Thursday, June 26, 2008

And then there's more . . .

Yes, another friend has weighed in.

These come from the Rajah.

Murphy's Lesser Known Laws

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

3. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

4. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

5. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

6. If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them, five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.

7. The things that come to those who wait will be the scraggly junk left by those who got there first.

8. The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

9. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

10. When you go into court, you are putting yourself into the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.


An old colleague (Boomer) sent me these and they caused me to think about their inevitability. Which made me tired so I think now I'll take a nap. Be careful. Don't read these while driving.


Law of Mechanical Repair

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity

Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability

The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers

If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi

If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law

If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of the Bath

When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters

The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result

When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater

At any event, the people whose seats are farthest from the aisle arrive last.

The Starbucks Law

As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers

If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces

The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Law of Logical Argument

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Brown's Law of Physical Appearance

If the shoe fits, it's ugly.

Oliver's Law of Public Speaking

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy

As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors' Law

If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. Don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blog for your mental health!

Wow! After nearly a week of silence, two posts in one day!

I read an interesting column in Newsweek today about the mental health benefits of blogging. You can read it here. But watch out for the last two sentences.

A dancing fool

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cooooooool Water!

Regular readers have met most of our cats. There are Muggles and Jazz, our inside cats who aren't allowed outside. Then there is Smoke, who I call our half-cat because he spends some time in our house, some in the BRD's next door, and the rest of the time he seems to roam the neighborhood gathering up pettings and handouts.

The BRD has a couple more - Noel, the nasty oldest of the bunch who loves to bully all the others; Emma, the tiny but very solid white cat who tends to chase Smoke off the patio; and Sheba, the roaming small black and white cat who seems cowed by all of the rest.

We also have a small fountain on the front patio and the cats can't seem to resist it. For instance, Smoke, contemplating that bubbler as he balances on the rim.

He finally manages to get his weight adjusted and bends down to drink and drink and drink.

A little later Sheba makes an appearance, daintily jumping up on the rim.

Ah, she's found her spot and she, too, slakes her thirst.

Cats. They're a constant moving circus.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A hurting Tiger

Sorry news about Tiger Woods today. He's going to have reconstructive surgery on his left knee and will miss the rest of the season. You can read about it here.

What struck me was that Tiger has been rated the number one player in the world for 500 weeks! That's nearly ten years!

Well, while it will be a loss for golf fans, some of the other players on the tour will finally have a chance and Tiger will be able to spend more time with his wife, Elin, and his one-year-old daughter, Sam

Get well soon, Tiger.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Nothin' much. Just some pictures around the south 40.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Human High-Light Reel

I know there are a number of you that are not fans of sports. But I am and I can't help writing about one of my absolute favorite golf stars - Tiger Woods - the number one professional golfer in the world.

He's arguably the greatest golfer that has ever lived and he's only 31, I think. He has years to go to add to his records.

Today at the final hole of the U.S. Open golf tournament, he barely sunk a 12 foot putt to force a playoff for the championship tomorrow.

Rocco Mediate had finished just ahead of Tiger and was watching on a television set. He simply turned around and said "Unbelievable. But I knew he'd make it."

SWMBO and I were watching and she said afterward "I didn't think he'd make it."

I said, "You just can't ever bet against Tiger in a crucial moment."

The field might have been hopeful that someone could beat Tiger this time because he was obviously still recovering from a third surgery on his left knee. He grimaced at times and limped at times.

And he didn't play very well.

But he's still Tiger.

Tomorrow, he and Mediate will go head to head in an 18 hole playoff.

Don't bet against Tiger.


It took 18 holes of a playoff and one hole of sudden death but once again Tiger proved he is the best. He won the U.S. Open (again). His 14th major golf tournament win is 4 behind the record established by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus won his 18th at the age of 46. Tiger is 32. (Correction from the 31 listed yesterday)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update: VICTORY!

You may have read of my battle with the New York Times.

After 5 weeks and one day I can report that I have finally won.

Last Friday (after two more somewhat snotty e-mails to the publisher and the president of the company) I received a call from a deeply apologetic Manager of Customer Care. She told me she was going to take care of this. Today, I got a full refund of the overcharges to my account.

She said it was a system failure.

I say when all else fails it helps to complain to the top guys.

(By the way, that's Sir Winston Churchill flashing the V for Victory sign. He was my 15th cousin.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wasting Money

I've been anxiously awaiting my stimulus package check from the federal government. An acquaintance of mine got his several weeks ago and it seemed to me like the boys in Washington were taking a long time getting mine to me. When I went to the mailbox today, there was an envelope from the Internal Revenue Service with the words Stimulus Package on it. When I came in to the house, I told SWMBO "Hey I finally got my check from the feds."

But when I opened the envelope, there was no check inside. Instead, a bunch of fine sounding language about the fact that I would get a check, probably in three days or so. I started to rant. Why couldn't they just send the check? Why did they have to send me a letter explaining that I would soon be getting a check? Wasn't that going to cost them twice as much in postage? It's not just to me, it's to everyone? That seems like a lot of wasted money to me.

