Driven Crazy

What a wreck: It brightened my day to know that someone else has had problems with the court system ["Car Trouble," by Vicki Holder, January 18]. My runaround wasn't as bad as yours, but it's still very frustrating. My judge told me that I made a stupid mistake in telling an officer who came upon my accident that I didn't live at home as my license stated, but rather with my boyfriend. (As I am currently in the process of moving out and back into my mother's house, I saw no need to change my license, only to change it right back. After my wreck, I don't even have the ten bucks to do that, anyway.) She asked why I volunteered this information, and I told her dumbly, "I was just in an accident." She rolled her eyes and moved along to my accident-related charge.

She did dismiss the failure to change ID, and since my tickets were cut in half, I won't be complaining to anyone about the experience. But I do think that if some of the decision-makers actually had to go to the courthouse and stand in line for hours on end, and get whistled at when they had to lift up their pants to reveal a "large zipper" on their boots that set off the metal detectors, they wouldn't think twice about changes that need to be made to the court system.

I enjoyed your story. I didn't plan on telling you my whole life story, but then I didn't plan on getting into a wreck, either. And you didn't plan on purchasing a Chevy Blazer, either, which you evidently did.

Sarah Cornor
Deer Park

Insane system: Hold on to your anger until you receive a letter called a "Texas Surcharge" from some new "Driver Responsibility Program." After all my tickets were paid, I received a letter stating I must pay $260 per year for three consecutive years to drive; if I got caught driving on any public or rural route without paying, I would be arrested and charged criminally. I believe it is double jeopardy to be fined twice. By the way, my charge was speeding and an invalid license. Please inform people who do not know about this insane system.

They say it is a privilege to drive -- I believe it has become a curse. How else can people work and care for themselves if they can't get to their jobs? Is it not against our rights to be charged twice? They say the surcharge comes from an administrative law and is separate from civil and criminal laws, but they go hand in hand. And for people with no registration and/or invalid registration, tickets are also on the surcharge list of fines not paid once but for three consecutive years.

Tammy Conroy
Livingston

Pakistan Patriot

Go, Mariyah: I'm writing to express my support of Mariyah Moten, who tried to break the social barriers of Pakistan ["Bikini Revolution," by Craig Malisow, January 11]. She has enlightened the name of Pakistan. Everyone saw these competitions. People even used to comment, "This girl is cute, she should be the winner," and "That one has charming beauty," etc. But when Mariyah was chosen to represent Pakistan through her beauty, people spoke against her. It was the moderate aspect of Pakistan that Mariyah displayed. We should appreciate her for representing Pakistan. She could represent the USA, where she was brought up and completed her education, but she remembered Pakistan. She kept patriotism in her heart. Keeping in mind all this, I think there is nothing to do but support Mariyah Moten.

Mudassar Nazar
Rawalpindi, Punjab

Pakistan

Sound Effects

Conversion rate: I found the debate on vinyl recordings interesting, since I started converting my vinyls to CD format a few years back ["DISConnect," by John Nova Lomax, January 4]. I won't really jump into the vinyl vs. digital debate (not much anyway). It takes me an average of four hours to pop out a CD from the time the record is put on the turntable. Most of that time is spent restoring and removing most of the clicks and pops with my editing tools. I just work ten to 15 minutes at a time, no big hurry. Otherwise, if I just archived it and burned to CD, it would take less than an hour. Four hours per record vs. spending ten bucks for a new CD may not seem like a good deal, but I guess I just like screwing with it. One thing about the sound -- if you play a vinyl recording back through studio monitors and subwoofer, you will hear a subtle, low-frequency rumble that doesn't really get in the way of the music. In most car or home systems, you can't hear it. I think that's the "warm" sound that vinyl-philes mention.

Lastly, I want to give kudos to Vinal Edge Records. They are off the beaten path, but Chuck described his business to the tee [Letters, January 18]. They put my name on a list and called me promptly as soon as some records I was waiting on came in a month later. And though they're not on Taft or Westheimer, there's still enough antiestablishment publications there to make you feel at home.

Charles Westmoreland
Houston

 
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