Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Freekin' Cheap: Free Landline Phone Service

Google Voice and a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) adapter give us free dial tone on all our landline phones.
Almost all calls within the US and Canada are free. International calls are near enough free.
We use our home landline phones the same way we have always used them. People continue to call our old landline phone number.
We've been using Google Voice since 2009. It has most of the features of regular POTS (plain old telephone service) and a few extras for people who like to travel. It emails voice mails, filters spam, and lets us have a single number for our home and cell phones.

It takes a few days to set everything up, but if you value saving around $4,000 over the next ten years, this is the way to go. There are five steps:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Urban Bike: City of Lakes

Today I'm off on my bicycle to visit every lake in Minneapolis, City of Lakes.

It took some effort to draw up a list of 16 Minneapolis lakes, or, to be more precise, lakes and other notable bodies of water.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Personal Space in Economy

I love to fly, even in Economy. Fellow passengers are almost always considerate, showing respect for personal space. They might even have interesting stories to tell.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Kagoshima: Getting Around the Region

Navigating Japan is not for the faint-hearted. Most overseas visitors arrive in Tokyo, only to enter a world of alphabets they cannot read, streets with non-consecutive house numbers, and train stations that are the world's busiest.

In my previous My Kagoshima posts:
I emphasized the need to "chunk it."
Kagoshima Prefecture is a manageable chunk of Japan that is as far as you can get from Tokyo by bullet train (910 miles, 1,464 km). 
I picked out three areas in Kagoshima Prefecture: Kagoshima City, Yakushima Island, and Kirishima (the Kirishima Volcanic Group section of Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park). 
I described how to get to Kagoshima Prefecture from the USA
I left you at Kagoshima Airport or Kagoshima City's main train station (Kagoshima-Chuo). Either way, the arrival is manageable: Kagoshima airport has 10 gates, Kagoshima-Chuo has 14 platforms.
In this post I describe how to get from the airport or train station to the three areas of Kagoshima I selected.