Search found 341 matches

by InvisibleAerobar
Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to prevent shoe creases?
Replies: 18
Views: 1800

Re: How to prevent shoe creases?

I wore dress shoes for decades. Allen-Edmunds for most of the years but for me, the best routine was to use shoe trees religiously, try not wear the same pair two days in a row and use shoe cream and polish frequently to keep the leather supple. My shoes would typically last years if taken care of....
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If we visit Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway, do we "need" to see Great Smoky Mtns. NP, too?
Replies: 40
Views: 3780

Re: If we visit Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Parkway, do we "need" to see Great Smoky Mtns. NP, too?

The "mountains" in Shenandoah are different from the ones further south. As a quick nomenclature clarification, the Catoctins in Maryland and stretching all the way down to Great Smoky in Tennessee are all part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the characteristics of each are quite different. The Cat...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: duckduckgo
Replies: 31
Views: 3882

Re: duckduckgo

So I took a look at what google is saving from my searches, and my hair stood on end. The mapping info is particularly unsettling. I might as well be wearing a tracking device. Could you either share how you did this or point to a link that explains how? I'd be interested in doing the same. Thank y...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Req for gardeners/ snow removers to have liability and workmen's comp
Replies: 9
Views: 745

Re: Req for gardeners/ snow removers to have liability and workmen's comp

Good question. Had to look this up. 1. As an employer, when am I required to carry worker's compensation insurance? Under the Worker's Compensation Act (Act), you must carry worker's compensation insurance if you do any one of the following: Usually employ 3 or more full-time or part-time employees....
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Req for gardeners/ snow removers to have liability and workmen's comp
Replies: 9
Views: 745

Req for gardeners/ snow removers to have liability and workmen's comp

There are two yard tasks I would not do myself: leaf removal and weeding, and I'm planning on hiring someone to do the work. Some of the potential candidates carry insurance (which i take to mean liability) but no workmen's comp. Others carry both. B/c I live in Wisconsin and will be traveling in th...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Addressing complicated answer to Global Entry question "Have you ever ... had charges that were ... removed"?
Replies: 11
Views: 2008

Re: Addressing complicated answer to Global Entry question "Have you ever ... had charges that were ... removed"?

thanks to everyone for chiming in After receiving a PM and further moderator review, this thread is unlocked to continue the discussion. This is a consumer issue which addresses a question of how to handle a particular incident when applying for Global Entry. Thank you and fellow mods for looking in...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Addressing complicated answer to Global Entry question "Have you ever ... had charges that were ... removed"?
Replies: 11
Views: 2008

Addressing complicated answer to Global Entry question "Have you ever ... had charges that were ... removed"?

OP Edit: in hopes of keeping the thread on point and travel related, I think what I really want to know is how can I, before the actual interview, apprise TSA/CBP of the fact that there is something more complicated and have something indicating that I did indeed make a bona fide attempt of doing so...
by InvisibleAerobar
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does one find dentists who would provide cleaning under GEHA HDHP
Replies: 6
Views: 502

Re: How does one find dentists who would provide cleaning under GEHA HDHP

Thanks to everyone for chiming in. Just to confirm, is it a fixed fee that GEHA remits after the fact, and the policy holder will end up paying extra? Or would it be a percentage that GEHA remits? If it's the latter, what does GEHA consider to be "standard and reasonable" for cleaning? So for instan...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does one find dentists who would provide cleaning under GEHA HDHP
Replies: 6
Views: 502

How does one find dentists who would provide cleaning under GEHA HDHP

It's really straight forward to find dentist who take GEHA Connection Dental; I'm specifically inquiring about the preventative care benefit of GEHA HDHP. I am under (perhaps incorrect) understanding that GEHA HDHP provides 2x/year teeth cleaning on top of what GEHA Dental provides. This was touted ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Triathlon Bike?
Replies: 31
Views: 2350

Re: Best Triathlon Bike?

+1 to a professional bike fit. I'm not a triathlete but I do a little long-distance bike touring and a bike that feels great riding a couple blocks around the store could turn out to be a disaster in the real world. Exactly this One should really start with fit coordinates (which a fitter will prov...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?
Replies: 180
Views: 7256

Re: First-hand experiences with United Basic Economy for families?

