Search found 256 matches

by themesrob
Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable Restaurant review sites for travel
Replies: 23
Views: 1917

Re: Reliable Restaurant review sites for travel

We've had generally good luck with Tripadvisor, and also with Yelp depending on the country (Yelp didn't exist in Croatia as far I could tell, but Tripadvisor was on point). I think you're right that the major downfall can be whether the hours are accurate, but I tend to call to make reservations if...
by themesrob
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience/cost MLB spring training?
Replies: 29
Views: 1984

Re: Experience/cost MLB spring training?

I've been going for about ten years (have a friend who works in baseball so tickets have been free, making it easier). I love ST, and would recommend going to any baseball fan. The Nats/Astros shared complex is probably the best ST experience in Florida. Beautiful stadium. They have wide open practi...
by themesrob
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?
Replies: 182
Views: 9414

Re: How much do you plan to spend on your children's weddings?

That actually raises an interesting question that hadn’t occurred to me before. We gift our kids the annual gift tax exclusion annually. If we pay for a wedding, is that excluded (ie, can my wife and I gift $30k plus wedding)? Good question. It seems to me that it depends on who is actually hosting...
by themesrob
Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brisket Recipe
Replies: 19
Views: 2500

Re: Brisket Recipe

Franklin also has a series of youtube videos on smoking techniques (including a three part series on brisket). Better for those of us with auditory learning styles ;)
by themesrob
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FEHB Open Season 2019
Replies: 108
Views: 8553

Re: FEHB Open Season 2019

@UAL Flyer - I've read your previous discussions / arguments, and disagree. I'd associate myself with Tdubs here. Based on 4 years of actual EOB expense analysis, maxing HSA contributions, and a marginal rate of ~30%+, Grabiner's analysis and my analysis is borne out --- a clear win for GEHA HDHP o...
by themesrob
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Vanguard glitch] Your brokerage Consolidated Form 1099 is now available
Replies: 40
Views: 2110

Re: Anyone else get an erroneous 1099 email notice from Vanguard today?

I just got one as well. Was already comparing the numbers against my filed tax return when I said to myself "I should probably check bogleheads"...
by themesrob
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 418
Views: 68305

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I think I recommended Dark Matter by Blake Crouch earlier in this thread, but I'll add a plug for his more recent book, Recursion. The guy has a tremendous skill for coming up with one-off concepts.
by themesrob
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron for a sick friend?
Replies: 41
Views: 2576

Re: Blue Apron for a sick friend?

Freshly (or something similar) would be the way to go. your instinct that Blue Apron might overwhelm a non-cook is spot on, IMO. heat-and-eats, however, would likely be most welcome. a nice thought
by themesrob
Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 487
Views: 51977

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Update on the house: 1. A few more showings, a few more questions, but no bites or offers lately. 2. My agent and another agent independently said that fall often times picks up with buyers. 3. Price is $459k now. Will lower it to $449k if no offers this weekend. 4. Sale of this house is a major ob...
by themesrob
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with job decision
Replies: 26
Views: 2026

Re: Help with job decision

that's a no-brainer for me -- TSP + pension + government medical/dental for your family + better commute will make up for the initial disparity in salary. congrats on the new job, and enjoy New Mexico!
by themesrob
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida Panhandle recommendations
Replies: 17
Views: 2044

Re: Florida Panhandle recommendations

St. George Island. Quiet (no real spring break crowd), beautiful.
by themesrob
Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy the highest trim car ?
Replies: 120
Views: 8243

Re: Do you buy the highest trim car ?

To be a little more concrete: It seems the highest trims are: 1) Produced/sold in small quantities - not too much inventory of these on dealer lots 2) Testing grounds for a lot of extravagant features, SOME of which will trickle down to lower trims over time, but some are just kinda stupid, IMO. Fo...
by themesrob
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WaPo: "Mobile Passport" is the best-kept secret in air travel
Replies: 47
Views: 8820

Re: WaPo: "Mobile Passport" is the best-kept secret in air travel

tried Mobile Passport once returning to EWR from Europe after one of my old co-workers evangelized to me about it. after filling everything out and submitting, the app spat back an error message and told us to go through manual processing. I'm not sure what popped up on the guy's computer screen whe...
by themesrob
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grilling with wood fire
Replies: 12
Views: 1387

