Search found 120 matches

by open_circuit
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best rock solid router with vpn server and guest network
Replies: 12
Views: 980

Re: Best rock solid router with vpn server and guest network

Asus AC68u. There's a tmobile branded version that is often on sale for ~$70 or less if you want to spend a little less than the normal sticker price. They have good stock firmware and community-supported Asus-Merlin. Also, the stock firmware now supports mesh networking amongst several of these rou...
by open_circuit
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Car To Keep
Replies: 25
Views: 1371

Re: Which Car To Keep

If the only vehicle you own is the truck, it appears to be legal to let the kids ride in the bed. (https://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/public_information/seatbelt.htm) Obviously you won't pick that option (and neither would I), so I'd probably keep the pickup and the van. With the pickup, you c...
by open_circuit
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Telematics and Auto Insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 779

Re: Telematics and Auto Insurance

Hogan773 wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:40 pm
I have up till now resisted, but wondering if others have signed up for these dongles and what their experience has been with discounts.
I refuse to voluntarily use these products. It feels invasive.
by open_circuit
Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Somewhat rhetorical question...
Replies: 10
Views: 705

Re: Somewhat rhetorical question...

How does Computershare stay in business? By fluke and laziness I have held about 24 shares of home depot stock with them for years. Besides continuing to pay an enormous (percentage wise) amount for having dividends reinvested I was even more 'amazed' at this company when I went to finally sell the...
by open_circuit
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed
Replies: 41
Views: 1937

Re: Traveling to Germany (Bavaria) in April/May - Itinerary Help Needed

I can’t comment on the itinerary but do have a suggestion re cell phones. I was in Germany last fall and was planning to buy a local SIM card for my unlocked GSM phone so I could call local friends, hotels, and use Google maps while driving. Until recently, you could buy a pay as you go SIM card al...
by open_circuit
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?
Replies: 12
Views: 578

Re: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?

Buy a ski condo and keep your skis in the locked owner's spaces. Rent the condo out. Profit?

For a couple days per year, I'd rent at the destination. If you are going to travel with skis, you then have to haul them around with you the entire way. Seems like too much work to me.
by open_circuit
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 6183

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

In my house, the hot water run to the master and guest bathrooms is over 100ft. It's nice to see your calculation roughly confirms the delay we see to flush our hot water lines on those far end points. Are your pipes also insulated? Over those distances a lot of heat could be lost to a cold basemen...
by open_circuit
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 6183

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

In my house, the hot water run to the master and guest bathrooms is over 100ft. It's nice to see your calculation roughly confirms the delay we see to flush our hot water lines on those far end points. Are your pipes also insulated? Over those distances a lot of heat could be lost to a cold basemen...
by open_circuit
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 6183

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Couple of tips: Don't turn on the cold water when trying to get hot. Faucets are flow-limited, so turning full-on cold/hot taps will take approximately twice as long to heat up as the hot-only tap on. Same with the shower - turn all the way to hot for fastest heat up. On that note, all plumbing fix...
by open_circuit
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 6183

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

> This would use the cold water line as the water heater return path I did not realize OP was considering something like this! Sounds really weird. Recirculating systems installed during a build have a separate loop for the hot water. And if the builder has any sense the entire loop is insulated. >...
by open_circuit
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 6183

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

Problem: At a far bathroom, it takes 4 minutes of running hot water from the shower and 10 minutes from the faucet to get hot water. (These are slightly low flow faucet/shower heads.) Even at close bathrooms/sinks, it takes 1 minute of running hot water to get hot water. Solution: Install a hot wat...
by open_circuit
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plow Guy Raised Rates
Replies: 112
Views: 9272

Re: Plow Guy Raised Rates

$50 is wicked cheap. Around me, people pay $75 for 75 foot driveways that it takes me 15 minutes to do 18 inches of medium weight new snowfall with my Wrangler. On the other side of the coin.....why don't you just buy a light snowplow like a Curtis home pro and have it mounted onto your vehicle, as...
by open_circuit
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1935

