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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford. Fascinating blend of history and fiction about the Soviet Union's effort in the late 1950s-early 1960s to build an economy that would be the envy of the West, through central planning, "mathematical economics" and cybernetics. Copiously footnoted.
by Patchy Groundfog
Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1192479

Re: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, e

Do you have to live in an expensive city? In my city you could have a perfectly nice apartment (with a kitchen, even) for $800-900. If you have a roommate, paying $400 in rent frees up $600 a month towards the loans.
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu May 16, 2013 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I [messed] up - Now what? ($200k in student loan debt, etc.)
Replies: 117
Views: 9827

Re: Town of Bath, England (UK)

Bath is well worth a visit. There's a free two-hour walking tour (called the Mayor's tour, I think) that is a great way to see the city, which is quite compact.
by Patchy Groundfog
Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Town of Bath, England (UK)
Replies: 16
Views: 1324

Re: Sealing Concrete

I've used the Sakrete Top 'n Bond polymer concrete patch to fill cracks. I don't know about durability yet; it's only been a few weeks. It's not expensive, though, and Sakrete has a helpful video on Youtub with tips on how to use it.
by Patchy Groundfog
Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sealing Concrete
Replies: 11
Views: 1443

Re: Immediate Annuities Aren’t for Everyone

I was surprised not to see any mention of health/medical conditions. Perhaps it's too obvious to be mentioned, but someone who has potentially life-shortening health issues shouldn't buy such an annuity. Or even if they don't, if the family's history is poor. Even though there are some "medica...
by Patchy Groundfog
Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Immediate Annuities Aren’t for Everyone
Replies: 66
Views: 6513

Re: GREAT long-term-care insurance article by Christine Benz

I think the reason the average nursing home stay is short is because for most families it is a last resort, a hard, sad decision reached after enormous sacrifices been made. That Americans just cavalierly dump their frail elderly into institutions is a myth, I think. It's certainly not something I'v...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GREAT long-term-care insurance article by Christine Benz
Replies: 55
Views: 4973

Re: traveling with credit card

I called Chase before an out-of-the-country trip, and they wanted to know exactly which countries and when. Also, if you look on the back of your Chase Visa card, there is a number for a collect call if the card is lost or stolen outside the U.S., so you have to know how to call AT&T in whatever...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: traveling with credit card
Replies: 25
Views: 1662

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

I don't think quitting and finding another job is a terribly realistic idea. The job market for fifty-somethings is just terrible right now, especially in fields like human resources and marketing. Here's what I would do, but it's just me: Set a date certain for retirement, like June 30, 2015, and d...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife is scared to quit.
Replies: 84
Views: 8080

Re: The illusion of control and predictability

I know I can't plan with precision a trip in 2037, but I don't have to. It won't make a bit of difference if wait until 2036 to think about it. I know I can't predict with precision what my finances will look like in 2037, but I can't wait until 2036 to think about it. I have to use the best knowled...
by Patchy Groundfog
Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The illusion of control and predictability
Replies: 38
Views: 4000

Re: Let's talk about the Olympics

I watched some of the opening ceremony but had to turn it off because it was reminding me so much of the village fete in an E.F. Benson "Lucia" novel, kind of comic and cringe-inducing. I'm sure I missed some spectacular stuff by not watching the whole thing.
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:54 am
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Let's talk about the Olympics
Replies: 115
Views: 9443

Re: Adopting an adult dog

Thanks for posting the super-happy ending (and a beginning, too) of your story. You're lucky dogs for sure, all four of you.
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adopting an adult dog
Replies: 42
Views: 6008

Re: moving from Massachusetts to Florida

Last time I moved I marked each box, some of the furniture and the doorways in the new house with colored tape. Worked fine -- everything ended up where it belonged (it was a crosstown move with four or five male relatives as movers).
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: moving from Massachusetts to Florida
Replies: 8
Views: 1386

Re: Presenting Scripture in a Text/Frame (Gift)

Talk to someone at a stationery store that does custom invitations. They have special papers, etc., and probably could put you in touch with a calligrapher if you want to do it that way.
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Presenting Scripture in a Text/Frame (Gift)
Replies: 7
Views: 540

Re: Any fix for botched inherited non-spousal IRA?

