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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 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 83
Views: 4523

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 7:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Who is Ameriprise? Got invitation from a financial advisor]
Replies: 32
Views: 2838

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 6:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What is safest vehicle on the road today that I can buy?]
Replies: 83
Views: 4523

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
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: 1359

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
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cast Iron Skillet Cooking
Replies: 127
Views: 17131

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
Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VPN killing my Internet
Replies: 31
Views: 2746

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
Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is 2007 Accord 60K mile service worth $300?
Replies: 54
Views: 4408

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
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: 2167

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 5:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on new CC and online bank (horrible exp with Cap One)
Replies: 19
Views: 1843

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
Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magic Eraser Ruined Cabinet Doors
Replies: 11
Views: 1235

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...
by Bengineer
Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone have experience with water softeners?
Replies: 41
Views: 1771

Re: Earthquake coverage in CA

We don't carry earthquake insurance. After considering the cost, coverages and deductible for our single-story, it didn't seem to pencil out. We also considered our location on solid ground a few miles from the nearest fault and what would happen to the CA earthquake fund if a major earthquake occur...
by Bengineer
Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake coverage in CA
Replies: 20
Views: 1100

Re: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?

I woudn't necessarily write off solid hardwood, particularly in a dry climate like LA. It is possible to nail sleepers to the concrete and then solid strip or engineered plank to them. Your condo may prohibit that. If the concrete looks pretty good, I second staining & sealing it. A few nice rug...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bamboo vs Engineered Hardwood floor?
Replies: 12
Views: 1535

Re: Can you really know your AA until you've hit a bear mark

I'm not sure you can. As Taylor's post notes, It is one thing to see a year's income evaporate and another to see 10 years income go poof. It is one thing to see it while comforably employed and another to get the opportunity to explore one's options precisely when the clouds are darkest. One to see...
by Bengineer
Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you really know your AA until you've hit a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 5459

Re: Measuring duct volume and/or temperature

A Green Building Advisor article on flow measurement you might find interesting. I think I am going to build a reversible blower window for duct and general air leakage detection. In a reasonably well sealed house, the range hood and bath fans do ok for pulling air, which is good for windows, doors,...
by Bengineer
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Measuring duct volume and/or temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 511

Re: Dilemma re: taxable account

... Secondly, what I need from my taxable account is four years worth of income, to bridge the time between now and when I am required to take RMD's. At that point, the RMD's will cover my income needs. Over the next four years, the amount I will need to withdraw from my taxable portfolio to suppor...
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dilemma re: taxable account
Replies: 18
Views: 1732

Re: Tankless Hot Water Heaters

...When we expanded our house two years ago the kitchen ended up farther away from the rest of the plumbing so it takes what seems like a long time to get hot water out of the sink. I know the dishwasher has its own heater so that's not a problem. But we do wash dishes by hand too and it seems wast...
by Bengineer
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Replies: 33
Views: 3243

Re: Tankless Hit Water Heaters

It depends. Anecdotally, I've had tankless natural gas water heaters in the last two houses. No issues, but we're light users, they were/are only a few years old and I descale them. Edit: Both were in temperate areas with ~60+ degree cold water year round. We have fairly low-flow fixtures. I think t...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Replies: 33
Views: 3243

Re: job offer, 2x salary

Ok. What do you think you're "worth" on the open market? Have you been underpaid for 15 years? Is the 2x offer, um sketchy in any way? You're nervous, but if 2x is actually within the range your research tells you that your sklls & experience should bring and it's what you'd like to be...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: job offer, 2x salary
Replies: 53
Views: 4934

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

If you do end up using bleach, remember to wear your painting clothes & eye protection. Rubber gloves & boots might be a good idea. You _will_ get it on you. Where does the runoff from the area go? The area doesn't seem that large - I might be inclined to scrub it with detergent/bleach. mayb...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 39
Views: 4707

Re: Wireless Internet Question

I too think you want your network to look like modem->firewall->router->switch -> internal lan. The fw, router & typically 4-port 100mBs switch + wifi are your typical consumer "wireless router". Need gigabit? My wired 3MP ip cams run at a few kbits each. I'm with previous posts - 2.4G...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless Internet Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2520

Re: Gaming amazon product reviews

As far as I can tell, Amazon has pretty much gotten to be the wild-wild west. Not only are the reviews astroturfed, but depending on the product, sellers of counterfeit products join in with the legit sellers, even to the point of "fullfillment by Amazon". You have no idea what you're gett...
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaming amazon product reviews
Replies: 16
Views: 2250

Re: Ink Cartridges dry up on seldom used printer, any ideas?

