Search found 375 matches

by coalcracker
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually
Replies: 89
Views: 6326

Re: can we afford to spend $20K on travel annually

My wife and I are in a very similar situation (age 39, kids are 4 and 1), and we LOVE to travel. We went all over the world as DINKs, and have traveled a good bit with our first child, including Portugal, France, London, Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica. We are planning an international trip or two in...
by coalcracker
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2441

Re: Should I prewire my home network myself?

I haven't priced the cable itself in quite a while, but don't pay a significant premium for Cat6 vs. Cat5e. It is next to impossible for a non-professional installer to terminate Cat6 within spec, due to the extremely tight 0.5" maximum untwist requirement. If it's not terminated to spec, then it's...
by coalcracker
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2441

Re: Should I prewire my home network myself?

I don't know if there is much return on a fully wired home. Spend $300 on a mesh router system. Lightning fast and available anywhere. The technology will continue to improve. Are people still recommending fully wired (Coax, ethernet and telephone)? I guess for backwards compatibility and the next ...
by coalcracker
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2441

Should I prewire my home network myself?

Most of my future home is gutted at the moment, and it was suggested by a friend that I should think about prewiring my home with CAT6 and coaxial cable to most of the rooms. This will presumably allow the most flexibility and least headache for any future AV or network components I may want to add....
by coalcracker
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does everyone here earn so much?
Replies: 131
Views: 7462

Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

The ones who do brag. The ones who don't keep quiet on the subject. I'm in the second category. PJW Outside of this message board, my wife, and my accountant, no one knows how much I earn. Disclosing my true salary here was never about bragging (perhaps this is a meta-brag?). Some DO earn high sala...
by coalcracker
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does everyone here earn so much?
Replies: 131
Views: 7462

Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

The ones who do brag. The ones who don't keep quiet on the subject. I'm in the second category. PJW Outside of this message board, my wife, and my accountant, no one knows how much I earn. Disclosing my true salary here was never about bragging (perhaps this is a meta-brag?). Some DO earn high sala...
by coalcracker
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking in Guatemala and El Salvador?
Replies: 31
Views: 2914

Re: Backpacking in Guatemala and El Salvador?

Second-hand story from a friend: went on a surf trip to El Salvador (not sure of exact location) with his wife and young child. Had a fantastic, uncrowded experience at the beach. However, on the last day of the trip in San Salvador, was having lunch and witnessed a gunfight with automatic weapons a...
by coalcracker
Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need advice re: Liberal Arts Colleges...
Replies: 235
Views: 13177

Re: Need advice re: Liberal Arts Colleges...

I can give a n=2 sample size studies of two LAC graduates (my wife and I) from the early aughts. We attended a good (top 25) but not uber-top liberal arts school and both opted for the pre-medicine track. It was great. There were no graduate students, so we and the vast majority of our friends worke...
by coalcracker
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Awning over door: style and size?
Replies: 3
Views: 454

Awning over door: style and size?

In our newly-purchased home, we will enter primarily through the back door, which currently sits on the outer envelope of the house with no overhead protection from the elements. With 2 young kids and a dog, I'm thinking we will want at least a small awning for entry during rainy weather. I've alway...
by coalcracker
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette of hanging up on live telemarketers
Replies: 77
Views: 3842

Etiquette of hanging up on live telemarketers

I don't answer 99% of phone calls from unknown numbers, but once in a while I'll get tricked (usually when I'm waiting for a call back but not sure what the number will be). In these cases, someone will begin a spiel about my electric bill or some other nonsense. My response is to immediately hang u...
by coalcracker
Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Third floor too hot with central A/C: options?
Replies: 24
Views: 1651

Re: Third floor too hot with central A/C: options?

What do you do with your vents in summer in winter? In summer, we close all basement vents. I partially close some main floor vents. All vents open on the 3rd/top level. In winter, we reverse. All basement vents open. Main floor vents about the same, maybe a bit more open. All vents on top floor fu...
by coalcracker
Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Third floor too hot with central A/C: options?
Replies: 24
Views: 1651

Third floor too hot with central A/C: options?

