Do I want an Apple Watch?

apple-watchSo the series 2 Apple Watch came out, and much like the iPhone 7, it’s expensive.  Still.  I think I want it.

We popped into the Albuquerque Uptown Apple Store last night and checked them out.  My favorite was the 38mm Stainless Steel Case with Milanese Loop but I think I would rather the 38mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch with the white sport band … or shoot.  Maybe the black band.  I don’t know.  Maybe both!.  The magnetic strap seems like it could fall off pretty easily and I want to be able to wear this to the gym.  One of the selling points of this watch is that the straps are so easily interchangeable.  I fully plan to buy the Hermes Leather Tour knockoff band (MSRP $489) for a measly $63 on Etsy and maybe one day the Milanese strap too (there’s a knock off for it on Amazon).

PRO TIP:  If you shop through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall you’ll get 2 points per dollar bonus!

I’m looking forward to comparing it to my Fitbit, that I just started using again and is currently in the process of being replaced under warranty.  (The usb plug plastic broke into pieces so it’s no longer chargeable.)  Fitbit has come a long way with their app and I really dig it, but I will be able to play Pokemon on the Apple Watch so … I think I have to go with that.

Other than that I’m not sure what all the Apple Watch does.  I know I won’t be able to see the 38mm without my glasses, but the 42mm was just too big for my arm.  I’m just doomed to wear readers.  At least until they perfect the KAMRA inlay surgery (and have a few more years of history to prove it’s effectiveness).

Merry Christmas to me!

 

Get In The Starwood Game

swingbatterbatterSo I’ve played the Get In The Game contest a couple of times now… basically it’s a baseball simulation game and it takes about 2 minutes to play.  You can earn Starpoints, Amazon Gift Cards, and more.  Since I am not a fan of the MLB I find this to be one of my least favorite games to date.  Still I participate in almost all of the free points programs I can, even if it’s only a chance at a win.

Starwood is my favorite hotel chain so I spend the most effort trying to accumulate points with them.  Hotels range from 2k to 25k points per night, with most of my favorites being 7k to 12k.  With their fifth night free bonus, we have stayed at a lot of beautiful properties around the world for free!  We earn points mostly through our credit card spend (1 point per dollar spent).  They have a promotion now where if you apply for their American Express card and spend $3,000 within 90 days you’ll get a whopping 35,000 bonus points!  That’s the highest bonus I’ve ever heard of (normally the bonus is 25,000).  What will that get you?  You could stay three nights at the Sheraton Kauai or five nights at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort for free!  Sheraton has hundreds of properties around the world to choose from (and I’m more than happy to help you get as much bang for your buck as you can if you need help).

They also have a refer a friend program, so you can earn an additional 5,000 points for each friend you refer that gets their credit card!  So if you don’t have a Starwood card yet do me a favor and apply through my referral link.  Drop me a line and I’ll have one sent to you right away.

Safe Travels!

 

Gumbo

3/1/16 UPDATE! Gumbo has a new forever home!  We found a woman who has had bunnies all her life and is excited to spoil Gumbo.  She picked him up last week and within a few hours had created a pretty awesome little bunny condo for him.  If anything changes we will post here.  In the meantime, be sure to visit the NM House Rabbit Society‘s website to find bunnies who need loving families.  Thank you for your interest!


12509471_10153244653190614_6841989369338014356_nI’ve had a lot of interest in Gumbo, the adoptable bunny. Rather than responding to every question I thought I’d put together a little fact sheet for him.

Breed:  Lionhead

Birthday:  9/20/2015

Neutered:  Yes

Weight:  3.5 pounds (but still growing)

Gumbo belonged to a friend of a friend in Phoenix, AZ.  The family decided they didn’t want to take care of him any more.  We saw his photo on Facebook and immediately fell in love.  We drove to Flagstaff, explored the Grand Canyon for a few hours, then picked up Gumbo and brought him back to Albuquerque.

He’s the cutest little thing.  Very social.  Loves the cat, loves the dog.  LOVES bananas.  He bites a bit when he doesn’t like you doing something, but since we got him neutered this behavior has subsided considerably.  Unfortunately my family is allergic to either the bunny or the hay that he needs to eat every day.  It’s breaking my heart to give him away, but I’m afraid it’s what we have to do.

I reached out to the NM House Bunny Society and they added Gumbo’s bio to their Adoptable Rabbits page.  The response has been overwhelming!  I want to find the perfect home for our little bunny so I’m hoping this page will help you figure out if a rabbit’s life is for you.

