Search found 256 matches

by Alf 101
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 180
Views: 14690

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

As to the last point, I do find it interesting what I've noticed dining out, after studying up a little about the subject, thinking about hosting and entertaining. Namely it's the frequency I see overpriced cocktails on menus, naming the liquors featured -- New Amsterdam Gin, Bacardi Superior, or Sa...
by Alf 101
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Documentaries to recommend?
Replies: 158
Views: 24775

Re: Documentaries to recommend?

I was a little surprised to find no mention of "Meru", currently streaming on Netflix. This may be the finest climbing documentary every made -- beautiful to watch, and giving insight into what it takes to succeed at that level of alpinism. If this genre sounds interesting, I'd also recommend the ps...
by Alf 101
Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $1M Question
Replies: 38
Views: 4810

Re: $1M Question

Not necessarily to derail the thread, but a better question might be, if someone came to you at age 21 with $12,000, what's the best way to make $1M? Let's assume also, that this person is of average or slightly average means. A quick web search -- not verified through multiple sources -- for averag...
by Alf 101
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 180
Views: 14690

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Well the vodka (Tito's or Finlandia) and gin (Bombay Sapphire) may be in my price range... :happy It's interesting to see the range of opinions. In general it's likely fair to say that those on the Bogleheads site are generally more financially well off than average, but there's a range of tastes, i...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 180
Views: 14690

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Reading through and seeing this thread still around, I thought I'd chime in again. A question occurred to me -- how do people start drinking top shelf liquor? Certainly the liquor many of us first enjoyed earlier in life was no high end. An earlier post shared a story where his son-in-law, clearly n...
by Alf 101
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 180
Views: 14690

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

Ah yes, this is true. I would say, however, that why we have a Personal Consumer category on an obstensibly financial oriented site, is that we're all interested in value. Many here are doing quite well, and could afford spending more, but unsure if and where it's worth it. When looking specifically...
by Alf 101
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 180
Views: 14690

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

As for myself, across the board I take a mid-shelf approach; or it could be debated a low-mid one instead. Am I missing out? Maybe, but here's what I've gone with: 1. For vodka, after trying Skyy and Absolut, I've settled in for Luksusowa. It's Polish, made from potatoes, and the price was right. 2....
by Alf 101
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: belize with kids -- advice?
Replies: 8
Views: 817

Re: belize with kids -- advice?

I made a trip to Belize with my wife several years ago. No kids were along for the ride, but here are a few thoughts: -- Belize City isn't nice. We got out of there quickly. The State Department warning basically applies to the capital. -- We spent several days in Placencia, and liked it a great dea...
by Alf 101
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for assisting 18 year old son after high school
Replies: 70
Views: 5182

Re: Advice for assisting 18 year old son after high school

I hope this thread doesn't get closed, as this has made me curious how this turns out. Often we can speculate and share recommendations, but how things play out vs. expectations is a valuable data point. To the OP, have you had conversations with your son, and do you have a sense of how he views thi...
by Alf 101
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 180
Views: 14690

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

I've always found some challenges to exploring this question: 1. How much side-by-side testing can you do? Let's say I want to decide which tequila I like the best. I buy four bottles and compare them. Now I have more than a half-gallon of tequila, which will last some time. So while I want to be a ...
by Alf 101
Thu May 31, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Instant pot pressure cooker
Replies: 50
Views: 6388

Re: Instant pot pressure cooker

I believe many people get quite excited about their Instant Pot, and it works well for what they're intending to do. That said, I bought and use non-electric pressure cooker, specifically the Fagor Duo 8-qt. This was also recommended by Cooks Illustrated, and at times throughout the year, can be fou...
by Alf 101
Wed May 30, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My mind exploded
Replies: 79
Views: 4586

Re: My mind exploded

Because I was curious, I did a quick search and saw that non-sale Tevas or Keens would run a person somewhere in the $50-110. Seeing someone wearing a pair of either of these would not signal conspicuous consumption to most. But that's not really the issue. Nonetheless, it's a good thing she didn't ...
by Alf 101
Wed May 30, 2018 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Me Negotiate My Residential Solar System
Replies: 8
Views: 713

Re: Help Me Negotiate My Residential Solar System

Hmm, are you not able to get multiple bids for the same job? This, in my opinion, is your best option -- unless you want to pursue becoming a solar expert. This is what I generally for work I'd contract out: 1. Get quotes. I will get three as a minimum, and would even go a couple beyond that if I ne...
by Alf 101
Tue May 29, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should one use REITs
Replies: 54
Views: 8384