Re: Grilling with wood fire

that sounds pretty cool. more power to you, that would be far beyond what my wife would allow me to do in our backyard. I've only participated (mostly watched) in an asado-type cook once. my recollection is that there was a layer of lump charcoal at the bottom under (a huge stack of) very dry wood, ...
by themesrob
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 118
Views: 8262

Re: Buying a Smoker

buying a Green Egg or another kamado-style rig is the way to go. super versatile, in that you can smoke with relative ease (I can do 12 hours at 250-275 with minimal adjustment of the vents, so overnights are pretty easy), but also crank up the heat and do pizzas/steaks at 600+. used is definitely a...
by themesrob
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would You Refinance Now?
Replies: 11
Views: 1253

Re: Would You Refinance Now?

Is my doppelganger posting? my wife and I bought in May 2018, $620k property, $453k loan, 30 year fixed @ 4.875%. We just refinanced two weeks ago into another 30 year for $440k @ 3.75%, no points, about $4k in costs (very little going to the lender, mostly due to Florida documentary taxes and the t...
by themesrob
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boston travel ideas (was New England generally)
Replies: 51
Views: 3711

Re: New England travel ideas, summer 2019

Boston trip coming up shortly. Me, my wife, and 2 teen-aged kids (bright, with some tolerance for history, but a total museum-fest will be too much). Wedding for part of the time, but 3-3.5 free days, in and around Boston. Don't plan to rent a car, so relying on our feet, public transport (our hote...
by themesrob
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: User reviews - How do you use them?
Replies: 33
Views: 1541

Re: User reviews - How do you use them?

1. Standing in front of a restaurant in a strange city. Look up TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews. Read/skim reviews. If many negative, move on the next restaurant. I have just avoided a lousy experience. Not seeking the 5-star experience. Seeking to avoid the 1-star experience. 2. Thinking about buying...
by themesrob
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I rent a car in Croatia? And other recommendations?
Replies: 11
Views: 956

Re: Should I rent a car in Croatia? And other recommendations?

Dubrovnik was incredible in terms of sights, but it’s crazy crowded and way too expensive. Can make it to Montenegro for a day trip from there, and to the oyster farms in Ston, but otherwise I’d branch out, 10 days is wayyy too much. Split was our favorite place in Croatia, calling it just a “port t...
by themesrob
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: used car advice
Replies: 20
Views: 1670

Re: used car advice

have had great experience with VWs, and it's hard to find better value than a used VW Jetta/Passat (as you likely noticed when pricing out the options). Their PR nightmare for the past couple years is our gain.
by themesrob
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare
Replies: 19
Views: 1590

Re: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare

I think it's a bit area-specific. You might ask your new colleagues what they use, especially those with similar family situations. We use GEHA, which in our area at least is part of the Aetna network, so we can go to any of the really good hospitals in our area. Most of my colleagues have it or BCB...
by themesrob
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race
Replies: 14
Views: 1441

Re: How best to give broker payment to get apartment and win a race

If you want to win a race, bring cash, and get a receipt. I don't think walking around NYC with cash is any more or less advisable than it is anywhere else in the US -- it's one of the safest major cities in the world. He should use his judgment, of course, when evaluating a broker, and not just han...
by themesrob
Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Visa credit limit
Replies: 48
Views: 3592

Re: Costco Visa credit limit

I have the exact same issue with the Costco Visa. When I got the card, they gave me a $1200 limit, which seemed extremely low considering our 800+ credit scores, but since it was not long after we bought a house, I assumed it was simply related to all the recent hard pulls and new credit. But when I...
by themesrob
Thu May 23, 2019 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ongoing eBay buying problems
Replies: 32
Views: 2578

Re: ongoing eBay buying problems

another thing that occurred to me is that last week, I noticed that my Paypal account balance wasn't showing up when I bought an item on ebay and looked at the payment options. I logged into Paypal, and immediately received a notification that I needed to set up a Paypal "cash" account, and had to g...
by themesrob
Thu May 23, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ongoing eBay buying problems
Replies: 32
Views: 2578

Re: ongoing eBay buying problems

I have also bought items recently without incident. OP, you may be encountering issues with sellers who have set up restrictions as to which buyers can purchase their items. For example, when I sold items, I set it so that buyers with either zero feedback or recent negative feedback were not allowed...
by themesrob
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?
Replies: 114
Views: 13007

Re: Who is buying 1-3 year old used Toyotas and Hondas?

