Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member.

Topics - JudahMcB

Pages: [1]
General Discussion / Israeli Payment Apps for Foreigners
« on: September 09, 2020, 06:02:52 PM »
I have a daughter in seminary this year who needs to send/receive money to/from her Israeli roommates. They don't have Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, etc. - they only use Pay ( or PayBox ( AFAIK, both of these apps require a bank account in Israel and ask for a mispar zehut when you sign up. Anyone have experience getting around this without opening a bank account in Israel? She already has a Schwab debit card with free ATM withdrawals but I'd rather not have her have to get cash all the time. Any other suggestions?

Just Shmooze / Do Higher-End BBQ Grills Make Food Taste Better?
« on: August 14, 2020, 03:40:40 PM »
I've been wondering this for some time and was hoping to get some insight from the DDF community. Does the same exact quality meat cooked on a $2,000 gas grill taste better than if cooked on a $200 gas grill? I've always assumed (maybe I read somewhere) that the science behind a good grilled steak is determined by the consistency and high temperature of the grill. Assuming that a cheap grill can reach and maintain 500-550 degrees, is there any reason why it can't cook a "great" steak?

I've never owned an expensive (i.e., Weber or similar) gas grill, yet I've cooked some fantastic steaks in my lifetime. I've also had steaks grilled on friends' expensive grills and they are about the same. This spring I bought a huge Char-Broil 6-burner grill for under $200 at Lowes and it has been amazing. The same size grill by Weber or another high end manufacturer would have cost me over $2,500. Sure, the Weber would probably last much longer, is easier to clean, has fewer flare ups and has some other nice features, but do any of them affect the taste of the food it cooks?

Is it fair to compare this to a discussion about luxury cars? A BMW is nice to drive, but at the end of the day, a Honda Civic will get you to where you need to go in the same amount of time. I can definitely see the value of a luxury car over a standard one. But take all of the "luxury features" out of the car (and the status that accompanies them) and you are left with 4 wheels and an engine. Is the same true for gas grills? So what are you getting for the extra $2,000 besides a nameplate?

Note that I'm not asking if it's worth it to you to spend the extra money on a high-end grill - that's a whole different thread. I'm just asking if it makes the food taste different? And if so, why?

Looking for some trip planning advice for an epic 7-day Arizona & Utah RV roadtrip in June with the family (5 kids ages 17, 15, 13, 10 and 9). Ive spent a few months reading TRs to build the general outline. We plan to start and end the trip in LAS and hope to either spend shabbat in LAS and leave on Sunday or leave LAS in the middle of the week and spend shabbat in PHX.

My kids are mildly adventurous but I feel like they will get bored if all we do is hike a different national park every day - unless the parks really vary greatly. Any suggestions for unusual or interesting stops along the way to keep them interested would be great.

Day 1
  • Las Vegas - pick up RV (will get a late start since we need to pick up the RV, return car rental and buy supplies for the trip)
  • Hoover Dam Tour
  • Stay in RV park in Kingman

Day 2
  • Bearizona Wildlife Park (the kids love animals)
  • Slide Rock State Park - swimming, water slide
  • Sedona Pink Jeep Tour
  • Lowell Observatory (night) - only if we are not exhausted at this point
  • Stay in RV park in Flagstaff

Day 3
  • Grand Canyon South Rim - possible bike tour. (yes, I know, many people say GC is overrated but cant go to that part of the US and just skip GC)
  • Stay at Trailer Village RV Park in Grand Canyon

Day 4
  • Antelope Canyon tour
  • Lake Powell - rent a boat, fishing, jetski
  • Stay at RV park near Page

Day 5
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes
  • Zion National Park - not sure if we are up for The Narrows hike. Will be a gametime decision. If not then probably Emerald Pools Trail.
  • Stay at Zion River Resort or Watchman Campground in Zion

Day 6
  • Bryce Canyon National Park - Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop hike.
    Valley of Fire
  • Return to Las Vegas

I plan to ask questions about specific sites in their appropriate threads, but I have some general questions below:

  • Any glaring issues with the proposed itinerary? Are there any must-dos that Im missing? Would you recommend a completely different route?
  • Are there any road access issues with a 30-32 long RV for this itinerary? I am aware of the Mt. Carmel Tunnel near Zion. Any other route that may prove difficult with a large RV?

