Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Last night SWMBO and I settled down in front of the television, ready to watch the results of the New Hampshire Primary Election trickle in.

So what happened?

FIVE SECONDS after the polls (allegedly) closed, the two cable news networks we watch (CNN and MSNBC) announced that Donald Trump had won the Republican contest and Bernie Sanders had won on the Democratic side!

In case you missed it, let me repeat: FIVE. SECONDS.

Now I don't want to rant here about the lack of wisdom of the voters of New Hampshire, many of whom were still in line or in their cars trying to get into the polling places.

If they want to select as winners a businessman who talks like a Mafia don and an aging Senator who says he's a Socialist . . well, that's their choice.

But come on.

I had barely taken a sip of my first drink when the election was, for all intents and purposes, over.

Now some of you or all of you may know that I was a card-carrying member of the Media for 30 years or so.

And back in the day, I certainly wouldn't have suggested this.

But let's ban these darned exit polls that ruin the evening for us.

I remember the days of brokered conventions and smoke-filled rooms and nomination battles that could go on for hours and hours.

I remember Adlai Stevenson and Robert Taft, for crying out loud.

I remember the election of 1960 when John F. Kennedy finally eked out a victory over Richard Nixon after even JFK had gone to sleep.

Heck, some of you may even remember Bush v. Gore in 2000, a contest that lasted for weeks.

Those were "the good old days" for political junkies.

But now we don't even get a chance to swallow a cheese puff or two before we're told who won the election.

So (apologies to my friends who may still be in the media) let's get rid of exit polls and just count the votes.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Once upon a time my family came into possession of a copy of a genealogy of a branch of the Taylor family that connected with ours.

It was done by a distant relative who lived in Massachusetts.

Now when people get into doing genealogies they always look for someone famous that they are related to, no matter how distantly.

This man was no different and among the famous people he (allegedly) uncovered as being relatives of ours was one Winston Churchill.

As I remember it he was something like a 15th cousin.

Pretty remote if he was connected at all.

But at a young and impressionable age I seized on this shred of "history" and ever after have referred to him as my cousin Winston.

All of this is to explain why when SWMBO and I visited London back in 1985 I had to have my photo taken with a statue of "my cousin".

I was reading this morning about a head-on train crash in Germany and realized that I had been on those identical tracks on this same European tour.

The crash occurred just west of Rosenheim, about midway between Munich and Salzburg.

We departed a train at Rosenheim and spent the night there.

I remember it as a rainy evening in a somewhat dreary town.

Later I learned that one of Hitler's top generals had hidden out there for a period of time after World War Two.

And finally, for those of you who were disappointed that I didn't show a photograph of those pork ribs we baked the other night . . here you go.

We reheated what we didn't eat Sunday and finished them off Monday.

Monday, February 8, 2016


For you Gentle Readers who are not a fan of the brutal American sport known as football, you may wish to scroll down to the food section of today's post.

For the rest of you, harken to a tale straight out of a book of fairy stories.

The mighty but aging knight, Sir Peyton Manning, and his remarkable defensive forces yesterday took down the Knight Errant, Cam Newton, and his streak of panthers.

(Yes, a group of panthers is known as a "streak", even though they don't travel in groups.)

It was an epic adventure of romantic fiction.

Not even the biggest Bronco fan I know, Timmer, thought Denver would win.

The scribes in the sports media were certain, dead certain, that young, sturdy, handsome Cam would take the day.

Everyone thought that Manning had lost too much over the past few years to rouse his team to victory.

Well, not quite everyone.

The man known as Cranky in the blogworld made this stunning prediction days in advance of The Big Game.

Congratulations to him!

And may all praise be heaped on the brow of Sir Manning, who by all rights should now announce his retirement and the end of a legendary career.

As for his postgame interviews all he would say was that he was going to drink a lot of beer last night!


Okay, you fans of another subject - what treats we find in the Catalyst's kitchen - it is your time.

We did have oven baked baby back ribs slathered in Sweet Baby Ray's sweet and smoky barbecue sauce yesterday.

And asparagus and warmed-up macaroni and cheese and a salad and wine.

None of which I photographed, sorry me.

But I did get a couple of pics of  something I had baked up earlier in the day.

Home made baguettes.

They're sort of crude in appearance in part because the knife I used to slash the tops before baking was not nearly sharp enough to do the job.

But they were tasty accompaniments to SWMBO's wonderful dinner.

Nothin' like home-made bread.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Salmagundi = a miscellaneous collection.

The mercury climbed to 50 degrees here yesterday and the Weather Gods say it will be much warmer today.

A high temperature of 59 F/15 C is forecast.

And the warming trend will continue.

