Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:


    I’m ready for this week to end. Bleh.

    No real news to report… nothing exciting happening.

    I was going to ask what everyone’s weirdest habit is, but then I thought that I might be afraid of the answers. lol.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      I save cat whiskers?

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      Starting with the pinky finger on my left hand, I count out the number of letters in words and phrases. Then I repeat the series of letters over and over until the series ends on the pinky finger of my right hand, or I count out the letters again starting from the right pinky finger if I don’t want to do the whole series.
      I have no idea why and I don’t do it all the time. I don’t know what triggers it. I don’t seem to do it as much as I used to, though.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      I sort my M&M’s by colour, and then place the colours in order of frequency (from most frequent to least), and then eat them in order. I refuse to eat them right out of the bag because then they’re not sorted.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I DO THAT TOO OMG. The red is always last. Always.

        • tooluser says:

          Sort into groups by color. Then eat one of each of the most numerous until the groups allow another equal contestant. Repeat until only equal groups are left. Then eat one in each group, in the already established order, until none are left.


          I am free to either bite into the M&M or let it dissolve slowly in my mouth, regardless of color or order of consumption. This is the USA! Sweet, sweet Liberty!

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

      I can’t use my pens at work unless the caps are on them. If the cap falls off, I have to put it back on. I’ve even glued them in place. **hangs head, let the shunning begin**

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Oohh. I like that one. That is weird. Hehe.

        Why don’t you get clicky pens instead? My work pens are clicky pens, now that I’m thinking about it.

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

    My updates are:

    Dad is doing good. Two more weeks with the walker, and on to therapy to learn to walk with a cane, and hopefully cane-less by mid summer or thereabouts.

    My Gabby cat has “chin acne”. It’s as gross as it sounds. I shaved her chin, “expressed” the pimples, cleaned everything up, and applied antibiotic cream. Cleaning and cream, twice per day. So far, she hasn’t killed me in my sleep, but I’m hyper aware around her.

    The new cell tower proposition (about 2 miles from my house) was shot down by the NIMBY’s, who have cell service already from other towers further away. Thanks so much.

    Comcast is raising rates, again, and the town next door signed another 10 year contract with them. They pointed out Comcast doesn’t have a monopoly, and that other companies are welcome to provide service, but oh yeah, they’ll have to run their own lines, etc. So Comcast has a de facto monopoly. Again.

    Glad to have first world problems, that’s for sure!!

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      Eew that cat acne thing sounds about as gross as it gets I’m surprised your kitty let you “express” the acne I don’t think mine would be having it, well she wouldn’t let me live to tell about it at least.

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

        I admit it was gross in a fascinating way, though. The worst part was shaving her chin. She was p-i-double s’d about that!

    • pop top says:

      A common reason for cat acne is plastic food and water dishes. Switch your cat to metal or porcelain dishes and they shouldn’t have the problem again.

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

        I learned that little factoid, thanks to the internet! I had no idea. We’ve had cats for years, and they always had plastic food and water dishes, and no problems until now. I even switched the outside cats to glass dishes just in case. I guess this falls under the “who’d a thunk it” category :)

        • pop top says:

          Yeah, it doesn’t cross your mind until it becomes a problem, and then you’re like, “Duh! How did I not know that?” Good luck expressing all of that acne though. ;)

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          the other one that helped my cat growing up was washing the food and water dishes out daily with a little white vinegar.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      LOL I did not know that cats could get acne. Eeewww!

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

        I thought by this stage in my life, I would know more stuff. Apparently I am sorely mistaken. I never knew animals could have acne. I hope this doesn’t translate into very expensive zit meds for the cat :)

  3. AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

    Considering this is an open thread, I wonder if my post will get approved (since there would be no reason for it to not get approved).

    • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

      Wow! Anyway, for those wondering, my last account got disabled for an as of yet unknown reason sometime last week. I registered for a new account, and have posted within about 20 articles, having none of my posts (all contributing to the discussion) get approved.

      I emailed Consumerist for some clarification, and never got it.

      I’m sad because I had that last account for several years.

      • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

        welcome back! you should’ve just emailed cat, I hear he’s the expert at reinventing yourself

        • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

          I couldn’t find in my old emails Cat’s email (from all the emails to join the Google group, which I can’t do on my phone). But I tried!

