Search found 695 matches

by black jack
Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4779
Views: 1296736

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Old Man by Thomas Perry. 60ish former special ops guy who doesn't want to be found is found by people who are unhappy about a long-ago mission. Favorite line: "He must have been a beast when he was in his prime." "He's in his prime now ." Protagonist is sort of a smaller, ol...
by black jack
Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Commuting by bike
Replies: 75
Views: 3250

Re: Commuting by bike

Long-time year-round commuter in DC (once, and future, I hope, working from home now). A helmet protects your head from the asphalt if/when you fall. Please wear one. High visibility clothing is a must. It needn't be expensive: I use a vest like those worn by construction workers that cost about $6 ...
by black jack
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6034
Views: 1404748

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

My Octopus Teacher on Netflix. A documentary filmmaker experiencing a mid-life crisis spends a year observing (and filming) an octopus in the wild. The visuals are stunning, the filmmaker's narration is thought-provoking. I'm going to watch it again, and maybe again after that. Official trailer .
by black jack
Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: E-Bike recommendations
Replies: 118
Views: 8929

Re: E-Bike recommendations

<snip> Anyway, I think I am going to have a hard time keeping my road bike now . Just sitting upright and being able to see everything ahead made it so much nicer than the road bike. I love it! A few years ago I heard a presentation of a study of promoting bike commuting, which provided ebikes to a...
by black jack
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?
Replies: 29
Views: 2407

Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Thanks to everyone for their insights.
8foot7 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:40 pm I would cash the check and spend not one more moment worrying about it. You did your part and they decided you were wrong. Who are you to argue?
Who am I to argue indeed. I imagine that if they did make a mistake, they'll figure it out and let me know.
by black jack
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?
Replies: 29
Views: 2407

IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

I received a CP12 for my 2018 return. The IRS says I made a mistake on my itemized deductions, which they corrected, increasing my itemized deduction and thus increasing my refund. Great. Except: I'm not sure they're right, and have no way to know until I see what change they made. The CP12 just sho...
by black jack
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else love this new working from home thing?
Replies: 89
Views: 6513

Re: Anyone else love this new working from home thing?

I like it. But my child is grown; I have colleagues with small children and I can't imagine what they're going through now, trying to work and take care of their children. Nope- I live in a major metropolitan area South of NYC... I didn't mind going to the office. Bike commuted (~1.5 hours each way ...
by black jack
Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make a little yeast go a long way in baking
Replies: 6
Views: 420

How to make a little yeast go a long way in baking

I was looking at the thread on continuing shortages during the pandemic and noticed that some people are still having trouble finding yeast. For those that have yeast, and may be concerned about running out, try "long slow rise" baking to conserve your supply. I bake bread weekly or more. ...
by black jack
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Futures are 1+% up and the coronavirus crisis is getting worse
Replies: 13
Views: 2012

Re: Futures are 1+% up and the coronavirus crisis is getting worse

In the long run, markets are rational, but: "markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent."
Attributed to John Maynard Keynes.
by black jack
Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4779
Views: 1296736

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Isaac's Storm , by Eric Larson. This is a history of the 1900 hurricane which demolished Galveston, Texas with 100+mph winds and huge storm surge, killing about 6,000 residents out of of a total population of about 38,000. The book is also about the birth of the U.S. Weather Bureau. I recommend thi...
by black jack
Sat May 02, 2020 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

Any suggestions on what to add to basic whole wheat bread recipe to give some flavor? I have a bread machine which makes excellent 1lb loafs . It's an older machine from the 80s by Welbilt. The bread comes out nice and light but overall it lacks any flavor. Don't want to add more sugar and oil to i...
by black jack
Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

After reading many sourdough recipes (KAF, Bittman, Beard (who says why bother), Joy of Cooking, Pioneer Woman), I finally found one that did not require me to add any more yeast (which is the point of doing sourdough right now) and was not too complex for my simple brain. Turned out well :) And th...
by black jack
Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

Made flourless (for Passover) chocolate cake using a recipe from King Arthur Flour https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes ... ake-recipe.

