Search found 310 matches

by Bengineer
Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible cross-road
Replies: 14
Views: 1765

Re: Possible cross-road

Clearsky, you've gotten some great responses. My hat is off to you for wanting to be a responsible son/daughter and care for your parents in their final years. I believe it is what one should do. I stepped in and cared for my parents during their last years, enabling them to stay in their home, whic...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Under-reporting my income for renting at a new apartment
Replies: 13
Views: 1486

Re: Under-reporting my income for renting at a new apartment

The landlord just wants to be confident you're going to pay the rent. The late model car and 80" flatscreen the neighbors can see through the front window are what are going to make you stand out.
by Bengineer
Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife's car is having issues and under water :-/
Replies: 98
Views: 10445

Re: Wife's car is having issues and under water :-/

You said you're taking it in to a reputable independent for an estimate on the leak/turbo issue. Unless you already have a great repair relationship with this one, I recommend spending the time & effort to get a second from the next best independent you can find, particularly if the first one is...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Questions - Straight AC vs Heat Pump
Replies: 27
Views: 3045

Re: HVAC Questions - Straight AC vs Heat Pump

If you're at the point of replacing your system, this is your opportunity to do it right: A few things came up consistently when I was researching heat pump replacement a couple years ago. The majors (Trane, Bryant, Carrier, Lennox): the differences are minor. Focus primarily on finding a trustworth...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Network Security - Minecraft
Replies: 12
Views: 1197

Re: Home Network Security - Minecraft

... The way I secure my network from untrusted computers it to use two routers. You connect the first (untrusted router) directly to your cable modem. Have it assign IP addresses like 192.16.1.x. You then connect the second (secure) router to the first router. Have it assign IP addresses like 192.1...
by Bengineer
Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dishwasher lime/calcium build-up
Replies: 20
Views: 1598

Re: Dishwasher lime/calcium build-up

I wouldn't think you've been getting clean dishes with the hard water indicated by that much buildup. We have very hard water (~14gpg) & a KitchenAid dishwasher. I cleaned the inside of the dishwasher manually with a scrubby sponge & hot white vinegar + a little dish detergent, then ran the ...
by Bengineer
Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warning Signs
Replies: 237
Views: 24928

Re: Warning Signs

Very interesting. I'll follow this info. This sort of "are we at a tipping point" discussion is going on at my house. A few on my radar today: Henry Blodget: ...it's time I reminded you how frighteningly expensive and risky stocks are... A front-page WSJ article on Chinese mfg oversupply: ...
by Bengineer
Sun May 31, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: good vacuum cleaner for up to $200?
Replies: 26
Views: 2174

Re: good vacuum cleaner for up to $200?

I have a Panasonic MC-CG902. It has worked for me for the last few years. Light use. I got a wide bare floor head for it as well. I second perusing CR for the type that works for you.
by Bengineer
Fri May 29, 2015 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Behavioral finance and restaurants
Replies: 72
Views: 6443

Re: Behavioral finance and restaurants

Maybe the answer to this is a bit of whether you eat to live or live to eat. :happy
by Bengineer
Fri May 29, 2015 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Behavioral finance and restaurants
Replies: 72
Views: 6443

Re: Behavioral finance and restaurants

We live in a major metro area. Driving 45 mins is nothing to go do something here. Probably 15-20 minutes, as there are plenty within that range. We usually cook / have friends over / potluck at theirs. I'll drive 20m to the best fishmonger for a special dinner. Farther than that usually involves me...
by Bengineer
Thu May 28, 2015 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selected photos of 3-week bicycle ride around the Italian Lakes
Replies: 35
Views: 2848

Re: Selected photos of 3-week bicycle ride around the Italian Lakes

Wow. I think I would have run off the road a few times with those vistas. Thanks! I always enjoy your trip stories.
by Bengineer
Thu May 28, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW needs new tires
Replies: 24
Views: 2181

Re: BMW needs new tires

Discount Tire (and I'm sure many other stores) will match Tire Rack's shipped prices. As for tires, I highly recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. Best tire I've ever owned. I like that Michelin and the brand in general. Spendy but good. Continental would be my second choice. I've never liked G...
by Bengineer
Thu May 28, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?
Replies: 41
Views: 4815

Re: Do-it-yourself handy person: How did you learn?

