Category Archives: 2020

FLYING JetBlue AIRLINES DURING COVID-19 to Fort Lauderdale and back

I wish I had a different reason to fly to Fort Lauderdale, but work has been more and more draining. Issues outside of our control keep piling up and forcing delays, changes, and breakdown of relations between parties. Besides having everyday feel like “Groundhogs Day”, I had the bright idea of taking another trip since the first one was a great experience. (Here’s the article if you want to read) To top it all off, I had the crazy thought of “Hey, if United could do it, then JetBlue will kick ass.” BUt Covid-19 had other plans for this trip. I have rarely been more wrong in my life, and I have made some major mistakes. 

Flying-Over-NYC-from-LGA
Window view of New York City from my seat

JetBlue Terminal A at LaGuardia Airport  

I have to give it to LaGuardia Airport again, another solid experience. There were no major issues, some minor changes from United, and from flying on JetBlue pre-covid. There was barely any flight leaving the same time as mine; the terminal was empty. Security was a breeze, even with a Junior’s cheesecake I brought with me. TSA just made some quick jokes about the cake, and then I was on my way.

The most notable difference between United and JetBlue was a lack of people control. They kept calling groups up to the board, and there was no way of keeping social distance between the number of people standing around the board. It’s like COVID-19 didn’t exist. It was a quick experience, but they still were not following guidelines. JetBlue did get one major thing right; they gave out unlimited sanitizer pads. There was literally a sanitizing napkin station that you are free to take as many as you need. The flight itself was smooth, but getting out of the plane had the same social distance issues as the boarding. Overall, not bad, not good, but I have been through worse. 

JetBlue Sanitizing napkin station at LGA
Complimentary Sanitizing Wipe from JetBlue

Florida man or Murphy’s law strikes again. 

I don’t even know where to begin; pretty much anything that could have gone wrong went wrong. This was the literal definition of no social distancing. Zero. None. If you think that I am joking, look at the photograph below. 

Lack-Of-Social-distancing-During-Covid-19
Lack of Social distancing at the JetBlue Gate during Covid-19

I understand thatFort Lauderdale is in Florida, and the rules are lax, but when I flew United from the same airport, they were enforced. The JetBlue crew maintained social distance, but none of the staff made any effort to ensure this. It was even encouraged when they requested bags to be checked in at the gate. The trigger point for me came long before boarding started. I came to the airport early to make sure that I could get some snacks and water. Sat down near the gate as more and more people gathered. While there was some spare time, I grabbed a bottle of water, so I left my book bag filled with gear on my seat. Returning to the area, some lady had moved my bag and didn’t understand why I asked her to move.  

Her answer was, “NET English.”. She then proceeds not to understand/ignore me until I started saying COVID-19 louder and louder. Finally, she moves and pretends to be injured. I saw her walking just fine and talking to her uber driver in perfect English when we landed. I guess JetBlue cured her and taught her English over the duration of the flight. This is called “The Dying Swan” (“Умирающий лебедь”), where the person pretends to be injured or not able to speak English to guilt people into helping them.

  

Lack-Of-Social-distancing-During-Covid-19-airplace
Lack Of Social distance while boarding

Getting off was a complete nightmare. There were people without masks piled on top of each other at the exit.

Lack of Guidance and information about COVID travel forms. 

The next major issue was that no one from JetBlue notified any of the passengers on the ground about the NYS COVID traveler Health form. Passengers got a generic speech from the pilot to follow local laws, and then once we got off, the National Guard was waiting for us, requesting filled out forms. 85% of the people on the plan had to fill out the form there on the spot, knowing they were supposed to do it prior.

When Can you Fill out the Covid-19 Traveler form?

You can fill the form out on the NYS COVID traveler Health form up to 24 hours before landing. It is a waste of resources to have military personnel wait for people to fill out forms. Also, here’s a pro travel tip: BRING AT FUCKING PEN WITH YOU! None of the people filling out these forms had their own, so people were sharing pens instead. Not the best thing to do during a pandemic. 

No more JetBlue for a while

In conclusion, I will not be using JetBlue for the foreseeable future. I truly expected so much more from this airline. I loved it before the COVID-19 pandemic started, and they are even my preferred airline for my AMEX.  

National-Guard-LGA
National Guard inspecting New York State Travel Forms

As always if you would know to know about covid-19 I highly recommend getting a certified for Covid-19 tracing

Harry’s  Best Boozy Brunch Deal IN NYC

You never have to twist my arm to go to Harry’s NYC. Located on Stone Street in the heart of the financial district, Harry’s has always served great food from lunchtime Steak Sandwiches to gourmet daily specials- go on Wednesdays for the Beef wellington; you’ll thank me) there’s a

Harrys Steakhouse Beef wellington
Harrys NYC Beef Wellington Only available on Wednesdays

dish for everyone. But what most people do not know about Harry’s ( Menu ) is that when you order an entree, you get 90 minutes of unlimited champagne for FREE! It’s an INSANE deal to have during COVID. The menu is super clean and simple. Great classics prepared freshly for you and with a glass of complimentary champagne. How can you say no?

Brunch-Menu
Harrys Brunch Menu

Brunch time chill

A few weeks ago, we had the French Toast, Smoked Salmon Benny, and Tuna Crudo during my last visit. Yes, I’m a fancy bitch. Look at all of these dishes; they look as good as they taste, I promise! 

