Activity from kristi

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Easy to use, compact practice gear for keyboards and guitar
Just a quick clarification - one thing I really want to be able to do is play along with accompaniment, which means being able to get both the accompaniment audio (presumably Garageband or BiaB) and the instrument output into the headphones at the same time. It looks like the Micro BR-80 MIGHT let me do that?

Thanks for all the suggestions so far - that travel guitar looks GREAT!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 12:11 PM on October 17, 2017

Avoiding the news when married to a news junkie
I am much more politically engaged than I was two years ago, but I absolutely 100% avoid the news whenever I possibly can. I get my pointers for active engagement from Indivisible and re:act letter and so forth, and avoid general news otherwise.

What's worked for me is to tell people explicitly and repeatedly "I don't want to talk about the news," and then to also have some go-to subjects that I DO like to talk about handy. For me, that's space stuff (NASA,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 11:07 AM on October 17, 2017

Software to manage science photos
You might also look into free, open source Resourcespace - here's info on installing Resourcespace on Windows.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 5:27 PM on October 16, 2017

Help us fall in love with sweet potatoes!
I'm not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but really enjoy them topped with something like this:

* can of black beans
* bunch of greens (mix of chard and baby kale, I think)
* half a jar (or more or less) of salsa
* loads of green onions and cilantro on top, with a good squeeze of lime

Just cook all the above together and put it on top of the baked sweet potato. Really good.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 9:35 AM on October 11, 2017

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans..."
I don't find it scary at all; I find it delightful.

One way to tune in to the world around you is through an activity that requires it. Sketching is great, and photography is good, too. When I started birdwatching (I am the world's most casual birdwatcher - I am really good at identifying about 5 very common species, and I mostly just enjoy seeing them around), I discovered that I was just spotting more birds. It seemed like birds were everywhere all of a sudden! They'd… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 9:59 AM on October 6, 2017

Life as you know it
There was a great recommendation of ethnographies in a somewhat similar question I asked a while back. (And thank you for asking this! I'm very interested in reading the recommendations here!)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:34 AM on October 5, 2017

Help stop our going-out addiction!
Riffing off pdb's sensible advice, might I suggest lots of restaurant leftovers?

Go out to a reasonably-priced Chinese or Indian place and get several entrees. Eat as little as you can to get full. Take home everything you didn't eat. You now have several days' worth of food to enjoy at home, maybe with a nice cheap-ish bottled beer. (However much it costs, it'll be cheaper than at the restaurant.)

I love to eat out, but restaurants almost always… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 2:27 PM on September 30, 2017

Please recommend happy, uplifting narrative non fiction
In case you're interested in a previously, here's my question on feel-good non-fiction.

Looks like no one's mentioned John McPhee yet, so I'll recommend

A Sense of Where You Are, about Bill Bradley
The Headmaster
Levels of the Game, about Arthur Ashe

(Note that two of those are about athletes, and I have pretty much no interest in sports at all, but those are GREAT books about fascinating and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 1:57 PM on September 30, 2017

How do you organize your ebooks so that you can browse them?
Calibre's great, but I'd also strongly suggest checking out the demo version of Bookpedia. I just bought it to organize all my physical books, but I've also dragged my many many epubs into it, and it's great for that. I use free software whenever I can, but I have been beyond delighted with the very reasonably priced Bookpedia (and their other apps, should you wish to catalog your DVDs or CDs as well). (Plus: cover flow! If you care about that sort of thing.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 11:01 AM on September 29, 2017

Book recommendation please: Women on the move
I wasn't sure if you were looking for fiction or non-fiction, but when you said "boat" I immediately thought of a fairly light novel by Katie Fforde called Life Skills, in which a young woman ditches her fiancé and takes a job as a cook on a hotel boat. The same author also wrote A Summer at Sea, although I haven't read that one.

You might also enjoy books by Eva Ibbotson - I really enjoyed A Company of Swans and A Countess Below Stairs.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:30 AM on September 29, 2017

Period dramas, but not those rich folk
Also Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith - there's a fair amount of toffs in Tipping but the main character comes from a family of fishmongers, if I recall correctly. Lovely costumes, in any event.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:15 AM on September 28, 2017

Looking for gripping non-fiction
I found Black Hole Blues riveting, and also beautifully written.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 9:59 AM on September 27, 2017

Paper reference library
Colin McEvedy's historical atlases are pretty great.

