Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread

Walmart Oil Change Turns Into $3,000 Disaster And I Can’t Even Get Store To Call Me Back
This E-Mail Basically Sums Up Why JCPenney May Be On Borrowed Time
Man Buys All 650 Foreclosed Properties In One County For $4.8 Million In Back Taxes
Would You Turn Down Game Show Winnings Just Because Of The Taxes Involved?
Citi Has Some Very Strange Ideas On How I Plan To Spend My Extra Cash Points


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  1. Red Cat Linux says:

    I never saw a black squirrel until I moved to the MD/DC area – striking little things.

    Of course, the little punks can pack just as much of my birdseed into their cheeks as their grey cousins, so the charm wears off quickly.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Look for some albinos!

    • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

      Here in upper MoCo, I see them every so often…in fact, there’s one that seems to live at the end of my block.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      They’re really good about blending in, but I figure I don’t see them more often just because gray squirrels outnumber the black ones by so much. They’ve thinned the population, cross-breeded, and have completely taken over. I’m going to buy a birdfeeder sometime and I’m wondering if I should get one that isn’t squirrel proof, just to see whether I can get a black squirrel on camera.

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

      I have one of these guys in my backyard. Agreed – they can pack away the bird seed with the best of them. Mine will actually hang by their back legs and eat upside down. I like to wait until they’re in that position and either squirt them with a squirt bottle, or run outside on the porch waving my hands and yelling.

      As much as they annoy me, I’d never truly hurt them, unless the apocalypse arrives and I’m hungry. Then, all bets are off!

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

      The black squirrels were imported (from Denmark I think) early last century for the National Zoo. They let them run wild and since the zoo is part of Rock Creek Park, they quickly spread north then slowly south into Virginia.

    • Kate Blue says:

      In the midwest, they are all red.

    • Jawaka says:

      So you see a black squirrel and instantly you think its a punk?

      /just kidding

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Possibly the worst week of my life!!

    Last Saturday I had a $650 unexpected car repair, and then a few days later my water heater starts leaking. $800 to replace that. All within a month of my wedding (ka-ching!) and only a week before my big 3-0 birthday.

    Very emotionally exhausted. Someone up there is really getting their giggles watching me.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Sounds more like somebody ‘down there’ rather than ‘up there’ – if you believe in that kind of thing!

      • Bladerunner says:

        Well, I think it depends on which version of “that kind of thing” you’re talking about…

        But anyway: Sorry Loias, that sucks! I just had to buy a new cellphone and angrily cancel my previous contract ETF be damned, but moneywise that’s like a tenth of yours.

        Maybe someone’ll get you a sweet and expensive present?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          My wifeypon got me Lego Millenium Falcon. So cool!!! I haven’t gotten a new Lego toy for at least a decade.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            I’m very jealous. I’ve had my eye on a Lego Millennium Falcon but it’s so expensive!

          • axhandler1 says:

            I’m jealous too, Lego toys are the best, and Star Wars ones are super fun. Last one I did was a splurge because I love them so much. Went out and bought the Taj Mahal set (5922 pieces) and basically took an entire weekend straight through and just put it together. Enjoy putting yours together!

    • Not Given says:

      My car repair was $317 and my water heater was under $300

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I feel ya. I need to replace my water heater too–soon. But no money.

      Car broke: parents replaced that, THANK YOU.
      Fridge broke: likewise, THANK YOU.
      Job broke: still can’t find a new one.
      Relationship broke: not up to me to fix. :'( PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

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

      Well that blows, not the millennium falcon part which is awesome, since the outage occurred right after you went & I haven’t taken Dan up on the G+ offer how was the honeymoon?

    • Murph1908 says:

      Don’t mean to be mean. But as far as works weeks of ones life goes, that seems pretty tolerable.

      Sucks, agreed.

      Best of luck with the wedding! Congrats.

  3. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:


    It’s Friday! :D

    I just got my commenting account up and running again. It’s been a long time!

    I upped my smug hipster quotient by buying a glass water bottle. It arrived yesterday and I must say, I really love it. The prime reason I wanted it was because it reminds me of those old timey glass milk bottles and I LOVE those. if you’re interested. They’re so neat.

