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    1. Looking for advice for starting out as a freelance software engineer

      Beginning of next year I am setting out as an independent software engineering consultant. As such I am interested in hearing from others who have already done something similar! I have been...

      Beginning of next year I am setting out as an independent software engineering consultant. As such I am interested in hearing from others who have already done something similar! I have been working as a developer and team lead for more than 10 years of which the last 5 have been focused mostly on the .Net stack. Now I want to expand my horizons a bit more, preferably with a new domain or another tech stack.

      What are some suggestions/advice you'd give someone just starting down this path? Anything I should avoid doing? Anything I should definitely do? I suppose the specifics will vary a bit by country, but are there some general things I should be thinking about?

      Oh, if you happen to have a need for a senior developer/tech lead, give me a ping!

      9 votes
    2. Hard water solutions?

      I recently moved to a place with harder water than I'm used to (more minerals). It tastes bad, it makes my detergents less effective, it forms soap scum everywhere, and it's definitely not good...

      I recently moved to a place with harder water than I'm used to (more minerals). It tastes bad, it makes my detergents less effective, it forms soap scum everywhere, and it's definitely not good for my appliances. Does anyone have advice on how to deal with this in a cost-effective way?

      I unfortunately can't install a point-of-entry water softener here. I can theoretically install point-of-use softeners for each of my appliances (bathroom sink, kitchen sink, dishwasher, washing machine, maybe shower), but the portable ones cost like $300+. I can't decide if it's worth the purchase. I also don't know enough about the different kinds or whether they're available in portable formats (reverse osmosis filtration, potassium chloride water softening, and sodium water softening; maybe others). Does anyone have recommendations?

      I recently bought a showerhead with a better filter, which will probably help reduce skin irritation, but it can't actually remove calcium or magnesium. I can't visualize what a genuine point-of-use softener for a shower would even look like or how I would attach it to my showerhead, and I don't know where to get one that isn't just marketing fluff.

      I have some CLR that I intend to use with my dishwasher, but I don't want to have to buy this stuff constantly (just another cleaning product in my cabinet). And I have a Brita for drinking water, but was thinking of getting an under-sink filter as I don't like waiting for it to refill; I have no idea how much to spend on this or which brands are best.

      Happy to hear everyone's thoughts on household water management!

      9 votes
    3. I need career advice

      Long story short I am a web developer that currently makes more money than I've ever made in my life to this point. The downside is that my benefits package is sub-par. Very few vacation days, no...

      Long story short I am a web developer that currently makes more money than I've ever made in my life to this point. The downside is that my benefits package is sub-par. Very few vacation days, no health insurance (though we do get $ on our checks to go toward costs), fairly bare-bones retirement plan, etc. I also feel kind of aimless at this job. There is no clear path for raises or promotions. It's too small of a company for that.

      I got an offer today for a job with a company that a former manager of mine works at (We both left our previous jobs around the same time, so no poaching concerns there). It's an opportunity to change my specialty from backend development (databases, server-side code) to frontend development (HTML, CSS, JS). I've always enjoyed frontend development more than backend. Feel free to giggle about this terminology because it's definitely ridiculous. The job basically resolves all of my benefits issues. Unlimited vacation, pretty good health insurance, and a more robust retirement plan. There are also very clear paths for raises/promotions. In fact one of the first things you do when you get hired is sit down with your manager and department head and plot out a career track for yourself. So in my case I'm aiming for team management or something along those lines in a few years. So they would cater my training and promotions around that. There's a guaranteed yearly raise, plus a nice 5% bonus at end of the year.

      So what's the problem? Because the second job seems perfect, right? Well the second job pays nearly 12% less a year. So what's the problem? Because that's an insane drop in pay, so clearly stay where I'm at, right? Well I was told by my former manager (and potentially new department head) that the plan would be to fast-track me into something closer to my current salary once I'm there for a few months and start excelling at my job. And I trust this guy because he fought for me to get raises twice when I worked under him before. It's rare to work under someone who will go to bat for you, and he was always that guy for me and I've no reason to think he wouldn't be again.

      Because the way I see it, once I get a raise or promotion under my belt I should be pretty close to where I'm at now, but with substantially better benefits. And in a place with more of a future for me than my current job.

      I just really don't know what to do here. I've "made a decision" in my head about a dozen times today, going back and forth between options. I kind of feel like it's worth taking the hit in the short term to be working at a place that will pay off better in the long term. Not just financially, but I'll get to broaden my skill set and actually have a concrete plan for progressing in my career.

      Looking for any advice, or opinions, or whatever. I'm completely torn here.

      edit -- Just wanted to thank everyone here. I decided to accept the job offer. My wife and I are working on a plan to weather the loss of income. Next step is writing the resignation letter....which always sucks. I hate disappointing people and it's a small company that I'm leaivng so my departure will be felt.

      14 votes
    4. Anyone ever get an international job?

      First off, fuck job applications. It's an awful and tedious charade. Creating accounts on hundreds of websites for the resume parser to not work and have to manually upload that all again, to then...

      First off, fuck job applications. It's an awful and tedious charade. Creating accounts on hundreds of websites for the resume parser to not work and have to manually upload that all again, to then write a cover letter that's skimmed at best, for a word to be missing from the resume which their detection tech passes before you're given a real shot.

      But regardless that's not why I'm here. I'm in the process of applying to jobs, but for the first time I'm applying to jobs internationally (I'm US based). Have any of y'all applied for and received jobs abroad? What was successful and what wasn't? I'm primarily looking into pharmaceutical research or pharmacovigilance/drug safety because that's where English language jobs are in my area of study, but hope to eventually become fluent enough in a different language so I can move back into infection prevention or disease surveillance.

      16 votes
    5. Suggestions for wholesome alternatives to doomscrolling?

      I skim-read the news, 90+% just headlines, for an hour a day, if not more. I do like to stay informed, so I feel it's not entirely wasted effort, but most days, I'm caught up within 10 minutes,...

      I skim-read the news, 90+% just headlines, for an hour a day, if not more. I do like to stay informed, so I feel it's not entirely wasted effort, but most days, I'm caught up within 10 minutes, and after that, it's basically just apocalypse FOMO (is that a 'thing'? It should be).

      Lately, as an alternative, I've started paging my way back thru the xkcd archives.

      What else would you recommend, low-effort, distracting, not horrible?

      17 votes
    6. Canadian colleges: Lethbridge vs. Manitoba for Computer Science?

      Hi everyone, I recently got accepted into University and Lethbridge and University of Manitoba for Computer Science second degree. Both of them have co-op programs, but I don't know which would be...

      Hi everyone,

      I recently got accepted into University and Lethbridge and University of Manitoba for Computer Science second degree.

      Both of them have co-op programs, but I don't know which would be better for me. Ideally, I want to go the uni with a better job market for CS, so Lethbridge seems to be the winner since it is close to Calgary. But I am also looking to immigrate to Canada in the future, and I know that Manitoba has easier requirements for Permanent Residence nominations.

      I am in a bit of a bind, and I am trying to gather as much information as I can before I make a decision. Anything you have to share would be much appreciated. Thanks!

      P.S. I know Toronto and Vancouver are much better places for jobs, but sadly I missed the deadline to apply to most of the colleges there. I do plan on applying for jobs in those cities though.

