The Legend of The Leaks

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off and On and Off The Road Again — The Legend of The Leaks

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2021 Winter Solstice — Greetings Virtual Travellers and Pen Friends:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel's dreadlocks are trimmed smooth and soft.

Mad Hatter at Tea 10/6 Credit:
           Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Pie Town 

Same as last year. Sort of. Not as many drinkers. More spread out of course. On the front porch at the Wall of Boots of Nita’s Toaster House Hiker Hostel on the CDT.

Duplex Bus from Bob MartinReturn trip: Pie Town to Tonopah 

I had a dream about me last night where I was somehow in an RV that was as big as a duplex house. But you didn't drive this RV you just told the house where to go and you were there. Problem was the other half went along for the ride so we kept going to unexpected places.

Nita's long driveway was a teeny bit slickery when The Cat Drag’d Out from Summer Camp to get started down the long hill to Winter Quarters Bay at Tonopah but she made the slalom without sliding. I later realised Karma was saving all the mishaps for later. Getting started a day late and a few dollars short I planned to not spend a day picking up trash at my favourite u.s.60 Red Hill Rest Area. There will be another opportunity next year.

First stop was for propane in Quemado. Filling the upper onboard tank and two bottles in TinyTruck went well but when I turned off the upper tank prior to departure I found the valve leaking. With the valve full on the leak stopped but with the valve off propane was leaking around the packing nut. Oh Well, valve on, let’s drive.

Taking the secondary direct route my secondary stop was Wally World Caravansary in Show Low. Here was where I found a small puddle of glycol on the tarmac under “The CAT in The Back’s” main radiator. Oh Well. This was only a small leak, not the massive hemorrhage of a few years ago that required a tow job. (See the end of Letter 17c for that Tale of Woe.)
Truck Fire In The Pass
Third stop was at the Height of Land on s.r.260. Climbing up from Show Low I spied a blossom of steam emanating from a big white pickup and a fifth wheel trailer. My first thought was of Nancy and Ward and their wheels. By the time I was close enough to see the truck was not theirs the steam had turned to black smoke. Several additional Residence Vehicles stopped and we all emptied our ABC extinguishers on the fire but the burning truck was already fully involved. Total loss.

The rest of this road is mostly downhill so let’s get going. The saga of the radiator goes on and on between visits to Food Bank, doctors, wiring Paul’s new capannoni and shako, and all the unplanned other things such as roadside cleanups and parties of one sort or another. The radiator was eventually drained of seven gallons of coolant (I’d saved the jugs from the last filling for just this occasion.) and carried off to Commercial Radiator Service in Phoenix. They did a splendid job of fixing the leak.  We’ll come back to the reinstalling later.

In the meantime I’ve been using the propane in the tank with the leaky valve. Have to empty the tank before I can repair or replace the valve. That becomes another interminable project.

Poll Worker Dress Code Poster13 October, Tonopah, AridZona

48f here this morning. Heat is on. Poll Worker Training yesterday went well. Now I know all about the Poll Worker's Dress Code and am fully qualified to tell voters where they can stick their ballots.

Yesterday I replaced both 5# fire extinguishers that I used on the truck fire by the side of the road. 120$ worth of Good Deed that didn't do any good at all except to show me a: how useless a 5# ABC is against a fully involved truck, and b: that my 20 year old extinguishers were still functional, and c: they are not worth the cost of a refill--buy new. Part of the "not worth the cost" is that greater than 12 years old have to be re-certified.

My uncle Sir Issac told me; he said: I was thinking about gravity the other day; without it all you have is gravy.

17th Autumnal Equinox Letter Posted

All day typing, cutting, pasting, inserting images... And then the upload failed. I don’t understand. The error messages are meaningless. What’s broken? The internet? My router? Computer? Website full? I need professional help.

Food Bank Wenzday

At Lowe’s, shopping for hose clamps to repair a propane leak, I was confronted by displays of gaily wrapped empty boxes and fake trees and “Season’s Greetings” placards. WTF? The Seasons have yet to get past Halloween let alone Thanksgiving. Why are we always in so much of a hurry?
CDI at Sunset in Tonopah
Found on a scrap under a pile of old mail:

who will have the trial of
cleaning up after me?

Fun  despair  hope  anger
for richer or for poorer

an adventure or what...

Please feed the cat.

Cousin Scotty Died on Halloween?

ajo y David in 2001Interesting that my mother and her sister each had four boys. Pretty much one for one tho Aunt Kay had the head start. David was a year older than me. Scotty, his brother, was third, matching up with my brother Teddy. Now I have a lot of new entries to make in the family tree book.

At Risk of Intemperance [war is not...]

