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Topics - noturbizniss

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https://psegmarketplace.com/

Ecobee 3 lite and Nest E are both $19 after $150 instant rebate
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Residential PSE&G customers receive an instant $150 rebate on the purchase of a qualifying smart thermostat from the PSE&G Marketplace. Limit: Two thermostat rebates per customer.
   
HT:@shael on facebook

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Trip Reports / Noturbizniss's 10th anniversary trip to Italy
« on: July 30, 2018, 09:26:44 AM »
Part 1 - planning and first few hours.

First off, much thanks have to go to Dan for getting me into the miles game and to all the folks who helped me make decisions about flights and itineraries and other technicalities (@@yehuda, @EJB, @Yehoshua @kangaruu, @marcopolo, @DrMoose and anyone else I may have forgot.

A few months ago my wife decided we should go away in the summer as we had not been on a real vacation since our honeymoon.  (I later realized that oh yeah! It’s our tenth anniversary!). We got the OK from both sets of parents to take the kids for half a week or so each, I got the OK from work (which of course means nothing when senior management changes budget timelines, but then changes it again and everything works out).

The question we then had was where to go.  As this was the first time leaving our kids for more than a couple days we did not want to go more than 8 or so hours away via direct flight, so that basically removed Hawaii and Asia. I browsed the forums and DDFB and first thought that Panama would be great, but upon further research decided that there is no reason to leave sweaty humid NY to go to sweaty humid Miami Beach, Central America version.

I don’t remember when it was decided or became an option, but in the end we decided on Italy. Yes, I know, it is damn hot here too in July, but there is so much to do and it is so different than NY that we decided to go for it.

While I have been playing the CC game for nigh on 7 years and have a few millions points across the banks/airlines, I never have actually flown premium. I didn’t know the first place to start and I didn’t want to be a massive nudge. A friend suggested I try a website called Juicy Miles that assists with award ticket booking. I believe they charged $200 or $250 per couple.  I paid it, and in the end I did a lot of the work myself, but I got a lot of pointers and recommendations from them and it also helped with grabbing an SQ flight overnight when I slept because the points take between 1 and 100 hours to post.

In the end we booked Sunday evening EWR-FCO on LH J with a ~4 hour stop in FRA then arrive at noon FCO, spend 2 nights in Rome at the Pantheon Iconic Hotel Autograph Collection.  Train to Florence Wednesday evening, stay at __ one night, then rent a car and go to Terra di Seta for a tour Thursday AM, then drive to Cantina Giuliano for wine tour, then cooking class and dinner and stay overnight. Back to Florence Fri AM, if there is time do some Florency things then train to Venice for Shabbos with meals at GamGam restaurant and fly Venice to FRA Monday evening and SQ J FRA-JFK Tuesday AM.

Awards being what they are, a few weeks later I saw LH out of JFK open up that got us in at about 930 giving us more time so I called the United reservation line and asked to switch flights (told them it was 10th anniversary), and the woman changed the flights with no change fee.

While I had never flown premium cabin I really wanted  to grab LH F if it as available, however in the 2 weeks before nothing was opening up, and about 5 days before while search for F, I saw a direct UA flight open up for 60K (vs 70K on LH), and also get in at 7:45 AM. That would allow us to get our Jewish Ghetto tour on the first day instead of the originally planned third day.  I called the reservation line again and the agent said there would be a change fee and he could not waive it. Needless to say I HUCA’d and the next agent was able to waive it on the grounds that when I first booked this flight was not available so as a courtesy he would waive the fee. While I was and am disappointed we didn’t get LH F, the saving of 100k miles, direct flight, earlier arrival (and $30 lower taxes!!!) really left me no choice but to take it. I had already saved a KSMl with LH and when the agent switched to UA he also added the KSML. The next day (Thursday I believe) I logged into my account on UA and made sure the KSML was there (spoiler alert: it wasn’t on the flight).

