Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. Coffee says:

    So some friends online told me that I look like Larry C.K., which, having now watched the show, I don’t think was necessarily a compliment. I told my mom that, and she watched his show out of morbid curiosity. Several days later, she told me that it’s one of her favorite shows now because the main character reminds her of me personality-wise. This also was not necessarily a compliment. Either way, it’s a good show. You should watch it if you don’t mind crass humor.

  2. chizu says:

    Took the vehicle in for service the other day — needed to replace gas cap and seal, the total was like $150. I was like, oh hey, I got off easy.

    Two days later, check engine light went off again. Finally got to take it in two days ago (after a week and half later) and now… Fuel Filler Neck, gasket, and gas tubes and stuff? need to be replaced. A total of $716 bill. :(

    I cried so hard inside.

    The boyfriend is leaving tomorrow and I won’t get to see him for another few months… So I hope everyone has a good weekend!

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      If you pulled a P0442 and changing out the gas cap didn’t fix it, it’s almost assuredly a leak in the evap system. $700+ seems kind of pricey to run a vacuum test and most likely just replace a hose. $150 for a new gas cap seems pretty bad too.

      • chizu says:

        Unfortunately the $150 included diagnostics, which was $116, the rest was the cap itself… I forgot what codes they pulled this time, but yeah, the fuel filler neck had a crack in it from a car accident I got into a couple years ago. Apparently all the stuff around it (?) would just “fall apart” if they try it replace it, so they recommended me to just replace it. I bit the bullet hard and told them to do it. The ride had been very unsettling lately and I was kind of scared of driving… :( Hopefully this would be the last time in a long while…

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          That does make more sense. Unless you have a good relationship with a mechanic, they normally charge 1/2 hour of labor to run codes, which can be a lot at a place with high labor. A cracked filler neck will definitely throw an evap leak code.

          $700 still sounds kind of pricey to replace it. I’d guess the part costs in the $50 – $100 ballpark and would require less than an hour or two of labor.

          • chizu says:

            Yeah, the filler neck was quoted close to $500 including labour — the other pieces were just tagged onto it since it’s the same amount of work? I’d love to take it to other places, but that means having to *drive* it around to look for a different price. I just don’t have the time and the luxury to do it. I was terrified of the idea of it breaking down in the middle of the road — the weather had been bad the past two days too. At least they said they aren’t charging me for the rental! ($35 a day, otherwise.)

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          Unfortunately the $150 included diagnostics, which was $116, the rest was the cap itself…

          What year, make and model car is this?

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      They saw you coming from a mile off.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Have it looked at by at least 2 other people, and of the 3+ total make sure at least one is an independent shop and not a chain.

      Seriously, you’ll get some really different answers the more you ask.

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

      I had a Pontiac Grand Prix once – if I didn’t screw on the gas cap and make sure it clicked around 3 or 4 times, the stupid check engine light would come on. What a pain.

    • MaytagRepairman says:

      I seriously feel for you. We have the same problem with my wife’s Dodge Stratus. The check engine light comes on. Replaced the gas cap multiple times and the local mechanic has replaced related sensors but it doesn’t fix it. We live in the boonies and our boonie mechanic tells us to take it to a dealer. =(

      We just live with it. =(

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Gack! That’s a lot. :( Also, I know how you feel about the boyfriend. I only get to see mine about every three months. :P

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      Tell the boyfriend to take your vehicle….then blame him

  3. pop top says:

    It’s finally snowing in Michigan. Time to make some Abuelita with Buttershots.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      Ugh. The snow was worth it for one day to see my puppy (when I stopped chewing on him) frolicking in it, but after that, I’m done. I was enjoying our 50 degree winter.

    • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

      We’ve been waiting for it snow in Chicago too. Saw 3 accidents on my 20 minute ride home yesterday. Everyone was like OMG SNOW what DO I DO?

