Search found 65 matches

by open_circuit
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Home wine makers out there?
Replies: 11
Views: 2624

Re: Any Home wine makers out there?

I've made a couple of meads when I was actively brewing beer and had lots of fermentation equipment. Both batches turned out excellent and have aged quite well. I have never tried to make any fruit wines, however. If you have the equipment to make a fruit wine, you should be adequately equipped to m...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any good credit card sign up bonuses?
Replies: 15
Views: 1312

Re: any good credit card sign up bonuses?

60k points with IHG MasterCard, requiring a small spend over the first couple months. I think the spend is either $1k or $2k.
by open_circuit
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting to Safety Razors
Replies: 104
Views: 9818

Re: Converting to Safety Razors

I tried switching to a Merkur safety razor, badger brush, and traditional soap several years ago. I was never patient enough to get a good shave in a reasonable time without a lot of nicks. I gave up that experiment after about 3 months. What I found works well for the amount of time and effort I wa...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pro and cons of the Prime offer by Amazon.......
Replies: 39
Views: 3702

Re: Pro and cons of the Prime offer by Amazon.......

We subscribe. We make use of the included music and video streaming. We haven't subscribed to traditional television services in years but do occasionally watch something on the streaming platforms. Thus, this and Netflix are our only regular entertainment expenses. We also buy items routinely throu...
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asking for discounts
Replies: 59
Views: 6446

Re: Asking for discounts

Can't see the video now, but the post reminds me of an episode of This American Life from a few years back where the host goes around asking for the "Good Guy Discount". He wanted to test if discounts are available simply by asking for them.

Does asking work for you?
by open_circuit
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with unused paint?
Replies: 38
Views: 2336

Re: What to do with unused paint?

My previous city of residence provided household hazardous waste collection upon demand at no cost a couple times per year. When I moved, I called to have them collect a bunch of unused paint, solvents, oils, and similar. They told me specifically how to prepare the items and mark them. It was easy....
by open_circuit
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm thinking about cashing completely out of equites....
Replies: 75
Views: 8150

Re: I'm thinking about cashing completely out of equites....

I just read an article describing this situation, this morning. You may find the article interesting, if you wish to reduce or eliminate equity exposure entirely.

http://jlcollinsnh.com/2017/09/09/sleep ... ent-model/
by open_circuit
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weeklong vacation Thanksgiving
Replies: 13
Views: 1150

Re: Weeklong vacation Thanksgiving

Big Bend National and/or State Parks.
by open_circuit
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children
Replies: 15
Views: 1502

Re: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children

It's a reasonable strategy. Just don't have the kid at the end of a calendar year or beginning of the following year unless you plan for that. One of our kids was born a little early, the last day of the year. This really complicated our billing with my FSA contributions set for the following calend...
by open_circuit
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much worth house should one buy?
Replies: 73
Views: 4158

Re: How much worth house should one buy?

I'm not fully comfortable with our PITI at ~19% of take home. Expenses with a house can be very bursty. We had to replace a furnace and water heater this year. These are substantial expenses that should be budgeted for beyond PITI, and can substantially increase your housing outflow in a given year....
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When purchasing a smartphone from T-Mobile
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: When purchasing a smartphone from T-Mobile

PS: I heard now that there is a feature called Volte which means you can make the free calls in overseas without WIFI but my S7 does not have it I guess it comes with S8 I am not sure. Make sure it has that also. Can someone enlighten us about this feature like which phones have it etc? I always re...
by open_circuit
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When purchasing a smartphone from T-Mobile
Replies: 6
Views: 600

Re: When purchasing a smartphone from T-Mobile

The only reason I know of to buy a T-Mobile branded phone is to get support for their WIFI calling feature. In the past, it has only been supported in T-Mobile specific ROMs. What this means is that even if you buy a Galaxy S8 somewhere else, if it isn't the T-Mobile version of it, it won't have the...
by open_circuit
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have an idea I want to bring to market
Replies: 30
Views: 1749

Re: I have an idea I want to bring to market

First advice, don't go to any of the invent your idea ads on tv etc. Second, you'll want a patent if it is patentable. Check around to see if anything has been made similar and that you just didn't knock off someone else's idea but using it for a different purpose. The laws have changed a bit since...
by open_circuit
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I have an idea I want to bring to market
Replies: 30
Views: 1749

