Saturday, February 28, 2009

New life

Yesterday, SWMBO cleaned the sun porch and did a little rearranging. This morning she caught Smoke apparently giving his approval. The cats love to lie out there in the sun.

As always, the photos appear larger when you click on them.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Out from In, New from Old

Time for an update on the building of the new library in Prescott Valley. These pictures were both taken from inside the current library, on the third floor of the town administration building. The construction seems to be taking a very long time but it is continuing to move along. The building is expected to be complete and occupied later this year.

As always the photos are larger if you click on them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Smoke, Small Smoke

I'm always amazed at how flexibile cats can be. If the weather is hot, they stretch out on the floor or the bed, with their front paws extended one way and their rear ones the other way. I measured Smoke one time when he was lying like that and he's a good three feet long.

But then, look how small he can become when he finds a perfect place to curl up: in the bottom of a laundry basket.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More signs of the times

I was in Prescott today and decided to stop at Porky's Barbecue for one of their pulled pork sandwiches. After trying several doors and finding them all locked, I became more observant and noticed this sign.

Since today was a Monday, I was out of luck. But when I do get in, perhaps this is what I'll have to eat.

I also stopped at Park Plaza to check on Granny J's rumor last week that the Mexican restaurant and grocery store had closed. Correct on one and not so correct on the other. The restaurant has changed its name to the Pita Pit and advertises Kronos' Gyros on the front window. I stopped in and perused the menu which features a pretty good number of Greek items but also still offers Mexican food.

Then I walked down a couple of steps to the grocery store. It is the same and one of the employees told me it will remain as a basically Mexican market. But they've apparently severed their connection to the restaurant.

Meantime, in my town of Prescott Valley, progress continues at Roberts Marketplace. Construction workers are busy erecting steel over the site of the former tiny convenience store.

I inquired of a clerk in the new store and was told 16 additional fuel pumps are being added. It's becoming a gasoline superstore!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More changes

This little restaurant has become a favorite breakfast spot for SWMBO and me. It's a sister place to the Apple Pan restaurant in Prescott.

But lately there have been some disquieting signs. Sometimes the restaurant was open, sometimes it wasn't. I stopped in at the Apple Pan in Prescott today and talked to Sue Ann, who gave me the bad news that was confirmed by a sign in the window.
She said they had worked hard for 2-1/4 years but they just couldn't make it at that location. So it's gone. Sue Ann said business is down at the location still open. I asked her if that was because of the recession. She said she didn't know but she hoped so.

She also said the opening of the big new Roberts Marketplace just across the street also had something to do with their decision since that place will soon have a pizza restaurant and a deli.

So it goes.

Black Robbers

I couldn't resist putting this story on my blog. It came from one of my regular correspondents. See what you think.


On a recent weekend in Atlantic City, a woman won a bucketful of quarters at a slot machine. She took a break from the slots for dinner with her husband in the hotel dining room. But first she wanted to stash the quarters in her room.. 'I'll be right back and we'll go to eat' she told her husband and carried the coin-laden bucket to the elevator. As she was about to walk into the elevator she noticed two men already aboard. Both were black. One of them was very tall and had an intimidating figure. The woman froze. Her first thought was: 'These two are going to rob me.' Her next thought was: 'Don't be a bigot, they look like perfectly nice gentlemen.' But racial stereotypes are powerful, and fear immobilized her. Avoiding eye contact, she turned around stiffly and faced the elevator doors as they closed.

A second passed, and then another second, and then another. Her fear increased! The elevator didn't move. Panic consumed her. 'My God' she thought, I'm trapped and about to be robbed! Her heart plummeted. Perspiration poured from every pore. Then one of the men said, 'Hit the floor.' Instinct told her to do what they told her. The bucket of quarters flew upwards as she threw out her arms and collapsed on the elevator floor. A shower of coins rained down on her. 'Take my money and spare me', she prayed.

More seconds passed. She heard one of the men say politely, 'Ma'am, if you'll just tell us what floor you're going to, we'll push the button.' The one who said it had a little trouble getting the words out. He was trying mightily to hold in a belly laugh. The woman lifted her head and looked up at the two men. They reached down to help her up. Confused, she struggled to her feet. 'When I told my friend here to hit the floor,' said the average sized one, I meant that he should hit the elevator button for our floor. I didn't mean for you to hit the floor, ma'am.'

He spoke genially. He bit his lip. It was obvious he was having a hard time not laughing.

The woman thought: 'My God, what a spectacle I've made of myself.' She was too humiliated to speak. The three of them gathered up the strewn quarters and refilled her bucket. When the elevator arrived at her floor they then insisted on walking her to her room. She seemed a little unsteady on her feet, and they were afraid she might not make it down the corridor. At her door they bid her a good evening. As she slipped into her room she could hear them roaring with laughter as they walked back to the elevator.
The woman brushed herself off. She pulled herself together and went downstairs for dinner with her husband.

The next morning flowers were delivered to her room; a dozen roses. Attached to EACH rose was a crisp one hundred-dollar bill. The card said: 'Thanks for the best laugh we've had in years.

