Summer! The Singular What?

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off and On and Off The Road Again — Summer! The Singular What?

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2022 Autumnal Equinox — Greetings Virtual Travellers and Pen Friends:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel's coat is "trip-over grey".


   —One of the top four seasons—soon to be available year round.    —Peter Sagal on Wait-Wait

The Singular What?

In late breaking news I have been reading and watching squibs and examples of Preferred Personal Pronouns. And the ongoing debate(s) about Black v.s white (the capitalisation thereof), and the Singular They. Should you care to make note: My Preferred Personal Pronouns: [She, He, It, They: Human!] Cadged from Richard Dawkins in /The God Delusion/ "She or he must ask himself or herself whether his or her sense of style could ever allow herself or himself to write like that." 

Summer Solstice

A whiff of petrichor on the air yesterday and the day before. A total of seven raindrops on my windscreen marked the beginning of Monsoon season. 14.4 hours of daylight at The Cat Drag’d Inn.

Riddle me this: Take charge of this charge and charge the appropriate charge.

First Adventure of The Summer of 22

Fun day at the Food Bank. Sausage was the main course. Ten pounds of sliced ready-for-pizza pepperoni, five pounds of skinless breky links, four pounds of Jimmy Dean HOT sausage. As well as the usual assortment of things and stuff to share.
The Dust Storm Cometh
Fascinating time cracking into a donated Dell laptop that has a BIOS/Setup password. Someone unknown donated the machine cos they had forgotten the password without which the machine cannot boot up. Cannot get into setup. Cannot even boot from USB or CD. NADA. BIOS passwords are most secure to prevent unauthorised boot and impossible for the casual user to get around. But... Pop the hard drive out and connect with a IDE to USB adapter and the drive can be read or used in a different computer. So much for security.

On the drive, in the Documents folder, I found school lessons and resumé with the owners name and address. They still don't know the password and apparently have no interest in the contents of the drive. However the owners name and address may be the key to getting Dell Tech Support to grant me a backdoor password so I can unlock the BIOS and wipe the disk. May make the machine saleable in the thrift store. Busy day.

Bike Ride at DawnOn the Home Front

The photo herewith is of the advancing front wall of a dust storm about to engulf the T/A two miles to my south. Close the windows, furl the awning, lower the telly antenna. A short while later the dust arrived and visibility went down to about a mile for a few minutes before gradually returning to normal as the sky cleared.


Just as I am getting accustomed to sharing the road with big smelly iron monsters my bicycle reports for sick call with flat tyre. This turns into one of those before-you-do-this-you-have-to-do-that sort of projects. I know right where the tools I’ve not touched in years are hid but the light in that locker lacks luminosity. Blown circuit breaker resulting from rummaging in the vicinity of bare wires. Can’t be reset cos of a crumb of oatmeal cookie. The glue in the patch kit is dried into a lump of jelly. After three days of intermittent attention I finally have all the bits and pieces of tools and parts necessary to effect repair. Surprisingly I remember how and am grateful those Downsize and Döstädning rules do not apply to tools unused for years.

ME0W calling CQ CQField Day NU7DE Last Weekend of June

Twenty-four hours of simulated fun and games contacting as many stations as you can to exchange call sign and contest data: NU7DE 2E AZ. QSL QRZ? Next! I made 42 contacts in digital modes RTTY and PSK; ME0W contributed three voice contacts using PURR mode on SSB. Not bad considering I had to do my own logging and eating and napping.

27 June Over the River and Through the Construction... I've been crowned!

...To the Dentist we go to be crowned. Weeks ago broke a tooth. My dentist has been after me for years to have this tooth crowned. Takes longer to save for that than to drive cross-country. Except this year. With fuel costs doubled and the new dental technology and material available the cost of a crown has reduced by half. When my tooth broke on a peanut butter sandwich that cinched the matter. Watching the high tech equipment at work designing and creating this crown was nearly worth the pain and discomfort. Fascinating process. A laser scanner draws a full colour 3-D picture of the tooth to be crowned on a terminal where the tooth designer can then build the crown. The image of the crown is then sent to a mill in the Waiting Room that sculpts the tooth. A dab of epoxy and all done. About an hour and a half and 500$ please. This video shows the scanning process.

June started out where May left off in the Days Without Measurable Rain count. Then during the penultimate evening of Wenzday, June 29th, with all the boxes and bags of grub from the Food Bank piled on table and tailgate, there came upon a midnight cloudy one thunderstorm. Paltry tho the rumble and flash was, the rain gauge, being for over 150 days without moisture to measure, suddenly had to remember how to accumulate Rain Drops! At the observation the morning of June the Last there was 0.03" of water in the glass. The Days Without Rain Counter has been reset.

