Search found 1891 matches

by texasdiver
Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell truck and buy SUV?
Replies: 41
Views: 2565

Re: Sell truck and buy SUV?

Been looking at 2016 Expeditions and the only available engine appears to the 3.5L Ecoboost V6. I just picked up a 2014 and I think that was the last year of the 5.4L V8. Seems strange you can cut the displacement by 40% and still get the same power, etc but I guess the engineers know what they're ...
by texasdiver
Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: White Kitchen Cabinets?
Replies: 30
Views: 2144

Re: White Kitchen Cabinets?

We have white and I like them. 409 and a paper towel is usually all it takes to tidy up. I repainted mine myself before selling the house last time but I pulled off all the doors and knobs and sprayed them with a commercial sprayer in my garage. I would not want to do it all by brush. If you are ser...
by texasdiver
Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing kid's internet use
Replies: 24
Views: 1839

Re: Managing kid's internet use

I agree with most of what Texasdiver said. Attempts to control my kids taught them how VPN can work around their school's restrictions; educational! :D We did use this as a teachable moment, and discussed how it was a violation of the honor code, at least as interpreted by their parents. High Schoo...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a High-Value Wedding Regardless of Cost
Replies: 55
Views: 2767

Re: Planning a High-Value Wedding Regardless of Cost

Got married on a friends boat in Alaska. We had two friends and my brother in attendance and wore jeans, rubber boots and fleece jackets. Total cost (to us) was about $200 for the gold wedding bands we got at Costco. Our friends paid for the gas, champagne, bagels, and smoked salmon. We were actuall...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing kid's internet use
Replies: 24
Views: 1839

Re: Managing kid's internet use

They don't have to be actively searching for "dark" stuff for inappropriate material to pop up. If you google toys, a review of the best sex toys is within the top 10 results. I am glad this stuff came out after my daughter was grown up, I really have no idea what I would do these days. I...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing kid's internet use
Replies: 24
Views: 1839

Re: Managing kid's internet use

Here's what I have found as a parent of 3 computer-literate girls ages 9, 12, and 17. First as pre-teens and tweens they really aren't searching out the dark sides of the internet. Maybe boys are more, I don't know. But my kids basically want to get on YouTube to find minecraft hack videos, funny ca...
by texasdiver
Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling in Retirement
Replies: 57
Views: 4227

Re: Traveling in Retirement

So what do we do? We have a camper and take long weekend and spring break trips to parks around Texas and the Southwest (New Mexico, Arkansas, and the Florida Gulf Coast). But even that is getting more of a trial with sullen grumpy teenagers who would rather be in a 4-star hotel than cramped in wit...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing kid's internet use
Replies: 24
Views: 1839

Re: Managing kid's internet use

Some of the router software will do this.... couple with some static IP's so you know which computer is what for the filter (other ways to do that by mac addr etc). I also put the kids on a different wifi connection and have it shut down at different times. I run my own email server so get a copy o...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Managing kid's internet use
Replies: 24
Views: 1839

Re: Managing kid's internet use

Put your computer in a common area where you can see her screen when online. But basically as the father of 3 girls, the youngest of whom is 9, I think you have to trust them to some extent and teach them good digital citizenship and safety like not chatting or talking with anyone online who isn't a...
by texasdiver
Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling in Retirement
Replies: 57
Views: 4227

Re: Traveling in Retirement

I traveled a ton between the ages of 23 and mid-30s. I was single, I did some things like the Peace Corps. I worked as a fisheries observer in Alaska which brought me all over Alaska and gave me lots of time off to travel in-between contracts. But eventually that sort of life gets lonely because you...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell truck and buy SUV?
Replies: 41
Views: 2565

Re: Sell truck and buy SUV?

I had a truck for the past 25 yrs and decided I wanted an SUV. My "replacement" for the truck was a folding 4x8' trailer for $210 from Harbor Freight. I'm able to store it in my basement and it only takes about 10 mins. to set up. A bit more bother than having a truck but it works for me....
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell truck and buy SUV?
Replies: 41
Views: 2565

Re: Sell truck and buy SUV?

