Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. pop top says:

    Mr. Squinko and I are making Jell-o shots for the first time ever this weekend for a friend’s birthday party. We found this website ( that has a lot of great recipes. We’re going to go with Cherry/Amaretto and Orange/Amaretto, since I have two fifths of Disarrono that we haven’t even touched from Xmas. We also bought Lime to take care of the little bit of vodka and tequila we have lying around. Anyone have any tips or tricks they’d like to share?

    • Angus99 says:

      Spread plastic tarps, keep a couple of buckets handy, and lock up your firearms.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      For a variation on the theme of Jello shots, try agar powder (available in lots of Asian grocery stores) — it sets up at room temperature, which is great if you want to leave the shots out on the counter while people imbibe. I recommend combining coconut milk, pineapple juice (or lime juice if anyone’s allergic to pineapple) and some rum with the agar powder because it looks cool and tastes good.

      • pop top says:

        You know, that’s a really great idea. I have a lot of vegetarian/vegan friends and acquaintances and some of them abstain from the Jell-O shots because of the gelatin. I might have to try that for them sometime. Does it taste any different?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        does pineapple juice work with agar? i know fresh pineapple juice, fresh pineapple, and some canned pineapple juice prevents regular jello from setting but i never tried it with agar

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      Yay, jello shots! The key is trying to squeeze enough alcohol in there to make it worth it, yet still keeping it solid. I definitely recommend finding those plastic containers you see on that site, with the tops. It’s wasteful, but the best for storage and delivery (to your mouth). The tequila jello shots pack the most punch…

      • pop top says:

        I went to Gordon Foods Store yesterday and got those little containers. Only $8 for 200 cups + tops. If we were just making them to have at home I wouldn’t have bothered with the tops, but since we’re transporting them, I definitely decided to spring for the lids.

        If you want, check out their Ultimate Jell-O Shot experiment (, wherein they try to find how strong they can make a Jell-O shot before it won’t actually set as Jell-O.

    • It'sRexManningDay! says:

      wow, those sound so….mature. And tasty! I don’t recall ever having a Jell-O shot that wasn’t made with cheap grain alcohol. Ah, freshman year. The memories!

      • pop top says:

        Speaking of mature-sounding Jell-O shots… At a party last weekend, someone served blueberry martini Jell-O shots. They made the shots in ice cube trays with vodka and vermouth, and added two fresh blueberries in each one. Then they had a plate of sugar you rolled the shot around in before eating it. Now that was stylish.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      My jello shots are usually 75% alcohol and 25% water as ingrediants, and you can bounce them off a wall. They give the nicest warm feeling as they slide down, and I swear you can feel them dissolve in your belly. If you want my secret, send me an email at GitEmSteveDave at the googles daht com.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      Someone a while back was speaking of Pudding shots, I imagine with the right mixture of alcohol/pudding mix, they could congeal similarly.
      Baileys and chocolate, or Limocello and lemon meringue.

      • pop top says:

        If you check out that site I posted, towards the bottom of that page, there’s recipes for pudding shots. They look very tasty.

        • cash_da_pibble says:

          I didn’t go to that site, but i SO will now.

          YOU KNOW, family is coming over tonight, i have those cups and i think i have some kirschwasser in the fridge.
          Go get a box of chocolate pudding and some maraschinos…
          and I have Cherry Cordials!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i like to use odd shaped molds and use the jello jigglers recipe. you end up with solid boozy jello shaped like fun things. [spray pam in the mold before adding jello or you end up with solid boozy jello shaped like broken things]

      • pop top says:

        That sounds like a really good idea. I know that a local bookstore sells those odd-shaped ice cube trays (like dinosaur bones and Space Invader enemies), and I was thinking about picking up some of those for this. They are like $6 though…

  2. hotdogsunrise says:

    Now generally I’m not always a fan of the cat photos, but I have to make an exception for this pic. That is the cutest cat I’ve ever seen.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      I know, right? And I have a wiener dog, too. :)

      But that cat is adorable. Would it be possible to get some cute dog pics on Consumerist? Pretty-please?

    • drjeff says:

      Lyndy says THANKS for the lovely compliment. She still doesn’t feel that the outfit was worth it, though.

  3. JulesNoctambule says:

    Well, someone’s cat is plotting their messy demise, that’s for sure!

    I made pickles this week! Four pints of garlic dill pickles, two with hot peppers. I’m considering making peach jam as well since I have a bounty of peaches, but I’m also tempted to go with cobbler because hey, peach cobbler!

    • parv says:

      Oooohhh, dang cobbler! Ooohh …

      Where al yooo?

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      will you also be selling these delicious sounding pickles in your potential future baked goods establishment?

