May in Portland is great. It’s about 55 degrees every night, about half the days are blue sky, and it rarely gets above 70 in the afternoon. Sometimes it feels like it’s getting to be routine, but mostly I still feel like every day is a vacation out here.
I’ve biked to work every day since I started biking in March. My legs are much stronger now and I’m less winded, so the ride keeps getting faster and easier and is still the most convenient way to get around town. This month I have, however, added a new tool to the car free experience here. I joined car2go. It’s a car sharing program using the SMART car. Car2go lets you pull up an app on your phone that shows all the locations of 500+ cars scattered around the city. Then you locate the closest one, unlock it with you phone, and drive it wherever you need to go, then just get out, lock it and you’re done with it. Then it shows up on the phone app again, it’s available for someone else to use right where you left it. So it’s short term, one way rentals at $0.41 per minute. It’s a cheap, convenient way to extend my range and cargo carrying capability. Half of them even have bike racks on them.
Rylee is walking again this month. No crutches or boot, just a limp. She’s doing physical therapy that should help strengthen her leg again. It’s still pretty tough to bend her ankle and foot, and after she walks for a while, it swells a lot at her ankle right where she broke it. But everything is looking good right now.
We went back to the unschooling conference this month. It’s always good to go meet other people who are trying it and to hear about their successes. I got to see lots of other kids who are doing interesting things with their lives. Like many other things in life, unschooling has its time and place just like a more structured learning environment does. The kids get a lot of freedom and they get to learn about the personal accountability that comes with that freedom. In a way it lets them be kids even longer, and in other ways it makes them mature sooner. I was surprised at the number of engineer parents I met there this year. I sort of guessed that most folks in that circle would have been liberal arts types, but I suppose even the analytical type people see the benefits of not restricting the kids’ learning options. Then this month, Elon Musk has also been in the news talking about the changes to his kids’ education, and a lot of the same philosophies that the unschool community talks about. Everyone wants the best for their offspring.
I got to spend a lot of time with Tate at this year’s conference. He wasn’t planning to go, but he wound up spending most of the weekend there. I played a lot of board games with him; Pandemic, Settlers of Catan, and Witch Trials. He entered a Super Smash Bros tournament and got very close to the end. That was a lot of fun to watch.
Work has been very fast paced this month with aggressive weekly deadlines. It’s a lot of fun, even though we had a couple of late nights and once until midnight. But when it gets to be burdensome, I go out to my favorite park and sit under the trees with a book. That always works. Working as a consultant now instead of an employee inside the customer company continues to be a great learning experience. The work is all about the same, technical challenges, relationships to manage, project management duties and deadlines. But there are so many little nuances that make it different and it is a super experience.