Search found 1418 matches

by spectec
Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bid on airline upgrade? (Icelandair)
Replies: 11
Views: 1014

Re: Bid on airline upgrade? (Icelandair)

I've placed this type of bid when flying on Etihad before. Didn't win, but I don't bid the max either. I just make a determination on what I think it's worth to me, move the slider, and submit the bid.
by spectec
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?
Replies: 21
Views: 1701

Re: HOA Treasurer Software Recommendation?

Does an accountant who deals with a lot of HOAs certify your annual financial statements? If so, you might want to talk to the accountant about it. No accountant. No auditor. Our financial statements don't get certified. I asked when I began knowledge transfer with the prior treasurer. Good thought...
by spectec
Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transporting elderly parent state-to-state
Replies: 47
Views: 3096

Re: Transporting elderly parent state-to-state

Seems like a 2-day van trip from Detroit to Dallas would also have entailed much more risk than a transfer by air. (minor or major accident, enroute medical emergency, mechanical breakdown, road construction, weather, etc). Same is true for this trip. Just curious about what the cost of the van migh...
by spectec
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Composite Tax Return Question
Replies: 9
Views: 883

Re: Composite Tax Return Question

I prepare tax returns for others. If a Client comes to me with LP K1s, I send them on their way. It’s one of the fastest ways out the door as far as I’m concerned. What I would charge to handle these makes it impractical for the client to pay me. Then when they tell me it’s very confusing, they don’...
by spectec
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me find some high quality cargo pants.
Replies: 63
Views: 5415

Re: Help me find some high quality cargo pants.

Count me as one who regularly wears cargo pants, mostly from REI, and couldn't care less what others might think about it. I dress for my comfort and convenience and I have no idea why any intelligent person would not do otherwise.
by spectec
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 9461

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

mptfan wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:03 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:29 pm
It’s not commonly known, but Americans *can* have two US passports. One is a 10-year, the backup is a 2-year.
Wow, is this true? I've never heard of this before, do you have a cite?
Well, you can always go to the source...

https://www.us-passport-service-guide.c ... sport.html
by spectec
Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?
Replies: 110
Views: 9461

Re: Do you carry your passport with you during international travel?

I recently renewed and also got a passport card. I plan to keep my passport card with me while leaving the passport in my lodgings. While I think the card only works for border crossings with Mexico and Canada, it has all the pertinent info on it and I hope would satisfy whatever authority is askin...
by spectec
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flying in the US after losing ID
Replies: 18
Views: 2582

Re: Flying in the US after losing ID

I assume your friend doesn't have a passport that a friend or relative could retrieve and overnight to him/her. (It is valid for TSA and airlines whether flying domestically or internationally, and it is automatically Real ID compliant). Incidentally, anyone who applies for or renews a passport shou...
by spectec
Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for Carry on Luggage
Replies: 64
Views: 4326

Re: Recommendation for Carry on Luggage

Here's my recommendation. https://shop.highsierra.com/high-sierra-ultimate-access-2.0-carry-on-wheeled-backpack-with-removable-daypack/636114476.html?rrec=true The removable daypack can be used at the destination, and it's fairly roomy. It can also be detached and treated as a personal item if they ...
by spectec
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: C-Corporation SEP
Replies: 2
Views: 168

Re: C-Corporation SEP

A few years back Vanguard had everyone fill out and submit an updated adoption agreement. Other than that, if the account is still active, your corporation probably needs to do nothing more than make a contribution to the SEP IRA. If you happen to have an extension in place, you can still make a con...
by spectec
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)
Replies: 21
Views: 1308

Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

I recommend "The Fatal Shore" by Robert Hughes for anyone wanting to get acquainted with Australia's history. It begins with an explanation of the origins of the "Transportation" system and then brings you forward in history. You learn a great deal about the actual circumstances of the founding of A...
by spectec
Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of mis-claiming Child on Taxes?
Replies: 15
Views: 1744

Re: Value of mis-claiming Child on Taxes?

