Search found 2032 matches

by hicabob
Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice on smallish repipe job
Replies: 7
Views: 423

Re: Any advice on smallish repipe job

Another vote for PEX. When I did a major repipe the plumber said he would either but copper would cost 3x as much.
by hicabob
Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a stake in a private business
Replies: 2
Views: 282

Re: Buying a stake in a private business

Owning part of a small business is a little like marriage in many ways. It's super important to get along with your partner(s) else a divorce equivalent should be expected.
by hicabob
Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Objectionable Manufacturing Country
Replies: 13
Views: 911

Re: Objectionable Manufacturing Country

There are wonderful people in all countries and non-wonderful people in all countries. I find it best to keep global politics and individual people separate so yes , I would buy it from the people in the country you object to.
by hicabob
Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaper car for someone who enjoys cars?
Replies: 63
Views: 8532

Re: Cheaper car for someone who enjoys cars?

VW GTI or if you really need 4wd the Golf R? (but the R is about 40k).
I think the GTI is one of the best price/performance/practical cars for the enthusiast.
by hicabob
Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing black stains from tub
Replies: 23
Views: 1589

Re: Removing black stains from tub

Some black stains are from manganese oxide which is present in well water and since it's inorganic, bleach won't do much. Acid works well to clean up most inorganic stains. Many toilet bowl cleaners have acid in them - look for "removes mineral deposits and lime" on the label. Lime-away is...
by hicabob
Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help choose home heat fuel/furnace
Replies: 14
Views: 923

Re: help choose home heat fuel/furnace

lpg seems to sort of track oil prices. Last I got was $2.39 /gallon. 99 cents/gallon seems way under market in the US.

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHa ... US_DPG&f=M
by hicabob
Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attic Fan & Noise Ordinance
Replies: 35
Views: 2705

Re: Attic Fan & Noise Ordinance

If you plug the fan into a variable transformer (variac) you can adjust the speed easily. Slowing fans down a little greatly reduces the noise they produce. The fan will run for longer periods of time but will be much quieter. http://www.amazon.com/Variac-Variable-Transformer-500va-Output/dp/B006NGI...
by hicabob
Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to soundproof interior walls
Replies: 24
Views: 2361

Re: How to soundproof interior walls

southbay wrote:I would look into what is used in commercial applications. I'm often amazed at how good the soundproofing is in some nice hotels. (and how bad it can be in some lower end hotels)


Concrete buildings are generally much better than stick-built buildings for soundproofing.
by hicabob
Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying PA car: How to register in CA, etc.?
Replies: 12
Views: 813

Re: Buying PA car: How to register in CA, etc.?

adamthesmythe wrote:Used to be CA cars were "special" with more stringent pollution controls. Are you confident that the car will pass in CA?

They've been the same for years - since the "air pump" days perhaps?
by hicabob
Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saving a tree when installing a septic drain field
Replies: 5
Views: 401

Re: Saving a tree when installing a septic drain field

Comcast dug a large hole for a new pole about 15 feet from the base of an old oak of mine and it was dead a few months later. I think it depends where the roots go. One thing to consider is if some of the roots get cut the tree will be less stable in high winds.
by hicabob
Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carry on luggage
Replies: 87
Views: 7080

Re: Carry on luggage

I was recently surprised that Air Berlin has an 8kg weight limit for carryons so going for light weight might be a consideration. Wheels are nice in the airport but do add weight.
by hicabob
Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Family Sedan or Used Luxury Car
Replies: 46
Views: 4068

Re: New Family Sedan or Used Luxury Car

Buying just off-lease with a year or more left of warranty is not a bad way to buy luxury cars. A 3yo benz or equivalent will be about 50%-60% of original price and still have a year or so bumper to bumper warranty left. Not so surprisingly, the SF Bay Area has many used car dealers that specialize ...
by hicabob
Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: clarification on the 25 or 35 times rule
Replies: 11
Views: 1231

