Search found 451 matches

by criticalmass
Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?
Replies: 37
Views: 2111

Re: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?

I would rather be delayed due to weather than have the airline chance it and see what happens. Weather can be deadly to aviators. $60 is a tiny inconvenience in lieu. Also consider that hazardous weather that affect a flight may extend to other areas and times beyond a scheduled departure airport & ...
by criticalmass
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 32
Views: 2369

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

Do what I do with old hard disk drives. Beat it to death with a sledge hammer and drop it into a very deep lake. Hard drives, phones, and other electronics contain heavy metals and other highly toxic substances that never biodegrade. Please dispose these materials responsibly instead of turning lak...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?
Replies: 37
Views: 2111

Re: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?

What was the reason for delay? Was it within Condor’s control?
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2140

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

If the LGV to Bordeaux had to circumnavigate the steep hills of Connecticut with a saw tooth shore line full of existing towns and houses, it would take a lot more than 2 hours for trains to use it. The TGV to Bordeaux has to traverse quite a few river valleys as well, though point taken re: the se...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2140

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

If the LGV to Bordeaux had to circumnavigate the steep hills of Connecticut with a saw tooth shore line full of existing towns and houses, it would take a lot more than 2 hours for trains to use it. Not much in the way of steep hills along the Boston-NYC route, or in my case the Northampton-NYC rou...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2140

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

I drive to NYC every other weekend from MA, usually leaving Friday and returning Monday or Tuesday. I have often driven to NYC on Thanksgiving weekend. Our infrastructure is terrible. From where I live in MA, buses and trains to NYC usually take twice as long as driving , cost 3 times as much, and ...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 32
Views: 2369

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

The most important thing is to dispose of it responsibly. Ignore “advice” to put your phone in the oven or toss it in the trash. Heating a lithium battery even to 300 degrees can easily cause it to catch on fire, a runaway thermal event. That means it burns extremely hot, releases a lot of highly to...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2140

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

I've found Thanksgiving Friday to be very light traffic, as long as you steer clear of malls and any large stores. But I would not take a 13 hour drive on Thanksgiving weekend. I would buy my air ticket now or in early September, get to the airport early and enjoy the flight. A point to point flight...
by criticalmass
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7858

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

For a routine trip, I do not pay for coverage. When I am doing sports like skiing that have an elevated risk of injury that requires more than a few days care, I buy medical insurance that includes evacuation to us as needed. Sometimes a Visa requires this insurance. I've never paid more than $20-23...
by criticalmass
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best place to hide a key
Replies: 63
Views: 4663

Re: best place to hide a key

Ford’s key pad entry system is such a great idea. You can lock the keys (intentionally or not) in your Ford/Lincoln (Mercury) and you can always get back in. I’ve wondered why no other manufacturers have implemented it. If there was a patent on the utility, it would have expired long ago. Ford has b...
by criticalmass
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)
Replies: 9
Views: 569

Re: Replacing pilot light in gas boiler with electronic ignition? (HVAC/furnace question.)

They said it was because we had cold winters and the pilot flame was probably stressed. That’s an interesting statement. Perhaps they recommended therapy too? They said it was normal for the the thermocouple not to make it through the whole winter. (This was the original HVAC servicer and installer...
by criticalmass
Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda Roadside Assistance any good?
Replies: 5
Views: 577

Re: Honda Roadside Assistance any good?

I have 3 Honda's, varying in age from 5-12 years old. I had Honda's roadside assistance with all three; I used it several times and it was great. They outsource the service to a nationwide provider (can't remember their name), so that fact you get it thru Honda isn't really meaningful. I would gues...
by criticalmass
Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy
Replies: 34
Views: 2055

Re: How to Learn Italian (a little) Before Trip to Italy

Kudos to you for wanting to learn some language basics. That goes a long way in any country, and all of the Romance languages have simple phrases that are easy to remember. I would get started with “In Flight Italian.” Your library may have this CD, or offer its download via Overdrive Audiobooks on ...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This Water Leak is Maddening
Replies: 13
Views: 2082

Re: This Water Leak is Maddening

Need help from the pro-plumbers on this forum. There are two bathrooms, a washer and a dryer on the second floor of my home and everything drains toward a central horizontal sewer line along a joist bewteen the first floor and second floor, then empties into a vertical line in the exterior wall. Fo...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: This Water Leak is Maddening
Replies: 13
Views: 2082

Re: This Water Leak is Maddening

We had a similar leak in our home. A leak in an upstairs plumbing run. A water spot appeared in our kitchen ceiling drywall. Plumber came out and cut the wet drywall....but didn't find the leak there. It was actually about 20 ft. up the line in our kid's bathroom. Water was leaking from a supply li...
by criticalmass
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Air Conditioning? [How to finance?]
Replies: 76
Views: 4908

Re: Air Conditioning? [How to finance?]

