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November 2017 - ATX Fun - Austin-San Antonio Fun, Travel & Educational Opportunities

AUSOME Group Helps Austin Entrepreneurs Grow

AUSOME LogoI’ve been a fan of AUSOME – Austin Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs for several years. The group meets monthly, and has since 2009. Admission is free, and every meeting features an interesting local (mostly) entrepreneur who has done well and is willing to share her/his secrets. David Gonzales and Anna Cummins are the hosts.

Last evening’s meeting featured Lani Rosales, the COO of and She also co-founded the Big Ass Social Happy Hour (BASHH), and is the “iron-fist co-founder and Evil Overlord” at Austin Digital Jobs (ADJ, a Facebook group with 35,000+ active members).

AUSOME meetings are held at the Capital Factory, a major player in Austin’s startup scene.

You can find and join AUSOME on

If you have an online business, or are considering one, you definitely should check this out.

Free Admission to Some Austin Museums This Weekend for BOA & Merrill Lynch Customers

Bullock MuseumIf you have a credit card or debit card from Bank of America, this is your lucky weekend. Every month BOA provides free admission to over 175 museums nation-wide to their customers. In Austin, the affected museums are the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Thinkery (at Mueller), and Contemporary Austin (at Laguna Gloria and downtown).

Going farther afield, if you head down to San Antonio you can enter the Witte Museum, to DoSeum (museum for kids), the McNay Art Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Houston and Ft. Worth also have museums on the list.

Here is the fine print:

Offer valid the first full weekend (Sat and Sun) of the month. Photo ID and any valid Bank of America® or Merrill Lynch® credit or debit card must be presented. Free general admission is limited to the cardholder at participating institution. Museum hours and participation varies. Excludes special exhibitions, ticketed shows and fundraising events. Not to be combined with other offers.

Austin to Amsterdam/Paris/Rome $460 to $585 Round-Trip on AA

For fans of American Airlines, this is great news: Flights from January to March from Austin to Europe for as little as $485 round-trip! There may be a 7-day minimum stay requirement.

Cheap Flights: Austin to Many cities in Europe $460-$585 r/t – AA + Oneworld

Departure taxes from the United Kingdom continue to be very expensive, so these flights may route through London but they do not originate there.

Similar low prices have been offered recently by Alaska / Hawaiian / Virgin, but this is the first I’ve seen offered by American Airlines.

Some Good Advice on Debt from a Valuable Free Newsletter

Skip McGrathSkip McGrath sells things on Amazon and eBay, and is a published author and newsletter writer. You can see his current newsletter issue (it’s free!) at

In the current issue Skip talks about how he and his wife were able to dig themselves out of debt when they were in their 40s…including mortgage debt. It’s a good story.

For anyone in a similar situation, Skip recommends  American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), and warns against other groups that are often scam artists.

An interesting thing about credit card workout companies is that hiring one can put a permanent Default blemish on your credit report. Skip notes that bankruptcies are scrubbed after 7 years, but defaults from a credit-card workout are never removed.

Skip’s newsletter is full of information on how you can make a living, or just a part of one, from selling online. It’s well worth subscribing.



Southwest & JetBlue Both Having Sales Now

Southwest Airlines and JetBlue are both offering discounted airfares today and tomorrow…and Southwest’s continues into Thursday.

Save on New and Existing Southwest Flights – 3 Day Fare Sale!

$49 JetBlue Sale – Two Days Only!

Both airlines serve Austin.

The great thing about Southwest sales is that you can cancel and rebook existing reservations in order to take advantage of a lower price. I’ve done this numerous times.

Very Cheap Fares from LAX to Thailand, Singapore, Philippines & Vietnam

If you take Southwest or another airline to Los Angeles, you can fly for only $363 to $431 round-trip to various cities in Southeast Asia. These flights are available on China Southern Airlines in January and February.

MEGA POST: Los Angeles to South-East Asia from only $363 roundtrip

You may have a concern about China Southern Airlines, but be aware that they have been approved to fly to the United States by the Federal Aviation Agency…this is not an easy approval to get.

$9.99 Backpack As Your Carry-on Personal Item

Many of us travel with only carry-on luggage, no checked bags. Doing so gets you through the airport (and customs) faster at your destination. As for my wife and me, we each take a backpack (“personal item”)and a roll-aboard.

Some airlines can get rather picky about the size of your personal item, but this backpack should pass their scrutiny.

This $25 backpack, discounted to $9.99, has a pocket for a laptop or tablet, and the price is certainly reasonable…with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime. is Successor to SWMonkey, Which Was Shut Down by Southwest Airlines

One of my favorite benefits of purchasing Southwest Airlines tickets is that changes are free. Unlike almost all other airlines, SWA doesn’t charge a fee for canceling or modifying a reservation. So, if the published airfare is reduced on an itinerary that you have purchased, you can cancel your ticket and purchase an exact replacement at the lower cost.

But how to you know the price has been reduced? You could check every day. Or you could use a service which automatically checks for you.

Several automated services have started up, but all have quickly faced a legal demand to cease and desist from Southwest Airline’s legal team.

Last week it was SWMonkey…they lasted a few days. Yesterday a replacement,, started up. It’s a great free service, but SWA just hates what it does so is likely to go after it quickly. I wish the best for the developer, but I do not expect the site to survive long.

“This is True” Email Newsletter Is Worth Subscribing To

This is True LogoOne of the longest-lived email newsletters in existence is “This is True.” Randy Cassingham, an EMT? in Colorado, is the author. Every week he writes a paragraph each about several weird things that have been in the news, with his own humorous observation at the end. It’s very entertaining reading!

Randy also sells those “Get Out of Hell Free” cards that you see from time to time…they were actually passing them out at a real-life funeral I once attended.

Randy has been writing This is True since 1994. Basic subscriptions are free, but if you pay you get a lot more stories in the Premium edition. You can subscribe at