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Re: Good piano for toddler ?

Don't expect a toy piano to gauge her interest in music or piano. I have 3 kids and we have had various toy instruments...pianos, guitars, etc. Your toddler will prefer to make music on many of the various music apps on the computer or iPad if they are like mine. To get kids interested in music you ...
by texasdiver
Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good piano for toddler ?
Replies: 13
Views: 764

Re: How often do you really change your email passwords?

My employer forces me to change all my work-related network and email passwords every 90 days. I take the opportunity to change all my personal ones at the same time.

And I also do 2-step verification for every account that it is offered (google, iTunes, etc.)
by texasdiver
Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you really change your email passwords?
Replies: 17
Views: 685

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

That's an interesting piece of journalism. Here are two quotes from it: … nearly two-thirds of Precinct 314 in West Austin voted Republican, with 65 percent voting for Mitt Romney and just 33 percent Nearly three-fourths of Precinct 314 voted straight party Republican in 2012; with 69 percent of vo...
by texasdiver
Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 2798

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

I'd specifically recommend against the Lakeway area on Lake Travis near Austin. Just select the traffic view on Google Maps and look at the Oak HIll "Y" where 71 joins 290. You might be able to make it to the airport in the middle of the night in 45 minutes but not any other time. Getting...
by texasdiver
Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 2798

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

texasdiver's post gave me an idea: Live in Texas during the school year and live in Utah in the summer. My neighbors live in Montreal in the summers and in Texas in the winters. Lots of people do it. My next door neighbors have a cabin in Cloudcroft NM where they spend much of the summer. The New M...
by texasdiver
Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 2798

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

I'm probably in as good of a position to answer this question as anyone. My wife is a physician and I'm a public HS teacher in TX. So we have a comparable income. We moved here from the west coast for her residency so aren't really *from* Texas and don't have roots in any specific place but have bee...
by texasdiver
Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 2798

Re: cell phone for kids

Recently got my 11 year old a cell phone. She was flying unaccompanied across the country for a few weeks this summer to visit her grandparents and she is on a swim team that practices every evening at our local Y and our arrangements for dropping her off and picking her up are complicated and subje...
by texasdiver
Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cell phone for kids
Replies: 25
Views: 1251

Re: LED recessed lighting question

Big question is whether you have access to the ceiling from the attic. That determines what kind of fixtures you can use. I have a 1 story house with a large attic and all the ceiling spaces are accessible from the attic. I just have to brush aside some of the blown in insulation and I'm looking at ...
by texasdiver
Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED recessed lighting question
Replies: 13
Views: 1123

Re: Ideas for thanking a doctor

My wife is a doctor. I asked her. She likes cards but doesn't really want or like personal gifts as we have too much clutter already. However, gift baskets for the staff or that can be passed on through to the staff are always doubly appreciated. Makes my wife feel good and makes her look good with ...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for thanking a doctor
Replies: 73
Views: 4453

Re: iPod/iPhone speakers?

Forgot to mention. I won't be moving it around so it doesn't have to be portable or require rechargeable batteries. I'm guessing that corded units running on AC power should be able to produce better sound than the portable ones with NiCad batteries. Also I can't use a Wifi device because this will ...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPod/iPhone speakers?
Replies: 4
Views: 299

iPod/iPhone speakers?

Has anyone come across a particularly nice speaker set for the iPhone? I'd like to get something for my classroom that will project music from an iPhone and other phones at decent volume and fidelity. An included FM radio would be a plus. Seems like there are endless options out there. I haven't rea...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPod/iPhone speakers?
Replies: 4
Views: 299

Re: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance

I don't understand why your State Farm policy isn't paying immediately. You should go to a repair facility approved by State Farm. They will repair your car and only charge you the deductible. It's that easy. Yes but we don't want to pay the $500 deductible right now when we don't need to use the c...
by texasdiver
Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance
Replies: 44
Views: 5054

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

I've been there. 30s and single with no kids. And a house. If you are looking to NOT be single in the future, then another pro on the side of moving is that you will become more marketable if you have a nicer nest. Whether conscious or not, prospective mates will judge you by the home you have and t...
by texasdiver
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 46
Views: 4929

Re: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?

