Search found 864 matches

by obgraham
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods
Replies: 26
Views: 1769

Re: Anyone used Amazon to buy household goods

Wife buys toothpaste from Amazon strictly because the one she wants has a screw cap instead of a fliptop!

Shipped from halfway across the country. Aren't we an efficient country?

And yes, shampoo lasts a lot longer the less hair you have. I attest to that.
by obgraham
Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 66
Views: 2446

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

We have a local small town rag, and switched to the digital version 3 years ago. Much prefer it. It actually does show everything exactly as in the printed version, even the ads and the classified. And I can blow it up on the iPad to the size my aging eyes demand now. If WSJ wasn't so pricy I'd get ...
by obgraham
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chest freezers
Replies: 15
Views: 1411

Re: Chest freezers

Agree with others. You don't want a chest freezer to be frost-free. Defeats the purpose of having it. In a frostfree model when the heating cycle comes on that's when you get freezer burn as it evaporates the frost. After almost 3 years I defrosted mine just to say I did. Frost was maybe 3/8 inch ma...
by obgraham
Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting over emotional attachment to house
Replies: 70
Views: 5677

Re: Getting over emotional attachment to house

What's with the fascination with Water? I've seen several folks on this thread for whom being on the water is the main attraction. I've had the opportunity several times in my years to move to or build on a spot with "a view of the water", generally at a real estate premium of 50% or more. Always de...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting over emotional attachment to house
Replies: 70
Views: 5677

Re: Getting over emotional attachment to house

We don't live in anywhere near as upscale as what OP is discussing. But we faced similar issues. We custom built our house in which we raised our kids. Architect, spending too much, the whole bit. All our dreams incorporated into that house. However, once the kids were gone, we downsized to a single...
by obgraham
Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The 10 year car ownership "rule"
Replies: 95
Views: 10254

Re: The 10 year car ownership "rule"

I don't like any "year" rules -- it depends on the car. My Pilot is now 13 years old, runs very well, but only has 80k. It hasn't had any significant repairs. So my plan is to keep it till 90k. Then reassess. If it starts to require more service, off it goes. Otherwise do some more maintenance and a...
by obgraham
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Excess Payment to Doctor, Surgery Center
Replies: 15
Views: 1480

Re: Excess Payment to Doctor, Surgery Center

Most medical billing programs will generate the refunds for overpayments routinely. Sometimes, though they bunch them up to once a month or so.
Mine had many many $1-$20 checks issued for refunds.

Below $1, though, I kept it!
by obgraham
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?
Replies: 43
Views: 2747

Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

I think I bought one once, 7-8 years ago.

I think it was the same year I tossed a couple of quarters into a Las Vegas slot machine.
by obgraham
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Citizenship (USA/Portugal); Obtaining a Portuguese Passport
Replies: 10
Views: 1161

Re: Dual Citizenship (USA/Portugal); Obtaining a Portuguese Passport

One reason for getting a passport in a Euro country is to pass the shorter entry lines when you visit there. It's just convenience, not a big deal. And yes, there are still places that give a harder time to US passports than to others. A US citizen holding an additional passport has little to fear f...
by obgraham
Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Scanning Documents for Long Term Storage
Replies: 20
Views: 2022

Re: Scanning Documents for Long Term Storage

Why do you need to keep this stuff? Once the IRS deadlines are passed, I'd pitch the lot. Any business affairs not cleared out by then don't really matter. And the answer then can be "records are gone, sorry." After all, it's not you, they're dead! We are obsessed with our "records" these days. I st...
by obgraham
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One -- Again!
Replies: 51
Views: 8342

Re: Capital One -- Again!

OP here. I'm giving up on CapOne360. Third go-round with customer service. "Oh I'll send your check copies in a secure message". Except they sent it to the wrong account holder (they're not interchangeable), and it wouldn't actually download. Meanwhile it was "yes, we're still working on some of tho...
by obgraham
Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pork shoulder on Weber E-310: Best practices?
Replies: 37
Views: 2471

Re: Pork shoulder on Weber E-310: Best practices?

