Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. GitEmSteveDave_IsStrongInTheSnark says:

    Just thought I would post some “action shots” of me in my new Consumerist Shirt I got at the Consumer Reports Annual Meeting. Sorry for their horrible quality. Click the picts for larger versions.

  2. katstermonster says:

    Wheeeeee it’s Friiiiiidayyyyyyyy! Not much excitement, although my best friend is actually gonna be in the state this weekend (she went to school in VA, got engaged, and never back back to CT), with her fiance, and they may be staying at my place tonight. Then I think I have a Frisky Dingo-watching fest tomorrow night. Yippee!

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Okay, I have a question I have to propose to all of you. I think that the cleaning people have been watering down the liquid soap and the dish soap in the office kitchen. I used the liquid hand soap today and it was the consistency of water, not of the gel that most liquid soap comes as. The bottle of dish soap is the same way. I understand if it’s a way around replacing the bottle all the time, but does this make the soap less effective in cleaning?

    Also, I think it’s weird that the dish soap bottle says “grapefruit scent” when the liquid is blue, so I’m wondering whether they just keep replacing the soap in the bottle instead of putting out a new bottle.


    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Many cleaners deactivate upon contact with organic material, so I can see how it *might* be less effective…then again, being less viscous could enable it to cover a greater surface area that might otherwise not be reached. My bet is that it’s slightly less effective at killing germs but this is a call for office science experiments if there ever was one!

      Theory on blue grapefruits: they probably buy the liquid in bulk, so it’s cheaper than buying it by the bottle and they just refill.

      • ExtraCelestial says:

        @h3llc4t has a slow work day: I’d be down for that.

        I’m actually wondering if this would enable bacterial growth. They’re introducing air and god knows what else every time you open the bottle to pour in more solution especially if they’ve already started cleaning elsewhere. The water would separate from the mixture and act as a breeding ground. Even if there was soap still in the separated water, soap only acts as a binding agent. It wouldn’t actually kill the germs. I would imagine it would have to go undisturbed for a while, but if it’s a typical office the 12+ hours of overnight time could be all it needs.

        Regardless, my interest is piqued!

        • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

          @TinkishDelight: I guess it’d depend on whether or not they were using anything with an added antibacterial agent like Triclosan. (That’s what our antibacterial dish soap at home has, so that’s what I’m going off of.) Triclosan’s not that soluble in water, but it is slightly, so I wonder if enough would be present in the separated water to kill contamination from the air. The tipping of the bottle to get more dish soap out could mix “fresh” soap into the water layer, thereby killing whatever cooties came in on the fresh burst of air, albeit making the overall effectiveness of the soap go down. I’d imagine that that doesn’t happen with the hand soap since you don’t have to tip the bottle to get some out. Whatever, someone whip out some agar plates and get swabbin’!

          Also, I’m pretty sure this discussion qualifies us as super nerds.

          • ExtraCelestial says:

            @h3llc4t has a slow work day:
            Also, I’m pretty sure this discussion qualifies us as super nerds.

            I’d also wager that if they are watering down soap and reusing the containers they are probably not springing for antibacterial.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @TinkishDelight: Okay, I have to revise my original statement. I think it’s the cleaning people who do this, but it might be regular people instead?

              I’ve been annoyed that I can’t go to the kitchen and wash my hands while I’m waiting for my lunch to heat up, so I know the bottle of hand soap hasn’t been there previously. So who would bring in a half-bottle of watered down hand soap for everyone to use?

              • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

                @pecan 3.14159265: I used to work with a woman that would water down the soap when it “got low” (To her..) even though it was my job to clean the bathroom and refill the supplies. If she would have just mentioned to me that it was low, I would have put in more soap from the big jug I bought (with the company’s money.)

                I would be willing to bet that it is someone you work with that thinks they are being frugal. I don’t think that cleaning people would do it that way, unless they just have to use really thin/strange soap that they provide them.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: lucky you, i buy the dishsoap for my office myself. and actually, i buy it by the half gallon at sams and refill the little bottle at work.
      it shouldn’t be that much less effective. i guess the main thing is how much watered down is it and does it work as well as before?

    • Pink Puppet says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: We bought in bulk and just refilled when I worked in an office, but I was the only one bothered enough by the label not matching the contents to peel it off.

      Why, no, that’s not neurotic at all. Really.

    • Saites says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: There apparently is a blue grapefruit dish soap:

      But to be fair, that’s grapefruit and mint.

      More likely, though, it was at one time grapefruit scented, but now they just buy soap in bulk and refill the bottle.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Ugh.. I hate it when people water down the soap. It usually squirts me instead of my hands and gets my shirt wet and slightly soapy.

      I would imagine it would take more “watered down soap” to clean something to make up for being less soap in the mix.

      I wouldn’t be worried about watery soap, but I would be very annoyed by it.

    • samurailynn says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I think watering down the soap is okay – most of the germ killing happens through scrubbing, soap just helps loosen the dirt and grime. What I really hate are the soap dispensers that pump out soap “pre-foamed”. It feels like I don’t even get any soap on my hands.

    • mimbypims says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I figure that if one good squirt of full-strength soap is enough to clean a small sink load of dishes, then one squirt of heavily-diluted soap should still be enough to scrub out one coffee mug from the previous workday. That’s logic enough to keep me from worrying about the funk I may or may not be removing from my mug each morning.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      @pecan 3.14159265:
      My MIL does this (she lives with us) and it drives me completely insane. ESPECIALLY because we buy in bulk so there’s ALWAYS more under the sink, but nooooooooooo- add water to the soap so it will last longer- nevermind you’re totally dilluting it to the point that there’s more water than soap in the dispenser.

