Wednesday, July 14, 2010

random stuff

* Started ground school. The instructor reminds me a lot of Dad...hard of hearing but refuses to wear his hearing aids [he admitted to the hearing problem, pulled the hearing aids out of his pocket and set them on the table, then told us that he "hates wearing the damn things" and never put them in]. Dad used "goddamn" as his go-to adjective: "so I put this goddamn insulator on the wires, and the goddamn thing was still sparking away"; the instructor uses "damn" a lot ["so you've got this damn plane that won't start, so you use the the damn propeller to start the thing, and then you get clocked right in the damn shoulder as it whips around and nearly tears your arm off"]. There's something about the guy's teaching style that reminds me a lot of Dad...lots of knowledge, loves to share it, but doesn't quite remember what it was like to not know this stuff, so isn't quite able to take it down to a 'just starting' level. The classes are tools, though, to help prep for the written pilot's test, so any information you get from them will be useful; plus once you pay, you get to go whenever and forever, so you can hop in / hop out as you like. It's cool to be learning for the sake of learning...I've missed that.

* A phrase I really hate: something "turned up missing". If it turned up, then it can't be missing...

* Finally got my registration and stickers for my car. The one I bought last October. The dealership submitted the paperwork when I bought it, and I never received anything. Called them after a month, they said to wait three or four months and to call back if they still hadn't arrived [California's budget crisis is affecting the DMV hard, and a lot of folks have been having troubles]. So I call them in February, and they submit a request to have them resent. Still nothing a month later, so I send in the forms myself [checking "never received"]. DMV says to wait 30 days between submissions, so I send another in April. And another in May. I sent another one in June, and realize that I'm going to have to go fight the DMV in person since I've heard absolutely *nothing*. So I wait out another 30 days...and the day before I'm going to head to the DMV, I get a letter from them! Finally!

Oh wait...they say I owe the processing fee for duplicate registration and stickers, even though I never received them in the first place. Screw it...I'll just pay it. Consider it my donation to the ailing California economy. I look closer at the paperwork they was the form I mailed on 05/04/2010, and they sent the 'you owe us money' letter on [wait for it...] 07/06/2010. Two frickin' months. Sheesh. [just realized: this means there is at least one more form that I sent in still working its way through the tortured system...great.]

Appointments at the DMV started at least two weeks out, but I wanted to get this taken care of, and was a little too paranoid to trust it to the mail again. So I took my chances, grabbed up all my paperwork, and headed over early in the morning, intending to camp out. Joy of joys, less than an hour later, I'm out and have a now-legal car. Whew.

[Oh, and the best part? I get to renew it all in October...mere months from now. Yeesh.]

* Vegas this weekend. Going to see Blue Man Group, staying at the Venetian. Looking forward to it, though not looking forward to the temperatures. Highs in the 110s, lows in the 90s. Just going to repeat that: LOWS in the frickin' ninety-degree range. Ugh. Ugh, blegh, and yech. Huzzah for air-conditoning.

* Been looking at houses with Will, keeping an eye out for something worth buying in the Santa Clara area [so he can keep on with the fire department]. Even with the crappy economy, housing prices are still crazy in the Bay Area. Hard to think about buying a house whose cost is given in fractions of a *million* dollars...even starter homes are at least "a third of a million". If you want something worth living in, you are talking closer to $600-700K, minimum. Crazy.

* Saw "Despicable Me"...definitely worth seeing. "Prince of Persia", not so much. Waiting for "The Expendables" to come out...that one looks like a lot of fun.

* Concerts coming up...busy times. Green Day, Dropkick Murphys, Lady Gaga [our friend Nate had extra tickets...not sure why he got four luxury tickets to a Lady Gaga show, but I'm not one to judge, and I'll bet it will be quite the spectacle]. Great Big Sea are coming back around later this year, might go see them again. The Bravery are touring. Colin Hay is due to be in the Bay Area some time soon [if I haven't missed him].

[Had the *best* experience buying the Green Day tickets: *all* fees were included in the ticket price, so what you saw was what you paid. What an amazing concept.]

As always, more going on, but nothing more making it from the brain to the keyboard right now. Maybe there'll be some stories after Vegas...

No comments: