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<SNIP> a well-educated American would be able to name all 50 states given time to do so and paper to write on.

I learned the song, Fifty Nifty United States back when I was in elementary school. I don't remember most of the lyrics except the first line, but I do remember all the states in alphabetical order! There's a lot to be said for putting something to music.
I just thought of another one.  Way back in my life I lived in the desert in Southern Calif for a few months.  We invited my youngest sister and her DH for a few days because they had never been there.  We were quite near the Mexican border and had visited the little Mexican town nearby several times and decided to take them there for an afternoon.  I had to explain that, yes, we were visiting the "country" of Mexico.  And, no, that wasn't the same as the state of New Mexico.  She said that she'd never paid any attention to geography classes in school.

I usually hear about this -- general "confusion" thing -- the other way round: frequently-cited instances of American citizens unaware of there being a US state of New Mexico, and when it's mentioned, thinking that Mexico the nation is being referred to -- whence administrative misunderstandings and mess-ups.

While I'm a geography nerd: I can see that this is stuff which doesn't interest everybody, and at least 95% of the time is irrelevant to their lives; so I tend to be tolerant re such "confusement".  Am aware that I have no business to tell my American friends how they should manage their affairs; but I often think that when the US annexed New Mexico from "Old Mexico" in 1848, they should have foreseen future confusion and bafflement, and headed it off by giving the region of New Mexico, a new and totally different name.  Throughout history, people have mostly "known what they needed to know", and pretty much ignored stuff that is for them, 95% peripheral: I feel that "the powers that be" should make allowances for that.

Haha (regarding the bolded). I don't think that is something you can predict, or something that people think of at the time of naming something. Case in point: New York. I would say that there's little if any, confusion regarding New York vs. (old) York in England. Or for that matter, either of the other similarly named "New" states: New Hampshire and New Jersey.
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: "D'oh!" Moments (or the V-8 headslap ;))
« Last post by oogyda on Today at 01:07:39 PM »
When you are making something to cook all day in your slow cooker, remember to turn it on before you leave for work.  That pork roast will not be done when you get home otherwise.   :(

Along the same lines, when you are making something to cook all day in your slow cooker, and you have turned it on, remember to check if the stupid thing is plugged in. 
Your beef barley soup will NOT be done either.   :-\

Yup, I have done both.  And I may or may not have done them both within a month of each incident.  (I think it was possibly 6 week span.)

(I now touch the side of the slow cooker to make sure it is hot just as I am leaving the house.)

The same goes for the oven. 
All In A Day's Work / Re: Spitting out seeds at lunch
« Last post by EllenS on Today at 01:06:06 PM »
I'm confused. What is there to spit out from a sunflower seed? You eat it.

I think in that case, it would be spitting the shells.

With things like watermelon, which I would not eat with  my fingers at work anyway, I would try to de-seed it as far as possible with the knife and fork, and then deposit the seeds back on the fork to put in the dish.  (The "go out the same way it went in" rule is from Miss Manners). If I saw my orange unexpectedly had seeds, I would get them out as best I could with my fingers before biting.

For stone fruits like peaches or larger cherries, I eat half the fruit (or bite the cherry in half), discard the pit with my fingers, and then eat the other half.

If I wind up with seeds in my mouth, I would use either the fist or napkin methods as above. I do generally try to avoid bringing food that will be messy or make my hands sticky at work, anyway. I often ate at my desk at work.
Yes, it was an electric waffle iron. 

After the above conversation, I was thinking "And you couldn't infer from context?"  I decided not to waste my time since she probably wouldn't know what "infer" meant and possibly might not know "context". 
26 general / Re: Best Friend Constantly Dumping Issues on Me
« Last post by wyliefool on Today at 01:03:38 PM »
I guess I'm just saying to not let her make HER problems into YOUR problems.  If it's something that she's looking at you to solve, let her know (nicely) that you can't help her because it's her issue and you don't know anything about it.  Don't get sucked in.

