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Topics - Yonah

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Tried adding my son to my business amex. Got his card in the mail, and tried to activate it - but no dice (verified that the information was correct).

Call AMEX. Apparently, since my son has not had his own card, they need me to send in his SSC and Driver's license.

I've never had a request like this - is this a new thing?

Tech Talk / Wink to go Subscription Only on 5/13
« on: May 06, 2020, 04:11:42 PM »
So a few weeks ago, after experiencing some issues with outages over YT, I decided to drop Wink in favor of smartthings. Beyond the sporadic outages, there were also rumblings that Wink had money issues as well. Today Wink announced that in a week from now, they are switching to a subsciption model - $5/month. If you don't sign up by 5/13 your account is dead, and won't be able to use the app to control any devices.

I got the smartthing hub, only because it was cheap ($60 at amazon) and because it worked with all of my existing Z-Wave devices. I had a brief thought of switching to an amazon echo plus, but then I'd need to buy a crap ton of Zigbee switches instead.

Google is selling the Pixel 4 at the google store for $300 off. The base Pixel 4 with 64Gb of memory is $499, all other models seem to be $300 off their original price -

Best Buy is offering the same deal + they'll give you $50 more bucks if you activate with them -

I am not sure if this the right forum to post this, or if it will be helpful, or if it's even just a rant.

A decade ago, my mother passed away after her fourth battle with cancer. 15 months later, my father passed as well from a heart issue. Right at the end of kaddish for my Mom, I was talking in shul to another Avel about my mom's pending unveiling. An older gentlemen in my shul, a survivor, overheard our conversation and said - "Ich ben M'Kaneh zein" - I'm jealous of you - at least you have a grave to visit!

Shiva, Shloshim, and Kaddish helped me through the process. It made me feel proactive in honoring my parents, and helping me heal. As an out-of-towner, minyan was sometimes a struggle, since my options were fewer (Mincha involved driving 20 minutes each way for a minyan). And yet, whatever my struggle, I seems like I was spoiled, that I took this opportunity for granted.

I have several friends who unfortunately had protracted shivas due to Yom Tov, (some not even lasting more than an hour), and some of them feel that they missed out on that part of the mourning process.

How many people out there are in middle of their year of aveilus, being denied the opportunity to say kaddish for a loved one? How many can't give proper levaya to their loved ones? How many aren't getting the benefit of sitting shiva? Some don't even have the last opportunity to say goodbye.

I am not a shrink, I am not educating in counselling in any way. I just want you all to know going through this that:
a) this is hard
b) hashem will help you get through this
c) I am open to talking whether you think it will help or not. (I will do my best to answer PMs if you want to do this privately).

I will leave you with one final thought: Years ago I spoke to a psychologist who was helping people with PTSD from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He pointed out to me that in the text of the Mi-Sheberach, Refuas Hanefesh (healing of the soul) comes before Refuas Hagoof (healing of the body) - showing that Judaism understands and acknowledges that there is a mental and spiritual aspect to healing as well.

May all those who need a refuah, be granted a refuas hanefesh and refuas hagoof.

Trying to create this as a wiki to help people determine if they were exposed or not. The idea here is to post links to government and media resources that list exposures.

On The Road / Rav Kav Questions
« on: February 25, 2020, 11:43:17 AM »
Not sure if this is the right forum to ask, but...

I am going to Israel next week for literally a week, and I was curious about Rav Kav.  I will be mainly taking the inner city buses light rail in Jerusalem, but also spending a day in Tel-Aviv and expecting to use the train to get to and from the airport and Tel-Aviv.

Is there a seven-day Rav Kav that I can use for the week? If so how much does it cost? Can I use the NFC in my Android phone to pay or do I need to get a physical card?

Sellout.Woot has the Vi Sense Heart-Rate Headphones for $40, This also includes 1-year of the Vi Personal Training App (usually $10/mo or $100/year).

The Vi App essentially sets you up with a workout plan (i.e. I want to run a half-marathon in 3 months from now) and will also offer coaching and pacing tips during your workouts (i.e. "Speed up, you're going to slow"). It also has little speedplay games like "In 30 seconds, start a sprint")

Bad news for Android users - it seems that they've killed off support for Android
Good news for iOS - the app is still available in the Apple store, and they have their new app Torch running, which essentially pairs you up with another random to compete in running challenges with.

The headphones are decent, stay in your ear well while running, and have good quality sound, but you can probably find better buds for slightly less money on amazon. Still, if you want to give the app a shot and you're on Apple, might be worth it.

Vi App-

Torch App-

Headphone Link -

Vi Website:
Torch Website:

Deals/Deal Requests / Chromebooks under $70 at Woot
« on: February 03, 2020, 05:04:18 PM » is selling a bunch of chromebooks for under $70. These are definitely older models, and they're billed as S&D (Scratch and Dent) - but might be worth it to get as a cheap kids laptop -

Just Shmooze / Phrases that Haven't Aged Well
« on: January 24, 2020, 11:43:13 AM »
I started this on the PC question of the day thread, but upon @aygart 's suggestion, moved it here (original post -

what're some phrases people use, that refer to things that kids today might not have seen. I thinking about this the other night, when Larry Walker was inducted to into the Baseball hall of fame alongside Derek Jeter - he said "It's like an old 45, Jeter is the A-Side, and I am the B-side on the single".

Those of us who had record players, understood what he meant, where kids today, would need to be explained, even though they might get the context. Three others that I find myself using:

"That and a token will get you on the subway".
"Here's a quarter, call somebody who cares"

And the hebrew confluence of the two: "V'nafal li ha'asimon" (this literally means, "and then the token fell (into the coin slot)" - it's the Hebrew equivalent of I put 2+2 together, and refers to the Pay Phone tokens that haven't been used in at least 25 years)

What are some other good ones?

