Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel needs her dreadlocks
Made my world famous Male Banana Bread for
breky. YUM! Been so long since the last one I had to look up
my recipe! Rhubarb Pi for New Year's Dinner is next to go in
the oven. There will be at least one palindromic date this
year in every month save one and one palindromic date will
appear twice. My mother's birthday is a palindrome this
I’m starting out this year exercising my curmudgeonly
obligations: As far as measurement of vision is concerned
2022 is not as good as 2020. Astickmaism is rampant! What
corrective lens might be applied to improve the odds? About
the only good I see is that the Sunspot Cycle is on the
“Curmudgeons get credit for wisdom for the high hit rate
that comes with hostility to easy optimism; and being old,
and thus not really counting, they, like children, have a
privilege to say what would constitute an offense if said by
a fully responsible adult. And like children, the curmudgeon
is considered cute for it, but unlike the child, he is also
considered wise for it. To the extent curmudgeonism suspends
the rules of mandatory polite comments, and indeed
substitutes a rule of mandatory harrumphs when these
complements are given, the curmudgeon gets credit for seeing
the truth, or for telling it the way it is, and that counts
as wisdom, even though this wisdom lies in everyone's
knowledge that the polite complements or obligatory upbeat
statements are inane.”
--William Ian Miller, Losing It (2011)
2021 Annual Precip:
1.21+.01+.19+.05+2.82+1.1+1.99+.36+1.67 = 9.40 year to date
jan feb mar apr jul
aug sep oct
dec Missing months had Trace only.
2nd January The Days Are Getting Longer Now
33f here at dawn. A skin of ice on the bird bath. Cozy
enough inside The Cat Drag'd Inn but I have to keep
my shirt on.
13 January Talking About Food
A correspondent wrote: “Where do you cook everything, in a
stove on the bus ?” Good question. Gives me paws to reflect
and remember and dig through the photo gallery... The
Cat Drag'd Inn has a well appointed galley and a one
steak barbie on a milk crate on the patio. The photo to the
the galley from about when I started into this Odyssey
In America in November 1997. The photo on the
right is from about 17 years later after I replaced the
microwave and washed the dishes. In all that time I was
still using the same blue Melita Coffee Filter Holders. That
glaring white rectangle on the right is the front of the new
microwave; the fridge is to the right but will not pose for
pictures. The green string clothespin holder in front of the
microwave is one of the two Official Strings--the other was
orange--that we used on the drink mix bags during the Troop
55 50 Miler in 1970. The copper samovar --Sammy The
Samovar-- used to sit on the three-burner stove just inside
the left rear door of the 1967 yellow Chevy G-10 van, Willshedoit,
1967 to 1985, my Residence Vehicle that preceded The
Cat Drag’d Inn. Sammy has had his nozzle replaced and
rebuilt (...would that mine could be so well cared for...)
and still makes hot water for dishes. Thanks for asking.
Word of the day: /þetta reddast/
...can be translated to "it will all work out okay".
Built a raven feeding platform today. A place to put
roadkill and other leftovers otherwise going to the dogs.
“...my preferred medium is clay.” ...get it? Okay if you
don’t, I had to think thrice.
Stand By Your Ham
Recorded at The Cat Drag'd Inn
Studio by ajo, K1oiQ (with a little help from his friends)
on 22i27 in the early morning sun. This was a dress
rehearsal of Stand By Your Ham by Beth, K1XK, for a
production staged later that day at QuartzFest, Mile99,
RoadRunner Camp, Quartzsite AridZona.
Half A Loaf Is Better Than None
Lightning blitz run to Quartzsite and back yesterday[28th
January, Friday]. 198 miles round and about 8 gallons of
petrol to deliver half a loaf of my world famous Male Banana
Bread to A.C. one of my fan club members at Mile99. On
Tuesday NU7DE Desert Circle Amateur Radio Club held
their annual meeting via Zoom. Wenzday was Food Bank and
visitors from Pie Town and Maine.
2022i31 Monday—Attack of The Covid
Negative fever and chills this morning after a cold shivery
night. Felt better by mid day but at supper my oral was
100.6f. Took an ibuprofen and by bedtime temperature was
normal. Busy day anyhow with my usual End Of The Week/Month
Febter 1st Feeling Strange
Temperature OK but wrote PCP about
fever yesterday: “...you should get tested...” Fancy that.
