Search found 1043 matches

by obgraham
Mon May 21, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 30
Views: 1190

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

As a doc, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. So I went with the basic lenses. I used a private ophthalmologist rather than a cataract mill, and he told me well over 90% went with standard monofocal lenses, and that's what he would choose for himself. After my supplemental plan F, I paid...
by obgraham
Mon May 21, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 30
Views: 1190

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

Here's my opinion on doc choice. It is just my opinion. Feel free to disagree. I do not live in a community with any teaching or university hospitals/clinics. Around here there are two different approaches to the cataract surgery. There are clinics that just do cataracts. An MD Ophthalmologist does ...
by obgraham
Mon May 21, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?
Replies: 30
Views: 1190

Re: Medicare and Cataract surgery - one or two charges?

As a doc, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. So I went with the basic lenses. I used a private ophthalmologist rather than a cataract mill, and he told me well over 90% went with standard monofocal lenses, and that's what he would choose for himself. After my supplemental plan F, I paid ...
by obgraham
Sat May 19, 2018 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lease buyout negotiation tips?
Replies: 16
Views: 1177

Re: Lease buyout negotiation tips?

I've gone through this three times with end-of-lease discussion, and never yet been able to convince the lessor or a dealer to take anything different than the original lease specifications.

The dealers don't care, because it's the leasing company that owns the car.
by obgraham
Fri May 18, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?
Replies: 93
Views: 5943

Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

We have gone on at length here about the value of the Private school, largely as to how it might affect getting into an "elite" university. However, it seems to me the primary duty of the parents should be different: raising a child who is well grounded, respectful, able to get along with others bot...
by obgraham
Wed May 16, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with Blue Apron?
Replies: 34
Views: 2564

Re: Any experience with Blue Apron?

We tried BA for a few months a year or so back. We canceled mostly because we just didn't like the menu choices. A bit too heavy on the current fad components, and the sauce/spice combinations were not what we liked. Why eat stuff you don't really care for? I did think the portion size was interesti...
by obgraham
Wed May 16, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Portable Hard Drive
Replies: 15
Views: 1089

Re: External Portable Hard Drive

IMHO all the readily available ones are pretty reliable.

That said, failures happen. Get 2 drives. Alternate or duplicate your backups. Odds of 2 failures is slim.
by obgraham
Tue May 15, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Books
Replies: 7
Views: 624

Re: Moving Books

It's not so much the size of the box, but the number that makes the problem. We too were bookaholics. When we moved to our current home we had over 100 banker boxes of books, and the new shelves were in the basement. The two young bucks who were doing the lifting thought it was a piece of cake -- wh...
by obgraham
Fri May 11, 2018 4:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?
Replies: 111
Views: 4310

Re: Anyone buy carbon offsets when flying?

I still have trouble with this "offset" idea: If I buy a chunk of Chile to prevent it from being "developed", won't some other part of Chile be "developed"? And just what is the overhead percentage of the outfit running this project?
by obgraham
Tue May 08, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 1464

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I always start my search at Hertz, then check out Alamo, National, and Budget. I like the "gold" service at Hertz, and never have to stop at the desk with them. Often as not they give me a car a couple of levels above what I booked. I think the others have a similar plan also. I'll go with Hertz as ...
by obgraham
Tue May 08, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing 2 physician jobs
Replies: 69
Views: 5896

Re: Comparing 2 physician jobs

I'm not a physician, so should probably not reply, but I will anyway. I would be very wary about accepting a job in a place you did not want to live. ... Think long term. Where would you be most happy in 10-30 years? Choose that Wise man here (or woman!). My view is that the type of community is th...
by obgraham
Tue May 08, 2018 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to buy new underwear?
Replies: 86
Views: 5925

Re: When to buy new underwear?

A secondary question on this topic:

Should you replace them ALL at the same time, or just on an "as needed" basis?

