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I'm getting ready to retire fairly early- 53- not through having made a killing in the stock market or working 60-80 hours a week or being in a fabulous Internet startup, but by simply living below my means, maxing out my 403bk contributions, and adding to a seperate brokerage account when I could. I found a good broker/money manager who has actively managed my account and averaged about 12%/year after expenses. Over the last few years he's guided me in moving from higher volitility investment to lower volitility, as well as some tax sheltered investments, and I'm in a position now where I can count on keeping up the same income level I had pre-retirement, along with the growth necessary for inflation, as well as keeping a cushion against the inevitible recessions. There are three kinds of "money managers" out there. Most are salemen for insurance companies who will stuff you into low-yield annuities and pcoket large commissions. A lot are drones who will sell you what they're to...
I bought a Hansgroh yuppie shower fixture with hand-held showerhead when I built a new bathroom eight years ago, and I thought it was pretty good. Then, a few months ago, I picked up a $3 solid brass mini showerhead at Home Depot as an emergency replacement for my girlfriend's house. I liked it so much, I added a two-way valve and one of these $3 heads to my shower.
I worked in auditory research at a major research hospital for a number of years, and ended up auditioning a lot of gear at high end stores that we used in our lab. I learned a number of significant things: 1. After a few minutes of listening to music at moderate concert volumes, you have so much temporary threshhold shift that the idea of making a/b comparisons to something you heard a minute before is nonsensical. 2. Most very high end gear is bought by well-to-do middle aged men who have significant presbycousis and very little hearing beyond 8KHz. This does not stop them from claiming that they can hear the difference between different power cords. 3. Making something out of gold or silver does not make it sound better. 4. At only $12/year, Stereophile magazine is still the cheapest humor magazine in America.
Let me second the Rivendell recommendation. When you're tired of the componant-of-the-week, and riding an uncomfortable bike so you can look like a part of the Tour d'France peloton, buy a Rivendell. Comfortable, well engineered bikes that will last a long time. Me, I own two.