Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread

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  1. El_Fez says:

    So it took me a couple weeks to get all organized and the good stuff pulled from the crap, but I finally have all my Red Rock Country Roadtrip photos sorted out. My god, that’s some blindingly gorgeous country! Everyone needs to check it out at least once.

    Hoover Dam was pretty cool, too.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Did you get to go inside the dam? I don’t know if they do that anymore.

      • El_Fez says:

        Yup! They even let you take photos inside too!

        The thing that struck me about the dam? How elegant it was – brass and polished chrome everywhere, marble floors in the utility tunnels, unnecessary statues. They really did a number on the thing!

    • Cat says:

      I’ve got to stop there sometime when I head to Vegas to explore that area. Passed it a few dozen times, but never had the time to stop.

      But my trip this month will take past the Tetons, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore, and we WILL stop – albeit just briefly.

      • El_Fez says:

        Rushmore is kind of cool and kind of lame all in the same breath. Yeah, it was worth stopping and seeing the mountain, but – well, there’s not much to it. It’s not very big, not much to do there, no real hiking to speak of, and it’s 10 bucks just to park (above and beyond the admission to get in the park). I don’t regret going, but there are WAY better national parks out there.

    • axhandler1 says:

      Wow man, those pictures are gorgeous. I will definitely have to plan a trip out there at some point.

  2. chizu says:

    Thanks to everyone who recommended me on what to do about getting a blood test. Unfortunately, I’m trying to hold out on it because I’m currently beyond broke… (Isn’t it sad that healthcare is one of the first few things some people, aka I, have to give up first when you’re having financial problems?) I’m also trying to change my diet and etc. to see if my situation/health will improve. I guess it’s a bad idea to stick my head in the sand, but I am scared of medical cost, so I’m just really banking on “being relatively young” for the time being…

    Now I need a second recommendations since I’ve never done this before. I need to get new tires — I was thinking of just going to Costco to get them done. (Please let there be BF Goodrich coupons next month.) But there seems to be mixed reviews on getting tires at Costco… I know nothing about tires and I don’t know if I should go ahead and get cheaper tires, or the more expensive tires that are supposed to last 50,000+ miles. I don’t even know how much one should typically spend on tires…

    It really seems like expenses seem to pile on and problems tend to pop up left and right when you’re having issues (then again, things might seem more exaggerated when you’re already at a low point…). I do hope things will start looking up for me within the near future, I refuse to believe this year is going to get worse.

    I hope everyone will have a good weekend.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the firestone guy told me he can’t beat the prices on firestone tires at costco because they can buy them in mass quantity. my sister always gets her tires there and has been very happy

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      I’ve had good experiences at America’s Tire Company. I don’t know much about tires either and the salesman I dealt with was very informative and I found a set of tires in my budget. I actually went to Costco first and the guy there was not helpful. I’d suggest shopping around at 2 or 3 places.

  3. nbs2 says:

    House still isn’t getting showings that we need. Hopefully dropping the price spurs some activity. Moving in two weeks and thus stressed. And by stressed, I mean I’ve decided that I am just going to pay someone to move us – I think if I was to try to pack and load everything, I’d kill someone. Hopefully the places with movingscam.com reviews are good.

    Still haven’t figured out what part of Houston we want to live in. I’m looking at Sugar Land, Katy, Cypress, Klein, The Woodlands, and the Lakeshore area of Atocoscita (or something like that). We would look in downtown, but anything in our price range has mediocre schools and good school areas are way out of our price range. I’ll be working by the Galleria area, if anybody that knows the area has suggestions. Also helpful would be realtors that will work with renters (having a hard time finding those). Because the missus works from home, we need something in the 2500+ sq.ft. range (3 bed and a study or 4 bed).

    Why can’t I work out of the office that’s 5 min from where we currently live?

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i have moved 24 times. i only paid movers once, the last time. and i wished i’d done it every time. it was actually less expensive in terms of trips made and time off work

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Out of those options, and knowing where you’ll be working.. I’d say Katy sounds like the best option. It looks like a nice area from what I’ve seen, and seems to be fairly safe still.

      Commute aside, I LOVE The Woodlands and wish I could afford to live there.

      • nbs2 says:

        Is Katy nicer than Sugar Land?