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        I wish! Manufacturing rules are strict when it comes to canned goods because of the risk of illnesses should things go awry. I can, however, give as many to friends as I like! I’m also still looking for a venue — again! What is it with people who have places for lease and not returning calls?

    • locakitty says:

      oooo how do make peach jam? that sounds delicious!

  4. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I am mesmerized by that cat and its outfit. I hope that cat’s owner has a lot of neosporin and bandages nearby.

    So what’s on everyone’s agenda for the weekend? DC is in the middle of a monsoon season, so any plans I have that involve walking outdoors requires an umbrella, a raincoat, rainboots, and if it gets really bad, a kayak.

    • parv says:

      USA gets monsoon? Really? I missed that in high school geography class.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Well at least you’re prepared. I’m really hoping this is going to be the last hot hot hot weekend down here in Charleston. There have been a couple times lately when it’s gotten to a tolerable temperature at night lately, so perhaps fall is on the way.

      I will be floating down a river on an inner tube this weekend, attached to a smaller inner tube carrying a cooler of beer.

    • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

      Ditto, I’m just glad it’s starting to cool off. Also, my little family got some nice outside time last weekend. Went to a little marsh in Alexandria for a walk, and got to see some wildlife since it was around sunset. Saw a family of beavers 2 feet away; baby beavers were so cute!

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      That little kitty looks like a perfect angel who couldn’t possibly scratch you even if she tried. She would just pet you with her furry paws… (I’m sure reality is far from that photo)

      This weekend I’m buying new tires and a bed frame during tax-free weekend in MA!

      • drjeff says:

        That’s our cat Lyndy, and she is actually as sweet as she looks. Her housemate Noodles was featured a couple of weeks ago wearing a lobster costume. HE is a different story entirely.

    • SonarTech52 says:

      Ill try to get up early enough to beat the sun to mow the yard and wash the cars.. it’s been 100+ for a while now it seems. Although, it did rain the other day, that dropped the temp a few degrees briefly.. Now it’s just humid and hot.. ugh..dang Texas

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i do have to mow a little bit of my unkempt lawn so my friend can do some work on my roof. the grass is too messy/tall right now to put a ladder in it safely. so i got a little reel mower, no motor. i can’t be out in the heat so this way i can mow my lawn at midnight and not wake anyone up. hehe

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      Gee, my weekend sounds like a laundry list of chores so I won’t bore any of you.
      However, I do wish it would get hot-
      I miss Friday summer nights where you drink and hangout until 3 am, because it’s too hot to sleep sober.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        You can come here! Or to my parents house. Topping out over the 100’s during the day and still in the 90s at night.

    • axhandler1 says:

      Oddly enough, I am going kayaking this weekend. Although not through the streets of DC, fortunately. I decided to finally buy my own kayak, and it turns out that the roof rack I had to purchase for my car to transport it was more expensive than the actual kayak. Go figure.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Need to find a new bank – I’m tired of the nonsense at my current one. Hopefully going to a midnight movie in Chicago – Rubin and Ed is showing at Facets on Saturday night. See Inception sometime tomorrow, since we’ll be discussing it at my Film Discussion Group on Sunday.

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Prepping kids to go back to school on Monday, laundry and a last minute shopping trip for binders and gym clothes.

  5. parv says:

    I am looking for a camera shoulder bag which needs to have rain cover and have to accomodate at least camera+lens which is 11 in long, 6 in wide, and 4 in high, in addition to two lenses about 7 in long & 5-6 in of diameter.

    ThinkTank Retrospective 30 is too expensive at US$ 180. Domke J-1 & J-2 are also around that price.

    On the short list are then Lowepro Classified 160 AW ($ 80-125) & M-Rock Grand Canyon 662 ($ 50-65 ). (Think Tank Urban Disguise line is not high enough.) Does anybody have an opinion on those two, Tenba large (messenger|shoulder|Black Label) bags, or have any other suggestions (

    • parv says:

      Please change “accomodate” to “accommodate”.

    • parv says:

      Turns out M-ROCK Grand Canyon 662 is not tall enough; Shenandoah 664 should do instead.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i don’t know if these guys make a bag that fits your camera as i haven’t used their camera bags/cases but their cargo and computer bags have been very good to me. as is their customer service.
      when i first bought my cargo/laptop bag from them i would have said it was expensive. but considering i’ve been using it for several years now and it looks/feel brand new compared to my usual 6 months with a bag before i destroy it from overuse – it’s more than paid for itself

  6. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Got a note with a Comcast bill that the rates are going up a few bucks.

    We have only “performance” internet and it’s $71.85 a month now
    Does anyone else pay this much?

