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Spent the weekend mostly recuperating from the now-concluded job. Got some new prospects in the works, including a phone interview tomorrow (Monday) morning. I popped in for the minyan at Chabad this morning and chazzaned. I'm hoping to start going somewhat regularly once again - after having been away from it for a few weeks - and it was nice that they asked me to lead the prayers.

Portland seems to be finally into a sustained period of nice weather and I got outdoors for about 20 minutes of run/walk today. Planning to do it again tomorrow. What I've been forgetting about those runs is how good I feel afterward.
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I didn't plan it for Cinco de Mayo, but I did officially make the decision today to get serious about bringing my Spanish proficiency up to a respectable level. There's a Berlitz language school almost directly across the street from me that's been there forever, and I want to sign up for some lessons there if I can afford it. Regardless, though, I'm committing to studying with audio and practicing speaking and listening daily, and I'll try to practice with native speakers whenever I get the chance.

Also I'm dusting off my C++ lessons and going to work on that until I build some decent skills. I can remember the bare bones of for-loops and ternary operators but I want to be able to start producing stuff.

And now: the weekend! Shabbat shalom.
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The job is getting easier and I'm getting to where I don't hate it the way I used to. I can hang in there for a while longer at least, gain some experience, until I get a clearer picture of where I can go from here.

I'm keeping up with learning html but at the end of the day web design doesn't really interest me. What does interest me is mathematics and science, and I'm eager to get started again with C/C++ and Matlab. I want to learn more about what career paths are out there, too.

We finally got a break in the weather here in Portland and it hit 80F yesterday. Forecast calls for rain Friday but otherwise sunny for the foreseeable future. Yay.
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It looks like Portland may be seeing the last of winter weather, finally. Forecast calls for clear skies for the early part of this week, then some rain, but no more freezing temperatures.

I'm coming to the end of six months at my current gig, and starting to look around for something that pays better. Meanwhile the downsizing continues apace, with regular trips to Powell's to lighten the load of surplus books.

Getting ready to move forward to the next phase of life.
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I've had my new phone for about two weeks now and I'm happy with it. I bought a handsfree headset at the same time, in preparation for my debut as an Uber delivery driver, and started wearing it daily. I thought it would be hard to get used to (I'm of the generation that grew up with corded dial phones) but it became natural almost immediately. I forgot to put it on today and it feels weird *not* having it on.

So, I stopped by the Uber Greenlight location on the Eastside last night - my first time dealing with any of the staff in person - and they were great. A guy named Paul helped me and he was very nice and professional. And I'm officially ready to start driving! I'll turn on my driver app tonight after my day job and we'll see how it goes.

And my social life is moving right along ... got some dating happening, yay. Details anon. For now, got to get to work at my day job!
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Portland, Oregon is near the Pacific coast and it's generally a mild climate. Two inches of snow is a lot for us. Last week we got eight. The city had to borrow snowplows and sand trucks from Seattle.

And the temperature has stayed below freezing since then. Now the snow is supposed to start melting today and tomorrow ... just in time for a monster storm that's supposed to dump tons of rain on us Tuesday and Wednesday.

So, lots of fun.
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With Shadowdale now a fading memory, I spent my first full weekend at my new place at the Admiral. After driving around for a week with clothing, books, and a set of encyclopedias in the back of my car, and worrying about falling victim to a band of roving encyclopedia thieves, I've schlepped the last of the major household stuff up to the apartment. Now there's a big heap of junk in the middle of the floor looking like that scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

But it's home.

I've made friends with some of the people in the building, plus I'm moving ahead with my social life.

I'm posting this from work - yeah I'm working on Sunday morning. My CenturyLink internet gets hooked up Wednesday.
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This Thursday morning, the movers will come to my apartment at Shadowdale and extricate the collected books and accumulated detritus of 35 years of adult life, and cart the stuff to a storage cube in downtown Portland - a few blocks from my new (old) place at the Admiral. It'll be a blessed relief to have all that stuff out of my field of vision.

My final move-out date from Shadowdale is next Monday; I'm taking Thursday thru Monday off to complete this seemingly insurmountable task.

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I sign the lease Monday. Studio unit at the Admiral. I'm hoping to be able to start sleeping there right away - I'll move a few necessaries in, and start getting cozy. I'll still have five weeks before the lease at my old place (I'm calling it Shadowdale here) expires. That'll give me time to triage my belongings into what I want to move to the Admiral, what I want to put in storage, and what I need to get rid of.

At this stage in life, I am really understanding the meaning of the expression "You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you."
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Last August I was having some mild pain in my back teeth on the left side. I'd just had a dental cleaning and check-up with my local dentist, Dr. G., but I went back to have him take a look. He did some tests and took a few more X-rays, and suggested I make an appointment with an endodontist, Dr. V.

Over the next couple of weeks, the pain started to subside (medicated toothpaste helped), and I had a lot of stuff going on with the new job and impending move. Finally I called Dr. V and booked an appointment, and that happened this morning.

Dr. G had warned me that depending on what Dr. V found, I might need a root canal, and that's what Dr. V told me this morning. So I said 'OK, let's get it over with."

The phrase "root canal", at least among people of my generation and older, is proverbial for the most unpleasant experience you can imagine. I asked Dr. G about this, and he explained that a root canal simply means removing the blood vessels and nerves within the tooth - which you don't need anymore as an adult anyway - and replacing them with an inert filler; it's basically not too different from having a filling. The root canal's terrifying reputation, he said, came from earlier days when anaesthetics were less advanced; and from the fact that some root canals are necessitated by the presence of an abscess, which can render the anasethetic ineffective.

I asked Dr. V about this at this morning's appointment, and he verified the substance of what Dr. G had told me. And now, having survived the process, I can tell you it wasn't all that bad. The whole thing took around a half-hour. The anaesthetic did what it was supposed to do, and there was basically no pain at all, except for the gadgets they stuck in my mouth to keep my jaw open. Actually the worst part was just not being able to close my mouth, move my tongue normally, or swallow the mucus that I felt accumulating in the back of my throat.

Alas, the golden days when dentists would give you laughing gas (nitrous oxide) are long gone, and we haven't yet advanced to the point where they will hand you a bong. (Hey, this is Oregon.) But the procedure was not as unpleasant as I'd feared.

I'm also happy to report that I'm not experiencing much post-operative pain. Dr. V gave me a prescription for a pain-killer, which I promptly filled at the local pharmacy. But as things are, I'm doing just fine with over-the-counter medications which are readily available in all 50 states thanks to the 21st Amendment.

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