posted about 1 hour ago on metafilter
Stories of Change: - Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. An inside perspective from local visual storytellers on everyday life in North Africa. The Storytellers. Timeline. The Stories.

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
Small South Carolina town rallies for fired lesbian police chief LATTA, S.C. (AP) -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over. Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and the town council rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
I'm unlikable. This is undeniable. Help me fix that.I know I'm unlikable because many people make me feel unwelcome in social interactions. This concerns me. I would prefer to be a more likable person, whatever that means. (I tried to organize this, but it might be a bit rantlike in structure.) I have "friends", but not really. I don't know anyone who actively invites me to do things with them. I play Magic and board games at the game store regularly, and there are people I say "hi" to, but there's nobody who says "hi" to me first. I am only very rarely invited to events. I invited 20 people I'd consider friends to a board game night and not a single person showed up. A few of them said they were sorry they couldn't make it, so I held another one tonight and again nobody came, which is why I started writing this. I'm prone to saying stupid things, and I'll know they're stupid the second they come out of my mouth. This spans the gamut from "trivial, banal observation" to "mildly insulting". In fact, I'm not very good at insightful discussion on topics I'm not well-versed in. On dates (via OkCupid) and at social gatherings, I can maintain a pleasant chit-chat, but I can never seem to muster the sort of connection I've felt with good friends in the past. And maybe that's just because they're first dates and all, but I've been told several times now that the person in question wasn't interested in a second date or relationship, and I'm thinking it's got to be some quality in me, since I'm the common link. I'm meandering a bit here, but hopefully this helps. I'm not particularly well-groomed. I try to look decent, and I hope I have a decent enough wardrobe, but the fact of the matter is, I don't pay as much attention to my appearance as other people do; and when I take the time to do as much as comb my hair in the morning, it still ends up a mess within an hour by some forces unbeknownst to myself. I isolate these qualities in myself not to put myself down - but because these are qualities I specifically want to change about myself. I'm at a point in life where I have the opportunity to change large parts of my personality, what I do, and who I interact with, and I would like to take advantage of that instead of being stuck in a loop and being alone against my preferences. (I do like having opportunities to be alone by choice, of course.) However, there are also many parts of myself that are difficult to pin down or describe that are holding me back much more. Please don't limit yourself to advice that specifically addresses those, because I am almost positive I'm missing the forest for the trees here. There's definitely a je ne sais quoi about myself that I only wish I could isolate - I only wish I could describe it well enough to ask for help here. I work at a local community college, so I have a month off starting very soon between the summer and fall sessions. I'd like to take advantage of that month as best as I can. Since I've just spent a few paragraphs describing myself in an extremely negative light, here's what I do have going for me: I don't have depression - at least, I don't think so. I've had some friends with clinical depression and I definitely don't experience anything like that. I have a job. I'm poor but I can pay for rent, food, and internet. I wish I had more money, but I have enough to make the day-to-day happen. I live in a large city with many events and places of interest within biking and public transit distance. I'm not unfit. I jog pretty regularly and ride a bicycle as my primary mode of transportation. I've had friends in the past. In high school, and college, and even a bit after college, I've had people I considered close friends, who I frequently spend time with and did activities with. I've never had very many at a time, though. (I'm pretty sure this isn't just "oh, everyone only has a few close friends" - I've gone to parties and seen folks with easily 10, 15 people in their friend groups.) Any advice helps. I've been trying to develop myself as a person for several years now, and it's been, well, an uneasy path at best. Thanks!

