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Re: Orbitz vs Expedia vs Delta

One thing I noticed by using google.com/flights as my search tool is Google can sometimes show a lower rate for a flight than going straight through the airline's website will show, even though Google just redirects the booking through the airline's website. On my last flight booked with Delta, clic...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Orbitz vs Expedia vs Delta
Replies: 22
Views: 2078

Re: How long do sofas really last

The other interesting thing I always see is that the advice is generally to buy less expensive furniture if it takes more abuse (e.g. you have children/pets) but you you should buy more expensive furniture if you are nice to it. From this I suppose I could conclude that cheaper furniture is equally...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do sofas really last
Replies: 46
Views: 4429

Re: Verizon overcharge - can I do anything more?

The FCC says complaints about billing practices for such companies fall under the purview of the local/state franchise authorities. Depending on what state you live in, this would be something like a state-level public utility commission or another regulatory body. So you need to figure out who that...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Verizon overcharge - can I do anything more?
Replies: 3
Views: 751

Re: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?

As to the original question, I know the pain of a company taking too much out for autopay and having difficulty disputing and recovering the money later. So I opt to manually trigger the payment each month, after verifying the bill (and disputing any invalid charges, like when I was charged for &quo...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?
Replies: 43
Views: 3081

Re: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest

4nursebee wrote:I'm curious how well participants real portfolios mirror the selections in the contest?
The biotech slide has hurt my virtual ego at number one.

I don't hold individual stocks, so my real portfolio looks nothing like D Nile Brothers Inc.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads 2015 Hedge Fund Contest
Replies: 145
Views: 14474

Re: Having a tree removed

They blocked off the whole street for the full day. This reminds me.... if the tree removal company will need enough equipment to block the street (and they probably would with a tree that big), warn the neighbors who will be affected by this. My neighbors were not so courteous. Their tree removal ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having a tree removed
Replies: 19
Views: 2020

Re: Having a tree removed

Make sure your town doesn't require a permit to remove it and if it does, you might need the town to come inspect it before they grant approval. The OP said the tree is tilting at a 45 degree angle and the "ground around it is all broken up". The tree is essentially got knocked over in th...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having a tree removed
Replies: 19
Views: 2020

Re: Having a tree removed

While properly trimming a tree is an art and science, removal of a fallen tree is a bit more of grunt work, so you should primarily be concerned that the contractor carries the right license and insurance. Review your state license board website to find companies who are licensed and insured for tre...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having a tree removed
Replies: 19
Views: 2020

Re: Pet insurance?

As with ddunca1944, I have a specific veterinary care fund that gets funded each month as a budget line item. I have multiple cats, so the likelihood of at least one of them requiring emergency veterinary care each year is high, but it is not cost-effective to individually insure them. I put in enou...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pet insurance?
Replies: 32
Views: 2020

Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Very good post. I've done a similar thing for low-income, first-generation freshmen at a state university. One thing I focused a little more on was how to spend wisely and avoid unnecessary debt. It was a bit of a variation on the quote Nisiprius has in the signature line here ("Annual income t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I Knew Then What I Know Now
Replies: 52
Views: 8412

Re: Gaming amazon product reviews

I have noticed that Amazon robo-emails out requests for reviews within a couple days of products shipping. I usually just ignore the emails. So I doubt the vendor was being aggressive in soliciting the reviews. And yes, you do need to be careful of semantics. If the listing misrepresents the item, y...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaming amazon product reviews
Replies: 16
Views: 2249

Re: Worried about neighbor's tree damaging my property

Call up your neighbor and say you're still rather concerned about the tree. Offer to pay for an arborist to come out and evaluate the health of the tree. Also offer to pay the FULL cost of removing the tree, including dealing with any local ordinances about tree removals, if it is unhealthy. If your...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worried about neighbor's tree damaging my property
Replies: 16
Views: 1971

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Is the CA drought having a significant effect? Some of the drought effects may take years to fully realize. The annual crops will be impacted in the drought years and will rebound rather quickly if the rains return. But there's a lot of long-term agriculture happening in California. For example, CA...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7439

Re: Credit Reporting Agency Settlement/Changes

With respect to medical debt, I think a bigger change is that the agencies will remove a medical debt if the insurance company ends up paying it. Having watched my doctor and insurance company bicker back and forth for over a year about the contract rate for an injectable medication when I was in my...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Reporting Agency Settlement/Changes
Replies: 2
Views: 317

Re: Is this identity theft or just random fraud?

