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They, well, they’re just DUMB November 14, 2013

Posted by Toy Lady in just general griping, mirth & woe, random stuff.
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The DMV, that is.

I know, I know, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, and, really, it doesn’t.  Or at least, not completely.  After all, surely you remember the incident last summer – The Boy had gone online to obtain a copy of his driving abstract for traffic court, and not only was the abstract available on the website, the State thoughtfully spent our tax dollars to mail him a copy, as well.

Oh, but wait, there’s more!

Since it was a two-page document, did they send a 2-sided copy?

Why no, they didn’t.

They sent each page in its own separate envelope, thereby incurring twice the costs in paper, envelopes, and postage.

Clearly, the DMV is the reason the Post Office is still in business.

But I digress.

Here in New York (and I assume everywhere else), we are required to pay the State for the privilege of owning, insuring, maintaining, and fueling a car.

(And, to add insult to, pretty much, more insult, I was charged  $64 for a “Registration Fee” AND an additional $20 “Use Tax.”  I’m sorry, but isn’t the Registration Fee already a de facto Use Tax?  How stupid do they think I am, anyway?)

Okay, I’m back.  I haven’t even gotten to the REALLY sorry part.

An aside:  our County Executive has been very good about bringing attention to the fact that, if you do your DMV transactions in person, at the local Motor Vehicle offices, a portion of those punitive fees will at least stay in our County – basically, the County skims off a few cents to help pay for some of the stuff that’s mandated by (guess who) the State.  My philosophy is that the closer to home I spend my money, the better for everyone, so I make it a point to do my DMV transactions locally.

Since my $84 Registration Fee – slash – Use Tax is due by next Saturday, and since Peeps is currently home during the day, he graciously offered to take care of that task for me while he was running other errands.  Wasn’t that nice of him?

So, he got up and out bright and early (he even scraped ice off of his windshield!) in order to beat the Tuesday-after-a-Monday-holiday crowd, and presented himself at the DMV, signed documents in one hand and debit card in the other.

So he took care of business, and, when he presented his card, he was asked to sign a form authorizing me to use his card.

Note:  I was not even there, and I have not, at any time, used his card.  Ever.  For any reason.

Didn’t matter.  His card was paying for my stuff, so, as far as they were concerned, he was me, I guess, using his card.

Well, fine.  Just fine.

Then, when he was all done pretending to me using his card, well, THEN they told him that since it was HIM and not ME, they would mail the current registration card and sticker to me sometime next week.  You know, since he wasn’t me using his card anymore, he was him renewing my registration.

Then they told him to “put his left foot in.”

I just made that last bit up.

But seriously.  Peeps – my LAWFUL SPOUSE  – while trying to be a good citizen and member of the community, went to the DMV with my paperwork, waited in line, was ludicrously required to authorize himself to use his debit card, paid over Eighty-Four of my hard-earned dollars to renew my car registration, and then they wouldn’t let him take the materials – that he had just paid for – that would keep me driving legally.

Can I take a moment here and mention that nowhere on the renewal paperwork I received was I warned that I was supposed to either show up in person, or I’d have to wait heaven-knows-how-long for Albany to (hopefully) mail me the new documents.  Nowhere.

And you know what’s even worse?

When he asked for a receipt (just in case I got pulled over, which I wouldn’t, of course, but you can’t be too careful)  he asked for a receipt, at the very least, and he was told that that would be mailed along with the new cards.

So you do know what’s going to happen now, don’t you?

We’re going to have an unseasonably warm, sunny day next week, I’m going to be driving around with my expired tags, and there will be no real crime in the area, so the police will set up a road block to check stickers in their favorite place – the on-ramp to the highway, just outside my office.

And I’m going to have to explain this.

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My Wasted Vote November 7, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in just general griping, mirth & woe, Not about Food, Politics.
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So I’m still here, no computer except the ancient laptop.   Which means no photos.    (And while that may not be a HUGE loss, it’s still a loss, right?  Right?)

At the time of this writing, it’s the evening of Election Day.

Thank GOODNESS it’s almost over!

While we don’t know who will win at this point, I’m sure we all know who we want to win – or at least who we don’t want to win.  And I’m equally certain it’s not the same for all of us, is it?

I find myself in the position of being something of a disenfranchised voter.

In the general election, anyway, my vote doesn’t really count for much.

Sure, the local elections matter – and I always make sure to vote there.  I firmly believe that the closer my government is to me, the more control I have.  Town, Village, County, even State elections all matter, more, I think, than the presidential election.

Especially here.  You see, I’m in New York, and I don’t think there’s a truer, bluer state than New York.   Except maybe New Jersey.  Maybe.

Which means that my presidential vote is worthless.    Thanks to the electoral college, my representative will be voting for Obama, whether I like it or not.

Some representation, huh?

That’s not to say I think Romney walks on water, because I don’t.  I truly believe that there is less separating the two mainstream candidates than they’d like to have us think, and whichever your choice is, it’s no more than the lesser of two evils.

But you know what?  I’m kind of glad.  It gave me a chance to vote the way I’d like to vote, if I could vote however I wanted to if I wasn’t worried about “throwing my vote away.”

For the first time since 1984, I actually left the voting booth feeling good about my presidential vote.

I voted for what I really think – knowing that “my guy” wasn’t going to win anyway-  he wasn’t even going to make a dent in the final results.

I decided to do something radical – to vote for a “third party” candidate.   A politician who actually stands for the things I believe.  Gosh I wish people would take the Libertarian Party a little more seriously. . . I’ll bet the Founding Fathers  would have.

