Search found 1187 matches

by rjbraun
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska Trip/Cruise Summer of 2020. Help me plan
Replies: 23
Views: 1457

Re: Alaska Trip/Cruise Summer of 2020. Help me plan

A trip to Alaska is also on our list of desired future trips, so I will be interested to follow this thread. In addition to the cruise option, I read about traveling independently via passenger ferries. I plan to look into this at some point, but a friend mentioned recently that the ferries can stop...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suit shoe combo?
Replies: 28
Views: 1144

Re: suit shoe combo?

I think the skepticism that others seem to have expressed has merit. Also, in the event that there will be engagement party photographs, either "official" or informal ones, you and your outfit would have some permanence, so you presumably will want to dress in a fashion that you will be okay with in...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

I was really surprised to see two books show up as free ($0.00 Kindle price) the other day. These were legitimate books that we (or SO) were interested to buy at full price. I am talking about somewhat obscure books (one on First Nations art, another on Japanese history -- both by respected authors...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

FWIW, I didn't see much that interested me. I did buy a couple of Amazon Dots for additional coverage in our casa. That's it, though. BTW, if you have a reader, Prime members can download all six "early reads", instead of the normal offer of one out of six. So I have more eBooks to read. These free...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

If you keep items in your shopping cart to purchase later, Amazon will notify you of price changes each time you look at your cart. I do that with items that I need to buy but don't need immediately. Some items have steep price drops for a short period of time, either because someone else is sellin...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

The deals are totally random, I think. I saved $5 yesterday on a USB wall charger that I needed and had been on my wishlist for a few months. This morning Amazon sent me a notice that another item on my wishlist, some noise-cancelling headphones that had been on my list for almost a year, were $75 ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 64
Views: 2695

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

This thread has me thinking. I was a pretty competitive violinist in my youth through college. I played on a student violin ($1300 25 years ago, now worth around $3.5-4K). In college I considered upgrading to a $10 range violin, but did not do so as I was not going into music as a long-term career ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

The deals are totally random, I think. I saved $5 yesterday on a USB wall charger that I needed and had been on my wishlist for a few months. This morning Amazon sent me a notice that another item on my wishlist, some noise-cancelling headphones that had been on my list for almost a year, were $75 ...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

I bought 5x (the max) of the Kindle Fire 7" tablet for $9.99 each using the Prime Deal and $.01 of Citi Thank You Points. Also bought an 8" Kindle Fire tablet for $19.99 with the same method. Missed out on the 10", however. I see a Prime Deal Fire 7" tablet available for $19.99. I guess you use Cit...
by rjbraun
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Day 2018
Replies: 85
Views: 8827

Re: Amazon Prime Day 2018

I bought 5x (the max) of the Kindle Fire 7" tablet for $9.99 each using the Prime Deal and $.01 of Citi Thank You Points. Also bought an 8" Kindle Fire tablet for $19.99 with the same method. Missed out on the 10", however. I see a Prime Deal Fire 7" tablet available for $19.99. I guess you use Cit...
by rjbraun
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 64
Views: 2695

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

I was always a good violin player (won almost all local/regional competitions but def not pro world-class soloist talent) and I couldn't believe that the mere act of switching to a better instrument actually dramatically changed AND improved my violin skill. It literally took me to the next level, ...
by rjbraun
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?
Replies: 64
Views: 2695

Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Yes. I bought a piano to play myself. It was the most money I have ever spent on a single purchase apart from my home. I took lessons as a kid (no prodigy, at all) and realized that as an adult music (listening, primarily) provided considerable enjoyment. Yes, I still own the piano. While I did not ...
by rjbraun
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving Tip and Ideas?
Replies: 23
Views: 1336

Re: Moving Tip and Ideas?

