Archive for January, 2005

I, uh, use some angry adult language in this post, FYI. If you don’t like that sort of thing, then skip this post.


If you check your credit rating – and you should DO NOT DO IT FROM CONSUMERINFO.COM. Don’t even sign up for their free deal. I signed up about 8 months ago to get a free credit report. They never sent me the confirmation email. Then I find out about 3 months later they charged me like five bucks for it. I couldn’t get it off my account, and really it’s only five bucks so it isn’t worth it. So I just activated the account and got the services that the five dollars paid for. It’s basically just showing you any changes to your credit report. You don’t get your credit score. Anyways, so I check my bank account online through commerce bank and lo and behold, they charged me another 79.95 for god fucking knows what. I’m going to rape them bastards on the phone here in 2 1/2 hours during my lunch break.

DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY.

If you have any information there, delete it, especially your credit card number. Fucking bastards.

Some of you may know that I recently purchased a 4×4 2000 Isuzu Rodeo LS just prior to moving to Kansas City. I knew that I was moving to KC right after I got it, so I called both the Riley and Johnson County Treasurers offices. I figured I’d register and get tags for it in whichever county was cheapest. Seems smart right?

The Johnson County office quoted me a much cheaper price, so I decided to go there. Happily, the office is just off of Santa Fe, though down a little ways from my house, it’s really not that far from me in Kansas City terms of distance at least.

When I get there, there is absolutely no parking. Bah. So drive around for a bit until I find a side street. I go in and walk around like a blind kid in a game of tag. Finally I find the office. There is one guy in there before me. He’s paying about two grand in delinquent taxes. Relevance to this story? None. I’m just trying to paint a picture. Or something. Finally this guy gets done, seemingly after twenty minutes, but probably more like half that. I get up to the lady at the counter and I explain that I just bought a new car and I need to register and tag it. Her response is that they don’t do that there, I need to go to the DMV office, which is on Ridgeview and Santa Fe. First actually point of anger/frustration is right here in the time line. I called these people on the phone already and got the address, phone number, and a price quote for what it would cost me. You would think they would mention that I don’t actually go there to do it, though. Nope.

Thankfully, the DMV office is right down the road about three minutes. Ok. The desk lady told me something about behind a Quicktrip on the corner. Aiight, I see it, turn right. Ooooh, as sign that reads “Johnson County Department of Motor Vehicles ->”. Wait, which way is that arrow pointing? Is it down this road more? Is it down this backstreet-looking road? Is it this car was right here? After driving to all of these conceivable places, I then realize that the DMV is not located at any of them. So, pull into the Quicktrip parking lot and make a phone call to the Treasurers office again. For reference, my inability to locate this place would be frustration point number dos. Yes, I just dropped some Spanish. What up? Vato.

I’m on hold forever. And by “forever,” I mean about seven minutes. Frustration point number three. I decide to go drive around whilst still being on hold, right as I am about to pull out of the parking lot someone on the other end picks up. Convenient. So I ask exactly where their located and she says some address or something (I wasn’t really listening. You’d think I would have been, but no. I wasn’t. Meh). I pick up “behind Quicktrip and Waffle House.” Close enough, I’ll wing it.

I Drive around the Quicktrip and it’s tucked away in the corner of this strip mall. Who-woulda-thunk? Obviously not me.

Upon entering the premises, I realize that there are about two and a half tons of people in here. Literally. Roughly estimate about 200 pounds per person. Divide it up. Roughly twenty five people. Perhaps there could have been as much as three and a half tons of people. Really, it’s a tough call. They have a little “press this button, get a number” machine. I press and find a seat. As images of stereotypical descriptions of DMV’s flash through my head, I realize this is frustration point number four.

I break out the cell phone for some Bejeweled action while I wait. Eventually, I get called and go talk to this guy at booth number one. He looks over my stuff, signs my number, and informs me that they will call my number again. Damn it. I thought I was close to being done. Nope. More damn waiting. Flash forward another ten minutes and my number gets called again.

This time I’m at booth number four. I explain to Deloris that I just bought a new car and I need to get registered and tags for it. I present her my title and registration, just like the first guy. She’s typing away on her keyboard, entering stuff into her computer, looking up stuff. I notice that she has long fingernails and I wonder how easy it is to type. Again, random. Oh, she also looks at her fingers when she types. Anyways. While standing there, I realize that I’m without my checkbook. Crap. I then start thinking that I may have to leave and come back with it. A task I obviously don’t want to partake in.

