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October 2, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Driven to Whoa.

Had to renew driver’s license – in person.

I knew it was coming – also I knew there would be a meteor strike, hurricane, pandemic, Zombie Apocalypse, riot, flooding, road construction where all the exits are closed or have moved, a massive car wreck blocking the road on the way  – or a combination of all of the above – to make the experience even more fun.

Nothing like long lines with 3-6 hrs waits in the heat at the “new improved” consolidated regional Super Center for driver’s licenses…even if you managed to snag an appointment time on line. Those solidly booked for months and months.

When the Governor closed everything, people cheered the only good thing: no one could get driver’s licenses renewed for as long as the emergency declaration was in place.

And even after that people would have 60 days grace period once it was over.

Mask. Spooky rear window decall (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Cult of the Mask? Mask up or die? Virtue signaling or extremist, difficult to say. People are so angry and narrow-minded now. Not worth the risk. We changed lanes. Of course this was perfect to set the mood for the morning event.(© image)

Only it’s not over and may never be

And these darn computer generated no doubt, letters keep arriving about “your license is about to expire…” with a completely contradictory statement also on it about…pandemic…emergency declaration…60 days grace period…etc. etc.

So why mail the letter if…

Pandemic recommendations are to avoid crowds, avoid small closed rooms full of people, and avoid surfaces touched by a lot of people.

Whyyyyyy couldn’t they just let me renew online one more time? One more time! I promise to show up in person next time, but no.

Even though the Federally mandated “special security” seal indicating you presented required documents to prove your identity has been put on pause.

But, no.

They want to see your smiling little face…and documents and fingerprints and all the rest to complete their not so little data hoard.

Witch in the back window. Halloween wiper decal sign ( Image: MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

Spotted you and your little dog with expired tags, too! Ah-HaHaHaHaaaa.” (Halloween waving arm wiper sticker. Image: MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

For a while I just shove the problem back. Why worry over nothing. Not driving anyway.

Any idea that it had anything to do with concerns over the aging eyes is totally out of line.

I have one far sighted eye and one near sighted eye – always worked fine up to now…only last eye doc visit seem to indicate they were becoming more same sighted eyes.

But nothing to worry about.

Recently, preferring to face a problem, get it over with, and not worry about it, I pulled up the DPS DMV website.

There had been rumors that some DMV offices were open.

Whispers said the one in our county was open half day and was super fast if you got there early ’cause no one knew about it. It was said you could actually schedule an appointment online. Even better, all forms were there so they could be filled out ahead of time

So I ventured a click – and was stunned to see weeks and weeks of open morning only appointments.

Yes! First appointment on a Wed. I’d roll out of bed in the dark, throw on clothes and tell the dog we’ll morning walk later. 

  • Covid cases are really really low. With any second wave, along with flu season arriving, there might not be a better chance.
  • Sooner or later the Governor’s going to tell people grace period is over (So you slackers, get moving…all 10-18 months worth of people crowding in to get licenses.)
  • Besides it’s gorgeous weather so who else would possibly go to DMV when they really didn’t have to?
  • In addition, this way the bad picture can be shrugged off as COVID haircut.
Grim Reaper Demon Wizard waving arm wiper sticker (Image: MIYSNEIRN / Amazon)

“Come on down. Of course it’s safe. We wouldn’t be open otherwise. You can trust your government agencies…”(Image.MIYSNEIRN / Amazon)

Of course there was construction, a massive wreck on the causeway bridge so the 25 min dash was more like a hour, but preemptively planned for difficulties, so no problema…with transit

The rumors were right about only 6-7 parking spaces. Who thinks 6-7 parking places are sufficient at the drivers’ license office?

And there was a line of 8 people already waiting for the door to open…and not all standing on the social distancing spacing lines.

But I had an appointment and filled out forms, so it still looked good.

The line went faster than expected – not uneventful.