        As far as the cost of The Woodlands, I don’t know if you rent or own, but in looking to rent, I’m finding some reasonable options up that way. My commute will be about 45m, but that’s still better than my DC area 2 hours. Frankly, it looks like the Lakeshore area is the most affordable of the group – but I am limiting my searches to areas with exemplary schools and significant GT numbers.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          We’re renting and looking to own, but it would add more costs to our transportation and all of that as well. Boo : /

          I just go there for the shopping. Hehe.

          I’m not overly familiar with Sugar Land… it’s a really old neighborhood though, so I’m not sure if it’s “nice old” or “run-down old”. Katy is still pretty sparse and still coming up, so I figure it’s a good place to get into.

          Cypress is really nice, but I feel like that would add a lot of time to your commute. Traffic in Houston is horrible.

          • nbs2 says:

            When you say traffic is bad, it is just rush hour bad, rush plus random bad, or all the time bad? Someone was telling me that rush hour in Houston is from 7-8:30am and 4:30-6pm. I’ll be working 6:30-4 (6:30-3 one Friday, off the next), so I should be on the leading edge of rush hour. My fear is that traffic is always bad and that I’m just not going to be able to get stuff done in the evenings and weekends because I’ll be too far away.

            From what I can tell, living in the Atacoastarica area would mean being far away from everything except Lake Houston (which seems nice), which would make shopping and such difficult.

            Sugar Land would be closer to the city, but apparently you have to watch you step in choosing where to live or you could end up with a lot of property crime in your neighborhood.

            Katy has a lot of shopping and stuff nearby, but 10 is a nightmare.

            Cypress is up and coming, but there is only one neighborhood we are looking at and there isn’t a lot of housing (especially in our price range) for rent.

            Klein has a lot of shopping just to the north, south, and west, but 1960 is on the southern edge and is another place where crime settled post-Katrina (I’ve noticed a lot of Houstonians I’ve spoken with really regret helping out NOLA).

            The Woodlands is nice and comfortable with great schools and shopping, but can be a bit pricy and Stepfordish and has a rough commute along 45.

            I really wish the comment system had a direct message system – I’ve got a ton of questions and it would be a lot easier to ask that way.

            • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

              You can catch me on twitter if you like (@kimkimmish)

              I don’t know what commute you are used to but without bad traffic (ie: not rush hour) it takes about an hour to go from the Woodlands or any of those northern areas down to the galleria area. Then, once you get there, traffic is Always bad.

              Houston is a driving city, so there is always traffic. Always.

            • Not Given says:
  4. That guy. says:

    Hey…so I have a boring weekend ahead of me.

    I should go out and socialize.

    • axhandler1 says:

      What metro area you in?

      • That guy. says:

        I’m in NJ, pretty much equidistant between Philly and NYC.

        • axhandler1 says:

          Nice, I’m in NJ too, but closer to NYC. My co-workers and I bought this living social deal for Hoboken the other day if you’re looking for something to do.

          http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/305-hoboken-jersey-city/deals/326170-one-19-or-three-59-speed-dating-events

          Hey, at the very least, it probably won’t be boring.

          • That guy. says:

            Ah, can’t see it at work lol.

            I used to live up in Bergen Co. While I’d complain about finding stuff to do when I lived up there, in retrospect there was much more going on up there than down here!

            • axhandler1 says:

              That’s where I live now. There’s usually something interesting, either here or in the city, to do on the weekends. There’s also this if you’re feeling more adventurous:

              http://www.skydivesussex.com

              Planning on going for the first time on June 30 this year.

              • That guy. says:

                I’ve always wanted to do that, I’ll check out that link. Thanks!

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

                  Some friends & I are having a party @ Sugar Moms in Philly tomorrow, feel free to come through

          • chizu says:

            So I was trying to tell a friend to go to one of those Speed Dating events — it was $20 for non NJYP (NJ Young Professionals) members and you have to get two items (drinks or snacks) at the event. She was extremely reluctant because she thinks it was too pricey. It seems like that’s probably the “going price”? She wants to do the cheaper ones, but I feel like if she tries for a “free for all” kind — she’s likely going to run into creepers. (And we have a lot of those in Jersey…)

            • axhandler1 says:

              I dunno, I’ve never been to one of these events before. The “two-item minimum” at the event you were talking about sounds rather like a money grab. I can see those “drinks or snacks” being incredibly over-priced. I don’t think this deal had any requirements like this, but I didn’t really read the fine print. $19 is really not too pricey for an event like this, in my opinion. I figure it probably lasts for like an hour or so.

