Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wrapping Upchuck: 4-14-10

Sluggish morning routine, partly because I stayed up later than I wanted to last night. Anyway, read the paper and got ready for work, only before heading to work, I had to head down to the 2001 Behrman Hwy. DMV to get my driver's license renewed. What I thought was going to be a piece of cake ended up as a fiasco.

Pulled the number nad within five minutes I was at the counter with my current Driver's License and my proof of insurance. I was about to take the eye exam when the DMV worker stopped me and told me that there was a flag on my license. Some "Insurance Cancellation" issue that went back to 2004. Uh-oh! I had to leave the line and spend the next few hours on the phone with various entities. First I called the state LA DMV and explained that I was being blocked. They checked my record and found out that a car that I donated to Bridge House in April of 2004 was still showing up on my record. Of course, the insurance was cancelled the day Bridge House came and collected the car. I guess the DMV never did get the information on the Title transfer. Anyway, Bridge House did send me all the paperwork for the formal act of donation; but all those receipts and paperwork were Katrina casualties. I no longer have that proof. Of course, the State is pretty useless and can give me no information on the status of the car. Their only suggestion would be to call Bridge House and see if they can recreate or find a record of the donation in their materials. I did that, and they're checking into it; but it's a long shot. In any case, there is a final way out. I can fill out a form and pay a $225 fee to the state certifying that I no longer own the car and theyn they will push a button on a computer and I'll be good to go. Funny part of the story: When I was told of this option by the nice young lady from the LA DMV over the phone, I asked her what that $225 was paying for. She replied: Why, to clear your block! I said: So, what you're saying is that if I fork over $225 and sign a paper that tells you what I've just told you, it pays for a computer button being pressed? She replied so innocently as if she was simply astonished at my stupidity: Why, yes, essentially, yes, that's what you're paying for. $225 to have someone press a button on a computer that takes about 1 second and -- viola! -- they will allow me to have a new Driver's License. Damn! It's enough to turn me into an anti-government libertarian/conservative. Where's the next Tea Party!?!?!

Anyway ... after that I mosied over to my office where I began the tedious process of composing Summer Field Research Grant award letters to a bunch of lucky grad students (and I also had to compose an almost equal number of rejection letters to a bunch of the unlucky ones). Pried myself away from this task to take a lunch break with a colleague where we talked about some heady, important stuff. After lunch, I participated in the final interview for the Runsdorf Award and completed by committee obligations for that task. With the remainder of my work day, I hustled back to the office to plug away at some of my routing administrative tasks.

At 5:30pm, I drove the truck home and picked up Squirrelly Girlie the Elder to bring her to Wednesday night dinner and fellowship at the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, after which we skedaddled on home. From then until now I've been chillin' with the laptop websurfing, making my blog rounds, and checking email -- though I did break away to read aloud to Squirrelly Girlie the Younger the next chapter in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. We do that sometimes.

I'd say that I'm likely to stay up and read a bit, but my eyes are drooping closed as I write these words, so when I finish Wrapping Upchuck, I'm heading straight to bed. Hasta luego.

PS: Tomorrow I turn 42. Tax day, the day the Titanic sunk, the day Abraham Lincoln died. An otherwise good day in the annals of history! God bless!

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