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Re: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money

...Fortunately, you didn't ask about gun, knife, flashlight, and other EDC / zombie-defense stuff, which require other creative solutions. Just go on over to the edc forums. You could spend days on all the tool/light/key/spray/knife/gun/carry location combos. Cargo shorts/pants? A pocket for everyt...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money
Replies: 10
Views: 604

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

I'd start with an energy audit. Your electric utility may subsidize it. It will tell you where your insulations is(nt) and how much air leakage in the building envelope & ducts you have. Air sealing is messy, dirty, but low-tech work you can DIY or contract. With a 3 story house + attic + baseme...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: bath tub [replacement]

IMO, good call on going with a rod & curtains. We had glass doors on a past tub. I disliked them. Awkward getting in & out, a pain to keep clean, felt claustrophobic.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1774

Re: Did you energy upgrade california and save money?

An audit will give you a good baseline on how energy efficient your house is now. I had one done in Sacramento when SMUD was subsidizing them with a cost to me of $100. Retail for an energy audit is ~$5-600. I picked a rater rather than a contractor, as my interest was in the audit vs a specific upg...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you energy upgrade california and save money?
Replies: 7
Views: 728

Re: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question

Thought about asking the waitress when you get the bill next time?
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question
Replies: 62
Views: 6545

Re: Shower silicone replacement - Price? DIY?

I'd suspect the vertical joints or the drain. I think there (should be) a raised lip behind the tile around the rim of the tub. ... The hardest part of the job is getting every speck of the old caulk removed. That will take some time. Putting the new stuff in is relatively easy... Exactly. If the ve...
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shower silicone replacement - Price? DIY?
Replies: 27
Views: 1634

Re: Sell or repair car decision

Maybe your first best shot is finding an independent that works primarily on older Toyotas that comes recommended by your friends, family or coworkers with similar cars, particularly women. I'd be slightly leery of the motives of someone associated with a used car dealer. Any good mechanic will want...
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell or repair car decision
Replies: 11
Views: 1214

Re: home insulation question

You might find this EPA sealing and insulating DIY guide useful. It does a good job of covering the basics.
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home insulation question
Replies: 13
Views: 1729

Re: Heat pump question

... I ran it last night as a test. The internal temperature was 68, I set it to 69. It dropped 3 degrees before it started to climb back up. The heat strips did not turn on (seems to happen at 4 degrees below set point) and it took about half an hour or so to claw back up to 69 degrees. The outside...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heat pump question
Replies: 50
Views: 3291

Re: Lightweight Electric Blanket.

Dual zone mattress pad underneath, Down comforter on top.
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight Electric Blanket.
Replies: 8
Views: 978

Re: Gas stove features

Continuous cast iron grates are nice for moving heavy pots around and setting plates / cutting boards on while cooking. A large hi-power burner is good for boiling water, stir-fry / saute & large pots. An ultra-low simmer burner is convenient and widely available. If the range you're considering...
by Bengineer
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas stove features
Replies: 12
Views: 1046

Re: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations

We have a Rinnai tankless under our home. I've used one of these hot water recirc pumps in an upstairs bathroom for years --> http://www.chilipepperapp.com/ It provides us with a push button start and temp dependent stop. No water gets wasted during this process. It is a good solution when you have...
by Bengineer
Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations
Replies: 29
Views: 1981

Re: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations

We've had tankless natural gas heaters (Noritz #N-0631S-OD, Rheem #RTG95XN) in the last two houses. Details: ⋅  We're a family of two, so low HW use frequency & volume. ⋅  Summer gas costs for HW & clothes drying have been near the minimal billing. ⋅  Both were ...
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations
Replies: 29
Views: 1981

Re: Repair Van or buy new Van/SUV?

triple post
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair Van or buy new Van/SUV?
Replies: 20
Views: 1475

Re: Repair Van or buy new Van/SUV?

triple post
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair Van or buy new Van/SUV?
Replies: 20
Views: 1475

Re: Repair Van or buy new Van/SUV?

... I was told last week that the inner CV boots are leaking a 'lot of grease' and strongly recommend replacing both front axles and passenger-side axle seal... Thanks That sounds like the old "your shocks are leaking" scam at the gas station. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt is a powerful for...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair Van or buy new Van/SUV?
Replies: 20
Views: 1475

Re: Oatmeal suggestions

Ok, I'll join in. I have cooked steel cut oats for years after a friend introduced them. The oats-to-water ratio and cooking time depend on the cut. I prefer a coarser cut and a bit of chew. For me the McCann's, Bob's, bulk from WF all work with 3Water:1Oats, drop the oats in boiling water with a ge...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal suggestions
Replies: 135
Views: 8902

Re: How long does it take to break in a boot like this

Most of the time I have found that if the shoes/boots aren't (mostly) comfortable from the start, they never will be. My experience as well. It took me a long time to realize that the shoe/boot should feel right when tried on and what "right" was. I've also gravitated to particular brands...
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long does it take to break in a boot like this
Replies: 9
Views: 1280

Re: Chartway offers 2.5% 5-year CD, only 90 day penalty!

