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Michael Brown

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  1. Heading to Vegas with the wife in about 10 days for an impromptu trip (OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG), but looks like the Mayfair Supper Club is booked solid until October 24. Is it just reservations, or is it something you buy tickets for? And if it's tickets, is there a secondary market where we might be able to buy even at a markup? Any other suggestions?
  2. I mean, California has to be the clear winner here no? I feel like no matter what you're after, you can pretty much find it SOMEWHERE in Cali
  3. Yeah, that ranking is just people following the herd. It's always been cool to bag on Jersey, even (especially?) by Jerseyans. But without even getting into property values and cultural stuff...you've got a clearly-defined four seasons, a hundred miles of shoreline, mountains, diversity (which leads to amazing food), and in most spots in NJ, you're within an hour drive of NY or Philly (and a reasonable drive/train ride to Boston or DC). On top of that, you really can't beat the views. Question - would you rather be in Manhattan with a view of NJ, or in NJ with a view of the Manhattan skyline? Exactly ETA: Yes I realize the irony of claiming as one of the benefits of NJ being the fact that it's so easy to get to cooler places
  4. We have a master bed/bath expansion project in the early stages. Bedroom is 15 x 12 and bathroom is small, about 4 x 7 (and half of it is the shower). We are blowing out the back wall and adding a big walk-in closet where half the current bedroom footprint is, and then basically re-adding the bedroom with the added space in the back. And with the additional space, we are also adding to the bathroom. Had an architect who quoted us $3400 for the drawings and planning throughout the process. Problem is, if I get a contractor quote that is stupid high we probably won't end up doing it at all. We are in a bilevel, so there will need to be support beams and new roofing involved in the bedroom project (since it's on the upper level), plus adding a wall full of windows, moving plumbing and heating, A/C duct work, lots of stuff. It's sizable. But I don't want to be pot committed with the $3.4k only to end up saying Wow cool we paid thousands of dollars for drawings! Any suggestions? I already asked if she could give us very basic plans with no frills just so we could use that to get a contractor quote, and she came back with $2750 for the basic level stuff, ugh
  5. We're in our 21st year of my hometown league, and for the first 20 it has always been first come / first served for pickups. We're all busy enough to make a change we should've done years ago. But Yahoo isn't clear on how it should be set up. Maybe if I say what our end game is, someone will know how to tweak the settings: We are a weekly league that runs Monday-Sunday. Rosters lock at midnight Sunday. We'd like it so that every unowned player is on waivers from Sunday midnight until sometime Saturday overnight (I think Yahoo runs waivers around 3am or so?). So we will use FAAB dollars to put in claims during the week, then Yahoo processes overnight waivers, and then after that point I want any player not on a team to be a free agent so it's still first come first served for at least a day. And then lock it up at midnight again, rinse repeat each week. Any help?
  6. I think I read the same study. It essentially said that everyone feels like they would be "set" if they could just make 15% more than they currently do. Some were a little above 15, some a little less, but that was the general range. But then they found that if/when a person gets that 15% more, they would REALLY be "set" if they just made 15% more than that. Until I was 30, I worked in sports media. I thought I was fairly happy, made enough to take the occasional trip or dinner out, but definitely wasn't killing it by any means. Even an annual income of $100k was a pipe dream. But I thought, man if I just made a little more I'd be in much better shape. So I started working in sales, and now my monthly income often exceeds what I used to make in a full year. Wife and I got a shore place a few blocks from the beach, put a ton of money into upgrading the primary house, good retirement savings, got a nicer car, go on more expensive and more frequent trips than we used to, go out to high-end restaurants, etc etc. And yet, the thought CONSTANTLY goes through my mind that if I just made 15% more... Part of me thinks that's just what keeps America going though, is that constant need/want for more.
