posted about 16 hours ago on metafilter
We have a couple of hundred storage spaces in our collective workshop, and they're managed on paper, in a folder, on a shelf, at the office. I'd like to digitalise it and add a working waiting list. O hive, bestow your wisdom and deliver us from Excel!We have 400+ members and at least as many storage spaces of different sizes spread out over the workshops. Space is at a premium so people sign up on a waiting list when they join, but since the administration of this is on paper it quickly disintegrates into messy notes and scribbles. Now, I could just make a spreadsheet and have it done with, but since I'm digitalising this I might as well opt for something which would allow some more functionality - same person waiting for a specific kind of storage, or multiple spaces, etc - and at the same time minimising the inevitable human error in the process. Any suggestions for this? I'm also in the process of trying out CiviCRM (after my previous question here) and perhaps there's some nifty way of managing this within that - in that case I'll just hold off on digitalising it until I got CiviCRM up and running. If anyone can yay/nay this option I'd appreciate it.

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
Should I try to deal with these two difficult and scary legal situations at the same time? I have been in an abusive marriage for years and am thinking about divorce as things are getting worse, but also, a few months ago I got raped by a person I knew and trusted.I was so ashamed and didn't tell anyone and anyways I am dealing with the marriage. I know I am worth tons more. I totally isolated for a month and then ended up overdosing (no prior history) and have PTSD from the ongoing abuse in the marriage and the rape. I have 2 little kids and I am their primary caretaker. I am in treatment and am feeling stronger and empowered . I will never hurt myself again, ever. I found my voice finally. I am thinking of filing for divorce soon, and also I took a lot of legal advice and was told to file a police report on the assault by the friend, I will have an advocate with me. I am not interested in any compensation. I just want to bring it to light and prevent it from happening again. It happened a couple of months ago and I just opened up about it in Jan. I didn't even know I have options. I am scared to pursue both cases at once but keep being told by my lawyer and therapist that I should do it at one time, and would appreciate advice about whether this is a good idea. I don't want any case to affect the other but keep being told to do both at one time. Never been involved with the legal system, please advise!

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posted about 17 hours ago on metafilter
I've recently began dating a guy who's coming on pretty strong. While I want to embrace what feels like someone who truly cares after a string of emotionally distant men, I'm feeling like it's too much, too soon, and I'm getting incredibly idealized. Thoughts?Hey, MeFi. Thanks in advance for your advice with this. I recently began dating what seemed like an awesome dude. Super talented, great friends, really close with his mom, and, most importantly, seems super into me. The key word is "seems." We've only been dating for 3 weeks, but he pressed for exclusivity right away, telling me he hasn't felt this way for awhile, calling me his dream girl, etc. He even called his brother to tell him he met an amazing girl. He's not being a jerk about it, just telling me he's genuinely infatuated and can't see himself with anyone else right now. To be honest, while all of this is sweet (and slightly overwhelming), I'm not totally comfortable with it, because it seems too good to be true. He's already talking about all the stuff we're going to do for his birthday in May, how good I make him feel, etc. He has some signs of being a narcissist, but also loves animals, his family, and his friends, and is close with a few exes. He doesn't seem to be blaming other people for his problems or is overtly negative, which narcs tend to be. He also comes from a background of abuse, via an uncle/absent father. I've experienced this type of intense idealization before, only to be dropped 2 months later for another girl. All that being said, I'm treading with caution, though have agreed to be exclusive (if only because I don't date multiple people at once.) My feelings are definitely not as strong as his, but if he can prove himself to me, I'm willing to be open. I've done extensive work in therapy over the past 2 years to be okay with myself self-esteem and attachment-wise, so I'm really wary of undoing all of that with a toxic relationship. However, as someone who deals with anxious-preoccupied attachment, someone clingy is really what I need to stay sane. What are your thoughts? Proceed with caution, or would you run like hell, even if you liked the person?

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
Yesterday, the leadership of the Church of Latter-Day Saints announced support for "some legal anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people". Though church officials emphasized that there was no change in doctrine, the move went further than other traditional faith groups have by placing religious freedom and gay equality on an equal moral footing.