Claiming dependents on a tax return is not a matter of deciding who benefits the most. IRS has very specific rules determining who can claim a dependent. If the party meeting the standard does not claim the dependent, then no one else is entitled to do so. But one of those rules is that divorced pa...
by spectec
Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not gaining weight on vacation?
Replies: 115
Views: 5852

Re: Not gaining weight on vacation?

Schedule a vacation with Bear Grylls.
Guaranteed not to gain weight.
by spectec
Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of mis-claiming Child on Taxes?
Replies: 15
Views: 1744

Re: Value of mis-claiming Child on Taxes?

Claiming dependents on a tax return is not a matter of deciding who benefits the most. IRS has very specific rules determining who can claim a dependent. If the party meeting the standard does not claim the dependent, then no one else is entitled to do so.
by spectec
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealer asking to re-sign
Replies: 45
Views: 4467

Re: Dealer asking to re-sign

I'd be inclined to tell them I need to take the new papers home and compare them to the old papers line-by-line, then return in a day or two with the papers and sign them. If they don't trust me enough to take the papers home and return with them in a day or two, then I don't trust them enough to si...
by spectec
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aids
Replies: 45
Views: 3580

Re: Hearing Aids

My first pair of $6K+ Phonak hearing aids purchased from an audiologist worked very well for about 6 years or so. They gave excellent performance and were loaded with features. When it came time to replace them, I bought a pair from Costco for just under $2K. The Costco HA's are light years ahead of...
by spectec
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?
Replies: 119
Views: 7302

Re: How should my Spouse and I handle a $300,000 Settlement?

If the settlement is taxable, then the attorney fees will probably not be deductible in determining the taxable amount. The confidentiality terms of most settlements do carve out an exception allowing you to discuss the details with your tax advisor. Since you MIGHT be facing a tax bill ranging some...
by spectec
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?
Replies: 76
Views: 4127

Re: Worth it to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra?

There are sometimes vast differences in equipment by airline and the particular aircraft normally flown on a given route. You should go to Seat Guru and look up the configuration for your flight and read any comments for the seat you are assigned as well as the upgrade seat you are considering. That...
by spectec
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to buy?
Replies: 42
Views: 3977

Re: Which car to buy?

FWIW, about 3 months back I was all set to buy a used Hyundai Santa Fe (or something like it) after having driven my last one for 11 years. When I went to CarMax and tried out various SUV's in this size range, I decided to check out a Ford Edge when the salesman suggested it it in a pricing "sweet s...
by spectec
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 3074

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

Might want to re-think using pliers to twist the wires before screwing on a wire nut when doing a pig tail connection. The wire nut manufacturers actually recommend not doing that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLUD7YfUf7Q Also, even if you figure out how to separate a push-in connection (it usual...
by spectec
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why Mr. Bogle prefers U.S stocks
Replies: 241
Views: 18671

Re: Why Mr. Bogle prefers U.S stocks

My AA has always been around 30-40% international, but I'd have way more money if I was 100% US. Not gonna change it though, I'm good with where I'm at. Virtually the same here (with respect to the conclusion). My AA is around 0% international, but I'd have way less money if I were not 100% US. Not...
by spectec
Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any numismatists (coin collectors) out there?
Replies: 22
Views: 2464

Re: any numismatists (coin collectors) out there?

I can help with this and make it fun and quick and not a daunting task to figure out what you have. Been lurking for a while on Bogleheads for a while and decided to join and help your mom as she probably has a jar full of silver! Literally today I finished going through my old coin collection from...
by spectec
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4192

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Would you have preferred they not fix the problem? I was thinking along those same lines. A brake problem shouldn't have interfered with their being able to take off, should it? Fix it in the air? Why not? The pilots are just sitting up there with nothing much to do between takeoff and landing. :)
by spectec
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4192

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Would you have preferred they not fix the problem? I was thinking along those same lines. A brake problem shouldn't have interfered with their being able to take off, should it? Not unless the pilot expects to land eventually. I did actually hear that question asked one time on a regional feeder fl...
by spectec
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?
Replies: 51
Views: 4192

Re: Plane maintenance - 6.5 hour delay - any recourse?

