Search found 703 matches

by black jack
Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: John Updike Rabbit novels-really?
Replies: 16
Views: 3031

As one who taught Updike's novels in contemporary lit. courses at the university level, I'd say he was a remarkable social historian of my time. Of course, I learned a lot about Updike from my first wife (deceased) who wrote a fine book on Updike. :D Don't know whether it's still in print. Don't ov...
by black jack
Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: moving from CA to D.C. car buying question
Replies: 12
Views: 4502

Re: moving from CA to D.C. car buying question

Family member moving from southern California to Washington D.C. in late July (will be living in DC) Needs to buy a car soon. A/C shot, 10 year old car, and can't do southern california in summer without A/C. I seem to remember that if you buy a car in one state and relocate to another shortly ther...
by black jack
Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Piracy Linked to Terrorists?
Replies: 63
Views: 8394

Maybe someone already posted this and I didn't see it, but there's an interesting section under "Backround to Piracy". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy_in_Somalia "In an interview, Sugule Ali, one of the pirate leaders explained "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We co...
by black jack
Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: the inexperienced spouse
Replies: 19
Views: 4530

You definitely need a durable power of attorney for someone to take over for you and/or your wife when you become incapable of managing your own affairs. I'm not yet 60 but plan to turn my finances over to my children on my 80th birthday if I manage to make it that long. They have a POA now and hav...
by black jack
Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desktop PC for Internet Browsing?
Replies: 56
Views: 13445

Why would you buy a desktop just for internet browsing? If you don't need a desktop for heavy-duty computing tasks, the greater portability of a laptop or netbook makes them much more useful. My wife has a laptop that usually sits on a table downstairs. It's almost five years old, and was the cheape...
by black jack
Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Alarm System
Replies: 24
Views: 4414

The only one I worry about is my wife. I think that she would just like VT's link says hesitate. She, like him, has a more optimistic view of humanity. I guess I got jaded seeing all the addicts in the ER first hand, hearing these stories of abuse etc. She's come around somewhat, but I don't think ...
by black jack
Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Alarm System
Replies: 24
Views: 4414

The principle of home security is similar to that of escaping the bear while hiking: you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your companions. With home security, you just have to make your house look less inviting to a casual thief than your neighbors' houses. I would guess that y...
by black jack
Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Questions regarding Yale University
Replies: 71
Views: 10426

Someone questioned how top students from public universities do compared with grads from Ivy-type schools. Jay Mathews, the education columnist for the Washington Post, has written about this. I wasn't able to find the columns I was thinking of, but they were to the effect that kids who are ambitiou...
by black jack
Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What really astounds me
Replies: 40
Views: 7491

I grew up in Fargo, and flooding was an accepted, but minor, fact of life until the 100-year flood in 1997. Now that the 100-year flood has occurred twice in 12 years, it's time to come up with a new name for it. ... I know we're all weary of disasters and spending, but the Red River Valley is not ...
by black jack
Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car do you drive?
Replies: 125
Views: 24023

Wife and I share a 2005 Subaru Legacy wagon. Good car (American made). The engine is made in Japan - I think. My comment (which has been argued incorrect by others :roll: ) is that a car may be manufactured in one country, but the overall profit for that car gets returned to the country of origin. ...
by black jack
Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car do you drive?
Replies: 125
Views: 24023

Wife and I share a 2005 Subaru Legacy wagon.

Good car (American made).
by black jack
Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: satellite vs. cable vs. FIOS
Replies: 32
Views: 6219

FIOS, TiVo, and Netflix.
by black jack
Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite movie musical theme?
Replies: 96
Views: 13521

Seconding: Orff's Carmina Burana. Main theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Main theme from Patton. Not mentioned yet: Last of the Mohicans (Promontory) Exorcist main theme (Tubular Bells, by Mike Oldfield) Not the main theme of the movie, or even written for the movie, but I have to mention ...
by black jack
Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite TV Police/Crime Dramas...
Replies: 91
Views: 13522

The Wire is on my list of things to do: to get the DVDs and spend a couple of weeks this summer going through them. I don't sit down to watch TV regularly enough to follow a series like that (even with TiVo). For shows that can be enjoyed in random single helpings: Numbers - math genius helps his FB...
by black jack
Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is delaying or avoiding retirment viable?
Replies: 34
Views: 4657

So who has it all right or wrong then? I don't mean to be inflammatory, but it hardly seems worth it to "save for retirement", or to plan to retire at all. If someone, particularly in a non-phyiscal, non-sales/corporate kind of job where age is discriminated against, or takes its toll on ...
by black jack
Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Auto insurance
Replies: 21
Views: 4365

I had GEICO auto insurance for about 15 years. I think they had been the cheapest of the companies that seemed to me reputable when I got the insurance. I have no idea how they control their costs. A couple of years ago GEICO's home insurance partner bumped my homeowners insurance up a bit more than...
by black jack
Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Eating Cheaply
Replies: 179
Views: 38952

If you're not much of a cook, and/or love eating out, consider that most restaurants give you portions that are about twice as much as you need to eat at one sitting (unless you are perhaps 6'6" and 300 pounds, or Michael Phelps in training). Set half the food aside at the beginning of the meal...
by black jack
Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HENRYs: high earners not rich yet
Replies: 64
Views: 12190

