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2801  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Palin opens mouth, useless comes out. on: October 02, 2008, 01:28:00 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on October 01, 2008, 06:51:09 PM

They apparently appreciate that she's real and that she had a "good moral religious base."  ... When I listed Palin's many shortcomings, they argued that her shortcomings only add to her appeal and make her more "real". 

As I have often said, Americans vote their hearts, not their heads. If Palin emerges from tonight's debate looking sympathetic, she wins. If Biden appears to be mean or smug, she wins. Experience and expertise are beside the point.

I'm not sure when Americans decided that we should be ruled by sympathetic, folksy, average millionaires than cold, elite, educated millionaires, but this is a lesson the Dems have still not learned.
2802  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Budweiser American Ale - Actually good on: October 02, 2008, 01:24:17 AM
I'd like to try it someday and make up my own mind. If I get a chance to try one without paying for it, that is. Haven't had a Bud since I was 16, so I don't know what that aftertaste might be.

My packie is having a beer tasting on Nov 1 with seven tables and 50+ beers. Maybe that will be my chance, although it's very unlikely that A-B would be invited to join all the microbrewers.
2803  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Back to the Future... 2, or 3? on: October 01, 2008, 03:16:18 PM
I don't remember either sequel. I must have seen them when they first came out, but not since then.
2804  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Medical] Don't know what to do about my tonsils... on: October 01, 2008, 03:13:31 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on October 01, 2008, 02:14:45 PM

Anyway - my HR guy pointed me to our Health Advocacy group.  Apparently they routinely turn $600 dollar Rx bills into bills for 100 bucks.  If anyone can negotiate on my behalf, apparently they are the guys to do it.  No wonder our healthcare system is a mess...

The primary purpose of an insurance company is to maximize ROI for their investors, which they achieve by denying payouts whenever possible. Many is the time that they have used the wear-him-down technique on me to deny covering legitimate bills.

They do, however, have some discretion.

I recently incurred a $135 charge for some chest xrays that my doc ordered. I wasn't expecting and couldn't pay that bill, so I called the insurance company's WTF Line. Turned out that I had not yet met my $250 deductible (I thought that I'd met it months ago). However, the young lady on the phone offered to "back it out" for me "as a courtesy." Whaaa? You can do that? Yup, they would cover the whole procedure, but I will still have to meet the remaining $135 of my deductible if I have any further charges this year. I just have to avoid medical care until my deductible resets in three months.

It sounds like you know a guy who knows a guy who can make the charge go away.
2805  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: We're all going to dieeeeeeee!!11!That on: September 30, 2008, 08:23:42 PM

Quote from: Brendan on September 30, 2008, 04:22:32 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on September 30, 2008, 04:21:56 PM

My strategy of not having any investments is working out just as I planned.

Your +0.0% for the year is beating my mutual funds, to be sure.

Actually, my small Roth IRA is averaging around +3.5% in CDs and annuities. I'm very risk-averse. My slightly larger rollover IRA, and my wife's even-larger 401k, have undoubtedly evaporated. I'm afraid to look. But I never really expected to see any of that money anyway.
2806  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: We're all going to dieeeeeeee!!11!That on: September 30, 2008, 04:21:56 PM
My strategy of not having any investments is working out just as I planned.
2807  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Scarlett Johansson Off the Market (w/ NSFW Image Tribute) on: September 28, 2008, 03:09:19 PM
Brian Reynolds?! Wow, she must be huge into strategy games!

Oh, wait.
2808  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: No debate thread? on: September 27, 2008, 02:29:39 PM
Obama's performance was cool, cerebral, and nuanced. McCain's was more folksy. Obama won brains. McCain won hearts. Since elections turn on feelings, not thought, McCain gets the win.
2809  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Where do you fit on the Political Map? on: September 26, 2008, 08:09:57 PM
That's a pretty simplistic test. Oh well...

Quote
Your PERSONAL issues Score is 100%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 40%.

According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is...

Liberal

LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

Mostly true. Although I don't identify myself as a liberal, I side with them more often than with conservatives.
2810  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 46 hours since my last cigarette on: September 26, 2008, 08:00:01 PM
Good luck! I broke my cigarette addiction over six years ago now, after having smoked for 30 years. Nicorette was the crutch that got me through. First you break the habit, and then you break the addiction. I quit the gum after three or four months.