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posted about 18 hours ago on metafilter
The blizzard has come and gone, and we were hit pretty hard. I have never seen this much snow, or lived in a house before, or lived in a town before. How do we move forward with our property, and what can we expect from the days and weeks that follow?I haven't seen the final reports, but definitely more than two feet of snow fell in my town, and with drifts and the particular placement of my house, I'm pretty sure I had more than that. My wife and I spent a lot of time shoveling and raking the roof and clearing the snow from around our vents for the dryer and the furnace make up air. But we're far from done and we're running out of space for snow! The pile in front of my door is close to five feet high, as are the sides of my driveway. The driveway--really just three parking spaces--is down to about 1.75 spaces (we only have one car). And some are forecasting another 6"-10" for Monday. Blerg. Experienced winter people: how do we move forward, and how do we take care of our house and property with all this snow? Should I be digging out the foundation? Moving snow closer to the storm drains to melt? Digging out my gutter down spouts (which are under feet of snow)? Climbing to my roof and pulling snow out of the actual gutters? How to deal with the water from the melting snow without flooding? And what about my poor plants? And now that it's here, is the snow on the ground with me until spring? My wife and I generally walk about a mile to the train daily--with our 8 month old daughter--and few sidewalks have been dug out. Are we going to be walking in the street forever? Sorry for the naive and slightly panicked tone, but I am living in a post apocalyptic Snowpiercer landscape and cannibalism is not far off.

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posted about 19 hours ago on metafilter
This fundamental lesson is conveyed by a metric known as the number needed to treat, or N.N.T. Developed in the 1980s, the N.N.T. tells us how many people must be treated for one person to derive benefit. An N.N.T. of one would mean every person treated improves and every person not treated fails to, which is how we tend to think most therapies work. So it turns out that e.g. you need 2000 People to take a daily aspirin for two years to prevent one heart attack. Currently the number needed for treatment is rarely given out, but there is a site for it, TheNNT.com. Sarah Fallon in Wired magazine explains what it does: It's unfortunate, then, that the NNT is not a statistic that's routinely conveyed to either doctors or patients. But you can look it up on a site that you've probably never heard of: TheNNT.com. Started by David Newman, a director of clinical research at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai hospital, the site's dozens of contributors analyze the available studies, crunch the numbers on benefits and harms, and then post the results. While a low NNT is generally "good" and a high NNT is "bad," you also have to consider the severity of both the illness and the drug's side effects. Which is why the team added a color-coding system: Green for when a treatment makes sense, yellow for when more study is needed, red for when the harms and the benefits cancel each other out, and black when the harms outweigh the benefits. For those in a hurry, The Bandolier, "an independent journal about evidence-based healthcare", has a handy little table with NNTs for common afflictions, while Wikipedia has a nice example table explaining what it all means.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I'll speak with a tax professional next week but if you've had a similar experience I'd love to hear from you as I'm feeling my way through this. Today I received a notice that my $20,000 student loan has been formally discharged. My only income for the past four years has been Social Security disability and there's no foreseeable change.It was unexpected because I applied for discharge due to disability five years ago and a year later, after checking on the status, I got a letter saying my application was accepted, everything was in order, and to do nothing more unless I take a new job or return to school. Three years passed then suddenly I began receiving bills from a new lendor, Nelnet. They ignored all my efforts to communicate and I really tried. In August I sought help from my congressional office and they were wonderful. Billing stopped and I submitted a form every few months saying things hadn't changed. There were two of these before the discharge today. The "Reason Code" the've entered is "F," for "By Agreement" and I wonder if this is as it should be given the circumstances, if the reason code affects whether or not I'll be on the hook for taxes, which I cannot pay. I've had two brain surgeries and am about to have another. I take heavy epilepsy meds., even had to have help writing this question. If taxes will be a factor is it too late to negotiate the other way I've read about in which I agree to make payments tied to income for thirty years, for now the amount being "0" as disability does not count as income? I'm so very grateful for your ideas.