SWMBO calmly said "But it's our money they're wasting, not theirs!"

Yup, I hadn't thought of that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


A friend and I were talking today . . . first about hunting, then about fishing.

I can only think of twice when I was really hunting with a gun in my hand. The first experience, with my Dad, was a good one as I brought down three or four Prairie Chickens, each with a single shot.

The second time I was alone, looking for pheasants. The only one I saw exploded into flight virtually from under my feet. I didn't come close to hitting it. I don't know what I would have done with it if I had killed it anyway.

But fishing. Now I liked fishing. At least when I caught something. I hated trolling. That's riding in a slow-moving boat with your hook in the water. Usually, I brought up weeds.

One day, at a lake in Canada, after trolling most of the day and not having caught anything, we came back to the dock at dusk. Dad headed up to the cabin to find something to cook for dinner. I said I was going to do some casting off the dock. Aha! Dusk apparently was feeding time and I almost immediately caught a fine Northern Pike, or a Jack as we called them.

Putting the fish on a stringer, I ran up the hill to the cabin to show Dad my prize. As he began cleaning it, I ran back down to the lake and promptly caught another.

By the time I brought a third fish up the hill, Dad said "Okay, that's enough." But it was a great triumphant day for me.

While telling my pal that story I was reminded of a couple of pictures that were taken back in the 1940's. So from at least 60 years ago, here's how it used to be at Carlyle Lake, in Saskatchewan.

That's my Dad on the far right. He's with three of his pals after a good day of fishing.

And here's Dad with a big fish, probably a Wall-eyed Pike, which we called Walleyes. As you can see by Dad's smile, that was a triumphant day for him.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Progress . . . or not

My last post on this blog brought out a plethora of what most of Arizona calls "tree huggers." Up around here, they're also known as "no growthers." They are people who have moved here from somewhere else or who have grown up here. When I first moved to Phoenix several decades ago from "back East", the expression was "O.K. I made it to Paradise, now let's slam the door."

But, you know, you just can't stop growth. Folks like me call it progress. The other folks call it urban blight. If you have a place that regularly makes it onto some list or the other as being a great place to retire then what do you suppose happens? People move here from somewhere else. And there is growth. And the people that come want all the amenities they left behind. But they don't want that damned "urban blight."

So, what's the solution. Mine (I should really say SWMBO's and the BRD's because they've done the lion's share of the work) is to build our own oasis. You can have all those stores and restaurants and bars and car dealers and fast food joints and still have . . . your very own oasis of calm and beauty.

For example . . . these pictures were taken on our front patio, only steps from our front door.

And you can lean back in a comfortable chair, with a drink in your hand and look at the sky. It is boundless.

So remember, folks, every cloud . . .

has a silver lining.

If that's not enough, just remember . . . we've got our eyes on you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

PV is growing!

My town is growing. Up on the side of Glassford Hill, near the Kia dealership, the new Comfort Suites hotel is pretty much all framed up.

Just down the road, on the north side of Highway 69, is the beginning of the huge Crossroads Mall - a very large Home Depot store under construction.

On the south side of the highway is another of the "big box" stores - Sam's Club. It and it's gasoline station are going up very speedily. Only a couple of weeks ago, this was flat ground. Now the steel is rising to the sky.

And closer to the highway, a new Cracker Barrel restaurant is a-growing.

The Crossroads Mall will be the largest in central Arizona once it is completed.

Oh and I forgot to get a picture of the new Hampton Inn, in the Entertainment District a short distance away. It's even closer to completion.

By this fall, Prescott Valley will look considerably different.

Bo goes

Sadly, Bo Diddley died today.

Sing a song.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I was mistaken. Last night's post should have been titled "Saturday Evening" instead of Sunday evening. Lord knows I don't have to hurry things along any faster than they're already going.

But..speaking of Sunday...

...actually this goes back even further, to Saturday afternoon. I lay down for a short nap and as I was lying there I felt a tiny bit of tightness in my chest. This worried me a wee tad because, as regular readers know, I have a pacemaker in my chest. But the thought that went through my head was this:

My buddy Steve, who has season tickets to the Arizona Diamondbacks games, had invited me down to take in a game this afternoon (Sunday). So as I was lying there contemplating the tightness in my chest Saturday I wondered idly if I suddenly "ceased to exist" (to quote the Monty Python dead parrot sketch), would SWMBO call Steve and tell him I wouldn't be able to make the game.

I then further thought that if she had neglected to do so and the time reached, say 12:15 p.m. today (Sunday) when I was due to to meet Steve at his house and I wasn't there, would Steve call and ask SWMBO "Where's ***** (Catalyst)?" And would she then respond, "He can't make it. He's dead."

Well, I told Steve all of this today when I did get to his house on time to go to the game. He said if the latter case had happened, he probably would have told SWMBO that he still had the ticket and could she make it to Phoenix and go to the game with him.

Y'know, that's what friends are for.