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Things To Do In Israel Master Thread For some, this topic may be a given. For others, i think it could be really helpful.

I haven't been in Israel for quite a few years since my yeshiva days and am finally headed back for a vacation with the wife and a toddler.

We have pretty much everything set up except the "what to do, where to go" aspect.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, we'd love to hear them and im sure others on the forum would too.

From places to go, things to go, places to eat, places to avoid, lets hear em all...

March 15, 2010, 11:35:57 PM
Re: travel insurance Does anyone know of a good policy that covers a woman who is pregnant?
December 16, 2012, 04:00:19 PM
Wyoming Photography Trip (2012)
Post some of those amazing pictures and you'll probably entice Dan more. I remember you posted some of them on ddf before.

Just a small selection (I'll post many more in my TR in the Wyoming thread when I finally get around to it):

(Click on any picture for full-res.)

Schwabacher Landing Sunrise:

Some 20 minutes later:

Oxbow Bend Sunrise:

Mt. Moran and Pelican at sunrise:

A shachris like no other:

Milky Way over Jackson Lake:

Star Trails and aurora over Jackson Lake:

Hendrick Pond sunrise:

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone and double rainbow from Uncle Tom's trail:

Minerva Terraces hot springs at sunset:

Pronghorn Antelope:

Bison on Antelope Flats:

Bison and calf:

Pelican at Oxbow Bend:

Foraging Moose:

July 17, 2013, 12:02:14 AM
Re: Choosing a new Bank
thanks, looking for a bank with  a presence in MD so whenever I go back I can deposit cash into the ATM's.
M&T isn't run great, but one transaction waives the monthly fee, and you can get multiple sign up bonuses.

January 03, 2018, 08:33:06 AM
Seattle Aviation Trip + Amazon GO 1st opening week w/video My son and I are aviation enthusiasts, so for the yeshiva off week I used my AA miles to book R/T BWI-SEA on Alaska's direct flight. We spent hours at the Museum of Flight, the Boeing plant and several other aviation related museums in the area. We also visited the Amazon GO store as it opened to the public that Monday.

We stayed in an Airbnb in Seward Park a block from Ezra Bessorth, used a combination of Lyft/Uber/Car2Go/ReachNow/Lightrail during the week, and rented a car for the weekend trip to Everett.(If you never drove a Mercedes or BMW, here is your chance!)

The website contains a wealth of information regarding shuls, kosher establishments (no meat restaurants), hospitality and other topics of interest.

Museum of Flight is FANTASTIC, some highlights:

737 Frame #1

The very first jet powered "Air Force One"/VC-137

And you can walk THROUGH it too!

The very first 747:

You can explore the inside too....

787 frame #3

A BA Concorde you can walk THROUGH and UNDER/AROUND

and MAGNIFICENT aviation galleries:

This P-51 Mustang donated by Israeli Air Force, it's exact history is unknown as the serial numbers and other identifiers were removed from the aircraft before it was shipped to Israel during the War of Independence. It has been repainted into WWII colors

At Paine field, we saw the next 2 EL-AL 787's on the flightline - 4X-EDC and 4X-EDD - EDD had just come off the production line the day before.(You will need to zoom in to see the tails, sorry) EDD is the farther one facing the camera, EDC is now in the paint shop in Pertland

Dreamlifter unloading

Norwegian test flight #1

Amazon GO store videos are still processing on YouTube, I'll post then as soon as I get notified they are done

February 01, 2018, 03:39:38 PM
Re: Seattle Aviation Trip + Amazon GO 1st opening week w/video Here are the GO store videos, they speak for themselves.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
el=0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

2 things:1) The app shopping cart does not update instantly as you add/remove items 2)You receive your receipt about 10 minutes after leaving the store

February 01, 2018, 06:57:47 PM
Re: Flying with infant Does anyone have experience getting a ticket where the first leg the child flies as lap (under 2) and on the way back in Seat (over 2)?

International. Hence 2 way is cheaper than 2 one ways...

April 22, 2018, 02:19:23 AM
Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
Can you share?

I realised that for some, it is a source of much needed secondary income. Rather than a game or such.

I do realize that, done right it represents a few hundred extra dollars a week, which can be crucial or at least helpful.

Sometimes I parlay my personal experience with things into the big picture, not because I think the world evolves around me, I just forget that each person is different.

For me, churning is often a distraction from my day job and inherently a waste of time.

May 09, 2018, 01:21:29 PM
Re: Random airline-questions.
If you can technically go from BWI - Buffalo ( BUF) all with Jetblue how come Jetblue does not sell it as a route that is purchasable?
While some routes they other connecting routes they do sell for example IAD to Buf they sell as a IAD connecting in JFK and then on to BUF.
Do the origin as WAS to BUF and BWI comes up in the search results.

June 20, 2018, 08:46:17 AM
EWR-LAX From $137 RT w/ One Stop on Spirit Sample Flights -
Sep 11th - Sep 18th
Sep 18th- Sep 25th*LAX./m/02_286.2018-09-25;c:USD;e:1;sd:1;t:f

June 27, 2018, 03:41:05 PM
Airside Airport Tours The recent comment in the YYZ thread got me thinking how many other airports offer such tours.

Offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning.
Groups of 10-30 only.

Offered first Thursday of month 10am.
Open to general public first come first serve.

Offered Monday through Friday, various times.
Open to general public and to groups.

Offered select Thursdays and Fridays 10am.
Open to general public.

Offered 2nd and 3rd Wednesday each month.
Open to general public.

Not offered on Mondays.
Ä15.50 charge, open to all.

Know of others and any first hand experience? Leave a comment with the details of the tour.

July 08, 2018, 10:50:25 AM
Re: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Kosher Catered Trip To Antarctica! FOMO support group
Our minimum was 10 pax and I thought it would be doable, but a struggle to get that and could potentially require outside advertising.

Minimum 10 people or 10 men?

August 31, 2018, 09:16:07 AM
Re: Random airline-questions.
Did United cut service BWI - EWR? No direct flight anymore?


October 09, 2018, 07:58:07 PM
Hot! UA nonstop NYC to CDG $280 RT
November 06, 2018, 06:17:33 PM
Re: KSML (Kosher Airline Meals) Master Thread
What hescher is the kosher meal on :

Airline: VS - Virgin Atlantic
Class: Economy
Route: LHR - EWR
Pretty sure its Hermolis, in which case Hashgacha would be Kedassia (Top Hashgacha in England)

December 10, 2018, 09:56:33 AM
PSA: AZ strike, flights canceled!
Includes some NYC and TLV flights.

May 20, 2019, 11:09:42 AM
Flying to Hawaii for 36 Hours: Something Fishy's Big Island Whirlwind Okay, it was actually 40 hours, but 36 looks way better in the title. So there.


The company I occasionally consult for was launching a new high-end tripod brand, and last November I flew to the Big Island to shoot the launch commercial. My official pompous title on the shoot was Assistant Director, which in practice meant that I coordinated and planned all shot locations. Due to various time constraints, our goal was to shoot the entire commercial in a single day, with the second morning being reserved for backup and secondary shots. With such a tight time frame and the need for a wide variety of different locations, each shot needed to be pre-planned down to the exact foot, plus we needed to have contingencies for weather, in case we couldn't get a certain permit, and so on.

In addition to coordinating all this, I was in charge of all still photography for the project and on-the-ground logistics.

The rest of the team were two good friends from the company, working as producer and DP. The producer is the one who planned and directed each individual shot based on my locations, and he also shot B-roll, while the DP (basically the video guy) manned the main camera.

The last part of our team was the talent (pompous-speak for "actor"). We needed to find a local to play the part of an adventure photographer, and so great was our joy when a local actor who is actually also an adventure photographer responded to our ad. The fact that he was an actual photographer would make my life waaaay easier on set, as I wouldn't have to constantly be coaching him on how to properly hold a camera, for example. After a couple of Skype conversations Sean was hired, and he turned out to be absolutely perfect for the job.

Full team finally in place, it was time to pack. We were schlepping an inordinate amount of gear - tons of video and photo equipment - mostly in triplicate, for both B-roll and backup, plus the actual product lineup we were filming. Normally these would be packed in Pelican cases and checked as luggage, but being that we essentially had only one day on the ground we couldn't afford even the slightest risk of the bags getting lost. So we shlepped all this as massive, waaay over the limit carry-ons, and thankfully had no issues whatsoever.

For me personally, another goal of this trip was to test out the boots I bought for Antarctica. Although the ship provides boots, they obviously did not have anything to fit my giant clown feet, so I needed to bring my own. After a whole bunch of ordering and returning, I had a pair that would work in theory, but I needed to put it through hell before I was comfortable taking them to Antarctica. This trip, which was going to involve trekking across sharp lava, wading in rivers and beaches, and in general being dragged up and across all kinds of terrain, was a perfect stress test. All good in theory, but they took up most of the space in this full-sized suitcase :P:

Anyways, back to Hawaii. We were booked on United's direct Newark to Honolulu flight, flying up front on an Everyday Award ticket for 180k UA. That's a whole lotta miles, but firstly it was the cheapest F option at the moment, and secondly - little detail here - I wasn't the one paying for it :P.

Between Honolulu and Hilo we were booked into Hawaiian revenue: F for the outbound, and Y+ for the return.

My Hawaiian travels - 3 trips and 5 islands, with the current trip in red:

So, schlepping massively oversized and overweight carry-ons, we finally made it onto the plane. United flies a 764 between Newark and Honolulu in a 2-1-2 configuration. Despite being open to both aisles, the middle seats (row D) is generally considered ideal for a single traveler. Unfortunately all middle seats were taken by the time we booked for the outbound, but I was able to snag 1D for the return. For the outbound I had 1B, which, as a bulkhead, had way larger footwells that the other seats. It should be noted though that while seat 1D is a bulkhead as well, it has the standard, tight footwell.

Seat 1B (and 1A of course):

As mentioned, due to the bulkhead seats had way larger footwells, and as you can see, there's a very convenient spot to keep your bedding when not in use. Overall the flight was exactly as you'd expect on United: meh seat, meh service, and horrendous KSML.

