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Re: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?

Costs me about $1.00 to charge my Volt's battery.
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?
Replies: 22
Views: 2444

Consider a Volt

A current-generation Volt should be perfect for your needs. You could drive your 30-mile round trip commute on battery power every day -- I.e., no gasoline! I get up to 45 (all-electric) miles from my Volt in the summer and about 35 miles in the winter. And you have no range-anxiety with the Volt. A...
by Bammerman
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?
Replies: 22
Views: 2444

Buy WSJ with frequent flyer miles

To repeat: In my experience, it is usually possible to "buy" a WSJ subscription using frequent flyer miles. That is what I have been doing for 5+ years. Go to your airline's frequent flyer site, sign in, and look for something like "use miles" and then something like "subscr...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Read WSJ every day ?
Replies: 101
Views: 6668

Re: Read WSJ every day ?

I would never pay money for it, but I have had a subscription ever since I discovered that I could use a small number of about-to-expire frequent flyer miles to "pay" for it. There are good news stories in the front section and a variety of really quite interesting stories in the personal ...
by Bammerman
Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Read WSJ every day ?
Replies: 101
Views: 6668

Getting into the fantasy

Usually I look at this just like buying a movie ticket -- it's the cost of getting into the fantasy. And I do buy a movie ticket every once in a while, so why not a lottery ticket? (But: once, when I was walking home from the bus stop with my MegaBazillion lottery ticket in my pocket, I found myself...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm not a bad Boglehead [buying Powerball ticket]
Replies: 101
Views: 6370

No change to equity allocation in seven years?

I use Financial Engines to keep track of my various investments, and have been for years. And for some seven years, since I retired, the percentage shown there for my allocation to all equities has remained the same, at 31%. Yet I have not done any (manual) rebalancing in these seven years. I can on...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No change to equity allocation in seven years?
Replies: 2
Views: 402

Time Capsule

I replaced my old Netgear router with an Apple Time Capsule. This device combines a router with a big hard drive, and does two things: Acts as your router; makes automatic (Time Machine) backups via WiFi from your computer. Both functions are important to me. I like having my backup hard drive in a ...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 3446

Re:A true Boglehead is about more than investing

I'm not too interested in what defines a "Boglehead", but I don't think that just being extremely frugal is enough to qualify. When I read this article, my main reaction was, "What a shame! All that money left -- for what? To whom? Why didn't he spend it while he could? Take some nice...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Janitor in Vermont leaves millions] A true Boglehead!
Replies: 47
Views: 3143

One year's operating costs

I thought it might interest some of you to hear what my operating costs have been for my first year's ownership of this 2013 Chevy Volt: I've driven just 6,944 miles since purchasing the car new on January 23, 2014. Most of those miles were driven in and around my home town. I took one road trip of ...
by Bammerman
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

Prius embarrassing? I don't think so and my Volt doesn't eit

We have a Prius and it's a fine car, not at all "embarrassing" in any way. But don't make up your mind until you test-drive a Volt! (Be sure to put it in "sport" mode first!) It's ZOOM ZOOM without the noise, 'cause it's electric, mostly.
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 4 door with 250+ hp
Replies: 104
Views: 8797

I have both. I love my Volt.

We have two cars, a 2010 Prius and a 2013 Volt. Both are very good cars. The Volt is much more fun to drive: it's more solidly-built, quieter, more luxurious and more powerful than the Prius. The Volt does have less leg room in the rear seats, if that's an issue for you. And it is a 4-seater, not a ...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 3069

Re: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromeca

I think I would do this with an Apple TV, although that's more expensive ($99 vice $35 for Chromecast) -- Although I'm doubtful that her employer's Pcs are Macs. Actually, the idea of showing a looping slideshow of jpg slides isn't bad at all. She's specifically trying to avoid messing around with U...
by Bammerman
Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 1144

Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?

