Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sleepy Smoke

This is a lazed-out Smoke.

Ha! Bet you thought I was asleep, didn't you!!!!

American Politics

Announcing Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential pick one day after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention was John McCain's ploy to take the attention of the media away from Barack Obama's marvelous speech of the night before.

But what now? Not only has the attention to Palin been taken away by the oncoming Hurricane Gustav but the Republican Convention is in turmoil, with McCain on t.v. today telling his folks to "take off their Republican hats and put on your American hats." (He had barely finished speaking when I received a telephone call from a friend who asked "What is McCain doing? He was talking like he already has been elected and is running the country!") Gustav has also caused the cancellation of speeches by Bush and Cheney to the convention and apparently shortened the convention itself.

Earlier today, the BRD called to say "Remember how the Republicans were praying for a thunderstorm to wash out Obama's speech the last night of the Democrat convention? Now look what's happening to their convention! They should be careful what they pray for!"

I was tempted to call her back later and sing "Obama will win now . . . with God on his side!"

Meanwhile, back to Palin. I have several friends who live and formerly lived in Juneau, Alaska. While one says she is smart, tough and dedicated to her family, others deride the choice of a woman with so little experience being a heartbeat from the presidency. Particularly with a 72 year old president with health problems.

She also believes in:

  • Teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in the schools.
  • Drilling for oil in the ANWR area of Alaska.
  • Global warming is NOT human-caused.
  • Women should not have the right to decide for themselves whether to end a pregnancy.
  • The war in Iraq is a good thing.

She also refuses to live in the governor's mansion in Juneau, preferring instead to remain in her home in Wasilla, a long air flight away. And, despite campaign promises to the contrary, would like the state capitol moved from Juneau to Anchorage.

I'm sorry, folks, this woman is not playing with a full deck, no matter how many fish she catches and how many moose-burgers she consumes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah who???

The pick of Senator John McCain to be his running mate. Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Click on the bottom picture to read the caption.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've said it before: Barack Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention tonight was a transformational moment. He made his first big impression on the national conscience four years ago when he gave a speech at the convention of that year.

People began to notice him.

Tonight, I can't imagine anyone, even my lifelong Republican father, who couldn't have been moved by this speech. Granted, he is a natural orator. But tonight he overcame all the rhetoric and got down to the points of his "change."

I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton to the end of the primaries. But tonight, I totally came over to the Obama side. For the first time, I saw not only the high-minded speechifying but the true measure of the man.

I will be proud to do what I can to elect Barack Obama the next president and I think he may go down in history as one of our best.


Other convention highlights:

The speeches of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton. I thought Joe Biden's speech was good but not great. Although I didn't see all of it, I gather the speech by the governor of Montana was quite a barnburner too.

I was quite happy not to see any sign of John Edwards.

Contrary to the view of Colonel Colonel, I think the Clintons were spectacular at this convention and both of their speeches were great.


AND, I thought Michael McDonald's verson of "America" was nearly as good as the late great Ray Charles'.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The BRD is moving out in less than a month. She bought a house in the next town over . . about 11 miles from here. Since the other half of the duplex will be rented out to strangers, she decided to put a wall between the two halves of the back patio. Up until now it's just been one big open space, which none of us really used because of the shared front patio.

So she hired a carpenter. The guy she had used once before, who did exemplary work, never answered her phone calls this time so she found a different guy.

SWMBO asked if she could have him build a ramp down from our back door to the ground, a distance of about three feet. SWMBO's ailing knees can't handle steps very well any more but since we would now be using the back yard for our outdoor time, she needed a comfortable way to get down there.

Well, after two or three weeks, here's what the guy has accomplished. (And he hasn't shown up since last Friday.)

SWMBO says it's typical of construction guys. They take on two many jobs all at once and then go from one site to another, doing work for the person who yells the loudest.

And let's face it. As the guy pointed out the last time he was here, we can get down to the back yard now though I don't think SWMBO will attempt it until the job is more done and the promised railing is in place.

