(And yes, I had to show up in person instead of mailing something in because one of the charges was Failure To Maintain Financial Responsibility. That's fancy talk for being caught with the wrong insurance card in my bag. I mistakenly had the previous one that'd expired, instead of the current one, which was still at home.)
So anyway I drove to Austin (via I-10 to Luling and then US 183 north), found the precinct building (on Springdale Rd.), and went in. But I didn't even have to set foot in the courtroom! I just went up to this window with a hole in it like at the theater, and showed my papers to some clerk. I gave her my insurance card and asked her about the thingy where I can dismiss the speeding charge by taking a defensive driving course. She took the citation, my insurance card and driver's license and looked at them, then talked to another clerk. I overheard her saying something about "25 mph". Oops, I think she did some math wrong. The other clerk came to the window and said, "You can't take defensive driving because you were going 25 mph over the limit." No, I told her, I was only doing 15 over. She looked at the other clerk, who looked confused and recalculated 80 - 65 in her head. So the second clerk came back and gave me an info sheet about the defensive driving deal, and I wrote a check for $67, got back my ID and stuff, and I was free for the rest of the day!
Then I wondered what to do next. I'd planned to have some fun in Austin, not just drive home after this one thing. But I decided that what I really wanted to do was go to the Rivercenter Mall in San Antonio! So I took E. MLK over to I-35 and headed south.
When I got to San Antonio, though, I expected to see signs on the freeway directing drivers to the Rivercenter, but there weren't any, and I found myself going completely past downtown. So I stopped at a Texaco station and bought a map. The cashier asked me where I was going. "Rivercenter Mall," I said, and she gave me directions, which I checked against the map. Then I drove straight there and parked. Yaaay! I spent the day walking around the mall, browsing a store or two, and eating dinner in the food court. I also sat and listened to a South American band playing live music on the steps on the side of the outdoor area in the middle where the river ends. As the sun started going down, I ended up buying something: a candy dispenser that looks exactly like the kind of bubble gum machine that Tom Servo's head is made out of. Or perhaps Tom Servo's head is made out of an actual candy dispenser. Anyway, if I ever want to build my own Tom Servo, I've got a start! Maybe I'll build the body out of LEGO bricks or something. :}
When I got tired of Rivercenter, I drove home, along I-10. Part of the reason I wanted to go to San Antonio is that I wanted to stick to the interstates. I didn't feel like driving on US 183 again. I think I prefer the way interstates let you bypass all those small towns, whereas the US highways make you go through EVERY SINGLE ONE of them and STOP at traffic lights! So anyway, after the sun went down, I turned on the radio to keep me alert, and listened to KLDE (Oldies) all the way home. I'd gotten out of the habit of listening to the radio a long time ago, mainly because I got sick of the commercials. Radio commercials are ten times as obnoxious as TV ads. But last night I really wanted to hear music. I sang along with some of the songs, especially "I'm 'Enery the Eighth, I am"! Yaay Herman's Hermits!
I got home about a quarter past 10, tired & sleepy.