To Celia: I knew 0 about inherited IRA's at the time; I've learned all this after the fact, including that apparently the first RMD should have been paid to me before the funds were even sent to Vanguard. While I firmly wish I had learned all this stuff before things went bad, people who are in the...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any fix for botched inherited non-spousal IRA?
Replies: 54
Views: 9744

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It by Arthur Herman -- Title exaggerates, of course, but lots of fascinating history I didn't know. Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1192479

Re: On growing old

Now that I've had to admit that I'm actually elderly (rmds in two years, just to give this a tinge of finance), I always have in the back of my mind thoughts of nearing the end of my alloted time. Running up the stairs I'll think, "I won't always be able to do this." Sitting under the mapl...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun May 27, 2012 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On growing old
Replies: 71
Views: 9883

Re: Board dog or let him wing it?

I think the vet's is a fairly stressful place for dogs to stay. They associate those smells with shots and having their temperature taken. ("What is wrong with these people?!). We have several "pet resorts" and doggie day cares in our area, where the dogs get a lot of outdoor recreati...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Board dog or let him wing it?
Replies: 23
Views: 1466

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl by Timothy Egan
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1192479

Re: Junk removal companies - any recommendations?

I used 1-800-Got-Junk to get rid of some things I couldn't handle, like an old sofa and some heavy items in the attic left by previous owners. They give you an estimate before doing anything, but you can get a good idea of how much it's going to cost when you book the appointment online. Got Junk ch...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Junk removal companies - any recommendations?
Replies: 14
Views: 1248

Re: How often do you check how the stock market is performin

. When I accidentally catch part of a news report and the announce, infuriatingly, says only that "the Dow was up 82 points today" without saying from what or to what, then, yeah, the next time I get to a computer I'll look to see what it was. Yeah, that drives me crazy, too. From the NPR...
by Patchy Groundfog
Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How often do you check how the stock market is performing?
Replies: 31
Views: 1917

Re: How do you protect your retirement assets from yourself

I think about this issue a lot. At 68, I think I have 10 years or less to make these decisions, if I want to make them for myself. My daughter has a durable* power of attorney already, so she could take over my affairs at any time, temporarily or permanently. My son will be personal representative f...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you protect your retirement assets from yourself
Replies: 16
Views: 1856

Re: Who Will Take Care Of My Wife?

You might want to establish a relationship with a good CPA, even paying him/her to look over your tax returns, so that your wife and brother will have someone familiar with your situation to consult, at least on tax matters. But don't underestimate your wife. I've known more than one widow who stepp...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who Will Take Care Of My Wife?
Replies: 77
Views: 4726

Re: Credit Card Hacked -- how?

Last week I discovered on my Chase Visa a charge to a company in China, along with a foreign transaction fee, that had been made the day before. This card was also compromised a couple of years ago, but that time Chase picked it up and called within hours. I only use this card for one online retaile...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Hacked -- how?
Replies: 62
Views: 6440

Re: Money magazine for Bogleheads?

I don't read Money anymore, but used to occasionally; it's where I found out about Bogleheads. John Bogle in "Common Sense on Mutual Funds" gives Money credit for helping to get the word out about indexing: The most enthusiastic endorsement came from Money magazine, which, in 1995, was gen...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money magazine for Bogleheads?
Replies: 31
Views: 2548

Re: At what age did you start feeling old?

Sometime in my early fifties I realized that I was becoming invisible. When you reach a certain age, people start to look through you or around you, but never at you. It's kind of liberating, really. As long as I don't look crazy, nobody's going to notice what I'm wearing or whether I need a haircut.
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you start feeling old?
Replies: 110
Views: 7133

Re: Am I "young" or "middle aged"?