Only a few days ago the “iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid
Test” arrived in the mail. So I broke into that package and
to make a long storey short, tested POSITIVE! Messaged that
result to my PCP and they immediately scheduled me for a
professional test on the 2nd. By wenzday after noon that
result was also positive and I am now under house arrest in
the care and authority of Hurricane Hazel-Rah for the next
Insufficient words supra. Some further detail...
Yesterday, Wenzday, 2222...
After a two hour drive to 3rd and Earll Streets (the traffic
was horrible-slow-stop and go with construction delay and
rerouting...) my nose was professionally swabbed by a masked
man wearing a white hat. Subsequently, later in the
afternoon, a nurse from my PCP called to tell me I am indeed
POSITIVE and should maintain isolation for at least five
days, maybe longer depending symptoms. So what should I do
in the meantime? “Enjoy the ride. As long as you are in no
distress there is nothing to be done. Similar to any cold or
flu. Drink water, take naps.” Trying to keep my sense of
sanity and humour... No silver bullets forthcoming.
The CDC says that
... infectiousness peaks one day before symptom onset and
declines within a week of symptom onset. And the incubation
period is anywhere from 2-15 days after exposure. Lots of
wiggle room there. So I could have picked up this bug
anywhern and been infecting all over the past week or I
could have picked up my case from anyone of a dozen
people in the past week. I'm quite happy that I have been
vaccinated and boosted. All somewhat vague and
problematical. So I made a list of people I've been to
within handshaking distance over the past week and wrote to
let them know about my status. Please sanitise this message
before reading further... One correspondent replied:
> Recent data indicate that you are 78 times more likely
> serious infection (or die) if not vaccinated.
> Why can't the nay-sayers understand that?
Because for the same reasons that engender such quotations
as: "War is where the young and stupid are tricked by the
old and bitter into killing each other."
Conservatives say teaching sex education in the public
schools will promote
promiscuity. With our education system? If we promote
promiscuity the same
way we promote math or science, they've got nothing to worry
“Most people would sooner die than think; in fact,
they do so.”
― Bertrand Russell
...and because such analogue concepts as common sense and
round clock dials are no longer taught in digital school nor
imbued by parents. Even such concepts as Black or white (why
is one capitalised and the other not?) are misleading and
divisive. Granted "free range kids" are making a comeback
but without common sense to bolster the movement the idea
will amount to little more than chicken feed or a way to
One good thing about all this is that the "nay-sayers" are
by and large people from Red States and come the next
election there will be fewer Republicans around.
Thursday, Febter 3
I'm feeling OK. About like any common cold. 5-10 days of
isolation won't be any much different to my usual hermitic
living. Perhaps the vaccine is doing some good. The main
question is: Where--from whom--did I contract this plague?
But the answer to that question is dependent upon the
incubation period and that seems to be a bone of contention
in the medical literature and folklore. Someone I know or
brushed close to in the past 10-15 days is sick, or at least
a carrier. Time for to wash my dishes and then another nap
The worst effect of all this may be the deterioration of my
I can’t help but reuse these already old clichés:
Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as
amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking
May we discuss cultural semantics without your being
offended? What is the matter with us and our language that
we have such difficulty saying “Thank You”? Instead we say
“I’d like to thank the”... then they don’t. When I hear that
phrase I think So why don’t you just say “Thank you for” and
get on with your speech. Or would you like to say thank you
but you’d rather not and so I listen for that "but". Or we
say “I’m sorry to hear about”... When I hear that phrase I
think: Well, I’m sorry you’re sorry so I won’t tell you next
time. I mean, after all, you did ask.
And the part about taking offence. If you want to take
offense over anything I have said or done then that is your
problem, not mine. If you want to be offensive that is also
your problem for I will not be offended any more than I can
offend. That concept is not in my reality.
Abbot Anthony taught Abbot
Ammonas, saying: You must advance yet further in the
fear of God. And taking him out of the cell he showed
him a stone, saying: Go and insult that stone, and beat
it without ceasing. When this had been done, Saint
Anthony asked him if the stone had answered back.
No, said Ammonas. Than Abbot Anthony said:
You too must reach the point where you no longer take
offense at anything.” --Saint Anthony of Egypt
"Be who you are and say what you
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind."