Meantime, the wall between the two yards? Hasn't been started yet.

I think I need Mike.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miss me?

I don't know. I just don't seem to have much to talk about. Or write about. I may be getting bored with blogging. I have a friend in Denver who works for a t.v. station. While he was in Beijing, for over a month I think, his station asked him to write a blog. When I complimented him on it, he responded "Have I told you? I HATE BLOGGING!" Yet he was very good at it. I don't HATE BLOGGING. But I do get bored with it from time to time. I guess all bloggers do. Or most of them. Some of my fellow bloggers seem to spin a good story every day. And Tombo is amazing, putting several posts out nearly every day. Of course, he is fascinated with photography, too, and frequently posts great pictures or commentary about photography. As for my photos, they all too frequently have been of one or more of the cats, or the flowers or the sky. Too narrow a focus? Could be. Reminds me of an old song: Don't Get Around Much Anymore.

So . . . what do you all think of the Democratic Convention so far? It was good to see Ted Kennedy last night although he seemed to have trouble reading the teleprompter. But he can still stir up the crowd. His niece, Carolyn, comes from good stock but she definitely is not a spellbinding speaker. The biggest surprise of the night for me was how good a speaker Michelle Obama is. Her talk even kept me away from the Diamondbacks game for an inning or two.

It will be interesting to see how this 70 day election cycle plays out. I hear both Bush and Cheney are going to speak at the Republican convention. What can they say? How will the conventioneers treat them? That should be interesting.

Equally interesting: How this 70 day election cycle will play out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A New Look

Well, I have that dratted Tombo to thank for this. If you look over on the right, you'll see a new look. It's called a "manga" for whatever reason and allows you to create a cartoonish version of yourself. I don't have that much hair (most of the time) and it may have a little gray in it these days. But what the heck, it gave me something to waste my time on for an hour or so.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Elvis has left the building

Elvis Presley died on this day in 1977. He was 42. Had he lived, he'd be 73 now.

But he left early. His way.

Monday, August 11, 2008


It was nice to see Michael Phelps erupt with joy when his teammate in the 400 meter relay knocked off a Frenchman to win the gold at the Olympics. For Phelps, though it was another gold medal, it wasn't an individual honor.


John Edwards. What can one say? The story is not going to end and as revelations follow revelations, he seems to look more and more sleazey. On NBC tonight, there was a report that said a friend of the girlfriend said the affair began much earlier and lasted much longer than Edwards has claimed.

And the money. It costs a ton of money to relocate both Rielle Hunter and the former Edwards aide from North Carolina to million dollar homes in California. The man who claims to have paid the bill says Edwards knew nothing about it. But, can we believe him?


Back to the Olympics, or at least to Beijing. A friend of mine is there helping to cover the events. He has sent pictures and many videos back for personal use. I can't run the videos but I have seen pictures of Brian Williams, Lester Holt, Dave Barry, and an array of formidable appearing "food" in what is known as the "snack area". The Chinese have put on a great show so far but that food - - - sorry, can't take it. And my friend, who has a much weaker stomach than I, certainly can't. I can't imagine what he's eating.


As regular readers of this blog know, we have roses. Lots and lots of roses. We also have an archway over our front patio. We've been trying to train the roses on both sides to climb up, over and join. I've been encouraging them recently with a little bending of stalks and tucking them into the lattice work. Hopefully, they will soon join and grow together.


A friend of mine in Idaho sent me this by e-mail today:

An elderly couple was celebrating their sixtieth anniversary. The couple had married as childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighborhood after they retired. Holding hands they walked back to their old school. It was not locked, so they entered, and found the old desk they'd shared, where Andy had carved "I love you, Sally."

On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armored car, practically landing at their feet. Sally quickly picked it up, but not sure what to do with it, they took it home. There, she counted the money--fifty-thousand dollars.

Andy said, "We've got to give it back."

Sally said, "Finders keepers."

She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic.

The next day, two FBI men were canvassing the neighborhood looking for the money, and knocked on the door.