  4. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    Yes, we celebrated at the office. Mmmm mole-asses cookies.

    So it turns out I have acute bronchitis. I’m currently saddened that my $.67 of Bactrim is preventing me from sticking to my normal beer drinking schedule. I did inadvertently discover that it feels really, really nice when the alcohol in your Nyquil interacts with your antibiotics though. Whoops. Now Kris won’t stop laughing about my robotripping.

    I’m up for a promotion at work that I’m really nervous about. There’s no reason for me to *not* get it, and I’ve been given encouraging words from my boss and my boss’ boss…but still. I don’t want to get too confident and jinx myself. At least I’ll be off the Bactrim by the time I find out so I can drink out of happiness/sadness, whatever’s most fitting.

  5. subtlefrog says:

    I got my KitchenAid Mixer (as some of you know). Here’s what amazes me.

    A couple months ago, I bought ~$20 worth of semi-perishable food, shipped with cold packs, and got second-day ship, UPS. Company does NOT require shipping. UPS refused to leave it without signature, and then proceeded to leave the signature thing in a different place every day, so my food rotted, over a weekend. Company took care, but UPS, grand suckage.

    This week, I buy a $250 mixer, and FedEx leaves it on my doorstep. No signature, nothing. Just a gentle knock on my door. It wasn’t even repackaged, so it was clear what it was.

    Two different companies, I know, but wow, some different priorities.

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @subtlefrog: Eww! That sucks, both on the food rotting and your mixer being left out in the cold. If that mixer had disappeared I would have come out to help seek vengeance.

    • Saites says:

      @subtlefrog: Congrats on getting it. I really wish I had the money to spend on one, but I’ll leave the mixer envy in last week’s thread.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @subtlefrog: Congrats on the mixer! You’ll LOVE it. It’s a pain to clean though. Do you have a pasta attachment? I want to get one of those so I can make my own pasta for ravioli.

      I think the mixer problem could be blamed on the shipper, not UPS. Yes, they were sucky for leaving it on your door, not knocking hard enough or anything…but it wouldn’t have been nearly as problematic if the shipper had put the mixer box in another box to conceal its contents.

      Apple’s computers all ship in their own branded boxes that are then placed inside plain, brown, unlabeled boxes. You wouldn’t even know where it came from unless you read the label.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: OOoo.. attachments. I don’t have any special attatchments even though I’ve had my mixer since 2003. I have been trying to be good since I have limited kitchen space.

        I usually put everything in the dishwasher after I’m done mixing, so it’s easy for me to clean it. Except for that blasted wisk attachment, can’t dishwasher that thing, so I clean it as soon as I’m done with it.

        What color is YOUR mixer? (My new favorite question)

      • subtlefrog says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Yeah – I’m not worried about blaming any shipper, it was just somewhat unbelievable that they wouldn’t leave $20 worth of rotting food, but would leave a very expensive mixer, when it was clear that it was a very expensive mixer.

        Silly, silly people. Like Kimaroo says, you just can’t predict when they will want a signature and when they will wing it at your door and run away.

        • ExtraCelestial says:

          @subtlefrog: FedEx randomly took it upon themselves to not require signature unless the shipper specifically requests it (for an additional fee of course) if the item is being shipped to a home address. And when I say random, I mean random. And of course since it’s FedEx not every delivery person is following this so you really never know what you’re going to get. Oh and don’t even get me started on FedEx Ground.

          I love Kitchen Aid mixers. There’s an attachment for everything! It’s like the kitchen equivalent of an iPhone.

      • CompyPaq says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Actually Apple doesn’t even write Apple in the return address.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @subtlefrog: You never know when they are going to try to hunt you down for a signature and when they aren’t. I can’t predict it myself.

      I’m glad you got your mixer! Did you mix anything yet? I have the sneeky suspicion (Maybe not so sneeky, really) that you are a vegan, so I can’t suggest things like “Make whipped cream! It’s amazing!” or “Try beating some egg whites, you’ll think it’s really cool!”

      Good thing that you were home to get it though. And I’m guessing that since he ran away you didn’t get a pic of the Fedex guy.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Hahahaha. Now I really want to beat some egg whites just to see them whip around the bowl.

        Subtlefrog could always make bread. That’s vegan, right?

      • subtlefrog says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Sadly, no, no photo of the guy. I’ll put the photos on Twit this weekend, tho, I promise.

        I’m at my office now, so can’t put them here.

        I can make vegan whipped creme, they do make such a beast, and it is delicious. But BF doesn’t like whipped cream of any kind. I could make bread, it is vegan (usually), and seitan is probably the main thing we’ll use it for, which is a vital wheat gluten thing which some people think is very meaty. Mine isn’t – or I couldn’t eat it (30 years of veg and “meaty” makes me choke).

