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2641  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for new car... (sedans) on: May 11, 2009, 09:21:31 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on May 11, 2009, 07:59:05 PM

the only upkeep thus far has been standard maintenance (oil changes every 5,000 miles, basic check-ups, and then the more involved maintenance trips at certain mileage milestones - I think I have one coming up at 50,000 miles). 

My Mazdaspeed is five years old now, and I've only ever done oil changes. Lately it's been idling a little low, and not starting up as quickly as it used to, so I dug out the maintenance schedule to see if it's time for a tuneup. Nope. Apparently the first fuel adjustment isn't due until 30,000 miles...and they don't change the spark plugs until 100,000. Damned things must be made of platinum. I'm amazed at how little maintenance this car needs.
2642  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Your Signature on: May 09, 2009, 03:21:57 AM
I used to have a Declaration of Independence-worthy signature, but I gradually let it degenerate into my first initial, last initial, and some bumps as its potential historical value declined (and as I stopped writing checks). Unless I decide to go for infamy it's pretty worthless now.
2643  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: May 08, 2009, 05:38:33 PM
I see that my strategy of posting on GT while I wait for OO pages to load is still valid. I think I'll refrain from posting over there until it finishes doing whatever it's doing.
2644  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: May 08, 2009, 03:08:06 AM
Somebody refresh my memory...why is there an H-bomb on the island in the first place?

The tender moments between Sawyer and Juliette make it clear that one or the other of them is going to get whacked.  With Kate turning into such a little pain in the ass, I fear that Juliette's number is just about up.

Very funny scene with the scientist guy quizzing Hurley about dates.
2645  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA? on: May 07, 2009, 06:56:53 PM

Quote from: Teggy on May 07, 2009, 06:13:17 PM

Here's the crazy IRA matrix from wikipedia:

Wow. That's way too complicated. Lots of trivia I didn't know. For instance, you can withdraw your Roth contributions at any time without penalty.
2646  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA? on: May 07, 2009, 06:06:57 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on May 07, 2009, 05:23:57 PM

Quote from: Teggy on May 07, 2009, 05:05:49 PM

Also keep in mind that after you reach a certain income level, you are no longer allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA.

I look forward to that problem.  icon_smile


Maybe more relevant...annual Roth contributions are limited to $5000 (or $6000 for us old farts). If you are so fortunate as to be able to save more than that, you might need both a conventional and a Roth IRA. A rollover isn't subject to those annual limits, so you could jumpstart a Roth nicely. Although if your 401k used pre-tax dollars you will have to turn them into after-tax dollars before you can put them in a Roth.
2647  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA? on: May 07, 2009, 04:07:40 PM
I have a Roth mainly because I like knowing that the balance I see = the money that I can withdraw. I don't have to give 1/3 of it to the gubmint if I live long enough to withdraw it.
2648  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 07, 2009, 04:02:46 PM

Quote from: kratz on May 07, 2009, 04:53:58 AM

To ME, great tattoos on a beautiful woman don't ruin her beauty at all, or make me think that her beauty isn't 'real'...  fake tits, on the other hand.

So we all have a line somewhere...

Well obviously it's a matter of opinion. Megan Fox ruined herself in my eyes. That's her loss. But I'm not trying to talk the rest of mankind into shunning her.  

A pretty young bartendress that I'd been pining for all winter wore a skimpy top to work when the temperature spiked a couple of weeks ago. It turns out she has those stupid angel wing tattoos on her back. I no longer have any feelings for her. I'm sure she's devastated.
2649  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Does it feel weird to change your avatar? on: May 06, 2009, 06:06:08 PM
I get bored with mine periodically, or stumble upon some image that I think is more suitable. The one I'm using now is my avatar from Buzztime bar trivia. It looks a little like me, if I didn't wear glasses. But I'm sure I will change again eventually. I use my avatar mainly to find my own posts.

