Search found 833 matches

by obgraham
Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Follow up on wifi thermostat
Replies: 8
Views: 606

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: 5074

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: 759

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....
by obgraham
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scan negatives or the photos?
Replies: 16
Views: 1536

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: 3023

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: 24
Views: 2040

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: 1291

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: 5673

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...
by obgraham
Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 3678

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: 2879

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: 1607

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: 3678

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: 3954

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: 3954

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: 24999

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: 3954

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: 1770

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: 3990

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: 2286

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 ...
by obgraham
Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good school in Mexico for Spanish?
Replies: 23
Views: 1642

Re: Good school in Mexico for Spanish?

Lots of schools in Antigua Guatemala, too. Lovely city, and quite safe.
by obgraham
Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Phoenix. Need advice.
Replies: 37
Views: 3671

Re: Moving to Phoenix. Need advice.

One more consideration: The actual house or apartment. Having been in several houses and condos there over the years, the location and its relation to the sun is critical to me. West facing: forget about sitting outside. Look for a place that does not face direct sun later in the day. You'll find th...
by obgraham
Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laundry lifestyle creep
Replies: 84
Views: 14195

Re: Laundry lifestyle creep

Nothing in this thread explains why OP prefers frozen OJ to fresh!
by obgraham
Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Razor
Replies: 17
Views: 1526

Re: Electric Razor

Some old codgers like me have such messed up hide that a standard razor blade will cause too much blood loss. So I've gone with the electrics for some time, both Norelco and Braun. The two styles behave differently. Norelco's rotary action is more comfortable to me, especially the newer floating hea...
by obgraham
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suit for [medical] residency interviews
Replies: 57
Views: 3440

Re: Suit for residency interviews

This is a real "sign of the times". Half our working folks think it's just fine to show up for office work in a t-shirt, cargos, and reasonably clean sneakers. So when they look at a bit more staid workplace they don't know what to do. I'm with the rest. Nobody at a residency interview wil...
by obgraham
Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America Credit Card
Replies: 16
Views: 2212

Re: Bank of America Credit Card

Luckywon wrote:I have had awful experiences with Bank of America as an former checking account holder, ML account holder, and mortgage holder. My earnest advice is don't do business with BA. They are incompetent and soulless.

Agreed! They only like you when you have a boatload of cash stashed with them.
by obgraham
Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Responding to a weird job interview question..
Replies: 31
Views: 3078

Re: Responding to a weird job interview question..

I think we're missing the point here. Perhaps the employer is using the question to discover if the applicant is thin skinned, or likely to be a trouble-stirrer. You can't ask the more obvious questions, so he went at it this way. If a few bad words is job destroying, perhaps another applicant would...
by obgraham
Mon May 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Purchase at Costco?
Replies: 45
Views: 20284

Re: Laptop Purchase at Costco?

Every computer I've bought since 2004 has been Costco, except one laptop, from Fry's. That was the only one that failed, and getting it replaced was a hassle.
That's why I stick with Costco if possible.
by obgraham
Sun May 28, 2017 12:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Risks of electronic access
Replies: 57
Views: 4991

Re: Risks of electronic access

Some institutions will not send mail to a PO Box. That may not be the best choice.
by obgraham
Fri May 19, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chandler, AZ
Replies: 35
Views: 2895

Re: Chandler, AZ

"High end real estate" is always relative. We spend 6 months in the East Valley, and have no desire to have an "upscale" home. Just a normal place in Mesa. Chandler/Gilbert has a lot of areas which would be upscale by any normal standards, but the communities themselves are prett...
by obgraham
Thu May 11, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with older laptop?
Replies: 32
Views: 3585

Re: What to do with older laptop?

I try to simplify my life. I was using a similar old HP laptop with Vista for just reading my morning paper and email, etc. I also used it to try out new software before loading onto my "good" computer. But this month it just got too slow and cantankerous. Usual cleaning methods didn't hel...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 149
Views: 12183

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

Have had my Weber Genesis Silver since 2000, and while it doesn't look as pretty as it was new, it's still a phenomenal grill. Every so often I would see a rusted out grill on the curb for pick up in front of one of the houses in our neighborhood back home, and never was it a Weber. Char-Broil seem...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: About lawn sprinkler sytem
Replies: 16
Views: 1521

Re: About lawn sprinkler sytem

Been living in areas where everyone uses UG sprinklers for 40 years. I don't think the brand of components is as important as the design and the installer. Where I live, every landscaper is a sprinkler installer, and can work with all sorts of system, mix/match or not. However, I have relatives in t...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What To Do With My Car While in NYC
Replies: 32
Views: 3093

Re: What To Do With My Car While in NYC

Who's going to make payments on a car they don't own?

And if you still own it but they drive it, what are you going to do when they drive it into a busload of orphans?
by obgraham
Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance, doctors and writing off owed money
Replies: 21
Views: 1997

Re: Insurance, doctors and writing off owed money

I know several Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals who make periodic trips overseas to remote areas of tremendous health/medical need. These wonderful folks generally pay their own way. Because it is done through a tax exempt US entity, they are able to receive acknowledgement of...
by obgraham
Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Budget multitool knife
Replies: 24
Views: 2367

Re: Budget multitool knife

I concur about Leatherman multitools. The cheap substitutes don't work. However, for a little toolset in a car, a trip to Harbor Freight will kit you out very nicely and cheaply. Most of their tools will work for the few times you ever need them--hammer, pliers, adjustable wrench, and multidriver. F...
by obgraham
Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance, doctors and writing off owed money
Replies: 21
Views: 1997

Re: Insurance, doctors and writing off owed money

Common misconception. The only "write-off" for the doc is that he doesn't get the cash, so he "writes it off" his books. There is no tax deduction for him as he would have to take the deduction against income, which he never got. Donated professional services are not deductible f...
by obgraham
Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do with your coins?
Replies: 76
Views: 4879

Re: What do you do with your coins?