Re: clarification on the 25 or 35 times rule

The thing I have always found confusing about this "rule" is there is no time aspect. For example, does the '25x rule' mean you should be covered for perpetuity, or a 30 year retirement, 40 year retirement, 50 year retirement, etc...? It's very confusing IMO. Put the 25x amount into firec...
by hicabob
Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a "dinosaur" laptop
Replies: 28
Views: 3526

Re: Buying a "dinosaur" laptop

For web browsing, if it doesn't leave the desk, look into getting a chromebox and a big 24" screen. Beautiful big screen, 6 second boot, very good security for $400 http://www.amazon.com/OEM-CHROMEBOX-M004U-ASUS-Desktop/dp/B00IT1WJZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1439425841&sr=1-1&...
by hicabob
Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Family Sedan or Used Luxury Car
Replies: 46
Views: 4068

Re: NEW FAMILY SEDAN OR USED LUXURY CAR

Probably the new car. Repair bills on a well used 15yo E-class can get astronomical(from my own experience :( ) .
by hicabob
Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The case of the exploding vehicle sunroofs
Replies: 31
Views: 2746

Re: The case of the exploding vehicle sunroofs

I wonder what hail would do to a sunroof? If it didn't shatter it outright, you might have some small hard-to-see damage that could cause it to explode later on. Modern glass really is incredible stuff. (plug for the excellent Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY if you are in the vicinity!) . Gl...
by hicabob
Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The case of the exploding vehicle sunroofs
Replies: 31
Views: 2746

Re: The case of the exploding vehicle sunroofs

Decades ago I worked next-cubicle to someone who had an RX-7 sunroof shatter. He got it replaced by his comprehensive insurance claiming it popped in the heat of the sun. Later he told me it was a case of road rage in which he indicated to a bicyclist that he was #1 and the retaliating bicyclist pop...
by hicabob
Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Did a dumb thing [lump summed into market after sitting on cash for years]
Replies: 111
Views: 13023

Re: Did a dumb thing [lump summed into market after sitting on cash for years]

I always liked going in in thirds over a period of time when doing a lump sum investment. It does even things out.
by hicabob
Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad - usefulness?
Replies: 53
Views: 3976

Re: iPad - usefulness?

I gave mine to my daughter after a month or so. I too prefer the laptop + kindle + phone combo which makes the ipad redundant for me. Most tablet usage I observe appears to be people playing games with them.
by hicabob
Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever encountered hostility because people think you're "rich"?
Replies: 71
Views: 5538

Re: Have you ever encountered hostility because people think you're "rich"?

So, it's kind of a muddle, but that all goes into the mix on attitudes towards the wealthy. I'd say in general the stigma for wealth is much less than the stigma for poverty. I'd be surprised by direct hostility, but I also wouldn't expect much sympathy. Absolutely! As an aside I always enjoy the s...
by hicabob
Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garden 'engineering' question
Replies: 21
Views: 1861

Re: Garden 'engineering' question

Do yourself a favor, in the long run, and build it out of stone. Then you won't have to think about rot ten years from now. It may be too late at this point. In that case, consider your option of starting over. It lasts "forever" and stone makes it non-toxic too if that's a concern, but i...
by hicabob
Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping House Painters
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: Tipping House Painters

It never occurred to me to tip house painters or other construction people. I do make sure there is cold soda around. It can get brutal working outside on hot days. I'm sure they wish it were beer, but I'm not motivated enough to go buy that since I don't drink it myself. Soda/water is the way to g...
by hicabob
Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA Plus worth it?
Replies: 31
Views: 2050

Re: AAA Plus worth it?

If you have a beater or "classic" that you drive a lot it can be well worth it. My brother has a tr-4 and a '55 pickup which he uses as a daily driver and the tow service comes in handy for him a few times a year.
by hicabob
Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Well water did not pass total coliform bacteria
Replies: 13
Views: 1456

Re: Well water did not pass total coliform bacteria

Hi: I just had a new well put in, it failed the total coliform bacteria (reading 89) the first time, so the well company sent someone to disinfect again with bleach, but it failed again (reading now 18). What else should I do? Thank you. I followed all instructions (leaving bleach in water overnigh...
by hicabob
Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: wife got in wreck with Honda CRV - no collison coverage
Replies: 113
Views: 6994

