talis labor non sit cassus

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off and On and Off The Road Again — talis labor non sit cassus

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2022 Winter Solstice — Greetings Virtual Travellers and Pen Friends:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel needs her dreadlocks trimmed.

Hurricane Hazel-Rah in Drag   talis labor non sit cassus.

One of my Cautious Correspondents suggested I should write a book. Thank you for that applause. Really. Thank you. Most of the writing is done. Some pages need retyping. Mainly I need to find a clever compassionate unemployed well-to-do editor who wants to do humanity a service without getting rich on the royalties.

2-9-22 Greetings Scout Shop!

I purchased my first Philmont Belt in 1966 during my first visit to Philmont. Worn almost daily for 47 years I was obliged to purchase my second Philmont Belt in 2013 when the first one fell apart. Now today I am obliged to purchase a third Philmont Belt as the second one has fallen apart after only 9 years. The leather has become brittle and cracked. Nothing has changed with regard to my habits of dress other than an increase in waist size (commensurate with the new belt’s increase in price?) so I am curious as to the source of the leather in recent years. If the material even is leather.

2022ix27 Good Things and Bad Things

On Sunday the Autumnal Equinox was uploaded and printed, then on Monday twenty-one copies were posted to my unconnected Captive Audience. Those were Good Things correct? Today I am once again reminded of Little Jon’s witticism: “It seems as though the worst things happen to the very best people. Therefore, in order to have a long and healthy life, one must strive to do bad each and every day.” I am beginning to doubt the veracity of Jon’s wit. Every day I do something bad something worse happens. What am I doing wrong? Yesterday was Dump and Fill Day and my macerator was leaking yucky in the yard. I suppose that leaking doesn't really count as a Bad Thing I did but today I did a Good Thing by replacing the leaky gasket. Then when ordering a new set found that the Bad Thing is that the cost has increased 17% since last time three years ago. This shit is getting expensive!

For Want of a Puddle... 

Sock Water TestSteve sent me a pair of DexShell socks. Wind goes through but water finds a one-way street. Vapour comes out; liquid is blocked. I’ve been waiting for a puddle to test the waterproofnicity but such puddles we had during the recent rain were not deep enough or full of sand and dog pee not to mention windy and rainy. So a more controlled experiment became necessary. As you can see, my foot was immersed bootless in the basin with water over the instep for long enough to snap a photo. Foot remained dry and tho the outer layer of the sock soaked up a quarter cup of water the foot inside remained dry. I'll give the socks further walking tests when the days are a bit cooler (102f at this photo) but full functionality may have to await a journey to some place where there are surface waters.

Bear Paw ParkingLate Spring Cleaning

With all my rearranging of things and stuff after Spring/Summer rearranging of the Starboard-Forward BellyBox I was obliged to find a new place to keep my bearpaws. (I keep a pair handy just in case I get stuck in Donner Pass.) Now they hang from the ceiling in the TV-Reading-Sleeping room. Up there they can do double-duty as a shelf for bandannas and magazines. The hooks are supposed to hold 40 pounds.

The Disappearing Art Of Maintenance

There is no hope for a paper plate in the long run, for example. It’s designed to enter the waste stream as cheaply and easily as possible. Conversely, a toaster could last for decades if maintained properly, assuming the manufacturer hasn’t built obsolescence into it (as is often the case). My toaster (works great for cinnamon raisin bread) is a 1930s Toastess Corp. Toaster Model 202, 115V, 500W, made by the Toastess Corporation in Montreal, Canada. Human controlled, not connected to the cloud. No programming necessary, simply insert plug in socket and pay attention. Thanks Mikey. The only sop to high-tech is the Smoke Detector on the floor a few feet away.

October 2

I'm still holding onto a shred of hope to get on the road for a little drive-about. For now I have been hired to be a poll worker the first week of November, that should earn me enough to at least half fill one fuel tank. Then I could plan to depart here by the second week of November and risk getting caught in a Pi Town snow job.

October 3

Dust storm snuck in under the cover of late afternoon drowsy clouds. Wind here gusted to 44mph. Drifting and blowing lawn furniture. My little tree was bent over in the breeze.

