Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again — A Mad Red Hatter?
Here: I'm parkin' on the corner in Winslow AridZona, such a fine sight
to see... It's a person! my lord on a red skate board, wearin' shorts
that stop above her knees. Could you read that line without the
tune and the rhyme perking to the surface? I just missed the Tenth
Anniversary of Standin On The Corner.
Visiting the mental asylum here in
...after Pizza and Scrabble with Laura last night. Considering the
state of my creeping paranoia and feelings of mental instability I
asked the Director how do you determine whether or not a patient should
be institutionalized. 'Well,' said the Director, 'we fill up a
bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the
patient and ask them to empty the bathtub.' 'Oh, I understand,' said
I; 'A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than
the spoon or the teacup?' 'No' said the Director, 'A normal person
would pull the plug. We have a bed near the window; would you like that
one? The bars won't interfere with the view that much.'
Friday, 10 October, 2008, Wally World
As time and a half passes I am on my Way towards whatever Doom
awaits me. At the moment I am writing from Prescott AridZona.
Very windy here today. The weather service must have taken note of
these conditions as they have issued a Wind Advisory for those who have
yet to go outside. The way this old bus is rocking like a sailboat at
berth I have no need to venture forth. Perhaps tomorrow will be worse.
And your Self? How be you?
Over the past two days I've driven from Flagstaff, picked up mail at
Williams (Thanks to Mike!), thence down the big hill, a thousand feet
in six miles or so, to Drake. Drake is one of those little tiny dots on
the map with little more than a grade crossing to mark its location. In
an area indicated on my chart as Prescott National Forest exists some
"plant" self-important enough to employ a Security/First Aid person
whose job it is to run around in a souped-up ATV and chase away tired
travellers from whatever wide-spot they might find for respite from the
road. After three tries I finally got beyond the invisible boundary of
his territory and managed a quiet night. In the morning, before dawn
lightened the sky an hundred cars/pickups had passed by my camp headed
into the "plant", each carrying one person. From whence come these
workers and how much fuel are they using for this commute? Ash Fork,
nearest community to the north, is at least 17 miles; to the south lie
Paulden, Chino Valley, and Prescott at 10-20-30 miles respectively...
Do the math... Seems to me it would be better to build a new town right
Running the bus on veggie oil gives a whole new meaning to the term
North Ranch SKP and Kaiser Warm Springs
Article in a local paper carrying on about the virtues of this canyon
and spring therein--how to get there in a 4WD and what to wear to be
safe and stylish. The only things I'll take issue with in this article is that you
can leave the Jeep and the bathing suit (along with the rest of your
clothing) at the paved road and walk in. Nice time at North Ranch. Took
the opportunity to buy a few kilowatts and vacuum the rugs, wash
windows, shower, write, do a little more of the recovery from computer
Corumbus Day Weekend
Now parked in the woods near Vulture Peak a little south of Wickedburg
AridZona. All the more wicked for the big truck that sidled past in the
downtown traffic and amputated the stinger of my 40m Hamstick. Twisted
up the mounting bracket too. Yet made worse by my subsequent haste to
do something about it; when I unhitched the little truck my articulated
short-wire aerial snapped its fibreglass mast before the wire itself
broke. So my first day of relaxing off the road was taken up with
necessary repairs before I could get on with geocaching and writing
letters. Oh Well. At least all this has given me something less mundane
to write about.
Summer is over. Time to pay the piper, face the music, change the oil
and get my nose back on the grindstone.
Wenzday, Simchat Torah, La Casa Blanca,
Winter Quarters Bay
Arrived Tonopah AridZona on friday last. First order of business is a
nice soak in the hot tub. . . o O (Thanks Mike!) The Cat is berthed at
the end of a 30 meter Cat-5 umbilical tying her to Mike's LAN. Internet
Access, among the Essential Insanities, rates almost as high as water
and electric. And food. For the food I am back to volunteering at the
Food Bank. Today's special was vacuum cleaners and tomatoes. Three
upright vacuums I cleaned and diagnosed, along with sundry useless
cellphones and a milkcase of Disney VHS tapes. The things some folks
throw away: Two of the vacuums, nearly as dirty on the outside as on
the inside, were clogged with hairballs; someone will get a good deal
at the Thrift Store on those appliances. The tomatoes came in several
forms: A sack of somewhat-past-fresh and still on the vine, tinned as
tomato sauce, tinned-stewed-chopped, family size tinned condensed soup,
My Mail-in-Early Ballot was returned in today's post. I'd forgotton to
sign the affidavit.
