set of parents is into a particular food, so no gourmet chocolates or anything. Neither set need cookbooks or kitchen utensils (except the aforementioned can opener).

    I’m kind of at a loss, especially when it comes to shopping for our fathers. I feel like we’ve exhausted the movies and TV category. We can’t buy them another box set.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      Is your Dad into gadgets?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        He tinkers with his computer here and there, but not really. There’s a lot going on in their lives right now, lots of work, and lots of added responsibility, so he doesn’t have a lot of time for hobbies. That’s the problem, I guess. He doesn’t have any hobbies that I haven’t exhausted, gift wise, and he’s got a garage full of power tools, so he doesn’t need any of that. The only area I have left is clothes, and he’s already received at least two fleece pullovers and four sweaters from me.

    • bornonbord says:

      You said they aren’t ‘foodies’, but what about a gift certificate to a nice restaurant?

      Do they like to travel? How about gathering information on a destination they’ve always wanted to go (books, pamphlets, etc) and sitting down with them and exploring how they could do it?

      Or gathering some info on a cruise?

      Here are some others:
      Pay for their netflix for a year
      Upgrade their cable to HBO for a year
      A gift certificate for a house cleaner
      A gift certificate for a spa/massage day

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        My parents are, unfortuntely, very well planned when it comes to vacations. They know where they want to go, they know how they want to get there – they just actually have to do it. They don’t have Netflix, HBO, or anything like that. I can’t pay their satellite TV for a year, that would be way too much money. They don’t like spas and stuff, and their time is spent working or with friends. We could do a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, but they go to nice restaurants all the time, and we’re trying to spend less this year, so $50 isn’t going to cut it.

    • SexCpotatoes says:

      So you want something awesome for your parents, you want to do some wrapping… I know! Buy them tires! Only wrap them like not-tires so they have no way of guessing what they are.

      Everybody can use tires (eventually), especially since tires older than 5 or 6 years after manufacture will have tread-separation on the highway and cause a horrific accident, killing your family.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’d like to see Mr. Pi try to get a tire in a box up the steps! But no, no tires. Cars are one thing I don’t tinker with because there’s no need to replace any of the tires on their vehicles, and they leave experts to do that.

    • Skankingmike says:

      I started painting for people. I made my Grandmother a painting of her faviorte thing (a lighthouse) last year. I made my Mother in-law and father in-law a painting of their pet (beagle)

      and this year I’m going to paint for my mother. The most expensive part was buying all the supplies for painting.

      I suppose if you’re not artistically inclined, paying for a painting of something personal to them would do as well.

      If you have kids a painted portrait of them? Or maybe an old picture of them they forgot.

      Oh also photo arts and crafts work too. I go through old photo’s and make funny collages and place them in frames and (photo trays) this way everybody can see them without going through photo albums.

      • bornonbord says:

        I’ve done this before and agree that it can be awesome. Just make sure you are realistic about the deadline. I’ve delivered many a gift like this at the end of January. Or… later.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’ve done a billion scrapbooks (I hate scrapbooks with a passion, btw, it’s just that my parents like them) and I have no desire to do any more. There are only so many photos I can stuff into pages, and we have no kids so no go there – they’re set on the home decor front. The house has photos of family everywhere. I just don’t feel like there’s room for even more photos…and we did that last year…

    • subtlefrog says:

      My family members are in the same boat – brother is well off, his family has everything, parents are retired, have everything they want / need. Could get them a gift certificate for a restaurant, but they live 1500 miles away, and I don’t really know what they like at this point (other than food that’s really crappy for them, and I feel kind of odd encouraging that with their poor health…). So parents got Netflix last year, which they LOVED, so this year, I’m keeping that going, and brother & family are all getting charitable contributions. Enough crap cluttering their oversized house. Sister in law LOVES the idea.

    • Etoiles says:

      Your parents are a lot like my husband (and his grandparents)… too damn organized and already have most of the stuff he likes better than I could buy it.

      Any TV programming or movies that they are fans of, or could become fans of? A Meerkat Manor boxed set went over really well in his family. We also got the classic “movie night” as a wedding gift this fall, but it was pretty awesome: $10 gift card, two DVDs, tons of chocolates, a scented candle, and about 8 packets of popcorn in a nifty basket. Maybe if it was with higher-end stuff you know they like?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I wish! I wish they watched more TV or went to more movies. Then I could fuel that habit, but noooo…they have to be moderate with their television watching, and my dad tends to watch only sports and HGTV once in a while. My mom watches cooking shows, but she doesn’t like to use cookbooks.

