Search found 1543 matches

by criticalmass
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Heating System Tune Ups Necessary Every Year?
Replies: 14
Views: 1663

Re: Heating System Tune Ups Necessary Every Year?

Is it a good idea to spend the $100+ per year to have your heating system serviced or is it something you can do every other year? What kind of heating system? I check and clean gas burners annually. Takes about 30 minutes, including the time needed to find the brush I used last year. I carefully v...
by criticalmass
Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet trouble, specifically ZOOM
Replies: 31
Views: 1685

Re: Internet trouble, specifically ZOOM

I would love if someone more versed in internet/wifi issues could chime in and help me out. I get a message across my screen that says "Your internet connection is unstable" when doing Zoom meetings. The screen will freeze, be spotty and/or the sound gets spotty as well. This seems to mostly occur ...
by criticalmass
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike Recommendation
Replies: 74
Views: 5456

Re: Bike Recommendation

Since biking season is ending in the North East prices should be dropping.I am thinking about getting one. When I was a kid, I rode a lot of BMX bikes and always wanted a higher end one such as Harro/GT/Redline, etc..But I didn't have :moneybag . I can afford one now. Maybe I am too old (late 30s) ...
by criticalmass
Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bike Recommendation
Replies: 74
Views: 5456

Re: Bike Recommendation

Don't forget to buy the best helmet you can afford. Believe it or not $30-$50 helmets often offer better protection then the $300 plus models. The higher end models are balancing ventilation and aerodynamics and often give up a bit of protection. I bounced my head off the pavement, hard enough to b...
by criticalmass
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tour de France - sort of
Replies: 10
Views: 1072

Re: Tour de France - sort of

I enjoy watching the Tour de France because of the beautiful scenery and, most times, the actual racing. But for all these years I've watched I still wonder why most, if not all, of the French towns are laid out (best I can say) just any old way. If you look at, for example, the town of Privas usin...
by criticalmass
Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?
Replies: 238
Views: 15027

Re: Is Costco worth the $120 membership?

I shop at Costco very occasionally, but use the Costco Cash Card instead of a membership, which is allowed by Costco policies. You (or a friend, relative) do need to be a member to buy the first one. You can also buy the Cash Cards during warehouse club quarterly bonus periods for Chase Freedom, Dis...
by criticalmass
Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?
Replies: 77
Views: 4840

Re: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?

What is astounding to me is that a Real ID obtained in one state apparently does not transfer to another state, even though, as far as I can tell, you have to show the same documents in every state to get the Real ID in the first place. So for someone who moves to a different state, they have to go...
by criticalmass
Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?
Replies: 77
Views: 4840

Re: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?

On the plus side... once the DMV scans all the documents you provided and it's all stored in their database. I can totally see other applications for having a REAL ID. It indicates you are an American Citizen - and your birth certificate, SS card/number, and some other facts are a few keystrokes aw...
by criticalmass
Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?
Replies: 77
Views: 4840

Re: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?

I have a passport. Why would I want to bother with a real ID license? You also need a ReadID or passport to enter federal buildings (court houses, Smithsonian museums, federal archives, the IRS sites, your representative(???), national parks, national cemeteries). Why carry a passport around where ...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer internship in LA - live without a car, possible?
Replies: 20
Views: 1357

Re: Summer internship in LA - live without a car, possible?

Friends, My son has an internship offer in LA for summer 2021, near Manhattan beach area (2-3 miles inland from the beach). Is it possible for a young person to live near that area without owning a car? He goes to college in the Northeast and has never been to LA. Walking / riding a bike are defini...
by criticalmass
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using PayPal to pay for an upcoming Vacation Rental?
Replies: 4
Views: 339

Re: Using PayPal to pay for an upcoming Vacation Rental?

Hello, I would appreciate some guidance for paying for the rental of a beach condo for the winter season in Florida. The term of the agreement is December 1 through March 15. 1.) Paypal did not rewrite the Fair Credit Billing Act. 2.) Check to see if your transaction is covered by PayPal Buyer Prot...
by criticalmass
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New roof : In June or in November (40 F temperature)
Replies: 9
Views: 1266

Re: New roof : In June or in November (40 F temperature)

Question.( added) New Roof: What time is best. My roofer can only do the roofing in November this year or anytime after spring next year. I had heard that it is best to do it in warmer months. I am in upper midwest and it sometimes snows in November here. There seems to be no immediate problem with...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any MVNO have 5G?
Replies: 14
Views: 838

Re: Any MVNO have 5G?

