Nita Died Yesterday

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off and On and Off The Road Again — Nita Died Yesterday

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2023 April — Greetings Virtual Travellers and Pen Friends:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel needs her dreadlocks trimmed.

 You Are Your StoreyFamily photoJanuary 4 2023 Nita Died Yesterday

 I am truly sorry for us all. The Trail Angel of the Toaster House has gone away to be with the rest of the angels and we have to carry on without her. Every time one of my extended family passes away I am reminded of my own mortality and lack of preparedness for that eventuality. Rest in peace Nita. Message from her family: Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, vibes, etc. for our mom. ❤️ We were secure in our decision to stop treatment & are at peace knowing that she isn’t suffering anymore. She left her body at 6:06pm on January 3, 2023, surrounded by her family and so much love.


"When the door of the mathom shop is closed and the Inhabitant leaves the print of her footsteps for a moment on the wooden stair, things pause. There is no movement, not even of time."             —Lewis Turco, The Shifting Web

sleep my little baby...
Sleep my little baby-oh
Sleep until you waken
When you wake you’ll see the world
If I’m not mistaken
Kiss a lover
Dance a measure,
Find your name
And buried treasure
Face your life
Its pain, its pleasure,
Leave no path untaken
     ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Nor any stone unturned,
Nor any bell unrung.
                 ...a couplet appended from my ana.

Another Step On The Road To Decrepitude

Tuesday. Annual eye exam. I had an OK day more or less visiting the ophthalmologist. My eyes have not deteriorated much but one of them has changed. Now, for the first time ever I have a prescription for glasses. Another step down the road to decrepitude. I suppose the better part of all that is my insurance pays for the glasses.

13th, Friday of January

Very active and busy day. Finally inspired to get off my butt and commence to begin to get ready for a short road trip. The Cat Drag’d Inn has not drag’d out for a couple two-three years now. Aside from a jaunt of 24 miles round trip to Allan’s Tonopah Garage on 30-31 May 2022 for the fuel leak the bus has not been anywhere since her last return from Pie Town in October 2021. I’m concerned I mightn’t remember how to drive!

Despite this 13th of Friday's efforts the Banana Box Retrieval Expedition was completed without adverse incident. I spent 60$ of the boss’s stash to take on 5/8th tank of fuel in his big pickup and used about 1/10 of a tank for this mission to Food City 23 miles east to fetch 88 banana boxes. Boxes are now covered with tarps against a forecast three days of rain—an inch or so expected here with 6-10 inches of snow in the high country to the north. Truck and trailer are ready for next Food Pantry.

That took care of the morning. After lunch and a short nap: Got the 3208 main motor started yesterday afternoon. Built air. Throttle modifications working. Disconnected shore power and tested inverter & solar. Found two loose wires to fix. Cleaned instrument panel and polished good luck silver coins. Tested Bridge HF radio on 40m and 80m. I still need to test the horns and wipers and lights.

Primary internet has been down for two days now. Relying on the more expensive and slower alternate. To make matters just about intolerable my TV, which in conditions of no internet will usually at least work for OTA channels, will not work at all with the alternate connexion. Not at all. Cannot even watch local movies. But I have letters to write and books to read. So. All in all a very busy exciting/frustrating/productive day. I need a nap.

Sunday—Preparations Continue

Dump & Fill. Washing dishes. Cleaning floor. I’ve decided to return the Shark IQrobot Vacuum. The thing works just dandy; does a fine job cleaning as far as that goes and the back and forth and round & round operation is kind of entertaining. But the Shark does not do well with corners and narrow spaces and area rugs. I am obliged to move tool bags and other things out of the way and follow along with the built-in vacuum on a hose to get all the places the Shark misses. On top of all that Officer Hazel has given Sharkey three citations for stealing kibbles, obstructing traffic, illegal parking, and soliciting.

Ajo Lily
                    with 4 budsBring On The Lilies!

This Winter we've had sufficient rain to waken the Ajo Lily bulbs. They have been hibernating the past couple of years—must be that Covid BS again—but right now three plants close to The...Inn have put up their first leaves along with one plant further away. December rain total 1.35”  So far in January 0.34” plus 0.13” yesterday,  and 0.30 this soggy monody morning.


1.10" of nice slow rain in the past 36 hours. Four more lilies have poked up their first leaves.

Almost On The Road Again

Prepping to get The Cat Drag'd Inn dragged out onto the road for a fortnight to Quartzsite and back. Got TinyTruck loaded with all sorts of essential insanities. Now my toilet flusher is leaking. Checked the running lights, walk around, found a few minor problems: crazing, checking & UV damage on antique lenses expensive to replace; if you can find them. For toilet repair I may have to share Hazel's litter box until I can order a new seal; at least those parts are still available. I'm not actually trying to restore this 1964 coach but I did find a few items of original equipment today. UD$50 for one new taillight lens. 40$ for another used one but looks to be in better shape than what is presently in service.

Base of 1157 brake/tail light bulbOne interesting riddle concerned the common #1157 brake/taillight dual filament bulb. When I tested the directionals alone the right side blinked OK. When I tested the tail lights alone they worked OK. But with the tail lights on and the directional lights blinking there were some strange effects of the wrong lights being on or blinking. Eventually I found the right side #1157 bulb to be faulty. The two lead buttons on the base of the bulb, so long in their socket, had flattened and spread to the point they were touching, creating a short between the brake and taillight circuits.

Rabbit-Rabbit & Ground Hog Day

Returned to Tonopah yesterday afternoon (5th of Febter) after a mostly educational fortnight at The Magic Circle in Quartzsite. The cold weather made playing outside rather problematical but also kept my fridge from too much overload. On the few sunny days my battery charged up to 100% however on the cloudy days the APU burned propane to generate the necessary watts. Also burned lots of propane to keep The Cat Drag’d Inn habitable. Prices are simply outrageous. Propane cost 132$. Diesel for 76 gallons was 363$. Also found UV damage has removed the insulation from some of the solar panel wiring on the roof of the bus. In any case the adventure was a fun time reacquainting with people I have not seen since B.C.NU7DE Pie
              Meeting. Photo by VE4HI

The Desert Circle Amateur Radio Club NU7DE held our Annual Meeting and Pi Eating Contest at The Magic Circle

The Stupid Bowel!

Just down the road apiece. The streets hereabouts are clogged with californicators coming to spend their money and watch the bull fight. What it was was football.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day originated as a feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr, or perhaps two. The day then took a gruesome path to becoming a romantic holiday.

I’m working a gruesome path to add another 200 watts (two PV panels) to the array on the roof of The Cat Drag’d Inn. The gruesome part is the cold. Most of the parts and pieces are here, just a matter of finding and fitting. One smaller panel will have to be moved to a different location, two new panels installed, all the wiring on the roof to be replaced, lots of holes to drill and fill.

That project got underway as the result of two discoveries: The fortnight at Magic Circle proved that the solar array was inadequate to support the current load of electric appliances mostly occupied by the rebuilt fridge. Some of the array wiring is too small a gauge and much of the insulation has rotted away due to UV deterioration. I suspect that loss of insulation is allowing some of the electrons to leak from the wires instead of conducting to the battery.

Weak Ending 26 Febter

Busy day seeing off a friend who has been dossing here for 3-4 days. Returning my bed and galley table to single occupancy status and in the interim doing a wiring job for a neighbour that netted about five gallons of Diesel. All that followed by a four hour nap and 0.07" rain overnight.

A Week Into March

Out of step with everything. At least that’s the way I feel. I’ve rewired the PV array with wire three sizes larger—from #10 to #6—and added two panels. Total capacity 1000 Watts +/- a hundred or two depending upon variables too numerous to catalogue. Finally managed a laundry. Started thinking about the total solar eclipse scheduled for April 2024 and discovered there is one coming up in October of this year that will cross near Pie Town. Paul’s new shed, yet incomplete, has walls and doors and lights. Landscaping next.

