Activity from Frowner

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How to ethically spend/allocate leftover grant funds?
In our grant environment this type of thing is spelled out in the award letter. We definitely have had grants where "extra" funds can be allocated to other organizational needs as long as the project aims have been met as specified - but again, it's spelled out in the award letter. Can you get access to look at the letter without making your boss angry?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on July 28, 2015
(Oh, that's a good question - does the other person support you or people who work on the grant? My salary comes from IDC even though I don't "work on" any grants, what with lacking the relevant pipetting skills, because I support those who do.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:37 AM on July 28, 2015
What's more, someone at your organization is writing a report to the granting body to close out the award (unless this is some smallish, very idiosyncratic foundation - but $120,000 is a big award for a foundation so probably not). That person will be accounting for what was spent and they'll need either to assert that it was all spent on your salary and program costs or to explain that there was $3000 "extra" and it went to another area.

Who manages awards… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:23 AM on July 28, 2015

Kids left in car??
Like a lot of people of my generation, I was routinely left in the car when my mother ran short errands - in fact, I'd often ask to stay in the car so I could read and not stand in line at the post office, etc. This was certainly happening by the time I was eight. We left the car doors locked and the windows cracked if it was warm. Sometimes I got a little nervous, but not nervous enough to want to stand in line. A kid can feel nervous without it being a reasonable fear… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:10 AM on July 27, 2015 marked best answer
(Oh gosh, I for some reason misread this and thought it was nieces feeling is still that this is not a crisis, but that your partner certainly does have more standing to talk about it. Again, I would probably bring it up because I'd be worried about my ex getting arrested and the impact that would have on the girls rather than because I'd be worried about the safety of the kids in the car.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:16 AM on July 27, 2015

My Mom and Dad aren't in the fairy tale marriage I thought...
Just a thought: your mother is only what, 44? That seems pretty old when it's a parent and you're in your twenties, but it's not really very old at all. It's certainly young enough for it to be realistic to major changes in your life, or to realize that what you thought you wanted when you were young and comparatively helpless doesn't make you happy.

That doesn't mean you should be your mother's confidant, of course, and the other suggestions in this thread about bowing… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:34 AM on July 25, 2015

What do I do with this money?
Mail it back to the accounting department with a letter explaining the situation. You can even address it to Engineering Firm/Accounting Department/1500 Engineering BLVD/Industrial City, if you like. The mail room will sort it out.

It doesn't matter where the money is - refunded, with the state, still attached to the check. This will become the company's problem, or not become a problem if they've already dealt with it.

If you don't want to do… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:20 AM on July 23, 2015

Weird Furniture Phenomenon: Please Explain
Two thoughts:

if you moved it yourself, you may have pulled on it in a one-sided way so that it wobbled around and everything is now at an angle to where it should be. If that's the case, try going in and tightening all the screws - many have probably worked loose.

Is your floor crooked? Try rolling a marble - does it roll quickly to one side of the room? If so, you might need shims to equalize the legs of the dresser. An uneven floor could… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:58 PM on July 17, 2015

I've got 25 miles and a very sore bum [Long distance biking question]
The only new bikes I've ever seen in the neighborhood of $200 are from Target or Walmart. I had one once in a pinch, and it got me around town, but it was heavy, uncomfortable and didn't handle well.

Locally (MPLS; you're out east so I imagine things are more expensive) I've started seeing some adequate bikes for around $350 - Jamis, mainly.

Your total round trip is ten miles? If you're not planning on riding in the snow, a $350 Jamis would… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:04 AM on July 16, 2015
Also, if you're starting a daily 10 mile bike commute, make sure you can fix a flat and carry supplies to do so. Also, get used to carrying minor bike kit stuff - you'll be far enough from home/work that it will be a huge drag to have to walk your bike if it breaks down.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on July 16, 2015
On the used bike front - if you're getting a cheap enough used bike ($150 range including all fixes) it probably makes more sense to just ride the $150 bike until it dies and then replace it, rather than putting a lot of money into fixing it. That might, all around, be the cheapest way to do this. Of course, then you're bike-shopping every ten months or so.

