Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread


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  1. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    I get to meet Jenny Cupcakes IRL tomorrow!

  2. Cat says:

    They changed us from 4 – 10 hour days to 5 – 8 hour days where I work. They gave us less than one week notice to put our lives in order. Then we lost out lunch and got 2 – 15 minute breaks instead. They will take my office so they can add more management soon, because we are not top heavy enough yet.


    • CrankyOwl says:

      Isn’t there some sort of legal requirement that if you work a minimum of 8 hours a day, you’re supposed to have at least a 30-minute lunch break?

      • Cat says:

        This is one of those wonderful states that companies move to due to corporation friendly labor laws.

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

          That sucks man, it could be worse they could set your office to close and then keep you hanging as to when the drop dead date is because they’d like you to get another job and quit so they don’t have to pay severance. Which is what I’m going through.

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

      I used to love my job, too, until Jan 2011 when our company was sold to a much larger company, and I was demoted to what basically amounts to a data entry clerk. I have no real responsibilities any more, and my work life revolves around putting data into key fields on stuff so when management looks at the 4 bazillion Excel spreadsheets that monitor everything, my stuff has something in that field and they filter past it.

      I can only hope the economy picks up, and I can get out of this hell. It’s way too much like Office Space for my liking.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Blargh! That sucks.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      how can they take away lunch? isn’t there a state labor law or something?

  3. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:


    Remember this article?

    Remember how there were some asstards who were all like “AMAZON SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT WAAAAHRGARBL”?

    That article right there is why I bought a Kindle Fire instead of a Nook Color. I had been on the fence, until Amazon’s awesome display of above and beyond customer service tipped me over to the Kindle. That’s the kind of behavior I want to encourage in companies.

    • Cat says:

      I’ve given up my Sam’s club membership. There’s very few things I can’t get at Amazon, most of it for less than Sams.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        I’ve recently discovered Amazon’s grocery section. Good: cat food delivered to our house for less than what it costs in any local store. Bad: I now have two cases of Cadbury Creme Eggs because they were on sale.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        the thing i cannot get at amazon that i can get at sams: gas for 15 cents less per gallon because the sams club is in an area with 6 gas stations and a price war. between that and the 20lb bags of dog food, my membership gets paid for FAST

        • Cat says:

          Where I am at, the price difference is 3 to 6 cents – and I have to drive 4 miles to get it.

        • Not Given says:

          At Sam’s I can get 42 pound bags of cat litter for half what I pay locally where I can only get the little boxes.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      If I get a Kindle, I want the Fire. I want to win one from the tv station that’s giving away tablets but they won’t pick me! >:(

      Watch me get picked to win the iPad 2. Oh well, I could sell it and buy a Kindle Fire. LOL.

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

    I need help from the hive mind. I have Comcast Triple Play, but I have to ditch it (no raises, higher costs for everything). This is the last thing to cut before garbage removal goes.

    I have Performance Internet with my package. I use it to watch stuff on my Roku box (like Netflix, movies, Pub-d-Hub, BBC News for example), and surf the internet. It works fine.

    Internet only is $62.95/month plus tax for this level.

    Economy and Economy Plus are $39.95/month
    Performance Starter is $49.95/month

    My goal is to just have internet service, and maybe get a Magic Jack for phone service, or drive the proverbial spike into my head and go back to Verizon for a basic landline.

    Any suggestions on which tier of service would work?

    (Comcast is my only option for internet – and the only other option for landline is Verizon).

    • Not Given says:

      My cable’s economy internet has a very low cap, 1 GB/month, an extra $10 is charged for each GB or partial GB over that

      • Cat says:

        Yea, I would say lovemypets needs at least the Performance Starter @ $49.95/month. Economy won’t cut it.

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

          I had forgotten about the whole cap thing. Currently, it’s at 250GB, and I don’t think I’ve ever used more than 30GB. I refer to catastrophe girl’s website all the time for Roku info! I may have to take some time off and go to the local Comcast office and ask them for additional info. I just can’t bring myself to try to figure this out on the website or to call their customer service people.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            I went to her site and put a bunch of free channels on mine (like cable, the freebies are mostly shopping and God so those I skipped). But my stupid DSL is so annoying that half the time I can’t watch it. For some reason, the Roku doesn’t like it but the computer has no problem. Any time it slows the slightest bit, Roku throws a fit. And it does that frequently because I have a congested node and they won’t do anything about it. But I can’t afford cable internet, even if I bundle. *sigh*

            LOL that sounds gross. Congested node. Ewwww.

