Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trail North

I don't want to blame anyone for the difficulties I've encountered thus far. I've failed to see a wolf of any kind. Heck, I haven't even seen a dog! And the condensation in the van in the morning has everything covered with Mt. Everest Frost. Frozen Bananas. Frozen Cheese. Frozen toes. Gandhi called his Bio "Experiments with Truth" and I didn't want to lie to the border police that I intended to do anything less than go to Ellsmere Island and see Arctic wolves because the climate changes will affect them most drastically, etc. The police did not concur with my rationale and after some tense arguments that I don't want to detail here I was evicted under threat of arrest and imprisonment. And told not to "Border Shop" by way of finding an alternative way in.

The worst part is that now I have a crush on the female official who argued with me for thirty minutes.

"You're not listening to what I'm saying," she said, which was true because she had the prettiest hair and fingers that I know have played the fiddle or piano...and she's from New Foundland. She was saying something about "immediate arrest" and violation of some "international law" and all I could do was stare at her eyes behind her stylish glasses. And she said "Aboot" in the most thrilling way. Like, "I'm aboot to arrest you."

Oh! True love!

I'll never forget your name, "140783"

God, I really thought we were a good match. Her kevlar bullet proof vest and my sea shell necklaces. I begged her to come with me.

"You're from Newfoundland and I'm going to Labrador. It's a perfect match."

"You can't drive there in that van."

"And you know the way! Be my guide! I'll buy everything."

"With $600?"

"I'll work along the way."

"That's exactly what you can't do. You're not..."

"I'll play guitar in the streets of Cape Breton. Please! I feel Canadian at heart!"

"You'll turn around and go back across the bridge."

"Help me. The wolf is in deep trouble. See, I'm from the future. And I need to save the wolf. See, right now mankind is using resources at a rate of..."

Not long after that I was explaining to the U.S. border police why I didn't get into Canada. And they were about ready to force Canada to take me after my tale of wolves and Baffin Island and climate change. This is the thanks I get? I feel trapped but must continue. Thanks to James Taylor for the soundtrack. Terra Nova is the tune and that means New Foundland. I dedicate this to the beautiful border patrol woman who touched my heart as she frisked me for weapons. I'll see you again in my dreams.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

On the trail of the arctic wolf

The trail was littered with broken cars, haphazardly overturned dreams, but Oggy plunged forward into the teeth of the first winter storm, asking advice from truckers and hunters and homeless and librarians. They all pointed into the white wind and said, "Go North."
"But there must be at least one Arctic Wolf here."
"No. I don't think so."
"Are you sure? Look at the picture."
"Nope. I'd know about it. We don't have wolves in Maine let alone Arctic Wolves."
"Where do I go then?"
"But isn't this Canada?"
"Oh, I forgot. In the future, where I'm from, Canada annexed Maine."
"Annexed it?"
"Claimed it as stolen territory from some war in 1805."
"Yep. And the United States did nothing. The people of Maine ended up way better off as citizens of Quebec. They were poor as hell."
"When did that happen?"
"Are you feeling alright?"
"I feel great. I'm cold but...where are you going?"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Canada ho

The lesson with any trip is to get miles behind you. We are gypsies who have the hooks of percieved comfort holding us back. So now that miles are behind me and the way becomes more clear I see that all my carefull laid plans were foolish. 389 is impassible. Will that stop me? No, I choose to go to New Brunswick and then to Nova Scotia and then New Foundland and then north. I will bypass the unplowed 389 tundra road and circumvent failure. The wolf howls in the distance and I hear his cry. The journey truly begins when the plans are cast aside. That happened within a few hours of leaving town.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A close call

I thought I found an Arctic Wolf, but was defeated by reality....

I will keep looking

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Should I stay or should I go?

There are no excuses anymore. Live like a dog or die like a man?

Monday, November 22, 2010

A little trouble from a landowner

Onward North

Still no wolves but I met this nice man who showed me the way. Let me say that in the future it is never this cold so I'm going to have to adjust.

Live Free or Go to Labrador

Two dogs and a moped. That's how we tackle the arctic in NH.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oggy Reports From The Year 2030: "Clim8 change ain't cool!"

