Friday, June 14, 2019

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will arrive in Boston on June 15, 2019

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will arrive in Boston on June 15, 2019 for a strictly limited time.

Starting at $35, seniors from 33.



Children ages 14 and under visit for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

10am to 6:00pm (last ticket sold at 4:30 pm)
Some Exceptions Apply.

The Castle at Park Plaza
130 Columbus Ave, Boston
At the intersection of Stuart St, Arlington St, and Columbus Ave

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Using CHIP and PIN Credit Cards and ApplePay in Europe

In Europe credit cards use CHIP and PIN. In the US, most credit cards use CHIP only. No PIN. This article can show you which cards support both CHIP and PIN.

Credit Card Insider: Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards in the USA.

Since I have a CHIP only card, when I tried to use it in Amsterdam, I was required to show my license and give a signature. Lame.

When I was in Germany, at the checkout, I said I wanted to pay with a CARD, and then used my iPhone to pay with ApplePay. That worked 95% of the time and made payments seamless. I tied my ApplePay to a credit card without foreign transaction fees.

Note: When the vendor asks if you want to have them convert the transaction from EURO to US DOLLARS, say NO, because their foreign transaction fees will be high, and your credit card without foreign transaction fees will take care of it.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 14 and 15 Budapest, Hungary

Final evening view from our stateroom.

Final morning view from our stateroom.

Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 12 and 13 Vienna, Austria

Found the Apple Store. Fast internet!

Mak Vienna was a great modern museum. Fun to visit.

The subway system was very easy to navigate. We paid for a 24-hour ticket which let us get on and off as much as we wanted.

You pay for the ticket, and the first time you use it, you get it validated with a time stamp in a blue box. From then on, it's the honor system to get on and off the trains. You might be randomly checked to see if you have a valid ticket. It's a very nice system.

Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 11 Melk, Austria

Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 10 Passau, Germany

Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 9 Regensburg, Germany

Shopped in a cute supermarket.

This museum and beer hall was not open yet, but should be when you visit.


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 8 Nuremberg, Germany

Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 7 Bamberg, Germany


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 6 Würzburg, Germany

Wine on the bridge.


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 5 Miltenberg, Germany


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 4 Koblenz, Germany and Marksburg Castle


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 3 Cologne, Germany

Sion Brauhaus:

Cologne love lock bridge:


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 2 Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

This morning we sail to Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a tour of this ingenious network of windmills and other flood management devices. Learn why the windmills were built and see how they work, and enter a working windmill for a tour of its mechanisms and living quarters. Return on board for lunch and an enjoyable afternoon of Dutch diversions: sample handcrafted Dutch cheeses and jenever, a distilled juniper liquor, and take in a culturally enriching presentation on the Dutch Golden Age. We cruise through the night.

Included shore excursion:

See the picturesque Dutch countryside and the original technological marvels of historic Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will walk with your guide into the serene polder lands of South Holland. As you cross the dike to the windmills, you will notice that they in fact are at a lower elevation than your ship, as much of this part of The Netherlands is below sea level. Built in the mid-18th century, these 19 windmills, the largest concentration in The Netherlands, stand like sentinels on a hushed landscape. You will learn why they were built and see firsthand how they work, even stepping into a working windmill to observe its mechanics and living quarters. Families who live in these mills are required to keep them in working order. This excursion provides a revealing look at these marvelous buildings that helped shape the legendary Dutch landscape.

As we sailed into Kinderdijk, we caught a glimpse of our first windmill from our stateroom. Exciting.


Viking Grand European Tour River Cruise - DAY 1 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Arrive in Amsterdam, then transfer to your ship.* After boarding, the afternoon is yours to relax or explore the city on your own. If your arrival schedule permits, you may wish to visit the Rijksmuseum, or the Van Gogh Museum next door.

* Ground transfers are included with Viking Air purchase.

Getting There
Although transfers are included, we missed the transfer agent. Possibly it was because we did not check our bags, although we did go to baggage claim. We then went to the meeting area at the front of the airport where other tour companies were, but no Viking representatives were there.

We ended up taking the train ourselves, from the airport to Central Station via train. Direct. It cost 11 Euros.

First, I tried to use the automated ticket machine, but it gave me an error. That's because I was trying to use a credit card from the US that does not support CHIP and PIN. It was a CHIP, but no PIN code that can be used on automated machines in Europe.

So I had to go to the ticket counter.

Me: Do you accept Apple Pay?

Her: You want to pay with Apples?

Me: Yes!

Her: We only accept European money here, we do not accept Apples!

I paid with a 20 Euro and we go our tickets, headed to the track, and shortly boarded our train to a non-stop trip to Central Station.

Our ship, Tir, was close by.

View this post on Instagram

Sunny in Amsterdam. Herengracht Centrum.

A post shared by Steve Garfield (@stevegarfield) on

Best Beer Bar in Amsterdam
Proeflokaal Arendsnest
Herengracht 90 (3,456.28 mi)
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1015 BS


Monday, April 29, 2019

Subscribing to a Podcast in the Stitcher Web App

My friend Andrea Syrtash has a new podcast, Pregnantish, and asked me to subscribe. One of the subscription options is Stitcher.

I've never subscribed to a show on Stitcher, so I had to figure it out. Rather than download the app, I decided to subscribe using the Stitcher Web App.