Someone on OO once appropriated one of my retired avatars. In fact, he's still using it. Our paths don't cross very often, but whenever I come upon one of his posts I got this weird chill.

2650  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 06, 2009, 02:45:47 AM
Mmmm, nothing like Sam's Summer to wash down all that ketchup.
2651  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 05, 2009, 10:42:22 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on May 05, 2009, 08:43:55 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 05, 2009, 08:38:45 PM

Our Mexican community has a population of about three, so Cinco de Mayo is a non-event around here. I don't know if the kiddies use it as an excuse to get liquored up or not. I only know of one local bar that has Mexican beer on tap anyway.

I live in the equivalent of northern Mexico (but at least a cleaner version), and every bar and grocery in the area is advertising Cinco de Mayo specials, sales, etc.  Tequila and every brand of Mexican beer are on giant displays in the alcohol sections of local stores, and you can find a Cinco sign at every area Mexican restaurant and even many non-Mexican restaurants.  My pool hall is far from being a "Mexican restaurant" and even they are having Cinco specials.  Granted, we probably have more real Mexicans in the area than your neck of the woods, and even a few legal ones as well (icon_wink), but for some reason I feel far more motivation to guzzle pints of Guinness around St. Patrick's Day than I do bottles of Corona today.  And I think it has more to do with the beer and nothing to do with the holiday.

St Patricks Day is a huge holiday here, bigger than in Ireland itself. And thanks to our large Italian population Columbus Day has fierce defenders, too, against the many revisionists who consider it a celebration of genocide. I don't care about Columbus Day. The Italians have awful beer. I do like draft Negra Modelo, though. You rarely find Mexican beer on tap. I think it's because they don't have refrigeration yet.
2652  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Roger Ebert contemplates his own death on: May 05, 2009, 10:34:14 PM
Good column and very close to my own beliefs (nonbeliefs) in many ways.

But certainly, some readers have informed me, it is a tragic and dreary business to go into death without faith. I don't feel that way. "Faith" is neutral. All depends on what is believed in

I have faith that the universe will take care of itself regardless of my input. I'll find out what this was all about when I die. Or I won't. Nothing I can do will change that, so I don't lose sleep over it. 
2653  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: May 05, 2009, 08:43:19 PM
Or is it? I can read, but I cannot write. Been unable to post for the past hour.
2654  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 05, 2009, 08:38:45 PM
Our Mexican community has a population of about three, so Cinco de Mayo is a non-event around here. I don't know if the kiddies use it as an excuse to get liquored up or not. I only know of one local bar that has Mexican beer on tap anyway.
2655  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 on: May 05, 2009, 02:47:50 PM

Quote from: Moliere on May 05, 2009, 04:25:10 AM

Wired's Save Sarah Connor Chronicles From Termination

I only watched the first two episodes of the first season. Is the general consensus that this series is worth watching? Maybe I can catch up now that BSG is gone.

Yes, it gets better. The first several episodes tried too hard to please the fisticuffs/explosions/car chase crowd while reconciling with the already-muddy movie canon. They eventually get that out of their system and become comfortable with their own characters, storyline, and voice. A few episodes even show some sophistication and nuance. It was one of only three shows that I watched, and I miss it.

Summer Glau plays the most convincing android character since Brent Spiner. Plus, hubba-hubba.
2656  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 05, 2009, 04:01:02 AM

Quote from: GGMark on May 04, 2009, 11:34:49 PM

i am really tied of the whole " hurt your ability to get jobs"  how many people here didnt even KNOW she had tattoos?

I was speaking strictly of actors/actresses, whose appearance greatly affects their employability. There are certain roles a woman can't play (such as historical and biographical pictures) if she's got obvious tattoos that can't easily be hidden.

Quote from: PeteRock on May 05, 2009, 03:38:50 AM

To suggest that someone as hot as Megan Fox "degraded" her body with tattoos and irreparably harmed her beauty is absurd.  She's fucking hot.  Period. 

