Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. MostlyHarmless says:


  2. katia802 says:

    I’m having the opposite problem of everyone else. Can’t see the articles unless I hit comments and scroll up. Weird!

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Everyone who is having problems, here’s what I tried and it seemed to work. Logout of Consumerist and then wipe out any and consumerreports/union cookies from your browser, then reload consumerist and login again. Worked for me on FF.

      • jesspark says:

        I was having a different issue (I couldn’t sign in using Firefox), but following your suggestion fixed it! :D Thank you!

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          I was having the same issue as well, when I tried signing in and out, which is when I cleared the cookies. Should have mentioned that….

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

        Yeah, wiping my cookies fixed it for me, too.

      • Laura Northrup says:

        I switched to another computer, which fixed it. Makes no sense, but there you go.

  3. jesspark says:

    So, totally random, but I can’t sign in to Consumerist in Firefox (v3.0.15).

    I click “login,” I enter my username and password, and then I’m taken back to whichever page I was viewing before… but I’m still not logged in. As you can see, I’m able to sign in and comment while using Safari, but I almost never use Safari to browse and I was wondering if there’s anything else I can do. I have Adblock Plus turned off when viewing Consumerist, so that’s not it… any ideas?

    • jesspark says:

      Also: this is a new development, having happened within the last few days.

    • DPGumby says:

      I have the same issue using Firefox on OS X (Snow Leopard). It does not happen in Safari or on any browser in Windows.

      That has been going on for some time so I am certain it is unrelated to the comment from today.

      • jesspark says:

        Hmm… what’s “quite some time”? I don’t believe this has been happening to me for more than a few days, although I don’t comment very often, so the last time I know for sure that I could sign in was when I commented on the site transition at the end of November.

      • jesspark says:

        …Woo-hoo! I just followed GetEmSteveDave’s advice above — deleting all my Consumerist/Consumer Reports cookies — and now I can log in again in Firefox! :D

  4. MostlyHarmless says:

    Woo Hoo Open Thread!!!

    Finally a weekend I am actually looking forward to!

    Have a busy day today. 12/11 so a bunch of us at the local makers/hackers club are getting together to eat pie. And we’ll be watching Serenity while we are at it. [Sorry Subtlefrog, I was reserving it for you, but since I wont be visiting LA any time soon… :( ]

    Then, I have a date!!! Second date, but more like date 1.5
    Hopefully it will be fun and we’ll get to talk a bit over a few drinks… I am cautiously optimistic about this.

    And then tomorrow, I intend to watch lots of Numb3rs and Mythbusters. Update some stuff, and work on my personal information manager bot.

    And I’ll try my hand at cooking something more elaborate than I generally do. Will let you know how it goes ;)

    What are YOU guys up to?

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Nothing :( My social life is so lame. Though they’re having holiday party at work tonight – open bar!

    • Kuchen says:

      Going to a work holiday party tonight. It’s catered, so there should be lots of good food. Last year, each person got 2 free drink tickets, too. I’ll probably end up getting Sprite with my drink tickets, though.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Yay date!

      Yay food!

      Booo busy.. but YAY PIE!!!

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      I’ll be helping add last second details to a set, then filming Sunday and Monday. Hopefully we’ll have a finished short up that I can point everyone to by the time the next open thread rolls around.

    • pop top says:

      Congrats on the date. What are you cooking?

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      I gotta bake a steamed pudding tonight, then take it to my brother’s house tomorrow for our Christmas Party, where we will enjou Christmas Cmaeraderie and then set the Pudding on Fire! I am really looking forward to the whole celebration.
      Sunday is my BF’s Archery Club shoot- he’s been shooting spot-on the past few weeks so he’s excited. This also means that Cash will get a LONG LEAD DAY! woo!

    • Smashville says:

      I have REDACTED tomorrow with REDACTED.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yay a date! I hope you have fun. It’s fun just to go out and do stuff.

