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Help me understand this American Civil War-era reference

More than once I have come across this image: Jeff. Davis' Coat of "Alms.", typically on an envelope. I am insufficiently knowledgeable about the American Civil War to understand the reference. [more inside]
posted by komara on Mar 28, 2014 - 5 answers

 

State ID/Passport Catch 22. Complicating factor: DUI

My boyfriend needs a passport and a state ID. This is in Louisiana. Due to a recent DUI he does not have in his possession a valid (unexpired) LA driver's license. What we have are his original birth certificate, expired Tennessee license, photocopy of valid LA license (with documentation of why he doesn't have the actual card), and current photo student ID, but it's complicated. [more inside]
posted by CheeseLouise on Mar 28, 2014 - 9 answers

USB stopped working on asus laptop

The usb just stopped working on my Asus zenbook UX32VD laptop, running windows 8.1. Device manager shows no problems with usb (or any devices), and I have tried plugging in several different usb devices (my mouse, flash drives) to check. The built-in touchpad still works. Can anyone suggest how I might fix it, or what has happened? Thanks. [more inside]
posted by theyexpectresults on Mar 28, 2014 - 4 answers

Ex-XP? What should I do with my old XP running laptop?

I have an old laptop running XP. The laptop actually dates from the Vista era, but I chose to have XP installed given the lousy rep that Vista had. I have seen this question. I have a newer laptop that I use for most of my word processing and internetting needs. I can retire the old laptop, but it still works so I'd rather not ditch it. Assuming I am not going to attempt to run XP on anything connected to the outside world, what can I do with this old laptop? [more inside]
posted by pianissimo on Mar 28, 2014 - 9 answers

"... Mitt Romney be elected the 11th legitimate President." Meaning?

In the 7th season 4th Ep of 30 Rock, Jack Donaghey states, "...we have to spend all of our money to help Mitt Romney become the 11th legitimate President of the United States." I paraphrased a bit, because there was a joke in there about fabulous hair, and another about women in politics, but the overall meaning of the joke about "11th legitimate President," escapes me. This happened during the 2012 election cycle. Please clarify. Thanks.
posted by jbenben on Mar 28, 2014 - 8 answers

Who was the guy who walked in on Obama during the "Osama" speech?

He walked in on Obama during the speech about Osama... Anyone special? Just some dude? Seen here...
posted by modbom on Mar 27, 2014 - 2 answers

Help me with a permutations probability problem.

I'm an answer-checker who is rusty at probability. Can you solve this problem? What is the probability that a random arrangement of the letters in the word THRUSTS will have the two T's next to each other? [more inside]
posted by 23skidoo on Mar 27, 2014 - 11 answers

How do I only allow BitTorrent downloads when my Mac is at home?

I would like Transmission, my OS X BitTorrent client, to only download and upload torrents when I'm on my home Wi-Fi network, and to stop all activity automatically when I'm not on this network. How can I achieve this? I'm open to using different software if need be.
posted by Richard Holden on Mar 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Where can I find bulk t-shirts with random prints?

Thirty years ago, I remember my dad buying bulk t-shirts from one of several companies advertised in the back of magazines. These shirts would have random company logos in random languages, and were clearly a way for t-shirt printers around the world to get rid of overstock. It was like a surprise box every time. [more inside]
posted by hanoixan on Mar 27, 2014 - 9 answers

What caused this ice formation in my mother's birdbath?

A few years ago, my mother sent me pictures of this odd ice formation that she found in her birdbath, wondering if I had any idea how it formed. I asked around on Facebook and none of my friends could identify it, but no such luck. I just occurred to me today to ask Ask. Here are the pictures: birdbath and close-up. Any thoughts on how that shape was created? This was winter 2010, in Connecticut.
posted by Neely O'Hara on Mar 27, 2014 - 7 answers

Name that book: a detective novel in Los Angeles

Help me remember the title of this book? [more inside]
posted by Cwell on Mar 27, 2014 - 5 answers

Gluttony in Sin City

Your recommendations for breakfast/brunch/dinner on/near the Las Vegas Strip? [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 26, 2014 - 14 answers

How do I get to know my parents as people?

