Search found 4448 matches

by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me replace my beloved shoes...
Replies: 8
Views: 1066

Re: Help me replace my beloved shoes...

It's an Oxford style tennis shoe / sneaker / athletic shoe. Here is a Google search that turns up shopping sites with alternatives: https://www.google.com/search?q=oxford+tennis+shoe
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning Tile Grout?
Replies: 8
Views: 1093

Re: Cleaning Tile Grout?

Rubbermaid makes a power scrubber that takes all the "elbow grease" out of that job. It comes with two different shaped brushes. http://www.rubbermaid.com/en-US/reveal-power-scrubber I bought that. It's good for everyday cleaning, but you need to pair it with the appropriate cleaning solu...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gooligan?
Replies: 6
Views: 604

Re: Gooligan?

This is an issue pretty much only if you're in the habit of side-loading apps and you use a version of Android less than Android 6. In essence, it takes advantage of some published vulnerabilities in Android 4 and 5 if you side-load one of the affected apps. The primary behavior is to leave 5 star r...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?
Replies: 81
Views: 8875

Re: Amazon Prime Getting Stingy?

If it ships from the local warehouse, I've received the items within 2 days most of the time, including Sunday delivery of some Black Friday gift purchases. This is with USPS doing the end-point delivery. I've had a few items delayed an extra day with USPS, but that was the previous carrier. My only...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 32 GB or 128GB storage for a new smartphone?
Replies: 35
Views: 2636

Re: 32 GB or 128GB storage for a new smartphone?

I use a camera app that has an option to store pictures in both raw and JPG format. The raw image files take up quite a bit of space. I'm up to 22GB used on my current phone after only one year of use. I could delete the raw image files off the phone (after copying them to the computer) to free up s...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth now = $0!!
Replies: 30
Views: 5860

Re: Net Worth now = $0!!

Most people I know put 20% down so especially if you live in a very hcol area like me your net worth may go negative for a bit. Mine did, but happy to be back in the positive range again! It's a good feeling but still seems depressingly low with the mortgage. Sigh.... Unless the house loses value a...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?
Replies: 25
Views: 2587

Re: Who will run my Ethernet Cables for me?

Here we actually have a couple of companies that specialize in running cat (Ethernet), coax, AV, etc. cables. But electricians also advertise the service. My biggest concern would be to check the license, bonding, and worker's comp status before hiring someone. Running cables through attics can be d...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net Worth now = $0!!
Replies: 30
Views: 5860

Re: Net Worth now = $0!!

My net worth may go negative again if I take on a mortgage. I'm putting money aside each month for a down payment, but for the time being though, I'm satisfied renting and not taking on additional debt. Congrats on the milestone. I wanted to reassure you on this particular point though. Remember th...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102804

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

["New] American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness AAdvantage card) opened or closed in the past 24 months. Product change is treated as account closure." I came across this today; it seems very restrictive...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowner responsibility for water service line
Replies: 51
Views: 4661

Re: Homeowner responsibility for water service line

... I have also replaced 2 sewer lines--trees both times--5k each How can a tree damage a sewer line unless the sewer line is leaking? Orangeburg pipe can be easily damaged by tree roots since it's just layers of tar and wood pulp. The roots can either compress a section of pipe (deform it) or perf...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cat teeth cleaning cost in San Diego
Replies: 35
Views: 3827

Re: Cat teeth cleaning cost in San Diego

Can someone tell me what place has this price for cat teeth cleaning. I had a quote for $1,550. This thread is from 2014, so costs may have gone up. That said, the base price at my vet has only gone up to $150 for the cleaning, $60 for the blood work, $25 for each tooth extracted, and still about $...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: removing mildew/mold from sidewalk
Replies: 44
Views: 26231

Re: removing mildew/mold from sidewalk

Folks, this thread was started in 2012. I'd hope that 4 years was enough time for Nonnie to come up with an effective solution.
by Mudpuppy
Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often to check on accounts for cyber theft?
Replies: 10
Views: 832

Re: how often to check on accounts for cyber theft?