      Sounds like you have a great week coming up!

    • subtlefrog says:

      Firefly without me????

      feel the love.

      I guess, since I have watched them all, repeatedly, without you, I can forgive. But only because you thought of me.

    • subtlefrog says:

      I am wine tasting (because wine is what I do) on Saturday afternoon. And working. All weekend.

      It’s raining in Los Angeles! We’re supposed to get 3/4 inch tonight! That’s huge! I remember Miami when it rained all.the.time, and this was mosquito piss that we’re getting now, but after being here for a few years, when it finally rains at all, woohoo! Of course, my little princess of a dog refuses to get wet and walk out in it, so she’s miserable when it rains…so maybe it’s best that it’s not often here.

  5. bornonbord says:

    I eloped over the summer and only just told my family.

    Here’s a little video I put together of their reactions.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      So are you going to do another ceremony for your family? What made you choose to elope?
      (its obvious that your families are ok with it – which is great)

      • bornonbord says:

        We’re going to throw two parties, one in Chicago and one in San Fran. Low-key events, jeans and a t-shirt with a bunch of food, booze, and music.

        There’s a million reasons to elope.
        The entire trip to Wyoming cost $1500.
        I was invited to seven (7!) weddings this summer.
        My brother’s is having the first grandchild soon and we didn’t want to steal the spotlight.
        We wanted it to be about us, not about stressing out.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          Cool, makes sense. A couple of my friends got married via paperwork and then on their year anniversary had their big ceremony. I think it made it more personal.

        • MostlyHarmless says:

          So I guess they all knew you were going to do it sooner or later, you just didnt tell them at that time? That makes sense. I also like your concern for others. Keep it up. I’d love to have a small quiet ceremony, but thanks to the whole Indian scene, I am probably stuck with a bigass wedding (when it happens).

          The way my dad put it: “These many people have invited us to their weddings over the years… we basically have to at least invite all of them.” *headdesk*.

          But then, I’ll probably have a quiet ceremony here, and then have a “second” wedding when I go to India. (My sis did the same). Though I’d be lying if I said I’m not looking forward to a 5 day bash. It is like the only time we cousins seem to get together any more – at one of our weddings. Yay for a family spread out over 4 continents.

          • subtlefrog says:

            You know, if you follow tradition, you’ll also be marrying someone your mom finds you to have a compatible birthday with. Just sayin’. If YOU are happy with the bigass wedding, cool. If not, it’s about you. Have a small ceremony.

            • MostlyHarmless says:

              Haha. No, my family tradition in this generation has been to BYOS (Bring your own spouse). And i have 100% choice in who i marry, but about 1% in HOW. That is the ‘rents business.

        • mac-phisto says:

          that’s pretty awesome. why 2 parties next year though? why not head back to jackson hole for a low-key party for everyone? i’m free (i

          i’ll just start my advocating now:

          • mac-phisto says:

            that fragmented section is supposed to say (i HEART jackson hole). =P

          • bornonbord says:

            Heh, trust me, we thought about it.

            But part of the idea of eloping was so that we didn’t have to get everyone’s schedule in line, make people pay money for hotels and airfare, etc…

            So, we’re going to where our families are. We’ll bring the party to them instead of bringing them to the party. :-)

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      Wow you two look cute together!

      Considering all the reactions (all pleasant ones).. I have to ask… why exactly did you two elope?

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

      Congrats! And fun video!

      • bornonbord says:

        Thanks! I’m still smiling over telling people about it. That’s why I had to spill the beans to the Consumerist folks too.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      By the way, that is the sweetest video by far that I have seen recently. And it is very nicely executed too.

      • bornonbord says:

        Thanks! People were pretty surprised that we had actually gone through with it.

        The way we told people was by showing them pictures of “our little vacation over the summer” that had the ones you see in the video. And then towards the end were the pictures of us actually getting married. That’s when we had the camera ready.

