Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


Edit Your Comment

  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    So I’m waiting to hear back if my car is totalled, or can be repaired. I’m not gonna get into the details of the accident, but (as far as I know) everyone is okay.

    If it’s totalled, then I guess I need to look at a new car. I really liked my 2010 Elantra, and hope it can be repaired. If not, maybe I’ll try and get into a Hyundai Genesis Coupe. (I’d rather drive a v6 Camaro, but I think that is out of my price range).

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      glad everyone is ok.

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        Thanks! Me too!!

        Right now, I’m just waiting for the insurance company to take a look at my car. The impact of the truck bumper went above my frame, right into the engine bay, disabling my vehicle. So who knows what they will decide.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          better the engine bay than the passenger compartment

          • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

            That is very true!

            The hood popped up like it was an airbag, all the impact being absorbed in that area. I’ve had similar impacts in older, steel cars (late 70’s early 80’s american cars) and you felt that go right up the steering wheel through your body.

  2. Ratty says:

    awww yeah, last day of work, then 17 more until I return. Just tidying up and getting excited to leave! Not that I hate work… just love a nice extended trip.

  3. Thyme for an edit button says:

    My mom and I are going to a nice dinner tonight and then to see “A Christmas Carol” at Ford’s Theater (yes, that Ford’s Theater). Can’t wait! :-)

    I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

  4. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    normally i am not fond of little dogs. but that’s an awesome picture!
    last minute rush this weekend to get my soon to be roommate’s room ready – we’re painting with “oops!” paint that she got even cheaper from her job at lowe’s home improvement. turns out the ceiling takes the most paint and is a HUGE pain [yeah, it’s popcorn ceiling] so if you ever have to paint a ceiling, plan for extra paint and don’t forget to get long napped rollers if it’s a textured surface.

    ongoing raccoon sneaking in through the cat door issue for those following along:
    coyote urine didn’t work.
    closing the window and locking it out of the cat door [not always possible] makes it destructive and rampage in the carport.
    hot pepper infused vinegar in a squirt gun would potentially be more effective if i could find a squirt gun that didn’t leak and jam all the time.
    last night it just walked up to me and wouldn’t run when i chased it. fortunately this put it within range of the most reliable spray bottle i own: a bottle of KABOOM! bathroom cleaner with ammonia. got it right in the muzzle. it didn’t come back last night. here’s hoping it won’t come back for a while [if at all]
    and no, i can’t trap and relocate it [illegal here, also stupid] and i won’t kill it. but other suggestions are welcome.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      oh! funny story where a credit union was stupid [i’m normally really pro credit union]
      i got preapproved to refinance my car with cash out to make a few thousand in major repairs to it that are urgent and can’t wait until i have the money in a few weeks.
      got the estimate from the mechanic, took the car to the bank for the appraisal and paperwork – and got denied. due to a dent on the back bumper. not reduced amount on the appraisal, denied completely. because the dent lowers the resale value. sure, of course, but so does a busted timing belt and bad rotors. presumably a NON OPERATIONAL vehicle is worth way less than a running but dented one!
      it worked out though because the credit union would have financed me at 4.75% but the mechanic suggested another option. i now have a bridgestone credit card and got the work done at 0% if i pay it off within 6 months. which i can pay off by mid january.

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

      Even though it’s illegal to use a humane trap, I would do it anyway if the ammonia squirting doesn’t work. When I was a kid, my parents had troubles with raccoons invading the garage, and my Dad got a box trap, trapped them one by one, and drove them into state forest land many miles from the house and released them. Sometimes it’s the only way.

      (I wouldn’t want to kill them either – I love their mask like faces)

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i don’t want to trap it and move it. i want to deter it. if it will stay outside and play with the water bowl i put out for it there, it’s welcome to hang out. just not inside

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

          I totally understand. My Mom called me a few weeks ago while Dad was at hunting camp all worried about animals that were eating berries from a tree outside the window. Turns out it was a raccoon family. I told Mom she should sit out a dish of water to make their berry eating experience better, but she didn’t like my suggestion :)

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            it likes to play in the water bowl next to the food dish in the hallway. it just splashes in it, sometimes pours it in the food. it hasn’t dumped the water on the floor yet but i suspect it’s only a matter of time.
            where i live there are sure to be dozens more raccoons around. along with the possums [the possum has been deterred and no longer tries to sneak in] the deer, foxes, etc. so one raccoon doesn’t bother me, i expect it. i just don’t want it inside

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I do too; and their little hands. My ex and I raised a baby one after his brother’s coon dog killed the mama. They would not have treed her if they knew she had babies. She was a hoot.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      My advice is to get a super hot sauce, like pure cap or magnum 44, and use an insulin syringe to inject it into a piece of food. Let it get it in it’s eyes/a taste or two of that , and even the slightest whiff of it will repel it.

    • Kate says:

      Will your city or county animal control come trap it and remove it?

  5. El_Fez says:

    Two things this week – I took my mom out to see Tintin yesterday for Christmas. The movie is freakin’ brilliant! Do you remember the days when Steven Spielberg didn’t suck on a constant basis, back in the seventies and eighties? This movie is JUST like those days. It’s funny, it’s got great action and despite my fears of the Uncanny Valley (I hated Avatar and Santa Express for just that reason), I’m thrilled to report that Tintin manages to avoid the dead, soulless eye thing! Not once did my “eeew!” factor go off.

    Next – for those of you in need of some Christmas cheering up, or next time you see a blog report about some 18 year old setting a woman on fire over 20 dollars, I give you this video. And no, my desk at work is exceptionally dusty. My eyes always water like that. Why do you ask?

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      The commericals for Tintin always get my attention, because materials seem to move much better than in Pixar films. It doesn’t look like a bunch of plastic characters.

      Have you heard when the new Doctor Who Christmas Special is airing?

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        BBC America says it’s at 9 on the 25th, preceded by a Whoathon.

        • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

          Ah, I watch BBC shows via Zune (on Xbox 360) which has about a 1 day delay from BBC America…so Monday night it is, I guess.

          Thanks! :D

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          i am hoping i will be able to buy it on amazon shortly after that. they don’t always have the specials. neither does netflix. i’ve spent more hours than i care to admit tracking down doctor who holiday episodes online via dubious sites

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      I think you mean This Video.

      #GESDTip: When posting links/html code, using the preview button is a great idea.

  6. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    I guess I am officially geezin. Listening to the radio this morning I heard the live version of the Moody Blue’s Higher and Higher, which they introduce as their homage to the first manned landing on the moon.

    I remember watching the first moon walk at a neighbor’s house (we had a power outage) and having to tell the adults (I was 10) to shut up so we could hear what was going on. The though of actually landing a human on another planet was absolutely mind boggling to me then, and still is.

    My daughters are about that age and are both into science. What kind of awe inspiring science can I show them today that would be even close to that? I can’t come up with anything, even before the current financial melt down, that is even close on the awe scale.

    • CrankyOwl says:

      How about FTL neutrinos? That’s pretty cool – time travel! alternate universes!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I barely remember it, because I was only four at the time, but I walked into the room and the adults were watching it (I think we were at someone’s house) and saw them. I go “What are they doing?”

      Someone said “Shh! They’re on the moon.”

      I said, “They’re on the MOON!?” That just blew my little kid mind, that someone would actually be on the moon.

  7. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    So this year I thought I was smart ordering 70 of my custom Holiday Cards from Staples and I would have enough to send one to anyone online who requested one and also the 24 for my holiday wine. I didn’t realize the amount of people who responded to my post(s) about getting one, and soon the number of cards I sent out exceeded 50, and included three foreign countries! I was forced to have 30 more cards printed up so that I could attach one to each of my bottles of Holiday Wine. This is important, because on the back of each card, there is a code that corresponds to a gift from my Santa Sack. I sadly only have 2 more cards available to send out to people, but I think come Christmas, I will post a high res version online to fulfill any demand.

  8. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    Murry Crimmus, errbody! I’m technically off today, but I’m oncall, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the super secret Crimmus project for the Lady today. It’s looking good, but it’s getting down to the wire.

    Also, a special Crimmus greeting from Ensign Buckley and Star Command: Enjoy!

  9. momtimestwo says:

    I did good. I stuck to my budget of $100 per person for Christmas for the 4 of us.

    I’m a little mad because a “major online retailer” is building a new distribution center here, and the news media is all excited saying how it will bring 3000 jobs. But what they don’t say is that this company hires a handful of permanent employees, and the rest are all through a temp company.

  10. chizu says:

    More car trouble!

