Search found 227 matches

by tech_arch
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perks of Owning Certain Individual Stocks
Replies: 28
Views: 3061

Re: Perks of Owning Certain Individual Stocks

Many cruise lines have similar benefits if you own at 100 shares (or at least they did.) We used to own some stock just for that specific reason.
by tech_arch
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 278
Views: 35795

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

I enjoy Nancy Kress and would recommend her Beggars trilogy: Beggars in Spain, Beggars and Choosers, and Beggars Ride.

Here's her page for the first, Beggars in Spain - http://nancykress.com/beggars-in-spain/
by tech_arch
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?
Replies: 24
Views: 1733

Re: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?

Slov wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:52 am
I am 6'1 and 190lbs. So, I am hesitant to get such a small engine motorcycle.
I'm 6' and was around the same weight when I had my 250. I had no trouble keeping up with city traffic and could easily do highway speeds with it. If I could buy another bike it'd probably be a 500cc sport bike.
by tech_arch
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?
Replies: 24
Views: 1733

Re: Should I get a loan for a motorcycle?

First, thank you for your service. Short answer: First bikes should be something cheap, bought for cash. Advice: 1. If you're not an experienced rider (and it sounds like you'd be new to riding), definitely take the MSF beginner's course. I did, and it taught me A LOT. 2. Every rider will drop their...
by tech_arch
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HRA vs HSA? Which is better ?
Replies: 3
Views: 217

Re: HRA vs HSA? Which is better ?

That will depend a lot on your specific plan offerings. HRAs can be offered with regular PPO and HMO plans while HSAs require a qualified high-deductible health plan (QHDHP). If you post the details of your options we can give better feedback.
by tech_arch
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving utilities underground - any experience?
Replies: 11
Views: 1053

Re: Moving utilities underground - any experience?

... (though the improved reliability would be nice) ... Just curious: does your neighborhood have frequent outages? Buried lines can be helpful in some situations for reliability, but they're not a cure-all, especially if the problems aren't local. I do agree that buried utilities make for a nicer ...
by tech_arch
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades
Replies: 43
Views: 4775

Re: Costco 'Goodyear' wiper blades

sunny_socal wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:19 pm
I think these are great deal. Will buy again when these wear out! (I replace about every 2-3 years)
Your blades last that long? I'm lucky to get a year out of mine in central FL.
by tech_arch
Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disney World question, accessing resorts and monorail
Replies: 6
Views: 824

Re: Disney World question, accessing resorts and monorail

I've done this a few times. Here is what you should do... - Make dining reservations at one of the 3 monorail resorts. - With reservations, you are able to drive directly to the resort and park for free. - You can then leave your car in the parking lot and explore all you'd like. Use the monorail t...
by tech_arch
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center
Replies: 14
Views: 782

Re: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center

Watch out for the gators. A few years back, an alligator breezed through a set of pressure-sensitive automatic doors, into an office building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC). As clock punchers came in for their morning shift, they were greeted by a smug, six-foot reptile, lounging under a benc...
by tech_arch
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center
Replies: 14
Views: 782

Re: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center

Would you recommend buying the pass in advance or can we just get it at the gate? Is there a long line to get in that we need to avoid? We'll probably be arriving at the Space Center around 9:30 AM on a weekday. Thanks! I haven't been there in a couple of years and never during the week. I'd sugges...
by tech_arch
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center
Replies: 14
Views: 782

Re: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center

123 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:48 am
https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info ... hancements

I enjoyed a visit there some years ago. Since you've got a specific date you may want to order tickets in advance, I don't know if they sell out.
I think this would only be a problem if there's a launch scheduled for that day.
by tech_arch
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center
Replies: 14
Views: 782

Re: Advice On A Tour From Port Canaveral To Kennedy Space Center

I've sailed out of Port Canaveral and used to have an annual pass to KSC. You don't need to go with a tour operator; just take a taxi/Uber/Lyft over there. KSC does offer some special tours that you might be interested in, but the normal pass gets you access to many things: multiple static displays ...
by tech_arch
Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?
Replies: 48
Views: 2783

Re: Is this solar panel bid reasonable?

