Saturday, February 29, 2020

The itys....Sustainability und Frugality

Among my myriad proclivities is an appreciation of frugality and sustainability. This doesn't mean penuriousness, but more, I like to think, NOT penny wise and pound foolish.

I cook on a two-burner propane stove, but coffee gets brewed on a smaller device.

Upset by the incredible waste of steel, labor etc. contained within the green disposable canisters, I purchased two adapters that enable refilling them from my 1.1 gallon tank.

The Brass Piece In the Middle

 Link to brass adapter

An $11.00 mini stove  (no longer available) from China that's been working fine for two years. There're HUNDREDS of others to choose from.

The 3rd item, the silver part below, adapts the bottle to the stove. It's a hefty $25.00. Perhaps you can find it cheaper.

Then, of course, there's the IMUSA stove-top espresso maker.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Picture At the Top

Here's the story...

In the 1930s my Dad immigrated from Germany and joined the American Army. During the second world-war he served as a double agent. Proud of helping many people escape the Nazis a cherished memento is a picture of him in a bunker with about 20 other men; in the foreground stands Der Fuhrer. Obviously taken in collaboration with the photographer, Dad is in the middle (at the back) clearly visible, with the other men equally divided on either side.

Known as a fan of the composer Richard Wagner, he did such a good job during the war they, the U.S. military, gave him the Wagner home in Bayreuth to live in...along with a chauffeured car, a cook and gardener.

A pianist, we have pictures of his grand piano in its own room and 8mm movies of he and my mom, with friends, skiing the Alps; the sunshine so warm the women are in their bras. (Knowing my parents, I like to think she and her friends just put them on for the movie.)

Years ago I had an office in a division of the University of New Mexico's College of Education formally known as Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies (LLSS). It was an agglomeration of 22 professors who taught teachers, primarily graduate students, to teach cultural diversity. There was a Buddhist, a Jew, a Fascist, quite a few from Native American communities including the pueblos of Zuni and Cochiti. Many were/are famous authors.

There was a Chinese woman who came from somewhere in the western part of the country who when I asked if she spoke Mandarin, huffily informed me there were over 27 languages in China of which she spoke six, including Mandarin. There were also several lesbians: a militant, a moderate, and a sensualist, each, of course, with a unique view of patriarchy.  The rest were mostly Spaniards, descendants of the Conquistadors.

I, a mere administrator, designated myself The German-American and taped a brown paper sack with the German eagle on it to my door.

After my four-hour stint, I would cross the street to run my art gallery (NW corner of Central & Pine). My boss, the department secretary, came from an entrepreneurial family of Italians who'd immigrated to Gallup to be miners. Over the years she allowed me to run several long as the faculty were kept happy.

When we first returned from Germany in '62, we went to Nashville, Tennessee. I was not quite ten and had never encountered racial prejudice. Living through the Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King riots I saw first-hand the hatred and violence of Whites toward Blacks. Today, in an era of nationalism that reminds me of Germany in the 1930s, I occasionally fly the German flag as a show of pride in my heritage. Of course, it's nothing like being Black, or any of the flavors of sexual orientation, or -- there but for the grace of god go I -- FEMALE, but I like to think when folks see it, it'll give pause for thought. Maybe they'll wonder what those Germans are doing over there! (They presumably know what everyone else is doing.)

Once, when I was flying it, the flag that is, on a bluff above the Takhini River in the Yukon, my girlfriend, said, "There's no place for politics in the wilderness." I agreed and attempted mollification (she's Dutch) by saying it was a joke. She didn't think it was funny. And frankly, neither did I. But it's the best I can do in the face of the lines being drawn. (Born in Nurnberg, I fly its flag along with Gernany's.)

Finally, Wahnfried was the name of Richard Wagner's (the composer) home in Bayreuth. It means madness-free. Nomadicism has done the trick for me.

Monday, February 24, 2020


I had climbed a small hill not far from camp and was sitting there resting, just minding my own bussiness when I saw my neighbor heading my way. They'd moved in the day before with two looooong horse trailers. I'd heard them coming as the tail of one of the trailers dragged the road as they came up out of the arroyo.

Mostly hidden by the catclaw, they ran their generator only short whiles, but STILL!!  (horses watch tea-vee?)