Did I degrade my inherent beauty with tattoos?  My fabulousness transcends alleged surficial degradation.

She's hot until you see the tattoos. They take her attractiveness down several notches. Fortunately for her she is starting at a high enough level to remain eminently boinkable despite her degraded complexion. 

Nobody cares what men's bodies look like. We are pre-degraded. 
2657  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 04, 2009, 08:56:43 PM

Quote from: Moliere on May 04, 2009, 07:41:24 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 04, 2009, 07:09:33 PM

Ugh, she has tattoos. That's gross.

I agree. Tattoos on women.  puke

Nasty picture. I wonder why an actress would do that to herself. It seems like it would constrain the roles she could get, and she'd forever be trying to cover them up with costumes or makeup, or they'd have to digitally process them out or something. If your livelihood depended on your appearance, why would you deliberately degrade it?
2658  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Megan Fox in a tight, tight corset! on: May 04, 2009, 07:09:33 PM
Ugh, she has tattoos. That's gross.
2659  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Help me understand: Lobbyists on: May 04, 2009, 04:05:51 PM
Here's a good Newsweek column about good lobbying vs bad lobbying, specifically under the current administration's guidelines. Before I read it I tarred all lobbyists with the same brush.

An example of the bad kind of lobbying came to light last week when The New York Times revealed that Sallie Mae had hired Tony Podesta and Jamie Gorelick, two Democratic fixers, to save it from extinction. Sallie Mae insures college loans made by private banks. Like Fannie and Freddie, her inbred cousins in the housing business, Sallie embodies the principle of privatizing gains and socializing losses. Obama has sensibly proposed eliminating it. According to the Congressional Budget Office, having the Feds make loans directly would save $94 billion over the next decade, providing funds for millions more students to go to college.


As an illustration of the other kind of lobbying, the good kind, consider Tom Malinowski, who worked as a foreignpolicy speechwriter during the Clinton administration. Since leaving government, Malinowski—who declined to comment for this story—has been Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, where he has spoken up for political prisoners abroad and against the Bush administration's policies on torture and detention. After serving on an advisory committee for the Obama campaign, Malinowski reportedly became a top candidate for a job dealing with human rights and international law at the State Department. But because he was registered as a lobbyist, he can't be hired without a waiver, which he hasn't been able to get.

There is every imaginable ethical difference between Podesta's work and Malinowski's. Podesta represents the human-rights-abusing government of Egypt; Malinowski has advocated for victims of Egyptian oppression. Podesta greases the skids for his clients with fat campaign contributions; Malinowski tries to convince legislators without donating money. Podesta's firm grossed $19 million last year and has been signing up new clients at a ferocious clip since the Democratic victory in November; Malinowski earns a nonprofit-sector salary. Podesta undermines democratic principles by selling his influence. Malinowski enhances democracy through legitimate advocacy.
2660  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 04, 2009, 02:05:23 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 04, 2009, 02:00:40 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 04, 2009, 01:23:23 AM

It's time for a summer ales threat. Do I have to do all the work around here?


if you don't drink it Sam Adams Summer Ale will come and kill your family.

Nice beer you've got there. Shame if something happened to t.  icon_lol
2661  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Would You Buy a house within 5 Miles of a Nuclear Power Plant? on: May 04, 2009, 01:33:31 AM
In the 1970s I used to march against nuclear power. I was in a punk band called Your Mother. "Atom Death Boogie" was one of our most popular songs. We actually got a crowd sing-along going at an anti-nuke rally once. We wrote it right after 3 Mile Island. It went like this:

Quote from: Your Mother
Pennsylvania got a brand new beat
Everybody dying in the street

Do the atom death boogie
Do the atom death boogie
Do the atom death boogie, we'll be dying when the morning comes

Watch your hair fall out
Watch your teeth glow white
Watch the population decimated overnight


Life is so angry
Life is so hard
They're building a reactor plant in my back yard!

