N'awlins at heart

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.


At 8:37 AM, Blogger Patti said...

Permanent records suck, especially when they bite you in the ass.


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