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81  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / [Ukraine] Crimea River on: March 01, 2014, 05:23:44 PM
So...how about that Ukraine? Is Russia going to annex Crimea? How concerned should we be about that, what should US policy be? Will Putin stop at Crimea or go for all of Ukraine's ethnically-Russian east?

Events are moving so fast, and my knowledge of the area is so slight, that I don't have strong opinions about any of those questions.
82  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning on: March 01, 2014, 05:18:16 PM
Yeah...I didn't mean to derail your thread or take the focus off of your health crisis. I hope you reach equilibrium soon with only minor long-term consequences.
83  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Godzilla to return to American shores on: February 28, 2014, 10:41:11 PM
Either Bryan Cranston is slumming or this is going to be much better than the average monster movie.
84  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning on: February 28, 2014, 10:37:36 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 28, 2014, 10:01:12 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 26, 2014, 11:23:31 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM

I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor

My insurance sucks in the same way. "Preventive care" is fully covered and "diagnostic care" is fully not covered until a high deductible is met. The $600 a month we have to pay for the insurance leaves us unable to afford any kind of tests or treatments.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll leave it at that.
Yeah my monthly has gone over that too. And cripes, about 5-6 years ago (I'm 48), my monthly bill was in the $300s. Holy health care inflation, Batman!

My employer covers it but my publisher has told me if it gets much higher I might consider looking at other providers. I'm just scared of opening that particular wormhole. Like I'd rather deal with "the devil I know" than "the devil I don't know."  paranoid

OK, dammit, here comes the rant anyway.

$600 is our share after my wife's employer picks up 50%. The unsubsidized retail price is $1200/mo (and that's what it would cost us to get comparable insurance through the Obamacare exchange...I checked.) It's not even especially good insurance. At our subsidized price we'd have to pay $8,000 out of pocket before insurance started covering 80% minus co-pays if we use an in-network doctor. Unfortunately the doc that we've had for 20 years just got classified as a "high cost provider" last year, so unless we change docs we'd have to pay $8,750 before insurance starts covering him at 60%.

Needless to say, we only go to the doctor in serious emergencies and we don't let them do any tests.

I really ought to start over with a new, cheaper doctor, but my wife's been on and off the verge of getting a new job for the past two years. The jobs she applies for (in academia rather than publishing) all offer better insurance that would let us keep our doctor, so I've been reluctant to throw away that relationship.

Meanwhile I keep repeating to myself "8 more years til Medicare..."

This is not a healthcare system. This is a healthcare-prevention system.
85  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 27, 2014, 03:28:43 AM
Part of me is going to miss the entertainment value that the resulting shitstorm would've provided, but the more responsible part is glad this is settled for now.
86  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning on: February 26, 2014, 11:23:31 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 26, 2014, 07:37:48 PM

I do feel like my increasingly expensive individual health plan shafted me because the bloodwork was not considered "necessary" by my doctor

My insurance sucks in the same way. "Preventive care" is fully covered and "diagnostic care" is fully not covered until a high deductible is met. The $600 a month we have to pay for the insurance leaves us unable to afford any kind of tests or treatments.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll leave it at that.
87  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 26, 2014, 07:06:59 AM

Quote from: Teggy on February 26, 2014, 03:50:14 AM

I'm still trying to figure out what the endgame is here. Every day we get another of these (today Missouri). I find it hard to believe that these states don't know these laws will be immediately challenged in the courts. Is this part of some GOTV plan for November? If so, how?  Is it just so the people who voted for it can say they they did?

They thrive on persecution. It will ultimately backfire because galvanizing the opposition is how progress on civil rights usually happens. But in the meantime circling the wagons against the godless liberals makes them stronger. That's my theory, anyway.
88  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Godzilla to return to American shores on: February 25, 2014, 08:20:31 PM
Why do monsters hate the Statue of Liberty?
89  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I be flattered? on: February 25, 2014, 07:28:01 PM
The detective called today. Never thought I'd be glad to type those words but there they are.

The police want to get the phone # under which the account was opened from Comcast. Then they'll see if it belongs to any of the usual suspects. He gave me his contact info to share with Comcast, but their collections department wasn't interested. They are mailing me a complaint form which, when returned with a copy of the police report, will absolve me from any further involvement and restore my credit record. Meanwhile they referred me to their Legal Response Ctr. I passed that number along to the detective because Comcast has some bounced checks that might be of interest.

Neither the police nor comcast typically take the lead in talking to each other; any communication between them will probably have to go through me.

