Search found 623 matches

by criticalmass
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zion Nat'l Park & mosquitos in October?
Replies: 17
Views: 1255

Re: Zion Nat'l Park & mosquitos in October?

Kdsunday & Watty: Thanks for the helpful replies. Kdsunday, It's actually quite useful to know that you're a mosquito magnet like me. Watty, good idea about calling the park. Shallowpockets: This is not helpful at all. I don't want to pay extra to check a bag, and bug spray doesn't travel well as i...
by criticalmass
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard changing my Admiral shares to Investor Shares
Replies: 26
Views: 4354

Re: Vanguard changing my Admiral shares to Investor Shares

Petty and foolish on the part of Vanguard - while they have the right to do it, it would be interesting to know whether they change ALL of their customer accounts to investor shares if the account balance drops below the admiral thresholds. It seems like they will be causing lots of waves and only ...
by criticalmass
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If I retire to a State that has no State taxes...
Replies: 46
Views: 7299

Re: If I retire to a State that has no State taxes...

BTW: Many FT RV folks use income tax free SD since it only requires one overnight per LIFETIME to become a resident (be careful to NOT trigger residency in another state (rules vary by state). It has become a pain, in that you currently have to return to SD to renew your DL every several yrs. I wou...
by criticalmass
Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3443

Re: How Much Is Your Sewer Bill?

Flat rate sewer bill payer here in MCOL. It seems like our sewer plant keeps jacking bills up. We are now up to $125 per quarter. When I moved here ten years ago it was $75 I believe. Excuse to keep raising rates is "plant upgrade" Is $41.67 per month too high for a flat rate sewer bill? -TheDDC Op...
by criticalmass
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using credit card rental car insurance
Replies: 14
Views: 1160

Re: Using credit card rental car insurance

Check to see if it is primary or secondary coverage. Primary means you do not have to submit a claim to your auto insurance company. If the renter in Italy has insurance in the United States, that’s a moot point, since a claim in Italy wouldn’t be submitted to their United States automobile insuran...
by criticalmass
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 97
Views: 4653

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

In order to function as a protective device, the anode has to make electrical contact with the steel inner tank. If the anode is insulated from the tank, it will not prevent corrosion of the tank. You must have missed my earlier post. In my experience such tape is ALWAYS cut substantially by the pi...
by criticalmass
Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 97
Views: 4653

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

Is the anode really meant to be installed with teflon tape? Standard installation of a water heater requires no teflon tape on water connection (it's optional on the pressure valve). Only on the gas connection requires teflon tape and even there only on one side. People - even plumbers - overuse th...
by criticalmass
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio
Replies: 51
Views: 9862

Re: Don't pay full price for SiriusXM radio

Hi Bogleheads - Just a quick tip FWIW. My subscription for SiriusXM radio was scheduled to automatically renew in early September. The new rate was $218/year. I called them this afternoon and said I wanted to cancel my subscription. They wanted to keep me as a subscriber and offered to extend my pr...
by criticalmass
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?
Replies: 38
Views: 2482

Re: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?

As long as the refrigerator/freezer was never opened and was reasonably full, most or all of the food is likely just fine for 24 hours. Use your nose, eyes, and common sense to confirm. If the refrigerator door was opened then I would be suspect. A lot of the guidance is super conservative and as an...
by criticalmass
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?
Replies: 52
Views: 4182

Re: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?

I'm as cheap as they come. I carry state minimum coverage on my sub-$1000 clunker. However , if I had an expensive car - and someday I'd like to own a DeLorean, which runs about $30k - I would absolutely have comp/coll/under-insured/uninsured coverage. I'd have all the coverages possible. And I'd b...
by criticalmass
Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 97
Views: 4653

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

Duplicate post
by criticalmass
Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Route-66 trip recommendations
Replies: 38
Views: 1779

Re: Route-66 trip recommendations

Hi, This is for one of my relatives who are in Europe and would like to do the "route-66" trip. I have not done this trip but are there travel agencies who can plan these? If anyone has traveled this trip any advice on places to avoid and which is a "must-see" and if you can recommend a travel agen...
by criticalmass
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?
Replies: 52
Views: 4182

Re: New Car: No Collision/Comprehensive?

