Search found 362 matches

by Bengineer
Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manual can opener recommendation
Replies: 45
Views: 2681

Re: Manual can opener recommendation

I've been using a classic Swing-a-way for IDK how long. Tip: Open the can most of the way (can moves ccw), move the opener to the other side of the cut and finish in reverse (can moves cw). The lid will be cut off cleanly almost every time, vs being left hanging by a meat-hook. vvvvvvv Sawhorse's ex...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator replacement
Replies: 23
Views: 1684

Re: Refrigerator replacement

OP, I have to think almost any fridge you get will be more efficient than one 20 years old. I would hook the current one up to a kill-a-watt for a month or so just because I want to know. :) You can compare the models you're looking at via their energy guide, which will state the # kWh per year the ...
by Bengineer
Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brake pads/rotors: will shop install my parts?
Replies: 24
Views: 1814

Re: Brake pads/rotors: will shop install my parts?

My usual advice for service - find a local independent that services your make. Mine charges about the same for rotors and pads for our german cars as I could buy them for. You'll possibly also find that the kind of hard upsell that goes on in some of the chain stores is missing. Look for a place th...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your house worth?
Replies: 71
Views: 5476

Re: How much is your house worth?

I searched my address & picked 5 realty sites, including RF. The spread around the average of the 5: ⋅ RedFin: +7.5% ⋅ Zillow: -1% ⋅ Movoto: -13% ⋅ RealtyTrac: +6% ⋅ Trulia: +0.5% The average of these was +5% over my guestimate of the value. Most...
by Bengineer
Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you handle auto care? (for a non-DIY'er)
Replies: 54
Views: 3796

Re: How do you handle auto care? (for a non-DIY'er)

After much asking around, we were lucky to find a local shop that is really honest. Not the cheapest around, but always does the job right and he'll tell you what doesn't need to be done and how I can save on parts. I've recommended a few family members and friends to the same shop; no complaints. ...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motion Activated Outdoor Security Lights
Replies: 16
Views: 1208

Re: Motion Activated Outdoor Security Lights

I've had pretty good performance and reliability with the Heath/Zenith branded motion sensors, meaning 4 years here in the SoCal sun. The bulb saver feature appears to work (sample of 1). I do have to adjust the sensitivity slightly between summer & winter.
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a major bedding issue. Yes, bedding.
Replies: 43
Views: 4393

Re: We have a major bedding issue. Yes, bedding.

This might seem somewhat counterintuitive, but have you tried sleeping with the bedroom much warmer, under nothing or just a sheet?
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: exterior timer for Christmas lights
Replies: 10
Views: 591

Re: exterior timer for Christmas lights

I use an inexpensive dongle style one from the orange big-box store that will come on at dusk and stay on some hours. It's worked fine the last few years. I'd think they'd be everywhere this time of year.
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?
Replies: 47
Views: 4116

Re: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?

... Luke, Luke, resist the dark side! ... :D ... The key to success, in my view, is to pursue a field for which you have a passion. Exactly. I have a similar background story to Call_Me_Ops. Get the PhD. Slog through the endless dissertation edits & committee. Once you finish, your degree will l...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping water away from your house (curtain drain)
Replies: 4
Views: 882

Re: Keeping water away from your house (curtain drain)

The first question is where is the water coming from? I recommend getting out and walking around your house for a good looky-loo during the next rainstorm. Land sloped away from the house for 8-10' on all sides? Gutters all feeding into drains carrying the water away from your foundation? Water comi...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 5618

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

Consumer Reports predicted that Subaru would be the 5th most reliable brand for 2015. This highlights a common flaw in Consumer Reports' methodology. They're great for reviewing product features, but less great at analyzing long-term value. They are making predictions based on data from consumers w...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asphalt driveway - Temporary patch for depressed area in front of garage
Replies: 24
Views: 1544

Re: Asphalt driveway - Temporary patch for depressed area in front of garage

I'm in the cold patch camp. buy some (estimate the volume and the bags will tell you how many you need ), toss it down in a 1-2" layer, drive over it a few times until it is compacted, repeat until you get the desired level. Get a tamper and use that if you can't drive over part of your depress...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Could someone check my propane math
Replies: 16
Views: 1131