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        I don’t know about the banning, but I do remember that new accounts are moderated, and I think when you first post the idea is that as long as you aren’t a spambot or complete and utter troll in your first post, they’ll approve you to post normally from there on in. Maybe Ben or Phil used to have that job? (Or whoever does have it is overworked due to the recent departures?)

      • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

        Ah, I can post like normal again!

        Now, perhaps my last account was disabled due to me posting about how Phil likes to make lists. Yes, that is off topic, but it didn’t seem troll-ish or disruptive…I would call it a grey area. Either way, “my bad”.

        I just wish I could use my old account to post.

      • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

        I’m new. Well, new to posting comments, anyway; been lurking for months. I wish there were a FAQ for this site. I created this account and commented a few times, but didn’t get why they didn’t show up. Emailed Roz to ask if I’d screwed up already. She said there is a “moderation period” [paraphrased]. I don’t know if it was based on time or a certain number of posts.

        So, does anyone know when I can change my avatar?

    • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

      Now that all that is resolved…here is just some updates on me.

      I “fixed” my central AC unit the other day. Condensation wasn’t getting out the pipe to the condensate pump (which I replaced last year). I cleaned out the pipe, then I realized my airfilter was a half inch too short width wise, so lint was getting up into the unit. Got an adjustable sized filter, opened up the return vent, climbed in there, and cleaned out all the build up on the thing that all the air gets pulled through. So far, it seems like it worked, the whole thing breathing much better, and it propperly draining. We’ll see when it gets warmer out.

      I LOVE fixing things in my house myself, not having to pay someone to replace parts that don’t need replacing. Ever since I installed my own hot water heater, I figure I can do most any task. Well, except replacing my breaker box, which the idea makes me nervous.

      • Bativac says:

        My water heater has sprung a leak. It’s pretty rusty and I would guess it’s at least 10 years old, maybe 15. How tough is it to take out the old one and install a new one? My dad kind of scared me out of it since it has to be wired in, etc…

        • AstroPig7 says:

          If you drain it first, it isn’t a terrible ordeal, but if you need to replace any of the connecting pipes then it could get messy.

          • Bativac says:

            The connecting pipes are all PVC (some of the house is still cast iron) so I think it’s just a matter of draining it, taking it out, and putting in a new one. Luckily the water heater is in a little outside attachment to the house so the leak isn’t affecting anything…

          • Not Given says:

            If you have hard water it could have quite a heavy build up of mineral inside.

        • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

          Well, mine was of an unknown age, and the bottom just rusted out, and all the water came pouring out. When I opened my laundry room door, it was like the blood/elevator scene in The Shining. So I didn’t have to drain it. It’s been a few years, so I don’t recall all the details on how to drain the water running from the hot water heater to the rest of the house.

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

          Watch the 220 current if it’s electric!

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          If it’s gas, you’ll need a certified gasfitter to do it and the city will have to come inspect. In most municipalities I think this is the case. This is why I haven’t been able to do mine. The minimum cost is around $800 for the heater and labor.

          I did find a place that will let me pay it off if I pay half up front, but then I lost my job. :( I hope and pray it doesn’t go out on me. It’s almost as old as I am.

      • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

        Oh, and I found out that my 11 year old cat is blind. :(

        She has feline retinal deterioration, a genetic disorder that siamese cats seem carry. She navigates the house fine, and if you didn’t know, you’d think she could see. She purrs, and plays, and lays in the sun, so I think she’ll be all right. It’s more emotionally stressful for the owner, from what I can see.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          aww, poor kitty. but you are right, it’s worse for the owner. we get plenty of blind cats or cats that lose eyes with the rescue. they are fine as long as the indoor dangers are minimal, like sudden stairs.

          • AlteredBeast (Version 2.0) says:

            She knows where the stairs are (one flight), I just worry when our 6 year old siamese starts chasing her around. Espeically when he tries to mount her (even though they are fixed) on the stairs.

            Luckily she has been in this house for 6 years, so she has had time to learn it before this set in. I was told it was gradual, and it seems to have really impacted her in the past year. So now we know what little things to do to make things easier on her. If we pick her up and carry her anywhere, we need to put her on the transition point between two rooms (like where one type of rug ends, and the other begins).

  4. chizu says:

    Things are… Rough this year. The past week had just been incredibly bad, but besides sucking it up and dealing with it, there isn’t much else I could do about it. Just got to stay as positive as possible.

