Search found 452 matches

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: 717

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: 568

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: 10373

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: 2373

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: 2424

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: 924

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: 437

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: 494

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: 2167

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: 1073

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: 1793

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...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Subaru Forrester
Replies: 34
Views: 2181

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Forrester

We chose the '17 Outback over the Forester after driving both. The Forester ride was less settled, meaning more roll and sway over a bumpy city street. It was also noisier inside. The OB had a more settled, composed ride (subjective terms, I realize), was quieter, had a nicer interior and will tow a...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 1645

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

My .02. Inexpensive carpet now for the kids. T&G OSB or plywood or planks later for the shop. Might depend on what's cheap and how level your current subfloor is vs how level you want it. I'd think it would be really handy to be able to shoot some screws into the floor to set up braces / props / sca...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace
Replies: 26
Views: 1462

Re: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace

OP, I grew up with a fireplace used daily and have had one at all but a couple residences since. I really enjoy a wood fire on a cold, damp night. A chimney-top damper works well. It will totally seal the flue and keep weather from entering. I also had a leaky, bent damper in one house and installed...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?
Replies: 12
Views: 773

Re: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?

I'm in the rent camp. I skied a fair bit when younger and owned several pairs of skis at a time. With a bit of arrangement, you can pick up near top of the line, nearly new "demo" (meaning skis like you'd buy, vs "rental market") skis that are sharpened and waxed when you arrive and keep them your e...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 7221

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

OP, is your issue the time it takes hot water to arrive, or the wasted water? If it's the time, a circulator or small water heater as others have suggested sound like a solution, albeit at extra energy use. If it's the wasted water, an on-demand pump is one answer. They are typically plumbed to the ...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?
Replies: 29
Views: 2007

Re: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?

We have both. I think the traditional rollaboards are more durable. Our spinners have smaller plastic swivel casters. I've replaced the casters that have failed on both types with "skate" wheels, which have good bearings, but the swivel part of the caster is cheap plastic. I expect one of the swivel...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issue or not? Advice?
Replies: 5
Views: 908

Re: Basement water issue or not? Advice?

From your description, you have windows that are below grade and wells that bring the grade down to below the windows. How do the wells drain? I'd think you'd want a drain that ties into your other yard drains. What happens when you run a hose into the wells? What happens when you spray the windows ...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 3487

Re: Auto Battery

Thanks for all the info contribution. ... Since 2013 I have been retired and my truck sits in the driveway most of the time. ... One thing that might help in this scenario is to use a smart charger/maintainer to keep the battery at full charge. I use a Cetek MUS 4.3. Checking/filling with distilled...
by Bengineer
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?
Replies: 10
Views: 1662

Re: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?

I too think a landscape architect / designer is the first item. Get what you want to happen with your outdoor spaces first. Meanwhile, you can investigate replacement window options and cost and maybe start getting recommendations for contractors. You can get a general contractor to do the whole job...
by Bengineer
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 7043

Re: Dehumidifier woes

Thanks for the humidistat info LTG & DD. Hmm. I was thinking of getting the Frigidaire 50pt/day FFAD5033R1. After all the anecdotal commentary on this thread, I'm not expecting a long life out of whatever I end up with. I'll surely go for the energy star 2+L/kwh, but after that, it seems like shooti...
by Bengineer
Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to direct water away from a sloping driveway - French drain or ..
Replies: 13
Views: 2767

Re: How to direct water away from a sloping driveway - French drain or ..

Go out and look at what the water is doing when it is raining. If it's pooling around the drive / garage / house, where could it drain to? What's lower than where the water is pooling? If the ground around is lower, could you grade the yard so it drains? If not, then things get more complicated. Und...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 7043

Re: Dehumidifier woes

I have found that all of these cheaper, easy to obtain dehumidifiers (ie found in retail stores) internal dehumidistat will short cycle the unit because of the moisture left on the coils after it cycles off. They may also have a fairly low humidity swing on/off trigger point. Decided to get an exte...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!
Replies: 26
Views: 3753

Re: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!

I second that. Plus, you've now got a Weber, which will last you many years, and have the satisfaction of re-using something perfectly good instead of landfill the old + buy new. :happy
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar attic fans vs. regular turbines?
Replies: 26
Views: 3384

Re: Solar attic fans vs. regular turbines?