It was relatively quick and easy, my kitchen smelled heavenly for hours afterwards, and the cake was delicious (if I do say so myself)!
by black jack
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So what are you cooking
Replies: 325
Views: 24459

Re: So what are you cooking

Deep-dish pizza for dinner tonight (used an "Uno's pizza" recipe I found on Internet for the crust). Made brownies for dessert: I find chocolate a great comfort these days (and all other days). Last month Costco had a sale on frozen Norwegian farm-raised salmon, and I stocked up. Didn't kn...
by black jack
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy plastic bags for your home trash bins?
Replies: 99
Views: 7386

Re: Do you buy plastic bags for your home trash bins?

Like many above, we use tall kitchen bags for the main trash can and grocery bags for the bathroom/other small cans. However, I'm considering a change. I used to use most of the grocery bags for picking up our dog's waste on walks. A few months ago, I realized I've likely created thousands of impen...
by black jack
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog repellent when biking
Replies: 63
Views: 3048

Re: Dog repellent when biking

On a bike, if I didn't think I could outrun a dog, I might dismount and put the bike between me and the dog. I did that once, but its effectiveness might vary with the size and aggressiveness of the dog. When on foot and wishing to repel a dog, miming throwing a rock is often effective (such dogs ma...
by black jack
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6034
Views: 1404748

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

The Life of Pi (Amazon Video rental).

Visually ravishing.
Good story too.
by black jack
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not allowed to board American Airlines flight - Forced to buy second ticket for same flight - Help requested [UPDATED]
Replies: 125
Views: 16359

Re: Not allowed to board American Airlines flight - Forced to buy second ticket for same flight - Help requested

seawolf21 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:55 pm DOT would be the correct government agency to contact. Definitely not FAA.
FAA is part of DOT.
by black jack
Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4779
Views: 1296736

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The two reviews of THE COMPANY reminded me of the similarly titled non-fiction book, INSIDE THE COMPANY, which I enjoyed reading very much. Here's a snippet from Wikipedia's entry on its author, Phillip Agee. Because of legal problems in the United States, Inside the Company was first published in ...
by black jack
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4779
Views: 1296736

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Highly recommend The Company, a Novel of the CIA by Robert Littell It's a historical fiction spy novel that follows a cast of characters through a few decades It's long but a real page turner, kept my interest which is no easy task! I read The Company (or listened to the audiobook) last spring, and...
by black jack
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6034
Views: 1404748

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Little Women. I know next-to-nothing about the book. I enjoyed the movie very much; it was beautifully filmed and emotionally powerful. My quibbles: the mother, played by Laura Dern, seems too saintly for this world; and the movie skips back and forth in time, and I lost track of the chronology abou...
by black jack
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

Last week I couldn't find my mixer and was in need of pound cakes. I ran to Costco and bought theirs, as I trust their stuff (LOVE their chocolate layer cake). Costco pound cakes come in packs of three; I gave two away, and sampled the one left over. It tasted okay. Borrowed a hand mixer the next d...
by black jack
Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

Last week I couldn't find my mixer and was in need of pound cakes. I ran to Costco and bought theirs, as I trust their stuff (LOVE their chocolate layer cake). Costco pound cakes come in packs of three; I gave two away, and sampled the one left over. It tasted okay. Borrowed a hand mixer the next da...
by black jack
Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To what do you owe your ability to forego spending now and save for your future?
Replies: 116
Views: 5239

Re: To what do you owe your ability to forego spending now and save for your future?

I think some people are born frugal and others are not, it's a simple as that. Yes, nurture can have an impact, but I think nature predominates. I know people who were raised in the same house with the same parents and yet they handle money differently. Someone who is naturally frugal and is raised...
by black jack
Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EFC of 59K?! That is more than my net pay
Replies: 227
Views: 12996

Re: EFC of 59K?! That is more than my net pay

I personally know a lot of people who have helped put their kids through a wide variety of schools and fields of study, but AFAIK none has ever sacrificed or significantly reduced their retirement to do so. I'm sure that some have postponed their anticipated retirement date to do so. Perhaps that i...
by black jack
Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good, Cheap, Fast - Pick 3
Replies: 20
Views: 2907

