Search found 135 matches

by mrb09
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Advice - Emergency Preparedness
Replies: 56
Views: 3299

Re: Seeking Advice - Emergency Preparedness

install a natural gas generator...... or get solar panels with a battery that can hold a charge for a few days. Thanks - I am leaning that way (generator). The solar panels plus batteries is much more expensive. The solar panels plus battery also have a federal 30% credit, and you will not have an ...
by mrb09
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning first international trip - London/Paris
Replies: 67
Views: 3345

Re: Planning first international trip - London/Paris

Just adding to what other folks are saying: - Don't even think of renting a car - Stay near a tube station - Save Paris for the next trip. - Get an Oyster card Last few times I was there, I used the Heathrow express to get from the airport into the London (arrive via Paddington Station) and used a t...
by mrb09
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best headphones under 500 bucks
Replies: 48
Views: 3379

Re: Best headphones under 500 bucks

I'm a value guy, so my cans are Audio Technica ATH-M50x for home. They perform well above their $150 price point. I haven't personally tested their higher-end ATH-M70x, but based on my experience would not be surprised if for $300 they perform similarly to $500 'phones. I have some older Audio Tech...
by mrb09
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When do you need a hearing aid
Replies: 50
Views: 3440

Re: When do you need a hearing aid

Hi all! I’m 66 YO & have been wearing hearing aids for 11 years now. I believe that when you are tired of saying “pardon me, what, huh, or what did they say”, or asking someone to tell you what was just said on tv, you will know when it’s time to buy. I just got tired of hearing only 80% - 90% of a...
by mrb09
Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer
Replies: 21
Views: 1848

Re: Electric Shaver/Beard Trimmer

I use: - An old Braun trimmer (something like a Braun BT5050, not sure what older model I have) for trimming my goatee and mustache - A Remington HC4250 for my mostly bald head - A safety blade for my face So what works for me is a specific tool for the job. I use the blade once a day, and the trimm...
by mrb09
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my MacBook pro?
Replies: 18
Views: 1647

Re: Should I sell my MacBook pro?

I used to have two latops, one for work and one personal and additionally an ipad air. All my personal stuff is in cloud accounts now (google docs, 1password, etc), so I rarely used my personal laptop any more. I ended up giving it to my daughter since her older laptop was having issues. I don't mis...
by mrb09
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Developer Laptop
Replies: 26
Views: 1823

Re: Developer Laptop

Another option is use a hosted environment for your large datasets, something metered like AWS if you're going to spin up services and shut them down, or a dedicated system like linode.com. Then just use your laptop for testing small test datasets.
by mrb09
Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stereo receiver amp without aux plug or bluetooth ?
Replies: 23
Views: 1702

Re: Stereo receiver amp without aux plug or bluetooth ?

I have a gen 1 iPad hooked up to a 30 year old amp via a headphone-to-RCA cable, plugged into in the "CD" connection. I use that to stream Pandora. I have another also-older amp hooked to an Apple airport express with the same type cable, that turns it into an airplay speaker I can stream from my ph...
by mrb09
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!
Replies: 93
Views: 4451

Re: I need a chainsaw to trim branches and limbs!!

I have a bit of acreage and need to deal with both limbing branches and bucking up fallen trees for firewood. I have: - A gas powered Husky 141 w/ a 14" bar - A gas powered Stihl MS 271 w/ a 20" bar - A unpowered Stihl Pole Saw w/ a PS80 saw blade - A folding Stihl PS10 saw For limbing, I wouldn't g...
by mrb09
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need burner phone for wife traveling in Italy
Replies: 24
Views: 1954

Re: Need burner phone for wife traveling in Italy

We were in Italy a few months ago. I forwarded our mobile numbers to google voice, and that lets us send and receive texts but not receive incoming voice calls. I don't get a lot of incoming texts, so that worked for me. You can also just shut off cellular and turn it back on for emergency use. Did ...
by mrb09
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite, Sequoia
Replies: 32
Views: 1497

Re: Vacation to San Francisco, Yosemite, Sequoia

Flying in SFO/SJC/OAK and flying out of Fresno is an interesting idea. If you do that, you could go south along the coast first. Monterey is worth a trip, you can head down Highway 1 from SFO/SJC/OAK. Consider a stop at "Phil's Fish Market" in Moss Landing (seriously, google it). Recommend the Aquar...
by mrb09
Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: small-wheel bicycle
Replies: 19
Views: 1306

Re: small-wheel bicycle

I have a 20" Tern (rebranded as an REI "flyby"). I travel into my company's HQ by car for several days at a time, I pop it in the back of my car so I can have a bike there. I had an '06 Accord coupe and it went into the trunk with plenty of room to spare, now I have a '14 Prius and it fits there as ...
by mrb09
Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your experience with Nitrous for a dental implant?
Replies: 27
Views: 1269

Re: Your experience with Nitrous for a dental implant?