      7 votes
    7. Tips for moving to VA?

      hi tildians, i'll be moving to VA pretty soon. if there's anyone who's lived there, and could possibly share any tips, that would be nice! and I mean anything -- places to check out, info for...

      hi tildians,

      i'll be moving to VA pretty soon. if there's anyone who's lived there, and could possibly share any tips, that would be nice! and I mean anything -- places to check out, info for people out of state, etc.

      thanks!

      9 votes
    8. What are your thoughts on using a website/blog as a resume?

      Like the title says, I'm curious if anyone has experience encountering digital resumes. Whether you're an employer or you've used a digital resume yourself how well did it work? Were you more...

      Like the title says, I'm curious if anyone has experience encountering digital resumes. Whether you're an employer or you've used a digital resume yourself how well did it work? Were you more likely to hire a candidate because they had a well-rounded website that showed off their skills or was it an immediate discard because it didn't conform to normal practices.

      I'm graduating with my MS in organic chemistry this May, and I'm trying to work my way in the job market. A website/blog sounds appealing to me because I can show off data annotations and analyses from failed reactions that normally aren't discussed in papers, so I think it would be a good fit.

      8 votes
    9. How do you practice authenticity?

      I'm a big believer in the theme system proposed by CGP Grey (discussed in much more detail on the Cortex podcast), and have been thinking about what I would like my theme for 2022 to be. After...

      I'm a big believer in the theme system proposed by CGP Grey (discussed in much more detail on the Cortex podcast), and have been thinking about what I would like my theme for 2022 to be. After realigning my financial situation this year through the (imaginitively named) Year of Finance, I want to spend some time focusing on myself as a person and my existence in the world.

      Enter the Year of Authenticity. Recent circumstances and some serious meta-cognition have led me to the conclusion that I am not sufficiently honest enough about my values, beliefs, expression, and well, myself. I find myself bending to the various social situations I find myself in, and it feels very dishonest at times. So I plan to spend 2022 thinking more about the person that I want to be, being more true to that desire, and trying to align my various "selves" into an individual who I am confident being in any situation.

      I already have a few things in mind that I expect to work on, including my public gender expression and my fear of expressing opinions in unfamiliar groups and situations. But I find myself wondering, how do other people experience the desire to be more authentic? Is this something any of my fellow Tilderen have ever spent time working on? What are your approaches to practicing authenticty? Do you have an idealised version of yourself which you work towards? Do you find yourself acting differently with different groups of people? Is this even something I should be worried about? Lets have a talk about it :)

      Edit: The nice thing about a theme (watch the video if you haven't, it gives a good explanation) is that it's fuzzy, and it can mean a lot of things, or even change meaning when necessary.

      A few have mentioned the idea of consistency, which is not really what I'm shooting for. I don't believe that there is a core, unchanging, self that I have inside me that I am wanting to unleash on an unsuspecting world. I know and embrace that as humans we are emotional, multi-faceted beings, and that changing social situations necessitate changing mannerisms. I don't expect to behave in the same with with my university professors as I do with my best friends of multiple decades. I haven't yet nailed down exactly what I do mean by authenticity, but I do know that it doesn't mean trying to be the same logical, consistent character to all people.

      There's a reason I've started thinking about this journey for 2022 now, even before December: there's a lot of introspection and metacognition required for something like this. Being an intronaut can be scary and difficult, but I'm excited to see where it takes me! This whole process is just beginning, and I'm looking to gain insight into others' experiences to help frame my own view of what this year can/might/should mean for me. Thanks for everyone's responses so far <3

      15 votes
    10. Do you track your time?

      Basically the title. Do you now, or have you ever tracked your time to try to measure where it all goes? I've been feeling a little unproductive lately, and have heard anecdotally that keeping a...

      Basically the title. Do you now, or have you ever tracked your time to try to measure where it all goes? I've been feeling a little unproductive lately, and have heard anecdotally that keeping a log of time spent can be useful for realigning your priorities. I'm checking out a bunch of different apps and services, but also just curious to know if anybody has had any joy with this sort of thing?

      If you currently track your time, what do you use; are there things that you don't bother tracking; and do you feel like it's a useful tool?

      If you have in the past but don't anymore, same questions, but also why did you stop?

      13 votes
    11. I need life/career advice

      Hi friends. I need your advice. For the past 7 years I've been self-employed as a writer. I self-publish books on Amazon and other platforms and I've had a lot of successes as well as a lot of...

      Hi friends.

      I need your advice. For the past 7 years I've been self-employed as a writer. I self-publish books on Amazon and other platforms and I've had a lot of successes as well as a lot of failures. It's been amazing and weird and fun and stressful. But I'm just not where I hoped I'd be this far into my career. Being a professional artist is really hard.

      I write under a pen name and the stuff I write--while I do think is good and I am proud of it--it's also slightly embarrassing. I don't share it with anybody, friends or family. Most people understand when I tell them why I can't share, but I know over the years my close friends have felt a little jilted that they don't get to know my secret.

      I've dabbled with leaving professional writing behind, but after so long it feels like a daunting prospect to get back into the job market. My background is in IT consulting (6 years), sysadmin and jack-of-all-trades type stuff. So I understand managing servers, virtualization, networking, troubleshooting, and so on. I do have a minor background in programming, and last year I spent a lot of time learning Python, I learned Docker, I learned Git, I spent some time diving deeper into SQL. I'm skilled in Linux (and love it, actually). I don't have any certs. This past summer, I applied to a handful of local IT jobs (I left the big city years ago and now live in a very small market, almost 3 hours away from a larger city) and didn't hear anything back. I spoke to a recruiter who wasn't very helpful at all beyond saying he thought my resume looked good. I disagree, though... I don't think my resume is that good at all.

      I just don't know what to do, though. I'm 40 years old. I've always wanted to be a writer, and I'm doing it. But I'm not writing the stuff I really want to write, and it's hard to pivot. Partly because of the sunk-cost fallacy, but also because starting a new pen name is very difficult and can take years to really gain traction. A lot of days, even though I work hard and push, I still feel like I'm failing. I'm not making the kind of money I'd like. The last two COVID years were pretty hard and I didn't work as much as I should have.

      My partner works at a small company on the web development team, and I'm considering trying to get a meeting with her boss (who actually really likes me) about possibly getting some kind of junior developer position. They're currently having a tough time finding developers because their pay isn't really competitive with the current market and they don't offer work from home. They mainly do PHP for client websites, and while that's not my jam, it would at least be a foot in the door for a development role. I learned to program in high school, understand a lot of the fundamentals, and had a blast with Python last year (it came very easy to me). I taught myself HTML in the 90s, know CSS, and have some basic PHP experience from my WordPress days.

      When I think about having a tech job again, I really just envision being able to work in Linux full-time, work on backend problems, and just solve higher-level issues. Not really a client-facing position. In a development role, I really don't know what I'd prefer. Just command-line, backend stuff maybe. I don't really care for frontend UX stuff. I'm most concerned with a good work-life balance, being able to leave my job at the office, and feel like I'm learning and doing and helping. I've got no FAANG aspirations or any desire to be some hot shot. I just want a chill life with chill people.

      But I'm really just feeling lost. What do you think I should do?

      12 votes
    12. What has helped you improve your relationships?

