Thursday, December 1, 2011
I AM, I do exist, even if you don't know it...
Update the Driver's License, only fifty dollars for five more years. When one isn't certain that one will live that long and what is the joy of that mechanical marvel sitting dirty in the drive... should I? Wait, they are offering the Enhanced Driver's License for only fifteen dollars more. With that one can enter the United States faster! WOW! Okay, when was the last time I entered the United States from Canada, 1967? And I do have an American Passport good until 2015. Just for the new, I will go renew and get the superior upgrade.
Fifty dollars is for driving a car for twenty five, and twenty fire for the endorsement for motorcycles. It doesn't mean that I won't lay it over, hurt myself or others but I do have the State's permission to try and ride it safely. I went Tuesday, and found that I couldn't get the enhanced version, since the computer with the address verification was down that morning. Okay, I would go back on Wednesday.
I went back on Wednesday, and pushed the green button for a number and found I had failed the first test. Can the individual read the number generating machine? not Earl. I liked the green button, it was the one I had pushed yesterday. I was supposed to push the lower one with the flags. Okay, they still took my number and passport and current driver's license and punched it so I can never again use it. Then the mental test, what was my name? address? date of birth, place of birth, My MOTHER's MAIDEN name (???) her birthplace (?), My FATHER's NAME, his birthplace, sure enough the computer did verify my address. Then the tough part, put my forehead in the eye test machine until it turns on, read the top line (first four letters are interesting probably the left eye alone) the last eight easy (four for both eyes, four for right eye only), the color test my father wouldn't have passed, and the blinking lights for peripheral vision - cool, still have it, paranoia rules! So have a seat until you are again called. I brought a book, been here before.
Another clerk, calls for William (as we built a relationship he would change it to Bill) and he asked all the questions again - to insure that what he had was what I thought should be there. Then he asked for my Social Security number (???) He asked me sign a card with a yellow box, putting my signature inside the box. Then I get another seat, called to face the machine and I get my picture taken. Facial recognition (you will have to take major damage to change it all) and a radio replier chip (Radio Frequency Identification) are going to protect the United States from those foreign terrorists and tax cheats. They give me a paper copy of the final finished product, and a protective sleeve so no one can scan my new improved Enhanced Drivers License. The card won't hold all that information, that will be on a computer - duh, probably linked to the Federal folks everywhere - but it will have MY unique individual number. Now I can wait up to thirty days for the real license to arrive at my mail box. Until then I will have to use my passport to enter the United States.
As I departed, to find an out of print book and pick up some reading from the library, I thought about my paper trail. I have a credit history (don't ask me my score - I don't care), I have an education history, a military history, a birth certificate on file in Freeborn County, Minnesota, a wedding certificate in West Virginia, a file with the Passport Agency (have actually picked one up on my way to a flight to Germany), I have an employment history with different libraries. I have a medical history, very extensive with the US Army, a bit dropped off at Veteran's Administration, a local doctor and some dental records somewhere. That is the public records of my passage from the Twentieth Century to the Twenty-first. The financial records are huge! The family and some friends have letters, pictures and stuff that we shared. Oh, I think the insurance companies have some record of me, I have been paying them and they me over the years periodically. Law enforcement, hmm, speeding tickets, one. Stopped by German police for lack of working light on my bicycle, I fixed it. There are probably Historical figures that have fewer words written permanently about them than I do, and just think about their little people that did the kind of work I did in their era - if they even lived as long. No, I don't have a copy of all that paperwork (supervisor evaluations I do have) but it is all out there somewhere.
Now, you do know that Microsoft, Yahoo, facebook, Blogger and lots of other little cyber-spheres have a taint of my passage... and I paid some of them for the privilege. I exist, until the Lord closes my final chapter. I can be Googled long after I will have stopped touching a keyboard or screen... why? oops, that would be philosophy and there isn't that much time.