Regarding Abe's story, it's safe to say that true ANTIQUES are different from plain old collectibles... Actually antique prices have been falling dramatically for the past decade too. http://appraiserworkshops.blogspot.com/2014/02/falling-antique-furniture-pirces.html That doesn't mean people still...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?
Replies: 79
Views: 6133

Re: New home worth the extra $$?

Last house my wife and I owned before the current one we bought new in 2003. By the time we were done finishing it out with all the stuff the builders didn't do I figure we poured an additional $25 grand into it: Landscaping, finishing out the closets, bathroom fixtures, window shades, patio, etc. e...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New home worth the extra $$?
Replies: 17
Views: 1760

Re: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?

You would think there would be some market for old junk just to keep all the Applebees and other chain restaurants properly decorated with random Bric-a-brac on the walls. When I walk into one of those places, especially a new one that is newly decked out with massive quantities of old junk, I often...
by texasdiver
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?
Replies: 79
Views: 6133

Re: Starting 403b for company

My 403(b) is through Vanguard. There are no fees (that I pay) other than the fact that Admiral Shares are unavailable within 403(b) accounts. I think this is actually a legal requirement for 403(b) plans in that they are prevented from giving large account holders lower fees than small account holde...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Starting 403b for company
Replies: 4
Views: 377

Re: Driving in Costa Rica

Any suggestions on rental car companies? I've read some good things about Toyota rent a car. A lot of the big name companies I usually rent from have had some poor reviews. I rented through Vamos in Liberia. http://vamosrentacar.com/ They were very nice. Small local company so things took a bit lon...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Costa Rica
Replies: 23
Views: 1661

Re: Driving in Costa Rica

Here's a report I wrote about a trip we took to Costa Rica 2 years ago. Rented a car from Vamos with no problems http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k5568090-Trip_Report_Playa_Carillo_and_Arenal_Leaves_Lizards-Costa_Rica.html Couple things. First, Costa Rican law requires that all car ...
by texasdiver
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Costa Rica
Replies: 23
Views: 1661

Re: College Counselors

Two teachers at the HS where I teach had been doing that sort of thing on the side and finally this year they both quit teaching to take on private college counseling full time. I'm guessing it is the same in most relatively affluent communities around the country. I would call your local HS counsel...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 44
Views: 2537

Re: Pressure Cookers?

I have a Fagor 10 quart model I bought on amazon a few years ago. Superb piece of stainless steel kitchen technology made in Spain. But not cheap. I use it for a variety of beans, roasts, and stews. Basically anything one might cook in 8 hours in a slow cooker can be done in 20 minutes in a pressur...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure Cookers?
Replies: 46
Views: 3326

Re: Pressure Cookers?

I have a Fagor 10 quart model I bought on amazon a few years ago. Superb piece of stainless steel kitchen technology made in Spain. But not cheap. I use it for a variety of beans, roasts, and stews. Basically anything one might cook in 8 hours in a slow cooker can be done in 20 minutes in a pressure...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pressure Cookers?
Replies: 46
Views: 3326

Re: Coffee Beans

Get a home roaster and buy your beans mail order from sweet marias. You will never go back. http://www.sweetmarias.com/ Roasting your own coffee is really very simple and not much more complicated than making popcorn. A hot air roaster is a good way to start. Over the long run it will also save you ...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee Beans
Replies: 12
Views: 750

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

One Christmas my wife and I flew down to Chile from Juneau when the first was 2 year old and my wife was pregnant with the second. The way down was a 24 hour marathon of crowded airports: Juneau - Seattle - Dallas - Santiago. But we made it. The return trip was where everything went wrong. Due to a ...
by texasdiver
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2763

Re: 403b Marketing

The personal information is irrelevant to the discussion anyway because it is in no way unique. There are similar brokers marketing similar stuff to teachers and public employees in every town in America, at least in states that accommodate that sort of free for all. That's one of the differences be...
by texasdiver
Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403b Marketing
Replies: 11
Views: 623

Re: WSJ: Who are your investment role models?

