Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as the most beautiful towns, speculation, inside Pfizer labs, Chase Ultimate Rewards guide, get to know some Michigan resorts, an interesting travel agent dude, how we trade off our time and money, a fraudster in Indianapolis pushing CBD delivery, great podcast with Dr. Fauci answering questions, the amazing history of pickles, life saving tips, another cult scamming morons, some interesting finds in the hotel loyalty space, my own flight cancellations from my trip to Greece have started, avoid my stupid hotel booking mistake and more! Enjoy your week everyone.
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As almost all of you know by now, I live in Michigan. And I like to do my part for economic development trying to get you to visit so this is for you: Go Michigan! 4 resort hotels make Travel and Leisure’s Top 10 in US list.
Sadly however, only one Michigan town made this list. It is Saugatuck which I visited last year and I thought it was nice but not Top 26 nice! The 26 Most Beautiful Towns in America.
And you thought travel agents were dead? Well, for me they are since that day many years ago one of them booked me with an “illegal connection” and I had to spend overnight sleeping at JFK (no miles and points back then!). Anyway, the travel agents catering to luxury travelers never really went out of business (well, the good ones at least) and like all in the travel business they had to reinvent themselves after Covid. Having said all that, I am still not buying what this guy is selling, read with an open mind: Meet The Travel Agent Who Made More Than $250K During The Travel Industry’s Pandemic Lull.
In life there are tradeoffs what we do with our time and money. And the author gathers eighteen of them, boom! Trading Off. I could elaborate in the comments if you have a strong feeling about any of these. I am firmly in the no debt camp, wait to age 70 to claim Social Security, don’t spend extravagantly but also have some fun with your money along the way, all indexing all the time except for tiny “fun” accounts, hardcore crypto (just kidding, LOL). I am also more in the camp not to pursue passions in your 20s so you can go all in on investing to get the compounding machine going so you can have the ability to do whatever you want in your 50s, you know, like blog for almost no monetary rewards like some weird people, cough.
You know we are in a very interesting time in the markets when Seth Godin writes this: Speculation is the new luxury good. Of course I agree…
An NFT has zero utlitity. It’s simply an entry in the blockchain that shows ownership of something that anyone could see for free.
But that in itself is a sort of luxury.
There are now hundreds of digital NFTs each worth more than a million dollars each. Just like Reddit stocks, they change in value dramatically, they come with a story and they’re fun to talk about with your friends and peers.
And one day, every one of them will be owned by someone who is unable to sell it at a profit.
Speculation is a great hobby if you can afford it, but it shouldn’t be confused with investment.
This from Indianapolis Monthly: Half Baked: How A Would-Be Cannabis Empire Went Up In Smoke. Amazing how some people can believe in their own shit and just go on and on and suckers falling for it left and right for years, what a sad story!
Rebecca Raffle came to Indianapolis from Los Angeles with dreams of building a cannabis empire. She introduced herself as a West Coast #girlboss, SEO ninja, LGBTQ Family, and avid baker. But she was altogether something different.
This a must listen podcast with Dr. Anthony Fauci answering questions at In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt. After listening to it, I am all like “Booster me” or is it…”Boost me”?
We go deep inside Pfizer with this one: Inside Pfizer’s labs, ‘variant hunters’ race to stay ahead of the pandemic’s next twist. STAT was granted a rare look inside Pfizer’s Pearl River research center, which has remained a place of frenetic activity for its 900 workers through the pandemic. Fascinating. I now realized that science was never for me!
I have always been fascinated by religious believers who steadfastly refuse to leave an area when everyone says to get the hell out. Many are Jews. Afghanistan’s last Jew leaves after Taliban takeover. As I started reading this I was expecting a nice likeable old man trying to preserve the faith…and I was met with someone completely different. This dude is a piece of work lol!
For several years he shared the synagogue building with the country’s only other Jew, Isaak Levi, but they despised each other and feuded during the Taliban’s previous rule from 1996 to 2001. At one point, Levi accused Simentov of theft and spying. and Simentov countered by accusing Levi of renting rooms to prostitutes, an allegation he denied, The New York Times reported in 2002.
