Saturday, January 31, 2015


I was watching a Phoenix television station the other night and the anchorman said "Wouldn't you know it?  52 weeks of the year and the one where we have both the Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl in town and it rains!"

Of course, the football game is Sunday and is being played in a stadium with a retractable roof.  And it didn't rain hard yesterday and I watched some of the golf tournament and it looked like they played through it.

Still, here's how it looked through my window yesterday morning.

Not exactly the best day for shooting that new tourism video.

Friday, January 30, 2015


So here it is once again, folks, the end of a week and the beginning of a weekend.  What better time to irritate your fellows around you by staring at a computer screen and chuckling, chortling, outright laughing to yourself.  Launch mirth!

Well not me but someone I know.

So?  The cat's not hysterically funny this week?  Everyone deserves a break.

But for the others . . thanks to my (heh-heh) contributors and have a splendid weekend, folks. And remember, keep laughing!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I've had an interesting life (so far).

From this . . .

  . . . . to this

(top picture: Stanley, North Dakota, probably the 1940's. Left to right - Jerome Larson (Romey), Roger Abelson, Jim Burbidge, Jerry Eidem, Bruce Taylor (me), Bruce Davick)

(bottom picture: Casino Monte Carlo, Monaco, 1985.  Me in lower left.)

We (Our Gang) had a lot of fun in our "kid" days.  Possibly less fun at Monte Carlo.  I didn't break the bank and I didn't see James Bond.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Here we go again.

The beard I patiently waited to grow out for 6 weeks or so.  I was hoping for a true Santa Claus look and if I had waited longer that dishwater look on the sides might have become white.  Or at least whiter.

But I didn't.

This morning I got rid of those sides and went back to my goatee.  Fuller, now.

We'll see how long this lasts.

And before you all start on me, yes it does bring a smile to my face. 

(Sort of.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


"With my back to the light, he'll never see me"

"With my special vision, I'm scanning the horizon"

"My radar detectors are on full alert"

"I should chase the invader but this blanket is so-o-o-o comfy"

"Oh, all right.  Just get me from my best side"

Monday, January 26, 2015


I hadn't meant it as a contest but . . . we have a winner!  Steve Glossin, my ex-pat friend from Northern California now retired from the military and living in Germany, hit it nearly spot on. Steve is the author of the blog Life is Good (Most of the Time) and several novels of international intrigue. He correctly identified yesterday's photos as close-ups of the sandstone slabs in my back yard altered with some photo-shopping colors.  I said "nearly" spot on because the slab in my header was not among those so altered.  But its neighbors were. So, as they say on the award shows, let's have a big round of applause for Steve.  It makes me think he may have had some type of military career as an analyst of some type. Congratulations, Steve.

Which brings us to celebratory Monday.  For the past two weeks I've been on not a diet exactly but an alteration of my lifestyle.  Much less booze, eating an early breakfast, avoiding fast food, and the like. This morning I'm proud to tell you the scale says I've lost 10 pounds. SWMBO would be quick to tell you that men always lose weight faster than women.  But I feel good about it if still not good about my weight.  The battle goes on.

Don't I look slimmer?  (Actually not much.  This picture was taken a few days ago.)  

Who knows how much weight I will lose when that beard comes off!

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Blue-phrates Delta

Point Porterhouse Rare

Moonlight Serenade

(Don't take it too seriously, folks.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I went to another lecture this morning, this one at the Sharlot Hall Museum.  It was on the Spanish-American War in Cuba with a bit of a side trip to the Phillipine-American war.  

According to lore, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst created the war with his yellow journalism of the day.  He sent artist Frederick Remington to Cuba to supply him with pictures of the war.  Remington supposedly wired Hearst that all was quiet and there was no war.  Hearst allegedly wired back "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."  But today's speaker, historian John Stewart, said there is no evidence that anyone ever said that.  My thought was "why ruin a good story with facts!"

