Oct 302004

Got yet another credit card application in the mail, and this one made me look twice and do some research. While I’m not the consumer-reports kind of guy that does comparison shopping nor bargain hunting, and I easily get lost in the details, I occasionally look at (part of) the fine print. I’ve been using a credit card that earns American Airlines frequent flyer miles but has an annual fee. Figured I wouldn’t mind switching for the same miles-for-dollar dealy and lose the annual fee (and APRs are non-issue for me b/c I pay off the card each month; the card company still makes good money on every transaction in what they call a ‘discount rate’).

The snail mail offered a Capital One Go Miles Ultra Card is saying 7.9% Fixed APR + no annual fee + reward miles usable on over 100 major airlines + up to three miles per dollar purchase. I look on their website and it says 11.9% with $39 annual fee. (these are the people with the recent TV ads about winning a private island)

And then checking on the web, there’s another one credit card called the Chase Travel Rewards Platinum MasterCard, with one point for every dollar charged, no annual fee.

Search engines turned up lots of competing noise to offer more credit cards for different fine print deals. I turned to Google Groups (as an aside, found a great airline info FAQ), fastest search on newsgroups to hear what real people are saying, and what the buzz really is. So the sense of it I get is that these alternative no-annual-fee miles-for-dollar credit card programs don’t give you real airline miles, and enroll you in some kind of travel program and involve some redemption process. Details are sketchy; or I’m getting lost in the fine print. Those travel programs do give you added flexibility in more airline choices, or redeeming points for hotel or car or other things, but it sounds like to me that the redemption thing isn’t as carte-blanche as the few bullet points on the mailer paint it to be.

Hit the eject button. I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

Oct 242004

While the packaging and marketing of the Purpose Driven Life has made some people’s skin crawl, the content underneath the presentation is plain remarkable. Could you imagine if the Westminster Catechism could be re-worded into the 21st century venacular of Powerpoint talking points? That’s what Pastor Rick has done, look it:

  • It’s not about you.
  • You are not an accident.
  • Everyone’s life is driven by something.
  • This life is not all there is.
  • The way you see your life shapes your life.
  • Life on earth is a temporary assignment.
  • It’s all for him.

For all 40 bullet points (sentences), you could buy the book, or read it at your local public library. Pastor Rick is a master communicator using Powerpoint!

I can see clearly now!

 internet  Comments Off
Oct 222004

Okay, I can’t keep up with all the technology innovation that gets cranked out by everyone, but this one that I just installed in the last hour was impressive! Microsoft ClearType makes text noticeably easier to read, and it’s been around a while; Jakob Nielsen even commented that this could save you $2,000 a year — go see for yourself (those of you running XP) — web-based version and the PowerToy version (downloadable into XP Control Panel).

Oct 202004

I got the following email this morning from “dave”, who wanted to share this article with me: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1019-24.htm

And “dave” wrote: It’s about time someone said this. I think that Tim Keller would agree with the commentator, don’t you?

My reply back to “dave” (which couldn’t find its way to him b/c he used referralblast.com and didn’t leave a returning email addy; but maybe “dave” reads my blog):

Thanks Dave. You might like this website too – http://www.jesusisaliberal.org/

Actually, Tim Keller says that Jesus was neither liberal nor conservative, Jesus is beyond that; and I’ve also heard him say that Jesus was more liberal than the liberals, and more conservative than the conservative.

Oct 192004

Today Show finally rolled the tape yesterday for a previously-taped interview with Purpose-Driven(tm) Rick Warren, my buddy and yours, sportin’ a new goatee at that! It’ll be on the Today website for a short time (I don’t know how long they keep video archives online).

silent rally in DC?

 journal  Comments Off
Oct 192004

Did you hear about it, Mayday for Marriage, this big event that had maybe 150,000 gathered on the Washington DC Mall last Friday October 15th? I didn’t pick it up on the mainstream media nor on the blogosphere. I’d imagine the organizers put forth quite an effort to put the word out and invite the speakers, but wonder why so little buzz was generated? Was the unintended result to talk amongst themselves (as conservative evangelical Christians), rather than putting more energy towards press junkets and word of mouse?

interfaith family

 journal  Comments Off
Oct 182004

The other big change in our family life while we were in Philly is: we’ve become an interfaith family. She bought an iMac G5 (17″ version), while our minimalist desktop PC gasps its last breaths, coughing up the blue screen of death with regularity.

While there, I worked from remote, I hung out with LT for several hours (great graphic designer + dynamic spirituality) and Lee Huang (dynamic urban-minded guy) I got my fill of a Philly Cheesteak, but did not do Philly cream cheese, wandered around the Franklin Institute (aka science museum) with Jeremiah on Friday afternoon, had trouble sleeping that night b/c of loud neighbors on a verge of domestic violence, and drove back down to metro DC on Saturday morning oh-dark-thirty.

Oct 162004

Came across a hot find last night, while wandering Old Town Philadelphia in search of some eats, after a few days up there with wifey and son (lots of blogworthy things, but used my online moments to work from remote).. with my StrengthsFinder theme of “input” constantly active, I noticed a distinguished dessert place, and we walked over there after dinner at Marmont (where I discretely described the waitstaff as being slim), it was delicious and delectable experience — The Franklin Fountain is an old fashioned ice cream parlor, with keen attention to ambiance and details, for handmade sundaes and ice cream creations that are a work of art, wide range of ice creams and bottled sodas.. and it has only been open for 3 weeks! By 2 brothers who even dressed the part, it was just plain great! Next time you’re near by, stop by 116 Market Street, Philadelphia, cf. the website www.franklinfountain.com .. they should be featured on Food Network next.