Search found 535 matches

by denismurf
Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping a hairdresser
Replies: 85
Views: 9152

Re: Tipping a hairdresser

So, exactly what is my surcharge (= tip) at Great Clips for a senior haircut that takes about 10 minutes? A fixed amount? A fixed percentage of the senior price? A fixed percentage of the regular price? What if they're running a $9.95 special? What if the person cutting my hair is also the franchise...
by denismurf
Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't send email
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Re: Can't send email

I got this link from another forum. It's a free program that solved my problem immediately after downloading.

http://gmaildefault.codeplex.com/
by denismurf
Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't send email
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Re: Can't send email

There's no link, just a button that says Click to send an email. I find myself going in circles since there is already an apparent association between the .com extension and Internet Explorer. This is the default. If the actual email address of the addressee ends in .com, shouldn't IE just handle it...
by denismurf
Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in a 55+ community
Replies: 32
Views: 4406

Re: Living in a 55+ community

My wife and I were living in a de facto retirement community (a big collection of big condos inside a regular small town) when she died. Suddenly I was bothered by the absence of kids in my immediate neighborhood and the preponderance of old guys my age (70's) constantly grumbling about the usual po...
by denismurf
Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can't send email
Replies: 7
Views: 690

Can't send email

My PC will send email anywhere, UNLESS there is no actual email address, but only a button that says something like "Click here to send email." Clicking this button frequently triggers a message from Microsoft saying I need to click an Allow button to proceed, followed usually by this mess...
by denismurf
Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

The Thurber Carnival , by, of course, James Thurber. I decided to reread this book I read in the 50's, but gave up about halfway through. It did remind me of why I carried such a negative opinion of marriage into adulthood. The dismal married life Thurber portrayed reinforced much of what I saw as ...
by denismurf
Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to make it easier for spouse upon death
Replies: 91
Views: 14921

Re: How to make it easier for spouse upon death

The biggest source of financial grief when my spouse died was that we had not updated our wills and trusts to take into account our move to a community property state. So, if you now live in a different state from where you originally wrote your death documents, check that out and rewrite if necessa...
by denismurf
Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Speaking of dogs as characters in stories, I just finished Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen. I laughed so hard my gut ached at some of the action told from the perspective of a black Lab. Followup: I heard a book tour talk by Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Pharma . He's a wild, funny Brit deserving of attent...
by denismurf
Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where were you financially in your late twenties?
Replies: 191
Views: 18514

Re: Where were you financially in your late twenties?

At age 30 in 1969, my wife and I together were earning about $6,000/yr, living a block from the beach in Monterey, CA, and driving ourselves and new baby around in a 1957 DeSoto. We had no health insurance, nothing in the bank, and no debt. Rent was $90 a month. Those were indeed the days, my friends.
by denismurf
Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Researching Large Sedans
Replies: 17
Views: 2498

Re: Researching Large Sedans

I love the ride and space of my 2006 Buick LaCrosse that I bought for $15K with 7K miles on it back in early 2006. Now has 78K miles. The biggest reason I hang onto it is the bench seat. The buckets all hurt my back. Troubles: Serpentine belt gave out at about 60K, and some mini-computer that works ...
by denismurf
Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Halfway through Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre.
by denismurf
Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I just started a collection called The Thurber Carnival by, of course, James Thurber. First story up was "The Lady on 142." It reminded me how hilarious Thurber is; to me, at least. This book includes excerpts from some of his other works, plus poetry, cartoons, and miscellany.
by denismurf
Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your usual retirement day like ?
Replies: 201
Views: 50932

Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

Depends on period of my life during the retirement years. The first 13 years of my retirement, my spouse was still working; year 14, both retired; year 15, spouse deceased. So, period 1, I spent lots of time organizing free time and cruises. Period 2, lots of time figuring out how to spend joint liv...
by denismurf
Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Historian Paul Johnson, probably in Modern Times, lays out some unusual perspectives on the US intervention in WW I. I no longer have the book, but it's drifting around in thrift stores and garage sales.
by denismurf
Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Naked Statistics
Replies: 9
Views: 2180

Naked Statistics

Yes, that's the title of a new book by Charles Wheelan reviewed in today's NY Times. Even with the catchy title, it sounds like a book that might quickly drown me in concepts I can't grasp. Has anyone read it? If so, how would non-statisticians fare with it?
by denismurf
Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Long duration individual muni bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 3831

Re: Long duration individual muni bonds

Just as everybody else has done, I warn you that I'm no expert and that I know very little about your situation. But I have been running my own muni bond portfolio of a $million or so for more than 10 years. So, 1. Nothing you've written indicates to me that you need to do something right now. Take ...
by denismurf
Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Brokers are dead men walking, they just don't know it
Replies: 60
Views: 7659