Re: gift cards - caveats

Edit/update: Okay, I got a little pop-up or whatever on Amazon, so it seems that 2% bonus on reloads is offered to Prime Members who presumably set up automated reloads (or at least some representation of regular frequency). I have Prime but only as an "invited guest" from a Prime Member. The free ...
by open_circuit
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai quality and reliability
Replies: 40
Views: 2931

Re: Hyundai quality and reliability

I've never owned a Hyundai, but I've received many as rentals. A Hyundai is the only rental vehicle I've ever had strand me somewhere. As with most rental vehicles, it was a late model with low miles about 5 years ago. The car spontaneously entered limp mode as I turned out of a gas station parking ...
by open_circuit
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1935

Re: gift cards - caveats

In the past, I've sold unwanted gift cards on websites that trade cards. The site I used seems to be in decline now, so I will not recommend it. These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card . I never have to carry the gift ca...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good VPN?
Replies: 21
Views: 1975

Re: Good VPN?

It is relatively easy to set up a VPN server on your home router, if you have a newer router. Many of the Asus products include this feature. If you just want to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks on public networks, this might be good enough for you.
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1935

Re: gift cards - caveats

These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card. I never have to carry the gift card around, or get stuck with odd amounts on a split transaction. For us, this works well because we buy stuff at amazon frequently, and can easily...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1935

Re: gift cards - caveats

Sorry, not sure what you mean about using your regular credit card. Are you referring to trying to do "mental accounting" so you make a purchase that you would associate as being a gift from whoever gave you the gift card? Yeah, I just consider the funds fungible and if I convert a $50 visa card in...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: gift cards - caveats
Replies: 41
Views: 1935

Re: gift cards - caveats

In the past, I've sold unwanted gift cards on websites that trade cards. The site I used seems to be in decline now, so I will not recommend it. These days, if I have a Visa gift card, I find it most useful to immediately buy an Amazon credit refill with the card. I never have to carry the gift card...
by open_circuit
Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Car - Always use parking brake ?
Replies: 72
Views: 6891

Re: New Car - Always use parking brake ?

I use the parking brake all the time. It's a habit. Me too, but I've only owned manual transmission vehicles for the last 15 years. It irks me that my subaru (manual transmission) has an electronic parking break instead of a manual brake, and has a warning about freezing up in cold temperatures. Ha...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?
Replies: 41
Views: 1704

Re: Okay come clean....How man people share passwords for streaming services?

No, never even considered it. Is this a thing people do regularly?
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 39
Views: 2795

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

We rented an SUV so we can be higher up and see better, glad we did. It was an upsell though. We took one of those boat tours to Captain Cook and snorkeling there was one of the best experience. I got lost swimming there and got close to the rock, lost control, and accidentally touch one of those p...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 39
Views: 2795

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

I was there a couple years ago. For captain cook bay, we chartered a snorkeling tour and they took us on a boat from Kailua-Kona. The tour was great and the bay was full of spinner dolphins the day we were there. At the green sand beaches (South point, right?) there are tons of locals with 4WD who ...
by open_circuit
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 39
Views: 2795

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

I was there a couple years ago. For captain cook bay, we chartered a snorkeling tour and they took us on a boat from Kailua-Kona. The tour was great and the bay was full of spinner dolphins the day we were there. At the green sand beaches (South point, right?) there are tons of locals with 4WD who w...
by open_circuit
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's wrong with Google Finance these days?
Replies: 4
Views: 627

Re: What's wrong with Google Finance these days?

Has anyone noticed something wrong/buggy with Google finance these days? I am used to getting taken to the page with the graph as the centerpiece, and lots of comparison data below it. I got that one hour ago. But now when I click on the same bookmarked link I am taken to a page where "Google Finan...
by open_circuit
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kidde fire extinguisher recall
Replies: 58
Views: 5468

Re: Kidde fire extinguisher recall

Watch out for new ones, too. I bought one at Walmart last week, then checked the recall website to verify it was not covered by the recall. To my surprise, I had just purchased a new, recalled fire extinguisher. A replacement is on the way from Kidde.
by open_circuit
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BLK Friday -Washer/Dryer purchase for future
Replies: 10
Views: 889

Re: BLK Friday -Washer/Dryer purchase for future

We maybe moving in about 2 months. Has anyone purchased W/D from Lowes or HD and deferred taking delivery 60 or 70 days out in future? Any downside to this? We did this with a refrigerator in our previous home. The house was new construction, and we bought the refrigerator far in advance for delive...
by open_circuit
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cyber Monday - Best Deals?
Replies: 6
Views: 990

Re: Cyber Monday - Best Deals?

