Monday, June 28, 2010

Update on the e-miles Pimping

As noted in this post, e-miles wants to pimp people for miles and, miles-slut that I am, I thought it was worth it to get paid for what I was putting out for free.  Or something.  Having had an account with them for a little over a week, I thought I'd share the experience:

June 20: Earned 200 Miles 

When I first logged in, e-miles wanted to ask me lots of questions.  Worst.  First.  Date.  Ever.  There were four lengthy surveys, on which I said I was very wealthy and interested in EVERYTHING with the idea that these surveys help e-Miles target offers to you.

In addition, there were miles awarded for making e-miles a "trusted sender" in your email account (which I didn't bother to do but told e-Miles that I did) and for reading the e-Miles guidelines and then taking a quiz on them.

Interestingly, information about how easy it is to LOOSE miles was not in the quiz, but I found out that:

  • e-miles are only transfered to your frequent flyer program in 500 mile increments.  Have 600 miles?  You can transfer 500, but need 400 more if you want the other 100.
  •  e-miles expire one year from when they are earned.
  • e-miles can suspend your account if you do not respond to one marketing message per month.
  • e-miles has the right to terminate your account or deduct e-Miles if its rules change in the future

Big daddy can be mean to his children.  :-(

I also watched/read ads for Travel + Leisure, Disney and Zales to earn some extra points.

Click "Read More" to read about getting another 595 miles.

June 24: Earned 595 Miles

When I logged in, I saw that I had a number of offers that were 5 + 250, 5 + 100, etc.  What this meant is that if I looked at the ad, I could get 5 miles, but if I signed up for something, I could earn an additional 250 miles, etc.

Well, it turned out that some companies that I had abused before happened to be on the list.  For example, ING was offering 250 extra miles if I signed up for their ShareBuilder account, and they were also offering their usual $25 bonus.  I'd gotten that bonus probably a year ago and had never canceled my account.  I thought that would make me ineligible to open a new account, but I clicked on the ad anyway.

Sharebuilder asked if I already had an account and then asked me to log in.  I did, awaiting the rejection page, but suddenly they were giving me a second account under the same login and it was still good for the $25 bonus.  The bonus appeared in my new account a few days later.  So I just got 255 miles and $25.  Sweet.

Experian was offering 255 miles as well for signing up for a "free" credit score.  You have to give a credit card because, of course, if you do not cancel your account within 7 days, they start charging you monthly.  I've done the dance with Experian a number of times before, so it took just a quick phone call and repeatedly saying "No" to a customer representative to get them to cancel the membership.

I did a few more ad-looks and even applied for a "Free 2GB Flashdrive", only to be told that "We will contact you to let you know if you were one of the first 500 respondents" eligible to get the flashdrive.  Sigh.

When it was said and done, I had 795 miles in the account and asked for 500 to be transfered to Delta.

Final analysis: If you have free time, it's an easy way to juice your frequent flyer account, but considering it took two hours to get miles worth only $6.00, it's not the best if you consider your time to be valuable.  

Friday, June 25, 2010

Abusing Best Buy

Other than butterflies and newborn babies, there is nothing more beautiful than a Best Buy service plan.  If you play your cards right, you can continually upgrade your electronics for only the cost of the service plan.  You are, in essence, leasing your gear from Best Buy.

Let me tell you a story:

In 2005, I bought both a $329 Mini-DV camcorder and its $79 service plan.  After almost four years of travel video and homemade porn, the camera was still it pretty good condition, which I considered a disappointment.  I wanted there to be a problem with the camera, for reasons that will soon be clear.  Finally, though, my wishes were answered when it fell off a table while the cord was plugged in.  The contacts became loose and now the camera would only charge if the cable was held in a certain position.

So, three years and 361 days after buying the camera--four days before the deadline--I went to my local Best Buy.  According to the policy, Best Buy will replace your damaged item with a new one (even if you caused the damage!).  Since four years is a cosmic epoch for electronics, they didn't have the same camera in stock, which was exactly what I wanted.

