Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Scratch Hazel behind her ears.
20 AugustFor the trip (80miles) to Socorro I got to drive a Mercedes Diesel hatchback something or other. Fancy fly-by-wire vehicle. The windscreen wipers turn themselves on and off at need and a very cooperative thunderstorm was on hand to demo the various stages of functionality. Quite fun. Made me laugh even.
In the galley, my wind-up microwave does NOT have a clock, and just as well since the power is off most of the time so a clock there would never be correct. Or always require setting. However the First Class Dining Area makes up for that. On the bulkhead above the captain's seat is a 24-hour clock set to GMT; on the table, behind The Boy With Thorn, is an 8-day-wind aircraft clock, set to local breakfast time, that is almost always fast (except when it is slow); above that is a shortwave radio that is usually set to receive WWV from Boulder Colorado. Hanging from the window frame is a fine wind-up Timex with a sterling silver and turquoise wrist band. That's four more.
Moving further forward: In the Ham Shack is another radio that can receive time signals; a Nikon camera and a laptop (RTTY), both with clocks. Across to the starboard side is the MikeMachine and the BettyBox—two more computers with clocks. Under the table is a scale with a clock and a day pack containing a watch and a GPS. Ei8ht more clocks.
On the bridge: There is a Heathkit Aircraft Clock comprising one timebase but three clocks: GMT, AZT, NMT. Then there is a watch hanging on the Low Air Alarum Flag set to Central Time; the broadcast radio with its clock set to Eastern Time; another GPS and three cell phones each displaying Local Time; and the navigation computer with the last clock. Ten more? Oh, wait, there is also the GPS connected to the APRS reporter. So, eleven. [7th Jan...Mike wrote to remind me there are clocks in the two thermometer remote readouts. So, 11+2=13. Thanks Mike]
Twenty-nine clocks in the length of 36 feet. And that's not counting four more clocks in TinyTruck. Yet with all those clocks I seem to have never enough time. Somebody check my math?
The Pains of SeptemberThis road grader is a huge machine. Ever been up close to one? There is a step (1) welded to the frame between the two five-foot drive tyres. Above the step is a handle (2) welded to the aft end of the engine housing. About at that level is a bracket (3) or hinge of some sort on the cab. One usually puts a left foot on the step, a left hand on the handle, lurches upward to gain a foothold for the right foot on the great knobby tread of the forward drive tyre and thus gaining the cab door if on the way one has not crashed a hardhat covered head into that bracket. I was not wearing a hardhat.
Bloody mess! Damn! that hurt. But I held on and Bill jumped in below me tho i didn't fall. Took a few moments to accommodate the initial shock and climb down. Head wounds really like to bleed. I held a paper towel on the wound until the bleeding stopped and set the rest of that project aside until next Summer.
But I felt well and so went on to help Bill with his well pump problem.
Eventually headed back to town I stopped to see Teri, who is a nurse of some renown. She cleaned away the crusted blood and separated my hair from the gore and suggested that perhaps maybe if the nearest clinic weren't 80 miles away I should have a couple of stitches. I went next to the firehouse looking for an EMT on the ambulance. Nobody home there. The VFD is out of town. Next, on to the Community Center where Nita and company are making pies that I will be helping them bake a week from now. Three pie ladies clucked and cooed and Nita—a mid wife—directed me to head for the house and wash my hair. But wait, she said, have you had lunch yet? There is some really great lasagna we just put in the fridge.
So I had lunch and then headed down the hill to her house whilst she disentangled herself from apron and clean-up. By the time I was out of the shower she had arrived.
First we tried using my hair. She'd read somewhere about tying tresses together over just such a wound, to stand in for stitches. After several attempts we gave up. Bloody hair is too slippery and the knot couldn't be pulled tight enough without causing further trauma. Then we both said together: This looks like a job for Super Glue!
That works. Even after gooping up the wound with antibiotic cream the Krazy Glue stuck the edges together. So now I don't need to sniff glue, the stuff is taking a shortcut in through this hole in my head.
Next week when I go shopping in Socorro I'll check with a clinic.
Pie Town Pie FestHappened under mostly clear sky this time but a bit too breezy for the Unbelievable Bubble Machine. Not like last year when the air was calm and the bubbles huge [last year's picture]. This year, before I had the paraphernalia laid out the boy from last year, the star bubble maker, ran up to me: Are you the Bubble Man? Yes. I recognised him: Are you the Bubble Boy? YES! And we set too to make bubbles.
Aside from that great beginning I did not feel so much a part of the action and did not take so many pictures. The affair was crowded and noisy, more than I remember, but at least the weather held good.
Welcome to Autumn + OneA new variety of bluebirds was observed at dawn today: Pecking through the ice on the bird bath for their morning plunge. What to name them: Polar Birds perhaps? 25f was my low. The ground was frosty. I needed my New Hampsha Ice Scraper to clear the rime from the hot tub cover.
The Autumnal Equinox was either 23rd by Sol rising through The Teeth or 24th according to Betty's Calendar. That movie was of an Autumnal Equinox from a few years ago when Betty's Calendar and The Teeth agreed on the date.
I've picked the crust of Krazy Glue from the scar of my scalp wound. Healed nicely. Thank you Nita for your deft application of midwifery techniques.
Presidential Debate?Who would you rather have as leader of "the most powerful country" [tho not of the most intelligent nor of the best infant mortality rate]: a three wived (tho not necessarily at the same time) macho male rude egomaniac, or a mother who knew full well of her husbands peccadilloes and yet stood by him and defended him and lied no more than any other politician. [A moot point now of course, but relevant at the time of writing.]
October Fools DayWhat do you call an aloe on steroids? OR: What do a bison and a big aloe plant have in common?
10/6 Do You Know What Day This Is?To some of you I may have already written this once (or more) in a personal letter. But perhaps you will not remember any more/better than me and so will have to struggle and search for the answer anew. Do you know what day this is? Why is a raven like a writing desk? That second question is a clew to the answer of the first. Get all three correct and you can look here for your prise.
Mostly I am ok. Physically anyhow. Stable? Mentally, deranged. My pisser still works, my head has healed, my heels are headed, south. We've had a few frozen birdbath mornings so the time is nigh to roll up my awning and flee to warmer places.
How about you? How are you?
On The Road Again...On and off again. Lots of adventures yesterday and not least was apparent failure of the solar charge controller remote readout. Playing the On The Road Again music as The Cat finally Drag's away. The short first leg from Nita's Cabin to post office ended with smoke drifting up from the engine room—thanks to Clay for helping with that. He found my dipstick rag had fallen away from its place and onto the hot muffler. Then there was the usual thing-I'd-forgotten-to-secure falling and sliding and making strange noises in the next few miles. Finally about sixty miles of treacherous road, hwy 12 from Datil to Reserve, twisty turney narrow no shoulder steep down hill sharp curves... Phew. Now here at Faywood Hot Spring for a nice soak and a few days to sit still and clean up after.
10-10 Summer is OverWorking at Faywood for a week. Usually I stay here a month or so but this time, since I left Tonopah early I sort of want to return early. Not too early mind you; when I cross the Time Zone then Summer will still be in effect in AridZona.
The Solar Charge Controller Remote failure turned out to be a bad connector for the RJ-11 wire between the Charge Controller and the remote readout. Not something I can fix easily however there are two of these controllers in the system—master and slave—so I was able to redefine them to each other's role. Back in normal operation. Perhaps I can do a proper repair later.
In addition to hot water Faywood has a herd of bovines, a circus of pavonine, a brood of galline (and their clutch for sale by the dozen), and a clowder of grey feral felines. (Good thing Hurricane Hazel has a kink in her tail.)
Also found here from time to time are a few pigs and asses which describe certain other animals. But I won't go into that here.
Wear Something Gaudy DayNew idea for breky: French Toast made with English Muffins. Syrup from Nancy & Jack (Thank you very much) Bacon from food bank. The muffins were from the food bank also. Eggs: one each from Joan-S & Tony, and Karen (we bus people have to stick together). Now I'm going to don my Gaudy Hat (from Burma Jeff) and go shopping. insert gaudy hat image
I Shoulda Kept Notes...But that is hard to do when one is practicing to be a mountain goat. Do big-horned sheep wear bells? Last week, Deming and The Pink Store; this week Tucson and dinner with Virginia and Cliff; now at Train Spotter Hill. The road getting in here is a bit washed out but The...Inn made it Ok. So I'm parked in the same place as last year and the year(s) before. Hurrican Hazel is feeling right at home. Today I went for a little walk. To get in shape for flower hikes with Paul. To practice being a mountain goat. But no bells gussied up with ribbons. Mine was a bare bell. Hunting for geocaches and bench marks, picking up trash—not much of that this time—writing letters were the things that kept me occupied. Sky was dark, stars bright. No moon. But the afternoons were hot. May be that I left Pie Town too early.
Dump-Fill-Scale at Gila Bend.This event has become an annual tradition that Betty started me on. Each year I refine the process and keep better notes. Whether or not I am aboard can make a difference of 146 pounds; I need to keep track of that. Dumping should include cleaning Hurricane Hazel's litter box and emptying the trash, and getting rid of all the icky leftovers in the fridge.
Home Again to TonopahOne of my Pen Friends asked if I knew about Toxoplasma gondii. “T. gondii has been shown to alter the behavior of infected rodents in ways thought to increase the rodents' chances of being preyed upon by cats. Support for this "manipulation hypothesis" stems from studies showing T. gondii-infected rats have a decreased aversion to cat urine.
“A number of studies have suggested that subtle behavioral or personality changes may occur in infected humans, and infection with the parasite has recently been associated with a number of neurological disorders...” Such as hoarding cats?
Is It Just Me...?“Kid needs permission slip to read 'Fahrenheit 451, his dad's response is brilliant...”
