Monthly Archives: January 2017

Odyssey Stays Put

That’s an odd expression. Stays Put. How does “put” suddenly go from being a verb describing ‘movement to a position’, to being in that settled position? I suppose I should say “Odyssey Stays in the Same Place”. Dumb assed language. But I like “stays put”. Hey Anna – how would you say that in Russian? I think perhaps we all might need to pick up that Rosetta Stone.

I was going to say I digress but how can one digress if one has not started? Anyway, we decided that we like it here so much we’re going to stay another month. I think the clincher was finally using the pools Sunday. They are fed by mineral hot springs. Even though it was only 60°F (we’ll start learning Celsius when the new Don negotiates that 562 million he owes to the aforementioned state’s mafia) and winds around 25 (not yet km/h – what is that in knots, Stanley? And how did that happen? A measure of wind and a twisted rope are the same word? Especially in sailing! “Captain, we’re pulling five knots.” “Which ones, Gilligan, bowline, square, clove?”). The big pool is a toasty 92 at one end and about 80 at the other end. The smaller pools are warmer. They’re going to help with the back and hip, still being a pain in the upper ass.

The only negative about this area is the wind. It’s a pretty serious negative but the pros win. I checked temps around the whole southwest and it ain’t much different elsewhere. Monday was great. Occasional wind gusts but mostly mellow, near 70. I rested my aching, phony hip while Andrea hung out at and used the pool, that is, worked hard at laundry detail.

The view from our site is really as good as any we have had, the monthly rate is reasonable, it feels safe, Luna likes it despite the nightly coyote shrieks, and the weather isn’t much better anyplace else, so why not? The only store the area doesn’t have is Ikea. That’s good. Don’t have to make that needle-in-the-eyes choice while here.

The famous Palm Springs International Film festival is in town this week. We went to the movies Friday to see ‘Hidden Figures’ but the 1:45 matinee was sold out – rainy day, so we saw ‘Patriot’s Day’. Another well done movie but we all know the story. Check out the movie theater picture – pretty sure that guy in the white shirt to the right of the entrance is Ryan Reynolds. Or not.

On the way out a load of people with conventioneer-like name tags were heading in, including one guy with a big-ass camera with a serious, old fashioned flash attachment. Must be some Hollywood types lurking. “Hey Jimmie Olsen, Eddie Fisher is in the lobby!” Did you see Eddie Fisher in the ‘recently dead Fishers’ HBO thingie? Geez, if I get anywhere near looking like that, please feed me about a half dozen hits of acid and ten quaaludes. Back to glitterati in Palm Springs. Our neighbor says his wife goes to the jewelry stores on Indian Palm Drive to star gaze. Fuck that. I wake up next to a star everyday. She deserves one for putting up with me. (Yeah, thank you, editors – way better line than ‘waking up next to that mirror’. At least I don’t see Eddie Fisher yet.) OK, Andrea says she sees Clara Bell and Einstein some days. All right, I’ll take that. I was think Dr. Zorba – what was that, the Ben Gazzara tv show?

Geez, where was I? So, expect more pictures of the mountains around here. After the Pickford Theater shot, there’s a decent sunset. At this time of year, the sun goes down directly behind Mt San Jacinto, putting a real crimp on developing my bikini lines. You Colorado Springs and Monument folks and anybody else living on the east side of a mountain know a thing or two about that – the sun going down early.

On the morning of the 4th, I got up at 5am to watch the Quadrantids, a short term meteor shower, like two hours and it’s gone. The experts said the prime viewing was at 5:30. Duh, by then the sun was an hour from rising but already brightening up the eastern sky – where the meteors were said to originate. Total washout. I didn’t see shit. But sunrise against the mountains is always nice.

Next. The next day the wind was out in force and kicked up enough dust to hide the big mountain.

