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2761  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?
2762  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.
2763  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.
2764  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.
2765  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.
2766  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.
2767  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.   
2768  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.
2769  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.
2770  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?
2771  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...?
2772  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.
2773  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.
2774  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.
2775  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. 
2776  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.

2777  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.
2778  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.
2779  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.
2780  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.
2781  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.
2782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arteries.... clogging... chest...pains on: December 14, 2008, 04:56:54 AM
I quit ordering burgers at one local bar when they went to 12 oz. When I was a kid a quarter-pounder was considered huge. The patties I make at home nowadays are 1/3 pound. I can eat a 1/2 pound burger without too much difficulty. But 3/4 pound? Sure I can force one down...but that's just gluttony. I draw the line at 1/2 pound.
2783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is Blu-Ray here to stay? on: December 14, 2008, 04:49:29 AM

Quote from: JayDee on December 14, 2008, 04:38:21 AM

Quote from: mori on December 14, 2008, 04:00:14 AM

Quote from: Canuck on December 14, 2008, 03:25:34 AM

Quote from: mori on December 14, 2008, 02:42:47 AM


I bought maybe 6 DVDs. I own a PS3 but will never buy a Blu-Ray movie. What is the point? Just more media that will be replaced a few years down the line.

Ehh?  Now THAT is a really odd thing to say.  What the point in doing anything then?  What's the point in buying Mass Effect when I know there's going to be a Mass Effect 2?  What's the point in buying a new computer when they're going to come out with one that's twice as good for half the price in 2 years time?  What's the point in starting a new hobby when I know I'm eventually going to become interested in something else?

What is the point of buying Batman The Dark Knight today when there will be a special special edition a year from now? Another better special edition two years from now? Another even better special edition on a better format 3-5 years from now? Are you going to buy every edition? The studios must love consumers like you.

Not the same thing.

The special special edition at its core will contain the same cut of the same movie. So I'll only need to buy it once, now, and can safely ignore all future versions. Mass Effect 2 will be a completely different game and experience than Mass Effect 1. A new computer will improve performance and offer me a different experience than my old system. The new "special special" edition of the Dark Knight will still offer me the exact same movie. Sure, the packaging might be snazzier, but the experience is basically the same.

I thought my vinyl album collection was the last word, too. Ziggy Stardust hasn't changed since I bought it in 1973, has it?

10 years from now you'll want the holographic remaster of Dark Knight, because who watches flatscreen video anymore?

2784  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No Bailout for GM please. Let em die. on: December 13, 2008, 11:22:02 PM
The auto industry is going to be broken up under the name "restructuring" one way or another, whether in bankruptcy courts or under the supervision of a government "car czar". It is really a matter of finding the least painful, most effective way to proceed. They are not going to come out on the other side as three independent and profitable companies. More likely, you'll see the best assets reorganized into one US-owned, quasi-nationalized company, and the rest either dissolved or sold off to the competition.

The existing corporations are getting bailout money now to keep a pulse going until the next administration can take over. It is merely a welfare payment administered through private corporations.

If those corporations were dissolved and all of those idled workers were given the government's teat, how much would it cost to suckle them directly?
2785  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: The Housing Disaster - Who is to blame? on: December 13, 2008, 11:11:23 PM
Who's to blame? In our family, it is customary to blame my BIL Paul for pretty much everything. It saves us a lot of troublesome thinking and quarreling, and Paul's a good sport about it.
2786  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it Unreasonable to Fear for Obama's Safety? on: December 13, 2008, 11:03:37 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on December 13, 2008, 06:16:03 PM

I figured that if Bush made it through unscathed, then anyone can. 

I think it depends on where you live. In these parts Obama is already considered the greatest president since Abe Lincoln, and it's baffling how Cheney made it through alive.

Of course it's reasonable to fear that Bamalot will end the same way Camelot did. This is Kennedy country, and the parallels are obvious. But any leader will attract hatred from the mentally unbalanced.
2787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Get Smart - Impressions on: December 13, 2008, 10:55:10 PM
No desire whatsoever to see this one...not even Netflix-worthy.
2788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is Blu-Ray here to stay? on: December 13, 2008, 10:48:52 PM

Quote from: HankRaptor on December 13, 2008, 05:50:12 PM


Streaming Video, be it, Roku, Apple TV.. Xbox Live.. As the streaming technology gets better IE: more content available on instant viewing on Netflix.. WHY OWN MEDIA? Store this crap pay for it.