"Pardon me, but did either of you find a bag that fell out of an armored car yesterday?"

Sally said, "No."

Andy said, "She's lying. She hid it up in the attic."

Sally said, "Don't believe him, he's getting senile."

The agents turned to Andy and began to question him. One says: "Tell us the story from the beginning."

Andy said, "Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday. . . "

The first FBI guy turns to his partner and says, "We're outta here."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bye Bye Dick

August 9th, 1974 - 34 years ago today - history was made by this man.

He became the first American president in history to resign his office in shame and infamy.

I wonder what it is about August.

Friday, August 8, 2008

John Edwards

I never trusted John Edwards.

There was something smarmy about the way he looked.

When he denied the reports from, say it, the National Enqirer . . I wanted to believe him. But I didn't.

There was something about the way he looked. The way his eyebrows raised and his eyes slanted. His hair. Way too perfect.

So I believed the tabloid reports, in spite of Edwards' angry denials.

And today, it came true.

Now Edwards says the baby isn't his. He says he didn't pay the woman off.

But those denials are coming in the wake of his other denials. And there are already reports coming out that seem to deny the truth in both of them.

John Edwards. Just another in a long line of sleazy politicians who think . . as he himself said . . that they are "special", and above it all.

When will they learn?

When will we learn?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Close and closer

The yellow roses are for Meggie, who said they're her favorite.

The big red hibiscus is for me.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roses and reverie

I'm sorry.

I just can't stop photographing SWMBO's roses.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Dollmaker

We had a wonderful visit this afternoon from a very talented lady: The Princess.

Well, she's not really a princess but she does have an amazing talent. Mary Ellen Frank, living in Juneau, Alaska, has become a highly acclaimed dollmaker. She takes as her inspiration the Native Americans who live in her state. The doll's faces are carved from wood and animal fur is used to make the clothing.

By the way, that's the BRD holding one of Mary Ellen's creations and ME sits in the background.

This is another amazing creation by Mary Ellen.

She had just attended and demonstrated her art of making leather faces and hands at the annual conference of the National Institute of American Doll Artists in Las Vegas, Nevada.

She had come to Prescott to visit a mutual friend and took a few hours to visit us today.

It was a pleasure, Princess!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rain, rain, rain

The monsoon hit our town today. This is taken from the front of our house at the height of the rainfall.

The pictures are larger and more effective if you click on them.

Heavy rain in a short time in the desert does not just soak into the earth.

Through the front gateway you can see our front yard flooding.

This is the drainage ditch in front of the house.

Too much water for the culverts under our driveway.

Our home is lucky. It sits up at street level. Our neighbor's house is lower and we worried that they might have water inside.

Additional run-off ran down one side of our house where it was blocked by leaf debris from exiting under our back fence.

The run-off was diverted alongside our back fence.

Until I got out there in the rain with a fork hoe and cleared the debris so the water could exit.

We love it when it rains here. SWMBO pretended to be worried but I loved it.

It was fun!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Oh, relax, willya?

Yes, my blog was blocked last night also. As were many others. But it was not . . . as some of my friends have written . . . a monstrous, evil plot against bloggers. It was just one of those damnable technical glitches that happen from time to time.

To make things worse, this morning my Internet Service Provider was defunct. So I couldn't receive e-mail, bring up the Internet(s), or even get the ISP offices on the telephone. Busy, busy, busy.

So I went to the grocery store and spent some money. When I returned, I had the Internet and e-mail again. The Internet was very slow all day but seems to be getting back to normal now.


It's just technical stuff.

As I said on a comment to one of my blogger friends a few minutes ago, it is bizarre how dependent we have all become on something that didn't exist ten years ago.

So I say "relax". Read a book. Watch an old movie on t.v. Take a nap. (I think I did all three today.) It will all be o.k. eventually. And even more than eventually, pretty darned quickly.

Reminds me of when I lived in Mexico. When a storm would blow up, the power would go off. We learned to live with candles and quiet. And it took a lot longer down there to restore our "normal" life than it does up here in the U.S. of A.