posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My client bought a gift certificate for Valentine's day. She made an appointment/reservation with me over 3 weeks ago, to redeem the certificate tomorrow. She didn't respond to any reminders until 2pm today. Do I charge her a cancellation fee, as outlined in my company policy?Yes, I sent her reminders! One a week ago*, one three days ago*, and another one yesterday... but she didn't reply to anything until 2pm today, saying "I also wanted to let you know I have been ill this week and share some additional information with you. As I mentioned before, we are ready for our lesson but you may want to reschedule after we talk." *I know she opened these emails, as I use an email management system. I have not phoned her yet, as I was working all day today and I avoid phonecalls during work. Also, I'm a bit put off by the buzzfeed-style "You won't believe what happened next" nature of the email. I've already told her we can reschedule via sms, but I'm not yet decided whether her personal circumstances should have any effect on whether or not I charge a cancellation policy. ...especially since she's had ample opportunity to let me know I could have taken other work tomorrow. Should I enforce my own policy? Or just suck it up and let her reschedule?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Say you lived in Portland, and you like journal writing and you like beer. Normally you journal write while working in one of the city's wonderful coffee shops, but you were thinking - "it's the afternoon and I live in Portland - I should replace coffee with beer!" Where would you go . . .?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Last week, my partner admitted that he's been not just hiding things, but outright lying to me. The revelations hurt, but I need honesty if we're to stay together. How do I make it safe for my partner to tell me the truth when it's repeatedly been so startling and upsetting? Difficulty level: partner is dealing with Major Depression, and has been near-suicidal.My partner of two years acknowledges that he's lied to me repeatedly - by omission, by commission, and by playing semantic games. In particular, he has lied about the other people he's seeing. We're polyamorous, so our having other lovers is fine with disclosure, but while he's said that he wants to keep me informed, that hasn't happened, even when I asked. Our relationship rapidly became one of those game-changers for us both; we love each other deeply and want this to last. We've been long-distance for six months, with me visiting him two weeks each month until March. I do believe him when he says the lying comes out of his depression, and his lack of self-esteem; he doesn't believe anyone would care enough about him or his life to actually want an honest answer to "How are you?" He'll withdraw to "keep his mood from ruining my day"; he'll keep bad news from me to "spare" me; he doesn't want to burden me with quotidian details, despite my saying that those details (and communication in general) nurture connection for me. What is strange to me is that he's telling his other partners about me, since I'm apparently the "important" one, but... I'm not to be told the truth? Recently there was a week where he was dumped by four separate people - and I didn't know that he was even seeing four people. I doubt I would have heard about any of the breakups if I hadn't been in the right place at the right time; my partner told me everything was fine for several days because they "didn't want to spoil my weekend with depressing stuff," and it was only because I was chatting to him as the third breakup happened that I heard about them. Now I've found out that he explicitly lied to me – and worse, carefully structured half-truths so that they're arguably defensible but misleading (like telling me everything was okay through the breakup weekend because "he knew he'd be okay eventually"). I told him that semantic games, half-truths, and gaslighting were deal-breakers for me, and they still happened. Now I'm starting to question everything that I've been told; how can I stop when what I'm being told is the truth, but not the whole truth? He's been dismayed this week by how reflexive his habit of deflecting questions and dancing around the truth seems to be; he went to a movie with another partner, and only realised the next day that in telling me about it, he'd completely omitted the fact that he had company. He wants to change this habit, but doesn't know where to start. I'm willing to give this one more shot, if both individual and relationship counselling happen - he's starting therapy soon, and we're finding a therapist that we can see together. My partner says he'd like to be more honest with me, and that I should ask questions that he'll try to answer, but I don't even know what to ask. The questions I do ask are so often ignored, deflected, or answered with half-truths that I don't know how to support and foster this change. He has been suicidal over the lying, which terrifies me. It's all too easy for him to see himself as a liar, a monster, someone who shattered my trust completely and can't hope to get it back. I keep affirming that he's human, and that this is a behaviour he can change if he wants to. In fairness, though, my trust is shaken, and I'm reacting badly – tears, frustration, stress. I walked out of the room at one point because I was so upset (though I told him why). I want to hear the truth from him, and I've been thrilled when he told me about dates that went well or plans with partners I knew about. But it's hard not to feel blindsided and upset when I find out things are very different to what I'd been led to believe. And my upset reactions are making it harder for him to come clean about things. By now, I'm also feeling insecure because I don't know where I stand with my partner. I'm destabilised by the repeated revelations about people in his life that I didn't know about for months. I'm suspicious and unhappy about the partners who were kept secret even though I know that's no fault of theirs. I'm confused by the assertion that he wants to talk openly with me about things (and wants me to keep being open with him) when he still instinctively sidesteps the details. I know I can't change him. He wants to change this, however, so my questions are about what I can do as he tries. How do I make it safe for my partner to tell me the truth when it's repeatedly been so startling to me, and painful for us both? How else can I support/encourage him to do so? Are there any books/resources you can recommended for either of us? Am I asking too much of my partner? Beyond seeing how the therapy goes, what can I do? How can we improve this?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've spent time in and around Zen centers before, though I'm really a complete beginner when it comes to Buddhism. I would like to spend a week (or more?) staying in a Zen center with a program tailored for beginners. Where can I find a center in Eastern Europe that has a program in English that would suit me? I'm willing to travel to Western Europe but would prefer to find something closer to home.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm female, mid-twenties, and over the past 3-4 months have lost almost all interest in sex. What might be going wrong?Just talked to my gynecologist about this; she has no idea what's going on (in a kind way!) and suggests I get a mental health referral. But I'd like to more thoroughly understand potential non-brain causes before assuming this is in my head. Here's the stuff I think isn't going on: - Me just misunderstanding how desire is "supposed" to work. Before this, I've pretty much always been very interested in sex, and easily aroused both "responsively" and "spontaneously." Now not only am I not randomly aroused but lovely foreplay makes no difference--it's like my body just won't cooperate. Things that would typically be very pleasant at that point I'm at best indifferent to, but they're generally ticklish or painful instead. - My relationship with my partner of about a year is stable and amazing--there's no perceptible tension or loss of interest that could be behind this. He's not putting any pressure on me to work this out faster than I'd otherwise want to. And the lack of interest isn't specific to him; thinking about other people/situations makes no difference. - No body image stuff, no shame-about-sex stuff, no trauma stuff that feels in any way like it's affecting me currently. - I'm not on any form of hormonal birth control and never have been (do have a copper IUD which is solidly in place.) Not taking any psychoactive medication and haven't for over a year. - Sex doesn't hurt. - Thyroid function check, complete blood count, vitamin D are normal. - I'm not drinking beyond standard "moderate" limits, although I used to (a few years back). Here's some stuff that might be: - Stress/poor sleep/not enough exercise. Possibly narcolepsy--currently figuring that out. On the other hand, none of this is at all new and my response to stress always used to be wanting more sex. - My period has gone a bit funny during the same interval--still very regular, but I haven't gotten any of the painful cysts in my breasts that used to be an extremely reliable predictor of my period. - I've also gone from about 115 to 100 pounds unintentionally over about the same interval; I don't know why. 115 was healthy for me but I've been underweight before without any impact on libido. I'm curious about a) potential physical causes (and how, specifically, to test for them) b) things I/we could try on our own! so far we're basically focusing on the fake-it-till-you-make-it strategy and on me playing with a vibrator before we start anything together, which helps but doesn't get us to where we used to be. c) what sorts of medical-type folks would take the possibility of physical causes seriously and/or take a very empirically-grounded view of psychological causes?