Well, the last 10 months of my life have been dedicated to what happens tomorrow in an administrative hearing at 2 p.m. in Kalamazoo, MI.
A town I haven't been in in over 13 years but where I lived the longest since I got out of the Army. (I'll have to be in Merrill another five years to equal that time)
This is a life changing moment, as it is the one thing holding me back from living my life to its FULLEST potential. This goes my way I will be 100% free! FAILURE means waiting another 12 months to try AGAIN!
Yes, I'm nervous.
Yes I did it RIGHT this time (I HOPE) by hiring a lawyer.
So we will be on the road all day today, hearing tomorrow, stay at a friends house in Hammond, IN on the way back tomorrow night, then head home Tuesday.
You guys keep Eorl in line while I'm gone. I'll be a little busy fighting for my future.
Good Luck, Redwolf !
Wot Nim sed.
I don't know what this is about but it's obviously very important to you. So, like Nim and Katzy, I wish you the very best.
The good Lord go with you.
I, too, wish you well RW. I pray that justice is done!
Longtime members will recall my legal battle with the State of Michigan, this was what this was about.
Not a done deal yet because the alcohol abuse assessment I paid $200 for this hearing was missing one CRITICAL paragraph that my lawyer (ANOTHER $1,500 outlay) is burning up the telephone getting corrected before the deadline the hearing officer gave him to get it faxed to him.
It's out of my hands now. Now comes the wait.
Let's pray your lawyer gets it right in time.
Thanks, Bear. That means a lot.
I had been working toward yesterday ever since Spring, getting the assessment, hiring lawyer, getting notarized letters of support (they suggested a police officer, I got the CHIEF of the Merrill Police to write one, along with the City Attorney) and then submitting it all with a less than one month old 10 panel drug screen via my lawyer.
After that, it was waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to turn and my hearing date get assigned.
I didn't do the tedious blow by blow here (like I did on Facebook) because, HEY, it was something I, myself, could only do and it was filled with moments of drama you guys couldn't do anything to help with.
But now that it is out of my hands, a few wishes for good juju wouldn't hurt.
We're all hoping/praying for a good outcome RW! Nothing negative form this quarter!
Awaiting WRITTEN confirmation from the State of Michigan (which didn't come in today's mail)...
But as of 4:48 p.m. today, WISCONSIN is showing me
ELIGIBLE FOR REINSTATEMENT OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES
That's great news. I can only imagine the relief you must be feeling that this whole episode is now behind you. Enjoy the moment!
Michigan seems like a dream to me now.
Excellent if expected. Are celebrations in order?
ok good -
THIS is my home stretch I still have to run:
$125 reinstatement fee to MICHIGAN to Get Clearance Letter
$100 reinstatement fee to TENNESSEE to Get Clearance Letter
$55 to take a 4-hour online safe driving course, pass tests at end then pay $10 reinstatement fee to INDIANA to get clearance letter
Take THOSE three clearance letter BACK to Rib Mountain DMV, pay $85 reinstatement fee plus license fee for LEARNER'S PERMIT. (Already passed tests for this)
$45 a week later to take driving test and get Class D Operational license with 2 year probationary period.
Just paid Michigan. Waiting for Clearance letter to be faxed.
If there is going to be any last minute, out of the blue obstacles to overcome, it will be right here.
If this domino falls, they all do.
Just a matter of waiting to confirm it's down and the 21 year 11 month old dragon is finally dead.
Have you been banned from driving for 21 years everywhere or just in certain States?
My colleague's daughter was in a car accident today and she and other driver were fine. However she found out that although she was fully comp on her own vehicle that she was uninsured in her brother's car which she had borrowed. She thought she had automatic third party cover. The police have arrested her for driving while uninsured and she is likely to get 10 points on her licence. Read that small print people.
I'm interested in how your licensing and insurances work. In OZ a license is issued by the state in which you reside and automatically allows you yo
drive in any state of OZ. If your license is taken away in any state, that automatically means you cannot drive anywhere. Once re-instatement occurs
it is across the board.
Insurance comes in three flavours:
Compulsory Third Party: covers injury to another person and forms part of the registration requirement for a car regardless of the driver.
Comprehensive: covers damage to all property including your own car, regardless of the driver (some exclusions and conditions do apply)
Third Party property: covers damage to property other than the car which is insured.
All of these insurances follow the car and not the driver. If, however, the driver is unlicensed or had a few too many, then the insurance companies will chase him for the cost of repairs.
Each state issues its own driver's license to residents. HOWEVER, if you have your privileges revoked in ONE state, they all honor it. My unfortunate
complicated mess dates back to before the states did this for each other.
So when my license was revoked in Tennessee 28 years ago, and than later that year I moved to Michigan, I was able to get a Michigan License. When I lost THAT one 22 years ago, it became the one I THOUGHT I had to beat.
The Indiana one is the holdover from an old Reckless Driving conviction I got somewhere in between. The class was mandated by the judge and it totally slipped my mind.
Now I hope it's down to just throwing money at the problems to make them go away.
At least now I know where I buried ALL my skeltons in my past.
Most people choose the patio, these days.
Michigan is a confirmed kill.
Just have to wait until Monday when we have the money for Tennessee and Indiana.
If those two states release as stated I will be able to clear the learner's permit stage in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
One week later, Dec. 11, I can road test for the full license.
You probably have forgot how to drive anyway.
Congratulations. so far, so good!
Why once I got to taxi a Black Hawk helicopter on a runway.
Then I had to let the co-pilot have his seat back before we could take off.
33 days after the hearing and 31 days after the date it was EFFECTIVE, I finally got the letter with the results of the hearing in the mail
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Hooray!!! Does this mean we must now stay off the footpaths?
All that is left NOW is be at the Rib Mountain DMV when they open in the morning, take the vision test, pay out close to $100 and walk out with a
One week or so from then, driving test and full license.
I think if I had to go through all that effort and expence, I would have bought a new pair of walking boots.
I now hold a WISCONSIN LEARNER'S PERMIT!
On the way back from Rib Mountain this afternoon was the first time I legally operated a motor vehicle in almost 22 years.
Have to wait seven days before I can road test for the whole license. If this had been Indiana, I'd have to wait 60 days before I could test.
I won't be calling shot gun, but good luck to the rest of you!
Road test is scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.
I can see more of the outside and less of the tunnel walls now.
You'll be like a kid with a new toy again! Just be aware the conditions may have changed a little from your youth. Though you have lived where you do for some time and it may mitigate a bit. I used to think driving in the city was no big deal. 26 years in Darwin taught me otherwise. I HATE driving in the city now.
FAILED the Driving test by THREE points.
And I deserved to fail for what she got me on.
Try again NEXT Tuesday.
What was the failure? I had to re-do my practical test after the accident, which I passed with only one minor error. Had I needed to resit the theory, I may still be walking!
Turned left into the wrong lane on a multi-lane street minus 6 points.
Failed to slow down and look at a railroad crossing, minus 5
Take away either of those and I pass.
(Railroad crossing was well marked with warning signals and everything. I never thought to look before.)
See, I told you that you had forgotten how to drive.
I feel sorry for you, mate, sounds like something I might have missed, too. I doubt that you' make those mistakes again. Mine was something similar, forgetting to indicate coming off a roundabout.
This whole having to take that four-hour driving improvement course and failing my driver's test has given me time to really think about how I drive
and I'm working on changing a few bad habits.
Hardest one was not rear ending any cars with Illinois license plates anymore.
Which was a good thing considering I've had to drive on the Illinois tollways at rush hour a few times.
Not a good time OR place to provoke a road rager!
Erm, no time is ever a good time to be a road rager.
I think it probably depends on what weapons you carry in your car and how good a marksman you are, shoot first and don't bother to ask questions afterwards is the the rule in America and if all else fails make sure your vehicle is fast enough for a quick getaway.
Automatic Fail pulling out of the DMV parking lot.
SERIOUSLY! Failed to Yield, minus 6 points. If I hadn't caught it and she had told me to stop it WOULD have been a fail.
I had to be perfect the rest of the way. Which I was.
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The little plastic version should come in the mail, hopefully Christmas Eve.
Lady taking my license photo at DMV: "You're smirking in the photo. Do you want to do it again?"
Me: "The smirk is intentional"
In the grand tapestry that is my life, today was just another stitch, another day among the many that is "ME."
It was a very GOOD day, a colorful stitch in the sewing.
And I have to make another one tomorrow. And the day after and I'll be like Rumpelstiltskin sewing after I'm 114 and still tooling around Tranquility Bay feeding my fuzzy tree plumpkins.
I got here, to this stitch, by taking it "One Day At A Time," and pursuing a path different from the one I had been sewing. Since January 1, 1996, I have been sober. Everything I created after graduating WMU December of that year is going to pale in comparison of what I can do NOW.
But it is just another day.
A good one.
Hopefully the first of many.
Merry Christmas, Everyone.
Failed to yield? Which roads are you going to be on again?????? I think people should be forewarned!
Seriously, well done but the hard work starts now - being alert every minute you drive.
Yeah, the exit of the parking lot was into a side street about 20 feet from a major street. Someone was turning off that street with no turn signal
and zipped out in front of me.
Ya know, one of those everyday little encounters that COULD be nasty if you're not paying attention.
Which is why I didn't fail, I reacted properly before the examiner had to say anything.
The envelope from the State Department of Transportation containing my permanent plastic driver's license came in today's mail.
I wrapped the envelope unopened and placed it under the tree.
Addressed to me from Jackie, who believed we WERE gonna get it done this time.
LOVE that woman!
P.S. She doesn't know, either.
I've got to change my picture this year. What a con. Not sure how much its going to cost. It happens every ten years here.