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posted about 20 hours ago on metafilter
I have always experienced crippling anxiety whenever I've tried applying for jobs, so I've stayed in the same lousy job for years just to avoid it. Now that lousy job is ending due to layoffs, so I have to get over this somehow. I have already tried therapy and I'm on anti-anxiety medication. What else can I do?I have been this way all my life when it comes to pushing myself. In high school and college I delayed doing projects until the last possible minute and then turned in something that was clearly not my best effort. I somehow made it through grad school but I was so crippled by anxiety I sought professional help. Medication staved off the worst of it and I was able to finish school, but therapy did nothing to help. Since graduation I have bounced around from lousy job to lousy job. The only reason I have the one I have now is because a relative set up the interview for me. I feel ashamed that it came to that. Everyone in my life knows I am "looking for work" (in quotes because I haven't actually done it) and when they ask well-meaning questions about how the job hunt is going, I feel deeply ashamed. I prefer to lie and say no one is calling me back than to tell the truth that I haven't applied to anything. I am sure I am not depressed because everything else in my life is fine. I have a healthy social life, I sleep and eat well, I manage money responsibly, and I don't drink or do drugs. This is like a phobia like some people have with spiders and snakes. I have been told by therapists to break it down into very small tasks (open Word, write resume, edit resume, sign up for job site, look at jobs without applying, etc). I break down crying and throw up and I can't do anything else for the day except surf the internet (yes, I have tried limiting my internet access - I just go to bed instead). The weird part is that I am fine once I get to the interview stage! I have gotten most of the jobs that I have interviewed for. And I perform well once I'm in the job, but that's because none of them have been a challenge for me. I'm just stuck at the applying for jobs phase. tl;dr I have tried therapy and medication, what else do you suggest to overcome a phobia about applying for jobs?

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posted about 21 hours ago on metafilter
Can glasses help me? I have great eyesight each time I've been tested, much better than 20:20. But when I try to read a lot of small text or numbers I get terrible headaches and blurred vision.I have an accounting job where keeping eye focus is critical. I can focus my eyes fine for a short time but through a whole day I constantly have to lean over my desk and peer into a monitor to tell whether it's a 6 or an 8. This would be an easy fix (by adjusting the monitor) except that I also have problems when spreadsheets are printed out. Unless they come in giant font I have to hold them unnaturally close to my face. If it matters at all I also have terrible night vision, as in, if I'm driving at night I just follow the car in front of me because I can't see anything else (which is why I never drive at night). Like I said, I can see all of these things, if I focus my eyes as hard as possible, but if I do that all day I feel my face may melt off. All I want to know is if this is something glasses can fix, or maybe I just need to accept that I will have to plant my face on every spreadsheet I meet from now on.