OP, I'm with the "air-sealing and insulating" posters. Your contractor has an inherent conflict of interest. I think the Bogleheads DIY analogy is to inform yourself on the allocation and investment options, determine the best course of action and then act to get the best return and value for your m...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?
Replies: 8
Views: 1328

Re: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?

I'd add the size of the buyer pool to bigred's hot vs cool market. Selling a house in a county with 9 million inhabitants is quite different from one with a few thousand 100 miles from a city. We have priced slightly under market comps and sold for well over asking in a week twice now in populous ar...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Underpayment Penalty
Replies: 9
Views: 1549

Re: Estimated Tax Underpayment Penalty

I'd recommend running your taxes in December, particularly if you have variable income. That way, you can make a Q4 estimated payment to cover any shortfall you discover.
by Bengineer
Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you had this issue with Subaru Forester windshield replacement?
Replies: 29
Views: 6174

Re: Have you had this issue with Subaru Forester windshield replacement?

Lots of similar stories on subaruoutback.org.

Both the cost and the ease of damage might have something to do with the required optical properties for eyesight.
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to divide investments for early retirement
Replies: 16
Views: 2701

Re: How to divide investments for early retirement

A few possibly helpful thoughts: Putting funds into tax-deferred buckets is good, and generally speaking, maxing those opportunities out each year is good, since they are a use it or lose it proposition. But: working for small companies as you do and I did/am, the tax deferred options can be non-exi...
by Bengineer
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Small tax refund or owing taxes?
Replies: 35
Views: 3161

Re: Small tax refund or owing taxes?

Having been through a scam refund hassle, I prefer to owe.
by Bengineer
Wed May 31, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I max out wife's 401k
Replies: 26
Views: 2073

Re: Should I max out wife's 401k

Ouch. So to be clear, your wife is contributing just enough to get the max company match. That seems reasonable, given the fees, but you're losing out on tax-deferred space. Here's a thought. If she is planning on changing jobs before too long, maxing the 401k and then rolling it to the new job's pl...
by Bengineer
Wed May 31, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senility: How do you plan on protecting your money when you lose your mental capacities?
Replies: 72
Views: 7966

Re: Senility and Seductresses: How do you plan on protecting your money when you lose your mental capacities?

Based on what I've seen, it's a difficult problem... close to unsolvable. The problem is that people in mental decline enter a very, very broad gray area that can last for years, in which their close friends and family believe that they see problems, but they themselves are insistent on staying in ...
by Bengineer
Sun May 28, 2017 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insulating Walls - Worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 6841

Re: Insulating Walls - Worth it?

... There's one way to know for certain - make a hole in an exterior wall and look. Doesn't need to be a big hole, say 2 inches. Start small and careful so you avoid any wires. Pick a spot that is out of the way (probably low to the ground, perhaps behind a curtained area or in corner). Once you ha...
by Bengineer
Thu May 18, 2017 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window tint (film) on house windows?
Replies: 24
Views: 3598

Re: Window tint (film) on house windows?

...Also wondering if anyone has seen any studies on whether sun screens (window screens that are a tighter weave than regular window screens) produce about the same benefit, or maybe if the combination is additive? No studies, but I've installed solar window screens over plain glass windows (single...
by Bengineer
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Condo Bath Remodel 1/2 -> Full
Replies: 1
Views: 435

Condo Bath Remodel 1/2 -> Full

Anyone with a condo remodel a half bath into a full one? I'm thinking about turning a 2br 1.5ba condo into a 2 master unit. Did you move any of the interior walls? How did you get the Drain-waste-vent done? I'd think you'd need access to the floor below or cut the slab, depending on the foundation. ...
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering a Weber grill this week
Replies: 164
Views: 16784

Re: Ordering a Weber grill this week

I just ordered the Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker 14.5". Never smoked anything before. Almost went for an electric one but the charcoal one kept calling me back. The decision to go with Weber was an easy one. Those smokers are pretty much 5 star ratings anywhere you look. Have one, love it. ...
by Bengineer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Setting up home office/network question
Replies: 18
Views: 1512

Re: Setting up home office/network question

I would personally drop another phone outlet, but then I'm a tech junkie who has cable and phone outlets in every bedroom of the house. The usefulness of phone outlets in every room is diminishing with wireless telecommunication options though, so let me give you an option #4. You can buy a wireles...
by Bengineer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More Zenni Optical Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 2213

Re: More Zenni Optical Questions

OP, I've found zenni to be something like 1/8 of retail optical for comparable untinted glasses with fairly strong myopia, astigmatism, progressive with $ trivex lense material and AR coating for about $100. I've been happy with the vision and really happy not paying $800 + my time for a pair of gla...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?
Replies: 22
Views: 3339

Re: Does anyone know if this is mold? Would this mean replacing all air ducts?

