Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Scratch Hazel behind her
Almost May Day
I hope this finds you well. I am over all, well enough. A
little further around the bend but otherwise Ok. Busy
teaching my printer to emulate Oliver: Please Sir I want
some more. Ink? Printer is now linked to the Great HP in
The Cloud and will ask Mr Bumble for more when the ink
gauge in the carts gets down to critical. And if there is
a connexion of course.
Annual vision exam last week returns the second signs of
cataracts in both eyes but a long ways from requiring
intervention. For the first time my left eye is showing
signs of astigmatism, but likewise, at this point nothing
to be gained by corrective lenses. Still 20/20 and clear.
My pisser does not work as well as in the old days. I'm
getting really thin skinned. Does not take much of an
abrasion to start bleeding nor much of an abrasive
situation to set off a temper tantrum.
This year of our 2018 is some sort
of a very different year. Somewhat akin to 1977 when I
came to the realisation that I had ate-slept-pissed in all
the lower 48 states, many of them twice, and all in the
same old 1967 yellow Chevy G-10 van. We were in DC, at the
end of a long day on the Mall, at a campground out on the
beltway. After one of the Scouts had finished painting in
the last three states in the map on the side of the van I
was adding the dotted line to represent the route. The
Willshedoit had done it, and I realised, at that moment,
I'd completed a goal I didn't remember starting. My world
came crashing down around me. I sat there staring at the
map, wondering, what am I going to do next.
In 1957, at the closing ceremony of the Jamboree in Valley
Forge, looking out at the 50,000 Scouts in shorts from all
the states, I said to my Self "Some day I am going to
visit all those places." Now, twenty years later, as I
painted in that last state, I realised how much of that
time I'd spent organising tours to get other kids to help
me with that goal.
With the loss of that impetus I mostly drifted sideways
for a while, took up motorcycle riding, chased an eclipse,
then in 1987 ran away to Antarctica for ten years. In 1997
I put The Cat Drag'd Inn on the road and embarked
on a mostly solo adventure. An exile of sorts this has
become, a self imposed exile to keep me safe from the love
of my life.
What is it with all those sevens? 57, 67, 77, 87, 97, and
now I am 77...
Conundrum. Dilemma. Quandary.
The question I am asking my Self now ... Am I staying
here in AridZona this Summer? I'm finding the thought of
getting on the road not as easy to work through this year
as in past years. Staying in Tonopah is a distinct
possibility. Pardon me if I ramble, each time this subject
comes up is a chance for me to rethink the options.
Staying here is at one end of the spectrum. I'm not quite
ready to embrace the torture of 120f that would engender.
However there are a host of fears and concerns lurking in
the shadows of every other choice.
At the other end of the spectrum is to depart next week
and head for Maine. Lots of places, relatives, and friends
to visit along the way. Several thousand
miles-gallons-dollars later I might return here in
Octvember to take up full time employment in order to pay
off the credit card debt. In between those extremes is the
most likely course of the same-old-same-old rut of Summer
in Pie Town and back here in time for Thanksgiving.
An option to that plan would be to leave The Cat
Drag'd Inn (and the cat in drag) with a caretaker in
Pie Town and fly ABQ to PWM. I could rent a car for a week
and have a whirlwind visit and fly back for a fraction of
the cost of Plan-A. The more I mull this over the better I
like the idea. I've not flown since my last trip back from
The Ice in 1997.
This is a strange year, my dears. Several friends have
died or been other wise taken from my circle. I've not
seen some of you in so long I don't really remember. Three
of my siblings have died since the last time I was back
there to visit. I feel a strong need to commiserate with
Conundrum. Dilemma. Quandary.
I really don't know which way I'm going yet. Or
returning. Coming or going. I'm reminded of Sara(h) the
TacoCat. She never knew either, never figured it out I'm
I remember, when Little Jon was coaching me for my First
Encounter with the Navy Shrink, and he related that
apocryphal line about "the woman behind every tree"; the
joke of course was that there were no trees. When I got to
that part of the interview where the shrink grips the arms
of his chair and hunches forward a bit and asks "And what
are you going to do about sex..." I quickly responded:
Well, a friend who was on The Ice last year told
me there was a penguin behind every tree.
Then there was the time at MCM Comms the year the Navy
went Co-ed. They had just changed the sign on The Head to
indicate the facility was bi-sexual. [... or was that
uni-sexual...] Anyhow... I was sitting on the commode that
morning when kick-squeal-clomp-clomp announced the arrival
of a biped. Shortly, these boot made for walking appeared
under the stall divider between me and the urinal. I
recognised them as belonging to my Navy counterpart, one
Angie B. "Hold on there Angie, I'll be right out." That's
OK, she replied, I can aim as well as you can.
The Ides of May—Still Here...