    I finally took my car to the dealer’s to get it looked at. Apparently there were two issues? One is a “leak” in the fuel line? They said they can’t check on it until I get my gas tank down to 1/4 tank or so. The other problem is the first cylinder is still misfiring, and there’s potentially a “deeper problem” that lies within the engine. They reset the code and everything is running fine? The problem with the engine could be minor (like spark plug or coils), or something more serious “inside”. If it’s inside, then it should be covered under the powertrain warranty — if not, then I’d have to pay for it… The downside is that the diagnostics will run me $400… So right now, I’m going “aaaaaahhhhhhhh”. However, I’m really trying hard not to get too depressed over the thought of spending more monies… :(

    On the very upside, I got a holiday bonus! I’ll be able to pay off a couple of bills and not have to cry over where am I going to cough up the money. So I’m trying to stay positive and smile over the whole ordeal.

    Happy holidays everyone. :)

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      if they “cleared” the codes, then they should also have copied them down. See if you can get those. Some people who have a lot of experience can use them to deduce what the real problem is. Try to find a curmongey mechanic with a limp, 5 o’clock shadow, and a overbearing garage dean to use his team to deduce your car’s problems in about 47-52 minutes.

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        Just don’t have him test drive the vehicle, or it may end up in someone’s livingroom.

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

    Yay “end of the year have to use your vacation or lose it policy”!!! I’m officially on vacation today through January 2! Today has been spent doing laundry and redding up the house (as we say here in PA).

    I’m off to electronics recycling to get rid of the old printer and fax machine – the Kodak All in 1 is working out really well. Also, stopping at the laundry to wash the dog’s bed, get groceries, and then off to Mom and Dad’s to visit with them. Dad called earlier and I’m going to pick up some Pepsi and pretzels for him. Mom doesn’t like him to have either, but I figure he’s survived colon cancer and at his age, if he wants a little Pepsi, I say go for it.

    I’m really looking forward to having days off, just to read, sort out recycling, or whatever. I also plan to get rid of more stuff, either to Goodwill or the garbage man. Then I can dive into 2012 with a renewed spirit (hopefully!!).

    I hope everyone has a joyous, blessed holiday season, whatever you celebrate.

    • stranger than fiction says:

      “Dad called earlier and I’m going to pick up some Pepsi and pretzels for him… I figure he’s survived colon cancer and at his age, if he wants a little Pepsi, I say go for it.”

      Reminds me of my dad. He had already given up smoking and drinking before he got colon cancer. They wanted him to give up red meat too. He put his foot down on that one — “I gotta die from something! “

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

        Your Dad and my Dad are right! My Mom is the epitome of the food police, and my Dad loves his snacks. He wears coats with lots of pockets. I went with him to get coal one day, and he started pulling out pretzel nuggets, peanut M&M’s, and gumdrops from various pockets. He even had some hard candy. He has a small fridge hidden in his detached garage where he keeps Pepsi and perishable snacks, and the others are kept in tins here and there. Mom would have a fit if she knew, but she mostly stays away from the garage due to the noises and smells (Dad’s hobby is restoring old cars).

  12. Jules Noctambule says:

    Got my Presentmas gift early this year in the form of a car full of goods taken to a local charity; I’d told my husband months ago that I’d rather spend all the money he planned to spend on my gifts on something for people who don’t have what we have. I don’t really need or want anything, and I’d rather show gratitude for the life we enjoy by enriching the lives of others than own something else.

    I tried to get as much as I could with the money I had while still getting quality goods, and even put bows on everything to make it more festive. A friend of mine grew up very poor and she always said how the worst part of getting donated things was when they got cheap or worn or tacky things, like people thought they weren’t good enough to have anything nice, as though they were garbage just like the stained shirts and broken toys they were given. I think of her when I’m picking out goods to donate and always try to give nice things that, while useful, still will give people a feeling of being worth something a little luxurious.

    I went to my favourite thrift store on their clearance sale day and filled a cart with name-brand clothes (Banana Republic, Talbot’s, Seven for All Mankind, so forth — this place always has nice things in good shape) for under $40! Several outfits for adults plus plenty for teens; I remember how snobby and cruel kids could be to other kids who lacked name-brand goods, so I like to hope that the kids who end up with the clothes get a little esteem boost. I think my favourite part of that was combining a Groupon and a sale at the Body Shop to come away with two bags full of lotions, soaps and shower gels.

