Search found 37 matches

by Tortoisesque
Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What workout equipment to get?
Replies: 62
Views: 3988

Re: What workout equipment to get?

If I want to install a power rack in my garage (for barbell lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press), what would be the absolute minimum total floor area I would need for maneuvering and moving plates on/off from the side? Space is very limited in my house. I can look up the di...
by Tortoisesque
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best No Annual Fee Visa Credit Card with Cash Back
Replies: 56
Views: 4588

Re: Best No Annual Fee Visa Credit Card with Cash Back

I recently applied for the Uber Visa. The status page says my application was rejected and that the reason has been snail-mailed to me. It's been a week and the letter still hasn't arrived. My income is high, I have a near-perfect credit score, and I've never missed or been late on a credit payment...
by Tortoisesque
Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best No Annual Fee Visa Credit Card with Cash Back
Replies: 56
Views: 4588

Re: Best No Annual Fee Visa Credit Card with Cash Back

I don't have the Uber credit card but people I know swear by it. I think it is a Visa. I recently applied for the Uber Visa. The status page says my application was rejected and that the reason has been snail-mailed to me. It's been a week and the letter still hasn't arrived. My income is high, I h...
by Tortoisesque
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: lastpass noob question
Replies: 40
Views: 2925

Re: lastpass noob question

LastPass is highly configurable. For example, if you're really paranoid, you can go into the settings and configure things so that you have to type in your master password every time you use saved usernames/passwords on any web site. Just configure your LastPass settings in a way that strikes the ri...
by Tortoisesque
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Router for Small Apartment
Replies: 18
Views: 1213

Re: Router for Small Apartment

Agree with the suggestion to try the 2.4 GHz band. Your problem may be specific to the 5 GHz band. Another suggestion is to connect a device directly to the modem (not the router) using a long Ethernet cable and see if you notice the same issue. If so, the problem is with your modem or Internet prov...
by Tortoisesque
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ceiling soffit removal
Replies: 4
Views: 582

Re: Ceiling soffit removal

Yes, we had contractors remove our ceiling soffit as part of our kitchen remodel last year. In one of the invoices, it looks like the contractor charged a little under $600 for the combination of three items: - New water box for fridge - Add two new electrical outlets, one on the end of each peninsu...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IT compensation comparison
Replies: 256
Views: 20726

Re: IT compensation comparison

I also remember those days when it looked like prospects were grim for most in this career. Not quite sure what changed, though. Even if software is playing an increased role in the world, it can still be offshored, done by temporary workers, etc. The sentiment and pay have definitely changed (at l...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home repair - paying cash (dollar bills)
Replies: 60
Views: 4680

Re: Home repair - paying cash (dollar bills)

I would personally be hesitant to pay any contractor a large amount of physical cash (e.g., hundreds or thousands of dollars), mainly because of the possibility that they or someone they know might return later to burglarize your house under the assumption that you keep fat wads of cash somewhere. A...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ants immune to Terro or just lots of ants?
Replies: 38
Views: 2830

Re: Ants immune to Terro or just lots of ants?

Place the cat food dish in the middle of a wide, shallow dish filled with water. Creates a "moat" that's impossible for the ants to cross, so they can't get to the food.
by Tortoisesque
Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non stick pan preference?
Replies: 46
Views: 3326

Re: Non stick pan preference?

I have a ceramic-coated pan, and it works pretty well. Probably not quite as non-stick as my Teflon pans, but definitely sticks less than stainless steel. One thing to keep in mind is that some ceramic-coated pans seem to have a bumpy pattern on the bottom where it contacts the stovetop. I'm guessin...
by Tortoisesque
Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]
Replies: 88
Views: 7278

Re: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]

The Fed could have prevented it but dropped the ball somewhat, although the issue appears to be resolved now. It sounds very much like a on-off event. If the issue were "resolved now", why are the Fed's repo market operations continuing (possibly till the end of the year)? I'll listen to the podcas...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]
Replies: 88
Views: 7278

Re: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]

They are lending cash in exchange for collateral. US Treasuries are by far the largest collateral used in repo markets. But there are other assets used for collateral, like MBS. They keep lending until the market rate gets driven back down to their target rate. Okay, so in these recent articles whe...
by Tortoisesque
Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]
Replies: 88
Views: 7278