After seeing and reading about the death of parents, one of the biggest regrets seems to be not knowing them better. I have a cordial but distance relationship from my parents and while I don't ever see us being BFFs, I would like to know them better as people and their life. How do I do this, considering I live 6 states away? [more inside]
posted by lpcxa0 on Mar 26, 2014 - 21 answers

Removing chewing gum from leather

So I managed to get gum on my shoe yesterday. Normally I would just scrape it off, but in this case it's on the top of the leather shoe, not on the sole. I did some googling and saw advice to freeze the item with gum on it and other advice to use a hairdryer to heat the gum. One page suggested peanut butter. Since these seem like contradictory bits of advice, I'm here asking: Have you ever tried to remove gum from leather? What worked? Since it's the top of the shoe I'd like to have it look ok when I'm done.
posted by kbuxton on Mar 26, 2014 - 6 answers

Where should I stay during a conference in Vegas?

I'll be in Las Vegas for a conference this summer, and am trying to figure out what my best options are for lodging. I'll have a fair bit of time for fun stuff, and I can't decide whether it's wiser to stay right next to the Convention Center and cab it to the strip/Fremont, or whether it makes more sense to stay on the strip and cab it to the conference (I'm also open to walking, depending on weather/exhaustion levels). I'm also not sure which way would be most beneficial traffic-wise, going into or out of the strip. If you've done this before, which option would you recommend, and are there any particular hotels I should look into?
posted by stellaluna on Mar 26, 2014 - 15 answers

What kind of car did I see today?

I saw a sporty compact type of car today with a logo I didn't recognize. It looked like an angular "m" inside of an oval shape. I would describe it as a cross between a batman symbol and an infinity logo. The body style was a sleek, aggressive, sporty design - not cheap, but not too high end. If I guessed, I would have thought it was a like a Scion Tc or Mazda 3. At first I thought it might be a Tesla. I can't recall if it was a coupe or sedan. Any ideas?
posted by roaring beast on Mar 26, 2014 - 20 answers

Final pre-purchase car questions!

Continuing my car questions (1, 2, 3). We’re buying a gently used Forester. Two questions I need to resolve before picking up the car: should I finance any part of the purchase (can pay all cash), and should I pay to extend the bumper-to-bumper warranty to seven years? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 26, 2014 - 14 answers

Advice on seeking reimbursement from gas station for bad fuel?

Earlier this month, my 2007 Toyota Prius stalled right after a drive-through oil change (where you sit in your car while the work is done). I had it towed back to the oil place, and they checked and said no fluids were leaking and confirmed they'd used the right kind of oil. Then I had it towed to a Toyota body shop--it wouldn't go into neutral at that point, in case that's important--where the service dept. checked various things, drained the gasoline and refilled with new gas, then drove the car 10 miles with no problem. I have the receipt from the last place I bought gas (5 days before the oil change; a chain service station called Mapco Mart) and a receipt from the body shop saying the "fuel volatility [was] poor" which caused the stalling. I also have a receipt for the oil change showing what they did besides the change itself: they added windshield washer fluid and checked that brake lights, headlights, and wipers were working. Should I go to the gas station in person, or write to or call the company that owns it, or something else?
posted by homelystar on Mar 26, 2014 - 18 answers

Online DVD sellers that aren't Amazon?

Can anyone recommend a US-based online DVD store other than Amazon that ships internationally? [more inside]
posted by fearthehat on Mar 26, 2014 - 7 answers

Refundable airline ticket, or last minute purchase for uncertain date?

