Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread

Thanks For Letting The World Know I Bought Sex Toys, Adam & Eve

Now This Is How You Tell A Zombie Debt Collector To Buzz Off!

Why Did Starbucks Write “Big Dick” On My Drink Cup?

My HP Printer Makes Me Waste Ink, CSR Won’t Help Me Stop

Woman’s $10K Mortgage Payment Vanishes Into Thin Air

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  1. CompyPaq says:

    Happy Friday. I am writing this from my last class of the semester. Then I have 3 finals and I am done.
    My school year in Consumerist:
    http://con.st/5349233
    http://con.st/5388309

    I realized that it only got to October but its still pretty cool right?

  2. dorianh49 says:

    Laura, is it possible to love both rodents and felines? I thought that was a conflict of interest, but I don’t have pests, so….

    • Laura Northrup says:

      Technically, it’s possible to own both rodents and felines, as long as you keep a careful eye out and never leave them alone in the same room. If I left my bedroom door open, I would find the cat draped over the hamster cage, watching it in fascination. The hamster, for her part, didn’t seem to notice. It also helps if the cat is exceptionally stupid, as my roommate’s was.

      I like cats. If you put a cat in front of me, I’ll pet it. If you put a cat picture in front of me, I’ll coo at it. But I’m more allergic to cats than other mammals, so I don’t have one.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        this reminds me, i found a clump of grass on my kitchen floor this morning. but no body. i may now “own” both rodents and felines if they let one loose in the house still alive…

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Kittehs! I like the one on the right with his paws up and the one on the left looks so freaked out. I wonder what’s going on that he’s so freaked.

    I’m so glad it’s Friday – anyone have fun plans for the weekend? I’m seeing Iron Man 2 tomorrow, then we’re going to celebrate mother’s day. I still haven’t gotten my mom a gift :( I don’t know what to get her. We don’t share interests and I’m tired of giving her the same things all the time.

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      I think I will wait to see Iron Man 2 when the crowds die down. Last time I saw a RDJ movie in the theater (Sherlock Holmes) I ended up sitting next to a man whose breathing sounded like snoring. The theater was so packed there was nowhere else to sit.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      we’re seeing it after work today… and then we might see it in a few weeks at the Imax …

    • SugarMag says:

      my mum always wants plant to plant. How about a butterfly bush? That was a big hit at my house.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I’m giving her flowers, but she’s not a big plant person in any case. I feel like it’s kind of an empty gesture. I’d make a batch of cookies but she doesn’t eat cookies much either. I’ll come up with something.

        • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

          What about another kind of baked good? I was thinking about making some zucchini bread for my husband’s grandma, but he said he’s getting her some flowers so I won’t bother.

    • slyabney says:

      I want to see Iron Man 2 but probably not for a few weeks. I got my Mom a super awesome holiday present (carcoal drawing done super life like of my brother and I from when we were little and one of us now) so I’ve been relieved of all gift giving for rest of the year. I will probably do something for her when I go home to visit in a few weeks anyways.

      I’m going to spend part of the weekend finishing up a video game I need to get done. And find some super good bacon to eat all weekend.

  4. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    WOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    I’m so glad it’s Open Thread time. I’m at work all day because my boss is out, and I’ve seen a whopping 2 people today so far. And I’ve only had one phone call.

    It’s feeling like the longest day eevverrr.

    I don’t really have any plans for the weekend so far.. I’m going to see my dad tomorrow and hopefully somehow pick up something for my mom for mother’s day. I’m leaning towards a gift card to a clothing store because she’s been avoiding buying any clothes for herself and thinks that black scrubs bottoms are “nice pants” : / I mean, they don’t look awful, but they’re not “nice pants”.

    Recently Mr. Aroo found this really amazing local burger place.. and it is soooooo gooooood. OMG. We want to eat there every day, but try not to. Or atleast I try not to, Mr. Aroo would go every day if he felt he could get away with it. lol. They make everything fresh and it is so wonderful. I’m thrilled with them and hope that they get enough business to stay running.

    The only other thing I can say is that it feels kind of pathetic but I’m super proud of myself for being able to figure out how to dry my makeup brushes with the bristles down. This is a problem I spent about a week or two thinking about how to solve it, so I’m thrilled with myself that I figured it out. http://twitpic.com/1lcpam

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Longest day ever here too. I work at a college and tomorrow is graduation. Half the office is on vacation and the other half (me included) is on a mental vacation.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Most of the people here are away at a mega-conference, so I guess that’s why I haven’t seen anyone.

