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41  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Money pit so it seems. on: October 09, 2014, 10:55:57 PM
Wiring is on our maybe-eventually-someday list. They told us when we bought the house 25 years ago that it needed to be updated. We have an old-school fuse box with some knob & tube wiring still in place. The house is 102 years old.

Five years of un- and underemployment set us back a long way on home maintenance as we cannibalized all of our short-term savings and most of our home equity line. Finally bought a new $8,000 roof last week -- I can take the bucket out of my office, hooray! Now saving aggressively for a paint job next year because the house looks like hell. After that, we can start to think about some of the cosmetic improvements that we've wanted for years, maybe even a kitchen or bathroom makeover. My wife is a year and a half away from the magical age of 59-1/2 when she can access a long-stagnant Roth that's got home improvements written all over it.

Wiring? Yeah, wiring comes sometime after that unless a renovator simply can't work with what we have.
42  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Random Youtube Links Part 1: This time it's random Youtube Links (NSFW) on: October 08, 2014, 01:11:25 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on October 07, 2014, 10:12:55 PM

That was cool. I would pay money to see that movie.
43  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: September 27, 2014, 09:39:30 PM

Quote from: Gratch on September 27, 2014, 07:40:35 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on September 27, 2014, 03:20:01 PM

I think it's more important to be as good a person as I can rather than ascribe to a religious dogma. 

That's pretty much the manta I live my life by.  If it means I can't get into some sort of exclusive afterlife club because I didn't happen to do it "in the name of Jesus", then so be it.

I don't know if there are gods or souls or an afterlife or any of that. Probably not, but could be. I'm confident, though, that those things will get along fine regardless of what I do or don't believe. If it turns out that my eternal fate (if any) depended on observing particular rituals or saying magic words during my brief time on earth then I'm going to demand to see the management, because that's a petty way to run a cosmos.
44  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: September 27, 2014, 07:17:01 PM
Well, it's quite possible to be spiritual without being religious. I'd even call that normal among my circle of acquaintances.
45  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Crisis of faith or is it over? on: September 26, 2014, 10:36:10 PM
It sounds like you are trending toward a generic spirituality or mysticism -- deism, animism, or some other paganism -- rather than a religion. Religion is about answers based on revealed truth, not questions. That makes it the opposite of science. Science thrives on "unanswered things" and does not ask you to believe in it except as a powerful method of investigating and understanding the material world.

While I think all religions can be philosophically illuminating, none of them are as "true" as they think they are, and none are worth joining or following unless you crave the social inclusion.

I don't believe in any religion (obviously) nor am I very spiritual, so this probably isn't the perspective you're looking for.
46  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cholesterol Blues (Paging Pete Rock) on: September 25, 2014, 05:45:49 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on September 25, 2014, 02:36:22 AM

Man, you guys are really making me look forward to the next few years when my 30's turn into my 40's.   frown thumbsdown

Or you can just ignore it. Mine was kind of high when I had it checked 6 or 8 years ago. They wanted me to come back and do a fasting test. Bzzt! I'll pass. I'm 57 and I've already outlived my usefulness anyway.
47  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple Watch on: September 13, 2014, 09:56:58 PM
4 signs Apple has completely given up on being cool (from

so far, the Apple Watch seems tailor-made for old people.

#4. Old People Love Wearing Gadgets
#3. It's Made for People Who Are Falling Apart
#2. It Caters to the Stores Where Older People Shop
#1. The Emojis Are Great for Wizened Eyes

If you're still not convinced Apple is now the company of high-wader khakis and nostalgia for Barry Goldwater, check your iPhone's music. Apple surreptitiously just gave you a new U2 album most of the population never wanted. It's basically Apple's version of a birthday present you never asked for, only they got confused and snuck it in the drywall of your house.

Being a bona fide old person myself, all I can say is I already have a watch.

Seriously, the whole "wearable tech" paradigm feels like something marketing people keep trying to convince techies is the Next Big Thing.
48  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My awesome/awful Friday on: September 07, 2014, 04:07:17 PM
I've had to euthanize two cats. Looking into their eyes as the life goes out is heartbreaking.

Our current cat is 16.5 years old and mostly healthy, but I know that the euthanasia scene is likely to be repeated before very much longer. I'm dreading that day, whether it's months away or a year. None of our previous cats ever lived past 17.

So I understand how you feel about Vader, and I'm sorry to hear about it. Eventually the happy memories will crowd out the sad.   