He came straight for me and I watched in amazement as he guided the horse up the hill right to where I was. Shirtless, I thought of implementing my fav ploy: disrobing. But decided to wait.

After a no-nonsense greeting, he asked where I was from. I mentioned Nurnberg, being raised in Japan and Germany. When he commented on my lack of accent I allowed as how English was my first language, Japanese my second and German my third. (Next time I'll add I alzo schpeakinz ein kleine bit uff Spanish, Yah!) When I rejoined with the same query he mentioned Alberta. (Undoubtedly thinking no American would have any idea of even where Alberta is, he left off citing the town.)

The subject was camping spots. I have the prime one.  Surprised at the traffic, I'd stopped a passerby to inquire if the road went through. He said it did not, and furthermore, these three [camp] spots, where I, the rider and some other folk,up the hill, were camped, were the best.

I asked the rider if he'd been further up the road, suggesting, gently, he might consider exploring. He, in turn, mentioned that the other road went through. I bragged that I'd traveled it and beneficently proffered the cautionary that he might want to explore ahead as the switchbacks might be too tight for the trailers. (But you should go LOOK...hint, hint.)

His mare, showing signs of impatience at all this jabbering, held still for her picture.

They then departed. And I, I took my pants off...because Xannie did a swell job of gusseting them so they slide over my boots. And, of course, just because I could.

When they left today, the lead driver gave a couple of cheerful toots of his horn and The Rider said, "Wiedersehen." It coulda bin woise.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

HOWA to the Rescue

Homes On Wheels Alliance (HOWA), a 501(c)(3) was created in 2018 to help nomads in times of need. (tel: 775-764-8115)

I hit a real rough spot in the road of finance this month, mostly due to Phoebe's $9,000+ engine & transmission rebuild. (I REALLY didn't want a mortgage, but wasn't ready for the R2D rebreather.)

I initially contacted HOWA to see about leaving Phoebe to them after I die. (They have an olde-age limit of year 2000; Phoebe came off the line in '96) As the conversation drew to a close, Allecia asked if I had enough money for gas. In fact, I didn't. But now, thanks to a $100.00 Compassion Award, I do.

Thank You, HOWA!!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Let It Rain - Kelty Orb II

In a previous post I characterized this as a Teutonic wet-dream. The description is still apt.

With rain predicted for the next day or two I decided to set it up; in spite of the up-front effort, it's easier to get to things when in inclement weather. Last time, in the Mt. Wrightson wilderness, it took 2.5 hours. This time a mere 1.75.

The two from corner to corner aren't too bad. But the two middle poles exert so much outward pressure they get stuck in the sleeves 3/4 of the way. I had to bend them and bunch/slip the sleeve in order to get them to their pockets.

Phase One - Staked corners & Poles in Place

I've never liked the clip-on tents; they seem fundamentally weak. I had a sleeved dome tent that lasted 30 years, but when it finally gave out this was the closest I could afford; it was $250.00. Since then, as with my efforts at day-trading in time for the 2004 crash, I recently learned it's now, a year later, selling (on Craigslist, where I got this one) for $125.00.

There are rubber "patches" that one pinches around the fabric and over a pole then there's a plastic collar that you clip over the fabric (on top of a pole) and slide (yeah, right!) down onto the rubber (there're stops to keep it from going too far) patch to grip the fabric to the pole. It's a wrangle under normal conditions. Only a German or, perhaps a Netherlander (You! Up there in the Yukon!) could subdue it in rain or cold. 


It's designed with innumerable options, but the two most practical are the vents and covers. The blue fabric on top keeps rain out of the vent -- at top, one on each side -- condensation being, esp on ExpedISHUNZ, an issue in tents. ​

COUNT 'EM....FIVE guy-lines per side. The middle three, according to the Instruction Sheet, can go to one stake. Additionally, there's one for each corner, just back from the entries. They too are connected to the clips-on-rubber patches Und Schtaybiliz das tent to mit in an INCH uff yer Life!!

