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Published: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:45:10 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:45:10 GMT


Bubbly booze on tap

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:45:10 GMT

Inspired by this question, I was wondering what boozy concoctions I could put on tap in my kegerator.

I have a kegerator and kegs that I use for home brewing. The kegs are 5 gallons each and can force-carbonate any liquid by injecting CO2 into the keg. (I currently use it for seltzer water on tap when I don't have any home brew.)

What alcoholic drinks should I put on tap? Hard lemonade? A big batch of gin and tonic? Any suggestions and recipes are welcome! They can be as small as 1 gallon or as large as 5 gallons.

Help me fix my sleep maintenance insomnia

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:25:41 GMT

I have had sleep maintenance insomnia the past few years and I'd really like it to go away.

I used to sleep normally but I've had sleep maintenance insomnia the past 3-4 years and I don't know how to fix it or whether fixing it is even possible.

40, female. This started around age 36-37.

I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, almost always. I wake up again sometime between 3am-5am and stay awake for a couple of hours. During that time, there is NOTHING I can do to get myself to fall back asleep until my body is ready. During that time, it feels like I've had enough sleep, not tired at all, etc. It feels like my body sleeps the bare minimum then says, "ok! you've had just enough, that's all you get!"

I eventually do fall back asleep, and the early-morning hours feel like some of my most important sleep, but alas, work is a thing so this early-morning sleep gets interrupted and I feel like crap.

This pattern is definitely worse when I'm very stressed but it happens even when I'm not.

The internets tell me that this is a common thing women experience in their 30s as they're listening for babies to wake but I don't have kids.

I've tried cutting out caffeine entirely, exercising, limiting screens, all the usual sleep suggestions, but honestly this feels a lot bigger than most everyday sleep problems. And again, falling asleep at the beginning of the night is not an issue for me whatsoever.

I tried taking 400-500mg of magnesium before bed, and for a while I felt it was working; I could tell that I was sleeping much more deeply (I'm normally a very light sleeper) and I still woke up in the middle of the night but I fell back asleep much more quickly. But the magnesium stopped working for me at some point. I still take it now but it doesn't seem to do anything.

If you had this problem, how did you make it go away?

Proposal locations in Paris or London?

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:25:06 GMT

What are some nice, secluded, romantic locations to propose to my girlfriend in London or Paris in July?

My girlfriend and 2 of our friends will be visiting Paris and London in July. I was originally supposed to go but something came up so they booked tickets without me. Turns out I can go again, and it seems like the perfect time to have one of our friends say they want to visit X location and me be there with a suit to pop the question. What places do you recommend? We won't have a car so being easy to get to via metro or uber/taxi would be great. Preferably not the most obvious Eiffel Tower etc, although a nice secluded part of the Louvre may not be a bad idea). Any help will be appreciated!

Best iPad handwritten note solution?

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 16:15:51 GMT

Part of my job involves taking very detailed notes during negotiations. For Reasons, it has to be done by hand, but I think people will be OK with me using an iPad or other flat-lying tablet. App or workflow recommendations? Stylus recommendations for use over 2+ hours?

Additional points:

  • Ideally, it would convert my handwriting scrawl in real time, so that I could immediately correct any errors before I forget what was said -- like, I'd write a line, and simultaneously, right above, I'd see what the text got OCR'd as, so when the speakers took a breath, I could fix typos or incorrect words/add clarifying comments.

  • I'm fine with e-mailing the typewritten notes to myself afterwards, so cloud integration is not necessary.

  • I have an old iPad that we're thinking about replacing, so if the answer is "Get a new iPad ____," that's totally fine.

  • Compensation to sibling for advance on inheritance?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:47:37 GMT

    What's the fairest way to compensate one sibling when the other sibling has received an advance on their shared inheritance?

    Sibling A has received a $100k loan from parents to purchase a house. The loan can be paid back to parents, with low interest (say 2%), upon eventual sale of the house IF Sibling A wants (parents don't really care when/if it gets paid back). If not, 50% can be shared with Sibling B when parents' estate is divided between the two. Youngest parent is 65 so this might be quite some time from now. The estate will be significantly larger than the share of the loan so Sibling A won't be forced to sell their house to make Sibling B whole.

    What are the fairest terms for Sibling B? Sibling A would like to be cognizant of the fact that parents aren't offering the same deal to both, for various reasons. Sibling A was thinking of doing a "greater of" calculation: $50k with interest (what rate?) OR a proportionate share of Sibling A's home value (so if the purchase price is $500k, then 10% of whatever the home is valued when the estate is divided). This may be slightly hard to track if Sibling A sells the house and buys another, but not impossible.

    Let's keep in touch?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:38:36 GMT

    How can we share our club's membership contacts?

    I am in charge of the website and email messaging for a regional knitting club. We have max 150 members. Our membership list with names, addresses, phone numbers and email is currently posted on our website with a generic password that is given to all new members. I know how insecure this is, and it wasn't me who set this up. The list has not been updated for a long time, but it's still out there.

