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2641  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: ....I've been hesitant to say this, but... on: May 18, 2009, 03:50:31 AM
No clue, but seriously -- 10 pounds a week? That is extreme.

I hope it turns out to be something easily treated...or better yet, that it goes away as mysteriously as it came on. If it's exercise-related, it could be a pinched nerve which could correct itself, or physical therapy might put you right.
2642  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tropico 3 on: May 18, 2009, 01:29:45 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 18, 2009, 12:01:48 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on May 17, 2009, 07:19:33 PM

I'm cautiously anticipating this one, even though it looks more like a remake of the first Tropico than a real sequel. T2 was one of the most strategic citybuilders ever. The big question is whether or not T3 will run on my 6-year-old computer.

Judging by the "screenshots" they have released I would say not.  Though who knows if that's what actual gameplay looks like and how well it scales.

Doubt was my reaction, too. But those screenies are at maximum zoom...hard to say what it will look like at actual playing level. I really don't expect to be able to play new games on my computer anymore. Hope springs eternal when I see old titles revived.
2643  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tropico 3 on: May 17, 2009, 07:19:33 PM
I'm cautiously anticipating this one, even though it looks more like a remake of the first Tropico than a real sequel. T2 was one of the most strategic citybuilders ever. The big question is whether or not T3 will run on my 6-year-old computer.
2644  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Have you found your true calling? on: May 16, 2009, 05:22:16 PM
I know how you feel. My wife is one of those inner-directed people who has known since childhood what she wanted to do with her life, and went on to do it, more or less. I've never had any clear direction. I have never felt fulfilled for long in any job or career -- including my current one -- and I've had quite a few. 

I gradually learned that I am not work-oriented, and stopped looking for satisfaction there. Instead I try to minimize the time and attention that I have to put into earning money. I don't like trading lifespan for money, and I'm not good at it anyway. My satisfaction comes from my hobbies and leisure pursuits -- gardening, cooking, watching movies, gaming, hiking, etc. From which I conclude that I really have found my true calling: Retirement! If only I didn't have to slog through another 15 years of earning money to get there, I'd be all set.

2645  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Steam problem. Anyone else seen this? on: May 16, 2009, 03:33:17 PM

Quote from: Gratch on May 16, 2009, 12:46:48 PM

Turns out Steam puts a "hold" on the funds even though the card is declined, so they should all drop off in the next 7-10 days. 

Your card issuer automatically freezes the funds when the merchant submits the charge request, regardless of whether the charge is approved or not. People seldom notice this practice with credit cards, but it's more obvious with debit cards because that money is not available to you until the authorization hold expires.

I run into this all the time as an online merchant. People tend to resubmit failed orders several times, which can freeze up a lot of credit/money. Then they blame me. In extreme cases, I will call the card issuer on behalf of the customer and instruct them to remove the hold -- that speeds it up by 24 hours or so.
2646  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Odd things you noticed today on: May 16, 2009, 05:08:43 AM
Pumpkins take 115 days from seed to harvest. The hill that I planted today will, I hope, pay off on Oct. 5. My other squash seeds will take 45-90 days. Pumpkins are the prima donas of the squash world.
2647  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama proposed $17 billion in mostly meaningless budget cuts on: May 16, 2009, 02:16:42 AM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on May 15, 2009, 05:20:10 PM

He has already said he is going to go through the budget line by line.  We'll see further tax cuts and project elimination.  He's got the momentum to eliminate some really stupid spending, so I'm hoping that he can get it done and just keeps going. 

Without a line item veto his list is only a suggestion. This is PORK we're talking about hunting down. Pork is what gets Congress reelected. And I am beginning to suspect that Uncle Sam's sugartit is the only thing keeping this baby alive right now anyway.
2648  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: That does not make me want a sandwich... on: May 15, 2009, 05:11:26 AM

Quote from: kratz on May 13, 2009, 10:58:46 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on May 13, 2009, 10:12:23 PM

Why is the toaster voiced by a man?

Because there are no female toasters.  Do I have to explain EVERYTHING to you?

Where do new toasters come from then?

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on May 14, 2009, 12:31:41 AM

But the waffle fries man. THE WAFFLE FRIES!

Waffle fries fail as potatoes. Too much surface area means they are invariably served cold. Waffle fries excel at scooping up catsup. Do I look like a catsup eater?
2649  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Crazy beatboxing girl. on: May 15, 2009, 05:00:46 AM
There's a beatboxing scene?
2650  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cost-effective weekend vacation ideas? on: May 14, 2009, 05:43:20 PM
The Cape is just way too crowded, especially in July. You can do better than that. And I don't think the Vineyard would be any cheaper than Bermuda (which I suggested in your OO thread).

My wife loves Cape Cod. When we were rich, she used to spend a week there by herself. I only go there when I'm dragged against my will. (But I'm not at all a beach person).
2651  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Wedding Anniversary] Time sure flies when you're having fun. on: May 14, 2009, 02:03:19 AM
The Bride of Ironrod's brain came with a built-in date database. I start hearing about minor milestones at least a month before the fact, and significant dates get built up for years.

I inevitably fail, so I quit trying. I am comfortable with being a shitheel.
2652  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: S.Darko? Say it ain't so on: May 13, 2009, 04:20:25 AM
Fellow Donnie Darko fans: Who's going to take one for the team? It has to be a younger man than me. Life is too short to watch bad movies.
2653  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Spring landscaping thread 2009 on: May 12, 2009, 07:35:03 PM
It's all about the vegetable garden for me. That doesn't leave me any time, money, or interest for landscaping.

Last fall I created a small wedge-shaped flower bed next to our bulkhead. I asked my wife if she would like to pick out three types of flowers for it, or if she'd rather I just did it myself. They have to be perennials, of course. They should be blue, purple, white, or pink. They should be of different heights, and ideally should bloom at different times. She accepted the project.

A couple of months ago I went thru the Burpee catalog and marked about a dozen different flowers that would fit those criteria. I asked her again if she'd prefer that I just take care of it, or if she really wants to do it herself.

Last week I arranged the rocks that define the rows where the bulbs will actually go, and asked her if she's sure she doesn't want me to finish it off. It's really no more than 60 minutes work once the plants are chosen.

When Il buy my vegetable plants next weekend my flower bed offer will be rescinded. That bed will still be empty when snow flies next November.
2654  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: From When We Were Boys: Why Do We As Men Hoard Our Childhood Things? on: May 12, 2009, 05:36:32 PM
Well, I gather I'm not part of "this generation", but I threw away 90% of my childhood when I went away to college. Then I sold the remaining 10% for grocery money. I held onto a small box of stamps and coins until just a few years ago, when I gave them to a very appreciative nephew.

I hate clutter and am not sentimental about possessions.

My wife, OTOH, is from a family of packrats. Whenever someone in her family dies, the survivors have to rent a dumpster and hire guys in hazmat suits to haul all the detritus away. There are undoubtedly some valuables mingled in with all the crap, but it would take years to sort through it all.

Our cellar is crammed with boxes of the wife's childhood memorabilia. Every few years I insist that she clear some of it away when it overflows my tolerance. After putting up a suitable fight, she spends 12 hours going through the pile, and finally throws away a box of moldering magazines or something. This doesn't even dent a rate of accumulation that compacts the bottom layers to neutron-star density.
2655  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Meet Gustav our new family member on: May 12, 2009, 05:21:42 PM
Blurry little fellow, isn't he?
2656  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.
2657  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.
2658  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.
2659  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.
2660  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.
2661  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.
2662  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.
2663  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.
2664  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.

2665  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.
2666  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.
2667  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. 
2668  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.
2669  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.
2670  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.
2671  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. 
2672  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?
2673  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.
2674  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.
2675  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
2676  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.

2677  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?
2678  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).
2679  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.

2680  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.
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