My daughter works for a non-profit with a very limited budget. She's been told she can spend $400 to get a 40" HDTV to put in their lobby to be used to display various messages, schedules, etc., that will change daily. She already maintains this info on Google Docs. She had asked me to research...
by Bammerman
Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 1144

Re: Handheld GPS recommendations

I know this is not exactly what you are asking for, but for my day hikes I use my iPhone running the Motion-X GPS app. This really sucks the battery juice, so I bought a solar-power battery case that will last about a day and a half (running GPS) if necessary. And I carry a small Ziploc baggy for th...
by Bammerman
Fri May 30, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Handheld GPS recommendations
Replies: 7
Views: 789

Re: Finding/eradicating a "funky" smell from our Prius

I apologize for not having closed the circle on this thread. Here, somewhat belatedly, is how things turned out: Nothing I did made any difference so we took the car to the dealer. They found a dried pool of liquid on or near the battery (I no longer remember if it was the 12v or the big one), clean...
by Bammerman
Fri May 30, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding/eradicating a "funky" smell from our Prius
Replies: 20
Views: 3427

Musing about a 4K UHD TV

Today I was roaming around Best Buy and I paused in front of their display of ultra-high definition "4K" TV sets. I have to admit that I was blown away by one in particular by Samsung. I stood about five inches away from the screen and could not make out individual pixels! So I started to ...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Musing about a 4K UHD TV
Replies: 10
Views: 872

Did not consider any all-electric cars -except, of course, T

I did not consider any all-electric cars (except, of course, the Tesla, ha ha) because of "range anxiety". Just not something I wanted to have to think about at all, and I don't with a Volt. Normally I do not drive far (very seldom more than 20-40 miles, which made the Volt perfect for me)...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 4:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

updated stats

Just got back from my first road trip: 350 miles starting from a fresh battery, the Volt used 7.5 gallons of gas, for a total MPG of 46.5. (This brings my "lifetime" MPG in this car down to 176, wah!) This is very close to my highway MPG in my Prius of about 50. Of course, on a road trip, ...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 12:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

electric bill cost of charging my Volt

ChinOOk: good question. I looked at my electric bills for the past three months. During this 3-month period in 2014 (Feb-April) I paid a total of $50.70 more than I paid for electric service for the same three months in 2013. That's $0.56 more per day over the 90 days. Of course that does not take i...
by Bammerman
Fri May 09, 2014 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

MPG update

Just thought I'd provide an update. Now at about 1,600 miles since I bought the Volt (I don't drive far, as a rule) and my mileage is somewhere north of 250 mpg. In 1,600 miles I have burned a grand total of 5.1 gallons of gas. In really cold weather the car was predicting 25-30 miles on a full char...
by Bammerman
Thu May 08, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

Re: First Trip to India

You're about to have a wonderful experience! India is a fabulous, huge, fascinating, exhausting place. I worked twice in India: at the American consulate in Bombay in the early 80s and later, in the early 90s, at the American Embassy in New Delhi. Before you go, check in at travel.state.gov! To regi...
by Bammerman
Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Trip to India
Replies: 49
Views: 15249

Re: Can you identify the view in this painting?

At first I thought it looked a lot like Mt. Gould across Swiftcurrent lake -- but the painting looks like there's a small glacier to the left of the peak. Maybe it's just a generic mountain-at-the-end-of-a-lake landscape.
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you identify the view in this painting?
Replies: 8
Views: 1378

Can you identify the view in this painting?

I bought this painting, by someone named Gombert, at the local Habitat ReStore after admiring it a long time. Can anybody identify the view? I think it's a real place, probably somewhere out west. https://bruceammermanspaintings.shutterfly.com/pictures/90 -- Thanks! (Consumer interest: maybe it's wo...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you identify the view in this painting?
Replies: 8
Views: 1378

nothing's perfect in this imperfect world

Macchiato: the back seat is rather small, but that's not a problem for me as I tend to drive from the front seat. Just kidding. The back seat is kind of small and if you frequently haul large/tall people that might be an issue. But it's fine for not-large/not-tall passengers, I think. And the front ...
by Bammerman
Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

I took the plunge - happy so far!

Just to close the loop: I bought a 2013 Volt, and really like it so far (haven't owned it long or driven it far yet). It was the last 2013 on the lot, and with the 2014's due in any time, I got a good deal (even before the tax credit), even though it was "semi" loaded with navigation syste...
by Bammerman
Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?

I'm looking very strongly at buying a Chevrolet Volt, and if you have an informed, personal-experience-based opinion about this vehicle, I'd very much like to hear what you have to say. We already have and enjoy a Prius (usually my wife's car) but a Volt would match my driving habits and style more ...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5018

Re: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

My son-in-law worked as a server (today's PC term for waiter) for years; in his last job his official "salary" was just a joke: it literally just covered his payroll tax. I don't see how people can make it in those restaurant jobs. Servers NEED good tips just to survive. He and I have had ...
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?
Replies: 25
Views: 2249

Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?

I've always thought, don't tip a business owner or self-employed person, because their remuneration for, and incentive to give good service comes from their business profit (or lack of same). So I don't add a tip to the price of my haircut from my barber, who owns his own business. What do others he...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you tip a self-employed person or business owner?
Replies: 25
Views: 2249

Re: Kindle Paperwhite web browsing experience

Like others have said, the web browser works, but it's not fun or fast. I only use it to download free books from Gutenberg.org, and it works fine for that.
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kindle Paperwhite web browsing experience
Replies: 9
Views: 1315

Re: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite

You don't have to "buy" books to read on your Kindle or other ereader. There are many, many thousands of excellent, free books available for downloading (legally) either because they are now in the public domain or have been placed in the public domain by their authors. And you don't have ...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discoveries with my new Paperwhite
Replies: 21
Views: 1939

Re: Bitcoins as investment

I understand very little about bit coins. First of all, I don't understand, where does their value "get started"? Or is that like asking, before the big bang, what was there? Originally value behind money was gold, or cows, or cowrie shells or something tangible. Now it's just about belief...
by Bammerman
Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bitcoins as investment
Replies: 8
Views: 1014

Re: Forbes Column about Bogleheads

Pretty good article except the citation of 31,500 members is wrong. I got my membership card just last week and it says I'm number 31,429.
by Bammerman
Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Forbes Column about Bogleheads
Replies: 32
Views: 5225

Re: can I afford X?

Sometimes my wife asks me (about something "big"), "Can we afford it?"

I answer, of course we can. We have enough money. But, we'll not have that money to spend on something else. It's just a matter of choosing between various "goods".
by Bammerman
Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can I afford X?
Replies: 38
Views: 2247

Do I owe a letter of apology to someone? [Coffee maker]

Upon our return from overseas duty we bought a Krups coffee maker (Type 865 combination coffee maker and espresso maker, made in Switzerland). After we got it home and used it a week or two, I found that there was something about the design that bothered me (can't recall what it was), and I wrote th...
by Bammerman
Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I owe a letter of apology to someone? [Coffee maker]
Replies: 5
Views: 1609

Re: Considering increasing my equity exposure

What is your intention for those assets - spend it down, leave it for heirs, etc? What type of annual returns are you hoping to generate from that portfolio? I ask all of these questions, because it seems like you have nearly won the game already and that begs the question, why take risk when you'v...
by Bammerman
Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering increasing my equity exposure
Replies: 6
Views: 676

Re: Long-Term-Care Insurance Leaves Customers Groping

I've actually just been looking at this through USAA, who reps John Hancock. Am I being naive that USAA's general trustworthiness would provide some insulation from rate shocks, or is it really up to John Hancock, and there's just as much or more risk with them than anyone else? I bought LTCi from ...
by Bammerman
Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long-Term-Care Insurance Leaves Customers Groping
Replies: 61
Views: 5731

Considering increasing my equity exposure

For some time now I've been thinking that perhaps I'm too conservative in my investments, and I'm thinking about a change. I'm a retired federal employee with a generous pension that supplies about 90%-95% of our financial requirements. My wife and I both work part-time, each about 1/4 time or less,...
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering increasing my equity exposure
Replies: 6
Views: 676

Re: iPhone 5 advice/thoughts

The battery in my iPhone easily lasts me all day, but that of course depends on usage.

