Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    OOOohhh cute furry fluffballs!!

    At the ripe old age of 25, just this past weekend I passed the test and got my learner’s permit! WOOHOO! I’m one step closer to learning to drive. I’m terrified but will be soldgering on and getting it done, cause ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

    Did I mention I’m terrified?

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      By weekend, I meant Wednesday, I guess I’m really focused on the weekend since it’s Friday.. lol

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Congrats! If you don’t mind me asking, why did it take so long for you to get a learner’s permit?

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        No problem. Well, a number of reasons, but mostly because I’m really really short, and don’t have full use of my feet, so I require car modifications. I probably could have done it sooner, and should have, but I’m at the point where I have a new car (well, a year old.) and my not being able to drive is putting more stress on my life than I’d like, so I’m ready to remody the problem.

        I’m looking into car modification programs at the moment, but you have to have the permit before they will even speak to you. So I’m one step closer, but there’s lots of steps to go.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Hurray! You’ll do well. Driving isn’t really that hard; most of the battle is getting over the fear of going faster than other people and being around other vehicles. Also, those big 18 wheelers. I still switch lanes when I see one in front of me or about to be next to me.

    • Gremlins Are Us! says:

      Congrats! I myself took the test when I was a teenager, but failed it. I didn’t pass my test until I was in my early twenties, so don’t feel bad.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Thanks : ) This is my first attempt to take it, and I’m glad I passed it the first time, the wait was soooooooo long at our DMV that it was rediculous.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Congrats! I know that can be nerve-wracking. I didn’t get mine until I was 21 – that was the point where I moved someplace that didn’t have good public transport, so the car became necessary for school and work.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      So proud! I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 22.

    • Angus99 says:

      Welcome to the motoring world! As noted below, it gets a lot easier with just a little practice. To get in the right spirit, start reading You’ll probably be writing for them before you know it!!

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      I, too, am 25 and recently it dawned on me that I’ve been driving for 10 years!

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      You’re terrified? How do you think the people on the sidewalks are feeling!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      You’ll be fine. I didn’t get mine until I was 32. No car to take the test with or drive, so it didn’t seem worth it.

      I pretty much knew how to drive already. I’m sure you’ll be fine. No texting!

    • katia802 says:

      No worries, I didn’t get mine till I was 27, stops being scary very soon and starts being a chore.

    • psm321 says:

      And I thought I was odd because I didn’t get my license until I was 18 while everybody else was getting theirs earlier :)

  2. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Hope everyone has a good weekend.

    I do have a question to ask everyone.

    Should I be tipping free shuttle service drivers? An example would be the shuttle to take you from a large parking lot down the street for a large event.

    We might go to the White Lightning Festival in Cumberland Gap tomorrow and I was reading some of the festival’s facebook wall. Someone asked if the shuttle was free and the person responded “yes but feel free to tip your driver! jk”
    But was he really just joking?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Well, presumably the shuttle drivers are acting in the same capacity as taxi drivers, except the shuttle drivers get paid a standard amount for time on the clock, not a fare by distance. If you tip a cabbie, why not tip a shuttle driver? He or she is still getting you from Point A to Point B, just like a cabbie. Instead of a fare (judged by distance), the shuttle driver gets paid based on time.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        hmmm okay.
        I have never seen anyone tip a shuttle driver, but if I’m ‘supposed’ to, I will. Especially if the guy seems to be playfully hinting about it.

        But going with your analogy, why wouldn’t people tip their bus/train/subway drivers in the city?

        Tipping is confusing!

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          That’s very true. I hadn’t thought of that. And in fact, right after I submitted my comment, I realized that I don’t tip my shuttle driver at all. He works for the apartment company, and I don’t tip him. Now I’m wondering whether I should.

          You’re making me think! It’s Friday!

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Well, almost every free shuttle I’ve used had a tip box up front, so you could drop something in for the driver. It wasn’t mandatory by any means, but if the driver was friendly and the service good, I never had a problem with dropping a buck in. After all, it’s less than I would have had to pay for bus fare.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      depends on who is driving. the hotel i used to work at the bellmen were the shuttle drivers also and they were paid as a tipped position as bellmen. so even if they worked a shift as a shuttle driver, it was expected that they would get tips.
      of course they usually did since they also loaded and unloaded luggage

  3. Smashville says:

    I had a panic attack last night. It was scary.

    I was with my friend/ex-girlfriend…we were climbing to the top of a tower in a museum…totally safe.

    As I got towards the top…I started to freak. Every single muscle in my body tensed up and I broke into a huge sweat. The weirdest part…I’m not afraid of heights.

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Panic attacks are inexplicable things. It’s good that you had a friend there to help.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      That blows.
      I hate panic attacks. I started getting them when I was 14. They lasted for hours sometimes.
      The only time I get them now is if I’m around anyone feeling sick to their stomach (or really drunk) or if I feel sick to my stomach (vomit phobia).