I did appreciate the humor on Cricket's page: In the future, 5G will open the world to: Self-driving cars Improved mobile multi-player gaming Interactive personalized AR/VR experiences ... As for self-driving cars, they do exist and if they need to depend on mobile phone networks in the future, we ...
by criticalmass
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any MVNO have 5G?
Replies: 14
Views: 838

Re: Any MVNO have 5G?

I did appreciate the humor on Cricket's page: In the future, 5G will open the world to: Self-driving cars Improved mobile multi-player gaming Interactive personalized AR/VR experiences ... As for self-driving cars, they do exist and if they need to depend on mobile phone networks in the future, we ...
by criticalmass
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New HVAC Evaporator Coil
Replies: 29
Views: 1869

Re: New HVAC Evaporator Coil

First, you can not buy ,R-22 legally without EPA approved certification. If you bought it without certification. Either the seller broke the law or you lied to the seller and broke the law yourself*.] That EPA certification is EXTREMELY easy to obtain. Some HVAC techs act like it's obtaining a nucl...
by criticalmass
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any MVNO have 5G?
Replies: 14
Views: 838

Re: Any MVNO have 5G?

https://www.cricketwireless.com/newsroom/news-release/samsung-5G-phone.html https://www.cricketwireless.com/what-is-5G.html 5G is near joke status at the current time. Standards remain undeveloped or not finalized, spectrum has not been fully allocated, infrastructure hasn't been deployed (see the ...
by criticalmass
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I was looking at getting the 1% cash back discover card. How many of you use debit cards all the time?
Replies: 79
Views: 3928

Re: I was looking at getting the 1% cash back discover card. How many of you use debit cards all the time?

I fell for a Discover card a few years ago when they were offering their "Open Road" card that gave you 5% cashback on gasoline. As is so often the case, "the way I thought it worked" lasted less than a year and they started to erode the deal in subtle ways. They began to make it harder and harder ...
by criticalmass
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Windshield Cracked [Insurance coverage]
Replies: 17
Views: 1589

Re: Car Windshield Cracked

My car windshield got cracked by a pebble that fell off of a truck while I was on the highway. Does this count as collision for auto insurance purposes? Will this raise my insurance premiums? Cracked windshield is dangerous. Call a reputable glass repair specialty shop in your area. Let them fix it...
by criticalmass
Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Adding minor as an authorized credit card user
Replies: 31
Views: 1992

Re: Adding minor as an authorized credit card user

Hi, I am planning to add 10 year old minor as an authorized credit card user? Obviously, minor is not going to use the card but by doing this can it help to improve the credit card history whenever time comes to apply for credit card? I will be doing couple of transactions on and off. Any thoughts?...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do HD OTA Antennas work?
Replies: 60
Views: 5811

Re: How do HD OTA Antennas work?

If you're near any city, I think you're going to be amazed with OTA reception and number of stations. The old analog broadcasts had to reach 50 miles, line of sight. Digital (all now) has to reach 75 miles. I'm 25 miles west of Boston and bring in Boston, Providence, New Hampshire and sometimes Har...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antenna
Replies: 48
Views: 2618

Re: TV antenna

I cancelled my TV streaming service and really just want to get CBS and NBC for golf on the weekends. I have an indoor antenna, but CBS doesn't come in. I know their signal is historically weak. Do different antennas "work" better than others or is it largely a function of signal strength? If the f...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise cancelling headphones as a way to survive in a house full of kids
Replies: 40
Views: 2646

Re: Noise cancelling headphones as a way to survive in a house full of kids

Hello Everyone, Those of you who have noise cancelling headphones, does the noise cancelling feature tune out the noise around you? Working with a 5 and 7 year old around prompts me to ask this question. Noise cancelling circuitry listens to the background noise, analyzes the sound wave, and then g...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3430

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

Good luck with that. If they make an exception for one person, what about the hundred others that call? Exception? My credit union handles everyone who calls the same way. Not sure what your concern is. It’s pretty easy to call, make an appointment, and show up at the agreed time. People need to be...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3430

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

I suspect that when you call they will have someone that can meet you at the bank if you make an appointment. Good luck with that. If they make an exception for one person, what about the hundred others that call? Exception? My credit union handles everyone who calls the same way. Not sure what you...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3430

