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7401  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: All-Encompassing Work Rants on: March 27, 2009, 02:35:17 PM
Even if you don't change careers, this sounds like a prime reason to take your legally-guaranteed leave and use it to look for a new employer.  They obviously do not have your best long-term interests at heart, especially when it comes to work/life balance.  Twenty years from now, what memories do you want to have of your child's first year?  Some quality time with child and mother or working yourself to death?
7402  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: All-Encompassing Work Rants on: March 27, 2009, 02:52:56 AM
Gratch/Skinypuppy, you're in the U.S., correct?  FMLA Parental leave applies to you as well from everything that I've been told.  You have the federal right to take 12 weeks (unpaid) leave with no repercussions. 

Baby Center article

Quote
How can I tell if I'm entitled to unpaid leave?

Start by asking your company's human resources department. Many employers are required by federal law to allow their employees (both men and women) 12 weeks of unpaid family leave after the birth or adoption of a child under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). At the end of your leave, your employer must allow you to return to your job or a similar job with the same salary, benefits, working conditions, and seniority. You're eligible if you meet both of the following conditions:

  • You work for the federal government, a state or local government, or any company that has 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of your workplace
  • You've worked for your employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the previous year (which comes out to 25 hours per week for 50 weeks)
There are a few exceptions: Your employer can deny you this leave if you're in the highest paid 10 percent of wage earners at your company and can show that your absence would cause substantial economic harm to the organization. In this case, your employer isn't required to keep your job open for you. Another exception is if you and your partner both work for the same company. In this case, you're only entitled to a combined 12 weeks of parental leave between the two of you. Even if you're not eligible under the FMLA, you may still be eligible for leave under your state's provisions, which are usually more generous than the FMLA, or under your company's policy.

Also, you can take it all at once or piecemeal over the first year after birth.
7403  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Thirteen Year Old IS NOT the father.... on: March 26, 2009, 10:18:16 PM
Times of India
7404  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Score one for the good guys! on: March 26, 2009, 09:51:13 PM
I'll peruse their site for factual articles, but don't delve into much for opinion, politics etc.  My current Friday evening ritual is dinner at Fuddruckers while reading the Dallas Observer, followed up with some sweet pinball action.
7405  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone have XM radio? on: March 26, 2009, 09:46:10 PM
I thought they made some models that were portable so that you could have one receiver that plugged into the car that you could then take inside and mount to a desk unit.
7406  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Best" Buy Managers violate price match, get bonuses on: March 26, 2009, 09:31:43 PM
In the linked article, there's an internal memo that details what actions to take and there's a reference to a situation where the difference was $700.  The memo is pretty damning, however.

Quote
The court decision lists parts of an internal Best Buy document dated 10/19/2006, written by Phil Britton, a member of Best Buy’s Competitive Strategies Group. Its entitled “Competition Insider Templates”, here’s an excerpt:

“Price Matches

It looms on the wall, on a 9 foot sign.  Our Price Match policy.  There it is plain as day in English (Y en espanol para los de usted que puede leerio.)  However, just because it is our policy, do we abide by it?  Does it really help the customer?

What is the first thing we do when a customer comes in to our humble box brandishing a competitor’s ad asking for a price match?  We attempt to build a case against the price match.  (Trust me, I’ve done it too).  Let’s walk through the “Refused Price Match Greatest Hits:”

Not same model?  Not in stock at the competitor?  Do we have free widget with purchase?  Is it from a warehouse club (they have membership fees, you know)?  Limited Quantities?  That competitor is across town?  We’ve got financing!  Is it an internet price?  It’s below cost!…..”
7407  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / "Best" Buy Managers violate price match, get bonuses on: March 26, 2009, 09:21:13 PM
Courtesy of one of my favorite journalists, Angela Gunn, comes the story of manager malfeasance at "Best" Buy.