Certainly not a failure as far as the cat is
concerned. Except perhaps for Pavlov failing to appreciate
the intelligence of his cat. Even Hurricane Hazel knows
better than to fall for that trick.
Considering an Electric Pickup
My other friend Mike recently bought an electric motor Fiat.
Enough range for running around town--post office and
shopping--but insufficient for doctor visits all the way to
the other side of Phoenix and back. So he keeps his old
petrol motor X-90 and says a car that has range is worth two
that need charge.
How Am I, Doing?
I've been under the bed (water pump failure thrice), under
the table (looking for cat toys [playmates she brings
in--Look Daddy what followed me home; can I keep it?]),
under the bus (serious oil leak from rear main seal of the
big diesel), under the toilet (flush valve leaking--not
repaired yet), under the computer (looking for bits and
bytes of files lost in a disc crash), and under the weather
(the attack of the dreaded COVID plague). See above: “Attack
of The Covid” in case you skipped over that part.
The Water Works!
Distressing how so many parts are no longer available or out
of stock. But saved by a young clerk at Buckeye's Home Town
Hardware who could "think outside the box" and kludge
together a solution. All set now. The water works!
Thank you anyway. I had this sciatic pain a few years ago
and ended up in a pain clinic and some sort of drug the
dosage of which had to be ramped up over the course of a
week and then could not be stopped at risk of death until
ramped down. All I have read from Mayo Clinic and other
sources says that Sciatic Pain goes away eventually (or one
just gets used to the debilitation...?) but now is up to
about 7.3 on the Richter Scale. And overdoses of Ibuprofen
cause liver damage.
Off to the eye doctor today.
And then I must needs commiserate with a friend whose
eyesight is failing and is contemplating his Final Exit
before he can no longer see to pull the plug.
I wrote this paragraph yesterday and somewhere in the middle
my email client said "Unable to save draft..." That was the
first warning I ignored. When I pressed Send the client said
"Send Failed". Checked my connectivity. The internet is
rather flaky here and often goes and comes. Connectivity was
good. Could not save a draft. Could not send. I copied and
pasted all the text into my Scratch Pad.txt but could not
save that file. That got my attention so I took a screen
shot and could not save that. This is getting serious. Took
a photo of the monitor screen with my handy oblong and
proceeded to shut down all applications and reboot the
machine. Reboot failed. Thus began a day the storey of which
will take all day to relate; a nightmare I care not to
revisit. Still cleaning up after. Eventually I emailed my
self the 9MB photo and found OCR cannot make sense of the
image so herewith I transcribe the text. At least I didn't
have to reinvent all my thoughts.
Recovering nicely from another computer crash. Distressing
how much I have become dependent upon this time and labour
saving contraption. The operative word hidden back there is
Yesterday morning whilst measuring the weather I tripped
over a profound question; at least I thought my question was
profound. Still is for that matter. In the course of sorting
out the monthly Weather Summary I count the occurrences of
twice a day observed wind directions so as to determine the
prevailing direction for the month. The cardinal points:
North, East, South, West, and the ordinal points between
them: NE, NW, SE, SW. [And therein is the first inkling of
my question.] Then there is the circle of half-wind points
between the cardinals and ordinals: NNE, ENE, ESE, SSE, SSW,
WSW, WNW, NNW further increasing my puzzlement. I record the
observed wind on a 16-point compass rose. An hundred years
ago in Scouts one had to memorize and recite in clockwise
order the 16-point compass rose. Who
originated that format, that naming convention? Why do
we not say East-North-North or West-West-South?
"Daylight Slaving Time"
...coming soon to a clock near you. Business as usual
otherwise. One of the salubrious effects of living here is
that AridZonans don’t screw around with the clock twice a
year. Walkabout yesterday secured two bags of trash
from the outback and three more Ajo Lily plants were seen.
Two were those I had previously surveyed and one was new. No
stalks or buds yet but lots of leaves.
Rain In My Fridge
New problem. Not fatal or even serious this time. Over the
past few weeks I have noted an increase in the wetness of
stuff in my fridge. Initially chalking the effect up to
increased humidity--unusual for this part of AridZona but
not unheard of--but when this morning water cascaded out
when I opened the door and the pressed-card egg carton fell
apart I just knew something was awry.