I have a friend and his wife, both docs with annual earnings nearing half a million. They pay ten times the amount of taxes I do. No one argues that tax code shouldn't be progressive, but how progressive is progressive enough? Due to state income tax and self-employment tax, the effective tax rate ...
by black jack
Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital records preservation worries archivists
Replies: 12
Views: 2357

I am a system's analyst and I recently had to design a backup system that would keep data for decades. I decided that the key requirements were: 1. A copy of the data in at least 2 locations. 2. A rewrite cycle, both copies of the data had to be re-written or at least read on a regular cycle much s...
by black jack
Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000? [Archived]
Replies: 1479
Views: 326625

Wow, I would have thought this post topic would have been exhausted long ago, but it's like the Energ*** bunny. So, to keep it going, I offer a not-entirely-off-topic anecdote: recently my daughter and I were walking through a large public library when our eyes were caught by a lovely hourglass, at ...
by black jack
Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing as a Demographic Struggle Between Generations
Replies: 16
Views: 3189

Re: Investing as a Demographic Struggle Between Generations

It seems like a lot of investing is a tug-of-war between generations. Right now, I want to buy from you at low valuations. When I retire, I want to sell you my shares for a high price. :) In that case, you are SOL, as the generational cohort whose assets you now wish to buy at low valuations is not...
by black jack
Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jobless Thread
Replies: 65
Views: 11279

Keep your chin up through the rejection. Looking for a good job is a game of attrition, so on that note, the more rejection the better. It means your busy spreading the net, and covering more ocean. -- Tet That deserves to be repeated, so I quote it. Looking for a job is maddenly frustrating. When ...
by black jack
Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Notice a Drop in Traffic Lately?
Replies: 18
Views: 3229

It's happened before, though perhaps not to this extent. It's typical during recessions for discretionary driving to drop off, as some percentage of the driving population has less money for, or is just less inclined to be, "going out." As you note, one bright side is that the roads are le...
by black jack
Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is greed?
Replies: 24
Views: 3689

there are no moral absolutes but we build societies to pretend there are. So I guess "You Shall Not Murder", "You Shall Not Steal", "You Shall Not Covet", are OK for some to violate since there are no moral absolutes? If so, who decides? I've never been able to get my ...
by black jack
Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking through Europe
Replies: 33
Views: 5285

I had planned to spend a year backpacking around Europe, but ended up spending part of that time traveling around the US How much did this cost you? As this was 17 years ago, my memory fails me, and the prices would need revision anyway. Short answer: it used up my 401k, which was around $15k, but ...
by black jack
Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your favorite pizza?
Replies: 56
Views: 8837

My favorite type of pizza is: (a) Chicago deep-dish style pizza, with lots of cheese, mushrooms, and green peppers; (b) whatever kind is within reach at the moment; (c) Like beer, my favorite type of pizza is..... FREE PIZZA !!! RM Amen, brother! Back in my poverty-stricken liberal arts grad student...
by black jack
Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking through Europe
Replies: 33
Views: 5285

You can move around a lot and see lots of big sites, cramming as much into your limited time as you can, or you can stay put for a while and dig in. The former is exhausting, the latter limits your options. I would recommend a mix of both approaches. If you are limited to three weeks, focusing on on...
by black jack
Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your favorite business/financial news/publication?
Replies: 14
Views: 3014

Another vote for the Economist, followed by the Wall Street Journal.
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

The Heisman curse continues: two Heisman-winning QBs both threw as many interceptions in the game (2 each) as they had thrown the entire rest of the season. But Bradford was pulled down by the stronger curse of his more-recently-received award. Bradford is a stud. Indeed. He was apparently an after-...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

PS Not a bad prediction, Retired at 48, but I'd have been even more impressed had you fingered Utah way back when :) That would be miss congeniality award :!: . The contest was to pick the BCS Champ. I do feel for Utah, though...they looked good. BTW This son of thread was preceeded by a BCS thread...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you survive on $120K annual income?
Replies: 97
Views: 25518

How do we survive on $120K a year? Very, very nicely. A lot depends on one's expectations. I never expected to have this much income. I can still remember how things felt a few years ago, making $50k with the $1,240 mortgage and all the rest (but only $5k toward retirement savings then), and prescho...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

Next year's BCS championship game should be USC and Flordia in the Rose Bowl. Not sure what "should be" means in that sentence. You are placing your bet now that they will be the poll darlings at the beginning of December 2009? Better to let them play next week; anything could happen by D...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the closest international landmark you live near?
Replies: 136
Views: 20471

Re: Landmarks

There are many civil rights ( MLK King Center) and Civil War era( Margaret Mitchell's " Gone With The Wind" museum, but no actual Tara) landmarks here in Atlanta. Many out-of-towners enjoy Stone Mountain, a large exposed chunk of granite with Confederate heroes carved on one side. Locals ...
by black jack
Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

Welcome to the SEC, Mr. Bradford. (sorry, I'm ashamed that I gave in to that impulse). An exciting game, with good defense, some pretty good offense, and enough penalties and turnovers to remind us that the players are human (and young ones, at that). Next! Oh...there is no next. Sigh. Guess I'll be...
by black jack
Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Are Your Favorite Songs About Money?
Replies: 55
Views: 8678

What Are Your Favorite Songs About Money?