        I don’t have any attachments that didn’t come with it (yet) – but we do have a pasta maker on its own. Maybe we’ll get rid of it, and get the pasta attachment, so we can minimize appliances…

      • katstermonster says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: One time, I ordered some shoes from Zappos, and they kindly decided to upgrade me to next-day shipping at no charge. That’s fine and all, but that meant it required a signature. And of course, they always deliver in the middle of the day, and this was during my internship when I worked 40 minutes from home and couldn’t just hang around at my place all day. I was one attempt away from having to pick it up at a facility when I finally gave up and paid my brother a couple of bucks to wait around. Next-day shipping ended up being 4-day shipping because of all the delivery attempts.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      @subtlefrog: Same EXACT thing in my neighborhood. Order a $1600 laptop, Fedex dumps it on my porch. Order a $10 book from Amazon, UPS makes me sign.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Laura Northrup: $600 worth of diabetes supplies no one makes me sign, $12 worth of cheap chinese electronics and USPS makes me come and pick it up during the 2 hours they are open between 10 am and noon on saturdays

  6. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:


    First of all.. Even though I love kitties, I have to admit that puppy is cute, with it’s giant eyes.

    Also, I am VERY annoyed/agitated/anxious without being able to recieve my Consumerist comment response emails. Bunedoggle seems to be broken, and it’s driving me nuts.

    I have no real plans this weekend so far. I’m thinkin I will be spending time redoing my website, but I don’t know if I will actually do it or not. I like to procrastinate, but 4 years seems like a bit much. I also would like to get Windows 7, but I’ll have to see if my .edu has been set up yet. 30 dollars is entirely resonable.

  7. Laura Northrup says:

    This week’s photo is to accommodate the puppy fans in our audience. Including me.

  8. katia802 says:

    I finally put a picture up on my profile, and of course saw that someone else was using the same one. Haven’t been able to get it to let me change it now, guess that’s the way the day’s going to continue to go!

    Yay Friday! Going to a haunted house with my sister and son tonight, even though it’s started to rain (sigh) should still be fun!

  9. pop top says:

    GWAR last week was amazing. They played all of my faves off of their new album ([]) and they played my favorite song of theirs (Immortal Corruptor). I’m contemplating going to the Fort Wayne, IN show since that’s the closest they’ll be again before their tour is over. They plan on having at least another album out within the next six months, plus a 25th anniversary edition set of some kind. I’m totally geeked.

    This weekend I’m just going to be catching up on games since I just finished beating Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 on Legendary. Need to start Halo: OTSD and pick up Brütal Legend at some point. I’m also going to a sandhill crane sanctuary tomorrow with the family; it’s their migration time so we should see tons of them.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @squinko: I hope that you atleast thought about Spinjas once.. for me.

      • pop top says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Sorry no. I didn’t think about much of anything during the SIX OPENING ACTS I had to sit through besides, “When the hell is this going to be over so I can see GWAR?”

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          @squinko: Woah.. 6? That is a ton.. I guess I can’t blame you.

          • pop top says:

            @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Yeah. The first four bands played half sets, so it wasn’t so bad, but they weren’t even half-way decent or interesting. Mobile Deathcamp was awesome and The Red Chord was good too. I also enjoyed watching the idiots in the pit. There was this gigantic crazy Black dude wrecking havoc in the pit. Before one of the two Walls of Death that night, he stepped out in the middle and did a throat-slitting motion at the opposing side. It was a hell of a lot more interesting than what was going on on stage at the time. :D

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @squinko: Did you get covered in blood?

  10. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    yay for emergency root canal earlier in the week [and painkillers,] now just waiting for the temporary crown on wednesday coming up.

    my sister just realized that she invited all my friends to her hallowe’en party but forgot to send the me evite, hehe.

    got a delightful message at work about how next year the company wants to offer us more opportunities for cost sharing on our medical/dental/vision [i just BET they do!]
    but hey, i’m still insured and employed so i’m not going to argue.

    BCBS has admitted that they should have paid for the sensors for my continuous glucose monitor in june but won’t way whether they are going to fix this little problem now – the pharmacy has been fighting to be able to order them so i can use the benefit the [incorrect] way BCBS wrote the policy and the manufacturer won’t let them order the sensors!
    so now it’s on to a specialty SPECIALTY pharmacy [i already use a specialty pharmacy, apparently this is one is even more special] who may be able to order it, then ship it to my pharmacy, who then ships it to me….

    yeah, the cost to BCBS goes up each time it goes through a middleman and my copay doesn’t change. BCBS not rewriting the medical policy correctly is going to probably cost them about $300 a month, if not more

    no word from the lawn bully since i put up a no trespassing sign! thanks for the words of support and suggestions last week

    and the little black and white kitten has a permanent home, although he doubled in size the last couple of weeks.
    and the cat mentioned in the open thread last week got adopted within 48 hours of that mention [abby] so now i am going to mention more rescue kities who need a home and hope that my cat adoption luck will hold

    cider and rascal would like to be adopted together:

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @catastrophegirl: Awww look at the pirate baby! I hope you are able to find wonderful homes for them. I wish we weren’t already at maximum cat capacity.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:


      Uggggh, root canal! I hate dentists… sorry you have to go through that.

      What happened to Cider’s eye? For Halloween he/she needs to be a pirate. Someone get that cat an eye patch!

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: they are both boys. and cider showed up at his previous mom’s home when he was around 8 weeks old [with rascal] and his eye hanging out. they had to remove it. they were raised together but their mom got foreclosed on and asked us to find them a nice place.

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

          @catastrophegirl: I can testify to any would-be adopters that one-eyed cats present no particular problems and tend to fascinate the neighborhood children. :)

          We keep ours indoors (which I do for safety for cats generally, but it’s a little more important when they just have the one eye left) and we keep watch for colds, since they can get infections in the tear mucus area thing, which is generally self-limiting but you want to keep an eye on it, just in case.

