President’s Day open thread

We have a President’s Day open thread.

Are you having a good Monday?

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Thursday open thread

We have an open thread all day.

Today is Valentine’s Day ♥♥♥.  Are you celebrating? Did you celebrate Galentine’s Day yesterday?

Have you ever dined at any of these?

25 Of The Most Romantic Restaurants In America, According To TripAdvisor

Tuesday open thread

We have an open thread today.

For a starter you can take this challenge:

What do you pack for a one-week trip to . . . San Francisco?  Or San Diego?  Or pick another location.  Can you stick to carry-on?  What do you wear on the plane?

I was inspired by this thread:  Help Me Pack

Since I try to be a minimalist packer, I like the advice in this NYT article to leave behind ‘Most of the clothes you’re thinking of bringing’ and ‘Anything you “might” use’.

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Break down the silos  (Rhode)
Thursday  —  Open thread
Friday  —  Enjoy a cocktail and improve your Spanish   (July)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Tuesday open thread

We can discuss whatever’s on our mind today.

Soup is on my mind.  Some of you have recently mentioned making soup.  Care to share recipes?  (I still make and enjoy Lark’s easy white bean soup, spiced up for our tastes.)

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Charging Your Kids Room and Board   (Ginger)
Thursday  —  Open thread
Friday  —  Weird news from New Jersey  (Rhode)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

MLK Day open thread

What’s on your mind today?

Upcoming topics:

Tuesday  —  Put out to pasture too soon   (Rocky Mountain Stepmom)
Wednesday  —  Pantry pests!  (Rhode)
Thursday  —  Utilities failure   (WCE)
Friday  —  Admissions lottery for college  (North of Boston)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Tuesday open thread

We have an open thread all day.

I’ve been wondering how people feel about this.

Is Marie Kondo Wrong About Books?

… The books you read convey meaning to you; the books you keep convey meaning to others. The best reason to keep books in your home is to show them off to other people.

Huh?

More opinions:

Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo WaPo

And:

Book people, especially, have balked at the idea that they should dispose of any books that don’t spark joy.

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Silly Tricks for Budgeting  (Louise)
Thursday  —  Tips for Aging Well  (Seattle Soccer Mom)
Friday  —  Weird News: What about your town?   (Rhode)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Tuesday open thread

We have an open thread all day today.

Here’s a starter topic if you’re interested.

Duvets and Comforters, recommendations

I’m sure some totebaggers have ideas on this, particularly on “the pros and cons” of duvet covers.  Apparently many people struggle to get a comforter inside a duvet cover and to make it stay in place.  But duvet covers do seem to fit in nicely with the idea of no top sheets.

I find a down comforter inside a white duvet cover just perfect.  What do you like?

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Parenting teenagers  (S&M)
Thursday  —  It’s a small world  (Becky)
Friday  —  Hometown food favorites  (Cassandra)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

New Year’s Eve open thread

Happy New Year!  We have an open thread today and tomorrow.

Tonight’s the night to celebrate the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.  What’s your celebration style, raucous partying or quiet evening at home?  Or something in between?

Do you have any resolutions for 2019?  And what were your biggest accomplishments of 2018?

Since one of my latest life priorities seems to be downsizing and organizing my life, I can relate to this tweet.  (Sometimes little things can give great satisfaction.)

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  A Retirement PhD   (Rhett)
Thursday  —  The value of a ‘super-selective’ college   (Fred)
Friday  —  What’s your spirit holiday?   (S&M)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Christmas Eve open thread

Merry Christmas!  Today and tomorrow we can chat here on any topic as we enjoy the holiday.

Upcoming topics:

Tuesday  —  No post
Wednesday  —  Share your holiday party disasters  (S&M)
Thursday  —  What motivates really rich people?  (WCE)
Friday  —  Weird news: Unloved books  (Rhode)
Sunday —  Politics open thread
Monday  —  New Year’s Eve open thread

Tuesday open thread

Open thread all day today.

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  National parks in crisis (Denver Dad)
Thursday  —  Parents in the school lunchroom? (Swim)
Friday  —  You Must Buy… (Louise)
Sunday —  Politics open thread
Monday  —  Christmas Eve open thread

Tuesday open thread

We have an open thread all day today.

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Cell phones and kids  (Louise)
Thursday  —  A ‘cash-free future’?  (Flyover)
Friday  —  Weird News: Shark theft  (Rhode)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Tuesday open thread

Talk amongst yourselves.

Since we still have many good topics in the pipeline, this week we will only have one open thread.  I’ll continue to schedule only one open thread per week as long as we continue to have a generous flow of submitted posts.

