Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again — Larks and Owls and Hummingbirds - This explains it all.

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:
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.

More later.

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 the
> upcoming generation has learnt to spell from mobile phone messages.

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 cellphones.
Nurse Paulin & Grandma Walk the Last Mile.
> 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 Sheean.

August 27

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. Pathetic.

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 months.

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 a Mess.

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 way.

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.

inciting insight

The only trouble with my comment, and your quote in response, is that "inciteful" is not a word in my dictionary nor in Google:
Broken Rocker Arm
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]
   Derived words
             —in-cit'a-ble, adj.
             —in-cit'ant, adj., n.
             —in ci-ta'tion(-sie tay'shuhn, -si-), n.
             —in-cit'er, n.
             —in-cit'ing-ly, adv.

Google responds: No definitions were found for inciteful.

And:'inciteful'_mean agrees.

What shall we do? "Hopefully" no word mavens will notice or care.

Almost Equinox

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 now.

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.)
Piston Damage
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 days.

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 Mr.Oxton?  

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 six. 
Grundig 5077 - Sold!

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.
Pet Spider Lives on the Bridge
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 heater.

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 stinging rebuttal.

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.
Bobcat or Lynx at La Casa Blanca - Schrody efoto
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!
Owl at LCB at Sunset - Schrody efoto

2009x1, October is here!

> > Plus you still need a patch kit, pump, and a set of tyre irons.
> Oh well. Perhaps someone will invent truly puncture-proof tires that
> 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.
Schnellmanns Hiking in CH - Christoph efoto
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 now.

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 my wont.

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 retract much.
Owl at La Casa Blanca in Date Palm - Schrody efoto
However I have yet not given up entirely on the idea of escaping.

A product for when you start getting that "old people" smell.

In the meantime I have a rant to compose.

Stupid or Ignorant
Stupid 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 hibernal activity. 

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 years. 

Outside temperature up another degree now. Perhaps all the propane fired warmth in here is leaking out and affecting the temperature sensor. 

Anyone looking for adventure: Please Write.


Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.

Love, ajo

front page trailerI 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 © 2009, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.