Search found 351 matches

by Alf 101
Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a new rice cooker from Zojirushi?
Replies: 75
Views: 5679

Re: Should I buy a new rice cooker from Zojirushi?

We own a slightly smaller version of the 2nd Zojirushi rice cooker the OP posted -- which is now going on to its 15th year. When (or if) it dies, I will buy another one the same day. Interestingly, I'm a big advocate that there's no room for single-taskers in your kitchen. You can always cook rice o...
by Alf 101
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Mixer
Replies: 59
Views: 2827

Re: Stand Mixer

I'll bump a question I threw out a few posts ago. Has anyone purchased a stand mixer attachment they thought was worth it?
by Alf 101
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stand Mixer
Replies: 59
Views: 2827

Re: Stand Mixer

I do own a stand mixer. It was a gift from my mother when we got married. Apparently she was from a place and of a generation where this was a thing couples should have when starting out life together. Perhaps it was because of utility, perhaps because of status, but it's been quite useful. I wonder...
by Alf 101
Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mushroom Growing 2020
Replies: 5
Views: 715

Re: Mushroom Growing 2020

As for accidentally eating the wrong mushroom, I think this is pretty easy to manage. Here's what I've learned: You want to start with a fairly fresh log. Something cut recently, and kept up off the ground and/or covered with a tarp. If you pull a log out of your wood pile, or find a good looking on...
by Alf 101
Wed Mar 18, 2020 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mushroom Growing 2020
Replies: 5
Views: 715

Mushroom Growing 2020

In these quiet times, with extra time at home, I've been looking around for a new project. We like to grow things, and have a few acres of property, much of it wooded. For some reason this led me to look out the back window and consider growing mushrooms. This wouldn't be a commercial enterprise, bu...
by Alf 101
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Re: Buying a Smoker

Greetings all. The OP is back to bump this. Now there are many better sites, I would argue, to discuss the specifics of smoking meat, than the Bogleheads.org. But I can reflect on my purchase. Last summer I purchased a 18" Weber Smokey Mountain, through a somewhat screaming deal I found on Craigslis...
by Alf 101
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?
Replies: 29
Views: 2075

Re: Any adult Nintendo Switch owners? Thoughts?

This is an interesting thread, which I find pretty relevant. Not only am I an adult, I was gifted a Nintendo Switch by my brother for Christmas, which I have yet to take out of the box. My wife thinks it could be fun, so I should crack it out, but just need to get started. I've found games to run $5...
by Alf 101
Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airfryer 2019
Replies: 18
Views: 1569

Re: Airfryer 2019

Thanks, and this is good to know. It's interesting in how my family is split among "foodies" and "non-foodies". My younger brother has a sous vide and "Frankencooler" set-up. He uses it for nearly everything, to the point where my older brother has complained he'd just like to see something grilled ...
by Alf 101
Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airfryer 2019
Replies: 18
Views: 1569

Re: Airfryer 2019

Thanks. I had actually thought about a lower priced air fryer though, given both the overall gift budget, and the level of speculation involved. A smaller, well-regarded, $50-60 model was more the direction I was considering. This is something in the range of a nice waffle iron (FWIW, ATK's highest ...
by Alf 101
Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airfryer 2019
Replies: 18
Views: 1569

Re: Airfryer 2019

If you are considering a cast iron dutch oven, this sees heavy rotation for us: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Quart-Enameled-Dutch-Enamel/dp/B000N4WN08 One concern I have, considering adding anything to the kitchen, is how much will I really use it. Do I need a "better" knife when the one I have cuts...
by Alf 101
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airfryer 2019
Replies: 18
Views: 1569

Airfryer 2019

The holiday season is about more than gifts, though it is pretty customary to exchange them. In this case, I'm thinking about one of my brothers, and whether an airfryer would be a good choice. He lives alone, has a pretty stressful job, and about a two hour daily commute. He uses all his vacation, ...
by Alf 101
Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone have a dishwasher they recommend?
Replies: 97
Views: 6472

Re: Does anyone have a dishwasher they recommend?

Chiming in from the cheap seat, a dishwasher has never been an appliance I wanted to pay a premium for. When we moved into our last house, we replaced the dishwasher. Our criteria were a stainless steel tub, an Energy Star rating, and a handle. We waited until an appropriate appliance-sale holiday, ...
by Alf 101
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who makes good leather and down jacket
Replies: 36
Views: 2663

Re: Who makes good leather and down jacket

FYI, Eddie Bauer has a good sale right now. The quite beefy Peak XV parka is $250 -- a deal for what you get, for sure.

