Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    I’ve been checking out the pets section of Craigslist this week and there are so many kittens people are trying to get rid of. It makes me sad. Apparently they never watched The Price is Right.
    Have your pets spayed or neutered, people! Especially if you’re going to let them roam around outside.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yes! please! the feral cat rescue organization i work with has more kittens this year so far than we did last year total. and that’s including the free spay/neuter program we run for people who can’t afford to neuter their pets.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        I agree.

        In some areas there are no low-cost/free spay & neuter programs. The area of Florida I lived in did not have one. We had to travel about 1.5 hours away and pay $40 for each kitten.

        Also, in the rural area in Tennessee where I lived, there was no such program and there were tons of feral cats that people just fed but didn’t own.

        Also, a lot of people aren’t aware of the programs.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I think the real reason is that money is getting tight, so pet food is one thing people cut. Except me. I will go hungry in order for my kittehs and puppeh to eat.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        LA Times had a story yesterday about these three dogs that were abaondoned when the owners foreclosed – they apparently pretty much just left all of their possessions in the house behind, along with the dogs. The poor animals were hungry and left outside in the heat for weeks, until a neighbor spotted them, realized that the owners had abadoned them, and started to feed them.

        People who abuse their kids and their animals make me angry.

    • apd09 says:

      My wife and I brought home a beautiful 2 month old kitten over the weekend from a shelter that was showing them at Petsmart.

    • katia802 says:

      I’m going to school for vet tech. This week i agreed to adopt another kitten, five minutes later, the teacher comes in the room with a flyer from another student, giving away kittens. By the end of that day i’d been offered a free kitten 2 more times, as well as puppies twice. This is a school which offers extremely cheap spaying and neutering because we need the training. Very frustrating

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Yay, open thread! I made the mistake of going to Petsmart over the weekend. Puppies and kittens everywhere and I couldn’t adopt any of them (apartment complex won’t allow dogs, cats will make friends sneeze). I wanted all of them.

    What’s everyone doing this weekend? We are probably going to see Inception, and that’s about it. FYI, if you are going to see Inception, it’s playing at the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, in full IMAX. It’s $15, so we’re still debating about tickets, and whether the size of the screen will make us hurl

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I’ll probably wait to see it til next week, when I can get reports on how it is. That’s one I think I’ll go see in the theater. It looks good and the paper gave it an A rating.

      You changed your avatar, didn’t you? I always notice when it’s about kittehs. So cute!

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Yep. Pies were getting a little too mundane so I joined the parade and switched to cats. I wanted to find one eating ice cream, per the ice cream conversation yesterday, but none of them had enough detail.

        • mcnerd85 says:

          I am buying a car and relying on Public Transportation no more. It sucks, even in the semi-urban part of Houston I live in. And it’s about to be my moms birthday, I may have to take her to the movies. You guys are makin me wanna go to the movies.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Congrats! What car are you buying? I actually really like the DC Metro. Sometimes it’s really hot, sometimes it smells, sometimes the people smell (or are fat and think they can take up half your space)…but overall, it’s saved us a lot of money because we don’t have to have a second vehicle.

            • mcnerd85 says:

              It’s actually just a 95 Honda Accord. It runs great, but has no ac or radio. I’ll get that radio problem fixed quickly, I can assure you. However I may have to deal with a rolled down windows summer. I am sure I will need to focus on new tires, registration, insurance, oil change and general checkup first and foremost. Fortunately, I have a lot of friends that are good with that kind of stuff. And I wish P-Trans worked well here. Our ‘metro’ is only the bus system, and it doesn’t work well in a LOT of places.

              • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

                Oh man, I can’t imagine anyone in Houston relying on public transportation actually getting anywhere. I’ve lived here all my life and it is totally a driving city, no matter how much the new mayors want to turn it into NYC. The lightrail is a total joke, and the busses are dangerous and don’t go enough places to be useful. You have to have a car if you’re going to live in Houston.

                • mcnerd85 says:

                  This. I have went like a year without a car, and even though I live in a pretty urban part of town, I never leave my two mile bubble unless I am riding with friends or coworkers. The buses just don’t work well, and taking the light rail anywhere? That’ll be an hour and a half bus ride first.

                • HogwartsProfessor says:

                  A friend of mine lives there without a car, but she has done so for years. She’s lived in the same apartment for years and is lucky enough to have the bus and a grocery close by. When she has to take her cat to the vet or anything, she usually rents a car.