Also, it can be nice to have some art history books around. mortaddams gave a great summary in the Art History Starter Pack thread, and I second (third?) the recommendation of Sister Wendy - I have her Story of Painting and it's got a lot of good stuff.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2017

How is it possible to be so bad at eating?
I think you've got a LOT of good advice above. I'd just like to add a suggestion to check your library for An Everlasting Meal (or even splurge and buy a copy if you feel like it). It's a beautifully written book about how to make food a really satisfying part of your life and how to use up vegetables and is wonderfully dismissive of a lot of shmancy overcomplicated cooking advice while being celebratory of the simple acts of learning to cook. It might give you some new ways to think about your… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:56 AM on September 8, 2017

What music is my character listening to - in 2003
Maybe toss in k. d. lang's duet with Tony Bennett on "What a Wonderful World"?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:33 AM on September 8, 2017

And I thought 2016 was bad?
Want to fax your elected officials?

FaxZero lets you send five free faxes a day, with direct links for faxing your congressperson, senator, or even governor. (You can even see who's gotten the most faxes from them recently.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 5:37 PM on September 6, 2017

Local animal rescue group trying to figure out best web solutions
I, too, would definitely suggest getting more quotes.

I would also suggest looking at Drupal, which, like WordPress, is widely used and heavily tested. Unlike WordPress, the vast majority of Drupal plugins are free, which, in my experience, means a little less overlap and duplicated functionality, and a LOT more community work enhancing and supporting the existing, available-to-everyone plugins.

In my experience, WordPress is really great for a… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 1:07 PM on September 2, 2017

Just the books, Google, only the books!
I can reproduce tenderly's issue by using my own name:

The first 10-20 books actually do have my actual name in them ( ... huh. I'm in 10-20 books? Who knew?), but then you see things like "What to Listen for in Jazz" and "Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure" and "The Thin Place," which are books that definitely DO NOT include my… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:37 AM on August 31, 2017

What good does a dollar in the bank do vs. a dollar given to charity?
I'm sure I've seen MeFites talk about this very thing on other threads, so I'm surprised you haven't gotten more specific cites here.

I know basically nothing about this except that I've heard about multiplier effects, mostly related to government spending - the idea that $1 in taxes actually produces more than $1 in value within the economy. So this is just my inexpert attempt to help you find answers that I'm pretty sure are out there.

Here's a… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 1:16 PM on August 26, 2017

ISO kitchen storage
Just wanted to chime in and say I asked a similar question about storage for pantry staples last year.

Folks recommended those modular Rubbermaid containers that lucky.jakobs recommends, and I ended up liking them a lot.

I started with the 4-size variety pack, but for my needs, the 10-cup and 5-cup are most useful, so you might want to grab an extra 2-pack or 4-pack of those sizes.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 12:18 PM on August 26, 2017

Writing Prompts for Creative Non-Fiction
Lynda Barry has a great flexible writing prompt exercise thing that she uses in her classes. I came across it in her great book, What It Is.

Here's one version of it, Seven and a Half Minutes Worth of Writing.

There are some similar instructions in this Lynda Barry workshop handout, which also includes instructions for a 4-5 minute diary entry.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2017

Looking for online diaries and journals
These are all great! Thank you so much.

I hadn't thought about Orwell at all - great suggestion!

The Pepys stuff I almost wrote off because it's so old and the language is fairly archaic ... but I can probably turn it into slightly more simplified, modern language in my head before translating.

These are just terrific - thank you so much for all your great suggestions!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:44 AM on August 25, 2017

Learning Spanish at home as a couple.
I love learning languages and also love free stuff. A few suggestions:

Be sure to check your local library. They're very likely to have audio courses you can check out, and they may have online options. (I'm not actually very impressed by the Rosetta Stone or Mango language courses I've seen at my library, but hey - if you get free access, take a look, see what you think.)

Check out Destinos, a full-blown online video course for… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:34 AM on August 25, 2017

Writing revision for language learning
iTalki is pretty similar to Lang-8 - and they also have lots of paid teachers available through the site. (I have only used the free service, which is great for my needs.)

You could also post something on MeFi Jobs.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 8:26 PM on August 24, 2017

What to do/see/eat on an Oregon/NoCal coastal roadtrip?
To repeat myself from a previous thread:

If you take 101, stop in Orick and visit The Palm Cafe for lunch and pie. Or just pie. Or pie for lunch, with a slice of pie.

If you go through Arcata and Eureka, I've enjoyed browsing the books at The Tin Can Mailman and Eureka Books.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 4:44 PM on August 23, 2017

The only Korean I know is Bonchon :(
Seconding Homeboy Trouble's suggestion that you check out your local library. Many libraries have online language learning resources and teach-yourself type books with audio.

