Here’s one you may want to take advantage of relatively soon (offers expire April 24th) – the new AmEx Marriott Bonvoy Card – referral link here (yes, if you apply and get approved through this link, I get a bonus)
I’ll cut to the chase on the why (and realize this is all before the bonus you get following signup):
- Yes, there’s a $450 annual fee – big downside, but you quickly get that back the following ways:
- $300 annual Marriott credit. Think of all those vacations, work trips, family holidays, weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc. you need to attend. That by itself reduces the net cost of the card to $150.
- Reimbursement for TSA Precheck or Global Entry (which includes Precheck) $100 value.
- Priority Pass Select membership – get into airport lounges without flying elite or paying per visit. Do you know how many $7 bad coffees and $12 bad beers / cocktails I’ve been able to avoid on layovers or delayed flights? Not to mention legit food instead of deep-fried or infinitely shelf-stable chips/crips? And clean bathrooms, spacious outlets, proper air conditioning, gorgeous views, etc.? Basic priority pass costs $99 per year PLUS $27 per visit per person. Under the Amex arrangement you get (last I checked) up to four guests on your own admission.
- Boingo Wifi membership – free. Normally this runs $14.99 per month. It’s not my preferred way to connect, but to each their own.
- Free gold status in the marriott / bonvoy / starwood system. This is a hidden gem of upgrades, etc. I’ve been able to upgrade from regular rooms to suites avoiding the need to pay for a 2nd room. Easily covered the annual fee of this card in a single transaction.
- There’s also perks that are common or of not particular interest to me: no foreign transaction fees, 6 points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, collision damage waiver on rentals, roadside assistance, travel and bag insurance, etc.
- On your first anniversary (and every anniversary thereafter you get a free night). So, $900 for two years worth of annual fees=$600 in credits, plus free night (variable value), plus PreCheck/Global Entry, plus lounge access, plus boingo…and we still haven’t gotten to the signup bonus.…
- If you get the signup bonus (by spending $5K in 3 months, and I have all kinds of ways you can do that), you’ll get 100K Marriott Bonvoy points – worth between 2-5 nights in Marriott properties (depending on the fanciness of the hotel). You can also transfer these points on a 3:1 basis to lots of airline programs (so ~33K miles).
So in two years – $900 in fees gets you…$600 in credits, plus between 3 and 6 nights in hotels, lounge access, status with the hotel chain, pre-check/global entry, boingo, etc. If you do any traveling this card pays for itself pretty quickly. Oh that link to apply? Right here (and yes, it’s a referral link, I get a bonus too).
Naturally you should pay off your bill every month – bonuses aren’t worth the interest rate you’ll pay. But you know that, right?
This is what I imagine will be the first of a few “political” posts over the coming years, if that’s not of interest to you – okee dokee. If it is, stay tuned.
Dear flacks… It’s time to get the torches and pitchforks. I know we may not like the press when they don’t respond to your pitch (pitch better, seriously) but the removal of our some of our most respected press outlets from the WH briefing room last week is something to get riled up about. This is your industry, you have a huge stake in this game and if you don’t see it you shouldn’t call yourself a PR pro, turn in your flack card – I’m embarrassed to know you. No, I won’t explain it to you.
But what to do? That I can help with:
- Subscribe to your local paper and national news outlets – it helps with the moneyz and it helps circulation numbers so that imbecile in chief can’t claim that our press is failing. And yes – it’s our press.
- Buy some swag – wear your heart on your forehead, chest, mug, pens, anything. Avow public and notoriously that you believe in Real News and Real Facts and Real Press.
- Become an Associate Member of the Society of Professional Journalists. You don’t qualify to be a full member (only press does), but this pretty good too.
If you don’t know the SPJ – read here. In short though, “The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.”
The second thing:
I don’t know what to say. I grew up in JCCs. Nothing needs to be said here, nothing should need to be said here, but it’s everything. It’s people across this nation deciding that the best way to exact revenge upon people – mostly seniors and children – that have never done anything to them is by calling in a fucking bomb threat. And to what end? None – just fear, confusion and doubt.
The worst part – this is the lowest possible form of terrorism (and don’t think it’s not). This is the violent equivalent of prank calling your neighbor. These wimps are literally calling in their violence. You really want to show what kind of badass you are – show up at a Krav Maga class and start a fight or tell them you called in a bomb threat to their child’s preschool – I’ll pick you up at the hospital. I’ll go one better – show up in NYC (I’ll reimburse your flight) and explain to me, eye-to-eye, what anyone has ever done to you that merits anything approaching this. No promises about a hospital pickup after that though.
