Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Ministry of Silly Walks.

I wanted to say, “tying up loose ends”,  but it turns out I was wrong.

Lemme ‘splain.

First of all, in our fine province of Ontario,  there’s not just one way to get your driver’s license.  Well,  maybe that’s wrong too.  *IF* you already have a license and only want to renew it,  you go to Service Ontario.  It’s a very loose definition of “service” of course,  and is the place where you line up to get your “tags” as the Yanks call them (we call them plates)  or renew your driver’s license.  Apparently you can get your “Health Card” there too.  I may have to do that one fine day.  Mine is the old kind from the sixties.  Still works,  it’s just that it doesn’t have my mug pasted on the front.  The horror.

Anyhoodle,  Travelling Companion and I went there first on Monday (*thinks*  I think it was Monday).   Well no,  the very clever boy at the wicket (no seriously,  I had more facial hair when I was 14) told us that they didn’t do that there,  and that we’d need to go to the “Testing Centre”.   Well now,  that sounds ominous,  now doesn’t it?

So we made plans to get that sorted first thing Friday (yesterday) morning.   Naturally we went and lined up at the wrong place first,  as it turns out the office on Brant street was just another “Service Ontario” location.   Pays to read all the crap they paste on the glass outside the store front.  There were directions there to the actual place that was a bit farther up the street.  No biggie.  It wasn’t like we were walking or anything.

It turns out that,  since Travelling Companion has (well, *had*) a driver’s license from the Netherlands,  that in fact we could have simply renewed her Ontario Driver’s License at “Service Ontario”.    Wonderful. 

Since I have (and yes,  still *have*) an Austrian Driver’s License,   we had to do some sort of switcheroo.   That’s a technical term by the way.

There was a form to be filled out,  a couple signatures to add,  and then I had to shove my head up against some sort of viewing box not dissimilar from the kind of “stereoscopes”  that were prevalent right around the time of the Chicago World’s Fair.    Apparently I can see blinking lights and read really tiny numbers,  so I passed that one.   Paid my seventy-five bucks,  got a couple more pieces of paper,  had to leave my Austrian permit behind (sniff)  and we were almost done.  We went back to Service Ontario and did the renewal for T.C’s and figured all would be right with the world.

The next little thing on the agenda for the day was to get ourselves to the airport and clear our air shipment at the CBSA.

With the exception of having to drive all the way to Mississauga,  that task was considerably easier than the whole Ministry of Silly Walks episode.  We could have shoved our air shipment in the back of the Escape,  but just figured we’d let the shippers do their deal.  There was some “warehouse” we would have had to go to,  and neither of us by that point had any desire to do any more traipsing around.  It was getting close to lunch time.


*Well*… when we came in the door to grab a bit of lunch,  there was a message from the chick at the “Testing Centre”  (Ministry of Silly Walks)  telling me that I had to COME BACK!   They needed a translation of the licence.  Even though my Ontario License number is written on the back,  and apparently I’m still in the system,  they had to verify that the license was valid for the past 24 months.   Huh?   I mean,  I’ve heard some bureaucratic horse shit over the years,  but that one really ranks right up there with the best of them.   I kept asking,  “But,  am I not still in the system?”   “Yes but..”  Well, the poor simple bureaucrat didn’t really have an answer.

Didn’t matter.  Them rules is them rules.   Besides,  there are folks out there who have taken a “two year course”  so they can qualify to translate my license,  and they need to get paid apparently.  Seems that my eight years of language training at both the secondary and post secondary levels doesn’t count.  Never mind the fact that I fucking lived in a German speaking country for nearly four years.  

So I got back my money and my Austrian permit,  and next Tuesday I’ll have to phone somebody to get my license translated.  Oy.   (Um ya,  Monday is a holiday here abouts)



Oh but hey!  There is some slightly more exciting news.  Only slightly.

If I show you this picture,  can you start to make a guess or two?


Not talking about the snow either. 

We had been snooping around on line and at lots,  looking at BMWs,  the odd Audi (they’re a bit rare it seems)  and Mercs.   T.C. though maybe we’d tool on over to an actual Mercedes dealership and see if they had any old relics hanging around. 

Well,  they did have an old relic hanging around, and I did drool over it briefly,  but it didn’t have a price tag. 



Besides,  I love to LOOK at old cars,  but that’s the extent of it. 


I very briefly drooled over the McLaren as well.  Well,  it might have been more like looking on in amazement.





There was no price tag showing on that one either,  but I came up with a pretty good guess of a quarter million.


I must have been a bit overwhelmed,  since I only took that one photo,  and it’s not very good.  Here’s one I stole off the net.



Not sure I like the front though. 


Anything worth that much money though needs to come with a huge bathroom,  king sized bed,  and maybe a chauffeur and quite possibly a domestic of some kind.


We’re still going to look around,  but T.C. was quite smitten with one of the more run of the mill 200 series mercs.  We’ve had enough silver cars over the years,  so the basic black was also a nice feature.



Not the best photo again,  as it had been sitting outside.  I drove it.  Nice car.  Meh, we’ll see.

We do have this thing where we like to check with insurance Dude first,  just to get a handle on all the costs of ownership.  I know it’s that whole, “Well,  if you have to ask,  then you shouldn’t be looking”,  but we still want to know.

Again,  Monday is a holiday, so that will have to wait for a couple days.  That car isn’t going anywhere.  And if it does?  Well,  that’s just the way it goes some times.  I’ve never had problems “walking away”.   Too pragmatic?  Too unemotional?  There are lots more used cars out there. 


Stay tuned.


Enjoy your weekend.


Thanks for stopping by.




  1. I must say that BS-thing with the translation of your Austrian license is just that. F***ing unbelievable. But yet so typical for those bureaucrates.
    I bet the 190SL had almost the same price tag as the Mc.Laren. They are known to be slightly expensive.

  2. What are you celebrating on Monday? Certainly can't be our President's day.

    1. Oh, it's "Family Day" here in Ontario.
      It's a 'made up' holiday for February, since we didn't have one, and some politician in the past decade or so thought maybe we could do with a day off.
      One of the rare times I've been happy with some Politico's decision.

  3. I think after a day like that I would need a very hot toddy! Hope the car purchase goes smoother then the license. Have a great weekend!

  4. For a quarter million the front should have been far more stylish!

  5. Comforting to know that bureaucrats on the same everywhere)

  6. Wouldn't believe you....... had to have one of their people translate.. Does the bumblings of Gov't people ever end.......? Nice Merc That ought to ride rather nicely....

  7. Once you get thru all the political BS everything should be working out just fine.
    Like you choice of wheels! Tuesday go pick er up!

  8. I guess they don't have computers there either that have an easy to use translation program. Of course their primary mission is to pi** off the customer...

    I bet the MB dealer knows about good customer service, though!

  9. good lord...they can google the translation I would think...happy family day...

  10. Nice Benz. (But aren't they all?) I suggest you save your pennies for the recommended while-under-warranty "inspections". And the much worse possible post-warranty repair bills. I believe Merc parts are all made of unobtanium, and I don't even want to speculate about their shop labour rate. This from a guy who owned three in a row way back in the day when I was single and had actual disposable income. I'm sure they're better these days, but they probably also each contain a couple hundred computers ... Gunnar (partly out of jealousy) ;-)

    1. I've set my sights on buying up shares in unobtanium, just to be on the safe side.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.