Bike costs for me, past five years - I ride every day, some years about 10 miles a day but right now only five or… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:32 AM on July 17, 2015 marked best answer

Befriending the Ex
I became good friends with a partner's ex, despite feeling pretty hostile to her initially. Actually meeting her and spending time with her allowed me to see her as a person and to observe how she interacted with my partner rather than to build her up as a menacing figure in my head.

How big is the Big Event? Is this more like a panel at an SF convention or more like a large dinner party? How emotionally significant is the Big Event? If it's a big but not… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on July 16, 2015 marked best answer

workplace woes: my boss seems to love correcting + debating minutia
I had something like this - someone would push me for very detailed information at the drop of a hat. (Not exactly like, but it did often result in me spitballing.) After a couple of months of me saying "I don't know without checking on [X]; let me look at my files and I can get you the answer in [time]", it all stopped.

I would say, get in the habit of being super precise or else signposting "I am thinking about this and would like to look at my data… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2015

How can I wear earrings again?
I have exactly this problem intermittently. I've gotten captive bead hoop earrings in stainless, titanium, niobium and gold over the years (the gold ones are from before gold prices went nuts; they were $65 and I thought that was a lot). Basically, when my ears are acting up I wear the captive bead ones day and night for a few weeks. I clean with alcohol occasionally.

Here are some teal captives from Body Artforms, which is a very reliable seller - I've bought all… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:49 AM on July 16, 2015

Why might people want more sex in my writing? Why don't I?
What are you writing? Is it a genre which conventionally has more sex scenes? Does your plot depend on some kind of sexual experience by your characters?

Who are your readers? What do they normally read?

Frankly, I read relatively little serious fiction with explicit sex in it - the kind of books that I tend to read don't really depend much on explicitly describing sexual acts. If I regularly read slash fanfic, erotica, many subgenres of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:15 AM on July 15, 2015

All-purpose classy-looking daily shoes/boots that will last for a while?
What you want is to break the bank and get a pair of the made-in-France goodyear welted Mephistos, as here. Many Mephistos are ugly and even the "classy" ones don't, IMO, have the grace of a proper dress shoe. But I've actually got a pair of the linked ones (second hand via eBay) and they're good, solid, comfortable shoes. I don't think they'll fall apart on you even after a year of heavy wear.

Frankly, I have some really sturdy boots from French and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:04 AM on July 15, 2015

Tell me about your favorite sophisticated-looking backpack.
Cote & Ciel bags are really spendy, but I've seen them on sale for high-reasonable prices on other websites. In my heart I kind of want one but they're some kind of funded-by-Apple thing and so I have hesitated because tech bros, but they sure look neat.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:35 AM on July 13, 2015

Question on the ethics of storytelling
White person, here. Terry Bisson, who is white, wrote a well-regarded science fiction novel called Fire On The Mountain which is set in a (sorta future, partly alternate history) South which is majority black. He drew very heavily on his experience in the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee, work in Black-led radical organizations, his life in the South and just...basically being a white guy with a substantially Black and POC social circle.

Honestly, I… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:56 AM on July 12, 2015
As I've been thinking about this, I've been thinking about several of the comments here that have said that men write women characters all the time, and I've been wondering whether this is really a good parallel to your situation.

I was thinking - I read many male authors who write women characters, but I would find it distinctly odd if a man wrote a future-US SF novel set in a society where there were only women. It would feel creepy to me, no matter how well done.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2015

Help me maximize fat loss without bulking up more
I just want to say that as an AFAB person not on hormones, I started lifting weights and "bulked up" enough that I'm having trouble with my clothes fitting. I am visibly bigger and different looking than I was six months ago. I haven't "bulked up" like a competitive lifter and - being kind of pudgy - I don't have a lot of muscle definition, but I do look different. This is perfectly possible for women, depending on your body type and how easily you put on muscle.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:47 AM on July 12, 2015

a big ole bag of confusion, a possible engagement, and me
The only way this would work would be if it were a...a...marriage of convenience or a mariage blanc, where you were intentionally getting together for the economic security and companionship and both comfortable seeking sexual relationships elsewhere or both uninterested in sex. I have seen this kind of thing work when both partners are truly emotionally onboard - not without its own issues, but all relationships have issues. But unless that is something both you and your… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on July 8, 2015