    Also, I dyed my hair blue! Well, parts of it.. I’ve been wanting to do it for 10 years and I finally did it. I love how the blue color turned out, but want to tweak the rest (all over color) of it next time. The blue is the color of blue cobalt glass. It’s probably my very favorite color and shade on earth.

    • Bladerunner says:

      Nice! Both on the dyeing and the glass bottle…Mrs. Bladerunner’s been wanting one!

      On a side note, my brother dyed his hair blue right before going to college, where he eventually joined the college’s Fire Service, and is still in a different one today…where his nickname, 15 years later, is still “Blue”.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Aw, that’s a cute story. I wouldn’t mind a nickname like that. I’ve been pretty obsessed with blue for the past… um…. 11 or 12 years at least… so it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Anachronistic beast that I am, your bottle intrigues me. Is it a fairly heavy weight glass?

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Short answer: Yes.

        After having received it, I am no longer paranoid about breaking it.. but instead hitting myself in the teeth with it. (I have giant teeth.) I’ll train myself not to hit myself with it soon though. It’s pretty awesome.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yay bottle and blue hair! And yay on getting back to commenting. We’ve missed you!

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        I’ve missed you too! You joined G+ but never seem to be on it : /

        I posted pictures of both the bottle and the hair there if you want to see : )

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

    o/ 4-day weekend! I’m heading to Chicago for the Chicago Comic-Con tomorrow, then I get to see Jenny Cupcakes again! Then on Sunday I’m going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire! Should be a fun weekend!

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Woah, that is so many things! It’s a good thing you’re not a lazy slob like me. lol.

      • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

        Well, I’ve been very lazy this morning if you’ve noticed my posts on G+. All I’ve done is try to get gold on the Google Doodle!

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          Haha, I haven’t caught up with G+ yet today because I was at work.

          You know… working… (reading Consumerist.)

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Did Jenny Cupcakes get banned? Haven’t seen here here in ages and she was one of the main commenters that drew me to the site for repeat visits!

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Didn’t she have a new bf? That’s probably keeping her busy…..

      • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

        Nah, not banned. I don’t really remember why she stopped posting, but once in a blue moon she’ll post a comment.
        Your comment was mentioned to her!

      • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

        On that line, what happened to Cat?

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

      Bristol looks like it has a great line up. I recommend catching (if you haven’t seen them before):

      Tortuga Twins
      Barely Balanced
      Craig of Fairington (caution, can be PG-13 rated if you have young kids)
      Adam Crack, Fire Whip

      While I haven’t seen all the acts, I know of a lot of them through reputation and the Renaissance Festival Music podcast. Enjoy the festival and post if you have any other questions about the festival.

      • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

        Thanks for the suggestions. I was definitely going to try to see the Tortuga Twins. I saw them mentioned in the Ren Faire email I got earlier this week.

  5. Bodger says:

    Melanistic squirrels seem to exist in pockets — around here there are nothing but plain grey versions. The really odd ones, and I’ve seen these only in the Niagara area of New York suspiciously close to some Superfund cleanup sites, appear with black bodies and pale tails or vice-versa. I’m pretty sure that I’ve even seen at least one up there with a half-black body.

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

    This week there were zero comments from my coworker about Dr. Oz, The Doctors, weird food items to make people lose weight, exercising, or anything related to health. Zero. I went to work on Monday all ready to quash this once and for all, and **crickets chirping**. So, either she reads this blog or she said something to the wrong person and got smacked down. Either which way, makes me happy!

    As of last Saturday AM, I lost 15 lbs by replacing my normal Herman Munster sized bowl of cereal with a protein shake, observing portion sizes, and making substitutions like Italian ice cups instead of ice cream, Fiber One bars instead of cookies, and cutting out bread, except for high fiber lite wheat bread. Yay! And I’m not sharing this with my aforementioned coworker.

