Search found 134 matches

by fogalog
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?
Replies: 15
Views: 903

Re: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?

Are there trees above the area? Does it hose off? It sounds a little like "honeydew", a problem we had in our back yard. Aphids eat the tree leaves and excrete "honeydew" onto the surface below, which goes black / mouldy over a few days. yes, there are tall trees nearby. Difficult to hose off since...
by fogalog
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?
Replies: 15
Views: 903

Re: black stain on concrete: mold or hazard?

Are there trees above the area? Does it hose off? It sounds a little like "honeydew", a problem we had in our back yard. Aphids eat the tree leaves and excrete "honeydew" onto the surface below, which goes black / mouldy over a few days.
by fogalog
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need recommendation on a trampoline
Replies: 23
Views: 1395

Re: Need recommendation on a trampoline

We bought a Springfree trampoline for our kids many years ago. They are expensive but they address many of the issues that people tend to cite when talking about trampolines being dangerous: no metal edges, springs or poles to hit and a very strong, zippered net. I assembled it myself. You still nee...
by fogalog
Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW X5 owners, do you recommend upgrading maintenance plan or tires?
Replies: 15
Views: 1038

Re: BMW X5 owners, do you recommend upgrading maintenance plan or tires?

Owners of multiple BMW X5s here. Great cars in general. It is not clear from your post but for the last two leases, we purchased the "wheel & tire" insurance. This pays for tire replacements for damaged tires with a $50 copay. We live in the Bay Area and so the combination of potholes and run-flat t...
by fogalog
Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: General house remodeling approach
Replies: 30
Views: 2514

Re: General house remodeling approach

+1 on using a reputable architect. Best money I spent remodelling our house 10 years ago. It is not clear how urban / rural you are but if you have Nextdoor in your neighbourhood, you could send a note out to your local group asking for recommendations. There are a lot of good design-build firms out...
by fogalog
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV recommendations?
Replies: 37
Views: 2369

Re: TV recommendations?

Since you bought plasma 12 years ago, I'm going to go out on a limb and infer that the picture quality matters to you. The TL;DR is therefore: +1 on wirecutter (for almost every electronics purchase these days - it's just really good) +1 on the LG OLED. I bought a 65" C8 (last years version of what ...
by fogalog
Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA
Replies: 74
Views: 4801

Re: California East Bay, Place to live and commute to Oakland, CA

7. San Francisco - The BART runs along Market Street here, so you would be looking around there. Financial District, SoMa (South of Market), etc. Pricey of course. Quite Interesting thought let me ponder on SFO as a place of living. Thanks for the suggestion. Sure. It will cost most of your budget ...
by fogalog
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car door at Body shop or Dealership?
Replies: 20
Views: 1295

Re: Replace car door at Body shop or Dealership?

The dealerships that I've frequented all use external body shops for body-type repairs. As others have suggested, it might be that the dealer will simply farm this job out. I would recommend calling the service manager at the dealer and ask them what body shop they use. I've done this twice for larg...
by fogalog
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: phone scam
Replies: 30
Views: 2730

Re: phone scam

I just got a call on my verizon cell phone. It said it was from voicemail. How does your voicemail call you?? I'm so confused. When OP received the call, the Caller ID made it look like it was from OP's voicemail... but of course it wasn't. The Caller ID was "spoofed" - i.e. a bad guy made a call t...
by fogalog
Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: speakers
Replies: 32
Views: 2859

Re: speakers

More info please as to why? Thanks for the input everyone. The reason I'm thinking of replacing the B&Ws is simply the search for better. I'd like more detail and a larger soundstage. I like hearing the bows and the turning of pages and all the instruments clearly. Also, I listen at different volum...
by fogalog
Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get home internet in the country, outside the city limits?
Replies: 24
Views: 1211

Re: How to get home internet in the country, outside the city limits?

I see 2 options: 1. Do you have mobile phone coverage at the lot location? It's easy to check. 2. Is there line-of-sight to a town? What about from 30' up? It might be a long shot but do a search for "fixed wireless" or "microwave internet". We use this at work in an old building in the middle of Sa...
by fogalog
Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid for Real Estate Investing?
Replies: 11
Views: 791

Re: Paid for Real Estate Investing?

