Search found 289 matches

by metabasalt
Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Gem: "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need"
Replies: 31
Views: 6573

Re: A Gem: "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need"

1999 edition on my bookshelf, I think the first investment book I ever read. I feel lucky that it was the first. In retrospect I realize that there are some other books that might have been better, e.g. Common Sense on Mutual Funds, but at that time something as simple as this was probably the best ...
by metabasalt
Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Tale of Two Fund Giants
Replies: 8
Views: 1237

Re: A Tale of Two Fund Giants

I have to say that is one of the worst articles I've read recently. Not what it said, but how it was written and edited. At first you think that Vanguard has gotten a lot of new money and customers. And it has. But then the article says it's through ETFs and index funds. And then it never again ment...
by metabasalt
Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vegetable Gardening
Replies: 99
Views: 12336

Re: Vegetable Gardening

We've had eight raised beds at our house since we moved in 20 years ago. In fact I dug up the lawn and put them in long before we'd unpacked most of our boxes. I read many of the books mentioned here in getting started including Square Foot Gardening and many books from Rodale about organic gardenin...
by metabasalt
Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Fortunate are You?
Replies: 27
Views: 3265

Re: How Fortunate are You?

I wonder if the fact that a person can even realize that they are fortunate might not indicate part of why they are fortunate, that is there's enough humility and self-consciousness to look on their life and see that they were not responsible themselves for all the good that has happened to them. Of...
by metabasalt
Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a Home: Was it a Good or Bad Decision for You? [Poll]
Replies: 19
Views: 1891

Re: Buying a Home: Was it a Good or Bad Decision for You? [P

It was definitely a good decision and I don't have any problems at all with the question. Why was it good? Because we've never had any second-thoughts or reservations about it. But my answer is not primarily financial. We bought our first house about 20 years ago when we were both in our early 40s. ...
by metabasalt
Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meaning behind your username
Replies: 48
Views: 2628

Re: Meaning behind your username

Metabasalt is a geologic term. I'm definitely not a geologist. But about 10 years ago I became interested and read, and reread, 'Annals of the Former World' by John McPhee, 'Earth: An Intimite History' by Richard Fortey and then numerous other popular works on geology. In doing so I came across a me...
by metabasalt
Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you ever regret your career choice
Replies: 54
Views: 6068

Re: Did you ever regret your career choice

My only real career began when I retired. Everything else I did because I knew I couldn't make a living in what I wanted, the arts, though I did try for a number of years and have an extensive education in it. So I guess I'd rephrase it as 'Did I ever reget my job choices?' And all in all I'd say no...
by metabasalt
Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

Re: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/201

Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar, Firewall by Henning Mankell, and finally The Black Swan by Nicolas Nassim Taleb, all very enjoyable books.
by metabasalt
Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where is sscritic?
Replies: 40
Views: 5277

Re: Where is sscritic?

When I first joined a few years ago sscritic was extremely helpful. Hope he comes back. I missed the whole controversy but I know what I know: he was extremely helpful to me.
by metabasalt
Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

Re: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/201

'The Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present' by Jeff Madrick. I'm only 50 pages into it but love it so far. Events of the last five years have convinced me that I need to read more about the recent crash, bubbles, panics, economics in general, etc. So I'...
by metabasalt
Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your very first job
Replies: 103
Views: 6751

Re: What was your very first job

My first proper job with taxes etc. was in a church credit union as a teller. I can't have been much older than 12 I'd guess. I don't really remember much about it, except the feeling of terror when a customer reported to my boss that I'd made an a mistake in my math. I'm sure a mistake of 10 cents ...
by metabasalt
Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

Re: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/201

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I recall liking "The Corrections" many years ago (before Oprah discovered it) but I'm not so sure I like "Freedom" but I'll keep going... I'm afraid I just don't 'get' Jonathan Franzen. I've listened to the first few minutes of "Freedom" as an audiotape at least five ti...
by metabasalt
Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can someone explain this "work of art"?
Replies: 36
Views: 3306

Re: Can someone explain this "work of art"?