Sunday, 26 October, 2008, What's This
"Are you going to be meeting some new people, today? You need to take
them at face value -- drawing conclusions too early or making any type
of assumption about who they are or what they are about or what
motivates them could take you a long way down the wrong track! Regard
these other people as folks who have no hidden agendas, and everything
will be fine. Give them the benefit of any doubts, because isn't that
what you are hoping they're doing for you? Respect is a two-way
Nobody showed up after all.
Samhain, the 1st of November
Have you read in the news about the proposed merger between GM and
Chrysler? Once that is accomplished GM will buy up the Vatican. Then
they'll market a new model: the Jesus Chrysler. Three days after you
buy one the price will rise.
Still cleaning up after Summer: Did the long overdue oil change.
Twenty-one quarts of Rotella. Four filters. Tomorrow the grease job
part, but first, now, it is Gin&Tonic Time.
Oops! G&TT interrupted by a call from the Far East. CyB, on their
way back from New Mexico, are stranded out in the mountains east of
Globe, have to be towed off the road. Twice today Aguila has suffered
from total electric shutdown. Complete loss of power. Now I am
gathering tools and parts for a road call to fix an unknown problem.
2nd November; Reports of Sara(h)'s
...Have Been Greatly Exagerated. Oh-Dark-Thirty, on the road east with
a truckload of tools. An 150 miles to the scene of the action at Apache
Gold Casino Campground and Hotel. The little truck is bucking and
snorting all the way. Everything is supposed to be going smooth when
there is a waxing moon, eh?
Halfway through taking apart the primary wiring harness the problem has
been located at a loose connexion and Michael calls from camp.
--You'd better be sitting down for this news, he says. A neighbor came
by to say that Sara(h) had been hit by a car. Mike had already been to
the scene and retreived the body.
--Oh Well. What can I say. I told her not to play in the street. Back
when she was a kit and brought in her first mouse I told her she was
part of the food chain; I told her to stay away from rattlesnakes and
streets. Put her up someplace, on the workbench; we'll deal with it
So I finished with Aguila. Loose connexion at the junction of the
primary fuseable link from the chassis battery and the emergency start
solenoid from the house battery. Only finger tight. Probly worked loose
on the washboard roads of New Mexico. With that problem out of the way
I changed the sparking plugs in the little truck; after a bite of lunch
and a fillup of oil & petrol, turned towards Tonopah--no nap.
Multitasking. Funeral arrangements. Driving strange roads. Napping
between stoplights. Checking with Mike about shopping lists. --Whoa! he
exclaims, did I just see Sara(h) walking by? --It hasn't been three
days, said I. --Maybe with cats it only takes three hours?
Mike came back to the radio to say that the cat in the morgue wasn't
Sara(h) after all. To be sure he found no classy pink and white flea
collar. But otherwise the markings are very much the same--what you can
see of them. Ok! So I don't need to shop for a pine box after all, just
more tonic and cat food.
Shopping along the Way.
I notice that the package size of several items is smaller these days.
Bacon at 12oz, down from a pound; salsa at 14oz, used to be 16oz. The
manufacturers do this shrinking package thing thinking we won't notice
the hidden increase in cost? Do these companies belittle consumers by
playing us for so stupid? Are we really so stupid? How long will it be
before eggs are sold by the deka instead of the dozen? How long before
there are only sixty ounces in a gallon of petrol?
A quotation found on Election Day:
"A country where people cannot walk safely in their own streets has not
earned the right to tell any other people how to govern itself, let
alone to bomb and burn that people." Arthur Miller wrote those thoughts
in 1968; they are still true today and still just as much ignored. This
may well be an historic election day but it will be a while before I
will agree there has been any change.
Cleaning Up After
Finally have the LOF service done on the bus and truck. Mostly ready
for the next adventure as soon as I pay the bill from the last and save
a little money. Yesterday I had a small warty thing removed from the
middle of my back. Too early to say what it was.
to see where The Cat Drag'd Inn
is berthed at the moment. The image at the left is a marked up version
of what is found at that link. X marks the well at N 33 29.555, W 112
56.464; datum WGS 84. The north-south brown line is a stockade fence
delimiting the Casa Blanca property to the west from the El Dorado Hot
Spring to the east. There is also a stockade fence east-west forming
the north boundary The north-south black line is the paved drive
providing access to Indian School Road. Just to the west of the paved
drive is a fairly well defined north-south line of trees forming the
west boundary of the property; part of this line is fenced as
necessary. All the area inside the fence is clothing optional.