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to do this for version control of documents that are edited by multiple users. Both electronic and hard copies are used, and we are losing track of hard copies which currently have no filename, time, or date. I need documents to automatically populate with this information when the user saves and closes the document. Not when they print, but when they save and close. Is this possible?I've tried doing the macro thing but I'm not a developer and have decent computer skills, but I have zero experience with macros. From what I understand, sometimes fields will update when the user goes to print the file, but this has not been the case in my experience (filename field was updated, but time was not updated). Also, to complicate things, apparently Word makes some, but not all, fields which are able to be updated. No clue if this is relevant or not, but thought I'd throw it out there. Haaaalp! Also: we are all using Word 2010. Please explain this to me like I'm 5. Thanks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm looking for a term (either a neologism or something that already exists) for a person who so precisely resembles someone from your past, someone whose relationship with you is unresolved and will never be resolved, that they drag up all the feelings associated with that person despite having no actual connection to them. Stuff like "dead ringer," "spitting image," "doppelganger," etc. only covers the appearance, not the emotion.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
This is Suame Magazine. A vast, open-air industrial district in Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city. Here, 200,000 skilled workers manufacture everything from bolts to tanker trucks by hand. A million dollars passes through the factories and workshops here every day, and it's the place where most of the country's laborers learn their trades: the heart of Ghana's informal economy. Photos and Story

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I have now three times in my life developed stress-activated autoimmune problems. The first two times were during huge life changes, and the conditions completely abated after a few months, but today I just got diagnosed with another one, yet there is nothing specifically stressful happening right now.I found a weird white patch of skin on my inner upper thigh, so I went to the dermatologist. She examined it and pronounced it vitiligo, and told me that, due to my history, and the appearance and location of my patch, mine is likely autoimmune and activated by stress. (My other autoimmune disorders were: iritis in 2004, right as I was about to move and start law school, and psoriasis in 2009, right as I was about to move and start grad school. Iritis was cured with drops in 2 weeks and never recurred; psoriasis lasted a few months as an itchy gross-looking ankle, and then never recurred). The doctor asked me if anything particularly stressful is happening in my life, and this time, the answer was no. Nothing happened. I'm not moving or going to school. I have a government job that is more boring than it is stressful. I get enough sleep. I eat healthily. I go to the gym 4-5 days a week. I hardly ever drink. I do not smoke. I live with my boyfriend in a nice apartment and we have a good relationship. I have no family stress and no friend stress. Nothing happened. So I told the doctor this, and then mentioned "but I am, in general, a nervous person." So my instructions are to work on that. I know about meditation; my boyfriend is very into meditating and despite that fact that I have despised it in the past, I will work on liking it since it could possibly help. What I ask you is what are some other things can I do, besides meditation, to become, in general, a non-nervous person? What are strategies you've undertaken to have a generally calmer approach towards living? The level and brand of nervousness we are dealing with here is a constant low-level anxiety about nothing in particular--maybe more of a general tension than an anxiety. I'm on permanent alert. I remain vigilant. Little surprises throw me off. I am terrible at letting things roll off my back. I like schedules and routines. I have been accused of rigidity. On the big-5 personality test, I'm very high on conscientiousness and neuroticism (and openness! I'm not all bad!). I'm an MBTI INTJ (yes I know MBTI is basically discredited; this is for descriptive purposes). My anxiety isn't really about anything, though small things come up every now and then and I obsess over them. Right now I'm obsessing about the possibility of developing huge white patches all over my body, and the irony is not lost on me that the more I worry about this, the more likely it is to happen. So, techniques to calm down? Advice about how to deal with specific fears or phobias probably isn't so helpful.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Remember when Captain America had a district attorney alter-ego named Grant Gardner? And he fought The Purple Death Scarab? No? Then you might need to rewatch the original 1944 Captain American Republic Serials! Bonus: The (deservedly) short lived Captain America Cartoon 1966

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Once-Prized Tibetan Mastiffs Are Discarded as Fad Ends in China [New York Times] "Then there is the Tibetan mastiff, a lumbering shepherding dog native to the Himalayan highlands that was once the must-have accouterment for status-conscious Chinese. Four years ago, a reddish-brown purebred named Big Splash sold for $1.6 million, according to news reports, though cynics said the price was probably exaggerated for marketing purposes. No reasonable buyer, self-anointed experts said at the time, would pay more than $250,000 for a premium specimen."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