Since they couldn't replace it with an new one, the plan dictated that they give me a store credit for the original purchase price.  In 2005, $329 could get you a one-chip SD camera that took expensive Mini-DV tapes.  In 2009, $329 would get you a remarkably small HD camcorder with flash storage.

The price of this brand new camera to me in real terms? The $79 I paid for the plan four years ago. 

I essentially leased it for that price and then was given an upgrade. 

When I got the HD camcorder I also got the 4 year service plan to go with it.  Who knows?  Four years from now, $329 might by me a contact lens with a camera installed on it.  Either way, I've already paid for it, and will go get it as soon as I'm tired of my current camcorder.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Banks that Will Count Paypal or a Bank Transfer as a Direct Deposit

Chasing bank bonuses often requires jumping through hoops, and one of those biggest hoops is a direct deposit requirement.  They put it in there specifically do discourage bonus hunting, because if your paycheck is going to their bank, you're more likely to use their services and stick with them (that, and they get to earn interest by loaning out your money).

The little known way around that is by "pushing" money in from another institution (Paypal and ING are two of the more popular), which the bank's computers see as a direct deposit.  Since not all banks count those, though, the members of the message boards have been steadily compiling a list of which banks do and which banks don't.

ACH, in case you didn't know, stands for Automatic Clearing House, which is the system banks use to transfer money.  When you set up a transfer from one bank to get money from another bank, that's considered a "pull" and does not count as direct deposit.  When you send the money from one institution to go into another, though, that's considered a "push".  Many banks do pulls for free (after all, the money is going into their coffers), but often charge for pushes.  You should read the fine print before you do a push from a bank to make sure you don't pay a fee.  

If you find any others, please leave a comment and let me know.

Click "Read More" to see the full list.

Banks that people have had success pushing into:
  1. Bank of America (ING, Paypal, ACH push)
  2. Bank of the West (ING, Paypal)
  3. Bank One (ING, Paypal, ACH push)
  4. Bank of New York (ACH push)
  5. Capital One (ING)
  6. Charter One (ING, ACH push)
  7. Chase (ING, Paypal, Etrade, ACH push) 
  8. Citibank (ING, Paypal, ACH push)
  9. Citizens Bank (ING)
  10. Columbia Bank (Paypal)
  11. Commerce Bank (ING, Paypal) - refers to one in the northeast
  12. Compass Bank (ING)
  13. E-Trade Bank (ING, ACH push)
  14. HSBC (ING, Paypal, ACH push)
  15. Huntington National Bank (ING, PayPal, ACH push)
  16. KeyBank (Paypal, ACH push)
  17. LaSalle (ACH push, Etrade)
  18. M&I Bank (Paypal)
  19. M&T Bank (ACH push)
  20. PNC Bank (Paypal, ACH push, ING)
  21. Principal Bank (ING)
  22. Salem Five (ACH push)
  23. Sovereign (ACH push, ING)
  24. SunTrust (ING, Paypal)
  25. TD Banknorth (ACH push)
  26. UFBDirect (ACH push)
  27. USAA (ING)
  28. US Bank (Paypal, ACH push)
  29. Valley National Bank (ING)
  30. Wachovia (ING, ACH push)
  31. Washington Mutual (ING, ED, Paypal)
Banks that don't count ING/Paypal/ACH push transfers as direct deposits:
  1. Charter One 
  2. Chase  
  3. MeadowsCU 
  4. Metropolitan National Bank 
  5. PNC Bank 
  6. Presidential Bank
  7. Salem Five
  8. Sovereign 
  9. Wachovia 
  10. Wells Fargo 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

$250 from M&T Bank

I just got off the phone with one of M and T Bank's representatives about their new bonus offer.  She didn't know much about it, so I educated her instead of the other way around.  After she asked a manger a couple of questions, though, we got it sorted out.