General Discussion / Travel To/From Israel Without Passport?
« on: July 03, 2019, 09:39:15 AM »
I have a friend who has dual Israeli and American citizenship. He went to the Israeli consulate in NY to renew his expired Israeli passport a few weeks ago and got a notification that it is ready for pickup. He went to the consulate early last week to pick it up but found out that the consulate is closed due to a worker strike. He's flying to Israel next week and the consulate is still closed. He doesn't have his newly issued passport and he had to hand in his expired Israeli passport in order to apply for the renewal.

Any suggestions on what he can do in advance? Will Israel let him into the country with his US passport given that he is an Israeli citizen? Will they give him a hard time leaving the country? Any way to avoid going to the passport office in Israel during his trip to get another passport issued? See section Can I enter and exit Israel with my foreign passport?

Credit Cards And Finance / MCO Visa Cards
« on: June 05, 2019, 02:30:13 PM »
Anyone have any experience with MCO Visa cards?

There are 5 different offerings, ranging from 1% to 5% cash back on all spend with no AF and the top 2 cards include free Spotify, Netflix, 10% off Expedia, lounge access and more. From what I can tell, you need to maintain a certain minimum balance of MCO (their own cryptocurrency) with them to qualify for the higher tier cards. Unless I'm missing something, seems too good to be true. I can't find a lot of detail from anyone who has actually used the card (seems like they launched in the US just last month but they have been issuing cards in Singapore for a while). Does a "5,000 MCO Stake" mean you need to invest ~$30K USD (at ~$6 per MCO token current market value) to qualify for the Icy White card?  Or am I completely misunderstanding how it works?

ETA: Looks like not available in US yet.

General Discussion / Expedia Hotel Price Guarantee Claim
« on: July 27, 2018, 04:58:16 PM »
I booked a non-refundable boutique hotel with Expedia. A few days later the exact same itinerary went down by $60. I filed a Hotel Price Guarantee Claim with Expedia and 3 days later they rejected it, claiming that the lower price includes free breakfast but my existing reservation doesn't. However, my existing reservation does include free breakfast. I responded with an explanation and screenshot of the breakfast inclusion but 10 days later l got no response. I also reached out to them via Twitter and they say it's handled by a different department and they can't help me.

Any suggestions or ideas how to follow up with Expedia Price Match claims since Customer Care isn't helping? Any other advice?

Looking for some advice on how best to experience a rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center on July 31st with my 9yr old son. Option #1 is to purchase VIP launch viewing tickets in advance ($20-$40 each, depending on location, plus $50 for Visitor Center admission), head to KSC early on launch day, tour the visitor center complex in the morning, take the bus to the viewing area in the afternoon and watch the launch. The disadvantages to this approach I am told are:
  The Visitor Center will be packed and lines will be long on launch day
  The bus to and from the viewing area can take several hours, especially post launch and then have to deal with the congestion leaving the visiting center parking area
  If the launch is scrubbed after being bused to the viewing area you do not get a refund
  If the launch is scrubbed before being bused to the viewing area the tickets are good for another launch for up to 120 days. Realistically however, I've already booked my flights and can't make it back again to Florida later in the year so this is most likely a sunk cost.

The advantage however is you get to see the actual liftoff from the launch pad, not just when the rocket emerges from the horizon/tree line like you would if you watch outside KSC or from the Visitor Center parking lot.

Option #2 is to visit KSC a day or two before the launch. Lines will be shorter and if you take the bus tour you can see the rocket on the launch pad from about 1.5mi away (is this true?). On the day of the launch I've been told it's almost as good watching for free from a spot along the coast a few miles from KSC while listening to the launch commentary on the radio. And you won't be as disappointed if they scrub the launch.

Option #3 is a combination of the two: visit the KSC Visitor Center on launch day but leave by early afternoon to find a spot in Port Canaveral to watch the actual launch. This theoretically avoids most of the eastbound traffic getting from Orlando to Cape Canaveral (not a single person I spoke to who tried going over CH"M Pesach actually made it due to very heavy traffic both from Orlando and Miami) and avoids having to make the trip from Orlando twice in 2 days.

Can anyone who has experienced a launch at KSC comment on which you would recommend? I found just one launch TR:

If you recommend #2 or #3, where is the best place to view a launch from Complex 37 (Google maps coordinates would be great). And how early should I show up? Any other tips? Thanks.

Pages: [1]