Most brokerage firms have a higher level of security precautions than your average company. Vanguard for example only allows money to transfer out to a linked bank account and the process of linking a new bank account takes on order of weeks with snail mail notification. Even if someone were able to...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have Nexus but not able to use tsa precheck
Replies: 16
Views: 1298

Re: Have Nexus but not able to use tsa precheck

Last year they announced they were going to limit TSA Precheck, only allowing enrolled travelers to get it. (September 2015, I think). But for some reason they changed their minds, because I encountered random unenrolled people in the TSA Precheck lines between Oct 2015 - Mar 2016. (They often stan...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard products store - cc info compromised
Replies: 7
Views: 1214

Re: Vanguard products store - cc info compromised

Does anyone know if the new website will still be called http://www.vanguardgear.com? By the way, going to the site vanguardgear.com I notice it was an "https" which is supposed to be safer for online purchases right? I thought the "https" carries a certain level of encryption, ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have Nexus but not able to use tsa precheck
Replies: 16
Views: 1298

Re: Have Nexus but not able to use tsa precheck

You have to enter the NEXUS card number for each family member in the known traveler field for that person when you're booking the flights.
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent charges on Chase Sapphire card
Replies: 15
Views: 1595

Re: Fraudulent charges on Chase Sapphire card

I've had Chase cards used fraudulently even before I received them in the mail and so have a few of my colleagues. Chase has somebody stealing/selling information working inside them. They know this, but would they admit it? I've had the same issue with my Chase Freedom card on numerous occasions. ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016
Replies: 36
Views: 3366

Re: H&R Block Tax Software for 2016

Just an FYI, but for the last several years Amazon has run a really good sale on H&R Block software on January 2nd. No guarantees they'll do the same this go-round, but worth looking at Amazon on that specific date to see.
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fraudulent charges on Chase Sapphire card
Replies: 15
Views: 1595

Re: Fraudulent charges on Chase Sapphire card

So, could someone skim the mag stripe of that chip card and "burn" in onto a fake mag stripe-only card and use it as a swipe card? Apparently. They could have a cloned card with a "damaged" chip, which would cause the system to either fall-back to mag-stripe mode or manual entry...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Artificial Christmas tree
Replies: 27
Views: 1944

Re: Artificial Christmas tree

As others have noted, artificial trees are relatively easy to set up and store. But my current clowder of cats find the artificial tree very easy to tip over. I tried non-breakable ornaments, but eventually got sick of having to pick the tree up and put everything back into place. Now I have a small...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Corvette to Hybrid
Replies: 55
Views: 4761

Re: Corvette to Hybrid

My wife wants me to finance a used car with an out the door cost of >$10K. I wanted to buyout a 14.8k Prius with cash. Your wife has compromised by moving off the idea of a new luxury car to the idea of a used car. That's a big deal. Don't ruin this compromise by pushing the Prius idea or the Mazda...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When should I upgrade my wireless router? (RT-N56U)
Replies: 43
Views: 3617

Re: When should I upgrade my wireless router? (RT-N56U)

I previously had a single-band (2.4GHz) 802.11n router. I was motivated to upgrade to 802.11ac primarily to get access to the 5GHz band when a new neighbor moved in with a half dozen horribly configured 2.4GHz access points (really, it's so poorly set up that it makes me want to knock on their door ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5421

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

WiFi configuration: [list] [*]WEP, WPA, and WPS are disabled. WEP and WPA use a crytographic algorithm that is trivial to crack. My router has WPA/WPA2 (with AES). There's no way to select just WPA2. Ah, one of those "why bother with the details" sort of configuration pages. WPA and WPA2 ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cowskin Leather Jackets
Replies: 12
Views: 1111

Re: Cowskin Leather Jackets

I've actually been searching for a slightly larger leather backpack (my current one barely closes with my Surface Pro 3 in it). The lack of information on the quality of the leather seems to be unfortunately common these days, even at higher-end retailers. For example, the backpack I found at Nordst...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use quick wash when using your dishwasher?
Replies: 29
Views: 2747

Re: Do you use quick wash when using your dishwasher?

I've already thrown energy efficiency out the window for sake of calming my inner germaphobe.... I always use the sanitization cycle on my dishwasher, which only works with the "normal" and "pots and pans" cycles. That increases the temperature of the water for the wash and rinse...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?
Replies: 61
Views: 5369

Re: What IS this? Salad tongs for elves?

