Search found 267 matches

by McCharley
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can recent rise in stocks be due to fall in dollar?
Replies: 2
Views: 409

Can recent rise in stocks be due to fall in dollar?

I understand that lots of things affect the values of stocks, but it seems like the value of the dollars you are buying stocks with would immediately affect the price. :confused When I search the internet for this question, I see a lot of chatter about how the dollar affect imports/exports or partic...
by McCharley
Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House
Replies: 36
Views: 4755

Re: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House

Wired is totally the way to go, with PoE to power it. Someone else mentioned Hikvision -- great cameras! Get the highest resolution your budget can afford. I manage my cameras with Blue Iris software. It controls motion sensing and recording. I record to a DropBox file so I can see the clips from an...
by McCharley
Mon May 22, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restoring Church Pew
Replies: 4
Views: 683

Re: Restoring Church Pew

Well, furniture making is an expensive skill -- rightfully so. I would be tempted to make just a small bench-size pew, then make something else with the rest of the wood -- a table? What do you need? This would not be something you would do to save money, but rather to celebrate the unique wood sour...
by McCharley
Mon May 15, 2017 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?
Replies: 67
Views: 5700

Re: Tipping at All Inclusive Resort?

One trick for tipping on vacations when you know you will be tipping a lot (like cruises) is to get a bunch of $2 bills ahead of time. (I had to preorder these at a main branch of my bank, as I recall.) People love $2 bills! :happy
by McCharley
Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security deposit issues upon rental move-out. Or, how do I not get ripped off?
Replies: 39
Views: 3023

Re: Security deposit issues upon rental move-out. Or, how do I not get ripped off?

This is why many people leave without paying the last months rent. This is usually a bad idea (unless the rental agreement specifies that month's rent is paid at movein) because 30 days of late fees as well as a month's rent may be deducted from your deposit. It also precludes using the landlord as...
by McCharley
Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living off loans to limit income?
Replies: 8
Views: 1558

Living off loans to limit income?

Apparently it is common among the uber rich to live off loans secured by property, avoiding income taxes.

Is this really true? :confused
by McCharley
Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid
Replies: 6
Views: 1038

Student Loan Forgiveness Program Approval Letters May Be Invalid

I just saw this article in the NYT -- it looks like some people are finding out years later that their loans will not be forgiven, after all:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/30/business/student-loan-forgiveness-program-lawsuit.html
by McCharley
Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your preferred Weather App?
Replies: 55
Views: 3984

Re: What is your preferred Weather App?

Here's another vote for Dark Sky. I use Weather Underground as well, but Dark Sky has excellent hyperlocal predictions. I have a weather station that uploads to Weather Underground, so if I want to see historical graphs that's where to go. If I want to know whether to grab an umbrella it's Dark Sky ...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?
Replies: 10
Views: 1251

Re: Is it safe to use an antique mold pan?

Clean it and oil it and I'll bet it is fine. :sharebeer

If you are worried then bake at 550 degrees while heavily oiled for a few hours. Recoat as necessary. The oil will blacken into an impervious coating.
by McCharley
Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Feline Achilles' tendon injury
Replies: 20
Views: 1687

Re: Feline Achilles' tendon injury

Petulant has it right. :sharebeer

I'll bet the cat recovers fine -- cats are bulletproof.
by McCharley
Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wifi Router Advice
Replies: 43
Views: 4082

Re: Wifi Router Advice

I went through this exercise a couple of months ago and ended up getting a Linksys WRT1900ACS

One thing I strongly advise is to get a quiet external fan for it. Routers tend to run hot and cook themselves every few years.
by McCharley
Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC replacement time
Replies: 30
Views: 3077

Re: PC replacement time

The last time I did this I ended up building a computer. I found it to be fun and instructive, and the parts were better than what would have been included in a pre-built one. You say you are not a gamer but you do play games? Well, I'd advise you to get the biggest case you can tolerate, as this wi...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have credit card payment verification numbers ever been useful?
Replies: 16
Views: 1844

Re: Have credit card payment verification numbers ever been useful?

A few of you have mentioned "pushing" the payment from the bank rather than "pulling" it with the credit card site. I used to do that, too. I ran into a situation once, though, when I had racked up many thousands in charges for some big purchases and my credit card company delaye...
by McCharley
Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have credit card payment verification numbers ever been useful?
Replies: 16
Views: 1844

Have credit card payment verification numbers ever been useful?