I switched to GrillGrates this summer. No more fires, but man do they get hot! I didn't know about GrillGrates. Interesting idea. Are they difficult to clean? They are easier than the cast irons to clean. Only problem is mine accumulate a bunch of charrings at the top end of the channels. Messy to ...
by obgraham
Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pork shoulder on Weber E-310: Best practices?
Replies: 37
Views: 2471

Re: Pork shoulder on Weber E-310: Best practices?

Another favorable vote for the 310. Mine is also natural gas, so no messing with the tank.

I switched to GrillGrates this summer. No more fires, but man do they get hot!
by obgraham
Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rejected By Two Banks For an On-Line Savings Account….why?
Replies: 24
Views: 3413

Re: Rejected By Two Banks For an On-Line Savings Account….why?

Asking for the SS card is a bit suspicious since it is not intended to be used as identification
I've yet to have a financial account that didn't require my SSN. That's how they link to your credit report, and it's also needed for them to issue 1099's, etc.
by obgraham
Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I abandon airline credit cards for cash back?
Replies: 34
Views: 2931

Re: Should I abandon airline credit cards for cash back?

I hang onto my airline cards mainly because I despise paying baggage fees.
by obgraham
Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I abandon airline credit cards for cash back?
Replies: 34
Views: 2931

Re: Should I abandon airline credit cards for cash back?

I would like to know how some no-money 30-year-old kids constantly fly around the world in first class and stay at 5* hotels.
Take a wander round places like downtown Seattle, with the Amazon/Microsoft kiddies, or Google-land. The amount of money these people run through will amaze you.
by obgraham
Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip
Replies: 45
Views: 3583

Re: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip

We enjoyed the local specialty cassoulet in Carcassonne.
I ate that in Carcassonne also! Maybe same restaurant, on a garden style balcony!
by obgraham
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?
Replies: 64
Views: 4757

Re: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?

We went from Eastern Washington down to Central Oregon on Saturday. US395 is an out of the way route, and was empty. Found a good spot to boondock in the RV west of John Day. Only a few people there in a huge pasture field. Coming back decided to leave at 3pm as ODOT showed no delays. Indeed 395 was...
by obgraham
Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel availability for eclipse
Replies: 8
Views: 904

Re: Hotel availability for eclipse

The Oregon backup was Thursday afternoon going into Madras. There is a weekend/eclipse festival going on there, upwards of 50K people squeezing into a little town.

Oregon highway map otherwise looks pretty clear.

Tomorrow I'm heading there in an RV. Wish me luck.
by obgraham
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip
Replies: 45
Views: 3583

Re: Soliciting personal recommendations for a Barcelona trip

If you like such things, the organ in Perpignan Cathedral is glorious. Of course, you need to find out when somebody will play it!
There's another one in Narbonne Cathedral also.
by obgraham
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organ (Music) Question
Replies: 6
Views: 586

Re: Organ (Music) Question

If you can find someone who is interested in this specific Lowrey, then there may be some value. For instance, a Hammond B-3 is a classic electric organ still in demand. Otherwise, I don't believe you'll see much for this one. I had a 1980 Rodgers electronic classical style organ, which I eventually...
by obgraham
Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?
Replies: 123
Views: 7090

Re: Is $9000 too much for a sectional sofa ?

Obviously OP isn't worried about the price. To each their own.
Main question I would have is "Is it comfortable to sit on?" I've come across a lot of seating pieces that looked great, often very well built, but just didn't fit our "shapes". A designer hasn't a good way to judge this for you.
by obgraham
Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Movie Collection?
Replies: 43
Views: 3336

Re: Your Movie Collection?

Occasionally I'll watch a movie I saw before, but I've no idea what people do with massive collection of DVD's. Can't think of any so good that I would buy the disc!
by obgraham
Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 97
Views: 8559

Re: LED light bulbs

Sign of the times and shows the demise of retailing: I wanted to replace bathroom bulbs with LED. 3 x 60watts per fixture. But the LED equivalents were WAY too bright, as were the 40 watt equivalent LED's. Looked for 25 watt equivalents without success. Found them on Amazon, had them in 2 days, and ...
by obgraham
Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Replies: 49
Views: 3940

Re: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

I actually like the Bose headphones. I'm now using the QC20 noise canceling earphones that sit "in-ear". How they stay in is a mystery to me, but they do, and they are very comfortable even for long flights. The NR is very good. Yes, Bose is overpriced. But they upgraded me from my first-generation ...
by obgraham
Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One -- Again!
Replies: 51
Views: 8342

Capital One -- Again!