I'm as cheap as they come. I carry state minimum coverage on my sub-$1000 clunker. However , if I had an expensive car - and someday I'd like to own a DeLorean, which runs about $30k - I would absolutely have comp/coll/under-insured/uninsured coverage. I'd have all the coverages possible. And I'd b...
by criticalmass
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you use your own cards for work travel?
Replies: 16
Views: 1083

Re: Do you use your own cards for work travel?

each corp/megacorp is different. our rules were simple I’ve always used my own cards as much as possible for various reasons. The exception is for rental cars where the corporate card has superior primary insurance. My corporate card doesn’t report to credit reports as long as everything is paid on...
by criticalmass
Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hazard Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 535

Re: Hazard Insurance

This month I got letter from Escrow stating that I will be $1200 short by next year therefore either I can pay increased premium or pay the necessary extra upfront. The line item shows $1197 for Hazard Ins. I will call the bank and insurance to find out what it is? I have home owners insurances and...
by criticalmass
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 97
Views: 4653

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

15 years is more than a good run for a water heater. As long as the anode(s) were changed per the instructions, the water heater should last much longer. If the rods are gone, the tank will begin to corrode, which is what kills tanks and causes leaks. Drain sediment every 6 months. The junk that co...
by criticalmass
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive
Replies: 17
Views: 1668

Re: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive

We do not carry collision or comprehensive insurance. Some years ago, when we returned a rental car, the rental company found damage to a bumper that I am sure we did not cause. Where was this and what company? Was it at an airport location or a neighborhood/hotel rental location? Enterprise, at a ...
by criticalmass
Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Gurus ... Air Filter Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1523

Re: Car Gurus ... Air Filter Recommendations

Wix or Purolator. These are likely the actual OEM anyway, are good quality and are available at reasonable cost.
by criticalmass
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive
Replies: 17
Views: 1668

Re: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive

Eric wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:03 pm
We do not carry collision or comprehensive insurance. Some years ago, when we returned a rental car, the rental company found damage to a bumper that I am sure we did not cause.
Where was this and what company? Was it at an airport location or a neighborhood/hotel rental location?
by criticalmass
Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive
Replies: 17
Views: 1668

Re: Fidelity Visa Signature: Car Rental, No Collision/Comprehensive

Get the Chase Sapphire Reserve or a card with primary CDW. I got rear-ended at Vegas earlier this ear, while my car was stationary waiting to turn into traffic exiting a parking lot... wtf. Chase settled everything. I think it was like $500+ of damages. Never contacted my insurance company... Would...
by criticalmass
Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing a better retirement 401k fund on TIAA
Replies: 6
Views: 416

Re: Choosing a better retirement 401k fund on TIAA

Hi bogleheads, I have around $60K in an employer-sponsored 401k plan with TIAA. The fund is the default TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2045 T3 . Net expense ratio is 0.9% (too much IMO) and it's 90% stocks (too much IMO). There's not that much choice in alternative funds, but I like this one they offer: CREF ...
by criticalmass
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area
Replies: 19
Views: 1510

Re: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area

If you'll be footing the bill for these meals, brace yourself for the 10% restaurant tax. It's not fine dining, but I always enjoyed Murphy's Irish Pub in Alexandria. They have food, drinks, and live music with audience participation. It's a good time and attracts an all-ages (above 21) crowd. DC's...
by criticalmass
Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area
Replies: 19
Views: 1510

Re: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area

Founding Farmers is a chain restaurant now scattered around the suburbs too, even in Pennsylvania. For Washington Post/ Sietsema's review of the original DC version, see here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/founding-farmers-review-where-the-biggest-temptation-is-to-leave/2016/06/01/76...
by criticalmass
Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area
Replies: 19
Views: 1510

Re: Washington, DC Trip & Fine Dining in the Area

If you're looking for "good," but not "Michelin-starred," you could try Founding Farmers. It's a farm-to-table group, and they do a fantastic job with a simple, down-home vibe with a twist. To be honest, I think that the quality of dining in D.C. is abysmal, so the fact that I thought this place wa...
by criticalmass
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell contractor you don't plan to pay him. [Roofing]
Replies: 65
Views: 5924

Re: What I learned from my roofing saga.

