Monday, November 20, 2006

Day 3 of 9. Early evening report.

I got to go to the DMV today. Again. I failed in my attempt to get a Colorado dribblers libcense last week. Not because I failed the test or anything (which isn't required in CO if you have a valid out-of-state libcense. Unlike in CA.). No, I didn't make it past the screener at the door. He didn't approve of my birth certificate. It did not contain enough information to qualify for a CO dribblers libcense.

I argued mightily, as this was the certificate I had used to get my passport. 'Course, I got my passport back in 1987, and it has long since expired since I can't figure out any country in the world that would be a better place to visit than my own. Except maybe Canada to go see "the ballet" in Fort Erie. Never needed a passport to go to Canada, though. Haven't been there in 8 years, so maybe that has changed, too. I think Fort Erie still has lots of ballet troupes, though.

The man was nice enough. He said, "Obviously you're a citizen, but we can't accept this birth certificate because of homeland security rules." Then he ave me a number to call to order up a Minty Fresh birth certificate that would be acceptable. That number gave me the option of ordering online from a NYS health department site, so I went there, and it directed me to a third-party vendor that handled it all. The NYS site said it would cost $46. The vendor charged me $16. I was worried that I'd gotten the wrong thing, so I tried every possible configuration, and it was always $16.

They tried to sell me FedEx for an additional $14, saying this would cut the delivery time from 14 bidness days to 5. Well, maybe for suckers. It doesn't take any 10 bidness days to snail mail anything from Barfalo to Fort TomCollins. So I paid for just the regular shipping. I got the certificate on Saturday, which was 3 days later (2 bidness days - and FedEx wouldn't have delivered on Saturday unless I paid $25 instead of $14 extree).

The Fort TomCollins DMV is a rather farcical place. It has a screener at the door who checks all your documentation before assigning you a number in the queue. Then it has 1 to 4 front counter workers, one cashier, and one photographer. They all rotate positions about every 30 minutes, and the rotation inserts about a 10-minute bubble into each station where nothing gets done other than one person logging out and then the next logging in. I was 15th in line. They averaged one person every 6 minutes during my stay. We only suffered through one computer crash at the photography station, which took that station offline for 20 minutes, so three people had to queue up again for photos. It was back to normal by the time I got to it, except the cashier had gone to lunch, and the photographer was covering both stations. So I had to wait about 10 extra minutes for the photo shoot.

The most interesting aspect was that there seemed to be an excess of middle-aged fat women behind the counter wearing winter jackets and drinking mugs of coffee. They stood around and kvetched about how cold it was back there behind the counter for a while, then one of them would go, open up a front counter station, wait on one person, then return to the gaggle, at which point one of the others would head up to the station and open it. As I said above, it takes about 10 minutes to log on/off from a station, so despite the fact that there was sometimes four windows open, on average I think there was about 1.5. One dude sat there the whole time, never got up and pushed through people at a rate of about one every 10 minutes. The remaining 3 staff members managed to bring the throughput up to one every 6 minutes, so all together, they accounted for less than one dude worth of work.

The dude, who happened to be the same guy that didn't like my birth certificate last week, made a joke. He was asking if I was wearing contact lenses, and I said yes. He asked if I could drive without them, and I said, "No. I can't see a thing without them."

He said, "Well, that can be a blessing in some circumstances." Then he used facial and eye motions to indicate a couple of the women around him without pointing or actually looking at them. Then he cracked up.

DMV humor.

The Mrs. is much calmer today. The calm before the storm. She actually managed to do the one remaining chore she had planned for the impending arrival of her moother (clean the basement bathroom). She's happier when she's completed her chores, though she puts in artificial roadblocks to that happiness. For instance, this visit, she decided that she had to get all the Christmas shopping done and all the gifts wrapped prior to preparing for her moother's arrival. So this is what caused most of the nuttiness yesterday.

HannieC and I checked out the shooting range today. Then The Mrs. came out and wanted a turn. The Mrs. shot very well, but she was using the bench with rifle rest that I had HannieC set up on. This is cuz HannieC can barely lift the pellet gun. The Mrs. is quite a good shooter. All those years of musical instrument training has given her excellent fine motor controls. Now that we're on CO, I can get her a nice .357 for her nightstand. California always frowned on that kind of thing.

MaxieC is upstairs yelling at something. I don't know what. Nobody else is home. I needs to go check on that.


Nava said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nava said...

What is it with you B people and birth certificates?

This sounds even worse than the endless INS saga I had to go through, in order to become a permanent resident.