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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Bed Bug Registry

Back in the early 80’s we had our first bedbug encounter, at a trashy little rathole in southern Taiwan. Head to toe. Those nasty critters left scars! We’d pay good money not to do that again! Fortunately, we don’t have to pay good money. The Bed Bug Registry is willing to warn us for free — well, so long as we stay in the US and Canada, or on a cruise ship. Next trip to Asia, we think we’ll take a good flashlight and a sturdy shoe.

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Google EarthStill doing way too much research, and way too little writing, on my new novel. Google Earth is proving invaluable (or distracting. I’m not sure which). Where before I might have driven (or flown) to the place I was researching, now I can pretty much Google Earth it and get at least a sense of what a particular street corner might look like, or whether an area of the town I’m describing is rural or suburban.

Oh, and whether my daughter was out playing in the neighborhood when she was supposed to be home with her older brother, practicing the piano.  She goes on record as the first child in history to get in trouble because of Google Earth Street View.

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Looking to drive traffic to your web site? Here’s the secret, guaranteed.

Just make sure the topic of your web site is “Cheap Gasoline Locations.” Then get OPEC to double the price of oil. See how easy?

Well it works for Gas Buddy — the site that tracks the price of gasoline in your town, and in every town in your geographic area. Hey, we can fight back! Buddy up! Tell the neighbors what your nearest station is charging today, and they’ll return the favor.

Have other ideas for pressuring price gougers? Share by clicking that Comments link below.

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Still driving an SUV? Not me. I just scored myself a ’92 Geo Metro. Fifty mpg without even trying hard. But I can do better than that. I’ve learned extreme drivng — the cheapskate’s way to get super-high gas mileage.

Want to join me? Episode 49 (produced back in April, when gas was still sub-four-bucks a gallon) at Systm will teach you how to drive like a hyper-miler.

Have more ideas for improving the bottom line? Share! Click that Comment link, below.

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From today on, each time one of my many children has a birthday, Greenlance will celebrate by posting a resource that will be of particular interest to that kid. So happy birthday, middle son. This site’s for you:

MakaiMakai” isn’t just an awkward pronunciation of “Michael”; it’s also the Hawaiian word for “toward the ocean.” Is there any question, then, what you’d name a magazine that discusses nothing but hanging out at beaches in Hawaii? It’s a Surfin’ Safari, baby. If you’re planning to live by the beach, live a beach lifestyle.

To my son who longs to live in Hawaii: We wish you “Hau`oli la Hanau,” Bu. And be glad that we didn’t name you “Hapai“!

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KayakCheap travel is hard to come by. Gas is so dear, I don’t even use drive-throughs anymore.

How do I make every penny count when booking travel? Not Expedia, not Travelocity, not Orbitz, and not Priceline.

Nope, in this house, it’s Kayak, not Red Bull, that gives us wings. Kayak is a no-nonsense tool that simultaneously searches more than 140 resources — including most of the biggies. I recently found a Philly/Seattle flight for 220 bucks on Kayak when the same flights were more than $400 on the competitor sites.

Have any favorite resources for planning travel? Do share! Click that Comments link and make my heart soar!

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Fact BookIf the CIA has experienced some bad PR over the years, perhaps the World Factbook will go some way toward fixing the agency’s rep.

World Factbook is the authoritative go-to place for in-depth information on every country on the planet, updated twice a month with new statistics, maps, and information that only the CIA has the resources to compile. The most interesting part of each country’s description is at the end, under the heading “Transnational Issues.” There you’ll get the skinny on the CIA’s opinion of what sorts of troubles are brewing in the nations of the world.

Where do you look for information before you travel? Share your favorites by clicking the Comments link.

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