    We took everything down on Wednesday and since then I’ve managed to put together a little more in the way of toys and books. I hope it all makes people feel happy and worthy.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yeah, i can’t do much in the way of expensive new stuff, but big lots has some nice fleece throws and target has great deals on knit gloves and hats. i tend to load up on those and take them to the shelter. gloves don’t keep your hands warm if they are old and full of holes

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        We bought a lot of glove and hat sets at Target — found some that were $1 each, plus 3-packs of Lego Star Wars & Batman kids’ underwear on clearance for $1.20 a pack! I like being able to stretch my donation dollars whenever possible.

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

      Good for you! It’s a good feeling to do for others. I’ve been using coupons and my CVS Care card to pick up toiletries free or cheap to donate to the local women’s shelter, and when my work gives us pajamas to do wear testing, I donate those too. My rule of thumb about donating clothes to Goodwill is – would I buy this? I donate things I don’t wear anymore, but if they’re stained or ratty, I just toss them or cut them up for cleaning rags, or wear them while I’m mowing or doing yard work.

      My family decided to do minimal small gifts, like a card and maybe one little token, and instead donate money to local charities instead. We all have more than enough “stuff” and we don’t need anything.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        wear testing pajamas is your job?

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

          I wish! That would be awesome!

          Seriously, once or twice per year I get a sack full of different pajamas from my company, and I have to wear them, wash them according to instructions, and fill out a form about how they fit, how they wash up, if there’s any problems with shrinking, weird fabric feel, etc. They use us as test subjects. When done, I get to keep them. And because I work for an apparel company, I have a ton of pajamas. So I’ve started to donate them to the women’s shelter instead of having piles of PJ’s that I don’t have room to store.

  13. Cyniconvention says:

    Not many presents this year…going to Universal Studios after Christmas instead. I hear it’s going to be crowded, especially at Harry Potter land.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      The bf and I decided when we go to Disney and HP World that we are staying FAR FAR AWAY from there at Halloween or Christmas. We’d like to go in the fall, after kids go back to school. At this rate I’m wondering if we’ll ever get to go, the way things are going with the economy and various financial misfortunes. :P

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        as a former walt disney world employee [“cast member”] i suggest february. fall is great if you want to do the food and wine festival at EPCOT [my personal favorite] but it’s still crowded. but from the end of january until valentine’s day is when the orlando area attraction lines are shortest

  14. HogwartsProfessor says:



    We might get to leave early today; not sure yet. Would be awesome. Also, the sun came out for the first time in three days. :)

    My honey and I opened gifts on Skype last night. He was very pleased with his. I was equally pleased with mine. I got Nausicaa in the Valley of Wind, Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6, and a Cody Lundgren (sp?) survival book I wanted. I got him cop stuff and made some CDs for his car (his vanished when the Civic got swiped and stripped). And today I got a care package with assorted goodies inside. I miss him so much. I wish his plane home would get diverted here. :)

    For Christmas, I’m staying in and de-hoarding my back storage office/sewing room/craft area. Anything I’m not sure of or is not getting pitched is going into the garage. I want to turn that into an actual guest room. It will be MUCH easier to deal with discards or questionable items if they are all in one place. When it warms up, all the leftovers from my not-so-successful garage sale that I can’t sell on Craigslist or elsewhere are going to the MO thrift store for the blind. I may run over and see my dad Sunday too.

    What’s everyone doing for Christmas?

    • ArcanaJ says:

      Christmas Eve dinner out, with the mother-in-law. Christmas day at home, completely chill, me, the Husband and the kids.

      No muss, no fuss and roast beef for Christmas dinner. Mmm… roast beef…

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Mmmmm… *knocks on ArcanaJ’s door* hee hee

        I’m having a ham slice bathed in apricot jam. I already bought it and it’s chilling in mah fridge. :)

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

      I’m traveling to see my daughter next Tuesday, and spending the rest of the time either organizing, throwing stuff out, or donating it. I watched that Hoarding program last weekend, and every time I see it, I want to toss most of what I own!

      Oh, and I bought a package of Lil’ Smokies sausages, and I’m going to put them in my little crock pot with sauce and pig out.

      Have fun! And enjoy the Loony Toons! I love them! I think my favorite is Marvin the Martian.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Ooh that sounds good. I completely forgot I had a 2-quart crock pot that I bought a couple of years ago, but i found it when I was looking for my Christmas platter the other day! I might cook something in it :)

  15. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    I’m playing SWTOR. It’s almost all I’ve done since getting home Friday after work–I’ve slept a few times, and I’ve gone grocery shopping, but mostly, I’ve been playing Star Wars.