War Is Not Healthy...November 11th, Veteran’s Day and Doctor Day. Annual physical at my HMO PCP, more on that later. On the road to and fro much of the chatter on the Ham radio concerns Thanking Vets for Their Service. As with “Christmas Music” before we even get the Thanksgiving Turkey thawed, the maudlin thanks is tiring after the first two or three. Let me write this about that:

Veteran’s Day. The war mongers are out in force today. All the talk is how thankful “we” are for their service. Some folks were going on about three generations of their family serving. “My father was... and I worked for the VA...” Why does that count any more than the trash collectors or the school bus drivers? I was tempted to climb on the band wagon and tell how my father built the destroyers and my three brothers and one sister were in the army...and I helped build the satellite communications networks you used to call home from the front. I also made the anti-war posters for the kids to put up in their high school.

There is no question in my mind that the veterans who were conscripted deserve to be thanked, and those who volunteered and served in World War II, but beyond that? No! And especially not those who enlisted. “...burn women – kids villages...I wanna kill...”. They need no thanks. The truckers and the school teachers need thanks, not enlistees. Enlistees need forgiveness for they knew not what they did, what they were getting into.

Covid booster wenzday, flu shot today.

Annual visit to the vampire for Physical Examination a la Arlo Guthrie. Blood draw, blood pressure, height, weight (Their scale always has me five to eight pounds heavier than my scale. Must be all the textiles.)

News From Q’Fest and Magic Circle

I'm looking forward to being there if for no other reason than to take a break from fixing all the brokes. This week I have replaced the chassis battery in The Cat Drag'd Inn and sent the main radiator out to have the leak repaired. Last week was annual physical examination a'la Guthrie and the second of two roadside trash pickups. Next week is a visit to my DermaDoc. Somewhen here is Thanksgiving if I can find the dinner through all the Xmass Decorations and Out of Season "Music". I'll keep you posted.

News Item: Finding Workers vs. Living Wage vs. On The Dole

Mikey writes in response to a news outlet storey: 
“...your sympathy piece about the bakery closing for lack of workers. At one point the owner, practically in tears, claimed that she "tried everything" but "nobody wants to work". Why did you not ask what pay she was offering and if she tried increasing the pay rate?

“Employers are constantly complaining about difficulty finding willing workers and it's always framed as people "not wanting to work". Whatever happened to free enterprise? I'll bet most if not all of the applicants would have happily taken the job if offered a sufficiently attractive wage. I find it difficult to muster any sympathy for a business owner who would rather close up shop than offer a living wage.

“Perhaps you should do a story focused on the unwillingness of employers to pay an appropriate wage. Or at least point out that when an employee or applicant refuses to work, it isn't because they don't want to, it's because the compensation being offered is not in line with cost of living and appropriate to the job and working conditions.”

My additional comments: The issue is not all about money. I would add that for me a significant obstacle to working is in the "working conditions" department, the conditions of employment. Long hours, short lunches, make-work assignments, dress code, commutes, just to get started. Employers should be more amenable to flex-hours, and work from home for instance. Granted some tasks require a team to work together and some require safety and sanitation dress code but putting up appearances is often contrary to getting the job done. As I comment in one of my taglines: "If voters are impressed by a poll worker's costume then they are prob'ly voting for the wrong candidates anyhow." And the point Ellen Goodman makes: “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”

Your "living wage" point is a two-edged sword. A person is smart. People are dumb. A person wants higher pay which results in a higher cost of the product which is providing that pay. People are dumb in that when they have more money they buy more things, are willing to pay more for them. Inflation. What this society needs is to get away from the bigger is better hamster wheel. How can we inculcate some sort of enough is enough philosophy?


Have you noticed that Wenzday Thursday Friday acronyms to What The Fuck?

It's 12:21 on 12-1-21!

At twenty-one minutes past noon: A palindromic time on a double palindromic date! 12022021 is also an ambigram as well as a palindrome.

One Of The Reasons I Won’t Own Land

Latest news here is that the new i11 corridor has been approved... “...will come up Hwy 85 to I-10 then west to 363rd Ave alignment, North around the east end of Belmont Mountain, across the Hassayampa plain, west of the Vulture Mtns to connect with Hwy 93 West of Wickenburg.” See Corridor Map. That means 4-6 lanes of traffic north-south about a mile or so west of Paul's oasis. About the only good I can see is that the new road will at least take the Wal-Mart semis off the Vulture Mine Road. Best bet is that with the fuel prices going up as they are (I paid US$3.80 for regular at Fry's yesterday and Diesel is over four and a quarter now.) there will be less and less need for another highway. Perhaps the railroads will make a comeback.

Pearl Harbour Day

I believe I finally have the repaired radiator reinstalled and plumbed but now there is a serious oil leak from the motor so I’ll not be going on any road test for a while yet. The gory details are a bit more than I can write about without resorting indecent profanity.

Getting Colder...

