A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

We Have Arrived

This is last night's stop, a rest area in Amargosa Valley, Nevada just east of Death Valley, California.  I cannot remember a rest area as nice as this one was.  Very little traffic travels Hwy 95 so it was quite peaceful, that is until Beans let it be known she wanted to go outside at night.

This is home for a few days, near Overton, Nevada (close to the Utah border) on Free Camping Land called Poverty Flats.  This will do for a few days while I/we rest some and the temperatures remain mild.  There are other campers here; we're not alone.

 Beans continues to adjust doing quite well and is content to sit or lie on the steps looking around.  
I think this will be a good partnership for years to come.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This is Nevada

Pretty much anywhere in the state of Nevada, on any given road or highway, this is all you will see.

A long day of driving and I am still not at my destination.

I am afraid you will be subjected to quite a few sign photos like this in the future.

Here is your Beans Bulletin: We had no complaining during today's drive.  A major breakthrough!

This is Clean Beans enjoying the view at the end of the day's drive at our camp for the night.

This is Dirty Beans.  Like Sinbad she immediately wallows in the dirt given the first opportunity.

She seems purrfectly content to sit in the doorway and look out.   
She is adjusting to the harness and leash and is associating it with going outside.  Progress.  
Another traveler came over to ask what I knew about the place we are staying at (a rest area) and Beans just sat there.  Sinbad would have skedaddled deep into the RV.  I guess that is good.  I am still learning things about her as she learns things about me and RV life.

Monday, April 24, 2017

No, This is Not Us.

I didn't see this happen.  These photos were sent to me.
This why I don't have a huge RV. 

Cutting a sharp turn on a mountain dirt road the rear end didn't track where the front wheels did.

He said he was following his GPS.

Today's driving was all about getting over the Sierras before the snow started.  Once down into Nevada I fought high winds all day.  I wish I could say Beans is doing better but she continues to voice her displeasure about moving on to a new location.  We are in Nevada working our way south to a location where I can stay put for a few days and relax enjoying the scenery. 

Friday, April 21, 2017


The day on the road started out with an extremely unhappy cat.  Beans cried and carried on so much I had to stop three times in the first several miles to console her.  I had not expected this at all for she rode very nicely the day I brought her home. She outdid anything Sinbad had ever done.

After about 45 minutes of trauma she finally settled down enough to take in the view.  To her credit this is something Sinbad wasn't really all that interested in doing and would get down and hide if a big truck rolled by.  Traffic didn't faze her one bit.  Good Beans.
Into the second hour she must have worn herself out as she quietly rode in my lap.

We are eager to project human feelings onto what our pets do and I am no different.  I figured 1. she really loved the run of her new home and didn't want to be taken away from that or 2. she felt she was being taken to a new adoption and a new home.  I doubt they can reason that, but who knows.

Tonight will be her first night in the RV.  Tomorrow morning will be interesting to say the least. 

The Long Journey

Somewhere in Tennessee

This morning Beans and I are leaving for a road trip, to where, we don't know.  
That is the beauty in traveling when time is of no consideration.
I can say we will follow the road less traveled to places yet to be discovered...by us at least.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In Training

We've been working on using the harness and leash.
The first day was the alligator death roll.

This is the third day and we've moved on to the army sniper crawl.

Then stop.

Then more sniper crawling.


Yes!  We can walk.
I don't recall how Sinbad was with the harness and leash early on as it was so long ago.
Probably the same as with Beans.  She's doing good though.

Enough for today.  Time for rest.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

Beans and I wish everyone a very nice Easter Sunday.
It has been one week today and
she has far exceeded all I had hoped for in adopting a new cat.
We both are very happy to have each other.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why Beans?

Beans the Cat was the third cartoon character introduced in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes series in 1935.  Unfortunately for Beans he was created at the same time as was Porky the Pig.  Theater goers were more taken by the stuttering porker and in 1936 poor Beans was eventually dropped.

More recently in 2011 Paramount pictures released a film called Rango which won an Oscar as the best animated feature film of the year.  One of the main characters was Beans "La Vaca" Sanchez an intelligent, tough, and quick-witted female desert iguana.  She was just Beans in the movie. 

That name stuck with me but I never thought of using it for any reason as Sinbad was still with me. Jump ahead a few years and I found myself adopting new cat.  Her name was Rainbow Dash. That had to go! The memory of Beans from the movie came up from nowhere in my mind and that's the story as how my Beans got her name.  Rainbow Dash?  Good grief!!!

Sleeping update:  Beans sleeps in bed with me now, right smack dab in the middle!  
"I'll take this spot.  You can have the all the rest of the bed.  I don't see a problem with that, do you?"


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The King has a New Throne

Today I finished the last of the big jobs on the RV upgrades, installing a composting toilet.
No more dumping the black water (sewage) ever again.  Yes!
What a unpleasant task I will never have to do again.  

This is made primarily for boats and can be used in RVs and off grid cabins and the like where no plumbing and septic tank is available.  That center piece with the knob lifts out before you sit.

Inside is a diverter than funnels urine to the front and poo in the back.  
Guys need to sit to use it effectively when peeing.  I've been sitting for years anyway, but I suppose you really didn't want to know that.

Here you can see the one gallon milk jug for #1 and a five gallon bucket for #2 which holds the composting material and the agitation device.  Peat moss, coconut fiber or wood mulch like used for hamster cages is the composting medium.

You turn the handle a bunch of times to fully "churn" the composting material and your deposit.

The composting materials removes all moisture and then simply after a week or so when it gets hard to turn you empty the bucket into a plastic bag and dispose in a trash can.  Now yes, I too thought that not a good thing but diapers and colostomy bags are disposed of in the same manner.  The composting makes the undesirable element much much less offensive as those other two comparisons since it is dried up.  In the first photo you can see a sight window in the front so you can monitor the one gallon bucket.  When getting full just lift out and dump most anywhere.

As for smell, they say it is the combing of #1 and #2 is what makes sewage so awful smelling.  Keeping the two separate eliminates that, or so they say.  I didn't know this.  Occasionally misting a mixture of vinegar and water keeps things nice.  I might add a drop or two of Pinesol into the milk jug every once in awhile.  But they say that that center piece with the knob seals it all off.  Some people attach a house freshener strip on the inside.  Good idea.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Blog Changes

Well I did what I could for the time being.  The photo in the header looks like the other but it is different.  I need to get a better photo.  In time I guess I will.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.

I also need to get a picture of Beans and I together for the profile image off to the side.  In time, somewhere, someplace it will happen.

I'll always keep Sinbad at the top of the sidebar photos. (God, I got all sad writing that!  Will I ever get over him?)  The other pictures of him below will slowly be replaced as I get pictures to do so with.

This was hard to do.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beans Update

We are in day three and Beans acts like she's lived here for some time.  She knows all the places to go romping through the house and is into everything.  I have forgotten what it is like to have a youngster around and what a bundle of energy she is, always underfoot giving me her soft little meow.  Interestingly she has little interest in toys.  She absolutely does not like seeing people pass by outside.  I think she is going to be just like Sinbad when it comes to people coming around - swoosh, back into the RV.  I was away for a couple of hours today and when I came home she came running to greet me just like Sinbad always did.  But unlike Sinbad she hasn't slept with me at night.  She sleeps somewhere in the house but comes in my room in the morning.  That will probably change in time, especially when we are living in the RV.

Tomorrow is a rain filled day so I'll be stuck inside doing things.  I plan to change the blog name tomorrow but I assume that will not change anything as far as my reader's subscriptions go.  The title change will only be substituting her name for Sinbad's plus some long overdue visual changes.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Meet Beans

I adopted her today.

 She is a little over one year old.

She's so sweet with a soft high squeaky little meow.

She loves attention and affection.

She is what I needed so very badly.
 We are going to be good for each other and she is going to have a wonderful life.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Weather

The weather has been unkind here for the past few days, keeping me from doing outside projects.  
Yesterday an album I ordered arrived so this gave me a good inside project to do.  All my art I've kept in folders and now with this album I can have them in some sense of order.
 But I ran out of the little photo corners so I will have to go out in this nasty wet cold weather to get some more or just sit here looking at an unfinished project.  I'm going out.
I hope you don't have unkind weather wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Artificial Intelligence and Jobs

I read an article where Stephen Hawking believes 'we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity' and that the 'rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes'.

The article went on to say that 83% of the jobs where people make less than $20 an hour will be subject to automation or replacement.  Between 2.2 and 3.1 million car, bus and truck driving jobs in the U.S. will be eliminated by the advent of self-driving vehicles.

You might be thinking this won't happen for several decades but researchers estimate the scale of threatened jobs will take place over the next 10 to 15 years.  And if you think it won't happen at all, history shows us it already has happened in the past.  For example, in the nineteenth century, highly skilled artisans and craftsman saw their jobs threatened by the rise of mass production technologies. Many skilled workers were replaced by the combination of machines and lower-skilled labor.

In our own lifetime easily programmable tasks - such as switchboard operations, filing, travel booking and manufacturing applications, to name a few - were replaced by new technologies.

Scary stuff.