    My credit card number was compromised, again. I probably should run a credit check soon to see if anything else is compromised. I’m usually very careful with my personal information, but I guess it still happens. Luckily the credit card company I have (Capital One, actually) was really good about it. They caught the fraudulent charges (charges happening oversea) and stopped them before they could go through, emailed me about them and set me up with a new card.

    My friend’s aunt’s place was robbed the other night — possibly by professionals. They went in and out of the house really quickly and stole some valuable items (Estimated at a loss of ~$100K ish). Luckily no one was hurt and things are insured. Which brings me to this question — how do you insure your valuables through homeowner insurance? Do you take pictures and itemise them, then call up your insurance company and work something out? I’ve never done it before. I don’t have a lot of valuable items, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to sort this out.

    I hope everyone is well, if it’s not, I hope it gets better for you all. Sometimes I feel like maybe I should take up my parents’ offer and pack my bags and move back “home” with them. Let’s hope that won’t happen anytime soon though…

    • Not Given says:

      You have to buy riders for the more expensive stuff and the company may ask for an appraisal first. There is usually a limit to the valuables they would cover, otherwise.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Models and serial #s for electronics, computers, etc. (receipts usually have that info), and appraisals for jewelry, art, and other items where the value and specifications aren’t easy to nail down. If you have a video camera on your phone, or if you can borrow one, you can walk through your house and make a video, reading off those model and serial numbers. The video approach helps in case of a fire if you have replacement value on everyday items, like clothes. You can pan through your closet, pointing out expensive or unusual items.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      the cc info getting compromised sucks hopefully you won’t have to do what I did, which was get a new SSN. The TL;DR version is accounts were compromised & new accounts created multiple times. It was a long & painful process but 2 years later nary a peep from fraudsters. Sorry to hear about your Aunt, thieves are the worst

      • chizu says:

        … Oh god. How would one go about obtaining a new SSN anyway? My credit cards (two of them) had been compromised multiple times (probably 4? or 5? times total). I ran my credit report previously and they came out fine, but just in case, how does one go about doing all these? Would having a lawyer speed things up?

        • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

          basically you either go to your “local” SS office fill out a form, bring any & all ID’s you’ve got (bc, dl, pp, starbucks card, etc.) and any proof you have of your identity being compromised. Then wait to see if you get approved. Then the fun part starts, if you keep your name, you have to make sure the DMV, bank & credit agencies know that “you” have a new SSN. The credit agencies are pretty bad with this IMO and it can wipe out your credit history and cause you to have issues with obtaining credit.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i take pictures and i scan in receipts. the biggest thing i have to insure is my medical supplies, which i usually have about $8k worth of in the house. no one is going to steal them but there’s risk of fire ….
      also if you take pictures, store a copy offline. i keep a couple of disks of pictures of my valuables in my fire safe and files on the flash drive i keep with me
      did you request the credit bureaus to put an alert on your credit? when my computer was stolen a couple of years ago and i had just done my taxes and the 1040 was still on the desktop with my social security number, i had the credit bureaus put an alert on my credit. that, ideally, tells any creditor running a report for the purpose of issuing new credit that you might not be the person applying for credit in your name.

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      I went through the credit card thing twice last year. Still not sure how the second time occurred, but the first time was the PSN network hack. It’s pretty easy to put a freeze on your credit report with the bureaus for 90 days and it prevents anyone, including yourself, from doing anything that requires a credit check. If you did need to apply for a loan or anything like that, you can contact the credit bureaus, alert them that you wish to apply for a loan, and they can temporarily lift the freeze.

      We’re actually going through getting such a freeze right now because of the data breach of SC Medicaid where a DHHS employee stole information on 228k Medicaid recipients.

  5. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i get to have a yard sale this weekend.
    the city fined me $600 for having the donations for the cat rescue fundraiser in my carport, even though i got approval to keep them there in weather resistant containers [big rubbermaid bins]
    so i have to sell that stuff for the kitties to get rid of it and the money will go to the current ringworm infection in several of the kittens we got from a high kill shelter.
    and i will sell some of my stuff to pay the fines. it will be the anti early bird yard sale because i don’t get out of work until late tonight and i cannot get everything ready in time for those assholes who show up to yard sales before dawn. it starts around noon.
    not looking forward to it.

    this also means less frequent laser treatments for my dog due to the cost and i’m worried that he will be in pain.