You're not looking at art. You're looking at an object of monetary speculation. Once this occurred, about 15-20 years ago, there has been almost no correlation between price and quality, especially regarding contemporary art. I can't prove any of this, but having been an artist for the last 40+ year...
by metabasalt
Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

Re: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/201

'Money and Power' by Edward Cohan. It's a history of Goldman Sachs. I'm not even sure why I picked it up other than that I've developed the murky impression that GS is responsible for a lot of our current financial problems, as are many of the other big investment banks. So I thought maybe I could l...
by metabasalt
Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

'Don't Count on It' by John Bogle, which I'm really enjoying, even if I've read much of it before. 'The Lords of Finance', by Liaquiat Ahamed, which I'm just finishing. Despite good reviews I've found it somewhat hard to follow. It's been interesting reading but I have that nagging feeling that I'll...
by metabasalt
Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you let the cat go outside?
Replies: 57
Views: 5569

Thank you all for your responses, even those of you who disagree with me. But over the years we've had some strays were it's been almost impossible to keep them as indoor-onlys - it just depends on the cat's personality (and probably how long the stray was used to outdoors life and its experiences ...
by metabasalt
Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

'Pieces of My Heart' by Peter Robinson, part of the Inspector Banks series. We just started reading the Banks series about 3 months ago and are really enjoying it. By contrast John Sanford's 'Storm Prey', which I also just read, seemed unrelentingly grim, as they so often do. I've given up on him an...
by metabasalt
Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? Part IV. (07/04/2010)
Replies: 1507
Views: 383459

Finished 'The Sellout' by Charles Gasparino and just about done with 'Thirteen Banks' by Simon Johnson and James Kwak. Both leave me less than hopeful about the future of the US economy.
by metabasalt
Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Yorker Cartoon?
Replies: 11
Views: 2080

As an aside, I spent about 6 months religiously entering the new yorker cartoon caption contest, and, every week, I was certain I would win. Never even a finalist. Gave up when realized most of the winning captions sucked The New Yorker is about feeling intellectual and reaffirming one's incredible...
by metabasalt
Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is retirement the ultimate goal?
Replies: 53
Views: 8075

Re: Is retirement the ultimate goal?

Let's philosophize a bit... I wonder if we're over-obsessed with the notion of "retirement". Should we really spend half of our lives worrying about the second half? I'm not saying we should not save for the future and all, but should that take priority over the present? This always hits me when lo...
by metabasalt
Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What makes you feel most alive?
Replies: 98
Views: 13415

Being outside in the early mornings before the rest of the world wakes up. I get the same feelings when on back country camping/canoe trips alone where you see and hear no one for days on end. This, especially up in the Sierras where I haven't been in decades, and creating art. I don't so much have...
by metabasalt
Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 21 Ways to Cut Expenses in Retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 3530

joe8d wrote:Take full advantage of all your public library offers:
Books, Magazines, DVDs,VHS's.music CDs,books on tape/CD, etc.All free.
This will certainly be on my list when I retire.
by metabasalt
Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Tomato Growers ??
Replies: 17
Views: 3230

For determinate tomatoes I'd recommend 'Stupice' available from Seed Savers Exchange in seed and possibly as plants. They are both early and determinate so you get a fair number of tomatoes pretty early. They're relative small, about 3/4 size of tennis ball I'd say. I also like 'Green Zebra'. I don'...
by metabasalt
Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are YOU Currently Reading? PART III (12/11/2009)
Replies: 424
Views: 78630

'The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist' by Fred Brooks and 'Common Sense on Mutual Funds: 10th Anniversary Edition' by John Bogle. Both monuments to common sense. Finally finished 'Four Pillars of Investing' which is in the same category. It's so refreshing to read books that are ma...
by metabasalt
Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any gardeners out there?
Replies: 14
Views: 2421

I got through graduate school by cooking supper on one burner in my painting studio. It consisted most of the time of canned clams, pasta, garlic and a sprig of marjoram from the plant that I grew in a small pot in my north-facing window. The marjoram made the meal. Most herbs are tough and like a l...
by metabasalt
Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree Recommendations
Replies: 28
Views: 3127

Try this http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/wildplant/woodyplants.aspx for recommended plants in PA. I'd do a bit of study on this before you buy anything. Some trees will grow fairly quickly and that's great unless you decide you don't like them after they've grown. Then you have a real pain taki...
by metabasalt
Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: quit my job?
Replies: 82
Views: 11392

there's nothing wrong with risk taking - especially at your age. this line of thinking always makes me cringe. isn't there always something wrong with taking uncompensated risks, at any age? don't mistakes tend to compound at a young age? how about this: 1. quit job. 2. knock up girlfriend. 3. shot...
by metabasalt
Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is college worth it?
Replies: 152
Views: 14400

I think you should find out what you have both a passion and talent for and quit worrying about pay grades, job security, and office politics! Become obsessed with it. Learn everything about it. And THEN go to college to help you learn more about it. That's what I learned after getting a degree in ...
by metabasalt
Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power Tool Suggestions?
Replies: 29
Views: 5993

As long as we're showing off new Kitchens, here are a few shots of mine: (looks like Boris and I have the same frig) Doors and drawer fronts were all made by me in my shop. The wood is quarter sawn White Oak with lots of ray flake to give a Stickley/Mission look, with a light brown stain and a cata...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security: get grandfathered in now??
Replies: 30
Views: 6571

From an emotional perspective, I also felt good that the decision was made and I didn't have to continue to analyze and worry about it for another 8 years. We made our decision and can move forward with our lives. Maybe it was a good decision and maybe not. But it's made now. This seems to be a fac...
by metabasalt
Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wall St Journal home delivery
Replies: 29
Views: 12535

I'm up in northcentral Wisconsin and have experienced a dozen missed deliveries in the past 6 months. I heard that WSJ had production problems at the Chicago-area printing plant---whether that is true or not, I am not sure. That said, WSJ has always been superb about crediting my account for the mi...
by metabasalt
Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Forum Turns 3 on 2-19
Replies: 57
Views: 8127

DartThrower wrote:This is the internet at its very best! Congratulations and a heartfelt thanks to those who made this site happen.
I think this says it all.
by metabasalt
Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pitchers and Catchers; Truck Day; baseball is back!
Replies: 66
Views: 5925

Over the course of my life I've actually found "deeply enjoys baseball" to be a reasonably good proxy for "is intelligent". On the other hand, the game is not enjoyed by those that are averse to analytical thinking or have short attention spans. Right? Just 15 years ago or so I couldn't stand baseb...
by metabasalt
Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pitchers and Catchers; Truck Day; baseball is back!
Replies: 66
Views: 5925

Does anyone seriously watch baseball on tv? I can understand going to a game and enjoying outside with the family - with the ballgame being a side attraction. If I want to "seriously watch" baseball then I'd rather do it on tv. The new Phillies stadium is great but I find I can't actually follow th...
by metabasalt
Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why you can't trust Google with your privacy
Replies: 8
Views: 1902

It's good that there are people like metalman to remind us to keep in our minds the possible trade off between privacy and convenience. But basically the way this goes is that someone throws up their hands and says "enough! I'm keeping my info to myself. Thankyouverymuch" and most other people say ...
by metabasalt
Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do/did you decide whether it is time to retire?
Replies: 125
Views: 18473

Re: It was a process:

The most important thing is to retire by choice, if possible. The second most important thing is to have an idea of what you will do with the time. My "retirement" began many years, about 15, before it became official. My line of work allowed decisions about when to work. I'm on the verge of retire...
by metabasalt
Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do/did you decide whether it is time to retire?
Replies: 125
Views: 18473

Yes, in general, I'm sure there are many reasons people don't retire. But the SPECIFIC individuals I'm thinking of fit more into the description I gave. One in particular used to have a reputation of being an OT "prostitute," as I heard many guys say. I knew several people like this at my newspaper...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas for avoiding cable
Replies: 72
Views: 11014

I've got cable. Why? I'm into sports big time. Comcast owns the broadcast rights to my Philadelphia Flyers (and Sixers if I followed basketball). Cable is the only option. In the Philly area, that means Comcast or Verizon FiOS, which also carries Comcast Sportsnet. Ditto. The main reason I have Com...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How many credit cards do you have?
Replies: 76
Views: 18682

Two cards:
1) A credit union card, with low rates, that's a joint card for me and my wife
2) Another credit card, which I use for my purchases.

