Monday, May 29, 2023


 Melissa Clark (my favorite red-head) of the New York Times is the master (mistress?) of the sheet pan dinners.

But she's got nothing on my Master Chef in Residence, Ms. Judy, aka SWMBO.




My plate

My salad (sliced fresh cantaloupe)

My witnesses

Saturday, May 27, 2023


 In the United States of America this is the unofficial beginning of Summer.

So the feasting is on.

Barbecue grills with hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, corn on the cob.

Desserts of rhubarb pie, strawberries over ice cream, watermelon.

Memorial Day, on Monday, is a federal holiday, thus we get a three-day weekend.

But the original meaning was a day set aside to mourn and honor those who lost their lives while serving in the Armed Services.

Originally called Decoration Day, the graves of those warriors were marked with small flags.

My only relative that I know who died in service is buried far away.

But I was up this morning putting in a couple of hooks so we too could fly our flag.

It's out there now in front of our home, fluttering in the breeze.

As we gather on patios and in back yards and swimming pools and ball parks, let us enjoy the good food and the good friends and the good times.

But never forgetting why we have this weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2023


 Some weeks you get to thinking it's just been too stressful (Judy's pacemaker replacement) or too sad (Tina Turner's death) to find any reason to laugh.

But then there was that thing on Twitter (Musk & DeSantis) the other day that lightens the load.

So Fellow Travelers, let's get on it.

It's Friday!

Y'know I always wondered what life was like up there on Starship Enterprise.

Pretty funny, I guess.

At any rate, this is bringing an end to the week and now the weekend is staring you in the face.

And it's a THREE-DAY weekend!

So brace yourselves to start grilling season.

Have yourselves a great time and always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

( . . . ahh, good plan . . .)

Thursday, May 25, 2023


 Arizona is preparing for a long hot summer.

The temperature in Phoenix climbed over the 100 degree mark the other day.

And it's still May.

Where I live it's about 20 degrees cooler.

But that means the low 80's.

And it's still only May.

So watch out for July and August.

There may be some unpleasant new records set.

Meantime, it's a pleasant day here, with a brilliant blue sky and a somewhat gentle breeze in an area of the country known for its windy days.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


The legendary Tina Turner has died.

She was 83.

Take a look back and remember.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


 We spent the afternoon yesterday in the Cath Lab at the hospital in Prescott.

That's the Cardiac Catheterization Lab to those of you not in the know.

It's where doctors perform minimally invasive tests and advanced cardiac procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease.

So explains the Google.

What it meant to us is that Judy had to have her pacemaker replaced.

The one she'd been living with for 9 years had finally lost enough battery strength to require a new one.

Here's what a pacemaker, or generator, installation looks like.

It is typically placed just under the skin with wires, or leads, running into the chambers of the heart.

In Judy's case, the leads were doing just fine so the new device was just hooked up to them.

The purpose of the "machine" is to maintain an even heart rate when something has caused the natural rhythm to falter.

Judy went in for her surgery at 4:15 and came out about an hour and a half later, feeling fine but looking a bit woozy from the anesthetic.

Some times patients are kept for observation but we were home by 7:15, only three hours after she went in to the operating room.

She did extremely well and was anxious to get home.

I told a friend of this blog who was an imminent heart surgeon that I suspected it was because she was hungry as hell, having had only water and Jello all day.

Incidentally we are a two pacemaker family.

I got my first one in 2005.

Oh, and by the way, Judy got a big laugh from her nurse when she said of her surgeon that she's often wondered why a man with his name would decide to go into medicine.

His name is Rizk, pronounced "risk"!

Sunday, May 21, 2023


I read about a recipe for a cheese soufflé recently.

It is credited to the great chef, Jacques Pépin.

Actually it is credited to his mother, Maman Pépin.

As the story goes when she was first married, at age 17, she did not know how to cook but she knew her 22 year old husband liked cheese soufflé.

A friend supposedly told her it was simple: a white sauce (béchamel), cheese and eggs.

Since she was French, even though she did not know much about cooking, she did know how to make a white sauce.

So she made the dish.

But surprise!

She did NOT know that in a soufflé the whites of the eggs are separated from the yolks.

However, the dish puffed up, was cheesy and was a great success for many years to come.

So, I followed Jacques telling of the recipe.

He makes his with Gruyère cheese, for the nutty flavor.

I only had a little less than 4 ounces of Gruyère but added another 6 ounces of Swiss cheese.

I don't know if it made any difference but the dish was incredibly, deliciously cheesy.

That little green thing in the center of the picture is NOT a price tag.

It's a piece of minced chive.

And I received the ultimate compliment.

SWMBO said "I think this recipe is a keeper."