I'm one of those "grandpas" that pays credit card bills online and writes the confirmation number on the written bill, which I store in a file. Not once in twenty years has this information ever proven to be useful. :annoyed

Has anyone ever been glad they could refer to a confirmation number?
by McCharley
Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap alarm for a garage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1672

Re: Cheap alarm for a garage?

Thank you for the responses. For now I have re-purposed an old iPhone into a motion-sensing security camera. I have been trying various ways to do this and have found the free Manything app to be the best solution. It sends push notifications when it senses motion, records videos on motion sensing, ...
by McCharley
Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More maintenance costs for expensive old house
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: More maintenance costs for expensive old house

Well, you are at least avoiding new houses that were shoddily built. New houses built on speculation often hide a lot of cut corners. Old houses have worked out their kinks. Much of the time, the layout of these older houses does not work as well for modern life. Closets are too small. There are not...
by McCharley
Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap alarm for a garage?
Replies: 11
Views: 1672

Cheap alarm for a garage?

I just built a garage/workshop and filled it with tools. It seems a likely target for theft, and I'd like to put in some kind of alarm. I really want to make sure that my neighbors are not annoyed by a lot of false alarms, though. I do not think it needs to automatically call the police. Does anyone...
by McCharley
Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else have trouble freezing their credit?
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Anyone else have trouble freezing their credit?

Dear Bogleheads, As I have no intention of taking out more credit cards or loans, and someone had tried to take out a credit card in my name (caught by Chase fraud), it seemed like a good idea to put a freeze in with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They all charge about $10 to do this, but only E...
by McCharley
Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?
Replies: 19
Views: 1492

Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

File a slot. That is the answer. :sharebeer

If you think it is bound, treat it with penetrating oil before trying to unscrew and let soak, with occasional hammer rapping, for several days.

An impact driver is a tool legitimized by this crysis. :D
by McCharley
Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Great camera to take pics?
Replies: 51
Views: 9921

Re: Great camera to take pics?

Camera shopping can be good fun! You should check out Ken Rockwell's reviews. He is very thorough. He loves the Fuji X100T m I have the X100S, which was the one that came out just before it. It is a really gorgeous camera. The lenses, as I understand it, are pushed back into the camera, so this make...
by McCharley
Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I401k Whether to go Roth or not
Replies: 48
Views: 3669

Re: I401k Whether to go Roth or not

There are a few more considerations with a Roth fund. First, you can withdraw from a Roth without fines, etc. for the money you put in. This makes it a nice stash for a safety net account. Why not build up like $50K in such an account? Lots of peace of mind. Second, paying the tax now is a gamble th...
by McCharley
Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is U District a good option for renting an apartment in Seattle?
Replies: 10
Views: 1526

Re: Is U District a good option for renting an apartment in Seattle?

I don't think the U district is a good option. (I used to live in the U district, and I grew up in MA) First of all, is is not Cambridge, MA, and any "academic environment" is quickly shot to hell by the crazies and ave rats. There is no chess at park benches. Academic arguments tend to be...
by McCharley
Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Motley Fool vs. Jason Zweig
Replies: 18
Views: 4013

Re: The Motley Fool vs. Jason Zweig

Motley Fool got messed up early on by recommending a "Dogs of the Dow" approach. Back testing showed they were geniuses, but the strategy didn't work out going forward. After that they scrambled a bit. They encourage investing in individual stocks, which is admittedly risky but does encour...
by McCharley
Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vitamix Worth It?
Replies: 63
Views: 8055

Re: Vitamix Worth It?

I consider items like this as investments.

This will definitely be the last blender you buy. It is very solidly built, and super capable.

I also bought the smaller vessel, as the regular one is pretty big. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood Chipper -- Harbor Freight?
Replies: 40
Views: 5793

Re: Wood Chipper -- Harbor Freight?

Cheap tools are a bad investment. :sharebeer
by McCharley
Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop updating older iPhones?
Replies: 15
Views: 2449

Re: Time to stop updating older iPhones?

Jeanz -- that warning did make me get the most recent update, but it'll be the last for me. Security flaws are the best reason to update, but in all the ways people could steal my identity hacking my phone seems unlikely, even without updates. I wish I could roll back the updates on my first generat...
by McCharley
Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop updating older iPhones?
Replies: 15
Views: 2449

Time to stop updating older iPhones?