                  • mcnerd85 says:

                    That’s one thing I hate hate hate! The little fat headed ginger baby that is my avatar needs a check up. And I have been wanting to rent a rug doctor for ages. And two arms+bus can only carry so much groceries. I often suck it up and pay six bucks for a cab home so I can only spend one day a week at the market.

                    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                      Do you have access to Zipcar? I think that would solve nearly all of your problems, if you can continue to get to work using public transportation.

                    • mcnerd85 says:

                      No zipcar is Houston :/ Just having my own little car will work just fine. Hondas get decent mileage, and even with it, I imagine I will stay in my own little bubble. The bubble may grow to a five mile radius though. :P

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Hey, pecan, cute new avatar!

      In answer to your question, not too much going on this weekend. Going to give blood tomorrow morning, and farmers’ market either tomorrow or Sunday – the first crop of local sweet corn is in, and I’ve been seriously counting the days until I can get some Mirai super-sweet. It’s good enough to eat raw. Other than that, housecleaning and catching up on Mythbusters.

      Hope you enjoy the movie!

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I went to Petco to pick something up on the day they happened to be having a rabies clinic. So… many…. doggies….

    • pop top says:

      I’ve just been told by Mr. squinko that we are going to see Inception, which he didn’t want to see when I suggested it because he found out Leo was in it, but now because of all the reviews (and the fact that he has a man crush on Ken Watanabe), we HAVE TO go.

      I also have to go pet toy shopping this weekend. Our friend just adopted two cats and haven’t been out to get them any toys. We’re babysitting the kitties this weekend so I thought I’d be a good aunt and spoil them. :D

    • It'sRexManningDay! says:

      Um, who needs friends when you have a kitteh? or 2, or 10?

    • katia802 says:

      Studying for my next 2 tests. Biology and Vet Med terms :(( I’m running an A average on all my classes, want to keep that up, so i’ll be hitting the books all weekend. Hopefully, will have my study buddies coming over makes it sooooo much more fun. Only another 13 months before my life is all about going to work instead of going to school, lol

  3. pop top says:

    My friends and I are currently working on characters for the new Dresden Files RPG. It uses the Fate system, which I’ve never used before, but I’m enjoying it. I like the emphasis on the aspects of characters, making this a more story- and character-driven game than most other tabletop RPG systems. I’m also digging the book series too, although I tried to watch the TV series on Netflix and it was so far removed the books that I couldn’t watch it…I’m a huge nerd.

    Otherwise some friends and I are going to our favorite Lebanese restaurant tomorrow for their 10th anniversary with tons of free food and cheap drinks! My kind of party.

    • Fidget says:

      Never used Fate either, but it sounds pretty nice. I’m currently a black bear paladin of freedom with a celestial grizzly mount and three black bear followers. Weekends are good.

    • Daemon Xar says:

      The TV show is fun, but only if you accept it has only the most tangential connection to the book series. But I envy you the chance to read them for the first time again . . .

      • pop top says:

        Yeah, I was hoping for it to be like the books. Not necessarily the exact same, but similar in most ways. Seeing Bob as a person instead of a glowing skull was the most disappointing I think…

        That’s something I never understand about adaptions. If the comic/book/whatever was so popular to begin with that you want to adapt it into a TV series or movie, why would go change fundamental parts of it at all? It’s popular for a reason, why screw with it?

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          They do have to change some things because what works on the page doesn’t always work on the screen, but I agree with you. It bugs me when the main story elements are so far off something.

          That’s one reason changes in the movie adaptation of The Lord of the Rings didn’t bother me very much. Even though they left out Tom Bombadil and the Scouring of the Shire and footled around with some stuff, they still kept the flavor of the story and the main dramatic elements were intact. In the books there’s an awful lot of “They walked. Then they stopped in the shelter of a tree. They built a small fire and roasted rabbits. They slept and walked and camped some more. The hobbits cried. And then they walked.” Since I read it the first time, I just bleep over most of that now.

          • pop top says:

            Exactly. I understand that some things needs to be removed or adapted somewhat to fit the show/movie, but when you’re adding needless characters, completely changing character backgrounds and rewriting main characters, you should back up and start again.

  4. Smashville says:

    Going green at work…need to order about 300 good quality reusable plastic stadium style cups…but cannot find anywhere reputable on the net that will do them blank. We don’t want to put a logo on them…we just want to order cups…any suggestions?

