Well, the miles/points action was really light so it is time to catch up on some stuff I have been gathering for you.

Online Travel Review with another take of a typically useless post showing us how we receive a credit card. “Me, Opening the Box with the New AA Credit Card In It…Wow!” Wow indeed, LOL!

AA credit card opening package

Free at last!

Something I learned which I should have known (or maybe it’s a new policy?): Apparently there is a 24 hr $5k limit on buying Vanilla Reload cards at your local friendly Conveniently Vibrant Stores? Contrary to popular belief, I have always aimed to stay under the radar to avoid trouble with the Cardinals (banks etc). VRs have been running low in Ann Arbor lately but I managed to find three of them one night around 9.30 pm. Then the next day I was driving around and stopped by at a store in Livonia and decided to pick 8 of them. The nice clerk did her thing and then the cash register did NOT take the last card! So, I ended up buying 7 of them. The only explanation that I can think of is that the $5k limit took effect. I thought it was per store per calendar day. You learn something new every day…

Miles Abound has found an awesome snowboarding video of some dude named Seb Toots doing his thing in Whistler.

World War II: After the War. By The Atlantic. I have never seen these totally awesome pictures. Must click imho! I repeat, you must check this out!

German Wehrmacht General Anton Dostler execution

German Wehrmacht General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution by a firing squad in a stockade in Aversa, Italy, on December 1, 1945. (AP Photo)

 

Restaurants with Incredible Views What, no Santorini?

NYC Brooklyn River Cafe view

NYC Brooklyn River Cafe view

 

Parker Liataud’s Record Ski Trip to the South Pole. This 19 year old kid set some records, very impressive. There are some great pictures here…

Parker Liautaud record ski trip to South Pole

We made it!

 

Is this an awesome picture or what? “Deer oh deer oh deer“. Found at Twisted Sifter.

three deer perfect timing picture

Picture by Renatas Jakaitis

 

Hey Bank of America, are you sure Lisa is a slut?

bank of america fail slut

Is she really a slut?

 

I am a sucker for heart warming stories like this! “Gay marriage proposal goes viral“. Isn’t this great or what? Just beautifully inspirational, thumbs up for humanity!

 

Oopsie, I hope your child does not go study to be an architect in this school lol:

college of architecture and planning

No planning is more like it. Found here

 

TBB staffer spotted at lunch break? Or Greek Ministry of Finance head economist?  Hey Germans, send more money for bananas woohoo!

monkey playing around in river

Found here

 

Check out my updated blog lists: Blogs I Love, Blogs I Like, Blogs I Ignore

Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

Please pass my blog link to your friends and family if you think they will enjoy it too.

 

George
travelbloggerbuzz@gmail.com

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36 comments on “Opening a credit card box, snowboarding, After World War II pictures, Views from Restaurants, South Pole, Deer, Slut Lisa, Gay marriage & bully, monkey

  1. Fabulous but chilling WWII pictures. It is so disheartening how the essential parts of warfare have not changed in thousands of years, only the scale of the misery varies. The photos do a good job showing the cruelty and barbarity perpetrated by all sides.

  2. I never knew there was a red and white striped pole at the South Pole. One more victory for your mission to educate.

    With a few inches of new snow and predictions for freezing rain or snow tonight, Portland remains in its version of snowmergency. The closures keep coming and we continue to be advised to stay home. I’ve lived here 25+ years, but having grown up in NY, and lived in A2 and Princeton, the way this city figuratively freezes in the snow continues to amuse me.

    • I had no idea the South Pole looked like that either! So, in the process of blogging, I educate myself too! I found the lady biking there the two guys passed was remarkable. I can only dream about doing such a thing one day!

      Sounds like you Portland folks are softies deep down? #wearealltoughintheMIdwest :-)

  3. Daley, Suzanne. “So Many Bribes, A Greek Minister Can’t Recall Them All,” The New York Times, Feb. 8, 2014, Page A1.

    “First, you have to blame the rotten Greek system,” Mr. Fraggos said. “But the sellers bear a very big part. They were bribing officials and lending money to an almost bankrupt country so they could sell their products.”

    Beware Germans – and Swedes, Russians, and Frenchmen – bearing gifts… and weapons for sale.

