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New Orleans & Mardi Gras - weekend before vs. two weekends before?

Very quick (& time sensitive) question: my 40th is February 23rd. The weekend before that is radically cheaper to fly & stay in New Orleans than the weekend after. Much of what we like is the parades & atmosphere on St. Charles. I see there are many parades on the 18th & 19th; is this a similar atmosphere to the weekend just prior to Mardi Gras, or is it muted/different? [more inside]
posted by ftm on Jan 19, 2017 - 5 answers

Should I return my new printer?

I set up a new laser printer last night that had just been delivered. It is a Dell e525w that can print, scan, fax, and copy. After going through the set-up process, I printed some test pages. They came out mottled, with very uneven print. See image here (let me know if the image is not public, as I've never used Google Photos before, thanks). I was using plain laser printer paper and the correct printer setting for it. More info below. [more inside]
posted by Don_K on Jan 19, 2017 - 8 answers

C is for cookie question

I made an uh-oh and added an extra two ounces of butter to a batch of ginger snaps. Help? [more inside]
posted by Champagne Supernova on Jan 18, 2017 - 9 answers

Can I use a Seagate Expansion Drive with my Mac?

I have a Mac Mini running OSX version 10.11.6. (El Capitan). With a view to eventually replacing its original 1TB internal disk with a smaller-capacity SSD, I bought a 4TB Seagate Expansion Drive. [more inside]
posted by zadcat on Jan 18, 2017 - 4 answers

Pool Drainage Question

We have to drain our pool. We moved into a new place, and apparently the water is pretty old. I have a few unresolved issues about this, as I'm not especially handy when it comes to these kinds of things. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Jan 18, 2017 - 6 answers

Suggestions for all-inclusive outdoorsy family resorts near D/FW?

We (me, my wife, our 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son) recently spent a weekend at Rough Creek Lodge and Resort on the edge of the Texas Hill Country. We had a great time and would like to do something similar this Spring. We want to try something with more hills, trees, and creeks this time around. I'm thinking northern Arkansas (I have visited Lost Valley/Buffalo River and loved the area) but that might be a little more drive than we'd like. Ideally, we'd stay within a four-hour drive of Dallas/Fort Worth but might be willing to drive a little more for something exceptional. [more inside]
posted by ElDiabloConQueso on Jan 17, 2017 - 4 answers

How many MeFites does it take to change this light bulb?

The bulb in an overhead light fixture in my house has burned out. I cannot get the fixture open so I can change the bulb. Help me before I decide to just smash the damn thing. [more inside]
posted by Kat Allison on Jan 17, 2017 - 16 answers

Can I run an extension cord behind drywall?

My wife and I finally broke down and bought a modern, flat-screen TV. I would like to hang it and hide the wires behind the wall. I know that I can do this with the low-voltage, HDMI cables, but I am wondering if I can run a good commercial-grade extension cord behind the wall as well so that I can hide the TV's power cord. Is this a dangerous/terrible idea? [more inside]
posted by 4ster on Jan 17, 2017 - 7 answers

Easing a difficult childcare transition: help!

My family has been using the au pair program with great success for three years, since a little after my son Adam was born. We are currently in the midst of the transition to our third au pair, and Adam is not having it. Do you have any strategies to help with this? [more inside]
posted by emkelley on Jan 16, 2017 - 19 answers

Identify a thing

A friend is trying to give away this thing, but doesn't know what the thing is so she doesn't know if anyone would want it. Any ideas?
posted by Naib on Jan 16, 2017 - 3 answers

Accounting help needed - Accounting Software Categories

I'm currently purchasing parts and packaging materials for a product I'm producting and I have a few questions about categorizing expenses. All of the items below are being purchased from different vendors and I'm packaging everything together. I'll give you a few examples and if you could, please recommend a proper way to categorize the expense. 1) The product itself 2) Screws 3) Zippered poly bags to contain the screws 4) A printed insert with instructions 5) Poly bag to contain everything 6) A printed cardboard bag topper stapled to the poly bag packaging. That's really about it. I'd like to start entering in my invoices into my accounting program, but I really don't know the best way to organize these expenses. Thanks for your assistance. I really appreciate it.
posted by Jackie_Treehorn on Jan 15, 2017 - 4 answers

Should I move across the country?