At 9:30am, 45 minutes into an 11-hour flight, the pre-arrival meal was served, naturally:

Who wouldn't want dry chicken breast and stewed vegetables for breakfast?

I had a nibble of the frozen pastry, sent everything back, and ate the sandwich I brought from home.

1:45pm: time for dinner, because reasons:

What's for dinner, you ask, considering that it's early afternoon, and barely 4 hours since the delectable fleishig prepost arrivaldeparture breakfast chicken was served? Why, it's dairy blintzes, of course!

This strawberry and coconut whatchamacallit on the other hand was downright delicious:

Anyway.... got one or two 2-hour naps in, and before you know it we were landing in Hawaii. I counted no less than five separate rainbows during the approach, so we were clearly going places.

HNL was the same mixed bag as always, its old and decrepit halls being offset by the huge open areas that make you feel like you're in Hawaii even before you even leave the airport. But first, business: a short break to wolf down the last of our sandwiches lest the Protectors of the Agriculture take umbrage at the shreds of lettuce and half a cherry tomato concealed within. This contraband safely out of the way, it was off to the long and lonely trek to the interisland terminal, where we passed the Agri inspection with flying colors.

Our steed today:

Long wait in a hot and stuff terminal hallway with no chairs, first onto the plane, and wonder of wonders, not a word about our ginormous carry-ons.

First class on Hawaiian's 717 is your typical North American F - wider, more comfortable seat with livable legroom. Unlike United however, Hawaiian's crew was exceptional and the short, hour-ish flight was mighty lovely.

It didn't hurt that my seatmate was extremely cute and cuddled with me most of the flight:

The views were epic too. Diamond Head on Oahu:

Haleakala Crater and the observatory:

If you look closely you can see a rainbow forming over the Road to Hana just past 'Ohe'o Gulch:

Landed in Hilo in the pouring rain, which, as is the wont in Hawaii, ended as soon as it began. Off to the car rental counter to pick up the Wrangler we specifically reserved, and then to the Grand Naniloa Hotel - which is way more Hawaiian-sounding than its real name, DoubleTree by Hilton. Reception was in the open-air lobby, smelling like warm chocolate chip cookies and surrounded by tropical gardens and the constant chittering of countless tree frogs.

Most of this is camera gear - even the Polar Bear cooler was half full of stuff:

The hotel was pretty much perfect for our needs - the rooms were nice and large, had a decent-enough kitchenette, and freezing cold AC. Our rooms were in the older wing of the hotel, but honestly it was just fine:

We had a delicious dinner of Grand & Essex's travel meals, made a quick Walmart run, spent an hour or so organizing our gear, and then early to bed to prepare for what was scheduled to be an absolutely bonkers day.

Time on the ground in Hawaii so far: 4 hours.

Day 1

Our first shoot was scheduled for sunrise, which was at 6:27. We were up at 4 to prepare the gear, meet with our local actor Sean, and head down to the location. Sean lives only 10 minutes away from our hotel, so that worked out great.

About half an hour north of Hilo lies Laupāhoehoe Point. This lovely lava outcropping is an incredible spot for sunrise, with the wild ocean crashing onto the jagged lava rocks and massive waterfalls cascading down the distant cliffs:

A picture of me taken by one of the other guys:

Absolutely amazing standing there watching the sun rise with no one but the birds and the pounding ocean around, but we didn't have time to dawdle - we still had a ton of ground to cover.

We stopped back in Hilo for a bit, where Dave (the producer) and I davened shachris while our non-Jewish teammate and Sean went to a local restaurant for breakfast and to buy a boxed lunch.

Off to the next stop of the day: the Boiling Pots just beneath Peepee Falls. View of the river from the parking lot:

This view however told us everything we needed to know: the current was too strong to safely do what we needed to do, so we switched to our backup location, 'Akaka Falls.

Quick shot of a lovely red-crested cardinal in the parking lot before we left:

So we get to 'Akaka... only to find that one of our tripods are missing. And not an old tripod that we were using for our own gear, but one of the brand-new, $750 tripods we were shooting the commercial for. We turned the truck upside down, to no avail. It was clear that we had left the tripod behind at one of our previous locations.

Luckily we had multiples as backup and could continue to work, but the missing one still had to be located. We figured that it must have been left at Laupāhoehoe, considering we hadn't unpacked too much gear at Peepee before we deemed the location unsafe. I volunteered to go look for it, as the rest of the crew will be able to continue filming without me for a while.

I arrived back at Laupāhoehoe a bit later, scanning the beach from afar as I was pulling in. And there it was - sticking out above the bushes. It was exactly where we left it - fully set up smack in the middle of the rocks. It hadn't been touched, even though there were lots of people around by this time and this was obviously an expensive - and large (over 6' tall) - piece of equipment. I heaved a sigh of relief, chucked the tripod into the trunk, and sped back to 'Akaka.

There was no cellphone service anywhere around, so I had no idea where the guys were and if they were already done. It was a long and steep path down to the falls, and I was too lazy to hike down only to have to hike back up right away. So I set up the tripod on the roof of the Jeep so it would be visible from far away, and took a nap.

