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Topics - skyguy918

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1
Deals/Deal Requests / Looking for tiered matzoh stand for cheap
« on: April 03, 2017, 03:44:08 PM »
Anyone know where to find something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JKQVQTO/
for cheap? I would be interested at $25 or lower - $45, not so much.

I'm in KGH, so if anyone knows of a store that sells it cheaply, let me know.

2
Invalid Tweet ID
Some comments at OMAAT saying this will apply to all flights on all carriers from the Middle East to the US.
Quote from: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2017/03/20/royal-jordanian-electronic-device-ban/#comment-3634818
According to a reliable US source, this will happen on all Middle East airlines flights that do NOT go through a US pre-clearance facility. It will be announced tomorrow – looks like Royal Jordanian announced before they were supposed to. Not a joke.

3
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rabbis-hike-15-miles-brooklyn-bronx-weekly-lead-synagogue-article-1.953864
I don't get it. It says he's made the trip 50 times since '08. So that means they only go on certain occasions? Or they normally sleep there and walk when they have to?

Also, I'm very curious about the less than optimal route (says he took the Williamsburg Bridge and then 1st Ave all the way through Manhattan). Is that to avoid tchum issues?

4
Goods For Sale/Trade / Fitbit Flex 2 for sale $75
« on: December 07, 2016, 12:45:22 PM »
I have a brand new, sealed in box, Fitbit Flex 2 in navy. This is Fitbit's first fully waterproof offering. That's why we bought it originally, for swimming, but then my wife realized she wanted one with a clock function.

This currently sells for the full retail price of $100 (and generally plus tax) at all the major online retailers, including Amazon. Asking $75, plus either pick up in KGH or pay shipping (whatever method you request).

Ask any questions about the product here, PM if you're interested in buying.

5
Trip Reports / Savannah TR on JetBlue promo
« on: September 12, 2016, 04:49:11 PM »
Here we go, my first large trip report (I’ve done a few small things here and there, but this is my first full trip recap effort). There's next to nothing about Savannah on DDF, and we really enjoyed our trip, so I figured I'd put as much detail (and photos) as I could.

NOTE: I obviously set up the pictures and captions on my desktop, and I'm reasonably certain some of my formatting won't work well on a phone or tapa, and possibly even on some desktop's depending on screen size. I'd love to hear feedback from people as to whether the layout worked well from whatever device they viewed it from.

Planning
Having enrolled myself and my wife in the JetBlue Points Match promo (not enough SPG points to do the kids too), we had to decide where to go and for how long. Last resort would be the in-and-outs that many DDF’ers seem to have done, to wherever the cheapest option would be, but we much preferred an actual trip where we could visit a city. But, since we were leaving our other 2 children with my in-laws, we couldn't be away for too long. We actually booked Charleston first, but quickly decided to switch to Savannah for a number of reasons. As far as timing, we would fly flew in Tuesday morning and out Wednesday evening – basically giving us 2 days and 1 night. I booked window and aisle for both flights, hoping to bring the infant car seat on the plane. Our flights were as follows:

8/23 7:05AM JFK-SAV
8/24 5:50PM SAV-JFK

Flight and Arrival in Savannah
Tuesday morning we were up and out nice and early for our 7:05 AM flight, taking an Uber to JFK for free with a referral credit I discovered I still had. Unfortunately, we forgot the cooler bag with what was supposed to be that day’s lunch at home. Instead, we picked up a sandwich and a salad from Fresko at the CIBO in T5 right after security. I’m curious if they might have had other choices at the other CIBO’s, because I did not like the selection. It was a rip-off, but I guess that’s what happens when you have to buy food at the airport.

The flight was full, so no extra seat for baby, but b”h he was extremely well behaved. After a short flight, we arrived at SAV. It’s a nice little airport with some local character. All the rental companies have the cars on-site, so we proceeded to the Dollar desk, where I had reserved the cheapest option - under $40 for 2 days. The woman at the desk was trying to get everyone to upgrade, and not to a level above, but to the biggest thing she could sell you on. She said “there’s no trunk in the car you’re getting, how about a Jeep instead.” That sounded bad enough to upgrade, but we figured, let’s go out and see what it is, and come back if we can’t squeeze in. Lo and behold it’s a Chevy Cruze (that’s a compact, the category of the Civic, Corolla, etc. – not even Chevy’s smallest car), with plenty of room in the trunk for all our stuff. It was also extremely well equipped for such a budget car (and such a budget rental price!).