I haven't felt like I fit in the area I grew up in—so I moved an hour away and have been living here for two years. I'm not happy here. Should I make a drastic change and move across the country? [more inside]
posted by AlexandriaParis on Jan 15, 2017 - 17 answers

how to train puppy for both outside and pads?

Dakota is 11 weeks old. I have housebreaking questions. [more inside]
posted by ASCII Costanza head on Jan 15, 2017 - 7 answers

Would a cat by any other name be so fluffy?

Another name that cat question - I adopted a cat! Her shelter name was Boo, but I'm not feeling it. Can you help me find her name? Pictures. (She's absolutely gorgeous - these pictures aren't the best.) She's an almost six year old girl, at the shelter they said she was a bit of a princess, and so far she's pretty vocal, but she's still getting used to things. She's the only pet in the house. Open to any kind of name, but nerdy or witchy names get bonus points in my heart!
posted by firei on Jan 15, 2017 - 77 answers

Need pragmatic advice for a friend who is suffering spousal abuse

A friend (let's call her Sarah - not her real name) confided in my wife late today that her husband Bob (again not real name) has been physically abusive to both her and her four year child multiple times. Sarah has asked my wife to help - not just to be a friend to talk to - but basically a lot of pragmatic - "so what do I do now, how do I change my phone password, should I leave?" type questions. Wanted to check if any of the below is bad advice or should be added to (lots more inside...) [more inside]
posted by inflatablekiwi on Jan 14, 2017 - 14 answers

Foster Dog with guarding and growling behaviour

I have another foster dog whose circumstances mean I would rather foster her long-term. She's sweet, and generally well-behaved and walks well with my dog. However, she has some pretty extreme guarding behaviour with her bed, bowl and toys. Moreover, she tends to steal my dog's toys and make them hers by dropping them in her dog bed. My dog is calm about it all, but right now I don't dare leave them alone in the same space. Any ideas to work on guarding? [more inside]
posted by frumiousb on Jan 14, 2017 - 10 answers

NJ to PA travel advice

What is the cheapest (/fastest/most efficient) way of getting from Jersey City (/Newark/Manhattan) to Exton (/Phoenixville/King of Prussia), PA? [more inside]
posted by sexyrobot on Jan 13, 2017 - 12 answers

Math For Spacing Out Three-Day Weekends, But Accounting for Holidays

I'm a big honkin' geek, and I would like to figure out an Excel formula I could reuse from year to year to space out my vacation day choices -- but including holidays, which would prevent even distribution. How can I still get as close as possible? More inside. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jan 13, 2017 - 10 answers

Good PS4 games for 4 players?

I'm looking for fun games for the PlayStation 4 that are easy to pick up, fun, not too violent, and well designed... that as many as 4 players can play (i.e., not online but all sitting together on the couch using the PS4 controllers). [more inside]
posted by mark7570 on Jan 13, 2017 - 14 answers

Am I getting the undivided attention of a live-chat rep?

The slower-than-anticipated response time (even for non-technical questions) leads me to conclude that the live-chat rep I am working with is dealing with multiple customers. Is this the case, or are there aspects of a chat rep's job that I am misunderstanding or unfamiliar with. [more inside]
posted by John Borrowman on Jan 13, 2017 - 11 answers

Where to kill time today around the Bozeman Montana airport?

I am flying into Bozeman, MT this afternoon and I have 2-3 hours to kill before my friend arrives on another flight. I'll have a rental car. Where should I pass the time? What should I do? I don't want to wander to far afield since I have to come pick up my friend.
posted by mmascolino on Jan 13, 2017 - 4 answers

Do I need Norton Internet Security?

Just got notice from Norton about re-up, and it's now up to $110. Is there a cheaper or maybe even free way to protect my computer? [more inside]
posted by james33 on Jan 13, 2017 - 18 answers

Should I encrypt the drives on my home PC?