Yes, your choice of RV will determine your tow vehicle choice. Frankly your best option if you want to tow and want more room than the Tundra is probably something like the new F150 crew cab with the ecoboost engine and tow package. It will tow anything but a large 5th wheel and will be as roomy as ...
by texasdiver
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Forced to sell a an expensive vehicle at the wrong time how to handle???
Replies: 23
Views: 2402

Re: Forced to sell a an expensive vehicle at the wrong time how to handle???

Sell it private market. The type of "frugal" buyer who is looking for a late-model lightly used single owner luxury car will likely have no issue arranging financing. My credit union practically gives away used car loans and they are happy to facilitate the transaction. It is pretty common...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charities for Bogleheads?
Replies: 25
Views: 1371

Re: Charities for Bogleheads?

I always give to my local public school foundation. My local schools use the money for grants to teachers for technology and ideas that don't normally get funded through the regular budget process. The district has one full time employee that runs the foundation and fund raises through all the loca...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 110
Views: 6038

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

I've been to a couple of destination weddings that were mainly due to the fact that it was where they were from. Close friend of mine got married in Costa Rica but his wife was Costa Rican. Another college friend got married in India but he and his wife were Indian. Both were amazing experiences but...
by texasdiver
Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Charities for Bogleheads?
Replies: 25
Views: 1371

Re: Charities for Bogleheads?

I always give to my local public school foundation. My local schools use the money for grants to teachers for technology and ideas that don't normally get funded through the regular budget process. The district has one full time employee that runs the foundation and fund raises through all the local...
by texasdiver
Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Tips for Packing & Moving?
Replies: 14
Views: 1272

Re: Best Tips for Packing & Moving?

I don't know your circumstances but our last move was about 15 miles across town. I knew we would be closing on both houses on the same day so scheduling would be tight. What I did was the following. For the month before the move I went through the house top to bottom and packed up everything that w...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I forward mail to Spain
Replies: 10
Views: 892

Re: Should I forward mail to Spain

There are services you can use in the US that will open and scan your mail into .pdf format and email it to you. You might want to look into something like that. Here is one such example. There are many others: https://travelingmailbox.com/ Note, I haven't used any of these services so I can't comme...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dinner Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 4651

Re: Dinner Ideas

No one has mentioned Mississippi Roast. This viral internet recipe was profiled on the New York Times earlier this week. The basic recipe is to dump a chuck roast into a crock pot, sprinkle an envelope of ranch dressing mix and an envelope of Au Jou gray mix over the top. Toss a handful of pepperono...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Carpet and Painting
Replies: 32
Views: 2328

Re: Buying Carpet and Painting

If you are doing both carpet and paint then you definitely want to follow the following schedule 1. Have the old carpet removed 2. Have the rooms repainted with only the subfloor in place and no carpet. This will make it much easier for the painters to do a good job, especially on the baseboards. It...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Oregon
Replies: 40
Views: 1952

Re: Trip to Oregon

Thank you one and all for the many insights and great suggestions. How very kind of all of you. I'm leaning toward flying into Portland on Southwest out of Baltimore and then heading to the central coast, probably staying 2-3 nights in Yachats before heading for Florence(dunes) and Eugene. From Eug...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any retirees in the Seattle area open to a couple hours of driving?
Replies: 23
Views: 2124

Re: any retirees in the Seattle area open to a couple hours of driving?

Pay the guy in Bellingham to drive down to meet your flight at SeaTac. Tell him if you buy it, you'll drive him home. If you don't you just go separate ways. Hadn't considered that..it's a clean setup. Even if he wants to trade money at his bank...if I get there early in the day it'll still work..h...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone driven Oregon to Chicago in Jan-Feb?
Replies: 25
Views: 1455

Re: Anyone driven Oregon to Chicago in Jan-Feb?

Buy a set of chains at a national chain store in Oregon like Wal-Mart. Leave them in the box with the receipt. If you don't end up using them (and you most likely won't) just bring them back to the store in Chicago for a refund. They are not hard to use. For a front wheel drive you lay them out in f...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Properly Assessing Public Schools
Replies: 55
Views: 3065

Re: Properly Assessing Public Schools

The quality of your parents and the value in education they instill in you are bigger determinants of educational outcomes than peers or teachers. +1/2 That's certainly true, but let's not underestimate the impact of quality teachers and peers. My parents valued education extremely highly, and inst...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone driven Oregon to Chicago in Jan-Feb?
Replies: 25
Views: 1455

Re: Anyone driven Oregon to Chicago in Jan-Feb?

