grab bag

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as i mentioned before, i was in training tuesday through friday of this week. i went to lunch with the class instructor every day. he's from canada and had only been in Texas a couple of times before. thursday evening i took him out for some Texas bbq at luling city market on richmond. as a proud native Texan, how could i in good conscience not do that?

thursday between the time the class ended and when i met him at luling city market, i dropped my motorcycle off for a new rear tire and the 24k maintenance. sue and her entourage followed in my element and met me at the dealership. on the way there, on whatever farm to market westheimer turns into, i thought i ran out of gas. there was nowhere to pull over so i just kind of coasted to the curb on right side of the road. there was no shoulder, or pull-offs, or anything. so it was fairly dark and three lanes of traffic were coming at me at 50 to 70 mph. i was really concerned i and/or my motorcycle was going to get destroyed. i called sue to see if she if she could stop and get me gas. this also meant i wasn't going to make it to the dealership before the service area closed. then something clicked in my head and i went to the bike and felt the gas valve. for some reason, when i got on the bike at the house i'd thought it was on reserve, so when it ran out i thought i was done. it was actually on regular, so i still had my reserve left. about this time a guy on a motorcycle pulled up behind me to see if i needed help. at this point i was feeling stupid for making such a dumb mistake, and now i had another biker there. plus he was behind me, so now i was worried about him getting killed by a car. i told him it was a gas problem but i should be able to get a little further, plus i had someone coming to help me. so he took off, then i hopped on the bike, flipped the valve to reserve, and took off. i got to the shop a little after service area is supposed to close, but they hadn't closed up yet so they let me drop it off. thank goodness, because it was cold and dark and i'd made a stupid mistake, so i really didn't want to have to turn right around and ride home.

today we got out of training around 12:30pm, so i had quite a few normal business hours to take care of some stuff...

first i went by the civil court house to get a "real" certified harris county divorce decree. what i learned there is that what my attorney sent me is a certified divorce decree. it turns out everything is electronic these days, so you don't get an embossed seal on it, and it's on regular white paper. both the dmv and the bank think it's going to be on pink or yellow paper and/or it'll have an embossed seal. nope, that's not true anymore. but evidently the word hasn't gotten out. the clerk at the county office was nice enough to take my paper with the electronic seal and stamp on top of it with their seal so it is embossed now.

while i was there, i went ahead and got a certified copy of the court approved qdro as well. and she embossed the county seal on it as well. my next step will be to call my retirement folk and see if i can submit it to them myself instead of waiting on tamara and/or her attorney's office to take care of it. the clerk seemed to think neither attorney is responsible for submitting the qdro to my retirement fund company. i'm not sure whose job it is then, since tamara's attorney acted like it was their side but they never told me tamara was supposed to do it. whatever the case, i'll figure it out and then i'll send them a letter.

from the civil court office i headed over to the dmv to get the title of the vw bus changed into just my name. last time they told me i needed the title and a power of attorney, or a certified divorce decree. but last time i never could find the title so i didn't have it, and i had at the time what they thought was a generic copy of the divorce decree. this time i came armed with the same decree, just with the embossed seal. (i still haven't ever found that stupid old title though.) they accepted the divorce decree this time, but they wouldn't have if it didn't have that raised seal. anyway, i successfully managed to get the title of the bus changed into just my name though. i was hoping maybe i could get them to correct the typo they made on the title to my pickup, but they told me i needed to have the title with me. i'll have to save that one for another day.

from the dmv i headed over to a big post office at the edge of downtown on franklin, where i submitted my application for a passport. that took an hour and a half, mostly of waiting, but they accepted all of my paperwork and i should be getting my passport within a couple of weeks. i've never had a passport before. i'm thinking there may be a trip to hong kong, taiwan, and/or china in my near future.

the original plan was to next head down to clear lake to go by the bank and take them the now-even-more-certified certified divorce decree -- that way when they took over the financing on the element they could get the title changed to just be in my name (since the leinholder keeps the title and i can't actually make changes to it myself). unfortunately, there wasn't going to be enough time for me to drive down there before they closed, so i had to delay that task for another day. but since it's going to take up to 10 to 15 business days for honda financial to get my bank a fax of the current title, it's really not a pressing concern.

all told, i accomplished a fair bit this afternoon. time having run out for accomplishing tasks, i headed to niko niko's to eat a late lunch and early supper. afterward, i dropped by the half price books near westheimer and montrose where i picked up a couple of books and one cd:

  • * houston: a history by david g. mccomb (university of Texas press)
  • * lone star rising: the revolutionary birth of the Texas republic by william c. davis (free press)
  • * i'll sail my ship alone - moon mullican (proper)

after that i headed over to tropioca for the geek gathering (a monthly event of the radio show i'm a part of). it was a pretty decent crowd, although as usual it was people trickling in and out over the hours of the gathering.

in completey unrelated events, boltz dropped the prices on their bed frames. it's very possible there may be a new bed frame in my future after i move.

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ahhh, the joys of bed frame shopping.

oddly enough, my (now ex) wife and i looked for a bed frame for years on and off. we never found one we both really liked. i'm not sure she cared, but i wanted something that was good quality and looked nice and would last a long time. finally i gave in and bought a cheaper metal one from ikea that she liked. after she took off, i decided to get a bed frame i like. and some of the boltz frames look pretty cool, imo. i'd kind of like a "classic" wood frame, but i never found anything that exactly struck my fancy and these minimalist metal square tubing frames look pretty slick.

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