Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
Larks and Owls... This explains it all. I hope that link is still
active by the time you get to read this.
Selling My Self on eBay
I listed all my stamps on eBay that didn't sell at Ann-Marie's yard
sale and within minutes of sending an announcement to a list of
Antarctic contacts received a note from one of them offering to buy the
collection at my asking price. So then I had to unlist them all before
any bids were made. Phew! and Cool! That income will move me a small
step closer to the distinct likelyhood of having to install a new
motor; I'm probly too old and decrepit to sell my body but if I can
just sell my soul I might break even.
The motor is ready to remove. We started out thinking we would work on
it as it sat, mounted in the bus, but before getting too far into the
project decided that any repair would be a lot easier on the floor of
the garage. Most of my time this past week was a matter of mucking
about disconnecting hoses and wires and removing such things as the
starter and air compressor.
Middle of August
Neither of you probly knew Dave Goodwin tho he visited me at El Dorado
Hot Spring at least once back in the old days and was part of my tour
to AlasKa in '98. Getting to be that time I suppose; people around me
are dropping off more often than I am making new friends: David was
born on October 27, 1946 and passed away on Monday, February 23, 2009.
One of those folks in my pantheon who never did correspond all that
much, he called me a few years ago when I was motoring through Vulture
Mine Pass. Early on Dave had been one of those who challenged me to
greater heights, to living on the edge. We did a lot of nude hikes
together, climbed a lot of mountains, skinnydipped several rivers. In
2001 Dave was one of the guests mentioned in this
letter from when we drove from Franklin MAss to PHX donning
textiles only for a dayhike, it was cold that day, to the top of the
Gateway Memorial Arch in Saint Louis.
Another time he packed his bicycle into a cardboard box and flew with
it to PHX so we could ride in the deserts west of Maricopa.
Dave introduced me to HighPointing but I'll probly never get to some of
taller peaks he accomplished.
When Dave called me on the road through Vulture Pass he was distraught
and suicidal from having been forced into retirement over medical
issues; his problem with cheap wine became worse.
Last november Dave seemed Ok but since april my letters to him have
gone unanswered. Finally, this past week, I wrote his sister.
Here's quite the rant
from an Australian:
Neat rant. And too true:
> Suppliers of electronic components to the public will disappear as
> future generations have no interest in electronic projects or
> repairs. (already happening - Dick Smith Electronics)
I seem to remember Dick Smith Electronics either from stores somewhere
or from catalogue sales. And of course the demise of Radio Snack is in
the same kettle. And Heathkit and Allied before that.
This guy must live in Sidney...
> Abbreviated spelling becomes acceptable in official documents as
> upcoming generation has learnt to spell from mobile phone
This will be a world wide problem that will eventually result in a
shift of all languages towards a more idiogrammic notational system,
such as Chinese/Japanese is now. As icons, short-spellings (there must
be a proper word to describe that phenomena of leaving out vowels and
shortening words—see note 1), and acronyms replace spelled out words
large cumbersome glossaries will be developed to assist the slow
learners of the elderly population.
> Increasing traffic accidents as mobile phone use in cars continues,
> with drivers aware of the laws against this being just a formality
> and not actually enforced.
Studies will eventually focus on the mindset of the driver/phone-user
as the mental involvement required to maintain a conversation is
realised to be the causative agent in the accident profile. However not
before the use of cellphones pretty much wipes out mobile ham radio. It
is only a matter of time before the voice control dialing of my
cellphone is expanded to include conference calls and then the
"goin'-home-show" on the local repeater will be replaced by a
conference call among the regular users. Already the ham community is
taking the first steps in that direction with the selective calling and
group-calling capabilities of "D-Star". Only a matter of time and
technology before digital two-way radio merges with conference calling
> The elderly will be seen as disposable citizens once they are no
> longer able to profitably contribute to the society.
> The Death of Common Sense
Too true. Oh Well.
> The Modern Way and why the first world will become the third world
Even better. But with Common Sense already gone who is left to make any
sense at all of the moral in that storey?
> 8. Teaching Maths 2017
> أ المسجل تبيع حموله شاحنة من الخشب من اجل 100 دولار. صاحب تكلفة
> الانت=D 8ج من الثمن. ما هو الربح له؟
And for the most part one could substitute certain American
place/person/event names and the storey would be perzactly the same.
The Aussies have no monopoly on stupidity.
Note 1: See items 3, Textspeak, & 4, netspeak here
Lots of Rain
My Travel Bug Akita
Mani Yo, last read from in November 2008 has surfaced in Indiana.