Sunday afternoon, after cancelling the first UBER due to not having enough room in the Corolla for our luggage (and having the same guy take my trip 4 more times before getting a camry that fit) we arrived at EWR 2 hours before the flight.  Going through Polaris check in and Security was a breeze (even with my sneaker somehow not making it through the X-Ray (they found it right away) – I did have pre check, but somehow still needed the shoes to come off).

We proceeded to the Polaris lounge where they allowed me to open a new bottle of kosher wine and pour for myself and my wife.  After another glass for her and a glass of Balvenie doublewood for me we realized boarding had already started and made our way to gate C136 (of course it was at the very end of the terminal).

We breezed past the boarding line as was our rightful DUE and turned LEFT to our seats (should have made a shehecheyanu!!), 8A and 8B. Unfortunately they were right by the galley and kind of noisy, however there was nothing else available as we had booked so late.  The captain was going around talking to all the superior passengers in J and introduced himself (Greg something). I asked him about the radio broadcast via the entertainment system that I had read about from years ago, and he said he would make sure to turn it on if he could (he did, at least for departure, and I truly geeked out!) Sure I can listen on various apps (never have), but it’s not the same when you hear your flight given directions to turn sharp right to heading three six zero and climb and maintain one five thousand, and then immediately see and feel the plane bank right and the engines rev up for the climb!  Unfortunately the radio was not on once we crossed the atlantic.
Anyway, the FA came by with a drink ( given my significant buzz I opted for OJ at first). A few minutes later (5 mintues before departure) the lead FA came over to say that our KSML was not on board. She was prepared to order one from the kitchen and hold the plane for a half hour but I knew we had the 10AM tour and we didn’t want to be the ones causing the plane to be delayed. We also had brought left over sous vide ribeye sandwiches from Shabbos so we figured we’d be fine. (Thanks Dan for being adamant to ALWAYS BYOKSML). She offered us $200 UA credit or 10k miles (not sure if it was per person or not), but I figured I’d email united to see if they’d offer more. If not I’ll take the $200.

Given that we had a very busy day planned I ate as soon as we took off and then tried to go to sleep.  For whatever reason, neither me nor my wife were able to get much sleep. I don’t know if it was the noise, or the seats/beds weren’t the most comfortable, or they weren’t that roomy, but we were not impressed much. Obviously it was way better than Y, but still, we were hoping for some siginificant shut eye.

Amazingly (for EWR), the plane pushed back, taxied to runway 22R ( I think), and took off immediately. We ended up landing 35 minutes early as well.  We got our stuff headed off and prepared ourselves for a possible hour plus wait at passport control.

As we were lining up we heard a woman calling all passengers with passports from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and about 7 or 8 other countries, to go to the left. When we reached the passport area, we were instructed to place the passport face down on a scanner (same one they used for check in and security), then walked through a gate and looked at a camera for a few seconds (no glasses or hat), and then had another gate open to admit us. We stopped at one more customs agent for a quick stamp then were off to get our luggage (belt 11, the very last one of course!).  By the time we made our way there, the luggage was out, so we ended up waiting about 7 minutes for our Uber.

PSA – if you have credit from Visa Local Offers, they do NOT work for transactions billed in Euros.

The uber ride took almost an hour due to traffic however we had plenty of time to check in, have our luggage held (room wasn’t ready), then headed to  the ghetto for some food and coffee and our tour. We weren’t sure how to determine what was kosher but happened to bump into David right outside Pasticceria Boccione so I asked him. He also directed us to where to get some coffee.
We got the ricotta and cherry cake or thingy (sorry no pics) and a powdery puff thing, then went 2 doors down to Bar Toto for some amazing cold coffee (pre mixed somehow) and they added milk. They have sweetened and unsweetened.  The ricotta cake was great, but the other things were so so.

Off to head out to Su Ghetto and Segway tour now. Will try to post more later or at least add some pictures.

Other quick thoughts until more detail:

David Walden’s ghetto tour. Great personality, but he’s a bit too yeshivish in his presentation and definitely comes off somewhat condescending toward the non-jews through history. Will try to expand later on.

On the agenda for tonight: Cooking class at Su Ghetto and then Rex Tours Rome by night segway


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Deals/Deal Requests / Strabucks: buy a Frappuccino get 165 stars
« on: July 24, 2018, 01:42:39 PM »
Enough for a free drink. Purchase must be made between 7/24 and 7/30

AYLOR about kashrus status

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General Discussion / Framless sliding bathtub doors
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:49:42 PM »
I would like to get sliding glass doors for my bathtub, but i don't want a track on the bottom as it hurts to step on or lean on when washing kids. I see framless doors, but how do those keep water from escaping the tub?

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General Discussion / Usps tracking down
« on: May 24, 2018, 07:10:16 PM »
Major pita ?s=09

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Goods For Sale/Trade / Netflix Gift cards
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:33:25 PM »
Looking to buy netflix gift cards, any denominations, up to $100 total

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General Discussion / Backyard vegetable Gardening
« on: February 19, 2018, 10:48:31 AM »
I want to start growing vegetables in my backyard this summer. Any tips, advice, etc?
Figure i'd do tomatoes, strawberries, maybe peppers, lettuce or kale, and what else?
best way to start?
best way to maintain?
prep soil?
lets talk!

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Just Shmooze / Chinese on Christmas eve or day
« on: December 24, 2017, 11:26:11 PM »
This probably belongs in the halacha thread, but I'm sure some people would get offended.
I'm seeing many people posting today on Facebook pictures of their Chinese food and commenting that they are yotzeh the din of nittul nacht. I was under the impression the mitzvah is on the 25th בדוקה, because that's the day when all the other restaurants are closed. On Christmas eve, most are still open till at least late afternoon,so there's a legitimate אפשרות that you can get food other than Chinese, so בסתמה, there's no specific mitzvah of Chinese on the 24th.
ו
Can we get a clear cut psak?
My LOR is for sure not learning tonight, so I can't ask him such a טיפ question right now, so I have no choice but to turn to the למדנים ולייצנים on ddf.

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Just Shmooze / Merry Christmas to all (those celebrating tomorrow!)
« on: December 24, 2017, 10:36:07 PM »
And to all a good night!

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Deals/Deal Requests / Empire Kosher turkeys 2.49/lb at trader joes
« on: November 12, 2017, 12:15:50 PM »
They have them every year for this price, at least in the NY area.
It's empire branded in tjs packaging.

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General Discussion / Illegal gun murder
« on: November 05, 2017, 09:38:33 PM »
Let's start a track of all killings with illegal guns. Especially in cities with rigorous gum control/bans.

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I was not cheated, however i did sell over 60 att offers to a ddfer. they had me pay 6 different brand new accounts across multiple days. 2 of the accounts ended up getting cancelled for fraud or something and one got refunded to my cards (10). the other one (15 refunds) took more fighting by the ddfer. Everything was eventually refunded and offers clawed back. I was able to resell the offers, so I luckily did not lose out on the money.
While i should have clearly decided to sell elsewhere as something very shady was happening, i did not. I am sorely tempted to post the ddfer publicly to warn others, however i did not actually lose anything other than some time and frustration.
What say yall? If consensus is that i should say nothign and even take down the OP i will do so.

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General Discussion / Sous Vide Master thread
« on: May 04, 2017, 11:46:05 AM »
Many people have mentioned or asked about a sous vide thread. Figured I may as well jump on it. After all if anyone can open a dedicated thread discussing why THEY didn't get the welcome bonus then I cam open a thread about a heavily discussed topic.



For starters, serious eats and chef steps have great recipes and explanations.

   

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Just Shmooze / Help @carterjwm get a year's supply of wendy's nuggets!
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:42:35 PM »
https://twitter.com/i/moments/850391787579559940

This man needs 18 million retweets for a year's supply of nuggets
Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy's how many retweets he would need for the lofty snack goal - but the response has turned the teenager into a global hero on a mission that many are trying to support. #NuggsForCarter

Direct link to tweet -

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