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              have you tried changing your router’s channel?

              • HogwartsProfessor says:

                Hmm, no I didn’t. Every time I mess with my router I screw up my internet. But I might ask a computer friend and see what he says.

          • Not Given says:

            30 GB on my cable’s economy plan would be $310

    • Cat says:

      Go for the Magic Jack, or NetTalk DUO. I don’t know what you get charged for phone but it’s almost $40 for basic phone where I am – no features, no long distance.

      I’ve been strictly Magic Jack for 3 years now, few problems. For those times when it does go down I use my prepaid phone.

      Check Catastrophegirl’s Roku Channeldata blog for more free channels, BTW. There’s about 400 free channels no.

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        Hey, Cat – I recently got a Roku. Do you have Catastrophegirl’s website address, and would you be willing to share it?

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

        Thanks to the NIMBY’s in my neighborhood, the cell tower was voted down, so I can use my Tracfone if I walk up into my neighbor’s field. Which is OK when the weather is good!

        I wouldn’t have a phone at all, except I’m an only child, and my parents are nearby and they have health issues from time to time, and they need to get in touch with me. I almost want to buy two ham radios and use them!

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

        Do you have the regular Magic Jack, or the Magic Jack Plus?

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      If you’re moving to voice over IP you should look into setting up a router with traffic shaping/prioritizing. DD-WRT and Tomato both do a great job and can be used on many home routers. Basically, if you set up your router correctly, you can tell it to always give priority to VoIP traffic, so that it should always flow as if nothing else is going on…even if you’re streaming Netflix at the time.

      • Cat says:

        THIS. I have a cheap router that can’t prioritize traffic. sometimes we have to pause netflix to take a call.

        Newegg has some good refurbished ones on sale – I think its time to upgrade.

        • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

          Do it! There are compatibility lists on both sites, but they work with a lot of the more popular ones, especially Linksys IIRC. And they both have pretty robust support communities of geeks willing to help out n00bs.

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

          My Netflix used to kick off when I got a call, but it wasn’t the internet router stuff, it was the cordless phone. I bought a cheapo $18.88 Uniden DECT 6.0 phone at WalMart, and problem solved. Phone rings, can talk on phone and still watch Netflix. And use the internet at the same time.

    • IGetsAnOpinion says:

      I’m interested in this answer too because my promotion is over this month and I want to drop down to a lower speed/lower price if feasible.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      keep in mind you can adjust your netflix to be lower quality streams. it helps with speed and data caps.
      also, come join us over at
      for more in depth conversations on internet streaming.
      you really need to have at least 3mbps for good streaming
      as for magic jack, go with whatever Cat says, he’s the expert

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

        Thanks for the tip – I had lowered the quality from the highest level to the mid level back when Comcast started harping about data limits. I don’t watch that many hours of TV with streaming, as I still get DVD’s, so even with a phone line, etc. I’m rarely use even 10% of my cap.

  5. Blueskylaw says:

    The average U.S. household has more than 40 sockets for light bulbs;
    what will my bank say when I go asking for a $2400 loan to buy lightbulbs?

    • czadd says:

      You might want to wait a bit until those newfangled bulbs are cheaper, buddy. …or maybe the bank will let make your loan payments with the energy savings from those awesome new light bulbs!

      That seems like an awful large # of light sockets. I could only count 31 light sockets in my (very average) home. Now I’m going to count light sockets in every house I visit.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      I just stayed in a quaint old hotel in Flagstaff (Little America). It looks sorta like the hotel in The Shining. The rooms are full of French Provincial furniture, and more light fixtures and lightbulbs than I’ve seen in a long time. A 12-bulb chandelier, 2 bedside lamps with 2 bulbs each, a sitting room with 3 – 3-way lamps. All incandescent. It was lovely. I turned on all the lights at once just to see what it would look like. Oh, and a plasma TV. The place was designed for max electricity use.