    We are redesigning the web site with no option for individual logins/passwords. We are not changing to a web host where this is possible.

    Some members of the organization's board don't think it's important for each member to have access to an up-to-date membership list, but others think this is important for members to contact each other outside of monthly meetings.

    We have a few members join every month throughout the year, and can purge un-renewed members in the fall.

    What is the best way we can allow access with reasonable security to our membership contact list to all members? We're considering sending the spreadsheet by email to all members several times a year. Is that the best we can do? We have no budget for club management software.

    How much workplace politics is normal?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:22:57 GMT

    Over the last year, I've noticed that my workplace has become a lot more factionalised and influenced by shifting power dynamics. Lots of decisions that seem to me to be administrative and unremarkable are getting caught up in conflicts between different factions, and so I find myself constantly navigating around these conflicts. I don't like this, but I don't know how seriously to take my dislike.

    Is this just a normal regrettable feature of jobs everywhere, that I've been lucky not to notice before? Or is it a sign that something has Gone Wrong in my specific workplace and I should start mapping my exit route? I work at a university, if that makes a difference.

    Om Nom Nom: Pittsburgh Edition

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:57:47 GMT

    I am a fairly recent transplant to Pittsburgh, and am in charge of planning a birthday celebration this Saturday night. For lack of better ideas, I'm thinking of doing a progressive style dinner, but am at a loss for where to go and what to order. So my new neighbors, what are your favorite nom noms and cocktails in this fabulous city?

    Totally missed the boat on getting tickets to Matt & KIm at Mr. Smalls this Saturday, so I'm scrambling to plan a birthday celebration.

    I'm open to all ideas, but currently thinking about doing a progressive style dinner around Pittsburgh. Looking for recommendations on favorite food and dranks around the city.

    Thanks in Advance!

    being creative when not alone

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:50:02 GMT

    Bedroom music producers/singers: Are you comfortable writing and practicing original music in your home when others are around, knowing they can might hear what you're doing? How do you get comfortable with this?

    I've made music for much of my life. This has always been a very solitary task - I write, perform (singing and other instruments), and engineer the music by myself. I am super private when I'm making music, and I am loathe to let anyone else hear it until it's a finished project, so if anyone else is around, I basically don't work on music. This worked out well enough for much of my life, but now I'm married and my husband is generally home when I am. We live in a small house.

    So I am finding myself feeling stifled in terms of doing any writing, even though I still want to make music, and I still have it in me. I am extremely self-conscious when I'm creating something new, and can't seem to grant myself the mental freedom to go through the frequently loud and sometimes sloppy creative process when I'm not alone. The problem is worst when I need to come up with and practice new vocals and lyrics/melody. I'll frequently try out all sorts of different ways to sing a part and all sorts of different ideas for how a part might sound. I don't want other people to hear that process. So when I'm feeling the urge to work on it when my husband is home, I become very frustrated and want to cry.

    My husband cares about this and has offered to leave the house for periods of time if I ask him to, but that doesn't strike me as a sustainable solution. And then on those rare occasions when I am alone, I get angry at myself if I don't spend that time working on music. And finally, I would prefer not to have to leave the house myself to make music somewhere else when I seem to have a decent space here. So what I want is to be able to make my music when he's in the house without being so self-conscious about him hearing me sing weird stuff loudly, or whatever. It isn't like he's hovering over me, but the fact that he's in earshot makes me feel like he might as well be.

    Have you dealt with this as an artist? Have you gone through this scenario and worked past it to the point where you are able to get back to creating stuff you're happy with in the presence of your supportive spouse and/or family? If so, how?

    Has anyone here used a good wearable with a smart alarm successfully?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:25:51 GMT

    I am prone to waking up groggy and tired often - my best guess is that I wake up in the wrong sleep cycle. Has anyone here had any success using a wearable that wakes them up in the right sleep cycle?

    I'm quite desperate to improve my sleep, so I'd love to hear any and all suggestions if you managed to improve your sleep. diet, supplimentation, exercises, wearables, meditation..I'm open to everything!

    Note: I weight train, climb and cycle 4-6 days a week.

    Minimalist metta meditations?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:18:41 GMT

    Looking for brief, chill, mettabhavana (lovingkindness) meditations. What are your favorites? More inside.

    I'm looking for metta meditations that:

    * Contain some guidance but not a ton. I find it hard to concentrate on the object of meditation when someone is talking all the time.
    * Don't have music. A temple bell at the beginning and end is fine.
    * Are no longer than 30 minutes

    A good example is Bodhipaksa's mettabhavana meditation on the Insight Timer app. I've used that one for a long time, though, and I need to mix it up.

