Good Morning Gentle Readers,
If you ever want a good reason to leave sunny Californicate, try a grueling drive from Casa de las Rocas Grande to the County Recorder's office over in neighboring San Bernardino County on a June-Gloomy kind of pollen-choked morning when construction has stalled traffic to a crawl and the air is thick enough to cut with a cake knife. Ghastly stuff, and this is the norm from here to July 4. Your pal here, at least had the good sense to take the long way home through Reche Canyon. Although the fire damage from three years ago was still noticeable, the hillsides were completely overgrown with those dratted mustard plants.
That would be the second trip in a week because we live in the Stone Age and the county doesn't have any birth records that pre-date 1982 immediately available (they are archived). This seems suspiciously archaic because I'm pretty sure that every birth certificate on record in that county could fit on my hard drive. Come on folks, get somebody moving with a scanner and a couple of PC's.
In fairness, the people at the Hall of Records went to great lengths to help us out with this. This kind of effort is rarely seen at any government agency and Mrs TWC and I are especially grateful for the help because TWC doesn't want to be mistaken for an Illegal Alien or a Terrorist when we return from The Seashores of Old Mexico.
Of course, there is that small problem in that the BIRTHDATE IS WRONG on my official, signed, sealed, delivered, foolproof, county-issued birth certificate. That may prove to be a problem when the Border Patrol (US Customs) compares my official brith certificate to my official Californicate driver license, which isn't good enough to prove that I am a American Citizen (despite being signed, sealed, holographed, and issued by a government agency at least as competent as the INS (excuse me, Homeland Security, Customs & Border Patrol--one each, olive drab in color.).
Naturally, my semi-official certificate of birth, complete with the correct birth date, issued by Loma Linda Sanatarium & Hospital and signed by both the got dam doctor that delivered me and the hospital administrator isn't acceptable. It has to be a valid government issued identification card, ie Driver License AND an official county issued birth certificate.
I'm old enough to remember when you simply rolled up to the border crossing at Tijuana or Otay Mesa and some impolite drone gave you the once over, muttering something about Are you an American Citizen?. If you walked across, the unfriendly drones might look in your purse for doobs or to make sure you weren't importing illegal drugs like Amoxicillin. Sidebar: Everyone thinks Mexico is backward but it is actually quite progressive and freedom-like to allow people to buy medicine over-the-counter. Unheard of in the US where we can't even buy cold medicine off the shelf at Target.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank Homeland Security, the US CONgress, and GWB for making this pain in my butt possible by legislating the Patriot Act. Keeping us safe by making everything difficult (trips to Mexico will require a Passport by end of 2007) for us while doing nothing to ensure our collective safety.
Oh get real, any twelve-year-old with a good PC and a color printer could forge one of those county birth certificates in a half hour and I can assure you that you couldn't tell it from a real one. California driver licenses are supposed to be forge-proof, if that's the case, why the birth certificate requirement? Well, I think we know the answer to that. Anyone with connections, bucks, or both can get a good fake. One that will even stand up to the scan of the magnetic data strip on the back.
The War on the Bill of Rights continues and there is no turning back kids, this is the wave of the future. The Senior Senator from the Great State of Californicate will ultimately get her wish for a retina scan for everybody. Or worse. But hey, if you didn't do anything wrong, what are you afraid of?