Search found 1033 matches

by Atilla
Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good School District or Private School?
Replies: 58
Views: 2618

Re: Good School District or Private School?

We have direct experience with how rapidly "good" public schools can deteriorate. The test scores from the elementary and jr. high schools down the street have plummeted over the course of the last 5 years. It is stunning. We had 3 couples with young school-age kids we are friends with who...
by Atilla
Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 63
Views: 4002

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

I try to eat fish for lunch during the week. Individually frozen salmon, tuna and mahi mahi are easy to find. Thaw a piece out and saute in olive oil with blackened fish seasonings. Take the fish out and throw in sliced onion and a big handful of dark greens like arugula or spinach. Cook just until ...
by Atilla
Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Megacorp VP is Recruiting--advice please
Replies: 5
Views: 1280

Re: Megacorp VP is Recruiting--advice please

The only advice I can give is about the money. Wife and I together make good change - me twice what she makes. We live way below our means like you do. I get paid 7% of my gross sales from the previous 4 quarters, reviewed quarterly. So pay fluctuates for me. Low point during the 2009 crisis was $11...
by Atilla
Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby
Replies: 100
Views: 3727

Re: Tips for a 1000 miles car trip with toddler and baby

Leave after dinner when it's bed time and haul it overnight as fast as you can. Can you still get ephedrine at truck stops?
by Atilla
Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: "How Should Younger Investors Think About Social Security?"
Replies: 34
Views: 4092

Re: Morningstar: "How Should Younger Investors Think About Social Security?"

Ten to twenty years from now is when Millennials will start hitting peak earning years and the same time the Boomers will all be retired pretty much. Two huge generations with opposite interests. One that will vote religiously and another that may or may not. A safe bet if you are a younger worker i...
by Atilla
Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Restaurant Stop on Road Trips
Replies: 142
Views: 8948

Re: Favorite Restaurant Stop on Road Trips

Gas station burrito. :D
by Atilla
Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice about a stop in Chicago
Replies: 52
Views: 4359

Re: Advice about a stop in Chicago

Uber is your friend in Chicago. Surprisingly the cab cartel does not have the political pull to have it banned. I Uber it all the time downtown. Plus it's the north side, not the south side.
by Atilla
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Talked myself out of buying a new car. What do you think
Replies: 31
Views: 2639

Re: Talked myself out of buying a new car. What do you think

The good thing about NOT buying a new car is you can always change your mind.

I live in the hood, have a 4x4 (American) SUV with 170,000 miles, do all the maintenance mostly myself, have dark tinted windows and carry a gun.
by Atilla
Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much vacation time do you get at work?
Replies: 151
Views: 8667

Re: How much vacation time do you get at work?

A couple days short of a month per year.

It's hard to use it all up - I got things to do.
by Atilla
Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: College bubble - any good articles or books on this?
Replies: 57
Views: 4411

Re: College bubble - any good articles or books on this?

Is there a price at which you would not pay for a 4 year degree? We are making debt slaves of our younger generations, just to have a seal of approval from "The Educated Ones". All the information is available for the taking, without the Seal. We just need to find a better way to connect ...
by Atilla
Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors love "lottery tickets" new paper supporting that theory
Replies: 33
Views: 3652

Re: Investors love "lottery tickets" new paper supporting that theory

Back when I bought individual stocks - yes - the thrill of buying was the same as gambling placing a bet.

When the bride an I hit Las Vegas in a couple weeks you bet I'll place some long odds bets that could pay off big. It's fun. :beer
by Atilla
Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?
Replies: 95
Views: 5717

Re: Interview in Silicon Valley - Suit?

Chicago is a stuffy culture and your perceptions have been warped by it. Dress well, but skip the suit. That's funny - Chicago is stuffy - it's not. I come down from business super-casual Madison for meetings in Chicago and find myself "overdressed" compared to the downtown business types...
by Atilla
Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay
Replies: 105
Views: 5570

Re: Winter Tires: Yay or Nay

Back in my college days in the snowy upper midwest I ran regular all season radials in front and Wintermaster snow tires on the back of my 1977 Delta 88 year round. My driving style in heavy snow was - you can't get stuck if you're still moving. There was one time I had to clear out the snow packed ...
by Atilla
Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying the Impossible - Financing 30-Year Retirements with 40-Year Careers
Replies: 70
Views: 9022

Re: Trying the Impossible - Financing 30-Year Retirements with 40-Year Careers

So far my father in law is financing a 30+ year retirement on a 30 year career with no end in sight.