      Be it books, advice, tips, quotes, movies, activities, etc. Just anything that might've stuck and gave a new perspective on how to approach relationships. Specifically looking for things to help...

      Be it books, advice, tips, quotes, movies, activities, etc. Just anything that might've stuck and gave a new perspective on how to approach relationships.

      Specifically looking for things to help improve relationships with family (parents & siblings), but honestly advice for any relationship is welcome (friends, partners, etc.).

      Also thoughts on how/when to address topics such as mental health, diagnoses and sexuality or if they should be addressed at all.

      Thanks

      14 votes
    13. Job hunts after a toxic work experience

      I terminated my position over 4 months ago and I'm still not able to apply for jobs. I'm frustrated with my inability to move on from the previous toxic work environments. My background is in a...

      I terminated my position over 4 months ago and I'm still not able to apply for jobs. I'm frustrated with my inability to move on from the previous toxic work environments. My background is in a male dominated field and there was always something either insensitive, sexist or racist said in all my previous workplaces. I feel, I know I'm going to be met with some sort of comment in my next work place and I no longer want to put myself in those situations anymore. I don't know how I'll react, I feel like I may explode if I hear another ignorant phrase.

      I want to be able to make money. People say I must not have liked what I did very much if I wasn't able to put up with the comments. Other people say that that's just how the world is, "get used to it!" I've also heard that I'm just going to have to wait for change because drastic/fast pace change causes recoil. All of these comments literally tell me to suck it up and allow the same rhetoric to propagate. And, of course, all of this has been told to me by white men, those who aren't effected by the comments said to me.

      Things that have happened to me or that were said to me:

      • Smile more
      • I'm too soft spoken/nice
      • I'm too aggressive
      • "Do you want to fix your hair?"
      • A project manager bought me hair product, I didn't ask. I have curly hair and it took me a long time to love my curls, but it's seen as "unprofessional"
      • A Director was staring at my hair throughout an entire interview
      • "I'll put you up there" when the males were talking about strip clubs
      • "Why are women crazy?"
      • I've been kissed on my face and told "if only I met you before my wife"... never had a fucking conversation outside work with this person. I didn't even speak to him more than once a week!
      • "We were surprised that you and Mohammad spoke English". Both me and Mohammad were born and raised in the United States. When I responded with "Why did you guys think that?" they conveniently stumbled and changed the subject.
        ... Many more things happened, but require too much context.

      I just don't get it. Am I suppose to let ALL these things slide? Am I suppose to hold empathy for people who don't have empathy for me? Who don't empathize with me and how what they have said may have made me feel? Should I forgive people who would rather hide the fact that they said something rather than apologize? (And yes, I filed reports for some of these comments/experiences and the rhetoric was "She got X fired", not "X's own behavior got them fired".)

      And more importantly, how do I move on from this knowing that it's going to happen again? The last job had the most amount of sexism in it. The thing about sexism (and racism) is that it's meant to make you feel devalued, and shocker, I felt devalued. It took me so long to gain my self confidence back. And I want so badly to protect myself. I never want to feel those feelings again. But the world is still sexist and racist and homophobic and xenophobic... all the phobics. And how do I tell my next work place that the reason why I left and why I took a break from working was to deal with the emotional repercussions from a very toxic/sexist work environment (when workplaces see whistle blowers as a red flag)? And how to I prepare my little sister who is in college studying a male dominated field knowing that she'll have to deal with the same things I went through?

      It's been 4 months and I'm still angry and still jobless. I've grown to hate social interactions for fear of someone saying some ignorant shit. I've grown a distrust of all people. I hate how much this thing has affected me, how belittled I feel and how I can't move on from this. I feel emotionally paralyzed and money is running out and jobs are hard to come by especially because I'm not white nor am I a male and my hair isn't straight Billie Holiday - I Love My Man.

      I'm tired of confusing people with how my looks don't match my attitude/personality that they've been conditionally taught to think it was like. I'm tired of confusing people with how unashamed I am of my existence.

      24 votes
    14. Buying a house relatively soon, lay your advice on me!

      I'm in the market for a house, been looking pretty seriously for the past week or so. I've got two pre-approvals for mortgages, and I think I'll probably look for at least two more for fee...

      I'm in the market for a house, been looking pretty seriously for the past week or so. I've got two pre-approvals for mortgages, and I think I'll probably look for at least two more for fee comparison purposes. I have yet to actually see a house unfortunately, since every house we try to view gets sold that very same day :/ Hopefully the streak is broken, since we have an appointment with another house today!

      Anyway, who here has advice for (any part of the process of) buying a house? Things to look for when viewing a house, things to consider that the common person might not, tips for making offers, tips for not giving up because of the market, etc.

      I'll lead with some tidbits that I've gained from asking around friends and family that have already bought places recently.

      1. Apparently, sending a personal letter to the owners with the offer letter has gotten multiple people a house even when their offer wasn't the highest. For example, my sisters friend knew the owners had a cat, and has cats herself. So in the letter she wrote, she mentioned how happy her cats would be laying on the windows and running around in all the new space and such.... and she got it! The owners realtor was kinda pissed.

      2. Try to find out the reason the owners are moving out. My sister and her husbands realtor asked around, and they were able to close on their house because the owner needed a quick turnaround to get out as fast as possible. They got the house for 60K under asking price because they were able to sweeten the deal to suit the owner.

      3. Location is (generally) more important than furnishings. You can add or remove things from a house, but you can't move it once you buy it.

      4. Once you make an offer on a house and the owner accepts, make sure the contract includes the following two parts that are (apparently) very important:

        • House must appraise for at least the same value you've agreed to buy it at
        • Inspection must show no more than $buyer_defined_value dollars of necessary repairs, otherwise the deal should be re-negotiated or considered void.
      5. Always leave enough money in your savings account to pay for any extras (because there are always extras) after the house is yours. New furniture, carpets, smaller repairs, paint, etc. You don't want to drain your account for the house only to find out you can't do anything afterwards.

      I'm very excited (and exhausted already), but I want to make sure I'm as thorough as possible since I'll be spending the next several years of my life in it!

      Forgot to mention(Thanks @Thra11), this is the US East Coast.

      22 votes
    15. I’ve landed my first interview! Any advice?

      After a hiatus of applying for jobs, I got an email from Indeed that really caught my attention. It’s for a programming job in a new-ish framework that has quickly become my favorite to work in. I...

      After a hiatus of applying for jobs, I got an email from Indeed that really caught my attention. It’s for a programming job in a new-ish framework that has quickly become my favorite to work in.

      I applied for that and got back to work on applying to other jobs, different languages and frameworks.

      This morning I got a message from that first job opening, the one I wanted! They reached out to schedule an interview.

      I’ve got really bad social anxiety and a lack of interviewing experience. How do I prepare?

      23 votes
    16. How to not feel lonely?

      Hi, I joined Tildes a long time back but haven't been the most active member. I was recently diagnosed with OCPD by a psychiatrist and I feel I may be codependant as well. Off late I have been...

      Hi,

      I joined Tildes a long time back but haven't been the most active member. I was recently diagnosed with OCPD by a psychiatrist and I feel I may be codependant as well. Off late I have been feeling terrible but don't a lot of people I can talk to -- my SO suffers of OCD and is going through a particularly tough period in her life, she has explicitly said she can't be there for me; I don't quite share a relationship with my friends when I can just call them up in the middle of the night when I'm feeling terrlb;e. I'm feeling exremely lonely; what can I do to not feel this way?