Eggs Benedict with Smoked salmon
Smoke Salmon Benny the best part of the Harrys Brunch
French Toast
Harrys Brunch menu French toast super crispy

More Than just Steak Killer Cocktail Program

And to round it all out, I had my signature drink as well: Tito’s martini, extra dirty, served up. Plus, Harry’s prepares it with a twist: a sidecar! It’s like getting 2 drinks for the price of one. Don’t you hate getting a tiny martini and looking at the waiter with the ” you got to be fucking kidding me look”? Well, they give you a bit extra or, in other words, they aren’t cheap with their martinis, unlike some other places. 

Harrys Martini With sidecar
Fat Guy Signature Titos Marini extra dirty.

As a bonus, this will give you a great opportunity to try out the saving tip from my earlier blog MONTHLY SAVING CHALLENGE RESTUARANT SAVER RESULTS<link>. Because Harry’s isn’t too much of a strain on the wallet, brunch at Harry’s let’s you try my trick out at a lower risk. Good luck!

Envelopes Savings 2020 SAVING CHALLENGE

envelopes-of-cash
Save a little at a time and get a lot

As 2020 drags on and we lose track of time, and each month blends into the next. We must not forget the 2020 Saving Challenges. The previous two, Stop Wasting Money on Coffee and Challenge Restaurant Saver results, both have major drawbacks that limit their efficiency. The latter is limited by the amount of time I spend in restaurants (no more indoor dining) and the overall bill, causing the amount you will be saving to be inconsistent.

Solution for consistent savings

As I explained in my blog about the coffee savings challenger, the other is just not a good fit for my life. The answer to all of these shortfalls came in a suggested post on Facebook: The Envelope Savings Challenge!  This is as simple as it gets for savings and works so well. This challenge allows a person to control and save a preselected amount of money. 

How does it work?

It works with the power of magic! No. Not even close. It works with the power of consistency, the key to completing any challenge. First, take a box of 100 envelopes and number them one through one hundred, and shuffle them around back in the box. Then, at whatever increment you select (once a week or twice a week), you randomly select an envelope, and whatever amount is written on it, that’s how much you put into savings. Sounds easy, right? The best part is that at the end of the box of envelopes, you will have saved $5500. The number sounds shocking. 

How much will I save?

Well, if you pull one pair a week, you will be about to save $5500 over the span of 50 weeks. If you pull 2 pairs, $11000 in a year and so on depending on how much you can set aside. As I said earlier, consistency is key, though. Experiment with the amount of money or frequency at which you pull the envelopes to adjust to your budgetary needs. In other words, don’t go crazy and starve yourself to save more. Everyone’s budget and the amount you can save is different. Figure out an amount that will work best for you. Do not set the bar so high that you will fail because the goal is impossible for you.  

The method to my madness?

I pull 3 pairs per week. The number is never random, either. I rigged it, so they always have to come out to $300, but I suggest you try the method above if that feels like a lot! I never have singles or fives on my person, just $20s, $50s, and $100s because I’m high class like that. I’m too OCD to have it not be a round number either. Is that too much to be saved in one week? Maybe but it stops me from spending it at the bar. 

I like money more than booze, though, cause money compounded over time buys more booze than it can right now! 

Should I Get a Covid-19 Tracing Certification

Today’s blog is taking a detour from our usual talk of booze, fine foods, and finance. No, today we’re talking about something a little more daunting: The Pandemic. Place yourself in mid-September 2020. COVID-19 sees an increase worldwide, and people are worried that there will be a second wave. You look online and notice that coursera.com has a FREE COVID-19 contact tracing certification from John Hopkins University. You wonder if you should take the course. God willing most of you reading this are a few years in the future, and COVID-19 is long forgotten (this still applies to you <insert a current name for crisis>).  This is a reality for the rest of us, so pay attention to what I’m about to write. 

The short answer is Yes.

The short answer is yes: you should take the certification. It’s a free certification, it’s relevant, and should only take a candidate 7 hours. Why is it free? Because the country needs or needed personnel that can trace COVID contacts to limit the spread.  Bloomberg Philanthropies paid-for the course and certification shareability.  

Three Reasons Why

I have already taken and passed the certification. There were three reasons why I took the course, and none of them have to do with philanthropy. (ee don’t get that Bloomberg money). The first and most comforting explanation is that the course goes into reasonably good detail describing how the virus behaves, spreads, and its possible symptoms. As the Old Russian saying goes, “God protects those who protect themselves.” The second is that if shit hits the fan, I have another piece of paper that can make my resume stand out of the pile or even grant me the opportunity to work as a COVID tracer. 

Social Engineering Prevention

The final reason and most relevant in the long term is social engineering prevention: big words that small people use to make their job seem more critical. It’s to prevent scammers from stealing you and your loved one’s private information. How are you supposed to know what COVID tracers are supposed to ask if you are not one of them? How long until some scammer calls you asking for your social security number or, worse, your paren’ st? I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE CALLS.  Let’s all learn how to spot the scammers, put them on hold on hold for an hour or two, and waste their time like there’s no tomorrow. Knowledge is power! 

To summarize this whole post, get the COVID-19 contact tracing certification from John Hopkins University, there is no downside. Skipping it to drink yourself stupid is not a good reason. Get the certification and then drink…to celebrate, of course.