Yes, I've driven it many times. 84 through the Gorge connecting with 80 in northern Utah is the safest route in winter because it has lowest mountain passes and least chance of snow closures or blizzards. The distances are about the same as taking 90 or 94 but in winter there will be more traffic on...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Properly Assessing Public Schools
Replies: 55
Views: 3065

Re: Properly Assessing Public Schools

As a public school teacher and parent with 3 kids in public schools I have given tremendous thought to this question. Especially as we are in the process of relocating across the country and have been looking at dozens of different communities and evaluating them on the basis of schools. The answer ...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Oregon
Replies: 40
Views: 1952

Re: Trip to Oregon

Also, if you want to do more driving and this occupation nonsense is done by summer the Malheur refuge and nearby Steens Mountain are an interesting scenic visit and just about the most remote location you can get to in the lower 48. Steens Mountain is interesting in that you can drive to the top li...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Oregon
Replies: 40
Views: 1952

Re: Trip to Oregon

A lot of great advice. I will add: the Olympic Trials (Track and Field) are in Eugene in early July, and the NCAA Track & Field championships in early June. Check those dates before planning any stays in Eugene itself. It is a great little town, but very few hotel rooms. If you have any interes...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trip to Oregon
Replies: 40
Views: 1952

Re: Trip to Oregon

I'm from Oregon and spent many weeks of my life traveling around the state by car and bike. On the Oregon Coast. I frankly think the most dramatic driving section is the central coast between Newport and Florence. That is where the road clings to the most dramatic hillside cliffs and headlands. Sout...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating a retired computer with financial info on it
Replies: 27
Views: 2061

Re: Donating a retired computer with financial info on it

Who are you donating old computers to? Does anyone really actually want them? I teach at HS and no one wants the old computers. They just dispose of them. In fact, there is a stack of old computers in my hallway right now waiting to get hauled away for disposal. At a certain point the lack of speed ...
by texasdiver
Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box
Replies: 54
Views: 7869

Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

The home safe is great for records and small amounts of cash, whereas all valuables and important documents should be kept in a safe deposit box. When selecting a safe, I'd opt for one that's easier for you to conceal instead of focusing on its weight/strength. If it's an option, I prefer to instal...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?
Replies: 20
Views: 1613

Re: Buy a house with pool & What to look for?

There are contractors who's business is filling in old pools with dirt and restoring the landscape to natural lawn. Call a couple of them and get estimates, or at least call and ask for a general ballpark estimate. It isn't going to be cheap and isn't something you are going to do yourself unless yo...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike or hike trip
Replies: 22
Views: 1893

Re: Bike or hike trip

The Northern California Coast along route 1 is nice as Raybo suggests. I did it with my young daughter and father a couple years ago. I would skip the sections along US 101 in Northern CA unless you are a pretty hard core cyclist. But my #1 recommendation for such a trip in the US would be the San J...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?
Replies: 55
Views: 5092

Re: Where does the "need" to max out all retirements accounts come from?

Two separate issues here. First issue: How much do you need to save for retirement? That's a personal question with all sorts of variables that defy any sort of simple formulas. But generally speaking, the upper middle class professional types who frequent this forum will need to come close to maxin...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to live in CA for a young family
Replies: 82
Views: 6030

Re: Best place to live in CA for a young family

If you can swing CA then go for it. The Texas folks popped up on this threat. My wife and I have lived in Texas for the past 12 years and are finally moving back to the west coast (Washington) this coming summer. Yes, Texas is a cheap place to live but there are a lot of little compromises one makes...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long can I let my car "sit" on vacation?
Replies: 47
Views: 3971

Re: How long can I let my car "sit" on vacation?