The basic message (if you can't understand me over the wind) is that the climate in 2030 is terrible and I've traveled through time back to 2010 to alter the course of history. PLEASE LET US MAKE ENORMOUS CHANGES TO OUR LIFESTYLE is the theme of my mission. For the sake of the wolf.

The climate has to be protected and the scientists who sent me here decided that the best way for me to relay this message is to go to Baffin Island to visit the Arctic Wolf for a Man/Wolf summit meeting. Politically, the United States is a total fraud with elections deciding which thief will steal the most money. So any changes will be from the bottom up and if you are reading this then you are on the bottom.

If you think the state of the world is bad now then let me tell you it is even worse in 2030 where a reincarnated Michael Jackson is Secretary of Defense and reruns of Jersey Shore are worshiped like the bible. Osama Bin Laden is still running amok but in 2030 Afghanistan has the climate of Brazil so he wears bermuda shorts in his videos.

The lessons we learned is that anything is possible and everything has a price. Most people understand the first part and ignore the second so my mission is to demonstrate that price. 350 ppm of CO2 is the limit. In 2010 the concentration is like 380 ppm. In 2030 the concentration is 520. We can avoid that future even if it means I'll be erased from existence.

What I learn along the way depends on my ingenuity and your curiosity. There is no where I won't go to educate and illuminate.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is the converse true?

If I can't have a bad day in Bell Bottoms does that mean I can't have a good day in plain beige cargo pants? I tested this theory today and let me tell you it was a shit storm from start to finish with the bulk of the abuse laid on Oggy's wallet and lungs.

Awoke to the smell of latex paint and fumes from the painting going on near Oggy's bed. The guy was trying to get work done around my old socks and dirty thoughts.

Next step was to ask advice on how to assemble a pedestal for my wood stove. That's right. It went from a simple stove to a damn set piece from Citizen Kane. Now who is the Pharaoh? But all the metal came from the Wentworth scrap and salvage yesterday where they gave me the stuff for free because I was wearing plaid bell bottom pants. The guy next door who trades penny stocks and counts his nickles and memories all day advises me that the plate metal is no good for my 23 pound stove. "It's flimsy," he says as he leans his 250 pounds of impacted fecal matter on my pedestal. No shit! This isn't true but he thinks so in his bulldozer dreams. The other guy who nearly amputated his finger with a metal grinder laughs at it and says, "he don't want to listen..." which is a clear statement of ignorance and condescension which will always lead me to listen even less. That old bag up in Laconia said the exact same thing to me and she was very close to ending up in a carpet along with the scraps of aluminum heat sink fabricated from Vietnamese slave children. The only people who don't listen are others when I say that I live my life by a vast set of unwritten rules so complicated that I'm still trying to return to Alaska to pick up a piece of trash that blew out of the back of the pick up truck I was laying in as I hitched down to the Kenai peninsula to see eagles. But does anyone listen? No. I'm the stubborn asshole! Ok. Keep up the good work in the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe one day we'll light it on fire and eat cooked crab as they leap from the flaming water.

All of this taking place with normal old pants on as my damn plaid bell bottoms were so wet because the fucking rugs in my van are soaking from an ill-advised bath I gave them.
Yeah, I'll have clean fucking rugs when I freeze to death in Labrador. Idiocy. I'm sure all the Inuit villagers there would look down on me if my rugs were dirty

So, everyone has great advice about how to weld plate metal onto a platform except I've got a leatherman tool and a drill with no battery as tools so how to cut the piece is beyond me. So it is off to another scrap yard where a Maine junk man with a limp like a wounded moose gave me a piece of plate metal from the inside of the naval shipyard prison and with the screws I fished from the inside of a computer housing I think I can manufacture something ON MY OWN. Of course no one wants to help a guy in cargo pants so they charged my ass to take a piece of rusty metal from their bin. Great.

Then the fucking starter on the van starts making sounds like it is mixing glass marbles in a blender and all this reminds me of the traveler's adage which is, "Go. Go. Go." because if you tarry then the universe will close its ugly fingers around your plans and will laugh in glory as you fumble for recovery. If you can't solve problems on the road then you should just stay home and watch Jeopardy. But I can't leave with actual problems so now I'm fucked. Joseph Campbell said, "Follow you bliss" he didn't say "Watch your bliss fade over the horizon until it is out of sight and you have a broken washing machine and the parts will take a week to arrive," which is exactly what I did following the shitty advice of NASA engineers and car salesmen. Bullshit!

