Search found 5987 matches

by Mudpuppy
Thu May 28, 2020 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?
Replies: 127
Views: 10386

Re: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?

My microwave died about two weeks into the shelter-at-home order in California. I'm not sure if the replacement purchased with one-day shipping counts as a pandemic buy, but I was glad to only be without a microwave for one day given how many leftovers I have in the freezer.
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 28, 2020 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Honda Civic Air Conditioning issues
Replies: 16
Views: 747

Re: 2016 Honda Civic Air Conditioning issues

After all the "my Honda/Toyota is going strong at 384,000 miles and I've never even changed the oil" posts, I can't believe we have all these reports of failures. But $250 seems like an amazingly good deal to me. That's a mix of a different generation of cars and survivor bias. You hear a lot about...
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 28, 2020 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Falcon 9 Launch to the International Space Station
Replies: 44
Views: 2326

Re: Falcon 9 Launch to the International Space Station

I mean to see it in person, like the launch itself. The landing of the booster will likely happen not too long after the launch. For safety reasons, nobody is allowed anywhere near the actual launch site when it happens, if you're somewhere in the region you can likely find a spot that has some sor...
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 28, 2020 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?
Replies: 37
Views: 3124

Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

I have the same problem but my deadline is September 30th. I suppose I could scrub the mortar between my bricks with a toothbrush, or make little rocks out of big rocks. To make things worse - our currently policy is if you have flown on commercial airplane you have to self quarantine for 14 days u...
by Mudpuppy
Wed May 27, 2020 1:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?
Replies: 37
Views: 3124

Re: How can I use 6 weeks of vacation in the next 6 months in the Covid era?

Plan a "staycation", with a focus on family bonding and fun activities for your six year old. My exact suggestions for such a staycation would depend on if you have a yard or not. But keep in mind that it doesn't have to be fancy to be memorable for your child. You could also use a staycation to tac...
by Mudpuppy
Tue May 26, 2020 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2020
Replies: 133
Views: 9246

Re: Gardening 2020

I've been using basil a lot in cooking lately and "live" basil from the grocery store is rarely very lively, so I took the risk of buying basil seeds from Amazon. The first sprouts are just coming up from my south-facing indoor garden. What remains to be seen is if they actually grow into basil.
by Mudpuppy
Tue May 26, 2020 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime delayed shipping
Replies: 39
Views: 2712

Re: Amazon Prime delayed shipping

Yes, my daughter does live at the same address which is what makes the whole situation weird. I appreciate your explanation and it makes sense. I spent some time on chat with Amazon customer service and after a while, the delivery dates changed from June 3 to May 26 so I'm not sure what changes wer...
by Mudpuppy
Tue May 26, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice for undertaking a PhD
Replies: 47
Views: 2879

Re: Financial advice for undertaking a PhD

There are too many unanswered questions here for me to give good advice, e.g., your field, whether you will seek an academy, business (or other) position, whether this will be a US degree, private or public, etc. There's far more involved here than just the financial considerations (which seem to b...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 25, 2020 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: would you keep this life ins policy?
Replies: 8
Views: 760

Re: would you keep this life ins policy?

Make sure you are very firm with the insurance company about your decision to cancel and that you do not want to be contacted about a policy with them again. That won't stop postal mail from coming in, and perhaps not even email, but you want to take a firm hand to avoid them repeatedly calling you ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 25, 2020 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17474

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

That's still well above the boiling point of water at sea level. And it's hotter than you're able to reach boiling water on the stove top, even if you add salt. You're still missing the part where I said that I discard the original water used to render the beans safe and put the beans into fresh li...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 25, 2020 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17474

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

One safety note with dried beans: Kidney beans, particularly red kidney beans, cannellini beans, broad beans, and some other bean varieties have a toxin that MUST be cooked to an internal temperature of 100C (boiling) for at least 10 minutes to neutralize the toxin. Tests have showed that 80C (slow...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 25, 2020 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Instant Pot users here?
Replies: 142
Views: 17474

Re: Any Instant Pot users here?

