Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. blogger X says:

    Anybody planning on watching the Army-Navy game?

    • CrankyOwl says:

      What is this “Army-Navy game” you speak of?

    • outshined says:

      The coldest I have ever been in my life was at Army-Navy game. I had just moved north from Miami (!) for college and got to go to the game. 10 degrees. Actually, it was awesome.

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    Is it more about the meaning or value of a Christmas gift? There’s a lady I work with who says she feels insulted when people spend less than $30 on her Christmas gifts. I told her a story about how my dad once saw a postcard he really loved while on Vacation and didn’t buy it. Years later, I saw the same postcard and picked it up for him as a gift. It cost $1.50 but he was absolutely thrilled with the gift. My coworker still accused me of being cheap. WTH.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Value is such a subjective thing, though. If you pay full price for something and next week it’s on sale for $10 less, does that mean that when you bought it, the item was higher in quality? Of course not.

      It’s really about meaning, not value. If you’re insulted that someone spent only a certain amount, you don’t deserve a gift. That said, don’t be a cheapskate – everyone hates a cheapskate.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      remembering the exact postcard for years counts for more in my opinion.

    • Bativac says:

      People who complain about the value of their gifts are jerks.

      My wife and I have a Christmas list with 30 names on it. So are we supposed to spend $30 a person? That’s almost a thousand dollars!

      We’re giving baked goods, fruit from local groves, and having a party. We’re asking for food in return rather than some fifteen dollar white elephant that will sit in a closet for four or five years before it goes to Goodwill.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Your story about your dad and the postcard is nice. Mr. Pi has done stuff like that before. I think sometime last year I complained (mostly to myself) that I didn’t have another slotted spoon, then kept putting off buying one. Then one day, surprise! Slotted spoon. It was probably $5? It was awesome though. I really like kitchen utensils.

      I admit, though, if it was Christmas, and that was the only thing I got, I’d probably be really disappointed (because it was the only thing, not that it was $5). But as a random “hey, it’s Tuesday!” gift, it’s nice. I’m totally okay with admitting that I like receiving gifts.

      • cvt2010 says:

        Similar one for me. I guess I had mentioned to my mom that I couldn’t make mashed potatoes properly since I didn’t have a potato masher, and she gave me one for Christmas– I had mentioned it probably 4-5 months earlier! It was really sweet and silly that she remembered and got me one. I think she got me other stuff too that year, but what I remember most was the potato masher. Definitely meant more than the nice-but-incredibly-unflattering sweater I got from my mother-in-law that year.

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Your coworker is an idiot.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Your coworker sounds kinda shallow. I’d much rather have a thoughtful inexpensive gift than have something that met a price criteria.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Punch her in the face.

  3. Roloboto says:

    I lost my wallet yesterday with credit cards, ID, and all sorts of things in it.
    Hopefully it turns up somewhere, because the worst thing about carrying cash, is that when you lose your wallet, I had $80 in mine, is that even if it does turn up and someone returns it, the cash is gonna be long gone. Long, long gone.

  4. mipo777 says:

    Dogs breaking the 4th wall FTW!

  5. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    it’s shaping up to be an interesting weekend. i am trying to find out where my friend is. i got a text message last night that he got drunk and fell down the stairs and was in the hospital with severe injuries for a few days, which explained why he wasn’t answering his phone.
    and this morning he texted that he’s being involuntarily committed, doesn’t know where and isn’t sure how to reach me again to let me know so i can go visit [if it’s allowed]
    normally i would assume the large state mental health facility because he’s uninsured [which is why he’s being committed – he ran out of anti psychotic meds when his unemployment ran out] but he said they were talking about a different city.
    has anybody ever tried to track down a person who has been involuntarily committed to an unknown facility before? any tips?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You could try a police blogger. If you know the date he was arrested it would help. I realize he was committed not arrested, but I’m sure police were involved.

      Do you know the parents? They should be able to contact hospitals to find him as they are next of kin.

      • cvt2010 says:

        I think you mean “police blotter”. Though the idea of a police blog is kinda hilarious.

        “Today, I arrested five different punkass kids peeing on fire hydrants. What gives?”

