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How To Cancel Timeshare Promotional Vacation

Walt-Disney-World-Magic-KingdomI’m not typically this much of a sucker, but a telemarketer recently convinced me to book a three night stay in Orlando. It was a timeshare promotion. You know the drill. If you agree to sit through a presentation during your vacation, they’ll give you a big discount on your hotel and Disney tickets.

It didn’t take long to regret my purchase. I don’t even want to go to Disney World. Surely, they’ll just refund my money… Right?

Nope! I checked the terms & conditions (which may be the first time I’ve ever done that). “No Refunds” it said. In fact, if I actually did cancel, they’d charge me the full price of the entire package!

Whaaa! I found myself frantically Googling a way out. But Google failed me. There were plenty of results, but everyone said it was impossible.

But I would not be bested. I picked up the phone:

Hilton: “Hello, Hilton Grand Vacations…”
Me: “Hi, I just booked a promotional stay at one of your hotels, and I had a question.”
Hilton: “Ok, I’d be happy to answer that for you.”
Me: “When I was asked my income earlier, I told the salesman my current household income. But, my wife is quitting her job to stay home with our son, and I just wanted to make sure we were still eligible.”
Hilton: “Is this Steve?”
Me: “[surprised] yes…”
Hilton: “Steve, would you mind holding please.”
Me: “ok”
[15 minutes later]
Hilton: “Sir?”
Me: “Yes, I’m here.”
Hilton: “Sorry for the wait. I have cancelled your reservation, and refunded the payment to your American Express. Unfortunately, you no longer qualify for this promotion.”
Me: “Oh no. Really?”
Hilton: “Yes, I’m sorry.”
Me: “Oh… Ok. Thanks for your time.”

Yes! Didn’t even have to lie… though if you googled your way to this article, your actual circumstances may not be quite as well suited for this tactic… no lying guys! :)

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Uncapitalize Text

While designing a website, I was challenged with figuring out how to uncapitalize several paragraphs of text that our client had mysteriously decided to type in all caps. The trick was to bring it into Microsoft Word, highlight the text and hit Shift+F3 twice. Perfect. Thanks Google… and Microsoft, I guess.

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Easter Egg Design Ideas

If it’s Easter and you’re not decorating eggs, you are probably one of these things:

  1. Lazy.
  2. A Scrooge.
  3. Vegan (see #2).
  4. Physically handicapped. I’m sorry.

It’s a fun friends and family event and makes for some healthy competition. I always like to get a leg up on my opponents by having a couple fresh design ideas in my back pocket. This year, I found these neat printing press inspired eggs that are fairly simple to make. Have fun rubbing your victory in all of your loved one’s faces.

I also came across this tutorial (embedded below) on how to make felt eggs. They would make great bonus eggs in an Easter egg hunt. Just stuff a few Hamiltons in there before sealing it up, and the finder will have the added joy of trying to liberate their cash with a sharp blade. Perfect for young kids.

If you try either one of these ideas, let me know how it turns out because there is a chance I won’t be using either of them this year (see #1).

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How To Make World Record Paper Airplane

Recently, a new world record was set for the longest paper airplane throw (video here). Obviously, I wanted to know how to make the plane for myself. The designer’s name is John Collins, and he has been working on this plane for four years. The plane design is called SUZANNE, and if you pay $2.99 over at you can watch a tutorial on how to make it. I did just that, but found that it requires A4 paper. Another quick search informed me that A4 is the standard paper size for every country in the world except the U.S. and Canada. So if you’re reading this from anywhere else, lucky you! Fold up your queer-shaped documents and let’em rip (pun unintended). And for those of you in America (and its hat), one of the many other planes John has invented is called The Stinger. It uses standard 8.5×11 and flies farther than any plane I’ve ever thrown. John’s video tutorial is great, but it requires a membership, and this is a down economy, so enjoy the free version.

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