Sunday, June 28, 2009

More yuk, yuk ukes

So here's the deal, see. A classmate of mine from high school . . . who I don't think I've seen since high school . . .which is a long, long, long time ago . . . (I think that's enough sidebar thoughts) . . . sent me (and a bunch of other former classmates) this video the other day of the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain doing the theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". I liked it. I posted it. Then Lucy read my blog, saw the video and spent an unconscionable amount of time looking at other videos by the same musical group. And posted one of her own on her blog. (Check it out.) Which got me to go back and look at a number of other videos by this very talented and very funny group. They're so good I've been obsessed with posting yet another of their videos. So here is the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain doing "The Orange Blossom Special."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I bet you didn't even know Great Britain HAD a ukelele orchestra!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Death . . .and timing

There has been a lot of talk in the past couple of days about Michael Jackson's terrible faux pas in choosing to die on the same day as Farrah Fawcett. Even worse he bit the big one only a few hours after her death was announced. So he blew her right out of the front pages and television newscast leads. After she had done so much, too. I mean, she had just had her t.v. documentary about her fight for life aired on the tube to much critical acclaim. So we were prepared for her death and ready to mourn her in style. And then Michael jumped in and seized all the headlines.

So in light of this valuable lesson, I am asking you, my friends and readers, to promise me this: when I die give me a day or two to myself before you take over the "story of the day."

Thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Farrah Fawcett died today at the age of 62 after a three year battle with cancer.

Some bad is always accompanied by some good. Her death gave me the opportunity to post this picture one more time.

...Update: Music superstar and accused child molester Michael Jackson also left us today. Sudden cardiac arrest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sexy Political Talk

I guess it's time. I've been pretty good for quite a while. But every once in a while I have to get frustrated and shoot off my mouth. Today it's sex in politics. It all started with the partially revelatory news conference this morning by South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford. He'd been missing from the governor's office for about a week and finally people started asking questions. The governor's staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

But The State - a newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina - had received some e-mails from an anonymous tipster, purportedly from the governor to a woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They were, to coin a phrase, carefully explicit. Editors at The State decided the governor might be in Buenos Aires and took a chance on sending a reporter to the big airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Sure enough, she spotted the guv getting off a plane from B.A. and confronted him. He spoke a little about his trip but then began waffling and broke it off. A few hours later back home in Columbia, he spoke to the news media and admitted he'd been having an affair with a woman from Buenos Aires. (SWMBO said early in his news conference - well, he hasn't said yet whether it was a woman or a man!) She and all of us have become accustomed to politicians 'fessing up to an affair with a woman or even a homosexual partner.

I say it's the power. Politicians have this sense of power. It's partly because of the naivety of the women who surround the pol, who seemingly worship at his feet, who think his powerful job makes him sexy. But it's the responsibility of the politician to recognize that mindless worship and deter or ignore it, not to succumb to it.

I used to cover politics as a news reporter and I saw constant evidence of these failings on the part of politicians. They have "groupies" . . . just like musicians or sports figures . . . and the object of them is to . . . how to put this . . . "hook up" with the figure. His power, his fame, then becomes theirs.

So . . . who have we seen among the fallen?

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, a Republican.

U.S. Senator John Ensign of Nevada, a Republican.

Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York, a Democrat.

U.S. Representative Mark Foley of Florida, a Republican.

President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, a Democrat

See a pattern here? No, you don't. There are Republicans, there are Democrats. Neither party has a lock on the role of sexual misconduct. It's the job, the position, the power.

By the way, there have been a few women politicians who have confessed to bad conduct recently, as well. So it's not just men.

So, what do you do? Not vote for any of them? That's what some people say. I think we . . . the voters AND THEIR BOSSES . . . have to just try to elect the best person and, if he fails, send him home.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh, wow! An award!

I am honored! I HAVE BEEN honored by the delicious Malicious Intent!
She has given me her MIAward and placed me in her esteemed Hall of Fame!
I thank you, M.I., and I shall display my award proudly!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is this the beginning?

Of the monsoon season, that is.

We've been teased this year with cool temperatures and quite a lot of rain in May, which is unusual.

But today, the sky was full of clouds in all directions. And it did rain a bit during the night.

So, maybe the rainy season is nearly here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Summer Saturday

SWMBO and I made a trip into Prescott today to have lunch with our friend Diane and to visit the Crafts Fair on the Square.

That's the two ladies, looking colorful.

Diane's daughter Linda, (above) and her friend Kay (below) had a booth at the fair to sell their wonderful wood products. (Which I neglected to photograph!)

Looking around the fair a bit I found a flutist selling CD's of his music.

There was a bluegrass group.

And, everywhere you looked, dogs! Like this teacup chihuahua, which I was told is fully grown but still only a handful.

She had plenty of company.

