Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guilty Until You Pay

The first of March I was in Austin for a few days. I took a class and ate too much, then I went home again. I thought that was the end of it until a week ago when I got a letter in the mail from a company call Violations Management Service. They informed me that my rent car got a parking ticket while in Austin, therefore they were charging me a $40 fee for their service which they had already added to my credit card and that I could expect to get a notice from the City of Austin parking control as well for another $30.00. Austin, of course, had no idea who rented the car, but Advantage Rent-a-Car was more than happy to give them my name as the guilty party.

All this was 2 months ago, so I worried about having a warrant out for my arrest. I went online to verify what I already knew. The parking ticket was written for an expired parking meter, except that my rent car was parked 4 miles away at the time. I have confidence that a meter maid can read a license plate, so I assume that Advantage Rent-a-Car can't read their own records. You'll notice I've used the name Advantage Rent-a-Car a few times. I just want to warn others away from them.

Nothing on my contract specifies the license number of my rent car except the original receipt, which I didn't think I'd ever need after they determined I brought the car back with no new dings. The VMS company wouldn't remove the $40 fee unless I proved to them first that the ticket has been dismissed against me. At least they wouldn't until Advantage Rent-a-Car advised them that they don't charge state employees that fee. The $40, supposedly has now been taken off my card, but I have to wait till I get a copy of the original ticket, a copy of the original signed receipt for the car and prove that they are two different cars. If Advantage Rent-a-Car, however, wrote the license number for the wrong car and I didn't catch their mistake, I then have to provide affadavits from my instructor and classmates to prove I was 4 miles away from the expired parking meter.

I'll let you know how it turns out, unless I get arrested for an outstanding parking ticket. I think I need to go take some alka-seltzer to settle my churning stomach.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Twist's 6 Word Memoir

Nearly published author is satisfied dad.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Page 161 Tag

I'm not much for blog tags. Partly because I only go to the blogs I link to. I'm reading a several books right now. # 3 in the Anne Rice vampire series is Queen of the Damned, but I couldn't find a very interesting quote on that page.

I am reading the Old Testament in Spanish, so here goes:

Números 23:24

He aquí el pueblo que como león se levantará,
Y como león se erguirá;
No se echará hasta que devore la presa,
Y beba la sangre de los muertos.

That last line almost sounds like a line out of the vampire book

Nos veremos más adelante,


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Missed it by That Much

We had a little excitement tonight. My part of the country doesn't get much rain, but when we do, nature puts on quite a show. The lightning, rain and clouds are usually visible from miles away. I have seen some storms through the years that have stayed in my memory to this day. Today's storm may not stay with me for years, but it was exciting while it happened.

The line of storms was heading straight for us. We faithfully watched the television meteorologist with his doppler, super enhanced, colorized radar as it showed the heart of one storm heading straight for our house. The tv station also happens to be about 4 blocks south of our house. The rain started first and was impressive for our area, but then the newsman said they were starting to get golf ball sized hail at the station. I didn't see any hail out the back door, but as I opened it, I could hear random hits of hail around the neighborhood. As the staccato beat picked up considerably as marble sized hail started falling, much to my wife's dismay. Her roses and flowers don't fare well under such treatment.

We considered how to best shield the cars parked outside. Some friends visiting made a run for their car and took off to try and beat the large hail to a garage. We thought about parking my daughter's car on the porch, but about that time the hail tapered off and went away.

In a nutshell, the golf ball sized hail dropped about 3-4 blocks from my house. They say a miss by an inch is a good as a mile.

I'll take the mile every day.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

If You Haven't Got Your Health...

I went to the doctor a week ago to get my blood lab work done. It has to be done once a year to get the doctor to renew my prescriptions. I had hoped to get in and out without needing to wait for the doctor or even paying a co-pay. Sometimes they do that when you are only doing blood work. The doctor had other plans. Since he hadn't really done my yearly exam he took his time. He poked and prodded places that don't take kindly to it. I thought I'd get away after that with no harm done, unfortunately, he took a look at my blood pressure. It was high. I knew it was. I knew it had been, but it's like extra weight. You keep thinking you will cut out the salt, get some exercise and it will go back to normal. He put me on a low dose of high blood pressure medicine. Like my cholesterol medicine, I can't complain about the results though. My lab work came back with great levels on nearly everything. How do you feel, he said. I'm great. Unfortunately, twelve hours later, a sore throat and a cough hit with a vengeance. If it had been earlier, I'd have said I have a cough and sore throat and he'd have given me prescriptions to deal with it. I paid him $30 for a doctor visit and was too cheap to go back and pay it again. A week later, my cough is nearly gone. Oh, well. My prescriptions have been renewed and my blood pressure is down.

I'm feeling much better now.