Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as the most epic adventures, warnings about TikTok financial advice, new Hilton offers, seven money rules, check out some of the world’s strangest natural wonders, all the new hotel action in Greece, a fascinating article about the moral calculations of a billionaire, how to relax, how to find weird old books, the coldest marathon on Earth, laugh at old Soviet Union pictures and the latest action in the miles and points world. Have a great week!
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Maybe bookmark this? The Most Epic Adventures in America’s 50 States. Some look amazing!
These also look amazing too: The World’s Strangest Natural Wonders. I usually do not post links with slideshows, I made an exception for this one. Which one is your favorite? 🙂
I read the Greek press and the hotel developments are coming non stop so I would like to offer a short summary of what is happening. First, the Athens Hilton has closed and is being renovated and will come back as a Conrad along with Conrad and Waldorf Astoria Residences. But Hilton is not done yet. It will take over the Pentelikon Hotel and rebrand is at as a Curio Collection by Hilton and then another property in the port of Piraeus will become the Hampton by Hilton (I do not think this will be a Hampton Inn) and will likely be a great option for cruisers and tourists going to/from the Greek Aegean islands by ferry.
Ok, get ready for more Greek hotel developments, here we go: First, the action is happening primarily in four and five star properties. In the meantime the Covid crisis has caused smaller hotel owners to announce sales of their units, there are 483 hotels now for sale in Greece! Radisson is going to come in with two more properties, one in the Skiathos island (which I visited back in my high school days!) and, please contain your enthusiasm, a Radisson Blu is coming in Mykonos island, wow. Also, the center of Athens is changing. Accor will have a McGallery property. Accor has seven properties in Greece right now and will be adding another four (two will be Ibis properties). Marriott will have a Moxy property and the first W hotel in Greece will be in southern Greece. The Grand Hyatt in Athens will expand from 309 to 550 beds. I limited myself to the chain hotels where we can use hotel points to stay for free of course. Just to mention, an Israeli hotel company Brown Hotels is rapidly expanding in Greece too. These are the current plans and of course they are always subject to change.
Very helpful personal finance article: Seven Money Rules.
1. Jeff Bezos is a bad role model
2. When the stock market is at a high point, you can still expect it to go higher
3. As investors, we are all products of our environments
4. It’s the risks we don’t know are risks that pose the biggest risk
5. Over time, “safe” investments tend to become unsafe, and “unsafe” investments tend to become safe
6. Tactical portfolio management is mostly a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever make tactical decisions
7. The market sometimes gets things right, but it can’t always see around the corner
I felt this. Not because I am a billionaire lol. The Moral Calculations of a Billionaire. I love this guy. Before you go off on a stupid anti rich rant in the comments, please note the following:
What exactly had he done wrong? What rule had he broken? He’d been born to poor immigrant parents on the losing end of a capitalist economy. He’d attended public schools, taken on debt to become the first in his family to attend college, worked 80-hour weeks, made smart decisions, benefited from some good luck, amassed a fortune for himself and for his clients and paid hundreds of millions in taxes to the government. He had a wife of 57 years, two successful children, and three grandchildren who were helping him decide how to give most of his money away to a long list of charities. “My life is the story of the American Dream,…”
They’d given away $150 million to a hospital in New Jersey, $50 million for college scholarships to Newark high school students, $40 million to Columbia Business School, $40 million to Hunter College, $30 million to performing arts, $25 million to the Jewish Family Fund, $20 million to skilled nursing, $15 million to food banks, and on and on it went.
“How do you become wealthy?” he asked. “You develop a product or a service that people want. The world is better off for a Larry Ellison, a Bill Gates. Look at the jobs they created. Look at the good they did for the world. The attack on wealthy people makes no sense to me.”
“I’m giving the money away,” he said. “It’s been my pledge, and my wife’s pledge, to give it all away.”
I lasted about one month on Instagram. TikTok? Not even five minutes, I just could not take all the awful crap on it! What You Learn From a Year of Watching Bad Financial Advice on TikTok. What passes as financial advice should be illegal imho! If you get any advice from TikTok you do not belong here, please leave.
With that being said, it’s really bad right now. It was the GameStop stuff, then the AMC stuff, then the cryptocurrency stuff, then the Dogecoin stuff. Now it’s the NFT stuff. At this point, a fourth of the videos that I see are people shilling NFT projects. “Oh man this is gonna be the next Bored Ape Whatever club.” But it’s just NFT people paying them to promote whatever. Now it’s getting really bad. The NFT stuff is getting really, really sketchy.
So naturally it shows all the bad financial behavior because those people know how to market themselves better than somebody who is knowledgeable about the markets. So I think that TikTok is to blame for a lot of this. And I think they know all of this too. They just don’t give a shit.
Here we go back down again…under 300k cases per day. Don’t you get that feeling again that we are in the clear? Same as the last two variants?
