Tuesday, August 31, 2021


 The clouds were building in the early evening.

As I was standing, gazing into the backyard a bit ago, I noticed that there were several wet spots and I said to Judy that it looked as if it had rained.

She said it had and for quite awhile around 9 or 10 o'clock.

I slept through it.

Monday, August 30, 2021


 I don't usually write about the news on this blog o'mine but this Monday morning I just feel a few events need my touch.

Afghanistan and our departure from a 20-year war there is about over.

Contrary to the views of a lot of politicians and pundits, I think the U.S. has handled our leave-taking about as well as was possible.

The Afghan government and military which we supposedly had built up and trained collapsed like a house of cards and the Taliban swept in and took over practically without a fight.

While they were in charge of security outside the airport in Kabul they let a mad bomber through and 13 Americans and hundreds of Afghans were killed.

Since then the U.S. forces have taken out several ISIS K whackos and stopped a handful of mortars while continuing to get Americans and Afghans out of the country; over 120 thousand now in about a week.

So I think President Biden needs to be cut a little slack.

Meantime, on the Gulf Coast of the home front, Hurricane Ida made a mess of much of Louisiana over the weekend.

All of New Orleans is without power but the levee system apparently held.

It's now a Tropical Storm and moving on up to the north.

A FOX news reporter decided to step out of a parking garage and demonstrate the force of the wind.

He was nearly blown off his feet and had to have help getting back into the protection of the garage.

And Sean Payton, the coach of the New Orleans Saints, announced that the team would continue practicing this coming week in Dallas, Texas, and stay away from home for awhile.

For some people, that's serious!

For others of us, the sad news was that Ed Asner died on Sunday.

The exemplary actor lived to 91, entertaining us with both comedy and drama roles and winning award after award.

My pal, Easy Ed, wrote this morning that he and his wife had just been watching Asner in a one-man show called "A Man and His Prostate".

He said it is hilarious.

I think I'd have to see that to believe that, though all the reviews describe it the same way.

And finally, on the home front, we had a marvelous dinner yesterday of Chicken Marsala and a Quinoa-and-Brown-Rice mix seasoned with garlic.

Both items came already cooked in packages from Costco.

It took about 10 minutes to prepare (heat) and it was absolutely delicious.

So the news from this corner isn't all bad on this Monday.

I hope yours is just as good.

Friday, August 27, 2021


 We had an increasingly more and more irritated bulldog in our yard for many hours yesterday.

It was one of several canines belonging to a neighbor and she apparently had jumped to the top of a concrete block wall and then jumped or fallen nearly six feet to our yard.

And she couldn't get out.

And she didn't know us.

And she growled menacingly whenever we tried to approach her.

Finally, late in the afternoon the neighbor lady came home, found my note on her front door and called one of her sons to come across town and take care of the situation.

He did, the dog was very glad to see him and apparently a barricade was built on the other side of the wall to prevent this from happening again.

And do you know what yesterday was?

The Day of the Dog.

I kid you not.

But today is Friday and I intend to kid you now.

Okay, Gentle Readers, that's about all I've got for this week.

Now try your darndest to have a delightful weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2021


 For those of you who expressed curiousity about the bread in the comment section on yesterday's blog, here's how it came out.

The Queen of the Kitchen sliced one loaf this morning and was surprised to see that it looked about the same as when it's made with the right size measuring cup.

Perhaps a bit more "holey" but not enough to worry about.

To clarify, going light on the flour would create a less dense texture to the bread, with holes appearing.

(So sayeth My Mentor, and who am I to argue.)

We hasn't tasted it yet because there were scones to devour this morning but it shouldn't be any different from normal.

The proportions are the same: 3 of enriched flour, 2 of whole wheat flour.

If my ineptness had not been on display, that would be 3 cups to 2 cups.

This bread was made with 2-and-1/4 cups to 1-and-1/2 cups.

Even if the bread is not noticeably altered, in the future, I pledge to check my measuring cups more carefully.

And that makes a better baker, doesn't it?

Monday, August 23, 2021


 I have a friend (who shall remain nameless) who used to say when he was hungry: "I need food! F-U-D, food!"

Unfortunately for my long suffering wife, I picked that expression up and have used it often in the decades when she has provided for my appetite.

I have written here before that in recent years she has grown "sick and tired" of the kitchen and has fairly often relinquished it to me to provide for myself.

I can turn out a pretty good Friday night pizza, even though it comes from the store frozen and all I do is doctor it a little.

But yesterday Her Nibs decided to make Sunday dinner and it was a huge success.

And all done on one sheet pan!

Regrettably my appetite overcame my common sense and I did not get a photograph of the finished meal.

What I did get was a photograph of the meal about to go into the oven, right after Her Majesty said, "That looks darned near good enough to eat right now!"

There was a pork tenderloin, mini-peppers, some undefined green peppers from our garden plants, a passel of halved mini-potatoes, some halved yellow squash (also from our back yard), and some quartered onions.

I wish I could show you a photo of the meal on my plate but the closest I could come would be to show you my mid-section and since this is a family blog I choose to forego that.

Suffice it to say it was delicious.

So today I announced to the Royal Companion that I would be spending my day baking.

To begin, she needed a couple of fresh loaves of English Muffin Bread, which I have grown to be good at.

As usual, it came out brown and beautiful.

I'm a little curious, though, what it will be like once she slices it tomorrow.

(I leave the slicing to her ever since I found out that I am incapable of slicing bread in a straight line.)

But I'm curious because I found out later that I had measured the five cups of flour that goes into this concoction with a 3/4 cup measure instead of the one-cup measure the recipe calls for.

By my calculation that means they were one-and-a-quarter cups of flour . . . light!

Now the loaves look and feel exactly the same but we are both anxious to see what the inside looks like.

But leaving idiocy and carelessness aside, I plunged on into my next project - Sour Cream Blueberry Scones.

I made scones once before and recall the memory as a messy and unforgiving attempt at what I would call Foolish Cookery.

This was no exception.

There was flour everywhere, especially on me.

I might add that I own a very nice black with white pin-stripes chef's apron but, like today, I forget that it hangs just feet from me in a closet.

But all that being said the finished scones, though somewhat messy in appearance, were delicious.

And finally I turned to one of those rip-off recipes one finds all over the Interwebs, this one titled Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks.

Everyone loves those breadsticks, right?

I remember going to dinner once with the wife of a friend (no, it was completely on the up-and-up!) who shocked me by asking our waiter when he brought the notoriously buttery breadsticks to the table . . . for some extra butter!

Could be she and her husband, my late friend, ate that way all the time.

He died many years ago of a sudden fatal heart attack in the kitchen of his home.

My breadsticks today were . . okay.

They're not perfectly symmetrical like the breadsticks from Olive Garden but they tasted about the same.

I got one of those eye-rolling "Oh, really" looks from my Lord and Keeper when I said I thought the restaurant must have some kind of machine rolling device to make theirs so perfect.

So anyway my day in the Taylor Family Bakery is over and done with and tonight's vodka tastes particularly good.

And my take on the life of a baker?



Not fit work for an 81 year old slacker.

Saturday, August 21, 2021



I wrote on this blog recently that I was not a superstitious person.

And yet.

I have always believed that 4 is my lucky number.

That idea originated when I became old enough to take note of the day I was born.

April 24, 1940.

Or, 4-24-40.

Lots of fours in there.

Today, when I looked at my daily calendar, I found that this is the fourth anniversary of the "installation" of my fourth Pacemaker.


Should I buy a lottery ticket?

'Course then I noticed today's date.

August 21, 2021.

Or, 8-21-21.

Now I'm really confused.

Friday, August 20, 2021


Welcome to Ye Olde House of Humor!

In yet another trying week of news, the Olde Catalyst has arrived just in time to lighten the Olde Mood and offer some respite.

And some jokes.

So let us not delay one moment longer.

Cue the cartoons!

So that's all for now, my friends.

Now I ask you to abandon all abhorrences, abasements, aberrations and any additional addled and asinine activities and affectations.

To abbreviate: TGIF!

Have a wonderful weekend and always keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


 Last Thursday, a throw-back Thursday, I showed you a magazine from 1945 with an advertisement for Old Taylor bourbon whiskey.

Today, on a way-back Wednesday, I'm going to take you back even further, thanks to an issue of Success Magazine from the year 1908!

That means that magazine, which my wife had squirreled away in a drawer and which came to light during some cleaning recently, is 113 years old.

That's One-Hundred-and-Thirteen years!

Probably older than anyone reading this blog post.

Here it is.

For those of you who don't recognize him, that's the then-President of the United States on the cover.

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.

The magazine was founded in 1897 by Orison Swett Marden.

Googling him will produce a fascinating biography of one of the rags-to-riches men of the late 19th Century.

Looking at old magazines like this is always fascinating, to see how things have changed and at how some things remain the same.

Here's an advertisement for an early invention by one Thomas Edison.

Take notice of the very-corseted lady on the left and her well-attired gentleman companion.

Another advertisement inside told of a cereal created in 1894 by William K. Kellogg for patients at a sanitarium where he worked in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Interestingly enough, all these years later, Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Success Magazine are still with us.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


 I was surprised to read this morning that today, August 17th, is Black Cat Appreciation Day.

Now that sits just fine with me because I have for decades appreciated the affection and friendship of black cats.

I've never been one of those suspicious people leery of letting a dark furred feline cross their path for fear of bad luck.

I've never been fearful about seeing one on Halloween.

I've never been one of those people who believe black cats are omens of bad things about to occur.

In fact I love black cats.

(Actually I love *all* cats but those of the midnight color are my favorites.)

One of the first cats to enter our (Judy's and my) life was a scrawny stray the kids picked up somewhere and named Primo.

I thought that was a great name, meaning number one, and Primo he became.


It wasn't until years later that "the kids" admitted that they had chosen the name because it was a nickname for some kind of hashish!

As a member of our family Primo had moved with us from Indianapolis to Arizona and made half a dozen moves in the Greater Phoenix area.

Some years later, we acquired a mostly black and always mischievous youngster who became Jazz.


"You even reach for that faucet and I'm outa here!"

Finally, there was a young ruffian who showed up in our backyard some years back with some bleeding sores around his neck apparently inflicted by a neighborhood encounter with another creature.

I named him Blackie Detroit because of his apparently pugnacious nature.

Blackie Detroit

At first we weren't going to allow him into the house but as the Cat Motherer (Judy) washed his wounds and took him to the vet and petted him, he wormed his way into our affection.

As he calmed down, becoming an indoor cat, and grew his name didn't suit him and he became our beloved Blackwell.


After a long run with us, he grew old and ill and weak.

He used to jump up on my desk and share the bird-watching with me.

But on his final day I had to pick him up and lay him gently on the desk so we could spend some final moments together.

Blackwell's Final Day

I've loved all of our black cats and hated to lose them.

They become and became members of our family.

So on this Black Cat Appreciation Day, let's all hail the mighty black cats.

Monday, August 16, 2021


 As I mentioned in a brief post last night, Judy and I took a little Sunday drive yesterday.

We headed up to Chino Valley, then went east a couple of miles out of town on Perkinsville Road, where we took the pictures in today's post.

We then went to what I think must be the northwest limits of the town before heading back south and finally wound our way into Williamson Valley before heading home.

It was a good tour and we were constantly amazed at how green everything is, due to the fairly continuous daily or nightly rains we've had.

Anywhere here is something of what we saw.