Saturday, December 31, 2011


It is a beautiful day in Arizona.  The sun is shining.  The temperature is in the 60's.  No snow anywhere.  Darn near perfect.  As I was out running some last minute errands this morning, I spotted a scene in a parking lot that simply shouted BLOG POST at me.  So I approached the two individuals pictured below and asked them if I could photograph them.  They agreed after I told them I'd shoot them from the back so they couldn't be identified.  Here's the result.

The young gal out walking her two dogs.  The guy riding his bike.  They met in a parking lot.  It just spells 21st Century Dating to me.

By the way after I took the photograph, I told them I had a blog and asked if they'd mind if I put the photo on it so they could be seen all over the world.

I think the gal said "what's a blog?"  The guy asked me what it was called and when I told him, he laughed once again.  They both said it was okay so here they are.

As I said to them as I drove away I say now to you: Happy New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

NEARING THE END (of the year, silly)

Well, here we are once again, nearing the end of a year.  But before we wind 2011 up, you have to take a look at an amazing Christmas card from some friends of sweet LucyI think I know how it's done but this one is just amazing.  Just clink on that link and take a look.  I'll wait right here.


Oh!  You're back.  Now wasn't that art work absolutely fascinating?  It must have taken forever to create.

As for me and the year just over, I found this ecard from Some ecards just perfect.

Happy New Years Eve Eve, everybody!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I was at a loss for anything to blog about today until I read the post of a friend who shall remain nameless.  He said his work was so slow this week it was like being retired and he was bored, bored, bored.  So I decided to take a look at how I spend my day.

This morning I rose about 8, went into the kitchen and started heating water for SWMBO'S tea, microwaved a cup of coffee, emptied the cats' water dish and refilled it, added cat food to the two food dishes, and got out our morning pills.  Then I went back to my bedroom, got my glasses and came back to the kitchen to change the picture on our daily calendar.  (Of course, it's a cat calendar.)  By the time all that was done, it was 8:30.  I went to the computer, checked a couple of emails, then read through Mike Allen's morning rundown from Politico.  Then looked through the headlines from the New York Times.  Then I went to Facebook and looked at a few new postings.  Then to my local newspaper to read the stories that interested me.  Checked the obituaries.  I wasn't listed.  A good day.

So by now it's around 10:30 and I decided to watch a movie from Netflix.  But first I had to take the disk of "Midnight in Paris" out to the mailbox.  (I liked it but thought it wasn't as good as Woody Allen's earlier movies in the Annie Hall era.  SWMBO didn't like it at all.)  Then the new movie.  "Water for Elephants".  We had both read the book and SWMBO watched the movie yesterday.  It's a 2 hour movie but with a couple of bathroom breaks, another cup of coffee and a couple of butterflake rolls, it was around 1 o'clock by the time I finished.  We both loved the book and the movie.

Got dressed and told SWMBO I was going to run the disk down to the mailbox a mile or so away.  They don't pick up mail there until 4 p.m.  She said "I don't suppose you'd like to pick up a sandwich at Maya's?"  I said "sure" so I called in our order and then set out for the mailbox.  Maya's (a Mexican restaurant) is right across the street and the food was ready.  Picked up a carnitas torta for SWMBO and a shredded beef burro for me.  Which we ate as soon as I got home.  Actually I ate half of mine and wrapped up the rest for supper.  SWMBO was hungrier and finished hers.

Back to the computer to read some blog posts and look at the latest polling on the Republican primary out of Iowa.  Right now it looks like Romney, Paul and Santorum finishing 1-2-3.  Gingrich looks like he's slipped to 4th.  Romney and Paul are putting on a full court press this final weekend.  Santorum has been here so long he's practically a resident.

O.K.  Time to clean up the cat pan area.  Took one pan out back and hosed it out and left it to soak in the sun with some baking soda.  Came back inside and just about finished the Sunday New York Times.  Retrieved the cat pan after drying it in the sun and refilled it with litter.  I also have the Florida State-Notre Dame football game on.  Decided to take a shower and did.

Then I decided to write this blog post.  It's now nearly 5 o'clock.  I still have a couple of sections of the Times to finish and I've got one library book on my new Kindle Fire and one book from the local library and my time is running out.

There's nothing unusual about today.  It's about normal.

Am I bored?  I haven't had time to consider it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The BRD sent this video to me this morning and I liked it so much I thought I'd share it with you.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Can you really tell me these don't look good?

I may be one of the rare ones.  I like Brussels sprouts and I like broccoli.  But I know many people, primarily but not totally men, who claim to hate both of them.

SWMBO roasted some Brussels sprouts last night to go with our Christmas ham and sweet potatoes.  She said she was going to go with a recipe she saw Gordon Ramsey prepare on television.  Simple: salt, pepper and olive oil.  They were delicious though maybe a bit firm.

