4th time's NOT the charm
Jul 11, 2007

Today was supposed to be a nice, lazy, relaxing day. The Restaurant Week Project is finished, and I've got nothing pressing to do. So I decided to take my new bike (Oh yeah, last weekend I bought a bike off Craigslist. $25 for an old Schwinn hybrid in pretty good shape.) for a ride and get some things accomplished. First things first, I decided I'd go back to the RMV to try again to get my California license converted to a Massachusetts one. So I got on my bike and headed towards Boston. I got all the way to the Boston Common before I ran into my first problem: a nut on my rear wheel had come loose and my wheel got pulled out of position so that it was rubbing up against the fork. I had foolishly not brought any tools with me, so I just locked it up and went the last few blocks on foot. I got to the RMV and got in line with 51 people ahead of me. One hour and 30 people later, I figured I was finally going to be getting my license. Then, all of a sudden, things slowed down. Up until that point they had been calling a new person every couple minutes. Then for a long time nothing happened. Then, as before, in a flash of smoke and brimstone an RMV employee appeared and announced to us all that the Social Security computers were down. AGAIN!!! This is now the fourth time I've been to the RMV to try and convert my license and failed. It's the second time that my trip was a failure thanks to a crappy Social Security computer system. Had I previously had any faith in the state of the RMV, the Massachusetts state government, or bureaucracy in general, it would now be lost. Having never had such a thing, I'm simply wallowing in despondency and despair at the thought of having to try yet again. So I left the RMV thwarted yet again and contemplating the issues involved in getting my immobilized bike home. Fortunately, I was able to borrow some pliers from a friendly bus driver and get my rear wheel mostly straight and my bike ridable again. So I continued along my planned route to the Copley Square branch of the Boston Public Library where I checked out a copy of Charles Stross' Accelerando, then bike back home via Storrow Drive and the Harvard footbridge. All told, my main accomplishment of the day—which was supposed to be getting my Massachusetts license—turned out to be the fairly pedestrian achievement of biking ~12 miles. It is, at least, a very nice day for a bike ride.
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