N'awlins at heart

Monday, March 26, 2007

Interesting is as interesting does...

Yes, indeed it was an interesting week / weekend (interesting to me anyways). H2 showed up Wednesday and we went to not 1 but 2 really weak bike nights. I have been telling him about it for weeks so of course when he arrives, very few people were there. It was enough to get the idea though. We left the place near our apartment and went up north to the other one. I was a little more packed, but nothing compared to how it usually is. I did get to meet a few people which was pretty cool, but I'll never remember any of their names.

Friday morning we headed towards NOLA. It wasn't a bad drive for the most part, once we got headed in the right direction. We made it to the house somewhere around 6:30 that night, then headed across the river to the hotel to start Big J's (Different from Chia's "Big J") Bachelor Party. Flash ahead to Saturday morning as "What happens at the bachelor party, stays at the bachelor party". (But nothing out of the ordinary happened, not much more than a typical night at the strip clubs).

Saturday morning I got up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, as expected. Made it back home, took 2 aspirin and passed out until around 5:00 that night. Then we headed out to a wonderful dinner at Corky's. It was fun to hang out and chat, but W1 and ChiaMom were greatly missed. It would have made that dinner complete. After we headed back to the house we headed over to see if we could get pictures from S1+O's phone. That was unsuccessful, but I did get to see Molly jump around on her "Doorway, bouncy, jumpy thing", and all while she was chewing on a "delicious bass" made of plastic / rubber. It was super cute.

Sunday morning, I got up, took a shower, had a DELICIOUS breakfast courtesy of ChiaPop, then headed to the Airport. After a short flight I was happy to see W1's smiling face. We grabbed some food and went home for a few hours nap. Woke up and watch some TV until way too late. Then back to work this morning for the start of a new work week.

And that's how it goes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record...

And yes, for all you kids out there who are wondering, it does exist. Let me explain.

Texas is very different from a lot of places that I have been. And I find this out every day. I missed work yesterday because of these little differences. Flashback to Sunday. In Texas, you have to renew your car registration every year. It's not a little sticker that goes on your license plate, it's a bigger one that goes on your windshield. Our truck was due this month. Thankfully I didn't wait until the VERY last minute. All month I've been saying "Wow, I really need to get the registration taken care of." So, Sunday, I finally decided to take care of it. Fortunately this can be taken care of at a lot of the local grocery stores. And the closest place available was literally a block from our house (just like everything else you can think of except Arbys. But that's a rant for another day, plus I think I went over that once before). So I get up and trot my happy ass to Randall's to get this done. I proudly walk up to the counter and give the Customer Service Representative my renewal notice. She looks at it and immediately gives me a look like I'm the biggest idiot in the world. Then she says "When you see ***NEW TAGS REQUIRED*** on your notice, it means you have to get new plates at the Court House". And hands the papers back to me. Yep, that's another difference, every 4-6 years they make you replace the license plates no matter what condition they are in. Now mind you, when I bought the truck 9 months ago i didn't know this, so I asked at the Court House if I needed new plates and was told "Only if you want to buy them, you don't have to replace them, the plates stay with the vehicle not the person". (Now had I known they were due to be replaced this year I would have shelled out the money to save myself 2+ hours standing in line at the Court House).

So, Monday morning I called my boss and told him I would be in late because I needed new plates. I headed out to get them but couldn't find the place we originally went. So, I called W1 and asked her to look up the DPS (Texas DMV) location. It was nowhere near where I was looking. I thought this was odd, but went ahead and headed to the nearest location. By the time I got there, the line was literally 50 people outside. I got in the back on the line and waited. About an hour into it, one of my co-waiters informed me I needed to be at the Court House. Well, I was almost at the front, and I needed to change my Drivers License over anyway, so I continued to wait in line. Once inside I was given a number to wait again. Finally (probably 2 and 1/2 hours later) I made it to the counter. Passed the eye test with flying colors and was well on my way to becoming a Texan. That's when my permanent record showed up to bite me in the ass. That's right kids, here it comes.

