Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again — Spring Ahead - Spring Again
My routine consists of waking, toilet, coffee, (sometimes those last
two in reverse order) write a few letters, watch the sun rise over the
bamboo wall, and then
spend the rest of the day wondering what to do next. That's not to say
I'm not very busy. Two days ago I spent ten hours removing a hundred
pounds of obsolete telly from Betty's coach and then installing a new
smaller-lighter-DTV. The process involved rewiring other components,
rebuilding the cupboard-cabinet-shelve, and first aid to my knee and
foot. Not to mention the cleaning up after.
Pie Day was fun tho a bit wanting for celebrants. National Public Radio
had a 20 minute
Pie Day spot during Science Friday. Mike did a peach/apple/raisin PI
(soup); pretty ok but rather sweet (a cup and a half of sugar). Mine
was my usual World Famous, Award (almost) Winning, Male Apple PI (only
a half cup of sugar). The
PI Song for your listening enjoyment: (Thanks Mike!)
Fast of Esther & Spring Equinox
This week's big job is to clean all the accumulation of dirt and grease
from the tractor so we can find a leak in the hydraulics. In the
process I found three new leaks plus the one we already knew of. Now
the question is one of repair or not. Just as with my little truck
where there is a motor oil leak somewhere around the front of the
engine, one can spend a lot of money on oil (still, despite the
outrageous cost thereof) before meeting the outrageous cost of fixing
I had a weird dream a few nights ago that involved some sort of a car
race or chase but it was unresolved, unfinished. Given the present
state of affairs and the scary storeys in the news I wonder if it has
anything to do with someone being hot on my trail...
The Cat Drag'd Inn web site has
been moved to a new host . The old URL of http://www.TheCatDragdInn.org
should forward to the new. And in other slightly related news: The
Geocache site has censored me. Most of my pictures have been removed by
some prude-watchdog claiming to have been offended.
This month marks a year since the last time I changed the oil and
filters in the tractor and ditch witch; I've done the lube for this
go-round, it is not decided if they are going to get oiled and all this
Probly I need to think about oil for the bus as well. Last one was this
month last year also but I have done so little driving in the past year
that there still remains 3000 miles on the present oil. For now I've
only done a lube and checked everything else. Ready for the road.
But first a Walkabout the Outback
Sunday is not often a good day for skinnyhiking out by Saddle Mountain;
too often the area is crowded with gun-toting banditos raking the
hillsides with their heavy artillery. But this day was just right for
weather and timing so Tom and I were off to an early start and that
always helps. Starting from the Northside Carpark we headed off south
along the east side on the trail that circles the base of the north
peak. The beginning part of this trail has been well defined by Ted The
Trail Maker as part of his effort to build a trail to the summit; Tom
and I were up there a few weeks ago. Later the trail along the base
joins a jeep road and climbs a minor saddle to a pass connecting the
northeast spur. There are a couple of small monuments and a few old mining
claims there where the road ends and we continued on a trail described
by some locals as dating from Pre-Columbian times. The footpath
continues, high on the slope, southward to the next col, connecting the
east spur. From time to time along here one discerns among the
litter—beer cans, broken bottles, plastic shopping bags from Wal-Mart,
big cups from Big-Gulp—evidence of modern equestrian travellers among
the scat of relocated bighorn sheep. Beyond the second col the trail
gradually descends, over several minor gullies and washes and around a
shorter spur, to the base of the main saddle from which the mountain
takes its name. From there we turned west to climb this saddle through
the middle wash. Much of the stone is sculpted into pot holes beneath
short water falls, all dry at this time but you can just imagine the
rush of water through this wash when there is enough of a rain on the
Eventually we gain the height of land at the top of the saddle and
enjoy the view and light breeze with lunch. Down the west side the way
is steeper and more dense with scrubby, thorny bushes. Quickly we come
out to a wash, wide and flat between tables enclosed by the arms of
grand spurs extending west from the north and south peaks. Tom and I
trade off, alternating the high and low ground, looking for the best
path to find our way across the spur to the north. At the top of a
notch in this spur there is a large sort of cave, a crack in the layers
of rock eroded wider by erosion, by earlier humans seeking shelter, by
later people looking for gold, now mostly occupied by animals and the
occasional hiker. Down the north side of this spur we turn more or less
east and head for the carpark still a mile away. Now on final approach
to the truck we begin to pick up the trash we have so far been
observing but leaving behind. Four miles, three bags of bottles and
cans, two lunches later, we're back at The Cat Drag'd Inn for a soak in
the hot water and a nice Gin&Tonic. What a day!