Do we not call this a pig in a poke?
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chartway offers 2.5% 5-year CD [with uncertain terms]
Replies: 12
Views: 2387

Re: Where to start work as an engineering major?

Ged wrote: ... I think engineers are happiest when they are building something.


Or solving a problem with an existing something.
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start work as an engineering major?
Replies: 32
Views: 2937

Re: Which company would you go with? (HVAC contractor)

The Better Business Bureau is a scam; google them. I wouldn't care what they say. If I were you, I'd talk to my neighbors who have added A/C and ask them who they used. Oh, and I would check Consumer Reports and pick an A/C unit that works for you, just because they are selling American Standard do...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which company would you go with? (HVAC contractor)
Replies: 11
Views: 710

Re: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$

The builder / contractor can charge you what he wants to for changes from the agreed on plan. Practically, if the change is prior to building, the cost difference should be for the water heater itself, the chimney vent ducting and maybe a bit for larger gas piping. If it's after bulding, you may inc...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$
Replies: 31
Views: 1945

Re: What did you always wish for but never got?

To be able to strike up an easy conversation with a girl I hadn't met.
by Bengineer
Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What did you always wish for but never got?
Replies: 87
Views: 5436

Re: Investing in Startup My Father Is Joining as Founder

Maybe Dad is giving you a chance to "see how you do". Do your due diligence on the opportunity, make your decision & have a conversation with your dad about it. Even after whatever analysis you do, I'm agreed with others - I like the "set the money on fire" analogy. It had be...
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in Startup My Father Is Joining as Founder
Replies: 16
Views: 1765

Re: Hi performance fleece jacket

I would add Marmot to the list.
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hi performance fleece jacket
Replies: 9
Views: 1148

Re: Car Advice: When to Replace?

... What I've been pleasantly surprised to discover is that the advances in short-term vehicle rental have made it quite easy to rent a cargo van or pick-up truck when such needs emerge. I can get a large cargo van for 90 minutes, at $24, taxes and fees included, with very fast transactions. I'm un...
by Bengineer
Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Advice: When to Replace?
Replies: 37
Views: 2903

Re: Car Advice: When to Replace?

... What I've been pleasantly surprised to discover is that the advances in short-term vehicle rental have made it quite easy to rent a cargo van or pick-up truck when such needs emerge. I can get a large cargo van for 90 minutes, at $24, taxes and fees included, with very fast transactions. I'm un...
by Bengineer
Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Advice: When to Replace?
Replies: 37
Views: 2903

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

What about the noise? It's similar to washing your car and hitting it with the hose full on. It's much less force, but there's a lot of roof area. I'll bet it's really loud in a downpour. I think it depends on whether the metal roof is over a solid roof deck or on purlins, as with an agricultural b...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 3063

Re: Suggestions /Advice for a fresh college graduate

Son, I wish you the best with your career. Moving back home after graduation is not an option. Good luck.
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions /Advice for a fresh college graduate
Replies: 29
Views: 1617

Re: The daddy of all grill islands

I have a gas grill, charcoal grill, and smoker. Grills are easy. Not much to them. Built in grills look nice, but they are expensive. I am too cheap to spend that kind of money. I bought a large gas grill with lots of horsepower. It works great. I added fire bricks to fill the voids. I also put a g...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The daddy of all grill islands
Replies: 35
Views: 2834

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

I will go with a metal roof when the time comes. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/03/24/how-to-install-a-metal-roof/ I read this mmm article as well. I found it enlightning. My takeaways were that: ⋅ There are metal roof systems that install in a manner similar to aluminum or vinyl sid...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 3063

Re: Refrigerator problem

... With the compressor acting erratic, (voltage pull) it could be a problem with the outlet. Worth a try. Agreed. It might be low likelihood, but is easy to test. - You could also pull the fridge out and use a voltmeter or kill-a-watt to monitor the voltage where it is now plugged in while the fri...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator problem
Replies: 20
Views: 1740

Re: I've been going all tax-deferred, considering to go taxa

You only get one shot at tax-deferred every year. SEP -> self employed -> variable income. You are making a boatload of cash now, but your income may change in coming years, or you may choose employment with a firm that doesn't offer a deferment option. Assets in taxable give you options: capital to...
by Bengineer
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I've been going all tax-deferred, considering to go taxable.
Replies: 37
Views: 3576

Re: Which 4 door with 250+ hp

I'm in the VW hatch and manual trans camp as well. The VWs don't have the reliability #'s of the top 3 Japanese, but I've had good luck with the 3 I've owned - 2 GTI's and an R32. To me, not only are they fun to drive, but have good seats and otherwise well laid out interior for longer drives, but a...
by Bengineer
Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 4 door with 250+ hp
Replies: 104
Views: 8467

Re: Bad water pressure in house

If you have a hose bib where your water enters the house, you could hook up a pressure gauge . Now you can test the pressure there with nothing on in the house and with a few taps on. if the pressure doesn't drop much, you have some sort of flow restriction downstream of the bib in the house and if ...
by Bengineer
Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad water pressure in house
Replies: 11
Views: 1230