Looking over the list of songs in the "Songs you've listened to the most in your life" thread, I was struck by several mentions of "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. That made me think about songs about money, which is after all the focus of this site. Most songs are about love...
by black jack
Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Songs you've played the most...
Replies: 70
Views: 11211

Great question. I've already seen many songs I've never heard of but am going to check out. Keep those replies coming. A few of mine: Born to Run; Thunder Road; My Hometown; the River - Bruce Springsteen Hello in There; Paradise - John Prine Sultans of Swing; Wild West End; Money for Nothing - Dire ...
by black jack
Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

Texas Tech wasn't the same team after the neutering they received in Norman. Following the slaughter in Norman, Tech barely beat Baylor by 7 in Lubbock and didn't even resemble the TT team before the OU game when they played Ole Miss. Confidence is a HUGE part of athletics and TT didn't have any co...
by black jack
Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

Looks to me like Utah has a legitimate claim to a National Championship. Undefeated. Beat the team that was #1 (for 5 weeks) and undefeated until the last week of the season. Utah beat them by as much as Florida (at least with 3 minutes to go), and took over the game much earlier. I don't want to h...
by black jack
Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what do boglehead windows owners hate about macs/apple?
Replies: 49
Views: 8220

SpringMan wrote: I would be curious to hear about experiences XP users have had moving to Vista. I switched from Windows XP Home to Windows Vista Business about one year ago. My PC is almost 4 years old (P4 at 3.4 gighertz, 2 GB memory, very low end video card ATI X300, etc.). I am happy with the s...
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

black jack wrote: Though not particularly a Gator fan (Go UGA!) or an OU booster (I vote with those who think Texas should have been the Big 12 South representative in the conference championship game), I was impressed that both teams prevailed in the absence of some of their best players. By Jan 8...
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Son of BCS
Replies: 367
Views: 49046

Though not particularly a Gator fan (Go UGA!) or an OU booster (I vote with those who think Texas should have been the Big 12 South representative in the conference championship game), I was impressed that both teams prevailed in the absence of some of their best players. By Jan 8th, hopefully both ...
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Test your quizmanship!
Replies: 11
Views: 2168

The question is worded ambiguously. Assuming the question is asking "How old is the poet (in the poem)?", the answer is 20; "twenty will not come again...", leaving him fifty. But it could also be read as "How old is the poet (now)?", in which case the answer is (d). So...
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Holding cash as an asset class...really?
Replies: 16
Views: 3486

Why do we always talk about historical returns? What bearing does that have on anything that happens in the future. The 10% return we hear for stocks is over very, very long periods with intervening periods of terrible underperformance. By investing in stocks it is almost like a blind faith. A lot ...
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:51 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: The Newest Boglehead
Replies: 62
Views: 11478

Congratulations! And best wishes to you and your family.

And thanks for sharing the photos; not many things more beautiful than a newborn baby with happy parents.
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why I shut down half of my business this week
Replies: 29
Views: 6875

I also enjoyed your post, as an insight into one independent businessperson's experience. But it also puzzles me. It seems that your knowledge of certain tax matters was valuable to a number of entities for some time. Now rather suddenly a significant number of them feel they must, or can, do withou...
by black jack
Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Civics Quiz
Replies: 64
Views: 9301

32 out of 33 correct — 96.97 % When I see the results of quizzes like these (not the results from members of this group, obviously, but from the general population), I'm reminded of comments that tend to pop up around the time of every election. During a C-SPAN call-in show about the presidential ca...
by black jack
Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You Are Your Money
Replies: 33
Views: 6341

It's not that we are the amount of our money, and are thus diminished in proportion to the recent shrinking of our portfolios (though certainly some are, as I have heard from their lips in recent weeks). Rather, that having enough money to make us feel confident -- whatever that amount is for each p...
by black jack
Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your schooling after H.S.?
Replies: 204
Views: 45677

BA History (European and Asian), minor in Philosophy - 1981 Graduate coursework in Religion - 1982 MA History (European intellectual history, Japanese history) - 1985 Certificate in International Business - 1988 MCP City Planning - 1996 ABD City Planning - stopped when I got a job and a child (ironi...
by black jack
Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Least bad way to extricate Mom from this auto loan?
Replies: 23
Views: 5136

Re: BlackJack, a friendly suggestion....

dm200 and giacolet: thanks for your insights into the lender's perspective. One thing puzzles me: why would the lender have made a loan for what was probably at least twice the value of the asset (the car)? I realize we've discovered that lenders did all sorts of insane things in the past few years,...
by black jack
Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which college football team will win the BCS Title Game?
Replies: 596
Views: 107487

That was a pretty good set of games yesterday. Too bad Missouri-OK State was on at the same time as LSU-Florida. Over the years I've observed that championship teams are masters at winning the close ones. They don't always win them all, but they win more than their share. Close games are won with gr...