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The past 24 hours of questions at Ask MetaFilter

Published: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 07:22:39 GMT

Last Build Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 07:22:39 GMT


Returning keys

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 07:22:39 GMT

I moved out of my apartment on the 30th (the last day of the lease). The movers were late, and by the time they were done, the management company's office was closed. Now it's the weekend. The lease states that keys must be returned to the office. How do I return the keys in a way that will be considered "on time"?

Management is unresponsive. No one ever picks up the phone, and I rarely ever get replies to my emails.

This is a walkup in NYC.

Explaining how social media works to my boss

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 06:07:24 GMT

I'm looking for some good articles that explain the timelines of social media to my boss. I'm struggling to get him to understand why delaying posting things that are already published online on news websites for days or even weeks doesn't make sense. Ditto delaying posting photos from events for up to two weeks.

Extra bonus points for things coming from reputable sources that even a technophobe would have heard of. If he won't listen to me, maybe he'll listen to someone who he's heard of before.

Next on my list after this is to contact people in similar roles at similar institutions to have them explain it to him. Sadly, he doesn't listen to me despite the damn good job I've been doing for the past three years.

Maternity leave for managers

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 06:07:14 GMT

Managers of Metafilter, how did you handle coverage for your maternity leave? If all goes according to plan, I'm going to tell my boss that I'm pregnant next week, and I'd like to have some ideas/suggestions for her when she starts wondering how to handle my leave.

If a member of my team were going to take a leave, I would have her list all her tasks, and then we would figure out who could cover them while she was gone (bringing in a temp or an intern, reallocating things across the team, etc.).

My job as a manager, though, seems significantly less task-based, and my projects and goals more long-term and amorphous. My list of tasks would range from "make sure team members are getting progressively more challenging assignments as their skills grow" to "attend lots of meetings about various company-wide initiatives and synthesize what you learn into a specific strategy for our department" to "be sitting in my office to answer random technical questions." (I'm sure much of this is egocentrism, but it's hard for me to imagine anyone else doing these things!)

When I take a week of vacation, no one covers most of my job, and that works out fine. If I left permanently (not going to!), they'd hire someone new who would figure out their own, very different way of doing the job. But I'm sort of at a loss to recommend how it should be covered for my medium-length leave (planning on a standard U.S. 12 weeks off).

(Bonus question: Anyone have experience turning a leave into a better job when you come back, a la Lean In? My pipe dream would be to turn this into an opportunity to promote a couple people on my team who are ready for more responsibility and to have some new challenges for myself when I get back.)

Sister's Wedding Present

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:28:31 GMT

Best wedding present you received from a sibling or other close family member?

So, I'm overthinking this and can't come up with a gift for my older sister's marriage. We're close. She's an artist, he's a math guy, they live in the middle of a big city. Doesn't have to be practical, though I suppose that would be a plus. Looking for something beautiful, unique, or rare ... Go! (I know how much this prompt sucks). I love my sister, I really do. Just a lot of pressure to get it right and so naturally I'm outsourcing. Best wedding present you received? Thanks for ANY responses ! :)

Plot summary of the ending of The Elementals by Michael McDowell?

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 01:53:21 GMT

I got a little distracted while I was listening to this audio book and the ending didn't make too much sense to me. Can someone explain it? The more detail the better, thanks!

Winter Coat Conundrum

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:50:45 GMT

I've fallen in love with this Madewell parka, but can't justify spending $200 on something I can't wear (with layers) in NYC winter.

Is this the type of thing I can wear a sweater and one of those uniqlo thin lightweight coats underneath and get by in NYC winter? If not, are there any alternatives that have a similar fit/style/price point? I would really love for it to be black, waterproof and windproof, and not puffy. Halp!

YAWITT: Yet Another What Is This Thing?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:57:57 GMT

This thing was found during a junk drawer clean out at my office. It is a roughly 3/4" x 6" piece of high quality leather bolted at each end to a machined metal piece with a closed cell foam sandwiched in between.

