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How do I propose to my girlfriend without an official ring?

I want to propose to my girlfriend. I'm planning on using some stones from her family (and some new ones as well) in the final version of her engagement ring. However, she has pretty particular tastes, so I'd like to include her in the design process (although I do have an idea in mind). In lieu of giving her an "official" engagement ring, what do I give her when I propose? Thanks for your idea.
posted by Fister Roboto on Oct 25, 2016 - 40 answers

How do I flowchart multiple decision factors?

I have a small amount of flowcharting experience. I'm creating a formal flowchart to identify which authority receives a report about an incident. If any of nine conditions is applicable, then X authority should be notified. How do I chart all 9 decisions? [more inside]
posted by angiep on Oct 25, 2016 - 2 answers

What's the best secured debit card to own?

So many apps that I have on my cell phone require a credit card on file with them and I'm nervous about having my only credit card tied up to so many possible hack able sources. I wanted to get a Mastercard or Visa secured debit card to use in these instances. Low cost and good customer service are important.
posted by BillyAnne on Oct 25, 2016 - 14 answers

Lend me your ear... and your podcasts featuring interesting women!

I have been on a podcast binge, and am very particularly enjoying listening to women talk about a niche interest. I can listen while I work, and need more recommendations! Examples of what I've been enjoying below. [more inside]
posted by jrobin276 on Oct 24, 2016 - 20 answers

Film Filter Question: Naked People and One Man's Journey

I'm trying to remember a movie I saw maybe ten years ago that was two different threads: one involved a man who traveled a lot, had various affairs, and eventually reconnected with his wife. The other involved a white woman and a black man awakening in a Garden of Eden and exploring their new surroundings! [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama on Oct 24, 2016 - 3 answers

How do I handle this HR issue?

I am a manager at a very small creative agency. A friendship between two of our employees is both alienating and distracting to almost everyone else, but they aren't doing anything wrong. How do I bring it up delicately? [more inside]
posted by ElectricGoat on Oct 24, 2016 - 24 answers

how should I make food for campaign office people?

I can't do phonebanking or canvassing, for many reasons, but I want to help out the people helping get out the vote, and it looks like the best way would be for me to make food for them. The only part of this plan that I know how to execute is the actual cooking part; I have too many questions about the logistics because I'm anxious and/but I want to help. I'm in SF, so anyone who knows about the SF campaign office in specific is extra welcome, but it's probably similar to elsewhere. [more inside]
posted by you could feel the sky on Oct 24, 2016 - 13 answers

Books about teaching?

What are the "must have" essential books on teaching? Not necessarily about classroom management or working with kids, but about connecting with students (children or adults), helping them process and retain information and build understanding particularly when it is voluntary learning (i.e. there are no grades involved.)
posted by roaring beast on Oct 24, 2016 - 11 answers

Help me stop being terrorized by spam phone calls.

Nearly every weekday morning I'm woken up by a phone call from the same scammer entity, it's a canned pre-recorded message trying to get me to lock in my loans or something or other. It always shows up in my caller ID as some all caps name like GETCASH, PBCASHPRO, PBPROMOTIONS, etc. They're using completely different phone numbers each time, with different area codes. I can and do block the number each time but it doesn't make a difference. What, if anything, can I do to prevent this? It feels like a daily onslaught and it seriously does wake me up, since I go to bed and start work later than most people do. I'm just so sick of it. Help!
posted by naju on Oct 24, 2016 - 13 answers

How can I listen to more Cuban Spanish content?

