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2721  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How did you choose your Gamertag or Forum name? on: December 31, 2008, 06:17:29 AM
My gaming alias has been Ironrod since around 1978. My D&D character was a thief in a metal-poor world who found the Iron Rod of Rulership and retired as a king. There was the obvious double-entendre, too. Use your imagination.

Ironrod moved here when Gone Gold died. Now I'm only Ironrod at Octopus Overlords and here. The rest of the world knows me as Kraken. My company is Kraken Enterprises.
2722  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OK, all you consumer types: Dishwashers? on: December 30, 2008, 04:54:34 PM
I don't know if anyone will be interested, but I have this obsession with completion, so here's the update:

After an hour of semi-random internet research, I winnowed the list to a Kenmore, a GE, and a Maytag. The Maytag eventually won. The Jetclean MDC4650AWB has the best feature list and best consumer reviews in its price range. Home Depot's internet price is $449, plus $30 of mandatory installation hardware and $65 for delivery. The HD store does not stock this model, so we couldn't pick one up to avoid the delivery fee. The local scratch-and-dent appliance outlet didn't have any in stock, either, but agreed to order us one for $449 complete, with free delivery. Sweet.

The co-owner of the store told us that mid-priced dishwashers like this are pretty interchangeable, but we should not expect any model to rival the 20-year lifespan of our old GE. They simply don't build them to last anymore. Six to eight years is all you can expect...maybe a little longer since we don't use it every day.   
2723  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Congress giving themselves another pay raise.. on: December 30, 2008, 02:58:21 AM

Quote from: Farscry on December 29, 2008, 11:53:07 PM

On top of that, the generous checks the gov sent us this year to "stimulate" the economy came directly from our taxes. But they're getting counted as taxable income on our income taxes this year, so I'm going to get screwed over even MORE than usual

Not so.

Quote
The rebates represent a 2008 tax cut. But instead of getting the tax cut next year, when you file your 2008 return, you'll get it this year.

The IRS, however, will use your 2007 tax return to determine who gets a rebate and how much.

If it turns out that you would have gotten a bigger tax rebate based on your 2008 tax return, the IRS will refund you the difference. For example, a middle-income family that has a baby born in 2008 should be able to reap an extra $300 when they file their tax return next year, Luscombe says.

On the other hand, if you would have gotten a smaller rebate based on your 2008 return, you won't have to pay back the difference, says Bob Scharin, RIA Senior Tax Analyst from Thomson Tax & Accounting.

Q: Lynn H. asks, "Will the rebate be taxable income that we need to claim as income for 2008 on our tax returns? Will the checks be in the actual amounts quoted, or will there be taxes deducted?"

A: The rebates are not taxable. You will not have to report them as income for 2008. No taxes will be deducted from the rebates.

Rebates also will not be added to income to determine whether people are eligible for federal or federally subsidized programs such as food stamps or welfare.
2724  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 9 on: December 27, 2008, 09:39:56 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on December 27, 2008, 06:35:33 PM

Wont work. Says I need the latest Quicktime. I use QT Alternative. Oh well.

+1. I don't allow QT on my computer. If anyone finds a WMV or MPEG, please link.
2725  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Donnie Darko - WTF? (SPOILERS PLEEEAASSE) on: December 27, 2008, 05:26:53 PM

Quote from: Chaz on December 27, 2008, 03:32:15 PM

Quote from: jersoc on December 27, 2008, 11:46:05 AM

it certainly is a strange movie. I enjoyed it though.

If you really want to watch a fuck with your face time travel there's some movies where these 3(maybe it was 4) guys accidently make a time travel machine. I can't remember the name right now. it was a semi indie film. it involved them storing the thing in a storage area, they had to preset a date and let the machine warm up before entering it. i'm sure someone will know the name. that was probably one the best time travel movies i've seen because it's fully plausible and in line with how i think time travel to the past will work.

Sounds like you're talking about Primer.  That movie will fuck with your head, and not even offer to cuddle afterward.

