Search found 1588 matches

by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Used Minivan - Recommendations?
Replies: 28
Views: 915

Re: Used Minivan - Recommendations?

I see ex-l for #33k, lx for $28k or so, new.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Class Seats Domestic USA
Replies: 26
Views: 1973

Re: First Class Seats Domestic USA

Once you have narrowed down your choice, go to seatguru.com and check for the seats on your flights. They get very specific as to aircraft although the airlines have been known to switch equipment.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what was your worst major purchase? mine is a 2019 mazda3
Replies: 150
Views: 10877

Re: what was your worst major purchase mine is a 2019 mazda3

Hard to choose: My first reaction was an Audi 100 LS bought new in 1974. What a lemon! And no relief from Volkswagen of America. Since we are very happy with the home now (and wouldn't consider moving) but I hope that Audi was crushed to the size of a baseball in some junkyard, I guess my final ans...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 36
Views: 3487

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

What's the real issue here? Dealership location, reliability, or comfort of vehicles? Dealership location. She has driven an Acura but could get serviced locally at Honda dealership but don’t know if she would be happy driving 120 miles round trip for routine maintenance with a Subaru. The dealersh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 36
Views: 3487

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

What's the real issue here? Dealership location, reliability, or comfort of vehicles? Dealership location. She has driven an Acura but could get serviced locally at Honda dealership but don’t know if she would be happy driving 120 miles round trip for routine maintenance with a Subaru. The dealersh...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...
Replies: 36
Views: 3487

Re: Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander...

And the Eyesight and adaptive cruise is amazing. Almost all cars have adaptive cruise control nowadays, so it is not something special about Subarus anymore. Eyesight is visible light, but others use radar. Lane assist, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic warning are available in almost all late m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: bizarre letter from Vanguard
Replies: 17
Views: 4105

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

The phone number?? I go to my dialer and enter 826 (=VAN) and the number appears, no need to go to website at all.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?
Replies: 36
Views: 2221

Re: HSA - Save Reciepts When Paying Bills?

I never use the debit card associated with the HSA; I wait for a bill Once everyone else has paid or not paid their share) and then do a billpay from the HSA to the provider. Check is made out to Alice B Toklas Physical Therapy, what could go wrong? :happy
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of mini split installation? [Ductless Air Conditioning/ Heat]
Replies: 36
Views: 2992

Re: Cost of mini split installation?

I volunteer in my locale (cold weather, similar to Boston) with the local extension program to help people make good energy choices. I have focused on mini-splits the past year and while no expert have gleaned some essentials. 1) Many installers lack experience in sizing and installing systems. This...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Laptop/Surface Pro - $1,000 +/-
Replies: 14
Views: 790

Re: Best Laptop/Surface Pro - $1,000 +/-

When the keyboard on my 4 (?) year old ThinkPad went(x230), I bought a new one for $40 and had it installed in 10 minutes. Try that on a Mac (or most other consumer grade machines). Go with the old style ThinkPad (NOT the Carbon) and it will run for a very long time (I still have a vintage 2006 mach...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on Plug-in Hybrid tax credit
Replies: 12
Views: 1136

Re: Question on Plug-in Hybrid tax credit

Update. I test drove a 2018 Honda Clarity today and I decided to pass. I really wanted the $7,500 tax rebate. The car does not have an EV button. From the information on the web, my understanding is that if I turn Sport and HV modes off and turn on Econ mode, I will be in EV Mode as long as there i...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun May 26, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moto G7 Review after 2 days
Replies: 5
Views: 949

Re: Moto G7 Review after 2 days

Google Voice??
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 15, 2019 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Last Pass with Vanguard and USAA
Replies: 38
Views: 3608

Re: Last Pass with Vanguard and USAA

FWIW, as a Dir of Tech for an organization, I'd like to pass along this caveat; when possible, don't leave LastPass logged in on your computer. I always make sure it's off when I leave. We've had intrusions (ie; hacks) where outsiders penetrated our network. In one case, bad guy took control of a m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 14, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo S90 T5 Momentum - Thoughts and Suggestions???
Replies: 41
Views: 3224