So, the starter is fucked...I've got moldy rugs...numerous rusty pieces of metal on the moldy rugs which are now as dirty as they ever were...$60 worth of stainless steel flex pipe that glowed devil red hot when I accidentally fed it particle board with toxic glue...the brakes are juddering...my bank account dwindles every time I go and flirt with the fake tan\hair extension girl with the nice ass at the BBQ shack...and I'm wearing cargo pants. FUCK!

Wish list:
plaid bell bottom pants for every day of the week.
pac boots size 10.5 good for -40 or below. preferably used.
remanufactured starter for 1969 E 200 5.0 liter Gypsy van
tall glass of vodka
new cartilage for spine
a cure for my eyelid affliction that leaves my eyelid skin peeling like a snake in the desert.

My quality of life index is proportionally related to my bell bottom pants index, which is also zero.

Monday, November 15, 2010

You can't have a bad day in bellbottoms

That's my new motto and these past days have proven me correct. It's like an Amish barn raising where everyone is contributing something to the expedition. the van may ultimately break down but this bit of community coming together to put me right is nice. Parts, time, advice. Even the bell bottom pants came from San Fran courtesy of the junk prince of Sunset.
Then I got some expensive stainless steel flex pipe. That's 6 feet of stainless steel and that's pricey. But it's going to work. Cut a hole in the roof and stick the pipe in, add some custom flanges and put the stove on top of a nice steel platform that I tracked down at wentworth scrap and salvage along with some other scrap metal. Man, what a day of dumpster diving and it reminds me that for 12 hours of arduous hole filing in my van passes by effortlessly as I am engaged and focused while five minutes of making harnesses or mailing hockey equipment caused me to have a stroke from anxiety and depression. I problem solve with the best of them but the first thing I ask is if the problem has to be solved. That takes a long time because unlike the engineers who developed the microchip I pondered for more than ten seconds the effects of vast amounts of mercury bombarding the water table. I guess the nitwits at MIT don't teach that in their classes.

All of this leads me to washing my rugs in Bell Bottom pants and playing piano at the clipper home. Man, there's only one way to get out of that place. All the joys and pains will fade into a foldout table and batting a balloon with a fly swatter while a kid in bell bottom pants plays The Entertainer. Maybe holding your grandchild for a few minutes. A woman there once played piano but her right hand was crippled by arthritis or stroke and the rest of her was due for a trade in too. So I played what I know. I was there to visit the mother of the lovely lady in the picture...

Note the plaid bell bottom pants and their proximity to a pretty woman. Coincidence?

I don't know if it is better to deny that we all eventually get too old to dress ourselves or if it is a good thing to embrace our final destination. Does it make me appreciate the life I have now? Maybe. I guess your ability to tend to your parents as they age and fall down and forget who you are depends on your personality and situation. They did give us life even if they were really just having unprotected sex, and they put up with incredible bullshit when we were running around and refusing to listen and cutting our foreheads and fussing about how the broccoli touched the macaroni and cheese and they fought bitterly with each other over who would take full responsibility of us when their ability to tolerate each other evaporated. They did love us at some level and after we could feed ourselves they didn't vanish but instead grew frail and ended up at the Clipper Home with a fly swatter in their hand as a balloon floats slowly toward a sippy cup.

Oh, I don't understand this fickle life, this long line of cars and music and arguments that all must end with death. Our damn culture makes visiting our own elderly family almost impossible due to space and time. I swear we should all just adopt another person's elderly parents that are close to our house and visit them and treat them like they were our mother or father. Like, it makes no difference to someone who can't hardly remember or move or see. They don't want to be forgotten but they have also forgotten how seldom they saw their own parents when they were 40 and had kids demanding socks and shots. There's a line in Rabbit is Rich, where Rabbit is reflecting on his age and place in life: "Rabbit can't believe he will ever be as dead as his mother in law."
And I interpret this to mean that Rabbit can barely remember her existing...and I guess outside of Rabbit's son and ex wife, he will be exactly as dead as his mother in law...just a ghost on a mantle in a black and white picture looking young and handsome, someone's whose effects will be cursed over, "Why did he save this?"

