Search found 455 matches

by shelanman
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LA weather in April - Planning Disney
Replies: 5
Views: 341

Re: LA weather in April - Planning Disney

Most of the time, April is lovely. It's one of the best months. Weather is a risk everywhere all the time, of course, but you can't do much better than coming to southern California in April. It is possible that you might have rain. Most years, April sees either no rain or only 1-2 days, but every o...
by shelanman
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ashley furniture experience? 2000 dollars for 13x8x8 sectional
Replies: 40
Views: 3987

Re: Ashley furniture experience? 2000 dollars for 13x8x8 sectional

I own a sofa that I bought about 7 years ago from Ashley. As others have told you, quality is not their focus -- cheapness is their focus. I bought one of the sofas that was part of one of their complete living room package sets. (Basically it was like $1200 for just the sofa, or for $1100, I could ...
by shelanman
Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing photos from JPG files
Replies: 30
Views: 1197

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 s...
by shelanman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “We have a lot to do, and very little time, so we must work slowly.”
Replies: 21
Views: 3963

Re: “We have a lot to do, and very little time, so we must work slowly.”

dratkinson wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:30 pm
"There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but there is always enough time to do it over." Related to Murphy's law.
You have described my life.

(Please stop, it hurts)
by shelanman
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?
Replies: 31
Views: 3687

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

I purchased a cruise through Costco Travel (on Norwegian, to Hawaii, in 2014), and had a fairly good experience. That won't help you evaluate the quality of their travel packages, but I can at least review the travel agency for you: I researched everywhere, and basically everybody had the same price...
by shelanman
Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reason for Airlines horrible ticket policy
Replies: 32
Views: 2196

Re: Reason for Airlines horrible ticket policy

For most airlines today, the core business model is to charge high prices to business travelers who will pay it, and less to leisure travelers who fill up the rest of the plane, but will buy whatever is cheapest (and just stop traveling if it costs too much). The high change fee is part of this prog...
by shelanman
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's own 401k plan eliminating S&P 500 Index option!
Replies: 86
Views: 7884

Re: Vanguard's own 401k plan eliminating S&P 500 Index option!

Is there some reason for 401k plans to have such limited choices?

Why doesn't Vanguard (or any employer) just let you pick whatever funds you want?
by shelanman
Thu May 24, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: will the SP500 double in 7 years?
Replies: 109
Views: 13716

Re: will the SP500 double in 7 years?

The real question is, will the S&P 500 double in 7 years? From now? My crystal ball is in the shop, and they don't return my calls. :( If you repaired a crystal ball, would you give it back? :twisted: Good point. :oops: I don't know. I'd need to look into the crystal ball to see whether I should.
by shelanman
Tue May 22, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: will the SP500 double in 7 years?
Replies: 109
Views: 13716

Re: will the SP500 double in 7 years?

So... should we do this again? Start a poll for whether the S&P will get to 4,800 (or, anyway, that total return will exceed 100%) over the next 7 years?

(I would, but apparently I don't have permission to create polls)
by shelanman
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why are rising Bond Yields bad?
Replies: 37
Views: 4686

Re: Why are rising Bond Yields bad?

a) If the bond yield is rising, then why all VG bond mutual funds show -ve YTD ? Is it because the price of the bonds, within these funds is falling ? How this works ? b) How to read SEC yield ? If the rates are up, bonds should give better returns, right ? Is that reflective in SEC or YTD number ?...
by shelanman
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: underwater camera advice
Replies: 18
Views: 870

Re: underwater camera advice

Meikon makes underwater cases for a wide variety of cameras. They cost between $100 and $300, depending on the camera. They aren't professional grade or anything, but they beat the pants off those little waterproof bags -- and they let you use your regular, everyday camera under water. For a trip to...
by shelanman
Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Storm Damage - Need Advice about Filing a Claim (or not)
Replies: 9
Views: 840

Re: Storm Damage - Need Advice about Filing a Claim (or not)

Laws and insurance coverages vary by state, so I can't claim to be an expert, but... ...that sounds like a classic example of a claim against your vehicle Comprehensive coverage in your auto policy. If you have significant frame damage on a $10k car, it's probably a total loss. For the Corolla, you ...
by shelanman
Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to Orange County
Replies: 50
Views: 4420

Re: Move to Orange County

Therefore, I have no clue what expensive means - when most people are telling us not to make the move because California is SO expensive. I live in Orange County. It's entirely possible to live comfortably on that. House prices are on the order of $400/sq. ft. A little less for less-desirable place...
by shelanman
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera
Replies: 14
Views: 1584