      • pop top says:

        I don’t get that. If you live in the Midwest, you’ve seen and driven in snow. Unless you are 16 and just started driving, there’s no excuse. People just lose their damn minds.

        • Dallas_shopper says:

          People here do the same damn thing when it rains. Whenever it’s raining my commute is guaranteed to be a beating because people lose their damn minds on wet roads.

      • LanMan04 says:

        Yeah, saw a 6 car accident on Lake Cook road yesterday at 4:30 or so. How can you get in a 6 car accident when everyone is going like 7 miles per hour?

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

      We got just a light coating of snow this morning here in PA, following the torrential rains overnight. So when I went outside to go to work, my car doors were frozen shut, there was a layer of ice and snow everywhere, and the windshield wipers were frozen to the windshield.

      Welcome to Winter!!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      abeulita i think i know [the chocolate, not the elderly relative] but buttershots with it? please clarify or provide a recipe

      • pop top says:

        You just make Abuelita (or any hot chocolate really) and then as much pour Buttershots (butterscotch-flavored schnapps liqueur from DeKuyper) as you want in it.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      No booze for me, but I love Abuelita. :) One of these days I’m going to try the tablets instead of the packets.

  4. mauispiderweb says:

    Aw, looks like an African sulcata tortoise, but I’m not totally sure. I miss taking care of those guys.

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

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    I am going to *try* to clean this weekend. My goals: The Kitchen, and at least 3 loads of laundry, because I am out of clean everything-except-socks&underwear.

    Weekend goals, anyone?

    • pop top says:

      I need to do laundry as well. :/ I should probably start working on my Aristotle homework. This man had the weirdest writing style. Argh.

    • Queep misses WarOtter :( says:

      Now that it’s 2012, my plan is to make up all the 2012 folders for my filing cabinet. Then I’ll go through all the piles of mail I have around and sort them into the 2011 folders they should’ve gone into over the course of the past year. Once I’m done with that, I’m good for another year!

      I live dangerously.

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

      Got a couple of pcs to upgrade my daughters to. From 1.4GHz to 3.2Ghz P4s.

      Not that they use them that much since they got iPod touches for the holidays.

    • Coffee says:

      My goal is to watch the 49ers beat the Saints. I’ve been very good with drinking since New Year’s, so I’m going to tie one on.

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

      Good luck!

      I need the courage to go through everything in my kitchen and just purge the stuff I don’t use. And get out the stuff from deep inside the cupboards that I should be using, like my electronic pressure cooker.

    • Ratty says:

      best of luck!

      Clean the fridge out, chuck out bad food, do laundry. That’s about it.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Clean house, rake leaves, sleep.

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      A coworker lent The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to me… but then again I am getting 4 movies from the library today and there’s a 1L bottle of moscato in the fridge… I’ll report back on which of those things gets finished on Monday!

      Otherwise, Saturday night will be a game night at a friend’s boyfriend’s condo.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      I’m going to catch up on the two episodes of Sherlock that I haven’t seen yet, and then catch up on some of my friends’ blogs that I’ve been avoiding so that I don’t get any spoilers. Oh, and make cupcakes – I’ve got some recipes I want to try out (champagne cupcakes, white cupcakes with ginger topped with chocolate icing, and honey-and-spice cupcakes).
      My flatmate is out of town for the weekend, so I’ll have the kitchen to myself, making this the perfect time to bake.

      • The Lone Gunman says:

        If you are getting those Sherlock episodes off the internet, please share where! I’m dying here in Texas waiting for the new season to cross the pond.

        • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

          Well, I dowloaded them through bittorrent, and don’t have that info with me. But after downloading I transferred them to a couple of friends with a service called WeTransfer (which is a free service for transferring files up to 2 Gigs in size). WeTransfer will only hold files for two weeks, but if you want to grab them before 01/16, the links are: A Scandal in Belgravia: The Hounds of Baskerville:

          These are AVI files. Hope you enjoy!