          They typically take a little time to get used to having just the one eye (Jack used to peek around corners WITH THE WRONG EYE and then get confused) but once they do they don’t seem to have any depth perception problems and are just as able to leap tall buildings as any other cat.

          We’ve had one-eyed cats for so long now that when I visit my parents and their TWO-eyed cat jumps on me in the middle of the night, it freaks the ever-living shit out of me to see TWO glowing eyes in the dark instead of the normal ONE!

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): hehe, that would be a little odd.
            the hard part isn’t the eyes, it’s the adulthood. it’s hard to find people who are willing to accept a well loved pre owned model over a shiny new one

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

              @catastrophegirl: Having adopted a kitten, an adolescent, and an adult, I vastly preferred adopting the adult, except for the part where he was only with us for five years.

              It would take a LOT for me to put up with a kitten again, oy vey! The adolescent (our most recent adoptee) was okay, but I can do with a little less feline crazy in my life. :)

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Maybe you could put the kitten on the tortoise and race the two of them against your baby.

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): well if you ever get a diabetic cat again, i now give my vet advice on how to care for diabetic cats after helping my sister keep hers alive for about 7 years with diabetes. tsunami is almost 16 now. the technology is getting better for people and a lot of it can translate to cat care

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

                  @catastrophegirl: Our vet is actually diabetic himself and developed a veterinary specialty in the area as a result! He was awesome, Sherman probably got 18 extra months of high-quality life due to his excellent care.

                  I think it’ll be a long time before I’m willing to go through it again, though.

                  • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                    @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): excellent! there’s nothing like saying to a vet “i make my own blood glucose curves at home” to have them say ‘wait, tell me how?’
                    i have a friend who can’t afford a vet right now and we managed to diagnose and start treatment on her cat right after he started the sudden weight loss and got him regulated within a week for under $50 [although some of that was because i had extra needles and test strips on hand]

                • Ratty says:

                  @catastrophegirl: The one-eyed kitties are cute! next time get no-tailed one-eyed kitties. :3

                  And sucks to the root canal. It really is better than the pain. Tooth pain is far and away the worst type of pain I’ve dealt with.

                  • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                    @Ratty: i came home from the endodontist tuesday, let the dog out for a minute, took my hydrocodone and slept in 4 hour spurts [as the painkillers wore off and needed renewal] until time for work wednesday. it was the best sleep i had since the tooth broke

                    • Ratty says:

                      @catastrophegirl: Yeow… how long did you have to wait from tooth breakage ’til emergency dentistry? My root canal was not a broken tooth but it was one that got infected apparently. I had no infection symptoms other than extreme pain.

                    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                      @Ratty: it actually cracked over a year ago but i didn’t have money and it wasn’t urgent. but it’s a top tooth and the tooth under and one behind it is a baby tooth which is loose [yes, i am 33 and have a baby tooth] so when i was chewing and the baby tooth went sideways, it stressed the fracture on the tooth and broke the back of it off.
                      that was i think wednesday of last week?
                      and then the weather got cold!

                      i had an evaluation for the tooth on tuesday and they said ‘you need a root canal!’ and while i was standing at the reception desk to make an appointment the endodontist and the receptionist realized the appointment after me was a no show. so they said ‘how about right now?’
                      so i called work, said ‘not coming in!’ and got the root canal. then went to the pharmacy for the painkillers on the way home.
                      and then wednesday my regular dentist called and said ‘we heard you got a root canal. and we know that uses up most of your annual dental benefit. we can get you in next week for a temporary crown for $217 and then in january when your insurance rolls over we can put the permanent crown on and apply the $217 from the temporary one to the cost.’

                      yes, i love my dentists’ office.

                    • Ratty says:

                      @catastrophegirl: Wow, that’s awesome!

            • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

              @catastrophegirl: Adopting adult cats are so much easier! No crazy house destruction sprees!

              Plus, you can more accurately gauge the cat’s demeanor and attitude because its pretty much done with its mental development.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @catastrophegirl: Awwww.. they are pretty.

      Sucks about the root canal, but woo painkillers! Lol.

      Sounds like you won your lawn wars, so good for you! And also very good that you won against BCBS too, those guys are a major PITA!

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: thanks but the root canal is way better than the pain i was in after the tooth broke!
        now the area around it is just all irritated because the endodontist doesn’t do temporary fillings well and got it all over my gum and i have to scrape it off [with some skin]

        i know, gross posting day for me

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: oh and i didn’t win against BCBS yet… they agreed they screwed up. they haven’t said a thing about fixing it yet.
        my doc and the manufacturer are working on the appeal to get BCBS to change the medical policy.
        the pharmacy is trying to loop around and solve it from the other side by making their abilities match what BCBS said they want me to do even though it’s outside the pharmacy’s responsibility.
        the thing is – i’d rather use the pharmacy. would much rather pay $30 copay every 90 days with no maximum benefit than use up my lifetime maximum durable medical equipment benefit in 2 and a half years.

    • katia802 says:

      @catastrophegirl: If i didn’t already have 3 kittys and a doggie at home, i’d jump on the chance! My kids take up so much of my time, any more in the household would involve all of them not getting the attention and care they deserve :+( I have to keep a good sharp hold on myself, never go to the shelters, or i’d be a pet hoarder for sure! Can’t stand to see any animal, specially cats without a loving home.