Last but not least was this fellow, who may have been the Top Salesdog but when we caught up with him he was just . . . . . dog tired!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baseball Heroes

My buddy, Steve, whom (I hesitate to say but only for a second) I have known for 36 years, invited me down to Phoenix to go to a baseball game yesterday. Steve has become a fervent baseball fan and once again has season tickets for the Arizona Diamondbacks home games at Chase Field.

So, on occasion, I get to take in a game with him, courtesy of Steve's generosity.

Yesterday was such a day and it was a good day because the Diamondbacks scraped out a 2 to 1 victory.

But it gets better!

As we were making our way out of the stadium, a Diamondbacks employee at the top of the escalator said "Hey, if you guys go down to gate 110, you can stroll the bases."

Now, obviously he had noticed the white hair on both of us because this was especially for "seniors" on this day and he didn't ask for any i.d. for either of us. Also, you will note, he didn't say "run the bases", he said "stroll the bases."

Anyway Steve said "C'mon, let's do it!"

He didn't mention until we were too far along that gate 110 was approximately five miles from where we started out. No problem for Steve but he's ten years younger (and nearly as tall) as I am.

Eventually we reached the gate and joined a throng of seniors waiting to be allowed onto the field.

Here we are, in line.

And finally, here we are right on the field. That's third base between us.

I have to admit, after the forced march that got us to the field itself, I was a little worried . . . remembering that each base is 90 feet apart. That's 360 feet total and we stepped onto the field in fairly deep right field. But once on the field, those 90 foot distances didn't seem that far after all. And I was wondering - how come the Diamondbacks don't steal more often.

Anyway, it was fun. Thanks Steve . . especially for remembering to bring your camera along!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A litany

Just thought you all would like something (quite a few things, actually) to think about. So, here you go.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weather it's hot or Whether it's cold . .

This has been a strange year so far.

We've had quite a bit of rain in May, when it's not supposed to rain hardly at all.

And here it is the 8th of June and it's cool!

It's not supposed to be cool now. This is nearly the middle of summer, by Arizona standards, and it should be blisteringly hot with people praying for the monsoon season to start.

I was driving to Prescott today and heard the radio announcer say, "It's 89 in Phoenix." Now 89 might be hot where you live but it's nothing in Phoenix.

After all, as any native or tourist knows, it may be hot . . .

You betcha! I mean, 89 in the middle of the day in the middle of summer? Most locals would be out looking for an outdoor basketball game!

I'm not complaining, mind you. While the days and nights have seemed cool this spring and summer, we all know the devastating Global Warmy is out there, waiting.

One of these fine days, the weather will change and we'll all be saying "Oh, helpmegod! Have mercy on us! Bring on the autumn breezes!"

Dry heat or not.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Full Moon Memories

There's a full moon out there tonight - - a good night to remember one of the greatest of the Sherlock Holmes portrayers -- Jeremy Brett.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Wild Blue Yonder

There are four institutions of higher learning in our area: Prescott College, Yavapai College (whose name comes from the Yavapai Apaches who have, among other things, a small reservation housing two casinos), North Central University (an Internet school), and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (one of two campuses, the other being in Florida.) This last school trains pilots, aeronautical engineers, and many other specialties related to flying. Their school mascot is the screaming eagle.

All of which is to say that I took a drive around the backside of the Prescott Airport (Love Field) today and stumbled across the Embry-Riddle "air force".

I assume these airplanes are used for training flights by the students. There are also many, many buildings housing various aspects of the University. (The main campus is a few miles away.)

My favorite building is this one:

I thought the hanging propellor perfectly matched the sign in the lower right.

Meantime, as I was driving around taking pictures, I couldn't help but wonder if someone in this tower was keeping an eye on me!

Feeling somewhat conspicuous, if not amused at the thought of some unsmiling guy in a security vehicle pulling me over to inquire just what I thought I was doing (evidence of reading too many James Bond novels!), I continued on down the road until I entered an area called the Prescott Air Park. It's actually an industrial park with many different businesses having buildings there.

Already feeling some trepidation at my previous imaginings, I was startled when I encountered this beast in front of one of the office buildings.

A closer look at this grizzly's countenance could give a person bad dreams.

As for me, looking at those teeth, I was taken back to my recent contretemps with Smoke!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Word Play

Now, these were sent to me by one of my intellectual friends. This is NOT the height of his intellect but some of them aren't bad. Some are old familiar ones, some are new. Enjoy . . but, full disclosure, some of them may be a tad bluish for some of you.

Here are the winners of this year's Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n..): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating..

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk...

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj.. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n... Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

If you made it to here, please remember that I didn't coin any of these. In other words, don't kill the messenger!

Talk to the animals

There's a startling article in today's New York Times about research to give a human speech gene to mice!

After reading the piece, all I could think about was Dr. Dolittle!

Monday, June 1, 2009

She's been at it again!

I have previously noted the BRD's rather odd garden.

Now it's her front yard.

Remembering Warren Zevon

Ever since my last post, I haven't been able to get this song out of my mind. So I thought I'd afflict you, dear readers, in the same fashion. Herewith, the late Warren Zevon.