Search found 88 matches

by mrb09
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend an A.C. powered auto tire inflator
Replies: 36
Views: 1807

Re: Recommend an A.C. powered auto tire inflator

When I ditched my run-flats, I got a Viair 70P that I keep in the trunk. It's DC but it's small, very quiet, and has a very accurate gauge. Best of all (for me), there is a brass chuck that threads onto the tire valve-stem so it's always a tight seal. And when you disconnect, you just lose a little...
by mrb09
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: India tourist visa - possible to expedite?
Replies: 11
Views: 942

Re: India tourist visa - possible to expedite?

I've gone through CIBTVisas for business visas, they have expedite options, never tried a tourist visa. I've done it when I really needed it quickly (like within 10 days with a holiday in-between) and they've been right on top of things.

Did you actually send your passport in yet?
by mrb09
Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless Ability for Surround Sound Rear Speakers
Replies: 11
Views: 729

Re: Wireless Ability for Surround Sound Rear Speakers

No experience with rear speakers, but have a Sony HT-CT790 sound bar with a wireless sub that seems to work ok. I have the sub behind the couch, out of line of sight of the sound bar.
by mrb09
Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 102
Views: 10762

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

I love mine, use once or twice a week and make enough for leftovers. I tend to make similar things to what I used to make in a slow cooker, but now I can do dinners at the end of the day instead of having to start everything mid-day for a slow cooker. Preventing "bland" is same rules as a slow cooke...
by mrb09
Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 6780

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

Another related thread: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=232887

Only other thing I'd add is there's a difference between driving in heavy snow vs. icy conditions.
by mrb09
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kerosene Heater (for power-out emergencies)
Replies: 33
Views: 1815

Re: Kerosene Heater (for power-out emergencies)

We lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains during the 1989 earthquake. We had only a wood stove and we lost our chimney, so no heat. While we were fixing the house (thank you, SBA) we had a kerosene heater that we ran for probably four months or so. All in all, kerosene is kinda of a pain but better than ...
by mrb09
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best cordless drill??
Replies: 71
Views: 4575

Re: best cordless drill??

Another vote for the 20v li-ion dewalt. I have the drill, the 8" circular saw, and an extra 5AH battery. I just keep an extra battery in the charger and swap when I need them. Night day over the old 18V nicad battery system.
by mrb09
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best head set for listening and microphone
Replies: 15
Views: 1131

Re: Best head set for listening and microphone

I'm on computer conferences several hours a day. I have hearing aids but I still have some issues hearing on calls if my headphones have too much bass, and I've had folks complain in the past about background noise from my mic. I've tried lots of different headsets and/or headphones and mics. I ende...
by mrb09
Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tire size, and wheels for snow tires
Replies: 9
Views: 585

Re: Tire size, and wheels for snow tires

I'm in the California Sierras with a pretty steep 500 yard driveway, some snow but doesn't stay all winter, lots of icy mornings. So I don't have to deal with winter every day, but have enough weather that I get tired of chaining up in the mornings/evenings for weeks at a time. In the last 15 years,...
by mrb09
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home backup generator experiences
Replies: 51
Views: 3062

Re: Home backup generator experiences

I have a dual mode solar system that is normally grid-tied (sells excess back to utility) but if there's a power outage it switches off-grid to solar/battery via a generator standby switch. The actual switch process takes about 30 seconds, and I have small UPS's on computers, routers, etc so there's...
by mrb09
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Tours
Replies: 67
Views: 3690

Re: European Tours

Another recommendation for the Rick Steves books. Even if you just use it for background, the museum sections of his guides are outstanding. Used his guides for Musee d'Orsay and Louvre in Paris, and Uffizi and Accademia in Florence. He gives a nice flow rather than just individual descriptions of e...
by mrb09
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: idiot proof router?
Replies: 53
Views: 4556

Re: idiot proof router?

Happy google wifi user. I bought the three pack of access points, and one of my access points has a switch plugged into the google ethernet port with two ethernet devices on the switch (smartthings hub and file server). Works great and extremely easy to set up. My modem is configured as a router and...
by mrb09
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.
Replies: 46
Views: 3194

Re: Help with PR emergency prep: Water filter, Propane stove, etc.

Personally, I carry a Steripen UV filter with me when traveling, I use it for hiking as well. They're very small, and there are a lot of even "minor" evens that make water non-potable.
by mrb09
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?
Replies: 26
Views: 1823

Re: Opinions on bicycle disc brakes?

My road bike has caliper brakes, and my gravel bike had cantilever ("V") brakes, which I've since replaced with disc brakes. You'll probably need new hubs for the discs. You may need new forks, and frame may or may not be set up for rear discs. You can get mechanical disc brakes which will work off ...
by mrb09
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sonoma in October
Replies: 56
Views: 5133

Re: Sonoma in October

Sixty I am going to give away a local secret. There are great wines in El Dorado county around Plymouth. This is way over east of Sacremento. They do great old vine zinfidels and other reds. Places like Sobon, Terra d'oro, Shenendoah, and others. Then drive up to Apple Hill and pick apples off the ...
by mrb09
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation
Replies: 30
Views: 4530

Re: Home automation

I've been happy with zwave light switches and a smartthings hub. The iphone app for the hub makes it easy to do dawn/dusk based on actual sunset, or turn on/off a set of switches, stuff like that. You can trigger events from other devices, I have a mini-remote that we use to set three sets of lights...
by mrb09
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for organizing bookmarks
Replies: 9
Views: 668

Re: Suggestions for organizing bookmarks

I use https://pinboard.in/about/. It is an extremely simple (like craigslist simple) paid ($11 a year) service. It doesn't have a browser plugin per se, but they have a javascript snippet you can bookmark that acts like one, so you can do "bookmark this page with the following tags". You can organiz...
by mrb09
Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using full name for email - bad or good idea?
Replies: 37
Views: 20962

Re: Using full name for email - bad or good idea?