Anybody else tearing their hair over this outfit? Capital One 360 pushed me into a new website yesterday, removing the one that has worked flawlessly for years for me. Now it looks very pretty and uncluttered, but you can't do anything! 1. Call center used to be very efficient and knowledgeable. Now...
by obgraham
Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thanks for Mobile Passport App
Replies: 20
Views: 1669

Re: Thanks for Mobile Passport App

Mobile entry worked very well for me at Newark three months ago. Nobody ahead of me in line at all. Show at Immigration, and again at Customs, and you're done. You do have to be ready to submit your data as soon as your flight lands and you have cellphone service, as you have to do it a short time b...
by obgraham
Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do when you need access to money in an investment account?
Replies: 33
Views: 2988

Re: What do you do when you need access to money in an investment account?

This is why I have a HELOC. On occasion I need the cash right now, and I don't keep much around. For instance, you're looking at cars, and the one that fits the bill is right there for the taking. Or maybe you're buying a house before the old one's sale has closed. Then take the time to sort out whi...
by obgraham
Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Barcelona Hotel Recommendations
Replies: 24
Views: 1799

Re: Barcelona Hotel Recommendations

Hotel Barcelona Catedral is 2 doors down from the Cathedral Square in the Barrio Gotic. We enjoyed a stay there in April. Location is superb, plenty of nearby places to eat, very helpful front desk, and a very nice room. We were there on Easter, a very popular time, and paid 135 to 245 Euros dependi...
by obgraham
Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 2956
Views: 866206

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Dunkirk: Unlike the majority, I thought it was terrible. To me this "stream of consciousness" approach is just too pretentious. Tell the story, dammit, and don't waste my time trying to impress me with how good you are at confounding time and intermixing points of view. My younger relatives all thou...
by obgraham
Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling bookshelves cheaply
Replies: 56
Views: 2801

Re: Filling bookshelves cheaply

So wait, we're giving this guy advice on how to look phonier than he already might be?
by obgraham
Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi Thermostat?
Replies: 59
Views: 3864

Re: Follow up on wifi thermostat

The Honeywell works very well for me. At $50 a month, you'd pay for the swap-out in 4 months.
by obgraham
Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 5695

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

35 year SF customer here. I like them, and they are cheaper than everyone else I've asked for a quote. However, they are big boys in the insurance world, and have some annoying policies. For instance, most of the windshield places don't like dealing with them, and the chip repair places I've used re...
by obgraham
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm - Insurance checkup
Replies: 8
Views: 853

Re: State Farm - Insurance checkup

Another long term State Farm customer -- over 35 years. Same agent, too, as I started when he started. Last year or two I get an annual call from his staff about an "insurance checkup". I suspect their national folks are encouraging the agents to stay "active" with their clients. I went in last year...
by obgraham
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scan negatives or the photos?
Replies: 16
Views: 1656

Re: Scan negatives or the photos?

I think >mmcmonster< a couple of posts ago has it right. Think of it a different way: You started with, say a 35mm negative. Then, for the sake of discussion, you made an 8 x 10 enlargement as a print. But it doesn't have any picture information that was not on the original negative. Now you scan th...
by obgraham
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?
Replies: 32
Views: 3777

Re: Road noise in 2017 Honda CRV?

Recently traded out our 2006 CRV -- a low end model which was indeed pretty noisy. The choice came down to a 2017 CRV or a 2017 Subaru Forester, again both low end versions of the model. The final choice was made on other factors, but there is no question the Forester is significantly quieter than t...
by obgraham
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best tool/technique for grill cleaning?
Replies: 23
Views: 2207

Re: Best tool/technique for grill cleaning?