Bacchus01 wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:02 pm
Would you have preferred they not fix the problem?
I was thinking along those same lines.
A brake problem shouldn't have interfered with their being able to take off, should it?
by spectec
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles
Replies: 40
Views: 3032

Re: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles

When you have the buttons on the key fob to lock and unlock the door it is important to still use the metal key occasionally to prevent the lock from getting gummed up and stuck. It is not uncommon for someone to have their battery go dead only to find that the metal key which has not been used in ...
by spectec
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of a piano?
Replies: 50
Views: 4050

Re: How to get rid of a piano?

It's amazing what you can do with a Sawzall. :D I'd second disassembling as much as you can. Give the wood to a woodworker. Large metal pieces can be cut and the metal sent to a recycler, bit by bit in the trunk of your car if necessary. I got rid of an old couch that way. I'm no expert on pianos, ...
by spectec
Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of a piano?
Replies: 50
Views: 4050

Re: How to get rid of a piano?

Don't know who you will get to take the piano, but here's the absolute best way to move it out of your home. These piano movers have rubber wheels, but it's still a good idea to put down cardboard in the path of the rollers. I'm not suggesting you buy a set, but you can often find these at local equ...
by spectec
Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 10210

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

A local stylist. She charges $35. I generally give her a c-note cause I had to work stupid hard when I was young. I also give my house keeper a two month bonus at the end of the year. Working hard is hard. When you have done alright, you share when you can. Classy. Reminds me of a compliment someon...
by spectec
Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?
Replies: 153
Views: 10210

Re: Who cuts your hair? And for how much?

About every 3 weeks I walk across the street from my office to a barber I've known for years.
He always charges $12, and I always give him $20 & tell him to keep the change.
by spectec
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Storm damage on a wharf not covered by home insurance!
Replies: 11
Views: 1205

Re: Storm damage on a wharf not covered by home insurance!

Not sure if this would help you, but I had a situation where the adjuster said my roof wasn't covered. He even wrote a check for a few hundred dollars for some minor damage he claimed my H/O insurance did cover. (I think that little charade was an attempt to instill in my mind that everything was ov...
by spectec
Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon iPhone international trip
Replies: 37
Views: 2418

Re: Verizon iPhone international trip

I agree with the recommendation on the $10/day plan. We use it on all international trips when we're going where it is available. That, plus judicious use of airplane mode & wifi, can keep the cost down considerably with minimum effort. About 6 years ago I was traveling to Myanmar and this plan wasn...
by spectec
Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone own gold?
Replies: 108
Views: 12010

Re: Does anyone own gold?

I think owning physical gold also calls for another precious metals decision. In the event of an apocalypse in which the gold is necessary, you're also going to need a good supply of lead. Otherwise, the people with more lead will eventually own your gold.
by spectec
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Parents got ripped off, what can I do about it?
Replies: 75
Views: 7180

Re: Parents got ripped off, what can I do about it?

It amazes me that everyone always thinks they're ripped off because "they" could have done it for less. No kidding!! You can buy a garbage disposal for less than $150 and install it in less than an hour...if you know what you're doing. Is it difficult, not at all...but there are a lot of people who...
by spectec
Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Facebook reading our minds?
Replies: 37
Views: 3613

Re: Facebook reading our minds?

Maybe some day I'll regret saying this, but I don't mind the targeted ads. If I'm not interested, I just click off. (It's just grog to be replaced by another ad anyhow so what's the problem?) But if I'm particularly interested in something, I make note of the price but try to avoid buying it when I ...
by spectec
Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Facebook reading our minds?
Replies: 37
Views: 3613

Re: Facebook reading our minds?