Also, you're not considering the advantage of having some energy independence. Having a way to generate your own electricity, especially coupled with battery storage, means you can function off grid in the event of power outages. With climate change causing more and more unpredictable bad weather l...
by tech_arch
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: QUESTION ANSWERED NO HELP NEEDED - mortgage escrow payment added to principal balance and charged interest each month
Replies: 18
Views: 835

Re: mortgage escrow payment added to principal balance and charged interest each month

I noticed that the escrow portion of my mortgage payment is being added to the principal balance each month and my lender is charging me interest on this principal balance that includes the escrow payment. Is this right? Should I really get charged interest on the escrow amount used for prepaying t...
by tech_arch
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon FreeTime on tablets
Replies: 7
Views: 744

Re: Amazon FreeTime on tablets

Amazon's website makes it look like FreeTime is access controls and FreeTime Unlimited provides the content.

See Set Up Amazon FreeTime vs About Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
by tech_arch
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon FreeTime on tablets
Replies: 7
Views: 744

Re: Amazon FreeTime on tablets

FreeTime is only $2.99 for Prime members. That being said, I think the access controls are free and the subscription is only for the content (FreeTime vs Freetime Unlimited.)
by tech_arch
Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Software Engineer Advice ~ Languages?
Replies: 41
Views: 3634

Re: Older Software Engineer Advice ~ Languages?

I haven't seen it on here, but Apex (and JavaScript) if you're interested in the Salesforce ecosystem. Salesforce developer jobs pay well and lots of remote work is available. Apex is built on Java so coming from .Net it shouldn't be a hard transition. Check out trailhead.salesforce.com if you're in...
by tech_arch
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dive computer recommendations
Replies: 8
Views: 862

Re: Dive computer recommendations

I just use an Oceanic Evo in my console; I don't dive enough to justify a wrist computer. My backup is a regular dive watch for tracking dive time. When I started buying my gear the people on my normal dive boat recommended against Suunto, claiming their algorithms were overly conservative and would...
by tech_arch
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Saturna=the only no-fee HSA investing option
Replies: 4
Views: 1317

Re: Saturna=the only no-fee HSA investing option

My employer's HSA is through Payflex. As of October, Payflex removed the $2/month fee for having an investing account. Various Vanguard funds are offered. I think they make it up by padding the expense ratio a bit, though I'm having trouble finding the relevant document right now.
by tech_arch
Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is a virtual private network (VPN) and how will it help me?
Replies: 14
Views: 1676

Re: What is a virtual private network (VPN) and how will it help me?

To add to bharghav9's answer... At a public WiFi spot, anybody can be snooping on you and using a VPN adds an extra layer of encryption[1] for the snoopers to break. With KRACK, people within range of the network will also be able to snoop on you, so essentially making it as "secure" as the public W...
by tech_arch
Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: YouTube TV
Replies: 2
Views: 451

Re: YouTube TV

We tested Youtube TV and Playstation Vue. For us, PS Vue worked out better, mainly because Youtube TV doesn't have an app for Amazon Fire devices, so it wasn't as easy to watch on our TV. We were happy with the quality of both. You need a good internet connection for all of these streaming services,...
by tech_arch
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wash sale rule unclear if not married at time of buy or sell
Replies: 5
Views: 631

Re: Wash sale rule unclear if not married at time of buy or sell

Why not just avoid the problem altogether and coordinate your sales and purchases like you would if you were married?
by tech_arch
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children
Replies: 15
Views: 1767

Re: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children

One additional thing: consider the family deductibles, too. Once the child is born that will be a new deductible to meet.
by tech_arch
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children
Replies: 15
Views: 1767

Re: Switching from High Deductible Plan when planning children

1. Understand that the insurance company might technically be a nonprofit, but it's not a charity. It more than breaks even one way or another. You have to take a "big picture" approach and look at total outlay for the year. 2. You didn't mention the frequency of pay. Assuming your employer pays ev...
by tech_arch
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bloom - cheap robo advisor for 401k
Replies: 6
Views: 1137

Re: Bloom - cheap robo advisor for 401k

I tried it out a while ago; it only looked at my 401(k) which meant it couldn't consider my other holdings. Overall, I wasn't impressed, but it was two years ago.