I have no idea if it is indeed a skirt/dress holder... But in my grandmothers kitchen, in rural America, in the seventies, there was one on either side of the kitchen sink. Screwed into the cabinet face. She hung "tea towels" or wash rags on them. I have seen this too! A tea towel clamp. ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long ethernet cable or wireless?
Replies: 81
Views: 5421

Re: Long ethernet cable or wireless?

Here's what I do. It's by no means bullet-proof, but it makes it harder to attack me, so my less-protected neighbors are more "tasty" for a potential attacker. Physical setup: ⋅ I have a modem that is just a modem. No modem/WiFi combo, no modem/router combo, just a modem. ⋅&...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cowskin Leather Jackets
Replies: 12
Views: 1111

Re: Cowskin Leather Jackets

Keep in mind that the durability of leather depends on not only the source animal, but also the cut of the leather and the tanning process. You can find some pretty horrible leather made from cowskin and some durable leather made from lambskin (my current backpack is lambskin leather and has held up...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2016 hedge fund contest
Replies: 209
Views: 17160

Re: 2016 hedge fund contest

grok87 wrote:
Norbert Schlenker wrote:S'dun.

looks like it may be busted again?

At least it's a different bug this time... most tickers are parsing out to 0 as the current value.
by Mudpuppy
Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer Plan is adding "Participant Record Keeping Fees" - any good way to push back?
Replies: 9
Views: 1158

Re: Employer Plan is adding "Participant Record Keeping Fees" - any good way to push back?

It sounds like the investment provider used to add some percentage to the ER of the supplied funds but is now taking just a flat fee. Flat fees usually work out better for those with high account balances. My flat fees work out to 0.04% and that will just keep going down as my fund balance goes up. ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Air purifier recommendations – Mainly for Cooking Odor elimination
Replies: 11
Views: 1010

Re: Any Air purifier recommendations – Mainly for Cooking Odor elimination

You would want one with a high-capacity chemical filtration unit. In other words, the more activated carbon (and zeolite) the air moves over, the better the unit will be at absorbing odors. You should also look at the ventilation hood above your stove. Getting the odors out while you're cooking is g...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Housing Payment Can a Boglehead Afford?
Replies: 90
Views: 3956

Re: How Much Housing Payment Can a Boglehead Afford?

Thanks again everyone! This has been very helpful to me as I think about where to allocate funds. I currently live in a very modest house and have no kids, so the vast majority of our income is just piling up in savings. I'd like a bigger house someday and definitely ought to spend more on somethin...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)
Replies: 7
Views: 812

Re: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)

Checked on the purchase price I paid for 2015 HR Block Deluxe version software, and that was purchased as a CD direct from Amazon on Dec 23 2015 for $24.99. I think that ended up being the cheapest price I saw anywhere for the CD deluxe version anytime last year. Amazon's January 2nd sale on the 20...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)
Replies: 7
Views: 812

Re: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)

The last few years, Amazon has had a very good H&R Block sale on January 2nd. No guarantees they'll do the same this time around, but there are also good deals to be found in January at other retailers. So skip Black Friday for tax software and wait until January.
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:40 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Thanks BH for a non-political oasis
Replies: 23
Views: 2346

Re: Thanks BH for a non-political oasis

I am actually a little dismayed that there aren't any forums with good, intelligent political discussion (at least none that I know of --Any suggestions?). I want to read good discussion & debate from both sides; how else can you learn about the issues? Unfortunately, open debate quickly degrad...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:31 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Forum is now "Feed friendly"
Replies: 46
Views: 4166

Re: The Forum is now "Feed friendly"

As with anything Linux command-line based, my first thought is "what does your config file look like?" The rss command is a conky command so the script may be optional. type=atom just tells conky it's an atom I think. The addition of "?type=atom;limit=10;" to the URL is a command...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:26 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Slow loading of pages.
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: Slow loading of pages.

