DMV: Department of "Nice try, but no"

Trip 1:

Me: I just moved to Livermore from Utah, I need to get a California Driver's License and register my car.
Them: Ok, fill out these forms and take a number.
Me: [hands over forms when number is called]
Them: That's $28 for the license and $242 for the registration.
Me: [Grumble, since I just paid $200+ to renew my registration in Utah 3 months ago...]
Them: You'll need to take the written test, but you can't do that now because we don't hand them out after 4:30, and you need to get a smog test done.
Me: [sigh] Ok. Do I get the smog test done here or somewhere else?
Them: You do that here, just come back sometime before 4:30.

Trip 2:

Me: I need to take a written test and do a smog test.
Them: Written Test go to window 14, you get the smog test done at a testing facility.
Me: So, not here, like I was told last time.
Them: No, not here.

Trip 3:

Me: I have my smog test certificate (another $78.50!) and I need to finish registering my car. [hands over stuff]
Them: You need another signature on this form.
Me: Why?
Them: Because Debora is on the previous registration, so she needs to sign the form as well.
Me: Why didn't someone mention this the last 2 times I was here trying to do this?
Them: They must have overlooked it.

GAH! I've now paid almost $350 and still have nothing. Ok... not quite nothing, I did get the license part done, but I don't actually _have_ a license, I won't get that for another 4 to 6 weeks.

I can tell you exactly why California's government is bankrupt. If the rest of their departments run as efficiently as the DMV there's no reason to wonder. Not to mention that the DMV is only open 4 days a week and closes at 5:00pm. When do they expect people that have jobs to get this done exactly?


I offered to keep my nerd-posts to my original blog, but Jess said, "If you're still going to post to your old blog, there's no reason to have a joint blog." So, I'm posting a nerdy post to start things out.

The video card in my desktop has been dying slowly over the last couple of months. I was hoping it wouldn't die on me completely, like some of my hardware (I'm looking at you laptop), until I had finished my thesis and moved. Well, it honored that request and lived not a minute longer. I got my computer out and setup so I could make some bookmark changes to my thesis so it can get approved by the electronic submission people, and the fan wouldn't spin at all.

Needing to make these changes regardless of fan operation, but not wanting to run the system without a fan on the video card I had a problem to solve. I have 2 old little fans that I took off of broken motherboards. These have been sitting in a "nerd box", as Jess refers to it, since my electronics lab Physics course. I took off the dead fan and determined that the possible replacement fans wouldn't quite fit and the electrical plugs were slightly too large. So, with some creative adjustments (cutting off the circle of plastic that goes around the outside of the fins) and a little extra force on the electrical pins I got a fan in place and it spins. I probably shouldn't be playing any graphics-intensive games until I get a new card, but I can at least make changes to my thesis and browse the web.

Here's the mess which is my video card:
Franke-video card