When his 80-year-old housemate died in 2005, Simentov said he was happy to be rid of him. Reporters who visited Simentov over the years — and paid the exorbitant fees he charged for interviews — found a portly man fond of whiskey, who kept a pet partridge and watched Afghan TV. He observed Jewish dietary restrictions and ran a kebab shop.
ODDZ & ENDZ
One day I am going to save a reader’s life. Because of something you read here. So, here you go: Clever Tips That Could One Day Save Your Life.
I love pickles. And this was fascinating: A Brief History of Pickles.
I have also been fascinated by other things, like North Korea…hey, anyone seen latest pics of the Kim dude, he lost a lot of weight! Another topic is cults. What makes people believe and stay in them? And this one is a doozy! Love Has Lost. There are lots of people out there who, how shall I put this, are of limited intelligence and get victimized by grifters that it is mind boggling. This article starts out with a decomposing body…yikes.
Quasi-religious group Love Has Won claimed to offer wellness advice and self-care products, but what was actually being dished out by their late leader Amy Carlson Stroud—self-professed “Mother God”—was much darker. How our current conspiritualist culture is to blame.
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: BEST TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD! The 100k Chase Sapphire Preferred card is now available with my links. If you are totally new and looking for a keeper card I think THIS is the card. Apply for it, get approved, do the required minimum $4k spend (if you think this is TOO much, please stop, this hobby is dangerous for you!), get the 100k points signup bonus, transfer the points to United or Southwest or Hyatt or just cash out for $1,250 spend for groceries using the “Pay Yourself Back” feature assuming you do eat, right? For the annual fee of only $95, COME ON, do the math! Ok, here is the math: $1,250 – $95 = $1,155. So, if a bank offers you all this money what is your problem? Just ALWAYS make sure you NEVER EVER carry a balance ok? If you currently have the card, you can refer your spouse or significant other or third cousin or travel starved friend and you the referrer can earn 20k Chase points for the referral and the referred still get the full 100k bonus. This is my daughter’s 100k CSP Referral Link.
This is really comprehensive: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Guide: Earning, Redeeming and Card Brands.
If only Chase had a decent travel portal. Well, maybe they will soon feel some heat: Capital One Partners With Hopper (Travel Booking Platform).
Actually, this is a really good promotion…if only you found a worthy property to book in the “Americas”: Potentially Great Radisson Promo: Book 2 Night Award Stay & Get Free Night Cert (Limit 5 Certs). And then you see the limited time window to burn the earned certs and…never mind.
Well, I did not know this! Weird but true – Hilton non-refundable hotel rooms ARE refundable in the US, Mexico and Caribbean.
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.
Good roundup by the Lazy Traveler. Besides, it is the only blog that links to me! Best in Miles, Points, Credit Cards, Travel and More: Around the Web Sep 5 — Sep 11 2021.
Over 4.5 million miles and points banked and I am kind of bored with this hobby lately. I have my annual insurance bills coming up so I think I am going to go for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Business card because, well, why not go for 75k Ultimate Rewards points and have a 1.5x card on everything? My records review revealed I never had that one, I hope I am right.
Our trip to Moab, Utah to visit two national parks is coming up and so far it appears all the flights are intact. I could not say the same for my trip to Greece though as Singapore Airlines canceled my business class flight from New York JFK to Frankfurt FRA so after one hour on the phone when I tried to squeeze my way non stop from Detroit to Athens only connecting in Frankfurt I gave up and just had them book me on a simple business class Lufthansa JFK-FRA. I have been trying to experience this Singapore Airlines A380 business class flight for so long and I still have not managed to get it done.
Stupid mistake. I was checking on my Hilton Honors reservation for my one night in the Hilton Frankfurt Airport before I fly to Athens the next day and I saw the points per night go down by 3,000 points. So I canceled and rebooked it while I was on the phone with Singapore Airlines. Advice: Do NOT do this! I screwed up by booking it for the same night and of course you can not cancel online within 24 hours. So, I had to call Hilton and tell them what happened and the rep had to message a reservations rep in the Frankfurt Hilton and then of course I had the rep rebook me again for the correct night. I did get the points back in my account two days later.
What happened at a college football game will shock you! It involves a jumping cat saved by an American flag, wow!
From Hocking Hills, Ohio trip:
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