The boy is 15 now. Has been since september. He wants a learner's permit. I don't like the idea, but he wants. Personally, I don't think males should be allowed to drive before they are married. Marriage settles a man and reduces the jerkassery quotient, but that is another discussion. But to continue, Oregon requires bits of ID before you can get your permit. Among them proof of social and a birth cert. I am not good on paperwork, so I had to go to the State of Oregon Health department to go get a copy. since it isn't that far away, I thought I would bike it. While I used to bike all the time when I was working, the bike has been resting by itself most of the time since I lost my job. This would have been the first time on the bike since January. (The grocery is a block away, the bus stops across the street and the shuttle for the community college has a stop on 47th, which is only about 10 blocks away. I don't drive very much, mostly because there is no need. I only use the car to fetch the kids from their mom's) It is a nice morning. I am cruizing along, enjoying the fresh air when there is a sudden shredding noise. The bike chain has taken a bite out of my pants. They were brand new too!. OH well, life is like that. I get to about 2 blocks from the State office building on Oregon st, and there is a sudden pop. My front tire found a nail or something. So I walk the bike the last two blocks to the office. Government offices love to do things in an insane way. Oregon's health department collects fees the old fashioned soviet way. You fill out your form, get it approved, you walk to another office down the hall, where you pay the fee and get your form stamped, then you go back to the first office and wait. The lady at the front counter really didn't belong in government service. She was pretty, courteous, efficient and quick. I had my paperwork back in 3 minutes. The local commuter train goes down a street one block away from the government office. one block further away is the local mac store. I needed to get my Snow leopard upgrade from Tiger for my MacBook, so I walked my bike the one block further along to the computer store. Their bike rack is more artistic than useful, so it took a while to get the bike locked. While there I got the "Missing Manual" for the Snow Leopard. these books are great. I got the last missing manual for Panther, so I figured I should spring for the new one, see what else is cool. Found some real good stuff just thumbing through the book waiting for the sales clerk. Also not government service qualified. So back to pushing my bike to the train stop. For train service, you pay at little ticket machines next to the tracks. You push a set of buttons for your service level, put in your money and it gives back the ticket and change(!!) Change is in dollar coins. I got two Sacajawea dollars and one George Washington dollar. I like Sacajawea dollars. She is a local girl (sort of ) and I think she is cute. So that was good TriMet permits bikes on trains, but you have to hang them on hooks. The darn bike is not light, and getting the tire to hang on its hook while the train is moving is kind of hard. I get to my stop and I can't find the elevator. It is for lame folks only, so I don't qualify, but I think carrying the bike up three flights of stairs is pretty lame. So I push my bike uphill six blocks to my major road. And then go back downhill a couple blocks. There is a new donut shop there. I stop in for a bear claw and some OJ and talk to he nice lady. She has pictures of her kids all over the cash register area, and is very proud of them, and takes advantage of the opportunity to brag when I ask how old they are. Cute kids. Anyway, keep pushing the bike for seven more blocks, and now it is time for some lunch. the microwave is going as I type. Beef pot pie. Not cordon blue, but 63 cents for a nice lunch is pretty good deal. They heater for the apartment just turned on. It has been warm enough for the last week that I haven't heard it for five days. Now my homework awaits. And awaits and awaits.