  7. Come on guys, it's so simple. Haaaayyyyy, it's all ball bearings these days!
  8. She looks like a morph of Sarah Huckabee and Dave Grohl, so I'm not getting the "hot" comments. But hey to each their own. As for her rock status, I never understood how she became known as the "angry rocker". Her debut song was like an angry revenge song, sure. Then every other song on the album was sugary pop stuff, not that it wasn't good but it certainly wasn't rock and FAR from "angry". And then she disappeared, so yeah I'm not putting her anywhere near a greatest list.
  9. In 2017, we bought a condo in Asbury Park like 2 blocks from the beach. It was intended to be a second home, not an investment. But we had a few extensive summer vacations planned the first year after buying and we weren't gonna use it much, so we rented it out to offset the mortgage. Then my company shot holes through my work comp plan, costing me ~$40k or so in annual income so we kept it as a rental the next year. Financial situation is back to where it was previously, so we can use it again now. Problem is, now that we've been renting it for a few years, it's tough to suddenly decide, yeah no problem let's spend $40k annually just to have a summer home. The issue with this is, the rent ($2300/month) doesn't even cover the mortgage + HOA ($3100/month). So I am essentially spending $10,000 per year to NOT have a place down the shore. So not only are we not making money on the place, we're not even getting to enjoy it! Fortunately, property values have continued to appreciate in town (condo value is up around $100k in the 3 years since we bought it) and it wasn't intended as an investment, because otherwise I woulda looked at this as an even worse "investment vehicle". Right now if we sold it, after realtor commissions and factoring in the money already put into it, we'd come away with a profit of around $53k in about three years' time. But without the Asbury real estate boom of the last few years, we'd be in a rough spot. I've been following a finance blog called Financial Samurai for a few years, and he harps on the phrase "buy utility, rent luxury". In other words, I agree with him that you'd be much better off buying investment properties in the midwest and then using those profits to rent out awesome beachfront places (or whatever your retirement dream home is) every year for the rest of your life.
  10. @ChiefD as luck would have it, I live one town away from Caldwell and I'm also in need of someone for AC. I'll give your buddy a look. Before I do, maybe you might have an idea of what my main issue is. Our old unit used to work relatively well but it was older and we needed something stronger since we were running ducts to the lower level of the house. So we got a new unit. Problem is, the fan doesn't stay on all the time. I like to have the AC on 67 at night and have the fan run continuously to provide that nice white noise so I sleep like a baby. Problem is, ever since we got the new unit, the fan goes on and off all night. If the temp drops to 67, it shuts off. If it gets back above 67, the fan kicks back on. Basically the unit is acting like I have it switched to "auto" but it's actually switched to "on". Any idea why that might be happening? Just a faulty thermostat? Something else? It's really messing with my sleep patterns these last few summers...
  11. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the nature of vaccines, but I was under the impression that decreased effectiveness had to do with “predicting the wrong flu” I read somewhere that the experts try to determine which flu vaccine will be the worst strain in a given year, and vaccinate accordingly (I don’t know why they don’t vaccinate for all strains every year, maybe cost-prohibitive or diminishing returns, I dunno). But I didn’t think the lack of effectiveness was due to it not working, just that people got the other ones. With this, if it turns out that Covid has a much higher mortality rate than the other strains, wouldn’t we always vaccinate for this strain even if it needs to be done annually? And wouldn’t that mean it’ll be effective for just about everyone who gets vaccinated, save for a tiny fraction of people who reject it or whatever (like with most vaccines)?
  12. And the fact that they never read the third vote on Sophie, makes me wonder if one of the 4 actually voted for Tyson too just to protect themselves. And like you said, doing it 4-2 made zero sense. I was almost yelling at my tv as the votes were read that it was so stupid
  13. Please take note, everyone. Regardless of whether it's accurate, this is an effective way of demonstrating your opinion that the fears from Covid are being overblown. Even if you are obviously not amused by people dying, constantly reminding everyone that you are amused by any aspect of the situation is not needed. Particularly when there are people on these very boards who have friends and family potentially at risk of infection. I haven't seen hysterics from anyone in this thread, simply concern and passing along info that pertains to it. We can sort out what is or isn't accurate or helpful without resorting to mocking. Thank you
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