Search found 202 matches

by Alf 101
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Iceland
Replies: 28
Views: 1556

Re: A week in Iceland

We spent a little over two weeks in Iceland this May. It is undoubtedly beautiful, but I would also agree with comments that its rapid growth of tourism is more than its infrastructure and environment will probably be able to handle. I would also agree it is paralyzingly expensive. We met people fro...
by Alf 101
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Would You Spend on a Blender?
Replies: 43
Views: 2258

Re: How Much Would You Spend on a Blender?

As the OP I thought I'd circle back and chime in. I appreciate the comments very much, and have a few more questions/thoughts. 1. How much overlap do you see between your blender and food processor? Up to this point we've used our blender as a sauce and smoothie machine, but have a large Kitchenaid ...
by Alf 101
Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dutch Elm Disease looming, maybe. Should I fight it?
Replies: 15
Views: 1488

Re: Dutch Elm Disease looming, maybe. Should I fight it?

I would say this depends how much you value the tree. In an analogous case, we preemptively had a large ash in our yard treated for emerald ash borer. We started this right when we bought the house, maybe 8-9 years ago, and have continued with injections at the prescribed intervals. This amounts to ...
by Alf 101
Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Would You Spend on a Blender?
Replies: 43
Views: 2258

How Much Would You Spend on a Blender?

Now there have been a number of blender threads on this forum, most now several years old, and perhaps not exactly zeroing in on the heart of the question for me -- how much would you spend on a new blender? This is both a personal and a consumer question, so I thought it would fit in well here. At ...
by Alf 101
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone bought a Pixel?
Replies: 46
Views: 4096

Re: Anyone bought a Pixel?

Just to throw in my $0.02, I own a Nexus 5x. I've had it for two years, and think it's the best phone I've owned. It may just be luck, but I've experienced none of the problems others have cited in this thread. Interestingly my wife, abundantly frustrated with her iPhone 5, attempted to buy one last...
by Alf 101
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities good for living abroad?
Replies: 113
Views: 13952

Re: Cities good for living abroad?

Since this thread got bumped today, after more than a year of inactivity, it might be worth returning to the central question. Perhaps the OP can chime in and share where they've moved, or how their thinking has developed? Maybe others also considering living part of the year abroad have good points...
by Alf 101
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VPN for Fun
Replies: 15
Views: 2353

Re: VPN for Fun

As the OP, I'd like to thank everyone for their responses, and admit that my aims are hazy. I would say my goals in this process are two-fold: 1.Security/Privacy I don't have an especially strong and imminent feeling, though I believe it is a reasonable precaution to take more ownership for my infor...
by Alf 101
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VPN for Fun
Replies: 15
Views: 2353

VPN for Fun

Like many people, from time to time I need a project -- something outside the realm of mostly what I find myself doing, maybe just to stay mentally sharp. This being the Bogleheads site you'd think that might related to investing, but as I've been sticking with my plan and staying the course, it's n...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 3669

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

I believe to a large extent this is a preference question. If looking for a new house, I would have a strong preference for a gas cooktop. This is because I like to cook, cook a great deal, and feel this gives me much better temperature adjustment and control. With an electric burner there is some d...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Television Provider Options 2017
Replies: 24
Views: 1438

Re: Television Provider Options 2017

This is all very interesting, and I'd like to thank all who've chimed in. This has inspired me to look more closely at cord cutting, or at the least give it a trial period in the first few months after our move. The sticking point with all this is the Packers. Live sports programming carries a high ...
by Alf 101
Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Television Provider Options 2017
Replies: 24
Views: 1438

Television Provider Options 2017

In about six weeks from now my wife and I will be moving halfway around the country. This has led us -- as we pack and donate some things, and toss others -- to consider our television options. Do we continue paying for Cable with Comcast? Do we move to Direct TV? Do we cut the cord and go with Netf...
by Alf 101
Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing and the Glide Path Toward Retirement
Replies: 4
Views: 395

Rebalancing and the Glide Path Toward Retirement

To start, this is not to say that I am close to retirement -- still probably 20 years or so out. But I'm at a point where I'm starting to think about it; in particular where I am, where I need to be, and how much risk is worth taking on. Naturally all these vary by individual. What I'm looking to de...
by Alf 101
Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel insurance - worth it?
Replies: 96
Views: 12744

Re: Travel insurance - worth it?

