Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again — Better Late Than Not At All

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

ajo at Palmer2016, Summer-Fall -- Greetings Virtual Travellers & Pen Friends:
Where O Where is Winter-Spring?...Saint George Slaying

Starting Back At The Feast Day of Saint George        

Our democracy is broken. This society's sensibilities are sickening. Too much lead in the water? Corn syrup in the soda? Smog in the air? Is stupidity caused by global warming? Or the other way round? That is a question worthy of some research.

Jim B. writes: “H.H.R. has you well trained I fear. She keeps bringing you new toys and gets her jollies watching you play with them until you lose them outside, whereupon she bolts out her door to fetch you another. Humans are so much fun to watch.”  (Thanks Jim for your astute observation.)

Speaking of lifestyle... Look for Some Turtles Have Nice Shells

24 April Roadside Cleanup

Trash along the road to ERLPutting to good use all that I have learnt from The Friends of Saddle Mountain. The one mile section of two-lane blacktop leading into El Rancho Lobo is straight and well aligned with the prevailing wind..

2016iv29 A Note To My Doctor

Just to update you... Back a few weeks ago (dates are a matter of record somewhere...) I went to visit a Dermatologist of your recommendation to have a couple of spots looked at. Several spots were eradicated with a blast of liquid nitrogen and a slice of one on my right shoulder was removed for further study. The biopsy returned a few days later indicated melanoma insitu.

Now I am on assignment in Deming NM and have an appointment 18th May to get acquainted with a Plastic Surgeon in Las Cruces and have this melanoma excised. I'm sure it will be a taxing experience.

May The Fourth Be With You...

What do you suppose the boy is holding in his left hand whilst he waits for his knowing mother to finish reading Yertle The Turtle?

One correspondent replied: “The fold in the blanket makes it rather obvious. Do you think that was a conscious effort on the part of the artist?” As George Carlin put it: “If God had intended for us not to masturbate, he would have made our arms shorter.”  I like to think that the answer to your question is, yes. The look on the mother's face tells it all. I think she is curious and knowing and jealous all at the same time.
Under the Blanket?

...Followed by Sinko de Mayo

Ever heard the jarring storey about the container ship containing salad dressing lost in the Bermuda Triangle during Hurricane Hazel?

And The Set Ends With...

The Revenge of The Sixth. Gust-O-Metre topped out at 46mph. Visibility reduced to less than six miles in dust with drifting and blowing lawn furniture. Everything outside that wasn't tied down is someplace else now.  I've been learning how to be a responsible Camp Host—not easy when one is in my present state of mind. Slows me down a bit. Just think: If Trump wins the election it'll be the first time in history that a billionaire moved into public housing vacated by a black family. (Thank you Ms Shaw.)

Defying The Laws of PhysicsBarn Swallow

Who was it promulgated the Law that 0 x 0 = Nil Naut nothing 0 Zero Zilch Nada?  Now I am off duty as Camp Host. Turned the golf cart and the receipt book over to my counterpart—we traded Weeks: I'm Off, she's On. All during my On Week I have things to do: The Daily Do List (clean the bathroom, arrange the magazines, sweep the patio, feed the birds...), the Weekly Do List (plug in the golf cart charger, wash the laundry floor, read the kWh meters...), and my own Do List(s) of writing letters, cleaning rugs, washing dishes, making Haiku towels, indulging my ham radio hobby... not to mention long term projects such as prepping for Field Day, researching new tyres for The Cat Drag'd Inn, itinerary for 2017 Eclipse Expedition, yet another TV antenna experiment, writing code for my website...

 But Sunday, in BOLD letters, is the day for my Do Nothing List. This Do Nothing List is kept in a secret drawer, known only to Not Me, and secured with a lost key, just to prevent anything being added. Despite all these precautions the nothings on the Do Nothing List manage to multiply. Nothing times Nothing equals SomethingElse, thus defying what you learnt in Multiplication Grade and keeping me off the RTTY contest all day long.

Captions on cartoons in a doctor's office:

RTTY teleprinterFrom The New Yorker: Imagine an elderly woman in a hospital bed with a clutch of relatives standing around with the doctor: “We can't pull the plug. We're all still on her insurance.”