Had that for my last implant, extraction of a cracked tooth + bone graft. I was full sedated once for an extraction and didn't like the recovery time -- was nauseous and couldn't drive after. For my second extraction, since I'm pretty nervous around medical procedures in general, nitrous took the ed...
by mrb09
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ICE or a hybrid car
Replies: 31
Views: 2081

Re: ICE or a hybrid car

I have a 2014 Prius, my wife has a 2014 Mazda 3. I like the Prius because it is practical (including 10k between oil changes, and less wear and tear on brake pads for regen braking) but the Mazda is way more fun to drive. I wouldn't worry about ICE getting phased out any time soon, and honestly the ...
by mrb09
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marriage [How should finances be handled?]
Replies: 74
Views: 7818

Re: Marriage [How should finances be handled?]

We have a joint account, separate individual accounts for personal expenses, and separate credit cards. The joint account pays all joint monthly expenses. That's in Ally bank, we have separate logins but a joint account. The individual accounts get funded monthly with the same amounts, not by propor...
by mrb09
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Buy a Tablet?
Replies: 16
Views: 1416

Re: Should I Buy a Tablet?

I used to have two laptops, my work laptop and my personal laptop. Now all my personal stuff is in cloud apps with web interfaces/small apps for my work laptop, and apps for my ipad: google drive, 1password, evernote, etc. I ended up giving my current personal laptop to a family member, and I just u...
by mrb09
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marriott Rewards Customer Service
Replies: 4
Views: 560

Re: Marriott Rewards Customer Service

Things are really a mess right now with the SPG merger and unification of programs. I think things are supposed to be finalized from a program perspective around mid-Aug. I've been with Marriott for a while (I'm lifetime platinum) and I personally think they're usually pretty good, but recently not ...
by mrb09
Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Laptop Computer Recommendation
Replies: 12
Views: 975

Re: Travel Laptop Computer Recommendation

Not a chromebook user, but I do use google drive (docs + sheets) for all my personal documents (all my passwords go into 1password). As other folks have mentioned, they have apps for offline mode. For personal stuff, I actually gave up my personal laptop and now just use either web interfaces on my ...
by mrb09
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Touring Singapore in October
Replies: 9
Views: 706

Re: Touring Singapore in October

Definitely the Jurong Bird Park and the Night Zoo.
by mrb09
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to make opened bottles of wine last longer
Replies: 38
Views: 3062

Re: How to make opened bottles of wine last longer

I use this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GA3KCE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_SYDwBb6ZEPFTC For red wine, If I use this, I can make the wine go a day or two if I open it, vacuum it and put it back in my red wine (57 degree) fridge. Open white wine usually just goes back in the colder food refrigerator witho...
by mrb09
Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Theater vs. Soundbar
Replies: 67
Views: 6118

Re: Home Theater vs. Soundbar

Caveat: I'm not much of an audiophile. We tend to listen to music in the kitchen/dining room on an ancient Yamaha system connected to an ipad, and we use the living room for either reading or watching TV. That said, another vote for simplicity for sound bar. I have a simple Sony HT-CT790 with the so...
by mrb09
Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3903

Re: Europe travel Qs

Was in Italy in May, flew in/out of Munich - Had two ATM cards from Ally, they worked at all ATM machines - Italy likes cash more than northern Europe, but never had any issues Visa cards with hotels and higher end restaurants. Did go through a lot of Euros though, we were binging a bit ;) Agritouri...
by mrb09
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: kayaking!
Replies: 17
Views: 1655

Re: kayaking!

Paddling.net is a good resource Second the recommendation to take a class for basic technique. Learning basic strokes will help a lot. For lakes and tidal areas, you'll probably have a choice of three types of kayaks: - Sit on top -- self explanatory, you sit on top. The kayaks have an enclosed holl...
by mrb09
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new truck before retiring?
Replies: 53
Views: 3295

Re: Buy new truck before retiring?