    • Yep, just another “toll station” in the rotten system :-)

      So many in Greece are bitching about the Germans and everything imaginable but they never blame themselves, the real culprits of this giant clusterphuck! The leftists are even demanding Germany forgives all the loans etc etc. Bottom line, what little has been done to clean up this sickening system the Greeks built was all upon pressure by the Germans/Europeans/IMF. What a great excuse to do away with all this crap and blame all these outsiders. But the process is very ugly and even more dangerous because the ones voted in to clean it up were there in the beginning to build it :-)
      Big elections in May. There is a young leftist who sometimes leads in the polls. We are thinking if he is elected he may just finish the job, default and start over again with the glorious drachma :-)

  4. Regarding the A2 VR shortages, a clerk told me a guy came in bought 10, and then walked out of the store with all the other VRs in his pocket (the entire inventory!). I asked, isn’t that shop lifting and the clerk said nah, there’s no value until rung up at the cash register. I guess I know my new strategy from now on, disappointing it has come to this behavior in A2.

    • What????? There are some things people in this hobby that just sicken me. This is one of them, wow! I hope someone looks at the camera and marks this guy and a friendly man in uniform awaits him next time he shows up. You just can’t take property out, it is not yours!
      Good, I have given up on A2 stores anyway, too much time hunting…I find plenty on my way to Novi and back :-)

  5. Regarding the beans – I found the 5k rule not enforced equally by CVS system at different stores. It used to be per day at my closest stores but about two months ago they switched to 5k per 24 hrs. But not at all stores. Yesterday, I bought 5k at another store in town which is farther away only about 18 hours after buying 5k at my usual store. As soon as they asked for my ID, my heart sank because I realized it was too early. But it went through just fine.

    Also, at least in one area of a certain city down south the system is enforcing the limit as 5k per store per day and I know a person who can easily get 20-25k a day by hitting up 4-5 stores within a few miles of each other. So it seems all messed up with 5k per 24hrs being the worst case.

    Loved the proposal video. My second favorite after a guy proposing to his gf in an airplane using an “Emergency” check list.

    I got the Citi package as well. Also took a minute to figure it out…

    • Thanks for the feedback Dima. I was shocked that this happened to me…it appears that some stores are indeed connected somehow with my drivers license info. As you state, this is more hit or miss most likely. I thought it was noteworthy as is your experience, good info, thanks

  6. To answer TJ’s question from yesterdays thread, when I accused MMS of plagiarizing, he asked “I still don’t get how people here equate ghostwriting to plagiarism”

    Excellent question TJ – it’s not plagiarizing because someone else wrote the article. It’s plagiarizing because he pretended that he wrote it. The post was worded in a way that intentionally misled the reader to believe Darius wrote that article, and the opinions expressed were by him (i.e. when things like “I always follow MY mother-in-law rule”… does Drew have the same MIL as MMS?)

    Here’s the dictionary.com definition of plagiarism. If that MMS piece isn’t the textbook definition of plagiarism, I’d love to know what is….

    “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and THE REPRESENTATION OF THAT AUTHOR’S WORK AS ONE’S OWN, as by not crediting the original author”

    [emphasis mine]

    • I want to know who screwed this up which allowed it to escalate to Author gate material :-)
      I mean, if the site was properly updated that day we would never know. I think it was someone at FT with a sharp eye who noticed it.
      I encouraged MMS to just come clean. People forgive much more serious things. He chose not to. And life goes on.

      • I think there is a difference between plagiarism and ghost writing. The wikipedia on ghostwriting describes many variations and the apparent author does not always credit the ghostwriter. In fact, ghostwriters are often asked to sign confidentiality agreements that they will not reveal their involvement. Ghostwriters of both fiction and nonfiction are often told to imitate the voice, content, and writing style of the author/famous person they are ghosting for, which explains the mother-in-law references. Here’s an excerpt about blog ghost writers:

        “Some celebrities, CEOs, or public figures set up blog websites as a marketing, public relations, or lobbying tool. However, since these individuals are typically too busy to write their blog posts, they hire discreet ghostwriters to post to the blog under the celebrity or CEO’s name. As with nonfiction ghostwriting, the blog ghostwriter models their writing style, content and tone on that of the credited author.”

        I think the main issue here is not plagiarism, but rather that when it became apparent that Daraius had employed a ghostwriter, and had not written the posts, he did not come clean.

        • Ghostwriting is murky at best. It’s a very gray area as far as ethical standards go

          But this went beyond the usual ghostwriting you might see on TPG

          This wasn’t just “not disclosing” the fact that someone else wrote the post – this was wording the post in a way that actively led the reader to believe that Darius was writing it.

          Whatever the standard one has for plagiarism, that certainly should pass that threshold.