  6. Straspey says:

    Busy weekend ahead –

    Have basically two days to learn and memorize couple of moderately difficult tunes on my bagpipes time for our next pipe band practice session this coming Tuesday.

    “Meeting of the Waters” and “Cabar Feidh” — I know – you were whistling them in the shower this morning.

    But the good news is – it’s a really good excuse to get me out of having to visit the in-laws on Saturday.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      “Sane people do not make musical instruments out of a sheep’s bladder and a bundle of reeds.” – Carol K. Carr

      Though, I suppose you could argue that otherwise sane people may *play* such an instrument.

    • finbar says:

      How did you pick up the bagpipes? It’s somthing I’ve allways wanted to pick up.

      • Straspey says:

        One does not “pick up” the bagpipes — as one might do with another instrument, such as the guitar or saxophone.

        As I always tell people when they ask, playing the bagpipes is not a hobby – it’s a commitment.

        If you were to start learning how to play the guitar today, it would be safe to say that you could play some nice tunes for your family gathering around the holiday season a the end of this year.

        If you were to start learning how to play the bagpipes today, it would be safe to say that it would be about 18 months before you could play in front of your family and make a reasonable showing.

        When you hear the phrase, “Labor Of Love” – the bagpipes are a perfect example.

        If you really want to learn, try contacting the local Hibernian Society, Irish or Scottish Club, or even your local police department to see if there’s somebody who can point you in the right direction.

        And — you MUST take lessons from an experienced player. A self-taught bagpiper would be the equivalent to a self-taught commercial airline pilot —

        Stop and think about that for a minute.

        But – all good luck to you. If you are really serious and committed, the bagpipes can be one of the great pleasures in life.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I love the pipes. There was a guy when I lived in Santa Cruz who would play downtown sometimes. He was the only busker I ever gave any of my hard-earned tips to.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        personally, i would use my hands

    • Cat says:

      Chicks dig a guy in a kilt playing bagpipes. But only if the tune is AC/DC “long way to the top”.


      Bugs Bunny: [seeing MacRory playing the bagpipes] Look at that horrible monster attacking that poor old lady ! Have courage, granny! I’ll save ya! I’ll save ya!
      [Bugs grabs the pipes and pummels them]
      Bugs Bunny: He put up a terrific battle, ma’am, but clean living prevailed.

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

      I can’t remain dry eyed when I see a movie or TV show, and Amazing Grace is playing on bagpipes at a funeral. There’s something about it that just moves me so much.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        I know two people who play the pipes and when they play Amazing Grace I get teary eyed.

        “Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn with lyrics written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725‚Äì1807), published in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.

        Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed into the Royal Navy and became a sailor, eventually participating in the slave trade. One night a terrible storm battered his vessel so severely that he became frightened enough to call out to God for mercy, a moment that marked the beginning of his spiritual conversion. His career in slave trading lasted a few years more until he quit going to sea altogether and began studying theology.

  7. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    my property is officially in compliance with the city regulations
    turns out what happened is that the guy who gave me permission to store rubbermaid totes full of donations – has been replaced. they changed regions of the city and the guy in charge of my area now has a different opinion as to what “junk” is.
    i hate that it’s subjective to their whims

    even funnier: i just got a call from my homeowner’s insurance agent and they were renewing my policy and realized it was wrong – they had me as a class 3 fire department – the kind inside the city limits – instead of a class 6 fire department – what the county provides. so my policy went up $3 a month.

    i definitely do NOT live in the city and i definitely do NOT get city services, but i am still subject to the opinions of a guy with a clipboard who is allowed to poke around my yard and measure my grass.
    i’m thinking, since i’m zoned for goats, i might get one. should act as a lawnmower AND an anti trespassing feature.

    • Cat says:

      It would be better if you were zoned for TOTES.

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

      Make sure the goat has horns and a bad attitude! I just despise government beaurocrats with clipboards and too much damned time on their hands. I am so glad I live in a residential/agricultural area, and there are no grass ordinances. The only reason I mow is so I can see snakes when I’m out in the yard. Otherwise, I’d say the heck with it. I don’t like paying $4 a gallon for gas to push a mower around the yard!

