posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
The problem in a nutshell: I am the sole owner of a S-corp consulting practice with one very large, very happy client. My company has grown a lot and, to handle the workload better, I've brought on some subcontractors who essentially do the same thing I do. Now I'd like to "sell" the book of business to one of my subcontractors, but I have no idea what sort of financial arrangement makes sense.At present, I handle all the billing, manage the client relationships, and so forth. This is a very high margin business (~90% profit) because what we have to sell is our time and expertise. For work done by my subcontractors, I keep 15% and pay them the remaining 85% of the revenue they generate. Everyone is happy with this arrangement and it could conceivably continue like this far into the future. In the next year or so, though, I'd like to retire and turn over my role to one of my subcontractors. We've agreed to this in principle, yet neither of us know what that would look like in practice, either financially or legally. And so I turn to Metafilter for ideas, suggestions, anecdotes, and anything else you can offer to help me figure out a way through this. Other, possibly relevant, facts: The client is well aware of my desire to retire and wholeheartedly supports my passing the business on to someone they also know and trust (i.e., one of my subcontractors). The chance of losing the client to a competitor during the transition is essentially nil, especially since I won't turn it over until everything is humming along smoothly and the client is as comfortable with my subcontractor as they are with me. There is considerable trust between my subcontractor and me, but we live about 1000 miles apart. While I've developed a process that suits the client, I don't consider it to be intellectual property with a value of its own. The only value involved here is the great relationship, and promise of continued business, with the client.

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
"I was a nervous wreck because I was about to betray my beloved grandmother and visit her darkest secret. Her secret had a name, and I was going to see him." (SLNYTimes: Modern Love)

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
It's hardly breaking news, but more and more people are questioning the race to the Ivy League that in some cases begins as early as preschool. And in addition to perpetuating the increasingly-rigid class structure in the US, the Ivy League colleges are inadvertently creating and admitting students who have no idea how to really take advantage of the resources available to them. So writes William Deresiewicz in his article, "Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League" from the New Republic: So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them. The cost of falling short, even temporarily, becomes not merely practical, but existential. The result is a violent aversion to risk. You have no margin for error, so you avoid the possibility that you will ever make an error. Once, a student at Pomona told me that she'd love to have a chance to think about the things she's studying, only she doesn't have the time. I asked her if she had ever considered not trying to get an A in every class. She looked at me as if I had made an indecent suggestion. See also Deresiewicz's earlier article, "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education" from American Scholar, previously discussed on the blue.

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
I live in Seattle, land of hills and bicycling. I'm moving from a very hilly area to a flatter (but no place in Seattle is "flat") area, and would like to start cycling more. I hate cycling on hills. They are the bane of my existence. However, having only cycled up hills on single-speed cycles, I suspect this aversion could be overcome with the right cycle.I will not be commuting on my bicycle. I plan to cycle maybe 2-3 miles each way, max - mostly for doing errands, etc, in my neighbourhood (Ballard, for the curious). I believe I've identified the two most important criteria for my future cycle, but definitely need input on a) what else I'm not thinking of and b) what reasonably priced (under $700) cycles meet my criteria. 1) I would like a cruiser. Even hybrids feel too 'bent over' and give me anxiety about my safety, as well as hurting my tush and making my back ache. 2) The cruiser should not be single-speed. The biggest thing I hate about cycling is hills, Seattle is made of hills, and so I need something with gears. But how many? Weight, within reason, is not an issue - I will not be carrying this up the stairs of a 4th floor walkup. However, I am willing to pay more for lighter weight, provided the weight reduction is noteworthy. Other items to consider: I will be biking part of the time with my 10-year old son. I would like to be able to source the bike locally. Bonus: Please also recommend specific "make your life easier" upgrades - bike locks, better kickstands, blogs to read, whatever. Thank you!

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
My cousin is visiting from the US and her joints are hurting a lot. Since she is a visitor she has no OHIP or health insurance here. For someone who is medically uninsured, I need more information on (1) x-ray centers and (2) medical labs (for blood work) in the Toronto-Mississauga area. Also, I would appreciate your advice on any (3) good, inexpensive health insurance plans you know about. If you can help me with any of these it would be a great help.

