We bring you more on the US pandemic disgrace, register for a new Hyatt promo, visit amazing monasteries, interviewing the O-Man, the best Covid-19 coverage, amazing photos and video collections, the ridiculous lengths AA fraud team goes to bust members, travel to Indonesia to ride vespas, travel to Antarctica and to the Great Barrier Reef and, you know, so much more you will be coming back to my blog again and again over the next week so I can make money off you from page views…oh wait, I don’t make any money on page views and ads. I missed you all! But…did you miss me?
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I am determined to stick with once a week posting on Thursdays at 6.30 pm the whole month of July. It has been pretty liberating for me not to have to come up with a Monday post, my last weekend was great! But I certainly did miss you all…
The size of this post is much larger than normal. Enjoy reading the content over the next week you guys. You are not going to get through all of it in one post, maybe pick a section and come back later for another section? Save the long reads for the weekend. Or do as you wish. And just think that one minute I spend on marketing/promoting my blog is one minute taken away from finding the best damn reads on the web for you to get educated, entertained and inspired ok?
Check the Covid-19 Risk Level by State/County.
You know I have been following the Covid-19 pandemic for a long time now, it is the event of our lifetimes imho. And this was becoming clearer to me: Study confirms new version of coronavirus spreads faster, but doesn’t make people sicker. It is just one more study…more to come, science is messy and takes time.
Dispatch from an American living in Paris: Do Americans Understand How Badly They’re Doing? Maybe you noticed the theme around here…
American leadership has politicized the pandemic instead of trying to fight it. I see no preparedness, no coordinated top-down leadership of the sort we’ve enjoyed in Europe. I see only empty posturing, the sad spectacle of the president refusing to wear a mask, just to own the libs. What an astonishing self-inflicted wound.
Just in case you have not realized how we have screwed this up so yuge! America’s told-you-so moment: How we botched the reopening. The body bags keep coming, what an ongoing tragedy. And the dotard tweets at NASCAR that its ratings are down, wow (actually, NASCAR ratings are up lol).
I am going to stick with my point because I am angry. If you are not I believe something is wrong with you! Even In New York We’re Dropping the Ball. Yeah, even them NY libs can’t do things right just when we thought they were getting there…The article compares our numbers with Germany and you quickly realize the giant hole we have dug ourselves…it is sickening!
Even in the areas where we’re doing pretty well we’ve still gotten complacent. We’re failing. It’s not a matter of permanent lockdowns. It’s just a matter of having a strategy, following the evidence, being dedicated and getting popular buy-in. In other parts of the world they’re having health and economy. We have neither.
The article makes a good case for this: The Medical Case for Reopening Schools. How in the world we made public health a partisan political issue is just bonkers and we see the results, SAD!
Well, this hits home as our son has moved back living with us from New York City since early March when he escaped ground zero. The New Boomerang Kids Could Change American Views of Living at Home. It is, well, interesting, mostly good and much safer of course. And he gets to save a lot of money too! Almost all his coworkers in his team are back living at home with their parents. There are some large scale shifts going on and the pandemic has accelerated them. This is true:
Moving in with your parents is often seen as a mark of irresponsibility. The pandemic might show the country that it shouldn’t be.
As we learn more about this virus, we are discovering more things about it. You know, sometimes I wish let me just get it, I am strong, will beat it and then let me just go on with my life, maybe burn some miles and cherish the plentiful award space and fly places (where I am allowed, maybe my second passport will work as the US one will likely shut many
doors borders). And then I read things like this and say NOPE: Coronavirus: What does Covid-19 do to the brain?
One of the report authors, Prof Tom Solomon of the University of Liverpool, told me, “It’s clear now that this virus does cause problems in the brain whereas initially we thought it was all about the lungs. Part of it is due to lack of oxygen to the brain. But there appear to be many other factors, such as problems with blood clotting and a hyper-inflammatory response of the immune system. We should also ask whether the virus itself is infecting the brain.”
It is astonishing to think we spend almost a phucking one trillion dollars on defense and we basically had taken away most of the funding for public health when a tiny virus nobody can see has the potential (as we are all finding out) to kill so many of us, how sad is that! The Pandemic Experts Are Not Ok. Many American public-health specialists are at risk of burning out as the coronavirus surges back. I hope our memory is not that short after this is all over…
My god, how have we phucked this up! This chart ranks the countries with the most confirmed new cases over the past week, adjusted for population size, and treats each U.S. state as if it were a country.
Sorry about the depressing turn this blog post has taken. I just find this stuff and call it as it is. You may want to skip the next link!