Re: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]

Just an overnight loan. The greater availability of these loans drives the interest rates back down to the target range instead of absurd numbers like 5%. Why is 5% absurd? It's just a rate determined by the market, right? Is the market absurd, or is it communicating something important to the banks?
by Tortoisesque
Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]
Replies: 88
Views: 7278

Re: Spike in Repo Rates [Fed Overnight Repurchase agreement]

One thing I'm not yet clear on: These billions of dollars that the Fed has been injecting into the repo market this past week, has it been simply giving it to the banks (i.e., a large hand-out), or has it been lending it to the banks at below-market interest rates (i.e., a much smaller hand-out)?
by Tortoisesque
Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop for a student
Replies: 8
Views: 696

Re: Laptop for a student

If they’ll be doing a lot of typing, consider a Lenovo Thinkpad. It’s currently the only laptop on the market with a decent keyboard.
by Tortoisesque
Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?
Replies: 159
Views: 7563

Re: How to handle "split-the-bill" group lunches?

In that situation, I would view the birthday meal as sort of one big “gift” for your friend, and you all chipped in for the gift equally. Think of it like this: What if you had thrown a catered party for your friend with food and alcohol provided? You probably would have split the bill for the party...
by Tortoisesque
Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $2k repairs on $12K car
Replies: 81
Views: 4973

Re: $2k repairs on $12K car

If you find a reputable, trustworthy repair shop where you deal directly with the owners, it can take some of the stress out of deciding which repairs are needed and which are completely unnecessary. Because they typically won't try to upsell you or pick your pockets. Regarding whether to maintain o...
by Tortoisesque
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise
Replies: 31
Views: 2960

Re: Noise

If all else fails, use a parabolic dish or “sound laser” (saser) to direct a really annoying sound at your neighbor’s house. If the cops can enforce noise complaints against you, then they can enforce them against your neighbor as well :twisted:

Kidding... I think.
by Tortoisesque
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen drawer slide hardware recommendations needed
Replies: 17
Views: 1042

Re: Kitchen drawer slide hardware recommendations needed

Whatever brand you choose, be sure to consider soft-close hardware if you don’t already have it. We recently remodeled our kitchen, and soft-close was a game changer for me. I’ll never go back to basic hinges and slides.
by Tortoisesque
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How old is your cellphone?
Replies: 168
Views: 8692

Re: How old is your cellphone?

I use an iPhone 7 Plus that I bought three years ago. Still plenty fast for email, web browsing, contactless payments, and streaming TV/video. So no reason to upgrade yet. Maybe if the 2020 iPhones have something special that gives them a real "wow factor," I'll finally upgrade.
by Tortoisesque
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related
Replies: 70
Views: 5028

Re: Help me out - What am I doing wrong - Job Hunt related

To a certain extent, interviewing is a numbers game that depends heavily on supply and demand. It depends a lot on the number of open positions at that company vs. the number of qualified applicants. I’ve had on-site interviews where it seemed like they were looking for any excuse NOT to hire me, an...
by Tortoisesque
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing Kitchen Faucet
Replies: 10
Views: 1194

Re: Replacing Kitchen Faucet

Another option for the second hole, if you don’t want to put an air switch there, is to add a small drinking water faucet that’s connected to a carbon or reverse-osmosis filter in the cabinet under the sink. That’s what I did in my kitchen.
by Tortoisesque
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving soft skills
Replies: 35
Views: 3305

Re: Improving soft skills

Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! There’s a lot I can use here to start improving. Public speaking actually doesn’t bother me that much if it’s a topic I’m well prepared for. It’s informal one-on-one and small group conversations that are much trickier for me because they involve thinking ...
by Tortoisesque
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving soft skills
Replies: 35
Views: 3305

Re: Improving soft skills

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:28 pm
* If I Understood You Would I Have This Look On My Face? by Alan Alda
Alan Alda, the guy from M.A.S.H., founded a center for communicating science? Wow, TIL. I’ll definitely read that one.
by Tortoisesque
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving soft skills
Replies: 35
Views: 3305

Improving soft skills

What are your favorite books, videos, exercises, etc. to improve soft skills (especially conversation skills)? I’m fairly introverted but would very much like to learn how to more outwardly be the type of person that other people enjoy interacting with. Often I’m afraid to strike up casual conversat...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House purchase (cash)... wire transfer or cashier's check?
Replies: 32
Views: 2178

Re: House purchase (cash)... wire transfer or cashier's check?

