08 March 2017
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Mystery on the 8

You Can Observe a Lot Just By Watching

Thus saith the sage Yogi Berra. Having taken this to heart, I do my best to keep my eyes open when driving. As a result of this policy, I occasionally see some rather surprising things here out west. One of them was while driving on "The 8."

If you're from much of the United States, you should be thinking, correctly, that roads have names*, and so "The 8" must be a ranch or a tourist attraction or perhaps the Arizona Giant Infinity Sign somehow got turned on its side. But no, "The 8" is one of our notorious freeways, which, in this case traverses California from San Diego to Arizona and thence through Arizona until it terminates at..."The 10," a distance of about 350 miles. 275 miles from San Diego, you encounter the Paloma Road exit, shortly before scenic Gila Bend, AZ. You also encounter a big mystery.

Literally big

The first time I saw this was on a drive from Sedona to San Diego. I was puzzled but not yet intrigued. It looked like an antenna, but not of a type that I had ever encountered. On subsequent trips I had a camera ready to deploy. (Click on the photo for a higher resolution picture.) I took exit 106 with the intention of inquiring as to what it was, but most facilities nearby were fenced and locked, with only a lower school in evidence. I called the school to find out if anyone knew what the structure in their backyard was. I managed to speak with someone who claimed it was for loading grain into railcars, or something similar. And I can see, superficially, that that could be one function. But what of the wires? They look to me like capacitive cages, not structural elements.

I had no spectrum monitors with me, so I couldn't tell if there were radio transmissions coming from the mystery object. I admit to insufficient sleuthing, but am now definitely intrigued. Maybe someone will recognize it and kindly offer to elucidate this mystery.

* The explanation for this numericalizing phenomenon is an article in itself. As a public service, here it is.

"Daily Nightly"
The Monkees




This claims to be the official ZZ Top tour shirt from 1975. Presumably I got it in trade since I've never seen ZZ Top live. I view this as one of the less devastating lacunae in my rock & roll history.

Which is the most devastating? I'm sure the shirt will come up eventually.

Richard Factor

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