The detective said they very rarely clear these cases because there's seldom an unbroken electronic trail. Mostly they try to identify the perp and throw a scare into him. Their main objective is to prevent any further losses to me.

All he's done so far is verify that nobody with my name lives at that apartment.
90  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I be flattered? on: February 25, 2014, 04:48:39 PM

Quote from: Lee on February 25, 2014, 02:45:36 PM

I pay $2.75 (it's usually 5.50) to Experian through USAA for a credit watch. Do you have something like this? If you didn't, would something like this have helped, or wouldn't it have shown until the damage as done? Probably not I would guess, but the watch makes me feel better about it. (Knock on wood.)

The fraud didn't hit my credit report until Comcast turned it over for collection. I would have found out about it a couple of weeks earlier, but that wouldn't have made any difference.

I don't know what will happen next. I'm going to just wait a few days for the wheels to grind before I place some followup calls.
91  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 25, 2014, 04:04:16 AM

Quote from: hepcat on February 25, 2014, 01:25:02 AM

even I know it's not comprised solely of robber barons dressed like snidely whiplash. 

There's also Richie Rich and Scrooge McDuck.
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Should I be flattered? on: February 25, 2014, 03:55:32 AM
Somebody stole my identity! I'm not even that fond of it myself.

A collection agency called about the $700 that someone with my name and SSN owes Comcast for service at an address about five miles from my house. I don't live there and have never had a Comcast account. They suggested that I explain that to Comcast. Who then suggested that I explain it to my local constabulary. Who then suggested that I pull my credit report to make sure this isn't an elaborate scam.

Turns out that other-me last paid Comcast $700 last August. Comcast turned the account over for collection when it reached $700 again last month. It has since crept up to $920, plus the value of unreturned equipment. WTF Comcast? Don't you ever terminate service for nonpayment?

So other-me has apparently had my SSN for a year now, yet my credit reports show that he only ever used it to steal cable. WTF other-me? Was that really the best you could think of? It just hit my credit report at the beginning of this month when the collection agency started calling. (They had my wife's phone number, not mine. She didn't answer their calls for a couple of weeks and they never left a message.)

Now a detective will supposedly work with Comcast's fraud department, who will supposedly call off the collection dogs when they see law enforcement on the case. Yeah, right, that's going to happen. I predict a lot of followup phone calls in my near future.

I'm good about online security but obviously not good enough at sanitizing my trash. Given other-me's proximity, he must have gotten my SSN out of the trash. I usually tear up or shred sensitive documents, but not always. What are the chances that someone would find the rare unshredded financial doc in the thousands of pieces of paper that I throw away in a year? Yet somebody beat those odds.

Speaking of odds, what do you suppose are the chances that the coppers will nail other-me? I'd guess that he is no longer at the deadbeat address. Do they ever clear identity theft cases?
93  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've been in the hostpital - A warning on: February 25, 2014, 03:24:37 AM
Hope your recovery beats expectations. I will forgo a political rant about our healthcare system, as I'm sure that your experience and opinions are stronger and better informed than mine now. I'm just trying to hang on until I get Medicare in 8 more years.
94  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harold Ramis passed away today on: February 25, 2014, 03:15:30 AM
His sense of humor dovetailed pretty well with my own. I admire most of his work from SCTV onward. One obit said that Groundhog Day is often held up in screenwriting classes as an example of a perfect screenplay.
95  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Arizona passes controversial anti-gay bill on: February 24, 2014, 02:01:59 AM
Have any mainstream churches spoken in favor of it?
96  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Guardians of the Galaxy on: February 19, 2014, 11:31:06 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 19, 2014, 04:31:54 PM

Just watched the trailer.  Count me in the know next to nothing about the characters and very excited to see the movie camp.

If it's campy I might rent it. I didn't realize until I saw the trailer that it's a comedy...although I suppose the raccoon should have been a giveaway.
97  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Unsettling Feeling of Work Lulls on: February 19, 2014, 11:26:30 PM
During the years that I worked in PC game development, the workload was project-driven and very uneven -- and not always predictable, either, as corporate would occasionally kill a project unexpectedly. There was always at least a brief lull (and sometimes a lengthy one) after a game went gold. And head count was routinely reduced as well. You knew that most of the testers were going to be gone, but you never knew who else they were going to sweep away while they were at it.