It supposedly can (easily) withstand 80+ mph winds and is/was the prev owner's choice for his trek to the base of Mt. Everest.  ONLY a friggin German would be dumb enough to buy one...or an old Geo Tracker.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Dragoon Mountains

There's a big rodeo in Tucson they tell me. Traffic has been horrendous, but it's 'sposed tuh rain tuhmorrer so I ain't budgin'.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

R2D Rebreather - Painless & Dignified Death

The Rebreather was included in a recent update of the ebook: The Peaceful Pill Handbook published by EXIT International.
The company has experienced delays due to the coronavirus' impact on Chinese workers.

R2D Rebreather
peaceful, painless, dignified death

Simply secure the mask and breathe.
This closed-loop system quickly exhausts the available oxygen, absorbs any exhaled CO2, and produces an ever-increasing nitrogen environment. You will easily drift into unconsciousness within minutes, and a peaceful, painless and dignified death will follow. All within 10-15 minutes.
Each R2D ReBreather ships with three face masks in different sizes to ensure a proper fit and an air-tight seal.
The R2D ReBreather Case includes an adjustable waist strap and neck strap so that it will not shift, twist or become dislodged during use.
The design of the R2D ReBreather is proven. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated, and this particular version was the winner of the NuTech 2017 Innovation Award.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Bisbee - Manzanita Blooming

Kristen and I were here February 22, 2018. I have a photo of her in her long down coat with snow swirling about. Today the manzanita are blooming and the odour is almost too cloying.

Just for the record.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Audrey's Estate

Eight acres backed by National Forest (link is to prev post with a few details) outside Portal, Arizona. The cottonwoods are juuuuuust beginning to bud and the stream was running.

From Master Bedroom

Guest House


Friday, February 14, 2020

Wussing Out On Jean-Robert

Jean-Robert owns A-Space Gallery in Silver City. His 1988 Toyota Van is in need of help and he's short of cash and has no mechanical knowledge. I offered to bring my timing light and see what we could do.

It was raining to beat the band as I arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. By 5:00 it was snowing. I decided to come back when it gets warmer.

I took highway 90 to Lordsburg. The streets of Lordsburg were slushy. But they had headcheese at Saucedo's Market!!


New Decal in Lower Right

Monday, February 10, 2020

Silver City - Over the Mountain On 152

It was almost warm when I left Rex & Robin's around 11:30 with blue skies and puffy white clouds. After getting supplied in T or C, I headed for Silver City.

Highway 152 is prettier than going to Deming and back up, but it's still winter at Emory Pass. But something insisted that was the way to go. The forecast included the possibilty of snow, but The Pass was clear.

I had to pull over to let one pickup go by. It's nice to have an excuse to drive at 40 mph....breaking in a new engine.

It started to rain heavily as I neared town. Jean-Robert reminded me of my spot in the National Forest and though it was muddy with accumulations of hail, the fresh air and, most wonderful of all, the quiet made it all okay.

And the goddess smiled, and in her inimitable beneficence, stopped the rain long enough for me to unload and settle in.

Indoor Plumbing

It's true that Michelle isn't that wild about the out-of-doors, but she occasionally will fly somewhere so we can travel together. We rent a car and leave Phoebe at the airport long-term parking.

We've enjoyed the magnificence of the Redwoods, the clifftop view at Cape Flattery, Washington and delighted in the eclectic variety of the Cotati Accordion Festival in Cotati, California. But the MAIN reason for the different mode is her preference for indoor plumbing.

Even the best relationships, as we all know, involve some compromise. As two strong-willed Americans, she English-American and I German-American, we're fortunate that this is one of the few MAJOR ones we've had to negotiate.

And, I admit, I'm glad there aren't too many days like this.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Departing Albert's Turkey

I'll accompany Michelle on her morning rounds of cat-sits so we get a little more time together.

Then to the locker to load the roof rack and THEN...Southbound to Rex & Robin's.

I'm heading for Jean-Robert's (Zhawn-RoBARE - French) A-Space Gallery in Silver City to work on his 1988 Toyota van. Then into the mountains west of Douglas for some re-acclimation before the Kate Hawke workshop on the use of entheogens for treatment of psychological disorders. It's at the end of the month in Tucson.

Xannie Baker, seamstress extraordinaire, in addition to putting gussets in my pants legs so I can get them on and off over my boots, put together the cover for the back door and the side panels inside.