49  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [Ukraine] Crimea River on: August 29, 2014, 04:13:31 PM
I had thought that Putin would stop at Crimea. It looks like I was wrong. Having determined that there won't be any military consequences, he is going for the land corridor to his new province.
50  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: One of my dogs died suddenly today. on: August 24, 2014, 09:02:42 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 24, 2014, 02:52:17 AM

Quote from: Lee on August 23, 2014, 11:28:13 PM

That's horrible. Does the vet have any idea what it could have been?

No, we didn't even take him to the vet. He died at home, and he died so quickly we didn't have time to take him. Just a few breaths and he was gone.

That's got to be especially hard if you had no warning. At least he didn't suffer a long illness. Sorry to hear about it, though.
51  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 24, 2014, 09:00:09 PM

Quote from: forgeforsaken on August 24, 2014, 06:21:20 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 24, 2014, 05:52:20 PM

Looks like this movie has already left one of the two multiplexes that are convenient for us. Tuesday is its last day at the other one. I hope to be able to see it next Tuesday before it's gone.

It's still the seconds highest grossing movie out right now, doesn't really make sense to pull it.

I'm guessing most places are turning over for Labor Day weekend. It will still be showing through next weekend in some more distant theaters. Realistically, though, those aren't convenient so we won't see it if we don't go by Tuesday. Wife will be home that day so it should be doable. On the plus side ticket prices have fallen to $7.50 so we'll get out of it for $20 with popcorn.

Back when I used to go to movies regularly they stayed in theaters for months. Nowadays even the top movies seldom run for more than 4-6 weeks. Maybe Hollywood is just turning out too much product.
52  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 24, 2014, 05:52:20 PM
Looks like this movie has already left one of the two multiplexes that are convenient for us. Tuesday is its last day at the other one. I hope to be able to see it next Tuesday before it's gone.
53  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Should Police Departments Have Military Gear? Obama says "Let's look into it." on: August 24, 2014, 02:37:33 AM

Quote from: ATB on August 23, 2014, 10:00:34 PM

Besides, the army will need the equipment when we invade Iraq again.

We'll make more. The economy depends on it.

While I'm not dead-set against urban police departments having heavy weaponry to counter extreme threats, I do believe that its use should be strictly constrained.
54  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: {Movie]Automata on: August 22, 2014, 03:30:07 AM
Looks like somebody is playing fast and loose with Asimov's 3 Laws. Regardless, count me in. (Especially since I just finished watching Robot and Frank a few minutes ago.)
55  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you buy DVDs anymore? on: August 19, 2014, 09:38:49 PM
I bought a few movies right after we got our first DVD player, and then gave my wife a few more as xmas gifts. We probably own 12 or 15 altogether. Haven't bought any since we got netflix. No desire to own movies.

56  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Sarah Palin demands...DEMANDS...impeachment. Can still see Russia from porch. on: August 18, 2014, 11:09:23 PM
I wonder if she had a stroke or got botox or a facelift or something. Her face looks half-frozen.
57  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where do you stand on the crucial topic of hotdogs? on: August 18, 2014, 02:50:11 AM

Quote from: hitbyambulance on August 17, 2014, 08:33:49 PM

tofu dogs; Yves' are pretty good. i'll eat two or three in a sitting. i'll have anything for toppings, as long as it's not real meat.

It's generous to consider regular hot dogs "real meat."
58  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA! on: August 15, 2014, 11:09:17 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 15, 2014, 09:25:13 PM

Starting with a conclusion and cherry-picking evidence to support it is neither science nor research, no matter how many letters you can string after your name. But I assume we all know that just as well as the ICR "researchers" do not.
59  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How rough is your family on their phones? on: August 15, 2014, 02:20:14 AM
My wife called me from work this morning because she had left her cell phone home and didn't know where it was. I called it and could just barely hear it ringing. It was coming from outside. No, it was coming from the garage; she must have left it in my car last night. No, it was coming from the driveway. Where it was laying face-down. Oopsie! It's a good thing I found it before I drove anywhere...I would've squashed that sucker flat.

I'm impressed that it still works after spending a night on the ground in the rain.
60  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Robin Williams found dead on: August 13, 2014, 05:33:51 AM
Let's not forget his turn as the mime king in Shakes the Clown.
61  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama seeking 1/2 Billion for Syrian Opposition on: August 12, 2014, 10:29:16 PM

Quote from: hepcat on August 12, 2014, 01:02:22 PM

But we're discussing the current situation in Iraq, not the broader topic of violence and unrest in the Middle East.  In particular, the breakdown of Iraq due to sectarian violence and their inability to work together in any meaningful capacity.  That, I truly believe, can be laid at the feet of Bush Jr..  Even his father knew not to play kingmaker and backed off before doing so.

