posted 2 days ago on metafilter
17 Great Books About American Presidents for Presidents' Day Weekend [The New York Times] "There's nothing like a big juicy presidential biography when you're looking for guidance about history's long and hard lessons. We've selected some of our favorites by and about presidents from the past few decades — and including one that reaches back into the 19th century. Here's to an inspiring Presidents' Day weekend." • 10 Books About U.S. History To Make You Laugh, Cry, And Think This Presidents Day Weekend [Bustle] "So, Presidents Day is kind of a vague celebration. The federal holiday is officially called "Washington's Birthday," so... are we just celebrating George Washington? Washington and Lincoln? All of the presidents we've ever had, or just the ones we like (how are they all going to agree on a cake)? A lot of us probably feel like screaming into the void or spontaneously bursting into flames at the thought of having to celebrate our current president. So, rather than worshiping our elected officials, let's spend Presidents' Day doing what appears to be our current president's least favorite activity: reading. Here are a few books on U.S. history to read this Presidents' Day weekend." • The Fix's List of Best Presidential Biographies [The Washington Post] "Last week, we renewed our call out to Fix readers to help us identify the best presidential biographies for each of the nation's 43 presidents. Fix readers delivered, helping us compile a comprehensive list, with plenty of time left in the holiday shopping season! Below is our complete list, culled from reader input via Twitter and the comments section on The Fix. We've included more choices for some presidents than others, because in some cases, there are just too many good reads to chose from." • 44 Presidents, 43 Biographies, One Surprising Take-Away [The Washington Post] "It started innocently: I saw a TV show, then read the book it was based on. The book, David McCullough's "John Adams," wasn't exactly a page turner. But to understand John Adams, it seemed I would have to read a book about George Washington. So I did. And, to understand the first two presidents, it seemed I would also have to read a book about the third: Thomas Jefferson. So I did. After that, it seemed I'd developed a new habit. I blew through biographies on the big names — James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson — then plunged into a presidential dead zone. I'm talking about the forgotten occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who crowd dusty histories of America before the Civil War. No one makes Oscar-winning movies starring Daniel Day-Lewis about Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor or Millard Fillmore. Few know what they look like — even when they have cool sideburns. After reaching the president everybody loves to love — Abraham Lincoln — I kept going." • Every Book Barack Obama Has Recommended During His Presidency [Entertainment Weekly] "Whether he's reading to kids at the White House, hitting up local bookstores on Black Friday, or giving recommendations to his daughters, President Barack Obama may as well be known as the Commander in Books. POTUS is an avid reader and recently spoke to the New York Times about the significant, informative and inspirational role literature has played in his presidency, crediting books for allowing him to "slow down and get perspective." With his presidency coming to an end this Friday, EW looked back at Obama's lit picks over the years — because it can't hurt to read like a great leader. #ObamaForBookClubPresident2017, anyone?" • Recommended Reading for President Trump [The Guardian] "There are many things to be said about Donald Trump, who is sworn in as US president on Friday. But none of them have much to do with books. In fact, one suspects, he has no appetite for books – apart from his own biography, The Art of the Deal, which he frequently plugs as his favourite reading, alongside the Bible. It is one of many ways in which he contrasts with his predecessor Barack Obama, who this week gave an interview to the New York Times in which he revealed the debt he owes to reading. Not only had it helped him "slow down and get perspective", he said, it also helped him "get inside somebody else's shoes". Obama cites literary influences that range from Shakespeare to Nelson Mandela through to Chinese author Liu Cixin's post-apocalyptic The Three-Body Problem. "My day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty," he said, in comparison with invasion by aliens. Perspective is everything." • Books for Future Presidents [UC Berkeley] "Welcome to Berkeley. We're sending you something that you don't need to figure out, fill out, or even respond to. Every summer, we send new UC Berkeley freshmen a list of books suggested by various people on campus. This is not an "official" list, or even a list of required reading. It's just for you to enjoy as you wish. Borrowing from Professor Richard Muller's popular course, "Physics for Future Presidents," this year we have chosen the topic "Books for Future Presidents." We have asked faculty from all over campus to recommend books that future leaders of any group—countries, cities, companies, organizations, community groups—should be sure to read. You'll see that the suggestions range widely: history, poetry, fiction, hints for travelers, to name a few." • The Favorite Books of All 44 Presidents of the United States [Buzzfeed] • What three books would you make required reading for US Presidents, if you could? Why? [Reddit]