    New woodworker seeks advice for bathroom vanity project

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:16:24 GMT

    I'm a relatively new hobbyist woodworker. I've successfully made coffee tables, end tables, and bookshelves. Now I'm ready to tackle a cabinet project, and the first thing my house needs is a bathroom vanity. I'm looking for advice; specific questions inside.

    I feel relatively comfortable with the general casework process, but I have a number of questions about bathroom furniture.

    * The vanity will be painted. Do I need to use some sort of finish on top of the paint in order to protect the vanity from moisture, or is paint good enough?

    * What wood should I use? I was planning on 3/4" plywood with poplar for the face frame and drawer fronts. Is MDF or another cheaper composite an option, or is that a bad choice for moisture-rich environments like bathrooms?

    * What resources are there that show standard dimensions for vanity sizes (height, width of sections, drawer spacing)?

    I'm also open to general advice about this project, so please share your experiences!

    Specific eyedrops to relieve eye pain after crying?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:15:05 GMT

    Tomorrow I will be attending a funeral and cannot avoid crying. Every time I cry, my eyes are dry and painful for hours and I need a way to relieve that in a way that does not involve lying down, splashing water, or objects placed on my eyes.

    Because you all were so helpful when I asked this question, the arrangements for my boyfriend's mom's funeral have gone ahead and the funeral itself is tomorrow. While I am there largely as a support person, I cannot avoid crying, which makes my eyes and head hurt terribly for hours afterward. I need a way to potentially alleviate some of this pain so that I can help my boyfriend through the reception and time with loved ones afterward.

    I will not be able to:
    -splash water on my face (I won't be able to reapply sunscreen or makeup)
    -lie down
    -put anything such as a compress or a mask on my eyes

    Do you have any suggestions? Eyedrops would be ideal, but I need specifics on what kind might be helpful. They should be available in a brick and mortar store in the Los Angeles area, since I don't have time to order anything.

    I like my therapist but I don't know if they are the right one

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:11:48 GMT

    How did you decide if a therapist was good for you when you really liked them as a person, but they maybe weren't serving you as well as a therapist?

    I like my current therapist a lot, as a person. After years of abusive, incompetent, fearful, cruel, etc interactions with the mental health system, I have finally found someone who not only treats me like a human being but is incredibly intelligent, informed and up-to-date about psychiatry, gentle, and not afraid of someone with intermittent suicidal ideation. Within my two months of seeing this therapist I've gotten a few diagnoses I've waited years to get, and some validation I've never before received. There's no question they know what they're doing, and I'm very scared to lose that after searching for it for so, so long.

    That said, I don't know if the therapy itself is working for me, and because of my deep respect for this therapist I am fearful of bringing it up to them. They seem very much psychoanalytic/talking focus (although also trained in CBT), a lot of time is spent with me sharing my feelings, to which they will occasionally interject insightfully, but it feels like it's 70% just me talking and them nodding. I need more feedback and validation than that given my specific traumas, and I also really want to learn coping skills to deal with it, and with suicidality/depression, and anxiety. As I finally have an antidepressant that's working, for the first time in my life I feel ready to implement those skills as they're taught to me in a safe place, where I can put down a lot of the weight I've been carrying. But I'm not sure this is that place. I come out of many sessions feeling we ended so suddenly I'm in shock, and that I have zero coping skills that I have learned. I don't know that my therapist is equipped to deal with the level of trauma I have experienced, despite treating people with PTSD. It is very important for me to form an emotional connection with any kind of doctor where I feel a strong alliance, and while I respect them a lot I don't know that it's happening here. I have brought up some of these concerns.

    I worry about losing the first person who was ever nice to me in therapy if I switch therapists, despite this therapist assuring me I can speak up if it's not a good fit. I worry I will never find someone who is kind to me again. But I also feel very much at a loss in terms of dealing with my illnesses on a day-to-day basis, which is what I'm in therapy for. It's not that I don't want to tell my story, in fact I do - but I want to know how to deal with it too, and I want perhaps more of a warm environment than this very intellectual therapist provides. Have you ever been in this situation, and if so what did you choose?

    iOS/Android game to play with friends sorta like Pokemon GO?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:40:41 GMT

    But not Draconius GO or Ingress. Friends enjoyed Pokemon GO, but we're all level 40, have done everything in the game and the current Raid scene looks to be dead for a few months. So we're looking for some other online/mobile game we could play that would allow us to pick teams, playing together or against each other.

    It doesn't have to be location based, where you have to physically walk around. I

    Having leaderboards for competition would be good. We generally enjoy talking trash to each other.

    Should be the same on iOS/Android and not require the latest and greatest phone to run well.

    No particular theme is sought, just looking for something we can play together or in friendly competition.


    Finding a therapist

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:06:55 GMT

    What are the magic words I need to use to get a therapist to call me back?