I looked for recipes for them on the Web this morning and found many variations, some of them Ramsey's.  Pancetta or smoky bacon, chestnuts, balsamic vinegar, lemon, Parmesan cheese . . . all of them can be used to kick the sprouts up a notch, as another television chef says.  One chef says to start them cut side down in a very hot black iron skillet, then put it under the broiler for a few minutes.  She said the extreme heat is the way to successfully roast them.

Wikipedia also says Brussels sprouts are reputed to have anti-cancer properties but that these virtually disappear if one boils the sprouts.  That fits with SWMBO's mother's advice about cooking vegetables of all kinds: if you boil them, most of the vitamins disappear when you drain them.

In a television appearance on the Regis Philbin show a few years ago Ramsey prepared Brussels sprouts.  Philbin commented "I don't like Brussels sprouts."

Ramsey responded, "But you haven't tasted them yet.  How can you say that?  At least give me a chance to let you taste something different."

Later, the show's co-host Kelly Ripa told Ramsey "this is the longest I've heard you go without using the F-word."

Let it be established right here that the SWMBO prepared the entire dinner, including the Brussels sprouts, last night without using the F-word either.  I think.

One point of clarification.  The photo above came from the Web.  I was too busy eating to snap a picture of SWMBO's sprouts.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


" 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse . . ."

Lilly had taken a liking to the newest thing lying around: my blazer!

The Santas were in readiness.

The candles were lit.

The table was filling with lobster and steak  (and potatoes and asparagus and copious quantities of wine!)

In the center of the table, a pretty Christmas bow.

And at one end was another - the BRD's Beau Jack!

Paying careful attention - the famous SWMBO.

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter, it woke up Miss Lilly to see what was the matter.

Santa Claus came and left us with gifts.  When they all had been opened and wrapping discarded, Mister T. settled down, curled up in the midst.

And here is the hostess, dancing with glee.  She shouted out merrily "You can credit . . . . . well, me!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Mingus Mountain was decorated for Christmas the other evening as the setting sun put some color in the low clouds.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I was taking a look at the street signs in my neighborhood recently.  It doesn't take much to figure out that the developer had a western theme in mind.

The thing that I can't figure out is how, in the midst of all this Old West ranching country signage, did one street get named for a farmer.

O.K.  Look out.  Here comes your ear worm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


As I (hardcore Democrat) said to SWMBO (very hardcore Democrat) this evening "Y'know we're gonna miss these crazy Republicans when this is all over!"  She responded "Yeah, we're gonna go into withdrawal."

We both mean "have you ever seen anything like this?"

Iowa, for example.  First it was Romney.  Then Bachman.  Then Perry came out of nowhere.  Then he faded and Newt Gingrich rose from the dead.  Then the voters caught on to him and Romney came back to life.  And today Ron Paul seems to be leading the pack.  I mean RON PAUL!  This guy is so far out on the limb the cartoonists ought to be drawing his eyes with little spirals in them.  The Iowa caucuses are now less than two weeks away.  If Ron Paul wins and he very well could because he apparently has the best organization in Iowa it will confirm one thing.  The political elites (and that's who decides these things at a caucus, it's not like a primary where people actually go to the polls and cast ballots) will have been realized as stark raving mad.  Ron Paul has as much chance of being the Republican candidate for president as I do.  So on we go.

One more thing.  The crazy people we the voters elected to the House two years ago.  I say "we" but I really wasn't part of it.  My candidate lost to a bizarre dentist from Flagstaff with weird hair.  Anyway, the new crop of Republicans in the House who won't support anything President Obama wants.  Their "leader" is John Boehner of Ohio, who ran after he noticed how much money the federal government was taking out of his paycheck and decided to do something about it.  But he may be the weakest Speaker of the House since Newt Gingrich.  And about the same kind.  Gingrich was famous for meeting with his caucus and deciding on an approach to a problem, then walking out to meet with the press and changing his mind 180 degrees by the time he started speaking.  Boehner's problem is that he decides to do something, like supporting the payroll deduction two month deal the Senate passed overwhelmingly, then meeting with his caucus and learning that the crackpot new Republicans won't go along with it so he goes back to the reporters with a 180 degree reversal of his position.

It's enough to drive you insane!  And, of course, make me do something I've tried to do less of.  Which is write a political screed like this and maybe piss off a bunch of you guys and gals.  So I'll stop right here, make another drink, and stew in my own juices for awhile.


I had a brief email conversation with a friend in California this morning.  I started by asking, rhetorically, when I've been gone from the state in which I grew up, North Dakota, for decades . . why do friends and family who still live there ask me when I'm coming "home".  My answer?  I AM HOME!