Here's the deal:

  1. Open a checking account
  2. Sign up for direct deposit: get $25-$150 depending on the account type.
  3. Sign up for overdraft protection: get $50
  4. Make three bill pays in the first month of opening the account: get $50
Now here is the fine print:

  1. MyChoice Checking has the lowest minimum balance while still qualifying for the bonus.  You are must either make 10 check card transactions per month OR  have at least $500 in the account to avoid fees.  This account gives you a $25 bonus with direct deposit.
  2. Select Checking and Power Checking also qualify for the bonuses, giving you $50 and $150 respectively, but also requiring a $5,000 or $50,000 balance respectively.  
  3. The bonuses take 90 days to be deposited, so you much have the account open for at least three months.
I opened a MyChoice checking account, using Paypal to do the direct deposit, and then signed up for overdraft protection as well as bill pay.

I'm only getting $125 instead of the potential $150, but since my commitment is only $500, this means I made a 25% gain for letting them hold my money for a few months.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My First Road Trip: Racing The Sun

I inched the accelerator closer to the floor, torn between getting a speeding ticket and winning this race. My opponent was bigger, faster, brighter and didn’t actually know that we were competing. In fact, it was content to consume hydrogen while I cursed at both it and my patched-together Mustang, the three of us racing towards the horizon.

I was eighteen years-old and had been sitting bored at home, trying to think of something to do.  Then it occurred: Why didn't I watch the sun set over one ocean and rise over another? It was possible in Florida, as we had the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast and the Atlantic on the east. We even had I-4, an interstate that runs from Tampa to Daytona. Great idea, except that by the time I had thought of it, the sun was starting its decent.

Tampa was only an hour's drive from my house, but the sun was already touching the horizon when I exited the interstate, desperately looking for a way to get to a beach.  I could see a beach, see it was right there, but I didn’t know how to get my car to it. Fifteen minutes later, my car was parked and I was running across the sand and onto a pier that jutted out in the water.  I pulled my camera out just in time to photograph the sun's rays dipping below the water.  I watched as the pinks and yellows faded to blue to violet to black.

Relief exhaled. Phase One accomplished.

I had ten hours until the sun rose again and it only took an hour and a half to get to Daytona. What to do until then?

Click "Read More" for the rest of the story


Four AM found me hurtling down I-4, headed east. Construction barricades had me in a one-lane roofless tunnel, and I was sliding through this concrete slalom chute at 90 mph.  I had found a rave in Tampa, and had gotten so lost in the music and the dance that I again left too late.  It was stupid driving that fast in the dark, barely able to see the turns as they shot towards me into the glow of my headlights, driving that fast simply to see a sun that would come up again and again and again.  Stupid, but also damn exhilarating.

Odd to need to be near death to feel that.

The earth raced along with me, spinning at over a thousand miles an hour as it moved the continents, the oceans and me, so fast that if it stopped my car would be catapulted forward, tires leaving the pavement before nose-diving into the asphalt. But the earth didn’t stop and neither did I, and we both raced as fast as we could towards the sun.

Five-thirty AM found me in Daytona Beach, illegally parked at some hotel, the sky just beginning to lighten. I ran to the beach. The sun was not yet up, but it was coming quickly. The sky had already lightened to blue; pinks and yellows were peaking up over the ocean. The sand was deserted. I saw some birds flying over the waves and, as I pressed the button to take a picture, I realized I was out of film.


I turned and ran for my car, hopping in and pulling out, racing down an empty street, trying to find a convenience store. Lights flashed behind me, and I looked into the rear view.


I spotted a 7-11 and parked, looking at a store that I knew had film, looking at the sky growing lighter and lighter as the cop came to take my license and proof of insurance, as he took his sweet time writing the ticket.

I had raced breakneck down the interstate without incident and now, going 40 in a 30, I was getting pulled over.

Ticket in hand, I ran into the 7-11, bought the film, raced back to my car and snail-paced myself to the hotel parking lot, making sure I didn't catch the cop's attention again.