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

I agree with the statement that this is not an exception, and it's a policy for everyone. However, I disagree with the statement about "foaming off." I did not get such an impression. The OP specifically asked "Has this happened to anybody else?" To me, OP wants to know whether this is now standard...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3430

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

I agree with the statement that this is not an exception, and it's a policy for everyone. However, I disagree with the statement about "foaming off." I did not get such an impression. The OP specifically asked "Has this happened to anybody else?" To me, OP wants to know whether this is now standard...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3430

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

I suspect that when you call they will have someone that can meet you at the bank if you make an appointment. Good luck with that. If they make an exception for one person, what about the hundred others that call? Exception? My credit union handles everyone who calls the same way. Not sure what you...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box
Replies: 48
Views: 3430

Re: Bank temporary closed - safety deposit box

First of all, don't keep your passport in a safety deposit box. It's an easily replaceable document if lost or stolen. Hard to claim it's lost or stolen if you gave it to someone who then closed the facility, though. I disagree that any passport is “easily replaceable.” I have relatives who need to...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give new doctor a SSN?
Replies: 86
Views: 7207

Re: Give new doctor a SSN?

an input for Soc. Sec. number which didn't make sense as we were paying cash. He said it was a requirement of the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. The last time I bought a car, the sales (and finance rep) said that SSN was required by Patriot Act. Fortunately, this had been done to a friend of mine and I h...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give new doctor a SSN?
Replies: 86
Views: 7207

Re: Give new doctor a SSN?

If you are trusting the doctor with your life (which you probably are) it probably isn't an issue to give the doctor the SSN. I trust the doctor with my life. I don't trust the doctor's IT systems, or billing systems, or printed/electronic medical records, or the contractors that supply those syste...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my refrigerator running.......properly?
Replies: 14
Views: 1627

Re: Is my refrigerator running.......properly?

Don’t forget to vacuum the condenser coil every few months. A simple job that shouldn’t take over 5 minutes.
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Old toilet(1.6 GPF) vs new toilet(1.28 GPF)
Replies: 38
Views: 2518

Re: Old toilet(1.6 GPF) vs new toilet(1.28 GPF)

I need to replace a 20 year old toilet. It has 1.6 GPF. I am trying to find a new one that is also 1.6 GPF, but it looks like most of them are 1.28 GPF these days. I read somewhere that toilets flush more efficiently these days. That source claims the new 1.28 GPF toilets are just as good at flushi...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give new doctor a SSN?
Replies: 86
Views: 7207

Re: Give new doctor a SSN?

Make one up - not needed for billing. That’s what I do rather then arguing with them about it Using a false social security number that you claim to be yours is identity theft. Better to leave blank. If any provider has a problem with that, call your state regulator and inquire about your privacy r...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give new doctor a SSN?
Replies: 86
Views: 7207

Re: Give new doctor a SSN?

Yes, I would give my full name, rank, and serial number to a doctor. Not sure what your "Rank" would be to a doctor, unless you are in the military. OP is trying to get medical care, not fulfill Geneva Convention commitments in wartime. Why give a doctor your social security number? Are they going ...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Give new doctor a SSN?
Replies: 86
Views: 7207

Re: Give new doctor a SSN?

My father is transitioning to a new doctor. He is on Medicare. The new office asked for his Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (i.e., new medicare number), but said they also needed his SSN for billing. Really? Everything I've read says that Medicare billing is now based on MBI as the patient identifi...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House with high tension power lines in backyard
Replies: 71
Views: 4756

Re: House with high tension power lines in backyard

Main concerns: 1) health of high tension power lines 2) resale bc others are concerned with 1) In real estate terms power lines in the vicinity is known as a 'incurable defect'. Health effects due to high tension lines have been debunked in various studies. But the resale concerns are real. You sho...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV antenna - do I need amplified
Replies: 13
Views: 807

Re: TV antenna - do I need amplified

Antennas and reception are a mix of art and science because you can't custom design an antenna and location perfectly for your conditions. As others have said, use an amp as a last resort. They amplify good signal and noise. The latter is problematic and limits the utility of an amplifier. If signal...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Virtual credit card number," Capital One: any reason why not?
Replies: 16
Views: 1370

Re: "Virtual credit card number," Capital One: any reason why not?

I think that it is the exact opposite of a security concern and is, as you say, a no-brainer in order to reduce the risk of fraud. Cheers Sure, if you don't mind Capital One's browser plug in application "Eno" snooping on very website you visit and recording every click you make, while staying in t...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1-stage vs 5-stage HVAC compressor?
Replies: 30
Views: 2261

Re: 1-stage vs 5-stage HVAC compressor?

