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Ephraim Dickstein
Lives in Montreal, QC
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Ephraim Dickstein
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General Discussion  - 
 
I just ordered a product from China and I was wondering if other people might be interested. Now, don't jump to conclusions... so read all the way through...

This is intended for the desktop or the floor. It has 2 USB chargers and 3 Universal Plugs. It plugs into a standard North American socket at 110/120V @ 60Hz. I realize a lot of people have never seen a universal socket, but a standard North American plug fits in, but so do European and English plugs, heck, even the weird Aussie plugs fit in. So even if they forgot their adapter at home, they can still plug in.

The reason I ordered this is that I can place it on the desk to nightstand and the guests don't have to move furniture, don't have to get on the floor looking for plugs, it's right there for them.

I recently read an article from some people who travel often that said that what they most wanted after wi-fi in their room was to be able to find the plugs without having to move the furniture. 

So I ordered a few of these for ourselves. I realize that I get about a third of my guests from outside of North America. I get a lot of people that need USB adapters and I have a few in each room and yet they can't seem to find them. I can't yet report on reactions to this product, but I'm wondering how many might be interested and if there is enough interest for me to talk to the manufacturer. Would you prefer it have 2 North American outlets and 1 universal? 2 levels, so you can have more plugs? What say ye.....?
1
Mark Stephens's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photo
15 comments
 
Yeah, that's not my International crowd... top of my list are France, then Germany and the UK. After that, my list includes Spanish, Italians, Swiss, Belgians, Finnish, Chinese, Australia, New Zealand... people who can't travel here from home in a CAR.

In fact in the last week we have had Spanish, Chinese and New Zealand guests.
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

AirBnB  - 
A homeowner found out the hard way that not all vacation rental companies have the same policies when it comes to covering losses from damage or theft. Carmen Carrubba's very first guests vandalized her home, but HomeAway says it doesn't cover costs and that homeowners are responsible for screening guests.
1
Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast's profile photoStacy Kistler's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photoChloe Tuttle's profile photo
5 comments
 
with VRBO (Home Away) You are given the choice of taking the insurance. I guess with Air BnB it is built in. If those folks elected NOT to take the insurance then I think it is their fault. I have insurance and I pay dearly
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

General Discussion  - 
In the past, most recently in 2013, Coca-Cola has experimented with the idea of vending machines that adjust prices according to the temperature. The idea really bothers some people, but fixed pric...
1
Brian Slind's profile photoStacy Kistler's profile photochris swaap's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photo
8 comments
 
+Stacy Kistler Kohl's has those electronic tags, so they can dynamically change the price at any time, including once you take it and before you bring it to the cash. 

The stupidest thing is that to get the discounts, I had to get a Kohl's card, even though I'm on the other side of the border. So I pay with my card, I then pay my card at the cash. And they still have to mail me a statement showing that I have a $0 balance. So I get a discount and a statement for using a Kohl's card that I don't need, don't want and don't really use.
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

Tripadvisor  - 
 
Poll #5 - TripAdvisor

Do you pay to have your website and your phone number listed?
50 votes  -  votes visible to Public
Yes
48%
No
44%
Goobye at renewal
8%
1
Mike Venturini's profile photochris moreno's profile photoIvy Terrace's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photo
9 comments
 
+Ivy Terrace Yes... they will discuss price. But they also have a nasty habit of asking to see your data... like they believe they have a right to see your ADR and Google Analytics.
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

General Discussion  - 
 
Of the people on here who use Google Analytics... can you verify for me if you are using Classic or Universal?

Here is how you check... does your analytics code say ga.js (classic) or analytics.js (universal)
11 votes  -  votes visible to Public
Classic (ga.js)
27%
Universal (analytics.js)
64%
Don't use analytics / What's this?
9%
1
Ephraim Dickstein's profile photochris swaap's profile photo
12 comments
 
+Ephraim Dickstein 

 " I want to see who's buying. I need to see who buys and from where." - Not sure I am am bothered about 'who is buying' or to see 'who is buys' as I know that from the booking data but I would be very interested in knowing from where. As far as I can tell this information just isn't available any longer (since Google encrypted search). How do you find out where people who have booked come from?

I tend to use the data differently. I am more interested in looking to see where people have navigated to and what choices they have made and ideally why they haven't booked. Those that have booked I would love to know where they have come from but more interestingly I would like to know why those that came to our page didn't book - a very difficult question to answer. If we didn't have any availability that is fine (I can see this through our search stats), but if it was because our site was difficult to navigate or they couldn't find the info they needed then I can do something about that.

