Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. hotdogsunrise says:

    Looks like I’m helping to transport five dachshunds across the state tomorrow. I’ve only transported one at a time, so I’m a bit nervous about how five will be. Anyone have experience with transporting masses of animals? It’s only for an hour ride.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      can you dope them? my vet says it’s ok to give my dog benadryl on a car ride. actually my dog is ok but i’ve known dogs that get the major barfs in a car. if you end up with 5 barfing dachshunds that could be awful

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t, but I think it might be a good idea to put them in separate crates.

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        Two of them must remain in their crates because they are skittish. And honestly, I don’t have room in my car for five separate crates! I think I’m going to have to bring someone along to help keep them calm.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I don’t see how this is much of a problem. The only downside is, if im not mistaken dachsunds are hunting breeds, and therefore they feed off each other’s barks. Get ready for a loud car ride.

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        I have two dachshunds already, and I can tell you, they love to bark. My hope: they rest comfortably for the hour I have them. The reality: I’m coming prepared with lots of towels and pregaming with some advil.

    • CrankyOwl says:

      “Looks like I’m helping to transport five dachshunds across the state tomorrow”

      Why does this sound like the the opening line of a wacky slapstick comedy? Hilarious hijinks will ensue!

      Good luck with that, LOL

      • Me - now with more humidity says:

        I had the same thought.

        Or the opening line to a joke.; “I was transporting five dachshunds across the state…”

        • hotdogsunrise says:

          I hope if it does turn out to be hilarious, it’s hilarious to me and not just to others. I feel like I should record the whole thing just incase I have some hilarious footage to make me rich and famous.

          • Me - now with more humidity says:

            I’d love to see that! I have one basset/beagle mix and I know how he is in the car. You’re a brave, brave mammal.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      My dad has a miniature dachsund and she seems to go to sleep in the car as long as she has a blanket to cuddle under. I am not sure why, but she loves to be completely covered up. Maybe if you had enough blankets they could all cuddle up together and take a nap?

      (Aren’t I an optimist?!)

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        Dachshunds LOVE to be covered. They’re burrowers for sure. If I don’t have a blanket available for mine to curl up under, they will try to climb inside my sweatshirt or whatever clothing I’m wearing.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Can you rig up some kind of net system to keep them in the backseat? Other than that I think I’d just let them wrassle for the hour. How bad could they get? ::she says, naively….::

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    I have decided that today will be the first official day of my Crusade for The Consumerist ™.

    Last week in the open thread I posted my concerns with the site and my desire to get some kind of response or dialogue from one of senior editors of the site. That did not happen. I got some encouraging responses from other commenters, but that’s it.

    Now at that point I could’ve said “you know what? I’m not getting anywhere with this, there’s no point in taking it any further”, but if I did that, I would be not only turning my back on a site I love, but also not following the advice we so often get here which is “fight for what’s right”.

    Here are several posts from the past week that I feel have questionable value as “consumer issues.”

    Now that last one did lead to some good discussion and interesting comments about the state of education in America and so forth, but as good as those discussions may be, I don’t think they really belong on a consumer advocacy site.

    Like I said last week, I’m not trying to ruffle feathers or offend anyone or tell you guys how to run the site, I’m just voicing concerns I have (and that many others here share) about the recent decline in quality of the site.

    This is important, this goes straight to the heart of the Consumerist and it needs to be addressed. We, your audience, deserve a response. After all we’ve done for you guys (I can”t tell you how many people I’ve referred here for all kinds of reasons), I think asking a little in return is more than appropriate.

    So that’s why I’ve launched my crusade and that’s why I’ll continue crusading until somebody sits up and pays attention. I love this site and have respect for the people who make it what it is.

    There’s a ton of opportunities to make it better, to make Consumerist really something special.

    Why not take advantage of them?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I agree with some of your choices by not all. And I feel you left out some more agregious one.

      Maybe the watering down of Consumerist has taken it’s toll and I now see news about a new bra size to be appropriately Consumerist-worthy.

      Regardless, I’d like to focus on the really egregious ones and work our way up. That alone would be a significatn improvement.

      Keep the fight alive!

      • Straspey says:

        I think most of the people who frequent Consumerist on a regular basis have their pet peeves regarding stories which they feel are at least questionable.

        From my POV, I find the almost-daily 5+ stories concerning “Fast Food” to be a bit ridiculous after a while. In fact, there was a period of time when I began to think that everybody on this board takes between 50% – 75% of their meals at fast-food outlets, or has it delivered.

        The reason I now know that’s true is only from reading many comments from others here who have mentioned their shopping and cooking preferences – some of which I found very informative.

        But – day after day – Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Papa John’s – etc….

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Almost every article you linked to had 80+ comments. Why should they stop posting similar articles if people are going to comment on them? Not why you want them to but what should make them not post them.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        That’s not a fair indicator of a quality story by any means. Despite the Comments Code, many of those comments essentially espress their distaste as to why it’s on the website to begin with.

        That attitude is like that sunglasses salesman who thought massive negative comments was a good business plan (which was one of the more pertinent stories Consuemrist has had in the last 6 months).

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          …many of those comments essentially espress their distaste as to why it’s on the website to begin with.

          Which makes no sense, especially considering how often people complain that the editors don’t read the comments. So everyone knows that clicking on and commenting on the story likely results in the editors only seeing the those numbers go up, making those articles look popular. Yet they keep doing it and then bemoaning when similar stories keep getting posted even though they’re the ones making those stories look like the popular ones.

          So I have to wonder why they should stop posting stories like that when from their POV those are the ones provoking the most discussion.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I know I tipped the school story, and probably some other people did. My reasoning was that tax payers with kids are consumers of the local school board. It’s also not so easy for them to “not shop there” if they aren’t happy with the “service” they receive. So I am partly to blame for that story.

      • Me - now with more humidity says:

        I was glad to see that story.

        Dragonfire seems to have taken to many self-importance supplements today.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Aren’t you a special snowflake! I must have missed class the day we voted to be saved from Consumerist.

      This site has readers and posters with a wiiiiide variety of interests. I have no problem with what Ben et al are doing. They know what their corporate mandate and their overall audience.

      If I don’t have interest in a story, I just don’t read it. Insane, huh?I like things you don’t. You like things I don’t. Welcome to the internet.


      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I like how you’re complaining that he shouldn’t care about differing opinions, and then complaining that he has one himself.

        This is a product he uses and he has a right to want it improved.

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          That wasn’t what I was saying. I was saying that Consumerist has a broad user base, hence the range of coverage. It’s not focused for the OP alone. It would be like going to a football stadium and launching a crusade to make all seats meet OP’s special desires.

          I have no problem with the OP or you or anyone else having a different opinion than I do. You have an absolute right to be wrong 8-)

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      not that i expect to ever need an L sized bra, but changes in available consumer goods [bras] does seem like a consumer issue to me…
      i’m not always interested in even half of the articles, and i’d like to see more advocacy a lot of the time but i do really enjoy the lighthearted stuff too. if it was all serious all the time it wouldn’t appeal to me either.
      i’d like to see a nice balance of serious consumer issues and fluff

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      My issues with Consumerist have nothing to do with the topics they choose to cover. I like light-hearted/silly stories as well as the ones that are more “consumerist-worthy” (Whatever that actually *means*) I covered my gripes about Consumerist durring Festivus, and that’s where I will leave them. But I appreciate that you’re trying to make a difference, I just think that you and I are wanting different things.

    • segfault, registered cat offender says:

      They’re turning it into a cat blog. Your pleas, like everyone else’s, will be ignored.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t have a problem with the type of content, per se. I agree with Kimaroo on that. But I do have a problem with the sometimes lack of comprehensive research.

      But sometimes my frustration is with the lack of common sense research that people make, and the lack of education in producing better consumers. If Consumerist replied with “please do X, Y, and Z and then submit your story again,” we would get fewer “incomplete” stories of people who have a problem, only use one of the three options available to them – and then think they have a huuuuge problem!

      I’m a firm believer in common sense, covering your bases, and educating people. So it frustrates me when I don’t think people figure out that they should actually make a half ass effort before whining to a frank and unsympathetic bunch.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You know what’s funny? One of the things I like reading the most are those ethical dilemma posts in which someone receives an item better than they paid for, or were charged less than they expected to pay, or accidentally walked out with something …

      That has only happened to me once and I was up front and honest, and it worked in my favor. It happened again today and it gnawed at me so I called the company and they’re re-charging my card so that it goes back to 0. I know that it’s the right thing, but the lady said “unfortunately, you did call us to let us know,” and I’m like “what? I was being honest.” I mean, it would’ve been cool for them to keep the refund but she seemed really put out that I called.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I mean, it would’ve been cool for them to *let me* keep the refund… I was so hoping for the bank error in my favor, but I just know that if they noticed eventually, they’d want their money back. And I’m too diligent of a person to not have noticed the refund, so I would be doubly dishonest about not noticing.

