Saturday, March 31, 2018


Cat on the prowl

Friday, March 30, 2018



Who let that dog in here?

Oh, well, I guess he's not leaving for awhile.

And I can't bring myself to . . . fire him!!!????

So, Gentle Readers, let us proceed into the rapture of near-end-of-the-week hilarity.

And Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

This week's pie chart is actually a throwback, back to when someone first came up with it, just penciled on a bar napkin.

Okay, on that surly note, let us move on into the weekend.

A fahn-tahs-tic weekend, Gentle Readers, as the weather most everywhere has finally broken into the reverie we here at Oddball HQ know as Spring.

Enjoy it.

Oh, and don't forget our watchwords:  Always Keep Laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh, I don't think that's a very good idea . . .)

Thursday, March 29, 2018


I have two different pronunciations of a familiar (and familial) term.

It's the word "aunt".

For some reason when I'm not talking about one of my family members, I pronounce it "Ahnt".

But curiously, for those in my family the word is pronounced "Ant".

My mother's sister, for instance, was always known as Anty Ann.

Her name was actually Anna but modernity shortened it to Ann.

This is a long way around introducing you to my Aunt Lil, short for Lillian.

She lives in Billings, Montana, with her daughter, my musical cousin Bonnie.

And recently she received a couple of honors, being declared Birthday Queen at the Southside Senior Center and then Queen at the 4th Avenue Senior Community Center.

Gentle Readers, my Aunt Lil is a nonagenarian, which I'm sure you all know is a person in their 90's.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what 96 looks like!

Pretty damned good, if you ask me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


And now, Gentle Readers, for those of you who are getting sick of my cat pictures . . . a return to the bird bath!

This puffed up creature with a hint of red on his chest and brow is one of the many House Finches that reside in this part of Arizona.

They are the most frequent visitors we have, along with the damnable doves.

But of recent days, we have had repeat visits from this guy.

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille."

The Ladder-Backed Woodpecker NOT showing off his flashy coat but as Judy said from the other room, "His bright red topknot makes him easy to spot."

(And I really must wash this window.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


There may be some of you Gentle Readers who say from time to time, "Why are there so frequently pictures of Blackwell on this blog?"

And you would be correct, I suppose.

So on this Terrific Tuesday, I give you his companion.

Her name is Muggles, which has nothing to do with creatures from those Harry Potter novels.

I came up with that name randomly after seeing the distinctive M on her forehead.

I have since learned that all tabbies have that characteristic.

Whereas Blackwell has intuited that he is my cat (or more correctly that I am his human), Muggles clings to my wife, spending many hours on her bed sleeping the day away.

She has a strange habit when she goes for a drink of water of reaching out and moving the heavy dish, making a creaking noise on the tile floor.

She is also very nervous and will flee to the bedroom if either of us approaches her while she is eating or drinking.

Blackwell stalks her on some of her trips and then chases her.

SWMBO scolds him but I tell her that he just wants to play.

Whichever it is, Muggles is soon back on the bed and snoozing off.

So ends today's entry in the Catalyst's Cat Diaries.

Monday, March 26, 2018


Ah, Gentle Readers, what am I going to do with you?

I meant, of course, the woodpecker at the bird bath.

I finally was able to upload a couple of photos from my camera that are better than the ones from my "smart" phone.

So here, in all his glory, is the Ladder-backed Woodpecker, stopping off for a wee sip on his way around the neighborhood.

The glare from the rising sun spoils the photo a bit but at least this is better than the previous picture.

With his head in that posture I can only surmise that he is very proud of his flashy coat.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I joined in yesterday when millions of people across the United States marched to express their agony over the murder of innocent schoolchildren, their disfavor with automatic weapons (some with any guns), the National Rifle Association, and the twisting of the meaning of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In Prescott, a relatively small town located in a very conservative county in a fairly conservative state, the local newspaper said 15 hundred protesters lined the Courthouse Square.

I shot many photos but, in some crazed computer foul-up, the one above and the one below are the only two that survived.

As I entered the grounds I stopped to take a photo and a man who had come to join the march said to me, "I thought this was a children's march but it looks more like an AARP convention."

Indeed he was right.

Most of the marchers were probably mothers and fathers and grandparents of kids who risk their lives every day just to get an education.

There were a small handful of counter-protesters shouting rude insults.

The FIRST amendment gives them the right of free speech but as one of the marchers commented, and I paraphrase, the less said about them the better.

Friday, March 23, 2018


Here we are again.

Gentle Readers, I hope you've got . . .

In spite of the depressing news coming out of Washington one has to take a moment to laugh.

So let's all turn off the t.v., discard the newspaper, stop the lunatic voices coming from your all-talk radio station and pay attention to Your Leader, the Sweet Catalyst.

Here goes.

O.K.  are you feeling better now?

A little better.

Well, I tried.

C'mon now, let's all try a little harder to enjoy the first week of Spring (yeah, I know), eat hearty, drink well (and safely), appreciate your friends, have a great weekend and always (Ah say ALWAYS) remember to keep laughing.

Here kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Ah, memories . . .

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Yes, I know.

It's a crummy photograph.

But when you only have a couple of seconds and you're using a phone camera and you're shooting through a window and you're trying not to move so abruptly that the blasted bird flies away . . . that's what you get.

He did fly off after drying his beak on the tree just after I took this shot so my point is well taken.

And I show it just to prove to you that I do have a Ladder-backed Woodpecker in the neighborhood.

It's been awhile since I'd seen him and this is my first view of him actually having a drink at the birdbath.