April Fools Day
Exhausting day of battling stupidities. The phone company came a few
weeks ago to map the location of one of their direct burial cables
running just below the surface between a utility pole and La Casa
Blanca a couple hundred feet due south. But they neglected to paint a
line on the ground and the guy they were talking to was not paying all
that much attention. This past week it comes to be my task to set a few
fence sections in an east-west line just south of that pole. Need I say
I spent a few hours carefully uncovering the power conduit and phone
line where they both exited the pole and headed south. Great!, says I
to my Self as I see that they start the run together; if I set my first
fence post a foot and a half to the southeast I'll be just fine.
However Mr.Murphy and Ms.April had other plans. Unbeknownst to me, a
foot and a half south of the utility pole the phone cable angled away
from the power conduit, off towards a house to the east. Between Bill's
arm waving explanation of what the phone guy described and my
misinterpretation of his misunderstanding I managed to sever the
six-pair phone cable before all the teeth of the Ditch Witch had dirt
on them. Took me most of the rest of the day to recover from that.
Happy Big Wind Day: Thursday, April 12,
"There was no doubt this morning that a super-hurricane... was in
full development." — Log
Book entry, Sal Pagliuca, 1934
"As the day wore on, winds grew stronger and stronger. Frequent
values of 220 mph were recorded between Noon and 1:00 pm...
"'Will they believe it?' was our first thought."
Tax Day—April Fool Reprise
In the meantime hidden expenses keep outing their selves. Tyres for the
little lifeboatbackyardgardenshedboattrailer truck, fancy new voicemail
digital cellphone, truck insurance went up 7% because my age is now
over 67—yet another penalty for surviving the rat race. And diesel
fuel is now up to 4$03 to 4$17 in various places in the neighborhood.
We're looking at just under a dollar a mile to make this Summer's trip
not including food and the occasional campground.
Three thousand miles from here to Yellowstone—to take Denali for a
Summer Camp on the Road and visit Betty—and return to be here for next
Winter. Or... Three thousand miles from here to NH to visit Ann-Marie
and my trunks of old junk, and the garage in Conway and the river. But
then what about next Winter? Either way 3,000 miles will take me five
months to do within the limits of my pittance if there is no input from
outside sources. I'm still waiting on the several deep pockets who have
indicated a willingness to help. By my Self, financially I would be
better off staying here and putting my money into electric for the a/c.
But mentally I'd be fuming-angry-crazy before Summer's end.
Despite the fuel costs I am still of a mind to travel this Summer but
am feeling the pull towards NH more. I don't know. Where would I rather
be when the shit hits the fan and there is no more money to afford
fuel—no more fuel to be afforded. I cannot see my Way to a choice. I
don't suppose it matters.
Today Bill and I are off to build
a gateway of old utility poles for
Tonopah Tails. Seven miles beyond the end of the pavement, the armpit
of the universe, the tail end corner of Tonopah to be sure. The last
quarter mile of road is carved out of the verge of a dry wash, barely
wide enough for a jeep; the outboard duals of truck and trailer were
crumbling the edge. Perhaps fifty dogs in a kennel, at least five
horses in a corral, and, the owner said, 400 hundred cattle roaming
everywhere. A large well-hung bull with tool at the ready stood around
eyeing Bill and me whilst we sat in the shadow of the dumptruck for
lunch. Not the sort of animal one would turn one's back to.
Already this week I have more laundry, accumulating from these textiled
jobs, than I've had all Winter! The cost of laundry soap is eating up
all my earnings; the time devoted to cleaning up after, equipment
repair, and sleeping it off is keeping me from more important things
such as writing much detail about all these adventures.
Internet connectivity is at an all time low. Mike is working on the
problem from the hardware end; the service provider is slow to useless;
I am trimming new vegatation on a daily basis. Seems to be a loosing
Spring Cleaning and Saint George's Day
I've been working at that project here, Spring Cleaning that is. Now
that it is a news item I notice I've been hoarding food just as all the
others are who don't know where their next meal is. So part of my
Spring Cleaning is to move aside old books and worn clothes to make
room for more rice and beans and tinned peaches. I've been crawling
about under The Cat Drag'd Inn to dust the wheels and brush away the
cobwebs. Enough silk under there to weave a kimono!
