Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off The Road Still -- Summer NuderumsNude Sunbathers Ahead

Gentle Readers:

The Ides of July

Already I can see the days shortening. Well, at least I think I can. This morning twilight seemed to linger as I woke from dreams of boys flying kites and splashing in the surf of that bright sandy beach south of Madras somewhen long ago.

Desk Help at EldoI thought of you and Nude Rec Week. Business as usual here. Nobody to play with, just promises of some day maybe. And more dreams and ideas than are probly healthy. After all that dreaming I forgot, or never remembered, that today was Sunday and my morning coffee should have had Baileys in it. Oh Well. Perhaps I will have a second cup and try to give this day a second begining.

We are moving inexorably towards the date of closing and it is hard to motivate sometimes. Why bother... I have only to keep the place running. Keep it in good repair and functional for the trickle of guests who are wont to come in the heat of summer. On such hot days the water actually feels cooler than the air. But make no improvements. We are busy moving things and stuff next door to the plot of land the owners will retain as a sort of Winter Home while they take some of the proceeds of this sale and buy a hot spring in Idaho for Summer use.

So all in all I am sad. I am in need of a another grandson to tease and teach; soon there will be no place here for me and I will, perforce, move. Perhaps next door. I have been invited there in much the same capacity as here, to build and fix and at least have a place to park. Perhaps elsewhere. Maybe it is time to get back to migrating north and south with the birds.

The new owner is full of mystery and shenanigans. While they have asked the staff to stay on at salary they have yet to specify the working and living conditions. Typical of investors and developers, they have no concept of the idea that conditions and perks could have more importance than money; they themselves have yet to take off their clothes and get in the water, to actually feel what it is they are purchasing. More from what I don't know about them than from anything else I feel I do not want to work for such people.

Well... I have cried my way to the bottom of my cup, my first coffee is cold now so it is time to get out and about the morning tasks--read the meters, start the tubs, turn off the night lights, count the money from yesterday. Then maybe a second cup, with Baileys for sure, before the guests come to be taken for a soaking.

The Second Gone Away Party

CyB returned from part one of their Summer Holiday. For a few days there was a hasty round of things to do to get their coach readied for the second, longer part. C left ok--they will meet later along the road--but B still had a few things to do here and I had to finish up a Lube-Oil-Filters on their coach.

I got Bill and the Alleged Motor Home on his way yesterday morning and we were all gearing up for The Second Gone Away Party in the afternoon when he called. --Hi Bill! What-ja break?

He doesn't like it when I say that and he was already pissed over what had broken so he launched into a short tirade about how he didin't like it when I always say that and he didn't break anything and it was so childish...

So in the end I went out on a road service call with tools and cardboard creeper, parts from NAPA and a cooler full of Gatorade. We hugged and made up and he was grateful once I got there and rescued his rear end from our collective mistake. Seems that a long ago factory-recall to change the cover on the differential was not accomplished correctly some years back and the leak of gear oil has been of late getting worse. To complicate matters the dealer could not locate a gasket. So we had set out to make do and in the end made did with the wrong goop.

He warn't 57 miles down the road when he stopped for some shopping and could smell the gear oil. The gasket goop we'd used--and I just knew I should have taken the time to make a proper gasket and do it right the first time--had squoze out from under the cover flange and there was oil all over the place. It was a good thing he stopped when he did.

So I spent couple of hours by the side of the road cleaning up the goop and oil and finally building a proper gasket. Now he is on his way again however we have postponed the Second Gone Away Party until we know for sure he's got somewhere beyond just further on down the road.

2005july22, Monday, Sooner or Later, Finally

The monsoon finally arrived. Sort of. Hot and muggy now as opposed to hot and dry. All the rain last night went around us. I furled my awning in the face of horrendous wind forecasts and of course nothing came of it. Storms parading past to the south and north, grand cumulonimbus on stilts of lightning; the great Tonopah Vortex, as usual, keeping the rain at bay. I guess that is ok in a way as it also keeps away the dust and the wind. If we could just get the rain sans the other two elements that would be ok.

Sunday After Monday, A Week Already?

The monsoon finally really arrived here. Humidity up to 50%! Two days of rain. No, that does not express my thought correctly; I'm sure you read that line and think it rained for two days. Not so. It rained on two days. For all of five minutes, maybe ten. Drizzled and dripped for another hour. Lots of thunder and lightning, closer this time, cloud lightning. But the rain gauge said only 0.09" Friday and 0.08" for Saturday so it didn't amount to much at all hereabouts. Not enough to change the state of the drought. The great Tonopah Vortex at work.

Just finished changing out my blackwater holding tank. Been a week at that project not counting the measuring and ordering and shopping for parts and waiting on delivery. The old tank was of steel and had rusted to the point that stuff was leaking through the metal as if sweating through pores. It is a wonder it didn't fall out altogether on my last little holiday in June. This new tank is some kind of plastic. One can almost see through it. Sure is a relief to be able to sit on my own commode again.

Threed of Angst

Packrat nesting in the Golfcart.The Golf Cart has been running nicely for a few weeks now. After all the problems with the carburetter during Winter and Spring the only thing of concern now is the left front tyre getting flat. Some days you have to hurry to make your rounds before the pressure goes down. Even just this past week it was fine when Dee carried bedding to make up the Old Post Office and yesterday when I moved the dog trap. But today something was new. It started ok and got as far as the pallet yard and the used oil bucket. But then, after I was loaded and ready for some serious work it wouldn't start again. Upon lifting the seat to check the fuel gauge I found the engine room stuffed full of mesquite beans. I mean FULL! And if that weren't enough there were five wires chewed through and a hole in the fuel line.This meal will give you gas...

...and for those who are concerned about privacy in this life or who have friends who use gmail:

Also note that mail to correspondents is read before delivery and will be redirected or returned if certain keywords are found in the text.

Isn't the 7th of Something a Holiday?

Sure not the 7th of August then, eh? This is just another day. A fine one to be sure and all that. The golf cart is fixed again but now Dee's coach has been invaded. After seeing the situation in the golf cart she lifted the bonnet on the dog house of her coach and found a similar pile of mesquite beans. And a couple of short lengths of rubber vacuum line as well. The packrat whose nest it was came up inside her coach last night to retreive the vacuum hose. Dee is some upset to say the least.

And then there're the ants. In Camilla's coach the ants have been marching ten by ten. Up the wheel cover, inside by some unknown route, across the tranny hump where they stopped off for a bite to eat at the Roll of LifeSavers. Then along aft, over a shoe, up the curtain, traverse the edge of the bedspread, and finally under the pillow where they found a tin of Altoids. How do they do that? An article in Natural History explains that ants search by smell. They smell for the sugar and when they find some they smell their way back to the nest to alert their compartiots.

2005august11, The Hunter Cometh

This morning at 04h30, when I woke to the insistant clamoring of the alarum cat, Orion the Hunter was above the eastern horizon. Autumn is soon upon us.

2005august15 ...and the Wallet Leaveth.

Somewhen Saturday. The best I can recollect I was out with the golfcart. Looking back now I'm not sure why I had my wallet along; I don't usually carry it around. So today I have been calling banks and credit card lost numbers and wading through the maze of For this press one, For that press three, Y en espangol numero dose... Two pages of form to report a lost passport and other form for the Social Security Card I've had since high school. Phew. At what cost civilisation?

I've been trying to rationalise it all. What lesson is in here. As when my camera was stolen that long ago time in Puerto Mont Chile I figured someone needed it more than me and it was one less thing for me to carry around. That event really helped my writing. Not that I've made as much from writing as I used to from photography.

From correspondence with Carolyn:
> >It is sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop. We always
> > expect the worst...

> Why do we do that?  For most of my life I thought something good
> would naturally be followed by something bad.  Why?  Is that what
> religion teaches us?

I don't recall that sort of teaching in any formal manner so I think it is the osmosis process. The natural perversity of People before we each learn to be Human. Good and Bad must be in balance, a rule that affects individual, community, society, and the weather. As a People we look for the Bad, that is why newpapers and TV always put the sensational first--If It Bleeds, It Leads, as they say in the trade. That is why the pulp tabloids do such a roaring business in the checkout lanes. As Humans we get above that and begin to look for the Good to happen.

Thirty some years since I made that wallet my Self. And while I am sitting here calmly cancelling credit cards I am beside my Self over the loss of my very most special chopsticks--made in Antarctica of R.V.Hero iron wood hull planking, with whale bone embellishments--and my Shellback membership card of the Imperivm Neptvni Regis. What is the Good in all this? Does someone else need my wallet more than me? I have been talking long about simplifying my life but taking little serious action; perhaps this is the response of the Great Cosmic Muffin just checking to see if I mean what I say: to give me a push along the right track.

True to form, I expect the worst, or at least the almost worst. No matter. My wallet is gone, I'll be gone too soon, time for a change.

Today I am going to meditate on the trash.

And the trashy condition of everything around me.

The Yogi Berra said "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." So now I am off in search of a spoon and a knife. Probly by the time I find them I will be reduced to using only a straw...

16th August, Tuesday's child is full of grace and the Prodigal Wallet Returns

'Twas found hanging on the front gate a half hour after opening.

Inside, folded over the divider, was a lettered note written in permanent marker on a three by five lined leaf of notepaper:



So some person named Joes Inroad is a hundred dollars richer and I have my very most special chopsticks back. And my Driver's License and Passport. And two Canadian Victory Nickles with their secret message in Morse Code on the back, and a magic rock. Not to mention several now useless credit cards. Well, now I can go shopping again, just can't buy anything.

Thank you very much Joes In Road; you may be a thief but at least you're not a crook.

2005august23, If This Were April...

... it would be Saint George's Day. There is another pack of canines roaming the neighborhood. Caught three of them this morning! One in the trap by the dumpster, one in hand which I then stuffed into the trap with the first, and another in hand later when it came to commisserate with the first two. Got that one in a choke chain awaiting the dog catcher.

All three are smallish, friendly, no collars. Too bad. If the dog catcher doesn't show up fast enough we may just have chop suey for lunch.

LabourDay Weekend, Does Septober have Ides?

Just thinking about you and how you are doing. Got to make sure people remember who and where I am. Reading an article in the 2005 September _SUN_ that asks: How long will it be, after you die, before the last living person who knew you also dies. And when there is no one left living who remembers you, what will your life mean then?

And then I got to thinking: Why wait? What does my life mean now?

I have a blossoming infestation of tiny flies this morning. Enough to make me almost think I am seeing spots except I can see them light on the walls and lamps. I've put out some flypaper... I think perhaps my compost collector must needs dumping and cleaning more often.

Last night was the first time all Summer the overnight temperature has been cool enough to turn off the a/c and vent fans. It was nice to sleep in silence.

2005september7, My Turn to Go Shopping

Hmmm...What didn't I do... Always labouring.... I started out with a cup of coffee whilst counting the income from Labour Day Eve and doing all the bookkeeping. Then opened up the Springs and filled the tubs. After that a break for breky, I think I made an omlette. Made up one guest room, did the laundry, blew the dust out of the roof a/c on The Cat Drag'd Inn, made a shopping list for the shopping adventure later in the day, had a cup of tea and a nap, all before noon.

One of the other people here is doing Spring Cleaning. Trying to make room in her attic-trailer so she can turn it into a garage-trailer to carry a car instad of all the boxes of her life. She's already unloaded a lot of stuff to one of her kids, got a pallet load to send to another kid. So this was to be a trip in the carryvan to GoodWill. We had lunch at the Wildflower Bread Company first and went for groceries later. Along the way we stopped at one of those bone-twisters so I could get my neck bent back into shape. Twenty dollars for six gallons of regular gas. Lunch was twenty dollars also, for two. And thirty miles back here. Sometimes sipping a G&T and reading a book are like work. But someone has to do it. And I best get to it before it is time for a long soak and a shower and another book before bed. Labour-labour-labour...

Red Hat Day is WenzdayBetty is travelling by train to Saint Petersburg. From her travelblog: " in Irkutsk, which Checkov called the Paris of Siberia. It is perhaps an exageration, but it is the center of this remote region. The border crossing was long. We arrived at 4 a.m. at the Mongolian side. The rest of our train was not going on to Russia, so two passenger cars were disconnected ..." For the rest of her storey see the above link.

9-11, WMD's in the news again

Yesterday we caught a large diamondback. We found it coiled up and sleeping under one of the tubs when we drag'd the tub away from over it. I was able to pick it up with our snake-catcher and send it away to the rattlesnake relocation center up the road a piece. I never seem to think of taking a picture of such items so I will just have to send in a subsitute critter to pinch-bite.

Watermelon in the LaundryTwo other things I have to tell you about. For the past several weeks something has been growing behind the washing machine. A vine climbing up the propane hose and being nibbled on by certain vegetarian critters. Some folks here said the leaves looked like it might be a watermelon. Or a gourd. Once upon a long ago the land here used to be a melon farm. Finally we put a fence around the plant to keep the critters away and watered it daily to keep the leaves looking happy. It grew like a weed. Some days you could nap nearby and wake with tendrils around your toes. Eventually there appeared a fruit of some sort on the vine. Weeks and weeks of watering later it burst and a pink flavour emanated. The rest of the vine had turned brown by now so we removed the fruit and opened it. For sure it was a watermelon but too small for much more than a sample bite.

Now... What was that other thing I wanted to write about....

The First of Autumn, A.D.

Dee has left, long live Dee. A fine companion and a hard and diligent worker here for the past couple of years now off to Colorado and points east. On the road again.

I say to some folks: "Take it easy--take it easy..." Others are telling me the same message. I am going too fast too furiously. There is so much to do and I have a hard time sitting still. When I do sit still my mind floods with tasks undone, with kids unloved and cats unfed. Not to mention miles not driven. So I set aside my book, wake from my nap, have a cup of tea and go do something. Matters not what so long it is something to keep my mind busy lest I have to face the reality of this ugly situation.

The end of El Dorado as we know it is fast approaching and with it the end of this phase of my life. Interesting. Not counting the years of my flopping around before 1969: I spent 17 years of my time at the Observatory, ten years in Antarctica, and eight or nine years on this Odyssey. What will the next phase bring? Where will it take me and for how long? I need to stop thinking ahead and just go with it.

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.

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 © 2005, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.