My dad was diagnosed with cancer in February. He lives in a different state. On a recent visit to see him, he suggested that my husband and I buy refundable airline tickets in case my dad's condition gets unexpectedly worse and I need to travel to see him on short notice. He thinks that this might be cheaper for me than having to buy tickets on very short notice. My impression is that nonrefundable tickets are fairly expensive, and I'm not sure if I can buy one that's open-ended enough for that purpose (my dad's prognosis is 1-3 years). I'm wondering if I should just wait and either 1) look for last-minute travel on Hotwire/Expedia/whatever or 2) accept being gouged for last-minute airline tickets. I'd appreciate any advice on what the best option is here, especially if there are some that I'm not thinking of right now.
posted by SockISalmon on Mar 25, 2014 - 17 answers

Tokyo to Nagoya for a sumo match

I'll be in Tokyo with my family in July, and I would love to check out a sumo wrestling match. I found that there will be a tournament happening in Nagoya while we are there. It looks like the Shinkansen train can make the trip in ~100min. Is this a feasible day trip for 3 ppl (2 adults + 1 6y/o)? Any insight appreciated
posted by askmehow on Mar 25, 2014 - 8 answers

Help me sing a Dutch nursery rhyme to my daughter

My dad (who was Dutch) used to sing two nursery rhyme/children's songs to us and the grandchildren of my family. He passed away a few years ago and I'd like to sing it to my daughter but I have no idea how to spell (or even really pronouce the song title). Can you help me google it? [more inside]
posted by jojobobo on Mar 25, 2014 - 8 answers

Purchase Sloe Berries

I have a cookbook from England with a sloe gin recipe using fresh sloes, but the plant apparently does not grow in the US (Come on, ConAgra, get busy!). Also, I have learned from a grower in England that starting several years ago, fresh sloes cannot be brought into the US (Is this coincident with the Tea Party?). Any help would be appreciated finding fresh sloes for use in California, and a toast in your name! Thanks!
posted by breadbox on Mar 25, 2014 - 8 answers

What is that electronic noise in my audio system?

I'm hearing some odd noise in my office audio system and I'd like an opinion on what it could be. It appeared right after I replaced three old Shure SCM810 mixers with new versions of the same model. They are usually soft, as heard in this short clip here) but the occasionally sound much louder and become quite noticeable. It reminds me of the interference from Blackberry devices but it's clearly different. Could this be interference from some other device or is something else going on here? Thanks in advance.
posted by Jamesonian on Mar 25, 2014 - 4 answers

Is A Masters' Degree In Professional Writing Worth It?

I've wanted to try to shift from being "secretary who writes" to "writer" for a while now, and just not really had a good plan how - nor any background in the technical writing that really would be where most of the money comes in. Would a full-on masters' degree program teach me that, but have any other benefits (i.e., networking, connections, etc. to jumpstart the career) or am I just fine with the occasional Gotham Writers' mart course and a lot of word-of-mouth? [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Mar 25, 2014 - 20 answers

Travelling on the former MH370 flight. Help?

So I am travelling on the flight that used to be called MH370 (now MH318) in April. Apparently its number was changed to 318 because 8 is a lucky number in China. I notice however that the plane is close to empty even at this point. Does anyone have stats or advice about why I shouldn't be worried? Does lightning ever strike twice?
posted by vizsla on Mar 25, 2014 - 22 answers

Name that trope

A conversation is in progress. Scene cuts for travel to a new location. Conversation picks right back up at the new location as if there was no time in between. Is there a name for this trope? Bones is a show that seems to have it in every opening sequence. As travel in DC is far from instant, it is like they stop talking for 30 minutes to 2 hours sometimes. Is there a name for it?
posted by slavlin on Mar 24, 2014 - 2 answers

Moving cross-country, will need car--but when and where?

In a few months I will be moving across the country from Delaware to California for a year to maybe indefinitely. In which state should I buy a car and how should it be paid for? (Snowflake details below the cut.) [more inside]
posted by serelliya on Mar 24, 2014 - 11 answers

More Like InstaClose, Amiright?

Why does my iPhone keep dropping Instagram, and how do I fix it? [more inside]
posted by Parasite Unseen on Mar 24, 2014 - 2 answers

Movies where the locals kill (or try to kill) the interlopers?