        I put together food baskets for them last year, and I’ll probably do that this year. It’s relatively low cost, I can be creative, and if I buy stuff in bulk off Amazon Grocery, I can do that with several more people and make my dollars stretch.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      I hear you. I really really really wanted to buy my dad something nice (and pricey even) when they came to visit me last month.

      Nothing. Nothing at all. I tossed SO many ideas, he didnt need or want any of those things. Not even a lappie.

      I feel so bad for me that I could not get anything for him, and so happy for him that he does not need anything I can buy.

    • 339point4 says:

      I haven’t read all the replies to this so please excuse any duplicate ideas here.
      Go with something sentimental. My parents are the same as you’ve described. Last year, I had a picture and line of text framed from a book that my mother and I read together when i was little (the picture of Little Bear playing in the snow with his mom watching). She hung it in her office.
      This year, I plan to give her an unfinished lanyard I wove in summer camp framed alongside the poem “The Lanyard” by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
      My dad is easy. He’s a minimalist who hates “stuff” so he emails a list of things he actually needs (eg: shoelaces, erasers, etc) and enjoys opening these items as if they’re a surprise. Once, he told me he wanted a mechanical pencil and gave me a bunch of specs but left the final decision to me as to what to pick. That’s about as much leeway as he gives though.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I think my new sentimental thing is food baskets. It’s not so much that they need food, it’s that I’m a pretty awesome cook, and my mom’s not very well versed in diverse kinds of cuisine, so I think I can put together some really good French or Italian recipes, and she can see how easy it is to make something really delicious, and that way they can all experience new kinds of cuisine, and it won’t seem daunting.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I know you wanted one, do they have a need for a Roomba? I’d love to get my grandmother one but it’s a bit out of my budget. I might have my dad get it for her though (He relies on me to help pick things out for everyone)

      If not, then I would definitely get the can opener, but maybe one they wouldn’t buy themselves (a nicer one than the typical one. Not that there is that much variety.)

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Target has this great deal. If you buy the Roomba 530 Ifor $299) you get the Roomba 400 for free. I have been tempted to do this, but I had pretty much decided against the Roomba because it was so expensive. I’m tempted to take Target up on this offer, but I don’t have a need to give a Roomba to anyone else – plus it’s still $299!

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      Family picture framed nicely?

      • Etoiles says:

        That was the best thing about the timing of our engagement (December 2008) and wedding (October 2009) — framed engagement photo for all of the 2008 Christmas presents, and half-price Picaboo-made wedding albums for all of the 2009 Christmas presents.

        No idea what to do in 2010 but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Yep. We did wedding photos and wedding scrapbooks last year. So this year, we can’t repeat ourselves since everyone’s seen all the wedding photos and has them around the house already.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      I got one! Since y’all like to cook, you can collect a bunch of your favorite recipes, type them up, and put them together as a family cookbook at lulu.com or blurb or somewhere like that.

      You could do a handful of recipes with big pretty pictures, or do a whole bunch mostly text. I printed up around 80 pages of text recipes at lulu for $12.15 shipped (spiral binding, trade paperback size pages). I love it, it’s so convenient to have all my family recipes and favorite recipes in one place!

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        That is the awesomest idea ever! Seriously! I love it! I’m so going to do this now! Whooohoooooooooo!

        Eyebrows, you’re awesome. Now, to convince people to actually use my recipes (which are just recipes I take from magazines…)

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          I did mine in two columns (one wide, one very narrow, just a margin-sized column) so that I could add comments and commentary in the margin — “I cooked this for so-and-so’s birthday the year that he broke his finger” or “This freezes really well but must be reheated on the stovetop” or “try adding rosemary and substituting parmesan for the cheddar” or whatever.

          I also put the stuff *I* always have to look up on the back pages — how much water to how much rice, how long different pasta cook for, that kind of thing. And while I mostly arranged the recipes by type (entree, desert, etc.), I put the two recipes I make a lot but ALWAYS have to look up right up in the very front so I don’t have to look for them.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            The indenting for comments is going to get ridiculous in a minute, but I like your suggestions. I checked out Lulu and it’s simply unfortuante that I don’t like any of their themes for the front, and I can’t modify it. Shutterfly is much better about that, and they’re running some sales. I’m checking out blurb right now. I think I might end up going with blurb because they can convert PDFs to books, and I love an excuse for Mr. Pi and I to design our own book!

        • Skankingmike says:

          if you want a more traditional bound book (like hard cover) They have them at places like blurb and other media book printing places.