I can relate to this one: Doctor of Bladderology to an elderly male patient: “Good news Mr Goodyear, its just a slow leak.”

And my venerable Mum could relate to this one: Doctor to a patient sitting on the exam table with a bandage tied around his finger: “Its a very minor injury. If it weren't for a potential lawsuit I'd just kiss it and make it better.”

Remember Charlie! ...on The eM Tea Aaaay.

Expedition to Idaho for Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse in 2017

The present plan--to depart from somewhere, AridZona about June/July, motor north to Driggs Idaho, and return (perhaps via Pie Town) by the end of August, is wanting for $ome $upport and a few companions to make it most fun (and economical). Along the Way there are hot springs for soaking, canyons for hiking, Yellowstone N.P., Four Corners, and all sorts of other places depending where you might have relatives.

The Cat Drag'd Inn
can accommodate several small/young unschoolers and it would be nice to have another sort of adult along to help with the mentoring and the housekeeping. Whinging-TV-addict-couch-potatoes need not apply (Unless they promise to leave their iGameWhatevers at home). Prospective travellers should know (or at least be willing to learn) how to play Cat's Cradle, wash dishes, like beans and peanut butter (but not necessarily in the same sandwich), and they should know how to read aloud and follow a road map. Prospective $pon$or$ need not have any of the above qualifications.

So, gentle readers, here is your invitation: "Eccentric Outlaw with ESL Certificate available to mentor Unschooler Travellers on a voyage of discovery and adventure. If you are a small Human and would like to travel aboard The Cat Drag'd Inn on this upcoming tour, or, if you are a small adult--but not yet a grown-up--and would like to travel with us, or if you care to sponsor a student to travel in your stead, write me. Write now. Donations may be sent via PayPal. mail to

Towel Day

All that and I totally missed sending Towel Day Greetings. Sorry about that and thank you to Nancy & Jack for their reminder.


Shopping in Las Cruces with Captain Hook. In the east bound rest area on i10 overlooking Las Cruces there is a giant roadrunner sculpture. I passed by here in 2009 on my Way to elsewhere, just east of between hither and yon.

Memorial Day

Memorialising the maudlin sentimentality of all the handwringing over the poor soldiers who have given their lives for the aggrandizement of American imperialism. I can see honouring those who were conscripted, however the people who volunteered deserve no more “honouring” than the people who are killed by drunk drivers whilst commuting on the beltway to their mundane jobs. If you really supported the troops you wouldn't send them to far-away places to fight other peoples' meaningless wars based on lies.

Mad Hatters Tea Party (by the British calendar)

Today I am spending money on antique truck parts to rebuild the steering linkage. One thing parts have in common: Boat,s planes, and antique autos/trucks/buses; parts are exempt from competition.

Summer has arrived with a vengeance to the Continental Divide.

101f was the high on the 19th of June. Interestingly, the low was 41f that same day--highest and lowest for the week.

Over the past few weeks I've been shopping for new tyres for The Cat Drag'd Inn, negotiating with my medical insurance for "out of area coverage", finding and buying parts for which I've been searching for years for the steering linkage of this antique bus, and doing Camp Host chores at El Rancho Lobo in Deming New Mexico. Since the last time I put new tyres on this bus they have nearly doubled in price. But my income is still about the same. Something is wrong with this picture.

One of the things about fine print in the rear of insurance policies is they contain all the limits, conditions, and exclusions, as opposed to all the features which are blatant on the front cover. The limit in the case of my policy with Cigna is the one which says NFG outside of Maricopa County AridZona.
drag link end
The steering linkage of this old bus (like the old house in the song) is worn and loose and held together with bailing wire. Parts are not available in your usual auto parts store; no matter, there are no part numbers anyhow and we all know you can't buy a part without a part number. After years of searching I have finally located a dealer who deals in antique trucks and buses and who can recognise a part by sight and usage. Let us hope he is correct.