The last thing…nearly the last straw:
“Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people, or to make others, look bad,” (also, C’mon – this has Bannon all over it).
In a public forum, our President, implied that member(s) of the Jewish community was calling in the bomb threats to make others look bad. The over 100 bomb threats (link 2 above). All independently came up with this grand idea?
It’s not the lack of taste, the lack of evidence, the part where governement is supposed to protect, or that this is the beginning of an open door to search warrants (or searches without warrants) and investigations that’s bothering me (well, ok, they are…but not the big thing).
What’s bothering me this time though – is that I almost let this one slide. It didn’t surprise me. I tweeted, FB’d, IM’d privately but then I moved on. I didn’t Never Forget. This is how it starts – directing blame without proof and creating an enemy.
I forgot…that’s what made me angry.
These are my fantastically selected links for June 17th, 2013 from 05:11 to 16:18:
- Minimalist ‘Star Wars’ Posters Accompanied With Quotes –
- Photos of Manhattan’s Own Disconnected Payphone Graveyard –
- Unleashing Synonyms To Catch E-Book Pirates –
- Samsung Is Spending $5 Million To Subsidize Jay-Z’s New Album, And Actually It’s A Brilliant Use Of Its Money –
- Google Launches Balloon-Based Internet In New Zealand –
- Electronic Updatable License Plates Could Flash “STOLEN” Or “TEEN DRIVER” –
- German Court Holds Google Responsible for Its Search Suggestions –
- A Clever Plane Catalog That ‘Flies’ –
- Hypnotizing Photographs Created Using Everyday Objects Found In An Office –
- Amazing New Pixar Short The Blue Umbrella Finds Expression in a City Rainstorm –
- This Jay-Z Ad For His Samsung-Backed Album Has Been Seen 1 Million Times In 24 Hours –
- Laser Maze: A Delightful Puzzle Game –
- Beautiful, Unused Portraits From ‘The Avengers’ –
These are my links for June 15th, 2013 through June 16th, 2013:
- 36 Shot in Chicago Over Weekend –
- Regular Dad vs Geek Dad [Pic] –
- Classic Photo: Lower Manhattan Was Terrifying In 1888 –
- How Does Toothpaste Make Orange Juice Taste Bad? –
- ‘Man of Steel’ Has Largest June Opening Ever –
- Man Tries to Get Prostitute Arrested… For Being Too Ugly –
- Google to Release Wi-Fi Balloons –
- A 3D Printing Neophyte Spends Three Weeks With a Cube 3D Printer –
- Ebooks: Where to Start and How to Finish –
These are my fantastically selected links for June 14th, 2013 from 02:50 to 19:35:
- Teams from Amazon, Microsoft battle on Starcraft in After Hours Gaming League –
- Facebook introducing something on June 20 — will it be a Google Reader replacement? –
- Smoking Banned In Rental Units, Including Terraces, At All Related Properties –
- Revisiting The Mohawk Airlines Crash Of 1969 (Will Someone From Mad Men Be On It?) –
- These beautiful photos make New York’s subway expansion look like a fairytale cave –
- The More Often You Tweet, The Bigger Narcissist You Are [STUDY] –
- Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ Game Will Rock Your World –
- Photos: Turtles Adorably Herded Away From JFK Runways –
- Yahoo Fought Prism (and Lost) –
- World’s Thinnest And Lightest iPad Keyboard –
- How to Get the NSA to Follow You on Twitter –
- Farting Cop Helps Bust Pot Farm –
- The Secret to Feeling Energized at Work? Autonomy. –
- Same-Sex Marriage Doesn’t Affect Opposite-Sex Marriage Rates, Study Finds –
- Most Boring Vigilante Group Ever Paints Illegal Crosswalks on Busy Tacoma Street –
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 Broken Down With Humorous Infographics –
- Ping me when it's broken –
- Illustrations Of Iconic Eyewear Worn By Pop-Culture Icons –
These are my fantastically selected links for June 13th, 2013 from 10:02 to 19:05:
- Boy Bullied by Twitter Racists Will Sing NBA Finals Anthem –
