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I'm looking to get (re)belted...

I have a slim leather belt with lovely Mexican silver hardware; but the belt itself is fairly shredded, and has already been repaired once (by a shoe repairman, who did the best he could). Who fixes belts these days? How do I find someone to put the hardware on a new piece of leather, in Montreal, in New York, or on the Internet? How much should I expect to pay?
posted by musofire on Dec 22, 2013 - 3 answers

The Lingo Show, Across the Pond?

My daughter loves the BBC Kids show The Lingo Show, in which bugs from different countries teach a little bit of their language. She's only seen bits and pieces on YouTube. Is there any legitimate way I can get her full episodes of the show?
posted by musofire on Dec 4, 2013 - 4 answers

My Folks Want a GPS

What's the best GPS for my folks? They're in their 80s, and want it to speak directions to them. [more inside]
posted by musofire on Nov 25, 2013 - 7 answers

We're Going to the Mattresses

We're upgrading from an old Ikea queen-sized mattress to ... we don't know what. We know very little about proper mattresses. What should we look for in a mattress? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Oct 20, 2013 - 20 answers

Modern Zoombinis?

What is the modern equivalent of 1995's lovely LOGICAL JOURNEY OF THE ZOOMBINIS computer games? They taught math logic skills rather neatly for children, but I don't have a computer that will run the old games.
posted by musofire on Sep 25, 2013 - 4 answers

What Will It Cost to Work in Seattle?

I'm considering a possible tech job in the Seattle area (actually Kirkland). I live in Montreal. We're not planning to relocate to Seattle as yet -- it's a 9-12 month contract only. What sort of expenses should I factor in? A two bedroom apartment my family can visit, a car, health insurance (as a dual national, I don't pay for health insurance here in Quebec), trips home... anything else? I'm trying to figure out how much I would net after the temporary relocation expenses. (The company does not pay relocation expenses.) What sort of non-financial factors should I consider, based on your experience temporarily relocating without your family?
posted by musofire on Sep 18, 2013 - 10 answers

Best Civil War History from the Confederate Side?

I've been reading Bruce Catton's history of the Army of the Potomac, which is excellent. It occurs to me I've only ever read Civil War history from the Union side. So, it's all about those terrible Union generals and all the mistakes they made, and Lincoln's frustration, and how eventually superior manpower and manufacturing, and the Emancipation Proclamation, crushed the feisty Rebs. Now I'd like to read about what the Rebs were thinking during the Late, Great Unpleasantness. Who's the Bruce Catton of the South?
posted by musofire on Aug 14, 2013 - 9 answers

I Need a Mini Bouvier

The beloved Bouzou Dog left us years ago. I would love another Bouvier, but I can no longer carry a hundred pound dog; and sooner or later, you have to carry your dog. The Bouzou Dog was true to breed: even-tempered, active out of doors, lazy in the apartment, alert to new people without being barky, watchful of our daughter, smart, trainable, and non-sheddy (hence relatively hypo-allergenic). What sort of mid-sized (30-50 pound) dog has all those attributes?
posted by musofire on Jul 7, 2013 - 9 answers

Kid-Friendly Flash Builder?

My 9-year-old daughter likes to animate things on GoAnimate.com. The website allows you to upload flash animations, and she'd like to make her own animations of, say, the Sesame Street characters. The canonical program for building flash animations is Adobe Flash Professional. I'm guessing that is beyond her capabilities (and may be beyond mine!). Are there simpler programs that allow a patient but unsophisticated user to build very simple flash animations?
posted by musofire on Jun 23, 2013 - 4 answers

What is this chair?

What is this chair? My wife, a huge fan of design magazines, doesn't recognize it. She thinks it might be handmade, but it looks too industrial for that. No marks on the chair, either. What is it?
posted by musofire on May 25, 2013 - 14 answers

When should I buy LED light bulbs?

Dimmable LED light bulbs seem more economical than halogens. But they're really expensive. Will they quickly come down in price, so I should wait? Or will they come down slowly, so I might as well start saving? Also, how good is the dimming? I tried dimmable CFL's, but they don't seem to dim past 50%.
posted by musofire on May 9, 2013 - 13 answers

Why multi-masted schooners?