Re: wife got in wreck with Honda CRV - no collison coverage

Perhaps a new Subaru with the "eyesight" gizmo would be an appropriate vehicle. They apparently make it quite difficult to run into the car in front of you. Refresher driving lessons might be helpful but of course some people are just atrocious drivers and shouldn't be doing it for the sak...
by hicabob
Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce [financial implications]
Replies: 72
Views: 7077

Re: Divorce

It certainly helps if you have a reasonable spouse. +2 on the mediator, I used this firm in California and never even had to go to court. The wife and I had to come to agreement on everything on our own however. http://divorcehelp.com/ I used this firm too. A good experience considering the alterna...
by hicabob
Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?
Replies: 196
Views: 13787

Re: Would you look down on a co-worker for driving a beater?

Quite the contrary, engineer types who drive and maintain old cars are often more competent than those who require a new car at all times.
by hicabob
Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding north of San Francisco
Replies: 13
Views: 1052

Re: Wedding north of San Francisco

You could take the Sausalitio-SF ferry.
by hicabob
Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shower door or curtain for bathroom remodel
Replies: 61
Views: 4011

Re: Shower door or curtain for bathroom remodel

yup - start off with a curtain while baby is little then switch to a door if you want one later. It's much easier to switch from a curtain to a door than vice versa due to mounting holes.
by hicabob
Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)
Replies: 94
Views: 9890

Re: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)

What is the worst financial book that you read? This thing was a fiasco. Phil Town - Payback Time http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2010/03/01/2979934/gI_0_1_philtown.jpg Oh my :shock: I think you read the wrong book from Phil Town, Rule #1 may have been a better choice :twisted: http://www.ruleoneinves...
by hicabob
Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)
Replies: 94
Views: 9890

Re: Worst financial book you have read (or will admit you have read)

- "Your Money or Your Life" by Robin. Some good points, but very wordy. Did not finish. - "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need" by Tobias. As above. Tobias' book was the first "investment book" I ever read and it was perfect for me at the time. It seemed very se...
by hicabob
Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Elio Car
Replies: 53
Views: 6080

Re: Elio Car

I hope Paul Elio's venture is successful, although the price target seems a tad low to me. He recently did a Reddit ama.
https://www.reddit.com/r/AMA/comments/3 ... io_motors/
by hicabob
Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?
Replies: 39
Views: 4889

Re: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?

I don't think that's accurate. I'm not saying that nothing will need repair over that time period (inverter will likely need to be rebuilt/replaced), but PV panels themselves are fairly robust. Most panels degrade at less than 1%/year (power output). http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf Havi...
by hicabob
Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London Edinburgh by car
Replies: 26
Views: 1687

Re: London Edinburgh by car

Shifting with the left hand takes a little getting used to and the typical default rental will be manual gearbox - else spend more to rent an automatic. A friend of mine got banned from driving in England forever after causing a roundabout accident on his way to the airport - but the constable did t...
by hicabob
Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?
Replies: 39
Views: 4889

Re: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?

I may be the minority here, but I think anything above 5% ROI is great, assuming you're sticking around to capitalize on it. In general I see a reductions in savings as equivalent to increases in earnings. A solar electric system seems more like buying an annuity since the equipment is much less va...
by hicabob
Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 95
Views: 9479

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

Paid off my house in my late 30's using a stock option that came to fruition. I started to increase my non tax-sheltered long term stock market investments after that point.
by hicabob
Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cell Plan?
Replies: 45
Views: 5821

Re: Best Cell Plan?

Project fi seems really interesting.
https://fi.google.com/about/faq/

I'm waiting for my invitation.
Downside is that you need a nexus 6 phone, which is a nice phone but pricey
by hicabob
Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?
Replies: 39
Views: 4889

Re: Solar panel investment - financially worth it?