Being a game company, we were expected to use these down periods "doing market research" -- that is, playing games.
98  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bands You've Never Seen In Concert But Wish You Could/Had/Will on: February 19, 2014, 11:21:20 PM
I saw Bowie in his Thin White Duke years, right after Station to Station. He was in a huge arena in Detroit and I was way in the back. From where I stood, David Bowie was no more than 2 millimeters tall.
99  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bands You've Never Seen In Concert But Wish You Could/Had/Will on: February 18, 2014, 07:15:54 AM

Quote from: Laner on February 18, 2014, 04:34:10 AM

Queen w/ Mercury

Saw them twice. Also Genesis with Gabriel.

I saw a LOT of the headline acts of the 1970s and early 80s -- I daresay most of them -- but always kind of regretted missing Pink Floyd.
100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: February 18, 2014, 03:17:50 AM

Quote from: Mystic95Z on February 17, 2014, 10:35:42 PM

I though she was gonna off that baby too  icon_eek
I was rooting for her. I'll bet that baby will think twice before it starts bawling when Lizzy's around.
101  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: These 12 New Headline Trends Will Astound You! on: February 18, 2014, 03:13:42 AM
Downworthy will not change your life in any meaningful way!
102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 16, 2014, 04:34:04 PM

Quote from: Lee on February 16, 2014, 01:01:46 PM

Kegerators aren't a good idea for people without willpower. I think there might be a name for that... icon_confused

I can keep hard alcohol or wine in my house and it can last months to a year. Beer, not so much. If I have it, I will drink it.

Being a creature of habit, I can easily stick to my beer ration as long as I'm counting 12-oz bottles. Give me a free-flowing tap and a bottomless glass? All bets are off. Plus if I had draft beer at home I would no longer have any reason to ever leave the house.
103  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 14, 2014, 11:26:32 PM
As far as Democrats are concerned, Ted Cruz is the gift that keeps on giving. Like Bachman and Palin, he's got unshakable support among the red-meat base while scaring everybody else, including mainstream Republicans. I'm sure there is nothing that Clinton or Biden would like better than to face off against Cruz in 2016.

I don't think there's a chance that will happen. Party leaders appear to have the upper hand over the teabaggers, at least for the time being, and they have to keep it that way if they're going to take the Senate in November. All bets are off, though, if they manage to keep the extremists at bay yet fail to capture the Senate. 
104  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Ted Cruz: The Alienator on: February 14, 2014, 08:41:46 PM
Somebody's got to define the fringe. There's money and notoriety in staking it out.
105  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: February 14, 2014, 08:34:23 PM

Quote from: Crawley on February 14, 2014, 07:37:04 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 14, 2014, 02:37:24 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 14, 2014, 02:39:13 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 13, 2014, 04:59:06 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 13, 2014, 01:38:31 AM



Did anybody else notice Stan Lee's cameo?



Notice it?  I'm not sure how you could miss it.  They were pimping it in commercials for two weeks and even if you missed those, it wasn't exactly subtly placed.

I don't see commercials because I only watch recorded shows. Guess it wasn't much of a "cameo" if they were hawking it in ads. Thought I was clever for recognizing him.

Sorry, didn't mean to rain on your parade.  My daughter even said, "Stan Lee, duh" when he popped on screen.

Aww man. Even dissed by a kid.  thumbsdown

I take comfort from the legions of people who didn't answer the question because they missed it.  nod
106  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: February 14, 2014, 02:39:13 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 13, 2014, 04:59:06 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 13, 2014, 01:38:31 AM



Did anybody else notice Stan Lee's cameo?



Notice it?  I'm not sure how you could miss it.  They were pimping it in commercials for two weeks and even if you missed those, it wasn't exactly subtly placed.

I don't see commercials because I only watch recorded shows. Guess it wasn't much of a "cameo" if they were hawking it in ads. Thought I was clever for recognizing him.
107  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on: February 13, 2014, 01:38:31 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on February 05, 2014, 09:11:47 PM

Quote from: rittchard on February 05, 2014, 06:48:44 PM

Big reveal and plot moves last night - not sure about "season changing" but pretty cool stuff.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Deathlok, whoa!!!!!!  And Skye is.... Illyria?!?!  She was kind of blue wasn't she?  Kidding!!!  Or will she die and her body be sent in that chamber to the bottom of the ocean, only to be reborn as a.... phoenix?!?!  Also kidding, yeah yeah they can't use X-characters.  Soooo I searched around and didn't see any other interesting theories, besides one saying she is Lady Sif's daughter (fallen from the "sky").  

I don't get the "season changing" description - if she had actually died I could see it being a game changer, but she wasn't dead and her story is far from complete so it's not that big a deal is it?  I guess everyone on the team is super pissed their precious little Skye got stabbed so now the show will be "darker"?  Or was the big thing Deathlok?  As much as I like them, I think a more dramatic turn would have been to actually kill off either Fitz or Simmons, possibly making room for a cooler character to join them.  Kind of like when 7 of 9 joined Voyager or Dark Wesley joined Angel.  