Couple of notes based on experience: 1) Get quotes during early fall for substantially better pricing. A few more weeks and you’ll be there. Consider borrowing or buying a secondhand portable ac unit for August. The big manufacturers often have financing and cash incentives or rebates during fall to...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen sink (faucet)
Replies: 10
Views: 869

Re: Kitchen sink (faucet)

Recirc pump not an option due to house construction. I'm curious what is the aspect with the house construction that prevents a small pump from being placed under the sink? Does the kitchen sink have a disposal unit with electricity or is there dishwasher nearby? ------- While it doesn't completely...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen sink (faucet)
Replies: 10
Views: 869

Re: Kitchen sink (faucet)

Situation: We have a disagreement over the kitchen faucet. The hot water is heated by gas, long line to the sink. It takes a long time to get.... Another vote for a recirculating pump. Instead of trying to figure out to dump water down the drain faster, you will get hot water fast from your existin...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

So you are suggesting that horrific crashes, such as the one I witnessed above involving a dead young mother, her daughter, and a father with a severed limb after a speeding truck, would have a better outcome with an even faster speed limit? Amazing suggestion, but higher limits do not improve laws...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models
Replies: 40
Views: 2777

Re: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models

Great design, IMO. Would never go back. It's a bit more efficient, having the coldest section on the bottom, and you don't lose space in the main compartment. Since you use the freezer about 10% of the time as the main fridge, it's a minor sacrifice to lean over. The US Department of Energy states ...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EMV Chip + Pin priority credit cards available in the USA?
Replies: 11
Views: 567

Re: EMV Chip + Pin priority credit cards available in the USA?

The chip+PIN necessity is mostly overblown for travel to Europe and Latin America these days. The networks’ endorsed standard is to accept PIN or no PIN if the card doesn’t support, even if unmanned. Of course it is possible to encounter an older kiosk terminal in a parking garage, etc that really w...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

I’ve never heard of a buyer and their title company relying on a HOA to determine if a lien exists. Best to rely on a diligent title search that involves the land court and deed registry. Violations != liens. Oh, that was my point. I was hypothesizing that the buyer was told there were no liens, no...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Everyone doing 80 means everyone is driving recklessly in Virginia, which has significant legal penalties regardless of what state issued a driver license. And often, much too often someone pays for that reckless driving with their life. Witnessed the aftermath of a truck, possibly Peterbuilt, stri...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Yes, a lot of people only consider themselves and do not care about the possible consequences of their behavior on other people. For instance, speeding can injure or kill others. Distracted driving kills far more people than speed. Speed differentials kill people, not speed itself. If everyone on t...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Millions of LifeLock email addresses may have been exposed
Replies: 17
Views: 1636

Re: Millions of LifeLock email addresses may have been exposed

On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone with experience, it sounds like they have the plenty of experience with identity theft! One of my favorite news stories was from years ago when a homeless person easily stole identity from the CEO and used it. Of course “nobody can prevent identity t...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Millions of LifeLock email addresses may have been exposed
Replies: 17
Views: 1636

Re: Millions of LifeLock email addresses may have been exposed

Why does anyone trust this company???? 2010- Thieves Steal LifeLock CEO's ID 13 Times http://marketingshmarketing.net/post/130466094301/lifelock-marketing-fail-ceo-get-hacked-13-times 2015- LifeLock was fined by the FTC for $100 million https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ftc-hits-lifelock-again-with-100-...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Apparently, it's not so clear. Supposedly, the HOA already ruled on this and said there were no violations when he moved in. If nothing has changed with the cable and/or AC unit, why would the HOA change their mind on this? I do understand that we are working with incomplete information here. I thi...
by criticalmass
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

You are all making me so happy I don't live anywhere near an HOA. My sole experience is a cousin in a wheelchair who received a nasty-gram about leaving her van out of the garage at night. She was told she needed to put her van in the garage each night..where should could not get her lift down.... ...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

I’d be a good citizen and get rid of it but HOA will have to pay for it because they failed to tell me about the rule at the time of purchase, at wich point it would have been the problem of the previous owner. The HOA doesn't need to tell you anything. The By-Laws and Covenants tell you the rules....
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Here is one approach: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WXx-5Urn4Ls In the video, a homeowner put up a large sign that says “If you are considering purchasing a home in Alford Meadows You may want to RECONSIDER . . . YOU could be the next target of the HOA!” It was eventually settled out of court: http...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: your advice on new oven
Replies: 22
Views: 1959

Re: your advice on new oven

For the electric range, look at induction. Compared to traditional electric coils, it is amazing. Compared to gas, the cooking/ temperature control is amazing too. But look at pros cons for your needs.
by criticalmass
Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3570

Re: Europe travel Qs

We used the subway a lot, and on one trip as we came out and headed up the stairs I mindlessly threw my ticket in a garbage bin. Just a floor up next to the exit we encountered 2 uniformed officers checking tickets. I hadn't realized I was supposed to keep it until exiting. On the other hand, it IS...
by criticalmass
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3570

Re: Europe travel Qs

We used the subway a lot, and on one trip as we came out and headed up the stairs I mindlessly threw my ticket in a garbage bin. Just a floor up next to the exit we encountered 2 uniformed officers checking tickets. I hadn't realized I was supposed to keep it until exiting. On the other hand, it IS...
by criticalmass
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Gather support. Run for HOA board. Have supporters also run for HOA board. Legally dissolve the HOA. Problem solved. Good thinking, until it snows and there is no association to pay for plowing, or the parking lot needs replacing, or trash pickup is needed, or someone hurts themselves on a swing se...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TSA Pancake Mix Drama
Replies: 22
Views: 2528

