Search found 4956 matches

by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Springtails infestation. Solutions?
Replies: 7
Views: 614

Re: Springtails infestation. Solutions?

What is DE? DE is diatomaceous earth. It's a natural pest control known for damaging the exoskeletons of insects, essentially drying them out. You want DE that is composed of amorphous silica for safety, as DE with crystalline silica can damage lungs and cause silicosis. Edit: And a handyman, plumb...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Springtails infestation. Solutions?
Replies: 7
Views: 614

Re: Springtails infestation. Solutions?

Learn to live with them? Springtails are tiny and pretty harmless. They don't bite or really spread disease. Due to their tiny size, they can get in through the tiniest cracks, so keeping them out would require a ton of chemical sprays around the perimeter. Would DE around the perimeter keep them o...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is someone trying to steal my identity?
Replies: 24
Views: 1946

Re: Is someone trying to steal my identity?

It sounds pretty certain that your credit card number has been compromised and this can be the first step towards breaking into your other accounts associated with the credit card number. Have you ever paid the Verizon account with the compromised credit card? There is a social engineering attack wh...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Springtails infestation. Solutions?
Replies: 7
Views: 614

Re: Springtails infestation. Solutions?

Learn to live with them? Springtails are tiny and pretty harmless. They don't bite or really spread disease. Due to their tiny size, they can get in through the tiniest cracks, so keeping them out would require a ton of chemical sprays around the perimeter. Rather than douse the house with chemicals...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Surge Protector for Refrigerator
Replies: 14
Views: 821

Re: Surge Protector for Refrigerator

I tried to get this at my local home depot. I'm in socal where it barely rains. They looked at me like I was crazy. Even my contractor said he'd never heard of it. Is this more if an east cost thing? SoCal electricians should know what a whole house surge protector is. It's not just an east coast t...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292794

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Thanks to this discussion, I just compared the Chase UR portal to United MP rewards flight for my winter Hawaiian vacation. It looks like transferring points to United will win out for this particular trip because I can travel on days where each leg of the reward flight is 22.5k miles, but each leg ...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292794

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

In my experience, I wouldn't book a hotel off of the UR Portal. You can, but I am pretty sure you don't get loyalty points, so there goes that benefit, and the prices can be higher than booking direct. I usually book direct for hotels since it seems that the cash prices are the lowest booking direc...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation help needed - I want to reinvest 457 funds and other retirement funds into Vanguard Index Funds.
Replies: 5
Views: 444

Re: Allocation help needed - I want to reinvest 457 funds and other retirement funds into Vanguard Index Funds.

This might not be wise if this is a governmental 457(b) account. You can withdraw from a governmental 457(b) account at any time after separating from the employer without tax penalty. Once you roll it over, you can no longer access the money without penalty. Since you are in the middle of a big li...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292794

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

[ Have you purchased United Basic Economy (BE) tickets recently? Victoria Do NOT go anywhere near those Basic Economy tickets. They are a horrible, humiliating innovation - and a total price gouge. See various travel blogs, Points Guy, Gary Leff, etc. And be careful: The United booking mechanism ma...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poaching chicken
Replies: 48
Views: 3353

Re: Poaching chicken

I have to politely ask, why did you as a vegetarian agree to cook a meat dish? I have been a veggie for 20 years and personally I would not agree to cook something I'd a) have no recent experience cooking and b) be unwilling to taste. :) Else, that is easy. I was stupid for accepting this entire as...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Such an eisegetic reading is truly most vicious. We don't know exactly what the OP has seen with these delivery drivers. The OP merely said "scary looking." This is a sufficient basis upon which to seek alternatives that don't scare the OP. It matters not whether the fear is rational or i...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation help needed - I want to reinvest 457 funds and other retirement funds into Vanguard Index Funds.
Replies: 5
Views: 444

Re: Allocation help needed - I want to reinvest 457 funds and other retirement funds into Vanguard Index Funds.

