Christmas Eve to New Year's EveThe ISS 20th ARISS event is over. Station here returned to normal. All the cables, adapters, files stowed in their proper places. Building a new special purpose antenna was fun. All the confabulation of getting a TV preamp to work was interesting. Took no time at all to tear down what took nearly a week to assemble. Perhaps I will remember where all the pieces are and how to connect them together for the next event. In the course of listening for the transmissions from the International Space Station [six days, 6 passes/day, 2-3 images/pass equals about 70-80 images recorded]. Most of the images were partial, included fades, ended early, started late. Eventually I managed to collect the entire 12 image set of “ARISS 20 Years of Amateur Radio Operations on ISS” event. To see some other images received at The Cat Drag'd Inn click on the image here and enter K1OIQ in the search box.
First Battle of The 2nd American Revolution?The First American Revolutionary War had the Boston Tea Party as a precursor. Now we have the first blood spilt at the Storming of The Capitol. What a way to celebrate 12th Night, eh?
Downsizing, eh?“Clutter is an external demonstration of our internal storms,” says Star Hansen, a professional organizer. There are times when a shelf of books is no longer a library. But I really need to keep my backpack and Svea cooker; there is no point in my keeping my tent if I don’t keep them. And my ECW mittens, and crampons, and two pair of snowshoes. My campfire robe I can at least use on my bed. But the clothes I’ve not worn in twenty years (...prob’ly don’t fit no more anyhow...) My head hurts just thinking about this stuff I have to not use.
2021i21 ThursdayArticle in the current AARP magazine: The Night John Lennon Died--40 years ago [when he was 40 years old]. Alice Cooper wrote: That was the day the music died.
Coming soon this evening to a timepiece near you: Today is the 21st hour of the 21st day of 21st year of 21st century, enjoy it! Thanks for the reminder Nita! Then Jan wrote: How did you miss telling everyone that yesterday’s date was a palindrome!!! 1–2-1-2-1 Good catch! I planned that just to see who was awake out there in the ether. Thank you Jan for being the only one--at least so far. And for that matter, today's date as well: 1-22-21. Two palindromic dates in a row. How cool is that? Not to mention 12-2-21. And Happy Big Wind Day this year? 12-4-21. Or 21-4-12 depending on which way your wind blows.
I lied, Jan; totally missed the occasion. Thank you for showing me up. Good thing I'm not perfect or that would have been an unrecoverable faux pas. I'll shotgun your discovery around.
Entropy: Real Life Parkinson’s Law"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". —C Northcote Parkinson.
If you wait until the last minute, the task only takes a minute to do. —Stock–Sanford corollary.
Applying that degree of indolence to the task of reversing the entropy of getting anything done around here one will always have the law on their side. Somehow or other "Entropy" reminds me of 13 clocks. They are more than a distraction. A time-hole. Only one I wind weekly. Sometimes weakly and then the time stops before the weekly winding day. Others use batteries or solar+battery. One watch is "self-winding" if worn on an active limb, but I've not worn a watch in nearly an hundred years. I tried to get Hurricane Hazel-Rah to wear a watch-collar round her neck but she has no time for that so the date never changes on that clock. The other windup--not self-winding--watch, the one with the turquoise and silver band, the band is broken so that clock hangs in the sunset window alongside a turtle tile and a rainbow crystal.
Thoughts on One’s Second ChildhoodOne’s usual Childhood is a progression of discoveries: new words, wider horizons, expansive abilities. Now I am discovering the regression of some of those events: selective amnesia, atrophied abilities, tunnel vision...
210128 The Calm Between the StormsFinally we have a day conducive to outdoor photography. Winter is waning. The breeze is balmy this afternoon so here is a photo of my new banner in process of finding a home on the flagstaff of The Cat Drag'd Inn. Along with this addition to the pennants, The Cat Drag'd Inn has recently been promoted to a four-calendar eatery. Things are looking up. Now if I can just get the motor started and the cat in we might go somewhere.
From Under the Ironwood:Why is it that people move to the desert for the wide-open spaces and to admire the beautiful stars? Then they put up pole lights and leave unshielded porch lights on? Some people think lights make them safer; if anything lights are an attraction. Someone running around in the desert up to no good, and you are screaming “I have something of value”. Without all your lights on most wouldn’t even know you are there. Thieves need lights also. A better solution is motion sensors. They don’t cost as much to operate and the first time the sensor equipped light comes on the intruders are not sure you turned it on or it is a motion sensor. It will also tell you something is out there, could be a coyote or someone up to no good. If you MUST have a light to help the thieves move in, at least shield it so that the light shines only in your yard. It does no good to shine it under my tree! There is NOTHING exciting to see here except an old fart sleeping. --firstname.lastname@example.org
Ground Hog DayA leisurely stroll to Bell Rock. One of the Geocaches I maintain for the entertainment of other Geocachers. Bellstone is a form of basalt which rings like a bell when it is struck. This place rocks! Here is the music of the Bell Rock Band. TobySue’s truck made the stroll shorter than TinyTruck could; higher clearance and 4WD drove through a wash that TinyTruck is afraid of. Even at that we walked up hill for two miles and then down hill for another two miles. The downhill miles were longer, took nearly twice longer.