    I need a therapist. I have called 10 therapists over the last two months and not a single one has returned my call. I have found them on Psychology Today's website and they all say they are accepting new patients and that they take my insurance. I typically call on a Tuesday or Wednesday in the morning and leave a message with my name, phone number, the town I live in, and profession. I say I am looking for a new therapist and that I can be reached anytime. I repeat my phone number, which is an out-of-state number, but I have told them that I live in town so I don't think that's it. I wait a week and call back and say I am following up in my second message. I also call a new therapist that day. This week I got fed up and called four in a row on one day. Still nothing.

    I'm convinced I'm doing something wrong in this interaction because not a single one has returned my calls. I'm struggling and have heard stories from friends where they call one person and find a therapist who will see them that day, even though they aren't in danger or in an urgent situation. (I would argue my situation is increasingly urgent; I don't think I've ever been this bad.) I think I sound friendly on the phone.

    This seems so odd that I am convinced it's something I am doing or not doing. What should I do?

    An adventure company is stealing from people - can I take action?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:05:47 GMT

    About this time last year a new adventure company stole from me. I eventually got my money back, but they are still stealing from others and today a national newspaper promoted them. Can I/should I do something?

    This time last year I was due to embark on a day of watersports with a new company. At the last minute the owner of the company cancelled, citing his dying mother-in-law as the reason. I had to book the trip online and afterwards he ignored all communications to get my money back. Finally I involved the police (to his great surprise) and he refunded it later that day.

    In the meantime, I did a bit of research on Tripadvisor, and all recent reviews of the past year are complaints that he has stolen their money. He has people sign up for his trip, cancels and never returns the money.

    Today a national newspaper (and my favourite paper) is promoting his company and their services. When I tried to leave a fairly measured comment explaining what happened, they removed it. When I attempted to do the same on TripAdvisor they also removed that. Apparently telling the truth and the desire to help other people avoid being swindled is against community guidelines.

    In all seriousness, I am a freelance journalist (but only just starting out) and I my anger has been renewed after reading the article. After doing a bit more research, I discover he has again stolen less than a month ago.

    What should I do? Can I do anything? I felt angry this mrning watching my favourite promote someone I know to be a thief. Stealing from people in thei country and ruining watersports opportunities for people that are genuinely passionate about them.

    Le Fooding in Paris: Where should I eat? What's New?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 05:14:03 GMT

    I'm returning to Paris for the weekend, after several years of absence. I intend to eat my way through the city and I need the help of MeFi's food nerds to ensure that I do not waste precious tummy real estate on non-excellent food. More details on restaurant preferences inside...

    I'm mostly looking for néo-bistros, cuisine bourgeoise, and regional specialties; but I'll probably splurge on one Michelin-starred restaurant, although it should be one where I can show up in a polo shirt & jeans, because I didn't pack a suit.

    When I used to live in Paris (mostly 2006-7 and 2008-9), my favourite restaurants were:
    Chez Denise / Le Tour de Montlhéry
    Chez Prune
    Le Relais Gascon
    Au Boeuf Couronné
    Les 3 Marmites
    Le Taillevent (although L'Ambroisie is another favourite for fine dining)
    La Rotonde (for seafood)
    Bofinger (for choucroute garni)
    Pierre Hermé (not a restaurant, but OMG the best macarons)
    L'Ilot Vache
    Le Dôme du Marais
    Chez l'Ami Jean
    Le Chateaubriand

    BONUS: Famous nerdy chocolaterie & confiserie A L'Étoile D'Or (Denise Acabo) has reopened! My first item of business in Paris will be to go there and buy an unreasonable amount of Bernachon chocolate.

    What are the best stories on

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 04:57:47 GMT

    There are some wonderful stories on the site, but I'd like to find more of them. My favorites include: "Miriam and I after the End"."

    Should I quit my job to travel?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:56:43 GMT

    Yes, I have read a lot about this (i.e. googled it) and considered the various angles and I realize there is probably no objectively correct answer. Unfortunately or not I also don't think I'm much of a special snowflake, so in the interests of succinctness relevant details are laid out as pros and cons in the read more. I'm really looking for some sanity checking and any obvious things I haven't considered.

    Pros and/or the "for" camp:
    - I have savings: cash in my bank account (amount: enough to live in my current lifestyle in an expensive city for a few months) + much more in investments which are not liquid but are there for future
    - I have no mortgage, romantic partner or children; I can up and leave without many costs beyond perhaps (optionally) figuring out something to do with my car and furniture if I don't sell them
    - My aging parents are in an OK state (tenuously) but may not be for very much longer
    - Work situation: Not great, but mostly not something one would leave over with nothing else lined up, except that I do tick the box of "often extremely angry over work" to the extent that I might, say, wake up after only 3 or 4 hours of sleep with my head full of work-related anger/anxiety, also I feel I've more or less plateaued career-wise and/or cannot grow without making some really significant changes
    - Further work context: The current work situation is relatively new and a result of a bit of a leap from a very-comfortable-yet-boring role into one with more uncertainty, so maybe I should just take the next step to further uncertainty
    - Love to travel and have always thought about going on a longer trip but never done it (fairly experienced in backpacking/low-budget travel though)
    - Re: above about no mortage/partner/children, while I don't define my life around this, I also feel like I'm in a deep routine and that relationship-wise nothing will change unless, y'know, I make things change significantly