- Sad News, Folks: Two-Faced Deucy Has Already Shuffled Off This Mortal Coil –
- These $2.50 DIY Sandbags Will Keep Your Light Stands Steady on the Cheap –
- Snowden Stole Secret NSA Documents With a Flash Drive –
- Pocket and Sleeping Bag Can Charge Your Phone –
- This gorgeous four-planet sunset was captured on May 25, 2013 by… –
- 25 Rage GIFs That Perfectly Express Your Anger –
- Samsung Galaxy NX Mirrorless Camera Photos Leaked, Show Android OS –
- MetroPCS Joins The BYOD Party –
- Man Arrested For Scrawling Cuss Words On Traffic Ticket Files Civil Rights Lawsuit –
- Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips #3 –
- NY Times Digs Up SFW Evidence That Weiner Is A Dick –
- Man of Steel Post Credits Scene LEAKED! [Video] –
- Green Coffee Bean Extract Probably Won’t Help You Lose Weight –
- Whoops! Book by Jeff Bezos’ wife delayed by Amazon logistics –
- School District To Pay Science Teachers More Than English Teachers –
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Camera Phone Isn’t Afraid of Water –
- Citi Bikin’ Dad Tosses Little Girl In The Basket –
- Skateboarder Killed By MTA Bus In Brooklyn –
- Stan Lee Cologne –
These are my fantastically selected links for June 12th, 2013 from 13:15 to 19:47:
These are my links for June 10th, 2013 through June 11th, 2013:
- GoT Season Finale Sets Torrenting Record, Possibly Due to Stark Fans Who Cancelled HBO Too Early –
- Stop Insider Tweeting!—Feds Eye Social Media for Securities Shenanigans –
- AMD finally gets @AMD thanks to Seattle entrepreneur’s creative charity swap –
- NJ Town Is Banning Sagging Pants –
- Taking Pictures on an Offshore Oil Rig Is Serious Business –
- Under Pilot Program, Students At I.S. 30 Get Longer Day –
- Tintype App Brings the Magic and History of Tintype Photography to iOS –
- Amazon opens doors on 3D printer storefront: Is this a sign of things to come? –
- Google’s Visual Design Guidelines –
- Boy Protects Mom By Fatally Stabbing Her Armed Ex-Boyfriend –
- History of Spying (on ourselves; 1791-2013) –
- Why Can’t You Rent A Citi Bike For 45 Minutes? Capitalism, Man –
- Watch The 1968 Experimental Docu-Drama Filmed In Central Park –
- When giving reasons leads to worse decisions –
- SUV Driver Crashes Through Fence To Hit Couple On Brooklyn Stoop –
- Video: Did George R. R. Martin Model Westeros After Staten Island? –
- The Single Best Thing Apple Announced At Today’s iPhone Event –
These are my links for June 7th, 2013 through June 10th, 2013:
- Rodeo Bans “Professional” SLR Cameras — A Swipe at Animal-Rights Crowd? –
- The Economics of SkyMall Magazine & Curious Secret –
- Ciara Served With Lawsuit While Performing On-Stage –
- Working the night shift on Mars, the Curiosity rover gives us a… –
- Photographing Earth from the Cupola on the International Space Station –
- WANTED: Free Photos –
- Vine Picks Up Steam, Passes Instagram in Total Daily Twitter Shares –
- Ferrite: The Lava Lamp of the 21st Century –
- Drugs where the sun don’t shine: a cultural history –
- Actor John Malkovich Saves Elderly Man’s Life Outside Toronto Theater –
- Fired Chicago Sun-Times Photographers Picket Newspaper –
- How an Instagram Hashtag is Helping to Clean up the Environment –
- Cindy Crawford’s First Modeling Shot From Her High School Boyfriend’s Backyard –
- Scarlett Johansson Sues Over Bizarre French Book That Depicts Her Doppelganger –
- Build a DIY Sound Blimp to Silence Your Camera for Less Than $100 –
- TV Nudity Is Increasingly Being Rated Acceptable For Kids –
- You’ll Be Able to Buy a 3D Printer at Staples by the End of June –
- Rock Hudson’s Wife Secretly Recorded His Gay Confession — Revealed 55 Years Later –
- Visual Supply Co Officially Releases the New VSCO Cam and VSCO Grid –
- 13 Killer Photos From The Final Season Of ‘Dexter’ –
- Hot Water Bottle Shaped Like A Gun, Makes Fun of America’s Gun Obsession –