3-14 at Train Spotter Hill Big Boy at
                  Train Spotter Hill

No Big Boy here this time  but lots of Diesel engines pulling long freights. Six engines pulling 140 cars. Late in the afternoon Tony wrote. What?! Pi Day? I had dropped the Pi. Forgot all about Pi Day and nary a crust to be seen. But I did have three squishy bananas. So I hastily concocted a variation of my World Famous Male Banana Bread—in a Pi dish. Male Banana Pi with Chablis for supper and for desert. Ferroequinologists abound!

Lake TTT.Feast Day of Saint Patrick

Slept well after a day of driving. Not all that many miles but lots of turns and bumps. Ended up at TTT last night. Lots of lakes in this lot. After we parked the driver from a truck across the way knocked on Jack's door to offer some advice: “When you leave”, he said, “don't go that way.” He pointed at an orange traffic cone sticking up above the water of one particular puddle. “Had to tow an RV out of that hole yesterday.”

Arrived Pima County Fair Ground, southeast of Tucson, for the Escapees 45th Anniversary Escapade. The Cat Drag'd Inn is parked on several thousand oblong feet of grassy lawn. Hurricane Hazel-Rah loves the taste.

Moeninf Rentle Geaders...

My keyboard has yet to recover. I'll have to type slower. 39F and breezy this morning... Betty wrote me one time ago:
When my hands are cold, I cannot type. And when it
 is too warm, and hands are sweaty, I hit wrong keys
 because fingers slip. And when the weather is neither
 too hot, nor too cold, I am distracted by the perfect
 magnificence of nature and my thoughts whirl faster
 than my fingers.
             —Betty Prange, Nomad on a PocketMail

Middle March Spring Equinox PCFG 47F

Yesterday the Gust-O-Meter topped out at 47mph.  Hurricane Hazel-Rah met her match. The week of Escapade and running barefoot in the grass went well. Even managed to get through a few days of only one donut with my morning coffee and no trash to pick up along the way. Got a charge out of the seminar about Battle Born Lithium Batteries. They have to be in the same category of my Do List as green bananas. Then off to visit Captain Hook in Deming on the return drive to Tonopah.

Diesel in Deming is One Dollar less expensive than Tonopah!

So before heading west I went to top up all available hydrocarboniferous fluid repositories. The propane pump revealed a leaking check valve in the upper onboard tank. That same failure occurred a few years ago with the lower onboard tank and an add-on check valve adapter was available that fixed the leak. So the first delay early Monday morning was to find a similar device. My six-hour drive on Least Heat-Moon’s “Blue Highways” turned into ten hours of stop and shop. All’s Well That Ends Well as the saying goes except for the last 30-40 miles of driving through rush-hour traffic straight into a blinding sunset. Finally pulled off the road to let the sun and traffic get out of my way.

April Rabbit Rabbit

Ajo Lilies Blooming In Tonopah. The three inches of rain over this past Winter has been sufficient to switch on the Ajo Lily [Hesperocallis undulata] bulbs. Mostly anyhow. Not all the previously documented plants have flowered but plants have sprouted in several new locations.

Hesperocallis undulata Gray-Ajo lily” is a protected native plant in AridZona so I have erected a fence around the plant sprouting next to TinyTruck's left front wheel.

3 April 1941 Disco 82

Yes indeed! Commencing my Second Childhood today. So I get to be a snotty nosed brat all over again. Why? Why? Why? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? What is the significance of 82? Is it your birthday?
Women are like celery and iceberg lettuce;
they wilt soon after they are freshest.
Men are like old Twinkies; there's no expiration date.
        —from a skit on PHC
Not that I'm getting old and tattered,  but I don't get too close to the kerb on rubbish day.....
                            Thanks A.C.

My Preferred Personal Pronouns: [She, He, It, They, Them, Your]  Human!
A Preposition Is A Word You’re Not Supposed To End A Sentence With.

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.ajo at sunset. photo by

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

Back to Oso
Back to ajo
Copyright © 2023, A.J.Oxton, The Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.