Yeah, I thought that one was self-consciously difficult -- you need a roadmap to untangle the multiple interweaving timelines. While I'm sure it's a technical accomplishment, I did not find it entertaining at all. Donnie Darko is simple and accessible by comparison.
2726  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: left for dead on a low end system? on: December 26, 2008, 06:22:10 PM
I didn't realize "left for dead" is a game. I thought the OP felt left-for-dead with his old system, so I answered generally.  icon_smile
2727  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: left for dead on a low end system? on: December 26, 2008, 06:32:52 AM
I'll trade you.

I have a P4 2.66 1gb and the same video card. It could be worse...new games are always challenging. Old games run OK. Everything except gaming is fine.
2728  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Post your Christmas Loot Here on: December 26, 2008, 06:21:15 AM

Quote from: Simon on December 25, 2008, 08:40:49 PM

My wife and I used to exchange a lot at Christmas but decided this year to keep it simple. I got a lead crystal cigar ashtray, 10 assorted cigars, a toolkit for my scooter, a Family Guy t-shirt and desk calendar, and a tin of gourmet popcorn.

Nice. There's nothing in that list I wouldn't want.
2729  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 2009 - The Year Ahead In Gaming on: December 25, 2008, 07:27:58 PM
Nothing there at all that interests me...which is fine, since my PC can't run new games anyway and I don't anticipate replacing it in 2009 unless the gubmint is sending me a bailout.
2730  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Post your Christmas Loot Here on: December 25, 2008, 07:21:30 PM

Quote from: Razgon on December 25, 2008, 06:52:04 PM

Quote from: Darkstar One on December 25, 2008, 06:19:54 PM

http://www.alienware.com/products/m17-notebook.aspx?SysCode=PC-LT-M17&SubCode=SKU-DEFAULT

One gift from my hubby and the kids, all tricked out.  Now I have something to do while in my office at school instead of doing something boring like grading papers or meeting with students smile.

awesome looking laptop - Alienware has a solid rep, dont they? stupid ASUS gaming series of mine sucks in looks compared to this..

They used to have terrible customer service due to offshoring their warehouse operations -- repairs and exchanges were a bitch. I think they got better after Dell bought them.

(EDIT)

I got an 8" chef's knife, Colonization, and a big pile of new dice.
2731  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: December 24, 2008, 08:56:27 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on December 24, 2008, 06:07:00 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on December 23, 2008, 05:22:16 AM

Quote from: mytocles on December 22, 2008, 07:37:10 PM

Western Massachusetts here

Where? We vacation in the Berkshires every summer (near Jiminy Peak - Williamstown - Lanesborough)

Today I replaced the Subaru's battery. It still won't start. No dashboard lights, no clicking, absolutely nothing electrical going on except the door chime. I wish I knew what that was telling me -- some trickle of electricity from the fresh battery is getting through to one system somehow, but it's lights out everywhere else. Time to tow the car and call in the professionals, and so begins once again the Search for a Good Mechanic. At least the AAA guy who came this morning helped me move the dead car out of the driveway so that we could get the live car out, and leveled with us about their battery service. It is not all that you would hope.

So far AAA is 0 for 2. When the jumpstart fails, they're outta here.


Check the fuses.

The last AAA guy who showed up opened the fusebox and pronounced them all good. I didn't check it for myself because, you know, he's the professional.

It was a fuse. Or "main breaker" to be more accurate. A $9 part that cost us $85 for installation and $95 for a new battery that wasn't strictly necessary (although the old one was certainly way past its expiration date). Oh well, at least the auto is mobile again and we didn't get hit with the hugely expensive repair that I had feared. Got an overdue oil change while we were at it, too.
2732  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OK, all you consumer types: Dishwashers? on: December 23, 2008, 04:31:02 PM
Our stove is from the 1940s, so I don't think there's any danger of it ever breaking down. Since these things always come in threes, our triple-whammy of computer-dishwasher-car breakdowns should keep us in the clear for awhile now -- at least until all three of those have been dealt with. (The car was just towed to a gas station this morning). 