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

i just got a 2019 XC60 T6 so it is not apples to apples but since most current Volvo models share many features i think i can comment on your 2 questions: 1) i have no idea if my model was made in China (no "L" in the VIN, mine has a "Y") but even if it was, the fit and finish of the model is exqui...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue May 14, 2019 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo S90 T5 Momentum - Thoughts and Suggestions???
Replies: 41
Views: 3224

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

100% sure its final assembly point is Daqing China.... All those listed for sale show a leading "L" on the VIN, that's China. Yes, the VIN starts with a L.. It is China.. Any thoughts on that? Quality seems pristine but then again it is just looks.. I am not a "Car guy". Are there any fully assembl...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 13, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo S90 T5 Momentum - Thoughts and Suggestions???
Replies: 41
Views: 3224

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

WolfgangPauli wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:39 pm
100% sure its final assembly point is Daqing China....
All those listed for sale show a leading "L" on the VIN, that's China.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon May 06, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tires All Year?
Replies: 62
Views: 3754

Re: Winter Tires All Year?

Commonly called "all seasons", these are great for all seasons......in Houston....or Miami. Or simply "No seasons". The all-weather tires are quite a different tire than all-season. In parts of the world (I am thinking Quebec) where it is mandatory to use tires that earn the snowflake, the Nokias m...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat May 04, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question regarding inheritance
Replies: 10
Views: 1241

Re: Question regarding inheritance

Given your plan to stay in the US, it doesn't seem to make sense to have lots of Canadian dollars, why complicate things by essentially speculating in exchange rates? One exception might be if you visit Canada often or have some ongoing financial or personal ties there, then some small amount might ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu May 02, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Defective audio port on new laptop
Replies: 15
Views: 688

Re: Defective audio port on new laptop

When I have had to send ThinkPads back for repair, Lenovo required that I remove the hard drive, which was a one screw operation. Likely it is not that simple on your Dell, but sending it back sans the hard drive would be my first choice.
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed May 01, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best electric cordless lawn mower for medium sized yard?
Replies: 40
Views: 2440

Re: Best electric cordless lawn mower for medium sized yard?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), traditional gas-powered lawn mowers are a public nuisance to say the least. Using one of them for an hour generates as many volatile organic compounds—dangerous airborne pollutants known to exacerbate human respiratory and cardiovascular ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100 year old mineral rights, what are capital gains issues
Replies: 4
Views: 638

Re: 100 year old mineral rights, what are capital gains issues

Thanks, indeed the fun part is finding a way to sell them.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 100 year old mineral rights, what are capital gains issues
Replies: 4
Views: 638

100 year old mineral rights, what are capital gains issues

An acquaintance has inherited mineral rights in Minnesota; it appears that it throws off around $10,000 a year in royalties (?) It is mined by Hibbing-Taconite which in turn is a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal. She is interested in selling them and looked for my assistance in going forward. She has no ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre-Fab homes
Replies: 20
Views: 2496

Re: Pre-Fab homes

There are many flavors of factory built homes. The quality varies with the approach and at the top of the market, the quality will exceed that of site-built homes. Panelized construction where the walls are shipped flat on a trailer is high quality, energy efficient, and customizable. For one region...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill
Replies: 34
Views: 1778

Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

Also, switch to an oil filled radiator type of electric heater. They are much more efficient than the cheap space heater with the spring Electric heat, traditional resistance or the oil filled units, is 100% efficient. You may be referring to effectiveness, which would include more subjective measu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill
Replies: 34
Views: 1778

Re: Water heaters/ energy consumption, high electric bill

You don't say where in Oregon you are but IF you are west of the mountains AND your electricity is from Bonneville, you are paying very little for electricity. A mini-split will cost about 1/3 to operate as compared to your resistance heaters. You can calculate how much that will save you and how lo...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hybrid Rental
Replies: 21
Views: 1489

