Search found 67 matches

by graeme
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hard Wired smoke alarms. Recommendations.
Replies: 49
Views: 3236

Re: Hard Wired smoke alarms. Recommendations.

Last I looked, CO detectors are best located closer to the floor and there are some long lasting models available that plug into an electrical outlet. We have one in each bedroom. For smoke detectors, the dual sensor types seem best. Hardwired is nice so one doesn't need to replace many 9V batteries...
by graeme
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flooring
Replies: 19
Views: 1191

Re: Flooring

There seems to be a big difference between flooring manufacturers. Testing flooring can be helpful. Most places will give you a piece to take home to see if the color matches. I like to perform two tests on the sample piece. First, put it in a plastic bin and soak it in water for a day. Does it stay...
by graeme
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lexus CPO - anyone made a claim? Worth the cost?
Replies: 18
Views: 2634

Re: Lexus CPO - anyone made a claim? Worth the cost?

I'd vote for a warranty that covers all the electronics. My experience on a 2008 Lexus involves a dead touchscreen ($3000 at dealer), frozen brake calipers ($600), soft plastic on the the dashboard and door that can melt in the sun and are easily scratched with fingernails, and currently a failed cl...
by graeme
Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: benefit enrollment - medical insurance premium change
Replies: 5
Views: 619

Re: benefit enrollment - medical insurance premium change

Employer based HDHP insurance is up 5% for 2020
by graeme
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]
Replies: 102
Views: 9141

Re: Wallets [Do you carry a wallet?]

My Flowfold carries is made from durable sailcloth, is super thin, and hold around a dozen cards plus cash.

For RFID blocking, a sheet of aluminum foil wrapped around a dollar sized piece of thin cardboard like a manila folder works. Wrap that in packing tape and it will last for years.
by graeme
Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC check ups?
Replies: 46
Views: 3155

Re: HVAC check ups?

No HVAC checkups for us, no problems so far other than one fall when the furnace failed to run. Two companies wanted to sell us new furnaces for $6000 to $8000. Another shop said the fan motor was just worn out, so he replaced it for $300 and it's been fine for several years now.
by graeme
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does the Average Homeowner Need a Water Shut Off Valve?
Replies: 56
Views: 6042

Re: Does the Average Homeowner Need a Water Shut Off Valve?

A few years ago I looked into water leak alarms to be placed under sinks and near water heaters. There are some sold on Amazon for around $10 like smoke detectors that sound an alarm when water is detected and run on a 9V battery. There are also approx $300 electric shut off valves used in businesse...
by graeme
Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: Credit Card Companies Are Changing Benefits (Extended Warranty, Trip Insurance, Rental Car Coverage, Etc.)
Replies: 22
Views: 3090

Re: PSA: Credit Card Companies Are Changing Benefits (Extended Warranty, Trip Insurance, Rental Car Coverage, Etc.)

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It's looking like the cash back options are about all that remain for most cards.
by graeme
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital/Doctor Release Form
Replies: 27
Views: 2131

Re: Hospital/Doctor Release Form

It seems that there's typically no choice involved. You must sign the papers to get medical help. Other clinics and hospitals in town likely have similar forms. What if auto mechanics used a similar form? Would people go ahead and sign them or would they refuse and find another mechanic that doesn't...
by graeme
Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ISP rural area what are my options?
Replies: 23
Views: 2172

Re: ISP rural area what are my options?

With DSL, your wires should be only yours from your home to the central office. More DSL customers in your area shouldn't be sharing your bandwidth. If you were using a cable based ISP, that can be the case. If the telco techs can't get your DSL working properly, you may wish to consider filing and ...
by graeme
Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most economical way to move small load 1000 miles
Replies: 40
Views: 3466

Re: Most economical way to move small load 1000 miles

Could you purchase a trailer to hold at least some of the boxes, drive with that and your normal vehicle, and then sell the trailer afterward?
by graeme
Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone here on Verizon Prepaid? Deprioritization?
Replies: 23
Views: 2177

Re: Anyone here on Verizon Prepaid? Deprioritization?