You can see my take on it at viewtopic.php?f=10&t=176044.
by tech_arch
Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TransUnion - Credit Lock vs. Freeze
Replies: 9
Views: 1172

Re: TransUnion - Credit Lock vs. Freeze

I opted for the freeze because I think it is more secure; the lock seems to still allow some people access to your credit report, based on what the TrueIdentity page stated. If you go to https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze/place-credit-freeze2 you'll see they have a table comparing the two opti...
by tech_arch
Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poker Software
Replies: 11
Views: 1682

Re: Poker Software

You'll probably get crushed regardless in Vegas :) My friend used to teach out there and a lot of his students parents were professional gamblers. They weren't the type you see in on tv, but the type who would sit next to tourists like us and clean up. Yep. There's a sucker at every table and if yo...
by tech_arch
Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Jobs that pay over $100,000
Replies: 157
Views: 18474

Re: Jobs that pay over $100,000

A lot of good responses. I'll add that I didn't start making that kind of money until I learned how to add value for companies and became a consultant. Make yourself valuable to a company and you'll start earning more.
by tech_arch
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Bitcoin?
Replies: 263
Views: 39397

Re: What is Bitcoin?

There's a quick primer on Wade Pfau's site on cryptocurrencies in general - https://retirementresearcher.com/should ... urrencies/. It gives an explanation of what they are discusses them as investments.
by tech_arch
Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Poker Software
Replies: 11
Views: 1682

Re: Poker Software

There are plenty of apps that you can get for your computer, phone, or tablet of choice that can let you practice against the computer. As you say, though, without some skin in the game it just isn't the same and you'll never get the same feeling unless you have real money on the line. You also have...
by tech_arch
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 70
Views: 7218

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

As a heads up....two weeks ago I purchased eclipse-viewing glasses from Amazon that were described as being ISO compliant. Yesterday I get an e-mail from Amazon saying that these glasses were not ISO complaint and to not use them for viewing the eclipse. So things are sometimes not what they seem. ...
by tech_arch
Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifetime Tire Alignment
Replies: 35
Views: 6387

Re: Lifetime Tire Alignment

Would you trust me if I tell you that a car pulled in on the rack and got the printout and then backed out without doing any work on it and then immediately put back on the rack and got another printout, those would NOT be identical? There is inherent measurement error in anything that we measure. ...
by tech_arch
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: YouTube TV - Anyone used or currently using?
Replies: 29
Views: 4016

Re: YouTube TV - Anyone used or currently using?

Am I missing the point? Plugging into 3-4 services at $25-$50 a pop comes in at a comparable cost to cable. Do I also need multiple devices - plus OTA - as well? AND then how do I generate the time to watch all this stuff? We have PSVue, Netflix, and HBO Now. We'd have Netflix and HBO with or witho...
by tech_arch
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: YouTube TV - Anyone used or currently using?
Replies: 29
Views: 4016

Re: YouTube TV - Anyone used or currently using?

It just came to our area so we're doing a trial right now. We currently subscribe to PSVue. The big advantage YouTube TV has for us is that it provides the local stations, which currently aren't available to us on PSVue. The downside is that they don't have an app (yet) for the Fire TV. To get aroun...
by tech_arch
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifetime Tire Alignment
Replies: 35
Views: 6387

Re: Lifetime Tire Alignment

My experience has been the opposite of the plurality here. We had an '07 Vue for almost 10 years and had a lifetime alignment for it through Tires Plus (owned by Firestone nowadays.) Every other oil change I had them rotate and rebalance the wheels and check the alignment. Their before and after rep...
by tech_arch
Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA + HDHP [Me] and FSA [Spouse]
Replies: 1
Views: 295

Re: HSA + HDHP [Me] and FSA [Spouse]

Hi all, Did a search on the forum and google. My wife and I just got married. Prior to getting married, I was funding my HSA while on a HDHP insurance plan. She was funding her general-purpose FSA while she's under her employer sponsored insurance plan. Now that we are married, I would like to cont...
by tech_arch
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Costco/TrueCar auto shopping experience
Replies: 44
Views: 29513

Re: My Costco/TrueCar auto shopping experience

Looking at a new 2017 Honda CRV Touring and have done a little price shopping. Was curious about TrueCar and Costco pricing on the vehicle. Here's what I found out from a couple dealers. The first dealer didn't participate in the Costco program, so I asked about TrueCar pricing and looked up the Tr...
by tech_arch
Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Sous Vide Recipes/Foods?
Replies: 6
Views: 577

Re: Favorite Sous Vide Recipes/Foods?