Also read more about Bill Pullman coming in, as well as Lady Sif (aka Jessi XY) guest starring soon too!  So the "back half" of the show looks like it could be pretty exciting.

The unfortunate WTF news is apparently the next episode airs in March, so it looks like the idiotic tools at ABC are trying to Lost-fuck the show's ratings/fans.  (Hey did I just coin a cool new term?)  Hey, we've got an episodic show that relies heavily on plot points happening from episode to episode, so... let's air them one at a time randomly each month!!!!!  So aggravating.

I imagine this episode was team/season/story changing, but we haven't seen exactly how just yet, only that the ball is in motion.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I think we'll see some kind of power develop from Skye now that she's in that chamber. 

Knowing that Sif is coming in a future ep makes that Sif's daughter theory pretty respectable, I have to say.

Well I don't know the whole Marvel mythos, but I expect Skye to become a cyborg or alien-human hybrid or something equally superheroic. Not spoilering that since it's just speculation.

Did anybody else notice Stan Lee's cameo?

108  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 08:19:04 PM
The first couple of seasons were steeped in class, manners, tradition vs. modernity, and the eventual impact of world war sweeping away the aristocracy's grip on the world. The soap-opera plots and character arcs all grew out of the feudal tradition being overthrown. Those themes are still there, but they feel more forced now, while the soap opera has moved to the fore. This is what I mean when I say it's become a parody of itself.

It's still a very well-written and -acted soap opera and I don't disparage anybody for liking it. Maggie Smith alone is worth the price of admission. I just stopped caring about it.
109  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: February 10, 2014, 08:08:04 PM
If the entire series is Carl's coming-of-age story, as I often think, then this was one of the most significant episodes to date. Badass Carl wants to leave childhood behind (and Rick even told him "you are a man") but he's still confused about what that means. He hasn't reconciled the Shane and Rick role models yet...even though it looked like his Shane side was running away with it. The scene in which he almost shoots maybe-zombie Rick was extremely tense and revealing.

I think they have a pretty good overall balance of character development, plot exposition, and straight-up action.
110  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 10, 2014, 05:09:54 PM
I guess my beer bill works out to $40/wk. Was spending closer to $55 before I cut back last month. 

Seltzer is far cheaper in 2-liter bottles than in single-serving cans. My seltzer habit only costs me 40 cents a day.
111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 04:59:25 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on February 10, 2014, 04:21:56 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 10, 2014, 02:34:54 AM

I officially bailed on this show effective with tonight's episode. I started to lose interest -- and the show started to wander -- when WW1 ended. Then a few weeks ago they threw in a subplot that was completely gratuitous because they felt like a particular character (OK, Anna...if you're watching you know what I'm talking about) was too happy or needed some conflict. It crossed completely into soap opera territory at that point. Now that The Walking Dead is back on the same day and time, I am done with Downton.

The first two seasons were really good, I'll give it that.

You leave Downton cause of lost interest but watch the Walking Dead? That show stopped being good after the first season.

Either zombies or TARDIS guest appearances would bring me back to Downton. Make it both and the awesomeness would be off the charts.
112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Walking Dead tap dances onto AMC for Season 4 on: February 10, 2014, 07:25:43 AM
So how about them zombies? I enjoyed the season 4.5 premier, especially the echoes of early episodes (burning tank, comatose Rick, reference to Shane). It's like the characters are coping with their disorientation by going back to the beginning. Enjoyed seeing bratty Carl taken down a peg, too. The diaspora is a good development if they don't spend the entire rest of the season reuniting people (as it looks like they might do).
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 07:16:54 AM
I just didn't buy it. It felt forced and arbitrary, from a plot/writing standpoint. I was being manipulated to feel  icon_eek but I only felt like  Roll Eyes I hung in there for a couple more weeks but increasingly felt that Downton has become a parody of itself.

Which is not to say that I'm right and you're wrong; my wife's still thoroughly engrossed in it. They just lost me and I wasn't really their audience in the first place. They'll get over it.
114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Downton Abbey on: February 10, 2014, 02:34:54 AM
I officially bailed on this show effective with tonight's episode. I started to lose interest -- and the show started to wander -- when WW1 ended. Then a few weeks ago they threw in a subplot that was completely gratuitous because they felt like a particular character (OK, Anna...if you're watching you know what I'm talking about) was too happy or needed some conflict. It crossed completely into soap opera territory at that point. Now that The Walking Dead is back on the same day and time, I am done with Downton.

