Buddha, felis catus and cervidae, first nuke,
two sides of dull, spaces in-between, printers,
car talk, and a singing nun

I stayed in southern Utah later than I have in previous years; it’s sure beautiful. I was trying to prolong the time of freedom before getting back to the state parks. They aren’t bad, just restrictive. Well, the showers can be bad. One park has the showers turned off by the time I get there and three of the other five parks I tend to use have pretty poor showers. Guano. But, I most assuredly need my annual social fix. Meeting new people and touching base with those I’ve come to know over past winters. It would be way unhealthy to always hard-wall camp off-the-grid with no one around to talk with.

I eventually get acclimated to RVing each winter; it’s just strange. Neighbors, people always around, numerous rigs, outside night lights, noise, dogs, designated parking spots, close to a city; typical realm of the full-timer. I generally find it dull. Maybe not so much dull as mundane, common, almost has the feel of living in a trailer park or having a place in town. What I value in my lifestyle is not here.

On the other hand, most would find my preferred lifestyle dull. Out where no one’s around, solitude, quiet, wildlife, awesome night sky, a few miles from the asphalt, quite a ways from a town, and mostly physical forms of entertainment, such as hiking without trails. Different strokes and I thank the gods it’s so. Then in the eight months I’m out of the parks, most go off to the sights-to-see and more campgrounds—and I go off to the spaces in-between.

I must have taken over a dozen shots over a ten-minute period and could not get the lighting right on a single one. At times there were five deer out there. I guess it’s back to the manual.

It took 20 months, but I finally used the microwave. I still don’t use the oven (except for storage) but I wanted potatoes. I like them with chili flakes, frozen spinach or corn, cottage cheese, and nutritional yeast. Or sometimes with canned Mexican tomatoes and a jalapeno. Wonder how many I’ll eat before I’m done with electric sites for the winter, starting in mid January (@Oliver Lee). If I don’t get my fill, I plan to have an electric site in Bisbee for a week in March.

From overheardintheoffice.com.
Scene: A call-center operator on the phone with a doctor.
Doctor: If you don’t turn my cell phone back on today, I’ll tell the families of my patients and their lawyers that you are responsible for my patients’ deaths because I couldn’t be reached.
Operator: Sir, if you are expecting your patients to die, perhaps they should switch to a different physician.

Well, I learned something about printers for this lifestyle. I had a small, light-weight inkjet HP printer, which worked well—until I dropped it. The only problem was that inkjet cartridges dry up. I tried taking the ink cartridges out between uses, wrapping them in plastic and taping them closed. Worked for a couple more months or so but the ink still dried up. I don’t print much; probably less than 50 pages a year but I like the convenience of having a printer. I get quite a bit out of the advances being made in many areas, but occasionally, I miss an old way, or item. Case in point, they now make very few printers and stores generally don’t stock them. Most units print, scan, and copy. All I want to do is print. Guano. Then there is the drying ink problem, which equates to throwing away money. Not something I am into. I never got my money’s worth out of an ink cartridge. An inkjet printer is fine if one prints often and uses up the ink before it dries out.
So, I purchased a laserjet printer. All mine does is print (there must still be gods). All the places I’ve worked had laserjets; I’ve changed toner cartridges and knew what the cartridges contained. I never looked into getting one, however, because of the price (which has dropped quite a bit) nor did I need the quality of print. But I thought of all the inkjet cartridges I was buying over the years and throwing away after using very little of their ink.

I should have started off with a laserjet when getting into this lifestyle (one more of thousands of wrong choices and dumb mistakes). The key factor, being that a laserjet toner cartridge comes already dried out; it’s filled with powder. And one is good for thousands of pages. Even the partially filled cartridge that comes with the printer is supposed to print over 1,000 pages. Should be set for life. Can’t quite bring myself to bet on it, however. Granted the laserjet cartridges are more expensive but way less than all the inkjet cartridges I was throwing away because the ink had dried up and really, I might never have to buy one.

Last month I was I was deciding between Medicare Advantage and Medigap, prescription drug plans, and choosing a company for each. Now it’s a printer. What a come down.

I am SO out of touch. I was having trouble with my Car Talk podcasts so I went to the Car Talk website. I was kind of shocked to read that one of the brothers had not only died, but had been suffering for some time, from Alzheimer’s. Had no idea they had stopped recording in 2012 and have been playing in archival format since then. Every week I get laughs from the program and never knew what kind of questions were going to be called in, in addition to mere car problems. The brothers always seemed to be having so much fun and got along really well together.

I listened to a stellar Fresh Air podcast that was broadcast back on November 5, the day after Tom died; a tribute to the man. Most of it consisted of an interview with Ray and Tom Magliozzi recorded in 2001. Even for those who have no interest in cars, it would be worth a listen. There’s a link on the Car Talk site.

I’m enclosing some text from the Car Talk site below. There’s more on their site. I was impressed with the letter from his son; and more so with the eulogy; both definitely worth reading if you find the following text interesting. It’s all not so much about Car Talk, as about Tom Magliozzi. He was a wonderful person and I’m grateful to have found out so much about him and what he meant to so many people.