Re: Good, Cheap, Fast - Pick 3

For food, I would argue it’s: Healthy, delicious, cheap. Pick 2. I choose all three: peanuts all year round, watermelon in summer. You can find good bicycles cheap on Craiglist; they're faster than walking (and healthier than driving). Running water, hot and cold: it's great (life-preserving, in fa...
by black jack
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 6034
Views: 1404748

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Blinded by the Light" - moving story, great music!
by black jack
Mon May 27, 2019 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4779
Views: 1296736

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Company by Robert Littell - "a novel of the CIA"

Historical fiction, or thinly fictionalized history, following three young men from their recruitment into the CIA in the early 1950s to the end of the Cold War. A long book, but I was sad to reach the end.
by black jack
Tue May 07, 2019 11:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for Inexpensive, Easy-to-Prepare Meals for First Time College-Age Student Cook
Replies: 15
Views: 1276

Re: Ideas for Inexpensive, Easy-to-Prepare Meals for First Time College-Age Student Cook

All good suggestions. Rice and pasta are the great extenders for meat meals, or solo with sauces (I could live on rice with hoisin sauce and pesto pasta for several days and be quite content). Sounds like both time and skill may be in short supply. With that in mind: Example 1: make a pot of rice, b...
by black jack
Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone see an inheritance not go as planned? I would like to hear stories from others of what can go wrong.
Replies: 177
Views: 17830

Re: Has anyone see an inheritance not go as planned? I would like to hear stories from others of what can go wrong.

This topic would likely be shorter if it discussed inheritances that *did* go as planned. I haven't seen too many. My experiences sum up to: 1/ People don't die in the order that inheritance plans expect them to. 2/ Blood is much much *much* thicker than water. 3/ Blindly considering all children e...
by black jack
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where have the turtleneck base layer shirts gone?
Replies: 13
Views: 2122

Where have the turtleneck base layer shirts gone?

Many years ago I picked up a couple of Duotherm polyester ("thermastat") turtleneck shirts for a ski trip; these became my all-time favorite winter shirts. They're form-fitting yet comfortable, stretchy, are perfect alone or as a base layer for cold-weather activities (especially biking), ...
by black jack
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...
Replies: 188
Views: 23735

Re: Best values at Costco? Honestly, a little disappointed...

Kirkland Super Extra-Large Virginia Peanuts! I buy almost all my produce at Costco (which is a five-minute walk from my house--but that's of limited help, since lots of stuff from Costco can't be carried more than a few feet without a cart). It's not cheaper than my grocery store, but is generally o...
by black jack
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce [financial implications]
Replies: 109
Views: 15329

Re: Divorce [financial implications]

It depends on who you marry. DW and I have been happily married for 30 years now. Many on these boards married far longer than us. I would not throw in the towel on marriage based on one bad experience (or the experiences of some others you know). However, if burned once before, a pre-nup might not...
by black jack
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes by hand
Replies: 82
Views: 5836

Re: Doing taxes by hand

I have used Free Fillable Forms for the past several years. I like that it does much of the math for me but otherwise it is exactly like doing it with pencil & paper, but I can still efile. If I have a complicated situation, I can use Turbotax online for free to double-check that my understandi...
by black jack
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Losing Passion for Hobbies. Cheap or normal aging?
Replies: 71
Views: 9652

Re: Losing Passion for Hobbies. Cheap or normal aging?

Congratulations on your new hobby of meditation; that will pay great dividends in many areas of life. Reading and learning are also great hobbies. I agree with the other posters that our interests change over our lifetime. Some interests may return: I've been a runner, stopped running for several ye...
by black jack
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Very First Smartphone [Samsung Galaxy S9+] — Please Critique This Plan
Replies: 123
Views: 8396

Re: My Very First Smartphone — Please Critique This Plan

Consumer Cellular is oriented toward people who don't use much data (hint: notice the age of the people in their ads). Since you don't have experience with a smartphone, you don't have a sense of how much (or little) data you will use. 1 GB a month may be more than enough. But you listed a variety o...
by black jack
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The future of my journals and logs
Replies: 45
Views: 4874