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Is it even possible to make very large great-looking prints of photos taken with a Sony A55 camera?I'm not a knowledgeable photographer or techy person. I have an eye and aesthetic that I like, though, and I'd like to produce very large art prints (greater than 3' on the short side, at least, and ideally more like 4' x 6' or sth like that) to decorate my home and give to friends who I think would appreciate them. Is it possible to do that with my camera? If so, are there settings I need to be aware of? Any tech stuff I need to consider? If not, what camera should I get to do this? What features do I need to consider for this particular task? I know of excellent local pro/archival-quality photo print shops, so that part I can figure out. I don't want to try to blow up and grain-out pictures that aren't suitable for that size, though, naturally, so hope me, folks!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
What are options that are low-calorie and delicious that can be used as substitutes for salad dressing?I've been stepping up my vegetable and salad game, and I'm looking for something I can put on a large salad, or with a bowl of veggies, in place of salad dressing. I'm not a huge fan of low-calorie dressing alternatives (with sugar substitutes), and I'm thinking there has to be more than one delicious and healthy thing that could make veggies and salad less dry. Along with lower calories, it would be all the better for being flavorful and having a wide range of coverage, meaning I could spread the love around to each bite.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
How can I make my homemade soy and almond milk taste like the big brand stuff?I don't do dairy, so I drink a fair amount of soy and almond milk. A few months back, I picked up a great soymilk maker. Now I always have fresh soy, almond, cashew, and whatever other (often strangely combined) milks on hand. I cook with it, I drink it, but it generally fails when it comes to coffee. The problem: I actually like the taste of the store bought stuff (Silk, Califia,etc). Especially when it comes to cream for my coffee. How can I make something similar at home? The Califia brand coffee creamer was my #1 favorite until they removed carageenan and algal flour. The texture and creaminess was perfect. So I switched back to soy creamer. I use Trader Joe's brand soy creamer, but am also happy with Wildwood and Silk brands. What's the secret to making creamy, rich creamers at home using the nutmilks I can make from scratch?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
so was listening to this tune and at 1:51 the guitar riff made me think of an old keygen or cracktro tune, but i cant recall which it is :/I remember it being a bit trance-y and having a freeform window decoration, might've been on ppc osx or xp as well. anyone have any ideas?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My intermittent internet has been working fine since I called yesterday and made the appointment for tomorrow morning. Should I cancel or keep the appointment?Comcast, SE Pennsylvania. Last week, starting on around Wednesday, I had terrible intermittent internet. Pages wouldn't load for 5-10 minutes at a time. It was frustrating to say the least; I almost missed out on an Amazon lightning deal! I googled around (when the internet was working) and it looked like other people had a similar problem, (there was something about a large wire being cut in the south and general sluggishness everywhere), so I put up with it. The internet would go out and when I picked up the phone connected to the modem (landline, not cordless) I got a fast busy, so that wasn't working either - but like I said it was intermittent. I have had horrible dealings with Comcast in the past and I sincerely get anxiety when I even think about calling them. Friday night, the remote in the bedroom wasn't working; I couldn't bring up the on screen guide or the last channels I watched. I unplugged and did a reset. Didn't help. So yesterday afternoon, the intermittent internet problem started again and I finally went to call Comcast and got a fast busy again. A few minutes later it was working and I called and made an appointment for someone to come out Monday morning (tomorrow). I was surprised how fast I got a person, and she was very nice which was great. She said she'd send a tech and we would deal with a credit for the days of bad service when it was fixed. I was satisfied. Well, as you know it would, my internet (and bedroom television) has been working fine since I called - absolutely fine. I don't want to waste their time and feel odd having a tech come out and telling them, "well, yeah, it's working now", but I don't want this problem to show up again. So should I call and cancel the appointment? And if I do have them show up, and everything is still working fine, is there anything I can tell the tech to help them to figure out what my problem here is? Thanks in advance for any help!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer at Uber, recounts her year of employment at the company , including stories of sexual harassment, retaliation by managers, and a pattern of inaction or coverups by the human resources department. Uber CEO and founder Travis Kalanick's response: "I have just read Susan Fowler's blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber -- and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired." Previously on Metafilter: the Muslim Ban and Uber's response.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
The powertrain warranty on my Ford vehicle expires in just over a month. I can take it in to a local dealership or to a local independent mechanic for a full inspection to see if there's anything falling under warranty that can be fixed now. Which is the best option?The inspection price is basically the same but I want to make sure that everything that can be covered is identified, no matter how small. Not knowing much about vehicles, I don't know what type of technology either could use but since these things are basically computers now, perhaps the dealership has better computerized reading technology than is available to the public? I'd prefer to give the money to the local mechanic but also need to ensure that everything is covered. Am I better off going to the dealership or to the local mechanic? Is there a financial incentive for the dealership to find every last possible issue or is there an incentive otherwise? I know that they are franchised and it seems like they can bill all work back to Ford directly, but I don't know if that works in my favour in terms of transparency. Thanks in advance!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Many of Pixar's films can seem like magic, and while much of that relies on storytelling, the art of animation has many, many, many skills in it. Pixar has partnered with the Khan Academy to provide a free practical introduction to how the best-of-the-best do their job. Because who doesn't want to understand how you simulate hair?