Re: Could someone check my propane math

I'd pay-as-you-go for a couple years till you figure out your usage and the local prices & service. I wouldn't go with the "lock in". That's the same approach to locking in customers as with a leased tank. I'd also think about getting a second tank & valve setup so when #1 is empty...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concrete Driveway Sealers
Replies: 14
Views: 1634

Re: Concrete Driveway Sealers

Used Kure-n-Seal 25 LV on my concrete apron the day it was poured (once it was solid enough to walk on and the concrete guys had "buffed" it one last time). Winter came and went. Spring came and went. Summer came and went. Over a year later it's sweet. Did it myself with a paint roller an...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas to close open shelves in kitchen?
Replies: 16
Views: 1154

Re: Ideas to close open shelves in kitchen?

... My only concern was the entire back wall, where the shelves are, is tiles. Inread its difficult to drill into tiles. So would I need to haves the tiles removed the before I am able to put the cabinets in? Also, the shelves themselves seem to be embedded in the wall. I was thinking putting it ca...
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 3871

Re: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

Op here with a follow-up. I ordered a pair with progressive lenses from zennni. The order took two weeks to arrive on the west coast via USPS. They were about 1/7th of my retail pair. 8-) The prescription is accurate, with the far-near transition set well, which was my biggest concern. The frames ar...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crawlspaces - insulate or encapsulate?
Replies: 13
Views: 1063

Re: Crawlspaces - insulate or encapsulate?

FYI, here are links to two sites with articles on the subject that I found informative. Both of these sites have a wealth of information on building science and energy efficiency.

Energy Vanguard - Crawl Space Encapsulation

Green Building Advisor - Building an Unvented Crawl Space
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Direct Vent Gas Hot Water Tank
Replies: 21
Views: 1737

Re: Direct Vent Gas Hot Water Tank

I'd think direct vent would be the way to go if you can place the water heater next to an outside wall, the vent can go through it and have the proper clearance outside. No need for power & hot water during and outage. No possibility of backdrafting. The big box stores carry them. I'm thinking h...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Cooking Range suggestions?
Replies: 17
Views: 2006

Re: Gas Cooking Range suggestions?

We've used and preferred gas ranges for the last 20 years & 4-5 houses. Some thoughts: ⋅  A continuous grate is nice, makes sliding large pots around easy. ⋅  As yourselves, "what kind of cooking do we do?". We cook, roast & broil, baking occasionally. A gas ove...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy
Replies: 27
Views: 1730

Re: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy

Not so hard to bump a non-load bearing wall back 3-4", maybe turn the studs flat-ways. Didn't fly with the missus. This is funny. Is your name Red Green? What's on the other side of that wall? In my case my back yard. Not so easy. Ha! I hadn't heard of Red Green. I think I am going to have to ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Winterization -- Window Insulation Film, Weatherstripping, etc.
Replies: 10
Views: 1404

Re: Home Winterization -- Window Insulation Film, Weatherstripping, etc.

You could also use rope caulk vs a liquid gunned product around the sashes where they meet the frame. Easy to apply & remove in the spring. I found it in the same area as the weatherstripping products.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy
Replies: 27
Views: 1730

Re: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy

In a recent topic, counter depth refrigerator was not recommended. Instead recommended to recess back wall 3" and use standard refrigerator. Another reply said simpler refrigerators more trouble-free than complex ones. See/search topic: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home gym flooring
Replies: 16
Views: 1994

Re: Home gym flooring

Check out horse stall mats. 4' x 6' x 3/4". I floored the area around the weight rack & benches with them.
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whisky Recommendations
Replies: 109
Views: 8799

Re: Whisky Recommendations

You're going to have to narrow it down a little. Is whiskey irish, scotch, kentucky, Canadian, or ? to you. Or all of the above. My cabinet usually has mostly Kentucky bourbons or similar. Currently, Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden, Bulleit, and Maker's Mark are on hand. Depends on what you like. For...
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator temperature fluctuations
Replies: 9
Views: 891

Re: Refrigerator temperature fluctuations

It is possible the defrost cycle isn't working properly. Admittedly, my experience below is with one fridge. Hopefully some of the info will be of use in debugging yours. Our three year old fridge went from working fine to the fridge compartment not staying cool while the freezer went to below setpo...
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 3871

Re: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

Thanks for the replies. I'm motivated to try an online pair.

