Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bad Roads

Jack Frost has made his first visit, although 10 miles inland at work and not yet here on the coast. As I drive the 10 miles (half hour) to work, I watch the outside temp display in the car decline as much as 7 degrees. The reason it takes a half hour is because the maximum speed limit is 45 and most of the way is 35 mph, even if double lane in each direction. The roads are rough due to winter plowing and degradation of the asphalt around manholes and water shutoff valves, so going slowly is prudent (and we're saving gas). I often see where repaving has broken away to reveal the original cobblestone street underneath.
Work is going well, but it sure cuts in to life. I go at 5:30 AM in order to use the gym equipment at school before getting breakfast in the cafeteria, then to the office. Food at work is very good and for $4.50 I get all-you-can-eat made-to-order eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, breads, pastries, fruit, cereal, etc. It is very much like a restaurant. On Saturdays there is a brunch with even more goodies. Lunch is an almost infinite choice of hot and cold fare. I even had a London broil steak yesterday. I pre-pay for a meal plan (of which there are many choices including "meals" and money credit for the snack bar and coffee nook) I purchased a plan that has 50 meals and $400 cash value. I use a "meal" for the more expensive meals (lunch, brunch) and dollars for breakfast. I get a discount off the cash price and pay no tax. My ID card acts like a Visa card as well as entry key for all doors.
OK, so food is important to me..... The campus feels like a vibrant, busy town with (young) people going in all directions. Most students are bright-faced and actually speak greetings as they come and go in the residence hall in which I spend half the day. I am not used to teenagers acting respectfully to their elders (me) and to each other. It's refreshing.
I remain in Portland at Michael's for another week while I wait for the "POD" to be delivered next weekend when I can stock the garret with a few items of furniture and kitchenware. Dedos will soon have to get used to another home and be confined indoors when winter comes. We'll see how anxious she'll be to go out in the snow!

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