      Also, geese act as good guard animals as well. If you can, hatch out a few yourself so they think you’re their mother. When they’re full grown, Mr. Clipboard won’t stand a chance.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        my cat would start something with the geese. i think she might make friends with a goat, but geese would end badly for one or the other of them.

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

      well that still sucks, at least you got a reason why you were allowed to store stuff and then weren’t. I still can’t believe that you live outside city limits, use no city resources, and yet they still get to poke around in your yard. BTW definitely get a goat, my grandparents have them, they’re low maintenance and actually have pretty agreeable dispositions

    • BD2008 says:

      If you do want a goat, make sure you get two. They are social animals and don’t do well by themselves. I raised pygmy goats when I was a kid. They are the sweetest little things.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I would get goats, but my yard is dominated by Psycho Kitty.

      Actual video of her playing with her bally!!!
      WARNING: Turn down the volume first; for some reason, my camera thinks 65,194,349,631,684 decibels is an optimum volume.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      I would get goats if I could. And some sheep, too. And chickens. The foxes that live in our back yard would love the chickens, though, as would the hawks that like to hang out in our oak tree.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i suspect the reason i have not had to listen to the temporally challenged rooster from the next street lately is a petite grey fox with a feline phobia. we all have half acre or acre lots around here and the rooster wasn’t close enough to annoy me, but i think his incessant crowing attracted the lunch crowd

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      oooh! i just got an email asking for my advertising rates for my channel list page.
      i have one advertiser and we are still on spec to see how much traffic they get.
      so…. i don’t HAVE advertising rates.
      open to suggestions?

    • tooluser says:

      If you want more of this treatment, keep voting for Democrats.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        funny, but i live in a red state. i keep voting for democrats in hopes that one of them will win and get that funding they keep promising to the school system

  8. cash_da_pibble says:

    Consumerist saved my butt!

    The other day, I was puttering around Online, trying to decide what to get for my Birthday. An ad pops out at me, and I go YEAH! I WANT THAT! it was a corset. So I pop over, check out their selection, and get myself a pretty stinkin’ sweet present.
    When it comes time to pay for the bugger, I look at my cards- One a Credit card I rarely use, and the other, my Credit/Debit card.
    A little voice in my head says ” Consumerist says to Use the Credit Card, so you can dispute if something goes wrong!”
    I say, but nothing will go wrong!
    “Just in Case,” the little voice says and I sigh and agree.
    Tappy tap tap- Corset Purchased.
    Five days later, at my door. The Dream I thought it would be… But a size too large!
    Drat! I say, and pack him back up into his little bag and off to returns with a Delivery Confirmation tag so I can watch his journey! ( I had an infuriating time with the post office while I was there, but that is another story for another time!)

    That was last Friday.
    Good thing I listened to that voice. The package arrived on the Monday after. Returns are usually processed within 24 hours, the site says. However,not a peep from the company to acknowledge my package, any responses to my email and form inquiries, and threats of Chargeback.

    I am so glad you guys are the voice in my head. That is a lot of money to lose for me, and while I loved the corset, I may have to find another birthday present.

    • ovalseven says:

      I received a chargeback just this week from a purchase I made online with my Chase Visa debit card.

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        The first time I’m able to post anything consumerist-related in MONTHS in the open thread, and you gotta kill it with yer “ya didn’t have to” logic!
        *shakes fist*

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      all those sites that sell corsets and the pictures look similar to each of the other sites?
      they come from voller’s
      voller’s is the best and a lot of other corset sites resell them. i got mine years ago from voller’s and it was custom sized for me in 3 days for half the price of the site where i first saw the model i wanted. several friends have purchased from voller’s and been very happy

  9. ovalseven says:

    What’s the purpose of the magnetic strip on my driver license? I’m pretty sure it’s not there for merchants, and I’m getting tired of grocery stores swiping it every time I buy alcohol. I don’t mind showing it to them, but sometimes they swipe it before I can ask them not to. They don’t need to keep a database with my identity alcohol puchase history (or whatever else they’re doing with the info).