You might want to check out Korean Class 101, at least at the basic free level. I've used some of their Japanese podcasts; the conversations can get a little annoying, but there is some good introductory material.

I'm a fan of the Language Learner's Forum. I did a quick… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 4:43 PM on August 20, 2017

identity politics: why it matters
Given all the posts we've seen on MeFi in recent years about how arguments rarely change people's minds, I wonder if you might have more success by asking lots of questions and listening. The more you try to change his mind - stating things as facts, especially things he doesn't believe; asking leading questions - the more defensive he's likely to get.

If, instead, you ask a lot of questions that genuinely elicit his own thoughts; reflect those thoughts back to show you… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 11:34 AM on August 18, 2017

I want to build a website, but I'm an amateur.
To build on Wretch729's answer - I would definitely consider a content management system as one route to getting your site built.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Drupal, which does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. You can still go in and fiddle with the HTML and the CSS all you like, but you don't have to build the basic database-plus-interface from scratch. Instead, you use various components to assemble the site, and then you can make little adjustments here and there.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:41 AM on August 4, 2017 marked best answer
Oh, one more thing: If you're interested in Drupal and want to teach yourself how to use it, there's lots of great Drupal documentation online. There's also a pretty active community support forum right at, plus support at the Drupal Answers section of StackExchange.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:44 AM on August 4, 2017

Court and Spark, maybe? Nah.
Thanks for these!

Full Court Press gets the most votes, but I really like Raising the Bar, too, so I have some good options.

Thank you! (And thanks, el io, for recommending another org!)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:28 AM on August 4, 2017

Who Do I Go To For Retirement Planning Help?
As treehorn+bunny says, fee-only financial planners are a great way to go. I recommended Garrett Planning Network to someone once and they've been very happy with their planner.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:47 AM on August 3, 2017

Adult coloring book or other color-in project suitable for oil pastels?
Just thought I'd mention the Color Our Collections program - a lot of museums have made coloring templates available, and you might find something there that's just right for what you want to do.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:27 AM on August 1, 2017

Fixing my prejudices about religion/faith
Seconding Rev. William Barber and Martin Luther King and Jimmy Carter, and adding Joe Biden, as well as Hillary Clinton, who used to teach Sunday school. (Pretty sure Jimmy Carter did, as well.) And let's not forget Tim Kaine.

If you're up for in-depth reading, Jimmy Carter's and Hillary Clinton's memoirs should have some good info for you.

Rev. Barber:
We are witnessing the birth pangs of a Third Reconstruction : "Deep religious… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 12:33 PM on July 31, 2017

Writing exercises to sort through personal issues?
I saw How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything recommended here on AskMe. I've got it checked out from the library and so far I think it's got some good stuff.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:49 PM on July 25, 2017

Yearbook database style, Round two
My favorite tool for this sort of thing is Drupal. (It's entirely possible you could do this easily in Wordpress, as beyond_pink says, but Drupal is my personal favorite.)

Here's how you would do it in Drupal:

* download Drupal
* install it using the handy online documentation - note that you will need to CREATE a database (if you have a cPanel, this should be fairly easy) but you won't have to touch it directly after… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:47 AM on July 21, 2017

Do I REALLY need this much sleep?!
I wonder if it might be helpful to make this a bit less either/or. You've been getting 6.5-7 hours of sleep a night; this experiment suggests that your body would prefer 10. You feel that your current schedule makes 10 impossible. What if you try fine-tuning a bit in the direction your body prefers?

You don't have to choose between the impossible (10) and the bad for you (6.5). If your body really wants 10, 8 or 8.5 is still giving yourself more of what you need than 6.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 11:00 AM on July 20, 2017

Extremely isolated America
I just read the first half of In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, written by two women who lived among tribal communities in Northern California in 1908. They actually seemed to have quite a social life with the people who lived along the rivers; they taught some basic school subjects and did a bit of first aid-type medicine, and so they weren't isolated from other people - but that part of the country took a long time to reach on horseback, and they were certainly a long way from large towns.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:47 AM on July 20, 2017

I enjoy Engines of our Ingenuity (about 4 minutes, all kinds of inventions and ideas: kitchen gadgets, wombats, the digital camera, fractals, John Deere, Bakelite) and Composers Datebook (2 minutes, composers past and present).
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 12:23 PM on July 15, 2017

Accurate history games without the conquest
These TRULY all look great! (To be honest, I wish the BBC ones weren't in Flash, but if the game is good enough, maybe that's okay.)

