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Late Night Devotion in the Eye of Hurricane Sandy

The show must go on. In the business of entertainment, this expression is used often and in different circumstances. When the lead actor in a play falls ill, their understudy takes over for them and the play still gets staged. For the most part, the great white way went dark after Hurricane Sandy made its way toward the East Coast but there were two notable exceptions — The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

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Be White About It

Last week, while standing in a long and winding line at a local Jersey City supermarket during the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy, I was struck in the ear by a phrase I hadn’t heard in colloquial usage for over 30 years:  “Be White About It.”

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Why I Canceled American Express Bluebird and Opened a Brokerage Account Instead

On October 9, 2012, I was high on the promise of American Express’ Bluebird prepaid card and “bank account.”  By November 2 of the same year, I had enough, as I mentioned in a comment on my original Bluebird review:

Bluebird is majorly sucking. On Oct. 31, during Halloween Sandy, we received an emergency email from Bluebird support that my wife’s account had been locked for “security reasons.” We decided to spend precious battery time in the middle of a power outage to call and find out what was happening. It turned out someone else was trying to login to her account and instead of locking THEM out, AMEX locked out my legitimate wife from her account! Madness! Terrible security. Why punish the innocent party by making them call in and go through a 15-minute security test when we aren’t the ones causing the login problems?

Just now, we received another freaking email from Bluebird about the same issue! My wife’s account is locked for security reasons! She hasn’t tried to login to her account for days! I’ve been trying to reach AMEX support for 30 minutes. Lines into the Philippines tech support center on this Sunday are clearly not working. What a hassle!

I’m thinking we will have to cancel our Bluebird account.

Today, I made good on my promise and canceled my Bluebird account over the phone — unlike AMEX Serve, Bluebird accounts cannot be canceled online — and the only reason I waited a few days to pancake Bluebird was because I first needed to zero out my balance with an Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawal to my bank account, and Bluebird, unfortunately, takes many days to process any ACH transaction.

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Smartphone Battery Management During Hurricane Sandy

One good thing about Hurricane Sandy is that we had plenty of notice she was coming.  That meant we could stock up on munchables and charge all our battery powered devices.  We plugged in two 3G iPhone 4S devices and two 4G LTE iPads and crossed our fingers it would all work out if we hit the dark as we maxed out each device to 100% capacity.

We also filled up the bathtub with water in case we would not be able to flush our toilets manually.  If you live in a building with more than five floors and you lose power, you will not have water to flush your toilet because the electric water pump for the building will be inoperable.  You’ll have to “scoop and dump” water a gallon at a time from the bathtub to the toilet bowl to flush.

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Recovering from Hurricane Sandy in Jersey City

Monday night, at 11:00 pm sharp in Jersey City, New Jersey, the lights went out and stayed off until last night at 7:43pm.  That’s three days without power or heat.  Hurricane Sandy was a massively nasty beast, and we’re just now starting the recovery process.  We are hungry and scavenging for food.  Supermarkets are closed.  Few places have power.

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