My wife also has her separate credit card, which may count as #3. But we try to use the joint credit union card for 75% of our purchases.
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird feeding, gardening and the simple pleasures
Replies: 49
Views: 5999

Good thread. I used to buy black oil sunflower seeds to feed the birds. It kept them around longer because they have to crack them open. The cheapest place I found them was at Home Depot. As for the squirrels....well, they make fun targets. Another thing you can do is toss our your old or partially...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird feeding, gardening and the simple pleasures
Replies: 49
Views: 5999

We also had trouble keeping the squirrels and chipmunks out of the bird feeder. We found the solution. The garden store sells a squirrel repellent product. It is actually finely ground hot red pepper. The rodents won't touch it, but the birds don't notice it. A small amount mixed with the birdseed ...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird feeding, gardening and the simple pleasures
Replies: 49
Views: 5999

I live about 20 miles from Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River, which has an eagle watch in late January. One day recently, I saw a bald eagle circling above the field behind my house. He landed and appeared to snack on something in the field. It was a captivating experience. We try to vi...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do/did you decide whether it is time to retire?
Replies: 125
Views: 18473

Re: How do/did you decide whether it is time to retire?

Many signs are pointing toward pulling the plug this year, but I have reservations. I have come to the conclusion that whether or not I retire, I will have regrets. There are pros and cons either way. I am interested to know how others made the decision. Was it from the gut, or did you use a proces...
by metabasalt
Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:36 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How many athletic bogleheads?
Replies: 111
Views: 13445

Just some exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike at home right now. I do hope to return to swimming soon, always my favorite exercise. Before it closed at least 10 years ago there was a club in Philadelphia that had a heated outdoor pool, even in winter. So you could swim as it snowed. I loved i...
by metabasalt
Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This is a really cool site [world newspaper front pages]
Replies: 19
Views: 3035

I wonder how they get all those thousands of front pages. I mean, they have the front page of the free daily newspaper in Santa Barbara (pop. ~80,000) along with its "non-free" competitor. Quite impressive. A PDF of the front page of the paper is sent to them. An automated task that takes about 5 s...
by metabasalt
Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This is a really cool site [world newspaper front pages]
Replies: 19
Views: 3035

I wonder how they get all those thousands of front pages. I mean, they have the front page of the free daily newspaper in Santa Barbara (pop. ~80,000) along with its "non-free" competitor. Quite impressive. A PDF of the front page of the paper is sent to them. An automated task that takes about 5 s...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A neutral term for "high yield"/"junk" b
Replies: 25
Views: 2897

Re: A neutral term for "high yield"/"junk&quo

I don't like calling them "high yield" bonds; that's an obvious euphemism, designed to make them sound good. I mean, given a "low yield" bond and a "high yield" bond, who wouldn't want the high yield? I don't like calling them "junk bonds," either. That's spinning it in the other direction. Is "non...
by metabasalt
Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Unveils New Tablet Computer
Replies: 158
Views: 17772

Hi, In the NY Times today: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/business/media/01carr.html?8dpc Short of landing in a flying saucer and having a tablet teleported into his hands, there was no way that Steve Jobs could have lived up to the hype before last Wednesday’s iPad announcement. If Mel Brooks w...
by metabasalt
Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Could you/do you live on $50,000 a year?
Replies: 356
Views: 78547

Re: Live on $50k/yr

I don't have a cell phone, either. I find them annoying, rude, and the users generally selfish (or "cell-fish"). And I find non-cell phone users sanctimonious! I'll take sanctimonious over illegal (phone yakking while driving) or hazardous (in a doctor's office which has equipment sensitive to cell...
by metabasalt
Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple Unveils New Tablet Computer
Replies: 158
Views: 17772

Some day they will have a single device that will seamlessly and economically combine all the best aspects of the HDTV, PC, GPS, camera, book and phone, hopefully with appropriate security and privacy safeguards. Until then, I will watch HDTV on my 52" screen, use my powerful PC with its nice big s...