        I try to stay with sites that are atleast semi-educational (like consumerist) but I’m really tempted to head over to cuteoverload.com just to take the edge off. lol

    • theblackdog says:

      Any chance this burger place has a location in San Antonio, or is it strictly Houston only?

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        It’s strictly Houston only, it’s not a chain, only one location. I heard a rumor that they want to open more locations though. It’s actually owned/run by a married couple that used to be gourmet chefs. They don’t charge gourmet prices though, fortunately. It’s really quite awesome.

        I order the kid’s sized burger because the regular burgers are huge (1/2 pound!) and I have them add bacon, and omg… the bacon.. it’s so good.. it’s thick and I think pepper crusted. It’s just wonderful.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      that’s a good idea. if that ever fails you .. i’ve seen this http://tinyurl.com/327jzr4

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      My brush hanging suggestion was better. Magnets!

  5. NarcolepticGirl says:

    The comments this week were hysterical.

    I wish my office (and the whole building) didn’t have centipedes falling from the ceiling, spiders and milipedes.
    Tennessee has the most insects I’ve ever seen. Even more so than when I lived in Florida.
    And Boston just has rats and mice.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      ugh. We keep getting crawly-fast cave centipedes in our house here in Northern VA, but otherwise there aren’t too many bugs. I think I’d freak out if there were insects falling from the ceiling. Umbrella over desk, maybe?

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      It’s summer and I’ve started seeing some bugs here. I need to buy some cedar chips or something to protect my yarn from moths and hit up doorways and windows with Raid.

      It’s been a surprisingly long time since the bugs have been a problem. It must be the new pest control guys the apartment complex is using.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        I knew you were a knitter when you posted a link to the Namaste bags. I long for one of those bags, I just haven’t put up the cash for one.

        Those bags are so pretty I’d use it as an every day purse and the knitterly parts would just be a happy bonus.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Ick!!!

      I’m fighting the ant wars at home now. I wish I could afford to have the pros come; I think there’s a nest under my house. I ain’t going in there.

  6. Alter_ego says:

    So open question: I’ve been thinking about getting a pet (and no, it can’t be a cat), and I’ve been leaning towards hedgehog, or maybe hamster. Does anyone have any insights or suggestions?

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Laura is the resident hamster expert, so hopefully she’ll chime in.

      I’ve had hamsters in the past, but I have never managed to figure out how to keep them from escaping their cage/habitat. Those cute habitats with the tubes and things seem really fun until they somehow figure out how to use their lil teeth to pull up the plastic door and escape. One hamster I had figured that out and kept doing it repeatedly.

      The glass aquarium thing seems to work, but I’ve seen people put almost an entire bookshelf of books on the lid to keep the hamster from escaping. lol.

      Hedgehogs seem fun, but much less cuddley than a hamster. Have you considered a guinnipig or chinchilla? Not that I’m nocking hamsters, they are super cute. (Laura, don’t hurt me!)

      • katia802 says:

        Both of mine thought that my husband’s fleece lined slippers were the perfect place for a new nest. Never had any trouble finding them when they escaped. They were really really good at getting out, i’ll have to admit.

      • Alter_ego says:

        Chinchillas are lovely, but a little more high maitenence than I think I can handle. I like hamsters because they’ll be ok on their own for a weekend. I’m not sure how other little critters deal with that.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I don’t know if you could really have a pet that you can leave behind for a weekend without anyone looking after it. Whenever we go out of town, we have someone watching ours or we board him. Whatever pet you choose, just make sure someone’s willing to check in on him whenever you’re away.

          • Laura Northrup says:

            I have left hamsters alone for a few days. They don’t care. Usually I ask a roommate to at least glance at them once a day to make sure there’s food and water and the critter is still alive. Some roommates I can actually trust to do this.

            Or leave the cage at a friend’s house if you don’t have roommates. It’s not like cleaning a litterbox or walking a dog.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          I’ve been facinated by them ever since I saw one on tv take a “dust bath” in a jar. It just looked like so much fun. Sooo cute too.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        I like guinea pigs and chinchillas, and I’d be open to a gerbil. I’m an animal lover; I just happen to like hamsters and dogs since I’ve had hams since I was 10 and dogs since I was 8.

        My current cage of choice is a storage bin. You cut a window in the top and cover that with wire mesh, and put ventilation holes in the sides. The top snaps down securely. (you can get clips that do the same thing for aquarium tops)

        Unfortunately, if you’re Rodney, you stand on top of the igloo you sleep in and gnaw away at the ceiling until there’s a hole large enough to crawl through, and then eat everything in sight until I find you half-dead with your face covered with bloody vomit.