Forsyth Park
We had some time to kill before the first real item on our itinerary, so we stopped at Publix by the airport for some snacks and headed into Savannah to squeeze in Forsyth Park. It’s a nice little park, and you immediately get a sense of the type of city you’re in. This is not NYC, it's got a very southern feel and an air of history about it. Especially striking are the colorful houses facing the park, something that can be found all over the historic parts of Savannah. Having said that, there’s not much to do or see there, and the trolley tours (more on that later) usually cover it too. It was nice to stop by given our schedule, but not a must see attraction. The northern half of the park is covered with live oaks (the state tree), with paths surrounding a very pretty fountain. The southern half is mostly open fields, with a really tall confederate memorial smack in the middle, and a memorial for the Spanish-American War at the southern tip. In between, there's a playground, a 'fragrant garden' and a cafe. After 15-20 minutes, we’d seen the sight and moved on to the next attraction.

(L)Plaque commemorating the naming of the park, right in front of (R)the big fountain featured in the northern portion of the park.

   

(L)Crepe myrtle with a few flowers, dwarfed by live oak, covered in Spanish moss (which seemed to cover nearly every tree). (R)Walled 'fragrant' garden

   

(L)Little bird pond/fountain in the middle of the fragrant garden. Not much there in the heat of summer's end, but I did find this one (R)rose.

   

(L)Confederate memorial. (R)Spanish-American war memorial.

   

Just to give you a sense of the very different vibe of the area, here are some of the houses lining the park:

      

Dolphin Boat Tour

Our next stop was a dolphin boat tour. Savannah is situated on the Savannah River, but fairly close to the mouth where it flows into the Atlantic. As a result, there are Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that hang out downriver of the city. I had first seen a company that operates out of Savannah proper, but it was twice the price of all the other companies I eventually found, which launch from Tybee Island. If Hilton Head is Savannah's nearby resort town, Tybee is its nearby beach town - no fancy chain hotels, no fancy vacation communities. We were planning on visiting Tybee anyway, so it was a no-brainer to drive out that way for the dolphin tour as well. We booked an 11:30 tour with Captain Derek's Dolphin Adventure - $16/person after tax for a 60-90 minute ride. They let us bring the stroller on without a problem, though I had to carry it to where we sat as the boat is not quite big enough for maneuvering the stroller.

They operate with a captain piloting the boat, and another guy who basically attempts to entertain with jokes, and points out the dolphins when they start appearing. We saw a good number of dolphins at a distance, until finally a pair of them decided to come right up to the boat and say hi. They also speed the boat up at one point to make waves, hoping to have the dolphins 'surf' in the wake, but they were unsuccessful getting the dolphins to do that on our tour. It's a nice ride providing some relief from the heat and humidity, and it was definitely cool to see the dolphins up close. If I were to do something like this again though, I'd make sure to bring something faster than my point and shoot, as you have to be quick to catch the dolphins in frame.

As we were boarding the tour, we saw (L)this dredging vessel coming upriver, followed by (R)a container ship. The guide later told us that they're doing dredging work to deepen the channel for even bigger container ships, and when there's a storm coming, they bring all the ships into the relative come of the river a day or two before.

   

(L)Our first dolphin sighting! After getting a bunch of not too great shots from distance, (R)eventually they decided to come hang out near the boat for a few minutes.

   

Fort Pulaski, built after the War of 1812 as part of the US coastal defense system, saw significant fighting in the civil war (that's why the walls are so scarred, you can zoom in to see).



(L)Cockpur Island Lighthouse, the smallest lighthouse in Georgia. At low tide you can walk from the fort, but as you can see it's covered by water in the middle of the day. (R)Tybee Island Lighthouse, the largest lighthouse in Georgia, and one of seven colonial era lighthouses still standing today.

        

(L)Just a nice shot from the marina looking back over the marshes at a storm that thankfully never hit us. (R)Someone on the boat pointed out a rainbow in the cloud and this was the best shot I was able to get.

   

Tybee Island

After the tour, we continued on to the rest of Tybee Island. We stopped at the North Beach parking lot, where my wife went to check on the conditions on the beach. It was too hot for the baby, and too not-deserted for me, but she did see a sign that made us realize we'd seen Tybee Island in nature shows, as it's a significant nesting site for sea turtles. The lighthouse is right by that lot, as is a museum in an old fort (Fort Scriven), but neither were open, so we moved on. I had seen something about a pier and pavilion at Tybee's South Beach, so we headed that way to check it out. Parking is $2/hour, but we didn't have quarters, so I ended up paying the $4 cc minimum. We thought we'd get our money's worth by also visiting the marine science center, which is right next to the pavilion, but we ended up deciding to skip it in the interest of time. The pier and pavilion were worthwhile in their own right.

