Search found 4242 matches

by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 71
Views: 5292

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

Beware of the beer and check expiration dates. After one opened near me last year bought two six packs of beer, different brands, they were both bad, the expiration date on each showed had expired months earlier. When returned the assistant manager asked where I had found the beer, he walked over w...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Timing Belt Change - Months or Miles if car is old?
Replies: 93
Views: 20868

Re: Timing Belt Change - Months or Miles if car is old?

For my current car, a Honda Civic, the recommendation is at 100k miles or after no more than 7 years. It is an interference engine, so I didn't play around with the 7 years business even though it's not even hit the first 100k miles after over a decade. I've also visited the enthusiasts forums for ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 71
Views: 5292

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

Things not good -- meat selection. Way expensive. Local Vons (think Safeway, Kroger, etc) has chicken thighs for $2.99/lb and steak for $4-6/lb. Everything at TJ's is much more for some reason. FYI, Vons is Safeway (same chain), it just depends on what part of the country you're in as to which name...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 71
Views: 5292

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

I like Trader Joe's and if there were one a little closer to us I'd shop there more often. I do have a question, though. When I shop at Trader Joe's I have the impression that, within reason, you name it, they have it--but only one kind , never a choice. Is that your impression, too? If so, is that...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 71
Views: 5292

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

I spend most of my time (and money) in the produce, meat, and frozen foods aisles at Trader Joe's. I prefer the produce and meat at Trader Joe's over most of the other supermarkets in my immediate area. I don't shop exclusively at Trader Joe's though. I'll get dry goods and some frozen items at othe...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

It's not such a huge leap to suggest that a corporate-provided (patched, monitored, vetted) VM would also be allowed to access the "work network" over a VPN. It doesn't matter what network the host machine is physically connected to. It could be the coffeeshop down the street. In this cas...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

On the Aegis, the password is only typed into the USB key itself and the software is fully internal to the USB drive (that's why it costs more). No software has to run on the host system except for standard USB mass storage drivers. You will not have to worry about any corporate keyloggers retainin...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Once the file is decrypted on the drive and opened on the work computer, they can see it (if they are looking for it). That's true of any encrypted drive or file volume though. It only encrypts data "at rest" or "in transit". When you're actively using the data, it is available ...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

SO is aegis worth the extra $ ? I don't think so. Therefore I use the Kingston. On the Aegis, the password is only typed into the USB key itself and the software is fully internal to the USB drive (that's why it costs more). No software has to run on the host system except for standard USB mass sto...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

With all that said, I personally practice the "security through obscurity" + "reduced risk" model. Complete aside, but the phrase "security through obscurity" makes me (and many cybersecurity professionals) twitch. For those coming from a pure computer science or crypt...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card
Replies: 20
Views: 1142

Re: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card

I have had no problems with chip cards, either credit cards or bank ATM/debit cards. Not all merchants, though, are equipped to use the chip, so you swipe there. (I have not experienced chip us at gas station pumps yet, for example). Gas pumps won't have the fraud shift to gas station merchants for...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 2425

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

But all of this - the examples other posters gave of gas stations and supermarkets, the "out of state" purchases just a few miles from home, etc still begs the question: do I really have to call the bank before every purchase and ask, "Mommy, may I ...?" It's getting ridiculous....
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 2425

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

Paying your balance down on a CC more frequently *might* help. I pay mine down 2-3 times per month as income hits the ole checking account. Any half decent algorithm will take a payment to mean the CC is presently not stolen... I suspect making frequent payments will have no effect on the algorithm...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 2425

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

I've never had this sort of issue with my AmEx. I got rid of my AmEx card because years ago they did this twice. It was bad enough standing around in the store broadcasting my financial details to them over the phone once, twice was never again. That was in the days when I thought one credit card w...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card
Replies: 20
Views: 1142

Re: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card

I have never had a problem with my CapOne chip card, except once when a supermarket's systems were malfunctioning in some fashion and all cards were being rejected. I use it periodically at at least 3 local places. It does taken annoyingly longer for the authorizations to process compared to slidin...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card
Replies: 20
Views: 1142

