Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Carmel, Indiana License Branch

I have not had a good experience at a license in all the years that I have had my license. Today was the first.

It started with the web site. Each branch had listed its average time to get people in and out of the branch. It also had listed the average time for the entire state to get people in and out of all branches. Then you can compare the average time of the branch you are interested in as compared to the rest of the state and compared to others in your area.

The site also eluded to that I could go to any branch in the state to do what I needed to do. What I needed for renewing plates, which in the past was the one thing I think I had to do at a branch in my county. I called to try to get confirmation. The lady I talked to said that she was pretty sure that I could go anywhere. I have been burned by calling places and then the story not being the same when I got there in person. This time when I got there everything was fine.

License branches have always felt like K-Mart when I have gone into them. This one felt a lot more comfortable. Just like with the other things I am going to comment on here I'm not sure at this point if it was just this branch.

When I walked in they had the usual check in line to route you correctly. The line was five people deep, but the people that were doing the servicing were coming available. They immediately called people over before they checked in. That was good that the thing designed to make things more efficient did not become a bottle neck.

I was in and out in just a few minutes. If this is common across the entire state then I'm feeling a bit better about our state government. Although, this still does not make up for that Daylight Saving Time thing, but that is probably driven by a different department.

Farley's Gummy Bears

A friend bought a five pound bag of Farley's Gummy Bears. He brought them in to share partly because he is a generous guy and partly because he had to unload these travesties of gelatin candy.

I love gummy candy and I love to eat, but these things were very difficult for even me to stomach. It was not for the lack of trying. I ate many of these, trying to make them enjoyable, but they just made my stomach hurt.

Friday, May 18, 2007

CBS Innertube - Why do the ads have to be so LOUD?

I have being trying out some of the television network web sites that have reruns of their shows online. Most of the interfaces are clunky and the video sometimes stalls, but I can get to many of the shows I want to see without being locked into watching them on a certain day at a certain time.

One of the sites is what CBS calls Innertube. We go there to watch Numb3rs, extras from the Amazing Race, and sometimes other stuff. A lot of times we will watch after the kids are in bed. We settle in and get the volume set so we can hear it without waking the kids and it is a fairly enjoyable experience. Then the first commercial comes on. Even though the commercial is very short the volume is well above that of the show. Even if the noise wasn't waking my kids it really takes away from the relaxing experience.

I have had a similar complaint about movies for a long time. The action sequences and music have the volume cranked up on them. I understand that an explosion might need to be louder than dialog for the effect, but the way they do it is excessive. I get the volume set and I either can't hear the dialog or I get blasted out by special effects.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Car Talk Finally Opens Up Free Podcast

I ranted before about Car Talk using Real Audio as their only way to listen to their show free online. I found out today that they are now offering a way to download an mp3 or go through Itunes for free. This will be much more conveinent that having to install Real Player and all the adware and bloat that installs.

The link to the RSS feed that allows you to play or download the show is It looks like NPR is putting several of their shows online