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
Or, a brief exploration of why politics makes us mean and dumb.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
My NAS failed. Now, when I try and copy certain files it either fails or crashes the drive. I have corrupt files--how to fix!?I have a Synology DS410j NAS, with 3 x 2TB drives and RAID (SHR) single drive fault tolerance. A few days ago, Disk 1 crashed. It failed a Quick SMART test. I replaced it with a new 2TB drive and followed the instructions to remove and rebuild the volume. That failed at some point. Right now, disk 1 isn't listed. Fine--so I've begun copying files to an external drive. (I already had quite a lot of it backed up--just have some newer files to copy.) I've encountered a couple of issues while copying some of the files: 1. Some files (e.g. 1 small phone video file of 600) give an error "this action is not supported". And then the copy process ends--no matter how many I was copying. 2. Worse. When I copy some other files--a 9GB file, part of my laptop image that I really want!!--disk 3 (which passes a Quick SMART test) crashes. And, since I'm running on just two disks, crashes the volume. When I reboot, the volume comes back up OK--degraded of course because I'm missing disk 1--I can continue to copy other files. But those certain files still cause a crash. My goal right now is to just get all the files (~1.8TB) onto the external hard drive. I don't mind losing a few music files or family vids etc. But I really want to get my laptop image recovered. Today the NAS sent me a message: Some files have been corrupted because iSCSI LUN of the Disk Group on Synology410j has failed. Files are at the risk of being damaged under the degraded mode. Any suggestions to fix these? (I still have the original disk 1--although I've since moved some files around.) I found this page, which suggests SSHing in and using e2fsck -pvf -C 0 /dev/vg1/lv to fix files. Thanks for any help!

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
I'd like to build a playlist of songs for getting through clinical depression, anxiety and OCD. I have some good starting points.Half the back catalog of TMBG is good for this. I'm particularly fond of "Till My Head Falls Off" and "Self Called Nowhere." Lately I've also enjoyed Dar Williams' "Something to Get Through." I'm not looking for something mopey or darkity-dark. I got plenty of that by nature. I'm also not necessarily looking for cheer, although that is welcome. I'd just like to hear songs that reflect the experience. I'm open to most styles, although I tend to get turned off by monotonal white-blues-dude voice or overly lilting twee female vocals.