On most Tuesday nights I get together with some friends at a bar, and I bum 2-3 cigarettes. I look forward to those, but I can easily do without if my smoker friend doesn't show up or if I blow off my bar night that week. I also smoke a few cigars each week. I can easily go days at a time without one, although I prefer not to. For me, it's all about control (willpower, as PeteRock says). I can enjoy tobacco without becoming addicted. But it took me literally years to master that.

One thing that helps: Don't dwell on never having another cigarette in your life. Concentrate on not smoking one now, on beating your cravings one at a time.
2811  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Palin opens mouth, useless comes out. on: September 25, 2008, 02:27:48 PM
Quote
I'll try ta find ya some an' I'll bring 'em to ya.

Fixed. That Fargo accent is really getting on my nerves. Politicians are supposed to sound like Southern hicks.
2812  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Someone Explain Mopping to Me on: September 25, 2008, 04:36:34 AM

Quote from: The Myoclonic Jerk on September 25, 2008, 02:02:54 AM


Is there some trick to mopping well, and mopping quickly? It honestly seems like a wasted task (except in the winter months) if I'm attempting to do it comprehensively.
Mopping well and mopping quickly are mutually exclusive. The few times each year that I'm moved to mop our ancient linoleum floor, it goes like this: Sweep. Mop with cold soapy water. Mop with clean hot water and let dry. Rinse again if necessary. Damp mop with wax/acrylic. Let dry and put down another coat of wax if necessary. It takes hours, but the floor looks great.

If you're mopping concrete floors, use a lot of bleach.
2813  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Could a Third-Party Candidate Become President? on: September 24, 2008, 04:26:16 PM
Short of a cataclysm, no. The system was set up by the major parties to perpetuate itself.

An extremely charismatic candidate with infinitely deep pockets in a time of crisis might have a remote shot at it. I'm not holding my breath. We might be facing an economic cataclysm right now, yet there is no alternative to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
2814  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's Science advisors on: September 23, 2008, 02:51:30 PM

Quote from: joeyjazz on September 23, 2008, 01:33:46 PM


Like I said, I hope I'm wrong since either one of them could end up being president in a couple months.  Hopefully the debates can put some of that to rest for me.

I doubt that either candidate is personally involved in the nitty-gritty of science policy, except insofar as saying whatever gets them votes. I'm sure that those responses were prepared by staffers with an eye on the popularity meter, and the candidates signed off with unknown degrees of interest. We agree that both teams published good statements. McCain has a strong record of supporting technology initiatives; Obama doesn't have much of a record, period, so it's harder to know where he really stands.

With the ongoing financial meltdown dominating the news now, our next president is likely to be severely hamstrung by crisis management, so science policy details are probably moot. Their overall enthusiasm for science might be more relevant. McCain deserves an edge on that front...and then immediately loses it for his anti-science running mate. Thanks to Palin, Obama offers better odds for a pro-science White House. IMO, of course.

I wonder if any of this will come up at all in the debates, or if the economic crisis will drown out everything else.
2815  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's Science advisors on: September 23, 2008, 04:46:49 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on September 22, 2008, 09:53:25 PM

I don't think people are voting on the merits of the arguments so much as following their political biases (which are very obviously liberal/Democrat)

Quote from: joeyjazz on September 23, 2008, 12:36:40 AM

I can actually picture Obama personally doing the research and discussing things with the experts on his team and then coming to his own conclusions.  I'd be surprised if McCain even knew this thing existed

Comedy gold.  icon_wink
2816  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's Science advisors on: September 22, 2008, 09:53:25 PM
You can now vote, question by question, for which campaign's answers you like better.

http://sciencedebate2008.com/vote/

Obama gets an "A" and McCain gets an "F" on space policy, even though McCain's is clearly more detailed and better thought-out. I don't think people are voting on the merits of the arguments so much as following their political biases (which are very obviously liberal/Democrat) -- at least, based on the couple of questions that I checked. Too bad.
2817  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: question regarding craigs list on: September 22, 2008, 03:32:08 AM
IF HE IS REALLY HEARING IMPAIRED, YOU NEED TO TYPE YOUR EMAILS LIKE THIS, OR HE IS NOT GOING TO HEAR YOU.
2818  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama's Science advisors on: September 21, 2008, 04:24:01 PM
Both campaigns answer 14 policy questions about science. Side by side for easy comparison. We did a thread on this over at OO.

