Activity from mathowie

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How to adjust scroll distance in browsers?

How can I use Chrome or Firefox's advanced about:config settings to tweak how many pixels/lines are shown for each time you do a full-screen scroll with the spacebar? I'd love to shorten the scroll by about 5% of the window height, but tried everything and can't seem to get it to work (or are there extensions to do this?)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 11:14 AM on November 14, 2017 (2 comments)

How to calculate the temp of falling water?

I'm curious how much the temperature of hot water (say, 37ÂșC) drops as it falls through the air, like in a shower. I don't know enough physics or fluid dynamics to even know where to start googling the problem, but if you had a shower 2m off the ground, and assumed ideal large drops, how much would the water temp drop after falling say, a meter in height?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 1:34 PM on November 7, 2017 (21 comments)

Are there downsides to drinking too much soda water?

I've become addicted to soda water recently in a big way and while I know it's better than sugared soda for me, I worry that at the amount I'm drinking (6-10 La Croix cans or 2L of Sodastream bubbly per day) is it more harmful than plain water? It's probably harmless but is there anything I should look out for at high levels? Are there gum diseases associated with Sodastream abuse? Does my liver hate processing acids all day? Is there anything I should avoid with these beverages or am I safe and in the clear?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 4:24 PM on December 3, 2015 (10 comments)

Why are Nissan Leafs so cheap?

I'm shopping for a used car right now (current one has 100k miles on it and is breaking down regularly) and I stumbled onto older (2011-2012, but not very old) Nissan Leafs going for only about $11k used. They cost at least double that new, so why are they so cheap now? Are there recalls or wear or drawbacks? Shouldn't electric cars last for a long time and be reliable?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2015 (20 comments)

How staged/fake is MasterChef Junior?

On the recommendation of several friends I watched the entire last season of Masterchef Junior (US), and I was amazed at what 8-12 year olds on the show were doing, but part of me wonders how real the show really was. I've googled and can't find much beyond people saying it's fake and others saying it's real. Is there more info I'm missing?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 5:22 PM on January 10, 2015 (30 comments)

Anyone used GPS trackers on outdoor cats? How well do they work?

I recently bought one of those Tile things to find your lost keys, things, etc, and they do mention putting one on your pet's collar as a use-case. It's all bluetooth, so I assume it's only good for ~30ft or so away, but I can't find any reviews of it (or similar things) online. Has anyone ever used one with an outdoor cat? Does it work reliably?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 1:24 PM on November 26, 2014 (6 comments)

Cocktail arcade-type games for iOS designed for 2 player tabletop?

I am looking for games for iOS that are played 2-player at the same time, with the phone flat on a table, one person on each side playing against each other. I don't know what to call this so it's hard to search for more (I think of them like 80's arcade cocktail machines). So far the only ones I've found are OLO (a hybrid of shuffleboard and air hockey), TEN (same company, it's like mega tic-tac-toe) and some checkers/chess games. Are there others? What is this style of game design called?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:30 AM on October 15, 2014 (16 comments)

Give me your most jargon-filled work-related statements

I love jargon, especially among sub-genres of things. This week a web developer friend uttered a sentence about frameworks and databases that made sense but sounded so ridiculous I had to stop and ask him to repeat it. I'd like to hear more of these. Please give me the most jargon-filled sentence that you might have uttered at work in the past few weeks and made complete sense to coworkers, but sounds utterly ridiculous to outsiders, and state what your occupation/context was for it.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 7:47 AM on August 14, 2014 (34 comments)

Plans for a Maker Shed

One of the first issues of Maker Magazine had a project to build a backyard modern shed/office with simple materials bought at any home improvement store. I've been Googling all morning but can't seem to find the plans online or any references to the project since the magazine has launched Maker Shed as their store for buying stuff, which muddies the results. Can anyone help me find this project?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 2:42 PM on June 28, 2014 (4 comments)

Who do you call for leak detection services?

I've got an automatic backyard sprinkler system that has sprung a leak, but I have no idea where or how. I'd trust the gardening company that installed it, but they weren't very good at previously finding leaks in their own work (they installed it). Are there professionals that use modern tools to solve these kinds of problems? Should I just call a plumber or HVAC guy or is there someone more appropriate?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 1:39 PM on May 12, 2014 (3 comments)

What digital camera offers mostly physical controls?

I'd like to get my 9 year old daughter a new digital camera to call her own. She's had all my cast-offs from over the years but I noticed her favorite is a 2006-era Olympus with all physical controls. Are there any up-to-date pocket cameras with more physical dials than software menu systems?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 8:41 AM on April 30, 2014 (11 comments)

Are Gray Market Cars in the US still a thing?

Back in the 1980s, I remember a lot of older (richer) friends in Southern California were obsessed with gray market cars, importing special German versions of BMW and Porsche cars to the US and driving them. I haven't heard the term used in ages and there are TONS of Euro-spec cars I wish I could get in the US. Does this still happen? Or is it prohibitively expensive on both ends these days? Or is there some other reason?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 3:18 PM on March 28, 2014 (15 comments)

How to turn off vibrations in latest Android?

I recently got a Moto X, running the latest KitKat OS. I set up a few basic apps, turned off the sound and vibration to everything, but still every tweet reply and email I get causes the phone to do a short vibrate jolt on notification. I also get the haptic keyboard vibration feedback when typing on it. I've googled, turned every sound/vibrate option off in Settings and still can't get this phone to be quiet and vibrate-free on both counts. What am I doing wrong here?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 8:27 PM on March 9, 2014 (5 comments)

Best way to buy Twitter stock on IPO day?

I'm a huge fan of Twitter and surprised how quickly they're going to IPO from the announcement just a few weeks ago (the IPO is supposed to happen tomorrow). I have no idea where to start, when to try and do this, how the process works for a layman. Is there any easy way to buy a couple hundred shares of the stock on the first day?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 6:10 PM on November 6, 2013 (9 comments)

Freight train whistles: legally required, blown for fun, or both?

I've always wondered when you hear a freight train horn blast in the middle of the night: is that an engineer doing something required by law, or is it some guy running a train that is doing it at intervals whenever he personally feels like it?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 7:26 AM on August 1, 2013 (30 comments)

Is there a such thing as Old People IT services?

After a decade of virus-filled PCs, a few years ago I got my dad a iMac. After a conversion period, he was off and running and doing fine. But he still finds amazing ways to do things like delete all his applications and otherwise ruin the thing. Is there any sort of lightweight IT service I can pay to lock down his Mac a little and prevent him from messing it up?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 2:09 PM on December 21, 2012 (18 comments)

What's a good wireless solution for uploading photos from a DSLR on the fly?

I've got a Canon 5D, an iPhone, and an iPad. What's a good on-the-go solution for uploading photos while bike touring?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 3:15 PM on May 22, 2012 (10 comments)

Tips/stuff not to miss in Italy for a 2 week family trip?

Two weeks in Italy, from Rome north to Tuscany and back. Where to go? What to do? Where to stay?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 2:03 PM on April 9, 2012 (14 comments)

New to Final Cut Pro X, need tips on how to organize content

New to Final Cut Pro X, need tips on how to organize content. So I've got hours of interviews in large file segments, how best to cut/edit/organize them in the newest version of Final Cut Pro X?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 10:30 AM on December 14, 2011 (3 comments)

Where should I look for a simple nice man's wedding ring?

After ten years of constantly losing my wedding ring for hours to days, I think it's finally gone, so I need to get a new one. I want simple, unadorned hoop of some non-reactive metal (platinum?), but the real question is: where is the best place to get a no-nonsense ring at a good price? Local jeweler? Online? Anything but a mall Zales outlet?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:36 AM on August 25, 2011 (45 comments)

What do I call the workouts I like done out in fields when searching for a new trainer?

I'm looking to get back into the gym... without exactly going into a gym. I want to find a trainer that does workouts I like, but I don't even know what to call them to help narrow my search. Is there a term for football practice style workouts that don't take place in a gym?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 3:44 PM on April 7, 2011 (19 comments)

Where can I find simple maps comparing latitude around the world?

I want to see a map of North America with all major western European cities overlaid at the correct latitude. Vice versa for American cities overlaid a map of Western Europe. Is there anything like this out there already or easily assembled?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:13 AM on March 7, 2011 (38 comments)

Did any company in SF ever sell out and have to share profits with their landlord?

