Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Watch List

If you're a fan of international intrigue, have I got a book, AND AN AUTHOR, for you!  The book is "Watch List" and the author is Steve Glossin.  Many of you may know Steve as a blogger who photographs and describes the antics of the squirrels he feeds on his balcony in Germany.  But Steve is also a writer.  He has published three books (available on Amazon as eBooks and instantly downloadable to your Kindle reader.)  They are, in addition to "Watch List", "Death Mask" and "Prophecy of the Medallion." 

I have just finished "Watch List", having read over half of it this afternoon.  It is a mesmerizing tale of the Knights of Malta and a modern-day brother and sister team searching for a secret from their ancestors going back centuries.  The Catholic Church, a Maltese Mafia and others are all involved.  If you like books by Robert Ludlum and his like, you'll love "Watch List" as the intrigue, the violence and, yes, the sex keep you turning pages.

I am proud to say that Steve Glossin is my friend but even if I'd never met him (on the Web) I would recommend this book. 


Steve Glossin, Author

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mag 63


That picture and that title brought back a lot

of old memories.

Over the years

I often thought of doing a regular radio program

Or a television show

Or a magazine

Or a newsletter.

I would call it “Kaleidoscope”

To indicate the variety to be found


The years went by,

As did the jobs.

I never put together the radio program

Or the television show

Or the magazine

Or the newsletter.

But eventually I did put together a blog.

It ranges over a variety of subjects,

Features a variety of music,

And a variety of pictures.

And I called it:

Oddball Observations.

This was prompted by a sweet and talented lady named Tess Kincaid, aka Willow.  She began Magpie Tales back in February of 2010.  Each week she posts a photo and encourages, dares, stimulates her readers to compose a poem, a story or whatever prompted by the photo.  This week is the 63rd such week.  You can find submissions by other writers at Magpie Tales

So long, Phoebe

Phoebe Snow died today from complications of a brain hemmorhage she suffered last year. She was 60 years old and a great singer.

And Katie Couric made it official today.  She's moving on.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthday Dining Review

Yesterday was my birthday.  As my gift for the day, SWMBO said she was going to do all of the cooking and all of the cleaning up.  Now that is a treat!

I believe I have mentioned on previous occasions that my wife is an excellent cook.

So we started the day with breakfast, a meal we don't often eat anymore.  (I know, I know, it's the most important meal of the day but it's just too much for us to deal with that early in the day.)  I had no idea what was coming but it turned out to be one of my favorites: Eggs Benedict.  Delicious!

That allowed us to avoid lunch since the breakfast carried us right through to dinner.  And what a dinner!  I'm not sure that we have ever had these in our home: LOBSTER TAILS!  They were gigantic and were accompanied by a wonderful rice and vegetable dish, asparagus, and a salad with greens and strawberries.  I was in seventh heaven.

But a couple of hours later dessert was served.  Strawberry cheesecake with some more sliced strawberries on the side.  I went to bed a happy man.

Unfortunately, my camera instincts didn't kick in and I have no photos of the food.  But I can tell you that too many days like this will further convince me to never go to a public beach again.

No, no, that's not me.  I have never owned a Speedo!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Call the fire department - - no wait!

What on earth is causing those flames???

Oh, never mind.  They just lit the candles on my birthday cake.

71 and counting.

And to those of you who mark the day - Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lookin' back - some more

A few days ago I visited a European car show.  In the comments, I mentioned the 1971 MGB I once owned.  Guess what?  I found some pictures!

Of course, those cars did have their problems.  Fortunately the manufacturers included a tire pump.

That was in Indiana.  A year or two later found us in Scottsdale at an arts fair.  SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), me and the girl who went on to become The BRD (Beautiful Rich Daughter).

And some years later, at work in California, a stop at the beach.  In a leisure suit!

Lots of good memories in those old photos.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lookin' back

Reading another blog today got me thinking about "the good old days."  Here's a photo from those days, when I was a television reporter in Phoenix.  That's me on the perilous edge of "the dread Mogollon Rim" and my buddy Steve behind the large, heavy, Auricon camera.

Steve, of course, kept telling me to back up just a bit!

So, of course, I had to take it out on him by whipping him at 8-ball.