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posted about 2 hours ago on metafilter
A member of my gaming group has developed a ton of food intolerances/allergies, so I need substitutes for cauliflower and cashews in vegan recipes. And can anyone spot a pattern to her allergies?So one of the folks in my monthly gaming/supper club has food intolerances/allergies that keep getting worse and more random as she gets older. When she joined us years ago, it was just onion family/derivatives, soy (as in soy sauce), and brewer's yeast. She began experiencing more problems a few months ago, and the list was revised, effectively putting her on a soy-free vegan diet--a challenge, but nothing insurmountable. Then a wrench got thrown into the works. After the latest round of tests, she now has to exclude the following from her diet: FRUITS Bananas Cantaloupe Watermelon Oranges (this includes any citric acid product made using citric acid derived from oranges) Strawberries Apricot Peaches Pineapple VEGETABLES Cauliflower Peas Cabbage All onion, onion family, and onion derivatives (leeks, scallions, chives, onion powder, onion juice, you name it) NUTS Cashews OTHER Chocolate Wine Beer Cinnamon Black Pepper ...and the previously-mentioned soy (including soy derivatives like soybean oil). She can have all of the red and white meat she can stand, however. Everyone in our gaming club cooks for our monthly get-togethers. We already have a vegan, a diabetic, and someone with food intolerance for fish and seafood, so we're all used to adjusting around people's dietary needs. But this last update has left us a little flummoxed, because many vegan recipes--especially desserts--call for cashews or cauliflower in one form or another if you're trying to recreate the creaminess of certain dairy-based dishes (example, more examples). I'm looking for two things: 1) Can anyone suggest substitutes for cashews and/or cauliflower in the sorts of recipes that I'm talking about? Whenever I find a good soy-free vegan recipe for a creamy dish or dessert, it invariably calls for cashews or cauliflower, which she can't have. 2) Can anyone spot a pattern to her food intolerances/allergies? She jokes that her food intolerances are like rolling a d20 on a Random Allergies Table from an early edition of Dungeons and Dragons--they seem to have no rhyme or reason. Thanks in advance!

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Our neighbors received a KKK recruiting flier along with their Sunday newspaper. We didn't. We are an LGBT couple and I am Asian-American. What can I do to be less freaked out by this?In our neighborhood, the recruiting fliers were in a plastic bag with a small rock in it. (Our neighborhood didn't get candy in the bag. Yay?) Media reports seem to suggest that there are several neighborhoods in suburban Richmond (and elsewhere) that received similar fliers, contemporaneously. Our neighborhood is solidly upper-middle-class, and is almost entirely white. All of the neighbors we've spoke to (and who have posted on our neighborhood online message board) have expressed outrage and disgust. But I am interpreting the absence of a flier on our driveway as evidence the "care packages" were distributed by someone who knew that my family would be extremely receptive to this particular recruiting drive. And that kind of freaks me out. What can I do to feel less freaked out?

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
I was in a fender-bender that was indisputably the other driver's fault, but I'm not sure how to proceed with the insurance claim because there was already some mild prior damage to my car from a couple of scrapes in my house's treacherous driveway that I never brought to my insurer's attention. Can I get in trouble with my insurance company (USAA) for failing to report those minor solo collisions, and how much will it complicate a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance?So, here's the deal: The other day, I was took right at a T-shape intersection, after coming to a complete halt at a stop sign, and a woman apparently didn't notice, and, without signaling, pulled out from where she was parked (illegally, to boot) and drove right into the front-right side of my car. Consequently, the side and bumper moldings are now misaligned, there's a dent in the front-right door, which now makes a bad clunking noise whenever it's opened, and I also somehow ended up with a flat in my rear right tire. The complicating prior damage was some scratching and paint-transfer on the right side of the car (mostly on the rear door) and a shorn-off right side mirror, both from when my girlfriend had to move my car to get to hers, and brushed up against the side of the house where our very narrow driveway takes a 90 degree turn. How should I go about filing this claim, given the proximity (and possible overlap) of the prior and current damage? Will it prevent my insurance company from collecting from hers? Could I end up having to foot some of the bill (which I couldn't actually pay for right now,) or even get dumped by my insurer (USAA) for failing to report the scrape in the driveway? [Being a dick (and committing insurance fraud) by pretending that all of the damage was from the fender bender is not an option I'm considering.]