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posted about 24 hours ago on metafilter
My new prescription is dramatically different from my old one from just a couple of years ago... does that make sense?Desperately in need of new glasses (the Costco frames I got a few years ago turn out to have a 'self destruct after three years' feature in both temples), I saw an ophthalmologist and set about finding a pair of glasses for my new prescription. Along the way, I came upon my receipt for my current pair (from summer 2011) -- and was really surprised at how different the prescriptions are. The only commonality is the right eye's sphere value (-6.75). The left eye's 'cylinder' value has gone from nothing to +0.75, and its axis has gone from nothing to 180. The left eye's cylinder has gone from -1.0 to +1.0, and its axis has gone from 177 to 085... and its sphere value has gone from -9.5 up to -11. My left eye is definitely significantly worse than my right when uncorrected... but through my current pair of glasses (with the -9.5 correction on the left) the two just don't seem that much different -- what I can read with just my right eye I can typically also read with just my left eye as well. In fact, through those lenses my left eye sometimes feels better than the right. Could my left eye really have gotten that much worse in just three years? The cylinder and axis values seem totally unrelated old to new -- that also concerns me. (I'm in my mid-forties if that makes any difference.) I remember it was quite hard to tell which of the A/B comparisons was better / worse for much of the eye test. Could that -- or incompetence on the doc's part -- have affected my test such that this prescription is not accurate? What to do? And while I'm asking... what's the best online glasses site for high prescriptions? The ones I've looked at so far seem to sock me with different surcharges for customized lenses, extra-extra-thin lenses, etc. At this rate I'm better off just going to Costco again.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I have a 2-year-old MacBook Pro with a 500 GB SSD running Yosemite. It was fine until 3 days ago, when the computer slowed to a crawl. I rebooted several times; each time, it got slow again. I eventually realized that it slowed down when trying to back up to the external hard drive. I ran Disk Utility, which found no errors on the SSD or the external hard drive.I took the laptop to the Apple Store today. They ran diagnostic software (not Disk Utility), and it indicated that my volume was corrupt and needed to be repaired. They recommended that the disk be wiped. I didn't want to do that, since the laptop is my work machine and I'm trying to finish a project in the next week. I asked the 'genius' to run Disk Utility, and it also said the volume was corrupt. I took the laptop home to think things over. I ran Disk Utility at home and it found no errors on the hard drive. I'm confused by these contradictory results. The only real problem is that my laptop isn't getting backed up now (except for some files to Dropbox). MeFites, please hope me!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My mother-in-law has a completely borked car. This is apparently my job to fix. What should I do?The car is a 2002 Accord with 120k miles. The transmission is dead. The ball joints are apparently highly questionable. The shop also recommended replacing the front and rear struts due to rust damage. I have not personally talked to the shop or driven the car in question. It is at her house. All I have is an estimate for $4,500 in repairs from a Honda dealer. This is my problem because she has basically zero money. If she can't get to her part-time job, she and her two kids (second marriage) will be homeless. It is completely impossible for her to work more hours because X, Y, and Z. Oh and she has literally no credit. Apparently. I offered to drive her around for a couple days until this gets sorted out, which means I have an added incentive to get this fixed soon since doing this takes a chunk out of my day. So: Option 1) Take it to the well-regarded local transmission rebuild place. Apparently they can't give a firm estimate without a $150 diagnostic fee. My guess is that they could rebuild the transmission for maybe $1500. But it could run much higher, and the ball joints and struts would have to wait. Option 2) Buy her a used car. I am lucky enough that I could probably spend $4-5000 on a car without really feeling it. And I could sell her old one for maybe $1500, which adds to the budget. But is it really possible to get a used car in that price range that doesn't have maintenance issues of its own? Again, she has basically no money to pay for future repairs. Option 3) Shell out for the dealer to just fix everything for around $4,500. This is probably roughly the cost of getting another car, but maybe more reliable after? I have no idea. As you can probably tell I am kind of annoyed at this being my problem at all, and that's impeding my ability to think clearly and do research. This kind of just fell into my lap because no one else in the family has any idea what to do. I've never dealt with old cars before (I only really learned to drive a couple years ago and still barely drive, I might hit 120K miles on my car by the time I'm 90 years old but I doubt it). I am losing a lot of sleep over this. Can anyone here walk me through the steps to fix this? I'm lost.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My son is 12. He had a rough patch a couple years ago with scary images in movie/tv shows, but he had some real breakthroughs, and now has started to come around to what I'd call a healthy interest in the weird and scary. However, we don't want to go too far and make things bad again, so, baby steps. Looking for things that are maybe scary in tone or atmosphere, but not so much jump-scares or gory.We also want to avoid really tense games like '5 Nights at Freddies'. We're looking for either PC games, WiiU, or iPod (that's what we have). Examples that I think are good are the iOS puzzle game 'The Room', or 'Limbo' or maybe a modern version of the 7th Guest, if such a thing exists. We've also looked at 'Psychonauts', but he didn't like it that much, for general reasons.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Today's political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm in downtown Chicago for a conference. Where can I sneak away to work for a few hours every day? I would like to walk somewhere close to the Intercontinental Hotel downtown with my laptop and index cards and just write.I'm staying in a hotel room with someone who is not going to skedaddle, so I'm going to need to find a place near the Intercontinental Hotel downtown to sit down and work for several long stretches of time over the next few days. I would prefer to work in a place where I can sit at a table, with an outlet nearby to plug in my computer, and I'd love for it to be well-heated (buildings without heat are a bit problem in my home state, North Carolina, at this time of the year). I would also like to be able to drink coffee there; if I can purchase it there, that's great too. I prefer places that are not super-duper crowded or super noisy. I'm in the last week of writing my dissertation, so yes, while I'd love to put down the laptop and just enjoy being in Chicago, that's not in the cards for this trip!

