Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. chucklebuck says:

    I asked this over on Lifehacker too, and I’m sure there’s plenty of reader overlap even without the Gawker mothership connection anymore. So if you saw this over there, forgive my redundancy :).

    I might be giving notice as soon as today (just waiting for the written offer), but obviously the holidays are coming up. Our company is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s day as company holidays. Furthermore, we have a mandatory company shutdown from the 28th-30th where we must use vacation days (or unpaid time if we don’t have any).

    If I give two weeks notice today, do I have to account for the closure time? In other words, would my last day officially be 1/1, but with the holiday/vacation time effectively really making it 12/23, or do I need to work until 12/23 and then come in for 6 days after the holiday is over to really make it two weeks?

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I’m not sure…when does the other job start? If you leave before the vacation, they might just give it to you as a check and consider you gone after that.

    • SexCpotatoes says:

      Chuckie: Two weeks is two weeks, regardless of vacation/days off time.

      It’s chronological, and some places don’t even let you work out your two weeks when you put your notice in. Go for it, file today and enjoy your holidays off.

      Also, make sure they pay you for ALL vacation time earned to this point.

    • RandomHookup says:

      I work in recruiting. It’s really up to you. Unless there’s some rule in the employee’s handbook requiring you to give two weeks or not get paid vacation or some such, then you can give whatever notice you want. They may cut you a check and say don’t worry about it. They may tell you they don’t need two weeks and then not pay you for the notice period (some will say they have to pay you; others will argue not — it’s a risk either way).

      Provide to them the last day you want to work and let them respond. Consider lapses in health insurance as well as match dates for 401k, etc.

    • Tim says:

      Unless you have a contract for your employment, two weeks notice is merely a nice gesture. You can leave any time you want. Of course, it might reflect badly on you if you suddenly left one day, especially if you want a reference from them.

    • Tim says:

      I should add that put in notice “effective immediately” before. Of course, I was quitting under threat of being fired (one of those “quit so we don’t have to fire you” things).

  2. The_Legend says:

    Sent this one in but didn’t get a peep..

    Credit card’s newest trick: 79.9 percent interest

    Guess that .25 Fed rate is working out really well for the banks.

  3. ander_bobo says:

    I’ve been lurking for years and just posted my first comment!!!

    • SexCpotatoes says:

      yet, oddly enough, not THE first comment in the thread.

      Better luck next time dude, you’ve gotta refresh like your life depends on it if you want to yell FIRST! here at Consumerist.

      Congrats though!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Congratulations! :)

    • lucky929 says:

      I know how it is- I lurked for like a year before I posted, and I still don’t post much. Them’s treacherous waters.

    • Looseneck says:

      I don’t post comments very often because by the time I get to read the articles, I’m at least a day behind.

      I just put up my Christmas tree and decorated it with Woot! flying, screaming monkeys. I could only find 15. I’m sure I have more hiding somewhere.

  4. Smashville says:

    Relationship questions thread…

    It’s not your intention going into the friendship, as you recognize that she’s in a relationship, to pursue a woman. But the more you get to know her the more you discover that you actually unfortunately have feelings for this forbidden woman. Come to find out…they’re requited…but you don’t want to be the reason for a breakup…how fucked up is this?

    • pop top says:

      First things first: back off. If you don’t want to be responsible for a break up then remove yourself from the situation. If the feelings are mutual, then let her decide what she wants to do. It could end up being a case of “the grass is greener” and she’ll find out she liked the first guy better anyway. Or she could be just as happy with you, but you wouldn’t have started the relationship with any negativity. And if she decides that she wants to stick with him, then you won’t be known as the guy that tried to break up Joe and Jane’s relationship.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Not at all. It’s a story told for centuries, with the most famous one possibly being King David and Bathsheba. David covets Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, sends Uriah to the front lines of battle and while he is away, David has an affair with Bathsheba. gets her pregnant, tries to hide the pregnancy by calling Uriah back from battle in hopes that Uriah and his wife will have some marital time – but Uriah is so dedicated to his men he refuses to leave them behind. So David orders his troops to abandon Uriah, and after he is killed, David marries Bathsheba. But over time, he becomes horrified with himself for what he has done, and repents.

      So no, you’re not alone. It’s important, though, that you don’t be the reason for a breakup, and you don’t become that other guy. Because even if she ends up having feelings for you, do you really want the beginning of your relationship to be because of heartache and the ending of another?