Pretty, isn't he?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


. . . today is the first day of  Spring!

But what's this on the Weather Channel?

Another "nor-easter"?

Yup, snow and wind and coastal flooding and possible tornadoes and heavy rain in the Southeast.

In my environs, it is supposed to be mostly sunny with a high temperature of 66 today.

Happy springtime, Gentle Readers!

Monday, March 19, 2018


Montana Mike (Genial Misanthrope/Should Fish More) inquired yesterday after the health of SWMBO and my own self and after reassuring him that neither of us was, as far as is known, at death's door, it occurred to me that I have not posted an update on our relative health for the rest of you for awhile.

So, as the post title says in abbreviated form, For What It's Worth here goes.

The captain of the ship, aka SWMBO aka Judy, is suffering through several weeks of physical therapy torture, as she refers to it.

She had reached a level of agonizing pain in both hips and both knees about a month ago and got in to see her orthopaedic doctor (actually his physician's assistant) to inquire about a shot or two of pain killer into the hip that was bothering her the most.

Instead, after examining her and probing and pressing on her various and sundry pain points, he informed her that an injection wouldn't do any good because the inflammation, or whatever it was, was so widespread.

Instead he prescribed PT at the torture chamber next door.

That was several weeks ago, as I said earlier, and while the massages and exercises are not of a pleasurable nature, the end result has been an improvement.

Her mobility is better and her pain less so labor on she will, at least for the balance of this month.

Judy's problems are caused partially by the femur fracture she suffered last June but even moreso by the fibromyalgia she has endured for many years.

If you have a choice, don't get it.

As for myself, I'm at a bit of a plateau in my weight loss program.

Can't figure out why.

Well there is that.

I have slackened off a bit in my regime in recent days but I'm just happy I haven't gained back any of the pounds I've shed.

And SWMBO reminds me that plateaus are to be expected in any type of diet.

So my next goal is to break the 200 barrier and I'm less than 5 pounds from that as of this morning's weigh-in.

It may seem like a lot of weight to carry to some of you loathsomely lithe Gentle Readers.

But let me remind you that I AM 6-feet and one inch tall  (having compressed in my declining years from 6-foot-2) and I am a stupidly sedate individual.

I mean SOMEONE has to sit in this chair all day coming up with these scintillating sagas of my existence.

And I AM down from 221 at around the first of February and 241 at the height of my slovenliness a year or two ago.

As for my health it is normal for someone of my advanced years.

(Should I survive for a mere five more weeks I will reach the accomplishment of 78 years on the earth, rather than under it.)

My blood pressure is back to a quite satisfying number after I cut the medicine which supposedly controls it in half.

And the extrinsic pathway of coagulation of my blood is returning to a normal ratio since I slightly increased the amount of medication I take for it.

(Note to Mike and others: I have no idea what I wrote in the first part of that last paragraph; I found it on the Interwebs.)

Both medication adjustments, I hasten to add, came under directions from my various medicos.

In general, I have the normal aches and pains and occasional sleep disorders of a dinosaur like myself but I am pleased and somewhat surprised to still be perambulating.

So there.

Now back to my diet.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saturday Night's Threatening Clouds

It looked a little scary last night.

But it was only damp this morning and no loud thunder drowned out the concert we watched last night: Roy Orbison Black and White Night 30.

It was a re-edited version of the video that marked the 30th anniversary of the great show at the Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles that featured Orbison, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Presley's TCB Band and backing vocals by J.D. Souther, Steven Soles, Jackson Browne, Jennifer Warnes, Bonnie Raitt and k.d. lang.

A spectacular show.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Gentle Readers, it's that day when everyone is Irish, even if you're not.

So have a drink at the Temple Bar in Dublin.

Click here to go to Ireland

And a special thanks to my long-time blogger friend Steve G. in Germany for sending me that link.

Friday, March 16, 2018


Woe is me.

My basketball season is over.

The Arizona State Sun Devils, the Arizona Wildcats and my alma mater team the Stanley Bluejays all lost out in the first round of their respective tournaments.

What's left for me?

Oh, Tiger Woods is golfing well once again.

And there's something else.

It slips my mind.

Oh, of course.

It's time for the Friday Funnies!

Life is good again.

No, I did NOT forget the pie chart.

Annnnddddd, I think that's enough.

Now listen, Gentle Readers, I desire that you go out and have yourselves an infinitely fine weekend, be wary of those fake Irishmen and women, and always remember to keep laughing.

I'll be right here, ensconced in my recliner, watching for Tiger to make a big move.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(See, I told you so.)

Thursday, March 15, 2018


The weather forecast for our part of Arizona says we might have scattered rain or snow showers today and tonight.

Reason enough to show you a closeup of a water color painting I picked up in Seattle some years ago.

It's called Seattle Rain and it might be more appropriate for Seattle than Arizona.

But I like it.

And actually I like the rain when it falls.

I used to love driving in it.

At night.

I'm older and wiser now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I wouldn't attribute it to jealousy but every once in awhile, SWMBO tries to sabotage my attempt to lose weight.

Most recently it was with this delicious, taste-tempting, scrumptious Quiche Lorraine.

I ate more than my share but I'm back to my regime again and am holding this morning at 205.

And this is only a memory.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Apropos of whatever you prefer . . .

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Ahhhhhh . . . . .

Breaking News: Arizona stays on Standard Time!

(oh, you mean that's old history?

Never mind.)

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Judy's Christmas Cactus has become an Easter Cactus this year.