Beware The Ides of OctoberView from Vader's

Hail DamageAttack of the Pea Hails! Internet working ok again. 15-16 BIG storm. Power is on here but Mike, up town a ways, has been without electric for more than 24 hours now. Poles down all over town. Wind here up to 68mph. 3.5" rain in a couple hours. Post & 2x4 shed with a metal roof totally destroyed. Corrugated sheet iron roof panels all over the yard. Lots of cleaning up after to do. Over two inches fell in less than an hour after dark along with damaging wind--max 68mph--and pea-sized hail. Onset of the wind was quite sudden. Great thundering roar, awning flapping about, the bus rocking to and fro broadside to the southeast wind, Hurricane Hazel-Rah sitting smugly saying: See what you get for naming me after a rabbit?

Sunrise over RuinsNext morning one could see the yard was a disaster area. The roof of the 39-foot shed was laying in the drive, only inches from the right front headlight of TinyTruck. The pea-sized hail had chipped away the dirt on the windward side of The Cat Drag'd Inn leaving an arty cluster of bright blue freckles.

Tuesday 25th.

Cold Front backed in yesterday. Very much north windy. Temperature down about 50f degrees from the previous high. Yesterday was the first day since Spring with no A/C action. This morning the temperature outside is 48f! Heat is ON in The Cat Drag’d Inn. Two blankets and a cat on my bed last night.

S Ar Ca Sm22x22 Dumb, Beautiful, Singular Chaos

Correspondent Steven sent a note pointing at an essay about Close Male Friendship. I wonder sometimes how the hikes I led were perceived by the young men who raced ahead or followed along. In retrospect I know of only a few of the Scouts: Ste, Jim C, Jim J, Paul S, and two sister-sons, who've even survived to this late date. Of that short list only the first three still hike that I know of. I doubt any of the few man-friends I had at that time would qualify for the category of male bonding that essay describes. All of that peer group are either dead already or invalided. I am reminded of a line from the song: Where have all the hikers gone...

Lots of heavy lifting. Pulled a 240v power line up to the top of the pole. Volts really do weigh a lot more then they are turned on. Even the AA batteries; you can tell. Drop a fresh AA, (-) down (+) up, from a few inches onto a hard table and the cell will sometimes just stand there or often just fall over. But a dead AA will bounce. After all that plus a shower and a glass of Merlot I did indeed have a good sleep. Uninterrupted until the alarum cat purred me awake at her usual five minutes past oh-four-hundred.

Peccary on Candid CameraAll Saints Eve

Great labour yesterday ripping and tearing at the shed debris, making piles of roof panels and 2x4s. Today I will start sorting salvage stuff from trash or I'll take apart the live wiring to move the distribution boxes off the remaining wall. Sort of depends upon wind direction. In other news the critter cam caught a peccary in the dark ravaging the birdseed so now we have to find a better place for storage. Or shoot the peccary. But usually if there is one of them there is a herd close by.

Recently spent an hour and a half in chat with Amazon Customer "Service" (not unlike the "Postal" Service in too many respects) trying to learn how to register an old used Kindle Fire tablet that was gifted me. Following the published steps would not work. Inane meaningless error messages over and over. Worked my way through three Customer Service Agents. The first one at least had the courtesy to say they were "getting help" however the next two simply disappeared and the chat was picked up by the next in the hierarchy. Herewith the last ten minutes of the transcript:

Tasneem | Customer Service
Upon checking this is quite an older generation. These kindle have outdated
software and cannot be updated. So the devices don’t register at all.
Let me check for you on this though with my lead
12:37 PM
ajo | AH-HA. Finally we are getting somewhere that at least looks reasonable.
12:37 PM
Tasneem | Customer Service
The agents never advised you on this?
12:38 PM
ajo | NO! you are the first to suggest this part of the problem.
My local guru suggested this might be the problem but we have been round and round on the Amazon site looking for a page that specifies which devices are useful/useless; must be some sort of secret information.
12:40 PM
Tasneem | Customer Service
I am so sorry about that, let me see if I can get something for you
Have you tried a factory reset?
12:41 PM
ajo | yes. more than once. that is the last thing your previous agent suggested.
12:42 PM
Tasneem | Customer Service
12:42 PM
ajo | we also tried a software upgrade. didn't help.
If this FIRE had never been deregistered would it still be functional?
12:44 PM
Tasneem | Customer Service
If it was still registered, it would work, but certain things may not work
due to software being outdated. I checked and the device cannot be
registered as its outdated. The best here is you can trade the device in
and we pay you for the item and offer you 20-25% discount on a new device.

First Winter Cold Front

Last night 4" new Autumn snow in the hills a few miles north of me.  Three blankets and a cat on my bed last night. 41f was the low (outside) this morning. Back in the old days one salient trick impressed upon me when camping in Winter came in handy during a search and rescue exercise my first Winter in McMurdo. Take a one liter water bottle, "X" marked with black electrical tape, with you into your sleeping bag. Very handy so you don't have to go outside when the temperature is plenty-too-cold below zero. I keep that very water bottle close to hand in TinyTruck for use when there are no trees handy at stop lights and car parks.

That Was Then, This Is Now First Tablet

Reading in my early journals: Book 12, August 1991, Denver, between deployments to Palmer Station. Purchased a Compaq LTE386s Notebook computer: 2MB RAM, 60MB fixed disk, 640x480 mono display, weight, a few pounds, five thousand one hundred dollars, ($5,100.00). This week, here, now, following the dialogue with Amazon (supra), notwithstanding the several machines between then and now, purchased a Kindle Fire HD+ Tablet: 3GB RAM, 64GB Internal Storage, 1280x800 HD colour display, weight, a few ounces, $81.27.

Still cleaning up after The Big Wind. I've disassembled all the roof panels and I believe I have picked up all the nails, if not, my tyres will find any strays. There is yet a month or so of salvage operation to do before snow covers everything but first Paul wants to build a new smaller shed so we will have a place to store all the good junque. I think he is flying in the face of Parkinson's Law.

11.11.11 Northern Cardinal at feeder.
                  Someone else's photo but I don't recall who.

Critter Cam Coyote SelfieObserved a Northern Cardinal at my seed feeder this afternoon and the Critter Cam caught a coyote selfie.

The Ides of November

I am somewhat surprised and not a little annoyed by how quickly the weather here went from Summer to Winter without waiting for the leaves to fall.

Thanks Giving – With My Extended Family

Mince for a Pie?Slightly warmer today. Turkey from the food bank. I'm building a Mince Pie. Hurricane Hazel-Rah helped me catch the minces but she was quite put out to learn I was going to bake them in a pie.

Of all the people for whom I am thankful, Paul, in whose back yard I am presently camped, is at the top of my list. He is showing me all he knows about collecting historical artifacts and other junque and I am showing him everything I know about rewiring things and stuff and picking up trash and nails.

Black Saturday – Worshiping at the Altar of Trash

Product PlacementA mile along Courthouse Road and back with FoSM semi-annual Roadside Cleanup Project. I didn’t get the quarter-mile to the first dead cow and my first big orange MCDOT bag was too full and heavy to carry any further. Product Placement Pew I named that section. Tonopah’s Litterbug’s beverage of choice is clearly pictured here tho this collection of bottles—a few of them full of an amber fluid—sure made a heavy load. Other pedestrial casualties included a red fox found squished on the center line; I dragged that to the verge so the Raven Patrol may have an uninterrupted dining experience over the next few days.

2022 December First Rabbit-Rabbit

When we're young, days go by like power poles;
Later, in middle age, days go by like fence posts;
When we're old, days go by like railroad ties.

I have been reading in my journals from when I was deployed to Antarctica. 1987 to 1997. Thirty years plus or minus. Many days I wrote about I don't remember at all, other days stand out as if they were right now.

I've grown old.
Now my own name
Rings a bell.
       --Billy Collins, u.s. Poet Laureate 2001-2003

What Is This Thing?What Is This Wooden Thing?

