Search found 224 matches

by Bammerman
Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal
Replies: 19
Views: 1728

Re: Mailing a US Passport in for Renewal

Priority mail worked great for me and saved me the cost of an envelope; got our new passports back in about two weeks. (Although the expired passports haven't been returned yet.) That time may begin to lengthen, however, as millions of passports are about to reach their 10-year expiration dates. Bet...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What 55" TV to Buy
Replies: 51
Views: 3341

What things are worth in money (value)

Reading through this thread and one of the earlier, related ones, got me thinking again about how much I "should" (or would) spend on a TV set. When I retired 8 years ago I promised myself three things: a good LCD TV set, a Miata, and a mistress. Just kidding about the third one, but I got...
by Bammerman
Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Re: Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?

Thanks for the replies (and links). I don't think a Nest is for me. I love gadgets, but I don't think this one could make back the investment. In theory I like it that it would turn down the heat when you leave the house, but since I'm retired, I'm in or around the house most of the time, so that wo...
by Bammerman
Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Use of Nest Thermostat in a non-forced-air (steam radiator) heat system?

I've been reading a lot about the Nest thermostat, but I'm not sure it would "work" in my home: I have a rather old (1925), biggish house with a natural-gas-fired furnace in the basement that heats up steam radiators (the original ones!). There's one simple thermostat on the main floor. No...
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5395

Re: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

All bulbs are LED (some are even wi-fi controlled, for the fun and security-scheduling benefits!). Air tightness: storm windows on all windows, storm doors on doors (nothing I can do about the brick-and-stucco construction). Thick rock wool insulation up in the attic. HE washer. Now, on to other mat...
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5395

The Devil's in the Details

As with everything in life, the devil's in the details: + The dryer is electric (!) and a dehumidifier is installed on the shelf above it (set on automatic; drains into washer drain). + We normally only do two or three loads of laundry per week (= not much additional moisture). + Old (1925) house, n...
by Bammerman
Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5395

A comment about the Ace Dryer Heater Diverter

Just a note about the Ace Dryer Heater Diverter. I installed it today and ran a load of clothes through the dryer, and the diverter does work as advertised. But beware! THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DEVICE IS EXTREMELY FLIMSY. It reminded me of one of those kids' toy cars that's designed to fly into piece...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5395

Re: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

I bought the Dryer Heat Diverter from Ace for $10* and plan to install it tomorrow. I don't think we wash enough clothes to worry about excess humidity in the basement, and anyway, we have a dehumidifier installed directly above the dryer that drains into the washer drain. Thanks everybody for your ...
by Bammerman
Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?
Replies: 54
Views: 5395

Brilliant Energy-Saving Idea -- Or Just Really Stupid?

So I was just downstairs taking the towels out of the dryer, musing about all the (expensive) hot air being vented out of the dryer and the house, when I had one of my could-be-brilliant-but-probably-is-not, ideas: What if, during the wintertime, I vented the dryer exhaust directly into the basement...
by Bammerman
Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Policy Poll
Replies: 60
Views: 4717

Re: Long Term Care Policy Poll

Age over 60. My wife and I have had LTC policies since we were 55.
by Bammerman
Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chandelier bulbs
Replies: 23
Views: 1712

Re: Chandelier bulbs

using LEDs to emulate incandescents emulating bee's vomit is faintly ridiculous.

I don't understand what this means.
by Bammerman
Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chandelier bulbs
Replies: 23
Views: 1712

Ugly LED Chandelier bulbs, imho

We have a similar situation in our house, with a large chandelier in the dining room, and several other hanging light fixtures that take candelabra bulbs. I have put LED bulbs in almost all of our other (table) lamps, but have not yet done so for the lamps requiring candelabra bulbs, because to my e...
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads
Replies: 44
Views: 4096

My cost to charge the Volt

Lars_2013: Is your cost on the Chevy Volt really running $3 to go 35 or 45 miles? Sorry, I wrote that post too quickly. My Volt's electric consumption is 32 kW-hr per 100 miles. My electricity cost is $.1141 per kWh. So 100 miles = $3.65, but I can't cram that much electricity in the car's battery. ...
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof that this summer was hotter than last summer
Replies: 11
Views: 1188