What's the easiest way to switch to Verizon Prepaid? Visit a Verizon store?
by graeme
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The cost to talk to a doctor
Replies: 151
Views: 10037

The cost to talk to a doctor

With my previous employer based health insurance, if I wanted to talk to a doctor it would generally cost a $45 copay. My employer now uses a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a deductible of $12,000. When I called to ask what it would cost to talk to my doctor, they said it depends on what's ...
by graeme
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing brake pads in a Honda CRV 125,000 miles
Replies: 34
Views: 2482

Re: Replacing brake pads in a Honda CRV 125,000 miles

Check out Youtube videos and Honda forum DIY guides on doing brakes on Hondas. It's not hard, even if you need to change the rotors. That said, I'd purchase Honda OEM pads and rotors. Last time I changed rotors on my Honda Civic I used NAPA mid-grade rotors and two sets turned out to be defective an...
by graeme
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water mitigation team hired by insurance co caused additional damage, who pays and what?
Replies: 5
Views: 964

Re: Water mitigation team hired by insurance co caused additional damage, who pays and what?

The recommendation to take lots of pictures showing condition of things before, during work, and afterward is good. Include anything near the workers in case they damage something not part of the water damage. In some cases, the insurance company pays the mitigation company a set amount for a job. T...
by graeme
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best online retailer other than Amazon
Replies: 36
Views: 2345

Re: Best online retailer other than Amazon

Other than Amazon, I review products and prices at LuckyVitamin, Jet.com, ebay, aliexpress, walmart, thriftbooks
by graeme
Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ways to stay a little cleaner during diy car maintenance
Replies: 39
Views: 2689

Re: ways to stay a little cleaner during diy car maintenance

Has anyone tried an oil extractor? I have a 13 Subaru Outback which has the oil filter on top of the engine. If an oil extractor can suck the oil out via the dip stick tube, I wouldn't need to get under the car at all. Youtube video of a topsider oil extractor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65MMn...
by graeme
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are all models of Toyota generally considered reliable?
Replies: 52
Views: 5476

Re: Are all models of Toyota generally considered reliable?

Yet more anecdotal evidence: For ultimate peace of mind: Lexus, next Toyota. It depends. On my first Lexus, a 2008 IS350, the touch screen failed disabling much functionality. It's a known, common issue but Lexus wouldn't do anything since it was out of warranty. The dealer wanted $3000 to fix it, ...
by graeme
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: my toyota camry transmission life time garantee test
Replies: 14
Views: 1661

Re: my toyota camry transmission life time garantee test

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:44 am
I would drain and fill the fluid with the Toyota spec fluid.

I don’t subscribe to lifetime fill whatsoever, but certainly suit yourself.
My mechanic specializes in Toyotas and recommended changing it every 75,000 miles. It's cheap insurance.
by graeme
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older used car with low miles or newer used car with higher miles
Replies: 37
Views: 2571

Re: Older used car with low miles or newer used car with higher miles

Benefits of older used car with low miles: cheaper registration costs, cheaper insurance costs, better known model issues, better support in forums for fixes since issues have likely been solved.
by graeme
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RESOLVED: Non-lethal alternatives to firearms to defend against home invasions in Florida
Replies: 113
Views: 7054

Re: Non-lethal alternatives to firearms to defend against home invasions in Florida

Passive security measures... - Make it hard to kick in your doors using 'door armor' that reinforces the frame. - For the back entrance, fence in the back yard so a person cannot walk to the back door without getting through the fence. A six foot wood or vinyl fence can make it so one cannot easily ...
by graeme
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accord approaching 100k miles, how to push it beyond
Replies: 45
Views: 5368

Re: Accord approaching 100k miles, how to push it beyond

Basically, do the maintenance specified in the manual at the intervals they recommend. That's worked well for me driving several Hondas past 250,000 miles.

