Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Missouri Department of Revenue sucks

vixen mascot

... or at least really does not understand this Internet fad.

I'll get to the weird legal ramifications of the Independence Police Dept. trolling the highway randomly running license plates in a second. But first, my beef sits with the Missouri Department of Revenue and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

This is not some screed about fee offices or lines at the DMV... no, this is about how the DMV runs its online operations.

I'll give big ups to the DMV for putting most of it major time-sucking operations online. Need new license plates? Get'em online. Need to register your car with the state? Do it online!

Huzzah! The state is moving slowly into the 21st Century. Only this time they are royally screwing over online users — and obviously not telling local law enforcement how to deal with the change in license plate rules.

You see, this year the state is making everyone in Missouri get new license plates — got to keep those prisoners busy with something.

In the past I have registered my car online with no problems. I file the paperwork on the web, fill in the blanks online and in a week, the new stickers arrived in the mail and I put them on the truck.

I figured this year would be the same deal... No sir.

This year I went through the exact same process online. After all the online shenanigans, a little box popped up telling me my new stickers AND plates would be coming in about a week.

And now the hitch: As soon as I pressed enter and the e-check cleared, the DMV deleted my current license plates from the state's computer system.

This fine piece of the DMV puzzle was not told to me until the Independence Police Department decided to randomly run my plates through their computer as I was driving down Highway-291.

The state database thinks I got my new plates already — despite the fact that they are currently en rout from some state penitentiary's metal yard.

The plates I currently have on my car are considered Illegal (at least according to the cop who was looking for something a bigger bust than some nerdy white kid driving around at 1 a.m.).

Independence's finest went through the whole 10-point check list on how I could be arrested and my car impounded for not only having illegal plates but also not displaying the correct plates, which are currently somewhere in the mail system.

If the state is wiping out old plates immediately from their databases and then making drivers wait a week or more before the new plates actually arrive, we are going to have a lot of pissed off drivers and annoyed cops.


I had always heard rumors that the Independence Police would troll through bar and night club parking lots running all of the license plates through their in-car computers looking for outstanding warrants attached to vehicles.

In fact, a City Councilman joked that when the Dallas Nightclub was still operating on Noland Road, police regularly trolled the parking lot running plates and then arresting people as they came out to their car.

I had a hard time believing it. It seemed counter productive and seems like it would not yield a whole lot of results.

After last night I am all but convinced. I was not speeding. I had no broken tail lights or missing gas caps. I was not swerving. The cop merged in behind me as I pulled from I-70 to M-291. He then sped up to stay right behind me.

I saw him the whole time. he drove behind me for about two miles until he hit his lights. As soon as he hit my window he started the mind games about whose plates I had on my car.

Even he was baffled as to why they did not come up AT ALL in his computer and that, he said, is why I got pulled over.

So, can a cop pull people over after just running their plates despite no suspicious activity or illegal traffic maneuver being committed?

It seems odd to have cops riding around randomly popping license plates into the computer hoping for a big score.

Tater and The Wednesday Weekly bootleg

Tater and The Gravy Train from Mike Ekey on Vimeo.

Since 2007 I have had an unhealthy relationship with Harry's Country Club and the band that plays there just about every Wednesday.

Along with Old Crow in the Bourbon well and a new patio, Harry's also has Tater and The Gravy Train (which has endured three years of obnoxious heckling and requests from my table).

After a brief hiatus from the stage at Harry's, Tater returned with an acoustic show last night cementing the fact that winter is finally over and it is time to get a drink on the patio downtown.

Yes, we made him sing House - and yes, he also did the twangy version of Dancing Queen. The rest of his four hour set was a pure exercise in coming up with and performing deep classic country cuts.

Thanks to @stevis - @mariacater - @the_shovel and other non-twitter friends for drinking it up and enjoying the tunes.

We will be back next Wednesday.

(If you are able: Harry's is holding a great fundraiser for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society tonight with Flanagan's Right Hook. $5 to get in and all sorts of beer specials.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where's Waldo?

In the past I have shared the "Werner Herzog reads..." videos on my Monday Movies. But this was was too funny not to share today.

We truly must wonder what motivates this strange bespectacled man to travel from landscape to landscape, hiding from us all...

"In searching for Waldo do we really find outselves..." Herzog postulates...

It is painfully similar to my post on Waldo's existence several months ago...


Waldo is because we seek him.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Race is on.

Boulevard Skate Race from Mike Ekey on Vimeo.

My brothers and I are hyper competitive. Everything from walking up the stairs to eating a meal becomes a race to the finish...

It seemed natural that the three of us should be invited to run the Hotdog Derby at Kauffman Stadium. The set up is simple; Ketchup, Mustard and Relish covered hotdogs race around the stadium to prove which condiment is the best through an old fashioned footrace.

But the Royals seem determined to deny us this valid place in history (or where ever the record is kept on these game-to-game competitions). They claim "for safety reasons" that we are not allowed to run the race.

I even made a full-fledged marketing pitch to the Deaprtment of Meat Races that included advertising and group ticket sales of at least a 100 tickets (we'd freaking double the attendance of a given night). But they said no.

I am calling Bullshit KC Royals.

You don't know what you are missing.

Hell, we have an aspiring architect, division one basketball player and the author of this fine news outlet. Who the hell would pass up an opportunity to have us grace their turf and run like mad fools in hotdog costumes? ... The Royals, that's who.

Well, this has not put a stop to my plans to run the race and prove to the younger bros who is the best when it comes to running around in a hotdog costume ... these are important things to know, damnit.

KC Royals, I'm waiting for your phone call once you realize the egregious error you made today.

I trust your decision making skills are not this terrible in other areas of your business as they are in your hotdog race department.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't make me get drunk at my own festival

There is that brief period of time when you are throwing a party when things get awkward.

No one shows up right at time you put on the invitation Still, you get everything ready to go right at 8 p.m.

You sit by yourself and hope someone shows up. The anxiety gets to your nerves and you decide to have a drink.

Then you are faced with a question: Do I keep drinking?

If no one shows up at least I can drown my tears in the $300 in booze and food I bought for the night. If I don't have another will I seem too eager when the first guest does finally arrive? No one likes to be the first at a party and it only gets worse when the host is overly eager to break the tension immediately...

Sweet baby Jesus, people, don't make me get drunk for my own festival.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hell Yeah, I'm talking about kites.

wind sock

Sean Beaver came out Friday afternoon to fly some of his smaller kites as a preview to the Kite Festival I have been talking about endlessly for the past three months...

Of course by smaller, I mean kites that are more than 300 feet long and weigh close to 100 lbs. It did not take long before Sean had a crowd of people just watching.


I tried pulling one down to help pack things back up at sunset and found myself about five feet off the ground — and I am no delicate flower.


For more photos click through

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Holidays just screw everything up


Well, it seems the holiday weekend threw everything off - especially the old blogging schedule.

After spending much of the weekend in St. Louis eating and drinking our way through the city, we came home to several pounds of ham and Little Mermaid Kites.

kite string

The plan was to entertain the kiddos with kites outdoors while the adults set up dinner inside. Kite flying lessons for the kids eventually became kite flying by me.

kite flying

I consider this my training run for Ye Ol' Kite Festival next weekend.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Movies

Because a weekend out of town while doing nothing but eating a drinking will make you do crazy things when you get back.

PACMAN: THE MOVIE TRAILER from Therefore Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 01, 2010