I'm worried about the possibility that my tower PC might get stolen during a burglary, and then the bad guys will have access to all my data. I'm thinking of using Windows BitLocker to encrypt all four of my hard drives, but I don't know if it'll work with my backup system. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 on Jan 12, 2017 - 4 answers

Oh yes, it's a onesie.

Are there cycling-bib style onesies that are not for cycling? [more inside]
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper on Jan 12, 2017 - 12 answers

Help a kid science the speed of sound

Asking for my kid: My teenager got a science assignment to determine the speed of sound. She is planning to measure the time difference between a visual event and the accompanying sound, observed from a set distance. Can you help her find practical ways to do the experiment? [more inside]
posted by sively on Jan 12, 2017 - 22 answers

Does "Encl: resume" belong on cover letters anymore?

When I'm electronically submitting (either through email or an ATS) a cover letter as part of a combined document with a resume, do I really need to add "Encl: resume" or similar at the end of the cover letter? Is this an outdated convention that only makes sense when you're mailing or faxing seperate documents? [more inside]
posted by blerghamot on Jan 11, 2017 - 10 answers

When is a wedding ring not a wedding ring?

When we got engaged it was with a cheap comedy ring and my now-husband offered to get me a proper engagement ring if I found one I liked. I'm not a big jewellery person so it wasn't a priority. Now we've been married over a year and I do have a wedding ring, which is just a plain band, which is what I wanted. I've now found another ring that I love, and would like to get as my belated engagement ring. However, it's being sold as a wedding band. Is that a problem? [more inside]
posted by maybeandroid on Jan 11, 2017 - 37 answers

Having a baby before buying a house?

Debating the pro/con of trying to conceive before buying a house. I think we can and want to, my partner and the world thinks we cannot. [more inside]
posted by inevitability on Jan 11, 2017 - 56 answers

Do I have to attend a wedding if the bride hosted my engagement party?

Someone I used to be close with but haven't seen for over a year even though we live in the same metro area has sent a 'save the date' card. She voluntarily threw my husband and I a lovely wedding reception when we eloped 6 years ago. Am I obligated to go to her wedding because of this? Snowflake circumstances inside... [more inside]
posted by ShadePlant on Jan 11, 2017 - 61 answers

Feminist bachelorette sash

Need ideas for a feminist bachelorette sash. [more inside]
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity on Jan 10, 2017 - 13 answers

Basic gentile etiquette

I'm a non-Jew and will be part of the staff at a bar mitzvah event (it's outdoors and involves cooking) but I have almost zero cultural awareness of Judaism aside from what I've gleaned from movies. Please help me avoid any really obvious faux-pas. Answers from those with knowledge of British Judaism will be especially helpful, most of those movies I watched were American. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Jan 10, 2017 - 26 answers

What do I do with my old laptop?

I got a new one. Now what do I do with the old one? [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Jan 10, 2017 - 6 answers

Tigers with Saddles

I've found three ties from different brands featuring tigers wearing saddles. Does this relate to something? [more inside]
posted by Deflagro on Jan 10, 2017 - 9 answers

Tofu for dummies.

I'm looking for resources on cooking tofu out there for people who are pretty new to cooking in general, and who want to keep it very simple. [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible on Jan 10, 2017 - 33 answers

Help me be the boss of breakfast

Pretty simple: are you the boss of breakfast? Teach me your ways. [more inside]
posted by athirstforsalt on Jan 10, 2017 - 31 answers

Looking for glow-in-the-dark art paints for watercolor painting

Looking for a good brand of glow-in-the-dark paints in various colors that can be added to a watercolor painting that is available from a reliable online retailer. Bonus: warm colors like red and orange besides the usual blue/greenish yellow. [more inside]
posted by whitelotus on Jan 9, 2017 - 8 answers

Wordpress plugin for building an event?

