Hibernating in The Land of Hot Water

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again — Hibernating in The Land of Hot Water

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2017 Septober-Decemuary — Greetings Virtual Travellers:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Scratch Hazel behind her ears.

42 Is Not The Answer This Time

The question comes up from time to time: How many miles are on the bus? According to my log book: Since July 1997: 140235 miles. Plus another 5000 miles on an earlier speedometer/logbook from 1985-86. So, over 145,000 miles in 20 years. Not counting the ten years I was off the road, out of the country, that amounts to 7,200 miles/year. And not counting however many miles were on her from before 1985, before she was know as The Cat Drag'd Inn.

Returning Old Mail

One never knows with the "Postal" "Service" these days. Friday at the local Post Office I almost went Postal when in my box I found three letters I'd posted to a certain friend in Lodi CAlifornia on successive mid-Winter dates for the years 2014, '15, and '16. All were marked “RTS, Unclaimed, Unable to Forward”.

Autumnal Equinox – Shopping for a Radiator

I found a 97% exact replacement with a distributor in Minnesota. For some unknown reason I am having a hard time finding a vendor who wants to sell me one. You would think that in the face of an easy 600$ sale they could be a little more courteous and attentive.

New radiator is in the mail. Coming from Thailand. I hope that is better than China. I can see why/how some folks, especially elders of the tribe, put on so much weight. Some days there is little else to do but dress and eat. And I don't even have dressing to keep me busy.

October, The Tenth Month

So, how come the tenth month is named with the combing form meaning Eight?

Window a/c failed and we have yet the second half of Summer to go. New fan motor for the failed 10 year-old a/c costs 200$, plus all the hassle of repair. New a/c costs 240$ plus a few minor adjustments to the window frame.
Goldfinch Feeding Frenzy
New radiator arrived. Shopping for a few different adapters. The finches are here.

A Florida senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he pushed it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left. "Amazing," he thought thought as he flew down i95, pushing the pedal even more. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a Florida State Trooper, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this!" and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival. Pulling in behind him, the trooper got out of his vehicle and walked up to the Corvette. He looked at his watch, then said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a new reason for speeding—a reason I've never heard before—I'll let you go." The old gentleman paused then said: "Three years ago, my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back." "Have a good day, Sir," replied the trooper.

Plodding from one crisis to the next...

In early July a good friend out here, living with his wife of 47 years, on the road in an old bus, went round the bend rather quickly. Police found him ranting about in the desert, his Jeep high-centered on a gravel road. He was dehydrated and taken to hospital. His Jeep was taken to an impound lot where by the time his wife got her wits together had accumulated over a thousand dollars in fees; the Jeep is not worth that much.

My friend was eventually incarcerated in the PHX VA psychiatric ward while his wife was rescued by other friends and installed in a spare house in Deming. It is unlikely my friend will ever be released. The bus has been sitting in the desert, food rotting in the fridge, somewhere southwest of Wickenburg since July.

After a month of poking and prodding I have finally made contact with the wife who at the same time has been trying to contact me. My greatest frustration at the moment is that with all the network of friends we have in common it has taken this long. Now I have to see about recovering personal effects and somehow get their bus out of the desert and into safe storage. Beyond that I cannot think other than to explore the rational of my own involvement. Part of that has to be a pay-it-forward thing—that someone may eventually do the same for me and my cat. Part has to be a matter of cleaning up the desert and getting that bus out where it might be salvageable. The wife will never drive it. Mars Flight Boarding Pass

In the meantime, I have my boarding pass to go to Mars.

October Is the Month of The Ten-Code

10-2, the new radiator, when installed, promptly commenced to leak.

Weather is cooling. Now are the days of the interregnum between a/c to cool and furnace to heat.

Off to the "doctor" this morning. Chest X-ray and abdominal ultra-sound. Something is not right in there.

Ides of ODDtober

In other news I've managed to squeak past another medical issue. Abdominal ultrasound found nothing of either gender in residence. Chest X-ray was clear but that does little to explain why I have been coughing up phlegm a lot more of late than ever before.

Still screwing around with a radiator replacement. The first new one leaked upon installation. 600$! and it leaked. So much for Quality Control. Now another new one, pre-tested by the supplier, is being sent. Good thing I am not parked by the side of the road someplace.

Late-breaking headlines: Hurricane Hazel has a new playmate. Bootes, a long-haired black cat with white marks has been hanging around outside for a fortnight, getting closer and closer, inviting and allowing petting, and now, just now, has invited her (just guessing there) self in from the heat. And so far at least Hazel has not taken a stand.
Caution - Beefsteak ahead. Cattle Crossing or
                Cross Cattle?
Big adventure yesterday. Thirty some miles uphill to the north, in a little nook known to some as Convalescent Canyon, my friend's 1960 Gillig bus sat abandoned on state trust land. It had been parked there for nearly a year whilst they lived through the Winter and then the Spring. Somewhere about June or July Tom went round the bend. I think I wrote you that part earlier but now I am learning more details. After he was taken to hospital his wife was rescued by friends so by the end of July the bus was empty of humans, the fridge not working. Tragic disastrous mess. But yesterday the motor started right up and the brakes and tranny worked. Now the bus is parked here and I have to learn what to do next.

Whilst we were away fetching Tom's Gillig FedEx finally delivered my signature-required but no signature obtained MotoPhone which had been dragged through the mud and lost for a day or so in a FedEx depot at Memphis Tennessee.

