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Ups 'n' downs


I glanced at someone's license plate on the way to work yesterday morning and suddenly realized that I never got a car-registration renewal notice this year (mostly my fault, as I seem to have neglected to file a change-of-address form, though it's a bit odd that it didn't get forwarded the way most other mail has been), and that my registration expires at the end of June. Which is today.

Luckily, the Department of Motor Vehicles had an appointment open this afternoon, and I was working at home today so I could go to it.

I got to the DMV office 15 minutes early (practically unheard-of for me), and discovered that the building where the Mountain View DMV office has always been was now labeled as some other sort of official state building. Something about business operations. It had been painted, too. And there were two big signs out front, both giving the addresses of the DMV offices in other cities.

So I called the 800 number on the sign and asked which DMV office I should go to, and they told me the DMV office in Mountain View on Showers Drive was open.

I said I was right in front of that address and there was no sign of a DMV office.

They said, "Are you at [number I forget] Showers?" I looked at the big sign with the number on the front of the building and said yes. They said, "Then go in."

So I went in, and sure enough, it was a DMV office, apparently among other things. They'd just cleverly removed any indication of such from the outside. I think the idea is that there are now only certain things you can do at that office, such as renew registrations; for example, I suspect you can no longer take driving tests there.

Unfortunately, it turned out this was a year when I needed a smog check (I think that happens every other year 'round here), and they wouldn't give me a registration sticker without one, though they happily took my money before telling me that.

So I went to my local gas station and they said I would have to come back at 3 if I wanted a smog check, and by now I was having nightmares of failing the smog check and having to get the car fixed tomorrow and not being able to get the registration renewed and getting ticketed and so on.

But I went and bought some yummy grapes, and came back to the gas station at 3, and they did the smog check, and it passed without a problem, and I have a new appointment at the DMV tomorrow early afternoon, so everything is much better. For now, anyway.

Other things that've cheered me up recently:

Late last week, I spent a while poking around on the web trying to find TV theme songs. (Prompted by hearing the Rawhide theme on "Freshhhair.") I particularly wanted the original recording of the Hill Street Blues theme—not some imitation of it. There are a whole bunch of collected-TV-themes albums out there, but most are non-original recordings, and the one series that appears to be mostly originals (at least after volume 1, which is only about 2/3 originals)—TV's Greatest Hits—had several themes I would've liked but they were scattered across several CDs, and apparently the sound quality isn't great. But just as I was about to give up and buy volume 3 of that series, I happened across TV Guide Presents: 50 All-Time Favorite TV Themes, which is just about perfect for my purposes. It doesn't include a few that I wanted (The Partridge Family, Dr. Who, Newhart, The Prisoner, Wild Wild West), but it does include about 7 that I really like and another 6 or 8 that I'm happy to have, plus a couple dozen that I don't feel strongly about one way or t'other. So I ordered it from Amazon (I wouldn't have known it existed if not for them), along with a couple books I'd been meaning to buy, and settled down to wait for it to arrive.

Over the weekend, I discovered some roses that a friend had left for me (from my backyard rosebushes)—she's been doing some much-appreciated yardwork for me. Thanks! (But I'm not sure how to refer to you here—by LJ name or real first name or real initials or what. This happens a lot, actually, with friends of mine who don't use their real names on LJ; never quite sure what to call them.)

Got to see my old friend Mykle on Monday night; had a nice chat with him.

Yesterday, despite some happy-making successes on the morning train regarding getting Perl filters to work for converting HTML to RTF and RTF to text (which, oddly enough, we need for two unrelated things), I got into a grumpy mood in the late afternoon at work; also hungry, though I had a decent-sized and late lunch. I finally ended up leaving work half an hour early and catching an earlier train. And then a bunch of nice things happened: I was in a less shaky train car than usual, and I got some useful work done on the train, and when I got off the train I ordered Indian food to go from Sue's, and then I went into Books Inc. for five minutes and bought both new Hartwell/Cramer Year's Best anthologies, and then I got home and found the TV themes CD waiting for me. I ripped the music into iTunes and listened to it while reading the notes (a paragraph of history and info for each piece), and have had bits of TV theme tunes running through my head all day today. For someone who doesn't much like TV and doesn't watch much of it, and isn't much interested in soundtrack music, I seem to have picked up a surprising affinity for some of this music. I've even seen episodes of a surprising (to me) number of these shows.

This morning Kam informed me that she's an aunt again, which is to say her sister's baby has been successfully born.

Finally, today after my smog check I stopped at a light while driving home and heard honking and yelling from behind me. I tried to ignore it—it looked like two guys in a pickup, and I figured they were probably saying something obnoxious—but they kept it up, so finally I looked back, and discovered that they were letting me know my gas-tank door was open. I waved and yelled thanks and pulled over and closed it. It was just plain nice of them, and it nicely messed with my stereotypes. Made me happy. Yay for people being nice to strangers!

Oh, and though Apple has still not fixed my problem with the Music Store, nor have they refunded the money I paid them for the music I haven't received, they did finally drop me a nice enough note letting me know that they're working on the problem and will let me know as soon as they resolve it. Not perfect—it's been two weeks now!—but much much better than their previous lack of response.

Now I'm gonna go eat some leftover Indian food. And then read some submissions.


Yeah, I have the TV Toons TeeVee's Greatest Hits collection for the 70s, which is full of good themes but crappy in quality. On the other hand, they sound a lot like they did coming out of my little TV speaker in the 70s, so perhaps it's not such a bad thing.

Psst... you can call me Nao in reference to my LJ, even though it's not my complete real name or my LJ username. But I really wouldn't mind if our mutual acquaintances who don't know that I have an LJ recognized my nickname and found me that way.

Online etiquette is so weird sometimes.

I like it a lot when stereotypes and first impressions get messed with. One night I was walking home from the grocery store pretty late (in a not-terribly-safe section of West Philly) and a guy suddenly came around the corner. He was a big, tough-looking scary guy, and had something black under his left arm and was reaching for it with his right hand. My city-boy instincts screamed "Gun!" and I was tensing to dive, when I realized he was carrying a little black kitten and it had squirmed its way into his armpit.

Good grapes seem like an excellent antidote to the DMV.

How about Twig? That's my name according to my LJ user info.

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