Many early sailboats were fore-and-aft rigged, e.g. Egyptian Nile sailboats of antiquity. But soon enough, boat designers moved to square-rigged ships. Then, just before the end of the Age of Sail, at the beginning of the 20th Century, come these ships with multiple schooner-rigged (fore and aft) sails, for example the seven-masted Thomas Lawson and all of these six-masters and all of these five-masters. What was the advantage of the many-masted schooner, and why did it come so late in the development of the commercial sailing vessel?
posted by musofire on Apr 24, 2013 - 7 answers

Could Dental Anesthesia Possibly Kill My Daughter?

My 9-year-old autistic daughter has 5 cavities, three in adult teeth. The dentist wants to put her under general anesthesia. While this would certainly be way more convenient for the dentist, and less hellish for her, I'm concerned about the dangers of anesthesia. I've read about hospital patients suffocating in anesthesia screwups. Is that a possible outcome in dental anesthesia, or is that a different procedure? Do I have a reasonable concern? Should we try to do it normally? Snowflake details: on the spectrum, she's definitely a bit more sensitive and rigid than neurotypical kids, but not drastically so. On a side note: how important is it to fill cavities in baby teeth she will probably lose in a year or two?
posted by musofire on Apr 15, 2013 - 21 answers

How to improv in a rehearsal of a written scene?

I'm looking for advice and resources on how to use improv to flesh out a written scene. I'm not looking for freestyle improv where you're trying to create a new situation, or general theater games, but a more targeted form of improv, where you already have a scene and characters and backstory and dialog, but you want to get the actors to exercise their imagination and flesh out the relationships rather than just play the dialog that's already on the page. What are some parameters? How involved should an improv scenario be in this situation? Should you tell the actors where to end up? How far do you let it go?
posted by musofire on Mar 14, 2013 - 5 answers

Too much growth hormones in the chickens?

Our 9 year old daughter is maturing alarmingly fast physically. Should we be concerned? And is there any way it has anything to do with our habit of eating roast chickens from the supermarket? Could it have anything to do with growth hormones in the chickens?
posted by musofire on Feb 27, 2013 - 30 answers

Lettuce Wash Outside?

Do I have to wash the inside of my romaine lettuce? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Dec 12, 2012 - 31 answers

Help with GoAnimate?

My daughter loves to make cartoons on GoAnimate.com. But it is an incredibly cranky site on Chrome on her Mac, often freezing, and always incredibly slow. Is it just a slow site? Would it be better on a different browser? Is there anything I can do to speed it up? Are the student or professional versions faster? Is there a better site to make animations on? (She's 8.)
posted by musofire on Dec 2, 2012 - 2 answers

17-year-old Need Job. What and How?

My teenager would like to find a job. What are the best resources for finding a job for a 17-year-old high school graduate in Montreal? How about New York? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Nov 10, 2012 - 12 answers

What if the Lights Go Out Here?

With the power out in downtown New York, I'm wondering what devices I should buy against the next blackout / ice storm / zombie apocalypse to keep my electronics going. [more inside]
posted by musofire on Nov 2, 2012 - 16 answers

Best Temp Black Hair Dye?

Best temporary black hair dye for Hallowe'en? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Oct 22, 2012 - 5 answers

Kids' Microscope in Montreal?

I want to buy a microscope for an 8-year-old kid. [more inside]
posted by musofire on Aug 31, 2012 - 2 answers

Why Don't Westerners Wear Robes in the Desert?

In the heat, Bedouins wear long, flowing robes. Westerners wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats. What are the advantages of the robes? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Aug 17, 2012 - 20 answers

Multiple Wives?

How does US law handle foreign nationals (e.g. Saudis) who have legally married multiple wives? Could someone be prosecuted for bigamy? Could multiple wives get a green card? Would a foreign national be expected to divorce all but one wife should he become resident in the US?
posted by musofire on Jul 16, 2012 - 2 answers

"Muscle weighs twice as much as fat"

I'm working out, particularly around the torso, and I'm much stronger. My waistline hasn't budged. My weight has barely changed since I started going to the Y and doing 20 minutes of cardio a day plus lifting weights. Loving wife says that's because I'm building muscle, and "muscle weighs twice as much as fat." What's truly going on?
posted by musofire on Jul 6, 2012 - 34 answers

Printers. With frikkin' lasers.