Re: Brokers are dead men walking, they just don't know it

I just hope outfits like Scottrade survive with their model of discount trades, no investment advice, and humans in handy branches. Those humans have gotten me past numerous intersections of reality and financial rules and regulations that would have been very difficult to navigate without them (the...
by denismurf
Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shrinking Snickers bars
Replies: 50
Views: 5120

Shrinking Snickers bars

The size of the regular bar has dropped from 2.07 oz to 1.86 oz, or about 10%, with, of course, no drop in price. Now THAT's backdoor inflation.
by denismurf
Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying art from the artist
Replies: 6
Views: 838

Buying art from the artist

You see a painting you really like at a booth in a bazaar. The artist is sitting there. The marked price, let's say, is $3500. In these circumstances, is the price customarily fixed, or do the artists post a price expecting offers that might lead to a sale? Or is everybody different? Does anybody kn...
by denismurf
Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleveland Clinic
Replies: 31
Views: 4503

Re: Cleveland Clinic

You're talking about the Cleveland Clinic near Ft Lauderdale, right?

Across the street from it and a couple of blocks toward the "town center" is a wonderful Mexican fast food place where local immigrants eat. I can't remember the name.

Never been to Cleveland, OH. :happy
by denismurf
Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Coming Bond Market Crash
Replies: 180
Views: 19070

Re: Coming Bond Market Crash

hoops777 says 61 years old.
by denismurf
Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Beginning investor with large windfall
Replies: 25
Views: 2888

Re: Beginning investor with large windfall

My plan for you: Set aside a couple of thousand $$ for a trip to the kind of place you know you love to just be in. Where would you like to hang out for at least a week? Beach? Mountains? Desert? Manhattan (I'm serious)? Then go back to work. Put all the rest into a Vanguard or similar low-expense s...
by denismurf
Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Do You Regret Buying Individual Bonds/Treasuries/TIPS/Munis?
Replies: 23
Views: 3306

Re: Do You Regret Buying Individual Bonds/Treasuries/TIPS/Mu

I've been buying short to medium term individual munis for about 17 years on the secondary market and have no regrets at all. The big price drops of the past few days are fine with me as I shop for opportunities to spend what I get from maturing bonds. Never get rich from this stuff, but I sleep wel...
by denismurf
Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

I picked up Term Limits by Flynn for 99 cents and abandoned it after 53 pages. Every character rubbed me the wrong way. Go figure.
by denismurf
Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Adult Kids/Gifting
Replies: 77
Views: 5455

Re: Adult Kids/Gifting

This is a current topic for me. My wife died a year ago, and now I have quite a bit more income and assets than I will ever need, even after donating considerable dough to charities. Without going into details, our daughter (36) and husband got a big chunk of cash (200K after tax) after spouse died,...
by denismurf
Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Muni intermed drops last 3 days
Replies: 32
Views: 2754

Re: Muni intermed drops last 3 days

Sigh. Sad how questions like this lurch quickly, inevitably, into political kvetching.

As an investor in individual munis, not funds, all I can say is: sell away! I'll be happy to take them off your hands at fire sale prices.
by denismurf
Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Funds vs. Individual Munis via VG Brockerage
Replies: 5
Views: 851

Re: Muni Funds vs. Individual Munis via VG Brockerage

The Only Guide to a Winning Bond Strategy You'll Ever Need by Larry Swedroe contains all you need to know to get started in bonds. With $55K, you'll almost certainly end up with funds, not individual bonds.
by denismurf
Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Speaking of World War I:

For me, a novel even more gut wrenching about WWI than All Quiet on the Western Front was A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin.
by denismurf
Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about current ACA Law
Replies: 43
Views: 2824

Re: Question about current ACA Law

I'm surprised this topic has been allowed to continue.
by denismurf
Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bar shenanigans
Replies: 9
Views: 1907

Re: Bar shenanigans

What is an open bar package?
by denismurf
Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

"My broker" doesn't make investment recommendations, but did say he likes reading novels by Vince Flynn.

Never heard of him. Any comments on Vince Flynn?
by denismurf
Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling with a toddler on an airplane
Replies: 27
Views: 3630

Re: Traveling with a toddler on an airplane

Take along a bag of 100 earplugs and offer pairs to nearby passengers if the wee one erupts. The earplugs are cheap and much appreciated.