        You know what’s a pretty low-maintenance pet that you CAN leave around for a few days without even feeding it? Tarantulas.

    • katia802 says:

      I’ve had quite good luck with hamsters. Had females both times, don’t know how males act, but they were sweet, very interested in being handled, loved to play (especially in the hamster ball). Both of my girls lived very long and active lives, and brought me a lot of joy. The only reason I don’t have another one is that three cats and a dog are almost more than I can handle, wouldn’t be able to give another pet the attention they’d need.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        Males are usually more mellow and happy to interact and bond with humans but less intelligent, and more interested in escaping from their cages. Male Syrians (Golden/Teddy Bear) in particular. Females raise the babies alone, so they’re a little more territorial and defensive. That’s a generalization that has plenty of exceptions, though.

        In my experience, male dwarf hamsters stink more than female, but there’s not a noticeable difference between male and female Syrians.

        Find a private breeder if one is available…if a human interacts with them every day, they’ll be nice and tame. Still working on taming Chester, who I got from Petsmart two weeks ago.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      I too, want a low maintenance pet. And it cannot be a rodent, because rodents are not allowed in the apartment complex. And it cannot be a snake either. Or may be it could be. I need to check.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Duh, you should get a blue parrot that says, “PEEEEEKABOO!” and “How YOU doin?!”

      • Alter_ego says:

        Can you get a lizard or gecko? I’d totally do that, especially given all my animal allergies, but I just can’t bring myself to feed them bugs ::shudder:: maybe I could set them loose and they’d solve my silverfish problem

        • GameHen says:

          I housesat for a family once that had an iguana. It’s a kickass pet and fairly low maintenance. It wasn’t unfriendly (just don’t think it’ll ever be cuddley) and would sit on your shoulder. Also, bonus, it doesn’t stink like a lot of pets do so if you’re in an apartment you have that going for you.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        I really like bettas. Or would you prefer not-a-fish?

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I’ve longed for a hedgehog for years, but I know my cats would view it not as a new addition to the family but as a snacking challenge.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i’ve known two hedgehogs and they both were vicious biters.
      i’ve known one chinchilla and it was very sweet and not high maintenance at all.
      most mammals aside from cats tend to need a minder/feeder if left alone more than a day.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        Hedgehogs are SO cute. They’re more of a challenge to care for and tame than a hamster or guinea pig, though.

  7. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Ugliest animals ever.

  8. Cantras says:

    I called about a new job today. Waitressing, but at least not McDonalds. Wish me luck!
    I slipped on the floor at McD’s the other day, and I’m a little sore on my landing side, nothing major, but it reminded me of something stupid from the mouth of Our Lady of Incompetence, the store manager. She said that if she warns someone about something (It’s slippery there, careful on that ladder), and you get hurt anyway, she’s in the clear from workman’s comp because you were warned. Is that true? That seems really easily abused if it were.
    There’s a place for anonymous notes to be placed, and I’m not sure it’s ever actually used/checked, but I think I’m going to have to put one in about the new chick she hired. Just ebcause she’s your friend, does not mean she’s allowed to talk on the phone, chew gum, be promoted without knowing anything, or not wear a hat, and just because she’s your friend does not mean she’s not lazy, stupid, or a thief. No-one wants to say anything because she’s her pet. :/

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Good luck for the new job, it sounds like you could use it!

      I wish I could offer advice about the worker’s comp, but I don’t really know anything about it. That does sound shady to me though.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I’d think that a verbal warning wouldn’t override the employer’s obligation to provide a safe work environment.

      Good luck on the job hunt.

    • GameHen says:

      Hm….I’m in HR but I’m hazy on Worker’s Comp stuff. I believe that a verbal warning doesn’t release them from their obligation. If you are injured while on your employer’s property in the course of your employment, it should be covered under worker’s comp.

      Think of all those people who injury their backs while lifting things…or get carpal tunnel. A company is obligated to provide a safe work environment per OSHA, and many offer further training and warnings to reduce injury and therefore the amounts that they have to pay out, but when injury occurs, they are still liable as long as it can be demonstrated that the injury occurred on their property.

  9. MostlyHarmless says:

    Okay, so question for the Consumerist crowd.

    Last year, I got into a fender bender. The car needed some body work, so I turned it in at the shop, and they worked on it, and returned it looking as good as new. Great.

    BUT they apparently didnt put all the screws on the radiator, and so it was pretty much hanging freely. This was in September. I did not notice anything odd at first – or for several months, in fact.