(Chorus, over and over and over again)

Who would have guessed that I'd become a nuclear power supporter 30 years later? Things change. Go ahead, live next to a nuke plant. I would.

2662  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: May 04, 2009, 01:23:23 AM
Sadly, my packie is down to 1.5 cases of my beloved Sierra Nevada ESB left. I haven't actually tried SN's summer yet, but I know it will be all lemony and I won't like it as well. As much as I love summer otherwise, it's not beer's best season. I'm retreating into my old standby Harpoon IPA until I find some reason not to.

It's time for a summer ales threat. Do I have to do all the work around here?
2663  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Best Homepage? on: May 02, 2009, 02:37:13 PM

Quote from: Eco-Logic on May 02, 2009, 01:50:19 PM

Ideally, I'd like the homepage to have all the RSS feeds I subscribe to, and maybe some news.  I know this is normal of most portals, and am curious if any of you use something other than iGoogle?

I don't know what iGoogle is, but Google Reader is a very good RSS integrator. Not that I actually use it as my home page. I use my Earthlink start page out of habit (had this account for 13 years now).
2664  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Danny Gans last show on: May 02, 2009, 02:33:37 PM
I turned 52 two weeks ago. I never expected to live this long. I was of the "live fast, die young, leave a nice corpse" school of thought, and a few of my old friends did just that.

About 5 years ago I started to temper my nihilistic/hedonistic tendencies with daily exercise and better nutrition. Life is not an endurance event. Anybody can drop dead without warning at any moment. But just in case you don't, it would be dumb not to take some simple precautions for your health and vitality.

2665  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 30, 2009, 08:59:43 PM

Quote from: rittchard on April 30, 2009, 06:04:48 PM

It did bug me he ran in with the gun, which made no sense to me whatsoever as he was never a gun type of guy. 

Agreed it was out of character. At least he was holding it awkwardly, as if it were an unfamiliar tool. But walking in unarmed and getting himself detained would have served the same purpose as the dramatic entrance -- in fact, they might have been more receptive.

Even if he stays dead in 1973, I expect that we'll see him periodically in other timelines. Shows like Lost need "explainer" characters and he was a strong one. Plus he seemed to have a handle on the mechanics of time travel. 

I am glad that our Losties have a purpose again. I like the possibility of preventing their own plane crash and negating the entire series. It's probably a red herring, since they were so explicit about it, but it's an intriguing one.
2666  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: T-Rex vs. Grizzly Bears on: April 29, 2009, 05:28:11 AM
I dunno, bears would be like McNuggets for a T Rex. I can eat a LOT of McNuggets. Well, maybe fewer if they're fighting back.
2667  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [trailer] Moon on: April 27, 2009, 09:11:10 PM

Quote from: Teggy on April 27, 2009, 05:15:55 PM

Quote from: Moliere on April 27, 2009, 04:23:20 PM

Not to undermine the premise of the movie, but who would come up with the idea of putting a person alone on the moon for 3 years? That just seems like a recipe for disaster that no one outside of the University Psychology department would contemplate.

Oh, but he's not alone, he has that friendly not-HAL to keep him company. And I'm sure not-HAL has nothing do with any of this.

Made me think of Silent Running.
2668  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Quit giving your kids silly names on: April 27, 2009, 09:04:50 PM

Quote from: Gratch on April 27, 2009, 05:24:59 PM

Was talking to one of Mrs. Gratch's friends about their new baby, Oliva.   I was very emphatically informed that it is Oh-lee-vah, and not Olivia. 

Mrs Gratch's friend never saw Zsa Zsa Gabor talking to her husband in Green Acres, did she?
2669  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [trailer] Moon on: April 27, 2009, 03:46:22 PM
I approve of this movie.
2670  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Swine Flu Outbreak- the next big pandemic? on: April 27, 2009, 03:41:59 PM
Hard to say. We are at the end of the traditional flu season (i.e. the school year), so it's not going to spread as rapidly as it would have done a few months ago.

