the weather has been getting way too close to being really nice, so today i took off early from work to try and take care of business related to my motorcycle license plate being stolen.
first i went by the houston police department and picked up a police report to prove that it had been stolen (or at least that i had reported it as stolen, i guess). the process was actually simple and pretty fast, and since i didn't get a certified one or anything it only cost me 10 cents (1 page at 10 cents per page). i put 10 times that (or more) in the meter, which turned out to be rather unnecessary -- but when you're dealing with bureacracy, who knows?
after the police department, i went over to the county tax office to see about getting a temp tag or something until my new personalized specialty plate comes in. other than a broken meter causing me to have to move to a different block to park (and eating one of my quarters), the process was again pretty fast and easy. the lady at the tax office suggested i actually get a new plate instead of a temp tag, since a replacement plate costs $6.30 and a 30-day temp tag costs $25.00. i decided that was a good idea. after my new plate comes in, i'll simply return this one to the tax office when i pick up the new one.
i came back to the house and put my generic new plate on the bike, wiped the dust off the seat from the weeks of it sitting there sad and neglected, and went for a ride. the bike started right up and ran fine. i drove over to the office and faxed my new plate request (along with the police report) to the specialty plates division in austin. the only exciting part was during my return, when my engine started sputtering and died while i was going 90 or so mph up 288. i use the trip odometer to gauge how much gas i have and it was only at around 46 miles. once i got over and came to a stop on the shoulder, i went ahead and flipped to reserve and the bike started right up. later on i remembered my battery connections had been loose and i'd had to retighten them. that loss of battery connection would reset the trip odometer, thus explaining why i had to go to reserve at such a low trip value.
anyway, with all that taken care of, now i just have to wait the two or three weeks for austin to approve and cut my plate, then send it to the tax office here in harris county. so hopefully soon i'll be back on the road again with a cool plate. although it won't say "h4xr" anymore. what will the new one say? stay tuned and find out.