          If someone other than George made a post on this blog without disclosure, I think it would be shady. If that ghostwriter made references to things like “my younger days in Greece” or “my soccer league on Monday” that’s blatant plagiarism and actively deceiving your readers

            • It was interesting to see how MMS went from being an arrogant blogger who was proud of “killing deals” left and right and rubbing it in to the people who (rightfully) disliked him to one who censored left and right as soon as someone was criticizing him or asked him about the whole ghostwriting debacle.

          • “this was wording the post in a way that actively led the reader to believe that Darius was writing it.”

            That’s what ghost writing IS! As a technical editor, when I ‘write’ an article for an engineer, I am writing AS him (if I’m serving as a ghost writer and not an editor). A ghost writer writes the book (article/blog post) for — and AS — the person paying for the work. It’s even got a legal term: it’s called ‘work for hire” — because the copyright goes to the guy who pays for the work, not the one who does the work. Sorry, it’s not underhanded. and it’s not even underhanded to NOT disclose a ghost writer! (You’d be surprised how much of what you read is ghost written!)

            (p.s., Plagiarism is taking someone else’s work WITHOUT PERMISSION and using it as if it were your own. THAT is stealing… Ghost writing is merely part of the publishing and writing biz.

    • No, it’s not plagiarism. It’s fraud. The real author tacitly allowed MMS to use the post, so can’t be plagiarism. The real term is fraud:

      fraud noun \ˈfrȯd\
      : the crime of using dishonest methods to take something valuable from another person

      : a person who pretends to be what he or she is not in order to trick people

      : a copy of something that is meant to look like the real thing in order to trick people

      • I think fraud is stretching it big time. I am sure there was a contractual arrangement between the two parties. It’s just that someone screwed up when publishing the post. If that did not happen, we would not still be talking about it after such long time since it happened.

    • Thank you, I am doing my best to post stuff that you will not see anywhere else and break the boredom of being hit non stop with Ink Bold, Amex Plat, Companion Pass, Dining Fridays, First Class dishes and similar posts.
      Thanks for reading and the kind words.

  7. Yes, you are right TBB, we are softies here in PDX as the so-called snowmagedeon continues. We went for a walk shortly after the snow turned into more of a freezing rain, planning to grab some dinner in the business area near our house. But all but two restaurants/pubs/bars were closed – even Starbucks! The roads were eerily empty with only a few cars passing by. The streets were virtually empty at 6PM! The MIdwest would have to just close up for good if Midwesterners behaved the way Portlanders do!

  8. I always thought plagiarism was using someone else’s work without their permission and pretending it was written by you. I’m not sure hiring a ghost writer is the same.

    In any event, I think there are outside writers at wok n our hobby-does Gary really come up with and write 2-3 high quality posts per day, on top of his real job, family and travel? I don’t know and I don’t care-good stuff is good stuff and VFTW is definitely good stuff. Except the anti-government rants, which make him and the blog seem like petty Fox News wannabes.

    • Gary is a machine. I am pretty sure he does not do this ghostwriting thing.
      i can’t stand the anti government rants. He can’t help himself if he stays away from them for a while. I still like his blog of course, there is true expertise there while pseudo expertise reigns elsewhere in this hobby.

    • I saw that, isn’t it ironic? Probably the most innovative way to push yet another affiliate link. This guy got religion recently and is becoming a more frequent cc pumper. Ahh, the cha ching moments are hard to resist. I am afraid I may become him or MV when I join the dark side lol.

      I never understood his stature in the industry. I think it’s because he has been around for so long?

  9. I do not mean to defend MMS; rather to clarify the difference between ghost writing and plagiarism. Sadly, my professor husband and ex-HS teacher daughter deal with plagiarism too often. I suggest you read the Wikipedia on ghost writing in full if you are curious. Ghost writers work in all the arts and you’ll read about many famous and prominent people who hire them. And the whole point is to adopt the phrasing, style and content to make it appear that the person who hired the ghost writer actually did the writing – or composing, design, artwork – him or herself.

    On other fronts, we now have up to half an inch of ice on top of the 6-8 inches of accumulated snow from the last few days. I am finally in agreement with the authorities; today is a day to stay home. We can venture out after the rain and warmer temps arrive late today or tonight.

    • One of the benefits of blogging (it is definitely not the money lol) is how I learn from readers. Thanks for the additional info on ghostwriting and plagiarism, very interesting.
      The snow stopped at noon today, we have just been absolutely pounded to submission this year. By far the most snow and coldest since I came to the US 30 years ago!

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