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
All of The Baffler's back issues are available online, for free. The Paris Review recommends: Miracle on Ice Lotteryville, USA Making Babies The American Girl Way The Problem With Music also, from 1993: The American Nonconformist In The Age Of The Commercialization Of Dissent Thirty-five years ago, Norman Mailer first gave voice to the idea that the "hipster," the young art-appreciating free-spirit alienated from an increasingly repressive society, was the existential hero of the day. In an America terrified by the bomb, grown stagnant from over-organization, cowed into homogeneity and conformity by red scares and the depersonalization of the computer age, the "hipster" was supposed to represent liberty and the affirmation of life. "The only life-giving answer" to the deathly drag of American civilization, Mailer wrote, was to tear oneself from the security of physical and spiritual certainty, to embrace rebellion, particularly rebellion associated with the subculture of jazz and drugs. The distinction between those who resisted mass society and those who collaborated was a clear and obvious one, Mailer insisted: "one is Hip or one is Square . . . one is a rebel or one conforms . . . trapped in the totalitarian tissues of American society, doomed willy-nilly to conform if one is to succeed." Today the opposite is true. In advertising, television, and all the other organs of official culture, the hipster is now a figure to be revered. He has become a central symbol of the technocratic system he is supposed to be subverting: a model consumer, a good citizen in a society which demands moral indifference and a perpetual patronage of the new in order to keep its gigantic wheels turning. Rather than resisting the enormous cultural machinery of mediocrity, impoverishment, and stupidity, in 1992 the hipster is its star player. Previously on MetaFilter: "The charmingly naive American student is in fact a cash cow" links Academy Fight Song "The enduring emptiness of our technology debates has one main cause, and his name is Tim O'Reilly." links The Meme Hustler Mitt Romney is a liar links The Long Con: Mail-Order Conservatism Steve Almond vs. Jon Stewart and Colbert links The Joke's On You The Baffler has gone and come back and gone and come back again, even after their offices were destroyed in a fire in 2001.

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
What is this short story I read sometime in the late 1990s? Plot involved two teenage girls in the 1960s, Beatlemania, and the terrifying truths of growing up.I read this short story quite awhile ago-probably about 15 years ago. I was in high school when I read it, and remember being really struck by it/identifying with it/being kind of disturbed by it, and want to read it again as an adult. It was relatively contemporary when I read it 15 years ago. Author is almost certainly female. I remember reading it about the same time as I read Margaret Atwood's The Man From Mars (as the stories share some similar themes), so it's possible they were in an anthology together. Plot as best I can recall: Narrator was a ~14/15 year old girl in the mid-1960s. Huge Beatles fan, and into a lot of the other teenybopper-type bands of the time. She has a friend who she is spending the weekend with. She and the friend aren't terribly close (although I can't remember why) and mostly what they have in common is their interest in the same bands. The majority of the story revolves around their interactions during this weekend, which I don't recall clearly. The part I remember is during the last few pages. The girls are, for reasons I don't recall, at some kind of public place with a lot of adults (maybe a college campus?) with the friend's parents, but separated from the parents. The girls are hanging out on their own, and they end up meeting up with a group of older teen boys (or maybe even adult men). I think they are at a gym or a swimming pool. The boys are doing weird stuff to try to impress the girls. The narrator is anxious and self-conscious, but the friend seems to enjoy the attention. I can't remember what or why, but some weird act of violence takes place where one of the boys lashes out against another likely for attention. It's very shocking and the narrator is upset. I can't remember if it's explicitly stated or just inferred, but a comparison is made between the narrator's affection for the teenybopper bands she likes (and her crushes on the men, more or less in her imagination) and the real men that she is encountering and interacting with.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
My personal website has been down for the past 4 hours. Never had an iota of problem with GoDaddy before. I have domains through them and also shared hosting. Naturally, 4 hours of downtime is shocking to me, so I call them and say "Hey! What's up with THAT?"The guy puts me on hold, performs a few tests and comes back and tells me that the problem is that I'm running the most recent version of WordPress on an old server. I'm on an old server, he says, because I've had hosting with them forever. I'm a good customer so now I'm suffering for it. I ask what they can do. Dude says you can sign up for a new hosting plan, we'll give you credit for what you're owed on your current plan, and you can FTP your site to a new, shiny server. This sounds okay, except for the fact that I have to do all the file transferring. They, of course, are willing to move everything for me, for the low, low cost of $79.00. Right now, I'm seriously thinking about jumping ship over to BlueHost, HostGator or someone else, because if I'm going to FTP myself, why not go over to someone even SHINIER and NEWER? Is GoDaddy full of it, or is this legit and standard operating procedure? I'm sure it's easy to do, I'm familiar with the FTP process, but right now it's more about the spirit of the thing rather than the letter. I'll gladly take any and all advice, recommendations, etc. because four hours and counting, that's why.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I've lived like a nun bar the religion for almost 5 yrs (after a couple of very bad relationship choices) in supposedly my sexual peak. Yeah right. I've worked on myself but I'm still quite gun shy/lack confidence in my own judgement of others (men especially) and pretty much avoid that side of life. So it came as a bit of a surprise when I found myself asking out my course trainer (just a one day thing) for a drink. He said yes :) .. which felt good but what the f happens now?We spoke for maybe half an hour in total and had vaguely met a year ago. When I left he said he looked forward to seeing me again. He seemed genuine/interesting/interested (?) and like quite the gent (I generally haven't gone for gents.. well just the fraudulent ones)..We both took each others numbers (kind of unsmoothly instigated by me as mobile can play up). He asked if he can call any time (is that weird or considerate!?) Also we live 200 miles away (my family live in his city). I told him this and he said he might be travelling the country in a week or so (for a week).. and didn't know where he would going. I said if he was near my town to let me know. So now I've had all the comments from family about how "that would never work anyway" etc (lovely)... and have been reminded of the capacity for neurosis one can have in these scenarios .. yuck... he hasn't contacted me and I haven't him. We met two days ago. As a younger woman I was good at playing cool... used to wait 3/4 days but this was pre-text I'm kind of too old for such bullshit but also don't want to look "too" keen/am busy etc and know it's a delicate balance. I did make the first move.. so it would kind of be nice if he came to me.. but maybe he won't.. should I wait it out or text? And as clinical as this sounds any wisecrack first text suggestions would be appreciated... he's a fireman and paramedic. He's Romanian so it can't be something that gets too lost in translation. I'm really blushing about writing this, but badly out of practice! Hope he doesn't visit the green haha

