String Part in a Foreign Film

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off and On and Off The Road Again — String Part in a Foreign Film

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2020 Winter Solstice — Greetings Virtual Travellers and Pen Friends:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel needs her dreadlocks trimmed.

Almost Autumn

New Smog Pump and BeltsPicking up where I left off at the Autumnal Equinox... Part has arrived for TinyTruck so I have that R&R to do.

On the way back from Buckeye Friday I started into a left turn off Watson Road and found I had no power steering. Egad! Now what? Made the turn into a parking slip and visited with my Chiropractor while TinyTruck cooled. Close inspection under her bonnet found one belt not there cos I was still in process of replacing the smog pump, two belts missing—one to the steering pump and one to the a/c compressor—and the alternator-water pump belt was turned inside out!

At Buckeye I'd just bought a new set of four belts as part of the smog pump project so I was well positioned in that respect but did not have all my tools. I did manage to replace the alternator water pump belt and get home to The Cat Drag'd Inn just in time for lunch and a nap.

After lunch and nap I replaced the other belts and installed the new smog pump. Starts ok. I managed to get everything back together with no leftover parts and no skinned knuckles. Tomorrow I'll go for a test drive.

Blast from the past

Today I received a note from Regine regarding the vocabulary word list  I compiled in 2011 for At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'neill. Very exciting and rewarding to have a followup like that.

2020ix19 The Goldfinches Have Returned to Tonopahno

Must be almost Winter! There were seven goldfinches on my Finch Feeder this morning.

Is This Equinox An Omen?

Another of those days. I started out with a do-list for today: Juice some oranges; Start a laundry; Wash dishes; Vacuum floor; Hang the laundry out to dry; Repair the shower room door; Lunch & nap... Got the oranges done Ok. At the laundry there was a little water on the floor and a kind of hissing noise like a kettle makes or a water heater. Started the laundry and suddenly there is /lots/ of water on the floor. Critters have been dining on the hoses. As fast as the water is going into the machine water is streaming out of the drain hose. Parts for the Wet/Dry Vac are around someplace. New hoses require an hour and some drive to Lowe's and back. So now the ten minute start-the-laundry task has taken four hours and I have yet to take up two sopping rugs from the den. Lunch and a nap are still on my Bucket List. Just occurs to me that I wrote of this misadventure in my previous letter... Old news? Leftover text? Recurring nightmare?

Paul asked about continents I've been on and that got me thinking about countries I've visited and never listed. Herewith then, more or less in chronological order, with comments re duration &c, one list:

1. United States, several times...   
2. Canada, many times;  
3. Thule Greenland for a few weeks;
4. Mexico, a few times, visiting my dentist mostly;
5. US Virgin Islands;
6. Hawaii, when I had to go through Customs returning from:
7. Midway Island, when the DEW Line planes still landed there, for a few weeks;
8. New Zealand, for a few days each on several occasions on the way to/from 
9. Antarctica, for 83 months over a ten year period;
10. Argentina, thrice on the way to
11. Chile, several times going to/from the other side of Antarctica; with a side trip to
12. Easter Island learning String Figures before a few weeks learning to dream in Espagnol in
13. Ecuador, after which
14. Costa Rica  San JoséQuepos, and Manuel Antonio, before there was a national park, for a week or so, then
15. Belize, never out of the plane refueling on the way to
16. Panama, likewise, on the way to
17. Texas; what's that you say, Texas is not a country? That depends upon who you ask.
18. Great Britain, twice at least for weeks at a time, then  
19. Belgium, by the fast train to Brussels where I found Mannekin Pis and a patrol of Brussels Sprouts. Then a slow train to:
20. Germany, never set foot on the ground from the train to
21. Switzerland, then  
22. India, for a month then  
23. somewhere else, a refueling stop, never out of secure area, along the way to
24. Australia.  

...and back again...

25. Wait! How could I ever forget about Tahiti and Tetiaroa? Plus the Equator to visit with King Neptune!

A Week Until October

. . . o 0 O (everything looks ok but don't say that aloud.)