The condensed version of my take: Obama's answers are more thoughtful and complete, and better informed. McCain's are more practical, with a strong emphasis on technology and applied science, and emphasis on his experience dealing with these questions. McCain addresses the orbital access gap, while Obama does not; relying on the Russians for manned spaceflight is going to emerge as a major problem in the next few years.

Based purely on this page, Obama's the stronger science candidate with deeper answers. However, just 6 months ago, before he was the nominee, he wanted to give most of NASA's budget to the Dept of Education -- typical Dem pandering to teachers unions. I do not trust his commitment.

If I were basing my vote purely on science policy -- and if my vote mattered -- I would probably tilt toward McCain. But I think both candidates answered these questions well, and McCain's anti-science vp scares me away from him entirely.
2819  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terminal Cancer on: September 21, 2008, 04:11:19 PM
I'm sorry to read your news. If it's in his bones...well, I suppose it's his judgment call whether enduring chemo is worth an additional year of life, probably with considerable pain. 

Lildragon reminds me I need to fax in those papers tomorrow to get a colonoscopy.
2820  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How has the economic downturn affected you? on: September 20, 2008, 03:55:37 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on September 20, 2008, 04:54:56 AM

Quote from: mikeg on September 20, 2008, 12:40:01 AM

I'm a 48 year old and while I too have seen some tough moments for our economy here and there, what we are just now STARTING to feel is NOTHING to what we WILL go through.  Mark my words.  Things haven't even begun to get bad.  This country is like a person with 10 credit cards that are completely maxed out saying, "I gotta do something about all this debt.  I know.  I will get an 11th credit card and pay off the 10 maxed out ones and all will be good."  Our gov't has spent everything we have sent them in the past 20 years times ten with no regard to what would eventually happen.  The piper is coming to get paid and we are screwed.  If anyone believes there is an easy way out of this without years of very very very tough times ahead I believe they are completely deluding themselves.  Medicare and Social Security cost alone, what with the Babyboomers retirement boom just a couple of years from being in full swing, will absord nearly ALL of the taxes we now pay.  Forget everything else the government tries to fund.  It is going to get ugly.   I hope I am wrong wrong wrong.

I hope you are wrong as well, but a few months ago my father, who remembers the Great Depression as a small boy (he was born in 1931), told me he thought we were headed towards a very bad economic time, much worse than anything since.  I've been thinking about that a lot the last few weeks.



I'm 51. I entered the workforce during Richard Nixon's wage-and-price controls and Gerald Ford's Whip Inflation Now and Jimmy Carter's stagflation. I have weathered numerous recessions since then. I have a bad gut feeling about this one, too. It's fundamentally different than those that have come before. I'm not sure that the old rules and remedies are going to apply, because the government's usual bag of tricks is already exhausted. Pump priming with deficit spending? Tapped out. Interest rate cuts? They're already very low. Tax cuts? Taxes are already low and government is running huge deficits. This morning's headline said that September tax receipts in Massachusetts are running $200 million behind last year, it's likely to get worse, and emergency budget cuts are coming.

I'm just one more old-timer chiming in. But it feels to me like this snowball is just getting rolling.
2821  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How has the economic downturn affected you? on: September 19, 2008, 03:31:58 PM

Quote from: kratz on September 19, 2008, 03:13:15 PM

I AM noticing the bump in food prices in our supermarket... I'd say that's the main place I'm feeling the pain. 

That little detail falls under the whole "no raises in three years" thing that I mentioned earlier. The grocery budget is stagnant, and prices are certainly not. I plan each week's menu, shop sales, buy nonperishables in bulk, and use coupons to stretch the budget as far as it will go. For the past six or eight weeks homegrown tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash have helped out a lot...but the gardening season is over. We will not be enjoying fresh produce for very much longer. My freezer full of homemade chili and spaghetti sauce will help some, though. Still, it's getting to the point where I might have to divert part of my beer budget to food.  crybaby
2822  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How has the economic downturn affected you? on: September 19, 2008, 01:18:53 AM
My (very) small business was growing at a healthy clip until August. Success is predicated on continued rapid growth for the next two years, because I'm starting from such a small sales base. It was already challenging before the economy went toes-up. The general pullback in retail sales is affecting my livelihood directly -- I earn a percentage of sales.