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Hahaha! I didn’t even catch the ‘blogger’ and ‘blotter’ bit – but yeah, Loias meant blotter. But even then, police blotters don’t catalog everything.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        he is currently in a regular hospital, he called 911 when he fell down the stairs and was seriously injured. not sure the police have details on that. and his parents have been deceased for many years. he has a brother locally but we’ve never met

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Isn’t there a state agency you can call? If he’s been committed, there has to be some governing body that may assign a caseworker to him. They have to maintain confidentiality and all, but you could at least attempt to get a message to him. Also, if you have a reasonable idea of what city he might be in (you know, the next one over and not 300 miles away) you could call the hospitals and ask.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i’m guessing any state agency woudn’t have the paperwork figured out over the weekend, or answer the phones. which is super frustrating. but yeah, i was expecting to have to call around a lot.

    • Bativac says:

      No but I have seen several sitcom episodes about it. The two I recall offhand are NewsRadio and King of the Hill. I believe Jamie Foxx was also involuntarily committed in an episode of “The Jaime Foxx Show.”

      From what I recall, you have to go to the hospital with another person; explain to the doctor that the committed person is actually totally sane; relate the humorous story that resulted in their being committed; and then wait a mandatory 24 hours before the person is released, usually having made a friend and learned an extremely valuable life lesson from another patient.

      In all seriousness, I hope everything works out with your friend. I have no real advice to offer.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        oh, he’s not sane. i agree that he needs to be committed. i just want to visit him

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      Oh man, what a mess!
      I wish you the best of luck with locating him, and surely hope he gets himself taken care of- whether it be by the institution or by getting back on his meds.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      You may not be able to. Because of privacy laws (HIPPA), they probably can’t say if he’s a patient or not. In fact, private facilities give each patient a passcode or number to give to family so they can speak to him/her. Without that number, you’re not getting through or even getting a response about whether the patient is a patient. Period. Not sure how public and private facilities where you are operate, though.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        that’s good information to know. thanks. currently i sent him back a text message that i hope he gets before they take away his phone, asking him to give my number to the facility so they can call me for him if they won’t let him call.

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          They tend to take away everything when a patient comes in, including shoelaces and the drawstrings out of hoodies, phones, lighters, etc.

          Hope you find him and can help.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      That sucks. Good luck finding him. Are there any mutual friends you can check with?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        the mutual friends are asking me… but he just texted – the mental health facility where they take uninsured patients doesn’t have any beds over the weekend so they are keeping him at the main regular hospital. the hospital shrink said i can come visit tomorrow afternoon.
        mostly right now he wants a newspaper, so that’s what i’m bringing.
        in this case, state funding shortages are working in my favor.

  6. CrankyOwl says:

    So we’re not doing a Secret Santa thingie at work this year & I’ve been looking for some inexpen$ive stocking stuffer type gifts for coworkers. I think I found just the thing — World Market has these plastic penguins that you fill with little round brown candies. Then you wind up the penguin & it waddles around, pooping out the candy. If that doesn’t say Christmas, I don’t know what does!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      My parents got me a pooping reindeer as a stocking stuffer, but not mechanized.

      Please, get them something else!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That sounds really funny if you know your coworkers well. I didn’t sign up for Secret Santa because I am just way too afraid of getting something that no one will like, or that wouldn’t mesh with what other people give. I’m still the new person, so I’m just not going to participate this year.

    • Not Given says:

      At DH’s work they used to do a game called dirty Santa. Everyone brings a wrapped gift. Some is good stuff, some is gags. They draw a name and that person picks a package and opens it. The next name drawn opens another package but gets to trade it for the one that is already opened, and so on. Once, DH came home with a bottle of whiskey in a set with 2 matching glasses, but mostly he got junk. I guess they decided they’d rather have time off than have the party.

      • CrankyOwl says:

        We did that last year – but we called it a White Elephant party. Someone went home with a pair of Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo slippers.

  7. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:


    This weekend’s mission: Get myself to a yarn store. By any means nessisary. My mom has been hinting at me (atleast, I believe she is) that she wants me to knit her a scarf. I do have yarn stashed away.. but it’s mostly wool, and she won’t even think of wearing wool because she says she’s alergic to it. Also, my non-wool yarns are not colors she would like or wear.

    I am against a time crunch here, so it will have to be bulky yarn if I even hope to have it finished by Christmas.