      I would normally describe myslef as emotionally stable, stoic even. However, this recent diagnoses has been quite upsetting; the best way I can describe what I'm feeling is an erosion of my sense of self. I realise all of what I'm feeling my head, and I fear that I may be just imagining most of problems. I'm at a state where I don't quite know what to do anymore, what I need is someone to tell me what do at any given point of time. I can't pursue therapy at the moment due to a variety of constraints but I am reading books which have come heavily recommended from others suffering similarly.

      19 votes
    17. Tips for dealing with bedbugs?

      Hi all, I'm becoming almost certain that my apartment is dealing with a minor bedbug infestation. Do any of you have experience dealing with the things? Specifically, my unit shares a building...

      Hi all, I'm becoming almost certain that my apartment is dealing with a minor bedbug infestation. Do any of you have experience dealing with the things? Specifically, my unit shares a building with about 20 others, so has anybody dealt with infestations in a similar situation? I'm wondering if a heat treatment is even possible or realistic.

      13 votes
    18. Writing a best man speech for my brother’s wedding, any advice?

      I’m writing the best man speech for my brother’s upcoming wedding. I haven’t been to many weddings so to be honest I’m not super familiar with the format of this speeches, or things I should be...

      I’m writing the best man speech for my brother’s upcoming wedding. I haven’t been to many weddings so to be honest I’m not super familiar with the format of this speeches, or things I should be sure to mention (I.e. things like “be sure to thank xyz person”). I’m asking some family members but thought I should cast a wider net and ask here too. Any advice for writing this type of thing? Any memorable ones, good or bad, to emulate or avoid?

      18 votes
    19. How can I teach my dog to not be afraid of heights?

      So my girlfriend has this dog, a miniatura Schnauzer. He's 5 years old and in perfect health. For some reason, he fears even the slightest elevation. The dog is quite athletic but behaves as if he...

      So my girlfriend has this dog, a miniatura Schnauzer. He's 5 years old and in perfect health. For some reason, he fears even the slightest elevation. The dog is quite athletic but behaves as if he was much older. He does know how to get on things, like sofas that are not very high, but if we forget to "rescue" him he will literally never go down. Which is cute but also a bother. I wanna make him a bit braver and more independent. Any ideas?

      6 votes
    20. I'm moving, in the EU, from Hungary to The Netherlands. Any tips?

      Inspired by (or if you prefer, ripping off) @spit-evil-olive-tips ' moving thread. I'm a US expat with Hungarian citizenship, moving with two native Hungarian friends (plus a dog and 2 cats), to...

      Inspired by (or if you prefer, ripping off) @spit-evil-olive-tips ' moving thread.

      I'm a US expat with Hungarian citizenship, moving with two native Hungarian friends (plus a dog and 2 cats), to The Hague. We have an apartment there, all 3 animals are chipped and vaccinated (and we 3 are not...). My cousin will be driving us there in about a month.

      We already have an appointment, a couple days after the move, to register our BRPs and BSNs at the local govt office. Sooner would be better, but it must be done in person, and right now, I don't relish the idea of a 2nd trip across the EU just to get registered a bit faster.

      I'm primarily looking for tips on smoothly integrating into Dutch society ... utilities, banking, health care, whatever else I'm forgetting to worry about. But I'm open to any tips regarding any aspect of moving between countries in the EU, in the middle of a poorly-managed global pandemic.

      Side-note for the entrepreneurs: In the US, you can rent a car, truck or trailer anywhere, drive it to anywhere else ... and leave it there. I appreciate the added complexities of an int'l version of that service, but if anyone can be the first to resolve those challenges in the EU ... $$$. Or rather, €€€.

      ETA: Any advice posted to @spit-evil-olive-tips thread need not be repeated here.

      19 votes
    21. I'm moving between apartments soon. Do you have any advice or protips on the logistics of moving?

      I've moved plenty of times before, but I've been in my current place for 4 years, which is fairly long for me - most of my adult life I've moved every 1 or 2 years. As a result, I'm sure I've...

      I've moved plenty of times before, but I've been in my current place for 4 years, which is fairly long for me - most of my adult life I've moved every 1 or 2 years. As a result, I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of the "small but important things" about moving, and I've also gotten more settled into this apartment than any previous one I've lived in.

      Details, if they matter:

      • This is a relatively short move (within the same city, about a 15 minute drive)

      • I'm going to be doing all the packing myself, moving small and/or fragile stuff myself, then hiring a moving company for the big stuff (couch, bed, TV, etc) because I don't want to put any of my friends in the position of feeling obligated to come help me move during a pandemic.

      • I've hired movers before, but only for a cross-country move. This will be my first time having a moving company for just an in-town move

      I found a previous thread about moving, but it was about adjusting to life in a cross-country move. I'm more interested in the logistics of how to make the move itself go smoothly.

      22 votes
    22. Surviving the winter

      When I was a child I never seemed to mind the winter, but in the past two or three years it's become exponentially harder for me to live through the cold and dark. I'm dreading the next few...

      When I was a child I never seemed to mind the winter, but in the past two or three years it's become exponentially harder for me to live through the cold and dark. I'm dreading the next few months.

      The lockdowns in March and April were pretty agonizing because I had too many responsibilities but suddenly none of the support systems I had built up in my friend groups. I got through that because it was slowly getting warmer and I could just go on a walk if I needed space. But it's started snowing this week and I don't know how well I'm going to manage for the rest of the season, with it getting dark at 4 PM and seeing so few people. I get caught up in my own head in these destructive patterns of anxiety about past friendships and relationships and obligations that are very hard to escape from around this time of year. I have a lot of hobbies but I can't do most of them right now, so I kind of just end of staring at the wall or my phone for half the day, feeling bad that I screwed up a relationship or said something weird 6 months ago or whatever. On repeat for every day. I have some friends in the area who I like a lot, but I'm a little scared to leave my house from what I hear about the virus on the internet. I've been trying to do phone calls sometimes but they kinda just burn me out and make me feel worse.

      I'm wondering if anyone else has a recurring problem with the winter like I do. I'm not sure if this is a normal thing and I'm just naive and haven't figured it out, or if most people are automatically as happy in the winter as they are in the summer. I've brought this up sometimes with people irl and they say "haha yeah I have seasonal depression too," but they mostly seem to just not like the cold (?), it's not the issue of banal-yet-existential dread and torturous self-probing that I can't avoid. I have a very sweet cat who will keep me company, and she's a good listener, but she doesn't talk a lot and she's hiding in another dimension half the time anyway. I journal and meditate every night, and that helps a little, but I really mostly rely on being able to go to pretty places to keep myself happy, and it's hard to do that when they're all closed or when it's too cold to be outside for a long time. If people have any thoughts or experiences I would love to read them.

      thank you xoxo

      19 votes
    23. How to let someone down?

      for those still committed to monogamous relationships: if you've been in a situation where you're talking with a few people that could be romantic interests, how do you let them know it's not...

      for those still committed to monogamous relationships: if you've been in a situation where you're talking with a few people that could be romantic interests, how do you let them know it's not gonna happen once you've found the (current) one ?