    very glad i have a full pantry and freezer to live on for a while. i’m only spending money on gas to get to work and necessary medications
    roommate isn’t helping with the sale or with bills, in fact she’s been staying with a friend and has only been home 3 times since the beginning of the month. not sure what to make of that.
    thanks to the folks who answered my polls about what keeps you from streaming internet TV and the costs of pay tv packages.
    i haven’t written the second article, the cost analysis yet. need to spread them out for publication
    but here’s the results of what keeps/kept people from streaming internet tv

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      good luck on the yard sale, it sucks that you got fined after you got permission. Hope your pooch is ok until you can get him more treatments

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i was stupid and didn’t get it in writing.
        this is from the same inspector who can’t tell the difference between a carport [at the driveway, front of the house, concrete slab] and a deck [rear of the house, raised wooden area, surrounded by lawn and fenced in] and tried to cite me for having patio furniture on my “rear carport”
        so i shouldn’t have assumed that just because he said it would be ok that he meant it.

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

          Your city sounds like a pain in the ass. I’d be fined out of existence if I ever have to leave my rural, agricutural zoned township. We don’t even have to mow. And you have to do something really egregious to run afoul of the law. I’ve never known anyone to get fined for anything. The only thing they get their panties in a twist over is 911 house numbering. We have to have reflective numbers, so many inches high, and on a special blue reflective sign thing.

          I’m sorry that happened. You’d think they’d give it a pass since it was for charity.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            i did mention that i’m in a rural agricultural zoned non incorporated county area, right?
            i don’t live inside the city limits. which is what has me so pissed off.
            they added “extraterritorial jurisdiction” a little under 2 years ago. so i don’t live in the city, there are horses on my street, foxes in my yard and half of the surrounding land is a wildlife preservation area. yet i am still stuck with some jerk sticking a ruler up against my grass

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

              It sounds like you have some overzealous city employee with too much time on his hands, who can’t read a map. Is there any way you can appeal this?

              • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                i tried the last time a couple of years ago when they started this mess and was told that the little strip of land i am on is not the city but is subject to extraterritorial jurisdiction as of 2010. which means i have no benefits from the city and pay no city taxes but the city can impose restrictions if they choose to.
                meanwhile one neighbor has a rusted out camper van rotting in his yard and another has an upside down armchair in a pile of leaves, both there over 2 years.
                why is my property that much more interesting?

        • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

          lol rear carport that still makes me laugh. Sometimes you gotta pay the idiot tax, as in this idiot can’t make up his mind if I can store stuff here or not so I gotta pay the tax.

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

      I answered the poll, and the next day got a rate increase notice from Comcast with my bill in the mail (I have never been successful in converting to email billing). I had to chuckle about that.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i promise, i didn’t narc on you!
        that’s a big part of why i am writing up a cost comparison. the main thing people said was a barrier to streaming was cost. it’s soooo much cheaper to cut the cord unless you are a sports fan or a new movie fanatic

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Want some mint-in-box collectible Barbie dolls for that sale? I was about to list some on Craigslist but would gladly hand them over for the kitties; I can even drive them out that way tonight and we could do a Clist-style parking lot handover if you like. Or I can hold on to them for a later sale if you want; these are the kind that will probably bring out the crazy doll people.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        that would actually be greatly appreciate. i can provide tax deductible receipts
        i work until 8 in RTP, i can pick up. do you still have my email?
        the main yard sale got pushed back until august because we didn’t have a location and we have 70 cats/kittens in the program right now
        some from a high kill shelter that all turned out to be incubating ringworm

        and then there’s cats like Buddy, who was a TNR feral who can’t go back – he has some eyelid problem that i can’t remember the name of. he’s going to need surgery soon and will need to be around people for occasional trips to the vet for the rest of his life. fortunately he’s friendly as long as you have canned food.

        the vet bills are insane already this year

        • Jules Noctambule says:

          I don’t think I still have your email; mine’s jules.noctambule(at)gmail if you want to send me some details. My husband is off work at 8 so that should work out perfectly! I’ll do some quick current sale price checking on the dolls so you don’t have to spend the time making sure you get a fair price for the fund-raising – just throw up a Clist ad mentioning them and I can almost guarantee you’ll get interest!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Gah! That sucks. What a doofus the inspector was. *kicks inspector with ice skates on*

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I might have to take Lowe’s to small claims court. Goodie!

    They installed my carpet in early 2008, but apparently never power-stretched it. They only used a toe-kick, which is a big no-no. Standard industry practice is to power stretch. They even had an independent inspector come out, and he verbally told me “this ain’t right” but Lowe’s still denied the claim, stating it was out of warranty. That’s technically true, but they failed in their original responsibility, and I’ve discovered this may have also voided the manufacturer’s warranty. I’ve just opened a BBB ticket, but I’m not too positive they will budge.