In previous years the cost of solar has been be dropping faster than the money saved by the electricity they generate but the rate seems to be slowing
Image
by hicabob
Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Snow Bird Question [State Residency Requirements]
Replies: 54
Views: 5896

Re: Snow Bird Question [State Residency Requirements]

I found this article useful when I was considering an NV llc. It discusses residency requirements. My accountant whispers and trembles when he mentions the "California Tax Claw" http://www.methvenlaw.com/Practice-Areas/Corporate-LLCs-LLPs-Shareholders/Setting-Up-Out-of-State-Entity.html &q...
by hicabob
Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lending Club (peer-to-peer) investments now open to Arizona and Texas residents
Replies: 18
Views: 1664

Re: Lending Club (peer-to-peer) investments now open to Arizona and Texas residents

My kid has been making mini-loans via lending club. He claims that since they went public the borrowers are worse (much more likely to default) so the returns have taken a nasty hit.
by hicabob
Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to dispose tube TV in Pennsylvania. Township won't pick up.
Replies: 37
Views: 3322

Re: Need to dispose tube TV in Pennsylvania. Township won't pick up.

Probably not a good way to do this but... I had a 32 inch Sony very large and heavy TV. Could not find anyone that wanted it or anyone that would pick it up. It was located in the Basement Rec Room. What I did was move the thing to the utility area of the basement - the thing weighed about 200 poun...
by hicabob
Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 2078

Re: Under the sink reverse osmosis water filter recommendations?

I have been using these people for decades. Knowledgeable, good price, industry standard filter sizes and they seem to be sticking around. http://theh2oguru.com/ I use RO for drinking and the refrigerator. My water is well water w/ iron, manganese and other stuff. The RO produced water tastes great....
by hicabob
Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions about brick paver driveway
Replies: 12
Views: 1902

Re: Questions about brick paver driveway

I wouldn't do brick pavers on a driveway. My in-laws have that and they have to do the power washing, sand, seal every few years. It looks like it would be expensive to me. Unless you're living in a $1M+ house where something like that might be in line with the rest of the upgrades in the house, I ...
by hicabob
Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Bicycles
Replies: 14
Views: 1489

Re: Electric Bicycles

I have never tried or seen one of these but I do like both bicycles and electric motors and this "copenhagen wheel" impressed me as a clever and elegant design to retrofit a non-electric bicycle. The production has been in "real-soon-now" mode for a long time though. https://supe...
by hicabob
Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [CNBC article: Social Security Denying Delayed Benefits]
Replies: 30
Views: 4499

Re: Is this really a Problem with Social Security.....Need a Forum S.S. Expert...

Believe I heard of it happening to someone and it is almost impossible to undo after the fact. Based on this, if I had not yet claimed, I would be sure to expressly restrict retroactivity. Thanks. From reading the article it seems you have 12 months to "undo" the retroactive lump sum. Not...
by hicabob
Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Phantom" Tipping
Replies: 68
Views: 11442

Re: "Phantom" Tipping

The above stories are yet another good reason that the US should move to a modern pin based credit card system like everywhere else does. The waiter brings the terminal over to your table, you type in the tip amount and that's it. Much less chance of server fraud.
by hicabob
Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement account for 21 y/o small business owner
Replies: 4
Views: 744

Re: Retirement account for 21 y/o small business owner

An SEP ira is a good, low cost and simple way to save for later as a sole proprietor. Let's you put quite a bit away too.
Use Vanguard low cost funds or etf's of course.
https://investor.vanguard.com/what-we-o ... ?WT.srch=1
by hicabob
Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is it better to work for small company rather than big firm?
Replies: 36
Views: 5184

Re: is it better to work for small company rather than big firm?

For some that's an advantage, for others it's a hindrance. Also it's difficult to change departments without changing companies when you're small, the financial rewards and benefits are much smaller, and you learn less overall. Ok, off my soapbox now. Not in my experience. I switched from a tech me...
by hicabob
Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: is it better to work for small company rather than big firm?
Replies: 36
Views: 5184

Re: is it better to work for small company rather than big firm?

For some that's an advantage, for others it's a hindrance. Also it's difficult to change departments without changing companies when you're small, the financial rewards and benefits are much smaller, and you learn less overall. Ok, off my soapbox now. Not in my experience. I switched from a tech me...

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