Read this thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=269901 Yes, it is almost 700 posts long, and there is a fair amount of chaff amongst the wheat, but you can skim read it quickly and will soon work out to whom you should pay attention. I can only comment on my own situation in a...
by fogalog
Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple iMac 2013? Replace with Fusion? Or all SSD? Security? Questions
Replies: 38
Views: 2737

Re: Apple iMac 2013? Replace with Fusion? Or all SSD? Security? Questions

2. If I do replace the hard drive my choices appear to be: A. Replace the hard drive only and then create a new fusion drive with the old SSD B. Replace the hard drive but leave the SSD in and DON'T FUSE just use the new SSD. Are there issues with this such as security issues with leaving in the ol...
by fogalog
Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding with airline carrier to upgrade seats
Replies: 22
Views: 1559

Re: Bidding with airline carrier to upgrade seats

I would check the configuration of the plane. If it is a narrow body with sleeper seats, there are certainly more desirable seats but there aren't really any bad seats (with the exception of proximity to the toilet, etc), especially if you are not paying full fare. In addition, business class will l...
by fogalog
Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any audiophiles on this forum?
Replies: 120
Views: 9222

Re: Any audiophiles on this forum?

Enid. Enid Lumley! Are you there? For a while, I bought into a lot of the cable/power conditioner stuff. Cost me an arm and a leg. Now, I just have my Martin Logans (w/sub) and Anthem Integrated Amp sourced via TIDAL. The sound is vastly improved because of room treatments and ARC (not Audio Return...
by fogalog
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What tech wiring in new build house?
Replies: 124
Views: 7246

Re: What tech wiring in new build house?

With a 30 radius, a single router in the middle of your house should suffice. Or maybe 3 mesh routers. How big is your house? :shock: It's not always about size :D Our house has many exterior and interior walls made of fieldstone, in some locations up to 3' thick. The only thing fieldstone insulate...
by fogalog
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: yet another reason not to get a smart phone
Replies: 192
Views: 15832

Re: yet another reason not to get a smart phone

Tangentially related, I recommend using the Signal messaging app. I have it set as my default SMS application. I know a gen-xer he doesn't believe in a cellphone, he uses an IPOD touch and has google voice setup and gets all voice messages there and calls people back when he is near a free Wifi sta...
by fogalog
Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any audiophiles on this forum?
Replies: 120
Views: 9222

Re: Any audiophiles on this forum?

If you are considering a purchase of any mid- to high-end hifi gear I'd recommend taking a look at audiogon.com. I bought a bunch of stuff on there (B&W Signature 8-NT in-wall speakers, Lyngdorf TDAI w/ room correction, cables, Velodyne sub), mostly from dealers (ex-demo). I paid a fraction of retai...
by fogalog
Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airpods Pro sold out for Christmas
Replies: 35
Views: 3381

Re: Airpods Pro sold out for Christmas

Back to the topic of the thread... I just got some today. I checked online for local pickup and though my local Apple store didn't have them, I found them available for same day pickup in another store not too far away. I talked to someone when I was picking them up and he told me they get an order ...
by fogalog
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 13789

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

@dollar_elbow, Count me as a newbie on the intricacies of using Apple Pay. What happens if I disable Touch ID or Face ID on the Apple iPhone? I am a bit privacy obsessed that I don’t want to unlock the iPhone with my finger print or face image /store them in the phone. I prefer and use either a pas...
by fogalog
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advise please - wireless access point
Replies: 8
Views: 883

Re: Advise please - wireless access point

I’ve been using 3x eeros in bridge mode for a few years now. Very easy to set up, manage via an iPhone app, etc., and can use wired or separate radio for backhaul to your main router.

Good luck!
by fogalog
Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: idiot networking [Need more ethernet ports, replace cable modem?]
Replies: 38
Views: 3592

Re: idiot networking

Netgear switches are rock solid. I have purchased and used many at home and at work over many years. I have 3 in my house right now for almost 10 years. The only thing I would recommend is spending the extra $4 to get the 8-port version to future-proof yourself since, if my math is correct, you are ...
by fogalog
Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One thing to check when buying a used car privately [wheel locks]
Replies: 20
Views: 2481

Re: One thing to check when buying a used car privately [wheel locks]

I ran into a similar problem just 2 days ago. Tried to get my tyres changed on a 2018 X5 at an independent and the wheel lock key was apparently damaged - it was used exactly once before. There are no markings at all on the key so you need to take it to the dealer. The dealer does indeed have a mast...
by fogalog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?
Replies: 42
Views: 3350

Re: Electric Car Charger - options/Amp settings?

There is a good table on Tesla's website that explains the max you get with different Amperage here. In short, right now you get the maximum charge rate on any Tesla model with 48A/240V. That said, I would expect charging times to decrease over time and hence chargers to have higher capacity. Person...
by fogalog
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question
Replies: 26
Views: 2582

Re: Cold feet - Radiant subfloor heating question

If you are retro-fitting in-floor radiant then using a hydronic system will be fairly difficult and expensive to install. You need a decent depth of sub-floor or you need a new sub-floor over the top of the old one with grooves cut to hold the pex pipes. I have this system in my current house but I ...
by fogalog
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying expensive TVs online
Replies: 54
Views: 4481

Re: Buying expensive TVs online

The LG OLEDs are stunning. I have the prior year model to what is recommended on Wirecutter.

IIRC, Costco has (had?) their own slightly cheaper variant but the screen / processor are the same (I don't have a Costco account so can't verify but I do remember reading this at the time).

Good luck!
by fogalog
Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: live close to construction, air purifier recommendation?
Replies: 24
Views: 2100

Re: live close to construction, air purifier recommendation?

I have had a Rabbit Air MinusA2 for 10+ years in my bedroom to reduce pollen. It is whisper quiet and pretty effective. I clean the main filters with a vacuum cleaner every couple of months. I've only replaced the filters themselves a few times. When we had the wild fire smoke here in Northern Calif...
by fogalog
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What equipments should I have for TV installer?
Replies: 43
Views: 2053

Re: What equipments should I have for TV installer?

This thread went in the most predictable direction possible :oops: You are getting recommendations all over the map because you don't have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and posters are recommending what they would do--very understandable. From the questions posed in the OP (assuming you ...
by fogalog
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking WiFi solution
Replies: 35
Views: 2890

Re: Seeking WiFi solution

WiFi mesh is typically the best answer for poor wifi coverage. Of course buying a better central access point may help. In any case since a mesh can be added to an existing setup fairly easily and cheaply, it is a good, cost effective solution for most people. I am sure the others mentioned are fine...
by fogalog
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UK SIM - Prepaid / Mostly Data
Replies: 5
Views: 409

Re: UK SIM - Prepaid / Mostly Data

I do this every year and coincidentally did this just a few weeks ago (in the UK). Once you land, to the local EE or "3" store and buy a PAYG sim. I didn't look around much this time but I got 5GB for GBP15 from EE. Also includes 500mins of calls and unlimited texts. You might do better with "3". (I...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]
Replies: 20
Views: 1543

Re: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]

One thing to consider with the online backups is how that will work if you get some ransomware virus that encrypts your hard drive. If the online backup is just a mirror of your hard drive then that would encrypted too. Most backup software supports file versioning. I know Arq does for sure. You co...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]
Replies: 20
Views: 1543

Re: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]

Wow thanks for letting me know about this. Glacier Deep Archive sounds perfect. These are genealogical photos primarily, so I don't expect to ever access them except in the unlikely situation that all my other backups fail, and I won't be modifying the files either, so I don't need constant access....
by fogalog
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]
Replies: 20
Views: 1543

Re: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]

I don't want to use cloud-based backups because I am quite sure that it is a matter of time that they get hacked and all that personal information is out there. But the size of this archive is getting quite large - most of it are high quality scans of old photos, and I probably don't mind if the en...
by fogalog
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]
Replies: 20
Views: 1543

Re: How much data do you have? [data backup issues]

[edited to add link to cost estimator tool] I am a big fan of the combination of Arq and AWS. For storage, I use a combination of Amazon S3 and Glacier. I just looked and I see a bunch of new pricing options at AWS with which I am not familiar, so I would recommend doing some research. I currently h...
by fogalog
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What metrics do you use when evaluating potential real estate investment?
Replies: 10
Views: 769

Re: What metrics do you use when evaluating potential real estate investment?

There are lots of real-estate threads here but I would recommend reading this recent one in particular: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=269901 Yes, it is 12 pages / 500+ posts long. But you will quickly skim and filter out the noise and see that there are a few very knowledgeabl...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about switching to SpecID at Vanguard
Replies: 8
Views: 1217

Re: Question about switching to SpecID at Vanguard

[Apologies if resurrecting an old thread is inappropriate versus starting a new one.] I need to "borrow" about $150k from my Vanguard taxable for a few months. I intend to sell that amount from Total Stock Market (VTSAX). I'd like to minimize tax paid. I have never sold before so have never switche...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone options when traveling out of country?
Replies: 25
Views: 2533

Re: Phone options when traveling out of country?

Any modern iPhone will work abroad - as will many other smart phones - and Verizon has plans to accommodate, depending on trip duration and where you're going (e.g. Mexico and Canada are treated differently than Europe). Verizon is not as simple as other carriers if you have an older phone (not clea...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to encrypt Cloud backups?
Replies: 54
Views: 4796

Re: How to encrypt Cloud backups?

