Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again -- Medicare Beckons me to Join.
On the Road--Off the Road. It's a sort of a circular thing: On &
Off. Off & On. You've seen that line before, eh? That's the Way of
Week of 2006march8th, Wild Kingdom in
I think I neglected to write about the bobcat
that we saw in the back
yard. Bill writes the comments to go with the picture of its spoor:
"This is the bobcat's print. For a size reference, the circle is about
4" across. Two different people who watched the cat agree it was more
than a foot high at the shoulder and weighed at least 40 pounds. It was
the size of a medium sized dog. It had the classic "bob tail" sticking
up in the air, and the pointed, hairy, dark tipped ears."
The cat was about sixty feet away from us, perhaps a half to
three-quarters turned away and looking back at us over its left
shoulder. After a few moments of eye contact it turned away south and
went into the overgrowth along one of the irrigation ditches. Sara(h)
was unimpressed. "Just so long as he can't get in through my own
special door", she meowed.
Last Week--Biggest Storm of The Winter!
We Had Some RAIN! Big news since there has been none since October
last. For this "Biggest Storm of The Winter" the total is 0.41".
That'll get the Spring Flowers crank'n!
It is 07h01 on this morning after equinox and the sun is just now
getting above the Bamboo Wall. 42f with clear sky, what I can see of it
between the palm trees and the neighbors. Steam rising from the hot
tubs... No wind. Calm.
I'm beginning to cogitate upon flights of fancy and might even crank up
the motor tomorrow or the next day just to see if it still works.
LiftOff expected not for another month but it will take me that long to
put away the sugar bowl and clean out Sara(h)'s Box.
Still looking for a Travelling Companion for
Or the next one at this point although it is not too late to fly in and
join me on the road. If you know of an adventurous person, or are one,
fairly independent, self-motivated, or if you care to sponsor one
please write. Rough outline of this tour at
See if you can find Cheryl Wheeler--"Defying Gravity", Philo
11671-1240-2. Got some good thoughts and words--allegory, metaphor, and
plain language storey--about travel and life. Good songs as well.
Medicare beckons me to join and inside this B'Day card it says "Turns
out, some horror storeys are
2006mar31, Pearl Harbour & 9-11
This deserves your undivided attention:
a very good lecture by Professor Griffin.
"Professor Griffin covers topics he
says have been inadequately answered
by the 911 commission. These include
questions surrounding the attack on
the Pentagon, the way in which the
World Trade Center towers collapsed,
and the behavior of President Bush
and his Secret Service detail following
notification that a second plane had
hit the WTC. The talk was hosted by
the Muslim- Jewish- Christian
Alliance for 9/11 Truth (www.mujca.com) and
took place at the University of
Wisconsin in Madison. Includes Q&A."
Author Bio: David Ray Griffin is professor emeritus at the Claremont
School of Theology, where he taught for over 30 years (retiring in
2004). He has authored or edited over two dozen books, including "God
Religion in the Postmodern World," "Religion and Scientific Naturalism,"
and "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush
Administration and 9/11."
Publisher: Olive Branch Press 46 Crosby Street Northampton, MA 01060
April Fools Day
Well, I'm back from my retreat. I managed four full days with no email,
no internet. Only Spring Cleaning and reading real books and hobnobbing
with neighbors. One short walk and one shorter bike ride. So, the bus
motor starts and I remember how to drive. After I change the oil and
filters I'll be ready to head east.
April Fools Day After--So Much for
Between inane stupidities of decrepitude. All along I have been
steadfast in my belief of the wisdom of the elders of the tribe; now I
have to say that I thought only teen-agers could be this stupid. I
can't believe how stupid I am getting to be. Today I started into doing
an oil change on the bus. Changed five filters. Very carefully
prefilling the oil filters so the motor would build pressure right
away, and the fuel filters so she would be sure to start. Then I
cranked her over and she did indeed start right up. And I stood there
with five gallon containers of new oil lined up at my feet watching the
oil pressure gauge not move... and still not move. Probly ten seconds
passed before it dawned on me, and I hit the kill switch, that I'd not
yet put in the new oil. The motor had been running dry. Aaarrrrgggghh!