I’d like to confirm that leaving Voya’s 457 plan and rolling over into Index Funds would be wise. As far as I can tell, I’m paying unnecessary fees and should get my money out ASAP. I’m assuming the consensus will be “yes” on this one. This might not be wise if this is a governmental 457(b) account...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

The repeated attempts to delegitimize the OP's fear of Amazon delivery drivers are rather vicious. These repeated delegitimizing attempts strike me as, at bottom, a form of virtue-signaling. People are welcome to have whatever fears they want. Emotions are part of being human after all. But if the ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Recently we've noticed Amazon has started using an "uber-like" model for their deliveries with some scary looking individuals in their personal vehicles delivering packages to our front door without any identifiable markings, id's, signage, etc. If these allegedly "scary" folks,...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

And now Amazon just made a move to give online ( and perhaps traditional brick and mortar) clothing stores a run for their money. They're offering Prime Clothing, allowing Prime members to order clothing, try it on, and not pay a cent until an item is actually kept. Unwanted items are simply return...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Your counterpoints really aren't explaining why it's a good thing that Amazon ignored the OP's question, nor why it is unreasonable for Amazon to make their delivery drivers generally distinguishable as distinct from people who use the real technique of posing as delivery drivers to easily get past...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

All they do is drop the package in front of the door always forgetting the door opens outward meaning I am pushing against the package to open the door! To be fair, most front doors for homes open inwards. It's just practical in areas with snow, so you don't have to push the door open through a sma...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

All they do is drop the package in front of the door always forgetting the door opens outward meaning I am pushing against the package to open the door! To be fair, most front doors for homes open inwards. It's just practical in areas with snow, so you don't have to push the door open through a sma...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

I appreciate all of the recommendations. We are prime and have several amazon packages weekly so it is a big change for us. I had hoped for a better response from amazon about the process they are using to "hire" the "uber delivery people" but instead received a free month of pr...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Or are they stealing some of them? Since Amazon wasn't willing to explain the vetting process to the OP, how does the OP know they can confidently entrust items they bought to the delivery driver? Patterns of complaints won't get noticed until there's a problem. There are computers for that. Each d...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Recently we've noticed Amazon has started using an "uber-like" model for their deliveries with some scary looking individuals in their personal vehicles delivering packages to our front door without any identifiable markings, id's, signage, etc. If these allegedly "scary" folks,...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Amazon
Replies: 76
Views: 4876

Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Recently we've noticed Amazon has started using an "uber-like" model for their deliveries with some scary looking individuals in their personal vehicles delivering packages to our front door without any identifiable markings, id's, signage, etc. I emailed Amazon to better understand their...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poaching chicken
Replies: 48
Views: 3353

Re: Poaching chicken

Move all of the chicken packaging (especially the diaper) out of the house as it will stink within a day. Plan B is to put it in a sealed bag in the freezer until trash day. You can cut the Styrofoam tray into nesting pieces for it to fit into the bag. Putting the wrappers in the freezer is my Plan...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 75
Views: 2748

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Should I give the seller's agent a heads up we are thinking of getting our own agent, since he has already shown us the house twice and spent time with us looking at a few other houses? Of course we have not signed anything with him, but I feel like he deserves a call first. I believe you are under...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)
Replies: 75
Views: 2748

Re: Negotiating a House Using Seller's Agent (opinions wanted)

Not even the best agents in the world can help if the sellers or buyers cannot agree on the market value for the home. All the agent can do is provide information on reasonable comps. But there's not much the agent can do if both parties are sticking to their impressions of the "correct" p...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?
Replies: 10
Views: 1071

Re: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?