We're a medium-sized restaurant in a small town with a large banquet room and other spaces and options available for event bookings. We need a plugin that allows users to build a custom event and tally a quote. [more inside]
posted by klinefelter on Jan 9, 2017 - 4 answers

Husband's Boss Throwing Us A Baby Shower Etiquette?

Yay, we are expecting twins in a few weeks! My wonderful husband's wonderful boss/coworkers want to throw us a small baby shower. I have questions. [more inside]
posted by Syllables on Jan 9, 2017 - 13 answers

Floor Mats for Senile Cats

Our eldest kitty has become a bit untrustworthy with regards to where he chooses to relieve himself. Nothing left on the floor can be considered safe. (Farewell, my beloved LL Bean Wicked Good slippers, you served me well). Most stuff, we can be careful to pick up. But not our front and back floor mats. We need new ones that can handle our senile feline needs. [more inside]
posted by instead of three wishes on Jan 8, 2017 - 11 answers

Can I eat it?

I roasted a chicken exactly a week ago (Sunday, 1 January) carved it and stuck the leftover slices (or shreds really, given my carving skills) and a few bones in a tupperware. I used some for sandwiches but there's still a fair amount left and I'm not so sure it's safe to eat any more. But would it be ok if make a soup with it? [more inside]
posted by the long dark teatime of the soul on Jan 8, 2017 - 16 answers

Should I sign a year lease or go month-to-month?

Please help me decide whether to sign another 1-year lease or go month-to-month on my apartment in Boston's Jamaica Plain. [more inside]
posted by Cogito on Jan 7, 2017 - 8 answers

Help me identify the weirdest light switch I've ever seen

Please help me identify these incredibly weird and annoying light switches that are installed throughout my house. [more inside]
posted by lattiboy on Jan 7, 2017 - 10 answers

How do I deal with hurt feelings towards my future in-laws?

My fiancé's parents were against our marriage at first, but have now come around. I still feel hurt by the way the reacted when we first told them, but am not sure how to act when I next meet them. Help, please? [more inside]
posted by LoonyLovegood on Jan 7, 2017 - 22 answers

Oh Green, what's this machine?

Just curious what this machine is that one of the characters in The Night Manager was carrying. My best guess is a portable printer, but I don't see a similar one online and the blocky thing on the back of it doesn't seem like it would be part of a printer.
posted by duoshao on Jan 7, 2017 - 5 answers

Can I generate an audio timecode track in After Effects or Premiere?

I have a client who has requested delivery of a video with timecode in the audio track. I know there are cameras that record timecode on an audio track, but I haven't found a way to generate such a track in post with Creative Cloud applications. The source video didn't come with an audio track. [more inside]
posted by under_petticoat_rule on Jan 7, 2017 - 2 answers

Translation of bits from an Azerbaijani Wikipedia page

I'm looking for a translation of a few bits on a particular Azerbaijani Wikipedia page. [more inside]
posted by Hairy Lobster on Jan 6, 2017 - 8 answers

Baseboard heater melted a piece of plastic and now everything stinks

Somehow, a small bit of plastic fell into our baseboard heater and melted, dripping through the baseboard fins. The house now smells like hot glue guns and it's worse every time the heater kicks on, which is a lot because it's cold. How can I fix this? [more inside]
posted by meggan on Jan 6, 2017 - 4 answers

Digitize & upload music library

I am digitizing a friend's CD music collection. Once I rip it to MP3s (what she requested), what would be the easiest & cheap as in free way to send it all to her via the Interwebs as I do so? [more inside]
posted by jammy on Jan 6, 2017 - 12 answers

Simpsonsfilter! Help me find this Homer quote

I have a memory of Homer listening to some villainous/horrendous plan/idea/rant and saying to Marge (who urges him to exit) something like "wait wait, let's see where this is going." What episode is this from? [more inside]
posted by RingerChopChop on Jan 6, 2017 - 4 answers

I need advice on which gaming monitor to buy

My son and I recently built a gaming PC from scratch and I'd like to buy him a great monitor to go with it. I need help, however, in choosing the right one. [more inside]
posted by Jamesonian on Jan 6, 2017 - 12 answers

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