Saturday, June 20

Something I Should Probably Get Used To

The weather here in AZ has been a tad warm of late. Earlier this week, we tied a record high temperature of 114, that had been previously set back in 1896. Of course, this is just the temperature record for that specific day. I also heard yesterday that we are on our way to possibly break another record, of number of days over 110. The current record they said was 10 days. I didn't happen to catch if that was for any summer, or just June. Either way, it is too many. The stories say that Hell is hot, but Arizona is hotter ... well, with my bad habits, and where I live, I should be used to it by now. Of course, the women out here love the heat. I know Reverend Mother says the pool water isn't warm enough until the water temp is over 80. Days like the past few, I would not be surprised if it is a few degrees above that mark.

The middle Son and I go "scrappin'" on Saturday mornings usually. By scrapping, I mean we empty the trash/old parts from my work truck. We meet a guy that takes all the old parts for scrap. It gets my truck cleaned out, makes him a few bucks and gives me some time with my son. I debated going earlier this morning to try to beat the heat, but unless it is like 4am, it isn't going to make a difference. Already it is 81 out.

Well, I think it is about time I went and woke up the middle boy, and we can head up to QuikTrip and grab some drinks and breakfast before heading scrappin.

PeacE

Thursday, June 18

Government Frustration

You think this post is going to be full of every bitch about politicians and whatnot? No, not really. I mean, I do have many gripes about them. Many citizens do, I am sure. Some of them might even match mine, or make me agree with them on something I haven't even heard of ... but that is more off track than what I was referring to with the post title.

Several, nay, MANY years ago, when I was but a wee lad in high school, The Valley area had many DMV offices. I can remember several locations from those days, as I had thoroughly read the paper pamphlet (the rules of the road) and the listing of locations within, so I could be ready to do my licensing at any place, anytime, and knew what places did the testing, etc. In that blank space of time since my HS days, many of these locations have closed. My guess to some government beaucracy somewhere, funding cuts and the shit riolls downhill, blah blah blah, until ADOT (AZ Dept of Trans.) has to do cuts that close locations.

The Valley is continuing to grow in population. Hence, more monies being paid into the system for licenses/registrations/etc, but does that make a difference? No. What ADOT/DMV have done, is contracted and allowed third party providers offer certain services (registration/plates/temporary plates), many of which, charge additional fees on top of the standard fee from DMV. However, after much research this morning, none of these third parties are allowed to do licenses/permits.

So...
A.) with higher fees, many people don't use these third party places, or they don't even know about them.
B.) DMV locations are fewer in number, thus have to serve larger amounts of people (from Valley growth, plus larger areas with fewer locations).
C.) DMV locations are swamped with longer waiting times to get anything accomplished.

Is there any way to fix this? Sure, if whatever higher-up muckity-mucks got whatever funding they needed to provide more locations, and fatten their paychecks. So no, no way to fix it. Sure, DMV does offer some online services, but not enough people use it. The worst is most are not informed of what they can do online, or through other means except going to the DMV. Which clogs up the waiting process even more.

What brought this griping on today? The Eldest Son had his driving permit expire. Told the Wife, but not me. So now he has to go take the written test again, instead of just a renewal we could have done online. He has to go to a DMV to take the test. Third parties aren't allowed licensing procedures. Tried two different locations today, with terrible results - lines over 50 at one, and well over 100 at the other. At 15 minutes to opening ....

We are going to try one of those locations tomorrow, but arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of opening, so we can maybe be in the top 25 to get in, and be out in a couple hours (I hope).

Monday, June 8

Boosting the Economy

Economic recovery ... is it happening? From what I have been hearing from our local news talk radio station, not really. I get the impression that many are in limbo. Like waiting for the other shoe to drop. The last recession is claimed to have started about 2008, and supposedly we have "recovered" but not to the level we were at before it hit. Consumer spending is still down, and there is good reason for that: no one is getting raises, yet the price of everything is pretty much only going up.

That's how I understand it anyways. If I got it wrong, please correct me. Better yet, don't. I kind of like my version.

Either way, I did my best to help give the local economy here a boost. Saturday I went out and bought a used (new to me) car. Or is it a van? I have had the 2000 Ford Windstar van for many years. Many problems with it. Too much money spent on repairs. I think I have told that story before. The Wife and I went out Saturday, and ended up purchasing a 2007 Dodge Magnum. Talked the dealer down $2,700 (before license/tax/etc) and feel that we did a pretty good job for the price we paid. I got it insured this morning (though, I guess I could have done that Saturday, but didn't think about doing it all online). I'm a little excited, as this is the newest vehicle I have ever owned ... and it is "mine". I say mine, as I will be the primary driver of it. The Wife has already said she would not feel comfortable driving it, which is fine with me.

The Daughter and SIL were up the whole week last week. He had some kind of training the company sent him up to do. She was along to spend time with friends/family. Why not? She still hasn't bothered to do her testing so she can work in the field that we paid for her schooling for. Yeah, still not happy about that. They left last night. I asked when they would be up next thinking July 4th, but no. I said it was fine, we weren't doing anything anyways.

I have a couple days coming up the week after the 4th that I have off. Thinking of taking the boys to the water park here. I still have a couple more days of vacation to use before the end of August or I lose them.

Guess it is about time I head into work.

PeacE

Wednesday, June 3

For Sale

When I am not at work, the personal vehicle I use is a minivan. A 2000 Ford Windstar, that we had purchased back in around the mid 2000's ... if I remember right. I'm thinking it was around 2005, as it was just before the last child of mine was born. We were in a rush to get it, as the previous POS crap van we had only sat three in the back, so with the one on the way... plus, the van had crapped out on us when we went to San Diego. Either way, it was the best deal I could find at the time, and I think it was $6,000. Back around 2011-2012, I got rid of the Saturn I was driving (it was on it's last leg) and we purchased a newer van, for the Wife to drive, and I would take over the Windstar. For a Ford, I guess it has done pretty good. Fifteen years, and it still runs. Only now, the check engine light is on, needs many, many things done to it. Time to retire it rather than spend more money getting it fixed. Over the years we have had it, I think we have spent over 6K in repairs already.