Re: The future of my journals and logs

A problem with family histories is that generally children don't have a lot of detailed interest in the lives of their parents until the children are in their 50's or 60's. Prior to the time their own children have grown up and (perhaps) they have retired your kids are too busy with things in their...
by black jack
Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The future of my journals and logs
Replies: 45
Views: 4874

Re: The future of my journals and logs

I've kept a journal pretty consistently since I was 30 (nearing 60 now). Most of it is digital (in Evernote notes, one for each week). Sometimes it's useful for me to go back and check something. It's also a therapeutic activity. I expect I'll leave it to my daughter, who can read it or not. I don't...
by black jack
Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4779
Views: 1296736

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I'm also almost finished with the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It's nothing like the movies I've seen or the Classic comics version! https://www.amazon.com/Count-Monte-Cristo-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140449264/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533743857&...
by black jack
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A great father's day gift
Replies: 19
Views: 4023

Re: A great father's day gift

I mentioned his status as single because it can be relevant to net worth. IMHO, I think it can be more difficult for a married couple with children to accrue wealth. A spouse and children adds variables. BTW: He has a very nice girlfriend. Great gal. Really like her. Pretty good cribbage player. Th...
by black jack
Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rowing machine motivation
Replies: 82
Views: 6860

Re: Rowing machine motivation

Congratulations on the new exercise machine! I like podcasts or audiobooks for my long runs too. But first things first: is this your first experience with a rowing machine? If you can't last more than 5 minutes, you're going too hard, and are likely to burn yourself out and stop using the rower. Yo...
by black jack
Wed May 30, 2018 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

I used the No-Knead method and made a loaf of whole wheat bread yesterday. It was kind of a momentous occasion for me. I quit eating grains about 10 years ago after I had a strong reaction to a wheat product. Lately, I started thinking that maybe it was the added 'stuff' commercial bakeries put in ...
by black jack
Tue May 22, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Install $1,800!
Replies: 110
Views: 31889

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Had occasion to refer to this thread recently, so thought I'd add a data point. One complaint: as one poster observes, the installation cost is highly location dependent, but few posters gave their location. In Montgomery County, MD (where code requires that a gas hot water heater be installed by a ...
by black jack
Thu May 10, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

I put my bread in Ziplock bags and put them in the fridge (homemade and otherwise). I generally don't keep food for more than a week, so I try to plan accordingly. I put mine in Ziplock bags and put them in the freezer. Refrigerating bread supposedly makes it go stale more quickly due to starch rec...
by black jack
Thu May 10, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

...I bake most of my no-knead loaves in a pullman loaf pan; I bought a 9"x4" pan because it fits into my toaster oven, which I use instead of my full-sized oven for most of my baking. I use a version of a recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, appropriately sized to this loaf pa...
by black jack
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: foundation for foam mattress
Replies: 9
Views: 1151

Re: foundation for foam mattress

Why not just put in on the floor?
by black jack
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

Same here. I would have never believed how easy this was... I found comments saying that you can use the same recipe for different cooking techniques. The Mediterranean Olive bread was demonstrated using a clay pot. I'm using a Dutch oven and will follow the cooking instructions for that. Recipe bo...
by black jack
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What have you baked recently?
Replies: 297
Views: 35384

Re: What have you baked recently?

Great thread, makes me hungry. DW has been baking the no-knead 12-to-18-hour rise bread every week (or more often) for a couple of years now, and it is wonderful. I would not eat any standard commercial packaged bread now. Her recipe comes from the Jim Lahey My Bread cookbook. Once you've had homema...
by black jack
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?
Replies: 100
Views: 8381

Re: Bicycle Commuting in LA - Thoughts?

I commute 15 miles each way year-round, in temps ranging from 15 - 100 degrees, on a road bike, in DC on roads without bike lanes or shoulders. I would love to have the LA climate to ride in. It helps to have a shower at work, and to have a job where I don't have to wear a suit all day. In the summe...
by black jack
Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite socks?
Replies: 83
Views: 8291

Re: Favorite socks?

I need to buy some new socks. Every time I do, I end up sorely disappointed. I simply want moisture wicking, ankle high, simple style socks that are good quality. Ideally they would be all of the same color so I wouldn't have to waste time matching them up. The two favorites I have are: 1) Champion...