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Non-obvious careers for someone with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics?I just graduated with an Applied Mathematics major and Computer Science minor, and I need a job ASAP. The thing is, I didn't think too much about what I was going to do when I finished school. All the career advice I've seen for people with my degree falls in only a couple different categories, most of which aren't really good options for me. I'm in need of some original suggestions for places I should be looking. Things I DON'T want to hear: +Grad school. +Actuarial Science. +Vague titles like "Mathematical Analyst." Which industries? What keywords can I search for? +Programming, unless you have tips on how to bridge the gap between the small projects I did in school and real-world development, or how to get hired with no experience. (Or you can reassuringly convince me that it's really not that hard.) It's not necessarily that these are unappealing; I'm already aware of them, just looking for alternatives. Is there anything I'm overlooking?

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Greetings All: I have been reading up on transitioning to a vegan diet and there are so many things to think about. One of the best comments I received from someone on a previous post is that eating vegan does not equal being healthy necessarily. So I have been reading some books about eating a healthy vegan diet. I would also like to avoid gluten and somehow work on making this a slow-carb diet if at all possible.That being said, getting started is kind of overwhelming me. I don't want to turn this into paralysis by analysis, but I do want to start preparing some meals that are healthy and at the very least vegetarian. I was hoping that others could make some recommendations as far as a practical shopping guide for me to get started with this endeavor. I know that I am going to need to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the first few weeks and that I will need something to snack on as well. Could someone give me some easy recipes to get started with as far as the three meals go? The last thing I want to do is to get started on this transformation and be eating even more unhealthy than I have been. I am roughly fifty pounds overweight, so this is a really important thing for me to get right.

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
Help me identify the mystery pepper plant I am growing in my backyard! Pictures: 1, 2, 3.Last year I bought what I thought were lemon pepper seeds from an eBay vendor. As the pictures show, when I planted those seeds what came up were not lemon pepper plants. So what are these peppers? The peppers are about 1.5 - 2 inches long. I've lost the eBay vendor information so asking them is out.

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posted about 3 hours ago on metafilter
I use Hotmail. A business partner sends me a meeting scheduling message, I'm not sure what they are whether it's an Outlook thing, but they have the time and date of the meeting, along with "Accept", "Decline" check boxes. The trouble is the time's wrong.e.g. I get a msg and it says 10:30 am, but my partner says no, he set it for 13:30. So I'm guessing its some kind of bad time zone setting. I have checked my own time zone setting in Hotmail and its correct. What exactly should my partner check? And how does he do it?

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
I'm looking for an awesome gastro doc (preferrably female) in the South Jersey/philadelphia area.I have been having issues with my stomach and bowels for at least half of my life (I'm in my early 30s). I need to get to the bottom of these issues, as they greatly diminish my quality of life and cause me a great deal of anxiety. My recent visit with a new gastro doc left me less than impressed, so I'm looking to find another. I'm looking for someone (preferably female) who takes a holistic, mind/body approach to gastroenterology (though I'm not looking for any woo). I don't want to just be given pills and sent on my way (I'm not opposed to meds when needed, but I don't want that to be the only approach). I want someone who is interested in getting a full history (not just asking a couple questions about my guts). I want someone who will look at the big picture of my life and incorporate that information into the diagnosis/treatment plan. Basically, I'm looking for an ally in my search for digestive health. Does this doctor exist in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area?

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
I'm sick to death of the prescription drug med-go-'round for MDD and mild anxiety. I'm ready to stop.Yes. I've tried them all. SSRI, SNRIs, tricyclics, et. al. I'm done. I'm done with the nausea, the fatigue, the spaciness, the fatigue, the loss of apetite, the anorgasmia, the gas, the fatigue, the trips to the psych, the fatigue, the "WTF? How much does that cost?" I want another way. Currently four days into Lexapro. Already on Trazodone. Situational stuff: Currently in the midst of dealing with a boss who is a micromanger who seems intent or demoralizing me daily. -- Excellent health. Thyroid's great. Doc says my blood work is "perfect." -- I've upped the exercise to 5 or 6 days a week. Some days harder than others. -- Experimenting with amino acids. Can you give me your experiences? -- See a therapist about twice a month. She works on "family of origin" issues mostly. Should I try a different form? -- Very rarely drink. Maybe a glass of wine every other month. Caffeine daily.