Re: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card

The enhanced security of chip cards has next to nothing to do with when or where you use your card. The purpose of chip cards is to make card skimming/stolen card numbers totally useless. If a merchant has upgraded to chip technology, then the merchant will straight up reject counterfeit cards. Whe...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Guess where I am confused is that if they have the recovery key that just unlocks the entire HD, but I didn't think they would have access to anything in my home folder. When it comes to Unix file permissions (and Mac OS X is Unix under the hood), root (sudo from Admin) can do anything it wants. On...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?
Replies: 40
Views: 2425

Re: Threshold for pre-notifying credit card companies?

I've never had this sort of issue with my AmEx. No issues using it locally for large purchases, booking work travel on the card, or using the card while on said work trips. On the other hand, even though I'm only traveling for work, I get all sorts of ads in the mail for various travel deals from Am...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stolen Medical Data
Replies: 9
Views: 1122

Re: Stolen Medical Data

How do you prevent people from stealing and using your ID for medical stuff? I see that as the most likely risk or reason someone might steal Medical records. They have the SSN numbers and Medicare numbers and second insurance cards and so forth. So they can make fake cards and use those to get med...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card
Replies: 20
Views: 1142

Re: Having intermittent problem with Visa chip card

Chips, just like magnetic stripes, can become damaged. It's not demagnetization, it's physical damage. If contact is not being properly made between the reader and the chip, the reader can't even begin the transaction. This would explain why the customer service representative at the issuer did not ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Which one should I get? 1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G31OPB0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=pucif&linkId=99a5f75e524659d2d22a49d7b1172892 o 2. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006DUKW2C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=pucif&linkId=0b05d67ef0a2d6a58608ae5a04e6...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for External Hard Drive
Replies: 47
Views: 3059

Re: Recommendations for External Hard Drive

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/02/hgst-hard-disks-still-super-reliable-seagates-have-greatly-improved/ FYI, you should give some sort of indication about the nature of the link (HDD failure rates as a large storage provider in this case). Not everyone will recognize Ars as a tec...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 766
Views: 74865

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I too am disappointed that Amazon doesn't appear on the Q4 vendor list. I've kind of been waiting to downgrade my CSP to Chase Freedom, just so I could cash in on a 10% UR deal. (My "old" SallieMae card already offers 5% rebate on Amazon purchases). I guess a tiny part of me is still hopi...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I circumvented Chase's 5/24 rule
Replies: 38
Views: 5253

Re: How I circumvented Chase's 5/24 rule

And we need a Sapphire Reserve card because? Because you don't want to leave money on the table. Even if you don't travel at all and redeem the signup bonus for cash, you will get a net $550 cash from Chase after $4000 spending. That would be 100,000 points redeemed at 1 cent per point, less the $4...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for External Hard Drive
Replies: 47
Views: 3059

Re: Recommendations for External Hard Drive

For a little more you can get 4TB in a nice small unit (and USB 3.0): https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B017KE8OG0/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1474417966&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=4tb+seagate+external+hard+drive&dpPl=1&dpID=414UOwsH98L&ref=plSrch Thank you, but the "...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for External Hard Drive
Replies: 47
Views: 3059

Re: Recommendations for External Hard Drive

Thank you, Mudpuppy! I am looking at Amazon right now, at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W8XXRPM/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=TCWZX5APB3R6&coliid=I1UK9TFSY4CDLK&th=1 WD 1TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBGPU0010BBK-NESN, at $59, has th...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for External Hard Drive
Replies: 47
Views: 3059

Re: Recommendations for External Hard Drive

For my external drives (HDD), I personally use either Western Digital Black series (Blue if the price differential is extreme) or Seagate. But I build my own external drives from a 2.5" enclosure and 2.5" laptop drive that I buy separately. My current combination is a Seagate Spinpoint 1T...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New e-readers?
Replies: 22
Views: 1417

Re: New e-readers?