    • pop top says:

      @catastrophegirl: A one-eyed kitty! I’d take them in a heartbeat if I had the room…and was anywhere near you. They’re gorgeous.

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

      @catastrophegirl: ONE EYED KITTEH! I HAVE TWO! (I had another one before but he died last year, sadface.) We only adopt one-eyed kittehs in this house!

      (My pics are on a different drive but I will try to post one this afternoon!)

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

      @catastrophegirl: My one-eyed kittehs:

      The dark-grey one is my first cat, One-Eyed Jack. He came to us so malnourished and underweight as a kitten you could count his ribs, but with paws the size of dinnerplates. He weighs about 20 lbs. The little one is my newest cat, Oscar, who came to us from 700 miles away in Atlanta. (He is normal-sized, probably 8-10 lbs now.) He WORSHIPS Jack and follows him around and does EVERYTHING Jack does. It’s pretty funny, especially since Jack thinks he’s people. And Oscar is terrified of people. So Oscar can’t ever decide if he should follow Jack when Jack decides to, say, help us play a board game. BECAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN APPROACHING THE TWO-LEGGED EVIL ONES … but he HAS to follow Jack!

      This one is Sherman, who died a year ago this month. He’s actually pretty sick in this picture; he was much fluffier and sleeker for most of his sojourn with us. He was also a rescue kitteh (this one abused and abandoned, not just abandoned) and had one eye and a stump tail. We had him for five years before he died of kidney failure due to advanced age and diabetes. He was the sweetest cat in the history of the universe and all he ever wanted out of life was a sunspot and a lap to snuggle on, purring madly.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @catastrophegirl: AWWW!!!! How CUTE!
      Someone will jump on that. They are adorable.

  11. bloggerX says:

    Aww, look at the cute poochie! Between a passive-agressive pitcherman and a hyperactive pitbull, my weekend will be fun!

  12. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    this is a direct repost from my rant against verizon yesterday:

    So, we’ve had Verizon for 5 years now.
    We have 5 lines, plus my dad has a business cell on a separate account.

    Our neighborhood has horrendous Verizon reception. WE’re trying to cut back, and considering ditching the landline, but we can’t do this without cell reception at home.
    Last week, we called verizon to complain, and they told us they’d send a tech out to our area.
    Today, we called them back, and the response was “we didn’t have any problems. that area should be covered. nothing we can do.” Now, it’s not that i live in some small city, i live in Charlotte, North Carolina, a city of close to 700,000 residents.

    this is turning a little rant-y, so, let me recap my frustrations…
    1. we pay verizon for cell service
    2. we do not get cell service at home
    3. verizon says that there is a great signal “in your area”, and are unwilling to do anything about it.

    Anyone had luck getting discounts from verizon due to poor home signal? I’d be willing to stick with them if they either pay for a Femtocell, or give me a monthly discount equal to the cost of a local landline.

    [We asked our neighbors what they did, many of them either have verizon and landline, or switched to ATT.]

    kexline suggested more or less “giving in, quitting verizon, switching to ATT,” but i’ve seen too many bad stories about ATT. also don’t want to pay for 6 new phones, and 5 ETFs. (i know that i can probably get the ETFs waved, but that still leaves me with a few hundred $ in new phones to buy)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @gStein_has joined the star bandwagon: Okay, first, if you’re not getting any cell reception than you’re paying for services not rendered. That may help you go a long way in getting your ETFs waived. Also, opinions about AT&T are more or less subjective anyway – if AT&T is what works, and you need those cell phones, what choice do you have? Stay with Verizon that doesn’t do what you need?

      Also, you don’t really have to pay for six new phones if everyone is willing to get a free phone with a new contract. If someone’s whining about getting a cheapo dumbphone, they can pay out for the new phone.

      The bottom line is that you’re not actually getting anything you signed up for, so you’re wasting your money. There’s no reason to continue with a service that doesn’t work.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @gStein_has joined the star bandwagon: does the service work outside your home, just not in it? that may seem silly, but sometimes building materials can really screw your coverage.

      if that’s the case, perhaps picking up one of these could help: []

      $250 is a lot of money, but if it works, it may be worth not having to go thru all that hassle.

      another option: see what another carrier is willing to do for you. bringing 5 new lines over is HUGE – they may be willing to give you a little more than just the standard free phones. they may even reimburse you for ETFs paid (i know some providers did this a couple years back, but i don’t know if they still do).

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @gStein_has joined the star bandwagon: If you do decide to switch to ATT I wouldn’t pay “hundreds of dollars for new phones” I would use Amazon wireless, which is what I just used when I upgraded a couple of months ago. They have loads of really nice phones for $0.01 (And no, that’s not a type-o.) and free 2nd day shipping.

      I had such an easy experience with that that I love telling people about it.

    • CompyPaq says:

      @gStein_has joined the star bandwagon: Another solution – A cellphone signal extender.

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @mac-phisto, CompyPaq: a Femtocell is a type of network extender that acts as a a localized cell tower, with about a 40′ effective radius. It plugs into your home network, and (i assume) communicates directly with verizon’s servers.
        A few years ago, while working on something else entirely, i looked at cellular repeaters, which is basically an aerial antenna that is hooked up to a repeater, which then rebroadcasts the signal inside the house. (for that to work, i would still need to get reasonable signals on my roof.)