There was another post on here about the upcoming iPhone 7. I have an iPhone 6s that I'll not be updating anymore. AAPL has a habit of releasing updates for old hardware that make it run slower, encouraging the purchase of new hardware. This isn't just my experience: m Yes, there are security concer...
by McCharley
Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much vacation time do you get at work?
Replies: 155
Views: 13032

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

When I was hired, I was told to take whatever vacation I needed.

This was wise, in hindsight, because I do not take vacation just because it will expire, etc.

Plus it shows trust and respect,two things that are critical for engaging employees.
by McCharley
Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with situation .Need Career advice PLZ !-Experienced Professionals !!
Replies: 34
Views: 3785

Re: How to deal with situation .Need Career advice PLZ !-Experienced Professionals !!

Kosmo has it right. This company sounds lame.

Having been laid off myself, I know the first instinct is to panic and try to grab a job, any job.

This is a mistake. Do not sell yourself short.

You don't want to work for these jokers anymore. :annoyed
by McCharley
Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to find common items that last "forever"
Replies: 58
Views: 5437

Where to find common items that last "forever"

I think perhaps that it is somewhat like retirement planning to only want to buy things once. I particularly want to do this with mundane things like toilet brushes, security lights, dustpans... I suppose that some things just wear out. Clothing, for example. I once bought -- years ago, accidentally...
by McCharley
Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How to Make Your Money Last" -- A Gem
Replies: 43
Views: 10870

Re: "How to Make Your Money Last" -- A Gem

I had thought that all annuities were a bad idea except under very specialized circumstances. :confused

Why are they regarded so favorably in this book?
by McCharley
Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Nexus the cheap way to get both TSApreCheck and Global Crossing?
Replies: 6
Views: 1101

Is Nexus the cheap way to get both TSApreCheck and Global Crossing?

There are three "trusted traveler" programs that expedite security checkpoints in airports and at borders: TSApreCheck, Global Crossing, and Nexus. It looks like if you pay $50 for Nexus, you get the $85 TSApreCheck and the $100 Global Crossing along with it. For 5 years! I guess maybe the...
by McCharley
Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Standard Sales Tax Deduction is Miserly -- here's my way
Replies: 12
Views: 1991

Standard Sales Tax Deduction is Miserly -- here's my way

Boglers, After saving all of my receipts this year, it is clear that the standard sales tax deduction would only have given me about 1/3 of the money I actually spent on sales taxes (in Seattle at 9.6%, no income tax). If you are in a high sales tax location, saving receipts can save you big on tax ...
by McCharley
Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to pay taxes early on capital gains in order to avoid fines?
Replies: 13
Views: 1793

Re: Do I need to pay taxes early on capital gains in order to avoid fines?

Thank you, Boglers, This has been very informative! It looks like I'm stuck either paying 110% of what last year's taxes were, which would be overpaying this year, or just trying to do a better job of estimating what they will actually be and paying that. The least painful way to do this would be to...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to pay taxes early on capital gains in order to avoid fines?
Replies: 13
Views: 1793

Do I need to pay taxes early on capital gains in order to avoid fines?

I sold some stock this year to pay for building a workshop , and this will incur long-term capital gains of perhaps $20k. My internet research indicates that if I pay this year at least what I owed last year that I will avoid all potential fines, even if my income is juiced by these sales. Is this t...
by McCharley
Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: upgrade OS on older MAC?
Replies: 33
Views: 2503

Re: upgrade OS on older MAC?

I used to do all upgrades as a matter of course, but not anymore! I have been burned by Apple upgrading to systems that run badly on the old hardware. I really wish I had never upgraded my first-generation iPad. It is slow and freezes a lot now, and Apple does not support downgrades so I guess I'm s...
by McCharley
Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BillFixers - Anyone Used It?
Replies: 4
Views: 829

Re: BillFixers - Anyone Used It?

I've not used their services, but the NYT article does detail their methods, which you could apply without paying anything.