Not a line just going up

Sorry, that was not well-phrased. In fact the line descends from July steadily to a mere 500 kWh in November and stays around 700 kWh through May, and then shoots up to 1300 in June and 1600 in July 2015. We have natural gas heat in winter (gas hot water heater too) so our wintertime electricity use...
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prius owners and rest of Bogleheads
Replies: 44
Views: 4096

Suggest you take another look at the Volt

I know you said you rejected the Chevy Volt because it has just two seats in the rear, but I strongly recommend that you take another, harder look. The latest model Volt will seat three in the rear, the middle seat being a "jumpseat" that might work best for a child or small person or chil...
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Proof that this summer was hotter than last summer
Replies: 11
Views: 1188

Proof that this summer was hotter than last summer

I just got a letter from my electric utility with a line graph of my house's electricity usage through the past 12 months, and guess what: the line goes up! Last July I used about 1350 kWh, and this July it was 1600 kWh. It's not my Chevy Volt: I've had the car for 18 months and my charging profile ...
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please advise how to spend down retirement assets without altering our asset allocation
Replies: 12
Views: 1349

cash?

by holding so much cash you avoid exposure to volatility risk but add significant exposure to inflation risk


Keep in mind this is not really "cash", it's almost all TSP G-fund. But I do take your point.
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please advise how to spend down retirement assets without altering our asset allocation
Replies: 12
Views: 1349

Re: Please advise how to spend down retirement assets without altering our asset allocation

In terms of consolidating funds, I'm thinking of the following. The actions below decrease my fund expenses. I thought of consolidating all to Vanguard's Wellington Fund, which I like, but once we start spending-down, that could take us below that fund's $50,000 minimum for their lower-cost Admiral ...
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please advise how to spend down retirement assets without altering our asset allocation
Replies: 12
Views: 1349

Thanks for your ideas and comments

RetiredJG: Is there a reason you have not rolled over all of the small 403b accounts to an IRA? Several people here suggest rolling the small 403b accounts to an IRA. I can easily see the advantage of consolidating several small accounts, but why roll them into an IRA? Have you already taken your 1 ...
by Bammerman
Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please advise how to spend down retirement assets without altering our asset allocation
Replies: 12
Views: 1349

Please advise how to spend down retirement assets without altering our asset allocation

I'm newly 64 and my wife is 63. We're retired (me from USG service with a pension) and are both working small part-time jobs for fun and profit; I estimate that we are currently in the 25% tax bracket. We have a mortgage and two car loans. Any credit card balances are paid in full each month. We hav...
by Bammerman
Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Harvest Savings Bonds or Proceed to Tax-deferred
Replies: 5
Views: 514

thank you!

Thanks, folks, I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Now I have to draft a more complicated request for advice on an overall plan for spending-down our investments. To be continued....
by Bammerman
Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No
Replies: 80
Views: 7491

Re: Aloha Shirt: Yes or No

I don't understand the question. Why would you not want to own and wear Hawaiian shirts? About half of the shirts in my closet (summer season) are "aloha shirts". God knows I had to wear enough boring (white! light blue! maybe an exciting white with thin blue stripe!) shirts and suits year...
by Bammerman
Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Harvest Savings Bonds or Proceed to Tax-deferred
Replies: 5
Views: 514

Harvest Savings Bonds or Proceed to Tax-deferred

For the past few years, we've been mostly living off my pension income and a modest part-time salary income while putting off taking social security until we're a bit older (we're both 63 now). I say "mostly" because our expenses slightly exceed our aforementioned income. We've by now almo...
by Bammerman
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you telecommute?
Replies: 21
Views: 2219

Re: Do you telecommute?

I began telecommuting only after retiring from full-time work to part-time (same USG employer). Some of it was satisfying because it also involved a lot of phone work -- in other words, I had a fair amount of actual (if voice-only) human contact. On some projects I had very little social interaction...
by Bammerman
Sun May 10, 2015 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ever visited Frankfort, Kentucky?
Replies: 9
Views: 1087

Ever visited Frankfort, Kentucky?