        I’d really like to get verizon to foot the bill for a Femtocell (the thing that mac-phisto posted) – my cousin goes to school at App State, in Boone, NC, and they _only_ get Verizon coverage up there. (that’s the only reason she’s on our plan…)

  13. Wild Monkey says:

    So I’m an uncle for the fifth time today. I starting to forget family member’s birthdays and other momentous occasions. Think I need to make a calender of some sorts to keep track of all of this.

  14. Saites says:

    I just interviewed for a summer internship position. Hopefully I’ll hear good news back from them. If not, does anyone know of any Computer Science related summer internships? :)

  15. mac-phisto says:

    anyone know a good place to get k-cups? a friend dropped off one of those keurig single-brew coffeemakers, & i admit i’m a little addicted to the convenience. the k-cups i’ve come across are all waaaaay too expensive for me though – it’s just as cheap for me to buy coffee on the way to work!

    any ideas? oh, any input on good brews would be awesome as well. i’m not a big flavored fan, but i like a good french roast from time to time & kona coffee is teh r0x0r!

    • TheSpatulaOfLove says:


      Amazon does deals on those, usually on Fridays. The problem is, I rarely see the one I like the most on sale (Timothy’s Italian).

      I am considering this solution, as I also like Biggby Coffee’s French roast (Michigan coffee chain).


      • mac-phisto says:

        @TheSpatulaOfLove: i found this site which seems to have some good reviews & offers coffee deals occasionally –> []

        they only update about once/day, so it’s probably good for your feeder (if you use one). looks like coffee giant has a timothy’s special – Buy 6, Get 1 FREE (coupon FREE4ME) –> []

        i’d be curious to hear how that my kap thing works for you. i guess the my k-cap reusable doesn’t seem to work too well. keep me posted (wish we had pm-ing on this site).

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @mac-phisto: aside from snagging them from my office? [i don’t, i use a press pot at home]
      have you tried a restaurant or office supply store? seriously, my employer gets them at one of the office mega stores

  16. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    Open Thread – Pet Picture Thread:

    This week I present Alfred’s baby photo. This was taken on his first night with us in October 2006:

    • pop top says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: The cat looks either insane or frightened. Maybe both…

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @squinko: He did look kind of alien like as a baby, but he’s grown into his ears and now is quite pretty. (As seen in other pet photo threads)

        And yes, he probably was scared of the camera, poor lil thing. But as a first time mommy I couldn’t help myself.

        • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

          @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Awww, he was your first baby? I’ve always grown up with cats but I imagine if I’d gotten my first as an adult I would have gone crazy with the camera.

          • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

            @h3llc4t has a slow work day: Well I had kittens/cats as a kid, but I consider Alfred my first baby because he was MINE.. you know.. totally my responsibility and everything. I had to take him the vet and buy his food and do all the things that my mom would have normally done.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars:
      My little Racecar when he was a wee one.

      We call him Evil Racecar becuase he has a goatee-

      • katia802 says:

        @cash_da_pibble: They are so precious! I lost a beautiful black and white kitty to old age 2 years ago, and still think of him and smile every time I see any b&w kitties. And Kimaroo, your baby does NOT look insane, well, any more than any other kitty that age is, lol

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          @katia802: Black and white kitties rock! I’m still taken with sadness everytime I see one because of Lilly.

          She was a stray that was really nice and deserved a good home. I insisted my friends who were caring for her take her to our SPCA shelter. Comes to pass though that a stupid stupid volunteer who was fostering ill cats brought the illness to the kennel and about 70% of the population there at the time had to be euthanized. Lilly was one.

          • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

            @Oranges w/ Cheese wants it to be winter already: Awww. That is SO sad : ( I got Alfred from a girl that worked in a vets office (my brother’s friend’s GF) and she said that some guy just dropped him and his sister off at the vet. I hate that I took Alfred from his sister but she wouldn’t let me have her too.

            Bastien was a stray that found us. I’ve posted the story before but I dunno if you saw it or not.

            I couldn’t see buying a new kitty when there are so many homeless ones out there.

            • HogwartsAlum says:

              @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: My kittey, Pig, was dumped on me by the neighbor. She’s kind of wild because she wasn’t socialized as a kitten; her mom hid her. Now she lets me pick her up. I need to figure out how to get a picture up so I can post her in Friday’s thread.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @cash_da_pibble: Awwww. I love his markings! The Evil Racecar thing is hillarious.

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

    Okay, now that it’s getting cold, I’m getting bored with at-home parenting. What can I do to keep from going stir-crazy?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): You could knit, read a ton of books, comment on Consumerist even more, sleep, do yoga, learn the ancient art of origami, race your baby against a tortoise.

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

        @pecan 3.14159265: Which would all be the NORMAL things I’d do, except I have a demanding baby who wants my attention all the time and won’t let me read/sew/compute/yogafy. I can do pushups, though, as long as I do them over him so our noses touch when I come down. He thinks that’s HYSTERICAL.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): You didn’t say you didn’t have enough time to race your baby against a tortoise, so I think we have a winner!

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

            @pecan 3.14159265: LOL!

            He’s just started doing the army-man-scootch sometimes, but he can’t hold his head up AND scootch at the same time, so he goes off in strange directions, looks up, and is like, “how the hell did I get here?”

            He and the tortoise might be evenly matched … but only if the tortoise gets bored after five minutes and starts screaming its head off to get flipped onto its back. (Because Mini McGee is still a one-way flipper, back to front ONLY.)