Finally, how many does a man need? I have exactly 15, because sometimes my launderess plans on a 2-week cycle, and I need one to wear on the washday.
by obgraham
Sat May 05, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 175
Views: 16027

Re: most compelling TV character ever

Maybe not THE most compelling, but getting there:

Andy Sipowicz, NYPD Blue (Dennis Franz)

The rest of the cast was wonderful also.
by obgraham
Thu May 03, 2018 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article about new Medicare cards coming soon to a mailbox near (some of) you
Replies: 9
Views: 1170

Re: Article about new Medicare cards coming soon to a mailbox near (some of) you

Do you think that the new Medicare number is going to be a new SSN someday? Agreed. How is replacing one easily stolen number, with a more complex but still stealable number, solving any problems? As time goes on, private insurance will "standardize" on the new style Medicare numbers, and we will b...
by obgraham
Tue May 01, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nontraditional Cruising
Replies: 21
Views: 2303

Re: Nontraditional Cruising

Take a look at Viking Ocean Cruises. True, food is a big item, but there are several alternative dining venue. No "Broadway Shows". No formal nights. Good talks. 1000 passengers, not 6000. No Bordello-like decor.

All the mainline cruise benefits without the glitzy rubbish.
by obgraham
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 300k vs 500k house?
Replies: 32
Views: 4442

Re: 300k vs 500k house?

I have a very un-Boglehead view when it comes to houses. I prefer to have the house that serves the need of me and my family at the time. When we wanted something different, go for it, and trade up or down as the situation suggests. So now, retired, we are in a house with everything on one level exc...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to drive a stick [car with manual transmission]
Replies: 126
Views: 5847

Re: Learning to drive stick

NEVER get a stick without a hand brake. You need a hand brake (NOT the foot push type) to be safe on a hill Though I've ridden with people who use the handbrake all the time with their stickshift cars, I'll admit that in decades of stick driving I've not used this method more than 2-3 times. And I ...
by obgraham
Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Paperless Life
Replies: 45
Views: 4043

Re: The Paperless Life

A lot like the others here, I've been paperless since 2005. Virtually no paper records now except vehicle and home titles, and vital records (birth certs, passports, etc.) If some outfit later demands "the originals", my answer will be simply "there aren't any, deal with it". I keep all mine on my o...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid May trip to Malta
Replies: 5
Views: 639

Re: Mid May trip to Malta

We found Malta one of the most interesting places we have visited. But then, we like history, ruins, old churches, and old cities. Malta has these in abundance. Pretty good food, too. Day trip by ferry to Gozo is very nice.
by obgraham
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4909

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

The issue, it seems to me, is the bias (especially woth drugs) of receiving compensation related to prescribing expensive drugs from the manufacturers. Do you really think that the average physician is going to be influenced adversely by a pizza or sub-sandwich lunch for him/her and some of the off...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Factor in evaluating Physicians
Replies: 86
Views: 4909

Re: Factor in evaluating Physicians

I'm surprised I'm not on the list. Except I'm retired. However, several dead guys in my town are on there. Interesting when you get to the details. A company comes out with some new device. You go and have them show you how to use it. Then you get listed as "non-accredited training", and someone on ...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allegiant Airlines...Anyone watch CBS 60 Minutes?
Replies: 55
Views: 5814

Re: Allegiant Airlines...Anyone watch CBS 60 Minutes?

I'm not surprised by anything in the 60 minutes story, despite my loathing of that program in general. I've flown Allegiant perhaps 20 times, because they have a direct flight from where I live to Phoenix-Mesa, and the 2 airports are close to my house. My travel time is half as long if I go with All...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recordkeeping system for retirees
Replies: 25
Views: 2711

Re: Recordkeeping system for retirees

On what device or cloud is Filing Cabinet stored? Is there redundancy in case of fire or crash? I'm like the guy who posted just below me here. I don't like cloud storage. It's on my desktop computer. It's backed up onto 2 usb drives, and a third backup drive (every 3 months) is in the bank's safe ...
by obgraham
Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to re-wire an antique lamp
Replies: 15
Views: 933

Re: How to re-wire an antique lamp

It's not difficult to replace the sockets, wiring, and plug on any lamp. However, if you are not comfortable doing it, I suspect that a neighborhood "handyman" will do it for you easily, and likely cheaper than a commercial outfit. Look on the boards at neighborhood stores or the local "giant nickel...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?
Replies: 24
Views: 1827

Re: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?