Thank you all for these terrific answers!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:05 AM on July 14, 2017

Looking for Non-NYT Crossword Puzzle Books
I always loved Merl Reagle's crosswords, and I have several of his books. You can try three or four of his puzzles using the This Week's Puzzle link at his site (click that one, then there'll be "Previous week" links going back 3-4 weeks) to see if you like them. If you do, there are several crossword books you can order.

(On re-read: I'm sorry my answer is too late for your trip, but I hope it might be useful for you in the future.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:02 AM on July 14, 2017

Learning a language... when I already know it
The above suggestions are great. I would suggest adding some flashcards - my favorite flashcard software is the excellent and free Anki.

* Post as often as you can on or iTalki (similar to lang-8). When you get corrections, immediately make flashcards for each correction you got - this is something you haven't learned yet (or you wouldn't have gotten it wrong), and the flashcards will let you practice that point until you know it.

* Do… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:53 AM on July 11, 2017

Fun videos to teach Mandarin to a toddler?
Hey! The app that Hermione Granger recommended, Miao Mi, is free today! (Ordinarily $5.99.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:39 AM on July 6, 2017

First thing we do, let's pay all the lawyers
All of these are great answers. Thank you!

I think I probably will turn this into a web page - I'll post it up on Projects if I ever do get around to it.

(Also on another thread somewhere on Metafilter there was a mention of a ruling yesterday against the EPA; I was able to find the organizations who brought that suit: Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Integrity Project, Earthworks, Clean Air Council,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 7:40 PM on July 4, 2017

Innovative jobs programs for people with barriers to employment?
San Francisco's Bakeworks is a project of Toolworks, which has "janitorial and staffing businesses which employ over 100 individuals with disabilities." (The Bakeworks page says they provide employment and training for "people with disabilities, who are homeless or at risk.") I haven't tried their quinoa potato crust pizzas, but their root beer cake is really good.

Better known in SF is the Delancey Street Foundation. From their home page: We’re… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 9:57 PM on July 3, 2017

Recommendations for book club books, shorter than about 320 pages
I recently finished There But For The by Ali Smith, which was just wonderful. Wikipedia says it's 357 pages but the copy I read was 236 pages so I don't understand that at all. It's wonderfully written, has very different perspectives (each section, "There," "But," "For," and "The" is from a different character's point of view) and a mystery that doesn't revolve around a crime. I stay away from bleak books these days, and there were about 4 paragraphs… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 2:58 PM on July 3, 2017

Shifting your purpose to being happy from survival
How did you start focusing on being happy instead of on being practical or whatever you told yourself before you started trying to be happy?

For me, I think it was noticing the difference between what I can and can't control, and noticing imbalances between time spent doing what I "should" do and doing what made me happy. I think a lot of this is a matter of balance.

So what if you reframed that: instead of "focusing on being… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:43 AM on June 30, 2017

Calling all graphic designers...
I wonder if Scrivener might work here? It lets you store images and other types of files (scroll down to the "Your Research - Always Within Reach" section) - I'm pretty sure it basically stores a reference to the image, so it displays it, but doesn't duplicate it inside your Scrivener doc to avoid making that doc ridiculously large. If it doesn't display all your items (I'm not sure how it would deal with fonts or brushes), it would probably be pretty easy to take a screen shot and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 12:39 PM on June 26, 2017

How do I sort all these electronic design files?
flabdablet's approach sounds great.

I just wanted to add that you could go through the collection in very small batches whenever you have a spare half hour and feel like doing something that's not too demanding. You could pick a random month of files (maybe something from two years ago?) and just glance through them. If anything looks appropriate for your new folder-tagging system, you can add it; and if anything inspires you or gives you an idea for something else… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 10:17 AM on June 21, 2017 marked best answer

please rec film/documentary re the horror that was AIDS in the 1980s
Nthing The Normal Heart. I lost my best friend to AIDS, so I definitely lived through the time, and yet, when I saw The Normal Heart (play, not movie; I'm glad to hear the film is almost as good), I was reminded of a lot of things from the time that I hadn't remembered - all the things we DIDN'T yet know about the disease, how it spread, how to reduce risk, how people most affected dealt with all the unknowns.

Also, from a completely… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 9:53 AM on June 16, 2017

Poetry about relationships ending
Antilamentation by Dorianne Laux
Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell by Marty McConnell
Nothing by James Fenton

all via the wonderful (MeFi's own? not sure) Captain Awkward, from her recent post of Songs for the Dumped. (Note: these poems are not about being dumped.)

(Thank you for asking this - I had not read any of these three and I thought they were all amazing, so thank you for introducing me to them.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by kristi at 1:42 PM on June 10, 2017

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