So Much To Say, So Little Room.
I canna believe my last epistle was back before too long ago!
Here we are at another Spring Equinox and if that is not bad enough,
this morning was Spring Ahead Day! So I've already lost an hour. To
begin with I must apologise for having no Winter Solstice Letter. But I
did manage an annual letter. Sort of. A biennial letter was more to the
point. The worst of all this is that I canna fathom where the time
goes. The hurrier I go the behinder I get?
Octvember @ Pie Town
Samhain been and gone. (Samhain (pron.: /ˈsɑːwɪn/, /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/, or /ˈsaʊn/)
is a Gaelic
festival marking the end of the harvest
season and the beginning of winter
or the "darker half" of the year.) At The
Inn: no tricks, no treats. Just dark and cold. First Snow
of the season is falling today. Time to move to souther and warmer
Five months to the week and the bus is ready to roll. The CAT 3208
motor started Ok.
Three air leaks to deal with and several items to remember to put away
or tie down. I think this estivation is the longest I can remember in
several years. First stop is right around the corner. (I've been
holding on for long enough. Got to take a wicked dump.) My major
concern was that the dump valve heater being on these past few days of
subfreezing and inhuman temperatures would have baked the effluent into
a hard cake. Not to worry. Everything came out in a great rush. Sixty
gallons. Never would have thought I could hold it that long. One other
stop for propane then south from Quemado, through Reserve,
over Saliz Pass, down sufficient miles of 8% grade to loose 2,000
feet of elevation, and here we are at Faywood Hot Spring where I expect
to sit for a month of working camping.
Faywood Hot Springs
There are three stone circles here! At the summit of a low hill a
little east of the hot spring camping area three stone structures
invite your exploration and meditation.
the size of refrigerators, standing on
end, mark the solstices and equinoxii. Setting them must have been
quite an undertaking. I am exploring the history and construction of
this neolithic monument.
Off to the right of the main path, near the top, is a single helix
which looks as tho the bovines make more use of than the humans. There
are several turns around a central alter stone. Magic abounds. Getting
in and out is a dizzying experience to say the least. This circle could
use some work to reset the bounds and the entrance.
Starting near the green gate and veering off from the main path is a
narrow way which wanders upward and slightly to the right. The way
comes upon the side of a labyrinth whose entrance is a quarter turn to
the right. The structure looks to be at least several years old from
the growth of the vegetation and the way the stones have settled,
however the structure is well formed and in good repair.
So, besides cleaning toilets I have lots of projects to keep me out of
trouble. Ensconced within the enclosure of the campground soaking area
is The Waterpipe Family. Life sized sculpture of pipes and parts
plumbed as a tableau of a family ready for a soak.
Hot mineral water at more than 130f comes from an artesian spring that
for centuries has been building a tufa dome on the otherwise flat plain
north of Deming New Mexico. There is water from cold wells to mix with
as the hot is distributed by gravity to the many soaking areas.
2012xi27 - There's a Spider in My
Grass and Turkey in the Straw
Several arachnids of the spider variety live at The Cat Drag'd Inn. They are not
orb weavers (family Araneidae) but create webs that are great random
clouds of silk, tanglewebs they are known as, or cobwebs of the family Theridiidae.
webs catch more dust than insects however the spiders
prosper and fatten on whatever they do catch. I don't know what the
proper name for these critters might be, they look like Chrysso more than
This photo is looking up from below Sara(h)'s pot of grass. The
spider is just about in the middle of the image, up in the curve of
The underside of the web is fairly smooth. The upper area is a catenary
of support interstices and catchments.
Did I tell you that Sara(h) has
been Beatified? Saint
Sara(h) is the
Patron Saint of Gypsies. -- Holy 'cow' in her
font. Tolerates the evaporated kind so we don't have to carry around so
much. Back in Pie Town, towards the end of our visit there, as the
temperatures were getting down into the low twenties, her nose was
getting frostbite from being stuck up in the frigid breeze so much.
Here she is practicing to be one TacocaT to go please.
