Tag

car

The DMV: A Trip To Hell And Back

By funny, life, rants, sarcasm

So I had to go get my driver’s license renewed yesterday. Naturally, I procrastinated and waited until the last minute to go to the DMV. That’s just how I roll, I guess. Anywho, we all know what a dreaded experience the DMV is. I walked in expecting it to be bad, but not this bad.

When you walk in the door, before you can even sit in the seats to wait for someone to help you (at some point in the next few years), you have to go to an information desk and explain what the purpose of your visit is. I wanted to tell the lady that it was just for fun or because I was bored, just to see what she’d say, but the poor woman already looked like she’d had her soul sucked out by that terrible place.

Once I got through the huge information desk line, in which everyone told the attendant their life story in addition to why they were there, I sat down and waited. I had been there about an hour by this point. This was just the beginning, though. I sat in a chair for an hour, waiting as patiently as possible, listening to the most annoying PA system I’ve ever heard call every number but mine. I almost wanted to say “bingo!” when mine finally came up. Once again, not something I think these people would find humorous.

Once I was called up to a window, I stood there and waited while the gentleman on duty talked with a co-worker for about five minutes about such erroneous small things as what company to use to get his backyard fenced in. I kid you not. So once he finally decided to help me, the customer, he had to look at my current driver’s license about ten times to get all the information entered correctly. Either he was completely OCD and unsure of what he wrote, or stalling for reasons unknown to me. But he was ridiculously slow.

After I got through with him and the vision test he tried (and failed) to administer to me (he asked me to read a line and then didn’t know what letters were supposed to be on the line in the first place and had to look for himself), he told me to go sit down at the other end of the building and wait for my name to be called so I could take a knowledge test.

I sat in a chair on the other side, waiting for my name to be called, for about twenty more minutes. This extemely annoying (I don’t get annoyed easliy) boy sat down next to me with his mother. He was somewhere between 13 and 15, and would not stop talking. And loudly. About really strange and publicly-inappropriate hings I won’t even repeat on here. When his mom told him not to talk so loud about what he was discussing, he exclaimed, “I don’t care, mom, I won’t ever see these f***ers again.”

I eagerly walked forward, away from that guy, when my name was called to the testing station. I took the ridiculously easy knowledge exam, consisting of 10 road sign questions so elementary that if someone actually failed the test they should be required to have some serious mental evaluations peformed. Next were 25 “what-would-you-do-in-this-situation” questions. I used the 50:50 and ask the audience buttons on screen for this portion. No, just kidding. But there was a phone at the station. Phone a friend? They were pretty easy.

After I finished, I sat back down. The annoying boy was up at the window being helped, and when he was finished, came and sat back down next to me again, in my new location! I was starting to get a little pissed  off at that point. I tried to occupy myself on my iPhone, but he just sat there staring at the screen and tried to read my text messages.

Next, I got called up to get my picture taken, or so I thought. I sat in the chair to have my mugshot taken, and the attendant told me I actually had to go back on the other side of the room and wait to be helped again, pay a $32 dollar fee for my new license, and then come back and sit down again.

I waited on the other side of the room for the same ignorant man who ignored me the first time to “help” me again. After he finally called me up and took my credit card number (a half hour process), I went to the opposite side of the building again. Sure enough, that kid was there again, this time talking about how screwed up the government is or something like that. I was so sick of his shrill voice  (you could compare it to nails on a chalkboard) by this point, I didn’t know what to do.

Finally, I was called up to have my picture taken, for real this time. I stood to the side while an older gentlemen proceeded to have his picture taken six times, because he didn’t like it. Last time I checked they don’t do re-dos. Look at how many terrible pictures there are. It doesn’t happen (or so I thought). I finally sat down and produced the somewhat strange-looking picture you see above. I’m about to cut  most of my long hair off, so this will be a funny picture to look back on years from now.f

After two more minutes waiting for it to print, I was finally on my way, hours later. It was such sweet freedom walking out of that horrid place. I’d suspect that was a glimpse of what hell must be like: two rows of hard plastic seats, angry people, and an annoying PA system calling numbers all day. Thank the Lord I don’t have to go back and do that again until July, 2016!

Tracing The Three Notched Trail

By history

I’ve always been fascinated with local history, but nothing has intrigued me more than Three Chopt Road. Hundreds of years ago, it was an Indian trail, and was then improved in 1730 as a more substantial roadway between Richmond and Charlottesville. Route 250 (Broad Street) replaced the road in the 1930s, but it’s still one of the oldest roads still in service today in Virginia. Thomas Jefferson frequented the road, going between his home in Monticello and the Capitol in Richmond quite often. Many, many other notable individuals have also traversed this roadway.