Another shot of that path behind the rv park that heads north. Turns out that all the barren land and hills a mile up the road are in Joshua Tree National Park. We’ll get up there again. I was in lousy shape last year when we visited and the wind was crazy so our touring was very minimal. We’ll go up there again this time around.

Then another shot of the big mountain in sunshine. We were hiking a little closer to it. Turns out we missed the actual trail and ran into barbed wire. Nice 150′ elevation gain in about a quarter mile, but no promised canyon. We’ll find others. I twisted the hip or something a few days ago and the setbacks are pretty damn depressing. Kind of feels like a year ago. Don’t take my Medicare aware you assholes!

Last shot – fire lasted all day. That was directly to our south, which would have put it in Cathedral City, or thereabouts. Palm Springs is like any urban area – lots of adjoining incorporated towns. Never did see anything about the fire in the news.

Finally. Since we’re going to be here so long, I was thinking that perhaps one of you might win the lottery soon and would want to spread the wealth. Please send that check to us at

Caliente Springs Resort

Site 456

70-200 Dillon Rd

Desert Hot Springs, CA 94421

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Happy New Year From The Odyssey Couple

From sunny Desert Hot Springs, CA. Not so hot though. High has been in the fifties, but the wind, which is calm today, has, for a couple of days, been wild. Steady 20-30mph, gusts to 40. I had to throw a rope over the awning on the big slide to keep it from flapping.

Here we are at Caliente Springs Resort, a 55+ community with a fairly even mix of park models (permanent, small homes) and RV’s. Technically, we’re outside the incorporated town of Desert Hot Springs and in Desert’s Edge. It’s all desert. We stayed in this place last year for a week and liked the pools – water from natural hot springs. We had a lousy, transient site near the front of the park near the main road then. That location sucked.

This year we’re staying through the month of January and opted for a step up to a ‘deluxe’ site. #456 is near the back of the park, away from the noisy road, across from the ‘elite’ sites that back up to the golf course, and it backs up to open desert facing west. Nice views of the mountains, several photos attached. The ‘North Back Caliente’ photo shows the dirt road that runs north just outside the gate behind us.

The “golf course” – here’s the word-for-word description from the literature we were given: “The golf course at Caliente Springs is a 9-hole par-3 course with yardage from 62 to 117 yards.” Breaking par (“3”?) apparently requires divine intervention. Since that’s not going to happen in your case, my golfing friend, though I’m sure a 62 yard hole had you drooling, forget about coming down to conquer this monstrous course. I’m hearing that only two people have made par, the infallibly divine Kim Jong Un, of course, and the literally unbelievable president elect who, my people tell me, did it with just one stroke. Lots of people are saying it’s true.

Anyway, we had heavy rain for New Years Eve which ended at around 11 Pacific time, about when some of your hangovers were beginning. We opted out of the New Years party here. Suspicions of Lawrence Welk champagne bubble music, polkas, and line dancing with Kool and the Gang celebrating with visions of The Electric Hairpiece Slide were confirmed by the dynamite Canadian couple in the RV next to us. Larry and Donna, ten years older than us and yearly January visitors to this park, invited us into their beautiful forty-five footer earlier in the day. They said the party was not the ideal situation to meet like minded people. When am I going to be able to wear my sheriff’s badge? Larry’s a corker. If type A personalities could be upgraded he’d be A+++. Classic cocaine caricature or maybe a Black Mollie man. Says he only sleeps three or four days a week. Very nice though.

So did everyone have enough of 2016? I’m sure some of you had some good things happen. Congratulations to those whose Cubbies tipped the scales for their year on the good side. They made most of the country smile, at least for a few days in November. Then, 100 years after the first woman, Jeannette Rankin, Republican Representative from Montana, was elected to Congress, something like divine intervention, I think it’s called the Electoral College, made 62 million voters happy and 65 million wonder what just happened. I just saw a commercial for FarmersOnly.com where their tag line is the story of the election, “City folk just don’t get it.” I guess. More like, city folk only get nine tenths of a vote.