        It sounds like when you do make it happen, it’ll be a lot of fun. Bringing people together from all over the world is going to be good times.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Congratulations! I can’t watch until I get home.

    • subtlefrog says:

      Congratulations! It’s a great video – maybe we’ll take a cue from that! We plan on a similar idea, elope at some point, when and where, we’re really not sure. Your picture idea is a great way to tell family, rather than just calling up & saying, hey, guess what! Love it!

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Remember, GitEmSteveDave is a legally ordained minister. I only charge dinner(reception counts), and travel if out of NJ/NY area.

      • bornonbord says:

        Hahaha, it was a lot of fun – My wife initially wasn’t too keen on the picture idea, but after we did it to my sister and her husband first, we knew we had to do it to everyone!

  6. Chinchillazilla says:

    I hate finals.

  7. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    WOOOOOO!!! (Is that getting old?)

    I have no idea what I’ll be doing this weekend… This evening I plan to do dishes.. because they’ve stacked up to most embarassing levels.

    I haven’t done any official Christmas shopping. I’ve done thinking, and online browsing, but no physical browsing or actual purchasing. I remain thankful that I have Amazon Prime for free this month, because I think it may save my tiny rear.

    I got my Roku box in the mail this week from my cousin. And it is AWESOME. I can see why people have been ok with cancelling their cable TV service if they have one of them. I’m not to that point.. but I could see it. I did encounter an interesting problem with the remote though.

    I have this Ipod Alarm clock/docking thingie: and it operates via a tiny basic remote. The other day I was using my Roku and I heard this horrible loud noise, that I thought must be some heavy machinery outside. I got up to do something and noticed that the sound was actually coming from my desk, and in turn, the clock. I turned it off and made sure I hadn’t accidentally set the alarm, and I hadn’t so I figured the cats must have stepped on it or something. Then I went back to the couch and selected something on the Roku and I noticed that it came on again! I pushed some more buttons on the remote and noticed that it was changing the radio station of the clock.

    Very weird. I don’t have a good solution to it yet.. but I turned the volume all the way down on the clock so it wouldn’t bother me anymore. I also downloaded this nifty little app for my iPod Touch that basically replaces the remote.. and it really does work! (It’s almost magical.. it’s so weird.)

    Sorry if that story was boring, btw.

    I also may or may not make more bread this weekend.. Last weekend’s bread was excellent.. so I’d like to try a slightly different recepie this time to see how it goes.

    I’d also like to go clothes shopping, so I’m glad that Christmas is coming and I will probably get some money or gift cards or something. lol. I think I might be ready to try actual women’s sized jeans.. if I can find 00s. They have them at the Gap but holy crap that stuff is expensive.. (I’ve been wearing girl’s sized pants my whole life, so real women prices are rather shocking for me!) Old Navy only goes down to 0, but maybe I could shrink them.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      It must be an RF remote on the same frequency… weird!

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

      My brother’s stereo volume control was on the same frequency as the neighbor’s garage door opener when we were growing up, so periodically they’d open their garage and his stereo would turn itself ALL THE WAY UP.

      We were seriously starting to wonder about poltergeist before we figured it out!

  8. MostlyHarmless says:

    Oh and BEST EFFING LUCK!!! To everyone with finals and projects and whatnots. This is not a fun phase…

  9. SexCpotatoes says:

    I’m possibly going over to my Mom’s to watch a movie (or two) with my nephews and niece tonight. Any suggestions on good movies with Christmas association. I have Gremlins 1 & 2 on tap, as well as The Nightmare Before Christmas, are there any other good movies that aren’t “hardcore X-mas?” Elf was just on the other night so they’ve already seen that.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      The Harry Potter movies seem to be really popular around Christmas, they usually have that winter ball in it or whatever it is.

      I like “A Christmas Story” but usually it comes on TV and everyone’s seen it over and over.

      Other than that, I’d have to keep thinking.