The appliance failure derby is now between the washing machine and the fridge, both 20 years old.
2733  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So mortgage rates are at 4 3/4 or less on: December 23, 2008, 04:24:23 PM

Quote from: Zero on December 23, 2008, 05:43:54 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on December 23, 2008, 04:55:35 AM

Math guys, sharpen your calculators.

Ben (not his real name) has a $100k mortgage at 6%. He also has a home equity loan balance of $40k at prime minus 0.5% (currently about 3%). Should Ben refinance $140k at 4.75% if $100k currently costs 6% and $40k costs 3%? Ben assumes that he cannot simply refi the $100k portion while leaving the equity line open.

Before I pull out the HP 19b - the problem is that with the current slump in the housing market, Ben is lucky to still have an open HELO.  The part that would worry me is, depending on which part of the country - will Ben's house even appraise at 100K - and if you refi for 140K  - they will want the house to appraise close to the amount they are going to put a "mortgage" on it.  So with that, do you still want the calculation?

I'm assuming Ben right now pays around $600/month for the $100K at 6% (assuming no PMI or taxes being collected).  With a $140K loan at 4.75% (again assuming no PMI or taxes), Ben will pay about $730/month.

House was last appraised at roughly $310k and is still worth at least $250k. Current monthly payment is $835, plus $150 minimum on equity line (interest only). Amount financed on existing mortgage was $119k for 20 years at 5.74%, remaining balance is $100k. If Ben refinances, he'll want a 15-year mortgage this time. Household income has been falling for the past several years and his credit is less than stellar, but not poor.
2734  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OK, all you consumer types: Dishwashers? on: December 23, 2008, 05:33:23 AM
Well I heard from a guy who knows a guy who knows stuff that Sears is going to have the most incredible appliance sale that ever was right after xmas. Who could've guessed?! We also found a nearby scratch-and-dent store that has GEs. Sadly, we now have a dead car to deal with at $100 and counting (starter? alternator? ignition module? ...?) Oh, and did I mention that my wife's computer died a few weeks ago? She has an emergency fallback work computer, but the grumbling now registers on the Richter scale.
2735  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: December 23, 2008, 05:22:16 AM

Quote from: mytocles on December 22, 2008, 07:37:10 PM

Western Massachusetts here

Where? We vacation in the Berkshires every summer (near Jiminy Peak - Williamstown - Lanesborough)

Today I replaced the Subaru's battery. It still won't start. No dashboard lights, no clicking, absolutely nothing electrical going on except the door chime. I wish I knew what that was telling me -- some trickle of electricity from the fresh battery is getting through to one system somehow, but it's lights out everywhere else. Time to tow the car and call in the professionals, and so begins once again the Search for a Good Mechanic. At least the AAA guy who came this morning helped me move the dead car out of the driveway so that we could get the live car out, and leveled with us about their battery service. It is not all that you would hope.

So far AAA is 0 for 2. When the jumpstart fails, they're outta here.



2736  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My new toy (and a chance to say "I told you so")... on: December 23, 2008, 05:07:54 AM
I haven't vacuumed since I took the leaf blower to our floors in the fall. Twice a year I blow out the house, then give it a good vacuuming with our old Hoover canister vac.

If I had any carpets, though, I'd covet your suckbots.
2737  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So mortgage rates are at 4 3/4 or less on: December 23, 2008, 04:55:35 AM
Math guys, sharpen your calculators.

Ben (not his real name) has a $100k mortgage at 6%. He also has a home equity loan balance of $40k at prime minus 0.5% (currently about 3%). Should Ben refinance $140k at 4.75% if $100k currently costs 6% and $40k costs 3%? Ben assumes that he cannot simply refi the $100k portion while leaving the equity line open.
2738  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: December 22, 2008, 04:04:16 AM
I ended up shoveling four times. Seventy-foot driveway, plus walkways. I ache everywhere. I am old.