I know in this day and age, fraud is at the front of the mind, but this also could have been a simple data entry error on the part of someone else. You should of course report it to the IRS. Personally, I would have waited until the IRS determined if this was malicious or a simple mistake before fil...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this identity theft or just random fraud?
Replies: 16
Views: 1875

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Actually, I was reading Livesoft's post more carefully and if 8 small salads (4 servings) cost $8 a day, and my 9 servings cost $15 a day .... then it seems about right, no? I am actually wondering if people are comparing the same quantity of vegetables? Numero...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7439

Re: Want to invest with Vanguard but not comfortable with...

Well, you might place the order for the ETF in the morning or in the middle of the day. If there's a flash crash or some sort of later day fall you're in trouble. I'd rather just buy and have it show up at the end of the day. Do the schwab etfs actually follow the index? I can't even tell how well ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to invest with Vanguard but not comfortable with....
Replies: 79
Views: 4970

Re: Want to invest with Vanguard but not comfortable with...

Are fees for each individual account or for the sum of everything? For example if I move my taxable cash back into my bank account and only leave my IRA would I escape some of the fees? I signed up for the e-delivery option for Vanguard, so I have no annual account fees at Vanguard (there are still...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to invest with Vanguard but not comfortable with....
Replies: 79
Views: 4970

Re: Want to invest with Vanguard but not comfortable with...

Hello Ward. I see a lot of fears being expressed here, and while the logistics of setting up the account is important, so is learning how to tackle your fears. Perhaps having some information would be useful to you. But you really need to tackle your fears, because those "friendly" represe...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to invest with Vanguard but not comfortable with....
Replies: 79
Views: 4970

Re: Annual Free Credit Report

Why must you always make it sound like these scores move in different (or independent) directions? The FICO you speak of and the FAKO and all of them are based on the reportings of the 3 major credit companies. Of course it used to be based on the median, now it is most likely another method. From ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Free Credit Report
Replies: 16
Views: 1253

Re: Are my governmental 403(b) and 457 plans protected?

This issue is complex, because some government plans are structured with protections and others are not. So there is no one generic answer. What specific risks are you worried about that would not be covered by umbrella insurance or workplace liability insurance? You might want to read through this ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are my governmental 403(b) and 457 plans protected?
Replies: 3
Views: 329

Re: Are my governmental 403(b) and 457 plans protected?

If your primary concern is liability lawsuits, you should have the appropriate insurance to cover you there. Not to add to your fears, but asset seizure is not the worst possible outcome of a liability judgement. The judgement could also garnish your future wages. Insurance is not a guarantee to pre...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are my governmental 403(b) and 457 plans protected?
Replies: 3
Views: 329

Re: How do you watch TV differently after "cutting the cable

Do you cable cutters still watch on TV or just on IPad, computer, etc? I have an over-the-air (OTA) antenna which gets me most of the major and minor OTA networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CW, PBS, MyNetworkTV, Telemundo, Univision, etc.). Several of the local network affiliates also use the higher band...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you watch TV differently after "cutting the cable"?
Replies: 23
Views: 2243

Re: Reducing Costs for Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Monitor your usage for a month, then change your plan to fit your usage. A lot of ISPs are pretty insidious about upselling their plans, even if you don't need the higher level of service. If you don't do a lot of simultaneous streaming from multiple devices, you'll save money by downgrading your pl...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reducing Costs for Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Replies: 10
Views: 1154

Re: Annual Free Credit Report

You are pretty close in your title: http://www.annualcreditreport.com This is the site mandated by the courts, free to all users. You get one free/year from each reporting agency (there are 3 major firms). I pull one every 4 months, rotating so I get a different flavor each time. Awesome, I think t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Free Credit Report
Replies: 16
Views: 1253