Stewart also said the part of the Maine that was sunk in Havana Harbor was later refloated and examination revealed that the explosion that sank her came from inside the ship, not from a Spanish or Cuban mine.  As one of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut, might say "so it goes."

On the way home I stopped at a bridge that crosses Lynx Creek in the StoneRidge subdivision where I live.  There are always many cars and trucks parked along there.

When I first moved here I stopped one day and was told that the drivers of those vehicles were panning for gold down in the creek. Today I chatted with another fellow who confirmed that story.

He said it's mostly flakes and dust that the panners collect but once in awhile someone collects a tiny nugget about the size of a fingernail on your smallest finger.  But that could be worth 800 to a thousand dollars so it's worth searching for one.

Whether one makes his fortune or not it's nice to get outside on a warm sunny day and commune with nature.

Just to give you a feel for it, here's a short video with the sound of the burbling creek to sooth your soul.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Oh, go ahead.  Laugh a little.

And with that poor kitty fighting off baptism, we bring a close to this week's Friday Funnies.  Thanks once again to all contributors (especially my East Coast Stringer) and victims of theft.

Have a great weekend, folks, and . . . you know . . . keep laughing!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


In 1985, just about 30 years ago, SWMBO and I made our one and only trip to Europe.  On the last stop of our "grand tour", we spent four days in Paris.  (France. Just to allay the confusion of some of you who might think I'm talking about Texas or Kentucky or Tennessee or California or Idaho or any of the other towns named Paris around the United States.)

Well.  When an American tourist visits Paris that tourist must visit the great art museum, The Louvre.  And we did.  I was impressed with the room after room of paintings by famous artists. And by the Egyptian sculpture.

(Uh-uh, don't touch, Bruce.)

I didn't get a picture of Mona Lisa because a recent attack on it by a madman had resulted in bulletproof (and highly reflective) glass being installed in front of it.  It was smaller than I had expected.

But I did finally get a shot of this lady after the many Japanese tourists posing with her moved aside.

I asked SWMBO if she wanted her picture taken with the Venus de Milo.  She said she didn't want the comparison.

But here's the carved marble that really amazed me.

You can tell me about the David (we saw him in Florence, Italy) and the Pieta (we saw one of the many carved by Michaelangelo) and any number of other masterpieces.  But just look at this mattress.  It resembles an air mattress in a swimming pool but the detail of the wrinkles in it was just amazing to me.

Oh, and the reclining figure wasn't bad either.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


My good friend Tom of Light Breezes has been filling his blog and my email box with beautiful pictures from his current stay in Hawaii. 

I've never been to Hawaii.  

I appreciate his photos.  

Even though it makes me a little envious.  

Since I've heard that envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins I am pleased to be able to respond to his photos in kind today.

This was our sunset sky last night.

And a slightly different angle over our neighbor's home.

It ain't Hawaii but it ain't bad.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Is this a volcano?

It certainly looks like one to me.  It is in the Bradshaw Mountains foothills just to the south of StoneRidge in Prescott Valley, where I live.

It pokes it's head up above the other hills around here.  Here's a photo to show how close it is to the surrounding development.

If it is (or was) an active volcano I suspect it is long extinct.  Just the other direction is Glassford Hill, the landmark of Prescott Valley and a proven extinct volcano.

Photographed from these angles it doesn't really look like a volcano to me.  No cone shape. But a little further around the side and you can see where the lava flew 10 to 14 million years ago.

They're not real good photos.  The entrance road to the property that I discovered was not closed off or posted but I decided not to get any closer.  By cropping my photo you can get a bit better view.

You may notice some towers up at the peak.  Those are various radio transmission towers that the town and the county administer. I'd love to get up there to the top at 6,177 feet but I believe it is restricted territory.  There's probably a locked gate somewhere up the road aways.

But if that other one, to the south, ever decides to come to life the residents of StoneRidge may be in for a rude awakening.