Search found 419 matches

by Bengineer
Thu May 18, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window tint (film) on house windows?
Replies: 24
Views: 2501

Re: Window tint (film) on house windows?

...Also wondering if anyone has seen any studies on whether sun screens (window screens that are a tighter weave than regular window screens) produce about the same benefit, or maybe if the combination is additive? No studies, but I've installed solar window screens over plain glass windows (single...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo Bath Remodel 1/2 -> Full
Replies: 1
Views: 336

Condo Bath Remodel 1/2 -> Full

Anyone with a condo remodel a half bath into a full one? I'm thinking about turning a 2br 1.5ba condo into a 2 master unit. Did you move any of the interior walls? How did you get the Drain-waste-vent done? I'd think you'd need access to the floor below or cut the slab, depending on the foundation. ...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 149
Views: 11214

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

I just ordered the Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker 14.5". Never smoked anything before. Almost went for an electric one but the charcoal one kept calling me back. The decision to go with Weber was an easy one. Those smokers are pretty much 5 star ratings anywhere you look. Have one, love...
by Bengineer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up home office/network question
Replies: 18
Views: 1039

Re: Setting up home office/network question

I would personally drop another phone outlet, but then I'm a tech junkie who has cable and phone outlets in every bedroom of the house. The usefulness of phone outlets in every room is diminishing with wireless telecommunication options though, so let me give you an option #4. You can buy a wireles...
by Bengineer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More Zenni Optical Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 1628

Re: More Zenni Optical Questions

OP, I've found zenni to be something like 1/8 of retail optical for comparable untinted glasses with fairly strong myopia, astigmatism, progressive with $ trivex lense material and AR coating for about $100. I've been happy with the vision and really happy not paying $800 + my time for a pair of gla...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?
Replies: 22
Views: 2531

Re: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?

To pile on, Yes it looks like mold. Yes that looks like exposed fiberglass. Yes there is a large amount of dust & cobweb build-up in the pix. All that dust & mold is likely in your air handler & clogging up your coil as well. Is there a filter in the return? Open return duct somewhere li...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fire extinguishers
Replies: 45
Views: 2690

Re: Fire extinguishers

We started off with a laptop. Something to think about is the type of extinguisher. The common ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher often contains monoammonium phosphate. "Due to the corrosive properties of ABC Dry chemical, it is not recommended for use around aircraft or sensitive equipment.&qu...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (Success! at least mostly)
Replies: 47
Views: 4250

Re: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (no idea where)

OP, I dealt with my parent's later years and estates, one of which was much as the situation you describe. Ken & Nisi's posts both align with my experience. ComputerShares runs DRIP programs for companies. So does BNY Mellon. If you can get your MIL involved, you might be able to create online a...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?
Replies: 45
Views: 3366

Re: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?

I'm an electrical engineer by training. I have been a software engineer for a good bit of my career and remained an individual contributor throughout it. I believe my training in engineering provided me problem solving skills, mathematical expertise and an understanding of hardware systems. I find d...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 3445

Re: Home heating options

OP, some thoughts. Oil & Propane are generally considered expensive fuels, particularly as compared to natural gas, but also compared with all but the highest electricity rates. I would compare oil, propane and electric, calculating $/btu. Consider an air-sourced heat pump solution. As noted up-...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 3445

Re: Home heating options

I believe that new wood burning fireplaces have been illegal in California for some time. They are tremendous sources of pollution and very hard on any neighbor within a block or three who has a respiratory condition. I would expect that that type of regulation would spread to other states eventual...
by Bengineer
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping kitchen knives sharp
Replies: 54
Views: 4574

Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

OP, I'd have to admit I'm a little into sharpening cutting edges. For my kitchen knives, of which I have a spectrum of quality from cheap and effective Forstners to a Wusthof or two, I use a steel (not a ceramic or gritted sharpener) to burnish the edge before each use. This straightens up the edge,...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 3732

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

...I am a little confused about all the talk about moisture problems with insulation. What is this all about? How would moisture get inside my walls? DBR has it. Warm, moist air in your house, cold, dry air outside. Moisture migrates from high humidity to low. Warm, moist air flowing from inside yo...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 3732

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

OP, I'm with Just Frank and the other posters suggesting insulation. You can do a thermostat or increase the heat to your MBR, but you've still got an uninsulated house. You could go with both - something temporary for a few $ to get comfort now, with a longer term plan to make the whole house comfo...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do I attach phone wire to a house?
Replies: 7
Views: 575

Re: how do I attach phone wire to a house?

