Search found 491 matches

by Bengineer
Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remove damaged coating from prescription glasses
Replies: 29
Views: 2358

Re: Remove damaged coating from prescription glasses

OP, I've worn glasses forever as well, and have never had the coatings fail. I clean mine daily with a glasses/lens cleaning spray and microfiber cloth. Perhaps your failure is due to exposure to stronger chemicals?
I also have used zenni the last few years with good results.
by Bengineer
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Qualified Business Income Deduction
Replies: 3
Views: 350

Re: H&R Block 2018 Qualified Business Income Deduction

Thanks SuzBanyan. I've used that before. Note that like everything else at this point, it's a draft. I'll fill it in while I wait.

Thanks Jebmke. H&R block indicates the next update is Jan 3. It would be helpful if H&R block mostly works before the Jan 15 estimated tax deadline.
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Qualified Business Income Deduction
Replies: 3
Views: 350

H&R Block 2018 Qualified Business Income Deduction

Anyone tried / had any luck figuring out where H&R block 2018 Deluxe (or any version) deals with the Qualified Business Income Deduction? It's line 9 on the 1040, but appears to come from somewhere else and overriding it doesn't change the calculations. I couldn't find any input for it. Is it "just ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite reading chair
Replies: 4
Views: 674

Re: favorite reading chair

A mitchell-gold leather recliner. 16 years of heaven and counting. :happy Not cheap, but top quality.
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I go with inverter/optimizers or micro-inverters for home solar?
Replies: 7
Views: 665

Re: should I go with inverter/optimizers or micro-inverters for home solar?

I'd second the string inverter if shading isn't significant. Modern string inverters, for example the SMA "Sunny boy" series have more than one Maximum Power Point Tracker and so can optimize more than one string, say for two roof orientations.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?
Replies: 44
Views: 2480

Re: Guy's Western US Ski Trip - suggestions?

You can rent a mountain-ready van with ski rack at Denver airport and in under two hours be in Summit County anywhere (Copper, Breck, Keystone, Vail, Winter Park, Beaver Creek). Lodging, apr'es ski, great food and party bars are everywhere. We have stayed slope-side at almost every one of these res...
by Bengineer
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity bill should be 7% per month of home sq footage.
Replies: 66
Views: 3997

Re: Electricity bill should be 7% per month of home sq footage.

The energy use in kWh/mo at peak heating / cooling season (the months with the most heating/cooling degree-days) of neighbors with houses of similar size, shape and mechanical/appliances (electric / gas) would be more useful. As to air-sealing and insulating, a couple $k for someone to spend a good ...
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air heat pump questions (any experts in the community?)
Replies: 24
Views: 1881

Re: Air heat pump questions (any experts in the community?)

OP, you've gotten some good responses in these posts. I'll apologize in advance: I can't do a short version. :happy I would approach your situation like this: First, I'd get my system doing the best it can. Second, I'd set my thermostat to use the aux heat strips only when necessary. Third, I'd air-...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Refrigerator Repair Specialists in the House?
Replies: 17
Views: 1695

Re: Any Refrigerator Repair Specialists in the House?

Um, is your "Exterior Moisture Control" on?
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm so CHEAP! Don't think it is healthy.
Replies: 36
Views: 6899

Re: I'm so CHEAP! Don't think it is healthy.

OP, one way to turn the tables on feeling cheap is to approach it as being smart by figuring out how to spend the least you can for every need and saving the rest. You're being frugal rather than cheap! Being cheap is denying yourself things/quality/experiences you value. Building a good emergency f...
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 267
Views: 20805

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe Federal + State $29.95

Last year the $10 deluxe showed up Jan 1, fyi. I'd love to have it now, but the software (forms) aren't anywhere near final yet, so not sure it's worth paying $21 extra to have it now. Even though there will be a few updates, I find it helpful to run a pro-forma before our last estimated tax paymen...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 267
Views: 20805

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe Federal + State $29.95

Last year the $10 deluxe showed up Jan 1, fyi. I'd love to have it now, but the software (forms) aren't anywhere near final yet, so not sure it's worth paying $21 extra to have it now. Even though there will be a few updates, I find it helpful to run a pro-forma before our last estimated tax paymen...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe $18.00 - Black Friday sale
Replies: 267
Views: 20805

Re: H&R Block 2018 Tax Software Deluxe Federal + State $29.95

Deluxe + state + refund offer is $31.50 this morning on amazon

Business w/o state on CD is $40.
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home sale etiquette: wall repair
Replies: 53
Views: 3681

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

We've gone with "leave it the way we'd like to find it" on four houses now. Clean, everything working, walls patched, holes spackled & painted.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of palmettos [Palmetto bugs]
Replies: 15
Views: 2260

Re: How to get rid of..........