Don't leave us hanging, Fortfun! What transpired between Sunday and today? Are you paying the old roofer anything? How did you explain the situation to the new roofer? Congrats on being a bit closer to resolution -- here's hoping roofer #2 knows what they're doing! :oops: :) Thanks Jucor. Nope, not...
by criticalmass
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sending checks to Vanguard
Replies: 7
Views: 921

Re: Sending checks to Vanguard

How do I get Vanguard to automatically invest a check sent through my checking account's online bill payment system? Here's what I'd like to do: - Using my Ally checking account, send a check/"bill payment" to Vanguard. - Have Vanguard automatically use those funds to purchase VTSAX. The first step...
by criticalmass
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline shortened layover
Replies: 17
Views: 1339

Re: Airline shortened layover

Our schedule is relatively flexible since it is the return flight. I did place a call to Icelandair and they assured me 45 minutes is enough since it is a small airport (assuming the flight is on time). There is another flight about three hours later (from Reykjavik to the US) but they wouldn’t mak...
by criticalmass
Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Costco American Express 2-Year Warranty Extension
Replies: 18
Views: 2828

Re: Old Costco American Express 2-Year Warranty Extension

Sorry your TV died and for the misunderstanding when you purchased the TV. With that said, Costco doesn't have "salesmen," and I am not aware of any company that would honor a "verbal warranty" anyway. I don't see how anyone at Costco would have an incentive to mislead you, and your expectations th...
by criticalmass
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sears, a 125 year old company is now a penny stock.
Replies: 115
Views: 13312

Re: Sears, a 125 year old company is now a penny stock.

Don't worry, Eddie the Vampire will continue sucking it dry while whining about how hard it is until it's not even a penny stock. There really should be no 5 year limitation on suing these hedge funds that purposely load companies up with debt to pay themselves with every intention of bankrupting t...
by criticalmass
Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Costco American Express 2-Year Warranty Extension
Replies: 18
Views: 2828

Re: Old Costco American Express 2-Year Warranty Extension

After being on the phone with Costco, AmEx, and Citi (who knows why??) all day, I was informed this afternoon for the first time that the 2 year manufacturers warranty we were told came with the TV, is in fact only one year and we are SOL. When I asked Costco why everyone from their salesman up unt...
by criticalmass
Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old Costco American Express 2-Year Warranty Extension
Replies: 18
Views: 2828

Re: Old Costco American Express 2-Year Warranty Extension

After being on the phone with Costco, AmEx, and Citi (who knows why??) all day, I was informed this afternoon for the first time that the 2 year manufacturers warranty we were told came with the TV, is in fact only one year and we are SOL. When I asked Costco why everyone from their salesman up unt...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?
Replies: 24
Views: 2360

Re: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?

I think it is fraud. I am guessing someone probably skimmed your card from a device attached to a gas station pump - then cloned it with a physical card. The thieves then probably used that clone in a fast food restaurant in another state. On this topic - I can't wait for gas stations to start usin...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Moneytalk with Bob Brinker coming to an end
Replies: 68
Views: 8387

Re: Moneytalk with Bob Brinker coming to an end

I will miss Bob. I remember listening to him randomly while heading places on Saturday nights or returning from trips on Sundays. I learned a lot from his observations and guest interviews. Unfortunately I am not currently in one of his radio markets so will miss the final episode. Larry Kudlow took...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-time victim of credit card fraud
Replies: 48
Views: 3727

Re: First-time victim of credit card fraud

We have a card compromised every year or two. My defense is to have all of my recurring charges go against a card that we never use. The solution isn't perfect, but that card has never been compromised and that saves me the hassle of updating all of those recurring charge accounts. It seems like tw...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First-time victim of credit card fraud
Replies: 48
Views: 3727

Re: First-time victim of credit card fraud

The card number used was DW's spousal card (with a different number) on my account. I didn't know that this is possible. I always thought that it has either to be: 1- different independent account with different number 2- authorized user sharing the same account, but sharing the same number as well...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Sears, a 125 year old company is now a penny stock.
Replies: 115
Views: 13312

Re: Sears, a 125 year old company is now a penny stock.

This article from last year is very illustrative about what is going on inside Sears. Some investors (e.g. CNBC's Jim Cramer) thought that Fast Eddie would transform Sears into some sort of real estate hedge fund while turning the retail around. But instead, Sears has a CEO who terrorizes the senior...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?
Replies: 24
Views: 2360

Re: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?