A Time Lapse World Map of Every Death from the Coronavirus Pandemic. Notice how slow it starts and then BANG…all hell breaks loose! Remember when we had just one person from “Chynaaa” and then we had fifteen and were going down to zero and all along we had this thing under control…If you are not angry what is wrong with you?
Ok, last one and let’s try to reverse to some positivity. Kind of. Highest number of cases recently but deaths have gone way down. Why? This article explains this: COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, So Why Are Deaths Flatlining? As is everything with this virus, it is not so simple! But a combination of how deaths lag, testing finding milder cases earlier, younger patients, better treatment at hospitals now that we have had at least a few months experience dealing with it and yes summer season may be helping a little too.
MILES & POINTS
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I find the whole space of miles and points to be in a state that I had never seen it! Kind of suspended, everything on hold, not much traveling other than that road trips, RVs and camping are red hot all pandemic induced. Banks have bailed out airlines and hotels buying miles and points but they are NOT translating that to higher travel rewards credit card offers. Instead, they are trying to hold on to current credit card holders as most are bent on canceling cards earning them miles and points when they have no idea when they will start traveling again. Mega layoffs are coming in the travel industry when the free PPP money runs out, let’s face it. It is just weird seeing this happen like everything else with this phucking virus…
So, I am not seeing many worthy posts to share with you in this space…so excuse the bare coverage. It is not me!
If you wanted to learn more about the program: Hilton Honors Complete Guide.
Perfect timing I guess, looking forward to this series. For the moment, it is good to dream about them: Points for Your Post Pandemic Self-Indulgence Part 1: Top Laidback Hilton Luxury Resorts!
Finally hotels are starting to improve their promos. Hyatt Launches New Promos During Travel Showdown. 15% to 25% Award Redemption Rebates, free parking and 3x on hotel dining. If these were normal times these will be very nice to have, especially the 25% rebate. But they are not normal times…
There is more action from banks trying to get us to put more spend on airline and hotel travel rewards credit cards. Especially on grocery spend! If you have Marriott Bonvoy credit cards issued by Chase, click on this LINK to register to Earn 10X total points on up to $3,500 in combined purchases spent at gas stations and restaurants, including eligible delivery services1 such as GrubHub and DoorDash between July 15 and September 15, 2020.
Remember when we were all alarmed by how we were not going to find enough pilots? Oh my, how quickly things have changed: Pilots Were Once in Short Supply. Now They’re Losing Their Jobs.
Wow, must click. A 6 minute film titled SWARM. By the McGloughin Brothers. The images, the music, it will blow your mind. If not, I will give you your money back, I guarantee it! 🙂
This is cool. The oldest city in every state, mapped. I had no idea Saul Ste. Marie was the oldest city in Michigan…but it makes sense now.
Just click it. Sand. You are welcome. Your grandma will love to read my blog too #hint.
This is amazing! Explore the ancient Greek city of Mycenae in a newly released digital archive. Digital Mycenae.
These look unreal: Indonesia’s Tricked Out Vespas.
For some reason I love monasteries. This list here is not complete without any from Mount Athos in Greece, fyi. 10 amazing monasteries with architecture you have to see to believe.
The Scenes from Antarctica will blow you away!
We can’t go there now but we can using our computers! Lifelike Human Sculptures Are Submerged in Underwater Museum at the Great Barrier Reef.
I had never heard of this disaster in Italy before, how horrible! The Vajont Dam Disaster.
You can check out who got Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans in your state. We will be hearing of mega frauds for years in this…Many of them were anti government entities, like the Ayn Rand Institute LOL…and many others. You should be angry, the focus of this program should have been the truly small businesses, you know, the mom and pop places. No, I did not do this because I did not need the money as my business was impacted a little and had plenty of cash stashed in an emergency fund. I see fellow financial planning firms could not help themselves, you should wonder if they truly needed the money or were just greedy? If you are a client of these firms…maybe they do not do a good job taking care of their own affairs so why should they be advising…you?
Yeah, with the rates so low and likely staying at these levels…we are all trying to adjust to this “new normal”, maybe this time is indeed different? 🙂 5 Thoughts on a World with No Yield.
Great infographic: U.S. Unemployment Rates Over Time.
Another great visual: What Does 1GB of Mobile Data Cost in Every Country? Really Malawi? And I am shocked India is the cheapest, never expected it!
RIP to a true legend! Ennio Morricone, The Sound Of The American West, Dies At 91.