And, after nine years of faithful service, the Subaru's battery picked this morning to give up the ghost...blocking the driveway and confining my Miata to the garage. If our street is dry enough in the morning we'll try to push the 'ru out of the driveway so that I can go buy a battery.

It was an impressive storm, for Boston. Not a Michigan-style blizzard, but it had teeth. It's supposed to get back up to 50 degrees on Wednesday. That's more like it.
2739  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: December 21, 2008, 04:41:51 AM

Quote from: gellar on December 21, 2008, 03:52:19 AM

Quote from: cheeba on December 21, 2008, 12:57:21 AM

Quote from: Blackadar on December 20, 2008, 06:43:46 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on December 20, 2008, 04:49:28 PM

See attached.

It was done already, page 3.
And of course it should be mentioned that that joke is almost entirely untrue, albeit a little funny. American cars are not shitty. The quality is comparable to the Japanese. People are still buying them. It's their costs that are the problem. American cars are comparable with Japanese for fuel efficiency in nearly every auto category. Resale value is lower for American cars, though that's largely due to (mis)perception. And there's a Ford shown in the picture even though Ford has not gotten and will not get any bailout money.

Perception is reality. 

Yes. Perceived quality > statistical quality, and American cars have a reputation for inferiority that dates to the 1970s.

The ad parody is funny. Trust me. 
2740  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / OK, all you consumer types: Dishwashers? on: December 21, 2008, 04:32:20 AM
The GE dishwasher that we bought at the scratch-and-dent place 20 years ago finally gave up the ghost yesterday when it tipped over and spilled a full load of (dirty, thankfully) dishes. The runners for the racks took too much damage to repair, and so the dishwasher won our appliance death watch. (Now the race is between the refrigerator and the washing machine).

Unless we renovate our 60-year-old kitchen (hah!) we need a free-standing "convertible" dishwasher such as are sold to apartment dwellers. It looks like GE still makes a descendant of our old one, right down to the butcher block top. Since it lasted for 20 years, I'm inclined to buy another. It might have gone another 2-3 years if I hadn't tipped it over. The price range I'm seeing is $400-$3,000. I'll bet we can come in under or near $400 with after-xmas sales.

My only stipulations are that it must be energy star compliant, and it must be a robot. No human dishwashers.

So what saith the American consumer? Any brands I should avoid, or features I absolutely must have? How has dishwasher technology changed since 1988?
2741  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: December 20, 2008, 07:19:10 PM
Our storm unexpectedly lingered all through the night and all day today instead of tapering to flurries as forecast, so we ended up with something close to the 12" they predicted. In a few minutes I'm going out for my third and final shoveling session.

Next storm is due tomorrow, and supposed to finish as freezing rain. Lovely.
2742  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Does Caroline Kennedy want to be president? on: December 20, 2008, 04:05:47 AM
She has always tried to maintain some privacy. I'd be very surprised if she was willing to give that up completely.
2743  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me find a Christmas gift for my wife... on: December 20, 2008, 04:01:01 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on December 18, 2008, 04:06:26 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on December 18, 2008, 03:22:23 AM

My wife already has three of everything. She wants one more. The only thing she actually needs is a new computer, so that's what I'm buying her. But I want to let her pick it out, and I don't want to shackle her to a particular store or brand, so I'm not buying a gift certificate. I still have no idea how I'm going to present this gift on xmas morning. I'd like to give her something to unwrap, even if the gift itself is really just money.

Get the budget in banded stacks of $1s from the bank, get a cheap briefcase, and wrap that.

What an amusingly inconvenient idea! I think I like it.

