I just got a letter from American Express in today’s mail letting me know that my credit limit is lowered to $18300 (which happens to be my current balance, otherwise they would probably make it even lower). I got this card strictly for business use based on AMEX propaganda I’ve seen on TV. Lowering the credit limit was like stabbing me in the back since all my accounting is linked to it and I wasn’t able to make some payments in time, losing additional discounts and making me look bad in front of my vendors. I will be labeled as “the guy who’s credit card bounced” forever. So much for “all your business needs” card. I will be canceling it tomorrow, they don’t deserve my business. I understand that in the times of credit crunch credit card companies are forced to limit spending, but it should’ve been done in more civilized manner instead of just disconnecting it with no warning at all. American Express sucks.
Archive for October, 2008
Ever since the purchase of the Orange Beast, KTM 950 Supermoto, my other bike, Aprilia Futura has not been used all that much. I even thought of selling it but then changed my mind. As a good owner I wanted to treat the Futura nice. I bought a battery tender to keep it’s battery full of juice. However anytime I’d look at it sitting in my garage it was covered with dust. Such a sad sight :(.
It was my birthday earlier this week. I did a little celebration that same day. Got some gifts. My two best friends are motorcycle riders. In case it wasn’t obvious one of them happens to be Motodisiac. So one of the gifts I got from them was a motorcycle cover. Today I put it to use. After cleaning my Aprilia I rolled it back into my parking garage and gently covered it :).
Looks really neat and nice. Makes me feel better about my beloved piece of Italian motorcycle engineering.
And now I am off to playing around with yet another gift - Scala Rider Q2 Bluetooth helmet intercom headset. Do I have good friends or what?
After my pleading not guilty fiasco I absolutely had to go to the traffic court as soon as I could. In my mind I wanted to get this over with, have my new trial date and move along with the process. With that school of thought I arrived to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Court house at 8:10 this morning.
The line was as big as when I had been there earlier this year to beat my speeding ticket. The court house opens at 8. So apparently a lot of people come early trying to be the first ones at the door. I went to the end of the line and 20 minutes later I was inside. 20 minutes later I looked outside and there was no line to be found. Note to self - next time arrive at 9. Refreshingly enough one of the police officers at the security gate was nice enough to pass my helmet gently through the X-Ray machine. Per him helmets tend to roll out of it and scratch against the outlet of the machine.
There were only 4 windows opened out of the total of 10. And the line looked enormous. However this side of the court house building was designated to take care of all cases that had nothing to do with payments. And the line was moving fairly fast. 25 minutes later I was at the window.
The not so nice female clerk had suggested 2 available dates for my trial. The first option was less than 3 weeks from today. That would totally defeat my purpose of going to trial in the first place. My informal discovery request would not have been processed in a timely fashion. And I can’t just mail the request now. As far as everyone is concerned the case is closed. No one would lift a finger to provide any information I would request. The second date was December 24th. I am scheduled to be out of town on that date with tickets already in my possession. “How can we make this happen?” - I asked the clerk. She told me she was going to go see what else she had available and disappeared from my limited line of site into her world - the other side of the glass. She returned shortly with a really beat up looking ledger book. There handwritten times and cases were filled in for each of the days. “Unfortunately”, she said, “the book does not go further than the end of December. And the two days I suggested were not good for you. So come back in a couple of weeks or so when we have the January schedule in here”.
You are kidding me, right? It is 2008, the new millenium, I am in the Metropolitan court house of one of the largest cities in the country that prides itself on being the only remaining super power in the world. And they are using hand written ledgers to maintain the court dates availability? Frustrated I left the court house only to come back in the next couple of weeks. Apparently I have one month to reopen my case. However no one could give me the exact time frame within which I am eligible to do so. The clerk told me I have to do that by November and would not give me a specific date. I will be back in a couple of weeks though just to be on the safe side.
I walked back to where I had parked my bike. To my surprise I saw the following:
That is some asshat parking right there. He could not have possibly parked his piece of shit 15 year old Mazda closer to my bike. After a thorough inspection no sign of even a remote touch between the car’s bumper and the foot peg or any other part of my bike was found. Otherwise I would or would not have done something to his car in retaliation :). Still, what a tool bag.
Apart from anger, frustration and overwhelming feeling of futility the whole morning at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Court house experience was mildly entertaining. I counted at least 3 people in line who were high. And not just a little high but high off their asses. Constant giggles could be heard frequently from the two girls standing in line behind me :). Hey, it is Southern California after all. Also at least 3 or 4 people were intermittently chatting to themselves out loud. Some 10 minutes into my wait to get to the clerk’s window one lady tried to exit through the door that had a huge sign that read “NO EXIT HERE”. How stupid should you be, lady? Alarm went off scaring the woman away from the door. An armed security guard appeared. The guy must have been 80 years old. I am not sure how anyone would allow him to carry a fire arm. A recoil would knock him off his feet. After 5 minutes of fruitless attempts to switch off the alarm the second armed security guard came to the rescue.
- obviously do things right from the start, otherwise face the consequences.
- don’t give the traffic court system too much credit, it is old, bureaucratic, very low tech and absurd
- don’t arrive to the court house right before or after it opens
- park your bike at an angle, not strictly perpendicular to the pavement
- never underestimate human stupidity - “no exit here” signs aren’t for everyone after all
It seems like I can’t stop. My closet is filled with most of the items from REV’IT! catalog and I have a garment for every weather condition imaginable. Yet I have decided to order new jacket for winter season, I feel that there was a gap in my arsenal that had to be filled. It just came in and I love it.
It’s everything I need it to be for short urban commuting. Looks very casual, you won’t even suspect it has armor. It’s stylish and practical. The finish looks like waxed cotton. It’s even water resistant and comes with thermal liner as well as a couple of vents for warmer days. Best of all, you won’t see another one like this since it was never officially imported here. Hopefully my girlfriend doesn’t read this.