Decidedly unboglehead opinion here:

You're coming back from Afghanistan.

Buy whatever the hell you want. Loan if necessary!
by obgraham
Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 329
Views: 22630

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:43 pm
Most people spend a lot of time looking at their smartphones. Are smartphones garbage?

Victoria
No, some of us do not. And yes, IMHO the benefit versus the downside favors the garbage answer!
by obgraham
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: taxes: e-file vs. paper
Replies: 51
Views: 3591

Re: taxes: e-file vs. paper

I just can't understand why anyone would prefer to send in paper returns, when e-filing is so much easier, and you get an immediate acknowledgement that your return was in fact filed. I always owe -- haven't had a refund for 25 years. As always, this year IRS will take their money by direct debit on...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recordkeeping system for retirees
Replies: 25
Views: 2711

Re: Recordkeeping system for retirees

My system is pretty simple. I don't like cloud storage, but I now save zero paper (deeds, titles, that's about it). I have a folder called "Filing Cabinet". Scanned documents go there, into subfolders with the same names as my old paper ones did: "Medicare", "Vehicles", "Insurance,House"...you get t...
by obgraham
Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?
Replies: 39
Views: 4353

Re: Microsoft tech support scam - how to recover?

Though I sympathize with folks being scammed, I actually quite enjoy messing with these "windows support team" crooks. This week he got a couple of minutes into the spiel, when I interrupted and asked if he was still trying to pull off this scam after being prosecuted by the Feds. "Yes", he said, "i...
by obgraham
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online meals, anyone do these?
Replies: 28
Views: 3212

Re: Online meals, anyone do these?

We got tired of Blue Apron after about 6 weeks. Sure, you get different food than maybe you're used to, but after a while the constant arrival of kale, cauliflower, pesto, aioli this and that, got tiresome. We decided we just don't eat that stuff, and went back to our old unadventurous and (by today...
by obgraham
Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hand and bath towels- keep them or toss
Replies: 14
Views: 1977

Re: Hand and bath towels- keep them or toss

Mrs O just loves to go out and buy new towels. It must be a woman thing, as I could happily use the same towel until the threads wear out, and I could not care less about what color they are! As a result we have large piles of the "old" towels. I use them for shop towels, car cleaning, floor mopping...
by obgraham
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rome-Florence-Venice-Prague summer vacation
Replies: 54
Views: 3315

Re: Rome-Florence-Venice-Prague summer vacation

Just back from Rome this month. Cold, rainy, and wet! (can't blame the locals for that!). Still very busy at the main attractions. "Walks of Italy" was superb -- they run the Pristine Sistine, and a Colisseum tour, and both were wonderful, though tiring for these old feet. What struck me there was t...
by obgraham
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drip irrigation or pop-up sprayers for garden?
Replies: 19
Views: 1764

Re: Drip irrigation or pop-up sprayers for garden?

I'm in the desert climate of Eastern Washington. I have both. Rainbirds in the front where I have grass. But the back is all hardscape, no grass at all. All on drip. I have no problem maintaining it -- all my drippers are out where I can see them by poking with a stick. I go round maybe three times ...
by obgraham
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?
Replies: 65
Views: 5163

Re: CBP (INS) Global Entry program worth it?

GE likely still a good deal. But Mobile Passport is the Champ! Just used it for the third time -- each time I was either #1 or #2 in line. The agents are very patient with explaining how to use it. You still have to show the real passport, but you really just get waved on through. Assuming that your...
by obgraham
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!
Replies: 114
Views: 32956

Re: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!

I just checked the dailysubscription website. It shows 2 years of digital access to the WSJ for $139.99. Has anyone recently used this or is it a scam? Well I tried it a year or so back. I was never able to get it to work. Finally had to get refund via credit card, as that outfit is pretty nonrespo...
by obgraham
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 329
Views: 22630

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

I have a couple of interest groups I go to on Farcebook. But under an alias name.

Not sure they let you do that any more.

My children, however, run their lives by it. Oblivious to the risk.
by obgraham
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot
Replies: 21
Views: 2082

Re: Deciding between Pathfinder, Highlander and Pilot

You're buying a used car, so the condition of that specific vehicle is more important than the brand reliability.

