#7 in Personal Finance, #9 in Travel. My goal? To save YOU money.
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Hi. I'm Jim, a more or less retired software engineer, living happily in Santa Cruz, California with my wife Pat. We love to travel, especially in Europe and Mexico, and I like to manage our finances. I also spend a lot of time nurturing my fascination with astronomy.
As a traveler, I insist on going my own way and experiencing the authentic. I hate prepackaged or phony experiences and places that aren't much different from home. I like a bit of discomfort and disorientation when I travel, but not too much. That's why you won't find me in Disneyland, Las Vegas, or on a cruise but will find me in Oaxaca, Paris, Italy's Cinque Terre or California's eastern Sierra Nevada.
Whether the source is a broker, insurance agent, web site, financial magazine or investment program on TV, I've discovered over the years that most investment advice foisted on the public is just plain wrong. I've written lots of ePinions to help people make and save money while mostly ignoring the "opportunities" offered by money professionals.
I also love great coffee. Right now, I'm making my way through the various roasts and blends sold by Peets.
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TRAVEL--FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC
Travel Web Sites
American Airlines online: a great web site
Expedia Hotels are no bargain!
Avis online: excellent rental car web site
Orbitz: No good for one-way off-airport car rentals
RailEurope: Expensive, OK only for simple trips
Money Saving and General Tips
Travel money & tourist ripoffs in Europe
Riding Trains in Europe
Best Rail Pass for Your 2004 Trip to Europe
Web Resources for Serious Train Riders
Eurostar from Paris to London
London to Paris on Eurostar
High speed trains: TGV, Eurostar, Thalys
Safety tips for UK travel
A double decker tour of London.
The Tate (museum of) Modern (art)
Zugspitze: Germany's Highest Peak
Getting from CDG airport into Paris
Using public transit in Paris
Save money on your Paris trip
The Louvre: not my top museum choice
Cinqueterre may be the most beautiful place on earth
People watching in Rome
El Escorial & Valle de los Ca�dos
Using the Swiss transportation system
Jungfrau: the "Top of Europe"
Zurich: A low priority destination
Hotel Mision de Los Angeles Oaxaca
Hotel Camino Real Oaxaca
Oaxaca's Pacific Coast Resorts
Survival Spanish, a Social Lubricant
San Juan Marriott
Vancouver and Victoria, BC
Domestic Travel USA
New York City
Excelsior Hotel: Upper West Side Classic
Unlimited transportation for $2.10 a day
San Francisco Bay Area
SFO: San Francisco International Airport
Zuni Cafe--A Great San Francisco Institution
Restaurant LuLu: Exciting South of Market
SJC: San Jos� International Airport
California's Eastern Sierra Nevada
Yosemite High Country: Tuolumne Meadows
Six graeat Yosemite viewpoints
Eastern Sierra Nevada
Everywhere an Ansel Adams photograph
Day hikes around Mammoth Lakes
Bodie: Gold Rush Ghost Town
More on Mono Lake
Lake Tahoe Area
Heavenly Gondola--Get High at Lake Tahoe
Caesars Tahoe Hotel/Casino
Harrahs Tahoe Hotel/Casino
Harveys Tahoe Hotel/Casino
Kirkwood Ski Resort
California's Central Coast
San Gregorio Beach
Santa Cruz: More than the Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Old Growth Redwoods
Santa Cruz Lighthouse Field
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
PERSONAL FINANCES AND TAXES
How to Make or Save $100,000
Best Investment Advice You'll Ever Get!
Paying off your mortgage--right or wrong?
Employee Stock Options Part 1
Employee Stock Options Part 2
How to Make or Save $10,000
Wells Fargo's Equity Enhancement Program costs too much
What to do Before Paying off Your Mortgage
Mortgage Reduction Programs--Worth the Price?
Norwest Mortgage's Equity Enhancement Program
How to Make or Save $1,000
Wells Fargo's "equity enhancement" program
How top negotiators buy a car
How to Make or Save $100
Choose your credit card carefully before traveling abroad
Saving Money on Credit Cards
Nearly Perfect REI Visa Card
Most cards charge 2% extra on foreign transactions
MBNA Visa: Avoid extra 2% on foreign transactions
Problems with AAdvantage MasterCard
The truth about credit cards
Problem With Chase Visa Card
Saving Money on Your Taxes
Time Your Deductions to Maximize Tax Savings
Take Advantage of the Withholding Loophole
Don't Fall for "Donate your car to charity" Hype.
Should you donate your car?
Investment Losses = Tax Savings
Don't forget the simple deductions
Long-term capital gains
Short- and long-term gains
The Federal Estate Tax
Mortgage interest deduction
Best foreign films: mid 1980s through 1990s
Films about the Cold War
10 Best World War II Films
City of Angels
Jean de Florette & Manon of the Spring
Ruby in Paradise
West Side Story
Trois Coleurs: Bleu (Blue)
Trois Coleurs: Rouge (Red)
Grafton: Q is for Quarry
World's Greatest Blackjack Book
REI.com: quality outdoor and travel gear
Safesmith.com: great source for safes and accessories
Half.com: cheap books!
Amazon.com: expensive store!
Electronics, Appliances, Gadgets
Sony KP 53HS30 53 in. projection TV
Sony DVP-S550D DVD Player
Canon PowerShot A10 Digital Camera
Kenmore Elite Dishwasher
Cellular Phone Service
Verizon's Family SharePlan: A good deal?
Verizon San Francisco Bay Area
Verizon customer service
Free counters provided by Andale.