Only thing I'd add (this may have been mentioned and I missed it) if you're towing a lot, look at the numbers for towing. A smaller engine will drop percentage-wise mpg a lot more while towing. Sometimes RV magazines will list their towing numbers in their truck reviews. If you're just towing occasi...
by mrb09
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hands-free solutions
Replies: 15
Views: 759

Re: Hands-free solutions

The car I have now has integrated bluetooth, but before that I used a clip-on visor, "SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth Visor Speakerphone", was the last one I used. That visor keeps the speaker and mic closer to your head then a dashboard mount for the phone.
by mrb09
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 33
Views: 2177

Re: Italy Trip Questions

Just got back from 11 days in Italy. Flew in/out of Munich, was able to get a non-stop from SFO (home airport) to Munich. Did overnight in Munich and took commuter flight (Air Dolomiti) into Florence, booked that cheap flight separate from the SFO->Munich one. Rented car in Florence. Stayed 7 days i...
by mrb09
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google voice in Europe
Replies: 5
Views: 356

Re: Google voice in Europe

Last few times I was in Europe I set my mobile number forwarded to google voice, and set do not disturb on google voice so I wouldn't get stray calls at night. If someone wanted to leave a message, I got a notification as long as I was on a wi-fi network. Texts I just let go to my mobile number dire...
by mrb09
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: death certificates...hospice and 911
Replies: 32
Views: 3087

Re: death certificates...hospice and 911

When we went through this with my mom, we were instructed by Hospice to call them rather than 911. They had someone on call.
by mrb09
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel advice for an engineer
Replies: 65
Views: 4938

Re: Travel advice for an engineer

I'm a software engineer, not a structural one, but I was fascinated by the Taj Mahal. The level of detail is just incredible. Westminster Abby is a good architecturally, but also the resting place of Isaac Newton. The flying buttresses supporting Notre Dame. If you like the Florence Duomo, also see ...
by mrb09
Sat May 26, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which tickets would you buy in advance (Europe)?
Replies: 20
Views: 1351

Re: Which tickets would you buy in advance (Europe)?

Not mentioned in your list, but last time we were in London we bought a visitor Oyster card for Underground (tube) travel, which was well worth it for convenience.
by mrb09
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone have Cali Bamboo flooring? Your experience?
Replies: 19
Views: 2235

Re: Does anyone have Cali Bamboo flooring? Your experience?

We put in a Cali Bamboo floor last year. Ordered direct from manufacturer. - Shipping was good, arrived on time. They drop-shipped with a driver with no forklift, ended up using our tractor and clamp-on forks to unload :) - Had one color mismatch and they accepted return no problem. They sent repla...
by mrb09
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone have Cali Bamboo flooring? Your experience?
Replies: 19
Views: 2235

Re: Does anyone have Cali Bamboo flooring? Your experience?

We put in a Cali Bamboo floor last year. Ordered direct from manufacturer. - Shipping was good, arrived on time. They drop-shipped with a driver with no forklift, ended up using our tractor and clamp-on forks to unload :) - Had one color mismatch and they accepted return no problem. They sent replac...
by mrb09
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I’m looking for a word...
Replies: 114
Views: 10777

Re: I’m looking for a word...

In software, if we have a transient bug that goes away when you add a debugger or trace logging, we call those "heisen-bugs" -- the observer interferes with the observation.
by mrb09
Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outdoor Blower
Replies: 24
Views: 1694

Re: Outdoor Blower

I have a number of Kobalt 80v tools that work extremely well. String Trimmer (plus brush blade for heavy brush), Chainsaw and Blower. They all are very well built and perform beyond my expectations. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-80-volt-Max-Lithium-Ion-500-CFM-125-MPH-Heavy-duty-Brushless-Cordles...
by mrb09
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Haida Gwaii (a.k.a. Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia, Canada
Replies: 10
Views: 851

Re: Haida Gwaii (a.k.a. Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia, Canada

Never been that far north. Wife and I did a 4 day kayaking trip between base camps in the Discovery Islands (between Vancouver Island and mainland), one of our best vacations ever. We've been to Vancouver Island and surrounding archipelagos maybe half a dozen times and still find plenty of new stuff...
by mrb09
Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Big Work Trip - Looking for Ideas
Replies: 15
Views: 1705

Re: Big Work Trip - Looking for Ideas

Another vote for slowing things down. About 10 years ago I combined a vacation and business trip to Bangalore. I cashed in my Singapore Air miles and my wife and I flew to Singapore, we spent three days there and then flew to Melbourne (we had friends there). My wife and I spent a week there, I flew...
by mrb09
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House Hunting Concerns With Well
Replies: 41
Views: 3984

Re: House Hunting Concerns With Well

We're on a spring. Flows well but only a few gallons a minute during the summer. Before we moved our holding tanks uphill for gravity feed downhill to the house, we had a 1500 gallon holding tank level with the house, with an auxiliary pump. The (downhill) spring pumped into the tank, and the auxili...
by mrb09
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to fund a CD with online bank??
Replies: 10
Views: 1098

Re: How to fund a CD with online bank??