Personally I would change the oil before a long period of storage. Otherwise the dirt and particles in your dirty oil could settle into the various crevasses in your engine where oil collects over time. Also fill up the tank to prevent water condensation in an empty fuel tank. And park it indoors if...
by texasdiver
Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buenos Aires trip advice
Replies: 14
Views: 900

Re: Buenos Aires trip advice

Another fun side trip is to take the passenger ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. It is a small colonial sea port on the Uruguayan coast with cobblestone streets and historic old buildings that has been nicely restored or preserved. It's been a while since I was t...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS for a road bike
Replies: 29
Views: 1280

Re: GPS for a road bike

I agree..I can't imagine any cycling-type solar panel would throw off enough juice to keep a phone gps unit running in real time. Sounds like a new business opportunity. Who's in with me on this one? Sorry. I can imagine a cycling-type solar panel that would run a phone running GPS. We're only talk...
by texasdiver
Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS for a road bike
Replies: 29
Views: 1280

Re: GPS for a road bike

With all these reports of no battery life on iPhones, it seems that folks would also want to add a solar-charging option to their bike. I have a solar charger that doubles as a high-intensity LED headlight. It even has flashing mode. I normally just use it camping in the backwoods where GPS still w...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 4672

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

As for Federal retiree health benefits. I think you have to have been employed with the Federal government for the 5 years leading up to your retirement so folks like us who leave Federal service long before retirement do not quality. At least that is my understanding from reading the OPM page on t...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS for a road bike
Replies: 29
Views: 1280

Re: GPS for a road bike

Depends on your climate as to whether you can use your smart phone. Here in Texas during the summer I can't keep my iPhone on the front of my bike. I've tried it in the map section of my handlebar bag and also just on top of the handlebars in a phone mount. In both instances I got an overheating war...
by texasdiver
Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 4672

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

If you have at least one salary lined up that is a pretty nice safety cushion. Lots of couples live their whole lives on one salary. If you wait until you both have the perfect jobs lined up in a new location you may hit retirement age before that every happens. Thank you for sharing your story. Mr...
by texasdiver
Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom
Replies: 39
Views: 4672

Re: Considering Family Relocation - Seeking Wisdom

For what it's worth, here are my experiences.... I had about 15 years with the Federal government working for NOAA in Seattle, DC, and Alaska when we moved to Texas for my wife's career (or for her medical residency). For the first 3 years of her residency I maintained all my professional ties with ...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Building a new small home
Replies: 37
Views: 3277

Re: Building a new small home

Something like one of these would be nice

http://methodhomes.net/homes/sml-series/
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 877

Re: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?

I'm looking now at setting individual limits, but I do not see the option to set allowances. Under "Manage Data", it just gives options to add/remove data allowances for the entire account. Are you talking about Verizon? I'm looking at this page http://www.verizonwireless.com/support/know...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 877

Re: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?

I'm looking now at setting individual limits, but I do not see the option to set allowances. Under "Manage Data", it just gives options to add/remove data allowances for the entire account. Are you talking about Verizon? I'm looking at this page http://www.verizonwireless.com/support/know...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Functional front yard ideas
Replies: 7
Views: 669

Re: Functional front yard ideas

1. Spend some time driving around your area with a camera, especially in the nicer areas where people have spent $$$ on nice landscaping and start creating a digital photo album of what looks good and works in your area. You should get lots of ideas that way. 2. Pay attention to the plants and lands...
by texasdiver
Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 877

Re: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?

Thanks guys. Couple of points. First I think she is mostly burning through data by streaming pandora through her car's hands free bluetooth audio system so the phone doesn't come out of her backpack for the most part. Her afternoons are spent waiting in a long line of moms in SUVs picking up kids at...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 877

Re: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?

Thanks. Actually our 13 year old is very conscientious about her data just like yours and never goes over her limit. In fact she rarely hits 1 GB. It is our 17 year old that is the problem. She is just irresponsible about data management and seems to always be on Pandora or Spotify when she is drivi...
by texasdiver
Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 877

Best wireless providers for managing shared data plans?

My wife and I will be relocating in a few months and will likely be exploring different cell phone options for us and our family. We are currently with AT&T with a discount through my employer and have 4 phones in our family plan but have individual data plans for each phone because both my wife...

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