But he was a civil servant.
by Atilla
Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing up and becoming an adult, lots of questions!
Replies: 19
Views: 2614

Re: Growing up and becoming an adult, lots of questions!

At night if I wake up and can't get to sleep right away I recite (loosely) something from Proverbs that says a man who finds a wife finds a treasure and is blessed by God. I do my best to always remember that. I also know that real love is not an emotion - it's a long string of decisions you make yo...
by Atilla
Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What did/does/will your high schooler do during summer vacation?
Replies: 26
Views: 2161

Re: What did/does/will your high schooler do during summer vacation?

Working. Age 15 the boy had 2 lawn mowing/landscaping clients who paid cash for weekly and twice weekly work. Made him ride his bike there and back - neither clients were in our immediate neighborhood. :) Age 16 -17 the boy worked at McDonald's because it was explained to him that the car we bought ...
by Atilla
Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealers list used cars way above KBB value, why?
Replies: 25
Views: 2519

Re: Dealers list used cars way above KBB value, why?

It was many moons ago, but back when I sold cars the profit margin was always higher on used cars than new.
by Atilla
Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo vs Townhouse Living
Replies: 35
Views: 4413

Re: Condo vs Townhouse Living

And there are condos that are standalone houses on property that is owned in common. :sharebeer
by Atilla
Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Seattle -> Madison?
Replies: 33
Views: 2153

Re: Moving Seattle -> Madison?

I believe Madison has the most restaurants per capita of any city in the US - almost all are local/ethnic choices and not a bunch of chains. The variety is staggering. Lots of live music venues. Downtown is booming right now due to Epic hiring thousands and thousands of young folks who want to live ...
by Atilla
Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those that "buy" during stock market downturns...
Replies: 158
Views: 10435

Re: For those that "buy" during stock market downturns...

I sold some individual stocks this spring in order to simplify and have been sitting on the cash waiting for a nice little semi-scary downturn. Lovely bride also took a few grand from her growing saving account and put it into her brokerage account for me to invest. Still sitting on that cash too. T...
by Atilla
Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Loans to Friends
Replies: 73
Views: 3729

Re: Loans to Friends

Once my very best friend knew i came into some money and asked me to lend him the money for a house down payment.

Without hardly thinking i told him no, but I'd rather give him the money if i was to do anything.

He got nothing and 15 years later we still best friends.
by Atilla
Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol
Replies: 124
Views: 10456

Re: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol

Depending on the pocket, a small revolver like the Ruger LCR is an option.

Also - while fatter in the middle than a semi auto - a small revolver can fit your body more comfortably depending on where it's carried. My LCR is my definite go-to for carrying in the winter. In summer it's the Seecamp.
by Atilla
Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross country move. Buy car and drive or ship things and fly?
Replies: 26
Views: 1676

Re: Cross country move. Buy car and drive or ship things and fly?

I would totally do the cross country drive. It would be awesome.
by Atilla
Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol
Replies: 124
Views: 10456

Re: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol

If you're REALLY looking for a pocket pistol, check out the Seecamp. It's a stainless steel work of art. I've had one for years and it has never not fired and fed quality ammunition reliably every single time. Being all steel it is heavy for it's size but boy is it small. I have one in my pocket now...
by Atilla
Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol
Replies: 124
Views: 10456

Re: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol

The LCP is a marvelously small and light pocket pistol. Wolff makes a set of heavier slide springs - install the heaviest one (13 pounds I think?) and it takes a lot of snap out of shooting it. The Crimson Trace laser made for it is very user friendly and excellent for a point-shooting gun like thi...
by Atilla
Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol
Replies: 124
Views: 10456