Could be fraud or a mistake? If it's a one-off, it's probably a mistake. If it's more than one, fraud. I was traveling (without this particular card), when I got an alert that there was a charge at a fast food place. I called the credit card and notified them, but I was advised to wait because the ...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?
Replies: 24
Views: 2360

Re: Credit card charge- fraud or mistake?

The only way to accidently use your credit card without the physical card is to manually type in the numbers. The probability of typing in your credit card number by accident with the corresponding expiration date and security code is astronomical. Not impossible but highly unlikely. This is incorr...
by criticalmass
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it
Replies: 61
Views: 7820

Re: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it

Not sure if this went to a person's home address or a business, but if a home address you may want to see if they are signed up for the USPS service that emails you a scan of the incoming mail. If so they should be able to go through the images to see if it hit their mailbox or at least their local...
by criticalmass
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of warranty repair for a Braun toothbrush?
Replies: 17
Views: 613

Re: Out of warranty repair for a Braun toothbrush?

Agreed. Is there a need to coerce the manufacturer into replacing his old toothbrush? Because it's annoying to spend $100+ to replace the toothbrush when it just needs a $10 battery.. The manufacturer should make batteries user replaceable.. The batteries are not user replaceable. If this makes you...
by criticalmass
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bosch dishwasher odor
Replies: 56
Views: 4825

Re: Bosch dishwasher odor

Have had a Bosch 500 for about 4 years with no odor issues - it's super quiet and cleans well, but doesn't dry the dishes at all, they're soaking wet after running the machine. By default (many) Bosch dishwashers won't run an electric heater to dry. After the last rinse cycle pumps out the water, t...
by criticalmass
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3182

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

Congratulations - sounds like the TSB was correct and there are a number of these engines that are self destructing. Please consider asking them why your replacement engine will be different than the old one. Assuming the issue was described in TSB 17-2077 (or earlier 17-0007), the issue affects so...
by criticalmass
Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3182

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

Congratulations - sounds like the TSB was correct and there are a number of these engines that are self destructing. Please consider asking them why your replacement engine will be different than the old one. Assuming the issue was described in TSB 17-2077 (or earlier 17-0007), the issue affects so...
by criticalmass
Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications
Replies: 34
Views: 3182

Re: Ford F-150 Technical Service Bulletin, legal ramifications

Sounds like a good outcome so far. Did you mention knowledge of the tsb to the dealer? Either way, it sounds like they are following it and decided on a resolution with Ford quickly.
by criticalmass
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner
Replies: 40
Views: 3130

Re: HOA Donation in Remembrance of Deceased Owner

I'm the past president and current treasurer of a small HOA where my wife and I have lived for 15 years. The association always personally greets new residents with a housewarming gift, typically a houseplant in a decorative container. And we always send funeral flowers when a homeowner passes. Yes...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Options -- Any advice?
Replies: 29
Views: 1751

Re: HVAC Options -- Any advice?

Something is funny with this quote. They are giving you a heat pump ac/heater condenser and related stuff. Why? Then they are quoting a fulll gas heater. Why two heating units? If I were you I would ask what it costs to just put in a new dual mode heat pump heater and ac cooler all in one unit and ...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC Options -- Any advice?
Replies: 29
Views: 1751

Re: HVAC Options -- Any advice?

Manual J is the hvac industry standard for calculating the size of your system. The result is a function of your climate, size of walls facing sunlight (and not), size of windows facing sunlight (and not), attic insulation R number, wall insulation R number, etc. A limiting factor is also duct size,...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm nickel-and-diming me
Replies: 61
Views: 5470

Re: State Farm nickel-and-diming me

That is what we call hearsay, your honor. No, it is not hearsay, it is a provable fact that folks have had loved ones die in car crashes, me included— although perhaps less relevant to getting repairs completed properly. It is definitely NOT 'heresay', because the latter word does not exist in the ...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You don't get all the rebates if you take the 0% financing
Replies: 18
Views: 2559

Re: You don't get all the rebates if you take the 0% financing

I just bought a new Ford truck today assuming I'd get all of the rebates and 0% financing but found out I'd loose a $1500 rebate if I took the 0%. I took the rebate. I haven't seen the numbers yet but the salesperson said she thought the rate would be about 5.5% (I'm guessing the duration is 60 mon...