Fire In The Engine Room

Under bed, hatch access to turbo.The fire happened in 2017, Friday 11 August, atop Wolf Creek Pass and I am just now confronting some of the after effects. Some wires melted which are only now giving a problem. In this photo you are looking down at the top edge of the firewall, the lighter material across near the bottom of the frame. Below the metal is the top of the rug. The wires on the cabin side can be seen below that. There is a board of terminal strips. The wires in question go through the firewall to the left edge of that board. Some damage is due to fire. Some is nest building

Ham Radio on the ISS

Slow Scan Television (SSTV) images are periodically transmitted from the International Space Station

10/6 Mad Hatter's Tea & Brisket

Housekeeping my Medicine Chest and came across a stash of Date Nails from Railroad Sleepers. Some folks collect these things. Let me know if your special nail is there and I'll mail one to you. Most of these Date Nails are from the section of the Portland and Ogdensburg Railway tracks that ran through Center Conway and Crawford Notch NH. 

Bent or straight, when set into a drilled hole Date Nails become hooks for coat or hat, dish towels or tote bags...
Date Nails
Year    #    Significance to me if any:
Date Nail Hook24    1
28    1
31    4
34    1
35    2
37    4
41    n/a    My birth year.
42    n/a    The Nail of The Answer.
43    1
44    2    Dave's birth year
45    2    Teddy's birth year.
46    4   
47    3    Joyce's birth year.
51    1
52    7    Flora's birth year
53    5
54    1
55    12   
59    1
61    2
62    1
64    2    Year The Cat Drag'd Inn was built.
72    2


In the Trucker's 10-Code 10-13 means “Advise...Conditions” so here is some advice: Book Darts, something I just learnt about, are for marking pages in books—you know those things made out of pages that you can read batteries not necessary—eliminate Bent corners, Paper clips, Underlining, Highlighting, "Sticky Papers" (and sticky pages).

Quarantined Kid With CatIdes of October—Cold and Hot

We are at the cusp of that time of the year where one wants the heat on in the morning and the a.c. in the afternoon. Under 60 at dawn, over 100 (still) by afternoon.

cat \'kat\ n, [fr. LL, cattus] (Felis catus) a Diabolical Intelligence that converts kibbles into hairballs.

"Love things; use people." Thanks Mike. No—Wait! Do I have that backwards?

Deleting Old Mail

>> Points to ponder...
> *   I don't know why  the TV weather people are still putting an emphasis on
> forecasting how the weekend will be. The notion of "weekend" has
> evaporated in the quarantine.

> Points to ponder...
> *  Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing
> cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.
> Points to ponder...
> Live as if this is your only life to live and at the same time live as if you will
> come round again and have to clean up after your Self.

Oscar's Restaurant Burned2020x25 Oscar's Restaurant Burned

Tonopah landmark Oscar's Restaurant, of Taco Tuesday fame, formerly known as Tonopah Joe's Bar & Alice's Restaurant, burned to the ground at about 0300 this morning. The best tacos between Quartzsite and Phoenix is a total loss. No injuries indicated. Next best place for parking and meals near i10x94 (aside from the Subway in the Flying Pilot Truck Stop) is The Tin Top on Wintersburg Road at Salome Hwy (4 miles south of i10x98) or the T/A at i10x103.

2020 November First

Cat's PawAdding and dividing and writing the October Weather Summary.... The highlight of my morning was when Hurricane Hazel-Rah jumped to the galley table and spilled my fresh new hot tea onto my venerable 1977 HP29C. Any errors in the Weather Summary data for October are all her fault. In the past fortnight I have gone from daily running two a/c units (21,000 BTU total) to burning three propane fires. From shirt-less to shirt-full. Windows open to windows closed.

Election After Maths

Took me three days, an alcohol bath, and the advice of a wizard named Panamatik in Germany to repair my venerable HP29C. Henceforth Hurricane Hazel-Rah will be obliged to do maths on her paddy-paws.

The Ides of November

Warming trend again. Does PC-ness still permit the phrase “Indian Summer”? There is a new stray cat under The Cat Drag'd Inn. So now I have a Cat in the back, a cat in the front, and a cat outside under.

Dave & Nadine are at Sky Harbour in Phoenix, awaiting their flight. They are dressed in heavy boots, parka, scarf, mittens, all ready to head home to the Canadian winter.  An old American couple standing nearby in shorts are intrigued by their manner of dress. The wife says to her husband, "Look at that couple, I wonder where they're from?" He replies, "How would I know?"  She counters, "You could go and ask them." He says, "I don't really care, if you want to know, you go ask them."  She decides to do just that, walks over to the couple and asks, "Excuse me, I've noticed the way you're dressed and I wonder where you're from?" Dave replies,"Saskatoon, Saskatchewan."  The woman returns to her husband who asks, " So, where are they from?"  She replies, "I don't know. They don't speak English!