Quote
The US District Court, Southern District granted a motion on 3/19/09 for Class Action Certification to allow Plaintiff Thomas Jermyn and any similarly situated NY State residents to sue Best Buy for violating its “Price Match” policy.

According to the ruling, the plaintiff alleges, “Best Buy uses false and deceptive trade practices in advertising and applying the company’s well-known “price match guarantee” policy.  Best Buy tells the consuming public it will match a competitor’s lower price on any item purchased in the store.”  Plaintiff alleges that Best Buy uses its “price match guarantee policy as a ploy, to lure unsuspecting consumers into its stores and to induce them to purchase its merchandise, while allegedly having an undisclosed “Anti-Price Matching Policy,” pursuant to which employees aggressively deny customers’ legitimate price match requests.”

Among the major revelations listed from evidence within the decision based on internal BB documents, depositions of current BB employees and declarations by two former BB employees are the following allegations:

·    Best Buy had an undisclosed Anti-Price Matching Policy

·    Corporate headquarters disseminated the anti-price matching policy to regional managers, store managers, assistant managers, and necessary store personnel

·    Best Buy taught its employees how to deny price match requests in its training facilities in New York

·    Best Buy provided financial bonuses based, in part, on denying proper price match requests

·    Best Buy denied more than 100 proper price match requests per store per week.

7408  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii SD card storage channel!!! on: March 26, 2009, 09:05:41 PM
It's going to be a slow build.  Not everything is available (last column) for them yet.  360 and PS3 players have had it since the start, whereas Wii owners just got the ability this year and only for RB2. 
7409  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Score one for the good guys! on: March 26, 2009, 08:53:42 PM
It also made the Bad Astronomy blog.
7410  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii SD card storage channel!!! on: March 26, 2009, 08:48:49 PM
*kof* Rock Band 2 DLC *kof*
7411  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: House passes 90% tax on Bonuses for TARP recips. on: March 26, 2009, 05:36:26 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 26, 2009, 05:10:53 PM

Apologies to Razgon (our resident Dane), but something certainly seems rotten in Denmark.

Some foppish Brit makes one offhand remark in a play 400 years ago and an entire country is tarnished forever.  slywink
7412  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Three Stooges: The Movie on: March 26, 2009, 04:39:45 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on March 26, 2009, 04:37:34 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 25, 2009, 11:33:15 PM

with Sean Penn as Larry, Jum Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe.  no, it's not a biopic.


 saywhat

I love Sean Penn and his amazing versatility.  His characters have been so diverse, ranging from Spicoli in Fast Times to David Kleinfeld in Carlito's Way (an amazing role - you could barely tell it was him) to Matthew Poncelet in Dead Man Walking to Harvey Milk in Milk.  I even really enjoyed his character in The Game (phenomenal the first time around, but it looses its impact once you know the story).  But I am disappointed in this not being a biopic, as even though I can see Penn doing the Stooges justice in preserving that slapstick, lighthearted feel, I'd rather see these actors do more than just a Stooges comedy.  I'd really like to see something along the lines of Chaplin (a phenomenal performance by Robert Downey, Jr.), where you get to see the actors who played the Stooges for so many years, rather than just the characters. 

But, having read through Where Are They Buried?  How Did They Die? (it's an unusual selection for our guest room "bathroom reading" but many have expressed how unusually entertaining it has been), I don't believe the actors really had very dramatic lifestyles, and as "based on a true story" dramas rife with hardship, abuse, and debauchery sell far more tickets than heartwarming stories of normal, successful actors who merely die of old age rather than some level of tragedy, I guess there isn't enough dramatic content to really do much with a biopic on the actors.  Recreating the characters and paying homage to their longevity and timelessness does make some sense, and I get the impression that the film will be a story about the fictional characters Moe, Larry, and Curly and not about the actors who played the characters.  As per statements like, "The film is not a biopic but a fictional treatment that maintains the Stooges' gleeful slap schtick updated for a modern milieu...........Originally constructed as four separate shorts, the feature screenplay has since been streamlined into a single narrative. Included in the story line is an opening that shows the Stooges as kids in an orphanage, a device that will require some 'Benjamin Button'-style visual trickery to place the adult actors' heads on child actors' bodies."  It seems to me they're planning to tell the story of fictional characters Moe, Larry, and Curly as "The Three Stooges" beginning with their childhoods rather than the stories of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard the actors.

