Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I knew it would happen eventually. I see someone got on the computer last night when I was sleeping and overdid it with the cat pics. Now I wonder who could have done that?
I guess I will have to password protect the computer to keep the paws at bay. Or, just leave the octopus to guard it!

The driver.

Ssshhhhh! Quiet. I think he is sleeping? My driver, that is. I've been watching how he runs this computer thing, and have figured it out - after walking on the keyboard and spreading hair on the screen lots and lots. I've been trapped in this camper for months, only fed 7 or 8 times a day. I have to look really cute to get my belly rubbed, and today he only spent an hour brushing me and rubbing my ears, my neck, and my back. I spent some time outside this morning while he was drinking from his coffee cup on the beach. I ate lots and lots of green grass even though that makes him mad and usually makes me sick.

I wanted to go outside tonight even though it was raining cats and dogs, if you will excuse the derogatory expression. I meowed and meowed and meowed at the door, till he finally harnessed me and let me go out. It was terrible. It was raining, but I ate lots of grass anyway, then I meowed to be let back in. He wasn't very fast. He dried me off when I got back inside, but 5 minutes later I wanted to go out again, even though it was still raining. Then he got really mean. He brought out the 'octopus', that terrifying creature, and put it by the door to keep me away. That sure works! It really scares me. It is a little red and white plush toy with a bell on it that I used to play with, but at some time that is too traumatic to relate, it attacked me in some way, and now I am really, really scared of it. He even makes fun of me and calls me a 'scaredy cat'.

Being on the road is pretty tough on a cat. I have to ride in the cab usually and have to sit or lay just about anywhere; on the leather seat, on the dash, on the floor where I sometimes try my nails on the carpet when he is busy trying to drive, or on his lap when it is cold out. Sometimes he forgets to rub my ears. He was really hard to train as a driver. I finally found a way to get his attention if I have one of my many demands. I just start walking across the dash in front of him, usually on a curve by the ocean. He usually stops then and lets me go in the back for another meal, a rest before my nap, or for any number of reasons that I dream up. I certainly don't go to the bathroom out in the wilds like some heathen cats. Only the best litter for my tastes.

I don't think many people in the countries we've travelled in have ever seen such as handsome cat as I certainly am? Everywhere he drives me, whether it is the Mexican army, the US customs, Caltrans flaggers, or people on sidewalks all stop and point at me as if I was some sort of novelty. They point and stare and make comments. Sometimes I am so embarrased that I roll over on my back and stretch out, and do exercises. That tires me out and then I have to take another nap.

I don't think my driver speaks very good cat language. Every night when the food gets low I announce that fact as plainly as I can over and over. He must think I said 'throw something at me' because more often than not I have to dodge a pillow flying at me! Sometimes the water dish has not been filled just right with cold water from the fridge and I try to be polite and only mention it 20 or 30 times. Eventually he figures it out. Sometimes when I am exceptionally cute my driver gives me cat treats. I like them a lot and actually stop what I'm doing to have some. Otherwise I just ignore him, unless I need a rub or scratch - which is most of the time. Sometimes the driver forgets to switch the propane over and it gets cold at night - like 19 degrees!. Brrrrr. But he is good for something. Then I just walk over him until I can find a spot to crawl under the covers, or just lick his nose until he gives me my 3/4 share of the pillow.

I want to go outside again. Even though it is cold, raining and no doubt full of creatures almost as scary as the Octopus! Meeeoow! MeOOOw! mRRRT! Wake up driver! Wake up I say! MEEOOOWW!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

We cruised through San Franciso - this time on the bay side for a change. After pulling over to make a bite to eat I noticed a crowd of people around thr front of the truck. It was just Harley putting on a show.
Then some of the people became distracted by something on a nearby bridge? All I could see was an orange colored bridge in the backkground. Certainly not anything as interesting as a cat on the dash. Hmm, oh well.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Nothing but scenery blocking the view!

Thought for the day: Every day is sunny; if you are above the clouds!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Ragged Point, California: A rare coastal tiger was spotted today not far from the Hearst Castle. Motorists on scenic coastal Highway 1 were shocked and amazed to see this cat perched on a tree branch overlooking the Pacific ocean. Witnesses, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the cat appeared to be slightly tentative on this precarious perch. It is unclear whether the great orange coloured cat was attempting to hunt whales, sea lions, california condors, or that orange butterly in the area. Shortly thereafter there were unconfirmed reports that the beast had broken into a nearby truck camper and was trying to consume a whole bag of Iams cat food!
Locally, there were fears that a high profile cycling race scheduled to pass through the area today may have to be diverted around the danger area.

In other news from Europe, it appears that the Canadian men's olympic hockey team thought they were playing for the Leafs and did not show up for the last four games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's a bird; it's a plane, is it a tree? NO, remember those sneaky Californians? It's a 'palm' cell tower! I wish I had taken a photo of the huge (fake) rock on the far side of Palm Desert. There was this huge 'boulder', maybe 30-40' high, and 70 ' long up on the hill side. But the rock type was just a bit off. It was either a glacial erratic or something was weird. Finally on closer inspection, I could see that it was likely an elaborate disguise for a water tank or reservoir. But just driving by, you'd never suspect.
This is kind of the opposite of Mexico where most microwave towers I saw actually had highway signs pointing to them with the company name on it.

While I am (place) name dropping ... yesterday we came through Loma Linda, Fontana, Ontario, San Dimas (Bob and Ted's most excellent adventure), Pasadena, Burbank, Hollywood, Studio City, Thousand Oaks (left Thousand Palms yesterday) (Lake Louise could be called Thousand Pines, or Five Hundred Pines since Lee has been busy!), (where was I?), Ventura, and Santa Barbara. If you are quick on the Google Earth, we are presently sitting in a very nice treed area of Goleta (?), where the lilacs are in full bloom!

34.44849N 119.83207W

See if you can pick out the 'real' trees!
Click an ad.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I have succumbed to the requests, no demands for more pictures of Harley on signs! It was not an intentional oversight, but simply a reality that there are not really that many signs in Mexico that are appropriate for a famous cyber-cat to pose on. But now, back in the states we will be able to comply with those requests! This time we came into Palm Springs from the mountain road from the south (see Pic), and luckily no sign of the ugly LA smog we saw last time through. Also found a 'Ranger' truck to pose for a photo. I liked the look of the spotlight on the roof. Looks like it could be a handy addition. This was a BLM ranger truck on the outskirts of Palm Desert.
Doing a quick re-supply rendezvous here; car wash to get rid of the Mexican dust, oil change, laundry, and picking up some goodies for the 'Vulture'. (you know who you are). Then, avoiding LA and off for the coast!

Click an ad a day, and keep the banker at bay.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Californians are weird. And sadistic. And mean. As I got north of the border, I headed north into some high country. Lots of traffic coming down the road towards me with chunks of white material on their roofs and hoods. Turns out it was 'snow', but when I saw that some of it contained clods of dirt, I realized that much of it had been placed on top of the vehicles intentionally! Many had even built little snowmen on their car tops! Now that is mean, see what I said? When I got up into the snow country, sure enough there were LA residents galore and their kids and their dogs, just wandering through the bush in about 4" of snow, having snowball fights, and building snowmen. Guess for them it is a novelty? They could move to Canada and have snow for 13 months a year.

HEY YOU! Click some advertisers, eh!

Rain in Mexico? Who would have guessed? Well, it was raining this morning, so I decided to carry on northbound, but got a nice picture of a rainbow at my campspot.
As you go north towards the border the obvious Americanization continues. In Ensenada there were Burger Kings, McDonalds, Autozone, Ace Hardware and Costco stores as well as many more. There were still lots of scenes with deplorable living conditions along the roadside and I managed to photograph a few - without people.
Found the long line-up for the border crossing at Tecate, and spent the hour in line doing 'homework'. You know, updating my spreadsheet of expenses, camping locations and the like. Yanked all the questionable vegetables and fruit from my fridge and carried it in the front for easy seizure should it be required, and ate all that I could. Harley plied his charm on the lady customs agent (who did take my tomato, potato and orange), and never got asked any questions on anything. As I was driving away smugly, with all my coloured guns and Mexican milk, I heard her yell to her cohort about 'that big cat'!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Halloween in February? What's this? There were orange plastic jack-o-lanterns on top of pylons down the middle of the highway, and trick or treaters dressed up as soldiers with realistic looking rifles! Nope, just another military checkpoint that Harley talked his way through, my remaining guns still secure. There were wires leading to all the jackolanterns, so I guess they were even lit up at night. How do you spell innovation? Other military checkpoints had cans of oil set alight along the road in lieu of flares or other lights. The Mexicans are experts at recycling as evidenced by the copious quantities of well, everything along the roadsides. It is all laid out there for inspection and possible re-use. For example, I was looking for a small piece of board - just the right size to keep my valuables from bouncing out of the space between the camper and the box. All over the states where things are rather sterile (southern California being a bit of an exception), I had to resort to a wild piece of deadfall to do the job. Once in Mexico, however, things were looking up. I spotted a kid kicking the ideal piece of board down the sidewalk in San Felipe. When he abandoned it, I pounced and it has been doing the job ever since. I am now looking for just the right type of rubber tire perhaps to use in mounting my satellite dish on the camper's jack. I think they recycle aluminum cans down here now, as I think I have seen people out in the ditches actually picking them up. Unfortunately, there is never any place to pull over when I spot someone who I would like to donate my can supply to.
Still northbound :-(
Checked out a big flea market this afternoon in Bufadora - just south of Ensenada on the Pacific coast. Found a very scenic campsite high on a rocky bluff overlooking the water. The proximity to California is obvious, for better or worse. More upscale businesses are evident, as are signs not en espanol. And I think that there are at least as many vehicles with California plates as there are Mexican. Maybe that is because it is a weekend? And I think that most of the upscale houses along the coast are likely owned by the Californians?

Saw some hovels today would not really qualify as shacks. There is some pretty sad poverty in a lot of areas down here. Some of the ones I saw today have bits of ragged plastic covering a few sticks for a 'roof', and flattened cardboard boxes for walls. Better places have an assortment of boards and scrap plywood and chunks of tin for walls and roofs. Moving up the scale further are an amazing assortment of ancient travel trailers and campers on blocks, some without windows or doors. Some of these fine units look like they were from the 50's or 60's, and have not moved since.