Here’s a starter.  Nate Silver got a lot of disagreement on this tweet.  Feel free to rank the months in your city, in NYC, or anywhere else.

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Generation Z  (Rocky Mountain Stepmom)
Thursday  —  Work life balance can mean tough trade-offs  (Fred)
Friday  —  The gift post!  (Swim & Houston)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Tuesday open thread

What would you like to discuss?

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  When ideology trumps science (WCE)
Thursday  —  Weight management and exercise (S&M)
Friday  —  Weird news: witches work as life coaches (Rhode)
Sunday —  Politics open thread

Tuesday open thread

Our Tuesday open thread is open for business.

Since we currently seem to have a backlog of topics (a good thing!), we will not have an open thread this Thursday.  Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  What stands the test of time? (Rhode)
Thursday  —  Taking care of your kitchen  (S&M)
Friday  —  The TMI post  (Houston)

Open thread

This week we’ll start the new format we discussed last week of having only three specific topics per week and three open threads.  Here’s the plan:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday — specific topics
Tuesday and Thursday — open threads
Sunday — politics open thread

Mon-Wed-Fri topic discussions can carry on to the next day to make it easier for more participants to chime in.  Tues-Thurs posts will allow new discussions to start without creating excessively long threads on the other days.  Sunday posts will remain as a place for hot-button topics to be discussed all week long.

We can tweak this format as desired, so keep your comments and suggestions coming in.

Upcoming topics:

Wednesday  —  Jury Duty (Finn)
Thursday  —  Open Thread
Friday  —  My paternal grandpa’s middle name?  (Cassandra)
Monday  —  The Portion Paradox and the Half Cookie  (Finn)

Open Thread and Admin Change

Jby Mémé

Next Monday, July will take over as primary administrator.   Topics this week are:

Wed  –  The American Dream   (Finn)

Th –       Kids’ Internet Use  (tcmama)

Fri –       Favorite Limericks   (WCE)

The Old Site was originally a workplace diversion, allowable to many of us because it was on the WSJ website AND because back then we spent lots of dead time on butt-in-seat conference calls.   We migrated to The Totebag as our work and personal lives changed.   We are spread out over many time zones.     And of course, the “regulars” are a shrinking, not a growing community, although we do have a lot of wonderful lurkers who post from time to time and have sent in a few topics this year.

As a novice admin I did put in a lot of time, more than is really necessary.  July is not only more conservative politically than I, she is more laid back and doesn’t mind some of the comments I find unacceptable.   Her touch will be lighter at the helm.    We make a good team, which was most evident in the resolution to the privacy and retention issues on which we initially held views at opposite ends of the continuum.

The most frustrating aspect of my six months was the general lack of group interest in topics with substantive content.    I was even admonished not to use submissions from certain contributors because they were too boring.   Heartfelt posts from personal experience and serious ones usually generated very little direct on topic discussion.     Part of that is because we are not checking in as frequently in the way we did when tied to a desk.     Part may be due to the same problem that any workplace lunchroom or kaffeklatsch has – if there is no immediate interest in a topic what remains are variants on the same conversation day after day.     And there are few or no new voices joining in.

After all these years, I wonder if in The Totebag’s present 6-day a week format the juice is still worth the squeeze.    Perhaps we could cut back to Politics on Sun plus 3 posts during the week, say a Monday general interest topic , a family/education topic on Wed,  a lighthearted topic on Friday.    Readers would continue to bring up other topics, ask for advice,  and check in,  just as we do now.    We could try out “threading.”   Or perhaps we could just autopost this on the other two weekdays:

 

Open Thread

Wed –  Cutting the Cable Cord (Rhett)

Th – Free College!!  (WCE starter)

Fri – Celebrations (Lark)

Mon – Parenting Standards Then and Now (Louise)

Wed +1 – The American Dream (Finn)

Th +1 –  Kids and the Internet (tcmama)

Fri +1 – Favorite Limericks (WCE)

Open Thread

For a couple of weeks I am  holding back topics that even remotely deal with gender or privilege.      Here is the very interesting lineup for the next week.

Wed  –  Hiring a Friend (Becky)

Th     –  Social Media Privacy for College Students (AustinMom)

Fri    –  Eileen Fisher and #menocore fashion (SM)

Mon –  Loneliness (Cassandra) 

Open Thread

Thanks for more articles.     I will be rotating off as primary admin in mid November, so please keep up the good work so I can leave a few weeks filled up for July when I go on vacation.

Wed       Leading by Example (July)

Th           Learning Differences (GreenEyes)

Fri          Appliances Back In the Day  (Lemon Tree)

Mon       Are Middle Children now in the Minority?  (Honolulu Mother)