        • pinkpetunia says:

          Also be sure and check out Tastebook. They specialize in custom, design-your-own, cookbooks.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Your parents want time with family… so give them that. Make a really nice gift certificate and put it in an envelope. It should offer your parents your undivided attention for the event of their choice, on your dime. That means, you, Mr Pi and any/all kids. Whether that’s you mowing their lawn and having a summer barbecue or an afternoon at the movies, throwing a family dinner party where you do all the work–you’re devoting an entire day to spending time with them, without your cell phones, computers etc.

      Sometimes time and experiences are the greatest gifts of all. Especially for people who have all the things they could possibly want.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I made most of Thanksgiving dinner because I wanted to. And we all see each other at least once a month anyway, so having family get-togethers isn’t anything new. We don’t do movies or some other activities together (cultural, language divide) so I’m definitely looking for material goods. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with family – it’s that we do so already so I’m looking at other things that I can give.

        And I will not, under any circumstances, offer to babysit my cousins. No thanks.

    • 333 (only half evil) says:

      One christmas I gave DVDs of highlights of 20 years of home movies – some humorous, some embarrassing and some touching moments. And since my dad passed away, my mom has appreciated being able to see him and hear his voice again on the DVD.
      My husband’s family members write poems for special occasions. I asked them all to send me copies of their poems from over the years to put in a book. Still haven’t put the book together yet.
      When my family and my sister’s family are all at my mom’s house (usually over Christmas and again sometime in the summer), we go around the house and see what needs fixing or replacing. Some things we’ve taken care of so far – mailbox, phones, CO detector, smoke detectors, outlets, light switches, doorknobs, screen door, locks, etc.
      For older parents, a rear view camera that activates when their car is put in reverse.
      I might use the cookbook idea this year.
      For Thanksgiving I made apple, pumpkin and chocolate chess pies, but no pecan pie.

    • pinkpetunia says:

      Every year I make gifts for everyone. I’m kind of a crafty gal, but there are so many people to give gifts to that I only make simple, sweet things. Last year, flaxseed heat pillows were a hit. Easy to stitch together in a few minutes. This year I hit up the bulk herb section at Vitamin Cottage and am planning on making some custom tea blends for my family members based on their personalities and preferences. I’ve decided that my sister is a jasmine-goji berry-orange peel-rosehip-hibiscus kinda gal, for example. Something I gave my parents last year was a book for them to write their memories in, to pass down to the family. Also remember that a gift may be from the heart, but the way it’s wrapped can add sentiment. Scrap fabric, ribbons and buttons make a present a nice little treasure to be discovered. (Mmm. I love Martha Stewart moments.)

  14. ExtraCelestial says:

    I went shopping this weekend and other than the Nike and Ralph Lauren outlets having some pretty sweet deals, overall I wasn’t that impressed. I got some cool stuff like a goose down comforter from The Great Indoors for a decent price, that super suspect $9 Target vaccum, some cool $2 DVDs from Wal Mart (Blood Diamond-yay!!) as well as Mad Men seasons 1 and 2 for $14.99 at Best Buy but the bigger stuff that I wanted (Samsung!) just wasn’t a great deal.

  15. opticnrv says:

    I’m disappointed that Consumerist didn’t post any of those scary videos of Black Friday morning consumption verging on an out of control mob. I’ve looked forward to those each year as my sign that Christmas in all it’s beautiful and ugly glory has arrived on my laptop.

  16. PHRoG says:

    I’ve got pneumonia…3 hours of sleep and court in 1.5 hours. In-service day at school and childcare is closed due to carpet replacement…Yup, today is going to SUCK!

    On the upside, got a nice DSi bundle for the kiddo this weekend, then got the other, slightly younger kiddo, a Leapster2 bundle.

    PS: Pneumonia sucks!

  17. katstermonster says:

    Welllll I’m building a media PC. But I’m broke. I go on Newegg and see that the price of my motherboard is down $20, and the price of my case is down $15, plus a $35 mail-in rebate. So clearly I bought them. Oooooooh Newegg, making me spend money I don’t have….sigh. But it feels so good.

    • katstermonster says:

      And yes, I realize the irony of posting on a consumer website about spending money I don’t have. Payday is Thursday, this is just a cash flow issue, not a credit card debt issue. :) Plus, I think the 70 bucks I saved on what would have been a $165 purchase greatly outstrips the irresponsibility of putting said purchases on my credit card.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Mr. SteveDave wants me to make one of these, but as he forgets, my TV won’t even connect to a PC correctly.. lol.