Just wait until you have to face the fact that your children are middle-aged!
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Am I "young" or "middle aged"?
Replies: 28
Views: 3062

Re: Popcorn/acoustic ceiling - removal help

Over a period of maybe two years, I removed the "popcorn" ceilings in six rooms and two bathrooms in my house by the spray-and-scrape method. As others have said, easy but messy. The hard part for me was fixing the imperfections left by the original sheetrock installers. Also, painting a c...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Popcorn/acoustic ceiling - removal help
Replies: 12
Views: 2870

Re: Found $100 Bill at Walmart

Some years ago I realized one Saturday morning that my wallet was missing. It wasn't in the car so I knew I must have lost it at the grocery store the night before. I got out my list of credit card phone numbers, then without much hope decided to call the store first. The manager said, "Was it ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found $100 Bill at Walmart
Replies: 136
Views: 8504

Re: How do you deal with the Gloom and Doom

Go to the library, pull a roll of newspaper microfilm for any month from 1965-74 and just read. Terrible urban riots, war, assasinations, Watergate, an oil price shock and severe recession, polyester bell bottoms. For me all of that was current events, not history, and having lived through it makes ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do you deal with the Gloom and Doom
Replies: 80
Views: 6939

Re: How do you live your life?

To me, "Live like you were dying" doesn't mean going skydiving and spending all your income every year. It means being present in every moment of your life, whether you're handling the daily routine at work or sitting on the sofa with the baby sleeping on your chest. People who've been dia...
by Patchy Groundfog
Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you live your life?
Replies: 94
Views: 40088

Re: Favorite comic strips

Calvin and Hobbes Dilbert Zits -- the teenager in this strip is so like my grandson its almost not funny Dagwood -- although the characters never age, they live in the present time. Dagwood had a flat-screen TV before I did. Overboard I'll have to look for some of the strips mentioned here -- I only...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite comic strips
Replies: 50
Views: 2859

Keep in mind that people graduating from college in 2010 chose their colleges and majors in 2006. The world they graduated into is very different from the one they were living in when they made those decisions. How many of us foresaw a global financial crisis that would take an as yet unknown number...
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Degree in Something Practical...
Replies: 141
Views: 8342

Scrubbing Bubbles cuts through soap scum but isn't caustic at all. On a buildup like that you might need several applications and a nylon scrubbing pad. Then use the Scrubbing Bubbles regularly to keep the scum from building up again. Or you can try dishwasher detergent (Cascade) full strength, but ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning a tiled shower floor
Replies: 19
Views: 1463

The Patriarch:The Rise and Fall of the Bingham Dynasty by Susan Tifft and Alex Jones. A fascinating account of the family who owned the Louisville Courier-Journal, once one of the most respected newspapers in the country. Because the main characters were still around and cooperated fully with the a...
by Patchy Groundfog
Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 346556

Bank of America has a sister-bank arrangement with Barclays that allows no-fee use of Barclays ATMs. I opened a checking account with BOA just for my "trip money" and got an ATM-only (not debit) card. There are Barclays ATMs everywhere, including the airport, so you don't need to get a lot...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for trip to London
Replies: 43
Views: 5220

During the last bull market a friend and I were discussing investing in general and he'd vowed never to have more than 20% exposure to equities. That was his "sleep at night" number. He adjusted his savings rate up accordingly. I haven't talked to him yet this week, but I'll bet he's glad...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is nobody scared?
Replies: 133
Views: 17818

Stormy Monday

They call it Stormy Monday
Well the Tuesday's just as bad
They call it Stormy Monday
But Tuesday's just as bad
Lord, Wednesday's worse
Thursday's all so sad
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best music to put on our MP3 players for next week?
Replies: 44
Views: 2422

If your supervisor is a normal person, he hates doing performance reviews and wouldn't do them if he wasn't forced to. It's an especially onerous chore if he's not really familiar and involved with your day-to-day work. Presumably the review will be passed up to his manager, if only to be initialled...
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Performance Review Dilemma
Replies: 20
Views: 2396