Back in the year 2000 during the tech boom, business space was in HUGE demand and landlords in San Francisco's SOMA district used to ask for very long leases and even a % ownership stake in your startup. I'm wondering, ten years later, did any property owner rent out their space to a successful startup and end up getting a payday when they flipped?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 10:36 AM on February 28, 2011 (5 comments)

Is a big trip to the big rock worth the expense and effort?

Is a trip to Uluru/Ayers Rock worth it?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:17 AM on February 11, 2011 (35 comments)

What do I look for in a good carpet cleaner?

How do I evaluate different carpet cleaning options for my house? Everything seems to be skeevy door-to-door guys hawking chemical treatments and I used to recall steam cleaning being the way it was done when I was a kid (is that kind still around?). The yellow pages and general local review sites offer no help in picking one of a dozen options. Also, about how much is a normal price for a 3-4 bedroom average house, ballpark range?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 3:04 PM on August 25, 2010 (15 comments)

Where can I find a black honed countertop supplier (either natural or composite)

Where can I find a black, honed countertop similar to the one in this shot that isn't made of granite?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:03 AM on June 13, 2010 (19 comments)

Wag more bark less baffles me.

Where did the "Wag More, Bark Less" bumper sticker meme start? My own sightings of them have gone from extremely rare to many cars seen in every single trip I take. Is it a dog owner/pet store promotional item? Is it a political thing? Something on Oprah I missed?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 1:02 PM on October 26, 2009 (29 comments)

Where do I get Vancouver Olympics tickets this late in the process?

I just realized the Olympics are happening in a few months and they are within driving distance. I have memories of going to several events during the 1984 games as a small kid, and loving the experience. Is there any chance this late in the game that I could get tickets to some events like speed skating or ski jumping? Are scalpers the only option at this point? Are hotels already well-booked?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 10:01 AM on October 9, 2009 (12 comments)

I'm looking for small sporty headphones that aren't in-ear models.

After several years use of iPod headphones, I'm fairly sure I've damaged my ears listening too loudly with earbud style headphones. I have no interest in in-ear headphones, but my question is: is there an alternative to earbuds and in-ear that provide decent sound quality and are functional to use while exercising? (this rules out giant over the ear cans as well) I've seen behind-the head wrap-around headphones but they're usually cheap and tinny -- is there a high end version of those style that I could wear while sweating?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 3:24 PM on July 22, 2009 (16 comments)


Need help locating a repeating flower vector image. What search terms at iStockphoto would work for finding the flower element behind the text on this image?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 10:28 AM on June 8, 2009 (8 comments)

How do normal people pay for custom homes on land?

Dream Home Filter: How does one go about financing the buying of land and building of a custom house? I need help with land loans vs. buying land with a house on it (to improve/tear down), construction loans vs. home loans, etc
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 4:27 PM on May 30, 2009 (9 comments)

How do I unsquish my Google Docs spreadsheet?

My Google spreadsheet collapsed itself in the middle somehow. How do I get it back?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 11:49 PM on February 5, 2009 (5 comments)

Help me find a print version of a famous ad

Where can I find a high DPI print-quality version of this famous offensive coffee ad?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 11:54 AM on November 29, 2008 (10 comments)

Anyone know where to find good tamales in Portland, OR?

It's become a family tradition to have tamales on xmas eve for me and in the past I got some great tamales either from local joints when I lived in LA and more recently I've ordered them online from Texas, but the shipping costs more than a case of them. Are there any local Portland, Oregon area places to get a few dozen tamales around xmas time?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 6:04 PM on November 22, 2008 (13 comments)

How can I say thanks with a nice night out, from afar?

How can I remotely reward a friend in San Francisco with a nice night out? Are there gift certificates I could order for a restaurant and deliver them by email to my friend? I know there must be a system for this, but I can't seem to get the google search terms right.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:24 AM on November 4, 2008 (12 comments)

Going from an old PC to a new iMac, migration possible?

I'm finally retiring my dad's virus-laden PC running XP with a new iMac. Is there any way to migrate his old settings from the PC over to a VMWare instance of XP running on the iMac in case he must use a PC-only app after the upgrade to a new machine?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 6:05 AM on July 23, 2008 (9 comments)

Looking for bike rides around San Diego

Know of any long road bike rides around San Diego, California?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:43 AM on July 11, 2008 (11 comments)

How to start fresh with OSX but restore my music and photos?