Everything I've read is that variable speed blowers don't last long and are expensive to repair. So, we just went with a two-speed which has worked great. But then we're in SoCal, so humidity is rarely an issue. That may have been the case 20+ years ago, but I've been running ECM motors for 15 year...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 1-stage vs 5-stage HVAC compressor?
Replies: 30
Views: 2261

Re: 1-stage vs 5-stage HVAC compressor?

Calling all HVAC experts.... please HELP. Location is nothern va (20 miles west of DC). 16 year old system is the attic stopped working so am in the process of getting a new one. Based on various quotes received, leaning towards Carrier. Quick Question : From purely ROI perspective, is it worth to ...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying house without realtors
Replies: 84
Views: 5090

Re: Buying house without realtors

I personally would never do this. As a buyer, you don't pay the 6%, the seller does. There is no financial cost to you as a buyer for using a realtor. A good realtor is worth it, and again, YOU'RE NOT PAYING THEM. I disagree. That is like saying your aren't paying federal taxes on gasoline, because...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Risk with a malfunctioned fuel gauge
Replies: 51
Views: 2100

Re: Risk with a malfunctioned fuel gauge

This morning the fuel gauge suddenly malfunctioned. The gas tank should be close to full. But when I turn on the engine, it showed only 1/3 left, and then it started to climb back all the way to about 2/3 full when the car was moving! If relevant, it's a Sonata about 7 year old. I'm hesitating to g...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm Buying a Boat...
Replies: 101
Views: 6475

Re: I'm Buying a Boat...

I'm possibly the opposite of a boat person but it's easy to see that you can afford it. This board sometimes! It's not a cheap hobby but one can certainly make it work on far less money than the OP has. My next door neighbor (in my non spendy neighborhood) has a Four Winns something and he lives fo...
by criticalmass
Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm Buying a Boat...
Replies: 101
Views: 6475

Re: I'm Buying a Boat...

I am an member of a very big boating forum and always giggle a little when people come to it and ask finance questions. Glad yours is finance related haha. I have owned boats for last 25 or so years and they are a lot of work. My stance is this - I don’t want to finance one out of warranty. I don’t...
by criticalmass
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DVR for OTA TV
Replies: 71
Views: 4545

Re: DVR for OTA TV

It may vary by cable company, but my cable-card equipped Bolt can tune in up to six channels simultaneously. i.e. watch 1 and record 5. That’s a neat trick, since the Bolt only has four physical turners, and is therefore only technically capable of tuning four channels simultaneously. The older Roa...
by criticalmass
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DVR for OTA TV
Replies: 71
Views: 4545

Re: DVR for OTA TV

I need a DVR for recording OTA TV programming from stations including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and the various UHF channels available in a big city. This DVR will be connected to a TV that receives only OTA TV signals through a roof antenna. I don't want to pay for anything like TIVO charges; WIFI connec...
by criticalmass
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: roof attic fan
Replies: 42
Views: 2598

Re: roof attic fan

If the ridge vent and soffit vents are properly sized, you should NOT have a attic fan. It disrupts the flow of fresh air between the roof joists and along the bottom of the roof sheathing. which is the reason for a ridge vent, making shingles last longer. If properly sized (soffit and ridge vent) ...
by criticalmass
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: roof attic fan
Replies: 42
Views: 2598

Re: roof attic fan

If the ridge vent and soffit vents are properly sized, you should NOT have a attic fan. It disrupts the flow of fresh air between the roof joists and along the bottom of the roof sheathing. which is the reason for a ridge vent, making shingles last longer. If properly sized (soffit and ridge vent) ...
by criticalmass
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping Tree Trimming
Replies: 62
Views: 3265

Re: Tipping Tree Trimming

I agree I would never tip tree trimmers but it got me thinking... What’s the difference between tree trimmers and movers? Both have hard physical labor and in both I assume the owners make all the money and just pays the workers an hourly wage. But movers get tipped and tree trimmers dont? Farming ...
by criticalmass
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping Tree Trimming
Replies: 62
Views: 3265

Re: Tipping Tree Trimming

What do you mean by "tree trimming?" The real deal, 4 helmet-wearing guys. One nimble dude climbs to the top of the tree; hanging from there, one hand on the chainsaw, the other on the crucifix. Climbing a tree to trim it unless removing it completely sounds very questionable. Our arborist will not...