Here's how.

Click the "+" button on Stitcher.


1. Go to the show page for Pregnantish on Stitcher.

2. If you don't have a stitcher account, CLICK SIGN UP, otherwise CLICK SIGN IN and go to STEP 4.

3. Choose how to SIGN UP. I chose Facebook. CLICK SIGN IN WITH FACEBOOK.

4. Choose OPEN IN WEB APP.

5. CLICK the "+" button to SUBSCRIBE.


That's it. You've subscriber to a podcast with the Stitcher Web App.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Game Of Thrones Xfinity Watchathon Watch Party at Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester was the PERFECT venue for this Game Of Thrones Xfinity Watchathon Watch Party. We'd never been there. This was the most amazing Comcast Xfinity event we have ever been to. The catering was first class. There could have been over 100 candles in the great room where we had dinner and watched the premier episode.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

I’m reverse-cord-cutting, saving $20.94/month

I’m reverse-cord-cutting, saving $20.94/month.

XFINITY with NETFLIX included.

I just signed up for a new Xfinity plan where Netflix is included.

No more monthly payments to NETFLIX for their Standard plan with HD quality, saving $12.99/month.

REMOVE Cable card

Just removed the monthly fee of $7.95 for my Xfinity cable card that was supporting my Tivo.

I've switched over to Xfinity X1 as my DVR.

Goodbye TiVo. It was nice.

You don't need a cable card to watch your recorded programs.

One thing that kept me from getting rid of TiVo was the accumulation of unwatched shows I have on there. Good shows.

So after watching our last, TiVi recorded, must see episode of that lawyer show Carol likes, and confirming that a good amount of the other shows are available ON DEMAND at Xfinity, I canceled the cable card.

I removed the cable card to drop it off at an Xfinity store. The TiVo then said, "Hey. You removed my cable card! How are you going to watch TV?"

The TiVo then asked me how I wanted to proceed, so I selected to get my program information from the INTERNET, and my TV SOURCE would be from an OVER THE AIR ANTENNA.

The TiVo then scanned for available stations, and downloaded program information for those that it found.

NOTE: I don't have an antenna, and I'm not going to get one.

After TiVo did all this, I clicked over to my recorded programs and they were still there, and I have access to them.


Tuesday, January 01, 2019

My 3 Words for 2019

Joining in with Chris Brogan and posting My 3 Words for 2019.

Chris explains on his blog post My 3 Words for 2019:

January 1, 2019 / CHRIS BROGAN

My 3 Words for 2019

Instead of a New Year’s resolution, I practice a ritual called “My 3 Words.” The idea is that you think up three words that will help guide your choices and actions over the coming year. This has become quite an event, with thousands and thousands of people working their way through the ritual and planning their year based on their own three words.

What is My 3 Words About?
The My Three Words idea is simple. Choose 3 words (not 1, not 4) that will help guide your choices and actions day to day. Think of them as lighthouses. “Should I say yes to this project?” “Well, does this align with my three words?”

How to Choose Three Words
I started this process back in 2006. Back then, my 3 words were “Ask. Do. Share.” I picked these very simple words and they served me very well. One of my best years ever. When I asked questions, I learned. When I took action based on what I learned from asking, I made more ground and took over more of the universe. When I shared what I learned with everyone, I made connections and some friends.

Choose any three words you feel will guide you forward. I can tell you a few things about this:

Don’t make it a phrase. “Publish the book” is a terrible choice. “The” is wasted.
Try to make the words actionable. “Expand” is better than “bigger.”
The more utilitarian the word can be, the better. These words have to be your compass.
Stick with the 3 words all year. Every time I’ve changed one a month or two later, the year mucks up. I can’t explain it. But I can report it.
Years where I’ve tried “fancy” words with layers of meaning, I lost the thread. Use plain words, maybe.
BUT the words don’t have to mean anything to anyone but you. Don’t worry about explaining them.

Continue reading Chris Brogan's My 3 Words for 2019

Here are My 3 Words for 2019:

This year it was easy to pick my first two words, and the third was going to be a pun, but the website I was going to base my pun on rebranded. So I've got two words that go together, and a third that continues on from 2018.

I do a lot of reading online, and I read the print newspaper every day, but it's been hard for me to make a dent in my library of 'books to be read.' I've been reading the Steve Jobs biography for a while. That's a big book.

So to jumpstart my reading of more books, I'm giving myself permission to read the first chapter of lots of books. I should be able to read one chapter a day, which would means looking into 365 books this year. I'm not going to promise that, but will make an effort to read a chapter a day.

I do lots of writing online, whether it be finding interesting news stories and sharing with my own summary, or posting technical how-to's about things that I learn. One project I'm working on is an auto-biography. It started when I began putting together lessons learned for a short 10 minute presentation, but it was difficult to narrow it down to 10 minutes of content, so I decided to write down everything, which has now grown into 19,710 words.

This year's goal is to review and edit what I have, and add in things that need to be included, ending up with a manuscript.

Last year I did six words.

My first three words for 2018 were Engage, Share, Hold

Make 2018 the year you engage, share facts, and hold elected officials accountable for their statements, decisions and actions.

My second three words were: IMPEACHMENT, CONVICTION and REMOVAL.

This year I'm keeping it simple, IMPEACH.