Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Child Support?

My heart dropped when I read this email. My head went into overdrive as I wondered if my late night carousing had caught up with me.

I am sure your attorney already provided you with this information but you chose not to make the change.

Mail child support to

XXX Black Point Meadows
Scarborough, ME XXXX

Attached are passport information that you need to have notarized and return to me. If you refuse or choose not to provide a reason as to why.

Maine Pretrial Services

Then I realized this was all a case of mistaken identity. Some other Oggy Bleacher knocked up the wrong lady.

But biology has been on my mind lately. I think passing on genes has something to do with procreating, but I think that has become sort of irrelevant with 7 billion people. The species, if you care about it surviving, is doing ok. So, why have kids? The easy answer is sex. It's accidental. Mexicans don't generally use birth control and by 22 most women are pregnant. Their healthiest eggs are fertilized, they are young enough to deal with the kid or kids. I saw very very few disabled Mexicans and I'll bet this young birth age has something to do with it. Humans are wired to reproduce when we are around 17-20 years old. By the time a Mexican lady is 33 years old she has two teenage kids. That makes sense to me. If it weren't for birth control I'd have numerous lawyers from numerous states and countries emailing me nasty letters for child support I can't afford.

So, the act of sex is enough to quench my desire to reproduce? Not completely. Because I think there is something else going on and that only becomes apparent when you get old and gray and decrepit like myself. That thing is being able to see someone with genetically inherited eyes and hair (is anything as beautiful the hair of a child?) and skin and legs running and playing LIKE YOU ONCE DID. This becomes almost voyeurism but it is a kind of vicarious youth. You are ALMOST living your youth again. You can watch and enjoy a kid do things that your broken knees and bad eyesight will not allow you to do. And believe me, when you get old and your chestnut hair that was once the envy of all begins to gray or fall out then you will do almost anything to recapture that feeling of eternity youth affords. Even having sex with someone you don't really like so you can have a kid you can't afford and set him or her loose on society and enjoy the reflection back on your youth with a slightly different setting but mostly similar routines and dramas. It's pretty selfish but has managed to keep people on the planet for almost a million years.
I think that's what drives a species to reproduce beyond the carrying capacity of the environment. In a species like the wolf, the yearlings, ( the one year old animals (arctic wolves have life spans of a decade)) definitely leave the pack. There is absolutely no vicarious living for wolves. In fact, a mother one year will be chased out of the pack a year later but the new breeding female, sometimes her own daughter. There is no love lost with wolves. But with humans, this petty and nostalgic and dreamy hairless chimp, we want to relive something that was so pleasant and so we provide ourselves with kids to watch and care for long after the kids are actually mature enough to be chased from the den. I mean, 18 years? Are you kidding? I think I was chomping at the bit to leave town when I was 12. But the schools and family forced me to stay another 6 years to properly destroy me. Or was it they wanted to watch me and so I don't trust people who actually have nothing to offer me but pretend to offer me something when they are really reliving their wasted youth?

This is what I pondered when I went 1000 ft in the ground to tour the Churchill Falls hydroelectric plant. Let me tell you that the electricity of Canada WAS HARD WON. I mean, HARD HARD WON. The least of the worries was diverting water from a magnificently gigantic churchill river and falls (they are now a trickle in a huge gorge for a mile or two). No, the hard part was engineering 11 generators and turbines and transistors 100 feet in solid rock. I was real proud of my keyboard fix until I saw what was going on underground. Now I'm humbled. All the electricity I've used for two days is from this dam. Clean. Except for the diversion of the water and the resources used to manufacture the components and copper wire and the control stations. I wonder if the Piscataqua river will one day have a moving arm generator to harness the power of the water through the channel?
Gotta move on now. You engineers get working on those plans.


I finally found the problem. Didn't Edison say that success is built on failure? Well, I failed multiple times yesterday to fix this keyboard. The map below is the bottom membrane of the keyboard. The bottom is the space bar and the next level was the one not working. Why? Well, see the screw hole in the bottom right hand corner? That had some rust on it and that rust affected the graphite or carbon circuit. That alone was a eureka moment for me huddled in my van with the wind blowing outside Churchill falls. But how to fix it? I videoed several attempts involving dielectric spark plug grease pencils and finally, in a stroke of genius and creativity that has my step a stone lighter than it was yesterday, I cut a piece of circuit from the redundant number pad and glued it over the damaged circuit only barely covering half the center dot since one half worked and the other was corrupt. But glue isn't a conductive, right? So I didn't glue the circuit, I only glued along the edge to keep the bridge in place, then I cut a piece of surgical rubber off a guitar wall hanger and glued that on top of the bridge so when I screwed it all together the rubber would press down and bridge the circuit. It was only that one dot that was bad. It's the one where the comma is and since that is where the rubber shim now sits sometimes the comma is stubborn and I'm not going to go back and fix it, dig?
Let this be recorded in the history of bush engineering as maybe the most delicate repair ever. Allen's transmission repair on his sailboat when an internal bolt sheared off in Panama still stands as the most labor intensive and complicated fix but I challenge anyone to fix a computer keyboard in wild Labrador with super glue, nose hair scissors and a guitar hanger.

Just because I can't get enough of seeing myself in print.

Yes, I know I'm not represented as Oggy Bleacher from the future but despite my rehearsals when it came down to the gun I could not say it. The whole point is to have it on video and this would require my getting the tripod out starting the camcorder and asking a reporter to hang out in the rain while I don my silk shirt and 70s polyester bell bottoms so I could state I'm from the future and looking for the arctic wolf. Not only would the reporter not hang around or give my mission actual coverage but she'd call the police and I wouldn't get anything on film. That's why this whole thing needed a cameraman so I didn't do it all myself but because the world is full of cowards and excuse makers who would rather sit in front of their computers and television watching spooks dance in shadow ecstasy I am alone in Labrador and the documentary on a time-traveler is nearly impossible to make at the same time as I am fixing computers.
I love typing again. My venomous resentment toward the world is so much easier to communicate with ten fingers than with the single letter entry method.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.