Friday, December 19, 2014


Hah!  Did you really think I'd leave you without the Friday Funnies this week?  Not a chance!  But first, this safety warning.

O.K.  Now that we have that out of the way.  It's on to the funnies. And something to be extra thankful for.  This is the last week of Christmas funnies.  Brace yourself.

This next one is only marginally Christmassy.

O.K. That's it folks . . . .what?  Oh you want a cat one?  Well of course.

Thanks for the contributions, folks.  Now remember, everyone have a cool yule.  And keep on laughing!


We had been invited to come down to the Big Valley (Phoenix and environs) to visit our friend Diane's new home and have lunch. Diane posed for a picture with her best friend, Rags.

Diane is one of those rare people who never loses a friend.  We've known her since we first came to Phoenix in 1972.

We went to lunch at Popo's Fiesta del Sol Mexican Restaurant.  I was captivated by the fire feature in front of the restaurant.

The food was delicious but you'll just have to take my word for that. I forgot to take any photos.

The BRD had invited us to take advantage of a couple of days she had to use up at her time share in Scottsdale before the end of the year.  So we did.

Thursday we took in a movie - "Gone Girl".  Kind of unsettling but well-acted.  Later we had dinner at Carrabba's Italian Grill.  Again, no photos but let me describe the food in one word: amazing!  We shared a big bowl of steamers, then it was Veal Marsala topped with mushrooms, prosciutto and a housemade Lombardo Marsala wine sauce for SWMBO.  For me it was prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin medallions topped with a port wine fig sauce.  To wind it up a couple of mini cannolis stuffed with sweet ricotta and chocolate chip filling and topped with pistachios and powdered sugar.  As I said - amazing!

This morning after checking out of the time share we took a long drive through Scottsdale and Phoenix.  This is a very old and wonderful water and horse sculpture in Old Town Scottsdale.

Old Town has maintained its charm even while being surrounded by newer and bigger buildings.

I snapped this art deco building front from the car.

After the inevitable stop at a bookstore, it was time to eat once again. For our final meal we were lured (by a gift certificate from the BRD) to a favorite spot.

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is a New Orleans-style place that is packed to the gills (no pun intended) every day at lunchtimes.  Our server told us there are 100 people working the restaurant and they keep the orders flying.

A half fried catfish po boy and a cup of crawfish bisque for SWMBO.

Blackened catfish and red beans and rice for me, preceded by a cup of lobster bisque.

No dessert this time as we toddled out and drove up the hill to home.

A grand staycation, indeed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


We're off to the Big Valley today for a short staycation.  Since tomorrow is Throwback Thursday and I hate to miss it, I'm giving you an early TBT today.  Sometime in the mid 1980's; Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico; out for a sailing voyage on my friend Harry's boat, Sand Dollar II.

Those were the days!  Skimming over the waves, sitting in the bow with my legs hanging down, dolphins swimming on either side of me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


SWMBO is happy.  Our neighbors are even happier.  A handyman came and cleaned up our front yard yesterday.

Behold the Before and After photos.

It looks better.  

For awhile.  

But unfortunately there are still leaves on the trees.  

Ready to fall.

For the price we paid, I'll be the handyman for them.

Monday, December 15, 2014


The third Monday morning photo.

It's coming but at a glacial rate.

Here's my role model.

No, it may look like Santa Claus but it's really my old disc jockey pal Orly Knutson, known to radio listeners throughout North Dakota, Indiana and Minnesota for 50 illustrious years as The Happy Norwegian.  I seem to remember when his beard was blonde. 

'Course his hair is white, too, so he may have had a "head" start on me.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


A look back at Saturday.  When I watched that short video I posted, I realized it was difficult to see that it was actually snowing.  None of it was sticking here but the flurries were filling the air.  A few moments later the sun was back out and it was all over.

The Bradshaw foothills are not snow-coated yet.

But their time will come.

SWMBO checked the temperature during that snow squall and it was 38 degrees.  A little chilly but just right for a casserole that evening.

I put it together from a mystery recipe I found that said it was Goulash.  But the goulash I remember from my childhood was Hungarian in flavor, with sweet paprika flavoring the dish.  This was more Americanized Italian but tasty.

And speaking of "dish", back then in North Dakota we didn't know the word "casserole."  Any melange of food cooked together was known then as "hot dish!"  I can't remember when the Frenchified term "casserole" made its way into my tongue.

We ate in and around watching a movie - The Flowers of War - about an American mortician caught in Nanjing (Nanking), China during the Japanese invasion and rape of the city in 1937.  Christian Bale is excellent as the mortician as is the rest of the cast.  This is a Chinese-made movie and much of the dialogue is in Mandarin Chinese with subtitles.  It is a brutal story with much violence but a measure of redemption stays in the mind.

Now it is on to Sunday with the Times for SWMBO and four crossword puzzles awaiting me.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I just looked out my back window.


In the other room SWMBO is singing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas . . ."

I am inclined to smack her in the mouth but I fight back the urge.

Out the front, it looks like this.

Way down there in that gray haze, is Prescott Valley proper.

I didn't count on this when I moved to Arizona!