I've been there as both parent and passenger trying to sleep through a toddler's tantrum.
by denismurf
Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to report gifts that exceed $13,000
Replies: 3
Views: 845

Re: How to report gifts that exceed $13,000

Thanks. I did read instructions, but was too tired at the time to catch it.
by denismurf
Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to report gifts that exceed $13,000
Replies: 3
Views: 845

How to report gifts that exceed $13,000

I've gone over previous posts here and also looked at instructions for gift return Form 709, but can't find this: I gift somebody $100,000 this year. All the articles say you can just charge that $87,000 excess against the current estate limit of $5,100,000 on the gift tax return you file. BUT, I ca...
by denismurf
Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: CNN article on municipal bonds and early redemptions
Replies: 7
Views: 1213

Re: CNN article on municipal bonds and early redemptions

Over the years I've found some real bargains, and some outrageously bad deals, among callable muni bonds on the secondary market. It almost seems like even some pros can't quite figure out how to price callable bonds. All you need to know is what Larry's bond book says on pp 219-221, plus an awarene...
by denismurf
Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of car are you driving?
Replies: 368
Views: 41689

Re: What kind of car are you driving?

06 Buick LaCrosse with 73K miles.
The bench seat and ride are perfect for my back, so will probably drive it "forever."
by denismurf
Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your mid-life crisis
Replies: 53
Views: 7050

Re: What was your mid-life crisis

Check the thread, "Possible mid-life crisis - please help."

It drew a lot of long, thoughtful responses, finishing up with a short one from me yesterday, Nov 27.
by denismurf
Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible mid-life crisis - please help
Replies: 94
Views: 13900

Re: Possible mid-life crisis - please help

An excellent start. Good luck.
by denismurf
Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volunteering Ideas
Replies: 87
Views: 8025

Re: Volunteering Ideas

Over the years, the most rewarding for me has been volunteer classroom aide in grade schools. Only trouble is, a male has to break through a wall of suspicion about motives. But once you hook up with a teacher who knows how to put you to good use, it's fantastic for everybody.
by denismurf
Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Just finished God and the New Physics by Paul Davies. No answers here, but plenty of astonishing facts and plausible speculation about the universe, at one end of the size scale, and quantum mechanics, at the other end.
by denismurf
Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Las Vegas Trip
Replies: 56
Views: 6251

Re: Las Vegas Trip

I go to eat, sleep, and play video poker, so I stay at a second tier hotel downtown (4 Queens, for example) and play wherever video poker payoffs are the best. The payoffs are posted on each machine. For a nongambler, a second tier hotel on the Strip south of the Fashion Mall is best. Circus Circus ...
by denismurf
Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year End Estate Tax Planning?
Replies: 17
Views: 1925

Re: Year End Estate Tax Planning?

Another option: Look around for 501-c-3 organizations that help the truly destitute help themselves. They (the organizations and the destitute) exist wherever you live. Once you're satisfied that donated money will go where you want it to go (due diligence), give all you can. As long as you don't tr...
by denismurf
Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year End Estate Tax Planning?
Replies: 17
Views: 1925

Re: Year End Estate Tax Planning?

Before 1-1-13, either:
1) give away $4 million, or
2) die.
by denismurf
Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I ditch Bank of America :-)
Replies: 48
Views: 5518

Re: I ditch Bank of America :-)

I've had a Citi checking account for years, even though there are no local branches where I live in Seattle, plus a US Bank checking/savings account to gain access to humans who know me and a box. When my wife died last Jan in Florida, I had to deal in person with a Citi branch in Florida and my fri...
by denismurf
Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Any Kellerman novels to avoid? I'm just starting with The Clinic.
by denismurf
Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car front bench seats go away
Replies: 24
Views: 3153

Re: Car front bench seats go away

Bucket seats have always given me backaches and shooting pains, no matter how many pillows and cushions I pile on to make them into benches. That's why I hang onto my 06 Buick LaCrosse w/72K miles, despite the serpentine belt that blew, an internal transmission computer that came close to failing, a...
by denismurf
Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most underrated band of all time [that you listen to]?
Replies: 342
Views: 22332

Re: Most underrated band of all time [that you listen to]?

The Light Crust Doughboys (from Burris Mills)
by denismurf
Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Scott Burns on fixed-index annuities
Replies: 30
Views: 3263

Scott Burns on fixed-index annuities

I don't know what a fixed-index annuity is, so was hoping that Scott Burns' column on this topic in this Sunday's Seattle Times would enlighten me. Didn't happen. Not only do I still not know what a fixed-index annuity is. I would guess that the person who submitted the question to Burns on the suit...
by denismurf
Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I stayed with it to the end mainly because I was hoping to find out why it was considered a classic. It just seemed stagey, artificial, overwrought, dated. Fiction from long ago probably needs a good intro written "today" to make sense to "today's&q...
by denismurf
Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1517932

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Under the Black Flag, The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly.
A garage sale book that's too long, but OK as a lite source of anecdotes about Atlantic pirates in the early 18th century.