The best view I ended up having from the falls, all the way from the parking lot:

Didn't sleep too long before the guys were back, and soon we were on the way to the lava desert in the middle of the Saddle Road. A mile of so past the Mauna Kea turnoff is an old, closed stretch of the old Saddle Road. We pulled off onto this road and got comfortable:

The lava field is hot, harsh, and unforgiving. The ground is hot to the touch, and sharp as glass. It has a stark beauty of its own though. The only vegetation is on cinder cones poking out of the lava here and there:

This is where we got to test out the Wrangler's capabilities for the first time: why make a U-turn on a boring road, when you can drive on the lava? No problems for the Wrangler - just point it at something and it'll take you across:

Next stop: the tallest mountain on Earth.

Mauna Kea stands only 13,803 feet, but the vast majority of it is underwater. Measured from its base, the mountain is a staggering 33,476 feet tall. On the other hand, Everest is a measly 29,029'. Take that, Himalayas.

Technically, we were already on the mountain, as the Saddle Road climbs some 6000' feet up its flank. But now we were heading up the mountain proper, all the way to the summit.

Being that the mountain is so tall and most people travel there pretty much from sea level, altitude sickness is a real issue. It's therefore not not a good idea to head directly to the summit; rather stop for awhile at the visitor's center at 9200' to acclimatize to the thin air. Since we were planning on doing quite a bit of walking around at the summit, we built two hours of acclimatization into our schedule.

We got bored with the visitor's center pretty quickly, so we crossed the road to the Pu'u Kalepeamoa trailhead, which leads up a smallish cinder cone. The video guy and our model headed up to shoot another scene, while Dave and I stayed behind. I was too lazy to climb, and Dave was showing symptoms of altitude sickness.

Setting up the camera:

Dave giving up on everything and just taking a nap:

The others returned after a bit, Dave picked himself up, and we turned towards the summit. Just above the  visitor's center, rangers had set up a roadblock and were inspecting each car before allowing them up, including checking the fuel levels. We had nothing to worry about, as our Wrangler was in fact the recommended vehicle for this, we had a full tank of ga-

Uh oh. No, we didn't.

We had forgotten to fill up on the way up the mountain. Our fuel indicator was at 1/4, and technically you must have at least half a tank to proceed.

There was no time to head for gas now - it would take 2 hours at least, and we'd miss the only sunset we had in Hawaii. So when the ranger stuck his head in and declared that we didn't have enough gas, we told him that the indicator had just moved from 1/2 to a 1/4 and we're sure we'll be fine. Somehow that worked, and we were waved on.


While the road up to the visitor's center is a regular, easy, properly paved road, second half is everything but. It's dirt-slash-gravel-slash-volcanic ash and quite horrible. The weather was lovely and the road dry, so the going wasn't bad other than the teeth-rattling shaking. Once at the summit itself the road becomes paved once more, so that was nice.

The views up the mountain are simply amazing. It's late afternoon, so the sun is lighting everything up beautifully. You're above the clouds, and below you you have a moonscape of cinder cones, rockes, and ash. You climb higher and higher until finally you're at the summit, and entering the observatory area.

There are thirteen telescopes up here, with more under construction. The most surprising thing for me was that up close, the buildings beneath the telescopes were basically glorified corrugated-metal sheds. Somehow I was expecting something a bit more prestigious-looking, but I suppose form over function wins out here:

Driving, Fishy-style:

Mauna Loa, the Big Island's other giant volcano, is visible above the clouds to the left:

The parking lot here looked like a Jeep dealership:

The weather up her can get pretty nasty, but tonight it was quite lovely - only a little cold and a brisk breeze. On the other had, we were hoping for some snow on the ground, so I suppose you gain some and you lose some.

Group pic - Me, our model Sean, the producer Dave (suffering from altitude sickness and freezing his bottom off), and the DP Kevin:

Now technically, the "summit" we were on is not the actual summit; that's on a little hill around 40 feet higher and a bit off to the side. I had planned on hiking up, but due to the altitude I was ridiculously out of breath. So long as I moved slowly I was able to manage, but if I as much as walked briskly I had to sit down on the ground to catch my breath. So there went that.

13,763' - still 40 feet beneath the summit (indicated by a crosshairs on the map). My personal land altitude record to date:

The sunset itself was kinda meh, with only a few clouds to catch the sun's colors. We did however get the shot we wanted, and so in the infinitely wise words of Borat, GREAT SUCCESS!

Mauna Loa and some of Mauna Kea's cinder cones:

That's the Japanese Subaru Telescope on the right and the Taiwanese Sub-Millimeter Array on the left. You can see Maui behind the Subaru, and, if you squint, the island of Lanai to the left beneath the clouds:

LIke I said, the sunset was underwhelming, but if you turned away from the sun, the summit itself was covered in an array of subtle colors and actually quite lovely:

And a few minutes later:

As soon as the sun went under, the rangers began hustling everyone to get off the mountain as only scientific personnel are allowed to remain after dark. Last pic of the parking lot:

We got into the car and pulled out of the lot... when the fuel warning came on.

The Wrangler drinks like a shikkur. Heading down the mountain we need to be in 4-low, which - of course - is the most fuel-intensive gear. The nearest gas station was 43 miles and over an hour away.

There was no way on Earth that we're making it.

Except... we are at nearly 14,000 feet. The gas station is at sea level. This is gonna be fun.

So I shifted the car into neutral, and down we coasted.

While we were still on the dirt road, I moved into 4-low a whole bunch of times; stuck is better than dead. But once the road flattened out a bit past the visitor's center it was one solid coast in neutral all the way to Hilo, some 35 miles away. The going was great; once on the Saddle Road, the grade and curves were just perfect enough to give us a solid 60-70mph with virtually no braking.

And then we pulled into the first gas station with a giant sigh of relief, filled up till it shpritzed back out at us, and headed for a hot meal and a good solid night's sleep nap.

Time on the ground in Hawaii so far: 28 hours.

Day 2

Once more we were up at zero dark thirty, gathered our gear, met up with Sean, and headed out for our sunrise shoot.

The goal? Waipio Valley.

Waipio is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii, if not the world. If you take Kauai's Hanalei Valley, add Maui's Road to Hana and some of Molokini's cliffs, and get rid of every last tourist, you'll have yourself something approaching Waipio.

Towering green cliffs nearly 2000 feet high hem in the valley from three sides, and some of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii pour down their flanks. On the fourth side the valley opens to the ocean along a lovely black sand beach, with the Wailoa Steam cutting it in half as it flows into the ocean. The valley floor itself is covered in taro fields, a few houses, and just utter and complete beautiful jungle.

The trees are filled with colorful birds, the woods with wild ponies, and there's not a tourist to be seen.

There's a good reason for that last point though (other than it being sunrise and all the tourists were asleep): getting down into the valley is one heckuva situation. Waipio Valley Road is notorious for being - by some calculations - the steepest road in the world. It has grades up to 39%, is one lane only (because of course it it), and has more potholes than the FDR Drive. If you don't have a proper 4x4, it's just not gonna happen. Even if you do, you need to know exactly what you're doing and how to handle 4-Low properly.

And once you're down, you're not out of the woods. The locals are extremely private and resent the tourists, and all but a short stretch of the main road is private property. All this combines to make a nearly tourist-free area. Some people take a special tour down, and few others use their rented Jeeps, but barely anyone ventures past the lookout point at the top of the road.

Here's what the road looks like from the air - this is good perspective of how unbelievably steep it is:

So, naturally, I was going to drive this road. In the dark. Because if you're gonna be crazy, you might as well go all out.

Warning signs at the top:

Off we went. No seatbelts here, and the car doors slightly ajar a la Ice Road Truckers. Cars can go tumbling off the edge here, and being able to bail in an instant can be, you know, kinda useful.

Right away I ran into a strange problem: the road was so steep, that it literally fell away beneath my headlights. I could see the trees in front of me, but not a speck of road. Sean, however, had been down here many times before and kept up a running description of the road to me, warning me of a rock here and a giant pothole there. Between that and the fact that I was doing something like 2mph, I was able to negotiate the road safely. Quite frankly, I was having a ton of fun (let's just say that I didn't necessarily avoid every pothole Sean told me about). The Wrangler was a champ, going over anything and everything in its path.

We hit the bottom of the valley just as it was getting light in the east. The road here hooked a nearly 180-degree turn, became dirt, and headed off to towards the beach. While the road here was flat, it pretty quickly quit being a road at all and turned into a long string of interconnected half-puddles, half-stream, spawn of the devil thing. Again, an absolute blast to drive and I couldn't get enough of it.

We parked under some trees at the top of the beach under the doleful eyes of a group of wild ponies. Got the cameras out, totaled a lens by dropping it into wet volcanic sand, realized we'd left the backup lens at the hotel, jury-rigged a working alternative, and all in all had a blast.

The place was simply stunning. Not a soul around (unless you count the ponies), perfectly silent but for the rushing waves, surrounded by sheer cliffs, waterfalls dropping into the ocean... The sun was just a few minutes away from rising, and it was time to get to work:

Pre-sunrise, where the river meets the sea:

Looking upriver, towards the interior of the valley:

And a few minutes later:

Male and female saffron finches greeting the new day:

Yellow-billed cardinal:

Dave shot this of me as we were wrapping up the shoot:

The sunrise shoot wrapped up, it was into the valley proper. Like I said above, the locals are extremely against any tourists here, and aren't afraid to show it. On the other hand, we weren't here to step on anyone's toes and annoy the locals. We had an ace up or sleeve however: Sean. As local as you can get, partly Hawaiian native, and friendly with many of the residents here. We ran into locals a couple of times and got serious stink eye, until they realized that we were with Sean and then it was all friendly all around.

The government version of a road sign, and the local, slightly saltier version:

A slightly more welcoming sign:

This is Waipio... you're driving along happily under the trees, and then you turn a corner and this scene just suddenly jumps out at you:

It stopped us in our tracks, quite literally. We just stopped in the middle of the road and jumped out for some pictures. That waterfall is Hi'ilawe Waterfall, and drops an astounding 1,450 feet, nearly nine times as tall as Niagara.

By law, you must take at least one crazy selfie on a trip, right?

With Sean at our side, we penetrated far deeper than pretty much any other tourist can. Down here the road doesn't much worry about being, ya know, a road. River in the way? Who cares!

Setting up for the final shot of the trip, in the river:

And a final boots test - and approved for Antarctica!

Couple of black-crowned night herons supervising:

Back across the river:

And another one...

Not sure if you can tell by now, but I was quite enjoying those river crossings ;D:

Heading back up:

Life hack: an empty Polar Bear cooler is perfect for storing your muddy stuff for the return flight - just hose it down when you get home:

And that was that! The end of an insane marathon of a tip. It was back to the hotel to grab our stuff, and then off to the airport.

Total time on the ground in Hawaii: 40 hours.

Flight from Hilo to HNL was in economy+ this time instead of first, so I took the exit over the wing and had a view of absolutely nothing. In any case, I was way too pooped to enjoy any views.

Hawaiian was on time, as usual, HNL was a relic from the 60s, as usual, and the United flight was delayed, as usual:

For the return flight I managed to snag the middle seat:

The meal today was utter trash:

I had the FA warm up my last Grand & Essex meal, which was fantastic.

Turns out that for me, the middle seat was way more comfortable than the aisle seat I had on the inbound. Sure, you have traffic on either side, but being that my giant feet don't fit very well into the tiny footwells, I was able to but the bed in slightly-less-than-lie-flat mode, drop a foot down on either side, and get the longest sleep I've had on a plane to date - a solid six hours. It's worth noting that in the middle seats, the bulkhead has the same tiny footwell as the other seats. The larger footwell advantage is only on the window and aisle seats.

Landed in EWR mostly on time, and that, as they say, was the end of that.

Here's the final commercial:

The end

September 11, 2019, 12:55:44 AM
Re: Ex-TLV Routes and Flights Discussions
November 14, 2019, 06:06:31 AM
Re: EL AL I randomly came across the "Followed by El Al USA" on Dansdeals' Twitter...

Not sure if this is recent or if I never paid attention

December 12, 2019, 10:47:28 AM
Re: Random airline-questions.
How do I figure out what area 1 and area 2 are?
Map attached

December 22, 2019, 08:14:33 AM
Re: Staying fit at home
Channel I posted above, but he's added a couple more videos and cleaned up the channel. Please have a look, subscribe and pass it on

April 22, 2020, 05:24:49 PM
Re: Delta site down
This part.
Yup you're right sorry

May 03, 2020, 06:09:44 PM
Re: Is there any good news in the fight against COVID-19?
Who cares what China says?

May 17, 2020, 11:17:59 AM
Re: Ebook Library Check if your local library is on here
June 04, 2020, 03:19:21 AM
Re: Israel Reopening To Foreigners
I have tickets to EY for succos (booked before covid) and was really looking forward to succos in EY. what are the chances we will be able to go? :( (obviously noone knows but opinions are good for discussion and hoping)

Based on what my Yeshiva is hearing from the various govt office, Sukkos tourism is not happening, Period.

I get it that everyone wants things to be back to normal, like last week, but thats not realistic.
Whether you like it or not the Israeli Govt places more weight on the current scientific consensus than on the firmly held beliefs of the heimishe crowd - even if they do base their conclusions on what they have seen with the two eyes that God gave them.

The borders are closed to non-citizens of Israel.
After much lobbying they agreed to allow case by case exceptions in a limited number of situations.
These include people coming in for the funerals and weddings of immediate family (B-I-L and S-i-l have been refused)
They also agreed to allow married students - whos center of life is in Israel to return. This is not intended to open the borders to them, rather grant them a one time exemption to return to "their center of life".
The recent news is that Non-Israelis who leave will not be granted permission to return for at least 30 days after they leave. (After lobbying they agreed to consider allowing those who left for a legitimate reason - funeral, wedding,medical treatment...- to return before the 30 days are up)
The Mir sent out the following
Leaving Israel for a vacation Ė Truly painful for me to even write about it.
We live in unique times and לכל זמן ועת, I understand that the requests we received in this topic came from a desperate need butÖ I have to relay to you the following statement from the Rosh Hayeshiva Harav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel Shlita - someone who is already in Israel cannot apply again for an entry permit if he needs to leave Israel unless he has a medical or other very important reason which he should clarify with the Yeshiva office in Israel before planning on leaving the country. We are working hard to help yungeleit learn Torah in our yeshiva. This is our mission and we are happy to do whatever we can to help you get there.
They also heard from one of the Chareidi MKs that the tourisim, interior, economy ministries are not currently presuring to open the borders to tourists.

The Interior Minister, who is Charedi, canceled the permission given to unmarried students to return, very shortly after it was granted.

Israel is probably closer to returning to shelter-in-place than opening to tourists.

Things could change. the infection rates in the US could drop. the virus could just stop spreading. We could discover that eating peanut butter and asparagus cures the virus. but Al Pi Derech Hateva this will not happen. This is not a chisaron in Emuna. This is understanding that HKBH runs the world, and doesnt always run it exactly the way we want.

June 25, 2020, 02:39:14 AM
Re: The science of COVID-19 TWiV (This Week in Virology) #635, recorded July 5

These are my notes of Dr. Griffin's talk, so I can't guarantee they're accurate.  If you have questions, go listen to the podcast.