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): That’s awesome. My rabbit (not a baby, obviously, but I don’t have a baby so he’ll do) can only go up stairs. He refuses to go down them. In one of my old apartments, I would let him out of his cage and he’d regularly race up the stairs only to realize that he couldn’t get down the stairs. He’d sit there until I wondered where he was. I’d turn the corner and see him with his head jutting out off the top step, looking down, and the rest of his body and his paws gripping the carpet, as far back as he could get. I would have to rescue him from the top of the stairs. I’d let him down on the floor and sure enough, a few minutes later, he was back up the stairs.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): LOL!!! That is so cute.

      • subtlefrog says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: But don’t let him get too close to the tortoise. You know. salmonella.

    • zentex says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Consider buying the following:

      Duct Tape, Elmers Glue, Cotton Balls, 24-pack of Toilet Paper, Large can of Crisco, and a single can of soda. Oh, you’ll need a medium sized brown button and a clown nose.

      Those items along with a baby will keep you from getting bored. It worked for me.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): it’s time you started thinking about pageants. in fact, it may already be a little too late! what’s it been – 6 months now? get the ball rolling, mom!


    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Is your baby old enough to go out? I’d start taking him out everywhere.. but it might be hard for you without your own car…. Hmmm…

      Sounds like PecanPi is right, indoor hobby time. I’m a knitting fan, but who knows what new thing you could learn.

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

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: I do have my own car, but:

        1) we’re amid a large local swine flu outbreak (hospitals have restricted visitors, even, to reduce transmission) and he is too young to get vaccinated for it, and the vaccine hasn’t arrived locally anyway, so I have to be careful (per his pede) about unnecessarily taking him where there are crowds.

        2) before now we’d go for walks or hikes (driving to the hiking place if need be) when I got stir-crazy, but now it’s getting a little too cold/wet for that. (Actually, the cold is still tolerable, but it’s been VERY wet the last several days.)

        3) I can’t really think of very many indoor places to GO with a baby, other than shopping.

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

            @floraposte: Yeah, I suppose I could catch up on some podcast listening as long as he’s playing fairly quietly. I do have quite a backlog!

            @pecan 3.14159265: We’ve been doing the rounds of public outdoor spaces, but the cold and wet is starting to drive us inside. We may try the museum … I’m only aware of two locally. I guess the REAL problem is that there aren’t that many FREE indoor places to go and I’m only willing to pay so often. :) (One of the museums offers membership but it’s not really big enough for frequent visits.) The library is good, but only so long as Himself is quiet.

            I did get a line on a weekly playgroup meeting, so that’s good. Even better if it’s one of them playgroups with likker!

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Do you have an aquarium nearby? You know what happens when you’re snuggled up in a blanket and it happens to be dark, right? ZzzzZzzzz. Quiet baby, and you and the fishes can have a conversation about the weather. You could even listen to an audiobook or, to keep with the theme, a book about ocean life.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): It depends on the individual baby, sure, but you could always go to a museum. They’ll be quiet during the day while everyone is at work, not a lot of people will be there, and if he’s a relatively quiet baby, you could enjoy the peace and the exhibits.

          Maybe a public park or a garden? You could probably put on some headphones and listen to an audio book so you have your hands free to change diapers, play with baby, etc.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Oh I’m sorry, I might have gotten you mixed up with PecanPi with the “only one car between the two of us” thing.

          And yeah, I could understand the swine flu thing with such a wee one.

          And I’m pretty sure that shopping is what I had in mind.. lol. Allthough I’m also a fan of musieums (Maybe one that isn’t so.. quiet.) and zoos and things.

    • Ratty says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Pick up a crippling World of Warcraft addiction.

    • subtlefrog says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): You could rejoin us all on Twitter…ahem. (See above for Consumerist cabal information).

  18. floraposte says:

    I have a good customer service story. I did a big order from last night (trying to get new winter boots, and working different configurations to ensure room for thick socks), and I put in the wrong–less money-saving for me–discount code, which I only realized after I ordered. I called this morning and they were perfectly happy to credit me with the difference. So yay Shoebuy!

  19. vorpal_hamster says:

    My Kitchenaid Artisan mixer is cobalt blue. It lives in a cabinet, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Kohl’s had them on sale for $299.99, which isn’t too good, but I got a 30% off anything coupon and they sent me a $10 Grand Opening gift card. Then I opened a Kohl’s card for another 10% off. Finallly, Kithenaid had a $40 rebate. My mixer cost about $140…that’s why I don’t feel guilty that I’ve only used it 5 times in 3 years.

    Tommorow is my birthday.

  20. Ratty says:

    Gross discovery of recent times: Nutrisystem foods do not need to be refrigerated or frozen! yuck! Shelf-stable meats are so very wrong.

    I signed up for a Twitter finally. Even my dad had one. That made me feel odd. I am Rattycake if anyone wants to follow me–I’ll follow back.

  21. umbriago says:

    So I see the House passed the bill creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency yesterday but guess who will be exempt from its provisions? Retailers, auto dealers, real estate brokers, lawyers, gift cards, cable companies, loans from for-profit colleges (think ITT Tech) et al.

    Great. Thanks for nothing, Congress.

  22. Smashville says:

    I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs last night and took a run in them…wow! What an awesome feeling!

  23. GearheadGeek says:

    Jumping on the puppy bandwagon, here’s my beastie:
    (with compliments to GitemSteveDave for for all-caps HTML hint.)