Approximately 17-18 years ago (God I feel old) I was heading through the fine state of Oregon. I pulled out of a rest stop (nature called) and accelerated to 84mph (at least that's what the radar gun said). The cop was actually being pretty cool for the most part. I gave him the whole "I was accelerating so I could merge into traffic". He informed me that I was doing "84 in a 65, and if you were going 1mph faster I could have brought you to jail". To which I (being a smartass punk kid) replied "Well, I guess I hit the brakes just in time". He lauged as he walked back to his car, returning momentarily with my "Fast Driving Award" (you may know it by the less common name of a speeding ticket). So, after that I went along my merry way, a little pissed as this was the first ticket I ever received. And it was probably the first time I had even been pulled over. Oh wait, scratch that, 2nd time. Any way, I return to Washington and mailed off my $132 (or whatever it was). Once I saw the check cleared I called to make sure we were "cool". That was when I was informed I had to send a $50 "processing fee". So I sent that one off, and when the checked cleared, I called again to further ensure the "coolness" between me and the lovely state of Oregon. At that time I was informed I had to send another $75 for a "clearence fee" to which I responded "After this, are we straight?" I was told after that I would need to call another department to ensure there were no other fees. At which point I responded "Eff you guys, I'm not gonna sit here and have you nickel and dime me for the next 5 years, and I don't plan on ever going to Oregon again, so you can eat my ass" and promptly hung up the phone.

So yesterday I was informed I needed to call Oregon (and make nice) before I can have my license transferred to Texas. Luckily I have the Greatest Wife who has ever walked the earth and she made the call for me (as I hate talking on the phone much less to strangers. I won't even call to order a pizza. Can you believe I did Warranty Phone Support at my last job and was actually really good at it? Even still, it doesn't make me like it any more.). So it turns out, I still owe the damn $75 for the "clearance fee" in order for it to be removed from my record. And until that happens I can never be a Texan. :( So yes kids, apparently that permanent record does hang around.

It's been a while, so lets jump back in time now. However, let's not do it with this guy. Anyway, we live very close to the stunt area / bike night which is awesome. But they are moving it up north to a "safer" place. Apparently at the old place there is no way of roping off the "stunt area" so there are people riding through where the guys are stuntin. And a lot of these "stunt" bikes aren't registered or "insured". Therein lies the problem. I guess 2 weeks ago some amateaur decided to try his luck and went kareening about 100 feet until his bike quit sliding. It probably would have slid further had it not hit 3 other bikes that were parked there. That's when the lack of insurance became an issue. So, short story long, they have found another location. We decided to take a ride up there to check the area out and see if it's worth the drive on a Wednesday Night. We went Saturday during the day and I was not impressed. It is total highway riding and the "bike shop" that sponsers it is about the size of a tool shed. (Okay, a little exaggeration but it's small. It's about 1/4 of the size of Chuck's old shop for the benefit of anyone who had gone there with me. Maybe 1/3 the size of Corey's. Major Dad had his tires changed there. For Chia, it's about the size of the back shed and office, and that includes the back area where the work is done). I'm sure it's "kickin" on a Wednesday night, but not worth 45 minutes to an hour of highway riding (uphill, in the snow, both ways) with Houston Drivers.

Okay, well, I'm sure there's more to tell you all but I think I've rambled on long enough. I am still at work, maybe I should try doing some.

Monday, March 12, 2007

It's been a while...

Let me start by saying Happy Birthday to the first half of Kenellie. We haven't sent a gift yet (late as usual) so I was going to call S1+0 and ask her to pick up a rock on her way to the parking lot after work. But W1 informed me we can't give him the same gift we gave BB so instead she suggested some wet leaves. I think that is a great idea and will do what I can to get the ball rolling on that one.