I set out on this adventure to migrate by a different route, to engage some different activities, learn some new tasks. Captain Hook suggested El Rancho Lobo where working as Camp Host for Mr & Mrs Wolf would answer to all my desires. Except for the wind. And the dust. El Rancho Lobo is a quaint little RV park on the eastern outskirts of Deming New Mexico. My tasks include checking guests in and out, and cleaning up after, filling a dozen bird feeders, sorting the incoming mail, and keeping my shorts on. That last, of course, is the most onerous part.

Kinky Boots Just Pee

Kinky Boots the movie just became Kinky Boots the stage show musical play. At least I just found out about it.

Google Censors

On the page(s) at Great Art Classical Nude Google was censoring what I am allowed to see. Some images were replaced by an exclamation mark or a hyphen in a circle.

A letter to the owner of the page resulted in a conversation with Google and the owner responded: Other 'viewers' have informed me of this problem. I can assure you that it has nothing to do with me. There now seems to be no problem - but there was a period, a short while ago, when this site, and other sites featuring the work of Vittorio Carvelli were interfered with. I have informed Google, and they have assured me that things have been put right. Thank you for your comment, and keep us informed.

Or chronic nose bleeds. One of my latest tiffs with the medical system: Took my bleeding nose to an urgent care place in Deming looking to have the bad spot cauterized. They don't do that procedure--go to the ER around the corner. By the time I got to the ER my nose was no longer bleeding. Not an emergency, they said, come back when your nose is bleeding and we'll have a look. Of course if I make it bleed then, my paranoia index cautions, they will prob'ly lock me up for self-inflicted injury...

Leaving Deming for Higher Ground

Good flight from Deming except for the "Thunder Lube" place. Those guys are dangerous. I'm not sure what to do about it but they need to be slapped upside the head. I didn't pay any much attention when they lubed my truck but I will have to look more closely now. When I brought in the bus I gave the guy a chart showing the location of all the zirks. He looked at it briefly, as if to memorize the plan, and then tossed it aside and set about randomly poking at various zirks: whatever he could see easily, never used a rag to clean the zirk, skipped from here to there. The floor was clean so I laid down to watch as he went about his work. He never put in enough grease to fill a bearing. Just squirt-squirt and move to the next. Some he never touched. One in particular I had to help with. I'll have to redo the entire job my Self later.

And that was just the front end. He couldn't get to the rear end. Rear of the Bus wouldn't fit into the shop bay and his hose is not long enough to reach beyond the ends of his pit.

Simmer Solstice at the Intersection of The CDT and U.S.60

In the view from Nita's Not Tub the Summer Solstice Sun rises just about one solar disk's width to the north of a certain power pole off there to the northeast. Now, a week after Solstice, the sun is rising directly behind that power pole; already a few degrees on her Way to rendezvous with The Teeth at Autumnal Equinox.

All Down Hill to The Pie FestivalSome of
                  Nita's Rolling Pins

From here to there is about nine weeks. The dough rollers are oiling the bearings of their rolling pins and ironing their aprons. Talk around the Transfer Station concerns butter v.s lard and lattice crust v.s crumb (and the sub-set of that: raw sugar v.s white).

Jewel asks: Does pie qua Pie Town pie, make one fat? I keep thinking it doesn't.

Certainly you would like to believe that, eh? My answer is that the fatnicity of any given pie (or slice thereof) is somewhat proportional to how far you walk to get such pie. The relationship is akin to Pi(D x S)/R where D=Distance Walked and S=Speed and R=Number of Rest Stops along the Way. There is also a T function in there where T=Time between slices however the place and power of that factor can be determined only by empirical study and thus far the grant funding that research has been denied on the grounds that such research is frivolous and tasteless.

Melanoma in Situ, 19 July

Steven writes: “what is up with the cancer? Clothing can help prevent that, lol !” they tell me... So also can walking help prevent auto accidents and taking the train help prevent plane crashes. Oh well. We pays our money and we makes our choices.

I'm back. Arrived here about 22 hours after we left. Long drive from Pie Town to Avondale, west of PHX. Stupid insurance rules made it necessary to drive 600 miles in order to save 600 dollars. Must have rained here whilst I was gone, there was 0.04" in the rain gauge this morning after the operation.

