Search found 57 matches

by mrb09
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides
Replies: 4
Views: 379

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

I have some foot issues from running (flat feet, plantar fascia, bunion, you name it) and I ended up with a full sandal, a pair of vionic boyes . I really like them, their arch support is really good and they a reasonably stiff sole. Very comfortable for walking. For slip-ons just to go outside and ...
by mrb09
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RSU taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 423

Re: RSU taxes

I don't know how that works with the company taking shares out at grant time, that seems like it wouldn't work if the stock price changed, they'd have to take out either more or less at vest time. This comes down to the difference between an RSU and a restricted stock grant. An RSU is actually only...
by mrb09
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RSU taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 423

Re: RSU taxes

My RSUs are through Fidelity, when they vest they automatically sell enough to cover the taxes as ordinary income. As other posters have stated, grant price is irrelevant, it is all about vest price. At that point when I sell them, I pay taxes on sale exactly as if I had bought them on the vest date...
by mrb09
Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 1958

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

You can create a .dmg file and put in your dropbox folder. Dropbox just knows about your encrypted file, the file is accessed locally on your mac, your dmg password is never sent to dropbox. In further researching this, I was told that the .dmg encryption password is part of the .dmg file and so te...
by mrb09
Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 1958

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

I can create an encrypted disk drive on my Mac and then just move the .dmg file to someplace like Dropbox. If I double-click on the disk image in Dropbox, will it ask for a password and open? If so, aren't I putting the password out on the internet? You can create a .dmg file and put in your dropbo...
by mrb09
Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for Buick Verano (non turbo) or Mazda3 owners
Replies: 35
Views: 1689

Re: Question for Buick Verano (non turbo) or Mazda3 owners

My wife has a 2014 Mazda 3 Grand Touring. Bought it new and have 60k miles. Zero problems so far. Really love the car, everything just works so well together, it seems greater than the sum of its parts. It has the auto transmission, it is the first auto I've ever used that I enjoyed, I often keep it...
by mrb09
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 96
Views: 7883

Re: LED light bulbs

I replaced all of my GU10 halogens with SYLVANIA 6w Warm White's. Good so far. I dim them with a programmable dimmer to put them at 10% dim -- standard dimmers won't go that low.
by mrb09
Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do
Replies: 58
Views: 6579

Re: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do

I got the email notification but by then they had put a hold on my savings for the amount of the overdraft, so I was in this weird in-between area where they put a lock on my funds but I still showed overdraft in my checking. Anyway, I called them and they cleared it up right away and even waived t...
by mrb09
Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do
Replies: 58
Views: 6579

Re: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do

Just my experience with Ally: I made a large double credit card payment. Completely my fault. When the second payment cleared, it dropped my checking balance below zero. I got the email notification but by then they had put a hold on my savings for the amount of the overdraft, so I was in this weird...
by mrb09
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for MTB'rs. Buying a bike.
Replies: 22
Views: 1266

Re: Question for MTB'rs. Buying a bike.

Not bicycling specific, but related to your question about splurging on unneeded things: "need" is subjective, but depends on much you use it for its intended purpose. Would you use this a couple times a year on a bike path? If so, carbon full suspension probably a needless splurge. Are yo...
by mrb09
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 71
Views: 3766

Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

If you do decide to carry a tire repair kit, recommend trying it before you depend on it. On my road bike, I can take my tire off with my fingers, but I carry an 11" steel tire tool to get my semi-fat tire off my gravel bike. And if you're like me, you'll fumble your first attempt with a c02 ca...
by mrb09
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 71
Views: 3766

Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

A bell hardly gets noticed from hard of hearing seniors and people engrossed in their conversation. And not even heard by those wearing earbuds. I have a bell on one of my bikes, and I find it more pleasant on bike paths rather than calling out "passing on your left" warnings. Most people...
by mrb09
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upcoming Marriott Stay
Replies: 13
Views: 1624

Re: Upcoming Marriott Stay

Barefootgirl wrote: Any other programs I could transfer from


Some airlines allow a transfer. I know United points can transfer directly to Marriott, and I know American doesn't.