    • pop top says:

      I have the mid-range speed of the “naked” DSL with AT&T and it’s only $29/mo. We don’t have a landline or cable. If you’re paying $70 for just the Internet, you should switch companies.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      We have “preferred” internet and no, we don’t pay nearly as much as you do. We only pay $50ish.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Ours is performance and it’s $47.95 including the modem rental.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:


        I guess we’ll have to call them or switch to At&t u-verse whatever thing.

        • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

          Ooh, y’all have U-verse available? I’ve been waiting for it to come here. I admit I don’t know much about it, but it sure sounded good when I first heard about it.

          • NarcolepticGirl says:

            Yeah. We were thinking about getting it, but for some reason (which I forget) we opted to just transfer our Comcast account to our new address.
            Their prices here are cheaper – especially if you want a ‘bundle’.
            I haven’t heard much about what everyone thinks about it around here, though.

        • haggis for the soul says:

          I found the AT&T dsl service to be less reliable than I expected. Your mileage may vary.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Because we recently moved I was pricing out comcast. They were our only (or looked to be) option for high speed internet. Their 20mbps service is usually $60 which isn’t TOO terrible, even though we were moving from Charter who offered the same for $49.

      Anyway, without any additional services + the modem rental, the price ballooned to $71.95 monthly (before taxes + fees). But then it ended up they didn’t even service our area.

      We are stuck with Frontier 3-5Mbps DSL instead for $50. Blech.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      That’s outrageous. I called up my cable company last month because my bill for the cable internet we got the month before seemed higher than I expected when I signed up. The Charter CSR found me a deal where I got both internet and basic cable for about $20 less per month. They really seem serious about the bundling thing.

    • Paladin_11 says:

      Yeah, I got that notice too. It looks like an increase in the modem rental charge. Of course you can buy your own modem for ~$100. Or better still, call up to cancel the service and say you’re going to switch to another provider. In my area Qwest is running a special deal on high speed internet (that may or may not be a rebranding of service provided by Clear) for $29.99/mo for 6 months. Comcast has had to match that deal for new subscribers. If the competition is doing something like this in your area I think just the threat of leaving might be enough to get Comcast to cut you in on it.

      I plan to try it myself later. If it works I’ll post about it in next week’s open thread.

  7. Kuchen says:

    I had no idea today was Friday until I saw the open thread.

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      Is that a good thing or a bad thing? By that I mean, are you now happily surprised or does it not even make a difference?

      • Kuchen says:

        Mixed feelings. It means it’s the weekend and I get to spend time with my husband, but it also means I have one less day off than I thought I did when I thought today was Thursday.

        I’ve been working night shift this week, so I haven’t been completely with it. Yesterday morning when I got home from work I fell asleep in front of the TV with news on and woke up to Hoda & Kathie Lee discussing wrinkle cream or something, and I have been even more confused ever since.

  8. thatblackgirl says:

    Just here for the kitteh. KITTEH!

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      I have to take a picture of the International Racecar with his Chicken Hat.
      He doesn’t like it much, but he is a good sport.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        You found Racecar again? Wasn’t he missing a few months ago? I remember him because he looks like he’d be Alfred’s cousin. Hehe.

        I would love to see his chicken hat.

        • cash_da_pibble says:

          Yeah, I thought I told everyone.

          He showed up at 5 am a week later, a little skinny (he’s quite fat) but no worse for wear.
          I think he got trapped in someone’s foreclosed house or shed and rode it out on body fat.

          He spends his time inside now.

          • PBallRaven says:

            A co-workers cat got stuck in a neighbors garage while they were gone on vacation for almost 2 weeks. I was suprised it could go that long without water.

          • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

            I must have missed that somehow, but I’m glad he’s home safely now. Is he afraid to go outside or do you just not allow him to go?

            Mine have given up trying to run out the door whenever we open it, and I’m relieved. It was rough teaching Bastien (the one in my icon) not to go outside because we got him as a stray that was living outside for a while before we got him.. so he was very confused. lol. I think he’s got it now though.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Today is my Birfday! :)

  10. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    WOOOOOOO!!! I’m here.. I’ve been off on Fridays in August and that means that I’ve been missing the Open Thread too much. Silly lazyness.

    I feel accomplished this week because I found a mouse that I think matches my laptop as much as could be possible. I’m not sure why finding “the right red” mouse was so important to me, but it really was. What do you think?:

    Also, Bastien just locked himself in the bathroom…. again. He was waiting for me to get up this morning and when I did he attacked me with love and cuddles. He was purring his little kitteh face off.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      He locked himself in the bathroom? How?

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        He goes in there and runs around and somehow manages to close the door on himself, then he can’t figure out how to open it, so he just sits in there like a sad sack, waiting for someone to let him out. Sometimes he closes it all the way so the doorknob latches and he REALLY can’t get out, so we’ve been closing the door when we’re at work now.

        Alfred, he could have let him out today.. but why? lol.

    • Dustbunny says:

      Ooh, shiny red mouse! I like! I know how important proper mouse color selection is. I have a pink laptop & I searched for a long time for just the right shade-of-pink mouse.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        You would think the laptop companies would catch on and make exactly matching accessories.. but noooo. They are seriously missing the boat here.

  11. Cantras says:

    No entertaining stories from the health inspectors, other than my store manager whipping around and going “I WANT TO KNOW WHO TOLD THE RESTAURANT INSPECTOR” when, a few days later (actually assuming he hadn’t come because I hadn’t seen him) I asked whether we had an ETA on getting the cracks fixed.
    However, since I live in the same city of the walmart flooding story linked above, we were closed a day while we had no water pressure, and I guess they took that chance to pop all the tiles off.

    We are still open now though, despite the boil order. Just the drive through, and we only have certain drinks in cans/bottles. Kinda worried for the people who don’t understand why. Not sure what they plan to do with dishes — they brought us some big garbage cans full of water from another store, but they aren’t hot or soapy or anything. We just let them pile up yesterday, so it should be awesome today. D: The store manager brought us bleach wipes for our hands. No thanks lady, why not be sensible and get purell, which is ACTUALLY INTENDED FOR THAT PURPOSE, instead of the wipes that say on them NOT to do that, and even to wash your hands with soap/water after using?

    No job call yet. :/ My mother (I will never be an adult) insists I call them, which I admit I probably should, but I’m not sure how long is appropriate to wait. I hate that it’s standard now to not call applicants who didn’t get a job. I applied via a web form and had to put in my email address — surely you can program it to send a form letter when you look at it and select discard.

    My WoW account expires next week — I had already been considering canceling it, and then there was the the RealID forum thing. I don’t intend to quit on the long term (since they fixed the realID forum thing), just take a break till 4.0. My original plan was to quit until I had a job, but I’d hate to miss any events leading up to cataclysm. I’ll probably job search till 4.0, use this two-month card a friend gave me a year ago (for my wedding… neeeerds), and then go back to searching.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      What score did the inspector give the place?

      • Cantras says:

        I don’t know. I know the first round required a second look. I know we pulled even more tiles out. I was surprised that it wasn’t entirely rotted out — beneath it’s just regular cement floor (why did they not leave it as regular cement in the first place?).

  12. ovalseven says:

    I bought a mp3 from Tradebit last night. I guess they’re based in Germany, so Chase Bank just had to flag my account for fraud. I discovered this after my card was declined at the McDonald’s drive-thru during my lunch break. It took most of the remaining hour to get it straightened out.

    I’m still hungry, but I’ll sleep well tonight knowing that Chase had protected my 99 cents.

  13. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    it’s amazing what a newspaper article can do. one of our poor rescue kittehs has IBS and that makes him difficult to adopt out. he’s fine as long as he gets special food. which is, of course, expensive special food.
    local paper ran a ‘least adoptable pets’ article and adorable oscar got adopted by the end of the weekend!

    now here’s hoping the “sale” on pre owned cats and rescue kittens will help get some of the rest of them homes. through the end of the month only in case you were in the market for a pre owned kitteh

    • pop top says:

      That’s great! My dad and step-mom just adopted a blind lab mix a few months ago. She had been in the shelter since last September, poor thing. She is just the nicest, sweetest dog ever (unless you are a squeaky toy). The vet that found her gives them a huge discount when they need to board her and everyone that knew her is so happy she had a great home. Yay for Oscar.

  14. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Wait, why does this have a “MMM CHEESE” tag?

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      probably because the top story in the top posts of the week is the denny’s cheese on cheese abomination.
      or because it’s friday and laura’s getting a little punchy

  15. chatterboxwriting says:

    Hopefully someone reads this thread even though it’s two days old. Someone on here (I don’t remember if it was a commenter or a Consumerist writer) mentioned that there is a new law that says colleges have to tell you what books you need at the time of registering for a class. They didn’t mention the name of the law or what types of colleges it affects. Is it only for private colleges? Is it actually in effect for this year? I registered for six classes last week and there is no info on books available. The college is telling me I’ll find out what books I need on the first day of class, but then I’ll be stuck buying from the bookstore. I want to know now so I can try to buy from Amazon,, etc. Anyone have any info on this?

  16. SecretAgentWoman says:

    Why hasn’t there been any new stories posted for 2 days on the site?