Flat TyreBike tyre is flat again. Or still.

Seventy some dollars for two each tubes and tyres. Heavy duty. Cactus resistant.

Now We Are July

The days are getting shorter now... But not yet cooler.

 Happy Independence Day? Favela
                  Coming Soon or Already Here

... independent of what, of whom? Thoreau wrote:  “Men have become the tools of their tools.” And Michael Parenti wrote: "...The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force.”  These Disunited States have become a Third World Country.

“Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilisation tolerates: caffeine from Monday to Friday to energise you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in."    —Bill Hicks

“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.”          —Ellen Goodman

... independent of what? Democrats celebrate April 15th; Republicans celebrate July 4th. Or as Ronald Reagan put the thought — “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15.”  And six people were killed—gunned down—celebrating Independence Day in Chicago.

The Ides of July

Nap nipped by naked notions of nattering negligence. Leftover Spring Cleaning task shaking and rotating throw rugs begging completion. Needless to say before one can complete such a task one must begin, get beyond the idea, the concept, the plan. Well, that's done. Next time around these rugs are going to require replacement. They have been on the deck since November 1998 and of late have been showing significant bald spots. Every time I Hoover them more pieces of the pattern disappear.

The Sunday After

Finally a really exciting thunder storm last night. 0.38" of rain and rain. Dramatic drop of temperature from 117f to 79f in less than an hour. Fantastic fascinating lightning show. Drifting and blowing construction debris. Puddles! Real puddles on the ground no less.

And now two mysteries. One solved, one un-. The 11m radio (CB) was not chattering away as usual this morning. No TX output either. Watt meter to dummy load indicated normal output. SWR indicated 2:1 from 15-50mHz. Antenna problem? Found the long WiFi beam had moved and was laying against the CB whip. Short circus. AOK now.

Unsolved mystery is The Towel Who Ran Away With Her Clothes Pins. Last seen last night in a lull between the rains, soaking wet hanging from the drying line, dragging her hems in the mud. I rearranged her orientation from portrait to landscape, made a futile attempt to wring out some of the water, and left her pinned to the line. This morning she and her pins are MIA. AWOL. Blue, Bath, a.k.a. Shower Towel, occasionally dry, most likely laying in a sodden heap. But where? The wind was reported as high as 45mph from the SouthEast during the thunderstorm last night.

The Man Who Mistook His Frog for A Cat.

That is the title of Mikey’s book, a memoir of his adventure in the aftermath of the only real rain of this Monsoon. (Thus far anyhow.)  After buckets of rain had refilled Lake Maryland Road and wind had downed power lines and left his neighbourhood in darker than darkness... A synopsis: “Went outside around one-ish to look around. A few empty boxes were redistributed, and the cat feeders (bowls strapped atop overturned milk crates) had been tossed about and found several feet from their usual locations. Car [his electric Fiat] was flashing "goalposts" as it does when power is cut off while charging cable is still connected....

“While I was outside, I heard what sounded like a cat in distress, so I embarked on a rescue mission, beginning with an acoustic foxhunt. That led me next door to the garage, where I determined the cries were coming from across the street to the east. I went back inside to grab a wrap for my bottom half on the unlikely but possible chance my lack of dress might startle a passing motorist or APS [AridZona Public Service] worker and headed back out. The closer I thought I was getting to the sounds, the further away they seemed to creep. Eventually I made my way along the narrow northern shoreline of Lake Maryland Road until I ran out of shore about halfway to 418th Ave. At that point I could plainly hear two individuals, apparently in some conversation of alternating loud, low-pitched cries. “I decided they couldn't be cats. ...they must be toads, awakened/released from their underground chambers by the sudden appearance of a lake above them. While I never actually saw them, I greeted them and wished them well, reminding them that this was only a short-lived reprieve...”

Happy 22/7

That was yesterday and I forgot all about the specialty of the day then. Thank you for the reminder! I did however remember that 22722 was a palindate. So happy that as well.

Pi Town

I am edging closer to a possible departure in that direction. Beyond all the travails delineated in my Springquinox letter I have now only to complete the self appointed task of Poll Worker for the Primary Election on 2nd August. The main motor of The Cat Drag'd Inn test started OK a few days ago so I should be able to drag out of Tonopah by about 5th August and a week or so later arrive in the Town of Pi. Poll Worker for a Day and the training thereof qualifies me to officially tell the voters where to stuff their ballots and the recompense might about half fill one of my fuel tanks 302 miles worth.

