Wednesday, January 19, 2022


 One of the bloggers I've begun following fairly recently, Tasker Dunham in Yorkshire, posted the other day a review of a book he'd just read, "The Great Railway Bazaar" by Paul Theroux.

I think it was the first of many books he wrote about travel and, specifically, railroad travel.

It was published back in the 1970's and I had read it shortly after it came out.

All of which put me into Throwback Mode and reminded me of a photo of Judy and I when we were doing our railroad travel in Europe in 1985.

(Lordy, lordy, that was 37 years ago!)

On one leg of our Eurail adventure I inveigled someone to take a photo of us as we were about to board a train.

In my faded memory it was a train called the Orient Express, though it wasn't that Orient Express but a new train named that, no doubt, for the impressionable American tourists.

But, though my memory was that there was a sign on the outside of the train car carrying that name, I find no evidence of it in the surviving photo.

But there we are, anyway, about to join fellow passengers on a train that ran from Paris, France to Salzburg, Austria, at least.

We were both train buffs and became enamored of the trains that shuttled us around Europe for a few weeks.

I remember a marvelous meal with wine in a dining car between Innsbruck, Austria and Florence, Italy.

I recall the wonderfully scenic trip through the Alps going to Innsbruck.

And seeing the beautiful golden mustard fields around Dijon, France while speeding our way on a bullet train from the Mediterranean coast up to Paris.

Those were good times and while we never achieved our aim of getting back to Europe we made many memories to last a lifetime in that glorious month of April, 1985.

(Some memories are fuzzier than others but . . .)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022



It's a gray and rainy day in my part of Arizona.

A good day to stay inside by the fire.

Saturday, January 15, 2022


 Yesterday morning my wife commanded me to come to her room and bring my camera, pronto!

Being as she is She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO), I responded with alacrity.

Also with my camera.

She directed me to her slider door and said "Look at these clouds."

I did and this is what I saw, peeping over our neighbors' HVAC unit.

Waffle Clouds!

The odd and unusual pattern, we surmised, must have resulted from contrails left by many aircraft passing high over our turf.

We are in an area that sees planes overhead flying into and out of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

And a little to the left of this mix, there was proof of our theory.

The sighting of those "waffle clouds" had an effect on me.

Early this morning I went to our freezer and pulled out a previously baked item for my morning breakfast.

(In answer to Robin's post yesterday, that gives me "hope". 😘)

Friday, January 14, 2022


 Am I late or are you early?

A Friday enigma.

Whatever the solution, it is time for the weekly Cavalcade of Comedy from Catalyst!

So here goes.

That last one is for the groaners.

You know who you are.

I hope you all know who you are on this bright, shiny weekend and that you will expend all energy to enjoy it to the fullest.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh, yeah, I've felt like that a few times . . .)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022


 If you were one of the very kind people who happened by this blog a couple of days ago and read about my first meeting with Judy some decades ago, thank you for your many kind words.

As the title of this post states, all those years later we're still together and I'm still smitten by this lovely lady.

And as I'm about to show you, she apparently knew how good she looked in those black turtlenecks because they remained a staple of her wardrobe through the years.

When we were living in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1990, our friend Walter Nixon was quite obviously taken with her appearance too.

Walter produced some beauty himself - he was the father of the actress Cynthia Nixon.

Several years later we had moved back to the U.S.A. but had made a return trip to Mexico to visit friends.

Once again, Judy had donned a black turtleneck and was showing her affection for one of many cats that turned up in our lives.

She'll scold me for showing the next photo but I had to post it, of a much older couple giddy on possibly too much good wine.

The sweaters are still there though mine has gone to gray at this point.

Finally, speaking of alcohol abuse, I'm taking you back to Mexico, some time in the late 1980's, to a somewhat zany New Year's Eve celebration in a hotel in Guadalajara.

Oh look!

The black turtlenecks had disappeared and we were both in white!

But she was still beautiful and I was still smitten.

And judging by that chapeau on my head, the margaritas were working their magic.

Monday, January 10, 2022


 Some of you may remember the second part of a post I wrote recently.

You can find it here.

Well one of my regular contributors to the Humor Vault certainly remembered it and, just to rub my nose in it a bit more, he sent me the following comic strip this morning.

He added that he hoped lots of folks would also send me the clip.

Maybe this will forestall them!


Saturday, January 8, 2022


 Back in my past I had dreams of becoming a writer.

Not a journalist, which is what I spent my working life doing, but a real writer.

As I look back into the mists of time, I imagine I would someday be up there in the pantheon with Hemingway, Vonnegut, Kerouac, Tom Robbins, maybe.

What energy I put into these visions, however, I didn't seem to have a vision of what I would write about.

And I seemed to lack that other necessity - fortitude.

I dreamed of success without effort.

Then one day I saw an ad in a magazine for the Famous Writers School.

It seemed to promise to uncover my latent talent and lead me to the door to fame and riches.

So I wrote to them.

And forgot about it.

Until one day I answered my telephone and discovered a friendly feminine voice saying she represented the school and wanted to meet me and discuss my plans.


My dreams were coming true after all.

Assuming that she had traveled to Indiana, where I lived, from Connecticut, where the school was based, I inquired where she was calling from.

She named a fairly close hotel and I said that I was going to be at that very same hotel that evening because a friend of mine who was a jazz drummer had a combo that was playing there that night.

We arranged a meeting in the hotel lobby.

Then I lay down for a nap and managed to over-sleep.

But I jumped in my car and hurried to the location.

Upon entering the lobby I encountered a beautiful woman wearing a black turtleneck sweater and a topcoat.

I was wearing a black turtleneck sweater and a topcoat!

We adjourned to a meeting room where I got the pitch to sign up for a correspondence course from the school.

I asked if the lady would like a martini but she declined, saying she could not partake while she worked.

After hearing the details I woefully told the representative that while I would like to enroll and take the course, I simply could not afford the fees.

Our meeting over, I said I was going into the lounge where my friend was playing and invited the gorgeous lady to join me if she was through working.

Let me now bring an end to this too-lengthy tale and tell you that many martinis later I learned that the lady was NOT from Connecticut, that she lived in the area and was an employee of the company representing Central Indiana.

I also had stunned her with my talent by writing poems on bar napkins.

Not to mention my black turtleneck sweater matching hers.

To say the least, I was smitten.

And, 89 days later, we were married.

Our first meeting was exactly 51 years ago today.

But when I'm asked how we met I still say "I picked her up in a hotel lobby!"