This thing was found during a junk drawer clean out at my office. It is a roughly 3/4" x 6" piece of high quality leather bolted at each end to a machined metal piece with a closed cell foam sandwiched in between. The metal is lighter weight, but not cheap feeling; like zinc or higher quality aluminum. It is not magnetic. The foam is closed cell and fairly stiff but still squishy like a yoga mat or cheap flip-flop/sandal EVA foam. I can only deform the whole assembly slightly with my hand strength.

Possible hint or possible red-herring: It might be related to footwear, hunting, outdoor/camping gear, or the manufacturing of those items due to the nature of the office.

The assembly was found in the pictured box with the pictured straps. Completely possible that they are unrelated, but suggests that this thing is a 'spare' something.


Real grad students pull all-nighters.

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:08:04 GMT

As a full-time graduate student in a research program, I'm not overworked, and I'm managing reasonable hours in the lab. In contrast, I see other graduate students putting in 12 hour workdays and juggling multiple deadlines. I'm worried that this might be a sign that I'm underperforming and don't know it.

I've been in a MSc program in Computer Science for over a year now, and so far, I'm enjoying it. I have a supportive supervisor, an engaging research topic, a great learning environment, and ample funding and resources. Moreover, I've been able to manage a good work-life balance. I'm generally in the lab from 9-5 every weekday, and I'm enjoying lots of extracurricular activities and a good social life outside of my research.

Overall, I'm really enjoying my program, and planning to transfer to a PhD so I can further pursue some of the interesting leads that my research has yielded, something that my supervisor has been encouraging about. However, the nagging doubt in the back of my mind is that I might not be qualified for one because I seem to be putting in less work than my peers. The other graduate students are always incredibly busy - I see some people in the lab from 9 AM to late at night, constantly working on experiments, and spending countless hours in the library typing away at papers, reviews, theses. Despite not having this lifestyle, my progress seems to be good. My supervisor has remarked that I'm making very good progress in my program, I have good marks in all of my courses, and I've even already managed to publish one peer-reviewed paper in the time I've been in my program.

I swear that I'm not humblebragging - this is something that's seriously stressing me out a bit. I'm worried that my progress to date despite the lack of hours I'm putting in might be a sign of me lacking something - I'm worried that my literature reviews might not be as comprehensive as other students, or I might be sloppier with my data, or less exhaustive with my experiments. I'm worried whatever it is that I'm doing wrong might be okay in a short-term MSc program, but will catch up me and lead to failure in a long-term PhD. I understand that this might be a tough question to answer if you don't know me, but why is my experience in graduate school so different from the typical narrative of what workload is like in graduate school, and from the reported experiences of other graduate students?

Best cash drawer/receipt printer combo?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:08:26 GMT

We are close to opening our new store and forgot all about the cash drawer and receipt printer.

We will be using a web-based point of sale that can output to a cash drawer/receipt printer via USB.
I have absolutely no idea who makes a good one, or where is a good place to get one.

Does anyone have a recommendation of particular models?


To screw, or not to screw...

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:00:48 GMT

I have a stress fracture in the compression side of my femoral neck at my hip. My doctor has given me the options. I'm wondering if anyone happens to have experience (personal or otherwise) with this type of injury, and how did it go?

A couple of weeks ago I ran a 4-miler with what I thought was tendonitis, by the end of the race I could not walk, and had to get on crutches just to get around. Turns out, it was more than tendonitis, and after an MRI, found that I have a stress fracture. Apparently a fracture on the compression side is the better location to have it, otherwise surgery would be immediately indicated. As it stands, the standard of care is to have 6 weeks of total non-weight bearing (I have only been partial non weight bearing so far), follow up, see if its healed, and re-evaluate from there. If it is not healed options being, stay off of it even longer, or put the screws in. From the forums I have perused online, it seems like a lot of people still end up requiring the screws, but that may not be a fair reflection. I am heavily leaning toward having the screws put in now. I shall explain my rationale below:

Having screws PROS: I am a medical assistant at a dermatology clinic. I have been working on crutches partial weight bearing the past 2 weeks, but its a challenge. Non-weight bearing, I'm not sure it would be possible. I know my work would accommodate me, but I just started with a new doctor, and I don't really want to be down for more than 6 weeks. Another thing that shouldn't be relevant but still is, is that I am finally going to Harry Potter World at the first of November. I've been waiting for this for literal years. I'm also a little bit of a klutz. I feel like I would live in terror for 6+ weeks that I was going to further stretch the crack one way or another. There are also the pros of the screws: I could walk safely almost immediately (at least after my pain subsides enough), and I would not have to stress about it not healing properly all this time.

Surgery CONS: Surgery, of course, can always have complications. But I do have age on my side. Its a simple out patient procedure. Post-op pain, which I can always manage (this has been pretty intensely painful at times and I haven't taken anything, so I think I can manage). Other complications like infection etc.

I don't want to dive in head first, but I feel like it is the best thing for my lifestyle. Has anyone else had screws put in anywhere? Especially in this particular place? What was it like post operative? Any complications then? Or further in the future? For the record I am only 32, so I am assuming that the standard of care usually applies to people that are a lot older than I am, which would make surgery more complicated, but I don't really know. I like my doctor, but he is a little fast paced, and likes to give the patient control in their care, so I don't get as much advice or discussion as far as that goes. Any advice helpful!

Should we form an LLC for app income or is there another option?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:32:40 GMT

Hey all, A friend and I are launching an app soon. It's based on an established property and we expect to make at least a small amount of money, maybe ~10k, but who knows. In order to sort out the financial end of this, my original plan was just to form an LLC to establish the partnership and receive income from ads & purchases. Is this our best option?

YANA Lawyer or an Accountant, but my questions is: Is it worth it? Alternately, is there some kind of middleman, reception agent that could take in the income and distribute it? Or if we're anticipating making at least the cost of the filing fees, does this become a moot point?

I'm basically trying to get a survey of our options. There's an additional concern about the filing time for the LLC being a hold up/ bottle neck on our release date.


Continuing Education Requirements for Professional Engineer

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:14:43 GMT

About a year ago, I passed my professional engineer (PE) exam for environmental engineering in Virginia. I know that, in order to renew my license, I have to complete so many continuing education (CE) hours every two years. However, the Virginia Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA) is not all that specific about what activities can be used towards CE credits or what type of documentation is expected. I haven't had much luck sifting through their webpage and have gotten unhelpful responses the couple times I have tried to call their office (when asked for information, they emailed me random information about architects). Does anyone have experience with tackling continuing education for engineers in the state of Virginia or elsewhere?

I didn't fail my PhD defense, but I didn't pass. Should I quit?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:38:34 GMT