    • axhandler1 says:

      Yeah, panic attacks are wierd that way. I’ve gotten a few in my life, and they are always in the randomest places for seemingly no reason. They just come out of nowhere. Maybe since you were climbing, you were out of breath and were hyperventilating a little bit when you got to the top? Breathing in and out too fast can trigger one, in my experience.

    • humphrmi says:

      I’ve never been afraid of heights either. Once when I was taking my son through one of those carnival fun-houses, with a rope suspension bridge, I had what I think was a panic attack – I totally locked up and it took a few minutes to force myself to move. It was a really sturdy bridge, with heavy rope holding it up and a thick wood base with no space between the boards. No explanation for it whatsoever.

  4. Tim says:

    I pulled my credit reports this week, and all is well, except one thing that I’m not sure about.

    A few weeks ago, Bank of America closed my credit card and gave me a new one, because a merchant had a data breach. This shows up in my credit report as “Stolen/lost card,” with the history of the account prior to that and showing that it was closed. Then the new card shows up as it’s own account, but also with the entire history of the first one.

    Should I be worried about this? Is it bad? I didn’t lose the card and it wasn’t stolen.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      maybe the “stolen card” is a flag for potential creditors in the future to make sure they know that the card number got out there somehow and there isn’t a flag for ‘our data got hacked’ – it might just be the closest option in the drop down box you know?

      • Tim says:

        That sounds reasonable. But it doesn’t differentiate between that and an actual lost or stolen card, and I’m concerned that a lost or stolen card might reflect badly to future potential creditors or lower my score or something.

    • mac-phisto says:

      no, i don’t think you should worry. this is how a prior credit card i held (that i reported lost) appeared on my report.

  5. ArcanaJ says:

    So far this week:

    -Have been asked if I’d like a particular writing gig.
    -Have said yes!
    -Was then asked to submit article ideas.
    -Ideas submitted.
    -Am now waiting to hear back and tying not to obsessively check my email every 5 minutes.


    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Ooo, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya! Waiting to hear back has to be the hardest part. =)

      • ArcanaJ says:

        Thank you!

        Yeah, telling myself not to expect a reply until Monday is not the same as actually not expecting a reply until Monday. *sigh*

    • Fidget says:

      Eep! Awesome! Working on pitching a goat-book at the moment and feeling entirely lost on the process. Poetry people are so much easier :P

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Good for you! *clapclapclapclap*

      I just revamped my query, so we’ll see…

  6. Angus99 says:


    We’z in ur blog bein all cyoot an stuf

    • Dustbunny says:

      Those are not kittehs, they’re aliens from an advanced civilization, sent here to nom nom nom our souls & make our heads ‘splode from their cuteness.

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

    A while back I asked about baby carriers in the open thread, and I just wanted to let everyone know we’ve been using a Kelty TC 2.0 (a backpack carrier) for about six months now and we LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Was out hiking with Mini McGee in it just this morning. HE loves the carrier so much he constantly tries to climb into it if it’s anywhere he can get to it, and cries when we put it away. (And frequently giggles maniacally the whole time he’s in it.)

    We’ve done lots of orienteering with him in it — easy hiking on the white course, interesting game to find the controls, keeps the adults out in the fresh air and lets him see lots of different stuff.

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Aw, man! My grown-up transportation is so boring in comparison.

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

        Try giggling maniacally the entire time you’re using your grown-up transportation … I think that makes it funner.

        • ArcanaJ says:

          “What’s that Officer? No, I haven’t been drinking. Then why was I giggling? Uh, well…”


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

      Also, Mini McGee is now 13 months old. Eeek!

  8. dragonfire81 says:

    I have a work dilemma I need advice on. Our company has cut our payroll for the store down to the bone to the point where we don’t have enough hours to run the store at a reasonable level. Our manager has complained to corporate repeatedly about the lack of hours but they just don’t listen. For the week of the 4th they have cut us back even more. One of our assistant managers has been regularly doing work off the clock (to the tune of an hour or so a week) to try and keep things from going completely off the rails. This has been voluntary on her part she has not been asked either implicitly or explicitly to work off the clock. Part of me wants to report this to corporate but our regional manager is a bit tone deaf on schedules and I don’t know if he would take me seriously. I like my assistant manager and I don’t want her to lose her job (working off the clock can get you fired) nor do I want to lose my job. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    I have started to look for other work, hopefully something better comes along soon.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What is your moral or ethical dilemma regarding her work off the clock? She’s off the clock, so presumably she’s not being paid for it. Is your dilemma that she’s violating company policy? It seems to me that the black and white perspective is that yes, she is breaking company rules, she should be reported and/or reprimanded. The grey area is that if your workplace is truly going off the rails without this woman’s off the clock work, then perhaps it is because of her work that the whole benefits.