This does not answer the OP's question, nor is it directed at the OP in any way, but is about FB in general. I have a FB account and am a very light user, rarely post, and just read the news feed now and then. I know a lot of adults who spend an inordinate amount of time looking at FB, almost as a ...
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 4792
Views: 1245531

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

"Lion" on Netflix was a pleasant surprise. We had skipped over it several times for other titles, but finally decided to watch it last night. It was very good, better than most of the films we had chosen in its place. I hadn't noticed until the end that it was based on a true story. This makes the f...
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?
Replies: 34
Views: 3307

Re: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Doesn't predicting what will happen to BRK when Warren and Charlie die run counter to the "nobody knows nothing" philosophy, or is BRK somehow an exception to yet another rule?
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SoClean for Cpap machine
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: SoClean for Cpap machine

Adding one more comment. Not cleaning your CPAP headgear would be something akin to using plastic pillow case and continuing to use it while drooling on it night after night. How long would you let that go on?
by spectec
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SoClean for Cpap machine
Replies: 10
Views: 1057

Re: SoClean for Cpap machine

I'm not impressed by it, especially now that it's being promoted virtually everywhere. I suspect it's more of an overpriced gimmick, but maybe better than not cleaning at all. I keep several sets of headgear and tubing, changing them out 2 or 3 times per week and cleaning the used ones in batches on...
by spectec
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?
Replies: 34
Views: 3307

Re: Indexing VS. buying Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Why would you want to invest in the stock of a company whose chairman is 88 years old and whose vice chairman is 95 years old? These two have been the primary reasons for the company's success. What happens after they're gone? If you're looking for a long-term, stable investment, Berkshire Hathaway...
by spectec
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?
Replies: 41
Views: 3528

Re: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?

I have no idea what the future holds for Starbucks. That said, I'm not so sure that I would bet against it. Last week I went to a Starbucks to meet some former coworkers. This was the first time that I had been to a Starbucks since 2006. Had they not wanted to meet there I would not have gone. The ...
by spectec
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?
Replies: 41
Views: 3528

Re: Starbucks; buy, sell, hold?

I used to be a daily Starbucks customer, but now I almost never set foot in one. If I owned the stock (which I don't aside from whatever percentage it comprises of VTI), I'd probably take that same view of the stock.
by spectec
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing customs in Seattle
Replies: 26
Views: 4691

Re: Clearing customs in Seattle

You should take a look at Flight Aware for the on-time performance of her arriving and departing flights. Past performance is no indication of future success of course, but you will get some sort of idea about how those flights normally operate vs their published schedules. It's much better to have ...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.
Replies: 21
Views: 1567

Re: Lodging and restaurants in Boone, NC.

About a mile out of Blowing Rock, right beside the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a time share development called Swiss Mountain Village. They offer short-term rentals of owner-unoccupied units. That was our "go-to" place for many years for ski trips, and as of 4 or 5 years ago the prices were very competit...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US stocks still look better than anywhere else
Replies: 100
Views: 8306

Re: US stocks still look better than anywhere else

Not surprised in the least. Still holding 0% international in my AA, just got back from travels in Europe.... sufficed to say after nearly having to beg for my bill each time so I could leave (you “rent” the table for the night), and get yelled at because I sat at a table to drink my latte (after n...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to pay electrician
Replies: 38
Views: 3652

Re: How to pay electrician

I have hired an electrician and he has completed job without issue. The electrician gave me a proposal with labor and material cost before work and there is no contract signed. Now he gave me an invoice with $200 increase on material without good reason(I have talked to him) Do I just pay whatever ...
by spectec
Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US stocks still look better than anywhere else
Replies: 100
Views: 8306

Re: US stocks still look better than anywhere else

Not surprised in the least. Still holding 0% international in my AA, just got back from travels in Europe.... sufficed to say after nearly having to beg for my bill each time so I could leave (you “rent” the table for the night), and get yelled at because I sat at a table to drink my latte (after n...
by spectec
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions on fraudulent medical bill
Replies: 88
Views: 6489

Re: Suggestions on fraudulent medical bill

I'd also be extremely careful about throwing around accusations of fraud against an individual, either verbally or in writing. That in and of itself can have dire consequences to the accuser if the other party takes offense and decides to press the point legally.
by spectec
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare broker
Replies: 27
Views: 1178

Re: Medicare broker

When I first went on Medicare, 6 years ago, I found medisupps.com to be a great source of information on medigap plans. I was very pleased with their recommendation (Plan G), and it has worked well for me. I'm thinking of researching plans again this year, and will definitely use their services agai...