Search found 827 matches

by nordsteve
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: attic insulation and recessed (can) lights
Replies: 10
Views: 969

Re: attic insulation and recessed (can) lights

We had IC recessed fixtures and went the box route as well, primarily to minimize airflow.
by nordsteve
Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing Down Payment Money when under Contract
Replies: 3
Views: 703

Re: Losing Down Payment Money when under Contract

Might be time to try another bank.

In many places you'll get your whole deposit back. The seller wants to sell their property and wrangling over the deposit can prevent them from doing so.
by nordsteve
Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling home in MN -- normal to have listing fee in addition to commission?
Replies: 11
Views: 883

Selling home in MN -- normal to have listing fee in addition to commission?

I'm about to list a property I own for sale. Property is in MN in a MCOL city in the metro area where houses are selling quickly. I interviewed several agents and selected one who offered a 5.5% commission rate. When the listing contract arrived, in addition to the commission there is a $500 "l...
by nordsteve
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RSU's after separation: is it earned income?
Replies: 24
Views: 1697

Re: RSU's after separation: is it earned income?

Taxable earned income includes:
  • Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation;
https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/ ... ned-income
by nordsteve
Mon Mar 22, 2021 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Windfalls - Where do they come from?
Replies: 11
Views: 1404

Re: Windfalls - Where do they come from?

Settlement of lawsuits.
by nordsteve
Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Network flaw allows SMS hijacking
Replies: 26
Views: 2080

Re: 2FA and other account security

Good question - but I'll turn it back on you - do you think google voice is less secure than one's phone provider? I have no way to assess the relative security of Google Voice and my cell phone provider. The fact that Google Voice uses hardware 2fa does not make me automatically trust it more. I u...
by nordsteve
Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Network flaw allows SMS hijacking
Replies: 26
Views: 2080

Re: 2FA and other account security

hudson wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:43 am I speculate that hacking my Google Voice number is harder than hacking my cell number.
Do you have evidence to support that? There are multiple parties involved in delivering your SMS message.
by nordsteve
Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Network flaw allows SMS hijacking
Replies: 26
Views: 2080

Re: 2FA and other account security

It really only makes sense to use a hardware key if it's going to be the only means of getting in to your account. If you must leave SMS on for your scenario, I would not bother setting up a hardware key.
by nordsteve
Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Network flaw allows SMS hijacking
Replies: 26
Views: 2080

Re: 2FA and other account security

Vanguard does support hardware two factor authentication. Previous threads have recommended getting the Yubikey 5 (or the new 5C). https://www.yubico.com/store/

Last time I checked (several months ago), enabling a hardware factor prevents you from using the mobile app.
by nordsteve
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Massive Windfall For 35 Year Old Guy
Replies: 95
Views: 12514

Re: Massive Windfall For 35 Year Old Guy

Another option for your cash is a Mass muni bond fund. They typically aren't cheap fee wise but can make sense for higher income individuals.

I keep 10% in a MN muni fund, 2% in a US bond fund, and 1% cash.
by nordsteve
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Massive Windfall For 35 Year Old Guy
Replies: 95
Views: 12514

Re: Massive Windfall For 35 Year Old Guy

The ETF for this fund is VXUS (0.08% ER). Oh, interesting. You're correct, I was wrong. I'm very confused by this. VTIAX, VXUS and VGTSX are all the Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund, but one is Admiral shares, one is ETF shares and one is Investor shares. I'm having a hard time underst...
by nordsteve
Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place to find a nimh rechargeable replacement battery.
Replies: 13
Views: 735

Re: Best place to find a nimh rechargeable replacement battery.

A battery store (Batteries Plus on our area) is where I go for oddball batteries.
by nordsteve
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Is VPN essential for online privacy & security?]
Replies: 55
Views: 3535

Re: [Is VPN essential for online privacy & security?]

I'd encourage you to read the VPN thread from 2019.

viewtopic.php?t=274601

Very little has changed since then.

I use VPN in two situations - getting in to the work network (happens less and less often these days) and getting in to my home network when I'm away.
by nordsteve
Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house with flood risk?
Replies: 54
Views: 3283

Re: Buying a house with flood risk?

I reviewed what floodfactor showed for properties in my city. It turns out my previous home was in the extreme category. I lived there for fourteen years, including during the single largest rainfall event ever recorded in the Twin Cities . We never had water in our basement. What the model doesn't ...
by nordsteve
Wed Dec 23, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projector to use as TV?
Replies: 11
Views: 625

Re: Projector to use as TV?

Ambient light rejecting screens really make a difference. We have tons of conference rooms at work with projectors and there's no problem at all getting a great looking image with lights on / shades open.
by nordsteve
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas leak
Replies: 42
Views: 2215

Re: Gas leak

Which gas appliance did they light the pilot on?