*Images: credit to Young Americans for Liberty.  Even though I’m more a “Middle-Aged American for Liberty.”

Hey, How’ve You Been? July 12, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in just general griping, mirth & woe, random stuff.
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Is it just me, or does this seem like an exceptionally busy summer?

I don’t think it’s just me – Kay‘s been moving and working a lot lately, and Susan‘s been busy with her girls and 4-H.

No, I don’t suppose it’s just me, is it?

Work is starting to slow down a bit for me – though now is the time I play clean-up –  those files I’ve been working on for the past several months all need to be closed and billed.  And that is a LOT of work!  Though it will be nice to see the conference room table again. . .

We’ve got an appointment with a contractor this week – we’re going to see what it’ll take to install a second bathroom, or, rather, a powder room, downstairs.  Apparently, we’ve been living like barbarians all these years, all of us sharing the same bathroom!

I suddenly came down with some nasty bug – I’m not sure how, since I very seldom actually see people.   Well, not many people, anyway – there’s my immediate family and the two people I work with.  Not really much in the way of germs there.  But MAN was I sick!  I came home Tuesday feeling kind of cruddy – you know the feeling – no energy, not really hungry, sort of headachy, low-grade fever, just generally cruddy.   Woke up Wednesday morning cold, sweaty, and with a massively sore throat, plus a cough that made my chest burn.

Sick.

I emailed in (so much better than calling in – you don’t have to actually sound ill), looked for Nyquil, found none, so I settled for Robitussin, and went back to bed around 6, to wake up about 9:30, still feeling lousy but not as bad.

Oh, and then Peeps called to let me know he’d be late getting home from work – it seems that his clutch went.

A clutch is a major event in the car-repair world, involving lots of labor and an overnight loaner car.

Fun week, eh?

So what have you been up to so far this summer?

Don’t Judge Me January 13, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in just general griping, random stuff.
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A while back I noticed a trend in the inserts that I get with my prescriptions.

Yes, prescriptions.  In addition to the occasional random antibiotics or ibuprofen,  I’m on a daily blood pressure medication (go figure!) and, a couple of years back, I started an asthma medicine.

Nothing serious, mind you, not really, just, well, I guess it’s just my misspent youth catching up with me.   That, and genetics.  My mother’s had high blood pressure for pretty much as long as I can remember, and, her left-handedness notwithstanding, I guess I’m my mother’s daughter.

Anyway, I have my prescriptions filled at one of our local supermarkets – the one that we don’t shop in weekly.  My reasoning for this is that I can run into that store once a month or so and pick up the few items there that are priced better than at our regular supermarket.

So I noticed almost right away that the pharmacy sticks coupons in with the blood pressure medication.

A dollar off any produce.

Another dollar off their store-brand yogurt.

Nice, huh?

After all, this supermarket’s stated philosophy is to encourage a healthy lifestyle – and how better to promote  healthy living – not to mention a healthy profit margin – than to encourage people to buy their house brand of Foods You Feel Good About?

Then I noticed something else.

I noticed that, while this particular supermarket was bending over backward to encourage me, as a customer with high blood pressure, to eat their canned beans, their frozen veggies, and their fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, as an asthmatic, they don’t give a flip what I do.

Not a single coupon tucked in the package with the $200 inhaler.

No, I don’t personally pay that for that prescription – but my insurance company does.  And they couldn’t even give up a stinking dollar coupon for a box of tissues or a can of coffee?

Yet they seem to think I need encouragement to eat healthy – because I have high blood pressure.

Now obviously, they don’t realize that I routinely cook beans from dry – rather than buy full-of-sodium, canned beans.

And I prefer  fresh fruit and honey with my plain yogurt rather than processed, loaded-with-sugar, fruit-on-the-bottom stuff.  I put my fruit on top, thank you.

And veggies?  Puh-lease.  Um, garden?  Herb garden?  Public market?  I’m going to eat store-bought frozen vegetables?

Not so much.

Asthma?  Well, sorry about your luck.

High blood pressure?  I must be a fat, unhealthy slob who needs to be enticed by dollar coupons to step away from the Big Mac.

Is it time to change pharmacies, or am I just being overly sensitive, I wonder?

Sorry, I need to vent December 14, 2011

Posted by Peeps in just general griping, random stuff.
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Last week Men’s Health magazine came out with the list of the 100 Hottest Women of All Time list.

Take a bit.  Look it over.  I’ll still be here.

Okay?  Are you outraged?  I hope so.  I certainly am.

This list is certainly not all about now.  I will give it that much.  It ranges from the 1920s to today.  That is definitely a mark in its favor.

But that’s it.  At least two of the most beautiful women other than my wife to walk the face of this planet are not on here.  I mean, really.  How can you have a list of the hottest women ever without Katherine Hepburn?  Or Catherine Zeta-Jones?  Or my own personal favorite Debbie Harry?  And I’m sure that there are several more that I’m forgetting.

I’m not happy about Brittney Spears landing in the number four slot.  Or Madonna taking number five.  But I’m sure that’s just a matter of taste.  I’m sure there are lots of people who like reasonably hot tacky women.

But Jennifer Aniston?  Number one?  Are you kidding me?  How in the name of all that’s holy did that happen?  With all those others to pick from?  I want to cry.

Okay, I’m calmer now.  I just needed to get it all out.  This upset me far more than Rolling Stone magazine’s recent list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list that came out a couple weeks ago.  At least on that list, there was no question of who took the number one slot.

Idiots.