I had raced the sun to the west coast and watched it set over the Gulf of Mexico. While in Tampa,I had played  beach volleyball, rollerbladed, danced and driven through the night, all while on a planet rotating to bring me to see it again.

Breathless, I sat on the beach and waited. Soon the sun rose in a wash of orange and pink, its edges wavering as it cleared the water. It lifted up into some low-lying clouds, its light refracting into hundreds of rays that spread through the cottony ether. It was just me, the beach and the sun.


After the shimmering disk had come fully over the horizon, I lay back, exhausted, concentrating on its warmth on my face.

I awoke about an hour later. I had been dreaming. There was girl in the dream, walking along the beach. She was young and blonde and pretty and had said "hi" to me. And when I opened my eyes, no lie, she was there. It wasn’t the same girl and she wasn’t standing over me as expected, but she was young and blonde and pretty and walking barefoot in the sand nearer to the hotel, giving me a wide berth. I sat up and watched at her, looked at her lit by the rising sun. I was surprised a film crew wasn't recording it.

Everything else had been perfect, so why not this? I suppose in a novel she would had seen me and I her and we would had felt some deep connection and made love right there on the sand while the water lapped up at our legs. Instead, she walked by, barely acknowledging me. Just as she was passing, though, I said: “I had a dream about you.”

It caught her attention.

She came over. I introduced myself, and she sat by me on the sand. Her name was Jaime, she was sixteen, and she was on vacation with her still-sleeping parents. Our conversation was the basics: where from, why here. I spent a lot of it lying on the sand with my eyes closed against the light, the sun still showing red through my eyelids, white spots dancing as I listened to her. Like the rave, it, too, felt right: me lying there, her sitting beside me, the salty breeze blowing off the water, the sun dissipating the morning chill. There actually was a connection between us, a moment, one of those moments where fate and life converge and you’re left with a simple second of synergy, beautiful for its own sake. There wasn't more, no future where we told our kids how we met, simply a boy falling asleep on the beach after racing to see the sunrise and waking up to share it with a pretty girl.

She gave me her email, and then I stood up, brushed the sand of my jeans and bid her goodbye. And as her hand gently brushed her windblown hair out of her eyes, the sunlight glinting off the near-white strands, she said goodbye to me, too.

I still remember that second.

I never wrote her.

Fantasy aside, life demanded that I get back into my car, and drive home. I had been to my first rave, met an angel, seen the sun rise and set over two oceans and, as it turns out, got back to the interstate just in time to hit the morning traffic.

Welcome back, life.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

e-Miles Wants to be Your Pimp

e-Miles wants to pimp you out for miles, as illustrated by this photograph of a statue called "The White Slave".  e-Miles is the yelling man on the right and you are the naked, supple, firm, slightly sad and submissive woman on the...  Goddamit, where's my wallet? 

The gist is that e-Miles sends you emails with marketing messages that you have to respond to, and in return they give you airline miles.  So far, showing you a one page advertisement and asking you three multiple choice questions is worth 5 miles, and asking a page of demographic questions is worth 15 miles.  Oh, you also get 200 miles just for signing up.

The catch?  E-miles only transfers your miles to your airline account in 500 mile batches, and you have to request the transfer.  So you would have to look at 60 of the one page ads in order to get your first batch of miles.  Considering that miles are valued at a penny a point, it's like an hour of your time just to get $5.00 worth of miles.    

E-miles, therefore, is your pimp, selling your eyes to abusive Johns like Zales and Disney (the first two ads I saw) while keeping the bulk of the cash for themselves.  I like being degraded, though (and have nothing else to do on a Friday night0, so I signed up with them.  Expect another post in a couple weeks about the experience.

So far, e-Miles works with Delta, Continental, US Airways, AirTran, Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Hilton HHonors®.