And honestly, after reading your last update, I just have to ask: what does she do all day besides vent at you?  From your description, she sounds like she just sits and vents to you all day!  Does any of this interfere with either of your jobs or whatever you're doing during the day (school, volunteering, sleeping)?  Because I think that's a very fair thing to say too: "Friend, I was at work and didn't check my phone for 3 hours.  When I did check it, there were 27 messages from you!  I was so worried because when I saw the sheer volume, I thought you had an emergency or you were hurt or something!  And then it literally took me 20 minutes just to read through them all, and it was only about you going to McDonald's and the new weight-loss gizmo.  I'm glad you weren't hurt this time, but I really started worrying....if  there IS an actual emergency sometime, I'd hate to miss something because it's buried under a wall of text about McDonald's.  Can you try to tone it down?"  Also maybe mention that you don't want to get in trouble at work from responding to her so much, if that's the case.

OP, likely your friend will be hurt a bit, because you'll be saying no.  But you can't go on like this.  It's not healthy for either one of you.

Good point. Remember the boy who cried wolf.

"Friend, I know you're having issues w/ ___ lately and I want to be there for you. However, I feel like I'm becoming a therapist and not a friend. I can't spend hours each day reading texts about your analysis of your childhood and how it contributed to ___. Let;s make a conscious effort to talk about other things, like [  ]. When you feel a need to text me about ___ then write it down in your journal instead. That way you'll be able to go back and read it over and see if you can get to the bottom of why you feel ___ about ___."

Or something. Basically, she's using you as her journal and burdening you w/ incessant demands on your time. You have a life too and are entitled to spend it doing other things besides consoling her over McD's or whatever. And in fact the constant acting as her crutch and grumbling repository could be enabling her to avoid dealing w/ her problems.

Also, this:
If I don't respond at all I hear about it.
Is just not ok. What, are you not allowed to put your phone down for half an hour and do something in the real world? Talk to some other friend even? Jeez, that's going over the top. You'll be doing her  a favor by taking it down a notch before you get burnt out altogether, or resentful of her constant demands for attention (because that's what this is) and lose interest in the friendship.
All In A Day's Work / Re: Spitting out seeds at lunch
« Last post by Betelnut on Today at 01:03:32 PM »
I'm confused. What is there to spit out from a sunflower seed? You eat it.

LOL! Too true!
Humor Me! / Re: Gross out-- Not for the faint of heart
« Last post by KimberlyM on Today at 01:03:21 PM »
My 6 year old has a cold, again.  Saturday I was holding a tissue to his nose, told him to blow and a huge amount of snot went flying past the tissue and right into my hand.  I almost had to clean up vomit too as I was gagging while rushing to wash my hands!
Money should stay out of friendships IMO.  It can go wrong in so many ways. I think you did the right thing.

POD.  I had my good friend offer me a loan for something in the past and I turned her down.  Partly because 1) I knew she wasn't much better off than we are and 2) I didn't want money to come between us.  We usually take things in trade, such as when we're together, she'll buy one meal and I'll take the next, or if she pays for coffee, I get it the next time we go out.   Or we send little fun care packages back and forth.  The only time money's really exchanged hands was when I bought her a shirt I found in Target that she hadn't seen in hers and just paypal'd the $5.

Also 3) Due to some history with people who like to give big gifts or lots of money then hold it over one's head even though they were the ones offering, I'm quite hesitant to take money from people.  My IL's like to help us out and have, but that was not an easy thing to adjust to until I saw they are truly not the sort to use it to manipulate.  Dh told me once "If you turn it down, you'll hurt their feelings because they're not doing it out of charity or to lay down strings to pull later, they just genuinely want to help." We're paying them back for their help in putting a fence up around our property and when it's a loan we can pay back over time it's cool but big gifts make me anxious even when well intentioned.
I'm finding it difficult to believe that a Company specifically *forbids* its employees
discussing certain conversational topics!
Exceptions would be:
Police investigations
Legal cases before the court
Individual medical cases
Etc...covered by privacy laws.

A big public march is certainly none of those.

Well I'm sure the OP isn't lying  :-\

When it comes to politics or other controversial issues--I can absolutely believe that certain topics would be considered off limits on the job.  Heck, I still remember "conversations" that turned nasty during the 2004 presidential elections...
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