    The shitty part, and totally my fault, is I currently can’t find the paperwork from the original installation, so I can’t read the specific warranty documents they gave.

    I’m not looking forward to this at all!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      my new air conditioner’s 10 year warranty is on thermal paper. yeah, that’s not going to last. first thing i made copies, and digital copies.
      warranty documents are so important, yet so easy to lose/destroy

  7. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    Is it weird that I’m already shopping for Christmas gifts for a few friends? We all do pen & paper RPG together, and I thought it would be cool to order some custom dice for everyone.

  8. Jules Noctambule says:

    Had our first vacation of the year last week, if you can count visiting one’s mother as a proper vacation. It was nice; the weather behaved and so did my Mom. I managed to swing it as a business trip, so three cheers for that. My job-devoted husband enjoyed himself so much that he’s already planning a proper vacation for sometime this summer!

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yay for vacation!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Heh heh, I giggled at “the weather behaved and so did my Mom.” Also, yay for workaholic hubs enjoying the time off!

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        Mom can be a little bit of a handful when she chooses!

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

          I’m right there with you. I’d sooner have two of my Dad, recovering from major surgery at once, than deal with my Mom for very long. She makes me so tired. Dad and I are like, oh look – there’s some water in the glass, and doesn’t look like anything died in it, and we’re thirsty, so score! Mom’s like – OMG water in an unclean glass, with who knows what kind of chemicals and germs! Throw it out! Get the bleach! I think you get the picture :)

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:


    Also, what’s up with goggie’s mouth? But I want to run my hands through his lovely, lovely fur.


    1) I did my taxes. I knew I would owe from freelance work. The money I’d saved for that went down fast after I lost my job. I had to call the IRS and work out a payment plan (which they were really nice about–the lady I talked with was awesome). The state tax was $116. I went ahead and paid it because I didn’t want to have to worry about it. Next time I drive on the interstate, I expect a PERFECT ROAD.

    2) There are birds in my garage wall. The nest is above my circuit box. Conservation said they should be out of there in a few weeks, and fire marshall said it should be okay if the wires are covered (they are). I can see the material through a hole in the wall above the box, and I discovered how the birds got in, so as soon as the incessant, 5000-decibil cheeping (X_X) stops and they appear to be gone, I’m tearing the nest out and covering the hole.

    3) To pay the tax bill, I shall have to discontinue DirecTV. They will suspend my account for six months and I don’t have to hassle with the box. If I get a job before then, I will turn it back on. Or I can cancel, whatever. No pressure. It’ll probably stay off, since the unemployment extension has been eliminated for Missouri. Thanks a heap; everyone else gets it while I’m employed but the second I lose MY job, it goes away. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

    4) My neighbor’s big yellow tom had to be put down yesterday. He had distemper. Poor old kitteh. At least I got to say goodbye. I put some flowers on his little grave. :'( He was a good kitty. I called the vet to check on my cat’s shots, and they said she is up-to-date and should be okay. If she gets sick, I will have to do the same. I cannot afford to have her treated. So far she seems fine, although she keeps looking out into the neighbor’s yard and mewing. :(

    Everyone have a good weekend! I’m going to finish my skating dress and drag my Sweeney Todd miniature out and start working on it again. :)

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      cord cutting! you know i support it.
      sorry to hear about the loss of benefits.
      hopefully you get employed again soon

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Yes, and I went through your site and put a crapton more free channels on. :) So assuming the stupid internet will cooperate with the roku, I can watch more than just Netflix. If it’s being a butt, I can always do the big N on my computer. I still have a ton of shows in my queue.

        There sure are a lot of God channels on there. The free stuff is like really, really bad cable.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          popcornflix has done an update. i think they took my sister’s suggestion to put the commercials on the same server as the the feed so the lag is reduced. so there’s one more free channel that should be better.
          try drive in classics and moonlight movies.

  10. MaytagRepairman says:

    Hired a contractor to replace my front steps and deck behind the house. They finished the front steps last week and started on the deck this week. Tonight I came home to find a dead mouse on the top of my front steps.

    I know cats do this sort of thing but I don’t own a cat and the neighbor’s cats won’t come near me. So WTF.

  11. TeriLynn says:

    What happened to the Daily Deals posts? Did I miss something?