My wife and I are going on a somewhat different trip than those mentioned to this point, and are beginning to explore travel insurance options. At the end of this month we'll be heading back to India, this time for approximately three weeks of trekking in Ladakh. So our trip involves flying into Del...
by Alf 101
Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:32 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Thanksgiving Performance Metrics
Replies: 9
Views: 1835

Thanksgiving Performance Metrics

This is just for fun, but maybe a few of us could weigh in. Each year I serve as our family's Thanksgiving project manager, which began as a joke but has actually been somewhat useful -- simply coordinating who brings what, stove top and oven timing and allocations, and who has the authority to kick...
by Alf 101
Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: electric toothbrush
Replies: 48
Views: 5150

Re: electric toothbrush

I'll revive this thread some 6+ months later, as I now am shopping for an electric toothbrush. This was recommended to me from my dentist, out of a concern that I was brushing too hard. So I switched to a softer bristle, and have been brushing more consciously. Now it happens that my mother asked fo...
by Alf 101
Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No
Replies: 80
Views: 9421

Re: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No

As the OP I am overwhelmed with delight by the response to this thread. I am not alone in wanting to awaken the Aloha spirit. As for my wife, we've been together long enough this would not be particularly out of character or shocking. Both of us are of the "if it makes you happy, doesn't hurt a...
by Alf 101
Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No
Replies: 80
Views: 9421

Aloha Shirt: Yes or No

I fear my mid-life crisis may be coming early, as this afternoon I've found myself with an unexplained urge to purchase an Aloha (aka, Hawaiian) shirt. If nothing else this reassures me, if it is said crisis, that if my idea of a big splurge is a shirt I see no problems sticking to living below my m...
by Alf 101
Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Nephews: Water Guns and Nerf Weapons
Replies: 29
Views: 5014

Visiting Nephews: Water Guns and Nerf Weapons

This may be a little tangential to the typical discussions on this site, but take my questions as a sign the sun has come out and summer is upon us... In about a month we'll be traveling out of state to spend some time with my wife's family, including her two nephews, both under the age of 10. We'll...
by Alf 101
Mon May 11, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight camping gear
Replies: 41
Views: 5627

Re: Lightweight camping gear

To throw in my $0.02, what you're searching for may be the outdoor holy grail. If you want gear that is lightweight, you may be sacrificing durability. And if it possesses that durability, it's likely you'll need to pay a premium for it. I look at this approach as having three questions: 1. What kin...
by Alf 101
Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in New Hampshire?
Replies: 35
Views: 4722

Re: Living in New Hampshire?

Thanks to all for the responses so far. There was a request for the OP to fill in a few more details, and as that's me, I'm happy to comply. When my wife and I first met, I was an alpine climbing guide and she was finishing a graduate degree in marine biology. Events conspired, and on short notice w...
by Alf 101
Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in New Hampshire?
Replies: 35
Views: 4722

Living in New Hampshire?

So what are people's impressions of New Hampshire? My wife has a keen interest to move back to the east, in order to be closer to family. This seems fair to me, as I've visited several times and it seemed nice. I don't believe either of us want to live in a big city, and it seems to have decent acce...
by Alf 101
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting for a Move
Replies: 1
Views: 309

Budgeting for a Move

My wife is somewhat intent on moving from the Midwest to the Northeast, primarily to be closer to her family. If it makes her happy, I can manage this. The concept, as it currently stands, does not involve a commute into Boston or Hartford, but somewhere perhaps in New Hampshire. I've made a few vis...
by Alf 101
Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone in VFSVX? Why?
Replies: 72
Views: 13673

Re: Anyone in VFSVX? Why?

Perhaps rather than debating the fund vs. EFT aspect of the question, we could examine why anyone has VFSVX (or its equivalent) in their portfolio. Let's say someone is looking at their overall role of international in their allocation strategy. Why make this move? If you were of a 3-fund bent, you ...
by Alf 101
Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set
Replies: 64
Views: 4642

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

Years ago, when my younger brother began his fascination with cooking, I thought about getting him a knife. Then I talked with several culinary friends who told me no -- a knife is a very particular and personal thing to a chef; effectively you know when you reach that point where you know the right...
by Alf 101
Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross Country Ski Gear Tips/Destinations
Replies: 31
Views: 2179

Re: Cross Country Ski Gear Tips/Destinations

It seems you're asking a broad array of questions, so I'll begin with a warning. I love nordic skiing, but as you begin to increase your level of involvement, give some thought as to how deep an investment you want to make. As you likely know for every type of XC skiing, you not only need a differen...
by Alf 101
Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon
Replies: 34
Views: 3459

Re: Grand Canyon

My wife and I did a trip like you're describing several years ago, right at that same time of year. She had a conference to attend in Vegas, so we flew out the weekend before, rented a car, and headed straight for the Canyon. While I don't remember it being a long drive (just a few hours) we arrived...
by Alf 101
Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beyond the Total Int'l Stock Index
Replies: 4
Views: 1117

Beyond the Total Int'l Stock Index

First off, my intention in this post is not to stir up dust about whether to slice and dice. There are many roads to Dublin, so I have heard, so I am curious what approaches people -- and thinking -- people have taken in developing a plan for the international side of their portfolio. This also isn'...
by Alf 101
Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Do People Invest in Certain VG Funds?
Replies: 15
Views: 2777

Re: Why Do People Invest in Certain VG Funds?

This is all very interesting. It seems that when we look at VG's options of funds, a great deal of clutter exists. Whether it is in response to consumer demand -- for the next new and shiny thing -- or some historical accident, that it's easy to open a new fund then eliminate an existing one -- we c...
by Alf 101
Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Do People Invest in Certain VG Funds?
Replies: 15
Views: 2777

Why Do People Invest in Certain VG Funds?

Every so often we see a post asking whether to invest in a certain fund. Often it's a sector, health care or energy, or some other slice and dice approach. Looking at the Vanguard lineup, I do wonder why certain funds exist. I'm not naive -- they exist because people buy them, generating profit for ...
by Alf 101
Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Churchill to See the Polar Bears
Replies: 6
Views: 1296

Re: Trip to Churchill to See the Polar Bears

Thanks for all the input. Now I have had a chance to run some of the numbers, and here's what I've come up with: -- We just have a simple day's drive to Winnipeg. That's the first step. Others may find that leg of the journey a bit longer. -- The train leaves for Churchill on Tuesdays and Sundays ar...
by Alf 101
Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Churchill to See the Polar Bears
Replies: 6
Views: 1296

Trip to Churchill to See the Polar Bears

My wife and I have been brainstorming recently as to a North American trip this year, and are bandying around the idea of going to see polar bears in the fall. I'm curious if anyone here has considered, or has made this trip. We may not live in the Midwest much longer, so this -- along with going to...
by Alf 101
Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hudson Bay Company Blanket
Replies: 8
Views: 2023

Re: Hudson Bay Company Blanket

Thank you for the responses. I'll sum up what I'm thinking: 1. The Hudson Bay Company Blanket is an item with some heritage, and as such could be seen as somewhat of a luxury item. With such items I'm always skeptical how much of what you're paying for is prestige. I've seen the one my grandfather h...
by Alf 101
Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hudson Bay Company Blanket
Replies: 8
Views: 2023

Hudson Bay Company Blanket

My mother has dropped the hint that she might like to get us a queen-sized classic Hudson Bay Company Blanket. This would be a very nice gift indeed, but I have some questions about the value. She actually owns such a blanket, which was her father's and is still in excellent shape after some decades...
by Alf 101
Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets
Replies: 56
Views: 6558

Re: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets

I believe the most cost effective solutions are generally the simplest, for the protection of physical assets or otherwise. Is your lawn mowed or driveway shoveled (if you live somewhere that snows in winter)? If it looks like you're away, that makes a more appealing target. Do you lock your doors, ...
by Alf 101
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kimchi
Replies: 40
Views: 2818

Kimchi

The Personal Consumer Issues board is open to all sorts of different questions, so as I am staying the course on the investment side of the house, I thought I'd bring up the issue of kimchi. I've never tried it, but am interested, and considering making a batch myself. So a few questions: 1. Do you ...
by Alf 101
Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homemade Sauerkraut
Replies: 15
Views: 1379

Re: Homemade Sauerkraut

I was thinking just one 5-liter crock. My initial thought was to use it for sauerkraut, which is the only fermented food I've had; then I would clean it out and rotate other food products according to whim and whatever was in season. That said, at least in these parts, cabbage won't be in peak seaso...
by Alf 101
Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Homemade Sauerkraut
Replies: 15
Views: 1379

Homemade Sauerkraut

Out of curiosity, has anyone on this site ever embarked on a homemade sauerkraut project? This is another something I'm considering; I've been on a bit of a "pioneer arts" campaign lately -- canning vegetables and making preserves, baking bread, etc. That said, however, I'm not sure if thi...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Carpet Overseas
Replies: 14
Views: 1374

