Search found 38 matches

by mrb09
Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Choices
Replies: 45
Views: 3423

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: 1006

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: 2519

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: 1926

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: 1378

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: 4573

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: 5377

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: 1675

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: 2239

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: 727

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: 727

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: 792

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: 631

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: 1773

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: 5192

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: 2975

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: 3422

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: 955

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: 955

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: 6576

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: 2007

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: 933

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: 933

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: 1607

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: 4574

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: 3760

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: 2089

Re: 3 days in Seattle

Forgot this , not open when I was there, but will definitely visit if/when I go back: http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/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 t...
by mrb09
Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.
Replies: 55
Views: 2768

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: 1406

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

Looks like Fandango has an RSS feed as well (http://www.fandango.com/rss/moviefeed), 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...
by mrb09
Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HDMI on New Computer
Replies: 10
Views: 1161

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: 1413

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).
by mrb09
Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable Organizations That Help The Poor
Replies: 14
Views: 885

Re: Charitable Organizations That Help The Poor

+ 1 for food pantries. They can have different names, our local one is a "food bank". Last place we lived had a lot of the local churches coordinating a single effort, that was called Valley Churches United, but for all intents and purposes they were a food pantry.
by mrb09
Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Singapore Sling (Raffles Hotel) or Suntory Whisky (Park Hyatt Tokyo)?
Replies: 13
Views: 1217

Re: Singapore Sling (Raffles Hotel) or Suntory Whisky (Park Hyatt Tokyo)?

I was underwhelmed by a Singapore Sling at the Raffles hotel, although it does have that whole Sadie Thompson vibe. But I like Singapore in general -- night zoo, bird park, little india, etc.

For me Singapore is significantly easier than Tokyo to navigate as a monolingual, english speaker.
by mrb09
Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wordpress hosting - purchase hosting solution or host on wordpress.com?
Replies: 7
Views: 755

Re: Wordpress hosting - purchase hosting solution or host on wordpress.com?

Just noting that you can get your custom domain name separately from your wordpress hosting service. I use gandi.net for mine (there are plenty other providers) and a custom URL is $15 a year. Its a little more complicated that way, but is in general easier to move hosting services if they don't hav...
by mrb09
Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing aid 101
Replies: 78
Views: 6510

Re: Hearing aid 101

As others have stated, most hearing loss (and certainly mine) is a type of high frequency loss, you need to match the hearing aid profile with your hearing. I worked with an audiologist who sold me some pretty pricey units, I worked with her over a period of four months to tune them in -- the initia...
by mrb09
Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to compare a mega corp job offer to a startup's
Replies: 31
Views: 3009

Re: How to compare a mega corp job offer to a startup's

Pretty much what everyone else said. For just the compensation itself, startups should give you a chance at greater reward for greater risk. Most startups fail, so you'll probably lose money wrt to staying at megacorp. But the other upside to startups is getting more responsibility. If your title/re...
by mrb09
Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Service Provider
Replies: 41
Views: 2697

Re: Email Service Provider

Just mentioning what has worked for me, don't have a comparison between all providers I've used gmail for over 10 years without a problem using my own gmail address. I have a couple of domains for some wordpress sites. I use gandi.net for the DNS registrar and linode.com for my hosting and DNS servi...
by mrb09
Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on buying a used Prius
Replies: 58
Views: 8596

Re: Advice on buying a used Prius

I just bought a used Prius a few weeks ago. In general, I'm pretty happy. - There was a slight refresh in 2012 , so I searched for 2012-2015 models. I got a 2013. - I went with a certified pre-owned and searched dealers from the Toyota web site. There's a premium for that, but still less than a new ...

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