    I usually don’t knit for other people, and I definitely don’t knit very well with a time-crunch-deadline.. but I do love my momma.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Ooooo, yarn shopping! Have fun! =) My uncle asked for a book about knitting socks for Christmas this year, so I got that and am giving him some nice sock yarn to go with it. I ended up ordering it online, though, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the colour is as nice as it looked on my computer.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Oh, a knitting uncle sounds so fun. I don’t know any male knitters personally. I learned not to ask for yarn for Christmas, because the one time I did I ended up with a sack full of No-Dye-Lot!! Red Heart yarn.

        The colors weren’t bad…….. Hehe.

        I hope I manage to get to a yarn store soon though, and if I do, it should be fun.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      “nessisary” is probably the most creative typo I’ve seen today :)

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        You know, I had a feeling that was wrong somehow.

        I’m at work on IE6, and I’m really lost without the automatic spellcheck feature that I use at home on Chrome.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      I have a request to knit a pair of mittens for my nephew for Christmas. I have the yarn, but I haven’t started them yet. I have never knit mittens before. I sure hope I can finish them before Dec. 26th (when we’ll see my nephew)

  8. ArcanaJ says:

    Any of you guys play MMOs? I need a couple of dedicated game reviewers. I also need a nap.

    Mmmm… nap.

  9. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Love that doggeh!!!

  10. chucklebuck says:

    What’s the most reliable SUV I can get for $5000 or less in the metro Boston area? Obviously it’ll vary from specific car to specific car, but in general what SUV in that price range tends to be the most reliable? I tried using Edmunds to research this, but their reviews tend to be from when the car was new. I’m more looking for someplace that will tell me “this car tends to still be in decent shape in the 10 years since it was new, and here are the most common things that go wrong with it”.

    Most of what I’m finding are 1998-2002 Cherokees (both Grand and Mundane), Blazers, Explorers, Mountaineers and Durangos, all with between 100K and 150K miles at the top of the price range. Any opinions on any of those?

  11. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I still need some ideas for this years Christmas/holiday card. Here are previous years: Any suggestions would be welcome, and I will gladly send you a real one to anyone who asks when they are finished!

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      What if you turned your menagerie into reindeer, and placed yourself in a sleigh?

      You could also dress up some of your more calm pets into a nativity.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      well i’ve got last year’s still on my fridge so make something that will look good next it. i leave it up because it makes house guests stop and peer closely to try to figure out what’s with the feelers on the cats

  12. JulesNoctambule says:

    What’s a good gift to get for someone you don’t like but are obliged to give a gift to anyway? My husband’s family drew names for Xmas this year, and while we weren’t invited to the party (typical), they drew for us anyway and I got his crappy aunt. This is one of the aunts who cut us out of the family group present a few holidays ago because we aren’t catholic. I can’t find a copy of ‘Miss Manners’ guide to not being a raging asshole to non-catholics’, and I sure as hell want to spend as little as is humanly possible on this woman (and no, I’m not going to make her anything — she doesn’t deserve the effort) while having a gift that’s still presentable. Any suggestions?

  13. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Urg, it’s supposed to be nasty, cold and wet this weekend. Bleah. Probably a good time to curl up with some movies, some cocoa and soup and nap. I want to make some cookies too, to send to my honey, but I better wait until closer to Christmas. I ordered something online for him so I’ll wait until it gets here and then put them in the box.

    Also, I’m testing to write articles for I’ve written three and am working on the second batch. They paid me for them. It’s my very first pay as a writer! It’s a little weird to write with keywords; that’s not something I’ve done before, but hey, doing something new will only make me better. :)

    It kind of makes me feel like I can actually do this. Like it might be possible to make it into print someday. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease.

  14. CookiePuss says:

    Awesome picture. :D

  15. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Earlier this week about 90% of my coworkers were given notice that they will be severed in two months. Our company was sold to another company, and the transaction is final now. I’m one of the 10% that will be working for the new company, but I don’t know for how long.

    This has been the most horrible week of my working life. The cold dreary weather is just adding insult to injury too.

  16. pokinsmot says:

    What is up with the new favicon? I personally liked the old one. What is this new one supposed to be? It looks like a paper airplane to me.

    *For those who don’t know what a favicon is, it’s the little symbol that appears next to the title for each website.

    • SecretAgentWoman says:

      I don’t like it either. And I’m grumpy. I am not sure one has anything to do with the other, just the like favicon has nothing to do with consumerism.

  17. SecretAgentWoman says:

    What’s with the new icon for the website? Is that a paper airplane? What does it have to do with consumerism or this site?