    Cons and/or the "against" camp:
    - Costs: No job to come back to, it's expensive, foregoing a year of income and all that
    - Impact on career (I'm not at the "start" of a career - I'm mid-30's)
    - Networking: I'm not the greatest at networking though I do have good contacts from past jobs (who do say things like "you can come back at any time"), but just not my strength
    - While I do love travelling and have had great experiences and have always wanted to take more time do it, this does also feel something like a all-my-friends-are-married-and-having-babies-right-now-and-I-just-want-to-escape midlife crisis
    - No real concrete plan around all this
    - Maybe I should just look for some other job at a startup or something instead since that could fulfill the "further leap into uncertainty" thing?

    Frivolous gift for someone a bit broke?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 02:06:11 GMT

    I have a family member whose 30th birthday is coming up. She mentioned once in passing that she absolutely loves Edible Arrangements. I mentally noted it and planned to get her one for her birthday. I heard through the family grapevine that she's a bit hard up because her partner hasn't started a new job yet, but will in about a month.

    My husband thinks that sending her ~$60 fruit basket is a silly idea and I should send cash. I think cash would be a bit crass, and that it might be nice to get something frivolous for ones birthday, but I'm notoriously clueless about social situations. Thoughts? Edible Arrangement or equivalent cash?

    To My Cat, Protein Bars = ?

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:30:04 GMT

    I know: cats are weird. And maybe that's the only answer here, but on the off chance that it isn't the only answer... here's my question: Lately, one of my cats has started to covet protein bars. He steals them, night and day. But why?

    Pumbaa and his brother, Timon
    Pumbaa and his toys

    We're talking about the big one - the little one is his littermate. They are appropriately named Pumbaa and Timon, considering their size difference.

    Recently, for my own convenience, I've taken to unboxing my protein bars and leaving them in a big bowl on the kitchen counter. This hasn't been a problem... until the last several days, when one of my cats, Pumbaa, started coveting the protein bars.

    It started with him being very interested in the protein bars whenever I would have one. I let him sniff them but wouldn't let him take a bite or a lick. Pumbaa then started grabbing a few each night and leaving a trail of them, still wrapped up, leading from the kitchen to my bedroom. I dismissed it, figuring he just liked how the wrapped bars reacted to being batted about on the carpet/wood flooring.

    Last night, it escalated to the point that he had three bars from the bowl; two, he was laying on top of, the third he had managed to open and was licking the chocolate.

    I took the bars away from him and covered the bowl with a kitchen towel then weighed the towel down with some onions and garlic (it was late and I didn't have room in the cupboard for the bowl). This morning, I found that Pumbaa had pushed the produce aside, pulled the towel off and carried off three more bars. These, at least, he didn't break open, though there's evidence he was chewing on the wrapper of one. During the day, he stole a few more and broke open one of them; there are teeth marks on that bar. (As of now: the bars are safe behind a pantry door, on the third shelf.)

    The bars are a mix of Pure Protein bars in Chocolate Deluxe, Chewy Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Peanut Butter; and Zone Perfect bars in Double Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Almond and Fudge Graham. There are a few granola bars (chocolate chip, of course), but Pumbaa doesn't bother with those. Some of the bars came from Amazon/unknown warehouse; some from the local Kroger or Publix.

    Is there something in protein bars that might attract undue attention from certain cats? If there is... what is it and can I buy it somewhere (this particular cat doesn't really care about catnip or silver vine... but those protein bars! oo!)?

    Ankle Strap Extensions for Sandals

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:29:55 GMT

    Who else sells ankle strap extensions like these for sandals?

    Who else sells ankle strap extensions like these for sandals? The linked site doesn't ship to the U.S. It also doesn't give the length and width of the extensions. The extensions need to be Velcro. I checked our local shoe repair place and they didn't have any. Both internet and brick and mortar suggestions are welcome.

    Not receiving certain Gmail emails with attachment

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:28:37 GMT

    I'm hoping someone else has experienced this and knows what might be going on. There have been multiple instances now where someone will send an email with an attachment to both my husband and I, but I never receive it. My husband will then forward the email to me, which works, and it clearly shows my email address listed as one of the recipients. I have been carefully checking my spam folder before deleting and haven't noticed anything amiss there. Is it possibly being filtered into some other folder I don't know about? Thanks for any insight.

    Shipping purchases to USC LA Campus

    Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:28:29 GMT

    I'll be travelling to the U.S. and attending the University of Southern California in LA for 2 weeks in June. I'd like to buy some stuff online and have it delivered there. How would this work?