Should I move to a laser printer? [more inside]
posted by musofire on May 30, 2012 - 23 answers

Is this a redbud?

Is this a redbud? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Apr 30, 2012 - 11 answers

Are There Health Insurance Accountants?

Are there accountants who handle health insurance? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Apr 5, 2012 - 2 answers

Why gluten free?

What is the science of a gluten free diet? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Mar 25, 2012 - 24 answers

Why stop the swelling?

Mrs. Musofire strained her ankle. Why are we icing it? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Mar 18, 2012 - 7 answers

What shirt should I work out in?

What shirt should I work out in? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Mar 5, 2012 - 20 answers

What Else is Like the Peter Gunn Theme?

The "Pink Panther" theme and the "Peter Gunn" theme are both jazz pieces created by Henry Mancini in the 1960's. But musically, how are they similar? If I add Lalo Schifrin's "Mission Impossible" theme ... is this a particular flavor or genre of jazz? If I like these as music, what other pieces (that are not necessarily theme songs) would I like?
posted by musofire on Feb 2, 2012 - 27 answers

Should I Charge For Minor Travel?

Free-lancers: when do you charge for travel time? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Jan 24, 2012 - 13 answers

Best Low Light Still Camera?

Best low light still camera under $250? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Dec 15, 2011 - 6 answers

Why are Chimps So Strong?

How is it chimps are stronger than humans? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Nov 11, 2011 - 13 answers

Uh oh, We Used Old Shellac

Uh oh, I think we used old shellac. Now what? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Oct 9, 2011 - 3 answers

My iPhone Freezes

Help, my iPhone freezes! [more inside]
posted by musofire on Sep 13, 2011 - 12 answers

Perky without Coffee?

Will I be as perky without coffee? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Aug 28, 2011 - 14 answers

I Need to Filter a Lotta Air

How can I clean the air in my open plan loft? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Jul 22, 2011 - 2 answers

Xbox 360, Elite, Arcade, Wha?

Xbox 360, Elite, Falcon, Arcade, wha? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Jun 20, 2011 - 12 answers

Bike Helmet v. Skater Helmet?

Do skater helmets provide better protection for bike riders than vented bike helmets? [more inside]
posted by musofire on May 31, 2011 - 9 answers

Does Canada import timber?

Does Canada import timber??? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Apr 27, 2011 - 10 answers

Why are scimitars curved?

Why are scimitars curved? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Mar 31, 2011 - 20 answers

Best Wiccan blogs?

What are the most interesting, influential Wiccan sites and blogs? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Feb 24, 2011 - 5 answers

This is my book, in Korean. How can I buy it?

My book was translated into Korean. How can I buy a copy? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Feb 17, 2011 - 8 answers

Why is it hard for the US Army to keep 200,000 troops in the MidEast?

The US Army has about 560,000 active duty soldiers, plus 550,000 Reserve and National Guard. Why is the Army under such a strain to keep 100,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 in Afghanistan? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Jan 25, 2011 - 14 answers

What to do in Burlington next Tuesday?

Next Tuesday in Burlington, VT? Or on the road from and to Montreal? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Jan 1, 2011 - 3 answers

Buy a TV before or after Xmas?

Holiday sales or post-holiday sales: when should I buy my new TV? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Dec 5, 2010 - 2 answers

Great War Games?

What are the best board-and-dice war games? Specifics inside. [more inside]
posted by musofire on Oct 24, 2010 - 10 answers

What Are Some Great Movies About War?

We're watching Gettysburg, which is a great education in the Civil War for our 15-year-old son. What are other great movies about battles and war?
posted by musofire on Oct 6, 2010 - 48 answers

What does the library do with donated books?

I like to donate my spare books to the library. They always take them. Am I helping them? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Sep 23, 2010 - 21 answers

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