People seem to offer free moving boxes here reasonably often; you may want to monitor your area for opportunities:

https://freecycle.org/search
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Re: Printing photos from JPG files

Thanks to all for the really helpful feedback. I confirmed with the photographer from the start that the images would belong to us (this was tip I read when I was researching how to hire a photographer :happy ). He said that we are free to print as we like, so I think things should be fine. That blu...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Re: Printing photos from JPG files

The best quality prints and photo gifts that I've ever bought have been done by Bay Photo (bayphoto.com) They are way more expensive than Walgreens/Costco/Shutterfly, but they have top notch stuff. Their primary market is selling through photographers, but they'll happily print for you, too. I can ...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Re: Printing photos from JPG files

1. How should we proceed with printing some of the photos? I haven't seriously printed pictures since using actual film! We don't own a high-quality printer, should we send them out? If so, any recommendations as to where? In at least some cases we would be looking for a quality print (up to 8" x 1...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Re: Printing photos from JPG files

The paper is pretty much the same across the board. There are not many manufacturers who make photo paper any longer. As one poster noted, the limiting factor may be your JPEG. Most pro photographers shoot in .RAW format...which has a lot more data in the file than a JPEG. In layman's terms, let's ...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Re: Printing photos from JPG files

Make sure that the jpg files you received are high resolution versions meant for reprint. The jpg file may be the limiting factor; most high volume printers like Walgreens, Costco, etc. can produce high quality prints given good input. Thank you, good point. Yes, I should have high resolution files...
by rjbraun
Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Printing photos from JPG files

Thank you all for the helpful feedback. Just to clarify, I am looking for (reasonably) high-quality prints. The pictures are of a special occasion and whatever gets framed will be given to parents, for example. While the book would probably be just for us, it is something that we plan to look at re...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Re: Printing photos from JPG files

Thank you all for the helpful feedback. Just to clarify, I am looking for (reasonably) high-quality prints. The pictures are of a special occasion and whatever gets framed will be given to parents, for example. While the book would probably be just for us, it is something that we plan to look at reg...
by rjbraun
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1089

Printing photos from JPG files

We recently hired a photographer and have received JPG files of the pictures he took. 1. How should we proceed with printing some of the photos? I haven't seriously printed pictures since using actual film! We don't own a high-quality printer, should we send them out? If so, any recommendations as t...
by rjbraun
Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding for airline flight class upgrade
Replies: 9
Views: 1467

Re: Bidding for airline flight class upgrade

We just flew with Singapore Airlines (May 2018) and they gave us the option to do the same. We got a killer deal on the original tickets ($600 rt/pp from Houston to Bali, so about 50% off) and so the minimum cost/bid to upgrade to PE was high ($1,200 rt/pp). We passed on it and we're glad we did. P...
by rjbraun
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bidding for airline flight class upgrade
Replies: 9
Views: 1467

Bidding for airline flight class upgrade

We are flying Cathay Pacific to Vancouver later this month. Cathay offers the ability to bid on a one-class upgrade, i.e., from Economy to Premium Economy, in our case. The site shows a "dial" with price ranges, including the likelihood of receiving the upgrade ranging from "poor" to "excellent" and...
by rjbraun
Fri May 18, 2018 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531462

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I want to get CSR . - I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago. - I am under 5/24. - I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs. ... Question-2 : Should I convert CSP into Freedom Unlimited? - Most bloggers recommend it, but I am wondering why should not I apply for FU ...
by rjbraun
Fri May 18, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531462

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I want to get CSR . - I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago. - I am under 5/24. - I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs. Question-1 : After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses? - One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic...
by rjbraun
Fri May 18, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531462

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49? Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then? I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal i...
by rjbraun
Thu May 17, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Gifts for Kids... 529? Savings Bonds? What's the best option?
Replies: 8
Views: 794

Re: Financial Gifts for Kids... 529? Savings Bonds? What's the best option?

I am very interested to follow this thread as I am probably in a similar situation as OP. I am "tired" of giving gifts where it's not clear the parent / kid even wants or can use them (even if they are listed on a registry. Example: parents list some clothing items but meanwhile they receive the sam...
by rjbraun
Thu May 17, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth quitting my private-sector job and taking a government job so I can invest in the 457 account, too?
Replies: 15
Views: 1706

Re: Is it worth quitting my private-sector job and taking a government job so I can invest in the 457 account, too?