    I'll be staying in USC Housing, though I don't have an address yet. I'll be buying some books, music gear, maybe a macbook. Is there a central post office where I could get stuff shipped? What happens if some things arrive before I do, will they hold them for me?

    VR on the small?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 23:06:49 GMT

    I just bought myself a nifty new gaming laptop which is way more than powerful enough to run Oculus or Vive. Here's the thing - I have one small room, with furniture in it. Can I enjoy my VR experience WITHOUT having space to walk around?

    I rent a bedroom in a shared house, and have regular bedroom furniture. I don't really want to / like to take up any of the shared space, and this VR rig would be strictly for my own enjoyment anyway. Given that there's not a lot of floor space for moving around, can I still have a good VR time with either of those rigs while remaining seated at my desk?

    Non-traditional sliding doors on Ikea Pax wardrobes?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:51:16 GMT

    Just installed a row of 3 giant Ikea Pax wardrobes. Now they need doors! The problem is that the Pax sliding doors come in pairs, and aren't designed to allow you to hang three of them in a row. Any solutions?

    Sliding doors would work better than doors that open outwards, as our sofa will be fairly close to the first two cabinets.

    This person managed to hang 3 sliding doors in a row but didn't explain how.

    How do we make a long enough rail for three sliding doors?

    Other possibly relevant snowflake details:
    Spatially, we could manage with a pair of sliding doors on the first two cabinets, and then the third door could be a pair of narrow open-outwards doors... except none of the finishes of the open-doors match the finishes of the sliding-doors, so it would look weird.

    We also added a 4th cabinet further along the wall- this one is shallower (like 30cm instead of 60 or whatever- basically it's a Billy bookcase). I'd love to put outwards-opening doors on the bottom half of that one too, and have the finishes all kind of match.

    So the order of the cabinets would be -
    1. Big cabinet with sliding door
    2. Big cabinet with sliding door
    3. Big cabinet with with either sliding door OR narrow regular doors that open outwards
    4. Bookshelf with narrow half-doors on the bottom half, and open shelves on the top half.

    I'm open to getting mismatched doors, and then doing something crafty to all the doors to "force" them to match- like painting or putting fabric on them. But I'm just not sure what to do.

    Any ideas?

    Traveling with friends. Should I offer to help with money?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:24:56 GMT

    We're three college friends living in three different states, going on a weekend trip to see each other after a few years apart. Two of us have good jobs and a spouse with an income, one of us is a stay-at-home parent of two whose spouse works for a non-profit. Help me navigate the money stuff so we can make this fun for all three.

    I don't know for sure how much money either of my friends have, but given the household situations I described above, I'm going on the assumption that one of us has a (probably much) smaller budget.

    This is not a luxury vacation, just a weekend trip to spend time together. It's a day and a half, so all we've planned is a free concert in the park, and the museum ($18 entry fee). We want lots of free time to talk.

    That said, we did discuss doing two pricier things: dinner on saturday night (nothing fancy, just an inside joke about shitty lasagna), and a $60 per person diy class.

    We don't have to do either and would be happy to hang out at our airbnb. But it would be super fun!

    What's the best way to navigate this, given that all three of us would love this specific class, and that acting on our lasagna inside joke would be a sweet memory for the future, but considering that our friend's budget could already be strecthed thin? (Other than not doing the dinner & class at all.)

    Thai TV in the USA?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:05:22 GMT

    My grandma is visiting us for a month and change, and has repeatedly expressed a desire to watch Thai TV, especially news. I'd appreciate the hive mind's input on how I can make this happen.

    When she visited us last year, I was able to turn on some older TV programming via Youtube, thanks to my Amazon FireStick. The Youtube-Amazon interface has become a lot more painful over the past few months. I was particularly saddened by the fact that I couldn't seem to get Grandma to understand that, because this was Youtube, it wasn't going to be live.

    So I'm writing now in hopes of finding a more permanent solution. I guess I need a VPN of some kind, but I'm not quite sure what I'd do with it once I had one. We would prefer to have things on the large TV screen, if possible, because a tablet or something similar would be very difficult for grandma to manage. Ideally I want to be able to leave it on for extended periods and not have to fuss with changing the playing video, or whatever.

    We have access to an Amazon FireStick, and the standard Comcast/Xfinity services here. I note that the FireStick is considerably more accessible, from my perspective as a totally blind user who would likely be doing most of the setup.

    What sort of things would a new mom enjoy knitting?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:58:35 GMT

    I have a friend's birthday coming up: She's pregnant with her 2nd child and is a knitter. I have an idea to put together a knitting kit for her so she'll have a project to work on while she's off work with the new baby. I'd buy the pattern, yarn, & materials and package it all up nice as a birthday gift; now all I need is ideas!