    • Kuchen says:

      The original Home Alone is still one of my favorite Christmas movies, even though I am technically a grown-up.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Edward Scissorhands. I always watch that around Christmas, although Jim’s murder might be too intense for little ones.

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    OK, really wish I could post photos, but since I can’t…

    Here’s the picture being used on this years Christmas/Holiday card.

    For those wondering, here’s some from previous years:
    if you’re wondering why Dizzy is missing in 2008, it’s because she disappeared for 7 months, and I don’t put any of my animals that have passed on the card.

  11. CompyPaq says:

    Last day of the semester :-) Now finals :-(

  12. Smashville says:

    This has been a weird week.

    And I have a flat tire and discovered that the Miata has no spare.

  13. Keep talking...I'm listening says:


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

    I have officially finished my Xmas shopping, and all the shipping but one box that’s waiting on husband input. So yay! Santa got my husband a membership to a local wildlife park he likes to go to. Santa managed this while my husband was taking for freaking ever to finish taking pictures of wildlife with his overelaborate camera when we were at the park last weekend. Santa was pretty clear she’d have PLENTY OF TIME to sneak off and do this because Santa is well aware of how long it takes her husband to dork around with shit like that.

    My son now has TWO TEETH! Well, two proto-teeth, they’re both barely in. But boy can he chomp already.

    We started the family ornament tradition for my son yesterday. My mom bought us each an ornament every year that had something to do with what we’d done that year (the year I turned 16, I got a car ornament. When I was 14, I got two chipmunks on a telephone. Etc.) and then when I moved out, I got a big box full of meaningful ornaments to start MY tree with so it didn’t look so sad at first. So we got my baby two ornaments, one “baby’s first Christmas” and one that’s a little snowman family, it’s so cute. I do have to say Hallmark makes this ornament tradition WAY EASIER than back when my mom started it and it took her months to find them. :)

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Aww. That is really cute.. and I love how your santa story went. heheheheheh.

      That ornament tradition sounds really nice.. We have lots of “favorite ornaments” at my mom’s but nothing like that. When I got married we bought a set of blue and silver ornaments and blue lights because I wanted my tree to “match”.. Still have the ornaments, but no tree this year thanks to Mr. Fattie McThinks-He-Can-Climb-Things-That-Can’t-Hold-His-Weight kitteh.

      Congrats on the baby teefers.. it’s only the beginning!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yay! Baby teeth!

      My mom does that with the Hallmark ornaments; not themed, but each year. I finally had to tell her to stop because I have enough for three or four trees and nowhere to put them!

  15. pop top says:

    I am currently brewing up a batch of Skittles vodka as XMas presents for my parents-in-law and my sis-in-law and her fiance. The colors are so awesome (the green looks like toxic waste!), and luckily there should be a little bit left over of each color for me to sample my creation. :) I’ll let you guys know how it turns out, and I’ll even post the recipe for those who are interested. It’s super easy and fun. I also have two knotted fleece blankets to finish, and I’ll probably be making some treat baskets for other friends. I love cheap, DIY Xmas present ideas.

    Other than that, I’ll be playing the hell out of Borderlands on the 360.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      Awesome game- just finished it.

      Would like to make home-mage gifties- but alas, I probably shoudl have started that… you know, like a week ago. As is- i only have vague ideas and no real presents purchased.

      Please post Skittles Vodka Recipie, kthxbai!

      • pop top says:

        If you want to do handmade stuff, try a knotted fleece blanket. My first one took only a week to do, so you still have time, especially if you make a small throw one, instead of a large, bed-sized one. Also try finding some easy fudge, peppermint bark and truffle recipes and put together some treat boxes. You could also do the Skittles vodka, which doesn’t take long either.