I've owned an HP 6210 & 6500A for (too many) years. I often go for a while between printing. If the cartridge or printhead stops putting ink on the page or is partially blocked, I've had good luck with soaking the cartridge / printhead in warm water with a drop of DW detergent just deep enough t...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ink Cartridges dry up on seldom used printer, any ideas?
Replies: 32
Views: 1872

Re: Kitchen appliance question

I check CR's repair history when considering appliances.

Anecdotally, I had a recent JA smooth-top gas range. The center down-draft vent pulled the heat off the burners. I had to replace the keypad twice.
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen appliance question
Replies: 10
Views: 1048

Re: My attic air leak blocking checklist

I've just used the urethane foam for plumbing & wiring holes in the top plates and cracks, vs silicone some places, foam others. I don't think you need fire caulk except around flues / chimneys (along with sheet metal fill) or a firestop. Agreed, urethane foam is sticky & permanent. Wear you...
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My attic air leak blocking checklist
Replies: 24
Views: 1981

Re: Car Repair [Maintenance vs. repair costs]

I'll add one more bit to tibbit's & LadyGeek's advice(s). Find a good independent that works mostly on your make of car. I did this for our older, german cars by finding a couple of locals that had good reviews online (yelp, cartalk. there likely won't be much for the smaller guys) and a recomme...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Repair [Maintenance vs. repair costs]
Replies: 20
Views: 2297

Re: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set

I concur on not buying a set. Think of it as a tool-buying opportunity! If you're thinking ~$30 for a utility grade 8" chef, Victorinox/Forschner & Dexter are reasonable quality & price and available online and at restaurant stores. Pretty good steel, thin, easy to sharpen, no-maintenan...
by Bengineer
Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set
Replies: 64
Views: 2876

Re: how best to supplement heat with heat pump

just heard back from the tenant ... I am calling the HVAC guy tomorrow but I am wondering why the emergency heat failed (he said he had it on emergency and woke up with 53 degrees) ... Again, this heat pump was installed new in May 2013. OP, the aux heat strips may not be sized to provide the full ...
by Bengineer
Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how best to supplement heat with heat pump
Replies: 49
Views: 2612

Re: how best to supplement heat with heat pump

I'm not sure you need supplemental heat. If your heat pumps are sized correctly and functioning properly, they should be able to hold 70 down to the ~18 degree design temp for Richmond on the heat pump alone and down to really cold with the aux strips on as well. What they aren't going to do is allo...
by Bengineer
Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how best to supplement heat with heat pump
Replies: 49
Views: 2612

Re: I'm not a bad Boglehead

For me, the value lies in the entertainment, just thinking about the possibilities. What if? :)
by Bengineer
Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm not a bad Boglehead [buying Powerball ticket]
Replies: 101
Views: 6513

Re: seiko divers watch

I have a "kinetic 200m" with a 30mm dia. crystal / 40mm dia. bezel I've had about 10 years. Had to get the capacitor replaced about 5 years ago. It is very accurate.
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seiko divers watch
Replies: 8
Views: 657

Re: Loss of water pressure when using hot water

One way to test whether the problem is the supply from the heater or the fixtures is to hook a hose to the hot supply for the washing machine and measure the flow with the valve wide open, see if it drops off, vs the cold side etc. Careful!
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Loss of water pressure when using hot water
Replies: 24
Views: 2269

Re: Options for moving our pets across country

OP, if you do drive & motel it with your pets, consider that you might be told "we don't have any pet-friendly rooms available" after a long days drive. I don't mean to dissuade you from going this route, it's what I did and would choose again. Anecdotally, I drove across the country o...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options for moving our pets across country
Replies: 47
Views: 2574

Re: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?

o You noted it pulls in outside air, indicating a significant leak in the return side of the ducting / air handler. If you're pulling in 2 deg air and trying to heat it up to 70 ... Now this is something nobody has mentioned. And I have to say I don't know how a leak in the return side would make t...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?
Replies: 54
Views: 3172

Re: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?

Hey, OP - From everything in this thread, It seems like the Boglehead thing to do to get an HVAC service call. You could get your tstat / aux checked / repaired, air handler leveled, and ductwork sealed up, which should set your HP up to be the best it can be for a few hundred. It seems plausible yo...
by Bengineer
Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?
Replies: 54
Views: 3172

Re: Home Energy Audit - worth it?