    I’m supposed to go to a car cruise in and concert at the park in town tonight with my Dad, but the weather just doesn’t look good. It’s been cloudy and gloomy all day, last night there were thunderstorms and about an inch of rain, and the weather is calling for thunderstorms this afternoon, possibly severe, and possible hail. Not weather we want to take the antique vehicles out in! Hopefully they will reschedule to tomorrow. I’ve been having a lot of fun with my Dad going to these events. You get to meet so many different people. It feels good to get out and do things again.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend!!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Woot! I bet someone said something to her. About time. What she was doing bordered on harassment.

      Congrats on the weight loss. And stay out of the bad weather. Lightning is nothing to mess around with.

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

        OMG I can’t imagine what hail would do to a 1940 Ford Panel truck. I’m pretty sure my Dad would dissolve into tears, at the very least.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I don’t know; those old metal dudes* might hold up pretty well. Today’s plastic cars would be toast.

          *the truck, not your dad

  7. chizu says:

    Canadian squirrels! We were told that Princeton was one of the few places outside of Canada that had Canadian squirrels, because the cage where they were held in for experiments broke and they ran loose and reproduced on campus.

    Things had been rough on my end. Family problems, financial troubles (but sort of stabling now), and issues with friend. (Just one friend — but that’s enough of a headache. I range from being mildly annoyed to anger, I don’t want to post it here because it’s a bit too public, but I just want to vent!!!) I’m almost ready to throw in the towel and just hide under a rock forever. I’m a lot better this week because I finally took a couple days to myself to do fun things. But I was cycling back and forth between not eating (being unable to eat) to eating “too much”, my weight had been steadily climbing up mostly due to stress and putting my body into starvation mode. I mean, sure, it could get worse, but god, I wish it’d just get a bit better. I know, I know, I’m just whining right now.

    So, um, er, what is everyone doing this weekend? I’m probably going to go check out Tango shoes with a friend — not getting them myself, but I just want to look at them… It also lets me get out of the house for a bit.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I hear ya. *hug* Try to keep a regular eat/sleep schedule. That helps. Getting out of the house is also good.

  8. Bladerunner says:

    Mrs. Bladerunner finished her first grad school class yesterday…soon she will be a Master of the Library Sciences, muwahahahahha!

    We just found out my company did something that I believe is illegal with our pension, which is a headache, but I got a very hard IV today, then got to watch a cardiac problem get fixed on the monitor immediately after giving a drug, which is always neat!

    My phone broke, and Sprint refused to fix it, citing nonexistant water damage (yeah, none of the sensors were tripped, but I see some corrosion on a screw, so you’re SOL…) as the reason for the known issue of poor soldering on the female USB port, so now I have an ETF, and a shiny Samsung Note from AT&T!

  9. axhandler1 says:

    Happy Friday everyone! Currently in the process of moving into a new place. Excited to be getting a place of my own, but I forgot what a PITA moving is. Bought a new mattress and bedframe from IKEA yesterday, getting them delivered on Saturday. My room is pretty much all painted, so I should get that done on Saturday too. Then I just have to worry about finding some way to get all my other junk down to Bloomfield. Gonna be a busy weekend.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Hooray place of your own! Unpacking is WAY better than packing, IMO.

      • axhandler1 says:

        Thanks! Unpacking is way better, but I’m not that good at that either. Usually I unpack over the course of a few weeks, as things are needed.

  10. El_Fez says:

    So just another week of my self-imposed “Dont buy nothing this month!” month! For the last billing cycle of my credit card, I’ve vowed to not buy anything unless A) it’s essential for day-to-day living or B) something I wont be able to get later (I caved and got a couple of shirts from Tee Fury and a limited run Ghostbusters figure) – but otherwise, it was off limits for the month.

    No film, no camera gear, no CDs, no DVDs, no video games – if it didn’t go in my gas tank, my mouth, I put it aside! And let me tell you, it’s been tough!

    • axhandler1 says:

      That does sound tough. You saving up for anything in particular, or just trying to sock some extra cash away?

      • El_Fez says:

        Naw, no special reason other than the last couple of months I’ve been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore-leave. I figured it was time to tighten the belt for a month and play nice.

