Search found 2361 matches

by hicabob
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dimmer Switch
Replies: 9
Views: 847

Re: Dimmer Switch

The cheap feit ones at Costco that claim led compatibility flicker horribly. http://www.costcoweekender.com/2016/08/feit-electric-led-dimmer-switch-costco-689406.html I ended up using these Lutron's which cost more but are perfect with leds. https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-CTCL-153PDH-WH-Skylark-Conto...
by hicabob
Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 83
Views: 4389

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

I live in an HOA and had a beehive in my backyard. I could have called the HOA and an exterminator would have taken care of the bees. But I wanted the bees removed and not killed. After a number of calls starting with the California Beekeeper association and then to my local Farmers Market, I locat...
by hicabob
Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 83
Views: 4389

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

It is 2 trips to the house + work so $300 is not really unreasonable. I've had luck sealing off the identified entrance at night when a skunk that took up residence under my guest house was out carousing. Found him dead the next day with a head injury. Owl I suppose?
by hicabob
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Installment Sale of business / Keeping money separate
Replies: 1
Views: 164

Re: Installment Sale of business / Keeping money separate

Why? For a biz I sold a few years ago I had a lump sum then payments over 3 years. I comingled immediately and bought index funds over the 3 years. The money arrangement was with the blessing of a CPA and lawyer although the lawyer didn't like the 3 years. I did pay the 3 years tax upfront since it ...
by hicabob
Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you are financially independent, how much monywould you bother to make?
Replies: 31
Views: 3449

Re: If you are financially independent, how much monywould you bother to make?

I do the airline cards for miles occasionally. Being financially independent gives you time flexibility so that you can actually get and use those 25k miles cross country round-trip flights. There's nothing wrong with playing bonus games if it provides a little amusement even though you don't "...
by hicabob
Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Stress Chess board game for 7 year old
Replies: 12
Views: 836

Re: No Stress Chess board game for 7 year old

Checkers, or draughts as it should be called, is an excellent game that can be enjoyed at many levels. While not chess it requires similar logic and many kids really enjoy it. If the kid really likes the game he will want to learn chess too.
by hicabob
Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]
Replies: 114
Views: 10167

Re: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]

People tend to be blabbermouths given enough time. I always thought that a person should be appreciative to the person who thought enough of them to hire them so should speak kindly of them. That person is usually their boss.
by hicabob
Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: fil moved, now outside of kaiser service area, what to do?
Replies: 10
Views: 1088

Re: fil moved, now outside of kaiser service area, what to do?

From my experience Kaiser coverage is very persnickety about where you live, unless you are an employee.
by hicabob
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 512

Re: HSA and taxes

Yes, you can certainly reimburse yourself for dental expenses. But the dental expenses you've already paid were paid in post-tax dollars. The general concept would be that medical (and dental expenses) can be paid in pre-tax dollars (but only once; you can't reimburse yourself for expenses paid in ...
by hicabob
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 512

Re: HSA and taxes

dental procedures for example?
by hicabob
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA and taxes
Replies: 9
Views: 512

HSA and taxes

The often touted 3 tax benefits of HSA's are as follows ... Money goes in pretax or contributions are tax-deductible. Once in the account, money grows tax-free. Money can be withdrawn tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses. After having a medical deduction for the first time ever thanks mostly...
by hicabob
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Starting "web site business". Need an LLC?
Replies: 20
Views: 1631

Re: Starting "web site business". Need an LLC?

Incorporation is usually not needed until you are generating revenue which correlates with selling stuff, or if the biz is owned by more than one person. Many startups never get to that point so I would wait until you do. Good luck!
by hicabob
Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mens Blue Jeans - What are we buying now?!
Replies: 86
Views: 7786

Re: Mens Blue Jeans - What are we buying now?!

Wrangler, regular fit. At Fred Meyer around Thanksgiving to Christmas when on sale. The heavy duty deniem was saved by legs from the chain saw more than once :oops: . I need to order some chaps :idea: :annoyed YMMV Yup - I bought a pair of Husqvarna chaps after chain sawing a hole in my jeans. high...
by hicabob
Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Doctor fees - Insured vs uninsured patients
Replies: 27
Views: 2633

Re: Doctor fees - Insured vs uninsured patients

If you ask upfront and pay immediately for services rendered some docs will charge the "insured rate". Paying immediately being key. Best to get "paid in full" written on the receipt though. As with most consumer items, if you don't ask about non-default pricing they won't tell y...
by hicabob
Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?
Replies: 55
Views: 5880

Re: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?