            • That guy. says:

              Seems like a good price. I’ve been to a speed dating, and also a lock and key event. The lock and key was more fun, she should check those out.

        • chizu says:

          Central Park is having their free tango classes/milango starting tomorrow and every saturday into September! Since you’re in Bergen, you should try to go up there. There are many free events in the City (and probably around Jersey) now that Summer is near.

      • That guy. says:

        I’m in NJ, pretty much equidistant between Philly and NYC.

  5. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    still trying not to kill my roommate. i’ve worked 92 hours in the last two weeks, including the holiday, to try to keep the bills paid and keep my credit out of the crapper.
    i did the math and she’s cost me over $400 a month since she moved in.
    there is an end in sight and she really is doing everything she can to try to reduce her bills and get them paid. i just keep reminding myself that 14 years ago i was homeless and now i own a home – it’s possible to get yourself out from under a mountain of debt and back on track.
    but the constant worry about money was something i thought i was done with for a while

    • That guy. says:

      i did the math and she’s cost me over $400 a month since she moved in.

      Just curious how you came to that.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i’m not charging her rent and only the portion of utilities that goes over the average of previous utilities from the same months of previous years.
        the utility overage for all those months is only about $30

        the amount i am counting is purely money she has outright borrowed for car repair, travel, computer, dental copay, car insurance, her “new” [used] car payment that i paid because i cosigned and she didn’t end up having the money.
        it would be more if i counted the vet bills, the prescriptions from a couple of emergencies, the copay on an emergency doctor visit, groceries or cigarettes.

        • That guy. says:

          Most of that seems like nice things to do to help someone, but the two that jumped out at me was money for cigarettes (because it is expensive and arguably unnessicary) and cosigning for the car loan. If someone needs a cosigner, that means the professionals at the financial institution don’t think this person is good for making the payments. That’s kinda a red flag.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            i smoke so i am not going to pass judgement there
            i knew the risks cosigning. she’s a few months out of a bad divorce. during the marriage he was responsible for all the money and bought a house they couldn’t afford and lost it [he was the sole income] and during the divorce he defaulted on the apartment and both of those wrecked their joint credit. she also has some medical debt that i know about. i ran her credit reports before cosigned to be sure of exactly what the debt was. we’ve been close friends for 13 years.
            doesn’t make the pinch on my wallet less painful right now.

            • That guy. says:

              It sounds like you did your homework, and aren’t setting yourself up for a case to appear on Judge Judy. I hope your good deeds work out well, and are both appreciated and returned (by her or just by karma in general).

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                i blame the OP here too – i knew what i was getting into and did it anyway. we do things for friends and family that we wouldn’t do for a good paycheck and stock options, right?
                i just keep hoping that the end of this will be very very soon. she really is making a lot of effort. she convinced management to bring her hours up to the maximum, she’s picked up part time work online, isn’t griping about the fact that most of the food in the house is now frozen or in cans because there hasn’t been any grocery shopping in a while… an so on.

                if anyone has any suggestions for the possibility of doing a voluntary turn in on the car, i know it may be coming….

  6. momtimestwo says:

    Nissan (well their temp agency) has a job fair tomorrow at 9am. They are hiring 1,000. When they had a job fair in Nov, 4000 people showed up. They started lining up at 4am. I would be going alone, I am female. Should I show up at 4-5am and be in the front of the line, or go later and have a thousand before me. I’m thinking of going at 4am and waiting 5 hours. But I’m worried about safety.

    • That guy. says:

      I’d go there early, scope the place out. If it looks like there are a dozen people there, and it looks like there might not be great security…maybe find a 24 hour McDonald’s and get some coffee and return in half an hour.

      If there are like 50 people there already, I’d think it should be safe.

      • nbs2 says:

        Great. Stuff that I wouldn’t even think about, like safety at 4am, gets brought to my attention and give me something else to worry about for down the road when the girl grows up.

        I hate men.

        • That guy. says:

          You should totally have her take classes in a martial art that focuses on self defense. Like Akido. This builds confidence, and gives her the tools (and level head) to deal with dangerous encounters.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            Also, common sense. Don’t go off alone with people you don’t know, don’t drink too much, don’t run with headphones on, etc.