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

As mentioned by one poster, the "dirty dozen" list (which is more than a dozen these days) is a good reference for when the "organic premium" might be worth paying. It shows which produce had the highest pesticide residual when tested by the USDA. Note that this does not guarant...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7439

Re: How do you watch TV differently after "cutting the cable

I spend less time channel surfing (although I did find an episode of the original Addams Family on one of the OTA channels when channel surfing last night). I spend more time watching online episodes though, so I'm not sure the overall consumption of TV content has decreased much. It's just shifted ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you watch TV differently after "cutting the cable"?
Replies: 23
Views: 2243

Re: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

As mentioned by one poster, the "dirty dozen" list (which is more than a dozen these days) is a good reference for when the "organic premium" might be worth paying. It shows which produce had the highest pesticide residual when tested by the USDA. Note that this does not guarante...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Cost of Fruits and Vegetables
Replies: 126
Views: 7439

Re: Issue with ordering new Chevrolet truck

They should be able to tell you the price without incentives, so ask for an estimate of the out-the-door price calculated without the current sales incentives. Before you sign anything, make sure it is clearly marked as an estimate that will be revised when the VIN is available to reflect the incent...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issue with ordering new Chevrolet truck
Replies: 6
Views: 700

Re: Growing out long hair and growing a beard

I use the cheapest shampoo and conditioner I can find. Over the years I've tried all sorts of expensive stuff, including products from salons, health food stores, etc. and it never made a difference. At one point I read Paula Begoin's book on hair care products and she basically agrees that most sh...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing out long hair and growing a beard
Replies: 24
Views: 2872

Re: Growing out long hair and growing a beard

what exactly is fly away hair? Fly away hair : A combination of cold air and low humidity can result in static electricity causing fly away hair. More generally, some people have some hair strands that are shorter than the rest. If those strands like to stick out all over the place, without static ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing out long hair and growing a beard
Replies: 24
Views: 2872

Re: Student loan for Masters.

I'd save up most of the money to pay for it beforehand. $50K sounds way too expensive for a state school. Since you are working full time and would have to live somewhere while working, I don't see how you can call room & board part of the cost. If room & board are not part of the cost, the...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Student loan for Masters.
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Re: Growing out long hair and growing a beard

Woman here, so can't answer anything about the beard, but care of long hair I can help out with. Care of long hair really does depend on your hair type. Is your hair very curly, curly, wavy, straight? Are the individual hairs thin, normal or coarse? Is your scalp oily, normal, or dry? Does your hair...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing out long hair and growing a beard
Replies: 24
Views: 2872

Re: Student loan for Masters.

Keep in mind that graduate student loans are also more expensive than undergraduate student loans simply because you can no longer get subsidized loans for graduate education. You can only get unsubsidized loans, which means no interest forgiveness while in school. Also, the fixed interest rate for ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Student loan for Masters.
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Re: Good career for woman mid 30's?

Thank you for all the comments so far. I do not want to go to a trade/vocational school because I am a licensed hair stylist. I don't do hair full time because the hours and benefits are not so good as I have young children. I may do hair again after I have enough credits to retire. I am at my curr...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good career for woman mid 30's?
Replies: 34
Views: 3699

Re: Helping Parents Long Term

I have 3 parents in their 60's and 70's who are currently healthy and don't need help financially. But they don't have much saved so if long term care or if expensive medical procedures are needed it would eat through any savings quickly. Who knows what the future will hold for them or even myself ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Helping Parents Long Term
Replies: 4
Views: 693

Re: Time of Use Electrical Rates

Hard to answer this without more information about your standard usages for things like HVAC and other electricity usage during the day. For example, I do not participate in a time of use plan because it regularly gets over 100F during the day here in the summer and I have numerous aquariums that wo...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time of Use Electrical Rates
Replies: 22
Views: 1475

Re: Taxes on cash back credit card?

This article makes a somewhat different distinction than mudpuppy. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/credit-card-rewards-count-taxable-income.aspx I could very well be wrong on the distinction. After all, I am just a random person on the Internet, not a tax professional. But then so is t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on cash back credit card?
Replies: 5
Views: 786

Re: Taxes on cash back credit card?