Today was the first time since this started that he entered his hospital and had no covid positive cases.  (or did he mean no new ones?) 
Testing. Still problems getting adequate tests, which are needed for contact tracing.  Antibody testing: About 20% of infected people donít produce measurable antibodies, especially those who had milder cases.  And if you look 2 months out, antibody levels go down.  So limited value to antibody tests.

Covid parties. The idea of intentionally contracting covid is absurd, because of our ignorance about how long immunity lasts, whether one can get reinfected, and possible long-term effects. 

Possible reinfection. With some other viruses, a second bout is worse than the first.  Earlier in the epidemic, cases that were initially thought to be reinfections were probably just two phases of a single infection. But weíre still not sure if it was reinfection, or how quickly reinfection would occur. 

With some other viruses, a second reinfection is often more severe.  Dr. Griffin himself caught dengue in China in the 1980s, easily recovered, then got it again in Zimbabwe.  He was so sick the second time that his parents were told ďWeíll let you know if heís still here in the morning.Ē  Well, obviously he recovered, but we donít know what will happen with covid, so itís foolhardy to assume that reinfection would be mild when it could potentially lead to tragic consequences.

A listener asked about his 54-year old patient who had recovered from mild COVID in early April, and had two negative PCR tests (but no antibody test).  Two months later, his son got covid.  The following week, the father again had a positive covid test, with increasingly severe symptoms, and O2 sat of 83.  Was this a reinfection?  Dr. Griffin answered that it's concerning, but thought itís possible that itís the same infection, and the tests in April were too insensitive to measure the virus.  Or it might be a different strain of the virus.  Or it might be a re-infection with the same virus.  If itís re-infection, this would imply that immunity is very short-lasting, perhaps even too short for effective herd immunity or effective vaccines.  However, he thought itís too early to get too depressed about this.  We need to see if more such cases develop.

He noted that there had been a recent account of a mutated virus that is more transmissible, but he wanted to point out that itís not more pathogenic.  Itís easier to catch, but not more likely to kill you. 

Lingering effects. Many reports of people still sick, months later.  Several support groups, one has 4000 people.  Need to study how often this occurs, and to educate those doctors who are unaware of it and assume itís not real, that patients are malingering.

Football players are concerned about restarting to play because of the close contact with possibly asymptomatic teammates. What if they get covid and get late-onset muscle weakness, fatigue? To threaten your future life and a career you dreamed of?   We just donít know the long-term impact of this disease. 

Patients may describe a chest heaviness, skin feels like had sunburn, persistent fatigue, brain fog, weakness, little exercise tolerance, depression, anxiousness.  Most people say they feel worst in the morning, get better throughout the day, then at 1-2 in the afternoon they feel like theyíre dying.  Some doctors suggest that these are more common in young women, and say ďthe older men die, the younger women sufferĒ.  But he sees men and women, and all ages with these lingering symptoms. 
Recent study of patients 30 days after they were discharged from hospital showed that about half still had suboptimal lung function: respiratory muscles were weak, gas didnít diffuse as readily into the lungs, and abnormalities were seen via lung imaging.   Published in Respiratory Research but thereís a summary here: 

Some patients say that Mucomyst, prescribed to break up their mucus, made them feel better overall.  Maybe it also acts as an anti-oxidant or anti-inflammatory. Heís not recommending this, just mentioning it.

NSAIDS were opposed early on, based on a single French study, but there have been 70 studies now that show no evidence of problems, so there may be no justification for avoiding ibuprofen, aleve, or aspirin.
Not using HCQ, famotidine, azithromycin. Thereís now a price of $3120 for a 5 day treatment with remdesivir, which might affect its use.  Steroids and anticoagulation is being discussed more, need guidance on what to recommend for those at home.

Patients who were hospitalized have been studied most intensively, and we need more information on those who recovered at home.  Recent MMWR says outpatients tend to be younger, fewer underlying conditions, more likely lower socioeconomic status, and 2-3 weeks after symptoms, one-third say Iím still sick.

First trial of convalescent serum didnít show benefits, and in fact, those treated late in the disease developed more clotting complications. It seems possible that antibodies play more of a role in the early response to the virus, and T cells are important later, in which case convalescent serum would be expected to benefit those in earlier stages of the disease.  We need more studies of this. 

School reopening.  The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that kids should be physically present in school this fall.  Dr Griffin agrees, says ďOpen schools, not barsĒ, especially since not every kid has a great home environment.  But need to open in the right way and accurate, frequent testing is critical for that, and we donít have ability for frequent testing.  If you canít afford to test students frequently, then you canít afford to open schools.  Kids need to be kept in small groups, plastic separations. He doesnít think many states will run it properly.  Some have said students donít need to wear masks when they sit downÖ and he sees that as a problem.  Even if not 100% effective, masks act as a reminder to be careful.  States and federal government should financially help local school districts. 

True, that young people much less likely to get covid, but MSI has been found in 200 kids in NYS, and he thinks its underreported.  Also, recent studies showed viral load in children is similar to adult, so they may be as likely to transmit infection.  On the other hand, one study showed very little viral shedding from kids.  And epidemiological data doesnít show schools playing a role in spread of covid, as occurs with most respiratory diseases, though this could be because schools that stayed open in March were already taking precautions.  Just donít know yet.