Obama's decision to withdraw completely is partly to blame for the current breakdown in order and marginalization of US influence. The administration could have twisted arms harder for a favorable agreement to keep a US presence. I supported full withdrawal and I'm glad that we don't have a trigger force there that would draw us back into another buildup...but I also believe that it's partially to blame for the current deterioration.

There is plenty of blame to go around for everybody. Might as well blame Saddam for being dickish enough to bring the US hammer down, too (although he might well have been deposed during the Arab Spring anyway, leading to the same power vacuum that exists today). 
62  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Better Life Index Tool Tells You Which Country Is Best For You on: August 12, 2014, 10:20:02 PM

Quote from: farley2k on August 12, 2014, 07:38:57 PM


So where should you live?  I seem to be geared for Scandinavian countries.  Too bad they are so cold!

Climate should certainly be a factor in the ratings. Otherwise Scandinavia is always going to come out on top (as it did for me, too). I could probably handle the Danish (ranked #5) or Dutch (#7) climate, and there are parts of Canada (#3) that aren't too bad, but the only warm place in my list is Australia (#6) and Caribbean countries aren't even considered.
63  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Robin Williams found dead on: August 11, 2014, 11:30:54 PM
Dueling threads, oh no!

Depression is a bitch, even for the rich and successful. I wonder if he had physical medical issues as well or if it's a "tears of a clown" situation. Sad, regardless.
64  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hypochondriac on: August 11, 2014, 09:06:34 PM
I guess I'm the opposite of a hypochondriac. I don't worry about my health or go to doctors.
65  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How rough is your family on their phones? on: August 09, 2014, 04:59:04 PM
My wife is harder on electronics than I am, but I'm abnormally careful. My laptop virtually never leaves my desk, for example, whereas she carries hers to work every day. I've never dumped a beverage into a computer or dropped one (as she has done). I won't say that she's careless, just that her machines are subjected to more risks and more wear.

Neither of us has ever damaged a phone but we aren't heavy users either. They seem pretty rugged to me.
66  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where do you stand on the crucial topic of hotdogs? on: August 09, 2014, 02:07:12 AM

Quote from: hepcat on August 08, 2014, 12:57:08 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on August 08, 2014, 03:04:55 AM

Quote from: Caine on August 07, 2014, 02:10:47 PM

You've graduated from hot dogs to bratwurst.  Johnsonville on the grill, get some hoagie rolls and some ketchup.  That's all you need.

Or Italian sausage. Hot dogs are for children.

The only way I can imagine eating a hot dog nowadays is the way I used to like them when I was young: Burned black on a stick in a campfire. In the dark. Half starved and drunk.

Jesus, what kind of Scout leader did you have as a kid???

It was the '60s.
67  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where do you stand on the crucial topic of hotdogs? on: August 08, 2014, 03:04:55 AM

Quote from: Caine on August 07, 2014, 02:10:47 PM

You've graduated from hot dogs to bratwurst.  Johnsonville on the grill, get some hoagie rolls and some ketchup.  That's all you need.

Or Italian sausage. Hot dogs are for children.

The only way I can imagine eating a hot dog nowadays is the way I used to like them when I was young: Burned black on a stick in a campfire. In the dark. Half starved and drunk.
68  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Vessyl on: August 06, 2014, 10:25:41 PM
Not that I would ever want a gadget like this, but hypothetically speaking: Does it actually analyze my beer for alcohol and calorie content, or does it just recognize "beer"? There's quite a difference between a 300-calorie double IPA and a 120-calorie light beer.
69  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ebola outbreak on: August 04, 2014, 09:31:53 PM

Quote from: ATB on August 04, 2014, 03:00:29 PM

Pretty fascinating article about a secret super experimental drug that appears to have saved the americans.

Left unsaid, possibly because unknown, is whether the drug cleared the virus from the patients or knocked it down and turned them into silent carriers.
70  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA! on: August 03, 2014, 10:59:24 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on August 03, 2014, 08:14:51 PM

It started because JWs are old-earth creationists that firmly believe that man is 6000 years old because the Bible says so. I started doing research into carbon dating in order to prove it wrong, and of course I couldn't. The more research I did into it, the more airtight it was. Then, I started researching evolution, then found out some hypocritical things about the organization, and that was that.