    • lucky929 says:

      It’s a pretty normal situation, I think. At the end, it doesn’t matter whether you want to be the reason for the breakup- it’s going to have to be her decision.

    • Smashville says:

      I left out the important part…

      Her boyfriend knows…and isn’t really doing anything about it and it kind of bothers me. I sort of want to call him and be like, “Dammit, fight for your woman”…but then the biased part of me says…no.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Think about it this way. If he intercedes and tells you to back off, his girlfriend may think of him as way too jealous or protective. After all, you have a crush on a girl, and that’s free will. If he does nothing, he’s neither defending her honor (without her consent) nor is he being complacent – after all, you’re harboring unrequited feelings but you’re not actively pursuing her. If you make a move, however, I think he’ll step in and tell you to back off because then you’re trying to intrude upon their relationship.

        Don’t take this the wrong way…but if you like this girl so much, and she likes you too, do you really think the best way to start a relationship is by hurting someone else who presumably also likes this girl? If she wants to leave her boyfriend for you, she needs to be the one who ends the relationship, because it’s just fair. It’s just as much her decision to leave as it is his decision, but you aren’t part of the relationship.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Sorry, meant to put requited, not unrequited. I also keep typing “required feelings,” which makes the post seem strangely creepy…

        • pop top says:

          “If she wants to leave her boyfriend for you, she needs to be the one who ends the relationship, because it’s just fair. It’s just as much her decision to leave as it is his decision, but you aren’t part of the relationship.”

          This is what I was trying to get across in my post, but pecan of course says it better. :)

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        In that case, she’s working you. Forget about it. Do your best to keep busy and turn your attention elsewhere.

        It’s not worth it.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Well, just because she knows Smashville likes her, and the boyfriend knows Smashville likes her…doesn’t mean the girl knows that her boyfriend knows that Smashville likes her.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Tough one. My Ex and I had some “encounters” before we decided to go out. But by that time, she was going out with another guy. As a reformed cheater, I don’t condone it. So as much as she threw herself at me, I told her no(really tough when you’re 25 and have a 17y/o in a tennis uniform is pressed against you, wanting to kiss.). I also made myself a promise(s), and wrote it down and dated it stating that I had set limits to how “far” we would go based on events and time delays. This way, I felt comfortable knowing it wasn’t just a fling. IIRC, one was it was 30 days after she said she loved me that we would be “official” and things like that. Only after all the criteria were met and past did I let her see the notes explaining why I did what I did.

      I hope that made sense.

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

      The ball is in her court. She’s in a relationship, she has feelings for you, she needs to grow some ovaries and make a decision.

      And frankly if she won’t do that, I wouldn’t be too interested in pursuing her. Stringing people along, having backups, whatever else she wants to call it, is immature and hurtful to all involved.

      I’d say you tell her, “I like you and I’m interested in seeing where things go with you, but until you’re single, I’m going to have to pursue my own life.” And then don’t see her (except socially, if you happen to see her socially) until she makes a decision.

  5. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Yay Open Thread! Which also means it’s Friday! And the bosses are gone today! And someone brought deer sausage! And there’s a chance of snow next week!

    Tomorrow is our Christmas Ice Show. I’m just wearing an old dress because I didn’t feel like making one.

    And I’m redoing my author blog that I started, but I can’t think of a new title for it. I had it white, with a picture of old books on top and it looked really classy and nice, but it wasn’t me. So I redid the theme in red and black. Have a look here if you like.

    There’s only three posts and a story I published in my school magazine up, because I just started it. It’s not even in Google yet. So I have time to tweak it a little. I think I’m going to like blogging, and it gives me something to work on when I’m stuck, like now. :P

  6. pop top says:

    The Skittles vodka is done! It was a bitch to strain but it came out great; the colors look amazing. All the bottles are packed up and on their way to the in-laws for XMas. There was even some left over of each flavor that we shall sample this weekend. :D I have to finish up two fleece blankets and shop for my step-grandparents (probably get them a cocoa/cookies/treats gift basket) and my shopping is done.

