Saturday, April 30, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022



Google is wrought with growing pains.

Or something.

I hope you can read this because I've been going crazy changing my password and such.

Others have also said they're having magillahs with "The World's Finest Internet Service" today.

So, let's try for some lightness.

Let's try to get The Friday Funnies off the carpet.

That's it, folks.

There ain't no more.

Now let us all enjoy a fruitful weekend, full of feasting and fiestas.

And never forget to always keep mirthful.

That is, laughing!

Now to finalize this, I turn it over to Tommy Terrific and the Lovely Lana and their "family".

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Left to right: Hemingway, Miss Joy and Sunshine or Sunny.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


The Crooks Fire continues to burn and grow in timber and chaparral approximately 10 miles south of Prescott.

Winds from the south forecast to gust to 30 miles per hour today continue to make fighting the fire difficult.

Over 700 people are undertaking that task as the fire has now consumed over 8,000 acres.

Those southerly winds also mean smoke is blowing into our area.

That's the view from our driveway, across the flood plain toward the Bradshaw Mountains, where the fire is burning.

The smoke appears to be descending directly on the Prescott Valley business district.

That stop sign conveys a message from all of us: just stop these fires.

Oh how soon we grow to miss a day and a sky like this:

That photo was taken in North Prescott only a few days ago.

Now the skies over there are yellowish-brown with smoke and the foul air is contributing to an already bad allergy season.

The only good news from this fire is that apparently no homes or other buildings have yet been lost to the flames.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


 I tried a new recipe today, courtesy of Dorie Greenspan.

She calls it Cheesy, Herby Quick Bread.

I think I'd call mine Cheesy Shallot Quick Bread.

As she noted, the recipe is highly adaptable and adapt I did.

Rather than herbs or nuts, as in hers, mine had minced shallot and a dash or two or three each of Everything Bagle Spice and Cayenne Pepper.

It's good.

Monday, April 25, 2022


 For all of you foodies, or just plain old cake lovers, here's what my birthday cake looked like after the first tasting yesterday.

It's my favorite - carrot cake.

Judy's recipe includes some dried apricots and apple butter.

If it looks dense, it is.

Densely packed with delicious flavor.

I had two slices on my natal day.

Sunday, April 24, 2022



Once upon a time I used to challenge myself, clambering around on rocks like these.

Here's the proof.

As Judy learned early and friends Timmer and the Beaner later, I liked to climb up and perch on rooftops.


The challenge perhaps or (in my mind) to improve the view.

But time wounds all heels, as the old expression is twisted.

Today I am more likely to be found in a posture reflected in this rare picture from my past.

More snoozing than scaling.

Challenging myself not on mountains or rocks or rooftops.

But at the table.

For today, I completed another voyage around the sun and reached the previously unthinkable age of 82.

Onward and upward!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Friday, April 22, 2022


 'Tis here, m'dear, the weekend!

Not, I might point out, the Weeknd.

You people of the Canadian persuasion might be disappointed but them's the facts.

So, let us begin to lighten with levity, shall we?

Oh, stop with the booing.

Boo-hoo-ing is allowed though.

Listen, I only put out what you, my faithful followers and playful providers, send me.

All right?

So listen, take yourselves out for a walk (watching where you step, of course) and eat and drink well this fabulous weekend.

Come to think of it, have YOURSELVES a fabulous weekend.

And always, no matter how gross the humor, remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

( . . and you thought it was bad up until now . .)

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Oscar Peterson - Hymn To Freedom

I have said for years that the pianist with the fastest hands I've ever heard was the legendary Oscar Peterson.

I was reminded of that again this morning when a newsletter I receive from the Washington Post included a link to this extraordinary performance in Denmark in 1964.

It's just shy of 7 minutes long but hang with it.

Also featured are Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums.

For those of you concerned about the Crooks Fire burning in the Prescott National Forest south of here, it's grown to 2,000 acres and the firefighters are concerned about high winds again today and tomorrow.

Keep them in your thoughts.

There have been some evacuations but I don't believe any homes have been burned yet.

The Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff, about 80 miles north of here, however has claimed a number of homes outside of the city.

