I bring you eclectic content such as how FIRE backfires sometimes, visit epic hotel bathrooms, the pandemic’s fourth surge is here, Chase and Delta developments, visit Iceland and the Louvre in Paris, talk about inflation and the cost of free, the amazing vaccines that are going to save us, America’s gun problem that is so ingrained that I don’t want to talk about it but will dedicate the gif/pic in the end to it because this is what I do and lots more!
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Paris is in lockdown again but you can still go there to visit the Louvre with your computer from the comfort of your own home! They have every single art piece displayed now, wow! The Collections database consists of entries for more than 480,000 works in the Musée du Louvre and Musée National Eugène-Delacroix. Updated on a daily basis, it is the result of the continuous research and documentation efforts carried out by teams of experts from both museums.
Spectacular is probably an understatement! Spectacular Aerial Photos Capture the Dramatic Scenes Unfolding as Iceland’s Volcano Erupts
Screw hotel suites, let’s check out 25 epic hotel bathrooms from around the world. Lame obligatory blogger question: Which one is your favorite?
I have written before about FIRE, Financial Independence Retire Early. You can consider me not a fan but before you go comment like crazy, maybe you should read my post? Finally, we get one blog post from a blogger who gave an update on his own experience: If You Play With FIRE, Don’t Get Burned. Yeah, really, don’t get burned ok? This is a good paragraph to excerpt:
If you think that work is only about collecting a paycheck, then you either don’t enjoy the type of work you do or you don’t like the people that you work with. In that case, I understand why not having to work can seem so great. It’s far better than a job you hate. But if you think that financial freedom will solve all of your problems, think again. There is too much evidence suggesting otherwise.
Oh, am I guilty of this? I bet most of my readers are, there is something about the allure of…free! And this article will change your mind: Low cost is better than free. Stock trading with the Robinhood app may be the perfect example of this!
So please, where possible, choose to pay someone directly for their work, their service, their goods. Because you always pay. You just get to choose the currency you pay in. [Some bloggers have Paypal donation buttons! #hint]
I have been hearing about inflation, money printing and on and on for years. We don’t know what will happen, no one has a crystal ball that works. You make a plan (I hope) and you stick to it (if not, you do not have a plan!). It is what it is. This was a good post with some helpful thoughts about inflation and some arguments I am in support of in general: Let’s Talk Some More About Assflation.
These are very different types of macroeconomic environments and I would argue that most of the asset price appreciation of the last 10+ years appears largely rational in the sense that it is supported by corporate fundamentals and other robust economic data that is consistent with a growing economy. It isn’t just a fictitious boom as many “asset price inflation” narratives like to imply. As for inequality – asset price inflation would tend to exacerbate inequality since it will disproportionately benefit those who own assets. This makes sense. But as I like to always point out, inequality is a policy failure, not a market failure. After all, a capitalist economy will always veer towards monopolistic behavior if we allow it to. The extent to which we allow that to happen is not a failure of capitalism, it is a failure of policy makers to contain capitalism.
It appears the Pfizer vaccine works great in kids older than 12 years old…You know, a complete vaccination of all kids, teachers and staff along with testing and, hold on, we can open schools fully again in the Fall?
This is a must read: The Fourth Surge is Upon Us. This time, It’s Different. It is by Zeynep Tufecki of The Atlantic who is becoming one of my favorite writer. Here is another link to this post. A deadlier and more transmissible variant has taken root, but now we have the tools to stop it if we want. I just hope our actions are congruent with our beliefs because we ALL want to get past this deadly nightmare we are living through! I am doing my part by laying low, getting vaccinated and, you know, I don’t post about airfare deals, show off posting pics from my travels (have only done a few road trips in 13 months!) and for Pete’s sake…I never post about mileage runs, WTF is wrong with some bloggers smh! So please, read this article and lay low a little longer, we are close to beating this virus! It will really SUCK if you get infected now…because the sheer unpredictability on how your body will handle it is maddening and…you don’t want to go there!
We know what we should do—match variant surges with vaccines and keep up our mitigations for just a little longer. We have the vaccine supply and the infrastructure to do it. We just need to act—now.
I guess we will find out if this is true: Post-Covid America Isn’t Going to Be Anything Like the Roaring ’20s. Very educational interview with historian John M. Barry, author of The Great Influenza, the definitive history of the 1918 flu pandemic. I learned a lot I did not know about the 1918 pandemic, two very different eras indeed. Personally, I am starting to see some anecdotal evidence of Roaring ahead. As in, car rental companies being completely sold out and leaving customers stranded with confirmed reservations, shopping mall parking lots completely full, etc.
We do not know for sure but we can make educated guesses and it appears we will get this under control with the current vaccination pace! How long will the coronavirus vaccines protect you? Experts weigh in. So, lay low a little longer to stop the variants because…one of them may screw up EVERYTHING ok?
But based on clinical trials, experts do know that vaccine-induced protection should last a minimum of about three months. That does not mean protective immunity will expire after 90 days; that was simply the time frame participants were studied in the initial Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson trials. As researchers continue to study the vaccines, that shelf life is expected to grow. In the real world, the protection should last quite a bit longer, though the length of time still needs to be determined with further studies, experts said
Looking at studies on natural immunity from the coronavirus, experts hypothesize that protective immunity from the vaccines will last at least six to eight months. And if immunity from SARS-CoV-2 ends up being similar to other seasonal coronaviruses, such as “common colds,” it is even possible the vaccines could provide protection for up to a year or two before requiring a booster, the experts said.