Thanks for the inputs! I have a little more to think about now. Prioritization based on need, potential for mess, then desires. Don't worry too much about tying it all together at once. One more thought. Depending on where your utility and water districts, there may be rebates available for the win...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who takes financial chances and why is this forum so financially conservative?
Replies: 139
Views: 11806

Re: Who takes financial chances and why is this forum so financially conservative?

e) wife also does weird random investments like Azerbaijani bonds yielding 12% and a new investment in a resort for Chinese tourists in Cambodia, which will be sold to other investors after it's developed partially. That last one sounds a bit like a pyramid scheme. Have you seen concrete numbers on...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who takes financial chances and why is this forum so financially conservative?
Replies: 139
Views: 11806

Re: Who takes financial chances and why is this forum so financially conservative?

Probably my biggest financial chance was going back to graduate school during the height of the dot-com boom. I left what would now be called a "DevOps" job (sysadmin + programmer) with decent pay and very good benefits to go another $50k in student loan debt for my Ph.D. in Computer Scien...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NFC (near field communication) desirability
Replies: 22
Views: 1885

Re: NFC (near field communication) desirability

Nope. Not enough merchants I frequent accept it yet, it doesn't always work, and on at least a few phones I've seen, it can suck battery life pretty good if you always leave it on. On a related note, I don't like having screen locks on my phone, and some (all?) of the mobile wallets require them. W...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?
Replies: 10
Views: 1071

Re: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?

There's no real need to do all of jobs for the exterior redo at the same time. You can spread them out over time. For example, there are tools that can route conduit and irrigation under existing concrete if needed. However, it might make sense to draw up exterior plans with a landscape architect so...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DS in Auto Accident, Insurance Increase, Plan-of-Action
Replies: 13
Views: 807

Re: DS in Auto Accident, Insurance Increase, Plan-of-Action

DS had a medical event in January which required medication. He is working two low paying jobs since that event and is recovering well. This medication likely contributed to the auto accident, so don't want to be punitive (it is important for him to stay on his medication). He is working two low-pa...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poaching chicken
Replies: 48
Views: 3353

Re: Poaching chicken

When I first read the title, I thought of another meaning of "poach", as in verb (used with object) 6.to trespass on (private property), especially in order to hunt or fish. 7.to steal (game or fish) from another's property. 8.to take without permission and use as one's own: to poach idea...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Managers
Replies: 58
Views: 2710

Re: Suggestions for password storage services?

And you can have multiple password database files with KeePass, so you could have one file for your trivial accounts with just a complex master password and another file for your financial accounts that uses both a complex password and key-file. The key-file makes it that much harder for attackers ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Managers
Replies: 58
Views: 2710

Re: Suggestions for password storage services?

I may be a bit of a luddite but I don't like the idea of trusting any software with any important password information like my financial signons. I know that there are safeguards but there is a lot of incentive for people to try to hack them. For unimportant signups like for access to some free new...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Managers
Replies: 58
Views: 2710

Re: Password Managers

Thanks for the paper, btw; I personally didn't need any visualizations to get the point(s). I never said I needed them. I said it's a pet peeve. Big difference. One of the ABET student learning outcomes for computer science is the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences, w...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contractor took deposit but never did any work. What next?
Replies: 25
Views: 3029

Re: Contractor took deposit but never did any work. What next?

follow up and answer some questions: 1) I contacted a lawyer today and awaiting for a response 2) I would prefer not to divulge the exact amount but it is for a 5 figure sum which is well above the small claims court maximum. If it was something like $1500 I would just eat the loss, but at 5 figure...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Managers
Replies: 58
Views: 2710

Re: Password Managers

A recent Workshop on Security and Human Behaviour (SHB 2017), https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/shb17/ , featured a relevant paper "Expert password management," http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/shb17/stobert.pdf . Victoria That paper hits on one of my academic paper pet peeves: nary a visuali...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password Managers
Replies: 58
Views: 2710

Re: Password Managers

I store no passwords in the cloud. My password manager is my own brain, backed up by a LibreOffice Writer document stored I our safe. :wink: Not sure if the wink emoticon meant this was a joke, but in case you're serious, the human brain is really horrible at managing passwords. If one refuses to u...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: How do you get this Bogleheads page to go all the way across the screen
Replies: 11
Views: 921

Re: How do you get this Bogleheads page to go all the way across the screen

Most people seem to be focusing on text size, but I interpreted the request as the width of the text boxes across the screen. phpBB prosilver fixes the maximum width to 1152px to 1220px (depending on device type) in the stylesheet. If you have a high resolution monitor, you get big bars of light gre...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Longest conversation thread?
Replies: 6
Views: 785

Re: Longest conversation thread?