I grew up the child of parents that had experienced the depression. Frugal would be generous. We built a studio & barn ourselves, getting help only for skilled carpentry like cutting rafters. We had a few horses during my teen years, so maintaining the land and equipment of what would now be cal...
by Bengineer
Wed May 27, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Questions - Straight AC vs Heat Pump
Replies: 27
Views: 3045

Re: HVAC Questions - Straight AC vs Heat Pump

Swampy wrote:Considering the system is 11 years old and it needed to be 'charged up' with 3 pounds of Freon, my question is:

Does Freon pressure have a tendency to drop over time as a natural consequence? ...


No. You have a leak.
by Bengineer
Mon May 25, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Remodel: Lowe's or Other Local Contractors?
Replies: 19
Views: 2180

Re: Home Remodel: Lowe's or Other Local Contractors?

My DW has decided to remodel the house - kitchen, 2 1/2 baths, flooring and a few other incidentals. After some shopping around, she came to a question where, hopefully, BHs can be of a great deal of help. Would it be a better value for money / time to have either Home Depot or Lowe's act as the ge...
by Bengineer
Mon May 25, 2015 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Remodel - too many decisions, need help!
Replies: 14
Views: 1584

Re: Home Remodel - too many decisions, need help!

Hello BH Friends, We'll be starting a big home remodel and I need some help with some of the choices to be made. Our 1977 Nor Cal single story home is a 1400 sq ft, 4 bed 2 bath + permitted sun-room. We're not going to add sq ft, but will be adding a powder room, in the space an existing closet is ...
by Bengineer
Sun May 17, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I Buy a House?
Replies: 33
Views: 1813

Re: Should I Buy a House?

So you've got a nice place, you just can't wail on the drums at all hours :D and the landlord is a bit of a jerk. You could stay where you are, get an electronic drum kit to practice on without annoying the neighbors, bone up on your rental agreement and tenant rights and push back when the LL is in...
by Bengineer
Sat May 16, 2015 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blues (music)
Replies: 57
Views: 4148

Re: Blues (music)

B.B., you're the Boss! What a great bluesman. I first saw him as a teenager in the old "tin can" at UNC in the mid 70's. What a memory.

B.B., thanks so much for the great blues you played for us all these years. I know you'll be on my playlist the rest of my life.
by Bengineer
Sat May 16, 2015 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C Service Deals
Replies: 11
Views: 923

Re: A/C Service Deals

My anecdotal opinion, substantiated only by my experience with the AC systems in 5 houses over 25 years or so, is no. Once you're confident that the system is installed and operating properly, I believe the only maintenance is to change your filters regularly, keep the condenser coil outside clean a...
by Bengineer
Tue May 12, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are potential drawback of pay-per-mile insurance?
Replies: 16
Views: 1577

Re: What are potential drawback of pay-per-mile insurance?

It might be beneficial to inquire with your current insurer. Mine asks me to list my miles per year at each annual renewal (and automatically bumps the amount if I don't send in my mileage :annoyed ) I get a lower rate for less miles. They also ask about the commute miles vs total. The real value to...
by Bengineer
Mon May 11, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Business and Retirement - Ethics Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1164

Re: Small Business and Retirement - Ethics Question

You could mention something to obfuscate your retirement a bit like "pursuing other interests","spending more time with your family", "taking a sabbatical" or something like that. Whenever a company announces that someone is doing those things, the immediate assumption...
by Bengineer
Sun May 10, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small Business and Retirement - Ethics Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1164

Re: Small Business and Retirement - Ethics Question

From your posts, you're welll known in the community. I'd think you'd want to part on the best terms, be considerate of your clients and give them plenty of notice, avoid burning bridges. You never know what might come up in the future. You could mention something to obfuscate your retirement a bit ...
by Bengineer
Sat May 09, 2015 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Selling house; what to fix, what to leave?
Replies: 26
Views: 2390

Re: Selling house; what to fix, what to leave?

Maybe back off for a sec. What are you expecting to get for the house? How long are you prepared for it to be on the market? What do houses in your price range that are in your area look like that are on the market / have sold recently? Hot market or slow selling? There is a price every house will s...
by Bengineer
Wed May 06, 2015 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Aging parent not interested in setting up POA etc
Replies: 26
Views: 3074

Re: Aging parent not interested in setting up POA etc

bayview, I feel for you. Helping my parents during their last couple of years was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was able to get POAs in place during my parent's downward spiral. I didn't need them in the end. Two things that were really helpful: ⋅ Getting on my parent's checking acco...
by Bengineer
Mon May 04, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof shingle selection
Replies: 20
Views: 2064

Re: Roof shingle selection

I think I'd pay more attention to the quality of the roofer than the differences among similar style/cost/warranty shingles. Proper nailing, detailing at the ridges and flashing at valleys, wall intersections and jacks is key. If you're in ice-dam country, the proper underlayment at the eaves is als...
by Bengineer
Mon May 04, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial reasons to get a summer job?
Replies: 36
Views: 2002

Re: Financial reasons to get a summer job?