        I will be living vicariously through you for the next few days.. You may feel a little schitzophrenic durring this time. I appologize, but it really is the way it must be.

        • Clash710 says:

          Ditto on the vicariousness…I’ve always wanted to try building my own PC (I get the urge every time someone posts “You can build a decent system yourself for $500″), and while I’ve installed things like hard drives & CD drives before, I still worry I’d screw it up and be out $500. Are you starting completely from scratch or upgrading?

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      Brace for impact, beermonster. Someone will be on your ass soon about how you should not be building a media pc when you dont have the money.

      Also, you should be managing your money better if you run out of it a week before payday.

      Credit cards are evil.

      Moreover, they’ll cast doubt on your character and general intellect, forcing you to provide an in-depth description of your private life just to appease their taste for blood.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      After years of holding off on buying a new computer, we’re about an hour from pulling the trigger on getting one. Mixed blessings because I REALLY want/need it, but HATE spending $$$.
      Damn you, Magic Mouse (and it only working on the newer ones)!
      Sigh. Then round 2 begins as we need to update our software to take advantage of the many more hamsters spinning the wheels inside the computer (Adobe, so it’s no small hiccup).

      Happy shopping!

    • admiral_stabbin says:

      Ah, so I wasn’t the only one noticing that the savings on PC components via Newegg were worthwhile. Sadly, I became distracted and forgot to buy (probably for the best, I had an entire new system in my shopping cart). I imagine the prices have jumped back up again now…

  18. JanetCarol says:

    This years deals are no better than the deals you see all year. Speaking of… where are my morning deals this morning on here? haha I love it! In other news, who is already sick of being back at work?

  19. subtlefrog says:

    Open thread and I have to toddle off to the school (no internets!) in a short while. Nooooo!

    Or should I say – I have to go back to work in general – Noooooo!!!!!!

    4 days off, despite the fact that I worked from home all weekend, were marvelous. I like breaks.

    In the midst of it, we had a wineluck: blind tasting party. In the end, we drank over 10 bottles of wine between 12 people. Yesterday was a hungover blur. I’d call the party a success, judging by the record high number of glasses that got broken.

    Poor Daisydog, however, decided around 1AM that she’d had enough, and crawled on the couch and into my lap, and fell asleep. She is a 55 lb pitbull.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I would say “poor you” but you brought that one on yourself : P But I will say Poor Daisy Dog. Clearly the innocent bystander in the whole thing.

      I’m glad you’re feeling better though, even though you’re probably at school by now.

      How many glasses got broken, anyway? I need to go to one of your parties.. too bad LA is so far away from me.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      If slightly less than 1 bottle per person has given you an awful hangover, you’re CLEARLY out of practice, or perhaps a bit undersized. A bottle each is about par for a “nice meal with wine at home” here and I hardly notice it in the morning. ;)

  20. Major Annoyance says:

    The only thing on my mind his morning is why my posts never get posted.

  21. MostlyHarmless says:

    Awesome! Open thread!!

    Well, I feel obligated to share my Thanksgiving experience, then. I was fairly certain that the break was going to suck big time, because I was alone, and there did not seem to be much to distract me from the melancholy.

    BUT I was determined that I would do my best to stay positive throughout the weekend, and if nothing else, I would distract myself with building the Consumerist Bingo Web App. Well, it did not quite turn out that way:

    1 Awesome thanksgiving dinner with new friends.
    1 Nerd party: We even had food colors in drinks so we’d know who puked. No one did.
    1 Play at the local theater.
    1 Last minute date (fingers crossed)
    1 Box of chocolate
    1 Season of Mythbusters
    2 Bottles of wine
    2 Really campy horror movies
    2 lbs gained
    3 wolf moon
    0 lines of code

    Summary: Priceless weekend.

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      1. Which season?
      2. I still want to hear the full date recap.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        The one on Netflix streaming. The one where they introduce Grant. I think it is a collection, since all episodes seem out of order.

        I’ll tell you about the date… in a less public forum. Do you have wave?

        • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

          Not yet. I think subtlefrog said she had invites, but I had to leave the house and forgot to give her my email address. I just twittered my email address though.
          (Jesus I sound like a nerd.)

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      What color drink were you?