If the cold you face is less formidable, there are also lighter down jacket options, also half off. Not sure how much longer this particular sale will go on...
by Alf 101
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations
Replies: 87
Views: 13526

Re: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations

Something occurred to me. Having cooked quite a bit, it seems practically the only knife I use is my chef's knife. Others have echoed this, that you don't need a set of knives, just a small few (or one). The classic debate, as you climb down the rabbit hole for chef knife selection, is between a wes...
by Alf 101
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who makes good leather and down jacket
Replies: 36
Views: 2663

Re: Who makes good leather and down jacket

Circling back to the down jacket, as many have noted, you can get by and stay warm with both high priced and lower priced options. Your best bets are to look at discount sites (e.g., Sierra Trading, Steep and Cheap), and clearance sales on other outdoor websites. You also may need to "market time" t...
by Alf 101
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit
Replies: 23
Views: 1664

Re: Ken Burns Country Music DVDs: Historic and Artistic Merit

I'll add to the chorus, I watched and enjoyed it as well. For a serious fan of country music, you might criticize it for having more breadth than depth. That said, it had great breadth. I was surprised how many of the songs were familiar, and how many of the stories were new to me about singers and ...
by Alf 101
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who makes good leather and down jacket
Replies: 36
Views: 2663

Re: Who makes good leather and down jacket

As for the down jacket, you do have any number of options. One consideration is how exactly do you plan to use it? Many people say things like they want a down jacket that isn't puffy, that doesn't make them look like the Michelin Man. This, in my humble opinion, kind of misses the point. You wear a...
by Alf 101
Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations
Replies: 87
Views: 13526

Re: Kitchen knife set. Good quality - Recommendations

I can second the recommendation not to buy a knife set. I would buy them singly, according to need. As an example, I use a chef's knife and sometimes a paring knife for most everything. I also have a serrated knife for bread. If I bought a five knife set, that leaves two I don't really have a use fo...
by Alf 101
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparedness for a winter road trip
Replies: 79
Views: 3964

Re: Preparedness for a winter road trip

So here's where the misunderstanding lies here. You might be justifiably snarky if we're talking about a trip to the mall, dropping kids off at school, or driving home from work. But if this is a road trip -- long hours in the car over many miles -- you do prepare differently. On a long and/or multi...
by Alf 101
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparedness for a winter road trip
Replies: 79
Views: 3964

Re: Preparedness for a winter road trip

Probably right, actually. If you're driving town to town, in highly populated areas, it's pretty much standard practice. Two thoughts: 1. I always have some extra warm clothing in the car when I drive around in the winter. Some years ago, the tie rod on my car cracked while taking a turn. I called A...
by Alf 101
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preparedness for a winter road trip
Replies: 79
Views: 3964

Re: Preparedness for a winter road trip

A lot of good advice here, most of which I'll echo. Along the eastern seaboard, you might not find great distances between towns. As you venture through the northern Midwest, or perhaps on another trip through the Mountain West, you want to think about self-reliance and potentially having to wait th...
by Alf 101
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)
Replies: 65
Views: 6174

Re: Your Fantasy Kitchen (Cookware-wise)

This is a most interesting question. First off, it's worth asking what kitchenware you use the most. For me it's an All-Clad 12" stainless steel frypan, a 5 quart Lodge Dutch Oven, an inexpensive non-stick frypan (the ATK recommended), and my knives. Then I'd ask, what do you want to cook that you c...
by Alf 101
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blenders Not Hard to Take Apart
Replies: 6
Views: 529

Blenders Not Hard to Take Apart

My dear spouse and I have different opinions about blenders. I find myself willing to make an investment for a high powered workhorse; she thinks spending more than about $30 for a blender is ridiculous. Our current blender is one she bought, and is strangely difficult to take apart. Much of this ma...
by Alf 101
Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 57932

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

To the OP, you'll have to let us know when the deal is done, and the long slog of house selling is finally in the rear view mirror. Many of us have been following this many-paged thread, so we'll be looking forward to hearing something positive, and your summary thoughts on the process and lessons l...
by Alf 101
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wedding Finances-Today
Replies: 107
Views: 9382

Re: Wedding Finances-Today

The one thing I can quickly add, is that the wedding premium is real. We got married several years ago, wanting a small gathering at an outside venue. My wife found a location, and called a nearby company about a chair rental quote. It seemed high, so I waited about an hour, can called the same plac...
by Alf 101
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best places to live to raise a family (cost doesn't matter)
Replies: 95
Views: 9862

Re: Best places to live to raise a family (cost doesn't matter)

Not that I often find myself in scenarios where costs do not matter, but this is an interesting one. It may be worth drill down on the criteria: 1. The OP graded outdoor activities as priority #1. But specifically what kind of activities? Do you want to cycle and snorkel, or XC ski and ice climb? As...
by Alf 101
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy new or used cars?
Replies: 183
Views: 21381

Re: Do you buy new or used cars?

Over time, typically one's income increases, giving the more financial freedom to make commercial choices. That said, I have never, and will likely never, buy a new car. The caveat I'll give is that I'm not a car guy. I like driving, but my criteria are generally a balance of fuel efficiency and pay...
by Alf 101
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise
Replies: 22
Views: 2293

Re: A week in Newfoundland, activites advise

I think the boat tour on Western Brook Pond is worth doing, but was not the high point on our trip. After parking your car, there's a roughly 1-2 mile walk on a wide gravel trail. Having come to Western Newfoundland mainly to hike, there are better options -- not much you'll want to photograph, and ...
by Alf 101
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What am I missing about HELOCs?
Replies: 31
Views: 3649

Re: What am I missing about HELOCs?

We used a HELOC some years ago when we purchased out first house. We had enough cash to put down 20% and avoid mortgage insurance. At the same time it was an older house, we got some money from the sellers after inspection showed the roof needed work, and were concerned about being stretched too thi...
by Alf 101
Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Stove
Replies: 23
Views: 1626

Re: Gas Stove

I definitely agree that it's a very bad idea to run your gas stove for warmth. On the other hand, if the power goes out, it's nice to still be able to boil water. If the house was cold, a hot drink is helpful; plus you could always fill water bottles with hot water, and tuck it in among blankets or ...
by Alf 101
Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Small, Portable, and Ductless Air Conditioners]
Replies: 68
Views: 6436

Re: [Small, Portable, and Ductless Air Conditioners]

As the OP, I'd like to circle back and say that we've been quite happy with out mini-split units. The first part of the summer was cool; we found we had the windows open most every day, and didn't have to run it. If our installation of this system could ensure that continued, it would be more than w...
by Alf 101
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?
Replies: 89
Views: 6020

Re: Whole Bean Coffee: Worth the effort?

It all depends on how much you like coffee. You can spend $350 for a coffee maker. You can spend $2000 for a grinder, and upwards of $8000 for a higher end espresso maker. The OP is probably not one of the people who would consider purchasing any of these. I think that grinding whole beans, to make ...
by Alf 101
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 57932

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

Just a quick note about the contingency of the buyer selling their current house. For our last purchase, we indeed have such a contingency; however, we already had an accepted offer on the house we were selling. This was more about scheduling the closing. The idea that you would try and make a conti...
by Alf 101
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Explaining the magic of compound interest to teenagers
Replies: 107
Views: 6961

Re: Explaining the magic of compound interest to teenagers

My dad presented the concept of compound interest to me as an adolescent -- probably 13 or 14, and I could do math. I think of this as "The Talk", for the impact it had on me. Of course there was another talk, but this may have been more in his wheelhouse. He started by talking about compound intere...
by Alf 101
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How unpleasant is the home buying/selling experience??
Replies: 40
Views: 4132

Re: How unpleasant is the home buying/selling experience??

I'll add that the degree to which home buying or selling is unpleasant will depend on your realtor. On our last purchase we had a great realtor; the process was still unpleasant, but we had a great relationship, and she was able to navigate and mitigate the complications. Prior to that we had realto...
by Alf 101
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Re: Buying a Smoker

The OP is chiming back in to report success. I managed to find a 18" Weber Smokey Mountain on Craigslist, brand new and still in the box, which I purchased on Saturday. I then went home, assembled it, and headed back out to buy charcoal, a chimney starter, wood chips, and ribs. I had two racks of ba...
by Alf 101
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Re: Buying a Smoker

OK, friends, the OP is back and I think I'm going to bite the bullet this weekend. I've found a number of smokers for sale locally on Craigslist, and am zeroing in on a Weber Smokey Mountain. The convenience factor of an electric smoker still has appeal, but there's more to go wrong with one of thos...
by Alf 101
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Re: Buying a Smoker

Thanks for all the input. The Weber Smokey Mountain has come up multiple times, so I'm starting to look on Craigslist. At present all I see are the 22" models, which is a little bigger than I'd like. I'm also become intrigued by an electric smoker, as "set it and forget it" has some appeal, especial...
by Alf 101
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Re: Buying a Smoker

