Search found 75 matches

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: 2681

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: 1531

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: 4737

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: 4394

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: 565

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: 18402

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: 15
Views: 1490

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: 1226

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: 1226

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: 255
Views: 30994

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: 8399

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: 613

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: 2924

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: 8
Views: 797

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: 1050

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: 125
Views: 8952

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: 497

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: 31488

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: 3212

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: 505

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: 505

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: 2242

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: 2242

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: 1898

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: 8679

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: 6873

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: 6873

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: 1438

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: 4210

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: 4210

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: 1793

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: 7438

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: 1088

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: 4879

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: 1876

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: 1108

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: 1120

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: 4156

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: 1384

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: 2936

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: 2402

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: 1821

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: 5475

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: 6175

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: 1915

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: 2747

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: 872

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: 872

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: 992

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: 700

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...