+1. It will eventually be relegated to collectors and hobbyists...among whom I don't number. I have collected record albums, cassette tapes, CDs, and VHS tapes. I eventually abandoned and divested of all of them. I am not going to get suckered into DVDs and Blu-Ray disks for the reasons that Jeff Jones mentioned. There are maybe 10 movies in the history of movies that I would want to watch once a year at the most. Why would I want more than those few disks contributing to the general clutter?
2789  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How often are you sick? on: December 13, 2008, 04:59:59 AM
When I worked among the public (malls and museums) I used to catch every germ that raged through the population. When I worked in offices, I used to catch every germ that parents carry. Now that I work at home and have virtually no exposure to children, directly or indirectly, I don't get sick anymore.

When I do get the flu, it's incapacitating for a day or two.
2790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wives do the darndest things... on: December 11, 2008, 05:25:54 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on December 10, 2008, 06:50:26 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on December 10, 2008, 05:23:03 AM

The Bride of Ironrod is not allowed to touch anything in my house. Well, except the washer and dryer...which she very seldom chooses to do.

what about the sink and the stove?

Those are mine. She is not allowed near them. I grant refrigerator access only grudgingly.
2791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Best gift you have given... on: December 11, 2008, 05:21:49 AM
In 1986 we decided to move to Boston. I was going to manage a major bookstore (for a local chain that would soon go belly-up), and she had a fresh Masters degree in journalism but no job. The "no job" part went on longer than anticipated, so she worked a couple of marginal jobs that were way beneath her, and struggled to make extra money freelancing. To succeed at that, she need a word processor.

I researched it and decided that word processors were too limited, and what she really needed was a computer. When I cashed out of my previous job, I'd gotten a $1200 windfall from a retirement account. $1200 was what it took to buy her a Tandy 1000EX, a printer (major item back then), and all the trimmings. It was also my life savings.

She was floored that I put everything I had into a tool for her future career. Of course, it paid off in spades.

A few months after I bought it, I found out that it could also play games.  The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you.
2792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What do you read, or post, on GT? on: December 10, 2008, 05:26:52 AM
Just this forum and R&P. I don't post in R&P very often, but I do scan it regularly.
2793  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wives do the darndest things... on: December 10, 2008, 05:23:03 AM
The Bride of Ironrod is not allowed to touch anything in my house. Well, except the washer and dryer...which she very seldom chooses to do.
2794  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Real or Fake: 2008 Edition on: December 10, 2008, 05:17:56 AM
Although we do feed Greedfest to the minimum extent required of us, we haven't put up any decorations for at least 15 years. The Bride of Ironrod used to insist on setting up a tree over my half-hearted objections. Then, the year that her father died, she brought her mother out here to stay with us for a few weeks over the holidays. Her mother spewed her usual venom all over their tree-trimming bonding exercise that year, and the Bride has never wanted to have a tree since.

Suits me fine. Our house is so crammed with clutter that there's no room for anything anyway. 
2795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Am I doomed? on: December 09, 2008, 04:53:29 AM
You would be more doomed if you became a lawyer. You are young. Cut your losses and take a path you like.
2796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ever lived on an Aircraft Carrier? on: December 08, 2008, 03:13:04 PM
My Marine nephew served a tour of duty on the USS Nimitz. Pretty sure they kept him jumping most of the time, even though he's not a sailor. He's an aircraft technician and the Nimitz's aircraft need constant technicianing.
2797  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: The Scientific Method: How much do you know about it? on: December 07, 2008, 05:24:33 AM
It's more reliable than the rhythm method.
2798  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 07, 2008, 05:21:58 AM


The fifth astronaut from the left might look familiar. Hint: He is married to a white woman in the movie. Second Hint: He does not kill her in the movie.
2799  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How accurate is the BMI chart? on: December 05, 2008, 06:16:37 AM
Similar experience here -- lost weight, toned up, and was still just a notch below overweight. I have since crept back into the overweight range and border on obese. Yet, although I'm lugging around some lard, I'm healthy and fit and active. So even though weight loss will be the New Years resolution, I'm not worrying about my BMI.

OTOH, it's well documented that many test animals on calorie-restricted diets live significantly longer than normal-weight animals. If longevity is your goal, staying lean and hungry is a pretty good bet. Me, I'm willing to die a few years earlier in exchange for hamburgers and beer and cigars now.  drool
2800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How technologically advanced is your office? on: December 05, 2008, 06:08:38 AM
I have a 3.5-year-old laptop and a cellphone of equal vintage. And a lamp, and a window fan. 
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