Unfortunately, statements like "Peter and Bobby Farrelly wrote the script, which Bobby has referenced as 'Dumb, Dumber & Dumbest'....." don't give me much hope in the film's level of quality.        

Still a little off balance from your spring break trip, Pete?  slywink
7413  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty: Modern Combat 2 confirmed! on: March 26, 2009, 04:16:44 PM

Quote from: Rubyeye on March 26, 2009, 03:35:58 PM

Please wake me when Call of Duty: NAM is made.
I'd rather see Korea.  Mountains and MiGs, Chosin and Sabres. 
7414  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Wii] 50 million sold! on: March 26, 2009, 03:34:12 PM
AP via Google

Quote
Japanese game maker Nintendo Co. said Thursday global sales of its popular Wii video game console have topped 50 million since it went on sale worldwide in late 2006.

Nearly 50 percent of the total sales of the Wii machine were in the United States and Canada, with Europe accounting for about 40 percent and Japan taking much of the rest, said the maker of Pokemon and Super Mario games.
...
Apart from the Wii console, Nintendo has sold more than 100 million Nintendo DS portable handheld game machines worldwide in just four years and 3 months — a milestone reached at the quickest pace for any video game console.
7415  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: LEGO Indiana Jones Impressions on: March 26, 2009, 03:17:59 PM
Just picked this one back up.  I think I ended up stopping because of the rotating pillars puzzle last time.  I finished off Temple of Doom in Story mode and then went back with a walkthrough to get all of the artifact pieces from Raiders.  One of the parcels is the Artifact Detector, which will likely lead me to replay Temple without a walkthrough to see if I can pick up the artifacts that way.  Easy money is to re-do the mine cart level, as the True Adventurer for that is 120,000 studs and it's on a loop until you hit all the switches to advance.  I may end up doing that one again in Story mode to get the Undying achievement.
7416  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: F-22 crashes near Edwards AFB on: March 26, 2009, 03:15:06 AM
Original linked story has been updated by CNN.

Quote
An Air Force F-22A fighter jet crashed Wednesday near Edwards Air Force Base in California, killing the test pilot, the Air Force said.
...
Lockheed Martin said the test pilot, David Cooley, 49, of Palmdale, California, joined the company in 2003 and was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

 icon_cry
7417  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: F-22 crashes near Edwards AFB on: March 25, 2009, 10:13:22 PM
Yeah, I know.  Trust me, I hate seeing these stories.  I'm the son of a career Air Force aircraft mechanic.  Plane crashes, especially military ones, hit close to home for me. 
7418  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need show, have money on: March 25, 2009, 09:50:40 PM
Freaking Brits...

Farscape : The Ultimate Complete Collection - £95.77

It looks like it includes all 4 seasons and the Peacekeeper Wars and is available new.  Now I just need to get a Region Free DVD player....
7419  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Hochuli Rule (and others) Approved on: March 25, 2009, 09:28:04 PM
Washington Post

Quote
The NFL's team owners voted today to expand the scope of plays subject to instant replay review, including making one modification that would have remedied this past season's notorious officiating gaffe by referee Ed Hochuli.

Hochuli erroneously called a fumble by Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler in the late stages of an early-season game an incomplete pass, negating a game-saving fumble recovery by the San Diego Chargers. Because the call could not be overturned via a replay review, the Broncos retained possession of the ball and went on to score a touchdown and a game-winning two-point conversion.