  5. axhandler1 says:

    Decided to expand my home brewing operation this week, and ordered up a second fermentation keg and some more brew packs. So far, all my beers have turned out pretty well. The West Coast Pale Ale with a cup of honey added to the wort was delicious, and last night I opened the first bottle of the Cowboy Lager, which also turned out well, and has a bit more flavor. Next up is the Whispering Wheat Weizenbier, which should be ready in few weeks. If anyone is looking for a hobby, I gotta recommend brewing. It’s pretty easy, not too expensive, and you get to drink lots of beer! Somehow beer that you brew yourself always seems to taste better :)

    • pb5000 says:

      Great post, sounds awesome. I’ve been looking into home brewing and when grad school finished in December I am pretty confident that I’ll get started right away.

  6. dragonfire81 says:

    I’d like to have a discussion about some of the headlines on consumerist here lately. I know we’re supposed to contact the writer with issues about a story but lately there seems to have been a lot of occurrences where story headlines are misleading or over sensationalized.

    I’ve worked as a journalist before and I know the person who writes the story is often NOT the one who chooses the headline and I understand the importance of a strong headline to draw people in to the story, I just think that a misleading and/or inaccurate headline does a disservice to your readers.

    I love this blog and for the most part it’s completely awesome, but it would be nice to see a little more care taken with the headlines.

  7. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Gonna start going through all my junk this weekend and either throwing it away, pricing it for a garage sale or putting it out on the curb. I have GOT to make some room in my stupid little junky house. Maybe I can make a buck or two toward a plane ticket to see the bf. It’s my turn but I don’t have any money. :(

    Stupid United States that’s too vast to drive around.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Yeah. We have to go through all our stuff. The bf has about 80 or so t-shirts that he really needs to toss or sell. He uses two closets for his clothes and wears about 1/8 of it.

      I’d like to visit my father in New Mexico soon. And see my great-grandma who is 95 and getting ill. Flights are so expensive from Knoxville, though. :////

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Is it cheaper to fly out of Nashville if you could drive the few hours to get there?

        • NarcolepticGirl says:

          it is. but I don’t know how we would get there.
          Asking a friend to make a 6 hour drive roundtrip is something I’d rather not do.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        The way they do those flights is so freaking stupid. It costs $500 to fly from here to where BF is now and it will only be around $200 after he moves.

        It’s a lot farther to where he’s moving, but Alleigant is way cheaper than Delta and will go to an airport two hours from there. He’s closer to Jacksonville right now, and that’s the ONE PLACE in Florida they don’t go. Figures! :P

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Ah, the semi-annual purge. I endorse this.

      Whatever you do though, don’t let the yard sale shoppers bully you. They’re a feral and unrelenting lot.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Oh, I know. I’ll probably wait until it cools off some to actually have the sale. It’s very hard to do it by yourself. Or I might just pitch all the less-than-a-dollar crap and just put stuff on Craigslist.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          you may also want to see if any charities you endorse/approve of could use the stuff. the cat rescue i am with does a semi annual yard sale, we pick up the stuff, sort it, clean it, store until the sale and then the money raised pays for vet bills and spay/neuter for low income folks.
          there is probably at least one organization you like who does something similar to raise funds for their cause

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            Ooh, that’s a good idea! I’ll ask around and see if anyone around here does this.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      ZOMG, in re:Garage sales/flea markets. Tomorrow, I may get my hands on what I consider to be the most obtainable holy grail by me in my Zippo collection, a Zippo Oil Station.

      On a weird side note, I seem to have loosened my grip on what I buy at flea markets, and have started selling things to people. It’s weird, and very anti-hoarder.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        How cool is that thing!

        I always wanted to have a Zippo even though I dont’ smoke anymore, just in case I need to MacGyver something in the wind.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Well, my ultimate lighter is a Zippo 195. If you Google it, you will understand.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Darn, hit enter too early. I think you should get a lighter. What are you interested in? I will be seeing my Zippo guy tomorrow, and might be able to see if he has something you want. Send me an email at my SN at, or respond here.

          You don’t need to smoke to have a lighter. I got my first lighter from my Mom when I was in Jr. High. It was a Camel cheap Zippo knock off, and I traded it to some idiot for a olive drab Zippo. I lost it more than once but still have it. I didn’t start smoking until I was a Senior in high school, so it came in handy then.

