Search found 1060 matches

by whomever
Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY recessed lighting installation?
Replies: 47
Views: 2344

Re: DIY recessed lighting installation?

"From my limited experience, pros who have little agency in the final result other than a paycheck and the foregone conclusion of a wink and a nod from an inspector, can end up doing a worse job than an armature homeowner who cares. " That's certainly possible. We hired an electrician once...
by whomever
Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY recessed lighting installation?
Replies: 47
Views: 2344

Re: DIY recessed lighting installation?

" But maybe there are some special safety guidelines that only the pros know?" There is a whole code book of requirements :-) That said, residential wiring isn't rocket science, but you really do have to do it right or Bad Things happen. You might buy a basic residential wiring book and ha...
by whomever
Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The $2000-$4000 Car :) This made me wealthy so jump on board
Replies: 275
Views: 19691

Re: The $2000-$4000 Car :) This made me wealthy so jump on board

"if I took care of all the details, the big things would often take of themselves" There is a lot of truth in that. I just ran the numbers - if you can save $300 a month on car costs (or anywhere else), and invest the $3600 once a year and get 3% real for 40 years, that's $279K. If you get...
by whomever
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The $2000-$4000 Car :) This made me wealthy so jump on board
Replies: 275
Views: 19691

Re: The $2000-$4000 Car :) This made me wealthy so jump on board

"I think a person has to be willing to drive cars with some/bunches issues after 150,000 and especially over 200,000 miles. Clunks and clanks and suspension/shocks/struts that type of area really take a beating." FWIW, that hasn't been my experience. You do eventually accumulate minor cosm...
by whomever
Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I Bond Sell Strategy
Replies: 82
Views: 6994

Re: I Bond Sell Strategy

If one is concerned about the looming tax bill for deferred income, wouldn't it be better to just declare the interest to date rather than cash them in prematurely? You would have the same tax payment as cashing the in, but you could keep collecting the sweet 4% return?????
by whomever
Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Resole hiking boots?
Replies: 40
Views: 2041

Re: Resole hiking boots?

I've had leather mountaineering boots and Telemark boots resoled, and Red Wing construction type boots with great results. Those were all made with good leather, and the uppers can outlast a couple of soles at least. Lighter boots (e.g. Keen and similar ones) are great boots, but the uppers don't us...
by whomever
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are Subarus so popular?
Replies: 114
Views: 6229

Re: Why are Subarus so popular?

"Not all Subarus have the same capability either. " Absolutely true, and a 20XX model year might not be the same as a 20YY, etc, etc, etc. As indicated, it's all about how the AWD handles the slip. For 4WD, at least the ones I'm familiar with, the front axles are locked together in 4WD, bu...
by whomever
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why are Subarus so popular?
Replies: 114
Views: 6229

Re: Why are Subarus so popular?

FWIW, not all AWD/4WD offers the same capability. Some years ago someone (one of the car mags??) built a test apparatus - a ramp with small sections of rollers. There was a separate roller section for each car wheel, and the sections could be independently locked or freewheeled, so you could arrange...
by whomever
Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional default risk - analogous to a corporate bond?
Replies: 23
Views: 1375

Re: TIAA Traditional default risk - analogous to a corporate bond?

"I'm not sure, but my understanding is that most state guarantee coverage is for a much lower amount than many of us have in Traditional." Oh, indeed, there are limits. I was responding to the OP's "and does not have state guaranty association coverage like other annuities.", spe...
by whomever
Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop portable power bank
Replies: 20
Views: 1350

Re: Laptop portable power bank

"Any solar options for a power bank or battery charging for a Dell laptop?"

Sure, get a solar panel and any of the 'solar generators', e.g. a Jackery.

(they aren't really a generator, they are a battery bank packaged with a solar controller, an inverter, and so on).
by whomever
Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIAA Traditional default risk - analogous to a corporate bond?
Replies: 23
Views: 1375

Re: TIAA Traditional default risk - analogous to a corporate bond?