12769500_10153312148665614_1775124061_nFirst of all, if you haven’t read every word at Rabbit.org you should.  Bunnies are not hamsters.  They cannot live in a cage with pellets.  They need socialization, a large cage, several hours of daily “house time” in a bunny proofed room, 24/7 access to hay and greens (our bunny vet, Dr. Lee, says bunnies should be eating and pooping at all times but very little fruit, pellets, treats, or carrots), regular nail trims, toys, and love.  If you want to pair him with another rabbit it should be female.  Some people give over entire rooms to their bunnies!  Since he’s outgrown his 36″x 18″ cage we have added on a pen so he can stretch out when not running loose (see pic).  I found a good price on a 48″ x 30″ cage at Amazon that we are considering buying.   You should have room for something at least that size in your home.  If you aren’t prepared for this, all of this, Gumbo probably isn’t for you.  If you think you are able to meet his needs, though, please send me an email or reach out to me on Facebook.

Please let me know how you plan to house Gumbo, feed Gumbo, what kind of bunny experience you have, other pets, kids, or any other pertinent information and maybe we can schedule a meet and greet.  We are in the NE Heights of Albuquerque.  Montgomery & Wyoming area.

Here are some more pictures of Gumbo:

Donny Anderson – The Cincinnati Kid

FullSizeRenderDonnie Anderson died May 1.  You may know him as the Cincinnati Kid.  I knew him as dad.  He loved me and I miss him. He was a bit of a celebrity in Cincinnati thanks to his mad pool skills and quick wit.  He was the first Bank Pool World Championship in 1974 and was proud to be inducted into the One Pocket Hall of Fame in 2009.

We will have a memorial service to honor him on Tuesday, May 5.  If you knew him, you surely loved him.  If you didn’t know him you missed out.  But you can read a little bit about him here.

Oakland Spam

femme_stress_telephoneOk, I don’t know what’s going on in Oakland, but somehow someone (I assume someone sucky) got a hold of my cell phone number.  Every day I get a call from Oakland, CA.  I don’t answer.  They don’t leave a message.  I block them.  The next day, same thing, but with a slightly different number.  I’ve googled them all and I don’t get any kind of results.  Maybe the power of the interwebs will eventually solve this mystery:

  • 510-496-4290 Saturday 4/18/15 at 12:45pm MDT
  • 510-496-5544 Friday 4/17/15 at 4:19pm
  • 510-496-4361 Thursday 4/16/15 at 12:08 EDT
  • 510-496-4396 Wednesday 4/15/15 at 1:19 EDT
  • 510-858-7815 Tuesday 4/14/15 at 12:49pm EDT
  • 510-496-4361 Saturday 4/11/15 at 1:32 MDT

Whoever you are, either stop calling me or leave a message.  I will never answer a call from an unknown phone number.

Update:  And they just keep calling!

510-496-8970 4/19/15 2:20pm MDT

Either BA can’t add, or I can’t add

So the hubs and I are looking at spending a bit of time in Monterey, CA.  Flying there from ABQ is expensive so I went to British Airways to use up some of my Avios that are laying around.

I can get to MRY via either LAX or PHX, but the shorter flights through PHX aren’t available on the days I want to fly.  I can get there through LAX, with some seriously weird addition.

For domestic flights, especially ones on teeny planes, I always book in economy.  It’s super cheap with Avios thanks to their distance based mileage program.  ABQ-LAX is 7500 avios.  LAX-MRY is 4500 avios.  When I add those together I get 12,000 avios.  Considering the flight costs over $500, I thought I’d book it.  But when I went through the process, BA tried to charge me 30,000 avios.

bawth2

I thought well, maybe MRY has some crazy surcharge associated with it.  But when I check ABQ-PHX-MRY the price is 9,000 avios.

So my conclusion can only be, if I want to layover in LAX then I’m going to be charged an extra 18,000 avios.  I thought about booking the two flights separately, but with only a 45 minute layover, and the odds of me checking a bag high, that seemed risky.  I certainly hope BA isn’t changing their award chart and this is just the beginning of a massive devaluation!

I tweeted my dilemma to British Airways but they didn’t respond.  They have no option to contact them via email that I could find.  I posted a question on The Point’s Guy’s Facebook but I’m sure he has better things to do than answer my questions for free.  So I am currently (and painfully) on hold with British Airways.  27 minutes so far.  And if past experience is any indicator, when someone does finally pick up (I’ve waited well over an hour before), they will just transfer me to someone else and I’ll be on hold for another God-knows-how-long.

I used to recommend British Airways to my friends for their generous credit card signup bonuses and American Express transfer bonuses, but once I deplete my household account, if I am ever able to deplete my household account, this may be the end of our bittersweet relationship.

But I digress.  If anyone happens to stumble across this post and can explain how 4500 and 7500 add up to 30,000 please comment!  I’ll probably still be on hold.

———————————

Update:  A helpful man answered the line after 35 minutes.  He didn’t know why this award was pricing out so high, so he booked the flight for me.  To charge me properly, he said he would take 30,000 avios out of my account, then would refund 30,000 avios, then would debit 12,000 avios.  I foresee this not going as smoothly as I’d like.  I think I’ll be buying Berkshire Hathaway travel insurance just in case!