      9 votes
    24. Help me think about the next step in my life

      Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in...

      Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in Economics and a post-graduate degree in Finance.

      Previously I’ve worked full-time as an IT consultant, in R&D at an asset management company and in operational risk at an investment bank. I stopped working full-time in early 2018 due to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorder and possible Asperger’s. But even before then it was obvious my health was deteriorating and I actually got fired from my second job partially due to these problems. Since then I’ve slowly working (or at least trying to) on my health, which has improved substantially but not as much as I would like. So in early 2018, with way too much time in my hands, I decided to get the part-time job to partially offset my expenses and also decided to go back to school to study FM.

      I took the latter decision for multiple reasons. I was tired of doing work that was not very technical or quantitative. While working on my health I realized that I don’t do well with work that is subjective, unstructured or involves little interaction (for example doing a lot of reading, specially with no clear goal). I did a little programming at previous jobs and more during the masters and I can say with some confidence that I enjoyed it. But going back to the FM masters: it is very technical, I was fascinated and curious about it plus it has an excellent track record with regards to employment prospects. I also considered “going back” and doing an undergraduate degree in computer science but decided that it was just too long (minimum 3 years).

      So with this “introduction” out of the way let’s get to the heart of this post. I don’t know what to do after I finish my masters. Of course I could just apply for jobs related with what I am studying. However, I think I really want to try working in the technical side of IT. I will admit I don’t know much about the different aspects and careers in IT but I find it interesting. Every time I was doing non-technical work I just wanted to understand and do the work of my technical colleagues. I think it both better suits my personality and aligns well with my long term goals of increased freedom and flexibility (IT generally pays well and you can do a lot of work remotely). I have this idea of maybe becoming a free-lancer but I can understand that is not realistic in the short-term so working in IT inside a company is probably my best bet. Regardless, another objective of mine is to be able to work less than 40h per week. I think it would be great for me, specially health-wise.

      I have to say I got more excited about my ideas when I saw this post here on Tildes: https://tildes.net/~comp/quj/would_any_tilderino_be_interested_in_tutoring_me_in_programming. I am willing to put in the work and it would be awesome to have some tutoring. Another point I took from that post is that IT is a very big field and I honestly don’t know specifically what I want to do inside that space. However, I do know I don’t like dealing with UI or graphical/design aspects.

      I guess I will finish by asking direct questions to help people structure their answers around (but if you want to talk about something else I wrote, be free to do so):

      • First of all, what technical areas within IT do you think would suit me? If it’s not much of a hassle, please provide a brief description of what people actually do in those areas.
      • Is it realistic to start working as a technical IT freelancer and learn as I go? Or are the odds very slim?
      • Alternatively, if I decide to take the safer route of nailing a technical IT job, what should I do to put myself in a better position to attain that goal?
      10 votes
    25. I’m moving across the country in a few days

      I’m moving from the Midwest to California on Tuesday to start graduate school (I’ve been in an post-baccalaureate research position for the last two years). I’ve been so busy packing and making...

      I’m moving from the Midwest to California on Tuesday to start graduate school (I’ve been in an post-baccalaureate research position for the last two years). I’ve been so busy packing and making sure I see friends that I think it hasn’t truly hit me yet. I’ve lived around Chicago my whole life, even during college, so I suppose I’m a bit nervous about the change of location and being so far from friends and family. I’m incredibly excited of course to begin this new phase, but nervous nonetheless.

      Have any of you all ever had big moves in the past? Any advice for settling in a new locale?

      14 votes
    26. When it's time to put your dog down?

      She is a mixed breed (more pinscher) and is perhaps 16 or 17 years old. She simply doesn't eat anymore. She went to the vet when this started and they found nothing. Gave her some appetite...

      She is a mixed breed (more pinscher) and is perhaps 16 or 17 years old.

      She simply doesn't eat anymore. She went to the vet when this started and they found nothing. Gave her some appetite injection, she would eat for two days and stop. Went again and same thing.

      I changed vets and he did blood work and everything was fine. He examined her throat with his hands because he didn't want to anesthetize a senior dog for a scan. He discovered a throat and ear infection. Treated and she started eating again, but only for a few weeks. She never gained her weight back.

      Now she is only losing weight and not eating, it's been five days since she last eat something.

      She sleeps almost all the time and is so thin and her back is so curved that when she drops her head to drink water her rear legs go up and she falls. We had to put the food and water up so she doesn't have any accidents.

      She is so frail it's breaking my heart. I'm so afraid.

      Update in the comments below, but I'm going to put it here too

      Updating here: it happened today.

      She got a little better and we didn't had the courage to do it when I made this thread. She was eating better.

      But now she started having difficulties lying down and standing up. She would fall, couldn't lie down by herself. I had to help her.

      This night her bed was a little wet and I figured she might have pissed while lying down.

      Talked to the vet and she is gone forever.

      But I didn't had the courage to watch and be with her during the procedure. I am dying inside because of this. I loved her so much, she was with us for almost 18 years...

      I will never see her again.

      Thanks for everything Meg and sorry for letting you down.

      34 votes
    27. Ask Tildes: How do you get a promotion when you work in a remote office?

      Some years ago, I wrote a book about telecommuting, including a section about the reasons people don't want to be remote workers. High on the list was, "It's too hard to move up in the company"...

      Some years ago, I wrote a book about telecommuting, including a section about the reasons people don't want to be remote workers. High on the list was, "It's too hard to move up in the company" because if you're out of sight, you're out of mind.

      Well, now suddenly nearly everybody is a telecommuter, whether or not they like the idea. So that particular skill is particularly relevant. And I've been assigned an article on "How to 'manage up' when you work from home." I'd like your input.

      My article is meant to compile practical how-to tips for people working from home on “how to stay on your boss's radar.” What advice do you have to share?

      Ideally: Give me a bullet point (“Do XYZ”), why (“It accomplishes this”), and perhaps an anecdote sharing how it made a difference.

      Please don’t expend energy telling me why it’s important, or what the barriers are. Take that as a given. I’m looking for solid “Do this” suggestions.

      17 votes
    28. What if you don't know if you want a child?

      Sorry for the huge train of thought, but I prefer it raw like this. We are dating for 3.5 years and the subject came up a couple of times. We both didn't want, but it was not set in stone. We just...

      Sorry for the huge train of thought, but I prefer it raw like this.

      We are dating for 3.5 years and the subject came up a couple of times. We both didn't want, but it was not set in stone. We just didn't want at that time.

      Three days ago she said she want one in the future. I don't, but I'm not sure.

      I asked jokingly if this is where we have to let each other go.

      What now?

      I have three nieces and I know the hard work and problems my two brothers are dealing with (two are teenagers).

      I don't want that, but at the same time i look at my youngest niece and she is so amazing.

      I can't figure out if i want this or not.

      I don't think we should have kids because she is obese and dealing with food and anxiety issues, and I deal with anxiety and alcohol issues.

      I would teach them a good relationship with food. I'm active, eat clean, i'm slim, fit, lift weights, but have the problem with alcohol which i try to manage, but not at all. I drink too much at least once every one or two weeks.

      My SO eats junk food, soda, sugar, everything. She is obese now. She wasn't when we started dating. Overweight, but not obese.
      She is now at risk of diabetes. I hate it and i'm resenting this to the point I lost attraction.