Mike 'n' me spent about four hours yester-afternoon and eve (with a break for a meatloaf and rhubarb pie supper) turning the phone on for the first time: language, (just think... this thing has stored within a library of operative words in at least 87 tongues; and more computing power than was used by NASA putting two humans on the moon!); name; tracking; texting, (Google Hangouts); time, (here and there); photographs; movies; wallpaper; not to mention maps and email... Oh yes, it works for phone calls as well. All I need now is a phone number with unlimited everything.

Voting Day

Working for pay. Playing the role of Marshall at a polling place. I got to stand out in the dark and holler: Oyez, Oyez, Oyez, Hear ye, hear ye, The Polls are OPEN. Prob'ly should have been "...Here ye, Here ye...". Might have brought the voters to heel in greater numbers. As it was we had only three voters in five days. Mostly the voters took the option for a mail-in ballot.
TinyTruck Odo

The Ides of November

The new radiator for The Cat Drag'd Inn has been installed and removed and installed. Leaked. Replaced. Filled with seven gallons of glycol and drained. Now busy replacing a couple of the hoses. The lower hose, it turns out, in service since the original installation and has baked hard by heat from the muffler, cracked when clamped to the new radiator. Speaking of space travel... My 1987 TinyTruck (Isuzu Pickup) at 350,000 miles surpasses my former 1967 Willshedoit (Chevy G-10 Van) which in 17 years and all the Lower 48 States accumulated 330,000 miles. Perhaps half of the truck's accumulation is towd miles while the van's miles were all on her own.

Prepping for Thanksgiving

You know how it is after a few weeks of rinsing your favourite coffee mug between uses that a sort of crust grows in there which if you wait long enough requires a wire brush to remove? Ever since I scraped off the glaze from the inside of my Amaquonsippi Trail mug I have made a point to scour more often with one of those nylon scrubby things. Well, I'm here to tell you that reusing/rerinsing a G&T glass over and over builds the same sort of crust.
Amaquonsippi Trail Cable Bridge
Writing of crust, I prepped my pie crusts today whilst waiting for the dishwater to heat. Krusteaz is my favourite box mix for scratch building pie crusts. Five crust-balls into the freezer for the pumpkin and mince pies I expect to make. And perhaps a cinnamon roll to use up the trimmings. And trimmings... That brings to mind stuffing. This year I am going to try stuffing the Crockpot. The turkey will not be dressed however the guests will; there are to be textiles in attendance.

I used to be a master-baker (apprentice) but not so much any more. Even had some professional on the job training, hands-on experience, in that regard. My first serious after-school employ was in a bakery where I learnt how to grease the bread pans and frost the Danish. That was back in the old days before child labour laws encouraged kids to hang out on the streets and play with smart-phones instead of each other.Holy Dishrad Batman!

Finally the dishwater is hot. My dishrag has been sanctified. Holy is another, shorter, word for that condition. So many holes that the dishes are only half clean; I am obliged to wash them all twice. Now and again a finger will poke through the Missouri hole and I have to stop and count, be sure it is mine, and still attached, before I drain the sink.


Eight Humans, six dogs, and a cat. Stuffing a crock pot. Dressing a turkey. Rub-a-dub-dub / Thanks for the grub / Yea Goddess!

Put A Candle In The Window

Speaking of propane... I rarely notice the smell just ahead of my propane running out but Mike often comments that he can smell the gas even when everything is running fine. He's helped me find a number of leaks in the propane plumbing outside/under the bus. Sunday I came in from packing boxes of Sue's stuff in the Gillig and started the fire for tea water. Mike came in a few moments later sniffing "I smell propane!" I checked the gauge, which usually drops a few points when the smell is apparent, but it was right up at normal pressure. The water was boiling so I poured tea. Then the screech of alarum sent Hurricane Hazel running for the door. Screech-Screech! I ran to and fro checking CO monitor and smoke detector. I'd only the day before replaced the smoke detector since it was 15 years old and a couple times had failed to tell me my toast was done. After twice running between fore and aft I finally saw the red light on the propane alarum. Even then I had to look around for what valve was open. Thank you Betty for giving me that alarum a hundred years ago.
SpaceX Launch
Eventually I found the valve on my antique--no safety features--propane space heater was full open. Prob'ly from earlier in the day when I was dragging the vacuum cleaner hose around. This was only the second time in all these years that the propane alarum has announced a dangerous situation.

Döstädning, which means "death cleaning" in English, is a new method of downsizing and organizing from the Swedish.

Sunlight Robbery: Most people in [...] northern industrial countries have a level of vitamin D in their bodies that is insufficient for optimum health, especially in winter.
ajo @ MWO

Finally! A UFO...

Winter Solstice visits and soaks culminate in a UFO oozing across the western sky shortly after sundown. Camera at the ready and the battery went dead so I missed the first photo opportunity and the second. By the time I had the battery replaced Michael had beat me to the best shot. Later, the evening news debunked all hope of an alien visitation by announcing the UFO was a missile launch from Vandenburg.

I have lately been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century with the acquisition of a "smart" phone. What does the medical profession know/do about callouses of the thumb?

40 Years Ago This Month... 771224-JCL_AL Oxton in Instrument Room, Christmas Eve, 1977.jpg

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.child pointing

Love, ajo

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 before me.
Sir Isaac Newton

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Copyright © 2018, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.