Bought a house recently. Escrow company required a wire transfer.

We just called the escrow company (using the phone number we knew to be correct) and verbally verified the account and routing numbers before pulling the trigger.
by Tortoisesque
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to best obtain vehicle for older parents?
Replies: 20
Views: 1544

Re: How to best obtain vehicle for older parents?

We gave my wife’s parents (in their 70s and 80s) her 10-year-old Honda Accord in great condition as a “hand-me-down” when their 20+ year old Toyota Corolla started becoming too unreliable. Made our decision easy. They really like it. So our next decision became what my wife’s next car would be. She ...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your Uber passenger rating?
Replies: 118
Views: 6318

Re: What's your Uber passenger rating?

One other thing I forgot to mention: Based on my own observation, most Uber drivers in my city seem to have ratings of 4.95+ based on thousands of rides.

Yet it looks like the average passenger rating (at least among Bogleheads) is nowhere near 4.95. Interesting.
by Tortoisesque
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your Uber passenger rating?
Replies: 118
Views: 6318

What's your Uber passenger rating?

(Note: To check your Uber passenger rating, open the app, tap the menu in the upper-left of the screen, and read the number just below your name.) My rating is 4.86 after using Uber several times per month for four years now. I don't think one's passenger rating really matters (as long as it's not ...
by Tortoisesque
Wed May 08, 2019 3:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Goodman HVAC System
Replies: 21
Views: 2133

Re: Goodman HVAC System

I live in Southern California as well. Bought a house a little over a year ago and got a new condenser and furnace, both Goodman. Both have worked fine for the first year (limited sample size, I know). No complaints so far.
by Tortoisesque
Wed May 08, 2019 3:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ants - aargh
Replies: 69
Views: 4533

Re: ants - aargh

If there are any tree branches touching your roof, the ants might be coming in that way. So trim branches away from your roof. Also try to trim branches and other plants so that they don’t touch your walls, if possible. Those are all potential entry points for ants that bypass the poison sprayed on ...
by Tortoisesque
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2012 Honda Fit MPG issue
Replies: 50
Views: 3698

Re: 2012 Honda Fit MPG issue

Have you been doing more driving on hills lately? I drive a 2007 Honda Fit, and I find that if I'm driving up a mountain or something, it kills my MPG. The MPG is of course higher going downhill, but it doesn't make up for the crappy uphill MPG. So I suspect that if you're doing a lot of driving in ...
by Tortoisesque
Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?
Replies: 74
Views: 6778

Re: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?

I love it! Only on the Internet would you find dozens of people arguing to deconstruct an entire wall to preserve a sketch of Flipper in the bathroom, and dozens more arguing that it looks like crap.

God bless the Internet!
by Tortoisesque
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?
Replies: 74
Views: 6778

Re: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?

How about put a big very nice mirror over it,then paint around the mirror. Later when you sell the house just remember to remove the mirror. Not a bad idea! Unfortunately, in this case the painting is directly across from the toilet. So every person who sits on the toilet in that bathroom would the...
by Tortoisesque
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?
Replies: 74
Views: 6778

Re: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?

Thanks for all of the ideas and suggestions so far, everyone! I hadn't even thought about the complication introduced by the weak points in the drywall where it attaches to the studs and also where it forms a seam with adjoining drywall panels. Sounds like a certified pain in the ass to remove undam...
by Tortoisesque
Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?
Replies: 74
Views: 6778

How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?

New forum member, first post. My wife and I recently bought a house, and even though this detail wasn't mentioned by the seller or the realtors, one of the bathrooms has a dolphin painted directly on the wall by the famous marine artist Wyland. It's about 6 feet high and 3.5 feet wide. Apparently on...