Wednesday, February 28, 2018


"Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash,
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,"

-- A Visit from St. Nicholas
by Clement Clarke Moore

Central Arizona highlands, February 28, 2018:

Monday, February 26, 2018


I hit a new low in my weight loss game this morning.

Down 15 pounds since early February.

For those concerned about my health I should add that the reduction in my size has slowed considerably in recent days.

I had been concerned about a quite low blood pressure, however, and had wondered several days ago if I should cut down on my blood pressure medication.

I gave my cardiologist's office a couple of weeks of readings this morning and heard from them this afternoon.

Yes, cut the Carvedilol in half, came the advice and see how it's going in another week.

I had already slightly increased another med I take for blood thinning and the reading had begun to tick back up as of this morning.

So, you think it's easy losing weight, do you?

When you're being treated for as many malfunctions of the body as I am, it's more of a balancing act than you might think.

Ah, yes, I know.

I've reached the age where we sit around talking about all of our aches and pains and maledictions of the body.

Like all the other old men I figure I've earned it so just sit there and listen!

I know who cares about me anyway!

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Yes, it does snow in Arizona occasionally.

Not often or much where I live.

Though I do remember the day I opened our bookstore to the public back in 1996.

We had been preparing for it for weeks since the space we rented had only bare concrete floors and, at first, no electricity.

With the great help of SWMBO's son Scott we built it from the floor up.

But the night before it was scheduled to open we had a huge snowstorm that dumped half a foot or so of snow on the area.

SWMBO didn't want me to venture out the next day as we lived in Prescott then, about half a dozen miles from where the store was located and she was afraid I'd have an accident or get stuck.

But I went anyway.

We only had a handful of customers that first day and took in around 30 dollars.

But later on it became a going concern, at least for about 7 years.

That was one of the last large snowstorms that I remember in our area of Arizona.

(And I always have to remind readers that we are not in Phoenix, we're about 80 miles north of there at an elevation of about 5 thousand feet.)

So we do get snow, once in awhile.

This was yesterday and even people like me, who grew up in North Dakota only about 50 miles from Canada, have to get out and snap a few pictures.

I took this one of my neighbor's house across the street and gave it to him to either post on his refrigerator or send to his relatives back East.

And yes that is a tent to the left behind that pickup.

I joked with him that if his wife had thrown him out he could sleep on our sofa.

But he said he had put it up yesterday and planned to try it out by sleeping in it last night.

(I never said everyone who lives here is totally sane!)

Friday, February 23, 2018



I had forgotten what day this is.

Where's my weekly reminder?

Ah, there it is.

Ahem . . uh . . well . . uh . . yes.

Let's get on with it shall we?

Well, there you go, Gentle Readers.

A little late but unbowed.

I hope you found something in there to amuse you.

And I hope that you'll have a sidesplittingly boisterous weekend, full of feasting and frivolity.

Always remember though, keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh, ye-gods . . .)

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Gentle Readers, on this Throwback Thursday I thought I'd show you some pictures of the beautiful women I've been lucky enough to share my life with through the years and decades.

First, the love of my life, Judith aka Judy aka SWMBO.

(We always loved those black turtlenecks, didn't we?)

Next come Judy's two daughters, Caryn and Gayle aka The BRD.

Hey!  I even got in this picture, reflected in the window above them!

Next comes Caryn's daughter, Lesly aka The One Who Could Have Been a Movie Star!

She looks a lot like her mother, doesn't she?

And then there's Lesly's sister, Christina, Christy to me.

Not a bad looking brood.

Here's the whole group in one shot.

Count me blessed!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


If you're interested . . .

Top weight:  220.9 lbs  (February 2, 2018)

Current weight:  207.7 lbs  (February 21, 2018)

Along with my weight being down, so is my blood pressure, right at the edge of low blood pressure.

Conferred with nurses at my doctor's office yesterday.

They said to drink more water, keep a b.p. log and check with them in a week.

Might need to back off some on my Carvedilol (blood pressure drug).

TBU (To Be Updated).

Also if you're interested, the new banner picture above is of Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon, northern Arizona.