Deloris asks me some information about where I purchased the car, such as the name of the company and the city and county of the business. I say it’s in Manhattan. Either in Riley or Pottawatomie county. I’m not sure, it’s right over the Big Blue River, which I think is the dividing line of the county, but I’m not 100% sure. She’s the one with the computer, she should be able to figure it out. Not really. She has to go look at something. I don’t know what, I couldn’t see. She then asks me if I wanted to renew the tag until 2006. Otherwise I would have to come back to this horrible place next month. I gladly accept paying for the next year.

She then explains that I have to be charged for the differences in sales tax between Pottawatomie (thus was my deduction at least) and Johnson counties on the Rodeo. The money-grubbing state of Kansas will charge you whichever sales tax is highest, regardless of where you bought it. The guy who sold me the car failed to mention that. I payed the sales tax right there when I bought it, just to avoid this. He mentioned something to the effect of “You can pay this sales tax now, so that when James goes to get his tags, he won’t have to pay it then.” I now realize why he would say such a thing. Pottawatomie county has like six percent sales tax, versus the seven and a half here in Johnson county. It makes the price of the car seem less than what you actually have to end up paying for it.

Then, the bombshell, how much it’s going to cost me: roughly $450 bucks. Daaaaaamn.

I came here expecting maybe $20 – $30 bucks, based off of the original phone call I made to the Treasurer’s office. Nope. Again thinking about my absent checkbook, I wondered what I was going to do. She said I could pay with my Discover card, but I don’t remember how much I have left on it before my limit. I know I had used it a few times before, but I don’t really remember how much I put on it. I tell her to run it anyways, if it gets declined, then I know it would put me over my limit. Thus necessitating me to go to an ATM nearby.

By the grace of God it goes through. I sign the receipt and depressingly leave. As I leave I realize it’s almost 1:30pm. This whole ordeal took almost an hour and half. Frustration point number, well, whatever it is.

Oh, and guess what the three numerical digits of my license plate are? 666. Sign of the devil.

When I saw that, I kind of chuckled to myself. I mentioned it to Deloris. She asked if I wanted to change it. I said, “Nah, it will be easier to remember.” Her response: “You’re not a Christian, are you?” No ma’am, I’m not. Doesn’t really bother me.

It’s over!

For reference, you should probably read this Yahoo article first.

Now my commentary…

Gotta love our government. Half a billion dollars down the tubes. I love how they’re still working on this program yet they’ve started soliciting offers for a new program to replace it at the same time.

And you know what the program does:

The prototype’s main feature allows users to prepare documents and forward them in a usable form.

and

Eventually, the FBI expects to have software with added features for managing records, evidence and other documents, along with the ability for users to collaborate on documents and share information online.

Jesus! What about this project can’t be done via the internet? Seriously. Prepare documents and forward them in usable form? What the hell is that? Sounds like email to me. Collaborate on documents and share information online? That just sounds like something you could just put on an encrypted network and then have like a Wiki or something along those lines, combine that in with the emailing of documents (mind you it could be heavy SSL or an equivalent).

I dunno, I just don’t get our government some times. This is my rant for the day.

If you haven’t heard, which you should have by the way, Apple announced two new products at their annual MacWorld conference: the Mac mini and the iPod shuffle. I won’t go into great detail about either one of them, as there are already tons of reports on them. However, I will quickly explain what they are.

The Mac mini is a Mac computer that retails at $499, the cheapest Mac to date. It comes with no keyboard, mouse, or monitor, however. If you don’t like your current PC, all you have to do is buy a Mac mini and replace it.

The iPod shuffle is a flash based iPod. It comes in sizes of 512MB and 1GB. Unlike the regular iPod and the iPod mini, there is no display to speak of. Thus, it is quite tiny.

That’s about that. Now, I want one of each, just because. So, from the people who brought you FreeiPods.com, Gratis Internet gives you:

Now, hook me up! Thanks!

Last spring break we, meaning the boys and I, went to Las Vegas. One of the attractions we visited was The Stratosphere. Not a bad little place, well, unless you ask my dad, who went with us. He would say some not-so-nice things about it. Nonetheless, not too bad. One of the things we did was go to the top of the tower. It’s the tallest U.S. building west of the Mississippi River. We did the X Scream and the Big Shot. We heard the High Roller was kinda crappy, so we didn’t do that ride. I, and the rest of us I believe, would highly rate the Big Shot, not so much on the X Scream, but to each their own.

Now, to the point of this post. While watching tv, the precious time I do get to watch it that is, I caught this show about new stuff in Vegas for 2005. And what happened to come up, but Insanity, the ride. Looks a lot more thrilling than the others. Wooo doggy. Just figured I’d let everyone else know it exists.

This would also be a cue to the boys to start planning for our next trip back to Vegas!