My Dad is actually my roll model. He and my mother raised 3 kids, put them through college, and are now retired very comfortably, all what was a full time teacher's salary (Dad) and part-time nurse's salary (Mom). They were Bogleheads without knowing it: Living below their means, controlling costs, ...
by texasdiver
Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: Who are your investment role models?
Replies: 6
Views: 667

Re: 403b Marketing

What state are you in? Here in Texas we teachers get that sort of thing ALL OF THE TIME. In fact there are various broker types who seem to have wormed their way into the good graces of my local school administration to the extent that they offer after school "investing seminars" on school...
by texasdiver
Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 403b Marketing
Replies: 11
Views: 623

Re: Starting a Lazy Portfolio Now

If you had started your "lazy portfolio" a year ago or 5 years ago, would you today cash out and spend the next year dollar-cost averaging back into your lazy portfolio?

If not then there is no need to do it today with "fresh" money either.
by texasdiver
Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Starting a Lazy Portfolio Now
Replies: 21
Views: 3563

Re: Where do you buy clothes?

I don't "shop" for clothes, I just go buy them when I need them...quick in and out. Clothes - Costco for the most part. I'm a teacher and my basic uniform is khakis and short sleeve collared shirts. Sometimes I find nice shirts at the Columbia outlet store. Shoes - Usually comfort moc type...
by texasdiver
Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy clothes?
Replies: 105
Views: 9219

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

Sounds like torture to me. Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed! Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not. Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to. It's i...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2763

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

coalcracker wrote:
Rainier wrote:Sounds like torture to me.

Nothing to add because you don't want to hear it, Godspeed!


Full disclosure: We would consider leaving him with family if that were an option, but it is not.


Nah, bring the kid. There's never a wrong time to travel. Just don't try to go so far if you don't have to.
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2763

Re: Your Favorite charity organization...? please

I give some to United Way just to get the aggressive departmental fundraisers off my back at work who are all competing with each other. But it isn't my "favorite" charity. Lately I've been giving to my local school district's Education Foundation which puts 100% of the funds into the clas...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite charity organization...? please
Replies: 91
Views: 4262

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

My wife is also a physician and we did a lot of traveling when our daughters were very young. At the time we lived in Alaska and traveled once or twice a year to see her family in Chile and that is a very LONG series of flights for infants. If you have not already done so you will soon find that lon...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2763

Re: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home

A home may or may not meet the technical definition of an "investment" but it was certainly the right choice for my wife and me given our location in Central Texas and our desire to live in a pleasant family-friendly neighborhood with nearby schools, work and shopping. We actually shopped ...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Worst Investment You Can Make: Buying a Home
Replies: 135
Views: 16031

Re: Mulch, Rubber Mulch, or Rocks in Landscaping?

Personally I like big rocks (the kind you need a bobcat loader to install in place) or tiny gravel like decomposed granite. I don't like the middle sized stuff for landscaping unless one is building a dry stream bed or something like that. But that's must my personal preference. I think it is becaus...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mulch, Rubber Mulch, or Rocks in Landscaping?
Replies: 36
Views: 1680

Re: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?

I'm 50 and it's same for me. I always call my inlaws by their first names....or grandma and grandpa if my kids are present. My wife does the same with my parents.

What I don't do is call my inlaws "mom" and "dad" and neither does my wife.
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?
Replies: 84
Views: 4750

Re: Moving? The US Post Office Offers Discount Coupons

You don't have to move or 'fake move' to get the Lowes coupon. You can just get it off their web site. http://www.lowes.com/cd_Lowes%20Moving% ... 509684072_.

Unfortunately doesn't work on the Weber grills which is the only big ticket item I currently want from Lowes.
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving? The US Post Office Offers Discount Coupons
Replies: 11
Views: 1615

Re: Mulch, Rubber Mulch, or Rocks in Landscaping?

decomposed granite seems to becoming more popular here in Texas for a xeroscape/desert landscape type of look. One of my neighbors tore out all the grass and now has decomposed granite with desert shrubs and succulent. Looks very nice.
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mulch, Rubber Mulch, or Rocks in Landscaping?
Replies: 36
Views: 1680

Re: Recommendation for a 2 man tent

Last summer I bought an REI Quarter Dome 2 Tent, the older version of this one. http://www.rei.com/product/862423/rei-quarter-dome-2-tent and spent about 30 days camping in it as I biked down the Pacific Coast with my daughter. Perfect size tent for 1 adult and a child with lots of extra room. For t...
by texasdiver
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for a 2 man tent
Replies: 23
Views: 1154

