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Topics - thaber

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Tech Talk / Master Thread of Halachic Smart Homes
« on: November 12, 2018, 01:17:07 PM »
A thread to discuss all aspects of Smart Homes. This is becoming more and more relevant

Previous threads:  - Cameras - Doorbells - Cameras - Refrigerators

Anyone have a source for bulk Hotel Style Soap / Shampoo/ COnditioner etc? there's a lot of places online, but hard to tell quality and what's the right price.

Tech Talk / Kosher Phone - US edition
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:53:17 PM »
All the other threads are Israeli :)
If my daughter's camp wants her to get a kosher phone, what does that mean? talk and text only?
Should I get a sprint $15 plan, or is there a better way?

Tech Talk / In car wifi solutions
« on: March 21, 2018, 02:05:56 AM »
Anyone have any experiences to share?

Trip Reports / Huntington Beach and San Diego getaway TR
« on: March 09, 2018, 03:09:00 AM »
OK people, I just spent an hour writing a TR, and lost it. Don't know if that motivation is going to come back. it was nicely set up, pictures in appropriate places and all, you'll have to take my word for it :)

here's the cliff notes version - stayed in HB Hyatt, got a nice upgrade and some treife b'day treats. Stayed in the SD Manchester Hyatt penthouse booked in last years price mistake, was an unbelievable room (apartment), with office, kitchen, dining room, LR and 3 bathrooms, got a beautiful welcome basket and birthday card and gift, and the kicker was the large, delicious, kosher birthday cake, personalized and all. Videos and pictures here:






after you spend $220,000 on qualifying purchases with your enrolled Card between the time you enroll and 08/31/20181.


after you spend $75,000 on qualifying purchases with your enrolled Card by 08/31/2018.

Up In The Air / AAdvantage Gold Status free (targeted)
« on: January 15, 2018, 01:09:37 AM »
just got this targeted offer. not sure what its value is

Up In The Air / Hawaii Sale from LAX $358 RT
« on: January 02, 2018, 06:57:02 PM »

Deals/Deal Requests / Krispy Kreme BOGO (buy a dozen get a Dozen) 12/15
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:58:15 AM »

In time for Chanukah :) It's an old list, so check the store for hashgacha

Deals/Deal Requests / Inspiron 13 Touch
« on: October 11, 2017, 12:37:26 AM »

On The Road / Amex vs Costco Car Rental
« on: July 17, 2017, 10:16:20 PM »
Just saw this on reddit and thought it seemed really weird. Anyone have any similar experience?
I've been a big advocate for using Costco to rent cars. Always have gotten the best deals. Until yesterday.[/i][/font]
[/color]Two different trips, I used my Amex Biz Plat portal to book the same car that I'd already reserved on the Costco site. The cost on the Amex site looked like more by a few dozen bucks. But, once I confirmed the purchase, Amex said "The price has changed" and it had dropped enough that it was cheaper than the Costco rental. Same with the second rental: appeared more expensive but the price dropped at confirmation.

Trip Reports / Grand Canyon / Sedona quick trip
« on: June 25, 2017, 01:43:54 AM »