ODDZ & ENDZ
As a kid growing up in Greece, I was obsessed with soccer. My dream was to become a professional player. I idolized the Dutch Johan Cruyff and I looked and played like him (yeah, I was so skinny back then my nickname was “Toothpick”!). Anyways, after this long introspective intro, it has been five years since his death and looking back to his life the guy was a legend and several aspects of his life philosophy have also defined how I operate! Johan Cruyff’s legacy, five years after his death: How he shaped Ajax, Barcelona, world soccer. That Netherlands national team in the 1970s is still my favorite team EVER. They played “Total Football” and…
In a sport previously defined by rigid positioning and man-marking, the Dutch turned the tactical view of the game on its head. They lined up in a 4-3-3 instead of the typical 3-5-2, with positional fluidity for all 10 outfield players. They would seamlessly cover each other’s roles in mid-game to confuse opponents; if a midfielder charged forward to attack, the defender behind him would step up. They also favoured aggressive pressing on the ball and possession, but above all, they were told to entertain. “For me, football is emotional,” Cruyff wrote in his post-humous autobiography, “My Turn.” “I have always said that football should be played beautifully, in an attacking way. It must be a spectacle. Football is a game you play with your brains. You have to be in the right place at the right moment, not too early, not too late.”
Many times in my blog over the years, especially after mass shootings, I go on a rant about gun control. And nothing happens. America’s gun problem, explained. The public and research support gun control. Here’s how it could help — and why it doesn’t pass. My mother in Greece always tells me “Don’t get shot” when we talk on the phone smh…
These are amazing! 30 Of The Best Nature Photos From The Tokyo International Foto Awards.
MILES & POINTS
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This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! Feel free to skip this section and parts of the next one if this is not for you.
Newbies: Again,the point of this hobby is to maximize your miles/points earning with your regular spending. I mean, if you are going to spend, might as well get some rewards for it! And, this is important, hold yourself back from OVERSPENDING and of course you absolutely MUST pay off your credit card balances IN FULL every month! And if a bank wants to give a juicy signing bonus for getting their card smart educated consumers take that to the bank, so to speak lol. And we do it again and again and again. Back in the good old days good ol’ Citi used to give us 30,000 AA miles every 31 days, miss those days. I could go on but I hope you get it…It is perfectly okay if you don’t!
Some news to cover. First: There is a category of cards with quarterly rotating 5x earning categories. Thing is, you need to remember which card gives you the 5x bang that quarter. And of course you need to register! Q2 2021 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom/Flex, Discover, Dividend, Cash+ & more).
Chase came out with some good news:
Chase Extends Pay Yourself Back Until September 30, 2021. This is great news…if I remember to do it lol.
Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Credit Usable On Grocery & Gas Through 2021. If you have the card and somehow do not get $300 back for this, I think this hobby is not for you!
Chase Adds $120 Peloton Membership Benefit To Sapphire Reserve Card; $60 To Sapphire Preferred For crying out loud, do NOT get these cards to get this benefit.
Capital One bank periodically increases the signing bonus on some of its cards: New Capital One Venture Signup Offer: 100,000 Points With $20,000 Spend. You get 50,000 points f you only spend $3,000 in the first three months. The card earns 2x everywhere and has a $95 annual fee. It could be good if you want to keep it simple and if you can easily do the full spend, having 100,000 signup bonus is not shabby (that is $2,000!). Yes, also available here, thank you!
Delta came out with a bunch of news this week:
Delta Extending Some Card Benefits Through 6/30/22 (Flight Credits, Companion Certs & Sky Club Passes). Welcome news for sure and I hope other airlines follow them as they usually do.
Delta Elite status via award tickets, plus 50% to 75% elite bonus on all tickets! This was the most interesting development for sure. And surprising to say the least. And as a long follower of how this company operates I am afraid they will soon follow this with a major WHACKING of something…brace for impact!
Well, if you are into flying Delta I guess: Delta Sky Miles Complete Guide. Hope they updated it lol.
are were a road warrior I guess I could understand going for elite status. But if not, you should be a free agent and go for the flight that works best for you instead of going out of your way to give your money to a specific airline to enjoy some over rated “perks”. Earn miles in other ways and redeem them handsomely while you still can.
We are now entering BLOG BUZZ, a section for advanced hobbyists and veterans of this fast imploding hobby and also a section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life because it helps me feel better about myself.
I guess this became official: Alaska Airlines Now Oneworld Alliance Member. It is going to be kind of strange to finally have Alaska belong fully to an alliance…Maybe this is warm up to the eventual merger of them…
I have also been reading horror stories with car rentals lately…I can not imagine being stranded at midnight with a confirmed reservation, yikes! Something to watch out ok? Are car rentals set to be the most expensive part of your trip?
Read Million Mile Secrets only if you like to be sold plastic! For the record, in the month of March 2021 there were just three credit cards sold in my site and two Paypal donors who donated $35, thank you to these five readers! It still bothers me one troll recently whined I have become like the other bloggers…really?
I keep up with international soccer by watching the highlights in this website: Highlights Football. The absolute shocker in European World Cup Qualifying was Germany losing at home to North Macedonia 1-2, wow! Greece reverted to its old back form and escaped losing at home to Georgia and managed a tie so it looks like I won’t be making any award trips to Qatar in 2022 for the World Cup, sad!
Another quarter just passed…It is like the days keep repeating…I get my 2nd vaccine dose next week, can’t wait!
After a long absence from running, yesterday was the first day I ran. Taking it really slow for now…
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