A question from an e-reader n00b - If you've purchased Kindle books, can you read them on a Kobo product and vice versa? or are you locked into your e-reader ecosystem? You can read Kindle books (or Nook books) on any device with the Kindle app (or Nook app) installed. I read books on my LG V10 sma...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what to do with old ipad?
Replies: 16
Views: 2012

Re: what to do with old ipad?

Prevent this in the future by enabling device encryption. Then you can just chuck it at an e-waste recycling event (it's also a good idea in case the device gets stolen). With an encrypted device, unless the thief or recycler is really motivated to crack the password, they can't get any data.
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cities like New Orleans?
Replies: 112
Views: 5088

Re: Cities like New Orleans?

I wasn't too impressed with New Orleans when I was there earlier this year for a business trip. I can't eat seafood or beef, so the food was only so-so when restricting oneself to poultry, pork, or vegetarian dishes. And I definitely could see the crime, even walking up Canal Street or through Lafay...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant Background Check and Credit Check
Replies: 23
Views: 1647

Re: Tenant Background Check and Credit Check

OP, your first stop is to read the bylaws passed by the condominium association. They will probably have a section relating to the rental of units in the building. Like limiting the total number of units rented vs. owned, specifying that unit owners remain liable for condominium fees, etc. If there...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security Camera System for Parent's Home
Replies: 17
Views: 1492

Re: Security Camera System for Parent's Home

Given the short time frame in which you may be using such a system, perhaps a replacing the door bell with a WiFi-enabled security camera is the best option? They would need to have Internet service so you could hook up the WiFi access point, but some of the systems record the footage on their cloud...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for External Hard Drive
Replies: 47
Views: 3059

Re: Recommendations for External Hard Drive

For my external drives (HDD), I personally use either Western Digital Black series (Blue if the price differential is extreme) or Seagate. But I build my own external drives from a 2.5" enclosure and 2.5" laptop drive that I buy separately. My current combination is a Seagate Spinpoint 1TB...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consumer Cellular - Home Phone Promotion
Replies: 5
Views: 539

Re: Consumer Cellular - Home Phone Promotion

Land lines retain power during an outage -- this will die. Not unlike a cordless phone though. Not sure about 911 service with cellular (we still have a land line). It looks like all this does is hook up a home phone to a cellular network. If you just want to go cellular, can you simply disconnect ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a rental property in a new city before moving?
Replies: 15
Views: 1256

Re: How to find a rental property in a new city before moving?

As others have already said, my two personal preferences would be either staying at an extended stay hotel for a few weeks or using a real estate company that specializes in finding rentals (and knows the local area). If money is tight due to the move, using the Internet to research is also an optio...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduate Student Tax Implications (Stipends)
Replies: 13
Views: 925

Re: Graduate Student Tax Implications (Stipends)

The whole grad student stipend situation is a mess. My university made it easy for me, fortunately, by classifying graduate assistants (I was a research and teaching assistant at various times) as regular employees and issued us W2s That just means the research and teaching assistants were consider...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sleep like a Billionaire?
Replies: 14
Views: 2968

Re: How to sleep like a Billionaire?

Even then, it does not lead to "perfect" sleep every night, particularly not on the nights when one of the cats decides to whine in the hallway because they can't come into the bedroom at night. Thats an easy to solve problem:) If I let them in, then they would whine in my face for second...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Popping Gas Water Heater
Replies: 17
Views: 1601

Re: Popping Gas Water Heater

I also have a Bradford White currently, although the 40gal model. According to the receipts provided by the prior owner, it was installed a little over a decade ago. I'll have to look into local companies, as I don't recall seeing that franchise locally.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New hollow core door or shorten the one I have?
Replies: 26
Views: 1380

Re: New hollow core door or shorten the one I have?