Found in Nita’s Olde Curiosity Shoppe. The Wooden Thing is about 17” long. The slot across the arms is about the thickness of a pencil. In a survey of 81 responsible adults 13 comments were returned [the remaining 68 are irresponsible?]: Three people wrote that Wooden Thing is a “No Idea What”; five wrote Nutcracker with one adding “...combination bottle opener”; one thought Wooden Thing was a “barbed wire fence stretcher”; another said chopsticks or compass; one correspondent from California said sheet metal bender. Most interesting is “a sort of vise, a clamp to hold a certain small body part steady for circumcision”.

Knit One Purl One

Tired is a result; bored is a choice. I nap usually from when I want to until when I wake and then go to bed early by the standards of prime time programming. Then I get up at 0400 to feed the alarum cat and break my own fast and write. This morning all the chatter on the Old Farts Net is What I Was Doing on This Day [that Shall] Live In Infamy. Does anyone not have any infamy in their cupboard? I’m sure we could all knit together a storey of some day of infamy. Kennedy was shot. The Twin Towers came down. Covid struck home.

Cumulus Plumose221213 Cumulus plumose

I call this scattered Cumulus plumose. 36f here this dawn. The steam plumes result from the cooling towers of Palo Verde Generating Station and the three nearby gas turbine plants all cranking out watts to beat back the cold north wind. Austin from PHXWX reported the tallest plume could be seen from north Phoenix (east of I-17) about 50 miles away.

Rushing Headlong To The End of The Year

All the leftovers and loose ends pile up and clamour for attention. Me! Me! they all cry; I’m next. A watched pot may be slow or never to boil but my calendar is running out of days even as I stand here watching. A strange and delightful thing happened at the end of dinner with friends last night. The waitress came and left the check and took away our plates and stuff as we discussed the division of the total and the percentage of tip. She then returned a few minutes later to tear the check in half. Your dinner has been paid for, she said, actually everyone’s dinner has been paid for by that guy who’s headed out the door.

Yule BranchWinter Solstice

Season's Greetings: Happy Hanukkah and Bounteous Boxing Day! And let us not overlook Kwanzaa and Twelfth Night, and most important: Winter Solstice. By the time we are rested and sober the days will be getting longer again. I find much to my chagrin that I am already looking forward to the oppressive heat of next Summer. And in other news: The Cat Drag’d Inn has been promoted: Awarded a Fifth Calendar. At least for the next few days anyhow—we’ll see how many of 2022 renew for 2023—The Cat Drag’d Inn is a Five Calendar Diner for Culinary Excellence.

Boxing Day 26th December

Yesterday I baked a Mince Pie for Dinner with my Extended Family. Most of the noise and chatter was focused on the Packer’s football game; I had a nap in the hot tub. Mr Google tells me that this day is really the "Official" Holiday. The post office is closed for this Official Holiday. No mention of Boxing Day which is really what today is. Oh Well. Crass commercialism.

Pea Hail Damage on Lightning Ball27th Post Office Is Open

Jack and Nancy visit for tea and crumpets. First time I have been on the roof of The Cat Drag’d Inn since the attack of the Pea Hail. The solar panels all look fine but there are two serious dents in the Copper Lightning Ball and there is a bite missing from one vane of the anemoscope.

Fifty and One Hundred Years Ago 1993 January 2023

From a letter written then which I am just finding again now: “… No, I canna grasp the period, really. Do you read Scientific American, Popular Science, QST, where they have the columns variously titled “25, 50, 100 Years Ago”? I am beginning to read in those columns things I remember reading the first time around, when they were new ideas.” That must be some sort of coming of age rite, eh?... In reading again words I wrote 30-some years ago I have been obliged to tear out many pages and burn them. When I entrusted those thoughts to the pages of my journal the effort was very therapeutic, cleansing. But now: Whilst I am not sorry for nor ashamed of what I said or wrote, in my defense I have to say that after all these years of practicing, and honing my skills and bedside manner, I am finally getting to really be a curmudgeon, geezer class. But some folks don't appreciate curmudgeons:
Bug Zapper At The Ready
“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), now I am cleaning up after; I tear out pages.

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.They Won't Look Up From
      Their Screens

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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