I got a "reconsideration" on my PhD defense, which is essentially "you have to do major revisions to the dissertation." This is pretty much unheard of. I don't know a single person this has happened to. My adviser had NO CLUE this was going to happen, and we both thought I was going to pass easily. More below.My department is a complete garbage fire, and my adviser has been 100% negligent and unhelpful the entire time I was doing my PhD. I had to pull teeth to get him to do anything, even meet with me to discuss my progress. I have wanted to quit many, many times, but knew that I could probably finish if I put my mind to it. I got a job at the beginning of last year and started writing while working full time. It has been absolute hell. I finished a draft in August and sent it to my committee in September. My adviser told me it was great and would pass with minor revisions. I believed him because even though he is a terrible adviser, he is a well-known researcher in my field and does excellent work and publishes often. He is the chair of our department, for goodness' sake! I was very proud of my work and thought it was a good contribution to the field. I thought my defense went very well, and that the committee members' questions were just your run-of-the-mill academic nitpickiness. Imagine my surprise when I did not pass, and was told I needed major restructuring of the dissertation! My committee members never said a thing during the month leading up to the defense. They let me schedule it. They did not give any indication they would not pass me during the pre-defense meeting, and let me do my presentation. One of my committee members even smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and said "you got this!" when I started, and said "you write extremely well" during the discussion section. I emailed every committee member to ask if they could give me specific revisions, because they all left silently before my adviser even started talking to me about revisions. I had to be the one to ask "wait, did I not pass?" I have only heard back from two of the members I emailed. Two have not replied at all after two days. One of the ones I heard from (the one who enthusiastically "you got this!"d me) said "you should plan on graduating in the spring because many of us will be too busy to reread a draft even if you get it in by November." Isn't that. . .your job? So the one unknown I have left is how extensive these revisions are. My adviser just gives me vague answers and won't tell me anything until we have a "strategizing" meeting. I'm trying to decide whether or not to quit. I do not need the PhD for my career anymore. The very idea of going back into the hell that is all-evenings-and-weekends, no social life, no exercise, no leaving the house dissertation writing, even for a couple months, makes me want to throw up. But everyone around me is trying to convince me to just hang on, that it won't be so bad, and I only need to put up with it for a little longer. I have been working on this a long, long time, and obviously a part of me would be sad to walk away. But I'm also angry. This should never have happened. If my adviser clearly was not judging my work or guiding me adequately before the defense AND my committee members were so disengaged, what's to motivate them to help me now? I don't want to pay for another semester just because my committee can't take a few hours to read my revisions with a month of lead time before December deadlines. I'm generally fed up with this department's complete dysfunction and negligence. My adviser should never be allowed to supervise a PhD student ever again, famous name or no. I tried the "what would you tell your friend if she were in this situation?" trick, but all I can thi[...]

Long distance introduction

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:22:03 GMT

A friend living in my city is moving to a different city. I happen to have another friend in that different city. These 2 have never met. I think these 2 would make great friends. How to I go about introducing them to one another?

I will not be traveling to the different city for a while. Otherwise, I'd just invite the 2 of them to dinner or drinks with me when we all were in the same city. So that's not an option.

I told my friend that is moving, "hey, I have a friend in that town, you 2 should meet." This friend not knowing many people in the different city is obviously excited to meet someone new.

I told my friend already living in that different city, "hey, I have a friend moving to your town, you 2 should meet." This friend is happy to meet someone new.

Both are awaiting the next step.

Now what?

Should I just text them each other's cell numbers and say, "have at it, set something up"? Or if I go this route, should I put the onus on one or the other to reach out (probably the relocating friend) and tell the other to await a call or text?

Should I do a group text with me to do the intro? Not wanting to be on a group text, should I do an email?

I feel like this question is frivilous but I'm at a loss of the best way to approach.

Any ideas?

Workplace policies on cancelling work travel for medical reasons?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:10:10 GMT

I will likely need to cancel a work-related conference trip next week for medical reasons. Can I expect reimbursement for the money I've already spent? Bonus: my cancellation will be for mental health reasons, documented by my team of doctors. Does your workplace have policies around this? I am in the state of Massachusetts.

Vaguely remembered NPR story about planned income inequality?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:56:37 GMT

I remember listen to an NPR story around a year (maybe two) ago about income inequality and how the decoupling of productivity and real wages was planned. Something about who sold out the middle class? It pointed out certain deals made by politicians in the early 1970s I think. Any ideas what it could have been and where to find it?

Pregnant and uninsured

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:27:27 GMT

I am pregnant in the state of Maine. I want to keep it. How do I not go into medical bankruptcy?

My partner and I are head over heels ECSTATIC. But we were planning on waiting 10 months or so. So it's a bit of a surprise, thanks to a broken condom.

We had a wedding this year but my husband forgot to get a marriage license and we honestly haven't gotten around to it. I could get insured through his work BUT it wouldn't be until January 1, plus we would have to get married, plus he'd have to work enough hours before then to insure himself and myself, or we would pay to get me added on without him working all the extra hours.