If you don't have a Mariott Credit Card, the sign-on point bonus is pretty good.
by mrb09
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid
Replies: 121
Views: 6721

Re: Shopping for first bike since I was a kid

If you wanted to do the best thing regardless of money, go into a full-service bike shop and get fitted for a frame. Second best thing is to go to a smaller shop, stand over the bike and ride around the parking lot. But if you're buying used, from a small shop without a selection, or over the intern...
by mrb09
Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aid help
Replies: 15
Views: 921

Re: Hearing aid help

I'm in the same boat, too much rock 'n roll as a kid, now have high-frequency hearing loss and hearing aids. I recently got some loaners from my audiologist when my current Phonaks were being refurbished. They were a generation or so older than my pair. There was a noticeable difference, they both d...
by mrb09
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on Desktop PC
Replies: 87
Views: 4221

Re: Advice on Desktop PC

2. A large monitor with great picture quality for streaming TV and movies. I’ve haven’t used a PC for this purpose in the past, so if I need special ports or equipment for this function I’d appreciate a heads-up. You can look at monitors separately from your desktop system, they are entirely mix &a...
by mrb09
Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way To Code A Text Parser
Replies: 27
Views: 1718

Re: Best Way To Code A Text Parser

No opinion on language, but I tend to use Python for small tasks like that. Python's pretty popular these days. If it is really complicated, you might look at a parser generator (antlr for java, pyparse for python, etc). For the PDF output, if you don't mind a little pipeline, write to markdown (or ...
by mrb09
Tue May 02, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: using smartphone overseas travel
Replies: 10
Views: 1037

Re: using smartphone overseas travel

This is what I usually do: - Before I leave, forward all my calls to my google voice number. This will forward all calls to the phone before I get an international ring. Texts are not forwarded. - The google voice number is for messages only, it doesn't ring - If I get a message, google forwards to ...
by mrb09
Tue May 02, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best universal remote for TV/home theater
Replies: 8
Views: 1075

Re: Best universal remote for TV/home theater

+1 on Harmony Hub and Harmony companion. The hub and its IR repeaters make a huge difference, I have two shelves and use the hub itself on one shelf and the plugin repeater on the second. I had a Harmony 650 before, and that was frustrating to me as well, waving the remote around to it all the IR sp...
by mrb09
Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Choices
Replies: 45
Views: 3987

Re: Car Choices

My wife has a 2014 Mazda 3 with the 2.5L engine, which I think is the same engine as the Mazda 6. Zero problems and really like the integration of the SKYACTIV components, the engine and transmission just work really well together, and the console is just night and day more integrated than my same y...
by mrb09
Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with books
Replies: 16
Views: 1302

Re: What to do with books

I donate old books to operation paperback, they broker donation requests to armed service folks overseas. Often they'll have specific requests so you'll know whether someone specifically wants a type of book.

They'll give you a US domestic APO zip and you pay shipping.
by mrb09
Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k
Replies: 29
Views: 2829

Re: Financial Armageddon Insurance - how to spend $100k

Agree 100% with previous posters who've said if you're going to prepare for a disaster, prepare for a local one. It sure looks like we're in for more major weather events. I've been pretty fortunate, but I have gone through the '89 Loma Prieta earthquake while I was living in the Santa Cruz mountain...
by mrb09
Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Same branded components for home theater?
Replies: 35
Views: 2313

Re: Same branded components for home theater?

Not from an audiophile perspective, but from a "same remote" perspective I've tried a couple of times now to get matching brands (Sony) just to use one remote and use HDMI Bravia control for all the components (other vendors have similar HDMI control). But I'm just not happy with Sony netf...
by mrb09
Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: China Trip - Visa Expediter?
Replies: 26
Views: 1707

Re: China Trip - Visa Expediter?

I've used CIBT for India visas multiple times, and they've always delivered within their promised timelines. Quite a few corporations use them.
by mrb09
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a snazzy car
Replies: 79
Views: 5232

Re: Looking for a snazzy car

Another vote for Mazda3 2.5 touring if you want a fun car that is still practical.
by mrb09
Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to buy a used Mini Cooper-> Talk me into it?
Replies: 45
Views: 5877

Re: Want to buy a used Mini Cooper-> Talk me into it?

I know you asked about Mini Coopers, but you mentioned you have a Mazda3 now. I absolutely love my wife's Gen 3 (2014) Mazda3 Touring with the 2.5 engine. A practical hatchback that is extremely fun to drive. Gas mileage in the 30's. We both swore we'd never voluntarily get an automatic, but the 6 s...
by mrb09
Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pop Quiz and Rant - Do you know what ICE stands for?
Replies: 19
Views: 1861

Re: Pop Quiz and Rant - Do you know what ICE stands for?

