Archive for 2005

    Driving test

    Friday, August 26th, 2005

    Today’s behind the wheel driving test didn’t go exactly as planned, I didn’t even make it to the behind the wheel part. Apparently there is a new law that you need to have at least 60 days left on your visa to get a permit and I only have 22, I shouldn’t have got my learner’s permit but the woman who served me on the previous visit didn’t know any better. They now say I have until 17 September to get proof that I am legally allowed to be here and take the test otherwise I have to start again and do the written test and pay for it all over again! Nice to see that there are incompetent government employees in every country.

    I did manage to pick up my next batch of forms to fill in to confirm who I am and everything I’ve done in my life (yet again), oh and the list of fees which runs to another $1,000. They are pretty much the same questions that I answered when I was in England, the UK should pick up on this and they could probably double the NHS budget on the money they make – $70 to let them take my fingerprint for a third time?!?

    On a lighter note, just finished watching the last episode of Ricky Gervais’ Extras. Got funnier as the series went on, the last 2 (with Samuel L Jackson & Patrick Stewart) were particularly good.

    Registries

    Friday, August 19th, 2005

    I had fun the other day going round a few stores with a hand held scanner, scanning everything that caught my eye. We were making a wedding gift registry so they gave me the scanner to go round the store rather than write everything down. I’m easily amused.

    If anyone is feeling generous and wants to help us out in getting started with stuff for our new place (once we get it!) then we are registered at www.target.com (under ‘gift registries’) and www.robinsonsmay.com (under ‘wedding registry’). We already have a few things thanks to Brenda’s work colleagues who threw her a surprise bridal shower – we now have 2 George Forman grills! Usually the registry works though so you can see what others have already bought.

    Got myself a new printer – Epson Stylus R200 for about £50, prints out photo quality so am really impressed with it. My behind the wheel driving test is booked for next week, from all I’ve heard it involves a 5 minute drive around the block in an automatic and then you can drive away in a manual truck. At least once I have a California license I’ll be allowed to drink at Dave & Buster’s – they don’t see a passport as an acceptable form of ID!!

    L Plates

    Thursday, August 11th, 2005

    I’m official a learner driver again. Today I passed my written driving test and now have an instruction permit, which allows me to drive while another licensed driver is in the car with me. It was the same thing as the UK test, you have to get 7 out of 36 wrong to fail with questions like “Crossing railroad tracks in slow traffic a) Stop between the crossing gates in case they close b) Stop on the tracks and wait for a green light c) wait until the crossing is clear. I still got one wrong!

    I’ve got to book a practical test now but I was driving Brenda’s car around today and I’m getting the hang of it. Her Mustang is wider than my Fiesta (which would get lost in the huge lanes here) and I tried depressing the clutch approaching traffic lights a couple of times only to find it missing from the car. Only problem is I don’t think I’ll be getting driven around much any more!

    Social security

    Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

    I’ve finally received my social security number which means I can open a bank account, which means I can prove an address for credit cards, can get a driving license and once a bit more paper work is done can get a job. I’m on George’s list but for at least another 5 years (until naturalisation) he can’t use me as one of his toy soldiers.

    The tux is sorted and I should be picking up my ring this week, I’m actually getting things done before the last week!! Fortunately there’s plenty more for me to sort out in the coming month so there’s still opportunity for the mad rush at the end.

    If anyone requires any electrical goods (or any other goods that you want to bring back or have brought back) if you can give me a couple of weeks notice I’ll see what I can find out here and bring it to Vegas and sell it on out of a car boot in a dodgy car park. Just so it really feels like you’re getting a bargain.

    I got shot

    Thursday, July 28th, 2005

    I’m becoming more American every day, I’ve now been involved in my first drive by shooting. It happened the other night when Brenda & I went out for a run, we were walking down a road in one of the nicer parts of town when a car drove past and I was shot in the arse by a BB gun of some sort. Fortunately it only grazed my left buttock so there was no skin breakage or bruising but I think they were just trying to make me feel more a part of the great American society. I decided not to pursue the shooter as he and his friends looked like criminals. I later spotted them shooting their other friends on a tennis court.

    Charlton Heston was not available for comment.

    Pimpmobile

    Sunday, July 24th, 2005

    While on the lookout for a new car I stumbled across this beauty. Leather seats, convertible, radio & casette, horn on the roof, carpeted exterior with mohican. And check out the number plate!

    A bargain at just over £1,000………

    Phones

    Thursday, July 21st, 2005

    I’ve got round to buying myself a new phone, the Sony one that lasted me a year and a half got too annoying – sorry to those who have been recieving half a text followed by the full thing, or even empty texts. It seems to send a text whenever it feels like it so my bill should be ridiculously high this month with all the extras.

    I’m now on Cingular, which I believe works with O2 & T-Mobile for texts at the moment and hopefully they will have the full range soon. If I don’t forward the number to you just send me a nudging email. Got a reasonable discount of $100 off the phones, the guy I bought them from reminded me of Spanish market sellers who don’t let you leave until they have halved the price and got a sale. It is slightly disturbing that we have a “his & hers” set of phones – Brenda has the black Razr and I have the same one in silver. I suppose this is the kind of thing that happens when you become an old married couple.

    Still, it looks the part anyway….

    Chapel details

    Monday, July 11th, 2005

    The date has finally been confirmed, 12pm on 10 September 2005 (8pm UK time). The wedding will be at The Little Church of the West in Las Vegas, one of the few that don’t look tacky and like you’d get mugged by a bum on the way out. The ceremony will be available via webcam and will be followed by much festivity (not available via webcam but probably via Paul’s photos). That’s one bit sorted……..

    Soccertainment

    Thursday, July 7th, 2005

    That posting seemed to work well enough.

    A couple of days ago (on Independence Day) I went along with Brenda & her family to The Home Depot Center to see Los Angeles Galaxy Vs New England Revolution. It was an enjoyable experience, although somewhat different to a drizzly afternoon at White Hart Lane.

    To start there was a “moment’s silence” for someone who had helped set up the league and passed away the previous week. It was actually a moment, no more than 10 seconds and only a few crowd members seemed to obeserve it anyway. Once that was out of the way the team was announced, each player as if they were a heavyweight boxer (“Cooooooobiiiiiiiii Jooooooones”). The kick of in each half was along the same lines from the announcer “Arrrrrreeeee youuuuuuu readyyyyyyyyyyy?”

    The football wasn’t of the highest quality, although I’m used to that, and the result was disappointing, although I’m used to that too. The best player on the pitch was Cobi Jones and he’s already 35, there’s still a long way to go seeing as these were two of the top clubs in the country. You can get in for about a tenner though which beats any premiership team and the fans are a lot more into it that I imagined they would be although they did boo their striker when he missed a 1-on-1 (he later scored LA’s only goal so maybe booing your own players works out here!)

    Hoping to go back for the Real Madrid game in a couple of weeks.

    A link to the outside world

    Thursday, July 7th, 2005

    As my brand new shiny PC has arrived I thought I should start a blog to keep in touch with those back in the cloudy country.

    Here’s a pic of my chosen method of communication to get things started – I’ve never tried one of these things before so let’s see how it comes out………