Interesting that the finder logged the cache in April this year but is
only now logging the TB.
Another TB is still MIA in Utah, two people have reported him not in
the listed cache.
Lots of rain here yesterday, 0.97" at the garage in Center Conway. Not
much progress on any front the past few days. Getting in a lot of movie
watching and book reading tho.
I've been in touch with the sister of my late friend Dave, N1CMD, about
cleaning out his house; she's agreeable with that so I will have
something else to do in addition to all the other things I'm not
getting done now. If the place hasn't been ransacked since he died back
in febter there might be some remains of a hamshack for another estate
sale at Q'site.
Met a new friend last week who lives on Middle Jam Road, next to a
river in Maine. Claims to be a relative even, probly umpteenth cousin,
thrice removed, but a skinnydipper at least, so I will take my kayak
over there for a float someday soon.
Writing of distant cousins, I've finally found the occurance of my
cousin Edna St.Vincint Millay being written about in Naturist Life
International! The text is not by her, but about her; an excerpt from
_The Indigo Bunting: A Memoir of Edna St. Vincent Millay_ by Vincent
Yesterday I went to Salen NH to clean out the home of a dear old friend
who had drank himself to death. He died last febter after a couple
years of depression and gradual withdrawal from relationships with
friends and family. His sister told me she didn't realise just how bad
his drinking problem was; I knew he had a problem but likewise had no
idea just how bad off he was. The body had not been found for a couple
of weeks, when neighbors finally called police because they hadn't seen
him around and his mail was piling up. The trailer has been untouched
since the medical examiner locked the door and departed. What a mess.
There were hundreds of liter wine bottles in piles everywhere!
Hundreds! Under every desk and table, in rows along the hall, mounded
over waist high in the back bedroom/workshop. Hundreds. The kitchen was
full, full to the gunwales, of empty microwave meal boxes. Tragic.
Dave's sister said in mail last week that she has been unable to deal
with the situation. I guess she took his death rather hard and didn't
really know just how bad the situation was. Her son, my friend's
nephew, met me at the house, a single-wide mobile home, and we broke
in. My interest lay in the ham radio equipment, greed was the primary
drive I'm sure, and in recovering several books and trail signs I had
lent him years ago. But there was a certain 'have to do this for my
friend' feeling too. The nephew, Rick, was interested in family papers
and photos. Both of us were quite surprised by the decrepitude of the
place and the way in which my friend David must have lived his last few
Gail's last communications with David were to invite him to
Thanksgiving and Christmas last year and to move to her farm in North
Carolina. My last letters with him were about that possibility and that
I might meet him there on my way north this past Spring. But then he
stopped corresponding with both of us. Went over the edge. Around the
bend. Crackers. According to papers and bills we found the town had
shut off his water in january. He was out of heating oil and was
apparently warming his toes with several little electric heaters. What
Four large trash bags of mostly clean clothes were taken off to
Goodwill and I will head back there today to haul off some more good
junk and see about disposing of a 1999 Dodge Ram van.
Cleaning up this mess strengthens my resolve not to go out this same
Getting cold here in Center Conway, 45f this morning at dawn. The
furnace is on this morning, burning my valuable propane, and the
resistance heat is on, using up Pauls expensive electricity. What about
tubing the river? At this rate we'll be skating the river.
Do you know anyone who would want a big van for business? Another thing
left over from David's estate is a Dodge Ram 3500, 1999, 86,000 miles,
excellent tyres, new alternator, mostly empty in the back. I'm still
working out the details and the paperwork but it is mine for the taking.
Labour Day Labour
Books are selling, radios are cleaning and fixing. Still no visits to
the river and that was one of the tasks way at the top of my list when
I came here in the first place. Motor failure and Dave's Demise changed
all that. But on the plus side: The weather has been mostly too cold
for much playing in the water.
The only trouble with my comment, and your quote in response, is that
"inciteful" is not a word in my dictionary nor in Google:
in-cite (in siet') v.t. <-cit-ed, -cit-ing>
1. to stimulate to action; urge on; stir up.
[1475-85; < L incitare = in- IN -2 + citare to
start up, EXCITE; see CITE 1]
—in-cit'ant, adj., n.
—in ci-ta'tion(-sie tay'shuhn, -si-), n.
Google responds: No definitions were found for inciteful.
What shall we do? "Hopefully" no word mavens will notice or care.
We finally got the motor out of the bus yesterday afternoon. It sits on
the floor of the third bay in the garage. The parts room bay. My bay
I've set up a radio bench in there along the wall under the only
window and have an FT-900 all spread-eagled with its guts strewn about
waiting on parts. I've already fixed or given up on several other
radios. (I have a pair of IC-W32A, both working now and just learnt how
to clone their programming—nice radios that I will keep. So now I have
two IC-02AT to sell.)