So, last Wednesday's bike night was really cool. They had a lot of people out there doing stunts. I was informed that area was going to "Cool Down" because it is a little dangerous. If last week was "Cooling Down" I would hate to see the way it use to be. That place was packed. We pulled up to the light a block ahead of it and saw at least 30 bikes waiting, just at that light. There was even a new Ducati 1098. That is a sweet looking bike. We may go check out the other area. It is in the parking lot of a bike shop. It's a lot further away but H2 reminded me that Bike Night in NOLA wasn't the shortest ride either. I guess I'm just getting spoiled having EVERYTHING right by our house.

Saturday we went to a bike show at Stubbs Cycles. We were at the Original location. It was pretty cool. By the time we got there it was getting late so theyre were only 2 guys left stuntin and a 3rd on a little 50cc bike. The Bikini Bike Wash was hidden in the back which was horrible placement. They had cones set out to block off the "stunt area" and a Motorcycle Cop weaved through them reminding me why I shouldn't run from them. It was impressive to say the least. I came to the realization that even though I was riding quite a ways to and from work every day, these guys are riding at minimum 40 hours a week. Rain or shine. Hot or cold. Mad skillz is all I'm sayin.

It's Monday again, and we're back at work. Time sprung forward 3 weeks early. I would complain but I hate getting up in the morning any way. Spring forward 3 hours if you want to, or back 6. I will still hate getting up first thing in the morning. It doesn't really matter.

I would post a few pictures from the bike show but they came out pretty bad. I think there were only 2 pictures that were really decent. Plus I am at work and I don't have them with me. Speaking of work, I guess I will get back to it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Long time no see.

Okay, it's been a while. Sorry about that. Maybe I was just recovering from the hangover for a week. Who knows? (Well, actually I do, but I'm not telling).

Well, I'm definitely happy that it's a Friday. This has been a long week, and I've had the worst time trying to wake up. Oh well, it happens. Maybe it's the Chantix. Maybe it's the fact that I'm lazy and don't feel like getting up. If I had to guess I would pick the second one, but blame it on the first.

If you read Taunt Society you know we finally found bike night. And I can't even stress how lame I felt on the bike at a Starbucks, sipping my mocha latte, with the parking lot full of cars. The few bikes that were there parked on the dashed yellow lines at the end of the rows. I just thought "That sucks, the bikes can't even park by each other". You would need a damn golf cart to cruise the parking lot to look at all the bikes. (Yeah, all 3 of them). ***YAWN*** But once we found the "spot" it was on. It was just really cool to be right there in the middle of it. The down side is, I thought I was going to get run over leaving, (like you can't get run over any day on these Houston streets) but it was worth the risk. I have to learn!!! LOL, just kidding. ;)

Now when we first arrived at the "stunt" spot it was just to see if we could find it. You have to turn down a street that dead ends about 1/2 mile up. Along the right is a fence and the left is a warehouse with a row of garage bay doors. We pulled in by the warehouse and there were a few cars and bikes, but not many. After a few minutes they went ahead and started drag racing. The first race was a VW TDI and I believe it was a Honda Civic. Both cars decked out with neons etc... I don't remember who won but who really cares? (Ok, the VW won). Shortly afterwards, more bikes started arriving olong with a truck carrying a 4 wheeler. They started stuntin all up and down the parking lot. Then some dirt bikes, and trucks with stunt bikes in the back. Yep, that's right, they were trucking them in (I guess it's hard to ride 40 miles to the "stunt spot" with 5 lbs of pressure in your rear tire). Around this time when when they started going off. There were people doing wheelies, stoppies, burnouts, and drag racing. It was fawesome!!!

After a while we headed home. But we'll definitely be back next Wednesday. Apparently this is a weekly thing. And I think the guys practice there on the weekends but I'm not positive. But I can (and will) damn sure find out. I want to bring a video camera out there. If I get a chance (and a nice camera) I will.

Well, I guess that's gonna be it for now. I am at work after all. Gosh!!!