Starry Night DetailPaul made 7-Bean Soup with carrots and celery for lunch and I had seconds for supper along with charcoal burnt chicken. Took apart my bed to get through the back door to the motor and inspect for oil leak. No oil leak from the upper part but found serious heat damage to the firewall insulation. Whilst I had the bed apart washed/aired bedding.
Solstice Sunset shadow. Photo by PRoetto
Lined up next two new projects even while there is one on going and two others incomplete. And now I have most likely the rear main seal of the big Diesel in need of replacement. I think I want to go hide in my blanket tent with some Oreos and a colouring book.

Paul calls his new abode il capannoné [capa-non'-né] He is sleeping there now and the galley is mostly functional tho not finished. I've been doing most of the wiring, between food bank days and post office days and doctor visit days. In the west wall above the fire place is my leaded glass window titled Starry Night. Alignments being as they are the Winter Solstice Sunset projects through the coloured glass onto the northeast corner of the living room. Stay tuned for further developments on Equinox and Summer Solstice. [sunset windoe and reflection]

...and Darker. 2021xii19

The air has been clear at east and west horizons this past week. A total of nine green flashes have been observed during this period. Now the sun is within days of Winter Solstice and his turn-around to begin the long climb to Mid-Summer and longer, warmer days.

My 2021 Winter Solstice Annual Letter is in here someplace in case you didn’t get a copy by direct mail. The airwaves are clogged with commercials touting all the things we cannot live without. Tacky toys that will end up at the Thrift Store for me to repair or recycle. Most requiring new AA and AAA batteries to replace corroded ones left installed too long. Buy stock in Duracell or that pink bunny. One “interactive” unicorn requires four AA cells in the belly and two AAA cells in the remote. What ever happened to imagination?

Tis The Seasoning

Happy Hanukkah... an eight-day Jewish festival...

Salubrious Solstice... favorable to or promoting health; healthful.

Commercial Xmas... the longest holiday on the calendar. Durating from All Saints Eve to the day before Boxing Day (that's when you box up all the wrapping paper, tinsel, and broken toys and send them to the Thrift Store and take all the silly sweaters back to Wal-Mart).

Nebulous New Years... hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused.

Twelfth Night... Epiphany; observed as the last day of Christmas; when the Wise men showed up, according to some traditions, bearing gifts.
Yule Branch 2021
   “In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the
   Christians called it “Christmas” and went to church; the Jews called
   it “Hanukkah” and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties
   and drank. People passing each other on the street would say “Merry
   Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!” or (to the atheists) “Look out for
   the wall!”               ~Dave Barry

Somewhere buried under all this hype is a tiny branch of my childhood faith. Yule Branch is all I have room for these days. At the tree corral I trade one of my hand crafted Zipper Fobs for a sprig of spruce, something evergreen in any case, to hang in the corner by the Emergency Exit. The green lasts well into Summer and the needles stay put as long as they are not disturbed.

Xmas Eve December Showers Bring April Flowers

The Ajo Lilies are drinking deeply. Since about Oh-Dark-30 until afternoon tea my rain gauge has collected 1.34” of water and that does not include the drips on my pillow from a leak in the roof vent. My armpits smell like petrichor*.

Xmas ( respect of the Commercialists and The Others) Day
The only good Santa brought was a little over an inch of rain. That will make the Ajo Lilies and all the other spring wild flowers very happy but for me I have a new-found leak in my roof to fix and a lot of mud to sweep away. I must be on Santa's Naughty List. I hope you did better.

Bounteous Boxing Day!

Mostly OK yesterday here. Packed some yogurt-like gooey stuff around the roof vent that was leaking in the rain. Now may have to wait a year for more rain to see if the leak is fixed.

Had Michael over for a pork loin roast dinner. That was good. Screwed around with one recalcitrant messaging device and played BananaGrams whilst the furnace failed again. Same problem as before. So I replaced the same bad part again. Runs OK again. Unsafe at any temperature. Cheap useless spare parts. I'm swearing more but enjoying it less.
Norther Cardinal. Photo from the wwweb.
The usefulness of these so-called high tech conveniences is far outweighed by their increasing complexity and fragility and scarcity of spare parts and almost daily "upgrades". I know, I know, I know, we are not supposed to fix anything these days; throw away and buy new; that's the American Way. Besides the new model is faster, smaller, cheaper, and even more likely to break down sooner.
Spell Checker From Nita.
Many thanks to my new Spell Checker from Nita for their help with all this writing and editing.

At the end of that cloudy day I slept well. This morning the sun is up, the birds are fed, and the dishes await cleaning. Good morning.

*petrichor (n) ˈpe-trə-ˌkȯr: a distinctive, earthy, usually pleasant odor that is associated with rainfall especially when following a warm, dry period and that arises from a combination of volatile plant oils and geosmin released from the soil...

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.Dandelion Wine Cover

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 © 2021, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.