I could easily drop some code on our booking request page so Analytics's could 'track' the booking data but I already get that data from the booking request so it seems a bit pointless
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

General Discussion  - 
 
A Mason County Sheriff's Office deputy stood by as 30 people were ordered by the property manager to pack their bags and leave the America's Best Value Inn , 5095 U.S. 10, in Pere Marquette Township. Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said it all started over the hotel's waffle maker around 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 24.
3
Stacy Kistler's profile photoMark Stephens's profile photoUniversity Avenue Bed and Breakfast's profile photo
11 comments
 
+Mark Stephens, for places like yours, I don't have a problem with a buffet style because just as you say, it cuts down on time and money in addition to the shear amount of people you would have to accommodate at a table.  However, if you only have 2-4 rooms, its a lame excuse for not making a decent meal which is what we encountered. The inn we stayed at only had 4 (or maybe it was 5) rooms and it was scrambled eggs (from a box I'm sure), overcooked sausage patties, mini muffins from Costco and a large fruit bowl.
I asked the owner if that was normal breakfast and he said sometimes he also did biscuits and gravy or a Eggs Benedict- all of which was served buffet style. He rarely did pancakes or waffles because he said he tried it and they didn't taste too good because maybe the dried out too fast in the warmers.
His reason for doing it was because he had a side job of working at a gym and taught two early morning workout classes.  What he would do is just fix everything, leave it in the large buffet warmers and let the guests help themselves whenever they wanted to eat.  He was divorced and it was his wife who wanted to own a B&B and after their divorce (she left to move back to Arizona or maybe New Mexico, the B&B was South of Everett, WA near Whidbey Island, cold and damp compared to where she grew up) he bought her out and went ahead and kept running it.
He either closed or maybe I don't remember the name of the place. I tried to look it up but couldn't find it.  We know some people who are part of the Seattle B&B Guild, maybe I can ask one of them what happened to it. It was back in 2004 when I went there.  My wife and I had driven up to see a pro football game in Seattle and stayed the weekend at the place while driving around Puget Sound.
So if I have offended you +Mark Stephens, my sincere apologies, I have seen your place and hope to someday get back over New England someday.  :-)
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Have him in circles
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

Twitter  - 
 
Interesting article.... don't tweet during the work day!

http://lifehacker.com/these-are-the-best-times-to-tweet-for-maximum-engagemen-1714020784
If you’re looking to expand your follower base and get more retweets, favorites, and clicks, it all comes down to timing. According to a massive four-year study, these time windows are the best times to get more engagement with your tweets.
1
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

Tripadvisor  - 
 
Anyone else having trouble with the reporting in TripAdvisor's TripConnect? We seem to get a graph with no clicks and yet the next page reports and bills for clicks. I'm starting to wonder if there is something suspicious about this? I've tried tech support for TripAdvisor and it's over 2 weeks and they still have "fixed" the problem. They did once send us someone else's data! Anyone else seeing this?
1
Mark Stephens's profile photoCaldwell House Bed and Breakfast's profile photo
18 comments
 
I'll tally it up but I'm pretty sure most of them were.
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

Recipes  - 
 
Rugelach Recipe

I generally use weights and not measures, because it is more precise. So you will need a kitchen scale for this. The recipe will work in ounces or grams, but note that there is a difference in sizes between Canada and the US when it comes to cream cheese, so Canadians will have a little cream cheese left over from a package. (If you are used to cooking with a kitchen scale, like me, this will save you so many dishes to clean off! Just measure into the mixing bowl)

Dough

230 grams room temperature cream cheese (8 ounces US)
230 grams unsalted room temperature butter (8 ounces US)
50 grams sugar (1.75 ounces US (1/4 cup))
4 grams pure vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
250 grams all-purpose flour (8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put the butter and cream cheese into a mixer and cream together for a few minutes until light and creamy. Stop the mixer and add the sugar and vanilla, slowly start to beat together. Finally add the flour and salt, mix slowly until fully incorporated. 

Divide the dough evenly into 4 balls, flatten ball slightly, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Take out the dough from the refrigerator, lay out a layer of cling film, sprinkle with icing sugar put the dough on top and another layer of cling film and roll out into a 25 cm circle (9 inches). Don't worry about the edges being even. Put whatever filling you want inside... my favourite is actually poppy seed filling, but just a little apricot jam, pralines with cinnamon, it's up to you (just nothing to liquid, it will gush out when rolling. Try to get the filling close to the ends, but leave some space so you can roll. If you want the filling more even, put cling wrap on and roll the filling around onto the disc.

Cut the disc into 8 for larger rugelach or 16 for minis just like a pizza. Then take each piece and roll from the outside to the inside forming the shape of a croissant (crescent). Place on a baking sheet with the point underneath. Don't worry, they don't expand much when baking, so you don't need too much space between them. Refrigerate for an hour before baking for about 30 to 40 minutes in a 180c (350f) degree oven.

If you want to make the rugelach later, you can freeze the dough as disks., just defrost and use. But even better.... make the rugelach, instead of putting the tray into the fridge to cool off before baking, put into the freezer and freeze them, RTB (ready-to-bake). Add about 10 minutes to the baking time when you bake them.

