June 22nd, 2007

Whimsical Kevin

Return of the $2 Bill Conspiracy

I like using $2 bills, especially at conventions. Actually, I think the USA should follow Canada and stop printing $1 bills, embrace the $1 coin, and use the $2 bill. (Yes, I know Canada dropped the $2 bill as well; one step at at time.) One of the reasons I use them at conventions is as an attempt to show that we're putting money into the hotel in a noticeable way. I use them primarily for tips, so as to spread it around.

But getting $2 bills can be a hassle sometimes. Yesterday, I went to the branch near my office and inquired about them. the teller said there were two bundles of $200 each in the vault if I'd like to buy an entire bundle. I agreed, and a few minutes later I was handed a brand new bundle of one hundred $2 bills.

This is a bit much, even for me, and even though Lisa will want some of them. If anyone wants to buy some of them off of me, particularly if you're planning to use them for Westercon expenses at-con, see me at BASFA or at the con and we'll deal.
Manga Kevin

Travel Checklist Items Completed

I got a call from NTA, Nippon 2007's official agency, confirming that the sleeper surcharges are indeed per person, not per compartment the way they are in the USA, Canada, and the UK. I'm still astounded that nothing on any of the web sites I've read says this, and that indeed, some of them imply that it's a per-compartment charge (after paying for the rail fare). I still think the whole sleeper-reservation system makes no sense and is designed to make it impossible for someone using the rail pass to actually book the best compartments. But then, I'm used to American trains whose sleeping cars book up months in advance.

It's amazing how many things I have to get done to travel to Japan. Today I checked a number of them off my list:

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There are many more things that need doing, but all of these are little things that will make the trip better for us.