Carnage in Connecticut--12/12/15
"Plato had it figured, way back in ancient Greece, that every democracy
eventually becomes a plutocracy--a government by the rich--because you
can always buy votes. And every plutocracy devolves into anarchy,
because poor people will only put up with so much. The U.S. has clearly
moved into the plutocratic stage. The question is, can we return to a
democracy, or will we devolve into anarchy? It's that serious."
--Kathleen Dean Moore, The SUN, December 2012
In the news this morning there was a bit of a squib concerning the
shooting in Sandy Hook Connecticut where a teacher, leading some kids
out of the school building, told them to close their eyes so as not to
see the carnage.
Why should American children be any less privileged than their
counterparts in Iran, Iraq, Syria...? Somebody please tell me: What
difference does it make
whether American children watch murder and mayhem on cop shows on
television, blood and gore in their video games, or see carnage up
close in real life. American children (and most of the rest of
Americans as well) are far too isolated from the realities of this
despicable grownup world and would benefit greatly from a good dose of
what they are being trained for, what awaits them when they come of
age. Perhaps with enough real life carnage they might turn away from
perpetuating the same.
There are no innocent civilians any more.
Now, to whom can I send that where I might make a difference?
Another part of that same news was the ranking of this shooting event:
SECOND! Can you imagine that. Only second place in the ranking. Do you
suppose the killer ran out of bullets before he could make his
body-count up to First Place?
Someone wrote to ask how I had my Ham radio installed. Which one? There
are at present seventeen plus or minus whether you count WiFi and
Blueteeth. Could be as many as twenty-one. In this picture of The
Bridge I can see parts of ei8ht. Maybe nine if you count the GPS.
[I’ve begun thinking of them as “cellgasms.” --Roz Warren]
I have finally found a good explanation of why time seems to go faster
the older you get. I remember in the old daze that Summer seemed to go
on almost for ever, only when my mother surprised me with a back to
school haircut did I know that Summer was over. Now Summer blinks past
ever quicker. Why?
Why does every year seem shorter? Because as we get older, each year is
a smaller proportion of our life. Think about that.
Taking Out The Trash
Won one at the mailbox store! Into a mailbox store next door to Fry's
on Watson road to post a CD. I've learnt that there is a special reason
why NetFlix sends their movie disks in a longer than necessary
envelope. When I handed my outgoing to the counter clerk I held it by
the floppy end and said: First Class please. The clerk took my item by
the hanging down end where the disk was and said it was a small hard
parcel and had to go parcel rate. No, says I taking back the envelope
so it drooped again, Not So. The envelope is floppy; it goes First
Class the same way as NetFlix. And so it did! Yeaaa! Stupid rule, eh?
When Was This Happening?
Mostly Ok now. I'm all recovered from a bout of what must have been
food poisoning. No professional diagnosis. Fingers point at sushi from
the local market after I had
complained about the removal of my favourite brand (Mezzetta) of peppers from their
shelves and wrote to Fry's corporate HQ and to Mezzetta company. I
think the store was trying to get back at me but Mezzetta wrote later
to say that their peppers were removed due to a restocking error and
are back on the shelf. I have yet to go
shopping there again, perhaps next week, we'll see if my running out of
both ends was worth the peppers.
Now making annual pilgrimage to Quartzsite to visit the altar of the
Goddess of Ether and do the Radio Wave.
Saint Sara(h) Redux 2013ii07
Do you suppose the Saint Sara(h) entry (supra) was some sort of
fortnight now since Ms La Gata went out after breky and did not return.
We were camped at Mile99, Quartzsite, visiting old friends and making
new. Usually she goes out and in--she has her own door at The Cat
Drag'd Inn--several times before settling in for her first
This time she did not return.
A day went by. Then a week. I'd posted a Missing Cat APB in several
places and checked at the local shelter. Now The Cat Drag'd Inn has returned to
Tonopah sans Cat. Really a Drag...