Do you know what ICE stands for? Hint: This is a term associated with smart phones. I'm guessing those of us with experienced bodies (older) and/or less tech savvy don't know and most below 30 do. In-Circuit Emulation. It is used for debugging the software of smart phones. 41. Tech savvy. Was I rig...
by mrb09
Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glasses, ball sports, and aging eyes
Replies: 26
Views: 2590

Re: Glasses, ball sports, and aging eyes

I have:

- Bifocals (progressive) for every day wear
- "computer glasses", mid-distance only,
- driving sun glasses, distance only,
- rudy project prescription glasses, distance only, for bicycling, running, etc.
by mrb09
Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?
Replies: 13
Views: 820

Re: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?

- Decide if you're going to track by lots or not (reference). If you do, be cautious about monthly purchases or dividend reinvestments, because you're going to have to track all of that stuff. For me, I made a small purchase, made sure my IDs were working, and then purchased more. I store up extra ...
by mrb09
Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?
Replies: 13
Views: 820

Re: Opening first taxable account. Any issues with my plan?

+1 on knowing what and when you'll use the money for, but a couple of basic tips that helped me when I discovered this site regarding purchasing shares of index funds in taxable accounts - Know the difference between tax deferred, tax advantaged and taxable accounts, and what funds are appropriate f...
by mrb09
Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Measuring mileage on my wheelchair......
Replies: 7
Views: 920

Re: Measuring mileage on my wheelchair......

You can get cadence sensors for bicycles that count wheel rotation, like this one . That might work better for GPS for indoors, tunnels, etc. I don't know if you can configure a wheel chair size diameter, or if it would be convenient to mount. The ones I've used communicate just with a Garmin device...
by mrb09
Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused about accounting for taxes in retirement plan
Replies: 7
Views: 666

Re: Confused about accounting for taxes in retirement plan

I know most folks swear by firecalc, but I found this Flexible Retirement Planner (which I found referenced on this board) easier to use, at least for me. It allows you to put in your desired expenses, and then it will show drawdown simulations from social security (which you can delay past your ret...
by mrb09
Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scenic train trip?
Replies: 21
Views: 1920

Re: Scenic train trip?

Not the best from your location in NY, but the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver is gorgeous. The train often runs very close to the Puget Sound, you feel like your on top of the water. Absolutely beautiful views. I guess that isn't quite domestic, as you need to go through customs/passport ...
by mrb09
Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I being smart with this car purchase?
Replies: 58
Views: 5541

Re: Am I being smart with this car purchase?

Not much to add, but I went through a thought process recently for an electric/plugin purchase: Just stating the obvious, for all-electrics like a leaf you need a reliable charging situation. Folks I know that have electrics (Teslas, Fiats, Golfs) all have charging stations in their garages. They on...
by mrb09
Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter car safety kit?
Replies: 46
Views: 3335

Re: Winter car safety kit?

I carry a subset of that list in a bucketboss round cable bag year-round, with my snow chains in a separate bag during snow season.

Instead of a blue tarp, I have a pair of roofer's kneepads for kneeling when I'm chaining up. Also if you use cable chains, highly recommend these snow chain ramps.
by mrb09
Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?
Replies: 35
Views: 4108

Re: Hearing aids: best brands and where to get them?

My nearest Costco stores are 80-100 miles away in three directions. Everything I read about hearing aids says it is common to have to go back to the merchant/technician several times to get them "fit" and operating properly, and that it is also common to go once or twice a year to have th...
by mrb09
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backing Up iPhone Memos: iCloud Backup or Local Backup to Laptop
Replies: 7
Views: 1061

Re: Backing Up iPhone Memos: iCloud Backup or Local Backup to Laptop

I seem to recall that some celebs had iCloud-stored files hacked. stargazer This is what two factor authentication guards against. Apple added this *after* that incident. Without two factor authentication, if I know your icloud userid, I can sit at my laptop and just try common passwords until I ge...
by mrb09
Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backing Up iPhone Memos: iCloud Backup or Local Backup to Laptop
Replies: 7
Views: 1061

Re: Backing Up iPhone Memos: iCloud Backup or Local Backup to Laptop

+1 to using a password manager. I use 1Password on my phone synch'ed with my laptop, my laptop is backed up to both local storage and cloud (crashplan). 1Password keeps my web logins and personal data like passport numbers, etc. There are also other non-password note services that have their own syn...
by mrb09
Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company Being Acquired - Any Advice?
Replies: 51
Views: 6929

Re: Company Being Acquired - Any Advice?