String Figure MovieLa Vuelta al Mundo en 80 Hilos or a Supporting Role In A Foreign Film

For you who know about Cat's Cradle, Tea Cup, and Jacob's Ladder: A month or so ago I received email from Chile inviting me to participate in a Festival of String Figures to be held on line and later published as a movie. I never did get to record the scene the producer wanted however all the instructions, still photos and storey, for Tere Te Vaka were already online and in the article I wrote for Bulletin of The International String Figure Association. So the people in Chile had one of their own stand in for me. The movie is here; there's about five minutes of intro slide before the theme begins.

The Cat Came Back

I think I am being adopted by a big strange cat. She sleeps atop the air cleaner in the engine room and eats kibbles from a bowl I put out but she won't let me pet her. At least not yet. So now I have three calendars and three cats. The number of calendars on the wall of a diner is said to mean how good the food is. Three cats—A CAT (3208) in the back, a cat (Hazel-Rah) in the front, and a cat (RingTail ) outside underneath—I don't know what that means.

“There is one infallible way to find honest food at just prices in blue highway America: count the wall calendars in a café. [When did highways on a road map change from blue to red or black?]

“No calendar: Same as an interstate pit stop
“One calendar: preprocessed food assembled in New Jersey
“Two calendars: Only if fish trophies present
“Three calendars: Can’t miss on the farm boy breakfasts
“Four calendars: Try the ho-made pie, too.
“Five calendars: Keep it under your hat, or they will franchise

“One time I found a six calendar café in the Ozarks, which served fired chicken, peach pie, and chocolate malts, that left me searching for another ever since. I’ve never seen a seven-calendar place.”
        —From William Least Heat Moon's book: Blue Highways

And it goes without saying that the calendars must be different one from the other, awarded, presented, from travellers, salesmen, truckers of that ilk.

Thanks For Giving

My World Famous Male Apple Pie is in the oven. Presently I will take that and motor on over to a small gathering at a neighbour's to share a traditional meal on folding chairs in the back yard. Petrifriedium gobblesaurus will be the main course. "...modern turkeys, chickens, and ducks are descended from vicious theropod predators that would have ripped into me without a second thought if I suddenly materialized in the Cretaceous period. Turnabout is fair play, I reckoned."   —Victoria Jaggard, SCIENCE executive editor NGS

December—The End Is Nigh!

Of 2020 that is.  33f here this dawn. Soft ice on the bird bath. I saw a penguin at the finch feeder. I will commence Journal Number 36 today. A focus group organised by my medical insurance company conducted a ZOOM meeting to discuss selling points in the design for an advert campaign. "What do you think about this statement?" the moderator asks. "How about this phrase?" Ninety minutes of opining and a nice Amazon Gift Card for my input.
Don't Worry
Presently I’m “reading” Sapiens: A brief History of Humankind when I’m driving to and fro the Food Bank, doctor visits, post office. This link is to a squib in that book. There are a number of typos and glitches in the transcription but the punch line is intact.

HMO Annual Physical Examination Entry Qualification Quiz asks several questions: Do you have help waking up and getting out of bed? Do you have problems leaking pee? I answered Yes to the first and No to the second of those and I was able to answer No to the question: Do you need help getting dressed? When those questions came round again during my doctor's poking and prodding he asked what sort of help I had to wake and rise. Well, I said, the alarum cat combs my beard and kneads my bladder to remind me she wants to be fed. "And the leaking problem", he asked? "At your last visit you indicated you had a leaking issue. What have you done about that?" Not a problem now, your honour, the dog follows me around and laps up the drips. "The dog?" he exclaimed! Yes. But then the dog eats the cat poo as well so I don't need to clean the litter box anymore.

I suppose I should stop right there, quit whilst I'm ahead, and get this letter posted so I can get on with the Annual Summary. But this is supposed to be a Winter Solstice Letter so I still have ten days to go.

12 days of CovidBoxing Day

My letter writing has gone from being early to being late. And I have yet to finish with the wiring and other repairs related to the fire in the engine room.

The Twelve Daze of Covidmas

Sung to the tune of... Thanks loads and heaps to Gemma Correll. Well Done!

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.Sendak - Friendship

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

Back to Oso
Back to ajo
Copyright © 2020, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.