Meanwhile, while my meager income is growing too slowly, my wife has not had a raise or bonus in 3 years. She made up the difference with credit card debt. When that galloped out of control, we had to refinance it with home equity. 

So the short answer is that our income declined, then stagnated, we went into debt, our savings are steadily declining, and our credit is mostly tapped out. We are counting on the time and money that I've invested in Curio City to pull us out of that, and it was on track to start doing so next year. While that might still work out, tight credit and frightened consumers are going to make it much harder than it already was. The next three months are critical.

So click that signature, folks. Christmas is right around the corner.  unibrow
2823  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: A financial S storm is brewing. Fannie/Freddie seized. on: September 17, 2008, 05:40:33 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on September 17, 2008, 05:22:26 PM

Isn't the Fed bailing out these compainies akin to Socialism/Communism?  Where are all the Conservatives who scream "FREE MARKET, FREE MARKET" when the Dems talk about helping people keep their homes?

Privatized gains and socialized losses = a capitalist's wet dream.
2824  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Perfect CRPG - What would YOU want? on: September 16, 2008, 06:00:18 PM
Boobs. Dinosaurs. And spaceships.
2825  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bonanza! [Investing] on: September 16, 2008, 03:41:38 PM
If I had any money, I would be stuffing it in the mattress (MAT) right now.
2826  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: OO off line for a short time on: September 15, 2008, 02:35:24 PM
I deleted a post last night. Brought it to its knees again.
2827  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apathy in Healthcare? on: September 14, 2008, 02:23:51 PM

Quote from: Destructor on September 13, 2008, 07:48:30 PM

Doesn't it make you wish you were on ACCHCS (or however the hell you spell the state run insurance for the poor here in AZ)? You could go straight into the hospital for anything, including the common cold, and they'd make sure you'd get treated for it before you left. Oh, and it doesn't cost you a flippin' dime, either.

Next-best thing: Massachusetts just legalized doc-in-a-box pharmacy clinics. We'll be able to walk into drugstores and get on-demand care for minor things like sore throats, rashes, ear infections, etc. I'm not sure how payment will work, but I do know that they'll accept insurance and the cost will be less than seeing a real doc or going to an ER. Keeping a lot of routine complaints out of the mainstream healthcare system ought to hold down costs and improve access for everyone.

On the down side, all those sick people could turn drugstores into plague centers now.  Tongue
2828  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apathy in Healthcare? on: September 13, 2008, 05:48:20 PM
Oh, who cares?  icon_wink

Now that we've got that out of the way...I had a similar experience when I was in an HMO. Once, when I went in for emergency treatment, the attending physician asked me who was my primary care doctor. "Um...I think it's you," said I. He thought I looked kind of familiar. We remembered each other on subsequent visits.

Now I've been with the same doc for at least 15 years, and we have a very good working relationship. As soon as I step outside of his office and deal with specialists, though, I become just a case number with symptoms again.
2829  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Large Hadron Collider to Have "Practical" Spin-Offs? on: September 13, 2008, 05:42:28 PM
Atoms smash into each other at high energies all the time. They just aren't in the habit of doing it in front of detectors, while we're expecting them. I think the most commonly cited example is cosmic radiation hitting our atmosphere.
2830  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [Poll] What's most important in a Presidential candidate? on: September 13, 2008, 02:43:12 AM

Quote from: Brendan on September 12, 2008, 10:10:05 PM


I disagree with your assessment of this being "far and away a left-leaning board."  If anything, it's largely centrist.  For every rabid liberal hyena like myself, there's at least three squishy independents (and quite a few notable lunatic fringe right-wingers).

I haven't been coming here for very long, so I claim some remnant of an outside perspective. This board is polarized between a staunch Democrat majority and a reactionary conservative minority. Most threads degenerate quickly into name-calling and insults, leaving it uncongenial to non-ideologues. But then, I'm one of those squishy independents who sees at least three sides to every issue (your side, my side, and the truth).
2831  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Can't believe what I just paid for gas on: September 13, 2008, 02:33:44 AM

Quote from: kratz on September 12, 2008, 09:24:03 PM

Yeah, the reason I went to fill up today was to avoid the post Ike spike... didn't realize that instead of $3.43, which was already not bad, I'd be paying $1.93.  Nice surprise.

I live in Laramie, so this'll last me at least 3 weeks.