I am in the midst of a significant remodel of a newly purchased home. It has central heat and A/C, and a finished attic in which we are 2 large bedrooms, a landing, storage closet, and full bath. We have noticed this winter that the central heat works well on the third floor, but were warned by the ...
by coalcracker
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands
Replies: 25
Views: 1390

Re: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands

i have many dozens of the Halo RA4 floods and spots in my 1.5 year old home, both inside and out. They are all working very well. Don’t be afraid to go with the 3000k units. They are not too cold. Lutron Maestro dimmers. No flicker. Have you noticed any buzzing with those lights and dimmers? That i...
by coalcracker
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands
Replies: 25
Views: 1390

Re: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands

MichaelRpdx wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:42 pm
Why 2700K color?

I've been switching to LEDs. While my wife doesn't know the details she is happy with the 6500K bulbs I'm using.
Yes, I'm a fan of daylight color temps.
I'm very picky about lighting color. If I had 6500k bulbs I'd be sitting around the house in sunglasses 8-)
by coalcracker
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands
Replies: 25
Views: 1390

Re: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands

livesoft wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:15 pm
I've seen such lights overheat and cause problems: flickering because they got too hot, then failure.
I'm open to suggestions for alternatives. I had read that LEDs gave off less heat than alternatives.
by coalcracker
Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands
Replies: 25
Views: 1390

Recessed 4 inch LEDs: Recommended brands

I'm having a heck of a time researching this subject. I will be using a few dozen of these as part of a large remodeling project, and are looking for the following criteria: 4 inch 2700k color temperature dimmable These can get pricey, so more economical options would be welcome. I'd love to hear pe...
by coalcracker
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations
Replies: 11
Views: 1150

Re: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations

EagertoLearnMore wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:53 am
Radon remediation suggested when level 4.0 or higher so you should definitely remediate.

Hot air rises so it is possible for the air to move upstairs, but why wouldn't you remediate if you are going to use the basement?
Remediation has already been done.
by coalcracker
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations
Replies: 11
Views: 1150

Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations

I recently purchased a house which required radon mitigation (levels were 12 pCi/l) with a sub-slab ventilation system and radon exhaust fan. We are doing some remodeling before we occupy the home, which will include a new basement stair. First question: Is it wise to create an basement stair which ...
by coalcracker
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart home lighting: which lights to automate?
Replies: 19
Views: 1782

Re: Smart home lighting: which lights to automate?

Lutron smart switches (Caseta) seem to get the best reviews, but they are pricey at around $50 per switch. I have ~60 switches or so throughout the house. One thing to keep in mind is that anything like this will likely be obsolete in ten years and you might have to pay again to take them out when ...
by coalcracker
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart home lighting: which lights to automate?
Replies: 19
Views: 1782

Re: Smart home lighting: which lights to automate?

BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:37 pm
I wake up in the dark every morning. I decided to automate the bedroom lamp. It cost me $13!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MV ... UTF8&psc=1
Very nice, but can you yell at it to turn the lights on? :wink:
by coalcracker
Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Working in the real world
Replies: 118
Views: 9640

Re: Working in the real world

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania. My father has an associates degree and worked various blue collar and lower/middle management jobs during my life. The most he ever made was around $50k/yr. My mother was trained as a speech pathologist but took about 10 years off to raise me and my siblings. During ...
by coalcracker
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart home lighting: which lights to automate?
Replies: 19
Views: 1782

Smart home lighting: which lights to automate?

I purchased a home that will need fairly extensive remodeling before we move, part of which will be an update of many of the (fluorescent) lighting fixtures. There is also some knob and tube wiring, so we will be doing close to a complete overhaul of the electrical system. As part of this, I'd like ...
by coalcracker
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AJ Madison?
Replies: 11
Views: 1262

AJ Madison?

I am in the market for a new appliance suite for a kitchen remodel, and AJ Madison keeps popping up on my Google searches for different appliances. They tout free delivery nationwide (they are domiciled in Brooklyn), price matches, etc. I am in PA, so one big downside would be lack of installation s...
by coalcracker
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?
Replies: 90
Views: 9515

Re: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?

OP UPDATE:

I have completely sold my bitcoin and ethereum in several "lots" over the course of this week (via Coinbase). The end value deposited into my checking account was $25,063 on a $7,000 initial investment, for a 258% ROI since July.
by coalcracker
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?
Replies: 90
Views: 9515

Re: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?