Found the water collection tray under the cooling fins full.
The drain tube plugged. I pulled and pushed a bit on the
internal fan power wire that snakes through the drain tube
and got a slow drip going. Seems the sheath on that
red/black pair nearly fills the collection tray drain so not
much of a crumb of debris or a dead fly creates a clog.
Eventually I removed the sheath from the #22 wires and
reinstalled the red/black pair to the drain tube. Drains
better. Fridge is dry. Not sure where the debris came from
in the first place. Dust from the air? One of Mikey’s pet
flies from the egg factory across town drowned in the
drainage? Some ort escaped from a leftover left too long?
I'll try to keep a closer watch.
I asked for some suggestions for an 81st theme song. The
results are in. My choice is: CANDY
& THE KISSES - The 81 suggested by Laura
Zurlo. Thanks Laura! Runner up: "Eighty-One"
by Miles Davis suggested by Rick Stutsman. Thanks Rick!
Thank you all who sent suggestions; I’ll keep them all on my
list in case I come round this way again some day.
The price spread caught my eye at the Pilot in Tonopah then
later noticed the anagram.
Saint Patrick’s Day
The letters I am using to
type this; this is their first time ever being used,
they are still green!
Inquiring minds want to know:
Whose scowling bearded face is that to the right of George?
Have you read Nothing
By Chance by Richard Bach? The "Have fun" you
wrote had mixed results. Plus or Minus remains to be
determined. Mike was up on time and finished his long
arduous morning toilet so we could get on the road by 13
o'clock. Plan was that he would drive an hour and a half
into the big city so we could attend a concert of the
Phoenix Boys Choir at the Central Street Methodist Church
for which I'd bought tickets for Preferred Seating. We were
six miles along when the shit hit the fan.
Whap Clunk Judder-judder and his little X-90 coasted to a
halt in the gore of i10x109's eastbound get-on ramp. Safe
enough place to be actually; we had a clear lane to either
side between us and the speeding traffic. Initial inspection
showed the radiator was empty. This happened to him once
before. Slow leak, no indication on the temperature gauge,
engine seized; cost him a rebuild. This time the motor would
crank but not start. He started to add water--here in the
desert one always carries a gallon or three in the Desert
Survival Kit--whilst I watched. Orange juice dribbled out
from under the motor and it was not Tropicana. Looks like a
burst hose. So much for getting to the church on time.
I called Paul for help. Could have called Triple-A I suppose
but that goes on my record and I'd rather have a favour
debit with a friend. Turned out two friends and a grandson.
Paul wasn't home where he would have to go to get chains and
towbar so he called Rick who lives closer to our breakdown
and has a car-carrier trailer. In the meantime me & Mike
are sitting in the hot car with traffic screaming past on
both sides. We decided to visit the verge instead and stand
in the breezy shade of a billboard.
A 22-wheeled milk wagon tanker stopped to offer aid; Mike
thanked the driver, told him we had a rescue on the way, so
we continued through the cans and bottles and assorted
detritus of diverse drivers to the shady spot. Mike
suggested we could pick up some trash whilst we waited to be
rescued. At first, against my usual nature, I didn't want
to; we didn't have any of the big orange AZDOT sacks I keep
in my truck nor the official highway hazard vests with
reflective silver stripes. But then I thought, what the
hell, I do have one or two of those T-shirt grocery bags in
my To-Go pack presently slung over my left
shoulder (Never leave home without a To-Go pack.) so I could
at least pick up the aluminium cans. There's maybe
twenty-thirty cents worth within a couple hundred feet here.
So I wandered around crushing cans and examining other
things, wondering what an amber ICC marker light and a rusty
front wheel bearing have in common with an item of soft
luggage about the size of a laptop. Ooh! That item of soft
luggage is sort of heavy. I wonder what's in there?
Before we could get too seriously involved with that the
cavalry arrived. Two pickups, a flatbed trailer, various tow
chains and tiedowns, and a husky grandson. In short order we
had Mike's little X-90 winched onto the trailer and tied
down with the cargo straps. I rode off with Paul back to The
Cat Drag'd Inn and a well earned ale. Mike went with
Rich and company to haul his car to the garage next door to
where he lives. No ale for him. No concert for either of us.
A Salubrious Spring Equinox after all.