I never type anything on my phone but I frequently dictate long texts and emails, using either Siri or the dictation function within the apps. This works incredibly well.
by Bammerman
Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone 5 advice/thoughts
Replies: 15
Views: 1034

Re: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region

Yeah, the thing is, we have to return the car before we get back on the train some days later to head on south. We can rent it in Monterey and return it without surcharge in Salinas, where we board the train. But if we rent the car in San Jose, we'll have a lot of back-tracking to do to get back to ...
by Bammerman
Sun May 05, 2013 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2257

Getting from Salinas to Monterey

Thanks for all the good ideas. We're arriving in Salinas by train on a Sunday and, guess what, no car rental places are open there on a Sunday! So we have to get to Monterey to rent our car. Yes, there's a series of buses we could take to get there (inexpensive, but takes too much time) or a taxi (m...
by Bammerman
Sun May 05, 2013 5:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2257

Plans are firming up nicely

Hi folks, Our vacation plans are firming up nicely. We'll be spending four nights in Berkeley (thanks to old friends who offered us a place to stay), and one night at the Glenn Ellen Inn in Sonoma, which should give us a chance to explore the city sights as well as the area to the immediate north of...
by Bammerman
Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2257

it's all about the market

I don't call it haggling, I call it "determining the correct price". Just like buying and selling stocks. Things are worth (in monetary terms) what others are willing to pay for them and what sellers are willing to let them go for. How does the seller know what the "correct" pric...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Haggle? If so: when, for what, how?
Replies: 94
Views: 9991

So simple a child could do it!

Now I get it. 5% average annual return (L-2040) only LOOKS better than 4.17% AAR (L-Income), whereas $129 (L-Income) REALLY IS better than $126 (L-2040). $3 better!
by Bammerman
Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can % of return go up but $ value of returns go down?
Replies: 8
Views: 807

Re: How can % of return go up but $ value of returns go down

This sort of thing is either the reason I majored in English, or is the result of having majored in English. I didn't catch that the period covered by the chart (and thus the end value of $100 invested at the outset) is one year less than the average annual return. So maybe that's the answer. But is...
by Bammerman
Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can % of return go up but $ value of returns go down?
Replies: 8
Views: 807

How can % of return go up but $ value of returns go down?

I was looking at the figures on the TSP.gov website for the returns of the various Lifecycle funds, and noticed what seems like an impossible anomaly. Rates of average annual return go up as the percentage of equities in the funds increases (no surprise) -- but the actual money balances appear to de...
by Bammerman
Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How can % of return go up but $ value of returns go down?
Replies: 8
Views: 807

Re: Turning 62 soon, researching Social Security, WEP

The WEP's effects are graduated, depending on how many years (not necessarily 30) of "substantial contributions" there are: "Workers who have 30 YOCs are fully exempt from the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Workers with 21 to 29 YOCs are eligible for a partial exemption." ...
by Bammerman
Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning 62 soon, researching Social Security, WEP
Replies: 8
Views: 1101

Turning 62 soon, researching Social Security, WEP

Greetings. In half a year I turn 62. I'm now in the process of figuring out when to start taking Social Security, and am looking for resources. I spent some time at ssa.gov but am looking for more guidance. I'm a federal annuitant and am subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision. I currently hav...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning 62 soon, researching Social Security, WEP
Replies: 8
Views: 1101

Re: Just how "vulnerable" are our assets? (Will/trust)

2stepsbehind: what do you mean by "properly titled" accounts?
by Bammerman
Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just how "vulnerable" are our assets? (Will/trust)
Replies: 22
Views: 2017

Re: Dead laptop (Mac)

I had a very nice Mac Aluminum Powerbook that finally died on me. I disassembled it (thank you iFixit) and sold the parts piece by piece on eBay and made a pretty good pile of money from it. I was careful to specify exactly what I knew about the condition/working order of each part and to include go...
by Bammerman
Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dead laptop (Mac)
Replies: 11
Views: 1128

Re: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region

Harold, which do you think are the "more impressive" places to see redwoods, other than the Muir Woods? (North or South of SF)
And thanks for the specific ideas about routes and places to stay, that's just what I was hoping for.
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need vacation ideas in the San Francisco region
Replies: 37
Views: 2257
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