Recently switched to GrillGrates, and they make a brush to get down in the grooves. Works fine.

Otherwise, as others, a putty knife/paint scraper.
by obgraham
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Generic camera battery?
Replies: 20
Views: 1425

Re: Generic camera battery?

I have a Sony Nex7, and three generic spare batteries, for those days when I'm out taking a lot of pix. Bought them off Amazon, and I've never had a problem with them. In fact I think they last a bit longer than the original Sony. I do find it annoying that just about every camera these days has its...
by obgraham
Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?
Replies: 58
Views: 6151

Re: Robocalls! -- current best call blocker?

I once engaged in conversation with a robocaller. He said he was based in Mumbai. The conversation was not polite on his part. I'm quite adept at engaging in "conversation" with these guys. When I feel like it. I figure there is a special place in you-know-where for the guys that dream up these "IR...
by obgraham
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 4300

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

the gas is controlled by a solenoid or something. So no power, no gas flow at all. Burners work differently. Well this discussion is about the cooktop. For me, gas is clearly better. The oven: not so much. My gas oven takes longer to come to temperature, and seems to be more prone to hot/cold spots...
by obgraham
Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cat teeth cleaning costs
Replies: 36
Views: 3247

Re: Cat teeth cleaning costs

Basic old school question here: Why the heck does a cat need its teeth cleaned? It's a Cat!
by obgraham
Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many "accounts" do you maintain at your investment firm?
Replies: 31
Views: 1789

Re: How many "accounts" do you maintain at your investment firm?

Retired, now, in the withdrawing rather than the accumulating stage. So now: 2 accounts, both Vanguard. One is the IRA, the other is a taxable savings account.

Got rid of all my 15 or so other investment accounts.
by obgraham
Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 4300

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

No question at all. Gas. I have complete almost instant control on my gas range. When we bought a snowbird joint in Arizona it had just been remodeled with a new glass-top electric range. I hate the thing! Sure, it heats up pretty fast. But every little spill or boilover becomes a major cleaning rit...
by obgraham
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?
Replies: 47
Views: 4874

Re: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?

What did you do with your old typewriter?
Uhh, use it for typing!
How about your road map collection?
Indeed, use them to get places!
by obgraham
Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?
Replies: 47
Views: 4874

Re: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?

I'm glad that manufactures have finally stopped it with the CD players! It's about time! Now if all laptops would do the same. Now! Spotify and Pandora is worth every penny. No need to organize a bunch of music and everything is Bluetooth these days. For older vehicles, I use the Aux in with a Blue...
by obgraham
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 26748

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Indeed. Well said, Artsdoctor!
by obgraham
Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?
Replies: 47
Views: 4874

Re: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?

My problem is a little of the reverse: my 13 year old car's system takes CD's and cassettes but has no auxiliary input. Meanwhile, I have ripped my approximately 1000 CD's to ITunes, and carry the lot around on my Ipod Classic. So, how to play the Ipod through the radio?? Fortunately in my big box o...
by obgraham
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.
Replies: 19
Views: 2845

Re: Lg refrigerator vs Samsung refrigerator.

It's unfortunate, but it is reality, that most all our appliances now are made in Asia. So regardless of the nameplate, they're pretty much the same. We have had a Samsung reefer in this house since new, now 11 years straight, with no issues whatsoever. It wasn't the high end type -- in the $900 ran...
by obgraham
Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cheap Champagne
Replies: 60
Views: 4546

Re: Best Cheap Champagne

I enjoy my wines, both red and white.

But I've never figured out the deal with champagne. Too fizzy, and the taste is awful. And applying more cash doesn't seem to improve the product. I'd rather have a 7-up!

(Flameproof suit now being donned!)
by obgraham
Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cataracts & reading glasses
Replies: 31
Views: 2523

Re: Cataracts & reading glasses

As far as the laser goes, as of this date there is no good evidence that it leads to better visual outcomes than using a $14 disposable blade. Maybe in the future research will suggest otherwise, but that hasn't been shown yet. Glad to hear you say that, Doc. There is an aura surrounding the Laser ...