Coincidentally, the WSJ has an article The Pros and Cons of Buying Glasses Online today.
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 1490

Re: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?

An allocation you can sleep well with might let you retire in less than 20 years. Knowing you could "go Johnny Paycheck" at any time is a nice feeling. :D Or live a more luxurious retirement. Or get to "make a difference" territory with your charitable giving. Or ...
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 3871

Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

I've just gotten new eyeglasses. I'm fairly myopic with a fair bit of astigmatism (think -4 to -6 total correction). 20-20 vision is a goal. I looked up the same frames & prescription online. The price was 40% of my retail cost, which is enough off to get my attention. If you have a similar pres...
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for teenage daughter - best option?
Replies: 46
Views: 3188

Re: Credit card for teenage daughter - best option?

... At the moment she has her own checking account with our local teachers credit union that has a VISA debit/ATM card attached that is set up to provide no overdraft protection and no fees. ... I don't know how widespread it is, but my CU debit card can be processed as a credit transaction as well...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all
Replies: 77
Views: 5002

Re: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all

... So without trying I can't decide whether a squishy, gradual soft-edged change in the stereoscopic distance and direction of the world will be more or less bad than a sharp-edged change. ... I think you learn to tilt (and rotate) your head to get sharp focus at whatever distance with progressive...
by Bengineer
Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all
Replies: 77
Views: 5002

Re: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all

I've had progressives for ~15 years or so. I'm fairly myopic with a good bit of astigmatism. I go with whatever egregiously expensive progressive lens technology the optometrist suggests. I haven't really had a problem except when going with a lower-cost lens technology once. As noted, the in-focus ...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driveway Gate Opener - Any Suggestions?
Replies: 2
Views: 379

Re: Driveway Gate Opener - Any Suggestions?

We have a Liftmaster LA400. It has been trouble free for 3-1/2 years.
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merits of Getting a Construction Loan Over Cash
Replies: 8
Views: 546

Re: Merits of Getting a Construction Loan Over Cash

If I had the cash, I'd avoid a loan, the costs and headaches of having a bank and its inspectors in the mix. I'd structure the contract to have enough stages to keep the contractor happy with the cash flow, allow a reasonable time for inspection at each stage, hire my architect/engineer/inspector to...
by Bengineer
Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why doesn't the NWFCU 3 yr CD show up on bankrate.com?
Replies: 4
Views: 871

Re: Why doesn't the NWFCU 3 yr CD show up on bankrate.com?

Interesting. They show up on depositaccounts.com. The only item I saw that came up searching on bankrate was a checking account survey.
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet (and TV) in rural CT, NY, MA
Replies: 12
Views: 528

Re: Internet (and TV) in rural CT, NY, MA

One thought on rural internet is a wireless internet service provider (WISP). If you see flat panel or yagi antennas on neighbors' rooftops you might be in luck. The local guys tend to be small and not so well advertised - ask around. Basically, you're talking a (nearly) line of sight point to point...
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done
Replies: 11
Views: 1017

Re: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done

I agree with songman52's post. Now don't get me wrong, pressure washers are fun. But, as noted up-thread, one can really tear up the side of the house with a pressure washer. Spraying on a bleach solution, scrubbing it with a brush and rinsing it off with a hose is gentle on the siding, caulk and wi...
by Bengineer
Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tub/Shower combo or Shower only in bath remodel
Replies: 20
Views: 1627

Re: Tub/Shower combo or Shower only in bath remodel

As long as you'v[e] got a shower/tub available elsewhere in the house I'd simplify to just a shower in the master bath. ... My thoughts as well. A tiled walk-in shower with a bench & no doors/glass is a pleasure to use every day. Maybe clerestory windows or a skylight/solar tube vs the picture ...
by Bengineer
Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PLEASE, help me choose between 4 wood floors
Replies: 35
Views: 2914

Re: PLEASE, help me choose between 4 wood floors

... Anybody else recommend a DIY install (we're not very handy ... I think I would recommend having someone do it. I laid 700'^2 of common T&G random length oak from a big box store with a manual porta-nailer and serrated t-head flooring nails. it "about killed me" and I was fit and h...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PLEASE, help me choose between 4 wood floors
Replies: 35
Views: 2914

Re: PLEASE, help me choose between 4 wood floors

Have you considered red or white oak? Hard, widely available, reasonably priced, classic look.

