Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pleasantly surprised

When I was down in the states this past summer I was having a little trouble with cross-border credit card usage, so I took the opportunity to get myself an american credit card. Since credit history is apparently non-transferrable between Canada and the US, it turned out to be a bit of a battle to get one. Thankfully, living in the valley has its perks, one of which being that the local bank branches are quite familiar with well employed people with no local credit history.

To make a long story short, I filled out a form and got a card. The good news is that it was an american credit card. The bad news is that I didn't get to pick which one they gave me. I was aiming for a cash-back card that'd pay out 1% or so, but instead I got a points reward card. (Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards, to be specific)

Now I'm sure you all know as well as I do how these points rewards things work. You spend like a rabid consumer whore for 5 years, and finally after all that time you get to surf through their skymall-esque catalogue of useless consumer trinkets and find you've maybe saved up enough points for half a snuggie.

So, after 6 months or so of owning this card (and maybe only a month of using it, I only got it in august), my morbid curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to check out the points catalogue to see what was what.

The first surprise: their catalogue wasn't some low-rent skymall knock-off. In fact, it wasn't too hard to see that the majority of the catalogue was actually just a front-end for!

The second surprise: I somehow managed to rack up roughly $60 worth of points.

Needless to say, I was quite pleased by these two discoveries. After surfing the site for a bit, I settled on buying a pair of harmonicas. I was originally planning to buy just one (a Hohner Special 20 in C) with some money I got for christmas, but with my new found "wealth" I decided to go all out and picked up one in C and one in G.

Of course, the one downside is that they can only ship to the US, so I had them shipped to Palm and hopefully they'll eventually find their way up to me.

This might just change my opinion of points rewards programs... maybe.


So it seems I managed to sweep the fall term's classes with all As, plus a plus in there for Stats.

Things are looking good to repeat the performance this term.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creeping slowly southwards

Looks like things are starting to move along for me to go down to Palm again this summer, working on the kernel this year.


Christmas Loot

Oh yeah, I have a blog. Almost forgot.

Hilights of this season's haul: Got a tablet from Mom and Bob, got a nifty screwdriver from Sister, and a hand-me-down TV from Father.

Good times were had by all.