Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off The Road Again -- Is the Monsoon over yet?Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Cohort:

A Letter of Letters.

Here is all the latest nudes from The Cat Drag'd Inn. No nudes is bad nudes. All the nudes that fit we print. This is going to be a difficult issue to do. There are no nudes, there is no nudes.

2004239, Tonopah, AridZona

I decided at the outset to write this letter from a different point of view and to use no photos. Only words. Well, the sun is rising later, the alarum cat is at least keeping pace with her, and the mornings are noticeably cooler, although that may be a minor anomally even tho we are at the tag-end of august.. The locals seem to have a divided opinion on the question --"Is the Monsoon over yet?" and when all is said and done a picture really is worth a thousand words.

The Tomato Bush That Ate El DoradoRemember that tomato bush I killed? It has come back with a vengence. There are tomatoes on the vine. A bush of cherry tomatoes is growing in one of the irrigation ditches out back. Tomatoes all over the place! Every day there is another handfull ripening. So far the only competition to my enjoyment seems to be perhaps Sylvilagus audubonii or maybe the local rabbits, there're no tomato bugs out here and the ants don't like veggies.

But wait! Jerry tells me that it is not really a tomato bush. There is an indigenous cactus, Anexii Kalmiopsis, whose fruit is tiny, tomato-like, and poisonous. Rabbits, however, seem to be immune to its effects. Whatever. They taste good in salad.

BeLabouring Day

Tim writes from Marcy New York: "I have been struggling to articulate my thoughts about the reports of the aftermath of [Hurricane Charlie]. The media seemed to depict the price gouging oppurtunists as sinister predators and the strong who cut in front of the weak sheep in gas and aid lines as something other than microcosms of the nation as a whole. I mean, please explain to me the difference between a person who enters a storm damaged, unattended home and pilfers another human being's belongings and the various authority figures and divisions of "law" enforcement who sieze all manner of personal property to finance further abuses of citizen rights and encrochment of freedoms and liberties...

"And what is the difference between a skilled laborer siezing the moment and opportunity to capitilize on his skill and energy repairing the highest bidders dwelling or business site in time of emergency and the money lending greedy economists who pound percentage points into the unlubed asses of American consumers on a daily basis? [...] I saw some women on the evening news who were extremely agitated that they had waited in a line for gas for two hours while ethnic peoples in front of them allowed other peoples of their various races [to] cut into the line in front of them. And it makes me want to scream: "Ah hah! You fucking hypocritical hookers! Let the truth spill out: It ain't very fun, is it?, to be smoked out of your insulated and protected communities where the weak do not stand a fucking chance of surviving the onslaught of the wolves when the shit hits the fan!""

World Naked Bike Ride: Next June

Drop the fear and tap into the excitement. Remember, it's not about nudity, it's about sovereignty.   --J. Charles Banks


That might have been the fuzzy-tailed black cat. Sara(h) was out with it most of that night--which partly explains why I was up and pacing, the other part was having a consistant "wet" dream about a waterfall threatening to wash across the road. Sara(h) invited El Gato Negro in for a little breky and s/he was actually inside the bus more than once but not beyond the top step and not long enough for me to get the door closed.

Autumnal Equinox

Yesterday morning was the first day since early Spring here that I felt a distinct need to don a shirt in order to make my rounds. Today I will try to go without it before I get too soft already.

"We must either choose the wisdom residing within human nature or contort our natural selves to fit a corrupt moral authority."   --R.Downey in _The Moralist_

I used to like Winter. I'm still carrying around two pair of snowshoes and have my skis at my sister's in Nashua. One of these days, I tell my Self on occasion, I have to go back and see if they still remember how to step and glide across the snow whilst I run along trying to keep up with my nose.

10/6 Mad Hatter's Tea Party

I'm considering the possibility of being adopted by another feline. El Gato Negro has come in from the cold and I have made the investment to have him structurally maligned with a gender reassignment operation. He seems to get along with Sara(h) well enough. Although he seems to be dominant she has not given up too much ground. Good looking cat as cats run but he has a gimp leg and so does not run all that fast.

Willie "Spider" Harris, AG1Z, Silent Key
He preceeded me at the Mount Washington Observatory and was living/working at the channel ei8ht transmitter site next door when I started at The Summit. We broke bread together many times.

Willie was formerly known as w1hqz and he struggled with that "Z" in his call for a long while befor he mustered the courage and whatever to change it. By that time the phonetics for his new call: Always Grabbing One Zipper, were more apt than anyone at the FCC would have imagined.

Betty writes from Bodie where she is once again a decent docent:
"Decided a soak in the spa would probably put me back to sleep, so I concluded with a shower and shampoo, using the wonderful shampoos, conditioner, body creams available, dried my hair in the comfortable room with driers, clean hairbrushes, etc.  Ven have q-tips, mouth wahs, womens sanitary supplies, all laid out for use.  Nice fluffy towels, wood--rather than clanky old gyn type lockers. Fun decor.  Quiet, setting, absolute bliss. Have never done anything quite so decadent before."

