Things We Do Once Every Two Years

Vehicle-Emissions-Testing.jpgThe last day of January. 2006. The significance? Not only is it time to renew my license registration, but it’s also time to take the aging Saturn in for vehicle emissions testing. Because Colorado believes in Cleaner Air.

At 8:30 AM, the line was already nearly out the parking lot. This had something to do with only two lanes being open. They opened a third lane about fifteen minutes later, but operated it from one of the existing lines. There are nice clear lane markers drawn all the way up to the parking lot entrance, but apparently we’re supposed to ignore that, approach the building in single file, and then get flagged into one or another vehicle bay. Super inefficient.

This being the Airport Boulevard location, there is, oddly enough, an airport in the vicinity. I amused myself during the long wait by counting the taxi lights visible from the parking lot, and by waiting for a plane to take off. But the only airport activity I saw was what looked like a trash pick-up vehicle or maybe a construction vehicle. It went careening down the taxi lane towards the Runway 26 run-up area.

Half an hour later, I was waiting in the long, enclosed waiting area and watching my car proceed through its paces. The technician appeared to be having far too much fun revving it in place. His grin was kinda creepy. An elderly man waiting for the green sedan two cars ahead of my S-series wagon was making impatient noises. “I think they’re finished, but they told me to wait here until they called me. Doesn’t it look like they’re finished? But they said to wait here. They haven’t called me yet.”

That is, indeed, what the sign said. “Because we care about your safety, please wait here until called.” The sign also said it in Spanish. The Spanish-language version specified that we should wait sitting down until called. “Por favor esperar sentado.”

Eventually they called the elderly man, and then the lady with the long white braid, and then me. A different tech, not the creepy one, took my check, punched up my documentation, and told me which bit to tear off and give to the County Clerk with my registration renewal. “So what’s up at the airport?” I asked him. “It’s a gorgeous day. Where’s all the students doing takeoff and landing practice?”

“I think they must be having all sorts of construction on the runway,” he said. “Drive safe, now.”

Which reminds me. By the last day of February, 2006, I need to go in for my biennial pilot’s review. Crap. And I haven’t been in the cockpit since October. Double crap.

Watch this space for a practice cross-country flight to Granby and Kremmling.

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