The good news, I haven’t felt so energized to participate in the colonization of earth since the 70’s, when we had causes worth fighting for. While putting away Christmas (yes, Christmas, not Holiday) lights and rearranging our lower storage area, I came across one of my college notebooks – see photo. We got rid of Nixon but it took forty years to legalize pot, almost. You might ask what I’m doing with an old college notebook. Well, the poet laureate of the state of Metahedonism left countless, babbling scribbles in the margins which may or may not contain his extraction coordinates and date. Cryptologists are working on it. Please send the spaceship back now.

Where was I? Somewhere out in the desert with Don Juan and Carlos Castaneda. The two hundred mile drive from Fort Mohave was almost entirely through the Mojave Desert. It seemed that every fifty miles or so, a new mountain range would appear, not very tall but very rough and jagged. I had spotted a place to stop for lunch at about the halfway point, an intersection of California Highways 62 and 177. Really – I looked at the Google Maps route ahead of time, then zoomed in with the satellite view at the approximate mid point and looked for some open space on the side of the road. The mostly narrow shoulder was not an option. The crossroad had about two acres of flattened parking area. With no truck or rest stops out there in the boonies, you can’t just expect a truck sized parking space to appear out of nowhere and if it does, there’s no stopping on a dime or backing up. Gotta plan ahead. See picture for some understanding of the sheer desolation out there. Some might find it boring. I think it’s beautiful.

Arriving here, we were very pleased with our picturesque site. Mt San Jacinto is the largest mountain looming over the entire Palm Springs area. It’s on the south side of I-10 and the other white peak in the distance on the right, to the north, is San Gorgonio Mountain. I don’t know why one is mount something and the other is something mountain. The valley through which I-10 runs, San Gorgonio Pass, is also a funnel for the winds coming from the coast. The fairly constant flow creates one of the more suitable locations for the oldest large wind farm in the US. We discussed this last year.

One picture, to give you an idea of the “neighborhood”, looks down the street right in front of us. Nice place. Quite a mixture of age groups. Someone in the RV or home has to be 55 or older but I’ve seen a lot of people younger than us. Maybe some of those second marriages where you hook up with the young casino dealer? Saw at least one Auntie Mame type with a retired Blue Man Group stud. No, I don’t know that for sure but that blue skin tone is a clue. I don’t think he’s a big NY Giants fan. Maybe that was the guy who died today.

Couple of fun census facts about Palm Springs:

Only 1% list themselves as Asian but 12% are Pacific Islander (no, I don’t know if that includes Hawaiians).

11% of married couples are same-sex, largest of any city in US as of 2010.

OK, did I digress again? Passing on senior sirachi spaghetti, Medicare meatloaf, sparkling grape juice, and the music of Jerome Robinson, the last of the Platters (how about that, Mel?), Andrea made a spectacularly delicious lasagna using sausage meatballs and some leftover eggplant parmesan. You senile old bastards, eat your diseased hearts out. We watched the ball drop in NYC and New Orleans while in between, the New Years party here let out. Really, 9:30? The best moment of the night was Mariah Carey pretending she was at one of our family lip synch contests and cousin Gary mistakenly queuing up a Tina Turner tune. Jack? An idea for this year?

At midnight here, it sounded like the revolution started already. Why isn’t Wolf Blitzer reporting this? I went outside and found that most of Palm Springs was still awake and shooting off fireworks. Was that Freeport’s own Guy Lombardo doing Auld Lang Syne? How did a Scottish song whose first line asks whether we should dump our old friends become such a standard for welcoming the New year and wishing good riddance to the past one? Well, in this year of change, how about a new song, like George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’, or if you want to lament, ‘Isn’t It a Pity’? Maybe George envisioned 2017 with the lyrics in ‘Beware of Darkness’ – “beware of soft shoe shufflers” (con-men, hmm, who could that be?) and “greedy leaders” (uh, the whole cabinet?). But I digress.

Happy New Year