If you want a great poppyseed recipe, go to http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/hamantaschen-with-poppy-seeds-for-purim.html for one. Incidentally, you can use the same dough as for Rugelach to make Hamantashen, just roll and cut in circles and fold as shown in the dummies book. If you are feeling like you want to make them fancy.... fold over 1 side, then the 2nd side, but fold the 3rd half over and half under so that it has a pinwheel effect.
1
Mark Stephens's profile photoStacy Kistler's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photo
3 comments
 
Yeah +Stacy Kistler "Cream Cheese Spirals" is the goyish version of Rugelach and the nuts is a standard filling. So are poppy seeds, apricot jam and raspberry jam. 

I find that creaming "whipping" the butter and cream cheese together makes them so smooth.

Some people even roll out the hole roll, fill and cut thin to make pinwheel cookies to resemble what we can in Quebec "pets de soeurs" (Nun's farts... yes, I'm serious!) Look them up on the web.
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

AirBnB  - 
 
I illegally rented my apartment on AirBnB and now I'm getting sued... once for the subsidized apartment that I illegally rented out and another time for hiding the money from her divorce.

But I'm a poor artist....

http://nypost.com/2015/05/13/artist-who-rented-apartment-on-airbnb-facing-multiple-legal-woes/
A New York painter who admitted to illegally subletting her rent-stabilized apartment on Airbnb is now whining that the move is hurting her in two costly ­legal battles. “I’m a starving artist,” Ei...
4
Stacy Kistler's profile photoUniversity Avenue Bed and Breakfast's profile photo
2 comments
 
Oh Boo Hoo....
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

Tripadvisor  - 
 
Did you get a 50% increase in your ADR last year? I didn't! That's how much TripAdvisor put up our rates... 50%! 

Are they nuts? How many of you saw TripAdvisor put up your rates by 50%
1
Mark Stephens's profile photoWilliams Gate Bed and Breakfast Private Suites's profile photoJohn's Gate Gourmet Bed and Breakfast's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photo
20 comments
 
Yeah, but they are guessing at the data and making up prices based on that. For example, they suggested a number for how many reservations that I got via phone calls.

C'mon... how many of you get the phone calls all the time that ask the price, ask for a discount, ask for tourist information, and then lie and say they need to speak to someone else and never call back? 

And then it depends on your demographics. The people who book with me... book online. Heck, I'm not even sure why smartphones have a phone function half the time, they just book online.
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Ephraim Dickstein
moderator

AirBnB  - 
 
The best part of AirBnB... now in an Express version.... (satire)
3
Mark Stephens's profile photoEphraim Dickstein's profile photo
2 comments
 
You know what's missing, the other side of this... AirBnB Video Host.... the best part of being an AirBnB host, watching your guests on hidden video camera....
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People
Have him in circles
118 people
The All Seasons Collection's profile photo
Judy Hotchkiss's profile photo
Jezeriah Cook's profile photo
David Grégoire's profile photo
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Debbi Fotsch's profile photo
Warren House Bed and Breakfast Chideock's profile photo
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Work
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Innkeeper
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Male
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אפרים דיקשטיין
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Innkeeper
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Fluent in English, French and Hebrew.
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Currently
Montreal, QC
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Contributor to
Awful experience. Every regret in the world.
Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
We have used the brothers repeatedly for renovations. They are insured, legal and know what they are doing. Okay, they only speak French and with a thick accent, but they get things done. You don't have to run after them. They do their work with no supervision.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Usually easy parking. Generally clean. Very long lines on popular days meaning that you need to be 30 minutes ahead to your movie or you will miss it. The mobile / smart phone purchase system is not completely implemented at this location. So even if you have purchased a ticket via the Cineplex App or website you will be required to line up at the automatic teller to have your ticket printed. Basically a waste of time to buy a mobile ticket because you will have to stand up for 20 minutes like an idiot to print your ticket because they can't seem to afford the required scanner.
• • •
Atmosphere: GoodDecor: GoodService: Poor - Fair
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
One employee working, selling tickets, selling concessions, running an entire complex of theaters. The poor girl. Manager apparently acting as projectionist, except they left the light on in the projection booth, so we had a florescent light on through the whole showing. Some people were walking in and not paying because there was no one at the front to ensure people paid.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
50 reviews
Map
Map
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Specifically says it will ship goods well after the possible dispute dates with Paypal. Collects the money but doesn't insure that goods are ever shipped. In other words.... you will get ripped off. We did. Now we are trying to get them to refund us. Except that they are still trying to avoid paying us. Next step... the courts.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
You don't come here for the decor and that's clear, but the neighbourhood loves Romado's. Very little in the way of places to sit, this is a place where you pick up and go. Two lines, for those who ordered ahead and a longer line for those who didn't. Careful when you ask for the Piri Piri, it can be strong. And of course they stock Guarana Antarctica for those who love this Brazilian drink.
Food: ExcellentService: GoodDecor: Poor - Fair
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Excellent location. Great front desk staff.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago