posted about 15 hours ago on metafilter
My 6 year old spayed female Maltese has been exhibiting some worrisome symptoms of what? In July, I took her to the vet after she was throwing up and having diarrhea and walking around kinda hunched up, not acting herself.It was determined she was dehydrated. X-rays, blood work and UA were done and didn't show anything alarming or really anything wrong. We suspected her frequent rendezvous to the cat's food to be causing her tummy some distress. To be on the safe side, she was given antibiotics and soon returned to normal. However, recently, she's reverted to some of those worrisome symptoms and has added some more symptoms! And no cat food is involved at this point. Close to a month now she's been peeing in the house. She's rarely ever had an accident so this has been alarming. This morning, after being outside for a while, she came in and peed on the floor - so this is not an issue of her being let outside in a timely fashion. Also, her pee has been a bit on the sticky side. She's also been having off and on diarrhea and maybe once a week her stomach will be making really distressing sounds and she'll refuse to eat her breakfast. She's been vomiting 2-4 times a week (bringing up a meal). It usually resolves in 1/2 a day to a day and she'll be back to her normal eating. Due to the frequency of the peeing in the house and that I've noticed it being sticky, I took her to the vet yesterday. Normal temperature and vitals. However, she has lost over a pound since June. Alarming since she was only an 8 pound tiny dog to begin with. Now she's down to 7 pounds. He ran a blood panel. Blood panel came back and everything looked good EXCEPT T-4 (thyroid). It was like 0-0.3. That's super low! So, you'd assume hypothyroidism, except she's not gained weight (she's losing it), no skin problems, hair loss, etc. that are associated with hypothyroidism in dogs. Vet isn't sure what's going on and has referred me to an internist for a second opinion and perhaps more tests. I've made an appointment but my dog can't be seen for another 9 days. This is where you come in! You may not be a vet in real life, but you sure as heck can help me brainstorm any possibilities of what could be going on with the love of my life. So, any ideas what could be going on? What would cause low thyroid levels but none of the hypothyroid symptoms?

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
I have a large (1 acre), steep (30% grade) south-facing back yard, with several very large trees in Zone 6b. Right now it is running amok with weeds and vines because it is just so uncomfortable to be out there. What can I plant that will stop erosion, suppress weeds, and look lovely year-round?In a perfect world, I carpet the whole thing with bluebells. Unfortunately I have exactly the wrong soil (acidic, clay) for them. If you know of something that will give that sort of dreamy effect, I'd love to hear it! And if not, I welcome any evergreen ground cover that will thrive in my situation and to require nothing from me beyond the initial planting. The hill is so steep that it is difficult to stand on, let alone garden intensively. I am willing to suck it up to put something permanent, beautiful and care-free there, but would otherwise like to never think about it again.

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
Don't eat the random melons growing in the middle of Amsterdam Avenue. That is all.

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posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
Every time one of my kids passes on a cold to me(and that happens multiple times during Autumn/Winter/Spring) I lose my voice. Why?It's really annoying. The kid has a runny nose - I lose my voice. The kid has a stubborn cough - I lose my voice. I never used to have that problem before having kids. (Maybe once every couple of years.) I have a talking job, damnit! Can I prevent this?

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
I need some new shoes, but I'm not sure how to describe what I want. And of course my feet are unique snowflakes so of course there's more details inside.Hi there! I am looking for a new pair of fall/winter shoes, and while I can sorta conceptualize what I want, I don't have a way to describe them succinctly. I was recently diagnosed with having tendonitis in my foot, for which one of the treatments is wearing wide shoes with wide toe boxes. For the summer, I've been wearing Brooks and New Balance running shoes, but I want something a little less running-shoey for the fall/winter. Here's my specs: 1. We are a carless family, so I walk a lot of places. I typically walk 3-4 miles a weekend on various errands and whatnot, and at work I walk several blocks between buildings a few times a week. 2. I live in Portland, OR, so the shoes need to be waterproof/durable. 3. I don't need boots - I have those. I want something low-cut. 4. I don't want loafers. I like shoes that tie. 5. As mentioned, I have wide feet (EE or EEE, depending on maker), but I also need shoes that have a wide toe box. 6. Even though I may wear them to work every now and again, they don't need to be dressy - something like a Merrell or a Keen might work if they're wide enough. 7. As for price, I would say anything around or less than $125. I appreciate any suggestions.

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
I need to buy 300 snacks for my son's kindergarten class. What's the most cost effective way of doing this?My son started kindergarten this month and one of the things parents are asked to provide classroom snacks for two weeks out of the year. Without really thinking about it, I signed up for two weeks in a row. My son's class is amazingly small for a public school (15 kids!) but snacks are twice a day, so I'm looking at buying 300 snacks here (15 kids x 2 snacks a day X 5 days a week x 2 weeks. Right?). Snacks must be ready to go (no slicing fruits or even plating out things). No allergy restrictions. I don't have a Costco membership but could get access to one. Doesn't necessarily need to be "healthy." I'm willing to do a little work on my end if it means saving money. Suggestions on providing 300 snacks without spending an enormous amount of money?

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
Deadspin: There's no use trying to skirt around this, so let's cut straight to the chase: A Colorado Springs woman has been taking big craps in front of someone's house for a few weeks now. They're calling her the Mad Pooper and she won't stop. The cops are involved. It appears to be some sort of revenge pooping. I hope you enjoy this report from local CBS outlet KKTV as much as I did. And, as a musical accompaniment, Bob's Burgers is here for us all.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
If you were starting the day in Rainier and ending up in Portland this Sunday, where would you go for an easy hike?The boyfriend and I have Saturday night plans in Rainier, Oregon. We'll be leaving Sunday morning to go back to Portland, Oregon to do dinner and spend the night before flying out on Monday. I've never been to the Pacific Northwest before, and would really like to enjoy a little of the scenery. The boyfriend is more of a walk in the park person than a serious hiker, so anything more than a couple miles and relatively easy terrain is going to be out of reach. But he likes driving, so we could go east to the coast or double back past Portland to the west for a particularly scenic drive to the right easy hike. I know there are a lot of cool outdoorsy things to do in the area. But I am also aware of the recent wildfires, and not familiar enough with the area to know which internet recommended trails and parks might not be in need of clueless visitors tromping through at the moment. Maybe a pretty urban park is the better way to go at this particular time? Given these parameters, what would you recommend? Extra bonus points for recommendations for a breakfast spot around Rainier or on the way to your recommended trail/park!

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I live in New York (work in Manhattan, live in Brooklyn) and often see people just throw trash on the ground whether it's a cigarette butt or some plastic, even while in close proximity to garbage cans, is there anything productive I can say to them?I'm not sure why this is a thing people do in the first place, but seeing people litter really upsets me. I've often wanted to tell them off, but am not sure if it'll lead to a larger altercation or something like that. Is there something I can say that wouldn't escalate the situation and might cause them to think twice next time? Or is this just something I need to ignore and move on from?

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I've started writing and recording original songs. I'd like to be able to record isolated vocal and ukulele tracks, and to make short videos for them. I can't figure out how to use GarageBand or YouTube for the iPhone S.I have an iRig and have been able to record music straight from my uke to my iPad. I seem to only be able to record in 10-second increments--I assumed this is because the program is set up to record one bar at a time. I can loop the bar, but can't figure out how to (a) trim the bars shorter; (b) make the time longer, or (c) edit all the bars together into one song. I would like to record my vocal and the ukulele separately and mix them into one song (and import them as an MP3 into Soundcloud and Bandcamp), and I haven't figured out how to do that. As far as iMovie is concerned...I want to trim the first and last second off my videos so the first and last things you see aren't my thumb hitting the record button. iMovie hasn't let me do any of that--I open a project and I don't see a cutter tool the way I do in the desktop version. I get the sense that I'm missing some important features that will allow me to do the things I'd like to do with these programs. Are there good tutorials online that can show me how to do these very basic things in GarageBand and iMovie? Thanks!

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
Kirk vs. the Gorn is one of the all-time great fight scenes. Therefore, it starts with the future's greatest offensive hand-to-hand maneuver: the double-punch.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I woke up in intensive care on January 13, quite delusional. I "remember" quite a few things which, I am told, didn't really happen. The most vivid memory was of watching the weather Channel from my hospital bed and hearing of weather phenomena (severe storms and even forest fires) on earth caused by a conjuction of the planets including Pluto and Jupiter. I can find no reference to this now that I am in my right mind. Did my subconscious make this up, too?

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
Miko and I are leaving for Ireland (Dublin, Galway, Aran Islands, etc.) in early October, and we're having enormous fun learning Irish. Could use fluent speaker assistance in cutting through the competing information.Would love help with pronunciaton, uru, seimhu, etc. Just finding consensus on how to say Hello! is driving me batty. I've memorized three different pronunciations, and NOT based on regional dialects. A little help, le do thoit? Go raibh maith agat!

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I've gained 20 pounds over time because of antidepressants I've taken, and that has made me more depressed. As a result, my doctor changed some of my medications to Wellbutrin and Topamax.I've been taking 600 mg of Topamax for two months and 300 mg of Wellbutrin for a little over a month, and I've gained a little weight. These drugs at these doses are known for side effects of losing weight, and I eat very little. Is this lack of side effects common? Has this happened to others?

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I have a 24" by 18" paper calendar on my work desk showing me a whole month of stuff, but for some reason, I can't get it to automatically sync with Outlook and Google.Like it says on the tin. My office uses Outlook for calendaring. I use Google for personal calendaring and tasks management. At work, I have a paper calendar that I use to track appointments and due dates. Not sure how I got into that habit, but I really like being able to see the whole month at a glance. However, I hate reconciling paper calendars. I need something, anything, that will sit on my desk and show me the monthly calendar with Outlook (MS Exchange) and Google (whatever they use) on it. This could be * a big Android tablet * a monitor connected to...something * an all-in-one It can't be an extra monitor connected to my work computer, because it already has the maximum number of monitors connected. I don't even need it to have a keyboard or mouse once I get it up and running. Oh! And I need to spend less than $100 on it. More than open to buying used, refurbished, eBay, craigslist, using any flavor of Linux or whatever... I am handy with tech.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I've just started exercising for the first time in my life and I could use some guidance around what kinds of workouts would be best for me as a 40-something fat guy with zero gym experience. I have a Planet Fitness membership, realistic (I think) goals and expectations, and (so far) a strong will to make this work, but I'd like to know what I can and should do to maximize the return on my efforts.Here's what I'm working with: I'm 42, 5'11", around 270 lbs. My previous gym experience has consisted of several traumatic experiences in grade/high school. I've fluctuated over the years between "big" and "very big" but now I'm pre-hypertensive, pre-diabetic and probably about to ruin my knees and back if I don't fix this. On the plus side, I quit smoking several years ago, and last year got on a CPAP machine that has given me new levels of energy I'd forgotten were even possible. My diet is an absolute disaster, but I am making better decisions and dropping the worst of my habits. So now it's on to the general fitness... I'm two weeks into an every-other-day gym schedule, but I really have no idea what I'm doing and could use some guidance. I find the weight machines intimidating, but the trainer showed me the circuit machines so I've been doing those when possible. My goals are broad - I need to lose some weight, but I'm not trying to get skinny or ripped, I would mostly like to feel better and get healthier and avoid having a heart attack in my 50s. Here are some routines I've tried: Twice through the 30 minute circuit (steps and weights) 30 minutes of treadmill on "fat burning" (staying around 116 heart rate) followed by the 30 minute circuit Same as above, but with another 30 minutes of treadmill on "cardio" after the circuit (only when I have 90+ minutes, which is maybe twice a week) I like the circuit machines but I need other options as people tend to camp out in there, and I get frustrated when I'm the only one trying to go in order/on schedule. Also, the weights haven't been great to me when I go at night after a day at work, I feel like I go in sore and worn out and I leave frustrated and borderline injured. On the flip side, I would like to gain some strength, and when I go in the morning I feel fantastic after a circuit. I like the treadmill (and they are always available) and it doesn't matter if my back and shoulders are sore going in, but I don't know how I should be using them? I like the feedback of the calorie burn counter and the possibility of measuring my progress via incline/speed/heart rate, but I don't know if variation is good, or I should be maxing out on one setting or what. I haven't used the ellipticals (they look terrifying) or bikes or stairs. There are SoloFit machines that appear to always be available, but I don't know if I should bother figuring it out? I would love to have 3-4 weight machines I could get comfortable on so I can grab what's available and do the treadmill or bike the rest of the time, but I don't know which machines to pick. Any advice is appreciated, I'm feeling very positive about this process and I would feel even more positive with a little more information and guidance.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I would like a cargo skirt please. Something like this to answer all of my tween-age dreams. (Actually, I had one when I was 12 and I wore it every time I had to wear a skirt and it was great and I'd like to revisit that great skirt.) Please help me find one!My search for my dream skirt has been going on for about a year and I've finally decided I can't do it alone. Since I have my heart set on my childhood skirt, I'm pretty particular in what I'd like. Please refer to the page of the Delia's catalog for a better idea. Preferences: -something in the khaki color range, or black, but preferably khaki -material with some kind of something to it, so not clingy cotton jersey -button/zipper fly rather than elastic waist -FLOOR LENGTH -hit at hip rise -slouchy and cool kid looking, not sister-wifey -some accoutrements okay (cargo pockets, etc), heavy fuckery not okay (ahem) Things I have tried: -modest skirts for Muslim women -modest skirts for Jewish women (fun fact: there is a line called Kosher Casuals) -modest skirts in general -closing my eyes and wishing myself back to 1998 -searching every permutation of utility skirt, cargo skirt, maxi skirt, canvas maxi skirt, camping skirt, floor length khaki skirt, etc, etc, etc I can think of until my eyes bleed -hoping this site will start selling again Everything has either been too formal (e.g. fitted true waist rise, dockers type fabric), too SHORT (I'm 5'7", y'all don't need to see my ankles), or a dead link. It would appear that the skirt I want just doesn't exist anymore. Please tell me I'm wrong. Metafilter, you're my only hope.

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
It seems like especially small wounds (like a scrape) can drive me bonkers with itching as they heal. I'm curious to know why wounds itch as they heal?

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
Three Lil Wayne documentaries are available on Netflix: The Last Soldier, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Hoodz. They're all rated 3 or 3 1/2 stars. I want to watch one of them. Which should I choose?

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
A good friend, who is normally a very active person, is about to get her shoulder operated on and will essentially be one-armed for the next few months. A group of her friends, including me, are getting together to send her a care package to help her make it through this time.What I'd like from the hive-mind are some good ideas about what to put in it. Have you gone through something like this? What helped or would have helped you?

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
My adorable cat Ember has been over-grooming for a couple of months. She's got bald patches on her legs and on her back. I'm not sure if it's stress grooming or a food allergy. When she bites or licks herself, it's sudden, like something is biting her, but we're 99% sure that it's not due to bugs. MeFites with cats that stress groom or have in the past, does sudden biting and licking mirror your experiences, or does it seem more like some sort of allergy?I will add that we have another cat that bullies her a little, and she does seem nervous most of the time. We've been to the vet about this a few times and switched her to different food for an unrelated reason. We're thinking about putting her on anti-anxiety medicine to see if that helps, but my vet and I are reluctant to do so unless we're sure what the cause of her over-grooming is. Thanks!

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
You are a purse-carrying individual who drives a vehicle. Where do you put your purse for the drive? And how does a passenger in the front seat change your answer?When I commute, I usually put my purse and lunch bag in the front passenger seat. This isn't optimal, however, because any faster stops or turns can oftentimes turn both upside down and spill the contents. Putting the bags in the foot area of the front passenger seat can be awkward as well. And if there is a passenger getting in, I can put my purse behind my seat, but is, again, awkward to reach and get to. But opening the trunk to place and retrieve seems like extra unnecessary steps. What do other purse-carrying vehicle-driving individuals do? Do you regularly put it in the trunk? Or some other easier configuration?

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posted about 22 hours ago on metafilter
Just a few months shy of 50, Rolling Stone has been put up to sale by co-founder and publisher Jann Wenner. Better known as a reference in music journalism, it also fostered a number of political writers, becoming one of the main features on the magazine during the second GW Bush term and the 2008 Financial Crisis, as smaller internet outlets occupied their place as trendsetters in music.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I'm actually quite comfortable with the late-90s furnishings of my place, but I want to sell or rent it out soon, and I know updating everything would make it more appealing. Everything I've seen on the web says "start looking at design ideas" — but I care more about utility than appearances. I'd like to spend as little as possible to make it up-to-date. Where do I start? Can I just go to a contractor and say "give me your cheapest paint-by-numbers package"?If it matters, it's a 600 sq ft. studio loft in Manhattan.

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posted about 23 hours ago on metafilter
I'm refitting my home and often need to take measurements to figure out what materials I need and what will fit where. I need a simple tool to draw rooms and shapes and figure out what can fit in. But wait! It's not that simple. My house is a boat and EVERYTHING curves in several directions at once.This is not a frequent need so I haven't looked into software for it. In fact up to now, I've been using powerpoint, because it lets you draw lines of a specified size and then move them about. There has got to be a better choice though. It needs to be either free or quite cheap. I'm not going to be doing a massive amount more of this. It needs to be quickish and simpleish to learn. It needs to be quite flexible. A normal room planner will probably not work because it probably can't handle all the curves. 2D is ok for now (in fact it's probably preferable). But maybe long term I might think about learning something more complex and making a 3D model.

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