(L)Food court under the pavilion. (R)Fishing pier past the pavilion, stretching out into the ocean.

   

Semi-panoramic view from the fishing pier of the pavilion, the beach, and the resorts in the background.

      

We took in the views and sea breeze for a half hour or so before heading back to the car and back into Savannah.

Congregation Mickve Israel
Next stop was Congregation Mickve Israel, the 3rd oldest Jewish congregation in America (after Spanish and Portuguese in NY, and Touro in RI). They have tours that last around 30-45 minutes, with a $7/person suggested donation (they made it seem mandatory though, which was fine by me as I was planning to pay that amount anyway). The tour takes you into the shul and then to a single room museum they made in a relatively modern part of the building that also houses the office, gift shop, meeting rooms, etc. I did not realize this beforehand, but it may be halachically problematic to enter the shul itself (my Rov told me after that I shouldn't have gone in), so AYLOR beforehand if you plan to go. They seat you in the shul while the tour guide talks about the history of Jews in Savannah and the congregation itself. Then you go up by the aron and where they open it to show the sifrei torah. Finally they bring you up to the museum room to see all the historical artifacts they have curated for tourists.

The history is remarkable, as the Jewish presence in Georgia dates back nearly to the founding of the colony. This congregation didn't officially become reform until 1904, though it seems like it was fairly progressive as time went on, and very integrated into it's surroundings. The building itself highlights this with its Gothic style, more reminiscent of a church than a shul, and artifacts in the museum that show the role of congregants in Savannah, and more generally American, society.

Not my photo, but I wanted to highlight just how church-like the building is from the outside (you can click through to see the photographer's flickr page).

     

(L)Sefer torah which was brought over by the first Jews to come to Georgia in 1733. (R)Note from Robert E. Lee to one of the congregants.

   

(L)Front of the shul, including aron and bimah. (C)Looking back from near the aron on the rest of the shul. Note the organ above the doors in the back. (R) One of the 8 large stained glass windows covering the sides of the building.

       

(L)Shofar, havdalah set, haggadah, shabbos lamp, siddurim, and megillah. (C)Ceremonial helmet of Rabbi George Solomon, who was the Rabbi of Mickve Israel from 1903-1945, and served as a chaplain in both world wars. (R)Menorah at middle right and mohel's set (which was brought over on the boat with the Torah above) at bottom left.

      

It was now late enough to check-in, so we headed to the hotel to get settled before mincha/maariv and dinner.

Part 2 will cover the hotel, kosher food and minyan, trolley tour and City Market.

6
Convenient way to make cold brew, with a removeable/reusable filter. Reports indicate that it can be pretty easily used for iced tead as well (it's actually listed as #1 best seller for Iced Tea Pitchers - I don't think there's a Cold Brew Pitchers category). It normally sells for $25, though it's been on sale before a bunch of times at $20 or $17. $15 is its lowest price ever.

Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
ETA: Bestbuy Link
Quote
Taste the difference with TAKEYA's Cold Brew Coffee Maker. The traditional hot brewing process releases undesirable acids and oils, resulting in bitter flavor and acidity that is intolerable to many. With cold brewing, only the naturally delicious coffee flavors are extracted, leaving behind the bitter oils and fatty acids, creating a perfectly balanced, smooth extraction of concentrated coffee. Once brewed, concentrated coffee can be kept fresh in the TAKEYA airtight Cold Brew Coffee Maker for up to 2 weeks and used for both hot and iced coffees.

7
General Discussion / Entry/Security/Storm/Screen Doors
« on: June 06, 2016, 02:33:35 PM »
I'm looking to redo the entrance to my house. So far I've done some very preliminary research into the different types of exterior/entry doors and security/storm/screen doors, but I'd love to hear from someone who has done this already. How did you select which type (other than aesthetics)? Did you buy from a place that installs it, install it yourself, or have a separate contractor/handyman install it?

8
Deals/Deal Requests / Toter 48 gal. Green Wheeled Trash Can - 25% Off
« on: June 24, 2015, 12:52:50 PM »
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Toter-48-gal-Green-Wheeled-Trash-Can-025548-01GRS/100203923

Came out to $53.07 (including NY tax) with free Ship to Store.