► No pre-soaking anything. I never bothered cooking dried beans and grains that require pre-soaking before. Now that I don't have to go through the bother of pre-soaking anything, it's opened up a whole new list of foods I cook on a regular basis. One safety note with dried beans: Kidney beans, par...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 24, 2020 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So what are you cooking
Replies: 267
Views: 15549

Re: So what are you cooking

I don't know about others, but I'm having to play a Tetris game with my freezer contents every time I have more leftovers than intended. I have not yet succumbed to the temptation to get a second chest freezer. Today, I am making something where I know it will be eaten between tonight's dinner and t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 24, 2020 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2020
Replies: 133
Views: 9246

Re: Gardening 2020

Does anyone have any suggestions/tips for (not too high) trellising for winter squash? I have a medium-sized community garden plot, so while I've let the vines spread out when I was growing in a different location, I can't give up that much real estate now. I was thinking about trying to build an a...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 24, 2020 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime delayed shipping
Replies: 39
Views: 2712

Re: Amazon Prime delayed shipping

Yes, my daughter does live at the same address which is what makes the whole situation weird. I appreciate your explanation and it makes sense. I spent some time on chat with Amazon customer service and after a while, the delivery dates changed from June 3 to May 26 so I'm not sure what changes wer...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime delayed shipping
Replies: 39
Views: 2712

Re: Amazon Prime delayed shipping

Nope. Things have changed, and it is easy to see how Amazon's business might have been affected. An unexpected trip to Home Depot last week where I found myself being only one of only a very few masked people in a crowded store made me appreciate having items delivered to my doorstep--even if I hav...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?
Replies: 40
Views: 2376

Re: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?

The First rule bout Security is: one doesn't talk about Security! I was thinking to comment, but saw this first. Sounds like good advice. There's a saying from cybersecurity professionals: Security through obscurity is the same as no security at all. In other words, you should be trusting the mathe...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?
Replies: 40
Views: 2376

Re: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?

Just make sure that you use a different secure password for each of your accounts (investment and otherwise). Limiting yourself to passwords that you can easily remember, writing down your passwords on paper, and using the same password everywhere are all security no-nos. FYI, it's okay to write yo...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?
Replies: 40
Views: 2376

Re: How often do you change passwords on your investment accounts?

Let's look at some common scenarios were an attacker can get a password to see when changing a password regularly might be useful. Password file is stolen from the site: In this case, changing the password before the attacker can employ techniques to crack the password might help you mitigate the da...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 2:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial advice for undertaking a PhD
Replies: 47
Views: 2879

Re: Financial advice for undertaking a PhD

There's a reason there's a phrase "living like a graduate student". As others have noted, a good program will provide a TA / RA position that comes with tuition waivers and a small stipend, but it's a very small stipend. I personally had a fellowship and also took on summer internships with a local ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime delayed shipping
Replies: 39
Views: 2712

Re: Amazon Prime delayed shipping

Refer to this thread from a couple of weeks ago for people's sentiments on this matter: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=313925 I've personally received most things within a reasonable time frame (a week or so), although I still have one item sitting on "order received" for a co...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal spending out of control after Covid-19
Replies: 120
Views: 9568

Re: Personal spending out of control after Covid-19

For me, the only budget category that has gone up is groceries. I have a high-risk individual in my household, so we've been using purely curbside pickup or delivery and that is more expensive. Also, I've been adding more pantry staples to each order (pasta, beans, lentils, etc.), just to be stocked...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero
Replies: 85
Views: 5604

Re: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero

I would agree with this approach, but I have another reason to recommend looking closely at your spending. Eliminating the 403b match is the first sign of fiscal distress at your institution. Universities will likely suffer more fiscal distress due to the economy, changes in research funding and fu...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 23, 2020 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2020
Replies: 133
Views: 9246

Re: Gardening 2020

My gardening irritation this year is much, much smaller than rabbits and deer. California has a new invasive mosquito that is active earlier in the day (even mid-afternoon) and bites multiple times. I had to stop wearing shorts last year because of these mosquitoes, but I always forget about my arms...
by Mudpuppy
Fri May 22, 2020 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 287
Views: 28772

Re: College in fall

I would not want to audit the code coming from someone who did those five courses without the appropriate mathematical and critical thinking background and without diving deep into CS principles (particularly cybersecurity and test/audit principles). Those would be the sort of coders to not realize...
by Mudpuppy
Fri May 22, 2020 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero
Replies: 85
Views: 5604