I'd expect that it will fizzle out quickly, lie dormant throughout the summer, and then come raging back in the fall when all the little plague vectors go back to school. I further expect that millions of people will feel really crappy for a few days, and then recover. There's not much evidence that it's deadly in otherwise-healthy populations.

Maybe the early (over?)reaction will contain this virus before it can rage through the populace next fall/winter.
2671  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Colonization! on: April 26, 2009, 02:09:38 AM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 12, 2009, 04:57:36 PM

While I did run into a game-stopping bug at the end (the AI doesn't like to land their REF if they're greatly outnumbered - a bug that was in the original release) that I had to cheat around to get the game to end, overall it was a much more enjoyable experience.

What's the cheat?

I finished my first Age of Discovery game with a huge thriving civ and a big nasty army and navy. The REF was easy meat. But after I got them down to 6 units and 0 ships, the last units never appeared and the game refused to end.

The game is greatly improved, and I'll probably play again on a higher difficulty. But my usual strategy is to destroy the REF at sea. If the game won't end when they run out of ships, that's a fatal bug.
2672  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 25, 2009, 12:14:50 AM
I do tend to forget that Mass. has the most generous unemployment benefits in the US. The system is poorly set up for people who earn periodic freelance income, though. Every time my wife reports billing a client, the DUA closes her claim as if she's re-employed. She loses the next week's benefit check and has to reopen her claim. Sure does make budgeting a challenge...especially since we're never sure exactly when that freelance check is going to actually show up. 
2673  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you listening to right now? on: April 25, 2009, 12:08:52 AM
I am slowly auditioning the 2009 SxSW download. I'm almost through the J's. Right now a fellow named Josh Pyke is moments away from the recycle bin. 755 more songs to go....

Ah, good. Bye, Josh. Next up: Josiah Leming.
2674  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 24, 2009, 06:53:40 PM

Quote from: kratz on April 24, 2009, 04:41:16 PM

Yeah, sign up for unemployment so that things are seamless.  They will ask you if you got severance, and you probably won't get unemployment checks until the severance runs out, but definitely get that ball rolling.

That depends on whether the "severance" involves periodic payments -- i.e., whether he is still on the payroll. If it's a lump sum, it should not affect benefits. Believe me, I know unemployment bennies all too well (in my state, obviously).
2675  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe it happened to me (laid off) on: April 24, 2009, 04:05:57 PM
Severance pay does not disqualify you for unemployment (at least, not in Mass.; I imagine that the rules vary from state to state). And there will be a delay between your initial claim and your first check. You might want to file your claim just to get the process moving. You can always close it if a job comes through.
2676  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Precoqnition (fortune telling) for real? on: April 24, 2009, 04:00:05 PM
I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Does all of time exist simultaneously, with only the illusion that the present divides past from future? If so then is the future immutable? If it's not, can the past also be changed? Precognition implies predestination which negates free will. That makes me uncomfortable on one level and reassures me on another.

I think that only NOW exists, eternally, and past and future are illusions. But of course that contradicts the universal subjective sensation of time passing.

I don't know what I believe about the nature of time. Wait, did I say that already?
2677  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tim Burton-Alice In Wonderland on: April 24, 2009, 03:44:58 PM

2678  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Finally, warm weather! on: April 24, 2009, 02:08:45 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 23, 2009, 09:03:04 PM

Weather for Chandler, AZ
Current: Clear
Wind: S at 7 mph
Humidity: 14%


We'll be relaxing by the pool this weekend, sipping cold beer, grilling up a few burgers while the dogs swim and play.  

You don't have weather. Disqualified.
2679  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What are you listening to right now? on: April 24, 2009, 02:05:30 AM on Shoutcast. ATM it's "Vataff Project: Free Space."
2680  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Finally, warm weather! on: April 23, 2009, 09:01:41 PM
Supposed to be in the 80s here this weekend. I'm looking forward to doing a little yardwork.
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