To pile on, Yes it looks like mold. Yes that looks like exposed fiberglass. Yes there is a large amount of dust & cobweb build-up in the pix. All that dust & mold is likely in your air handler & clogging up your coil as well. Is there a filter in the return? Open return duct somewhere like a damp cr...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fire extinguishers
Replies: 45
Views: 3226

Re: Fire extinguishers

We started off with a laptop. Something to think about is the type of extinguisher. The common ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher often contains monoammonium phosphate. "Due to the corrosive properties of ABC Dry chemical, it is not recommended for use around aircraft or sensitive equipment." Not so...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (Success! at least mostly)
Replies: 47
Views: 5341

Re: Helping my MIL figure out her holdings (no idea where)

OP, I dealt with my parent's later years and estates, one of which was much as the situation you describe. Ken & Nisi's posts both align with my experience. ComputerShares runs DRIP programs for companies. So does BNY Mellon. If you can get your MIL involved, you might be able to create online accou...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?
Replies: 45
Views: 3986

Re: When/If a degree is useful for software developers?

I'm an electrical engineer by training. I have been a software engineer for a good bit of my career and remained an individual contributor throughout it. I believe my training in engineering provided me problem solving skills, mathematical expertise and an understanding of hardware systems. I find d...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 4219

Re: Home heating options

OP, some thoughts. Oil & Propane are generally considered expensive fuels, particularly as compared to natural gas, but also compared with all but the highest electricity rates. I would compare oil, propane and electric, calculating $/btu. Consider an air-sourced heat pump solution. As noted up-thre...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home heating options
Replies: 63
Views: 4219

Re: Home heating options

I believe that new wood burning fireplaces have been illegal in California for some time. They are tremendous sources of pollution and very hard on any neighbor within a block or three who has a respiratory condition. I would expect that that type of regulation would spread to other states eventual...
by Bengineer
Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping kitchen knives sharp
Replies: 54
Views: 5657

Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

OP, I'd have to admit I'm a little into sharpening cutting edges. For my kitchen knives, of which I have a spectrum of quality from cheap and effective Forstners to a Wusthof or two, I use a steel (not a ceramic or gritted sharpener) to burnish the edge before each use. This straightens up the edge,...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 5196

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

...I am a little confused about all the talk about moisture problems with insulation. What is this all about? How would moisture get inside my walls? DBR has it. Warm, moist air in your house, cold, dry air outside. Moisture migrates from high humidity to low. Warm, moist air flowing from inside yo...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.
Replies: 70
Views: 5196

Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

OP, I'm with Just Frank and the other posters suggesting insulation. You can do a thermostat or increase the heat to your MBR, but you've still got an uninsulated house. You could go with both - something temporary for a few $ to get comfort now, with a longer term plan to make the whole house comfo...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do I attach phone wire to a house?
Replies: 7
Views: 734

Re: how do I attach phone wire to a house?

I'd use cable straps. There are little plastic ones with an included brad made for phone/cat cable. At your hardware or big-box home improvement store.

A crown stapler for wiring is an option, also useful for putting up the xmas lights.
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can Bogleheads Have Fun Too?
Replies: 29
Views: 3452

Re: Can Bogleheads Have Fun Too?

OP, I think you've asked a complex question. I think I'll go with 1) Of course you can have fun! I'm sure you're reading up on and planning to invest enough to let you retire comfortably when you reach 6x in 30 odd years. Getting your e-fund and liability insurance set. Working your cash flow so the...
by Bengineer
Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Physical security solution for basement door?
Replies: 19
Views: 2776

Re: Physical security solution for basement door?

Some thoughts: It's a basement door. A sheet of polycarbonate over the glass on the inside would increase the difficulty of getting in and be less obtrusive than bars. A sheet of perforated metal might work as well. If access from outside is needed, a good deadbolt & long screws would help slow down...