I'd use cable straps. There are little plastic ones with an included brad made for phone/cat cable. At your hardware or big-box home improvement store.

A crown stapler for wiring is an option, also useful for putting up the xmas lights.
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can Bogleheads Have Fun Too?
Replies: 29
Views: 3100

Re: Can Bogleheads Have Fun Too?

OP, I think you've asked a complex question. I think I'll go with 1) Of course you can have fun! I'm sure you're reading up on and planning to invest enough to let you retire comfortably when you reach 6x in 30 odd years. Getting your e-fund and liability insurance set. Working your cash flow so the...
by Bengineer
Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physical security solution for basement door?
Replies: 19
Views: 1772

Re: Physical security solution for basement door?

Some thoughts: It's a basement door. A sheet of polycarbonate over the glass on the inside would increase the difficulty of getting in and be less obtrusive than bars. A sheet of perforated metal might work as well. If access from outside is needed, a good deadbolt & long screws would help slow ...
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No employer retirement plan; how would you proceed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1441

Re: No employer retirement plan; how would you proceed?

I think the most important thing is saving. "tax advantaged" might or might not play out, as tax law may change in the future. Properly it's best to think of it as tax deferred. I wouldn't sweat it too much if you don't currently have tax-deferred options. Save as much as possible, invest ...
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: the economics of Spinn coffee making
Replies: 29
Views: 4223

Re: the economics of Spinn coffee making

I'm with SouthBay. ... Call me crazy, but I like to heat water in an electric kettle and do a pour over. Takes a couple minutes but tastes great and cheap/simple. That machine looks clever, but I would be worried about cleaning it and how reliable it will be. I use an electric kettle with adjustable...
by Bengineer
Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In search of weak LED lights
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Re: In search of weak LED lights

I use spot bulbs in my motion fixtures along the side of the house to limit the light spillover to the neighbors.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?
Replies: 62
Views: 5915

Re: Any recs for a Linux-compatible laptop?

IME, the touchpad is also something to check in addition to the network adapter, sleep/hibernate and graphics chip. I think if you are buying a just-released laptop, it would be wise to check the specific hardware in the exact model you're planning on getting.
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other
Replies: 22
Views: 1875

Re: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other

OP, I'm going to suggest putting a simple fridge/freezer thermometer in the middle of one side at a time, adjusting every so often until you get ~0 in the freezer and ~40 in the fridge, giving it hours to a day in between adjustments. The "dreaded fill tube freeze-up" is a well-known issue...
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: want to leave comcast but keep my email?
Replies: 17
Views: 3982

Re: want to leave comcast but keep my email?

My preference is a paid email service. It's all they do. Simple to set up, a few $ a year, permanent (assuming the provider remains in business). I'm not tied to an isp, nor am I a product available for mining by the likes of google or yahoo. I chose not to set up my own domain, but rather use one o...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 65
Views: 5237

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

... I seem to be tossing out/wasting a lot of food. I find it nearly impossible to make a recipe that serves less than 4 - and after 3 days of the same thing, I don't want to look at it any more. ... I eat a mostly whole foods diet - do not like processed food much. All suggestions appreciated. I'l...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with my underwater house, sink or swim?
Replies: 29
Views: 3770

Re: What to do with my underwater house, sink or swim?

William104 wrote:Don't put too much weight on Zillows estimate in your decision making. ...


And/or do your own homework on recent sales near you, comparing them to your own home.