Beyond that, check forum discussions to find common issues and how to avoid or fix them. Knowing about them in advance can save time and money.
by graeme
Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard customer service -- disappointing
Replies: 5
Views: 1123

Re: Vanguard customer service -- disappointing

My experience with Vanguard has been similar. Ask what forms are needed to accomplish a change, discuss with supervisor to verify it's all as they need, then find out a couple weeks later that's not what they need according to a different supervisor. Repeat this process across several mailings of fo...
by graeme
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Organization
Replies: 57
Views: 5108

Re: Garage Organization

My garage is a shop used for woodworking, repairs of home and vehicle related things, and school projects and experiments. After organizing things several times, things are now in tool chests, rubber maid bins, or plastic jars from pickles or peanut butter. Every container is labelled. Two walls hav...
by graeme
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dash Cams [want recommendations]
Replies: 22
Views: 2159

Re: Dash Cams [want recommendations]

Dashcamtalk forums have good comparisons and recommendations. Popular choices are Viofo and Street Guardian.
by graeme
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interior Basement Waterproofing
Replies: 8
Views: 955

Re: Interior Basement Waterproofing

Many discussions of basement waterproofing emphasize addressing the source of the water first, then finding ways to prevent water from entering the house. Sometimes exterior solutions aren't possible or are too expensive, so interior options need to be explored.
by graeme
Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...
Replies: 101
Views: 10922

Re: Time for a new car - Corolla or Civic...

After commuting in a 2003 Civic for many years and trying to drive carefully to get the best mileage, I decided my priorities weren't right. The ride in an Accord or Camry was much better, especially the Camry. The mileage difference wasn't significant and I felt safer in the Accord or Camry if some...
by graeme
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ISP rural area what are my options?
Replies: 23
Views: 2172

Re: ISP rural area what are my options?

With Centurylink, one thing I learned was to check the landline if your DSL service is down. If you call and tell them your DSL doesn't work, they may help you at some point. If you call and tell them your phone doesn't work and mention you don't have 911 service, they tend to send someone over to f...
by graeme
Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reservations about purchasing a 16 year old house
Replies: 65
Views: 5725

Re: Reservations about purchasing a 16 year old house

based upon your post, you should be looking at brand new homes in newly built subdivisions. The ones where they cut down all the trees and build then you have huge wide open spaces which are....not aesthetically appealing, But hey, you'll have a new water heater. :happy Where I live, I sometimes qu...
by graeme
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood burning stoves
Replies: 30
Views: 2383

Re: Wood burning stoves

We've had good experience with Napoleon stoves. They don't have a catalytic and accomplish the same with some airflow engineering. It's very easy to use and maintain.
by graeme
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Re Buying a higher miles but higher end used vehicle... where?
Replies: 19
Views: 2555

Re: Re Buying a higher miles but higher end used vehicle... where?

Most all cars I've purchased have been at least 5 to 10 years old and with at least 100,000 miles on them. Almost all were located on classifieds type places such as craigslist. One needs to research the vehicle, determine if proper maintenance was done, and identify any maintenance needed soon, but...
by graeme
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3
Replies: 182
Views: 18281

Re: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3

For me it was a Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Great power and ergonomics, but between electrical and mechanical issues it was in the shop over half the time I owned it. No more Volkswagens for me.
by graeme
Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: breathable office shoes
Replies: 16
Views: 2021

Re: breathable office shoes

Birkenstocks with socks were popular in the 1990s in silicon valley. It's comfortable and breathable.
by graeme
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquitos
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Re: Mosquitos

My entire city is sprayed for mosquitoes regularly during the warm months. It does a good job killing bees, butterflies, and even some birds but don't affect mosquitoes. Still, the city gets to say they're spending $40,000 a month to attempt to 'do something'.
by graeme
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?
Replies: 8
Views: 2064

Re: Filling Concrete Driveway Cracks - Best ways?

Last year I filled a large number of driveway cracks to keep them from getting worse and to prevent weeds from growing in them. First, a pressure washer, wire brush, and putty knife was used to clean out loose soil, sand, and debris from the cracks. Next, I cut strips of foam backer and stuffed it i...
by graeme
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Bad Experience With Angie's List
Replies: 36
Views: 4648

Re: My Bad Experience With Angie's List

A flooring and woodworking contractor years ago came and had a large 'Angie's List' sign on their truck. The contractor kept trying to substitute cheap, low quality wood and paint items when others were specified. Basically, there were trying to minimize costs to just get the job done and get paid b...
by graeme
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead
Replies: 61
Views: 6138

Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

The type of water filter depends mostly on what you're trying to do. Our house is in a farming area with high nitrates and pesticide runoff in the municipal water. To fix that, I installed a five stage reverse osmosis system in the utility room and then ran water taps to the bathroom and kitchen. We...
by graeme
Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Top Carrier
Replies: 18
Views: 1502

Re: Car Top Carrier

Driving an old Honda hatchback cross country was okay until I got to some hill country. At that point I discovered the car top carrier added a lot of drag and made it quite hard for the little hatchback to climb hills. I sold the carrier upon arrival and the drive back went much better.
by graeme
Tue May 28, 2019 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with/recommendations for custom PC building sites?
Replies: 13
Views: 942

Re: Any experience with/recommendations for custom PC building sites?