I'm pretty sure if I called Comcast and complained nicely I could get some kind of discount. It's the price I pat for not having to deal with them. :moneybag
by McCharley
Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to choose which stocks to sell
Replies: 2
Views: 473

How to choose which stocks to sell

Although for retirement accounts I completely subscribe to the Bogleheads' philosophy, I also have a "hobby" of investing in individual stocks. My policy has been to always hold over 30 stocks. My returns (very carefully determined via XIRR etc.) have essentially mirrored the market over m...
by McCharley
Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card company sending bill late
Replies: 21
Views: 2725

Credit card company sending bill late

I generally wait until I receive the paper bill, then I review it and pay online. In this case the bill from Chase arrived on the day it was due, and I'd noticed it and paid online already. No harm done, but using the arrival of the bill as a reminder to pay it may not be a good idea going forward. ...
by McCharley
Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Security Outdoor Camera
Replies: 16
Views: 2359

Re: Home Security Outdoor Camera

There is some good advice on here! The Blue Iris software is great -- I've used it for years. There are a lot of CHEAP cameras out there that take really low-quality pictures. I'd advise against those inexpensive sets of multiple cameras unless you are installing them very close to the subject. Expe...
by McCharley
Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage Payment Calculator
Replies: 19
Views: 2730

Re: Mortgage Payment Calculator

There are a ton of all kinds of financial calculators at dinkytown:
https://www.dinkytown.net/

There are lots of mortgage-related ones. :beer
by McCharley
Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you find a good arborist
Replies: 12
Views: 1366

Re: How do you find a good arborist

Arborists who are serious are certified by the http://www.isa-arbor.com/
by McCharley
Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Saddleback Leather [briefcase] - Alternatives ??
Replies: 13
Views: 5667

Re: Saddleback Leather - Alternatives ??

Yep: buy it! :beer

You will enjoy it every time you use it, and it will only get better with age.

It is expensive but a large amount of that goes straight into the leather and craftsmanship. It is not like you are paying a lot for a meaningless designer label.
by McCharley
Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dissuade me from buying art [Kauai]
Replies: 44
Views: 4980

Re: Dissuade me from buying art [Kuaui]

I say buy it! :sharebeer

I've never regretted buying original art. It is not an investment in dollars, it is an investment in something you get to look at every day.

Do make sure it will grow on you, though: spend some time with it.
by McCharley
Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle commuting
Replies: 91
Views: 8316

Re: Bicycle commuting

I commute by bike 4 days a week, 5 miles each way. I ride a 59 pound Dutch Bike: http://1id8hk189que3ci9s7vcok07.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/dutch-bike-co-seattle-secret-service-1.jpg Panniers keep the load low and off your back. Upright, slow bicycles are a lot safer than the...
by McCharley
Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good source for frozen lobster tails in Seattle?
Replies: 6
Views: 902

Good source for frozen lobster tails in Seattle?

I bought them once at QFC and they were great: an instant celebration. :beer

I've not seen them anywhere since. :(

The prices are all over the place online and shipping is often expensive.

Anyone have a good experience getting them shipped or in the Seattle area?

Thanks!
by McCharley
Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Second-Grader Who Beat Wall Street -- A Decade Later"
Replies: 13
Views: 3867

Re: "Second-Grader Who Beat Wall Street -- A Decade Later"

I am wondering how having a lot of savings would impact financial aid at college. I guess it is a problem to have, but won't most colleges with need-based scholarships count a student's savings first towards tuition and school expenses, then apply whatever scholarships to what is left? This happened...
by McCharley
Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer items that are worth the initial investment?
Replies: 110
Views: 16285

Re: Consumer items that are worth the initial investment?

I love my HP11C calculator!

Image

I have had one for thirty years. I lost it for a few years and bought another, then found the first. Now I have two. :D

I have a simulator on my iPhone but it isn't the same...
by McCharley
Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrading my computer to work more days from home
Replies: 22
Views: 2150

Re: Upgrading my computer to work more days from home

Two monitors will make your neck sore looking back and forth. I would recommend a three monitor setup. It is great for looking at and cutting and pasting into multiple documents at the same time. Save some money and build your own computer -- it's fun! Make sure your graphics card can handle three m...
by McCharley
Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interesting market timing bakeoff from Schwab
Replies: 5
Views: 795

Re: Interesting market timing bakeoff from Schwab

Livesoft -- thanks! :oops:

ASAP investing only came in second to "perfect investing" -- when the monthly purchase was made at the lowest value of the year. Since you can't really know that the ASAP appears to be the winning strategy. :sharebeer