    Then sometime last month, one of the fans got really loud at certain times. I figured it was a minor niggle that would get worked out restarting(I work with computers, can you tell?). But no such luck, and it in fact got louder and scarier.

    So I called the delaership, and got an appointment. Today, the guy checks it out, and says that the radiator was leaning on the fans, making one of the fans not turn, and the other trying to compensate for it. And both the fans are damaged. They need to be replaced.

    AND because this was caused by tinkering, the warranty would not cover it. And I am out of a thousand bucks.

    In summary:
    Car gets into fender bender, but radiator is fine.
    Body shop fixed the body, but forgets to screw on the radiator.
    Radiator causes damage to the fans.
    Fans need replacing.

    So, my question is this: 8 months after the body work, can I still go to the body shop about the problem and get them to reimburse (at least a part of) the expenses?
    Will the insurance company want to have anything to do with it?

    • slyabney says:

      I don’t know but can’t hurt to ask. Just do it nicely (as we see being nice works better) and they might be willing to do so. Can you get (force) the auto body place to pay? Probably not.

      I do suspect unless you have written or visual proof that the radiator was actually fine, a not so good shop will tell you it was the accident and not their resposiblity and to take it up with your insurance. But if you do have proof, not sure what insurance will do as they’ll probably tell you it was fine at the time of report and it’s not their problem.

      Your insurance company should know what you think in case they recommend people there and AAA if you have it, you can let them know too.

    • theblackdog says:

      First off, you’ll have to get a written statement from the other shop about the fans and the missing screw causing it, and take pictures as well. You’ll need that documentation before trying to call the other shop. Once you have it, you could try talking to the folks at the body shop, bring in your original invoice for the body work as well, because it will show they were working in that area of your car.

      Hopefully they’ll be nice and fix it, but they’ll likely be a bastard. You might have to get a consumer advocate office or your AG involved if you want this to go anywhere.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        Yup. I talked to the repair shop guy, and he said he can give it in writing. Will have to take pics of the fan though. They already attached the screws. I do have all the invoices and whatnots. Including the latest one that states that the screws were totally missing. I dont really expect the shop to pay up. If they do its a good thing.

        And I can always leave polite but scathing reviews on various sites ;)

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Did the body shop offer any warranty/guarantee (Why do those words sound similar but are spelled so differently?) with their repair? When Mr. Aroo hit a dog (unavoidable.. booo.) and we took it to get the bumper replaced the repair shop had a lifetime waranty on the repair. Six months or so later we went to have the oil changed and there were strange noises coming from the driverside front wheel. Turns out that plastic black liner in the wheel well was never replaced properly. We managed to drive it back to the body shop that day and they fixed it right away, no problem.

      This may be because our insurance company lists them as a “blue ribbon shop” or whatever their title is, so it’s explicitly guaranteed by them.

  10. Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

    Hi Consumerist! Been waiting for an open thread to ask this question: Is there something I don’t get about the numbering of comments in a post? Often I’ll be reading through and will click to the next page of comments, to see “51-65″ with 3 comments there. Or maybe, “101-150″ with the last 30 comments I read on the page before. What am I missing?

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      yeah, i’ve noticed that too.
      I just figured they’re also counting the number of (nested) replies to each comment in the total number.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think there’s something weird with the formatting because it does this to me when I’m on IE. You have to refresh when you get to the posts and then all of them will show up.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Everything gets wonky after page 2 also.

      It seems like the page may only load 10 new comments at the bottom and the rest are comments from the previous page.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      From what I can gather, everything stays on the front page until the comments total hits 50(includes replies), whereupon any new comments automatically go to page 2. So if there are two comments with 24 replies each on the first page, and someone posts a new comment, it will be on page two. even though there are only two main comments shown.

  11. Smashville says:

    So I haven’t been around this week for 2 reasons…1) the aforementioned moving and 2) I’ve become kind of hot commodity…

    After the floods hit Nashville last weekend, I woke up on Monday morning and wrote this:
    http://www.section303.com/we-are-nashville-4366

    Prior to writing that, the most comments we had ever had on an article was 20. Within an hour or two, it was up over 100. And my inbox started filling up. Later that afternoon, a person from the Nashville City Paper asked if they could rerun it…I told them that they could, so it ran there. Then someone was listening to a local radio show…and they read it out loud there. The next morning, two more stations read it…and it was linked on Huffington Post (with a tag with my name on it), Rachel Maddow’s blog and ESPN.com. That afternoon, Dave Ramsey read it on the air…yesterday, Rush Limbaugh read it on his show. The Tennessean has requested permission to rerun it and ran a story. This morning, I had an interview at the local FOX affiliate…Tuesday I’m a guest on a local talk show…we’ve started working with some groups to sell t-shirts to benefit the flood victims and they are selling out as fast as we can print them with the “We Are Nashville” slogan on them.