If you want to stay, refi-ing to a 15 or 30y fixed mortgage would cut your interest costs if your cash flow supports it.
by Bengineer
Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pocket listing
Replies: 13
Views: 952

Re: pocket listing

We have had good luck with: 1) Having a pretty good idea of what the house is worth - location, dig up the recent sales in the area, etc. 2) Picking a listing/selling agent after interviewing a few that sell similar houses in the neighborhood. 3) Spiffing up & staging the house & yard so the...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC blower motor died. need replacement
Replies: 20
Views: 1519

Re: AC blower motor died. need replacement

One option would be to buy a window unit to give you some time to shop around. If your air handler has an ECM, $840 might be a pretty good price for an AC company replacing it. If it is a PSC motor, that's a bit much. If it is a PSC motor, the start capacitor is a likely suspect, as noted, but your ...
by Bengineer
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy efficiency
Replies: 7
Views: 801

Re: Home energy efficiency

I think the checkup will be worth it if it is a proper energy audit, which should involve a blower-door house envelope air leakage test, a duct leakage test, record the HVAC efficiency, insulation levels, etc. I had one done that was a similar arrangement with my electric utility. I think it is in y...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bifiocals vs progressive lenses - value/cost
Replies: 20
Views: 1703

Re: bifiocals vs progressive lenses - value/cost

Progressives for general use. If you spend a lot of time reading like heartwood or working on a large monitor desktop like me, consider an additional single-prescription pair for that. I really dislike moving my head to read various parts of the screen. Having a single prescription pair with a wide ...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on backyard project
Replies: 20
Views: 2627

Re: advice on backyard project

I advocate getting your design down in detail first. "What do we do" is one of the best things we've found think about. How do you envision spending your time out back and doing what? Meals, partying, reading a book, sunning, hot tubbing, pitching horseshoes? ... Engaging a landscape desig...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: air conditioning filters
Replies: 36
Views: 3110

Re: air conditioning filters

From the air handler's perspective, it's all about pressure drop at the airflow your system runs at, something like 400cfm per ton of AC, might be more or less cfm for your heat. Your system probably has a filter slot/grill sized appropriately for a "bird catcher" - the blue or white stand...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a different cassette for my road bicycle? Currently 11-23
Replies: 40
Views: 2374

Re: Should I get a different cassette for my road bicycle? Currently 11-23

"me too" :) I got a larger cassette & chain for hill rides. It worked well for me. As noted, be sure your derailler can handle the larger range.
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue
Replies: 35
Views: 21495

Re: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue

I think I'd go with a floating floor. A perfectly flat subfloor is critical. As noted, engineered flooring is basically cheap plywood / mdf / plastic substrate with a finish layer. The thicker the finish layer, the denser/harder the substrate and better the finish, the more wear and impact resistant...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gmail, Two POP Clients, Smartphone, Gmail Recent Mode
Replies: 12
Views: 1286

Re: Gmail, Two POP Clients, Smartphone, Gmail Recent Mode

I use exactly this [pop, gmail recent] on multiple clients. I automatically download new messages, leave messages on server, for at most nnn days.
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HELP - After Market Rims?
Replies: 14
Views: 1100

Re: HELP - After Market Rims?

Good points noted above. Here's a Car and Driver article on upsized wheels & tires. Note how the larger wheel combos weighed more, no doubt correlated with the higher elapsed times. You can spend some serious coin getting light high performance wheels to get the wheel+tire weights down. I own a ...
by Bengineer
Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Humidifier
Replies: 11
Views: 1053

Re: Whole House Humidifier

OP, here's a different thought. Low humidity in your house in winter is likely caused by the air in your house leaking out and being replaced by dry air from the outside. The people, showers, laundry and cooking all contribute moisture. Cold outside air can't hold much, and so is very dry. Assuming ...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite ski resort
Replies: 61
Views: 4129

Re: Favorite ski resort

So I view "where to go" as all about the skiing. Night life is a hot tub with friends after getting up at the crack on a powder day and doing every last bit you can do. I too think SLC is a good choice if it's all about skiing. 400" a year, light powder. Stay in town and drive up each...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HVAC Upgrades When Old Systems Still Work?
Replies: 16
Views: 1657

Re: HVAC Upgrades When Old Systems Still Work?