        Skittles Vodka

        You will need: a funnel, 5 bowls, 5 clean mixing bottles (I used empty water bottles, you want something with a cap), two one-pound bag of Skittles, 1 gal./1.75L bottle of vodka (get a half-way decent brand, I used Skyy), 5 glass jars/bottles, coffee filters

        Decide how much you want to make. Ideally you want 10 Skittles per ounce of vodka (I’m doing 6oz. which means 60 Skittles, and with 6oz. you will end up with 8oz. after the Skittles are absorbed). Divide Skittles by color. Measure and pour vodka into the mixing bottles, then add Skittles. Cap bottles and shake. Let set until the Skittles are fully absorbed. Strain vodka through filters into glass bottles. Enjoy. :)

  16. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Is that photo of many kitties, or is that a really good example of Cat Paint?

    Whew. I had a lot of work to do, and had to be somewhere else to do it, hence my radio silence. I still have a lot of work to do, so I’m taking a break while I have lunch…then it’s back to the grind!

  17. Smashville says:

    I also just provided the elusive unblock on Wikipedia. Not that I deny them on purpose, it’s just 90 percent of the time, the unblock reasons are, “I didn’t do it,” “ADMIN ABUSE,” or “MY COMPANY DESERVES TO SPAM WIKIPEDIA!”

  18. chrialg6 is a happy effing cupcake says:

    I am so sick of facebook being weirdly blocked at work some days and then not blocked some days for an hour or two. I have statuses to see! /rant

    I loved the Comic Strip post this week, awesome!

    The OJ story seems too bizarre to be true.

    I still need to get a Christmas tree.. I am considering a living tree, Norfolk pine. Anyone else?

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I love real trees.. I would love to have one.. but I can’t this year.. my cats are too crazy and they egg eachother on.

      Maybe when they get a little older and lazier.. lol.

      It just doesn’t smell like Christmas without it though : /

      • katia802 says:

        stop at any christmas tree seller and buy some bundled fresh greens. We don’t do a christmas tree, but put fresh greens all around the house. The cats leave them alone, and we still get that wonderful pine scent. Be careful, it’s really easy to overspend on this stuff once you get started :+)

  19. Saites says:

    Garmin offered me a summer internship! So that’s been the highlight of my week.

    Other than that, I finished my finals yesterday, so I’m planning to eschew all responsibility until next semester. Yay for the weekend!

  20. HogwartsProfessor says:


    Yes, HogwartsProfessor used to be HogwartsAlum, in case anyone was wondering. I got a promotion. :) No really, during the whole login debacle, I had to start over. That’s okay. At least I’m able to get in now. It was killing me not to be able to comment, especially on Open Thread!

    I survived my gallbladder removal. I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving; I spent mine completely stoned on hydrocodone. But everything went well and now I’m back at work, back on the ice and back doing Pilates. And I ate Arby’s last night with no ill effects!

    I’m querying my book now and trying to set up an author blog on WordPress. It’s not that hard, but I’ve never done it before so it’s kind of tricky. I’ll get it, though. I plan to spend the weekend tweaking it and I wrote the first post on my lunch today. I’m not sure if I should put up an excerpt or not; since the book isn’t published yet.

    • pop top says:

      Congrats on the surgery and the promotion! Being high on medication for a while holiday weekend actually sounds pretty appealing actually. ;)

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Thanks! Yeah, I wasn’t going to go to the ‘rents anyway, because I’m having company New Year’s weekend and was going to do some stuff around the house. But I didn’t get to, so now I have to do it Christmas. Oh well.

        Because I had to take so much of it, I found out why people like that stuff. But it’s just not my thing, thank goodness.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yay for arby’s! i would have thought a roast beef sandwich would be the first thing to ruin you after losing a gallbladder… or did you have the chicken?

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I had the Roast beef and cheddar and the potato bites. I was kind of hoping they would be nasty for me so I wouldn’t eat them any more, but no. Now I have to force myself to avoid them for weight loss purposes. Damn!