I've had random slow page loading since the upgrade last weekend. I just assumed it was doing some database maintenance on the back-end related to the upgrade and it would work itself out in a week or two. But maybe it's working itself up for the another holiday melt-down, because if a server could ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online Account Security Questions
Replies: 30
Views: 2349

Re: Online Account Security Questions

I'm a retired computer programmer. Even though I did not work with internet based software software it would be pretty straightforward for someone with access to the KeePass software source code to add some code in their program, that runs on your machine, at the point when the password is decrypte...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pre-tax Retirement Accounts and Pensions in Networth
Replies: 37
Views: 3705

Re: Pre-tax Retirement Accounts and Pensions in Networth

I track two values for net worth; one without pension and then occasionally, I will check the value with the pension. I know the minimum monthly or annual income I am assured in my pension and I look up the value of a comparable annuity to deliver that. I'm not following. Do many pensions out there...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 457(b) Plan
Replies: 42
Views: 3080

Re: Help with 457(b) Plan

Just a little followup. I've been told in the past that my inflation rates and real returns are on the pessimistic side. So I changed inflation to 2% and pre-retirement real rate of return to 5%. I also changed the year of retirement to 2039, since you said you're 42. So I updated the spreadsheet to...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing $35k to defer $10k tax?
Replies: 12
Views: 1356

Re: Investing $35k to defer $10k tax?

For your 457b plan, are you allowed to split between providers or must you choose just one provider and put all in that one provider? If you can split providers, Nationwide has Vanguard Total International Stock Index (VTSNX), Valic has Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VITSX), and Voya has Vanguar...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Guaranteed 3 Percent [457 plan]
Replies: 10
Views: 811

Re: Guaranteed 3 Percent [457 plan]

What costs are associated with this guaranteed 3% option? In other words, how much does it cost to buy in, to cash out, and the ongoing expenses while you are invested in it? Each one of those costs erodes away at the guaranteed 3%. If you have a link to the prospectus, that would be even better. We...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online Account Security Questions
Replies: 30
Views: 2349

Re: Online Account Security Questions

I would be cautious about writing down your important passwords. If an account is compromised and drained then I would be concerned that you might not be reimbursed if there is some question about that a house guest, housekeeper, or even a burgler might have gotten access to it. If you do write it ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online Account Security Questions
Replies: 30
Views: 2349

Re: Online Account Security Questions

Thanks for the responses, I'll definitely take another look at PW managers. I've seen some of the recommendations on the other threads. Can't say I'll definitely do it, but I'm open to changing my system if something's better. I'll also be more attentive as to what I'm checking out in public. This ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 457(b) Plan
Replies: 42
Views: 3080

Re: Help with 457(b) Plan

That's kind of depressing when factoring in inflation. If I need about $100K x 30 years in retirement, then I'd need about 3 million bucks. I don't know if I can get from here to there with the time and money I'm making. I suppose I could start doing contract work every Sat and Sun, but already wor...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 457(b) Plan
Replies: 42
Views: 3080

Re: Help with 457(b) Plan

I'm wondering what you think of my current slightly stock-heavy plan? As I had mentioned, I'm late to the investment game, and already early 40s. As such, I need to catch up, and may be ready to assume some more risk up-front and then taper down with more bonds as I proceed. Or should stick with th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for External Hard Drive
Replies: 50
Views: 3929

Re: Recommendations for External Hard Drive

When you use an external hard drive for backup, do you- 1) just drag and drop files on it or 2) use the "backup" feature (like set windows backup to the external hard drive) I mostly use #1. I have done #2, but not sure how it works if you actually need to restore. Can you plug into any c...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cab driver turned down a tip??
Replies: 19
Views: 3511

Re: Cab driver turned down a tip??

Perhaps this is a company policy to help it compete against Uber and Lyft. It might also be controlled by some local convention or regulation, such as how some cities have flat rates from certain parts of town to the airport. Looking online, I see a few pages that speak to a flat rate between the ce...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shipping Costs
Replies: 9
Views: 836

Re: Shipping Costs

If you can weigh the box and measure it (length, width, height), you can use online calculators for the various shipping companies to determine an approximate shipping costs. It won't be precise if your home scale is off by a pound or two, but it will let you compare the costs between the various sh...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 93
Views: 19990

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

I turn these on and off for every use, and the washer / dryer are never left running when I leave the house. Additionally, replace your washing machine water hoses every couple of years, as advised by this pro (and me!): http://www.bobvila.com/articles/bob-vila-radio-washing-machine-hoses/ If you'r...

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