Category Archives: Humor

Hotel Review – BUILDING 7-73

In July I had the opportunity to stay at the esteemed BUILDING 7-73 at the Camp Ripley Cantonment. Fodor’s recently wrote about this hotel, “BUILDING 7-73 is hands down the 4th best facility in AREA 7.”  I heartily agree!  Of the 5 hotel facilities in AREA 7, BUILDING 7-73 is situated 4th most distant from the Education Center and Contract Dining Facility.  That puts it closer than BUILDING 7-74.  That shorter walking distance to local amenities was really convenient during my stay.

Camp Ripley Building 7-73


BUILDING 7-73 features one type of room called “maid service room,” meaning there is room service.  To save on building materials and utilities, each pair of guest rooms have a shared bathroom between them.  My room contained a bed, desk, and sink.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find a small, corner-mounted color TV, a microwave, and a mini-fridge.


Decorative bed cover was a nice touch. Ample clothing and equipment storage was provided in the armoire (visible far right).



Each room comes equipped with a 4 cup coffee maker.  Fresh GOVERNMENT COFFEE is provided daily.  At either end of the hallway in BUILDING 7-73 there is a large microwave with a built in pizza oven.  One picnic table is provided outside each hotel facility in AREA 7.


There are several nearby dining choices on and off base.  The closest and most convenient is the Education Center and Contract Dining Facility, located just south of the hotel, in AREA 6.



Thank you for reading my review.

In all seriousness, this “hotel” suited my needs just fine.  I was there a few days for training at work.  My employer covered the cost, which I think was only around $20/night.  As much as I playfully mock the furnishing and amenities, these buildings are a huge upgrade from the tin shed bunkhouses that previous generation stayed in at Camp Ripley.  Interactions I had with military personnel while on base were generally positive; and I want to take this opportunity to thank all members of the United States Armed Forces for their service!

The Man Who Earned 1.25 Million Miles . . . with Pudding

This guy is my hero.  David Phillips became a legend in the points and miles world when he earned 1,253,000 frequent flyer miles by taking advantage of a marketing promotion.  In 1999 Healthy Choice was running a promotion whereby 10 UPCs from their food products could be redeemed for 500 miles each (at your airline of choice).  They would double it to 1000 miles if the submissions were mailed before the end of May.  Mr. Phillips (a.k.a. The Pudding Guy) calculated that the miles were far more valuable than the cost of the food products themselves so he found the best deal in town, the pudding cups.  Like a good value tactician, he took full advantage of the deal before it was gone!  He bought 12,150 cups of pudding (among other food products) for $3140 and earned one and a quarter million miles!
I can’t figure out how I was previously unaware of this legendary figure in the points world.  I recently saw the Adam Sandler movie “Punch Drunk Love” which features a fictionalized version of Mr. Phillips’s pudding escapade.  I loved the story so much I used a clip of it as a hook in my post, Don’t Hoard Points.

It was only after I used the clip that I decided to find out if such a promotion ever existed, and I discovered The Pudding Guy is real!

For a more detailed report of what this Hero of Value did, check out these links:

The archived Flyertalk blurb written by Mr. Phillips himself

A short video featuring commentary by the man

The wikipedia entry on David Phillips

More Evidence of ValueTactics Fanaticism

A few months ago I posted this photo of a pile of credit card activation stickers I didn’t even realize I had collected:

Well, it happened again!

A few days ago I looked down at my desk and noticed I had a pretty decent sized pile of assorted value tactics related stuff going:

zealotry2Let’s analyze the contents a bit.

  • Menards rebate check (below the credit cards)
  • Menards rebate receipt, waiting to be sent in
  • Several recently cancelled credit cards
  • Several currently in-use credit cards not part of my regular wallet
  • Credit card activation stickers from various banks

Having all this stuff is probably bad enough, but when it’s allowed to pile up, unnoticed, for weeks because it’s so integrated into my normal every day routine…have I gone too far? 
You tell me…

Signs of a Credit Card Zealot

(This is a data recovered post, originally published on August 1st, 2015.)

To make room for the new baby coming early next month, I am in the process of converting my office into a bedroom.  Moving my computer desk and all my other various belongings is quite a disruption, but it gives me an excuse to do some thorough cleaning and reorganizing.

Today my cleaning efforts revealed a corner of my computer desk where I discovered a horde of credit card activation stickers that I had been idly and inadvertently collecting for a couple of months:
It was about 2 months ago when I last cleaned my desk, which means I’ve activated at least this many cards since then.  Do normal people have this type of mess lying around their work space?  Are scattered traces of credit card and loyalty program sign-ups a regular feature in your home?  Or am I becoming some sort of credit card zealot?  If so, I’m proud to be!