I could also stay unmarried and try to get mainecare. I have decent savings and own a house in my name so I don't know if that would be a problem.

Our original plan was for him to work a bunch, get a marriage license and then insure me July 1, 2017 (it's open every 6 months), then try to get pregnant. What now?

Also how soon do I need to see a doctor?

Help me reverse engineer this sauce or find something similar...

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:16:03 GMT

Help! My favorite go-to sauce looks like it might be discontinued or is on it's way to being discontinued.

I work at a grocery store and normally special order it by the case, but it's not longer available. Most online stores are listing it as out of stock and other local stores no longer have it on their shelves.

It's delicious and goes great on everything. Plus its low sodium, gluten free and not loaded with junk. (All of these are must-have's.)

I'd like to figure out how to make it myself or find a comparable product/recipe!


So, just how permanent *is* a Sharpie™?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:06:31 GMT

As in, if I color the buttons on a shirt with a Sharpie, will I eff-up a shirt through multiple washings?

Here's the deal...I bought this really gorgeous shirt at my local big-box (I know "gorgeous shirt" and "big box" don't usually go together, but this time, it does.) One minor issue, though...the buttons.

It's a solid wine-color, long-sleeve, button-down collar. But, because they can get them for something like 5¢ per shipping container, it has white buttons. For...reasons...this has continued to offend my design sense.

Now, I know I could simply get some nice buttons and replace the white ones, but 1.) I'm good with emergency button replacement, but not so much making eight buttons all look factory-placed. 2.) Getting a seamstress to replace them would probably cost more than the damned shirt. But...can they be permanently colored?

My go-to would probably be Sharpies. They come in a bajillion colors now, so I'm pretty sure I could find something appropriate for the shirt. I'm thinking something approximating a wood-like tone of some sort. However, as a graphic artist, I've used Sharpies many, many, many times over the years and have noticed that, while bullet-proof-permanent on porous substrates, hard surfaces (like plastic buttons) are more hit-and-miss.

But, what if I try and heat-set the color by running the shirt through the dryer after applying the Sharpie? Would that work? Or, am I simply looking at a miserable future where the Sharpie rubs-off onto my fingers and/or bleeds into the shirt, leaving me in tears?

Sharpie makes an Industrial marker, but I think they come only in black and red.

But, what of metallic Sharpies? I have a copper Sharpie that might look spiffy as a button color.

Please hope me, oh MeFite fashion-on-the-cheap-mavens!

The Damage Done, We're Not OK, Lyrically

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:34:32 GMT

I'm looking for songs and poems about damage, wounds and woundedness, harm done, brokenness, being not OK. Details below the fold.

My theme for October's Write 31 Days is going to be something to do with damage, using photos, quotes, and some other text. I'm coming at this from various (possibly 31) different angles. Some examples: damage to trees by logging skidders, torn and dying flowers, galls and burrs, weeds and invasives and other plants we deem not OK, trash along roadsides, broken and sullied landscapes, idea that healthy soil is full of dead and decaying things, other natural world damage, disease, and death; plus human emotional damage, the brokenness of all of us, the damage we do to one another as a society, feelings of regret and loss, scars and calluses growing over vulnerable places, age and decay, hidden wounds and internal bleeding, cleanness/purity and dirtyness/taintedness, need for real connection in a broken world, etc. Still mulling through the possibilities.

This is sort of where I'm coming from: "Someone walking down the street with absolutely no scars or calluses would look pretty odd. I suspect having a conversation with someone who'd never taken any emotional or mental damage would be even odder. The line between 'experience' and 'damage' is pretty thin." — Aliza, from the Open-Source Wish Project

I'm looking for lines to quote as part of these postings, from poems and songs.