Counting Down The Days

Last night in the midst of rain and thunder, whilst the bus electric was disconnected from shore power, my primary inverter failed. Still raining now so I have yet to start troubleshooting.

Yesterday my main power inverter failed. Still troubleshooting. The device has been in faithful service since 1998 converting solar energy into power useful to the fridge and computers; now The Cat Drag’d Inn is at the mercy and vagaries of the grid. But my extension cord will not stretch to Pi Town. Why does anything fail. Could be a simple corroded connexion or a failed component. Could have been caused by static—there was a thunderstorm lurking in the neighbourhood—but the bus power was isolated from shore power. I'll badger the manufacturer rep for a while longer. A new replacement costs on the order of two-grand. In the meanwhile two spare inverters of lesser capacity and functionality will sort of fill the gap with greater involvement of my attention span.

August First...and then Septober

The last week of July was particularly exciting. I’ve come very close to spending close to two grand (...all my Summer Mad Money and then some...) on a new inverter plus a few accessories. Given up on the support for the old one. Twenty-two years of continuous duty has left the manufacturer and service people in the dust. Still one more trick to try before I press the Buy Now button.

There’s A Hole in The Roadside Dear Eliza Manhole missing cover

Hazel Flies a PizzaLast week on my 3-mile bike ride I found a great hole in the ground just off the side of the road. A manhole cover was missing on a cable vault. Could be a death trap for an unwary kid or critter. Took a few photos and reported the location to AridZona Public Service. I’ll give them a few days and then escalate the matter an echelon or two. Then the weather happened. This is Monsoon Season and we finally received some rain enough to measure. And wind too. Drifting and blowing lawn furniture. Dust obscuring visibility to less then three miles. Nothing all that exciting compared to east coast hurricanes but anything more than hot and dusty hereabouts is more than enough for talk-abouts.

Food Bank contributions to my comestibles this week included a 14-inch pizza. A few days old and hard as a Frisbee, HRH-HHR took a slice for a spin. Then the feral dog pack got in on the act and after that the rain soggified rest.

Latest Landfill LocationSunday 7 August—Worshiping at the Altar of Roadside Trash

Truck load of trashOn my bike ride Saturday morning I chanced to see what I took at first to be the opening of a new Maricopa County Landfill Operation. On this nice country lane in Tonopah, in a low place where the road grader had pushed a blade's width for drainage into the east side off the pavement, someone had left a load of cardboard and Styrofoam enough fill a small pickup truck twice-over. Many bits of Styrofoam had already escaped the pile into the surrounding mesquite. Looks like a job for Super Geezer.

CC Receipt for Trash7 August—Sunday morning service...

For the collection I picked up Styrofoam packing material scattered over 10,000 square feet of the east side of the road, and some from the west side of the aisle as well. Filled nine big orange trash bags. In the words of Officer Obie I wrote a letter to Customer 55977265 c/o Big Lots Store #4504: "We found your number on a credit card receipt under a half a ton of cardboard taped to the packing crate of a kitchen waste basket."  [As of this writing a month and a half later Big Lots has not answered.]

I wore my Red Hat on the Red Planet A Red
                  Hat Hiker on Mars

Sending my selfie across the vastness of space to Mars is fairly frigid for a bare butt boy in boots. However NASA recently made hiking ala Colin Fletcher a much easier experience with this exercise in AI.

14 August—Sunday Lesson: Staying Cool In A Red Hot World

Bad yesterday. Over the edge. Or at least on the cusp thereof. I hope I can find my way back. Find my center again. At bedtime last night I wrote in my Journal: "Right now I really don't give a shit. Up to here with all this bullshit. Not just the “phone” but that is the crux of the matter. Artificial Insipidness. Artificial Idiots. Only a thin veil keeps me from smashing something. I know that because I know I cannot be all that far around the bend, but close—oh so close. The wheels are skidding on wet pavement.

This morning I am feeling a little better. Instead of a two-mile bike ride I did a half-mile trash walk along the road out front and filled a big orange AZDOT trash bag with the rubbish of arse-holes who shit in their own beds. In some respects picking up after these People helps me feel better but in other respects I end up feeling worse. At least with this activity I feel in control and not awash in the vicissitudes of "phones" and politics.

19 August—Yikes—I need a nap!

Yesterday I drove Paul's big pickup—as opposed to my tiny truck—and trailer twenty-some miles to a Food City to retrieve 112 empty banana boxes for the Food Pantry tomorrow. Then UPS delivered my new DC/AC inverter. 40 pounds of electronics and pretty blue enamel at 36$/pound. As soon as I get a spare day—or three—after sewing a hole in my bed sheet and fixing the Very Important Bug Zapper I'll get the inverter installed and then if there is any time left and money in the bank I'll get on the road to Pie Town before I have to turn around and return for poll working the general election. Phew!