The SA Forum thread for building PCs has been great for several years and guided me in building several gaming desktop systems. Link: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3774409 To track part prices for a PC build, pcpartspicker.com is useful. Most components have been ordered ...
by graeme
Mon May 27, 2019 11:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water systems
Replies: 8
Views: 827

Re: Drinking water systems

Are you working for better tasting water, trying to filter out toxics, or both? Living near farms made our water frequently high in pesticides and nitrates, so an RO system did great filtering and also improved taste.
by graeme
Tue May 21, 2019 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wiper blade replacement
Replies: 30
Views: 2880

Re: Wiper blade replacement

My mechanic commented that people keep throwing away expensive wipers on their car. Refills for the wipers on my Lexus are $8 each at the dealer and seem to last more than two years in the midwest.
by graeme
Fri May 10, 2019 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquito control in Central Va
Replies: 23
Views: 2040

Re: Mosquito control in Central Va

My city sprays the entire city for mosquitoes during the summer each year. We no longer have bees or butterflies and the day of each spray I find a few dead birds in the yard, but the mosquitoes are the same. When looking for backyard mosquito solutions, eliminating any standing water, having backya...
by graeme
Tue May 07, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: B&H Photo will pay your sales tax [payboo]
Replies: 25
Views: 3376

Re: B&H Photo will pay your sales tax [payboo]

That's an interesting business model for a credit card. Unfortunately, my state isn't eligible.
by graeme
Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metal roof- anyone switch from asphalt to metal?
Replies: 12
Views: 1576

Re: Metal roof- anyone switch from asphalt to metal?

2 yrs ago I was seriously thinking about metal roof, then my insurance agent talked me out of it due to the higher premiums for ins. Apparently firefighters have a much harder time putting out a fire with a metal roof. So I roofed with asphalt shingle again. That's interesting as I've heard the opp...
by graeme
Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car recommendations?
Replies: 107
Views: 10733

Re: Luxury car recommendations?

I'd check out Lexus ES350 if you're looking for a sedan. I just got one for my wife and she loves it. Nowhere as fun to drive as my 340i (BMW) but noticeably more luxurious and comfortable. When I was looking for high reliability and luxury, it came down to Toyota Avalon or Lexus ES350. After test ...
by graeme
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there a good website(s) or resources for used car reviews?
Replies: 24
Views: 1754

Re: Is there a good website(s) or resources for used car reviews?

Forums for specific vehicles many times illustrate common issues and solutions. The user reviews about specific vehicles on Edmunds.com can be helpful as well. If there have been issues, it's many times discussed.
by graeme
Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lock Strategy for New House
Replies: 40
Views: 3262

Re: Lock Strategy for New House

Instead of just reinforcing the strike plate you may want to consider reinforcing the entire frame with a type of 'door jamb armor' so it's cannot be easily kicked in. Do you have children? We found it helpful to not have keys on the house or garage at all. Some Simplex mechanical keypad locks have ...
by graeme
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Replacing Bathroom Counter "Drop-In" Sinks
Replies: 5
Views: 576

Re: Help Replacing Bathroom Counter "Drop-In" Sinks

With a similar situation a few years ago, we ended up ordering a granite composite countertop and sink as one piece from Home Depot. It included splash-guards where it was up against the wall. When it arrived, I disconnected the plumbing and removed the old countertop, sink, and old faucet first. Af...
by graeme
Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare annual physical vs wellness visit
Replies: 54
Views: 3543

Re: Medicare annual physical vs wellness visit

Similarly, my employer based insurance is a high deductible plan where yearly physicals are supposedly free. After calling the insurance and my doctor's office to see how that worked, they said a physical would be fully covered if the doctor found no diagnosis (i.e. no codes) and also didn't order a...