There is commonly a thermocouple to keep the pilot valve open. It's not powered, so I don't know how having the power off for maintenance would cause the symptom you're describing.
by nordsteve
Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oatmeal -- figuring out what I bought earlier
Replies: 71
Views: 6395

Re: Oatmeal -- figuring out what I bought earlier

Spedward wrote: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:01 pm (our kids think we are nuts).
That won't change if you stop buying bulk oats 😏
by nordsteve
Tue Dec 08, 2020 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm coat recommendations
Replies: 93
Views: 5130

Re: Warm coat recommendations

Two other things I'll recommend:

* a Buff
* SmartWool base layer
by nordsteve
Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Warm coat recommendations
Replies: 93
Views: 5130

Re: Warm coat recommendations

My wife has a NF long down coat similar to this that she loves.

https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/women ... tionId=U52
by nordsteve
Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?
Replies: 105
Views: 4666

Re: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?

Taken from the frame of a career decision, the COVID-19 hiatus will be a blip. Entertainment companies are continuing to spend on production -- big budget movies are not all of (or even the majority of) production spend. https://variety.com/2020/streaming/global/netflix-doubles-u-k-production-budget...
by nordsteve
Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?
Replies: 105
Views: 4666

Re: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?

If you want to get a sense of what a large corporate production facility is like, this video gives a sense. https://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Microspotting/Inside-Microsoft-Production-Studios The week before my son was to shoot his first student film using the school's equipment, they closed for Covi...
by nordsteve
Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?
Replies: 105
Views: 4666

Re: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?

I disagree that your child's degree is worthless. That said, he is now trained in an industry where there's an oversupply of people trained and interested in doing work. This means that he will need to hustle, take whatever work is available, and develop a reputation as a hard worker. He should be a...
by nordsteve
Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?
Replies: 105
Views: 4666

Re: Has anyone used a Career Coach for new college graduate?

Does he have an idea of what he wants to do?
by nordsteve
Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I Get A Refund From Amazon After A Price Drop
Replies: 28
Views: 2442

Re: Can I Get A Refund From Amazon After A Price Drop

This literally happened to me 2 days ago. 4 days ago I bought two firesticks, then they went on a black Friday special the next day. The net decrease was around $10 for the two (I originally thought it was $16). I spoke with 2 or 3 people at Amazon and they said there was no price guarantee or no o...
by nordsteve
Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I Get A Refund From Amazon After A Price Drop
Replies: 28
Views: 2442

Re: Can I Get A Refund From Amazon After A Price Drop

Same experience here. $50 price drop in item, unwilling to adjust price. Guess it's more efficient to pay for a 50lbbreturn.
by nordsteve
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead suggestions for a new sofa?
Replies: 25
Views: 2293

Re: Boglehead suggestions for a new sofa?

We’ve found Room and Board to have a quality selection. Not cheap but not ridiculously expensive either.

https://www.roomandboard.com/m/catalog/ ... -loveseats
by nordsteve
Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economically viable to buy an airplane?
Replies: 39
Views: 4891

Re: Economically viable to buy an airplane?

One of my brother's college roommates bought a run-out light twin and used that to build time. For comparison purposes to the OP's rental rate, the flying club I'm in charges $98 Hobbs for a C172 wet. It's well maintained, with good paint and interior, and a Garmin GNS430 panel. The club is run on a...
by nordsteve
Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Importance of 2 Factor Authentication
Replies: 215
Views: 16467

Re: Importance of 2 Factor Authentication

2FA is over-rated if you set reasonably complex passwords and practice good computer hygiene. But if you routinely visit sketchy web sites and are sloppy with account maintenance, then it would be useful to set up 2FA. I disagree with this advice. 2FA provides a useful layer of defense for your acc...
by nordsteve
Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal webcam in public area
Replies: 22
Views: 1847

Re: Personal webcam in public area

The reason I ask is our city would not allow someone to erect a camera (or, for the most part, anything) on public property without obtaining permission.
by nordsteve
Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal webcam in public area
Replies: 22
Views: 1847

Re: Personal webcam in public area

Is the scenario here that someone has installed a camera on public property?
by nordsteve
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motion Sensor for Pantry Closet
Replies: 20
Views: 1924

Re: Motion Sensor for Pantry Closet

I installed two of these fixtures last year and they work great.

https://www.homedepot.com/s/Lithonia%2520closet?NCNI-5
by nordsteve
Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?
Replies: 1051
Views: 47775

Re: Bird watchers – what birds are you seeing?