Sara(h) La Gata con Migo Booger Mesquite La Rubia FrankenCat Sinte
Ikushia Cat-o-Mine-Tales 11-11 TacocaT had been my companion since
november 2001 and she was,
according to the adoption papers, about two when she took up residence
as AlarumCat at The Cat Drag'd Inn.
her about 14 now? Old enough as a cat to perhaps be looking
for a Way Out. I hope when my
turn comes I can be so decisive.
Right from the start, when she brought in her first mouse I told her,
and I reminded her often since then, that if she ate that mouse then
she became, and was, part of the food chain. She never was 'my cat' per
se, we lived together, we shared space, I cleaned her litterbox, she
licked my eggy plate; that friday last was not the first time she got
off her harness and went exploring.
Who knows, maybe she will yet show up at the last, previous, place we
spent any length of time. I'll give her a month or so before I shop for
a replacement. Well... another. One can never replace such a companion.
Right now my main concern is that she not be languishing in someone's
bellybox. Only Canis latrans knows for sure.
Forwards and Backwards at the same time. This week at the Food Bank I
came across a 1960s era honest to goodness genuine Western Electric
wall phone with functional rotary dial and real bell! (You know? One of
those brass cup-like affairs that 'ding-a-ling-ling' when struck with a
clapper rather than 'beep-beep-beep'.) What a treasure! Just the thing
for a 1960s era bus, eh? Several hours of research and fourty dollars
later I had the W/E mounted on the wall in the galley and interfaced
with my mobile phone. The first ring of a test call was just about an
orgasmic experience. Not only does the bell ring but the dial rotates.
You put your finger in a little hole and drag the dial
around...whirr-ticka-ticka-ticka. What will science think of next? I
may have to upgrade my mobile plan to have enough minutes...
More than one friend has escaped contracting this unease by migrating
to elsewhere. I have given over many hours of contemplation to the
subject, read a few books, perused a few websites, listened to
admonitions. But if I leave who will remain to carry the torch?
Maintaining Heavy Equipment
This week Bill made four trips from Tonopah to PHX, and back again, for
brake shoes for the front axle of his Kenworth 10-wheel dump truck.
First time he took only the truck's VIN saying that was all he needed
to get parts from the KW dealer. The shoes were the wrong kind. Wrong
style. Back to KW, with the old shoes in hand to try to match, to find
they did not stock the style he needed. Did someone change the whole
front axle? KW sent him to Peterbuilt. Peter sold him 'the right part'
but nobody opened the boxes to be sure. Can you see where this is
going? Back at Tonopah we open the boxes to find the proper style but
the wrong size. Back to Peterbuilt with the wrong size shoes but now no
old correct shoes to compare. Back again to Tonopah and believe it or
not, in the two boxes containing two shoes each, three were the right
size and style, one shoe was the right size and style but somehow or
other the wrong configuration! Sort of like two left feet?
Interestingly all were marked with the same part number as the proper
shoes but clearly the wrong part.
Back to PHX a fourth time.... Fourth time's a charm, right! So I have
been a week working on this job
which should have taken perhaps four hours.
Moral? The parts people don't know their arse from their elbow. Always
look in the box.
Spring Flowers and Spring Equinox
Hard to write of something which has yet to happen. Given the
historical record I suppose there is a certain assurance that the
Spring Equinox will indeed take place as scheduled in a week or so.
With a bit less assurance one might add that the historical record
shows The Cat Drag'd Inn will
migrate into the cooler hills soon after that however with fuel costs
going up as they are (Diesel is already over 4$/gallon hereabouts) any
much travel is sure to be constrained or curtailed. Postage rates are
up also. Mailing a postcard now requires more postage than the cost of
the card! Prob'ly been that way for a while but the fact of the matter
is just now dawning on me.
On the bright side... Over the past 24 hours 1.90" of rain and small
hail in showers and thunderstorms fell into the rain gauge here.
Already one can see the greening of the desert. My Volunteer Work at
the local Food Bank continues to reward me with boxes of grub and
opportunities to be of some help to others.