The first two seasons were really good, I'll give it that.
115  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The LEGO Movie - the movie of Legos on: February 09, 2014, 07:13:01 PM
I had zero interest in this movie. Legos weren't part of my childhood (plastic hadn't been invented yet; we had Lincoln Logs), I don't have kids, and I don't like kids' movies (with a few exceptions). Based on those two reviews, though, I added it to my netflix queue.
116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 08, 2014, 04:14:50 PM

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2014, 01:29:59 PM

A buck a bottle? What are you drinking?
Regional beers such as Sam Adams, Shipyard, Harpoon, Long Trail, Wachusett, and sometimes Smuttynose and Magic Hat. Sierra Nevada is often on sale as well. Between their everyday beers and their seasonals that's plenty of variety. Normal price is $15/12, sale price is $13/12. 6-packs are usually $10+ so I only buy those when I want something (such as porter or stout) that's not popular enough to be sold in 12's.

Quote
Is Sodastream big enough that it needs a killer?

Coca-cola would like to own that market. The regular soda business has been in decline for years. Their secondary bottled-water business is under assault from environmentalists. The make-your-own niche has potential, but the expense and inconvenience of CO2 cartridges holds sodastream back; Coke figures they can take the category mainstream if they can solve the CO2 drawback. Which Green Mountain has apparently done. 
117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 08, 2014, 02:49:54 AM

Quote from: Lee on February 07, 2014, 07:18:10 PM

I would love something heartier in the evening as well, but after years of drinking, I figured it was time to cut that crap out if I want to be live into my old age (had a health scare a few months back but it was all in my head/stress). Plus, drinking good beer get's really expensive. I limit myself to $40 a month for beer, so about 4 6-packs. I won't say how much I used to spend. icon_confused

Most of my income goes to beer, but I don't buy anything else so that's OK. It's a wee bit more than a buck a bottle in 12-packs.

My parents gave up beer when they were around 60. I once told my mom "I suppose someday some doctor will tell me I have to quit, too." She said "No, your body will tell you that." It's been 57 years and it hasn't balked yet.  thumbsup But I am cutting back a little to save on calories, hence my search for a satisfying low- or no-cal Sober Sundays beverage. 

Plain store-brand seltzer is 77 cents for a 2-liter bottle. Coca-cola just bought 10% of Green Mountain Coffee, the people who brought the Keurig machines to market, because they're working on a single-dispenser cold drink machine that somehow doesn't need CO2 cylinders. It's supposed to be the Soda Stream killer -- the gas refills are what holds its market penetration to 2-3% of American households.
118  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 07, 2014, 06:55:29 PM
I drink seltzer all afternoon so I need something heartier in the evenings. Hadn't thought about herbal teas. Do those have the same diuretic quality as decaf coffee? Getting up in the middle of the night ruled that one out.

Waist Watchers is the only soda I know of that uses sucralose ("Splenda"), but there are probably others. The taste is (to me) indistinguishable from sugar and sucralose isn't as carcinogenic as aspartame, although a recent study says heavy consumption might eventually lead to lukemia. (shrug) I only drink a liter a week, so not worried about it.
119  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Soft drinks? on: February 07, 2014, 07:23:32 AM
I have the same problem. There's nothing I like as much as beer. I drink seltzer all day and beer all night. But Sunday night is sober night and I need something else.

I've settled on Waist Watchers soda, which uses sucralose so it's zero calories without the nasty aspartame aftertaste. The chocolate fudge and cherry flavors aren't bad as sweet stuff goes.

I'm still looking for a good Not-Beer with no calories, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no sugar, and that isn't water. Doesn't seem to be such a thing except maybe for near-beer, and that shit's just nasty. Tried decaf coffee but that always made me get up in the middle of the night to pee.

120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Suggestions for a great mattress on: February 04, 2014, 03:13:00 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on February 03, 2014, 02:05:51 PM

I have no idea which one you should buy, but I just wanted to make sure you were aware that mattress prices are like car prices.  You are entirely expected to haggle to an extreme degree.

Yes. And oddly enough the mattress industry is even sleazier than the car industry. For example, did you know that the major manufacturers give the exact same product different names and model numbers in each retail outlet to prevent price-matching? Unlike car dealers, it's very hard to play one store against another.

We bought our last one at Sleepy's, which we started calling Sleazy's when we realized how negotiable their prices are.

One thing I learned is that pillow-top mattresses are designed to prevent you from extending its life by flipping it over. Put a pad on a normal mattress instead.
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