Assuming all of the three fit the need, I'd choose the one which seems to be in the best condition. And even then it is a gamble.
by obgraham
Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $12,000 Refrigerator? [Looking in $7k price range]
Replies: 71
Views: 8429

Re: $12,000 Refrigerator? [Looking in $7k price range]

I had a subzero in a house where we designed the cabinetry for it. Yes it was some decades ago, but I don't think the SZ performed any better than a standard reefer. It did have twin compressors, and they were easy to replace. Which was very handy because I replaced three compressors within about 8 ...
by obgraham
Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large cutting board recommendations
Replies: 12
Views: 1398

Re: Large cutting board recommendations

Bamboo. From Big Lots (!) About $10 and the best cutting board I've had.
by obgraham
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Cruise Suggestions
Replies: 36
Views: 2409

Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

halfnine wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:43 pm
Transatlantic cruise.
This.

Then you find out that in the world of cruisers there are "porters" and there are "crossers". We're are becoming the latter!
by obgraham
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for music experts about musical keys
Replies: 102
Views: 6426

Re: Question for music experts about musical keys

equal temperment of the keyboard was pretty much figured out by the late 17th century Equal temperament and "Well-tempered" are not the same thing. Bach's cycle was written to show that a "well-tempered" tuning would allow all 24 keys to be used. See our friends in Wiki for this: J. S. Bach wrote T...
by obgraham
Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace Setting for Vacation
Replies: 23
Views: 1629

Re: Furnace Setting for Vacation

Mine is set at 55 all winter while we are in Arizona. Only moderately cold where we live, though it is 19 right now. The other end is also important: leave your Arizona place air conditioning turned off, and you will return to a bunch of melted stuff in the fall! (Ask me how I learned this! -- now w...
by obgraham
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many of you use the "4% rule" during retirement?
Replies: 68
Views: 8990

Re: How many of you use the "4% rule" during retirement?

tennisplyr wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:44 am
Retired for 7 years and take out what I need. I keep an eye on my total assets and try to live my life in balance.
This.

A succinct summary of the whole "save and then retire" discussion.
by obgraham
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Cruise Suggestions
Replies: 36
Views: 2409

Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Check out Jazz Dagen.

(If you like jazz!)
by obgraham
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone move/relocate with a large woodshop and wood inventory?
Replies: 9
Views: 1306

Re: Anyone move/relocate with a large woodshop and wood inventory?

A friend of mine has just such a woodshop, with perhaps 15 professional grade floor tools. So he went out and bought the entire wood inventory from a business dealing in specialty woods. We're talking about a 50 by 100 warehouse stacked with lumber 6 feet high. And then he was forced to move. The to...
by obgraham
Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)
Replies: 18
Views: 1428

Re: Vancouver Vacation (Canada)

Well, OP, since you are in that part of town, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a lot of fun for a family outing. Since it is a private park, it's a bit spendy, but then again, so is all of Vancouver.
by obgraham
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?
Replies: 159
Views: 13381

Re: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?

Man, that would be worth throwing whatever you spend to have it happen. Thanks for that, StayTheCourse. It's certainly not a boglehead type of idea, but we think it'll be "eventful" -- especially considering that both sides of the family have their share of dysfunctionals and primadonnas! The final...
by obgraham
Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?
Replies: 159
Views: 13381

Re: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?

Saving for 50th anniversary cruise in June '18. Taking 31 people, so will require significantly more than the 20K!

WTH -- can't take it into the grave with me!
by obgraham
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scottsdale, AZ - 2 day business trip
Replies: 23
Views: 1816

Re: Scottsdale, AZ - 2 day business trip

Agree with the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) if that is an interest. I don't believe I've seen another like it anywhere in the world.
by obgraham
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for music experts about musical keys
Replies: 102
Views: 6426

Re: Question for music experts about musical keys

Thanks for those answers, especially Brad. I hadn't considered the influence of a played note or string on the nonplayed ones. I am mostly interested in historic organs, and that is a factor there too, despite the efforts of the digital crowd to ignore it. One final thing -- "mean-tuned" is not to b...