      It got to the point were i feel ashamed when I see her family eating a lot, which is all they do. Her brother was ok, now he is obese. His girlfriend turned obese.

      I know people say you need to break up because we are incompatible, but it doesn't work like this. We are good together in every other aspect. We treat each other with respect, we have hobbies in common, we are a good couple on the surface.

      If I break up, what reason I could give? It's not a matter of just telling "we are incompatible" after almost 4 years.

      I have no health issues when i checked with the doctor last year.

      We both made promises of solving these issues, but it's not happening.

      If we have a child, who teaches him about food, what to eat or not? What should we buy? And about alcohol?

      Gym and fitness. I adore. She does not. What example should we give to our kid?

      Alcohol. I drink a lot. She drinks, but only enough.

      How does this work?

      This is eating me alive...

      Edit: we don't live together and have jobs at different cities. In this pandemic we are at our homes, which is the same city, but once this pass we will live apart until one of us can transfer to live together.

      18 votes
    29. How can I save more money on razors?

      EDIT: I probably should've said up-front that I live in the UK. I've started to really dig shaving over the years. It's gone from a chore to an enjoyable regimen. Watching or just listening to...

      EDIT: I probably should've said up-front that I live in the UK.

      I've started to really dig shaving over the years. It's gone from a chore to an enjoyable regimen. Watching or just listening to shaving ASMR videos provides considerable satisfaction, though it's really always nice to see a professional at work. I only shave every few days, once my stubble has become quite unsightly, and just give it a single pass in order to save on the cost of razor cartridges. At the moment I'm going through my remaining Cornerstone cartridges after canceling my subscription with them due to the cost, and I can get a few uses out of each before having to discard them. My shaving gel is just a cheapo brand, and the aftershave is an old Christmas gift.

      I'd like to be be able to save some more money when it comes to shaving. Anyone got any recommendations for a good brand I could switch to, or advice on keeping the handle clean and getting more uses out of the heads?

      14 votes
    30. I'm freaking out and need advice

      My mother died last month and I've been thinking of leaving my father's house ever since then. I initially thought I'd be okay with doing that, regardless of whether or not my father would object,...

      My mother died last month and I've been thinking of leaving my father's house ever since then. I initially thought I'd be okay with doing that, regardless of whether or not my father would object, but he talked with me last night saying he'd be okay if I left and now I'm FREAKING OUT.

      Background: I'm 23 and living in Houston, Texas. I have an older brother who lives in Dallas who offered to take me in, but it wouldn't be very permanent as he plans on leaving the country for a trip next year and will be gone for some time. I also have a friend from high school who offered me a room, but she lives in Seattle and was fired from her job. No one else who is close to me is able to offer me a place to stay.

      My concerns: I dropped out of college. I was planning on going back but then my mother died and that plan was put on hold, so I don't have any marketable skills (I've only ever worked in retail). I also don't have a job lined up anywhere else. I've never had to take on so many bills at one time and therefore I don't know much about budgeting.

      I'd like to leave, but where I am it's secure and comfy. Maybe it's finally time I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and start taking control of my own life, but I don't want to risk my safety and finances on a crazy idea.

      I welcome any and all advice, and thanks for reading.

      edit: changed a word

      27 votes
    31. Buying a car

      I've found myself in the market for a vehicle, and am looking for opinions. What I currently drive is very old, and I'm unlikely to get any meaningful trade-in value for it. Normally I would...

      I've found myself in the market for a vehicle, and am looking for opinions. What I currently drive is very old, and I'm unlikely to get any meaningful trade-in value for it. Normally I would simply look to repair what I consider to be a transportation appliance, but due to its age as well as the number and type of issues I've decided it's best to get rid of it. I've been interested in (and have been offered great deals on) the 2019 Nissan Rogue and 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. I drove options from Honda and Hyundai and was not thrilled. I'm uncomfortable with the fact that there is a network connection to the machine that controls my brakes, acceleration, steering, and safety system in each of these vehicles. Does anyone have any general advice, opinions, or other options I should consider?

      17 votes
    32. How do you achieve an efficient house move?

      I'm getting my own place -- i.e. an apartment that I own, and not rent -- and I find myself needing to prepare for another house move (this'll be the 4th of such events for me), only this time...

      I'm getting my own place -- i.e. an apartment that I own, and not rent -- and I find myself needing to prepare for another house move (this'll be the 4th of such events for me), only this time with a lot more stuff.
      I'm in a situation where I have to plan how I proceed carefully, since the elevator isn't working yet at the new place, and I have to carry everything up 7 flights of stairs.

      Every single time I've done a house move in the past it's been a disaster; didn't plan at all, just stuffed things into my car and left for the new place when it was full; rinse and repeat. I'm positive I did at least double the number of trips I actually needed.

      I want to think ahead on this one since the number of trips matter a lot.

      What are your tips for house moving? Any weird but efficient way of packing/labeling/sorting/whatever?

      Also interested in hearing the stories of your most horrible (or most enjoyable -- although I can't imagine this being the case) house moves.

      PS: don't want to hire a moving company, I like doing things like this on my own.

      13 votes
    33. Moving out tips

      I'm moving out: in the coming weeks I'll move to an apartment in Ankara, Turkey. This is the first time I'll have a home of my own, and the first time I live in an apartment as opposed to our...

      I'm moving out: in the coming weeks I'll move to an apartment in Ankara, Turkey. This is the first time I'll have a home of my own, and the first time I live in an apartment as opposed to our detached family home. I wonder if any of you have tips for a 25yo master's student moving out and changing city!

      31 votes
    34. What advice or wisdom would you give to someone 10 years younger than you?

      It can be specific or broad, and it can be aimed at a particular type of person based on your experiences (e.g. people in my city, people with fibromyalgia, etc.) or just people at large. Also,...

      It can be specific or broad, and it can be aimed at a particular type of person based on your experiences (e.g. people in my city, people with fibromyalgia, etc.) or just people at large.

      Also, given that age is a very identifying piece of information, feel free to give a range if you're not comfortable sharing your exact age (e.g. "I'm in my 40s" rather than "I'm 42").

      • What advice or wisdom would you give to someone 10 years younger than you?
      • What would you have wanted to know 10 years ago that someone older could have shared with you?
      • If you'd heard the kind of advice you're giving, would you have listened to it 10 years ago?
      29 votes
    35. Anybody use Strikethru?

      I used Bullet Journal for a year, then went back to Org mode with Orgzly on mobile. I find I'm more productive with pen and paper b/c when I see a rabbit hole I can't do nothing but jump into it...

      I used Bullet Journal for a year, then went back to Org mode with Orgzly on mobile. I find I'm more productive with pen and paper b/c when I see a rabbit hole I can't do nothing but jump into it and go right down, and trying to conform to ways app devs' workflows and hack them to behave the way I want cause friction which is for me greater than that of dealing with a meatspace physical notebook. Bullet Journal was nice, but I wonder if Strikethru could be even nicer. I never fully conform to these methods, but they are generally nice starting points to build a custom one, so I generally like starting out with them.