There's no telling how long the old system will last. We had an old AC and furnace that while not so efficient, just kept on going. Given that it is currently running, you have a great opportunity to do your research on the available brands and system types and get competitive bids instead of a &quo...
by Bengineer
Tue May 31, 2016 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two-Way Fence Lock
Replies: 12
Views: 1556

Re: Two-Way Fence Lock

How about the old-school arrangement often used on gates? A chain with as many inter-connected padlocks as there are users? Maybe not the most elegant, but effective.
by Bengineer
Mon May 30, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there such thing as easy load front load washer/dryer?
Replies: 30
Views: 2523

Re: Is there such thing as easy load front load washer/dryer?

I found the pedestals a little spendy @ $250-300 per. I built a nice platform that the washer & dryer fit on and 3 clothes baskets fit under out of wood for a few $. Gets the W/D doors up to a convenient height, more functional than the pedestals and cost way less.
by Bengineer
Wed May 11, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low flow shower head?
Replies: 41
Views: 5864

Re: Low flow shower head?

I have these in my house. Love them -- they don't feel like low flow. http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-N2515CH-Fixed-Mount-Showerhead-Chrome/dp/B0089CGG9K ... I chose this one as well. I was looking to save water and/or energy and I like a large area shower spray head vs a needle jet or massage jet he...
by Bengineer
Sat May 07, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying organic really that expensive?
Replies: 111
Views: 12714

Re: Is buying organic really that expensive?

Frankly, I'm much more concerned about campylobacter, salmonella, e-coli and cryptosporidium (to name a few) than I am about trace amounts of pesticides and hormones in my food.

I tend to buy whatever seems freshest and tastes best vs what it is labeled as.
by Bengineer
Fri May 06, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to buy my sig other from the DOG for Mothers Day
Replies: 16
Views: 2187

Re: What to buy my sig other from the DOG for Mothers Day

A really nice 6' full-grain leather walking lead? Mom! Take me out!
by Bengineer
Mon May 02, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen
Replies: 51
Views: 4650

Re: Sunscreen

Coppertone sport lotion, 30-50. Neutrogena stick, 70. Good sunglasses. Wide-brimmed hat & long sleeve shirt.

I have yet to find anything that doesn't sting when sweat carries it into my eyes.
by Bengineer
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security features of a good front door
Replies: 34
Views: 3184

Re: Security features of a good front door

I think the basic level is to prevent a walk-up & kick-in. A good deadbolt & strike with 3" screws extending through the strike and into the studs is a start. I've added long screws for the strike and one per each side of each hinge as well. You're going to have to raise the bar a lot h...
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 3004

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

^^^^^ Thanks! I'm going to try a chamois.
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 3004

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

jepalan wrote: ... *Every* morning when I finish showering I wipe down the glass door and all tile walls.
...The glass door is 10 yrs old and crystal clear as the day it was installed, as is the tile & grout.


I use a squeegee. Had you tried one before the chamois?
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 3004

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

Plain old white vinegar with a bit of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. spray on, soak 15 mins, scrub with a scrubber sponge that won't scratch glass, rinse, squeegee. I clean the entire shower stall with it. It softens / dissolves the hard water deposits & "soap scum" better than ...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for yardwork?
Replies: 61
Views: 6844

Re: Do you pay for yardwork?

...Someone who knows how to tend garden beds is a rarer creature. If you hire someone for that be certain they know what you want done. I hired some people who did an excellent job the first time, then "weeded" out a desirable ground cover, etc. the next time. I totally agree. Mow & b...
by Bengineer
Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Copper in Brake Fluid
Replies: 43
Views: 2882

Re: Copper in Brake Fluid

cheese_breath wrote:...
There is nothing in the owner's manual about replacing the brake fluid...


For my cars (Audi, VW), brake fluid replacement is down at the bottom of the maintenance chart with a couple other time-only items. In an earlier car, it was in a separate section.

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