I would like to relatively quickly train my ear to understand spoken Spanish better, especially Cuban Spanish. I'm a little past the "News in Slow Spanish" phase of language learning. Are there any podcasts, audiobooks, radio shows, movies produced by Cubans or Cuban emigres that I can listen to? Ideally, with subtitles or a written transcription that I can follow along with? [more inside]
posted by EmilyFlew on Oct 24, 2016 - 4 answers

Dealing with Drupal - short term question and long term question

As part of my post doc work, I'm helping to finish up a Drupal site that has been built by a few different grad students and post docs. They're gone, there's no documentation, and I need to finish up some parts and the faculty supervising me really haven't had any hand in the details. Drupal is sort of wildly-overfeatured for the simplicity of our site, but that ship has sailed. I have a small amount of CMS experience (older Drupal version and Wordpress) but I'm having trouble with a couple of things. [more inside]
posted by pantarei70 on Oct 24, 2016 - 11 answers

Culture Day in Tokyo

Help me figure out what we should be doing on or around the week of Culture Day in Tokyo. [more inside]
posted by FarOutFreak on Oct 24, 2016 - 2 answers

Flash Error On Xfinity on Demand

Help me fix flash error on Xfinity on demand. Comcast is no help at all. [more inside]
posted by Xurando on Oct 23, 2016 - 2 answers

Strategies for a fun, affordable large wedding in the midwest?

We want to throw a party for about 300 people that happens to begin with a wedding ceremony. What are some nontraditional / outside-the-wedding-industrial-complex strategies for creating a meaningful, festive, family-centered, and cost-conscious celebration event for such a large group? We're in St. Louis, Missouri but are very interested in general strategies and examples from other regions that may not be as commonly known here, as well as St. Louis-specific advice. Help! [more inside]
posted by inatizzy on Oct 23, 2016 - 27 answers

Bitten by bedbugs at hotel

Help me deal without panicking [more inside]
posted by aperturescientist on Oct 23, 2016 - 9 answers

How would I know if my webcam had been infected by malware?

The news stories on Friday's attack on Dyn noted that devices from the "internet of things" has been infected by malware which was conscripting them to send requests to the DNS. Is there anyway I could know if devices which I own were infected? If they were is there anything I could do about it?
posted by gteffertz on Oct 23, 2016 - 7 answers

Loan or gift?

Someone we met earlier this year needs help. He has asked for a loan but we can easily afford to give the money to him. We're not sure whether it's better to lend it to him or just make it a gift. [more inside]
posted by Skaffen-Amtiskaw on Oct 22, 2016 - 22 answers

Roof leak! Eek!

Two-three years ago, I had an oak branch plummet through my roof, like a spear thrown from Thor himself. Of course this was the year after my new roof had been installed, but I digress. I took a new shingle, and some of that black goo (can't remember the name) up there, and patched it up nicely.... [more inside]
posted by PlantGoddess on Oct 22, 2016 - 10 answers

Does your town schedule Trick or Treat?

I grew up in Ohio and trick or treat times would be scheduled and published in the newspaper. I'm in California now and can't seem to find scheduled trick or treat times for my town. Is it possible scheduling trick or treat is just an Ohio/Midwest thing? [more inside]
posted by shesbookish on Oct 22, 2016 - 54 answers

How to distract a hungry cat?

After fostering cats for a couple of years I decided to adopt the lovely Adelaide, rescued as a stray late last winter. She's been with me since February and recently I've had to own up to how she's putting on too much weight. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by zadcat on Oct 22, 2016 - 19 answers

Advice for attending a Hillary rally?

My main question is- if I take a day off work and go all the way up to NH on Monday, what are the chances that I'll actually get into the Clinton/Warren rally? If anyone has been to a Clinton rally recently, how early do I have to line up for a good chance at getting in? If I bring my 6 year old will it be a miserable experience for both of us?
posted by banjo_and_the_pork on Oct 22, 2016 - 5 answers

Browncoats? (not the Whedon kind)

Many years of Anglophilic TV-watching have left me with a clothing question. What's the deal with the light brown, mid-length, indoor overcoat that certain British workers wear? [more inside]
posted by NumberSix on Oct 21, 2016 - 14 answers

How do I turn my mother's house into my home?

My mother passed away over the winter, and now I am alone (except for two cats and the squirrels in the attic) in the house we've shared for years. I'll be staying in the house for a year or two, and I'm trying to figure out ways to make the house feel like *mine*, not my mother's house that I happen to live in. [more inside]
posted by Archipelago on Oct 21, 2016 - 12 answers

Is this bullshit or am I nuts? Workplace edition.