    • Rena says:

      It is pretty funny how similar this site is getting to the very companies they love to rag on. Articles are increasingly poorly-written, and stories about actual, provable ways that companies are ripping people off go unpublished while nonsense like Starbucks’ new drinking cups and bad grammar on T-shirts make the front page. When you submit an article, you get an automated response “thanks, we’ll look into it” and then that’s it, nothing more. (Sounds like they’re really “taking our submissions seriously”…)
      At least some follow-up about whether our story will be published would be nice, maybe even a note why our explanation of how a company is blatantly scamming people isn’t important enough to get up there among random stories about cats and bra sizes.

      And this comment system… Oh man. Let’s see…
      -Javascript required to display plain text. Well, nobody gets this right anymore…
      -Often takes 10 minutes or more to load the comments, while the rest of the page loads immediately. I might open 10 articles in tabs and they’ll all just sit there waiting, waiting, then after 10 minutes suddenly they all show up at once. Something is seriously broken there.
      -A lot of times, my comments just completely vanish. Comes back to the page like usual, but I look and it’s just not there. If you’re going to randomly reject comments, I’d really love to at least know what I said that was so unacceptable.
      -I’ve completely given up trying to read them on my phone, because it’s such a nightmare to hit those little “x replies” buttons. For normal links it’s not a problem, but these are some kind of fake-button using background images or some such (which also means with images disabled you can’t see any of the buttons), which throws the hit detection all out of whack and makes them damn near impossible to hit accurately, especially when they’re surrounded top and bottom by much larger images linking to user profiles. Just not worth it.
      -My kingdom for an edit button!

      These aren’t exactly new complaints, nor am I anywhere near the only one to make them, yet they continue going unheeded… You’d think a site whose content is mostly mocking companies’ poor customer service would have better customer service itself.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        “…like Starbucks’ new drinking cups and bad grammar on T-shirts make the front page.”

        Well, to be fair, EVERY story makes the front page. It’s not like this is a newspaper where there are sections. It’s chronological order.

  3. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    my directv contract is ending in june and since tv via internet has come a looooong way in the last two years, i’m thinking of cancelling.
    the best part is that my internet provider’s rates for the next fastest tier dropped by $24 in the past year so it would finally make sense to drop my satellite and go with all streaming since i won’t be sitting around waiting for it to buffer.

    already got netflix with roku and some of the free roku channels.
    considering hulu plus and some of the less expensive roku classic movie channels. there are a couple of interesting ones that are a few bucks a year.

    my biggest challenges are my food network and BBCAmerica addictions.
    food network has been improving a little bit but unlike HGTV and DIY they don’t seem to put full episodes online.
    I can get some of the BBC stuff on netflix if i am willing to wait.

    i’m looking for recommendations and reviews on any other sites and options that you might have tried.

    • pop top says:

      I’d also like to hear what others have to say. My mom has recently decided she wants to get rid of her satellite and switch to Roku and over-the-air HD, but I don’t know anything about either.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yeah, not sure i can even get over the air where i am. the house has a massive aerial antenna on it but i haven’t located the end of the wiring in the crawlspace to figure out which room it comes out in. but i don’t like much network tv anyway.
        i’m finding some surprisingly good entertainment in some of the independent webtv episodes available on roku channels.

        • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

          I’d love to help you out hooking you up with free antenna TV, but I am sure you’re nowhere near me. It’s what I do on the side: help people kill the cable monster. I get 27 solid channels in the rural area where I am, 8 in HD and all free. Some areas get as many as 60 channels.

          If there’s an antenna on our house, chances are someone was getting good TV reception before.

          Did you know, that of the top 200 programs, 197 are on network (broadcast) TV?

