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Check Out a WiFi Hotspot From Seattle Public Library….Free

May 19, 2015

hotspot-logo_425Yes, I mean that literally. You can now check out a WiFi hotspot from the Seattle Public Library for free….as long as you Seattle Public Library card. reports that branch libraries are divvying up 150 hotspots that are available for all library patrons to check out thanks to a $225,000 grant from Goggle. It’s all part of an effort to introduce hotspots and laptops to folks who need them the most including immigrants and refugees who might not otherwise have internet access. The city also expects to offer 75 laptops coupled with hotspots by July.

You just check them out as you would any other item the library offers. The Verizon-powered devices are expected to last about 20 hours on one charge and they can be checked out for up to three weeks at a time. They are also programmed to de-activate 24 hours after their due date.  There’s a $200 fee if the device is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Is this a great city or what?

Thanks to Myballard.

For more details about the program, see the library website.

Teacher Walk-Out Day: Some Spaces Still Available at Seattle Community Centers

May 19, 2015

Oy, it’s just after 6, you’ve just realized that today is the teacher walkout day and you don’t know what to do with your kids?

How about sending them to a Seattle Parks and Recreation Department community center? Select community centers are offering games, activities and care for kids from kindergarten-age through 8th grade today and many of them still have some space, but you’ll have to act fast before all the spots are taken.

For more details, check out yesterday’s blog post.

City Offers Free Activities for Kids On School Strike Day

May 18, 2015

If you live in the city of Seattle and are scrambling for something to do on May 19th, the day of the teacher walkout, here’s some good news. The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation will be offering drop-in activities at 21 community centers for kids in kindergarten to 8th grade from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that space is limited. Students are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis and all students must have a completed registration form. You can get the form at a participating center today (5/18) or tomorrow or print it from the parks and recreation department web site.

Since some of the community centers are already full, you may also want to make sure there’s space available at your nearest community center here and register in advance. If you do register early, you still need to bring a registration form to the community center of your choice.

Children must be dropped off by 9 a.m. Spaces for pre-registered kids will not be held past 9 a.m.

If you plan to do this, don’t forget to send your child with a sack lunch.

Thanks to Magnolia Voice.

It’s Free Scoop Day at Haagen Dazs (5/12)

May 12, 2015

bkg-freeconedayGood news, ice cream lovers. Haagen Dazs is offering free scoops of ice cream at its scoop shops all over the country today as part of its annual Free Cone Day.

Just think of it. A free kiddie sized scoop in a cone or a cup. All you have to do is show up and claim your prize.

I don’t know if other Haagen Dazs shops are like this or not, but Seattle’s local shop happens to be the best at dealing with high volume days like this. They bring on four or five extra staffers to scoop and they really keep the crowd moving. So, if you were only planning on going to one free cone day event this year, this should be it.

The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. local time.

Free Ice Cream Today….and Tomorrow (5/11)

May 11, 2015

10898220_10153308220369096_5157344462897306116_nThe idea of getting free ice cream from a cupcake place may not seem to make a lot of sense, but that’s exactly what you can get today if you go to one of Cupcake Royale‘s stores in the Seattle area. The free scoop fest starts at 2 (gasp, that’s just minutes away) and continues until 8 p.m. tonight. The West Seattle and Madrona locations will be offering free ice cream cookie sandwiches.

Either way, it’s ice cream and it’s free. And that can’t be all bad.

And if you either can’t make it today or are just looking for a bit more free ice cream, don’t worry. There’s more tomorrow when Haagen Dazs (which is Swedish for “We Made This Name Up”) has its annual free scoop day from 4 to 8 p.m.

Cupcake Royale is located at 1111 E. Pike St on Capitol Hill, 2052 NW Market St. in Ballard, 1101 34th Ave. in Madrona, 4556 California Ave SW in West Seattle, 108 Pine in Downtown and 1935 Queen Anne Ave. N in…Queen Anne, of course.

The closest Haagen Dazs in Seattle is in the University District at 4301 University Way NE.

Uber’s Dirty Little Secret: This Taxi Is Cheaper

May 6, 2015

dsc01465Yes, you heard it right. Uber isn’t as cheap as you thought. Or, at least one taxi company beats Uber on trips to the airport as I discovered last week when I headed out to a writer’s conference in New York City.

I normally rely on my family to take me to the airport or to drop me downtown so I can catch the train there, but I had to be at the airport way too early to get everyone up this time around. So I decided to check out my options for a ride from North Seattle at 5 a.m. and learned something pretty shocking: Uber isn’t as cheap as I thought.

I checked three services and was surprised by what I found.

1. Shuttle Express. Although I was pretty sure this shared ride service would be the cheapest, but would take the longest to get to the airport because of the number of stops required along the way, Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out because the site said it didn’t have any rides booked at that hour. So, I don’t know how much it would have cost, but I probably would have had to leave earlier.

2. Uber. The ride service that comes when you want it listed a base price of $55 for a ride from North Seattle to Sea-Tac.

3. Eastside Taxi For Hire. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Once the meter is on, it’s crazy time, but that’s not the case. The company has a flat rate of $42 from the North end where I live.

Not only that, but there are other reasons to consider taking this taxi. For starters, my driver told me that Uber takes a bigger bite out of what its drivers get. Around 20% across the board, no matter what the fare. My driver, who takes rides for Uber and Eastside for Hire says the taxi company only charges 10%. And he can make up part of the difference in tips when he works as a taxi driver.

When he works for Uber, though, he’s out of luck because he can’t take tips.

Who knew?

Starbucks: May the Frap Be With You…For Half Off

May 3, 2015

If you like Starbucks Fraps, the time you wait all year for is here: The time of Frap Happy Hour.

From now through May 10, Starbucks stores from here to New York and all over the country are offering any size Frap for half off the regular price from 3 to 5 p.m. every day.

And, if you are a Starbucks Rewards member, like I am, you don’t have to rush to your neighborhood branch of the coffee behemoth, because you get a whole extra hour of happiness with the Happy Hour extending to 6 p.m.

Heck, at that rate, you might want to stick around and have two.

Or not.


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