Purple Paisley Suspenders

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


I have no knowledge of why Germans delight in parodying women, but it's common at Fasching.

But what I recall is, even as a youngster, was the delight, the exuberance, the Willkommen.


Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
Fremder, étranger, stranger
Glücklich zu sehen
Je suis enchanté
Happy to see you
Bleibe, reste, stay
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
I'm cabaret, au cabaret, to cabaret!
Meine damen und herren
Mes dames et messieurs
Ladies and gentlemen
Guten abend! Bon soir! Good evening!
Wie geht's? Comment sa va?
Do you feel good?
Ich bin eur confrencier!
Je suis votre compère
I am your host!
Und sage
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
I'm cabaret, au cabaret, to cabaret!
Leave your troubles outside
So life is disappointing, forget it!
In here life is beautiful
The girls are beautiful
Even the orchestra is beautiful
And now presenting the cabaret girls!
Each and everyone a virgin
You don't believe me
Well, do not take my word for it
Go ahead, ask her!
Ha ha ha ha
Outside it is winter, but in here it is so hot!
Every night we have the battle to keep the girls from taking off
All their clothing, so don't go away, who knows, tonight we may
Lose the battle!
Und sage
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
I'm cabaret, au cabaret, to cabaret!
We are here to serve you!
Bleibe, reste, stay
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
I'm cabaret, au cabaret
Wir sorgen!
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
Fremder, etranger, stanger
Glücklich zu sehen
Je suis enchanté, enchanté, madame!
Happy to see you, happy to see you
Bleibe, reste, stay
Und sage
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
Fremder, etranger, stanger
Glücklich zu sehen
Je suis enchanté
Happy to see you
Bleibe, reste, stay
Willkommen! And bienvenue! Welcome!
I'm cabaret
Au cabaret
To cabaret!
Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Fred Ebb / John Kander
Willkommen lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Carlin, LLC

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


We've not lived together since 2004. But it was after I "went nomadic" (emphasis on mad) in 2010 that Michelle began making changes.

Recently, she painted the living room walls (yellow and pale blue) and added the leaf pattern. Previously scattered throughout, she brought some of her pictures together in this salon-style hanging.

We usually disassemble the Xmas tree in March.

That's Trixie's "food station" on the right end of the couch. The green blanket is an heirloom from her Grandmother's estate. The portrait of Trixie on the back of the couch (in the center) was a gift from a cousin Michelle and her brother Steve visited a few years ago. She is an illustrator and cellist.
The background of the painting is, as befitting a cat, gold leaf.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Scott Johnson - Fissure

Closed February 2, 2020. If you get a chance to see his work somewhere....GO!!

The video below is also included in the Center for Contemporary Arts' link below.

Scott's "Artist Talk" about Fissure, the show at Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. He "begins" to discuss at 31:20. Prior to that is a mix of art history and ideas that have influenced him. The video is on Vimeo and Blogger only allows visual links (like the one above) from Youtube.                 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Purple Robe & Hyacinth's Majesty

I became enamored of hyacinths when walking to school in Rolla, Missouri. At that age, when one is low to the ground and they profuse, their scent accompanied me the entire way. And the color!!

(Slow-paced Nutria's, we celebrate holidays for weeks. It was just the other day, a week or so, I discovered Michelle's presents -- purchased at the Bluff Arts Fest in October. I gave them last night.)

She found the robe online. Marketeers of yore used to predict the internet would never be commercially viable as it was impossible to accurately convey color. She lucked out royally!

Painting by Vincent Distasio

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Trixie's Citrus Submarine

No blog'd be complete without a photo of the children; we've always had cats.

Bonsai came to us eight years ago when she was rescued from under a dumpster. She still greets me each morning with a wet hiss as I pass by on my way to the indoor plumbing (the one thing Michelle can laud about urban living).

Recently, culling our ornament collection, she commandeered this submarine.

The Conning Tower

She's a one-woman cat and although she deigns to let Michelle pet her, she steadfastly refuses to be handled, let alone picked up or "cuddled."

Something about her cattitude prompted me to nickname her Trixie; it stuck.

Touring the foredeck.

We never imagined she'd grow up.....

to be such a....

Wad of Fur