Oh yeah, that belief is impossible to defend without rejecting science almost entirely. Geology, cosmology, and most of biology all fall apart without deep time, let alone anthropology and archeology and, obviously, evolution. The entire observable cosmos would have to fit within a 6,000-light-year sphere if light could not be older than that.

Anatomically modern humans have been around for 200,000 years and cultural practices like burial rituals, music, and sophisticated tool making go back 50,000 years, but prehistory only started to yield to history much more recently. 6,000 years is a fair estimate for the beginning of anthropocene time. It was the beginning of the universe as far as human civilization is concerned.

But you've figured this all out for yourself, and that's to be applauded.
71  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I'm a former Jehovah's Witness, AMA! on: August 03, 2014, 06:59:03 PM
They were here just yesterday to tell us that they have a new website. For some reason my wife found that hilarious.

FWIW I don't think they're any weirder than any other Christian sect, just less familiar. The Scientologists and Christian Scientists have taken over the wacky ground that JWs used to occupy. I'm curious, though, about what put you over the top.
72  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I get a cat? on: August 02, 2014, 03:20:12 PM

Quote from: dfs on August 02, 2014, 02:49:31 AM

I understand what ironrod is up against and that will be a tough day.

We skipped our annual 10-day vacation this year in part because we can't leave our cat alone for that long and the person who was supposed to look in on him last year is untrustworthy. The cat is fragile and we couldn't come up with any good care options that didn't cost a fortune or involve a semi-stranger moving into our house for a week. A couple of other factors also mitigated against taking a vacation so we just went away for a weekend.

Now he's doing well physically and we're half-dreading the thought that he might still be with us next year. He was a great cat for 15 years -- simultaneously the sweetest and most independent that we've ever known. We love him until death and are not looking forward to that day. But since he developed dementia (our vet's diagnosis) a year ago he's gotten increasingly difficult to live with and keep happy. I am not willing to give up vacation again next summer and honestly don't know what we'll do if he's still alive. On one hand I hope he lives to be 20; OTOH I dread that prospect.

This is why we're having second thoughts about replacing him, even though we've lived with cats continuously for nearly 40 years. I don't want to go through this again when I'm likely to be old and fragile myself.
73  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 02, 2014, 03:04:28 PM

Quote from: hepcat on August 02, 2014, 02:39:10 AM

I'm rather curious as to what Marvel insider stuff made the other Marvel studio films unapproachable for you.  Because to be fair, there's just as much of that in GotG as in any previous films.  But just like all the other films, you need absolutely zero knowledge of that stuff to enjoy it. 

I wouldn't say they're unapproachable; they do a good job of keeping their films self-contained for those of us who don't flock to every new release. Based on the forum threads here and at OO, this one seems to pack a lot of Marvel arcana and cameos because its own characters are particularly obscure. I was glad to hear that it's more of a sf movie than a superhero movie because I'm not very keen on the latter. 
74  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I get a cat? on: August 02, 2014, 02:22:48 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on August 02, 2014, 02:11:37 AM

Quote from: Lee on August 01, 2014, 11:16:05 PM

That's the thing though, I was thinking of getting an older cat, 8-10 years old, one that's not too active and perfectly happy just hanging out. That is a concern though, that it may mean higher vet costs at it gets older.

$20 a month and $200 a year on vet bills would be well within my budget.

You can find a younger cat with the demeanor you're looking for. When you head to the shelter, ask them about what personality you're looking for instead of just trying to judge from how you see them acting in their cages or rooms.

Once again I will second the pug. Cats are fully mature by age 2 and in their prime at 4 or 5. That's the age I'd recommend if you want to skip kittenhood. You could expect it to live for another 10+ years. By age 10 many of them start to develop medical problems and shelter cats don't always have great histories, so you'd be rolling the dice if you adopt a rescue cat that old (although doing so would be an act of mercy; the older they get the harder they are to place).
75  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 02, 2014, 02:11:15 AM

Quote from: coopasonic on August 02, 2014, 12:55:01 AM

Quote from: hepcat on August 02, 2014, 12:30:43 AM

You'll enjoy it a bunch more if you are in on the usual marvel insider stuff though.

I dunno. I am not sure I could have enjoyed it much more. In fact, based on your comments I think your insider knowledge of the characters detracted from your enjoyment.

