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  1. nicless says:

    For the first time since July of last year I get to go back to my home state of Michigan and visit my friends and family. I moved to Texas a little over 3 years ago and don’t get back as much as I’d like but I’m starting the drive back tomorrow morning! WOOOOOOO.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Wooo, heck of a long drive, but I hope you have fun seeing everyone!

    • Cat says:

      We left NY 7 years ago and haven’t been back since.

      We leave June 15th. My 2 youngest kids can meet their grandparents before they get senile!

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    So…what’s up?

  3. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Too much scarf!

    I like chihuahuas in photographs, but I’ve never met a nice one, not once in my life. :(

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      worst dog bite ever: chihuahua
      neighbor’s dog that poops on my front step: chihuahua

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        Are you sure it’s not just your neighbor?

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          if i could find it [forgot to tag/title it on flickr] i’d show you the video proof. the neighbor is not the one pooping but he is often the one holding the leash and walking the chihuahua over to my place or across the street

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            Scoop the poop and put it on his front stoop in a paper bag, light it on fire, press the doorbell and run like hell. Hilarity commences.

            *Disclaimer – have not ever done that but always wanted to

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      Then you’ve never met my parents’ dog! She’s super nice and snuggly!

    • dolemite says:

      My chihuahua looks just like that in the picture. He’s very nice to strangers but has bitten my wife about 10x, and myself about 3x.

      Our other chihuahua snaps at strangers and is fearful of them, but the worst thing she’s done to us is a hard lick.

  4. chizu says:

    Woah. Work just blew up in my face. Client is flipping out and everyone is confused, and I’m terrified even though I’m not at fault. *sighs*

    So does anyone use fountain pens here? What pen and ink do you use? I thought I broke my Lamy (it holds great sentimental value) the other day and I just broke down and cried at work. Luckily I was able to save it and I’m using it again. (Never going to do anything to it but clean it out.) It’s my first and a starter pen, it does what I need it to do. But soon, I’m getting myself a TWSBI 540, so I’m really looking forward to it.

    • GrayMatter says:

      Lamy possibly has a unlimited repair program. Many fountain pen companies do. And often the repair is free. Check Lamy out before tossing it or spending money to fix it.

      • chizu says:

        Thanks for the info. I did take the matter into my own hands and took care of it by using a pair of pliers. What happened was when I tried to pull out the nib, it got stuck and the whole feed came out. Then the feed won’t go back in and got stuck half way through. After a bit of brutal pulling and tugging, it finally came out (some very minor damage to the feed, it didn’t affect the performance). I looked up Lamy’s repair/replacement, a replacement piece is $20 for each section (nib part, barrel, and cap), it’s almost just as expensive to get a brand new Safari (what I have) elsewhere. I just didn’t want to get a new pen to replace this one due to its sentimental value.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I admire that you can use a fountain pen. I manage to get ink on myself with normal pens, and we use inked stampers at work, and when I have to re-ink, I usually ask someone else to do it as I always get ink on myself, my desk, my clothes, etc. I just need a hazmat suit, I guess.

      Good luck with your pen!

      • chizu says:

        I used to hate fountain pens because they didn’t write well for me, leaked everywhere, etc. The Lamy Safari was a good starter for me and I enjoy writing with it. It does get messy from time and time and I get ink all over my hands all the time. But I wear the stains with pride. :)

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Oooh, no, but I’ve always wanted one!

      Hang in there….*kicks work*

  5. DJ Charlie says:

    Working on the Lady yesterday, installing running boards. Dumbass me fastened the last bolt on the passenger side, and started pulling myself back up with my cane, and knocked myself out cold on the side view mirror housing. I was only out for a couple of minutes though. Slightly concussed, headachey today, and doing a full dubstep-themed show tonight.

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

      So, head trauma, eh? You might want to get that looked out, any bump on the head that causes you to lose consciousness, even briefly, should be examined by a medical professional.

      • DJ Charlie says:

        Been checked out. No real damage, just a knot on top of my head. :)

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          Owwwch! Be careful!

          I walked into a door once. Broke my glasses and gave myself a black eye. Didn’t get knocked out, but it was really embarrassing. At least you can hide a knot under a cap!

  6. axhandler1 says:

    Great morning. Woke up late, then some guy plowed into my car on the way to work, so now I have that to deal with. Really looking forward to office-sponsored happy hour after work. How’s everyone else doing today?

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yah! That sucks.

      Doing okay. It’s really nice out today. :) Went out and worked in the yard a bit and enjoyed it.