          • The Lone Gunman says:

            Thank you so much! Really liked the first season, and am hooked on the updated characterizations of Holmes and Watson.

    • CrankyOwl says:

      Laundry, cleaning. Then going to Ikea to buy some furniture & then watch BGF (Best Gay Friend) assemble it. I don’t know what I’d do without him :)

  6. IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

    I wonder how real and serious mercury poisoning is. I eat like 4-5 cans of tuna a week and I’m doing alright.

    Deep thoughts.

  7. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Well, work has sure been kicking my ass lately. I guess it’s good to be wanted, but right now I’m wishing they wanted me just a tiny bit less. Or paid me more. Either way, I know I’m lucky even if things stay the same, but where else would I go to bitch about my #firstworldproblems except the Open Thread?

    • Coffee says:

      *pours Max a glass of chardonnay and one for himself*

      I’ll cry into mine if you cry into yours. It’s from Napa. Very oaky.

    • pop top says:

      Your kid’s zombie survival outfit isn’t going to improve itself!

    • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

      I feel ya. Everyday this week I have had to repeat “I love my job”, and remember the days of unemployment checks.
      Then I go back to work and sigh softly and yell loudly.

  8. Bativac says:

    So uh… who else hasn’t taken down all their Christmas stuff yet? The tree is now a large stick, propped up and surrounded by a pile of dry brown needles…

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

      Mine is an artificial tree, and I took it down last Saturday. One of my cats finally got her way and pulled it down, so that forced my hand :)

    • LightningUsagi says:

      I have one small swag hanging over my fireplace…but I don’t want to take it down because my mini Star Wars Lego ships are hanging from it.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      We actually didn’t put up a tree this year. Well, okay, we did, but my flatmate took it down in a fit of pique when it had been up for over a week and not been decorated (I hadn’t had time to go get new lights, and the old ones had given up the ghost. In her defense, she was really stressed from work at the time). So, I can safely say that my Christmas stuff is all down. But I have in the past left my tree up through January (it’s artificial, so there’s no real fire hazard).

  9. Jules Noctambule says:

    It’s sunny outside but is also one of the coldest days we’ve had so far; it’s been unseasonably warm all winter and I really miss the snow. Still, a chilly day means it’s time for soup! I have two pots of stock going on the stove right now, and one of them is due to be a pot of hot-and-sour soup before too long. I’ll have some for lunch and serve the rest with eggplant in garlic sauce tonight.

  10. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    No articles on SOPA or PIPA….even top websites, more on the way, shutting down in defiance. This has the possibility of really affecting consumers….and no news on here…

  11. The Upright Man says:

    I’m interested in putting together a new stereo system soon and the only place that really deals in that kind of stuff around here is Best Buy.


  12. Hmmmmm needs more WarOtter says:

    Thinking seriously about starting grad school this summer and have to take the GMAT as the entrance exam. I started studying for it this week and I just want to cry with all the math. I did horrible in it in high school and it’s making me have flashbacks! This is not going to fun to study again and it’s a $250 test on top of that. Geeze.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      Taking the practice tests was the best thing I did for my GMAT score, if only just to get me familiar with the extremely odd format of their questions. It was the most annoying test I’ve ever taken, not because the material was particularly difficult, but because I kept going through the questions thinking, “What the hell? No one thinks this way.”

      • Hmmmmm needs more WarOtter says:

        I will totally agree about how the questions are worded. It takes longer to figure out the question than the answer sometimes! I bought study guides and downloaded the practice software they offer. Just getting back into the mindset of studying for all this math I haven’t even thought about in 20 or so years is difficult. I hated it then, and time hasn’t changed that at all :/

    • slyabney says:

      You can do it! I took it twice before I was sure I was good with my score! :/ Watch the time, always watch the time. I didn’t finish the math the first time because I didn’t watch close enough. Never touch your cell phone during breaks, and if you can in the essays make up a really good quote, or use a real one. They like that.