Just Shmooze / Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« on: January 23, 2020, 12:50:54 PM »
This is a very interesting case - the TL;DR:
- Montana had a law that gave tax credits for private school scholarship donations of $150
- A woman named Kendra Espinoza applied for the credits for her two kids enrolled in Catholic school.
- The Montana Dept. of Revenue denied her claim, because the school was religious.
- She's suing the state on the grounds that it unfairly discriminated against her because it should extend the credit to religious schools.
- After the suit, the state pulled the tax credit.

Here is some coverage of the case:

While I'd love to get more for my tax $$, I also understand the value of a strong public school system (I enrolled one of my children in our local public school system for a couple of years because of learning issues).

My understanding is that if Espinoza wins, it opens the door for school choice initiatives around the country to include religious options. While parents of kids in private schools would love the help, parents with kids in public schools, are worried that it would erode their public school budgets.

Curious to see how this plays out.

Amazon has a variety of Nuun Drink tablets on sale for 40% off - but it's actually a lot more.

Essentially you pop one of these in a 16oz water bottle, and it makes a low-calorie gatorade.

A tube of ten tablets usually goes for about $7 on their site and in whole foods,and about $5-6 on Amazon normally.

Example - I bought a box of 4 tubes of their immunity drink for 14.89 (no S&S) essentially 3.75 a tube - yesterday this cost ($19.90 - $5/tube)

For the kosher consumer - all of their current stock is OU certified. However, some of their older stock is not. In a previous order, I had received older, non-certified stock, and told Amazon, and they shipped me a replacement free of charge.

for more info on Nuun-Hydration - head to

Full Disclosure - I am a nuun ambassador - but I am not receiving any compensation for this deal.

Tech Talk / Has CES Become Irrelevant?
« on: January 06, 2020, 03:40:59 PM »
CES is going on right now, but it seems that every year there are fewer big announcements there. In part because larger companies have their own 'Launch' days which they use to launch products (a la Apple and Google) so they get more press, and with the advent of the Internet, Blogs and Twitter, you don't need a giant press conference to launch stuff every year.

I've also heard that although a lot of companies are still coming to CES to conduct meetings with vendors, partners, and buyers, they are more and more not buying a booth, but giving private demos in ballrooms in their hotels.

I know that it's demise has been predicted a few times before - but does anyone think that CES is on its last legs?

Tech Talk / Cute little DIY Hack - Wireless Magic Charging table ~$25-30
« on: December 26, 2019, 02:03:28 PM »
On my day off yesterday I hacked together a little "magic" wireless charging table. What's the "Magic?" You mount the Wireless Charger under the surface of the table so that you can put your phone on top of the table and still have it charge wirelessly.

Here is what you need:
-This ikea wireless charger: (LIVEBOJ) ($5)
-This ikea small table: (LACK) ($10)
- A USB-C Wall charger and cable (You can buy this - and this from ikea for one-stop shopping).

All 4 ikea parts cost $26+taxes

A brief note about wireless charging:
Many modern phones offer wireless charging (iPhone since iPhone 8, Pixel 3,4, Samsung Galaxy since S9/Note 9) - it's not as fast as wired charging, but if you put your phone on the charging pad you don't need to plug it in. You also don't need to directly contact the charger (although the phone needs to be properly aligned) so you can mount it inside the desk to give you the illusion that the desk itself is charging the phone.

A brief note about why this ikea table specifically:
IKEA's Lack and Linnmon series are cheaply made. Instead of being of solid chipboard they have thin wood veneers on top, bottom and sides; a chipboard frame that's 1-2in long, and hollow space between the top and bottom veneers that's filled with carboard to help give it some structure. Because of this, you can mount the wireless charger just below the surface of the tabletop veneer and it won't have a huge impact on wireless performance.

What to do:
- Cut a hole in the bottom of the table, about 2" from any side. (I used a circular hole-cutter for my drill, but you can drill a small hole and use a small saw). The hold needs to be big enough for you to insert the charging pad.
- Using a drill, drill a hole from the side of the table into the spot where the pad will go. The width of the hole needs to be wide enough to accommodate the head of the USB-C cable (the smaller end).
- Thread the cable through the drilled hole into the area where the pad will go.
- Attach the charging pad to the cable, and tape if (from the bottom) to the surface of the table (you may have to move the cardboard out of the way
- If you'd like, you can tape or fasten the veneer you cut out from the bottom of the table back to the bottom to cover the hole. You can also use glue or something else to hold the cable in place so it doesn't get pulled out of the pad
- Plug in the pad into an outlet, and put your phone down on top of the spot where the pad it. Voila - you're magically charging.

I hope to get some video/pics up soon and will link to them.

Deals/Deal Requests / Under Armour outlet 30% of $50+ and FS
« on: November 27, 2019, 04:07:22 PM »
Use Code Turkey30

15 is having a black friday sale from 11/25 to 12/2. Some of the items on sale:

Vantage V Titan - was $599, now $419
Vantage V - was $499, now $349 (neon orange color is 299)
Vantage M - was $280, now $195 (neon green color is $167, and comes with a second woven wrist strap).

(edit, some additional features):
All 3 have GPS, sports tracking, 24/7 heart rate tracking, sleep tracking, and smart phone notifications (i.e. when your phone is nearby and gets a text, it shows up on your watch).

The V/V Titan are a little more advanced and geared to tri-athletes. They also have running power measurement, and advanced recovery tracking.

the V Titan is made of titanium and is a little sturdier and lighter.

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