All Hands on Deck

I’ve been working on the rail-road!

Well not really, but I don’t know any songs about working on the deck! Plus, now you get to have the rail road song in your head all day!

Mrs. Working Stiff and I have been slaving away on a project to refinish our back deck. It has been almost exactly five years since the last time so I guess we can’t complain too much.  The phase of scraping off all the loose junk is complete.  Let me tell you, if you can avoid doing that – avoid it!  It is knuckle-scraping, back-aching, sweat-breaking, sun-baking work.  Not to mention time-taking.  Hopefully though, the result of all this hard work will be breath-taking. read more

Chicago in Paris

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As I have mentioned once or twice in past blog entries, I traveled quite a bit on company business for a period of some 6 or 7 years. In doing so I would earn lots of points with the various loyalty programs for hotels, car rentals, and air travel. In my experience, by a great measure, the hotel points were the most useful and usable.

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The wife and I planned a 4-night trip to Paris and used Starwood Points (SPG.com,) to secure a room at the fancy Prince de Galles hotel, which was and still is part of the Starwood chain’s Luxury Collection. I probably need not point out that this was a very special thing for us because working stiff’s do not generally stay at Luxury Collection properties! We are talking probably $500 a night for a room overlooking the dumpster in the courtyard! read more