These are basically the best trash cans you can buy. The reviews for most trash cans on HD are garbage (pun intended ;D) - by contrast these have a 4.9/5 with over 100 reviews. They're normally several times the price of those cheaper ones though, so this discount helps a lot. Today is the last day for that sale price.

9
Deals/Deal Requests / Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee Mondays
« on: January 02, 2015, 10:24:08 AM »
Just received one of these coupons in the mail:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dunkin-Donuts-coupon-Med-Ice-Coffee-2x-7-cups-value-at-40-/271727165157?_trksid=p2054897.l4275

This is the second year in a row I received it. Anyone know how you become eligible for these? I'd love to be able to get another one, one for me and one for my wife.

On the one hand I'm not so into the whole iced coffee in the dead of winter thing (kind of like the free slurpee from this week - lines are a bit shorter for that in December than when they do it in July ;). But hey, free coffee is free coffee, right?

10
On The Road / Glass Repair in Queens:
« on: December 16, 2014, 01:25:50 PM »
Does anyone have a recommendation for glass repair/replacement in Queens? A fairly large crack (scratch?) has appeared in my windshield, and from reading the other 2 threads on this topic (both too old to post in) it sounds like Safelite or any other major operation will probably be way overpriced - local is the way to go. I have no idea yet whether it can be repaired or needs to be replaced. This is a leased car and the deductible is too high to make insurance an option (no special glass policy).

TIA

11
Credit Cards / LoopPay
« on: November 17, 2014, 11:05:56 AM »
Yet another mobile payments option, but this one works with just about every type of payment and processing system in place today. That means it works in places where you currently must swipe! Biggest downside is that it's not built into your phone, you have to pay for a case or fob that has the necessary technology in it.

http://www.looppay.com/
Review

ETA: Haven't bought or tried it, and don't plan to - just thought it was an interesting idea people might like to hear about.

12
Credit Cards / Cardbase by Walla.by
« on: August 20, 2014, 03:05:33 PM »
https://www.walla.by/cardbase

Email text from Walla.by:
Quote
EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT CARDS

Today we are launching CardBase™ and The Card Guide presented by Wallaby.

CardBase™ is a powerful new tool that allows you to view, browse, search, and sort through the more than 2,000 credit cards in our database by category, issuer, network, card name, and more. Get a first-hand view into the data that drives Wallaby's award-winning mobile and web apps.

The Card Guide is a free resource that teaches the fundamentals of credit cards and how to get the most out of them. You can also download The Card Guide as an eBook or subscribe to a weekly e-mail list to receive one article each week for 10 weeks. It's an essential guide for beginners and experts alike, featuring insights from renowned credit card bloggers and the entire Wallaby team.

Check out CardBase and The Card Guide today!

ETA: Posting this as an info resource only. Obviously if you're going to apply for a card, please use Dan's links.

13
Credit Cards / Discover 'Pick a Store' bonus
« on: July 02, 2014, 09:06:31 PM »
Just got this email for my Discover card:
Quote
New! Earn More at a Store You Choose!
Sign up to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $500 in purchases now through July 31, at your choice of one of these great stores.
Select ONE only to sign up instantly with just one click!

Amazon.com
Best Buy
Kohl's
And IIRC, when Amazon was part of the Discover cashback calendar, AP counted as Amazon and got the 5% bonus.

14
Credit Cards / Check if credit report is frozen
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:58:10 AM »
I'm trying to get a mortgage pre-approval, and they obviously need to pull my credit. They told me my wife's credit was frozen (which was probably me trying to get Chase to pull from Transunion). I was able to unfreeze Experian pretty easily, and my wife was able to call up Equifax to unfreeze, without the PINs. But the loan officer says she still can't access my wife's report.

Is there a way to easily check what's frozen and what's not?

TIA

15
Deals/Deal Requests / CoolNYC - free smartAC program
« on: July 20, 2012, 02:49:52 PM »
ConEd is running a program together with a company called ThinkEco called coolNYC. They are providing free units to NYC residents that plug in between your AC and outlet that act as a timer, thermostat, and energy monitor.

I received mine (3 units) this week and while there are definitely some rough edges, it seems like a no-brainer for people with window AC's. Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment to go into great detail, but I encourage people to take a look and ask any questions you have about the program here, and I'll try to answer them as best as possible.

http://www.coolnycprogram.com/

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