  21. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    going to be a jam packed weekend and i plan to enjoy as much of it as i can by sleeping and reading.

    am having a friend over so i can make us some dinner and loan her the money to get a new computer for her job [realtor] instead of ‘renting’ one from her boss. if she goes semi independent she will make the cost of the computer back in the percentage of commission she won’t be losing on her next two house sales. it would seriously suck to have to rent a computer and i’m glad i don’t have to.

    my doctor sent my prescription renewal for two kinds of insulin pump supplies on november 4th.
    on the 25th the pharmacy processed one of them and i got it last week.
    the other one was just sitting there saying “will process november 25th” right up until i called them on 12/09/09… at which point the phone rep said they’d start processing it.
    their website now shows that my prescription has been entirely deleted.
    they have no idea what happened. on the phone just now the pharmacy said they will see if there’s something clinically wrong with my prescription [wtf? it’s a renewal of the same thing i have had for 2 years] and get back to me “probably by tuesday”

    fortunately i am not actually likely to run out of these in the next month, but i would have run out if i didn’t hoard them by wearing the infusion sets days longer than i am supposed to each time.

    and wait, it gets better – BCBS is actually being reasonable and working really hard to try to get the specialty pharmacy [different pharmacy] to get me the sensors for the continuous glucose meter that i got [sans sensors] in june 2009.
    this morning my doctor rewrote the sensors prescription for a third time because it keeps expiring before they even get close to filling it.

    and in january we switch to a different pharmacy and i have to do the whole thing all over again with the insulin pump supplies [got confirmation today that the new pharmacy doesn’t carry them] and the sensors.

    my insurer has suggested that i buy the sensors out of pocket [$500 a box, 1-2 boxes a month] and submit the bill to the pharmacy for reimbursement… the same pharmacy that can’t even find my prescription. yeaaaaaah, that’s not gonna happen. i’d rather wake up at 4 am every night forever than spend $500 every few weeks on a ‘almost but not quite guarantee of reimbursement’

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Gaaaah. Those idiots.

      If you want me to bust a move on them, just say so! *waves wand*

    • Kuchen says:

      Sounds like a pain, I hope you can get it sorted out. I had a friend who started using a continuous glucometer and her A1c went down more than 2 points within the first 6 months.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        well my a1c has been holding steady at 7 for the last year, and i’m cool with that part. it’s the random crashes that i don’t feel anymore that catch me by surprise all the time. to avoid having crashes [5-6 a week] i’ve been testing at least once an hour and waking up at night to check. means i get 4-5 hours of sleep because i am usually low when i wake up and have to go eat and stay awake until it’s safe. 4-5 hours of sleep. a night. for a couple of years. i’m so tired.

  22. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    Remember the Consumerist Anti-Gift Cards we could send for? Today my envelope came, but in it was a list of Consumer Reports Car Raffle Winners. No card. What gives? I’m happy all those people won, but I really just want the card.

  23. Ratty says:

    This has been a hell of a week and change. I just got in from filing for (an amicable) divorce, i have a one-way ticket out of the country that I’ll be using in less than 2 weeks, I only have 5 days left at work… oi vey. But I’m stuck at home extremely ill for the next several days with strep throat.

    I’m pretty excited about it all.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Aww Ratty…I’m sorry you had such a sucky week. I hope you feel better soon. Seems like everything happens at once, doesn’t it?

  24. katia802 says:

    After a month solid of deciding on menu, guests, and tearing my home apart and putting it back together, Sunday is our Yule feast!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO much as I’m looking forward to this, i’ll be very relieved when it’s over too. Soooooo tired. Cooking starts tomorrow.

  25. morganlh85 says:

    I can’t see any comments in any of the threads. I’m using Firefox. Is this on my end or yours? Of course if anyone answers, I won’t be able to read it…

    I see it says XX comments, then it says “1-50” but the space below it is blank. Boo.

  26. xredgambit says:

    Slow news day?
    Why is this on Consumerist?

    I’m cleaver. Hehehe

    Ok, back to being an asshole, but on topic