What can go wrong with an exit interview?
If you are pressured and really can't get out of it, say bland things, just as you would for trick questions at a job interview. "I really enjoyed working with Manager and learned a lot". "Oh, no, I didn't really have any difficulty in working for any of my supervisors, so I don't have an example of a conflict....No, really, I can't think of anything." "Oh, I'm leaving because I want to learn some new skills at [place]; this has been a wonderful experience but I am… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:46 PM on July 7, 2015

Déclassé, gauche, or acceptable?
This sounds like it should be a targeted request - pick the people you're fairly certain would like to buy you a little get-well present, like close friends and family. A lot of these "can I ask for [gift]" questions seem to me to be questions about knowing your audience. You can ask for things from close friends and near kin that would be gauche and grabby if asked of your larger circle, precisely because your close friends and near kin have a richer and longer-term relationship with… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:44 AM on July 6, 2015

Does persistent back pain/tightness ever get "cured"?
I had a chronic knot by my left shoulder blade for years - not as bad as yours but always present and it would hurt when I was stressed. Lat raises (not bench pressing, kind of the opposite of bench pressing) cleared it up after about a month. Your situation seems more serious than mine but if you're at the gym for yoga or something anyway, maybe try lat raises? I started out with an appropriate weight (15 pound dumbells) and did two sets of twelve on each side, kneeling/resting my opposite… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:50 PM on July 2, 2015

Can I eat this? Berry edition
In our part of SMPLS - an old/active industrial area - there were arsenic spumes and you have to test the soil before gardening, then do raised-bed if your soil isn't good. On the theory that your part of town probably isn't any better, I would give these a miss.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:46 PM on July 1, 2015

How can I feel comfortable with my psychiatrist again?
Someone could be very good for/to you with one problem - the first bout of serious depression - while not being good for/to you for other problems. Maybe this is a guy who can have compassion when someone is in an extreme state but who is really shitty at dealing with people on a routine "I have low level problems" basis. The guy could have helped you a lot - for real, from a place of compassion - in the past, while hurting you badly now.

You don't know… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:46 AM on July 1, 2015
You're right. I'm really prone to exaggeration and hyperbole. I think I am highly likely doing that here and just writing all of this to get sympathy and incite the kind of responses I'm getting here. I'm sure that he was being totally reasonable. I'm trying to regulate myself emotionally, and I shouldn't have said that. I apologize.

Everything you write here sounds like me, and the reason I do it is because I struggle with a balanced understanding of… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:28 AM on July 1, 2015 marked best answer
If this were me - as avoidant as I am, and only giving this advice because you're at the 'what do I do tomorrow' stage - I would go in, pretend it was a normal visit, say what I needed to say and then do a ghost/slow fade and avoid his calls if any. Surely you can get records transferred by letter or through his admin? Basically, just fake it until you have another therapist lined up.

If you can't "break up" with the dude if you have to hear him tell you that… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on July 1, 2015 marked best answer
I'm confused and I'm feeling a little paranoid by the therapists here asking about my motivations in posting this question. Is there something I've done wrong? What motivations could I have? I'm really concerned about this skepticism. I promise I don't have any malicious intentions! I'm not gearing up to be litigious in any way. I just want to be a better person and learn how to have a better relationship with my psychiatrist.

Maybe you can have… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:11 AM on July 1, 2015
What I'd do is ask this question to someone in your real life. I personally doubt that you're delusional to the point where you're radically distorting what happened (not just misinterpreting or being a little manipulative as human beings virtually always are). But if you're so delusional that you're radically misunderstanding your job and your interactions with others, someone in your real life will have noticed this.