So if being a prostitute escort is what you've always wanted to be, click on this link to go to e-Mile's website.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Deals: 20% Off BooksFree Membership

Hey!  Stop looking at the naked kid reading, you pedophile!  I put it there because, you know, this post is about reading, not for you to gawk at!

BooksFree is pretty much Netflix for books and audiobooks: you sign up for a plan and they ship you set number of books or CDs.  As you send them back, more are sent to you.

Why post about it on a travel blog?  Well, other than the fact that I am also reading naked on a toilet seat right now, it's also good for getting your hands on a lot of audiobooks.  Have BooksFree send you a dozen or so, rip them all to MP3, and you have something to keep you sane on the TransSiberian Railway (AKA sounds more fun than it actually is) or any other mind-numbingly long jaunt.

And since I don't believe in paying full price for anything, here's a coupon code for 20% off your membership:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Free Credits and Alcohol from Southwest

Southwest is currently offering up to 4 credits for signing up for their program.

Click Here for Information About their Program.

The Dealie-O:

1. Enroll in Southwest Rapid Rewards and 2 credits.

2. Sign up for  The Rapid Rewards Report and The Rapid Rewards E-mail Update and stay subscribed for three months to get two more bonus credits.

3.  The offer is only good for new Southwest Rapid Rewards members.

As I was not yet a Southwest member, I decided to get the credits.  And then I noticed this on the bottom of the sign-up page:

Southwest is giving me gifts AND alcohol?  I know what this means...  Bow chika wow chika...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Turkey: Dan-Rah and Skinny Dipping

It was an island uninhabitable by design: a small oblong of razor sharp rock covered in thorny brambles. Weary of its interior, I opted to sit on a short stone spire sticking out of the ocean, my feet protesting as I tried to find smooth places to place them, my backside unhappy as the point almost pierced my butt cheek.   Finally, I found comfort, my legs just over the sea, the water gently lapping up against them.

[Our yacht for five days]

Sarah swam up from a sandbar she had been exploring, pulling off her mask and snorkel and tossing them beside mine on a nearby outcrop. A few hundred yards away floated our yacht.  Well, not really ours.  We had paid for a five day "Blue Cruise" along Turkey's Mediterranean coast, an experience that had thus far been amazing.

The blobs of color bobbing around the yacht were our fellow passengers, who always seemed reluctant to swim more than ten feet away from the boat.  Sarah and I, though, we liked to explore.  After an hour of snorkeling, my pockets were already full of interesting shells, some of which would later prove to be owned by well-hidden hermit crabs.  The fact of other ownership became known back in my cabin when a couple of the shells magically moved themselves several feet away from where I had put them. The crabs and their homes soon found themselves on an unasked-for adrenaline joyride through the air before splashing back into the brink.

“Think we could climb that?” I asked Sarah.

Mountains—albeit small ones—rose up from the shoreline of the coast. Their surfaces seemed like piles of pebbles left by some small god child, stacked steep up to three separate peaks, the middle one noticeably higher than the others. Goats made noises at each other as they picked their way along those rocks, chewing on the scrub brush growing from the crevices. There was nothing remotely approaching a path to those peaks; but if you thought in terms of climbing rather than hiking, it was just a grade four scramble that couldn’t take more than an hour.

“Probably,” said Sarah, leaving it at that. I took her lack of enthusiasm as an idea rejection.


Several hours, the rest of a book and a number of backgammon games later, Sarah tapped me on my shoulder.

“Let’s climb the mountain,” Sarah said to me.

[Enjoying a book on the deck of the yacht]

She said this, of course, with only an hour before we were scheduled to sail out of the bay.  Sarah had spent the past two hours tanning herself and writing in her notebook a few feet from me. Why she hadn’t decided to start the climb earlier, save perhaps to make the experience intense instead of leisurely (I do not deny that my subconscious also decides things in this way), I don’t know.

I thought for a moment.