I wonder why they named it that.  (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)

Monday, February 19, 2018


The famed Prescott Valley wind is blowing like a wild beast tangled in a net today.

(I found that simile on the World Wide Web . . I'm not nearly that poetical.)

I had read yesterday that it was coming but this is the strongest it has blown since we have lived here.

When I woke this morning I first heard it.

Then a bit later as I chatted up SWMBO she told me to look out at the patio.

This is what I saw.

Yes, the wind had picked up one corner of that outdoor astroturf and flipped it along with a metal bowl of rocks that were meant to hold it down.

So, yes, the wind is blowing and it's forecast to continue all day until around 5 this afternoon.

I have since picked up all the spilled stones, replaced them in the bowl and parked it on one of the patio chairs at the corner of the carpet.

We'll see how long that lasts.

Meantime, the whirligig is getting a workout.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Here I was, Gentle Readers, sitting at my desk, in front of my computer keyboard, trying fiercely to think of something to blog about today when suddenly (!!!!!) I remembered what day it is.

Saved by the . . . . bear!

So let us join hands, form a circle, look each other in the eye . . . and laugh a little!

First, there's the inevitable pie chart.

Then a message from our friends to the North.

And finally, an old favorite.

I know I've used it before but it still makes me laugh.

How about you?

All right, Gentle Readers, let those wonderful heartfelt thoughts lead you into a jolly weekend, filled with all that makes you happy and helps you to KEEP LAUGHING!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, no . . .)

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Gentle Readers and others have read of my big black cat and how he follows me around the house like a puppydog.

I was just surfing through my photofiles and found this short video from 2010, which shows that he apparently bonded with me from the beginning.

That's my Blackwell.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Happy Valentine's Day, Gentle Readers.

I can't get through this day every year without bringing up the memory of a gentle genius who could not resist the lure of heroin.

In the end it killed him.

But before he left us he made Valentine's Day his.

Chet Baker.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Day 12.

Down 10 pounds.

My goal . . .

(Don't hold your breath, ladies.)

Monday, February 12, 2018


Speaking of getting old and sensible . . .

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Lo and behold, I discovered that I had been putting on weight over the holidays, what with cakes and pies and cookies and candy.

So on Super Bowl Sunday I stopped drinking alcohol and cut down on my other caloric intake.

I've lost a little over 6 pounds in the week but I'm down about 9 pounds from my heaviest weight.

I've been too heavy for years.

When we lived in Mexico back in the 1980's and 90's, I lost a lot of weight when we first went there due largely to a severe case of Montezuma's Revenge.

Then as I got used to a different type of food, I gradually gained back some of it.

But I maintained a weight which was good for me, maybe a trifle thin but perfectly healthy, for the rest of our years south of the border.

That may be somewhat curious, considering the amount of beer and full sugar Mexican coca cola I drank while there.

Rarely was I seen without a glass or a bottle in my hand.

When we returned to the U.S.A., with all of those tempting fast food outlets, I soon gained back what I had lost and more.

I'm nearing 78 years of age now and I figure it was finally time to settle down and lose some weight.

For years I've said "Oh, what's the difference, I haven't got all that much time left anyway."

But, you know, however much time there is, I might as well enjoy it.

Better weight and health would go a long way towards that.

Wish me luck.

Friday, February 9, 2018


Oh yeah, baby, THAT'S what it feels like!

It's been kind of a dull week around the old Catalyst's fortress so it is way beyond time to cut loose and have some fun.

I don't know if we can achieve that level of wonderfulness taking place in Pyongchang or Pyeongchang or wherever the heck it is.

But we're gonna try.

So let's get started, Gentle Readers. 

Lessee, one for the cat lovers, one for the dog lovers, one for the baby lovers, . . . . oh, how about one for the LOVE lovers.

Man, do I know the truth of THAT one!

Well, I think that ought to hold you for another week.

Now, you budding hedonists, I want y'all to get hot if you're cold, get cool if you're hot, but above all get out there and have yourselves a weekend that gets a perfect 10!

And always remember to keep laughing!!!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you.)

(p.s. Yes, I do know the gnomes spelled "exercise" incorrectly up above.  It's hard to get good help these days.)