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1761  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Real or Fake: 2008 Edition on: December 10, 2008, 01:32:51 AM
We've got a fake one we've used for the past six years.

I was a real tree loyalist before I was married, because growing up my mom had always bought a real tree. However, struggling to start out on our own, we didn't have a lot of money to throw away on something that would be tossed after a couple of weeks. So we bought a fake.

However, the thing is remarkably realistic looking, and with the amount of decorations we put on it has fooled many a person. We bought some Christmas tree air freshener to heighten the illusion. It has served us loyally over the course of our marriage, and I've yet to feel a twinge of regret at not putting up a real one.

With a baby, on the way, however, I think things will change. When the kid gets old enough to appreciate Christmas trees, I do plan on going back to the real ones. Helping pick out a tree is just a great holiday memory, and something I want my kids to experience.

My best memory of a real tree was the year my dad decided to do the "cut your own" thing at a Christmas tree farm. He went gung-ho, and much like Clark Griswold brought home this 10-foot tall tree that he could barely get through the door. We ended up having to lop off a good two feet off the top of it just to stand it up straight, and even then its branches were so huge they obscured the TV. My brother and I absolutely loved it; my mom was royally pissed.  icon_biggrin
1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Luckiest Man Alive? on: December 09, 2008, 08:17:29 PM
Of special note: The hat is not on his head until it flies off. Watch it again and you will see the hat magically appear.

LOL. I appreciate the attempt at fakery, but that's sort of an important detail to leave out.  icon_biggrin
1763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What do you read, or post, on GT? on: December 09, 2008, 08:14:31 PM
I at least skim pretty much all of it. However, I tend to post more frequently in OO's EBG and R&P forums a bit more since they tend to be more active.

1764  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 'damn it feel good to be a gangsta' - the Office Space tribute on: December 09, 2008, 07:28:28 PM
Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?

As an anti-people person who unfortunately has to pretend like I love working with them, I love this quote.
1765  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Treat your dogs fairly... on: December 09, 2008, 03:01:33 PM
One of our cats, Pumpkin, is funny. She is paranoid about showing me more attention than my wife, or vice versa, and thus tries desperately to divide her time equally between us. If I'm lying on the couch watching TV, she'll lay down to be petted while constantly watching my wife to make sure she's not "upset." All my wife has to say is, "Pumpkin, I'm jealous!" and Pumpkin will run over to her as fast as she can to be petted. After a few minutes I'll say, "Pumpkin, now I'm jealous!" and Pumpkin will run back to me. We have a ball making her run back and forth trying to keep everybody happy.
1766  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 'damn it feel good to be a gangsta' - the Office Space tribute on: December 09, 2008, 02:33:07 PM
I used to laugh at the similarities between this movie and my workplace:

- We actually had TPS reports (total plant services in our world). I don't think any of them had cover sheets, though. Apparently they didn't get the memo.

- You know how one of the characters is named Michael Bolton? We had a guy named George Michael.

- We used to give out cakes for every birthday, and the cake cutting and sharing procedure was remarkably similar. Somebody always seemed to get left out.

- We had a copier, much like the printer they are beating in that picture, that everybody hated with every fiber of their being.

This is one of my favorite comedies as well, and I still toss out references to it all the time.
1767  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wives do the darndest things... on: December 09, 2008, 02:08:01 PM
When we first got married my wife set our toaster oven on fire by sticking a package of rolls in there with the plastic still on them. To this day I don't know WTF she was thinking - she plead "senior moment." At any rate, it ruined the toaster oven, set the front of it on fire, and left big blistery scorch marks across the top of it. Luckily we were right there or she might have burned the whole house down.
1768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 08, 2008, 02:38:54 AM
Here's a nice, clear explanation of the Pentagon damage and why there aren't giant chunks of tail section laying around:

"It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer's eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?"

I think that last statement pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject. Believing and perpetuating these conspiracy theories does nothing but disrespect the people that lost their lives on that plane.

1769  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help restore my faith in the youth of today... on: December 08, 2008, 02:33:18 AM
My friend (who just turned 30) and I have come across this phenomenon a lot in young women, so we came up with the "Ghostbusters Event Horizon," or GEH. We consider anyone who has not seen (and appreciated) Ghostbusters due to their young age as coming from a point in the past behind the GEH. People behind the GEH effectively speak a foreign language - we cannot communicate with them, have nothing in common, and for all intents and purposes they can be safely ignored.