Re: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero

If University of PA decides to not contribute 9% I’ll just have to find ways to save an extra 9% until they start contributing again. Even though it’s in our union contract that the university contributes 9% I was told there are loopholes for the university to stop until they are able to do so. My ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 21, 2020 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 Savings Promo
Replies: 96
Views: 11113

Re: Capital One 360 Savings Promo

- It takes a full 6-7 days for $$ to be available in CO after transferring, which seems like a long time. The $$ comes out of my transferred account within 1-2 days, but sits in "processing" for almost a week before becoming available. It does look like those funds are gaining interest, but still, ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 21, 2020 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero
Replies: 85
Views: 5604

Re: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero

Speaking from experience, it's a good time to start building a diverse list of option B's... This is very good advice, although I prefer to call this planning for "Option I's", where the I stands for iteration, imaginary, irrational, and infinite. It's a little bit of a math and computer science jo...
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 21, 2020 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero
Replies: 85
Views: 5604

Re: Employer cut 403b contribution to zero

Speaking from experience, it's a good time to start building a diverse list of option B's... This is very good advice, although I prefer to call this planning for "Option I's", where the I stands for iteration, imaginary, irrational, and infinite. It's a little bit of a math and computer science jo...
by Mudpuppy
Thu May 21, 2020 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tomato plant arrived before planter!
Replies: 7
Views: 671

Re: Tomato plant arrived before planter!

What variety of tomato are we talking about here? Some of them are more sensitive to transplanting than others. And 3" square is small, but not horribly tiny (you should see the itty bitty planters that my fittonia came in). Unless the plant is showing signs of distress and/or your area is extremely...
by Mudpuppy
Tue May 19, 2020 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2020
Replies: 133
Views: 9246

Re: Gardening 2020

I've only had purple wallflowers, but the greenery reminds me more of a wallflower than a zinnia. It seems more leggy than the greenery on my purple wallflowers though.
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 10:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tea supplier comparison
Replies: 48
Views: 4110

Re: Tea supplier comparison

As several others have already replied, I buy loose leaf teas from Harney & Sons and a few other companies. If I use tea bags, I only use brands with paper tea bags like Republic of Tea. I also have an electric tea kettle that can brew up to 1.2L of tea at a time using a very large infuser. Brand is...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ring video doorbell question
Replies: 11
Views: 1108

Re: Ring video doorbell question

Ring doorbells just have one camera. As already pointed out, you can install wedges behind the Ring to get the camera to point more downwards, but then you'll have a limited field of view for people approaching the door. I have my Ring installed without wedges and it cannot see packages placed below...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2020
Replies: 133
Views: 9246

Re: Gardening 2020

LadyGeek wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:12 pm
I have no idea what the orange flowers lining the fence are. The fence is 1 foot high.
Do you have any close-ups? It looks like a multi-headed sunflower or sunflower relative in the middle, but the ones to the left and right look to be something different.
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: So what are you cooking
Replies: 267
Views: 15549

Re: So what are you cooking

I received a package of fresh chicken from this weekend's grocery order, so I'm making chicken cacciatore again. I really should have planted a large tomato variety this spring, instead of cherry tomatoes, given how frequently I like to make this dish.
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....
Replies: 40
Views: 3176

Re: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....

Things are getting off-topic rather quickly. I think everyone's blood pressure would be lower if we just learned to accept that others' code is not always going to be up to our standards and that our ideal vision of the tech world is not the reality of the tech world. Big name companies are not inhe...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2020
Replies: 133
Views: 9246

Re: Gardening 2020

This year I have a simple garden: tomatoes, squash, strawberries, onions, garlic, the young grape vine (year 3, so probably still not to production age yet), and a few fruit trees (only the fig and lemon trees are producing well). Yesterday, I was out in my garden with the noise cancelling headphone...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 287
Views: 28772

Re: College in fall

I would not want to audit the code coming from someone who did those five courses without the appropriate mathematical and critical thinking background and without diving deep into CS principles (particularly cybersecurity and test/audit principles). Those would be the sort of coders to not realize...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 287
Views: 28772

Re: College in fall

Specific to CS and the tech industry, to succeed in the workplace as a software engineer/programmer, you really need just 5 classes - data structures, computer architecture, algorithms, operating systems, computer networking. Optionally, a class in compilers would be useful to get familiar with pro...
by Mudpuppy
Mon May 18, 2020 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....
Replies: 40
Views: 3176

Re: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....

There are many other examples of this, it's not just banks. There were election centers in 2016 that got hacked using SQL injection -- the most basic hacking technique every CS student learns about in college. Just because they learned it in school doesn't mean they remember to apply it in the real...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 17, 2020 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....
Replies: 40
Views: 3176

Re: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....

Items sold on Amazon are sometimes counterfeit. You can see this in the range of reviews for an item, where the majority are 4 or 5 stars and then a smaller number are one star talking about the item being poor quality / not as expected. Those one star customers likely received a "knock off" versio...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 17, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?
Replies: 505
Views: 50776

Re: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?

"I seem to be more productive during WFH because my two kids are less needy than the 27 adults I direct." What is the result with the 27 staff that you directly supervise? Are they more or less productive now and why would a change occur due to being physically present or not? It's a mixed bag. For...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 17, 2020 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 287
Views: 28772

Re: College in fall

The current recession will, I suspect, lead to stronger college enrollments than we would have seen otherwise over the course of the next several years. There will likely be a dip this fall, but I fully expect the numbers to rebound significantly in 2021 and 2022. When great employment prospects ar...
by Mudpuppy
Sun May 17, 2020 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College in fall
Replies: 287
Views: 28772

Re: College in fall

Sorry. I don't trust someone straight out of high school to do much of anything. According to the statistics, USA schools rank poorly. https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2019-12-03/us-students-show-no-improvement-in-math-reading-science-on-international-exam. When I graduated high ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 16, 2020 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with canned chicken?
Replies: 45
Views: 3314

Re: What to do with canned chicken?

Food bank +1 I heard or read a couple weeks ago that food banks are going to start overflowing with canned beef, powdered milk, powdered eggs, low grade toilet paper, etc. in the fall (though maybe not if the pandemic goes from bad to worse) from people donating their panic bought canned beef, powd...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 16, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with canned chicken?
Replies: 45
Views: 3314

Re: What to do with canned chicken?

I placed a grocery order last night and my grocery store is now limiting the amount of meat that you can buy. This isn’t over yet. Keep the canned chicken. When this first started, I was able to order groceries every two weeks and I'd get two 2-lb packages of fresh chicken to last that time frame. ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat May 16, 2020 1:33 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?
Replies: 505
Views: 50776

Re: How Is Your Job Being Impacted By The Current Crisis?

I can understand why people want to WFH until the pandemic has passed but wanting permanent WFH seems unreasonable. I am personally more productive in a WFH environment than in an office environment due to fewer distractions. I do not need as much social interaction as my co-workers do, so I can ge...
by Mudpuppy
Fri May 15, 2020 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Get rid of PMI or pay off federal college loan
Replies: 7
Views: 334

Re: Get rid of PMI or pay off federal college loan

Hi thank you for your reply. We bought our house two years ago at $140,000 it was a foreclosure that was a disaster and appraised at $165,000. Zillow has us at $210,000 without knowing we replaced roof, air/furnace, all paint and carpet, fixed our pool, new garage door, remodeled four bathrooms, re...
by Mudpuppy
Fri May 15, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Get rid of PMI or pay off federal college loan
Replies: 7
Views: 334

Re: Get rid of PMI or pay off federal college loan

You need more data to make this decision. Have you run any rough calculations of what the market value of homes are in your area? Pull up Zillow, Trulia, or RedFin and find at least half a dozen (preferably a dozen) home sales within the last 6 months with similar location, square footage, and featu...
by Mudpuppy
Fri May 15, 2020 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....
Replies: 40
Views: 3176

Re: Buying Amazon vs direct from company....

Question: If purchasing large ticket item,such as a home treadmill, and can get from either Amazon or direct from company that manufacturers it and sales and cost and shipping same, which is best option? If price and shipping is the same, I'd buy direct from the company, particularly if the item is...