ODDZ & ENDZ
Are you stressed right now? Do you want to relax? Click to relax.
If you ever wanted to search for weird old books, THIS is the link: Weird Old Book Finder.
Today I ran 10 miles in 18 degrees F. But with the wind chill was like -1. Oh, the joys of running in the winter in Michigan. I guess it is so much better than this place, wow! World’s coldest marathon at blistering minus 53C is complete in Yakutia. You can bet that this is one marathon I will never fun lol.
Let’s stay in Russia, and the former Soviet Union specifically. These are great: 40 Pics That Perfectly Sum Up The Soviet And Post Soviet Times.
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: You can waste A LOT of time in this hobby by trying to get every mile/point you can. It is not worth it messing around with small promos. It is certainly not worth it trying to reach elite status in some airline (unless you are a road warrior and your boss is making you travel in this Covid era). So, do not waste time trying to score a deal for 500 or 1,000 points requiring you to sign up for something even when you do not pay anything out of cash. Because you will have to cancel that membership or account or whatever. And that could take a LOT of mental bandwidth. Or, the deal gets pulled under you! American Airlines AAdvantage Is Clawing Back eShopping Miles From Member Accounts. Focus on the BIG fish, just read my blog 🙂 ok?
The signup bonus is sweetened with a free night on three different Hilton cards! Increased Signup Bonuses on Amex Hilton Cards of up to 130,000 Points + Free Night Certificate. One is a no annual fee card offering 70,000 Hilton Honors points and a free night and there are two $95 cards offering 130,000 points and a free night. And the minimum spend requirement is only $1,000 for the no annual fee card and $2,000 for the $95 cards. If you decide that these cards are good for you and you can still get them (one per lifetime per type of card), please use my Credit Card links to support this blog and you can be first in February!
I am surprised these promos are still around, I guess Uber and Lyft still have money to burn. You Can Quadruple Dip on Uber Rides and Double Dip on Lyft. There is some work involved of course. But still…if you were going to use one of these companies why not maximize your earnings?
As the slow path to the good times ending in this hobby (devaluations, revenue based switches, etc.), we now have Airlines Getting Nasty w/Cancellation Fees and Expiring Credits. You do not want to book air travel on bank travel portals. Because, if things go wrong, it is a nightmare to get everything resolved and you do not need the hassle and aggravation, you are welcome. Also, heads up, seriously AA?
AA’s flight credit scheme is incredibly complicated. There are Flight Credits, Trip Credits, and Travel Vouchers, each with their own restrictions. And this is just one airline we’re dealing with. Each airline is different so understanding the restrictions before booking can be very time consuming.
Register for IHG Rewards latest promotion for unlimited Double Points.
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 did this again…one of these years I will stay in a Caesars property to maximize my benefits lol. Reminder: Match Wyndham Status Back To Caesars Rewards.
Need five nights at a London hotel, best deal on hotel points for any property, NOT looking for luxury stay. Hyatt, Hilton or Radisson properties preferred. Any suggestions?
I think we have been on a multi year slide towards these rewards programs just becoming a forgettable minimum discount program as the path to have everything become revenue based marches on. (Update: awards on Alaska metal devalued as well) Alaska Mileage Plan: AA awards to begin dynamic pricing starting 3/1.
Of course bloggers will not mention this much as it does not serve them as the whole point of being a full time blogger in the miles and points space is to keep readers excited and interested to keep coming back and be impressed how said bloggers traveled luxuriously for free and how you too can do that…only if you use their credit card affiliate links, rinse and repeat. Or they will come up with the still valid but also getting weaker argument that foreign programs will never devalue and will always have sweetspots. And I say excuse me? Updated: New YQ IN EFFECT! ANA Doubles Its Fuel Surcharge to the U.S. on Feb 1, 2002.
I predict this NYT writer will end up working at TPG 🙂 I am just going to drop this here for entertainment because you heard the “story” all along smh: Talking Points With … Who Else? The Points Guy. Keep it civil in the comments please. Anyway, the list of employees is getting shorter over there by the way. And make sure if you apply to ask for $115k salary and signing and relocation bonus smh.
Mile Nerd posts once a month. I should join him one of these…years. This part of his latest post made me laugh!
3. Keep things fresh in bed
Taking your intimacy to the next level means remembering your secret weapon…comedy. This is an advanced level technique. It requires perfect timing. But waiting for the exact moment of climax to ask, “You have herpes too, right?” will create a classic moment your partner will remember for years.
I have been reading some really great material on crypto, NFTs, Web3 and things like that and I think I am going to do a Best of Web post on the subject later this week.
Me promoting the acai bowls at Anake’s Juice Bar in Kauai last month. For free…promoting that is. Not cheap but oh man so worth it! Also, one pic that I look halfway decent for a change!
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