Re: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol

The LCP is a marvelously small and light pocket pistol. Wolff makes a set of heavier slide springs - install the heaviest one (13 pounds I think?) and it takes a lot of snap out of shooting it. The Crimson Trace laser made for it is very user friendly and excellent for a point-shooting gun like this...
by Atilla
Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: General Negotiating Tips
Replies: 72
Views: 7453

Re: General Negotiating Tips

General tips? Yes, a well timed and even long, uncomfortable silence when face to face can work. I screwed $500 out of an extremely reluctant customer who wanted to pay $zero in a high tension face-off doing this once. The line "is that the best you can do?" is a great counter. Last tip - ...
by Atilla
Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any motorcyclists here? - First road trip
Replies: 33
Views: 2258

Re: Any motorcyclists here? - First road trip

The first day will be the toughest stamina-wise. After that you'll be fine. Buy a throttle lock to give your right hand an occasional rest. Consider a seat pad and pack your tank bag in a way that it's comfortable to rest on leaning forward. Stop only for gas to make good time and drink lots of flui...
by Atilla
Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do people buy annuities?
Replies: 125
Views: 16318

Re: Why do people buy annuities?

So I'll admit, I fly first class when I know I can get a better deal in coach. first class makes me happy, comfortable and less miserable. I'd love to fly first-class, but someone on this site once said "If someone offered you $3000 cash to sit in an uncomfortable chair and read a book for 8 h...
by Atilla
Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to be Handyman for my tasks
Replies: 85
Views: 4853

Re: I want to be Handyman for my tasks

For out of the box advice - buy and read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

It gives you an approach on how to solve mechanical problems. Dropping a fix-it problem that's giving you trouble and walking away to meditate on it for a solution has saved me many times.
by Atilla
Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Sale Proceeds Before Divorce Is Final?
Replies: 7
Views: 1206

Re: House Sale Proceeds Before Divorce Is Final?

It's been awhile but I remember it being written in the divorce agreement that we would split the home equity when the place sold. No escrow or anything - by agreement I just deducted what I owed each month for child support and started writing checks once my half of the equity was depleted. Final s...
by Atilla
Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off the mortgage today
Replies: 67
Views: 6036

Re: Paid off the mortgage today

A paid-off home is a financial fortress.
by Atilla
Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "6 Reasons The Rich Should Pay-Off Their Mortgage"
Replies: 76
Views: 9924

Re: "6 Reasons The Rich Should Pay-Off Their Mortgage"

Retired with a guaranteed stream of money - meh - a mortgage is probably fine. Working in the real world with no guarantee of anything? A paid off house becomes a fortress in hard times if you can reasonably swing it. Full disclosure - we live in the hood and our paid-for house is less than 20% of o...
by Atilla
Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bulk handgun ammo 9x18 mm
Replies: 23
Views: 2568

Re: Bulk handgun ammo 9x18 mm

Yes, aside from the huge savings buying online in bulk, there have been long periods in the recent past when some or many popular calibers are simply not available anywhere at a reasonable price. .22 long rifle is a great example. It still is hard to find in stores and the price is elevated when you...
by Atilla
Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nuts & Bolts - hardware question
Replies: 40
Views: 2619

Re: Nuts & Bolts - hardware question

Yes - Ace Hardware if you have them in your area is the way to go. Bring the bolt you have and talk to a nice person about your problem.

You will walk out with a solution. Any other real hardware store I assume would do the same. Big box stores are not set up for stuff like this.
by Atilla
Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best AWD Sedan/Coupe?
Replies: 53
Views: 3997

Re: Best AWD Sedan/Coupe?

livesoft wrote:I would not have clicked on this thread if "$20K or under" was in the title. :twisted:


Yep - once I noticed the under 20K I quit reading.
by Atilla
Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bulk handgun ammo 9x18 mm
Replies: 23
Views: 2568

Re: Bulk handgun ammo 9x18 mm

Targetsportsusa.com currently has 9MM Makarov at 26 cents a round. Right in line with the Buds price. I love Targetsports because on lot of bulk ammo the price is super cheap - AND - shipping is free. Makes it a no brainer sometimes. I shoot 40 S&W and can get it from them for 25 - 26 cents a ro...
by Atilla
Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone convert a van for travel/camping?
Replies: 38
Views: 3704

Re: Anyone convert a van for travel/camping?