    The husband, some friends and I just watched the live Rifftrax Xmas Shorts show on Wednesday. Did anyone else do that? It was hilarious. We also watched the Plan 9 live show they did a few months ago. I miss MST3K, but this seems to make up for it. If you haven’t heard of Rifftrax but loved MST3K, head over to and check them out! It’s Mike Nelson, Bill Corbet (Crow T. Robot) and Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) doing audio tracks that you sync up with the DVD and watch yourself. There are even templates on the Internet so you can have the little cut out of the guys at the bottom, in case you miss that too. :)

    • lucky929 says:

      Skittles vodka? Do tell!

      • pop top says:

        I went over it last week, and it’s a lot to type up, so I’ll just c&p it here. :)

        “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.”

        It was a lot of fun to make, but like I said, filtering it is shitty. We found to decent methods: 1) stick the funnel in a large glass, put two or three coffee filters in funnel, then pour the vodka in (make sure you wash the funnel between uses); and 2) get a large glass, rubber band two or three coffee filters to it, with about 1 1/2″ – 2″ inches of filter in the glass and pour the vodka in.

        • lucky929 says:

          I sense a Christmas project coming on.

          • pop top says:

            It’s awesome as well. The filtering is the only bad part about it. We found some cute glass bottles that looked like old school milk canisters at Hobby Lobby that were half off (they were only $1.47 to begin with), and they were the hermetically-sealed kind. If you don’t have one already, I’d recommend getting a measuring cup that also has ounces listed on it. It will make your job so much easier if you don’t have to convert from ounces to cups.

            • lucky929 says:

              I love combining candy and liquor. My housemates made rummy bears last year. My contribution was writing the theme song.

              Rummy bears recipe: soak bears in rum until bears saturate. Eat bears. Let the games begin.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Gonna hate me for saying this, but did you consider using a cheap permanent filter from like K-mart inside the filter holder for a coffee machine? It’s really just a big cup with a 1/8″ hole at the bottom, and the ridges keep the filters from blocking the hole.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I finally saw Plan 9. Everyone says it’s the worst movie ever made, but no, the worst movie ever made was “The Beast of Yucca Flats.” Starring Ed Wood staple Tor Johnson. THAT is the worst movie ever made.

      MSTK3 fodder fer sure.

      • pop top says:

        MST3K did an episode for “The Beast of Yucca Flats”, but they never did one for Plan 9, which is why the Rifftrax guys did it. It’s hilarious.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        see, i’m torn between zachariah and jubilee as being the worst. i mean, zacharaiah beats shock treatment and that’s not easy to do

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Best Rifftrax ever is Battlefield Earth . That movie is so horrible it only makes it better. A close second is X-Men, because they keep calling Magneto Cerebro and Cerebro Magneto. Trust me, watch one.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Oh dude.. I’m SOOOO jealous! I really really wanted to go see that, not only for the Mystery Science Theater guys, but ALSO.. because my hero was a part of it, Weird Al Yankovic! SOooOOOOooooo jealous. Seething really.

      I’m glad it was fun : )

      • pop top says:

        He was only there for one short, but it was pretty funny. They will probably have it out on DVD soon, so you can pick it up then!

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I just got a really awesome chicken wrap from down the street, and I chose this time because a) I was hungry and b) there’s a slowdown in work…I get back and what happens? Work! Everywhere! Now I’m trying to eat and juggle paperwork without getting chicken and sauce all over everything. Why don’t I set aside my chicken wrap to do work and then return? Because it’s a really, really good chicken wrap and I’m hungry!

    We’re expecting a crapload of snow this weekend, which kind of sucks…but I’m seeing Avatar tonight! Whoo!

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      This is why I long for a job with a real lunch time. I hear it’s the bees knees.

  8. The_Legend says:

    My poor daughter has to drive thru a “Mall Zone” to get to her job. Never heard her curse like that in my life.

  9. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    1) are the comments ever going to get fixed?

    2) here’s my story of Ford taking something seriously —

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Which problems? I’ve noticed it depends on the browser. On IE, when I click to see the comments, I have to refresh or else it won’t give me new comments and replies. On Firefox, I don’t need to do this at all.

      • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

        – the comments within replies are in reverse order.
        – the count of comments is all jacked. On posts that spill to a second page, when I click on “newer comments” I might see one or two comments, but the screen says “51 – 59” (or somesuch)

        – other people noted some other anomalies in the newsletter post yesterday.

    • scoosdad says:

      For me, the problem with the commments is that when I click the “preview” button and it shows me what my post would look like, when I go back to the comment entry box to change something, as soon as I click inside that box, all the text goes “poof” and disappears. Like it was never there to begin with, the box is completely blank. Kinda makes the ability to edit your comment before it goes out moot.