  7. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    laura, does zoe have a scarf like that yet?

    now not only do i have a breaking and entering raccoon, but my sister, ten miles away from me has one sneaking into her house.

    yesterday both my internet and my air conditioner [all electric dual stage heat pump] were on the fritz. i’ve gotten some tips from a coworker who has done a/c repair, and of course the internet. but if anyone has experience with an a/c unit that ices over, i’d love to hear what you did about it and what worked. last year it did it twice, when temps were over 100 degrees but this year it did it at 78 degrees outside which i know means it’s working too hard for some reason. it’s off now and my roommate and i have window units in our bedrooms plus the addition has its own heat pump so we are keeping cool a little bit.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      Zoe has a dog scarf that her aunt gave to her, but it fastens with a pompom and Zoe likes to chew on the pompom.

    • Not Given says:

      Off the top of my head, the temp could be set too low with the fan set too slow, it could be low on coolant, the coils might be clogged with debris, the fan motor could be out. I’ll never forget the time we rented a lake cabin. The housekeeping staff, getting the cabin ready, turned the AC on about 60. By the time we got there it was iced up. It was really hot that day and we had to turn it off and run just the fan until it thawed out.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        thanks, i’ve checked for debris because the location has a standard problem with vines growing into it that i have to cut back several times a year. the fan seems ok, the motor on it is not a problem when the heat is running.
        i hadn’t thought to check the fan speed.
        as for temperature, the weird part is it was 78 degrees out and i was trying to get the house just down to 70 because i have heat sensitive medical issues. in the past this unit has been able to get the house down to 74 when it’s 103 out so lowering it 8 degrees shouldn’t be a problem, right?
        my guess, because murphy’s law says when i’m broke is a good time for this to happen, is low coolant/coolant leak.

  8. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    Hi everybody.

    A boycott of one is futile. Just thought you should know.

    Happy Consumerist-versary Laura, you’re the last good writer here.

  9. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    My Dad’s hip replacement surgery has been rescheduled, again, to April 2. He’s so ready for it. I’m ready too, and I’m glad instead of possible snow removal (although we got next to zero this year) it will be mowing detail instead.

    We might be a step closer to reliable cell service in my neighborhood. There’s a plan afoot to put up a 180′ tower, but someone who went to the informational meeting said there were 6 attorneys present, and the plan violates a few township ordinances, so I’m not holding my breath that this will happen within a fast timeframe. I really hope it does happen, though, while my neighbor is patient with me standing or sitting in his field to make calls, it’s inconvenient during bad or hot weather.

    I’m trying to make improvements to my situation. I’m starting to get rid of stuff I don’t use. I’m trying to be more organized. And I’m trying to find a place to move to, after my Dad is back on his feet. I can’t go on being so sad and miserable all the time. It seems like no matter what I do in either my personal life or at work, someone isn’t happy with me. And I’ve been really depressed since my Mother bought me a cookbookk from QVC that’s low calorie, low fat, and low sugar and said I would probably really enjoy it. I feel like Greta Garbo – I just vant to be left alone!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      enjoy the misery of people who aren’t happy with you. it’s their fault they are unhappy, not yours

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      What catastrophegirl said!

      Good for you. Cleaning out the clutter goes a long way toward making you feel better. It’s almost as though purging stuff cleans your head out too. I hope your Dad gets his surgery and feels better soon.

      As for your mom, ignore stuff like that. Maybe she was just thinking it was healthy food that looked good and you might like it. My mom gives me all kinds of stupid junk and I just put it in the garage sale pile. :)

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Thanks to you both for the encouraging words! :)

        My Mom likes to give me Women’s World magazines with the diet plans prominently displayed on the front page, as well as pamphlets about weight loss surgery. She hides them in with the coupons and circulars she saves from the newspaper. I guess I should be happy she didn’t give me aerobics tapes like my coworkers did.

        I’m an only child, and all my cousins are thin, except one, and my family always comments on him and his weight. I know they all do about me, too, as I’ve been overweight since childhood. I’m an adult, almost 50 for God’s sake, and it still bothers me.

        I take solace in the fact if there’s an apocalypse of some sort, I have way more reserves than they do and will be able to live longer on less food. Ha!

  10. nbs2 says:

    So, had another interview this week. Hopefully it pans out. Otherwise, I might have one next week for a part time job (temp-to-perm, perm would be ft).

    More importantly, made it through module 4 of 8 in my EMT class. Just 4 more and then the state cert. I can’t believe I’m more stressed about a class that I’m taking to volunteer than I was about the bar exam.

  11. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    So my podcast is on hold because my co host went on a live podcast stream and told everyone listening/who later downloaded that I had been emailing the head of a non-profit and attacking her/the charity. Oh, and the vice president of the charity is the same person who owns the equipment we have been recording on.