Not a soothsayer, but, like you, I am holding a small position in crypto (BTC, ETH, LTC and BTG). Looking at it today and something in me is screaming "sell", but I don't think I can (lol..). I kind of feel like a member of the Titanic's band, but I kind of think I'll just ride it out a bit and see...
by coalcracker
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?
Replies: 90
Views: 9515

Re: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:12 pm
Where does bitcoin fit in your overall asset allocation?
Play money. The initial investment was less than a biweekly paycheck. It's current value is about 0.5% of my net worth.
by coalcracker
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?
Replies: 90
Views: 9515

Want to sell my Bitcoin, but when?

I bought about $7000 worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum in July as an experiment and learning process. Well, it is now worth about $21,000. I had planned to buy and hold until July 2018 so any gains would be long-term, but the recent run-up has me worrying the bubble pop may come sooner. I can afford to ...
by coalcracker
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a slide inside a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3257

Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

If the slide entrance is hidden in an upstairs closet do you want the kids going through the closet to use the slide? The slide will take up space in the closet (floor, wall) that could be used for storage. Does the house have plenty of storage? Do you want your kids friends using the slide when yo...
by coalcracker
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a slide inside a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3257

Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

What does the building code say about something like this? A secret room would probably be more appealing to your children and for a longer period and more useful in the long run, so you might consider that instead. I don't know anyone who wouldn't like having a secret room in their house. I would ...
by coalcracker
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a slide inside a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3257

Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

stan1 wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:00 pm
Now if it could double as a laundry chute that might help get more people on board with the slide.
Or a garbage chute. Just make sure there is not a trash compactor on the other end, a la Star Wars. :wink:
by coalcracker
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a slide inside a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3257

Re: Installing a slide inside a home?

If the slide entrance is hidden in an upstairs closet do you want the kids going through the closet to use the slide? The slide will take up space in the closet (floor, wall) that could be used for storage. Does the house have plenty of storage? Do you want your kids friends using the slide when yo...
by coalcracker
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing a slide inside a home?
Replies: 39
Views: 3257

Installing a slide inside a home?

I will be closing soon on a new home which is a beautiful home and property in great structural shape, but one which needs some "spiffing up" in the form floor refinishing, carpet removal, and bathroom updating. It won't be a complete gut job, but we want to get the house as close to our ideal home ...
by coalcracker
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains in retirement with no earned income: Is this right?
Replies: 8
Views: 1009

Re: Capital gains in retirement with no earned income: Is this right?

Perhaps you have a bum calculator. I got 0 using one. Try some others and get a majority vote. A few things to check.......your income (gross) is 70K. See line 13 of the 1040 which is capital GAINS.......it is not proceeds from stock sale. Your taxable income is your AGI less deductions and exempti...
by coalcracker
Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Capital gains in retirement with no earned income: Is this right?
Replies: 8
Views: 1009

Capital gains in retirement with no earned income: Is this right?

Let me see if I have this straight: I retire at the age of 45 and plan to live solely off dividends and the sale of taxable investments, with long-term capital gains. My wife and I will not be working and will earn no income. We will need ~120k per year to cover expenses. From that $120k, let's assu...
by coalcracker
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation after minor hurricane?
Replies: 25
Views: 2523

Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

We were on Hilton Head Island in December 2016, two months after it got hammered by Matthew. We stayed at the Marriott Surfwatch, close to Chaplin Park. The park was closed and was a receiving/processing area for all the downed trees on HHI that damaged property and blocked roads. An endless parade...
by coalcracker
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation after minor hurricane?
Replies: 25
Views: 2523

Re: Vacation after minor hurricane?

If we go, we may end up driving instead of flying. Regardless, the current (probably inaccurate) forecast for the Wednesday we would arrive is 83 and sunny. I have no experience with tropical storms or hurricanes, so I am trying to get a sense of the damage with this kind of storm in a low-lying, co...
by coalcracker
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation after minor hurricane?
Replies: 25
Views: 2523

Vacation after minor hurricane?

We are scheduled to leave on Saturday for a 10-day trip to Hilton Head, SC. As we stay apprised of the current forecast, we are considering alternative plans short of scrapping the whole trip. Our VRBO hosts have offered to push back the rental so that we arrive on Wednesday rather than Saturday. Th...
by coalcracker
Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage Loan-to-Value Ratio Effect on Rate?
Replies: 4
Views: 437

Mortgage Loan-to-Value Ratio Effect on Rate?