And as Bill keeps reminding me: It gets worse when you get older. If
that is to be then I will undoubtably shoot my self before another
B'Day comes around.
Lawn mowing and snow shovelling are two activities one is supposed to
graduate from with the rite of passage and coming of age marked by
Medicare, but stupidity knows no bounds.
A 5th of April
Bill, home maker and house wrecker, properly attired in his safety
gear, removing old plaster walls and heating ducts at La Casa Blanca to
make way for the new A/C-heat pump.
Reminds me of an occasion long ago when Chip Jones, then about 13,
played schoolboy hocky about equal time as he travelled with me. We
were at his home on this occasion; he was doing his laundry and
introducing his younger cousin to both that process and to me. Dougie
was 9 then when he took the basket of soiled hocky and scout togs to
sort into piles for the washer.
What's this? he inquired as he held up Chip's padded hard "cup". Chip
always was quick with the riposte: That's part of my goalie mask, he
said. And Dougie fitted the cup over his mouth and nose, the elastic
straps loose around his head. Smells funny in here, his muffled voice
complained. Man, you must have some bad breath!
Spring got off to a great start here with the little bit of rain a few
weeks ago but now we have lept into Summer with the first days of
temperatures over 90f. At first, as things warmed, I was applauding the
days I did not need the heat on to warm my fingers at morning letter
writing time. But that gave way to trepidation as it quickly became
necessary to have the A/C on by lunch or the chablis would be warm as
tea on my table.
Saturday The Friends of Saddle
Mountain met and some of us went out to pick up the trash I
reported on in my
last letter. Just a few days ago I received mail informing me
of the current address of the person I mentioned in that letter. So now
I have to write that letter again since I'd already given up and thrown
From "THE SUN", What is to give
light must endure burning.--Viktor Frankl
"The irony is that most Americans think they are moral,
yet remain unconcerned about the immoral way their
[representative] government exercises power [on their
behalf]. That's what I find hardest to understand:
the level of self-delusion that Americans allow
themselves. Then again, I suppose that if Americans
really thought about what their government is doing,
they might go crazy." --Ebrahim Moosa, April 2006.
In case you are wondering where to spend those extra dollars after
filling your fuel tank: See
2006april12, Happy Big Wind Day
How fast is two-hundred-thirty-one miles an hour? Fast enough to take
your breath away. More than twice as fast as that fastball pitch
clocked by the Guinness Book of World Records in August 1974. Fast
enough to run a football from the other end zone to your goalpost in
about a second. But the men at the fledgling Mount Washington Observatory
on this date in April 1934 were probly not thinking about football when
the wind blew 231 miles an hour. They were busy keeping
their hats on.
Happy Big Wind Day! Have a Blow!
How apropos that Easter and Taxes should have this conjunction. I hope
you had nice weather for both. Here in the desert Friday was rather
windy at The Cat Drag'd Inn
where 38mph from the south was measured. The bus felt like a ship in
the desert and for a while I was concerned that if the brakes broke she
would be driven aground on the palm tree off the bow.
Wireless Internet has come to The...Inn.
just may be that I will have connectivity during this Summer's Tour.
Could be that the choice of places to visit and park turn upon the
availability of service. Finding a Hot Spot could be a new topic of
conversation on the CB...
2006april23, The Feast Day of Saint
Don Quixote and Saint George have a lot in common.
That's a long storey. Over the past couple of months I have laid about
700 feet each of water pipe and electric conduit, installed: two 100
amp services, all the internal wiring for a small Budhist temple, five
RV sites, and remembered to feed the humming birds as necessary. Along
the way were several solar panels, a wireless network, various computer
issues, and the regular meetings and roadside cleanups of The Friends of Saddle Mountain. In
addition I managed to read and/or watch a few books, write dozens of
letters, maintain three websites, and lead a few hikes to explore some
of the geological and archeological sites around Saddle Mountain. In
this foto we are at the Matate Cave in the spur extending to the
northeast from Saddle Mountain. Fifteen miles into the background is
another such cave in the Big Horn Mountains Wilderness.
In between nightmares of wheels
falling off and brakes failing I've changed the oil in the motor and
the genset but not yet greased the chassis of The...Inn to be ready for this
coming road trip. And on top of all that I am still trying to muddle my
way through all the BS associated with Medicare and Plan B.