          My collection started when I used to go down to the boardwalk at Point Pleasant, NJ for the arcades. One place had Zippos as something you could turn tickets in for. I learned the tricks on this one game, and used to rack up tickets. Then would then have a monthly promotion for their “club members” where they would double your tickets. So I would get a brand new $20 for under $10 in quarters. Then once you start getting some, people start getting them for you for special occasions. I eventually switched my OD one for a Chevrolet “Heartbeat of America” brass one, and that was replaced by my new constant carry one, a Zippo Blu(not the best lighters in the world, but they at least never run out of fluid since they are butane. If you want to see SOME of my Zippos:

          Zippo is a really great company though. I know countless people who have sent their lighter in for repair, and they do an amazing job. Except for shipping to them, you pay NOTHING for the repair. They will do whatever repairs they can, replace the insert(where the fluid goes in and flame comes out), and send your old one back. They then ship it back to you on their dime. I admire a company that stands behind their product so much. They have also been amazing to me personally. I tweet with them all the time, asking questions about lighters I find at the flea markets and other things. Recently, they tweeted that at a concert somewhere, their “Zippo Hotties” would be handing out bandannas. I tweeted how jealous I was, and they asked for my address. A few days later, I find a box from them on my back porch. Inside was all this swag. So I may be a little biased.

  8. JulesNoctambule says:

    Our little cat Clare turned 13 yesterday! She made it to her birthday even though this was a hard week for her health-wise. She had chicken and ice cream cake (separate meals, because that combo would be appalling) followed by lots of cat treats. I also had a birthday, and I got a Doctor Who figure (Four) with swappable heads and a sonic screwdriver, prompting my mother to ask exactly how old I am.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yay Claire! I hope she had a nice day and enjoyed her birthday dinner.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Oh shame on me, the phone rang when I answered this before and I didn’t see you had a birthday too. Hope it was happy! :)

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      congratulations to clare! and i bet she’d have loved a “chicken & ice cream cake” for herself

  9. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I came up with a great invention idea last week. As a criminally single bacheleor, I only have a few dishes to do, but what piles up in the sink is silverware. I was thinking if there was a device which could attach to the side of the sink and hook onto the end of the faucet, much like the electric razors that clean themselves, this device would have a spoon, knife, and fork in it, and when you stick them in, it washes and rinses them, and just drains into the sink.

    What do you think?

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

    My big plan for the weekend is to move my modem and router, which is probably a mutliday project involving a LOT of furniture moving. I know I want it done, but I’m dreading the actual doing of it.

    Also, I am tired of it being hot.

    • Tongsy says:

      Multi day project? Seriously?

      That’s sad.

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

        Well, I can only work on it while the toddler is napping and everything has to be shoved back into the room between times, and the furniture is in there like one of those games where you have to move a bunch of odd-shaped blocks to get the one block to the exit? So I have to move some stuff out, move things around, shove everything back in, move it back out, move stuff around, etc. And do the rewiring in between all the moving of furniture. It would almost be impossible for it to be more inconvenient.

        I’m sure I could finish it in an afternoon or so if not for my little helper helping me. :)

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Me too. I want the humidity to go away. :P

      I would love to move furniture around this weekend. I’m sooo sick of everything being where it is. It’s limited because of where the windows are, but I might just sit down tonight and make a little paper template and see what I can do.

  11. ArcanaJ says:

    Back from vacation. Still waiting to hear about the latest freelance gig. Giant heat wave in my area of the world making me want to do nothing but melt into the freezer until October.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Want me to kick them in the behindy? >:)

      I got a rejection the other day and you know what? I wasn’t even bummed. Just wait til the new one is done, people. You’ll be fighting for me! :D

  12. NarcolepticGirl says:

    I spent the week getting guilt-trip text messages from my father who is living in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.

    He keeps asking me when I’m going to come visit or move there. And of course, I cannot reason with him by telling him that I am currently employed with a decent salary, have a lease on the townhouse and cannot afford it.

    I would like to visit that side of the family again, but I looked at flights from Knoxville and it’s so friggin expensive to fly anywhere. I remember flying from Boston to Tampa (non-stop) on JetBlue for $85 each way several times a year in 2003-2009.

    It’s cheaper to fly out from Nashville, but that’s 3 hours away.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Uggh, the parental guilt trip. I hate it. It’s the worst part, too.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        My Grandmother was the Queen of guilt, and my mother the Princess. Sadly for her, I was vaccinated for guilt by my Grandmother, and her feeble attempt at summoning the power my nan wielded fails now.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        The best is, “You probably won’t even come visit before I die”

  13. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:


    I’m so glad it’s Friday.