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
Large CC debt ignored for nearly a year, going to call all collectors tomorrow to try to get a payment plan. Tips?It's a long story, but my I accumulated about $28k in credit card debt over four cards. We had a serious issue with a new house we bought that put about $20k of it on there. I was also starting a new business that is still going well and is beginning to finally turn the corner (two years in). My wife and I both work for the business. Anyway, I stopped paying on the CCs about a year ago in August. At first it was just a "gonna pay them late" thing as we have been pretty short on money, then it stretched onward and finally this past month I've snapped out of my denial and thought to myself "what have I done!?" I always had good credit till I ruined it with this. I know how stupid this is and I've learned a lot about facing challenges head on from coming to terms with this one. Anyway, these cc debts have long ago gone to collectors. They called a ton for several months. Some calls still come in. I had ignored it all. Having snapped out of this foolishness, I am prepared to call them all tomorrow to get back on track. We have not received any court orders or anything like that yet. We do not have the cash to just settle and pay the debts off at the moment. We could however probably pay up to several hundred dollars a month toward them, collectively. Does it seem realistic to expect the debt collectors to agree to a payment plan at this late stage? We would stick to it as we've really begun to take this seriously. In the future, say, in a year or so, we could be able to settle and clear these away. What should I do when I call? My main objective is to get into payments and divert any oncoming court actions if possible. I don't want to pay more than I have to per month but I do want to satisfy the collectors to the point that they agree to a plan. Any tips as I head into this?

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
OK this really shouldn't be that hard to find. I have an iPad mini and a keyboard. Now I need a case to hold both of them. Every keyboard case that I find, already has the keyboard with the case. I don't need that--I need an empty case that can hold the iPad mini and the mini keyboard that I already have. Thanks