“Tom Magliozzi who, along with his brother Ray, hosted NPR’s hit comedy show Car Talk for the last 37 years, died Monday morning from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. “Turns out he wasn’t kidding,” said Ray. “He really couldn’t remember last week’s puzzler.”
“Tom Magliozzi was born June 28, 1937, in an East Cambridge, Massachusetts neighborhood filled with other Italian immigrant families. It was there that he and his younger brother Ray picked up the uniquely Boston-Italian style of expressing affection through friendly insults and teasing. That style was at the heart of their banter with each other, and their listeners, on the radio show that made them beloved guests in millions of homes every Saturday morning.
“Tom was the first in his family to attend college, enrolling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. He applied that degree to research and consulting jobs until, in his late 20s, he was making his tedious 45-minute commute in traffic one morning, had a near miss with another car, and had a revelation that he was wasting his life. Upon arriving at work, he walked into his boss’ office and quit on the spot. He hated putting on a suit and working in the 9-to-5 world. “He actually hated working in any world,” says his brother Ray. “Later on, when we were doing Car Talk, he would come in late and leave early. We used to warn him that if he left work any earlier, he’d pass himself coming in.”
“As Tom once described his own attitude to his listeners, “Don’t be afraid of work. Make work afraid of you. I did such a fabulous job of making work afraid of me that it has avoided me my whole life so far.”
“After a period spent happily as a Harvard Square bum, a house painter, an inventor, a successful Ph.D. student, and an auto mechanic, Car Talk became his focus, and Tom spent the rest of his working life doing what he was born to do. “Making friends, philosophizing, thinking out loud, solving people’s problems, and laughing his butt off,” says Ray.
“The radio show began as a fluke. Someone from Boston’s local public radio station, WBUR, booked an on-air panel of six car mechanics from the area. Tom was the only one who showed up. “I was a panel of one,” he later said. He was impressive enough to be asked back the following week, when he brought along his fellow mechanic and kid brother, Ray, and Car Talk was born.
“Over the 10 years the brothers did the show locally, on a volunteer basis, they slowly injected more and more humor and off-topic diversions into their discussions of carburetors and wheel bearings—following their natural curiosity and pushing the limits for what was then a typically decorous public radio station. “Since we weren’t making any money, we figured we might as well have fun,” said Tom.
“The brothers’ unique combination of hilarious, self-deprecating banter and trustworthy advice was picked up by NPR in 1987, and Car Talk soon became the network’s most popular entertainment program ever, reaching audiences of more than four-million people a week. The program has continued to be a top-rated show on NPR stations in syndication, even after the guys stopped recording new shows in 2012. “Along with the solid car advice he dispensed on the radio show with his brother, Tom often took on the additional roles of philosopher king, life advisor, moral scold, and family counselor.
“He’d always ask guys who were in a dispute with their wives or girlfriends one question: ‘Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?’” said Ray. “In his own personal life, Tom always chose ‘right,’ hence he leaves behind two wives, and a passel of children and grandchildren.” He is survived by his first wife Julia Magliozzi; second wife, Joanne Magliozzi; his children, Lydia Icke, Alex, and Anna Magliozzi; his brother Ray Magliozzi; his sister Lucille Magliozzi; five grandchildren; and his close companion of recent years, Sylvia Soderberg. He was predeceased by his parents, Elizabeth and Louis Magliozzi.
“He and his brother changed public broadcasting forever,” said Doug Berman, the brothers’ longtime producer. “Before Car Talk, NPR was formal, polite, cautious….even stiff. By being entirely themselves, without pretense, Tom and Ray single-handedly changed that, and showed that real people are far more interesting than canned radio announcers. And every interesting show that has come after them owes them a debt of gratitude.
“I think the body of work he leaves will definitely be held up with great American humorists like the Marx Brothers and Mark Twain,” said Berman. “He was a genius. And he happened to use that genius to make other people feel good and laugh. I suspect, generations from now, people will be listening to Car Talk and feeling good and laughing.”

A week ago, I took a room at a La Quinta: wi-fi, iTunes internet radio, and water with control of its temperature! A hot foam bath, a glass of wine, and a paperback—can’t get much better. Well, maybe….

Remember the French singing nun from the ‘60s and Dominique? Well, there’s now an Italian singing nun, Cristina Scuccia. Check this URL for her cover of ‘What a Feeling:’


Susan’s photos with Captions or Quotes
This month’s theme: sincerity

Gracious to all, to none subservient,
without offense he spoke the word he meant.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.
Thomas Carlisle

Merry Holidays!

November sixty minutes sixty years—1840 minutes
November Triple 18—pecs/delts: 2910; core: 1840; legs: 1840

I don’t always have good days, physically, but it’s usually for only a day or two, always less than a week. It’s as if every once in a while my body realizes what it has been through and needs to take a break and recoup. For November, however, it was pretty much the whole month and December is only slightly better. This is strange; feeling tired and weak for such a long period. There is no way I could have done the 14 in either of these two months. My hikes back in Utah were slow and I was sure dragging at the end of each one, and they were generally less than two hours. Guano. My frame of mind is still up but the body is sure down. Oh well, it will get better.

Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.
philosopher Alan Watts

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


Hope you get to feeling better. As usual, your blog is a real call to solitude and a peaceful way of life - enjoy it.

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