      Things you should ask yourself are, “is she doing anything harmful?” and “what would happen if someone found out?” Is your job in danger if she stops doing her off the clock work? What if someone finds out about it and thinks the other employees knew?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yeah but if she stops doing it and the whole thing derails then maybe corporate will listen and add some hours back in. if she keeps it up, then they won’t pay attention to the complaints because “it seems to be working for you”

        if it were me, i’d say something discreetly to her like: “i recognize that you are doing this to keep the place going and we’d be screwed without your efforts, but as long as you keep letting them get you to work off the clock, the underlying problem won’t get fixed. something is going to have to go wrong before corporate sees that we really are in trouble without more available hours”

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Well there’s the double edged sword. If corporate has not been responsive so far, would it respond well to a store failing to meet its goals and recognize a change or would it respond by laying off staff and potentially closing the store?

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            it might depending on who the message comes from. had a similar problem when i worked for kaybee toys in the 90’s. i’d been a model part time employee for a few years and then left to manage an import store. when i wanted my toy store job back i got sent to work as the assistant manager under someone i had worked with at another store where he was assistant manager.
            turns out when he got his own store he was feeling the corporate pressure and cutting hours, asking assistant managers to work off the clock. between that and the safety practices he was violating, i ended up quitting after a week.
            the district manager called to see why i quit because they knew that was out of my usual behavior range. i explained what had been going on and they ended up putting a new manager in that store and working it out with corporate about hours. he’d been underreporting hours for so long to look good that corporate thought he didn’t NEED the hours. but by then he needed more hours to get the stock rotated and catch up the stuff he’d been slacking on.
            when they finally got caught up on safety and backstop and paperwork, the district manager was able to give corporate a more accurate estimate of what hours for that location SHOULD look like.
            and it was ok until the entire company went under….

  9. Dustbunny says:

    So does anybody here have any experience/advice on selling their own home (FSBO)? Or dealing with a discount Realtor? I really want to sell my condo, but if I have to pay a 6% commission it’ll wipe out any money I might make beyond paying off the loan. I don’t expect to make a profit but I’d be happy to make my downpayment back. It seems like realtors really haven’t adjusted their commissions despite the RE market being in the dumps here in Portland. There are a few advertising 1 or 2% commissions, I’m just not sure if they’re any good at all.

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

      I have done the closing paperwork for a couple of FSBOs … the people I worked with didn’t have much trouble selling, since they knew what they wanted for the place and weren’t super-pressed for time, and the amount they were asking was pretty in line with the market. They hired me for the closing paperwork for a few hundred dollars but I also have friends who’ve done the paperwork themselves without a problem. With the FSBO online listing services I think it’s a lot easier than in the past.

      You can always get a Realtor later if the FSBO isn’t going well. (I don’t think there’s a real downside to that.)

    • prizgrizbiz says:

      Being a Realtor, and a broker, actually, I naturally tell people about what I do and how it is worth what I make on the deal. Selling FSBO is not a sin, as long as you are prepared to do the work AND pay other people to do some of it (real estate lawyer, title company, escrow company, or similar). It really demands that you have some knowledge of the process to avoid getting sued or getting taken by a shady buyer.

  10. Hoss says:

    Can anyone suggest a good way to share pictures with friends where (i) the friends don’t need to sign up for a service, and (ii) the pics remain private and my property? There’s nothing valuable in the content, it’s just that I want the pics to remain private among friends.


    • Alter_ego says:

      It requires a subscription for the user, and you need a Mac, but I use MobileMe. It lets you make online galleries, and you can password protect them so only the friends you giventhe password to can access them. And the people viewing don’t need a Mac, or a subscription. And, you can set it so they can download the pictures, or upload their own.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I use Flickr. You can create a set and send out guest passes to any of your sets including
      private sets and Friends & Family only sets.

      MyPhotoAlbum is great and probably a little user-friendly. People do not have to register to view your photos. I am not 100% sure if you can share a private/semi-private photo gallery, though.

  11. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    those aren’t kittens, those are muppets.
    whoohoo! serenity movie on the big screen this weekend for a charity fundraiser.
    have a good weekend everybody

  12. Fidget says:

    I’ve just kind of taken my summer, along with two incompletes (though I don’t think the professors actually mind). The quarter system sucks horribly. Still in limbo on getting amazing cats, using this time to convince the boyfriend not to name his Tub-o-shakes. Trying to sell him on Vuvuzela.

  13. katia802 says:

    Well, I start school on Monday. Only hiccup was my poor hubby having a gas attack while we were sitting in orientation. Every time he moved he farted. I’ll now be known as the lady with the gassy husband to all the administrators!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Please forgive me; I feel bad for your hubby, but I laughed like crazy. Don’t those attacks always seem to happen at the wrong time?

  14. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Almost the weekend. 45 more minutes!

    As you can see, I’m working very hard. ;)

  15. JulesNoctambule says:

    I came very close to adopting an old, fat little dog today. Her people dumped her at the shelter only three days ago, and you could tell from her behaviour that she was waiting for them to come back. She kept approaching older couples who walked by the adoption event; it was so sad. If Clare weren’t sick I’d have done it in a heartbeat, but I don’t think she needs any extra stress. I just want something small and loving to be around after she’s gone.