Oh, yay. Now it’s time for PennDOT.

Now that I have a place—and an address—I’m beginning to try to sort things out so I can actually get back to work as soon as possible.

That will take a certain amount of time anyway: Both Uber and Lyft will have to run their background checks, and the ones they ran on me in California don’t count. But after a false start in western Massachusetts, I’ve been a little reluctant to pull the trigger on this.

I failed miserably at the chicken-and-egg problem of transferring my car title and driver’s license to Pennsylvania. This will take more effort, some of which cannot be accomplished until Monday.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) website claims there’s nothing stopping me from registering the car, which I’m required to do within twenty days of establishing residency. But when I went in, they told me they couldn’t do it without a Pennsylvania driver’s license, which the site claims I have 60 days to accomplish.

And Pennsylvania has been outsourcing PennDOT functions, often to private retailers. Now you have to go to two separate locations to accomplish all this. So I drove to another location to try to deal with the driver’s license. And failed.

I think part of the problem is REAL ID. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) folks have it on their brains. And their web site is less than helpful about getting a driver’s license without REAL ID, which I don’t actually need since I have a passport I can flash at federal officials on those exceedingly rare occasions I need to.

I’ll have to see if the evidence I can pull together will be sufficient. As I’ve now seen in both California and Pennsylvania, this causes a lot of problems for a lot of people.

So while I may not be able to drive for Uber and Lyft right away, at least I’ll have a bed. I take possession of the apartment on Tuesday. The new bed comes on Wednesday. I have my present hotel room until Thursday morning.


I have updated my contact information page. I am asking folks to please use the Google Voice numbers from now on: These will forward automatically to both phones, so assuming I’m not in a dead zone for both AT&T and Verizon, your calls should forward to both phones.

Google reclaims unused numbers, so not only should you be more likely to actually get through, but I believe you’ll be helping me to maintain my claim to those numbers. My phone numbers that I have with the cell phone companies face no such threat.

My observation in the San Francisco Bay Area that AT&T has overall better geographic coverage than Verizon seems to have largely held up in my recent travels from Santa Rosa to western Massachusetts and then to Pittsburgh. My related observation in the Bay Area that Verizon often has faster data speeds has held up less well—this is much more of a mixed bag.

It’s still the case, I think, that I need both cellular providers.


Social inequality

Adam Gabbatt, “Disney heir on CEO’s $66m pay: ‘No one on the freaking planet is worth that,’” Guardian, April 27, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/26/abigail-disney-bob-iger-amazon-jeff-bezos


James Comey

Murray Waas, “Mueller Prosecutors: Trump Did Obstruct Justice,” New York Review of Books, April 26, 2019, https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/04/26/mueller-prosecutors-trump-did-obstruct-justice/


Fast food

Jill Ettinger’s story, originally published on April 4, has been updated as White Castle now offers the sliders at alllocations.[1] As with Carl’s Jr.’s Beyond Famous Star and Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, I doubt these can be certified vegan. So it’s all like going to Denny’s for the veggie burger without cheese (it’s in the “build your own burger” menu): The food itself can be vegan, but cross-contamination with animal products is likely to occur in its preparation.

Jill Ettinger, “White Castle Launches New Vegan Sliders at 377 Locations,” LiveKindly, April 15, 2019, https://www.livekindly.co/vegan-impossible-burger-white-castle-sliders/


Ridesharing

Another huge loss?[2] Hardly a surprise.[3]

Patrick Howell O’Neill, “Just In Time For Its Big IPO, Uber Loses $1 Billion,” Gizmodo, April 26, 2019, https://gizmodo.com/just-in-time-for-its-big-ipo-uber-loses-1-billion-1834331980


Joe Biden

Branko Marcetic, “Biden Says He’s the Workers’ Candidate, But He Has Worked To Cut Medicare and Social Security,” In These Times, April 26, 2019, http://inthesetimes.com/article/21856/joe-biden-cut-medicare-social-security-retirement-age


Security clearances

Rachael Bade, “White House approves ex-official’s testimony after contempt threat,” Washington Post, April 27, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-approves-officials-testimony-after-contempt-threat/2019/04/27/ec8cbbea-68f5-11e9-83df-04f4d124151f_story.html


  1. [1]Jill Ettinger, “White Castle Launches New Vegan Sliders at 377 Locations,” LiveKindly, April 15, 2019, https://www.livekindly.co/vegan-impossible-burger-white-castle-sliders/
  2. [2]Patrick Howell O’Neill, “Just In Time For Its Big IPO, Uber Loses $1 Billion,” Gizmodo, April 26, 2019, https://gizmodo.com/just-in-time-for-its-big-ipo-uber-loses-1-billion-1834331980
  3. [3]Ryan Felton, “Uber Is Doomed,” Jalopnik, February 24, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/uber-is-doomed-1792634203; Yves Smith, “Uber Is Headed for a Crash,” New York, December 4, 2018, http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/will-uber-survive-the-next-decade.html

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