I’m about to undertake a huge project. I’m going to single-handedly document the entire road from its origin near Powhatan Hill east of Richmond, all the way to Augusta County in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Why? It’s one of the most historic roadways in America, and yet little has ever been done to completely document everything on this rapidly-deteriorating (because of replacement roadways) trail.

I’m going to set out to document interesting buildings and houses, landmarks, and other features of the road, beginning near the city, sometime in the next two or three weeks. Armed with just my GPS, camera, and camcorder, I’ll document anything interesting I see. I hope to somehow export geodata about where videos and pictures were taken onto a custom Google map as the project progresses. Check back on the website I bought for the project, www.threechopt.org, soon. I’m ready to do this!

Am I crazy? Maybe. But this is my passion! Plus, a lot of people I’ve talked to out at the local history exhibition I put on every Fall always ask about the road and its history. Heck, it even runs right through Short Pump, although most of the original portions in this area have been realigned to make way for developments, such as West Broad Village.

Stay tuned, there are many more updates to come! If you or someone you know would like to get involved, I’d love to hear from you.

Textbook Ripoff: Part Deux

By rants, sarcasm

It’s the end of the semester, and you know what that means: It’s time to get screwed over by the VCU Bookstore! So I spent $400 on textbooks back in January. Today I went down to VCU and got a whopping $13.50 back in resale value. Half of my books wouldn’t be taken back because they’re proprietary, custom VCU books that have no value once used because they change every year. I have a big problem with that. That’s just ridiculous. I spent more money than that on cheese pies yesterday at the Lebanese Food Festival. I probably spent more than that getting my Xterra down there to the VCU Bookstore and back. Textbooks are a royal ripoff. Students such as myself are getting nothing short of scammed. It’s infuriating.

Seeing Yellow

By health

Look around. Mother Nature’s biggest gift to us all this time of year (ha) is out in full force. It’s nasty. It’s yellow. It’s all over everything. It’s tree pollen. Ever since I was a little guy, I’ve always hated Spring because it means one thing: pollen. I used to be so allergic to it that I’d barely be able to function this time of year. I had all sorts of nasal symptoms, not to mention I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t sleep, and the likes. I’ve always wondered why we can be so allergic to something so natural that God put here on this earth, but I digress. But this year I’ve (knock on wood) been fine. Someone told me this is because every seven years your allergies change. Something to do with cell regeneration? I don’t know. I know nothing about that kind of stuff. But someone comment and enlighten me.

Anyway, the stuff is still nasty. It’s all over my car, in my room after I had a window open just one night, it’s turned one of my black cats yellow who just goes on our screen porch, and on and on. It’s everywhere. Of course it rained off and on for two weeks straight but as soon as the pollen came out we don’t get a drop. We need a good soaking rain to wash this crap away!

VCU Police Are Seriously A Joke

By Uncategorized

VCU Police made complete fools out of themselves tonight with me, Allie, and Katelin. We were walking back to our cars in a VCU lot when all of a sudden three VCU cops on bikes roll up to my car and surround me. It was two men and one woman. They violated several of my rights and made complete idiots out of themselves. It was seriously like something off of Reno 911! (The woman cop almost kind of looked like the one from the show) It would almost be funny how ridiculous they were if it didn’t insult me so much the way they treated us. Here’s how the conversation went down:

POLICEMAN 1: “How are you this evening, sir? How much you had to drink tonight?”

ME: “Uh, nothing at all?”

POLICEMAN 1: “Why don’t you go ahead and step out of the car, sir. You were walking a little funny back there.” (I was walking a little funny? I was walking the way I always walk, and if you really want to investigate a real problem, go across the street to the hundreds of people at the Hyperlink waiting to get in the door and check them out because it definitely smelled like pot and everyone was running around and making a racket)

POLICEWOMAN: “There’s three of them, let me take one.”

POLICEMAN 2: “Shut up, I can handle this.” (I’m seriously not making this stuff up)

POLICEWOMAN: “Somebody’s been drinking, this place reeks of alcohol.”