Songs so far:
Neil Young - "Needle and the Damage Done"
Leonard Cohen - "Anthem"
Bruce Springsteen - "Human Touch"
Josh Rouse - "God, Please Let Me Go Back"
Adele, "Hello"
Pink (feat. Nate Ruess) - "Just Give Me A Reason"
Perishers - "Pills"

Poems and excerpts:
Rainer Maria Rilke - "Let This Quiet Be A Bell Tower"
Aldo Leopold - A Sand County Almanac (some excerpts)
"What's left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars." ― Bertolt Brecht

Have Googled extensively and I'm checking Goodreads quotes too.

Appreciate any suggestions from the hivemind. Thanks.

Favorite things to do/see in New York City in early October?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:25:55 GMT

Theater, show, sights to see, and activity recommendations.

I am going to be visiting a friend in New York City Friday Oct 7th through Monday Oct. 10th. To help relieve the burden of planning things to do or see while I am there I am trying to help brainstorm ideas. We will be based out of Washington Heights.

On past visits to NYC I have been to the MET, MOMA, Central Park, Upright Citizens Brigade, Highline, Transit Museum, and various Broadway productions.

Do you have any go to recommendations for things to do that are lesser known but you have really enjoyed. Things that are less well known than the major tourist attractions.

I always like theater and live music. Are there any lesser known ongoing productions/shows that you would really recommend?

Casual SAT question from a Brit

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:14:57 GMT

Reading Stephen King's End of Watch recently (no spoilers!) reminded me of a question I've had for a while regarding SAT scores. In the book, the girl is worried that she's only going to get x score (400 perhaps?) on the Maths test. If this happened, would her chances of getting into college disappear? Or would it affect which sort of colleges she could get into? If she happened to be a genius at everything else but sucked at maths would that mean no Ivy League for her? Bonus question: could you retake them endlessly?

I suppose I'm curious because in the UK maths was (when I was in school) only compulsory until GCSEs - you had to get an A-C grade to do A levels but there were no requirements beyond that.

Why are religious kids and teens so well behaved and... chill?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:49:00 GMT

I notice a trend: kids I know from loving, religious families (Chabad Lubavitch and Christian in particular) are, even in the tricky teen years, lovely, kind, respectful. How does this happen? What are the parents doing right?

I know the plural of anecdote isn't data, but I've noticed that the kids I know who live in pretty strict religious families seem really... chill. They're sweet, kind, and respectful to guests and visitors. (I'm thinking of some of our family members' and friends' kids.)

In contrast, most of our friends and family members who are liberal and secular have kids/teens who are either shy or petulant with guests and parents' friends, and sometimes rude to their parents. Some, I hate to say, are a bit bratty and throw fits when they don't get their way. I've never seen this in the religious households.

What's going on here? Especially interested to hear from religious parents about their approach to child-rearing.

Is it possible to teach a dog to close its eyes?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:37:17 GMT

I'm not talking about putting its paw on its nose. I'm talking about closing its eyelids on command and keeping them closed until released. Has anyone successfully done this trick with their dog? How?

Insurance to cover emergency medical return flights?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:27:23 GMT

I recently suffered a detached retina in one eye. This is a condition that needs to be treated immediately or I risk blindness. There is an increased chance my other eye will suffer the same fate.

I travel internationally several times a year. If I need to get back to the United States for treatment, will the standard travel insurance after I buy my airline tickets cover it? Should I buy it? (I think the last time I bought tickets from United, the insurer was Allianz.)

Or can I rely on the airline to allow me to standby for the next plane home? If neither of these is the case, what kind of insurance should I get? Or is it better to take my chances and not buy one at all?

I'm not so worried about being on the other coast, since I could still get treated domestically, but it would be nice to know what options I have in that case too.

Am I unlucky or just crazy?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:26:48 GMT

I've just been diagnosed with what was explained to me as a psychosomatic condition with nothing physiologically wrong. I would be relieved if this wasn't the last of several times I've had worrying, bothersome symptoms, had all tests come back clear and had the symptoms clear up right after being given a clean bill of health. Why does this keep happening to me? Do I need serious psychiatric help?

When I was a teenager, I had an issue where I always felt like I had to pee. After a miserable year and a slew of embarrassing and invasive tests that all came back normal, it went away. Now in my mid-twenties, I've been through the same story numerous times with other symptoms, including tingling in my limbs, hot flashes, and heart palpitations. Every time I've been seriously bothered by the symptoms and concerned about having a serious illness, and every time they've persisted while I've waited for specialist appointments and tests, only to disappear shortly after the doctor concludes there's nothing wrong. I've seen a shitload of doctors and specialists -- way too many for a young woman who by all accounts has no actual health problems.

My latest diagnosis is functional heartburn, which my gastroenterologist explained as heartburn without any signs of actual acid reflux or stomach problems, and said it's basically considered psychosomatic. Unsurprisingly, the chronic heartburn I've experienced for the past half year -- while I worried myself sick about getting esophageal cancer -- seems to be on it's way out.

At this point I'm starting to worry that I'm seriously nuts. I do have an anxiety problem, but it's been fairly well managed by an SSRI for the past couple years. I absolutely do not enjoy the attention or going to doctors, and these have all been symptoms that I've actually felt and have been actually bothered by. Is this all just terrible luck or do I need to see a psychiatrist? Is there anything that can actually be done for someone who keeps getting psychosomatic illnesses?

Sister's barking dog is driving my mom crazy

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:54:17 GMT

My sister has a rescue dog, lab mix, probably about 10 or 11 years old. This dog will not stay in a kennel when my sis goes on holidays, away for the weekend or overnight, etc. so my mom (84 years old) ends up looking after her quite often. She barks at anyone coming into or even walking past the house, and my mom's nerves are frazzled.

The dog loves my sister to distraction, but is absolutely indifferent to everyone else, even my sister's husband. Her bark is very loud and agressive, and nothing will get her to stop. We don't shout at her. Sometimes she makes for your feet in a threatening way, though I don't think she's ever bitten anyone. The other day, my mother had a guy doing work in the garden and the dog barked for hours and hours while he was there. She even barks at my mother if she happens to go outside the house.

My sister reckons that the dog is too old for training, and my mother is too nice to let my sister know just how much this distresses her. She has occasionally put the dog into a room with the blinds down, but feels that this isn't something she should do all day long - and even then the dog will bark if she hears someone coming in the front door.

I can't look after the dog unfortunately, because reasons, but while she's at my parents house, I get one of my kids to stop by daily to walk her (when she can be bothered to go with them). This doesn't offer much relief, however, since the dog will only go on long walks with my sister. With anyone else, she'll reluctantly go around the block at most. We're all generally dog lovers, but it's not easy to warm to a dog that gives all the signs of being about to attack you whenever she sees you. I imagine the poor thing must have had a traumatic life before my sister got her (about 5 years ago) - she has some other odd quirks that aren't threatening.

It doesn't bother my dad, because he's deaf.

Any ideas?

Help with Wordpress Magazine Themes

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:25:01 GMT

I have a wordpress website (link). After fiddling with the current theme (Edin) for a while, I'm starting to think it's not what I'm looking for. I'd like some advice on other themes that might work to present blog posts and static pages.

What I'd like to have is a home page, and then separate pages for each category of posts (Trip Reports, Gear, Advice) where the individual posts are displayed in an image grid of some sort, rather than in a single-column chronological line like most themes seem to want to do. I also want to display the Wave Guide and its child pages statically, since it's a durable guide. I'm having trouble finding a theme that can do both.

And one other pony request if I have a wish list; I like the featured image setup of Edin, but I want to make the featured image about half as tall so that it's clear more information follows. It's not a dealbreaker though; getting the display of the posts and the static pages right is the main priority. Free is best if I can get it.

Faintly remembered scene from movie?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:34:42 GMT

What is the (John Hughes?) movie in which a pompous kid is lecturing someone else and -- instead of punctuating his/her points by saying "One", "Two", "Three" -- instead carelessly separates those points by saying something like "One", "B", and "Four"?