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.


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.

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.


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.