Re: I have an idea I want to bring to market

You do not need a working prototype to file for a patent. I am not an attorney, but I am a patent holder.
by open_circuit
Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Rolex and The Boglehead
Replies: 274
Views: 11328

Re: The Rolex and The Boglehead

I don't know anyone under 40 who wears a watch of any kind. I wonder if the secondary market is taking a hit based on this trend. The new market certainly seems to be. I wear a Seiko 5 every day. I'm still a ways under 40. I see quite a few colleagues my age wearing watches also. It does happen, th...
by open_circuit
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping question....Applebees
Replies: 87
Views: 6844

Re: Tipping question....Applebees

Isn't that why we see tip jars are counter service locations, so the employees can reduce their labor costs by treating the staff as "tipped"? It has to be at least $30 per month "customarily and regularly" for the employee to be classified as tipped; at least in my area, I doubt that many counter ...
by open_circuit
Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?
Replies: 95
Views: 6314

Re: What is your favorite reasonably priced bourbon?

Lately, it's Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. It is not technically a bourbon because the mash is 100% barley, but otherwise it is made like bourbon.
by open_circuit
Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time
Replies: 8
Views: 641

Re: Buying/Selling Home at Same Time

We first found our new home, made an offer that was accepted and placed in the offer a contingency that we would close once our house sold. OP mentioned being in a seller's market. A contingency most likely won't get you a house at this point. When we did this in the past, we bought the new house, ...
by open_circuit
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Maintenance App
Replies: 14
Views: 971

Re: Vehicle Maintenance App

I use "Fuelly". It was Gas Cubby until recently. Not sure I love the newly changed app, but it does everything you want it to, so it's worth a looksee. JT I use the Fuelly website with the SMS interface. I've been using it this way for about 5 years, and it works well for us. I did not realize ther...
by open_circuit
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 4607

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

It's occurred to me that I never gave my bank explicit permission to do these transactions so I've wondered about the potential for fraud. What's to stop anyone from using the routing and account numbers (on every check I write) to do a withdrawal from my bank? How does the bank know it's a legitim...
by open_circuit
Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 4607

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

I've given various entities (credit card company, Vanguard, etc.) my bank numbers and they take the money out when I go on their website and "pay bill" or do a "buy" of a fund. Others, such as the utility company, do it automatically without my intervention. It's occurred to me that I never gave my...
by open_circuit
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 4607

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

Combination of both for me. I pay utility bills, mortgage, and a few others with push from my checking account. I pay credit cards with a pull from a checking account. I only automatically pay my mortgage. Credit cards, utilities, and others only get paid after I review the bill and/or reconcile th...
by open_circuit
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 4607

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

Combination of both for me. I pay utility bills, mortgage, and a few others with push from my checking account. I pay credit cards with a pull from a checking account. I only automatically pay my mortgage. Credit cards, utilities, and others only get paid after I review the bill and/or reconcile the...
by open_circuit
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirement - Living in Colorado
Replies: 33
Views: 3534

Re: Retirement - Living in Colorado

In Colorado, I'd probably go for Boulder, which is ranked higher on the list above. Be advised that Boulder is the most expensive city in the state. Average home price in Boulder passed 1 million over a year ago. Good luck. http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-business/ci_30129551/cost-average-home-b...
by open_circuit
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two household cars with not so great fuel efficiency; make a change?
Replies: 13
Views: 914

Re: Two household cars with not so great fuel efficiency; make a change?

Hi all, I love reading the car questions on this forum to gain insight. I had the recent thread asking for a good family sedan and we ended up buying a new 2017 Toyota highlander using the boglehead method of purchasing. Thanks Denovo. Saved us at least 2500$. My dilemma now is that we have now two...
by open_circuit
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?
Replies: 313
Views: 18393

Re: Is it really Worth it to brown bag your lunch at work?

I don't let my kids buy school lunch every day so there is no way I'm going to eat out every day either. It takes me about 10 minutes to make lunch for the whole family every morning. And I know exactly what they are eating. Maybe this is where my issue originated...I never brown bagged to school e...
by open_circuit
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone set up PayPal account using my email...
Replies: 35
Views: 2706

Re: Someone set up PayPal account using my email...