      • scoosdad says:

        Yup, still happening even with an update today to Firefox 3.5.6. I wanted to add this closing line to my comment above but of course when the box goes blank in preview, the only thing left to do is just click “submit” and hope it gets posted, errors and all.

  10. Smashville says:

    My boss’ last day today. I’m his only employee.

    No one will cover my lunch or bathroom breaks. So I’m stuck here holding it in all day.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      That’s illegal, regardless of “cover” they have to let you pee.

      • barb95 says:

        Agreed. I was once assigned a temp job and when I was being trained by the lady I was covering, she told me that I had to sort the mail DURING my 15 minute break. Uh, no.

    • lucky929 says:

      This used to happen to my best friend when she was working at the maternity store in the mall. She was only lucky that I happened to work in the same mall, and would a) bring her food, and b) hang out in her store on my breaks so she could go to the bathroom (which was in the store) She hated days when she worked that I had off.

    • Kuchen says:

      I worked at a satellite location for a dry cleaner’s for a bit while I was in college (we took in clothes, but they were trucked to the main location to do the actual cleaning), and I was the only that worked there. We weren’t ever very busy, so I could run to the bathroom when there were no customers, but I always felt awkward when someone did come in while I was in the back. I also didn’t have an “official” break, but my 6-hour shift involved about 3 hours of real work, and 3 hours of waiting for customers or waiting for the daily delivery of the clean clothes from the other store.

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

    The baby has learned to say “mama.” Now he spends all day shouting, “MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA!” I am very ready for word #2.

    I am also very ready for Christmas! I’m pre-making desserts to freeze and take with me to the family mothership … anyone have any good freeze-able dessert recipes I can try?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Fudge and most other chocolate desserts are pretty freezable, you just have to pack them with as least amount of air as possible so ice crystals don’t form. And make sure they’re cold before they go in the freezer. Chocolate shards are pretty freezable too, since it doesn’t take very much time for chocolate to get back to room temperature. This is a really awesome and easy recipe for chocolate shards:

      Buckeyes are frozen as part of the preparation, so you can just as easily make them, put them on a tray in the freezer, pick them off the tray and return them to the freezer.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      AWWWWW So sweeeeeet!!! Can we Baby McGee fans have a video of it?

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

        I’ll have to see if I can get him on camera … usually he sees the camera and stares in fascinated delight, stopping whatever adorable thing he was just doing!

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

        Are you part of the twitter cabal?

    • pop top says:

      When Mr. Squinko was a baby, his dad taught him to say “Heeeeeeeeeeeey mooooooooooooooom” at random intervals. He also taught him to say “Bombs away!” every time he pooped too. My FIL has an interesting sense of humor.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      fold croissant dough into a rectangle with chocolate chips inside before baking. it puffs up with a chocolate lining. then fill with softened ice cream and refreeze.
      cheesecake freezes well.

  12. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Whoo! Today is sugar rush day at work, apparently. Someone brought breakfast sticky buns which had cream cheese filling and my boss brought candy for her workers, my co-worker brought “White Trash” which is chex and candy covered in white chocolate. Plus, we have a carrot cake to eat after lunch. My god O_o

    • ander_bobo says:

      Ugh, this was a bad time for me to start eating healthier. My office had it’s monthly birthday cake bonanza yesterday, and for the past week I have been sitting next to a literal tub of chocolate chip cookies that we got sent from a client, not to mention the huge box of REALLY good cookies sent mid-week and which were quickly devoured within an hour. This truly is the most fattening time of the year!

    • pop top says:

      Have you ever had Puppy Chow? It’s Chex cereal covered in melted chocolate chips and then tossed in powdered sugar. It’s like crack.

    • Tim says:

      I love white trash! For the longest time I thought only people in my podunk, well, white trash hometown called it that. But then Alton Brown made some on Good Eats, and he called it white trash too.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      my step grandmother made haystacks which were chinese chow mein noodles mixed with melted butterscotch chips, spooned onto waxed paper and frozen.
      i prefer them with dark chocolate though. mmmm

  13. cash_da_pibble says:

    I don’t have a choice- I have to go shopping this weekend.
    I woudl have gone last weekend, but my bank held my Payroll check over the weekend without informing me, or giving me reasonable cause.
    My BF almost went on a breaking-plates spree.

    So- wish me luck. I’m gonna wear a tough coat, comfy shoes and a glare of serious intent.

  14. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:


    I’m really tired today. Yesterday I spent 12ish hours power Christmas shopping with my dad because he really needs help with this kind of thing.. I used to do this with him when he was single and it worked out really well. But then he got married, and us three tried to do it together and it was a disaster. The really sad part about it is that about a month ago she left him and they’re getting divorced now. He’s at the angry stage currently. I think it’s good for him to be angry instead of being hurt/sad.

    Anyway… I got most of my shopping done. Mr. Aroo and I seem to have mutually agreed that we should wait till after Christmas to buy eachother something. We really want to see what we end up with after its all over. This feels like a more mature way of handling it.. but we’ll see how it turns out.

    I still need to get something for my dad though and I really have NO IDEAS at all. I mean.. none. He always says, “You don’t have to get me anything” but if I really try that he calls me a “dirty rat” LOL. So I gotta find him something. I’m still thinking and such.

    I’m really reallly excited, yesterday I bought my first woman sized pants (size 0) and they fit. I just need to have the hem shortened because they’re around 2 inches too long. I really feel like this is a milestone for me.. in a weird sort of way. I really shouldn’t have even bought anything for me yesterday but I did because they were buy one get one 50% off, so I couldn’t help myself. Atleast this way I can tell my Pappy what I bought with the birthday money he sent me.

    I’m really proud of the gifts I got for my neices and for my boss.. I think they’re really gonna like them. Shockingly enough, yesterday we actually happened to go into a store where they had a shelf full of Zhu Zhu pets! I was almost starstruck when I saw them, as lame as that might sound. My dad bought one of the houses and two hamsters for my neice. I think she’ll really like them even if she doesn’t know what a big deal they are.

    • pop top says:

      My parents aren’t big on gifts either; they say they don’t need more stuff. So I always try to get them things they will actually use or consume. For a wedding present for my dad and step-mom, I made them a gift basket for three meals. I got them stuff to make breakfast scones, have a lunch of weird meats and cheeses and a dinner that involved delicious wine, some exotic pasta sauce and squid ink pasta. They loved it. Another year I got my mom and step-dad some nice mugs and a ton of different cocoa and coffee flavors for them to try. Think of some of his favorite snacks or weird food he hasn’t tried yet and make him a nice gift basket. :)

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        That’s cool. Last year I ran out of money before I could get my dad something so I made him two mix CDs from all the soundtrack music I’ve amassed. He loved them.

        Oooh, RIAA gonna come and get me! :)

  15. JulesNoctambule says:

    It’s already snowed once this morning, conditions are good this evening for a mix of snow and freezing rain, and I’m doing an art show tomorrow — provided the state of the roads allows it, that is. I’ve worked my butt off on pieces for over a month and really don’t want it all to go to waste. Am I dedicated or just stupidly optimistic?

  16. lucky929 says:

    I may go to the mall tomorrow evening to just kind of watch the madness. Apparently soon the Macys are going to be 24 hours until Christmas. Makes me want to find out if any of my old co-workers are on these awful overnight shifts and bring them coffee/ hot chocolate or something.

    • Kuchen says:

      I went to the Mall of America last weekend (it’s maybe 20 minutes away, so it’s not like it’s a big thing to go there). It was terrifyingly crowded. I can’t imagine how bad it will be this weekend.

  17. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    gratuitous adorable kitten video:

    may have to drive a couple of hours to pick up friendly feral kittens my friend found outside her new house because her city only has trap/neuter/release groups, not any who will rehab them into house cats.

    the adorable multi colcored tabby jayden is super close to being adopted – yay!

    my insurance company can’t find a single local or mail order pharmacy who will carry the continuous glucose monitor sensors i need. yet this somehow hasn’t tipped them off that the item is a durable medical equipment item and not a pharmacy item – the medical policy was just revised and the pharmacy item part was left in there.
    i assume they don’t know i’m all about being a determined and informed consumer because it seems like they keep hoping i will just give up this.

    i’m officially in the running for a 7th autoimmune condition – told my doctor this morning about my mother having a thyroid nodule and not telling me … they checked and the right side of my thyroid IS larger than it’s supposed to be.
    but hey, i’d rather find things early enough to watch and wait than find them too late!