Do you have a history of substantial delusion?… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:55 AM on July 1, 2015

Limerance Frequency and Duration
To me this sounds a little unusual but not out of the normal range of human emotions - and mostly what sounds unusual to me is the googling.

I'd say that if you can sincerely consider your actions and thoughts and you're sincerely committed to your wife - and if your interactions with crushes don't take time away from building your relationship with your wife - there's no reason to worry about it.

Honestly, I think it's healthy as long as it's… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:19 PM on June 26, 2015

How to navigate a potential divorce?
I have a friend with a recent and difficult divorce under her belt. I assume that things vary by state, but also that there are some generalities likely to be true.

Note - you DO need a lawyer, and you need a SHARK. You don't know how your husband is going to react when actually faced with your departure - but a LOT of people get really nasty. My friend said that getting a really good woman lawyer was the best thing that she did in the whole process and made… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:40 AM on June 24, 2015

What are the most stunning music videos of the past five years?
You want some Spoek Mathambo - who I recommend musically as well, of course.

His cover of 'Control' is really amazing and totally makes the song have more meaning than the original. (Not that I don't like the original.) It's not a high budget video, but it beats a lot of more expensive stuff all hollow, IMO. I actually find it kind of an upsetting video, but not because of gore or anything.

Let Them Talk is pretty weird and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:33 AM on June 23, 2015

Spectacular Spectacular!
I actually quite liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie for the Big! Dumb! thing. I saw it once in the theater when I was feeling kind of depressed, and I remember distinctly thinking that it was a pretty satisfying movie of that general type.

I know you say that you're good on classics, but just in case, have you seen The Leopard?... so much wonderfulness in it, there's a castle and a big fancy dog and aristocratic goings on and it's filmed in Sixties Luxury… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:08 PM on June 22, 2015

Did my boyfriend just get married?
So he didn't post these, a student did? You're sure it was a student? This whole thing on the face of it sounds like he's a scary manipulative person who has been lying to you and gotten married, but if someone got married while trying to keep their affair going, surely the actual family of the new spouse and so on would also be posting at least some of these and surely the groom would be expected to post something? I mean, surely all his friends would be… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:10 PM on June 19, 2015

What is this lump on kitty's paw?
I remembered that I'd read about something like this and googled around - could it just be a horned paw anomaly?

There's a link here where the person's cat has one that looks like your cat's. The ones on the messybeast site are more horn-like.

Obviously you could contact the vet to confirm and see if it's worth removing (and IANYV) but it seems likely to be a harmless recurring aberrant callous.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:41 AM on June 19, 2015

What is some good science fiction like this?
You might find interesting the sections of Ursula Le Guin's Always Coming Home which deal with the "Mind" which shares the Earth with the post-collapse society.

Also, I think Iain Banks's novel The Algebraist is interesting on this - the Dwellers and Clouders.

There's some old John Varley short stories that deal with symbiotic relationships between humans and these sort of space-faring plants - I… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:33 AM on June 10, 2015
Oh, and Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and William Gibson's short story "Hinterlands.

In Roadside Picnic, aliens have area full of something, their debris, their trash, their discards, and it all has enormous and mysterious power by human standards. Humans go in to search for things and come out, or not.

"Hinterlands" is about a method… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on June 10, 2015
Oh, and for a fun read, what about Out of the Deeps/The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham? We never actually see the aliens but they are roughly "equal" to humanity...just very different.

It's actually a wonderfully eerie novel about postwar Britain.

I have only read the US version, which has a slightly different/bleaker ending than the UK version, apparently.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:20 AM on June 10, 2015

What to do when a grown-up needs to grow up?
So many of your other questions are basically "I am ugly and inferior and a failure, how do I deal with that". This makes me think that this question you are asking now may not be the right one to ask.