I've been bought before, but I'm mostly on the other side now, I work for a Fortune 500 that's pretty famous for acquisitions. So some advice from that side. Be aware that almost everyone you meet from the new company is going to checkout your linked profile to see your background. You need to sell ...
by mrb09
Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet Radio through Home Stereo?
Replies: 16
Views: 2331

Re: Internet Radio through Home Stereo?

Might be still too pricy, but I use an apple airport express and plug it into the receiver aux jack. Then I can drive with any device which supports Airplay. I've repurposed two old systems like this, one for the dining room and one for the patio. I have an old gen 1 ipad in the dining room that I m...
by mrb09
Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Ally Accounts, Same Joint Owners?
Replies: 4
Views: 1246

Re: Separate Ally Accounts, Same Joint Owners?

Thanks for the replies, comments: We have separate accounts for retirement savings/emergency fund. For convenience, we're joint on all accounts. The two sentences sound contradictory to me. Poor wording on my part. I just meant to say that the investments were separate from the bank accounts. My onl...
by mrb09
Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Separate Ally Accounts, Same Joint Owners?
Replies: 4
Views: 1246

Separate Ally Accounts, Same Joint Owners?

My wife and I have a checking account at Wells Fargo which she manages for household expenses and her discretionary stuff, and I have a small personal account at Ally bank for my discretionary stuff (that way we don't have to haggle about bicycle parts vs. horse tack priorities). We have separate ac...
by mrb09
Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ethernet Question
Replies: 12
Views: 1758

Re: Ethernet Question

Also, if you're able to get any signal at all, you can run an airport extreme as your base station, and use your airport express's as a bridge into wired ethernet. I do that for my weather-station in an outdoor shed which only has wired ethernet.
by mrb09
Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer Backup Ideas
Replies: 51
Views: 5082

Re: Computer Backup Ideas

I use a three stage plan: - Whole disk - Time machine to airport extreme USB disk (not sure what problems you had) - Documents directory - crashplan backup (and part of the time machine backup) - Passwords file (1Password) - use dropbox to sync w/ all my devices (and part of the crashplan and time m...
by mrb09
Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing Solar Panels
Replies: 27
Views: 3997

Re: Installing Solar Panels

California electric companies do tiered pricing. When you size your system, you'll get a pretty quick ROI if you're able to drop down into tier 1. It is a lot harder to make your money back once you're into tier 1, which is pretty cheap electricity. Also, with net metering, you can size for the year...
by mrb09
Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in Seattle
Replies: 15
Views: 2284

Re: 3 days in Seattle

Forgot this , not open when I was there, but will definitely visit if/when I go back: m +1. We pass through Seattle every year or two, sometimes as destination, sometimes as stopover, and very much recommend the glass exhibit. If you time it right, you can go to the glass exhibit at dusk and have d...
by mrb09
Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.
Replies: 55
Views: 3319

Re: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.

+1 on the concept II rower. Good for exercise and well built. Makes for good cross training if you still want to run but mix it up a bit. Manageable size too. We have ours in a guest room, I can fold it up for guests and unfold it when they leave. And I don't swear at it when I'm moving it. You can ...
by mrb09
Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to monitor a website for specific changes and get email alerts when changed?
Replies: 11
Views: 1578

Re: How to monitor a website for specific changes and get email alerts when changed?

Looks like Fandango has an RSS feed as well (m), so you could use something like IFTTT to text you when it shows up in the RSS feed. Assuming they update their feed at the same time as the site. I use IFTTT to send me email on all California fire incidents through the calfire RSS feed, works very re...
by mrb09
Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HDMI on New Computer
Replies: 10
Views: 1231

Re: HDMI on New Computer

I don't have first hand experience on how well they work, but some of the newer laptops only have USB-C connectors, so there are a number of USB-C to HDMI connectors available. That seems to be pretty common now.
by mrb09
Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with a 1st Gen iPad?
Replies: 7
Views: 1455

Re: What to do with a 1st Gen iPad?

I have a first gen ipad in the kitchen, in a picture frame made for the ipad. It is running IOS 8.x, but still runs itunes and pandora. We use it to play music over airplay speakers (or rather airport expresses that are hooked up to old stereo amps/speakers).