... Put a light dusting of boric acid (sounds scary, it's just a white powder) in all of the nooks and crannies where they like to hide. It will keep killing them for years. I used to have a big problem with them in my apartment but now I go months without seeing one. This works for me too. Dust th...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Miele Induction Cooktop
Replies: 0
Views: 165

Miele Induction Cooktop

Edit: The Miele has risen to the top of the heap. We're planning on getting an induction cooktop. The Samsung NZ30K7880UG Miele KM 6365 30" is the current leader. The features & specs look really good in comparison to others. I'm going to go look at them Monday, but don't know if they'll be powered ...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?
Replies: 72
Views: 2837

Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

I've hat its relative, the HP-15C for 36 years or so. Still going strong. What great calculators they are! Thanks for the "check the batteries" note up-thread. Still good after maybe 10 years, no corrosion.
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we open 1 or 2 HSAs?
Replies: 10
Views: 919

Should we open 1 or 2 HSAs?

Should we open one or two HSAs? Spouse and self recently covered by a HDHP, HSA eligible family plan. We're not in a state that taxes HSAs. We're self-employed (1 spouse possibly retired, may or may not have earned income in the future). We're over, and expect to continue to be over, the income limi...
by Bengineer
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel
Replies: 98
Views: 9397

Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

So many heavy financial threads this week, thought I would poll the experienced and Walter Mittys with regard to the area of travel, whether to consider an RV, which RV, or just fly/drive and stay at hotels/motels. ... Just for brainstorming another option I have toyed with that you could consider ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NSF/ANSI 53 Undersink Water Filter
Replies: 3
Views: 348

Re: NSF/ANSI 53 Undersink Water Filter

We have a pullout faucet in the kitchen. I chose a Culligan EZ-4 undersink filter , installed it undersink and in an existing hole in the sink and plumbed it by splicing it into the ice maker line so that both my cooking/drinking water and ice are filtered. The EZ-4 filter claims to be tested for NS...
by Bengineer
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No power in half the house
Replies: 17
Views: 1697

Re: No power in half the house

I think you've lost one leg of your 240v power coming to the house. Likely all of your 240v circuits and about half your 120v circuits are affected. One possibility is that the utility power transformer feeding your house is going bad.
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not convinced with insurance
Replies: 45
Views: 3725

Re: Not convinced with insurance

... Maxing up all retirement accounts, close to 1M assets in taxable. I am doing more than fine. I guess I don't fully see the picture of the more you have the more insurance you should get. I see our assets as the insurance itself. I think the increase in insurance should come from the number of d...
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Fireplaces
Replies: 22
Views: 1721

Re: Gas Fireplaces

OP, you mentioned snow drifts. I would think the location of the direct-vent coaxial flue/intake would deserve consideration.
by Bengineer
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Faucet filter to remove Chloramine?
Replies: 22
Views: 1466

Re: Faucet filter to remove Chloramine?

I installed a Culligan US-EZ-4 due to my concerns about our municipal water supply. It filters chloramine. I spliced it into the icemaker line and replaced a soap dispenser with the faucet.

I'll note that if you want a better looking faucet, they are available in various styles and finishes.
by Bengineer
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4262

Re: Humidity in basement

Hmmm. I don't think a radiant barrier would do much for you. Radiant can help some where you have really high temperatures you want to mitigate, like roofs. Even so, radiant barriers are only effective if they stay clean (dirt increases the emissivity) and have an air gap (the radiant part). You def...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4262

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, ... First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comparable at differen...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4262

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, I have a few thoughts. First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comp...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2666

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

..... Or you could figure it out for yourself. Assuming you don't need prescription glasses, but find yourself straining to read or see details that are up close now that you're over 40, you will likely find "drugstore readers" work just fine for reading. If you do wear prescription glasses and don'...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 348

Re: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

Good point. I don't think so, but will inquire as we go forward. I updated my OP to indicate the house was built in the late '70s
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 348

Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

We are embarking on an extensive remodel / renovation of our home, which was built in the late '70s. We did one fairly extensive remodel of a much older house about a decade ago. The plan with our architect is to interview several potential contractors and pick one to work with the architect and us ...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6986

Re: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites

Eyeglass leashes. (think Croakies)
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models
Replies: 40
Views: 3016

Re: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models

... Unlike side-by-side doors which close on separate freezer and refrigerator compartments. French doors close on a single refrigerator compartment. Therefore, most designs have an interlocking rotational seal between the two doors. This requires some inertia or manual close. ... That was my exper...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen sink (faucet)
Replies: 10
Views: 996

Re: Kitchen sink (faucet)

Seems like a higher flow aerator could work. The other of you does have a point, in that the point of an aerator is to minimize the splashing... Possibly more than you want to get into, but I used an on-demand recirculating pump in two CA houses for the "wasting a gallon of water while waiting for i...
by Bengineer
Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold in caulk of shower
Replies: 21
Views: 2355

Re: Mold in caulk of shower

... You'll also want to correct the conditions that enable the mold to grow. If you remove the old caulk (not easy) and reapply, the new caulk will eventually mold unless you address the favorable conditions. And when you do replace the caulk, do a careful job of removing the old caulk (and inevita...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3719

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

... Hm, it seems whenever I turn on my heat in the winter if it is below freezing, emergency heat automatically comes on. The heat pump is located outside (it's also my AC) so not sure how it could be bringing in warm air at all? I'll have to do some more reading on heat pumps as my understanding o...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3719

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

... My thermostat has "emergency heat" that shows up when it's on but I'm not sure how accurate that is. But during the months of December/January/February, emergency heat is pretty much on at all times that the heat pump is on. That doesn't sound right. Your 2016 heat pump should be carrying the l...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Not to be a Slave to my Wood Deck?
Replies: 37
Views: 3155

Re: How Not to be a Slave to my Wood Deck?

