Thursday, August 31, 2017


Y'all may have noticed that I haven't commented on Hurricane Harvey.

Well, now I will.

It's a terrible, hideous disaster brought on in part because of climate change.

The waters in the Gulf of Mexico are warmer than they have been in years past and that contributes to the unrelenting rainfall that has accompanied this storm.

No matter how much blather the deniers put out, climate change brought on and intensified this storm.

And then I saw that our President made a trip to Texas this week without meeting any of the survivors of the storm and made some self-serving statements before jetting back to the Beltway.

Vice-president Pence came to Texas today and met and hugged and prayed with survivors and even got his hands dirty carrying some broken tree branches away from the front of a building.

But, then, we all know he's running for President, don't we?

Do I sound a bit cynical?

Oh, yes, the President said today he's giving a million dollars of his own money to the relief effort.

Someone I know very well commented that money will probably come from the Trump Foundation that he doesn't contribute to.

But be that as it may.

I had a visitor this afternoon.

What my friend Mike in Montana will quickly identify as a "camp robber".

Down here in Arizona we call him a Mountain Jay.

He just stopped by for a drink.

Speaking of which . . . . . . .

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Some of you have expressed interest in my recent Pacemaker/Defibrillator replacement surgery.

I'm going to show you where it is, complete with the scar from the cutting, so if you're queasy you might want to go someplace else right now.

But for those of you who watch medical shows on television (SWMBO) and are still curious, here you go.

That thin red line is where the surgeon opened the skin over my chest a week ago yesterday and tugged and pushed to get the old pacemaker out and the new one inserted.

That bulge isn't swelling as much as it is the actual shape of the pacemaker beneath my skin.

The original leads (wires) that go from the device into my heart have been there since the first installation ten years ago.

They get checked from time to time but so far they're holding up just fine.

I don't think the yellowish color on the left is bruising as much as it is of some of the chemicals that were brushed onto the skin for cleaning.

I was out of the hospital only a couple of hours after the surgery and with an ice-pack on my chest, asleep for about an hour and a half.

After that no more ice and never any pain pills, not even aspirin.

'Course, they gave me quite a cocktail of drugs in the hospital which probably had a day's worth or so of time to wear off.

But, as the old expression goes, "no pain, no strain" and, since this was my fourth pacemaker "surgery", no worries either.

As I say (ad infinitum), "this ain't my first rodeo."

Monday, August 28, 2017


Light sprinkle dampens windows in Arizona!

(With apologies to residents of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas)

Friday, August 25, 2017


This is not the best day to be finding humor in our daily lives with Hurricane Harvey bearing down on the Texas coast.

But I'm going to try to bring some cheer, even if for just a short time.

Today (once again), Gentle Readers, we're going to examine the role of the computer in our lives.

So that's it for another week of toil and trouble, Gentle Readers.

Have yourselves a merry little weekend and keep your spirits bright.

(hmmm, that kinda sounds like a song.)

And always remember, even and especially in the face of bad stuff, to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, August 24, 2017


I have just finished reading a book titled "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", by Michael Chabon.

It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001.

I used to see it when Judy and I ran our bookstore but only very recently got around to it.

At just over 650 pages, it is a bit of a challenge.

And it's subject matter may challenge some.

It varies between a young Jewish man making an escape from Prague just prior to the beginning of World War Two, magic tricks and escape stunts, comic book art, the unfairness of the business world, romance, homosexuality, life and death.

But I found it a spellbinder.

And mixing in familiar names like Morton Gould, Milton Caniff, Stan Lee, Harry Houdini, Scarne, Orson Welles, Dolores Del Rio and many more brought memories back to me.

I, too, grew up on comic books and magic.

With my mother's help at costumery, I sported a black cape and (cardboard) top hat as a lad to perform shows for a few friends as The Great Taylor.

I had quite a library of books by the aforementioned Scarne, Houdini, Harry Blackstone and others.

But while I did know a few card tricks, unlike the great Scarne I could never master the art of unerringly producing four aces from a deck on command.

In other words, that picture is as fake as it is fuzzy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Although I certainly didn't think so yesterday it appears my little visit with the heart surgeon took more than I thought out of me.

