Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again — Winter Solstice - 2007
Our Business is Going in the Hole
Today my first task as roustabout: I will go shopping for pipe and
fittings for the new well at Eldo. Now I'm working for a water well
company; we are contributing to the worsening conditions by helping
people put in more and bigger/deeper wells. After years of working
towards solutions, finally I get to be part of the problem.
The BellStone in The OutBack
Last week a nice hike to the top of one of the Palo Verde Hills out
back. Cinder cones of black volcanic vomit, weathering for some ei8ht
million years, still have a lot of sharp edges. Near the summit of one
hill is a rock that sings. A "bell rock" that goes bonggg when you
strike it with anything hard. Here is some text resulting from a search
of keywords: "Bellstone is a form of basalt which rings like metal when
it is struck. Bellstone formed as flat sheets when dykes were forced
through the surrounding volcanic basalt or tuff, and it is much more
resistant to weathering than tuff. Because it was forced into gaps in
cold rock, the basalt cooled very fast, producing a stone which rings
like a bell when struck with a large pebble. When the surrounding stone
weathers away, the bellstone is left sticking out of the ground."
2007december1, RAIN! Happy Earmuff Day
The big words this morning: Rain
and Wet and Puddle. Soggy too. The tide has come and gone at The...Inn;
you can see the high tide line on the carpets of my work space patio.
In the rain gauge: 1.20 inches this morning plus 0.52 from last night.
Total more than has accumulated all year. More expected during today.
Geocache News: I've released Akita
Mani Yo Travel Bug -- Another turtle? You betchya.... I’m a see
turtle on a quest. Akita Mani Yo
means "Observe Everything as You Walk" and of course return with a
storey about what you see. My motto is: If you want to get anywhere you
have to stick your neck out. My mission is to visit all the turtle
caches between here and Day Pond Cache (GC14KNH) in New Hampshire. I'm
hoping to meet with Tunkasila
Machkeu Tulpe [TBjj56] before he outgrows his shell.
> /Still lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out. Everything has
> happened for a whole year again and it has been the longest year
For me I think this has been one of the shortest years tho all the days
are yet to be counted complete; this has been a year of mixed feelings.
Have I done and have I dared every thing to cross my path? Mostly I
think. Perhaps. However there are some notable exceptions where I have
either pulled in my horns, bit my tongue, or not pushed the envelope
quite as hard as I might. It is those places I rue more than I remember
the joy of having gone over the edge or around the bend just to see
what is there and where is next.
The Road goes ever on and on
> Down from the door where
> Now far ahead the Road has
> And I must follow, if I
> Pursuing it with eager
> Until it joins some larger
> Where many paths and
> And whither then?
> I cannot say.
Home is behind, the world ahead,
> And there are many paths
> Through shadows to the
edge of night,
> Until the stars are all
> Then world behind and home
> We'll wander back to home
> Mist and twilight, cloud
> Away shall fade! Away
I'm not done yet. Not done in. The Way is clear. The means are the
hardest part to find.
> Intelligence was ever the comical paradox, it does impart a hefty
> any traveler, that much is true. But in the end, no matter the
> long as one is not merely intelligent but learning-anew, one can
always find a
> (novel, creative) way around it.
Yes! Well spoken. Thank you. That is the part I need to work on and
prepare my Self for.
> It is memory that is the real curse. From clarity in reminiscence,
> persistence of recall and a sound retention of experience over
> decades, there will be no escape, and not even a bit of rest in
And the while is most mean and seemingly getting worse.
> With memory that is deep, quick and well-tempered... one's sanity
> assured, to the most. Yet from this self-same mechanism... comfort
> any given earthly moment, prospect for a peaceful and contented
life, to the
> Merry Christmas if you can, it is around that time and the Music
I'm skipping over that part. Ignoring its over bearing presence. The
radio will remain off for the duration except perhaps if I can find a
presentation of the Hallelujah Chorus. Notwithstanding the context, the
music moves me still and if the presentation is live and I can sing
along still a tear will come to my eye.
With propane now at 3$50 a gallon life is getting so I cannot survive
on my own. Last week I applied for food stamps and other Aid to the
Indigent & Elderly. I suppose I should be thankful such aid is
available. I've always maintained I don't want to live if living means
being tied to life support and it seems to me that food stamps are the
first step in the direction of that dependence. At the rate the cost of
fuel is going it is likely my next peregrination will be a
peregroanation. There is a mentality of self destruction afoot in these
disUnited States. I have visions of a Riding Along on The Crest of A Wave
segue into Wipe-Out any day now.
After all these years of running around in the hills out back I finally
get to see a Big
Horn Sheep! During a hike with the Friends of Saddle Mountain on
saturday the leader pointed out a teeny tiny T-shaped cactus-looking
object at the top of a ridge waaaay up there. Thanks to my steady hand
and the super-pornagraphic lens of this dandy camera, not to mention
the kind of digital chicanery they are capable of, I got the best
Winter Solstice--ajo to Ajo
Having a good time out here in the desert south of Ajo. Yesterday Betty
took me to town to help with the Needy Kids Present Wrapping Party.
Some days wishes do come true. Besides the name: Marcel, age: 8, and
other facts of size and gender, the Angel Tag from the Wishing Tree had
one word: Bike. A bike for Marcel and six more for other kids had been
donated by one man in town. They stood upside down, wrapped in black
plastic, amidst piles of presents and bags of boxes, all wrapped and
tagged for delivery.
Looking like an elf, togged up in tunic and jesters hat, we delivered
this boy's wish. He stood to one side as these things were carried in
to the clutter of run down abode where he lived in the off-side of this
once prosperous copper mining town, the bike still upside down so it
might not look like his wish come true. On my way out the door he
asked: Aren't elves supposed to be small?