Basically, no film-forming coating (i.e. paint) is going to last on any wood surface that goes through a wetting and drying cycle. The wood expands with moisture and contracts as it dries, popping the coating off. You're after a stain that penetrates the surface, provides some UV resistance and repe...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Small, Portable, and Ductless Air Conditioners]
Replies: 60
Views: 3919

Re: Best Small Air Conditioner

Check out the window ac info @ energystar.gov.
by Bengineer
Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new
Replies: 24
Views: 1952

Re: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new

OPs issue sounds like a classic case of auto defrost failure. It’s likely one of 3 parts; defrost timer, defrost thermostat or defrost heat coil(s). Each part is $10-$25 and can be determined with a screwdriver and possibly a VOM, if you have the skill. Will likely require taking rear interior out ...
by Bengineer
Tue May 08, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with current Auto/Home/Umbrella/Term Life Insurance Policies
Replies: 6
Views: 859

Re: Help with current Auto/Home/Umbrella/Term Life Insurance Policies

I third the "get quotes from an independent agent". I've become a convert after many years with one of the companies one sees on TV. I got the desired coverages at a much better price than "named" insurance companies quoted me in my area. I hadn't heard of any of the companies backing our policies, ...
by Bengineer
Wed May 02, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonable cost for Tankless Water Heater Inspection / Annual flush
Replies: 4
Views: 736

Re: Reasonable cost for Tankless Water Heater Inspection / Annual flush

OP, you can do this. First, you need hose-thread taps on your water heater inlet and outlet lines in order to flush it. Your WH should have these. If not, it's plumber-time. Assuming you have those, You need a 5 gallon bucket, a set of washing machine hoses, a small utility pump, and about 3 gallons...
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young
Replies: 111
Views: 12585

Re: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young

OP, an alternate thought: It's not your age, it's where you're interviewing.

You have experience and skill in managing the mayhem at a small start-up. I'd think that would resonate most strongly with similar organizations.
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2819

Re: Should I prewire my home network myself?

OP, some thoughts: You could prewire and not terminate - just run cat5e/6 from wherever you want your central panel to be to each room outlet and terminate the ones you use later. If you have a basement or utility room, it's nice to have a panel to set up your incoming cable/fiber/phone/networking a...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?
Replies: 33
Views: 3096

Re: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?

This: I wouldn't. Had a similar situation and just got a window unit until I could get it repaired. A few hundred to keep life tolerable, resell on CL. Do some reading up and shopping around in the meantime so that you know what you want, get some quotes. then when it breaks, you have a plan. Maybe ...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?
Replies: 7
Views: 1807

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

I own a Breezer Uptown 8. Upright, lights, fenders, rack. 8 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub, 1.5" wide tires, front shock. Great for city/relaxed riding. We own a Specialized Haul as well. The key is the Shimano Nexus or Alfine internal hub.
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Awning over door: style and size?
Replies: 3
Views: 554

Re: Awning over door: style and size?

We have a sunbrella over frame awning that is 30" deep. I'd say that depth is about the minimum to get out of the rain while opening the door. An awning will also protect your door from weather, prolonging its life and helping to avoid eventual rot downward from the door sill. Think about how strong...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Tax of Income for Non-Resident
Replies: 3
Views: 564

California Tax of Income for Non-Resident

Here's the scenario: Consultant does some work for a California company while living and working in another state. The company is entirely in CA, the consultant does his work remotely, never setting foot in CA. The CA Franchise Tax Board docs are clear that if the consultant lives in CA and/or the w...
by Bengineer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental chews for dogs....useful?
Replies: 36
Views: 2768

Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

For us, yes. They mechanically scrub off the dog's teeth and massage their gums as they chew it up. Our 7 year old dog gets an appropriately sized treated rawhide chew daily. Teeth & gums in great shape They kept our last dog's teeth in good shape into his teens. I use the basic chews treated with e...
by Bengineer
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations
Replies: 11
Views: 1432

Re: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations

I think I would understand the mitigation system in place and that it was functioning as designed. I would get a test kit / detector and verify that the current radon levels in the basement are below what is considered safe and monitor the level going forward. You'll probably want fresh air when exe...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Range Hood Blower Sizing
Replies: 40
Views: 2319

Re: Range Hood Blower Sizing

I've done a couple range hoods. Agreed, quiet trumps power. I installed a 600cfm 30" with an 8" pipe up through the roof over a gas range in my last house. We cook daily and I never used max speed. It was loud running wide open and not all that quiet at lower speeds. Consider that while you may have...