To 71F/22 C by Tuesday.

Our friend, DK in Sun City, was saying it is supposed to be 79 there by Tuesday and she can't wait.

Neither can I.

Though as I've said before, up here we can still get a brief snowstorm anytime in the next 6 weeks or so.

To give you an idea of how changeable our weather is, here's a photo the Town of Prescott Valley posted on Facebook a few days ago.

In other words, what a difference a day (or 2 or three) makes.

In case you hadn't heard, this is Super Bowl weekend.

My pal, Timmer from Denver, is in Santa Clara helping prepare for his television station's coverage of the big game.

In an email this morning he said this is his sixth Super Bowl and, perhaps for the first time, this year he's kind of pulled back and looked at all the hooha of fans and police and sponsors and media hype happening around the game.

He commented "all this for O N E game . . . well it's just kind of amazing. And I guess a testament to the fact that I'm getting older every day."

Oh, my.

I still think of Timmer as the young, long-haired camera schlepper (photographer) I worked with back in the 70's.

Meanwhile, over in Southern California, another one of my old buddies from radio days in Bismarck and Indianapolis, Bobby is getting ready to watch the big game on television.

Here he is (on the left) with his friend Geo liquoring up for the weekend.

Another old (how did we all get so old?!) pal from Indianapolis, now retired in California, is on the other coast, actually the Gulf Coast, this week.

Tom, known on the Internet as the proprietor of the blog Light Breezes, is in Florida where - miracle of miracles - he has become a grandfather for the first time.

He looks radiant in this photo of he, his beautiful wife Lana, and the newcomer - Addie Rose.

When you become a grandparent for the first time, you just can't stop smiling.

And, as I have said on many Fridays on this blog, that's a good thing.

Recently, back here at our homestead, SWMBO and I had a discussion one evening in which she said I'd make us some macaroni and cheese for dinner but we don't have any.

She was thinking of the stuff that comes in a box from the grocery store.

But I said, we've got a chunk of white cheddar cheese in the fridge (refrigerator) and we've got plenty of pasta in the pantry.

So she made a cheese sauce by melting what turned out to be hickory smoked white cheddar with a little sauteed onion, a tiny amount of slivered ham, some half-and-half, and some seasonings and combined it with the cooked pasta.

Then into the oven to bake and topped it with some smoked paprika.

Much better than that stuff from the box with its radioactive yellow sauce.

To close off this salmagundi, take a look at my beautiful poet friend Tess.

In the past year she has moved from Willow Manor in Ohio to Manchester, England, to take up a new life with her Ronaldo.

In spite of this abrupt transformation, apparently her sense of humor and disguise has not been interrupted.

So it goes.

Friday, February 5, 2016


It's Super Bowl Friday!

(whatever that means)

Oh, I know.

The grocery and liquor stores will be jammed with shoppers stocking up for The Big Day.

So let's try to put them (you) in a good mood.

All right, Gentle Readers, you've been prepared for the kickoff.

Or for going shopping if you're not into football.

Either way, have a phantabulous weekend and always remember: SMILE!

Here, kitty-kitty.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


If I had realized today is Alice Cooper's birthday I would have used this picture for today's post.

So I will.

I was interviewing him at the pool of Del Webb's Townhouse back in the 70's, prior to his performance that night.

Without his stage make-up he's just Vincent Furnier, a native of Scottsdale.

He is 68 today.

Happy birthday, Alice.


After I returned from Rock Springs yesterday, SWMBO went to the grocery store.

I commend her for this because it was the first Wednesday of the month, which is known as Old Farts Wednesday at our local Fry's market.

Seniors get 10 percent off their bill and they swarm the store every month.

It can be a struggle to maneuver your cart through the aisles as the oldsters stop in the middle of one to compare prices, for instance, on the different pasta sauces.

Even with that 10 percent kickback they want the absolute lowest price possible.

SWMBO usually hates going to the store on those days but the larder was nearly bare and she had some things on her list that she didn't trust me to buy properly.

So she set out, after 4 p.m. so she figured the crowds would have diminished.

And she surprised me by bringing home a rack of baby back ribs.

One of my favorites and we hadn't had them for a long time.

She said since Super Bowl Sunday was looming she decided on ribs and frozen sweet potato fries and two kinds of ice cream and . . .

Sounds like a good day to me.

I usually oven bake the ribs. 

I know.

They're supposed to be grilled.

But after the BRD taught me her simple recipe many years ago I never vary from it.

Here's a result from some years back.

(As Montana Mike pointed out when I sent him an almost identical picture of me with a dish of lasagna recently . . except for the chin my beard was still reddish brown in those days so it must be quite a while back!)

My mouth is already watering.