My nephew quit med school after 3 weeks. He's much happier doing his genetics related phd stuff instead. A bit shocking at first for the family, but he is doing well in his weird field so all good. He said he wanted to do serious science rather than medicine. As in most things, figuring it out early...
by hicabob
Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yale Endowment Blasts Low-Fee Critics, Says Gains Would Lag
Replies: 30
Views: 3353

Re: Yale Endowment Blasts Low-Fee Critics, Says Gains Would Lag

I think that comparing managing endowments with managing mom and pop retirement funds is kind of silly. Some managers of large amounts disagree. I think the Nevada pension fund is quite similar being of a similar size, theoretically existing for perpetuity and having constant inflows and outflows. ...
by hicabob
Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?
Replies: 31
Views: 2663

Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Some plastics last very well under UV some fall apart after a few months. I'm not a "plastics guy" but when I bought my 5000 gallon water tank, which gets full bore California sun, the salesman said the cross-linked polyethylene tank would last a few hundred years. It still looks good as n...
by hicabob
Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Healthcare Plan Recommendations For Self Employed
Replies: 6
Views: 770

Re: Healthcare Plan Recommendations For Self Employed

Covered California bronze HSA plan and fully fund your HSA? Kaiser seems to be among the best price/performance in CA iif available in that zipcode since they have a lot less insurance company overhead.
by hicabob
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FT - Ed Thorp: the man who beat the casinos, then the markets
Replies: 11
Views: 2620

Re: FT - Ed Thorp: the man who beat the casinos, then the markets

"Ed Thorp: the man who beat the casinos, then the markets".

Nice article.

Also he was ... "The man who destroyed blackjack by forcing rule changes."
Beat the Dealer was a great book. My statistics 101 prof assigned it back in the day.
by hicabob
Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to see in Philly?
Replies: 32
Views: 1890

Re: What to see in Philly?

The Simeone auto museum is nicely done and interesting for those of us who like older sports cars. The location, just by the airport, is convenient for those with a few hours to spend prior to catching that plane. I went just prior to turning in my rental car. http://www.simeonemuseum.org/?gclid=Cj0...
by hicabob
Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Booze on a Cruise
Replies: 68
Views: 6445

Re: Cost of Booze on a Cruise

This fellow has an interesting workaround.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmY5uN18SaU
by hicabob
Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric
Replies: 79
Views: 7601

Re: Bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric

Nuclear engineering was a tough job market back when I started software engineering almost 40 years ago. A couple of my colleagues had nuke eng degrees, from MIT no less, but flipped to software due to the employment prospects - they were very decent software weenies too. It was known as discipline ...
by hicabob
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a Vine for a Masonry Wall
Replies: 21
Views: 1199

Re: Need a Vine for a Masonry Wall

Rats, which are endemic in N California, really like ivy and some other vines.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating cost of retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1968

Re: Calculating cost of retirement

Firecalc is pretty good for that. About 1.3 M with 96% chance of not running out. That doesn't seem right - with $1.3 m today they should be able to start withdrawing now and have that high a success rate (a 4% withdrawal rate would give them over $50k a year). Firecalc assumes the 50k/yr goes up w...
by hicabob
Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Calculating cost of retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1968

Re: Calculating cost of retirement

Firecalc is pretty good for that. About 1.3 M with 96% chance of not running out.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: In-N-Out Burger - Best Chain Fast Food Burger Joint?
Replies: 157
Views: 21145

Re: In-N-Out Burger - Best Chain Fast Food Burger Joint?

A new but fast growing chain, (at least it's new in the SF Bay Area) Habit Burger, is better than I & O IMO, but costs a little more.
https://www.habitburger.com/
by hicabob
Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Overcoming a Lead Paint Phobia
Replies: 32
Views: 2337

Re: Help Overcoming a Lead Paint Phobia

These instant test kits would perhaps be useful when looking at possible residences. They are non-destructive to the item being tested and give you a yes/no quickly http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=18346936&KPID=14888882&cid=CAPLA:G:Shopping_-_Home/Personal_Security&...
by hicabob
Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?
Replies: 33
Views: 2512

Re: What building year I should seek when shopping for a house?

I've found older houses have much better lots since people build on the nice ones first but new houses are newer so have better mechanicals, roofs, insulation etc. I've tended to prefer the better lot and put up with/refurb the older house.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After years of iron in well water, all of a sudden no iron
Replies: 5
Views: 902

Re: After years of iron in well water, all of a sudden no iron

Depending on where you are in California, I could easily see the rains this winter affecting the underground aquifers. In the southern Central Valley for example, the water has no where to go but down (no ocean outlets). Even in areas with ocean outlets, the water is going to percolate down to the ...
by hicabob
Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After years of iron in well water, all of a sudden no iron
Replies: 5
Views: 902

Re: After years of iron in well water, all of a sudden no iron

My 250 foot well in CA (central coast) has a lot less iron in the spring after the rains than in December. I'm thinking that some underground aquifers are affected relatively quickly by precipitation.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 10734

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Regarding "USA having one of the longest life expediencies in the world." USA appears to be #31. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy OK. That's the page I was looking at too, but I was looking at the graph at the top of the page. Not all countries are shown ...
by hicabob
Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA misplaced tax information
Replies: 12
Views: 1689

Re: CPA misplaced tax information

My CPA did the same a few years ago with S-corp returns . Because of this he still pays for dubiously useful "credit monitoring" for myself and my biz partner years later.
by hicabob
Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suspicious organic products
Replies: 101
Views: 5718

Re: Suspicious organic products

I don't think organic vs non-organic is relevant to heavy metals in rice. It's in the soil and rice is apparently very good at pulling them out.
Why would you expect the organic rice to look different than the non-organic?