  • One woman stormed off when they wouldn’t let her in without a mask.
  • Another Mom and teenage first time driver angrily left when told first timers had to make an appointment. Mom’s exit was far worse than the daughter’s.
  • Another mom (with whimsical waist length rainbow hair) furiously departed when told she could come in, but her 8th grade daughter (with cute turquoise hair tucked under her baseball cap) would have to wait outside.

The rest of us clutched our papers. Worried about unexpected pitfalls.

“Does anyone here have an appointment?” (Oh, yea! Hands up!)

“What are you here for?”

“Do you have any COVID symptoms? Have you been around anyone with COVID symptoms? Let me take your temperature.”

“Do you have the required documents? Passport?”

With all the forms filled out, I got to step up to the line and read the eye chart. A real old fashioned eye chart! Comfort level much improved.

I hate those lean over and stare into those attached to the counter View-Master type featuring lighted letters to read on one side at a time. Those seemed germy even before COVID.

YEA! Only had to read the bottom line with one eye twice. Whew.

View-Master Model G (USPD released/Commons.wikimedia.org)

In case the reference was a mystery. View-Master Model G is a stereo-scope that used cardboard discs with cellophane film images in full color around it. Seems like some were 3-D. These used to make my eyes hurt as I tried to focus.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Other than my reading glasses fogging up at the check-in to the DMV computer kiosk (which oddly is done after all the rest), it was pretty fast…2 counter spots, not much waiting with only the 2 employees and 2 people allowed in at a time.

De-masked, smile, click, and done….

After weaving way through some unhappy people sort of line-lumped outside the door.

Giggled over the hefty, gold chain ladened, wanna-be rapper who parked his vehicle with California plates absolutely in the middle of the filled tiny L-shaped parking lot driveway. (Dude. Yawn. We have actual big time rappers locally. You may have been hot snot in Cali, but…)

Normally, since already on Galveston Island, it would be a nice beach stroll, maybe wander The Strand and some antique shop, take a few pictures of wharfs, dunes, or historic houses. Then a nice seafood lunch.

But it’s not normal.

Still, the driver’s license is updated: a small normal better than no normal.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Hey I got an idea, if we have to show multiple documents and photo ID proving who we are to get a driver’s license, what about something like that for voting? (Says the victim of long term voter fraud using my name. Raising awareness and fighting voter fraud since 2011)

Dinosaur eating a car moving rear window wiper decal (Image MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

I think this one’s mine. (Image MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

Hockey mask killer waving arm windshield wiper decal ( MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

Signal to the world you’re worried about a second COVID outbreak? Taking time to wave you down, if you’re so driven, here’s where you find Hockey mask killer waving arm windshield wiper decal. They have Santa and reindeer, too. While Molly Malamute was disappointed in the growling German Shepherd, and paw waving Husky, we give paws up for the tail wagging Dalmatian and the really cute beaver.(Image: MIYSNEIRN/Amazon)

24 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / Oct 2 2020 6:40 am

    Ha! I put it off and put it off, and am well past my expiration date. However! I have an appointment for October 12, first thing in the morning, down at Texas City. Even better, I managed to find my birth certificate — necessary because my passport’s expired. Like you, I wasn’t able to renew online this time. I don’t fault them for that, since my last renewal was good for five years or some such.

    Glad you survived, and that you’re street-legal now. I’m carrying a printed copy of my DPS appointment in my car, just in case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 2 2020 6:56 am

      Cheers for snagging a spot in a low key locale. They are bound to have better parking arrangements. I just figured this was the clearest window we were going to get. (And looking forward to online renewals) Hope your experience is a treat not a tricky situation. Thanks for being driven to add a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. easyweimaraner / Oct 2 2020 6:43 am

    I hate it to show up somewhere this times… what an adventure it is… but I’m no longer pipi longstocking or Indiana Jones , so I fear this days…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 2 2020 7:02 am