(That's sort of a play on words . . . I'm only talking about energy.)

I came home and took a nap that lasted about an hour and a half, then went to bed again at 7:30 last night and didn't get up until 7 this morning.

And I've had a mid-morning snooze, as well.

Now that I've had a little lunch I think I'm about ready for another nap.

It's probably due to all the "dope" they shot into me yesterday.

Valium, lipoderm to ease the pain of the I.V. shot, then who knows what during my actual procedure, one dose of which put me totally to sleep because once the pacemaker was installed they activate it to shock me to make sure it works and I have no memory of that.

(the evidence)

So, I guess I'm just sleeping off all the "silly juice" they used on me.

I'll talk to you later cuz right now . . .zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Monday, August 21, 2017


I am very pleased to report that my pacemaker/defibrillator replacement went well today.

It began at 12:35 and I was out well before 3 p.m. and home by 4 p.m.

It is amazing to me to see the differences in the procedure.

And I am especially grateful to my surgeon, Dr. George Rizk and the team that assisted him.

There's just one problem.

He said this device is good for 7 to 10 years and I'm not sure I can live that long.

Also, I am very happy to hear that DanaBug had her hip surgery today and it went well and the results look good.

Oh, and I hear there was an eclipse.

Friday, August 18, 2017


It's the end of another week and only three days until the big eclipse here in the U.S. of A.

And only three days until my pacemaker replacement.

Let's put up a monument!

Oh, on second thought maybe we better not.

Monuments aren't faring too well these days.

O.K. let's get on to the real reason you've gathered here on this bright sunny morning, Gentle Readers, the Funnies.

All right, enough.

Whether vicariously or in your very own action movie have yourselves a terrifically splendid weekend, Gentle Readers.

And never ever forget to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, August 17, 2017


The beautiful young woman in this photograph is Jan D'Atri, a Phoenix television personality, at the 1981 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards.

The leering lout with her is me, I'm only slightly embarrassed to say.

She was stopped by a couple of fans to pose for the photograph with her trophy and I, drink in hand and quite possibly three sheets to the wind, wandering by couldn't resist crowding into the picture.

I must add that unlike the Denver disc jockey who got into trouble with Taylor Swift, I did not have my hand on Ms. D'Atri's derrierre.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


While SWMBO* was having a visit from the BRD* today I took a little drive up over the mountain, down through Jerome and Clarkdale to Old Cottonwood.

(*She Who Must Be Obeyed/Judy and the Beautiful Rich Daughter/Gayle)

As I told them when I returned, everywhere I went today it had rained yet I got only a light sprinkle on my windshield.

But here is why the Verde Valley is especially green this time of year.

A view from below of the Black Hills of Arizona, which house Mingus and Woodchute Mountains.

And a familiar sight from our years living in Arizona and particularly during the two years or so that we lived in Clarkdale: the road to Jerome.

That road which continues onward and upward over the Mingus Summit Rest Area and down the southwest side back to Prescott Valley is one of my favorite drives . . switchbacks, gawking slow-driving tourists and all.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Oh boy.

Oh joy.


This week seemed to just race by but I'm glad it's over.

Of course, that means I'm one week older.

Ah well, it also means I've survived one more week in order to bring you a wee tad of hilarity.

Hmmmmm, okay.

Well Gentle Readers the weekend is upon us so let's get at it. 

Have a fantabulous time, enjoy your days off and you retirees, try to avoid saying "days off from what?"

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, August 10, 2017


"I look best surrounded by color and patterns"

Yes, you do, Muggles (aka Constant Companion).

She's snoozing in this picture but she has something to celebrate.

The one she owns, SWMBO, has graduated.

Yesterday was her last day with her home Physical Therapist.

A couple of days prior to that she was discharged from home Occupational Therapy.

For her graduation exercise yesterday, Bill handed her a cane and asked her to walk around in the house.

She said it was a little bit shaky and a little bit scary but she did it, with Bill walking closely behind her to catch her if necessary.

It wasn't necessary.

Today she had two doctor appointments and went to both of them using only her walker.

Her brand new, bright blue wheelchair that Medicare bought her on her last day at the Rehab hospital stayed home alone.