Other items in the compound from north to south: Near the north end of
the east fence is a brown storage van. The blue rectangle is Mike's
The yellow rectangle is The Cat
Drag'd Inn. Parked here temporarily, usually located between the
two red coaches to the south. Between The...Inn and Mike's house are
two RV P-W-S pedestals which each can support two RV's. Next going
south is "The North House", a
rental property presently available. South of the North House is
the house known as La Casa Blanca. This is "The Owner's" residence when
they are in residence and not on the road or at their Summer Camp known
as Wind Horse near Pie Town. The brown rectangle off the southeast
corner of LCB is the LaST building: Laundry & Shower Toilet. The
two red rectangles represent Aguila, a 28 foot 4x4 Class A, to the
left, and Spirit, a Class C to the right. Mostly I park The Cat Drag'd Inn between them.
The X marks the hot well (118f) and two tubs nearby. The meditative
labrynth is indicated by the white oval and the brown rectangle in the
southeast corner of the fence is Dechen Ling.
The property to the east, El
Dorado Hot Spring, affords textiled camping and soaking. Can you
imagine getting into a tub of water with your clothes on?
Tootle around in the Google map to see other area features. Lots of
desert scenery. Saddle Mountain to the southwest has miles of nude
hiking and camping. There are also other similar areas nearby.
Went for a little walk tuesday. Out to do the first part of my annual
visit to the several geocaches I maintain--two down, five to go--and
then one new cache a few miles away. I thought this was going to be my
first first-find; there were no log entries after the "publish" one.
But when I got to the cache the paper log showed someone had been there
the day before me. Oh Well. My 2nd 2nd then.
was patented in 1895 (What did people write with before that?) and
"Mostly healthy" is the report from my
recent blood work sort of physical examination. The thing on my back
was a keratosis probly caused by the bottom seam of my backpack rubbing
just there on all my hikes this past Summer.
Some indicator numbers are up a little from last workup in 2004 but
still within "normal for age" range. Two will bear watching so further
tests are scheduled for december and next june. "So dawn goes down to
day / Nothing gold can stay."
Sara(h) had her annual as well. ...gave her a clean bill of health
despite the retching hairball issue. She's had her rabies shot and
received a diploma saying so. If only I could get such petting and
cooing from my doctor, eh?
Giving Thanks for What
My volunteer work with/for various agencies continues to bear fruit:
Just this week a 30 pound pumpkin and a 14 pound turkey from the food
bank along with lots of good feelings from helping out. Sara(h) enjoyed
a few nibbles of the bird. We, CyB, me, and Mike, had a nice dinner
after an all-day cooking extravaganza involving five kitchens and most
all of Camilla's best China and Silver. Candied carrots, stew'd
tomatoes, baked potatoes, stuffed dates, bread baked fresh for the
occasion, pumpkin pie, various condiments & gravy, all surrounded
the stuffed gobbler. Mr Tupper was very nearly worn out with all he had
to carry home. And all that running around had to accommodate nearly an
inch of water on the ground from rain the night before. Weaving muddy
paths between the kitchens; the yard was a sea of lakes and islands.
What can I say? Another year older and deeper in debt.
Your help and support during this past Summer's adventure on the road
was most appreciated. Thank you again for that.
Sister-son Michael has seemingly survived his involvement with Bush's
War. For Michael's survival I am thankful; I hope he has the good sense
not to press his luck.
Sara(h) on the other hand used up another one, perhaps two, of her Nine
Lives. I am thankful she has still at least one to go.
I've had my once in a while medical checkup and am pronounced fit to
continue for another while although there are a few parameters that
bare watching. Cholesterol is up from last time and I'm carrying a few
too many Bilirubins. Do you suppose that's from too many reuben
sandwiches? More likely too few. What are Bilirubins? A sort of bilious
bubble of broth that builds up behind one's billiebutton.
Sara(h) and ajo wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Moon of the Little Spirit
Bill wrote that he was building a "pasta, bean, and veggie stoup" [sic]
for our Full Moon Feast. Dried Navy Beans from the food bank have to be
cooked and soaked and cooked so he was working and tasting and stirring
and seasoning for a whole day to make it just right. Rather bland, he
said, missing something.
The bowls were filled with two scoops each and Mike added one of his
"snausauges" to each. I brought the Garlic Bread; Betty turned on the
heat to warm her house for our naturally relaxed and fun filled repast.
Bill? What is this clanking in my soup? Stir-stir-clank!
Poking about under the snausage, delving between the white beans and
oodles of noodles, parting the carrots and beans, my spoon came up with
something that looked quite like a turkey-neck bone. Bill? Isn't this
supposed to be a veggie stoup?
--That's my TOOTH! he exclaimed. It went missing yesterday and I've
been looking all over for it.