      My use case is, I have four types of tasks: projects, like "study statistics" or "transcribe scans" which can take weeks or months to complete, and sometimes have deadlines; todos which have no specific completion time (e.g. long time shopping lists, books to buy, stuff to check back on later, things to research); tasks that are scheduled for a certain date/time or a range thereof; and lastly tasks that recur on varying intervals, like posting the thread to ~books every other week or completing a particular task that pertains to a project, say reading pages from a book that is relevant to the "study statistics" project. Bullet Journal provided a means for all of this, but the amount of rescheduling and rewriting was inconvenient, and inconvenient is the evil enemy of making habits and getting things done for a fucked up procrastinator like me. When I look at Strikethru, I am not sure if it can handle this, if it's too simple for more complex stuff. So I wonder what you guys do with it. I'd be glad if you could share your workflows and/or advice me on how I could make use of this particular system, or anything else out there!

      Edit: prior art:

      I've commented on both of these talking about how I use a modified Bullet Journal method.

      8 votes
    36. How to start being an adult? I feel like I am falling downhill without any branch to catch me.

      I hope this is the right place to post my question. About me: I am 23, currently studying computer science in a university and failing it hard. I have finished school with pretty good grades,...

      I hope this is the right place to post my question.
      About me: I am 23, currently studying computer science in a university and failing it hard. I have finished school with pretty good grades, found school easy and didn't really put any effort into learning. After getting my fancy sheet of paper with my grades I applied to compsci studies. Fast forward to now, I am in my last semester with only 30% of credits I need to graduate. It is really hard, I have zero friends to work with at unversity, I make plans and detailed lists of work I have to do but always fail to follow them. I feel like I cannot control myself, one week I will do my work, next week I will struggle to get out of bed and do anything, I can spend whole day laying in bed and doing nothing. My personal life did not progress upwards too, I do not feel any joy in reading, communicating with people or doing basically anything. Everything feels like one big boring game of get a degree, work, make kids and die. My parents are disappointed, since I am failing uni, got fat and basically became a complete opposite of who I was at school. If I dont have anything to do I will just sit at home and stare at my computer, I dont even play games or watch movies, just mindlesly browse reddit or some forum without posting or commenting.

      Maybe someone out here has faced a similar situation and give me a hint/tip to start with, I feel hopeless and useless. This situation seems like an endless void to me, maybe there is a way out that I cannot see?

      32 votes
    37. Combined BA + MA degrees

      Have any of you done these degrees? I'm switching disciplines for my MA, and I want to collect information on this alternative method should I fail that this summer. I'd have a more complete grasp...

      Have any of you done these degrees? I'm switching disciplines for my MA, and I want to collect information on this alternative method should I fail that this summer. I'd have a more complete grasp of the field and proceed to a PhD equipped with better knowledge. The price to pay being some time, but I'll probably already have to do my MA---if I manage---in three years b/c the school might want me to take an extra preparatory year going through some undergrad classes.

      So, any experiences, any comments, any links highly appreciated!

      P.S.: EU information appreciated, that's been significantly harder to get at.

      7 votes
    38. Ex-smokers, what did you do to help you stop?

      Edit: meant ex-smokers. Proof reading is not something I tend to do... Some people quit cold turkey, some use something to replace it (thinking sunflower seeds), some make goals like only have 6 a...

      Edit: meant ex-smokers. Proof reading is not something I tend to do...

      Some people quit cold turkey, some use something to replace it (thinking sunflower seeds), some make goals like only have 6 a day and work their way down.

      I personally have been using nicotine products since I was about 16. Cigarettes at first, but switched to vaping at about 18. Been using them for about 6 years now and finally decided it's time to stop. I've been lowering the amount of nicotine in my vape for about 3 months, this last one being 0 nicotine in my vape. Now it's time to break the muscle memory of just mindlessly grabbing it at home and always making sure I know where it is. This last month with no nicotine was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be because I always told myself it was mostly a habit of the action and not the substance... Boy was I fucking wrong.

      So what did you do, or are you doing, to help yourself quit? Need a little inspiration.

      13 votes
    39. I’m writing an article about “How to hand over the reins when you leave a job.” I’d like your advice about what I should include.

      My premise is that you genuinely want to help the company and the next person who moves into your old position. Maybe you got a promotion, or you found an even-better job. In any case, you want...

      My premise is that you genuinely want to help the company and the next person who moves into your old position. Maybe you got a promotion, or you found an even-better job. In any case, you want the old coworkers to succeed, and you want to make a smooth transition.

      So there’s a few pieces to this:

      • What do you do when you leave a job?

      • What have other people done, when they left/moved on, that gave you the knowledge and skills you needed to excel?

      • What did they NOT provide that you wish they had?

      It’d be easy for me to focus on “what did you do” but none of us know how successful that was. So tell me, rather, about your experience as the person picking up the reins. What did that teach you about the process?

      Anecdotes welcome! (And tell me how to refer to you in the article. Private is fine.)

      10 votes
    40. How would you bring together friends who still don't know each other?

      If you have friends who used to be in separate circles but are going to finally meet, how would you handle that property? Let's say, you all meet, you know each of them, but they know about each...

      If you have friends who used to be in separate circles but are going to finally meet, how would you handle that property?

      Let's say, you all meet, you know each of them, but they know about each other very vaguely. How to introduce everyone gently and keep conversations going in a non confusing way? What are the dos and don'ts there? Personal real experience of "joining" friends would be nice to read about too!

      13 votes
    41. Advice for a soon to be college graduate

      I am going to be graduating with a BA in Economics in May, and I am overwhelmed, like most people, with all the stuff that I am now responsible for. I was mostly wondering what advice you wish you...

      I am going to be graduating with a BA in Economics in May, and I am overwhelmed, like most people, with all the stuff that I am now responsible for. I was mostly wondering what advice you wish you heard when you were 22.

      10 votes
    42. Trying to figure out my personal craziness

      I hope this is the appropriate Tilde for this. If no one has any input it will still have helped me to type this out. TL;DR In over my head with marriage, foster care, family, and work. My wife...

      I hope this is the appropriate Tilde for this. If no one has any input it will still have helped me to type this out.

      TL;DR In over my head with marriage, foster care, family, and work.

      My wife and I became foster parents about 1.5 years ago with the intention to not adopt, but to care for children 3 and under while bio parents worked to regain custody or other permanent placements were arranged. Our first placement was two girls (7 mo and 2.5 yrs) despite wanting to do just one kid at a time (especially to start). We had them for 6 weeks and mom got them back. We had another placement (8 mo boy) for about another 6 weeks. There was a considerable lull and we were getting frustrated about not getting any new placements when the girls from our first placement were placed into custody again. So we were able to take them in again (now about 1.2 and 3.5 yrs). FF to now and we've had them for about 6 months.

      We never really intended to have more than one child and for quite this long and we're struggling. My wife has always had a little less ability to weather stressful situations like this and these last 2-3 weeks I'm carrying a lot of weight. In the meantime, bio mom has gotten pregnant and there's not another hearing regarding custody for another 9 months. We fully expect that she will not be able to take them back at that time (or really realistically ever). What should probably happen would be that the county could place the kids into permanent custody (basically getting them adopted). However, from what we've heard from other foster families, temporary custody could drag on for years.

      So, our main dilemma is this. We are not equipped (as a couple) to care for these kids for years. With the likely prospect of no change in custody in the near future, it feels like the best thing for these kids would be to get them into the care of someone looking to do this long-term, perhaps to eventually adopt. That being said, we absolutely love them and it feels like some kind of betrayal to force them to make yet another transition. On the other hand, with our limitations, it seems like that is inevitable anyway. Do we try to make that happen sooner?