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posted about 4 hours ago on metafilter
I was wondering if any Mefites might currently work in, or know someone who works in, a career that meets the following qualifications: 1. Involves a ton of writing. Any type of writing. Even if one spends most of one's time crafting emails, that would be sufficient. 2. Is relatively easy to get into with only a bachelor's degree in a possibly unrelated subject. 3. Is generally not discriminatory based on age (in other words, someone who is in their late 40s/early 50s would not be seen as teetering on the edge of their grave).Thanks!

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
As part of an artist trading card swap, I made a bunch of little clocks. Only after I was finished did it occur to me that the little clock hands bend (and presumably break) easily, and there are a lot of places where bits could get bent or otherwise messed up in shipping. What's my best bet for packing and shipping these things? More fun: one has to go to England.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
While reading the purse thread, I realized I'm in dire need of a new wallet. I don't give a toss about brand names, but I really want a well made, durable women's wallet. It's got to be available in Canada, handle lots of spare change well, and have lots of room for cards. If it's affordable and goes well with a butter yellow handbag, all the better!

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
I'm taking the bar next week. (IL if it matters). I feel strong in some areas, weak in others. Strengths and weaknesses I can handle, but there's one situation that I'm nervous about. How should approach a question if I just flat out blank on the rule of rule?None of my bar prep materials have addressed this possibility, and I'm slightly embarrassed to bring it up in real life. Of course, I'll take a moment to calm myself down and clear my head. But how should I tackle a question if I simply don't know how to answer what it's asking?

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
An Oral History of the 1989 Cleveland Indians. It was 1989, and no one knew that the usually predictable world of Major League Baseball was about to get as topsy turvy as it could. Here's the story of a plucky band of misfits, fighting against the entrenched baseball establishment, to obtain success in their efforts against their playing opponents, and an evil owner bent on relocation. In this article, Scott Lewis, usual master of the animated GIF, tackles one of the most interesting, and mostly untold stories of baseball history. Perhaps you're a fan of baseball, the Cleveland club, or just a casual follower of humour. Enjoy.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
As of very recently, I'm getting AIM messages not just opening up in AIM, but also in my Gmail. I want to receive the messages in AIM, but I do not want to them also to appear as an email in Gmail. How do I fix this?My AIM username is a gmail email address, but the account itself is a regular AIM account. I've always used the AIM program as well (I'm on a Mac). However, recently I tried to start a new chat with someone who's on Google Talk. Via AIM, I sent a friend request to his account, but he didn't receive it. He sent me one from Google, but I didn't receive it. Though he'd never had problems chatting with AIM people before, somehow this didn't work and we were unable to chat with each other... so we tried different solutions. One of the solutions was me adding Google Talk as an account on my AIM. Also I started using Messages on Mac instead of AIM. In the end we sorted it out, and I de-linked the Google Talk account from my AIM (in Messages) because I didn't want all my many Google contacts to appear in my Messages/AIM. However, even though the accounts are not linked to my knowledge (not in Messages, not in AIM, hell, even in Gmail I've specifically turned Chat off), I get emails in my Gmail inbox that have the subject line "Chat with [aim account]@aol.com" and have the content of one half of our AIM conversation (the other person's messages to me, not mine to them). I don't want to receive these emails. How do I make them stop?