It's overwhelming to me in a hospice/elderly house with the frailty and decrepitude. One man was fumbling with one of those foldable cartons of milk we used to drink at school. His thumbs were working the opening and no one was around and his skin was paper white and green veins bulged on his glossy hairless back. There were remains of some kind of porridge in front of him and the milk carton had green substance on it from his lips. He wasn't completely helpless as he managed to open the carton but he couldn't leave the table without help. Where do you begin? He was probably a naval officer or a reliable mechanic or a jazz guitarist and now he fumbles with milk cartons. Makes me cry a bit.

I got a glass of water for the woman I was visiting and she held it in her bony hands and put a finger in the water so she could tell the depth of it before she drank it. That's a technique used by blind people so I figure her vision is fading though she did recognize me and even had a nice anecdote about walking downstairs in 1987 to find me sleeping on the couch with my eyes open. She raised like 6 kids and maybe the best way to honor her is to keep living.

At one point she said, "Look at those pants!"

Saturday, November 13, 2010


You know you are your father when you abhor pop music. I think the chances that someone would choose to read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse instead of getting stoned on crystal meth with your horny girlfriend and dancing in a glitter filled pool are zero. Hesse is going to be like the dead sea scrolls one day in a land of all night raves and drug wars.

Ke$ha is basically Madonna, whom I loved in 1985, so it is my prejudice that fills me with dread about the content of this video..in another song she rhymes "Famous" with "Anus"

Katy Perry had a tune covered on Glee (teenage visual crack) and this is the video for that...pure softcore porn. Something I would hesitate to allow my kid to watch but secretly jerk off my withered penis while watching. Keeping your music old is as likely as keeping your parents young.

But it must be modernized our pop culture and it is only good if a 40 year old balks at it. I want to embrace it but am horrified by it. If the climate is destroyed at least people will be stimulated and sex will be honored and humanity will blunder onward, leaving a wake of destruction, in pursuit of a teenage dream.
I do wonder how much of it is pure market manipulation by music production companies and how much of it is natural youth rebellion.
And for those who prefer to see us all succumb to the temptations I should point out that a puritan resistance/separtist movement IS ALSO HISTORICALLY NATURAL. So go screw yourself. You pick your side and roll with it.
Note: these songs may be stuck in your head for a day so proceed with caution.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Call of the wild

I realize that the earth will find its own balance and the fittest will survive and that if I do nothing but eat potato chips and solve crossword puzzles there will not be any medals handed out at the gates of heaven either way.

And yet, some things are valuable in spite of the nihilist vacuum we use to justify our sloth. The Arctic Wolf is one of those things. I'd say that our nobility is measured by the autonomy/sanctity of the wolf. Here's Slim Whitman with a theme song...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stove Pipe madness

the problem with putting a stove in your van is that it will not be the same van after you are done. I'm trying to change the least amount of the layout as possible and this is not feasible. Everything has to change to put a stove in your van. That's a lesson I'm stubbornly refusing to acknowledge. No matter where I put the stove it has to vent and the easiest way to vent it is by putting it next to a window and going through the window. But that means one door can't open. ANd if I put it through the roof then there will be a stove pipe zig zagging around over my bed and also a 2 ft piece of pipe sticking out of the roof waiting to snag on a bridge or a dunkin donuts drive thru arch or a toll booth sign. And that will tear a huge hole in my roof if not tear the whole bubble top off the roof and leave me with a convertible van in a labrador snow storm. Now, that would make a funny story and I'm sure you'd all laugh but I'd be the one with a shitload of trouble to deal with and my projections give me trouble. It has to be done but I want it done in a way that will not tempt disaster. Maybe that isn't possible. Maybe I should tempt as much disaster as possible to get it over with. No matter what I do it will look like the yellow submarine. Run with the devil.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Sons of Job

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Universal Forces

With each step I take towards Labrador the universe is taking one step toward me. This is the underlying lesson of the Follow Your Bliss ethic. When I am ready for my destiny I will find it. Speaking of finding shit has anyone seen my Alaskan axe? This stove accepts 4'' pieces or shorter.
I am also taking advance advice on my "Un Mundo Sin Drogas" tour of Mexico. I believe war has a place in human affairs but a war over drug profits is lowering the bar beyond my tolerance level. Come on. Would you fight someone over a six pack of Natural Ice? I hope not. It all starts with a sober population so Oggy is going clean from now until the cartels make peace.
p.s. when I posted this Google gave me links to rehab houses. How about links to organizations dedicated to ending the war on drugs!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Until our brains are safe from the marketing dragons then all education is like bailing water on the Titanic...or worse like using gasoline to put out a fire. I'm telling you that the forces of Wall Street are more powerful than the seven books of Moses. My efforts to subvert and compromise the power of consumer marketing will increase proportional to the abuse designed by Proctor & Gamble falsehood. Is it not my right to fight back, to strike the necks of commercial piracy and manipulation?

Learn as you go

I'm no expert in these things but that won't stop me from trying to make it work. The stove worked properly with the stove pipe in place. I received low grades for my license plate custom roof flashing experiment and so have opted for a regulation part. I ask people to come with me so they can see exactly where their advice will be applied but excuses fall like leaves in the forest. And this is the problem because until you are 300 kilometers from anywhere and have to survive then all the fancy custom applications are meaningless. I have to be able to replicate everything I'm doing on the road. Anyone who has ever gone on a long distance journey would know this. So, if it can't be done with a leatherman then it's vetoed. I also dislike living in complete chaos but it is easy to give advice based on the ownership of several cars and an incorrigible hunger for credit. I pay cash and I drive/live in my van. The condition of my van dictates the condition of my living space. So remodeling, which will happen at some point, is no small decision. Especially when both thumbs cramped up so bad yesterday as me and chicken man were removing the radiator hose that tears came to my eyes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Two inch stove pipe is as hard to find as white meat chicken salad. After some investigation this stove I have will only work properly with stove pipe attached. Don't ask me why an empty hole won't draw air, but it doesn't. The fire goes out when I put the lids on. But with pipe there is suction and oxygen and the air doesn't fill with smoke around my crusty eyes.
I'm excited and hesitant as another episode of A&E's "Intervention" has me wondering if I've taken Al Gore's words too seriously. Shouldn't I ignore Lester Brown's "sky is falling" prophecy? I could get stoned and work at the robot factory like the other employees. I might even own a mobile home in a few years at the rate of $40 a week. Not bad. But I'm unsatisfied with that future and so launch into an unprecedented voyage in a stove-equipped 1969 Econoline van into the tundra of Quebec and Labrador. I've heard rumors of these places but never seen them with my own eyes and I've learned those are the only way I learn anything. Still, is my gallivanting a cry for help or is the vacuum of silence I hear in response to my plea for the Arctic Wolf proof that it is not I who needs to rectify his worldview? That's really what it comes down to. If there is a place on earth that does not raise wage slave puppets then that's where I want to be. If that is the natural end of Mankind then it is indeed me who has run aground on the sandy shores of philosophical extremes. Basically, are we truly at a turning point or have I amplified the dangers in my head and been brainwashed by Naomi Klein to the point that my cause has become my worst enemy? Because one answer has me alone in a padded wall. The other answer has me outside the padded wall looking in at Microsoft's obedient workers. Either way there is no return of my serve.

NTB final judgement

Returned to NTB and was granted a refund of the alignment cost. Cost of tires was not refunded and although I am not satisfied I have weak grounds to pursue this matter. I am the master of my vehicle. I know that their negligent action caused my tires to wear but I can't prove anything and tire warranties are generally given by % of tire wear remaining. So if I say that 3/4 of the tire is new then I'd get a 3/4 refund. But the reason I'm returning the tires is because 1/4 of the tire is completely done, which would get me a 0% refund...since I technically used the entire tire before returning it. This conundrum is easy for me to explain but would take a lawyer to prove.