ME: “Um, no, I haven’t had anything at all…”

POLICEWOMAN: “Yeah? What’s that under your seat?” (She points to an empty soft drink can wedged under my front seat, I pull it out, and she actually has the nerve to question it further)

ME: “I just need to clean out my car, I left that in there…”

POLICEWOMAN: “What did you have in that can and why is it empty?”

ME: “Root beer? It’s a soft drink can…” (She looks at it all suspiciously)

POLICEMAN 1: “Okay I’m gonna check your eyes out here real quick.” (He pulls out a pen and tells me to follow it with my eyes without moving my head) “What do you wear contacts for?” (You’ve got to be kidding me; what a stupid question… what do you think contacts are for?)

ME: “Farsightedness?” (I look at him in with that “Did you really just ask me that question, you idiot?” look)

POLICEMAN 2: “So do you have astigmatism or something?” (Oh come on)

ME: “Yes?”

POLICEMAN 1: “So has your passenger been drinking tonight?”

ME: “No, not at all.” (I later found out that while all of this was going on the policewoman was on the other side of the car questioning Allie and accusing us of hiding beer in a CVS bag in my back seat that had nothing in it but toothpaste and shampoo that I bought before we went down there)

POLICEMAN 1: “Okay, you’re good to go.”

Finally, we were free to go. I feel that several of our rights were violated in this situation:

1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe you can legally search someone’s vehicle without a warrant to find things that are not in plain view.

2. What was their probable cause? The fact that I was, in one of the cop’s opinions, “walking a little funny?” I was walking completely normal.

I’d also really like to know what in the world he was doing asking me why I wore contacts and was offended that he asked “how much” I had been drinking when the correct thing to ask would have been “have you had anything to drink tonight.” I do realize that they see a lot go on down there and have to be weary, but they completely jumped to conclusions and were accusatory to the point of being very unprofessional. They were poorly coordinated, argued amongst one another, and seemed to be on major power trips. They also completely fabricated several things, the biggest being that my car “reeked of alcohol.” There wasn’t, nor had there ever been, alcohol in my car, so I was completely bewildered, offended, and angry that they would make up such a blatant lie.

I was offended at how the situation was handled and feel that VCU Police are not doing a satisfactory job at all. I can’t speak for all VCU officers, but the unprofessional and unskilled behavior of this group leads me so far as to say that their salaries (that group specifically) are a waste of Virginia taxpayers’ money.

I feel this is something that needs to be shared, so pass it along.

Talking Gas Pump Rant

By Uncategorized

So I was at the Miller’s gas station on Nuckols Road today pumping gas. It was cold as all, and me being the procrastinator that I am, had no coat to wear whatsoever because I was washing every single one at once. So not only am I standing out in the freezing cold, but then the gas pump decides it would like to strike up a chat. The first thing that loud, annoying box thing blares through the speaker tries to lure me in for a snack. “In a rush? Come on in and pick up a ready-made sandwich for the road!” No thanks, I just ate. The thing just keeps on belting out reasons that I should venture even farther from my warm car and enjoy a less-than-decent snack or beverage. It’s bad enough that the on-screen prompts ask if you want a receipt, a car wash, or want to pay in or outside (okay seriously, if I’ve already swiped my card, isn’t there, oh I don’t know, pretty much a more than 100% chance I’m paying outside?). But this thing just kept on telling me what I needed to buy. The short version: “You want a sandwich?” NO! “Some chips?” NO! “A slushy?” NO! It’d be frozen solid by the time I got it back to the car anyway. “Coffee?” I don’t like coffee. Plus, I just gave away half my life savings to the big oil companies anyway by filling my gas-sucking Xterra (I really need to sell it) all the way to the top; you think I have any more money left over to donate to your dinky mini-mart snack department anyway?

So after all of that, my receipt prints as I requested in the “Do you want a [fill in the blank with a non-needed gas station service here]” questionnaire that is thrown at you before you’re even allowed to touch the gas nozzle. The talking box on top of the gas pump then gleefully informs me of the following information:

“Welcome to Miller’s Neighborhood Market! Congratulations, you’re at the $300 Miller’s Easy Rewards gas level for February! Come on in and get a free hot dog courtesy of your friends at Miller’s!”

Well dang, all I have to say is, for $300, that thing better have flakes of gold embedded in the meat or something nifty like that. The so-called “free” hot dog was funded by my $300 in gas purchases, you ignorant talking box. Sounds like Regal Cinema’s Crown Club Card. You go see like 50 movies and you get a free small popcorn without butter. Nice! Customer loyalty programs rock.