Kitchen stuff is a good idea. My wishlist this year features a good chef's knife. I cook a lot, and I am tired of sawing through vegetables with a steak knife.
2744  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Drinking habits and me on: December 20, 2008, 03:43:17 AM

Quote from: mori on December 20, 2008, 01:25:18 AM

Do I drink alone? Absolutely. Do I occasionally get drunk? Absolutely. I love beer. It is a gift from the gods. They want me to drink beer. I drink beer for the wonderful experience of the flavor and craftmanship of brewing, the buzz or drunkiness is a side effect.

Well said -- that was a point that I meant to address. I'm a hedonist. I drink a lot of beer because there are so many excellent beers available, and because there is nothing I would rather have during a snowstorm than the toasted flavor of the Smuttynose Robust Porter that I'm enjoying right now. In fact, I think I'll have another. Getting drunk is not the point.

When I started drinking in the 1970s all American beer was mediocre to poor. I didn't like it much, and didn't drink much of it. Craft brewing changed everything.

If you drink Bud Light because it's an efficient alcohol-delivery vector (less filling! no taste!), then you might be an alcoholic.
2745  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: December 20, 2008, 03:27:33 AM
The world did not end. The 6-12" snowfall ended up more like 4-6". Our town was virtually shut down anyway, and the roads were nearly deserted. We went to five restaurants before we found one open.
2746  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Drinking habits and me on: December 19, 2008, 10:59:32 PM

Quote from: Ridah on December 18, 2008, 03:34:54 AM

enough so that I have a mild to heavy hangover the next day which affects my performance. I usually won't exercise that day and overall I'm less productive at work or with my studies.

Your body is not used to binge drinking because you aren't drinking enough on other nights. You need to raise your tolerance by drinking more heavily the rest of the week.  icon_wink

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on December 19, 2008, 02:46:40 PM

For me it's all about control. 

Yes, this. I'm a heavy drinker by choice. I can turn it off when I want to, and I routinely keep a couple of sober nights per week just for the sake of discipline. I always remain in control and never drink to the point of getting sick or blacking out. I consider myself a heavy drinker and don't make apologies for it. I'm not an alcoholic by my own definition. Others will disagree, but who cares?

Quote from: Blackadar on December 19, 2008, 06:09:39 PM


If you're getting drunk roughly 50 days a year, you're an alcoholic.  Like any disease, it has degrees of severity.  While Ridah certainly isn't the "Leaving Las Vegas" brand of alcoholic, he most certainly exhibits some of alcoholism based on his frequency.  It's been said that if you get drunk more than 4 times a year, you might be an alcoholic.

That's just plain silly.

Quote from: gellar on December 19, 2008, 07:05:31 PM

In my eyes, it's pretty simple and just like any other addiction: it's about who has the control.

Yes, again.

If you can handle your liquor go ahead and enjoy it without guilt or apologies, and to hell with what the moralists say. If it's affecting your relationships or your job performance or otherwise impairing your normal activities, then you need to dial it back a notch. If you can't, then maybe you are a real alcoholic who simply can't drink.

The quoted portion of the OP is the only thing that gives me pause, and I think that's more about poor management than about alcoholism. Drink a glass of water before you go to bed, and you'll feel a whole lot better the next morning. Problem solved.   
2747  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here comes the snow on: December 19, 2008, 10:31:18 PM
Pretty ugly. I am not looking forward to shoveling tomorrow. Yet the two people who paid big bucks for Express Mail shipping tonight are going to expect their packages to hit the post office by 12:30. I will have to get up early if I'm to have any chance at it.

God I hate Christmas.
2748  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: December 18, 2008, 03:57:52 AM

Quote from: Blackadar on December 17, 2008, 07:28:01 PM

I don't know how true it is.  But I like my 'Yota.

I'd consider an American car for my next auto purchase and, in the event of a "tie", the American car will get the nod.  But our favored auto of choice - the small SUV - has been pretty well dominated by the RAV4, CRV and Forester in terms of quality.