I use Arq https://www.arqbackup.com It supports S3, Backblaze b2, Wasabi, various Google storage options, etc., as well as their own cloud storage option. The app encrypts it locally and then uploads to whichever service you choose, based on the schedule and budget limits that you set. +1 for Arq. ...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Question about switching to SpecID at Vanguard
Replies: 8
Views: 1217

Re: Question about switching to SpecID at Vanguard

[Apologies if resurrecting an old thread is inappropriate versus starting a new one.] I need to "borrow" about $150k from my Vanguard taxable for a few months. I intend to sell that amount from Total Stock Market (VTSAX). I'd like to minimize tax paid. I have never sold before so have never switched...
by fogalog
Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To avoid state taxes which fund is better Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) or
Replies: 7
Views: 1296

Re: To avoid state taxes which fund is better Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) or

I would recommend perusing this thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=246263&start=350#p4619528 There is google sheet maintained by user KevinM, (from which the chart in that post is taken), which will tell you which of those funds has the best after-tax yield for you, if you...
by fogalog
Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a 60 or 65 inch tv this weekend. which one?
Replies: 74
Views: 4280

Re: buying a 60 or 65 inch tv this weekend. which one?

The wirecutter has a pretty reliable set of reviews that are kept up to date: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-oled-tv/

I bought the recommended 65" LG OLED tv about 6 months ago to replace a Samsung plasma in a fairly bright room. It is ...stunning.

Good luck!
by fogalog
Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bike for 79 year old man
Replies: 26
Views: 2607

Re: bike for 79 year old man

I have an Electra Townie for around town riding, grocery shopping, etc. (I also have a "road" bike for longer rides). I love it. It has an aluminium step-through design frame, so it is lightweight, and 7-speed cassette on the back. https://www.electrabike.com/bikes/townie Good luck! They always sho...
by fogalog
Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bike for 79 year old man
Replies: 26
Views: 2607

Re: bike for 79 year old man

I have an Electra Townie for around town riding, grocery shopping, etc. (I also have a "road" bike for longer rides). I love it. It has an aluminium step-through design frame, so it is lightweight, and 7-speed cassette on the back.

https://www.electrabike.com/bikes/townie

Good luck!
by fogalog
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 849
Views: 89922

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

Several contentious posts were removed. As a reminder, see General Etiquette : This is a moderated forum. We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones. Discussions are about issues, not people. I...
by fogalog
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?
Replies: 849
Views: 89922

Re: Why are you NOT buying rental properties?

I want a better understanding of how depreciation gives cash "now" but is Recaptured later by raising your taxes when you sell. If you don't roll into another rental, do you expect to finally sell a property and get much cash after taxes from the sale? Is "tax bracket arbitrage" an important thing ...
by fogalog
Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Real Estate investment guidance needed
Replies: 17
Views: 1823

Re: Real Estate investment guidance needed

There was a recent thread which, though I disagree with the initial premise, yielded some excellent posts / advice - all 11 pages (and counting). https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=269901 There is a fair amount of noise but if you skim through those posts, you will very quickly rea...
by fogalog
Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 5 days in Como, Italy
Replies: 15
Views: 1446

Re: 5 days in Como, Italy

I would not miss the Duomo in Milan. Simply spectacular, particularly as you emerge from a side street and seeing it glow brilliant white on a sunny day. Some amazing marquetry inside as well. Last time I was there (many years ago), it was covered in scaffolding; hopefully that has been removed by n...
by fogalog
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for "Backup" software
Replies: 40
Views: 3234

Re: Recommendations for "Backup" software

+1 for Arq. It really is the best consumer backup software I have ever seen and worth every penny, in my opinion. Watch out for special offers from the Arq website. I would suggest both a local copy - local hard disk, TimeMachine (or rsync whatever the equivalent is in Windows these days) - as well ...
by fogalog
Sat May 25, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?
Replies: 39
Views: 4593

Re: Trade War: time for Mac Upgrade?

I happen to be typing this on a late 2012 MBP retina with 8GB and 256GB SSD. It is a great computer and works just fine. I am in tech and have 4 Macs, including a 27" iMac, which I also love using. I am about to upgrade this 2012 MBP to Mojave. In short I think you are doing the right thing: upgradi...
by fogalog
Sun May 19, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: remodeling costs in san francisco
Replies: 32
Views: 3674

Re: remodeling costs in san francisco

Yes, $80k is high, even for the Bay Area. The reason for that is twofold: 1) two major fires in the north bay mean many larger contractors and subs are booked up doing more lucrative rebuilds up north and 2) a resurgence in the IPO market means many more people in the Bay Area with dumb money when i...