      Some other data points:
      Our fostering license expires in October (about a month after the hearing is scheduled) and we don't intend to continue fostering (at least for a while, and definitely not with our current agency).
      We don't have many family members close by to give us a hand with the kids, making us feel isolated and making it hard to get breaks from the kids. Our agency has not been very helpful with lining up respite care, but we're trying to be more aggressive about that now.
      I've got things pretty well lined up to retire in about 5 years. My company is also just now kicking off a major project of a similar time frame and I'm in a good position to really make a mark before moving on. It will probably require some serious time commitments and effort to do it the way I want to.

      Thanks for listening.

      12 votes
    43. Home/remote workers, any advice or tips?

      I've recently accepted a new developer role for a small tech company where everyone works remotely. I've had experience of working from home as a freelancer in the past and slightly more recently...

      I've recently accepted a new developer role for a small tech company where everyone works remotely. I've had experience of working from home as a freelancer in the past and slightly more recently working for a distributed company, although there I was working in a small shared office with one other colleague.

      I wondered if anyone has any tips or advice on how best to remain productive as well as avoid distractions and try to keep a work/life balance?

      I do intend to eventually find a co-working space but immediately I plan to work from home for at least the first few months.

      Thanks!

      16 votes
    44. Stuck In A Ditch In The Middle Of A Desert In A Country I Don't Know The Name Of

      I'm sitting here, not being able to sleep and watching every single John Mayer music video ever made, finding myself a little stuck. I've got good friends, I've got a free environment to do...

      I'm sitting here, not being able to sleep and watching every single John Mayer music video ever made, finding myself a little stuck.

      I've got good friends, I've got a free environment to do whatever I want to do, and I've got enough stuff around me to keep me alive. Somehow, this isn't what I hoped for.

      Ever since I was a kid, I always dreamed of this moment. I'm on my own. I've got my axe, and I'm ready for battle, but, I can't swing this thing, man. I don't have enough motivation, something I've been struggling with since I was born. I'm a chronic procrastinator, even when it's about something I actually want to. I want to sit down, write music, and make people smile. I want to do all these things, but I can't find enough willpower to do it. Maybe it's just my current emotional state holding me back. I miss the connection I used to have with someone that put me at my absolute peak in life.

      It's so unbelievably unfair to me that someone that seemed to help me so much and bring me up can just walk out on me like that with no explanation. She made me a better person when she was around, and a worse person when she's not. I don't understand why I still think about it every single day. I guess this is more of a rant / self help post, but I do pose one question:

      How do I get rid of the constant thought of someone? She's connected to everything I do in life and I really gotta fucking stop. Is there something I'm missing when it comes to getting over someone? Do I chase her? I've tried before, but it ended worse the second time around.

      Anyone have similar experiences? I'm sure there are some sad wrecks out there tonight. Come and share your story about the best person you've ever met that you'll never meet again.

      12 votes
    45. Global warming is going to lead to massive disruption and loss of life in our lifetimes. What can someone do to avoid the impending doom?

      I think it is a given that we are going to experience massive social disruption as the effects of global warming manifest. These will include the loss of edible sea life from ocean acidification,...

      I think it is a given that we are going to experience massive social disruption as the effects of global warming manifest. These will include the loss of edible sea life from ocean acidification, the loss of potable water from desertification, and famine as crops fail and pests that were previously kept in check by winter temperatures proliferate. Storms and wildfires will become more intense. These events will lead to social unrest and a migration crisis that makes what Europe is experiencing seem like a family member overstaying their holiday welcome.

      Not a rosey picture, certainly, but if anything the analysis is superficial and understated.

      That said, it's likely some areas will fare better than others. How can we identify these oases? Some characteristics I think could give an area a good chance:

      • Equatorial - regions near the equator will see less temperature rise. An increase of two degrees C near the equator translates to something like 12 degrees C near the poles. Equatorial regions should see less temperature change.

      • 'Eternal spring' climate - found in high altitudes near the equator, it's about 20 degrees C (70 degrees F) year-round with dry and wet seasons. However wet seasons will probably get worse too, so maybe this is not ideal.

      • Water independence - should have access to potable water that does not rely on public infrastructure. Wells, springs, streams, etc.

      • Food independence - should have access to game or growing conditions that will not negatively be effected by global warming. Should not rely on fish for most protein needs.

      • Social cohesion - strong social bonds are ideal, however an openness towards outsiders is also ideal. I would write off most of the US right off. Too many guns and we can't even agree people have a right to healthcare when things are relatively good. At the same time, I might not fare well in a country like Japan where nobody even litters, but they also don't trust foreigners.

      • Not New Zealand - apparently this is where the rich people are going. No thanks, unless guillotine expertise makes me eligible for a worker visa.

      What else would you look for? Does anywhere fit the bill? Maybe we can create a post-Apocalyptic community dedicated to high-quality content and discussion.

      7 votes
    46. How to deal with a friend gone cynical?

      I have a friend at the office, who is very dear to me. I don't have many friends, and I've known this person for over five years. But recently they've become increasingly cynical and sometimes...

      I have a friend at the office, who is very dear to me. I don't have many friends, and I've known this person for over five years. But recently they've become increasingly cynical and sometimes outright toxic. Saying things like "our job doesn't matter", "nobody cares", and "you should stop trying to improve things". The company we work for had incompetent managers for the last couple of years, who were ignoring issues and basically making it up as they go. The management was basically purged, and now there are a lot of new people. So I guess it is my friend's way to cope with the situation. But it feels unhealthy, because recently they started lashing out on people, including new people who have done nothing wrong yet.

      I am honestly kind of afraid to bring this issue up to them, because (a) I am afraid to lose them and (b) they will probably respond with something along the lines of "you don't know what I've been through", or "eff off", or plain old silence. I feel like they are hurting, but I don't know how to help.

      What should I do? Should I do anything at all?

      10 votes
    47. How do you prevent burnout?

      Heyo guys, Long story short, I'm a college student in his final semester right now. I've gone through many different phases of my college life between not being sure of my future, wanting to take...

      Heyo guys,

      Long story short, I'm a college student in his final semester right now. I've gone through many different phases of my college life between not being sure of my future, wanting to take advantage of my last point in life of youth, trying to grow up and learn to be a competent adult at home, trying to grow up and learn to be a competent adult in the workforce, and everything else in between. Right now, I'm coming off of a summer where I took 9 credits and managed to get As in all three classes while also feeling very accomplished that I felt I've taken many valuable skills and lessons away from those classes.

      At the moment, I am taking 18 credits for this Fall semester, sitting at six classes and I'm finally happy that I'm able to be taking a lot of productive and worthwhile classes in my major. I love all of my classes and professors so far and I'm very eager to learn and continue developing myself to be the person I want to be. However, my concern is the heavy burnout that I feel is imminent within a few weeks to a month, as I'm already beginning to feel it come on within the last two weeks.

      How do I deal with this or prevent it? How do you personally handle situations where you uphold a lot of responsibility to yourself and you want to keep in top form? Personal stories, experiences, advice, and all of the above are welcome.

      24 votes