We're in that demo, too, and we will almost surely buy another Forester -- only because neither of the competitors have manual transmissions. There's a small chance we'll downsize to a Fit, if gas prices stage a comeback before we have to buy again.
2749  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: OPEC cuts oild production by another 2.2 million barrels a day on: December 18, 2008, 03:38:17 AM

Quote from: Eduardo X on December 17, 2008, 10:15:13 PM

I think it would have been smart (for them) to keep the price down as low as possible so as to keep us addicted to oil. At that point, they could let the price rise again and be super rich with an assured income for ages.
But, even though this sucks for us now, it'll probably bring the end of oil dependence sooner rather than later.

The sweet spot is the maximum that we will pay without changing our habits. The recent price bubble was, I believe, an effort to find that tipping point. That the bottom fell out was unforeseen, but they did learn that Americans will tolerate at least $3 per gallon -- and now that we've been softened up, possibly closer to $4. So that's where I expect the new equilibrium to end up, whatever that works out to per barrel.  ninja

As far as OPEC cutting production: The ground is the best place to keep surplus oil. Has anybody heard "Drill baby drill" lately?
2750  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me find a Christmas gift for my wife... on: December 18, 2008, 03:22:23 AM
So let's recap: She doesn't need anything. She doesn't want anything. And she has no apparent interests that suggest pleasant surprises. Isgrimnur is right: You're hosed. Cut your losses and get her something for yourself.

My wife already has three of everything. She wants one more. The only thing she actually needs is a new computer, so that's what I'm buying her. But I want to let her pick it out, and I don't want to shackle her to a particular store or brand, so I'm not buying a gift certificate. I still have no idea how I'm going to present this gift on xmas morning. I'd like to give her something to unwrap, even if the gift itself is really just money.

We determined that your wife doesn't like technology, though, so that's no help to you.

When things aren't appropriate, think about experiences. What about movie tickets, theater tickets, concert tickets, a museum membership...?
2751  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Winter Blast Coming to Portland on: December 18, 2008, 03:03:43 AM

Quote from: lildrgn on December 17, 2008, 11:15:53 PM

3:20pm: no snow in Bellevue (suburb east of Seattle).

Here's how crazy our school district is. Because of a good chance of snow, they closed the schools.

saywhat

There was no snow this morning. There has been no snow all day. But to keep the kids safe, they called it off.

The people of Boston like to consider themselves hardy New Englanders, but every time it snows they strip the grocers of bread and milk (because if there's a disaster coming, you want a lot of perishable foods, right?) and cancel everything. Today's weather report warned of a possible 6-12" of snow on Friday...so my wife's craft group promptly canceled their Saturday night event.

Snowstorms are the best time to go shopping or out for dinner. Everything's deserted.
2752  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Winter Blast Coming to Portland on: December 17, 2008, 05:23:15 AM

Quote from: PaulBot on December 16, 2008, 06:35:24 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on December 16, 2008, 04:49:33 AM

It was 62 this afternoon. I drove with the top down.

That's just mean posting that here!! Our seven day forecast in Portland contains no numbers above freezing. I might as well just give my bank account balance to the natural gas company now.....


If it's any consolation we are back to our miserable normal weather again: Temps in the 30s and 40s with intermittent rain, sleet, and snow showers. At least it hasn't snowed much this year. I'm hoping it won't.
2753  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me find a Christmas gift for my wife... on: December 17, 2008, 05:18:52 AM
If she's an avid reader, what about a Kindle? She sounds like a practical sort and the Kindle strikes me as a practical device.
2754  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it Unreasonable to Fear for Obama's Safety? on: December 16, 2008, 05:21:19 AM

Quote from: Dramatist on December 15, 2008, 09:01:02 PM


People like him were brought up in a different America and I can kinda forgive them for that.  But these folks are dying out and not really passing on that racism. 

My parents (esp. my dad) were racists, and they were of your grandfather's generation, born in the 1920s. They were the products of their world and history. I spouted the same garbage when I was a kid because kids parrot their parents. I got over it...but it took time and effort. I remember the riots and Helter Skelter and the Black Panthers, when open racial warfare really seemed possible. 
2755  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Athiests to sue for right to officiate marriages in Las Vegas on: December 16, 2008, 05:00:19 AM
I think it's more likely to backfire on them and give ammunition to the "atheism-is-a-religion" crowd.