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            but i don’t like reality tv…. seriously, when i turn on network tv lately it’s only for CSI or big bang theory. i can get both of those online too.
            it’s there
            but i’ve been in the crawl space a few times and i never get to the end of the cable coming through the foundation and down the wall before either my flashlight dies or my blood sugar drops too low. it’s kind of ridiculous. i’ve got the tools and the cable to just cut it and splice it but i don’t really want to if the cable is in good shape and already goes to a wall junction somewhere. based on the 8 wall plates that were in my house when i bought it and what i found when i cut into the wall for a dog door, i’m betting it goes up a wall and is disconnected behind the plate and dropped in between the studs somewhere.
            if i can find it i can pull it out and move it.

            • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

              catastrophegirl, that antenna looks in pretty good shape. You may want to find someone who is handy, if you aren’t, to run fresh RG6 cable from the antenna to where the direcTV cable enters your house, and just re-use the satellite companies cables.

              You need to make sure your TV is capable of tuning digital TV. If it is less than 5 years old, probably yes. If not, then you need the converter box.

              Here 4 ya if you need help. It’s not as hard as it sounds – if my grandfather could do it in 1960, so can you today.

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                um… that’s another odd issue. the directv cable enters my house in a few places. two of which were officially installed the day i moved in. the ones in the living room were put through a wall many years ago, one works, one … not so much. so i’m running one through a window on the rare occasions that i take the dvr into the living room.
                i’ve got the wall plugs and such already, just haven’t had a weekend without rain or snow for a while. but that’s a good idea about running it to the directv cabling. they are on opposite sides of the house though. since it already comes through the wall and into the crawlspace i was hoping to just keep it in the crawlspace and not add to the octopus of cables attached to the side of my house.
                i know, making it hard on myself trying to do it the less unattractive way.

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                oh, and i do have the converter box. right now i don’t even have a tv with component inputs. i recently had to acquire a couple of used vcrs to hook up my stuff after a lightning strike took out my last old vcr and my last rf switch. turns out i can get three vcrs from goodwill for less than one new rf switch and each has at least two component inputs so i can hook the ps1 and ps2 to one tv, the satellite dvr and the roku to another tv and the satellite non dvr box and spare ps1 to the guest room tv.
                considering i also have sega genesis, original nintendo, atari 2600, atari 5200 and pong, i continue to have problems with hooking everything up.
                yes, the eventual goal is to have a great wall of classic gaming systems, each with their own small, old, inexpensive dedicated analog tvs.
                it’s a good thing there’s more than one circuit in my living room

                • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                  oops, missing sentence! to clarify:
                  yes, i have a converter box for when i figure out where the antenna goes.
                  none of my tv’s is digital – they are all so old i don’t even have one with component inputs.
                  i think that sounds less idiotic.

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          Well, I first found out how many channels were over the air HD in my area, how far away they were, and if I could get them with an omni directional or aimed antenna. I’m sure there are other sites, but try this one.

          It turned out that there were a couple dozen over the air stations that I could pick up in less than 50 miles with an omni-directional indoor antenna.

          I got the Clearstream 4 from Amazon, and got an amplifier and J mount. Right know it’s in my bedroom, but shortly it will go up in my attic.

          • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

            Omni and indoor antennas are not really good. Here’s my picks for help websites:


            • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

              Sorry this post got cut when my computer freaked out, the rest of the list wound up being its own post, WTF?

              • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

                Don’t worry, it’s just the commenting system. It is “quirky”.

                • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

                  It’s also my laptop ever since I upgraded to windows 7. Cheap Sniveler thinks testing should have occurred.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        You can visit my blog to learn about over the air TV: . More info and support than you can shake a stick at.

        Rokku is a great deal, as is netflix. But I do prefer a media center computer with tv tuner hooked to my big screen. It also serves as a DVR, and a video / tv/ music server.The problem with set top boxes is that places like hulu block access anytime they feel like it. You can get only HULU plus with the Rokku, for example, but with a computer you can get HULU free, and a lot of other video hosts. If you can set up a Media PC, it’s definitely better than any set top box made.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:
        • Youngfrankenstein says:

          This is exactly what we did 2 years ago. I got so annoyed with the rising cost of cable. I have not missed it once. We have digital rabbit ears so I can still DVR my Judge Judys! It’s not perfect but we’re very happy.

          The biggest downside was that my kids weren’t watching commercials anymore and didn’t know what to ask for for Christmas.

          • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

            Best part of no cable: No Nick and Disney. PBS kids all day for my daughter, educational, no commercials, no begging from princess for the stuff she saw on the commercials.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I used to love Food Network and now I never watch it. I find it to be insanely boring now, and I’ve always hated Rachel Ray so the fact that the network gave her more shows to do just sealed the deal for me. I have 200+ channels and while I obviously don’t watch all of them, I also can’t get all the programming I love without them, so I’m in a similar boat, only in reverse. I want to keep my cable because there’s more that I would lose by cancelling.

      The channels you want just simply don’t make it easy to get programming online.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yeah, i explored the food network website last night and found they have a bunch of clips. netflix has a few food network things but DVD only and i don’t have a working dvd player right now. got to hook up an external to the netbook and sit really still with a bunch of cables and a 10″ screen. it’s a PITA so i only do that for movies i REALLY want to watch and can’t get streaming.
        there do appear to be a few external semi [or not at all] legal sites that stream a few food network shows… the addiction level for alton brown seems to have created a black market for good eats.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          Don’t you have a PS2? That’s a DVD player.

          I think the only thing I’d REALLY REALLY miss from Food Network is Good Eats/anything with Alton Brown. I could probably do without the rest, but I wouldn’t want to. lol.

          I do find that someone has taken it upon themselves to post his episodes (in parts, but they’re full episodes) on Youtube. Have you seen that? I think the user is LikeTheHat.

          • pop top says:

            If it’s an older model PS2, using it as a DVD player will slowly kill it.

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              a lot of things i do to my electronics slowly kill them. and since most of what i own has been gifted to me by people looking to unload old electronics, many are close to their last legs anyway.

          • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

            What do I miss from Pay TV? Alton Brown, Good Eats, and Anthony Bourdain. I also miss Myth Busters. Anything else I get OTA, on the net, or netfilix DVD. I’ve also found that there’s OTA and internet substitutes: History = PBS; Food Network = PBS Create or PBS; TV Land = AntennaTV and RetroTV; MTV = The CoolTV.

            But, when I miss those few shows, I just remember the $1000 a year I save and they just aren’t so important anymore.

            • HogwartsProfessor says:

              Mythbusters is on Neflix now. I downsized my DirecTV to save money and now I can’t watch Bourdain, Zimmern, Ramsey or Bridezillas, or the Amazing Wedding Cakes shows. And it’s funny but I don’t seem to have as much extra time as I thought I would. :P

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                hrm, you may want to double check availability. i see all of these as DVD and instant on netflix
                Bizarre Foods: Collection 5
                Bizarre Foods: Collection 4: Part 1 (3-Disc Series)
                Bizarre Foods: Collection 3 (2-Disc Series)
                Bizarre Foods: Collection 2 (2-Disc Series)

                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Vol. 9
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Vol. 8
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: 6
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: 7
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: 4 (3-Disc Series)
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Vols. 4 & 5
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: 3 (3-Disc Series)
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Vol. 3
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: 2 (3-Disc Series)
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Vol. 2
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: 1 (4-Disc Series)
                Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Vol. 1

                with a bunch more anthony bourdain scheduled for the future that you can save to bookmark it

                • HogwartsProfessor says:

                  Ooh yay! Still no Bridezillas, though, darn! I enjoy watching those idiots make fools of themselves, ha ha.

                  • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                    i knew i forgot something. netflix: bridezillas season one DVD only, the others are saveable. i always save something i want to see just because i hope that they are paying attention.
                    that worked when i wanted a dvd to be made at all and amazon took ‘pre interest orders’ and said ‘this item doesn’t exist but if you’d want to buy one, click here’ and eventually i guess enough people did and they were able to use that to get the dvd made.
                    i figure maybe netflix has stats on how many people save something and use that to decide how popular it is

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              you can get a whole lot of mythbusters online and netflix.
              i’ll be saving about $500 a year.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            ~ish. i have a ps2 that won’t play any new dvds without the sound cutting out and flashing a blue screen. i can make a video for you this weekend if you need an example. i’ve had several ps2s and dvd players over the years. none of the ps2s have ever wanted to play dvds without tweaking. in fact, i’m so good at adjusting the laser inside the ps2 that the local gamestop employees had me instruct them on it.
            the software on my work laptop won’t permit video and i’m not an admin on it so i can’t add the right codecs.
            the freestanding dvd players have all died rapidly or been broken right out of the box. and i mean things like the dvd tray won’t open because the glue on the decorative logo panel leaked into the casing kind of broken, not like it was dropped or something.
            really stupid stuff.
            my old laptop, the dvd drive failed the week after the warranty expired.
            before that, my desktop’s brand new dvd drive failed when i temporarily swapped it for a hard drive to fix a dj’s messed up computer during a party… some drunk grabbed the dvd drive and started messing with it and no computer would ever recognize it existed ever again.
            dvd players hate me.
            and at this point i kind of hate them too

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Lucky. I would love to do that but apparently I’m being throttled. Fuck AT&T.

