airbnb follow up post

Link to the place I stayed at:

My stay in Brooklyn via airbnb was great! I stayed for three nights in Crown Heights and the place was exactly as advertised. Also, Erika, the owner of the basement room I was renting, was more than helpful and very nice and easy to deal with. She even printed out all her local favorite spots with maps, descriptions and ratings included.

Erika’s profile on airbnb –

What’s nice about looking at the reviews from on airbnb is that you have to have stayed in the place to review it. This is unlike other sites like Yelp and Google Places where you can leave reviews without any verification that you’ve been there. I would definitely use this site again the next time I’m traveling. 

It looks like airbnb is here to stay for a while. There have been some laws that may affect them negatively because they don’t have to follow all of the rules as other hotels. They’ve raised a lot of money and just opened up new offices in San Francisco


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Yelp review for my mom’s Thanksgiving dinner


First, I showed up around 1pm to help out with the cooking and prep but “dinner” was almost done. My dinner reservations were for 5pm but this chef lacks good communication and failed to let me know dinner would be more like a late lunch.

Secondly, the chef’s assistant seemed to think that everything should be done a little differently than how the chef was preparing my Thanksgiving dinner. Why is it that everyone forgets how to cook on Thanksgiving?

Once the meal was ready the chefs sat down to eat, which was weird. Also, there was laundry being done, several dogs running around and football on the television. Not very classy at all if you ask me… 

I wouldn’t ever go back and I recommend everyone stay away from this place. However, they didn’t charge me for the meal so that was a plus.



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Recommendation for Instructure Canvas

I’ve received five emails today and there’s no opting out of these messages as far as I can see. I’m numb to their messages and I delete most everyone after a mere glance at the subject line.


USF should have someone combine these emails into one as a newsletter format and shouldn’t send more than one or two a day. Here is a screenshot of a company, GTAR, that I do freelance work for that has a newsletter style email that would work perfectly for Canvas:


Also, I should at least have a class with you or have had a class with you in order for you to be able to email me(unless you’re an advisor or instructor). Students are constantly emailing everyone asking others to help them with a survey. Sorry, I can’t take a survey almost everyday. 

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Forced Product Placement

I’m a big fan of a band called King Tuff and they’re pretty weird all around. Even though I love them, I’m not sure if I would put a company name behind them unless it’s a skateboard type of company where edgier music is more acceptable because the consumers could care less about the lyrics or actions of the band.

JanSport has a web series on their YouTube channel, The Bonfire Sessions, where they have a band play a live show and they put their backpacks in shots throughout the videos. They’re not that discreet about it and it feels forced. They seem to be going for authenticity but cutting to the logo on backpacks every so often isn’t smooth and it kind of ruins the objective of the video. They should have just closed out the video with their logo.

Also, the song talks about getting fucked up. I’m not sure what JanSport’s demographic is anymore but I’m sure kids are still buying their bags. All it takes is some angry parents to boycott your bags and it could put a huge dent in sales and reputation. 

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Just before I booked a hotel for my next trip to NYC, my mom told me about a new site,, she heard about on Charlie Rose.

Airbnb rents space to guests that are visiting a city. These spaces are not hotels but private residences. Some are occupied and some aren’t occupied. You can get places in France, Italy and San Francisco for under $50 if you’re willing to stay in a hostel type environment or you can spend a lot of money on staying in your dream house.

I chose to stay in a Brooklyn studio in Crown Heights. Brooklyn is where I normally stay when I visit NYC because it has cheaper hotels and I have friends that live there. Below are a few pictures of the place I’ll be staying at for a few days.
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I’ll follow up this post with how it went when I get back on October 29th.

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The Underappreciated Tampa Bay Rays

Since the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, now known as just the Tampa Bay Rays, played their first game I’ve been a loyal fan. However, I can’t blame anyone for jumping onboard with the team immediately.


The years 1998-2007 were pretty rough for fans of the team and during those years the Rays never had a winning season. The initial owner of the team, Vince Naimoli, didn’t do much to increase the fan base while he owned the team. He alienated the fan base and was cheap to a fault. Employees were asked to use both sides of even their sticky notes before throwing them out. More can be read about his disastrous tenure here:


Years of losing, a stadium the fan base is unhappy with and an owner who doesn’t have a clue about customer experience or public relations did not help build a loyal following. But, in 2005 a new ownership group stepped in and started doing things the complete opposite way of the previous owner. There was also a managerial change; Joe Maddon, a progressive manager that implements sabermetrics heavily into his management. The Rays were still on a budget but employed several different strategies to win more games and increase the fan base. A great book was written about this transition and how the new ownership group operates in Jonah Keri’s book The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First

In 2008 the Rays won 97 games and it was their first winning season. They even made it to the World Series but lost to the Phillies. Joe Maddon helped turn the team around with his analytical approach along with a new attitude he instilled in the clubhouse. Ownership found a number of undervalued players for cheap. Also, years of losing will get you high draft picks and a number of these players were ready to play after being groomed in the minors.

For six years now the Rays have put out a team with a winning record and they’ve made the playoffs four times in the last six years. They have a small budget in comparison to the rest of baseball but they’ve still managed to thrive. They’re even set up to be successful for the foreseeable future due to their farm system and superior process.

Tickets are some of the cheapest in sports. The Rays have been voted one of the best values ticket wise and one of the most family-friendly teams by many publications. The stadium isn’t aesthetically pleasing but it’s always 72 degrees inside and games will never be rained out, which was a huge problem for the Florida Marlins when they played outdoors. The Rays do fun things like bring in zoo animals to the clubhouse before games and they have themed road trips(see below).



The fans are asking for a new stadium but I don’t think that’s going to solve their attendance problems. The stadium is subpar and in a poor geographical location relative to the larger part of the Tampa Bay are population but again it’s cheap. If we build a new stadium the prices will go up significantly which could counter the effect of a nicer stadium that’s located closer to the masses. A lot of locals are still holding onto their hometown teams and the franchise is still relatively young. And it doesn’t help when the first seven years were spent alienating the fan base.

The risk of building a stadium that will cost at least a half a billion dollars is too big of a risk in a city that has had attendance issues in every sport, even when the teams were competing for championships. The Rays were dead last in attendance this year and I don’t know what more they can do in this market. The TV ratings have been decent but that’s not enough to satisfy MLB higher ups or ownership. As much as I’d hate to see them go I’d understand it from a business perspective.

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Contacts You Can Sleep in but May Make You Blind

I was watching the Rays’ playoff game last night and this ad made me laugh but it wasn’t meant to be humorous.
Air Optix Night and Day TV Spot, ‘Your Business’

The ad is for contacts that you can sleep in for up to 30 days. But there is a disclaimer at the end that lets you know that serious eye problems can occur, including loss of vision, if you wear these at night. I don’t think this particular risk vs. reward is worth it at all. Also, it shows adults sleeping and they’re supposed to be sleeping like kids. I’ve heard the expression of sleeping like a baby but putting these adults in cribs would probably worsen a commercial that’s selling point is laziness.

We’ve all seen ads for Viagra and Cialis and many jokes have been made about their possible side effects. However, adult males with erectile dysfunction seem to be more than willing to trade off the risks of taking the drug for the benefits they bring. 

I’m sure it’s hard for an ad agency to turn down a client and tell them no but I wouldn’t want to put out an ad a ridiculous as this Air Optix ad.

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