Re: laundry or other chores you hate

And don't get me started about dryer buzzes--oi. Yeah. The buzzer sound is something you don't think about when you're buying a dryer, or at least I didn't. I can't even turn it off. My daughter's dryer "buzz" is a gentle "Your clothes are dry, dear " sound; mine says "GET ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: laundry or other chores you hate
Replies: 33
Views: 2300

One thing I miss about winter -- maybe the only thing - is hot tea, Constant Comment with a lot of sweetner. I put the mug with water and tea bag in the microwave, hit 1 minute, take it out five minutes later. I sometimes enhance my brewed coffee with a cheap instant Cappucino mix that Sam's sells. ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make a cup of tea
Replies: 38
Views: 2680

Maybe you could just set up his account in Vanguard money market, and let him decide which fund(s) to buy. He sounds like the kind of young man who would thoroughly educate himself and follow good advice about how to invest. This might be a great opportunity for him to start taking charge of this ve...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of Financial Gifts to your Adult Children
Replies: 34
Views: 2814

I'm 67. Sometimes when I happen to notice the slack, wrinkled skin on my forearm, the realization that I'm elderly is very forcefully brought home. There's no way to reverse that slackness, the tissues losing their elasticity, letting go, and nothing I could have done to prevent it. I have to believ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age does it go downhill
Replies: 140
Views: 15969

My brother and I were compulsive readers with limited access to the library (bookmobile every two weeks), so we read everything we could get our hands on. All the magazines our parents subscribed to (including The Progressive Farmer), all the books on their shelves, from George Eliot to Book-of-the ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Book banning (restrictions) by parents (for their kids)
Replies: 67
Views: 4422

I was always conscious when hiring for my small department that I was changing the working conditions for my current staff, for better or worse. I had enough experience with one inherited employee to know how one person can just poison the atmosphere and make everybody else dread going to work. It s...
by Patchy Groundfog
Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: could you overlook this? [bad employee behavior]
Replies: 68
Views: 7235

One last note. If something goes wrong and if by some chance you get mailed a check for $45,000, don't panic but don't dawdle. You have a fairly short period of time to get it safely into a custodian's hands, and if it were me I'd phone the IRS and ask them exactly what need to do to get it done pr...
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu May 26, 2011 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Laid Off Tuesday.
Replies: 20
Views: 4072

I accept that other people just have different tastes in spending . When my state was considering having a lottery, a major part of the anti-lottery argument was that poor people would waste their money buying tickets. You picture a hairdresser who spends eight hours putting curlers in old ladies' ...
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu May 26, 2011 11:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pet Peeve: People without money who waste what they have
Replies: 74
Views: 9724

Here's an article on "tactical parking," about Type B parking for "egress and evasion," if that's something that concerns you. http://www.itstactical.com/skillcom/driving/tactical-parking-for-swift-egress-and-evasion/ I'm a Type A parker, but I'm increasingly spooked by pedestria...
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu May 26, 2011 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Is Your Parking Lot Parking Style?
Replies: 56
Views: 4318

I looked at the list linked in the message above, but was surprised not to see "bring/take" confusion as a common error. I keep reminding myself that the language evolves, and I should just try to keep up. That one bugs me, too. I'm trying to just get over it because letting myself be bot...
by Patchy Groundfog
Tue May 10, 2011 6:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pet grammarian peeves
Replies: 323
Views: 14327

Thanks, BobK. I think the full article is the most thorough, clear and balanced explanation of these products that I've read. The point the writer makes about innovations that may be in the pipeline is an argument for gradual annuitization that I hadn't considered before.
by Patchy Groundfog
Thu May 05, 2011 11:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Role of Real Life Annuities in Retirement Planning
Replies: 13
Views: 1347

S.C. is having a huge fight over a sales tax exemption promised to Amazon by the former governor as an incentive to build a large distribution center (1200+ jobs). Amazon is threatening to pull out if they don't get the exemption, even though the site has already been cleared, other businesses are y...
by Patchy Groundfog
Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone paying taxes on internet purchases yet?
Replies: 53
Views: 4759
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