So what if nobody offers to switch and the seat for the kid is a center seat away from parents? That's a serious question, I do not know what happens in that situation. Do they force a switch? I don't know either. I can think of a few things that might happen. The people sitting next to the kid mig...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery powered lawn mower
Replies: 54
Views: 3338

Re: Battery powered lawn mower

Any advice? Brand? Good experience or bad? I have about a 1/2 acre yard. Some of the 80+ volt batteries seem like they should do the trick. Any help appreciated. that's quite the acreage for a battery-powered mower to handle, and as another poster above pointed out, you are going to need batteries,...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Could frozen fruit be actually moldy, or am I imagining things?
Replies: 9
Views: 1092

Re: Could frozen fruit be actually moldy, or am I imagining things?

thanks for the responses, and appreciate the patience for humoring something rather trivial. seems like I was perhaps unlucky with the bag. I'm hoping it's isolated I purchased a bag of organic cherries from Costco, and the bag contained three cherries that tasted just awful. First time I ate a bad ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Could frozen fruit be actually moldy, or am I imagining things?
Replies: 9
Views: 1092

Could frozen fruit be actually moldy, or am I imagining things?

I purchased a bag of organic cherries from Costco, and the bag contained three cherries that tasted just awful. First time I ate a bad one (a week ago), I thought "wth", but went along, only realizing something was wrong afterwards. The next time, I was more alerted to the presence of a cherry that ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial to-do checklist for federal employees?
Replies: 36
Views: 1511

Re: financial to-do checklist for federal employees?

what would folks recommend for long-term and short-term disability coverage? A few years ago, I inquired with Aflac, and the rep on the line said my work place should have it (which obviously isn't the case). Any company that is reasonable? Also, what's the guarantee for the federal LTC? Many privat...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy Pistachio and Salmon?
Replies: 30
Views: 3084

Re: Best place to buy Pistachio and Salmon?

the Costco near where I live (Madison, WI) has wild, in-season sock-eye for $10/lb, the same price as what they charge for farmed salmon raised without antibiotics. btwn that and the price Costco charges for organic chicken breast ($4.50/lb), it's very hard to find another retailer that sells upscal...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much discount could I expect on end-of-season mowers and trimmers
Replies: 18
Views: 1366

Re: How much discount could I expect on end-of-season mowers and trimmers

thanks for the responses; looks like we'll have to bit the bullet and pay our tribute to the Despot This is something from the past that is really no longer true. In days gone by, independent dealers bought inventory and then discounted it deeply at the end of the season to avoid the costs associate...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much discount could I expect on end-of-season mowers and trimmers
Replies: 18
Views: 1366

Re: How much discount could I expect on end-of-season mowers and trimmers

Unless you really put some effort into bargain hunting or buying a display model I doubt you will come out much ahead of just buying now. thanks for chiming in that's what I felt was going to be the case Lowes had some on sale pretty significantly recently as well as walmart. Not sure if reflected ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much discount could I expect on end-of-season mowers and trimmers
Replies: 18
Views: 1366

How much discount could I expect on end-of-season mowers and trimmers

Trying to decide whether it'd be worthwhile waiting for a good discount (and hiring someone to mow the lawn for 4 times in the interim) vs. purchasing now. The mowers I'm interested in currently cost ~$500-650 (battery-powered, self propelled). I live in Madison, WI, and I get the sense that the loc...
by InvisibleAerobar
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?
Replies: 90
Views: 5234

Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

....Do you like fresh corn on the cob, or the canned corn better? I like fresh better. YMMV Greg in West Mitten But the level of effort to prepare (and clean up from) corn on the cob isn't meaningfully greater than canned corn. The same can't be said of beans vs. preground coffee. This makes no sen...
by InvisibleAerobar
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?
Replies: 90
Views: 5234

Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

One problem I have with the big Costco bags of whole bean is I can't drink the huge bags up fast enough. Storing whole beans require some care too. Grinding is kind of like tilting your portfolio. Occasionally I got the grinding "just right". Sometimes I got it wrong. Certainly more room for error ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update in post 1: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.
Replies: 40
Views: 2277

Re: Update in post 1: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:35 pm
This is terrific news!!!
You're going to have an awesome time with it.
Please post pictures when you are able to and comfortable with it.
Here are a few to get you started:
nicely done

and have fun with the new camera, OP. It's by far one of the better superzooms
by InvisibleAerobar
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to buy Pistachio and Salmon?
Replies: 30
Views: 3084

Re: Best place to buy Pistachio and Salmon?

Hi, I hope this is okay to ask here. Is there a place or website to get a low-price deal on Pistachios and Wild salmon (fresh or frozen, not canned). I used to see deals for Wild salmon at $10/lb at the local stores, but these days I see like $15/lb and upwards. Thanks. Trader Joe's gets rather clo...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Federal employee ... Choosing Healthcare
Replies: 19
Views: 1534

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 BC...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Update in post 1: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.
Replies: 40
Views: 2277

Re: Panasonic LUMIX DSC-FZ35 camera.

Yes, I do want an EVF since I find lcd screens difficult to use in bright sunshine. Batteries seem like they are under $20. So are doable. I’d like to stay under $100 if possible. Be careful about overpaying for the FZ35, there is nothing wrong with it if you can get it cheap but if everything adds...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual coffee maker suggestion
Replies: 24
Views: 1644

Re: Dual coffee maker suggestion

Get 2 of these. Mira 12 oz. French Press. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OD9X3S0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Boil water in a Hot Shot countertop water heater (fast), never heat with no water or gasket will leak. We've used these for a long time. https://smile.amazon.com/...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?
Replies: 148
Views: 22197

Re: Trader Joe's Fans - good value?

SueG5123 wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:54 pm
For any oenophiles... a plug for the Pontificus wine at TJ’s. It replicates an excellent Cotes du Rhône in every way but price!
a few years ago, they carried a delicious Amarone di Valpolicella for $25/bottle. Too bad I could no longer find it...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for Federal Employees
Replies: 16
Views: 1279

Re: Resources for Federal Employees

I've found HR at my agency (I think ~12k ppl?) somewhat lacking. For instance, HR didn't know about LEXFSA (the person speaking to me said one cannot simultaneously be on FSA and HSA, without knowing the exception for LEXFSA) and what would happen to funds from previous year's general-purpose FSA wh...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat May 25, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grad school financing - hard sciences
Replies: 31
Views: 2688

Re: Grad school financing - hard sciences

But, say one wants to do medical / pharmaceutical research, in industry rather than academia. Would a PhD in biochemistry or molecular biology not be advantageous for that career path? Better to stop at Master's? Of course a doctorate would help in general, but the question is really one of opportu...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu May 23, 2019 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grad school financing - hard sciences
Replies: 31
Views: 2688

Re: Grad school financing - hard sciences

is it typical for master's and Ph.D. students to pay/finance their own way? Or typical to get the type of support I mentioned above? Why is this actionable? Well, my oldest child is in high school and starting to think about colleges, with the idea (I know things change) of pursuing an advanced deg...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue May 14, 2019 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo S90 T5 Momentum - Thoughts and Suggestions???
Replies: 41
Views: 3467

Re: Volvo S90 T5 Momentum - Thoughts and Suggestions???

RE: Consumer Reports (subjective) "Reliability" Volvo S90 2016 owner: "Spotify took 30 seconds to load. I have had 2 software updates to fix it" Consumers Reports: "Totally unacceptable" :shock: Lexus RX 2015 owner: "My 80's Casio style clock is flawless" Consumers Reports: "Oh yeah, now we are tal...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu May 09, 2019 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good town to stop on I-81
Replies: 42
Views: 3533

Re: Good town to stop on I-81

We will be driving up I-81 North from Charlotte to Harrisburg and are looking for suggestions on a good place to spend Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. We'll have our dog and road bikes . Looking for a place that will be fairly quiet but with a nice downtown. Thanks. I used to live in N...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed May 08, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do YOU make coffee?
Replies: 201
Views: 9870

Re: How do YOU make coffee?

French press w/ pre-ground coffee. Considering grinding my own beans but not sure if it's worth the cost and if I'll notice the difference. Looking into the baratza encore, not interested in hand grinders right now. With a grinder, you'll at least retain freshness for longer periods of time. Oxidat...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rational way to thinking about laptop replacement/repair
Replies: 16
Views: 1148

Re: Rational way to thinking about laptop replacement/repair

$149 + $49 = $198, doesn't look like a good deal for a 2-year protection of a $500 item. It assumes a 40% chance of total loss within the warranty period... Extended warranties/service contracts are seldom a good bet, but I think it's worked out so far for OP. What would be a reasonable rate? Is th...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rational way to thinking about laptop replacement/repair
Replies: 16
Views: 1148

Re: Rational way to thinking about laptop replacement/repair

thanks to all who responded For option 1, are they giving you a new one with updated spec (today's standard) or are they giving you a new one but with the same spec as the old one. For the former, pay for the protection. For the latter, self-insure. completely new computer, with updated spec OP, Sta...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rational way to thinking about laptop replacement/repair
Replies: 16
Views: 1148

Rational way to thinking about laptop replacement/repair

Due to clumsiness, I've had some bad experiences handling laptops, so when I buy more expensive ones (say above $500), I almost always spring for the 2-year drop and spill warranty. As it happens, I purchased a Dell laptop from the Microsoft Store in the summer of 2015. Laptop was $600; drop and spi...
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fed interviewing for a private sec job - value of FERS pension?
Replies: 37
Views: 2593

Re: Fed interviewing for a private sec job - value of FERS pension?