"My understanding is that TIAA Traditional is backed only by the claims paying ability of TIAA and does not have state guaranty association coverage like other annuities." Is that a state thing? I looked up the guaranty association for my state (WA) and they say "The guaranty associat...
by whomever
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retention of Government Employee E-mails
Replies: 23
Views: 1788

Re: Retention of Government Employee E-mails

Two generic (i.e. not specific to fedgov) comments: 1)I worked for a state agency. Originally email was backed up like other files, and retained for years. But FOIA requests became so common we were going to have to hire a whole crew to process them. Instead we changed the email retention to 2 weeks...
by whomever
Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrical engineers & others - a question about sinewaves & voltage fluctuations
Replies: 6
Views: 934

Re: Electrical engineers & others - a question about sinewaves & voltage fluctuations

"Eons ago when I really did have an oscilloscope, even honest-to-gosh electric company power wasn't a pure sine wave. I believe there was even an economic incentive to cheat, because IIRC slightly squarish waveforms lose a little bit less in line losses " I'm an electrical idiot. How would...
by whomever
Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 6,000-9,000w Portable Diesel Generator
Replies: 25
Views: 1598

Re: 6,000-9,000w Portable Diesel Generator

I'm no expert, but I was talking about diesel generators a while ago with someone who has one, and he said that they are awesome when run on fairly high loads, e.g. one properly sized to charge a battery bank, but that they don't like being for long periods run on low loads - something called 'wet s...
by whomever
Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Listing Realtor asking me to have mortgage lenders call her directly.
Replies: 85
Views: 6506

Re: Listing Realtor asking me to have mortgage lenders call her directly.

It must vary with time and place. We have bought two houses and two acreage properties, all cash deals, and everyone just took our word for it that we were serious buyers. We were willing to put up large deposits. IIRC one of the realtors asked us to put up a smaller deposit ... there was some requi...
by whomever
Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1980s 14%+ Govt. Bonds?
Replies: 67
Views: 3986

Re: 1980s 14%+ Govt. Bonds?

My memories from 1980ish: -loans cost double digit interest rates. I didn't have any of those. -401ks and IRAs weren't real common. Starving students like me could only save money in savings accounts, paying 5.25% when inflation was double digits. I remember at the end of the year paying taxes on th...
by whomever
Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar Questions Problems to overcome
Replies: 37
Views: 2984

Re: Solar Questions Problems to overcome

" I would presume (and I can be very wrong) that a 4 KW system means in the ideal solar situation it would produce 4,000 watts. Is that right? If so, even at less than ideal conditions, it would produce 1,000 watts? If that is right, seems like that would still power some electronics for a sign...
by whomever
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Borrowing a relative's car for two months
Replies: 49
Views: 3042

Re: Borrowing a relative's car for two months

1)You have to talk to your respective insurance companies and/or read the policies. Ours covers borrowed cars (whether we are the lender or borrower) in full 'for occasional use' or some language like that. But you need to know what your policies say. And, if someone has to be added as a driver temp...
by whomever
Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you hold 100% of fixed income allocation in TIAA traditional?
Replies: 14
Views: 1181

Re: Would you hold 100% of fixed income allocation in TIAA traditional?

Depending on the numbers, I would. Suppose FDIC insured CD's are paying 5% and US Govt bonds are paying 1% ... should you hold some of those bonds for diversification purposes[1]? I wouldn't - they have the same credit worthiness, but different yields, and for fixed income those are the two things t...
by whomever
Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying
Replies: 102
Views: 4755

Re: Using OBD2 scanner to evaluate used car buying

I must be the only guy who shows up with a ratchet and compression gauge :-)

(no one has objected ... and I've had buyers do the same, and I never objected)
by whomever
Sun Feb 28, 2021 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Putting more than 20% down on a home?
Replies: 38
Views: 3712

Re: Putting more than 20% down on a home?

It's even OK to put down 100% on a house! This isn't a 'one right answer' problem. You can make a compelling case for stretching the mortgage as much as possible and investing the money, and you can make a compelling case for paying off as soon as possible, up to buying for cash. Which is best depen...
by whomever
Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power tool storage in non-conditioned, detached garage
Replies: 21
Views: 1909

Re: Power tool storage in non-conditioned, detached garage

What's the local climate? 2 miles from salt water, Arizona, Louisiana? For things like the ground cast iron top of a table saw, get some old fashioned Johnson's Paste Wax. If you aren't going to be using it for a while, rub some on with a rag, let it set up for a few minutes, and buff it off with an...
by whomever
Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA's New CEO
Replies: 13
Views: 1251

Re: TIAA's New CEO

I have a, for us, substantial amount in TIAA Trad, and my intention has been to annuitize it. If I am buying a vanilla SPIA from New York Life or whoever, I only care about the rates and the company's rating. But TIAA is a little different ... the 'additional amounts' matter. With them, TIAA is a go...
by whomever
Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I want to fix an old pot using something safe for cooking
Replies: 27
Views: 1538

Re: I want to fix an old pot using something safe for cooking

I would drill the hole through the pot side, then tig weld over the holes with stainless filler to reattach the handle, then grind the inside smooth to hide the welds.

