Thursday, February 14 2008
I ventured into town briefly this afternoon to renew my driver's license, which would be expiring on my 40th birthday (in two days' time). If you have the kind of health care that includes occasional opthamology visits, you can have your opthamologist sign off on the quality of your eyesite and you can just mail in your renewal form. I, on the other hand, had to make a visit. The nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office is in the ground floor of the Ulster County Office Building, and unlike such offices everywhere (including in the public imagination), this one is a model of machine-like efficiency. It took me about two minutes to conclude my business there, passing the vision test, signing the paperwork, and paying the $50 fee. I'd dressed nice because I'd assumed a new photograph would be taken, but they only do that if you want them to, and I was trying to make the visit as brief as possible. I was also a little relieved not to be saddled for the next eight or ten years with an embarrassing driver's license picture depicting me as a long hair. I'm actually old enough now that I've already had that experience once.
As I'd been working in front of my computer for the last few days, periodically I'd hear these little watery "bleup" noises. They were so sonically perfect that I inially assumed them to be coming from a gadget that had unexpectedly switched into some sort of "chime" mode. But on investigation I discovered they were coming from the air lock of the five gallons of fermenting apple cider. This, by the way, is my second five gallon batch of fermenting apple cider; I'd drunk the first one throughout January and into February.
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