While ignoring these is a potential solution, I can imagine the OP might some day wish to register for an account of their own, using their normal e-mail address. This is why I tried to contact the airline that had my e-mail associated with a different customer.
by open_circuit
Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone set up PayPal account using my email...
Replies: 35
Views: 2706

Re: Someone set up PayPal account using my email...

I very recently had the same problem with Alaskan Airlines. Someone registered there and bought tickets (I got their confirmation / receipt!). I called the airline, without satisfaction. The person who answered refused to understand that my.name@gmail.com and myname@gmail.com are the same, and that ...
by open_circuit
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Electric car in evacuation situation
Replies: 61
Views: 4270

Re: Electric car in evacuation situation

Electric towing a trailer with a gas generator and some extra gas for the generator. It's a DIY hybrid configuration.
by open_circuit
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sport Rx Glasses (for Mountain Biking)
Replies: 8
Views: 797

Re: Sport Rx Glasses (for Mountain Biking)

I bought some of these http://www.zennioptical.com/sport-eyeglass-frames-701712.html about 5 years ago for mountain biking. They work adequately. I would not say I am particularly pleased or displeased with them. I found, however, that I much preferred to wear contacts when doing active things like ...
by open_circuit
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Companies/Brands You Love?
Replies: 157
Views: 10123

Re: Companies/Brands You Love?

Oxo Good Grips for kitchen tools.

Samsung for TV and large consumer electronics.

Continental tires (particularly for road & cross bike).

Drury Inn for lodging when available.
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smart light timer possibly using Google Home
Replies: 7
Views: 497

Re: smart light timer possibly using Google Home

bluebolt wrote: ↑
Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:29 pm
My initial use case was that I wanted my front light to come on around sunset and turn off at midnight.
I do the same with z-wave switches and a software package called OpenHab to implement all of the control logic. OpenHab is awfully flexible, but the learning curve is pretty severe.
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: After market rear view (backup) cameras.
Replies: 19
Views: 1933

Re: After market rear view (backup) cameras.

Thanks so far and please keep the comments coming. Just FYI, starting with the 2018 model year, all new vehicles sold in the USA must have backup camera technology installed. Also I should factor another issue into the mix: age of human. As we age our spines become less flexible. I'm pushing 70 and...
by open_circuit
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru - One tire bad replace all four?
Replies: 31
Views: 1918

Re: Subaru - One tire bad replace all four?

IDK if any passenger car has a full size spare anymore.... I think mustangs and maybe corvettes just come with a can of fix a flat (or equivalent). My folks had a Mercedes from the 80's, and it came with a full size spare and rim from the factory. My Jeep Wrangler has a full size spare. Don't picku...
by open_circuit
Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru - One tire bad replace all four?
Replies: 31
Views: 1918

Re: Subaru - One tire bad replace all four?

Fellow Subaru owner here -- I've always heard that the AWD system needs all four tires to be very closely matched in diameter to avoid excessive wear or damage on the drivetrain. Regardless of Subaru or AWD concerns, if my tires were seven years old and any of them were showing dry rot, I would repl...
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?
Replies: 44
Views: 3466

Re: What kind of hotel do you get on business travel?

Whatever is within per-diem. In some places this is a local (non-chain), simple motel; in others, it is the Embassy suites.
by open_circuit
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Replies: 49
Views: 4003

Re: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

I bought my first set of over-the-ear active noise cancelling headphones this year. I cross-shopped the Bose QC line against competitors, but did not try any before purchasing. I ended up with Plantronics Backbeat Pro after reading many reviews. My decision was heavily swayed by finding the Plantron...
by open_circuit
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to leave our dentist??
Replies: 54
Views: 6424

Re: Time to leave our dentist??

Remember that half of the professionals you will meet in the world are worse than average. Numbers are funny that way. I had a (brand new, out of school) dentist buy the practice I used to go to. In 30+ years, I've never had a cavity, but suddenly the new dentist "found" 3 on the xray. Went to a new...
by open_circuit
Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wells Fargo - what the kittens?
Replies: 36
Views: 2954

Re: Wells Fargo - what the kittens?

Can't speak to deposit accounts, but it is hard to avoid Wells Fargo in the mortgage servicing space. They have ended up owning two of my mortgages over the last decade. Once they own it, I'm not aware of a simple way to break that relationship. Only payoff or refinancing somewhere else come to mind...
by open_circuit
Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do
Replies: 58
Views: 6877

Re: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do

I'm both stubborn and impatient. I don't often give a company two opportunities to squander my time, money, or trust like that. There are plenty of other firms available to service your need. I would find another one and set up an account immediately, preparing to transfer all funds out of Ally as s...
by open_circuit
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 24394

Re: How much money do you need to retire?

If I had 4M today, I would probably call it quits and FIRE. I can see this number decreasing as I grow older and shed the obligations of raising my children, paying my mortgage, and saving for future college expenses for the kids. I'm in my early 30s. For normal full retirement age, who knows. I'm s...
by open_circuit
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: belts for dress pants
Replies: 37
Views: 2460

Re: belts for dress pants

I've been using a ratcheting belt for the last year. I'm not sure I'd wear one with a suit, but they work well for my daily slacks / shirt that I wear to the office. You get maybe 4 or 5 adjustment points on these in the same space as a pair of holes in a normal belt. The ones I bought on amazon cam...
by open_circuit
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for MTB'rs. Buying a bike.
Replies: 22
Views: 1440

Re: Question for MTB'rs. Buying a bike.

I'm probably just too frugal, but I've been quite happy searching for second-hand bikes on the local mountain biking forums for deals. Buying a 3-5 year old bike with top-end components, and upgrading piecemeal to get what you want can save you a ton of money. Caveat emptor, you need to be sure the ...
by open_circuit
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: does solar increase the value of a house
Replies: 61
Views: 5597

Re: does solar increase the value of a house

Panels were all paid off. ... Requiring no maintenance. I feel like you captured the entirety of the issue in your situation. When we purchased a house last year, one of the contenders was a house with a rooftop solar installation. As a potential buyer, I was concerned about becoming entangled in a...
by open_circuit
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non Stick frying pan
Replies: 56
Views: 4058

Re: Non Stick frying pan

I agree, but my approach is to use cast iron exclusively. People did cook eggs successfully before the invention of Teflon. Pre heat the pan, use plenty of oil, and let the eggs cook before disturbing them. They will then separate almost on their own, preserving the seasoning of your cast iron. You...
by open_circuit
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Denver Trip - Last minute
Replies: 26
Views: 2196

Re: Denver Trip - Last minute

How brown everything is, for some reason in my mind, I pictured Denver green but most of its brown. The amount of homeless in Denver seemed large. Traffic looked horrible on 70 and 25, we luckily avoided it for the most part. A decent amount of building construction, new apartments, new corporate b...
by open_circuit
Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?
Replies: 26
Views: 2184

Re: From Chi-Midway: Taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other?

I prefer Uber to a taxi, but not by much. Honestly, I view them as very close to equivalent. I mean, what's the difference, a functional app? Seems like yellow cab or whoever could bridge that gap. I've seen a lot of cars with z-Trip logos driving around metro Denver lately. It appears this is re-b...
by open_circuit
Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family ski trip without breaking the bank
Replies: 39
Views: 3977

Re: Family ski trip without breaking the bank

For budget skiing and family friendly atmosphere, I highly recommend the Taos / Angelfire / Red River New Mexico triplicate.
by open_circuit
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car braking on downward slopes
Replies: 22
Views: 1515

Re: Car braking on downward slopes

Just got back from our Alaska vacation , a thread I will update shortly. But this thread is about cars - specifically, it is about something weird I noticed in our rental car while in Alaska. It was a 2015+ (I didn't really pay attention, but I am assuming it was a late model) Nissan Altima with ab...
by open_circuit
Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Denver Trip - Last minute
Replies: 26
Views: 2196

Re: Denver Trip - Last minute

GuyFromGeorgia wrote:If you go to Colorado Springs then I'd highly recommend driving to the top of Pikes Peak. This is #1 for all of my visitors.
Or take the cog railway. It's pretty neat also!