It was signed: Eddie Murphy & Michael Jordan.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Changing of the guard

Last November I posted a report on changes coming for Roberts Marketplace in Prescott Valley.

The familiar little red and white building would disappear to make was for a new, much fancier Roberts Marketplace.

Monday was the day and by the time I visited on Tuesday, there was nothing left but rubble being loaded up and hauled away.

I think you're going to like the new store. It is much bigger, roomy and has several new touches.
There will be a Postal station to serve customer's needs.
And supposedly a pizza restaurant in a front corner.
From what I've seen so far, I can tell owner Robert Hamill: job well done!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mom and Dad

Check out this stylish couple.

Bonnie and Clyde?

Well, I know it's a photo of my mom and dad from somewhere back in the 20's.

But I thought it kind of resembled the infamous outlaws. SWMBO said "No, your dad with that jaunty hat, looks like FDR!" (SWMBO is older than me.) She added that if Dad ever heard that he would be enraged. He grew up in a Republican family and thought Roosevelt was the devil.

Strangely enough, I grew up in a Republican family, too, but Richard Nixon changed my attitudes for good.

Yikes! An award!

Wow! My pal, Malicious Intent, has given me an award! Unaccustomed as I am to public accepting all I can think of is thank you.
Mal says about me: Go there for peace and quiet. Shot posts, lovely pics...nice guy too! And there are not too many places on this planet on-line or in real life to go for some peace.

Proximidade is described as follows. This blog invests and believes in proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships. Nominated bloggers are exceedingly charming, they aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. This blog award should be sent to another eight bloggers and they, in turn, should forward it to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade in your blog announcement.

Well, now.

Okay I nominate Meggie at Life's Free Treats. She lives in Australia and has become a good friend, sending me humor and great animal pictures by e-mail. Her blog is a mix of occasional rage at her GOM, great musings on the past, wonderful pictures of the creations in her magnificent garden and more.

Miss Kitty at Kitty's Bloggy Bits in England. She is the master of sock puppetry and loving mother of her two "smalls".

Darlin' Dawn at Twisted Sister up in far eastern Canada. She rants, she rages, she tells great jokes and she's very attractive . . as are her sisters.

Oh mustn't leave out my nearby pal Grannie J at Walking Prescott. She has not let age or emphysema keep her down as she walks the town with her camera close at hand.

And an outstanding poet and photographer, Sweet Lucy at Box Elder in the Brittania region of France. She's a Brit but has lived, with Tom and Molly, in France for some time. Her blog is a marvel of excellent taste.

Oh, just thought of another one. Joan at Charleston Daily Photo. Joan is another expatriate. She's Canadian but lives in South Carolina where she entertains one and all with tales of her adventures and, again, terrific photographs.

Gee, they're all girls so far. Better include a couple of guys. Tombo of Tombo's Blog from nearby Prescott is a self-styled computer geek whose posts run the gamut: photography, food, videos, books, a little bit of philosophy. Always interesting.

And finally there's my buddy Mike at Tongue in Check. He is a great writer, especially considering that he's an engineer in real life. His posts can leave me laughing madly and printing them off to read to SWMBO and e-mail to others. Don't let the photos on his site fool you - -there's a lot more to Mike than the babes.

So there you go. If you don't know all of these blogs, check them out. They're all worth your time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Young Catalyst

You who read this blog or who have met me know me as a fat old man.


SWMBO has been going through photos today and she brought this one in to show me. My first reaction was . . "Oh, gawd, hide that one." But then she commented (somewhat snidely I thought) "Remember when you had ribs?"

After pouting for awhile in the other room, I came back and asked her for the photo. I figure you, my blogger friends, deserve to see what Catalyst looked like when he was . . . A Greek God! Well, O.K. A Norwegian . . . whatever.

The photo was taken, we believe, in Cuyutlan, Mexico in the late 80's. All I can say is "what a difference 20 or so years makes."


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday morning visitor

When I awoke this morning I looked out my window and discovered a visitor. Cats love this perch because it gives them the sun on a cold morning and also the elevation with which to survey the surroundings.

After that first photo I tapped lightly on the window to get this full face shot.

After studying me and the camera for a short time, my visitor decided a slow retreat was the best strategy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Arizona!

Arizona celebrates its 97th birthday as a state today. It became the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

Seems like there's something else we're celebrating today, too. What the heck was it? Oh, I remember.

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009


You might want to check today's date. Unless you're superstitious. Then you definitely don't want to look and, instead, flee back to bed under the covers.

Today is Friday the 13th. Wikipedia tells us that is occasion for triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13. Specifically fear of Friday the 13th can also be termed "paraskevidekatriaphobia" or the always popular "friggatriskaidekaphobia." I'm not kidding! You can check it and much more out here. Of course, not everyone believes in Wikipedia but then not everyone is superstitious either.

Some Christians trace the fear of that number 13 back to their belief that Judas Iscariot, who later allegedly betrayed Jesus, was the 13th person to sit at the table at the Last Supper.

But, y'know what? Not all Christians believe in this number 13 stuff. For a prime example, there is Kurt Warner . . the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. He's one of those "Born Again" types who always thanks God for every victory. This has been his uniform number for years.