      People say I wear the space suit mask instead of a pretty one, but maybe it’s better to be Darth Vader instead of designer right now…and stay as far away as possible from people as much as possible. Appreciate the precautions the DMV had in place…but not the people in line who kept pulling down masks and crowding up on the one ahead of them. Pretty sci-fi – and I want Flash Gordon’s ship.Thanks for lining up a comment

      Like

  3. Audrey Kalman / Oct 2 2020 12:00 pm

    Whew. What a story. For the workshop I’m teaching this fall I used the prompt “Write about one of your characters’ experiences at the DMV.” I think I caused trauma and panic-induced stress in some of the students. I may retire that prompt! But glad you got your business taken care of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 2 2020 2:14 pm

      Emotion can create good writing HAHA. It’s fun to work with budding writers.
      Glad that adventure is over for a couple of years. Thanks for checking in with a comment

      Like

  4. Kate Crimmins / Oct 2 2020 1:07 pm

    I did that last year, pre-covid. Little did I know how lucky I was. We still have to upgrade our ID so we can fly but that was shut down. Not sure if they reopened it. In any case, I have a passport and that should be good enough as I never fly anyway.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 2 2020 2:19 pm

      Actually I thought about it last year, but they built these massive DMV regional centers and didn’t have enough people working there so the waits were all day, and the appointments were booked solid. The Gov. forced them to hire more people and said they would be trained and working by the end of Jan …but by then, our med. contacts said to get supplies and stay home immediately. Who knew it would be shut for so long. The state website was not very helpful or functional, but the small county one was easy, fast – and apparently no one knows about it. Lucked out. Our passports are still good, but just a happy to have the “special seal” done…although the Fed hit pause on that supposedly….if you have to fly….maybe get one of those personal jet packs instead? HAHA
      Thanks for parking a comment here

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anne Mehrling / Oct 2 2020 3:49 pm

    Now that was above and beyond the call of duty! You were brave and courageous.

    My son was supposed to have a driver’s test because he forgot to renew his license, but the testing was shut down six months ago. He now has an appointment to get a permit, so he’ll be able to drive if one of us is in the car with him. I think he has driven legally for 22 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 2 2020 4:09 pm

      OMG At times like these, can’t they use some common sense and be flexible. At least our Gov instructed law enforcement that those with expired licenses were not to be ticketed until after emergency orders were removed…and then you had 60 days to update licenses. I just worried once everything was “go” there would be a huge rush of people at the DMV trying for few slots…and that the virus wasn’t really gone so everyone would get sick from exposure in the crowd. Someone tipped me off to the small office opened mornings only. Whew. Glad it’s done. Have to hand it to the staff – they were organized, kind, and polite – as well as firm with those not following very clear instructions. It was tricky, but now done. What a mess. (I feel like that dinosaur window sticker ) Thanks for shifting into gear to comment here

      Like

      • Anne Mehrling / Oct 2 2020 7:58 pm

        I’m so glad your story ended well. Happy driving, even if you aren’t going anywhere.

        Like

  6. sustainabilitea / Oct 2 2020 4:55 pm

    As weird as we found Arizona to be about this type of thing (they make you get an AZ title but it’s only online unless you need a copy or sell the vehicle) at least we could pony up extra fees and go to an efficient third-party business to get AZ driver’s license (just presented my IL one), van license (much more cheaply made than in IL–letting prisoners get away with things?–and only front), and registration (all mailed, as the third-party place has to send it to the real place. But thank goodness you got in and out again without a 6-8 hour wait!! That’s outrageous.

    janet

    Like

  7. Spinster / Oct 2 2020 6:23 pm

    Glad mine was done last year because my goodness, I don’t know how I’d manage doing that this year. I renewed something for travel last week; it was supposed to have been done months ago, but it was delayed (not by me) numerous times b/c of the pandemic. Luckily, like you, I was able to go somewhere very low-key to get the renewal done and I was in & out in a few minutes.

    “One woman stormed off when they wouldn’t let her in without a mask” <<< there's always one.