If you hire it done I expect it will cost more than a replacement, so it would only make sense for sentimental reasons.
by whomever
Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes
Replies: 95
Views: 6711

Re: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes

"If electric supply is down, would the gas stove keep the house warm enough to prevent pipes freezing?" That's a complicated question. How big is the house? How well insulated? How cold is it outside? How many BTU's does the stove produce relative to a furnace? I'd guess a lot less. It is ...
by whomever
Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages
Replies: 195
Views: 13151

Re: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages

In the interest of science, I plugged the freezer mentioned above into our Jackery 240, which has an inverter rated at 200 watts continuous, 400 surge - it was a no-go. When the compressor tried to start the Jackery didn't complain, but the freezer would give its 'I have been powered on' beep and th...
by whomever
Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages
Replies: 195
Views: 13151

Re: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages

As a followup, this illustrates why the question 'what's the most economical way to I keep my fridge/furnace running during a few day's outage' usually comes around to 'with a generator'. For five or six hundred bucks you can get a 2000ish watt inverter generator and a 5 gallon can of gas that will ...
by whomever
Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages
Replies: 195
Views: 13151

Re: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages

"For my kitchen refrigerator, I can only find the Energy Star label, but not any other documentation of peak/average wattage. Is there a good way to test this? I've looked at the Kill A Watt ( https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electri ... 9MDBU?th=1 ), but it seems this will only tell me the curr...
by whomever
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages
Replies: 195
Views: 13151

Re: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages

One word of caution - if you're trying to milk your battery for all it's worth in an outage, some of the small inverters are pretty inefficient. I have a 150 watt one with a no-load draw of 15 watts. That compares poorly with a couple of 1000W inverters that draw 5-7 no-load watts.
by whomever
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages
Replies: 195
Views: 13151

Re: A primer on backup battery systems for power outages

A thought for people concerned about carbon monoxide: we got one of the very first monoxide alarms, which was the size of a brick. It had a meter that read from 0 PPM on up. It alarmed at 50PPM, which I think is the OSHA 8 hour exposure label. It was fascinating to watch, i.e. you could plug it in t...
by whomever
Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes
Replies: 95
Views: 6711

Re: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes

" I know may people who would pay very good money for a room that stays at 50* in July and August down south." If you have a basement, consider insulating the floor joists so the hot upper floor doesn't heat the basement. Unless you're circulating air with the AC, in which case nevermind. ...
by whomever
Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes
Replies: 95
Views: 6711

Re: Cost to build a southern home like you are in Minnesota with pipe protection for freezes

Count me in the 'not much extra' crowd. All you have to do is: 1)Bury the supply line deep enough it won't freeze 2)Have a way to cut off outdoor hose bibs (a valve of freeze-proof bibs) 3)Avoid supply lines in exterior walls. If you're going to the second story, go through an interior wall. If you ...
by whomever
Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Typical Lifespan of Generac Propane-Powered, Standby Generator
Replies: 46
Views: 3388

Re: Typical Lifespan of Generac Propane-Powered, Standby Generator

Just for context, if you drive a car at 60mph for 3000 hours, that's 180000 miles. That's not to say that cars and stationary engines are designed the same, or that you can't design a stationary engine to have a 3000 hour design life (if, for example, it was intended to only be used sporadically in ...
by whomever
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"My lot is a max of 6’ around my house exterior. Rowhimes 4’ away in one side." Honda specs the EU2200 as "48 to 57 dBA": https://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/models/EU2200i At the high end, that's about as loud as a typical fridge, and lower than normal conversation: http...
by whomever
Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Boglehead Lessons From the Texas Winter Storm?
Replies: 226
Views: 18525

Re: Any Boglehead Lessons From the Texas Winter Storm?

" Get them out of their wet clothes, insulate them, blow warm air over their bodies, and get them in direct contact with heat sources that will not burn them (warm water bottles in armpits, around neck, groin etc)." Not something a medical professional wants to do to random street people i...
by whomever
Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Boglehead Lessons From the Texas Winter Storm?
Replies: 226
Views: 18525

Re: Any Boglehead Lessons From the Texas Winter Storm?