And when they ask, "Mr. Bleacher, did you go to Freyburg, Maine to hike Bald Faced Mountain before or after you had a tire blow out, a seized bearing, and suspected the alignment was bad?"
I will stammer..."After."
"And how long of a journey was that?"
"Including my search for my lost youth?"
"About 200 miles."
"And did you make any other long journeys after you suspected the tires were wearing unevenly in the time when you made the discovery and returned for a second alignment adjustment at the defendant's shop?"
"You mean, like playing Golf in Wells? And driving to Hampton Beach? And taking to Nottingham and back to play the Gone With The Wind theme on a piano? And going to Exeter to flirt with a waitress?"
"Yes, those are the incidents I mean."
"Isn't it true that you realized the alignment was bad merely a few weeks and hardly 100 miles of wear on the tires?"
"It's true but..."
"And that means you drove 1400 miles on tires you knew were not aligned and are now blaming my client for your insousance."
"But I was WORKING."
"On your putting game...?"
"Isn't it true that you are a self abusive deviant who lives in his van and told my client that, 'I just want the alignment done. Don't give me any theories about loose bearings and shocks.' When in fact, you would end up spending hours and hours and $300 to determine something my client would have told you had you asked."
"Are these the actions of a responsible car owner?"
"Did you have doubts about my client's abilities?"
"Grave doubts."
"Yet you proceeded with the order."
"I thought I was doing the right thing."
"But you had doubts. Whose responsibility is the van?"
"Speak up, Mr. Bleacher. The jury wish to hear your mutterings."
"MINE! It's my responsibility. All Right. I'll pay for the fucking tires! I'll die in Labrador if that's what you want! Will that make you happy?"
"Let the record show that the plaintiff is clearly deranged and is looking for someone to blame for his early death."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Abandoned Barn

We were crossing a dark field like Indian upstarts on private property when I felt the hair on my neck stand up.
"Is it hunting season?" I whispered.
All I could see was a silhouette of a person limping nearby. Far off behind the leafless branches of an old apple tree was the shape of a hulking abandoned barn, dark and silent and deadly. No wonder we were so spooked that every hint of a sound caused us to get on our knees and crawl.
"Because you look just like an injured deer."
"I think Arctic Wolves are in season. One pelt could buy enough wood for the winter."
"I should cut your throat with my machete for saying that."
And I did have a machete for some reason on my belt. That is what happens when two scorpion bowls are followed by Crab Rangoon and a drink called "The Scorned Bastard: Make you forget your problems." You end up in an abandoned barn on Halloween night at midnight with a machete waiting to defend yourself against bow hunt attacks.

All emotion has been drained from my body at this point and it will take a solid experience in Labrador to replace it. I see life as a continual struggle to maintain equilibrium in the face of fuel costs and emotional drains such as ion implantation components. It must be nice to casually benefit from the efforts of slave workers but this is not in my blood. I will barter straight up from now on. I will ask of you nothing that I would not do myself and I will provide nothing I wouldn't expect from you. This will prevent me from sucking the life blood of the Chinese factory worker WHO IS NOT ANY MORE OR LESS IMPORTANT THAN STEVE JOBS. I can't emphasize that enough. There is no justification for one's being pampered like A FUCKING PHARAOH and the other being strapped to an electrostatic discharge wire because he doesn't want to fry the IC of the Wii wireless cheerleading baton. BULLSHIT! I reject this paradigm and can not take part in the grotesque abuse of exploited nations. I start to wonder if smallpox is better or worse than a lifetime of microsoft enslavement. I wonder if the price of a small pox vaccine is a lifetime spent dismantling the computer systems that the Pharaohs used to implement their plan of destruction. These thoughts can not be pondered or solved without complete silence and peace. OR else the struggles and dangers must be so acute (such as an arrow to the neck) that my brain will not address both at the same time. My brain is slowly burning itself out trying to understand the insane path humanity is on. Yet I press on because I am the Steve Jobs of mental masturbation. I definitely see America as an elite nation of vampires feeding on the thin blood of the starving Haitian. But go ahead and reuse your plastic bag! You should get a fucking medal.

Here is the last resting place of the faceless gangster who pillaged the farm stands of New England. His ghost haunts the pits and quarries of Nottingham. Take note all pirates:
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.