/\ /\ /
(__,,,,| * * * * Gardyloo
/\ ) /^\) ^\/ _)
< > ) /^\/
|| ) _ / / _) The Feast Day of
| \ )/\/ || |
)_) Take a dragon to lunch.
\_____ |(,,) )__)
Big wind just went through here. My gust-o-meter under the tree
registered 28mph in the shade but I /know/ it was at least Force 6.
Quite a dust devil. Paper and plastic festoon the big eucalyptus to the
east, lawn chairs in the soaking patio upended, wind chimes clamoring.
Some guy from near Pie Town NM—I guess that is how he got connected
with Bill—and his lady friend who I think is from near here—which
perhaps explains what he was doing here in the first place. He runs
organic goats on several thousand acres north of Pie Town and makes
very high end organic hand crafted goat cheese. Travels around in a
beat up old school bus. The major unique feature is how he has his
shower in the entryway. Shower curtain rod extends in a U-shaped hoop
from above the door to enclose the area above the uncarpeted stairwell.
He has a small instant hot water shower head. Parks by the roadside,
closes the curtain, takes a shower. Water drains out under the door
into the gutter. Cool idea!
Thank you for your recent submission to our online dictionary,
www.definition-of.com. Our editors have added your definition for NIMITZ to the site,
and users can now view and rate your entry.
May Day MayDay
I hope you have survived taxing
tribulations. I had not filed since
1997 but did this year for the 300$ "stimulous" distribution. It is
going to have to be quite a stimulation in order to ameliorate the
debilitations of wading through this year's 1040. What I won't do for a
little money to fill my fuel tank. Once maybe. Probly do better to put
new sneakers on the little truck.
Sara(h) La Gata brought in a rabbit on sunday. Always something. This
time I was busy in the middle of some critical operation and didn't
notice right off, until she was bouncing off the walls, jumping and
chasing. Too late by then. She'd let it go and it hid under my bed.
That ended up being a major deconstruction recovering the rabbit.
Managed to get some neglected Spring cleaning done along the way.
Tilting at windmills from one day to the next. New phone arrived
yesterday as I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the era of
the digital cellphone. My old analog Motorola Bag Phone, installed in
the bus since 1997, connected to the world with two wires: aerial and
power, and two screws for the hangup box. This new one has ten wires
plus a 14 pin plug for a GPS and a USB port for computer connexion.
There's a whole bag of screws. At least the phone is all phone; there
is no camera or games or jukebox.
My high school class is planning a 50th reunion for november 2009; I
really want to go, I really should go, but then again everybody there
is going to be so old and I am not sure I want to deal with that.
On a more short term there is all the plans to get there and what next.
One idea would be to just fly in for the party and come right back a
day later but that is just as stupid as driving the bus to and fro over
the period of a few months. Maybe I should move back there for a year
so as to spread the expense far enough to stay within my means.
Did you know May is National
Masturbation Month? Let's Party!
I've just finished reading The
Book of General Ignorance. Interesting; most everything I
thought I knew is wrong. Did you know that the average pencil can be
sharpened 17 times and write a line 35 miles long?
A four foot long gopher snake crossed the foot bridge in the back yard
a couple of days ago. The snake paused for a drink and posed for Wild
Kingdom pictures before disappearing under the mesquite tree where the
rabbits nest. Then yesterday a smaller common king snake was observed
slithering across the yard with Ms.La Gata in hot pursuit. This snake
took refuge between the dualies under The...Inn until Sara(h)
eventually gave up and took a nap.
It is amazing how fast some of this high tech stuff grows on one. My
new digitall phone understands spoken commands. The speech engine
quickly allows me to place calls by speaking the number to be dialed
and quickly learns to associate numbers with names so I have only to
speak someone's name and it dials their number. (...got to remember to
mute the radio first or who knows where I'll end up.) It will be
interesting to see if it can understand when someone else asks it to
call a number I have trained it to dial.
The main issue so far is that the Motorola support lags way behind the
release of this phone in the U.S. market. The Motorola M930, has been
available in Oztrailia and EU for most of a year already, has only this
May been released here and Motorola Support seems not yet aware that
Motorola Marketing has one up on them.
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.