Re: Buying a Carpet Overseas

That's a good point. Certainly if I can drop it to less than 20% of the original asking price in two hours, that would be time well spent. This is one of the reasons I'm curious to hear more of other people's experiences. How much were you able to negotiate? How long did it take to get there? If in ...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Carpet Overseas
Replies: 14
Views: 1374

Re: Buying a Carpet Overseas

On my previous rug buying foray, I picked out a 2 square meter carpet precisely because I wouldn't have to ship it. I was also surprised to see it folded up, and how small it could be packaged. In retrospect I could have chosen a larger size and fit it in my bag just the same. It proved somewhat of ...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Carpet Overseas
Replies: 14
Views: 1374

Buying a Carpet Overseas

As I've mentioned in a few of my earlier posts, my wife and I will be heading to the Indian Himalayas this fall. While most of our time will be in the hills, we have essentially two days in Delhi before flying home. This gives us a chance to see the sights -- either entirely in Delhi, or including a...
by Alf 101
Fri May 30, 2014 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple Camera for Travel?
Replies: 40
Views: 3765

Simple Camera for Travel?

This fall my wife and I will be making a trip to the Indian Himalayas, mainly trekking, and I don't think it's a crazy idea to invest in a camera to try and capture some of the memories to come. The thing is, cameras and photography are something I know very little about. We will have some pictures ...
by Alf 101
Sun May 25, 2014 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Blueberries
Replies: 30
Views: 3451

Re: Growing Blueberries

Actually we have a fairly large patch of raspberries. These we planted the first year we moved into our house. These didn't really kick in until the 2nd year, and kick in they did. Comparatively these required very little work -- watering and some cutting back in the fall. Interestingly one of the c...
by Alf 101
Sun May 25, 2014 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Blueberries
Replies: 30
Views: 3451

Re: Growing Blueberries

Thanks to all for your input. We've moved beyond the design phase and project blueberry is a launch. We purchased two plants on Saturday, two different varieties of the local cultivars. I also purchased two 24" diameter pots. These I filled with a mix of potting soil and peat. I also mixed in s...
by Alf 101
Wed May 21, 2014 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Blueberries
Replies: 30
Views: 3451

Re: Growing Blueberries

I appreciate all the input, and at the same time hope to keep the conversation moving forward. Lately, as I've been thinking about this, I've begun to wonder exactly how hardy blueberries are. They can grow successfully almost anywhere, but here in Zone 4 anyway, I've started to speculate over how t...
by Alf 101
Tue May 20, 2014 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Blueberries
Replies: 30
Views: 3451

Re: Growing Blueberries

As it happens we live in the north, pretty squarely in hardiness zone 4. Certainly blueberries do grow here, but there are some challenges. Our soil has a high clay content. My understanding is blueberries fare best in soil that drains well, plus our dirt tends toward the alkaline. I could no doubt ...
by Alf 101
Tue May 20, 2014 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Blueberries
Replies: 30
Views: 3451

Growing Blueberries

I suppose many of us are enjoying spring by planting some things in our yards. And while much of this can be decorative, I'm guessing many on this site see the benefits of growing some things you can eat. My wife is far more of a gardener than I, but my interest has been piqued. So with that preambl...
by Alf 101
Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Stand Mixer Suggestions
Replies: 30
Views: 5215

Re: Kitchen Stand Mixer Suggestions

This is all great food for thought. One question I do have is about vibration. My mother has a KitchenAid 5 quart Artisan model. I've noticed when you bring it up to kneading speeds (say 4), the unit vibrates and shows a tendency to walk. The vibrations suggest to me something should break, though s...
by Alf 101
Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Stand Mixer Suggestions
Replies: 30
Views: 5215

Kitchen Stand Mixer Suggestions

I'm wondering if anyone can comment on purchasing a stand mixer for your kitchen, or rather, the utility of having one and your selection. I think it was of great disappointment for my mother, when we got married recently, that we didn't want one. At the time this seemed too traditional of a gift, w...
by Alf 101
Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Trip to India
Replies: 49
Views: 18319

Re: First Trip to India

As the OP I want to thank everyone for their contributions. You've certainly given us a great deal to read, and I couldn't be happier about it. All is still on track for our first trip, and I'd like to provide an update. We have just received our visas back in the mail, in what was far less of a has...
by Alf 101
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Trip to India
Replies: 49
Views: 18319

First Trip to India

This fall my wife and I will be making our first trip to India, flying into Delhi, meeting up with our guide, and trekking in the Himalayas. This should be a fine trip, though is our first one to the country. Though we have gone places in the general vicinity (e.g., Nepal, China, Thailand, Vietnam),...

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