Maybe the OP should try the hinge adjustment methods suggested in the following thread before trying to plane, sand, or saw the door: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=199518 I've even seen someone put a spacer (really just a washer) at the top of the hinge to accomplish this...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to sleep like a Billionaire?
Replies: 14
Views: 2968

Re: How to sleep like a Billionaire?

Sleep environment has a great impact on sleep quality. Most people would agree that quiet, dark, and cool rooms lead to a better sleeping experience. There will be a little more variability on the idea of having a white noise generator, like a small fan or air filter, to block out intermittent outsi...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduate Student Tax Implications (Stipends)
Replies: 13
Views: 925

Re: Graduate Student Tax Implications (Stipends)

OK, understood. So what about quarterly taxes? Ballpark figures for myself: in 2016, my stipend income will be approximately 7.4% of me and my wife's income (this is a ceiling, since I'm not sure precisely what she will earn for the rest of the year). So in this case, no quarterly tax payments are ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Popping Gas Water Heater
Replies: 17
Views: 1601

Re: Popping Gas Water Heater

Goodman60 wrote:Flushing the tank didn't work so I had it replaced today. Thank you all for a good discussion that led me to that decision. :D

This thread reminded me to flush my gas water heater. Mine is also getting to the age to consider a replacement. What model did you go with for yours?
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Graduate Student Tax Implications (Stipends)
Replies: 13
Views: 925

Re: Graduate Student Tax Implications (Stipends)

As others have said, just put "SCH $xxxx" on your 1040 form to denote the taxable portion of the scholarship. You should also receive a 1098-T from your graduate school, but don't treat the 1098-T form as equivalent to a W2 or 1099 form. It can contain errors. For example, one year, my gra...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tenant Background Check and Credit Check
Replies: 23
Views: 1647

Re: Tenant Background Check and Credit Check

I own six rental condos. I always do a background check and credit check for new tenants. The management company has just informed all landlords that we must provide these background and credit checks to the management office. I am concerned that this would violate privacy laws. Sounds to me like t...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 60 month 2.6% CD in 457(b) worth the trade-offs?
Replies: 10
Views: 945

Re: 60 month 2.6% CD in 457(b) worth the trade-offs?

The choice is whether to do the 457(b) through Fidelity and invest in the "No Brainer" funds, or to put it into the rolling 2.6% CD though our credit union. I don't know whether we would be considered "government employees" or not (public school) so I don't know whether that 457...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to fix doors that don't close after new carpet installation
Replies: 36
Views: 2437

Re: How to fix doors that don't close after new carpet installation

Let me ask the opposite question: What to do after replacing carpet with hardwood flooring that leaves a gap of an inch or two between the floor and the door? I just live with it. Cat paws reaching under the doors have slowly chipped away at the bottom paint though. The cats don't like it when they...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:52 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: How can you remove a thread from "Your Posts?"
Replies: 10
Views: 981

Re: How can you remove a thread from "Your Posts?"

Turn off notifications for replies in threads you participated in. Only leave them enabled for replies to threads you started. The new posts will still show up in "egosearch" (Quick links -> Your posts) but you will not receive notifications for it. Here's the direct link to the part of th...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company clawing back retirement contributions
Replies: 59
Views: 6660

Re: Company clawing back retirement contributions

I spoke with HR and they explained as follows (long story short): In 2008 they contributed at 8% of my salary for 8 pay periods rather than 4% for a portion of my match (they incorrectly applied a rate used for employees older than 60). The total excess was about $2500. They then examined my accoun...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Just an aside, does everyone keep a hard copy of tax returns as well, or is that not an issue if you have them securely saved on your computer and backed up to an offsite location? I only keep a hardcopy. If they get lost, you can request a copy of the past six years return from the IRS. IRS doesn'...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Securing work computer and USB drive
Replies: 81
Views: 4453

Re: Securing work computer and USB drive

Just an aside, does everyone keep a hard copy of tax returns as well, or is that not an issue if you have them securely saved on your computer and backed up to an offsite location? I keep a printout in a locked file cabinet at home, along with all of the backup documentation. The paperwork could be...

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