Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Four Hours, One Sticker, Five Bucks - and other stories

I'm going to change the subject several times here.

Midnight out my Door

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show us something interesting on the porch or patio of your house or apartment. For those of you with neither, fire escapes and window sills will suffice.

Well, we don't really have a porch or a patio as such. Out the front door is a covered walk, though. We'll call that a porch. Out the back door is a concrete surface between the back doors and the pool area. We'll call that a patio. I'll give you one photo of each, and then move on to other subjects.

Front "porch": apparently the walk by the front door was poured in 1968 - by the Warner Brothers. Okay, maybe not by the Warner Brothers. We figure this was probably the same time that the front of the house was expanded forward toward the street. The house has clearly had a couple of major additions over the years, both in front and in back.

The little bit of greenery seen here is a vine that's trying to spread from the front yard into the "porch" area.

The back "patio"at midnight, with its most frequent inhabitant. The green and red metal chairs are vintage, but not in great shape. We've never quite decided what to do with them.

John tells me he has a cunning plan for redoing the back "patio" area. So far, all I know about this are that a) he had me help him with several measurements back there a week ago, and b) tonight he brought home the tiki shown to the right as part of the project he has in mind. This is no tiki mug. It's at least three feet tall. I'm hoping it's the first step toward a whole tiki bar theme - on the cheap, of course. There's a really cool Tiki bar set-up at Target that we both like a lot, but it costs way more than we want to spend to spruce up a place where it's 90 to 115 degrees a good chunk of the year - too hot to want to hang out there much.

Of course, with or without a Tiki bar, there are much worse places to be. Case in point:

Does MVD Count as Purgatory?

This is where I spent most of my afternoon: the local office of the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department. John says he put my new registration with the 2007 expiration sticker in my purse, weeks ago, but neither of us has a clue where it went after that.

So I checked online, which is where I renew my registration every year. Unfortunately, it specifically says that you have to replace the lost license plate sticker (or "tab") in person. So off I went to the MVD on the last day of July, along with many hundreds of other people.

I was there four hours. My number was F089, and at first that seemed like a lucky number to have. For a while there, all the numbers being called were F-something, starting with F068, all from a service window in the same room I was in. (This office has two large rooms, plus a testing area and a central entrance with an information desk.) Then suddenly that window closed up, and they started calling numbers that started with A and C and G, and eventually B and I. Several times I caught myself on the edge of sleep, despite the noise and the crowds.

They didn't call another F for an hour and a half. And there were a few more times when the F-numbers stopped dead before they finally got to me a few minutes before 5PM - closing time. I'd been there since 1 PM. Once I reached an MVD clerk, the transaction took two minutes and cost me five bucks.

Funny thing, though. There's a lit sign with a crawl of news, information and trivia - and ads, of course. Several times I noticed a little story on the sign about Dick Clark. The sign reported that he'll be honored at the Emmys this year, and mentioned his production company, and American Bandstand, that he's called the "World's Oldest Teenager," and that he's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The one thing the sign didn't mention was Dick Clark's first name! That was censored, replacd with ****. Okay, I understand that this once-respectable first name is sometimes the butt of vulgar humor, but really! Are they really afraid to mention the first name of this American icon? Or did some censorship program cut in, and go unnoticed by a human programmer somewhere? This crawl is syndicated to motor vehicle departments around the country, by the way.

Because I lost three hours (excluding lunch) at work, I went back there from 10 PM to midnight. I'll have to makeup the rest later. As you can probably guess, I really, really need to get to bed ASAP.

Round Robin: Summer Gardens

I'm overdue on mentioning that the next Round Robin Photo Challenge is scheduled for Wednesday, August 9th. The topic, chosen by rRose, is Summer Gardens. I'm not sure this photo is a good example for that topic, but it's kind of a xeriscape, a type of landscaping designed to conserve water. Ironically, this particular bit of xericaping was flooded this morning. I know some of you folks have magnificent gardens to show off, but if you're like me and don't do gardens, I'm sure you can find a public garden or other lovely green place.

As always, everyone is invited to join in on the Round Robin. We do have a few rules to make things run smoothly and be fair to everyone, so if you're interested, please read the Welcome entry on the Round Robin blog, and then RSVP on the Summer Gardens entry. You've got a week to get ready!


Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,


Carly said...


The DMV is indeed one of the waiting rooms of Hell. It is my theory that we get little glimpses of the worst part of the hearafter in the DMV and Radio Shack. There are other portals to Hades here on earth, but that could be a whole entry unto itself, and I don't happen to have a quote handy! ROFLMAO!

julie said...

My son is looking at that same Tiki guy at Target! There's only one left that's in good shape, and he has to earn it by cleaning his room. I'll bet the Tiki guy will go before he gets the room finished.

We're fortunate in that the counties do motor vehicle registration. If I go at the right time of day there's not much of a line. Which reminds me, I've got to get mine done before the five-day grace period runs out. We just got Chris' car titled, so I was trying to spread the "joy" around just a little bit.