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting“Don’t let the devil goats get you!” Brenna yelled from the ship as Sarah and I swam to shore, our shoes held over our heads. The goats had been so named because, yes, they did have a certain malevolent look about them. They stayed out of our way, though, as we put on our socks and shoes and started scrambling up the steep rocks, showing up their prowess and hurting their collective pride. They “nahhed” at us in scorn.

Sarah took the lead, locating climbable rocks while avoiding the sharp branches of the shrubs. The rock was a hard, porous limestone that offered a plethora of holds for hands and feet. We practically ran up the thing, and within half an hour were on the top, looking down at our ship and the others in the bay.

[Sarah bouldering atop the mountain]

The site was amazingly beautiful, but I’ll let pictures tell the thousand words. We had enough time to pose for them, take a couple more of ourselves bouldering with that beautiful backdrop, and then rock hop down to the shoreline to swim to the boat, our little adventure taking less than 45 sweat-soaked minutes.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Back on board, I looked at the captain's navigation maps. Although I found our mountain, it was apparently too small to have its peaks named.

So we named it, smashing our own together.

We had just climbed Mount Dan-Rah.


Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAlthough the climb had made our day, we discovered there was plenty more worth seeing on our journey to where we would anchor for the night.  We sailed over a sunken city, the foundations of its houses visible through the clear water.  We sailed past by an island only reachable by boat, a castle clinging to its highest point and a fishing village spread across the rest of it.  Finally, as the sun started to sink, we reached a cove and dropped anchor.

As night came on, Sarah and I started secretly drinking the raki (a Turkish liquorish-flavored liquor not unlike ouzo) that we had smuggled on board after a stop two days prior.  We were not supposed to bring any drinks on board (giving the ship a monopoly on booze), so we had been forced to become raki runners and Pepsi pirates (my treasure trove of cans now buried at the bottom of the ship’s cooler). Tipsy and happy, we scarfed down dinner and got dressed because here, in the middle of the night in the middle of the Mediterranean, we were going dancing.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

[Our ship, anchored for the night]

At 11:00 PM, a speedboat pulled up beside the yacht and everyone under the age of 30 got on board. The speedboat stopped at the other boats anchored in the cove and soon a party was making its way to one of the world's most exclusive clubs.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

[Enjoying the bonfire in front of the club]

We danced for hours before taking a break on one of the wooden platforms, cooling off in the night air.  Then, a movie moment happened shortly thereafter:  Four of in the group were American, and we all perked up when we heard the opening chords of Don Mclean’s “American Pie.”

“A long, long time ago/I remember how that music used to make me smile…”

It came to us on the night breeze from the over-amped stereo system, and no matter what we normally thought about our country, at that moment we were proud to be Americans. The thirty or so other people sitting outside—all from other countries—quietly listened, as the four of us began singing together. We looked off at the sky, the water, occasionally glancing at each other but mostly singing for ourselves, our voices in near whispers during the verses but rising up joyously together on the choruses. The four of us: Sarah, Ryan, Brenna and me, were all travelers; we pride ourselves on having visited and lived in many places, on speaking other languages and being comfortable in other cultures, but that moment something was very clear, at least to me: we were inescapably American. No one else on that beach, in that club, knew those words, at those words were just one of thousands of strings that bound us together as a people, a culture, a nation. And while it looked like a cool Almost Famous/”Tiny Dancer” movie moment, it was more than that because we all felt very close just then, something we remarked upon later, drawn together by childhoods staring out car windows while this song played on car radios, now adults out in the middle of nowhere in an area of the world that mostly hates us and being very, very American together.


Photobucket - Video and Image HostingLeave it to the Australians to ratchet up the party. At some point in the evening, two of the Australian girls had gotten behind the bar and were helping to serve drinks, taking a shot or two (or seven) for themselves.  I noticed they were back there only when I was hit on the back with ice cubes and, turning around to find Jess, one of the Australian girls, tugging the front of her tank top down to offer me a target. I underhand tossed a cube at her and she maneuvered to catch it between her breasts. Another ice cube, another perfect catch and soon our Turkish bartenders, Vinnie and Hussein (actual names), happy about all that close-by cleavage, began giving out free shots of vodka.

The dance floor was a loud group of moving bodies. Most had partnered up and I noticed that Sarah was dancing with Ahmed, the first mate of our boat, who had started the evening by saying to her: “I want be with you tonight.”

The lack of English meant that the insinuation could have gone either way but his intentions were pretty apparent when, a few dances later, he was pushing his tongue in her mouth. Being attractive, Turkish and made of muscle, Sarah wasn’t minding.


I stripped naked and dove into the water, narrowing missing Sarah, who dog-paddled in all her pinkness. Skinny dipping had not been our idea: it had been suggested by two of the girls on our boat.  Although both backed out when we returned from the club, I'm not one to waste a good idea.  Besides, who wouldn’t want to say they had gone skinny dipping in a cove in Turkey in blue-black water under a moon one day from full?

After a few minutes of being shrinkingly-cold, I told Sarah I was getting back on the boat.  Showered off and carrying my blankets up to sleep on the deck, I noticed Ahmed spreading out a blanket over two of the deck cushions, creating a double bed. He was ambitious.  I knew he had told Sarah things like: “Look my eyes” and “I think I loving you,” but from what I understood, she had declined his offers. Still, I made my bed up as far away as possible.

A few minutes later, I couldn’t find Sarah. She wasn’t in the water, she wasn’t on the deck and she wasn’t in the cabin. I didn’t think she was drunk enough to have had a problem swimming, but it was too small a boat for her to have completely disappeared. Finally, though, she swam into view from the front of the boat and I handed her clothes to her when she got on board.

Sarah declared what had happened to be "amazing".  Seeing her in the water, Ahmed had descended a chain that stretched taut from the bow of the boat to just above the water.  He had sat on it while Sarah had pulled herself up out of the water, one hand on the chain, the other on the back of his head, breasts exposed and dripping in the moonlight, to make out with him.

I think her decision to sleep on the double bed with Ahmed fell into the category of teasing. She had no intention of having sex with him, but  the topless making out had probably given Ahmed the idea that he was on his way to scoredom.

I awoke a few hours later, almost at daybreak, to hear her telling him to stop and that she wanted to sleep.  Knowing she could take care of herself, I went back to dreamland.

In the debrief the next day, Sarah admitted that sleeping in his bed had been a bad idea, and not just due to the lack of sleep.  Apparently Achmed's kissing was of the “shock and awe” variety, and she showed me where his tongue, in its forceful incursions, had actually torn a bit of that flap between the tongue and the bottom of the mouth. Hers was swollen and bleeding a little.

Apparently for her, it had not been a Turkish delight…

Still, it'd been one hell of a day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Deals: $20 off o2 Gear Shop

o2 is a pretty sweet gear shop that I've purchased from in the past.  They currently have a deal for $20 off all orders of $100 or more.  For all you non-math people, that's a million percent off or something.  As you can tell, I am also a non-math person. 

Here's the link:

Save $20 on All Orders of $100 at o2 Gear Shop Use Code: "GETDOWN"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How to: Turn Your Travel Pics into Photo Books

A friend recently showed me travel photos from a trip to South America.  But instead of pulling them up on her laptop like I like to do, she took out a leather-bound book and opened it.

Since then, I've been wanting to make a photobook of my own, containing my best travel pics.

Since I spent some time searching for discounts (because that's what I do), I thought I'd do everyone else a favor and put all the current coupons for photo books into one spot:






Thursday, June 10, 2010

Deals: 15% off Frommer's Products

It worked!  If we were to compare travel guides to types of women, Frommer's would be the Old Money Princess and Lonely Planet would be the book that everybody's had. 

Since I kept posting so many Lonely Planet Discounts, it finally made Frommer's jealous and now she's mine! 

Which means I found a discount for 15% off their products.  They are best known for their travel guide books, but they also do vacation packages as well.

