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One package was sent to a local Mailboxes Etc., the other straight to the door. In one case, one package was opened for inspection and customs challenged our valuation, and I had to revalue the package at a higher amount of duties.

For that package, UPS delivered it straight to the door, but wanted to collect duties in cash. Even though I paid online, they don't show this in their system (their own tracking system shows it paid), so I have to email them proof of payment.

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Getting international shippings through customs and has been a lesson in patience. We shipped two parcels to ourselves before leaving the US. Aside from the exorbitant cost on the US side, duties were also owed on the Portuguese side - which is expected.

But the process is very disjointed and communication between the various parties is out of sync.

That’s right, it’s #SpaceTalkTuesday time! This week it’s all about ~exoplanetary habitability~

What does habitability really mean? Do we know of any habitable #exoplanets? How will we be able to study them now and in the future?

Follow along for answers to these #science questions and more!

#SciComm #astrophysics

(fair warning, this will be a long thread. the threaded posts are unlisted as a best practice, but you can still boost them)

My current route is a little crazy - port my US number to Google Voice to "park it", then pay for a new line from a prepaid carrier (e.g. US Mobile). Have a friend in the US eSIM activate that line on one of their devices.

Voice requires you to have an active, paid mobile carrier line, so I will then forward my Google Voice no. (which is the one I want to retain) to that new line, which my friend will then remove from their device.

I will get SMS/voicemails on the Google Voice app on iOS.

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Current issue is that my local (PT) carrier - NOS - is using a physical SIM in my phone. That means I need my US-based number to be an eSIM. Plenty of carriers support eSIM, but you have to activate the eSIM from within the US.

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Something I've just figured out for maintaining a US number while abroad: if you intend to activate a prepaid eSIM-based plan to retain your US number, do it while you are still in the United States to avoid any hangups with activation.

US Mobile, Google Fi, and other carriers I've attempted so far *can not* activate an eSIM while you are abroad since the initial handshake needs to be done with a US tower (this according to my attempts and to their CSR).

More updates soon

Okay fedi, I know there's some #bike people here, does anyone have some thoughts about any of these three #ebikes? I'm looking to get my first (and hopefully that first lasts me a long time) and these were recommended to me by a local shop. My use case is purely commuter on roads/sidewalks, no extremely long distances (it's a small town). I won't be biking every day since I work from home, it's more for going to shops and restaurants and whatnot. Mostly want an ebike to make the ride easier (especially up hills) and be able to bike further. My goal is to eventually only use my car for going out of town, extremely bad weather or carrying heavy things home.

#cycling #bicycles #bicycling #ebike

#PT 🇵🇹 🇧🇷 (1/3): Gosto do Mastodon porque me faz lembrar do Twitter no início, onde as mensagens eram lidas e escritas por pessoas reais. Motivado pelo toot do @darnell [1], e como tinha recentemente pensado, retomo o #FollowFriday com:

@256 (tecnologia antiga)
@tugatech (blog de tecnologia português)
@IzzyOnDroid, (repositório de aplicações - obrigado!)
@eviljarred (estado-unidense à solta em Portugal)
@stux e @hmy1110 (os mais generosos e/ou adoráveis do Mastodon)

[1] one.darnell.one/@darnell/10861

#EN 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (3/3): I like Mastodon because it reminds me of early Twitter, where tweets were read and written by real people. Encouraged by @darnell's toot [1], I'll do something I was already planning recently and ressurect #FollowFriday, with:

@256 (old tech)
@tugatech (Portuguese tech blog)
@IzzyOnDroid (app repository - thanks for everything!)
@eviljarred (American on the loose in Portugal)
@stux & @hmy1110 (Mastodon's most adorable and/or generous pets)

[1] one.darnell.one/@darnell/10861

Can’t see these ringlets and not want to go Assassin’s Creed on this cathedral

This whole thing around shaming people for “supporting ” because they bought a product or service is actually kind of shitty

There’s nothing wrong with the line of thought that goes: if I’m going to spend money on something, I’d prefer to spend it with the least objectionable people. It’s awesome when someone loses business because they behave badly

But shaming or anger directed at people who weigh that differently is controlling and awful. People need things (including art and entertainment!); very often, meeting those needs means dealing with people/orgs they’d rather not.

5/

It's like the . The beams are being broken, and time is moving on. Only here, no is coming to save us. No Knight of Eld will assail the tower and restore the natural order.

I've never been happier to leave the United States but I can't help but feel that the rot and decay are here to stay no matter where you go. I'm worried travel will only get worse. That people will be unable to leave for brighter shores.

Stay safe and sane out there.

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4/

It's a nightmare. Flights are being canceled. Workers are on strike. Airports lack adequate staffing - largely because airlines laid off workers during the pandemic rather than continue to support them and pay a living wage.

I have to say it feels apocalyptic. Like modern society is decaying; rotting from the inside-out. Planes break and can't be fixed; pilots and flight attendants are over their allowed hours per day; workers aren't being paid adequately and are striking.

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3/

- Once we land in MAD at 23:30, we will take a private van from Madrid to Lisbon, putting us there about 06:00 on 7/1

Airports are totally fucked right now. The poetry isn't lost on me that we worked 6 months of paperwork and legwork to leave the country, only to be thwarted by airlines at the very end. But I write this from a plane between KEF and MAD, and come hell or high water I will be in soon.

All this to say - don't travel right now. Airports can't handle the capacity.

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2/

- by 4:00am we managed to lug our dog, 5 year old, and 7 suitcases to a hotel
- My daughter and I were rebooked on a flight to via Heathrow and Amsterdam on 6/30. I canceled it, because AMS and LHR are absolute clusterfucks right now.
- My wife was rebooked on a flight via JFK to LIS on 6/30 with our dog
- I snagged a flight to MAD (Madrid) by way of KEF (Reykjavik) to avoid some of the crazier airports.

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1/ What a saga trying to get to . I'll likely do a more detailed writeup later, but it goes a lil something like this:

- After getting sick, we were rescheduled for Tuesday. We managed to fly from ATL to BOS on Tuesday.
- Our flight from BOS to LIS was canceled after 1.5 hours on the tarmac. We were basically ejected and told to take our checked luggage (7 suitcases - remember, this was our one way out of the country). No hotels were offered.

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