Re: Hybrid Rental

Whatever you decide to do for a vehicle, make sure you let the rental outfit know that you plan to take the vehicle to Canada. Officially, there is an insurance card, unique to Canada, that is needed to bring any car into the country. I have never been asked for it (I cross the border by car 4-5X a ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Get New Bikes
Replies: 67
Views: 4663

Re: Where To Get New Bikes

+1 for Craigslist. I bought a gently used Trek 5 years ago and it has served me well. Paid around 250-300 (which was about half of what it would have cost in store). I have had to replace the seat post and that's pretty much it! Even a gently used 5-year old bike is a good candidate for: New cables...
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where To Get New Bikes
Replies: 67
Views: 4663

Re: Where To Get New Bikes

Most of the frames of bikes with a "major" brand come out of the same (few) factories in Asia. Components are then attached, again they all use the same components with pricier ones going on the more expensive units. Thus brand is not (mostly) that relevant. I have purchased many bikes on Craigslist...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap pricing and Medicare generally
Replies: 21
Views: 1254

Re: Medigap pricing and Medicare generally

kaneohe wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:52 pm
http://www.wnylc.com/health/entry/35/

google something like : new york state dept healthinsurance medigap rates

I don't see age factors in the table so you may have to investigate that angle.
I believe that NY has community rating no difference for different attained age
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap pricing and Medicare generally
Replies: 21
Views: 1254

Re: Medigap pricing and Medicare generally

MVP offers an MSA Medicare plan it is a Medicare Advantage plan, comes without prescription drug coverage (Part D), has a high deductible (around $8000) a puts $2400 a year into an MSA account for you. You can access any provider enrolled in Medicare and its available in New York and Vermont only, b...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gardening 2019
Replies: 95
Views: 7669

Re: Gardening 2019

I have used the Florida weave for tomatoes after spending a summer on an organic farm in PA. Works well, itis important to give the plays 30' and prune them regularly. And use a biodegradable twine (sisal, hemp) so you can throw the lot into the compost at year's end.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Checkwriting Account
Replies: 20
Views: 1943

Re: Vanguard Checkwriting Account

No direct pay unless you have the soon to be terminated Advantage account. NO ACH pulls either.
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Monthly Statement Envelope
Replies: 21
Views: 2255

Re: Vanguard Monthly Statement Envelope

We have two trusts and they are both paperless statement enrolled at vanguard
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lease a car or buy a car
Replies: 49
Views: 3173

Re: Lease a car or buy a car

With diligence a lease can be financially sound, the biggest drawback is the complicated nature of the transaction, one needs to be well-informed to make a go of it. There are and have been situations where a lease (with 20/20 hindsight) was beneficial to the person leasing the car. Even in those s...
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lease a car or buy a car
Replies: 49
Views: 3173

Re: Lease a car or buy a car

For me - there are several factors why I conclude that leasing ( for personal use ) makes no sense: 1. A lease (under the covers) is a balloon loan on which interest is paid for the term of the lease with the final balloon payment due at the end of the lease. Except for the guaranteed value, not mu...
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GEICO is not a Insurance Co
Replies: 31
Views: 5176

Re: GEICO is not a Insurance Co

I have my auto, umbrella, and homeowners via Geico. On their site the homeowners is designated as "Travelers", Geico acts as an agent for policies and locales for which they are not engaged.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Brokerage platform
Replies: 10
Views: 1159

Re: New Brokerage platform

The only "issue" I had was needing to re-state my preference for dividend reinvestment, that did not carry over.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lock Strategy for New House
Replies: 40
Views: 2726

Re: Lock Strategy for New House

It is revelatory to see the steps folks need to take to protect their homes. When we sold our last home of 25 years we had to change the built-in lockset (the sort built into the handle) as we could not find the key, never locked the door. We did start t take the keys out of the car more recently, I...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The 17th Century Bond That’s Still Paying Interest
Replies: 14
Views: 3225