I'm with the others here. My coins go in a spiffy wooden box. When it is full I go the grocery or Walmart and drop them in for an Amazon card. That I use for Kindle reading.
by obgraham
Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Combatting mosquitoes traveling in S. America
Replies: 39
Views: 2332

Re: Combatting mosquitoes traveling in S. America

So the OP asks about Honduras, and gets a bunch of suggestions about Indonesia, Africa, and god knows where else. I've gone to a bunch of these places for medical trips. They are NOT all the same. The endemic diseases, carriers, bugs, etc, differ. Figure out what your intended specific location and ...
by obgraham
Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Restoration of old slides
Replies: 10
Views: 837

Re: Restoration of old slides

I scanned several thousand slides and prints and negatives. The scanner software (Epson for me) will make a lot of the corrections for color and contrast, often very dramatically. To a point. Some slide films are restorable, but some are beyond repair. I found that if a Kodachrome is faded, that's i...
by obgraham
Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Device/Pharma Sales Reps?
Replies: 10
Views: 1270

Re: Medical Device/Pharma Sales Reps?

I've chatted up a lot of drug reps over the years. It's a very competitive and tough job. Very few of them felt really secure in their position. In my experience the major qualification seemed to be "looks". Maybe that's changed these days as the doctor demographic has shifted, but I suspe...
by obgraham
Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Booze on a Cruise
Replies: 68
Views: 7238

Re: Cost of Booze on a Cruise

Consider the whole budget of the cruise. Right now I'm on Seabourn, which is "all inclusive". Wine, beer, most booze, soft drinks all included in the tab. Gratuities, too. Yes, the tab is higher than the big-market lines. But it's not as much higher as it seems when you factor in what is i...
by obgraham
Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: World Cruises
Replies: 7
Views: 1035

Re: World Cruises

I'm writing this from the middle of the Atlantic, on a trans-Atlantic Seabourn cruise.

There's nothing to dislike on a cruise! The sea days are our preference, who cares about the ports!
by obgraham
Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap, User Friendly Printer
Replies: 34
Views: 3394

Re: Cheap, User Friendly Printer

Minority view here: I've nothing against laser printers, but I generally use the cheapest Canon inkjet that WalMart will sell. Current one under $30. No setup needed, prints everything I need, usually buy one cartridge a year. Nothing to dislike. My only gripe about lasers is that sometimes when I p...
by obgraham
Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing customs in Seattle
Replies: 20
Views: 1840

Re: Clearing customs in Seattle

What problem with trains? They run regularly and at frequent intervals.

Problem is to get from South Satellite to North Satellite you need three trains.
And there is no alternative, as you can't walk.
by obgraham
Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Versatile economical RV recommendations for a frugal retiree?
Replies: 59
Views: 4763

Re: Versatile economical RV recommendations for a frugal retiree?

Trailering is too fussy for me. I like to have all my stuff along all the time.

Roadtrek Class B fits the bill.

Entirely non-economic and non-Boglehead. What the heck.
by obgraham
Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing customs in Seattle
Replies: 20
Views: 1840

Re: Clearing customs in Seattle

One problem at SEA is those darn trains, and no consistency as to whether your connecting flight will leave from a satellite or the main terminal. I think you'll be fine with 3 1/2 hours. But SEA is hit-or-miss. International arrival lines can be horrendous, with no explanations given. Not long back...
by obgraham
Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...
Replies: 62
Views: 4733

Re: Our technology is old...advice on upgrading...

My plan is not to buy more tech than I need: my PC's are in the $400-$600 range, and work fine for me for a few years. Easier to toss one of these than a $1700 high end one.

Phones? Bought a Note 4 when it came out, still not much behind the latest and greatest.
by obgraham
Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any downside to Home Equity line of credit even if we won't use it immediately?
Replies: 24
Views: 2883

Re: Is there any downside to Home Equity line of credit even if we won't use it immediately?

It's likely best to apply for a HELOC while employed. Makes things simpler. However, it's never been a problem for me. They want to see an income stream. I have one: IRA withdrawals. And I can produce a 1040 or two to show it. If one bank doesn't want to lend to a secure retired guy, I suspect there...
by obgraham
Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any downside to Home Equity line of credit even if we won't use it immediately?
Replies: 24
Views: 2883

Re: Is there any downside to Home Equity line of credit even if we won't use it immediately?

Whenever you want to refinance the 1st mortgage, the HELOC always gets in the way. The new bank wants it closed.. but after you get a new mortgage you can set it up again. This is correct. A HELOC is a 2nd mortgage, if there is a 1st in place. And CSM asked you mention having these at 2 different b...
by obgraham
Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any downside to Home Equity line of credit even if we won't use it immediately?
Replies: 24
Views: 2883

Re: Is there any downside to Home Equity line of credit even if we won't use it immediately?

I've had a HELOC for a number of years, at 2 different banks. Since I don't keep a lot of ready cash on hand, I use the HELOC for things like vehicle purchases, when I want the cash immediately, then work out how I'll repay it a quickly as possible. It works for me. However, for buying another house...

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