+1 on the checking -- I always transfer to/from Ally checking from outside accounts, then from Ally checking to Ally savings/CDs
by mrb09
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chain Saw pruner or Pole Saw?
Replies: 24
Views: 2263

Re: Chain Saw pruner or Pole Saw?

I have a stihl 20' pole saw. Not sure of the model, maybe a PP 800 pole with a PS 80 blade? Had it for 15 years or so. Absolutely love it, joy to use (up to a point). I know what you mean about the labor, but somehow it seems like a chainsaw on the end of a 20' pole would be its own kind of workout....
by mrb09
Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What iPhone podcast application do you use?
Replies: 40
Views: 3822

Re: What iPhone podcast application do you use?

However, for this and for daytime use I use cheap earbuds that I buy at CVS for 10-15 dollars. They last for a few months, and when they begin to deteriorate, I get another set. But, I suspect that these cheapo earbuds are not the best way to listen to the spoken word. In fact, the packaging touts ...
by mrb09
Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for older bicyclist, coming back from injury
Replies: 42
Views: 2928

Re: Question for older bicyclist, coming back from injury

Wife and I switched from many years of using road-specific pedals/cleats to using Shimano SPD mountain bike pedals and SH56 Multi-directional release cleats on our road and tri bikes. They seem more safe (YMMV) and have the added advantage of being easy to walk around in when off the bike - worth t...
by mrb09
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: used Prius (or Chevy Volt?)
Replies: 51
Views: 5033

Re: used Prius (or Chevy Volt?)

Bought a 2013 Certified Pre-Owned Prius from Toyota. That comes with an extension to the factory warranty including the battery. Very happy with the car. Not the most exciting car I've ever had, but works for me. When I was looking I searched for 2012 - 2014 models -- they did a refresh on the gen 3...
by mrb09
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling Timber
Replies: 37
Views: 3353

Re: Selling Timber

I live on forested land in California. There was a harvest at our place right before we moved in, and there was quite a lot of slash (wood waste) left. That's part of the contract with the timber company, they'll take the timber but if you want cleanup, that's part of the price negotiation. Highly r...
by mrb09
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Folding bicycles
Replies: 29
Views: 2514

Re: Folding bicycles

I have an REI bike which is a rebranded Tern D7i (actually a slightly older model, but that's the equivalent now). I bought it when I was going into a remote work site on a consistent schedule, I'd stay a few nights in a hotel and ride the bike to work from the hotel, about six miles each way. I'd k...
by mrb09
Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Live / work in California - Technology Career
Replies: 99
Views: 7759

Re: Live / work in California - Technology Career

I'd add Sacramento the list of urban areas. Gets hot in the summer, but not Phoenix hot. As other folks have said, California is a very big state. I live east of Sacramento in a sparsely populated county in the low Sierras, not even close to what coastal California is like (except for the state taxe...
by mrb09
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remotely power cycle devices?
Replies: 3
Views: 429

Re: Remotely power cycle devices?

I use the GE ZWave switch: http://www.z-wave.com/shop-z-wave-smart ... mart-plugs

You'd need some kind of IOT hub to work over the internet, like a Samsung Smartthings Hub. That's what I have.
by mrb09
Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses
Replies: 272
Views: 59466

Re: How to Minimize Your Emergency Care Expenses

Bookmarked!

Thank you.
by mrb09
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend an A.C. powered auto tire inflator
Replies: 43
Views: 3292

Re: Recommend an A.C. powered auto tire inflator

When I ditched my run-flats, I got a Viair 70P that I keep in the trunk. It's DC but it's small, very quiet, and has a very accurate gauge. Best of all (for me), there is a brass chuck that threads onto the tire valve-stem so it's always a tight seal. And when you disconnect, you just lose a little...
by mrb09
Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: India tourist visa - possible to expedite?
Replies: 11
Views: 1233

Re: India tourist visa - possible to expedite?

I've gone through CIBTVisas for business visas, they have expedite options, never tried a tourist visa. I've done it when I really needed it quickly (like within 10 days with a holiday in-between) and they've been right on top of things.

Did you actually send your passport in yet?