X528 - interesting way of thinking about it, but doesn't that assume I can't tap into any principle? I think living off the interest of a lump sump and a FERS annuity are a bit different - the lump sump becomes part of my estate but the FERS annuity gets put in the ground with me :) :D You could ap...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes: marginal rate now vs effective rate in retirement
Replies: 198
Views: 10315

Re: Taxes: marginal rate now vs effective rate in retirement

The OP’s original question (unless I misread it) was not about incremental contributions above a base level (or those done in the past vs the future as you say). He was debating with his friend the tax consequences of making traditional 401k contributions vs. Roth 401K contributions in general. As ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Rent vs. Buy Calculator What Inputs Should I Assume?
Replies: 17
Views: 1005

Re: NYT Rent vs. Buy Calculator What Inputs Should I Assume?

surfstar wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:33 am
I think this pdf should be view-able

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t0hpX ... 87I1OQxqmR
thanks for sharing!
by InvisibleAerobar
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Rent vs. Buy Calculator What Inputs Should I Assume?
Replies: 17
Views: 1005

Re: NYT Rent vs. Buy Calculator What Inputs Should I Assume?

I can come up with all sorts of wild scenarios, but given the 2019 market, is there a consensus on the forum as to what future assumptions one should put into the rent/buy calculators? And more importantly, does the NYT one include the 'opportunity cost' of the down payment & closing costs? Specifi...
by InvisibleAerobar
Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes: marginal rate now vs effective rate in retirement
Replies: 198
Views: 10315

Re: Taxes: marginal rate now vs effective rate in retirement

I was trying to explain to a friend why I contribute to a traditional 401k as opposed to a Roth 401k. He strongly disagrees with my logic and it has me questioning myself. I explained that every dollar I contribute to my traditional 401k now would have been taxed at my marginal rate of 22%. When I ...
by InvisibleAerobar
Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PODS or similar services for moving lots of boxes?
Replies: 12
Views: 1236

Re: PODS or similar services for moving lots of boxes?

so basically, I need to obtain permission from my apartment management agency first? and I probably can't just have it parked on the side of the street (my car goes either in the lot or on street) either, I'd presume
by InvisibleAerobar
Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PODS or similar services for moving lots of boxes?
Replies: 12
Views: 1236

Re: PODS or similar services for moving lots of boxes?

A few questions (apologies if the answer is obvious):

-the moving labor, are they insured (as in, won't come and sue you if there's a workmen's comp issue)?

-do they supply moving materials such as furniture wraps and bubble wraps?

-I presume one has to live in a hotel while waiting for delivery?
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USPS In transit Arriving Late
Replies: 37
Views: 12122

Re: USPS In transit Arriving Late

I purchased an item on eBay mailed by First Class Package that had a "Guaranteed Delivery" date of yesterday that has not arrived yet. According to the USPS tracking, it states "In Transit-Arriving Late" and the last scan was at a regional original facility in a major city about 50 miles from the s...
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Errors with "first unread post" function?
Replies: 2
Views: 438

Re: Errors with "first unread post" function?

That's very good to know, thanks!

Never realized that big circular button to the left of thread title had any function.

Out of curiosity, when the "first unread post" function was created, did the mods intend to have it behave in a manner identical to that of the big circular button?
by InvisibleAerobar
Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Errors with "first unread post" function?
Replies: 2
Views: 438

Errors with "first unread post" function?

For some reason, when there are more than 1 page of posts (mine is set to 50 posts/page), the first unread post function always takes me to the last page, even though the first unread post may be located on a previous page. For some odd reason, lately, many of the first unread posts happened to be t...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priority Express 1-Day might in effect by a 2-Day service?
Replies: 10
Views: 694

Re: Priority Express 1-Day might in effect by a 2-Day service?

update: it actually did arrive on time, after all. I'm glad that it all worked out in the end, especially as the rental unit has attracted a lot of interest, and having the enclosed check delivered on time essentially allowed me to be first in line. Nonetheless, I'm a bit befuddled why USPS indicate...
by InvisibleAerobar
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Advice after bicycle accident
Replies: 48
Views: 2931

Re: Insurance Advice after bicycle accident

In the unlikely case you're not just being snarky.. The other cyclist made an illegal maneuver which started the chain reaction . He tried passing the car over double solid yellow lines. The car hit the other cyclist, then his brakes hard and did a small swerve, my wife hit the trunk of the car and...
by InvisibleAerobar
Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priority Express 1-Day might in effect by a 2-Day service?
Replies: 10
Views: 694

Re: Priority Express 1-Day might in effect by a 2-Day service?

USPS "overnight" service depends on the origin and destination zip codes. Some pairs are defined as two-day service even though you're charged the overnight price. FWIW -- out of maybe a dozen Express Mail envelopes I sent when my folks lived on a North Carolina barrier island, maybe three or four ...