Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Monday, January 30, 2023


 A good friend who supplies much of the comic material on these posts sent me a poem this morning.

It was a poem that he wrote was "just for me".

But knowing the meaning of poetry as defined by the Mighty Google: "It can . . . allow writers to express their emotions and allow readers to connect to those emotions . . ." I thought I could and even should share the poem with all of you.

I hope you can appreciate the angst that brought forth this poem from a troubled (and anonymous) soul.

So I shall share it with you now.

It is titled "A Winter Poem".

Sunday, January 29, 2023



The clafoutis!

Fresh from the oven.

I hate it when they cool because they sink.

But SWMBO says they taste just as good.

I made this one with blueberries.

I've made the same recipe with cherries and with plums.

Any fruit seems to work well.

And SWMBO is right.

Of course.

They all taste wonderful.

Thank you, France.

Saturday, January 28, 2023


Today's lesson about my state is about what we here call "The Valley", more formally "The Valley of the Sun".

The facts are thanks to a posting by my old employer, KPNX-TV, on its website 12 News today.


What is the Valley?

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest. 

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:

  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Surprise
  • Peoria
  • Gilbert
  • El Mirage
  • Avondale
  • Litchfield Park
  • Goodyear
  • Buckeye

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.

How big is Maricopa County?

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

By the way, where I live is another valley - Prescott Valley.

It's population is 48,188 at last count.

Prescott, about 8 miles to the west of us, has a current population of 46,833.

Prescott Valley used to be considered a suburb of Prescott.

Who's the suburb now!!!

Friday, January 27, 2023


 Me: "Gadfrey, is it ever going to warm up?"

SWMBO: "It's only January, you idiot!"

Me: "I know. Isn't it ever going to warm up?"

It seems like we've had an interminably long cold winter so far and I know it's not going to be over until late March but jeeze!

Isn't it ever going to warm up?

Well, as we sit huddled around the fire in the living room (and we don't even have a fireplace!) about all we can do is exert ourselves to get the blood flowing.

Like try laughing maybe.

Just think about it for awhile, it'll come to you.

As for the rest of you, let's go out there . . . no, wait, let's stay inside where it's warm . . . but endeavor to have yourselves an enthrallingly exciting and entertaining weekend!

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(. . . oh yeah . . .)

Thursday, January 26, 2023



It may be sunny but it's only 37 chilly degrees!

Monday, January 23, 2023


 At the risk of beating a dead horse (sorry PETA), I feel compelled to tell you that Flagstaff, Arizona has recorded just shy of 58 inches of snow this month.

That's only 23 days into the New Year and it's already the fourth most snow ever recorded in a January and third place is within reach.

I was provoked by opening the blinds this morning and discovering that there was a fresh dusting, and it was only a dusting, of snow on the ground around my home.

Now we don't get anywhere near the snowfall that Flagstaff does because the elevation here is right around 5,000 feet and Flagstaff is almost 2,000 feet higher.

It is considered a mountain town but it's only about 140 miles north of Phoenix, which is considered to be in the desert.

And Phoenix is where one finds the cactus and the extremely high temperatures of summer through several months of the year.

Now I live in Prescott Valley about halfway between the two cities, even though our elevation is closer to Flagstaff than it is to Phoenix.

So we get views like this from the edge of town.

Those are the snow-topped Black Hills and not the ones that house Mount Rushmore.

Those are in South Dakota, well to the north of here.

The two highest peaks are Woodchute Mountain and Mingus Mountain.

For whatever reason, most people just refer to the whole range as Mingus Mountain.

As you can see from these pictures, the snow stops accumulating about halfway down the mountains.

I took these photos this morning and, as you can see, the sky to the north is looking dark and stormy so Flagstaff could get more snow today and tonight.

And so ends our climatology report for today.

Saturday, January 21, 2023


 To those of you who expressed concern about my eye surgery yesterday, rest assured that I am, indeed, alive and well after the grueling episode.

Actually I exaggerate.

It wasn't grueling at all except for a few seconds when the fancy, dancy laser beam was repairing one end of my retinal tear and came close to a nerve.

But the rest of the roughly 10 minute procedure was a breeze.

I don't think my vision is quite as good as indicated by this piece of office decor at the clinic where my "work" was done but then I've used it (my vision)  for many, many years.

Now, on another note, I knew the "Alice Kramden" reference in one of yesterday's cartoons would go over the heads of any young readers I might have but I had forgotten that it might also evade the understanding of my visitors from outside of the United States.

So let me explain.

Back in the early days of television here in the United States, there was a comedy show called "The Honeymooners", which starred Jackie Gleason.

Gleason played a bus driver in Brooklyn named Ralph Kramden who had a volatile but comic temper.

On many episodes he would blow up during arguments with his wife Alice, played by Audrey Meadows, and making a fist he would mime a punch and bellow at her something like "One of these days, Alice, POW! Right in the kisser!"

One of his favorite lines was "To the moon, Alice, to the moon!", implying that he would hit her hard enough to send her to the moon.

She was never alarmed by these threats and would usually respond with "Aw, shaddup," i.e. "shut up".

Anyway that's how, in the cartoon yesterday, Alice Kramden beat the U.S. astronauts to the moon.

Sorry for the confusion, Gentle Readers.

Oh, and if you're so inclined, you can find a short video clip of Ralph and Alice by Googling: "to the moon, Alice".

Friday, January 20, 2023


 Isn't this fun?