Next week I'm going to be CONSUMING (get it?) some battery power and fossil fuel to drive to Chicago, and I'm thinking of breaking the trip in or around Frankfort, KY. Looking for suggestions of pleasant (not fancy) places to stay and dine and walk around and relax there for an afternoon and evening...
by Bammerman
Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Father can no longer sign his name. Looking for solutions.
Replies: 23
Views: 2633

Re: Father can no longer sign his name. Looking for solution

If he is mobile and mentally competent, why not just take him (and his identification) to a notary public and have him sign the document in front of the notary? Then the notary public notarizes his signature. As a consular officer, I notarized thousands of documents. In addition to swearing in the p...
by Bammerman
Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Moto G or a different phone?
Replies: 20
Views: 2558

for what it's worth: FYI

Take a look at this Amazon deal of the day, which has a few hours to go, as I write this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HPTMCRI/ref=gbrc_rlm_r-1_6742_a158005e?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_s=right-new-1&pf_rd_r=1R8M39RA3E0GJD56SY89&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=2064246742 -- FYI onl...
by Bammerman
Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bored -- wondering about day trading for fun
Replies: 61
Views: 6685

not really going to try day trading-- whatever that is

It was just a passing thought. I think I'll apply for a part-time job instead. It's not so much the want-more-money thing -- I don't want to spend any more time inside the house in front of a screen, especially now in the Spring. A job would get me out of the house and let me interact with actual hu...
by Bammerman
Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bored -- wondering about day trading for fun
Replies: 61
Views: 6685

Bored -- wondering about day trading for fun

Boglehead investing is, let's face it, boring. At least, the conservative asset allocation I use is (very boring): 30% stocks, 70% TSP G fund and bonds. So I'm thinking about starting a tiny little day-trading thing, like $1,000 or so, if you can do it for that little. Is that small a sum feasible f...
by Bammerman
Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 3338

thanks - recommendations for storm windows?

Thanks everybody for all these useful comments. A dose of reality! I' going to go ahead with getting the estimate on new windows but I'm also going to look into getting new, high-quality low-E storm windows and storm doors.

Any recommendations for those?
by Bammerman
Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gearing up for big replacement windows project
Replies: 35
Views: 3338

Gearing up for big replacement windows project

Soon after we moved into our 1925-built house seven years ago we (I) washed all the windows. 30 double-sash windows, with mullions, each with a double-sash storm window! Just in case you're wondering, that's 540 individual pane surfaces to wash. It took me forever, especially since most of them were...
by Bammerman
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?
Replies: 22
Views: 3290

Re: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?

Costs me about $1.00 to charge my Volt's battery.
by Bammerman
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does an electric car make sense for commuting?
Replies: 22
Views: 3290

Consider a Volt

A current-generation Volt should be perfect for your needs. You could drive your 30-mile round trip commute on battery power every day -- I.e., no gasoline! I get up to 45 (all-electric) miles from my Volt in the summer and about 35 miles in the winter. And you have no range-anxiety with the Volt. A...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm not a bad Boglehead [buying Powerball ticket]
Replies: 101
Views: 7395

Getting into the fantasy

Usually I look at this just like buying a movie ticket -- it's the cost of getting into the fantasy. And I do buy a movie ticket every once in a while, so why not a lottery ticket? (But: once, when I was walking home from the bus stop with my MegaBazillion lottery ticket in my pocket, I found myself...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No change to equity allocation in seven years?
Replies: 2
Views: 456

No change to equity allocation in seven years?

I use Financial Engines to keep track of my various investments, and have been for years. And for some seven years, since I retired, the percentage shown there for my allocation to all equities has remained the same, at 31%. Yet I have not done any (manual) rebalancing in these seven years. I can on...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: time to replace my router?
Replies: 45
Views: 4272

Time Capsule

I replaced my old Netgear router with an Apple Time Capsule. This device combines a router with a big hard drive, and does two things: Acts as your router; makes automatic (Time Machine) backups via WiFi from your computer. Both functions are important to me. I like having my backup hard drive in a ...
by Bammerman
Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Janitor in Vermont leaves millions] A true Boglehead!
Replies: 55
Views: 4432

Re:A true Boglehead is about more than investing

I'm not too interested in what defines a "Boglehead", but I don't think that just being extremely frugal is enough to qualify. When I read this article, my main reaction was, "What a shame! All that money left -- for what? To whom? Why didn't he spend it while he could? Take some nice...
by Bammerman
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5273

One year's operating costs

I thought it might interest some of you to hear what my operating costs have been for my first year's ownership of this 2013 Chevy Volt: I've driven just 6,944 miles since purchasing the car new on January 23, 2014. Most of those miles were driven in and around my home town. I took one road trip of ...
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which 4 door with 250+ hp
Replies: 105
Views: 10051

Prius embarrassing? I don't think so and my Volt doesn't eit

We have a Prius and it's a fine car, not at all "embarrassing" in any way. But don't make up your mind until you test-drive a Volt! (Be sure to put it in "sport" mode first!) It's ZOOM ZOOM without the noise, 'cause it's electric, mostly.
by Bammerman
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering buying a Plug-in Prius or a Volt
Replies: 40
Views: 3435

I have both. I love my Volt.