Re: Lawnmower/gas issues

1. It could be bad gas. Drain the gas tank. Then also drain the carburator before refilling the tank. 2. Remove the air filter. If the mower starts, then replace filter. Hope this helps, Steve My first thought as well - bad gas or water in the tank. Drain, clean out the tank, get fresh gas. Drainin...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower/gas issues
Replies: 48
Views: 2183

Re: Kitchen "Backsplash" question

If you cook much, there is just going to be splatter, grease and general mayhem around the stove from time to time. :happy How about a stainless steel backsplash with a brushed finish? Box stores sell them in standard sizes. You can also get a sheet metal shop to cut you one. You can mount it with c...
by Bengineer
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen "Backsplash" question
Replies: 14
Views: 1981

Non-qualified pension plan taxation

We have a non-qualified pension from a former employer. They state that the IRS requires that the previously untaxed present value of the benefit be declared as wages for FICA & Medicare in the year employment terminated and so will report an additional XXXXX as wages on this year's W-2. I have ...
by Bengineer
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-qualified pension plan taxation
Replies: 4
Views: 276

Re: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?

I came to the conclusion that it wasn't a good value for us. We're a few miles from the nearest fault and on solid ground. The likelihood, cost, exclusions and deductible, coupled with the possiblility of a percentage of claim payout if there is a "big one" just didn't seem to pencil out t...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: California residents - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 54
Views: 3340

Re: Carrara Marble - Large Orange Stain

If you think it is rust, have you tried Whink Rust Stain Remover?
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carrara Marble - Large Orange Stain
Replies: 13
Views: 1368

Re: Motorcycle for short commute?

... Have you considered an ice pack? A pint of ice cubes in the leg of old pantyhose down the back of a (tight) cycling jersey is traditional, but there are probably more sophisticated solutions. This might just be the think outside the box idea of the day! There are all sorts of wearable cooling p...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motorcycle for short commute?
Replies: 67
Views: 4323

Re: Advice on setting up home gym

We also used horse mats as well over a hardwood floor. ~3/4" thick, firm. I think ~4x6 as Rooster1. No worries about dropping a dumbbell, kept the elliptical & stairclimber feet from abrading the floor and in place. At the time we got them, they were both cheaper and more substantial than t...
by Bengineer
Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring for home gym
Replies: 19
Views: 1352

Re: Insulation Question

Blow in more cellulose. Install baffles first so the soffit vents won't be blocked by the additional insulation. If you contract it, check the corners & nooks for the proper depth afterwards. As noted check the EPA website for recommneded R-value for your locale. Blown-in cellulose is more dense...
by Bengineer
Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulation Question
Replies: 25
Views: 2166

Re: How often do you replace bath towels?

I'm in the "enter the house" camp. We get new ones every couple years when "she who decides these things" desires a new look, feel or drying quality. The perfectly good, but now out of favor ones drop a rung to dog washing, spill cleanup, packing/padding, hardwood-floor-drying-af...
by Bengineer
Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you replace bath towels?
Replies: 50
Views: 4140

Re: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?

... A couple notes: we're not knocking down walls--I think you'd characterize this as a (significant) facelift. New flooring/counters/sinks also a new island and some new cabinetry. I don't expect any return out of this which is the main reason I have a hard time justifying the expense. The informa...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Remodel... Or Not?
Replies: 53
Views: 3158

Re: Hints on Tri-Tip

A tri-tip is a beautiful thing. Not so many years ago, it was hard for us to find on the east coast. I like most of the visible fat trimmed, dry rub - as simple as salt & pepper, indirect over charcoal with a chunk of pecan in a kettle grill @ something like 350 or so for about 45 mins till 120i...
by Bengineer
Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hints on Tri-Tip [Cooking]
Replies: 29
Views: 2571

Re: Car did not start: To dispose? How?

You could also get a "battery tender" if you are going to be leaving it for a while that will keep a trickle charge on the battery that will greatly extend it's life. My brother uses one on his 1970 Chevelle between crankings. The AAA guy said that if the car would be sitting for several ...
by Bengineer
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car did not start: To dispose? How?
Replies: 70
Views: 6234

Re: Replacing the front door to house

OP, you are looking to replace just the "slab door". Measure the width and height. if it is, say 36" wide x 80" high (or another common width & height) or within an inch or so, you are likely to be able to order a standard size slab you like the looks of from a box store or a...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing the front door to house
Replies: 20
Views: 3186

Re: Staking Tomatoes

I didn't like the cages, which limit access for suckering / pruning / harvest, or single stakes which didn't support more than one "cane" so well. I rip an 8' 2x4 in half and then another in 4ths to make two posts + 4 8' crossbars for a 6'+ trellis for 3-4 tomato plants, which I tie up to ...
by Bengineer
Thu May 22, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staking Tomatoes
Replies: 20
Views: 1113

Re: Help with Patio! -- Pavers v. Concrete

I concur with the others on not skipping the base prep. That is what gives you a stable paver (or concrete) surface. I'm sure there is a standard prep for your location & soil. Likely a large paver source like a major stoneyard will have guidance on this. With your rainfall, make absolutely sure...
by Bengineer
Wed May 14, 2014 12:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with Patio! -- Pavers v. Concrete
Replies: 25
Views: 2630
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