My main gmail account is first initial last name @gmail.com e.g. if my name were John Smith, it is jsmith@gmail.com. I got that because I got into gmail very early in gmail's existence. I have another gmail with the full first and last name john.smith@gmail.com, but do not use that very much. The f...
by mrb09
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?
Replies: 36
Views: 2781

Re: Smart Home: Google, Apple, or Amazon?

I'm not really a voice activation kind of guy, I do have a Samsung SmartThings Hub that I'm pretty happy with, it runs my zwave switches for my lights. I have a simple remote that triggers the hub automation scripts, and I can also run the scripts from my phone.
by mrb09
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for a rowing machine
Replies: 26
Views: 1399

Re: Suggestions for a rowing machine

Just curious, as I have been considering buying a a Concept2 myself - I live in an apartment building. Is the noise or vibration likely to bother my neighbor below me? I know the fan makes a good bit of noise, but wasn't sure if it transmits through floors. Thanks! We have ours in an upstairs bedro...
by mrb09
Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions for a rowing machine
Replies: 26
Views: 1399

Re: Suggestions for a rowing machine

Yet another vote for Concept 2.
by mrb09
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 259
Views: 32901

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

+1 for anything written by Scalzi, and +1 for Ancillary series, that was some of the best "made you think" SF I had read in a while. Hadn't seen it mentioned, but I really like Nathan Lowell's "Solar Clipper" series. No epic space battles, just folks making their living in space. Written by an ex-me...
by mrb09
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you get your news?
Replies: 131
Views: 9483

Re: Where do you get your news?

Online NYT - I have a paid subscription because I think they're doing good reporting and I like to support them USA Today - because I like their IPhone App Slate - they're biased but mostly truthful, plus Dear Prudence QZ - I like getting the international perspective (especially the India news, as ...
by mrb09
Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flex steel,mLazy Boy,or other sectional?
Replies: 10
Views: 689

Re: Flex steel,mLazy Boy,or other sectional?

Happy with our flexsteel loveseat and chair. We've just had them about six months but so far so good. We got the loveseat with the console in the middle, super comfortable.
by mrb09
Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wondering if solar is worth it - does my utility bill seem high? (Arizona)
Replies: 40
Views: 3136

Re: Wondering if solar is worth it - does my utility bill seem high? (Arizona)

If you have tiered pricing (say you pay more after 1000 kWh a month), putting in solar to drop you down to a lower tier can be a pretty good deal. Here in California, we were in tier 3 in the summer for a/c (tier 3 is pretty expensive) and solar brought us down to tier 1. We're on a net meter plan, ...
by mrb09
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sport Rx Glasses (for Mountain Biking)
Replies: 9
Views: 981

Re: Sport Rx Glasses (for Mountain Biking)

I have some Rudy Project frames I got from my optician, they have RX photochromic lenses. I got them for the same reason you're looking at, evening rides. I really like them, although they weren't cheap, they're worth it to me. I wear them for both mountain bike and road bike rides. Before that, I h...
by mrb09
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: taking probiotics anyone
Replies: 10
Views: 1169

Re: taking probiotics anyone

I take pill-form probiotics whenever I take antibiotics, otherwise just try and have yogurt, kefir, etc. Since antibiotics do mess with my system and I only take pill-form probiotics when I take the antibiotics, hard for me to tell the effects.
by mrb09
Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Bitcoin] question
Replies: 131
Views: 11536

Re: Bit Coin question

Bitcoin is the first currency that is trustless and decentralized. In my opinion it's gong to be huge. There's such an enormous amount of trust placed in central banks and eventually people are going to realize their trust was misplaced. Bitcoin provides instant transactions anywhere in the world. ...
by mrb09
Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smart light timer possibly using Google Home
Replies: 7
Views: 589

Re: smart light timer possibly using Google Home

+1 on a SmartThings hub and zwave switches, they've been working well for me. I have mine triggered by a remote, but I see "at sunrise or sunset" in the trigger options.
by mrb09
Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when a parent's money runs out?
Replies: 218
Views: 32544

Re: What to do when a parent's money runs out?

In home assisted living would probably run $20 to $25 per hour, likely with a 2 or 3 hour minimum per visit. That's in mid-cost cities in the general area I live. Who would pay for that? Can the OP afford to pay that, plus the repairs to the house, plus ........ the numbers can start getting big pr...
by mrb09
Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides
Replies: 30
Views: 3556

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: 597

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: 597

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: 35
Views: 2824

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: 35
Views: 2824

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: 2100

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: 97
Views: 9908

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: 7596

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: 7596

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: 1694

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 you out on t...
by mrb09
Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 71
Views: 4657

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 cartrid...
by mrb09
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 71
Views: 4657

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 hear it, ...
by mrb09
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upcoming Marriott Stay
Replies: 13
Views: 1912

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: 8191

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: 1288

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: 5589

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 & ...
by mrb09
Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way To Code A Text Parser
Replies: 27
Views: 2171

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: 1184

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: 1200

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...