Please suggest some movies where the local residents kill (or try to kill) unwanted outsiders. If known, what motivated the locals to do so? [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Mar 24, 2014 - 42 answers

Can you make my CPU stop beeping in the night?

I bought a new Dell XPS 8700 last fall. Lately, the damn thing seems to work like an alarm clock ALMOST every night around three or four am. I wake up to hear three rapid beeps over and over. This lasts for about a minute. This happens even when I shut it down. [more inside]
posted by Brodiggitty on Mar 24, 2014 - 37 answers

Didn't do US taxes for 2 years. What now?

Every year, I've done my taxes myself, and on time. But, I didn't do my taxes last year. Or the previous year. The reasons are personal and ones that I would imagine the gov't may not care about - a breakup with my partner of 9 years one year + the crush of a big move and job transition the next. I knew there would be complicated tax things to sort through since I was living in corporate-funded temp housing (and also, each year I get $ back, but I think I would have actually owed this time around due to the temp housing deal). I let it build up into a huge scary tower of overwhelmingness. The months ticked by, and it was easier to push to the back of my mind. Essentially - I. just. didn't. do. them. I would imagine that I could be fucked. But I'd like to take a deep breath, take this one on the chin, pay whatever horrible fines I may owe, and get it sorted this year. Pre-April 15th. How fucked am I? Things I should know? Will I need to tell my job about this? I've never used an accountant before - tips for finding one? I'm in Portland, OR.
posted by red_rabbit on Mar 23, 2014 - 19 answers

Accepting a job knowing you'll leave it in a few months...

Job in question is an on-call healthcare position that's interesting, but I know I'll be relocating soon. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by pocksuppetteer on Mar 23, 2014 - 12 answers

Turn of the century. I mean last century. God, early 1900s, okay?

When we say "turn of the century" are we now referring to the 1900/2000 changeover? So what do say when we mean 1800s/1900s? Downton Abbey years? What is the most proper way to put it? [more inside]
posted by angrycat on Mar 23, 2014 - 18 answers

Instruments in "Kiss Them For Me" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

What instruments were used to create the definitive sound of "Kiss Them For Me" by Siouxsie and the Banshees? I am particularly interested in finding out what the bell-sounding instrument that starts near the beginning of the song. Below is a partial list of when particular lines starts. Please correct or elaborate my rough descriptions if you can. [more inside]
posted by grouse on Mar 22, 2014 - 7 answers

Veronica: Now or Later?

I love Veronica Mars. I am almost finished with the second season (I project finishing it on Monday). I have not seen any of the third season. Should I finish the 2nd season before I see the movie? Should I even have seen the 3rd season? Please bear in mind that on the one hand I really don't want the movie to give me spoilers for the show, but on the other hand I don't want to be scratching my head in the movie because of allusions to things I should have seen in the show but haven't yet. On the other, other hand, seeing it on the big screen would be very nice. Please advise.
posted by ubiquity on Mar 22, 2014 - 15 answers

Help me ID/find this game: a portal-like with bouncing ball

Help me ID/find this game: it may have been playable in-browser. If downloadable, it was free and probably worked on winxp. It might have only been at a demo/tech demo state, but it was a 3d first person puzzler where you aim and it would show you the trajectory of where a ball would bounce and you could then teleport to the end point of the trajectory? The idea was that you'd have to figure out which surface/angle to bounce off in order to get to a goal destination. May even have been posted to mefi. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal on Mar 22, 2014 - 5 answers

Can someone help me find this song? EDM, music video has scenes from Big

I saw a youtube music video years ago that was scenes from the movie Big (starring Tom Hanks) and it was an EDM track. That's really all the info I have on it, and I can't for the life of me find it with google or on youtube no matter how many keywords I combine! Can anyone help? Thanks in advance!
posted by bzzt on Mar 21, 2014 - 4 answers

Help me find this news story involving a policeman and a prostitute

I am not sure I recall the details correctly, but I am amused by a news story in my memory. I think my memory is accurate, so here goes. A police officer is testifying in court about his (commercial and sexual) relationship with a prostitute, with whom he had sex in the course of an anti-prostitution sting. The officer is questioned by opposing counsel about whether he climaxed. He explains that he did, but that he didn't take any pleasure in it. Can you give me a link to this news story or tell me where I read it?
posted by Mr. Justice on Mar 21, 2014 - 3 answers

Inserted CDs loaded with images appear to be empty. Why?