Growing up in North Dakota meant long winters of frequent subzero temperatures and snow and ice everywhere.  I moved to Arizona and continue to live here because I love the climate.

People say "but don't you miss the change of seasons?"  No, I don't because I have the change of seasons right here where I live.  Now granted, about half of my 33 years in Arizona were spent in Phoenix and it does get unbearably hot there in the summer.  But other times of the year it is heaven on earth.

And have I mentioned the Grand Canyon?  One of the great wonders of the world is only about 100 miles from where I sit typing these words.  Since I reached Senior Citizen age and received my Golden Age passport, it doesn't even cost me anything to get into the park, as many times as I want.

So don't ask me again, folks, I am home.  Home in Arizona.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I've been noticing a building under construction on the edge of Viewpoint in our town.  This morning I drove over and asked a workman on his break what it was going to be.  A new Mormon Church, he said.  Looks like it will be a big one.

At least it's providing some jobs in the community.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Much has been made of what good lives our three cats and the BRD's three cats have.  Much of that comes (perhaps jealously) from dog owners.  Well the BRD's three cats share the home with a dog, too!  As some of you long time readers know, his name is Wrigley, or Wrigs for short.  And just offhand, I'd say he has a pretty good life too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This is how Mr. T (for Taz)(for Tasmanian Devil) spends a lot of his days, playing with his little man doll.

Ah, I know he's here somewhere.

THERE he is!

Oooops!  He threw me!

Are you looking at me?

Gotcha, you little rascal.

Man, oh, man, all that work made me thirsty and someone left the kitchen faucet on.

The cat belongs to the Beautiful Rich Daughter.

The photo credits are due to She Who Must Be Obeyed, who was house sitting Mr. T and his two siblings.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is Glassford Hill.  Once upon a time it was a volcano.  You notice we don't call it a volcano.  Or a mountain.  Just a hill.  It's part of what separates Prescott Valley from Prescott.

And this panorama shows Prescott Valley and a great cloud formation in the distance, beyond what is supposed to be a park some day.  Right now it's just pastureland.  As you can see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


For those of you concerned about the old Catalyst's weather, here's the real dope.  The heavy snow was in the mountains around Prescott and about 80 miles away where Flagstaff got around a foot.  But here?  Just a dusting.

It did rain much of yesterday but it only turned to snow around 9 or 10 last night and then moved off.  So, while it's chilly and wet outside, very little snow.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Now before you go gettin' all melancholy, listen to brother Greg Brown.

The rest of you . . . have a nice day!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I watched the latest Republican debate last night.

Mitt - I'll bet you ten grand.

Newt - If you'd beaten Ted Kennedy . . .

Michelle - Newt Romney.

Ron - Abolish everything.

Rick P. - Who knows?

Rick  S. - I'm against everything.

And I thought "is this the best they can do?"

Then I watched our president on 60 Minutes tonight.  And I thought "why is this man trailing in the polls?"

And I thought "Presidential politics is the most ridiculous race in life."

In case you haven't figured it out by now . . . I support the re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Opponents may now state their case.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


So, Ebenezer Scrooge (before his epiphany) isn't scary enough for you?  Well then, consider Krampus.

Please take my best wishes for a very scary Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011


We got our Social Security information for the coming year in the mail today.  Hooray!  Next year we're going to get a COLA - a Cost of Living Adjustment.  But we've changed insurers for our Medicare prescription drug coverage and the premium will be taken out of our Social Security checks before we ever get them.  However, that information hadn't caught up to the SS people yet so it was not reflected in our new figures.  So I took the monthly totals and subtracted what will be deducted to give me a new figure.  Then I added mine and SWMBO's together to get the total of what our monthly checks will be.  Then I did the same with this year's figures and once I had a real total there, I subtracted it from next year's total.  And it's a nice round figure: $50.00.   Fifty bucks a month for the two of us.  That's our Cost of Living Adjustment.

That will just about pay our new Internet Service Provider for hooking us up to the big wide world.  But it won't do anything for the increased costs of food and gasoline.  'Course, gasoline prices have been dropping over the last several months for us.

So we'll scrimp and live, as it seems we almost always have, from paycheck to paycheck.  We're not poor, we're not homeless, we're not hungry.  So we'll be okay.

And there's always that Powerball ticket.

Gee, I wonder who those guys are.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Today is Pearl Harbor Day, when Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Fleet docked in Hawaii.

The U.S.S. Arizona was struck, exploded and sank.

The body of the ship was left where it sank and today is a memorial.

For the United States, the sneak attack was the beginning of our entry into World War Two.  For more than 2,300 sailors at Pearl Harbor it was the end of their lives.

As President Franklin Roosevelt said then it would be a day that would live in infamy.  And it remains so today . . . 70 years and many more wars later.