--A bit early for this soup to be long in the tooth, Mike said, its not
even leftovers yet.
Betty said she thought the tooth was disgusting and the soup a little
I've heard that when you find the bay leaf in the pasta sauce you get
to kiss the cook--or have
to kiss the cook according to some--but what do I get when I find a
tooth in my stoup? Is that why there is a "t" in the name? Sort of a
Freudian clew, eh?
The naked truth of the matter is that the soup, at least my serving,
could best be described as tooth-some despite Bill's assesment that he
thought it rather bland.
Last Quarter of La Luna - No Change for
61f has got to be better than anything below freezing with all the snow
and ice you have in New England. What a mess! I see little bits of it
on the news here. We have a certain kind of cold also. Perhaps you
would call it only cool by your standards but here the day is cold
enough to want warm woolly jumpers and toque, and tall boots for all
the puddles of water on the ground. Humidity is rather high, weeds
sprouting, Sara(h)'s kibbles are sogging, and inside The Cat Drag'd Inn
even I am obliged to wear at least a wool tunic and sox. The worst of
it all has got to be the stupid rules that there is no heating cost
assistance for those of us denizens of the road who burn propane. If I
were to burn LNG, city gas, in the few areas it is available out here,
there is assistance available. But not for propane. Something else for
me to bitch about and look into.
Solstice Launch Delay
One delay after another trying to get out of here yesterday. Motor
failed to start during a pre-launch test. Probly an air bubble in the
fuel since changing the filters a fortnight back. But it turned out to
be two hours of screwing around and trying to remember what to do
before I finally got the lines bled out and the motor running. By the
time I furled the awning it was Gin&Tonic Time.
The Cat Drag'd Inn behind the
mountain of over-burden south of Ajo a
few days back and immediately we were put to work wrapping. Presents
for the Angel Tree Kids. We are in the desert south of Ajo--the
city--after wrapping Angel Tree presents: Useless toys for greedy kids.
The usual press of fixing things and picking up the trash. Sara(h) had
her tasking as well: No cat naps until she had at least looked for an
outside sandbox. She also had to be on guard against any incursions of
coyotes; we could hear them serenading in the dark.
Weather has been everything from cool and windy to cold and dark and
rainy and windy. At least we are parked on high ground and we don't
have to shovel the rain. Wrapping went apace and then there was
delivery. And after that there was Dinner. Trash-Can Turkey in the
rain. Sally and Gerry did up the turkey I brought from the Food Bank;
everyone brought veggies and pies and took home leftovers and dirty
dishes. Yum! Turkey omelette for breky. Turkey salad for lunch. Turkey
soup for tomorrow.
If it ever warms enough. What a neat green flash sunrise this morning!
Not quite as spectacular as that of yesterday but worth watching
none-the-less. This time I was able to get a picture. However, with the
green flash, it is one time when words are worth a thousand pictures. A
painting would be better. Or perhaps if I knew more how to make better
use of my camera's capabilities.
A green flash is ephemerald!
> >A green flash is ephemerald!
> Do you mean "ephemeral"?
No. "Ephemerald" is a conflative coinage of two words which aptly
describe the colour and transitory nature of the green flash. (See "The
Green Flash," by D. J. K. O'
Connell, in Scientific American, January 1960, pp.
Mid-day barking and yowling brought me quickly to the door. Sara(h) was
out and the coyote was close by. Not a hundred feet away, tail down,
barking interspersed with a yowl or two, the coyote, looking this way
as Sara(h) ambled towards The Cat
Drag'd Inn from about half the
distance. I could not tell if the coyote was calling for reinforcements
or "crying uncle", or perhaps expressing dismay that Sara(h) had
declined a fond invitation to lunch.
Julian Date 2009001
My new year, such as any point on a circle can be newer than any other,
is marked by the Winter Solstice; so this time around on 2008356 I was
waiting for the Resurection of the Sun to happen three days later. Now,
2009003, The year at The Cat Drag'd
Inn is already well into the new;
you'll have to hurry to catch up.
This morning happened the Quadrantids meteor shower. In the desert
south of Ajo the sky is clear and dark enough for quite a show.
Oh-Dark:30, hot chocolate--with peppermint schnapps of course--in hand,
bundled up against the chill, my neighbors and my Self counted several
shooting stars every few seconds! Best show in years! Sara(h) meowed
that it was all just cosmic kitty litter spilling out of the great
catbox in the sky.
Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.
I do not know what I may
appear to the world; but
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
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
—Sir Isaac Newton
Back to Oso
Back to ajo
Copyright © 2007, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.