I was hired a year and a half ago to a position that I very much like and work very hard at in an extremely niche field. Everything has gone swimmingly until this week. Looking for some extra outside insight into this situation. Anybody had this happen to them? Or something similar? [more inside]
posted by strelitzia on Oct 21, 2016 - 16 answers

Math for Board Game Design?

I'm making board games as a hobby and I'd like to have a better understanding of statistics and similar math topics in order to start the design stronger outta the gate - having better balance instead of just guessing. [more inside]
posted by symbioid on Oct 21, 2016 - 4 answers

How to achieve maximum impact of promotional free software

We are getting ready to release a free standalone CAD software. It is a downloadable product, does not run in a web browser (not like the more typical startup SAAS offers). Our company intends to sell an API library and consulting services using said API. The API was used to build the CAD software. [more inside]
posted by spacefire on Oct 21, 2016 - 2 answers

The gentle art of verbal defense - princess cupcake edition

So my tween has decided he wants to dress up as a cupcake princess this year for Halloween for a school event and general trick or treating. Advice for responding with something other than the string of cusswords and momma bear mode once people start saying something? [more inside]
posted by tilde on Oct 21, 2016 - 23 answers

Boudoir Photo Book - where to print?

I want to print a boudoir photo set for my anniversary. Where's the best online place to print it that will accept it? It seems I'm between Shutterfly and Blurb? Maybe Apple with some Photostream workaround? [more inside]
posted by SockWombat on Oct 20, 2016 - 10 answers

cross-eyed after eye exam... why?

I just had an eye exam. Took a picture because I thought my dialated eyes were amusing and I'm bored as I can't see anything .. I looked at the photo realized I'm currently cross-eyed. What's up? [more inside]
posted by chapps on Oct 20, 2016 - 3 answers

Need an electromagnetism physics textbook. Difficulty level: No calculus

Please recommend an alegbra/trig-based physics textbook to supplement the free textbook used in my college physics class. [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Oct 20, 2016 - 4 answers

Short story about a composer publishing a piece by another composer?

Please assist me in re-finding this short story I read last year about a composer publishing his friend's unpublished symphony as his own, because his friend faked his death to escape from a crime. [more inside]
posted by Iron Carbide on Oct 20, 2016 - 3 answers

Reasonable Risk or Terrible Parenting Idea?

Can we go to a Halloween party at the house right next door with the 10-month-old baby asleep in our house with the alarm on and baby monitor in our hands? [more inside]
posted by bluejayway on Oct 20, 2016 - 80 answers

Best post-debate Nasty Woman T shirt?

Which Nasty Woman T shirt should I buy? [more inside]
posted by medusa on Oct 20, 2016 - 14 answers

Barely remembered quote about talkative women and romantic relationships

Sometime in the past year or so I read, either online or in print, something relating to compatibility and fulfillment in (hetero) relationships where the woman is one who has a fast paced brain and needs to talk and needs to be with a man who will listen and take that all in order for her to feel fulfilled in the relationship. Did you read this, too? [more inside]
posted by PaulaSchultz on Oct 20, 2016 - 6 answers

Automated WooCommerce

Any developers out there use WooCommerce? Anyone know how to write a PHP script that creates downloadable products from a script? [more inside]
posted by johngoren on Oct 20, 2016 - 2 answers

Where to put "virtual tables" in MVC?

Short version: Should ORMs only map to actual tables in the actual database, or is it useful to add classes that create "virtual tables" based on filtering the records? [more inside]
posted by lore on Oct 20, 2016 - 2 answers

anyone have experience with .law or other new-fangled TLDs?

I know the whole topic of acquiring a TLD can be fraught with interest; my question has more to do with what happens once you have it. I have a client interested in a .law domain. Has anyone run into problems with this TLD, either in dealing with registrars, DNS difficulties, or getting Microsoft hosted exchange or Google Apps working with it? [more inside]
posted by randomkeystrike on Oct 20, 2016 - 4 answers

When might this Pet Shop Boys show end?

Friends have invited me to go see the Pet Shop Boys in Boston on November 9 at the Orpheum. I would love to go, but I am old and I have an early flight the next morning. The show begins at 7:30 and I can't find anything about an opening act. I haven't been to a show in maybe a decade - my memories are of everything starting late and ending later (enshrouded in cigarette smoke), but they're getting old, too, right? Has anyone seen them play lately? How likely am I to get home before midnight?
posted by chocotaco on Oct 20, 2016 - 8 answers

What is this small, fluffy, slightly fox-like dog?

The owner did not know, but they did give me permission to take a picture. [more inside]
posted by Cozybee on Oct 20, 2016 - 11 answers

Reset android chrome external protocol handlers

How do I change Chrome's external protocol handlers on my phone? [more inside]
posted by anadem on Oct 19, 2016 - 2 answers

The impossible scenario we never planned for?

Well, we better come up with a plan. I accepted a job offer at a company I'm really excited to work for in a position I'll excel in and be very happy doing. I've been a sahm for almost a year and out of work for a year and a half. We don't have childcare lined up and I don't know how I'll do transitioning back to work. [more inside]
posted by toomanycurls on Oct 19, 2016 - 8 answers

Which NYC ice rink for figure skating?

Which NYC (Manhattan) ice rink, accessible from Chelsea Market, is best for figure skating practice? [more inside]
posted by serelliya on Oct 19, 2016 - 5 answers

Can I move my sim into a different iPhone and just start using it?

My phone is an iPhone 6. Through work I have access to an unlocked iPhone 6S Plus. I would like to try using the iPhone 6S Plus as my everyday phone to see if the form factor works for me. Can I just move the sim from the 6 into the 6S Plus and start making calls, or do I need to involve my carrier (Verizon)? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust on Oct 19, 2016 - 4 answers

Introducing a short term dog foster (Advanced Beginner Dog)

Six months ago I adopted the wonderful Huggy and we have come to live very happily together. I am taking an unknown foster for the weekend, and would appreciate some advice about how to go about this in the best way. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb on Oct 19, 2016 - 8 answers

But wait, so maybe I'm NOT a garbage human being?

Need help/advice for resources for recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship with a whole mess of complications. I am the special-est of snowflakes. [more inside]
posted by FakePalindrome on Oct 18, 2016 - 14 answers

cover.txt

Is it eccentric to submit a cover letter as a .txt file? [more inside]
posted by postcommunism on Oct 18, 2016 - 24 answers

Custom couch still sets off asthma. What's fair?

A custom couch induces asthma after two years' careful offgassing; is it fair for us to ask the shop to resell it without commission? Their sample furniture didn't cause asthma. [more inside]
posted by clew on Oct 18, 2016 - 21 answers

Is there more than monochromatic minimalism?

Hey clothes-loving folks! I've been reading about capsule wardrobes, paring down clothing, and other minimalism-type posts My question is- does anyone know of a good post on capsule wardrobes/minimalism that has color in it? Something along the lines of "hey, I'm a minimalist and I love color, here's how that works" [more inside]
posted by EVM on Oct 18, 2016 - 9 answers

Help us make the most of our free days in London!

My husband and I have a business trip to London in a couple of weeks and have tacked on some free time because OF COURSE. We would be so grateful if you would help us make the most of two and a half days! [more inside]
posted by woot on Oct 18, 2016 - 13 answers

Indoor toys for an active 3 year old?

Winter is coming! I'd love any toy suggestions for burning off some energy when we're stuck inside. KidDog has an inflatable ball pit that he loves rolling around/being dragged around in, which has resulted in the untimely demise of said ball pit but has been super fun for him! [more inside]
posted by bighappyhairydog on Oct 18, 2016 - 8 answers

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