I'll throw this in the mix - if you like tent camping, get one of these to back your regular van up to: http://www.acecanopy.com/resources/acecanopy/product/large/canopy10x20-1w115.jpg?8266 And have plenty of room to spread out in the shade/out of the rain. You can set one of these suckers up in 20 ...
by Atilla
Tue May 31, 2016 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Private school? Any regrets?
Replies: 92
Views: 6674

Re: Private school? Any regrets?

No regrets at all paying for private school. Kid graduates this weekend second in his class and accepted to a big 10 school to study engineering. Senior year tuition cost was around $5,500 - money well spent. All couples we're friends with who have school age kids have fled our school district my mo...
by Atilla
Sat May 28, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tips for weight exercises/training
Replies: 81
Views: 5421

Re: tips for weight exercises/training

Long walks with a 2 pound weight in each hand is what I would recommend. Gets you outside and gives you time to relax and decompress. I run an hour a day first thing almost every morning with two 10 pound barbells and I'll be 50 soon. Sub zero and really rainy days are challenging but mostly I like ...
by Atilla
Thu May 26, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Other Than Finances [Fun things to do]
Replies: 38
Views: 3150

Re: Other Than Finances [Fun things to do]

Hauling azz as fast as I dare down twisty country roads on a 1999 VMax.
by Atilla
Tue May 24, 2016 8:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your first investment?
Replies: 117
Views: 5018

Re: What was your first investment?

First investment was some kind of moderate fund through my 401K that held a healthy slug of bonds.

This was leading into and through the dot com bubble so even though I was way too conservatively invested for my age at the time it turned out well.
by Atilla
Mon May 23, 2016 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this crazy? [Considering new job with pay cut]
Replies: 11
Views: 1959

Re: Is this crazy? [Considering new job with pay cut]

One of the nice things about living below your means and having some assets is you have FU money.

My wife just took a job at a vastly better employer with much more engaging work with an actual supportive boss. It pays less money but it doesn't matter. We have FU money. :beer
by Atilla
Tue May 17, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check
Replies: 51
Views: 4190

Re: Hail damage on roof; what to do with Insurance Providers' $9,950 check

We had a similar situation 10 years ago. We cashed the $5,000 check and put it in savings.

We also switched insurance companies immediately afterward to get a cheaper rate. :D

10 years later the roof is still fine.
by Atilla
Tue May 10, 2016 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House 'For Sale By Owner' - Can One Do It Alone?
Replies: 26
Views: 3755

Re: House 'For Sale By Owner' - Can One Do It Alone?

I have never sold a house any way other than FSBO.
by Atilla
Sat May 07, 2016 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rebuilding a Deck
Replies: 15
Views: 1569

Re: Rebuilding a Deck

I rebuilt our deck last summer and we considered composite vs. green treated decking boards. Composite cost was on the order of many magnitudes more expensive and neither of us cared for the look. I have had good results over the years by laying down green treated boards and letting them fester in t...
by Atilla
Fri May 06, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?
Replies: 152
Views: 14925

Re: how much cash do you carry in your wallet?

Around town - zero.
Business travel - $200 - $300.
Las Vegas - $2,000+

Around town in case of robbery, I also carry my little friend Leroy Brown in my pocket (.32 Seecamp - hat tip to Jim Croche).
by Atilla
Thu May 05, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just called Directv and saved $600 for one year
Replies: 46
Views: 5021

Re: Just called Directv and saved $600 for one year

We ditched cable TV for the Roku/Netflix/Hulu Prime route. Savings is $90/month; now we pay something like $22/month. Got a digital antenna which pulls in another 23 channels. It's different and takes a little getting used to but there's more and better stuff to watch than there ever was with cable....
by Atilla
Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best place to keep vacation funds and emergency funds
Replies: 47
Views: 4900

Re: Best place to keep vacation funds and emergency funds

We have used Emigrant Direct for many years. They pay .5% right now. I know we could do better, but for another half percent? Meh. I cringe about Ally since they are the old GMAC and took bailout money as part of GM. Goldman Sachs? I read their news feed about having greater liquidity and diversity ...

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