Wednesday, July 23, 2014


As I said yesterday, my pal Steve called me yesterday and invited me down for a Diamondbacks' baseball game today.

A little background here.  Steve was born in Tucson and has lived in Phoenix for more than 40 years.  He was a television photographer when I met him and has worked as a self-employed videographer for many years now.  In both occupations he spent a lot of time outdoors working in Arizona's hot sun.  So, he's got a pretty darned good tan.

I, on the other hand, only worked outdoors for a few years and then spent the bulk of my career at an inside desk job, from which I've been retired for many, many years.  I don't play golf or anything else that takes me outside a lot and that coupled with my Norwegian/English heritage has left me with a pasty white complexion which Steve always teases me about when we get together.  Especially if we're both wearing shorts and my glaring white legs are next to his mahogany ones.

But I can take it and I still accept his baseball invitations.

So today, I'm off to see the lizard.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I had just come back from a trip to the city.  (I have decided to start calling Prescott Valley "the city" and Prescott "the town", partially in deference to Prescott's claim to be Everybody's Home Town and partially in reference to Prescott Valley passing Prescott in population.) Anyway, I had just come back from the city and Judy asked me if it was hot out there.  I said "well, it's not cool."  Then I headed for the door to check the outside temperature when my phone rang.

It was my buddy, Steve, who said "If I can wangle some better seats would you come down for a baseball game?"  (I've been going to games with Steve for several years but his seats are up in what is not so courteously referred to as "the nosebleed section".  The higher up you go in a ballpark the steeper are the rows of seats and in my declining years I had found that I suffered from vertigo up in his regular seating area and had told him I would have to refrain from attending any more games unless he could get some lower tier seats.)

Well, that's kind of rude considering that I get the game for nothing except I pay for parking.  But facts is facts as someone (Pogo?) once said.  So today Steve said he was working on some lower seats and said I had to make a commitment to come or he wouldn't do it.  (He must have won the Powerball or something.)  So I did and said I'd see him tomorrow.

That done, I went out the front door, checked the thermometer and returned inside to tell Judy it was 85 degrees but it smelled like rain. She asked if it was going to rain and I said there wasn't any such thing in the forecast.  That conversation occurred as I was walking to the back patio door.  "Well I'll be darned!  It just started raining," I said.

Now you must realize.  Here in Arizona, rain can mean either a torrential downpour (rare) or a few light drops that start and stop in a couple of minutes (or seconds).  The latter was what we got this time so you can stop envying me now.

If you've got really good vision you can see the few drops on my window that are the leftovers from that "rain".  (Dang!  Looks like I need to wash that window.)

Last week the skies looked much more promising and I took a picture of them, in hopes of provoking the rain god (Tlaloc, the Aztecs called him.  But I prefer the name the Hopis gave him: Shotokunungwa.  I can't pronounce it but it's got that kind of rolling thunder look to it.)

Whatever the god, or gods, were not provoked this time and the skies were soon blue again.

By the way, I have a former colleague who talks about the naked rain dance he does out in the street.  But he lives in "the town" and that's another story.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Hi-ho, I'm still here.  Better be careful with that one.  It's what Elaine Stritch was saying recently and she died last week.  'Course I'm 15 years younger than she was so . . .

Anyway, SWMBO and I just finished a great pretty good breakfast/lunch meal of Chilaquiles Verdes with Chicken.  The recipe came from Mely Martinez C. and her blog Mexico in My Kitchen.  It was pretty easy to put together as I had made the green salsa last week for a tacos meal and had some left over.  Two pieces of advice: don't buy the tortillas that say they combine corn and wheat - get strictly corn tortillas.  The combo ones get a little tough in this recipe. And either make sure you have enough salsa made or buy a bottle of green salsa.  Or red.  It works either way.

As I sit here at my desk, I occasionally glance out my side window at this stunning specimen of flora.

Judy says it's an artimesia.  When we arrived in January it was smaller and totally gray-green.  She hated it and hacked it to the ground.  As you can see, it came back in spades.  It tops out at around 5 feet and is radiantly alive with purple blossoms.  The bees love it and so did a couple of goldfinches a week ago.

Now here are a few books I recommend from my recent reading. "Tibetan Peach Pie" is a memoir by Tom Robbins. Although he denies that it is either a memoir or an autobiography it sure follows him from boyhood to the present.  Written in Robbins' rollicking style, it's a fun read.  Judy and I both enjoyed it.

The next one on my nightstand was "The Joke's Over" by Ralph Steadman.  It's the tale of the Welsh artist's 35 or so years with and without the originator of Gonzo, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.  HST comes across as a bullying, miserly mean guy in much of this but if you're a Thompson fan, as I am, it's still good reading.

The third book on my reading list is one I'm just about done with called "This Town" by Mark Leibovich.  It concerns the political and media wunderkinds in Washington, D.C.  Leibovich is a writer for the New York Times in his other life and, as such, had remarkable access to what are referred to in the book as "the gang of 500."  It's had me laughing on more than one occasion and mad-as-hell on others.

Okay.  That ought to be enough to get your hearts started on this mellow Monday.  Proceed with caution.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Location: The Courthouse Square, Prescott, Arizona

Time:  This weekend

Event:  Another arts and crafts fair

The return(?) of tie-dye.

Dog meeting dog.

A lovely young lass playing her violin to pay for art school lessons.

All part of a summer weekend on the Square.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I attended a book signing at Peregrine Books in Prescott Saturday afternoon for an Arizona legend. Katie Lee of Jerome, Arizona, has been a singer, a recording artist, an actress, an author and, most important to her, an environmental activist opposed to the Glen Canyon Dam.

Today she read from her latest book "The Ghosts of Dandy Crossing."

It is a slightly fictionalized tale of herself and her "Buck".  The two of them posed for her camera (with a timer) many years ago.  She said she posed the picture for a previous book "Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse." She said it was meant to convey the myth that the only way to get a cowboy to take a bath was to hold a gun on him.

For one reason or another the picture wasn't used for the earlier book but it lives on as the cover of the current one.

Katie read several excerpts from her book, one of which was loaded with "salty" language, which filled the bookstore via the sound system.

Afterward I talked with the store's general manager, Tom Broderson, an old friend from my bookselling days.  He joked that he relaxed the store's PG-13 rating for any author over 90.

Katie Lee turns 95 in October.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Have a great weekend, folks, and keep on laughin'.

(Grateful thanks to all contributors, whether they knew it or not.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Once upon a time, back in the mid-1980's, SWMBO and I were making plans to move to Mexico for an early retirement.  Before we left, I received this homemade birthday card from our friends, Tom and Lana.

And on the inside of the card . . .

What are good friends for except to make fun of you, eh?