The other day I nearly dropped a hot dish using my clumsy old hot pads, so when I saw these oven gloves at 70% off I spent a whopping $11.95 on them. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ETWDHIG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I bought some red silicon mitts that look just like that, re...
by open_circuit
Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions for Boglehead runners
Replies: 28
Views: 1620

Re: Questions for Boglehead runners

1) Including races, maybe $250 / year. 2) I haven't fit running into my schedule in the last year. Before this year, I lived very close to work and could sneak 30-60 minutes between getting home from work and going to pick up the kids. I now have to spend that time commuting. Still working on a new ...
by open_circuit
Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why NOT make more money?
Replies: 213
Views: 20229

Re: Why NOT make more money?

Disclaimer, I'm not retired yet. Retire when you can comfortably do so if you have other things you want to pursue that do not align with continuing to work. To put things in perspective, here's an anecdote: This week, a former coworker passed away. He tried to retire a couple years ago, but was co...
by open_circuit
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why NOT make more money?
Replies: 213
Views: 20229

Re: Why NOT make more money?

So why NOT make more money? To me this is a rhetorical question. It's very obvious that if you can make more money then you should. When you start young, do everything you can (and then go extra mile) to earn and save as much as you can. Why not strive to be the top performer? Why not be the fastes...
by open_circuit
Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts about wearing a "uniform"/same thing everyday?
Replies: 140
Views: 9961

Re: Thouhgts about wearing a "uniform"/same thing everyday?

When I was in college, and grad school, I came across more than one professor who wore a "uniform". One wore a white shirt and black pants everyday, the other wore black shirt and black pants everyday. Both were asked about it by students, and just said that they didn't want to think about it, so t...
by open_circuit
Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why NOT make more money?
Replies: 213
Views: 20229

Re: Why NOT make more money?

Disclaimer, I'm not retired yet. Retire when you can comfortably do so if you have other things you want to pursue that do not align with continuing to work. To put things in perspective, here's an anecdote: This week, a former coworker passed away. He tried to retire a couple years ago, but was con...
by open_circuit
Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 8036

Re: Black Friday Deals/Holiday Gift Ideas

As a small gift or a stocking stuffer, portable USB lithium batteries are great. Inexpensive, super useful if you don't have one and pretty useful as a spare if you do have one. I wish people would stop thinking this. I have way too many of these batteries because of this mindset, and they can't ju...
by open_circuit
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mastercard debit card with no foreign fees?
Replies: 7
Views: 478

Re: Mastercard debit card with no foreign fees?

Check out Capital One 360. I think it hits most (or all) of those bullets. I'm interested in the answer, also.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking ... -atm-fees/
by open_circuit
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee makers: Moka, French Press, etc.
Replies: 64
Views: 5324

Re: Coffee makers: Moka, French Press, etc.

Agree, I switched from an aeropress to a clever dripper a few years ago. Both have similar brewing methods & results, the dripper is a little easier to use. Washington Post agrees - How to brew better coffee at home https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/how-to-brew-better-coffee-at-home-and...
by open_circuit
Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Assessing my retirement savings rate
Replies: 9
Views: 1367

Re: Assessing my retirement savings rate

You might want to re-calculate your SS payout based on when the trust fund is expected to run out (about 2034) and the expected payout based on just contributions continuing (about 75%). I'm more in the 2-3 years from retirement and already have these expectations figured in. I can't imagine expect...
by open_circuit
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS watch
Replies: 26
Views: 2270

Re: GPS watch

Garmin Fenix is fantastic.

I've used the Garmin ForeRunner before, also. I switched to a Fenix for better multi-sport support. You can use it for just about anything, and it has fantastic battery life.