    Didn’t even try to get on today though, there’s too much stuff to get done… maybe after all that stuff. Stupid errands keeping me from getting all my Star Warsing on. :(

    If anyone else is playing … I’m on one of the most crowded servers in the entire game, so it’s unlikely we’ll be able to meet up in-game. There’s talk of maybe being able to transfer players between servers, which would be nice. If you don’t get on early and *stay* on, you can end up with wait times of 1 hour or longer.

    Still, it’s been a pretty good launch week. Despite the massive queues, things have been pretty stable.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I gotta play some FFX this weekend. And I want to try Hitman again. I blew it SO BAD last time; didn’t really spend enough time learning how o use my weapons and got blown away in the first two minutes. :P Poor Agent 47.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      I bought Forza 4 when it came out. Was having fun ’till I decided, “What the heck, I’ll buy Arkham City.” I played that non-stop, beat the story, but have plenty to complete.

      But, I made the mistake of buying Skyrim. No other game has been played since then. There is just so much to explore.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Yeah. I keep meaning to play Skyrim some more, but it’s still a very buggy, broken game. I’m hoping for more patches and fixes to come out, because crashing-to-desktop in the middle of a big important battle kind of ruined my play session. :(

  16. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    I have been off since the 21st and made it safely to Ohio to spend the holidays with my mom. I have spent much of the time watching everyone (myself included) flip out over the new Livejournal roll out (yeah, I know, LJ LOL) so that’s been fun.


  17. DJ Charlie says:

    Sorry I’m late, just got back from the ER.

    The shortness of breath I’ve had for the last 2 weeks is NOT caused by my lungs. It’s my heart (again). Ejection fraction (which after the surgery had gone up to 15% from 7%) is back down to 9%, which is causing fluid buildup in my lungs and around my heart. So Monday I’m off to the cardiologist to start the paperwork to get a pacemaker installed!

    On top of that, I’ve got a yeast infection in my throat from an allergic reaction to the Advair my regular doctor put me on to try clearing up the breathing problems.

    Anyhoo, Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it, and Happy Weekend to everyone else!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      ugh. that’s a lot of trauma.
      i’ve had thrush in my throat once when i was on antibiotics for months. ended up fixing it with topical application of gentian violet because i was allergic to the meds they prescribed. it tastes nasty and it turns everything purple but it’s very effective and no side effects besides the color and taste.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Awww, poop. Stupid heart! I hope the pacemaker helps.

      Have a great weekend, Charlie. I hope you feel well enough to enjoy it. If not, get some rest and we’ll see you next week. :)

    • brinks says:

      I don’t know what effects if will have if you have allergies, but my fiance was just switched from Advair to Dulera and he finds it vastly superior.

      Take care.

  18. caradrake says:

    Just got home after picking up some milk from Walmart. Holy batman, the crowd was insane!! I don’t remember holiday shopping ever being that bad. Stood in line for over 20 minutes, getting hit by other people shoving their way through with their carts. Ouchy.

    Next time, I’ll pay a dollar or two extra at the 7-11.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Urp! I need bread, but I think I’ll go to ALDI tomorrow. It’s only four blocks from my house and usually not as crowded, even before a holiday. I’m set for everything else.

      Come to think of it, I have yeast and flour; maybe I’ll just try and make some bread. :)

  19. Straspey says:

    A little postscript, as it were, on a topic discussed here earlier this past week.

    “Is “No Problem” A Suitable Substitute For “You’re Welcome”?”

    We just had a perfectly wonderful meal at a small family-style Italian restaurant right here in my neighborhood in the Bronx. We were a party of five adults and we each ordered a full compliment of appetizers, entrees, beverages, etc.

    Between the people who brought us the menus, poured the water, brought the bread, food, etc – we were attended to by at least three different people during the course of our meal.

    Each and every time one of those people brought something to our table, at least one of us said, “Thank You.”

    And each and every time we said, “Thank you”, the reply we received was, “You’re welcome” – and sometimes even, “You’re very welcome.”

    I made a point to keep track as the evening progressed – not once did we hear a “No problem.”

    Not once.

    I should also be quick to note that when anyone at our table wanted something, such as drink refill, the request – it was, “May I have another soda please?” as opposed to the now-popular-and-less-formal, “Can I get another soda?”

    After we had finished and were putting on our coats to leave, our waiter smiled and said, “Thank you.” – to which we replied, “You’re welcome. It was our pleasure. See you again soon.”

    And they will see us again very soon because it was a totally pleasurable experience.