Re: TSA Pancake Mix Drama

To make this actionable you can take the powder out and run it through on its own and save a lot of trouble. I do this all the time with my protein powder. If I leave it in my bag I get the full cavity search. Send it through in its own bin and no troubles. Creatine powder always gets me a free gro...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

My board does too - because that is what is permitted in the voted-upon and approved Bylaws. And of course they work with folks when possible. But they cannot invent a punishment that isn't in the bylaws. Prohibiting the use of parking spaces or pool access isn't permitted. Nor are stockades, pillo...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

I assume your rules don't allow hanging wires like these. So just pay to remove them and get back into good graces with the HOA. What is the benefit of being "in good graces" with such a meddling organization like this that will obviously come back at you next time another cable gets loose? The fac...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

And it only works if the bylaws and covenants of the HOA permit those actions in response to violations. HOA boards can't just make up punishments. My board uses increasing monthly fines and/or legal action but they are very willing to work with people who are earnestly trying to resolve a situatio...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5208

Re: High voltage powelines near house

Which is not to say we should be heedless to risk, but that just because someone hypothesizes something might be risky is not in and of itself a reason to act on that hypothesis. But sometimes common sense should prevail - if a company decides to pump chemical waste into a river, should we wait sev...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

I have had very good luck simply ignoring "notices" given to me by my HOA. I am 3 for 3 in doing nothing and having no negative results for things like this. I will not follow the above advice. A grandmother was evicted from a 55+ retirement community because she took in her grandchildren after som...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Boglehead plumbers? Need help.
Replies: 16
Views: 1682

Re: Any Boglehead plumbers? Need help.

I'm not sure what flushing the tank and a new anode rod is going to due to quiet the heating of the tank... If the heating element is making a lot of noise, then that should probably be replaced or serviced. Ig you are selling in a year, then a new hot water heater might help, even if just a basic ...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9512

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

There is a federal rule regarding placement of antennas and satellite dishes which may supersede the HOA regulations. Look it up and if it applies, use that reference to dispute the satellite dish. That won’t help with the window A/C. Strange that they would say no violations when you moved in, but...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineers come in.
Replies: 108
Views: 7774

Re: Engineers come in.

A close friend of mine is tackling his M.E degree at age 30. I was having a beer with him the other day and explained that although he passed his first calculus class, he did not cruise through it. He has a bit more on his plate as he is a homeowner, has a dog, although he is a bachelor which evens...
by criticalmass
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5208

Re: High voltage powelines near house

I don't know why I bothered to post the link to the scientific studies on the feds' cancer website, since people would clearly prefer to offer their uninformed opinions instead. By the way, comparing cell phones to high voltage lines is like saying photons and x-rays are the same. You are making an...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?
Replies: 23
Views: 1239

Re: Gift cards: which is "better / safer"? physical or electronic?

I keep gift cards organized and stored like a baseball card collection. Then I can always find the right card before shopping and use them quickly. I also keep any receipts of purchase in the same manner. The threat of fraud is real and getting worse. A classic method is fraudsters grab cards on she...
by criticalmass
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High voltage powerlines near house
Replies: 72
Views: 5208

Re: High voltage powelines near house

I went and looked at a house today. The owner was there too so I got to ask all the questions directly instead of going Thru the realtor. The house was right next to large powerlines. Then, the lady mentioned that her husband passed from leukemia 4 years earlier. I ran out of there ASAP. What’s you...
by criticalmass
Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: engine check light on Toyota Sienna
Replies: 8
Views: 739

Re: engine check light on Toyota Sienna

Definitely check the codes before doing anything. Code scanners are $10-15, and for a little more you can get one that can read proprietary and ABS codes too, which may be useful in the future. Or go to auto parts store and they will often read them for free. Clean MAF sensors before replacing. You ...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3570

Re: Europe travel Qs

1) take real care in Paris, my wallet was stolen there, and I witnessed another theft (fraudsters asking for donations, and on top of that making a run for it instead of giving people their change if they get a high-denomination note). This is a very unfortunate downside to Paris. There are all kin...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Planning a trip to France in June 2019 - ADvice ?
Replies: 28
Views: 1931

Re: Planning a trip to France in June 2019 - ADvice ?

Lots of recommendations to read the PBS guy’s book. It’s okay, but take a look at Lonely Planet for the City or region you are visiting. They are very well organized and have lots of local recommendations written by folks who live there. I’ve used many travel books, and always return to Lonely Plane...
by criticalmass
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel Qs [Questions]
Replies: 63
Views: 3570

Re: Europe travel Qs

1) take real care in Paris, my wallet was stolen there, and I witnessed another theft (fraudsters asking for donations, and on top of that making a run for it instead of giving people their change if they get a high-denomination note). This is a very unfortunate downside to Paris. There are all kin...