Look, when I was younger I was tormented - far past what is normal - by how ugly, inferior and failed I thought I was. I also thought I was terrifically self-absorbed, and indeed, I was not a model of charity. This is because I was unhappy,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:51 PM on June 9, 2015
To add: when I was younger and hated my looks, inferiority, directionlessness, etc, I also beat myself up for being selfish and a bad person. If there is one thing I really think it would have been easy to do differently, it would have been to turn off those narratives about "covert narcissisim" and other moralizing psychological terms that only people who already have decent hearts turn against themselves. You are not a covert narcissist.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:00 PM on June 9, 2015
From a practical standpoint: Pick something small and routine and do it. When I started therapy, for instance, I took up reading a book (instead of the internet) again every night before bed. And I started flossing every morning. I just read books that enticed me - I didn't seek out "important" books.

I've also found that going to the gym helps me, for some reason. Try weights. Barbell is good - something where you can work out three times a week for… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:55 PM on June 9, 2015

What can a friend do to get adequate pain meds for a short term injury?
Friend is elevating and icing foot and wearing an ace bandage (and taking acetominaphen - can't take Advil), plus using crutches. There was an X-ray at the ER.

How can we get in to see another doctor fast? I don't even know how to find a doctor - I've been seeing my primary care doctor for years and they were the first one I saw when I moved here.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:54 AM on June 9, 2015
I know I'm threadsitting a bit, but - the foot has been X-rayed. Friend has been taking naproxen. Med interactions aren't at issue here.

Again, I have begged this exact doctor for painkillers and got a quite large bottle of opiates out of it. (Which I ended up not taking, just for the record.) I feel bad because I recommended this doctor to my friend based on my experience and I feel like my friend has gotten the run-around several times from him.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:39 AM on June 9, 2015
Update - friend made an appointment at an orthopedic clinic for Friday. Do you think it would be worthwhile to go to an urgent care in the hope of better painkillers?

Honestly, I don't even know what my friend had the first time - I only know that the ER provided a small number of pills that mostly worked, and the primary provided some pills that don't cut the pain.

My understanding is that what is being sought is not A Large Prescription For… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:06 AM on June 9, 2015

I am in a prison of my cat's making.
I would try to make arrangements with a a pet sitter by consulting a cat specialist of some kind and working with the sitter and the specialist to plan some techniques for dosing a hostile cat. Hostile cats can be given meds. Does the pet sitter stay at your place? Basically, my feeling is that an expensive pet sitter may be a solution - someone you can pay to deal carefully with your poor freaked-out kitty. Honestly, I have pet-sat several cats who didn't have medical… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:42 AM on June 7, 2015

It would be nice if I didn't have to ask you to do things all the time!
One thing I've noticed about men and recurring chores - they often don't want to/know how to do a "good enough" job. They won't clean the bathroom regularly; they'll clean it once every three months and scrub it until you could perform minor surgery on the floor, but then of course it's dirty again in a week. In the most irritating circumstances, they'll make a big deal about how they do these chores "better" than you because you spend 30 minutes cleaning the bathroom… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:48 AM on June 4, 2015
You may want to bring up to him that women are biologically disinclined to have sex with their children, and that being a giant toddler is probably going to become an issue if it hasn't already.

This is far, far more important than it sounds, IME.

"Do chores so that your wife will have sex with you" is an often misunderstood trope. Although part of it is "oh gee, now I am not tired and stressed about the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:33 AM on June 5, 2015

Lost my endurance
Anecdata: fat, muscular person who always thought myself pretty active, bike commuted year round, etc. I started up at the gym last fall and could not do more than ten minutes on the elliptical at a moderately brisk pace - and ten minutes was pushing it. It took me about a month of regular fast walking on the treadmill to get up to doing the elliptical. I just got back from a workout that was 30 minutes of elliptical at a high speed followed by barbell work and goblet squats.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:58 PM on June 4, 2015

Can you folks help me find a t-shirt?
When I was young and punk rock I made such kind of tee shirts thusly:

1. Tee shirt
2. Spray paint
3. Cardstock
4. Xacto knife
5. Masking tape
6. Piece of heavy cardboard

Cut out appropriately sized @ symbol. Cut out big square of cardboard and put inside tee shirt so that front of shirt is flat - tape the shirt around the cardboard square. Roll up little rolls of masking tape and put… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on June 2, 2015 marked best answer

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