    I could easily find clothing patterns to make herself a nice scarf or other garment so I don't really need those sort of suggestions and I'm not looking for baby clothes or toy patterns; but I thought it'd be nice instead to find something unusual. Are there knitting patterns out there for non-clothing, non-toy items that would be of particular interest to a mom? It can be something practical/useful for around the house or something she could use with her baby/children/family, or something pretty that she'd enjoy for herself. Easy to mid skill level, not too complicated. She's a pretty outdoorsy/woodsy person but likes creature comforts around the house too. Thanks in advance for all suggestions!

    For solar power, is there something like going half-off-the grid?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:48:18 GMT

    Nobody really talks about rigging a house for just a bit of solar energy.

    Living in Puerto Rico where sunshine is no problem. A on-line calculator has my city about comparable to Phoenix, AZ in terms of kWh/m^2/day

    I don't have the money to plunge $10+K dollars into a solar powered house. On the other hand, I see multi-piece solar kits that seem to have everything: except for a lot of power.
    Here's one in the $3K to $4K range.
    Here's one much less capable in the under $2K range.

    Is it possible and reasonably straightforward to rig up one room with solar powering with this sort of kit? Enough energy to run fans, computers, a television and VCR, let's say three devices at a time from one heavy duty extension cord.

    I'm asking because after the Puerto Rican grid went down yesterday, and having used my propane portable generator for the first time, I realize what a hassle it will be to use for an extended outage.

    If I can fix up one room that can function, that may be better than chasing down propane, worrying that thieves will steal it from our front lawn at night, (We locked it up but it is so loud that we would never hear a thief until they cut the motor), running out of propane in the middle of everything, only having one room's worth of power, anyway, etc.

    I figure when there is not an outage we could use the incoming electricity to reduce our electric bill by running appliances in the single room.

    I recognize that air conditioners, refrigerators and some appliances require a lot of energy, and I'm not planning on putting those on the solar grid. My roofing has a good angle to catch the sun, and it has an easy way to run the wiring down to the garage where the inverter and batteries would be.

    I'm handy enough to do most of what I imagine the installation will be.

    Paris in May

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:45:13 GMT

    I'll be in Paris (6th arrondissement) with a friend for a couple of days this May. What should we do?

    We like to avoid the more touristy things, but are fans of great food and drink (beer and cocktails), and general wandering about. Where do you like to eat, drink, and wander?

    What is a "home warranty"

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:23:04 GMT

    I am buying a house. The agent is trying to get us to buy a "home warranty" for $500. I don't understand what this is or why I need it.

    Is this a normal thing to purchase when buying a house, or is this the real estate equivalent of rust proofing?

    Orgs lobbying for California legislature to fix homeless epidemic?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:08:09 GMT

    What are some good organizations (either governmental, non profit, grassroots, or even religious) that are trying to pressure California legislators to fix our homeless epidemic?

    I live in the SF Bay Area. Three of the top ten homelessness-per-capita cities are in California. I have family members who are homeless. I am a low income tenant. Given this, the issue of homelessness weighs heavy on my heart. Although I do some volunteer work based around other justice issues, I'm kind of new to action for the homeless. (So please excuse my cluelessness <3). I'd like to get involved with efforts to pass legislation, or at least follow those who are doing so.

    As far as what I have to offer, I have art and design skills, communications skills, I do childcare and homecare, experience in direct action, and familiarity with consensus-based organizing. Any leads or suggestions?

    Cried at choir audition, how to cope with shame?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:02:50 GMT

    I let a friend talk me into auditioning for the church choir he's in. Part of the audition involved singing a song that you could "sing with all your heart", as well as some scales. I've sung in choirs all my life, but I'm not a solo singer and have never had to sing a prepared song for an audition. I was wary about auditioning but decided to give it a go anyway.I decided on a song that I know well and can play on the piano and sing in multiple keys if needed. It's just a basic folk song, nothing special (Song for the Mira). It was a song that my high school choir sang during my freshman year that I've always liked. I was feeling confident and ready to go when approaching the audition, but also a little apathetic, like, I didn't care if I got in or didn't. This is just something I'm doing for fun and it's no biggie if I'm turned away. My friend had said the audition would be just with the choir director, and no one else. But when I got there, there were three people in the room, three people who were already in the choir and one other guy who was also auditioning. They were all very nice and we had an initial conversation while waiting for the director to show up. They were saying the audition would be painless and quick and it would be no big deal. But for some strange reason I was starting to get more nervous. They kept telling me to "breathe" and "don't be shy." Their intentions were good. But my nerves were growing steadily. The director came in and he was very good looking and that didn't help my nerves either. :( He gave the other new guy a very warm welcome, like, "it's so nice to meet you", but to me he just said a simple hello. I tried not to make a big deal out of the big difference in greeting and show him what I could do when singing. I told the other guy who was auditioning that he could go first. To my horror, everyone stayed in the room. I had not counted on or planned for having an audience when auditioning. The other guy did amazingly. He sang a soulful song, from the heart (unfortunately I can't remember the title of the song), and had a big booming, strong, wonderful voice. He said he hadn't sang in years, yet from the way he sang, you'd think he was a professional singer. I was like WOW. His audition was over in snap. Then it was my turn. All of a sudden I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to sing the Song for the Mira, or any song for that matter. I was not going to be able to sing with soul or from the heart, or what have you. I tried to sing but nothing would come out. Then I (in a stupid shaky voice) mumbled that I was super nervous and that I hadn't been expecting an audience. So the director asked everyone to step out. I felt so bad since they were all so nice and encouraging, but I simply cannot sing in front of people even if they're nice. Well that should have solved the problem, but it didn't. Not only could I not sing the song I prepared, but I started crying and told the director I'm sorry, but I can't do this. I went to start gathering my things to leave, but he told me to come back and was asking what I was so afraid of, and I couldn't give him an an[...]

    What is this countertop and can it be fixed?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:46:21 GMT

    Help us identify and possibly save a bathroom countertop.

    Bathroom countertop has some damage, probably caused by an unknown cleaner that wasn't supposed to be used on it. We don't know what the countertop is made of, so there's a good chance we'll make it even worse.

    House is ten years old, countertop is probably original. A near as we can tell, it's a solid slab, not a laminate, and has no repeating pattern. Unused areas are super glossy, used surfaces show wear, damaged area is de-glossed.

    Imgur gallery here shows the damaged spot, a picture of the rest of the countertop, and the underside, which appears to be unpolished and undyed.

    Assume we don't know the visual difference between things like Corian and Silestone and terazzo and granite and quartz and et cetera.

    So what is it? And is this something we can fix ourselves or should we call in some sort of pro?

    Buying 1st rental house - tips needed

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:34:34 GMT

    I am thinking about buying a house in a college town a few hours away from where I live. The plan would be to hire a property management company to handle the day to day as well as finding tenants.

    I plan to hold the property for a minimum of 5 years. Down payment, legal fees, insurance fees etc. are accounted for. It is not possible to buy something local due to high real estate values where I live. I used to live in said college town, and have a decent feel for the neighborhoods.

    What do you wish you knew before you did something similar?

    Help me headbang

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:18:50 GMT

    I like songs with heavy bass. Lots of heavy bass. There's something about it for me that's like one of those weighted anxiety blankets; I actually find it extremely relaxing to listen to (go figure). So I'm looking to make a playlist of songs with heavy bass.

    To be a bit more clear: I'm not looking for great bass lines like in "(I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea." I love that song, but I'm looking for something more like the extensive bass vamping heard in "Self Esteem," by Offspring.

    Some further examples of what I'm looking for:
    "Enter Sandman," by Metallica
    "Brain Stew," by Green Day
    "Glycerine" by Bush
    "Come Out and Play," also by Offspring
    "Papercut," by Linkin Park

    Pandora tells me that these all might go under the category of "dirty guitar riffs," so I'll throw that out there, too. As you can probably tell from the above songs, I prefer rock, but I'm fine with hip-hop too. Just no death metal, please.

    Thanks, musicheads of MeFi!

    How much would I have to sweat to need IPx6-rated headphones?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:18:20 GMT

    I'm interested in a set of in-ear earbuds for, among other things, workout use. They have an IPx5 water resistance rating. According to the official rating scale, that translates to protection against "water projected by a nozzle." The company also offers a more expensive model it specifically recommends for workouts. Apart from some features I don't care about, the primary difference is that it ostensibly is "sweat proof" due to its IPx6 rating, which translates to protection against "water projected in powerful jets." Is an IPx6 rating really necessary for workout headphones? If it is, I'll incur the extra expense, but even though I do sweat, even heavily at times, I have a hard time thinking of my sweat as "projected in powerful jets"...

    Looking for you favorite vegetarian Indian dishes with thick sauces

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:35:24 GMT

    We love Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India cookbook, but our one complaint: Not enough dishes with thick, flavorful sauces as you might find in an Indian restaurant. What are your most mouth watering, naan-dippingest vegetarian Indian dishes where the veggies/paneer/etc. are floating in a pot of delicious sauce?

    What goes in this empty corner of my dining room?

    Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:57:34 GMT

    We've got a dining room that's 90% complete, except for one corner that really needs something. In this photo, it's the corner on the left.

    The previous owners of the house had a pinball machine there. And while we're both fans of quirkiness, we already have other things in adjacent rooms that qualify as quirky, so we're trying to limit those elements to accents.

    Here's another view of the empty corner in question.

    In that same room, we already have a large bar cart/baker's cart, as well as a credenza with some art--you can see it on the right in the first image.

    Ultimately, whatever we put in that empty corner will need to play well with these other items.

    Please also be as specific as possible with your recommendations. If you can share a photo or link, even better.