Muggles, though seemingly exhausted, is proud and happy.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Foist (first) let me explain.

I took these pictures with an aging smartphone.

It don't do well when I zoom it in.

So the pictures will be fuzzy.


With that proviso, let's check out that woodpecker.

This photo of the busy 'pecker doesn't show you his beautiful coloring.

Or much of the detail of his body.

But it does prove that I have one in our neighborhood.

He was busy in a tree in our neighbor's yard tonight for a long time.

The branches aren't very big so I can't imagine that he's going to hollow out a home but I'm not real familiar with woodpeckers so I'll just have to wait and see.

Maybe he's just practicing.

But I did have a bit of a surprise when I took my first picture tonight.

While trying to focus on the woodpecker (lower left), I was amazed to catch a curious hummingbird in mid-air (upper right).

Talk about a great catch!

I know.

Neither one of them is in focus.

But hey!

This isn't Wild Kingdom, y'know.

Monday, August 7, 2017


This is a photograph of our clear blue sky tonight.

Not a cloud in sight.

Probably won't be any until the weekend, if the Weather Gods are predicting correctly.

They blew it in Tulsa last night as three tornadoes touched down in the mid-city without any warning, causing a lot of damage, a few dozen injuries but no deaths.

The Weather Gods there say the twisters came from clouds close to the ground and therefore were unpredictable.

In New Orleans a lot of rain in a short period of time overpowered the city's pumping stations and caused yet another flooded Crescent City.

And the beat goes on.

Meanwhile, here in Arizona, the skies are blue and no rain is in sight until the weekend.

Good news for the people down around Mayer who have been flooded by rain falling on ground barren after a forest fire a few weeks ago.

I often say that I live in the best possible climate zone.

I just hope the Weather Gods don't make me eat my words.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Judy ventured carefully out onto our rear patio last night and we sat in chairs observing nature.

Mostly crabgrass that has spurted up and needs to be "Round-Up'ed".

We kept hearing an insistent rat-a-tat sound coming from our next door neighbor's tree and finally Judy spotted the culprit briefly before he flew away.

Then today she spotted either him or another one in the tree just above our bird bath.

I spotted him from my window, which is closer, and identified him (with the help of "Sibley's Birds of the Arizona Central Highlands") as a Ladder-Backed Woodpecker.

He's easy to identify with his distinctive black and white striped coat and scarlet top-knot.

(And no, I didn't take the picture, I swiped it from the Web.)

Now on another note I just realized that the day I'm having my pacemaker replaced is the day of the total solar eclipse!

I'm not sure how I feel about someone messing with my heart on Eclipse Day but I'll just have to trust him.

The eclipse will only be a partial one here in Arizona but I was lucky enough to witness a total one back when we lived in Mexico.

It must have been 1991 because it was at our last residence down south in San Antonio Tlayacapan.

(Try saying that after a couple of margaritas!)

We shared the experience with a couple of friends, Lori and Hugh.

You can see the sky darkening behind us and this was at around high noon, I believe.

We have our dark film viewers to safely look at the sun.

Another safe way is by viewing the sun's reflection in a bowl of water, which is what we were doing here.

One interesting sidelight: our yard boy was an educated lad.

He was going to college but he still held onto some of the old superstitions of the native people.

One of these was that a red cloth should be tied to any fruit tree to keep the fruit from falling off during the eclipse.

Our backyard had probably 20 or 30 fruit trees and each one got a red cloth tied to it.

Superstition or science, it must have worked.

None of the fruit fell.

Maybe I should tie a red flag around my wrist when I go in for my surgery on the 21st!

Friday, August 4, 2017


Yeah, me too!

Judy (SWMBO) continues to make improvement and I am scheduled for a pacemaker replacement in a couple of weeks.

What could be better, eh?

And most of all it's Friday.

So, Gentle Readers, let's dive in and see what's here.

O.K. Walmart (I'm sorry), I'll leave you alone now (for this week anyway.)

Are your sides aching?

I may have overdone it this week.

A way overdue thanks to all my contributors who continue to supply me with the makings of these End-of-the-Week Entertainments.

You know who you are but this reminder is for all of you Gentle Readers: this weekend - - ENJOY yourselves.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, no, not again)