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
I haven't had a job in an office in over ten years. I've gone to school, I've done freelancing, but it's been over ten years since I had to get to an office and work for several hours and then come home. I start next week and was wondering what advice you might have in terms of acclimating to a new job after working on my own (or being in school) for so long.For context, the company is a small Internet startup that's been around for a few years. There's probably about 15-20 people in the office on any given day. While I know that some of this will be best answered by my co-workers or my supervisor, some questions I have include: - what's the accepted "etiquette" in offices these days with regards to using cell phones to check texts or personal emails? Also, what are the pros and cons (aside from usage) of connecting to their WiFi vs. leaving it on 3G? (AFAIK, they don't give people new cell phones, but we're supposed to use our own to keep connected to some company chat thing.) - The computer I'll be using will be a laptop that I'll be expected to bring to and from the office. While I won't need to use it at home for anything but work, do you think I should feel comfortable doing personal things on it outside of the office? Basically, I'm experiencing some anxiety about all of this and I'd like some advice in navigating this transition from working on my own, during my own hours, in my own space, to working with others, during regular business hours, in another space. It'd be a bonus if you could help me navigate the line between "business" and "personal" in terms of technology use in an office. Thanks!

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
Look: it's not that I'm a dick when it comes to this stuff. It's that I like to think that I have standards based on exposure to the interdependent duo of lit and life. But if I decide not to wuss out and instead uphold my particular notion of standards, I'm a dick, and being a dick could lead to dickish reviews of my own stuff from Shane Jones, his friends, and friends of the publisher. George Saunders told us all to "err in the direction of kindness." But is this essay/review I'm writing unkind? Is it selfish? Is it generous? Is a kindness policy maybe too simple? Lee Klein worries about small-press book reviewing in an ambivalent, lukewarm take on Shane Jones's new novel Crystal Eaters (excerpt) that others have, all the same, called cowardly and dickish.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
My 2 friends and I (in our 20s & 30s, 1 gay, 1 lesbian and 1 straight guy) are staying in Absecon, NJ this weekend. We are looking for something more than a secluded beach but less than Atlantic City boardwalk. We plan on relaxing on the beach during the day and finding some nightlife if possible. Can you recommend places nearby with a laid back feel and some activity. Perhaps places like a beach bar, outdoor band, mini golf, good cheap eats, must sees and local delights. We have a car and are open to traveling a half hour in any direction. Thanks!

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Idle curiosity filter: the Yelp building on New Montgomery street in San Francisco has a room in its upper stories with these colored lights. They change between red, green, and blue, and sometimes combinations. Anyone know what they're for, or what goes on in that room? Is it the private Yelp rave room?

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Parents, what do you wish you knew when you got your kid their first phone? I need practical advice, but I'm also interested in the less tangible parent/child relations-type advice, too.Kid BlahLaLa is entering middle school this year, and for a bunch of reasons it's time for him to have a phone. Mr. BlahLaLa and I have older iPhones (4S) and a joint plan on AT&T. Our two-year contract will be up in mid-September. Kid's school starts in mid-August, so ideally he'd have a phone by then. All I really care about is that Kid can phone and text. Kid, of course, wants the NEWESTANDBESTIPHONEZOMG! I have no idea if it's better to add him to our account, open a new account for him, get a pay-as-you-go plan, or what. And what about rules? He will have to keep it off during the school day, that's for sure. I'm also pretty firm on the idea that he can't have it in his bedroom at night. But what else am I not thinking of? Help!

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
Have you or anyone you know ever experienced allergic conjunctivitis that just won't quit?I'm dealing with allergic conjunctivitis that began in late May. (What is that? It's like a blister! On each of my eyeballs!) I'd had it occasionally before -- but only very occasionally (a couple times a year) and it would almost always go away overnight. It's now been going on for two months. I used naphazoline for a couple weeks, because that's what an ophthalmologist prescribed 15 years ago (before it was OTC) and it had always worked. When it was obvious that it wasn't working, I switched to ketotifen (Zaditor). After a week of THAT one not working, I saw an ophthalmologist. He confirmed that it's an allergy thing, and told me to keep taking the ketotifen, because it works better over time. I've been on it for a month now, and no change. I emailed the doctor, but he's out of the office. One of his colleagues responded and told me that the only other option was prednisone drops, but that they have a risk of cataracts and increased eye pressure. (She obviously didn't read my medical record, because I already have elevated pressure and am considered at high risk for glaucoma, and I doubt my doctor would go for increasing it even further.) Anyway. 1) Have you ever experienced allergic conjunctivitis for this long? If so, what did you do to treat it? Lubricant drops make the scratchiness go away for a while, but the relief is very temporary. 2) Have you ever received a treatment that wasn't ketotifen/Zaditor or prednisone? Are there alternatives that the doctor's sub didn't mention? The fill-in doctor's advice was pro forma and uninformed since obviously didn't know the specifics of my case, so I'm going to touch base with regular doc when he's back in the office next week to see if there are any alternatives -- stronger drops, maybe. Meantime, I'm really, really tired of the discomfort and am hoping to find a remedy for the interim. (I do take Zyrtec every day, by the way, but it's not helping either.)