If an atheist really wants to perform marriages that have the imprimatur of a religion, he can become a Unitarian.

2756  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Oh come on now....more plumbing grief on: December 16, 2008, 04:53:48 AM

Quote from: Scuzz on December 15, 2008, 04:37:30 PM

PVC is, in some areas, replacing all metal piping for water....

In New England, thieves are stealing the copper pipes from unoccupied old houses.
2757  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Winter Blast Coming to Portland on: December 16, 2008, 04:49:33 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on December 15, 2008, 03:27:37 PM


F = (C * 1.8 ) + 32

C= (F - 32) * (5 / 9)

Don't go all mathy on us. That stuff is powerless here.

It was 62 this afternoon. I drove with the top down.
2758  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I Might Start a New Hobby: Lock Picking on: December 16, 2008, 04:45:23 AM

Quote from: Toe on December 15, 2008, 06:51:47 PM

Once I locked my keys in my car taco bell. A locksmith came and tried but could not get the door unlocked with his tools (he was probably just crappy I guessed). The window was down on the passenger however, just enough to get a straighted coathanger in. After being unsuccessful with trying to open the lock from the inside with the coathanger, I decided to try to get the keys out of the ignition. After a few attempts and re-forming the end I was able to hook onto the keyring and pull the keys out of the ignition. The force of the pull knocked them off my coathanger but they landed in the passenger seat thankfully, so I was able to rehook them. I was really excited as I pulled the keys up to the tiny crack and realized I had an additional problem, that being a keyring full of keys does not really fit through a tiny crack. Eventually though I was able to get my unlock key through the crack and was able to remove it from the key ring that was on the other side. Yeah! That was 20 years ago and I haven't locked my keys in the car since.



I only ever did it once, 35 years ago. I was enrolling in community college and I had to drop off a form, because in those days the internet was made of paper. I didn't want to hassle with downtown parking, so I just pulled up in front of the admin building, jumped out of the car and sprinted indoors -- illegal parking was a dastardly offense in my hometown, but I was literally going to be only a minute or two. You have already guessed what I discovered when I sprinted back out to my Opel a minute or two later.

I went across the street to the parking garage (wishing now that I had just given them their 50 cents) and borrowed a coat hanger from the attendant. I was trying to jigger my lock, without results because my foreign car didn't have the American convention of popup knobs that yielded so well to coat hangers. Then the police showed up.

I don't know how he did it, but the cop had me inside my car in 30 seconds. With my first parking ticket, of course.
2759  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is Blu-Ray here to stay? on: December 15, 2008, 04:23:06 AM

Quote from: mori on December 14, 2008, 11:13:22 PM

Quote from: Jeff Jones on December 14, 2008, 01:55:58 PM

This argument I'm seeing that it's a waste to collect movies because the format is going to eventually change is, IMO, bizarre. Do you anti-movie-collectors feel the same way about music? just curious. Do you buy any junk food? beer? Gee I hope not, because those things have no nutritional value, and are just going to be ejected from your body as waste. smile

The last music CD I bought was at 5+ years ago. I buy everything on iTunes now. Maybe that will be outdated and useless someday as well.

Yeah, collected music CDs for a few years, but I last bought a few used CDs about 3-4 years ago. Nothing since then. I mostly listen to Shoutcast radio. Maybe I should try to sell off my 200-or-so CDs while they still have some value. I never, ever, listen to them after I ripped all the good songs to MP3 years ago.
2760  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Winter Blast Coming to Portland on: December 15, 2008, 04:19:06 AM
We're having a nice mild global-warming winter so far. We're looking at temps near 60 and sunshine tomorrow, and we haven't had any snow or miserable temperatures at all yet.
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