It is early with a long fire season ahead.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022



This is the view this morning toward the Bradshaw Mountains from the end of my street.

(Sorry about the power lines.)

The Crooks Fire started about 14 miles south of Prescott sometime yesterday and was only 4 acres at mid-day.

But by this morning it had expanded to 750 acres and there is a Red Flag Warning for all day today because of high winds and low humidity.

The Weather Gods say winds could gust as high as 50 miles per hour.

And Arizona is in the midst of a multi-year drought.

So there you go.

It could be a long, hot summer with more of these fires happening.

If you're in a hazardous area, stay safe.

Monday, April 18, 2022


 Yup, you guessed it.


It's that joyous time of the year when, unlike yesterday, we have to figure out how to pay for all our sins of the previous year.

It's a wonderful day for Certified Public Accountants.

Not so great for the laggards who have put off the pain until the last moment.

One of the wonderful advantages of being a very old man and of having very little income is that I filed, electronically, as soon as I received the necessary forms in the mail.

Back around February 1st.

And, while I neither have to pay the Feds or receive anything back from them, I do get a pittance from a couple of state returns.

So I'm done early and (moderately) happy with the results.

For the rest of you, Happy Tax Day!

Easter Dinner went (relatively) swimmingly yesterday with the addition to our table of The BRD.

SWMBO did her usual stellar performance in the kitchen and the table was creaking with delicious comestibles.

Your Catalyst, the congenial host, forgot (once again) to take any  pictures so you will just have to use your imaginations.

As part of my atonement however I will share with you a photo sent to SWMBO from Devastating Diane.

That is something over 100 cinnamon rolls she baked for a "mini" brunch after Easter morning services at her church!

Diane is just about a month from celebrating her 90th birthday!

Can someone please find this woman and get her out of the kitchen!

Sunday, April 17, 2022


 It is the day of days.

The day when SWMBO takes over the kitchen and prepares a feast.

After the last such day she vowed she would never do that again.

She said at her age and with her decades of self-imposed kitchen slavery she was done with it.

And yet.

And yet.

Here we are again.

This one is a little different.

As I have related, I made a dessert cake and a batch of dinner rolls.

But still there is the ham, the scalloped potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the relish plate, the deviled eggs.

So while she goes at it I will try to serve as her sous chef and her dishwasher and her errand boy.

But mostly I'll just try to stay out of her way.

After all, I have to rest from my labors.

Actually, that's my daily bask in the sun as I try to replicate George Hamilton's tan.

And contrary to belief, those are not horns protruding from my temples. 
It's merely the back of the chair.

Saturday, April 16, 2022


 I have tried to take a teeny bit of the load off of SWMBO when cooking for "a holiday".


It sometimes puts more of a load on her.

As I have pointed out many times, I am a very amateur cook.

And she's been cooking for over 60 years.

So mistakes happen on my ventures into the kitchen.

Like . . .

. . .well, let's not linger on that.

But I try.

And sometimes I succeed.

As in these dinner rolls I made for the Eater Extravaganza.

They're not bad but they look a lot better when I crop the photo, 

don't they?


We tried a couple of the lesser ones with a tad of margarine and 

they're pretty damned good.

I think they'll do.


 Easter Sunday.

Or as I have renamed it, Eater Sunday.

I know, I know, I'm a heretic.

Be that as it may.

This heretic spent hours in the Taylor Family Bakery Kitchen Friday.

Most cooks would have spent about half an hour.

But I'm not most cooks.

I'm a beginner.

So it takes me a lot longer.

But here's the result of my labors.

Looks kinda unimaginative, doesn't it?

Here's a bit of a better look.

But for the big reveal, one I did not trust myself to do, I called in the

Master Chef, SWMBO, aka Judy.

And she, masterfully, did the honors.


It's my very own (first) Pineapple Upside Down Cake!


Happy Eater!

Friday, April 15, 2022


I'm here, a little late, but here.

The sun is shining and for those of you marking Passover or Easter or both, the time is at hand.

Does this mean Spring is finally and truly here.

Let us hope so.

And now let's open the Humor Bank and see what's in there.

Now the time has come for you all to concentrate on having a marvelous weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(ah, yes)