    I missed last week’s open thread because I was at my grandma’s house eating tons of homemade fried chicken. I wish I could eat some more chicken but I don’t make my own at home. I’m frightened of frying. Being 4’6″ and at just about eye level with a molten pot of oil could do that to ya though.

    I really want to make cake in my rice cooker this weekend… I think that should be my goal. *Sigh* It’ll be a beautiful thing.

    Now I’m stuck at work and thinking CAKE!! Only a couple of hours till I can go home..

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Hmmmm fried chicken. I can’t get the nerve to do it either, and I’m much taller. Have you tried making it in the oven? My mom has a deep frier, and it seems to be relatively safe to use. Much safer than a pot of oil, anyway.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Well, if I wanted it grandma style I’d have to use a giant cast iron skillet.. She fries one side, then after a while flips it over.. so it’s not exactly full imersion deep frying.

        She did give me a recepie for “fried” oven chicken with corn flakes as the crust.. I keep meaning to try it but I should probably wait a few months so I can “forget” the real thing for a while. Having it the weekend after grandmas chicken might be very disapointing.

        Nope, this weekend is for cake.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Gourmet (RIP) had a great recipe for oven fried chicken using corn flakes as a crust. It was pretty successful, but you had to be very careful with the crust because it would fall right off unless you got the combination of ingredients right.

    • pop top says:

      Rice cooker cake you say? I must try this!

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        My rice cooker has a “CAKE” button on it, I am unsure if all rice cookers can do it. All I do is make a normal cake mix and then pour it in the rice pan and push the cake button, it takes about an hour to bake but you don’t heat up the house with the oven. Well that, and the fact that it’s the most moist cake ever made. Ever. OMG… I want cake.

        • pop top says:

          I Google’d around a bit and found some recipes. It seems like even a simple rice cooker can do it, but I have a small one, so I may have to change the recipe somehow. We’ll see!

        • theblackdog says:

          Oooh, my bread maker has a cake button as well, as long as you like a loaf shaped cake.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          OH I WANT ONE. WANT!!!

          Dare I ask for one for Christmas? The way my family is (doesn’t listen) I’d probably get a shoe polisher instead.

  14. cash_da_pibble says:

    The dog group I belong to has become a finalist in the Beneful Wag World Dream Dog Park Contest! We now have the opportunity to receive up to $500,000 to improve our current dog park!

    My friend Tammy and her dog Bailey starred in it and she improvised the dialog, and I shot it, edited it and made the illustrations!
    Go and check it out- and you think we deserve a dog park, please Vote for Us!

  15. ChuckECheese says:

    I don’t believe the Candwich really exists. If I could purchase a case, I would, if only to annoy people with canned PB&J for awhile. I can’t find any sales online. The website has a spot to contact the Lords of Candwich, but my bullshit-avoidant personality disorder won’t allow me to fill in the blanks.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I really just want to see one open. I’m suprised there isn’t a video online or atleast pictures.

    • Tongsy says:

      The candwich isn’t released for sale yet, it even says so on the website!

  16. haggis for the soul says:

    Is it just me or did an unusually large number of this week’s stories come from the WSJ?

  17. Dustbunny says:

    What’s everybody having for lunch? I finally have a semi-exciting lunch to report: a few of us @ work got together and ordered Vietnamese food from the guy who runs the building convenience store (his wife owns the restaurant & will deliver the food). Yay lemongrass chicken & many varieties of Pho!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I love Vietnamese food! Lucky! I had green beans and a smoothie. Pretty satisfying, though I have no idea what to make for dinner tonight.

  18. bulljargon says:

    Anyone know of good places to review landlords? I just ended a 2 year lease on a house and was extremely frustrated by my landlord. I would like to warn others of my experiences renting from this individual. Apartment reviews are easy to find, but has anyone seen a site for house rentals?

  19. GameHen says:

    My 3 month old kitten was so proud of himself yesterday. He caught his first mouse! (I think it was a vole – little tiny thing) Of course, he had to bring it in the house and show us by throwing it around. After I kicked him and his kill outside, he ate 1/2 of it and left the rest for me to enjoy. Yum!

    • pop top says:

      Don’t let a three month-old kitten outside unsupervised. You’re just asking for something bad to happen to him.

  20. Not Given says:

    Is it very inconvenient or even possible to get by without a car in Mountain View CA? My son is being flown out to interview for a job there, next week and the company is renting him a car while he’s there. He lives in a city now with very good public transportation.