Go to this page, scroll to the bottom and sort by number of replies. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=10 Ron Your link only goes to the Investing Theory sub-forum. You'd have to do that for each sub-forum and take the max of all the sub-forums to find the "winner". Right n...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292794

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

On Delta's site there is lots of availability, some saver and lots otherwise. On FB though, why am I able to see 15k tickets and 27.5k tickets if the lowest fare is all that should be available? When the time comes we'll be traveling to HI in late Oct or Early Nov...hopefully the availability opens...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting a Windfall to Tax Advantaged Accounts
Replies: 25
Views: 1843

Re: Converting a Windfall to Tax Advantaged Accounts

Great thread. I am in same situation. I have 105k sitting at Ally. I can't seem to pull trigger. Hopefully this thread can get me off the wall. I am currently maxing all retirement accounts and living of savings at Ally. It should take about 3 years to deplete. I figure this is better than doing no...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting a Windfall to Tax Advantaged Accounts
Replies: 25
Views: 1843

Re: Converting a Windfall to Tax Advantaged Accounts

My gut reaction is to very carefully verify that this windfall is indeed tax-free. Even an inheritance can have unexpected tax burdens if it derives from a trust, particularly if it was originally a married couple's trust and one spouse predeceased the other by a significant margin (depending on how...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292794

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

In order to be able to effectively enforce this policy, I think card issuers would have to require stores to not allow gift cards to be purchased with credit cards. I don't know if this has been done before, but if it has, I think it would be deeply unpopular among consumers and as a result, be pot...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake insurance in SOCAL
Replies: 28
Views: 1461

Re: Earthquake insurance in SOCAL

So yes, wood frame houses generally don't fall down in an earthquake, especially if they are well bolted to the foundation. But not falling down is very different from not suffering significant damage that would cost significant $ to repair. The federal government does give you a little co-insuranc...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake insurance in SOCAL
Replies: 28
Views: 1461

Re: Earthquake insurance in SOCAL

I live in an area which the CEA considers a "low risk", despite having three active fault lines nearby (including the San Andreas). That means the earthquake insurance is cheaper than homeowner's insurance by a large margin. So I have earthquake insurance. Also, California is only non-reco...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest with ICMA or not... fees/taxes question
Replies: 3
Views: 263

Re: Invest with ICMA or not... fees/taxes question

So the question is whether to switch the $600/month that you are currently putting into a taxable account to your governmental 457(b) plan. Beyond lowering your taxable income, a governmental 457(b) plan has the advantage that you can withdraw funds at any age without a tax penalty once you separate...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone battery calibration
Replies: 17
Views: 1103

Re: Cell phone battery calibration

I have an LG V10 with a spare battery. If there is a lot of switching between towers, that can chew through battery, but that doesn't always seem to be the case. Often, it just eats through the battery and nothing unusual shows up on the battery manager beyond Phone idle. I'm lucky to get a couple h...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292794

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

What is manufactured spending? Manufactured spending is a dark art used by folks needing to complete required spending to meet requirements for signup bonuses. It is very close to money laundering. For example, use your credit card to buy a prepaid card, bring the prepaid card to the post office to...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with asset allocation and picking Vanguard funds
Replies: 3
Views: 421

Re: Help with asset allocation and picking Vanguard funds

You both have some high ERs in your retirement plans. They're not the best California has to offer. Do you have any other custodians for your 403(b) plan? And since your wife participates in CalPERS, is she eligible for the California Savings Plus Program (CA SPP) or the CalPERS 457(b) plan? Both o...

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