Covid CreativityHome School Home Work...
I am amazed by this outpouring of creativity. Family's lockdown adaptation of Les Misérables song
For the Longest Time... The Swan Project Cellos...
19 Febter—Covid Cocktail AdventureQuite the same as the "I Voted" stickers we gave out at the polls back in November these stickers required a great deal of arduous participation to earn. There must have been a million orange traffic cones from MCDOT defining the entry, lanes, and holding zone, and perhaps three score volunteers and professionals involved with directing, identifying, inspecting, injecting, and leaving everything else untouched. Several signs at the entry advised "No Cameras--No Selfies" so the only photo I have is of this sticker.
Perhaps the most interesting and interactive part of the entire adventure took place upon arrival in the holding area. After you get your shot they have you park for 15 minutes to wait out the period of maximum reaction. By the time I got the brake set and the motor off the time had come for my first afternoon pee. When the man arrived to affix a departure time sticker to my wind screen I asked about a urination station.
I think I have never before seen a Handicap Accessible Porta-Potty. They are huge! Loading ramp leads up to Double-Wide door. Room inside to turn a semi. No lock on the door. And you have to be escorted to and from. They are concerned to the utmost that you might have a reaction to your injection so your escort waits outside until you have completed the paperwork and then sees your safe return to your car. Finally time came to leave for the long drive back to The Cat Drag'd Inn and a nice long nap. My appointment for the second dose is three weeks away, to the minute.
Rain ForecastAs much as we need some and as much as I would enjoy a nice day of slow steady rain, right now I have a large stained glass window project laid out to be leaded and framed. Last thing I need is having to pack all that away to make way for some rain.
(Old) Nudes in a Tunick October 3 2009First I’ve seen of this. 700 volunteers pose nude in a human installation in a vineyard in the south of Burgundy. This human art installation was created by artist Spencer Tunick - to warn about the dangers of global warming. The impacts of climate change are already being felt all around the world. In France, they are affecting the wines and the vineyards. These installations are an intense illustration of the vulnerability of humankind and its culture to climate change.
(New) Nudes from TonopahCrews from several different fire departments were called out to a huge fire at Hickman's Family Farm in Arlington early Saturday afternoon. Arlington is about 50 minutes west of Phoenix, next door to Tonopah. According to a Hickman's Family Farm spokesperson, about 165,000 egg-laying hens died when two of the 10-lane barns burned. Scrambled? Or over easy?
Happy MarIO DayI nearly missed out. MarIO Day... Driver license Renewal. Long storey. Short tale: I passed the eye test and changed the colour of my hair from red to white. The rest of the storey will take another day to compose. Then with a paper copy of my new license in hand Mike and I went to Tin Top for MarIO Day Pizza and left a ten dollar tip. The first two of the Ajo Lily plants in the back yard are putting up starter leaves.
MarIO Day OrtsBefore this debacle fades into the distance... Already the facts are getting confused with the fallacy. Originally my AridZona Driver License (AZDL) had an expiration date of 2020 April 3 and back then, a year ago, I’d already spent some hours plodding through the arcanum of AZMVD’s website to effect a renewal—everything can be done online these days, eh—except when you are a Senior and then you must find your way to one of their AZDL offices to do an eye test and have a new photo taken. I think part of the renewal process, to see if you are fit to be on the roads, is just finding your way there, even with the help of your GPS.
When this Covid shit hit the fan last year the AZGOV extended a blanket AZDL expiry extension in an effort to spread out the lines and thin the waiting room crowds. Then in an effort to counteract that they closed some of the smaller offices that had small waiting rooms, such as the very convenient one in Buckeye, just up the road from the Food Bank. Somewhere along the way, before or after Covid, AZMVD also privatised parts of the License and Registration process and the contractor(s) built a state of the art system complete with a fancy website and lots of Convenience Stations (Similar to the places where you take your trash that used to be called Town Dumps.) where they tack on a Convenience Fee which is sometimes greater than the DMV Fee to begin with.
Last month something reminded me that my AZDL was about to expire again. Prob’ly when I went for my first Covid Vaccine and needed to present an ID. So I set about wasting another few precious hours trying to wheedle my way through the online renewal. First obstacle was “Your Login is Invalid”. And everything is two-layered security now as well. So you not only need a name and password but then “they” send you a secret code TXT that opens the next layer that tells me “Someone with the same Credentials is Already Logged In”. How can that be? Isn’t one of me enough?