Mostly yes, I answered; I'm a basketball elf.
The look on his face was of wonder and astonishment.
The Sagacious Saga Continues
38f here in the desert south of Ajo this morning. Mostly clear at dawn.
Perhaps the day will warm sufficiently for a nice walk to a geocache.
A Smithsonian Museum travelling exhibit is in residence
at The Curley School. Between Fences
"tells American storeys through diverse fence types, and in doing so,
examines human relationships on an expanding scale..." Depicting the
idea that good fences make good
neighbors the displays tell the storey of the invasion this once
unfenced land by Europeans who were used to the security of pickets and
cubicals. Through 20th January and well worth the drive to Ajo.
"As long as our civilisation is essentially one of property,
of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions." --Ralph
Christmas Eve in Ajo
The copper mine built this town. The name, borrowed from the Ajo Lilly
which grows in the desert, means garlic in Spanish. The town common is
laid out like a hacienda. Three sides bordered by a wall of arches
leading into various shops while the west quarter opens onto a view of
churches in the Spanish style and a backdrop of Ajo Mountain. On the
common the trees stand quiet and dark, the expectant crowd murmurs in
hushed tones, kids wrestle in the grass and run about. Waiting.
Suddenly a great BOOM! and the single Firework arcs up from behind the
Curley School. Lights come on in the school's bell tower illuminating
the Santa Claus waving his arms. In the old days, Greatbeeper tells me,
The Santa used to ride an aerial cable slide from the bell tower to the
base of a large tree on the common but one day he started early with
the Christmas Spirit. His fall from the slide resulted in a broken head
so now he is delivered to the common by the single float with four tiny
Down from the school comes the float, led by a Follow Me car and
followed by the Cheer-Leader section of the Ajo Primary School. The
marching band is elsewhere. At the end of the second circuit of the
common the float stops to let The Santa off; he wades through a throng
of kids to a throne and is immediately set upon by the little'uns
who've been standing on queue since sunset. I and the Greatbeeper make
a circuit of the proceedings and end up at a Carolling Sing-Along
Candle-Lighting Service where we warm up before driving back into the
Boxing Day in the Desert
Since the Writers Guild is on strike this part will be a rerun from a
Christmas I am in Christchurch reading how Holiday Rationing in McMurdo
prompted some folks to propose moving the "day off" to Saturday (the
usual work-week there is six nine-hour days) so the community could
have a two-day weekend.
Christmas especially has been so
commercialised that it is hardly worth bothering with in many respects.
At least Easter has withstood the machinations of the Calendar
Corruptors and still happens when it will. I prefer to my Christmas
gifting on Twelfth Night--very much more traditional and usually the
shopping is better. I expect in a few years, as established mainstream
churches loose more control to the splinter groups and secular
majority, we are going to see a movement afoot to change Christmas to a
Monday and New Years to the following Friday then business will force
everyone to take that week as one of their vacation weeks and most
everyone in America will think--What a blessing to get it all over with
At McMurdo it was eventually agreed
that Christmas should happen on Christmas but New Years for sure would
But what is really interesting as far
as the celebration of Christmas is concerned is that there are almost
no lights anywhere in any of the communities here. A few do up some
street lamp-poles but since the sky is not dark enough to show them off
to good effect until 10pm they are seen by only a few people. I don't
spend all that much time in residential neighborhoods but when I have
there are no lights in evidence. Christmas here is a two and a half day
holiday for many folks, they get a half day on the Eve and then the day
after Christmas is Boxing Day. (That's where all the kids fight over
the presents.) And of course this happens during the six-week summer
break for all the schools: Kids in shorts and way overdressed Santas
sweating behind their beards.
Sunday last I went to the Catholic
Cathedral for a performance of Handle's Messiah. The Cathedral of The
Blessed Sacrament was blessed and opened in February 1905 and sits
somewhat in the southeast corner of downtown Christchurch, several
blocks from the Anglican Cathedral which was opened in 1881 and now
dominates Cathedral Square in the centre. The organ of the Catholic
Cathedral was made by Halmshaw's of Bermingham and dates from 1879. The
last time I attended a performance of the Messiah was maybe ten years
ago and I am powerless before the emotional onslaught of Unto Us A
Child Is Born and the Hallelujah Chorus, especially when the audience
is encouraged to participate. Getting all teary makes it difficult to
sing and I have it hard enough to carry a tune. As a diversion I
studied the cobwebs at the tops of the thirteen columns supporting my
side of the gallery above the nave and the pattern of the embossed zinc
ceilings. I also noted how the chair in the apse, the Bishop's Chair I
later learnt, seemed out of place. The cobwebs were black--it look'd
like there'd been a fire. Next morning in the newspaper was a story of
the damage done by an arsonist who had torch'd the Bishop's Chair early
that Sunday morning.
Last night was a Midnight Mass with
more choral presentations and the Great Organ Mass by Haydn. Not as
emotionally draining as the Messiah but a good homily to think on. In
the meantime the rest of the city has been one great commercial
war-zone, a morass of car-parks and busy busses as local shoppers
compete with tourists for the attention of those whose business it is
to make a living selling. This is peak tourist season.
To my Christian friends: Merry Christmas; to my Jewish friends: Happy
Hanukkah; to my Atheist friends: Good Luck; and to my Agnostic
Compatriots: credo quia absurdum.
Have a happy Winter, or an early Spring. Or both if you wish.
Twelfth Night is soon upon us. Please see my Wish List at Amazon.com
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.