The owners voted today to make such a play subject to a replay review. Under the new rule, the defensive team can be awarded possession of the ball if it made a recovery and the review shows the play to have been a fumble rather than an incomplete pass.

The rule was proposed by the NFL's competition committee and approved by the owners today. It goes into effect next season.

The owners also voted to make a call of a loose ball being out of bounds before it's recovered subject to replay review. That stemmed from a botched call of a kickoff being out of bounds, when actually it wasn't, during the NFC title game.

Another change was approved to modify the system by which the draft order is determined. The 12 teams that reach the playoffs now will automatically have the 12 lowest draft spots. That wasn't necessarily the case before, since the draft order had been based strictly on regular season records (although the two Super Bowl teams did have the two lowest draft spots). That goes into effect next year.

A team no longer gets a second chance at an onside kick at any point during a game. That previously had applied only to the final five minutes of a game.
7420  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need show, have money on: March 25, 2009, 09:22:52 PM

Quote from: warning on March 25, 2009, 09:05:34 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 25, 2009, 08:49:38 PM

I haven't seen much of Farscape but I certainly wouldn't call it a comedy. 

I laughed a lot.  Just not in a good way. icon_wink

Muppet hater!
7421  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 09:22:02 PM
Fire up the DoS attack, boys!  We're going back after the Germans!
7422  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / F-22 crashes near Edwards AFB on: March 25, 2009, 08:15:00 PM
CNN

Quote
An Air Force F-22A fighter jet crashed Wednesday near Edwards Air Force Base in California, Air Force officials said.  The single-seater crashed about 10:30 a.m. for unknown reasons, the officials said.  The status of the pilot was unknown.
7423  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 08:09:06 PM
This one more accurate, then?



And to keep it on topic, here's from my work machine:
7424  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 07:47:31 PM
For those who aren't familiar, there's a new shirt up every night at midnight Central for $10.  They they do the weekly reckoning that starts on Fridays where they rank the current 27 shirts in production and whatever finishes out of the top 20 are offed at the end of Monday.  Anything you don't get on Deal of the Day is $15.  They also do Random day where the price drops to $6.66 a shirt and you can end up with just about anything that they've sold previously. 

Maybe this one would work better for your town, Myto.   Click to go to that shirt's page.

7425  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii SD card storage channel!!! on: March 25, 2009, 07:37:15 PM
There are three different sizes for the cards in general.  



There's SD, miniSD, and microSD.  I know the micro usually come with a full-sized SD adapter.  

Wiki also covers the capacities.

  • Standard SD: 4 MB to 4 GB
  • SDHC: 4 GB to 32 GB
  • SDXC: 32+ GB to 2 TB

SDXC was just unveiled at CES 2009.  Of course, there's nothing available that's compatible with it yet.  icon_confused
7426  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 07:11:53 PM

Quote from: mytocles on March 25, 2009, 07:02:59 PM

Also, I don't know the Secret Greeting either!   icon_cry

A recap is buried in the podcast from Oct 21, 2008, initially from Feb 2008.  Click on the gray button in the first post.
7427  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 07:00:48 PM
I saw that shirt in the wild on St. Patrick's Day.  He did not respond appropriately to the Shirt Woot secret greeting. 
7428  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is your "perfect day"? on: March 25, 2009, 05:19:29 PM
I'll have to ponder my answer, but my suggestion to you would be that you need to plan and schedule your weekend without plans and schedules.  Talk to the wife and see about scheduling that weekend free of commitments, either to spend together doing what you described or buy her off with her perfect day to get you one of yours. 

Free time isn't free, you know. 
7429  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: F-117A Pics on: March 25, 2009, 04:31:09 PM
Yeah, because even John McClane can take out an F-35.  slywink
7430  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 03:34:09 PM

Quote from: Gromit on March 25, 2009, 11:39:11 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on March 25, 2009, 03:18:11 AM

Quote from: Gromit on March 24, 2009, 06:36:39 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on March 24, 2009, 04:36:54 AM

I doubt you want to see my scanned annual review from 2003...