When you click on link, it will take you to their homepage, and when you go to checkout, a 15% discount will automatically be applied.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Most Complained about Domestic Airlines

Yahoo Travel just put out an article detailing the most complained about airlines.  For all the problems I've had with JetBlue, I would have thought they would have been #1.  Huh. 

The Top Offenders:

  1. Delta
  2. United Airlines
  3. US Airways
  4. Northwest Airlines
  5. American Airlines
  6. Comair
  7. Continental Airlines
  8. AirTran
  9. Frontier Airlines
  10. JetBlue Airways

Monday, June 7, 2010

Deals: Free Audiobook From Audible currently has an offer for a free audio book of your choice.  Could be just the thing to shorten a long bus ride or plane flight.  And I mean that literally by the way, because I know you would choose to listen to "The Anarchist's Cookbook" while hugging a bag of fertilizer.

The catch is that you have to sign up for a 14-day free trial to get the free audio book, but you're smart enough to just get your book and then cancel the trial.  Right?  Right?

Well, I guess it won't matter since you're blowing yourself up anyway, leaving your Audible debt to your relatives.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

American Airlines Helps Old Men Impregnate Women

American Airlines currently has a deal that feels more like progressive Vegas slots than anything else.  Biggest payout: 100,000 bonus miles.  Chances ANYONE will get those miles: 1 in Well, Think Back About the Hottest Person in Your High School that You Forever Crushed on But Never Got the Chance to Be With; Your Chances Are the Same.  

The Deal: Basically, you need to fly a round trip flight in or out of some of their less-traveled destinations.  Fly to 2 of them and you get 1,000 miles.  Fly to 3 cities and you've got 4,000 miles. Get to ten cities and you will net you the 100k.

I can't think of a single situation in which someone would fly to all these particular places (listed below).  I mean, Kentucky and China?  Seriously?  Well, maybe it could be done by an independently wealthy geezer (pictured at right) who has two months to live and wants to impregnate women in each of these cities.  You know, setting up franchises.

Have a better reason for why someone would? Leave it in the comments.


  • You have to register prior to travel using Promotion Code NEWAA.  
  • Flights after July 31, 2010 don't count.
  • 2 cities = 1,000 miles
  • 3 cities = 4,000 miles
  • 4 cities = 6,000 miles
  • 5 cities = 10,000 miles
  • 6 cities = 15,000 miles
  • 7 cities = 25,000 miles
  • 8 cities = 50,000 miles
  • 9 cities = 75,000 miles
  • 10 cities = 100,000 miles

Eligible cities:

  • Allentown, PA
  • Asheville, NC
  • Augusta, GA
  • Beijing, China
  • Charleston, WV
  • Cheyenne, WY
  • Eleuthera, Bahamas
  • Fargo, ND
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Lexington, KY
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Treasure Cay, Bahamas
  • Tri-cities, TN

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

$300 from Comerica Bank

Comerica Bank is offering a sort of a la carte bonus system at the moment.  It ends on June 30th.


Notice: This promo is open only to new checking account customers.

You must open a new checking account (minimum $2,500) and add any of the following:

1.  $75 for Signing up for Bill Pay and Making 5 or More Bill Payments a Month for 6 Months
2.  $75 for getting a Comerica Check Card (free) and Making 5 or More Transactions With It for 6 Months
3.  $75 for setting up a direct deposit that deposits at least $150 a month
4.  $75 for opening up their Premiere ($5,000 minimum to avoid fees) or Platinum Circle Account ($50,000 minimum to avoid fees).  The account must stay open for six months.

It breaks down thusly:

1.  If you invest $2,500 for their free checking account and just do options 1-3, you earn $225, which works out as a 9% return on a six month investment.

2.  If you invest $5,000 to do all four options, you earn $300, which works out to a 6% return on a six month investment (although an extra $75 in your pocket).

The five bill payments and five check card transactions could be a little difficult to keep up with, but free money is free money...