Whilst I'm waiting on radio parts I'll start in on removing the heads
from the motor so we can see what failed and how much collateral damage
there might be. And with the motor out of the way there is other work
to do redecorating the engine room if we ever get some more warm dry
Piston damage photo shows how the valve head rattled around in the
cylinder. The likely scenario is that the valve stem broke at the valve
head which then dropped into the cylinder for a few cycles and rattled
around causing the damage seen. Then the head was rammed sideways into
the valve seat, pushing the stem up an inch or so above normal which
bent the push rod and broke the rocker arm. No damage apparent to the
cylinder walls however some bits apparently were drawn up into the
intake manifold and dropped into the adjacent cylinder where they did
some minor damage. But, Paul speculates, that damage could have been an
earlier similar failure too. The apparent crack was the deciding
factor. Had it not been for that I think we would have gone ahead with
rebuilding right there on the floor.
Pardon me if I ramble. I am missing the desert. And missing those who
live there (but not really reside there) and all that ilk.
Yesterday I went as guest of one of my old scoutmaster friends (Charlie
is ten years older than me) on the Conway Scenic RR five hour ride up
to the top of Crawford Notch and back to Conway. Just as the train
commenced to depart a man leaned over my seat to ask: Is your name
It was Ben, another old friend—my age—I've not seen in years, who with
Dave, and sometimes without me, used to hike and ski all over the
mountains here. The
past few years Ben has been a docent on the RR.
He did not know of Dave's death so I had to tell all that storey over
again. But then we moved on to other subjects and I missed much of the
scenery. But it was a good ride. Good catching up on the gossip.
Charlie was never a nude hiker tho he did skinnydip on occasion, and
today he does not walk much at all. Didn't help any that the weather at
the top of the notch was raw and blustery, snow was not all that far
overhead in the hills. We had lots of old storeys to retell along the
ride as well so whilst Ben was being a decent docent I was swopping old
tales with Charlie. Sometimes I feel like the character in that old spy
series on the telly: I Led Three Lives
except that for me the count would be more like four or five lives. Or
Equinox Plus One
And just to take a step backward: The other day some old-timer left off
a Grundig Majestic at the shop. Crusty mahogany case two feet long
contained four speakers—said he brought it back from Germany after "the
war". Indeed! It was made in Germany in the early '50's. A couple of
strings between the cans had been messed with by the meeces who'd taken
up residence; as evidenced by all the paper towel scraps and faeces
several had been making music in there for a while but prob'ly the
old-timer never noticed given what today's music mostly sounds like.
I restrung the strings, scraped all the smoke stain off the venier,
blew out the building material, and turned it on. WOW! All the
thermionic valves lit, the speakers gave forth with cracks, pops, and
whistles, and after a few minor adjustments, music from VOA.
The speakers are in excellent shape. All the bands work. The old-timer
doesn't want it back so I have this big box that Mike thinks would go
well with the décor of The Cat Drag'd Inn—after all they are
both of about the same vintage. But I'm not sure where I will put it.
Has as big a footprint as two of my present radios plus one laptop. And
prob'ly uses ten times the power. Might function well as an electric
My pet spider has pretty well cocooned the instrument panel on the
bridge. Any attempt to get at the ignition key will be met with a
September's Gone - The Lost Is Found
My big green Boy Scout campfire robe, long thought to be MIA, or at
best buried in Billerica, has percolated to the surface here in Center
Conway. Found in a garbage bag, along with several other items lost for
more than ten years, the blanket of Scout crests was unearthed by Jane
and Kenny recently in a spasm of cleaning and making way for Winter
firewood in their house on Dundee Mountain. One of the items on the
robe is my high school graduation tassel—a most important find
considering that the fiftieth reunion is this november.
Other articles include the green sweater Mum knit for me, another
smaller brag-rag serapé and Boy Scout uniform shirt, a pair of
wool trousers with suspenders—I might well need those if I continue to
be stranded here much longer—and the fancy, colourful sweater from
Dorset that everyone thinks is so beautiful but nobody wants to wear
cos it is too warm or not warm enough. Also, in a box that in itself
was a lost item, is my 12 quart cast iron dutch oven. Still missing is
the iron bean pot that went with it.
I have absolutely no idea how all these things came to be here, neither
do Jane and Kenny. If I left them behind then that would have to
occurred before I went off to Antarctica; the bags might have been in
any of several locations hereabouts where I had stuff stored which was
then mostly all moved to a storage shed rented on my behalf when these
several people sold their houses and moved away.