Somewhere in between bland maple and striking hickory.

I wouldn't go with knots. "common" grade oak will have some knots, and warped pieces, but the installer can cut & cull them.
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 or 1099
Replies: 12
Views: 660

Re: W2 or 1099

Absolutely go employee with those $#s. Hourly for contract should be at least 1.5x wages to cover taxes, health insurance & the employer's freedom to cut off the work at any time. If you're going to be a legit contractor, the IRS expects you to have the freedom to set work schedule & terms a...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?
Replies: 58
Views: 3944

Re: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?

nisiprius wrote:Aluminum foil is one thing, but do you realize how hard it is to get tinfoil these days? :D


Hah! Here's a quick news read on the contact vs rfid.

My chip & sig (bring on the pin!) card has a little 6-node electrical contact patch that has to be inserted into the reader.
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?
Replies: 58
Views: 3944

Re: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?

... Oh, as long as I'm be paranoid... do these things have RFID chips in them, i.e. do I need to buy an RFID-shielded wallet now? Just put them under your tinfoil hat. :D Sorry. a more reasonable answer would be that some cards might support RFID. I'd think that would be an advertised feature, like...
by Bengineer
Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?
Replies: 58
Views: 3944

Re: Am I less protected with chip-and-signature?

I think it's that merchants may face more liability for fraudulent purchases made after Oct 1. Excerpt from creditcards.com : "After an Oct. 1, 2015, deadline created by major U.S. credit card issuers MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express, the liability for card-present fraud will shi...
by Bengineer
Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folding table for guests / future use
Replies: 10
Views: 579

Re: Folding table for guests / future use

One way to go about this is to buy or build an inexpensive, appropriate size folding table and drape it with a tablecloth. Every party rental / event provider on the planet has rough looking plywood tables in various sizes & shapes with folding legs + tablecloths to go with. Your box store likel...
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lighted Vanity Mirror (LED)–Good idea?
Replies: 12
Views: 879

Re: Lighted Vanity Mirror (LED)–Good idea?

We have a wide mirror over the vanity & a three bulb fixture over each sink. Currently they have warm white CFLs, which seem to meet the needs of the makeup appliers in the household. After some consideration, we went with an unlighted wall-mount mirror with reasonable magnification. I'd have th...
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing tires. Should I also replace Tire Pressure Sensors? (2008 model year Honda)
Replies: 25
Views: 2520

Re: Replacing tires. Should I also replace Tire Pressure Sensors? (2008 model year Honda)

OP, I think I would replace them if their age is in line with what your owner's manual says regarding their life. I would look into whether the mileage of the car is a factor in the sensor battery life. I would also factor in how long you expect your new tires to last based on your expected miles pe...
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)
Replies: 133
Views: 14198

Re: Best Small Purchases (Around the house)

Possibly a little more than "small", but little interior things that make life easier: ⋅ Pull out shelves for the kitchen lower & pantry cabinets. ⋅ A platform for the W/D that 3 laundry baskets slide under. Clothes sorted by H/W/C on the way in. ⋅ Clips &...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sacramento Real Estate Market
Replies: 14
Views: 1493

Re: Sacramento Real Estate Market

I also recommend considering the Land Park area. In addition to the park itself - lots of trees, which are your friend in the hot Sac summers. Definitely look at the flood maps when considering. If you're looking downtown, consider the bar life around. If Indie Capital has one for sale in your price...
by Bengineer
Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Outdoor Camera
Replies: 16
Views: 1887

Re: Home Security Outdoor Camera

Another vote for HIKVision cameras. I have a few the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I 3mp cams. I'd order from a supplier that ships via amazon.
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your First Job
Replies: 113
Views: 7463

Re: Your First Job

Pulling tobacco at the farmers around us. Paid more than MickyD's and I could walk to work. Hard work. The gum that I had to scrape off cured me from ever using tobacco.

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