Physically present, mentally …

Well, I have arrived in Houston. I’ve unpacked what I need, stored the rest with the hope, no let me call it expectation, that I shall move again soon under happier circumstances.

So far only one thing has come up missing in the move. Before you cheer that it’s “only” one thing, recall that I moved myself. We had the neighbor we trust check the house we left and nothing was found, but it’s not here. Since it’s a somewhat important something that I THOUGHT we’d specially set aside to avoid not bringing it, this is worrying.

I find I’ve become the household cook. My brother (with whom I live for now) cooks and enjoys it but hasn’t the time. He’s been caring for my mother and father, both of whom have, well, issues that are becoming more intense. Do not be surprised if some of my future posts deal with cooking for a household that works around diabetes, low sodium requirements, low potassium requirements, high potassium requirements (yep, one of each), and a few other odds and ends.

I shall also hunt for full time work. I’ll do my independent info/knowledge management work I did before, but I’ve still not mastered the skill of selling myself in that field. Interestingly there are a host of opportunities here for the full time work in and around my field. I say interesting because it brings up the peculiar joy of Texas residency.

Texas is a state that apparently decided immigrants are bad and need discouragement. Not international immigrants, but intranational as well. Notionally changing residency is easy and indeed must happen within 30 days. Practically… Change your insurance. easy. Get your vehicle inspected. easy. Get your vehicle registered. Bring insurance, inspection to the office, not a problem, BUT…

I have to pay sales tax, or sales tax equivalent, on both my 2003 (purchased new, paid off) and 2004 (purchased used, paid off) vehicles. The equivalent is $90. Now I’ve seen ad valorum adjustments in other states. I recall many years ago buying a motorcycle in Alabama, then having to pay Georgia the difference between what I paid in Alabama and what Georgia would have taxed to Georgia. That made some sense. But “you’re gonna pay regardless of how long ago” is, well, it doesn’t sit well.

But I digress. You see, once all that’s done I go to the drivers’ license office where I must prove I’m a US citizen and prove I live at my current address and prove I’m who I say I am and must present the vehicle records (registration, insurance, inspection, etc.) Every part of that requires multiple copies – and my Georgia driver license is considered a third tier proof. Heck, my birth certificate is a SECONDARY proof; I have to bring something else as well. (A passport, by the way, is sufficient in and of itself to prove both citizenship and identification.)

And every step requires going TO the respective office. I anticipate at least one “wrong line” experience. I’ve already encountered a minor road bump.

See, for my insurance to change to Texas I had to purchase a Texas policy. Which requires paying for it. Unfortunately according to the credit bureaus my credit card billing address is still back in Georgia. I changed at the bank but it’s not yet propagated. So the insurance says my billing and garage states are different; I need to prove I live here – my brother’s house. Yay. It’ll get resolved soon, but it’s a delay.

I said this was all brought up because of the job hunts. That’s because most (not all) the available jobs require I be a Texas resident, proven by having a Texas driver’s license. I’ve spoken with a couple of the possibles and it’s due to what their attorneys (or in the cases of city or county offices the respective regulations) say is required to avoid various legal issues caused by accidentally hiring illegal immigrants.

This isn’t true of all jobs in Texas, just the presently available librarian/info management/knowledge management sorts of jobs.

Expect the occasional rant.

Finally and to close this out, I’ve written a whopping 50 words in my novel over the past week. I expect I’ll write more in the next week, but this was annoying. On the other hand, I’m in the house with my mother; I expect to practice micro-publishing soon.

See, she has sold some short stories. And she’s got a handful of novels that were never accepted for publication. An agent tried with a couple of them, but it never got past that point and the agent released them. All of which means there’s some potential for her sake. On the other hand it introduces a moral conundrum. Do I play the really good son, or do I stick to the principle of saying business is business; treat all customers like friends and family but don’t forget they’re still customers? mutter, mutter.

It will be fun.


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