The last two times I've inserted a CD with jpegs into my Mac desktop, I double click on the desktop icon for the disk and it says it's empty. I've tried the disks on someone else's Mac and it worked fine. I've waded through all the Mac forums trying to figure out what's going on, to no avail. I import images on a regular basis and, until recently, the process worked fine. Any ideas? Thanks.
posted by holdenjordahl on Mar 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Please recommend comfortable steel-toe men's work shoes/boots.

My spouse recently got a job where he's on his feet all day, and his feet and knees are starting to hurt. He really needs more support/padding I guess. He also needs steel-toe. Shoes or boots are fine. What should he get? [more inside]
posted by rabbitrabbit on Mar 21, 2014 - 17 answers

How to un-crate-train a puppy

~1 year old Labradoodle name of Twist. Good boy. Crate trained up to this point, house trained so long as we lock him in his crate overnight. Which is the issue. I'd like to start weaning him off of the crate. He seems ready, he has no trouble holding it all night in the crate and it's not like he's rushing for the door in the morning; he'll happily romp around the house while we're getting breakfast etc together. But when I've tried leaving the crate door open overnight he, well, chooses not to wait until morning. Looking for strategies to let him know that that's not okay. [more inside]
posted by ook on Mar 21, 2014 - 23 answers

Stock my conference room

If you were stuck in a window-less conference room for 2 days, what sort of beverages or snacks would you like? [more inside]
posted by donajo on Mar 20, 2014 - 49 answers

Help me locate the bathroom organizer of my dreams.

I know exactly what I want. This. Only NOT fiberboard. I want something durable and washable, and since it's for the bathroom, it would be nice if it were relatively waterproof. [more inside]
posted by janey47 on Mar 20, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me use my empty box!

I have a large flat box made of lightweight wood -- maybe pine -- that I have had for years. I would like to do something with it. It is about 18" square and about 1.5" tall, with the lid adding another half inch or so of headroom inside when it's closed. It is plain with a simple gold-tone hook latch. I have considered the idea of drilling holes and using it for a charging station but would like to consider other ideas before I either commit to that or give up and keep carrying it around. Any thoughts? Thanks so much!
posted by michellenoel on Mar 20, 2014 - 3 answers

Help me identify this sci-fi short story

Some time in the mid 1990s I read a sci-fi short story about an augmented individual hired to steal a password - I'm trying to figure out the name of this story and its author. [more inside]
posted by komara on Mar 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Restaurants in Monterey, CA

We're going to be in Monterey, CA, this afternoon, and staying overnight. Tonight is our fourth wedding anniversary - where should we go for some nice but not crazy expensive seafood tonight? And any recommendations for breakfast places? Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown on Mar 20, 2014 - 11 answers

What is a "2048 Combo"?

What is a "2048 Combo"?
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Mar 20, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me find some U.S. elementary school study aids from the mid '80s.

Tryin' to track down a portfolio of English reading/writing laminated bifold four page workbooks. [more inside]
posted by coolxcool=rad on Mar 20, 2014 - 6 answers

What is the first line of 'If She Wants Me' by Belle and Sebastian?

All the lyrics sites I can find say it's 'I wrote a letter on a nothing day.' But to my ears it does not sound like 'on a nothing day' are the words being sung at all. This is the YouTube video I've been listening with. Is it a different version of the song? Am I mishearing it? What are the actual lyrics? Warning: earworm. [more inside]
posted by Quilford on Mar 20, 2014 - 2 answers

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