I now have a phone number on Google Voice. As it lets you pick an area code out of their allocated pool, I spent about 10 minutes trying to get a number in places that don't exist or are otherwise magical, failed, and thought for a bit about where I want a number. I could do Pittsburgh, but if I can pull myself together I won't be here for that much longer, and if I can't it really won't matter. Everyone has a cell phone nowadays, so local calling isn't a concern. I thought about getting a Dallas number because it's where I was born, but looking at how much they're struggling to meet demand with all the area code overlays, that would be kind of selfish. Everything else failing, I went with maximum amusement factor.
Instead of searching by area code, you can search by qualities of the phone# itself, so I went with the maximum number of 0s in a row and picked one that came up. As a result, I am 830-200-0004. This is in theory in Pleasanton, Texas. At some point I'm going to have to finish setting this up.
As far as I can tell, the only service they charge for so far is a tool to make outgoing international calls (so they're not hoping to compete with Skype yet). I wonder if I'm going to have to hear advertisements before or after calls at some point. If that's the case, I imagine I'll stop using google voice really quickly. It's nice to have greasemonkey and noscript keeping my browser free of adverts, and scripts in my email software scraping adverts out of mailing lists. We're not there yet for legacy media.
"But I thought freebasing was when Scottish people don't wear anything under their kilt! That's what I'm here for!"
There was a sudden uncomfortable silence as I realised what they were here for, and as what I was there for wandered through their brain. We backed away from each other in mutual extreme skeeved-outted-ness.