We were coming from LAX and debated driving (9 hours) or flying to PHX and driving up. Ultimately decided on flying for a number of reasons, primarily because we had someone to watch our 2 and 4 year olds, but we could only be away for one night. Kids also did not want to sit in the car that long.
We flew SW from BUR-PHX for 10K RR points a seat RT, transferred from UR.
BUR was a mechaya compared to LAX, and I would recommend it highly, all things being equal.
Landed at 11am, brutal 120-degree heat. Everything went smoothly, to the rental shuttle, to FOX, which I had booked through, and was by far the cheapest, I could find.
There are not that many cars in PHX in the summertime, kind of like Florida. Therefore, selection is limited, but I was given the choice between a sienna with 30K miles and a caravan with 5k. Took the caravan. Was nice, but sadly missing basic things like usb ports.
Called Segalís on the way and put in an order for dinner (figured it would stay warm in the car). Service was nice and efficient, food was almost ready when I got there, and wrapped well etc.
Moved on to La Belle Pizzeria, called on the way (5-minute drive) to order, and added a few things. Have to say Ė this was a first-rate pizzeria, excellent food, and good service. Would not be out of place in a much larger city. We got pizza (very thin crust) baked ziti, garlic knots (with cheese, new for me, but good) Greek salad, Capri salad and stuffed portabella mushrooms. All good and highly recommended.
We ate there, and then hit the road for the canyon, going the highway route. Nondescript drive up.
We had made reservations at the Holiday INN express in GC village, I prefer name brand, point-bearing hotels, and wanted to be as close as possible. It was the only one that fit the bill. Paid cash, $250 a room, two rooms next door to each other. We stopped off, checked in, put our stuff and food in the rooms, and were off to the canyon.
No line at the entrance (it was about 430 pm by now) and paid the $30 admission and were in. right off the bat it was much more foresty, and we saw numerous elk in the woods, on the side and middle of the road. Magnificent.
2017-06-20 17.13.51,
It was cooler there than Phoenix, a balmy 105, but that was at the rim. In the canyon was much much hotter, and the Park Service made it clear that it was suicidal to hike at all. So therefore, we did what we would have done anyway but with no guilt conscience ;D , and drove around.
We went first to Mather Point, and made an Oseh Maaseh Bereishis. The grandeur of the canyon cannot be captured in words, pictures, or videos, you have to see it. Absolutely stunning.
2017-06-20 17.43.38
We spent some time at Mather Point, and then drove to the general market where we got some more drinks, bathrooms, souvenirs, etc. Sunset is at about eight, and by this time it was about 645, so we headed over to Yavapai point, a little early for sunset, but got parking and good positioning.
We had asked around, and although the differences are slight, Yavapai seems to get the most panoramic view, since it juts out.
Again, this shkiah is indescribable and I will not try. Definitely bucket list worthy. Sunset is supposed to be better, but 5am was not happening.
2017-06-20 19.28.14
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Driving out of the park, we saw numerous additional elk, which was a lot of fun.
2017-06-20 19.47.34
Went back to the hotel, ate the Segalís food, which I donít want to review because it wouldnít be fair to do so, being as we ate it at room temperature 10 hours after it was prepared. It did the trick. Took a walk down the block to the Texaco to get some drinks, and declined the available snacks.
2017-06-20 21.02.02 2017-06-20 21.02.34
Wednesday morning, everyone felt that it was unnecessary to go back to the canyon (it really only needs a couple hours when traveling with kids. We went to the IMAX, had a bunch of coupons, and was very economical. Very interesting and informative, not much kefirah age of the world wise, and a little bit of Indian pritzus at the beginning. Worthwhile in my opinion, gives you a much broader perspective than seeing the canyon.
We then drove back to Phoenix, via Sedona. We took the 89A, which was undergoing a ton of construction, looks like they are turning a lot of it into a 4 lane from a 2 lane, but today it was a one lane. Then it turned into one of the most magnificent roads I have ever driven. You want to just stop the car every few minutes and take pictures. I believe it is called the Oak Creek Canyon, and I read that it is as close as you can get to driving through the Grand Canyon, totally hear that.
2017-06-21 13.37.07
89A runs into Sedona, which is beautiful. It added so much to our trip, I would not recommend doing the GC without it, and made me happy that we choose to fly over drive Ė we never would have seen it.
We did not get out of the car in Sedona (other than Baskin Ė Robbins). The mercury was at 115, a pink jeep tour in that did not sound like fun, and they wouldnít allow my 9 month old anyway. If the weather had been cooler, we would have considered it.
We then drove from Sedona back to the 17 via route 179, a beautiful Scenic drive of the Sedona Mountains.
Went straight to Kitchen 18 for dinner, food was great, portions were large and we were all happy. Before tip, the price was the same as Segalís to feed the family.
Back to PHX, returned the car, and I am writing this draft on the return flight to BUR. All in all a great trip. Thank you to @aarony for his recommendations and to DDF for the inspiration!

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