Any car that is traded at a year is either a lemon, or the buyer isn't bright. There is no reason to buy a 1 year old vehicle. The only exception might be someone that gets great deals and flips cars, like a family member. We can buy a Ford for a great price, and have to hold it for 6 months. Howev...
by themesrob
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day
Replies: 195
Views: 21305

Re: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day

spammagnet wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:50 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:59 pm
I’m pretty sure no one has ever given their current boss as a reference for a new job.
I have done so with positive results.
agreed. I'm pretty sure I've successfully done so with every job I've applied for.
by themesrob
Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jacksonville, Fl Hotels
Replies: 6
Views: 418

Re: Jacksonville, Fl Hotels

I'd stay at the Omni or the Hyatt Regency in downtown, or the Hilton Garden or Homewood in San Marco. Nice hotels in a safe area. There is no need for your wife to go all the way out to the beach or into Nassau County if she's just here for an event at the zoo, that's unnecessary hours of driving. I...
by themesrob
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day
Replies: 195
Views: 21305

Re: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day

we're talking about jobs in the same professional field here, so it's obviously relevant. That type of exclusion (arguably misrepresentation) can lead to not being hired (without the opportunity to explain oneself), or to a very awkward conversation (or termination) after being hired. And? "You mig...
by themesrob
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day
Replies: 195
Views: 21305

Re: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day

we're talking about jobs in the same professional field here, so it's obviously relevant. That type of exclusion (arguably misrepresentation) can lead to not being hired (without the opportunity to explain oneself), or to a very awkward conversation (or termination) after being hired. And? "You mig...
by themesrob
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day
Replies: 195
Views: 21305

Re: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day

How does she explain why she is looking for work...after 1 day at her new employer!? This was something we were struggling with. You don't explain it. You pretend, to other potential employers, that this current job has never happened and is not currently happening. Don't put it on the résumé and d...
by themesrob
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day
Replies: 195
Views: 21305

Re: Wife hates new job...wants to quit after 1 day

Immediately start looking for a new job and do the absolute bare minimum to keep this new paycheck coming in. Wild story, sorry for your SO. How does she explain why she is looking for work...after 1 day at her new employer!? This was something we were struggling with. You don't explain it. You pre...
by themesrob
Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to see a concert! Ideas?
Replies: 50
Views: 3016

Re: Want to see a concert! Ideas?

Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia MD is generally recognized as one of the best concert venues in the country. Jason Isbell will be there on 6/21, and Chris Stapleton with Margo Price as an opener on 8/11...I'd be at both if I still lived near DC.
by themesrob
Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with law school decision
Replies: 78
Views: 6069

Re: Help with law school decision

I'm an attorney in big-law for 8 years now, graduated from a top 14 law school, so I may be biased. I'm from the class of 2010, which means I graduated during the deep of the financial crisis, and even from a top 14 law school, we had a hard time finding good paying jobs. The NYTimes even had an ar...
by themesrob
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?
Replies: 24
Views: 2057

Re: Ireland & Scotland Do I Need Cash?

assuming you have an Ally debit card, withdraw from an ATM at the airport or at a bank near your hotel. Ally uses the Allpoint network, of which there are tons in the UK, and ATMs in Ireland are fee-free. Conventional wisdom now is that rarely if ever is it advantageous to obtain foreign currency be...
by themesrob
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris - Is It Safe?
Replies: 143
Views: 10357

Re: Paris - Is It Safe?

Massively overblown by the usual suspect. enjoy the trip!
by themesrob
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model Y
Replies: 127
Views: 9566

Re: Tesla Model Y

were I the type of person who bought cars new, this is first Tesla I think I would look at, based on the specs they advertised in terms of size/range/price. (Assuming I could get comfortable with that touch screen interface while driving.) Do I think we'll be seeing them shipped next year, based on ...
by themesrob
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Angies List v. Homeadvisor v. ???
Replies: 23
Views: 2229

Re: Angies List v. Homeadvisor v. ???

I think it does depend a lot on the area, but a combination of Yelp and BBB has helped me on several occasions. (Yelp is most definitely not the "worst." Obviously have to read the reviews with a critical eye, but I think the reviews for service providers like plumbers/electricians are often more h...
by themesrob
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Angies List v. Homeadvisor v. ???
Replies: 23
Views: 2229

Re: Angies List v. Homeadvisor v. ???