Nice. My 10-gallon tank lasts me 4-6 weeks, so 50 cents a gallon one way or the other is beneath notice. A half-price sale would get my attention, though.
2832  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wacky Canadian question on: September 13, 2008, 02:29:43 AM
Patchwork legal restrictions explain why virtually all US contests and sweepstakes are limited to US residents only. I'm surprised that they even have an escape clause for Canucks.
2833  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Large Hadron Collider to Have "Practical" Spin-Offs? on: September 12, 2008, 06:46:05 PM
Black hole railgun: the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.
2834  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [feelings] Cancer, death and Dad (long) on: September 12, 2008, 03:37:36 PM

Quote from: lildrgn on September 12, 2008, 05:37:21 AM


For whatever reason, I am not a wreck. I don't think I'm in denial, but I have yet to break down. I cried about 20 sec with the kids this morning when I broke the news to them. I think I may break down tomorrow when I see my brother and his family from Ireland, more because they simply couldn't be here and I'll be sharing my bro's pain.

Like cheeba said, everybody does it differently. My dad's death was such a tension reliever that it was weeks before I finally exited crisis-management mode and really felt his absence. What set me off was the thought that we'd never play cards again. 16 years later that thought still gets to me.

My mom died of alzheimers. Her mind had been gone for so long that her body's dying felt like an afterthought. I didn't break down over that until literally months later.

Just let yourself feel what you feel, and don't worry about whether it's "normal".
2835  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [feelings] Cancer, death and Dad (long) on: September 11, 2008, 03:15:14 PM
Sorry to hear about it. At least he went on his own terms, and did not linger too long.
2836  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Are you an "older gamer?" on: September 11, 2008, 03:11:30 PM

Quote from: JohnathanStrange on September 11, 2008, 04:08:23 AM

Seems to me older gamers had it pretty sweet: The future was limitless! I mean when your games have an "x" for a robot or knight or tank, anything would be an improvement!

Games went downhill when they became mass-market products with huge development costs. There was a lot more innovation and risk-taking when they were made by hobbyists, for hobbyists, with very little money at stake and only cursory attention to appearance -- before accountants and marketers took over the industry. But I've done this rant before.
2837  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Are you an "older gamer?" on: September 11, 2008, 12:05:08 AM
Every Wednesday night at 8 pm, I would become too sick to go to catechism. My periodic illness fortuitously coincided with Star Trek -- which didn't need "TOS" behind it then. I'd miraculously recover by 9 pm. It being obvious what I held sacred, my parents finally let me drop out of catechism while ST was running new episodes. They hated that show, btw. My mom never had much imagination and thought all sf was ridiculous. My dad thought it was liberal hippie claptrap.
2838  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Are you an "older gamer?" on: September 10, 2008, 08:39:35 PM

Quote from: mytocles on September 10, 2008, 06:00:31 PM


So now do we start the whole - "what didn't exist when you were a kid" discussion?  Well, I do remember our first television for starters.  I also remember Ike - and he was neither a GT member nor a hurricane!


My parents had the first COLOR TV on our block. All my friends came over at 4 pm to watch Batman at our house, because Batman was so much more awesome in color. POW! BAM!

We had a B&W TV for as long as I can remember, though.
2839  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: An aging computer tempers your enthusiasm for PC gaming on: September 10, 2008, 01:27:36 PM
It's really astonishing that a 5-year-old PC is still usable at all. In the early days of computing, machines were hopelessly out of date after 2-3 years. This old machine is still fine for everything except 3D graphics or action gaming. The rate of obsolescence has certainly slowed down. I can't play the Latest & Greatest (tm), but to be honest with you there's nothing out there that really appeals to me (as a strategy gamer) anyway...except the upcoming Colonization, which ought to run adequately on my old computer!
2840  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [feelings] Cancer, death and Dad (long) on: September 10, 2008, 04:44:41 AM
No matter how much you see it coming, you can never quite be ready for the death of a parent. You just have to take developments as they come. I know how details can sting. When I saw my dad on a respirator in the ICU, before we quite knew that he was dying, a little trickle of blood seeped from the corner of his mouth. I freaked. The nurse quickly dabbed it away and explained that a ventilator tube irritates the esophagus, but that matter-of-fact explanation could not diminish the simple shock of seeing him like that.

Be strong. Give him your love and support. Hope for the best, steel yourself for the worst. There is nothing else that you can do.
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