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/ ... with-rice/
by hicabob
Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 101
Views: 10734

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

I saved a lot of money, fully fund an HSA and put a lot of effort into staying healthy. Unsubsidized ACA is still quite an impressive yearly total and I expect it will increase by another 40% for the typical early retiree soon.
by hicabob
Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Fiat Cars Junk?
Replies: 71
Views: 5291

Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

That said, I currently own a (modern) Toyota-built vehicle that has truly compromised driving characteristics and sounds like a bucket of bolts driving down the road. It's probably more reliable than anything out there but provides little in terms of driving pleasure. The last Honda that gave me th...
by hicabob
Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Fiat Cars Junk?
Replies: 71
Views: 5291

Re: Are Fiat Cars Junk?

They are quite fun to drive, enough so that I used to request them for rentals. My neighbor, who has 6 cars including a bmw, maserati and mbz has one (abarth of course) and likes it. His has had some shop time though.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would like comments on this Roth Conversion quote.
Replies: 30
Views: 2490

Re: Would like comments on this Roth Conversion quote.

A conversion does lower ones estate value possibly mitigating final taxes. Useful for large estates.
by hicabob
Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Climate and happiness revisited
Replies: 111
Views: 7417

Re: Climate and happiness revisited

Our oldest received a Barbie Power Wheels car at age 3. She is now 17 and the 3rd kid is on the verge of not fitting in it any longer. We are on the second set of tires and 3rd battery. If it was a real car it would have well over 100,000 miles. :D A work friend of mine had 7 of them for his toddle...
by hicabob
Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 7514

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

I think most engineer types tend to DIY to an extent. From my observations it seems to correlate positively with engineering competence.
by hicabob
Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?
Replies: 63
Views: 3699

Re: Ever dip your feet into individual stocks?

I have 2 ira's that had almost the same balance about 15 years ago. As an experiment I set one as 100% indexed total stock market. The other is individual stocks. They went back and forth for years but recently the individual has been on a tear and is now 12% higher than the indexed. :happy I enjoy ...
by hicabob
Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: asphalt floor inside steel shed?
Replies: 3
Views: 368

Re: asphalt floor inside steel shed?

It's quite soft and smells. I expect the concentrated fumes are not much of a health benefit.
by hicabob
Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new lowest price rental car vendor
Replies: 7
Views: 703

Re: new lowest price rental car vendor

I also just tried to compare Autoslash against an existing reservation at Costco, but they won't give me a quote with me first giving them my email address. No thank you. You're not getting my personal information until I'm certain I'm doing business with you. Also, the great thing about Costco ren...
by hicabob
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new lowest price rental car vendor
Replies: 7
Views: 703

Re: new lowest price rental car vendor

I've never seen anyone beat the local used car lot, $20 per day but the last time I used them I was under 25. I got really close to your 20 including tax and fees (Intermediate car at pdx) ..... Weekly rate Subtotal$89.82 Taxes and Fees $51.76 Total$141.58 I too had occasion to frequent the local &...
by hicabob
Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: new lowest price rental car vendor
Replies: 7
Views: 703

new lowest price rental car vendor

After a couple years of Costco being the best price for rental cars Autoslash.com now puts them to shame. Autoslash is currently 75% of costco's best price for my upcoming rental. Autoslash does rebook every time the price drops but it's painless for the consumer other than a new agreement number.
by hicabob
Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I buy a building lot from current owner ...
Replies: 18
Views: 1582

Re: How do I buy a building lot from current owner ...

A good place to start go down to the county building and look at the property records which will have liens, rights of way, lot drawings, permits etc. Our local people are quite helpful.
by hicabob
Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?
Replies: 44
Views: 3784

Re: How long do you keep your kitchen sponge?

I used to do the microwave thing with sponges but I came up with a better sanitization method if you are a coffee or tea drinker. Just pour some excess boiling water on the squeezed out sponge while it's sitting in the sink. Obviously don't touch said sponge for a couple minutes.
by hicabob
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's the secret to happiness?
Replies: 39
Views: 2799

Re: What's the secret to happiness?

I don't think happiness is a permanent state of being. Lev Absolutely. Since people define happiness as relative to their own situation (since we cannot experience others state of mind) the average state has to be not unhappy but not happy. An associate of mine tried to explain this to a navy shrin...
by hicabob
Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Umbrella 1 million $500
Replies: 32
Views: 2441

Re: Umbrella 1 million $500

might be cheaper to bump your auto insurance up to 1M instead?
by hicabob
Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BH thoughts on money gurus
Replies: 12
Views: 1102

Re: BH thoughts on money gurus

Clark Howard's fine ... but then he pretty much has a boglehead type philosophy.
His advice is almost always sensible and if not, he self-flagellates on-air with "clark stinks".
by hicabob
Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 319
Views: 17473

Re: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?

Derivation of Ichabod ( from Ichabod Crane of Sleepy Hollow) as pronounced by my toddler at the time.

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