        • axhandler1 says:

          I know how you feel, I’ve been spending like crazy recently. Just moved into a new place (rent, deposit, and realtor fees), bought a new car (money down plus payments), bought a new laptop (old one died and I need one for work) and signed up for the CPA exam (4 part exam, bout $600 in test and application fees per part, plus study materials). I officially have almost no money right now. Looking forward to starting to put some aside again.

  11. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    My boss makes no sense, she pisses me off, and I would like her to go away.

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

      Mine too, and she seems genuinely surprised that half of our department is job hunting. Go figure.

      • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

        Sad part is, I really like what I do. She is just a pill though. Everyone here is looking too – either internal or external.

        And thank you internet people for letting me vent anonymously. I think Mr. Worst is tired of hearing me bitch and there is no other safe place to go with my woes.

  12. Murph1908 says:

    I watched a little of the preseason football last night, and something annoyed me (other than preseason football).

    All 3 channels that I checked out had annoying advertising logos on the scoreboard bar. They were very distracting, and kind of pissed me off. Why do they have to ugly up the damn score bar with logos?

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

      Oh man I thought only the Eagles were doing this, I loath “covert” advertising.

      • Murph1908 says:

        Nope. It was on the Redskins and Ravens games too.

        I just hope it ends at regular season. Otherwise, we need to start a blackout campaign to get it off or something.

  13. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I am still having a very hard time finding a job. HOWEVER…..

    I approached VR about some social media cert program at my alma mater, and they are starting to thaw re the whole retraining idea. Since most of the clerical jobs I used to do are consolidating accounting into them, and I can’t do that *the LD thing* then I have to gain some new skills. If they will train me up for a new type of office job, that will help a LOT. Novel writing I have to do on my own. I don’t need them for that anyway.


    My dream admin job was posted at the city website. It’s support for the CID division of the local police department. I am not only qualified for it, I have an A.S. in Criminology, like the posting said (along with the B.S. in English). And I called one of my college instructors yesterday, a retired captain from that department, and he gave me lots of pointers for interviewing with them. If I do get called, at least I’ll be ready. He is the BEST. :)

    The old car is gone. I gave it to my cousin. She and her hubs are worse off than me right now. It has some life left in it, and Hubs and her dad know how to work on cars, so they can keep it running way cheaper than I can. My parents decided to help me out and get me a better car, since my entire life has imploded. I am truly grateful.

    I went from this:

    To this:

    It’s so nice I hardly know what to do with it. I wish I could get more excited, but the entire reason I wanted a better car was, you know, in case I moved to be with HIM. :'(
    I’m not even close to getting over that. Still have a trip to take that we were supposed to be on together. I wish something would happen between now and then.

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

      Keeping fingers crossed about the job opportunity! I really hope it works out for you.

    • VintageLydia says:

      I’m excited for you about that possible job! I’ll also cross all my fingers and toes!

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Awww.. I’m glad that things are starting to turn around for you. I hope you get that dream job, it sounds perfect for you! The newer car looks really stylin!

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Yeah, it’s kind of nice to drive it somewhere and not feel embarrassed about a farty, peeling rustbucket. Then there’s the whole not-worrying-about-breakdowns thing.

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

          Speaking of a farty, peeling rustbucket, we had an old 1978 Ford F250 (I think) with those metal tool boxes on the bed. I called it “SuperTruck”. It was standard, and you had to double clutch from 1st to 2nd. The radio didn’t work, windshield wipers were iffy, and it had a gallon vinegar jug for the overflow from the radiator. Ugly greyish flat paint. Top speed was probably 45. I always started, and always went from point A to point B, although very uncomfortably. Gas mileage was abysmal. Poor thing had to go when the frame rusted to the point it couldn’t be fixed.

          I totally get where you’re coming from – any time I hopped out of that thing, I got looks, and not the good ones :)

  14. CompyPaq says:

    Woo! Open Thread! I don’t remember the last time I posted in one of these.

    My summer internship ended today. Pretty cool company. (Hint: Everyone reading this uses one of their products).

    Now I get two weeks of vacation and it’s back to school and my jobs at school.