How should I go about formating and re-installing Mac OSX on a computer I've been upgrading and using for five years? I want to start fresh and clean with a new install of OSX, but with all my songs, photos, movies intact in iTunes and iPhoto on the new system.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 1:06 PM on May 10, 2008 (12 comments)

Help me build a small, light, battery-powered time-lapse photography rig?

I'd like to do a time-lapse movie of photos taken every 30 seconds during a week-long, 500 mile ride I'm doing later this year. But the rig has to be small, light, automatic, and run for hours a day without a recharge. Is this possible? (something tells me Make Magazine probably already covered this at one point)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 10:02 AM on April 8, 2008 (6 comments)

What's the deal with cyclists using rollers before 100 mile races?

Why do cycling racers always warm up on a trainer/rollers thing before events, even ridiculously long ones? Doesn't it burn up energy they'll need during the race?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 3:28 PM on March 3, 2008 (13 comments)

What's the perfect app to track expenses?

Is there an expense reporting app that's flexible, handy, and will help me finish next year's taxes quickly and easily? I know about excel, quicken, and various financial transaction apps, but what if I drive 100 miles to a tech conference and want to note my mileage? And what if I'm out entertaining clients and I want to pop onto my iPhone to note the total bill for the evening (before I forget the next day to open excel). Are there any web-based flexible apps for doing all the expense reporting you might need for a small business' bookkeeping needs?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 2:04 PM on January 31, 2008 (7 comments)

Can you name any non-violent movies for 2-3 year olds?

Non-violent, non-scary movies for 3 year olds? My daughter likes watching movies as a special treat but is scared by Disney's trademark ultra-villains and even shouting or dark scenes are a bit much for her. So far the only two movies she loves beginning to end are the newish Curious George movie and My Neighbor Totoro. I looked long and hard and can't find any others. Any ideas?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 5:20 PM on January 4, 2008 (79 comments)

How do funeral homes control their odors?

This question is morbid, but I've always wanted the answer. How on earth do funeral parlors (especially those that do cremation) operate in neighborhoods or right next to them without smelling horrible?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 9:27 AM on December 17, 2007 (15 comments)

Anyone know the history of past Macworld Keynotes?

Where could I find the exact dates of the last ten (1997-2007) Macworld keynotes by Steve Jobs, done in San Francisco? I thought some apple history sites would list it, but rampant googling has only turned up info on the last couple years of shows.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 8:21 AM on December 5, 2007 (4 comments)

How do you train for cyclocross races?

How do I get started with cyclocross? I've been a spectator at a cyclocross race and I'm looking at picking up a low-end cyclocross bike, but what's the best way to get started doing it? How do you practice the odd obstacles and challenges found in courses?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 2:13 PM on October 28, 2007 (15 comments)

Is there a such thing as an exterior designer?

I like the HGTV show "Curb Appeal" and I'm familiar with most of the actual trades involved with redoing the front of a house, but where do you find a designer to handle it all?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 7:54 AM on September 28, 2007 (9 comments)

Should I get a hot tub?

As much as it frightens me, I'm really starting to enjoy hot tubs. Would I really use one at home or am I just enjoying them during vacations?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 5:03 PM on August 10, 2007 (40 comments)

How do I get even temps in my 2 story house?

How can I make air conditioning work better in a 2 story house?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 2:52 PM on July 22, 2007 (13 comments)

Is Carbon Fiber really worth the cost of a new bike?

Is a carbon fiber road frame worth the extra expense? I mean I've read loads of pros and cons but does it come down to a slight difference or a major one? I love to go on 15-30 mile rides but I'd like to increase my comfort levels (got a proper fitting and new seat/post so far).
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 8:53 PM on June 2, 2007 (27 comments)

Know of any good Portland print houses that do big stuff quickly?

Anyone know of any good large-format (5 foot by 3 foot poster) printers in the Portland, Oregon area? I've been burned by the wrath of Kinko's too many times and I need it within 48 hours. I know the right outfit could do it in just a few minutes, and I don't care what it costs.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by mathowie at 10:11 AM on May 22, 2007 (7 comments)

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