We have two cars, a 2010 Prius and a 2013 Volt. Both are very good cars. The Volt is much more fun to drive: it's more solidly-built, quieter, more luxurious and more powerful than the Prius. The Volt does have less leg room in the rear seats, if that's an issue for you. And it is a 4-seater, not a ...
by Bammerman
Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 1572

Re: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromeca

I think I would do this with an Apple TV, although that's more expensive ($99 vice $35 for Chromecast) -- Although I'm doubtful that her employer's Pcs are Macs. Actually, the idea of showing a looping slideshow of jpg slides isn't bad at all. She's specifically trying to avoid messing around with U...
by Bammerman
Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?
Replies: 7
Views: 1572

Best Way to Show Google Docs via Wi-Fi on a TV: Chromecast?

My daughter works for a non-profit with a very limited budget. She's been told she can spend $400 to get a 40" HDTV to put in their lobby to be used to display various messages, schedules, etc., that will change daily. She already maintains this info on Google Docs. She had asked me to research...
by Bammerman
Fri May 30, 2014 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Handheld GPS recommendations
Replies: 7
Views: 977

Re: Handheld GPS recommendations

I know this is not exactly what you are asking for, but for my day hikes I use my iPhone running the Motion-X GPS app. This really sucks the battery juice, so I bought a solar-power battery case that will last about a day and a half (running GPS) if necessary. And I carry a small Ziploc baggy for th...
by Bammerman
Fri May 30, 2014 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding/eradicating a "funky" smell from our Prius
Replies: 20
Views: 5068

Re: Finding/eradicating a "funky" smell from our Prius

I apologize for not having closed the circle on this thread. Here, somewhat belatedly, is how things turned out: Nothing I did made any difference so we took the car to the dealer. They found a dried pool of liquid on or near the battery (I no longer remember if it was the 12v or the big one), clean...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Musing about a 4K UHD TV
Replies: 10
Views: 982

Musing about a 4K UHD TV

Today I was roaming around Best Buy and I paused in front of their display of ultra-high definition "4K" TV sets. I have to admit that I was blown away by one in particular by Samsung. I stood about five inches away from the screen and could not make out individual pixels! So I started to ...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5273

Did not consider any all-electric cars -except, of course, T

I did not consider any all-electric cars (except, of course, the Tesla, ha ha) because of "range anxiety". Just not something I wanted to have to think about at all, and I don't with a Volt. Normally I do not drive far (very seldom more than 20-40 miles, which made the Volt perfect for me)...
by Bammerman
Fri May 16, 2014 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5273

updated stats

Just got back from my first road trip: 350 miles starting from a fresh battery, the Volt used 7.5 gallons of gas, for a total MPG of 46.5. (This brings my "lifetime" MPG in this car down to 176, wah!) This is very close to my highway MPG in my Prius of about 50. Of course, on a road trip, ...
by Bammerman
Fri May 09, 2014 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5273

electric bill cost of charging my Volt

ChinOOk: good question. I looked at my electric bills for the past three months. During this 3-month period in 2014 (Feb-April) I paid a total of $50.70 more than I paid for electric service for the same three months in 2013. That's $0.56 more per day over the 90 days. Of course that does not take i...
by Bammerman
Thu May 08, 2014 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you own / have you owned a Chevrolet Volt?
Replies: 40
Views: 5273

MPG update

Just thought I'd provide an update. Now at about 1,600 miles since I bought the Volt (I don't drive far, as a rule) and my mileage is somewhere north of 250 mpg. In 1,600 miles I have burned a grand total of 5.1 gallons of gas. In really cold weather the car was predicting 25-30 miles on a full char...
by Bammerman
Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Trip to India
Replies: 49
Views: 16809

Re: First Trip to India

You're about to have a wonderful experience! India is a fabulous, huge, fascinating, exhausting place. I worked twice in India: at the American consulate in Bombay in the early 80s and later, in the early 90s, at the American Embassy in New Delhi. Before you go, check in at travel.state.gov! To regi...

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