A few weeks back, Bigger Girl, who tries very hard to do everything right and by the book, got distracted and went over the speed limit on the uni campus, and was stopped for her first ever traffic ticket.
It was traumatic for her in some ways, as she is generally so careful to observe every rule. She found out that, because it's a first offense ever, she can get it erased from her record by taking a class and paying the fine.
So she took the two hour defensive driving course, and they told us to come in the day before her actual court date to pay the fine and turn in the paper, so that she wouldn't ever have to appear before the judge. Because her court date is tomorrow, and today all the offices are closed for the Mardi Gras holiday (yes, south Louisiana shuts down for the party), we went yesterday.
In the years since i've been down to that particular area of the downtown, the old courthouse has been refurbished, the "new" courthouse has been turned into city hall instead, and an even newer new courthouse has been built. The parking area is the same, and i must say the fees at the parking garage are extremely reasonable for the center of a city.
We went to the old courthouse first. The very nice security guard told us that no cell phones are allowed at all in the building. We were going to walk back to the car and put them in it, but it turned out there are free storage lockers in which you can put your phones, pocket knives, or anything else you aren't allowed to bring with you. There were none available when we first walked up, but within one minute three people came and retrieved their items, leaving us our choice! We put our phones in locker number 24, i put the key loop around my wrist, and we went back in.
Bigger Girl was wearing her steel toe boots, so she had to take off her boots and have them x-ayed, along with the contents of our pockets. Other than that, the guard was very nice, smiling and happy, and we passed in without incident. We found the room and stood in line, only to get to the front and find out that we had come to the wrong traffic court. The one that takes cases for tickets issued by campus police is at the new courthouse.
Marching next door to the new courthouse, we left the cell phones. Better safe than sorry, i thought, although it turned out that cell phones are allowed there. It figures.
This time, the security guard was not so jolly. In fact, you could tell he really didn't like the job much. Really i felt sorry for him. For the second time Bigger Girl had to take her boots off and show that she loves to wear mismatched socks. The way the guard looked at us, i wondered if he was going to insist on more than just walking through the metal detector and x-raying our stuff. He didn't, though. Poor guy, he looked miserable.
"I know this building," Bigger Girl said when we went in. "This is where I took Miss Lizzie when she had to get a restraining order against her boyfriend who used to beat her up!"
Nice to know you are familiar with the legal system here, i noted drily.
The whole thing was done in just a few minutes. She gave them her ticket, license, and certificate from the class. They gave her the papers to take to the fine desk. We went and paid the fine, and brought the papers back. They gave her a receipt, and it was done.
We retrieved the cell phones, went back to the vehicle, and pulled up to pay to leave the lot. The whole thing, even with going to the wrong place first, had only taken us less than an hour. The parking fee was $1.
As easy as it all was, though, i hope i don't ever have to do that again.
Celebrate Your Name Week -- Tuesday: Unique Names Day, a day to appreciate friends, acquaintances, and loved ones with unique names
Charter Day -- St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada (1881)
Courageous Follower Day -- because leaders have to have someone to lead, and it can take as much courage to follow a great leader as to be the leader
Feast of Ra in His Barge at Heliopolis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)
Holy Experiment Day -- try something religious today
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- Houston, TX, US (since 1932, great rodeo action and top-name entertainment; through Mar. 23)
Hug a GI Day -- just don't get in trouble sneaking on base to do it
International Pancake Day
International Scrapbooking Industry Day -- can't find proof the industry actually set this day, but if you love scrapbooking, celebrate
March Dryads' Festival -- Fairy Calendar
March Forth - Do Something Day
Mardi Gras -- Fat Tuesday, Carnival, the last day to feast before the Lenten fast begins tomorrow, greeted with revelry in many parts of the world; related observances and names:
Scotland, Fasten's E'en or Bannocky Day
Portuguese, Terça-feira Gorda
Italian, Martedì Grasso
Spanish, Martes de Carnaval
Hawaiian, Malasada Day
Icelandic, Sprengidagur (literally, Bursting Day)
also Pancake Day or Bursting Day, the day to eat the last of the eggs and butter in the form of some kind of fried cakes, and to eat until bursting