I have a couple of pre-GEHers are work, and it is painful to talk to them. You can't movie quote around them, you can't point out music because they've never heard of it. Their only purpose in life, as far as I can tell, is to make me feel old. And for that reason, I try to associate with them as little as humanly possible.

1770  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 05, 2008, 06:04:47 PM
i think in this case you have to decide what to believe....but really,WTF happened at the Pentagon????...where was the airplane???
(that was prolly the biggest WTF in the documentary for me)

The airplane was in a ton of tiny pieces, consistent with high-speed airline crashes into a reinforced building. A lot of the supposed photos that show no debris were selectively chosen, or taken after debris clean up. If you do a little internet research, you can find plenty of evidence that totally debunks the idea that the Pentagon was hit with a cruise missile, remote-controlled aircraft, or whatever.

Documentaries that focus on "evidence" like the no plane theory tend to leave out the evidence that contradicts their theory - like the fact that hundreds of eyewitnesses physically saw the plane crash into the building.
1771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need suggestion on a good wine on: December 05, 2008, 05:55:25 PM
My intent is not to come across as condescending or pretentious.  And I hope a -rollyeyes- wasn't implied.  Not to suggest that it was, but there have been times when compliments have actually been sarcastic in intent and I'm just trying to provide direction based upon my own experience to help Soulchilde with his gift search.

No sarcasm intended at all. I am just consistently impressed at your ability to knock out lengthy, informative posts at lightning speeds and infuse them with sophistication and fabulousness.  icon_biggrin
1772  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need suggestion on a good wine on: December 05, 2008, 04:26:45 PM
PeteRock is so awesome.
1773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Friday Fun] Word Association on: December 05, 2008, 04:25:43 PM
Cocoa Puffs
1774  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How fast can you type? on: December 05, 2008, 01:23:49 AM
94.65 wpm.

However, I know I'm much faster than that when typing out my thoughts rather than transcribing from another piece of text. I've never been very good at "copy" typing.
1775  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How technologically advanced is your office? on: December 05, 2008, 01:20:15 AM
Current office: XP Professional Latitude D630 notebooks (dual-core). All LCD screens, about half the office with dual-LCDs. Blackberries throughout. So not too shabby.

However, the new job will be even more cutting edge. While the computers themselves are a mixed bag, I'll be working with some top-of-the-line network technology. Cisco stuff, really high speed fiber, ginormous data storage centers, etc. I can't wait.  icon_biggrin
1776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 04, 2008, 08:28:20 PM
Of course countries keep secrets. It's called national security and defense. It's far more plausible to believe that our country has secret bases to develop and test new airplanes and weaponry than to believe it's designed to hide captured alien technology.

The irony is that the government is only too happy to encourage the UFO belief, because it distracts people from what's really going on (high-level technological research on new ways to fight and win wars).

1777  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is the cost of parenthood? on: December 04, 2008, 12:22:01 AM
A co-worker today described having a kid as "a thrill ride that you can't get off."   icon_smile

1778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Don't want to be too premature but... on: December 03, 2008, 07:19:20 PM
LOL.  so, are you going for that one too?

All joking aside, we probably will. My wife wants three, I want two, but in either case we're not getting any younger. Considering the trouble we've had over the last two years, I imagine she'll want to get the ball rolling pretty quickly after this one is born.
1779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Don't want to be too premature but... on: December 03, 2008, 04:08:57 PM
Nice! Congrats Arkon!!!

1780  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Father Involvement Commercials on: December 03, 2008, 04:37:05 AM
It doesn't help that many, many commercials do nothing but push the stereotype that mom is the only important figure in the household. Start paying close attention to commercials and watch how many portray the man of the house as an immature wannabe adolescent, a football-obsessed ogre, or an idiot who can't even pay his own bills. Heck, even the rare ads that actually show a dad interacting with their kids often portray the dad as either an incompetent buffoon with no control over his children or an unbearably strict taskmaster.