      I feel like my holiday was boring now.. I’m sure that makes you feel good.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        Haha well, mine did have phases of obsessing over things I could not do anything about, so if yours was just “boring” and not “painful” you are probably still ahead of me ;)

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Yeah, I finally caught up with the friend that I would kind of like to be more than friends with this weekend. We had sushi, then went bowling, followed by an hour at Barnes and Noble flipping through PostSecret Books. After that was mikshakes. I dunno if I’d call it a date, exactly, since we split dinner, but I paid for bowling and she got the milkshakes (which while good, did not, in fact, bring all the boys to the yard. I suppose I should be appreciative of that.) Both of us enjoyed the evening, and we both would like to do something together again. I suppose we shall see what develops. At the very least, we have a good dynamic as friends. I’m almost afraid of ruining that, to be honest, but she’s one of the rare types that likes to be friends before dating someone, so… whatever, you know? Whatever.

  22. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    Meeting with the future father-in-law went as well as could be expected. He is quiet, gruff, and has no sense of humor whatsoever. We went to a car show (/yawn), but adjacent to the building was an antiques show. I ended up finding an amazing piece of horrible taxidermy and amused myself making friends there while he and the boy caught up.
    One of my favorite tattoo artists has relocated into a private studio out of town and we caught up recently. He’s always had amazing ideas and he’s made some huge artistic strides since I saw him last. He gives me a really great rate for his work (he got a lot of clients from the last piece that he did on my left arm) and he’s drawing up a half-sleeve for me of my kitty Phoenix. I feel a little guilty spending the money but I’ve worked really hard to make it and I’m still throwing every extra penny I get into savings.
    Still waiting on promotion time at work. They’re having meetings about it today. ARGH. I just want to know the decision so I can sleep decently on Sunday nights again!

    I hope everyone had a nice holiday.

  23. JamieSueAustin says:

    @ Pecan: I know this one sounds weird, but try buying them food. Lots of yummy groceries. You could buy them the ingredients to every favorite childhood dish, or spoil them with steaks and lobsters, or get them new exotic things for them to try.

    My parents are the same as yours (want for nothing) and they were thrilled by groceries. Worth a shot anyways.

  24. Sailing in Choppy Seas says:

    New website question: is there some rhyme or reason to why some threads have ‘Expand All’ and some don’t? It’s extremely annoying to have to expand by hand on an iPhone! :-)

  25. 339point4 says:

    I’d love some gift advice:
    My 9 year old wants a robot for Christmas. She wants a robot every year; last year she got (and loved) “Tribot”. She thinks robot hamsters are ridiculous. I’d really rather not spend more than $50 if possible.
    Any advice? Thanks!

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      Maybe Wrex the Dog, made by the same company. Is she only interested in humanoid robots?

      • 339point4 says:

        I’m not sure if she’s only interested in humanoid robots (she loves brushbots that she makes herself and those bug robots Radio Shack sells), but she really didn’t like the Techno dog I got her two years ago.

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      Does she already have Robosapien? My kid loved that. They are a pretty penny on Amazon, but I found one at wally world for $40 and another at GoodWill for $5 that was missing the remote (called the company, got a replacment.)

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      What about those lego robots so she can start building her own? I can’t remember what they’re called.

  26. JamieSueAustin says:

    By the way, Consumerist, have I told you how nice you look this morning. Oh! and did you just get new reply buttons? They look fabulous on you.

  27. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    Also, I owe a huge thanks to whoever suggested Scodioli on Etsy to me (catastrophegirl? floraposte?). I ordered Dust Shaker, Gypsy Caravan, and Laudanum solids from her awhile ago and they are amazing.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I think that might have been me — I’m a big fan of her scents. So is the husband; he wore her Laudanum yesterday at work and co-workers kept sniffing him!

      • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

        Ah, yes, it *was* you! Thank you so much! Laudanum was a little more powdery on my skin than I expected, but I am hopelessly in love with Dust Shaker. When I was little my dad bought me this ceramic painted frog filled with incense from a store in Chinatown, and I’ve spent many years trying to track down that exact scent of the incense. Turns out it was whatever’s in Dust Shaker. My skin eats it fairly quickly but that just means I get to put it on a billion times a day. Gypsy Caravan, however, lasts for ages on me and my fiance loves it.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          I’m so glad you found an equal to your memories! Dust Shaker is a favourite of mine, too. Lately I’ve been really into loreto.etsy.com and wiggleperfume.etsy.com — I’m wearing Wiggle’s ‘Nicosia’ right now and while I can barely smell it on myself (happens a lot with perfume), the spouse declared I smelled wonderful as soon as he walked in the door. Always a plus!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yep, wouldn’t have been me as it’s not a name i have ever heard. i love etsy though!