So the past couple weeks I have been going through dealerships online, seeing what is available. I don't want brand new, but something a bit more current ... say within 7 years. Though there is product out there, it is too expensive. The Wife and I don't want to add on an additional monthly payment to some car finance company, plus even higher insurance due to the full coverage. Haven't been seeing many vehicles on the side of the road with for sale signs in the windows.

I spent about an hour on Craigslist last night. Saw some really good deals. Saw many that I would not even think of contacting. I was a bit shocked at the number of words misspelled in car descriptions, or worse, intermixed with Spanish words, or spelling. I know we have [too] many Hispanics out here, but still. I think this Friday after work I will be running through the ads there again, and see if I can find a couple to check out on Saturday. Trust me, I'll take the precautions suggested (and a few I have made up) to be sure I don't get screwed, or attacked. Sometimes Craigslist people are dangerous .... or so I have heard stories. Heard more stories about the deals/experiences being good.

So, maybe I will be driving a new car this weekend .... maybe I won't. 

PeacE

Sunday, May 31

Another Bloody Sunday

Another Sunday morning finds me oddly awake at s very early hour. I think it is the fact that I did not go out drinking last night, but that doesn't make sense for the other Saturdays I do not go out, and yet sleep in something fierce on Sundays. At this point it doesn't matter, as it is just after 5am, and yet I have been up for almost an hour already. Sounds like it is bloody marys at 6 for me.

I did not go to Comicon yesterday. Seems there ticket sales online Wednesday were all messed up, and so they extended the pricing an extra day (saves me $5 more) and I was able to get it to correctly go through Thursday evening. So, I did not have the extra ticket. Not that I did anything interesting that I could not have gone ... The eldest Son went with the Daughter & SIL, all dressed up. The Daughter was the character Link from the LEGEND OF ZELDA games, and the SIL was Blue Link, from something to do with the same games. Not sure who the Son went as - his sister made the outfit, and he got dressed somewhere else and I have not seen pics yet.

June is here tomorrow. It finally hit over 100 here Friday (103) and an expected 106 yesterday, and probably the same for today. I thought I heard to cool off to the upper 90s this week again, but not sure.

Guess I will surf the net a bit before leaving for my liquid breakfast.

PeacE

Thursday, May 28

Comicon-style

Phoenix Comicon is here this weekend. For those that do not know what a comicon is, well, it is sort of hard to explain. Some would say it is a geekfest, others would other words. There is quite a bit of cosplay (dressing up in costumes) going on. The Daughter and the eldest Son are planning on going Saturday dressed up as some characters from some Anime, I believe. I went to purchase the Son's ticket last night, but something went wrong online. I did it twice, but no tickets as of this morning. I wasn't planning on going, but if it glitches correctly, I'll have 2 tickets so may end up going. There are always many authors there, and this year there are several that I enjoy their books. However, being how I read most of mine on the Kindle, I don't have the physical books to have them signed .... bummers. And believe it or not, I often get shy with the thought of just walking up and speaking to them, letting them know I enjoyed their books. I get all nervous.

So, depending on how this ticket debacle ends up will determine the weekend for me I believe.

Not much else going on. Today is the last day of school for the boys. We have no major plans. The eldest has band camp starting in about a week I think. I got some discount coupons for the waterpark that maybe we can go this summer at some point.

It is supposed to be 101 tomorrow. The first time into the three digit area since May 2nd. It has been a wonderful cooler May here in the Valley, and not looking forward to the hotter temps, but expected them a long time ago,

I keep hearing stuff about new candidates running for whatever office. I think we have like 10 int he Presidential category, Santorum being the newest. As an American, I think I am a bit embarrassed by these candidates. Yet at the same time, I could not name a person that would be 100% better than any of them. Hopefully, like previous years, this jokes will be knocked out of the competition once the big hitters get in there.

Enough for today, I got to head to work.

PeacE

Tuesday, May 26

Oh, F*** Me ....

I screwed up on Friday. I had gotten through the entire work day with no problems, until I reached the last stop of my route. I was missing two parts. I double-checked the bins I carry the parts in - didn't see anything. I remembered earlier in the day, setting both pieces (they were small - about hand-sized) on a shelf. Thinking maybe I got side-tracked from someone, or something, and maybe left them there. I made a quick note to the tech about not having the parts with me for that call. I wrote a note for my boss, as I dropped off paperwork to him after that stop. I did forget to call in Saturday morning, thinking they would find the parts quickly and get them to the tech .... but I didn't. I forgot to call. This morning I got a call from one of the other parts people, and we talked a few minutes about it. He wasn't able to locate them quickly as to where I thought I had left them. He said he would continue looking, thinking maybe I set them somewhere else by accident. I don't know. I guess I will find out when I get there and see if they were found, or I may be spending some time looking for them. I just hate when I mess up like that.

Weekend was nice. Would have been nicer if I didn't have the damn cold. By Saturday, the runny nose and sinus pressure was gone, but had moved into the chest a bit. Been hacking most of the weekend. This morning I noticed that quite a bit of phlegm was coming up with the hacking, and it feels like it is starting to clear up. I'm sure just as I kick this cold, the allergies will start back in.

Got a few other things on my mind this week. Glad it is only 4 work days. Still feeling muscle-weary, and not sure how to get rid of that. Maybe I need to find someone with a hot tub.

PeacE