Re: Should one use REITs

This is an interesting question. Currently I hold somewhere a little less than 5% in the VG REIT Index (VGSLX). The idea was that it would provide some diversification, but I have found it to correlate with equities, as have others in this thread. While there is much to be said for simplicity in one...
by Alf 101
Fri May 25, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rum and Summer Cocktails
Replies: 30
Views: 2031

Re: Rum and Summer Cocktails

Oops, I guess I missed that one. That said, I'm not really looking for a sipping rum... Many of the pricier sipping rums seem to be the darker ones. I find Goslings Black Seal to be the one rum I already buy, as it is quite good in a Dark and Stormy. I'd be curious if anyone things another variety c...
by Alf 101
Fri May 25, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rum and Summer Cocktails
Replies: 30
Views: 2031

Rum and Summer Cocktails

As it so happens, in the summer I like to entertain. We have a grill and some good outdoor space, and having people over just seems to fall into place naturally. Perhaps some others here can relate. On hot summer days, it seems hospitable to serve my guests beverages. While no serious drinker, I too...
by Alf 101
Tue May 22, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time For New Car?
Replies: 34
Views: 2538

Re: Time For New Car?

I'll jump back in here quickly. In my case, and for general discussion, let's assume we'e in OK financial shape. I may not buy my next car outright, but should be able to put down for more than half of it, and pay it off quickly. In the time I've owned my car, admittedly kind of a beater, I've had t...
by Alf 101
Tue May 22, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time For New Car?
Replies: 34
Views: 2538

Re: Time For New Car?

Maybe I'll steer this to a more general discussion. How do you gauge when it's time to replace your old car? Do you hit a mileage (e.g., 100,000, 120,000)? Do you look at maintenance costs over a time period (e.g., 3 months, 6 months, 1 year) as a percentage of the car's blue book value? Is it visua...
by Alf 101
Fri May 18, 2018 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2516

Re: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

I recently moved from Zone 4 to Zone 5, and have started our first season of planting in our new home. I started planting 6 blueberries -- two Jersey, two Patriot, and two Duke. I had to do some work on the soil for the blueberries; I sent a sample in for analysis to the local university which showe...
by Alf 101
Fri May 18, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner
Replies: 34
Views: 2240

Re: Mitsubishi wall air conditioner

This is a well-timed thread, as this is something I've been considering. Recently we moved to a 2200 sq. ft house in USDA zone 5a/5b. The home has oil heat, no AC, and is ductless with baseboard heat. Having traveled a bit in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, I've seen mini split AC units widely dep...
by Alf 101
Thu May 17, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed
Replies: 23
Views: 1642

Re: Roof TV Antenna Recommendation Needed

Very interesting...I hadn't really considered adding a rooftop antenna, but reading this thread has piqued my interest. Looking at the antennaweb.org site, I see three over-the-air stations within 12-20 miles, bundling "up to 12 channels". Fair enough, though I live 60-70 miles from a much larger me...
by Alf 101
Wed May 16, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Must See in South Dakota
Replies: 58
Views: 4213

Re: Must See in South Dakota

Many good suggestions. I will add another vote for the Badlands. This actually is one of my wife's favorite parks, as an avid photographer. At sunset and at dawn, in particular, there are some opportunities and beautiful vistas. I've mainly camped there, coming back from climbing trips, and it's pre...
by Alf 101
Tue May 15, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I working with the wrong realtor?
Replies: 22
Views: 2727

Re: Am I working with the wrong realtor?

I think this likely varies place to place, but in my experience, your realtor may have been doing nothing wrong. We recently moved into a new house. We made an offer, pending inspection. Based on the results of the inspection, as buyers, we had a period of time to either renegotiate or withdraw. The...
by Alf 101
Tue May 15, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Update] Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?
Replies: 46
Views: 2575

Re: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?

An interesting question is how much do you want to drive? With an answer from the OP, the board could really help with options. The American Southwest is a fantastic area, with options beyond what you could fit in one trip. Years ago, living in the west, my parents visited me and we did a big circle...
by Alf 101
Mon May 14, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Update] Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?
Replies: 46
Views: 2575

Re: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?

In my opinion, September and early October are the best months almost anywhere in the world. I think the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone are great options, as well as Yosemite or Acadia. I think the choice depends a fair bit on where in the country you'd like to go. That said, I wouldn't talk you out o...
by Alf 101
Mon May 14, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is the right time to buy a house?
Replies: 28
Views: 1868

Re: When is the right time to buy a house?

OK, so thinking through this, a few things stood out: 1. I'm not sure where you live, but $600/month on rent is pretty light. If you buy a house, expect that your mortgage, utilities, and inevitable projects will be some multiple of that. 2. I've never looked at a house as an investment, rather as m...
by Alf 101
Fri May 04, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2516

Re: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

Being at a more northern latitude, I'm looking more at fruit bearing shrubs than trees. Plus with only so much full sun space available, this might fit a little better with available space. In the past I've grown raspberries, which were fairly productive and easy. The Japanese Beetles got at them, b...
by Alf 101
Fri May 04, 2018 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Replies: 30
Views: 2516

Growing Fruit Trees and Shrubs

For many of us, it's becoming that time of the season where thoughts turn to planting. Now some like flowers -- they like plants, they look pretty, and the help pollinators. Others like vegetables -- this saves money, and it's great having and cooking with the freshest of ingredients. I find growing...
by Alf 101
Tue May 01, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8922

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

This thread is wonderfully polarizing, and quite enjoyable to read. What's difficult is -- not knowing your daughter, her friend, the car -- how much there is to worry about or not. But I think there are two core ideas here to keep in mind: 1. It's supposed to be fun This whole trip sounds like a gr...
by Alf 101
Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8922

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

I'll agree with bringing some basic auto supplies, a first aid kit, and a water jug. Maybe some basic tools, or just a good multi-tool. Based only on my experience, I'd figure they'd have a tent, camp stove, and sleeping bags too -- or maybe not. It's cheaper camping across the west, and an easy opt...
by Alf 101
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?
Replies: 187
Views: 8922

Re: Daughter and Girlfriend, age 19, taking cross country road trip. Advice?

Much good advice here. In that age range, I did a fair bit of driving back and forth across the west. Here's what worked for me: 1. I did carry a 5 gallon water jug, and would fill it before crossing the desert. Something about spending time in the desert, and thinking about getting stuck in the des...
by Alf 101
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Asia-need advice
Replies: 46
Views: 3690

Re: Traveling to Asia-need advice

This is an interesting question, as Asia is a big place, and varies quite a bit place to place. So a few questions/thoughts: 1. Is this his first time abroad or traveling independently? If this is his first foray into parts unknown, and you've traveled some, sharing some considerations seems a fine ...
by Alf 101
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it make sense to buy new appliances when there's a good sale before you need them?
Replies: 28
Views: 1835

Re: Does it make sense to buy new appliances when there's a good sale before you need them?

Let me take this in a tangential direction for a moment. Let's say you were looking at an appliance purchase that wasn't a direct replacement. Examples could be replacing an electric stove with a gas one, or really realizing you liked your front loading washer after moving into a new home with a top...
by Alf 101
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Persian Rug Passed Down From Grandmother
Replies: 28
Views: 2280

Re: Persian Rug Passed Down From Grandmother

I like rugs, and have bought several of them while traveling. These were generally 2 sq. meter or smaller, and tribal carpets, purchased in smaller community environments. If you visit a large city in Turkey or Iran, you will have a different experience. But buying any handwoven rug is a long proces...
by Alf 101
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 59
Views: 4730

Re: Tequila and Magaritas

This is all great, and as the OP, thanks. There is much advice to consider, but it's a fun thread to keep running, so I'll weigh in further. I like the advice of stocking one's home bar with what they like, but tequila and the margarita falls into interesting territory. One brother, mentioned earlie...
by Alf 101
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tequila and Magaritas
Replies: 59
Views: 4730

Tequila and Magaritas

This is a bit of an odd request, but as I developed a plan and am staying the course, my thoughts have turned toward summer entertaining. After having recently moved, I am slowly rebuilding my liquor cabinet, mostly based on what's on sale in a given week or month. I am no heavy drinker, but do enjo...
by Alf 101
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tired of gas grills rusting out...
Replies: 54
Views: 4436

Re: Tired of gas grills rusting out...

I'm the owner of a relatively modest Weber Q300. I've had it 10+ years, and while I've thought about upgrading it at times (the Spirit 310 looks good), it still is going strong. Over this time I've made too repairs. First, 4-5 years ago or so, the cooking grate started to thin and rust out. It's rep...
by Alf 101
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cookware Brands - Demeyere?
Replies: 43
Views: 3679

Re: Cookware Brands - Demeyere?

I think Demeyere is a fine cookware brand, but of course there are other fine brands too. In light of this, I'll echo those that recommend against investing a set, but buying separate cookware pieces individually. I have an old school Erie cast iron fry pan I inherited from my grandma. I also have a...
by Alf 101
Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Breaking the seal" on more expensive travel
Replies: 38
Views: 4620

Re: "Breaking the seal" on more expensive travel

Having done more than a fair bit of independent travel, your days can often focus on three basic questions -- where am I going to sleep, what am I going to eat, and how am I going to get to the next town or destination. Also you can add, how long until my money runs out. Due to the inevitable failur...
by Alf 101
Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Selection and Shopping
Replies: 18
Views: 1494

Re: Window Selection and Shopping

No one can foresee the future, but I suspect we will be in this house for some time -- let's say somewhere in the 20 year range. At that point I should be nearing retirement; we may be considering downsizing, and certainly would be looking for somewhere with lower property taxes. But these are issue...
by Alf 101
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Selection and Shopping
Replies: 18
Views: 1494

Window Selection and Shopping

We've recently moved into a new place, and have been getting bids from contractors for a project. While this home has plenty of acreage, it strangely has no back door. However it does have a perfect place for one -- a breezeway, sun room-type space. This is already a 4-season room, with high ceiling...
by Alf 101
Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Novel Gift Ideas for Adult Siblings
Replies: 27
Views: 2392

Novel Gift Ideas for Adult Siblings

'Tis the season, after all, when people gather together and give each other gifts. There's some debate about this, if at some point adults should just decide not exchange presents, and see the holidays as more about the good company of family and friends. This, however, is not the tradition in our f...
by Alf 101
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sous Vide?
Replies: 75
Views: 12128

Re: Sous Vide?

I'd like to bump this thread, as it's Black Friday again, and I see some deals on immersion circulators. As it happens I have a brother, who is a particularly advanced home cook, who has mentioned in the past this was something of interest. So could the stars align? Amazon currently has a deal on th...
by Alf 101
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 8554

Re: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas

So has anyone done any investigation as to what actually goes on sale for Black Friday and the holiday season? Is it essentially everything, or targeting particular products and sectors? I ask because we're closing on and moving into a house that week, and it would be kind of nice if furniture and a...
by Alf 101
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Best" Online Degree if already a college graduate
Replies: 120
Views: 16045

Re: "Best" Online Degree if already a college graduate

I appreciate the bump on this thread, as I'm curious to see how attitudes toward online education have changed -- and will continue to change. Having read down to this point, in 2011 such a degree seemed to carry some degree of stigma. Does it still? Let's say I have a degree and a job, but feel a n...
by Alf 101
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Fuel Stoves
Replies: 19
Views: 1517

Re: Dual Fuel Stoves

I guess I can speak to why I like using gas burners -- control. With an electric burner there is a lag period for heating up, and cooling down; and I have a better concept of the heat involved by looking at the flame, as opposed to inferring from a dial setting. This is the appeal. I'd like to think...
by Alf 101
Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Fuel Stoves
Replies: 19
Views: 1517

Re: Dual Fuel Stoves

I see there are a number of votes for an induction range here, but I'm not sure that's an option. A little over a year ago we went to Iceland, visiting friends who were posted in Reykjavik. They had an induction range and hated it, for reasons that might not be entirely fair -- they arrived and foun...
by Alf 101
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Fuel Stoves
Replies: 19
Views: 1517

Dual Fuel Stoves

Does anyone have any experience with installing a dual fuel range, or have looked into it? This is something I've just started to mull over. Combining a gas stovetop with an electric oven is the best of both worlds, but what's holding me up is whether it'd be worth it. My wife and I are moving and c...
by Alf 101
Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds at Age 50?
Replies: 17
Views: 2000

Bonds at Age 50?

So a number of threads are out there, circling around this basic question. It's easier to plan to contribute toward retirement, but does get trickier actually planning for it. How you allocate between stocks and bonds -- as we know -- is a balance between risk tolerance, optimism, what you think you...
by Alf 101
Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?
Replies: 141
Views: 12123

Re: Anyone planning on getting the new Pixel phone?

At the moment, not me. I too am a proud owner of a Nexus 5x. A little over a month ago it died on me with little warning -- the dreaded bootloop failure. I contacted LG who emailed me a pre-paid postage form, and submitted it as a warranty return the same day. I had bought this phone in February 201...