20th Open Air Food Pantry Operations

Different operation to the weekly Food Bank tho they are both under the same Saint Mary's umbrella. At the Bank I spend 4-5 hours once a week in the shop checking and fixing donations to the Thrift Store. Anything with wires or batteries has to be tested. For four hours of my time I receive about 35# of tinned foods, day-old bread stuffs, and often a ham or rack of ribs or steak.

Different storey entirely at the Pantry. We set up a row of 6-8 tables under the solar array in the high school car park. A 55' semi from St Mary's arrives and off-loads several pallets of product. Yesterday there was one pallet of 64 crates of quarts of chocolate milk, one of a similar load of Propel, another of carrots, then melons, several bread stuffs, canned goods, store brand sodas... Volunteers fill banana boxes with some of each, then clients drive the gamut and a box is placed in each car. My task is Box Wrangler—unloading the empty banana boxes from our trailer, checking to see that they are sound, and feeding them to the volunteers who come past with shopping carts to go up the line and get loaded. Once a month, two-three hours, usually 100-150 clients drive through, and then we volunteers get to share any left-overs and go home. Yesterday was unusual, there were no remainders; we ran out of food before we ran out of cars and my box count indicated about 170 cars before the last few were turned away hungry.

21st Sunday

Getting started on the new inverter installation project. So far mostly mulling over all the options and ideas. This device is a different shape and size to the old one so I have to rearrange all the stuff in that bellybox. Good opportunity for some serious cleaning. A folding table and a pair of bear-paw snowshoes that I've not used in 20-30 years. And a waffle iron too. The snowshoes I need to keep in case I ever get stranded in Donner Pass but the other two items I will donate to someone else's storeroom.

22nd A few minor delays. Take Off Your

Too damned hot (105f) out there after lunch. The stainless steel sheet metal screws that were supplied for the mounting bracket are not suitable for running into the material of the bellybox bulkhead. The screw's threads are too soft and strip and will have to be replaced—something else for tomorrow's shopping list after food bank. I might get in another hour doing some wiring later but I'm done outside. There are some inside projects to do anyhow. A bug zapper lamp needs fixing. That can be done in the cool-cool-cool of the galley.

27th Footlockers Return

This one has been from Vermont and New Hampshire to McMurdo Station on Ross Island at least twice. Now I am doing some serious housecleaning.  Döstädning one might say in another language.

The time has come, the Walrus wrote, to write of many things,
I've had this stuff for long enough; time for another to tote.

28th Finally the Inverter Is Installed

Failed first turn-on out of the box. And if that is not sufficiently unsettling the failure mode is unacceptable.

Suddenly September Silver Cargo Trunk

Surreptitiously silently sliding into the middle of a busy week. Three days passed before I realised my calendar was out of sync with my oblong. Between the aborted inverter installation, the arrival of two “Silver Trunk” time capsules (first buried beneath the irony of my sister Ann-Marie’s laundry room in  1997), and the fruit of Paul’s date palm coming ripe for the picking, I have been running in circles. Outside to do something, inside to cool down; sunglasses on - sunglasses off; sweating – sleeping.

Remembering When A Half-Gallon of Florida Orange Juice...

...was 64 ounces of juice from trees in Florida. 100% Premium Not From Concentrate Non GMO. Today Florida orange juice is a blend. There must be still a few orange trees in Florida, the label on the carton of The Incredible Shrinking Half-Gallon (now only 52 ounces) still proclaims “Florida Not From Concentrate” but then adds “and The Best Orange Juice From Mexico.” One wonders: In what proportion? At least the “Non GMO” is still there on the label.

Monsoon Ends With Rainy Week

Maybe not the Official End of Monsoon Season but the RH was down to 20% on the 17th. 1.78” rain last week and progressively clearer and dryer since then. Heat was on this morning for a few minutes. Good test of furnace. Outside was 65f at dawn.

Report On A Socking Situation

Steven’s stockings submitted to a simulated situational survey survive soaking. For want of a puddle a basin was employed.

Did you know that ‘s’ is the most used first letter in the English language? Many esses have been recycled hundreds of times in various scenarios. Thrice-used esses often show up as last letters.

22/9/22 -- Another Palindate

...and Autumnal Equinox at the same time. Will wonders never cease?

"How 'bout we open up a big bottle of red wine and have at it until our standards are reduced to a reasonable level of expectation."                         —PHC, The Last Show.

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.Sculpture-Pierrot

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 © 2022, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.