My tummy and my ego are both happy.

Saturday, May 20, 2023


Ah, the news, the news.

It's enough to drive one mad.

So, as a public service, I offer up a few moments of sanity from a man of the past. 

Franz Schubert - Austria: 1797 - 1828

Friday, May 19, 2023


 Y'remember yesterday?

Oh, c'mon, I know you remember yesterday, don't you?

Okay, then we're in the same boat.

But I remember yesterday for one reason.

It was ThrowBack Thursday.

And why is that important, you ask?

Because then I can remember that today is FRIDAY!

And you clever readers know what that means . . The Friday Funnies!

Once again I've had to clean out my humor/humour bank a bit and therefore you just have to read this week.

No funny memes (that means cartoons, oldsters), just words to make you laugh.

So get ready.

Get set.


Okay, okay, I know this is a cheat, considering what I said at the top but THESE GUYS JUST KEEP BUGGING ME!

So, as always, here they are.

That's it.

I swear that's it.

What more can I say anyway?

Except, have yourselves an exceptionally enervating weekend!

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

( . . . oh, man . . .)

Thursday, May 18, 2023


 I haven't done a ThrowBack post for a long time but today's the day, thanks to my friend, Timmer the photographer.

I don't know how long ago these photos were taken, or where, but I do know none of us have looked this way in a long, long time.

Jeanne, aka the Beaner, and I

Jeane, Judy (aka SWMBO), and I

On second thought I think these may have been taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Tim and Jeanne came down from Denver and we drove up from Phoenix and we met there for a spring break weekend.

Whenever or wherever, good times with good friends.

Tim and Jeanne are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary this Saturday.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


 How could I have forgotten!

After all has told me I'm something like 80 percent Norwegian.

And my late uncle, Zenas Howland Taylor, celebrated his birthday on this day.

This is called in Norway, Norwegian Constitution Day because the constitution of the country was signed on May 17th, 1814.

So what do we eat to celebrate this great day?

Norwegian meatballs.  These are served in gravy.

And lefse!

That's a soft Norwegian flatbread made of flour, butter and milk and the best kind includes mashed potatoes.

It's delicious buttered, sugared and rolled into a tube.

But while many Norwegians eat this, you can leave it out of my diet.

The legendary Lutefisk!

It's a dried whitefish like cod that is brined in LYE, then soaked (allegedly) to get rid of that taste, then steamed until it flakes.

It smells horrible and it may be the reason that Norwegians who eat this stuff accompany it with generous topes of beer and Aquavit.

But that's just me.

I have heard that many people of Norwegian ancestry in my home state of North Dakota love the stuff.

There's just no excuse for some people.

Monday, May 15, 2023


 Here's the latest from the Taylor Family Kitchen.

The Old Man hit the kitchen early to bake up a dozen Banana Muffins.

Meanwhile his lovely companion and Master Cook created two beautiful Spinach Salads yesterday.

As my Dad used to say "we're eatin' pretty high off the hog!"

Sunday, May 14, 2023


 Today is Mothers' Day . . a day devoted to honoring all mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, nanas, grans, or whatever you call them.

So here's a couple of pictures of my Mom.

Check out the stylish marcelled hairdo.

The flicker of a smile -  she must have been thinking ahead to Oddball Observations.

A typical North Dakota day with her son - looks like she may have been dragging me to church.

I lost her a long time ago.

She died in 1953 at the early age of 49.

I was just 13.

I wish I'd been able to know her when I was an adult.

The mother I know the best I've lived with for over half a century.

She raised three children and it may just have tuckered her out.

The incredible Judy, aka She Who Must Be Obeyed, in a moment of repose.

For all of the mothers we celebrate, honor and love today, here's a little special gift from your offspring.

Happy Mothers' Day!

Friday, May 12, 2023


 Today is a Red Letter Day!

It's because my wife, Judy, aka She Who Must Be Obeyed, is celebrating her birthday.

As of today, she's thirty-one-thousand seven-hundred fifty-five days old!

Now putting 31,755 candles on her birthday cake would be a bit of a stretch, even for someone as adept as the Catalyst.

So I'll just quietly wish her a Happy Birthday.

So you're probably wondering what I got her for her birthday.

Well I gave her some advice:

So that's it.

My Great Leader's birthday AND The Friday Funnies.

How can you top that?

I'll tell you.

By going full steam ahead, pulling out all stops, and having yourselves a really wonderful weekend.

Here the whole weekend is Prescott Valley Days, with a parade, a carnival, food trucks, and entertainment.

And Sunday is Mothers' Day.


I think I'll go take a nap but before I go one gentle reminder: Always Keep Laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

( . . . oof, there goes my nap . . .)