            • nbs2 says:

              That’s what I’m talking about. I’ve gone running with headphones at night. I’ve gone off with people I don’t know (heck, while traveling in Europe I spelt on multiple couches of people I either didn’t know or met that day or a week earlier). I don’t drink, so that wasn’t a problem. All of those thugs are things I didn’t even think twice about regarding potential danger, yet I need to let my girl know to be wary of.

              Fortunately, the missus is much wiser in the ways of being a woman than I am.

              • VintageLydia says:

                the crazy part is if your girl IS doing any of those things and something happens to her, she’s likely to be blamed for whatever befalls her. A lot of “she should’ve known better/was asking for it!” so yeah, go to any website that talks about street harassment and their will be some good tips you can learn and teach her about.

        • SexCpotatoes says:

          Oh, c’mon. Haven’t we had enough of the ‘Every Man Is A Rapist’ mentality?

          Most people are trustworthy. We live in one of the most statistically safest times in known history. Most rapes are supposedly committed not by strangers, but by people the victim knows.

          If people are queue-ing up for a JOB INTERVIEW, that would be a pretty EFFING STUPID TIME TO TRY AND GO RAPING PEOPLE!

          With that many people set to be out there that morning, I also think the cops would cruise by the area just to make their presence known.

          • That guy. says:

            supposedly committed not by strangers, but by people the victim knows.

            Lesson: Don’t let your daughter get to know ANYONE.

          • Coffee says:

            If people are queue-ing up for a JOB INTERVIEW, that would be a pretty EFFING STUPID TIME TO TRY AND GO RAPING PEOPLE!

            Unless you’re applying for a job as an insurance adjuster, in which case the last rapist standing wins the position by default.

          • VintageLydia says:

            While I’ll agree that what you say is true, I’ve been violently confronted by strange men for not responding to their cat calls when I was as young as 13. I lived in a very nice and highly desirable neighborhood with good schools and neighbors that cared. My experience isn’t unusual for most women. Experiences like that have a tendency to color one’s views on strange men in the wee hours of the morning, especially since 4 am is a time drunks are leaving bars and people act out in ways they wouldn’t sober.

  7. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    Ooo, look at the proto-yarn (yes, that’s all sheep are to me)
    After surviving a horridly stressful work week, I’m looking forward to the weekend. I might drive up to Madison tomorrow, I haven’t yet decided. Other than that, I’m looking forward to some relaxation, and maybe some knitting.

  8. CrankyOwl says:

    That sheep looks…sheepish.

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:

    My holiday visit with mah honey was good. He took me out to dinner on my birthday. We played video games — I finally finished Final Fantasy X (the tick! ROTFLMAO!), and got an extensive look / a little hands-on of Batman: Arkham Asylum. I want a PS3. I want it NOW.

    The flights back were uneventful, EXCEPT….I got my very first bag search. Awwww! I told the TSA I had camera batteries and a wrist/ankle weight (for my shoulder impingement therapy) in my backpack, but it alarmed and they pulled me aside. They just set me in a chair and unpacked my backpack and searched it. Then I got all my stuff back. No freedom grope necessary. I just acted like a good little traveler, polite and cheerful. They were very professional and courteous. (This is Tucson International Airport, btw.)

    Had an interview yesterday at an eye clinic. I was emailed about it last week, and had to put it off until yesterday, because of the trip to visit BF. She called me in before I was finished filling out the app, didn’t ask me all that many questions, and then said she didn’t need me to finish the app. I’m thinking she only interviewed me as a formality; probably decided to hire someone she talked to while I was gone. But that’s okay; not two minutes ago I just scheduled another interview at another eye clinic that is closer to where I live. :)

    I hope everyone had a good holiday. :)

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      what was your strategy against evrae?

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Well the first time, BF played it and then got me killed by those kicking things on the temple steps. Then I went back to the ship and leveled up as much as I could, then went out there and just killed the thing. I used Rikku and the Al Bhed potions to heal. BF helped me with some of the harder monsters later on. And I laughed pretty damn hard over the tick.

        I really REALLY want to play the Batman game. I mostly watched him play, and messed with it a little. I have trouble with the controller; my impulse is to mash on the sticks and I can’t get the little subtle movements. But with more practice, I’m sure I can play it. I’ll work my way up on the Hitman games. :)

        If you don’t mind the bad language, this is the funniest thing ever:
        http://spoonyexperiment.com/category/game-reviews/final-fantasy-x/

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    New job is BORING at times. But I just finished listening to book 2 of a Game of Thrones.