Haha!  That same company did my cheesy graduation pic from IDMT school at Sheppard!   icon_biggrin

Rumor has it that they're going to ship all the medical training down state.

It's no rumor.  All medical AFSC training will be co-located in San Antonio.  In fact, all armed forces medical training will be there together...they're looking at 2011, IIRC.

I guess that makes sense from an economy of scale and keeping the same standards, but a part of me really hates to see the draw down of all these bases due to actions like this. 

My Dad works at Sheppard, so I get some updates about what's still going on in the USAF.  They wouldn't let me serve, so I have to get my fix somehow.
7431  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Get them away from me! I need help! The noms, they're EVIL! on: March 25, 2009, 03:30:45 PM
I just remembered that I still have Jaime's work address and Sam's Club allows you to order directly from the website...  icon_twisted
7432  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Escapist: Zero Punctuation on: March 25, 2009, 04:16:56 AM
Unskippable does Resident Evil 5.
7433  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: House passes 90% tax on Bonuses for TARP recips. on: March 25, 2009, 03:52:46 AM
The meme that never dies.  As gamers, I would hope no one is a photosensitive epileptic, but you have been warned.
7434  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 03:18:11 AM

Quote from: Gromit on March 24, 2009, 06:36:39 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on March 24, 2009, 04:36:54 AM

I doubt you want to see my scanned annual review from 2003...

Haha!  That same company did my cheesy graduation pic from IDMT school at Sheppard!   icon_biggrin

Rumor has it that they're going to ship all the medical training down state.
7435  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Get them away from me! I need help! The noms, they're EVIL! on: March 25, 2009, 12:33:47 AM
Should I mention the ability to get them in convenient 44 oz buckets?  The seatbelt in your vehicle should hold it nicely for your commute. 

7436  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: F-117A Pics on: March 24, 2009, 10:40:00 PM
 eek  I don't believe that I was aware of this craft.  I knew about the AT-38 and F-5, but I don't recall hearing about the Super Tweet!  Thanks!
7437  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need show, have money on: March 24, 2009, 05:18:24 PM
They are indeed.  I have the first season in the original complete set and am hoping that the OOP status does not last long.  They are available for purchase through iTunes, however.  IIRC, they were $40 a season, but I may be remembering incorrectly.
7438  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 6 MONTHS since my last cigarette! on: March 24, 2009, 04:20:40 PM
Great, kid! Don't get cocky.
7439  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: House passes 90% tax on Bonuses for TARP recips. on: March 24, 2009, 03:25:22 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 24, 2009, 02:46:45 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on March 24, 2009, 01:24:42 AM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on March 23, 2009, 12:40:32 PM

Quote from: Moliere on March 20, 2009, 10:30:25 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on March 20, 2009, 10:07:44 PM

Still I agree with KD, this is OUR money being paid out to these people.
Do you feel this way about other government subsidies and handouts? It would be nice if people had this kind of outrage towards farm subsidies, for example.

Yes, I think it's lame to have people starving and paying farmers not to farm.  There are some programs that are worth supporting, but for every one of those there are 100 that are either flat out shameful or just so badly applied as to appear shameful. 

Your ratio is probably reversed.  It's the 1 program in 100 that you hear about that is shameful / stupid / fraudulent.

Probably so.  Forgive the hyperbole, it's just that the ones that are bad are REALLY bad.  I really don't give a crap about whether hamsters can mate in space, but I suspect there is a million dollars being spent studying it.

So studies of mammalian development in a zero-g environment that might be able to be extrapolated to allow our species to take to the stars has no value to you? 

Every project that gets money had to pass a review process somewhere.  Just because you place no value on it doesn't automatically mean that there is no value to be gained. 
7440  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 24, 2009, 04:36:54 AM
I doubt you want to see my scanned annual review from 2003...
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