Re: The 17th Century Bond That’s Still Paying Interest

When I was administrating my father's estate I found some bearer bonds from Canadian Pacific that were in perpetuity. There was no makret for them and the only thing I could do was to have CP buy them back. If I recall, they paid 4% but it was too much of a hassle for too little return to hold onto ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lease a car or buy a car
Replies: 49
Views: 3173

Re: Lease a car or buy a car

I was interested in dipping my toe into the electric vehicle waters but did not want to own it with the pace of technology change. What with various incentives (state and Federal) was able to lease a Honda Clarity for $200 a month all in, nothing down, taxes and fees rolled into the monthly). I get ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Laptop - Keeps Freezing - Help!
Replies: 21
Views: 1109

Re: Old Laptop - Keeps Freezing - Help!

I second Lenovo but only the ThinkPad line, they are built to last, unlike the cheaper Lenovo models.

We currently have an x230 and an x270 in the house, the former is nearly 7 years old, I dual boot Win 10 and Mint, solid as a rock.
by TheGreyingDuke
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's travel shoes. One pair for hiking/biking/walking/dining
Replies: 56
Views: 3943

Re: Men's travel shoes. One pair for hiking/biking/walking/dining

Wearing the same pair of shoes for weeks is not something that I would do. Giving them a day off every few days will allow them to dry, prolonging their life and pampering your feet. Even a pair of "athletic" sandals for an afternoon every few days would help.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Tankless” hot water heater can’t keep up when filling bathtub]
Replies: 13
Views: 1815

Re: Would a thermostatic shower valve solve my tankless hot water temp fluctuations?

At long last, we’ve moved into our house. It has a high efficiency condensing boiler with a domestic hot water loop built in. Having now showered, and having drawn a bath for my preschoolers, it is proving to be a bit of a chore to maintain a steady temperature. It can range from lukewarm to scaldi...
by TheGreyingDuke
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Zenni question: Progressive lens?
Replies: 12
Views: 770

Re: Another Zenni question: Progressive lens?

I have several pairs of Zenni progressives, they are OK, not great. The "no-go" area, the spot that corrects for nothing in my instance, is rather large and distorting. For the price, OK

Note that I am on the runway for cataract surgery, that may have an impact.
by TheGreyingDuke
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Oil Boiler/Indirect Hot Water Heater - Turn House Temperature Down at Night?
Replies: 20
Views: 1049

Re: New Oil Boiler/Indirect Hot Water Heater - Turn House Temperature Down at Night?

To clarify, the water that the boiler circulates is, as stated, 160 F, that is NOT the temperature of the domestic hot water, such a temp would be very dangerous. The 160-degree water is circulated in a coil that is located in the separate domestic hot water tank. It should be heating that water to ...
by TheGreyingDuke
Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computer help - can't open .aspx downloads
Replies: 8
Views: 653

Re: Computer help - can't open .aspx downloads

More information on the details would be helpful (operating system for example) but you might try renaming the file with a .pdf extension and see if that works.
by TheGreyingDuke
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 623
Views: 53074

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

Given that the announcement came at tax time I felt like I needed to act quickly to find a substitute so I could set up my estimated payments for the year. I don't ever want to deal with a bank again, so I set up a brokerage account at Fidelity. First step was to move all my stock holdings and enou...
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Statements - adding accounts to household statement
Replies: 10
Views: 1125

Re: Vanguard Statements - adding accounts to household statement

I would suggest a follow-up on the denial of household statements.

I have his TIRA, Her TIRA, his Roth, her Roth, His Trust, her Trust, and a JTROS all on one statement.
by TheGreyingDuke
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts
Replies: 623
Views: 53074

Re: Vanguard is Discontinuing their VanguardAdvantage Accounts

If I can summarize the options most often mentioned to replace the Advantage: 1) Go to Fidelity, establish either a brokerage account or a Cash Management Account, and move some/most/all of what lives in the Advantage account to Fidelity. You get an interest rate of about 80% of the Vanguard rate an...