And I simply refuse to call their “Help” line. I’ve got better things to do than listen to “All Of Our Agents Are Busy With Other Customers. Your Call Is Very Important To Us, Please Stay On The Line And Your Call Will Be Answered In The Order It Was Received” interspersed with bouts of raucous “music” on hold which has been carefully programmed and presented so as to drive you crazy and make you hang up.
But! Finally an idea that works and has actually been implemented by many businesses too strapped to hire adequate help: “Or Press One Now To Leave Your Number And We Will Call You Back When You Get To The Head Of The Line.” So you leave your number and put your phone on charge. Now two things happen. Your number begins to climb the ladder to the top of the call-back queue and at the same time your number is recorded in a database available to hackers who will sell the digits to spammers who will shortly begin to call you incessantly with offers to buy your house.
Eventually I got logged in and went round the block filling in the forms with all the information they already have on file so they can display the form back to me and say “Is This You?” And finally I find out that I am one of those Seniors who must attend to an eye test and a new photo. To do that one must make an appointment. That process in on another website. Somewhere in all this rigamarole I was shown to a map dotted with DMV offices. Except of course for the one in Buckeye. The next closest was in Avondale. Click there and a dropdown drops down to present a list of days. Pick today and the next dialogue tells me “There are no appointments available for that date. Pick another date.” Click the dropdown again, pick tomorrow: same result. Pick the day after... Why cannot the asinine programme just tell me when the next available appointment IS available. I went through a week and then found there is no choice to pick another location. You have to START OVER from square two. At least I didn’t have to go all the way back to log in.
Finally get an appointment for 14:50 Wenzday afternoon at the next office further east.
March Is A Five-Holiday MonthMar1O Day; Friday 12th, Second Pfizer Covid Shot; π Day; Feast Day of Saint Patrick (Food Bank Day); Spring Equinox. Saint Pat’s at the food bank and I can get to my AZDL appointment after clocking out. Ms Garmin leads me to the southeast corner of a certain traffic light intersection in Avondale where a large building, sufficiently large to be a supermarket or an AZDMV office sits empty as Ms Garmin is saying “You have arrived.”
Drive around in a circle and there, through the trees, on the northeast corner I spy another large building: "Arizona Auto License Services". The carpark is not quite full. Lots of people standing around outside the middle door. The doors to either end of this edifice have signs: “Use Other Door →” and “Use Other Door ←” so I zig-zag through the crowd to the middle door and inside is a touch screen inviting name and phone number and instructions to sign in and go wait in your car: "We will send you a text when you are at the top of the list.” By this time my veneer of respectability is wearing thin. I still have an hour and a half to my appointment so there is time to meditate, walk around the block, find a place to pee. Egad! So I kicked a can around the carpark for an hour until the text called me inside to “Window 7” where I was credentialed again and told to take a seat. Another chapter of Time Enough For Love later and I was called to Window 6 and "What can we do for you?" I have an appointment... and showed my receipt with the Q-Code. "Oh!" she said, you want to be across the street at the Avondale Motor Vehicle Division and she pointed through the window to another large building under an AridZona flag and partly obscured by a Food Distribution Center.
Over there, and still time enough for my appointment, another greeter, another credentialling, and finally I am in the right place. Phew! Stand over there and read the eye chart. Stand over here and remove your hat. Sign here and go stand in “Line A”. “Line A” zigged and zagged to Window 14 where the clerk suggested my my hair colour should be changed from red to white and a few pounds added to my weight. Ten dollars please and we don’t take AMEX. Your new license will be in the mail in about ten days.
12 March: Another Drive-By Shooting:Second Pfizer Covid Shot. A replay to the minute of my first shot three weeks ago. One month to Happy Big Wind Day!
81640628620899862803482534211706............. (Thanks Jon) I'm making an apple π. A Male Apple π of course. What are your plans? π Day ranks right up there with Mad Hatter Day in the List of Good Reasons to Have a Party, right after Solstice and Equinox and just before Birthdays. "π Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π. Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the U.S. month/day date format), since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. “In the year 2015, Pi Day had extra special significance: On 3/14/15 at 9:26:53.58, with the date and time (including 1/100 seconds) representing the first 12 digits of pi."
20 March: Spring Equinox and Food PantryTwice a month we have this party at the TVHS where folks drive through and are loaded with grub from Saint Mary’s Food Bank. Volunteers, high school students to grand-students, move the product from pallet to boot and clean up after. For me this event is in addition to the four hours every Wenzday I work at the Buckeye Food Bank where some weeks there is even a case of kitty kibbles for Hurricane Hazel-Rah.
Fast Ten DaysMy shiny new AZMVD White Haired Driver License arrived. At least I still have hair.
There’s A Cat Licking My Birthday π
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 © 2021, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.