    "Giggled over the hefty, gold chain laden, wanna-be rapper who parked his vehicle with California plates absolutely in the middle of the filled tiny L-shaped parking lot driveway. (Dude. Yawn. We have actual big time rappers locally. You may have been hot snot in Cali, but…)" <<< Yawn (and funny) indeed.

    Like

  8. disperser / Oct 2 2020 9:04 pm

    Following rules mostly works . . . and I think the knife should have the sharp edge facing down as the “chop” looks more realistic than the current configuration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 3 2020 8:19 am

      Definitely…some people just can’t carry an idea to the finish and get the details correct…especially these days. Thanks for straightening the line

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Trent Lewin / Oct 3 2020 6:07 pm

    wow, what an ordeal. it’s a good time to get critical stuff done. Soon, there won’t be an option.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. marina kanavaki / Oct 4 2020 1:44 pm

    Waiting in lines is dreadful these days, not to mention having to deal with public services! Bravo, my friend for a job accomplished without bumps on the way! 😉

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 5 2020 7:49 am

      Life has gotten so complicated. Good to be wary. Hope life is smoothing out where you are. Thanks for parking a comment here
      Paw waves and have a nice week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • marina kanavaki / Oct 5 2020 8:01 am

        My pleasure! Well, not exactly smoothing as we have case rising, although that’s probably because they are testing heavily now. I doubt we’ll ever get our lives back, but it’s Monday… a new week and we have those smiling paws, so Happy Monday and a great week ahead to you too!

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 5 2020 4:46 pm

          They can test all they want (so many different types/versions of tests make actual number of cases questionable here). There’s no agreement here with the antibody test on what level antibodies determines “ill”, “recovered”, “not ill with no exposure”
          All that matters is the number of COVID patients going into the hospitals, the munger of Covid patients in the ICU, and there number of deaths actually from COVID (tricky, that. Did they die from underlying conditions while sick with COVID? Did they actually die from the COVID virus? They keep trying to decided how to code the deaths…which skews the statistics – no hard, non-subjective rule and pattern.)
          Everyone keeps saying “follow the science” when the reality is that there is no “science” or track record with this virus. No pattern. It attacks in so many different ways – and different in different people. It hardly bothers some, yet brings others to their knees. No uniformity.
          We have to learn to live with it somehow – adjust behavior patterns, keep immune systems up, get lots of sunshine vitamin D…and sadly stay back from people. The worst is what all this hysteria and uncertainty is doing to the children.
          Smiling paws make a difference! Onward with determination and smiles…smiles and laughter keep you healthy

          Like

          • marina kanavaki / Oct 6 2020 2:34 am

            D3 and zinc and C!
            And more importantly No TV or news watching! On a side note, I don’t really trust SCIENCE. It was a scientist who invented the atomic bomb and other ‘good’ things and they make it up as they go along with us (or animals) as guinea pigs, only now they’re doing it in collaboration with technology. Now how ‘promising’ is that?! Anyway, I remain optimistic (god knows why!) at our human nature, so still smiling!
            Paw waves and smiles for a happy Tuesday!

            Liked by 1 person

          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 6 2020 8:40 am

            Ah, don’t blame the researchers – their vision of what they have discovered is often opposite to what those who that grab the knowledge intend to do with it.
            Hmm, “science” ..will have to check the origin of that word and original meaning…snothe poor word beaten up and robbed of it’s identity and true meaning?
            And zinc – it was mentioned early (like Feb) but then overwhelmed by information and misinformation. I still need to locate the recommended dosage – always found those zinc cold-eze tablets left quite an after taste
            Optimists do better with survival – as well as having more fun…dog choose them first, I think HAHA
            Onward with the sun!

            Liked by 1 person

          • marina kanavaki / Oct 6 2020 8:44 am

            Yep yep… dog choose them first!!! Paw waves and smiles!

            Liked by 1 person

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