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
Mallory Ortberg of The Toast continues the fine tradition of providing not-so-serious narration to very-serious art. This time, she tackles the Judgment of Paris, a theme "based on a legend where three supremely powerful goddesses asked a worthless male mortal to rank them in order of attractiveness in order to win a sculpture of a fruit." Previously (I'm sure I missed more posts). You can find the rest on pages 1 through 3 here. They are glorious.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
I know of many online plan your own wedding sites, but what I'm looking for is one which I can host on a server of my own, probably some sort of PHP/MySQL based affair that will manage things like the RSVP, menu choices, gift lists etc, and also allow me to send emails to specific groups such as "Family of Groom, Family of Bride, Bridesmaids, Catering Staff" etc etc.

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posted about 5 hours ago on metafilter
I am in the midst of establishing an office in Downtown LA for a small and growing business. I purchased a package that in which I have business phone that I can use fax on, unlimited national calls etc. U-Verse Wi-Fi package is separate. Thinking about my budget I realized a couple of things. I can use my cel-phone as my business phone until we are more established. Paperwork can be sent on-line via files. If I really need to send a fax I can do it at FED-EX, etc. So, in the meantime, I can do without it. I would need a number for the U-verse WiFi. i would also have to pay a service fee to get out of the bundle contract. Any thoughts on this?

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
Thanks to marinating myself in others' bad outcomes, I'm terrified of my gallbladder removal this Monday, a surgery that happens 700,000 times a year. I could use a ton of positive-outcome, no-problem, no-side-effect stories, and/or any good sensible cognitive talk on not letting people's health forum posts terrify you.I've stacked the deck in my favor as best I can. My health plan let me select a nationally renowned hospital and a highly recommended surgeon who's done this surgery over a thousand times in the last 12 years. I've stockpiled vacation time, I think my workplace is understanding, and I managed to never have a crippling worse-than-childbirth attack (just a medium-bad one in March and bad pokes and cramps since then). (But ultrasounds and CT scans do signify it needs to come out.) The problem is that I've read way too fucking much on this, and my head is completely marinated in every worst-case scenario that could happen that could screw up my life from this point onward. Thank you, misleading vividness, availability heuristic, Some people who have this surgery have chronic diarrhea for years or for the rest of their lives. That petrifies me. There are other symptoms as well, such as people who seem to start gaining weight after the surgery without a clear reason why (medical science seems not to know why aside from saying that they must be chowing down, which they swear they're not), or stones in the common bile duct, or dyspepsia and nausea that won't go away. What feels very untrue is the thought of coming through this with flying colors, having my digestive system adjust in short order, and returning to my life with it completely normal. That's what I want to have happen, and what's crazy is that I know that's the default reaction to this surgery from my understanding! But somehow I'm convinced that I'm going to get stomped by Fate on this. (And I've come across some stories of people who inexplicably start having the aforementioned chronic diarrhea months, years or decades after the surgery. That feels a bit like a sword of Damocles over my head ... okay, you're fine NOW, but we can drop the bowling ball whenever we like ... ) But added arguments for a good outcome: my surgeon says that of the 1000+ patients he's had thus far, 85-90% of his patients have no diarrhea, and of that 10-15% who experience it for a few weeks, he's yet to have one patient who has had diarrhea for more than a few weeks. My mother had hers out at age 26 and in the 40+ years since has never had an issue with any foods (even of the fatty kind); she can't remember if she had any post-removal issues immediately thereafter. So maybe the genes will help. It's very embarrassing to display my anxiety so candidly to you all like this, but frankly, I've always considered the aggregate wisdom of Ask Metafilter to be extraordinarily helpful, and so any embarrassment is worth it to get any wisdom, solace or advice you might be willing to offer.

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
Only 15 million, riiiight. A data experiment out of Florida State University maps the location of 1 million of the 15 million publicly available online images tagged with the word "cat." Using a supercomputer and the map coordinates imbedded in their metadata, I Know Where Your Cat Lives shows where each image was taken, to within an estimated 7.8 meters accuracy. [Insert cyberstalking pun here]

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
I'm going back to school for communications in the fall. I'd like to start gathering career ideas now so I know what to look for when I graduate and also so that I pick the right courses for my career path. When I went in to my undergrad in 2007, I had no idea of what I would do upon graduation. So, I'd like to gather some ideas now and tailor my course selection towards potential career options.I'm doing a 1 -year graduate diploma in communications (in Canada) starting in the fall. I'd really like to orient my career towards social justice in some way, but obviously this is an extremely broad goal. I am not by any means an activist. But I guess you could say my main political passion would be combating economic inequality, the ways in which poverty intersects with race & gender, . . . i would love to work towards changing public perceptions of government policy so that we elect politicians that actually want to improve social conditions... but I don't have any degree in economics or Poli Sci... and I suck at public speaking. Some of my dream job ideas are: - doing communications for a political party (ie: the NDP) - working on documentaries (though everything at CBC is being cut, d'oh!) - working for some other type of non-profit or government organization related to the arts (right now I work for a media-based trade association which is work that I really enjoy) - I don't want to work in academia and I doubt I will want to go for a Master's degree any time soon. I generally don't really like being a full-time student. My undergrad was in music/liberal arts and I didn't take much politics or economics (though I did do the very basics in my CEGEP Social science diploma). So I guess, what I'm looking for is: 1) other ideas of career paths that are appropriate for someone with a background in the arts and a grad diploma in communications (which includes sound and film production courses) and who is also a lefty (Sorry if this is a Tall Order, and I know that a lot of social justice work is unpaid as well so I'm not looking to get rich off of this. Also, I am aware that I might not get my Dream Job and most likely will have a day job and "pursue my dreams" on the side... so ideas about what that Day Job should be are welcome as well) 2) Since I have not taken many courses in Poli Sci or economics-- is there any way I can make up for this using my elective courses? A lot of the program's course offerings are politically- oriented and deal with Media and Gender, Globalization, Alternative media, etc. 3) While doing a graduate diploma, is it wise to get involved in a lot of extra curricular activities, or better to focus solely on my studies? Part of the program includes an internship, which will take up some of my extracurricular time, but should I also try to be involved in things like writing for the school newspaper, volunteer work or T.A.ing? I do have about a year of entry-level work experience in this field already, so i want to make sure I make the most of my time back at school. Thanks for your help!

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posted about 6 hours ago on metafilter
Someone close to me has inherited a Yamaha grand piano, appraised by knowledgable tuner around $45,000. The owner needs as much of this money as she can get. How do we sell it? Is Craigslist okay for very-high-price sales? This is in the Washington DC area.First, what price, realistically? The piano is about 10 years old, in perfect condition and has a number of added improvements, replacing certain parts with better German parts. The tuner has been maintaining the instrument for years, and he wrote up a detailed description with all the right language and gave this estimate/appraisal for this purpose (preparing to sell it). Any idea what fraction of that appraised price we could expect to actually get in a sale? I want to calibrate expectations. We can afford to take some time selling it, if it will mean getting a significantly better price. Second, where/how to sell? The tuner recommended selling it on Craigslist. I'm leery about the owner dealing with Craigslist people (she is older and lives alone, and it's not like she can just bring the piano to the local Starbucks for potential buyers to see)... but we'll do it if need be. How does a sale of this kind work? Is there a way to vet potential buyers before she gives out her address? Will people want to haggle? Is a cashier's check the right way to handle the money? Any tips about using Craigslist for this kind of thing would be useful. Other options seem to include piano-only classified-ad websites, and brick-and-mortar piano dealers in the area (which would probably be the safest/least hassle but also the least money? Do you know an honest dealer in the DC area?). Are there other, better venues? If we sell to a private buyer, should we expect to sell to someone in the area, or is there a nationwide market for these? Does the buyer or seller normally handle the moving/shipping arrangements and costs? Do you know a good piano moving company in the DC area?

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