Strange!  We're shootin' pool in a saloon in Jerome and there's not a brewski in sight.

I was a bit of a bad boy in those days.  I quit smoking those deadly Marlboros back in 1991.  Nice mutton chops, though, eh?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It's an acronym for "She Who Must Be Obeyed".  It comes from a BBC series - "Rumpole of the Bailey".  I have called her that for years.  But . . . she is truly a dear, in spite of that trait.

She, also, hates to be photographed so I have to sneak pictures now and then.  But I have learned (remember that SWMBO) to ask her permission before I publish one. 

She was working in the yard recently and I got a couple that she agreed, reluctantly, to let me post.  I like this one in her "Vincent Van Gogh" hat.

So, I got away with a couple.  And then.  There's her companion, Mr. Blackwell.

He's the only one of the trio who gets to go outside and that permission was granted reluctantly, as reluctantly as SWMBO allowed me to post photos of her.  But he has become accustomed to our home.  He loves to go out.  But he's become so fat that he can no longer go under the fence to free land.  And he's become very accustomed to the regular feeding he gets inside. 

So, he goes out, stays in the yard and comes in again when we ask him.

Good cat.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I forgot to mention on my weekend postings that music was part of the experience at both the Chalk Fest and the Eurocar show.

I didn't hear this band, Pandemonium, play at the Chalk Fest because they were just setting up when I was there.  But it looked like it would be great.

Meanwhile, over on Whiskey Row, a bluegrass group entertained the car watchers.  Sorry, I didn't get their name but here's a sample of their sound.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Lovers of European motorcars were in for a treat yesterday in downtown Prescott.  The British-Euro Auto Tour around Arizona made a stop on Whiskey Row.

There were some German cars mixed in - BMW's, Mercedes - but the majority of the cars were British, like this E Jaguar.

And some others, familiar to drivers who loved these "sports" cars back in the 50's and 60's.

There were grinning grills . . .

. . . great lines . . .

. . . and lucious leather.

Also some funny license plates.

For those with a big budget, some big (and expensive) cars.

But I think this beautiful blue Morgan was my favorite.

All in all, a treat for the senses.  You can read more about the "pit stop" in a fine article by my friend Doug Cook in the local paper.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chalk Art

Prescott, Arizona, is a place of festivals throughout the summer months.  Today there were a couple of them.  First the Summit Bank chalk art gathering, in which artists of all ages and talents are invited to use the parking lot for their creations.

As noted, the talent runs the gamut here.  But everyone has a good time.

This artist, Lysa Ashley from Corona, California, is in a professional division.

The subject matter runs from realistic to cartoon characters.

This fellow has the right idea, stretched out on a chaise to work on his art.

Another one of the professionals from California, Lori Escalera from Vista.

The festival is in its second or third year and continues to gain in popularity, for the artists and for the onlookers.

Tomorrow, I'll show you some scenes from a European motorcar stopover.

Friday, April 15, 2011


SWMBO and I drove over to Sedona today to celebrate our 40th anniversary.  8 days late but at this age, we wait for the weather to cooperate.

First stop: Tlaquepaque.

It's a touristy arts and crafts center but it's done so well, it's always been a favorite place of ours.  It was modeled after the town of Tlaquepaque, Jalisco just outside of Guadalajara in Mexico.

Lots of Spanish/Mexican style architecture.  Beautiful big sycamore trees dominate some of the plazas.

Most of the art is Southwestern-oriented but Sedona being what it is, you can find plenty of Asian influences as well.

There's also a touch of whimsy afoot, as in this sculpture of a big pig.  A nearby placard says the name of it is "Eat More Beef."

Inside El Rincon, a Mexican restaurant and tavern . . .

There's a group of "guardians" . . .

Though this member of the group looks about as tired as I felt after awhile.

One shop features treasures from the sea . . .

This sleepy fellow appeared to be related to the pig.  He was standing watch over a parking lot, next to a sculptured Saguaro cactus.

It's a very pictureresque place, tempting to the camera . . .

But after a period of walking around, staring at the goods in the shops, one grows weary.  And thirsty.  So . . .

Our visit to Sedona ended with martinis and a great lunch at Shugrue's Hillside . . . and then the drive home.