"Only real way to ensure you have HVAC in an outage is to have a pretty beefy generator." Our natural gas furnace blower draws around 700 watts, well within the capabilities of small generators. Of course, that depends on the gas staying on. Heat pumps likely draw more, as of course resist...
by whomever
Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"Until your neighbor tries to draw enough current on that 100'-200' small gauge extension cord to melt the snow between homes." Sure, not a good application for small cords. But a 700 watt, say, furnace motor is drawing 5.8 amps so you can run a 12 gauge extension cord out to 150 feet, if ...
by whomever
Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"I'm sure most, if not all whole house units have external outlets that can be used to run an extension cord to your neighbor if you wish"

Good point! Our nearest neighbors are a few hundred feet away, so not in extension cord range, but that would work in suburbia.
by whomever
Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"With a portable generator, you have to make sure that you have a good plan in place for exercising and storing it. Exercising it from time to time won't get rid of all the gas in it, and for infrequently used ones, you should plan on completely draining it (not just the tank, but the entire po...
by whomever
Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"So this might be a stupid question, but are the thermostats for the HVAC controlled via the HVAC unit directly?" I can't speak to the general case, but IMHE the newer programmable ones have a battery, and the older ones just mechanically open or close contacts on a wire coming from the fu...
by whomever
Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

aquaman: thank you for those links! My guess the responses (many from inspectors?) were maybe 75% 'of course not' and 25% 'sure, why not'. I saw a few reasons posited: 1)'I have seen plugs melt' ... but no explanation of why a furnace plug is more likely to melt than any plug carrying a similar load...
by whomever
Thu Feb 18, 2021 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

" It's a pretty simple matter to add a plug to the furnace and to have the power normally run to the furnace with a dedicated single-outlet right next to the furnace (yes, this to code). There's a great YouTube video on how to do it here." One comment: I just skipped through the video, and...
by whomever
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window screen mending, fixing, patching
Replies: 16
Views: 999

Re: Window screen mending, fixing, patching

If these are the aluminum framed ones with the rubber spline:

a)as others have said, they are simple to DIY
b)they are so simple to do that our local Ace hardware will repair them for not much more than the (cheap) cost of materials.
by whomever
Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.
Replies: 187
Views: 14201

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

"Lol at all the comments about a shutoff valve for EACH hose bib. Surely you don’t mean an actual separate shutoff?" Sure do. In fall you close the interior valve and open the outside one and it drains back to the inner valve. The good news is that you can have the inner valve well inside ...
by whomever
Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"I'm laughing that you mention slit trenches and flush toilets which are totally unnecessary for the circumstances. I remember going on a tour of Teddy Roosevelt's home at Sagamore Hill on Long Island. Every bedroom had a chamber pot. ... But unless one's toilets back up, they will work without...
by whomever
Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation
Replies: 162
Views: 8712

Re: [Generators]/ supplemental power generation

"We learned about winter camping" Sure, we have spent many a happy weeks camping in snow caves in subzero weather. But we have a little generator, too, because we live in suburbia, and it's a little awkward to be digging slit trenches in the yard, and the flush toilets don't work once the ...
by whomever
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can you defer taxes on EE savings bonds an extra year after maturity?
Replies: 19
Views: 1360

Re: Can you defer taxes on EE savings bonds an extra year after maturity?

"And what happens if tax isn't paid on time?" Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it was common for Aunts and Uncles to gift people $50 Savings Bonds when they graduated. I found a couple of forgotten ones something like 38 years after they were issued, cashed them, and reported the inco...
by whomever
Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A physics question
Replies: 21
Views: 1985

Re: A physics question

Just to cloud the issue :-) - in general, fans run faster when they are obstructed. In a vacuum, they would turn at speed X. When they have a little air to move, they slow down, because moving air requires work. The more air they move, the slower they turn. This is easy to demonstrate with a shop-va...
by whomever
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag
Replies: 100
Views: 5432

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

"Sleeping Bags depend on the conditions and length. I have a Kelty Tuck 20 degree bag, it’s fine for two day trips but you will want something that compresses more (down) for longer trips. " I have the inverse view. We have some insanely light down bags. I'll only use them on a short trip ...
by whomever
Tue Feb 02, 2021 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag
Replies: 100
Views: 5432

Re: Backpacking gear recommendations - backpack, shoes, sleeping bag

"In my experience backpacks are very personalized in how they feel to different individuals." +1 ... it's like shoes. The pack that is best for you might not be best for me. Aaaaand...the lighter your pack, the less the pack matters, so pare the ounces. My wife and I have spent around 2 mo...