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posted 2 days ago on metafilter
With the White House insisting that Air Force One won't be a prop, Trump pulled up to his airport hangar rally in Air Force One with the Air Force One theme playing in the background. After 48 hours of props, feelgood rallies, stories about Stephen Miller, and solidarity with Sweden (which turned out to be just a Fox News story), Sunday looked to be a lazy day with not much able to go wrong for the administration. To begin with, Chris Wallace, an anchor of Trump's stalwart media ally Fox News, took human anagram, Reince Priebus, to task about Trump's slightly fascist comments about the media. If that wasn't bad enough for a Sunday, the New York Times broke its Russian back channel story involving close advisers to Trump including campaign manager Paul Manafort and Michael "sez who?" Cohen.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I feel like one of my oldest friends is not empathetic and I am annoyed at her lack of compassion towards me. I don't know how to proceed.My friend Sarah and I are both 30 years old and married. We met in college, became very close friends, and lived together for several years before she moved to her home city. I wound up following suit and moving to the same city about 5 years later. My problem with Sarah is that I feel that she does not consider other people's feelings. For example, I asked this question when I first moved to our shared city about how I was feeling insecure at her lack of contact. Since then we have seen each other once every 3 or 4 months, usually initiated by both us of, and I enjoy these gatherings. Also since that question was posted I have made lots of new friends and gotten married and am very socially happy. However, two separate friends moved to my city and I made certain to invite them over and make plans with them as I could tell that they were a little lonely. Now I am even closer to those two, and I feel like that is a big difference between me and Sarah. Now, I haven't talked to Sarah since last September. In that time I've gotten pregnant and had a miscarriage in December. I didn't want to tell my close friends right away so I figured I'd wait until I saw her. A few weeks ago she texted me a question about antidepressant use while pregnant (I'm a nurse) and since I am on the specific medication she asked about I shared that I had had a miscarriage in December, over text. Her response was, "huh, I guess we need to catch up." I said "I know, how about this Sunday?" And got no response. Then our mutual friend emailed all of us plus another friend a general life update. I took that opportunity to inform my friends about the miscarriage. A few days later, Sarah responded to the email chain with questions directed to the first friend but nothing acknowledging me. I feel like a total lame-ass but I am hurt. When I first moved here I was worried that maybe I was putting too much pressure on her to be friends with me, but now I am friends with a variety of women who have been empathetic and supportive and fun, and I have been there for them in turn. I am turned off that Sarah does not seem to care about a shitty experience I went through. And yes, I know it is not her responsibility to read my mind and make me feel better. But I really don't know if I should bring this up or how to either stay friends with her or stop being friends. I don't like sharing those private struggles with someone who does not acknowledge them.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Amanda Petrusich writes about a collector of African folk music named Hugh Tracey whose collection of more than ten thousand recordings has been digitized and partly made available online as the International Library of African Music on the South African Music Archive Project website. Petrusich also writes about the Singing Wells project, which aims to return copies of Tracey's recordings he made in Kenya and Uganda to the places where they were recorded, though their main focus is to make new recordings. Petrusich focuses on a recording of Kipsigi girls singing about a half-man half-antelope called Chemirocha, who turns out to have a rather surprising origin.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I am desperately seeking to rewatch this series from my childhood. It was the "Ivanhoe" TV series done by the BBC in 1970 with Eric Flynn. I am not interested in any other version of "Ivanhoe" - only this one. Please do not confuse other versions with this one as it will just confuse the thread. Directed by David Maloney. This is the IMDB listing. Does anyone know where I can get a VHS or DVD or find it online? Or even in a library in the USA? Where do people go to find really, really rare movies? Is there some kind of service online that will track down really rare films for a person?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
Similar questions might have echoed in the mind of the internee Bill Manbo, a car mechanic from Riverside, California, when he picked up a camera to document his surroundings after months of captivity at the Heart Mountain camp, in Wyoming. Though internees were initially prohibited from bringing cameras into the camps, that rule was loosened at Heart Mountain in 1943. The photographs of another internee, Toyo Miyatake, who was sent to Manzanar, in California, and assembled a makeshift camera from a lens that he had smuggled inside, have become essential records of the incarceration. But of all the most famous images of Japanese internment by either internees or government-hired photographers, only Manbo's were in color. Photos: 3 Very Different Views Of Japanese Internment Fractured Ideals: Japanese American Internment through a Government Lens FDR Called Them Concentration Camps: Why Terminology Matters New immigration policies are convincing more Japanese Americans to engage in the radical act of remembering via @kitabet/New Inquiry. Previously.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm planning a trip to Mexico and I'm looking for suggestions of things to see and do while there.I will be visiting San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato. I know it's considered touristy and I'm not expecting an intensely authentic experience. I'm interested in museums, landmarks, live music venues and experience-oriented things to do. I also love unusual snacks and would like to bring back a few candies, crackers, teas, coffees, spices or other things that are not common in the U.S. I'm less interested in trinkets and do-dads that will only collect dust.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I would swear that most condensed soups (particularly tomato and Campbell's Black Bean, which they sadly discontinued sometime in the mid 2000's) used to come out of the can in a single semi-solid mass. Now, even Campbell's Tomato Soup runs out of the can like thick catsup. Am I mis-remembering my earlier soup experiences, confusing opening soup cans with opening cranberry sauce cans, or have soup manufacturers changed the condensing process or ratio?Googling has turned up nothing, so I am wondering if others remember "thicker" condensed soup like me, or have any direct knowledge of the history of the manufacturing process (or even have some old cans in their basement they would be willing to open up - FOR SCIENCE!)

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
My son has a locked-down account on my wife's computer. My wife plugged in her iPhone when her son was logged in. This brought up iPhoto, but the import screen hung on "Loading..." We closed iPhoto, logged out of the limited account, logged into my wife's account, and restarted iPhoto. Same result. Rebooted -- same result. Any ideas how to fix?OS X 10.9.5, iPhoto 9.5.1. I'm totally comfortable with the terminal, but my knowledge of *nix is still limited (despite using Ubuntu at work every day for the past 6 months :-P). This smells like a permissions issue, so the first thing I checked was to make sure that my wife was the owner of all files in the iPhoto library, which she is. There's nothing in the Auto Import folder. Really hoping I can get this working without a rebuild (we have photos going back to 2007) or having to upgrade to a newer OS X / Photos app.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
There's a new automated propaganda machine driving global politics. How it works and what it will mean for the future of democracy.

