Thursday, April 30, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY

This one is a little fuzzy.


But it's a historial moment (for me at least). In a television studio at KFYR-TV in Bismarck, North Dakota, 1968, after an interview with presidential candidate and Vice-President Hubert Horatio Humphrey. 

From left to right, the late Bob MacLeod, Wes Haugen, yours truly, and Humphrey. 

We had an exclusive. 'Course there was only one other television station in town but still.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

REPTILIAN VISITOR

He looks like something out of Jurassic Park.


This giant creature from the dinosaur era was caught haunting North Central Arizona recently. The horrifying creature appears ready to swallow up whole cities in a repeat of a terrifying science fiction movie.

But wait.

Let's back off a bit.


Maybe when I quit dreaming and show you his actual size he's not so terrifying after all.

Except to an occasional bug.

I caught him posing on a hand-sized rock just below our bird bath.

Waiting for a drop or two of water to fall.

There are many of them around the neighborhood.

But I doubt that any cities are in danger of being swallowed up.

Anyway, just think of that Geico gecko. Pretty nice guys.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GOOFY & SMOKEY

The Courthouse Square in Prescott had a couple of celebrity guests recently.

No, folks, it wasn't George Clooney and his new bride.

It was BIG celebrities.


I don't know where Mickey Mouse was but that's Goofy! Looks like he may need to get on the exercise machine to take care of that pot belly.

Nearby another character was keeping an eye on things.


No doubt watching for careless smokers and others who might start forest fires.

At least he had the good sense to take it easy on a chair.


Smokey the Bear and Goofy the Dog were both on hand to mark Prescott's 2015 recognition of Earth Day.

Monday, April 27, 2015

WORSHIPPING IN THE RED ROCKS

Saturday some of my birthday gang and I took a little road trip which culminated in a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross near Sedona.



I was somewhat castigated for taking a picture and commenting this is how the amazing structure was able to be built.


But another one of our party who shall remain unidentified topped me as we were gazing at a mega-structure down below the chapel.


That's a single family home with a great view. My companion commented "That must be the home of the pastor!"

When no lightning bolts hit him or me, we chatted with one of the men working to guide traffic to parking spaces around the chapel. He told us the house was owned by a man from Phoenix and was estimated to be worth something upwards of 20 million dollars. He told us it cost a million dollars just to clear and grade the land before construction began. He also said the owner visits perhaps once a year and they hadn't seen him for about two years now. Meantime the waterfall keeps flowing into the pond.

Nevertheless, the views in the area are spectacular.




The forces of erosion over the centuries have created a phantasmagoria of nature. 

And we were lucky enough to be there when a cactus was in bloom.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

FRIENDSHIP

Well, it's over.

My 75th birthday party, that is.

I had virtually demanded that my four longest and best friends come to my home to help me celebrate it.

And they did!

Along with their soul mates.

Tom and Lana flew over from Cambria, California.

Tim and Jeanne flew in from Denver, Colorado.

Steve and Debbie drove up from Phoenix.

The BRD (Gayle) and Beau Jack came over from Prescott.

Friday night . . . we partied! Saturday the long distance out-of-towners and I did the tourist route, visiting Jerome, Cottonwood, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. After which we gathered at our home once again for more drinks and food and great conversation.

So here, from the weekend are some photos of the group.



Tim, a television vice-president and world traveler, from Denver


Jeanne, his wife and a legend in our time


Tom, an Indianapolis radio-t.v. impresario, now retired
and blogging in California


Lana, his wife, a beautiful multi-talented artist and bread baker


From Phoenix, my t.v. and baseball buddy Steve, 
his former flight attendant wife Debbie
 and from Prescott the BRD (who, aptly, looked beautiful)


And the Beau Jack, probably trying to sell Tim a house!

What is surviving to 75 (and beyond?) worth if one doesn't have good friends? I can't answer that because of this small group of warriors who have remained my good friends for decades. 

Tim said he was honored to be invited but I was truly the one honored by the presence of these great folks.

It was a grand party, nearly enough to make one break out in song.

Friday, April 24, 2015

FRIDAY FUNNIES

What?

You didn't think a little thing like my 75th BIRTHDAY would keep me from posting the Friday Funnies, did you?

Well, it's just an abbreviated version today.

I have to go take a nap.

But first . . .












That's it for another week, folks. Now excuse me as I rest from my labors.

OMG! 3/4 OF A CENTURY!!

That was the message on a birthday card I received first thing this morning from SWMBO. As if I didn't know.

Three quarters of a century ago, in Stanley, North Dakota, my father sent this telegram* to his brother in San Francisco.


And so his namesake, Franklin Bruce Taylor, arrived on the planet.

Me.

75 years ago today!

People ask me where I got my weird sense of humor.

I think I got it from my father, along with his fixtures.

* - A telegram was something that was used to send messages while we all waited for email to be invented.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY

The beginning of the Taylor Smirk


I remember that necktie. Blue with black and white checks. But who on earth put me in that outsize shirt??!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CHALK IT UP

There is an annual festival of a relatively new art form in our neighboring city of Prescott. It is chalk art, drawn directly on the pavement of a parking lot. I'm always too eager. I went on Saturday, the first day, in the morning.


The artists are just getting started.





Some are a bit further along.


But the BRD (Beautiful Rich Daughter) was a lot wiser than me. She went down and took photographs on Sunday, the SECOND and final day of the fest. Her photos are much better than mine.




This is the work of Lori Antoinette of Palmdale, California, who knows how to protect herself from the sun.



But I found an artist who drew a girl whose name is spelled the same way as the BRD's.


So the old Catalyst gets the last laugh after all, eh?


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SCITECHFEST

That really is a word, or sort of one. It's formed by combining Science with Technology with Festival. Sci Tech Fest. It took place last Saturday at the Prescott Gateway Mall.


The mall was filled with exhibits displayed by various schools, from elementary all the way up to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.


Just look at the expression on that young budding scientist's face at the left.


Another young fellow was manipulating a robot device to pick up pencils from the tabletop.


There were airplanes . . .


and drones . . .


and microscopes. (Which attracted an older science aficionado.)


Outside the local astronomy club had an exhibit of a number of telescopes.

But for me the highlight of the day were the creatures from the Heritage Park Zoo.


This little hedgehog was said to be shy and he rarely showed his face but he was still fascinating.

One young man carefully cradled what he identified as a Blue Tongued Skink.


Posing royally atop his perch was an American Kestrel, sometimes referred to as a sparrow hawk.


But the Google tells me he's actually a small falcon, the only one found in the Americas.

He let out a piercing shriek when a young fellow showing me a gopher snake got too close for comfort.

Or maybe he was just expressing his appreciation of the SciTechFest.

Monday, April 20, 2015

CARS, CARS, CARS

Wandering in downtown Prescott Saturday, I came across a whole bunch of classic sports cars. It's one of my favorite subjects to photograph.











They were on of those "fun runs". They probably had started out in Phoenix and they were on their way to Flagstaff next.

video

One guy kept saying to me "Hop in, hop in!" 

I said "I'd love to but how would I get back?"

He replied "That's your problem!"