Re: FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal cameras work pretty well for detecting leaks. You are correct. Though, as my neighbor learned to her dismay the last time she had a leak, they *also* detect where your clothes dryer was five minutes ago if it was on! She had a leak. We *knew* she had a leak. We found a big warm spot in the ...
by shelanman
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Diego for 3-4 Days for a Couple
Replies: 25
Views: 1859

Re: San Diego for 3-4 Days for a Couple

If it sounds at all like your thing, I super highly recommend taking a guided Kayak tour of the La Jolla sea caves. It's March, so it might be too cold for you to feel comfortable getting into the ocean. But that tour was my favorite activity I've done in San Diego, so I recommend it pretty much eve...
by shelanman
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Implications of top 1% owning 40% of the Stock Market?
Replies: 16
Views: 1475

Re: Implications of top 1% owning 40% of the Stock Market?

I would imagine the top 1% own most of everything. Real estate, diamonds, expensive art, etc, etc. Not quite, but not that far off. The top 1% of wealthiest Americans have about 34% of the wealth. The next 4% have about 27% of the wealth, the next 5% have a further 11%, as does the next 10%. The se...
by shelanman
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to vacation in San Diego
Replies: 16
Views: 1374

Re: Looking to vacation in San Diego

San Diego is a fun place to visit, and it will probably be quite pleasant in April. You could have summery weather, but cooler temps are more likely, so it might not be good "Beach weather" If it isn't too cold (or of you're feeling brave), I highly highly recommend a kayak tour of the La Jolla sea ...
by shelanman
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Syncing Family Files and Photos
Replies: 9
Views: 1105

Re: Syncing Family Files and Photos

For photos specifically, the Google Drive and Google Photos integration is really excellent. I haven't done exactly what you want, but I think it will be straightforward. If you've never set it up, set up Google Photos at photos.google.com. Under 'Settings', you should turn on 'Google Drive' (which ...
by shelanman
Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Chair Recommendations (Aeron?)
Replies: 38
Views: 3533

Re: Office Chair Recommendations (Aeron?)

I will absolutely second the standing desk. I have an electronically-adjustable sit-stand desk, and it's the best thing ever. I love it. I bought one of the "Jarvis" desks from Fully (Specifically, this one ). I've had it for six months and it is fantastic. I move it at least once most days. However...
by shelanman
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ihg free night
Replies: 3
Views: 572

Re: Ihg free night

IHG is the company that owns Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Intercontinental hotels. It stands for Intercontinental Hotel Group.

But no, I haven't tried to use an IHG free night award for a booking that commences after expiration.
by shelanman
Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any first class flights from PHX (Phoenix) to HI (Hawaii) on a 747??
Replies: 40
Views: 3129

Re: Any first class flights from PHX (Phoenix) to HI (Hawaii) on a 747??

One more note: U.S. carriers do not call it "first class" on overseas flights, they call it "business class". I presume that is to make it more palatable to corporate accounting departments. That's part of it -- the other part, though, is that they're woefully uncompetitive with the true internatio...
by shelanman
Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any first class flights from PHX (Phoenix) to HI (Hawaii) on a 747??
Replies: 40
Views: 3129

Re: Any first class flights from PHX (Phoenix) to HI (Hawaii) on a 747??

What is "business class"? Is that between lst class and economy? It's complicated. In theory, Business Class is in between economy and first classes. But, airlines don't all have the same product on every flight (as people have pointed out to you) -- and some don't offer an international-grade firs...
by shelanman
Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Organized European Tours for Students
Replies: 13
Views: 1103

Re: Organized European Tours for Students

It's going to be somewhat hard to compare, because I have to imagine that travel for otherwise unchaperoned 13-year-olds has to be different than travel aimed at adults... ...I think that it would probably be an amazing experience for your daughter to go without you (assuming that she actually likes...
by shelanman
Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying first class/ business......
Replies: 21
Views: 4692

Re: Flying first class/ business......

For International business class, you're usually fine. Keep in mind that deep-discount biz tickets are just as restricted as coach, often with $400+ change fees. For domestic F, you've got a lower chance of actually getting rebooked in F. Most airlines will give away all of the remaining F seats abo...
by shelanman
Tue May 23, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The dot com "do over" bull market?
Replies: 82
Views: 10177

Re: The dot com "do over" bull market?

There are some major tech players that obviously have the business models to make their lofty valuations not excessively bubbilicious. But, at the same time, there's a whole category of tech company that are literally called the Unicorns . These are venture-backed, privately-held single-product busi...
by shelanman
Thu May 18, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Death in family a week before cruise
Replies: 30
Views: 4851

Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Something to consider -- many credit cards include some sort of travel insurance.

If you paid for any part of the trip on a credit card, have a look at the terms for that card, because you might be covered.
by shelanman
Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to book travel
Replies: 12
Views: 2411

Re: Best way to book travel

Choose an airline whose partnerships cover all of your frequent destinations. Book all your flights through that carrier's website. (If flying on the partner airline, double check that the price is reasonable) You are looking at enough travel to make at least one of the middle tiers of their elite p...
by shelanman
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insane Bloodwork Cost (Quest Diagnostic)
Replies: 51
Views: 14154

Re: Insane Bloodwork Cost (Quest Diagnostic)

Contact both the lab and the insurance company. Don't agree to pay that amount. Qwest (like most labs) are known for insane rates and big discounts. My last visit there, the bill was $2300. The adjusted bill after discounts was $103. Insurance paid nothing because I have the same HSA style plan. Wha...
by shelanman
Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London Hotel
Replies: 13
Views: 1822

Re: London Hotel

I had a pleasant stay at The Academy hotel on Gower St (Bloomsbury), back in 2012.
by shelanman
Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating from NY to CA for a job offer
Replies: 51
Views: 6089

Re: Relocating from NY to CA for a job offer

With all the other long-term career advantages, go for it. With 180K base, great benefits and bonus/equity, you would be fine. If you may want to move back to NY at some point, renting would be good option. Where in Silicon Valley? In good school districts, you would be looking at about 4-5k per mo...
by shelanman
Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in the 80's when CD rates were 17%?
Replies: 74
Views: 9697

Re: Investing in the 80's when CD rates were 17%?

Well, 17% interest rates sure sound great. Until you realize that inflation was 13%. Assume that you pay 40% marginal tax on that interest income and see what your real return looks like. :( The magic is that the high inflation was brought under control relatively quickly, but the CD rates were fix...
by shelanman
Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Michelin Premier AS, anyone have them?
Replies: 13
Views: 2055

Re: Michelin Premier AS, anyone have them?

I've been on them for about 15k miles, on my Camry. I've been very happy with them, and much happier than I was with the Primacy MXV4s that I had on before. Lots of folks complain about the increased noise. I don't notice it at all, except when I'm driving on badly-grooved roads -- then they're a bi...
by shelanman
Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes
Replies: 20
Views: 3053

Re: India to Replace Largest Bank Notes

All (edit: US) old notes are still negotiable, except for Confederate notes, as far as I am aware. On the other hand, old notes are all worth enough as collectibles that they are unlikely to ever be spent.
by shelanman
Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! "native_proxy.exe" What is it and what to do?
Replies: 9
Views: 2476

Re: Help! "native_proxy.exe" What is it and what to do?

There is a program with that name that is part a Google Chrome plug-in that makes Google Drive work properly. If you have installed the Chrome browser, you'll have a nativeproxy.exe for that. (Of course, its just a file name, some malicious program could be using the same name, but most likely that'...
by shelanman
Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Admirals Club
Replies: 19
Views: 3403

Re: Admirals Club

Sounds like a more limited (see: worse) version of Chase Sapphire Reserve, naw? CSR is very different -- and Priority Pass network doesn't include AA lounges (or United clubs, for that matter). The Priority Pass network is somewhat limited except at major international travel hubs -- and often only...
by shelanman
Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 5236

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

I'm another one currently on the Chase program. I closed my Sapphire Preferred ($95/yr) and replaced it with a Sapphire Reserve ($450/yr). I expect to get the full $300 travel credit every year, making that a $150/yr fee (and, because annual fee is based on sign-up date, and travel credit is on cale...
by shelanman
Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is free lifetime healthcare worth? [Start business in US or Canada?]
Replies: 22
Views: 2955

Re: How much is free lifetime healthcare worth?

USA has a sales tax too, but it does not really provide any services. I mean in California, there is a 9.25% sales tax, large income tax, property tax, gas tax, huge car registration fees, 50% of California's tax revenue comes from fees actually, and if your an employer you will probably be require...
by shelanman
Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii anniversary trip suggestions
Replies: 33
Views: 3763

Re: Hawaii anniversary trip suggestions

Boo! I spent forever writing a giant essay, and it got eated when I hit submit. Here's a new version, slightly abbreviated because reasons, but still with most of my recommendations, and all of the photos. I've been on that NCL Cruise, and it's not a bad way to go if you've never been to Hawaii befo...
by shelanman
Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-Mobile New 'One' Plan
Replies: 27
Views: 4525

Re: T-Mobile New 'One' Plan

I switched to T Mobile this year because I got tired of AT&T being jerks. The cell coverage is good enough, but not great. (Areas where AT&T had good coverage, TMO has good coverage too. Areas where AT&T was marginal, TMO is just not there) Speeds are fine. The free international data is awesome, an...
by shelanman
Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Chair
Replies: 36
Views: 4023