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
As a child my friend read a pair of books. The distinguishing feature of these books was that the first book told a story of a kid who was being bullied (although that may not have been the main plotline), and the bully was written as a very flat, stock bully character. The second covered the same time period, from the perspective of the bully.He read this book in 1995 or 1996, but it may not have been new then. One specific plot element was that the bully stepped on the kid's costume, leaving a footprint. The kid made the best of the situation, and actually thought the footprint was cool. When this event was seen from the bully's perspective, the bully was disappointed that his act had no effect on the kid. Any thoughts?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
There's a building near us in Brooklyn that a bunch of people were forcibly evicted from some months ago. As of today, the developers have no plans for it and it's deteriorating quickly. The roof houses a generator and a bunch of cellular / electronic equipment, all suspended just above a huge pool of standing water. We're worried about electrical fires and other problems, but contacting 311 and the company selling the building haven't helped. What should we do?The building is in Bushwick. We're across the street and you can see the water + equipment from our roof. We've taken photos to document. Interaction with 311: They mean well. We've submitted pictures, they've come out 3 times to try and do something. They haven't been able to get into the building and they always come unannounced when we're at work so they haven't been on our roof to see either. Interaction with company selling the building: They're aware of the problem but don't care. When pressed they insist that they can't do anything, that it's up to the owners, but that they can't tell us who the owners are. Questions: - Is there a way we can find the owners and somehow put pressure on them to do something? - There's a chain on the building door. Would 311 people enter the building to document if that chain wasn't there? - What should we do?

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I have accumulated a lot of random currency from my travels. The greatest amount I have is about 400 Chinese yuan. That's about $50. The least I have is about 110 Mexican pesos. That's about $6. I don't expect to go to any of these countries soon.The Yuan I have is about 10 years old and has lost value over time due to inflation. What is the minimum amount of foreign currency worth changing, and how can I do it? I know there's a Travelex in Times Square, but changing money there seems like I'm asking to be ripped of. Are the airports any better? Or can you recommend a store in Chinatown? Thanks!

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posted 3 days ago on metafilter
I'm a manager of things, and that works for me. My next step up the corporate ladder is to manage people, and I don't want to do that. I have ambition, just not in that direction. Have I hit my ceiling?I started at my office as a lowly temp; I was hired permanently almost immediately, and progressed up the ladder over the course of 5 years. I now have "manager" in my title, but I don't manage people. My current role is managing projects designed to increase the quality of patient care, and monitoring and reporting on outcomes of those projects. There's significant strategy and writing involved, with a side of project management. I have one more promotion left, to the "senior" level of my current role, before I hit what I've been seeing as my promotion cap before people-management. I expect to get that promotion in the next few months. But what do I strive for after that? I like my job, I like the people I work with, I like all my benefits and perks. For instance, I'm a 100% teleworker, and I would give up some of my blood kin before I gave up that benefit. But the next possible level of promotion in my organizational structure would be to take on the role my (excellent, awesome) manager currently holds - and I don't want her job, even a little bit. Not to mention the fact that she's extremely unlikely to leave it any time soon. And if I took on that role, telework would go out the window. Our company requires significant office time from managers of people - even when most of the people they manage are teleworkers. I don't really want to manage people, but I don't want to stagnate, either. I know it's possible at this company to land in a role and sit there for years and years, just gathering your yearly merit increase but never getting promoted. I don't necessarily want that. But I don't want to be in charge of people, either, and I don't think I'd be particularly good at it. I'm in a great place with this organization. Due to the role I had when I started, I have unprecedented visibility and a great working relationship with the highest levels of my department, most of the executive staff, and both the professional respect and confidence of our CEO. I'm well-liked and seen as an asset to the organization by just about everybody. So I could go further up the ladder if I wanted to - but the only further up I can see is a job I don't want. So what's my next move? I don't want to leave the company, but I don't want to just sit there for years and stagnate, either. If the time to leave does come someday, I want my resume to show steady progression - not years and years at the same level. (Note - I know about askamanager.com, but my hit rate for responses there is 0%, so I'm asking the OTHER smart people I know.)

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