    • Nemesis_Enforcer says:

      Can I shill for what my wife makes on Etsy? I hope so if not oh well. She got laid off so while she was looking for work she started making hair accessories. Here is her etsy site. Check her out would make a nice inexpensive present for a lovely lady!..

      http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetXcessories

  28. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Got my little netbook that I bought in the woot!off. It looks like my giant 17″ laptop gave birth to a baby laptop. (Acer Aspire One, reconditioned). I’m liking it, the keyboard has real nice action. Trackpad mouse is a bit tetchy but that’s why God gave us USB ports. Got most of the junkware cleaned off it last night and installed the good stuff like firefox and open office.

  29. kaceetheconsumer says:

    I’d love a way to be notified of replies to my comments, as to facilitate back-and-forth conversations without having to wade through other comments or constantly refreshing. Like what Bunedoggle did.

    If there is a way to do that now and I’m missing it, please educate me.

    Thanks.

  30. paleck says:

    Wasn’t worth sending a tip in, but for anyone who has Comcast and periodically orders Pay On-Demand movies keep an eye on your bill for two day rentals. I ordered one a few weeks ago for 5.99, noticed my account online said there was a pending PPV charge of 11.98, so I waited and checked my bill. It turns out they charged me 5.99 for the each day instead of 5.99 ONCE for the two days. Comcast quickly reversed the charges, but I don’t want anyone else to get caught by their billing issues.

  31. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    What’s on my mind? Well.. I’ll tell you.

    I love my cousin. He called me on Thanksgiving evening to ask me about life in general and he asked me if I got anything really cool for my birthay. I gave him the whole story about my bread machine and the failure that insued (Flat/sunk in bread. Wasn’t sposed to be flat.) and I told him that I was going to return it. He asked me if I was going to get another one and I said “Yes, I think so.. but I have to pick out a different one. You know, I might just get that box for Netflix instead, to hook it to the TV. You know?”
    Him: “Well you should put that on your Amazon Wishlist so someone can buy it for you.”
    Me: “Um.. heh. I already did.”
    Him: “You already did?! Well send me the link to it and I will buy it for you, so you don’t have to worry about getting it!”
    Me: “Seriously?! You’re making me blush.”
    Him: “No, really! Send it to me and I will buy it. I want you to have it before Christmas so you can watch things over the holidays.”

    I’m still suprised and shocked and thankful. I have wanted one for a long time and he just ordered it that night just for me. He’s very sweet : ) So since then I have been shopping online for bread machines and I picked one out that I think that I want to get.. now that I don’t have to worry about getting the Roku for myself or how I will get one. I’m just waiting for the return of the other bread machine to be credited back to my card.

    Also, I ate way too much and I’m thrilled to have a 1/4 of a pumpkin pie left that my mom sent me home with.. Er… she sent me home with 1/2 a pie… it’s now down to 1/4. I’ve been having pumpkin pie for breakfast and it is wonderful.

    I’m a happy Kimaroo.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      People just dont get the point of a surprise, do they?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Yeah, he could have probably just said, “do you have a wishlist? give me the link” instead of saying he’ll buy it for her, but ohhhh well.

        At least Kimaroo knows she’s getting something she wanted. She could have gotten a snuggie instead.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          He also could have found the link in my website if he remembered the address, but eh.. anyway..

          I’m happy about it.. I am not usually surprised when they do a between my birthday and Christmas gift like that. Not that he’s ever done this before.. that was the real surprise.

          Mr. Aroo has a snuggie.. he actually asked for it.. I wish he would have gotten a slanket instead.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Well in this instance I’m glad he told me.. because I almost bought one on Black Friday, and I was thinking about getting one today.. Him telling me that freed me up to think about another bread machine because after that there isn’t anything else I’d really rather have for that amount of money.

        Also, did you see my tweet thanking you for your non-surprise? : P

  32. jesusofcool says:

    So I’ve always read the site via RSS and I’ve decided to start commenting now that there’s this fancy new system, but my RSS keeps randomly showing posts from 2007 or 2008 (maybe old ones Consumerist is loading into their archives?). Stupid me, I keep forgetting to look at the date and once or twice I even commented, thinking it was a new post (and looking like an ass).
    Any idea why this is happening? Should I set up my RSS feed again?

  33. ElizabethD says:

    Back in the early years of Internet shopping, the Black Friday/Monday deals used to be AMAZING. I can’t say that today. Yes, I bought a few things using coupon discounts. But they weren’t the “whoa” discounts of yore.