Vertigo Attacks 4th NovFriday evening the vertigo commenced. At times bad enough to sit down/lie down and wait for it to pass so I went to bed. Saturday morning was rather bad. First time with such a malady so I don't have any prior experience to compare with. The walls were spinning; driving was out of the question; worst when I tilted my head back to look up, so bad then I had to sit to avoid nausea. I did manage a little breky before it got so bad and then I went back to bed for a while. Later, not so bad, I took my BP (119/80 P65, and a few minutes later 115/73 P56 ) and temperature (98.0) I was able to call my doctor's office number and ended up with a Triage Nurse who, after a half an hour or so of Q&A, said I should not wait for an appointment but needed to see at least an Urgent Care clinic within 24 hours.
By this time—around 13 o'clock—I was feeling fair and the walls were not moving and the road was flat but with Mikey to drive I went to IMS Urgent Care in Buckeye. Took a while to fill out all the admissions/new patient paper—which of my relatives died of what, my present complaint and medical history—and when complete I remarked to the admissions clerk that I felt somewhat better just getting that paperwork out of the way. PA-C Matthew saw me around 14 o'clock. His assessment was "Viral labyrinthitis (H83.09)" and prescribed Meclizine and Prednisone as well as abstinence from caffeine and alcohol for a fortnight and to stay in bed for two days. Side effects of Prednisone include among others: increase in appetite, weight gain, and a redistribution of body fat. Un/Fortunately I didn't read all this plan until just now this morning. I can prob'ly stay in bed for two days but I'll likely end up calling back with withdrawal symptoms for lack of my morning coffee and afternoon tea. Four days later I've gained four pounds. You wouldn't recognise me now. Not good.
11.11.10:14Strange what memories certain holidays evoke. Once upon a long ago, Sara(h) at her annual vet checkup on a certain November 11th, weighed in at 11 pounds 11 ounces. All this chatter about weight gain and dates for appointments got me thinking about that. Next week I have two appointments with doctors, my usual wenzday at the food bank, and a hike with FoSM. Not hardly sufficient time remaining to wash the dishes. All the weight I gained last week must have been a scale error; I'm back to weighing the same as before the vertigo.
Remembering DOS 6.2...and Windows 3.1Command Line much? This week I am experimenting with a grid-tie inverter to store surplus solar (when the house battery is fully charged) in the power line when I am sitting still with shore power available. And with a bit of help from Michael I have brought back to life a DOS 6.2/Windows 3.1 operating system for a bit of retro computing.
Thanks For GivingThanksgiving dinner here was a First Class Debauchery with six dogs, three other Humans, two football games, and a big male cat vying for attention.
Cyber MundayBeing a good Cyber Sunday Shopper yesterday. Bought a new TV. You'd think this crap would be better than equipment of the old days. Well, it is in some ways. More pixels mean sharper pictures but there are too many options and choices to be made before you can see the picture and the defaults always assume the lowest commonality. Blaring and glaring the set comes on. Six hours of frigging around with menus to restore some semblance of sanity and I end up compromising the sharper images by using my old analogue to digital converter/tuner rather than that which is part of this fancy new abortion. Bah! Humbug!
Tuesday I spent most of the day looking for nothing to do. Couldn't find any. Looked over, under, around, into, behind... Nowhere there was nothing to do. I should have just gone for a walk, that would have been more productive; at least I would have returned with a bag of roadside trash.
A Tortoise In The TrashOut with FoSM and some kids from the Tonopah High School Ambassador Club to pick up a pile of trash on Saddle Mountain. After all these years of cleaning up this crap I still don't understand the mentality of the People who drive so far into the back country, off the road, over rocks, through gullies, and back out again, when they could easily stay on the pavement and take their stuff to a proper land fill or transfer station. Of course I suppose I should be thankful for their slovenly shit in their own bed habits since cleaning up after them gives me something to complain about.
The Ides of DecemberTinyTruck has blown a head gasket. Serious debilitating problem. Researching all the options include at one extreme buying a new truck and at the other, do nothing and continue driving on the remaining two working cylinders. Somewhere in the middle is repair or replace the head. There are some days that I would like to replace my own head. New head for the truck is 500$ plus gaskets and labour. Time for a Beg-A-Thon? If I can raise ten dollars from each of an hundred readers I can get this truck on the road again.
A seasonal card depicting the Wilton NH RR station arrived from my quintessential ferroequinologist friend. Christmas Dinner with friends and dogs—I made a mince pie—was followed by the post office being closed on Boxing Day. When did Boxing Day become a National Holiday in America? Without a truck to haul it away my sacks of trash are piling up. Maybe I'll start a landfill in the back yard.
In closing: if you think you have a good understanding of life and reality, you might check out this 50 minute video about reality being a simulation.
Scientists at Excreta Labs in Turdbury, England, today announced the commercial release of an application that senses the proximity of a diaper that needs changing and sends a signal to your smart phone. It's called a Nappy You Hear. (Thanks for that tip Dennis)
I 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
—Sir Isaac Newton
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Copyright © 2016, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.