After my second doctor visit--nose cauterized and aspirin regimen cancelled--I went to Lowe's on the next block east to find candelabra bulbs and then Fry's across the street for extensive shopping to use up all manner of spend money to save money coupons. There are no Fry's (Kroger) Markets anywhere near Pie Town—the last one, a Smith's, in Socorro, closed last Winter so now I have to travel miles and miles to save money with these coupons they mail me.

Shopping took me over an hour. Fry's is remodeling. Bad enough the layout of each of their stores is unique but this one was under reconstruction as well. What a rat race trying to find things. The Schwepps was not with the house brand mixers in the liquor aisle but over with the cranberry juice three aisles away. They had B&J's chocolate but not coffee. And they did have dry ice. Well anyhow... Out of there finally and to my surprise, around the corner was an Albertson's so I went there and found B&J's coffee (but no chocolate) and then up the street a few blocks to use my Fry's shopping bonus points to fuel at 2$08.

Finally east bound in the going-home traffic outbound along with everyone else escaping from PHX. At each junction the traffic grew thinner and faster and the sun lower in the sky. Twenty-some miles up highway 87 there had been an accident that started a brush fire—there were at least fifteen forest service fire trucks there and twice that many crew mopping up. At Payson I stopped for coffee and a sandwich. Drank more coffee that day than in a week of living "at home". Lights on now. Full dark by the time I got to Show Low. Somewhere along there coming around a corner and down a hill there happened a great white blinding flash! I think I got snapped by some speed trap doing 45 in a 40 zone. Or maybe it was 50 in a 45 zone. Stopped in Show Low at 21h30 and napped for three hours.

On and off rain when I continued east on u.s.60. I followed one ambulance for a while figuring if there was anything in the road then they would hit it first. Stopped in Springerville just to walk around and stretch. Then into New Mexico. Phone and GPS update their Time Zones. All manner of wildlife on the road. Narrowly missed two elk, who were on the left side of the road headed away so I didn't get to see the whites of their eyes, and one stupid people, wearing dark clothes, walking with the traffic on my side; I didn't see them/it until actually abreast.

More rain. Enough to run the wipers and make puddles but by the time I turned off on the driveway to The Cat Drag'd Inn the surface was dry. Intermittent light rain continued through what was left of the night. Except perhaps for one traffic ticket this adventure has a successful conclusion. I've never been trapped for "speeding" before so, not that I did it on purpose, that is one more line item to scratch off my Bucket List.

There's Gonna Be A Heat Wave...

I prefer gator-aid. In the old daze, before designer waters, we had salt tablets to restore electrolytes. Once upon a long ago, before I'd had adequate first aid and second aid training, I led a like for several kids into the Grand Canyon. What the hell... the round trip from the South Rim campground down to Phantom Ranch on the Colorado River and return to camp was about the same mileage and elevation as a similar hike on Mount Washington in NH and we'd all done that more than once.
Tour 73-7 in The Grand Canyon
We made the descent as far as Indian Springs Oasis by mid morning and were already suffering the effect of dehydration despite imbibing copious water on the trail. Several kids had headaches, I had a wicked headache. We drank more water, took a short walk out to the inner rim to look down at the river, drank more water, napped in the shade, drank more water, and got progressively more lethargic. The picture herewith is of the group with some other hikers under the shelter of an overhang at the lip of the inner rim. We don't look too hurting there but we were waiting until the trail up would be shaded from the afternoon sun before we would attempt to ascend.

Along about then, back at the oasis, one of the mule train excursions came through. They stop for lunch in the shade with the picnic tables and all the patrons dig into their box lunches. I was seriously considering calling for a mule train rescue at that point when by some leap of faith, divine intervention, ah-ha! discovery, came to the conclusion that it was not water we needed--or a mule train--it was salt! After the patrons remounted and departed we rummaged through the trash cans for the remains of their lunch. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Salt packets and apples were retrieved and we ate our fill. Just some salt on one's tongue tasted delicious as long as one needs salt. When the salt began to lose its savor then you've had enough. We took the remainder with us and now refreshed and reinvigorated, practically ran up the trail to the top.

That was then and this is now. Here on the Continental Divide daytime temperatures have been ranging from 55f to 85f. No sweat. Pie Fest is about four weeks away. And this letter is about two months late.

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 © 2016, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.