Long story short: I have a private-sector job where I'm maxing out the HSA and 403(b). (I put in after-tax monies every year into my Roth IRA, too.) If I leave this job for a state government job, I'll almost certainly have to take a little bit of a pay cut, but then I'll get the 457 account. And w...
by rjbraun
Thu May 17, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth quitting my private-sector job and taking a government job so I can invest in the 457 account, too?
Replies: 15
Views: 1706

Re: Is it worth quitting my private-sector job and taking a government job so I can invest in the 457 account, too?

Long story short: I have a private-sector job where I'm maxing out the HSA and 403(b). (I put in after-tax monies every year into my Roth IRA, too.) If I leave this job for a state government job, I'll almost certainly have to take a little bit of a pay cut, but then I'll get the 457 account. And w...
by rjbraun
Wed May 16, 2018 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531462

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49? Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then? I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal i...
by rjbraun
Wed May 16, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant
Replies: 209
Views: 12668

Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

I'm glad I don't drink in restaurants. To read that a person pays $50 for food and 1.5 times that for wine is so strange to me. Can people not hold off for an hour or two? But to OP, I agree. The few times I have been forced to order wine for others (I always pay :oops: ), I applied a $10 tip for i...
by rjbraun
Wed May 16, 2018 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant
Replies: 209
Views: 12668

Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

"20% of the total bill, pre-tax" I never thought about that but it is true huh. I usually am 20+ depending..... Thanks i'm going to Boggle more, tip 20% per the cost of meals/drinks ................ Our wonderful Md tax cuts us up !!! Yup, where I live the tax is almost 9%. Ouch. I will say that if...
by rjbraun
Wed May 16, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant
Replies: 209
Views: 12668

Re: how do you tip on wine at a restaurant

20% of the total bill, pre-tax, as long as the service was acceptable. Would consider adding more for excellent / exceptional service and shaving off a bit for very poor service that could be attributed directly to the server (and not, say, the kitchen).
by rjbraun
Wed May 16, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants to use our land temporarily - let them or not?
Replies: 48
Views: 6363

Re: Neighbor wants to use our land temporarily - let them or not?

fsrph: I agree with your first reply by livesoft: Yes, I would not hesitate to do so and I wouldn't care at all about liability issues. If there is one thing I have learned about neighbors, it is the great importance of keeping neighbors as friends. Best wishes. Taylor I am with livesoft and Taylor...
by rjbraun
Tue May 15, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Neighbor wants to use our land temporarily - let them or not?
Replies: 48
Views: 6363

Re: Neighbor wants to use our land temporarily - let them or not?

Yes, I would not hesitate to do so and I wouldn't care at all about liability issues. livesoft -- I take it this is your stance regardless of the hurricane aspect, is that right? Or is part of the good neighbor policy a function of the hardship the neighbor has endured as a result of Irma? Just cur...
by rjbraun
Tue May 15, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Helping someone with Cancer
Replies: 21
Views: 1438

Re: Helping someone with Cancer

How well do you know her/them? That can affect what you'd want to do, and what they'd feel comfortable with. RM I agree, your relationship would likely influence the type of help she would feel comfortable requesting or receiving. I know you said that this was a very close co-worker, but depending ...
by rjbraun
Tue May 15, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Yes, I'm 89 all right! [Jack Bogle]
Replies: 126
Views: 10474

Re: Yes, I'm 89 all right!

Sooooo wonderful to hear from you, sir! I increasingly sound like a broken record to my friends, family, work colleagues ....: Jack Bogle has done more for the individual investor than any other person. Fortunately, fellow Bogleheads never seem to tire of extolling the virtues of Bogle-headedness Th...
by rjbraun
Mon May 14, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Update] Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?
Replies: 49
Views: 3222

Re: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?

I'm having a "significant" birthday this year, and my s/o and I would like to celebrate with some sort of national park trip. A little cliche, but we're thinking the Grand Canyon. We are open to other suggestions. Given work schedules, we can potentially travel between (and including) 10/5 and 10/9...
by rjbraun
Thu May 10, 2018 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?
Replies: 48
Views: 4976

Re: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?

I agree with splitting your time across a couple of different cities. Of your short list, I recommend Vienna. Of others' suggestions, I recommend Amsterdam. My own thought, however, is that you weigh the merits of basing in Switzerland: Berne especially, but also Geneva, Basel, or Strasbourg (close...
by rjbraun
Thu May 03, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not Wasting Food
Replies: 60
Views: 3794

Re: Not Wasting Food

Fresh strawberries were on sale this week. I bought 2 lbs and cut them up to add to plain yogurt. That's ultimately what I would do with most of them anyway, but they will keep better in the yogurt. Speaking of berries, I've noticed that fresh blueberries seem to rot more quickly now. Maybe they jus...
by rjbraun
Thu May 03, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amtrak tickets - change in refund terms: UPDATE
Replies: 20
Views: 2169

Re: Amtrak tickets - change in refund terms: UPDATE

I guess I need to post something in order for people to see my update above.
by rjbraun
Thu May 03, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to italy.........
Replies: 19
Views: 2112

Re: Traveling to italy.........

Buon viaggio! Are you saying that your experience with making connections with Italo is very good or excellent? How much Italo train travel is your experience based on? [/quote] Sorry, my advice was not clear at all. I had numerous botched connections with Trenitalia, both when I lived in Italy (ab...
by rjbraun
Tue May 01, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential risk with Chase URs [Ultimate Rewards]
Replies: 20
Views: 2736

Re: Potential risk with Chase URs

Thanks for the heads up. I transfer monthly anyway. Just got the freedom unlimited with 3x points or 3% back in the first year (seemed too good to be true). Nice. Is that offer by invitation only? SO recently "product changed" from Chase Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited. I wonder if there's ...
by rjbraun
Tue May 01, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential risk with Chase URs [Ultimate Rewards]
Replies: 20
Views: 2736

Re: Potential risk with Chase URs

Thanks for the heads up. I transfer monthly anyway. Just got the freedom unlimited with 3x points or 3% back in the first year (seemed too good to be true). Nice. Is that offer by invitation only? SO recently "product changed" from Chase Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited. I wonder if there's ...
by rjbraun
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 15234

Re: BH travel tips?

The Amazon compasses seem to satisfy my need. They are small, have a lanyard hole, and hopefully have at least 30 degree precision. It just does not feel right buying 10 compasses and then either finding place for 9 of them or throwing them away. May be I'll use them as wedding gifts. Victoria I wo...
by rjbraun
Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential risk with Chase URs [Ultimate Rewards]
Replies: 20
Views: 2736

Re: Potential risk with Chase URs

Thanks for the heads up. I transfer monthly anyway. Just got the freedom unlimited with 3x points or 3% back in the first year (seemed too good to be true). Nice. Is that offer by invitation only? SO recently "product changed" from Chase Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited. I wonder if there's ...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 15234

Re: BH travel tips?

The Amazon compasses seem to satisfy my need. They are small, have a lanyard hole, and hopefully have at least 30 degree precision. It just does not feel right buying 10 compasses and then either finding place for 9 of them or throwing them away. May be I'll use them as wedding gifts. Victoria I wo...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BH travel tips?
Replies: 193
Views: 15234

Re: BH travel tips?

The compass you have linked is not available on the REI site. Perhaps you meant this one ? A minor digression: The thermometer on this and similar zipper pulls is useless in practice. They're normally so close to your body that their readings are significantly higher than ambient temperature. Note ...
by rjbraun
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical alert "button"
Replies: 34
Views: 2128

Re: Medical alert "button"

Artsdoctor wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:41 pm
You might try the AARP site:

http://medicalert.systems/aarp-recommen ... t-systems/

I set my mom up with Medical Alert. It looks OK and the concept is good, but we've not had to test them.
Thank you, looks like there's some helpful information on the site.
by rjbraun
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical alert "button"
Replies: 34
Views: 2128

Re: Medical alert "button"

The Knox Box I have is the model 3200. The Knox Box site shows a price of $308. The installation cost would be zero if someone can use a screwdriver. You simply put the box clip over the top of your door, and tighten a set screw on the inside side of the door, which prevents the box from sliding ar...