Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE Off The Road Still -- Summer Nuderums
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.
I 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,
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
Threed of Angst
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.
...and for those who are concerned about privacy in this life or who
have friends who use gmail: http://www.gmail-is-too-creepy.com/
Also note that mail to correspondents @world.std.com 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
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
> > expect the worst...
> Why do we do that? For most of my life I thought something
> would naturally be followed by something bad. Why? Is
> 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
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:
"YOU LUCKY-- I ONLY TAKE MONEY!!
FOUND BY JOES IN ROAD"
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
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
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
LabourDay Weekend, Does Septober have
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...
Betty is travelling by train to Saint
her travelblog: "...am 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
to think of taking a picture of such items so I will just have to send
in a subsitute critter to pinch-bite.
Two 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
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
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.
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
before me. --Sir Isaac Newton
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Copyright © 2005, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.