Re: Office Chair

I am currently sitting on an Ergohuman LE9ERG (the leather version of the ErgoHuman V1 w/headrest). They retail for $650 in leather, and I think $600 in mesh. Sometimes you can find them on sale -- I paid either $525 or $550 for mine (from a local store that is no longer in business) I've had it for...
by shelanman
Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a used DSLR Suggestion
Replies: 37
Views: 3282

Re: Buying a used DSLR Suggestion

I'll jump in with another +1 for the mirrorless suggestion. I bought a Sony a5100 last summer for my travel plans, and I've been pretty happy. If I attach the kit 16-50mm powerzoom pancake (and leave all the other stuff at home) the camera fits in a jacket pocket. Of course, if I bring the big bag '...
by shelanman
Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comcast - lease modem/router or buy?
Replies: 47
Views: 5758

Re: Comcast - lease modem/router or buy?

Buy your own for sure. Get a modem off their approved device list. Any one will work, but if you use an approved one, they have a harder time pretending it's your fault if you have trouble. For routers, anything will work. For inexpensive products, I personally like Linksys. If you have a big house,...
by shelanman
Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Side Sleeper Seeking a New Bed Pillow
Replies: 10
Views: 1700

Re: Side Sleeper Seeking a New Bed Pillow

I have the Brookstone side-sleeper "biosense" memory-foam pillow. (Not the "biosense 2" -- never used those) Normal latex foam pillows were too thin (and itchy) for me. This one is a foam pillow in the middle with a fluffy "down alternative" wrapper around it, making it a good thickness. The side-sl...
by shelanman
Sat Jul 23, 2016 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Very strange discovery on Google [use tracking/privacy]
Replies: 23
Views: 4599

Re: Very strange discovery on Google [use tracking/privacy]

The link to the device list is a good place to start. The Google Dashboard: https://www.google.com/settings/dashboard will show you all sorts of information that Google has about you, including your activity. You can delete just about all of it. For many of the categories, you can turn off collectio...
by shelanman
Tue May 31, 2016 1:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Things to Do and See on Kauai, Hawaii
Replies: 75
Views: 8019

Re: Things to Do and See on Kauai, Hawaii

You've already got some good suggestions, but... I only spent about a day and a half on Kauai -- I was on that same Norwegian Cruise that itstoomuch is taking. I had a bunch of fun, but definitely the best thing I did on the island was the inner-tubing down the Lihue Plantation irrigation channels. ...
by shelanman
Fri May 20, 2016 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Magic Android TV box
Replies: 3
Views: 714

Re: Magic Android TV box

Not sure what device you're thinking of. Personally, I ditched cable ages ago, but I also watch very little TV anyway. If you've never done the internet-tv thing at all, buy you have either an Android phone or an iPhone, you should try out a Google Chromecast. They cost $35, and they're super easy t...
by shelanman
Thu May 19, 2016 1:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "We don't have enough companies like Tesla"
Replies: 24
Views: 4278

Re: "We don't have enough companies like Tesla"

You might be interested in a previous Forum discussion of the Total Economy Portfolio , as suggested by Rick Ferri. The idea is to tilt one’s portfolio in favor of small-cap value stocks and REITs, to thus include parts of the U.S. economy that are under-represented in the broader market equity ind...
by shelanman
Sun May 15, 2016 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: treasurydirect.gov is not a secure website?
Replies: 15
Views: 3130

Re: treasurydirect.gov is not a secure website?

The error that you are getting indicates that the site that you're viewing isn't giving you a valid certificate. Sometimes, this happens due to silliness -- like if the certificate were valid for "www.treasurydirect.gov" but you happened to go to a page that was at "treasurydirect.gov" (without the ...
by shelanman
Sun May 15, 2016 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you move after your home has appreciated by $500K?
Replies: 38
Views: 5089

Re: Do you move after your home has appreciated by $500K?

I'm in California, and I'm single, so we're talking only $250k of gain. I don't expect the next 3 years to include as much housing appreciation as the last 3 years, but if they do, then I'll have to actually decide what to do. But, I've been toying with leaving California forever. Missing out on an ...
by shelanman
Wed May 11, 2016 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifted math program for 1st grade
Replies: 66
Views: 8958

Re: Gifted math program for 1st grade

Also in response to those posters who question whether testing can identify gifted kids prior to first grade - the counterintuitive answer is - Yes. Doesn't mean that the tests are perfect or that many kids who are not identified as gifted won't end up being super smart (or that some of the "gifted...