"More than sixty years have passed since Israel started its nuclear venture and almost half a century has elapsed since it crossed the nuclear weapons threshold. Yet Israel's nuclear history still lacks a voice of its own: Israel has never issued an authorized and official nuclear history; no insiders have ever been authorized to tell the story from within. Unlike all seven other nuclear weapons states, Israel's nuclear policy is essentially one of non-acknowledgement. Israel believes that nuclear silence is golden, referring to its nuclear code of conduct as the policy of amimut ("opacity" in Hebrew)." A special collection of declassified documents was published by the National Security Archive this Wednesday, that sheds some light on How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I've got about six hours in Hamburg coming up. What is your One Thing To Do there?or one place to eat, one bar to stop at, etc.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'm trying to figure out the nitty-gritty of taking an idea for a website and making it a reality.I have a B.S. in computer science but I got it in 1996 and I've been a lawyer for the past 10 years. In other words I am capable of thinking technically but my actual skills are completely out of date at this point. Ideally, I'd like to hire someone to develop this idea (rather than teach myself web programming), but I suppose I could *try* to do it myself, there just seems to be a lot of extra barrier to that plan. My current idea is to hire a designer from elance.com for the sole purpose of helping me flesh out the specs of the job, and then hire a developer off the same site to whip up a beta, based on those specs. Then I'd see how it works in my local community, and if it seems to have merit, I'd go from there. Does that make sense? And if so does anyone have advice as to what specifically I should advertise for? I've had a lot of ideas and would really like to give one of them a go. The one I'm currently thinking of is, essentially, a new kind of dating site with a twist (people create profiles, email each other, there's a simple matching algorithm, that sort of thing). I don't think any of what I'd be seeking is rocket surgery, but I don't have the skills to make it happen. My thought is to dip a toe into designing this, spend money but not an enormous amount, and then if it seems to have merit, consider putting in a larger investment of my time. (If it seems really great I'd go the whole "quit my day job, raise funding" route, but I obviously don't want to do that off the bat.) Obviously I'd have to pay for the freelancers services. I'm not really sure what a reasonable expectation would be though. Any input on that would be helpful. And, if anyone wants to just tell me "Nooooooooooooooo!" I suppose I'd appreciate hearing that too.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I want to buy some large art from Etsy to frame and hang in my living room. But I am overwhelmed by options! Please recommend your favorite Etsy shops for large prints and posters.Must ship to the USA. Ships that accept Etsy gift cards are a plus. I've reviewed some older questions on the topic but it seems a lot of those shops have since closed.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
There are some incidents that happened in the past that I'd rather not think about, but still do.Like everyone, there are a few things that I've experienced that I'd really like to forget about. But I think I'm worse than most people about making my brain stop thinking about things. I'm no longer having intrusive thoughts that disrupt my daily life, but every single day in the past few years since they happened, they cross my mind once or twice. Maybe thrice if I don't have a lot going on that day. I want to think about these things zero times a day. Like, I'd like to Black Mirror-style wipe it from my brain. Can I make it so I don't have thoughts about these incidents every day? Do I just have to wait until more time has passed? It's already been years since all of these situations happened; is it going to take decades until it's far enough removed? How do you stop thoughts from entering your mind, however fleeting?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Let's pretend Glassdoor, Payscale, and other similar websites don't exist. How do you determine what to ask for in salary? How to I determine my value to a company in a role I haven't inhabited before?I am entering into the fourth round of interviews at Big Company and suspect that salary questions will be asked during my next interview. I have used every keyword I can think of (the title alone is not helpful) to ferret out the market value for this position, but the answers are all over the board (anywhere from $33k - $110k) and I don't trust just picking the mean or median. This job is not in my desired field, but it utilizes many of the same skills. For Reasons, salary ranges are also very hard to search in the field I intend to enter into later. So, I would like to figure out how to judge my skills and the job responsibilities in such a way that I can make an intelligent decision about what salary to expect (bearing in mind variances by geographic area, sector, etcetera). I do not know how to do this kind of analysis. Do you? Will you teach me? I can dance around the question and coax them into putting a number on the table first, but I still want to be able to figure out what to expect so I can tell whether I'm being low-balled (or the opposite!).