    Needless to say…I didn’t expect this to be what happened to me this week.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      you got the word out. good stuff. but the first time the internet threw up on me i felt a little bizarre about it, i bet you are too

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      No wonder it got so much play…that article was awesome.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Nice read.

      I’m over in Knoxville and we didn’t get hit that bad.
      My boyfriend has family over there that got caught up in the flooding but with little damage to their homes.
      My co-worker was at the Opry Hotel and had to be evacuated to the high school. She lost her car (and some belongings) in the flood and just found out her insurance is covering less than what she owes. So she’s pretty miserable right now…. but lucky considering.

      Haiti/Indonesia/etc didn’t really draw attention to themselves in the way you mentioned in your article. So I don’t know if that’s really the reason why much attention hasn’t been focused on Nashville. I think you’re basing it on Katrina only (?)

      I think the reason why Nashville wasn’t covered as much (although I’ve seen/read quite a bit) is because it seems like natural disasters are happening constantly now. I think everyone is jaded about natural disaster news… and donations will probably be less because the media/celebrities focused so much on the recent earthquakes and everyone’s money went to that.

      I think it also has a lot to do with the death count. I know people lost their lives over there but compared to Katrina/Haiti/that tsunami, I think people aren’t as “interested” (for lack of a better word) in donating/helping out.

      It’s sad, really.

      The whole thing is depressing.

    • theblackdog says:

      Wow, I didn’t realize at first you wrote that article. I had seen it quoted on another blog somewhere.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Wow, what a great article. Congratulations. My “friend” is from TN but his family lives in the eastern part of the state, nearly into NC. I had to make collection calls yesterday and one of them was to a place in Nashville. Needless to say, no one answered the phone, but I was able to leave a message. I said “Please call us when you’re able and I hope you all are okay.” I didn’t want to even call them, but I had to.

      Santa Cruz felt a little bit like that after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Because of the collapse of the Nimitz freeway in Oakland and the Marina district damage in San Fran, no one paid any attention to poor little Santa Cruz. They were at the epicenter and got absolutely pounded, with several deaths. But they are a lot like Nashville, I guess; just picked up and went on as best they could. I feel for everyone there.

  12. JulesNoctambule says:

    Kiiiiittens. Making me want them through the power of their cute.

    I made my own cats at home this week — not real ones, of course! They’re called Pocket Cats, and I have yet to identify any purpose they serve but they’re coming with me to the art show tonight: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30082039@N07/sets/72157622184912628/

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      where’s that going to be at?

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Awwww.. those are really cute. They remind me of my great aunt that would have things in her pockets or purse and silently pull them out while we were at church to keep me from being bored as a young child.

      She also had snacks. I love her.

    • Dustbunny says:

      Those are really cute! I bet you could sell them on Etsy.

  13. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i feel successful! my a/c broke last weekend and i figured out what was wrong. turned out there was some blockage in the air ducts which backed up the cold air. cleared the ducts and let the ice melt off the coils and it’s all better! yay for no expensive repairs. also, it turns out the library has air conditioning repair manuals … never hesitate to look for the right how to books at the library!

    sometime wednesday someone mowed down part of my clover and drove a riding mower over the moss on my yard. just a front part near the road.
    i’ve nearly got my yard the way i want it with wild strawberries and clover:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/4579268181
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/4579264151

    but there’s a few tall annoying clumps of hard to kill grass
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/4579902674

    so i suspect that’s continuing to annoy my lawn bully neighbor. but it’s annoying to me too so last night i went and got a bunch of landscaping nails and nailed tarps over some of the tall clumps of grass and trampled on them so the sun will cook them to death and they will compost back into the yard. i have a few more tarps to put out this weekend and then i will leave them for as long as it takes. can’t wait to see what the neighbor does to protest this.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/4586827871/

    now on to a 5 day weekend which will include teaching my sister’s latest batch of feral foster kittens what a toy is. these are videos of their first toy ever in their whole lives, on the second day after they met humans for the first time
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/4581203149
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/catastrophegirl/4580012393

  14. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I sent out eighty-five packages today and I’m not doing another thing. I don’t care if I get in trouble. I’m done for the damn day.

    Next time, don’t commit to a ship date before you finalize the packet contents, BOSS.

  15. EtherealFlame says:

    I hate it when you post pictures of obscenely cute kittehs! It makes me want to go miraculously birth a litter of my own.