May Day, Where is Officer Obie When We
I went for a walk Sunday morning out back in the outback to visit three
of the geocaches I've recently adopted. Managed the two deepest ones in
fine style and then found my Self back at my little truck for a break
and snack. At some point I decided against going for the third cache;
there was some trash to pick up that I remembered from earlier when The Friends of Saddle Mountain were
in here picking up that big pile of wood and computers mentioned
When we had been returning from picking up that trash out southeast of
Indian Eye, where the Power Line Road joins the road to Indian Eye,
there had been a lot of plastic bags in the bushes to the south at that
junction. I'd said then I would come back and pick them up in a few
Well, here I was and there they were. However
those few plastic bags
are now hundreds and that proved to be only the tip of the iceberg!
Just to the south of the junction of the road to Indian Eye and where
the Power Line road turns east, just a hundred feet south, into a gully
enough that you don't see it until you get there, is a pile of domestic
trash enough to make you sick.
Mostly Pepsi, Coke and Bud cans, probly the second most numerous item
is shitty diapers. Pizza boxes, clothes and shoes, newspapers and
catalogues, a baby stroller and a spring mounted bouncy baby hobby
horse, discarded kids games and toys round out the collection.
Based upon my perusal of the pile here is my first evaluation of the
perpetrator: Spanish speaking family of at least four or five persons.
Kids range in age from not yet housebroken to old enough to scrawl
"Fuck You" in a school exercise book. Latest date on a newspaper: March
2006. Kids go to Ruth Fisher School: a copy of the Ruth Fisher School
Bus Rules was found with an exercise book. Woman likes to--or at least
used to--wear blocky platform heels. They used to play Monopoly--the
game board is there--and they shop at Family Dollar.
From a pile of child's Valentine cards one can glean a number of names.
In the exercise book, "My Name Is..." is written in an adult script and
other names are written in a child's hand.
There is a printed list of names that include the teacher.
I made a phone call to the teacher. And sent along some of this text
and my pictures of the trash. The teacher said trash dumping would make
a good topic to take up in Social Studies and Environmental Awareness.
What comes of it beyond this remains to be seen. My contact at the BLM
office said it was too bad I removed the names, that Law Enforcement
has to discover such evidence on their own. What's the problem, I
asked, is my word not good enough?
I would really like to locate this family and collect all the trash and
go dump it on their front lawn if they have one, or in their living
room. But then I would get arrested for littering, or worse. At the
very least I would like to call them up and say "We found your name at
the bottom of a pile of shitty diapers...". That's the way I started my
conversation with the teacher. But the pile still needs to be collected
and hauled away.
Double Sinko de Mayo, Lot 13
No people at all where I am now on "Lot 13" north of Pie Town New
Mexico--except for the owners of this place. At seven thousand feet
MSL, the Continental Divide runs along just to the west of here and
just to the south there is a geologic feature called a "dike" or a
"slip fault". All sorts of strange rocks the ground is made of. Mostly
a sandstone but there are bubbles of what looks to be iron in the
matrix of sandstone and in some cases globular nodules of sandstone
with an "iron" core lie scattered about on the surface. Some of these
nodules are split exposing a hollow core.
I tried a magnet with negative result. Perhaps I will find a comment
from a geologist person or a rock hound who will have some proper names
Also nearby is a low hill marked on the topo map
as a Pictograph Site.
I've explored there quite a bit however found nothing I'd call
pictographs. If there once were any from ancient times on the part most
likely to have been utilised then they have since washed or eroded away
from the sandstone surface. Perhaps not most significant but still
interesting: In all this vast acreage of high desert, with a population
of fewer than five people per square mile, the ubiquitous aluminium
beer can is not uncommon.
However there are lots of neat potholes, some of them are large enough
to make a nice bathtub. Across the fairly flat and exposed top of the
hill the sandstone is like Swiss cheese with all the holes. How do they
come to be there? In some places I might suspect water running from a
retreating glacier; is that the mechanism here? If these holes were in
a valley one might suspect a long ago river carved them. It is hard to
imagine that the top of this hill once might have been at the bottom of
Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but
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
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
before me. --Sir Isaac Newton
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Copyright © 2006, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.