Apr 212015

So it seems like it wasn’t so long ago—like, a month or two—that Hillary was lying low. “Huddling with advisors,” “working on her message,” and considering “how to reintroduce herself” were common phrases.

My response, and that of many others, was along the lines of “this is a person who’s been in continuous national sight for more than two decades. Is there anyone who doesn’t know who she is?”

Happened to catch Rush on a day he was on plane about it. (My stated 1-in-4 chance of hearing any of his show on a given day is probably down to about 1-in-6.) His wry assessment was that exactly the opposite was occurring. Such a known quantity doesn’t vanish, then reemerge to reintroduce herself, but to reinvent herself.

In this case, the challenge is “gee, this crap’s been in the fridge for 24 years. How do we make it look and sound delicious and appetizing?”

Was it Servergate that forced her out earlier than about July, which was the original plan? Perhaps. We then got a hilariously stilted “talk to real people” debacle in which we were supposed to chuckle at her whimsically calling her vehicle a “Scooby van” (except the gag’s 15 years old; oops), and find her Chipotle order an issue of considerable magnitude.

Dudes and dolls, need I state the obvious?

You don’t say you’re working on your message. You don’t announce that you’re going to talk to real people.

You just go do it.

We’ve apparently regressed to the point that what Hillary says to the “real people” isn’t nearly as important as that she’s talking to the “real people” at all.

And millions don’t bat an eye.

 Posted by at 7:40 am
Apr 142015

The difference between 16 and my current age is a multiple of 4, which means it’s time to renew my driver license. I got a STAR ID license this time.

staridAlabamians, do you know about STAR ID? It’s kind of a big deal, so I’m surprised the state isn’t publicizing it more effectively. It’s an identification card that requires substantially more proof of identity and residence than a regular identification card. Eventually—soon—you’ll need one to fly. It’s required right now to enter certain federal installations, and the way it all reads, it sounds as if you may ultimately need one to get on the arsenal.

(They keep pushing the deadlines back. Pay attention, but it’s probably in your interest to make the effort for the STAR ID when it’s time to renew your license, was my takeaway.)

Here are the things I learned obtaining my STAR ID driver license:

  • You need a certified copy of your birth certificate. This isn’t the cutesy-pie paper with the flowery script and your footprints on it, but the official state document. Don’t know where yours is? Fortunately, it’s easy to get. If you were born in Alabama, any county health department can get you a certified copy for $15 and half an hour. (Or, your passport works too.)
  • You need your Social Security card. Don’t know where yours is? That’s a little less pleasant, but still highly doable.
  • You need two other pieces of documentation. Look at the third list here. It’s not a scary list.
  • STAR ID is available only at the Department of Public Safety’s Driver License examining offices. Wherever you go to take a written test for a learner license or vessel certification is where you have to go for STAR ID. Satellite offices won’t work. In my county on the day I went, this office was staffed by a lovely 30ish blonde woman with an impeccable manicure who hasn’t smiled in ten years. If she isn’t a dominatrix, then what a waste.
  • The vision test may wreak havoc with you if you’re almost-but-not-quite to bifocals. If you’re employing a strategy in which you have one contact lens for distance and one for up close, then I suggest you put two up-close lenses in for this errand. I was perilously close to leaving empty-handed after waiting over an hour.
  • The STAR ID costs the same as a regular driver license. Unfortunately, that has jumped to $36.25 (!). So be ready for that.
  • If you get a STAR ID, you have to do it the same way when you renew. You must go to the state office, and bring all of the documentation again. (UPDATE: My friend Jenny reports that you can renew twice without documentation.)

BoWilliams.com is a personal blog that exists primarily for my pleasure. It’s not a site with any sort of official sanction when it comes to state law. I reasonably believe that everything above was accurate when I published it, but double-check me against official sources before acting on anything I wrote.

Good luck!

 Posted by at 8:29 pm
Apr 062015

I know a guy who makes pretty good money driving around neighborhoods that have homeowner associations looking for violations of the HOA regulations, then reporting them. If you belong to an HOA in the area and your neighborhood is less than ten years old or so, there’s a non-negligible chance he patrols it. So these […]

 Posted by at 10:40 am
Mar 272015

On Wednesday, the U.S. Army charged Bowe Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl, who walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, was controversially exchanged last year for five senior Taliban leaders held in Guantanamo. These charges come despite strong indications that the White House tried to […]

 Posted by at 6:01 am

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