I was going to post a link to Serious Eats but I see that's already been done. Kenji's recipes are great and never fail me.
by tech_arch
Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone retire and move to a planned community in FL?
Replies: 48
Views: 7448

Re: anyone retire and move to a planned community in FL?

Florida is not just unpleasantly warm in the summer, it's warm and humid most of the time (save a few weeks in February), and becomes excruciatingly so beginning in April. Most people live indoors. The heat and humidity are spot on; we have a few weeks early in the year when I enjoy being outside, ...
by tech_arch
Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DirectTV Install
Replies: 14
Views: 1327

Re: DirectTV Install

Thanks for all the comments. Quick follow up -- if I really don't like the location where the DirectTV installer proposes putting the dish, can I beg off at that point, or am I already bound by the contract at that point ? If I really intended to use the service for many years, I could put up with ...
by tech_arch
Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels
Replies: 56
Views: 5089

Re: Solar panels

I was having some roof repair done on my Arizona house and asked the roofer if he thought the roof would support solar panels. He did. But he also mentioned that when the roof needs to be replaced, the solar panels needed to be removed first. - A hidden cost. Yep. When we signed our contract to hav...
by tech_arch
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels
Replies: 56
Views: 5089

Re: Solar panels

No, net metering actually wipes out BOTH the supply charges AND the transmission charges. The only thing it doesn't wipe out is the $17/month fixed connection fee. Basically net metering wipes out any kWH-related charges. My utility does net metering, but the buyback rate is lower than my purchase ...
by tech_arch
Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Provider) App
Replies: 7
Views: 963

Re: Advice on a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Provider) App

Another vote for Google Voice. I've been using that for my primary service for several years.
by tech_arch
Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels
Replies: 56
Views: 5089

Re: Solar panels

And don't forget, the Edison bill does not go to zero, unless you go completely off grid. They will still charge you a monthly hook-up fee ($10-$15?), so the true savings is not $100/mo. And, as noted, one needs to factor in degradation of the panels. Perhaps ~0.5% per year? Eventually, they will a...
by tech_arch
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: instant pot [Pressure cooker]
Replies: 34
Views: 3820

Re: instant pot [Pressure cooker]

We have thought extensively about getting one, even put one in our Amazon cart a few times and borrowed my mom's several times, but we've decided that with our lifestyle it simply doesn't provide anything our trusty crockpot doesn't already. It's cool that it can greatly decrease cooking time, but ...
by tech_arch
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar panels
Replies: 56
Views: 5089

Re: Solar panels

Electric bill ranged from $80 something to $120 something, so on average $100 a month. $17500 is the price for solar panels after taking into account 30% federal tax credit. System is 11.9 kW. Does that help? That sounds overly large. Our system is 9kW and our average monthly usage is ~1600kWh. Bre...
by tech_arch
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: instant pot [Pressure cooker]
Replies: 34
Views: 3820

Re: instant pot [Pressure cooker]

Love ours. Great for faster braises, making broth, and perfect hard boiled eggs.
by tech_arch
Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any way to eat healthier at Subway (or any other quick lunch ideas)
Replies: 102
Views: 6403

Re: any way to eat healthier at Subway (or any other quick lunch ideas)

am wrote: I read that their roasted chicken breast is only 50% or so chicken
That is false. https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03 ... 100-weird/

Note: I'm friends with an employee at ELISA labs and trust their work completely.
by tech_arch
Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Android phone, which one?
Replies: 16
Views: 1705

Re: Android phone, which one?

We've been very happy with Honor phones. We both have an Honor 8 and I would recommend it.