As other poster mentioned, DC Rainmaker is the best resource for GPS device reviews.
by open_circuit
Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3376

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

Lawns require too much water, which can get very expensive. I'd rather drink it or having it for bathing purposes. We are in a drought in California (although not at the moment), so we got rid of all our lawns (and the work they require) and put in dymondia as a ground cover instead. I wish all HOA...
by open_circuit
Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3376

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

Lawns require too much water, which can get very expensive. I'd rather drink it or having it for bathing purposes. We are in a drought in California (although not at the moment), so we got rid of all our lawns (and the work they require) and put in dymondia as a ground cover instead. I wish all HOA...
by open_circuit
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3376

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

TonyDAntonio wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:29 am
Cut my own hair (flowbee)
That's amazing. I've never heard of anyone actually using this before!
by open_circuit
Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you Mow your own Lawn?
Replies: 90
Views: 3376

Re: Do you Mow your own Lawn?

Now, yes. Previously, I paid someone to mow it when we had a larger lawn in a hotter climate.

I use a manual reel mower. Small, light, easy to maintain, and easy to store. Only takes me about 15 minutes to mow the lawn.
by open_circuit
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outback Vs Forester Vs CR-V ??
Replies: 58
Views: 5725

Re: Outback Vs Forester Vs CR-V ??

After spending $1K to replace the electric parking brake assembly at 70,000 miles on a 2013 Outback, I think I would agree. And like most parking brakes, it was probably used two or three times in that period. I will not buy another Subaru product. That's interesting and a little frightening. My ou...
by open_circuit
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap low speed unlimited data
Replies: 16
Views: 1592

Re: Cheap low speed unlimited data

Have you looked at providers like Freedom Pop? They will set you up with some free data, and the option to buy more after you exhaust that amount. If you have a dual-sim phone, you could run data-only on one sim and cheap voice/text on the other.
by open_circuit
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns
Replies: 22
Views: 2098

Re: Using PersonalCapital, Mint, etc.... - and fraud concerns

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:36 pm
I am definitely thinking I might delete my PC account and change all my passwords. Overreaction?
I have never enrolled at any of the aggregation websites for this reason. I won't share or store my passwords online, anywhere.
by open_circuit
Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual enrollment time, trying to decide on Dependent Care FSA
Replies: 9
Views: 417

Re: Annual enrollment time, trying to decide on Dependent Care FSA

If the credit is 20% of expenses, 0.2 x 1800 = $360. So if you do contribute $1800 you save $450 in taxes (in 25% bracket), so the upside of contributing and using it is $90. But the downside of contributing and not using is $450 pretax or $337. So (in the 25% bracket) unless you're ~4x more likely...
by open_circuit
Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bedroom color-current trend?
Replies: 55
Views: 3289

Re: bedroom color-current trend?

mouses wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:00 pm
Gray ugh. Never in my house. Worse than glare white.

Seriously, who paints their house according to what someone declares is fashionable.
:sharebeer
by open_circuit
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime customers can now give Amazon access to their home
Replies: 53
Views: 4876

Re: Amazon Prime customers can now give Amazon access to their home

Packages have a way of walking away from MN Y doorstep, even with a security camera. Parts of the country would definitely benefit from this. I'd prefer to give access to some sort of look locker on my property though. I would hope you could install the fancy amazon electronic lock and camera on a ...
by open_circuit
Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trusting VPN providers
Replies: 11
Views: 1007

Re: Trusting VPN providers

There have been several threads here about VPN services/pricing/etc. A few comments in those threads about actually trusting a VPN provider to do their stated job. Here, I would like to ask is someone NOT using a VPN service because all of your data is then being funneled through one company and yo...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon kindle paperwhite
Replies: 69
Views: 3998

Re: Amazon kindle paperwhite

I have an old kindle keyboard that we acquired second-hand for free. I use it with the local library to check out books, and find it useful for that purpose. It's nice, but I don't value it at $90. If it broke, I doubt I would pay to replace it. I don't buy ebooks, though, so I'm not really the targ...