Wednesday, 30 January 2013

really . . . I see . . .

Words uttered quite often these days when in the presence of our son.
Oh dear, I am floundering suddenly in the wake of his knowledge. He knows stuff that I don't. Really knows, and I really don't. Actually, this has been the case for some time. Ezra will talk to Mark happily about certain widgets or a periodic table element and they know what they are conversing about.
The case in all parent/child relationships I suppose. There's a rather large absence in sport education sadly as neither of us are remotely interested. But we do encourage him to walk a lot and I'm trying to implant an exercise regime each morning.
I can take him out into the hills and teach him names of birds, trees, clouds and such like; both of us can help with kitchen information, Mark is there for music, maths, science. Peering into the brain generally and discussing what's in there is with me mostly - why we feel like this about that; why did that man hit another man yesterday in Super U's car park, human emotions, etc. So, hopefully not a bad mix all round. What was I saying . . .
Oh yes: 'really . . . I see . . .'
Ezra makes things with wire, transistors, potentiometers and capacitors. The wire bit I can understand, but beyond that it all becomes a bit of a fuggyness. He's recently acquired a thing called an Arduino. He'll plug it into the computer then bury himself in a book called the Arduino cookbook. About an hour later he'll call me into the office - now a forest of wire and small components, and show me how he has made an LED blink or some twisted noise come out of a tiny speaker from somehow being connected to the computer. He'll then tell me how it works and that's where the afore-mentioned words come in.
Not that it's boring, it's just my brain won't take in the information - too busy thinking about why the dog chose to pee on the sofa, why so many cormorants have chosen to visit Limoux at the moment, or how to make lunch out of a tin of tomatoes and two leeks.
I can admire his constructions though. They remind me a little of the machines in Terry Gilliam's Brazil: super technology crossed with Heath Robinson.

As we pass into this age of uncertainty, fuel crisis looming increasingly, our ways of life possibly challenged, perhaps bods like Ezra will be very sought after in a few years to come.
I can imagine him crouched in some dusty shop in the backwaters of Marseille soldering bits and bobs together to make something work again: a line of people patiently waiting, clutching broken appliances, hoping he can miraculously make a computer out of a toaster, copper wire, an old iPhone and assorted diodes.

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