      I do think it’s just a way for them all to make more money. Who cares if I can do geometry as a Business Student?? But apparently it’s all about your ability to solve problems.

      • Hmmmmm needs more WarOtter says:

        Thanks for the tips and support (I need all I can get!!!) Even if I score low, the school may accept me on a probationary status. It is the same school where I received my undergrad Accounting degree, so that will help as well.

  13. Sengfall says:

    So yesterday, as I was walking down the street, I was approached by a well dressed man who asked me what time it was. He was wearing a watch and I wasn’t, so I asked him how he didn’t know since he had a watch. He looked surprised, looked down at his wrist and said, OH! Thank you.

    He looked at the wrong wrist………….

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

    So far so good in 2012! Work is going better, and I’ve been able to work just a 40 hour week this week, and it’s not been frantic. It’s a really welcome change. Processes seem to be getting better, and there have been a lot of employee changes in the home office – for the better.

    I set up my “Internet Ready TV Fund” in my credit union account, and will be depositing my credit card rewards checks this year, and by the end of the year, I should have enough money for a free TV, stand, and accessories. I’ll also put in any birthday money too, and if I sell extra stuff from the house, that will go in as well.

    10 days until my Dad’s hip replacement surgery. I’m so lucky that I have extra vacation this year, so I can take of a week or so to help him and Mom (I’m an only child). He told me the other day he wished he hadn’t waited so long.

    I also joined the local car club so I can help with fundraisers for our local charities. Plus, it will get me out of the house so I don’t just go home from work and hibernate during the winter!

    Hope everyone is doing well – I feel more optimistic about things than I have in a long while.

  15. Cat says:

    Working on my resume this weekend. I’ve worked here for 7 years.

    The SS MyCorp, LLC, formerly the pride of the fleet, is taking on water and listing severely to port. The captain has been replace by the fleet Admirals, and the first mate is at the stern preparing to jump. Shore leave has been cancelled and rations cut. The crew has broken open the kegs of rum, they’re all drunk and have lost the will to live. They’ve also stopped bailing with the Dixie cups provided by management. The response from the officers has been to remodel the officer’s mess, and to bring aboard more friends and family as officers, causing the ship to become top-heavy.

    For the past 3 years, we’ve been in the middle of the worst storm I’ve ever seen. I know the seas are rough, but I see a few ships on the horizon. They may turn out to be nothing more than dinghies or garbage scows, but they’re probably more seaworthy. I’ll take my chances.

    I’m going for the lifeboats before they, too, go down with the ship.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Good luck in finding a new job.

      Please assume this was a clever nautical-themed reply.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      LOL that was awesome.

      My company is doing the same thing. We got a new cap’n who is supposed to whip us into shipshape. I have seen nothing so far but lots of loooooooooooooonng meetings. Peons need not apply; management only.

      I’ll get the skinny from me best source after lunch, yarr.

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

      Wow – I bet they even took away your supply of limes. Watch out for scurvy!

    • jenesaisrien says:

      sounds very familiar Must be contagious

  16. Ratty says:

    It’s the motorcycle show in town this weekend. I’m going to check out the new bike I may buy, the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650. My dad might also go, and he just bought a new bike. And my boyfriend and both of his parents ride. Plenty of family riding this summer I hope!

  17. theblackdog says:

    This weekend is a busy one for me. Tonight I watch the Caps take on the Lightning at the phone booth, courtesy of a friend. Tomorrow night is a party out with friends in VA.

    But then there’s…

    Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! I get to go to M&T Bank Stadium and watch the Ravens take on the Texans in the playoffs. This came about as a combination of luck and opportunity knocking. I’m on the waiting list to become a season-ticket owner for the Ravens. Their FO decided to hold a lottery for waiting list members who fulled out and sent in the forms to get tickets for the Ravens home playoff games. I entered, and a few days later was told I won! So I get to chill (literally, it will be 33F) at the stadium and watch the Ravens crush the Texans!