Airplanes.  HEPA filters clean the air, although if someone sick is sitting right next to you, the filters donít protect you.  So airplanes are not low risk, but are safer than being in a bar or at a party.  The greater risk is not from the flight, but the fight you get into over why your neighbor isnít wearing a mask!  So try to move, if that happens.

Masks:  Donít have good data on comparing different kinds, or knowing value of plastic shields.  Homemade cloth masks are fine for catching droplets, and are important to prevent spread from an infected person.  Nobody can wear it 24/7, but think about time and dose: The more you wear it, and the better you cover your nose and mouth, the better you will be protected and protect others.  The more you fiddle around with it, the greater risk of spread, so put it on and leave it there. If you have long hair, tie it back, so it doesnít hit the mask.  If you wear hearing aids, tuck the bands under the hearing aids.  Here are some other tips for wearing a mask with hearing aids:

Some canít wear a mask for good medical reasons, but thatís fine.  Like herd immunity, we donít need to get to 100%, but if enough people wear one, it will cut transmission.

July 07, 2020, 11:23:36 PM
Yeah its called spoofing the IMEI; Kosher Phones only work with certain IMEI numbers; I posted a link to those IMEI numbers somewhere on here on the Forums.
The experience I have had is that the phones whose IMEI numbers have been spoofed have better service then the actual "Kosher Phones" then sell in stores. If only I can figure how to do it myself  ::)
I'm pretty sure you can do it with these boxes/software. I never looked into it much but I think this is how all the guys do network unlocking

August 25, 2020, 07:28:53 PM
[Dead]! HP 17" Laptop (17t-by400) Core i7 11th Gen $249.99!!!

Insane deal. I would recommend upgrading the screen resolution and pretty much everything else can be upgraded later (for less)

November 26, 2020, 05:18:15 AM
Re: NYC - CA - NYC Solo National Parks Road Trip Summer 2020 What's that? You're wondering where I went? Am I still stranded in Utah?

Nope! Just good old procrastination with some covid blues thrown in for good measure.

If, like @jose34 , you are wondering where I've been, eager for the next installation of Season 1 of Traveling with ShmŤ, you're in luck. I'm back, and slightly worse than ever.

We last left me doing laundry in Salt Lake City. I'm happy to report that I have done laundry since then. Actually, I pay a nice lady named Eunice to do it for me. But that's a different story for a different time.

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020. I woke up, had a coffee, and saw 5 clients over Zoom from 8am to 12:30pm. I missed morning prayers at the Shul of Latter Day Saints, so I prayed on my own.

After heading due South the day before, today was all about West. Mostly. My first stop was the Lake for which the city is named.

Great Salt Lake

It's nice. It was hard to find.

I mean, the Lake was easy to find. It was hard to find the turnoff for the lake vantage point. After lots of fumfering, I found Great Salt Lake State Park, where I had to pay 10 bucks for parking.

Verdict: go for the view, leave quickly for the smell.

Back on the road, heading due West to my next stop: the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Imagine a beach without the water. And, instead of sand, it's salt. Stepping out onto the flats is a very cool experience. They go on and on as far as you can see. It's desolate and quiet. And the feel of the sand beneath my feet is solid, with a little bit of give that let me know that it wasn't quite regular ground. They have auto racing here. I'd love to see that.

About 10 more miles West, and I was at the Nevada border.

I discovered that it's pronounced Ne-VAAA-dah (like the A in apple). Check this link if you're still not sure how to say it.

It was time to leave the safety and familiarity of the I-80 behind, and venture southwest on a little highway called State Route 93 Alternate. Crossing into Pacific Time, I lost service. It was just me, Fezzik, and a two lane highway with a dotted yellow line down the middle, whizzing past sun-baked earth covered in scraggly desert growth, like a 17-year old bochur trying to grow a beard.

It was glorious.

To break things up, I stopped at a little town with a Jewish name: Ely, Nevada.

The elevation is 6435, which coincidentally is the code to get into the local shul.

Just kidding. The code is 613. 6, then 1 and 3 together. Also, there is no shul.

Just a little dry desert humor.

Good times.

The 93 ALT ended at Ely, so I continued my southwesterly trek on Route 6. I couldn't find a good place to stay, so I contacted my trusty concierge @JuryDuty who came through in a big way. More on that soon. (Whatsapp was really helpful here - my texts and voice notes got through when I had little spurts of cell service even when I couldn't make a phone call.)

On this leg of the trip, Fezzik and I passed a milestone - 100k miles!



Desert sunset...

I landed in a little town called Tonopah, on Route 6, and headed to the Mizpah Hotel recommended by my concierge. It was founded in 1907, and restored to its former glory in 2011. It has a really cool, old-timey feel.

Of course, it's Nevada so there are some gambling devices.

Just one drink before bed.

Good night

Lights out!

Totals: A little over 6 hours driving, a little over 400 miles driven, a little overcompensating for not having posted in a while.

More to come! Especially if you nudge me.

February 06, 2021, 07:00:19 PM