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Hi all, I have super flat feet and have had reconstructive foot surgery. The only kind of shoes that are comfortable for me to wear for long periods of time are motion control-type running shoes. Are there any non-sneaker shoes with similar construction and support?My wife thinks my restricted choice in footwear is the greatest thing holding me back from being a well-dressed man (she's essentially right). The problem is, I can do about 90 minutes in other types of shoes before my feet and calves kill me. I'm not looking for anything too fancy or staid, as I would prefer not to be wearing wingtips/loafers or anything patent-leather-shiny. Any brands and styles recommended? I once owned a pair of Clarks that were super-comfy but gave me a stress fracture after a few months. :P The other catch: I'm a size 15, occasionally fitting into a 14. Budget isn't really an issue. Just so long as I can look classy and mature. Please say my best hope is not spray-painting a pair of Brooks black. (For what it's worth, I have found the Brooks Beast and Mizuno Wave Inspire series to be the best for me. Also somewhat doable are Docs, as long as I'm only standing and not really walking.)

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Please help me talk about jokes and comedy by linking me to funny videos on youtube. It's for a class, so they have to be 'clean' and not offensive.The class is an advanced ESL class, mostly university age.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
A previously unknown 3-page passage, cut from "A Wrinkle in Time", has been found by Madeline L'Engle's granddaughter, and published by the Wall Street Journal. It provides strong insight into the political thought regarding conformity and security in the book. "I've come to the conclusion," Mr. Murry said slowly, "that it's the greatest evil there is. Suppose your great great grandmother, and all those like her, had worried about security? They'd never have gone across the land in flimsy covered wagons. Our country has been greatest when it has been most insecure. This sick longing for security is a dangerous thing, Meg, as insidious as the strontium 90 from our nuclear explosions . . ."

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
ont-nerd-filter: I'm doing an art project that requires an enormous ➌ and ➒ (those characters specifically, not just a circle with the numeral inside it) in specifically either Helvetica Neue or Freight Sans. Is there a site that will do this for me? I don't have the font(s) installed, and the font(s) appear to be a premium-costing kind, and costs more for the font than the entire project is worth, so I'm wondering if there's a site that will let me perhaps preview the font in just those characters, but specifically those characters (not merely a 3 or 9) and as a really large preview as in, screen-sized. I can just screen-shot it from there. The project won't be for sale. Or, is there an option to accomplishing this that I'm not thinking of? Might Kinko's/etc do this? My secondary goal after this is accomplished is to print out the characters onto a large paper, but I can already do this myself for free once I have the large image, but I just need to figure out how to get the large image.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Doing my first 10K this Sunday. Feeling nervous. Main goal is to finish the race and enjoy it as much as I can. What are your fail-proof tips for completing this kind of event and what kinds of things can I do mentally to stay strong and keep pushing myself to the bitter end? I'm planning to run as much as I can but I'm not worried about walking sections of the race if I need to (Which I will!) I've been training as best I can - this question is more about the Actual Race than the things I could have done to prepare - obviously!!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I love butt-covering knit miniskirts for wearing over leggings like this one at H&M, but they don't make it in XL/16-18. That is, tight-fitting (NOT flared), knit, short -- shorter than a pencil skirt -- and ideally mostly cotton. Do you know where can I find one?I do most of my shopping at Goodwill and Old Navy, so I'm not familiar with where else one might buy clothes in my size. I've checked the places I used to shop when I was smaller -- Uniqlo, American Apparel, Forever 21, Target, etc. -- but either I've sized out of those stores, or they don't carry what I'm looking for. I'd be comfortable sewing my own, but I don't have the time these days. Have you found something like this? Where should I be looking?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What is the origin of the term API (Application Programming Interface)? Who coined it? What terms did it compete with?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'd like a new sleeping bag that's mine, just mine. It should be perfect. Please advise.For car camping, but I'd like it if it didn't take up huge amounts of room in the car. The zipper has to work from both ends so I can free my feet. Not a mummy bag -- I'd die of claustrophobia. Cosy. My current one has a flannel lining that I like. Hooded. I'm 5' 10" and like room to flail around during the night. My current bag is a Tall and I like that. If my hips get cold, they ache to the point that I can't sleep. I'd like it to be three-season but I don't want to be hot in the summer. Would that be +35° and up? Fits into the stuff sack without too much swearing on my part. Attractive fabric or color. Not drab. I camp in rain forests, sometimes without any shelter other than a roof. Needs to be good in damp air. I also camp in high deserts. Under $200. If it could be closer to $100 that would be great. Going to REI is an option, yes.

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