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I've recently taken a part-time job with duties that include responding negative/complaint emails (from parents of kids in an after-school program). I've had lots of practice responding to these types of situations in person (thanks, retail work), but somehow seeing the comments in text makes them weigh more heavily on me.Part of it is because having them on the screen means I can read and re-read repeatedly; the difficulty in interpreting tone is also a problem (is this person being curt because they're angry, or is it just the way they write emails? is this person genuinely being nice or is it passive-aggressive "nice" when there really is a problem? etc). A lot of the comments bring up legitimate issues that we are trying to address (this is a student-run program that is growing very quickly and experiencing some "growing pains" as a result), but I am finding it difficult to pass on these comments to the rest of my team in a productive way without bringing a big cloud of negativity along for the ride. What are some strategies I can use to make this a little easier on me, while still being receptive to feedback?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm in grad school for a masters in counseling, and our teachers are telling us we need to join listservs and professional organizations, so we know what's happening in our field right now. My issue is this: I have limited time every day, and I'm ADHD. Given these factors, how involved should I get in professional organizations? Are they helpful? Or are they the yearbook committee of the post-graduate world?The two professional organizations I joined have a variety of student interest committees, options to present at conferences, small research grants, continuing education/webinars, and expensive-but-ultimately-useful mentoring opportunities. I'm planning on attending the grand annual conference for at least one of them. I guess I'm wondering how I can get the most out of my membership without letting my ADHD run wild. I am afraid of totally wasting my time debating political minutiae on a forum board (I have seen coworkers do this--I've avoided things like LinkedIn groups for that very reason). What have you found useful in your own professional organizations? Is joining a committee or a student interest group worthwhile (and why)? Do you volunteer through your organization? Is there a reason you do so, besides altruism? If you have trouble with time management, how do you figure that into your work with your organization?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
For example, the 2014 Mason Transit inclement weather plan, NJTransit's hurricane plan, or the MTA's Sandy after-action report. Doesn't have to be related to mass transit; that's just where my mind is today.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
I'm at the point in my life where I want to get a dog, but I want to make sure I have all the boxes checked so I know I'm making the right decision.Pros: + I love dogs. I'm always stealing snuggles with other people's dogs and am guilty of knowing them better than their owners. + I'm late 20s, I have a stable job, great finances. + I can bring a dog to work, if it gets along with other people and dogs (so I'd screen dogs for this with adoption agencies and get a trainer if I need to). I'd plan to bring my dog to work 3 days a week and leave it at home 2 days a week. I don't go out after work that much. + I have friends who'd be willing to take the dog when we go on vacations, or I'd find a pet boarder. Cons: - I'm not sure how dog friendly a lot of NYC businesses are. Can I bring my dog into stores with me? I know places that serve food are totally off limits due to health laws. - My job is not a strict 9-5. I can sometimes work closer to nine than eight hours a day. - I live with a partner who is ambivalent about getting a dog. He never had pets as a kid, but he's warmed up to my cat. He says he's "not against" getting a dog, but because he never had one, he's not eager to get one either. I anticipate most dog duty will be mine, and the dog will be mine if we ever split up. - I currently bike-commute, though I could switch to taking the subway. I'd love to train my dog to ride in the bike pannier with me so I could still get exercise. Is that unrealistic? Otherwise, it's a 1hr walk to work. - Will I get tired of all the walking? I've only owned dogs in the suburbs with a dog door (though we tried to do one longer walk a day). Questions: + Do I need a dogwalker for the days I don't take the dog to work? Is that really what everyone does? Even though I can afford it, that seems expensive. + I like bigger breeds (labs, pits, hounds) but in NYC it seems like there's an advantage to being able to put your dog in a bag to take it on the subway, or in a bag on your bike. I'd ask for breed suggestions that are 20-30 lb, trainable, sociable, but still active -- but then I suppose I'd be waiting for years for one of those breeds to show up on an adoption list. I'm not sure how to find a dog that fits my needs without going to a breeder / waiting forever. + Is anything here a deal-breaker? Anything I'm forgetting to plan for? Am I over-thinking this?