Anyone who knows me well and knows of the legal nightmare I had been trapped in for 22 years knows the last year has been extremely nerve racking for
me. There was the being downsized out of a job and watching THREE openings I was perfectly suited to do at the Daily Herald go by that I couldn’t
apply for because of no license. Then there was the whole drawn out process to GET the license that started in March when we hired our attorney for
$1,500. Every milestone on that journey that culminated with the administrative hearing October 29 was usually marked by a large cash outlay.
And then came the twist at the end, where just when I thought it was over Indiana and Tennessee made me feel like Jeremy Renner’s character did in The Hurt Locker when he pulled on the cord and suddenly found himself surrounded by IED’s. And it meant more money that had to be paid right before Christmas.
All I wanted for Christmas was the same thing I had wanted for my birthday, my license back. But how could I be so self-centered with our funds at Christmas? More importantly, how could I deny Jackie the ONE gift she has wanted for three years, yet always wouldn’t let me buy her because the money was ALWAYS needed for something or someone else.
Every time I heard her lament having to put others ahead of her, it made me more determined to get it for her.
What was Jackie’s Red Rider BB Gun? A NICE rug shampoo machine.
As the end game of my license drama was playing out I was racking my brain to figure out a way to get the $200 for it without going through the bank account and tipping her off.
It got to the point where I was wishing on a star every clear night the last two weeks, asking different stars to just “let me win $200 so I could buy Jackie a NICE Christmas gift this year.” She has stood by me as I have struggled back up from where I had fallen over the last 10 years, encouraging me to get back into Journalism, encouraging my photography, pushing me to finally put Michigan behind me and get on with my life.
If there was a way locally I could have sold plasma, I would have.
Friday was a Boy’s/Girl’s varsity basketball double header at the high school. I was hired to write the stories and shoot the games for my old paper while the sports editor took a week off. Now I always buy ONE $1 50/50 raffle ticket at local high school games. I put it off Friday because I got there just as the boy’s game got going and had to take notes and shoot.
Between the games, I went out for a smoke, and as I came back in I heard someone say the 50/50 was approaching $400, with half being the jackpot.
So I said I’ll get SIX for $5, and he handed me a pretorn strip of six tickets, which I put in my pocket and promptly forgot about in the rush of shooting and taking play-by-play for writing my stories.
After the third quarter of the girl’s game, I was standing at the top of the visitor’s bleachers where I had been getting high angle shots with a clean background. They said get your tickets out for the 50/50 and I pulled out my six.
As he starts reading the winning number, I’m reading the first of my tickets.
Every number he reads is ALSO on my ticket.
It takes a second for the realization to hit me, right about the time he reads the number again and as he reads it off it matches my first ticket. I look at the ticket the whole way down the bleachers, around the end of the gym to the lobby where they sell the tickets.
“Did he say XXXXXXX was the winning number?” I ask the guy. He assures me that, YES, I was indeed the winner of $222.50. He then has me sign a form and then counts out the cash right in front of me.
Remember my near nightly wish for $200 to buy Jackie’s present?
I promptly handed the guy the 22.50 extra back, telling him to donate it to the girl’s program for me. To do anything other than that would have been not in keeping with what I wished for and seemed like the best Karmic course of action at the time.
Since Allie wasn’t feeling well, she stayed home. So NOBODY in the family knew I had just won a large chunk of bills.
After the game and the post-game interview, I drove to Walmart where they had ONE of the model of rug cleaner she wanted.
Guess what, $200 was just enough.
Now I could have done ANYTHING with that $200, and I know Jackie would have preferred for it to be used for bills and not on her. But there was no other thing I wanted to use it for.
Because over the last 10 years, Jackie has systematically and lovingly fixed everything in me that was broken, my self-esteem, my career, my very life and I wanted to give her the ONE thing she wanted since I could now do it “off budget.”
Seeing her tears of joy this morning told me she had taught me well that giving really is better than receiving.
Merry Christmas, Honey, Love ya Forever & A Day
And Merry Christmas to all you.
May some small miracle happen to you soon, too.
Because the Stones were right: “You Don’t Always Get What You Want. But if You Try Sometimes, Well You Might Find, You Get What You Need”
You got me right in the feels.
Great news RW, Jackie must have been blown away with that gift. I know what it's like to want the best for your love.
Being of curious nature, the last posts by RW on here were his receipt of his drivers license and his gift to Jackie.
A week has passed since and no updates makes me wonder what he is doing. Is he running the wheels off the car since he is legal again? Or did he spot an Illinois car going down the road and take after it with ill intent? Or perhaps should have the Xmas gift included a candle lit dinner with Jackie and he now has a vacuum hose wrapped around his neck?
Or perhaps with winter being upon the North woods of his state he is just snowed in and having to subsist on deer meat from the neighbor.
I wait with baited breath the next chapter of the RW saga on the bumpy road of life.
Working on my tear sheet book, which is involving a GOD awful amount of scanning with my new $15 Canon
Flat Bed Scanner from Goodwill.
Jackie wouldn't eat venison from our neighbor if he gave us some, not after seeing the deer dead.
Which is cool, because I run across things like THIS that I've done for publication.