So— Now I have only to find a place and store them again where they
might be more accessible.
Mike sent a few pictures from Tonopah to let me see the Desert Animal
Kingdom show I am missing. A large cat, perhaps bobcat or lynx, and two
owls, or the same owl twice. Thanks Mike! Christoph wrote from
Swizterland to tell of his recent hiking in Engstlenalp, near Engelberg
Lucern. Excellent scenary. Thanks Chris!
2009x1, October is here!
> > Plus you still need a patch kit, pump, and a set of tyre
> Oh well. Perhaps someone will invent truly puncture-proof tires
> ride like normal tires.
Just as someone will invent a motor that runs for longer than the
warranty period. I should live so long?
My horrorscope today says it is time I shit or get off the pot:
"Self-distraction is a technique that people often use to avoid dealing
with real problems in their lives ... But today, that one problem
you've been avoiding so successfully for so long needs to be addressed.
It's time to tackle this thing...
Before I get snowed under.
Ten thousand dollars at a hundred dollars a month would take me ten
years to pay off. How is it the Borgs say? Resistance is futile? The
whole idea is depressing to say the least. Perhaps David had the right
idea. Half a motor—and rebuilding the rest from old parts—will still
take me five years to pay off. Maybe the time really has come to hang
up the keys. At least for a while.
Perhaps I can tell welfare that my house needs a new furnace?
And here is an old picture of Christoph taken
on Mount Washington when he was younger than the youngest of his kids
Migrating to Linux
Upgrades and mods and installs are always sooo easy to get into but
nobody hardly EVER provides an easy way to downgrade, unmod, or
outstall what they so proudly entice and ensnare you with.
Mad Hatter's Day
Earlier in the evening, the day after Mad Hatter's Day,
after an inch and a quarter of cold rain—that would have been a foot of
snow but for a few more degrees—when Sara(h) was out at the end of her
rope, playing in the puddles, there was a great thud and clank and when
I followed her lead into the dark beyond the lights there was no cat at
the end of it. She'd managed to pull apart the split ring—but
then that is what it is for, sort of an escape hatch. An hour or so
later she returned so I was able to get to bed not too much later than
Windy last night, enough that I was obliged to get out of my nice warm
cocoon at an hour past the witching hour and go out with a torch in the
cold and dark to tie things down. I guess that means today I should don
some threads and go stow tools and awning before the weight of falling
leaves wreaks havoc. Right now they are as usual rather pretty despite
the portent they carry and I collected a few to dry and tape into my
journal. But too soon the pretty leaves become a sodden brown nuisance.
Hunkering down for the Winter
> You should avoid hedging, at least that's what I think.
Yes. Might come to that. Or not come at all. Might already be here.
Yesterday I put in some time cleaning and putting away tools—won't need
wrenches to rake leaves and shovel snow. Still have to service the
house battery and make a better power connexion to the service outlet
so I can run electric heat. I've dug out a pair of long woolly
trousers—with button flies, they are that old—but may need to shop for
new braces for them as the old ones crackle when stretched and fail to
However I have yet not given up entirely on the idea of escaping.
for when you start getting that "old
In the meantime I have a rant to compose.
Stupid or Ignorant
is a condition, Ignorance is a choice.
Coldest Day So Far
New low in the NotSoLiveFreeOrDie state: 27f at Oh-Dark-30 this
morning, up one degree now. And in keeping with the general perversity
of the universe, the water tank went empty last night during my evening
toilet. Sammy and the coffee pot have sufficient reserve to get through
the morning but the first order of business, as soon as day is light
enough to stumble around out there, will be to water the tank.
The new motor has finally been ordered, ready or not—Paul says he'll
write a rubber check if necessary (I guess he wants to get rid of me
that bad). Delivery will not be until Samhain; I think installation
will be a sort of Trick or Treat operation and I should be well on the
road by the time his cheque bounces. Actually I won't be leaving quite
that fast as we will have to do some road tests and there is still this
high school reunion affair and then Thanksgiving. But things are
looking up. This has been a long enough estivation. Time for a little
If you see any piles of money laying around please let me know. Grant
monies especially welcome, 0% or low interest loans acceptable. Despite
proscriptions to the contrary I would much rather keep the interest in
my extended family than to pay MasterCard 12% for the next five
Outside temperature up another degree now. Perhaps all the propane
fired warmth in here is leaking out and affecting the temperature
for adventure: Please Write.
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
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Copyright © 2009, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.