Trumpeter Swan pairs today in Bloomington MN.
by nordsteve
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Keep vs tendering maturing savings bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 616

Re: Keep vs tendering maturing savings bonds

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Just shot an email off amending my advice to mom.
by nordsteve
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Keep vs tendering maturing savings bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 616

Keep vs tendering maturing savings bonds

I was at my parents earlier this week and my mom had a stack of Series EE savings bonds that she was going to tender. They are 30 years old. Proceeds would go into a government bond fund. I commented that there wasn't much difference in return between the two and she should consider holding them. Go...
by nordsteve
Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Camping Gear
Replies: 71
Views: 5349

Re: Favorite Camping Gear

MSR Whisperlight stove; mine is almost 35 years old. +1 for whisperlite - liquid fuel, bombproof, rebuild kits, and readily available on the used market. No "simmer" setting, but for boiling water or cooking rice / soup / oatmeal, it's incredible. Got a Dragonfly this summer. It’s the Whi...
by nordsteve
Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iOS 14 Battery drain on iPhone
Replies: 39
Views: 2660

Re: iOS 14 Battery drain on iPhone

^^

I did the update earlier this week, and left it on the wireless charger for most of the day. The phone was warm when I'd use it, indicating it was busy.

Back to normal now.
by nordsteve
Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad time to build a new house?
Replies: 19
Views: 3420

Re: Bad time to build a new house?

You can look at random length lumber futures to get a sense of where prices are headed. Before the pandemic it seems like prices were in the high $300-low $400 range.
by nordsteve
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorce - Need Help, California
Replies: 40
Views: 4208

Re: Divorce - Need Help, California

Agree with others on the mediated approach. Highly recommend those who subscribe to the Collaborative Divorce model: https://www.cpcal.com/
by nordsteve
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "Refinance" mortgage for a family member @ 2%?
Replies: 46
Views: 3051

Re: "Refinance" mortgage for a family member @ 2%?

You need to be thinking about scenarios other than the happy path here. For example, she meets someone, changes her estate plans, and that person takes over her financial affairs. These can be good deals (my parents did this with my grandma to unlock the equity in her house) but documenting the loan...
by nordsteve
Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you guys think of oil extractors?
Replies: 67
Views: 3193

Re: What do you guys think of oil extractors?

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:02 am
That is incredible!
What kinds of cars have oil filters removeable from the top?

j :happy
My '13 Outback has the filter up top.
by nordsteve
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutter Downspout Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1703

Re: Gutter Downspout Question

Chuck107 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:17 am
Wouldn't it be better to use solid pipe rather than perforated?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/FLEX-Drain- ... /202745419
Thanks for catching my mistake Chuck107 - this is a better choice than what I posted.
by nordsteve
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutter Downspout Question
Replies: 15
Views: 1703

Re: Gutter Downspout Question

Two ways to do it - buy metal elbow and a straight section of downspout, or get a downspout to drain pipe adapter and a section of flexible corrugated drain. Latter is cheaper and easier to put in trash when you have your permanent solution installed. You can use zip ties or sheet metal screws to fa...
by nordsteve
Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?
Replies: 79
Views: 5929

Re: Spouse: How to get REAL ID driver's license without social security card and recent job?

I have a passport. Why would I want to bother with a real ID license? You also need a ReadID or passport to enter federal buildings (court houses, Smithsonian museums, federal archives, the IRS sites, your representative(???), national parks, national cemeteries). Why carry a passport around where ...
by nordsteve
Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitizing VHS ....
Replies: 8
Views: 589

Re: Digitizing VHS ....

Costco Photo is one popular option if you want to use a service.

https://www.costcodvd.com/
by nordsteve
Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacationing safely in the era of Covid - How did you do it?
Replies: 124
Views: 9980

Re: Vacationing safely in the era of Covid - How did you do it?

I recently traveled by air from Minneapolis to Dallas-Fort Worth. TBH the riskiest part of the trip seemed to be the rental car shuttle, which didn't seem to have any particular capacity constraints. We would know by now if people were getting sick from air travel with the current mitigations in eff...
by nordsteve
Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA
Replies: 88
Views: 6491

Re: Thinking of moving Seattle or Vancouver, WA

Might look at the Kitsap Peninsula, across the sound from Seattle. Better prices and better biking.

My former boss retired to Sequim (even farther west). Likes it there, has much better weather than Seattle.
by nordsteve
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oddly Difficult to Find Items During the Pandemic
Replies: 317
Views: 31070

Re: Oddly Difficult to Find Items During the Pandemic

I've had good success getting household supplies (like hand sanitizer and bleach) at the hardware store. Not the cheapest place though.
by nordsteve
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fixing 2020 IRS Underpayment
Replies: 3
Views: 441

Re: Fixing 2020 IRS Underpayment

That's how I address underwithholding. Stay away from estimated tax payments if you can make all of your tax deposits via withholding.