Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Technological Innovation Sweeps Through the Hawaii DMV

Outside the box thinking is running amok at the Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
City officials hope a pilot program...will eventually ease the frustrating, excessive motor vehicle branches across Oahu.
Fantastic. When I got a new driver's license this spring, I had to wait over an hour in line. Apparently that was short: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is quoted as saying lines can run "four, five hours long."

Come on Kirk, it's a government operation. People expect to have to take a day off from work to finish a 10 minute task.

Innovation has started though, so maybe we will get those wait times down...except that the innovation does nothing obvious to speed things up: It just lets people sit down instead of stand in line.

The innovative pilot program: Handing out numbers on a first come, first served basis.

I tremble in anticipation: I'll get to sit down instead of standing in line. Well, I'll be able to sit if the DMV adds a lot of chairs for lines of people which can stretch out for several hours. Next thing, maybe they will allow food vendors to serve the public.
Customers are helped on a first-come, first-served basis- but the numbers they will pull will be in random order so people don't try to sell them to others facing a longer wait.... Staffers will know which number is next.
I guess there will be no profiteering on line numbers in OUR DMV, by golly, so maybe food vendors are out, too.

If the innovative program is considered effective after only a year long trial, it will be extended to other DMV branches. We wouldn't want them to jump to any hasty conclusions after only six months. And it only costs $5000 to test the new technology, although nothing in the article says if that includes the cost of seating. Maybe we are supposed to sit on the floor, though.

Handing out numbers. Wow. That is so cool. Hawaii government if sweeping forward into the 19th century.

Handing out numbers... Where do these people come from?

You can read more here, but the main story is behind a firewall.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

"Civilian in a Civil War Zone, Part Two"

Last year some of my reminiscences about living in the mountains east of Beirut during the beginning of their civil war in 1975 were published by M.D. Creekmore on his Survivalist blog. Now he has been kind enough to publish excerpts from the journal I kept at the time.

If interested, you can access it here.

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