My wife didn't believe this until I pointed it out to her, and then she started noticing it everywhere. It's pretty sad.
1781  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's vent on: December 03, 2008, 04:28:05 AM
Bad stuff is going to happen whether you are around to experience it or not. The only control you have is your reaction to it. I choose not to waste time reacting negatively. Life's too short. Focus on what you can directly influence. The rest is just random chance. Truthiness!
1782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Now we just need some Focker to marry our daughter. on: December 02, 2008, 04:24:17 PM
Good luck with that. I can't even get mine to use a litterbox properly. Taking a dump, then climbing outside the box and scratching the linoleum is not a valid method of covering your waste.
1783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL Week 13 on: December 02, 2008, 03:27:19 PM
The Panthers are without a doubt the worst 9-3 team I've ever seen. How the hell Jake Delhomme has remained consistent enough to win 9 games is completely beyond me. They must be slipping steroids in his Bojangles biscuits.
1784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Did You Ever Read Mad Magazine? on: December 02, 2008, 03:45:35 AM
I am still soooo tempted to get this:

Every issue of MAD Magazine from 1952-2006 for $30

1785  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / YK Is Spawning! (Cross-Post from OO) on: December 01, 2008, 09:59:19 PM
Figured I'd post it here to share the good news with my GT friends who may not get over to OO:

As many of you know, my wife suffered an ectopic pregnancy last December after a year and a half of trying to get pregnant. It was a pretty devastating loss for us. Miraculously, however, she suffered no damage to her tubes, so we have been trying again for the past year. Still frustrated by our lack of success, my wife had a dye test done to ensure there was no blockage. The doctor told us many people get pregnant after the dye test because it flushes you out, so he suggested we try again for 3 months before taking any further measures.

Well lo and behold, it worked. YellowQueen is indeed preggers. Evidently my "guys" finally got off their lazy asses and did something for a change.

We are still very, very cautious. Even though the docs tell us everything is just fine with YellowPrince (or YellowPrincess, as the case may be) so far, it's very hard to shake the anxiety from what happened last time. The good news is that the doctors share our concern and are monitoring things very closely this time around. So far, however, YQ's prognosis has been excellent every time we go in. We're going in for another ultrasound on the 8th, so we should have a little more info on how little YP is doing.

A new job and a new baby is more luck than anybody should be allowed to have in one year, especially me. I certainly don't take it for granted. I've found myself thanking God/the Fates/<insert cosmic force of choice> every day for giving YQ and I this opportunity. This is going to be one ridiculously super-loved baby.

Needless to say, 2009 should be....interesting!
1786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Did You Ever Read Mad Magazine? on: December 01, 2008, 09:54:10 PM
I was a MAD magazine fanatic as a kid. I not only had a bona fide subscription, but I had a ton of the thick paperback digests. My granddad was a big fan and would buy them for me all the time.

One of my older cousins had a huge stack of old MAD and Cracked magazines, and one day when I was visiting he gave them all to me. As a kid with no disposable income, this was like winning the lottery. I spent countless hours reading and re-reading those.

My favorite part of the whole magazine was the fold-in joke on the back cover. I would sometimes even design my own.

I haven't read one in years, unfortunately, but I have nothing but great memories of those magazines.


1787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: ESA is after me..thats new :) on: December 01, 2008, 09:43:34 PM
One of the best April Fools jokes I ever pulled was sending a buddy of mine (who pirates a LOT) an authentic-looking but totally bogus cease-and-desist letter from his ISP threatening legal action and all sorts of heinous punishments for his activity.

He called me scared to death that he was going to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. He was so relieved when he found out it was a joke that he couldn't be mad at me.  icon_biggrin
1788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sometimes it's hard not to laugh... on: December 01, 2008, 06:28:07 PM
In the privacy of your own home is one thing. When they start taking off their pants and peeing on the floor of Wal-Mart well then, I imagine that's when the true test of parenting begins.
1789  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So what was your best Black Friday purchase? on: November 29, 2008, 03:07:48 AM
We went out to the mall. Tons of great deals (almost every store had Buy 1 Get 1 Free, or Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off), but we just weren't in the mood to buy anything. I have a feeling we're not alone.
1790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Finally, some good news! on: November 27, 2008, 03:46:57 AM
Awesome lildrgn, that's great! I hate that your little one has had to go through that, but glad to hear he's doing better. Hint: Suggest that he wish for more wishes!
1791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pixar Movies: Favorite to Least Favorite on: November 25, 2008, 01:52:44 AM
1. Toy Story 2
2. Finding Nemo
3. The Incredibles
4. Toy Story
5. Monsters Inc
6. Wall-E
7. Ratatouille
8. Cars
9. A Bug's Life

Funny how people's perceptions differ. I've found I liked the movies more that I was least hyped about seeing. That's why WALL-E and Ratatouille fell out of the top 5. I was so hyped going in, they ended up being utter disappointments.  WALL-E *only* ranks #6 because of the first half of the movie. I thought the second half was crap.