It is too bad we think of such compassion for our "selves" as decadent and not de rigueur. Can you imagine how nice high school would be if all the lockers were of nice oiled wood instead of clanky metal? I truely feel this sticky point is one of the major faults of our society today. Using it as a metaphor: we have given up the nice oiled wood feeling for the clanky metal and the smelly plastics.

I listened to bits and scraps of the debate along the road returning from the starter store in PHX and whenever I had to come back to the truck for another different tool: Mike and Kira and their rugrat had flown from Tallahassee to Seattle to pick up a big old MCI bus that they had purchased from an elderly doctor. The doctor had done pretty much all the conversion himself as his hobby and now it was too much for him to drive. Nice carpeting, oak paneling, good price. They drove south, missing all the hot springs along the way, and then east, and by some fluke stopped here for a night and a soak.

The next morning they got as far as the fuel stop across the street before Kira missed her glasses and called back here. I said I could mail them or perhaps bring them when I go to FLorida next month--I'll be driving right past their place near Tallahassee. She said they would walk back to get them cos Mike couldn't get the bus started; they'd been at it already an hour or more with help from Tonopah Joe. So they left the bus on the fuel island and ambled back with the rugrat in his stroller.

Needless to say I got involved at that point. Mike had convinced himself that the starter had failed, or the solinoid, and I confirmed that so there was pretty much nothing to do but drive to the starter store downtown. It was just sunset by the time we returned. The install went well and worked fine. Bus started right up and so they came back here for another night of soaking.

During all this I had picked up on enough of the debate to decide that Mr. Bush (tho he hardly deserves the respect the term "Mr." implies) is a liar and a thief and a despot and that the only thing worse about our society is that some of those same people who prefer metal lockers over wood are sucking up to him hoping for the crumbs.  It is a sad state of affairs. For all the rhetoric of retribution and "making America safe" has it occured to no one that America has no business being in Iraq in the first place. All the despots and civil wars in Africa put together attract none of the same attention.

MMIVCCLXXXI, Meeting a Naked Green Frog

Discussing clothing with Bender the naked greenTravel FrogFinally got out for a walk. Only two miles--to the almost top of the hill outback cache--but a walk nonetheless. First walk of any seriousness since the weather began to be too hot. The frog is named Bender the Travel Frog and his goal is to travel around the state of AridZona looking for clothes. I explained to him my views on that subject and he agreed to hitch along for a ride until we find another cache.

I was at this cache just about a year ago; it has been visited only twice by others since my last. Felt good to walk in my Limmers. And naught else. Now back to work. Another week near over. Another week closer to the road.

Columbus Day

The mornings are somewhat cooler hereabouts. The desert looses heat quickly overnight under a cloudless sky. Some mornings recently I have been obliged to don low temperature protection apparel in order to complete my tub filling rounds.

Actually, I have more problem with people coming in off the street for the first time and seeing a nude person. As if they have never seen a naked body before they exclaim: What is this? a nudist colony or something? I look down at my self and feign surprise --What? Oh No! Did I forget to dress again today?

22oct The Tricks are Already Beginning

Cold and rainy here. We had more than an inch of rain yesterday. At least I won't have to do any irrigation today. Maybe not tomorrow either. But my furnace came on for the first time since April or so--did a heating cycle two or three times and then commenced to produce a nasty acrid smoke odor. Now it is on the list of Things To Fix.

28oct The Last Total Eclipse

Betty, the decent docent from Bodie writes:
"...the eclipse.  It was spectacular over Mono Lake, but I was too busy being a witch---one thing to be a witch in everyday life, quite another when you are brewing a potion in your caldron to make the moon come back....6 wings of brine flies, a seagull skelton, an eyeball, drool, and other interesting stuff kids on the walk though should be added.  Anyway, it worked and the moon shone bright again."

I'm glad it worked! The eclipse and your potion. What would lovers ever do without a moon? Or hunters? Witches would be discredited! Such a burden, and you managed to pull it off without batting an eye.

All we had was more rain. And then after the afternoon finally cleared it got cloudy again and yet another downpour. Ended with a spectacular double rainbow right at sunset. Then clearing again and coooolder. 47f at dawn just a few minutes ago. Inside The Cat Drag'd Inn was not all that much warmer. 57f up front and 60f in the back. Three heaters running now to chase the chill away and a cup of hot coffee to warm my fingers sufficient to type.

Today is my turn to open. I will have to find some clothes for this time. Maybe even a warm tuque and fur lined boots.

Ok... it is light enough for me to find the rain gauge... 0.67 since 06h00 yesterday. And 0.33 of that was in the one shower at sunset. 1.92 total for the whole storm.