    • floraposte says:

      @GearheadGeek: Ohhh. That’s just a delicious picture, too. A pink nose is very hard to resist.

      This morning I ran into a web comment from somebody whose workplace brings in shelter dogs periodically and the employees get to have “beagle breaks” to pet the pups. I almost quit on the spot and then I remembered I don’t know where this person works.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        @floraposte: :) Thanks. Trudy came to me from Bull Terrier Rescue, in fact, and they found her in a shelter. I think she’s a little tightly wound for a “beagle break” (Bully break?) with a random bunch of people she doesn’t know in an office, but as long as she’s not unusually nervous she’s more likely to injure you by running into you than anything else. (at a somewhat clumsy low-slung 55 lb, she’s tripped me more than once.)

      • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

        @floraposte: We get that too! It only happens twice a year, but when I hear our receptionist announce “So and So Shelter is here, come to the courtyard to see kittens/puppies!” I am immediately grateful to work where I do. We actually adopt out quite a lot of critters through the programs; I think it was a dozen cats and 8 dogs last time.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @floraposte: As much as I love kitties, the real soft spot in my heart is for Beagles. I long to have one, but I’m waiting until we have a yard.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @GearheadGeek: Cute! Is he asleep?

  24. mac-phisto says:

    just got a copy of wolfenstein for 360 off a friend for $20. now i know what i’m doing this rainy weekend: pounding warsteiners & shooting zombie nazis. w00t!

  25. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    In other news, waiting to hear back about a job at Petco. i was told that they’d make the decision by Friday… it’s now 5PM… do i call tomorrow morning, or wait until monday?

    (Also, facebook seems to have evolved again. this time shedding that pesky “events” and “birthdays” reminder block on the homepage.)

    • mac-phisto says:

      @gStein_has joined the star bandwagon: i’d call tomorrow. it’s a weekend – retail managers usually work on the weekends.

      unless you’re applying for a manager slot. home office personnel are usually off for the weekend.

    • locakitty says:

      @gStein_has joined the star bandwagon: Hope you get the job! Keep us posted.
      Good luck!

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @locakitty: i’ve applied for a metric shitload of jobs over the last 2 months… i’ve had 2 interviews with petco, a woman at the Y likes my resume, and talked to my former Y boss, so i have an interview for them on tuesday, and i had a rather promising conversation with the GM at the local laser tag place – apparently “you filled out the whole application” puts me leaps and bounds ahead of most of the other people who have turned in apps.

        Laser tag place looks to be he most fun, but has me working thursday, friday, saturday evenings and sunday afternoons.
        Y job is less fun, but pays better (woo hoo! $0.03 above minimum wage!) and has a better chance of transitioning into a “real” job. (if i get the Y job, i can pick up another 7 hours a week in the Teen program, making $9.50/hr)
        Petco is honestly at the bottom of my list, i’d have 2 10-hour shifts on the weekends, making minimum OR 40% of sales, i’d be washing dogs, helping groomers with ill-behaved dogs, making cold-calls, cleaning the store…

  26. locakitty says:

    I got a job that starts on Monday. It’s a call center gig, but it brings in income while I continue to look for a better job. Otherwise, well, I’ll probably move to Colorado at the beginning of the year and go work in a medical marijuana capacity. (Can you say the “m” word here?)

    Otherwise, the heat has finally broken in Tucson, it’s lovely weather and a lovely weekend ahead, I’m sure.

    Oh, and for any HR type people out there: Would you be offended if a cover letter for a job pointed out that you had a spelling error (they put cordinator not coordinator)? I’m just wondering if I possibly shot myself in the foot for what sounded like a pretty interesting job.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @locakitty: good luck on the job!

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @locakitty: Good luck. Call center work is notoriously draining.
      Unfortunately, if I saw a cover letter with an obvious misspelling, unless the resume was OMGWTFAWESOME I’d pass on that candidate. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the HR person would even get to the resume, depending on how many applicants they had. The cover letter is often your first chance to make an impression and a spelling error that Microsoft Word could point out doesn’t make a good one. I wouldn’t be offended, but I would shake my head in sympathy for the poor sucker that sent it out, and hope they didn’t do it on every application.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @h3llc4t has a slow work day: i think she’s saying that the JOB LISTING had the error and she pointed it out. i have no idea what that would do to your chances at getting a job

        • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

          @catastrophegirl: Oh. hah. See, this is why I shouldn’t post when I’ve taken my Nyquil for the night.

          • locakitty says:

            @h3llc4t has a slow work day: Hahaha, it’s ok. No, everything that I send out is triple proofed by myself. I’m pretty good at it, and do freelance proofing/editing on the side, so you know, I just try to make some money on my innate talents. hardeharhar.

            I hope you get over whatever illness has you needing nyquil. unless you are just taking it for funsies, in which case WOO! OTC DRUGS FTW!

  27. HogwartsAlum says:

    Posting late; Friday was a freaking nightmare and I forgot all about Open Thread.

    Today my beta reader gave me back my novel. We talked a bit about some of the things she suggested and I haven’t looked through it yet. It will probably have to wait until tomorrow because I’m ACTUALLY GOING OUT TONIGHT. Yes, it’s true. I signed up for a meetup group to meet new people, because it’s very hard to meet people around here. Tonight they are having a new members mixer. So today I bought new boots and I’m going to a local microbrewery to scope it out.