Re: Recently Engaged

Best advice I can offer? Put ALL of your savings on autopilot from the beginning. Sit down and figure out all of your possible saving vehicles (IRAs, Roths, 401(k), HSA, 529 plans, house downpayment fund, vacation fund, etc. Fund all of your saving vehicles through automatic withdrawals, payroll ded...
by texasdiver
Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recently Engaged
Replies: 10
Views: 936

Re: Attitudes toward inheritances.

I think inheritance is the one windfall most people can ever expect in their lives. Other than that you are pretty much only going to have what you have earned yourself, which for a whole lot of people isn't that much. And, this forum notwithstanding, most people regardless of income are struggling ...
by texasdiver
Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Attitudes toward inheritances.
Replies: 113
Views: 10731

Re: HSA Strategy for high income earners

It isn't entirely clear to me what kind of documentation is required in terms of receipts. My wife and I are basically doing the same thing as you and using the HSA as a stealth IRA/emergency fund. My assumption is that some day down the road we may indeed have enough medical/long term care expenses...
by texasdiver
Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Strategy for high income earners
Replies: 79
Views: 5702

Re: New 403(b), need help figuring out how to maintain my AA

You don't have any inviting bond or foreign equity options in the 403b. Therefore.... I would put the 403b contributions into the 3 domestic index funds in proportions that roughly match their market caps. You'll have to research that but it will probably be something like 60/20/20. I would put the ...
by texasdiver
Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New 403(b), need help figuring out how to maintain my AA
Replies: 7
Views: 489

Re: Drought Management

If you can easily access your water meter you can do a self-audit. Track your meter readings daily and try to figure out how many gallons are going to each use. Make sure that your meter is stopped when you aren't using water. For example, check it before going to bed or leaving the house for the d...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drought Management
Replies: 60
Views: 3142

Re: Drought Management

If you can easily access your water meter you can do a self-audit. Track your meter readings daily and try to figure out how many gallons are going to each use. Make sure that your meter is stopped when you aren't using water. For example, check it before going to bed or leaving the house for the da...
by texasdiver
Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drought Management
Replies: 60
Views: 3142

Re: ? Best simple reference to dissuade a day trader

I have various friends and family who have done all manner of ridiculous, stupid, and risky things with their money: multi-level marketing schemes, strange precious metals mining schemes, highly-leveraged house flipping schemes at the peak of the bubble, expensive and worthless online degrees from f...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: ? Best simple reference to dissuade a day trader
Replies: 67
Views: 4364

Re: 4 Simple Rules for Retirement Saving

Did anyone run their retirement calculator? I tried it and it said we are already done with retirement savings and can just let our current portfolio ride. Comforting thought that I can only replicate under optimistic scenarios. The VOX retirement calculator doesn't provide information on any of the...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4 Simple Rules for Retirement Saving
Replies: 14
Views: 3104

Re: Confessions of an Index Fund Investor

Interesting. For me it's been the opposite. The larger my and my wife's portfolio gets the simpler it gets. At this point the only non-index fund we own is Wellington and that's simply because it is the best of a suite of worse options in her employer's profit sharing plan. Otherwise we pretty much ...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Confessions of an Index Fund Investor
Replies: 8
Views: 3031

Re: It seems Warren Buffett believes in DCA

I think there are two Warren Buffetts. 1. The Warren Buffett who does incredibly sophisticated investing at a high level and has the resources and leverage to do things like swoop in and buy massive shares in bank stocks at the nadir of the financial crash. 2. The Warren Buffett who provides simple ...
by texasdiver
Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It seems Warren Buffett believes in DCA
Replies: 44
Views: 4008

Re: Best laser color printer - considering cost per page

Yes on the Brother. After going through a half dozen ink jets and ink jet multifunction printers over the years I finally sprang for a Brother color multifunction and it is the best printer I have ever used by far. The color is excellent for graphic type work...printing color brochures and that sort...
by texasdiver
Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best laser color printer - considering cost per page
Replies: 9
Views: 730
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