The Eclectic

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A mature expression of freedom follows the discernment between desire and need. It follows then that liberty must follow education, not the other way around.

Mark and Val’s Excellent Adventure: Climax and Denoument

Life’s an exciting adventure, isn’t it? Even though I’ve been in San Francisco for two days, I feel compelled to blog a wrap up my cross-country account.

On Day 2 we took a detour to see the House of Worship just outside of Chicago. Unfortunately, we were foolish enough to trust technology to direct us on our way. So, when we searched for 100 Linden Ave, Chicago it gave us directions to Linden in Oak Park, not Wilmette. Eventually we found it, but in the pouring rain. I picked up some reading and tunes at the shoppe, and spent some quality time in the corner stone room and the auditorium.

Later that afternoon we stopped for lunch at Quiznos in North Aurora, IL. When we got back to the car, it refused to go faster than 20km/h… downhill. Turning again to the GPS, we found the name of a local-sounding mechanic. At the nearby Motel 6 we used the phonebook to also look up a “discount” towing service. I suppose if they’d’ve flown the car to San Francisco for us, it would have been discount. Anyway $422 later, we met up with Eli, a Mexican-American mechanic that assured us we wouldn’t pay a cent for his services unless the car got fixed. He even had a friend/colleague of his to drive us to a nearby hotel–the drive refused any tip.

Unfortunately, our bad luck had not run out yet, and our ride drove away before we found out the hotel was booked for the night. So, we took a cab back to the Motel 6 that gave us the phone number to the not-much-of-a-discount towing service and checked in for the night.

The next day we walked to the neighbouring outlet mall which was not an easy task. This was one of those outlet malls that are just off the highway where, aside from a narrow entrance ramp for cars, nature is frantically attempting to reclaim every inch of the land surrounding the commercial sprawl. After a couple of hours of pretending to be interested in buying electronics and playing Worms on Val’ls laptop, Eli called saying that the car was ready. So, a cab drive and a reasonable fee later we were on the road again.

However, our bad luck still hadn’t quite run out. The first time we stopped to get gas and lunch, we miscalculated a turn, crossed the opposing lane of traffic and scraped across an SUV. There was no serious damage to either vehicle, but we still needed to wait around for the police report to be filled out. We also had to pay “bond” and sign a sheet that was apparently not an admission of guilt, even though it certified our payment for a bond fee associated with an illegal right-hand turn.

After determining that the only thing leaking from the bottom of the car was water from the A/C unit, we set out again to spend the rest of the trip having to both weasel our way out of the driver-side door. The rest of our trip was largely uneventful. We didn’t stop at as many sights as I would have liked on account of having lost almost a day and a half to setbacks. Along the way I learned that all the States East of Wyoming (and West of Michigan) are absolutely dull geographically, but I never new that Nevada was so mountainous.

Anyway, the journey to California has finally ended. I started work yesterday at the usual slow pace; still waiting on this and that to get everything fully set up to start work; still lots of learning to do before I’m fully comfortable with the work environment. We will see what the rest of the semester has in store…

//Mark

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