Just living through the week, counting the seconds, minutes, hours, days and nights until you can open up my blog and learn that IT'S FRIDAY AGAIN!!!

Well, it sure is for me.

Fun, that is.

As well as Friday.

I suppose I could begin each one of these weekly forays into funniness by just saying TGIF and launching the cartoons.

But that's not my way.

I like to amble aimlessly into the arcade of amusement.

Keeping you all in suspense for a bit

Before I say the magic words.

No, not "Shazam" or "Abracadabra" or "Presto".

No, the words "HIT IT!"


Now you're feelin' better, aren't ya'?

I'm off to the eye surgeon who's going to blast my right eye with the killer laser ray to repair (he says) a horseshoe-shaped tear in my retina.

I'll be seeing you (he said pluckily).

But whatever, have yourselves an absolutely extravagantly sensational weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(aw, c'mon . . .)

Thursday, January 19, 2023


 Oh, the elves have been busy this week, filling my Humor Archives to a gut-busting level.

One of the most active is a long-time friend, known here only as Wacky Wally.

Earlier in the week he informed us of an odds on day far in the future.

Today, he has offered up another sly observation.

An oddball observation, some might say.

But let's say no more about it.

Let's just show you what his curious mind has found.

 I don't know about you but I love these things.

Thanks again, Wally.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023


 This post is for those of you who may have added on some years.

In other words, you who have grown older

I have found that it seems thast the older I get the less healthy I become.

I can't decide if that's just a natural progression or an accumulation of illness brought about by the past sins I committed and challenges I foisted on my poor body.

But I know as I've aged it seems I have more and more doctors and more and more visits to keep up with.

When the people in my cardiology office tell me I've got 7 or 8 or 9 years until my Pacemaker's battery will run down and I'll need to have the device changed I think (and sometimes say) "Do you people know how old I am?"

What makes them think I'll live that long?

But I don't want to put you in a dark mood as the sun is finally shining in my town today.

So let me share something another one of my hard-working elves, Comical Carol, provided to me this morning.

It plays on ANOTHER problem with Modern Day (Witchcraft) Medicine.

Let's all keep on laughing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


 One of my chief elves, Wonderful Wacky Wally has been probing the internet again and came up with this wonderfully wacky factoid that seems just right for today.

Monday, January 16, 2023



Just a couple of notes here to try to convince you that not every Arizonan thinks poorly of Martin Luther King Jr.

Back in the late 1960's I attended a convention in Chicago of the Radio-Television News Directors' Association (as it was known then.)

At one event after a luncheon, the speakers were the former President of the United States, Dwight David Eisenhower, and Reverend King, following each other.

Ike was not very good, as he read from his prepared notes through spectacles, and stumbled frequently.

King was next and he first apologized to the crowd because he "had forgotten his speech in his hotel room".

Like, who believed that, right?

He then spoke extemporaneously for some time, without referring to notes and without any of the "ers" and "uhs" we had heard from the previous speaker.

I know he was a preacher but his "performance" that day stunned me with his eloquence.

My other note concerns a day perhaps 25 years later when I was preparing to move from Mexico to Austin, Texas.

I had friends I had made in Mexico who had preceded me in making that move and when I entered town I called their number for directions in finding them.

Jordy, my friend, told me to "just come up the freeway and get off at the MLK."

"The what?", I asked.

The voice on the other end of the phone chuckled and said "The Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard but everyone up here just calls it the MLK."

So those are my remembrances of Reverend King.

I probably would have heard him speak again in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention in 1968, which I attended as a young-ish newsman.

But he was assassinated about 4 months before.

Sunday, January 15, 2023


 SWMBO is proud of her ability to peel a Mandarin in one piece and she's taught me how to do it.

But today she got into a bag of apples and had to show me the results of her artistry.

That's one single peel for each of two apples!

(you may applaud)

But she doesn't do everything from scratch like her pioneer ancestors.

Ah, the miracles one can perform with frozen puff pastry sheets from the supermarket!

A short time later, the product of her toil emerged from the oven, filling the house with a delicious aroma.

Once they had cooled they got a garnishing topping of some (canned) frosting.

And voila!

Fresh, home-baked Apple Turnovers!

It's a good Sunday.

Saturday, January 14, 2023


 There are two small lakes in the center of my town, close to where we live now.

So we drive down and visit the abundant and varied waterfowl.

I think the larger birds in the front of the above photo are geese but I'm no Audubon so I can't be sure.

This guy, in his dress-up white suit surely must be a goose, mustn't he?

Meanwhile up at the upper, smaller pond, many of the birds seemed to prefer dry land to the water on this chilly day.

The lakes supposedly are stocked with Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Bluegill, Channel Catfish and White Amur and from time to time we see hopeful anglers trying their luck.

For we old retirees with time on our hands it's a nice place to spend some time communing with nature.

Friday, January 13, 2023


 Just so you know, my elves have been very busy lately and the Humor Bank is full of great evidences of hilarity.

But this week I decided to challenge you.

So it's all words - no cartoons.

But I think (and after all, it is I who am the most important around here) that you'll still get a lot of laughter out of this week's selections.

So . . . here we go!

How ya' doin'?

Tired from all that reading?

Well your trial is over.

Now put down your reading glasses, forget that today is Friday the 13th (!) and prepare to have a spectacularly fine weekend.

But always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oops, sorry, put the reading glasses back on)