I agree with others on the internship or work in the field as he nears graduation. Meantime maybe the time away from it and doing or learning something different will make money, add life-skills and keep him out of the den. I worked various jobs summers through college. Mowing, construction jobs and...
by Bengineer
Mon May 04, 2015 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean spring mattress?
Replies: 12
Views: 741

Re: How to clean spring mattress?

... I have a Hoover steamvac similar to this one: http://www.amazon.com/Hoover-SteamVac-Carpet-Cleaner-F5914900/dp/B00009R66F Is the suction powerful enough? I guess we should air dry overnight afterwards (?). I'm a little afraid of residue moisture leading to mold/mildew. I'd think the upholstery ...
by Bengineer
Mon May 04, 2015 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electric water heater keeps tripping
Replies: 7
Views: 366

Re: electric water heater keeps tripping

So one of the thermostats is over-temp tripping. Does the water get crazy hot before it trips or are things normal? If normal, it would seem that replacing the thermostat might be in order. Actually we did notice very hot water temperatures in the two days before it tripped for the 1st time. Not su...
by Bengineer
Mon May 04, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electric water heater keeps tripping
Replies: 7
Views: 366

Re: electric water heater keeps tripping

So one of the thermostats is over-temp tripping. Does the water get crazy hot before it trips or are things normal? If normal, it would seem that replacing the thermostat might be in order. Ok. a little reality check. Electric water heater elements and thermostats are $15 parts. If you're not a DIY ...
by Bengineer
Sun May 03, 2015 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean spring mattress?
Replies: 12
Views: 741

Re: How to clean spring mattress?

A "steam cleaner" with an upholstery wand, e.g. a rug doctor. If you have a wet-dry vac you could use that to pull out whatever liquid you use to clean with, though it will likely not have the suction of a rug machine. I've used a cleaner & wet-vac for the car floorboards after a drink...
by Bengineer
Sun May 03, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY distance moving
Replies: 38
Views: 3067

Re: DIY distance moving

If you're thinking of going with moving containers, there are many choices. PODs might be considered the kleenex of this category.

Here's one blather^tm on the subject.
by Bengineer
Sun May 03, 2015 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Vexing Extension Cord Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1484

Re: Another Vexing Extension Cord Question

...To get the fewest kinks and the longest life from any sort of cord, you should be utilizing the over-under technique to loop up cords. It does take a little bit longer to wrap up a 100' cord at first, but eventually I got the muscle memory for it. Here's a Youtube video demonstrating the over-un...
by Bengineer
Sun May 03, 2015 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DIY distance moving
Replies: 38
Views: 3067

Re: DIY distance moving

...You may be surprised by how much an actual moving van company will cost vs doing it yourself. I think so too. It may be that one of the full-service moving companies in your area is low on work at the time you want to move. We moved a few hundred miles a few years ago. We got an all-in rate for ...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My new dishwasher doesn't clean
Replies: 64
Views: 8079

Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

A modern, reasonably good DW should clean It seems most modern DWs expect to split the cleaning evenly with the DH. :mrgreen: Owww! Pa-dump-tshh! ... some expect the DH to do most of the cleaning ... Back on the earnest channel, boosters are available for hard water (Finish, Lemi-shine, ...). Kinda...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My new dishwasher doesn't clean
Replies: 64
Views: 8079

Re: My new dishwasher doesn't clean

Okay! Jumping in on this two year old thread... A modern, reasonably good DW should clean with a simple scraping off the chunks prior to loading. Mo' money equals quieter and more conveniences. I've owned a couple Bosch, Jenn-aire and Kitchenaid DW and a few el-cheapo thrash-amatics. Loved the Bosch...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard patio - should I invest?
Replies: 39
Views: 2966

Re: Backyard patio - should I invest?