    Seriously, how stupid do people think I am that I would attack someone/something connected to someone doing me a favor/giving me a chance over email/the web when it can be easily found with a simple google search or forwarding said emails? Or that I would lie about something so easily investigated? Even the head of the non-charity said I never emailed them. It’s just so infuriating when you know you did nothing wrong, and now there are a bunch of people pissed off at you, and any thing you say to try to prove you didn’t do it/the accusations are false looks like you are overcompensating/scrambling to cover up. GRRRRRRRRR.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      Question about your co-host: are you friends with this person? If yes do they have a penchant for saying outrageous stuff? If not does this person have a rep as a self styled muckraker who maybe thought that a little controversy would be god for the show? As far as the apologizing making you look bad, damage control rarely makes anyone look good.

    • scoosdad says:

      I was once involved in a local public access TV fundraising telethon for a nonprofit music and dance instruction agency. It was supposed to run twelve hours starting at 10 AM. Around noontime one of the co-hosts (who was on the board of directors for the non-profit) suddenly announced live on air to the audience, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just seen the figures on the contributions so far, and we’ve actually reached our goal for the telethon already!”

      Well you can guess what happened to the contributions after that. The director in the control room just about threw the main power switch and went home. I still have tapes of the telethon and I should dig them out one of these days and post that clip on YouTube.

      Sorry that your co-host pulled a bone headed thing too.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

        Was there a counter on the wall or something? I mean, I think it would be great to reach your goal before the telethon was scheduled to be done. In our case, we had recorded the episode(the first/premier) less than a day before he did this, and it hadn’t even been edited yet. It still hasn’t…

  12. Dallas_shopper says:

    My job sucks monkey butt but I have an in-person interview AND a phone screen on Monday afternoon. *happy dance*

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      Congrats, I’ve just learned I need to start the process of finding a job next week, hopefully you get the new job

      /fingers crossed

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Yay! o/

  13. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    So we had a meeting at my job and found out that our company was sold to it’s #1 competitor, which was shocking, and to top it off our office will be closing in may. We can apply for a job within the new publishing voltron, but we were told no preference will be given for current employees. Anyone got any advice on dealing with sudden unemployment?

    • Coffee says:

      Hey Secret…I have no advice for you, but could you send me a quick e-mail…I have a question for you (e-mail is under my name in my profile).

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      That sucks! I’m so sorry to hear that :-( Hopefully something will pan out for you very quickly and it’ll be the awesomest job ever. We all deserve awesome jobs. Except for those jerks in Shelbyville.

    • Kate says:

      Make sure you are up on the employment laws in your state and start collecting contact emails now from your co-workers so you can network with each other.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      What Kate said is good. Also file for unemployment RIGHT AWAY when the end is near; don’t wait. That’s what I did when I was suddenly laid off out of nowhere in January.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Make sure you get any promises of severance pay, vacation pay, sick pay, stuff like that in writing. When the Borg assumed our company, there was a lot of stuff about those issues plus COBRA. Keep everything. And if possible, ask for separate checks if they pay for unused vacation pay, etc. from your last paycheck. Less taxes that way.

  14. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I had an interview yesterday at a law firm. New position, sounded okay, but the company got a bad review on Glassdoor.com. Now that could have been a disgruntled person posting but it sounded pretty level-headed. One of the complaints was that they are pissy about time off. They did ask on the application about how many days you missed over the last few years. Urg. Also they are way way on the other side of town, and my old shitty (fortunately paid for now) car sometimes doesn’t work right. So does that mean they would fire me if I couldn’t make it in?

    Also there were big giant pictures on the wall in the lobby with God quotes on them. I’m not particularly religious and I don’t want to be around it at work.

    I did take the MERIT exam last weekend for a state job. That’s the one I would like to get. I’m a perfect match for it and, you know, having one government job would make it easier to get another one if I decided to move. One of the questions was “What letter designates the floppy drive?” SERIOUSLY!?!?! I had to think for a minute because it’s been so long since I used a floppy drive. :P I figured they hadn’t updated the test booklets in a while, or else the state gubmint is still using really old computers!

    Other than that, not much is going on. My last severance check arrived today. I had to spend some of it on a new deadbolt because I found out my neighbor got his house broken into. Bleah. But at least I made it harder for someone to get in here.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the law firm doesn’t get why religious quotes on the walls might create a hostile work environment? scary
      desperate times call for desperate measures though so good luck and i hope you get some sort of paying job soon

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Thanks!

        I don’t think of it as hostile, necessarily, just annoying. It generally means the business is impossibly tight-assed. I would rather work for people who are a bit more casual and open.