It is hard to believe that there may be an even dumber dude who happens to be governing a country. It has to be this guy! Coronavirus: Brazil’s President Bolsonaro tests positive.
The one policy that really made me lose it. I mean, this is not just cruel but just plain stupid! By rejecting international students, will Trump ruin US universities?
ODDZ & ENDZ
I had no idea it sounds like this, wow! The Horrible Sound of Jello Getting Crushed.
At first, I thought this was satire. But it is not! The Story of O-Man, the Personal Trainer Who Became the Valley’s Secret Orgasm Whisperer. The writer gets to interview him…my idol lol. Who else in the blogging world brings you gems like this? Keep me from quitting, buy shit you don’t need with my Amazon link lol. He has a website too: The O-Man. If he only had an affiliate link too woohoo!
Totally wild story of a Master Thief. Meet Sean Murphy, Patriots Fan Who Stole Giants’ Super Bowl Rings.
I remember this dude from a long time ago. He obviously had some issues. I knew he got in trouble but I had no idea he is locked up for a very long time for murder, wow! Hitchhiker, hero, celebrity, killer: The strange journey of the man called Kai. That video of his became one of the first viral hits…
Stuff you learn online. Never had heard of Buruli. Now I have. And I have nightmares: Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem.
I had no idea about all these facts about this movie we all love! Airplane! Is Considered One of the Best Comedies of All Time. But 40 Years Ago No One Saw it Coming.
Amazing video! Incredible restored video of Tokyo from 1913-1915.
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.
Speaking of road trips, we did a road trip to the other side of Michigan to visit Saugatuck. I thought about burning some hotel points to stay a night in nearby Holland, MI. I had heard about this place for a long time but had never visited. Well, we came, we saw and we will not come back. Tiny place overcome by tourists. Yeah, some cute artistic shops, very gay friendly, nice bay to watch boats go by but…did I say tiny overcome by local tourists? Oh yes I did. Ok, having a bad expensive meal at a restaurant that was recommended to us did not help at all, especially when the waitress recommended the bbq and it was probably yesterday’s, WTF! And then of course we went for a swim at Lake Michigan. Tiny beach overcome by people, tough to do social distancing. Hilly beach. And the water was full of green slimy algae stuff, yuck! I hope our next day trips are better than this lol.
Thinking of road trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It has several hotels I can burn some IHG Rewards points. I wonder if anyone has visited and has some recommendations of some must visit places. I am thinking Pictured Rocks and probably staying at Marquette and using that as the start of day trips around it. Any feedback is welcome. Beaches? Restaurants? Hiking spots?
I could have made a lot more money here and stopped whining a long time ago if I followed up on every email I got from a marketing person hawking stuff I would never go for myself and bribing me with “amazing” offers. Lots of these outfits will not last long. And the initial teaser type intro promos are not going to last long anyway. Latest to stick it to its customers is SoFi, an outfit with so many excited bloggers who were of course more excited to make money off their readers than anything else. Reader Jon gave me his constructive criticism feedback in my last post and I tried to explain where I am coming from.
The big news in our quirky hobby was of course this: American Airlines’ Shocking Formal DOT Response; Don’t Mess With AAdvantage! So, if they monitor Flyertalk and Reddit…you think they don’t read blogs? Come on! And more from an attorney blogger: AA Shutdowns – Observations on AA’s Response to the Borges v. AA DoT.
And of course the Amex RATs just keep clobbering hobbyists who think are smart lol: American Express Also Clawing Back Points On Delta/Marriott Cards From Grocery Promotion. So, you blog about getting Hilton lifetime status by buying gift cards at grocery stores, really? Boom, you lose!
To blog aggregator PointsBuzz: Please delete these dead blogs for crying out loud: Frugal Travel Guy, Travel Is Free, Pointscentric, Frequent Flyer Miles 101, The Faraway Guide.
To blog aggregator MilesFeed: Please delete these dead blogs for crying out loud: Deals We Like, The Reward Boss, Angelina Travels, Loophole Travel, Travel Is Free, Frequent Flyer Miles 101, Chasing The Points, Top Shelf Millennial.
To both blog aggregators: Why bother with these blogs that as may well be dead: Milevalue, The Travel Sisters, Points With a Crew, Out And Out, Well Traveled Mile, milepoint (forums).
If you know who runs these blog aggregators, please direct them to this information, thank you. Also, tell them to please place my blog on the top and will link a lot more of them #hint 🙂
Before I leave you with the funny pic/gif let me share with you this stunning picture of Earth Taken in 1967 from 18,000 km Away.
And I leave you with this…
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Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.