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I moved to the Bay Area recently (San Mateo) and one of the things I've missed most from Chicago has been the amazing beer selection I was able to find at the local liquor chain Binny's. I've tried a couple of BevMo's and some smaller momandpop type places but I've yet to find a place with 4 rows of different beer plus coolers etc. which I could find in Chicago. I miss my selection! Does a place like this exist? Is there a secret bottle shop that I don't know about? Let me know where I can get my beer selection on!

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I don't just mean in page view. I am translating a book and would like to produce a dual-language book with the original on the left and the translation on the right, like in the Loeb library and so forth. I can sort of do this with two columns, but they're not really independent. (If I keep typing in one, it'll eventually bleed into the other.)I want the pages or columns to be truly independent of each other, because sometimes the length of the translated version is much longer or shorter than the original. Thanks to anybody who can help.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
So pretty much everything is filled in nicely on my LinkedIn profile, except the part where I summarize myself and my objectives. Ugh...I am currently looking for work, trying to cover all necessary bases including a robust LinkedIn profile. Although I'm not sure how I should best summarize my objectives given my experience. Quick background: I have a Masters in Applied Geography/Urban Planning/Econ Development. Out of grad school, I got hired on with an emergency management government contractor; was with them from 2006 until last August. I relocated and had to give notice. But I stayed on with them as a consultant until March of this year. That worked out fine, but it's not steady work. I was also fine with giving notice because I was open to finding other opportunities. My problem is that, while I have "consultant" listed on my LinkedIn, it's not my only preference. I am open to contract work or full-time, heck even a decent part-time gig. Also, my profile includes several other positions that I've held other than emergency management because I'd also like to remain open to other fields, EM-related or not. I would even be open to administrative assistant-type jobs if it was for a good, solid company/agency. (I have also applied to local government planning - and other- positions, but haven't even got an interview.) I don't know if I'm getting my point across (see?) - all I know is that my interests and what I would/could possibly do are ALL over the place, so how do I not come across as such a scatter-brain in my summary?? Help! Thank you very much for any direction.

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
My old MacBook just died, so I need a new computer. I'm broke, so I'm considering going back to Windows. I haven't used Windows since the XP days, and vaguely remember hating it, though I can't remember exactly why. What's Windows like these days compared to Mac OS in terms of ease of use or annoyingness? What are your favorite / least favorite features of one platform compared to the others? And if I do get a Windows machine, what models might I consider? Requirements are pretty simple: it should know how to surf the web, run Word and LaTeX, and play movies, and most importantly be cheap, reliable and long-lasting.

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
Throwing a theme party? Need some background music whilst checking out your ex's facebook pics? Do you pine for times gone by? Step into the Nostalgia Machine!

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
I want to make a large number of small plates of various very spicy and very delicious foods for my birthday next week. Super spicy and super delicious are tied for value in what I'm looking for; I'm not interested in recipes that are all about the heat without being tasty (I'd just pass out grilled peppers if that were the aim). I'm especially interested in finger foods and things that are relatively quick to make, but if it's super delicious and is worth the wait/work, more substantial or utensil-requiring undertakings are also welcome.

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
A robot with a broken leg learns to walk again.

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
Can I use my phone's USB charger/wall plug to charge my sports camera? Or, what do I need to know in order to figure it out myself? (Details within.)I have a Polaroid xs100 Extreme Edition Waterproof sports camera. It comes with a USB cable to transfer files and to charge the camera. I have an LG Spectrum phone that has a USB cable to charge via the laptop, OR I can plug its USB cable into a wall plug that came with the phone. Can I plug my camera's USB cable into the phone's wall plug and charge the camera that way? I am hesitant to "try it and find out" because I don't want to risk damaging the camera. I am fine with the camera taking longer to charge with the phone's plug; I just don't want to ruin the camera or its battery by doing so. I don't know the volts, amps, ohms(?) or any of that stuff for the camera, phone, or USB specs to compare them all to see if they are the same that regard.

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