Garmin updates...

Quick question about Garmin GPS updates. Hopefully someone can answer for me!

Has anyone ever used Amazon to purchase Garmin updates? It's a pretty good poor skill if it works, since it's quite a bit cheaper, but I've never known anyone to do this. Will it work as well as if I purchased the lifetime updates from

I use my GPS pretty much on a daily basis and the outdated maps are becoming a big problem for me, but I don't have the extra money to put towards the updates.

Thanks in advance!

One chicken, five meals

I've heard often about making one chicken last and decided to try it myself. My pictures are iphone pictures of my plates and I'm not putting recipes for things because gosh, these are simple dishes. The point of the pics is if people want to see serving sizes.

I used a medium chicken which cost me 4 quid (technically it was a 3 for 10 pounds deal Sainsbury's was doing but the list price was 4 and a few pennies). All meals fed 2 [greedy] people. My boyfriend is a chicken fiend and I know for 1 meal midweek he felt a bit sad but was otherwise pretty satisfied

For day one I removed the wings, legs and thighs. Frankly, my thighs weren't that neat because I'm not great at doing that to chicken... I put all the bits in one container with salt, olive oil, vinegar and garlic and shoved in the fridge. The rest of the chicken was then roasted with paprika/cayenne wedges and homemade garlic mayo.

I'll x-post to a few comms so sorry if you' see it a few times. :)

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What do I do with my stuff?

I'm looking into moving home with my mom and step-dad for about 6-11 months while I'm in school. I may only stay with them a few months and then rent a room elsewhere.

There's only one problem though...

I've been living in my own apartment for a year and I have an entire apartment's worth of stuff and furniture. Two pieces I splurged on, one being a chocolate brown sectional and my queen size mattress. The room at my mom's would only fit a single bed and the sectional would definitely need to find a new home. The sectional was $1300 and my mattress was $500. The rest of my furniture was free/cheap walmart junk.

Those two pieces I REEAALLY don't want to lose but I am going to have to downsize. I see only two options:
1. Put everything into storage.
2. Sell as much as I can and put the rest in storage.

I cringe at the thought of only getting 50% of what I paid for everything, if that... :(

So, my question is should I take the hit and sell everything for a longer-term gain? Should I put everything into storage? Something else? Help!

Apartment problems

I know this is not the best community for this, but you folks seem to know a lot about renting laws. If there is a better community you can direct me to, please do.

I and my two roommates rent a basement apartment in Boston. We've had a lot of problems with the pipes (they're generally very loud, one has been leaking off and old since October) and especially the bathroom. Usually at about once a day, sometimes less, sometimes much more, the water will drain out out the toilet with a loud bubbling sound. Sometimes there is also a sucking sound in the bathtub when this happens. A few times the toilet has filled up with soapy water. A few times both the toilet and bathtub have filled up with dirty water (water with actual dirt in it).

And twice, they have filled up with human shit.

There is human shit in my bathtub. For the second time. The human shit of, presumably, everyone in my apartment building.

Like most landlords, mine like to do things themselves. So, while we obviously don't call them every time the toilet makes noises, we have called them each time about the feces, the dirt, and the bubbles. Because there is clearly a fucking problem here. Only once did they bring a plumber. That time they found that someone had ben flushing pads and accused "the female" (my roommate) of flushing them. She's not stupid and she doesn't flush pads. When we called this time they asked again if we have flushed anything unusual. We do not because, again, we aren't stupid and we don't enjoy having shit in our bathtub.

Adding to the problem is that there is a sizable language barrier between my roommates and the landlord.

I do not know what to do if they do not bring a plumber today. This is clearly a bigger problem can can be solved by spitting in my toilet and turning the shower on with your clothes on, which is all the landlord seemed to do yesterday when there was dirt water in the bathtub. They clearly cannot fix this alone. It sounds to me like something that involves all the fucking pipes in the city of Boston, but how would I know, I'M NOT A FUCKING PLUMBER AND NEITHER IS HE. How do I make them fix this? What agencies can I refer them to to force them to do their jobs? Can I call a plumber myself for another opinion and take that out of the rent? Can I take money out of the rent for pure fucking pain and suffering (including bladder pain because, hello, none of us can pee until they come deal with this)?

Help me.

Summary: My landlords do not have the skills do deal with plumbing problems that clearly affect the health of my roommates and I and are extremely resistant to calling a plumber. What recourse do I have?

EDIT: Thanks for all your comments. Yesterday the landlord told us they couldn't find a plumber, so I got one myself (after a Google search and a phone call, shocker, there are a lot of plumbers in Boston) and a few hours later, we had someone snaking the main drain. They found a couple tampons, so I think it's possible that when the landlords said pads before, they meant tampons.

The landlords cleaned the bathroom for us, but I am still going to contact the Board of Health on Monday. The toilet has already made a bubbling sound a few times and when I came home from staying at my girlfriend's fifteen minutes ago there was a puddle of rust water on the floor outside the bathroom and the pipes were even louder than usual.

The landlords really dragged their heels on this shit and kept trying to pin it on us, even though the three plumbers who came all said it was a problem with the main drain and not our specific toilet, as the landlord said. They told us last time that they would circulate a letter reminding people not to flush anything they shouldn't be (anything other than human waste and toilet paper), but I don't know that I believe that that happened.

The toilet, as it happens, is brand new; a few months ago a hole developed in the tank of our old one and it had to be replaced. I think the dirt thing is a bad sign, granted, it seems preferable to the feces.

The best part is that yesterday during all of this, we had two real estate agents call and ask if they could show our apartment.

EDIT: I just got home from work Saturday night and there is bubbles and dirty TP in the toilet and mulch in the bathtub. I dn't know what to do. None of my friends are in the city tonight to take me in and I don't have the money for a hotel.

Veterinary Treatment

Posting this for a non-journaling friend with money issues.

One of my three dogs, Maggie--a shih tzu that will be turning thirteen in May--is in very good health overall, especially considering her age. The only health issue that stands out is her teeth. They've always been pretty bad, and her breath is absolutely rotten. In the past, no one ever got around to taking her to the vet or see about dental care for her (me being too young), and now that her teeth are really bad, we can't foot the vet bill, especially if she ends up needing her teeth pulled. It's starting to be really worrisome; her teeth started bleeding today, and I was wondering if anyone knows anything about pet health on the cheap."

Edited for Clarity

So the comments have been quite helpful, but I need to clear something up- she's sixteen years old and one of her parents recently left the family. They're in a money bind right now. She came to me and I offered to post this up to try and help her while her family looks into other options because I knew that the people here were rather clever and would offer good suggestions for the current problem.

While I do absolutely understand the comments (and would make them myself!) and am extremely happy/greatful for the dog's welfare and care, if we could keep the comments here to advice and privately message me with the other sorts of comments, I would appreciate it.

Evicting Squatters

I'm not sure if this is the right place, but you guys always have the answers for just about any question.

A friend of mine is renting a building that will serve the purpose of an all ages music venue. It is a large warehouse, with 3 apartments upstairs.

Here is the problem: there are 3 squatters living in the upstairs apartments.
The owner of the building can't shut off the power to the apartments without shutting off the power to the whole building. The cops won't kick out the squatters.
My friend is a peaceful person, and would have let them stay if not for the complaints. It is a music venue, so there is LOUD music being played until 11 at night. No later.
He has already been smacked with a $500 noise complaint fine, and can't really afford to get an other, or be threatened with jail time.

I'm sure it makes a difference, we are in Ontario.

EDIT: the squatters ARE the ones making the noise complaints. also, he is renting the ENTIRE building, not just the warehouse


Probably this has already been posted here, but I'm sure it's worth repeating. If you are receiving any social services benefits, in some states, you can also get a free cell phone with 68 minutes per month on it. Perfect for emergencies and keeping in touch with potential employers. I just applied. They approved me instantly and said I'd get the phone within 10 business days. It's through tracfone. I've had a tracfone for quite a while now. It's a good company that provides decent coverage. Go here to see if it's available in your state and if you qualify.

What other government assistance is available outside of food stamps and medicaid?

Stopping Harassing Phone Calls From Creditors

So a friend of mine is dealing with harassing phone calls from a creditor. She made some sort of arrangement (deferment?), they forgot about it or something, which made her behind, so she made another arrangement whereby they take some money out of her checking account automatically every two weeks. They call several times a day, every day, still. She misses most of the calls (she works regular business hours, Monday through Friday), but she gets them on the weekends. They'll phone, she'll answer, she'll inform them of the payment arrangements, and most of the time, they'll back off immediately upon verifying the accuracy of what she's saying. Usually, they stop the phone calls for the day, but they'll always start again the next day.

So I told her she doesn't need to deal with this, if she doesn't want to, and dug up the language for her to put in a letter to mail to them to make them stop. I figured some of you might benefit from it, too, so I thought I'd post it here. There's no need to pay anyone (at least in Louisiana) to "make the phone calls stop," as so many businesses advertise; just write them a letter with the correct information.

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Now, this is for Louisiana, but I'd be surprised if at least some of the other states don't have similar statutes. Ours are searchable online, so perhaps yours are, too.