In general, consider cash back credit cards as being more akin to coupons or rebates, which are not taxable income since they are tied to specific purchases. Sign-up bonuses however are typically taxable income, even if they are tied to a spending target (e.g. "get $100 back when you spend $500...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes on cash back credit card?
Replies: 5
Views: 786

Re: Favorite chocolate candy

I overdid it on See's candies as a child. They had multiple locations in the town I grew up in, including one by my childhood home. My personal go-to for day-to-day chocolate right now is a variety of Trader Joe's dark chocolate items. I usually get the dark chocolate covered raisins or the small th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite chocolate candy
Replies: 51
Views: 3777

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

(no peeking - teacher used to hold a piece of paper above our hands), I find the discussions about shielding the keyboard from sight interesting. When I took typing in high school the keys on the typewriters were blank. (Does that mean I am showing my age?) Does anyone make a computer keyboard with...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 70
Views: 4356

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

My personal method for learning touch typing was playing a lot text-based action/adventure games. There's nothing like needing to keep your eyes on the screen to keep your character alive while fighting a pit of monsters to really hone the touch typing skills. The game score and progressing in game ...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 70
Views: 4356

Re: Swamp Coolers/ Adobe Heating Santa Fe

I don't know about Santa Fe or adobe houses in particular, but I did grow up in a house cooled by a swamp cooler and I helped my dad out with maintaining it. A swamp cooler runs on far less electricity since it just has to power a water pump and blower. There's also the water costs, which may not be...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Swamp Coolers/ Adobe Heating Santa Fe
Replies: 2
Views: 312

Re: Problems with Internet Explorer

It boggles my mind that folks still use Internet explorer, I find it to be total garbage. There was one vendor webpage at work that was not loading on Firefox or Safari. The "official fix" from the vendor was "use IE". I attracted a wee bit of attention from the next level of ma...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Problems with Internet Explorer
Replies: 24
Views: 1688

Re: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?

Haven't read through the replies, but from a purely technical perspective, there are oodles of programs out there which require a person to click through a webpage before being allowed to use the WiFi access point. The webpage could require them to enter their name/access code for the rental/etc. to...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Giving guests free WiFI @ short-term rental = get sued?
Replies: 32
Views: 3833

Re: question on doing forum search

Different domain names should have different security certificates. However, it looks like the web server is serving up the bogleheads.org security certificate even when you request diehards.org. Simple solution is just to stick to bogleheads.org, as that is the "current" domain name and d...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:08 am
 
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: question on doing forum search
Replies: 2
Views: 401

Re: Landlord asking for more money at Move Out than Security

I had a similar situation in the past, where the on-site manager sent a rather large bill and claimed she would send it to collections if I did not pay. I knew her claim had no merit (the only damage to the unit was caused by the roofing company, and I had documented their damage and their pitiful a...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord asking for more money at Move Out than Security Dep
Replies: 24
Views: 3133

Re: Genealogy

On one side of the family, the tree stops at an ancestor who was adopted. Nothing else is known about him, and he presumably took the last name of his adopted parents. I am finding my efforts to progress beyond this very hard. So, here you have to stop, and think hard. The error rate in genealogy i...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Genealogy
Replies: 50
Views: 3312

Re: Dusting wood floors -- robots and vacuums

For years, I used a corded Bissell Feather Weight stick vac for the hardwood and vinyl floors, a Hoover upright for the throw rugs, and a Roomba to run around in between weekend cleanings to prevent pet fur drifts. The stick vac works perfectly fine for the hard surfaces, but it can't take cat hair ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dusting wood floors -- robots and vacuums
Replies: 19
Views: 1667

Re: Maintenance free landscaping a front yard

Try to find a list of plants native to your area specifically, or native to areas that share your climate. These will the be plants best suited to the environment in the long-term, although they'll require a little extra care in the first couple of years to get properly established. So you might hav...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maintenance free landscaping a front yard
Replies: 37
Views: 2694
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