I think getting an actual energy audit is. I had one done that was subsidized by my electric utility. It was described as a full energy audit. I paid 100, free-market would likely be 5-700. Blower door, duct blaster, infrared cam walkaround with the blower door running. I tagged along and the guy sh...
by Bengineer
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Energy Audit - worth it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2427

Re: LED Flood Light Question (CREE/FEIT/Etc)

I just put in a few Philips #452383 BR30 2700k 9.5w flood bulbs. They seem a bit brighter, but their 650 lumens vs the 620 (somewhat less after aging) incandescents they replaced doesn't seem like much. 10% maybe? I like them. The light is good, the light is spread a bit more, not so much guilt when...
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flood Light Question (CREE/FEIT/Etc)
Replies: 28
Views: 4116

Re: Electric Stove question

I'm going with the temp sensor.... The comments from my Boglehead colleagues led me to believe it is likely the temperature sensor. I got a replacement on Wednesday morning. When I got the back off the stove, I realized I needed a ceramic/porcelain electric wire connection to splice in the new sens...
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Stove question
Replies: 15
Views: 1942

Re: Electric Stove question

I'm going with the temp sensor. Hard to believe an oven will get to 370 in 2 mins. If you / availible friendlies are DIY types, I've had good luck with sears parts direct for appliance parts.
by Bengineer
Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Stove question
Replies: 15
Views: 1942

Re: How long do grilles last?

An 8 year old Weber done? Come on, man! I've had my gas genesis at least 10 years and cook on it regularly. I scrape down the inside every so often. I've replaced the flavorizer bars once. I keep it covered when not in use. I fully expect it to last another 20 years with maybe an ignitor and new bur...
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do grilles last?
Replies: 26
Views: 2600

Re: how to join nylon webbing?

A sewing awl and waxed thread worked for repairing my dog leashes / collars.
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to join nylon webbing?
Replies: 26
Views: 1935

Re: Help with bottom feeders

You might try hooking him up to a financial adviser who will give him good advice rather than directing him toward such awful investments. You are right about parents not wanting to listen to their children but he is obviously willing to take advice from others. Just get him hooked up with an ethic...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with bottom feeders
Replies: 18
Views: 4221

Re: Just Paid Off My Car

Congratulations! You've set your course, keep at it. There is no better feeling than no debt, money in the bank, finances on track to accomplish your goals. Advice you didn't ask for :) : Maintain the car carefully yourself if DIY and research & find a good independent in advance of an "iss...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Paid Off My Car
Replies: 24
Views: 2308

Re: Best market solution for a large car/SUV for roadtrips?

I'm in the rental camp too. I dunno about your market, but we rented a minivan for a long weekend for 6 of us & gear for maybe 200 or so. The hertz weekly here for a minivan is < 400. If it is a road, vs backcountry trip, a minivan will tote vast #s of people & gear in a easy to drive, cushy...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best market solution for large car/small SUV for roadtrips?
Replies: 17
Views: 1585

Re: Attic fiberglass insulation - energy efficiency

After looking at your pix... Holy Moly! I'll add to my notes in your "plywood" thread. You almost certainly have significant air leaks with the chopped up attic you have (multiple planes & shapes). Can lights? A fair bit of the insulation is well below the joists. Maybe R15 or so effec...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plywood R value attic - energy efficiency
Replies: 29
Views: 1787

Re: Plywood R value attic - energy efficiency

I'd think you'd get more bang for the buck with (my) usual advice. Get a blower door / energy audit to identify the air leaks and your current insulation R-value / insulation install quality. Seal the leaks starting with the biggest ones until the house is pretty tight. Add blown in cellulose attic ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plywood R value attic - energy efficiency
Replies: 29
Views: 1787

Re: Engineered Hardwood Floors

I'm in the install being the issue rather than "its the product" camp. If the installer's forte is unfinished 3/4" oak T&G and he installed your prefinished 3/8" in the same manner, I can see how there might be problems. There was an install sheet for the LL Bellawood product...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Replies: 14
Views: 2611

Re: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?

...Hey, that sounds like mine!...A big part of the problem (in addition to the snaking around and huge stack the dryer has to overcome) - the idiot installers used 6-8 screws at every joint. Screws protruding at least 1/2" into the pipe, where they catch lint. ... I think your guys did my hous...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 3785

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

Any suggestions on a heat sensor/temp reading thing to buy? Preferably from amazon. Here ya go. It's basically an infrared thermometer set up for measuring temp changes with a targeting spot that changes color. One with video is a little more, but way cooler. :wink: ... and one for your phone !
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 27
Views: 3700

Re: Bogleheads, anyone doing "Black Friday"

Spend my time fighting the masses for supposed deals on consumer junk? I think not. I'm taking the dog for a walk and getting together with friends for good home-cooked food & good times.
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 6449
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