    If the Patriots lose on Saturday and we win Sunday, we will get another home game as well, which I have tickets for. WOOT!

    • stranger than fiction says:

      …and another Tebow fan is born ;o)

      Caps were blacked out on my Roku (again, dammit!), but the game turned out well.

      • theblackdog says:

        Actually I hate Tebow with the fire of a thousand suns, so if he had somehow beat the Pats and visited us I would have especially enjoyed seeing him get crushed.

  18. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Here’s a thing I learned this week – newspaper recipes that may be 15 or 20 years old may include ingredients that are not readily available in the jammin’ 21st century.

    Also, there apparently used to be a piece of microwave cookware called a “cupcaker”, but damned if I can determine exactly what that was. Search results are polluted by the current cupcake fad and things made from silicone.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      You can use silicone in the microwave, so if that’ll do what you need, I say go for it.

  19. HogwartsProfessor says:

    It’s cold and I don’t want to be here. I feel like the turtle who got left out on a block of ice *shivers*

    I made a little box shelter for Psycho Kitty to stand in while she eats. She was doubtful, but didn’t run away. I fed her in there and pushed her reluctant little butt inside while she was eating. She stayed in there while I refilled her water. I think she will get used to it, and even appreciate being out of the wind. I can’t get her to even come in the garage; when the door closes she freaks, “ZOMG I’S TRAPPED!”

    Here is a picture of her, right after a thunderstorm.

    Nothing much else going on. Work sucks, I miss my honey (whom I will see next month but not soon enough). I’ve become addicted to the old Dark Shadows soap on Netflix. Trying to watch as many as I can before the Burton film comes out in May, in case there are any spoilers.

    • Coffee says:

      If you’re lonely, you can always shoot me an e-mail…I know there are dozens of contributors who would be happy to commiserate with you, and we can make this happen ;)

    • ArcanaJ says:

      DARK SHADOOOOOWS! I’m a huge DS dork from way back, huge enough that I have that entire damn series on DVD. Where are are you in the continuity? Has Quentin appeared yet?

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        No, no Quentin yet (someone else asked me that LOL). I’m still on Barnabas having tried to turn Maggie into Josette, and now he’s started on Victoria. I’ve been trying to watch several every night to get through it faster. That whole thing with Jason McGuire blackmailing the Collins matriarch nearly drove me nuts. The pace is glacial, watching it like this.

        Jonathan Frid is still around!

    • pop top says:

      Torties are so cute! Good for you for helping her out. :3

    • Not Given says:

      My tortie looks a lot like that except a little darker. She is a rescue, she had kittens in DH’s shop at work.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        My kitty was dumped on me by the neighbor. Her mom had her in the garage and hid her, so she didn’t get socialized to people well at all. She started hanging out here (across the street) after the big ice storm and her mom eventually ran away.

        When the neighbor had her jerkwad nephew living with her, they decided they didn’t want to pay for her shots any more so they brought the notice over here and said “Congratulations! You have a cat!” I was speechless, but what could I do? If I didn’t take her, she would have gone to the gas chamber. Thank God neighbor had already had her spayed, so I was spared that expense.

        I don’t know what I”m going to do with her if I move. She won’t go inside at all without much struggling and crying. My house is way too small to force her.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          seek out cat rescues that work with locating barn cat homes. the rescue i’m with relocates friendly ferals to barns, farms and large rural gardens for cats that don’t want to be inside but want to be near people. they help with pest control

  20. qbubbles says:

    Had the baby! WOOO!

  21. Coffee says:

    Hooray! o/

  22. nicless says:

    My parents left town this morning on a flight back to Michigan after a week here in Texas. The bonding time my mom got with my 10 month old son was pretty amazing and I’m glad she got that time. It was nice to have them here, but it’s also nice to have a little down time again.

    • nicless says:

      Also, it’s my wife’s birthday this weekend and I am not sure what to get her. I guess we’ll find something!

  23. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i hate insurance season at my job. that is all