Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again, Sojourning in the South

Greetings Cohort:


2002 April Dust Storms bring May Fevers

Sarah La Gata conMigo Mesquite is out hunting breky in the bamboo. It is a curious admixture of desert and jungle here. Cactus grows next to bamboo, palm trees in concert with palo verde; the only thing missing is a few parrots perching alongside the grackles and mockingbirds.

After reading some of the articles in the Boston Globe I think it is high time that this society redefined "molest" and "abuse" and got itself back to some more basic and ancient values with respect to the relationships between adults and children. To put it bluntly, the blanket application by this misguided society of some arbitrary age of consent is depriving many youngsters of the loving relationship that would keep them off the street, off drugs, and fed, clothed, and educated in ways beyond the curicula of most formal schools and all too many families. This is all too much like the so called War On Drugs: an insidious, self-serving bureaucracy creating a great waste of time and resources, a witch-hunt putting all too many innocent people in gaol, and no end in sight.

And then just in the nick of time comes this book: Harmful to Minors, The Perils of Protecting Children from [the "S" word], Judith Levine, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0-8166-4006-8.

Finally a respected author/reseacher speaks out with the minority viewpoint and is published by a major university. Perhaps there is yet hope for America. I hope you can find a copy before the censors and book burners manage to get it off the market.

I had a discussion about family nudity with a mother here last week. She, her husband, and their three children all wanted to soak in the hot mineral pools. At first they were accepting of the commons area--nude use only--and the kids seemed to be agreeable, even excited, to get out of their clothes and get into the water. The woman was ok with that but the man wanted to know if he could wear his suit. Skysuit yes, textile no, I told him. Then he wanted to know if he wore his shorts anyhow would I hassle him. If I come in there and you are clothed, I said, I will hassle you. The woman and I had been, at the same time, chatting about all the other aspects of forcing children into clothing. Additionally, I said that adults should be able to work nude, kids should go to school nude. Just think of all the money and time and water that would be saved if the entire population could live nude, especially in a city like Phoenix. Oh, she thought that was a grand idea but her husband was having pink flashes around his gills. I wanted to ask him what he was afraid of and I might have had his kids not been so eager to see him boxed in. Finally, I took their money and showed them to the commons area. As soon as that guy saw the several nude folks already there he nearly dropped his towels trying to shield his kids and get them turned around. Eventually they paid the additional fee for a private pool where he could make them all wear their swimsuits. So all was not lost, maybe they will return some day, but it is too bad that these impressionable children were exposed to their father's ridiculous and embarrassing behaviour instead of the sun and the air and each other.

7th April, The Vernal Equinox Reprise

There are two indications on the calendar of the beginning of Spring: The first is the date near the end of March: "Spring Begins". The Vernal Equinox is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, northbound, after spending our Boreal Winter keeping the Austral Summer hot. The days have been getting longer, and the nights shorter since the Winter Solstice and now night and day are of  equal length for a little while. Then the days become longer than twelve hours and we arrive at the second of the two beginnings of Spring: What to do with all that additional day time going to waste in the early morning hours. It would never occur to most people simply to get up earlier. Bad enough they have to get up as early as they do now. No, rather than get up earlier, most people, by directive of every radio and telly station in the land, set their clocks ahead by one hour before they go to bed. This directive is so far reaching now that many clocks can make the adjustment on their own. Ha! When the alarum clangs in the morning the people are dumped from their sleep an hour earlier than the day before. However, according to their clock, it is the usual time. Confusing? Nationally, the accident rate will spike due to all these folk being biologically off kilter but that is deemed a small price to pay for the hour of additional day time after work.

Sarah La Gata puzzled about taking off her coat.Except for AridZona (and some very few other places I am told). Here the population--most of it anyhow--has the good sense to leave the clock alone. I suppose there is, truthfully, some political or economic expediency at work here but it is nice to believe in the possibility that here there is some sensibility that has escaped the rest of the country. Or as some would say, There is plenty enough sun during the day as it is, no point in adding an hour more.

Sarah La Gata conMigo Mesquite has a new worry. Now she has to open her own door. She is a little put out, as it were, over this new freedom of choice since it means that I will no longer be her doormouse to scamper to her call every time she wants in or out. So, despite this new freedom to come and go, she sleeps more. I can hardly wait to see what happens when she tries to go out for a walk and the ground is racing along faster than she can chase a mouse...

12 April 1934

Cactus and Dove windowWay back before my time, but some of you might remember the occasion, the southeast wind blew 231 miles an hour across the summit of Mount Washington, land of the world's worst weather, in New Hampshire. Today then is Happy Big Wind Day.

23 April

Feast Day of Saint George. Patron Saint of England, Patron Saint of the Boy Scouts (though doubtful any of them today know it), and slayer of dragons.

From time to time, when I sit still in one place for long enough, I build a coloured glass window representative of that place. It is not really stained glass, that process involves painting the glass with dyes and baking the glass to set the colours. This glass is mostly solid colours that I cut and then piece together with lead to make a picture more like those found in a little kids colouring book. Much more my speed. This time I added some thin sections of cut and polished rock. Quartz and such, like geodes.

El Dorado Booth at TNS FestivalThe Naturist Society Southwest Festival was held at Shangri La Ranch in late April. I've been to the Northeast affair twice as a guest but this time my attendance was more to represent El Dorado Hot Spring. I'd not built a display and booth since the old days of participating in Scout Shows so this opportunity was a good creative outlet and learning experience.

Another book to put on your reading list: Nakedness and The Bible, Paul M. Bowman. A long time in the research and writing and presently available only from the author, this book debunks the contention that nudity is somehow morally evil and proscribed by writings in the old and new testaments. See the review by Mark Storey in "N" magazine 21.2, pp 94-95. Write Paul M. Bowman 1978, Ferndale WA 98248.

May Day and Valley Fever.

There is a Thallophyta that lives in the soil hereabouts. When the rare Spring rain comes to nourish it and the inevitable wind stirs it up then new people in the valley are likely to come down with Valley Fever. Some folks fight it with visits to the doctor and all manner of pills and elixers, other folks sleep it off. After three days of sleeping and fasting I woke up hungry and ten pounds lighter. Unlike the flu though, once you've had Valley Fever you won't get it again. I wouldn't want to get it again but I do recommend it as a way to loose weight in a hurry. Probly just the fasting would be sufficient.

Beavertail CactusCactus Report: The Beaver Tail nearby the Desert Garden soaking area had as many as fifty blossoms open at one time.

Now the days are getting warmer, as well as longer. The desert is blooming...

        The time has come the walrus said
                to use a hackneyed phrase
                Screwcap Man and Fliptop Boy
                Have counted down the days
        It's time for on the road again
                For driving through the maze
                Of roads and ways and friends to visit
                Of finding work that pays

Gardyloo, ajo

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. --Sir Isaac Newton

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Copyright © 2003, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , 03813-0144.