Using the space for a while before building anything is a great idea. We don't know your locale. If it's the rainy, buggy south, a screened porch with a pad just off for the grill might be the choice. If you're up north, a deck or sunroom maybe. Out in the sunny, arid west, a patio is some good livi...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Freshly roasted coffee beans
Replies: 29
Views: 2056

Re: Freshly roasted coffee beans

I dunno if you have Peets in your grocery, but they label their product with the roasted date.
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting the stink out of running clothes
Replies: 34
Views: 2420

Re: Getting the stink out of running clothes

I agree with the drying asap. I've also had the same problem with dirty/wet dishcloths, cleaning rags and towels. A few wet items left piled up in the hamper for a some days and you've got a science project on your hands...

I'll add a natural remedy - sunshine!
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?
Replies: 33
Views: 3119

Re: Prepping a house for sale: What are the priorities?

From your post, it seems that you have a fairly modern house that could be up to buyer expectations vs a remodeler or fixer-upper. I think our wisdom was to have prospective buyers see themselves living in our house. As others noted, you might check with a realtor or stager a read on what's in deman...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 114
Views: 8443

Re: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy

". "accident avoidance" is marketing. It's all over before you have time to do more than hit the brakes and sometimes before that. Ok, you brake hard, narrowly avoiding the car in front, but Wizard is behind you and was sexting. :shock: Done. Curious why you believe accident avoidanc...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advisor]
Replies: 32
Views: 3036

Re: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advi

When you need any kind of professional service, I think it is wisest to be the one who goes looking, ... Agreed! Plus, when you seek services, you get to interview a few and learn the range of offerings, prices, etc. from the process. I never accept a pitch from someone that comes to sell me. Back ...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 114
Views: 8443

Re: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy

"Safest" is probably a fool's errand. You want some mass, modern safety features (belt tensioners, head rests, airbags, stability control, great tires & brakes, crumple zones), good rollover & various impact protection. A modern, good-size sedan fits all of those. "accident av...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Total Cost of Buying a New Home vs 30 or 80-Year Old Homes?
Replies: 16
Views: 1447

Re: Total Cost of Buying a New Home vs 30 or 80-Year Old Hom

If I could buy (or have built) a new home constructed to current best practices for the same price as a similar older home in an equivalent neighborhood, I would. If the new home was a builder spec built just to code, I'm not so sure. As noted by a number of posters and in my experience, remodeling/...
by Bengineer
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 127
Views: 18490

Re: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

I'm sure all this has been covered ad nauseum up-thread. Cast iron is a poor conductor of heat. You'll have hot spots over the burners, cooler between and at the edges. It will take a bit for the entire pan / griddle to heat up and cool down. You'll have to experiment with the correlation between bu...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VPN killing my Internet
Replies: 31
Views: 3025

Re: VPN killing my Internet

I think my next question to answer is what % of the co's up- and down-stream internet connection capacity is being use when you have problems? More simply, what's a speed test run from a box on their lan to the net look like? If that all looks hunky-dory, what's the network use & cpu load on the...
by Bengineer
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 54
Views: 4823

Re: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?

No on the dealer, yes on the DIY and if not that, finding a good independent. If you don't have good mechanical skills or good people skills, you're hosed. :happy Being informed on your service intervals and what that entails will counter the FUD and save you money. When's the timing belt due? How m...
by Bengineer
Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you use your neighbor's son for yard service?
Replies: 33
Views: 2405

Re: Would you use your neighbor's son for yard service?

I second giving him a shot. I'd interview, set expectations and hire him directly, rather than through his mom.
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on new CC and online bank (horrible exp with Cap One)
Replies: 19
Views: 2157

Re: Advice on new CC and online bank (horrible exp with Cap

Have you thought maybe it was you? I use C1 and have had no problems recently. Ad / script / cookie blocker setup? Scam? Tried a different computer / browser? Typed in the URL by hand? I'm not trying to defend MegaCorp at all. Possibly it's something basic and you could get to success from your end.
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magic Eraser Ruined Cabinet Doors
Replies: 11
Views: 1393

Re: Magic Eraser Ruined Cabinet Doors

I think I would consult the cabinet shop that finished them. It's possible they could be buffed.
by Bengineer
Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 2154

Re: anyone have experience with water softeners?

I had a house that came with a system that had been bypassed. I left it that way and eventually removed it. >Changing water chemistry via sending it through magnetic fields is dubious at best. It's not dubious (sic) it's totally bogus. Everybody knows that magnetic fields are for improving gas mile...

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