I think it does depend a lot on the area, but a combination of Yelp and BBB has helped me on several occasions. (Yelp is most definitely not the "worst." Obviously have to read the reviews with a critical eye, but I think the reviews for service providers like plumbers/electricians are often more he...
by themesrob
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: attacked by off-leash dog
Replies: 220
Views: 8561

Re: attacked by off-leash dog

I'm sorry you were attacked like that, but y ou are taking the death of a dog too lightly . Most dog owners care deeply for their dogs, and I know many who consider dogs as part of the family or even pseudo-children. You'd better be damn sure that dog is coming to bite you and not looking to get a ...
by themesrob
Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: attacked by off-leash dog
Replies: 220
Views: 8561

Re: attacked by off-leash dog

I'm sorry you were attacked like that, but y ou are taking the death of a dog too lightly . Most dog owners care deeply for their dogs, and I know many who consider dogs as part of the family or even pseudo-children. You'd better be damn sure that dog is coming to bite you and not looking to get a ...
by themesrob
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?
Replies: 139
Views: 15058

Re: Is Hyundai the value sweet spot?

Any Genesis owners here? Looking at 2015 models with the V6 with 30k-40k miles can be had for 20k or maybe even less. Can the V6 run on E87? Any known issues I should be aware of? FWIW, I posted this in a thread a while back re a 2016 Genesis: My best friend bought a 2016 Genesis new last year afte...
by themesrob
Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying in Brooklyn- Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 1166

Re: Staying in Brooklyn- Recommendations

I'd probably target somewhere around the Borough Hall subway. Kind of in the middle of a bunch of different fun neighborhoods with some good food (Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights); walkable to Dumbo, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, or Barclays; and you've got easy access to basically everywhe...
by themesrob
Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying in Brooklyn- Recommendations
Replies: 18
Views: 1166

Re: Staying in Brooklyn- Recommendations

I'd probably target somewhere around the Borough Hall subway. Kind of in the middle of a bunch of different fun neighborhoods with some good food (Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights); walkable to Dumbo, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, or Barclays; and you've got easy access to basically everywher...
by themesrob
Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W-4 State Tax Withholding Question
Replies: 9
Views: 599

Re: W-4 State Tax Withholding Question

check the tables on page 19 here: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications ... _t_nys.pdf

and compare against your paystub. It could be that the change in net wages from the additional exemptions shifted you down one line, and you ended up getting more withheld.
by themesrob
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advisability of Using a Personal Trainer at the Gym
Replies: 52
Views: 4225

Re: Advisability of Using a Personal Trainer at the Gym

My take on trainers probably mirrors this board's take on Financial Advisers. There are a few decent ones, a few unscrupulous ones, and a lot who far overestimate their knowledge of the subject at hand because they passed a certification test and post on instagram. Seldom is their advice and counse...
by themesrob
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advisability of Using a Personal Trainer at the Gym
Replies: 52
Views: 4225

Re: Advisability of Using a Personal Trainer at the Gym

My take on trainers probably mirrors this board's take on Financial Advisers. There are a few decent ones, a few unscrupulous ones, and a lot who far overestimate their knowledge of the subject at hand because they passed a certification test and post on instagram. Seldom is their advice and counse...
by themesrob
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now
Replies: 109
Views: 12249

Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Is that her making a one year commitment to stay or them making a one year commitment to her in writing? To me, this is not enough, and if she is truly as valuable as you say, she shouldn't have much of a problem finding another role. This smacks of them wanting to milk her for several months to ma...
by themesrob
Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now
Replies: 109
Views: 12249

Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. She works in healthcare consulting. There is lot of infrastructure costs - so difficult to fly solo. She works from home - the company has this business model. Everyone works from home. So the call was from her manager's manager and HR together. This...
by themesrob
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategies/timing for financing law school
Replies: 14
Views: 870

Re: Strategies/timing for financing law school

I'm a partner with a biglaw firm, about 20 years in. Let me start by saying that if she is adamant on public interest law, there is little reason to go to a top 20 law school and incur $225,000 in cost. She can get a full ride at a second-tier school, I'd wager. Second, if she likes public interest...