1792  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Warhammer - Is the player base leaving on: November 21, 2008, 04:48:30 PM
Well, I finally pulled the plug on my account after having not played in about a month. It was not an easy decision. I had every intention of going back to it after the gaming glut was over, but I'm starting a new job in January and don't think I'll really have the time to devote to an MMO. Hopefully I'll be able to come back after things settle down next year and try out the new classes, but for now I didn't see the point in paying for a subscription I wasn't using.   crybaby
1793  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Heroes - What Happened to a once promising show? on: November 20, 2008, 06:30:05 PM
The show is just too complex for its own good. The writers obviously think the way to make audiences take a "comic book show" seriously is to pack it with as many plot threads as possible. The problem with that approach is that while they are very good at creating "wow" plot points, they're very bad at keeping them consistent from episode to episode and wrapping them up neatly. I honestly think the show has become so complex even the writers themselves can't figure out what they created.

There's absolutely no reason time travel had to be even a minor plot point, much less a major one. That automatically introduces an enormous layer of complexity in and of itself. Season 3's mantra of "good is bad, up is down, left is right, light is dark!" adds yet ANOTHER layer of complexity. It's utterly ridiculous.

They need to get rid of about half the characters, drop the time travel stuff, clearly divide the factions between good and evil, and let them duke it out. Once the show is stripped down to that level of simplicity, then they can go in and start adding nuances like shifting allegiances. 
1794  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Civic Literacy Test. on: November 20, 2008, 03:56:36 PM
27/33. I'm happy with that. The ones I missed were mostly the weird conceptual ones, and not the ones based on US History.
1795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bee slaughter at the BBQ! on: November 19, 2008, 07:10:49 PM
My grill cover had blown off last week, and I kept forgetting to go out and put it back on.

So I was in the backyard raking, remembered it, went to pick it up, and shrieked like a frightened girl.

I was so loud my wife came running out from inside the house to see what was going on.

In picking up the cover, I had flipped up the dead, mutilated carcass of a bloody squirrel, which landed about two inches from me. I'm assuming this "gift" was a present from the neighbor's outdoor cat.

Needless to say, I'm a bit wary of grill covers now.
1796  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 18, 2008, 07:30:21 PM
I'm YellowKing in-game.
1797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 18, 2008, 04:48:38 PM
There's a server listing (with filters for game type and some other things) which will search the intrawebz and find games for you. You can also add Friends via invites and see when they're online and what servers they're on. Huge improvement over CoD4 in terms of hooking up with buddies.
1798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 18, 2008, 01:18:37 PM
My CoD clan has come to the startling conclusion that in general, WaW's maps beat CoD4's maps hands down. I think the big difference is the size. Playing the sniper class is actually possible now. Aside from 3 or 4 maps, none of them feel cramped like CoD4's often did.

The one downside is that they don't scale as well to a smaller number of players. This is where my clan is going to run into some trouble, because ordinarily the most we'll have on is a 6 on 6 or 8 on 8. Those kinds of numbers are just too small for some of the larger maps like Downfall or Seelow. I think what we're going to try to do on those maps is restrict our game modes to CTF and other goal-oriented game types where we know we will have people concentrated around certain areas.

We've come to a consensus to make the switch permanently to WaW, and it was solely due to the map selection. In general everybody likes the modern setting better, but the WaW maps are just so much fun to play that it was an easy decision.
1799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 17, 2008, 09:53:25 PM
In a significant number of areas that is impossible though. In some missions they even spawn (and respawn) enemies in areas that you are not able to reach. Charging there will just get you shot at from all sides.

You're doing it wrong.  icon_biggrin

Seriously, Kratz is right. The trick to Call of Duty (and it's been true of every game in the series) is to keep moving, take ground, and flank when possible. It's not about blindly charging into the thick of enemies - it's about taking out your most serious threats, then pushing forward when you have an opening. If you sit there all day trying to deplete the infinite spawn, you're wasting your time, and if you try to just run past the enemies you're on a one-way road to Frustrationville.

I''m really puzzled at the people who are having so much trouble. I've played every game in the series, and this was by far one of the easiest campaigns in the series on normal difficulty. I can count on one hand the number of levels I had to try more than twice to beat. Sorry, but I really just don't see anything that was done differently here than how it was done in the past four games and expansion. 

1800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 17, 2008, 09:43:04 PM
Jack White is a genius. That song, however, is atrocious. It's one of the few things he's ever done that I didn't love. I blame Alicia Keyes.
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