Category Archives: Travel

Earn up to 75,000 AA miles for new Citi AAdvantage card holder

(Update 02-10-2011) The previous link expired. Try this new link if interested. One difference is they requires one spend $4000 in first 6 months to get the full 75,000 miles. Good luck!

(Update 09-17-2010) I got the 75,000 AA miles.

(Update 8-19-2010) Received the Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature card today, called and verified the “spending $1500 in first 6 months, receive 75,000 AA miles” is good.

(Original 8-16-2010) Got the offer from my AA membership letter. Choose one of the three cards:

Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature card, Citi Select /AAdvantage American Express card, or CitiBusiness /AAdvantage Visa card.

Here is the link www.away5.citicards.com.

I applied the card before getting the mail, via another link. Today I received the letter says my card got approved. I hope the 75k miles offer applies to my application (and I got a free round trip ticket back to China 😀

My random thoughts on Las Vegas, software

I was in Las Vegas this week, attending a technology (software) conference. One tip to share at the beginning: Google Free Wifi at LAS airport. It appears my Boingo service does not have wifi spot here, but Google provided free Wifi during holidays until Jan 15. They even have some “google colored” bean shaped couch laying around for people to rest.

iPhone and Cloud computing
iPhone is everywhere, from the conference participants, and the travelers on the airport and in the airport. Easy to run out of battery appears to be a problem for iPhone. I found a guy using the Richard Solo battery charger (slightly small than iPhone), and there are couple Verizon Charge stations in the airport which are popular for iPhone and laptop users.

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Back to STL

I got all the fun of driving in Boston traffic during rush hour. It took me more than an hour driving from Waltham to Boston Logan, and my Garmin 755T GPS helped this time.

One thing I noticed in Boston is driving is a lot more hectic than in the River city. People won’t yield to let me slip in, they will honk at me when I drive too slow, those kind of thing. Also, keep in mind Boston is a very old city, the roads are usually narrow, and they are not aligned very well, there are a lot cross intersections in 30/150 degree rather than 90/90 degree. It’s a little confusing to me. The good thing is I survived. Until at Hertz returning the rental car, the Hertz car locked the car before I took out my bag from trunk. So I had the opportunity to see unlocking a car using the tools.

Reading Psychology book


(“Influence” Chinese version cover)

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Pros, Cons and Tips of GPS

I am using a Garmin 755T GPS to nagivate Boston. This is my 3rd trip using GPS. The first one was Chicago trip before July 4th.

Pros
Recalculating when I took the wrong road;

Cons
Dependency on GPS, so I will not read maps in the future?

One more thing to pay attention besides road and traffic;

Sometimes the number could be off (I metioned it on Hilton Garden Inn, this could caused by the rapid development);

Tips
Pay attention to the road to turn to, and the “pink” road which means I should take (I had to admit I am not very good at this);

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Going to Boston today

That would be exciting thing 10 years back, when I was still a college junkie. It still will be interesting, at least I plan to visit Harvard Square, where Paul Allen met with Bill Gates (in 1976?) and said:

“We got to start this (computer business), this thing (computer revolution) is happening without us.”

We all know what happened in last 30 years (hint: we all become Bill’s “slave”, in a way).

Interestingly, I read from Yahoo that Harvard has the most billionaires.

I will back to the River City on Thursday night. Time to look for authentic Chinese restaurant now. I already find it’s a challenge task esp. visiting small towns. Boston should offer more choices.

Visit Chicago: III

I would like to list some of the Chinese restaurants I visited in this trip (and in the past). I will also list some web sites which I think will be helpful to plan Chicago trip.

Chinese restaurant
Lao Sze Chuan (web site here): this is the first Chinese restaurant I visisted in Chicago (2001?). I waited for more than 30 minutes in a hot summer afternoon. The waiting line is much shorter nowadays because there are more authentic Chinese restaurants. It is located at China town. Some of the food (e.g., rabbit meat) are very spicy in my opinion. Get a map here.

Laoszechuan pic

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Visit Chicago: II

We are back from Chicago. Visited the Premium mall (near Aurora) yesterday, and was quite impressed. This was my first trip to the Aurora mall, and I was surprised to see so many premium brands and shoppers (esp. the crowds at Coach store). Judging by the size of crowds in the mall, it seems the economy is doing fine. But yesterday, the unemployed number announced by the gov (470,000) exceeded the expectation again. The market tanked again, although I think it has more to do with the July 4th US holiday, people want to play safe in this long weekend.

PT Cruiser
I rent the car from Enterprise near my home, this is a small rental office to serve the Lou Fuze car dealership. I booked an “intermediate”, and they offered the PT Cruiser to me. This is one small mistake I made, I should have booked “midsize” or “standard”. Usually Enterprise has a free upgrade in airport locations, but not this small office, as matter of fact they have to get the PT Cruiser from another office. Initially I was a little uncomfortable about taking this little car to Chicago, but the PT Cruiser turns out to be very good, except one minor problem: there is no guard/screen for the trunk.

GPS

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Visit Chicago: I

We came to the windy city yesterday, and today we visited quite a few places: Michigan Ave. (magnificent mile), Millennium Park, Art Institute (outside, no inside tour yet), Navy Pier, China Town. All with the 3 day CTA pass and CTA train/bus.

I did not totally forget about stock market yet. This noon when I was in Chicago Culture Center, I hooked up my Nokia 5800 with the Wifi network. Interestingly I saw Exelon (the utility company serves Chicago, also the company is trying to acquire NRG Energy) signs in couple places: the skybridge connects Millennium Park and Art Institute is sponsored by Exelon. Because I own NRG stock, and Exelon is in a proxy fight against current NRG board, I received both letters from NRG and Exelon. Not surprising I voted according to NRG board recommendation, and did nothing on Exelon letter. One thing I noticed is the proposed Exelon board candidate is not really qualified to run utilities companies, they could be the “friends of Exelon” board.

Network
Back to travel, we are staying at La Quinta Inn Schaumburg, most things are ok except this silly network (managed by LodgeNet, a Nasdaq listed company, ticker symbol LNET). One problem I encountered is Google map and Google finance don’t work all the time. It thinks I was doing something fishy and says “in next 10 minutes you will only have 56k speed”. It’s like punish a kid for doing something wrong. Pretty much the much publicized Green Dam project. One thing I am aware of is I am using Mac. But the behavior of network is annoying, to say the least.

GPS

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Visited Detroit this week

I was in Detroit last Wed and Thur. When I was leaving the client site, I heard famous actress Fawcett died from cancer. Shortly after I came back, I heard from NPR that Michael Jackson passed away. That was a shocker. I remember watching a lot Michael Jackson’s MTV back in early 1990s, when I just graduated from college, and when the MTV was relatively new to China. I am not a music freek, but I liked the design of MTV and his sound. Not to mention his move.

Anyway, back to Detroit. Interestingly I think the first record company Michael Jackson signed was Motown, which was found in Detroit (Yahoo Answer). I visited Detroit in 1999 and 2000, to do presentation before car companies (big 3) for automobile related research project. It was in early March, and I remember it was very cold. But I had very nice dinners at Fish Bone (downtown?) and another Italian restaurant.

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