Friday, November 30, 2018


Happy Friday, Gentle Readers!

How does it feel to be right in the middle of that time of year when one holiday flows effortlessly right into the next one?

How about when you drag out the Christmas decorations?

Hey, you forgot one:  Thanksgiving!

And speaking of Thanksgiving . . .

Well, with that happy thought I'll leave you and hop on to the next hotbed of holiday hyperexitement.

Have a hubristic and heartwarming weekend full of hilariousness and horsefeathers.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(now, where did she go?)

Thursday, November 29, 2018


I have something serious to discuss with you today.

Winter has arrived in Arizona.

Have pity on the poor shivering souls down in Phoenix and Tucson.

Those poor devils have had to change their wardrobe to fight off the icy temperatures.

They may even have to call their relatives in far and distant places for sympathy and help.

Oh well, faced with such rejection from one's family, an Arizonan must persevere, face the elements and struggle on as best he can.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018


I was fooling around late this afternoon trying to get a new picture of myself.

Here's what I came up with.

My former colleague, Big Jeff, commented on Facebook that it looked like a booking photograph from some police department.

And he was right.

But the intense gaze is actually me trying to figure out how to take one of these selfies in the bathroom mirror.

Needless to say, even I didn't like it after I had changed to it on all the various sites.

So I'm (at least temporarily) back to Old Faithful.

At least your kids shouldn't have bad dreams about that guy.

Should they?

Monday, November 26, 2018


When we first moved in here about 18 months ago we were visited regularly by a big long cat who I started calling Slim Shady.

Later when we met our neighbors across the street we learned the friendly cat was named Matty.

When they first got him they thought he was a girl and named him Maddy.

They changed the name slightly when they learned "the facts of life" about him.

They also told us that he would come looking for food but to ignore him because he was very well fed at home.

He became a regular visitor in our back yard and would come up to the slider and stare inside.

The other day SWMBO opened the door and let him in!

She said it was cold outside and he asked so politely.

Well, he made the rounds of our small apartment, seeming to map the place.

Today I had just returned from the grocery store and was standing in an open doorway when I saw something streak past me.

Yup, it was Matty.

So once again he was taking a tour.

Surprisingly Muggles and he have not had a problem with each other.

Muggles seems curious but not defensive.

In the photo above, Matty has found one of the cat toys lying around the place that Muggles has grown bored with.

But there must still be some traces of catnip in it.

Matty wrestled it into submission until I decided he had been here long enough and picked him up to put him out.

He was docile until he saw Muggles cross our path.

He snarled and made a backhanded swipe at me.

And yes, he got me.

It's just a scratch but I guess I got what I deserved and I was a little more careful as I carried him to the door and put him out.

I hope this doesn't become a regular thing.

Friday, November 23, 2018


Well, friends and neighbors (and, of course, Gentle Readers), here it is . . . the weekend.

And this is a *special* beginning to the weekend.

Ah, yes, the blessings of the holiday (shopping) season.

But wait!

Wasn't there another holiday recently?

I love the holidays - don't you?

Well, whatever.

I declare the weekend officially here.

Now dazzle your fellow denizens and dumdums with daring debauchery, dapping and dining while definitely dancing away from danger.

In other words, no dozing but have a darned doozie of a weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Traditionally this day was a time of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest.

The first Thanksgiving in the "New World" was celebrated by the settlers from England and some of the members of the Wampanoag tribe in Plymouth Rock in 1621 and lasted three days.

Thanksgiving did not become a nationwide holiday in the United States until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it in 1863.

It moved around over the years but in 1941 Congress finally made the fourth Thursday in November the legal holiday.

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October.

To all who read this blog I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


A view from my driveway yesterday.

The savannah down there across the road.

My fire captain neighbor says it's a flood plain.

But wait!

What are those dark spots?

Let's get closer.

Well, shades of the Old West!

My friend Montana Mike aka Should Fish More, of the blog Genial Misanthrope, would call them Steak on the Hoof!

This guy would probably say "Hey!  We're grazin' here!"

(This is what old retired guys do to pass the time of day.)

Monday, November 19, 2018


Ailurophile - a cat lover.

Surprise, after all these years, I just learned what I am.

A cat lover.

When I was a wee lad we had a dog.

A cocker spaniel named Honey, for her coloration.

Dad had to "put her down" when she became old and incontinent.

It was hard for him and the next day when he told me how he had buried her in our back yard the tears came and it was a bleak day for me as well as him.

I recall an orange cat named Pete that was with us, sort of, for awhile.

But "resident cats" began when SWMBO and I were first married in Indianapolis.

We had Primo (a big black cat) and Pax (a gray and white one) that accompanied us to Arizona.

Then there was Shadow, a beautiful but slightly ill-tempered gray one.

I used to say her full name was Velvet Shadow Bitin'  Bitch.

In more recent years we adopted Chulapay (that's Spanish for Cutie Pie) in Mexico.

She lasted through moves from Mexico to Austin, Texas, and back to several homes in Arizona.

Then there was Jazz, who never met a box she didn't like.

And another gray one showed up and grew into a gargantuan size.  

We called him Smoke.

And then came Muggles.

At one time we had three cats at once, the most we could handle.

I don't remember Muggles ever being this feisty or Smoke this placid but I guess they were, at least for this picture.

Jazz, sensing trouble a-brewing, chose a careful niche to stay out of the way.

And finally my beloved Blackwell.

When he showed up as a needy little kitten, with bloody sores around his neck from a scrap with something, he seemed like such a street tough that I named him Blacky Detroit.

We lost him only a few months ago and so we're down to what we're calling Our Last Cat.

Muggles has come into her own since Blackwell left.

Judy thinks he bullied her, I say he just wanted to play.

At any rate, Muggles now "talks" whenever anyone comes near her, demanding to be petted.

But she still clings to Judy as Blackwell hung around me.

Funny how cats do that, picking one human over another as their favorite.

Kind of like us picking a favorite cat.

Muggles is 14 now and spends most of her elder years doing what she does best.


Sunday, November 18, 2018


Being the continuing adventures of Catalyst and his amazing mixing machine.

My first attempt at dinner rolls turned out fairly well yesterday.

One of the best things about baking bread is the wonderful aroma that fills the house.

They do rather resemble potatoes in this photo.

I am reminded of one of my favorite cookbook authors, Mark Bittman, formerly of the New York Times.

He has written that he is a lazy cook and that's why he likes baking.

Because so much of the time is hands off and just sitting and waiting.

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Continuing now on the Further Adventures of Catalyst and his new stand mixer.

I made a Sour-Cream Coffee Cake.

Yeah, I know it looks good.

And it was actually in spite of strange results.

The walnut topping that I spread on the top fell to the bottom and the resulting cake was pretty crumbly.

Both SWMBO and I agreed that it was delicious.

But we decided that it was too sweet for our aging (ageing, Europeans) bodies and I won't make it again.

Now, on to dinner rolls for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 16, 2018


Yes it is, little helper.

How about you Gentle Readers . . . how was *your* week?

Good, bad, or ugly, let's lighten the mood with a little end-of-the-week humor, O.K.?

For example . . .

And then there's my favorite this week, sent by my pun partner Dr. Jim.

I hope you liked these and that you'll take your good humor into a fabulous, funny, fine, freewheeling, few days filled with flirtatiousness and fun with your friends.

And always remember to keep laughing.

You just otter, right?

(I can just hear my wife saying "All right, enough with the puns!")

Here, kitty-kitty . . .