I am still complaining every chance I get about the state
of humanity. Re-reading my old letters; in this one from
Gila Cliff Dwelling in November 1999 I observed:
"Preservation of these ruins ... is such a high order of
business that you may not eat nor smoke on the trail.
Kennels are provided at the trail head for pets. Water and
guide dogs are permitted. We chatted [with the
interpretive guide-ranger] for over an hour about the
effort we as a society make to preserve the past whilst
destroying our own present to make way for the future."
Pottery sherds you leave where you find them, they are
artifacts; even some rusty tin cans from old mining camps
are artifacts, leave them be. But aluminium cans, plastic
water bottles, they are trash and should be carried home.
What's the difference?
I'm nearing the end of this massive cleaning up after
project I undertook for my friend who has gone round the
bend; aside from picking up another hundred pounds of
stuff to haul around in my overweight bus I've accumulated
a lot to think about: Who is going to clean up after me?
More Living In The Past--Vinyl Makes a Resurgence
I used to be acquainted with a small independent record
store where one could listen to a vinyl platter before
buying. Nice big headphones so you could listen at
ear-shattering loudness. Records towards the back, hobby
stuff—stamps and balsa wood stick models—at the front. I
went there first for model plane kits. After I was
introduced to and fell in love with classical music I
bought the first LP of my eventual collection from that
store: Ferdé Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite by The Boston
Pops, conducted by Arthur Fiedler on RCA. I wonder where
that record is now...
23 May Food Bank Day
The first time this happened a couple weeks ago I could
not get to my camera fast enough and the critter got away.
In the end all I caught was Hazel doing a selfie.
Tonight, busy writing letters in the dark, there was a
sound outside. I turned on the yard light to see a red fox
raiding the food bank stash in the bed of TinyTruck. This
time the real camera was close to hand. The red fox
eventually ducked under the cardboard sun shade and
escaped with a sack of rolls from the bread box.
What May Is This? L'appel du vide
I'm looking forward to leaving Tonopah, commencing Summer
Migration. Sort of. So close to the edge of just staying
here. 'Twould be so much easier. My Uncle Isaac wrote a
law about that. He called it The Constipation of Energy: A
body at rest tends to stay at rest; a body in motion
tends to slow down. Especially going up-hill. No. I
really do expect to spend what's left of the Summer in Pie
Town as usual. Except for a fortnight excursion to New
Hampster and Maine. My plan at present, subject to change,
minute by minute, is to entrain at FLG for about 60 hours
of intense slothfulness on the rails to BOS where friends
will meet me at South Station. Rental car for a week of
running around to visit friends and siblings and then
railride another 60 hours return to FLG.
Studying the word “it” and how it translates in other
languages and cultures. This
tool presents an outline map of Europe and
translates your search word into the language of each
country. See Albania!
A Present For Hazel
"Dressed Up" by James Hunter
My Beloved dressed up in cat clothes
And sat on my lap purring,
And stared up into my face
As though it were I
Who was the Great Mother in the sky.
I'm Not The Only One Doing Crosswords
This morning I nearly spilled my coffee when I sat down
to my morning crossword.
L’appel du vide
French — “The call of the void” is this French
expression’s literal translation, but more significantly
the phrase is used to describe the instinctive urge to
jump from high places. That's about how I feel at the
moment. Entropy strikes again. Here is the list: Bus
engine start-button doesn't. TT driver's seatbelt
retractor won't let go so I canna get the belt around me.
Add to that the master brake cylinder is leaking (I'm
thinking of adding Radiator Stop-Leak to the brake fluid).
Then I discovered that the forward port bellybox door
hinge has failed. The door cannot be latched. UV rotted
the stitching. I'll have to find a tent and awning place
with an industrial sized Singer to resew the seams with
SPF 100 thread.
Summer Solstice Sunrise happened in the right place above
the standing stone north east of Paul's Labyrinth. The
days are getting shorter now. June was a mostly clear
month. Coincidently, only for the three days associated
with THAT RAIN was there any cloudiness worth noting. That
rain was seven minutes of a 2” rain. In AridZona-speak
that means that for seven minutes the rain drops were
never closer together than two inches.
Field Day Followup
We had a total of 53 contacts using PSK31 and RTTY,
and four using FM and SSB, for a total of 220 points.
Hurricane Hazel, ME0W, was working 40m on her cat's
whisker radio. Bonus Points claimed for Solar Power, ARRL
Field Day Message copied, and Emergency/Natural power
To Pie or not pie too, that is the question. I hope you
all had a good 2π Day. I hope more than Mikey remembered
that yesterday, 6.28, was 2π Day. I knew to remember a few
days ahead and to be sure there was a pie in my grub box
from the food bank but then at a crucial moment I forgot
and made pickled eggs instead.
I hope I can get out of this oppressive heat soon. My
brain is addled by 111f temperatures and now the humidity
is now beginning to climb towards Monsoon values as well.