Luckily the Brinkman isn't mine; my brother got it for free, from a friend of his who wanted to get rid of it. I can see why. I'm fine with putting in some work and time for the craft of it but it leaked a lot of smoke and heat, I had to add fuel frequently, and there were no vents to open and close...
by Alf 101
Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Re: Buying a Smoker

As the OP, I do own a Weber gas grill that I'm quite happy with. I might consider upgrading it, only it will not die. I had to replace the burner tubes and the grates once each due to rust and wear, but this was not expensive, simple to do, and reasonable maintenance given the use and wear it's seen...
by Alf 101
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Smoker
Replies: 130
Views: 11112

Buying a Smoker

Every so often I get an idea, and this time it's getting a smoker. I enjoy cooking, entertaining, and grilling, and this has made me curious. While no doubt I could get excellent technical information and specific product recommendations on a BBQ site, the questions are more about value. Basically i...
by Alf 101
Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon levels in home
Replies: 50
Views: 5295

Re: Radon levels in home

When we moved into our previous home, the 48 hour test revealed basement levels of 4.2 pCi/L. Since it was the basement, and no bedrooms were down there, we weren't overly concerned -- the basement had two sump pumps, after all. We did, however, purchase a kit to run a one-year test, through our sta...
by Alf 101
Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of mini split installation? [Ductless Air Conditioning/ Heat]
Replies: 36
Views: 3640

Re: Cost of mini split installation? [Ductless Air Conditioning/ Heat]

This is an interesting question. Last year we went through the process of having a mini-split system installed, so I thought I'd share our process: 1. Mini-split units are common elsewhere in the world, and while growing in popularity, in most cases still not a standard HVAC service in the USA. We b...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco or Sam's Club?
Replies: 134
Views: 10142

Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

We recently moved. Now the Costco is about 45 minutes away, which basically rules that out. In some cases that could work for you, but there are other choices closer. Where we moved from, our Costco was 25-30 minutes away, and the Sam's Club about 15 minutes. In truth, we went to Sam's Club more. It...
by Alf 101
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without a garage?
Replies: 95
Views: 6736

Re: Would you buy a house without a garage?

I'll add my vote to the group that wouldn't buy a house without a garage. The caveat is that I live, and have lived, in places with a winter. If you have snow and/or ice storms, and a freeze-thaw cycle, that's a lot of damage and dealing with your vehicle. As has been commented, people use their gar...
by Alf 101
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual coffee maker suggestion
Replies: 24
Views: 1739

Re: Dual coffee maker suggestion

Having just returned from a short vacation, one of the B&B places we stayed had a beverage station with an electric kettle and small French Presses. This was an extremely convenient set-up. The proprietor had several glass jars of different coffee options, which seemed to have been ground fairly rec...
by Alf 101
Wed May 22, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?
Replies: 53
Views: 4194

Re: Expensive front load washer/dryer worth it?

We didn't think so. Unless you're building a new house, you only have so many options for your washer/dryer size, and how you configure. Sure you could remodel your laundry room or basement, but you probably wouldn't. So we knew the size we had to work with, that stacking the washer and dryer wasn't...
by Alf 101
Wed May 22, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else looking forward to Game of Thrones?
Replies: 90
Views: 9503

Re: Anyone else looking forward to Game of Thrones?

At this point I am somewhat lukewarm about Game of Thrones -- the books, that is. The first three books came out at 2-year intervals, "Feast for Crows" then came out five years later, followed by "Dance with Dragons" six years after that -- in 2011. The author, Martin, is 70 years old and doesn't ex...
by Alf 101
Mon May 20, 2019 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Arc'teryx - Anyone else here splurge?
Replies: 30
Views: 4273

Re: Arc'teryx - Anyone else here splurge?

No lie, outdoor gear is expensive -- the the "dead bird" is one of the more pricey brands; it's rare to find sales below about 20%. But is it worth the splurge -- I'd say it depends on three factors: 1. Fit Different brands just fit differently; I'm sure all of us have seen this with shoes, and it's...
by Alf 101
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)
Replies: 495
Views: 57932

Re: Selling home- Demanding Buyer (Repairs)

I too have been following this thread, so please keep the updates coming. Very interesting all around. I find myself considering this from a buyer perspective. First off, I wouldn't buy a house without passing an inspection. I realize some markets are tight and you have to move fast; I'll just wait ...