    I think i’m going to cover it with a piece of electrical tape. If a cop needs to see it, I can just peel it off.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Most states I’ve seen that have those, squad cars are equipped with the readers for traffic stops and such. You could always hold it out to the cashier and not let go. If they tug at it, just say something like “I’d rather not have it scanned or recorded, just used for you to verify my information visually.” (Sometimes I actually do talk like that…unfortunately, it’s often necessary when someone has an agenda and you have to be extremely specific.)

    • Not Given says:

      I don’t take it out of my wallet if I can help it. I show it through the little window while gripping my wallet with both hands.

  10. dragonfire81 says:

    I would like to state openly that I think this blog should stay away from posting articles primarily meant to promote or reinforce a political ideology. One of the reasons I love this blog is that its NOT overly political. There are plenty of places on the web to talk politics. Consumerist shouldn’t really be one of them.

  11. Magical Pig says:

    I just ran out of Junior Mints :(

  12. HogwartsProfessor says:


    I had an interview yesterday with someone a temp service sent me to. We talked for FOUR HOURS. Well he did most of the talking. But it was a great conversation about business, ethics, etc., even if I don’t get the job. It’s sort of a customer service/project manager type thing and would be more involved than any office job I’ve had before. I’m kind of scared. I let him know I have a great deal of trouble with math so we’ll see. I have to take a “personality assessment” so if I pass, I can ask more questions. I didn’t really want to go to the temp agency, but they have swallowed up most of the listings around here. *eye roll*

    Have birds that have moved from a nest in my garage wall into my attic. Niiiiiice. A pest control person told me as long as Mom is coming in and out and feeding them, they’ll likely find their way out rather than get stuck in there. I’m trying to get someone to come out and take a look without charging me. I was going to wait til they were gone and block the hole myself, but if they can’t get out, I need to have them removed before I do. Like I need to spend any money on that.

    Tengo una clase de Espanol a las el instituto de la communidad. Ella es jueves por la noche. I would be better if I weren’t so lazy and studied vocabulary every day. But once I get the hang of verb conjugation and grammar rules, I hope I can study a bit on my own til I can afford to take a more intensive class. The community enrichment courses are about $50 each but they are very much skimming over the basics, like for travelers and such. I know there are lots of free things on the internet to help.

    In less than a month I will get to see my honey. Yay!

    • Cat says:

      Tengo una clase de Espanol a las el instituto de la communidad.
      Mis pezones estallan de alegría.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the birds should be fine. once they move out, close up the hole. but it’s incredibly rare for them to not be able to get out of there when they are big enough

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Oh good, that makes me feel better. Thank you, catastrophegirl. I guess I’ll just listen for the thumping and chirping to go away, then I’ll borrow my neighbor’s stepladder and climb up in there and put some wire over that hole. I know where the mom has been going in and out, because I finally caught her doing it.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          some species nest twice in a season, like blackbirds or robins. especially after a mild winter with a long warm season to follow. if you can see the nest after the noises stop, make sure the mom hasn’t laid more eggs.
          if they are wrens, they will probably move on. they nest multiple times but they like to move house in between.
          so when i say “gone” i mean the whole family, for the season. in the meantime, if you throw something stinky in there, like mothballs, they may be likely to move out after the first round of babies

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Quando estoy feliz, frotto calamari sobre mi cuerpo.

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

      You’re giving me a huge inspiration to relearn the Spanish I learned in high school and college, many moons ago! I think it’s time I get off my duff and start learning something again.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Do it! :)

        I’m hoping to keep it up until I can become fluent. I think it will help my employment prospects. Even if I get a job now, if I can finally move from here that’ll be something desirable to put on my resume.

        Once I get Spanish firmly cemented in my head, Imma go back and retake French. I don’t want to do it now or I’ll get them hopelessly mixed up.

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

          I went to Mexico back in 1984, and I could speak Spanish well enough to converse with people if they slowed down a little. The people I talked to were very nice when I explained I was from the US, and had learned Spanish in school & just needed to slow down a bit. I could kick myself for not keeping up with it.

  13. tooluser says:

    That hamster’s not wearing pants!