I am in the early stages of purchasing a home privately. The seller and I have agreed on a price, but now it's time for the paperwork. In anticipation of this purchase, we are sitting on a large cash reserve. We plan to use some of this money for a down payment and some for remodeling of the new hom...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4290

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

To those who have taken offense at this topic: How is my concern about obesity different from my concern about other health issues when hiring a nanny? What if, as another commenter mentioned, the concern was seizures instead of obesity? Or a previous stroke with limited strength in one arm? Or sev...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4290

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

To those who have taken offense at this topic: How is my concern about obesity different from my concern about other health issues when hiring a nanny? What if, as another commenter mentioned, the concern was seizures instead of obesity? Or a previous stroke with limited strength in one arm? Or seve...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4290

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

What are your alternatives? What does your spouse think? Sometimes the power of two minds is the best way to work through a complex family dilemma. I don't think you'll get much help from others on this very personal decision. We have one or two other candidates who could work, but this nanny is ou...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4290

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

My oh my..a person's weight does not define their abilities, character, personality, caring, loving. You should realize there are certainly obese persons on this forum, or they love persons who are obese. I do. This thread would surely hurt them as it does I.. I apologize if you were hurt by my com...
by coalcracker
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4290

Would you hire an obese nanny?

I am currently interviewing nannies to care for my infant and 3-year-old. Our top candidate so far is ideal for us in many ways, but she is also morbidly obese. I would estimate she is about 5'5" and weights in excess of 300 pounds. She carries herself well, and I am not particularly concerned about...
by coalcracker
Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips on Uber
Replies: 77
Views: 8178

Re: Tips on Uber

I have used Uber a fair amount and don't tip. On a recent tip to Vegas, I used the local taxi instead of Uber (there was a convenient line right outside my hotel). The credit card reader offered tip options of 20, 30, or 40%. After tipping *only* 10% in cash, I got a dirty look, no help with my bags...
by coalcracker
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is anyone using Apple CarPlay? My preferred car company isn't...
Replies: 33
Views: 3297

Re: Is anyone using Apple CarPlay? My preferred car company isn't...

I eagerly anticipate the day that an "Apple TV" equivalent can be plugged into any car stereo system. I'm not too familiar with all that's out there, but it seems most car computer tech is stuck in the early 2000s (perhaps with the exception of Tesla). I am sympathetic that car manufacturers have wh...
by coalcracker
Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what age were your kids potty trained?
Replies: 16
Views: 1834

Re: At what age were your kids potty trained?

Be careful what you wish for :twisted: I considered our son trained right around 3 when he rarely had accidents (maybe 1/month) and went to the bathroom on his own at home, without prompting. However this also means he wanted to "clean up" on his own, which can sometimes mean a substantial secondary...
by coalcracker
Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large capital loss, how to think about harvesting.
Replies: 10
Views: 1126

Re: Large capital loss, how to think about harvesting.

In extricating ourselves from a limited partnership, we will claim a capital loss of ~$184,000 for 2016. For better or worse, I had not planned to use tax loss harvesting before this event, but now I must educate myself on what to do with this "windfall". I have a basic understanding of the ability...
by coalcracker
Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large capital loss, how to think about harvesting.
Replies: 10
Views: 1126

Large capital loss, how to think about harvesting.

In extricating ourselves from a limited partnership, we will claim a capital loss of ~$184,000 for 2016. For better or worse, I had not planned to use tax loss harvesting before this event, but now I must educate myself on what to do with this "windfall". I have a basic understanding of the ability ...
by coalcracker
Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Travel
Replies: 29
Views: 3087

Re: Winter Travel

You didn't mention Germany, perhaps because some of you have already been there. My wife and I spent a magical week in southern Germany in December when we were in college. The Christmas markets were wonderful, and we just loved wandering around taking in the atmosphere. We also visited the area aro...
by coalcracker
Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks
Replies: 21
Views: 2715

Re: Adults trip in May to Zion and Bryce National Parks

You will read and everyone will tell you that Angel's Landing is the most spectacular hike in Zion, and I agree. It's quite, let's say, dramatic near the top, so I would not recommend it if you have a significant fear of heights (check out google's images before you go). The hike is strenuous, but y...