National Grammar Day -- sponsored by The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar on March 4th, which is both a date and an imperative
National Poundcake Day
North Dakota Winter Show -- Valley City, ND, US (world's largest crop show, eight-breed cattle show, rodeos, tractor pulls, entertainment, and more for tons of family fun; through Sunday)
Shrove Tuesday -- Christian
St. Casimir's Day (Patron of bachelors, kings, princes, single layment; Lithuania; Poland; against plague)
Tavern Day -- US (the first tavern in the US, a Puritan public house in Boston, MA, opened this date in 1634)
Town Meeting Day -- Vermont, US (giving all citizens the right to speak out about local government, an official state holiday the first Tuesday of March allows towns to have a daylong public meeting of voters to elect town officers, approve budgets, and deal with town business)
Toy Soldier Day -- Dr. Steel's Army, building a utopian playland and embarking on a worldwide mission of fun
Waltz Day -- some say National Waltz Day, and some Dance the Waltz Day, but no one says why this day; i say, waltz if you want to
Hot Springs National Park is established, 1921
Vermont becomes the 14th US state, 1791
Patsy Kensit, 1968
Jason Curtis Newsted, 1963
Stephen Weber, 1961
Patricia Heaton, 1958
Catherine O'Hara, 1954
Emilio Estefan, 1953
Kay Lenz, 1953
Chris Squire, 1948
Mary Wilson, 1944
Paula Prentiss, 1938
Miriam Makeba, 1932
Joan Greenwood, 1921
Charles Rudolph Walgreen, Jr., 1906
Knute Rockne, 1888
Garrett Morgan, 1877
Casimir Pulaski, 1747
Antonio Vivaldi, 1678
Prince Henry the Navigator, 1394
"People Magazine"(Publication), 1974
"The Dick Cavett Show"(TV), 1968
"Nosferatu"(Horror Film), 1922
"Pénélope"(Fauré Opera), 1913
"Swan Lake"(Tchaikovsky Op. 20), 1876
Today in History:
Croatian Duke Trpimir I issued a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources, 852
Ramathibodi becomes King of Siam, 1351
Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, from his first voyage, 1493
Hernan Cortez arrives in Mexico in search of Aztec gold, 1519
The Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a royal charter, 1629
John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England, 1675
France is divided into 83 départements, which cut across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on noble ownership of land, 1790
The first Jewish member of the US Congress, Israel Jacobs of Pennsylvania, takes office, 1791
A Constitutional Act is introduced by the British House of Commons in London which envisages the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario), 1791
In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams is sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington, 1797
In the Castle Hills Rebellion, in New South Wales, Australia, Irish convicts (some of whom had been involved in Ireland’s Battle of Vinegar Hill in 1798) lead the colony’s only significant convict uprising, 1804
Carlo Alberto di Savoia signs the Statuto Albertino that will later represent the first constitution of the Regno d'Italia, 1848
The day without a US president -- Zachary Taylor refuses to be sworn in on the Sabbath (Sunday), so there is, technically, no president on this day, 1849
The longest bridge in the Great Britain, the Forth Bridge (railway) (1,710 ft) in Scotland is opened, 1890
The great fire of Shanghai damages over 1,000 buildings, 1894
Victor Berger of Wisconsin becomes the first socialist congressman in the U.S., 1911
Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first female member of the United States House of Representatives, 1917
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia's renunciation of the throne is made public, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia publicly issues his abdication manifesto, 1917
Frances Perkins becomes the United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet, 1933
Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announces the first successful kidney transplant, 1954
The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90, 1957
The United States Atomic Energy Commission announces that the first atomic power plant at McMurdo Station in Antarctica is in operation, 1962
The first Cray-1 supercomputer is shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, 1976
Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister, 1980
Bertha Wilson is appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada, 1983
The Soviet Vega 1 begins returning images of Comet Halley and the first images ever of its nucleus, 1986
The Supreme Court of the United States rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex, 1998
No response is received in the final attempt to contact Pioneer 10 by the Deep Space Network, 2006
Approximately 30,000 voters take advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world's first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting is allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet, 2007