Liberrants

Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Happy Fiscal New Year!

Well, okay, I say "happy" with a tinge of sarcastic irony, since the New's Eve Celebrations consist of every federal agency in existence, as well as its contractor organs, stretching out its hands to the taxpayer in anticipation of new funding for new and existing boondoggles.

So let the annual tax-and-spend festivities begin. Why should this year be different from any other?

I’m Wondering If It’s Actually Monday

What a crazy day for a Saturday! The whole family went down to the DMV at the mall this morning for my daughter to take her road test for her driver’s license and apply for disability plates. We showed up an hour and a half before opening in order to secure a prime place in line (which we probably didn’t need to do since my daughter is disabled and is usually given head-of-the-line privileges). Mom and daughter held the places while PopPop took BooBoo to the play area a hundred yards away. About thirty minutes before opening, an officious weasel of a rent-a-cop opened the doors to the DMV. Addressing the waiting customers as if they were unruly pre-schoolers (the line, which by now stretched all the way around one side of the mall, was completely quite and orderly), he announced that the DMV computer system was down and that they would not be opening at ten o’clock as usual, but would wait until whenever they got their system up and running.

I imagined that their problem, if not network-related, was probably a simple application or system boot error and considered volunteering to troubleshoot it for them. I decided against it though, knowing that the State will never stand for looking impotent in front of the masses of unwashed proles and would loudly refuse my offer, probably threatening me with arrest in the process. However, somebody stumbled upon a fix and things were up and running by ten-thirty.

Alas, my daughter was unprepared, as usual. Having forgotten to bring her car registration with her, she was out of luck for applying for plates. Adding insult to injury, she was told that this DMV office in the mall “doesn’t do road tests” and that she would have to go to another DMV office closer to home (in fairness to her, the Virginia DMV website doesn’t state that the mall DMV office is not full-service). Unfortunately, this other office closes at noon on Saturdays. However, we decided to make a try for it, just on the off chance that she could get a road test, at the least.

We got to the other DMV office forty-five minutes before closing and snagged a parking space reserved for road test applicants. Suspiciously, we were told that there were twenty-five people in line ahead of my daughter waiting for road tests and that they were late getting people processed because of computer problems (so it was an agency-wide network problem). At that point we decided to call it off and wait till Monday morning to try again so that my daughter would have the pleasure of missing half a day of work.

I’m annoyed that the second DMV office didn’t stay open for an additional thirty minutes or an hour to compensate for the loss of business time incurred by their computer system outage. Of course I wasn’t at all surprised that a government agency would take the attitude that the unwashed masses’ time is of no importance. I would, however, love to see the DMV employees docked an hour’s pay for the time they didn’t work during the system outage (those addressing the network issues excepted, of course). Fat chance, I know, but I can always dream, can’t I?

Anyway, we’ll see how Monday morning goes. I hope she passes the road test, because if she doesn’t get her license then, I’ll have to remove the pedal extenders from her car after dropping her off at work and drive myself to work (she’s still driving on a learner’s permit, so she can’t drive alone yet). The constant removal and reinstallation of the pedal extenders has bent up the clamps on them something fierce, particularly the brake extender, and we spent most of Thursday evening trying to “blacksmith” a truncated U-bolt into a makeshift clamp. I’m looking into ordering another model of pedal extenders for her, since the set she has don’t hold up well under the stress of frequent removal and reattachment. Another adventure (or safety mishap?) waiting to happen!

Well, it’s now almost four o’clock in the afternoon and the day is shot. Making matters worse, I went out after we all got home to get new tires on my car. No big adventure there, till I found out that my rear strut springs are shot and that I’m looking at a thousand-dollar repair job for that. Guess that’ll have to wait till next month, at the earliest.

Last but not least, we got a notice in the mail from our HOA stating that a “random” neighborhood inspection by the architectural team revealed that we’re in violation for –get this—a “dirty bay window panel.” We have thirty days to fix it or face a fine equaling the cost of a repair job. I need to talk to the neighbors I met at the block party last week and resume our discussion about seceding from this HOA and forming our own. The BS is getting ridiculous, and this is the last straw for me.

Anyway, more on the continuing family adventures later this week. I think I'm going to go have a beer (or two, or three). Enjoy your weekend!