'Course you might note that Warner's team lost this year's Super Bowl. But hey! Who would have thought the Cardinals would even be IN the Super Bowl?

If you are superstitious, here's something you might want to consider. Assuming you get/got through today all right, you might want to gather your strength. There's another Friday the 13th just four weeks away!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 12th

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. Happy Birthday, Abe.


KARL ROVE, the bogeyman of the George W. Bush administration, praises Republicans for opposing the spending bill in Congress. He adds that House Republicans have used the stimulus bill to redefine their party.

Yes, they sure have. Sort of like fiddling while the country burns. One can only hope that future voters will remember that all but three Republicans refused to help out the country or the taxpayers in the face of an economic disaster that Republicans brought about.

(End of rant)


One can only wonder why this guy (below) is smiling. Not only is it cold and snowy but his message isn't one to cause joy in anyone's heart. Maybe it's because he has a job, no matter how degrading it is.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snow fields

Just a couple more photos from yesterday of our snow-covered town. I post these mainly for Miss Kitty over in England, who has been agonizing over my previous sunny day photos while she's been hammered with snow and ice and blizzards. See, Kitty, we do get it too. Once in awhile. Though this is the first snow of this winter for us.

It was a bright sunny day yesterday and it's mostly sunny today so I expect most of this white stuff is gone by now. Fine by me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh woe, it's snow!

Regular readers of this sainted blog may recall that I have said I'm originally from North Dakota and that I've seen all the snow I ever want to see in my life. So I moved, many years ago to Arizona. So what do I get this morning?

That's right, folks. That ain't a warm sunny day in the desert! That's snow.

Look at this poor pampas grass.

Nice day for lounging on the patio? I don't think so.

A neighbor said he was worried about the bamboo in his back yard. I assured him that as soon as the snow is gone (and it can't be too soon for me!) the bamboo will spring right back up again.

And I have evidence that a kitty - - possibly Smoke - - visited sometime this morning.

So, how much snow did we get? Oh, I'd say 2 or 3 inches.

Well, I suppose I shouldn't complain. It's the first snow of the winter and probably won't last long. Except the weatherman is saying there are more storms on the way.

Bah, humbug!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bloggers United!!!

Granny J of Walking Prescott has successfully organized another bloggers' gathering. That's her in the lower center of the picture with her back to you. .

About 20 people attended today's fete at the Casa Sanchez restaurant and a great time seemed to be had by all. The waitresses were very patient as they kept adding tables and chairs as more and more people gathered. And then everyone had to have an individual check but the ladies handled it beautifully. I'm sure the group will return.

The lady with the dashing white hair is Judy Arrar of Prescott Area Daily Photo. Her husband is on her right and to her left is Rob of Lemegeton.

Here is local photography guru, Rich Charpentier, who blogs at Airstream Chronicles Continued and computer programmer Dagny Romer of Dagny's Desk.

And last, but not least, the effervescent Sadira, a.k.a. Chickenbells of Foolsewoode and the ever-hungry Tom Check of Tombo's Blog.

There were more but your intrepid reporter failed to get all the information. At any rate this has begun to be a monthly gathering. No minutes, no agenda, just companionship and a chance to see the real faces behind the blogger screens.

Thanks, Granny J, for putting it all together!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Art Opening

SWMBO and I stopped in at Framers Market in Prescott to see an old friend as she opened a show of her art for the rest of February. Sid Freeman is a very talented artist whose present show is filled with her calligraphic art. Here is an article in yesterday's paper that tells about the show and Sid's art.

It's a bit difficult to photograph mylar-wrapped art in a gallery because of reflections but here's one of her works.

Sid learned to carve in rock a few years ago and many of her pieces reflect that training.

Many of the works illustrate Sid's study of various Eastern religions. She told us she had made a trip to Nepal this year and has a photo of herself standing next to one carving out of rock of one letter that is far taller than herself. Of course, Sid is small in stature but she stands tall in the art world.

I'd call her . . . . a rock star!
As always, the photos expand if you click on them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just a nice day

Nothin' much to report today. Just a nice day in Arizona with some slightly fleecy clouds in the sky.

Pretty much the same view, a little closer.

As you can tell from the grasses in the foreground, it's still dry here in Arizona. But HEY! It is a desert, y'know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baseball Season!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, it's that great time of year. Baseball season is coming! Oh, I know. Spring training isn't even underway yet. But today, several of Our Arizona Diamondbacks came to my town.

First picture, left to right, broadcaster Mark Grace, players Justin Upton and Stephen Drew, former player Jay Bell, and pitching coach Bryan Price.

That's broadcaster Darren Sutton on the left.

And here he puts his Sharpie skill to use to sign the back of a fan's jacket.

J-Up, Drew and Bell, all smiling about the upcoming season.

First time in many years I've had the chance to see some of my heroes up close.

There was a huge crowd and long lines throughout the Fry's store but everyone seemed to be in a great mood.

Play ball!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Afternoon at the lake

I stopped off on a sunny afternoon at Watson Lake recently. Gorgeous day.

There was a young couple taking a boat ride.

And some of the professional floaters enjoying a swim.

Yes, a beautiful day. And it was still January!