  4. CrankyOwl says:

    Hammy with cheese & a little knit hat! So cute!

  5. Magspie says:

    Does it take a couple of days to change your userpic, or am I doing something wrong? My new pick shows up on ‘edit your profile’ but not on ‘view your profile’ and not on posts.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Did you log in/out and/or clear your cache? Sometimes different image sizes are used on one page and not the other, and the cached one persists.

  6. Cyniconvention says:

    I miss owning hamsters.

  7. Venus Blue says:

    Tomorrow starts my first day of severance pay from the layoff of my department in a certain unnamed cable company. My job got moved to another call center in another state, and I wasn’t prepared to move with it, nor did I feel that I really wanted to work for said company after the events that occurred.

    Going on vacation, while I’m on a paid month off! Off to Seattle for five kid free days, in a couple of weeks. Very excited for that. Then going to throw myself at the mercy of the terrible job market and hope for the best.

    I sure will miss my free cable and internet though.

  8. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Love that photo!

  9. JulesNoctambule says:

    Wow, Etsy’s CEO really does want to turn it into FacebookMeToo:

    Between this, their promotion of shops that resell imported factory goods as handmade, and their lack of clear communication with their customers regarding decisions about site changes, I think it’s time I moved shop to my own website.

    Anyone have a host they recommend, or experiences with ones to avoid?

  10. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Omni and indoor antennas are not really good. You can make your own TV antenna at home with coat hangers, screws, and a 2×4 (Yea, I’m serious. google “make TV antenna” or visit my blog)

    Here’s my picks for help websites: (free help from antenna experts and DTV news / info) (What channels can you get from your address) (Info that compliments the data from TVfool) (my blog: everything you need to know about getting free TV)

    You can contact me if you need help at cachefreetv at gmail dot com. I don’t charge anyone for help. I just love to help people get off the pay TV kool-aid.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Thanks, I might end up doing this, if I can figure out the slow-ass internet conundrum. Of course if I dump DirecTV I can afford to pay for the next higher tier of intertubes….

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yeah, that’s exactly what i was thinking. used to be the next highest tier for me was going from $42 to $75 but i checked this week and they dropped it to $51 so it’s finally worth it when my directv contract runs out.
        unfortunately the pricing on my current tier didn’t drop. but there’s a huge battle here the last couple of years over internet being in the public sector so some of the ISPs are trying to stay reasonable to keep the legislators from smacking them down

  11. ArcanaJ says:

    After two weeks with this virus, I’m starting to feel human again. This weekend we clear junk out of the garage and into a rented dumpster. My life, it’s all about the glamor.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Aww, I’m glad you feel better. I need to do the junk thing too, as soon as it gets warmer. I think I’ll go ahead and have a massive clean-out, and have a garage sale. Anything that doesn’t sell will get put in the trash or by the curb for freebies. My garage is getting kind of hoardy.

  12. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Hamster hat! So cute! Tofu or cheese, Hamstah ain’t lettin’ go of it.

    Got a monster headache that won’t go away, so I skipped lunch and will leave a bit early. I have a couple more articles to write for the week, another blog post to get out and I better do some work on my current book since the other one just got rejected again. BAWWWW!!!!!!

    Three more weeks and I’ll be with mah honey for four days! WOOOOOO!

  13. menty666 says:

    Given individually identifiable cable boxes, and the ability to purchase, charge for, and deliver a PPV movie, is the argument that they can’t actually provide a la carte channel selection still valid?

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      That’s a good question…

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      well the roku can sort of.
      i have some free channels and as part of my plan to ditch directv i will probably pick up a few of the pay channels. some of them are $2 a month [cowboy classics channel,] some of them are $3 a year [moonlight movies channel] and there’s a new one, movie vault, that’s all public domain movies and it’s a $4 lifetime fee.
      when i got my roku [early adopter] it was netflix only. now there are several pages of channels to choose from a la carte. clearly it’s working for them and i suspect they are leading a trend [also, i hope that they are]