2004305, Falling Back and Hollow Weenies

Jack O'LanternTurned the pumkin into a Jack-O-Lantern and made a nice and tasty pie with the cuttings. Pie for supper, pie for breky and leftover punkin pie filling tortillas for lunch. Yum! I tried to get a good photo of the artistry. In the dark of night a candle provides the proper effect. The orange glow is pleasing but you don't see the outside. Using the flash to illuminate the outside washes out the candle glow. With the bug light on over the desk and no flash the colours changed a bit but maybe it results in the best of both extremes. Either way there were no trick or treaters.

People most everywhere else but AridZona fall back their clocks this morning. Here, we get sufficient sun, and sleep, that such adjustments are not necessary. Easier on the clocks as well. But the outside world sees AridZona move from Pacific Summer Time to Mountain Winter Time. During the Summer travellers along I-10 between PHX and LAX need not change their clocks. However, now, by the magic of temporal tampering, there is an hour difference between hither and yon. It really messes up the soaking reservations.

And in closing, part of a letter from Deborah aboard The Northern Light somewhere upwind of Australia:

New Caledonia  September 15 - October 8, 2004

"We, the people...
"The men who penned the Constitution of the United States of America had clear ideas concerning the new government they were forming. They had just turned away from monarchy, and to guard against any one person or branch becoming too powerful, a system of checks and balances was created between the newly-created governing bodies. Interestingly, guarding against theocracy was not really an issue. The idea of separation of church and state had been evolving since Aristotle. So, the Constitution only guards against religious persecution, restricting government from meddling with religion, not vice versa. Seems that the Founding Fathers also felt no reason to guard against business interfering with government. On a larger scale, there isn't even a term or name for a government run by business. (I humbly suggest Business-as-usual-ocracy.)

"Jokes aside, I suggest that the time has come to advance our form of democracy. We need a new Constitutional amendment, addressing the Separation of Business and State.

The Shapiro Amendments
"Not businesses, but we, the people, are supposed to elect our government. To help  make that reality, the campaign finance system has to be changed. There should be no private or business contributions to candidates or parties. Instead, each party receives the same amount of tax dollars to spend on its campaign. Make the kitty modest enough, and we can limit the campaigning time to 3 months (maybe less?). A few weeks is plenty of time for the parties/candidates to get their messages out and for people to make their decisions. More importantly, our political leaders will no longer be "in debt" to companies or specific persons.

"On to Amendment #2. Take a moment and consider the question: Who puts the man in the Oval Office today? Does the person who gets the most votes or a majority of the votes (what most of us think of when we hear or say the word democracy...) gain the presidency? Hardly. The Electoral College chooses the President. It's high time to rid ourselves of this archaic system, established in an era when communication was difficult, as a way to obtain a national concensus. Talk about unecessary in today's world. Talk about a leap forward for the concept of democracy.

"Democracy. (A state having) Government by all the people, direct or representative. The word derivation is from the Greek word demos, which means "the people". But by people the Greeks meant male landowners. America's founding fathers were not much further along in their thinking. It took an amendment to the original Constitution to allow ex-slaves the right to vote. Male ones that is. Remember, American women couldn't vote until 1920.

"Let's go further. Get a real democracy. Every legal-age American citizen should have the right to vote. Including ex-cons who have done their time. (Why should a rehabilitated person not have the right to vote?) Including the homeless. (Why should you have to have an address to vote?)

"And all legal-age Americans should be able to vote. Down with hinders. One should not have to register in order to vote. Everyone born today gets a social security number. That can double as a voter's number, imprinted on a plastic card, used to vote from anywhere.

Jack O'Lantern at night"And if you think it's impossible to have a machine which can accurately count votes cast anywhere in the USA and at Embassies around the world, I ask you to consider how many electronic money transfers are successfully enacted on earth every 24 hours...   And indeed, the man who invented the ATM machine said, after the previous "election" fiasco in the USA, that he could bring forth a voting machine. I bet he could.

"On to Amendment #3. All American legal-age citizens should not only be allowed to vote... we should be required to vote. Rights and privileges inside a democracy are not "free of charge". They are the reward of responsibilities carried out.

"Required voting may sound a strange concept. Except if you are Australian. By law, each Australian must vote. It is their obligation to participate. Not voting is punishable by a fine!

"Yes, every legal-aged citizen should vote, and business should interact with the government that has been chosen by the majority of the people. It's more democratic that way. Systems are always changing. If you agree that democracy is the best system of government, isn't it worth refining to a more true form?"

I think Deborah is onto a good idea there. I'm not sure I like the idea of the voting card with my Social Security Number on it but I suppose with the protection of a PIN it couldn't be much worse than an ATM card. On the other hand can you imagine on voting day being able to walk up to any ATM in the world and casting your vote?

Love, 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 © 2004, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Center Conway NH 03813-0144.