As someone who never heard of these characters, it wasn't a superhero movie at all. It was a sci-fi movie that just happened to have a couple comic book cameos.

That was what I was hoping to hear.
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: August 01, 2014, 10:51:38 PM
I don't like superhero movies, but it looks like a fun goofy sf comedy that one can enjoy without being in on all the usual Marvel insider stuff. Theoretically might see this in a theater if a movie works its way into our schedule.
77  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I get a cat? on: August 01, 2014, 10:43:52 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on August 01, 2014, 01:40:40 PM

Ehhhh, I'll go the other way.  Cats only get expensive if they have health issues, but health issues aren't that common if your cat isn't that old.  If you have absolutely no way you could pull together some money if there was a surprise health issue, I'd agree with the above posters about getting an income first.  I also completely agree that you have to think of this is as a long term commitment, no returns.

Aside from vet bills, cats are cheap to maintain.  I don't think I spend more than $20/month on food and litter.   Food/water dishes and litter boxes are cheap.  Scratching posts can get ultra fancy and expensive, but my cat ignores anything nice and will only scratch the cheapo $5 cardboard ones.  Toys also get expensive, but most cats ignore that stuff and just want you to give them more cardboard boxes and pieces of string.  If you want to go all out, you could tie a string to a yardstick and your cat will think you are amazing.

I'll second this. Vet visits typically run $200 a year for routine checkups and shots, but will balloon for an elderly cat. We're closing in on $1,000 for our 16-year-old...which means he's nearing the limit of what we agreed to spend to keep him alive. You reach a point of diminishing returns and vets will absolutely exploit someone who doesn't set limits. They're in business to make money like anybody else.

Food and litter together cost around $10 a week.

The best thing about cats is their independence. As long as his food and water towers are full, we never thought twice about leaving Iggy alone for 2 or 3 nights. Again, though, that changes when they get old. He's become clingy and needy over the past year.

IMO cats are great pets for most of their lives. I've had three that have lived 15+ years, which is pretty typical, and some can live 20+ years. The last year of life, though, gets expensive and unpleasant. Bear that in mind if you adopt an adult cat.

As Iggy's life runs out we've been debating whether we eventually want to get another cat. On one hand we've always had cats and it's hard to imagine living without one, and we own all the necessary cat paraphernalia. OTOH we're 57 years old and starting to think about retirement, ideally including some travel. If we got a kitten next year and it lived the usual 16 years, we'd be dealing with a sick and needy pet when we're 74 years old. And it would limit our mobility at a time when we'd like to migrate to warmer climes 4 months out of the year, not to mention taking week-long vacations here and there. I'm not sure I want to restrict myself like that. We've toyed with adopting an older cat that would die at a more convenient age (for us), but then we'd miss out on the fun and deep bonding of kittenhood. So we're conflicted.

All of our cats have been outdoor cats, so none of my advice pertains to indoor-only cats.
78  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ebola outbreak on: August 01, 2014, 12:12:11 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on July 31, 2014, 07:40:03 PM

Chikungunya has made it here, and has a confirmed case that doesn't originate from Caribbean travel.  A bribe in the right place to let someone get on an international flight, and we've got serious problems.  The big thing keeping Ebola from being truly terrifying is that it's spread by fluids, not through the air.  That, and it's acquired from African animals.  It would be quite difficult for it to obtain a foothold here in the US, and then migrate to a wild animal population repository.  It's a bit different when your society doesn't require the eating of wild animals.

Ebola is no threat to North America currently, but viruses evolve quickly. It could adapt to domesticated animals or become more transmissible. 'Course, it could become less virulent in the process; viruses that kill their hosts quickly don't spread rapidly. And it can evolve as easily in Africa as anywhere else. For now, though, it deserves a pretty low spot on our list of things to worry about.
79  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The economic turmoil thread on: July 31, 2014, 03:12:05 AM
I don't know my credit score. It would be perfect if not for my wife, a charge-first-and-worry-later type who's now on a short leash after having dug herself a deep grave some years ago. My credit probably took some splash damage from that. Visa keeps trying to sell me a black metal credit card with a ridiculous price tag so I guess it can't be too bad.
80  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So when do you quit? on: July 28, 2014, 02:04:55 AM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on July 25, 2014, 10:24:36 PM

So I've been at my job for coming up on three years now.  In that time I've had 8 bosses, 6 VPs, and 4 CIOs.  

When your life becomes a Dilbert cartoon, it's time to make a change.
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