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
How a bunch of YouTubers discovered a tingling sensation nobody knew existed.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Breaking Madden: the 2015 Super Bowl.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
After a filling was replaced and ground down a couple of times recently, I have a tooth that is very sore to the touch, but does not ache on its own. The gum beside it is swollen and tender and soft, and if i make myself bite down it feels spongy under the tooth. The dentist says he can get me in again in a week. Is this an abscess? Do I need to push to get in faster?Many years ago, I went to a very bad dentist exactly once. He put very deep fillings in teeth that didn't need them (according to a couple of subsequent dentists), and these still cause me trouble. One filling in particular was replaced a few years ago, then failed again a couple of months ago. The dentist I have now replaced it again, but mentioned that the filling was huge and might not work because of the depth (he said a crown might be better, but he'd rather not to do that yet in case it needed a root canal down the line). When the anesthetic wore off, it was clear that the bite was too high, and I went back and had it ground down some more. I think I waited a few days to do that, although it was very uncomfortable. Afterwards, it felt okay for a week or two, then suddenly started feeling like the bite was too high, again - and my teeth often felt the way they do when there is something stuck between them and pushing them just slightly (maddeningly) out of place. I went back and he ground it down again, and we talked about how it was sore and he mentioned how the ligaments could be bruised from all the abuse. That's been a week and a half ago. Afterwards, it was still was very unpleasant to hit against that tooth when chewing, but I (somewhat uneasily) wrote that off as the bruising not being healed yet. Yesterday during the day, it seemed to finally be settling down again. But then this morning, I guess I had clenched my teeth hard in my sleep and the pain woke me up. All day, it's been painful to have anything contact the tooth, although the tooth does not ache on its own like a toothache. And my gum beside it is swollen and tender, although it also does not ache or throb or anything. The tooth is far in the back, so I can see enough to know that the outside gum is swollen but I can't get a good look at it beyond shape/outline. Thanks for any information - looking online didn't make it obvious one way or another.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
"I knew, from a very early age, that there was love in my house, imperfect love, love that was built, decided upon, as opposed to magicked into existence. That was how Peter loved Mary Jane." In The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates reflects on love and marriage as portrayed between Peter "Spider-Man" Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Eight years after the controversial Spider-Man: One More Day storyline erased the "spider-marriage" from Marvel comics continuity, Marvel now teases a forthcoming storyline Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows. (Previously, in Marvel events.) For a comicbook world that never split up the Peter/MJ relationship and that is also completely insane, you have the Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip. As Chris Sims describes it, "There is so much I love about this comic strip. It is beautiful and perfect in so many ways, and all of those ways are monumentally dumb." For an almost-terrifyingly-detailed history of Mary Jane Watson and the Peter/MJ relationship in Spider-Man lore, check out the commentary "Why did it have to be you, Mary Jane?" by J.R. Fettinger. And if you'd like to wallow for a bit in Spidey/MJ romaaaance scans, Scans Daily is less up-to-date than Tumblr, but it still has quality posts with the images working. Here's a handful. Aunt May plays matchmaker First date The Night Gwen Stacy Died First kiss Bringing the ice Mary Jane + baseball bat vs the Chameleon Lobster-Man Loves Mary Jane Naked lightning science Pete, MJ, and the Silver Surfer "To Have and to Hold," nominated for an Eisner Colleen Coover cuteness

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
My SSD running Win7 is full. I've bought a new one. What's the easiest way to copy the contents of the original to the new one? I do not want to reformat.

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posted 1 day ago on metafilter
Kinja user "Curious Squid" is an Australian woman who moonlights as a prostitute. She keeps a diary of her life as a sex worker, writing about the banal (arranging jobs) to the very interesting (sexual violence against sex workers).

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